Critical Thinking

15
May

Managing Discomfort is the Key to Success

It is human nature to aspire to greater things. The United States was conceived and built on that principle. Sadly, some of these aspirations are thwarted by circumstances and environment. More often than not, however, we thwart our own aspirations out of poorly informed beliefs. We listen to what others tell us without verifying the accuracy. We follow the rules

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17
Apr

Critical Thinking: The Economy’s “Other” Skills Gap

A lot has been written recently about the skills gap facing today’s economy. Researchers credit several sources for this phenomenon. First, the Baby Boomers will finally retire in droves over the next decade. Second, there has been a diminished interest in the hard sciences, resulting in a deficit of healthcare professionals and scientific researchers. Third, significantly fewer young people are

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6
Mar

Here’s Why Listening Results in Better Decisions

It is said that President Franklin Roosevelt became convinced that most people were so excited to meet him in person that they really didn’t pay attention to what he said. So he tried an experiment. As he greeted guests during a White House reception, he smiled and said to each of them quietly, “I murdered my grandmother yesterday afternoon.” As

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13
Feb

How Presence of Mind Adds to the Bottom Line

My wife and I just spent a wonderful week in Hawaii, a chance to relax and reflect. Of course, my mind is never far from the topic of decision making. The first night we were there, Wendy discovered the clothes iron in our room wasn’t working. She called the hotel’s front desk to ask for a replacement. Five minutes later,

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25
Jan

Stop Multi-tasking and Boost Your Productivity

Juliette thinks she’s a master at multi-tasking. She responds to e-mails, checks Facebook, talks with passing colleagues and does her “real work” all at the same time. But she’s exhausted by the end of the day. She woke up twice last night remembering she forgot to submit a report. She almost caused an accident texting her boss about a customer

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3
Jan

The Essential Secret to Good Judgment

I visited with a senior leader from a Fortune 100 company last month. At one point, he said, “My dad used to say, ‘Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.’” While I was amused by his simple characterization, it dawned on me that this glib little insight contains the essence of why some people are better decision

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30
Oct

Your Choice — Control or Success?

  I had a conversation with a small business owner (SBO) recently that went like this: SBO: “I feel like I’m forever answering everyone’s questions rather than focusing on the business. It’s maddening.” ME: “Tell me about the kinds of questions they ask.” SBO: “It’s everything, from whether to give a customer a 5% discount for late delivery to where

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15
Oct

Journaling for Smarter Decisions

Over the years, I have carried a journal with me when I go to meetings, attend seminars, or have coffee with someone. It’s a just spiral-bound notebook into which I can jot notes, ideas and insights. Every couple of weeks, I rifle through the pages from the previous month. In doing so, I am reminded of tidbits that might be

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7
Oct

The Secret Truth About Dishwashing

Dishwashing is a chore that most people try to avoid. There are even jokes about guys eating out of anything that will hold food just to skip this mindless task. But Bill Gates says he likes it. Yes, that Bill Gates. A couple of years ago, Gates mentioned that “I do the dishes every night — other people volunteer, but

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17
Aug

Warning: Multi-tasking Kills Your Productivity

Be honest – Can you really multi-task? The answer has to be “no.” Here’s why — Multi-tasking is physically impossible! Research has determined that your brain’s working (or short-term) memory can manage as many as five stimuli at a time. But . . . this includes elements such as the temperature in the room, ambient noise, aromas, and other environmental

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