Intuition – It’s Not Just For Women Anymore

We’ve all heard about women’s intuition. We’re told that women rely more on their feelings when they make decisions. They’re more emotional. But women certainly use logic to make decisions as well. Men reason more because they like to be able to prove their point. Supposedly, they’re more argumentative. But that doesn’t mean they don’t use their intuition.

We value logic today, perhaps to an extreme. Few people, except the most successful, will admit to using their gut instincts to make decisions. Once successful, people like Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump proudly proclaim that their hunches were partially responsible for their bigg success.

So, guys, it’s okay to admit that you use intuition. Don’t see it as a bad thing. Know when to use it and how.

Which type of decision-maker are you?
Gerd Gigerenzer, a social psychologist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, recently wrote a book, Gut Feelings. He is a pioneer in research on intuition. He says there are two kinds of decision-makers:

  • “Maximizers” have to know all of the facts before they decide.
  • “Satisficers” only need to be “satisfied they have enough information to suffice” before they make a decision.

Gigerenzer’s research shows that you can often make better decisions with less information. Think of the time that saves you! But he does has skeptics within his field.

Sometimes the data lies
Steve McKee wrote an article recently for Business Week, entitled Beware the Advertising Pretest. He mentions a number of advertising campaigns that didn’t test well during market research. For example, if the advertisers hadn’t gone with their gut, against all the evidence, we never would have “Got Milk?”!

When should you satisfice?

  • The more familiar you are with the situation, the more likely you can satisfice.
  • The less the decision will significantly affect your life, the more likely you can satisfice.
  • Ask yourself, “Who is affected by my decision?” If the answer is “you”, then satisfice. If it involves others, you may want to err on the side of research.

Intuition and the magic 8-ball
Here’s a technique to try the next time you have a decision to make. Do all the analysis you want. Then frame a “yes” or “no” question. Shake your magic 8-ball (or flip a coin). How do you feel about the answer? That’s your intuition at work! This simple exercise helps you start to understand how your intuition plays in to your decision-making.

Our quote today is by Albert Einstein, considered one of most intelligent people ever.

“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There
comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will,
the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”

Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.

Next time, we’ll revisit visualizing the life you want. We challenged you to answer the question, “If neither time nor money was an issue, how would you spend your time and your money?” We’re ready to take it to the next level – live your dream with a purpose.

Until then, here’s to your big success!

When A Co-Worker Bad Mouths You

We received an e-mail from David. He recently overheard one of his employees make some very negative comments about his management abilities.

He wants advice on how to approach this long-time employee of the company, who is about ten years older than David.

We have three recommendations for David:

  • Know your purpose before you start.
  • You want to have a conversation, not a confrontation. You want to find out if there is an underlying reason for your employee’s comments. Behave accordingly.

  • Report on what you heard.
  • Try to use the word “you” as little as possible. As in, “You said …” Instead, say “It was said …” You’ll accomplish far more by not backing him into a corner. Be as objective as possible so you’re more likely to have a productive conversation.

  • Role play.
  • We talked about role playing a couple of weeks ago. David’s situation is a great example of an interaction where role playing in advance is beneficial. As part of your role playing, come up with the possible scenarios. For instance, He cops an attitude This is a bad sign. However, as nicely and unemotionally as you can, let him know that you want a discussion, not an argument. Tell him again that you’re more concerned about why it was said than what was said. Keep in mind, though, that he may have become the proverbial “bad apple”. You may need to let him go. If you do, your remaining employees will likely ask you what took you so long. He denies he said it This is probably the most frustrating. Remind him that you heard it first-hand; it’s not hearsay. Ask him if he agrees with you that effective relationships, at work or anywhere, rely on honesty. If you can’t communicate honestly, it’s going to be hard to work together. He becomes overly apologetic He may have just been having a bad day and you got the brunt of it. Then move on … we all have bad days. However, it’s possible he’s not being sincere; he just wants to get you off his back now. Only you can judge that. He admits it and tells you what’s wrong This is the desired result. Hopefully, it’s the only scenario you encounter, but you may take a detour through one of the others. Regardless, thank him for his candor. Then demonstrate what a great manager you are by working with him to solve the underlying problem!

Our quote today is by Ayya Khema.

“Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most .”

It’s difficult to see a difficult situation as an opportunity to grow. But if you do … you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss intuition – it’s not just for women anymore, you know! Until then, here’s to your big success!

The Communication Debate: E-mail, Phone, Or Face Time?

Surgeons have a number of tools available to them. They choose the right tool for the circumstances. Think of surgeons the next time you need to communicate with someone. Consider all the tools available and choose the right ones.

There are three things you should mull over before you select your communication tool.

  • Know your audience.
  • All of us have our own preferences, including the person, or persons, you plan to contact. If possible, use their favorite method to connect with them. Too often, we do what’s most convenient for us. You should make it easy for them.

  • Consider the subject.
  • Are you trying to convey a simple message? Or is it complex? Does the subject lend itself to “one-way and wait” dialogue, or would real-time two-way conversation be more productive? The answers to these questions may dictate your method of contact.

  • Think effectiveness.
  • As with any interpersonal communication, effectiveness is more important than efficiency. What’s the best way to deliver your message so it’s understood? Focus on achieving your desired result, not how fast you can get it done.

Here are some examples:

  • If you need a response, but you can wait … just e-mail me.
  • If you need an immediate response … let me hear your sexy voice.
  • You need to present a very complex idea … let me see your lovely face.
  • You want to follow-up on a meeting or an interview … just e-mail me.
  • You need to discuss a delicate situation … let me see your lovely face.
  • I’m very busy and you need to get answers fast … let me hear your sexy voice.
  • You need to negotiate a deal … let me see your lovely face.

Of course, you may determine that more than one method of contact is appropriate. For example, you might e-mail me to schedule a face-to-face meeting.

As a fallback, e-mail is great because it is the least invasive. Obviously, face-to-face is the most invasive. But meeting in person is the richest form of communication. E-mail is at the bottom of that list.

Our quote today comes from Lee Iacocca.

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get
them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

So get it right – use the right communication method at the right time for the right crowd in the right way.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at what to do when a co-worker bad mouths you. How should you confront this difficult situation? Until then, here’s to your big success!

Are Twenty Somethings Getting A Bad Rap?

Three managers from three different generations, told us in three separate conversations, about their challenges with twenty somethings. Do young people today want the rewards without the effort?

Here are a few of our many thoughts on this question. First, to those who are a little past your twenties (or still holding on strong to 29 … again):

  • Be careful not to over-generalize.
  • When a lot of people think of baby boomers, they think of hippies. Gen Xers are slackers. Yet these attributes only apply to a small portion of the total population of each of these generations.

    The same is true of twenty somethings. Sure, some think they’re entitled to the best of everything. But many share the same work ethic, the same desire to prove themselves, as their predecessors.

  • Show them how they make a difference.
  • Employees of all generations consistently want two things from work, in addition to making a decent living. First, people want to be recognized for a job well done. Second, people want to feel like they’re part of something bigger.

    A young woman, with tears welling up in her eyes, told us about her first job, as a summer intern for the Chicago Housing Authority. Here’s her story:

    “On my first day of work, I walked into the office and was greeted by the receptionist. She immediately called my supervisor. My supervisor took me back to her office.

    She said, ‘I’m so glad you’re here. Our work is very important. We find homes for people. And I’m so happy that you’re here because we have more people wanting homes than we can handle. With your help, we’ll find homes for more people.’

    I couldn’t wait to get to work every day. Because I knew I was helping people.”

    Go the extra mile – show your people, of all ages, how your organization makes a difference. If you do, you’ll have a group of motivated employees.

Now, for those of you in your twenties:

  • Turn this negative into your positive.
  • This perception is out there … and it’s going to stick, at least for awhile. Use it to your advantage. If you go the extra mile, you’ll stand out from the crowd. Successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t.

    Little things make big differences. For example, get to work fifteen minutes earlier tomorrow. Stay fifteen minutes later. You’ll get noticed! Over time, you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

  • Prepare yourself now for the opportunity to come.
  • Opportunity will present itself. The only question is whether or not you’ll be ready. If you can’t or won’t do little things extremely well, you’re won’t get the opportunity to work on big things.

    Napoleon Hill, in his great book, Think and Grow Rich, tells the story of Edwin Barnes. Barnes went to work for Thomas Edison, with the goal of becoming Edison’s partner. Edison invented a product that his sales people said wouldn’t sell. Barnes saw his opportunity – he took the project no one else wanted and became Edison’s partner in the process!

Our quote today is by the great quarterback, Roger Staubach.

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

Give all you’ve got and you’ll get more than you can imagine.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the communication debate – e-mail, phone, or face-to-face – what contact method should you use? Until then, here’s to your big success!

Regrets…Had A Few?

Last time, we talked about starting over to turn misfortune into fortune. Today, we want to discuss a study about regrets. The study was done by Dr. Neal Roese, professor of psychology, and Amy Summerville, graduate student researcher, at the University of Illinois.

In What We Regret … and Why, they assert that the biggest regrets that people have revolve around their education (cited by 32 percent of participants) and their career (selected by 22 percent of participants).

What about you? If you could do it again, would you get a different degree? Choose a different career? Study harder?

The good news is we have more choices today than ever before. The bad news is more choices mean more things to bemoan. The authors discuss two types of regret:

    • Action regrets.

These are regrets from things we did. If we lament something that’s relatively insignificant, we’re usually able to get past it with relative ease. If something was done that goes against our character, it’s tougher to get over it.

It’s not productive to beat yourself up. Apologize if need be. Learn from your mistakes. Resolve to do better next time. Then move on.

    • Inaction regrets.

According to the authors, these regrets are harder to overcome. They involve our imagination. We keep thinking about what might have been if only …

But that’s also a waste of our energy. Don’t think about what might have been. Focus on what might be. You can always make a U-turn on the Bigg Success Highway! Take action! Do something about it!

Mission accomplished! The longest college career in history ends happily.
Nola Ochs started college in 1930, but she didn’t finish. Life got in the way. She always wished she had been able to complete college.

Last May, she graduated from Fort Hays State University at the ripe young age of 95. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, Nola is the oldest person to complete their college degree.

She’s a living testament that you’re never too old to achieve your dreams.

Regrets … we’ve all had a few. But the best way to get over them is to take action! That gets you focused on how to achieve, rather than thinking how you failed.

Our quote today was made by Alexander Graham Bell.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Walk through your open doors and you may just find … room for improvement. Nola Ochs did it … so can you!

Tomorrow, we’ll look at why twenty somethings are getting a bad rap. Do they deserve it? Or is it just a generation gap? Until then, here’s to your big success!