Monday Mornings with Madison

Thinking Errors and Business: Negativity Bias – Part 2

Word Count: 1,332
Estimated Read Time: 5 1/2 min.

Countering Negativity Bias in Individuals and Business

Negativity Bias refers to the idea that things of a negative nature — unpleasant thoughts, emotions, and social interactions, or harmful or traumatic events and experiences — have a greater effect on one’s psychological state, processes and decisions than do neutral or positive ones.  This is true even when they are of equal intensity. [1] Or, put more simply, bad is stronger than good. [2]As Dr. Rick Hansen said, “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”[3] Continue reading

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Thinking Errors and Business: Negativity Bias – Part 1

Word Count: 1,225
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

The Problem with Negativity Bias and Business

People regularly have ‘thinking errors’.  These errors of the mind are generally instinctive.  One thinking error that influences behavior is called Negativity Bias.  This particular thinking error actually has a profound effect on business in the areas of strategic planning, employee satisfaction, retention and productivity and customer behavior. Thus, it is important to understand not only what Negativity Bias is, but how it affects the workplace and what can be done to mitigate, if not overcome, this thinking error. Continue reading

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How to Decrease Decision Fatigue

Word Count: 1,382
Estimated Read Time: 6 1/2 min.

Daily Decision Overload

General consensus is that the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions in a day.  That’s a LOT of decisions!  If it sounds dubious, consider the myriad of decisions big and small we confront daily.   Decisions about what to eat and wear….  And what to read and believe.  Decisions about career and tasks at work.  Decisions about where to shop, what to buy, how to spend money and how much to save.  Political decisions about who to elect.  Incessant decisions about dating, marriage, having kids, naming kids and then parenting them.  Scads of decisions about healthcare and grooming.  Decisions about where to go on vacation and the best travel arrangements.  And decisions about how to spend time and the best way to communicate something. Continue reading

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Self-Confidence and the Goldilocks Effect

Word Count: 1,295
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

The Confidence Spectrum:  Insecurity, Self-Confidence and Over-Confidence

Everyone wants to boost their self-confidence.  It is an essential quality in business.  It’s the lifeblood of sales professionals and a key characteristic of leaders and managers.  It’s also a crucial trait of entrepreneurs who need to raise capital, negotiate deals and prompt productivity.  In fact, it’s a pretty fundamental trait for success in most professions.  Why is self-confidence so important?  Here are 3 reasons. Continue reading

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Ten Tips for Tackling Your Mountain, Part 2

Word Count: 1,451
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

At some point, you’ll have to climb a metaphorical mountain in your professional or personal life.  You’ll have to travel through unchartered rocky terrain, where there is no clear path or way forward.  Every step will be grueling and exhausting.  A favorable climate will suddenly change to a stormy one.  The body and mind will become stressed.  It will be hard to breathe and think clearly.  The desire to quit or rush ahead recklessly will surface.  It is easy to falter along the way.  Ascending is not easy.  Scaling to the places where few dare to go is hard.  There is no room for hesitation or doubt.  The goal is to summit.  What is the best way to do that? Continue reading

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Ten Tips for Tackling Your Mountain, Part 1

Word Count: 1,351
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

At one point or another, just about everyone is faced with a mountain he or she must climb.  In most cases, it is a metaphorical mountain rather than an actual one.  Entrepreneurs and professionals often have a huge obstacle they must surmount.   Sometimes the challenge is to achieve something that hasn’t been done before.  Sometimes the impediment is a family problem.  And sometimes the hurdle is a personal health challenge.  While some of those mountains are unavoidable, other peaks we scale by choice.  The fact that it is a metaphorical challenge, brought by chance or choice, makes it no less arduous, depleting or risky.  In that regard, it is a lot like actual mountain climbing.  Real mountain climbing is not a sport for the faint of heart.  It is exhausting, dangerous, and expensive.  Yet so many people choose to climb mountains — despite the risks — much the way people choose to start businesses, deal with major obstacles or find solutions to serious problems.  Why? Continue reading

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Abbreviated Skill Mastery and the 20-Hour Rule

Word Count: 1,565 
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Today’s pace of change is relentless.  Processes, procedures and technologies are evolving daily.  The need to stay ‘in-the-know’ and update skills is an absolute necessity, not a nicety or option.  Yet, most professionals have trouble just keeping up with the daily demands of work much less carving out time to learn something new.  The average business exec struggles to find the time to learn new skills. Continue reading

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Are You Listening?

Word Count: 1,212 

Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Listening is a skill.  We often think of listening as being the same as hearing, but it’s not.  Hearing is one of the five senses that involves the ear.  Whereas, listening is the conscious processing of all types of sounds and input – which could include speaking, music, noise, etc. — received by the ears during communication.  We can hear something and not listen.  Most any parent has experienced this firsthand when they give their child instructions, and the child clearly hears the instructions but cannot follow them because he was not listening.  Continue reading

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Case Study: Giving Monday Mornings with Madison a Blog Makeover

Word Count: 1,480  

Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

There are many reasons why a company might want to update a key element of its brand.  Marketing elements get stale.  From websites to corporate newsletters to blogs, there is a need from time to time to update and refresh an element without needing to overhaul the entire brand.  There are also times when a company wants to reposition itself within an existing market.  As a business evolves, it might identify an approach that has more potential to connect with clients.  To make the shift in order to capture new opportunities, there can be a need to rebrand one or several key marketing elements.  At other times, a company might rebrand some element of its marketing as part of an effort to enter a new market or geographic area.  KFC did that when it changed the look of Colonel Sanders to look more oriental when the company expanded into China.  It could be a matter of differentiating from the competition or acknowledging cultural differences. Continue reading

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Turning Customers into Fans

Word Count:  1,617

Estimated Read Time: 6 1/2  min.

Every company claims to offer superior customer service, or some such assertion.  Excellent service is touted so often as a distinguishing feature in marketing and promotional materials that it really has little meaning.  When companies with the worst record for service talk about their ‘commitment to service’, that’s when it’s sadly obvious that the term ‘great service’ has lost all meaning.   Think Comcast Cable, a company that consistently tops the list of worst service providers year after year and did so again in 2017[1] Think Wells Fargo, also on the worst service list, who was caught creating millions of fake customer accounts last year.  Actual great service – service that goes above and beyond and consistently makes customers happy – is rare and can, therefore, really be the ultimate differentiator in business.   That kind of service is about going beyond the basics.  It is about helping customers to not just connect with a company, but actually invest themselves in the brand. Continue reading

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