“One should never mistake pattern for meaning.”
– Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
Humans are pattern-seeking machines. We try to find connections everywhere and we will find them even if they are not there. After we find a pattern the story-machine takes over and will immediately create a story to explain the pattern and it will search in your vast memory to find all the evidence that will boost the story and the pattern, and hide away all the evidence that contradicts it. These two machines has created many horrors and wonders.
“If you wanted to feel you were still somehow in control of a ship or a fleet or even your civilisation, talking amongst yourselves seemed to be the way you convinced yourself of it.”
– Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
The reason most people set up a meeting is to gather more information and to make decisions. The problem is that most people get stuck in gathering more information, either because they are not very good at facilitating that type of discussion or they are really afraid of making a decision. The easiest decision to make is to decide to have another meeting about the topic. Usually we don’t need another meeting to talk. It is much better to make a decision, start working according to it, and decide on a when to meet and evaluate how it is working out.
There is a certain freedom granted in privacy—a sense of fulfillment and ease that comes with the simple knowledge that no one is watching. It’s why we feel all right about singing in the shower.
– Kevin Hearne, Staked
To sing or give presentations in public gets better with practice and easier with experience. Practice to make us more skilled. And then the experience that people don’t notice or care when we make a mistake in front of them.
“Trust is a lot to ask of someone.”
– Gail Carriger, Manners & Mutiny
It’s really interesting who we trust and who we don’t trust. We trust that complete strangers will not run us over with a car when we cross the road, but we don’t trust our co-workers to hand in their reports on time. We trust the company we work for to pay us every month, but not that they have good reasons for the strange decisions they make. We trust that the date stamp on milk is correct but we always check that the eggs are not broken in their carton.
What makes us trust some things and not others?
I know that when ye think o’ love you’re supposed to think of kissy faces and scented soap and hummin’ happy songs together, but there’s another vital part to it that people rarely admit to themselves: We want somebody to rescue us from other people. From talking to them, I mean, or from the burden of giving a damn about what they say. We don’t want to be polite and stifle our farts, now, do we? We want to let ’em rip and we want to be with someone who won’t care if we do, who will love us regardless and fart right back besides.
– Kevin Hearne, Staked
There is nothing else to add. The quote explains love perfectly! 🙂
‘Hand speak expresses things that are either too basic to waste words on or too personal.’ ‘Too personal?’ ‘Yeah, stuff that’s really important or hard to say. Like about love or hate or stuff you’re scared about. You know how when you have something big to tell someone, you stammer through it or sit in front of your mirror practising what to say? Aandrisks don’t bother with that. They let the gestures take care of all the awkwards. They figure that big, deep feelings are universal enough to be defined with just a flick of the hand or whatever, even though the events that cause those feelings are unique.’
– Becky Chambers, The long way to a small angry planet
Research by Paul Ekman states that we have six basic emotions that are recognized across all human cultures: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. It’s interesting that four of them are negative, only one positive, and then one that could be either positive or negative (surprise).
I can’t remember where I read it but someone explained that the difference between emotions and feelings is: emotions turns into feelings when we become conscious of them and stark thinking about them. I like this distinction because it can make it much easier to think about my basic emotions and differentiate them from all the stories I create in my mind based on what happened.
Another good distinction is made in non violent communication where they separate thinking and feeling in a similar way.
‘Now, see, there’s something about your species that I will never understand.’ She let out a congenial sigh. `You and the rest of the galaxy,’ she said. Honestly, what was it about that concept that was so difficult for others to grasp? She would never, ever understand the idea that a child, especially an infant, was of more value than an adult who had already gained all the skills needed to benefit the community. The death of a new hatchling was so common as to be expected. The death of a child about to feather, yes, that was sad. But a real tragedy was the loss of an adult with friends and lovers and family. The idea that a loss of potential was somehow worse than a loss of achievement and knowledge was something she had never been able to wrap her brain around.
– Becky Chambers, the long way to a small angry planet
When it comes to people in organizations, then we seem to value achievement and knowledge much much more than potential. Most organizations also seem to want to stick with their old employees for as long as possible, even if they turn detrimental to the organization and other employees.
I think an organization would gain much more from the fresh perspective they would get if people changed jobs more often. Creativity comes from taking your view of the world and looking at a completely new part of it.
“The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice.”
– Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon
When we join a new organisation, we get a new role or become part of a new team we can easily see all the strange behaviours and norms that they have. After a while, the strange behaviors and norms seem to disappear, and we become blind to them as well.
As a manager or coach, we have an enormous challenge when we get new people on board. This first period is when people are least likely to give feedback, but it is also the time when we need to ask them for it.
“… it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that it’s nothing personal.
Well, fuck them.
Make it personal.”
– Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon
I think many organizations are starting to realise this simple truth. That we need to make it personal for people to be inspired and motivated.
This is true for marketing. If people feel that you just do business, then they will not be inspired. If they feel that you care about your product and your customers, then you can start a movement.
This is true for organizations. If your employees feel that you just do business, then they will not be motivated. If they feel that you care about your product, about your customers, and them then you can start a movement.