Author Archives: Karen Snyder

Diversity and Inclusion - Mindset

Passion Takes All Forms

Months ago I wrote about “Meraki.” Meraki is when you put your heart and soul into your work. I think there needs to be another word when you link something you are passionate about with something that is your gift or talent and then you turn it into your life’s work.  

My colleague and friend, Karen Jacobsen, is known throughout the world for being the voice of Australian GPS. I listen to her every day as she tells me using her lovely voice, “In 3 kilometers, make a left.”

Karen is also a composer and singer. She was inspired by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s iconic 2012 speech to create a musical based on Gillard’s powerful words, in the hopes of ending misogyny.   

I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the Misogyny project from my backyard, along with a number of my colleagues from around the world. You can see the final result below.

Now Karen has gone to a much larger stage and she will be performing Misogyny Opus in April at the Mackey Entertainment and Convention Center in Queensland. If you don’t find yourself in Australia, other opportunities to hear the opus are here.

I find Karen’s commitment to equality, and her ability to combine her passion and talents into meaningful work, inspiring. How does your work reflect your passion and skills?

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Communication - Feedback and Recognition

So You Want To Be a Rock Star?

I just came back from a big adventure and am eager to share my experiences and pictures with you, but for now there’s a more immediate message. I had just returned to the US (and this time zone!) Sunday night when I joined millions of other Americans to watch the Super Bowl and shake off some jet lag. Although I usually just watch the commercials, this year the game was actually worth watching! It was during the commercials that I learned that saying “You are a rock star!” is passe, at least according to the featured rock stars.

I have a neighbor whose son is an actual rocket scientist, and when you ask her what he is doing she says, “He’s a rocket engineer. For him, it really is rocket science.”

You probably know me well enough to realize that if you can’t say someone is a rock star, and your son or daughter are not rocket scientists, I will be glad to offer you other words of praise to compliment your colleagues and to show your appreciation.  

Thus, let me take this opportunity to share some phrases of thoughtful recognition:

  • You rock!
  • Your work on this product was awesome.
  • I appreciate the expertise you have in this area.
  • You bring a skill to this project that none of the rest of us possess.  

There’s another term that while well-intentioned, some consider offensive. It’s referring to a woman as a “badass.” While once considered a compliment, now some women say, “Can’t you recognize my efforts without referring to me in loaded terminology?” This article underscores the concern.

So, should you stop calling someone a rock star? That is probably not necessary. In fact, it may be even more popular now than before thanks to the Super Bowl commercial, but eliminating badass from your lexicon is a good idea!  And giving sincere words of praise is always welcomed. What are your favorite compliments for others?

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