You will relax whether or not that is your intention when you do conscious breathing. Slow down by counting to 3 as you breathe in, hold for 3, then slowly breathe out to the count if 3. It feels so good, do it again. 3 or 4 breaths like this will allow you to more easily face your work and life challenges or just get back to work calmly.
When you multitask you do a mediocre job of each, or worse. Think of the times you were doing email while on a conference call. No one could see you so you thought no one would notice; until, the boss calls out your name with, “what do think of that?”
Oh, oh! Now you have to admit you weren’t paying attention. Now you need to ask your boss for a ‘do over.’
To keep your focus on the meeting you might try listening so hard you are paying attention to the meaning, not just the words.
Or you can mind map the subjects during the meeting.
For sure, you don’t want to be thinking about what you will say when it is your turn. That, too, will mean you won’t be able to answer the boss’s question.
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.
Every new day is a beginning. Some days you may feel that your day, your schedule, your time is all pre-planned with no room for exploring new ideas or places or new friends. That would be a shame. Every new day is filled with opportunity. Read something interesting to think about and then share. Write something that is a result of your experiences or deep thinking and share that. Start asking questions that create a conversation in your head or with others. You don’t have to find world changing solutions to make a difference. You just have to have a open mind to see and hear beyond what you already know, or think you know.
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
15 years in the Computer Industry: GE, Digital Equipment Corp.
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.
Young children are naturally curious. Too often we get impatient with their incessant questions and dampen their curiosity. Curiosity is a good thing, even a great thing.
With associates as with children, it may be advantageous to ask them a question when they ask you for an answer. How have you tried to answer this so far? Or how could you explore the idea yourself to find possible answers? Be sure to encourage the thought that there may be several good answers not just one. What options have you thought of, so far? How can you search out multiple options and then make a choice among the options?
As with all questions you ask, unless you are a teacher testing your students, only ask questions you are not already certain of the answer. You have to be open to the ideas and answers you will hear. You have to want to hear creative and unusual answers.
Ask, how will you explore options and compare them?
Here are some ideas to share as ways to compare and contrast possible paths to make thoughtful conclusions.
Force yourself or your team to write down as many options as possible. Challenge yourselves to list at least 10 ways to solve the problem, or some number that requires a bigger list than you think is possible. The reason for the stretch list is that the first ones you think about will be the same old boring over-used answers. It is only when you have to come up with larger numbers of answers that you get into the creative and interesting solutions.
Some ideas that would normally get rejected without exploring will make it on to the list.
Every option listed deserves some what-if and how-could-it-work analysis.
Combinations and permutations of the various options can sometimes evolve into a better solution than any of the answers listed individually.
The process of brainstorming options will get your brain on a roll allowing you to keep coming up with more ideas after you thought you were finished. Keep paper and pencil or a recorder handy and record every idea no matter how far-fetched.
Your brand, your organization and you yourself will be differentiated by all the great ideas, solutions, and the ideation process itself. People are attracted by and buy from organizations that are clearly differentiated.
Power Brainstorming, the book, focused on helping get past the boring kind of brainstorming to breakthrough ideas. My next book will cover how you can improve critical and creative thinking, decision making, communication of ideas, and whole brain thinking. I’ll test out pieces of the book in this blog. It would be great to get comments that can help me know what would be most beneficial to you on these topics.