Give people one less thing to worry about

One of the more common reactions people have towards my nametag is gratitude. 

Specifically at a party or a gathering where there are lots of new faces, people will actually thank me for being the only guest whose name they don’t have to worry about remembering. 

And so, it provides mental relief. A break for the brain. The nametag is an interpersonal totem that reassures people, hey, relax, the risk of social embarrassment is lower here. 

Harvard researchers named this feeling psychological safety, which is a belief that you’re safe for interpersonal risk taking. A sense of confidence and trust that you will not be embarrassed, rejected or punished for speaking up. 

Does that describe your workplace? Hope so. Because the mind is always seeking zones of safety. And so, anything you can do to reduce the risk of cognitive strain is helpful. Anytime you can bestow little courtesies and kindnesses to your employees and customers, it matters. 

Yelp reviews are a perfect model for observing how businesses embed psychological safety into their customer journey. A quick search on entries that include the phrase one less thing to worry about demonstrate deep sense of relief and satisfaction on behalf of the customer. 

And not surprisingly, they’re all five star reviews.

If you want to increase loyalty both internally and externally at your organization, find your nametag. 

Something with real totemic power that gives people one less thing to worry about. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Is communicating with you a relaxing experience?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Assume that you’re going to be misunderstood

Assisi’s most famous prayer is as follows. 

Divine master, grant that I may not so much seek to be understood, as to understand. 

Eight hundred years after its conception, his words are cornerstone of modern communication theory. 

What’s interesting is when you invert the prayer. Approaching the interpersonal experience from the other person’s perspective. 

This is a strategy our marriage counselor taught us. She said to enter into dialogue with each other under the assumption that you’re going to be misunderstood. 

It sounds like a punchline from a hacky comedian who stands on stage and complains about his wife for fifty minutes. 

But it’s actually a brilliant starting point in the communication process. Because it forces us to work backwards. To see the disastrous end before we open our mouths, and then tailor our language accordingly to avoid it. 

As a man, I’m not naturally skilled at communicating about relationships, because that would actually involve feelings, not just the passing along of information. But I know this about myself. And so, I try to take an extra second or two before responding to think about how I feel, not just what happened. 

Which is harder than it sounds, because men tend to act rather than reflect. It takes a concerted effort for us to express real emotions, not just produce functional solutions. 

But it’s worth it. Oh, divine master, grant that I may expect to be misunderstood.


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you communicating before you need to? * * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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It’s nothing business, it’s just personal

Stanford’s researchers used advanced linguistic tools to analyze nearly a million reviews of about six thousand restaurants and found a few interesting trends. 

First, expensive food and sexual language often went together. 

Next, cheaper food and drug language often went together. 

But the trend that caught my attention was, poor customer service was described in very personal language. 

Upset customers used words and word stems that included antagonize and heartbreakingly. And according to the linguistic researchers, these negative reviews strongly resembled the language of people who have been traumatized by tragedies or the deaths of loved ones. They’re trauma narratives that help cope with threats by portraying themselves as victims and seeking solace in community. 

Yikes. It was just an order of nachos. 

But that’s the reality of customer service most companies fail to realize. When people are rude or mean to us, it goes straight to our sense of self. Which turns the old adage on its head. 

It’s nothing business, it’s just personal. 

A cautionary tale for anyone who plans on opening a restaurant. You’re not there to sell a product; you’re there to become known for a unique way of interacting with the word. 

If you don’t have an enormous appetite for humanity, you might be in the wrong line of work. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What’s your system for dealing with customer complaints?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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The seasons of life aren’t fair, but they are trustworthy

There is almost no work in life as hard as waiting. 

No matter how much action you take to move the story forward, the windows of opportunity can seem dismayingly small and infrequent. 

It sucks. The process can make you feel frustrated, depleted, hopeless and powerless. 

But that’s okay. Those are the normal feelings anyone would feel in that situation. 

The muscle we must learn to build, then, is trust. Because in the face of mind numbing uncertainty, that’s one of the few assets we can actually count on. 

My career as a writer gave me zero choice but to build this muscle. Because when you sit down at a blank page, day after day, year after year, you learn to trust your ability to sit down and respond to something. To trust that the creative process will always lead to substance. 

And it’s hard. Really hard. In fact, I enrolled in a mindfulness therapy program to help me. Only through announcing to myself multiple times a day that I had faith in my internal, external and cosmic resources, did my trust muscle finally grow strong. And so, itdoeswork. 

It’s funny, you almost have to trust the process of the trust building process. But it’s better than the alternative, which is to jump the gun. 

Greene’s bestselling manual on the laws of power reminds us to become a detective of the right moment. That we must learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition. And to recognize time not by what is loudest and most obvious in it, but by what lies hidden and dormant. In doing so, opportunities will inevitably arise that we had not expected and would have missed had we forced the pace. 

And so, here is your benediction. May you:

Trust that the waiting part of change is necessary. 

Trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. 

Trust that these events are moving you toward your destiny. 

Trust that there is no season in your life that is without worth. 

Trust that everything has its own complex but complicated but perfect timing. 

Trust that you’ll be given the life experiences that will carry you through.

Trust that the world has been educating you all along. 

Remember, frustration comes from your refusal to accept life’s seasons as they come to you. 

Don’t allow your impatience to distort your journey by not allowing it proper timing. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you focusing your energy on the part of the waiting equation that you control?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Let’s wait until next year, when you’re younger

We always assume things are going to be easier in the future. 



And so, we hold out hope for the ideal situation and the right time and the perfect opportunity. Waiting until that magic day when things are simpler and slower and safer, at which point we can finally make our move. 



This is a way of telling ourselves a disempowering story. Pretending that the craziness of the moment is only temporary, assuming peace will come once the loose ends have been tied, this only seduces us into thinking that our happiness is not here, but there, somewhere in the near future. 



My client once made a great joke about this in our most recent coaching session:



“I’ll get to it when I have time, which I never do. Maybe I’ll just wait until next year, when I’m younger.”



Whatever project or habit or task we’re avoiding, what matters is that we accept reality on reality’s terms, instead of standing by for some imagined future that never comes. That’s the only way we move the story forward. 



Shahar’s innovative research on happiness attributes this type of thinking to perfectionism. He found that perfectionists pay an extremely high emotional price for rejecting reality, and doing so leads to an intensification of the very anxiety they are trying to suppress, ultimately leading to even more pain. 



Everyone either knows this person, or is this person. The perfectionist says that there is no level at which they will feel safe putting this thing in the world because there’s always something that’s not right about it. 



And shockingly, the work never gets done. 



It’s time to get under the covers of the stories you’re telling yourself. Stop assuming things are going to be easier in the future. 



Start where you are, and trust that you have everything you need.


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you still waiting for some major event that must occur in your life before you begin living?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Treat everybody like a genius

One of my favorite rules from the improv comedy world is, treat everybody like they’re a genius. 



This idea goes far beyond saying yes and. Because at the most fundamental, treating everybody like a genius forces you to trust the communication process and believe that the other person has something valuable to say. 



It activates the wheels of your own curiosity, making you a more engaged and respectful listener, waiting eagerly to hear what pearls of insight might drop out of their mouths next. 



And the exciting part is, people prove you right. They actually become geniuses. Maybe not every time, but more often than not, thanks to this emotional placebo. Imagine if every workplace and team and family and marriage began from that place of trust and belief in each other. 

Kerouac famously wrote a manifesto about his unique approach for writing effective modern prose. Sure enough, the second to last item on his list was, you’re a genius all the time. 

It’s a perfect reminder that the interpersonal rule works individually, too. 

When you treat yourself with trust and belief and positive expectation, your brain delivers. 





LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What do you see when you see people?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Relaxation is a second unpaid full time job

If we’re lucky enough to reach a state of complete relaxation in which we feel unburdened by life’s troubles, it’s probably not because we somehow mastered mindfulness or meditated enough or practiced yoga for ninety days straight. 



It’s likely because we acknowledged, accepted, erected and protected our own boundaries. Period. That’s where true relaxation comes from. Living a life with limits. 



Back in my workaholic days, when my life had about as many boundaries as a toddler hopped on homemade speed, relaxing was work for me. Facilitating the healthy interaction of the various parts of my life was like a second unpaid full time job. 



My home, for example, wasn’t a haven for joy and meaning and respite and human connection, it was an extension of the workplace. On any given day or night, I would find myself either completely overwhelmed by my work, or in withdrawal from it. 



Because there was no escape. The minute you walked into the house, kablam, you were punched in the face with the circus known as my career. There was no room for any non work pursuits. There was no physical or psychological distance between work and everything else. 



As my therapist used to joke, you were either in my work, or in my way. 



What’s more, there were no cognitive boundaries either. Nothing could help me resist the temptation to think about work and focus my attention on the people or activity at hand. My attention was perpetually held hostage by work. 



And so, even if people thought I was truly relaxed, I was just living in a strangled calm state. No matter how many days in a row I meditated. 



Lesson learned, true relaxation is something that comes from having boundaries that are air tight and completely integrated into your life that you don’t even think about them. 



Acknowledge them. Accept them. Erect them. And protect them. 



This process requires persistent, dedicated effort. 



But it’s worthwhile in trying to protect you from yourself. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Where in life do you feel the need for more effective boundaries? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Teetering to the edge of my favorite abyss

There’s a brilliant translation of eastern divination texts that explores the relationship between over thinking and execution. 

Cohen writes that initiative is the result of moving forward when we don’t know all the answers, leaping into the unknown that has a message of promise within it, and then turning it into something great by the very act of beginning. 

Meaning, instead of hiding beneath the skin of our thinking, we simply begin the process of working out in reality what we have settled on in our mind. And that first step taken affords the opportunity to ride the wave of success. 

Playing piano is the perfect example. Because as a veteran guitar player, my tendency when sitting down to an unfamiliar instrument is to try and think my way to the correct keys. To do the math and uncover the patterns and hear the notes inside my head first, then play. 

But it’s actually much easier, much faster and much more satisfying to just start playing. 

Without thinking. Without knowing. To simply press my bony fingers down on the ivories and see what happens. 

Besides, what’s the worst case scenario? You’re never more than a half step away from a right note anyway. And so, if you end up on a wrong one, just stop off in either direction, and you’re right again. 

Listen, you’ll have plenty of time to think later. For now, it’s all about movement. Because if you have any intention of getting your idea or project or business off the ground, you have to be careful not to do too much work inside your head. 

You have to stop trying so hard to be certain. 

Otherwise the conflict within you will cause a delay in action.


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

When was the last time you survived not knowing? 



* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Leaving fingerprints on your audience’s imagination

There are some people who are talented in ways that we never even dared to dream. 

Their special gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom and help this world achieve the impossible. 

And it’s a beautiful thing. If only we could touch the hem of their garment, maybe some of their magic will rub off. 

But on the other end of the genius spectrum, there are other people whose value isn’t so much their talent, but the context that their talent enables. 

Springsteen’s memoir makes a powerful point about this distinction. He says that in his fifty years in the rock and roll business, there were many musical acts where he never quite knew if they were great, but what he did know was that they did something great. And in certain cases, that was more important. 

Bruce said it best. 

It ain’t what you’re doing, but what happens while you’re doing it that counts. 

And so, instead of asking yourself the same old tired questions about following your passion and finding your talents, consider it contextually. Operationally. Communally. 

When your talent is flourishing fully, how do the people around you change? When you find a vehicle worthy of your talents, where does it take your team? When you get hired for a new position, what will be the impact of the company’s ownership of your value? 

Perhaps your talent is less of a purpose and more of a platform. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you worried about being great, or doing something that enables greatness? * * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.

In our past are many diamonds covered in mud

I was doing some research on corporate culture when I came came across an archive of old employee feedback forms. 

One alumni team member offered future applicants the following warning. 

Consider this job your basic training for the cruel, darkest side of the industry. It’s creatively crushing. Don’t expect your good ideas to go very far. In fact, expect a lot of bad ideas to pass for the everyday standard. But the upside is, if you survive, you will adorn this thick skin forever, learn to appreciate a good place when you see it, and learn to recognize a bad place when you see it. 

It sounds like a brutal, disillusioning and stressful work experience. But then again, the person who wrote the review clearly came out stronger on the other side. 

And maybe that’s the point. Because the search for understanding is never over. Each of us must seek access to experiences that grant us a different angle, give us a completely new sense of how the world works and eliminate the burden of our narrow perspective. 

Otherwise, what else are we doing here? Life is supposed to be one long never ending game of naiveté reduction. 

And so, when we look back at the shitty jobs and toxic relationships and mental low points of our lives, let us reaffirm even the faintest glimmer of optimism in our failing spirit. Because in our past are many diamonds covered in mud. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What pain are you currently suffering that will be worth it to bring you to a new awareness?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.

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