Wrong and Wrong

I thought this was a funny saying that my friend told me. 

I’d agree with you but then we’d both be wrong!


He said that he actually liked it so much that he got a sign with it and put it in his office. 


As they say, “Two wrongs don’t make right.”


If you think something is wrong, hold your ground–otherwise no one will be right. 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

The Goliath Arab Propaganda Machine

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The Goliath Arab Propaganda Machine.”

It has been 71 years since the founding of the modern State of Israel, and while Israel is thank G-d strong militarily, it continues to be seriously threatened by a relentless Arab propaganda war, which they are winning. This War of Words manifests itself on college campuses, protests and rallies against Israel, “progressive politics,” BDS, and the endless stream of anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations.


Please G-d, He will help us not only militarily to defeat the enemies of Israel, but also to prevail in the battle for truth and justice, identity and history, and ultimately for the Promised Land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Ruediger)

Confidence Speaks

I found this interesting about communications management. 

On one hand, when discussing issues, you want to listen to everyone’s input, and consider all sides. 

On the other hand, it’s critical to be competent, confident, and “know what you’re talking about.”

Amos Oz wrote:

Those who hesitate and doubt are convinced by those who are strong-minded. 

So it’s an important balancing act:

– Not to be so self-confident that you aren’t listening to others, 

– But also not being so unsure and hesitant that you don’t stand behind your values and views. 

Confidence speaks, but overconfidence is deaf. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Having Those Difficult Conversations

Took an interesting class recently in having difficult conversations.


These are the conversations you need to have about performance, accountability, expectations, bad news, conflict, and so on. 


Often these are the conversations we tend to avoid, because we don’t know how to have them without making things worse where things get emotionally charged, people become defensive, things gets misinterpreted, and they get escalated. 


And it’s even more difficult when there is a discrepancy in power between the people having the dialogue. 


But it is important to have the critical conversations in order to solve the underlying problems!


Often problems are rooted in that we judge others too quickly and erroneously, or we just don’t have all the facts. 


The data points we do have get filtered, interpreted, assumptions are made, conclusions are drawn, beliefs are adopted, and actions are taken that may be wrong (reference: The Ladder of Inference by Chris Argyris).


The key to having a productive conversation is to explain the issue and the impact, acknowledge your part in the problem, describe the desired outcome for the relationship and the work, and most importantly, give space for the other person to respond.


We need to get the other person’s point of view, including the data points that we may have missed or misunderstood, generate options, and agree how to solve the issue.


Unfortunately, there are times when the other person digs in and isn’t open to working on or resolving the problem, in which case you may need to decide whether to grin and bear it (i.e. live with it) or leave the relationship, because it has become too unproductive and toxic. 


The instructor said it well: This is about problem-solving. But life is too short to deal with jerks!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Stone Faces Hide The Heart

Some people are so cold and emotionally distant.


They go around with a stone face.  


No emotion seems to seep in or out. 


The face doesn’t betray the heart in any way. 


You say something or do something, and they just sort of stare at you. 


No words, no outward response. 


Just a stone face like a poker face. 


You don’t know what’s behind it. 


But worse yet is a heart of stone–nothing impacts the inside just like the outside. 


Are some people this way because they have been so hurt in the past that they become hardened like a turtle’s shell to protect from the outside world. 


…Ain’t gonna let nothing hurt me again. 


Or are they great at using their poker face to fool, manipulate, and get what they are after. 


Perhaps the worst possibility is that they are simply a real psychopath–someone without conscience or empathy. 


Yes, that is scary because the unthinkable becomes thinkable. 


For most of us, reading verbal and non-verbal cues is critical to understanding other people. 


Hiding those cues can mean that the stone face is going to shatter someone’s world and that won’t be a pretty face at all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Parking Lot Full of Ideas

So conducting large meetings is not often easy. 


People have their own concepts as to where they’d like the discussion to go.


Yes, agendas help keep the meeting focused. 


And a good facilitator enforces meeting discipline. 


Some people think that any deviation from the agenda is like taken a sudden left turn or driving off the cliff. 


But you don’t want to throw away the baby with the bath water. 


It’s important to jot down good ideas or follow up questions that come out in the discussion even when they are not immediately relevant. 


That’s where the “Parking Lot” comes into play. 


A flip chart or whiteboard to capture the important thoughts for follow up afterwards. 


While parking lots are needed to take certain things off the table immediately in order to focus on accomplishing the meeting’s objectives, they are not junk yards for people’s input. 


Instead, they are a place to park the stray thoughts and then to actively follow up on these after. 


No question is a dumb one, and no idea isn’t worth considering. 


Parking lots can be full of these and they should be parked and then taken for a spin around the neighborhood.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Mouth To Friendship

So it’s amazing how people are so willing to throw away friendship. 


They get angry about something having nothing even to do with you.


They say things they probably don’t even mean, and in turn you may say things you don’t even mean. 


Often you say things just to bring the other person to their senses. 


But sometimes they don’t come to their senses. 


They need to let out on someone and you’re the convenient scapegoat. 


Before you know it, they throw your friendship under a bus. 


Personally, I’m not one to make friends that easily or quickly–there needs to be some real chemistry and the building of trust–but then I am one who is an eternally loyal friend. 


Yet, I see others, they kiss and hug and say you’re like family, but then when they get angry, oh boy, you are gone like the wind. 


Maybe that’s not what real friendship is. 


To me, friendship surpasses dumb deeds and words and stupid fights, it’s about being there through thick and thin.


Take the false teeth out and put some permanent ones in–they last much longer. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)