Does the name matter?

When you hear or read something, what is more important to you, the message or the messenger?

Pepsi made great strides a number of years ago with their “blind taste tests” to determine which tasted better Pepsi or Coke. The question to think about is do you do “blind tests” on information or do you (and should you) be influenced by the name of the person providing the information?

For those of you who watch “American Idol” do you think some of the big name performers who sell millions of CD’s and fill up large stadiums would go far on a show like that if the judges (and the voters) didn’t know who they were? Would Bruce Springsteen be told he was “too pitchy” and wouldn’t make it as a performer on a cruise ship?

Around 10 years ago I started the website FineSoccer.com. Over the next 8 years it grew to over 1300 pages and I was sending out over 120,000 email newsletters a week with soccer coaching information. At no point did I ever put anything on that web site such as an “About Us” page or any information on my background. I did this intentionally because I wanted people to judge the site on the content and not the author. There were professional coaches subscribed to the newsletters, national team coaches and thousands of coaches of youth. Should they have asked ‘who is this person and why should we believe him” or were they correct in not worrying about the messenger and only worrying about the message?

Have you ever read something, or heard something that didn’t make any sense to you at all but then when you heard who said it, your opinion changed dramatically?

I do believe that people earn respect based on their history and experience but do we give too much respect to some people and therefore believe their message even though it doesn’t make sense simply because of who the messenger is?

When you receive information in the future, do some “blind tests” to determine the message makes sense as opposed to making a judgement solely on the name of the messenger

Have a great day!

Lawrence

The Saturation Point

There is a wonderful book titled “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell (http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/index.html) which discusses how little things can make a big difference. Rather than try to explain the thought behind the book, I would strongly recommend everyone read this book.

While The Tipping Point discusses how change can happen quite quickly and as a result of what might appear to be a small thing, the opposite would be The Saturation Point

We have all experienced the saturation point. It’s when you are told to do the same thing over and over and finally, you get to the point where you end up NOT doing anything because you got so fed up with hearing it.

As children we all experienced the repeated calling by a parent “clean your room, did you clean your room yet?” You hear it so many times that finally you go out of your way to NOT clean your room.

In a work place, people are repeatedly told how important something is to finish yet somehow they forget to do it. Why is that? It’s because they got to the saturation point.

There are soccer coaches who yell all the time during games. In their mind, they are helping the players on the field but in reality, the players are ignoring them (or even worse, are doing the opposite) because they hit the saturation point

There is a fine line between emphasizing the importance of a matter and crossing the saturation point. The person who is about to cross the saturation point should be able to read the non verbal clues of the recipient but unfortunately, most who cross that point, aren’t aware the possibility exists.

Once you have crossed the saturation point, it’s extremely difficult to reverse yourself. Be patient, be aware and be willing to apologize.

If you know anyone who would like to subscribe to this blog, please encourage them to go to http://lawrencefine.com/blog/subscribe/

Have a great day!

Lawrence

ME vs I vs We

When dealing with a group, there are three types of people.

* Me
* I
* We

The “me” person doesn’t care about the group at all. All they care about is “me”. If they are on a soccer team and they score 2 goals and the team loses 3-2, they are alright with that result because they scored their goals so they will get the recognition they believe they so rightly deserve (at least in their mind). If they are part of a business group preparing for a presentation, if they get their part of the presentation done, they are satisfied because they did their job.

The “I” person cares about the group but takes on so much responsibility that it’s too the detriment of the group. This person works long hours trying to finish the entire presentation because they truly believe it’s in the groups best interest for them to do alone. In basketball, while the “me” person is happy scoring 20 points an losing, the “I” person wants to take the last shot of the game, not for the recognition but because they think it’s the best chance for the team (regardless of the possibility someone might be wide open under the basket).

The “we” person realizes that the group can accomplish more working together than any individual can working apart. Using the basketball example, the “we” player might have the ball near the end of the game but he will draw two defenders and then pass the ball to the open teammate for the game winning shot.

The “me” player thinks “it’s all about me”. The “I” player thinks “I will do it for the team” and the “we” player thinks “we can do it together”/

Are you a “me”, “I, or a “we” person?

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Summary

In the last blog post, I wrote about creating an agenda for all gatherings (in person or virtual). This will make these gatherings much more efficient and effective. However, even when there is agenda and the gathering is run in an efficient manner, there still needs to be the second part which is the summary.

Too often, people leave a meeting and while they all heard the same thing, they might be leaving with different understandings. Because of this, it’s extremely important to have a summation following up the meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page.

This would be a simple review of what was discussed and a review of any agreed upon follow up.

By taking this simple step, it avoids confusion, reinforces what was decided and allows for a natural progression into the future.

Take the time to do a summary and see how much smoother things go for you

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Agendas

Whenever a group gets together (whether it’s for a business meeting, conference call, team training etc) there needs to be a plan for what will be accomplished during the allotted time. Without this plan, most of what gets accomplished is the wasting of time.

While many people know there should be an agenda for meetings, that doesn’t mean they take the time to create them.

When creating an agenda, start with the general goal. This is so everyone know what is hoped to be accomplished. If people don’t what is is to be accomplished, chances are they will create their own agenda, which might be much different than was originally intended.

Next, list the participants. If there is a set group this wouldn’t be needed but anytime there is someone different (guest speaker, guest coach etc) it’s good to let people know ahead of time.

Next list the tasks you hope to get through in the order you wish to deal with them

Next, allocate the amount of time for each task,

Finally, include the end time for the agenda.

By creating the agenda ahead of time, it allows all involved to know what to expect and how to prepare.

By sending the agenda to people in advance, it gives the people proper time to prepare which will allow for less wasted time to be spent as a group.

While many would see how this applies to a business meeting, couldn’t this actually apply to most non-social gatherings? If you are a volleyball coach and you posted the agenda for the upcoming training session in the team locker room, wouldn’t this allow the players to mentally and physically prepare for what they are going to be doing? If you are going to have a conference call, wouldn’t this apply just as much as a physical meeting?

Preparing an agenda both saves time and allows you to use your time more efficiently

Have a great day!

Lawrence