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Monday, February 4, 2013

#032 - Sense, Sensibility and Perception: There's no accounting for Taste

A colleague of mine has no taste. None at all - either he lost it in early childhood or he never had it, he can't exactly remember. 

I am not being mean about his clothing or sense of style - I am being quite literal. His taste buds do not work at all. When he eats, there is only texture, no flavor. "Food is simply fuel" as he says it - there is no particular enjoyment to any particular food, just the satisfaction of no longer being hungry.

"How horrible," I thought, "to never be able to taste chocolate, fruit or delicious, exotic foods". 

And then a few years ago, as a side effect of some bug going around, I completely lost my sense of taste as well. Usually your sense of taste is diminished when you have a cold, as smell is a big part of the sensation. But it wasn't that - my taste buds actually stopped working completely - and the smell part of it went too. Nothing but texture was left - not even spicy food registered, other than some watering eyes.

Fortunately it only lasted around 4 weeks, but I can tell you I was worried it might not come back. Life without the taste of good food...and chocolate! Of course, I could imagine it very well as I was experiencing it first-hand, but I did not like the prospect of life without tasting. While I suffered the effects, food was definitely just fuel. No enjoyment at all.

I was thinking a lot about my colleague during that time - wondering if he missed it, or simply did not know what he was missing. 

Other friends or colleagues are color-blind, some red/green, some other mixes, and a rare few have strictly black and white vision. A few others are partially or entirely blind, either through accidents, disease or blind since birth. Countless others wear glasses, as I did until laser surgery - when I had reached the point where things were still a bit blurry at the "best" setting on the optician's fancy machine.

Some other friends and family are deaf, either mostly or partly - and my kids certainly have selective hearing when there are jobs to do around the house!

I have not come across anyone personally who has a diminished sense of touch, but I understand that there are many people with this condition as well.

When we are dealing with people, we never know exactly how they each experience the world - what their perspectives are - and not just with the physical senses. 

One thing that is undeniable, though, is that your perception of the world around you affects how you respond in any given situation - and it also affects your approach to projects and challenges.

Listen to the podcast, or read the full article on Gazza's Corner blog.   

Sunday, February 3, 2013

#031 - New Year, New Project - Don't forget the PARTY!

Happy New Year - and welcome to your new project! 

The start of the calendar year often marks the start of new projects; the old year is done, the new year is fresh and full of potential. Everyone is rested from the break and raring to go...ok, perhaps recovering is the right word. However, it is still a great time of year to kick off new projects, with most people full of energy and optimism. Who knows - your New Year Resolution might even have been about your project. (Ya, right!)

Many people finished up the calendar year with a lot of social activities and parties; the closer you got to the end of the year it seems the less work was done, or at least it was harder to get work done. I know exactly how tough it was - I was in the first month of ramping up on a new project, looking for information, while everyone else was winding down from the year and starting to disappear on holiday.

Now it is a new year, people are returning from holiday, refreshed or recovering, in any case coming back to work to hit the ground running (or at least at a moderate walking pace).

So what do we need to do to get our new projects off on the right foot, to help make sure they are successful?

Quite simple, really. What we need is...a Project PARTY.

Listen to the podcast, or read the full article on Gazza's Corner blog.