In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 15, 2010 / 8 Kislev, 5771

Sharing, Transparency and Dumping

By Alan Douglas

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Communications has become its own destination. We study communication and make it holy. There are universities with schools of communications. Being the messenger as a writer, poet, or news anchor, can give you fame, fortune, and credibility. If you are a communicator you can rally others or mislead them. The internet, comics, radio, film, television, video, all mix content into a frothy cocktail. Information, no matter how accurate, has value.

Somehow the act of "sharing" became confused with concepts such as teamwork, democracy, open disclosure, and fairness. The appearance of being open and honest because someone shares a lot, is an illusion. Disclosure alone is not defensible as a virtue. A history of sharing bestows no indulgence for the sin of past deception. American Honda Motor's Executive Vice President Tom Elliott proudly introduced the surprising new plans for his company's Ridegeline pickup trucks, reminding everyone that , "For years, we've told you we have no plans for a truck. Today, I'll tell you that we do." The company's numerous past denials were presented as proof of their commitment to honest communication.

Do not confuse chatting, emailing, smoke signals, or reporting with committing to these concepts. Most importantly, for heaven's sake, recognize that sharing can be a pretense for gestures that are weak, stupid, selfish, and sneaky. You can call it "sharing" or "confessions" or "transparency", but I call it junk. What we are getting is often a dump truck backing up and leaving us a pile of guano or other problems that aren't our responsibility. In your every day existence be alert and identify dodge balls, time bombs, and monkeys.

For the majority of us, our personal and professional communications are games of dodge ball. We throw memos as missiles at others. We dodge the daily slights and rejections shot at us. In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Douglas Adams warned that "nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws." We use communications, or we are smacked by it and become its victim. It is part of life's game. Bad news is slipped into seemingly harmless banter, but when it is delivered with a bang, you need to be prepared to respond correctly. Saying, "Okay" or "Right" is interpreted as accepting or agreeing with the slap in the face. Find your own voice and develop your own "shield" to deal with attacks. One of mine is, "I am listening to what you are saying, but not necessarily agreeing. Let me hear everything you have to say." You think listening without interrupting is polite, but the other guy doesn't hear silence. He hears you agreeing with him.

Beware of the person who is arrogant, manipulative, or is an optimist who "hears" you agreeing with them. The same goes for when you are venting or ranting. In the movie "The Magnificent Seven" one of the older cowboys reminds another brash, over-confident cowboy, "It's like that fellow who fell off a ten-story building. As he was falling, the people on each floor heard him saying, 'So far, so good. So far, so good'."

The use of "FYI" (For Your Information) should be made a crime. It is really a "time bomb", worse that the "dodge ball" which has apparent peril and affords an opportunity to object. Time bombs are a great way to cover your rear end without taking responsibility or solving the problem. It isn't democracy or teamwork motivating people sending an email or leaving voice mail saying "Just to let you know" or "For your information" or "Just so you are in the loop or aware…" Their approach appears helpful or constructive, but it is really a great way to say "I told you so" or "You never said otherwise" later on. Under the guise of better communication, it allows the sender to try and dump a problem on the recipient. It is early in the process, but you were informed. This works best when the recipient is out of the office or on sick leave.

Getting one of these "time bombs", you can send back an equally squirrelly response pointing out your support and concerns in the most general of terms. "Victory has many fathers but defeat is an orphan" observed Italian Count Ciano when the German military plan, the Manstein Plan, triumphed. Most German generals opposed the Manstein Plan as being far too risky prior to its execution. But when the Manstein Plan was a smashing success, their earlier objections did not inhibit the same generals from pointing out how they had contributed to its success. Sharing provides an opportunity for everyone to be forewarned, and to take the credit. Sharing so much, illustrates humorist James Thurber's rule that "There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures." The FYI is a "time bomb" designed to blind with the glare. Individual accountability is no longer politically correct.

A famous article in "The Harvard Business Review" titled, "Who's Got The Monkey," by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald Wass, warns managers that the world is filled with mischievous, malicious monkeys. Monkeys are problems that no one wants to deal with. If one of these monkeys jumps on my back, I want him to scram. If he won't leave on his own, I walk into your office and share my problem with you. I have how pushed the monkey off my back and he is sitting on your back. It is a non-consensual handoff. Employees, no matter what level they are at, want to give their own monkeys to their boss. They rationalize that their boss makes more money and has more power; so let the boss have the monkey. As employees share with their boss, who has an open door policy, ultimately the boss sinks under the weight of the problems. Or, the boss does all the heavy lifting. All problems keep moving up the organization until they reach someone willing to feed or kill the monkey. "Drive by" conversations in hallways, or just popping in for a minute to discuss a situation is a good technique for giving monkeys. Staff people show their true stripes. They do not want the burden of making decisions, so they present analysis to dump monkeys on the backs of their colleagues. We all get and give monkeys when we share. The problems and responsibility for monkeys hop around.

Communicate with others and "share," but be aware of when it is really "dumping." Be vigilant, so you can handle dodge balls, check for time bombs, and decide which monkeys you are going to feed or are going to kill. Now that you have read this article, consider yourself forewarned.

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JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas