By November 26, 2012 Read More →

Improve your foresight in business and life

Just 4 weeks to go now…

Did you realise that we only have 4 more weeks to Christmas?  Have you booked holidays, organised call lists, completed customer fulfilments and budgeted your money to get you through January comfortably?  Are you prepared?  Have you planned?  Look around you; people, entrepreneurs and businesses that have developed foresight are ready for Christmas and beyond.

Years ago one of my coaching clients asked me what was the secret to my ability to see far ahead of situations on a personal and business level, giving myself the skill to avoid possible challenges and find lasting solutions quickly.  I shared 2 simple steps that allowed me to have great foresight: 1: I stood on the shoulders of giants.  2: I learned how to lower my emotions so that I could hear the giants speak.

1: Standing on the shoulders of giants.

The quote ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ is normally attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, who modestly wrote in a letter to fellow scientist Robert Hooke, that his success had been built on the achievements of others.

The original record of this saying is attributed to Bernard of Chartres who used to say: “we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.

Oasis fans may like to know that Noel Gallagher named their fourth album “Standing on the shoulder of giants” after reading the inscription on the side of a £2 coin.  I digress.

I would like to use the saying to share the importance of having mentors or coaches who are able to help you to think rationally and critically, finding the very best possible solution to a challenge, whether it is a personal or business challenge.  Making use of their wisdom will save you so much time. Experience can be so painful, taking ages to get over; why not learn from those who have gone before us?

It is easy to find these so called giants; they come in all shapes and forms.  The easy way to identify them is by their results.  Do they have a track record of success?  Have they successfully helped others?  Do they walk their talk?  Do they talk right and walk left?  If you are not sure; ask them about their successes and others they have helped; ask them how they can help you.  Be open to giving them a try.

2: Lowering my emotions so that I could hear the giants speak

So many people get the opportunity to learn from someone who has already been down the road they are travelling, but they allow their personal thought process to betray them.  Even if your mentor or coach has not gone through exactly the same experience as you have, the fact that they are emotionally unattached from the situation you are facing means they can always give you a balanced view.  There is a saying that ‘when emotions go up, intelligence goes down’, so when you are making important decisions it is vital that you are in control of your emotions.

Here is one way to question yourself, so that you can begin to understand your emotional state; this will leave you in a better position to be helped by a mentor or coach.

When you make a decision and you want to know whether it is the right decision ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly:

1.         Was that the right decision to make?
2.         Why did you make that decision?
3.         Why is it that it’s so important to you?
4.         If you made the opposite decision, what would the consequences be?
5.         Would it worry you?
6.         Why?
7.         Is it still the right decision to make?
8.         What are you going to do about it?

Answer these questions honestly and be very aware of your feelings when you are answering them.  If you find yourself uncomfortable with any of the answers, search your feelings and ask yourself “why am I feeling this way?”  If you answer honestly, you will begin to develop foresight and solutions will come much quicker.

Of course to get any good results we need to take action on the advice given and it has to be consistent; but if you are not open to learning something new, or worse blocked by your emotional state, it will be difficult to develop foresight , as all you will see is the same problems going round and around.

Remember; knowledge without action is useless and action without knowledge can be dangerous.

Posted in: Business

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