Content of Character

When Martin Luther King said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” (in his I have a dream speech), he was, of course, referring specifically to racial disparities. Unfortunately, racial disparities haven’t disappeared, and perhaps even more unfortunately, our culture has added a variety of other disparities by which we judge people. Like skin color, they are all superficial in nature and say nothing about the content of their character.

The first thing that occurs to me is the bias many hold . . . → Read More: Content of Character

What a Week

The impetus for this blog is the recent spate of race-based violence we have experienced following the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. The history of the US has, of course, a long record of race-based violence. How could it be otherwise when slavery was present from our earliest days. It is easy to forget, for example, that the White House was built by slave labor.

I am old enough to remember early TV news coverage of what were deemed “race riots” in the 1950s and ’60s. The principal minorities in the town where I grew up (Los . . . → Read More: What a Week

Are We There Yet?

The question, “Are we there yet,” is a cliché of traveling with children. We expect adults, even those grown weary with traveling, to have a better understanding of how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B. This blog entry is about our collective journey from racism to a “postracial” culture. It was prompted by recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, following yet another police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. The policeman, as is usually the case, was white. One such shooting isn’t the real issue, of course. The problem is that this one was just one . . . → Read More: Are We There Yet?

Why Ask Why?

Quite a few NLP trainers and Master Practitioners suggest that we would do well to avoid “why” questions. In some cases, the reason “Why” may not be the best question to ask is obvious. Imagine answering the following questions:

Why is the sky blue? Why were dinosaurs so big? Why don’t you love me anymore? Why do you think that?

In some cases, “why” is basically asking, “what is the reason,” and when the reason is complex (blue sky, dinosaur size), each response is likely to produce another “why” question. That’s also true when the reason is unknown (don’t . . . → Read More: Why Ask Why?

Understanding, Rapport, and a Better 2011

The three principal questions everyone has when encountering something or someone new are (a) What’s familiar or “like me,” (b) What’s not familiar or not “like me,” and (c) What’s important about…. When it comes to people, the cliché has been, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Whether we’re talking about cultures, philosophies, or people, the main question is, what constitutes being “of a feather.”

One of the metaprograms in NLP is usually referred to as “same/different” or “match/mismatch.” This metaprogram addresses whether someone’s first tendency is to look for things that match or are the same as what . . . → Read More: Understanding, Rapport, and a Better 2011