Category Archives: Revealing Excellence Business Blog

Think Today

Think today…

Dale Carnegie wrote another, lesser known book called How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. He discovered while teaching his public speaking classes that people became paralyzed  with fear by things they worry about. It was written in the same style as How To Win Friends And Influence People. He interviewed well-known people of the time as well as include personal stories told in his classes by people who had overcome their worries and how they did it. 

He documented 30 principles for overcoming worry. One of them he named 

Live In Day Tight Compartments. We have all heard varying versions of this idea. One day at a time, just for today, live for today etc. The principle is the same, don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Do today, the best you can, with what you have, where you are. The premise is tomorrow won’t matter if you don’t make it through today. So, be here now the best you can.

I just lost my wife to a two-year health challenge. I was her primary care provider, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for that time. That alone was a challenge, but now I have a whole new set of challenges. Things that I’ve never done before, such as managing an estate and all the details associated with someone’s passing. All while handling the sorrow of losing a partner of 30 years. I have wonderful people around me helping and supporting me, but I still have to handle me.

 

One thing I have mastered over the years is being able to take one more step, and then one more after that. So, that’s what I do. I ask myself what can I complete today. And then what else can I complete today, until the day itself is complete. Then, do it all over again tomorrow. I have been around long enough and seen enough to know that everything always works out as long as I keep moving. There is no going around. There is only going through.

Life sometimes seems unfair.… And it is. Life is not supposed to be easy. Trust me, even those people you look at with envy for how easy their life seems, have their own worries and challenges. Our jobs are to use ours to become the best me we can.

Live in day tight compartments, and soon you won’t have to.

~Steve

Give Honest And Sincere Appreciation

Giving honest and sincere appreciation…

Dale Carnegie’s 2nd human relations principle.

We all want to know we make a difference to someone or to many someones. Remember the last time someone appreciated you? and how enlivened you felt? Why wouldn’t you want to make someone else feel that way?  

I’m like you. I get busy and don’t take the time to let others know what they mean to me and how they have contributed to my life as much as I could. I also know what a difference it would make for them to hear it. So, why do I hesitate? There are a lot of answers to that question, but none of them are a good justification. Nothing creates or builds a relationship more than being honest. And that includes being honest about how others have contributed to you.

My wife was well known for celebrating birthdays. And one of her signature acts was to make sure that we went around the table allowing everyone to acknowledge the person who’s birthday it was. After all the food was eaten and gifts opened up, People would take a turn saying three things they appreciate about them. It’s always a bit awkward to give and/or receive appreciation, but this is worth more than all the gifts people brought. To hear how you make a difference, even in a small way, stokes the ‘fire in your belly’ to give more.    

Join me in taking more time to honestly appreciate those around you.

~Steve

Become Genuinely Interested In Others

​Become genuinely interested in other people….

I am busy. Everyday I think about what I have to do and how I am going to get it all done. I am sure that sounds familiar. It is normal to think of ourselves. It is a good thing, because we are ultimately helping other people…..our kids, customers, civic groups, church groups……Yet how often do we really take an interest in the people we interact with every day?

There are just a handful of people in my neighborhood that I know a lot about.
What do I really know about all the people in my office?

Take a quick tour of Facebook and Instagram and see how many photos are selfies?
It’s not wrong, but it is instructive.

Dale Carnegie says that if we want people to be interested in us, we need to be interested in them. The most interesting people are the ones who are most interested.

My favorite story about Dale Carnegie is when he was a guest at a friends party and met a woman who had recently returned from Africa. He had always wanted to travel to Africa and spent the next few hours asking her question after question about her experience.  After he left the party the woman he was speaking to made a point of mentioning to the host that Dale Carnegie was the most wonderful conversationalist. Dale confessed that he only spoke a few sentences while asking questions. She was the one that spoke the entire time. She thought he was interesting because he was genuinely interested.

I vividly remember my grandfather in his final years admitted himself into a nursing home because he knew he needed the help. He spent his entire adult life as a surgeon so that didn’t seem odd. The most wonderful thing though was when I went to visit, the very first thing he did was introduce me to one of his nurses. He told me all about her family and children and how she liked horses just like I did. He probably knew more about her than many of her friends did. And that wasn’t all, he knew as much about all of the doctors and other nurses taking care of him… And he was the patient.

After my visit, on the way out, the nurses at the desk made a point of saying what a wonderful man my grandfather was. It’s true he was. And I have a better understanding as to why.

Lets all become genuinely interested in other people

~Steve

Saving Photos From Text Messages

Saving photos from text messages…

I know that if you’re anything like me, you are sending and receiving text messages all day long. Within those texts are most likely pictures too. Many of them are disposable, like the pictures of a cat rolling on the floor in seven different poses. Yet there are times that you receive photos that you really do want to keep. Thankfully, all photos in text messages are not automatically saved into your camera roll. If you want them there, you have to move them yourself. Here’s how to do that.

Open the messages app and go to the conversation that has the pictures you’re interested in. Press and hold the image until options appear and tap save. That will now be in your camera roll. If you have an iPhone 6s or earlier, tap the photo then tap the box with the arrow coming out of it and choose save image.

If you want to save all of the pictures from one person, again open the text message conversation where the images are, then tap on the person‘s name at the top, and tap the info icon. Then scroll down on that screen all the way to the bottom and choose, see all photos. And now you can select all of the images that you want to save at once. Once you are done tap save at the bottom left.

Understand, that typically photos sent by text message are usually a lower quality. So, if you want a higher quality photograph, always send it through email and choose the resolution size you want.

We all love our pictures, and carry a professional quality camera in our pocket. Now you have a way to keep from having to always scroll through your text messages to find that one special photo.

~Steve

Be A Good Listener

Be a good listener…I was in my office the other day and overheard an interesting conversation…

Mary was telling Kim (not their real names) about what her boy friend said to her that hurt her feelings. Kim said that she knew just how she felt because her boy friend had done something similar to her just last week. Kim then went on for a good 15 minutes describing in detail her incident. I’m sure her intent was to help Mary feel she wasn’t alone. Yet I’m not sure that’s what Mary felt.

I confess that I do the same thing sometimes. I have to catch myself and remember that who I am talking to didn’t ask for my advice or my commiseration. They simply wanted someone to listen to them. They don’t want me to fix anything, they want me to hear them. Hear how they are feeling and what they think.

We all yearn to be ‘gotten’, to be heard and understood.

More upsets are solved by listening than by offering advice. Dale Carnegie’s principle; Be A Good Listener, Encourage Other To Talk About Themselves is another pathway to more fruitful relationships.

Let’s all focus on being a better listener. We have two ears and one mouth for good reason… We should listen twice was much as we talk.

Be a good listener,

Steve

Talk In Terms

‘Talk In Terms of the Other Person’s Interest’

The last principal was about listening instead of talking. Dale Carnegie said that listening to someone is enlivening to them. Yet if you must talk, talk about something that they are interested in.

 I admit it, I would talk about gadgets and technology and Apple computer all day nonstop, if I could.  Its actually embarrassing to admit,  but its true. Anyone who really knows me, knows that.  If you want my attention, talk to me about the iPhone, or iPad.  Sometimes people stop me in the store and ask me how I like my Apple Watch. I have to be careful not to take up a half hour of their time in the store lauding The Dick Tracy gadget on my wrist. 

 We are all like that with regard to some topic. So really, our job is to find that topic for other people.  

 Theodore Roosevelt is purported to have made a habit of staying up late reading up on topics that the people he was meeting the next day, were interested in so he could have meaningful conversations with them about something that was of great interest to them. People were always impressed with his extent of his knowledge on many subjects.

Too often people seem to be interested the other person when in reality they end up talking about what they personally are interested in. Such as; oh, Im sorry you hurt your wrist. I hurt mine a few years ago…” and then launch into a long story about themselves. Talking in terms of their interests, not yours.

Lets all take the time to learn and talk about what other people are interested in. We will all be richer for it. 

~Steve

Importance To ‘Be Here Now’

Be here now…Years ago I trained with a wilderness tracker named Tom Brown.  There are so many things that I awakened to spending time with him. One thing I think you might be able to relate to is when people go out  into  the woods  and see a  bird or on animal  they immediately want to know what it is, what’s their name. And immediately upon learning the name, they are satisfied that they know something about the animal. Except that, they really know nothing. And the remarkable thing is that’s okay with them. They  want to be able to point to a cardinal and say, “see that’s a Cardinal”. They don’t know that Cardinals mate for life, are predominantly ground feeders and a myriad of other interesting facts about them.  Simply by putting a name on something they can avoid a deeper relationship by learning more.

My wife of 24 years died yesterday.  She had been trying to recover from injuries she sustained over a year and a half ago.  Something I have noticed is how much people are interested in what she died from.  They want to label for themselves what happened because they think that will help them understand. But if I told them she died of cancer, that would be it.  They would have all the information they needed.  They could then protect themselves from the profound sadness by putting it in the ‘cancer’ drawer, where the “too bads” and “thats horrible” live, with the “ I knew X who died of cancer” that also live there.

In the end does it really matter what she died from?

Our wish to protect ourselves, often is invisible.

Our interest in the cause is completely understandable, but not necessary.

What is necessary is to BE with the one you are with.

Relationships are not built on how or why, they are built on being present, right here, right now. They are built on feeling you’re feelings and being empathetic, characteristics our society recognize as weaknesses.

But only the bravest cry and the strongest show empathy. Be here now. Feel what there is to feel.

~Steve

Make The Other Person Feel Important

Make the other person feel important…

How often does someone stop to ask a question, and since we’re in the middle of doing something, we don’t look up and let them ask the question to the side of our head? It’s not like we’re not listening, it’s just we’re busy.  We have taught ourselves to multitask, and to be able to listen to someone while working on the task at hand.

The practice of stopping what we’re doing, turning and facing them,  and giving them our full attention, sends the message that they are important. I can hear what you are thinking, (because I’ve  thought it myself). They are the ones interrupting me. They are the ones not respecting my time… This is where my favorite quote from Wayne Dyer changes my attitude every time… He said:  “We have a choice.  Do we want to be right, or kind?”

What’s the end of the game here? Do we want better, more fulfilling relationships? If so, the answer is very clear.  

Let’s do whatever we can to make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely.

There is  wonderful story about a little girl saying to her mother, “mommy, I know you love me”. When her mother asked how she knew, she replied “because whenever I talk to you, you stop what you are doing to listen to me.”

It is a very simple process to stop ,to listen, make eye contact and to pay attention, yet in reality it seems quite difficult because of our inner dialogue. So, regard this as a friendly reminder on your journey to build stronger, more fulfilling relationships both in personal life and in your work life.

Use Dale Carnegie’s principle Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

i hope you too, feel important.

~Steve

Never Say ‘You’re Wrong”

Never say ‘ You’re wrong!’….I know that if you are like me, you have found yourself in a discussion where you know the other person is so wrong it is laughable. The urge is to quickly and emphatically set them straight with the facts.  

Here is my favorite example from Dale Carnegie as to why that may not be the most prudent thing to do… 

“Carnegie was attending a banquet one night given in Sir Rosss honor, and during the dinner, the man sitting next to him told a humorous story that hinged on the quotation Theres a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.The raconteur mentioned that the quotation was from the Bible. He was wrong, and Carnegie knew it positively. By his own admission, he appointed himself as an unsolicited and unwelcome committee of one to correct the storyteller. The other man stuck to his guns. From Shakespeare? Absurd! That quotation was from the Bible. And the man knew it. Frank Gammond, an old friend of Carnegies, was seated to his left. Gammond had devoted years to the study of Shakespeare. So the storyteller and Carnegie agreed to submit the question to the expert. Mr. Gammond listened, kicked Carnegie under the table, and then said, Dale, you are wrong. The gentleman is right. It is from the Bible.On their way home that night, Carnegie said to Mr. Gammond, Frank, you knew that quotation was from Shakespeare.” “Yes, of course,he replied, Hamlet, act five, scene two. But we were guests at a festive occasion, my dear Dale. Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He didnt ask for your opinion. He didnt want it. Always avoid the acute angle.It taught Carnegie a lesson he never forgot.”
 from “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age” by Dale Carnegie

I have never convinced anyone that they were wrong and I was right. In the past, all my arguments left us more convinced in our own rightnessand the others wrongness. Nothing has ever been gained by trying to prove Im right, so why do it? My ego is the only seeming winner, but I have found that feeding my ego is ALWAYS a losing proposition. I dont have to agree with the other person, I can agree to disagree or simply keep quiet.

~Steve

I Have The Best Office Assistant

I have the best office assistant and if you own an iPhone, iMac or iPad, then you do too. Its Apples built in app called Reminders.

For most people it shows up like a glorified to do list where you keep standard and custom lists, like a shopping list or things to get done at home or workand although it’’s true it will do that but if that is all you are using it for, you are selling yourself short.

I am dangerous because I dont check my calendar, which is why I need an ‘office assistant, as often as I should and have been known to miss an appointment or two (or many) in the past. That is until I started using Reminders the way Apple intended.

When I create a new meeting now, I choose the option to remind me 15 minutes before the time so I can finish what I am doing or gather what I need. Pretty basic right? Well how about having Siri do all of this for you? I simply say Hey Siri, create a meeting with Jim at 2pm on Thursday at Starbucks in WillistonSiri will do all of that without me having to fill in all the details. But wait.I have a call every Tuesday at 12 pm, no problem say hey Siri, call Mary every Tuesday at 12pmand as long as Mary is in your contacts, Siri will include her number in addition to setting the appointment.

What if you are on your way home and want to remember to take the chicken out of the freezer as soon as you get home? Just tell Siri that and when you drive up youre drive, you will get that reminder as long as you have your address in your contact file. Same thing if you want a reminder when you get to work. Just make sure your work address is in your contact file.

I have praised Siri before, because of all she can dothis is just another example of her magical powers, the best office assistant.

~Steve