In this month’s blog, I’ll be examining communication habits – both my own and those I see in others – and unfolding what I find and understand as best practices. The title that came to me this month is Are You Speakin’ My Language, and I’m going to hone in especially on:
Hi, this is Kurt bear host of the Loco experience podcast. Thanks for tuning in for this month's blog post titled, are you speaking my language in this month's blog? I'll be examining communication habits, both my own, and those I see in others and unfolding what I find and understand as best practices. The title that came to me this month is are you speaking my language? And I'm gonna hone in, especially on. Number one, how can we best ensure clear understanding in our daily communications and Interac? And number two, what are the essential elements of clear agreements? How can we have not only understanding, but also commitment to a mutually beneficial outcome. I started writing this blog on the morning of my honey bear's birthday, which also happens to be her sister's birthday. They are twins. You see, and I've written before about the special bond that twin ship often brings June is the month of the horoscope, Gemini, more or less. And the notion for this writing goes back to a networking meeting that opened my mind to a previously unknown topic. One business connection is a networking organization founded in Colorado that has dozens of chapters around the state and many more virtual events. Shameless plug listens to my local experience podcast conversation with one BC founder, Greg Petri on episode number 51. If you're a member of one BC, you can visit any of these chapters. And as it goes, I visited a group down in Windsor that had not attended before we all went around the room and introduced ourselves as normal and among the number. We're a pair of twins, Jessica. And. Partners in a local real estate business. And here comes the part where I stuck my foot in my mouth. After the introductions concluded, I asked the twins from what exotic location their accent was from in my perception, English was likely their first language, but from New Zealand or South Africa or some such local, they shared with me that actually they grew up in the American west, but that they're a homeschooled for much of their childhood and then developed twin speak or twin language as it may better be called. Which might be understood as a dialect or invented language that only a match pair of twins can understand. The sisters had been homeschooled for most of their early childhood and only began interacting with other children in earnest during high school. I'm sure this was a struggle in the early years. Children can be cruel, but it was obvious even in our short interaction that both these ladies had developed into smart and confident women with excellent communication. moreover, their willingness to share this authentic story with me than yet a stranger convinced me that they would represent well, their client needs. And I noted that either would bring a lot of value to a Loco chapter and put them on my prospect list. Neither is a member yet, but I remain optimistic. I tell this story mostly to make you smile and also to make you think who are the teammates, family members, friends, and acquaintances with who you struggle to communicate. And why is it that you struggle and what can be done about it? As a reflect on this question, I can't help, but think of the political divide, rolling at a slow boil in years in our country recently highlighted by the abortion rights conversation, impressive protest March up college avenue on Saturday, by the way, maybe 1000 people. To read most of the protest signs, news articles and political statements by business leaders, music, singers, and Hollywood stars. The reversal of Roe versus Wade is an intentional and direct attack on women's natural rights by misogynistic white men. It's hard to reconcile that notion with the fact that men make up only a slight majority in the pro-life movement. And so there are tens of millions of anti women's rights women, and that men represent almost none of the leadership of said movement, and that they seem focused on messaging of expansion of right. Of the unborn babies or the fetus, if you'd rather, but I do understand the notion. And in fact, I was strongly pro-choice until my early thirties and I remain conflicted as to what might be the ideal policy. It seems impossible to find an appealing compromise on this issue. What's particularly striking to me about this issue is that it is a reversal of roles in many ways for the collectivists and the individual. when it comes to COVID lockdowns and vaccinations or universal healthcare or basic income or climate change, the progressive wing in the nation and the world is all about taking it for the team of suppression of individual rights. But when it comes to abortion, they are for greater liberties. Conversely, the individualistic wing that pushes against those grand and global measures in this area act more like collectivists. in addition to protecting unborn babies, most of them are seeking a change that calls for increased self control and responsibility and pursuit of a stronger and better society. The thing is free. Love isn't free, and it isn't really love because it doesn't produce loving families that raise children in decades, long covenant partnerships, the kind of families that send their kids to college and help them start new businesses and support them when time gets tough. Unfortunately, and God blessed them and loved them. The single moms of our nation raised the poorest and most criminalized children and their baby daddies are often prolific in everything, but fatherhood and education and clean living. And so you want to end abortion leaving even more moms with children that they're not prepared for. I'm pleased with the outcome of Roe versus Wade, because I see it as a state's right topic. The power is not delegated to the United States by the constitution nor prohibit. By it to the states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people Roe versus Wade should never have become the law. According to many constitutional scholars. And this court, we are Republic states and it seems to be good and proper that different regions of a diverse nation might have different laws and expectations of what their state might do or not do for them. I dream of a hold loosely kind of Republic, because it seems to me the tight grip of Washington DC does little to enhance human thriving, except for the insiders in DC. Let the states be different. That's the way this nation was designed. And let's look at the outcomes and see where people are flourishing more and emulate those places. And I would like to see those would be baby daddies. Be responsible enough not to have relations with women who they are not prepared to marry and raise a child with. and for the women of the world to recognize that their very special power and responsibility and find yourself a man with whom you'd like to raise children and stay with and protect yourself from pregnancy until you're confident about it in whatever fashion you choose. And I'd like a unicorn to ride a rainbow to my house and deliver a pot of gold. Yes, I know humans be humans, but I do think taking more responsibility for our intimate relationships will be better for human thriving. Overall, it's an individual sacrifice for the greater good of the collect. and it's a hard question, one of the hardest, and if you don't think so, you're not paying very close attention to the nuances of this topic and conversation. So there's the answer to my first question, to ensure clear understanding both parties have to try to understand the other, that means listening to understand asking questions, speaking truly and freely. All of these things are necessary for clear understanding and often absent from our political hot topics. My challenge to you is this. Whether you fall in the abortions in the third trimester camp, or the life begins at conception camp or the somewhere in between camp, like 75% of Americans find someone, you know, that disagrees with you and have an open and respectful conversation and make sure you understand and can explain why they feel as they do even if, or as you remain in disagreement. Anyway, I'll move on. I'm a man. And so I have no right to have an opinion on this topic. Anyway, let's talk about my own communication habits. I'm an expert there. I have 255 unread emails at present moment down from a crest of 305 yesterday. So I'm making some progress. I run the inbox zero system exceedingly poorly. So this is an anxiety producing circumstance and I'm committed to getting it back to zero on a road trip to North Dakota. Later this week to see my mom, we're celebrating her 70th birthday with a picnic in the park, close to where she played fast pitch softball for many years. My mom founded our little league baseball team. Have I told you that before she took our little Pingry Buchana in elementary school with maybe 15 eligible students and launched an eight and nine year old's team that played in the Jamestown city league and stayed alongside us as we aged to be 10 11, and then 12 and 13 year olds playing fast pitch. She taught me in dozens of other young boys and a few girls how to throw a ball and how to stay down on a grounder in the rules and etiquette of the. she's very organized my mother, a place for everything and everything in its place. And I treasure my weekly conversations with her and all the more of the visits. This paragraph has little to do with my topic. I just wanted to share a little bit about my ma unlike my mother. I'm not very organized. And to some extent, my brain flourishes in bringing order out of chaos, despite all those unread emails, I've pulled out the most important ones and done something with. And even though I seldom look at my task list, that the team helps me build and maintain most of the tasks still get done, but some never do. And if I've missed something following up with you in some way or paying the office rent as I did last month until the 14th, but I paid July rent early to make up for it. Or sending you that recipe that you ask for you better ask again, because it slipped off my. but I can crush it at boggle. My mind can pull words out of jumbles faster than almost anyone. And I believe my ability to make complex topics easier to understand is stronger than the average bear. And I'm blessed to find joy my work and loving my home with those emails though. I've written before about OMA. She's the digital experience coordinator here at Loco headquarters. My style of living would drive Alma crazy. She could not abide. She enjoys planning things out and setting up processes. And when we have team meetings, she's always ready with a recap. Afterwards, Alma fills my gaps in wonderful ways, and we have what I describe as a trusted and committed working relationship. Alma moved up to full time and salary recently, and that move was the source of a recent breakdown in communication between us the week before I made an offhand comment, Alma, that we should probably take Monday off to celebrate June. To set the context. We've pretty much always worked on what I'd call the minor holidays. President's day MLK Valentine's day, Halloween veteran's day. And we take off the big ones. Christmas new year, moral day, labor day, independence day, having no special relationship to the Juneteenth holiday and a long list of projects and tasks. She would normally have worked all day. Al as part, as a whip though, and quickly understood that she would be paid the same for the month of June, whether or not she worked that Monday. And so she took me up on the offer and had a fun day off. Well, not that much, her family and her boyfriend were all working, but she got some things done that she'd been meeting to and had a good day overall. meanwhile, I'm working by myself kind of lonely and feeling dumb for making that comment and for not having the guts to share that it wasn't really an offer, but more of an observation that there's a new federal holiday. I felt like she increased the risk of her projects, not getting done on time, took advantage of her new salary position. But when I thought it was the things from almost perspective or what I'd have done in the same situation, I could not falter. I'd have done the same. Later last week, we talked about it and about how she felt awkward at home. Like she'd really rather have been working on projects at the office. And we made a clear agreement about what the expectations are for salaried employees at local think tank. Basically her and myself, we talked about the various holidays. We clarified what the time off policy was going to be about my goals and timeline to further increase her pay and invest in her learning. And I think it was a great conversation that left us both with increased peace and understanding. My source is telling me there's a lot of chaos going on lately in the job market employees leaving with no notice interview candidates, no call, no showing, and a whole lot of poaching of talent among organizations. It's hard to grow a business when you're constantly hiring replacement workers and training new employees. And there seems to be a growing lack of commitment among the labor force. Probably much of this is deserved here in Northern Colorado, and especially in Fort Collins, we've had underemployed labor force for years and our pay rates lag well behind Metro markets like. But now we're competing for employees again. And I think it's a good foundation to build commitment with new and longtime employees is to have clear agreements. This can be done with two easy steps, one who will do what by when and two agreement to renegotiate before the deadline, if necessary, clear job descriptions, HR policy manuals that are current and. Regular staff meetings and team meetings with clear accountability and timelines, easy to understand contracts with clients and partners, follow up and follow through mission, vision values. All of these are elements of clear agreements as business leaders. We are best when remove the obstacles to success from our teams. And that starts with clarity, clarity of purpose, clarity of role, clarity of expectations, clear agreements on what we are here for who will do what by when. And the expectation of accountability and agreement to renegotiate before deadlines. We all have different thinking styles and communication habits. But if we remember to always try to understand, provide clarity and make clear agreements, we'll avoid much of the drama and chaos that plague individual and enterprises in any economic or political climate. Thanks for reading or listening. And if you're listening, please make sure to subscribe to the Loco experience podcast on your favorite listening platform. Have a great day.