The Re-Read List; Articles to Revisit and Review

Here are a few articles I’ve come across recently that I felt offered value enough for reiteration and review.

Workplace Communication

Good communication and positive conflict resolution are what Harvard Business Review essay, How to Collaborate with People You Don’t Like aim to inspire.

In it, the author shares a story of colleagues that have different styles. Further explaining how this had caused one of the co-workers to avoid the other, though the avoid-er knew they needed the collaboration.

What resulted, in essence, is the set of recommendations listed below. Each point is elaborated on in the article. Each offers insight and encouragement in how to work with those who may rub you the wrong way.

  • Reflect on the cause of tension and how you are responding to it.
    • Take an honest look at what is causing the tension and what role you play in creating it.
  • Work harder to understand the other person’s perspective.
    • Make time to think deliberately about the other person’s point of view.
  • Become a problem solver rather than a critic or competitor. 
  • Ask more questions.
    • Put aside your own agenda, ask good questions, and have the patience to truly listen to the other person’s answers.
  • Enhance your awareness of your interpersonal style.
    • It’s easy to chalk up conflicts to poor “chemistry” with another person but everyone has different styles and often being aware of those differences can help. 
  • Ask for help.
    • Asking for help can reboot a difficult relationship because it shows that you value the other person’s intelligence and experience. 

Pew Research, Gen-Z & Life’s Meaningfulness

A recent addition of David Brooks’ opinion column in the New York Times provides a few notes on how many Americans currently define and find meaning in life.

Owing a considerable amount to ‘family’, respondents to the survey questions leave Brooks to question the defining aspects of a ‘meaningful existence’ among differing generations.

Will Gen-Z Save the World? A revolt against boomer morality. — New York Times

Pew Research forum: What Keeps Us Going — Pew Reseach

Where Americans Find Meaning In Life — Pew Research

Super Borders Tutorial on Angular and Non-Standard Borders — Part 2

Web design trends of recent continue to push the boundaries on the status quo of rectangular layouts.

One way this manifests is in the border between two sections of a webpage. Often the borders are angled, sometimes curved, but visually interesting for sure.

In this post we’ll look at one way to approach the section border.

Create a swooshing section border with background image property. provides insight and inspiration.

swoosh background

How to do it:

background-image: url(site-assets/cover_silver_flip_dark.jpg);
background-size: cover;
background-position: right top;

use an image like the one they’ve used

Super Borders Tutorial on Angular and Non-Standard Borders — Part 1

Web design trends of recent continue to push the boundaries on the status quo of rectangular layouts.

One way this manifests is in the border between two sections of a webpage. Often the borders are angled, sometimes curved, but visually interesting for sure.

In this post we’ll look at one way to approach the section border.

Create an angled section border using clip-path provides insight and inspiration.

How to do it

clip-path: polygon(0 25px,100% 0,100% calc(100% - 25px),0 100%);

Other resources on clip-path include:

Make your own unique shapes with this helpful tool

Learn more about using clip-path from this article

See which browsers support and when adoption of clip-path makes it mainstream

Be Proactive: Habit 1 for Highly Effective People

I’m a huge fan of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people. The book is full of smart ideas and principles for conduct and can help anyone in business and in life.

Throughout the book, but certainly in chapter 1 Covey’s advice works.

In chapter 1 after highlighting the idea of our own individual paradigms, he instructs us to consider and to review our own language.

Over a day or a weeks’ time do you hear yourself or others using reactive or proactive language?

It’s a good challenge and bit of advice.

There’s nothing I can doLet’s look at our alternatives
They won’t allow …I can …
If only.I will.

In my 20s I came to a similar realization about life and would often say, “The only thing we must do in life is to feel the repercussions of our actions. All other things are an “in order to” option.

For instance, we don’t have to breathe. If we don’t we’ll eventually die, but we don’t have to. We only have to in order to remain alive. Which, obviously is pretty important. The point though remains, you don’t have to do anything except endure the repercussion of your actions/ decisions.

Somewhere in the mist of all this he also highlights the well-known story of a name of Viktor Frankl. Perhaps you’ve heard the story?

Essentially, Frankl realized that though he had been he still had the choice of how he would respond. They didn’t own that part of him.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

It’s in this vein that we then began to review the concepts of the circle of concern and the circle of influence.


circle of control influence and concern

The idea is that proactive people (us when we’re being such) tend to focus on things they can directly impact or control.

  • Proactive focus on things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase.
  • Reactive focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control.

As Covey explains

The problems we face fall in one of three areas: direct control (problems involving our own behavior); indirect control (problems involving other peoples’ behavior); or no control (problems we can do nothing about, such as our past or situational realities). The proactive approach puts the first step in the solution of all three kinds of problems within our present Circle of Influence.

  • Direct control problems are solved by working on our habits.
  • Indirect control problems are solved by changing our methods of influence.
  • No control problems involve taking the responsibility to … accept the things which cannot be changed.

There are things that will befall each of us in life. Sometimes all we have to offer is our response to an unplanned situation. However, often times we have the ability of not the imperative to try to look out forward, to try to anticipate and make the fist move.

For those things that we do have control over – are we diligent and cultivating them?

We want to be proactive people, and to maintain a view that reminds us that we have the ability to act. We have the ability to choose and to be proactive.

Here are a few additional points of admonishment Covey offers us as we travel down and review this road.

💡 For a full day, listen to your language and to the language of the people around you. How often do you use and hear reactive phrases such as “If only,” “I can’t,” or “I have to”?

💡 Identify an experience you might encounter in the near future where, based on past experience, you would probably behave reactively. Review the situation in the context of your Circle of Influence. How could you respond proactively?  

💡 Select a problem form your work or personal life that is frustrating to you. Determine whether it is a direct, indirect or no control problem. Identify the first step you can take in your Circle of (control/)Influence to solve it and then take that step.