Thursday, July 31, 2014

Quick Tip - Calendar Invite Courtesies

While not everyone uses calendar invites, if you do please consider the following for a courteous approach:

1) Confirm with someone your plans before sending the invite, in other words, please do not send an invite as your only form of emailing regarding a meeting.  When calendar invites just show up for me, I find that odd, and typically that time is booked, and now I have a "to do" to follow up with the inviting party.

2) Name the invitation something other than "Meeting with Debbie".  If I accept this and it goes on my calendar, it looks like I am meeting with myself.  Additionally, give a clue to the topic in the invitation title.  Instead, consider something like "Sue and Debbie Meeting Re: Teamwork".

3)  Include an agenda of two to four topics to cover in the notes or messaging portion of the invitation.

The three courtesies will allow for consistency, respect, and positioning prior to the meeting that sets your meeting up for success!  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Think So? Think, So? 4 Ways to Encourage Critical Thinking

"Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another."
-  Napoleon Hill 
American author in the area of the new thought movement who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. He is widely considered to be one of the great writers on success. 
(1882 - 1970)
Critical people are often avoided or disliked.  Critical thinking is rarely discussed, and often appreciated.  Imagine the difference in asking "You" and "You think so?"!

While we may think we want to be around people who think the same, perhaps we'd do well to be around people who think critically.  What is the difference, if you are both thoughtful?  Similar minds may get different results even though you are compatible if you encourage, use and even expect, critical thinking.  Planning for same thinking means you likely, and even unknowingly, shut down critical thinking.

Here are four questions (with two options for each) to ask to engage in critical thinking...of yourself and others:

1.   What do you think about XYZ? OR What are your thoughts on XYZ? 
2.   What makes you think that OR How do you know this to be true? 
3.   Will you tell me more? OR What else can you tell me about that? 
4.   What questions do you still have? OR What questions can we explore together? 

When we focus on critical thinking, we are open to ideas and options.  When we focus on criticism, we see what is wrong or closed.  In other words, it's the difference in "You think so?" and "You".  Being a critical thinker allows yourself and others to explore and share thoughts without as much judgement as a right or wrong answer provides.