(#365) Listening For Stories Of Inspiration

May 21, 2017

Inspiration from a woman who did not let circumstance
dictate her outcome.

[Note to my readers: Today’s post marks the beginning of the eighth year of this weekly blog.  Thank you for following, sharing, and commenting.]

Stories. They surround us. Some have the power to illustrate, instruct, and inspire.

Minutes before I delivered my commencement address to the Florida State College at Jacksonville Class of 2017, I had a front row (literally) seat for a young woman’s touching story about her journey.

Lyse Medina, the FSCJ Kent Campus Student Government Association President, delivered a 4½ minute description of her journey as an immigrant, a daughter, a student, a leader, and a person with heart and determination.

Her tale is one of perseverance and resilience. “My past did not define me, but it did lead me to where I am today,” she told the nearly ten thousand people before us.

Video recommendation for the week.

Rather than tell you about Lyse’s speech, listen to it. Learn and grow from it. Her story in her words. A reminder of the importance of community colleges in our society. And a powerful dose of inspiration from a young woman who did not let circumstances dictate her outcomes. She envisioned her dreams and she will continue to define her journey. I am glad to have met and learned from her.

My appreciation to FSCJ for sharing the video and to Lyse for allowing me to share it with you. Note: The video should start with her introduction. If it does not, move to minute 52 for Lyse.

Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my new book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network™ (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

(#310) Plussing + Amplification = Authentic Quality

May 1, 2016

What can you do this week to plus a situation and amplify someone’s position?

Seasoned Improv players understand and regularly use the “Yes, And” strategy. “Yes, And” moves a scene and its players along. “Yes, But” is a scene killer. Transformational leaders and creative collaborators understand and use some form of “Yes, And.”  Consider the following:

  • Walt Disney called it “plussing” whereby he/his people would constantly add more value to the product or service they provided for their customer.
  • In The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter, Ian O’Connor relates the story of a Yankee coach saying that Derek Jeter always “pluses the experience.” Whether playing on the filed, stopping to talk with little kids, or improving his physical conditioning, Jeter looked for ways to add positively to the situation at hand.
  • In medicine, plussing refers to “reducing the negative consequences and augmenting the potency of a given remedy.”
  • Randy Nelson of Pixar (2010) said that his teams moved beyond collaboration to “amplification.”  The collaboration that matters is the collaboration that keeps us from getting in the way of one another. And it goes beyond just cooperating. We have to bring our separate skills and creativity to a situation. The resource remains in listening to one another—not manipulating or cowing or intimidating one another.

Video recommendation of the week.

Listen to what amplification means for Pixar.

One writer describes the Pixar transformative process thusly: “Rather than randomly critique a sketch or shoot down an idea, the general rule is that you may only criticize an idea if you also add a constructive suggestion. Hence the name plussing.”

You can only criticize if you add.  You have to be constructive—not demeaning, dismissive and/or disdainful.


Think of your favorite band. Don’t they “plus” for you?

Your coach, your mentor, your favorite teacher.  Chances are they all “plussed” for you.

The handyman you hire time and again? A “plusser”!

The colleague who constantly helps to amplify your ideas by “plussing”—not denigrating.  She looks at what you present and then adds, “Yes, what if….”

And, chances are somebody thinks of you as one who amplifies rather than muffles.  Keep it up. The world needs more of you desperately.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Yes, we have all been with the “non-plussing” people. Those that find fault with most anything we bring to the table. They don’t (at all) add to our suggestions. They tear them down.  They serve as resident energy vampires. The “non-plussers” of life. Theirs is a miserable existence on many levels.

What can you do this week to “plus” a situation; to “amplify” a colleague’s proposal—even if it falls short of the mark; to truly listen and say “Yes, And”…”What if we”… “Let’s authentically build on what you brought to the table”?

Make it an inspiring week as you pursue your authentic “hell, yeah!” goals.—H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

You can find my podcast series at Growth and Resilience (http://stevepiscitelli.com/video-media/podcasts). 

Check out my website  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff?  (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.

(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


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