Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Talking Stick

Did you know that a so-called talking stick can help you communicate more effectively? In fact, it's amazing what such a simple tool can do!

While I was training a group of people some weeks ago one of the participants summarized the basic challenge of effective communication so well...

"When people have a conversation, I believe mostly they're only
speaking with themselves, and not really listening to the other person. Thus, instead of interaction and mutual influence, we're brainlessly living in a box and seldom step outside to truly understand the mind of another person".

And how true that is!

Next time you're in a tense discussion on emotional matters try to apply the principle of the talking stick, which is: The other person holding the stick gets to talk. You listen. Before you can speak your own mind, first express your understanding of what the other person just said, with that person's own approval. Then you get to hold the stick yourself and share your own feelings.

We do this when dealing with conflict in our family, and it makes a huge difference. You wonder how? Instead of escalating arguments and increasing tension, we use the stick to drill down and get to the root cause of the issue(s) with respect.

Eivind with our family's talking stick in hand.

Personally, I enjoy Stephen Covey's explanation of the talking stick at YouTube:

"Just agree to this simple rule; No one can make their point until they restate the other person's point to his or her satisfaction".

Stephen Covey is on my list of "Great People".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

IPv6 and Internet Connectivity

What is 2128? Well, it's something that will affect your future, for sure. Hear me out. I'll keep it short and easy to understand.

The internet is exploding the amount of information creation. (Maybe the right way to say it would rather be "the internet now documents much of what we were already doing"?) There are a lot of different numbers tossed around, but a pretty safe estimation would be a current daily production of appx 2.5 exabytes. (The estimation for 2013 is 667 exabytes a day!)

Just on a small note, one exabyte equals 1 billion gigabytes. That's an awfully large number. And to exemplify; someone said that 5 exabytes is the same amount of words ever spoken by humanity.

(Don't quote me on it. No idea if that's anywhere near the truth ;-)

But let's get to the heart of the matter. One of several interesting problems is how to label or provide enough so-called IP addresses. A simplified way to explain this would be to say that "traffic on the internet flows from one IP address to another. (Read more about Internet Protocol here.)

2128 is the number of IP addresses IPv6 can generate. According to Google's Eric Schmidt 2128 is as big a number as "all the atoms of the universe". OK, maybe still an exaggeration, but his point is well taken; there are no immediate restrictions in sight as to how many IP addresses one can generate. In other words, everything we see around us can have an IP-address. In the future we will see a lot of stuff connected to the web which we never thought would be connected. So not only our cell phone, but our car, our shoes or whatever else triggers your imagination.

Imagine a world where "everything" is connected or speaks together / sends signals. Talk about energy??! It certainly is a liberating and thought provoking line of thinking, setting the stage for a whole new era of innovation. We've only seen the beginning.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Music is Great Therapy

Music can be a wonderful stress reliever as well as a great form of therapy.

Since we're on the topic of music; I remember as a young boy how my mother would be playing the piano and telling me how great a therapeutic tool it was in her life. I didn't quite understand what that meant at the time.

As of recent years, however, I've grown to appreciate the same. When in need of a time-out, when life's just too hectic (needing to slow down) I just play the piano and quickly regain the right momentum. What a wonderful blessing this is! I'm guessing a violinist, guitar player or any other musician experiences the same sensation..?

p.s. This morning our youngest son was playing his violin making sure everybody was up and awake. As such, maybe the antithesis is also true; sometimes an instrument and its music can trigger feelings of frustration ;-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Effective Use of Time

I love music, but music can sometimes keep you from making effective use of your time. Why not swap some musical entertainment with audio learning?

Almost everywhere you look these days you'll see young people with headphones covering their ears. Makes you wonder what they're listening to. From speaking with friends it's pretty obvious: "Why, music, of course??!"

With today's wonderful tools we enjoy the privilege and opportunity of constant learning. As a teenager I used to listen to talk tapes. Now, on my cell phone, I always have at least 48 hours worth of audio books and training. In fact, much much more than that.

My work schedule doesn't necessarily allow me to do much listening during the toughest hours of the day, but early morning, in the evening or whenever there is a moment of "nothingness" I have so much great stuff to study (...even though I do appreciate just silence, whenever that is needed!).

Of course, I listen to music as well. However, most of the "music" I hear makes me wanna dance. It may not be rythm, beat and harmonies, but rather pure knowledge that inspires wise every-day application and that gives me a lot of energy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Individual Improvement

There's one thing that still gives me a serious kick in the busy life of business. When and what? Behavior change!

There are many aspects of life more valuable than business. For instance, I'm not married to work. I'm married to my wife. My wife and kids - my family and many other things matter most and much more than work and what I do for a living. However, who says business can't be fulfilling?

Since 2002, when I named our main company One-on-One AS, this simple philosophy has truly kept me going:

Making a solid difference in the life of one person at a time.

For instance, today I did another full day of training from morning till evening. Witnessing individuals participating nervously in role-plays and dramatically improving by leaps and bounds during just one day is something that gives life purpose and meaning. Positive feedback is nice, but nothing beats actual change - when someone moves from ineffective to effective patterns of behavior. It's one of the basic sources of motivation for me.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I do speak about integrity as part of sales training. I believe more sales trainers should. Strangely enough, people sometimes ask me to provide a good definition of integrity. That, in itself, may be an interesting phenomenon. Is the term too big for us these days?

There are a number of excellent definitions of integrity. One definition I especially can appreciate for its exactness and illustrative power was given by Stephen Covey:

"Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty. Honesty is telling the truth - in other words, conforming our words to reality. Integrity is conforming reality to our words - in other words, keeping promises and fulfilling expectations."

If that doesn't help, then think of integrity in these terms: If everyone could see and hear everything you do all the time, what would you change? The way I see it; this is where we find the meaning of integrity - even in our own lives right now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

August Rush

Some movies just stand out. August Rush is definitely one I'd recommend. Clean and inspiring - a movie for the entire family.

D'you want a serious rush? Then I suggest you watch August Rush, a wonderful movie that underscores "family" and "music".

I seriously don't understand why this movie never made it to the Norwegian public??! The actors are great. I've always liked Freddie Highmore as an actor. To me he appears ever so genuine.

The music is simply fantastic, e.g. Jonathan Rhys Meyers singing "This Time". His style is unique. His Irish so Irish it brings me right back to when I used to live there. Just how it should be. Simply love it!

Here's one of many highlights from August Rush. A nice teaser to make you actually want to watch it ;-)

Board Members in Norway

If you'd like to become a board member, I've found the perfect place to let all of Norway know about it. Conversely, if you're looking for good people to fill a board member assignment, now the network to find a long list of potential board members is easily accessible and freely available to anyone who needs it.

More than a thousand key people are now networking online in a group called Board Members in Norway. During the past month alone we've mapped out more than two hundred people in Norway who are ready to take on a board member challenge.

That's a pretty fast growing network, wouldn't you say? To me it seems obvious there are a lot of quality people in Norway who would like to make their talent available, but the network has been missing - so far.

Online Forum For Board Members
Well, we have the solution for you. The fastest growing network for Board Members in Norway is found at LinkedIn. More than a thousand people are already collaborating in an online forum for this. Discussions are appealing and thought provoking. Here you can find answers to many of the challenging problems a board faces on a running basis.

Find People Who Are Looking For People
If, for instance, you'd like to take a proactive approach, there are forty key people looking for board members as we speak. Why not contact some of them and let them know who you are? Now's your chance.

APPLY HERE - NOW! (Of course it's free ;-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Google vs Microsoft

On Thursday the 25th of March I'm hosting another IKT Grenland evening with prominent guests, among those the Managing Director of Microsoft Norway as the main speaker.

I find the sharpened competition between Microsoft and Google exhilarating. In the end of this month Microsoft's Hege Skryseth will be visiting Klosterøya here in Grenland. She and her colleagues will be speaking with both techies and sales people, as well as leaders of the software business in Norway.

When Google paid IKT Grenland a visit end of November last year, we almost had 200 people in attendance. There were no seats left - 30 people had to stand all through the presentation. It'll be interesting to see which of the companies currently enjoys the greatest popularity. People generally vote with their feet, i.e. if participation is lower this time, it may actually be an indication of who's winning in today's market place.

Will you be there? It's totally free! (Read up on Microsoft's visit to IKT Grenland.)