Who Are You Calling Old?!

Posted by dianne on Oct 20, 2010 in Newsletters | | No comment

I told some friends of the ignominy of overhearing a stock clerk in the local drugstore alerting another employee that “There’s a little old lady at the counter!” Little old lady!! I was wounded! I’ll admit to being 5 feet tall and females of my age group were constantly reminded from childhood to act like a lady, but OLD? Well, I weren’t a lady, that young whipper snapper would have heard an earful!

But my outrage was topped by my friend Larry’s. It seems he and his wife had gone to help their daughter with her new baby. “They sent me to the store for Pampers,” Larry told us. “When I told a stock boy I was looking for diapers, he showed me to the Depends!”

Um…Larry wins!

October Awareness

You have undoubtedly noticed all the pink ribbons and pink merchandise and pink packaging designed to remind us that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that October is also Depression Awareness Month?

180,000 people are estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Depression is estimated to affect 17 million men, women, and children each year in the United States.

That means there are a lot of people who are suffering with both of these diseases and both are highly treatable. Take charge of your health. Don’t miss the opportunity to be screened and treated.

Common Symptoms of Depression include:

  • Loss of interest/pleasure in ordinary activities
  • Changes in appetite and sleep habits
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Loneliness
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

There are more symptoms and a person doesn’t necessarily experience all of them. Enter “symptoms of depression” into your search engine to see all the symptoms. You can learn more about depression at, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml If you think you might be depressed, see a doctor. You don’t have to live with those bad feelings.

So I am going to piggyback on the breast cancer pink. When you see it, think of depression, too. Support awareness and research for both breast cancer and depression to increase the chances for all of us to enjoy long, healthy and happy lives.

If you would like a copy of my article “Twelve Things to Do While You Are Waiting to Feel Better,”  e-mail me dianne@morrcreative.com and put “Article” in the subject line.

If you would like to use this article, you are welcome to do so as long as you include this credit:

By Dianne Morr, professional speaker and author of Ice the Burnout! 20 Simple Ways to Make Your Life Better. As a ghost writer, writing coach, editor and book shepherd, Dianne can help you take your writing project from wherever it is to DONE. dianne@morrcreative.com.

Conversation Igniter

by Cyndi Maxey

“Good morning,” I said with relief as I got on the underground elevator.

Chicago’s Grant Park underground parking has always been spooky to me. You have to park in the bowels of the earth and then maneuver a quick “click clack” walk for what seems like two city blocks to the elevator, which slowly and painfully climbs five floors to finally lift you to the street level and sunshine.

So when there is another decent looking human being already in this subterranean elevator, I breathe easier and typically say, “Good morning” to which my reply is typically “Morning” after which my co-rider returns to his or her text messaging.

But a recent morning was different: my co-rider answered back! He said, “Good morning, how are you?”

It was 7:15 AM and I was so surprised by the invitation to continue a conversation that I blurted out the first brilliant thing that came to mind, which was, ”Fine, and you?” To which he replied, “Great. Looks like nice weather again.” Now I was still foggy conversationally, and all I could come up with was, “Yes, it’s unusual,” and we were at street level. Conversation over.

As I walked to my client’s offices, I thought about the potential for elevator conversations like this one, whether or not you’re actually in an elevator. (And let me be clear, I am NOT talking about the overdone “elevator speech” that everybody is supposed to have but nobody wants to hear.) To maximize your connection opportunities, even if you have only a minute and even if you’re not really in an elevator, I propose a new response technique when someone asks, “How are you?” This technique stands to promote quicker conversation and connection in a short amount of time. It simply skips a step.

Here’s how it goes:

(For almost any Chicagoan you meet)

You: “Good morning.”

Other: “Good morning, how are you?”

You: “Fine, considering that Bears game last night was brutal.”


(For when you meet your boss)

You: “Good morning.”

Boss: “Good morning, how are you?”

You: “Fabulous, my hardest working team won an award today.”


(For almost anyone you meet)

You: “Good morning.”

Other: “Good morning, how are you?”

You: “Great. Just found out my dog doesn’t need surgery!”

The idea is simple. Never answer, “How are you?” with the standard, “Fine and you?” but instead offer an igniter to move the conversation forward more quickly. The igniter should fit the person and the situation and always, always be positive. Nobody wants to ride in the elevator with a complainer. Even if you feel terrible, turn it into, “Fine, I’m looking forward to my Ibuprofen kicking in.”  Also, you may have to think in advance about what your daily igniter will be – simply something new in your life in the past 24 hours.

Try this “igniter” technique today and let me know how it works. As always your feedback is welcome!

Cyndi Maxey is an expert speaker and facilitator who energizes groups of all sizes through interaction, humor, and professionalism. Owner of communication consulting firm Maxey Creative, Inc. since 1989, she is the author of five books on communication and presentation skills.

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