Navigating a world of excuses
Worst practices: Employee performance review delivered in a restaurant
One two separate occasions in the same restaurant, I sat in a booth behind two people during what was obviously a performance review of the employee.
The same person presented the review on each occasion, each time to a different person, so it seemed to me this was his common practice – but not a best practice.
On both occasions, I heard every word the supervisor said to his employee, both positive and negative. In the middle of the second review, I packed up my lunch and my laptop and moved to another table because I wasn’t comfortable being privy to such information, and I’m sure the employee was more comfortable not having strangers, or even worse, people she may have known, close at hand.
Performance reviews are personal and should include a candid review of year-long feedback, coaching to improve performance and a productive discussion between supervisor and employee, none of which should be done within earshot of others. To enter into a performance review in a public location shows a disregard for the employee’s privacy.
Our behavior is the message we send about who we are
Outside the historic John B. Lindale House in Magnolia, Delaware, once the home to one of the last great peach barons in that state, stands a sign that
reads: “This is Magnolia, the center of the universe around which the earth revolves.” I could hear the outrage in the response of one of my dear, and funny, friends: "What? There can't be two centers of the universe, and I'm it! Who do I talk to about getting this sign corrected?"
She was being facetious, but there seems to be an outstanding number of people, given their behavior, who would argue Magnolia's claim.
One of them was in the bank drive-up lane today while I was there. Her loud carrying-on through the speaker, after the teller told her she had to come inside to complete a transaction, was an embarrassment for the tellers whom she degraded and an inconvenience for the half dozen drivers who chose the drive-up because it is quicker and more convenient. A bank manager was compelled to come out to her car and talk to her about the situation, while the rest of us waited ... and waited ... for her transaction to be completed.
It seemed this customer's motive was not just to have a problem fixed, but to make herself the center of attention. There was no sense of a "we" trying to correct a problem, but an "I" trying to prove she was right at the cost of embarrassing the "other" and inconveniencing everyone who was unlucky enough to come to the drive-through while she was there.
Thankfully, there are still people who realize that if we are to make a positive difference in the world, if we want to be people who reflect the extravagant love of God, then we need to remember that our behavior is the message we send to others about who we truly are.
Respect, civility, and simple courtesy are not weaknesses in character, but rather show a strength flowing from dignity and self-respect. When we begin to believe we are so important as to be the center of everyone else's universe, we fall short of the nobility that belongs to humanity.
Shine purple for prayer...for victory and peace
As our leaders around the world look for answers and actions to defeat terrorism, most of us are left trying to live our daily lives in spite of our fears. Our safety and our futures are in the hands of others. But I am certain that we all want to feel as if we are doing our part to stem the tide of evil that manifests itself in terrorism.
As you might expect, I am suggesting that we turn to pray for the answers, to thwart evil, to impart wisdom to our leaders and to continue to develop the communities of love that will be the “something bigger” our youth need so they do not look for belonging within the nest of terrorists.
There are an estimated 173 million Christians in the United States alone, along with millions more who belong to one of the great religious traditions of the world – all of which affirm that life is sacred, something to be nurtured and protected, not destroyed.
Together, people of all faiths, need to provide prayer support to our leaders, our military, our law enforcement members at home, and our communities in every part of the world … imagine more than 200 million people sending out prayers to cover the earth, every day.
It’s the least…and the most…we can do. Join me in putting a light in the window - purple for prayer.
Prayer to Overcome Our Enemies
You are my king and my God,
who bestows victories on Jacob.
Through you we batter our foes;
through your name we trample our adversaries.
Not in my bow do I trust,
nor does my sword bring me victory.
You have brought us victory over our enemies,
shamed those who hate us.
In God we have boasted all the day long;
your name we will praise forever.
The power of words
Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men's actions.
~ Sigmund Freud
Crisp nights of fall and a cup of tea deserve a good read!
This small journal of 20 engaging stories will warm your heart and boost your spiritual life. Ignatian prayers and reflection questions will help make an enjoyable read a very rich experience.
“If you want to find God, know love, and truly understand these are the same, read this beautiful book. ...What a perfect dose of grace this book is for people of all backgrounds!" Rabbi Irwin Kula, author of “Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life”
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Are we really communicating?
Considering Joseph Priestly was born in 1733, I wonder what he would think of Facebook, YouTube,
Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of our social media platforms, commonly referred to as 'personal' communication.
Recognizing the importance of the how
If medium truly is the message, as philosopher of communications Marshall McLuhan professed some 50 years ago, then it is essential that an organization or an individual not only identify and embrace the message to be communicated, but evaluate the means by which the message is imparted.
If the message is one of faith and faith's inherent values, it will fall on deaf or hostile ears if we, as the medium, reflect something contrary to the message.
Image obtained from www.thehistoryblog.com
Never too old to learn like a child
Years ago I was lured into buying a paperback child’s travel book for my young grandson because the book’s title brought back years of memories from traveling with six sons and listening to the infamous words:
“Are We There Yet??”
The book found its way back to my house and sits on a shelf near my computer. I can always see it out of the corner of my eye while I’m writing, and recently I find myself repeating the title in my head while I’m working on something, “Are we there yet, are we there yet?”
In frustration I decide to leaf through the book again, and I realize that many of the puzzles, activities and games on the pages could be useful exercises of reflection for my writing, my business and my life.
Take for example the “TRAVEL LOG,” a page divided into four squares, with bright primary colors and a cartoon car speeding along the top banner. The four squares are titled “Been There” “Done That” “I’d Like to GO There” and I NEVER Want to go There.”
Pardon me while I get my crayons.