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January 26, 2016

On Our Sleeves

January 26, 2016

We decided to crowdsource today's Think Kit prompt: "Did you witness someone influence others? Perhaps you experienced it directly. Share a tale of persuasion." From home to work and back again, here are a few moments of influence from our team. What influenced the way you worked, thought, or lived life in your 2015?


I have always wanted to try making a chocolate souffle, but was crazy intimidated for some reason. I have decent cooking and baking chops – nothing fancy, but I can hold my own in the kitchen – but a souffle still seemed a little out of my league. I do love trying new recipes, but I get pretty bummed when something doesn't turn out. Perfectionism dies hard...

Over the past several months, my 9 year old daughter, Zoe, has taken a big interest in baking. We search Pinterest for ideas for her to try and she just jumps right in to conquer her next recipe. Her adventurous spirit in the kitchen is so contagious, and I love that she has no fear of failing. She had recently learned about souffles and was really eager to try them. So, with some persuasion from my little baker, she and I adventured together to bake a chocolate souffle for our Christmas Eve dessert. We had a lot of fun, and it turned out super delicious! A kitchen victory never tasted so sweet! And if you are now craving a chocolate souffle, check out the recipe we used here from one of my favorite blogs and give it a try for yourself.


Earlier this year I stumbled into our break room and found a mostly empty whiteboard that said:

random word = random drawing

Pickle. Go!

I couldn't resist doodling a pickle with a pun.

This little tradition carried on for a while. Someone added moccasins. Another person made the pickle play the piano...

The moral of the story is this. Persuasion doesn't have to be a heavy-handed demand. Sometimes you just need to entice with play or appeal to one's curiosity. Kudos to Abby for starting this doodle train.


Last night I was watching a political event on television. An audience member's question to a candidate was along the lines of, "Some people have questioned your honesty. Convince me they're wrong."

At first, I was kind of put-off that the candidate seemed to side-step the question. But the more I thought about it, I realized the wisdom in her response. You can't convince someone of your honesty with a soundbite. What the audience member was really saying was -- "Convince me I'm wrong" and we all know what a slippery slope that is.  Sometimes it's better to just let people come to that conclusion all by themselves.


This past holiday I decided to bring my "baby girl" (Chloe) to our family gathering. I was a little hesitant at first, as my side of the family has grown over these last few years, and there were several "little ones" in attendance (16 months, 2 and 3 years in age). Chloe's a gentle (but big) girl and I've not had much opportunity to see how she might interact with young children.

When my brother's family arrived with Gracie (the 16 month old), I could see that she was a little scared of Chloe. Taylor, Gracie's mom, explained that she had recently met her first dog (a small "yippy" lap-style of dog) and that Gracie had been a bit traumatized by the experience. I could tell that Gracie was terribly unsure of Chloe, so I kept her close to me, hoping to minimize her fear.

Chloe was great. She sat by my side, patiently, letting everyone pet her and even giving "kisses" to a lucky few. As more time passed, I started to see Gracie's fear transform to curiosity and then to actual interest. When the time was right, I sat down on the couch next to Taylor and Gracie, called Chloe over, and introduced them.

Chloe, who normally loves to "get in the middle" of myself and whomever I am next to, surprised me. She was so gentle and patient, and won Gracie over immediately. The rest of the day they were practically inseperable. Gracie petted her, played drums with her new xylophone mallets on Chloe's nose, and even used Chloe as a "spot" (one hand on Chloe's back) as she continued her quest of learning how to walk. By the end of the day they were fast friends and I was super proud of my baby girl for helping to change Gracie's mind about dogs (at least a little bit).

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