Raining on someone else’s parade

There is a joke that Mexicans tell about themselves: An American businessman is on holiday in Mexico and, as he is walking along the beach, he passes a Mexican fisherman with his catch of crabs in an open bucket. “You should put a lid on that,” says the American, “or the crabs will climb out.”Continue reading “Raining on someone else’s parade”

Empathy and the estate agent

There was a documentary series some time ago about a firm of estate agents in North London. The early episodes focused much of their attention on one relatively new recruit. He was an earnest young man, who made a point of emphasising that he wanted to do his very best to match buyers to theirContinue reading “Empathy and the estate agent”

The devil and the angel

We have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The devil is encouraging us to push ahead regardless and ignore what anyone else thinks; and the angel is telling us we should listen to others and hold back. Except that the devil is sometimes right and the angel sometimes wrong. That’sContinue reading “The devil and the angel”

The power of ‘no’

I need a job where the core skill is to be cynical. That is my real expertise – finding the reasons ‘why not’; identifying all the downsides. It’s a skill I have honed over many years. Unfortunately, most jobs call for people to take a more balanced approach – to weigh up the pros andContinue reading “The power of ‘no’”