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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Think Different Challenge

Back in early November, Robyn McMaster from Brain Based Biz issued me the Think Different Challenge in Thinking Differently about Giving Advice.

Robyn is always a hard act to follow, particularly on brain-related matters. Her posts routinely stop me in my tracks, forcing me to think differently about otherwise routine situations. So, the overall concept of a Think Different Challenge intrigued me. I sensed potential...

For a number of reasons.

For one, thinking differently helps nurture creativity. For another, thinking differently about marketing to women and the retail experience occupy most of my waking moments. And, I love the work that Deborah Tannen has done around language and communication styles and how thinking differently can help us break some of those patterns.

In deciding on my Think Different Story, I waffled back and forth until it hit me that one story superceded all others. In fact, it has turned into a 'defining moment' with respect to thinking differently.

My story involves my daughter, sleep and bedtime.

Yes, bedtime. It's a challenging time. Especially as she gets older, more sophisticated, more complex, more mature... She fights shutting down at the end of each day, slowing her imagination down, curbing her enthusiasm, calming her energy and ... not talking [by the way, this is the only time when I get the lowdown on any situations at school].

This particular evening, we were already one full hour beyond her bedtime and she still wasn't getting any closer to sleeping. I tried threats, cajoling, walking away, ... without success. "You must go to sleep now" I told her.

Finally, I realized that I was doing everything that I preach against doing in the retail environment. I was trying too hard. I was forcing a hard sell on my daughter and she wasn't buying it!

I backed off. "Take as long as you want to fall asleep," I told her. And I genuinely meant it. Within two minutes, she fell asleep.

Now, you might suggest that, by that time, another threat might have worked just as successfully. However, up to that point, she had been actively fighting the sleep request. And winning. As soon as I thought differently and made her a part of the solution, she fell asleep.

Since then, I often think of that moment to prevent falling back into an unsuccessful pattern. It's my Think Different reminder.

What's yours?

I invite all of you to participate in The Think Different Challenge.

The Rules:
1. Write a new blog post in which you “think different”. Interpret the challenge the way you want.

2. State that the post is a part of the Think Different Challenge and include a link and/or trackback to this post so that readers know the rules of the challenge. Feel free to use the above banner (inspired, of course, by Seth Godin).

3. Include a link and/or trackback to the blogger who tagged you.

4. At the end of your post, go ahead and tag some fellow bloggers. Don’t forget to email them to let them know they have been tagged.

5. That’s it! Just sit back and enjoy reading peoples’ responses to the challenge.

If you want to read some of the responses to the Think Different Challenge, read The Think Different Challenge from The Synergy Institute Blog or check out this Think Different Challenge Google search.

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