The way they process information or an intelligence issue?

You’re intelligent why do you not understand my instructions?

way they process information

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It never fails that the most frustrating thing in leadership, marriage and parenting is the fact most of the time there seems to be a breakdown in the communication between people. The first reaction is usually that it’s the other person’s problem in the way they listen and follow through, but the truth is it’s your fault for not communicating the way they process information. The meshing of varying types of personalities is usually best within marriages, families and organizations, but where things break down is in the way they process information. Each personality receives and processes information differently. Some are more detail oriented, some only need a snippet overview, and others need the why or background information to process the needs of what or how something needs to be done. The best way to start to lead better in your communication is to first understand the various ways which they process information but most of all to first understand your own personal traits or personality concerning information processing.

Understanding the way they process information

I just recently listened to an interview of Chris LoCurto by Erik Fisher on his podcast entitled “personality styles communicating between different personalities”. In this interview Chris makes the point that when we give others information based on the way we would want to receive it we cause them to fail. He also makes the point that if your team doesn’t know how to communicate with one another the way they process information then the team as a whole is only half as productive as you are paying them for. He talked about using a personality profile test to learn how you process information called the DISK PROFILE.  The more we can understand how and individual receives information we can then tailor the way in which we give tasks or other information.

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The four tools content creators need in their tool box

The four tools content creators need in their tool box

tools content creators need to have

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What every content creator needs to stay prepared to create is:

  • Sources of ideas: Now this will be different for everyone. For some it will be a large group of active Twitter accounts you follow, for others it may be trade publications and websites, for even others it may be a variety of podcasts or radio hosts you listen too. The real rule about this tool is that there is no wrong one, Henry Ford came up with the idea of an assembly line by touring a meat processing plant or slaughterhouse in the Midwest. Do not limit your idea sources to just those related to your niche.
  • Starter notes: A starter note is a subject, title or snippet of an idea you store in some capture system like Evernote that can serve as a catalyst to build out your idea when it is time to create that blog post, article, or podcast
  • Photo ready file: A Photo ready file is simply a file of photos you’ve taken or acquired with permissions that are ready to use in your posts, Pinterest info graphic, or blogs. They should be creative in nature and subject and be relatable to the types of content you currently or wish to later create. Really try to see your written work in terms of photos while you’re out and generate a good supply of ready photos. When you need a photo of a giant gear, a cute kitten, or detour sign you may not be able to find one quickly so start your own stock pile.
  • Quality text editor: A quality text editor can be different products to different content creators. For example Microsoft
    word
    may work for some but be too bloated for others, Drafts is simplistic and perfect for some but will not cover the needs of some others. You get the point, find the editor that best fits your needs without extras that are not needed but will still satisfy the formatting issues that may arise in your specific genre.

These are four tools content creators need in their tool box. Are there others you would like to share? If so please continue the conversation within the comments.

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Two ways you can market your business to customers

Two ways you can market your business to customers.

Tim Thompson Shares projects

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When a new or younger business comes into an area or even into existing arena there are two ways you can market your business to customers of existing businesses to them. Two ways, but really only one effective way to yield long term results. Let’s for the purpose of this exercise call these methods the high road and the low road, yep bet you can guess which is going to be the better of the two. So let’s define and explore them further.

The low road approach: In this method the new business will enter the arena or geographical area like a steamroller and try to bully and push the existing competition out of the way. Businesses using this approach tell customers and potential costumers that the existing businesses are inept, out of touch with modern techniques, dinosaurs of a bygone era. They will lie about these existing businesses saying things like, they don’t follow up after they get paid, they are old and slow thus more expensive, and worst of all they will never be able to understand your needs because they are not up to date on modern ways of doing things. Now I’ll be honest with you they will have a modicum of success with these tactics but I will assure you only temporarily and only with a portion of the potential customers. Long time customers know the history and tract record and even more so know their own perceived experiences over time with these businesses.

What the business using these tactics fails to understand is that these competitors are in the space and have remained in the space over the decades because of relationships with prior customers. This point is very important and will become even more evident as we explore the second method.

The High road approach:  We I am sure it will come as no surprise that this approach will lend itself to not only a successful entry into a market space but also insure a long and prosperous stay in that space. With this approach the new business recognizes the longevity of the established business within the space and chooses to respect and honor them when talking to customers and potential clients. They will oft times reach out to these established businesses as potential mentors in the space and not so much as a direct threat to their existence. Businesses taking this approach will go out of their way to let the customer know that they in the space and available, explain some unique talents or methods they incorporate, all while never running down the established businesses within the space.

I’m sure you are already seeing the benefit of the high road over the low as a policy for a start up but allow me to share a real life example of a business doing this right.

Just this week our heating system decided to discontinue its normal function of heating our house, IE; it broke. I reached out to a man that graduated high school a year ahead of myself who has been in this type of business for quite some time but is in the process of expanding and rebranding his business and website. I am not sure of the exact details but I think he had a partner in a previous venture within the same space as well as other industry experience but now it is him and his wife. Anyway, he came out to fix my system while I was at work; my dad came over and gave him access to the house on my behalf. Well here is where this story relates to the topic, during their conversation my dad was telling him how he had to have a whole new system installed last year and so did his mother in law earlier this year. Ken the owner of this service business at this point had two directions he could have taken the conversation, the low road or the high road, he chose the high road. He asked who had done the work; once my dad told him the business’ name Ken told my father how much he considered the owner of that business to be a mentor and great man in the industry and community as well as just how lucky my father was he did the work. Now I know this sounds counter intuitive when you’re talking up a potential future customer but let me finish the story. Over the course of the time Ken was working he was explaining things he does in the field and some of the new requirements he sees along with a ton of helpful tips to my dad as a homeowner who is using his type of product. All the while he bragged on the reputation and skills of this other business owner. Now there was no way Ken knew the long history my father had with this other business nor the amount of times he had referred that business to his friends and peers. You see if Ken had chosen to rundown this other business he would have effectively shutdown the conversation cold. However by the way he handled himself in respect of that competitor he truly impressed my father so much to the point he was quoting some of the tips and information Ken was sharing while he told me how things had gone in my absence. Now my father will most likely remain a loyal customer of his man but I feel very comfortable in saying if that business closes or is unable to meet a need he has, Kenmar Komfort will be top of mind and the first call. In addition I feel very comfortable knowing my father that he will retell that experience multiple times over within the next year or two and there by become a walking advertisement for the character and quality Ken brings to his business.

The best business lessons usually are learned and experienced by example and for me and my father that was the case doing business with Ken & Marie Littleton and Kenmar Komfort.

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Friday’s Featured Five

Friday’s Featured Five

Friday's featured five

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Friday’s Featured Five / Interview Podcasts

 

* The Work Talk Show with DJ Waldo and Nick Westergaard . I enjoy this one with their late night show style of back and forth conversations. Their about me page says this about the podcast: “The Work Talk Show is a weekly podcast featuring a talk show format along with crazy smart guests who operate outside the lines of what work has traditionally looked like. Join us for irreverent and insightful conversations on work habits, work-shifting, virtual teams, productivity, travel, tools, technology, work-life balance, and everything in between as we take a look at how work gets done today.

* The Eventual millionaire with Jaime Tardy Jaime uses interviews with real life millionaires to gain insight into the thinking and habits it takes to get that level. She is a business coach and speaker. Her site says the following about the podcast: If you want to learn from millionaires themselves, you are in the right place. I want to show you that millionaires are just people. They have had different experiences in their lives and business, but they are like you. They fail. They experience fear. But they move past it and do things anyway. Each week I bring to you a new millionaire to learn from, providing you with their best tactics and advice for growing your business.”

* Preneurcast with Pete Williams and Dom Goucher The pair use their business experiences as well as those of their interviewees to discuss best business practices in regard to marketing. Their site describes Preneurcast as: “noun
1. The act of thinking strategically and implementing leveraged marketing activities.
2. Primarily; a form of direct response marketing see also: 7 Levers of Business”

 

* The Shark Tank Podcast with TJ Hale Ok Guys if you’re a fan of the TV show Shark Tank then this one is for you! TJ interviews past participants from the show as well as other entrepreneurs to gain amazing business insight about valuation, marketing, etc. The site gives the following statement: “I believe that entrepreneurs solve problems.  I believe they are the catalysts of actual progress (not the kind you hear politicians speaking about to curry favor with the masses) and I believe they are the engine that improves our civilization…one idea, product, or company at a time. We live in a time when there is an awakening to the fact that we are all entrepreneurs at the core.  All of us have an innate ability to create, to improve people’s lives, to make a difference.   How do we do this?  By applying ourselves every day.”

* Starve the Doubts with Jared Easley Jared uses his interviews with an amazing list of interviewees to help show you how they have starved their doubts to overcome self doubt and accomplish amazing things and helps give you insights into how you too can do the same with real life take a way’s!

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How to have enough time in a day

How to have enough time in a day

How to have enough time in a day

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There are not enough hours in a day was a resent status update of someone in my newsfeed on Facebook. Truth is we get the same amount of time each day we are alive as everyone else; 24 hours or 1440 minutes. It is in how we prioritize and use them that differ; thereby making the final result of what we get accomplished to differentiate from individual to individual. Yes as simple of a thought as it is, we have to be purposeful with our use of time right down to the seconds, all 86,400 of them in a day.

So then how do we ensure we “have enough time in a day”?

Ok so if the playing field is level and we all have the same quantity of time in a day, how then can we make the best use of this time to have enough time in a day from a quality standpoint? I came up with the following list, this list in no ways encompasses all the ways to ensure enough time in a day but I feel they give a good basis to start understanding where your time is spent and what results that will yield for you.

  • Journal the use of your time throughout the day for the purpose of identifying recurring themes in how and what your time is used on. A great resource for this is The Journal by Rhobota a $.99 app for your IPhone and IPad that easily syncs with the cloud and Evernote .
  • Integrate Reminders and Calendar events online to sync across your phone, tablet, and computers to allow you control over the how your time is being spent.
  • Don’t allow Email, phone calls, texts, or other requests to steal the focus away from your prioritized goals for your day. Learn to say no and not now. Start a list of these requests to track where they are originating from and also to allow you to work them into your goals and agenda on your terms.
  • Ask this simple question about anything you do throughout the day “Is this task moving me toward my goals and purposes I’ve predefined for my day?” If the answer is no then edit it and forget it for today. This applies to everything; phone calls, texts, social media, TV, etc.
  • If you don’t take responsibility for how your time will be spent others will do it for you! Be conscious with every decision you make and take control of your time and how it is spent.

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Friday’s featured five network building

Friday’s featured five

Friday's featured five

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 Friday’s featured five Network building

We all need a strong group around us; a network of friends, persons of contact or influence. As such we have to be proactive in the retention of these individuals. The best way to accomplish this is to be engaged with them. Here are the friday’s featured five network building  idea builders to start you on this path.

Friday’s featured five Network building idea list:

  • Stay connected – We have an amazing resource now in the electronic calendars that sync between our computers and phones. Enter important dates about a contact such as birthdays, anniversaries, children’s birthdays, etc. and make an effort as those events roll around to reach out to them either by phone, email, text, or in person. Remembering someone is an amazing way to show interest in the person.
  • Scheduled spontaneity – Make an effort to schedule via calendar or reminders predetermined intervals to reach out with a text, email or phone call. Just be genuinely interested in staying up to date with the person, reading their Facebook status updates is not connecting.
  • Make introductions – Within your circle of influence make introductions between these people. The easiest way to ensure you’re connected to someone is to increase the number of your other friends that are also connected with that person.
  • Share resources – Ok this is where that Facebook, Google +, or Twitter account comes into play. As someone shows an interest in or a question about a subject within these platforms, make it your mission to seek out articles, blog posts, and any other valuable resources and share them with that person. Knowing what a person’s needs and interests are and being willing to help with those is the greatest way to create value to them and become deeper connected.
  • Listen – Be interested not interesting, sometimes we get so caught up in trying to be interesting to others we forget to just be interested in what that other person needs, wants or finds interesting.

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Why to be a purposeful friend by nurturing our relationships

Why to be a purposeful friend by nurturing our relationships

purposeful friend by nurturing our relationships

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Regret from lost connections over time

I was recently caught off guard, concerning news about an early mentor and friend. He taught many leadership lessons to me but they are not relevant to this article so I’ll expound upon them at a later date. We worked together, first with me working under him then later as equals in rank within the same company, about twenty five years ago. We only were both at this company for about three years together at the same time, however we remained friends and saw one another socially for the next five to ten years with the frequency getting longer between visits each time towards the later of those years. Then as time moved on, family dynamics changed and geographical locations changes for a period of time the visits became almost nonexistent, but when we would see each other we always were able to pick right up as though it had only been a short while between our visits. Well that can no longer happen, I’ll never see him again. It seems that he passed away last Saturday after a battle with cancer. Not only had I not seen him in a while but during his very last days in this world, I had no idea he could use a visit or call from me. Upon hearing the news a flood of things crossed my mind I could never share with him on our next visit; the birth of my son three years ago, the purchase of my current house four years ago, etc. etc. It seemed in my mind like it had not been that long, but when I listed out the events in a timeline that had occurred since our last visit, it was obvious too much time had slipped by and I was to blame for not being a purposeful friend by nurturing our relationships.

Life is short

Life is but a fleeting moment in time. It is each of our own responsibility to be purposeful to nurture the relationships we have formed and to keep connected on a regular basis. I have no doubt if my friend were still alive and we ran into each other, that within a matter a short conversation we would be up to date and talking as though it had only been a few days between our visits. However, although we could have we no longer can. If I would have taken the initiative to stay plugged into his life, who knows how much deeper our friendship could have been. We should never be satisfied with the general catching up with old friends, even if it is a long time friend that it feels possible with. Take the effort to make that phone call, send that letter, or drive that mile out of your way to stay connected with those you’ve invested your friendship with.

Avoid regret

We each have a responsibility to those we call a friend to make sure there are no regrets. No regrets if they pass and no regrets if you die. Leave nothing unsaid and nothing to assumption. Put in the work to be the friend your friend deserves.

How can we apply this information?
  • Set purposeful calendar reminders of important events about your friends life; birthday, anniversary, children’s birthdays, date of their their parents passing, etc. Then use those reminders as a reason to reach out to your friend with a card, call, or visit.
  • Set calendar intervals for yourself to reach out and connect on what otherwise would seem like a random reach out. “Scheduled spontaneity”, alternate between cards, emails, in person visits. If it’s not scheduled, time will pass in greater quantities than you would want it to if you were being a purposeful friend. Obviously the frequency of these will be based upon your wishes for the depth of this particular friendship
  • Make an effort to interconnect your social circles. Make introductions among your friends as you think there might be a fit. The more connected your friends are to each other the better chance you will have to cross paths.
  • Use social media but only to moderation. Do not rely upon seeing your friend’s updates in the news feed on Facebook to be the extent of your connecting with them. In person and on the phone is much more personable vibe.

 

My promise to my friend that just passed and to current friends as well as future friends:

I have learned this lesson and as such do pledge to take an active role in being a purposeful friend by nurturing our relationships from this point forward. I will be attune to my friends when they don’t reach out to me and will double my efforts to be the one doing the purposeful nurturing.

 

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Friday’s featured five

Friday’s featured five / Life hacks

Friday's featured five

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  • Stuffy nose – putting pressure on the roof of your mouth with tongue can help but putting that same pressure with an ice cube to the roof of your mouth can reduce nasal swelling.
  • Fixing a broken out screw hole in wood – Ever had a screw in wood that became too loose or had some amount of the wood busted out around the screw to the point the screw would no longer hold. Well simply fill the hole with wooden tooth picks and break them off flush with face of the wood, insert screw and like magic new wood in the old hole and a tight screw once again.
  • Quick fire starting – Perhaps you have a fireplace, a fire pit or just enjoy a campfire while camping. Great simple fire starter, save up your dryer lint, and your old cardboard egg trays. Fill the egg flats with the dryer lint and melt candle wax over the top to seal in the lint. Doesn’t have to be a large amount of wax just enough to keep lint from falling easily out. Cut the egg flats apart to one egg hole each and use as kindling for your fire
  • Blocking people on IOS7 – New feature you can block unwanted calls and texts from that old sweet heart or just stop annoying callers from getting through. Go to Settings>Messages>Blocked Add new.
  • Oil and grease stain removal – upon spilling oil or grease type food on your clothes immediately rub the area with white chalk. This will stop the stain from setting and make it easy to get out in the wash. You can also use corn starch or baking soda too but the real trick is to have it on hand at all times cause once it’s set in, no amount of chalk will save it.

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What makes you do the things you do?

A look at what causes you to do the things you do.

Are the things you do something that you give thought to the why of the how? For most people habit and tradition plays a larger role in doing the things you do rather than conscious thought and reasoning. There is a story that has been told in books and from pulpits everywhere in many differing forms that illustrates this point. I thought I’d share one version of this story with you and comment on what meaning it has to you as a leader or parent.

do the things you do

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The story of the pot roast:

A newly-wed husband noticed that every time his wife cooked a pot roast she would first cut an inch off either end before putting it in the oven. When he asked why, she said “Because that’s how you are supposed to cook pot roast.” Unsatisfied with her answer he pushed until she admitted that she learned it from her mother.

Waiting until a visit with his wife’s mother, the husband asked “Your daughter tells me you taught her to cook pot roast by first cutting an inch off each end?” to which the mother replied “Well of course, that’s how pot roast is cooked.” But the husband was not to be deterred. After pressing his mother-in-law on the subject she finally admitted that she’d learned if from *her* mother.

This meant the husband had to ask the wife’s grandmother. When he finally got his chance he asked: “Your granddaughter’s mother told me you taught her to cut an inch off each end of a pot roast before cooking. She swore it was a requirement, but I’m dying to know why? Is there any sane reason to throw away two inches of perfectly good meat in order to cook a pot roast?!?”

Laughing, the grandmother said “Oh, heaven’s no! You see in those days we were very poor and didn’t own much cookware. I cut the ends off the pot roast so it would fit in my only pan!”

 

Before we blindly accept something as being the right or only way to do something you should first question the why behind the methodology. You may find as you consciously practice this method of questioning that many of the things you do and most certainly lots of the ways in which you do things have no more reasoning behind them other than blind tradition and assumption. Tradition has its place, but make sure you are clear on the why behind the tradition or you just might be wasting parts of your resources due to an outdated limited view of life based upon someone else’s past reality.

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Friday’s Featured Five

Friday’s Featured Five / Homeowner tips

Friday's featured five

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It’s now fall in the Eastern United States and as a homeowner there are things to consider that need to be done and things that need to be done differently as the seasons change. The following is a featured five list but is by no means all the things you should be considering, take this list as a catalyst to begin to think of the things you need to take care of as fall moves in.

  • Dust control – This is a year round issue but as the farmers combine harvest their corn fields and the leaves turn and fall off there is much more air borne dust, debris and allergens. Areas to focus on are regular changing of air system filters, use of standalone air purifiers, and a complete cleaning of ceiling fans.
  • Pest control – As the temperatures at night begin to fall and fields are harvested rodents will be looking entryways into your home. Inspect pipes under sinks and washers to insure there is no exposed opening; it only takes a slight opening for the average field mouse to squeeze into. Best deterrent is to fill any openings with steel wool; it deters chewing and is uncomfortable to push against. Also check weather stripping around doors and windows.
  • Smoke detectors – A good rule is to replace the batteries at each time change. If your current ones are smoke only you might want to consider converting to the combination smoke and carbon monoxide.
  •  Falling leaves – remember in addition to raking and burning or disposing of leaves you should also remember to clear out gutters from debris. Also check the area of the water down spout to insure it is free of blockage and able to drain freely
  • Humidity levels – As we transition from AC useage to heat useage we need to concider the change in the humidity in the air within the house. Think about using a large room humidifier to reintroduce moister back into the air we are breathing.

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