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The power of sincere questions

Questions are a sign of intelligence, of interest, of curiosity, of caring about the other person and the topic, and of being a critical thinker. Can you think of anything else you can say that is this powerful?

Questions, to be able to drink in that power, must be paired with power listening.

Once you ask that question, it is essential that you become silent, wait for and pay attention to the answer.

Some people try to answer their own questions. Some think that the other person pausing to think before answering means they don’t know what to answer.

Just like asking the question is a sign of interest in the other person, waiting and paying attention to the answer is a sign of respect.

Making Decisions With Too Much Data

Making decisions with too much data is just as difficult and risky as making a decision with too little data.

There are ways to be logical and move forward in either case.

With too little data, you may want to step back and list or mind map the missing pieces. Which of them are critical, which, if known, would lead to very different answers, which can be discovered before moving on, and which would have little impact and are not worth pursuing. Then you can seek out or make estimates on the missing data noting, as you move forward, what needs a comment or footnote.

With too much data, again you may want to organize what you have into categories, perhaps with sticky notes you can cluster on a board or on a mind map. It’s important to be able to see the big picture all at one time. Then you can highlight, circle or bring to the forefront, the groups that will impact results the most. The others can go on an imaginary parking lot or into the background so you can focus on the most important without distractions.

In neither case, too much or too little data, do you want to feel so stuck that nothing happens. Doing nothing is a decision, too, but one that happens to you instead of by you.

Does any of this describe Your Business Meetings?

Another Look at Your Business Meetings

Business Meetings are a microcosm of how your company includes and excludes ideas and contributions. Who speaks up, and even more important, who is listened to. Who gets credit for an idea, who takes credit for an idea. Who grumbles. Who rolls their eyes. Who keeps looking at their smart phone or laptop. And do they do it consistently when certain people are speaking.

Conscious and unconscious bias is contagious. Like a sneeze, we can pick up the disease without realizing it.

Business Meetings

Your Business Meetings

Even if your company is working hard on inclusiveness and diversity, it is important to pay attention to how you get everyone equal ‘floor time’ in the meeting. How do you do that?

One way is to use silent and anonymous idea generation. Hand out a pile of sticky note paper or 3×5 cards. Challenge everyone to come up with a minimum of 5 ways to solve a problem you’ve been working on or a new way to market a declining product. No talking and no sharing during this initial thinking and writing time.

Then all ideas get put up equally on a flip chart or white board. Organize by categories or similarity.

All ideas are valuable, some will work on their own. Most will work better in combination with others on the board. Some can be expanded by discussion.

You may decide to organize the ideas by how long they would take to do a trial or to implement in general, or by cost, effort, or ROI. You may even decide to try out the most outrageous first because standing out is better than blending in and being boring.

Are you in the Chicago area?

This Saturday, November 10, 2018, I will be at TedX Naperville doing a follow-up to last year’s TedX talk on mind mapping. I will be coaching audience members and participants on mind mapping the speeches they hear and want to remember. If you are there, come find me and say hello.

Growing your knowledge and sharing it

Are you listening to and reading from people you believe are smarter than you on the current subject? If not, how do you learn anything new?

Constantly growing and learning makes you a better person and then others can grow and learn from you.

We each have areas in our life where we have spent the time and effort to become more expert while there are other areas and topics where we will benefit from seeking to learn from others.

Your learning becomes more valuable, even to you, when you
Don’t forget to share
With someone, somewhere.

Mental Models for better & easier solutions

Mental models
Why do some people find ‘simple’ mathematics problems so impossible. I used common fractions for my research but it wouldn’t matter which specific concept I had chosen.
The answer I discovered and proved was that children and adults alike, who had a mental model of the concept, could solve the math problems. Those who didn’t were using rote rules that had no meaning, no models in their mind, so they made mistakes or gave up. They often could follow the rules successfully as long as the next problem looked exactly like the last one. If presented a problem that looked different, they couldn’t picture how to modify the rules, they couldn’t see where or how it matched up to the last one or something they had seen before.
Mental models are built by drawing, building with objects, and imagining.
One type of mental model that can help with thinking clearly and making strong decisions is the mind map. It helps you brainstorm lots of options and then it organizes those options for consideration.

Contentment vs Impatience

We normally think that the opposite of impatience is patience.  For the moment I’d like to ask you to be open to the idea that the opposite of impatience is contentment.  When you are showing patience you are waiting for another person to finish what they are doing or saying so you can have a turn.

When you are content to listen or watch and learn and are not waiting for your turn, you are being the opposite of impatient.  How good it can feel to be content to listen and learn, to think about what you are observing or hearing.  Contentment can feel wonderful and its feeling can spread to others in the room.

 

About Hazel

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Hazel Wagner, PhD, MBA, CMC, Professional Speaker, Author, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Brain Facilitator

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
PhD, MA, BA Mathematics
MBA International Marketing & Finance
Taught in MBA Programs for Kellogg Graduate School of Management, DePaul Graduate School of Business, and Cardean

BUSINESS CREDENTIALS
15 years in the Computer Industry: GE, Digital Equipment Corp.

CONSULTING CREDENTIALS
14 years consulting for start-ups through F100 companies, Certified Management Consultant

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKING CREDENTIALS
Sales Meeting kick-offs and keynotes, workshops, seminars for worldwide companies, American Management Association, National Speaker Association, American Marketing Association, Singapore Executive Management Seminar, AMA Tokyo, CMC Canadian Management Centre.

YOUR CREATIVITY GENIUS

Yes, genius.

Everyone has it yet most people describe themselves as having no creativity.

As children we were all free to try anything.  I decided to draw on the wall behind a door in our apartment.  I felt proud of my colorful

scribbles until my mother discovered it.  And, yes, I was punished.  I think they had to paint the whole wall.

We are all creative in our own way.

Not all creativity comes from big leaps.  Often small differences can make big differences.

Creative ideas that turn out to be useful are innovation.

The pet rock was creative but its usefulness, as a joke, was limited.  As a result it didn’t have much usefulness, nor innovation.

Allow room for your creative genius to think, grow, and try things out.

Let us know your thoughts on YOUR CREATIVITY GENIUS. You can email us at Hazel.Wagner@b9d.com

About Hazel

shapeimage_2

Hazel Wagner, PhD, MBA, CMC, Professional Speaker, Author, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Brain Facilitator

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
PhD, MA, BA Mathematics
MBA International Marketing & Finance
Taught in MBA Programs for Kellogg Graduate School of Management, DePaul Graduate School of Business, and Cardean

BUSINESS CREDENTIALS
15 years in the Computer Industry: GE, Digital Equipment Corp.

CONSULTING CREDENTIALS
14 years consulting for start-ups through F100 companies, Certified Management Consultant

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKING CREDENTIALS
Sales Meeting kick-offs and keynotes, workshops, seminars for worldwide companies, American Management Association, National Speaker Association, American Marketing Association, Singapore Executive Management Seminar, AMA Tokyo, CMC Canadian Management Centre.

 

NERVOUS ON VIDEO?

For someone like me who is at ease in front of an audience, it surprised me that I was nervous about making a video. What do you think about this?