What NOT to Do at a Meeting

Students learn less when they use a laptop or tablet to take notes in class and presentations.

And their grades are worse than those who do not use these note taking aids.

They distract users from receiving the message and distract those around them.

This spells trouble in corporate meeting rooms and at presentations where digital devices are standard equipment.

The people who look like they are trying to absorb the most from the content presentation are actually hurting themselves.

In random tests at Princeton and UCLA, students who used pen and paper outperformed the digital note takers.

Some professors discourage or outright ban the use of laptops and tablets because smartphones can take pictures of handwritten notes that can be stored later on a student’s computer.

The point is – access to information and ease of absorbing such information is turning about to be secondary to focusing on the content in real time and thinking about it.

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Discovery

People tend to cling to memories of the past as they become older or even as they experience success at a younger age.

Memories are made of successes and while they feel good to reflect on, they feel even better in real time going forward.

Do, don’t stew.

Start something new — don’t just review past successes.

Engage someone new – a person you don’t normally contact, spend time with or have a dialogue with.  Start one.  One new outreach a day, brings 365 potential people some of whom can enrich your life (and you theirs).  It only takes one.

Life is like a concert.

We enjoy songs from the past but we also appreciate brand new lyrics and beats – preferably together in a nice balance.

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How to Get the Best of An Argument

Dale Carnegie says the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

For those caught up in their own or someone else’s drama, these steps are helpful:

  • Listen – Listening helps eliminate the feeling of self-defense that is triggered when another person is coming at you in an argument.  Showing that you are attempting to listen and understand is the first line of defense.
  • Acknowledge the argument – Being able to repeat the other person’s complaint is proof that you are listening even if you do not agree.
  • Support the argument – Supporting the other person’s right to disagree helps pave the way for your right to have your own – differing – opinion.

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Warren Buffett’s “Avoid at All Costs” List

Step 1 – Write down your top 25 career goals

Step 2 – Circle only your top 5 options

Step 3 – Put the top 5 on one list and the other 20 on a second list

Then give the top 5 list all your attention and avoid at all costs the second list until you’ve succeeded with the top 5.

This concept also works for daily to-dos.

Step 1 – Write down your tasks for the day

Step 2 – Circle only your top 5

Step 3 – Put the top 5 important tasks on one list

Give all your attention to that list until they are completed and then you can add more.

Multi-tasking is a myth that studies prove does not produce more efficiency and does create more anxiety.

Focus your time and energy on things that matter most.

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Becoming More Effective

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan agreed in writing in a “relationship agreement” before they were married to spend 100 minutes of alone time with each other each week away from work.

Rapper Jay-Z and singer/wife Beyonce have a pre-nup in which she earns $5 million for each child they have together. It’s not the money. They are worth over $1 billion together. It’s about placing yet another value on becoming a parent.

Actress Nicole Kidman and singer Keith Urban have a pre-nup in which Urban gets $600,000 for every year he remains narcotics and alcohol free.

Jessica Biel receives $500,000 if Justin Timberlake cheats. They are worth $248 million together.

This is not about the money. It’s about goals.

When goals are clearly stated whether they are in “relationship agreements”, pre-nuptials, employment contracts or even Valentine “I Love You cards”, they have the best chance of success.

Imagine trying to solve a problem without stating specifically what the problem is.

Goals cannot be reached unless they are assigned a value and committed in a document as a blueprint for success.

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