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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Sales Tweet #152

by Rick Baker
On Feb 15, 2011
Sales Tweet #152 If you have tried your hand and failed…try your head.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
And – don’t forget: No one appreciates constructive criticism as much as the person who is giving it.

Sales Tweet #132

by Rick Baker
On Jan 18, 2011
Sales Tweet #132 "Great geniuses have the shortest biographies." Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
Reading thoughts like this one from the great Emerson remind us:
  • Don’t blow your own horn too loudly or for too long
  • Don’t badmouth other people

How to deal with people when their egos seem to be out of control

by Rick Baker
On Dec 1, 2010
First, spend the time to understand your own ego.
And, as you do that recognize you will tend to see yourself as less egotistic and possessing higher self-esteem than other people. At least, that’s the way most people view themselves, as compared with others.
Next, work to limit your judging of other people.
When you observe what you believe to be excess ego…you may be judging too harshly? Your judgement may be inaccurate? You may be unskilled at judging accurately?
Or, your judgement may be accurate.
Assuming your judgement is accurate – assuming the other person is showing an excess of ego – recognize you are seeing the other person’s reaction to fear. You probably will not be able to guess the fear. And the person with the big ego may not understand the fear that is causing excessive ego.
Recognize – your logic will not remove another person’s ego problem.  Ego is not about logic. Ego is about emotion. And the underlying driver is fear.
Next, analyse the situation.
Situations have a major influence on people’s feelings and actions. The situation includes something that is triggering fear in the high-ego person. To the extent you can alter the situation you may be able to reduce/remove the thing that is triggering the fear.
However; the situational thing that is triggering the person’s fear could be very broad/general. For example, most people show signs of changed behaviour when they are under stress. And, the stressful thing could be as broad as ‘having to go to work...and be around people’.
Does the person have a large ego in all situations?
If so then do what you can to avoid the person…you will not change the person.
If the person only shows ‘large ego’ in certain situations then do what you can to avoid those situations or remove them. If, for example, you are the boss then you can influence the situation. You can influence when, where, and how interactions happen with the person.
Neither feed nor assault the other person’s ego. Be matter-of-fact, not emotional. Make sure your actions align with your personal values…not the other person’s.
Do not criticize or work to outmuscle the other person because that could push things into ‘bully territory’.
Diffuse the situation rather than escalate it.

P=2S+O…and Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

by Rick Baker
On May 6, 2010
I have written about P=2S+O©,..a philosophy and a template to help create good habits for problem solving:
P=2S+O presents ideas about a mindset for problem solving and it provides a simple template, which can be carried in a binder or briefcase…as a daily reminder and a daily tool for problem solving. P=2S+O provides an introduction of How To solve problems.
Many experts have provided education on the topic of problem solving. One of my favourite authors for this topic is Dr Edward de Bono. www.edwdebono.com
Below is an excellent example of the calibre of help Dr de Bono can provide.
Before providing a quick introduction to de Bono’s idea, I want to mention my son, Jack, recently purchased for me an original signed edition of de Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’, (1985).
de Bono suggests we should approach problems from 6 different directions. He suggests we use a mind picture - putting on six thinking hats [like our teachers used to say…except six of them]. Each hat represents a different way of approaching the decision.
A summary of those six de Bono thinking hats…I have copied these directly from pages 31 and 32 of the book:
White Hat    White is neutral and objective. The white hat is concerned with objective facts and figures.
Red Hat   Red suggests anger [seeing red], rage and emotions. The red hat gives the emotional view.
Black Hat   Black is gloomy and negative. The black hat covers the negative aspects - why it cannot be done.
Yellow Hat   Yellow is sunny and positive. The yellow hat is positive and covers hope and positive thinking.
Green Hat   Green is grass, vegetation and abundant, fertile growth. The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas.
Blue Hat   Blue is cool, and it is also the color of the sky, which is above everything else.  The blue hat is concerned with control and the organization of the thinking process. Also the use of the other hats.
There are some interesting consequences of putting on 6 different hats when we make decisions and solve problems. If nothing else, the six-thinking-hat mind exercise allows us to better understand others’ perspectives. And that, on its own, is a rather important skill.
More on Six Thinking Hats later…

To agree or not to agree, that is the question

by Rick Baker
On Feb 25, 2010
Have you ever suspected there is no such thing as constructive criticism?
Here are some words from Professor James Harvey Robinson’s essay 'The Mind In The Making’

We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without
any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we are
wrong we resent the imputation and harden our hearts
William James said,

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
Both of those quotes were used by Dale Carnegie. The William James quote appears in Carnegie’s 1936 classic, ‘How To Win Friends & Influence People’. [The title says it all.]
The key Dale Carnegie message is – Every human being wants to feel important.
Carnegie teaches we should not criticize because it will be received as an attack on the person’s need to feel important. And, that need to feel important is a huge, consuming need.
Some argue that same need is the thing that causes people to criticize. That is, we act like a mirror perceiving in others the faults that actually are our own faults.
Perhaps it is as difficult to refrain from criticizing others as it is to accept criticism from others.
I have a saying…work at having thick skin and a thin skull. To the extent we can thicken our skin we can tolerate criticism. Thick skin allows us to contain in safety our self-image and our self-esteem. It protects ‘our importance’. To the extent we can have a thin skull we can be open-minded. We can, as Stephen Covey recommends, “seek first to understand then to be understood”. A thin skull allows us to be tolerant and to appreciate the differences in people.
Considering all of this, is there no such thing as constructive criticism?
My next blog will be a sample from a series of Sales Lessons, written a few years ago.


Change: Creating Positive Change | Criticism: Constructive Criticism is an Oxymoron

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