Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

RESPECT (320x213)

“R E S P E C T….find out what it means to me.” Aretha Franklin

That one word is lacking in many of the businesses and homes across the world. I am not sure why people do not show respect to one another, but I do believe that no business or home will endure without it.

I was in the airport recently and it was very crowded. Our plane, as well as several other flights were delayed because of weather. People were tired, grumpy, and anxious to just get home. As I sat in the waiting area, there was a young girl about 20 years old to my right. On the other side of her was an older man, around 50ish. Two middle age ladies sat directly across from us.

Everybody seemed focused on their phones (a sign of our times, I guess). The man two seats down suddenly raised his voice to a very loud level to the person he was speaking to on the phone. “You &%#@&!@ piece of &%@$! Get your head out of your &^%!!! You are just a &*(%#$@  +%&$%%#. That is totally unacceptable. If you need to learn how to be a marine, look at my son! You are WORTHLESS!!!

One lady sitting across from me looked at me wide-eyed and we just sat there stunned for a moment.  Suddenly, the man stopped and said, “OK, I love you. Bye.”

Can you imagine the looks on the faces of everyone in the area? That was ridiculous.

In the words of Tina Turner, “What’s love got to do with it?”

Isn’t it sad that he had no respect for the person on the phone or the people in the airport? I am sure in his mind he felt totally justified with his tantrum. But when he said, “I love you,” that was the clinker. The jaws of everyone within earshot dropped simultaneously.

The lady across from me and I just started laughing at the absurdity of the moment.

Whether you are in business, in a family, or in a social setting like I was, learn to be courteous to others. Everyone needs to feel respected. Cut people some slack, and don’t take out the frustrations of life on those around you. With our tongues we either speak life or death. That is your choice.

I hope you choose life.


Dan Skognes

Say What?

Posted in Funny, Relationships

Say What- dan skognes motivation blogger speaker leadership training development coach

Have you ever had someone say something to you that just made you scratch your head and go, “Huh???”  If you are married or ever have been, you know that you and your spouse speak a different language.

My wife is from Arkansas, so she has a dialect that very unique.  I tell her that the only person that can REALLY communicate with her is her friend Ludy, and I call her “Fruity Ludy.”  LOL.

I was talking with my wife the other day about the need to get better sleep.  I told her that since I had started traveling, it messed up my sleep pattern since much of the travel was at night, and I was used to going to bed by 9 PM.  The reason that I retire so early is that I get up early.  I typically wake up anywhere from 3 AM to 6 AM.  So you can see that getting to a hotel at 10 PM or later and then trying to wind down to go to sleep just messes up my sleep.

My wife got a brilliant idea.  She said, “Why don’t you go down to the local health food store and buy you some Melanoma?”  I looked at her sideways and said, “Melanoma?  That is a cancer.  Don’t think I want or need that.  Did you mean Melatonin?”  She said, “I knew it was Mella something.”  We both got a good laugh at that one!  The weird thing is, I knew what she meant!  I have learned to speak Arkansas apparently.

A similar thing happened to me a few months ago.  I lead a Chamber of Commerce meeting and after the meeting, I was just sending a personal text to each person that was there.  To one lady I texted, “It is always good to see your smiling face.”  At least, that is what I thought I texted.  You know how cell phones auto-correct your spelling?  A few minutes later I got a text back from her that simply said, “Did you mean SMILING face?”  Uh-oh.  I went back to see what I had texted.  I had texted “It is always good to see your SMOKING face.”  LOL.  That is wrong on so many levels. Thank God she had a sense of humor.  And thank God she knew it was an innocent mistake.  I was totally mortified!  The good news is, she knew what I meant even though what I said was wrong.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could communicate like that with everyone?  They say there are thousands of languages in the world, but the truth is, there are billions.  In fact, every one of us speaks a unique language based on our culture, our past, our circumstances, our personality, and our natural behavior.  That explains why you can have two people that speak perfectly good English (or any other known language) that don’t seem to be able to understand one another.

We can learn to speak the language of those that come into our spheres of influence by doing a few simple things:

  • Learn to listen without interrupting, and summarize what you heard for clarification.
  • Learn to give people the benefit of the doubt and anticipate that they meant something good.  I am not sure why, but we have a tendency to think the worst in others, not the best. Remember the rule of law, innocent until proven guilty.  Apply that.
  • Learn to not insist on being right all the time.  You can be right or you can have relationship, you just can’t have both at the same time. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
  • Learn to love one another.  That takes humility and putting others ahead of yourself and your own desires.  Here again, it is easier said than done, but the payoff is worth it….peace.


Dan Skognes

Pass the Ball, Not the Buck

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Pass the Ball Not the Buck dan skognes motivation blogger speaker inspiration leadership training development coaching (288x320)

Teamwork only works if a number of people get on the same side of the page and work collaboratively towards a common goal.  The problem with most teams is that there is usually one person who either hogs the ball and thinks the world revolves around them, or they will pass the ball but not take responsibility for themselves.

So, the question begs, “How do you have a healthy high performance team?”

  • If you don’t pass, you don’t play.  No one person carries the team.  Even Michael Jordan had to learn that lesson, and he learned it early in his career.  Despite how talented he was, he could not win the games by himself.  He had to learn to pass the ball.
  • Each team member has to accept responsibility.  What happens may not be their fault, but they are still responsible.  They are responsible for how they act, how they think, and how they respond.  They can choose to react or respond.  This difference is, responding engages the brain BEFORE something is said or done.  Reaction does not think first, and thus is usually a bomb ready to explode on anyone who has the misfortune to be in the vicinity.
  • Team members have to hold one another accountable.  Peer accountability and peer pressure are the highest form of accountability next to self-accountability.
  • All high performance teams are built on trust.  If there is no trust between team members and between the team and the coach, the team is doomed to mediocrity at best, and will eventually crash and burn if not corrected. Trust is fundamental as a foundation in any relationship.
  • Respect and acceptance of one another is critical as well.  Everyone on this planet is unique.  We all have to learn to embrace the diversity that is inherent in team culture.
  • Coaches of high performance teams understand they have to coach each person uniquely.  Different people have different learning styles and different talents.  The successful teams are able to align performance for success by working on the strengths of each unique individual and focusing their direction to the goal of the team.

Whether you function in an organization, you play sports, or your team is just your family, you get to choose what you want to do, but as my wife said to me, “People can choose to do what they want to do, but they don’t get to choose the consequences.”  Many times the consequences of our decisions have life-long implications, so choose wisely.  Learn to trust.  Learn to love one another. Learn to respond, not react.  Learn to forgive and move forward.  Your team (whatever that team may be) needs you to do your part.  Do it well, and the rewards are powerful, plentiful, and successful.


Dan Skognes