Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Many?

I once said to a group of people whilst responding to their feedback in a plenary session, 'I have two things to say in response to that, no make that three.'

The prophet Bob heckled, 'Why not hedge your bets and go for six; you can always stop short and we'll all be pleased.'

I learned always to say, 'I have a number of responses' from then on.

I thought of this again recently as I have seen a number of tweets, articles and posts of the 'x things right/wrong with [thing]' type.

7 habits of highly effective people
10 commandments of management
4 reasons for a dysfunctional team
6 steps to improve your prayer life

Maybe I follow too many Southern Baptist pastors. Still, I feel sure that these posts are of the blunderbuss (a gun that fires lots of small shot, American chums) type. Everything the person knows about the subject is fired against a wall and then the hits are counted. Highly effective people have way more than seven good habits. Probably, ooh, 342. There is only one commandment of management; 'How can I help you do your job better?' It takes real skill to work out precisely how many ways there could be to make a team dysfunctional. At the last count I'd reached 427 but teams amaze me again and again with their ability to recover from seeming dysfunctionality. You can't improve your prayer life. That's trying to improve God. You either have one or you don't. Live with it.

See what I mean. So, 4 top tips for reading blogs:

1. Be slow to take offence; it was probably a joke
2. If you don't like the post there will be another one along in a bit
3. Join in. Comment, don't lurk
4. Share if you like it
5. Damn

1 top tip for suggesting a specific number of things that are right/wrong:

1. Don't


Anonymous said...

I'm joining in ...

How many sermons have you heard where the preacher says that they have 3 points and you spend most of your time trying to work out what the 3 were, especially when you think they've got to about 6?
Or another contester
Where the preacher says 'and finally' then you spend 10-15 minutes trying to work out what the final point was.
(Not you Steve)

Greenpatches said...

As I said on one of mine, if once I lose my sense of humour,then I really will be worried!

RuthJ said...

Four reasons for a dysfunctional team: you, me, her and him.