Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fear Factors



I have a friend who loves scuba-diving. He was describing some great dives and, perhaps sensing my reaction, asked if I would be interested in going along on one. I politely begged off, noting my aversion to sports where one of the possible downsides is being eaten alive.

Now before you send me all of the statistics on how safe scuba diving really is and how sharks are misunderstood and lovely, let me assure that I've read the literature and watched the videos. Itinerant scuba divers go door-to-door in my neighborhood spreading the word. Besides, all of that is irrelevant. My point is that this same friend freezes in fear at the thought of having to write a report in much the same way that others shudder when required to give a speech.

Now I think those fears are quite odd - I write reports and give speeches frequently and without trepidation - but for those folks, their fears are as real as my concern that somewhere there is a Great White with my name on its fin. [The first seven minutes of "Jaws" said it all; all the rest was commentary.]

When dealing with others, we should take their fears into account and not declare that they are foolish. Our logic doesn't not count in their world but if we can dissolve or minimize their concerns, we will quickly gain the status of ally.

That is a nice title to possess.

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