Analyzing Tension: Why a Short Loaf of Bread is Best

A loaf of bread should be much shorter. The longer the loaf, the longer the wait for my favorite piece of bread. The heel!

when two people refuse to share the toast, the problem isn't the toast


To be clear, thin heels get too crunchy when toasted. But a plump heel, toasted on the darker side*, delivers spectacular delight. (Don’t you love how the edges curl up after a heel is toasted?)

Please don’t forget butter and a thin layer of homemade strawberry jam. (NOT JELLY)

The perfect formula:

  1. Plump heel – toasted on the darker side.
  2. Ample butter – spread to the edges.
  3. Homemade strawberry jam – just enough to provide a hint of summer.
  4. Hot coffee – just below scorching temperature.

Heaven is a toasted heel and a cup of coffee.


The first electric toaster was invented in 1893 by Scotsman Alan MacMasters. However, you risked your life to use it. The elements frequently melted, and it burst into flames. I would have thrown caution to the wind!

But in 1905 two inventors built a safe toaster. Praise be!

A day with toast is a good day.

Analyzing Tension:

Thank goodness my wife doesn’t like toasted heels! If she did, joy would be a challenge.

We never fight over the last piece of bread. It’s ALL MINE!

  1. Tension between people is the collision of desires often rooted in ego. (link is a PDF download)
  2. Ignored tension festers.
  3. When two people refuse to share the toast, the problem isn’t the toast. It’s maturity. A 3-month old infant is beautiful. A 30-year old infant is ugly.
  4. Reasonable amounts of tension are useful. Nagging tension is destructive.

Tension done well:

  1. Commit to deliver results through relationships.
  2. Consider that tension done poorly lowers performance.
  3. Clarify what people REALLY want. Maybe it’s respect?
  4. Communicate with kindness and respect, always.
  5. Confront backstabbing and gossip. Prevent the spread of emotional turbulence.

What suggestions do you have for handling tension on teams?

After material:

*I’m not encouraging you to go dark on the toast. Some think it’s unhealthy.

Cooking Through the Ages: A Timeline of Oven Inventions (Smithsonian)

Dealing with Tension on a Team (CBS)