Tool Time-Part 3

The Tool Time series embraces the RPM model of Communichology™ strategies. In the two previous Tool Time articles, I recommended embracing the 3R’s (Part 1) and the 3P’s (Part 2) to avoid being a “tool” much of the time. In this final installment, here now are the 3M’s:

  1. MANAGE your emotions. Pleeeeaaaasssseeee keep your emotions in-check and under control. I know you get upset and frustrated and irritated sometimes… we all do. But there’s simply no excuse for spewing your stuff onto everyone else just because “you’re having a bad day.” Huff and puff in private please. Take the necessary steps to first monitor, and then manage the expression of these emotions. There IS a time and a place. Figure out when and where those are to spare the rest of us your drama.
  2. MODEL others who’s communication skills you admire. You see them… at work, at home, when you’re having fun, even when you’re not necessarily paying attention. These are the non-tool-types who seem to intuitively know how to handle almost any situation with grace and ease. Be purposeful about seeking out, and learning from these people. Notice the subtleties that separate them from the Tools who are really reactive, from the Cools who are primarily proactive.
  3. Finally, MULTIPLY and MAGNIFY your awareness. Pay attention to your attention. This is arguably the most important component. Tools are often oblivious to much of what’s going on around them, and it shows. On a daily basis, there are many situations and circumstances where strategic communication skills can literally change lives when applied appropriately, in the moment. Sound like an overstatement? It’s not. If you cannot “see” what’s really happening, how can you expect to respond appropriately? You can’t. Tools overestimate their communication skills and underestimate the destruction this causes.

Those who refuse to be Tools Recognize, Prepare, and Manuever through the many mazes of effective communication, day in and day out.

Don’t be a Tool. Be Cool.

Check out Part 1 and Part 2.

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…

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Tool Time-Part 2

In Tool Time-Part 1, I strongly recommended embracing the 3R’s to avoid being a “tool” much of the time. I was simply advocating doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.

Here in Part 2, I’m proposing the 3P’s to lowering one’s “Tool-IQ” for effective communication:

  1. Consider if alternatives to your way of thinking are POSSIBLE. Tools have knee-jerk reactions to other options that oppose their own manicured mythology. In other words, the biggest tools have closed minds. They rarely consider alternative approaches or methods that may challenge their own preferences, prejudices, and opinions. Asking the “is it possible” question is always appropriate and necessary. Anything less is foolish and the epitome of toolness.
  2. Be POLITE. It’s OK, really it is. Saying “excuse me” or “thank you” or “please” is a foreign language to the ambassadors of Tool-ville. These words and phrases rarely escape their lips. Why? Two reasons: 1) Unawareness. This type of common courtesy is simply not on their radar… these are the Grade-B Tools. 2) Pride. These types know better, but rarely choose to embrace any appropriate amount of ettiquete. These tools have an entitlement mentality so convincing that they believe they’re better than everyone else … these are the Grade-A Tools.
  3. Exercise some PATIENCE. Please slow the fuck down… in the store, in your car, in life in general. Give others some space. Back the fuck off. Don’t crowd people in lines. Don’t huff and puff or throw mini-tantrums in Wal-Mart. Relax. Nobody else cares about your starring role in the reality-show in your head. Tools tout their nonverbal impatience for all to see. Tools fail to shrewdly notice their situational surroundings. Tools think they’re the only ones waiting while in a hurry. Tools rarely recognize the importance of timing and having class. When you have one, you most likely have the other.

Great communication results from thinking critically, treating others as you wish to be treated, and demonstrating restraint at times. Not-too-complicated, yet so under-executed.

Why is this so hard for so many?

Because all people (you AND I) are largely self-centered. We’re thinking about ourselves more than we’re not. This gets in the way of being an effective communicator and responding appropriately much of the time because we’re blinded by our own agendas, wants, and needs. To overcome this requires a person to consciously embrace the concept of selfless-selfishness. This is the deliberate choice to put the wants of others first. By doing this, you will get what you need second. This is the opposite of our instincts, somewhat counter-intuitive, but no less imperative. Everybody wins, but only by reducing the Tool-In-You first.

Don’t be a Tool… check out Part 1 and Part 3.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Tool Time-Part 1

I see it and hear it everywhere, all of the time.

Chronic, crappy communication happening between people offline and online via voice mail, email, text, tweet, nonverbal, and face-to-face interactions everyday, in every way. This is Tool Time

Most aren’t even aware that they are falling short and failing in these areas. These are the “Tools.” These are men and women of all ages, incomes, colors, and creeds. In their world, Tool Time is all the time. The problem is that these aren’t the types of tools that fix things. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broke.

The Urban Dictionary lists several sublime definitions of the word “tool” though none of these deft distinctions accurately fit my application here. So, here’s my definition within the context of this piece:

Tool (noun) – 1) A blow-hard who claims they’re a great communicator, but often demonstrates the exact opposite in their actions. 2) A numb-nut who devalues the necessity of sharpening their communication skills ongoing because they claim to “already know all of this stuff.” 3) Someone suffering from chronic communication self-delusion disease.

To start, here are the 3 R’s to avoid being a Tool most of the time:

  1. RESPOND when someone compliments or congratulates you. If someone takes the time to extend a nice gesture your way, the least you can do is say “thank you”. Ignoring this speaks negative volumes about your Toolness. It says you don’t care (even if you do). Failure to acknowledge a shout-out turns into an insult that gets boomeranged back to the sender. How friggin’ hard is it to take 10 seconds to show that you are not a complete, obliviously insensitive Tool?
  2. Be RESPONSIVE to timelines you give or receive. If you say, “I’ll get back to you tomorrow,” then Get Back To Them Tomorrow! Follow-through for fuck’s sake… Failure to do so is telling others they are not that important to you, and/or you don’t care if others view you as a large Tool. If you truly do not care about either of the above, then you truly are one of the larger Tools in the box, and should click-off now.
  3. Relinquish need to be RIGHT all of the time. Tools think they’re always right. They’re not, you’re not, and neither am I. Be open to the possibility that you either a) don’t have all of the information necessary, or b) you may have some inaccurate information at times. Humility and Toolness are inversely proportional. When the ego is in check, the Tool-In-You has likely checked out.

Don’t be a Tool… check out Part 2 and Part 3. Test your Tool IQ as well…

Stay tuned-in…


 

Willis Power?

I see and hear so many posts and announcements proclaiming people’s big and small life decisions made because it’s “obedience to god’s will for my life.” Really?

“Whatchu talkin ’bout Willis?”

This is yet another episode airing on the Delusion Network

Is it “obedience” to god’s will for your life or rationalization and justification to feel better about your sometimes irresponsible decisions to do what you really, really want to do?

In psychological terms, this is called confirmation bias. This is “the tendency for people to favor their perconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true” or not.

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” ~ Susan B. Anthony

Look, I get it. You wish to be in a better place, have a better job… a better life. You want to feel better about… well, everything. You may want to chuck your day job in favor of pursuing your passions and your dreams. I’m with you. That’s awesome! I say do it… I did.

This type of mentality is rare, and only a few actually follow through and do it.

My issue is calling any decisions that you make “god’s will for your life.” It’s your will, your decision-making process, your intentions, your plans, your desires, and your dreams. You’re dressing it up with god’s stamp of approval because to many, this somehow makes it more believable; more authentic. Anything that “god” approves carries more weight right? Labeling it “obedience to god” is a technique people use to rationalize and justify doing what they really want to do, whether good ideas or not, to make themselves feel better about taking the risks. If there’s some “higher purpose” involved, well then, it HAS to be a good idea and therefore “god’s will.”

What’s truly impressive however, is all of the false humility and covert self-congratulations that’s cleverly disguised as divine decision-making. Don’t try to sell this life-whispering fairy tale to those of us rooted in rational reality, reason, and science. It’ll never fly.

Make no mistake, I believe that there’s power in will. The question is: whose will is it?

But here’s the kicker… it doesn’t really matter where one chooses to place this power. Because the real power ultimately exists within one’s decisions to take action on their plans. The power is not in the source of the perceived power, but in the action taken afterwards and ongoing.

So whether it’s god’s will or Willis’ will, call it what you want, I’m just calling it as I see it. You may “see” it differently, and that’s OK. Just back-up how you “see things” with critical thinking and science, and be open to healthy debate. It might just be “god’s will” at work…

Stay tuned-in…