Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tis the season

I know it's disappear-and-hide week, but a few of you might still be out there reading. So, a season-appropriate posting follows.

Yes, tis the season for happiness, merriment, civility, kindness, and family. In that spirit, I'd like to ask two things of you.

1. Civility

Take a look at the map to the right (click on it if you want to zoom). This creation by Mark Newman of the University of Michigan examines last month's presidential election. Instead of showing a simple "red" or "blue" for each county, it mixes colors based on popular vote percentage. It factors in population density as well, so the lighter colors show less votes, and the deeper colors represent more votes. As you can see, "purple" pretty much rules the day, and even the differences between the urban and rural areas are not that spectacular. We may not be quite as divided as some would think.

A local politician used a campaign slogan that was something like, "If we want to change Washington, we have to change the people we send there." Yeah. Okay. Right. It doesn't seem to matter who the heck we send, they all get hyper-partisan and just plain nuts once they arrive. Can't we have a civil discussion? Do we need all the name calling? Don't even the representatives we don't vote for have some redeeming qualities?

So here's what I ask of you. Turn to your significant other, or friend, or someone, and say something nice about a candidate you didn't vote for, or openly hate, or whatever. Don't you agree with at least one of that guy's policies? But it doesn't even have to be a political comment. Don't you think both Obama and Romney are pretty good family men? Just say something nice. If we really want to change Washington, we need to start by injecting civility ourselves, not by sending others to supposedly represent our civility.

2. Family

Although I haven't posted that many management-oriented articles yet, please do not limit yourself to applying these principles only at the workplace. Almost everything I've written about, and most of what I will be posting about in the future, can be easily applied at home as well.

Your family is even more important than your workmates. When they're speaking, let them speak! Wait the "Seven Mississippi" to be sure it's all out there. Do some mind reading to properly interpret what they're saying. And please, don't be doing email or watching TV while you're having discussions! And make yourself as accessible as possible so that they can bring those important items up with you when they're ready, not when you are.

If you've got a couple minutes, go take a look again at the past postings (jeez, there's only like a dozen of them) and read them with a family spin. Nothing's more important in a family than close communications, and hopefully some of these tips will help out there.

Have a great holiday season, and I'll see you back in the new year!

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