Monthly Archives: September 2013

#276 Insults

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There are three stages in developing a proper response to an insult:

  • Stage 0. You are unaware that you are being insulted. This happens with children, who may think the insult is funny, or if you are meeting with a totally new culture and you are unaware of the insult.
  • Stage 1. The prior stage does not last long. You are quick to learn what an insult is, and your first instinct is to react. No amount of coaching will help, as your primeval instincts are to hit back, and this instinct is a powerful force.
  • Stage 3. As time goes on, you realize that insults are of two kinds, those delivered out of fear and those delivered out of ignorance. Yes, most people who insult you are actually scared deep within. And many do not even know that you find their actions to be an insult. In this stage you will become curious to learn more about the motives of the  person who is insulting you. You will take actions to convert such a person from an enemy to a friend.

Those who do not afraid and those who are enlightened will not insult another person. He or she knows that it is simply inviting trouble and adding to their workload if they have to watch their back. He or she knows that troublesome situations have to be dealt with, discipline has to be enforced, but insulting another person will not help.

What do you do if the other person interprets your action as an insult? We’ll leave that as a subject for a forthcoming blog.


#275 Rate of learning

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When hiring or evaluating talent, a key metric is, “How much do the candidate know?” This is useful, because those who know more, will presumably do more, and make fewer mistakes. Another metrics is, “How much have the candidate done?” Meaning, those with a track record of accomplishments are likely to repeat their accomplishments.

Both metrics have flaws, as every experienced professional knows. The world is changing rapidly, new technologies, new techniques, and new methods are being introduced. The same problems are being solved differently.

A new metric to consider is, “What is the rate at which the candidate learns?” The learning is both in knowing and doing. A high rate of learning means the candidate will adapt and grow. If you need someone short term, hire a contractor or consultant, and pay them for deliverables. If you are looking to grow your organization, you need talent that will help you grow the organization, and not just solve problems.

Those with a higher rate of learning will outgrow those who know more, or those who have done more, but are content to rest on their oars.