Tag Archives: my best papers,

Old dog, new tricks

One of the focuses on the Business Communications class was doing oral presentations incorporating media and technology. In today’s world of business, there are some great video conferencing softwares available that 20 years weren’t even imagined. Some take this for granted, but those old dogs like myself learning new tricks appreciate how far along technology has come in communicating. Take a look at how YouTube has evolved from an artistic creative studio to a full-blown platform for soap boxing anything you are passionate about. Of course, sometimes the best video software available can be a toe stubber when you need to upload the aforementioned carefully crafted and edited video to your course DropBox only to discover that the file size exceeds the 15MB limit allowed. Alas, sometimes the Golden Oldies can’t be beat for practicality and universal application!

I am an old dog at public speaking in front of a room so I tend to go about it on autopilot, but upon reflection, I realize I do have a strategy for preparing them. My No. 1 tip to anyone is to prepare and plan and practice well before you need to actually give your presentation.

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What empathy is NOT

Another Communications discussion had to do with emotional intelligence and how it relates to communicating in a workplace, especially with those whose communication style and personality are much difference from your own. Communicate is what I do for a living, and my “in the trenches” viewpoint about all the platitudes and abbreviated lists floating out there of “shoulds” was different than any of the other students. What empathy is and what it is not is something that if you do not understand, you will create chaos in your life about nonsense that has nothing at all to do with you. Bottom line: you cannot “fix” anybody else.

Interestingly, most of the articles I found on my search as well as over the years all seem written from the perspective that people are not self-aware in general to truly know their own behaviors, thoughts and emotions and therefore lack the ability to be aware of those things in others. Kendra Cherry’s 2018 article on Very Well Mind cited and was based upon a 2011 American Psychology Association study, and she pulled from it five typical things we read in such self-improvement articles: increase self-awareness, practice self-regulation, improve your social skills, become more empathetic, and work on your own intrinsic motivation.

I agree with the need for self-knowledge and monitoring as it strongly assists in retaining anything else learned. It is a good practice to spend time contemplating what your goals are and what motivates you. It is also good practice not to be rude to others, to listen when others are speaking, and to behave at all times so as not to inflict one’s own drama upon others nor run with scissors causing chaos.

After years in ministry where people confide all manner of emotional traumas to me and I get the opportunity to talk them down off the ceiling, I consider myself to be a competent operator if not somewhat of a practical expert on empathy and what it is and what it is not. If I had not long ago learned the difference between being “caring” and being “empathetic,” I might be in the asylum by now. Continue reading

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ISTJ Poster Child

One of the Communications assignments was to go through the Myers-Briggs Personality Type testing and then create a discussion post about your own communication preferences. I do know myself well enough to laugh at my own quirks and feel everyone should have at least some level of self-awareness in order to curb the reactive-monkey behaviors running rampant in the world today. Just saying.

I think I am the ISTJ poster child: OCD in my need to be thorough and organized before jumping to a conclusion too soon. I used to be very Sammie Safety, can’t be too careful, but I’ve mellowed in my old age and laugh at myself when the old impulse kicks in. My mother tells the story that when I was 10 months old and began walking, I tripped and fell down, got an owwie, and then spent the next few months crawling until I apparently felt it was safe to try walking again. Obviously, cautiousness is something my package came with. Continue reading

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How to Play Well With Others, aka Constructive Disagreement

So, now that my brain is able to relax a little after a whirlwind year of coursework, I’m looking through the various discussions and essays from my file. Most of the ones from my Business Communication course tied directly to the ministry work I’ve done and my perspective is therefore often different from most people’s. This past year was the first time I needed to use APA style instead of the MLA I had been used to.

Way back in the mid-1980s when I got my first job in a law firm, I found the concept of “argument” to be one I very well relate. Since I began writing in middle school, most of the work I have drafted was to persuade or convince the reader to adopt a certain viewpoint based upon the supporting ideas I presented. A legal argument presented by an attorney in a court of law is also an attempt to persuade a judge or jury to incline toward a certain leaning or understanding based upon the presented facts and evidence as well as supporting rules, regulations and laws, taking into account any extraordinary or extenuating circumstances. As a seasoned volunteer manager thirty years later, I can say that understanding how to persuade without “arguing” is something many people simply have not learned to do. Continue reading

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Writing review and future projects

I started this blog way back on December 20, 2008 to journal through various discernment processes I was going through. I have several hobbies about which I am passionate, and there are several things I do for a living that I am very good at.

Three things I have enjoyed making a livelihood through are:

  • wordsmithery (writing, editing, proofreading),
  • leading musical ensembles, and
  • teaching others what I know.

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More persuasive argument topics coming at end of F18 semester

Alright, ya’ll – good news for student visitors: In December 2018 after final exams are all done and grades posted, I will finally be able to post up some more essays. ‘Cause I’m baa-aaack!

As intro or re-intro depending on who you are: My background is over 30 years in ministry (music director, programming, volunteer management) with an overlap of the first 18 years in contract law as a legal assistant/office manager followed by the balance in nonprofit office management, finances (bookkeeping, fundraising), more programming and volunteer management. I sum it all up as follows: “I’m a professional cat herder who is nice for a living.”

From my website stats, I can see that most of you are students who visit my page for the writing samples I post.

It wasn’t a given that my age group would automatically go to college.

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Statistics trick question

So, my brain has recovered from chemo to go back and continue my coursework toward the management degree I was working on, and this semester I jumped right in with 12 credits. Business Law, Grant Writing, Social Media Marketing, and Statistics. But it’s okay; I’ve discovered that I’ve still got it. However, I was taking practice tests to study for my statistics mid-term and this happened.  #sorrynotsorry #clownophobic #thefearisreal

trick question

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