Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Friday, September 15, 2006

New Book

I'm reading a new book that I got through Bzzagent called "The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness" It's a new book, not actually being released until September 19th, but I was sent an advance copy.

I'm really enjoying this book and it is suprising how motivating I'm finding it. It has interesting statistics that are making me re-evaluate some of my relationships with customers and other employees. It's packed with stories, anecdotes and statistics illustrating all the points they're going over.

So the thing that made me jump up from my reading and want to blog was this:
"When therapist Ona Robinson begins working with couples, she often starts with a homework assignment: Name three reasons why cannibalism is good. She gets a lot of hilarious responses--"excellent source of protein," "not too much fat," "reduces world population," "all-natural ingredients".

The point of the exercise is not to defend cannibalism but to help people develop the habit of assuming goodwill. When you approach others with the assumption that they will have generous intentions, you'll find that your life becomes a much easier ride."

Not only hilarious, but an excellent exercise. You're training yourself to interpret the speaker's view as positive.

In "Blink" (which I had a full 3 posts on so you should know all about it by now) Malcolm Gladwell brought up the idea of "Negative Sentiment Override". It was the only thing that I immediately stopped reading and wrote down a note for. It is the reaction we have when someone says something that we automatically hear as a negative--whether it's your mom asking if you've found a job yet, or someone mentioning your wardrobe, it is the internal override that tells you their intent was negative...even when the statement is neutral. (Yes, I have this with most things my mother says to me)

So I'm thinking that this cannibalism thing is touching on some great "POSITIVE Sentiment Override" exercises. Let's begin:

Name three reasons why being late is good
-Never have too help set up
-Avoid the wasted time spent trying not to be too early
-Absence makes the heart grow stronger

Name three reasons why George W is a good president:
-Increasing national economy with Bushism dictionaries and paraphernalia
-Helping even Conservatives to start rooting for the environment
-Making the US less attractive to Immigrants

Name three reasons why being fatter is better
-It's like lifting weights all day long
-Fat helps "fill in" all those wrinkles
-Less likely to be eaten by health-conscious cannibals

Have any others you'd like to add?

No, but seriously, I'm a big believer in conscious behavior modification, and I think practicing hearing an "assumption of good" is a good start in the right direction (see last post for more on direction :) )

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