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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.

Where is the Danger?

Where is the Danger?

By Diego Nascimento

I am often invited to attend various lectures and demonstrations. In this world, I notice how people have faulty thinking starting with dress, body posture, tone of voice, grammatical agreement and, finally, slides that are designed to catch the eye of the audience. This is where danger lies.

A presentation prepared in the traditional Power Point or any other resource is only a support. Never put your trust in the colors, animations or other tools offered by software. Whether in the academic environment or at work, know what details make the difference. Let me share the following quick and useful tips with you:

  1. Long texts are for books, letters and manuals. Slides / transparencies were made for objective texts / images.
    2. Beware of visual scandal. Too much color distracts the viewer’s focus; the opposite is also true.
    3. When entering the information, opt for san-serif fonts. Examples: Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, etc.
    4. Spell-check all content.
    5. Make your words the focus. Continuously reading slides demonstrates unpreparedness and loses the interest of the listener.
    6. Match the number of slides / transparencies according to the presentation time. The balance between delivery and speech creates more interaction with the audience.
    7. Master the subject you are speaking on. The first impression is vital to your future.
    8. Underestimating the public is a thing for amateurs. Surprise them!
    9. Train, train, and train.  Preparedness is linked to good results.

Public speaking is one of my specialties, and professional / academic presentation techniques are part of the training that I offer. I have a moral duty to share what I have observed throughout my career, and I suggest you do the same. Teamwork can change lives.

The Impostor

By Diego Nascimento

As you begin reading this article there is someone out there pretending to be what they are not. Starting with the resume, the job market is full of good people making promises, but they are bad at fulfilling what has been promised or agreed upon. This dynamic is present in the emotional, social, religious, academic and professional areas. This subject is broad, so therefore we will focus on careers.

Frédéric Bourdin is a Frenchman known by the media as “The Chameleon.” He became famous after he assumed the identity of a missing Texan boy in the 1990s and, for a considerable time, managed to fool his family, friends and neighbors. A local investigator suspected his story and decided to investigate the case. Months after the “miraculous” reappearance the truth came to the fore, and Frédéric was arrested and accused of fraud in regard to his passport and perjury. He was imprisoned for six years until he was deported to France. Still the deceived family continues to wait for information of their son who left to play and was never seen again.

I used this truth story as a warning about impostors in professional life. They are people who are insincere with themselves and who do not fulfill the minimum that is required in the position in which they took over. They choose to deceive co-workers, clients, and the business in general by justifying the lack of being proactive and commitment in daily chores through meticulously constructed lies. Using slang they are called “posers.” The good news in all this is that the professionalization of corporate management in institutions, regardless of size or type (public, private or third sector), has facilitated the identification of these elements while still in the Selective Process. But do not confuse today’s issue with the Dunning-Kruger effect that deals with people with little knowledge about some area or subject who consider themselves superior to others. This will be a topic for another article.

I recently lectured on Corporate Ethics for Rotary Club International members, and I was able to share a basic recipe for a stand for the Professional of the Future based on five things: Reference, Emotional Control, Punctuality, Attendance, and Social Responsibility. Throughout my speech I exemplified in a practical way what I do to build into those around me, especially in my family and at work.

Observation is a basic tool for assessing the action of “professional impostors.” They contribute considerably to the dip in monthly results and in the positioning or repositioning of a product or service commitments. They are the ones who just do some work early on in the day and pretend to work anxiously when it is time to leave.  Make no mistake; if you think that this happens only in certain roles, on the contrary, leadership positions are also “rewarded” with people like that.

I will end with a direct recommendation: do your best regardless of where and how; it’s a question of honor. A Biblical passage emphasizes this mission through the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 9, verse 10: “Whatever you put your hands to, do it with all your might.” Let’s move forward and work hard and strong!

Forget your Fear of Heights

By Diego Nascimento

Several times I have talked to people who claimed to be afraid of heights. They avoided getting near balconies, windows, or close to any environment that would take them from within easy reach of floor or offer a risk of falling. I still remember the first time that, in the air club, I participated in a stall exercise or, as it is said in Brazil, a free fall. Everything is based on the takeoff of the plane, then reaching a safe altitude for the maneuver and, seconds later, feeling the aircraft dive towards the ground. Needless to say, my adrenaline shot to unimaginable levels, but how can you be sure everything happened within recognized safety standards (I am alive and well to be able to write today’s article – ha, ha).

In the professional life, a fear of heights causes serious problems. It is because of this that many fail to “rise in life” and choose to stay where they are without any desire to learn more or have something to offer others. I affirm and will say it again:  there is a horizon just ahead of you. Have you learned a second language? Learn a third language. Have you perfected your writing skills? Take a speaking class. Did you graduate? Consider a post graduate course and so on. I know people who confuse stability with being comfortable, and this type of reasoning is toxic and capable of “contaminating” other people.

Journalist and writer David Cohen in the book “Culture of Excellence” comments on research done by Dr. Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University in the United States. Dweck divides the human mind into two groups. In the first, called afixed mindset, we find people who believe they have a steady growth level and that their talents will not change throughout their lives. In the second group, called a growth mentality, professionals come together who believe in the evolution of intelligence, that the brain can be shaped and that talent is built. Which of the two most catches my attention? The second, of course.

Changing the world is much more linked to the citizen’s entrepreneurial profile than to political ideals. The stall maneuver so famous in the aeronautical universe, requires a deep technical knowledge by the pilot and the co-pilot. Succeeding in life is like that as well, but much more than the theoretical baggage–practice humility, courage and teamwork is a basic consideration for anyone, whatever the position or academic background.

I will close by sharing a phrase I have recently created that might touch your heart: “What are you hoping to achieve? This is a very common question for those who enjoy good results. Do not be afraid!”

Stellar Career

by Diego Nascimento

What is the connection between Lava Jato and your professional journey? The answer is simple: there can be no link. You are deceiving yourself if you think I’m talking about the possibility of having your name involved in this scandal worthy of the adjective “disgusting.” When we make an in-depth analysis of all occurrences that touch on this subject, the word that best represents this scenario is dishonesty. The Houaiss dictionary carries some synonyms that “pains us” for this noun:falsification of the truth; insincerity, bad faith.

Have you heard of the Stellar Career, the one gains success beyond the stars? It is the term that I have created for people who, in the workplace, reach positions of great responsibility, and who their own free will, for good or bad, impact the lives of various people.  The worst thing is that there are dishonest “professionals” who are dishonest with others and with themselves. But how is this possible? Calm down, let me explain! Attitudes of authoritarianism, pride, arrogance, individualism and self-sufficiency toward leaders and followers and those who have the same “power” in the hierarchy already exhibit a poverty of spirit, to the point of practically showing “I’m it.” People like this suffer from within and without, offering drastic consequences in the short, medium and long term.

The sense of impunity does not always involve monetary corruption. The insincerity present in “gaining the trust” of others via an apparent theatrical sympathy is totally toxic and opens the door to gossip, for “making a way” and having an imbalance in human relationships. I am not here to cry out for a perfect world, after all, in the midst of our postmodern world things seem to be more misaligned than in the Stone Age. But we can make a difference at a time when greeting someone with a sincere GOOD MORNING is a virtue!

Returning to Lava Jato: some characters from the Stellar Career of national politics and entrepreneurship, who recently testified in Congresses, Symposiums and Mega Events in Brazil and abroad have become key pieces in a scheme that shakes the whole nation. What good is taking shortcuts to climb the ladder in life, if the most precious thing (YOUR NAME) is slung in the mud? And I do not care if we have short memories. What matters is sincerity with yourself.

Dr. Phil McGraw, author of numerous publications related to human behavior, records in “The Code of Life” a phrase worthy of reflection. He says, “Being a victim, however, is different from being a change agent.” If we stop to think, there are a lot of people acting like victims just to justify insincerity and bad faith. And remember this is not just about slamming the millionaires, but also in regard to the way you relate to your department colleagues. It does not matter what job you’re in.

To be humble is to understand that you do not exist alone. It is to know that the very challenging “Organizational Climate” needs very little to function as expected. It is to realize that success has more to do with the example given than with the amount of zeros in the bank account. Think about it!