June 21, 2010

Answer is 3

Posted in Business, Life tagged , , , at 2:14 pm by lindaslongview

I have had a terrific opportunity to spend some time traveling in Europe on vacation.  There have been many opportunities to learn a bit about perspective, but a really great lesson has been taught to me via automobile parking in France.

As Americans accustomed used to large roads, large cars, and plentiful parking (most of the time), the roads, cars, and parking spaces in urban France were downright micro.  After a few days in France, we became more and more acclimated to the very challenging parking of the densely populated urban areas (often requires curb jumping for success).

When we arrived in Saint Tropez, there was a mix of the micro and large cars and thus the parking situation was mixed.  As my husband backed our rented European car into a marked parking space at our hotel, I was giving him guidance. He asked me, “How many spaces were in the empty back area of the lot?”

My first answer was 2 (from my American perspective based upon the striping of the spaces).  My second answer was 3 (when I realized that the spaces were large relative to the size of our small European rental car and there was plenty of room for another one next to ours based upon my recent acclimation to Paris parking).  My third answer was 4 (when I realized the same was the situation on the opposite side of the back lot based on the more recent acclimation to Marseilles parking which is even tighter than Paris!).

My answer sounded something like 2…, 3…., 4, because my perspective was shifting.

Afterward, my husband gave me a hard time about being unhelpful and indecisive, but it made me realize that he had assumed a single answer to a multiple answer question if you consider multiple perspectives…

In the morning, there were three cars parked in the back lot, so the answer was 3! Perspective was indeed important.

My long view advice:

  • When asking for guidance, recognize that advice might not assume a specific perspective.
  • Be patient with difference in perspective until a specific perspective is defined.

Are you considering the affect of perspective?

June 2, 2010

Butt Cut

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , at 1:08 am by lindaslongview

I have always loved mangoes.  Even though I grew up in the middle of nowhere and had never seen a mango, I loved the mango flavor in the Tropical Fruit Lifesavers, so my world rocked the day I had a REAL mango.  I’m fully addicted with a three-pack a week habit from Costco…

My friend Gayle mentioned to me the other day that she needed a mango lesson because they are hard to select and then cut.

My advice (hardly long view, but advice nonetheless):  It’s the butt cut!

Gayle’s Mango Select and Cut Lesson:

  1. Purchase the yellow/orangish “champagne” mangoes from Costco – they come in a pack of six.  (They aren’t always the Ciruli brand, but they have a similar look).  These are the most consistent mangoes for novices!  😉
  2. Inspect the mango for slight softness and excellence in color – should be slighly orangish when ripe.  If the skin starts getting wrinkled, it will be okay, but it’s a bit like a brown banana – it’s getting old.
  3. Find the butt of the mango.
  4. Slice off the butt of the mango.  (I like a small bladed knife with slight serration – usually an apple paring knife).
  5. Use the now flat butt of the mango to stand it on end for slicing the sides away from the interior flat pit.  Slice the 1st side away guiding the knife down the flat side of the pit – stay as close to the pit as you can.
  6. Repeat on the 2nd side.
  7. Hold the pit to allow you to remove the rind from the flesh remaining around the pit.
  8. Eat the pit like an animal!  (My favorite part!)
  9. Use a spoon to scoop the delicious flesh from the two sides.
  10. Enjoy!

For non-spoon eating preparation, do #7 (remove rind – essentially peeling an apple with a knife) BEFORE #5 & 6, keep #8, and change #9 to “slice appealingly and eat delicious flesh with a fork!”

Butt really how does this relate to the Long View?….

It’s connected via Chip & Dan Heath’s story on “How to teach a monkey to ride a skateboard” in their new book, Switch:

The answer doesn’t involve punishment.  Animal trainers rarely use punishment these days.  You can punish an elephant only so many times before you wind up as a splinter.  Instead trainers set a behavioral destination and then use “approximations,” meaning that they reward each tiny step toward destination.  For example, in the first hour of the first day of training, the future skateboarding monkey gets a chunk of mango for not freaking out when the trainer puts the board in his cage.  Later he gets mango for touching the board, then for sitting on it, then for letting the trainer push him back and forth on it.  Mango, mango, mango.  Hundreds of sessions later, you’ve got a mango-bloated monkey ready to skate a half-pipe.”

And there is the Long View connection – mango is a long-view training tool!

Have you had some mango today?!  🙂