Oscar Wilde On Seeing

Unusual Quotations: Seeing

“To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing.”   Oscar Wilde

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How To Enter An Ongoing Conversation Politely

How To Break Into A Discussion By Gene Griessman

I heard a guest on CNN use the following power phrase to get into the discussion:

“I’m going to differ slightly from the other people on the panel.”

Here’s why I recommend this particular power phrase. One, it is courteous. By using the word ”slightly,” you send a message that you value parts of what had just been said.

Two, it creates enough space for you to present an entire thought, not just a question or a brief comment.

After you are in the conversation, you may “differ” much more than “slightly.”  But you have the floor.  So use it. You may in fact be able to point the discussion in an entirely new direction.

If you decide to use this power phrase, you can modify it to “I’m going to differ slightly from what’s just been proposed.” Or you can abbreviate it: “I’m going to differ slightly”…and then present your idea.

The goal is to get your idea heard, and this power phrase helps you do it with virtually no friction.

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“Not a single Lincoln quotation that’s spurious in the entire book.”

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.

 

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How To Communicate With Powerful People

How To Communicate With Powerful People By Gene Griessman

Sarah Cooper has created a popular Website that’s called the Cooper Review which has recently attracted a lot of attention after being featured in an article in The New Yorker.

I particularly like Cooper’s “9 Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women,” which is an excerpt from her new book:

How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings .

When I read Cooper’s strategies, I found myself thinking how well some of the nine strategies would have worked when I was a young, brash department head in a big university. That would have spared me needless pain when I dealt with deans, vice presidents, and presidents.

I think Cooper’s strategies will help you communicate with people who have more power than you do, whether based on rank, caste, race, or gender.

Below are three of Cooper’s tactics that I, a male, wish I had used with my “superiors.”

One. Downplay your ideas as just “thinking out loud,” “throwing something out there,” or sharing something “dumb,” “random,” or “crazy.”

Two. If powerful people steal your ideas in meetings, thank them. Give them kudos for how they explained your ideas so clearly.  (One of the best ways to be influential is for your boss to think your idea was his.)

Three. Pointing out a mistake is always risky so it’s important to always apologize for noticing the mistake and then make sure that no one thinks you’re too sure about it. People will appreciate your “hey what do I  know?!” sensibilities.

BTW Benjamin Franklin offered similar advice in his “Autobiography” a little over two centuries ago:

“I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbade myself…the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as certainlyundoubtedly, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so, or it so appears to me at present.When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering, I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this charge in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly.

The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with other to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.”

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“Not a single spurious Lincoln quote in the entire book.”

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.

 

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Donald Trump On English Grammar

Donald Trump’s Best Words: “Badly”

Trump recently said to a reporter; “I feel badly for Paul Manafort.”

What is good grammar, badly or bad?

We found this answer in The English Language & Usage Stack Exchange:

“I feel badly” would mean you are having difficulty in feeling at all – which would be a rather unusual thing to say 🙂

In general the verb “to feel” will take an adjective (happy, sad, good, bad, angry, relieved) after it to indicate the feeling, rather than an adverb.

Hmmm.

It’s not for me to say just how the President should feel about Paul Manafort’s dismal plight…though I do have an opinion on the matter. He can feel bad or feel good. That’s his prerogative

I’m just saying what people who know English grammar say he should say when he says how he feels.

And, incidentally, what you should say if you want to be regarded as an educated person who knows all the best words.

You say “I feel bad.”

I’m not telling you how you should feel, just what you should say when you tell people how you feel.

One can only speculate just how many millions of Donald Trump’s followers will begin to say how “badly” they feel for the President as he faces unending troubles and trials of his own.

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.

 

Posted in Blog, Etiquette, Lincoln Quotes/What would Lincoln say?, Media Interviews/How To Do Them, Never say..., Politics, Writing/How To Write letters, notes,articles, email, books | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prepare For Failure: A Speech Eisenhower Never Gave

What You Say If You Fail: A Speech Eisenhower Never Gave by Gene Griessman

I don’t like to give any thought to defeat. Just thinking about failure can plant the wrong kind of ideas in my subconscious.

But I know that failure happens.

”The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley,” the poet Robert Burns wrote in 1785, “An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain/For promis’d joy.”

So I do think about contingencies, back-up plans, savers, plan Bs,

Experienced public speakers create “savers” in case there’s a heckler, if the PowerPoint doesn’t function. or if a joke bombs.

The best negotiators think about a backup offer, a fallback position.

Actors and directors have (or should have) prepared comments for the media in case they don’t win an Emmy or Oscar.

Here’s a particularly dramatic example of this concept.

The evening prior to the Normandy invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower wrote four sentences for a message that he was prepared to deliver in case the invasion failed.

Remarks prepared by General Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 5th, 1944

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. This particular operation My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

The sheet of notepaper on which he wrote those lines (mistakenly dated July 5) remained in Eisenhower’s wallet for a month.

Eisenhower later told an aide that similar speeches were prepared before every military operation during World War II. This is the only one he kept.

THE Lincoln Quotation Book

Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote. Every quotation in this book is authentic. 

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’re in a goldmine. Check out the great power phrases and unusual quotations. You’re already here. Why rush off?

 

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Unusual Quotations: Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld’s Self-portrait: A Quotation You Can Use At A Funeral Or Awards Ceremony

Here’s a quotation by a famous designer with a surprising and thoughtful last four words. It’s apt for an individual whose life combines pragmatism with creativity. Use it to describe someone like that who’s being honored at an awards ceremony or remembered at a funeral.  Gene Griessman

“I’m very much down to earth… just not this earth.”

Karl Lagerfeld,  Chanel’s legendary creative director, who died February 19, 2019 at age 85.

Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote. Here’s a quotation book you can trust. 

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.

 

 

Posted in Funerals, Death, and Dying, Lincoln Quotes/What would Lincoln say?, Public Speaking, Religion/Spirituality, Unusual Quotations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Due to a prior commitment” How To Use It

 How To Decline An Invitation

One of the best ways to decline an invitation is to use a variation of “prior commitment” or “previous commitment” in your response.

I personally prefer “Unfortunately I have a conflict.”

These are some of the most tamper-proof ways to say No… if you don’t volunteer what the conflict or prior commitment is.

Here’s the tactic. Just say you have a prior commitment, express regret plus gratitude for being invited, and move on with the conversation or letter.

Only the most insistent will ask what the commitment or conflict is.

If they do, you can respond humorously by saying, “It’s a highly classified project that I’m working on for the CIA,” or something similarly outrageous.

I provide a complete script and example in my book “Time Tactics Of Very Successful People.”  The relevant section is entitled “How To Say No.”

The reason this tactic is in a time management book is because you can lose a lot of time…a lot of your life, really…if you accept invitations that you shouldn’t accept.

And you can lose a lot of friends if you don’t know how to decline invitations gracefully.

Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote. Every quotation in this book is authentic. 

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’re in a goldmine. Check out the great power phrases and unusual quotations. You’re already here. Why rush off?

Posted in Etiquette, Lincoln Quotes/What would Lincoln say?, Relationships: dating, divorce, family, and friends, Weddings, funerals,graduations, and other occasions, Writing/How To Write letters, notes,articles, email, books | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Political Wisdom: Unusual Quotations

Unusual Quotations: The Difficultly Of Behaving Wisely.

“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”  —Abba Eban, Israel’s Foreign Minister, in 1970

I love this quotation. It is abundantly true. Evidence of its truth is everywhere

And this is a great quotation to use in a speech. It lends itself to dramatic effect if you pause just before saying what in effect is a punch line.  (“once they have exhausted…all other alternatives.”).

Abba Eban was one of the greatest orators I have ever heard. His speeches before the UN are classics.

THE Lincoln Quotation Book

Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote.  Here’s a quotation book you can trust. 

We’ve found numerous phony quotes on popular websites and quote books. Every Lincoln quotation in this book is authentic.

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Absolutely awesome! Inspirational and even life-changing for leaders or for general living.”  —Amazon verified purchaser

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject. In addition, this small volume contains ‘Biographical Notes’ on the main figures cited.” —Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

In these pages, Lincoln shares his wisdom on courage and determination, compassion and compromise, tolerance and tact.

We think you will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’re in a goldmine. Check out the great power phrases and unusual quotations. You’re already here. Why rush off? 

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Parenting:If Your Kids Say They’re Bored

Parental Advice: If Your Kids Say They’re Bored

If you’re a parent, you’ve doubtless heard it scores of times: “I’m bored.”

I just read a thoughtful piece on boredom by Pamela Paul, an editor at The New York Times. Paul say boredom can be a good thing. Here’s an excerpt:

“If kids don’t figure out early on that boredom is good for you, they’re in for a nasty surprise.

‘That’s right,’ a mother says to her daughter in Maria Semple’s novel “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.“

‘You are bored, and I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.’”

Paul’s main point—-It’s not boredom itself that’s important. It’s what you do with it. (By Pamela Paul, Editor of the Book Review, The New York Times, February 3, 2018)

BTW, kids aren’t the only ones who need to learn the benefits of boredom.  Don’t we all?

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Absolutely awesome! Inspirational and even life-changing for leaders or for general living. An in-depth exploration of Lincoln’s character, spiritual beliefs, lifetime motivations…”  —Amazon verified purchaser

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject. In addition, this small volume contains “Biographical Notes” on the main figures cited and also a Bibliography of the sources quoted.” —Wayne C. Temple, world-renowned Lincoln scholar, critic, and author, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

In these pages, Lincoln, famed as an orator, shares his wisdom on courage and determination, compassion and compromise, tolerance and tact—the essential traits that define character. The timeless impact of his words is as powerful as the achievements that have helped to make him an American hero.

We think you will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’re in a goldmine. Check out the great power phrases and unusual quotations. You’re already here. Why rush off? 

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If You Suffer A Setback Or Painful Defeat, What You Say

What You Say If You Suffer A Setback Or Painful Defeat

By Gene Griessman

One of my books—-“The Achievement Factors”—tells the story of some of the most successful people of our time. Their names are synonymous with success: US Presidents, astronauts, Hall of Fame athletes and coaches, movie stars, Nobel Prize winners.

One of the chapters describes the failures of very successful people and how they deal with defeat.

Again and again readers have told me that this particular chapter is the one that has meant the most to them.  It reminded them that failure is the common lot of us all.

What sets the high achievers apart is how they deal with failure—how they feel about it and how they think about it. And how they talk about it

This post is how to talk about failure. What you tell others about your failure…and what you tell yourself…self talk.

Here’s a power phase that you can use to let other people know how you feel about what happened.  It’s honest, and people who matter respect honesty. It also conveys a spirit that people like. And it’s something you can say to yourself.

Just saying it can take some of the sting away.

This particular power phrase is just one simple little sentence. Here’s what you say:

“I may have lost the battle but I have not lost the war.”

THE Lincoln Quotation Book

Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote. Every quotation in this book is authentic. 

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’re in a goldmine. Check out the great power phrases and unusual quotations. You’re already here. Why rush off?

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