Ice, Rice, or Mice? Six tips for avoiding miscommunication


My Diet Coke had gotten warm, so I asked the waitress for “some more ice.” A few minutes later, instead of the ice, she brought me another bowl of white rice.

I said “more ice”; she heard “more rice.” So whose fault was it? (And good thing I didn’t say “some ice”…or I might have ended up with “some mice”!)

It happens all the time: We say something that is crystal clear in our own mind, and yet the person on the receiving end hears something completely different. The ice vs. rice mix-up was a relatively low-cost, low stakes mistake (and, I actually wanted some more white rice anyway), but what if the stakes were higher?

What are the potential costs when an important job interview or work-related communication is lost in translation? 

Please click here to read the rest of my post on The Hired Guns.

What is “VisuaLeadership”?


Our formula for success can best be summed up in the following simple equation:

                 VL = (VT + VC) x (M + L)

VisuaLeadershipSM = (Visual Thinking + Visual Communication) x (Management + Leadership)

VisuaLeadershipSM is the art and science of applying visual thinking and visual communication tools, tips, and techniques to more effectively manage and lead yourself and your people.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, and finding the right words takes time, and time is money, then wouldn’t it follow that business leaders would make more money – in less time – if they simply used more pictures to manage and to lead?

OK, it’s not quite that simple, but VisuaLeadershipSM forever changes the way business professionals think, communicate, manage, and lead simply by leveraging the power of visual imagery, mental models, analogy, storytelling, and a whole range of other innovative, highly effective visual thinking and visual communication techniques.

In every workshop BigBlueGumball delivers -- whether the topic is management, leadership, team building, innnovation, or presentation skills -- we draw on our background and experience in the entertainment and media industries to meld art and science, words and pictures, stats and stories, and models and metaphors to Educate, Engage, and Excite.TM 

The French novelist Marcel Proust said that “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

Based on my 25 years of business experience, I've learned that as a management, leadership, and presentation skills consultant, trainer, executive coach, and educator, one of the most valuable contributions I can make to my clients' and my students' growth, development, and success is simply to help them see their world -- and envision their future -- with new eyes.

In our leadership workshops, when we ask participants to call out the first word that comes to mind when they hear the word, "leadership," most of them say, "Vision!" And when we ask them to define what we mean by "vision" in the context of leadership, it's all about having a mental image of the future: a picture, that they see in their "mind's eye" of an idealized future state that is different from -- and better than -- the current reality.

And, so, assisting and empowering leaders to turn that future vision into a new reality lies at the foundation of what VisuaLeadershipSM is all about.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who I referred to as "The King of Visual Communication" in a previous blog post), did not famously say, "I have a 500-page business plan, filled with excel spreadsheets"; no, he said, simply, "I have a dream."

That speech is a classic example (probably THE classic example) of communicating a leadership vision.

And it's a perfect example of VisuaLeadershipSM in action.

*For a variety of examples of what VisuaLeadershipSM is all about, please check out some of my other posts on this Gumblog, or visit my Hired Guns blog column, the theme of which is " VisuaLeadershipSM:a visual thinking-based approach to leadership & learning."  

When is Thinking Slow Better Than Thinking Fast?

So, you have a job interview or a big meeting coming up with the boss or an important client. You’ve done your homework and you’re prepared, primed, and pumped up. But have you thought about your thinking speed?

We all know that Interviews and high-stakes meetings can be stressful, and when nerves flare up, our tendency is to think and talk too fast, leading to our blowing that meeting that we prepared so hard for.

In his now classic book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman takes a deep dive into how we think – and teaches us how we can think more effectively. According to Kahneman, one of the biggest problems is that we tend to think too fast.

To read the rest of the article and learn more about how thinking SLOW can sometimes be the way to go, click here.  

"Wisdom is where Knowledge & Experience meet"



~Todd Cherches


"If you're looking for a job, your job search IS your job." Todd quoted in the Denver Post

Click here for the full article featuring "five essential practices of finding your new job"!