Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Subtle Distinctions: 32 pairs of words that aren't quite synonyms

Words matter. At least as a counselor, writer, and radio host,  I have to think so. In my article today, I list 32 pairs of near synonyms and why I choose to use one or the other.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On a Quote by Albert Bandura: How job satisfaction improves family life.

Geralt, Pixabay, Public DomainAlbert Bandura, whom the American Psychological Association rated the 4th most influential psychologist of the 20th century said that while we well know that a bad worklife than affect family life, we don't as much appreciate how a good worklife affects family. I explain the potency of his assertion in my article today.

Monday, August 29, 2016

"Close the 30-Million Word Gap!" Another correlation/causation error?

Preeminent psychologist Stephen Pinker  and I question the latest magic pill for closing the achievement gap: "Close the 30-million word gap."

I explore that in my article today. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

How the End of Jobs Could Be a Good Thing, CC 2.0 

Most experts agree that automation and globalization will cause the loss of at least half of all jobs within the next couple of decades.

Many observers fear that will lead to massive unhappiness, civil unrest, or even Armageddon because people primally need work both to survive and for a sense of self.

I'm inclined to agree but that's a psychologically difficult future to live with, so I've been trying to come up a positive scenario. My article today offers my best shot:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

On a Freud Quote: Why navel gazing is a bad idea.

Gregg Taveres, CC 2.0Freud said, “Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” In my article today, I argue that he's wrong.

On a Carl Rogers Quote

Next to Freud, Carl Rogers was ranked the 2nd most eminent clinical psychologist of the 20th century.  He wrote:

In a person who is open to experience, each stimulus is freely relayed through the nervous system without being distorted by any process of defensiveness.
Of course, Rogers isn't implying we never should defend ourselves. He's only saying that, to grow, we need to remain open to the possibility that criticism of us is deserved. The question is, "How do you know when you're in fact wrong yet are defending your position anyway?"

In my article today, I ask questions to help you decide whether, in a given situation, you're being defensive or are merely defending your worthy position?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

On a B.F. Skinner Quote

SinghCA, CC 3.0The father of behavioral psychology, B.F. Skinner wrote, “Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.”

What do I remember from my education?  In my article today, I offer my top-of-mind recollections. They're embarrassingly paltry.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Post-Presidency Career Advice for Obama, with lessons for us all

Opus Penguin, CC 2.0
After leaving office, some presidents, like the Bushes, pretty much faded into private life. Others became activists, for example, the pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli Jimmy Carter. And then there's Bill Clinton, who likely will be First Husband. 
If I were President Obama's career advisor, of course, my counsel would be conditioned on his goals and desires, but in my article today, I make suggestions based on his public track record as someone committed to liberal causes and an exceptional communicator.

Monday, August 22, 2016

An Ultra-Simple Way to Choose and Succeed in Your Career

The longer I've been a career counselor the more I've become convinced that the professionally recommended process is unnecessarily long. 

I propose something far briefer in my article today.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ambition Versus Gratitude for What One Has

I've always been driven but I'm having to make peace with the reality that I probably won't achieve most of the big dreams I had when I was younger. I talk about it in my article today.

Dangerous Thoughts: Which to suppress? Which to shine light on?

Which thoughts should we suppress? Which should we shine more light on?

In my article today, I list some dangerous thoughts clients have revealed to me. Seeing them may remind you of some of yours.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

An Active Boy Writes to His Teacher

I was an active boy. I couldn't sit still in school. If Ritalin had been around then, I would have been put on it intravenously.

I wouldn't have had the self-awareness nor the moxie to write the letter I posted on to any of my teachers but perhaps your seeing it will help parents who are trying to get the teacher to accommodate to their active child rather than putting him on that risky Ritalin leash.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

On an Albert Ellis Quote

The famed cognitive-behavioral therapist, Albert Ellis, said, "The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. "

In my article today, I argue he's being simplistic.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

An Honest Letter ro a Therapist or Counselor

Patients and clients know they should be quite disclosing to their therapist or counselor but that can be difficult.

It may be worth putting it in writing. I offer a  sample letter in my article today.

A Letter to Aliens

A group of British scientists led by Stephen Hawking is offering $1,000,000 in prizes for a letter that would be beamed to advanced civilizations elsewhere in the universe. One of their goals is to encourage we earthlings to be more self-reflective. 

As my article today, I offer the letter I'd write.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Your Child and Sports

I played college baseball, am a parent, coached a basketball team, and been career and personal coach to lots of people who played sports informally or in leagues. 

In my article today, I offer some thoughts on how to parent wisely regarding sports.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Individiualized Management

Book publishers and consultants know that managers and leaders are always looking for a magic pill, a few-step formula for leadership success. Formulaic sells. 

So in comes Total Quality Management, 6-Sigma, Agile/Scrum, Management by Consensus, Theory Z, etc.

In truth, good management is the opposite of formulaic. It's individualized. Consistent with your work-group's mission, how can you maximize each supervisees' strengths while skirting their weaknesses. So the wise manager and leader sits down with each employee to craft an individualized approach. 

My article today offers key factors in individualized management.

Indoctrinating Young Children

If you don’t have a son, imagine you do.

In 1970, the ratio of males to females in college was 69% male. Now it’s 42%. Of course, that has profound impact today, when a college degree is virtually a prerequisite for good employment.

At age 10, boys commit suicide at a similar rate to girls but by age 25, the rate for males is five times as high.

Yet to look at societal efforts---governmental, education, media--one would think that female was the floundering sex.

For example, all movies have positive and negative characters, and women’s activist groups, recognizing the power of role models, have long demanded that females be disproportionately portrayed positively compared with white males. And they’ve had remarkable success including with cartoon movies aimed at young children. 

My article today describes the main characters in the the all-time biggest box-office cartoon movies and other iconic children's cartoon movies of the past two decades.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

On a Cup of Coffee

Ahlam AlnashriIt astounds me how many people and how much effort goes into making my cup of coffee possible. I lay it all out in my article today.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Escaping or Thriving in the Gig Economy

Mark Warner, CC 2.0How do you feel when you read the phrase "gig economy?" Many people feel fear After all, it signals insecurity, the opposite of what most people crave. In my article today, I describe how to escape it or thrive in it. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Addressing Your Child's School Fears

D. Sharon Pruitt, CC 2.0 

For adults who liked school, back-to-school week was about the excitement of buying a new book bag, Crayola 64s, new clothes, and seeing who their  teacher and classmates will be.

But for many children, such thoughts are dwarfed by fears of the teacher not liking them, being ostracized or bullied by classmates, or the work being too hard or easy.

My article today offers suggestions for reducing those fears.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"Am I Too Old To Go Back to School?", Public Domain
Even some people as young as 30 worry they're too old to go back to college or graduate school. They may fear they won't fit in socially, will have forgotten too much of what they previously learned, will learn too slowly, and or forget too quickly. 
Many articles have been written on returning students but they tend toward patronizing reassurance. But their fears are often rational and shouldn't be brushed off gratuitously. In my article today, I try to give them fair attention.

Monday, August 8, 2016

When You Want to Persuade Someone

If a sailor hopes to make it to Hawaii, s/he must stay alert to the need to adjust a sail, change course, etc.

Similarly, in our conversations. we must we stay alert to the need to change tactics.

In my article today, I discuss the situation in which an employee feels overworked and micromanaged.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

"I Want to Work in the Non-Profit Sector?"

A caller to my radio program had only for-profit experience and wants to move into the nonprofit sector. Worse, she's been out of the paid workforce for years. 

As my contribution today, I post the edited transcript of our exchange.

Stage Fright: A first-hand report

Tonight, I did the first performance of my one-man show Odd Man Out. I was nervous. In my article today, I describe what I did to mitigate it.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Your Neighbors

Today, as I walked my dog down my street, I thought about each of my neighbors. Nothing profound but collectively, it reminded me of Our Town, the classic play about Life Typical, in which you leave the theatre with greater appreciation of our everyday lives and the people in them.

Although I've lived in my house for 40 years now, I know little about my neighbors. But thinking about them today has, for me, added humanness to a block that's like an egg crate--each of us in our own separate compartment and covered up.

My article today offers my thoughts about my neighbors. Those snippets might contain a takeaway for your life or encourage you to reveal more about yourself to your neighbors or to ask them about themselves.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Ultimate Hypocrites: Ultra-Wealthy Donors

Kaz Vorpal, CC 2.0
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett urge other wealthy people to sign The Giving Pledge: a promise to give half their wealth to charity. Sounds generous but it's infinitely stingier than most people's charitable giving. In my article today, I argue that before urging the middle class to give, the wealthy---for example the countless celebrities that headline fundraisers--should donate all their assets to charity except what they need to live a lifestyle equal to those they want to help, that is; take a vow of poverty.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Should You Write a Book?

Rainer Stropek, CC 2.0Is it worth the time to write a book? In my article today, I offer an internal debate to help you clarify.

Should You Replace Your Car?

Other than perhaps a house or education, we spend more on buying cars than anything. The average cost of one is now $33,000 plus 68 months of interest. 

Should you spring for one? As my article today, I offer an internal debate that may help you clarify.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Should You Be More Grateful or Less?

In my article today, I offer an internal debate on whether a typical person should feel more grateful or less. 

An Honest Conversation Between Boss and Employee

Most people feel they can't tell their boss or supervisee what they really think. What might a completely honest conversation look like? That's my article today.