Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The 1st Return On Life (ROL) is About The Last Word.

I'm a big fan of Social Media and it's extension, Social Media Marketing. Use of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, HubPages, etc.) to find and nurture a cleint base and grow a brand appears on the surface to be a soft science. Soft Science (difficult to quantify), pretty as it might be is a major headache for consultants. Consultants don't get paid for programs/campaigns they are unable to prove quantitatively. Therefore, Social Media consultant's most favorite initials are, in this order, ROI. ROI is an abbreviation for Return On Investment. ROI is loosely defined as what you get back ($$$$$$$) from what you put in ($$). The greatest return for the least investment provides the highest ROI. The greater the ROI, the more a consultant can charge.

I want to take the ROI concept and bend it, just a little. I plan to write about small changes anyone can make that provide great returns in quality of life. I'm going classify these thoughts together under Return On Life (ROL). Sometimes these small changes will be physical (diet, exercise). Other times these small changes will be attitudinal (engagement, conversation, thought). At all times, the concept will be a small change with the potential of a huge payoff in enjoying life, or ROL.

ROL will appear weekly, on Thursday. Here is the first ROL.

There is tremendous weight given to the last word. When someone is dying their last words are a charge to their survivors (at least on every Lifetime movie). In a criminal trial the attorney for the accused gets to offer closing arguments last. So if your dying or a defense attorney you should have the last word. In all other cases, let it go.

You must know someone that always needs to have the last word. Perhaps it's someone you love and maybe even someone you see in the mirror every morning. Speaking for myself, it's hard to spend time with someone that must have the last word. When I'm with someone that must have the last word, I find myself becoming aggressive just so I can get the last word this one time. Inevitably, the person I'm with(only because I can't get away from them now) falls into the same behavior. Now both of us are competing to get the last word, merely so the other doesn't get the last word. Small wonder we don't enjoy being with each other. Hopefully the kids are off doing something and not watching a conversation going nowhere.

No one wants to feel like they give in on any argument. Worse yet, no one wants to be classified as someone willing to cave on any argument. When involved in a passionate discussion (okay, heated argument) it sucks to give in.  Fortunately, I wasn't describing an argument or even a passionate discussion.

No, the example wasn't an argument. A comment was made about something seen or overheard. The comment was ironic, wry, humorous or snarky. A following comment was an attempt (perhaps successful) at wryer, snarkier, funnier or more ironic. The third comment tries snarkiest, wryest, most ironic or most humorous. As the "wash, rinse, repeat" cycle continues, nothing is funny, snarky, ironic or wry. The jokeoff participants are bored or frustrated. Any spectators are comatose. It's a great big waste of time.

It's time to try things a bit differently. When faced with a s(n)ide comment game of "Can You Top This?" offer one comment, two at most and simply stop. There is no longer a competition. No bored or frustrated jokers, no somnolent observers. Conversation ensues much quicker. It's time to approach a tougher challenge. 

In an argument, decide as it starts that you will not have the last word. State your point and challenge opinions offered as facts. Listen thoroughly and patiently. Reframe the conversation and if at all possible agree to disagree and be done. Make a game of it and keep score. See how many times someone else gets the last word. Your loved ones will be happier. You'll be happier. The neighbors will be happier. Everyone wins.

The last word on the last word: Like the last cookie, let someone else have it. What are your thoughts and strategies on letting someone else have the last word? 

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