Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween, All!

my 2009 pumpkin

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Drowning in Life's Trash

Curious thing on Page 1 of USA TODAY® today in their Snaphots® chart. (Note: I tried finding the chart on-line, but couldn't.)(Follow-up Note: Dear USA TODAY ~ Please make it easier to find - and blog about - those clever Snapshots charts on your website!)

Today's question, which I thought was a good one, was: "How much receipt paper is generated by America's retailers?"

The answer? An attention-getting "228.7 million pounds a year."

But the graphic explanation of how heavy that amount of paper is seemed, well, curious ...

"... equal to approximately 2 Titanics."

Two Titanics?! Sorry, but I don't get the connection. Maybe if they were talking about newspapers and the dramatic slippage in the number of home subscriptions over the last few years, a sinking ship reference would be more apt. But sales register receipts?! The connection fails me.

So let me give it a try* ...
  • 228.7 million pounds a year ... equal to the approximate weight of 6,600 semi trucks (@ 30,000 pounds/truck, excluding cargo) -- trucks similar to those that likely delivered the goods to the stores you shopped at that necessitated all those paper receipts in the first place.

  • 228.7 million pounds a year ... equal to the approximate amount of waste generated by the good folk of Kansas City, San Antonio, or Cincinnati, over the course of an average year (@ 56 tons/year/person; city populations) -- trash that, in many cases, included many of those very same paper sales receipts we're talking about here.

On second thought, given the nearly 115 tons of paper sales receipts "drowning" the US each year, maybe the Titanic reference isn't so obtuse after all. Hmmm.

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* and for all you numbers geeks out there that want to check my math, I've provided site references so you can let me know how I did!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Conflict Trigger Mitigation and Avoidance

Here's the scenario:
  1. Person A wants to talk with Person B about something, and does so.
  2. But the way that Person A raises, or discusses, the issue unintentionally triggers* Person B.
  3. Person B, having just been triggered, reacts in a way that unintentionally triggers Person A.
  4. Person A, having just been triggered, reacts in a way that unintentionally re-triggers Person B.
  5. Person B, having just been triggered - and re-triggered - in a matter of moments, reacts in a way that unintentionally re-triggers Person A.
  6. Tensions and exasperations peak, for *both* Persons A and B - individually, and collectively.
  7. Any ability for Person A or Person B to engage in a meaningful or constructive way, at this point, has been lost.

Or maybe, it goes like this:

  1. Person B wants to talk with Person A about something, and does so.
  2. But the way that Person B raises, or discusses, the issue unintentionally triggers* Person A.
  3. Person A, having just been triggered, reacts in a way that unintentionally triggers Person B.
  4. Person B, having just been triggered, reacts in a way that unintentionally re-triggers Person A.
  5. Person A, having just been triggered - and re-triggered - in a matter of moments, reacts in a way that unintentionally re-triggers Person B.
  6. Tensions and exasperations peak, for *both* Persons B and A - individually, and collectively.
  7. Any ability for Person B or Person A to engage in a meaningful or constructive way, at this point, has been lost.

Likely both scenarios turn into one, big, round-and-round, ongoing, mess-of-a conflict.

Now keep in mind, no one actually has to be at fault here - Person A (or B) can be triggered just because Person B (or A) did, said, or even just *wore* something that reminded Person A (or B) of a trigger-worthy something/someone in his/her past. It's all very Pavlovian, for you Classical Conditioning fans out there. The point is, though, that triggers can be triggered for reasons totally unrelated to the "triggeree".

But, if Persons A and B can get more "consciously aware" of this whole triggers-triggering-triggers thing, they will likely WANT to work, in true partnership - yes, in TRUE partnership -, on:

  1. Trigger Mitigation - that is, helping each other to UN-trigger more quickly and effectively, should they inadvertently trigger, or be triggered by, each other;
  2. Trigger Avoidance - that is, helping each other to NOT trigger, or be triggered by, each other, nearly as often in the future.

Not to sound sales-y about it, but coaching (along with a Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP) Assessment) is an excellent way help someone better understand his/her own triggers, how they may be unknowingly triggering others, and how to better manage these conflict dynamics.

So if you and someone - or someone and someone else you know - are in seemingly constant conflict with each other, there very well might be something we can all do about it to make things better.

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*Triggers --> Whatever causes one's fight/flight instinct to suddenly, and dramatically, engage.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

4qtr2009 Not Just Talk! Newsletter Now Available

The 4qtr2009 Not Just Talk! quarterly newsletter from Barry Zweibel and GottaGettaCoach!, Inc. is now available and ready for viewing at http://www.ggci-quarterly.com/:

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where They Sign What They Sign

Dan Ariely, a Duke University professor and author of Predictably Irrational, has been studying how to prevent cheating.

In a recent study, he found that when people are asked to sign their name at the TOP of an insurance application (instead of the usual signature spot, at the bottom) they were more honest about their driving habits, even though higher annual mileage meant higher premiums.

Extending this notion to more of a B-to-B setting:
  • The next time you query vendors on their Request for Proposal (RFP) submissions, or the like, have each vendor contact person sign the RFP response ... at the top of page 1 ... before reviewing it with them.

  • The next time a customer wants to review with you their Service Level Agreement (SLA) status report, or the like, have him/her sign that SLA status report ... at the top of page 1 ... at the very start of the meeting.

And just to keep yourself on the up-and-up:

  • The next time YOU need to submit some written information on something to someone, or the like, put YOUR signature ... at the top of page 1 ... before completing it!

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source: "When People Recon it's O.K. to Cheat", BusinessWeek magazine, October 5, 2009, p25.

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