Writing that moves readers to action

As I sat in those expansive auditoriums soaking up details about brain processes – particularly learning and memory – along with social implication of our actions, I became mesmerized by certain key words and concepts.  In light of recent events (Robert McDonald, Brian Williams, Lance Armstrong, Bernie Madoff, and so many others), these processes put a strong-hold on me and held my attention and curiosity.  In simplistic form…these processes include:

 Attention->encoding->retention/storage->retrieval/reproduction->motivation…

As I stared at these basics and even dug deeper into the process details, I could not help but wonder how – given the true biological way in which our brains operate – is it possible for an individual to encounter, experience, and recall, replay, or retell events in a much different way from how that specific event actually occurred.

MY BOSS TOLD MELittle white lies aside, I paused to ponder if there had ever been a time in my life when the relaying of a personal experience or observation had not been fact-based – not told exactly as it had occurred (and was verifiable by others).  Had I ever been “motivated” to distort or fabricate facts (or the truth) of an event or situation?  If so, what might have inspired me to do so – an ideal job, fame, friends, cash?  Was that inspirational element worth the compromise of my principles, integrity or sense of self?  Despite my desire to understand through personal experience, I was unable to uproot any examples.

Although distortions, miscommunications, misrepresentations, dishonesty – call it what you may – lurk and lie in wait…attempting to influence and impact many aspects of our lives – from sports to investing to journalism and even to government – much weighs heavily on how we present and represent ourselves – especially in the details we each choose to include on items such as our resume or CV (curriculum vitae).

As someone who has assisted others in job search preparation including market strategizing, search techniques, and particularly the gathering, compiling and presenting of work experience and details, I’ve never encounter distortions, fabrication or even deception (verifiable through job specific contact checks) on the part of those I’ve chosen as clients.  Actually, my encounters have been just the opposite – my clients have consistently been reluctant or hesitant to even “boast” about or elaborate on their experiences and credentials.  Oftentimes, when I’ve proposed a change in verbiage or a sentence realignment in order to convey a more engaging, powerful execution statement of their acquired or innate skill…they tended to cringe or express hesitancy in making and embracing the suggested change.  When I’ve probed why, they’ve shared that it’s due to their commitment to be true to themselves and their understanding/perception of the positions they held rather than out of a fear of “being caught.”

Apparently, this type of response or behavior is not the “norm.”  In a piece published on LinkedIn by Rob Wyse, he states that ”…lying on resumes is common.”  In a study (2002) of 7,000 executive resumes conducted by a recruiter he worked with, “23% of executives misrepresented accomplishments” and “Of those that misrepresent them, 64% exaggerated accomplishments.”

'Push'n 50, but ya still got it!!'Given this – along with the many recent (and ongoing) missteps by influential individuals that continue to permeate our culture – I wonder if deception has become a way of life…the “new norm”?  If so, are we – as a society – willing to accept that type of behavior?  How would we feel if a heart surgeon lied about his credentials; or a pilot (see Catch Me If You Can) about his flight skills and cockpit hours?    Is that what we as a society are desirous of supporting, encouraging, and continuing?  If not, how do each of us find our way to not only sharing our viewpoint but inspiring others to articulate fact-based narratives of the lives we experience and witness?

Maybe, as shared by Dr. Deborah Khoshaba in her article “Self-Deception:  A Defense Against Vulnerability”…it’s okay for each of us to “relax”…and

“Enjoy being an everyday person.  “…give yourself permission to be normal.”

Crafted, researched and written by: LIZ CARLOCK
The Write Resources, LLC™
© 2015 EM Carlock

Yikes…it’s been over a month since I last wrote.  It often amazes me how easy it is for the most important aspects of life – such as writing – to become part of the backdrop (even disappear) when the speed and intensity of life shifts.  Hmmm…have I brought this on myself?  Do I have anyone to blame but ME!?

For me, the Spring 2015 semester has begun.  I’ve enrolled in two classes – Psychology and Sociology.  Besides the walk to the bus and the ride to campus, I spend close to three hours two times a week nestled inside a windowless classroom.  As anyone who has enrolled in university classes knows…chores do not end there.  Reading, homework, and projects take over – even encroach on – one’s life.

Although I love the energy of being on campus and around energized thinkers, these classes don’t always fulfill my curious nature. I have so many interests and am continually seeking inspiration and ways to remain “connected” as I work out of my home office.  One great “resource” that has helped tremendously with these needs is joining several – actually many – LinkedIn Groups.

Up until early January 2015, I was a “member” of about 30-35 groups.  These groups range in disciplines from Writing to Sociology to Anthropology to Alumni and local network news.  No matter how I adjust my settings or allocate my time, I never seem to be able to keep up.  Now with all the added work placed on me with my new classes, it’s an even great struggle to prioritize and stay afloat.  I have been inundated with comments, articles, and other sundry posted items within those groups.  Receiving all of this information, however, does not appear to be the specific problem.  The issue has been the length of the titles people are creating (see examples below).

This, of course, caused me to wonder…Do these writers truly have an interest in participating in a “group” setting?  Do they really want people like me (maybe even you) to read and contribute on what they’ve written?  Do they experience and/or understand the tight, precious amount of time people actually have to indulge in reading what they’ve written/shared?  Or are these writers simply interested in rambling – using an array of words – so they can be picked up by search engines?

For those of us trained in the art and science of Marketing, the subject line or title has always been a primary focal point.  We were taught that the purpose of a title and/or subject line was to succinctly capture the nature of your piece in under 15 word.  Your goal was to GRAB and CAPTURE a reader’s attention – to encourage, inspire, seduce that reader – to delve deeper – to READ and to ACT!

Here’s a title that captured my attention.  The subject matter – likability and hiring – are both of interest to me.  The writer states her subject right up front.  By posing her thoughts in the form of a question, she is also extending an invite to engage in the conversation.  When I clicked on and read the piece, I discovered the content included the exact same subject matter Ms. Smith had stated.

“Do you find that likability is a top criteria when hiring? Why”? by Beth Smith

So what inspires you to read?  What do you allocated time to read and indulge in?  And, why?

Crafted, researched and written by: LIZ CARLOCK
The Write Resources, LLC™
© 2015 EM Carlock

EXAMPLES – Lengthy Titles/Subject lines – and suggested changes

  • POSTING TITLE = 35 words:
    In the world of works, we all move from one job to the next for many reasons. Excluding the cash benefit factor of a new position, how does a new position benefit you and why”?

    • Suggested REWRITE = 7 words: “How a new position will benefit you”
    • Suggested REWRITE = 9 words: “X# of ways a new position will benefit you.”
  •  POSTING TITLE = 18 words plus link:
    |BOOKS| https://lnkd.in/bg5g_j9 Literature for older children is a neglected zone in China. Any suggestions about what teenagers should read”?

    • Suggested REWRITE = 9 words: “Need your thoughts…what should teenagers read in China”?
  • POSTING TITLE = 25 words plus links and contractions
    “It’s coming! #NationalAnthropologyDay will be on February 19th. How will you celebrate? Check out our webpage for ideas and send us your own – we’ll share them! http://bit.ly/NationalAnthropologyDay

    • Suggested REWRITE = 6 words plus link: National Anthropology Day – February 19th details at http:big.ly/NationalAnthropologyDay
  • POSTING TITLE: = 34 words
    “Hey folks! I’m going to be teaching an anthro 101 class this term and am toying with the idea of having students keep a reflective journal. Has anyone experimented with this in their class? Thanks”!

    • Suggested REWRITE = 8 words: Seeking thoughts on reflective journal for Anthro 101 class.
  • POSTING TITLE: =  33 words
    How are you dealing with the challenges and opportunities of disruption? Please do read and share my recent BLOG and join us at Creative Innovation 2015 to learn about disruption and the future.”

    • Suggested REWRITE = 12 words plus links: DEALING WITH DISRUPTION – read, contribute, and join us…BLOG (link); Creative Innovation 2015 (link)

 

Trying to get caught up before classes start next week…so, no time to research and write.too much to do

Will buckle down and write as soon as I know what my class schedule and coursework will look like.

Until next time…
Stay safe!!

Crafted, researched and written by: LIZ CARLOCK
The Write Resources, LLC™
© 2015 EM Carlock

 

Now that Christmas is behind us (hmmm…Christmas past)…many of us have begun to focus on – maybe even commit to – projects we’ll devote our attention to in the New Year – 2015.

For me, lifestyle issues and concerns – health, diet, exercise – consistently surface to the top of my New Year “resolutions” list.  In 2014, I began to embark on a more careful evaluation of items I eat and take into my body.  During 2015, that vigilance will continue… only at a much deeper level – more label reading and ingredient understanding – research, education, etc.

As I sit here sipping my basic tea, I reflect on the contents of that tea as well as the words and thoughts shared in past blogs.  Embarking on my goal of delving deeper into reading and understanding food product contents and the nature and constituency of specific items within those products will not be an easy task.  For me, eating consciously (to achieve maximum health) has always been a challenge…and has never been as simple as “eating low on the food chain.”  Plus, as so eloquently shared by Jon Stewart (February 20, 2014 The Daily Show)…selecting old-time favorite brands may not lead us down a positive path…

September 17, 2014 – Bloomberg
The Food Babe – Vani Hari

As more details become available about the food and food “products” we each consume, three words – that contain very critical concepts – occupy my mind – TRUST, INTEGRITY and VALUES.

For example, when we travel by airplane…we simply purchase our ticket, enter the plane, stash our carry-ons and settle into our seats.  Most of us pay more attention to our seat location than we do to becoming acquainted with the pilot and/or co-pilot.  Do you even know who’s sitting up there in the cockpit?  Do you know what their education or credentials are?  Have you ever asked to see their resume?  Not likely!  That might be because we innately TRUST in the airline company we’ve chosen.  We TRUST they have INTEGRITY and VALUES that align with our own.

We tend to take that same posture or attitude of TRUST with many other aspects of our lives – including what we consume.

Perplexed by these issues surrounding TRUST and INTEGRITY – especially as they pertain to food and food products – I embarked on Read the rest of this entry »

snowman 2Hope your Holidays – wherever you are –
are peaceful and joy-filled!!

Til next time…

Crafted, researched and written by:  LIZ CARLOCK
The Write Resources, LLC™Liz-winter 2012
© 2014 EM Carlock

 

Graphic credits:  www.glasbergen.com