April 16, 2006
Liz published this at 8:11 am
Last night, Gary paid me a stellar compliment for the whole world to see in two separate places. Wow, it was such a cool gesture, on so many levels, and totally unexpected. After a certain age, unexpected surprises aren’t usually good, so that made it even better.
On top of that, what Gary said underscored what I had said in the post that had started the entire chain of events–if you take a few minutes to do a favor for someone it often comes back in the most unexpected ways. Thank you, Gary. Thank you, Joe. Thank you, Keith.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. As my son used to say, “32 reallys.”
A Path of Favors
A whole string of events have occurred to lead up to this post. I think of them as a path of favors. One conversation led to another and then to another until we are here. The chain of events, the path of the two favors in question, went like this.
The Path of These Two Favors
1. Joe and Keith each asked me to do a small favor–something I do anyway, every day–read and write.
2. I was already at the keyboard when each man asked. Each favor took almost no time. Both favors were a fun break from the boring work I was doing, and both times I was left with a feeling of doing well by doing something good for someone else.
3. My small gesture came to me in not two, but three, unexpected ways–from Joe, Keith, and then Gary.
Then a bonus occurred.
4. Inside his response, Gary did me a favor in return without knowing it.
That’s the thing about favors and saying YES–the universe often starts saying YES back in so many ways. Favors reproduce faster than Easter bunnies (and folks don’t bite their heads off.)
Leaving a Thought Open
You see, I’ve been working on a problem with my writing, especially the writing I do on this blog. Conversation is so important to me. It gets lonely here inside the computer, and ideas need dialogue to grow. The blogosphere doesn’t need me talking at it. It needs folks talking together, shaping ideas–twisting and turning them, stretching them into new thinking. Besides, it’s more fun that way.
Gary stated my problem for me last night in a tactful and generous way–much better than I could have done myself. He said
I used to comment more than I do now, but she writes so completely that I find it difficult to add my thoughts to hers.
I know that’s a compliment, Gary. Thank you.
I value your mind and your thoughts and insights too. I can’t seem to figure out how to leave a thought open enough so that you and everyone else can have room to speak.
That’s the problem I’ve wanted to ask you about. My book background taught me to over-explain things. When I do that, you have no room to talk.
The Lost Relationship Builder
This particular skill, this blogger’s relationship builder–leaving a thought open–I had this skill not ago–It seems to be one I’ve lost track of. I keep tying things up so tightly, even I can see there’s not room to add much. I’ve been reading old posts to find out what I did differently a few months ago, especially this one, More Blog Designs to Discuss.
That was December 2005. Obviously my customer think was different then. It had to be. I’d love to get some of that back. We all need that skill.
Please Take the Keys
Movie stars have directors. Olympic athletes have coaches. I’m just a blogger. I have you.
If we’re talking about customer think–brand you and me–what better case study than this blog itself? You can’t hurt my feelings talking about my writing. I know it’s not who I am. I’d like to know how to get myself off the stage and back into the audience again. Will you tell me what you see? Would you do me that favor? Just say YES.
Sometimes the customer needs to be in the driver’s seat. Please take the keys.
How will I learn if you don’t?
Brand you and me.
–ME “Liz” Strauss