From My InBox: The Ummmm

Random interesting & useful 💩 pulled from myriad of emails which land in my inbox.

From My InBox: The Ummmm

A detour before diving into the 💩 from my inbox.

I’ve been mulling the um. Yes, the um. As in, “um…I was wondering…um if you knew anything about um…”.

My um contemplation started after I was asked following a recent presentation “how I’d eradicated the um” (or it’s irritating sibling, “like”) from my speech - not that I’ve eradicated every um or like completely or that I had habit of sprinkling them liberally throughout my talks in the past, rather it was a compliment and the question was asked by someone who was hyper-aware of her use of these two words. And that awareness was causing her to hesitate (whether speaking up, or sharing her voice).

When is an “um” really f’g irritating (and something to get rid of) when is an “um” something to get curious about?

Curiosity about “um”? Why on earth would someone be curious about UM??? Um is defined as “expressing hesitation or a pause in speech”. So, yeah, I’m curious about the hesitation behind an um.

As I write this I’m listening to the podcast of an accomplished interviewer, someone who has interviewed literally every accomplished thinker / doer / creator / writer and the interview is filled with um, as in almost every time the interviewer opens their mouth, an um pops out. What’s with that? This interviewer is no novice. The interviewer has a background in journalism along with a deep spiritual practice, so I imagine they are rather comfortable sitting in that uncomfortable space we refer to as silence (aka the pause). Perhaps the um is an expression of anxiety (wouldn’t that be great! discovering that an accomplished person still gets the jitters) or high expectations when meeting a new interviewee (whose ideas make you feel ridiculously stupid…which is not necessarily what the interviewer was thinking, I could be projecting here).

Back to the question I was originally asked before I fell down my “um” rabbit hole, observation of something you want to correct is the start, then practice, practice, practice to change it. Chair a meeting, report findings to your boss, explain outcomes to your team, take part in a panel discussion, raise your hand to ask a question - these are all opportunities to practice your public speaking (and to share your voice without hesitation).

Ok, and getting professional feedback helps too.

Now the good 💩 from my inbox:

  • I’m a massive fan of Collective[i] Forecast - these are engaging, interactive conversations with big thinkers (yeah, you have to show-up to get the info, as no, they don’t send around a YouTube link to watch later). Next up (March 23 ) is a conversation with Edward Hallowell, M.D., Founder of The Hallowell ADHD Centers, board-certified child and adult psychiatrist, and world authority on ADHD.
  • Your Network: Mission Critical. I don’t need to tell you this (again!) because the incredible Jennifer Iannolo, founder of IMPERIA does, right here.
  • Nearly 70% of women feel unsupported, 53% feel lonely, 51% feel isolated because of their jobs. This and more in new research The Cost of Loneliness: Women, Work and The Invisible Force That’s UnderminingThem As They Rise conducted in February 2023 by, Berlin Cameron, and Benenson Strategy Group.
  • Library After Hours are back! Yes, hanging out and not using your library voice at the New York Public Library are a thing - check out the next cerebral gathering (March 31 to close out Women’s History Month).
  • Women lawyers - in San Francisco and environs - join WILEF (women in law empowerment forum) on April 20 for a panel discussion + networking reception (yes, an old school IRL gathering). The panel will be discussing how to support the success of women lawyers in a post-COVID, hybrid work environment.
  • That task you keep putting off…well, the source of your procrastination problem really is in your head. Inside The Brains Of Procrastinators (Paris Brain Institute)
  • Better online conversations? As I seek a new favorite online watering-hole (now that the old favorite gathering place is under new management), I’ve joined The Narwhal Project (co-founded by Nicholas Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic). It is in beta, get on the waitlist.
  • The 19th News Celebrated International Women’s Day in NYC with Luminary and NY Women’s Foundation by interviewing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Watch the interview on YouTube.
  • Worth checking out - The Dignity Index - “The Dignity Index is an eight-point scale that scores speech along a continuum from contempt to dignity in as unbiased a manner as possible. By focusing on the sound bites, not the people behind them, the Index attempts to stay true to its own animating spirit: that everyone deserves dignity
  • "They said, 'She's done. She's gone.' They dismissed me and discarded me. Because in America, when you have a family member accused of a crime, you become very messy and very untouchable. And for some people I will always be." WTW! ICYMI Founder Amy Nelson Was Madly Pulling a Pandemic Pivot When...the FBI Showed Up at Her Door With Guns, Seized Her Money, and Told her Husband he was the Target of a Criminal Investigation (Entrepreneur)
  • Finally from the you-can’t-make-this-💩-up file…The Fugee, the Fugitive and the FBI (Bloomberg)

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