The Common Sense Blog

10
Dec

Who Says Brainstorming Works?

It is commonplace in meetings and workshops for the facilitator to ask attendees to brainstorm ways to resolve a problem. Everyone sits around throwing out insights and possible solutions. But if you notice, it doesn’t take long before people start repeating what others have said. Sometimes, they’ll even make a comment like, “Everybody else has mentioned the ideas I thought of.”

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3
Dec

Don’t Need – Don’t Have – Don’t Know

Money guru, Dave Ramsey, is famous for saying that people buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t know. If I’m being honest, I have been guilty of doing this a few times myself. We all want to appear successful, cool, or the top dog in the room. But sometimes it doesn’t go

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25
Nov

Celebrating Resilience Through Rejection

Caitlin Kirby, like most graduate students, has faced her fair share of rejections. But unlike most, she decided to celebrate her success at overcoming these rejections. How? By wearing a skirt made up of the rejection letters she’s received to the defense of her dissertation. Ask the best decision makers you know. They can all tell you stories about the

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18
Nov

Who Are Your Mentors?

A recent study conducted by OnePoll found that of 2000 Americans surveyed, 74% say they have a mentor. For those who do, the average person has four. “Dad” tops out the list as most common with “mom” coming in a close second. Many people will not find this surprising. After all, it’s understandable that most people would look up to

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11
Nov

Donuts and Discipline

The past few weekends has found me building sets for the Christmas show at a local church. About ten of us have been gathering on Saturday mornings to cut wood, hammer it together and make it look like a small village. The church’s pastor has been kind enough to arrive each day with three dozen cream-filled, chocolate-covered donuts. Being a

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5
Nov

How the Best Decision Makers Avoid Multitasking

In the last post, I explained how multitasking is impossible, referencing the research of those in neuro-science. But I left you with the question, “How do the best decision makers get so much done if they don’t multitask? Over a couple of decades of interviewing and observing them, here’s what I’ve discovered: First, they manage their energy – How much

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29
Oct

The Final Word on Multitasking

The debate about whether multitasking improves performance has been going on for more than a decade. Those on one side, maintain that their ability to do two, three, or even four things at once gives them an edge on the day. Those on the other side, argue that focusing on one task at a time produces a better outcome for

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22
Oct

Compel — What a Great Word!

Supervisors worth their salt are always looking for ways to improve how those they oversee make decisions. With the influences of menu-driven technology, impatience for immediate outcomes and the fear of doing or saying anything that others might find offensive, this is becoming harder and harder to do. We can provide our people with strategies. We can encourage them to

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15
Oct

Working Through Decision Discomfort

For the past 30 years, I have been asking people to tell me exactly why they’re working the career they’re in. Most times, they’ll chuckle and want to tell me a story about how one thing led to another. Roke (ro-key) is one of those people. Last week, my furnace needed fixing and Roke arrived to make the repairs. As

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7
Oct

Decisions Don’t Have Answers – They Have Outcomes

It has become very easy to presume that there must be an answer out there for every decision. Maybe you can find it on Google. Perhaps there’s a video explaining it on YouTube. If nothing else launch a Facebook survey. Those people will tell you what to do. Effective decision makers, however, have learned that decisions don’t have right and

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