Three Places to Thrash

When faced with a project there are three places to thrash:

Early—before the project begins.

Middle—as the project is proceeding.

Late—as the project ends.

When you (or your team) thrashes early, brainstorming becomes a way to develop new ideas. Speed and immediacy become the primary goals of early thrashing: Speed to actionable ideas and immediacy to the implementation of action, moving toward accomplishing end-of-project goals.

When you (or your team) thrashes in the middle of a project, brainstorming becomes a place to hide. Hiding emotionally, “getting to know your team,” or struggling to decide about the efficacy or practicality of an idea, become the unstated, primary goals. Speed becomes less important than looking good to peers, and groupthink really kicks in at this point, bogging down the implementation process.

When you (or your team) thrashes at the end of a project, brainstorming becomes a place of panic, anxiety, and on some teams (or with you) a place of abject fear. The combination of pressure to ship something out the door encourages a mindset and attitude focused around speed (but for negative reasons) and impatience with people and processes. The implementation process recedes in the face of the attitude of “just get it done.”

Thrashing—that is brainstorming a direction, deciding on an approach, planning a process, managing opinions and conflicts, and implementing a plan for action—should be done early, rather than late if you’re really interested (or your team is really interested) in shipping a product, idea, or service out the door and direct to the market.

[Podcast] Earbud_U Episode #1 – Darren MacDonald

[Podcast] Earbud_U Episode #1 – Darren MacDonald, Corporate Consultant, Start-Up Investor, Web Commerce Guru

[Podcast] Earbud _U Episode #1 - Darren Macdonald


Occasionally, you get top start on a project that is the beginning of a new direction and my interview here with Darren MacDonald, is the perfect example of that beginning interview.

Darren is funny, engaged and a totally great guy overall. And whiplash smart.

He worked in the bottled gas field with a family business for almost twenty years, and knows a thing or two about conflict and engaging with it effectively and not ruffling feathers.

He’s involved in a ton of projects and it’s always a laugh riot when we get together. I loved talking to him and he’s the only guest on Earbud_U to get a “Director’s Cut,” which I will release…someday…soon…

Feel free to connect with Darren via LinkedIn

His website & blog:

His presence on Quora:

On Twitter:

Check out the interview above!

Or, link to Soundcloud here–>

Download the Latest Episode of Earbud_U!

[Guest Blogger] Leah Cagle: Why I Mediate

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Leah Cagle of Georgia Mediation Professionals, Inc., brings 20+ years of educational, entrepreneur and life experience to her extensive work in the field of mediation.
A seasoned practitioner with experience in  real estate, small business ownership, commercial development and construction, Leah has a sensitive and heartfelt approach toward working with all her clients and their needs.

Georgia Mediation Professionals, Inc., mediates civil and criminal cases referred to them through the Georgia State Court System as well as domestic cases.

Leah is a certified Christian counselor and brings her experience as a certified professional coach to the mediation table. She is a good friend of HSCT’s and we support her in her mission and goals to bring true peace and meaningful change to the world.
Check out the Georgia Mediation Professionals website at

“I could never do what you do. Not in a million years!”
That’s what I hear when I tell people I am a Mediator/Peacemaker. Conflict isn’t a favorite thing on most individual’s lists, however, I live my life’s work and mission in the messy middle of people’s conflict.
Why do I do it? I don’t practice Peacemaking because I’m looking to get rich or because it’s easy. Peacemaking is very difficult and high stress every day (I work with Lawyers!).
Starting a new business is difficult, high stress and often shows little return (financially) in the early years. The field of Mediation is tough! Getting a foot in the door is a huge challenge, and keeping it there requires a strong work ethic, honing of my skills set, and consistency.
As the world and the field of Conflict Resolution changes, we, as Peacemakers, must adapt.  Peacemaking isn’t what I do, it’s who I am. I am passionate about modeling a better way to “do conflict”.
The world around us is changing at the most rapid pace ever. We have lost the art of civil discourse. Conflict escalates daily. We need Peacemakers in every arena of life.
Networking, even if I don’t see a return on the contact for months or years, continual dialogue with other Peacemakers, listening to their ideas and thoughts on change, walking into another Peacemaking setting even though yesterday’s left me exhausted, I do all these things because I am a Peacemaker.
I am passionate about peace.

Leah Cagle, M.A.
Conflict Resolution Specialist

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