It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’
What’s first and second? First is the tone. If we are abrasive, affrontive, sarcastic then it doesn’t open up the conversation and action for change. Calm, proactive, inclusive, even — “slow” — conversations help provide dynamic change. It sounds as if it is an oxymoron. But allowing the participants to breathe in the interaction helps bring about the best and most inclusive solutions for all parties.
Second then is body language and what we communicate; third come the words.
When on the improv stage, one of the most important principles is listening to and supporting your partner. If you do this, you help create a very strong sense of team, and also further the story in a way that is interesting to the audience. For example, if someone says, “let’s go to the store,” you can “yes and” it by saying, “wonderful, I love JZ’s store, because it has such great record memorabilia that dates back to the fifties!” What you have done is “yes and-ed” your partner. You have essentially built on the first concept they introduced, a store.
Contrary to good improv, one could have done a “yes but.” For example, “Okay, that store is fine, but I really want to go to the movies.” That is denying your partner on stage, and invalidating their idea. You are not building on their initial idea, nor are you moving the story forward. You’ve essentially blocked them. Your story has now halted, and your partner does not necessarily feel supported. This is the importance of “yes and-ing” rather than “yes but-ing.”
Whether you’re an investor, an improviser on the stage, leading a team at a company, or a soccer captain, we can all practice the glory of “yes and-ing” one another. If we do so, we will build a beautiful and strong world based on a foundation of supporting wins for everyone, all around.
When getting involved internationally, it’s so important to listen to others. Respect the person, the culture, and their local community. To do so is to honor the unique wisdom and presence they bring to the world.
Listening, and striving to understand other people, is the right thing to do. It will also open your business up to new opportunities. When you honor people and their local customs, they will want to work with you. And you will love working with them! Listening is mirrored in Respect, which is a type of “business bliss.”
Jainism is a group that believes we should leave barely a footprint on this earth. They believe in gentility, kindness, and care for every living creature. It’s even to the extent of not eating root vegetables, because pulling up the roots makes the plant die. Jains honor every living thing.
Founded in a similar time frame as Buddhism, Jainism primarily existed in Hindu parts of India. In the present day it is a small but powerful minority among the world’s religions, with some 4 million followers in India and growing communities elsewhere in the world. A few core beliefs of Jainism include that every living being has a soul; non-violence is the path to right thinking; attachment to possessions should be limited, and one’s life should be lived to be useful to others.
May we be gentle, respectful and observant of the preciousness of life in all its form.
“Ignorance of certain subjects is a great part of wisdom.” –Hugo de Groot
Ignorance is Good.
Ignorance of gossip. Ignorance of unnecessary negative thoughts. Ignorance of self-doubting thoughts, and ignorance of unhelpful suggestions which come to our thoughts. A lot of these thoughts are just not true…. and don’t find yourself accepting them as part of your normal experience.
We all go through a tough day. Yet we need to defend our thoughts, and therefore our life. Our life is based upon our thought. What you think will come through to fruition… It does not mean we ignore life lessons, a candid talk with ourselves; and at times, gently with others; it does not mean everything is perfect.
But in general, we pursue being, doing and recognizing good.
Hugo de Groot (1583-1645), also called Hugo Grotius, was a philosopher and a theologian, and worked as a jurist in the Dutch Republic. He was extremely influential in the creation of international law. He wrote a number of books, including On the Law of War and Peace, addressing subjects such as just wars and rules to govern conflict. His overall purpose was to urge restraint in rushing to war, and to urge reasonable conduct once war was engaged.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
This quote is often attributed to Philo of Alexandria. Philo was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived from 20 BC to 50 AD. This quote is also sometimes cited to Plato, a classical Greek philosopher who was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle. I received this great quote from a wonderful academic leader at USC, Warren Bennis. I was sharing my mission and values with Dr. Bennis, and he provided this quote as helpful guidance. I met Dr. Bennis when I was inducted into his leadership institute while getting my masters in communications. His demeanor is warm, kind, astute and constantly open to new trends and progress in our society. Dr. Bennis, thank you for this meaningful quote!