THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Software for the finest computer – the Mind

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,090 other followers


  • "BRYCE's UNCOMMON SENSE SERIES"
    4 New Printed Books & eBooks from Tim on:
    Change/Technology, Management, Politics, and the American Scene
    Click HERE.

  • Categories

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

    hit counter

     

  • Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

TALKING WITH YOUR HANDS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 2, 2017

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Do we do it to excess?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I find it interesting how people use their hands when they talk, kind of like a comedy routine. Just about everyone does it, yours truly included. We use our hands to emphasize a point, exemplify something, but more than anything we use them to command the attention of our audience. So much so, people tend to use hands as a second set of lips. Actually, I do not believe we can help ourselves as we tend to emulate everyone also suffering from the same affliction.

I find it difficult to talk without the use of hands, and it seems the people who can do so are few and far between (and generally tend to be quite boring). Comedians and politicians often use their hands to emphasize a point. In fact, some people are better remembered not for what they said, but how they said it instead. Comedian Jack Benny exemplified the point of someone who is better remembered for his mannerisms than his jokes. Jack could get a laugh simply by looking at people or using his hands.

The occasional hand gesture is fine but it becomes somewhat distracting and annoying when you start using your hands excessively thereby taking on the appearance of an animated windmill. Those who are deaf have a legitimate excuse, but the rest of us do not want to suffer with someone who seems to be going through mime school.

I tend to believe there are three types of active uses of the hand for communications: what I call “The Fencer,” “The Gunslinger,” and “The Punctuator.” “The Fencer” (aka “The Boxer”) uses his hands to swirl, parry and thrust himself in a debate; in his mind, he is in the midst of a dual with an opponent, but with a lot of finesse and footwork. Make no mistake, such histrionics represent a contest to dominate or win over an opponent. Then we have “The Gunslinger” who uses his hands less than the others, often keeping them hidden in his pockets as he contemplates a response to a question, but when he responds, out come the hands like six-guns blazing and shooting down his opponent. The “Punctuator” tends to be less threatening and more academic in nature. Here, hands are used to highlight a point, such as using two fingers on both hands to make the “quotes” sign, or an exclamation point, an underline or a period. Do we tend to favor one form over another? Sometimes, but I tend to believe we use all three forms to suit our needs in a conversation.

What I find most interesting in our use of hands is that we are usually not cognizant we are using them in our daily discourse. Sometimes I will parody a friend when I notice they are speaking excessively with their hands. This usually results in a look of total surprise as they were unaware of the use of their hands. It’s all very subliminal.

Using our hands is a natural part of the way we communicate. However, if you are worried you use your hands excessively, either ask your friends, or better yet, try sitting on your hands during a conversation. If one or both hands pop out, you probably use them to excess.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  STOP THE PRESS! – Time to get tough with the news media.

LAST TIME:  IF YOU CANNOT BEAT THEM, INSULT THEM  – Has liberal humor gone too far?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Advertisements

Posted in Communications, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 10, 2017

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Getting the audience on your side.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I had a young friend recently ask me for advice on a critical sales presentation he was getting ready to make. He had prepared a good graphical presentation on the computer, but was still a little squeamish about speaking in front of a group of people. Knowing I had been through this many times in my career, he asked for some advice. My first question to him was, “How well do you know your subject?”

He assured me he was supremely confident in his subject area, that he could answer any and all questions pertaining to it. I then replied that he had nothing to worry about as it is all about confidence. Quite often you hear people admonished to think of their audience without any clothes on. This is done to exert the speaker’s confidence and superiority over them. It’s not really necessary to think of your audience naked, unless they are all highly attractive people in which condition you will likely be distracted (as opposed to authoritative).

I advised my young friend, to remain confident and stay in control of the presentation. If you know the subject matter better than anyone else, as they should, go into the presentation with a little swagger, look people square in the eye, and almost dare them to ask you a question. A little intimidation can go a long way in demonstrating your confidence. More importantly though, I encourage speakers to interact with their audience. A pointed index finger can engage participation better than just asking, “Are there any questions?”

I frequently use the index finger not only to ask questions, particularly to those people who are half-awake, but to ask them, “Isn’t that right?” If there is disagreement, I want to get it out in the open and not let it simmer until later. More importantly, I am trying to get the audience on my side. Jokes and humor are useful for breaking the ice, but I want to recruit support for my argument, and this is primarily done by actively interacting with the audience. The index finger can be very powerful in this regard.

When I get nothing but blank stares after asking a question, I say something like this, “Look it is really quite simple, this means ‘Yes’ (shake head up-and-down), this means ‘No’ (shake head left-to-right), and this means ‘I haven’t got a clue what you are talking about’ (shake head diagonally).”

This is a good for breaking the ice and a clever way of warning the audience they will be asked to actively participate in the presentation (and they shouldn’t be caught napping).

I also advise speakers to dress for success. A good set of clothes not only is a sign of respect for the audience, it is an expression of your confidence and authority. The speaker should either dress better than his audience, or at least equal to them, but never worse.

I followed up with my young friend afterwards to see how his presentation had gone. He was pleased to inform me that all went well, that he had actively engaged the audience and got them on his side. In fact, he was quite pleased with his performance as well as his boss who was impressed by his swagger. More importantly, they got the sale.

This is why I am a big believer in encouraging more speech classes in school, starting in the elementary grades. Such training overcomes the intimidation of the audience and actually turns the tables. Giving an effective speech is much more than just the spoken word, or a slick graphical presentation, it is also the histrionics of delivering a speech. Just remember, your index finger is more powerful than a lot of people think. It means you are in charge.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  RESPECTING PRIVACY – What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS FAIR?  – Is it in the eye of the beholder?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Communications | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

OUR RIGHT TO DISAGREE

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 2, 2016

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Political correctness is killing it.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently returned to my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio where I met with some classmates for dinner prior to attending a football game at my high school alma mater. In particular, I got to catch up with a female friend who I have known for a long time. Our families were very close and our parents often met on the weekends and took vacations together. Her father was a noted physician in the area, and her mother was a great cook of Jewish cuisine. I loved visiting their house to sample some of her delicacies and share a cigar with her father. My classmate and I were so close, she still refers to me as her “Big Brother” and I think fondly of her as my sister.

During the course of our discussions, we caught up on what all the other family members were doing. We laughed, we were serious, and we were candid. It was great to see her again. However, there was a point where I wanted to talk a little politics; to discuss a column I was working on. Hearing this, my friend raised her hand, and knowing my political persuasion, said, “We better stop here.” She obviously didn’t want to get into a situation that may cause friction.

Frankly, my friend’s opposition to discussing such a subject surprised me. I can vividly remember our parents talking politics over their Friday night get-togethers. When it came to politics, the families were polar opposites, yet this did not deter them from talking about such things as Richard Nixon, the Viet Nam war, Israel, and a plethora of other subjects. They disagreed on several areas, but found the dialog stimulating and there was respect for opposing opinions. They then sat down for dinner and laughed.

So here was my classmate and myself, practically brother and sister, just one generation removed from our parents, and we can no longer discuss politics without offending someone, and I find this all rather disturbing. Frankly, I blame it on society’s inability to carry on a conversation (thanks to excessive use of technology), the visceral ideological differences of today, and political correctness which has run amok.

It disturbs me we cannot carry on a dialog of anything meaningful anymore, be it political, religious, racial, even humor. The point is, such discussions, should be a two-way street, certainly not one way. They are vital for building awareness and trust, which is what happened to my parents and their friends years ago.

Once a week, I meet with a small group of men where we enjoy some libations, and talk frankly on a wide variety of subjects, particularly current events. We have been doing this for several years now, and, No, we do not always agree, but I wouldn’t trade these get-togethers for anything as it adds meaning to my life.

When we can no longer speak from the heart without fear of offending someone, it is time to pack it in. As for me, I prefer a respectful argument, something with some useful mental gymnastics, before sitting down to dinner and laughing.

Let me leave you with a piece of the famous “Argument Sketch” from Monty Python which, unfortunately, is how a lot of people perceive such discourse today.

MONTY PYTHON – THE ARGUMENT SKETCH

Man: Is this the right room for an argument?

Other Man: I’ve told you once.

Man: No you haven’t!

Other Man: Yes I have.

M: When?

O: Just now.

M: No you didn’t!

O: Yes I did!

M: You didn’t!

O: I did!

M: You didn’t!

O: I’m telling you, I did!

M: You did not!

O: Oh I’m sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?

Also published with The Huffington Post.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE POWER OF GOOD COACHING – Imagine if we could do this in the workplace.

LAST TIME:  WHAT IT MEANS TO VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON  – What can we assume about a vote for Mrs. Clinton?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

 

Posted in Communications | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

THE WORD “GOBBLEDYGOOK”

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 28, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Cheap words and expressions that bother me.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I always liked the word “gobbledygook” ever since I first heard it in my High School English class. If memory serves me correctly, the term resulted from World War II to combat bureaucratic processes that impeded progress in the war plants. Basically, it refers to unclear or wordy jargon that is more inclined to confuse than to clarify something. It seems to me there is an abundance of gobbledygook in our daily vernacular. Let me give you a few examples of such expressions that particularly tests my patience.

The term “workaround” has been popular for at least the last ten years and I believe it was derived from the Information Technology (I.T.) sector. I tried looking it up in both Webster’s and The New Heritage Dictionary and, of course, I couldn’t find it. As we all know, it has come to mean finding a way around a technical problem. It doesn’t mean it’s a correction to a problem but rather, a way of addressing a problem. Make no mistake though, “workarounds” ultimately represent errors or “bugs” in the system and we should refer to them as such. I’m amazed by programmers when they proudly proclaim they’ve found a “workaround” as opposed to admitting they have a problem and don’t know how to fix it.

An I.T. Department should avoid the term “workaround” as it tends to irritate end-users and causes them to lose faith in the development staff’s ability for solving their problems. An error is an error, I don’t care what you call it; don’t try to sugarcoat it, fix it.

As an aside, I was finally able to find “workaround” defined in the Redneck Dictionary. It’s typically used to determine the location of employees. For example, “Hey, Y’all workaround here?”

Next, we have the word “guestimate.” I have been involved in the systems industry for a long time and have taught Project Management for the past three decades. I have always found it unsettling how people try to invent new words in an attempt to appear cute and clever. “Guestimate” is such a word which implies an estimate is simply a guess, to which I have to give a great big “DUH.” Estimating is fundamentally an effort at projecting the future. Like all projections, the more facts and information available, the better the estimate will be, but rarely is it ever perfect. There is a natural human tendency to avoid making estimates because estimates are expressions of commitments, and people tend to shy away from commitments and accountability, particularly when they are not sure of the facts. Look, let’s keep it simple, an estimate is an estimate and a guess is a guess, let’s not create any more 3rd grade words such as “guestimate.”

Another word that bothers me is “reiterate” and you hear it just about everywhere these days. Think about it; what does it mean? The word “iterate” refers to the repetition of something. So what do we mean when we say “RE-iterate”? An infinite loop? Our language is sloppy enough without us having to produce new words to dilute old ones, but I guestimate I am reiterating myself.

There is an old expression which I have been hearing a lot in our vernacular these days, and that is “Let me be honest with you.” I personally know a lot of people that use this expression and frankly, its getting old. When a person says it, I come away thinking he has been dishonest with me all other times.

As creatures of habit, we tend to be repetitive in our speech. I have also heard expressions like “At the end of the day” and “Frankly” (which I am also guilty of using myself). Excessive use of expressions and buzzwords tend to be very distracting in a conversation and doesn’t serve the speaker well. “But frankly, at the end of the day, we have to be honest with each other.” See what I mean?

I hear America talking, but I don’t like what I’m hearing. Our language is sloppy and convoluted, or should I say filled with “gobbledygook”? It makes you wonder how people from foreign countries ever learn our language and understand us. We can’t even understand ourselves.

One last note: The word “often” is pronounced with the “t” silent (“off-en”), not “off-ten” – Look it up.

Originally published: January 24, 2011

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  12 ATTRIBUTES SEPARATING LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES – How can we be so different?

LAST TIME:  DOG TREATS  – They may look good, but what are they made of?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Communications, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

LOUD AND CLEAR

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 21, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– The need for honest criticism.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My father has been gone for eleven years now. We worked together for nearly thirty years and in that time, he taught me the ins and outs of the information systems industry and the corporate world. What I particularly miss about him is the arguments we would get into. I don’t mean vicious discourse but rather serious debates on a variety of topics. He had a good logical mind and we would often spar if for no other reason than to clarify an idea or concept. My dad was old school though who was of Scottish stock and came up the hard way. If you screwed up, he would let you know about it loud and clear. There was no sugarcoating a mistake with him. Over time I came to learn the reason he jumped down your throat was that he didn’t want you to commit the same mistake twice, and to his credit, you wouldn’t.

Some people were offended by his candor, others thrived on it as they understood the intellectual dynamics involved. Even customers would call my father to pick a friendly fight with him and, in the process, would learn a lot. I knew of other men of his generation who were also not exactly politically correct and not afraid to give it to you loud and clear. However, I think we now live in a time when such discourse is frowned upon and you don’t see too much of it anymore.

People are hesitant to be critical in the work place, school, or just about everywhere. I think this is bred into people at an early age whereby everybody has to be a winner, and nobody should suffer the stigma of being labeled a loser. Consequently we become hesitant to tell someone when he is wrong in that it might hurt his feelings. The only problem here though is if everyone tells you nothing is wrong and that everything is great, you’ll never get to the bottom of what is wrong. Every once and awhile you need the naked truth, and you can only get this through honest criticism.

Sugarcoating a problem only delays its resolution thereby costing more money to correct or allowing someone to commit a mistake repetitively. If you give it to them loud and clear, they may not like how you said it, but they will most assuredly comprehend what you meant and will not forget it. One point to make in this regard, when you are criticizing or arguing with someone, simple “yes” and “no’s” are not sufficient. It is vital you explain your rationale, otherwise they will remain skeptical and learn nothing.

Perhaps the biggest problem with honest criticism is to learn not to take it personally. The “loud and clear” person is trying to teach you something and obviously thinks it is important for you to learn it properly which is why you are getting it loud and clear. I realize we are supposed to be sensitive to the feelings of others, but we must understand that conducting business does not involve participating in a personality contest. Sometimes, to get the necessary results, a manager needs to get into a worker’s face and talk to him heart to heart. We would make little progress if we had to constantly hold the hands of our workers. At some point, the training wheels have to come off and they have to drive the bicycle themselves.

Years ago, when I first volunteered to be a Little League umpire, I had to attend a clinic to learn the duties and responsibilities of the job. At the time I was only signing up to umpire eight year old girls softball which I didn’t exactly consider a heavy duty assignment. The instructors of the clinic taught us a lot of things, but one thing they emphasized was to make your calls “loud and clear” regardless of the age of the kids or sex. A watered-down call or one without authority will challenge your credibility not only with the coaches, but with the players as well. Basically, they were saying, “If you’re going to do something, do it right.” As I was quick to learn, this was perhaps the best advice I could have received. Consequently, I rendered my calls as umpire “loud and clear.” Interestingly, I discovered even the youngest kid on the team seemed to instinctively understand what I was doing and respected the call. In all the years I umpired, not once was a tear shed.

For those of you who believe loud and clear is “not cool” in the workplace, you have to remember we live in a fast paced world and managers do not always have the time or luxury to patiently offer tender and sympathetic advice. Honest criticism is a fact of life and a necessity for us to grow and evolve, and we should certainly not be embarrassed to receive it “loud and clear.”

Originally published: January 10, 2011

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE NAIVE SANDERS SUPPORTERS – Just ask them.

LAST TIME:  THE HASSLE OF METAL KEYS  – A low tech solution for solving our security problems.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Business, Communications, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

A COMMUNICATIONS CURRICULUM

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 18, 2016

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– What should High School students know about this important subject.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

For the last few years I have sat on a board of directors for a special business school at our local high school. The purpose of this program is to prepare students for the business world. In addition to teaching technical skills, community leaders address the students as part of a lecture series. We have discussed such things as career path planning, the use of math in business, adapting to the corporate culture, and more. Recently we began discussing future topics for next year. Among the ideas presented was the subject of communications as it was felt students are having difficulty adapting to business environments without such skills.

Having been a college communications graduate myself, I realize this is a robust subject area. However, for high school students, I considered what would be a suitable curriculum. Keep in mind, a lot of this is based from the vantage point of someone who has had a ring side seat observing management and Information Technology for nearly forty years. Here is what I would like to see adopted for a communications curriculum at the high school level:

Written Communications – Writing a decent business letter is essential, yet we must recognize most of today’s written communications is delivered by e-mail. Nonetheless, learning how to properly address someone, be it for sales or customer service purposes, is necessary for success. Interestingly, it was pointed out to me that most high school students do not use e-mail, preferring text messaging or use of social media instead. I assumed most students made active use of e-mail. Unfortunately, they do not which is another reason for them to brush up on their writing skills.

The fundamentals of giving a speech – whether it is for the presentation of an argument, to perform a lecture, of for humorous purposes, students should understand the basics of rhetorical thought, persuasion, and negotiations. This includes the three canons of speech as represented by ethos (an appeal based on the character of the speaker), pathos (emotional appeal) and logos (logical argument). In discourse, we will likely use all three when making a presentation, but it is necessary students understand what they mean and how to use them. Personally, I would like to see the students stand on a soap box and give a five minute speech to classmates passing by at lunch time. This would help them overcome their fear of speaking and give them the confidence to argue a point.

Conducting a meeting – unless students understand the basics for running a meeting, they will likely waste the time of everyone involved for years to come, thereby turning a useful communications tool into something counterproductive. An introduction to Robert’s Rules of Order (Parliamentary Procedure) would be useful to teach the mechanics of a well structured meeting.

Interviewing – this will likely affect their lives going forward from now on, be it for a job or for college placement.

And finally, Common Courtesy – aside from a student’s ability to write and speak, they will be judged by their ability to socialize with others. This specifically includes their ability to cooperate and work harmoniously with people. This is much more than just “please and thank you,” but also includes how to conduct introductions (handshakes), greeting people, and generally getting along with others.

This may all seem rather obvious, but these are important life lessons which will serve young people throughout their academic and professional careers. I just wish I had known some of this before going to college. It would have certainly made my life a lot easier (and more productive).

Related articles:

“All I ask about running a Meeting” (April 5, 2013)
“The Art of Persuasion” (February 20, 2006)
“Business Writing” (April 20, 2015)
“Common Courtesy” (September 24, 2012)

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  JUST FOR TODAY – Take time once a day to stop and think. Reflection is good for the soul.

LAST TIME:  CHILI RECIPES – IT’S PERSONAL  – Safely guarded family treasurers.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Communications, Education | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 30, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Or Press 0 to speak with an agent.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Welcome to (any company using voice mail). Your call is very important to us. Listen to your options carefully:

PRESS 1 – for English.

PRESS 2 – por Espanol.

PRESS 3 – for any other language except French, Greek, Dutch, Italian, German, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, and Ebonics.

PRESS 4 – if you detest Voice Mail.

Thank you. While we’re processing your request we’ll now play some incredibly boring music repetitively that has been proven to drive away most adults.

PRESS 1 – if you are a glutton for punishment and want to continue waiting.

PRESS 2 – if you would like to call back and be bored to death another time.

PRESS 3 – if you would like to change language options.

PRESS 4 – if you detest Voice Mail.

Please note, for Quality Assurance purposes some of our calls may be monitored. In reality though, we couldn’t care less.

PRESS 1 – to enter your nine digit social security number.

PRESS 2 – to enter your account number which we will lose after you have entered it.

PRESS 3 – to enter the winning Lotto number for tonight’s drawing.

PRESS 4 – to enter the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

For a Customer Service agent:

PRESS 1 – to speak to “Bob” in India.

PRESS 2 – to speak to “Bob” in Baghdad.

PRESS 3 – to speak to “Bob” in Pakistan.

PRESS 4 – to speak to “Bob” in the United States. Sorry, just kidding.

Thank you for your patience. All of our agents are currently busy with other customers at this time. Please stay on the line and the next available agent will take your call in the order it was received, which happens to be backwards. While you’re waiting, take your telephone outside to your front yard, jump up and down, wave your arms madly, and scream like a chicken as it will be a better use of your time than waiting for us to do anything on the phone.

Originally published: October 1, 2010

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE PERILS OF NOT KNOWING YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES – “Nobody is driving officer, we’re all in the back seat.”

LAST TIME:  MORALE IN THE MILITARY  – Lowest since the Carter Administration.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Communications, Life, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

EXCESSIVE USE OF PROFANITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 7, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why do we allow this to occur?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I’ve noticed profanity has become a natural part of the teenager vernacular lately, perhaps excessively so. I know teachers and parents who are very much concerned with this and are at a loss as to how to handle it. In my school days, we were all well aware of the words but knew better to use them in the presence of adults as schools still practiced corporal punishment back then. If you got out of line, you weren’t just sent to detention, you were swatted with a paddle.

A lot has changed since then. Today, only 20 states in the country allow corporal punishment in schools (not including here in Florida). As many as 25 countries have outlawed it altogether. I guess this is another area where lawyers have gotten involved and threatened lawsuits on behalf of irate parents who refuse to discipline their own children and subject the rest of us to these clods.

In studying this issue, I noticed all 50 states in the country allow corporal punishment on the part of parents. Yet, I wonder how many parents actually exercise such action. Again, back when I was a kid, if you got out of line, the old man would take a belt to your hide or your mother would wash your mouth out with soap if you spoke foul language (as happened to Ralphie in the movie, “A Christmas Story”). My great grandmother would use a switch or fly swatter if necessary. Such corporal punishment was not unique to my family as just about every kid on the block was keenly aware of the penalties for stepping out of line. It’s called, “cause and effect”; if you screwed-up, you had to suffer the consequences. Believe me, we would have much preferred to have been “grounded” than face the wrath of a displeased parent. Being “grounded” just didn’t exist back then.

I’m not sure why teens use profanity excessively; perhaps it is to appear “cool” or something they learned through the media, but it sure seems they drop the “F-bomb” as if it is a common everyday word. I’m no saint myself when it comes to swearing, but as an adult you realize there is a time and place for everything and you tend to use it more judiciously than our youth. Excessive use of profanity does two things; first, it waters down the effect of the word. Whereas profanity is normally used to stir emotions, inordinate use negates its effect. Second, excessive profanity is a significant indicator of someone’s intellect. Rudimentary language reflects a rudimentary intellect. I am reminded of the old maxim whereby, “Profanity is the attempt of a lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcefully.”

When youth uses profanity in the presence of adults, it does not threaten or embarrass adults as much as it causes the youth in question to lose all credibility in the adult’s eyes. It is just not smart to do. I find it rather amusing when youth resorts to primitive profanity as opposed to articulating their position. It most definitely does not make them look more mature.

As for me personally, I tend to think of profanity along the same lines as Mark Twain who said, “In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” Amen!

Originally published: June 21, 2010

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  IMPLEMENTING BUSINESS ETHICS – Implementing an effective ethics program makes dollars and sense.

LAST TIME:  WILL THE REPUBLICANS BOTCH THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?  – I just hope they do not grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Communications, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

THE PROBLEM WITH NEWSLETTERS

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 15, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why most end up lining the bottom of bird cages.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have belonged to a plethora of nonprofit organizations over the years, be it related to Information Technology, management, homeowner associations, sports clubs, political groups, fraternal organizations, school clubs, etc. Most, if not all issue a newsletter either monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. Due to rising printing and postal prices, most have gone to an electronic format, be it on the web or in PDF format, which has dramatically cut costs. Regardless, they all pretty much say the same thing.

With rare exception, most newsletters try to put a positive spin on how the club or association is doing. They are typically a public relations piece with the intent of trying to encourage the membership to remain active and attend meetings. As I tend to be intimate with the organizations I participate in, I realize such newsletters offer more facade than substance. They may say everything is great, but the reality is things couldn’t be much worse. Not surprising, participation in nonprofit groups is waning, probably due to the politics involved and changing values. Instead of making meetings meaningful (fun and interesting), most nonprofits have fallen into a rut and do not know how to get out of it.

So, why do nonprofits only report positive trends? They fear their membership would abandon them if they knew what was actually going on. Somehow the quote by Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men” comes to mind, “You can’t handle the truth!” This may be so, but I would like to believe the membership would rally behind a cause if they truly believe in the institution and knew what was really going on.

Knowing the calendar of events and what club awards were presented is one thing, knowing the condition of the club is something entirely different. There is an old expression derived from psychology which states, “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick.” Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see clubs add to the newsletter financial statements, membership totals, or attendance records, along with commentary by the chief executive? We would at least grasp what was going on and come to the aid of the institution.

In every organization I have been involved with, I have found it important the senior officer report on the condition of the organization at least once a year. This is similar in intent to the President’s State of the Union address. Here, the intention is to come clean with the members by discussing such things as: Membership, Facilities, Participation, Finances, Programs, Sickness and distress, Harmony, Relations with similar groups, Charitable activities, and how well we met our Objectives.

Only by disclosing such items in the newsletter would the members comprehend why a dues increase is being proposed, an assessment, or change in policy.

Because most newsletter do not include such items is why I do not take newsletters seriously; they only tell us what they want us to hear. It also explains why most end up lining the bottom of bird cages.

The best surprise is no surprise.

Related article:
PRODUCING NEWSLETTERS: BEWARE OF THE BIRDCAGE

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BACKING UP THE TRUCK – Whoa, slow down! Let’s not leap before we look.

LAST TIME:  THE GOLDEN ERA OF AMERICA (1945-1960)  – One of our greatest periods of forgotten prosperity.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Communications, Life, Media | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CHATTY CATHIES

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 1, 2013

BRYCE ON SOCIALIZATION

– Dealing with those who talk incessantly.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

We’ve all run into people who talk incessantly, be it a relative, friend, neighbor or coworker. You say “Hello” and that’s basically the last word you have in the conversation. I was sitting at a lunch counter recently and overheard two men talking; actually, it was just one guy dominating the conversation. He talked for over thirty minutes nonstop without taking a breath. From what I understood, it had something to do about his financial portfolio. I could tell by the inflection in his voice that he thought he was being rather brilliant and articulate, but I could also tell by his companion’s eyes that he was growing weary of the diatribe. And I think that’s part of the problem of these people I call “Chatty Cathies”; they simply have no regard for the other person in the conversation or whoever else might overhear them. It is this insensitivity that annoys us more than anything else.

“Chatty Cathies” feel compelled to entertain us when, in reality, they are putting everyone else to sleep. I find it interesting that most are unaware of how annoying they are. I don’t know why they do it other than they must have some insecurity they are hiding or perhaps it is an inferiority complex they are trying to overcome. I don’t know what it is, but it sure drives people bananas.

I have always thought of a conversation as a two-way street involving both give and take. Not so with the “Chatty Cathies” of the world who see conversations as unidirectional. Have you ever noticed that people only understand a fraction of what the “Chatty Cathies” are talking about? That’s pretty scary when you think about it, especially if the person has something important to say and people simply ignore it.

Interestingly, most of the “Chatty Cathies” I have met are actually nice people, if you can get them to shutup for a minute. At some point you have to inevitably confront the person about the problem which can be awkward to explain. Not to worry. I have found most are conscious of their problem and take criticism well. When I have to break off a conversation with one of them I say something like, “I’m sorry but I have to go do something else.” They are normally not offended, take it in stride and go looking for their next target.

People tend to avoid “Chatty Cathies” and treat them like lepers which is disheartening to the person in question who feels like they are being ostracized. What they do not seem to realize is, it is their mouth which is their own worst enemy.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Want to help a “Chatty Cathy”? E-mail this article to them anonymously.
<!–

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  TAKING QUALITY FOR GRANTED – Quality must be built into the product during design, not inspected in afterwards.

LAST TIME:  WHAT ARE YOU WEARING FOR HALLOWEEN? – The different types of costumes available and what is hot for 2013.

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.

Posted in Communications, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: