Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Rebut & Disarm Your Critics and Detractors: Exemplary Disarming & Neutralizing by Gen. Michael Hayden in Wake of the “Torture Report”

Over the past few years, few top executives, be they in the private sector or in the government, have impressed me as much as has former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden. In fact, I recently “awarded” him my personal “medal of honor” by including him in the select few Americans named in the welcome paragraph on my website’s homepage as being among the most effective communicators in the land. 

As you can see in the two video clips below, Michael Hayden skillfully uses several communication tactics to disarm or at least reduce the vehemence of those who began denouncing the CIA soon after the release of the “torture report” last week--on Tuesday, December 9.  Specifically, by providing a rich and compelling perspective (within just half a minute in each video clip), Michael Hayden very adroitly reframes the issue and employs cognitive dissonance to put his critics on the defensive.
You can bet that these clips will be excellent source material for case study and exercises during (i) future renditions of my popular seminar on “How to Disarm and Neutralize your Critics and Detractors without being Offensive or Disrespectful” and (ii) my executive coaching sessions. [For a sampling of participant comments when this topic was presented to a standing-room-only audience of about 100 project managers at a recent PMI conference, click here and scroll toward the bottom of the Web page.]

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal


A “Call to Arms” to Combat Climate Change; Kerry’s Visual and Evocative Analogy for Emphasis

Climate change--or rather, the fecklessness of governments around the world (including the U.S.) with regard to combating  global warming--has been in the news lately because of the just concluded U.N. climate summit in Lima, Peru.  So, I felt it’s a good time to reproduce a couple of short segments from a forceful and stirring speech by Secretary of State John Kerry in Jakarta, Indonesia, this past February during which he issued a “call to arms” (to quote PBS NewsHour) to confront climate change.

Excerpt One -- Kerry’s visual and evocative expression:
“The science of climate change is leaping out at us like a scene from a 3-D movie.”

Excerpt Two -- His exemplary censure of climate change deniers:
“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact, nor should we allow any room for those who think the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”

Very well said, Mr. Kerry. Now, if only others fighting for urgent action on this issue would begin using similarly strong and hard-hitting language to denounce climate change deniers. [See my May 18 post “some choice words to lambaste politicians who reject the scientific consensus on climate change.” In that post, which was triggered by famous Princeton scientist Michael Oppenheimer’s warning that “the millennials will have hell to pay,” I described climate change deniers as “today’s new breed of Holocaust Deniers.”]

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Raising Your Profile in the Workplace: 12 Juicy and Bite-sized Tips from Harvey Mackay on How to be More Visible and Thus “Stand Out at Work”

Harvey Mackay, author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, is spot-on when he writes “Doing a good job isn’t enough to succeed at work. You’ve got to be visible to make a real impact.” [Italics for emphasis mine.]  Click here to read his 12 juicy and really easy-to-digest tips featured in a recent edition of the Houston Business Journal: