Monthly Archives: June 2007

The Rules of the Game #1 – Introductions

Years ago I worked in a financial services organisation where it seemed that everyone but the CEO and me knew the rules of the introduction game. Thanks to Paul and some friendly Business Development Managers, I’ve learned the rules and in recent work with an organisation, we developed a model for Introductions, because surprisingly, I’m not the only one who missed out on this learning.

Rules of the Introduction Game:

1. Be prepared to Make the first Move

2. Ask Curiosity Questions

3. Listen for what is Important

4. Move on Graciously

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Prediction and Behaviour Change

I’ve been reading an INSEAD Knowledge Newsletter article about some recent marketing research, investigating people’s predictions compared to their behaviours and it seems to be pointing in the following direction (the research is not yet completed):

If you ask people to predict how much they will do of a norm based behaviour (eg exercise, where there is a suggested standard like 3 x 20 minutes per week) and they are doing less than the norm, it will encourage them to do more.

If they are doing more than the norm, it will encourage them to do less.

If you ask people to predict un-normed behaviour, like going shopping, it will encourage them to do more.

This research project has interesting implications in various areas of interest.

1. Triathlon training over winter: If I start predicting how many times I will exercise this week, it may help to get me out the door, when the rain and cold are encouraging me to hibernate.

2. Management coaching: If we ask our employees to predict how often they will be able to demonstrate new behaviours, we may find they do more of them.

3. Minimising Global Warming: before norms develop to standardise how we should minimise global warming, we can start to self predict whether we will recycle, use less water (eg have shorter showers), turn off the lights this week, buy an energy-efficient car in the next year etc.

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Perfectionism and Goal Achieving

I seem to have a theme going here – the balance between good enough to “produce” and always aiming higher, but not aiming first for perfection, otherwise we will never get started.

I’ve been reviewing Stephanie Burns’ Goal Achievers program and am enjoying some of the insights, such as:

Time passes, whether you act or not.

You don’t have to like it in order to do it (for the sake of achieving other goals).

The human mind seems wired to avoid pain, so don’t think about how bad it might feel – think about now, or think about the future when it’s done.

There is no relief until the task is done, avoidance still feels bad.

And my favourite for the moment: You can’t achieve anything substantial if you have a limit of two week’s emotional focus.

See my other comments and Ken McCarthy’s blog, which was the impetus to get into action – thanks Ken.