True Learning Happens in the Uncomfortable Unknown

Week Ending 7.10.2016

Years ago, when I was still learning how to train grown-up business people in people skills, an accomplished trainer gave me an advice. “Never make people think,” he said, “or they will hate you.” I promptly proceeded to do what I do best when people give me an advice I don’t like. I ignored him. In fact, I proceeded to design my training sessions and workshop to do exactly what he had advised me not to do – to think, and think hard. And think unconventional, If_the_Path_before_You_is_Clear_Joseph_Campbelluncomfortable thoughts. Let me tell you, I didn’t make a lot of friends and I may have lost a client or two because of my insistence on
creating scenarios in training sessions that made them feel uncomfortable. Over time, I brought into my workshops another piece of advice that this mentor of mine had given me, which was to find ways to make those sessions so engrossing that they became a form of experiential entertainment, even as they thought out of the box and did uncomfortable things.

Today, I remain a firm believer in the idea that true learning happens on the outside of our comfort zones, not inside. The thoughts that we have thought before don’t really teach us anything new at our core. The new ideas that people spoon-feed us don’t make for a transformative learning experience. They may give us some new information to add to the database of other information we have collected. But true, inside-out change does not happen when we are comfortable in our thoughts and feelings;  it happens when we are slightly uncomfortable.

In this issue of the weekly rounds up, as you digest some of the content that you may find relevant, I implore you to especially look for ideas that make you uncomfortable. Just a little bit, not a lot.

Leadership and Management

More and more of our work is what Peter Drucker called “knowledge work” with a consultative element to it. So this article may be more relevant to your work than you think… (Productivity tips for you and your consulting workforce)

True, one-on-one meetings are a cornerstone of good management. But what do you talk about when you meet with your employees one-on-one? Is your conversation about meandering trivialities and fighting fires or a part of a long-term, structural dialogue that truly engages both parties – you and her – in a meaningful way? (Cancelling One-on-One Meetings Destroys Your Productivity)

Technology has made remote working easier than ever. But we often underestimate its human aspects. (How to get “remote” right)

Sales, Marketing and Branding

Using color is important in branding. But why, oh why, is Business so blue? (Internet, Why So Blue?)

This also applies if you are an established company with little or spotty social presence. (How to Find Your Startup’s First Customers on Social Media)

Interesting angle to social media marketing. I don’t see myself doing this but you may be different – so here it goes. (Co-opertition: How To Make The Competition Your Most Leveragable Asset)

Been there, done that. I would add one more. #16: Be human, don’t get overly “professional” and scripted. Always be learning, from your mistakes, your successes, and your failures. And, most importantly, have fun! (Outbound Sales: 15 Things We Learned Quickly)

Best lessons are those that you teach yourself.As you watch these videos, just keep in mind to take none of it literally! (12 TED Talks Every Salesperson Should Watch)

If you want your salespeople to only bring you good deals and good customers, in addition to the ideas presented in this article, also develop a profile of an ideal customer and provide additional rewards to salespeople for bringing them in. (Are your salespeople closing bad deals? Here’s how to fix it!)

Legal, Insurance, Finance & Taxes (LIFT) + HR & IT

Governance, risk, and compliance: Stay out of trouble, if not jail! (25 GRC thought leaders to follow on Twitter)

How do you make sure that your IT management is not just managing IT but is a partner who helps you manage your business and your team? (What does a modern IT manager look like?)

Personal Productivity

Even a non-Excel-geek like me can pick up a tip or two. (Pimp my Excel: 10 geeky power user tools and tips)


A better question: How to run (or build) a company that frequently reevaluates its rules. (How to run a company with (almost) no rules)

Make sure you have a pretty good answer to one question before getting too deep into using any of these tools: Who are my top-3 competitors and why? (39 Competitor Analysis Tools to Crush Your Marketing Campaigns)

Thanks for reading. Wishing you a very Happy Success,


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s