The Blog You've Been Missing

East Bay Coaches

February 4, 2010

Filed under: observations — admin @ 4:09 pm

I joined East Bay Coaches this week. If you’re looking for a specific type of coach this is the place to look.

The group is part of the San Francisco Bay Area coaching network with chapters in San Francisco, North Bay and Silicon Valley.

My next goal is to find groups which share my interest in gardening, roses, orchids and wine.

It does seem that joining these kind of groups, who actually meet face to face, is now a bit old fashioned. I guess the new question is, “who do you follow on Twitter.” Maybe that’s the new version of what are you reading. I only follow 20 folks on Twitter – everything from wine and cheese to technology and, of course, The Boston Red Sox.

I get enough posts to waste hours of what could be productive time. How do people follow hundreds of other people.

Post to Twitter


February 3, 2010

Filed under: Management — admin @ 6:29 pm

Sometimes a topic comes up so often during the course of the day that you can’t ignore it.

The word for today was ’empathy’ and it followed me around like a lost puppy.

First was a link from the ‘Greater Good’ online magazine at University of California, Berkeley, asking if I wanted to take a quiz testing my Social Intelligence which is really a measure of empathetic response. I’ve taken the quiz before but encourage you to give it a try.

Then, a photographer friend asked me about Emotional Intelligence, which became a brief discourse in empathy and how it was crtical in most managerial situations. Emotional Intelligence is a key part of my coaching practice, although it involves much more than just empathy.

I was reading a Harvard Business Review article on change management and ‘bouncing back’ from crisis situations and the author pointed to empathy as a skill to be developed by a coach helping managers dealing with change.

Finally Arianna Huffington picked her book of the month, “The Empathetic Civilization” by Jeremy Rifkin which basically tells the evolution of modern society through the lens of human empathy. O.k. so that’s a simplification of 700 pages but it strikes me a bit like the old saying “if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Granted I should wait until I’ve read the book, so I’ll withold further comment.

But I would certainly admit that empathy is an undervalued quality in managerial circles and I’m certainly glad it got some play for at least one day.

Post to Twitter

Poll Positions

February 1, 2010

Filed under: observations — admin @ 7:22 pm

When you work out of your home, you wind up answering a fair number of phone calls from people doing polls. Not that I have to, but I rather like trying to figure out the news story that will be written from the results.

Last week it was politics, this week was 3-D TV.

The political poll was being done by Quinnipiac University, which is a well respected small school in Western Connecticut, whose  results usually get a lot of press during Presidential campaigns.

The general tenor was whether or not I approved of President Obama’s policies on everything from deficits to terrorism. Unfortunately my respect for the poll went out the window when I was given two choices on each question – approve- disapprove. The Republicans couldn’t have asked for a better survey, since, while I support Mr. Obama, I do have a few questions about some things.

There was very little likelihood The President was gonna come off looking good and I told the  nice lady on the phone what I thought of the methodology. To my surprise she answered, “Yeah, a lot of people say that.”

Then she went on to thank me for even answering the questions, “Most of the people in California just hang up. I don’t know why but you are the first person form California who even took time to answer me, Thank you.”

No wonder the president has bad poll numbers, his supporters won’t even answer the poll. I can’t wait for the news release.

The second poll was two questions. When was the last time you went to the movies? Would seeing a movie in 3-D make it more or less likely that you would go to a movie even if it meant an additional cost?

Brought to us all by ‘Avatar.’ Now I will say that seeing ‘Bolt’ in 3-D was kind of fun, but would I base plans on it. Doubtful. And, since “Bolt’ was the last movie I saw in a theater I guess I’m not really the target audience.

I can’t wait for the poll on 3-D TV.

Post to Twitter

More bedside books

Filed under: observations — admin @ 11:14 am

Last week when Apple’s new iPad was unveiled I made a reference to the collection of books on my bedside table. Several folks asked what I was reading, so I thought I’d provide the list. No, I’m not going to provide links so you can buy them, but send a comment and I’ll let you know how to download to your iPad.

Top of the pile is David Kessler’s  “The End of Overeating.” I’m on a new diet so I need all the help I can get.

My wife gave me Julia Cameron’s “The Writing Diet.” which I glanced through enough to discover that writing is apparently the key to losing weight. Who knew?

Michael Pollan’s “Second Nature” is next. This is the only book Mr. Pollan has written that I have not read so I figured I should complete the rotation before I see him lecture next week at Saul’s Deli in Berkeley.

I got Dan Brown’s “Lost Symbol” a while ago, before I saw a bunch of reviews which trashed it. But I’ll start it and see if it holds my interest.

I find economic psychology and decision making fascinating so I have, “How We Decide” by Jonah Lehrer and “The Economic Naturalist” by Robert Frank waiting for me to make a rational decision and read them. In the same vein there is also “Sway” by Ori and Ram Brafman.

And finally, I have Sue Grafton’s latest mystery “U is for Undertow,” waiting for me when I need total relaxation. I used to count on the late Robert Parker for this kind of change of pace, (since it was based in Lynnfield, MA, my hometown) but since I travel to Santa Barbara, where Ms Grafton’s protagonist Kinsey Millhone hangs out, I made a small adjustment.

What was the last book I finished? “Billionaire’s Vinegar” by Benjamin Wallace – the true story of deceit and forgery that has rocked the wine industry. A fellow oenophile gave it to me as a present.

At some point I’ll give you book reports, if I finish any of them. My money’s on Sue Grafton.

Post to Twitter

« Newer Posts