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.
Message and Meditation - Gratitude for an expansive love
Message and Meditation - Wonder
Reflect with wonder on the beauty and magnificence of the world, created and sustained without human initiative. Listen to it speak to your heart about the things you value and the way you interact with the people and places that fill your life.
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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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.
Young Catholic Authors club reveals children’s insight
It was my privilege, recently, to run an after-school Young Catholic Authors club for middle school students. The purpose of the club was to encourage children to value their own thoughts and ideas, and to develop the confidence to share them, especially in regards to their faith. It was a rewarding experience for me; helping young people discover their innate wisdom as they moved through a creative process of reflection, observation, sharing, and, of course, writing. These brief few weeks provided only a mere taste of what it is like to be an author, but it was a wonderful opportunity to unearth the remarkably deep and insightful thoughts of children who are not often credited with such wisdom.
As Maria Montessori wrote in The Secret of Childhood, “There is a part of a child's soul that has always been unknown but which must be known. With a spirit of sacrifice and enthusiasm we must go in search like those who travel to foreign lands and tear up mountains in their search for hidden gold. This is what the adults must do who seek the unknown factor that lies hidden in the depths of a child's soul.”
You think I said what??
"What is communicated is not what is said but what is heard, and what is heard is determined in large measure by what the hearer needs or wants to hear."
This bit of wisdom, originally written more than 30 years ago and meant for those who preach the Sunday homily, continues to be an important bit of wisdom throughout the field of communication. Generally, every communique, oral or written, is filtered through the needs, perspective and experience of the receiver.
Just read through the comment thread following a news article, or listen to the feedback following a campaign rally. You will invariably wonder if respondents read what you read, or heard what you heard.
Have you ever sent an email to several different people only to have one or more of them completely misunderstand what you were trying to say? One may suspect your intentions, another may take it as a personal affront, and another may ignore it completely, believing it has nothing to do with him or her.
To communicate effectively, it is essential to have an understanding of your audience, whether your audience is a parish congregation, a small faith community, the office staff or a classroom full of students, remembering that "the way we interpret the world ... determines the way we relate to it."
Quotes are from "Fulfilled in Your Hearing: The Homily in the Sunday Assembly," USCCB, 1982