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Quick Hits are 10-minute conversations designed to exercise your brain by letting you listen in on an unscripted conversation to hear other people‘s thoughts on a variety of subjects. In February of 2021 I and the members of my mastermind group thought other people might enjoy listening in on some of the lively conversations we were having. But we realized that no one was going spend 90-minutes listening to us going on about anything and sometimes nothing. Instead, we decided to pick one top ...
 
A bite-sized daily podcast from the Culture and The Goods teams at Vox that goes wherever our (and your!) pop culture and consumerism curiosities take us. Hear the stories behind the news and trends, get personal about purchases, and find your next book or binge watch. New episodes daily, Monday to Friday. Each 15 minutes or less.
 
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All feelings are valid and no one can tell you your feelings are wrong. However, that doesn’t mean the feelings you are having are related directly to what is going on in the moment. Sometimes we have old stuff/trauma that creates a disproportionate emotional response. How do you catch that? And if you do catch it, what do you do? And what about pe…
 
This is one of those topics that doesn’t get enough brain time. We get into projects and we either find ourselves really interesting and excited to be there. Or the passion dies and we either leave or trudge along not really caring about the outcome. But what makes the difference? Stewart Wiggins and Jim Tam have lots of experience doing projects u…
 
When I asked this question, I thought we would talk about people assuming life owed them something. And we did discuss that. But we also talked about how people ARE entitled to equal treatment and if we see someone demanding they be treated better than or get something above and beyond that is taking away from someone receiving basic respect and fa…
 
Have you ever had someone be so absolutely certain about something that you backed down even though you were pretty sure they were wrong? We didn’t get into in this conversation but that is how a narcissist makes you question reality. A healthy person has the ability to wonder if they are wrong. To question and to learn. We are hardwired to believe…
 
Most people are kind and want to do as much as they can to be helpful, whether that means saying yes to doing extra things at work, helping out a friend or even texting back and forth with someone. But there are times when we suddenly realize that we feel like we are being taken advantage of. That our kindness is being taken for granted. Or maybe w…
 
I too often hear horror stories of bosses who want everything to be a priority. Do it all and do it all now. That just isn’t a reality. If you are going to create priorities you have to be able to say that somethings just aren’t as important as others. There have been times in my life when I felt guilty or was shamed for the things I didn’t get don…
 
Trust – it’s a word we throw around all the time. Trust is earned, lost, broken, given. There are all manners of engaging with trust. But what IS it really? I certainly wasn’t sure so of course I had to ask a Quick Hits panel to weigh in. Tim Hawkes from Unlimited Potential started us off by saying that it had to do with consistency. That you can e…
 
This conversation followed off of our conversation about how to keep from becoming disheartened. (https://youtu.be/yzsDuDMLyLs). A lot of this discussion centered around feeling like we don’t get to say, “Hey look at me. I made a difference.” And that is fair. But we also talked about how, when someone who we are serving says, “You made a differenc…
 
Disheartened, dejected, despondent. There are times when it feels like life as a whole is just not working. When I feel like that it gets worse when I start comparing myself to other people. Why is their life so great? What are they doing right that I’m doing wrong? Why can’t I make this work? Surely this can’t be this hard. It can spiral into “I’m…
 
When an organization sees what have been able to do as an individual contributor, they might decide to move you up into a leadership role. That can be exciting but it can also come with great challenges — you’re now faced with a completely different perspective, from the day-to-day details of an individual contributor to the bird’s eye view of lead…
 
This might be the most honest and yet heart wrenching conversations I’ve done. A couple of weeks ago Stewart Wiggins and I were talking about PIPs and I shared that I have only ever seen three outcomes from someone being put on a PIP: They quit The manager forgets to document the process and the PIP expires They get fired Stewart agreed and said th…
 
Guilt is often felt when we don’t live up to a standard of some kind. But I wondered if it was an internal standard or if it was an external one placed upon us by others. I have noticed that I feel A LOT less guilt than I used to and I don’t let people send me on guilt trips. I was fortunate to have a global perspective on this conversation. Ursula…
 
Kindness might not look the same for everybody, but we can always control our internal intention. We can do our best to listen and take others’ needs into consideration. Some acts might have the appearance of kindness but are in fact disguised condescension or harm. That’s coddling. As author Seema Desai put it on this edition of Quick Hits, there’…
 
In the conversation I had with this group and posted yesterday, we defined manipulation as “harmful influence,” of a particularly sinister kind, because we don’t always know when it’s being done to us. We decided we needed another ten minutes to discuss ways that we can become aware of being manipulated. When I look back, I can point to “gentle sug…
 
I looked up “manipulation” on dictionary.com and it said, ‘the act of manipulating someone’ — Clearly their grade school teacher didn’t tell them you can’t use the word to define itself. You might be accused of being manipulative when in fact you're only maintaining boundaries and arguing for your position. To help find a definition, I turned to my…
 
There are many ways a meeting can go wrong if they aren’t well guided — they can veer off topic, they can go in circles, they can repeat points that have already been addressed and resolved. Sometimes they need a firm hand that says, “This discussion is over, we are moving on in the agenda.” But that can be tricky. You have to be firm, but diplomat…
 
This has been an ongoing debate for the more than hundred years since daylight savings time was first introduced. It seems that most people agree with me and would just like to stick to one. But which one? The American Association of Sleep Medicine argues that standard time creates better conditions for a healthy lifestyle. Other studies show some …
 
A healthy sense of competition can be beneficial, essential even, on an individual level. It allows individuals to strive to be the best they can possibly be. But when a team has to work together, does that sense of competition benefit the group or cause it to splinter? I heard strong cases for both sides of the argument from my guests on this edit…
 
Having people cancel, reschedule or completely no-show for a meeting can be frustrating. Of course, life happens and sometimes we have to be accepting. We can never what is going on in someone’s life. But if it continues to happen, that may be a sign that this person isn’t worth holding onto as a friend, client or colleague. On this edition of Quic…
 
If you have built your business on LinkedIn or similar platforms, you have likely received a range of sales pitches. Some might be the automated response from a total stranger who promises to solve all of your problems, never mind they have no idea what your problems are. Others might still be presumptuous, but at least reflect some thoughtfulness …
 
This topic was suggested to me by a Quick Hits regular and I thought, “Are they different?” The thesaurus says they are synonyms. Hmmm – might not make for a very interesting conversation. But I’m game for just about anything so… We gave it a try. Turns out, it was a really good, mind twisty conversation. Rabbi Yonason Goldson compared optimism and…
 
Covert bullying is a serious problem in the corporate space. It may not be obvious to everyone in the office, but it can create a nasty workplace culture. It can be relational aggression - Someone talking badly about you behind your back. Or it can be direct sabotage - Someone not inviting you to meetings or sharing information you need to do your …
 
Experts often spend so much time with their subject that its most complicated minutia becomes second nature. They can quote facts, figures, articles and theories at any time or place. While this might be impressive (or maybe annoying), it is an issue when the expert speaks to someone who is new to the subject. They’re so in the weeds that they can’…
 
We’ve spent much of the last two years lamenting the decline in person-to-person contact as we’ve started to rely on technology for most of our interactions. This has greatly impacted professionals for whom high touch relationships are the cornerstone of their business. I wondered how others continue to use high touch in this new high-tech landscap…
 
If you’ve been engaged in an endeavor long enough, odds are you’ve encountered that stale feeling when everything starts to slow down. The excitement you felt when you hit the ground running begins to feel more like walking through quick sand. Patterns begin to repeat themselves. You need to find new ways of thinking to shake things up. On this edi…
 
As satisfying as professional success can be, it can also come with great personal challenges. If you’re at the top, the people around you might think that you’re some kind of guru who has it all figured out. If you show vulnerability, they might become scared or worried about the future. That makes it hard to know when it is safe to be emotionally…
 
You weren’t “wrong” you just know more now. We all know that feeling when we try to solve a problem and find ourselves repeatedly hitting the same wall. We circle around to different solutions, but the initial problem naggingly persists. How do we shake out of that cycle and find new, better solutions? I spoke about this with three veteran problem …
 
The health and well-being of every organization hinges on how well its leadership works with the people actually doing the work. A great test of a leader is how they guides the team through a difficult decision. Should the leader make that decision themselves and prepare the team to accept it? Or should they empower the team to present good options…
 
Often team members in the workplace will get stuck because they’re afraid to make a bad decision. They’re worried about the consequences they might face should their decision lead to a bad result. It’s then the leadership’s responsibility to create the psychological safety so that their team won’t be afraid of making mistakes. Otherwise, they won’t…
 
When you are an expert, you make things look easy. I put this question to my panelists on this edition of ‘Quick Hits.’ Life coach Sara Oblak Speicher gave us an illuminating answer: “What comes easiest to you is what you should charge the most for.” Clients want expertise. But they might presume that if expertise comes easily to you, then they mig…
 
If you were on the bus or in the grocery store and passed by someone speaking loudly on speaker phone, is it intrusive to offer them a thought about their conversation? Or has that person indirectly included you in their conversation? I once read an article about a woman who works with deaf students. She had to explain to them that if you’re a hear…
 
Some of our friendships are very easy to maintain — each person gets an all-around good feeling from keeping contact with their friend. But there are some relationships where the energy just fades. Keeping up the friendship becomes more work than it’s worth. At what point do you know that the friendship has run its course and no longer merits the e…
 
Planning is definitely useful in both your personal and professional life. But how useful is it to plan for many years in the future? To what extent does it guide you to your goal and to what extent is it just sheer fantasizing? I discussed this topic with my guests on this edition of Quick Hits — mastermind coach Lisa McDonald; speaker and entrepr…
 
The label has been printed and slapped on an envelope (it might even be on straight). The return address is also a label. There’s a card (maybe it has been signed?) and a printed letter summarizing their adventures for the year. Or – it’s from a realtor you used seven years ago or met once at a networking event – you’re not even sure. I really wond…
 
My guests on this edition of Quick Hits all have extensive experience as innovators, consultants and business leaders. They have dealt with a lot of managers over the course of their careers. Since our greatest lessons can sometimes come from our worst experiences, I wanted to know what they learned from the bad managers and mentors they’ve encount…
 
It can hard to recognize that the “status quo” in your life just isn’t for you — we all get used to our default routines and convince ourselves that our lives are limited to fixed possibilities. But sometimes we get an itch inside that tells us we need to have something more. Once you’ve resolved to obtain it — whatever it is — how do you go about …
 
This is one of those saying you hear “inspirational” speakers say. And people nod their heads like, “Yep that’s right.” But what does it actually mean? I asked Jim Lee, a financial futurist at StratFI, and Dr. Jessie Carrie, a senior scientist at the Idaho National Lab for their thoughts. We all agreed that it’s OK to push through that feeling, bec…
 
All group discussions need a facilitator — otherwise they’ll inevitably go off the rails. And performing that function on Zoom can be a completely different ball game than doing so in person. There are a whole host of different tools at your disposal, as my guest, Better Conversations founder CEO Simon Coles, shared: “In Zoom you can set yourself u…
 
When you realize a new hire is not a good fit, or you aren't fitting with your new job, you can often go back and pick out the red flags from the interview process. It could be that the culture of the organization just does not match their personality. It could be that the candidate was just good at BS-ing their answers. It could be that the interv…
 
Communication is like driving; everyone thinks they are good at it. But at some point, no matter how clear and articulate we might consider ourselves to be, we’ve all gotten that glassy-eyed look that tells us our point got lost. It might be worse when you don’t get that look and you think you were understand only to learn later nope, they didn’t g…
 
There is a lot of what is posted on social media that we wish was shared more than it is. If I announce a new project on my LinkedIn page, for example, I’m doing so because I want people to know about it. But if I share personal news to a Facebook group of a few close friends, and one of them shares it with someone outside of the group, has a line …
 
Not too long ago, this would have been a very simple question. You could either call someone on their landline or email them. The most complicated decision was whether or not to leave a voicemail. Now you can still email or call. My guest, organizational specialist Glady Baradaran, has strong feelings about that: “If you want to reach me, text me, …
 
I don’t think that forgiving is forgetting — that’s just not a thing. The human brain does not forget, especially if someone has caused you emotional pain. But it is possible to let go. You might remember how that person treated you, but you can let it stay in the past. Of course, that’s a lot easier to do when the person genuinely regrets their mi…
 
I was raised to believe that as long as I told the truth, it shouldn’t hurt someone's feelings. It took me longer than it should have to realize that just being true isn't enough to keep something from being hurtful. Once someone feels hurt or shamed they are not longer open to what you are saying. How do you approach those frank conversations — wh…
 
This question assumes that we actually think about entering an argument before we find ourselves already in it. But I thought if we talk about it, we just might put a yield sign in our brains that will help us think the next time we see an argument coming. Much of our conversation focused on understanding the purpose of the argument. Is it about be…
 
This was a super interesting conversation. We didn't come up with a great answer and I am left with more questions. How do you decide how much an employee's labor is worth? How do they know if they are being paid fairly? Why is compensation such a hush-hush thing? If an employee feels like they are being paid enough, is it okay for an employer to p…
 
I love investigating how language is actually used. When you look up these two words they don't seem that different. But in real life they are used really differently. To me, it seems like to be humble you have to have accomplished something and then not be a braggart about it. But meek is more about being a wall flower without an opinion or a voic…
 
This conversation came down to intention. If you are saying something nice to someone to get some benefit for your self - that is flattery and Mohan Ananda went so far as to say it is fraud. If you are saying something nice to genuinely make the other person feel good, that is a complement. Then I had more questions - how do you tell the difference…
 
This question ended up creating two sides in a way - those who are perfectly happy to connect with people via social media, text and technology and those who prefer the energy of being in the same room. But even those who are okay with building relationships via tech, out of sight, out of mind is a real thing. I consider all three of the guys on th…
 
Very rarely is does an "overnight" success actually happen that quickly. It is more common to hear someone say it took ten years of work to become an "overnight" success. We've talked on Quick Hits before about how do you know when you should quit, pivot or do something different. Today I wanted to talk about just sticking with it. Seeing it throug…
 
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