Monday, November 22, 2021

The Preemptive Strike

How do we further our understanding? Perhaps by revisiting a previous thought and digging deeper. Why did that happen? Is there something simple that I'm missing? Therefore I am titling this article based on one possible conclusion resulting from many decades of personal interactions.

"The preemptive strike."
To begin. I will list many phrases spoken to me over the years:

  • I don't like the way you think.
  • I don't want to talk about it.
  • You're so smart, you should write a book.
  • Nobody preaches to me.
  • I'm too old to change.
  • Unless you are asked, keep it to yourself.
  • You're a teacher, I don't want to listen to you.
  • You don't have to say a word. And I find you offensive.
  • There is nothing you have to say that we want to hear.

These phrases, perhaps have one thing in common. They are spoken by someone who has established an emotional opinion. Their self-confidence and self-esteem feels challenged. They are not in inquisitive or knowledge seeking individual. Perhaps an underlying short attention span. Extremely defensive, feeling offended as a result of "too much detail.". Perhaps a dominant personality accustomed to managing conversations, arriving at conclusions or opinions aligned with their desires. I would further conclude that once spoken, these phrases truncate any possible future collaboration or cooperation.

I recently read, that an opinion established through emotion cannot be changed by logic, reason, or critical thinking. The primary goal is to protect ego, their personal opinion of themselves, their self-esteem. Ego, personal opinion, self-esteem, all based on historical emotional interactions. Within our society of echo chambers, Democratic majority, it is easy to conclude how "the Salem Witch Trials" came to pass. Thus any similar statements uttered, would indicate that a cooperative productive mutual future is highly unlikely. Simply walk away, the statement terminates what might have been possible.

Nearly 30 years ago, I held a position of responsibility. The direct supervision of eight trained technicians. Responsible for the quarterly evaluations and performance reviews. In addition, responsible for weekly status meetings with management at the assigned corporate accounts. It was during those years that I purchased motivational cassettes through the Day Timer catalogue. One title comes to mind as I am expressing the above conclusions. That title was: "Why Don't We Do Better Than We Know How Already." As I recall, I listened to this cassette many many many times. It was during those years that I was sent to our training Centre in New Jersey. A five week course on "conflict resolution", a course I found to be child's play, many instances of role-playing and evaluation of scenarios. Why did I find it child's play? For whatever reason, what was being taught, was for the greater part already my natural personality and behaviour mode.


Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker:

Born in year 1926 in Alabama, the infamous Zig Ziglar (*1) is one of the world's most popular and motivational speakers. His humble initiation and even his first job as a salesman never stood in the way of his positivity, the output of which yielded him great fame and prosperity. 

His words always seemed to be conveyed straight from his heart and amid his messages about honesty, integrity, hard work and virtue, Zig was a comfortably encouraging person. He seemed to make his listener understand that one could do absolutely anything at all.

*1. Top Results Academy. “Zig Ziglar Biography - Interesting Facts, Achievements, Career Details.” Accessed November 22, 2021.

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