Cornerstones

Cornerstones

What are the four attributes of every mutually beneficial dynamic relationship?

Relationships with those people we like are the most enjoyable. Yet, think of the relationships we also have with those less friendly. Think about every dynamic relationship.

In fact, think about this: we either have a relationship with someone; or, we don’t. There is no maybe to it.

So, what are the four attributes of every dynamic relationship?

The secret is in the adjective: dynamic.

  • Of or relating to energy or to objects in motion
  • Characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress
  • Marked by intensity and vigor; forceful
  • Of or relating to variation
  • An interactive system or process
  • A force
  • Characterized by personality, ambition, energy, new ideas
  • Expressing action rather than a state of being; not static

Relationships are mutually chosen. In other words, it is a bond between two individuals, who mutually choose to connect. It is of freewill and unlimited in potential.

These are the Cornerstones:

  • Core
  • Courtesy
  • Commitment
  • Communication

Core

Before we waltz out to establish a relationship with another person, it is imperative to know what is at the center of the individual. Not the other person; ourselves. Not in the plural sense. Singularly: Who am I? What do I believe? Why? When will my world view be challenged? How did I get to this point in my journey? Where am I going?

Courtesy

Once thought to be “common,” a simple Please and Thank You open the doors for Trust and Respect. Joining them are the character traits of Patience, Kindness, Truthfulness, Protectiveness, Hopefulness, and Perseverance. By simply caring about another person, we find the right, just, and fair things to say and do.

Commitment

Life is a series of ups and downs. Some days we’re the windshield; some days we’re the bug. Yet, through it all, we have the choice to be happy, or sad; pleasant, or rude; optimistic, or pessimistic; engaged, or disconnected; flexible, or rigid; open, or closed. The ultimate choice is whether we can be true to ourselves and definitive in expressing, “I will.”

Communication

Talk to me; let me listen; then, accept my thoughts. Three phases to each exchange: Transmission, Reception, and Feedback. We all love to talk. Listening requires discipline. Feedback can only be done with the courage to be vulnerable. Communication is what the listener does. Please, hear and understand me. Simply, share you to be heard and understood.

If a structure is designed to have four supports, each must be solid and relatively equal in substance. Think of the last time you sat on a chair with one leg shorter than the others. You wobbled. If that weak leg is substantially defective, a crash is imminent.

Four at the corners is the foundation for a mutually fun, beneficial, chosen, dynamic relationship. By building on these cornerstones, we can select and nurture relationships, which exemplify energy, motion, change, activity, progress, intensity, vigor, variation, personality, ambition, and new ideas.

A force to make a difference in the lives of two, and many more!

www.kimfoard.com

Maverick Concepts

Maverick Concepts


Embracing the reality that no one else can fully understand our individual Business experiences, these thoughts fit well in the category:

“Easier said than done.”


1.)  Value is a perception. Given that your Business is the BEST, each Stakeholder defines that differently. Regardless of what we believe, offer, and do, the value is subjective to the understanding of the Customer. When we understand “fully” what they need and want, a menu of options can be presented for their consideration. The first step to understanding is to Care; the second step is to Listen. Then, our Customers are interested in our ideas.

2.)  People buy what they want, not what they need. Many times, they don’t know what they want. If we can broaden their horizons, they might want what we have. They just don’t know it, yet! Beyond the things they need, waits opportunity; Customers want solutions to problems. The bigger their problem: the greater the opportunity, for them and us. Rather than sell into a need, mutual benefit grows from letting them buy what they want.

3.)  Commodities are subject to price manipulations; Uniqueness isn’t. One business appears to be just like the next. Until… we have “something” no one else can deliver. At that moment, the messenger becomes Priceless. Example: Plumbing supplies can be purchased by the Consumer at the “lowest” cost; their Value is dependent upon a Plumber knowing what to do with them. By knowing how to “fix the leaks,” we move from the problems of the Past through the Present Value into the opportunities of the Future.

By changing the rules of the traditional game, we can stand out, stand up, and stand for something special in the minds of those we serve.

At that moment, there are no competitors. We stand alone!

www.kimfoard.com

Inspirators

Inspirator
We are well past the Point of No Return and headed into uncharted territory.

Literally, all of the graphs and maps of the past are of little value as we navigate into this new frontier of uncertainty and opportunity.

Beyond the time for leaders; this is a time for Inspirators!

Inspirators provide a breath of fresh air while inspiring the next bold step, forward.

Each day, we have a choice to:

1.) Give in and give up to Resignation and Despair; or

2.) Set a course of discovery with Fascination and Curiosity.

Let’s break down one word to build up our spirits to new heights!

I ~ Ideas, beliefs, and thoughts are the very fuel for the engine of the Inspirator. Not just any old idea will do, either. An Inspirator will collect, process, and file the stories of others, until they find one concept that can change the lives of many. They give the rest of their life to make a difference in the lives of others.

N ~ Novel approaches to old problems and new opportunities are the Trademark of the Inspirator. They refuse to be bound by the insanity of doing the same old things to achieve the same old results. Inspirators break moulds to create, heretofore, unknown beauty.

S ~ Singular focus on a target results in a laser-like power to melt away the distractions and objections standing between mediocrity and greatness. Although they are dogged in determination, Inspirators are flexible in philosophy. They adhere to the proven, right up to the moment of innovation.

P ~ Passion is at the core of every breath an Inspirator takes. They inhale the chaos contaminating their world and exhale solutions. First, they listen; then, they generously share in word and deed what is necessary to make a difference. Much more than a desire “To do and die,” theirs is a passion to “Live and guide.”

I ~ Inherent faith, hope, and love of a Power greater than themselves is the catalyst for every successful launch of new endeavors by the Inspirator. They accept the physician’s creed of primum non nocere, (First, do no harm) as a reminder of physical limitations. Inspirators understand the Latin phrase is “a hallowed expression of hope, intention, humility, and recognition that human acts with good intentions may have unwanted consequences.”

R ~ Radiate one small speck of light and darkness is destroyed. Inspirators understand the premise: From the inside, out. They are conduits of goodness for the benefit of all. They purposefully manage their wake to ensure that the ripples from their actions lift others to the beaches of new opportunities.

A ~ A, B, C’s always maintain an aura of excitement for the Inspirator. Those simple letters are a reminder of the importance of a strong foundation of Education; they are also the trinity for the Experience of building dynamic relationships. Attitude, Boundaries, and Commitment are the cornerstones of life, because life is all about the people!

T ~ Teaching, coaching, and mentoring are the ways Inspirators transform the “Why” of their existence into the “How” of guiding others to “What” their students want and need. Theirs is not a one-way street of pompous dictation. Inspirators learn, grow and develop from the feedback, insight and creative challenges of other viewpoints.

O ~ Open to constructive criticism is the greatest attribute of an Inspirator. It will be one of the last character traits accepted and practiced; it is the difference between good and great. Because optimism is easy for the Inspirator, acceptance of negatives is hard. No one enjoys receiving honest suggestions for improvement. Inspirators, eventually, accept the importance of understanding the, real, impact they have on others.

R ~ Releasing the past, letting go of hurts, and offering forgiveness brings the Inspirator to the present belief, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive.” They are enlightened, empowered, and encouraged to manage everything within their control for the express purpose of building bright futures for everyone within their sphere of influence.

S ~ Serving is a present tense, action, verb; it is what Inspirators do. While freely giving of their life in service, Inspirators are not servants to be used and abused. They know, and will defend to their last breath, the Universal Principle: giving is the secret to receiving.

Those claiming to be “leaders” are a dime-a-dozen. In fact, leadership has become nothing more than a synonym for narcissism. Listen to those touting themselves as leaders and you will hear a chorus of accolades about their own greatness. Pedestals are dangerous; for those on them and for those below.

In fact, life is not about the empires; empires come and go. Life is about the doing; and, the fun is in the doing. Actions speak louder than words and bright lights make, absolutely, no noise.

The difference between leaders and Inspirators is the difference between words and Deeds. Please, tune out the static shrill of self-professing leaders and follow the example of an Inspirator, to become one. Your life and the lives of many will be positively changed to make a difference!

www.kimfoard.com

School of Thought

Creative BrainAsking the right Question is much more important than having all of the right Answers.

At one time in the recent past, the Question: “What is found at the end of freight trains?” was deserving of the Answer: “Caboose”.

For one generation, that fond memory is now an antique safely archived in Railroad museums.

For our current, high-tech, digital generation, the Text message of curiosity to their friends to ask for an explanation might be in the form of “Cab—what???”

Question: Why, then, do our formal programs of education test for a finite answer to a limited set of questions?

Answer: It is big business to sell the dysfunctional idea that one person has the answer to another’s question.

As a result, we have several generations of gifted and talented individuals waiting to receive guidance for their lives from a clueless academia. No one has the right answers for anyone, else. At best, our educators might be brave enough to explore what is right for one person, themselves.

It is the height of arrogance for anyone to believe they have all of the answers. The most important facets of life cannot be explained by mere mortals. The answers discovered, today, for yesterday’s questions are guaranteed to be wrong for the new opportunities of tomorrow.

Since we learn by doing and the fun is in the doing, let’s focus on having fun as we learn. The journey to the choice of our individual destinations begins, right here, right now.

In fact, the secret to asking Questions is inherent in the discipline to practice the ABC‘s.

Attitude:  Whether we think we can, or can’t, we’re right. As a creative genius with an 8th Grade formal education, my Dad believed: “If a man made it, I can fix it.” And, he did. Time, after time, he accomplished the impossible.

Boundaries: Those are the fine lines defining our growth, to date. They are the demarcation between where we end and another begins. Self-respect runs unabated within; Respect is generously offered to those without. Mutually beneficial transactions occur at the border.

Commitment: Choosing one and foregoing all others is the first step to moving forward. Forsaking the un-chosen focuses all energy on the, one, most important, choice. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

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In our human condition, we will make MISTAKEs. This is the ultimate Question: aM I Seeking To Ask (and) Knock Effectively? Intelligent people are always ready to learn; their ears are open for Knowledge. To acquire Wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish Understanding will prosper.

Life is simply an exercise in practice techniques: Amateurs practice until they get it right; Masters practice until they can’t get it wrong.

All we do begins with a, creative, thought!

www.kimfoard.com

Rich Conversation

Imago ShuttleThe world is our stage and we travel across it on the two legs of Family and Work. When each leg is strong and healthy, we stride; when one is weak, we gimp; and when both are weak, we crawl.

The secret to healthy and strong legs of Family and Work: Relationships. The magic elixir for dynamic and vibrant relationships: Rich Conversation.

All we do begins with a thought.

Many think a conversation is defined as, “I’ll talk; you listen.” A few know that conversation is an art form of creative reciprocity.

Narcissists in the first group are infatuated with themselves and their Role Power. Expressionists in the second group are focused on service to others through the synergy of Relationship Power.

Those caught up in the stratosphere of their Role Power operate from the premise that they have all the answers. As a result, they feel quite justified in doing things to others. Their approach is the “easy” one of Process, since they do what they want, when they want and how they want. It is measurable, quantifiable and miserable.

The purveyors of Relationship Power practice in the realm of intangibles. Because they believe People are more important than Process, each day is a new adventure of doing for others. Their journey is the “hard” one of accepting the reality that the only constant in life is change. People change. What they want changes; How they want it changes; and, “Why?” is an oft asked question.

Are we courageous enough to say “Yes!” to the discovery of another person? Do we have the strength to leave our comfort zone of the well-known rut and routine to accept the uncertainty of a new adventure? Can we imagine ourselves strapped into the Captain’s chair of a space shuttle with our hand on the throttle calmly announcing, “I’m-A-Go.”

Imago Relationships

Partners cross a bridge into each other’s worlds, motivated not only by the Receiver’s desire to “hear and understand” but also to meet the Sender’s need to be “heard and understood”; with a commitment to slow down our lives and devote specific uninterrupted time to our relationships. Ultimately saying to the other, “I respect your otherness; I want to learn from it. And, I want to share mine with you.”

Discovering two distinct worlds: Whenever two people are involved, there are always two realities. These realities will always be different in small and large ways, no matter what. And, the reality of the other person can be understood, accepted, valued, and even loved; yet, it cannot be made identical to our own.

Clear communication is a window into the world of your partner; truly being heard is a powerful aphrodisiac.

Without change, there is no growth; we are confined to the fate of remaining stuck in our unhappiness.

Change is the catalyst for healing.

Finally, we learn to see our partners for themselves, with their own private world of personal meaning, their own ideas and dreams, and not merely as extensions of ourselves, or as we wish they were. Our approach becomes, “I want to know how you think.”

A conscious relationship is a spiritual path which leads us home again, to joy and aliveness, to the feeling of oneness we started out with. We learn to express love as a behavior daily, in large and small ways: in other words, in stretching to give our partner what they need, we learn to love. The transformation of our relationships may not be accomplished easily or quickly; we are setting off on a lifelong journey.

As we pack our mental suitcase, let’s celebrate in leaving the limitations of “process” behind and lift our eyes to an unlimited future of “people” exploration, which is just waiting to be discovered in a shuttle christened “Rich Conversation“!

www.kimfoard.com

Feedback Three-Step

Dancing ChildrenCircles of Life

Baby’s first step is cause for celebration! Even for us older kids, first steps can be special times of celebration and acknowledgment.

They are, always, the beginning of a journey to discovery.

Sometimes we follow the first step with a second. Other times that first step forward is followed by two steps backwards.

Regardless of the pattern, we are dancing!

Those who love to dance know about the Two-Step. If we are to dance our way into the hearts, minds, and souls of those about whom we care deeply, maybe, it’s time we learn the Three-Step. It is much more than leading with our good foot and, then, dragging the other behind. In fact, it has nothing to do with our feet and everything to do with our heads.

Communication is what the listener does.

While there are many mediums available for communication, the most popular is — Words. Some of us use many, while other individuals use few. We all use them constantly to express our thoughts and ideas to others. Our messages are composed of two elements: Content and Context.

Guaranteed — the words I choose and the intent behind them will be heard and understood differently by each person, who receives them. They will be filtered though the education and experience of that person. And, they will mean something different to that individual, depending on the day and mood.

Since Certified Public Accountants are trained in probabilities, let’s look at the odds of being heard and understood. Setting aside that which is beyond our control (the context within which our message will be received), let’s take a look at the content.

A researcher named Mehrabian was interested in how listeners get their information. The results: 55% from the visual component, 38% from the auditory component and 7% from the language. Our words account for only 7% of comprehension. Have you ever wondered why emails are misunderstood?!Feedback Model

Regardless of how elegantly we Transmit, the logic and emotion of the Receiver is beyond our control. With the first two steps of this communication dance, we have made noise and they have heard sound. Communication is yet to be accomplished.

The third, and most important, step is Feedback. The communication circuit is complete, only, when the Receiver is courageous enough to Transmit back what they have heard and understood.

In our daily life, we take for granted closed circuits. We flip the switch and the lights come on. Thus, we have reinforced a truth — Electricity will only flow in a completed circuit. Why then do we insist on wandering around in the dark while refusing to complete our communication circuits? We complete them by giving Feedback.

Circles of LifeWhile there might be legitimate reasons for our inertia, the encouragement is for us to consider the circle of life, itself. Just like the electrical circuit, we are of limited value unless, and until, we complete the circuit.

If we consider the possibility that we are simply wonderful chunks of conduit for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others, then, it’s logical to envision the lights coming on for ourselves and the rest of the world. We, literally, become lighthouses to guide others through the storms of life. Bright lights make absolutely no noise.

Since all of the words above only contribute 7% to this premise, let’s add the 38% auditory component. By clicking on the “Circles” hyperlink below, we can enjoy sensory delights.

Circles

By Sawyer Brown

There’s one around my finger
One around my coffee cup
One around the hands of time
And that big orange ball a comin’ up
There’s one around my eight to five
Four beneath me when I drive
An extra one for overtime, circles
There’ll be one in the hugs around my legs
And one around my waist
And one around the table holdin’ hands and sayin’ grace

I thank God for circles
For you, for me, for family and friends
I thank God for circles
May they go round-and-round and never have to end

There’s one around the block
There’s always one around the bend
Any to and from you go
And back again
Some are green and some are golden
Summer turns to winter cold
And into spring the seasons roll, circles
There’ll be one around the candles
One around the birthday cakes
One around the table holdin’ hands and sayin’ grace

I thank God for circles
For you, for me, for family and friends
I thank God for circles
May they go round-and-round and never have to end

There’s one around the world
That goes around so we can see it all
One around the halo
When we’re called

I thank God for circles
For you, for me, for family and friends
I thank God for circles
May they go round-and-round and never have to end
I thank God for family and circles
May we find and have so many more of them

The researcher, Mehrabian wrote about a substantial limitation to his study, “These findings regarding the relative contribution of the tonal component of a verbal message can be safely extended only to communication situations in which no additional information about the communicator-addressee relationship is available.”

In summary, Listeners derive information from visual, tonal, and other verbal cues. Yet, their understanding is dependent upon a number of other factors, including how well they know the communicator.

Communication is what the listener does.

This communicator believes Feedback is a necessary dimension of effective personal growth. It provides for real-time modifications of behavior, and related events, to achieve mutually desired benefits for the participants, which might otherwise be unobtainable, or delayed.

To achieve 100% effectiveness, let’s add the 55% visual component to our circuit of communication. Picture a knight standing at the ready to be of service in your kingdom. He waits for the Feedback that will enhance his efforts to be of greater value to you. If a courageous leader, you will empower him to serve in more effective ways, by offering the Feedback necessary to achieve even greater victories in this our journey, the circle of life!

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Credits:
Dancers
Feedback Model
Circles of Life