Archive | Soul RSS feed for this section

Talking about what matters to you.

7 May

Its been a little while since my last post. I have been up to quite a lot. Here are some of these:

  1. Comedy Improv
  2. Product Management
  3. Contact Improv
  4. Capoeira
  5. Usability of things
  6. Walks around the High Park
  7. Influence Strategies
Advertisements

Laughter the best medicine

30 Jan

Here is a video that will make you laugh.

It’s real, no reality TV type real.

Warning:  you might bend with pain so sit tight, turn the volume on, and enjoy.

How to know people’s thinking accent?

18 Nov

This post is part of a series: Thinking Accent. This series is an attempt to explore the existence of our unique thinking style, which we lovingly call here as thinking accent, in each of us. First step was an overview of thinking accent, next is the identification of our own accent and last identifying others. You might say, “why should I care about thinking accent?”. Well, honestly you must. Like old sage advise, “look not only what is being said but also who is saying it.”. It is the “look who is saying” part that has a flavor of unique thinking accents.

 

 

Now that we have some idea about ourselves we can explore how others think. Here are few techniques to identify someone’s thinking accent.

 

How & Why of things:

Umezawa thinks that questioning the internal logic of why things are done a particular way will help understand others behavior. For example, a common practice in Japan is to give kids money as a present, while in North America, people prefer buying a gift. To North Americans, the Japanese way appears impersonal while the Japanese think the child should have a choice as to how the money is spent.

Avoid stereotypes:

Cultures have tendencies, but beware of assuming that an individual conforms to the stereotypes about their culture. Effective way is to treat a person independently of his or her culture. Umezawa points out a common stereotype Japanese have about Americans as being aggressive. In his years of interaction with both cultures he has seen more exceptions than confirmations of this.

 

Stories tell:

According to Corriero, “A society’s humor, newspapers, magazines, and radio will give you an idea about their values.” Another neglected source is the advertisements. “In Australia, for example, practically every second commercial is advertising either beer or sports. This should give us a general indication of what Aussies value,” says Ms. Corriero.

 

 

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Identify your thinking accent?

18 Nov

This post is part of a series: Thinking Accent. This series is an attempt to explore the existence of our unique thinking style, which we lovingly call here as thinking accent, in each of us. First step was an overview of thinking accent, next is the identification of our own accent and last identifying others. You might say, “why should I care about thinking accent?”. Well, honestly you must. Like old sage advise, “look not only what is being said but also who is saying it.”. It is the “look who is saying” part that has a flavor of unique thinking accents.

Here is this part. 

 

Key to understanding others thinking accent is to first understand your own. Here are few ways to identify one’s own thinking accent.

Know who you are: 

Umezawa suggests that introspection is extremely important to identify moral, social and personal values that we are composed of. Talking about our old values and their usefulness in a new environment he recommends, “I think we don’t need to discard any of our old values, just keep them.”  

You are the only one:

Umezawa suggests, “Consider yourself an individual. Culture influences but it does not totally define you.” Considering ourselves independent of our culture would help identify our own uniqueness. Each one of us responds to his or her cultural, social, moral and psychological influences very individually.

Know what is expected from you:

 “You need to have the maturity and ability to understand how you are being perceived and then adjust your words and actions so that you are communicating the right kind of message,” says Angela Corriero, a communication expert based in Toronto, who has helped the South Korean army to effectively communicate with US forces, Ms. Corriero adds, “It’s almost like saying things in a way so that people can hear it through their accents.”   Now that we have some idea about ourselves we can explore how others think.

 

 

 

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Thinking Accent, what is it?

18 Nov

Stand at the corner of a street in New York, London, or Toronto and observe a collage of humanity. Each individual represents a unique culture, values, history, and society. They perceive world from their perspective.A statement like, “You are such a pig!” may be a friendly tease to a Nova Scotia native but the same would be an insult to someone with Middle Eastern roots. One person might tell you intimate personal details to a simple greetings like, “How are you today?”, while other may just say, “fine.” What is the right response? Why would you even expect that?It appears that all of us have a unique thinking style or a thinking accent.   Rui Umezawa, a communication expert at the Japanese Embassy in Toronto and the author of a novel Truth about Death and Dying explains his mother’s thinking accent by offering a recent incident. His mother was born in Japan but has been living in North America for last 40 years and she recently bought a condominium in Toronto. When the real estate agency handed over the possession, there was still some unfinished work. “Mother had to take a deep breath before she said OK,” Umezawa said. “In Japan, a developer would never hand over keys before a condominium is fully completed. One would think that in 40 years she might have acclimatized to local business practices. I guess she is still very Japanese inside.”   Before we can understand others we need to understand ourselves. Here are few ways to identify one’s own thinking accent.

This post is part of a series: Thinking Accent. This series is an attempt to explore the existence of our unique thinking style, which we lovingly call here as thinking accent, in each of us. First step was an overview of thinking accent, next is the identification of our own accent and last identifying others. You might say, “why should I care about thinking accent?”. Well, honestly you must. Like old sage advise, “look not only what is being said but also who is saying it.”. It is the “look who is saying” part that has a flavor of unique thinking accents.

 

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Thinking through accents

17 Nov

I started out to find the process through which one can eliminate their thinking accents. After research and talking to people who have apparently achieved this “elimination of thinking accent” I discovered that my original understanding of thinking accents was not complete. It turns out that people who appear to have eliminated their old thinking style still have it present in them. What they have learned is the art of thinking through it.

Applying this conclusion on the lives of close associates and my own I find it to  true. All of us still have the reminiscent of our old thinking present in us. Our current thinking style dominates or compensates for the deeper old ones. Its almost like having set of developed muscles which compensate for the weaker one. If due to some change in our lives if we start using the weaker muscles then over time they will become the dominant muscles taking over from once strong.

Dwelling more into thinking as a set of muscles analogy, what and how we think about various things develops different thinking muscles. You might remember the first time you tried something different and the unease you experienced. This virgin thought if repeated over time will ease our discomfort. Soon a time will come when you might not even be aware of this newly developed muscle in your brain and assume it was always there. Those of you who have lived and thrived in cultures different than you birth cultures will clearly know what I am talking about. We, me too, have learned things because of our love, curiosity, survival, or adventure needs.

Thinking through our accents is a possible and can be developed.  Lets first see what is a thinking accent.

 

Tags:

Sorry! no manual for this

17 Oct

I have this friend who is a voracious reader, an A student, and very articulate in quoting great work. When it comes to coming up with some new ideas when there is no help available, he just gets stuck. Manuals, books, guides, or some adviser has to be there.

He is just a great searcher. In the words of my grandfather he is a Parrot – knows words but does not know what they mean.

 

 rani the parrot

 

 

I think then knowledge has two parts, first I will call know and second apply.

Learning to swim is an example where learning involves both knowing & applying that knowledge.

Applying what you know to a situation where it has not been applied before will expand (discomfort in start) your brain’s apply side and experience from that will add to your know side.

Learning from one area and applying in other. Sort of using analogies. Sort of using metaphors. Sort of improv. Sort of …..driving without a destination (and then discovering a theme in your escapades.)

 

Technorati tags: , ,