HeartNote, January 14, 2019: Fear and the "And a One"

Yesterday I talked to you about how to "Welk it*" This is the mechanism developed and attributed to Lawrence Welk, the late bandleader and accordion player.* When he cued his band, he invariably said, "And a one and a two..." but never really made it to "two."

This is a breathing technique to pause before you answer any question that involves an ending, an implied commitment, or a decision that may be curt or reflexive.

I want to eliminate any anxiety about offering a delay in the conversation so you don't feel an impediment in going forward with this process.

As I mentioned yesterday, it's important to be good to your word. Don Miquel Ruiz asks us to be "impeccable" which is great, but I worry about those that see the word "impeccable" and start to freak out a little. Too vague, suggesting perfection, and if we make a mistake and slip, does this mean we'll never reach that standard again? This can provoke anxiety in some and panic in perfectionists.

Secondly, there's another side to this concept. When you flip an "I'll get back to you" to somebody, it's closure. You want to end the conversation, moving on to your next project. Some of us don't want to say, "I have to go, I have other things to do" because it's too direct. We don't want to hurt somebody's feelings. A goodbye has to be done clearly, without a lingering promise, and often many of us don't want to create any friction with anyone. I know that doesn't sound like an issue, but particularly in the workplace we are especially sensitive to creating a smooth conversational atmosphere. Change implies pressure to get it right.

Here's a way to eliminate fear, of any measure, and in any exchange, and keep your word: "I am interested in speaking to you again. Thank you for speaking with me."

You're keeping your word. It's ok to keep it open. You give yourself some flexibility that way. You can still Welk-it* because it's good for you, and it will give you a second to think about your response, even if you don't want to do that one.

This essay may not have been terribly necessary, but I felt it was needed to smooth out any potential of misunderstanding. It gives you another phrase to use, to still keep your word, and to use a little pause between sentences.

And a final note today. Impeccability is based on memory. I'm going to introduce a quick trick.

See you tomorrow. Get a three by five card and a pencil.

*I just made this up yesterday.


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