May 2015

It sounds clinical, I know. But it’s a game-changer in how you conduct a business conversation.

Your talk ratio.

It quantifies how much you talk, how much the other person talks.

Forget about the substance of the conversation, for a moment (mind you, I believe in substance!). Let’s keep it basic. In a conversation, what percentage of the time do you talk, what percentage of the time does the other person talk?

If you have an 80/20 ratio, you likely talk too much.

If you have a 20/80 ratio, you likely talk too little.

But it depends entirely on the other person and the situation! you protest.

It does – but not quite as much as you think! (more…)

Quintessential Florida.

Iggy Pop, scraggly-faced musician, former frontman for The Stooges, the grandfather of punk, and Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, television personality, stand in the sand on Miami Beach, looking at the sky. Two aging men who, by most people’s standards, have been there, done that, seen it all.

Iggy: I’m still curious. You seem like a curious person.

Anthony: It’s my only virtue. (said with a chuckle)

Iggy: There you go. All right. Curious is a good thing to be. You know it’s seems to pay some unexpected dividends.

Final clip on Mr. Bourdain’s inspired CNN series “Parts Unknown.” The Miami episode.

What a nice note to end on, I think to myself.  (more…)

Mario and I sit in a café on Miami Beach’s famed Lincoln Road Mall. Talking about what energizes us in our work.

Mario has held senior HR Leadership roles for Fortune 500 firms throughout Latin America.

Great jobs, Mario affirms, but when I think back, 30% to 40% of what I did on a daily basis drained me.

Tasks either give energy or take energy away. 40% is a lot of energy depletion.

The simple answer, of course: Perform fewer tasks that don’t energize you. Tasks that call on your least developed mental faculties, tasks that you’re simply not proficient in.

Not an option to say NO to tasks that drain? In that case, consider some ways of undraining the tasks that drain you. Yes, start to undrain yourself.
 (more…)

Party well at work? Let’s talk about what I DON’T mean.

I believe in celebrating a company anniversary, a project milestone, throwing a holiday bash. The official stuff.

I don’t mean that.

Don’t mean being the party that closes the hotel bar at 1 am and has a hang-over the next morning and regrets its indiscretions.

Party well at work is a mindset.

My colleague Robert and I spent three days last week with a high-energy team of international engineers and R&D folks. China, Malaysia, Sweden, Denmark, India, Jordan, the UK, and the US were in the house.

After the first dinner out, Robert observed “These folks know how to party.”

Agreed. And it’s not about the amount of booze that was consumed.

This is the mindset. (more…)