One night on holidays we had a music ‘session’ which lasted for about 2 hours. The youngest person in the group was 10. At 57, I was the oldest. Bridging that timespan in musical tastes can be a bit tricky. But there’s one, sure fire technique that works; play songs which have been used in Kids movies. King of the Swingers (Jungle Book), These Boots are Made for Walking (Shrek) and so on. It worked so well, that I have now received an official invitation to play at an 11th Birthday party in Finglas on April 11th, 2015. If you were just about to book me for your second wedding on that date – back off – my nephew sneaked in ahead. Personally, I like Leonard Cohen and David Bowie. But the kids need stuff that they could relate to. So, playing to the gallery was required. Hey, that’s show business! The interesting thing is that this lesson is 129% applicable in almost every social setting.
Cunning Plan: As a highly ethical executive, you might be thinking that shamelessly playing up to the audience and courting popularity is a tad manipulative. But, here’s a different twist on it. In 1954, Dale Carnegie published ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’. The core thesis = if you want to influence people, talk to them about them – not about you. Wean yourself off the standard conversational diet ‘How I saved the world’ and other hugely interesting stories. As a bonus, you will never be ‘stuck’ for a conversation topic for the rest of your life and people will think that you are really interesting (because, of course, they find themselves interesting).
Turns out that sucking up to the audience makes sense for most of us, most of the time. Not in an inauthentic way – you don’t have to feign interest or agree with opinions which you find distasteful. But you do have to acquire that hugely underrated skill, listening (and understand the subtle but important difference between listening and interrogation). If you are not sure of the difference, just go on a date with someone who is a trainee therapist. It will be a long night! (and, not in a good way).
Other People: The root of this is that you have to be genuinely interested in the other person’s point of view – not always relating the ‘latest’ war story in your own life. Drama works great – on stage. In the office or factory it just becomes boring when the same person keeps playing the part of the Hero (or the Victim or the Outraged Citizen who would run the country differently and so on).
Watch out for those 10 year olds. They keep reminding you of stuff you already know, but might have forgotten.
PS Lighter Note: Larry Mc Givern swears this is a true story… I believe him!
A lawyer defending a man in New York accused of burglary tried this creative defence:
“My client merely inserted his arm into the window and removed a few trifling articles. His arm is not himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual for an offence committed by his limb.”
After taking some time to consider this the judge replied.
“The arguments by the Defence were well put. Using your logic, I sentence the defendant’s arm to 5 year’s imprisonment. He can accompany it or not, as he chooses.”
The defendant smiled. With his lawyer’s assistance he detached his artificial limb, laid it on the bench, and walked out.
PPS: Staying on the lighter side…THE IDIOSYNCRASIES OF ENGLISH:
ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA… FLOOR.
ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.
I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, “WHERE’S THE SELF- HELP SECTION?” SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.
WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?
IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?
WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO ‘GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?’
ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.
WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON SOUR CREAM?
CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD?
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