Understanding how you think is important. It is just as important as taking time out of the daily whirlwind to really think. Uninterrupted thinking time is one of the most essential ingredients for a more creative, productive, and satisfying life. (We like to think so, at least! Pun, semi-intended.)
Everything in the world around us has changed. But have you? Has your team?
Here’s the challenge: Change requires a different mindset, but the brain loves routine. It naturally seeks and organizes around patterns and mental maps you’ve developed in your thinking throughout the course of your life. Sometimes these maps are helpful; sometimes they’re not. Most change requires that we challenge our mental maps and form new connections in the brain—and this takes energy and motivation.
Not only that, isolated facts have little effect on mindsets. This probably isn’t news to you if you’ve ever read comments on social media or argued with someone over a heated topic. If the fact doesn’t fit the current mindset, it gets rejected instantly.
What is it about our brains that resists change so tenaciously? Why do we fight, even what we know to be in our interests?
You’re facing the blank page. Or the tough choice. Or the constant flow of distractions and the endless to-do list. What now?
There are always going to be times when you’re feeling stuck, not sure where to go next, what to focus on or how to get back in gear. While it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the most valuable things you can do to get moving again in these situations is to stop and think.
When the team needs some creative ideas or innovative solutions, who’s the go-to?
Maybe it’s you. Or maybe it’s definitely not you.
When you think about the “creatives” that you know, your mind probably instantly goes to certain people. We all have some preconceived notions about what it takes to be creative and innovative, as well as who should be involved in the process. We pretty much know who’s got it and who doesn’t.
Sometimes these “things we know” don’t really tell the full story.
In their new book Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility, Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams and Lynne Cowart point out that advancing your career doesn’t necessarily mean you have to climb the proverbial corporate ladder. That might be your journey, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s up to you.
“In place of a ladder of promotions,” they advise, “think of [your] career as a rich, flexible mix of experiences.” From this point of view, you could even embark on a fulfilling journey of growth and new opportunities without ever leaving your current job.
This isn’t just inspirational advice; in a world where fixed, linear career paths and stable, predictable job markets are a thing of the past, it’s both practical and realistic to think this way. Technology and the “gig economy” have also dramatically changed not only how work gets done but where you do it, who you might collaborate with and what you can feasibly do. You might have a more traditional job as well as a side gig. Or you might work a series of gigs, requiring more flexibility and personal control.
At Herrmann we talk about learning as a mental process that leads to lasting change in knowledge, behavior or both. A key word to notice in that sentence is process. It’s not an outcome; it’s the action. It’s what you have to keep doing to keep growing.
Now that doesn’t necessarily mean dropping everything and taking a six-week course or attending a formal lecture. It could. But it could also mean taking advantage of the everyday opportunities you have to pick up a new insight, expand your horizons or stretch your thinking in different directions.
The other day, a friend shared with me this nightly after-dinner routine at her house: She and her husband clear the table. She loads the dishwasher. She leaves the kitchen. He stays behind and rearranges all the dishes in the dishwasher.
“He always complains about how I load it,” she told me. “He says I don’t use the space efficiently enough. So we just have to run it more often! I’d rather do that than spend all day trying to organize every dish in there just so.”
I’m not going to weigh in on who’s loading the dishwasher correctly, but I do get where he’s coming from. There’s nothing more annoying than watching someone tackle a task when you know there’s a better way. No matter what you say or do, they won’t listen to reason, even though your way is the more precise way. Or the more efficient way...or thoughtful...or creative...
You know, the right way.
Sometimes, it feels like we spend a lot of energy trying to make sense of each other and the world around us. Whether we’re navigating the dishwasher protocols of our significant others, delegating a task to a direct report at work, or trying to find our way to the solution to a nagging business challenge, one thing is clear: Other people don’t always do things the way we would do them. And that can be pretty irritating.
The question is, why do people approach tasks, problems, decisions, ideas, and, yes, even the dishwasher, in completely different ways? Why do we all take different routes to the same destination?
Since March 13-19 is Brain Awareness Week (BAW), we thought it was the perfect time to compile a few of our favorite thinking-related tips and “brain hacks”—some “collected intelligence,” so to speak. And since we’re celebrating our 35th anniversary this year, we had a nice number to shoot for as we put together our list.
Start celebrating Brain Awareness Week with the 7 tips below, and then be sure to download the full list (at the end of this post) of 35 tips and ideas shared by our global network of HBDI® Practitioners and colleagues.
This guest post is by Andy Palmer of Making Business Matter (MBM). MBM is a training provider to companies that supply the big 4 UK supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. Andy is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner.
The UK grocery industry is tough. Companies are made and broken each day by the deals that are won and lost with the buyers. But our clients have discovered a key strategy for achieving a win-win: knowing their thinking preferences and understanding the thinking preferences of those they’re negotiating with.
A Whole Brain® approach to negotiation can be extremely useful in helping you get the deal that you want. Follow these 9 Whole Brain® Negotiation Tips to build your confidence, become a more effective negotiator and win more frequently.
The right podcast can turn an annoying commute or another trip around the treadmill into something you eagerly look forward to.
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than tuning out to a little mindless entertainment. But you can also find plenty of of practical, inspiring and thought-provoking content to stimulate your mind and broaden your horizons. And that got us thinking...why not choose a few podcasts that can help us stretch our thinking and develop new learning habits?