Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
To make good decisions, it’s important to think critically. And, yet, too many leaders accept the first solution proposed to them or don’t take the time to evaluate a topic from all sides. To guard against these mistakes, there are several things you can do to hone your critical thinking skills. First, question your assumptions, especially when the stakes are high. If you’re coming up with a new business strategy, for example, ask: Why is this the best way forward? What does the research say about our expectations for the future of the market? Second, poke at the logic. When evaluating arguments, consider if the evidence builds on itself to produce a sound conclusion. Is the logic supported by data at each point? Third, seek out fresh perspectives. It’s tempting…
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Clear Your RAM

Clear Your RAM

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
You've seen it happen. You have too many browser windows open or too many programs running and your computer slows to a crawl. That's because your computer is trying to keep too many things in its RAM (Random Access Memory). To get things running again you need to close the programs or windows and clear things out of the RAM. Your brain works the same way. When you keep too many things in your head, your brain slows down trying to manage it all. For you to operate at peak performance, you need to clear your RAM. Here are some ways to do it: Write it down: Don't try to remember everything. Have a calendar, to do list, daily planner or legal pad. Whatever system you use to track things,…
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Be Productive Not Busy

Be Productive Not Busy

Featured, Improvement, Process
It's a common response. How are things going? Busy. It comes out of our mouths almost by itself. The truth of the matter is we shouldn't be busy. Even if we have a lot going on, we should be striving to be productive, not busy. What's the difference? Busy is things are happening. Productive is things are getting done. So how can we more productive? Write things down: Have a place where you write everything down. It doesn't matter if it is in a document, a spreadsheet, a pad, or post-its. What does matter is that you are putting everything a single place that you look at frequently. It doesn't help to write yourself a note if that note is buried under a stack on your desk. Write it down…
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Do You Have A Professional Bucket List?

Do You Have A Professional Bucket List?

Featured, Improvement, Process
People talk about bucket lists in personal terms. They have places they want to go and things they want to do. What about your professional life? Very few people put together a professional bucket list, things you want to do in your career. Why would you do this? Many people either take their career as it comes or phrase what they want in general terms: a promotion, a raise, etc. Putting together a bucket list forces you to describe very specifically what you want to accomplish in your career. Do you want to own your own business? What kind of business? Why do you want it? Putting together a bucket list gives you and opportunity to clarify your professional goals. Why do you want to o this? Without knowing where…
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Do You Know Where Your Leads Are?

Do You Know Where Your Leads Are?

Communication, Featured, Improvement
Defining your approach to qualifying and tracking leads can drive a ton more business…some ideas from Marc Kitz, Sales Coach!   How easily can you/your company answer the following questions: How are your leads qualified?How are your leads tracked? This is challenging particularly in smaller organizations. Here is a story from a close friend of mine who runs a manufacturing company in CT that illustrates this challenge. New opportunity, easy to close and it got lost! My friend called his CRM company to request services for integration of a new touchless time keeping application.  The rep he spoke with said he understood what my friend was looking for.  They set up a follow up meeting which included resources the rep thought should attend.  During the meeting my friend re-explained what…
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How To Organize Your Workspace

How To Organize Your Workspace

Featured, Improvement
By Maria GroveFounder, Bliss This House LLC With most people still working from home the topic of organizing your workspace is a hot one right now.  I’d like to offer some tips for organizing your workspace that would work both at home and  at the office (if we ever go back).  First be honest with yourself – do you find yourself camped out at the kitchen table doing zoom calls while your kids make lunch in the background?   Sure the kitchen table is convenient but would you have more privacy in a guest room or bedroom?   Thinking about where to set up your space is just as important as the set up of the desk and systems themselves.   I’ll be honest, my husband and I share an office in my…
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Don’t Just Respond to the Moment — Plan for the Future

Don’t Just Respond to the Moment — Plan for the Future

Featured, Improvement, Leadership
There's an old saying in politics, "Never waste a crisis." When you’re in the midst of a crisis, it can be hard to think past your short-term response. But, as a leader, your primary focus needs to be on the long term. After all, it’s your job to lead your people into the best possible future. To be able to do that, you need to delegate. Trust your people to handle the immediate response, and provide them with support and guidance to make tough decisions. Your time should be dedicated to planning for the future. You need to anticipate the obstacles that will arise in the next weeks, months, and even years, and set a course for your organization accordingly. If you can focus on what lies ahead, rather than…
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Should That Item Really Be On Your To-Do List?

Should That Item Really Be On Your To-Do List?

Featured, Improvement, Process
Not every project or task you take on requires your immediate attention. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself a few questions to help you prioritize your to-do list. Why is this task necessary? If there’s no clear answer, it’s probably not urgent. What would happen a month from now if you don’t get this done? It’s tempting to barrel through your list for the sake of crossing things off, but before you spend time on a task, visualize its future impact on you, your stakeholders, and your business. If you don’t see a long-term impact, consider passing. Are you the right person to do this task? If not, consider whether you can delegate to someone else. Did you agree to take on this task for the right reasons? You may…
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How Do You Differentiate Yourself?

How Do You Differentiate Yourself?

Featured, Improvement
Let's face it. No matter what business you are in, you are not the only one. Other business people are trying to sell the same (or at least similar) products and services as you are. Standing out from your competition means being able to differentiate yourself from them. How do you do that? Here are some methods to consider: Specialize: Focus on a specific part of your business and be an expert in it. While an insurance agent mat offer a wide range of policies, they can specialize on long-term care insurance and be certified as an expert in that. An ad agency can specialize in radio ads and jingles. Whatever your business is, you can choose to be a specialist Targeting: You can target a specific audience to work…
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Make A “To-Don’t” List

Make A “To-Don’t” List

Featured, Improvement, Process
We're all familiar with a to-do list. It's easy to take on too many projects because you don't want to say no or you don't want to disappoint people. That same desire not to disappoint can lead you to do things that divert you from your own goals. Take a good look at your to-do list. How many things do you have on there that aren't moving you to your goals? Do you have items that have recurring for a while? Examine them and see if you are getting results from those actions. If you are not getting value from your tasks, reconsider if you should keep doing the. It may be time to put them on your "to-don't" list. Time management isn't just about what you are doing. It…
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