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Tuesday Night Tunes – Another word for …

What is another word for ‘people’? That was a question that got me to thinking. The question came about because the inquisitor wanted to find a softer way to refer to his audience. Words matter.

When you hear the phrase ‘you people’, as in ‘you people need to get a life!’ it invokes a different emotion than ‘hey folks, you need to get a life!’. The first implies you belong to a different group and are some how inferior. The second is somewhat more inclusive and feels less judgemental. It comes from how we have as a culture used the phrase in the past.

Take the word ‘inquisitor’. I used it intentionally but it was not really the right word for the situation. An inquisition is not something we enjoy but a conversation with questions might be very pleasant. I have had to stop watching most news shows because the host has an agenda, a bias and the desire to make a point instead of making a difference. It feels like to me the difference is the desire to understand and ask questions.

I have had some really interesting conversations with folks I don’t agree with. It requires you stop talking AND start listening. Sometimes we are not listening but rather are just waiting to talk. If you are thinking more about what you are going to say instead of what the other person is saying, you might be guilty of not listening.

Not sure what this has to do with Tuesday Night Tunes but it was the thought I had in my head as I was driving over to a meeting. The music I was listening to on the way was Marcus Roberts. I heard him on 60 Minutes this week and really liked his music.

Jazz is interesting. A mix of style and improv that some say never resolves into the familiar. It is certain there are Jazz classics but many times it is new and different each time the artist plays the song.

I was introduced to Jazz as a music style when I was learning to write software back in the early 80’s. My friend and lab partner Bob would bring in music to play during work and he liked some stuff I had never really listened to before. (There is the seque, listening 🙂 ).

As I listened to the music I found I could focus better and that made better software. I was learning and needed all the attention I could muster to get it to work. That was the first time I had written software was I really didn’t know how yet. That focus was priceless.

I guess that’s true of any new endeavor. We need to focus until we develop new habits and knowledge. Until things become ‘second nature’.

So what do you use to increase your focus and attention to new things? How to you get yourself to a place where you are listening more and talking less?

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-231-1578 Cell