Tag Archives: Body Language

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Did you see the recent Dateline NBC special about kids who have been so bullied for their appearances that they are seeking free plastic surgery from a nonprofit?

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of children and plastic surgery, the special gave a heart-wrenching look into the lives of several children and teens who were being tormented by their classmates. I am not ashamed to say that tears were rolling down my face as the cameras were there to capture the moment each child learned whether or not they would receive the surgery.

However, I thought the most profound moment of the special came in an exchange between 15-year-old Renata—who wants a nose job–and one of her friends.

“What does it feel like to be beautiful?” Renata asked.

After attempting to dodge the question, her friend replied, “You really want to know? It’s not that great.” She continued, “People will always find something to make fun of you for. If it’s not the way you look it will be something else.”

This preteen girl has realized something that many people never understand:

We cannot stop others from throwing sticks and stones our way.

If you don’t believe me, just search for the names of the most beautiful, successful, charitable and athletic on Twitter, and you will be amazed at the hurtful things that people have to say about them. You would think that the people our society holds up as the pinnacles of achievement in their various pursuits would experience less criticism from others—right? Oftentimes just the opposite is true.

In a social culture that seems increasingly engulfed in a tidal wave of snarky, hurtful and cruel words, it’s impossible to live, work and play without getting at least splashed with the criticism of others. Don’t let it surprise you. But never forget, that we can always take responsibility for our own words and actions. Your kind, caring, uplifting, and encouraging words may be just what the doctor ordered from someone else.

Lose The Screen

Dave Weber challenges your communication style.  To bring Dave Weber to your organization or for more information on “Leadership Redefined” or “Sticks and Stones Exposed: The Power of Our Words,” go to daveweber.com.

If you have trouble viewing YouTube videos, click here to watch this presentation on WeberTV.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Ah yes…the famous Verizon Wireless guy…walking across the country and around the world making sure the Verizon network is working at optimum efficiency by asking the question, “Can you hear me now?”

Who doesn’t know the phrase? It has become a part of our culture (Verizon, I’m sure, is thrilled).

But a closer look at the question reveals a much bigger challenge: Are we really listening?

Are we really listening…
…to our kids?
…to our spouse?
…to our co-workers?
…to our friends?

Oh sure we are hearing a lot (blah blah blah), but are we really listening? You see many times the message is not in the words…WHAT is said(actually words sometimes get in the way). The real message is in HOW it is said.

For example, the smoke coming out of the ears, red-faced dad who shouts across the table, “I AM NOT ANGRY” is , obviously, exactly that—angry.

Now, while for most, the sense of HEARING is a gift (it comes with birth). But LISTENING requires a conscious choice we must make to fully engage in another person. As a colleague of mine says we are to be “in the moment –at the moment”.

I was putting a group of executives through a LISTENING test to see how they would do…only one passed—and he was wearing a hearing aid! He teased the others stating, “Oh man, are we in trouble…the only one who was really listening was the deaf guy!”

We all had a good laugh, but the point was well made. I had intentionally created a slight distraction, and only the executive who had honed his concentration on really listening was able to fully interpret what I was saying.

In this age of non-stop distraction (phones, emails, TV, radio, etc) it is easy to get “lazy” with our listening. Oh sure when our spouse asks, “Are you listening to me?” we can “parrot” back everything they just said, but were we really listening? Or were we focused on the ball game, or the email, or whatever.

The people in our lives deserve our best, so let’s give it to them. Can you hear me now?