Two Wrongs Make a Right

This morning my kids were arguing about Friday’s plans with Grandma.

The older sister was trying to tell the younger brother Friday’s plan, and he was arguing back with his understanding of the plan.

“No! On Friday you’re going…”

“No!”

Thing is… neither was correct!

And that didn’t matter, because the plans are still up in the air anyways.

On the way to school I like to discuss ideas of self-improvement with my kids. Continue reading “Two Wrongs Make a Right”

“Verbal Judo” and 10 Things I Learned from George J. Thompson

People hardly ever say what they mean. Most people are driven by emotions, especially in highly-charged circumstances. Their words reflect those emotions, even if they act otherwise.

The kid (or coworker) that grumbles throughout a task — is still doing that task (even though she’s not framing it in a positive way).

"Verbal Judo" teaches you to redirect verbal aggression as a Professional
“Verbal Judo” teaches you to redirect verbal aggression as a Professional

The spouse, during an argument, who throws out the incorrect idea that “you never do the dishes! you never do the laundry!” Continue reading ““Verbal Judo” and 10 Things I Learned from George J. Thompson”

10 Things I Learned from “Win Bigly” by Scott Adams

Way back in 2012, my wife and I traveled by Amtrak train to Chicago to visit some friends. Between card games in the bar car and beautiful scenery out the window, I read a book about Negotiation.

I was interested in making more money. I wasn’t sure how to ask or even if I was in the right profession. Continue reading “10 Things I Learned from “Win Bigly” by Scott Adams”

10 Things I Learned from “The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive” by Patrick Lencioni

My interest in Persuasion and getting people moving, getting them working and improving, overlaps with business and leadership.

I follow a number of successful entrepreneurs on Twitter. Many of them know that reality is flexible, that we create (and live by) our own limits.

Image "Put your hands up in the air" by Thomas Leuthard, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Image “Put your hands up in the air” by Thomas Leuthard, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Inspiring people to push past those self-inflicted limits is one view of Persuasion, and important for any self-starter like yourself.

Another aspect of persuasion, especially in larger businesses, is change management. Continue reading “10 Things I Learned from “The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive” by Patrick Lencioni”

How to Win at the Thanksgiving Table

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends with PRL!

This Thanksgiving you’re certain to find yourself in a conversation about politics.

Trust me! This is a toxic conversation that you do not want to be a part of.

As Dale Carnegie teaches us,

The Only Way to Get the Best of an Argument is to Avoid It!

If you cannot avoid an argument, I encourage you to ask questions of the other people. Listen and ask questions. Work to understand their positions, with your questions leading people to a high ground position where everyone agrees.

  • Yes, these scandals are horrible. No one deserves to be treated like this, don’t you agree?
  • Yes, the President does say some provocative things. Does it help him keep the conversation focused where he wants?

If you’re unable to bring the conversation to a higher level, you risk telling someone they’re wrong.

Never tell someone they’re wrong!

They’ll fall back into a defensive position, justify everything they’ve said, and point the finger back at you to tell you why you’re wrong.

Instead, do your best to paraphrase the words of the other, in a sincere attempt to understand them. Let them talk themselves out for a while. They might want to be heard, might want to be right. You’re not going to change it over the weekend.

And then remind everyone that you’re thankful that you’re all family, that you want to enjoy the weekend together, and that politics could spoil everything so let’s talk about something else.

No one wants to spoil the party. Give them an out from the toxic conversation, and move on.

I recorded a short (5 minute) video discussing these ideas, you can see it here:

Screenshot_20171121_124607

If you think this will be helpful for others that you know, please feel free to share this with your friends and family!

Thanks PRL readers, and enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

—Jeffrey





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God’s Debris by Scott Adams
Book Summary

True, simplicity is not proof of truth. But since we can
never understand true reality, if two models both explain the
same facts, it is more rational to use the simpler one. It is a
matter of convenience.

"God's Debris" by Scott Adams
“God’s Debris” by Scott Adams

Scott Adams’ book God’s Debris introduces us, the reader and first-person narrator, to the world’s smartest person sitting in a rocking chair, Avatar.

You (the narrator) and Avatar hold a wide-ranging conversation about God, religion, science, and probability.

And it’s persuasive.

Join us for a book summary on PRL!

Continue readingGod’s Debris by Scott Adams Book Summary”

And Now, A Message from the Universe

I’ve written other posts about the messages I’ve received from the Universe. Yeah I know it sounds crazy. Maybe they’re coincidences. Maybe it’s cognitive bias, lending make-believe support to my theory.

But if the Universe’s Messages are helpful, why would I ignore them?

With Persuasion techniques, you can be ahead of the game. Photo "Black & White" by Dean Strelau, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
With Persuasion techniques, you can be ahead of the game. Photo “Black & White” by Dean Strelau, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Here’s a message that I am listening to. I think you are, too. Continue reading “And Now, A Message from the Universe”

Kanye West Reminds Us He’s Running for POTUS 2020

Kayne West, fashion designer and hiphop mover, recently interrupted his San Jose, California show to tell his audience that Trump is a Genius.

Amid boos from his fans, Kanye spent about 20 minutes discussing the election and current events. Kanye said he supports Trump’s non-political history and his communication style. He also suggested people need to focus less on racism.

Kanye West in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 2016. Photo by Jeffrey Thomas,
Kanye West in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 2016. Photo (c) Jeffrey Thomas

If you read the headlines and Twitter reactions, you’d think Kanye had joined the KKK. People think that Kanye no longer believes racism is a problem. Their cognitive dissonance is showing:

Of course, the headline is never the true story. It’s an emotional hook — you click because you can’t believe that’s really what happened. And it’s not. Continue reading “Kanye West Reminds Us He’s Running for POTUS 2020”