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Substance and Style: Strange Bedfellows? January 17, 2007

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Communication, Computers, Knowledge Workers, Language, Mac vs PC, Macintosh, Management, Science & Technology, Technical Writing, Technology, Windows, Writing.
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Oddly enough, those of us who are highly technology centered frequently forget that most of the rest of the world is not. As a result, the truly geeky among us probably don’t use HTML e-mail, use plain text instead of a fancy font when building a to-do list, and probably don’t worry a bit about how our PC looks. The rest of the world, however, seems to want technology to be visually appealing and esthetically pleasing.

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Mercedes is famous for describing its cars with the slogan: “Form follows function.” However, anyone who’s looked at any Mercedes for more than a moment would realize that these cars embody a certain style as well. Does this minimalist approach extend elsewhere? Is it ridiculous to expect style and substance to co-exist, or does the very presence of style suggest that there is no substance? (more…)

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Art of Failure Part 2: 3 Ways to Learn from Negative Feedback November 10, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in anger, Coaching, Discipline, Education, Exercise, Family, Football, Learning, Love, Management, Parenting/Children, Self-Worth, Sports, Success, Workplace.
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In the first half of this essay, I talked about ways to give effective negative feedback. This is difficult, because we’re conditioned to be negative in unhealthy and destructive ways, which encourages some to abandon negative communication altogether.

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I’m convinced that negative feedback has been given a bad rap. Regardless of whether it’s in connection with correcting the behavior of children, players, or subordinates, I’ve seen evidence that some of the greatest in any particular field seem to draw inspiration and strength from past failures. Ultimately, where’s the balance? Why is it that negative feedback has such a positive effect on some, but such a negative effect on others? How much is it dependent on the recipient? (more…)

Discipline Without Anger June 3, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in anger, Discipline, Family, Management, Parenting/Children, Self-Worth.
7 comments

A well-known basketball coach once said: “Discipline isn’t something you do to someone, it’s something you do for someone.”
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If you’re a parent, when the time comes to discipline your son or daughter, do you do something to your child, or for them? Likewise, what of the manager who needs to discipline an employee? (more…)