Episode 32: Talking To Other Generations, Getting Out Of Ruts, Credentials And More (Podcast)

Episode 32: Talking To Other Generations, Getting Out Of Ruts, Credentials And More (Podcast)

On this episode of In The Box Podcast, we discussed the importance of credentials for work, how to communicate to people from other generations, whether you should take feedback about your work personally, one way to get out of a rut and whether all change can be considered progress.

Episode 32: Talking To Other Generations, Getting Out Of Ruts, Credentials And More

Credentials – How are important are credentials when entering an industry?

Generation – Best technique to communicate with other generations?

Not taking things personally – Should you take criticism about your work personally?

Ruts – What is one thing you do to get out of a rut you’re in?

Bonus – Is all change progress?


Stay Positive & Check Out This (And Other) Episodes Here

Episode 18: Response Rates, Honesty, Opinions Of Others And More – Podcast

Episode 18: Response Rates, Honesty, Opinions Of Others And More – Podcast

On this episode of In The Box Podcast, we talked about Facebook’s new response rate tracking, how long we should keep trying before giving up, if it’s best to always tell the truth, how to share unfavorable opinions with others, and how to move on from things that didn’t go our way.

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Episode 18: Response Rates, Honesty, Opinions Of Others And More

Response rates – How fast do you expect to get a response when you tweet or Facebook a complaint?

Attempt Length – How long do you keep trying before you try something else or give up?

Honesty – Is it good to ALWAYS tell the truth?

Opinion of others – Is it worth it to share your opinions of others if it is not a favorable one?

Moving on – How do you move on from things that didn’t go your way?


Stay Positive & Try Until You Can’t

Who Decided This?

When someone walks through your agency, reviews your strategy plan, considers purchasing your product, can they answer this question?

Do they know who decided to have yellow lights instead of white lights in the chandelier? Do they know who decided to pitch magazine publications instead of Television news outlets?

Next, is that person accessible?

Ignorance is more rooted in not having a pathway for feedback to the person who made the decision than it is them not caring in the first place.

One of my colleagues sets the work flow up perfectly for the team. She says, “Garth, I want you to own this.” If anything were to go wrong, everyone knows who decided it and they have my contact info.

On the other hand, when I go to the bathroom and see the toilet paper isn’t on the right way or when I walk to the bank and I try pushing the door open when it’s meant to be pulled, who can I talk to about that?


In a world packed with designers and decision makers, are you making it clear to the customer, the viewer, the attendee, the visitor who decided X or Y or Z?


Stay Positive & Communicate Who Owns It And How To Reach Them

Episode 2: The Daily Me, Workplace Hierarchy, Streaking And More – Podcast

Episode 2: The Daily Me, Workplace Hierarchy, Streaking And More – Podcast

On this episode of In The Box podcast, we talked about the narrowing of journalism, customer acquisition for startups, a bit about ice hockey, restaurants in Madison, the computerization of the workforce, and the importance of feedback in the chain of command in a company.

Episode 2: The Daily Me, Workforce Hierarchy, Streaking

Ice Hockey – “Good isn’t good enough when better is expected.” What do you think of this?

Restaurants – Favorite restaurant in Madison in terms of bang for your buck?

Startups – What’s the first best move a new business can take to get more customers?

Journalism – How do you feel about the narrowing of information? Is only seeing what you like bad for society?

Computerization of the workforce – Are we overlooking the leverage imbalance created by the computerization of the workforce?

Workplace Hierarchy – How important is chain of command in a company?


Stay Positive & Think About Things Differently

Storytelling, Transparency and Relatability

I know what my story is.

Correction: I thought I knew what my story was until I got an email a couple of days ago.

Emails open eyes

Gary Vaynerchuck is the man. I loved his book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook and I took his Skillshare class about a week ago. During the class he told his students (me) to email a few others and ask them what they think our story is.

I’ve written that the best way to know what you’re great at is to ask people you’ve worked with what they think you’re great at. Same concept, but this time I’m asking about my story, not my skills. I sent four emails out and got one reply yesterday. Here it is.

What's My Story

TL;DR I might have the knowledge of a 30-year-old, but I don’t have the experience, and you must have the experience to have a story.

I love Tim. His bluntness is what I look for in people who I surround myself with. Just tell me how it is, be forward, that’s how I can best learn and process what my next move will be.

When I sent the email asking about my story, I was expecting positive responses, perhaps flat-out praise. I didn’t think it would turn out like this. I sat and talked to my girlfriend about it. Here. Listen. It starts with Briana asking me about my blog stats to try to make the point that my writing has gotten less relatable… fear not, my stats haven’t changed, but that’s not really a good thing either, is it?

The recording has been removed. It messed up the podcast RSS feed I have. Apologies. You can still find it here.

(Listening to this recording reminds me of the StartUp podcast, and how Alex Blumberg’s wife is the one with real wisdom. Women. They have an act for knowing when we’re wrong.)

I hope this post is transparent enough. It’s my life… doing these things that make me uncomfortable is how I’ve expanded my comfort zone as far as I have.

For those who are interested, the interview went smoothly because I walked in there knowing I have done all I could to get the job, it was comforting enough knowing that. It made things easier.

I still choked on my saliva, spoke too fast at moments, and sweated a lot – all inevitable.

I got the job. When you truly try your best, you’ll get what you want – that’s inevitable too.


Stay Positive & It Always Works Out (If You Work For It)

Letting Things Sink In

Let Ideas Sink In

Perhaps the point of a football huddle isn’t just to set up the next strategy. What if the 20 minute period break during hockey isn’t just so the team can rest. Maybe taking a month or two off after college graduation is better than running straight into a job. Science tells us we retain, understand and think about information better by getting a good night’s sleep. I see rest as effective on a smaller scale too.

Having a brain storm session then forcing employees to get working on an idea right away isn’t as effective as letting them sit on it for a bit or congregate around the water cooler to chat about it outside the Thunderdome Of Ideas.

Too often we invest in the belief that being and staying busy is being productive, is creating value. Wrong.

A remarkable friend of mine schedules time to get away each week, not because he’s unhappy or that work is too much for him, but because he knows to give himself time for things to sink in.

When you react to a medication, that’s a bad thing. When you respond to treatment, that’s a plus. – Seth Godin

The best feedback on meetings comes the day after. When you ask for feedback right at the end of the meeting, you have a room full of people reacting, not responding. Yet, so many managers ask for feedback right away or schedule tasks one after the other, no break.

By regularly placing ourselves in an environment that isn’t pulling us this way and that, we can process situations on a deeper level of understanding, we can invest time to truly think why X happened instead of Y or maybe realize why X was a good thing to happen in the first place.

If you think all this is hard to believe, then you’re thinking right. Take however much time you need to mull it over.


Stay Positive & Wine Tastes Better After You Let It Breathe

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Variant Feedback For Effective Communication

Martin Luther

Martin Luther revolutionized German culture and made a dent in standardizing their language. He would travel and read his translation of the Bible into the vernacular and ask each audience that listened, “How did this sound? Was it too banal? Was it strong? Did it sound good?”

He rewrote and rewrote and continued reading aloud until he got “yes” as a response from everyone from the baker to the welder to the merchant. His writing was a variant of German, intelligible to both northern and southern Germans, his target market solely because he had his system of feedback, he listened, he rewrote.

Note, Luther didn’t change the message of his writing, he merely changed the wording to effectively communicate the message he wanted. (He did get in some heat for adding some words when he shouldn’t have. Remember, this is a translation of the Bible, not much room for creativity.)

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. – Martin Luther

Who was Luther and why does he deserve this blog post? He was a constant seeker and recipient of feedback. He didn’t take criticism personally. He ignored the naysayers. If some commoner expressed a dissatisfaction with his words, Luther didn’t begin to question whether he himself was right or wrong, he merely wondered what he could do better to communicate his beliefs.

Now-a-days I see people quit, toss their business plans, and remove their books from Amazon because their message didn’t resonate with whom they thought it would. I witness speakers decide not to speak in front of an audience again because their first audience wasn’t convinced by their message. I miss out on seeing a starting blogger become influential because they stop blogging. Why continue if no one is reading, right?


By doing what Luther did and sharing our ideas, our blog posts, our podcasts, our business plans, our art, we have the opportunity (I mean, come on, there are more than seven billion connected people on this planet) to check whether our way of communicating is effective for the audience we’re reaching for. Why are we not doing this more often?

Why are we limiting ourselves to mastermind groups, to people who already think like us, to our idols or our best friends when it comes to seeking feedback and tweaking the way we communicate? Certainly I’m not suggesting reaching out to all seven billion people, but the group you’re now letting influence your communications can increase in size and as a result your words, your art, your message can get stronger.


Stay Positive & Send Something My Way, I’ll Give Some Feedback thegarthbox@gmail.com

* Worth a read: The social Origins of Good ideas. Essentially the best ideas come from outside communities, just as often as the best feedback.

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