If you’ve had any classes or done any reading on basic color theory, you’ve no doubt came across the concept that hot colors (red, orange and yellow) ‘advance’, or appear to move forward, while cool colors (purple, green, and blue) recede, or fall back. If you’ve played with colors in your work, you’ve probably noticed it yourself. But, do you know why this happens? If you’ve ever had to sit through a class where someone who didn’t know why this happens tries to explain it, you’ve likely lost an hour or so of your life. The answer is actually much simpler than many that I’ve heard.
This is totally a weekend post. There’s nothing at all here to do with business. Just enjoy it. If you haven’t seen Avatar yet, beware spoilers.
Bob and I recently did 2 episodes of Creative Independence where we talked about how to get yourself established on LinkedIn, (part 1 and part 2) where we covered everything from signing up to tricking out your personal and business profiles. While we felt we had hit everything, a question from Marty Qatani made it apparent to me that though we had covered the “how” quite thoroughly, we had kind of glazed over the “why”, and maybe a bit of the “what”. So, here are Marty’s questions, and my response to him.
Update: On February, 14, a full 8 weekends into its run, I took my wife to see Avatar, hoping it would be a nice diversion from the recent death of her mother and shooting of her sister. It worked just fine. To make sure that we would NOT miss it again, I bought tickets online. Though it felt overly cautious to do so, I just didn’t want to take the chance. I’m glad I did, because once again, the movie was sold out. When was the last time YOU saw a movie sell out in its 8th weekend?
About mid January most of my team at work took a 2 day course on the principles from Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The 7th habit, Sharpening the Saw, refers to the process of scheduling time for personal growth, relaxation, health and exploration. He breaks the areas we need to focus on into 4 groups, Physical, Social/Emotional, Mental and Spiritual.
When we got to the 7th Habit, we broke the room into 4 groups and each group had to come up with ideas on how or where we could find ways to continue to progress in our area. My group, of course, had Mental as our topic. This is the list of ideas we came up with. After class, I wrote them up and emailed them to the entire group so that the others could follow up on them if they wanted to.
This is a phrase I’ve heard used before to describe situations where a person or place has endured a violent episode. Right now the phrase feels inadequate. Dainty, even. It certainly doesn’t live up to the task at hand. This post is especially for those of you who have been with me for more than a couple of years. If that’s you, then you might remember that in December of 2007, Manessa, my then 16 year old sister-in-law had run away from her home, and many of you worked with me to help my family and I find her. What we didn’t know then is that she was actually running away from a man who was hurting her; a relative who wintered with the family, fooling everyone and hiding his activity with her from everyone including her mother. About a year later, Manessa found the courage to tell her mother what had happened. The police and courts got involved after that, and after pleading guilty to lesser charges, he was released on 6 years probation.
My wife’s new hairdo caused, for the first time in our marriage, and probably the first time in her life, a hair-related emotional breakdown. While getting ready to go out one day, this woman who had never given her hair more than a passing thought, had to rewash her hair 3 times and still didn’t get the ‘do’ correctly. She was running late. Our event was starting. My kid and I had had to leave without her, hoping she would eventually catch up. She didn’t. There were tears. And muttering under the breath. And possibly actual cursing, though she’s far too much of a lady to let me hear. And disbelief on her part that her hair could EVER cause such a strong emotion. We’ve also had a number of other, less extreme events, and stress over getting ready to leave the house on schedule has peaked a number of times.
The culmination of everything we’ve learned from my wife’s hairdo is this: Expect pain. No matter how well we prepare or train, prepare for things to go wrong from time to time, especially at the outset. Mistakes will be made by people who are still learning. Misunderstandings about how the new solution itself works or what it will do will occasionally cause issues and confusion. These will cost time and money. We must prepare ourselves for these small breakdowns, padding schedules a bit until things come under control. We must tell ourselves and our partners and employees that the occasional mistake is OK. Pick ourselves up, work through the pain and move on.
As many of us have experienced, making changes to our outward appearance will cause those who know us well to ponder the change, often causing talk, speculation, and the uttering of opinions. When my wife returned from the salon with her new hairdo, I honestly wasn’t sure what to think. I needed time to adjust to it, and even more time before I could decide if I actually liked it. My 8 year old daughter’s reaction however, was much stronger and more immediate; she didn’t like it. Louanna no longer looked like her mother and my daughter was a bit slower to warm up to her “new” mom. Eventually though, her mother’s love and personality won through and things went back to normal.
Visible changes to your image or changes to your processes, especially at the point where they interact with our client’s processes, can stumble client relations. At the best, these kinds of changes can create trepidation, discomfort and unease; at the worst, these changes may produce costs and upgrade pains for our customers. Remaining firm to our core values and products, and offering help with the transition should make it easier for our clients to stay with us and remain our clients.