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“FEEL GOOD” TYPES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 18, 2013

BRYCE ON LIFE

– You know the type: You walk away clueless; happy, but clueless.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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I recently attended a management seminar in my neck of the woods. I don’t want to mention any names here but the speaker represented a consortium of consultants who specialized in a variety of subjects, such as business process improvement, tax laws, planning, technical writing, etc. The person making the pitch specialized in “life coaching” which, as I gathered, offered the same type of advice a good parent, guidance counselor or mentor would. I judged the speaker to be in his mid-to-late 30’s and was very preppy in dress. He tried the usual speaker stunts to stimulate the audience, such as saying, “How many of you has had this happen to you? Can I see a show of hands?” He also passed out prizes if you answered a question correctly, which made people look like trained seals being rewarded for tooting the horn and clapping. In addition to his histrionics, he was an entertaining speaker and used a good multimedia presentation to support his points. After awhile though, it became apparent there was little substance in his presentation, but you were supposed to go away feeling good about yourself, the consultant’s service, and a possible business relationship.

After the seminar I ran into a couple of the attendees outside in the parking lot and asked them what they took away from the pitch. They both replied, “Not much,” but they sure felt good about themselves. (I even thought I heard them humming “Kumbaya” as they walked away).

I’ve always wondered how speakers who offered more baloney than a delicatessen survived, but I’ve got a feeling they do quite well for themselves. Frankly, I don’t think people want to know the truth and would much rather be entertained. Truth is often sacrificed for panaceas which the public seems to thrive on. After all, why exercise and diet properly when a little pill will cause you to lose weight instead? It should come as no small wonder that a lot of snake-oil has been sold over the years. It seems the public will buy anything if we pitch it with slick talk and make people feel good about themselves. In other words, tell the audience what they want to hear, not what they need to know.

People tend to resent brutal frankness – it may be correct, it may be something that needs to be said despite the political ramifications involved, but people just plain and simply have a hard time dealing with reality and prefer living in a surrealistic comic book world instead.

Years ago we were contracted to study the problems of an information systems department for a large Midwest life insurance company. We studied the group carefully and impartially, gathered the facts, and presented our conclusions to the board of directors. We didn’t sugarcoat anything and told the executives precisely what the problems were and how to rectify them. The executives went into a bit of a state of shock as they had previously believed everything was running smoothly in their systems department. It wasn’t. They didn’t exactly like what we had to tell them, but they listened and to their credit acted on the information. Despite this, we were never asked back due to the embarrassing snafus we uncovered.

The point is, you can only be conned if you allow yourself to be conned. “Feel Good” speakers may be entertaining, but beware of their facade and seek substance instead.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  IT’S ALL ABOUT TRANSACTIONS – Everything we do in systems and software involves the processing of transactions.

LAST TIME:  THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN JED CLAMPETT & THE MIDDLE EAST – “Come and listen to my story about a group from the Middle East…”

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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5 Responses to ““FEEL GOOD” TYPES”

  1. Rev. Fr. Robert "Bob" Swick said

    Tim, Fully agree. Just look at our political zoo. Collectively our elected Reps and Senators have record low approval ratings yet 90+% get re-elected.

    Like

  2. Alton Walston said

    Brother Tim, you are  correct, the people want to be entertained but have little regard for the truth, ”   “Those who are truly fit to lead are seldom popular.they repel rather than attract. They are replaced by pretentious demagogues. And of the enemies of Human freedom, none are more dangerous. They are the ruin of Republics, yet no republic is without them or fails to trust and honor them”  “AASR excert”    

      Few want to know the truth, for many the truth hurts. So it is replaced with entertainment. “Laughter is the best medicine”!  Laughter is and expression of pain, So the speaker created it and relieves the pain of listening to the truth. Yet few realize that the truth will eventually bear fruit and happiness.

     

      Alas we are doomed to follow the masses like mice to the pied pipers Regards ole Blake                             

    ________________________________

    Like

  3. […] “FEEL GOOD” TYPES […]

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma wrote…

    “Well Tim, I feel much better now after reading this blog post.

    Kumbaya my friend!”

    Like

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