Tag Archive: Sequoia

Summer Days and Back to School

September 30th, 2019

This summer, I was able to make a few weekend/long weekend jaunts including a trip to the wedding of my good friend Valerie’s daughter’s in Dana Point, a trip for the weekend in Sequoia with my two best friends (pictured with the big tree, not surprisingly), a trip to San Diego and Disneyland with my brothers and nephew (last two rows), and I just got back from helping my mom with several projects as well as helping my nephew move in for his freshman year at NAU. Whew! I need a vacation from my vacations!

As we think about how quickly the summer flew by and that we are quite literally ‘back to school’, it makes me wonder about the speed of life. Just as with Amazon (and now with Fed Ex, Home Depot, and B2B customers following suit), we want rapid response and quick results. Are we also taking the time to think? As a colleague says in her book, perhaps we need to “slow down to speed up“….

One Tip to Implement This Week:
Have you thought about “slowing down to speed up”? With that said, I also know some colleagues who appear to have “slowed down”, and that doesn’t cut it either. We are in interesting times. We must be quicker, more nimble and on top of our game with every interaction. What are you doing to rejuvenate, stimulate new ideas (as we don’t appear to be on top of our game if we are stretched too thin), meet new people and get one step quicker every day while not losing quality? ¬†Perhaps you need a mentor, coach, strategy group or trusted colleague to collaborate?

Similarly to “slowing down to speed up”, how do we become more resilient while facing more disruption? Gain some ideas in videos, blogs and more…

 



Sequoia and the Power of Silence

August 8th, 2019

My best friend from high school and college was in town recently and we went to Sequoia National Park. First, I must say, what a ride to get to Sequoia on winding, mountainous roads! Once we arrived, we went to the ‘Trail of 100 Giants’, and it was impressive! These Sequoias were over 1500 years old, and gigantic. The largest tree has a diameter of 20 feet and is over 220 feet high.

Yet what stood out was the power of silence. You could hear the rustle of the wind in the trees. It sounded similar to sitting by the ocean. It certainly was a calming and humbling experience as the silence and the sounds of nature overpowered everything else.

Have you ever thought about the power of silence? Do you find it to be more effective than 1000 words? In a business setting, silence can speak volumes…

One tip to implement this week:
We all hear the advice to stop and listen.  Yet, how often are we thinking about silence? The most powerful speakers know the power of silence. The dramatic pause will emphasize just the right words. Certainly the best actors use this technique expertly, and we are putty in their hands!

Or have you thought about how not answering immediately answers the question? For example, at one client, I admit that after a particularly grumpy executive who didn’t want to support our project told me that he didn’t think consultants were valuable and didn’t want to talk to me to answer my questions, I was silent because I was thinking about how to respond that would be productive. Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than brilliant! In this case, since I didn’t respond quickly, he ended up filling the proverbial silence (since we weren’t communicating in person) and came back to me and agreed to do exactly what he just said he wouldn’t do. A light bulb went off that there is power in silence!

Silence is extremely valuable in negotiations. Have you noticed that whoever is silent gains the upper hand? That’s because we are typically uncomfortable with silence and rush to fill the gap. Next thing we know, we’ve given away more power and information than we intended, and we are behind in the negotiation. Yet I have to say, silence used as a manipulative strategy will not achieve your intended result. People will pick up on whether you are genuine or not.

Consider silence instead of a long response the next time you are going to open your mouth in a high stakes communication. Let me know how it turns out.