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Showing posts from January, 2017

Unwholesome Talk

Christians who read their Bibles know that foul language, filthy talk, and all manner of negative statements that tear down another person are frowned upon as indicated in the Scriptures.  In fact, in the book of Ephesians, the limits are clearly stated by the apostle Paul regarding what should and should not be said.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen...Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  (4:29, 31)
     Whether you're Christian or not, using profanity (especially excessively) is both unprofessional in the workplace and possibly offensive in social settings.  Because people won't always tell you directly that they're bothered by coarse language, you may think it is acceptable …

Speaking Up: A Lesson From "Hidden Figures"

When I saw the movie "Hidden Figures", my first thought was that every student should go see it for all of its inspiring lessons in math, science, and history.  But there was another inspiring lesson that should not be missed and could make all the difference in an individual's success--effective and powerful communications.  Throughout the movie we see women of color speaking up when it counted.  Asking for promotions, stepping in for one another when they felt wronged, and demanding to be "in the room" so they could perform their jobs accurately.  Though the movie highlights the phenomenal math skills of three black women who made a significant contribution to our nation's history at a time of heightened racism and sexism, language and communications were also pertinent skills they mastered.  Communications is an essential skill for success today as well.  Beyond science, numbers, calculations, and historical context, the women speak up and out when…

BLIND SPOT: When Your Conversation Is Negative

Jasmine sat at the restaurant table anxiously awaiting her blind date.  She had been set up by her cousin Ava with Ava's coworker Jason.  Ava had described him as a guy who was smart, hard-working, and fun.  Jasmine had grown weary of the dating scene since most of the guys she'd gone out with lately were shallow and boring.  She was looking for a fresh approach and interesting conversation.
     Jason walked up to her table and introduced himself with a smile.  She immediately felt his warmth and thought this one might actually go better than all the rest.  The conversation started easily enough, but Ava felt a shift in the energy between them after about 15 minutes.  She couldn't figure it out, but she felt Jason cool down a bit.  Eventually the conversation became stilted, and Jason seemed disengaged.  Finally he asked her a tough question.
     "Do you like yourself?"  Jasmine was stunned.
     "What do you mean?" she asked.
     "Well, yo…

When You're Not Just Talking Too Much But You're Saying Too Much

Remember when we used to say "TMI" to indicate when a person was providing "Too Much Information"?  This information isn't data that bores people to sleep.  This was personal information that was too intimate to share out loud with other people.  We all know someone who talks too much, but sometimes there are people who say too much.  Within minutes of sparking a conversation, they've revealed some private tidbit that is best kept to themselves.  It becomes awkward for the listener, especially if that listener is you.
     Situations like this become most challenging at work.  Imagine sitting in front of an important client with a coworker who uses no filters, and he launches into some quip about his girlfriend and his wife's complaints about him.  He thinks he's being funny, but the client offers only a wry smile and a "what's-up-with-this-guy" look.  You are immediately embarrassed for him, and you are frantically searching fo…