Why We Buy Into Ideas: How to Convince Others of Our Thoughts

This is a guestpost by Iris Shoor, co-founder and VP Product and marketing at Takipi, more about Iris at the bottom of the post.

If you think about it, each one of us has different natural and acquired capabilities. Some of us learn new languages quickly, some are more social than others while some remember the face of each person they’ve come across. These strengths determine how we think and make decisions. Yes, this is probably obvious – different people think in different ways.

And yet the consequences of this couldn’t be any more powerful: It means that people interpret what you’re saying in different ways, based on the way they think. To put differently: the important thing is not what you say – it’s what others hear. A truth Dale Carnegie knew a long time ago:

“There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it” ~ Dale Carnegie

carnegie quote

Communicating well with the people around us and managing to convince them is a daily challenge. Now, here’s an interesting paradox – while looking to convince others we rely on our own thinking tools and strengths. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to persuade your manager to adopt a new idea, or your teenage daughter to take school more seriously. When we need to persuade others most of us focus on what we do best – some are very eloquent, others give great examples.

Now, switch chairs with your listener and ask yourself what his or hers strength. Sure, you take into consideration what’s important to them, but – how about understanding how they actually think?

To make the best out of this read, pick someone you work with, live or spend time with. Try to fit this person into the different thinking categories. You’ll find that you’ll be able to better understand their way of thinking.

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Why Creativity Blocks Happen and 4 Ways You Can Overcome Them

This is a guestpost by Iris Shoor, co-founder and VP Product and marketing at Takipi, a new start-up leveraging Big Data technology to change how developers debug software in the cloud. It originally appeared on Lifehacker, more about Iris at the bottom of the post. 

A few days ago I was telling someone about my startup company. “How did you come up with the idea?” he asked, and added very nicely – “you must be very creative”. This line always makes me smile, as I believe being creative is not a natural gift. It’s obvious to everyone that you have to work hard and exercise in order to be in good shape, and that it’s not enough to be smart to get a Ph.D. That’s how I feel about creativity – it’s not something that’s purely intuitive – It’s also plain hard work.

Every day I try not to think outside the box, but rather work hard on trying to live outside of it. I believe that creativity can be taught, and I know for a fact that I’ve become more creative over time. It’s not about finding the ‘one’ idea, but rather about using creativity to achieve everyday personal and professional goals. I use creative thinking to sell my product and ideas to people, design better and even to overcome personal obstacles, going outside my comfort zone.
Here are some methodologies I use to come up with fresh ideas.

Teresa Amabile, has been researching creativity for over 30 years, teaching MBA students at the Harvard Business School about managing for creativity  –

“Creativity does have a reputation for being magical. One myth is that it’s associated with the particular personality or genius of a person. Creative thinking is a skill that involves qualities such as the propensity to take risks and to turn a problem on its head to get a new perspective. That can be learned.”

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