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Archive for business tips

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.

What are your brains’s blind spots?

3346955081_25e1354feeWhat sites, blogs, or newsletters do you subscribe to now to improve your thinking and decision-making?

Everyone and anyone can improve and it should get better the older you are and the more you have learned and practiced over the years.  So what do you do to get better all the time?
Please respond to let me know.  Also if you ask your friends and associates the same question,  you will start a great conversation.
Recognizing and overcoming mental blind spots.

It may seem strange to say that you see with your brain.  Yes, the eyes are the windows.  They let in the light waves and movement that get interpreted by the brain.  If the ocular nerve (going from the eyes to the brain) or the part of the brain that interprets the signals is damaged, you don’t see.  You are blind even though there may be nothing wrong with your eyes.
We can also have a mental blind spot or mental lack of hearing spot because we are not paying attention.  Our brain has learned to ‘block out’ sights and sounds that have proven in the past not to be important to you.  You may not notice that there is music playing or people having  a conversation in the next room until someone brings it to your attention.
Mental blind spots can be there in a person’s brain about any subject and not just about sight or hearing.  You may be listening but not paying attention to someone talking to you, maybe even your spouse or parent, until suddenly they say something you really care about.  At that point it is as if your brain suddenly wakes up and pays attention.
You can be driving along the streets in your city and not take any notice whether parking is readily available until you get to the street where you will need parking.
There was a story several years ago about a man who had a large family but not much income.  During a hot summer spell his children started begging for an above ground pool for the back yard.  He told them he couldn’t afford it.  Then he left for work driving on the same highway and streets he took five days a week.  Suddenly he noticed a sign behind a house he was passing that said, “Above ground 15’ pool, free, to anyone who can pick it up.”  He pulled off at the next exit and found the house.  When he rang the doorbell he asked,”is the pool still available?  How long have you had that sign up?”  To his surprise the sign had been up for two months.  He had been passing it nearly every day and not taken notice until his children raised his awareness of wanting a pool.  His children got the pool they wanted.
We have to turn on our brain to a subject.  We have to be paying attention.  That is why trying to multitask gets in our way so often.  If you are looking at your phone you can’t be paying attention to the meeting you are attending, or the road while you are driving.

investigative skills

Investigative skills are absolutely necessary in business but it is not because we must always be suspect of some sort of crime.  Making good business decisions requires the same investigative skills as solving crimes, e.g.,powers of observation, listening with full attention, avoiding multitasking so one can focus, deduction and other forms of logical analysis, tapping into that sixth sense, our gut, that alerts us to something that doesn’t feel right.

My next book will explore these ideas in depth.

Quick Start for Innovation

Sooner or later every business person starts to wonder if they are losing their touch or getting too complacent.  People buy based on differences not sameness. You and your company must constantly strive to stand out, to be viewed as a resource, not just a supplier.

A commodity is an item that is undifferentiated in the mind of the potential customer.  If it isn’t viewed as any different from any other in its class then the customer will choose the lowest cost, the cheapest.  That is the recipe for sliding down the slippery slope of less and less profit.

So instead choose the goal to be viewed as innovative, differentiated, something or someone special.

Innovation is in everyone’s grasp.  It is not limited to the birthright of a few ‘creatives.’

Use any of the ideas in Power Brainstorming, the book, or that you will read in this blog to get the creative juices flowing.

Let’s start with diversity, diversity of thinking styles and backgrounds.  Us humans tend to filter out so much of our environment that it is easy to miss some good nuggets.  Different backgrounds and thinking styles mean observing or noticing different elements.  It also means that the same element can elicit a very different response or thought process.  I do an exercise in some of my onsite seminars where each person starts with the same word and then lists word connections.  Even a common word will elicit very different streams of connected words from participants who may work together every day.

This exercise when applied to your product or customer or event will start you off on the creativity to innovation track.

Book publishing

If the number of emails I get on the subject of publishing, including publishing of ebooks, is any indication of general interest, there must be a tremendous number of people wanting to publish their story. When you have been a knowledge junkie like I have, it makes sense to write it all down and share the wisdom.

Wisdom is different from knowledge. Knowledge is made up of facts, opinions, information, and experiences. The total is valuable and should be shared. Wisdom is the result of applying thought and intelligence to those experiences and information. It is not just regurgitating the data, it is interpreting and discussing and looking at alternative explanations and viewpoints.

For most decisions in life there are multiple good and bad answers. It would be so much easier if there was one right answer and our job was just to figure that one out. Instead we must look at multiple alternatives. We weigh the alternatives with imagining the scenarios of the different potential results. We balance the pros and cons. We check our gut. We compare and contrast to past experiences and results.

None of this process should create analysis paralysis. The more experience you have to look back on, the more wisdom you can apply, the quicker the process can go. Wisdom makes sure you think it through before jumping.

Why call it power brainstorming?

Power up your process of brainstorming. Speeding up the process keeps your censoring brain from ruining your creativity. The moment you allow thoughts like ‘that won’t work’ or ‘ the others will think this is stupid’ those new and different ideas get squashed.

How do you brainstorm?

I’d love to receive comments as I am starting up this blog. What techniques do you use to brainstrom? How often do you do brainstorming?