How do Wisdom and Selling go together?

Welcome to Wisdom Selling. So if you are like me, you are always wanting to learn more. Well here is the deal about selling. It is the desire to exchange something you have, for something of more value to you. You may have an idea, a product, a service which people will want to pay for, allowing you to make a profit. You have to seek out people who might want it, and convince them it is worth the price you are charging. Or like me, you may just have a little wisdom, and are looking for someone who values it enough to want to use it. My value received in return is the joy of your feedback. So, I am selling wisdom. The cost to you, your interest. I want to help others as well. Visit the links page and shop for some good deals. Any profits on money you spend there will be used by Wisdom Selling to support non-profit businesses in developing their strategies.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Amazing times when you have a weekend full of 70percenters - Eli's Birthday Trip

So Eli, my son, turned 8 this past week, so I decided to take him to Dallas so he could have his first passenger jet rides.  He has been wanting to fly for a long time, and I had been looking for a place where we could have fun (Ranger's game and Six Flags water park) and do the hotel and rental car thing.

Well if you have been reading this blog long, you know that I have made a commitment to speak to everyone I can, in search of those 70percenters who respond positively, and who are looking for or are willing to have a pleasant conversation.  In most cases, this is not a deep friendship possibility, more likely as passing of ships where each persons life is a little better from the interchange.

So we get up Saturday morning to fly to Dallas.  We get to the airport and head up to security.  The TSA agents were in a real good mood, and they were very nice to Eli - good start!  We went up stairs and bought a drink - nice guy behind the counter.  I'm feeling good about the morning.

We fly to Atlanta, with Eli just ooohing and aahhhing at the flight.  We get there and I take him to get a Pepperoni pizza for breakfast.  Don't get to that every day.  We then go to Delta's sky club.  We get some coffee and hot chocolate.  People are very courteous and Eli is good at responding to people which helps.  We get on the tram to ride to another concourse and there are several soldiers on there heading home.  Eli had several of them speak to him and wish him a great birthday.  Soldiers can be some of the most positive 70 percenters, as talking to us can make it feel like home for them if we are kind and ask good questions.  Elie did and he was rewarded with some cool conversations.

As we are walking down the jetway to the plane to Dallas, I notice the pilot just ahead of us.  I tell Eli, "there's the pilot".  Eli says, I want to be a pilot when I grow up.  At this, the pilot turns around and says so you want to be a pilot.  Eli says yes.  I tell the pilot this is his first plane trip and his birthday.  He asks if Eli can come with him.  He takes him to the cockpit where he lets him sit in the pilot seat and work the controls.  Such a cool 10 minutes.  He didn't have to do that but he was an obvious 70 percenter who responded to our friendly conversation.  The flight attendants did, too, giving Eli a whole can of Coke - "this is what I was wishing for"  He said.

We arrive in Dallas, and ride to the rental car site.  My name is not on the board so I have to go inside.  I joke, "my name is not on the board because you wanted to know Eli's favorite car was a mustang.  She laughed, and said, well you have a Camry.  I say, that is a nice car too, and is fine.  She says, so you don't want the Mustang?  She gave us the car without an upgrade fee.  I thought he was going to bust out when we arrived at the parking space and there was a brand new silver Mustang.  He could not believe it.  We get inside and it has SAT radio, so he gets 2 days of Radio Disney.  (whoopee!  Not)

We get to the hotel and the desk clerk is a young guy, who hears it is Eli's birthday trip and really makes a big deal out of it.  He helps us with directions to the Baseball game, checks us in early, and allows us to go to the pool before hours on Sunday.  Just a fund guy who likes to talk about the Rangers.

The game was awesome - real nice people around us who laughed as Eli cheered.  The room was awesome - king size bed where we could practice football moves!  He can fall down now -a trick I am an expert at.

We get up at 5 am.  Yuck.  Breakfast lady is still putting stuff out at 6:30, but stops to make Eli a waffle.  Then we head to the water park, where the crowd is slim - the lifeguards are in good moods, and joke with me and Eli about the difficulty of the rides.  Wow, he got such good attention. One lifeguard even rode a ride with us that needed three people.  Another time, a father and daughter asked to ride with us so a four person ride would be more fun.

Most of the time, I initiated the conversations.  In all cases, I was looking for chat, not a privilege.  However, the sincerity that is at the base of the 70% solution paid off for Eli.

The day ended so cool.  We got to the Dallas airport and the sky club personnel bragged about his cowboy hat so much, while moving us to an earlier flight.  On the plane, we sat next to a father of three girls.  He was in radio, and was a good Christian man who appreciates children.  This meant we had lots of cool stuff to talk about.  He was very patient with Eli, even when small bladder syndrome set in.  At the end of the flight, he pulled out a new CD and gave it to Eli for his birthday.  This man did not have to do any of this - he had his movie to watch.  But he would take off the headphones and chat up Eli frequently enough for Eli to really get into it.

We arrived home at 11:15 - exhausted and full of stories.  Eli couldn't wait to tell them and to show his mom the CD -even before he showed her his Ranger's hat.

Thanks, 70 percenters for a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Heard a cool thought from a local preacher that fits the model

So we have a visit from Greater Spartanburg ministries at work today, and the pastor shares with us some very cool ways they present the need for the gospel to people who come in for assistance.

He talked about how many of the ten commandments people know, versus how many different brands of beer we can name.  It was funny to listen to him talk about how he gets people to face up to the reality of the 10 commandments.

Then he made a statement that rocked my world.  The ten commandments speak to the conscience not to the mind.  It is not about keeping the ten commandments - how we "score".  It is about how our inability to obey these rules given to us show us how impossible it is to save ourselves.  The fact that we sin by breaking the law is so we can see we need an advocate - a savior to restore our relationship with God.

So do we care about the law?  Yes, of course, because it shows us what God does not approve of.  Without the law we don't know.  However, we are all capable of rationalizing that we are not so bad - using our intellect to overcome our conscience.  See how it can affect your ability to share with someone?

If you have someone who is not willing to feel the pain of disobedience, and the hurt on their conscience, then the head will not see a need for help.  People who are very successful can say - well I must not be doing to bad or life wouldn't be so good.  Or someone could be so unsuccessful that their situation does not allow their conscience to exist.  It is too painful to face.

We have to be able to communicate relationally, in order to help a person see the affect of sin on their life, not try to explain it to satisfy their head knowledge needs.  A person who will only deal with the head has so many barriers to the conscience that it is a waste of your time to argue or explain!

The conscience is a great thing, and never underestimate its existence in those people around you, even the 30%.  It shows a person their need for a savior - a need you can help them fulfill.

Keep your eyes and ears and open to look for the tug of the Spirit in others, and in yourself.  Don't waste the opportunity!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't act stupid near a blogger, especially one talking about people!

So my wife and I are at a McDonalds, and this older guy walks in to buy some food, but also to add money to his gift card.  The ladies behind the counter are Hispanic, and while they understand and communicate well, the first one did not understand his request.  He lost his temper and began criticizing her "if you don't know how to do this, you ought not to be back there", and glaring at her and the woman who came to try and help.  His last comment before he left was, I knew you could do it if you tried.

So my wife and I are sitting there fuming, and I am so tempted to go get in the guy's face.  However, there was no indication he had any self control, and I might regret it later.  We also contemplated speaking to the ladies later, but the lines were too long when we got up to leave.  So we just left it laying out there, and they had to deal with the feelings on their own.

So I have spent all this time learning how to be a more natural relater, and I wasted a valuable time to use it.  You know, we are all blessed with different abilities, and mine is not naturally mercy, but I have found by committing to communication skills that would have come in handy in this case.

I guess my natural skills at explaining would have come in handy if I had gotten in that guy's face to explain to him how not to be such a jerk.

So what should I have done?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What is the connection of Relating and explaining to the 70% solution?

So here's the deal.  You are going to run into a great group of people that are interested and willing to talk to you.  You will be able to initiate conversations with these different people and enjoy the results of these conversations.....IF.

The big IF - that we as those who are not natural relaters, is the ability to have an effective conversation.  We need to own how to relate through conversation in order to get to the point that we can explain something - taking the relationship deeper.  

Think back to that first date with the boy or girl you really wanted to impress.  Remember the dates that were successful.  It wasn't about what you knew or what you had - it was what you said.  I can remember ruining some great opportunities to develop a dating relationship with a nice girl by just not thinking about what I was saying.  Boy was I dumb sometimes!

Fast forward to now - I understand the value of the spoken word and facial expressions and body language as they all come together to help me relate to other people.  Hey, even over the phone I can think about it.  Once you believe in the safety of the 70%, you are more willing to take the risks associated with conversation focused on the other person.  You don't need to explain yourself until you relate to them. 

For the 70%, the ability to effectively relate is a precurser to being able to share your faith in many cases.  You need to be able to explain what you believe, not just model it, so that it can be understood, but your relational efforts carry equity in delivering your message.

Go try to be a good relater to a 70 percenter tomorrow!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Explaining the unexplainable

A friend of mine wrote something that made alot of sense to me.  God is relational.  He created us to have a relationship with Him.  Because of sin, that relationship was broken, and life is about restoration.  The biggest challenge, since God is so relational, is to communicate that to someone who is facts and data oriented.  I have several friends that struggle in that area, but nothing was more a heartbreak for me that to have my grandfather die in 1993, without revealing a decision of faith.  He was a very smart person, and we had a lot of very interesting conversations, where it was obvious that he could not feel what I was saying.

On the eve of his colon and bladder cancer surgery in September, 1991, I wrote him a letter, trying to bridge the relater-explainer divide that existed in our discussions about faith.  In the hope that if someday you find yourself in a similar situation this letter may help, I have retyped it in here.  I found it in his important papers when we were cleaning out his desk after he died.

September 3, 1991

Dear Grandad,

I hope you are doing well. Since as you can see above I am writing prior to your surgery, I have no data to tell me otherwise. Caroline is doing just fine, and now can balance herself standing up. It won’t be long until those first steps. Enclosed is our latest family portrait. I would be a good picture if they could just get me out of it.

I am very concerned about how you are going to do after this surgery or whatever it is they prescribe. I admire your attitude about having no choice in the matter, but it still concerns me. As your number one grandson, I have really enjoyed these last ten years following your last surgery. I am planning on my son getting to enjoy a little of the same. One of the biggest regrets of my adult life is that you and I cannot spend the quality time we used to spend together when I was in high school and college. Those are some of my best memories, and I get great pleasure out of sharing stories of those times with Kelly.

I am regarded as having some of the most generous grandparents among my peers, and some of them have the nerve to say you spoil me. I really appreciate all you do for me, and my life has been better as a result. I have never had to question your feelings for me and I hope you have never had to question mine.

This is not intended to be a mushy letter, or anything of this nature. However, I have been giving a lot of thought to our conversation back at your house this spring about God. It was very special to me for you to be so honest about your feelings and giving me the opportunity to try to persuade you. Even though I was unequipped to do so, I was happy that you discussed so private an issue with me.

As you reach toward your uncertain future, I would ask you to read very carefully what I have written here, because I want you to be in heaven with me when I am there, and your current views make that unlikely. We do not ever have to discuss this as I feel you were more than generous with our last discussion.

I appreciate the efforts you have put into trying to uncover the truth about God. As you put it, all I had to do was give you evidence and you would believe. I was unable to do so on your terms and did not even do a good job of trying. As I have given further thought to our discussion, it has come to me that God will not allow you to understand Him until you can change your approach. In analyzing the difference between how I can believe and you cannot, even though we are both avid intellectuals, I think it boils down to three areas.

1. Faith – I think that God asks for this more than you are currently capable of giving. This is the belief that something exists, without physical evidence. Much of what I have read and studied about God demonstrates to me that He does not reveal everything to mere mortal man. I do not think we would be capable of understanding what power it took to create a universe, regardless of what method physicists determine He used. Therefore, we are given small doses of His power, and asked to take all else on faith. However, He does not inhibit man from attaining this knowledge at the pace of technology. Some day this knowledge may be made available to us but I doubt in my or your lifetime.

The Bible was written over a period of three thousand years, by fifty-five different authors, but has remained unchanged during the last two thousand years, according to the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls. The Bible serves two purposes. One, it demonstrates the covenant God made with Abraham to bless His people, and how they disobeyed and paid the price. The Old Testament was written to be understood by these people and as a historical perspective on disobedience and the costs. I have no doubt that were it written today, God would allow more explanation of the origin of man, of the flood, and other events of earth’s early history that modern man can more fully understand.

The New Testament was written to chronicle God’s new covenant, accomplished through coming to earth as a man, dying in the worst manner of the day, and coming back to life enough time after death to be believable, and ascending into heaven. This is the new covenant through which God allows us to overcome the sinful lives we are inclined to, and to attain His glory in eternal life. I believe the Bible ends here for a reason. It has demonstrated to us the results of breaking a covenant, then it demonstrates His new covenant in a way most understood by people of the day. It allows us to chart our own course, but clearly lays out the consequence of a sinful life, and moreso of not believing in his new covenant, Jesus Christ.

This can only be taken on faith, as God did not allow for a lot of proof. I can only tell you that I have seen enough evidence of obedience and disobedience to Jesus Christ and the consequences of each to make a believer out of me.

2. Hope – this is what makes life worth living to me. I have great hope for the future for myself, Kelly, Caroline and for you. I believe God put me on earth to make a difference and I have the hope that one day I will fulfill my destiny on earth. In addition to my hope here on earth, I also have hope in eternal life: that is life after death. I believe there is a heaven and I know I will go there one day. Even if I was not sure I would hope there would be one. I feel that you have invested 75 great years in this life, and I just cannot believe that it would end with nothing else. If you cannot believe on faith that heaven exists, I wish you could at least hope there is one, and hope that some influence of the Holy Spirit would allow you to believe. I have hope that if you wanted it bad enough, it would happen. This is an emotion that after as many years as you have spent set on your course it would be difficult to attain, and I certainly understand how this has been difficult for you personally.

3. Love – this is the one area that is most difficult for me to address to you. I have always felt a personal love from you to me and I have always felt a very special love toward you. Neither one of us is any good at expressing it to each other verbally, but there is no question that it exists. However, outside of your feelings toward me, I have not sensed this outpouring of love to really anyone else. I know you care about my father, and about Caroline, but since Dottie, I haven’t really seen it in you for others.

You have been through a marriage that really tested your ability to love, and it may have faded over the years into something different. There is no question that you are a compassionate and caring person, and that you like very much a lot of people. But is there anyone now that you feel a special closeness with? I have been blessed with a wonderful family that overwhelms me with these feelings and it makes it easy for me to accept God’s love for me, which is demonstrated in the symbol He used of having His son die on the cross. Since I didn’t live during that time, I cannot relate to the pain of that type of death, but all I have read indicates it was the most tortuous of the time, or just about any time. I think it was chosen for the purpose of showing the depths of His love, and I feel this depth in my personal relationship with him. I know this is a difficult concept, but if you can think about how you feel when you really love someone, and can accept that God loves you, then you will be on the road to understanding why having His own son die on the cross was so effective in winning people to eternal life.

I know this is underwhelming in giving you the facts and data that would be so effective in convincing you, that to believe in God is the right thing to do. That’s just it. The Bible is full of references to how God will make it difficult for the intelligent to understand, so as to underscore the importance of faith. I hope you can understand that what I have said here is in support and acceptance of the difficulty you have had in accepting Christ on faith. I have always loved and admired you, and will always do so, regardless of your belief. My opinion of what it would take for you to believe is a mountain you may not be capable of scaling. Please don’t give up trying though, for never know when something may spark in you to give you peace for the future.

Love ,


I hate it when I mess it up

So this weekend we took my son away to school.  He is a freshman and is living on campus less than an hour away from our home. 

He is a wonderful young man, with lots of characteristics to admire.  However, planning is not one of his strong suits.  Therefore, as his father, I often have had to help him stay on task with the non-fun things in life.  I hate it because they are not fun for me either, but I feel like it is my obligation.

So we bring him up to school.  It is a very emotional time for us.  We are close to him and have invested alot into his life.  We are going to have to leave him alone, and having graduated a year early he looks a little young to be a college student.

Instead of spending the few hours we were together discussing our feelings and how we can pray for him and be there for him when he needs us, I was Mr. fact man.  I spent 3 hours reminding him of details on how to succeed.  What to do and what not to do in his dorm, things to think about for class, getting his books, not getting in trouble with the RA's etc.  Some days I am just full of details, and I was just vomiting them out all over him.

I missed the relating, because of the explaining.  He and I both lost out, and  would bet he only remembers 10% of what I shared, anyway  Because he probably turned me off halfway through the day, we both missed the value of the relating I finally got around to at the end.

I hope you can learn from this confession and not miss your own opportunity to relate to your kids.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Don't think that you can cop out and just be only a relater or explainer.

So each of us has a natural way we are.  Those of us that get along well with the 70 percenters or who think we are a 70percenter think we are more of a relater - we can build these relationships with people by just being around them and being ourselves.

Those among us who are more of the 30 percenters like to have those explainer conversations, and want to get to the point.  "Don't hug me, just make it worth my while to listen to you".

So the cop out is when we say, hey I am who I am, you just have to accept that in me.  I want people to like me for who I am so I want you just to experience me and think - wow, what a great guy.  If I don't match what you like, then that is your problem not mine.  That is a selfish point of view, when we are designed to reflect our creator, and He created everyone around us.  It is not appropriate for us to be making judgements on relationships based on our own personal preferences, if we have sold out to being a Christian, for example.

As a natural explainer, I actually had to develop the relater characteristic.  I am full of information and I am happy to share it with you.  I enjoy people who appreciate data.  I also am at a point in my life where I have a pretty decent bible knowledge, and I am happy to share that as well.

I have had to learn how to consider the feelings of the other person much more, and to modify my communications to be able to take things I consider knowledge and learn how to share in a way that is impactful to people who like to learn through relating.  I had to learn how to feel, and to be able to just be with people, not have to teach them something.  That is so hard with my kids, when I always believe I have information to make them better citizens, etc.

The same applies to those who see themselves as strong relaters.  Hey, if I can just walk a mile in your shoes, and we can connect through feelings, then I have done all I need to do.  Unfortunately, that is not all there is to relationships.  You need to be able to converse intelligently.  You need to know stuff about what is going on in the world.  You can't just model Christianity, you have to be able to explain what you believe.  Being a good relater is no excuse for not learning the details!

I have a very good friend who lives in England.  He is a very intelligent person that I respect greatly.  We have had great business discussions, talks about life, etc.  He is also an atheist.  He was very interested in talking about what I believed, and he could argue for hours refuting what I believed.  I found it a great challenge to be able to state my positions with intelligence.  This went on for years, and I realized that although I was explaining well to him, I was not relating it to my life in a meaningful way.

When I said that he was just going to have to accept that I believed on faith, and that I wished it was something he could believe but it is obviously not, he was perplexed.  He could argue with facts, but he couldn't argue with me describing my relationship and faith.  It also kept me from the futility of arguing with someone who didn't want to believe.

Jesus did that several times in his ministry.  Often when the Pharisees (the 30 percenters of his day) would challenge him on facts from scripture, he would just cut them off with a quick response - not wasting his time debating those closed to relating.  Something worth learning for us explainers and relaters.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Explainers and Relaters

So I have been thinking about this 70% solution, and the solution is this:  Become an EXPLAINER-RELATER. 

This is a concept that I have been investigating in the Bible, as that is a place where I see the 70% solution so well modelled.  Over the next several posts, I will be comparing and contrasting these so you can see where you can improve your approach to others.

An Explainer is someone who communicates with detail - facts, learnings, etc. and they believe that if they can adequately communicate with facts data and compelling arguments, they can convince you of anything.  This is an important feature to have as part of your make up, because there will be a lot of people in your life who respond well to you when you can provide a convincing position.  They have questions and are not looking for feelings, they are looking for facts.  Explainers convince the head of a person.

A Relater is one who is able to connect through shared interests, interesting styles of communication, and the ability to channel feelings as appropriate into a conversation.  This person is able to feel others, and can project feelings in order to convince the heart of others.

You can see how this can be a challenge in practice, when an explainer tries to communicate with a relater.  You may have heard the statement - people don't care about what you say, until they see what you do.  This is the natural position of a relator, and the explainer may try to use words which are not heard through the haze of disconnect.

When a relater tries to communicate to an explainer, they can get frustrated by a lack of receptivity to emotion.  The sense of getting to the bottom line, that alot or explainers have causes them to get impatient with the relater, who is trying to build bridges of trust to convince rather than compelling arguments.

The cool thing about the self awareness that comes from recognizing your own style, is that you can study the examples of those who are not the same as you.  Explainers and Relaters are not mutually exclusive.  Your goal should be to become an Explainer-Relater.  THis is the 70% solution.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My time with a 30 percenter at the ball game

So I am at a baseball with my family and friends from work.  We have really good seats.  In fact, our kids are down on the front row if seats.  In the third inning this stern looking older guy (like my age) comes down to the front row and tells the kids they are in his seat -a season ticket holder.  My son moves out so he can sit down and the game continues.  Later, when some of our group have left, I move down to the front row and my son moves back there with me.  He and his friends are asking questions like crazy, and I can just imagine that they are getting on this guy's nerves.  I just go with the flow, and try to keep them quiet enough not to bother him.

A good play happens in the field, and I happen to turn toward him and comment on the play.  To my surprise, he responds with an interesting comment.  A few minutes later, he says something to me, and a very interesting but baseball only conversation ensues.  It is obvious to me that we are not destined to be best friends, but the rest of the night was pleasant enough.  It was not a deep conversation, and it was infrequent, but we had enough in common at that point to make it work without effort.

Sometimes we can look for too much from a 30 percenter, and that becomes a cause of major disappointment when we don't get the response we want (a 70 percenter behavior from a 30 percenter).  We have to learn to appreciate what is there, and then we can have a basis on which to develop a future friendship or at least some sort of quality relationship.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Where do I get the confidence to be a 70 percenter?

So I am talking to my wife about walking in faith, and I gave her the example of a professional baseball player, coming up to bat.  In order to get to this level, a player needs to be able to come to the plate believing that he can hit whatever the pitcher throws.  He doesn't know what pitch is coming, but in his mind, he thinks he knows and plans to put the ball in play some way.

A pro ballplayer can make millions by hitting safely once out of every three or four times they come to bat.  The pitcher is focused on getting them out, the umpire may make a bad call, and the fielders are all out there trying to field the ball and get the batter out.

So how does a batter do it?  First, he has practiced over and over again.  You have family and friends who you can concentrate on having conversations with, trying to ask questions that spur meaningful dialog, and paying attention to general topics that are fun to talk about . Also, pay attention to what is going on around you.  Being able to talk about a lot of different topics even at a shallow level, can get a conversation started into an interesting and deeper subject.

Second, he plays real games against real pitchers.  Hey, get out there and try.  Be confident in yourself.  No matter how good you are, you are not going to bat better than 70%, so don't worry.  Talk to people - be real, not fake, but believe in your ability to communicate.  Be clever but not silly.


And when you have, tell me how it went.

Friday, August 6, 2010

So I had a chance to use the 70% today

Went to get my hair cut today.  The three stylists were working quietly on three women, finishing all of them around the time they started with me and one other guy.  Two African American stylists and one white.  So I sit down and my stylist asks - So what can I do for you today? 

What a great opportunity to safely test for a 70 percenter!

I said, a number three on the side, finger cut on the top - leave me some bangs to cover my receding hairline - then I said, and make me a little taller, take off about 20 years, and give me some extra energy.

I could have received any of a number of responses from a sarcastic Ha ha to a genuine funny and kidding comeback - and that is what I got!  She was so very funny and enjoyable to talk to - has two small kids, loves the toys they have for them now.  She loves some strange movies - Hot Tub Time machine, Grease, and Gone with the Wind.  Now, how many people is she going to share that with?  Only someone she considers safe.  How can we be safe?  By being genuine.  Yes, my comments were silly and juvenile, but they opened up a road to a fun conversation for almost 20 minutes, with both of the other stylists joining in.

I had fun and it cost me nothing.  And the interesting part is - if she had taken the "don't talk to me"  route it would still have cost me nothing.  Would have had a quieter cut and a lower tip, but other than that, no biggie!

Anyone else experience something like this?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thinking about being a 70 percenter?

Friends are developed through mutually beneficial relationships.  If you and I have common interests, or we have common friends, or we just enjoy each other's company, we will possibly develop into friends.  30 percenters have their own friend issues that I will talk about later, but for now, let's say you want to have more friends.  You want to be someone that is liked. 

You have two roles in this situation.  You have to have some skills in presenting yourself to possible friends, and you have to know how to look for them.  As a 70 percenter, you know that there are people out there judging their self esteem by how they are received by others.  Can you receive others in a way that helps them feel like they are valuable.  How do respond to someone else's fishing expedition?  To be the kind of person that helps other value themselves, you have to value yourself.  You have to understand that you are wanted as a friend.  But, even if no one wanted you as a friend, you have the sense of value that comes from a spiritual connection to God.

When you feel this way about yourself, you can be even more successful developing friendships.  You know you have value.  Even if the possible friendship doesn't work out, you know that it is their loss.  You are worth having as a friend even if this friendship does not materialize.  If I could say it even one more way to help you get it I would.

A 70 percenter is content independent of relationships, which makes for better relationships.  When you run up against a 30 percenter and there is no depth, you know why.  They don't have what it takes - Not you!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So what's a shy kid to do?

I was so shy as a child that I was afraid of everyone.  If anyone made me feel negative, or said something critical of me, I took it very seriously.  I was deathly afraid of girls.  Once, at a party, I asked a girl to go with me.  It lasted all of 5 minutes.  I didn't know what to do with it.

Another time, I finally got up the nerve to ask the popular girl to dance.  The music started, and we danced for about a minute and the music stopped.  I was too shy to ask her to continue dancing when the music started again.  Wow, that is a pitiful story. 

So how did this happen.  Well, I could not tell who liked me and who did not have time for me.  I also began to form in my mind the kinds of people I should want to like.  Hey I wanted the pretty girls and the popular guys to like me.  That put me in a position for failure.  They were the ones least likely to be looking for new friends, so even if they didn't mean to, they were likely to hurt me as I would feel rejected.

I missed out on some possible good times and some positive reinforcement that could have made me a better person, and have more self esteem.  I was looking for all this from people who could not give it to me - the 30%.

So how do we help our children not feel the same way I felt.  How do we help them see that the friends that are  meant to be come from confidently testing all they are around, not selecting the traits they want and hoping those people want to like them.  The risk is high that there will be rejection.

If our kids are able to receive friends and relationships from the 70% as they reveal themselves, rather than seek recklessly after the 30%,  there is a better chance they will have lasting relationships and feeling more positively about themselves.

At least that is what I think!  What do you think?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The dreaded 30 Percent

So I would find myself in the middle of a corporate social event.  I would try to walk around and try to speak to the other attendees, but I would invariably find that I could not sustain a conversation with most of the people there.  These were middle to upper managers, many of whom had spent years at this company, and who had worked their way up from the ground floor.  So what was wrong with me that I could not develop relationships with them.  Hey, I could act silly or smart alecky and get a little attention, but that was it.

I thought I had a problem that caused me to not fit in.  It caused me to really question whether I could ever be a leader, and what was wrong with my personality that these guys did not want to invest in me.

After a while I quit trying.  I also quit trying to get ahead, as I always found myself in competition with people I now considered myself inferior to.  I ended up leaving after finding out that my hard work was for the most part unnoticed in comparison to others.

Perhaps I did have some things wrong with me - some flaws in my personality.  But as I look back over the time, I realize that these businessmen did not have the time, energy or desire to invest in me because of the need to invest in their own problems and their own desires.  It was less about me, and more about their station in life.  Yes, it hurt me at the time, but as I look back, if I had known that it was not a problem with me, I perhaps would have had an easier time relating.  Also, without the self consciousness that comes from feelings of rejections, I may have actually served a role in helping someone feel more value in that competitive environment.

The bottom line is this - somewhere around 30% of the people you interact have little to no desire to form a positive bond with you.  Maybe you have some issues, but more likely, they have other things in their life that make this not a good time for relationships.  Before you beat yourself up with the idea that you are not worthy, what if you just decide "I am worth it", and quit worrying about what these folks think.  Your self assurance may open doors to service you never saw before - and the rewards that come with this service!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Testing the waters with the 70% solution in retail

The 70% solution is a fun experience in the world of retail for two very different reasons. First and foremost, this is where you most find people in need of contact and encouragement, but equally significant, it is where you can most embarrass your family in a low risk setting. IT is so much joy to see my wife squirm as that moment is in play where we do not know whether the person I am talking to is 70, or 30. It does not matter that it is not her in the conversation, she is in the emotion playground of the situation.

How do you fit this into your lifestyle in public in a way that is positive, and creates a possible connection with someone who may really need or want the attention?

Well, I first experimented with being more assertive in public with female restaurant personnel. You know, from the hostess / greeters to the waitstaff, those with whom I am likely to have verbal interchange. It did not matter to me whether they were young or old, married or single, attractive or plain, I made a plan to speak to them.

In the old days, I would have been more ego-centric, trying to say things that would impress them about me. Things that implied – aren’t you glad you have the privilege of serving me today? I would try to be really clever about the d├ęcor, the weather, or something else quite impersonal. In general, this was received with a weary smile, and an effort to quickly move me forward to the seat or through the meal. Hey, I was too focused on me to notice that I was not impressing the world around me, so any response was a good response.

After moving toward a healthy view of myself, my limitations and my value to the world and to God, I was able to get past the part where everything I said had to bring attention. At this point I could invest in them.

Have you ever experienced this?