What I’m Grateful For: Good Company
This week I went to a conference near Seattle. I had the great fortune to be able to have dinner with a few other attendees the night before the conference started. Full disclosure, I’m really an introvert, so this kind of thing doesn’t happen that often! But boy did we have fun together. It is truly wonderful when you have that intersection of good food, great wine, and conversations that weave from professional, to theoretical, to brainstorming creative solutions to problems on the horizon, to personal life backstories that give you a rich and nuanced understanding of the people at the table. It reminded me why I love what I do so much, being able to work alongside brilliant, talented and kind individuals who have the best hearts, the best minds, and just crazy senses of humor.
What I’m Reading: I started telling you last week about Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter. As promised, here’s some takeaways that might be useful for you! First off,”happy talk.” Happy talk is the positive, optimistic, collaborative, quick consensus-seeking dialogue that is fun, pleasant, feels good and makes everyone feel reassured that they are doing good work together. The problem is , it’s easy to surround oneself with people that will only reflect back what we (as leaders or managers) want to hear – and then, we are likely doomed to start making some real mistakes. The “anxious” person(s) in the group can alleviate this – they will be scanning for issues, looking for unintended consequences, and generally on the lookout for impending doom. While they might not be your favorite to hear from, you should cultivate them. If you need to be the anxious one, ask questions like, “What could go wrong here? What are the obstacles we haven’t yet identified? What have we not yet thought of here? What’s missing from this picture? This practice can help you and your group do a better job of addressing potential pitfalls, that while uncomfortable to confront, will increase your chance of real success in your endeavors.
Web Tip: Golden Rule #3 of Visual Hierarchy for your website: Refer back to the Golden Ratio! This art/design equation has been used for centuries. It is one more tool to help you create a product that establishes the right emotional and visual tone with users.
Quote I’m Pondering: The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates