One of my favorite quotes is from writer Anne Lamott: “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth, you can point with it too.” In the age of the internet, most of us do a lot of chopping and not enough pointing. In the best instances, we’re upset and trying to right a wrong, and in the worst instances, Internet anonymity has created vicious critics and quite a few crazy loons. Either way, I think
My wife Kathleen and I visited the amazing exhibit on President Abraham Lincoln at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here in California this weekend. Done in partnership with Dreamworks Studios, it was an incredibly unique and eclectic collection of Lincoln memorabilia from numerous private collections. During the tour, I was reading one of Lincoln’s personal letters with a group of young men in their twenties. After reading Lincoln’s letter this is
Perhaps since I’m a writer, I’m a bit overly sensitive, but there’s a growing list of words and phrases that I’m really tired of reading in print or online, and hearing on TV. (TV newspeople are the worst.) Here’s my latest candidates for obliterating from the language (or at least parking them for awhile.) Read it over and let me know if you have any additions:
Are you a good listener? You’re not learning if you’re doing all the talking, and far too many people think they need to talk to get noticed. So I asked the founder and CEO of Infinity Concepts, Mark Dreistadt, the secrets of listening well. Have you ever been accused of “selective hearing?” You know – the process that happens when you intentionally don’t want to hear something. Well, there are actually five different ways we listen. So here’s the 5 secrets to what Mark calls “Selective Listening” – how many have you experienced?
A few years ago, a friend discovered wrongdoing on the part of her boss – who happened to also be her brother. She was perplexed about how to reveal the deceit, but eventually decided to act. Her problem was she went way over the top, and exposed her brother in a very public and humiliating way. Reacting in anger and being forced to retaliate, he ended up having her fired, and in the process, was able to sweep his wrongdoing under the rug. So what could have been an important revelation that could have benefitted the company, as well as my friend, only ended up
For some reason, I’ve been meeting a lot of people who don’t know when it’s time to stop talking. Most of the time they’re meeting me after I teach, or it’s an interview, and I know they mean well, but it’s driving me nuts. Obviously, they’re nervous, and most people talk when they’re nervous. Plus, I think they feel an obligation to pitch themselves and simply don’t know when to stop. I keep looking for openings to jump in and change the subject or bring the conversation to a halt, but with some folks, that’s nearly impossible. So here’s my advice:
“How can you be a Christian in Hollywood?” The question still gets asked by well meaning believers, and I’m often stopped at conferences and workshops and asked to share the experience of how I ended up in the entertainment industry. I was raised a “preacher’s kid,” so early on in my life, I understood the power of great preaching, and the importance of communicating effectively – although I never had the slightest desire to be a preacher myself. But it wasn’t long before I discovered the
Have you lost the ability to keep people’s attention? Are you noticing that no one is paying much attention to what you have to say anymore? Because of the barrage of media messages we’re subjected to each day, the pacing of normal conversations has increased. Check it out – most of the people you speak to on a daily basis talk much faster than they did a few years ago, and it seems like the younger generation is talking faster than ever. But along with that, comes the