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Word of Advice

  • Chinese whispers
    Did you play “Chinese whispers” in school? One person is told something, usually a small story, and is asked to whisper what he was told to the next person, the next person whisper it to the next person and so on. After the whisper has been passed through 10 people, the last person tells the story how he heard it and then the story is compared to the original one. Usually the story has changed – a lot. This is a fun game and one business people should play also. When you do you will learn that there is only one way to make sure you really get what people tell you: to take notes when you listen to someone and write the story down exactly the way it is told, not the way you think it is told.
  • Stand up!
    A good tip for making meetings more efficient is to arrange them standing. No person is allowed to sit down in such a meeting. Usually this is a great way to run short meetings where your staff gives quick updates on project progress etc. A good fun variation too!
  • Beginners mind
    Originating in ancient Zen practice the phrase “beginner’s mind” refers to students keeping their mind open for new and more learning which in turn opens new possibilities. Are you always open for new possibilities and more learning? And are you not letting your knowledge and experience cloud your mind and close new possibilities? In the beginners mind, doubt and possibility go hand in hand. Ask yourself how open your mind is.
  • Time for Yoga training
    A leader I am advising told me that she misses her Yoga classes very much but due to her heavy work load she just cannot find time any more. She had checked the schedule for every Yoga school in her city, evening classes, morning classes and even lunch classes. But it just did not work out. “I have checked every option” she said. But had she? If she cannot go see the Yoga teacher can the Yoga teacher come to see her instead? She checked and sure some Yoga teachers teach privately. Now the teacher comes to see her twice a week in her home. She had checked ALL the options she knew, but not ONE she did not know.
  • Presentation skills
    Remember: brain learns by repetition. How can you use this knowledge in your presentations? Here are the quickest and most effective guidelines for taking your presentations skills to a new level: (i) Tell the audience what you are there to tell them, (ii) then you tell them and (iii) then you tell them what you have told them. This way you repeat your message three times and people a have higher likelihood of remembering than if you only told them once.
  • Your boss is always right
    Like it or not but your boss is always right. Right in the sense that either you have to find a way to “agree” to your boss opinions or you have to find another boss. The reason is that if you are to contribute building a great business culture, you and your boss must have a "one voice", i.e. a common way of looking at things and a common direction for moving forward. So you either find a way to agree with your boss, which may mean that you influence your boss to draw his opinion closer to yours, or find another boss.
  • Your boss is always right
    Like it or not but your boss is always right. Right in the sense that either you have to find a way to “agree” to your boss opinions or you have to find another boss. The reason is that if you are to contribute building a great business culture, you and your boss must have a "one voice", i.e. a common way of looking at things and a common direction for moving forward. So you either find a way to agree with your boss, which may mean that you influence your boss to draw his opinion closer to yours, or find another boss.
  • Leadership styles
    If you want to be a leader you may have thought of your "leadership style". This topic is often discussed and debated: Is a "hard style" better than a "soft style" or is the trick for leaders to be "situational"? Well, as interesting as this debate is, before you come to question your leadership style you have to ask yourself the following questions: 1) Do I like to lead people and 2) Do people like to be led by me? If the answer to one or both of these questions are no, then do not worry about your leadership style, then it is smarter to do something else than be a leader.
  • Care for a snack?
    Have you ever done or been a part of a customer survey? After a flight a while ago I was asked in a user survey how happy I was with the assortment of snacks on the plane on a scale from 1 to 9. What I was not asked though was if I care about having a snack on a plane in the first place. In theory I could be very happy with the assortment and give them a good score or something completely opposite, but at the same time I do not care about a snack at all. I wonder what they use my feedback for.
  • Flexibility
    Flexibility is a great trait in life since flexibility allows for more choices. But how can we develop more flexibility? One way is to spend time interacting with different types of people and learn to communicate well with all of them. You find people at different job levels, such as leaders and their employees, you find engineers and architects and sales people. They are of different religions and come from different countries. And it is good fun to learn to communicate well with 80 year olds as well as two year olds. The more you do that the more flexible you will become.
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