The Common Sense Blog

29
Jan

If You Don’t Want Them to Think – Don’t Blame Them If They Don’t

I was grabbing lunch in Bismarck, ND, at one of those large chains that has touch-screen ordering kiosks. When I had completed and paid for my order, the system offered me three options – no receipt, a paper receipt or an electronic receipt. I chose paper since I would need it for reimbursement. But then nothing happened. No receipt emerged

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7
Jan

Are You Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

You know the feeling . . . the nervousness, the cold sweats, the clammy hands, maybe even an eye twitch . . . when you have to making one of THOSE decisions. Maybe it’s approaching someone you find intimidating. Perhaps it’s a presentation in front of your boss and peers. Maybe it’s committing to a new job when there’s the

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29
Dec

Want to Make Better Decisions? Follow These Simple Steps

Last week, a radio host said to me, “So, I want to make better decisions. How do I do that? We have about 30 seconds left.” “That’s simple,” I said. “In any environment, at work, with friends, playing on a team, you should ask three questions. First, ‘who are the best decision-makers around me?’ Second, ‘What are they doing that

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28
Dec

Managing Emotions Makes for Better Decisions

I worked for a moving company in New York City during my early twenties. For the first week on the job, I rode with Charlie Micucci (ma-sue-chee) who was supposed to show me the ropes. Charlie was a short, lovable, and passionate Italian man of about 60. He taught me how to move desks, filing cabinets, even safes with a

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12
Dec

Slow Down and Make Your Best Decisions

You hear people say it all the time – “I’m just sooo busy!” Yes, we all make more decisions these days. But are they the decisions that really count? In reality, most of these choices have little, if any, effect on our long-term outcomes. But then there are the decisions that can impact our job, our relationships or our pocketbook.

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4
Dec

Stretch Your Decision-Making – Reap the Rewards

“How often do you solve a problem that is almost beyond your capabilities?” A mentor posed this question to me 25 years ago and it has inspired me ever since. When I initially reflected on what he had asked, I was a bit flummoxed. My business was going well. I had the respect of my colleagues. I seemed to have

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28
Nov

Parents – Let them Go!

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal explained the phenomenon of “Bring Your Parents to Work Day,” in which employees’ parents spend the day wandering around the office watching their offspring and colleagues write memos, answer e-mails and the other tasks required of their jobs. The enthusiasm for this, of course, is not shared by everyone. “It’s almost like

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6
Nov

The Value of Making Illogical Decisions

My parents hammered into me the value of being a good consumer. One of the principles I heard over and over was, “Be thrifty. Don’t pay for something you’re not really going to use.” So, when the following situation arose recently, I was a little befuddled. Last year, my wife and I “cut the cord.” In other words, we tried

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31
Oct

Do You Really Need a Rule for That?

One of the joys of my job is interviewing a wide diversity of people every year. They generally range from CEOs to front-liners. While you might think senior people would provide the best insights, there are times when someone who doesn’t know how to filter their comments says something that strikes at the heart of an issue. Such was the

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22
Oct

What are You Teaching Your People About Mastery?

Byron and Kelly showed up at my house this week to replace our 38-year-old furnace. As I watched with fascination, they removed the old beast from a very tight spot and installed the new unit. Then came the process of fabricating the sheet metal plenums that attach the new furnace to the air conditioner and the exhaust stack. Each time

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