The discipline of listen


There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy interrupting.
– Mark Twain

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Rinse that response right out of your head: Try I don’t know

Are we afraid to say “I don’t know”? I’d argue that it frees us up to pursue an answer, with the freedom that comes from full transparency. We are on a mission. It may be counterintuitive, but you build trust when you say “I don’t know.” It’s way better than “I think so.”

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TechnoService with a smile

Judging from the outside looking in, the potential of an innovation may be evaluated through one's lived experience. So one might suspect. When I first began to use Dropbox I experienced some relief from the compulsive backing up onto a growing accumulation of disks, and celebrated the ease of use. The model worked well. I readily shared it with my friends. Getting it right can lead to big things.

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Superlatives live dangerous lives

In writing for marketing and sales, advice from Spanish writer and philosopher Baltasar Gracián holds up after 400 years: “Never exaggerate.” On the subject of superlatives, Gracián said they “offend the truth and cast doubt on your judgment. By exaggerating, you squander your praise and reveal a lack of knowledge and taste.”

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Lessons from a spelling bee

Our town recently held a spelling bee for all 4th and 5th graders across all the elementary schools. Having three kids who fell right into that range, my 5th grader, who we’ll call S, signed up, so immediately our 4th-grade twins P and A had to get in on it too. Sure! More spelling!

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Webinar excellence: Slide forward with style

A webinar audience is a special challenge. They are at work. Therefore, your presentation must answer the question: How does this benefit me? Otherwise, they will go right back to work. Ideally the slide should illustrate your idea in a word or an image. A slide should be easy to comprehend and command immediate interest; it’s a dramatic way to use content and keep your audience engaged. Otherwise, when each new slide comes into view, the human reaction is to start reading them. The more complex the slide, the greater effort your audience must make, fracturing their attention even more. Your slides will be understood visually, with the bulk of your audience's attention on you, the speaker.

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Decisions with a decided edge

“Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.”
Gordon Graham


Successful business depends on trust. It begins with decision-makers. Trust extends to your clients, vendors, colleagues, and anyone you serve or have served. The integrity we bring to the decision-making process is not merely your moral compass, but the strength of your commitment to be the best, and make good choices.

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Positively

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
―Linda Grayson

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Sign it, seal it, stamp it, send it

During that fastest time of year—the sprint between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day—we need to be prepared for a lot of thank yous. We receive visits, eat wonderful food, get gifts, attend parties, do good deeds, and thank yous are in hearty supply. There is a saying that seeing is believing...but saying? Instead of saying or texting or emailing, respond with something more lasting. Write a thank you note. Spill some ink. Write it by hand. Sign it, seal it, stamp it, send it.

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