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Terry's Original Quote Keepers

A minute of silence can be more productive than an hour of debate.
~Terry Braverman

Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought.
~Terry Braverman

Give me levity, or give me death!
~Terry Braverman

An intimate relationship is the ultimate training.
~Terry Braverman

Clarity of purpose is the ultimate decongestant.
~Terry Braverman

Faith keeps the voice of fear out of your ear.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Be patient, before you become a patient.
~Terry Braverman

Over-analysis causes paralysis.
~Terry Braverman

May the 'farce' be with you.
~Terry Braverman

Plan some time to be spontaneous.
~Terry Braverman

Laugh at yourself, and you will always be amused.
~Terry Braverman

Imagination sharpens the dull blade of routine.
~Terry Braverman

Inquisitiveness cures boredom; nothing cures inquisitiveness.
~Terry Braverman

Feed your soul, starve your worries.
~Terry Braverman

Avoid time in the Tower of Babble.
~Terry Braverman

Release any false sense of insecurity.
~Terry Braverman

Life is a fantasy, made real by our thoughts.
~Terry Braverman

Humor is an adaptive discipline that can thrive in the harshest environments. In the book Laughter in Hell, author Steve Lipman documents the use of humor during the Holocaust. There was nothing funny about the Holocaust and the intense suffering experienced by so many people. But survivors of the Nazi death camps cultivated humor out of psychological necessity.

A Dutch Jew by the name of Rachella Velt Meekcoms recounted times when she would stage vaudeville shows in Auschwitz with other inmates: “In spite of all our agony and pain we never lost our ability to laugh at ourselves and our miserable situation. We had to make jokes to survive and save ourselves from deep depression. We mimicked top overseers, I did impersonations about camp life and somebody did a little tap dance, different funny, crazy things. The overseers would slip into the barracks some nights, and instead of giving us punishment they were laughing their heads off.”

I know a man whose terrific Mexican vacation was almost spoiled by an indifferent customs officer. While in Mexico City, he met a beautiful Mexican woman. She toured him around the city the night before his flight was to leave. The next day at the airport, she surprised him by showing up at the airport to give him a bouquet of flowers as a send-off.

After she left, he went through customs and was stopped because he didn’t have a tourist card. They ushered him into the office where a customs official refused to let him go. My friend was desperate to make his flight, but no matter what he said or how much he pleaded, the shiftless customs man wouldn’t budge. Frustrated, my friend dropped the flowers on his desk, which provoked a wide-eyed unexpected response: “Para mi?” (For me?) Noting the change in the man’s demeanor, my friend replied, “Si, claro.” (Sure). The customs official smiled and declared, “You can go now!”

Finding joy in the midst of tragedy isn’t easy, but ultimately rewarding when it helps people move beyond the grief. I was hired to speak at an annual company retreat, and just prior to my introduction it was announced that a very beloved employee of the company named Corrine had suddenly died. When a woman came on stage to introduce me, she was in tears, and there were audible wails and moans emanating from the audience. She mumbled and stumbled through my introduction, and while still weeping said, “So here to talk about (sniffles) humor in the workplace (blows her nose)…Terry Braverman.” I walked on stage pondering a line from a Shakespearean tragedy: “Oh death, where is thy sting?”

We continue in hot pursuit of communication excellence with this week’s blog. Last time we broke down the three primary modalities we use to give and receive information (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) into three subcomponents, or sub-modalities of communication. Today I will offer an alternative paradigm in communication – deconstructing the four major personality types, and how to handle them when they’re under stress.

Like every good mechanic, a good communicator comes equipped with more than one tool to do the job. Some of us may find the visual/auditory/kinesthetic model to be fun and easily adaptable, while for others it may be cumbersome as it involves multiple levels of observation. Recognizing the four primary personality types could be a simpler way to determine patterns and select strategies that work with each type. Of course, having more than one model in your communication tool kit is a huge benefit. Let’s take a look at the Dominator, the Expressive, the Scrutinizer, and the Relater…

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