Sunday, November 27, 2005

What exactly are you afraid of?

This past month, I've been working on the first 3 chapters of Stop Pushing Me Around: Chapter 1: Know Thyself; Chapter 2: Overcoming Fear and Developing Self Confidence; Chapter 3: How to Become Genuinely Curious.

For Chapter 2, I need your help. I’d like to include examples of the real fears and irrational thoughts people have about speaking up and promoting themselves.

For example, if you’re afraid of rejection, what is the scenario you imagine in which people reject you. Write it out for me. (I will only consider using it if you want me to. Mostly, it's for research. So let me know if you want me to use it in the book.)

As a bonus, I’ve also posted the recipe for the yummy gingerbread I make for the holidays.

Yummy Holiday Gingerbread Recipe

In 1993, a woman name Carrie gave me this recipe for gingerbread and I've been making it (almost) every year since then. It's very gingery and very sturdy -- good for gingerbread houses and all sorts of decorations.

8 cups flour
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt (may not need that much)
1 tablespoon each of allspice and ginger (feel free to double or triple these)
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and clove
1 1/4 cup of molasses
1/2 pound of butter

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the molasses and mix.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices and stir those in.

Bake it at 375 degrees. You'll know when it's done.

Then, let them cool and decorate.

Feel free to add your own favorite recipes here. Just for fun.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Take a little time -- so others won't have to

A few more ideas came up about what it means to be a "usable person" as I did some final prep for the short talk I gave yesterday as part of NY's World Usability Day event.

Here's one idea:

Being usable to others means taking time on your end so the other person doesn't have to take time on their end.

Here's a simple example: If you take time to put your phone number next to the words "call me," the other person won't have to go looking for it.

Or if you take time to anticipate what a client or prospect or friend needs and then give it to them, they won't have to take the time to ask for it.

How 'bout this: if you take the time to confirm receipt of materials someone sends you, they won't have to take their time to reach out to you to ask if you received it -- not to mention whatever time and mental energy they spend wondering (and maybe even worrying) whether you received it.

And what about this: if you take the time and give your full attention when someone says their name, they won't have to repeat it or you won't have to look silly when you say you forgot it already.

So maybe "usable" is just another way to say "thoughtful."

What do you think?