It’s What You Can’t Say

Taboo
So I saw this game called Taboo when doing the grocery shopping today. 



(This one is the Jewish edition.)



Having never played this before, I looked it up and learned that it’s a word game, where you have to give clues to the other team for them to guess a word, but you can’t use the “taboo” words on the card. 



So for example, if the word is baseball, then some of the taboo words may be sport, pitcher, hitter, etc. 



So this is not an easy game per se. 



Thinking about the premise of the game though, I started to reflect that this isn’t just a game, but in real life isn’t so much of our interactions with others not about what we can say, but also the “taboo” things that we can’t.



How many times do you want to tell someone off and explain what a jerk they have been acting lately or say your real feelings on a topic that you may feel passionately about, but it’s somehow taboo to get into those things–you don’t want to offend, be “politically incorrect”, or perhaps you just think others may not agree with you or understand your point. 



What do we do? 



We “beat around the bush”–we express our dissatisfaction or disapproval or the opposite, with facial expressions, non-verbal cues, or perhaps we take a deep breath, hold back, or mince our words, so as not to somehow cross a social boundary of some sort. 



We want others to know us, accept us, respect us, and truly like us, but we can’t always really be ourselves fully, because our words or feelings may be seen as taboo. 



In the end, sometimes we’re discreet and “hold our tongue” and occasionally we blurt out what we really think and maybe are proud we did or are sorry for it afterwards–but wouldn’t it be great if we could just be ourselves–without fear or retribution.



It shouldn’t be taboo! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

So It Really Is A Popularity Contest

So It Really Is A Popularity Contest

Good, Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal finally said it…”likability matters more than ever at work.”

Yes, you also need to know your subject matter and be able to perform like a pro, but just that alone is not enough.

If your a card or a jerk, no one wants to know you.

The old Jewish thinking about being a mensch, first and foremost, still holds true.

“Likable people are more apt to be hired, get help at work, get useful information from others, and have mistakes forgiven.”

Employees also track employees likability on social networks and recruit those who can well represent them and make transformative changes.

What contributes to likability:

1. Be Authentic – an ounce of sincerity is worth more than a boatload of of b.s. — people see right through it.

2. Use Positive Cues – eye contact, smiling naturally, and a warm, varying, and enthusiastic tone make you approachable and believable.

3. Show interest in others – selfishness, narcissism, and I, I, I will get you no friends; show genuine interest in the other person–be cognizant of what’s in it for them–give a damn!

4. Listen – 2 ears, 1 mouth; close the mouth and listen to the other person–don’t just hear them, understand them, empathize, feel something!

5. Find common ground – look for shared interests or commonalities; we can all relate to others with whom we can identify.

Short and sweet, treat others as you would want to be treated (Golden Rule) and it doesn’t pay to be a ass! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)