When I recently asked a coworker how she was doing, she responded with, "Overwhelmed... but I guess that's better than being underwhelmed." I had never really considered those two concepts on the same spectrum before. So I looked up the definitions for the two varied extremes, learned the meaning of the root word "whelm," and created this quick visual.
At first, I totally agreed with my coworker's observation. After all, I would rather be a stressed out than bored. But the more I thought about it, both directions on the whelm gamut can lead to a drastic or unpleasant state. For me, the sweet spot is just to the right of whelm - engulfed and engaged in your roles and responsibilities, and in slightly over your head for that extra challenge and push to keep growing. WHAT ABOUT YOU? Where are you on the spectrum? Ideally, where would you like to be? What's the best way to get there? I would love to read your perspective in the comments.
I like my name. I like hearing people use my name. And I like when people know my name. There is nothing special about my name, in fact, it's a little too common (some other Todd took @toddchandler on Twitter, so I had to settle for @trchandler). But it is MY name. And like Dale Carnegie wrote several years ago, "If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance."
However, I think some service-based businesses have crossed the line of common sense when it comes to using customers names. At our local McDonald's, where I eat EVERY Saturday for lunch with my four children, the same one or two clerks behind the counter always ask me, "Can I get your name?" They write my name on top of the receipt, and when they place the last of the golden fries on my plastic tray, they say in a loud authoritative voice, "TODD!" As if I wasn't two feet away and saw them finally complete the order.
Not only does it seem like a unnecessary step, I'm starting to get more incensed that they've turned my name into a number. Oh sure, the kids have given me different names to use, and we've all enjoyed hearing them call out Derf, JoJo, and Mickey, but even that's grown old. Please stop asking for my name if you're only going to use it as a number.
The other night at Taco Bell, the woman behind the counter used the same technique with a little more finesse. She wrote down my name after reading it off my credit card. In some ways, that felt worse. Not only did she convert my name to a number, she wrote down information off my credit card. This Saturday, I think I'm just going to give them a number when they ask for my name.
One of my favorite classes in college, was Structural English Grammar taught by Herman Wilson. Every week we had to write a one-page observation paper about something we "observed" in language usage. One of Herman's favorite phrases was, "You could get an observation paper out that." I've adapted that idea to observe how leaders and sales professionals influence and persuade. The title of this blog is a reminder to me of Herman and his amazing talent to observe and comment.