NAILBA Perspectives - July/August 2015 - (Page 32)

reading ahead Can Negativity Produce Productivity? What have you recently read that inspired you to look differently at the way you're doing business? NAILBA welcomes your recommendations for books or blogs that you find helpful in shaping the way you do business. Contact Rachel Marineau, NAILBA's Manager of Meetings and Education, at 703.383.3069 or and share your reading list. 32 perspectives JULY/AUGUST 2015 The Discomfort Zone Marcia Reynolds Difficult conversations can be... well, difficult. But they don't have to be. In her book The Discomfort Zone, Marcia Reynolds unlocks the door to uncomfortable discussions and teaches us how to navigate them successfully. Normally when dealing with an unpleasant topic the tendency is to avoid negative emotions or any conflict. But Reynolds reasons that one of the best ways to get an individual to think more objectively about a solution to the problem is to get the other person to face reality and deal with negative feelings. When negative emotions enter the equation, they can actually force us to confront reality and break down the biases in our own thinking and solve the problem from a different perspective: this is the discomfort zone. That's not to say this is always the only or best way, but it disrupts the thinking patterns enough to generate a much needed "a-ha!" moment. To get to that critical place however, you have to listen. But you must listen with more than what your ears are hearing. You need to use your heart and your gut. Your ears tell you the main story, but your heart can help read between the lines and reveal if someone is perhaps overwhelmed or shocked; the heart gets to the feelings of the individual. Your gut can help decipher where the other party's emotions are coming from; are they nervous about making a decision? By using the information gathered by listening through these three filters, you can create a discomfort zone conversation and help the person deal directly. Yes, this will make the other person uncomfortable but it allows them to deal with what they're feeling and think about what's motivating their actions. But before you get the other person to open up, you have to establish an atmosphere of trust. Take the person aside, relax your body, and remove any worries or pre-conceived thoughts of your own, and make them your sole focus. Help set the mood by opening with some statements that let them know you understand and can relate to the matter at hand. Otherwise, launching into criticism will put them on the defensive and shut down any hope of having a constructive conversation. Reynolds offers five steps to the discomfort zone technique represented by the acronym, DREAM. Readers of The Discomfort Zone will learn how to further perfect their conversational skills when dealing with difficult discussions. For anyone in management who's had to navigate tough conversations, this read is a must. The ONE Thing Gary Keller and Jay Papasan The 80/20 rule is somewhat common knowledge in business. Eighty percent of your results are delivered by twenty percent of your inputs. Not all tasks are of equal importance. So in order to increase your efficiency, you have to prioritize your tasks to focus on those that deliver the most important results. In their book The ONE Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan suggest that in order to get yourself in the right frame of mind you need to ask yourself what they call the "focusing question." It's the only question you need to ask yourself in order to be more productive: "What's the ONE thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?" This one question can even be broken down into two different levels: 1. Focus on the big picture. What's the one thing you want to have achieved in life? What's the one legacy you want to leave behind at your job? Or your next career goal? 2. What's the first thing you can do to set that in motion? Keep the focus small and prioritize your immediate options starting with whatever will be the most effective task. The first focus question helps give the right direction while the second helps provide the right action. And as you work toward that goal, asking yourself the focusing question at the beginning of each day will help you to become more successful and productive. Focus on that one task you identified and once the small focus task is done, do the next, and then the next, and so on. Whatever you do, refrain from multi-tasking because you cannot effectively focus on two tasks at the same time. Pick one task and give it your undivided attention. Kellar and Papasan provide many other great insights into accomplishing that "ONE thing" such as developing good discipline and routine habits and understanding your own limits as it pertains to will power. For those who are looking to set a new goal or simply need to focus on an end result that seems to elude them, this book has terrific insights to get you to your destination.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NAILBA Perspectives - July/August 2015

NAILBA Perspectives - July/August 2015
Chairman’s Corner
CEO Insights
What is the Future of Straight Through Processing?
NAILBA Charitable Foundation
Member Profiles
Mooers Award Nominations
Agency Successor Networking Group
Life Happens
NAILBA 34 Program Preview
Reading Ahead
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers

NAILBA Perspectives - July/August 2015