OFNR Communications Model

This is a useful 4-part communications process (developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg):


1. Observations:  Tell the other person the behavior you observe from them that is making you uncomfortable. 

When I Observe…


2. Feelings:  Explain how the person’s behavior makes you feel (happy, sad, angry, annoyed, excited, worried, scared, hurt, embarrassed, confused)

I feel…


3. Needs: Describe what you need from the other person (physiological, safety, social, esteem, self-actualization)

Because I need…


4. Requests: Ask them specifically what you’d like them to do.

Would you be willing to… 

It’s a way to make your feelings and needs known and ask nicely what you’d like from others. 


This provides a mechanism to give feedback and work with other people without being confrontational, threatening, dictatorial, or nasty. 


When I see you reading my blog, I feel happy, because I need to try to be a good person and good influence in this world. Would you be willing to share my blog with others? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and Colleague from Work)

Solving Computer Problems

Funny T-Shirt on solving computer problems:


Does it work?


Did you screw with it?


Does anyone know?


Can you blame anyone else?


This little flowchart seems to capture so many issues in the office like:


– Accountability


– Problem-solving


– Doing the right thing


Oh, maybe that’s a different flowchart. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

At The Border: Immigration Or War

So it’s interesting how this whole immigration crisis is playing out in real life and simultaneously on TV. 


In real life, we have a caravan of thousands of people marching from Central America (Honduras and Guatemala) to the U.S. border seeking asylum, mostly for economic reasons. 


On TV, we have the Last Ship Season 5, where South and Central America are at war with the U.S., “no longer willing to sit at the children’s table of international politics,” and they are coming to the U.S. to fight.


In the U.S. today, there are over 40 million people that were born in another country.  Of these, there are over 12 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S. (55% from Mexico), and we know that we need immigration reform.  


In the truest sense, we are almost all of us immigrants to this country, with ourselves or our families coming over at one time or another, and we are grateful for the generosity and open doors that allowed us to come here and make a good life.


Of course, we want to pay it forward and give others the same asylum and opportunity that we had and which they as human beings deserve. 


Yet, the country continues to debate the mix of compassion and giving to the oppressed and needy versus the merit principles for bringing in needed skills, talents, and investment, and how many is the “right” number to allow in at any one time.


In real life, we are beefing up border agents, building a wall, and calling in the military to halt the illegal flow of immigrants, so that we can channel immigrates through a process and vetting that leads to legal and safe immigration to this country


On TV, we are fighting in the air, on land, and at sea an alliance of countries from the south and central that want to take over the U.S., and we are also holding our own and holding them back.


In both cases, we need to have and maintain borders to be a sovereign country, to protect our country, and to ensure that caravans of illegal immigrants or foreign troops are not crossing the border and doing harm. 


It’s high time for true immigration reform that is compassionate yet principled, but overrunning the border isn’t an option that is practical or fair.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Crazy World Of Work

Crazy World.jpeg

This was a funny sign. 


“You don’t have to be crazy to work here.
We’ll train you.”


Isn’t that the truth too often. 


Work can frequently be like “Crazy World!” 


This is a place where there is a convergence of dysfunctional organizational culture, poor leadership, a lack of solid processes and sound planning, and plenty of wacky naysayers and obstructionists who together can bring the workplace to a virtual standstill or even a bitter downfall. 


Yeah, we will train you to do what?


– Follow some dusty and archaic, nonsensical policies that haven’t been updated in 20 years.


– Force you into a mold of robotic groupthinkers who have abandoned any notion of exploration, discovery, innovation, and constructive change. 


– Do the minimum to get their paychecks, while staying off the grid and out of trouble, rather than satisfy in serving the mission and delighting their customers. 


This is perhaps why leaders frequently tout their credentials in transforming organizations, yet we still see endless legacies mired in status quo and a lack of any real results and progress. 


Lots of people talk the talk, but very few walk the walk, and that’s because we’ve trained them so well to work here. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Is The Creative Process and Success?

Creative Process

One of my colleagues at work had this hanging on his wall. 


It caught my eye and I thought it was worth sharing.


The creative process (ah, not my style of working, however–I am too much of a planner and worrier): 


1) Work Begins – It starts with, “I have a bright idea” or a “go do” from some other genius. 


2) F*ck Off – Then comes some procrastination and maybe thought process about what you are going to do, but in the meantime, everyone leave me alone to percolate and brew. 


3) Panic – Of sh*t, time is running out, and where the h*ck am I on this project, better get my a*s in gear. 


4) All the work while crying – Hurry, hurry, hurry and get it done. Wa, I feel like such a crybaby and wreck, but I’m going to finish it, I am. 


5) Deadline – Made it by a hair…uh, the whole thing was easy, for me, as pie!


Another thing that I heard this week is that “success is failing to fail.”  


Think about that a minute.  😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Toothpaste for Dinner)

Agile Processes As An Enabler

Bridge Up

So something that I’ve learned is that processes can be an enabler or a hinderance to progress depending on how it’s used.


On one hand, without a standardized and clear process where people know what they are supposed to do and when, we are likely to end up with a lot of chaos and not much getting done for the customer or organization.  


This is especially the case where tasks are complex and numerous people are involved requiring there to be solid coordination of team members, sync of activities, and clear communications.  


On the other hand, rigid processes that are so prescriptive that no one will get out of step for any rhyme or reason can be counter-productive, since this can hinder productivity, time to resolution, and customer service. 


For example, we all understand the importance of a help desk ticketing system in IT to document issues and deploy resources for resolution and measure performance. However, when customers, especially VIPs are in a bind and need help ASAP, it may not make sense to tell them to go open up a ticket first and foremost, instead of helping them to quickly get back online, and even opening the ticket for them and in parallel or as we get to it afterwards. 


Process should be an enabler and not obstacle to progress. Process should be followed under normal circumstances, but rigidly adhering to processes without adapting to conditions on the ground risks being out of step with the needs of the organization and a customer service model. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Even If You Can’t Get To The Beach

Puzzle
During the big snow storm this week, what better to do then to cozy up with a nice 500 piece puzzle set of an Island Beach (and dream of being there–somewhere warm and fun). 



The challenge with this puzzle was in differentiating the oodles of pieces making up the blue sky from those of the blue water. 



Similarly, with all the green pieces for the palm trees and all the white ones for the sand. 



It seemed as if all the pieces were just shades of similar colors, and hard to differentiate between them. 



But my daughter is so smart and determined.



First, she strategically separated out the pieces with the edges and put the whole frame together.



Then, she organized the rest of the pieces by their associated colors, so sky blue pieces would be in one pile and distinct from ocean blue pieces in another one and so on. 



As you can see, all that’s left is to finish off the sky, and it’s done.

I was able to find a few pieces, but I’m better laying at the beach, then putting one together. 



Just two more weeks to Spring…thank you G-d. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)