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I Would Read This If I Were You

By Diego Nascimento

Last week I went to the grocery store to buy some items. Walking through the aisles I was startled by two things: the first was the price of the goods, which showed in a practical way the brazilian economic instability. The second was an easy display of bad manners and complete lack of leadership. This is how it happened:  I was comparing the price of popcorn packages (like traditional packages prepared without the use of a microwave), when I saw the silhouette of a woman next to me. Just a few meters away a store employee was organizing the products on the shelves, and when I looked into her eyes I began hearing a coarse conversation. In a few seconds I realized they both already knew each other (they worked in the same grocery store but in different areas) and for whatever reason they decided to have this conversation right there. This vulgar conversation came to an abrupt end when they became aware of my presence.

In an instant I realized something that I want to share with you:

• Appropriateness:  Rain or shine your workplace is not your bedroom. Sensitive issues are (or should be) discussed away from the professional environment.  As much as one might think they have control over the situation, it is not worth the risk.

  • Vocabulary:Fortunately, I was raised in a family environment which believed swear words would pass away. I don’t even know some swear words. I’m sure this is a reality for many people. I would argue that even a “good argument” between parties requires class.
  • Common Sense:This is becoming increasingly rare nowadays. A quick rise to aggression and lack of self-control shows the need for training or replacement of both employees.
  • Leadership:The store manager, alerted by the “heat of emotion” of the unhappy duo, went to the aisle but acted with indifference. The question that arose in my mind was: “Is this something commonplace around here?”

This appalling story shows that, in fact, many companies, regardless of size, are still home to people who forget the limits. At the same time, these things cause real harm, and many can “save themselves” from behavior like this.  That’s why I continue my journey giving lectures and courses. Transforming the status quo of a professional life for the better is priceless.

I would like to finish this article quoting Zig Ziglar, author of Self-Motivation, High Performance: “Optimists are full of passion. They believe they are on this earth because of a purpose and have no intention of stopping until that purpose is fulfilled. The attitudes of optimists are positive. Their perspective is of eternity, and the enthusiasm they show is contagious!

To infinity and beyond!


You and I

by Diego Nascimento

I was 22 years old when I climbed the Andes for the first time. As the path reached higher levels, the cold became more intense. The peaks covered with snow exhibited an amazing spectacle of nature, but also warned of the dangers of going too far. At a certain stretch of the journey I saw a rustic house made of stone, a small building which was visibly old and had profound meaning.

Once I reached three thousand meters of altitude I asked the natives who were closest to my group what that stone hut was doing there. The answer was remarkable: the house served as a refuge for any who chose to continue their journey or who needed shelter, especially during periods of snowfall. Most impressive is that temporary guests had the habit of leaving blankets and food for the next travelers or sportsmen who needed shelter. A true and deep sense of community.

This account demonstrates an increasingly scarce attitude in the professional environment. The “I” is more important than the “we.” The workplace has no room for “people who don’t need anything or anyone.”  No one lives alone. We are part of a chain of actions which join us together. Regardless of the size of the company or project to be undertaken, it is critical to think that being a team is the key to success. Unfortunately, there are people who do not think this way and make individualism their trademark.  Consider the example above: outsiders who use the cabin have no idea who will be the next guest but still make a point to share their food with them.  Would that every company would have teams that follow that same thinking. How many victories would we share on a daily basis?

The saddest thing about this is that the professional individualism has reached to the family. I know people who are able to cheat out their own mothers just because of a selfish desire, forgetting that family is also a team.

I am an observer. Within a few minutes of conversation I am clearly able to get the sense of individualism or community of the people. Their words convey feelings and body language as well. We have to be careful in our daily lives. The workplace is too precious and important to waste time with feelings of pride and selfishness.


On Accident or On Purpose?

by Diego Nascimento

I talked to a friend of mine this week about something interesting that she saw: on visiting a store, she realized that the company had redesigned the logo through the random distribution of letters. The idea was clear; by combining the syllables the customer would see the full name of the establishment. No doubt it’s a modern and artistic perspective. The most curious thing was that besides the store identification, two vowels and two consonants were apparently placed without proofing and stood in the center of the “brand”. The worst thing was that adding all four letters together, the word that appeared was ERROR. That’s right, ERROR.

This is more common than you think. Many people, when trying to innovate just end up “jumping off a cliff.” Creativity is the key to success in business and in your personal life, however, it comes about through planning. In the case of the aforementioned store, the appearance of the word ERROR in the company’s brand may have been on accident or on purpose. I would prefer to imagine it is the first option because, if it was intentional, the consequences could be serious. The buyer’s purchase impulse is connected psychologically. Colors, shapes, sounds and images are able to attract people or make them never wish to return. Visiting a place where the mind links the store with the word ERROR, without realizing it, could scare off potential consumers without them even realizing they made this decision.

And do not think this happens only with companies. Ideas are published daily through our clothes, messages on t-shirts, how we speak, write, or gesture…. certain actions are a just like a broken bridge about to collapse. Be careful not to act rashly with someone who tomorrow might be the person who will interview you for that long awaited job vacancy.

In short, pay close attention before saying anything.  Some say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the opposite can also be


Identify Yourself, Please

by Diego Nascimento

A few days ago I visited a very dear family. After a few moments of conversation involving history and international culture, I walked through some rooms and arrived at a small museum which among other relics and rare footage housed a piece of a uniform from World War II. As I looked closer I realized that the material had a message written in English and, parallel to the text, the same message was in an Asian language. As curiosity is my constant companion, I asked why they did this. I discovered that it was my friends’ grandfather who had joined the US combat forces, was an airline pilot, and the purpose of that message was to identify him in the case of an emergency landing or plane crash. Immediately a movie came to my mind, and I wondered how many situations that piece of cloth had passed through. History is made up of these things …

So how does this relate to today’s text? The answer is simple:  Our journey as professionals presents us with moments of victory and also lossesWe need to be ready for both. What worries me is that I know people who hate the word “loss” and always try to distance themselves from anything where their personal image is somehow tarnished. They try at all costs “erase their identification” with this or that situation purely out of pride. I was like that.  But I learned that some falls serve as an impetus to take on higher hurdles. You might think, “But what if the losses and falls are constantly a part of someone’s professional life?” You can be sure that something serious is happening there, and a diagnosis needs to be carried out for a treatment that generates results; but that’s a topic for another article.

It’s interesting how the digital age reveals a cold and meaningless happiness. Open any social network, for example, and look at the photos; the impression one gets of most of them is that everyone is getting along, happy with everything and at peace with others. Lies. Unnecessary ostentation is so far from our daily challenges. Few actually portray the true meaning of smiles. These are facts, so just let me defend the idea of taking responsibility for our mistakes and celebrating our victories, always! Did you say something you shouldn’t have? Apologize. Did you make a decision in the heat of the moment? Go back and correct it (if there is still time). The list is extensive, but the peace that it brings to a home is also important in the workplace. While you and I are not perfect, we need to focus on doing our best.

I will close by saying the following:  Like the example of our hero and victorious pilot (quoted in the first paragraph), keep your identification clearly visible if you are flying high, in case you need an emergency landing or in the worst case, a crash. That man was ready for any of these situations, and his name would be clear in all of them. And in your professional life:  Are you ready and prepared for anything? If your answer is yes, congratulations! If your answer is no, I suggest you start skimming through your life dictionary for two dangerous words: pride and pride! Until next time!


Obvious Tragedy

by Diego Nascimento

Writing about ethics in business and life is not easy. I say this because of the time it takes, as in regard to the issues the list is wide and never ending (Sad, is not it?). But let’s move on and put our neurons to work (ha, ha…).

The world received news of the tragedy that hit the Mariana region of Minas Gerais State. A mine had two dams break, and a sea of ​​mud with apparently toxic debris invaded communities and cities, killing people, fish, animals of the field and polluting rivers and seas, the causes of which are still under investigation. Some experts say the disaster is irreversible and the damage incalculable. The media and government officials have been attempting for four months now to find one or more culprits. The “blame game” will last a long time. The point is that many families have lost their homes in the present and the future. They are at the mercy of an unprecedented fight.

Has your life been invaded by a quagmire of problems, those capable of leaving a wake of trouble?  I cannot say the how many of you, but I’m sure many, in your heart of hearts, answered with a big YES! This kind of disruption happens at work, at home, at school, in relationships and is directly related to your decisions. That’s right; some disruptions are predictable and others arrive without an appointment. Some people struggle with all their might against the mud, but there are others who lose strength and drown.

I am not the owner of tomorrow, nor are you. But some things are already an obvious tragedy, and I know people who still insist on moving in the wrong direction. If we evaluate this from an entrepreneurial perspective, the major brands are the result of acts of true madness and risk. In these cases we must take into consideration a number of factors that can predict if a business will work or not. This can also be reflected in your relationships, studies and any dream that comes to your mind. Living dangerously does not pay. Even the creation of the world we live in was the result of planning, which is what guides your life.

If you make a mistake, take responsibility for it and promise yourself that you will never do that again. If your idea did not work, I suggest you take a deep breath, look forward, and look at new opportunities. Although we are part of a society that increasingly preaches individualism, victories and personal challenges come from groups: families, departments, neighbors, groups of friends … they all are a part of a great connection.

Be careful: Some disruptions cause so much damage they destroy everything, like the example at the beginning of the text. Put selfishness aside and seek to understand that we are here to benefit others as well. Defend the truth, create opportunities and walk with your “feet on the ground.


Mediocrity, Never!

by Diego Nascimento
I am an observer of human reactions inside and outside the workplace. One of the elements I most treasure is politeness. Forget the educational degrees for a moment and just focus on the “kind way about them” type of people. This is the kind of politeness I am talking about.

Have you had a chance to live with people facing outside problems who see you as a real lightning rod to take on bitterness, moodiness and indecision? Amazingly, this is more common than you might imagine. Some people think that a lack of kindness and politeness are a sign of authority or superiority. That’s a sad mistake. Contrary to what many may think, attitudes like that reflect individuals who have dealt with some longstanding annoyances. The worst thing is, it alienates people, whether it is at home, at work or even while buying something at the store. I call it mediocrity.

Often I am asked to refer people who would be good in positions in different companies. In addition to qualities such as attitudes, communication skills and being proactive, relationship skills is a key factor. Emotional intelligence is invaluable and will never be proven through a resume. Living and/or working together is the only option for an accurate diagnosis.

I recently read a scientific paper produced by Professor Jean-François Chanlat, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales of Montreal, Canada. Although it was published in 1992, the study substantiates the claim that remains real today in our everyday human relations:  “The world turns into a reflection of themselves. The relationships they develop with others are impregnated with coldness, detachment and instrumentality. Such attitudes have a lot in common with the characteristics of university’s techno- bureaucrats where being impersonal, functional and calculating reign as masters.”

Being polite, especially at work, contributes significantly to harmony over hours and hours of activities. Try to be remembered for being a bridge between people and never a barrier or someone who makes people anxious.  Whatever your position, salary or time at home, I suggest the following:  Smile! Escaping from a mediocre lifestyle is a matter of choice!


The Big Lie

by Diego Nascimento

The first thing I do when I’m waiting for a departure at the airport or bus station is look for a bookstore. My eyes wandering over the shelf displays brings a sense of well-being that is uniquely without equal. Among magazines and books are the traditional “motivational courses” that promise to cure your blues and provide answers to the questions that bother you every day. I want to talk about how to find motivation without creating the expectations of these seemingly miraculous publications.

I work with management every day. All the time I see happiness, sadness, excitement and frustration in people. Even if they do not talk about it, their facial expression (body language) gives it away. Some people compare life to a kitchen cabinet: for every situation you have to open the right drawer. That’s not how life works. Your brain is an amazing machine which produces reactions and feelings, and even with advances in technology we have not reached 10% of what the brain is capable of doing.

I’m sorry to say you will never find “motivation” available for purchase on the shelves in the supermarket, bookstores, pharmacies or clothing stores. What about in the apps list on my tablet or cell phone?  No way. Motivation is behavior. It comes from within you. It is there, waiting to be awakened. I know people who have invested a ton ​​in lectures and courses and returned home the same way they went in: apathetic and uncaring. I want to make it very clear that I admire the work of professionals who deal with this area. They don’t just give out “motivation,” but they explain how you will be able to find motivation for yourself.

There are several studies on how our body reacts to impulses when it is motivated or unmotivated. The Brazilian Journal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, which is available in the virtual library of the University of São Paulo (USP), is one of several publications that has articles about this very subject (go there if you want to expand your knowledge on the subject).David Crech and Richard S. Crutchfield once said that motivation is connected to the reason for doing something: “One reason is a need or desire coupled with the intention to achieve an appropriate goal.”

Practically speaking, what do you want to see happen in your life today? Do you want to move forward or stand still just watching the cars go by? You could be given a few nights at the best hotel in the world, have several million dollars in your bank account and the trip of your dreams and, at the end of the week, wake up with the same lack of motivation you had the month before.  The reason is simple: the subject of today’s article has nothing to do with material gains (which are a result of your work), but with your efforts to stand up and follow the journey of life regardless of your resources.

If you want to talk about motivation, I’m ready to listen.  Share and seek advice with people who sincerely want to discuss these things. If you need the professional help, do not be ashamed. At certain times we need help. Do something soon. Escape from just settling.  This attitude can turn you into a big lie!


Do Something for Someone

by Diego Nascimento

In my lectures and classes in college I have shared that life, in fact, is a book filled with chapters. Some striking, others less so. The desire to soar to greater heights in our professional careers is commonplace, but few people understand that success is not necessarily linked to the “stuffed” bank account statement. Good success is also measured by the way you act, speak and devote your time to tasks, projects and your community.

The story I am going to tell you is true, and my family was and remains an eyewitness to an incredible example of balance, sacrifice and sensitivity. I’ve always like the opportunity to tell this story to reinforce the idea that “donating your time to others” can revolutionize lives.

Once there was a boy between the ages of 5 and 7 who lived in an orphanage. Frightened by so many people around him, that boy (who did not know his family roots or parents) was transferred to another children’s home where he was educated by a team of missionaries committed to planting hope. Years passed and the boy was adopted by a family living outside of Brazil in North America. There he continued to receive the principles of truth, graduated from high school and started working. It wasn’t enough for him to be on this new path; this young man knew that he could go farther.  Reevaluating his personal goals, he boarded a plane and spent some of his precious youth as a volunteer at the small Brazilian orphanage that cared for him for years. It was after this interval, newly married, that the young man made a big decision: “I was adopted. Maybe I should do the same?” After a major bureaucratic battle, the foreign country that embraced him now received another child, and the story was repeated. Decades passed, and the little boy at the beginning of this story is now a grown man, father of five, grandfather of three, exemplary spouse, faithful friend and a professional whose career is worthy of a book, literally. But this saga does not end there: even living abroad, the entire family continues to donate their time for the sake of other children living at the same orphanage that for over 50 years has revolutionized generations.

Now bear with me: besides work, work and work what do you dedicate to others? You may not have the purpose or even the chance to participate in an adoption in the traditional sense, but in your spare time you can “adopt” someone by spending time with them who needs a few minutes of conversation and human warmth. There are many ways to add to your “life resume” through simple steps, and you are able to make a huge, huge difference.

Sometimes you can reach the end of your story without seeing results from your efforts. Do not worry about it. The biggest fruits do not always need advertising. What’s more, if today I have English as a Second Language (ESL) – Inglês como Segundo Idioma – and I have translated texts and conversations, speeches, etc., it just shows that the seed was planted before I was born. That’s right:  the journey of this kid, as you just read, continues to also influence my present and my future; and he knows it!

Before you go to bed today, may I suggest:  Do something for someone!


I Am Running Out of Time

by Diego Nascimento

Who has not said or heard this famous phrase:  “I’m running out of time”?   I believe that 99.9% of the population has had a chance to use this expression. Sometimes I feel that 24 hours is not enough for so many daily tasks (and you agreed with me, ha ha…).  I want to make it clear that in our talk today we will not blame a lack of space on our calendars. On the contrary, I would like to invite you to consider whether, in fact, the precious minutes from the clock have been utilized in the most intelligent way.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a group of young people. I was amazed at how many meaningless thingsconsume a considerable portion of each day. They began to complain about the lack of opportunities in the workplace. We began to discuss this, and I want to share some of our conclusions of this journey:

They say “I’m running out of time” to devote to their studies, when, involuntary or purposefully, they waste several hours by sliding their fingers on the screen of a cell phone to share funny posts on social network that are really meaningless and almost ridiculous.

They say “I’m running out of time” to improve their vocabulary and writing through reading, when they are fully ready to take advantage of the night hours at a barbecue and beer party. They cannot see the value, for example, in acquiring a book that, on average, costs less than 40% of what they spend on the party mentioned above.

They report “I’m running out of time” to be aware of what is happening in Brazil and in the world, when at the end of the day they are able to quote all the details of the soap operas and intimate details of reality TV participants who at times are a real disservice to society.

The list is long and I will not take any more of your TIME. After all this is a topic for all families and a concern among parents, educators and entrepreneurs. This is a generation who has been driven by relativism, that is: “Everything is normal. Relax, it’s just like that.”  As a professional in Communication and Education I worry about the quality indices in customer service and in the various areas that drive the economy of Brazil and our pocketbooks.

Someone once told me:  “Blame it on television, the Internet.”  I’m sorry to say this, but these two media cannot be singly responsible for this daily trial. The problem is not the TV monitor, tablet, phone or laptop; if we evaluate carefully, the fault is with the user, who is behind such equipment. We can discern between right and wrong, and yet still there are people who choose to walk down a dead end street, just for a momentary and artificial happiness.

I conclude by making a request:  Join the movement of those who, somehow, swim against the tide of “Everything is normal” which is shaking our society. There is nothing wrong with rest; go out, enjoy life and interact with friends and family through the internet. You just need to know the limits and have a healthy lifestyle. In the end there are great benefits for you and me! You can be sure that the workplace will be grateful to you, a lot!


Shock

by Diego Nascimento

Did you know that worldwide there are over 6900 languages ​​still spoken? So says the Ethnologue compendium, published by a North American publisher which organizes through surveys, maps and charts the verbal communication on this planet that is home to more than 7 billion people. Amid so many words I would draw your attention to a number of letters and vowels that can leave you in “shock” depending on the approach.

Professor Antonio Novoa, a professor teaching at the Institute of Education, University of Lisbon, Portugal, recently shared the results of his research on the word gratitude. In the video, Anthony tells about the preparation of a master class at the University of Brasilia, where he decided to speak of The Virtue of Gratitude written by Thomas Aquinas. The document, written in the Middle Ages, cites three levels / stages of being thankful. It works like this: the first phase is shallow and the focus is on intellectual recognition. The second is intermediate and corresponds to thanking someone for something done repetitively, on a daily basis. The third is considered the most profound: it is when we create an emotional bond with the person or group and literally thank them from the heart. Professor Nóvoa closed the presentation by saying that the term ‘Thank you’ (Obrigado) in Portuguese, is able to express clearly the essence of the third level of gratitude.

My life experience, which so far comes down to only 30 years, shows that gratitude can even be broken down into degrees, but, regardless of linguistic origin, is a staple for human relationships. I’ve had the chance to thank and receive thanks in multiple languages ​​and I can say one thing: the sincerity of this expression lies with the person who, without expecting something in return, expresses gratitude for seemingly insignificant things. Scenes like this can be seen in events within our own families and even individuals who can barely write their own name.

It is with this in mind that I would like to give my sincere thanks for the chance to, every 15 days, visit with you through my articles that are shared via e-mail and website. In many cases this partnership has been for a full five years and already has loyal readers in over 20 countries, distributed in every continent of this planet surrounded by oceans so blue and with a wide cultural diversity. The site www.diegonascimento.com.br, sent out in Portuguese and English, has shown a positive connection between different peoples at a time when the ability to sit and share is dissipating.

I will close this text “piggybacking” on the third level of gratitude proposed by Thomas Aquinas and expressing in the most sincere and direct way imaginable my “Thank you!” (Obrigado)