Why I finally subscribed to the Miami Herald (and you should too)

Why I finally subscribed to the Miami Herald (and you should too)

After 20 years in South Florida, I finally subscribed to the Miami Herald. I read it all the time. The Herald is my go-to source for scoop on the good, the bad and the ugly of Miami-Dade County. It’s where I keep a pulse on local politics and start researching candidates during election season. It’s where I track what’s good to eat around town and catch up on the events I missed when I decide to stay in for the evening. More importantly, it’s where I get to learn from the perspectives of my neighbors on issues that affect our community.

For years I have relied on the Miami Herald as a primary source of local news and at times, as an outlet through which to share information. When I was at the City of Miami Beach, the Herald and I had a love-hate relationship. Its writers and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye on issues pertaining to my work, but I was appreciative of the conversations they ignited surrounding our environment and our city. Moreover, its national prestige ensured these conversations were amplified. I know because when I google myself, I find articles from a wide range of outlets referencing the handful of times I was quoted in the Miami Herald.

I don’t know why it took me so long to subscribe. Perhaps it was the fact that I did not grow up buying the paper. When I lived in Mexico City, a copy of Reforma was always resting on the dark wood credenza in the vestibule of my grandparents’ house. During our Sunday visits, I would pause on my way in or out to flip haphazardly through its pages, never once questioning how the paper got there. When we arrived to South Florida, I was your run-of-the-mill myopic teenager, too wrapped up in surviving school socially and academically to remember there was a world beyond campus. By the time I picked up another newspaper, there was nothing to pick-up, only links to click through while silently praying I wouldn’t hit a paywall.

Today I finally decided to stop x-ing out of that telltale pop-up and support my local paper. I had been mulling over the decision for a few months and all it took was this article by Carlos Frías announcing the newly revamped Red Fish for me to pull the trigger. For years, like many others, I have been syphoning knowledge for free from the pages of the Miami Herald, knowledge that talented journalists bring us at great personal sacrifice, like sitting patiently for 12+ hours listening to a commission meeting each month. It’s about time I uphold my end of the journalistic bargain as a loyal reader: by paying for the work behind the content.

Although my support is long overdue, the Miami Herald needs it more than ever. They were facing financial setbacks before the pandemic and the economic instability continues to threaten its existence. I don’t kid myself that my measly $12.99-a-month subscription is going to save the Miami Herald, but it’s better than $0 and it highlights how much I appreciate the hard work from the newsroom. Next time you read an article from the Miami Herald stop to consider the value it is bringing your life and the work that happened behind the scenes to make it possible. Is it worth more than $0?

A Decade of Public Service in Five Days

A Decade of Public Service in Five Days

Last week I closed out a nearly decade-long career in public service. Since 2009, I have been working in some fashion for the City of Miami Beach. My first job there was a nine-month internship with the Public Works Department as part of my Master’s program and my last job was holding the dual role of Environmental Manager and Assistant Director in the Environment & Sustainability Department.

I absolutely loved my time with the city and have had a difficult time saying goodbye. I started the process in early March with this short-and-sweet announcement of my departure. Then, due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, my end date was pushed back a month.

The emotional release the post provided had long faded by the time last week rolled around so I decided to say a final goodbye with a series of daily entries on Facebook. The result? A five-day journal summarizing my decade in public service (and Betsy’s dramatically different hairstyles through the years). Take a look!

Day 1 – Monday, April 13
Internship at City of Miami Beach

Today I officially begin my last week working at the City of Miami Beach and I am a glass case of emotion. As a way to help me cope, I will be sharing a daily photo and memory of my last nearly ten years with the city, starting with how it all began.

In 2009, I was finishing my Master’s in Marine Affairs & Policy at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. One to the prerequisites for graduation is to complete an internship. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after graduation, other than follow in the footsteps of Dr. Kenny Broad and Dr. Daniel Suman. My advisor Maria was the one who sent me the internship posting for the City of Miami Beach’s Environmental Division (at the time, a three-person division under Public Works).

I applied and was awarded the internship by absolute happenstance. I spent nine months doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, getting exposure to the inner workings of city government. During that time, I learned how much I love this community for its walkability, its access to nature, and its unique personality. I love it so much that in 2010 I became a Miami Beach resident—I moved into a $700/mo studio on Washington Avenue and 7th Street—and I vowed that if I was ever going to work in public service, it would be for the City of Miami Beach.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Day 2 – Tuesday, April 14
Earth Day Miami Beach 2013

After I completed my internship with the city in 2010, I had a dwindling childhood savings account and was in desperate need for a job to pay for my new Miami Beach studio. I interviewed for a ton of environmental scientist jobs throughout the county. The most memorable interviews were with DERM and the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves because I was so nervous I visibly sweat through the whole thing.

I finally landed a job in January 2011 at a small, privately-held architecture and engineering firm in Coral Gables. My dad was ecstatic. (He’s a private sector devotee—can you blame him after a long and lustrous career with AT&T?—and thinks Coral Gables is the best city in Miami-Dade.) But less than two years later, I was faced with a touch decision.

In late 2011, the Environmental Manager with whom I had interned left the city, leaving behind a rare vacancy within the Environmental Division. As soon as Betsy was promoted, she began hiring for an Environmental Specialist. I wasn’t ready to leave my almost brand new role, but this was my once-in-a-lifetime chance to fulfill my vow of public service in my new community.

Luckily, I entered the candidate pool with prior experience and a great working relationship with the hiring manager. You already know what happens next.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Day 3 – Wednesday, April 15
Environmental Division

I started with the city as the Environmental Specialist on October 1, 2012. For nearly three years, Betsy and I were a dynamic duo. We handled all environmental and sustainability programs. We were the liaisons for the Waterfront Protection Committee—it’s how I first met Robert Raven Kraft and Jeff Feldman—and the Sustainability Committee (hi, Luiz Rodrigues!). We managed the Beachwalk and seawall construction projects. We represented the city on the Climate Compact. And, we held and supported hundreds of educational events throughout the community.

Long days in the office were followed by evenings and weekends of volunteer dune restoration events with our friends at the Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter, organizing presentation and workshops on a range of sustainability topics like “how to build your own rain barrel,” and tabling at city events where we shared information on our programs and gave away our famous “I Recycle Because” bags. After a while, we both started to burn out.

Luckily, in 2014, the Environmental Division began growing organically. Yani was the first to arrive. She was hired to fill our Office Associate position, but quickly took on an expanded role in outreach thanks to her passion and aptitude for sustainability education. She is currently our Senior Sustainability Coordinator and has been organizing virtual Sustainachella workshops on the city’s Facebook Live while we’re stuck at home. (There’s one tomorrow at noon with Coral Morphologic that you won’t want to miss!)

Following a series of events in 2015, Betsy was promoted to Assistant Director and I was promoted to Environmental Manager. Flavia joined our team that March and began handling all our sustainability programs like a boss. Between the four of us, we were not only able to better balance the workload, but also start creating new programs for the first time.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Day 4 – Thursday, April 16
E&S Team 2018

The Environment & Sustainability Department was created in June 2016 and Betsy was appointed our director by unanimous vote of the City Commission. In one fell swoop (thanks to the support of our elected officials and our community eco-warriors), we tripled into a team of three distinct divisions: Environmental Management under me, Sustainability under Flavia, and Urban Forestry (now under Omar Leon).

Then, while we were getting our footing, Betsy left for a temporary assignment as Mayor Levine’s Chief of Staff. In February 2017, I found myself the acting director (and Environmental Manager) of our brand new department.

There’s a lot I want to say about this period because it was one of the most stressful and most rewarding times in my career with the city. However, it encompasses too much and is too precious a memory to condense in a Facebook update. I will suffice it to say my life changed completely both personally and professionally in 2017.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my colleagues at the city who had my back throughout 2017 and have had my back since. I work incredibly hard to be worthy of the trust placed in me to lead our E&S team (then as acting director, now as assistant director), but I would not be where I am were it not for your guidance, your support, your mentorship, and most of all, your friendship.

In my first few years, I learned we have high-caliber professionals working for the City of Miami Beach. Over the last few years, I have also learned we have high-caliber humans working for the City of Miami Beach. I am really, really going to miss you all.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Day 5 – Friday, April 17
On-Camera-Interview-Margarita-Kruyff

Well, as much as I tried to avoid it, my last day is actually here. Alas, it is time for one final update.

When I gave my resignation to come to the city in 2012, a former colleague told me I was making a mistake going into city government and “getting lost in small town bureaucracy.” I’m glad I can look back at the last eight years and know it was anything but.

Yes, my work is based here and it is focused on garnering the greatest local impact, but we’re a small city with a huge international presence. The decisions that we make have far-reaching implications. We are being watched by millions of people across the world, including my counterparts in other cities who often reach out for advice. (In fact, before Susy came to work with us, her team in For Lauderdale was using our dune management plan as a reference for crafting their own.)

During my time here, I learned from and shared our work with engineers, city planners, scientists, journalists, and elected officials who visited us from cities around the world. I led tours of delegations from Boston, Hawaii, Germany, and Japan, among countless others. I presented before the European Union in the United States. Heck, I even gave an interview with The Weather Channel at some point.

Other people probably say this about their communities, but Miami Beach is a really unique place for better or for worse. People on the outside see it. It’s why they send delegations to learn from us and why we make for great news. I have seen it from the inside. It’s why I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this city over the last decade and why I am having a hard time getting off this ride.

There were a lot of things I loved about my job at the city, but I am personally grateful for the experiences and friendships that the role afforded me over the last few years. (In fact, I met many of you who are reading this because of this job.) As I transition into my new chapter, I am excited to take these experiences and your friendships with me.

Thank you for giving me the honor to serve you.

The Hardest Goodbye: The End to My Era in the City of Miami Beach

The Hardest Goodbye: The End to My Era in the City of Miami Beach

“In the end, we seek meaning,” Daniel Pink reminds us in “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” Pink’s book entered into my life by happenstance, around the same time two once-in-a-lifetime work opportunities unexpectedly fell onto my lap. As I was mulling over the possibility of leaving my career at the city for one of the new professional options before me, I looked to the book for guidance. It didn’t really do anything except give me a great opening line and a couple good quotes for this post.

Nevertheless, an end is upon me. At the end of this month I am closing a nearly decade-long chapter with the City of Miami Beach to return to the private sector. I am, as Pink describes, experiencing “one of the most complex emotions humans experience: poignancy, a mix of happiness and sadness.” Right now, the balance is tilted heavily toward sadness. Just ask my team who watched me explain my departure through tears and sobs yesterday. Can you blame me? It’s hard to say goodbye when you’ve got it as good as I’ve had—a job that feels like a calling, a team that feels like a family. (People say that, but I mean it. You need only count how much time I willingly spend at the office and how many of my co-workers I spend time with outside of work.)

And this is the part where I seek meaning. I needn’t look very far, my time at the city has seen me through so much. Professionally, I skyrocketed from an entry-level environmental scientist to an acting director all in my 20s. Working at the city has given me a lifetime of work experience in hyper-speed that prepared me to take on my new role. Thank you to my colleagues and mentors that trusted me and opened doors along the way. I brought the raw talent, you chiseled it like Michelangelo. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you, to learn from you, and pour our collective passion into this beautiful community I call home.

There is so much more I want to say about my Miami Beach chapter, but all the words I type and then erase don’t feel worthy. Instead, I will leave you with an apropos quote from my spirit animal Leslie Knope, who as she was closing her chapter as Assistant Director of the Pawnee Parks and Rec Department wisely said:

“Sometimes you have to make the hardest climb to see the most beautiful sunrise. I read that once on an old lady’s decorative pillow. But it is really how I feel today. I’ve climbed a very weird and rocky mountain, and it was a pain in the ass, and my legs are tired, and I’m starving, but the sun is rising over the sea of love and waffles and possibility. So I’m just gonna relax and take a deep breath and enjoy this view for as long as I possibly can.”

Three Common Job Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Three Common Job Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Are you preparing for an interview? Following the advice in this post can be the difference between landing your dream opportunity or walking away empty-handed.

Over the last four years, I have filled over 30 entry-level through senior management positions and I have watched qualified person after qualified person bomb their interview. As an interviewer, it is so frustrating to watch top candidates be their own worst enemy. It is even more frustrating to be in the “hot seat” and struggle to communicate why you’re the right person for the job.

Regardless of skill, intelligence, education or experience, we’re all susceptible to the pitfalls of nerves and lack of proper preparation. (Trust me—despite knowing all the right things to do, I am still prone to terrible interviews from time to time.) Do yourself a favor. Learn from the mistakes of others and avoid these three common job interview mistakes:

Interview Mistake 1—Not using your resume to communicate how great you are.
Not only is your resume your ticket to the job interview, it is also the first impression you give the selection panel. Captivate them by giving detailed descriptions of how past jobs have prepared you for this one and support each with facts and figures. For example, last year I submitted more than 40 permit applications, allowing 12 public infrastructure projects to begin construction on schedule. Doesn’t that approach communicate my value as a prospective employee better than just saying I prepare permit applications?

Interview Mistake 2—Giving vague or unnecessarily long answers.
Nothing is more frustrating to an interviewer than hearing the same generic response over and over and over (and over and over and over) again. Not only do specific answers set you apart from other candidates, but they’re also the best way for the panel to get to know you. Where applicable, use stories to support your answer, but keep them concise and to the point. You don’t want to eat up your entire interview time on one question.

Bonus tip: If you notice yourself rambling, close out your thought immediately and allow the interview to move on to the next question. Don’t try to fix your answer. I can tell you from experience on both sides of the table that it usually makes things worse.

Interview Mistake 3—Not preparing for those tricky questions.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” “Describe a time you had a conflict with a supervisor and how you resolved it.” Tricky questions like these are a fact of interviews so come prepared to answer them. If a question catches you off-guard, like several did in my most recent interview, try pretending like you’re having a conversation with a friend and answer accordingly (albeit professionally). It helps calm the nerves and drive out solid, truthful answers. Just be careful not to overshare.

Interviewing is an iterative process that only gets better the more you do it. Over time, you learn to describe yourself and your talents more eloquently, as well as expand your inventory of potential questions to anticipate. Still, there will be good interview days and bad interview days. (You need only look at my very sweaty, very ramble-y Miami Fellows interview from last month for evidence.) Hopefully recognizing these typical job interview blunders and how you can avoid them improves your odds of achieving your professional dreams.

Have you ever made any of these job interview mistakes? Have you borne witness to others that we can learn from? Please share your stories and advice below!

Six Books You Need To Read This Spring

Six Books You Need To Read This Spring

I live ravenously and sometimes – when I look outwardly for self-fulfillment in travel or new and exciting experiences – a little haphazardly. The one activity that never fails to ground me and nourishes me internally is reading. During Winter, I took a mental vacation with a little help from fiction reads. I devoured everything from detective novels (shoutout to Faja for giving me “Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly) to dystopian tomes and finally discovered what all the buzz behind “The Handmaid’s Tale” is about.

Now that Spring has sprung, I am ready to get back to business in the realm of non-fiction so I knocked on Diana’s door after a three month hiatus to revive the Crossing Borders Book Club. Our approach this quarter is more casual: there is no commitment to ready any of the books in any timeframe or order nor is there any plan to meet up to talk about them. We simply want to share what we are reading with you in case you are in need of some inspiration.

We each contributed three books for a total of six books you need to read this Spring. I have grouped them based on who recommended them so you can reach out to us individually if you want to share your thoughts or chat about a specific book. I’m currently glued to “Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.” If any of you read it, I’m dying to talk through it.

Diana’s List:

My List:

Three Books You Need To Read This Fall

Three Books You Need To Read This Fall

Welcome to the first thing I’ve managed to write in months. It’s not that I haven’t been honing my writing—it’s that I have been doing so by reading ravenously. After all, the wise William Faulkner once said, “Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it.” And one does not not listen to William Faulkner.

The Summer reading list of the “Crossing Borders Book Club” in July and your recommendations gave me a wide range of reading options to work through. That said, this past quarter I had a tough time with non-fiction. How did you fare?

On my end, I started with “The Power of One” and abandoned it after a few chapters in search of a book with more storytelling, more anecdotes. I landed next at “When Breath Becomes Air,” a memoir that I finished in less than a week and followed up with “The Age of Innocence” and “Bright Lights, Big City”. (I know. I plummeted out of our book club list and into a black hole of fiction, but the mind wants what the mind wants.)

For our Fall book club reading list, I’m renewing my vows to non-fiction and I’m hoping you’ll keep me honest. I have listed two of the three titles below—Diana’s top pick and my top pick:

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This is Diana’s selection. I’m excited to read this because The Birkman Method recently outed me as an introvert.
  2. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make The Most of Them Now by Dr. Meg Jay. This was my selection, passed on from my friend Stan who is in his twenties and raves about this book. Sadly I am no longer in my twenties, but he assures me Dr. Jay’s advice is still worthwhile.

We want your help picking the third book. Please send us your recommendations for the third book in the comments below or post them on the book club Facebook page. We’ll be keeping a running list until the day of our in-person meeting (date TBD, but we’re aiming for a weekend in the next two weeks) at which time we’ll vote on one.

P.S. We’re really excited to meet you and hear your thoughts on the books we read this past quarter! From my brief conversations with Diana, her experience over the last three months and her perspective on the books is completely different than mine so you know it’s going to make for great conversation!

Shake Up Your Reading List, Join Our Book Club

Shake Up Your Reading List, Join Our Book Club

Are you looking to shake up your reading list? It’s your lucky day! My friend Diana and I are launching a book club and we want you to join us.

Over the last year, you have been an amazing reading buddy. You’ve graciously accepted my reading recommendations, shared some of your own, and engaged with me in light yet educated discussion on the themes covered therein. Diana and I want to start a book club with you to build on our current momentum and give it a more formal structure.

The idea is simple. We will be releasing a new reading list once a quarter focused on professional, personal, and/or spiritual development. These are the themes we have already been covering in my seasonal reading lists. In fact, some of your favorites from past lists span the full range of topics: Who Moved My Cheese covers professional development, Option B covers personal development, and Why Buddhism Is True covers spiritual development.

Join-Our-Book-Club-Crossing-Borders-Miami

We want this book club to transcend borders, both literary and geographic. Diana and I are based in Miami but we want you to participate no matter where you are located. For that reason, we will be creating an online group, called “Crossing Borders Book Club,” where we will be releasing the quarterly reading list and moderating discussions. (We need your help figuring out which platform works best. Is it a Facebook group? Is it a WhatsApp group? Is it something we haven’t considered yet? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.)

We also want to see you in person! We are planning to organize one quarterly in-person meeting at a local coffee shop or bookstore so we can talk books over drinks and nibbles. Think quaint spots with yummy food like the Bookstore in the Grove and Books & Books. We promise to vary the meeting location throughout the Miami area to give everyone a chance to join us.

For our very first quarterly reading list (“The Summer Edition” if you will), Diana and I joined forces to bring you the following three selections:

  1. The Power of the Other by Dr. Henry Cloud
  2. Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin
  3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

We will be reading them in the order in which they are listed at a rate of one book per month through the first day of Fall (September 22) when we will release a new list. Feel free to skip around and to read them at your own pace. We purposefully picked books with minimal spoiler potential and in the online group, we’ll be working to separate discussions by title.

Please reach out to us—personally or in the comments below—if you are interested in joining. We’re excited to have you and to build future reading lists on your suggestions! Don’t forget to start compiling a list of books on your wish list. At our in-person meeting, each member will be putting a suggestion into a hat from which we will be drawing the titles for our next reading list. Until then, happy reading!

Miami-Book-Club

Three Books You Need To Read This Spring

Three Books You Need To Read This Spring

Folks, we’ve officially come full circle. As of this post, we have shared the joy of reading for four seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter and with today’s list, Spring!

This season has been about women-focused narratives for me. I traveled to Paris with The Dud Avocado, a gift from my friend Betsy who gave it to me for its Paris-based story—she makes a habit of reading novels that correspond with where she is traveling—and because the main character reminded her of me. She was right. The mischievous and adventure-loving Sally Jay is my spirit animal!

The last few weeks I’ve been reading Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman. It’s not a book I would have picked up on my own. My colleague Juliany lent it to me unprompted and after reading the synopsis, I decided to try it as a means of broadening my perspective. I had a hard time getting past the first seven chapters because they paint women as victims and I don’t share that opinion. But, I powered through and made it to the second half which, except for the chapter on abortion, is full of insightful and hilarious anecdotes about the woman experience.

While I have enjoyed both books, I haven’t stopped my pursuit of knowledge on personal and professional development. In fact my library has quadrupled since my last reading list post. Below are the three books at the top of my Spring reading list:

1. Conspiracy

Author Ryan Holiday—you may remember him from Four Newsletters You Need In Your Inbox—breaks down the fall of Gawker Media as a case study of how power works in the 21st Century. In a time when we question everything we hear on the news or from the government, I am hoping this book on conspiracy, patience, strategy and revenge can help us be more judicious about what we believe and don’t believe.

2. Thinking, Fast and Slow

I first encountered the intellectual beast that is this book on human psychology and the human brain at 4 a.m. when Betsy and I were walking through the hallowed halls of Miami International Airport after our redeye from Utah. She asked, “If a ball and a bat costs $1.10 and the bat costs $1.00 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?” Tired and fully aware of my challenge with math, I nearly killed her for asking such a question. However, when I had my “Eureka!” moment after a few cups of coffee, I was fully committed to reading the whole book.

3. Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within

This year I finally stopped mooching off of other people’s Netflix accounts and thank the lord because they are offering better shows and movies (or at a minimum, I got better at finding them amidst all the crap). One of the mini-series I have most enjoyed recently was Wild Wild Country which documents the Rajneesh’s controversial arrival to Oregon. Regardless of what you think of the Osho from the events recounted in the series, he is one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century and I want to learn from his wisdom. He published his teaching across numerous books. I started with creativity because it is a skill I am working to improve.

The Most Important Lesson Of The “Yanny” or “Laurel” Debate

The Most Important Lesson Of The “Yanny” or “Laurel” Debate

The last two days all the internet can talk about is the “yanny” or “laurel” debate, the audio equivalent of 2015’s “The Dress”. (Remember the debate about whether it was black and blue or white and gold?) Friendships and families stand divided over whether an audio clip says one versus the other. Science says what you hear depends on what frequencies you are capable of hearing—people who can hear higher frequencies hear “yanny,” people who cannot hear “laurel”—and several outlets, like the New York Times, have manipulated the frequencies of the clip to help you hear both.

To my surprise, I hear “yanny.” I expected to hear “laurel” because I have a track record of listening to music really loudly at FlyWheel, when I use my headphones, and when I’m in the car. From time to time, I hear the telltale high-pitched “eeeeeeeeeh” indicative of hearing loss so I did not count on having much high-frequency hearing left. I consider my place on the “yanny” side of the debate to be a personal win. Ironically, the original recording—the one circling the web was made by a student who recorded the clip from his computer speakers so it varies slightly—comes from the vocabulary.com page for “laurel”. (P.S. When I listen to the original recording, it is much easier to hear both.)

Regardless of whether you hear “yanny” or “laurel,” there is an important lesson we can learn from this debate about how we communicate with others. Think about it. We’re all listening to the same audio clip and hearing two very different things. (Heck! During “The Dress” debate, we were looking at the same dress and seeing two very different things.) It brings to light the high variability between people’s interpretations of the same input and how easily it is for us to miscommunicate.

There are a billion factors that affect how we interpret our surroundings beyond what frequencies we can hear (or, what pixels we can see) like where we grew up, what we studied in school (if we studied in school), what religion we practice, and past experiences. The way we communicate, the words we choose have to account for or overcome each of these to get us on the same page. That is why I am so fascinated by psychology in my pursuit as a communicator and why I read books like “The Rhetoric of Rhetoric” and “How To Win Friends And Influence People.” They help me understand what variables exist and how they change the way I need to communicate with different audiences to improve understanding. It has helped me build better relationships with others, achieve better outcomes, and reduce my conflicts with others…except in this case, where the answer is unequivocally “yanny.” Fight me.

Four Insightful Articles That Changed My Perspective (Updated)

Four Insightful Articles That Changed My Perspective (Updated)

In December I underwent a professional transition—one which I will share in the future, along with my long overdue spring reading list—and I have been busy recalibrating ever since. Part of finding my bearings amidst the changes has involved a lot of soul searching and a lot of reading. While the soul searching process is still in progress, it has benefitted greatly from all of the reading.

I have poured over every topic, ranging from how to become more assertive and more focused to key life lessons. Each article offers a new perspective to help define my new path. There are four articles in particular that have been impactful in changing my personal outlook. As I tend to do with insightful articles, I have shared them separately on my Twitter account over the last few days but they are so valuable that I am consolidating them here for your reading pleasure.

  1. “Tell Me What You Say ‘Yes’ To, And I’ll Tell You Who You Are” — A solid argument about why we need to say “no” more often.
  2. “How To Be More Assertive At Work When That’s Just Not Your Personality” — Valuable tips on how to be more comfortable getting what you want.
  3. “How To Stay Motivated in Life and Work Using the Goldilocks Rule” — An interesting read on how we are most motivated when we face tasks of “just manageable difficulty.”
  4. “You’re Too Busy. You Need A ‘Shultz Hour.'” — An opinion piece that argues for disconnecting to allow for creativity and bigger picture insight on our day-to-day tasks.

Do you agree or disagree with their points of view? What other impactful articles have you read recently?

Update (4/13/2018, 1:30 p.m.): It is a great week for insightful reads. After posting this morning, I came across two other relevant articles that I just HAD to add to this list. They are too good not to share immediately. Alas, I give you not four, but six insightful articles that changed my perspective:

5. “Three Power Moves That Are Better Than A Shrug” — A discussion on how shrugging your shoulders communicates uncertainty, with three alternatives to improve your body language.

6. “How To Pick A Career (That Actually Fits You)” — A satirical piece that discusses the importance of stopping to reflect on your career path and provides a framework for helping you evaluate its fit.