Monthly Archives

November 2012

Trust Your Gut

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In a world of “best practices” and striving to make decisions based on complete and perfect information one needs at times to step back and do a simple gut check on the issue or challenge at hand. We can all get caught up in the process and politics of the situation and lose site of what often is the simplest and most elegant solution.

We’ve got three partners at d.trio, and many people have asked us how you make a business work with three different perspectives on everything. We’ve found it to be an advantage. Not only does approaching decisions from multiple angles result in creative solutions, voting on issues is unanimous or 2-1. Either way, a decision is forced to be made. And doing something nearly always trumps doing nothing.

There is one caveat to the above. And that is if you are in the voting minority but have an extremely strong gut feeling on an issue, your minority vote may trump the others. This has only been invoked a handful of times in our 12+ year history, but has proven extremely beneficial in each case.

Gut feelings are a curious mix of experience, science, common sense and intuition. As such, they are difficult to explain and can seem contrary to what appears logical. They are, however, powerful and if used judiciously can steer a clear path through the storm.

Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving is this week! That means it’s time to launch a very non-business like blog.

Soon we’ll all be experiencing the bliss or the stress of the holiday, or perhaps a bit of both. I recently read an article in Gaiam Life magazine that focused on the experience of Thanksgiving through the eyes of a vegetarian. Having once been a vegetarian myself, and knowing that most gatherings will likely have a vegan or two, I thought I’d pass along some thoughts.

-First of all, please do not make tofurkey for your vegetarian guests…no one really likes it and they may feel compelled to actually eat it.

-Try not to make ‘special’ duplicate versions of dishes. Instead keep the ingredients in side dishes simple so everyone can enjoy them. Sometimes that is as easy as not putting butter on the green beans or using vegetable stock in the stuffing.

-Marshmallows contain meat by-products, who knew? Keep them off the sweet potatoes. Yuck.

-And it goes without saying, don’t ask your vegetarian if they’d like just a little turkey. They do not feel deprived; it does not ruin the holiday for them. Really.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday.

To check out the entire article (which also has a couple of great sounding recipes like cornbread-sage stuffing) go here.

5 Simple Communication Tips

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Simple communication advice I can share with you – these tips have helped me become a better communicator around the office, to my co-workers and my clients:

  1. Open your ears. So you have a great idea? Everyone else does too. Share your idea and open your ears. Your “great idea” could evolve and come to life. Someone could help make your next great idea become phenomenal.
  2. Just stop. Using the word “just,” that is. The word minimizes the amount of work involved with your request. Instead of asking my designer to “just change the color to something brighter,” I now skip the “just” and ask her to “change the color to something brighter.” She can decide how easy or difficult it is, and let me know.
  3. No more buts about it. Any sentence becomes more positive by replacing the word “but” with the word “and.” For example: “I like your idea, but…“ sounds like I’m about to slam the brakes on an idea. Instead, I say “I like your idea, and…” because it sounds like I am enhancing the idea. It’s a great way of disagreeing without being disagreeable!
  4. Compliment-a-day rule. A “great shirt” or “did you get a haircut?” can go a long way. It shows that you notice the little things, and in our business, little things can make a big impact. I’ve never heard a complaint about someone that is too complimentary.
  5. Clear as a bell. Whether I’m face-to-face, email, voicemail or text, I try to say what I mean, clearly…and quickly. Ever find yourself explaining a problem before you ask for something? Switch that around – I’ve found it’s best to ask for what I want first, then get into the details.