Friday, May 29, 2015

Coaching That Matters: A Fearsome Fairy Godmother and Her Warbling Broadway Brood

NY Times, 26May2015, p. C5

A teacher at Oklahoma City College trained a large number of Broadway musical performers. She was quite direct, as might a coach, showing each person how to do better by various particular moves and changes. She said, "If they can't take the criticism they came for--then don't come."

We all need encouragement, but even more we need coaching that points to how to become better. Such tough teachers are your blessing.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Laptops, Email, ... : Be Here Now. Don't lose your credibility by being elsewhere than with the people you are working with

From a friend, quite senior at his company, who works for one of the big computer and media related companies:

Most everyone has their laptop open in most meetings, and yes, I do emails during meetings. Don’t know what goes on in meetings at the very top of the executive hierarchy. 

My intern is of a new generation: he never concentrates on me. I am about to convert him to full time and my message for him is the hippy one: “Be Here Now."

If you are supposed to be attending to someone, they better feel that you are attending to them rather than to your computer, phone, etc. They actually notice, and may not be willing to play second fiddle to your email and text messages.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Being An Analyst in Intelligence

"Elizabeth had learned years ago that analysis had to do with taking the flow of information that moved through the bureaucracy and preventing it from moving in its normal way through the old channels. Sometimes she collected tidbits and left them lying around for weeks until they made sense, and sometimes she merely scanned the printouts and knew that there was nothing in them but distractions. If you had an "In" box and an "Out" box, you were treating information the way it was meant to be treated, which was the wrong way. The system put you here to process paper, but you had to resist the system in order to make it work.

"She put her purse in the "In" box so that nobody would deliver anything there."

p. 247-8, Thomas Perry, Sleeping Dogs

Also, p. 299: " was sort of an FBI agent's sense of humor. ...they're in a mostly male sort of world, so most of the jokes are inside jokes, and the ones that aren't are kind of simple."