Learning to Fly

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    This Episode: How to deal with bad days, being a more authentic writer and talking fast…

    I Can Read You Like a Book

    Have you ever noticed how little true humility is displayed on social media? As a reminder (and it’s easy to forget these days) – humility is a modest view of one’s own importance. But on LinkedIn, humility is frequently replaced by false humility – as in “I”m deeply humbled to be featured in this publication alongside so many talented peers.” Then of course there is its close cousin so often seen on Instagram – the humble-brag – I can’t believe I spilled coffee all over my designer shirt!).

    Of course it’s absolutely possible for someone to truly be humbled by an award – but its well known at this point that false humility and humble-brags thrive in social media. The fundamental reason for this is because of a conflict. One of the primary ways people use social media is to share their accomplishments. They may be small (a single piece of content people like) or large (a wedding, a promotion, or an award). But most people don’t like to be perceived as braggarts, so many naturally fall into a behavior where they hide their accomplishment behind a veneer of pretend modesty.

    Here’s the thing though – this type of communication is almost always counter-productive, and for a simple reason – it is inauthentic. While all of us can fall for a con every so often – most people have a pretty good sense of when others are being genuine and when they are not.

    Unfortunately, the journey into inauthentic writing often begins at school. Our teachers present us with artificial scenarios and teach us to write in ways that help us pass exams rather than convey our true voice. And as we communicate on social media, or even in work e-mails, we create a written persona for those communications. We might want to appear smarter, more accomplished, more controversial, or just more interesting than we actually are.

    It turns out that writing authentically is hard. It requires self-awareness, openness, and yes, a dose of humility. But if you can learn how to do it, it is often a game-changer for establishing real connections with others. Others don’t have to break through a shield of inauthenticity to connect with you – they can sense who you truly are through your writing. Next week I’ll talk about some specific techniques you can use to accomplish this.


    Adaptability and Resilience – In Five Minutes

    Last week I mentioned that I was humbled (just kidding) to speak about Adaptability and Resilience at DisruptHR Tulsa. It’s a 5-minute presentation using the PechaKucha technique. It was a lot of fun and quite scary!

    In the presentation I argue that we should be embedding these skills in employees in the same way we train and measure pilots. If you’d like to see just how fast I speak when I’ve got lots of adrenaline in me, check out the video here!

    So You Had a Bad Day

    Video Length: 2 minutes 50 seconds

    You know those days when you spill the coffee over your shirt first thing and things just get worse from there? Well, unfortunately “one of those days” is part of the natural order of events. But there are different kinds of bad days – the bad days that you muddle through, and bad days that you put to good use. This week my animated twin (who is clearly in a Halloween mood) discusses how to turn the former into the latter. Check him out below.

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