Archive for August, 2012

There is a poster hanging in my office of  a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh and it’s a profile of the left side of his head. How strange since the documentation says that he had cut off his left ear, but his right ear was bandaged in his paintings. I guess that we’ll never know and that’s OK.

The idea for this column and headline was generated while looking through comic images for me to use in this month’s print newsletter.  The comic below hits the nail on the head when it comes to the importance of really truly listening. My husband, Phil, compares our firm at times to being an IT or computer doctor and that we have to ask a lot of questions and listen (with both ears) to what the client or prospect are saying. If we were to come into a situation with a canned solution or prescription in mind, before hearing what the business owner says about their pain we would miss out on something really important. Phil’s oft-used phrase is “Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.”

How would you rate yourself as an Intentional and Purposeful Listener where you are truly present? You aren’t thinking of what you want to say next or wondering how long the meeting will take so you can get on to something else. This might be the perfect time to assess or reassess your ability to be a good listener.

Being a good listener will help you connect better with others and make you more successful. As we wrote in a recent column in our print newsletter, we heard from our new friend Mike that connecting with people will make you successful. I believe that listening is a critical component that will help you connect with others.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

By listening intently, you will know what key questions to ask of the other person. Our newest contributor of content for this newsletter, Andrea Woolf, told me to watch out when asking “Why” because the other person may get defensive and think of you as a “critical parent.” I know this is true when dealing with my family in that the “Why” comes out as critical; so I am learning to rephrase my questions. On the other hand, the top sales trainers including those trained in the Sandler method will tell you that “Why” is one of the most important words to use for questioning your prospect and it helps you get to the deeper issues or the root of the pain. Conversely, the sales trainers will tell you to shut up and listen and listen some more.

 Moral of this story: Clean out the ear wax and listen!

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Everyone has experienced a moment when they wish you can un-send a message with a typo, wrong or left out information, or an accidently sent draft.

Microsoft Outlook has a feature called “Message Recall” that is built-in for such mistakes, but not many users are aware of it. If you’ve sent something in error, you can go to your Sent Items folder in the left-hand navigation pane. Open the message you wish to recall, then go to the Action drop menu and select Recall this Message.

You will then be given an option to delete the sent message or replace it with a new message.

The Windows version of Outlook is the only one that contains this feature. Unfortunately, Mac users are out of luck.

However, the Message Recall feature has some limitations.

First, both the sender and the recipient of the message must be using Microsoft Exchange as an email server. It won’t work with Gmail, Yahoo, or any POP3-based email.

Second, the message cannot be recalled is the recipient has already read the message.

Third (and this is very important to keep in mind), the recipient still has the option to read the original message. You can’t magically erase that nasty email you sent to your superior in a fit of frustration because you’re having second thoughts. Your boss’s inbox will contain a message from the Exchange server telling them that a message sent from you has been recalled. Your boss might ignore it, but s/he may read it if s/he so chooses.

Another tip: to avoid accidentally sending an email prematurely, leave the “To:” field blank until you’ve finished writing the message.

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Back in the mid 1980s I was in an international MBA program at a small school in beautiful Monterey, California. What’s not to like about going to school there?! Well, one of my marketing professors told us about David Ogilvy and his innovating advertising agency. Somewhere on my bookshelves I may still have the famous “Ogilvy on Advertising” primer. Our world has changed significantly since the birth of the 4 Ps in the 1960s.

Curious as to how the world of marketing and business has changed? Click here to read the article on how the 4 P’s transformed and evolved into the 4 E’s.

One of the services that my CMIT Solutions of Denver firm touts is that we are a resource for our clients. More importantly, we serve as a resource for all things related to technology and business in general. Hope that you take away a golden nugget or two from this post.

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Flash This!

First, there was a Flash of Light. Then, appeared the superhero character of The Flash. Probably sometime soon after the comicbook hero the Camera Flash arrived on the scene. Do you remember the flash cube for your camera back in the 1960’s? Then, there was the Flash Drive (aka jump drive or USB memory stick).

Now, thanks to the internet and a lot of creativity and ingenuity, there is the Flash Mob. You find them on YouTube and the ones that I have enjoyed to date have all been musically oriented. The first Flash Mob video that came to my attention was one from 3 years ago and it took place in Belgium

Here for your enjoyment and to put a smile on your face is the Flash Mob production of “Do Re Mi”  (my all time favorite movie and musical). It’s one of my Favorite Things!

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