Win Back Your Life: How to Use Open Thinking for Salespeople
“While it may not occur to us on a daily basis, there is a widespread cultural tendency toward quick decisions and quick action. This pattern has resulted in many of society’s greatest successes, but even more of its failures. Though the root cause is by no means malicious, we have begun to reward speed over quality, and the negative effects suffered in both our personal and professional lives are potentially catastrophic.” Have you suffered some of these catastrophic effects by getting too caught up in quantity over quality? Dan Pontefract, interviewed by John Golden, explores how to win back your life with open thinking.
This expert sales interview explains open thinking, including:
- The tendency to have “corporate ADD”
- How to Win Back Your Time
- How to Win Back Your Collective Intelligence
Many employees find themselves suffering from a “corporate ADD,” where they rush from meeting to meeting, and constantly reply to emails without really taking the time to critically or creatively think. This produces a sort of “pseudo-productivity,” where it seems like things are getting done because we’re so busy all of the time, but in reality, we’re just more distracted. This tendency creates a burden on organizations, and they’re suffering as a result. People are outsourcing their thinking because they think they need more time, but they outsource it so much that it becomes a disservice.
Consequences of Fast Solutions:
Fast solutions are sometimes not solutions at all. When companies and managers request information or results in an unreasonably fast amount of time, they’re not allowing their teams the time to creatively or critically think, and the solution doesn’t get the right kind of scrutiny necessary. Pontefract gives the example of Samsung, who wanted the release of their Galaxy Note 7 before Apple released their iPhone 7. The result was a fast solution, but a poor one. Samsung employees were not properly able to scrutinize the products, and as a result, the Galaxy Note 7 was shipped to consumers with faulty batteries that were at risk for exploding.
Win Back Your Collective Intelligence:
Using open thinking also involves winning back your collective intelligence. “There are smart people out there, and we have given up face-to-face interactions for the digital, asynchronous interactions,” said Pontefract. “We want to be part of something bigger, this huge collective intelligence. But ideas are formed and decisions are better made when you allow the slow thinking movement to occur. That occurs by meeting people again and being face to face.” Part of the training involved in winning back your collective intelligence is rethinking how you engage with others, and the platforms you use to engage with them.
Win Back Your Time:
Pulling away from this widespread corporate culture might be difficult, but there is a way to create space and silence, even in a world that’s working against you doing so. It involves practice. “It’s like a sport, you have to train for this sport,” said Pontefract. “We need to win back our time.” The first step in open thinking is to take control of your calendar and schedule. This could look like having a 15-minute meeting instead of an hour-long meeting. During this 15 minutes, everyone agrees to be very focused on important topics that require in-person conversation. Email or other methods can be used to discuss additional necessary topics that perhaps aren’t relevant to the whole group. You then have extra time not spent in meetings to work on activities that are more pressing and important. Rethinking your calendar might also involve rethinking habits, such as checking your phone before you even get out of bed in the morning.
Win Back Your Life:
You are in charge of your own life, schedule, and calendar. If you work 40 hours a week, you can do things within that workweek to own a little bit more of your time. Controlling your calendar is the first big step to winning back your life with open thinking. When you have open spaces that show up on your calendar, what are you doing in those empty spaces? Are you filling that time with absentminded scrolling through social media? Open spaces should be filled with things that help you in the long term or short term, or fuel your idea factory. Everyone else is too glued to their devices and becoming ever more distracted. “If you want to win back your life, win back your calendar,” said Pontefract.
Dream, Decide, Do, Repeat:
This sequence is the key to open thinking and creating success in both your personal and professional life. If you don’t dream because you don’t have time, the decisions that you make are less than stellar, so you’re just frenetic in what you do. But if you take time to dream better, make more creative and critical decisions, and then apply your thinking by taking actionable steps, you can help generate an experience where you are making conscious, effective, and productive decisions, as opposed to quick, poorly executed decisions.
About our Host:
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.