Seventy-One (71)

You shouldn’t need a fucking invite to be friendly and nice to others. << There’s irony right there… see it?

Maybe I’m old fashioned.

Maybe I took my mother’s expectation to treat people as I wish to be treated to heart. You know, the Golden Rule?

Maybe I believe in the value of others. Even others who have different views than I do.

Maybe I care about how others feel.

Maybe I care about how my actions influence how others feel.

Maybe I’m still ideal enough to look for the good in people.

Maybe I’ve had the courage to face my own inner demons, challenges, and obstacles in life to come out on the other side and finally move forward.

Maybe this inner work serves me today as I’m able to be a mostly positive, proactive human being for the betterment of those around me.

Maybe this is a harder road to hoe.

Maybe most choose the easier, negative, self-pitying, me-against-the-world road.

Maybe that’s bullshit.

Maybe it’s time to get the fuck out of the past.

Maybe many need to hear this right now.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s time for some to step up, and have the balls to look at themselves in the mirror and begin making the changes they’ve long been avoiding.

Maybe it’s finally time…

Maybe.

Stay tuned-in…

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Fifty

50

Fleeting. Everything is…

Temporary and taken for granted. Most things are…

This is a universal, and can be upsetting if you dwell on it.

So, why do we take things for granted? Especially that, and those who are most important? The simple answer is because we get caught up in ourselves more than we don’t. We get tunnel vision about our own agendas, wants, and desires. Others then become secondary. Oh, we like to claim that we’re not selfish most of the time to make ourselves feel better, but that’s not really true. That’s not what the research says.

Truth is, most people don’t give two shits about most of what anyone else is doing. Most people’s primary focus is on themselves, first and foremost. While many claim to know this, most don’t apply this so-called common sense into their daily interactions. It requires heightened levels of objective self-awareness and social strategy skills.

I do an in-person and virtual talk called “Tuning Into WIIFM” where I discuss the communication strategies to apply to flip this process 180 degrees. I challenge audiences to meet others’ needs first, and then by doing so, their needs get met on back-end. Sounds simple, but is difficult to implement consistently. It requires ongoing awareness and diligence to the process. It becomes a choice… moment-to-moment literally.

Choose selflessness. It’s the nice thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Fourteen

14

I’ve always been taught and believed that in the end, nice wins. My leadership and management style reflects this. I choose to interact with others in deliberate ways that entice them to want to buy-in to the greater goals I’m proposing, instead of forcing them to do so by being a dick.

YES, there’s a time and a place to be direct with people.

YES, it’s appropriate and necessary to set firm expectations and hold people accountable.

YES, hard conversations are inevitable at times, not optional.

But, it’s the HOW this is done and delivered, more so than the WHAT is said, that’s the difference.

Communication skills are king. Get fucking good at them. Better than you think you are.

Always. In all ways…

Stay tuned-in…


 

eti-QUIT

please_thank youI’m convinced that for many, dare I say MOST people, simple common courtesy is an extinct, and outdated concept. “Do this, do that, I need this, I want that, and I want it all right NOW!” Rarely does a “please, thank you, I appreciate that, I know you’re busy but… or, if there’s anything you need from me, etc.” ever come out of people’s mouths or appear in their emails or texts. They’re all just orders poorly disguised as requests.

So many are in a hurry, inconsiderate, impatient, and too selfish and self-absorbed to consider the possiblity that a little common courtesy and etiquette can go a long, long way in achieving their needs they’re requesting FROM OTHERS. They’ve simply quit their etiquette…

Hey Assholes: You’re not the alpha and the omega, nor do you sit squarely in the center of the universe. You’re also not the only ones who are busy, have deadlines, and needs to be met. Take the extra 2-to-3 seconds necessary to say “please” and “thank you,” etc.

Demonstrate that you’re at least a smidge more socially skilled than a common caveman, and are at least somewhat aware of the power of properly-placed politeness if you hope to ever get me to respond to any request you ask and/or demand of me.

Because in the end, nice wins.

– Signed: Not an inconsiderate fuck.

Agree or disagree; just no apathy.

Stay tuned-in…

CWT-3: Lust Kills

cwt-logo

Q&A on the Communichology™ of Pop Culture

Ricky Midway: Catchy title.

Tom Leu: Glad you like it.

So are you going to be preaching about sexual indiscretion or something now?

Nah… I don’t preach; I prefer to teach, and coach. There’s a big difference.

Some think preaching and teaching are the same, but they’re practically opposites… they can actually be contradictions of each other. Preaching is rarely teaching anything.

Exactly. And that’s exactly what I want to talk about here… this concept of paradox.

Paradox? Sounds uninteresting. Lust sounds much more intriguing.

Well it may be, but maybe not.

Define paradox.

According to the dictionary, a paradox is something that is self-contradicting; any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature. An example of a paradox would be saying something like “I always lie,” because if that fact is true then the statement must be false. Get it?

Sure… A working title of one of your other writings is called “The Beautiful Secrets.” That’s an example of paradox or an oxymoron, yes?

Yes. That’s the idea. Why would something that is beautiful have to be a secret?

It’s a mystery.

It is. Which leads me to my thoughts about people who appear paradoxical.

People are paradoxical?

Sure; and often contradictory and oxymoronic and on and on. Although they’re not as mysterious as they’d have you believe.

Give me an example.

I have one intriguing, yet sometimes frustrating old “friend” who comes to mind.

So tell me about this old “friend” (in quotes) of yours.

She’s a person who markets herself to be so FOR things, but is really AGAINST more than she’s for.

Explain.

This chick has always been a cool customer; a rock star you know? But her whole gig is presenting this thing I call an “Attitude of Against” or A-of-A. This is when someone or some group comes across more strongly “against” things that “for” anything. It’s an energy-depleting position, and the opposite proposition of everything I promote.

So she’s kind of a pessimist or a cynic?

No, I wouldn’t say that. Actually, she’s very smart and seems to know exactly what she wants and appears very driven to achieve those things. But in her quest to achieve these goals, she comes off with an antagonism and an aura of belittlement aimed at that which differs from her, and her preferences. And with her world-class sarcastic wit, and above-average intelligence, she makes it seem bigger than just preference differences. She has this uncanny ability to make things appear bigger; to really make things appear to be about what is truly right and wrong. That’s both the irritating and intriguing part.

This chick sounds complicated!

Yeah, that’s what she wants you to think. She wants you to think that she’s this very deep, complex, tortured, misunderstood, dark and brooding artist type. She sometimes comes off as the “I’m too-cool-for-you,” punk-apostle type… if you know what I mean. But she’s not really what she presents. She’s just a person. An insecure girl who’s very clever at marketing herself. A paradox…

But can’t we all be that way at times?

Oh absolutely… of course. But not everyone goes out of their way to wave this “Attitude of Against” flag by admonishing all things “mainstream” while admiring anything anti-establishment.

You sound a bit threatened by this person.

Sometimes I do feel that way truthfully. She’s a smart cookie. Taking a closer look at this, there’s really a lot going on with this.

So what’s going on?

It’s the classic rebel-with-a-cause complex. People like this thrive on attitudes of angst, anti-establishment, and arrogance. They always seem pissed off; seem against all forms of authority, and think that they’re better than everyone else. But they’re not really that pissed off. They conform to authority like the rest of us. They truly aren’t any better than anyone else. And they often suffer from high levels of low self-esteem like so many others. They are a paradox; a contradiction in and of themselves. And in a way, they actually represent all that they rail against.

Amazing how you turned that whole thing around a full 360°… so what’s the take-away here?

Literally pointing out what you don’t like can actually make you more like it, (or like it more)… figuratively speaking. Those who run around strongly preaching against those things which they despise are usually the ones most attracted to those very same things. For example, “lust kills” is most often preached by the most lustful.

You’re surely not saying that being outspoken and passionate is a bad thing?

No, definitely not. I’m saying that it’s all about the underlying content of your message. It’s about what you’re putting into the world. It’s easy to be negative and to be against things. It’s everywhere, all the time. But tell me what you’re for, not just what you’re against. Injecting positive into the world is a much more challenging and worthwhile effort in my opinion.

So “Nice Wins” as you often say. Is that right?

In the end, I believe nice does win. Be yourself. Be transparent. Be for shit. But be nice for fuck’s sake! An overbearing and overindulgent “A-of-A” is actually negativity cleverly promoted as something positive. But to the discerning eye, the surface bravado really only reveals a covert cowardice.

Very observant.

Beware. Be aware.

**More Conversations with Tom archives.


 

Nice Wins!

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It’s not complicated. It’s not impossible. But it is an inside job.

Being “nice” is a lost art among many. Too many believe this is an outdated, unnecessary, and useless way to live.

I disagree.

“But you’re not always ‘nice’ with what you write and talk shiFt™ about here Tom.”

This is true. And the reason is that my work here is directed at those who are chronically not nice, and therefore causing others pain. They deserve to be handled differently. I’m being deliberately direct with them (i.e. not-so-nice), in the hopes of 1) raising their awareness, and 2) provoking behavior change that encourages improved communication skills, and basic common courtesy that’s often lacking.

As I point out in my talk shift manifesto, “… I’m not seeking consensus within this work. I’m seeking those who embrace critical thinking. I’m seeking those who aren’t afraid to honestly and fearlessly question themselves, and the world around them in order to improve. I’m seeking those willing and able to grow personally. Personal growth inevitably fosters professional growth.”

What about the old “nice guys finish last” adage?

Nice guys finish last only when they don’t know how to “finish.” By finishing I mean having the bigger-picture viewpoint to know when, what, and how to make the necessary moves to put themselves into advantageous positions.

“Proximity is power. Put yourself in position to make things happen.” ~ Robin Roberts

You don’t have to be hard-nosed to get ahead. Yes, there’s a time and place to stand firm and take a position, but this doesn’t have to be delivered ruthlessly or irresponsibly. I’ll go so far as to say being ruthless is useless. There’s simply no cause for it. There’s always a better alternative to accomplish the same thing. Being nice feels better than not. And every human being wants to feel better about themselves and their world. This is the opposite of fear that plagues so many.

So, at the end of the day nice wins. Always has, always will.

Agree or disagree; just no apathy.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Ad-DICK-tion

You know who they are…

Those who make an exception not to be an asshole.

Those who derive pleasure by causing other people pain.

Those who stir shit up just for kicks.

Those who COMPLAIN about everyone and everything, but do nothing to CHANGE anything.

Those who arrogantly believe that they’re always right, and the rest of us dumbasses are fucking clueless.

Those whose interpersonal communication skills are so shitty and short-sighted, it’s literally stunning to everyone who witnesses it.

Those whose intrapersonal communication skills are A) non-existent, or B) exist within a permanent state of denial and toxic self-delusion producing a fantasy land that even they’ve come to misinterpret as “reality.”

Yes, you know the type, and their destructive ways, right? You can see them in your mind’s eye right now…

This is ad-DICK-tion at the core. It’s pervasive, but can be treated.

You see…

  • Like any other addiction, many will deny they have a problem.
  • Like any other addiciton, many will justify and rationalize why it’s necessary to engage in this type of problem-behavior, and will argue in defense of the defenseless.
  • Like any other addiction, being a dick is a progressive illness. It gets worse over time as it becomes the person’s attention-getting tactic and ultimately their adopted identity. The behavior then repeats and builds momentum.
  • Like any other addiction, the outward symptom (the “dickness”), is usually very overt and very hard to handle.
  • Like any other addiction, the inward root cause of the behavior, not necessarily the behavior itself, is the real problem and what ultimately needs attention and treatment.
  • Like any other addiction, the solution starts with honest awareness and identification of the core problem(s) underneath.
  • Like any other addiction, the solution continues only with a willingness to do the work to change the thinking. This is then is what ultimately leads to behavior change.

Just like any other addiction, being a dick is a choice. And, like any other addiction, a person can choose to change themselves, change their way of living, and change their outcomes.

The concept is simple, but it’s not easy.

Change is only possible provided you’re willing to put in the effort and endure the uncertainty and discomfort along the way toward an improved end-result.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering…

Yes, I can be a dick at times. Sometimes I feel like being a dick. But most of the time I choose not to be a dick. Life is too short for that crap. There’s too much good to see, and too much good to do, to waste time being a dick.

So, don’t be a dick. Choose otherwise.

At the end of day, nice wins.

Stay tuned-in…

Please share and click HERE for info on my Communichology course.

Get my articles and exclusive content with science-based insights to shiFt your communication from adequate to ass-kicking!