The Wisdom
Exchange

With Patrick Mosher

One Great Question

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“What keeps you awake at night?”

As a newly-minted consulting executive, they taught us to ask this ‘go-to’ question when alone with a client executive.

Why is this a great question?

It is ‘other’ focused.  It demonstrates empathy.  It gathers valuable and hopefully action-able information.  And most importantly, the question gauges the level of confidence and trust you have with the client.

I was asked this question once and my answer blew up the intended discussion.

My response?

“I sleep GREAT at night.  Always have.  In fact, when I was in kindergarten, Mom got a call from the teacher….“  and I went on with my childhood story.

The story of my lifetime sleep habits was probably not the discussion the other person wanted.  

Nonetheless, ‘What keeps you awake at night?’ is still a great go-to question to initiate a...

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The Story of Your Year

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As we enter the holiday party season, someone inevitably will ask you the question:

How was your year?

For many, this has been a tough year.  Endless pandemic news.  Lockdowns.  Cancelled vacations.  Turbo-charged cabin fever.  

You can respond to the question with all your trials and tribulations from the year.  It’ll feel good to let loose.  Perhaps they’ll feel the same and you can relate to each other’s difficulties.

But where do you both end up at the end of that Story of Your Year?

Turn it around 180 degrees.  After you’re finished telling the person the Story of Your Year, 

How do you want them to feel?

Here are 3 Steps to build an engaging and positive Story of Your Year for holiday parties.  

Step 1:  What One Word describes how you want people to feel after you tell them the Story of Your Year?

Step 2:  Journal all your...

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Blank Walls and Procrastination

 

Have you ever had to make a big decision in your life?  You put it off and put it off and put it off.  And it took FOREVER to get that decision made.

Sometimes you just need to listen to music and break that procrastination!

Solving Procrastination

I was dating a woman for about a year and we decided to move in together.  Now this was a big deal for us because each of us had come from major relationships.  Moving in together was our way to ease into a bigger commitment.  A year later, I looked around our house and there were no pictures on the wall.  None.  A CLEAR indicator that we didn't feel …. Permanent. 

If we weren't committed to our home, how could we commit to each other?!

We were backing away from this decision.  It was just terrible.  I started thinking, is it time to ask her to marry me?  Maybe I should.  Maybe I shouldn't.  I backed off.  There were great days.  And days I thought, maybe...

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Alive at 55

You may think this piece is about life after turning 55.  I have a great story of turning 50, but that story is for another time.

This story begins in Cuzco, Peru.  A few years ago, I had a magical 'pull' to conduct an event in the sacred mountains of Machu Picchu.  I conducted a dry run of the event because of the exotic location.  So, my team and I took off for Machu Picchu, flying through Lima and staging in Cuzco Peru.

When I landed in Cuzco, I felt a little 'off.'  It was like having a mild case of sunstroke.  A little confusion.  Head a little blurry.  Altitude.  Cuzco is at about 11,000 feet.  I slept well that first night, but woke in the morning still dizzy.  I was downing coco tea, a local remedy for altitude sickness.  Due to my Cardiac Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), I carry a small oximeter which measures my oxygen levels.  Oximeter read 64%.  For people without lung problems, typical readings...

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An Unprecedented Time in Human History!

In the late 90's I was asked to speak on a Change Management panel.  About 60 people packed into the little classroom.  During Q&A, someone asked about the Graying of America.  The first two panelists gave their answers about investing in pharmaceuticals, boomerang parents and dementia.  Basically, the burden old folks put on our society.  I was next and I'm sure I gave an incredibly enlightened answer which I can't remember today. 

The fourth panelist glanced down at the three of us, looked at the crowd and said, "My fellow panelists have interesting and important perspectives, but I have a different one.  We are entering an unprecedented time in our human history when we have more wisdom on the planet than any other time.  And we're wasting it."  

You could hear a pin drop.

Something in me changed forever in that moment.  Ask yourself, do you feel like you are basking in the amazing wisdom that exists IN THIS MOMENT on our...

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Wisdom Stories and Cliffhangers

I looked at my Dad across the kitchen table.  Breathing tubes wrap around his face and the sound of air bursts every few seconds as an air compressor pushes oxygen through the tube.  We just spent a few hours talking about politics, the decay of our neighborhood and how washing machines just aren't worth repairing any more.  I relished these mundane topics and these times with him because I knew there were precious few remaining.

I thought about asking him the next question over the last few months.  A question about my ancestry.  About our relationship.  THE question.  I got a little nervous as the words swam around in my head like letters floating in alphabet soup.  The kitchen table seemed to stretch between us.  It is time. 

The Cliffhanger

Have you ever read a Dan Brown novel?  Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Inferno.  He is a modern master of the cliffhanger.  Every chapter ends in a mini cliffhanger so you...

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Wisdom Story of Preparation Tips for Speakers

authentic exchange Jan 23, 2019

I heard my name and applause from 450 people.  The moment has arrived.  I smile broadly, walk to the edge of the stage.  Pick up the gizmo that flips slides.  I walk up the four steps marked with red tape on their edges….and take a long deep breathe.  I wait at the back corner of the stage until the audience quiets down until you could hear a whisper.  PAUSE.  I take one step forward…

It's not every day that we get an opportunity to speak to a crowd, to share our wisdom.  It's exciting.  It gets your blood flowing.  Your endorphins pumped.   Most importantly, addressing people from stage is a privilege.   An opportunity to spend one hour to change a life….maybe in a big way.  Maybe in a subtle way.  Either way, we serve.

This story, though, is about the journey before that first step on the stage.  It's about the hour and a half before.

Before any big speaking engagement, I get...

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