Think positively, have the right attitude, take risks and keep on trying. These are all important qualities needed to achieve success. You read about them all the time in blog and social media posts but that’s not the aim of this article. Instead I suggest you think in a positive and practical way, to make decisions and come up with new ideas and think outside the box.
Thinking positively doesn’t mean accepting everything as being wonderful. Thinking negatively about something doesn’t mean you have the wrong attitude overall.
Marketers concentrate on the positive in promotions to encourage us to buy what they’re selling. It works. I use motivational techniques myself because I’m enthusiastic about what I promote. I also aim to promote to a market and individuals who need, or will succeed, with what I’m selling. I believe this is the only way to long term success. This is the way to build up trust for continuing sales or to develop a downline of people who succeed themselves.
Being a Magpie
It’s a natural response to jump into something because it looks really good on the surface, especially if you haven’t learned from experience. You’ve probably read of the Shiny Object Syndrome where you buy things you don’t really need or join things that can’t work. I’m still a bit of a Magpie myself when it comes to collecting themes and plugins and have masses of useless marketing e-books from earlier foraging efforts. If I’m shopping with my family and veer off course the type of comment I usually get is “Oh no, she’s found something sparkly”. Jumping in without thought, and failing, can not only cost us a lot but damage our will to try again.
You make the ultimate decisions
It’s up to us to decide on what we buy and join, what we promote and how. We need to see through any hype, be resilient to pushy sales techniques and work out whether we really need a product, or if we are cut out for a particular business opportunity. When it comes to important decisions on things that take our time and effort, or cost us a lot of money, we need to think carefully and clearly. We need to research, do due diligence and work out if it suits us.
In my last post Marketing Tips That Don’t Work I talked about being your unique self, finding things that suit you and coming up with your own ideas. Easier said than done, isn’t it? However we can use thinking techniques that help us achieve just that.
How to Think Carefully, Clearly, Logically AND Creatively
Sometimes it’s as simple as weighing up the pros and cons. If necessary write them down in two columns and rate each for importance and add them up to see which wins. Other times we need to go into it more deeply and use tools and techniques to help us.
Me x Me = Bad Decisions
A tried and true method of critical thinking is lateral thinking or “Thinking Outside The Box” By doing this we take parts of ourself out of the equation and consider different and important aspects. Our “Me” is made up of so many elements, including bad past experiences and the way we’ve dealt with them, our preferences, interests, our personality type and attitudes… We are each a unique complex maze. When it comes to making decisions, we need methods to help us through that maze, or we’ll keep going in the wrong direction.
Me + Different Hats = Correct Decisions
Wouldn’t it be good if we could borrow hats from someone else that allow us to see things from their perspective? We can’t do that but we can use imaginary thinking hats to help us on our way.
Six Thinking Hats
The well respected Six Thinking Hats method by Edward De Bono uses a practical and positive approach to help you think better, make decisions and explore new ideas.
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- Put on your White Hat to consider facts and figures. It’s a neutral and objective method of thinking.
- Don your Red Hat for your emotional view.
- Your Black Hat produces a careful and cautious way of thinking.
- For a sunny positive approach put on your Yellow Hat.
- Your Green Hat will help you grow, be creative and come up with new ideas.
- Be cool, calm and organized with your Blue Hat.
Six Thinking Hats Infographic
I created this infographic to give you an idea of the elements involved in each of the six thinking methods
If you come here regularly you’ll know I advocate for effective teamwork. The Six Hats are particularly suited to working together as a team.
Keep an open mind, and allow input from those whose skill areas and thinking differ from yours, take advantage of it. Don’t quickly dismiss ideas and suggestions.. If that’s your first reaction, work out if you are using Me x Me thinking. Even if the idea isn’t good don’t discourage future suggestions by the way you respond.
If you find the 6 hats concepts difficult, take a look at this funny Six Hats educational video created by Bishop’s University.
Personally I’d prefer it if I could just put on a Harry Potter type Sorting Hat to think my way to decisions. Then again life would be boring if everything was simple.
What methods do you use when making complex or hard decisions?