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Time To Boost Business With A Fresh Conversation

Time To Boost Business With A Fresh Conversation Have you ever noticed how often your conversations are ... "reruns?" And have you given any thought to how that pattern is helping or stifling your business growth?

Let me explain what I mean.

We each tend to spend time with the same people in the same environments, read the same type of books, watch the same genre of movies or television programs, follow the same sporting events... Year after year. Meeting after meeting. Conversation after conversation. There's nothing wrong with that ... unless you never create the space for 'new' conversations.

Many of my clients (financial advisors and business owners) comment that they're overworked and overwhelmed and don't have time to think about their business from a new perspective. And they believe they'd uncover new perspective if they could just carve out time on their workday calendar to think.

But they seldom create that time. AND when they do, they discover that thinking time is not a guaranteed source of new ideas.

What about leisure time? Well most of us repeat the same behaviors and same conversations each evening, each weekend, each vacation. We gather with friends and family for repeat events and catch up on the same topics we spoke of the last time we were together.

If you want new ideas, you need new information, new experiences, and new conversations that change your thoughts.

I learned this first hand when I moved to New York to work for Avon Products and needed to find a place to live. My new 'landlord' was a guy who'd been living in the apartment the longest - a law school student who had turned down Harvard in order to join the first law class of Queens College. The new program emphasized public service law.

One of my other roommates was an opera student, working evenings as an usher at the Metropolitan Opera House, while being taught by one of the luminaries of the opera world. And the third was an independent filmmaker.

And who was I in this mix? An MBA graduate doing strategic planning for Avon's eight Pacific Rim markets.

We had very little in common in terms of background or work experiences. So 80 percent of our conversations over many evenings and weekends were new, fresh, and unexpected. That time together shaped each of our lives, our choices and the opportunities we uncovered.

Now I DON'T want you to think that the goal is to have new conversations 80 percent of your time. It would be wonderful if it could happen even 20 percent of your day, but that's probably unrealistic too.

So let me share 3 DO's that create 'moments' when 80 percent of the conversation is 'new.'

DO Mix up the people you're spending time with.

This past week, for example, I shared wine and fine food with an eclectic group of people - a bankruptcy attorney, a music producer, a landscape architect, a technology expert, a CEO of a symphony orchestra. Over the past years, a small group of us has been the catalysts for these gatherings.

Each of us in is different professions and have completely different groups of colleagues and friends. We started with four or five people and invite others who enjoy wine and conversation and set dates to get together.

Bringing changing mixes of people together has ensured we've had unexpected conversations. Our discussion this time lasted for nearly six hours. And less than 20 percent of our talk was on topics we usually spend time on.

DO Change the locations where you gather.

We've invited people to join us anywhere wine and food could easily and comfortably be enjoyed. So sometimes we meet at restaurants, with the clatter of people coming and going. Other times we meet in conference rooms of office buildings, using their long table to spread out more than 20 bottles of wine in paper wrappers for an evening of wine tasting. We've even gathered in homes, standing around the kitchen and chatting while making the meal.

DO Hold on to your curiosity.

It's all about attitude. Everyone who sat around the table this week enjoyed the mystery of being with new people and the possibilities that creates. Wine tasting is our excuse for coming together and less than 20 percent of our conversation.

Whether you meet over wine, or at a non-profit activity, or hiking, or playing golf, use these DO's to meet people you don't yet know, to rejoice in the fresh conversations and stir up new possibilities in your business and life.

About the Author:

Management expert, consultant, and coach Linda Feinholz is "Your High payoff Catalyst." Linda publishes the free weekly newsletter The Spark! to subscribers world-wide and delivers targeted solutions, practical skills and simple ways to build your business. If you're ready to focus on your High Payoff activities, accelerate your results and have more fun at it, get your FREE tips like these visit her site at www.YourHighPayoffCatalyst.com

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