Three major mistakes people make when conducting analysis are succumbing to confirmation bias, analysis paralysis, and generating weak results. If you’re mindful of these risks and approach your analysis rigorously and objectively, you can make a recommendation that will be easily approved. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERSs and author of The Elegant Pitch: (CLICK HERE to get your copy). A hypothesis-driven approach to problem solving and making recommendations can be tremendously efficient. You create a hypothesis (something taken to be true for the sake of argument), conduct analysis designed to prove or disprove the hypothesis, then make your recommendation based on the results of your analysis. Typically your hypothesis is based upon prior experiences you’ve had as well as your knowledge of the subject matter you’re evaluating. I’ve personally used this approach for years. I refer to it as the Structured Thought Process. The method is both efficient and effective. That said, using this approach is not without risks. Risk #1: Confirmation Bias While it’s great to have experience and prove your hypotheses are correct, that same experience carries risk with it. Confirmation bias – the tendency to look for or interpret information in a way that confirms your preconceived ideas – is the biggest risk you face when using a hypothesis-driven approach like the Structured Thought Process. No one wants to be wrong so it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking disproving your hypothesis means you made a mistake. That fear of being “wrong” can lead you to wear blinders when you’re conducting analysis. You might ignore or dismiss facts contrary to your hypothesis. You might only look for data that proves you’re “correct” which can then skew your analytical results. Before you know it, you’re making a case based upon incorrect […]
https://i1.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/20201019-Shattered-Plate-scaled.jpg?fit=2560%2C1707&ssl=117072560Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2020-10-19 08:00:062020-10-06 10:09:06How Avoid Mistakes When Doing Analysis and Making Recommendations
Want to continue to be at the forefront of your industry, trying to get to the forefront, building innovation into the company structure is a must-have. Today’s post is by thoughtLEADERS principal Maureen Metcalf. Change is accelerating on all fronts across all industries. Each organization will be faced with different types of change and at different rates. The commonality is that everyone is facing opportunities and strains because of the current business ecosystem. Companies are regularly facing a broad range of risks, such as cybersecurity attacks, where the question has changed from “Will we be hacked?” to “When will we be hacked?” On the positive side, robotic processes automation, machine learning/artificial intelligence and a wide range of applications are making the tight labor market more productive. With rapid change as the backdrop for the foreseeable future, it has now become imperative for leaders to build innovation into their personal leadership “operating system” as well as into the DNA of their organizations. Innovation is imperative for long-term survival and success. While many people associate innovation with special people who come up with creative ideas, it is more accurately nurtured by building a company that embraces innovation as part of its core DNA. The real question is what does that look like, and how do you make it happen?
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4 Make-Or-Break Customer Service Skills and How to Find Them Today’s post is by Ken Crowell The pandemic and economic and political turmoil has Americans stressed out, making customer service skills more important than ever for businesses to be able to thrive and grow. Even before the latest economic disruption, poor customer service was blamed for costing American businesses billions each year. Meanwhile, ample evidence indicates that companies with friendly and attentive employees keep customers and attract new ones. Customer service personnel are the first point of contact customers have with your company and can make or break your business. A service orientation also helps employees work together and independently to fulfill company goals, and helps create a culture of teamwork and collaboration. We’ve compiled a list of what we consider to be the top skills to look for when hiring, as well as some questions that can help identify the candidates who possess these qualities. Look for candidates who demonstrate:
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Our reader poll today asks: When you’re angry with a team member, how do you approach it? I cool off and don’t show any emotion when I speak with them. 45% I wait a bit to talk to them but show them some of my anger. 51% I pause first but let them see a lot of my anger. 3% I unload my anger toward them immediately so they can see it. 1% Pause and compose. The vast majority of you (96%) pause for some period of time before confronting a colleague who has made you mad. Cooler heads can have more rational discussions. The groups seems evenly split, though, on whether to show some of the anger when the conversation does happen. The pro of showing that anger is the person really gets a sense for how much they’ve upset you, but the con is it could inflame the situation. Conversely, not showing your anger and simply expressing concerns could cause them to misread how much their actions upset you, which might lead to repeat behavior. In any case, deliberately choose which approach you’ll take (whether or not to show some anger) and have a deliberate reason for doing so. Also, have a contingent strategy if your choice goes wrong. If you’re showing anger and it makes things worse, hit pause and cool off. If they seem to be ignoring your concern, perhaps let some of the anger show. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog […]
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Self-control is not a born trait, it is learned and developed and can be a difference maker as a leader. Today’s post is by Jill Ratliff, author of Leadership Through Trust & Collaboration (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Do you think you have good self-control? Most of us think we do—but often suddenly find we don’t. Yet self-control is one of the most important skills a leader can develop to engender trust and support collaboration. Nothing fractures trust and discourages open collaboration like the fear of an uncontrolled negative reaction in times of stress. Team members who fear their leader’s response to stress or errors are not likely to think and act creatively, and innovatively. And make no mistake: self-control is a skill, not a character trait. You aren’t born with self-control; you have to learn it and practice it. Self-control is your ability to manage your response to any situation. It’s the ability to be confronted with a situation, however stressful, dire, or even infuriating, and choose not to respond with anger or frustration, but rather with an even temper, kindness, and compassion. It’s the ability to remain conscious of your own emotions even under difficult circumstances, when an employee makes a serious mistake or doesn’t live up to your expectations, or when business takes an unexpected turn that requires decisive action. In the real world, we can’t change anybody else, all we can change is our reactions. Look closely at the word “responsibility” and you’ll see it breaks down to our ability to respond. Learning to control our responses to be productive rather than reactive helps build strong teams and, as a result, successful outcomes. Self-control is a habit we can develop over time. How can you develop better self-control? Here are a few tips and practices to help.
https://i2.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/20201005-Stopwatch.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Ryan Shawhttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngRyan Shaw2020-10-05 08:30:472020-09-20 19:45:41Self-Control: A Crucial Skill for Good Leadership
Sales are the lifeblood of any company. No sales, no company. The good news is there’s an incredibly simple technique that you can do right now to help boost your numbers. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS. Strap yourself in. You’re about to have your mind blown. Ever since grade school when I sold anything that wasn’t nailed down, I’ve been drawn to sales. It started with pencils I painted with custom designs and people’s names on them. I then graduated to selling comic books. Then I sold table space at comic book conventions I put on myself (at age 14). Over the years I’ve migrated to other sales roles and, in the day to day running of thoughtLEADERS, I’m the head of sales. I won’t lie – sales can be a grind especially when facing competitive situations or making big ticket complex sales. Long lead times, budget constraints, and prospects who are tough to get a hold of make selling efforts difficult. But I’ve found a secret. I’ve found a way to get in touch with clients and prospects and engage them in a sales conversation 100% of the time. Not only that, they’re excited to talk to me about it and they’re usually ready to buy by the time we finish talking. I’ve been astonished with how effective this technique is and it’s beyond simple. I’m going to share it with you now and it will change your life.
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Finding your core values isn’t just good for guiding your life, its good for guiding your career too. Today’s post is by Tracy Timm, author of Unstoppable (CLICK HERE to get your copy). When it comes to making career decisions, we’ve all been to “the dark side.” Endless pro-con lists. Sleepless nights. Emotional rollercoasters. Circular conversations. Worrying if this is our “one shot” while simultaneously wondering if we’re settling or worth more. Trying to balance the shiny components of the offer, maintain a level head, remember to negotiate, and keep every other generic piece of career advice front of mind. Cue confusion, anxiety, doubt, and fear. But what if there was a way to ensure that every decision you made in your career was in your best, long-term interest? What if you could wade through the emotions and momentary elation and get down to brass tacks: Will this work for me or is this just another distraction? In the moment, it can be so difficult to separate what really matters from how we are currently feeling. After all, no matter if we’re being offered the CEO role or a part-time consulting position, there are so many emotions at play. It’s human nature to feel compelled to pursue something that we’re offered. Even if the offer is coming from left field (hello, Mr. CMO, would you like to design a logo for me?) there’s something about an opportunity showing up on your doorstep that begs the question: Am I supposed to take this?
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I can guarantee you’ll face a major moral/ethical dilemma situation at least once in your career. Even if you make the right decision, you’re still at risk for bad things happening. Here are some tips on navigating those sticky situations. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS. When I was a cadet at West Point, we learned the Cadet Prayer. We didn’t learn it as part of some religious education but rather because there were points in it about ethics. The one line that stood out for all of us was “Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.” Sounds awesome in theory, much tougher in practice. There have been times I’ve lived up to that and others I’ve fallen miserably short. I’ve had friends, colleagues, and clients have similar experiences. While it sucks to choose the easier wrong and deal with the consequences later, it’s even worse to choose the harder right and still get screwed over when bad things happen to you as a result. I’d like to offer some thoughts on how you can protect yourself when you’re choosing to follow the moral high road. It’s a funny thing – when you’re walking up on the high road, you make yourself a nice, big, target silhouetted against the skyline. In situations where you’re doing the right thing, someone else is probably doing the wrong thing. Those are the folks who will try to take that shot at you while you stroll along the high road. If you don’t protect yourself, you’re going to find bad things happen to you. Sometimes those people taking the shot will walk away from the situation unscathed. Now that is a bad outcome. Here’s how to avoid it. Be Right If you’re going to make […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/20200923-Man-against-skyline.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2020-09-23 06:30:242020-09-01 09:56:49Protecting Yourself When You Make a Tough Call