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Recognize Your Mistakes

By Diego Nascimento

I have been thinking for some time about a treacherous phrase that has become commonplace in our daily lives: “To err is human.” But to what extent is such an affirmation an eventuality or becomes a constant in the responsibilities we assume? How often does “humanity” or the simple fact of being flesh and blood endorse the slips we commit? I assure you, reading this short passage, brought to mind some recent facts where you acted as the main character. And to share this feeling, I’ll tell you what happened to me.

Two weeks ago I accepted to participate in an event where I would speak about the Bible (I have a habit of studying the Holy Scriptures). As usual, I marked the date, time and place on my electronic agenda, and I prepared the material in advance. I even invited family members to go with me, and I calmly drove down the road to my destination. Arriving there I noticed the place was full, and I was impressed with the commitment of the community. At the same time I noticed that the leader, who had given the invitation fifteen days before, was also there. It was a mixture of curiosity and an awareness of something out of place, because it was due to his absence that my presence would be required on this date.  To my amazement I was, in fact, expected to teach that night. The only difference was in the address:  in a small lapse I marked down this place on my agenda when, in fact, I should have been 20 Km from where I had parked my car. A real tragedy.

I must say that such situations are unjustifiable. My fault caused discomfort and brought moments of deep concern to the group that was certainly waiting for me in another city. In the search for a guilty party (myself) I had only one option for future forgiveness. After sending some messages I was partially encouraged to learn that a member of the other community had “taken over” in my place. I promptly manifested my vow of praise for proactivity and repeated my regret for all the confusion. Although I understand that we are not robotized beings, programmed to follow a sequence of codes, it is fundamental to understand that there are limits even for misunderstandings. The lack of awareness that we should minimize failures has resulted in the suffering of individuals, families, companies and even countries around the world.

I recently read about a man who even in old age has been the target of numerous accusations of crimes committed throughout his life. Apparently, he made mistakes a first, the second …. a twentieth time and because of the fallibility that we have already discussed, he chose to fall into the trap of self-indulgence and make the mistakes a habit. The most regrettable thing is that we do not stand alone in the consequences of our mistakes and people from the environment end up receiving “shrapnel” from our tumbles.

In my case we noticed a clear conference failure. Even though it was the first time this happened, my efforts to keep it from repeating have been redoubled. We do not live by ourselves. Great opportunities bring great responsibilities. How about we make an evaluation of the reasons for our slips and devise strategies to make our walk more firm and safe? I am absolutely sure that a lot of things will change … and for the better!

We are Watching Over You

By Diego Nascimento

Information is something valuable in every situation of life. Through it companies open or close, people come or go, wars begin and end, and the bank account of the watchers gets bigger and bigger. With each channel you watch on television, online shopping or computer searches a profile about us is built. But how does this work?

“Whoever has information has power.” Have you heard or read that saying? Few people imagine it, but World War II was won amidst the capture of data during a real collapse between the Nazi regime and the allied army, which was totally opposed to Hitler’s proposals. The British had a brilliant team of scientists including mathematicians and statisticians to decode any sound and print communications intercepted in enemy transmissions. Seven decades after Germany’s surrender, information is still subject to disputes, but this time it’s entrepreneurs and big corporations who want the smallest details about YOU. And it is no use isolating in the middle of a desert, because if you are reading this text now, your tracks have already been recorded by a robust computer engine.

The traffic of information circulating on the internet right now is absurd. According to the Statistic portal, one of the world leaders in statistical data collection, more than 3,600,000 searches were made per day on Google in 2017. In addition, more than 4 million videos were watched every sixty seconds on YouTube. We have reached a phase of connection that has no return. A small grocery store is a bridge for capturing information from a simple customer when he decides to pay the bagel and the latte on the debit or credit card. Everything stored, all interconnected.

For those who work with marketing, this new global profile brings benefits and also many challenges. The new concept of “urgent” and the constant offer of new products and services mean that behavioral habits are marked more intensely, requiring a more accurate monitoring of any movement. Proof of this are loyalty cards, mostly offered by wholesale and retail stores (supermarkets in general). What is apparently a customer benefit caters to your computer systems with your purchasing preferences (brand, size …) and even the intervals when you return to the store to fulfill a basic consumer mission, when, in fact, your presence is a source to improve the approach to suppliers.

On several occasions I have expressed in texts and lectures my fascination with human behavior. I calmly say that I observe the people with whom I converse and observe facial movement, argumentation, tone of voice and manner of dress in my mental decoding system. Even with years of study I confess that I am in the process of improvement, but a certain knowledge in the area has already allowed very interesting experiences. Now imagine all this managed by a mega system of computer science that prints, in a few seconds, its profile of consumption. Do you understand now why some of the releases on TV and on the web seem to have been designed exclusively for you?

I will close by alerting you to the importance of this set of events involving your life. In thirty years we have seen more technological innovations than the whole world over a period of 100 years in the Middle Ages. The clock is ticking, and I want to reassure readers about these transformations. As much as we cannot get away from them, we can maintain a firm position with regard to the informational garbage that all this propaganda produces. Explore the online environment, make good friends, meet family, take advantage of promotions in virtual stores, but never let this seeming “door of opportunity” disappear with your moral and ethical values.

Ah! And if the machines spoke, I believe the first sentence they would say is, “We’re watching over you.”

What is that smell?

By Diego Nascimento

Who has not already answered this question? Throughout life we are impacted by diverse aromas that signal a tasty lunch, a polluted river, a beautiful bouquet or even a recently bought cologne or perfume.  Personal Marketing is such a vast subject that it even includes scents. I guarantee that for many readers this subject is a little delicate, especially at home or in the work environment.   Due to a fear of hurting feelings, many people suffer from an excess or lack of a “harmonious smell.”

Dealing with people requires special care in our appearance. Even indirectly we have the habit of observing the context of the environment and the professionals involved in our care. I once went to a store to evaluate a product and came home with a terrible headache. This was because the salesperson (who was by the way, very beautiful) poured on the perfume and infiltrated the entire establishment (maybe the entire block) with an inappropriate (strong) aroma for that time and place.  In another instance, the opposite was also apparent; the lack of a bath or a deodorant made much difference in my conversation with another attendant who had declared war on the smell. But what should we do in both cases? Here are some important tips for helping ourselves and others:

  • We are human beings and, for this reason, we perspire all the time. The contact of sweat with skin bacteria presents us with that strong, unpleasant odor that doctors call hyperhidrosis.  Choosing a good deodorant (roll-on, spray, cream …) for everyday use is worth it.
  • Avoid repetition of clothing without proper washing; dry sweat also has bad consequences.
  • Make taking baths a continuous exercise. Entering the shower only “on Saturdays” does not work.
  • Choose less concentrated aromas in the business environment. The so-called “Eau de toilette” and “Eau de cologne” are ideal for day-to-day business, unlike “Eau de parfum” products that are more concentrated and strong.
  • Know that the hotter and moister the temperature, the more intense and strong the smell of the perfume. If the weather is cold, the aroma is more discreet. Respect of this rule is a good thermometer.
  • Understand that a pleasant place is reflected in respect for colleagues, without exaggeration (even in regard to smell).
  • Get help from consultants or even specialized stores when buying a deodorant, perfume …

I know that many never stopped for a moment to think about the effects of this theme on Personal Marketing. As an area scholar, it is my duty to share knowledge that can prevent disruption and save careers. I have already published articles dealing with voice, use of social networks, curriculum, writing, professional qualification and many other titles that, if added, form the timeline of those who have just reached the job market or who are celebrating birthdays in this or that Department.

Common sense is for everyone!

Oops, We Made a Mistake!

By Diego Nascimento

I once met a person who beat his chest saying, “I never make mistakes.” This phrase spread to everyone in the office day after day and, unfortunately, it bothered colleagues for a simple reason:  we are human and fallible. Acting against this natural principle demonstrates a clear arrogance and pride of those who underestimate the limitations of mind and body. And speaking of Professional Ethics, walk with me through the lines that I “will write” next.

Excellence is a very widespread word today. Meetings and trainings inside and outside companies deal with improvement, qualification and planning at the operational and strategic levels. What I want to make clear is that even with the technological innovations and research that result in Nobel Prizes, we will not be able to reign in all the misunderstandings that may arise in the provision of services and / or the offer of the most diverse products.

But what to do in such cases? My first recommendation is dialogue. Through conversation we know if managers and leaders know how to exercise listening and speaking in a productive and balanced way. It is through talking that we will have an even broader view of the process and give / receive a vote of confidence, as well as ascertain what actually caused the error. The second tip is to organize (even if this requires time) the work routine of the team, the departments … realizing that from the simplest commercial establishment to an industry giant this practice works very well (of course, customized according to the size of the organization, number of employees and market target).  Evolution is a constant, and we can never fall into the trap of complacency.

In his book, “The Power of Habit,” journalist Charles Duhigg, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, gives numerous examples of what we do in life, in education, and in business. Throughout nearly 400 pages, the publication focuses on patterns that shape every aspect of our daily lives and, beyond a shadow of a doubt, small or large-scale failures that can be addressed so that they do not recur. Humility is not only linked to unfavorable financial conditions, but to our ability to always learn.

Finally, I would like to clarify that accepting our fallibility does not justify maintaining a wrong. At the same time, I would also like to reiterate that Superman and Wonder Woman are still exclusive characters of DC Comics and their superpowers do not represent our human reality. Even so, strive to strengthen your skills and expand your attention so that excellence is a trademark in your professional resume.

Nothing special

By Diego Nascimento

I always write about marketing and communication tips, but today I want to deal with willpower. That’s right: get out of the comfort zone and do something worthwhile. Every day I perceive an outsourcing of responsibilities that gradually opens a “crater” between theory and practice. We live in the days of “talking a lot” and “doing little.” I disagree with this way of thinking and will explain my reasoning.

Everything now revolves around the generations Y and Z (categories that divide people born since 1980). I am part of this group, and I say with the utmost tranquility: we are not anything special. We can see the pampering we receive from the media and from other sectors of society who insist that we need a different treatment and that we are the fruit of the age of connectivity. That’s fine. The world has changed, and in fact, our vision for certain areas may be broader, but it may also be restricted by virtue of a certain inexperience. There is no doubt that the methodologies of teaching, the exercise of entrepreneurship and even consumption need to do a lot of gymnastics to be able to adapt to “our” way of seeing the universe as well as to capture “our” attention. This is the future.

On the other hand, all this changing movement bothers me when I see some young people in the position of demigods, simply because their birth certificate puts them in the generations that I have spoken little of until now. It becomes pathetic the way many justify comfort and a daily life based exclusively on tanning (after all they are special). Whether you want it or not, we are the fruit of an era that precedes the Y and Z boom and has sustained the world economy to this day (they have survived for years without internet and cell phone), and yet it is regrettably subject to deep criticism.

I close saying once again that we are nothing special. We are human beings born in a different time period. Instead of handing off responsibilities, under the simple and ridiculous assertion that we are Y, and Z, we need to sustain the present for tomorrow, which will beyond a shadow of a doubt be much more challenging. No matter what letter of the alphabet you represent, know that the absence of willpower is harmful to any generation. Get out of the way! Throw the pleasure of comfort out the window! And as the great economist Milton Friedman would say:  “There is no free lunch.”

Ask for Help

By Diego Nascimento

• “I’m buried in things to do …”
• “Call me later … my schedule is full …”
• “I wish the day had more than 24 hours …”

Have you heard those phrases before? Me too! They are common to professionals, students and even to those who already enjoy a good rest but are involved in the challenges of everyday life. There are several books and articles with tips on how to manage your time for a better quality of life.  I remember that when I was a teenager people said that computer technology would make things easier, and everything would be better; I think they are still hoping that will be the case.  Pure illusion!

After experiencing the “lack of time” and witnessing the despair of many people with the accumulation of tasks, I came to the conclusion that asking for help and delegating functions are the first steps in search of a professional pre-organization, whether it be academic or even a private agenda. Recognizing our limitations is the beginning of healing. I was a workaholic, and I know how it works. There were many abstinence crises before understanding the need for balance. Although I have advanced significantly, I still need to improve a lot.

The first suggestion for “unwinding” is to empower someone who can assist you in times of trouble. A trustworthy person who knows how to respect your boundaries and who is proactive enough to bring encouragement to your concerns. The second step is to organize each item, on an urgent, important, non-urgent, and less important scale. Finally, come to value simple things around you (even if it involves having a telephone conversation with a friend or family member). When we are busy to the extreme, we are apt to drive away the people who care the most about us.

The busy mind brings interesting results, but everything in excess is harmful and poses risks to our health in many ways. I would like to close by suggesting that you make a careful analysis of your TIME, and if despair is a feeling about to knock on your door, go ahead and ask for help!

Avoid Slips: Understand the Reasons

By Diego Nascimento

Facebook is a very interesting environment. I say this not only because of certain posts that I have seen, but by the way some people move away from the rules of writing. Writing a simple sentence, paragraph, or broader text requires respect for the basics of grammar and spelling. What is most surprising is that such slips are practiced by an incredible number of young people and adults (some even with academic degrees).

I want to make it clear that all people have limitations in certain areas. At the same time, I agree that the Portuguese language, in particular, offers a greater challenge because of the wide rules of syntax and so on. On the other hand, some small outbursts, tributes, thanks or any manifestations on social networks begs for careful attention.  The reason is simple: it is your image that is associated with the content. If you are a professional in the job market, the danger is even greater: the increase or decrease in credibility may also be associated with the way you write.

Learning is daily, and change is a choice. On the Internet, it is easy to find countless Portuguese tips (videos, audios, exercises …), and I venture to say that there are many people out there who prefer to “waste time” by swiping the screen of a cell phone for content that does not lead anywhere. If you know someone who fits into this “scary” scenario, suggest some training or experience. Do not be afraid to tell the truth for a good reason.  Personal and professional growth involves sharpening as well as common sense.

Someone once asked me the best way to learn. My response included two words: repetition and discipline. Regularly producing small paragraphs will train your mind for debate, logic, grammar, etc … I do this in my mother tongue and in other languages I study. But this strategy will be worthless if there is no discipline or, getting straight to the point, creating a habit of exercising this writing ability. Ask for help when you need it and do not be shy; we are human, and we learn day after day!

Glossophobia: Symptoms and Treatment

By Diego Nascimento

Phobia is a feminine noun originating from the Greek “fobos” which means fear, aversion or repulsion and is present in something very common among people:  the fear of public speaking. The technical word for this discomfort is Glossophobia. Some studies that began in the 1990s show that more than 50% of the population manifests a complete panic when having to present a work, project or even a simple speech. Since then research has continued, but it is easy to see that within five meters of where we are we will find people like that.

I graduated in Social Communications and have given several trainings on Oratory. The best part of all this is to observe the reaction of the audience when I tell about my profound shyness; the apex was in adolescence, and I suffered a lot with this situation. Dry mouth, reddened face, weak voice, excessive sweating, and fear of judgment were some of the symptoms that came within seconds. I already know: you also have these kind of stories to share, right? All this context is not only linked to lack of training. The behavioral psychology itself has given us discoveries that attest to the bridge between emotion and experiences lived in childhood, youth, and adult life. I confess that the subject is vast and, perhaps, we can continue it at another time. Before going I want to offer each reader some tips for beginning a treatment in the medium and long term:

• Recognize your limits and ask for help to overcome them;
• Be sympathetic at the beginning and end of the presentation;
• Never agree to talk about something you do not know;
• Study, study and study the material you will present;
• Rehearse your presentation. As time passes this procedure will no longer be necessary;
• Avoid focusing directly on the eyes of the audience (unless you have the freedom to do so);
• Beware of slides: excessive texts and images are tiring for an audience;
• Manage the time: Do not talk too much and “talk too little”;
• Wear light clothing and comfortable shoes;
• Speak slowly and with the same tone of voice;
• Take risks: crying about it will not help anything.

Throughout my training I divide the tasks between theoretical and practical content. Seeing changes (for the better) happen is gratifying and shows that, with effort, a considerable portion of dreams can be achieved. Even if you are not a professional speaker, be aware that your student, social, and work day-to-day lives require leadership action, and so becoming a good speaker is an important ingredient for good results.

Scientist Isaac Newton once said, “What we know is a drop; what we ignore is an ocean.”  I think it’s good to start getting wet!
Until the next article.

The Acceptance Game

By Diego Nascimento

A common scenario in social, corporate and even academic situations is what I call the “acceptance game.” It is based on people being able to switch around or do things that they simply do not like to do to be ACCEPTED. That’s right: they go with the flow of the majority to not be left out of group A, B or C. At any cost (I mean, at any cost) they sacrifice themselves for “masks” that they cannot sustain in the course of their lives.

Such situations bring serious emotional and even physical consequences. I have written several articles about change, but I want to make it clear that I support initiatives that maintain the essence of an individual. Achieving such a dream job, graduation or other goals are natural, promising and healthy decisions. The warning I am making is that you do not have to give up confessional, family, and ethical values to surround yourself with “friends,” invitations, promotions, or social status. Success needs to be aligned with originality. Lying resumes, plagiarized scholarly works, and indebtedness to show an “alternative reality” are treacherous and will offer problems sooner or later.

I’ve matured a lot over the years. I have improved my speaking and writing styles, expanded my professional qualification, gained more friends, acquired goods … life is like this: a spinning wheel and, with each turn, a new chapter emerges. I am still in my youth, and I hope that the verbs that I used in this paragraph continue to exist in my daily life. At the same time, I concentrate my efforts so that my essence never dissipates. Regardless of your age range, I suggest you reflect on the “acceptance game.”

When I conclude lectures on Careers I always set aside a few minutes to listen to testimonials. There are countless people who are aimless, feel lonely in society, and take refuge in riding the “wave of others.” It’s a mistake to think that what I have just said only applies once you enter the corporate life. The game can start in childhood, cross into adolescence and, if not shut down, continue until the last days. Growing up in life is good, very good. It involves effort, and I am a fan of those who embrace this cause. Overcoming the “acceptance game” means recognizing the limitations, maintaining the essence, cultivating originality, and staying close to those you really care about.
King Solomon, inspired by God, once recorded:
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 8:10 and 11 – Holy Bible.

Let’s think about it!

Recklessness Kills

By Diego Nascimento

Driving back to my hometown I witnessed a tragic accident. In the distance I noticed an automobile flipped over and a person stretched out on the side of the road. Immediately I stopped my car in a safe place and rushed to rescue whoever had been thrown from the vehicle. It was a young girl who regrettably breathed her last breath as soon as I got close to her. I crossed the road and removed the remaining occupants who were injured and in shock; The car was destroyed and smoke was coming out. To my astonishment there were seven people in a car made for five occupants without accounting for the practically empty whiskey bottle I found on the driver’s side floor. Some of my family who were traveling with me offered assistance to the survivors while we called the rescue personnel and police. What caused that terrible scene? Imprudence. A mixture of speed and alcohol.

I would like to use this experience to speak about professional recklessness. It is more common than imagined and can be practiced by novices and veterans. There is a lot of talk about a new generation that ignores rules and needs to be flattered; In a way I am part of it, and I do not see much good in this new way.  I fully understand that times change, but proactivity, honesty, punctuality and common sense are essential characteristics in the life of an intern, manager, director, CEO … no matter the position.

Recklessness can be seen in the delivery of an incomplete report, lowering the value of the company in which one operates (even when one receives working conditions and benefits which make others “jealous”), in sowing discord among departmental colleagues, in idleness or procrastination, in the habit of constant delays in producing the urgent, in the arrogance or theoretical pride fed by one’s position, or in the simple failure to make a difference without wanting something in return.

I belong to the famous Generation Y that includes those born after 1980 and who witnessed the boom of the Internet and instant communication. This does not make me better than anyone else, and for this reason I do my best to seek my own professional development. Hard work is something I have cultivated since my adolescence, and I was able to balance it with undergraduate, graduate and completing various trainings. I prefer to be cautious than to live “recklessly” justified by many based on their birthdate. I will never agree with this way of thinking of “forever lying in a dazzling cradle.”

The Bible is full of guidance on this subject. I am a professional in the corporate world and base my choices on christian belief. The book of James in chapter 3, verse 17 says, “But the wisdom that comes from above is first pure, then peaceful, moderate, tractable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Recklessness in traffic is capable of taking lives. Professional recklessness (or even for those still students) kills opportunities, destroys relationships, and erases the possibility of a good future. Beware of which steps you take.