02 November 2006

Win Friends, Influence People

I have got to stop getting into conversations (or confrontations, depending on your view of what decibel level constitutes an appropriate indoor voice) at lunchtime about anything remotely touching any of the following: free market capitalism, trans-fats, the energy crisis, guns, cigarettes, the price of a six pack in Manhattan vs. New Jersey... you get the idea. Occasionally I'll say something that is new to someone and I'll feel like speaking up was worth the accompanying rise in my blood pressure, but in general, people know what they think, or at least think they know what they think, about everything already.

I know we are all individuals, and our viewpoints are not merely formed by where we grew up, but I seem to get the loudest when talking to my Southern co-workers, followed closely by the Westerners. The Midwesterners rarely say anything unless it's well considered and for that I love them. And the Northeasterners, well, they are my people.

After lunch, I emptied my mailbox for the first time in two weeks, and in it was a flyer advertising this workshop: How to Communicate with Tact and Professionalism. It promises, among other things, to teach its attendees how to "win arguments without losing friends" and "stop entering into arguments that go nowhere." Sign me up.


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