Halloween Poll 1

Share with us your answer to this halloween poll.  You may select from the answers provided or write your own answer beside the answer key: Others

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What to Do When You Can’t Remember a Person’s Name

It is item number one in a charismatic leader’s toolkit: (1) calling people by their first names; (2) having firm handshakes; and, (3) sharing an interesting anecdote or two about the person they are talking to.  Do #1, #2 and #3 and the person you are talking to will feel important. The reason is simple: remembering a person’s name tells him that he is special enough for you to remember him. A firm handshake will seal the impression that you are warm with the person; and; recalling an anecdote about him makes him feel at ease and comfortable.

The most basic of the three of course, is the ability to remember a person’s name. Fail to do it and you will be put in a most awkward situation. At worst, your career may be in trouble.

Imagine if this happens to you.

  • You are in a cocktail party with friends and some pretty lady walks up, greets you by your first name and waits for you to introduce her to your friends, but you can’t remember her name!
  • You are chatting with some friends, when you notice that a prospective client of yours is walking towards your group. Obviously, he wants you to introduce him to your friends: The problem? You forgot the guy’s name.
  • You are running for public office and in the middle of your campaign speech you are supposed to mention a good thing or two about the political leader in the area: and then you realize you forgot his name.

What to Do When You Forget a Name

Most people  feel more offended to have someone say their name wrong than simply being asked for their name again. So, my rule of thumb is not to try to guess the name. That leaves me with two choices: to face the problem head-on or to gamble with the situation.

If I decide to be honest, it is as straightforward as this: I will just politely and apologetically say, “I’m terribly sorry, but I’ve forgotten your name. What is it again?” This will spare me from sinking into a deeper hole since the more time we spend together; the more offended he will be when he realizes I don’t know his name.

However, if I will decide to push my luck a bit further, I have the following options:

  1. The simplest option is to ask the person, “Excuse me, what was your name again?” The person will likely respond with their first name. I then respond with a charming laugh and a smile, and say, “Oh no, I meant your last name.” Of course this little trick can backfire if they respond by asking, “My first or last name?”
  2. As the person walks up and waits for me to introduce him to my friend, I would say to the person, “Have you met my friend Orly?”  Most of the time, the person will say to Orly, “No I haven’t. Nice to meet you, I’m Triccie.”
  3. When the prospective client is about to join my group, I will turn up to him, stick out my hand, and say my name. “I am Nic. We met at the Ad Congress last month.” They’ll likely respond in kind by saying their name. And if he or she had forgotten my name too, by taking the initiative, I remove their burden of anxiety as well.
  4.  I may also decide not to make any introductions at all. I could just continue to talk, laugh and drink with the person. But  before we part ways, I will ask if he has a business card so that  I will have something I can take out and review at home.
  5. Finally, if I were a politician and I forgot a key political leader’s name in the middle of a campaign speech, then I better wiggle my way out of the situation via a joke, a song and  dance act or whatever antic that will make the situation light and funny. Failing to do this, I might as well consider backing out of the election contest. Such a situation will not only embarrass the political leader but will also show the crowd how suddenly I forget things – my election promises included.

Alright. Now it’s your turn. What tricks do you use to remember people’s names? Share them with us in the comments.

 

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Married Life


You have choices in life:
You can stay single and be miserable,
or get married and wish you were dead.

__________
At a cocktail party, one woman said to another,
‘Aren’t you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?’
‘Yes, I am. I married the wrong man.’
__________

A lady inserted an ad in the classifieds:
‘Husband Wanted’..
Next day she received a hundred letters.
They all said the same thing:
‘You can have mine.’
__________

When a woman steals your husband,
there is no better revenge than to let her keep him.
__________

A woman is incomplete until she is married. Then she is finished
 .
__________

A little boy asked his father,
‘Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?’
Father replied, ‘I don’t know son, I’m still paying.’
__________

A young son asked,
‘Is it true Dad, that in some parts of Africa
a man doesn’t know his wife until he marries her?’
Dad replied, ‘That happens in every country, son.’
__________
Then there was a woman who said,
‘I never knew what real happiness was until I got married,
and by then, it was too late.’
__________

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
__________

If you want your spouse to listen and
pay strict attention to every word you say — talk in your sleep.
__________

Just think, if it weren’t for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.
__________

First guy says, ‘My wife’s an angel!’
Second guy remarks, ‘You’re lucky, mine’s still alive..’
__________
‘A Woman’s Prayer:
Dear Lord, I pray for: Wisdom, To understand a man , to Love and to forgive him , and for patience, For his moods. Because Lord, if I pray for Strength I’ll just beat him to death’

 

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Leadership Lessons from Migratory Birds

“The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed time; and the turtledove, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming.”                                                                                         — Jeremiah (8:7)

Last weekend, I saw 2011’s first set of southern hemisphere-bound migratory birds.  It looked like a flock of geese and the grace at which the birds cut through the horizon was spectacular. The sight is one of the benefits of people like me, who frequent places that are along the route of these migrant flyers.

Geese in a V-formation

Birds follow a regular migration schedules.  They fly south from late September to December, during the season of the Amihan (the northeasterly winds).  They head back north from March to May, during the season we call the Tag-init.   Understandably, they fly towards the warmer regions during the cold winter of the north and came back to their breeding grounds during spring-time. They do make brief stopovers in certain fishing grounds and swamplands in the Philippines, but do not stay for long in these places.

One can almost be certain whether a flock of birds is about to make a stop-over or is still set to fly a longer distance. Those that are set to land on the swamps and stay a while to eat and rest will break from their flying formation, while those that will continue to fly away retains their distinctive V-formation like those of a group of fighter planes we see in the movies.

The V-shaped formation serves two important purposes:

One reason is that the V formation allows each bird in the flock an unobstructed field of vision. This allows flock members to see each other and communicate while in flight. I am sure that the fighter pilots have learned this technique from a study of the birds’ flight patterns.

The other reason is that the V-formation conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds that follow the leader have an easier flight. The leader breaks the wind resistance, and the birds following can fly more efficiently.  Without the V formation, most migratory birds will never have enough energy to make it to the end of their long migration.

But are the birds following the same leader all the time during the migration?

The answer is no.  It is not the same bird that leads the formation. Every few minutes, one of the birds from the back of the flock will break away, fly to the front, and take over, giving the previous leader a chance to move back and take a break.

Is there something that humans can learn from the migratory birds?

A lot of things have been written about what humans can learn from the behavior of the birds. One of those I particularly liked is that of Tanveer Naseer a business coach and writer who wrote about it in one of his blog posts; (http://www.tanveernaseer.com/migrating-geese-a-lesson-in-leadership-and-collaboration/).  I quote verbatim below that part of his article that refers to the lessons we humans can learn from the migratory birds (which in his case are the Canadian geese).

1. Leadership is about helping others, not just yourself

When the Canada geese travel in V-formation, the lead bird’s job is not simply to guide the other birds as to which direction to fly. Rather, the lead bird’s primary role is to help reduce air drag so that the flock can fly for greater distances without expending more energy.

The same approach applies to the role of leadership, where the function is not to get others to simply do your bidding, but doing whatever is in your abilities to help others succeed in reaching the shared goal.

2. Everyone has the ability to lead

There was a recent survey I read about where the majority of respondents related leadership to a title; that to be a leader in an organization, one had to be a CEO, director, manager, etc. Now if we look at how the geese designate who will take the front position, we see that each bird is given a turn in leading the formation. For the geese, it’s not a question of their position in the pecking order. Instead, it’s a matter of which bird has the ability in that moment to offer the support needed by the rest of the flock for them to reach their destination.

In looking at the behavior of how geese migrate, we can appreciate that leadership is not a position; it’s a disposition that people can exhibit regardless of whatever formal title they might carry in their organization.

3. You can accomplish more working together than working apart

Scientists have found that when geese fly together in the V-formation, they can cover 70% more distance than if the birds were to fly alone. Given the long distances geese have to travel in the spring and fall, it’s clearly advantageous for them to work in a collaborative fashion, with each of them taking turns to reduce air drag while the others rest.

While some in management positions might prefer to focus on maintaining the leverage they have over their employees, the reality is that their business won’t go very far unless they work together with their team and foster an understanding that there’s a shared goal between the company and its employees. As with the geese, pooling the strengths and abilities of a company’s workforce will allow businesses to cover more ground than if they were to leave internal silos in place.

4. Working together means having each other’s back

If you’ve seen the Canada geese flying in V-formation, you’re probably familiar with the fact that it’s hardly a static formation, like what you’d see with fighter jets at an air show. Instead, it’s constantly shifting and changing. This is a result of the fact that the birds in the flock are taking turns flying in the lead position in order to give the other birds a chance to rest near the back of the line. This also ensures that the flock evenly distributes the workload so that they can easily make the long journey to their target destination.”

Similarly, when leading a team or group of employees, it’s important that there’s an understanding that everyone on the team has each other’s back and that the workload will be shared to make sure that no one wears out before the team can reach their objective.

For the Canada geese, the act of flying in V-formation has certainly been vital to their ability to migrate over vast distances as the seasons change. As with so many other examples in nature, this behavior can also serve as a valuable reminder for businesses on how to approach leadership and team collaboration.

 So, aside from the four lessons discussed above, what do you think are the other things we could learn from the migratory birds? Share them to us in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding Pure Gold – A Reunion Story

 

Very recently, I became a golden girl. Turning 50 has its perks. You care more about substance rather than form. Men still take a good look at you and respectfully, smile. I like this. It used to be winks, or long glazed stares that make you either uncomfortable or could make you stare back. You think it matters? Perhaps two decades ago, when we sought some attention at an age when we were neither too young nor old enough, it could have meant something.

But it does not matter anymore, not at all, not now when I am half a century old!  Isn’t this grand?  I used to think, wow, when I’d get to this age, will I be wearing long skirts and tie my hair in a tight bun? What will it be like? Will there be many unwelcome changes? Surprise! It feels good. I only need to lose a few pounds; otherwise, it feels so good. It makes you thankful, that you have reached this ripeness of age.  It is very similar to knowing what you want and getting it. You understand what contentment is and know its cousin satisfaction.

The knowledge that you have gone through so much and have learned as much makes you slow-nod your head in quiet understanding. I remember thinking how ancient this age would probably be like. Now I throw my head back in laughter because my thoughts were as lacking in finesse as the age I was in when I thought them.

Would I wish to go back to my youthful days? To what? To be clumsy and awkward again? To be reckless and uncaring again? Should I turn back the hands of time and relive certain memorable moments? The thought took form when, one magical weekend, a group of childhood friends gathered together, after 33 years of being apart. A fluke! That the friend who put up a facebook page is named Jesus.  Jesus Betia, Jr.

And yes, what a gift for a golden girl! Is it possible to relive our youth, minus the awkwardness, the confusion, the curiosity, the ignorance or was that arrogance, too?! Yes it is!

After only a few months of filling the page, we were able to plan something quick. All eager, all missing one another, we set a date. This was not easy because some lived in the U.S., others in Canada, Japan, and scattered in the Philippine Islands. But, when people decide to do something and commit, the wheels of the universe also start turning and things happen.

Nobel cor. Edison St., Makati

We once lived in a street called Nobel. We always mention Edison in Makati to let people know where this is. If it were not enough, you have to say Buendia and add Bautista. Those who know the main avenues would easily know where it is. Some would volunteer knowing all the other streets in Barangay San Isidro named after inventors: Marconi, Bell, Morse, Galvani, Faraday, etc.

The family friends we made include the Santoses, the Dys, the Betias, the Borromeos, the Evangelistas, the Mallaris, and the Patrimonios. The families became close not just by the proximity of homes, but by the friendships formed among the children and the parents. More intimately, there’s Angie, Tere, Mercy and Dothy, Danny and Rey, Lynn, Jesus, John-John and Con-con, Jun, Rey Dy, Matt, Ate Fely, Winnie and Siony, Boy P., Ponggie, Al, Mabeth, Beng and Elvie, Juan, Ellen, Judith, Daday, Mico, Gino, Nino and Ana. Of course my own beloved siblings, Cynthia, Bobby and Badong. And there were some more, much younger, but Nobel-Edison youth still.

For many years, in our case ten, we not only lived next to one another, we played the best of games on the street where we lived. There were times when rainstorms flooded the streets and you would think we’d be staying indoors, but we waded in the murky waters instead. No flood would stop the Nobel-Edison children from playing.

Play was a serious matter. It meant gathering the best players for each patintero team, cops and robbers (we used to say Touching Rubber) team, even soccer/football, Chinese garters, jackstones, skipping rope, hide and seek and whatever other games we could play.

There were no personal computers yet, no laptops, no cellphones, and so we had time to sweat on the street, to run in wild abandon, to scream, squeal our delight at winning whatever game we decided to be engrossed in for the day. As if we had all the time in the world! But yes, we gave our games the time. Despite our assigned household chores, or being required to sleep after lunch, the games had to be played.

We were children, ages 7 below, till we grew up to 17 below. Those who were older than us, had other things going for them, aside from being the despotic rulers of our magical world. They were the commanders, the older brothers and sisters who were blessed to have us to run to the stores for this or that.

Alas, nothing lasts forever. We parted ways and lost touch. Although there were times we would recall, sometimes teary-eyed and achy-heart, wondering where we could find our childhood friends again, whether we would see one another ever again.

But believing in our hearts that this day would come, it does! Facebook Assisted Reunions! Though so far apart and three decades later, we find our GOLD.

 

We found our gold in the friendship we picked up from where we left off....

Gold is the friendship that has not been ravaged by the many years of being apart from one another.  The true mark of friendship is simply picking up from where we left off and it was clear, in our warm embraces, our hugs and kisses, it was reuniting the children in us once more.

The apartment where we used to live is now the Bombo Radyo Bldg

The apartment building where we grew up, is now the Bombo Radyo Building. The noise it now makes may equal ours backthen. We trekked “our street” one more time and posed for photos. We felt its power, this great street, which witnessed us win and lose, laugh and cry, fight and make-up, and then laugh some more. It was there where we learned more than what our schools taught us.

We learned not to be lazy from the grand old men Mr. Ben Dy and Mr. Pol Santos who were up before any of us, before sunrise in fact. We learned to be tough women, from Mrs. Mary Santos and my own mother, who were strict disciplinarians. Mrs. Santos being a Navy Man’s wife who easily handled six children and my own Nanay, Pat Palomo, an ex-army nurse, widowed and raising four difficult kids.

We learned cheerfulness from Atty. Estela Betia and Tito Jess who often smiled at us kids and asked how we were. We learned kindness from Mrs. Dominga Dy and Mrs. Mallari who seemed to never raise their voices more than two notches above a whisper. Capt. And Mrs. Evangelista taught us what it was like to have many visitors every day! He was the barangay captain at the time and his wife Amalia ably assisted him. Mr. and Mrs. Borromeo taught us how it was like to care for little children by carefully watching over them.

But most of all, we learned that no amount of time can erase the wonderful feeling of being friends, no distance will stop true friends from reuniting and that love which we know we share with our family members is the same kind of love we share with these very friends whom we have known in our innocence and pureness of hearts. What a great gift for all of us who made it to the first reunion. What a privilege it was to see one another again.

Reunions made us feel like kids again.

How many people get this rare privilege? What are the chances of hugging your best childhood friends after 33 years of being apart? How do you cram all the missing information in the two days that you’re allowed to be with them? So many more stories to tell, so many lessons to share, yet so little time. But the promise of sustaining and nurturing the gift is there, in our hands now, and hearts, too.

Now that we have been reunited, it marks the beginning of hopefully longer chapters in our lives, to stay connected, to continue our communication, to keep caring for one another. This for me, is finding pure gold.

 

 

 

About Stella Palomo Monteno:

 

 

 

Stella is a Cebu City based writer, advertising practitioner and television producer. She recently turned golden and decided to trace back her roots to where she spent her childhood years.. in the streets of Makati. Stella works as a marketing consultant of a beach resort in Cebu. But most of the time, she is  a secret poetess and a novelist taking forever to finish her first published epic novel! Stella’s email address is stellla_monteno@yahoo.com.

 

 

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