Republican party. What comes to mind? What are you trying to forget? Or are you just doing your best to ignore it all?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: OK, this isn't going to be about politics for several reasons.

First, because although Red loves history, and there's a fine line between being a student of history and following politics, her area of interest is Tudor history. (Even Black, who loves the question, "Why" hasn't asked her, "Why Tudor history?") Second, neither Red nor Black used to follow politics (we don't count knowing the basic principles of political parties). Ok, we'll be more precise. American politics. Red's excuse was much of her adult life was lived overseas. Black's excuse? She just wasn't interested. That changed for both of them with the 2016 Presidential election, when there seemed to be no way to avoid politics from that point forward.

But this post isn't about politics. You may be thinking, really? It certainly sounds a lot like politics, and we're all exhausted by politics. So, when Red was curious why the Republican party seemed to be imploding, or certainly was at war with itself, and even wondering if the "party of Lincoln" would survive, Black changed the focus of the conversation to the symbol of the Republican party – the elephant.

Anyone who has ever heard (pun intended) us at speaking engagements knows elephants often work their way into the presentation. It's an analogy from our book that becomes hard to forget or, at least, it's something Red has never forgotten. It happened early in her crisis, when she was struggling with having too much to do, too much to learn, and too much to cope with, and Black merely said,

You CAN eat an elephant. You just cannot do it in one sitting.

So, it didn't surprise Red that instead of commenting on the Republican party's current woes, Black immediately thought of the Republican's symbol, the elephant, and her analogy. But it did make Red realize that she didn't have a clue how the elephant became the symbol of the Republican party. But, being that lover of history, she knew the History channel could answer the question, "How did Republicans and Democrats get their animal symbols?".

Ok, let’s be clear (pun intended) … Communication is critical. Whether in your personal life or in business, not to mention communication skills are transferable between the two (Black even suggested Red hold family “business” meetings). And what better time to work on how we communicate, and maybe even have a new attitude toward vocabulary and “50-cent words” (Red loves those, but terminology scares her!?), than during Effective Communications Month.

Talking isn't the same as communicating. And hearing isn't the same as listening. Think about it.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Being an effective communicator, whether in our personal lives or at work, is a critical skill but one-size-doesn't-fit-all as we each use very different methods and styles … ranging from lots of words and talking stuffed animals (Red) to bullet points and racing flags (Black).

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Most workaholics can rationalize working all the time. At least to themselves.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: “Gizmos” already blurred the lines between the workweek and the weekend, but the WFH (working from home) “revolution” caused by the pandemic has destroyed the line; except for people like Black, who have always treated every day as a workday.

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We all “celebrate” Memorial Day differently, but we all should remember it’s a day to honor those who gave their lives serving this country.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, and Red remembers celebrating over the years with family get-togethers, barbeques, and pool parties; whereas Black “celebrates” most holidays by having a quiet day to work uninterrupted, but it’s important never to forget the significance of the holiday.

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