March 2016

Dealing With People: A Business Survival Guide

by Bill Brenner March 23, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

From my perch in the information security industry, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. The best rise to the top of their companies. The worst are crushed beneath the boots of others in what can be a high-stakes, high-pressure field. Many fall in the middle: They have had soaring success and painful setbacks. Those who manage to bounce back do so because they have learned a thing or two about dealing with…  [Read More]

When Listening Is Better Than Giving Advice

by Bill Brenner March 15, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

Sometimes when I’m going through a rough patch or just having a ridiculously annoying day, I need to vent. To do so productively and thus feel better, I need a good listener around. Unfortunately, people these days don’t want to listen. They have a big megaphone that is the Internet, and they can’t bear not to use it. So they take to social media and give advice. Mood music: In saying that, I realize two…  [Read More]

Patience: A Virtue I Don’t Have (But Should)

by Bill Brenner March 12, 2016 OCD

I’ve done some soul searching this week and have realized something unpleasant about myself: I have absolutely no patience, and it makes me an asshole sometimes. Mood music: That lack of patience tends to present itself a few times each year. Usually, it’s because I’m waiting for an important event to happen — travel to a security conference, for example. Other times, it’s when a career opportunity presents itself and the waiting process feels like…  [Read More]

When Sarcasm Is Mistaken as a Cry for Help

by Bill Brenner March 7, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

A couple weeks back I caused a bit of a stir on Facebook with this comment: Many times this past year, I’ve questioned how the hell it is that I’m still sober, given all the dramatic challenges I’ve faced. Today is one of those days. I got a ton of comments from people offering advice, sympathy and everything in between. I was partly grateful because it showed a lot of people give a shit about…  [Read More]

It’s a Long Road Through Self-Hatred

by Bill Brenner March 4, 2016 The stormy past

Given the size of my ego and my normally upbeat persona, this might surprise you: Once upon a time, I hated myself. I hated a lot of people, but none more so than myself. The worst of that hatred came after I started facing┬ámy demons. Mood Music: I disliked myself before I started to tackle the demons with therapy. A couple years into that therapy, the self-loathing deepened. I had learned much about who I…  [Read More]