The motivation behind Eureka!

English is a wonderfully diverse language. If you ask fifty different people to describe an object, an event, or an idea, you will get fifty different perspectives, each articulated with distinct words and style. There are no absolutes—no best writer, best speaker, best style—and no best words. However, there are patterns and principles of English usage that are generally persuasive and misusage patterns that are generally ineffective.

Diversity of thought and communications is critical to teamwork, to achievement in the workplace, to teaching, learning, and parenting, and to growing our networks of friends and family. The perspective from which you attack a problem, tell a story, listen to someone else’s position, or write a message is important to understanding the solution, the moral, or the point. If you are capable of looking, reasoning, and hearing different perspectives, you can be far more effective at communicating and achieving progress in most endeavors.

I  have gained this insight after 50 years on earth—learning, working, partnering, parenting, supervising, and surviving tough circumstances. I don’t remember anyone coaching me to look outside my norms, to examine problems from different points of view, or to communicate differently based on the situation or the audience. Yet over my lifetime, this sort of thinking has struck me as one of the key lessons that
should be taught earlier and reinforced throughout our educational years. Finding the right perspective is when breakthroughs occur.

One of my retirement dreams is to build an adolescent leadership camp where kids can learn some of the things they don’t learn in school. Key elements will include working out personal values, practicing teamwork, and problem solving through a variety of puzzles, games, and workshops. After fleshing out a blueprint for this camp and discussing it with friends, I realized that many of the camp elements relate to lessons learned in communicating more effectively.

Eureka! Discover and enjoy the hidden power of the English language captures material that represents one step en route to my camp vision. It synthesizes some provocative perspectives on the English language into a loosely connected set of lessons on communicating effectively and observing your communications and those of others.

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