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The practical value of knowing which knots to use and when.

Coach Tony
Coach Tony
The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever. ~May Sarton
I’m back from vacation and also my 44th birthday. My goal, simply, was to sit by the ocean and read science fiction. Goal accomplished. Thank you for reading last week’s best-of series. 🌴🎂
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#1. Prosthetics.
Early in Neal Stephenson’s book Fall, he takes a few paragraphs to reframe the word prosthetic. So normally we think about prosthetics as replacements for missing limbs.
But the etymology is that it’s an addition, and it’s merely a cultural norm that we tend to use this word in reference to additions that replace something that is missing. So theoretically, you could have prosthetic wings or what have you.
But the character making this case then goes on that a bunch of things we consider normal could already be considered prosthetics. For example, makeup. I would add certain running shoes, nice clothes, and swimming goggles. 
There was something evocative there for me (and the character) about how language allows you to think in terms of upgrading yourself for a task. So it’s not merely a nice suit for your job interviews, it’s a skin prosthetic!
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#2. The 8 basic knots.
I’m generally not a believer in the law of attraction, but check this out. 
Last week I bookmarked a link about tying knots. And then a day later, an old coworker from 17 years ago subscribed to this newsletter. This coworker (Tim) is a knot enthusiast, did a lot of the rope work on the restoration of the Balclutha, and then went on to be a master of the Perl programming language. He is the one who taught me the value of knowing your basic knots. Is this manifestation in action?
In any case, here is the link and I recommend learning these: The 8 Basic Knots.
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#3. Unwilling or unable. 
One of the first lessons I learned in management was that often people present as unwilling when they are actually unable. Have you seen this?
It’s a defense mechanism based on anxiety about doing something new. But as a manager, it can come across as confusing because at first, it seems like an argument about whether the task is worthy of doing at all. Sometimes that’s valid pushback, but when it’s not, I had to learn to tap dance my way around to the actual root.
Unable almost never means someone could never learn. Usually, it just means “I’m unable to picture a solution right at this moment.” So, it’s just a matter of realizing that the resistance that you are getting is an invitation to help coach a person on how to do it. (BTW, I’m sure I’ve done this to my managers.)
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Discord: For discussion this week.
I’d like to talk about managers and leaders this week, about what’s working or not working on their teams. If you’re up for sharing, come join us in the #better-humans channel on our Discord server
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Coach Tony
Coach Tony @tonystubblebine

Tips, inspirations, and knowledge on productivity, happiness, health, and making an impact on our world. Official email of the Better Humans publication on Medium. (@bttrhumans)

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