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Word of Advice

  • Avoiding disappointment
    Disappointment is usually a function of your expectations that fail to materialize. If you go to a dentist expecting him to find no cavities and he finds one or more you are disappointed. If you expect him to find two and he finds one you are happy. One way to avoid disappointment is therefore to adjust expectations. This does not mean that you should always expect a bad result. It means you have to have a more open mind and allow more flexibility in your expectations so whatever the outcome is you are prepared to accept and deal with it without much disappointment.
  • Meeting lengths
    Have you ever been to a business meeting where you ended up having way too much time? It rarely happens, if at all, and it shows that we tend to use up whatever meeting time we have available even if this is not very efficient. This means we tend to have much longer meetings than necessary and we just do not notice. With that in mind, try cutting down on meeting length, say from 60 minutes to 50 minutes, from 30 minute to 20 minutes and so on and see what happens.
  • Shorter meetings
    If you cut back on meeting time, you may find out that people tend to come to these meetings better prepared. The shorter the time the more to the point one must be. Therefore try cutting down on meeting time and see how much more your people and yourself can accomplish in less time.
  • Reached your potential?
    Have you reached your professional potential? Few people I asked this question answered yes, but not too many either had a clear idea about how they will continue to improve. Even fewer had a specific plan. What about you? What more will you learn, when will you learn it and how will you learn it? And how will you know that you will have learned it? Build a small plan for your learning – it will be a good investment of your time.
  • Keep it simple
    We hear it quite often people saying: “keep it simple”. Sounds very smart, doesn’t it, to keep things as simple as possible. But how simple is it to keep things simple and how good are you at doing that? Take the coming working day: what are the tasks ahead of you, and what specifically and how can you make them simpler?
  • 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.
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