[Strategy] Active Listening as Post Modern Art

Paintings, music, stories, and speeches used to be considered artistic pursuits; but, in a world consumed with art as entertainment and media, listening carefully becomes an artistic effort on its own.

In a networking situation, the artistic dance to truly beginning to connect with another person, involves actively listening.

Words are like brushes and the canvas is the networking event. But the person at the event is the artist.

And in a world of shortened attention spans, artistic practice has to filter into everybody’s life, not just the vaunted few who have a TED Talk, or make a movie, or cut a “hit” record, or paint an image in a museum.

Our advice to you: Listen carefully.

The Artistic Part of Marketing

Brands and corporations assume that consumers are either always listening to their bullhorn and noise, or are never listening at all to anything and thus must be shouted at via a bullhorn.

The War of Marketing

However, if that doesn’t work, then  brands get depressed, defensive or melancholy and stop trying. And ultimately disappear.

Or revert to ever larger and more unseemly spectacle.

The reality is something much more mundane–and hopeful.

Consumers’ interest and attention ebbs and flows like a river. It is fickle, unfixed and ever changing.

The hard work for brands is to remain consistently interesting, engaging and relevant so that when consumer attention comes back, the brand hasn’t changed.

The hard work of overcoming the fear of being irrelevant tomorrow and the anxiety to just keep yelling today, is the artistic part of marketing.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Guest Blogger Ruth Gray: The Bigger Picture

In general, when we think about creative people, we often do not think about conflict. 
We sometimes assume that emotions in an artist are expressed through whatever medium they have chosen, and to a certain degree this may be true. However, conflict comes to the artist and creative as surely as it does to the executive and team leader. 

The fine artist Ruth Gray of Ruth Gray Images: Anything But Grey–has been among our followers via Twitter for the entire time that we have been building Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT). 

Her studio, Ruth Gray Images out of Derbyshire, United Kingdom (http://ruthgrayimages.net/) focuses on landscape painting influenced by the landscapes of the United Kingdom as well as Australia.
We here at HSCT have a fondness for artists (after all, our principal conflict consultant, Jesan Sorrells has a background in printmaking and drawing) and we believe in a creative, collaborative approach to the conflicts in life. 
Please welcome our guest blogger, Ruth Gray.
Waiting for the Bus Market Place Ripley

Waiting for the Bus Market Place Ripley

My name is Ruth Gray I am a fine artist I have been painting for over ten years professionally and like any job, for being an artist is a job, I have to interact with many other businesses and contacts before I make that magical sale! Conflict is something you can encounter everyday as an artist and my way of dealing with conflict is to always think of the ‘bigger picture.’
The ‘bigger picture’ that I refer is the length you would like your career to be whether you are an artist like me trying to sell pictures or a newly set up retail business. You have to decide how you will handle each conflict. 
For example if a rival artist in your locality decides to change their modus operandi to be similar to yours and you feel it could have a knock on effect to your sales margins do you bad mouth that artist or think of ways of complimenting each other and collaborating? 
I know which I would do! Collaboration brings many more opportunities for future projects and opens doors you previously had no idea about how to unlock.  I am part of a few art associations and work alongside other artists at events and exhibitions and each decision I make is a big picture decision always thinking carefully about sharing and giving rather than taking and gaining.  
Projects currently:
Ruth Gray Images Fine Art Landscapes – Anything But Grey.
Flourish Exhibition airarts aid to wellbeing Royal Derby Hospital: Now until Feb 2014.
The Ripley Rattlers Exhibition: DH Lawrence Museum June 2014.


 -Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com

Guest Blogger Joshua Munchow: Oh to be a Maker, Pt. II

“Who makes the world? Perhaps the world is not made. Perhaps nothing is made. Perhaps it simply is, has been, will always be there…a clock without a craftsman.”–Dr. Manhattan

In part one of our two part series, guest blogger Josh Munchow introduced ideas of struggle with the world, struggle with clients and their desires, and the limitations that applied design operates under in order to satisfy needs.

In part two, Josh goes deeper and explores some conclusions for us a consumers of his and the good folks at Formation Design’s, talents and skills.

Please take the time to read Josh’s words and perspective and follow him on Twitter @JoshuaMunchow.
By the way, we here at HSCT want to emphasize that Joshua’s words and perspective here in in part 2, reflect the views, policies or approach of Formation Design Group, Inc.
They are his own and we appreciate them.
Please take the time to contact Formation Design Group, Inc. for all your product development needs.
Formation Design Group
555 Dutch Valley Road
Atlanta GA 30324 U.S.A.
T   404.885.1301
F   404.885.1302
Twitter: @FormationDG


The partners at Formation Design Group, where I work, are great at managing client expectations while giving it to them straight.
Oh To Be A Maker
I realize that this, in my opinion, is the best way to solve any and all conflicts; speaking with pure and  non-judgmental honesty.
Different people have different styles of discussing problems and searching for solutions. There are many people who have grown up in communities (like central Minnesota where I was raised) that utilize passive aggressive tendencies to deal with problems.
While this does ease the outward stress of a conflict, no one ever really knows what the other is thinking and it keeps people guarded and communication suffers. If people, including anybody reading this, can approach a conflict, miscommunication, or faulty expectation with honesty and humility, real progress can be made.
This is a learned response that I have been developing over time, approaching a problem with ONLY a vested interest in finding a solution and NO interest in simply being right. It just happens to be very tough when you made/designed/invented the solution that nobody likes.
The main reason that conflicts arise in the creative field is that egos are poked, qualifications are always being challenged, and money is at stake for a range of yet intangible things. The less vital an object or idea is to basic human life, the more opinions can tear apart an entire project.  This is where my true passion enters this equation. I have every intention of pursuing my goal of specializing and plan on training to become a watchmaker.
By watchmaker, I mean that I will make mechanical watches from scratch, by hand, one at a time. So thinking about it, that industry (I have to admit) might have the toughest job when it comes to conflict simply because the need for the products just isn’t there. A luxury product that has been replaced by inexpensive technology must create a large amount of differing opinions all the way up to the top. To be a successful company in that industry, they must have learned to get everyone from the designers, engineers, managers, and marketing to agree to a common goal simply to sustain existence.
 So I leave you with this; No matter what industry you work in, or whatever the reason for your conflict, you must remember that having to be right almost never settles a dispute and honesty will always get to the critical facts faster than sidestepping, defensive, passive aggressive behavior. I won’t claim to be an expert on the facts of conflict resolution, I am maker if you remember, and I will leave that to professionals.
I simply know what has worked for me and others in my profession and maybe it can work for others. It’s not too complicated, but also it’s not easy. Many people struggling with conflict resolution should meditate on this: If everything you ever did was wrong, then the opposite would have to be right. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, be overruled, or outvoted. Take satisfaction on finding a good solution, everything else is just gravy.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Mediator/Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Follow the Human-Services-Consulting-and-Trainingpage on Facebook
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Connect with HSCT on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/
Email HSCT questions or comments at: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Check out HSCT’s NEW website: http://hsconsultingandtrain.wix.com/hsct

The Field

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