Sunday, January 16, 2011

There Are No Rules-Just Owner's Manuals

It's been said there are two immutables, death and taxes.
I'm hoping for reincarnation.
We all know rich bastards who know all the loopholes and pay no taxes.
John Boswell's book, What to Say to Get Your Way
is full of handy little phrases to soften your first line in conversations. Especially where a difference of opinion can escalate, where a business deal could be messed up, or job related performance reviews, saying the wrong thing can loose your audience.
Published in 2010, the mood of the book is reconciliation, compromise, and a tad wimpy.
Its a fast read, some of the 146 pages simply contain two phrases, like:
"Don't say: "I hope I've helped." Say: "I'm sorry I can't be more helpful."
"Don't say: "I feel your pain." Say: "I can't imagine how you must feel."
Please. Sometimes we just need to talk. Others phrases make sense, like
"Don't Say: "Stop being so critical." Say: "I feel like I'm being attacked."
I can handle that. It says, never tell your interviewer to hire you, they won't regret it. That works.
But as Ecclesiastes writes: to every thing there is a season.
May I add,
A time to back down, a time to assert.
A time to repair, a time to throw it the hell away.
A time to buy local, a time to buy online.
Successful survivalists are quick to anticipate and adapt. We know there are no rules, every thing can change with a single breath or lack of breath.
A new version of Windows could come out tomorrow, a new Ipad, Ipod or or other Icontraption.
My new mantra:
There are no rules, just owner's manuals. If you get stuck, read.

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