This is a Blog about the most important course I took during my college undergraduate program. Ironically it is not one of the business or finance courses. The Course is Speech 151. It fared me well as I made my way through Life, up the corporate ladder and along the fascinating world of rock and roll photography.
It is a course where I learnt about the business and life-long implications of three words – Interpersonal, Interdependence and Gunny-Sacking. I share them with you today.
Interpersonal skills is about putting the person in front of you first – your boss, client, customer, spouse, children, airline check-in personnel, waiter, teacher, colleague, taxi driver, etc. etc. etc. Elevate yourself – put yourself in their shoes, understand how their day has gone, they have reasons for doing certain things. They might be having a bad day. Do unto others what they would do unto you. Kindness begets Kindness.
Always sugar-coat (compliments) what you say to others, you may have to swallow your words down the road.
A ready Smile helps lubricate any situation.
Interdependence is about a Team being way better than the Individual. Even a star goal scorer needs someone to pass him the ball!
As I tell my young corporate turks – sort out the Givers from the Takers. There goes half your “friends” but that’s okay. Quality beats quantity any day. Beware of bosses who’ll claim your good revenue-generating or cost-savings ideas are his/hers. A Lennon needs a McCartney to crunch out creative sparks. Imagine one without the other. No colleague is an island.
Be nice to others on your way up in Life, you may see their sneering faces on your way down.
Gunny-Sacking is about never endlessly throwing your troubles, irritations, frustrations into your mental sack, hoping it will be forgotten or go away. It won’t. It’ll just grow and grow until the gunny sack bursts at its seams. Shit hits the fan or all hell breaks loose.
You don’t want to be in the pungent and ugly room with this person (even if it is yourself!) when the gunny-sack bursts. If there’s anything that needs resolving, always resolve it on the spot. I’ve witness that hunched, high-maintenance people with heavy, grouchy gunny-sacks on their backs, often walk alone.
Always leave the gunny-sack light, unused and empty, it’ll help in the long corporate and life journey ahead of you. They say if you want to travel fast, travel light and alone. If you want to travel far, travel with a friend.
In my heady corporate days, I employed “Gunny-Sacking” in an amusing way. Regarded as a corporate rain-maker, I sometimes keep excess chestnuts (revenue recognition) for the months ahead. That way, I do not stress myself out. My regional boss, Paul, based in north Asia knows about this naughty habit of mine. On certain slow regional monthly performances, he’ll ask if I mind rummaging my gunny sack for any “kind reinforcements” (wink, wink). To be fair, Paul, in return for my rummaging, always had my senior partnerly back.
I fully grasped the true applications of the three above simple words from my Speech course. They have fared me well in my ascent up the corporate ladder, having life-long friends, making new quality fun creative friends (some Legends) and avoiding the “shit puddles” Life mischievously lays out for us along The Road.
A Happy Road leads to a Happy Life and a Happy Family! (above image)
And that, folks, is Heaven on Earth!
When my kids were small, I told them to readily say three important words – Please, Thanks and Sorry (above image from a previous magazine interview).
Please is easy when you need something you crave for.
Thanks shows off the gratitude in your heart after you receive something. There are people who are puzzled why you’re giving them something, it takes them a long while before they articulate their Thanks. I tell my kids, when people put something nice in your hands, they thought of you and have gone through some trouble to acquire it. Say Thanks within three seconds! You can make puzzled comments after that.
I’ve noticed that people with hang ups and unresolved issues, find paying compliments very hard. They think it’s something too valuable to dispense to others. However, the accomplished ones know it’s unlimited supply and free. The more, the merrier. There’s a compliment at the tip of their tongue ready to bless the next person they encounter.
Sorry shows the humble condition of your heart and pride. This is a hard word to say. Elton is dwight in singing that.
Sorry is the Manuka honey in soothing wounds and relationships.
Sorry, but you’ve come to the end of this Blog.
Thanks for reading.
Please feel free to read my other Blogs.
Always Practice What You Preach!