Monthly Archives: July 2016

How you phrase a question….

Do you think by simply changing the way your phrase a question can change the answer you get?    The answer is yes.   One of my favorite TV shows, Brain Games.  had a great example.  I apologize for not remembering the episode, but they are on the national georgraphic channel web site.  The setup, was simple.  Show a car accident, and then have a policeman ask questions of witnesses, and see if they can help figure out who was at fault.   The policeman asked 2 different groups the same question, but in two different ways.  In fact it was one word in each sentence was changed.

The officer asked the witnesses, how fast do you think the car was going when it tapped the other car, or how fast do you think the car was going when it smashed into the other car.  The witnesses had 2 different answers.  And it should be obvious.  Those who believed that the car was speeding, and those who thought the car was barely moving.   So changing one word in the question actually changes what someone saw.  The car was going the same speed for everyone.

Just seeing that, I now think about more about what I say, and how I phrase questions.

My world famous disclaimer…  so, this blog has nothing to do about my current employer.  I provide the information without warranty blah blah blah. I make no money from this blog, there is no advertising, or charges to anyone.  I do this as a brain dump, to leave something behind.  If you want to support me, instead of doing that support one of the charities i care about, the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Hockey in Newark.  Thanks for reading.

Having two stamps, Yes and Hobby.

I was reminded a bit ago of a story from my college years. I wanted to be a musician, not just a musician it a professional. A star, famous, everything that came with it.   Of course I was not the most talented person, nor did I always have the best work ethic, as I wanted to do 100 other things also.  But I was out there trying.  To make it in the music business it is partly due to “persistence” more than anything.  You keep writing, making demos, and knocking on doors.   When I was a kid there was no real way to publish yourself on YouTube, soundcloud or ITunes.

Often I was hit with a lot of No’s.  It was often disappointing, and in fact sometimes it was downright depressing.  I needed to pick myself up and try again.  But someone did motivate me, but in a very different way than you would think.   Some people are motivated a lot by no’s and push through to finally succeed or crash.  Some people get a few no’s and that is the end of their desire.  Many of those quit playing altogether.  They were not going to become musicians, so they would now focus their energy on something else.  This was a travesty.  But sometimes there is something better than a no.

Upon one of my many attempts to succeed I ran across a record executive who had a different approach than most.   He didn’t reject anyone.  He had two stamps.  One that said “Contract” which meant he was going to sign you, and you were on your way to coming a star.   But he had a second stamp, that was a bit unusual compared to many of his competitors.   This stamp was “Hobby.”   In a quick conversation with him, he never wanted anyone to quit playing.  He thought everyone should be playing an instrument.  Not as a professional, but for fun.   So he came up with another stamp other than no.  The Hobby stamp was used a lot, and he let people know that only a few people can get contracts.

This was the first time I saw something like this, and I don’t think I ever saw anything like it in any other endeavor whether it be sports, arts or business.  People often hate rejecting, in fact many times they hide behind keyboard and texting on phones.  If the lesson to be learned is if you need to reject, figure out the right way to do it so that it directs the person forward not backwards.

My world famous disclaimer…  so, this blog has nothing to do about my current employer.  I provide the information without warranty blah blah blah. I make no money from this blog, there is no advertising, or charges to anyone.  I do this as a brain dump, to leave something behind.  If you want to support me, instead of doing that support one of the charities i care about, the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Hockey in Newark.  Thanks for reading.