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The Nickel Philosophy
by James F. Bracher
The Nickel Philosophy

There are times when we feel upset, even "miffed." Toast does get burned. Appointments are cancelled. Bosses neglect the lubricating magic of praise. Children forget, while parents remember. Memos and messages sometimes miscommunicate.

So, what are we to do? For some it means becoming angry. Others seize such opportunities not only to get angry, but also to get even. Such responses are seldom productive.

Therefore, the Nickel Philosophy suggests that we calculate the costs of being upset. As often as possible, let's make the petty problems into "5's." That means we identify little issues for what they are: petty irritations, not worthy of much time and energy. Certainly these "5's" do not deserve the attention we lavish on them with our angry responses and hurt feelings. By saying "it's only a 5!" we are letting those about us know we understand. They will feel better and so will we. Saying "It's a 5!" is a sure way to keep friends, build morale, and improve productivity.

Dimension Five
James F. Bracher, creator of the Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership,
is the founder and chairman of Dimension Five Consultants, Inc.,
a management consulting firm in Monterey, California.

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