Archive for February, 2010

HALT! Don’t Make that Bad Decision

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Dave Weber - CEO/President

This past summer I was conducting a leadership retreat in North Georgia when one of the participants shared a principle that I found both very insightful, and personally, very applicable.

She said that there are times in everyone’s life when we are much more susceptible to making poor choices.  If, however, we learn to recognize the warning signs, we can avoid following through on a bad decision.

The key, she said, is to remember the acronym HALT.  If you are experiencing one of the four symptoms represented by the word HALT, then you need to do exactly what the acronym suggests…STOP! Don’t make a decision until you have dealt with the symptom.

The four “red flags” that are major contributors to bad decisions are when we’re feeling:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

When one or more of these conditions exist, you are more likely to make a decision that you will later regret.

Remembering Not To Forget in 2010 – Part 2

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Referring back to my last post about missing an appointment…what should I have done better? What can you do to prevent yourself from being in the same, awful position?

First, no matter what, write it down! Whether you have your calendar with you or not, write it on something. A napkin, a receipt, even your hand – anything! And if you have to, write it more than once! If you can put it in your date book or type it in your cell phone or blackberry, the act of writing it or typing it anywhere, on anything, will create a deeper memory of the experience. Your brain has to process not only the information, but the physical act of logging that thought somewhere outside of your head. The more you commit the information to more areas (locations) of your memory, the better the chance that you won’t forget it.

Second, tell somebody! I should have told my wife and kids what the new time for my appointment was and asked them to remind me to write it down when we get home. Create a chorus of people who can reinforce the new piece of information. Could you just imagine us driving home with my kids repeatedly singing a jingle to the beat of their latest pop or rap idle, “dad’s new appoint is at noon not at 3 – oh yea!”. Avail yourself of more memory capacity by having other people help you remember stuff.

Candidly, I’ve heard other people refer to their memory lapses as “sometimers disease”, or “intellectual interludes”, or even call them “brain farts”. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

Lastly, send yourself a voice message, an email or text message. Use the technologies available to all of us and protect yourself. You may find this a little desperate or over the top, but we’re talking about preserving precious opportunities here! Regardless of our profession, we’re in very competitive businesses, and missing an appointment can be a deal-breaker.

Think about it – what feels more ridiculous? Sending yourself a text message so you won’t forget something important or getting that phone call that says you missed your really important appointment? Texting yourself may be embarrassing, but missing the appointment is exponentially more embarrassing and potentially very expensive! If you can’t use either of the two previous suggestions, protect yourself and use all of your memory aid devices and tools to help you be more efficient.

Though we’re all human and will never be perfect, we must do everything possible to keep ourselves at the top of our game, for our business partners and customers we serve, as well as, for the family we protect and provide for.

The 3 Keys of Effectiveness

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Dave Weber - CEO/President

Years ago I learned a very simple formula for helping me stay focused on what I truly needed to be working on. I wish I could remember where I learned this 3-step process, as I would certainly give that person a shout out right now. Anyway, suffice it to say, this is not my idea at all, but one that bears repeating.

The three keys to effectiveness are:

  1. Determine the most important task for now.
  2. Concentrate on it.
  3. Forget the rest.

That’s it.  Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? So why do so many people struggle doing it?

It really boils down to three separate issues: setting priorities, reducing distractions, and possessing a self-management and personal organization process that ensures nothing will fall through the cracks.

These are the very skills that we teach in two of our hottest programs entitled:

“I’m Spread So Thin You Can See Through Me”

and

“My Inbox is Full and I Can’t Get Out”

Check out some of our Training Programs!

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Thursday, February 18th, 2010

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Remembering Not To Forget in 2010 – Part 1

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

In the middle of a very busy day last week, I got a phone call from a friend regarding a potential client they had referred me to meet with. Sounding very bewildered she said, “I just got a phone call that you missed your appointment with the customer I referred you to today?” (This is the place where you insert every form of “Oh no! I’m so sorry!” “I blew it!” or any of those other responses that may also involve a few choice words. You know what they are.)

“I don’t believe it, you’re right. Can I get in my car right now and still get in to see them?” I asked her – with desperation in my voice. She said she’d call them and call me right back. As I waited to hear the fate of my appointment, I used the time to berate myself for my HUGE mistake. I was really hard on myself. My berating was deep and powerful.

Now, rewinding to the night before. I was out with my family, and my friend called to say that my appointment time for the next day had been changed to an earlier time. I said fine … I can make it at noon instead of 3 o’clock. Then I hung up and went back to the family. Are you seeing the mistakes yet?

Back to the moment of my dilemma, my friend gets back to me to say that I can go at my original time of 3 o’clock. Whew! Yes! This time I’ll be early – early enough to do my best groveling! After apologizing about 30 more times for my stupidity (this doesn’t make her look good either!), she says not to worry. Regardless, I still felt horrible! Over and over she says it was just a mistake and that things happen. We’ve known each other for a long time and she knows I’m nowhere near irresponsible. She also explained how she defended my blunder to the young assistant she spoke with, by explaining that when they are over 40 they will understand how these things happen. Gotta love having people like that on your side!

Yes, we are all human – but these kinds of mistakes often don’t turn out so well. Too often, you do what I did and your chance with that client is gone. The old adage is still true — you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Missing the appointment does not bode well for making a good impression.

So, what should I have done better? What can you do to prevent yourself from being in the same, awful position?

Find Part 2 Here.