Archive for January, 2018

I can see it now…an emotionally charged court room. A deafening hush has fallen over the entire spectacle, from the anxious, restless jury to the thrill-seeking spectators.Image

The Prosecuting attorney strides up to the accused perpetrator, extends a critical finger in his direction and almost screams: “Isn’t it true that you and the victim were involved in a Ponzi scheme some 10 years ago?!”

Defense bolts out of her seat. “Objection, your Honor! That question is irrelevant and immaterial!”

The wizened old judge responds. “Objection sustained. The jury will disregard that question.”

Oh, REALLY?! (We’ve now left the courtroom, by the way) Do you really think that, as a result of the judge’s directive, the jury will now totally ignore the question, not even considering the possibility that the victim and the accused had a history of illegitimate financial dealings?!

Of course, forgetting the question is exactly what each and every juror must do, but here’s the sticky bit: THEY ALL JUST HEARD IT! Of course, they can (and should) consciously seek to ignore this potential bit of “evidence,” but the seed has now been planted by the wily Prosecuting attorney.

THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY “QUOTE – UNQUOTE.” Once it’s been heard (or read), it’s too late. Oh, you can back pedal a bit, work up some reasonable explanation, provide some additional information to soften the blow or assuage the damage that’s already been rendered, perhaps even recover somewhat from your faux pas…

But wouldn’t it have been better if you’d taken a little more time before you opened your mouth or started typing? I sometimes think we should invoke the “7 second delay” used by radio stations to allow time to expunge inappropriate words, etc. before they get on the air.

Years ago, I had a college professor, Dr. Carl Cassell, who admonished us to “never say ‘Unquote,’ only say ‘End quote’,” since once it’s out there, you can’t make it go away!” It’s simply not possible to “unquote” something that you just “quoted.”

This sage advice can apply to all communications, from phone conversations, tweets, blogs, online posts, and emails to networking meetings, presentations and interviews. As I have tweeted, “Measure twice, cut once” is not only good advice for carpentry. How about this? “Think twice, speak (or type) once.”

I even found corroborating evidence from the Apostle in James 1:19: “Be quick to hear, slow to speak.”

Good advice. And you CAN quote me on it!


An older insurance ad I recall has recently returned. In it,  a young lady is sadly recalling the accident that totaled her beloved car “Brad.” As she recalls all that they have been through together in the past 4 years, she remembers: 2 boyfriends, 3 JOBS! 3 jobs in 4 years! Do the math. That’s an average of 16 months in each company!clipboard

Welcome to the new job market, Sports Fans! The Rules have clearly changed!

Let’s remind ourselves of the Old Rules:

  • Get training in a field where there is work.
  • Do what you are told.
  • Take every promotion they offer you.
  • Stay until they present you with the “Gold Watch.”
  • Retire. Now go do what you want!

WRONG! I would respectfully suggest the following “Rules” for the New Workplace that have taken over:

Be prepared for change at all times.

Only two things don’t change – God and change. As a company, stay flexible, forward thinking and open to adjustments for you, your industry and your personnel. As a worker, you need not fall in love with change, but you’d better learn how to handle it. Change happens.

Act as if you are self employed.

A career site (no longer around: see, even this changes!) used to tout the tagline “Because EVERY Job is Temporary.” Well, it is. As a company, don’t assume that you will be ordering gold watches at a volume discount. Help your employees see themselves as integral parts of the solution. As an employee, take action at work as if your paycheck is directly related to your contribution (because, ultimately, it is!).

Never stop learning.

Employers should provide opportunities for employees to acquire new skills, knowledge and expertise that enhance them as individuals as well as enabling them to contribute at higher and higher levels. Employees should be seeking these opportunities continually, even if they must do it on their own. To borrow a title from another one of my blogs, your workers may be thinking “Play Me or Trade Me!”

Continually add value to your work.

“What have you done for me lately?” sounds very ungrateful, but it’s a Fact Of Work these days. The best way to stop advancing in your job is to simply do what is expected of you! Employers, create opportunities for the employee to contribute more to the position. Employees, never be completely satisfied with your performance. Always seek to improve. I’ve coined a term to describe this mindset: “Professional Dissatisfaction.”

Take charge of your attitude.

When I’ve been called in to work with employees, it is never on how to use a spreadsheet or fill out a time card. The focus: learning to “play well with others!”  Employers should seek to enhance the communication and relationsship skills of staff through modeling the appropriate behavior as well as providing training and support in these areas. Employees should invest time and energy into enhancing their interpersonal skills.

Is it a New Workplace? You bet it is!