Effective Team Meetings

November 9, 2012

Ever sat through a boring team meeting?

Ever ran a boring team meeting?

The solution could be as simple as changing the topics you discuss.

Look at it this way: if you spend an hour in a team meeting discussing something that doesn’t improve your business you’ve wasted most of the hour.

On the other hand, if you have agenda items that stimulate useful thinking and action plans then that same hour can be hugely productive.

What’s the difference?

The topics on your agenda.

Same goes for your daily to-do list items. Better to-do list items equal better actions. Better actions equal better results.

Keep this in mind next time you write your to-do list or plan a meeting.

Learn by Observation

November 7, 2012

How many times have you observed another person’s talent and thought “Gee, I wish I could do that”?

What if there was an easy way to adopt those talents or traits with almost no effort at all?

Perhaps the very fact that you notice the talent in another suggests you can develop it yourself.

Today’s video explains that you have the opportunity to learn new skills by observation. In fact, today’s video suggests that you can learn new skills or talents while you are engaged in a conversation about something unrelated to the skill you want to develop.

Can this be real?

If you’ve ever started to take on certain character traits of others just by spending time with them then you already know this is possible.

The key here is to consciously control the process. You do this by selecting the character trait you want to develop.

Next, you spend time with people who have it.

Next, you become aware of the talent or trait to the point that your subconscious mind starts to adopt it.

Gradually you will take on the same character trait.

Good luck, and thanks for watching.

Cracks of Time

November 5, 2012

When you start looking for hidden opportunities your mind starts to expose them everywhere.

Today, for example, I was on a call to a team member when the idea struck me to do a few push-ups. So I did.

Next, I finished one meeting and was preparing for another when the idea for today’s “hidden opportunity video” hit me. So I pulled out the iPad and made this recording.

I call it “cracks of time” because just as a crack in the wall lets sunlight through, there are cracks of time in your day that you can use to get stuff done. Fun stuff. Stuff that makes you feel good or improves your life in some small or profound way.

Hidden Musical Talent

November 2, 2012

After a business meeting with a client today we spent a few minutes discussing music.

My client brought to my attention the fact that the ability to really listen to music and appreciate it is as much a talent as the ability to play or create music.

I agreed.

And on the way home I thought more about his comment. I realised the ability to listen to and appreciate music is a hidden opportunity in my life.

Yes, I occasionally listen to music. But I could listen to more music. Or different types of music outside my usual selection. Not only that, but isn’t it true that I can focus on specific instruments or tonal qualities of the singers voice? And what about listening with my heart?

How different can my experience be by focusing my attention on a specific instrument and becoming aware of the effect that instrument has on my feelings?

Perhaps by developing the talent of listening to music my life can be filled with greater levels of enrichment, all from an opportunity that is readily available, but perhaps not appreciated by me at the level I could.

How many opportunities do you miss simply because you are unaware of the options available to you?

That’s the question that prompted this video project.

So everyday for the next 365 days I will identify one hidden opportunity I see and make a short video and blog post about it.

In fact, this project is an example of a hidden opportunity. How? I have a video camera and access to YouTube but I never use them. So doing this exercise is an example of me taking advantage of an option long available but not used until now.

I got back early from the skate park this morning – about 45 minutes before my wife arrived home – and so … I was locked out of the house. Silly, I know, I really should get another key cut. But anyway.

There I was, sitting on the floor of the garage … when … I … was … suddenly overcome with the — perhaps obvious — thought that I was wasting my precious time.

Here’s what I did. I jumped up off my butt, grabbed my bike, and started riding around in circles in the driveway. I must have done about 100 circles and a dozen or so figure eights.

What does all this have to do with anything?

Here’s what: While I was riding I noticed I had moved from a feeling that I was wasting my time … to … a feeling that I was somehow occupied in a cool activity.

All this got me thinking. How often do we find ourselves in a stuck state or situation because we don’t get off our butt and take some action in a new direction that could lead to better results?

I remember hearing about a hotel that was having a lift installed. The owners where worried. They thought (and rightly so) that they would loose patrons because they had to close the hotel to allow the work to progress. Problem was, they could see no way around it. So they focused their energy and attention on trying to figure out how to minimize the time the hotel would be closed.

There was a janitor on the building. Upon hearing the hotel would close he also became concerned. “What if they lost patrons once the hotel opened up again? What if the owners need to make cut backs and I loose my job?” he thought.

Then he came up with a solution. He began to focus on the purpose or reason for the lift. The lift’s job was to safely transport people from one floor of the hotel to another.

He thought some more. “Does the lift really have to be on the inside of the building, where it will require extensive internal work and cause the hotel to close for a few weeks while the work goes ahead?”

“No”, he thought. “We could transport people from one floor to the next with the lift on the outside of the building just as easily as we could with the lift on the inside of the building!”

He told this to the owners of the lift building company … and to the owners of the hotel.

It would serve everyone’s purpose. The lift company would get to install their lift. The hotel owners could keep their hotel opened. The regular patrons wouldn’t have to find a new hotel for the duration of the lift work. And the janitor would keep his job.

And so … the first external lift was born.

All because one man (the janitor) redefined the problem and … as a result … came up with a better solution.

How many problems do you have? Are you seeing the real problem? How can you redefine the problems in your life and perhaps come up with better solutions?

Author Info: Michael Low is a professional copywriter specializing in Internet sales letters, traffic generation, website conversion and email marketing campaigns. He’s also the author of the popular ebook “How to Write Articles People Want to Read” which he now gives away free to readers of this blog.