Let’s Make a Deal

Are you ready to make a deal? If so, being a good negotiator is a skill you will find useful when making deals with me and in many other situations. Negotiation skills facilitate your being more effectively assertive, being a better problem solver, and being a better conflict manager. Developing the skills is sometimes tedious and requires a lot of practice. The payoff is both substantial and positive, though.


In this episode of the Leadership Shop Podcast, you learn about the preliminary skills you must have to negotiate effectively and successfully. Please listen and prepare for the fun and games.

Does Your Lover Skidoo?

Here is a tool you can use when you find yourself wondering whether that special person you are hanging around with is all that special. You know you are taking The High Road; but sometimes it's tough telling if your lover is actually on The High Road with you or just going along for the ride. If that little voice inside you is chattering away and you think it may be telling you something important, here is how to rate your lover as a High Road traveler.

Think about each statement below and how true it is for your lover, every time, in every way. If it's true most all the time, put a "3" beside the statement. If it's usually true but sometimes isn't, put a "2" beside the statement. If it's sometimes true but usually isn't, put a "1" beside the statement. If it's seldom to never true, put a "0" beside the statement. When you are finished, I will tell you how to rate your lover.

3 = Most always

2 = Usually

1 = Sometimes

0 = Seldom to never

My lover;

___ Is consistent and predictable.

___ Is fun to be around.

___ Is someone I'm strongly attracted to.

___ Gives our relationship his/her best shot.

___ Shows good self-discipline.

19 Keys To Successful Children

If you have or plan to have children or sometimes discuss parenting with folks who do have children, here are nineteen points that may prompt additional discussion incorporating the multidimensional development of children and the need to take this aspect of young people into consideration. Parenting with a toddler is not the same as parenting when the young person transitions into adulthood. Parenting is definitely a changing proposition as kids grow and develop.

1. Your child is a physical/doing person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy physical growth and development?

2. Your child is an emotional/feeling person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy emotional growth and development?

3. Your child is a moral/spiritual person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy moral growth and development?

4. Your child is a social/interpersonal person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy social growth and development, healthy interpersonal involvements and activities?

5. Your child is a sexual person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy sexual experience?

6. Your child is a cognitive/thinking person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy and ongoing cognitive growth and development?

7. Your child is part of his/her environment. What do you do to facilitate and encourage a positive environment for your child at home, at school, in your community?

Cooking Rice & The Art of Blogging

An old Chinese proverb says, “Talk doesn’t cook rice.” I suspect it is equally true quoting old Chinese proverbs doesn’t cook much rice either. As I consider strategies for actually producing this post, along with noting activities that do not cook rice, I’m thinking also noting those that do not lead to a successful post would be helpful. Once I know all of the do nots, what’s left are on the to do list. Here we go with the do not list for blogging.


  1. Do not sit and stare. Doing most anything else is an improvement over just gazing into empty space. Of course, I claim to be intensely thinking and it may be true, at least a little. Even so, writing is key and although I can think without seriously thinking, think without writing and write without thinking, to write without writing is pretty much impossible or at least beyond my scope for sure.


  1. I do not need another cup of coffee. I know it would feel good to stretch and stroll out to the coffee pot and back. A nice cup of hot coffee might even perk me up. I could use the time to consider more fully what I want to say and the jolt of caffeine might stimulate a new insight or something. No, no coffee, no stroll into the other room, no more avoiding getting down to the business at hand.


  1. I do not have any more excuses. I’m far enough into it to get down to it if I am up to it. Ok, I’m getting around to it and know it’s time to either do it or screw it. The deal goes like this.


I’ll never make a post if all I do is boast about the blog I’m planning to write.


It’s indeed a little crazy but either I’m lazy or afraid of being absolutely trite.


That’s a pretty pathetic verse and sure it can get worse but I do not feel even a little contrite.


My blog is underway and I have a post for today so I can get that coffee and stare with no further fear of being impolite.

Both May Be Right

“In every dispute between parent and child, both cannot be right, but they may be, and usually are, both wrong. It is this situation which gives family life its peculiar hysterical charm.” — Isaac Rosenfeld


Rosenfeld almost got it right, but not quite. Certainly, in every dispute between parent and child, both may be wrong. It’s also true that they both may be right; and to some extent, they usually are. Although parent/child disputes are typically treated as a special category, they are better understood merely as disputes, not particularly different from other disputes. Quite simply, people are disagreeing. That’s all there is to it.


When parents and children disagree, the dispute is viewed differently than other disagreements. In the latter, there is an assumed balance or parody between the participants. In the former, there is a strong tendency to assume that the parent is right and the child is wrong. For the child to pursue the contrary view is disrespectful.


When adults disagree, they seldom dispute the observable facts. They are usually disagreeing about the correct interpretation, meaning, or significance of those facts. When parents and children disagree, it’s usually over “enough;” early enough, late enough, clean enough, good enough, well enough, and so on. Even so, the dispute represents a difference in point of view, opinion, or interpretation. The point is that the issue is normally not the kind of situation where someone is right and someone is wrong. Both parties are at least partially right. Instead of understanding it as a dispute or argument, it needs to be seen as a negotiation, not dissimilar from any other negotiation.


This converts most parent/child disputes to either negotiations or unilateral decision making. The parent either negotiates or lays down the law, so to speak. There is no dispute or argument. Deciding which is appropriate is difficult; but Virginia Satir has a perspective that helps, “Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”


Of course, Sidonie Gruenberg was right, “Home is the place where boys and girls first learn how to limit their wishes, abide by rules, and consider the rights and needs of others;” but Thomas Moore was also right, “Family life is full of major and minor crises — the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce — and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It’s difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul.”


The conclusion is this. Lay down the law with your children, when you must. The rest of the time, negotiate, using the same tact and interpersonal charm you use with everyone else with whom you occasionally disagree.

Aliens, Dreamers, Footballers, Morons & doubt – Aliens Amongst Us

The Aliens Amongst Us are reporting back to their home planet. As you will hear, they simply used the Aliens Amongst Us feed and transmission facilities without a please or thank you. They are certainly moving in and making themselves to home. The title above says it all when it comes to what they find important enough to report back to their home planet. You can listen for yourself. If I sound a little miffed, you have hit the nail on its head.

Aliens, Guns, Hurricanes, Debt &Fake News – Aliens Amongst Us

The Aliens Amongst Us are once more reporting back to their home planet and their leader in the capital city is on the job. They are reporting on the killer in Nevada, the devastation in Porto Rico, debt and taxes, fake news, and on the amazing job their leader in the capital city is doing for them and their associates back on their home planet. This is your opportunity to listen and catch up.

Aliens, North Korea, Obamacare, Hurricanes and Football – Aliens Amongst Us

The Aliens Amongst Us are using the AAU feed for their own purposes. They want to be sure that all humans are subscribing to the Aliens Amongst Us feed and know they can subscribe directly from their podcatcher or on Apple Podcast (iTunes) or Google Play. They don’t mention that anyone can also subscribe on AliensAmongstUs.com.


They quickly connect to their home planet and share their most recent experiences and observations. In this transmission, they focus on the Presidents talk to the United Nations, the conflict with North Korea, the lack of progress with the plan to repeal Obamacare, the hurricane in Porto Rico, and the controversy around the players not standing for the National Anthem. They also see it as unlikely that humans will be visiting their home planet unless they transport some humans back to their planet. They express their view on the likelihood of that. Please listen and get caught up on the Aliens Amongst Us and their activities.

Which TATOR Are You? (Playing Office Games)

It is easy to start analyzing ourselves and others in our groups and organizations and to take what happens personally. A better way to look at what goes on is to understand that people grow into certain roles or styles and are usually just being whomever they are out of habit or just because that is the way their personalities are. They are just being TATORS. If we are able to understand this and accept them for the TATOR they are, we will be a lot more comfortable.

Which tator are you?

1. Agitator: Ajy likes to keep things stirred up, find fault, criticize, and make things seem worse than they really are.

2. Anitator: Anny likes to have the last word, always “gets his/her two cents worth in,” and always has an opinion on everything and likes to show others that he/she knows more than everyone else.

3. Commentator: Common likes to be sure that everyone knows everything that is going on, is in charge of gossip and “tattling,” and seems to talk all the time even if no one wants to listen or if everyone already knew about what is being said.

4. Dictator: Dick likes to take charge, boss everyone around, be the one who makes all the decisions, and generally be in charge of everything whether or not it is his/her business or responsibility.

5. Gravitator: Gravi is pretty much of a “couch potato,” always hanging around and there when others want a little privacy, and always seems to be too tired to help out, do things, or get out of the way.

6. Hesitator: Hezy can never decide, always waits to see what someone else’s opinion is and then uses that one, is very unsure of himself/herself, goes out of the way not to offend anyone or get anyone upset, and thinks that if he/she can please everyone all the time things will be okay.

7. Levitator: Leva thinks he/she is just a little better than everyone else, is sort of above it all most of the time, seems like he/she is looking down the nose at others, and feels pretty much superior to everyone else.

8. Meditator: Meda seems to take forever to do things because he/she has to think everything over very carefully before doing something, never wants to do anything quickly or on the spur of the moment because anything worth doing is worth thinking through carefully, and is usually hard to talk with because everything has to be analyzed and discussed in great detail.

9. Militator: Milla is always on guard and ready to go to war, will argue with anyone about anything anytime, never gives an inch, and is ready to stand his/her ground with anyone who tries to take advantage or confront him/her.

10. Precipitator: Precipi is one of those TATORS that is able to get other people into arguments and then walk away, say or do things that get others upset and then pretend like he/she is totally innocent, and seems to get things messed up or stirred up without seeming to have started it or without seeming to have been involved.

11. Spectator: Spec likes to stay on the sidelines and not really get involved, simply watch or listen without really participating, and just stays to himself/herself because that seems like the safest way of just getting by without getting involved.

12. Facilitator: Facili does not mind being out of alphabetical order because his/her job is to be helpful, to do things for other people, to be there when others need him/her, and to stay away from things that have to do with accepting responsibility, showing leadership, or running the risk of being blamed for what is done or how things turn out.

13. Baby Sweetator: Baby Sweet is the kind of TATOR that is always happy and cheerful no matter what, is too nice for anyone to get upset with even if he/she does something that they should get upset about, cries or has his/her feelings hurt very easily, and tries to get special treatment just because he/she is so sweet, innocent, and not really responsible for anything that happens that is bad or causes problems for others.

Making The Cut

Do you recall when you were young and the leaders among you picked and chose when choosing sides in a game? Some kids were chosen first and a few were usually last to be chosen. If the number of players on each team was limited, some children didn’t make the cut at all.

Things have not changed all that much since those days. Making or not making the cut still applies at work, in clubs or other organizations, when dating, anywhere teams are the order of the day, with who is and who is not seen as a friend, and on and on.

In this episode of the Audio Tidbits Podcast, I share six tips for making the cut. Please listen and consider using the tips whenever making the cut is important to you.

Aliens Are Monitoring Twitter – Aliens Amongst Us

Hey folks, the Aliens Amongst Us are once more reporting back to their home planet. In this transmission they are giving primary attention to the recent tweets of their leader in the capital city. Listen in to hear what they are finding most interesting.

Aliens Are Listening – Aliens Amongst Us

Hey folks, The situation with the Aliens Amongst Us just keeps getting stranger and stranger. I am starting to think that the Aliens Amongst Us are monitoring all of our communications and even casual interactions among us. I have just intercepted a transmission from the Aliens Amongst Us back to their home planet. In this transmission they have captured a simple conversation between two of my friends as they explored a situation down by the lake. Here is Justin’s reaction to the capture of his conversation with Ivy.


“I thought I had heard strange voices one day when I was walking around the lake. I went back with my friend Ivy so she could hear it too. Along with hearing the voices, we had an encounter with a person who claimed to be an actual alien. I told him he was being silly but I wonder. I don’t know how they captured our conversation.”


Here is the transmission just as I intercepted it.


Well folks, there it is. Was it actually the Aliens Amongst Us or just someone being silly? I think you know what I think but you will need to judge for yourself. Until the next time, be safe, be well and be ever vigilant for signs of the Aliens Amongst Us.

Aliens In The Wild – Aliens Amongst Us

Intercept1 has a quick alien hit for you. He was just out and about, relaxing at his favorite watering spot and was ever alert as he always advises us to be. The conversation at the next table was a slight bit shocking. He thinks he has detected the Aliens Amongst Us in the wild, so to speak. It’s a quick listen so please give it a turn at capturing your attention. If it is what Intercept1 thinks it is, the Alien incursion is getting closer than we thought. We may find ourselves having a drink with one of them very soon.

The Aliens Are Amongst Us And Making Plans – Aliens Amongst Us

Hey folks, there has been an alarming development. The Aliens Amongst Us have tipped to what I have been up to. They have detected that I have been intercepting their transmissions and what’s even more alarming, they have figured out that I have been sending them out to you on the AliensAmongstUs.com feed. Even worse, they claim to be able to highjack the AliensAmongstUs.com RSS feed and broadcast their own messages whenever they choose to do that. So far, I only have what they say as reason to believe that they can take over the feed but I certainly suspect they can. What’s more, I think there is little doubt that they will start broadcasting sooner or later and probably sooner. We can only be ready for what comes.


For now, here is the alarming transmission that causes me so much concern. Please listen carefully and draw your own conclusions.

3 Steps To Better Outcomes

There is a fairly simple principle that most of us know but frequently don’t follow. When we are not getting to where we were headed, continuing in the same direction probably won’t get us there. If how we have been trying to succeed is not leading to success, doubling down on the same strategy likely will not result in eventual success.


I know, you already knew that. I knew it too but still find myself using the same approaches that haven’t worked in the past with children, co-workers and in other situations where the success of others is important to me and to them. It is frustrating but actually not surprising that those approaches still don’t work.


In this episode of the Audio Tidbits Podcast I spend a few minutes thinking about this peculiar behavior and suggest steps to get beyond staying stuck in ways of relating to and working with people that haven’t worked and are unlikely to work any time soon. Please listen and see if there is a point or two there that you may find useful.

The Aliens Are Returning – Aliens Amongst Us

Hey folks, I sure don’t understand how this transmission appeared on our feed. I would like to tell you that I cleverly intercepted it but I didn’t. It just suddenly came across without me doing anything. Please be alerted that you may start getting the transmissions from the aliens amongst us without me doing anything or maybe not even knowing there is a transmission. I fear that the aliens amongst us are capturing our feed. Please stand by. For now, here is the mystery transmission. The Aliens amongst us are returning.