September 19,2013
Positive Prophecies

Do you ever have one of those periods in time when nothing seems to go quite right? No matter what you do, it just seems like there's a black cloud hanging over your head? They call it Murphy's Law…whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

I seem to be passing through one of those storms now. I choose the words "passing through" and "storm" because I am practicing optimism. I am hoping that this is temporary. I am practicing patience. I am living in the eternal hope that eventually things turn out all right. I am clinging to the belief that things are going to turn around soon and that things happen the way they do for a reason. That is what we must do. Practice optimism, hope, patience, and know that things turn around when they are supposed to.

I randomly picked out a book from my shelf, and it was "The Path" by Laurie Beth Jones. I randomly opened it and came upon the following passage under a heading, The Power of Positive Prophecy.

"One of the most important things we can do for others-and for ourselves-is to create and maintain an atmosphere charged with positive prophecies. While not all of us were fortunate enough to have parents or grandparents or families who gave us positive prophecies about ourselves, I believe that God always offers a compensating balance of grace to us. I believe that somewhere, sometime, someone offered you a positive prophecy about yourself. Perhaps it was a comment that shocked or surprised you. Perhaps it was an observation that you automatically dismissed out of foot-shuffling humility. But if you think back, I would be willing to bet that you can remember some encouragement that had been given to you-a compliment that, if believed, could be used as a key to unlock your destiny (Jones, 1996, p. 39)."

As I thought about this passage and the concept of positive prophecy, I realized that I have been given many of these compliments or comments or prophecies, and they will come again.

Reference:

Jones, Laurie Beth. (1996). The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and Life, Hyperion, New York.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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September 02,2013
Respectful Communication

Many years ago, I had a manager at work who was very concerned with our communication, and especially via email. He would often say, "Draft that email and I want to read it before you press 'send'." His concern was with the 'tone' of the communication. He wanted everything that was sent out from our department to sound professional. But it was more than professionalism. He wanted our communications to sound friendly and supportive. He wanted us to reflect the company and department values and he wanted us to be respectful of others. He wanted the message to be received in the way it was intended.

I am so grateful that he spent so much time working with our team on communicating. The written word can be misperceived because there is no smile, no facial expression, no voice intonations to accompany it. That is why when I type emails, I say them out loud or read them aloud before I press send. It is as if my former manager is still standing over my shoulder giving the note a last minute read before it goes out.

I teach online and I read each email or assignment feedback aloud as if I was speaking it directly to the student before I send it. Still, there are miscommunications and misunderstanding…misinterpretations. It is always good to pick up the phone when there is a potential for misunderstanding. It seems that faster and abbreviated is the emphasis these days with smart phones and texting. While it may seem more productive, I am not so sure that it is better. Miscommunication and ruffled feathers can take a lot of time and effort to correct. Rude sounding emails, texts or feedback can change how someone responds to you and affect working relationships. The "tone" of our communications is important. We can't pay attention to it when we're responding to emails while driving, eating in a restaurant, sitting in a meeting or having a conversation with another at the same time.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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