Archives For communication

GeometryMy mom is an amazing woman. Actually, she’s not my mom, she’s Beth’s mom. I just refuse to add the “in-law” tag as she defies all the imagery of a typical in-law.

This week Mom reminded me of how important it is to show your homework.

Mom and her family business bank at one of the mega corporations here in Atlanta. She loves this place. She loves the people, the service, and the way they make her feel special when she walks in the door. Not your typical mega-bank.

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Danger WIll RobinsonI think some of the most dangerous husband and wife arguments start from the simplest of questions. I’ve seen first hand the graveyard of beaten egos that came as the result of an answer that seemed harmless at first. You can tell it is the wrong answer when you find yourself asking “Did I just say that out loud?” the minute the words come out of your mouth.

So as a service to you men out there that haven’t yet experienced one of these character building sessions, let me present to you the five questions that have only one acceptable answer. Continue Reading…

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Ryan StilesI was a huge fan of Whose Line Is It Anyway, the British and later US improv comedy show. Those guys and gals were amazing. Having watched a lot of bad improv I can appreciate how difficult it must be to pull this off successfully so I wanted to learn the secrets of the trade.

Using the search phrase “improv comedy rules” I found that nearly all of the sites list the number one rule as “Do Not Block”. Blocking is when one actor sets up a line like “my you are a fine looking rooster” and the other doesn’t like the setup so replies with “I’m not a rooster, I’m a penguin” because he knows that penguins are funnier. This is never funny, it insults the previous comedian, and actually makes the newly self-titled penguin look weak – he wasn’t up to the task given to him.

It dawned on me that I see the same roosters and penguins conversation daily at work; Continue Reading…

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The Curse of Knowledge

joe —  Sat 5-Mar-11 — 3 Comments

Finger TapLet’s play a little game. I want you to think of a common tune that we would both know, like Happy Birthday or Jingle Bells. Now play out the rhythm of the song by tapping your finger on the table and see if I can guess the song.

Before we start, make a guess – if we were to do this for 100 very well known songs, how many would I get right? If you were like most you would have said 50 or half of them. If I were like most people in a 1990 study by Stanford researcher Elizabeth Newton, I would only get 3.

Why the big discrepancy? Continue Reading…

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