A popular interpretation of this ancient (Mandarin) Chinese symbol is 'listening with the heart'. In modern U.S. vernacular, this concept is similar to emotional intelligence. Here's why TING is essential to my business.
1. Ting optimizes understanding According to researchers, we glean half of the content of personal communication from unspoken messages. Ears, eyes and mind are the most obvious pathways. Listening with the heart takes longer but yields important information, about the speaker’s body language and your reaction to it.
A new client once wrote me a bad check. In hindsight, I had a feeling it would bounce, and he knew this to be the case. We exchanged pleasantries nonetheless, ignoring the most important issue at hand. He said the right words but his hesitancy told me otherwise.
Gavin De Becker researches and writes in great detail about the body's primal wisdom in, 'The Gift of Fear'. His theme is larger than day to day communication– personal safety. De Becker sites numerous examples of women who are threatened, harmed or worse, because they ignored their innate, subconscious alarm system. De Becker tells women to trust their instincts without question– it can save our lives.
The answer depends on many factors- and your preference is only one of them.
Websites used to be the foundation of an online presence- social media was like frosting on the cake. Over time, it's risen in popularity and functionality to a point where some businesses don't even need a website- in the same way that mobile has squashed the idea that a 'real' business requires brick and mortar.
Ideally, there's a strategy behind your efforts- one that's congruent with other all marketing collateral. Determining if and how actively social you want to be is an opportunity to reaching customers where they are. The bottom line is figuring out what works for your business.
Regional differences help us connect to more people and cultures
A psychologist and recent transplant from L.A. was complaining about her slow and manipulative new Seattle colleagues.
I used to share her opinions. But, after 25 years of living here, I reacted to this tired rant with eyeball rolls and East Coast push-back. The classic Northwest style is frustrating if you'd rather 'cut to the chase'. Yes, we tend to avoid emotions, conflict and a clear decision-making process.
Maybe we're just waiting for an extroverted fool to speak up.
Where do these values come from? Before moving here, I spend a month exploring Scandinavia. My guidebook stated that in these nations, the ultimate insult was one delivered with such subtlety the receiver wasn't offended. This requires thought and restraint.
When I first moved to Seattle, a few times people stopped me on the street to ask if I was in the theater profession. Perhaps I was wearing bright clothes or gesticulating. It was delightful to see others hang back and yield the floor. I enjoyed taking command and dominating conversations, thinking this was leadership.
A seasoned college professor, whom I'll call Mr. Al, was venting about visiting students from traditional countries.
Al knows that gender separation is important in some cultures; especially for single men and women. He also uses interactive learning techniques; and this includes small working groups.
A savvy instructor who 'values diversity', at the start of the semester he'd asked the class if anyone objected to working on mixed gender teams. No one raised a hand. With goals of getting students to mingle, and foreign students to practice their English, Al assigned a young husband and wife from Saudi Arabia to different groups for a project.
However, over the next few months and despite obvious intelligence, they both floundered on assignments that involved working directly with men and women team members.
Strategies to Reach Diversity & Inclusion Goals
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