“Credibility Sprinkles” ➜ When you sprinkle your past experiences into your narrative to increase buy-in from your audience. Ex from Scott Galloway’s recent blog – “I got my start building companies, telling stories. Later I became a professor at NYU. Now I tell stories on a stage in front of 150 to 15,000 people who pay between 100k to 250k…”
“Gen Zs” ➜ The generation born between 1995 – 2012, ranging now from age 11 to 28. Main qualifiers of this group: Tech dependent, gender neutral and cause driven.
During a speaker training workshop I said, “Add in some Credibility Sprinkles while sharing stories. This will increase your believability with your listeners.” A millennial dentist then commented, “Gen Z’s don’t like that. Adding in your track record, no matter how subtle your approach, will alienate them.” I replied, “Know the age ranges in your audience.”
To this workshop attendee’s point, this generational shift is happening and here are the reasons why Gen Z’s don’t want to hear about your stellar track record.
Gen Z convictions.
According to TrendsActive.com, Gen Z’s resentment stems from “older generations thinking they know better than younger generations – with age comes wisdom and all that. Considering the state of the environment, the housing market and various societal inequalities at the hands of older generations, Generation Z is forced to question whether older really does mean wiser.”
Gen Z is DONE with older generations deciding what is best. Their collective exhaustion derives from feeling misrepresented with a dash of condescension.
How can you engage with this Gen Z mindset?
TrendsActive provides these wise suggestions:
Understand that Generation Z are progressive, realistic and responsible.
Treat them as adults.
Be open and honest and hear what they have to say.
How this transformative Hebrew word can clarify the way you think, communicate and act ➜
Dayenu (die – YAY – nu) defined
The Hebrew translation is “That would be sufficient”, and boiled down to one word … “ENOUGH”.
It’s also the title of a traditional one-thousand-years-old upbeat song that’s part of the Jewish holiday Passover. Every year as my family celebrates Passover we have a “Seder”, a special dinner, and we each read a paragraph from the “Haggadah” – the telling of the story of the exodus from slavery in Egypt to the freedom beyond; and we sing “Dayenu”.
This song is about being grateful to G-d for the gifts given to the Jewish people. A few lines:
“If G-d had brought us out from Egypt … Dayenu, it would have been sufficient!”
“If G-d had fed us only matza … Dayenu, it would have been sufficient!”
Dayenu in your life
❓ What’s “Dayenu / Enough” for you regarding money, possessions, or even Linked In likes & impressions?
❓ What’s “Dayenu / Enough” in terms of your professional achievements?
❓ What’s “Dayenu / Enough” when thinking about the relationships in your life?
❓ What would make you say, “Yes, that (fill in the blank) would be sufficient. That would be enough”?
You tell me… or rather, you tell yourself.
Dayenu in my life
This pic is our out-door Seder during the pandemic. Thank you, Nina & Bob, for being such gracious hosts every year. Dayenu.
We will once again sit around this table this week with loved ones and sing this song. That would be sufficient. Dayenu.
“You have a superpower that you might not know about: the power to make another person glow,” reports Stephanie Harrison, happiness and well-being expert, in a study she conducted.
Her study finds that we underestimate how happy someone feels after recognition.
3 phrases that pack a positive punch
“You are making a difference.”
Don’t think, “That’s cheesy.”
Do ask yourself, “How can I encourage others in micro or macro ways?”
“Did you see how that team leader proudly walked out with a huge smile? You are making a difference.”
“The money you raised at our silent auction will help fund our museum awareness campaign. You are making a difference.”
“You inspire me.”
Ask yourself, “Who has inspired me lately?”
Harrison provides this helpful script:
“You inspire me …”
Then add the reason why: “… in the way you show up for your team…”
Finally, share the impact it has had: “… and it’s made me think about how I can be more collaborative.”
Barbara Franklin’s Art Show
“Barbara, you inspire me. You’ve embraced your passion as an artist and now you’re exhibiting at art shows. It makes me think about how I can continue to sharpen and share my passion for speaking.”
“Tell me more about that.”
Disclaimer: It’s one of my favorite phrases that I’ve blogged about before. Saying these words make you a better listener which makes you a better communicator.
Harrison adds, “Being listened to helps people feel safe, supported and acknowledged. One thing that’s guaranteed to make someone’s day: asking them to tell you more about their interests, feelings and experiences.”
To create space for others to open up Harrison suggests:
Find out what is important to them: “What do you do that’s meaningful to you?
Ask them to elaborate on their experience: “What did it feel like when you heard you’d won the deal?”
Invite them to go deeper: “Tell me more about how you interpreted that feedback.”
Emerging from the pandemic might create socially awkward moments. Use these phrases to ease your anxiety and increase your authentic conversational good will with others.
Harrison shows, “There’s a bonus in store for you: It doesn’t just make the other person glow; it ends up making you glow, too.”
You’re about to celebrate the holiday season. That means you may be in conversation with your extended family for several days.
Potential landmines: You notice someone else (not you) is wearing a family heirloom you thought you were getting. You have a political divide at the table as deep as the turkey breast is dry. Your second cousin asks you for the fifth year why you aren’t married.
Your Speak For Yourself® Holiday Communication Playbook!
Know the score. You know I preach that you must know the background of your audience BEFORE you get on stage, or do your pitch, or have your strategy meeting. Why is Family Time any different? Figure out ahead of time what the tough subjects might be, who will be at the event(s), what’s the pulse of the group.
Don’t engage. That’s right. DON’T engage. Read #1. IF there are issues, and you cannot solve them, then don’t get involved. (I’ll try to adhere to this.)
Listen. Always a winner! In business and in your personal life, listen more than you talk. (I’ll try to adhere to this…) Information talks, and wisdom listens.
Ask questions. Going along with #3, the way you will strengthen your listening skills is to ask questions and really hear what your family members are saying. Let them do the talking.
Empower others. Even when you want to kill that second cousin for commenting once again on your marital status, can you find something nice to say about them? You like their watch. You think they did a good job on the pecan pie. You love their kid. Find something to compliment! This works. It’s only manipulative if you’re lying. So don’t lie. But still find something to praise about the other.
Drink scotch. Enough said. (But then don’t over do it & don’t drive.)
Remember your own strengths. Give yourself a break. My mom, of blessed memory, always said, “Karen, know who you are and where you come from”. Enter into these gatherings knowing your own good stuff. That positive self-awareness is the perfect antidote for snarky crazy stuff.
I’m ecstatic if I can help anyone going through a cancer journey.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month here is a re-print of a short speech I gave about overcoming the challenges of chemo … that has resonated with many.
When my synagogue asked me to deliver a short sermon on Yom Kippur on finding spirituality in the oddest places, I immediately said “yes”. FYI – Yom Kippur is the Highest Holy Day in the Jewish religion. This sermonette was presented to 1000 congregants.
My oncology nurse, with a nasal-breathy-sweetsy voice – which is a bad combo on any day – said, “Karen, once you start chemo, you’ll be better. You’ll get into a rhythm and enter a calmer phase of your illness.”
Here’s what I wanted to say – or rather YELL – in reply to Nurse Nasal/Breathy/Sweetsy, “Are you kidding me? Why don’t YOU sign up for chemo! You are crazy.”
Here’s what I actually said – or rather DID – just smiled, wanly. You don’t want to bite the hand that needles you.
But I felt like biting. And screaming. And cursing.
A bit of context here. At the start of 2012 I walked into a regular annual mammogram looking pretty good and feeling great. Nine months later – after one lumpectomy surgery, 16 weeks of chemotherapy, 33 radiation treatments, and 101 doctor visits – I walked out of a bad-aqua blue treatment room bald, tired and puffy.
My one-sided conversation with Nurse Nasal/Breathy/Sweetsy occurred just after my successful surgery. She chirped, “Well, if you don’t have any questions, we’ll see you next week for Round One of chemo.”
I finally spoke up – too stunned to say much. “Ummm, can I drink a spot of scotch during these 4 months of treatment?”
“No,” she responded with noticeably less breathiness.
Then I began to cry.
Do you get the picture? I was NOT happy. With her. With my situation. With the realization that I might get chemo-brain/fogginess and rival Yul Brenner for hair bragging rights.
No hair, no control over my life and no scotch. And I wasn’t feeling too spiritual either.
Then I got a letter from Rabbi Debbie Robbins. She wrote, “Dear Karen, My thoughts are with you. Here’s a prayer, called The Dew of Life, which might help you as you go through this journey. You can recite this prayer when receiving chemotherapy. It’s adapted from the Annual Prayer for Dew recited on the 1st day of Passover.”
“Dear G-d — the prayer begins —
Droplets of LIFE – flow gently mending the hurt in this body.”
Oh. — Chemo was not droplets of doom. Chemo was droplets of LIFE.
“Dear G-d — the prayer continued –
Droplets of BLESSINGS – come gently fetching a year of goodness.
Droplets of DEW – heal gently, softening this hard place of blessing.”
I tucked this prayer into my “Cancer – Yes I Can” Calendar of endless appointment dates and notes – and it traveled with me throughout the rest of this journey.
As instructed, I recited the Dew of Life prayer at the hospital every time I got chemo.
And I transitioned.
No longer did I think of chemo with expletives preceding it. Chemo is/was the DEW OF LIFE.
As our Service of the Heart states, any place can become a holy place.
For me, Sammons Cancer Center Baylor Hospital during chemo treatments became a holy place. This prayer – soothed, supported and strengthened my reserve.
And speaking of cursing… Nurse Nasal/Breathy/Sweetsy was right and she really was lovely. My journey did calm down during that phase and I stand here, exactly one year later, feeling great and grateful.
I conclude here with the Dew Of Life Prayer conclusion, meant for all of us as we enter into our new year:
“Dear G-d –
Droplets of Dew – come for a blessing and not a curse,
Droplets of Dew – come for life and not for death,
Droplets of Dew – come bringing plenty and not emptiness.”
Today’s blog is written in memory of Susan Dedmon Miller
Be proactive. Get annual mammograms, PSA tests, whatever you need to stay on this side of good health. At one point in my journey a doctor said, “You’re a poster child for mammography.” When you think about it, who wants to be a poster child for anything? But I don’t mind being a poster child for you.
* Photograph taken by Sally Baskey, my roommate at our 2012 National Speakers Association Convention, just before donning my “badass” wig (according to my daughter). Thank you, Sally, for making me pose for this pic. Just remember, I let you use the blow dryer first. Note: this is the ONLY pic taken – sans wig or scarf – during this journey.
Author:Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself® , a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and is grateful to have a symmetrical head.