Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Learning to Have an Opinion

This is too good to pass up. Toby at Diva Marketing is discussing an idea put forward by Michael Pollock of Small Business Branding for getting past 'writers block', which all by itself is pretty excellent stuff. I also think his ideas are excellent for practicing the art of 'having an opinion'.

In professional services we are paid to think. And like any professional skill, the more we practice our craft the better we may be. The sort of exercise put forward by Michael Pollock sounds like the perfect mental obstacle course. And it may be that you can tune his idea to develop different aspects of your thinking and opinion skills.
  • Exercise One: Set aside 10 minutes. Pick any book just as suggested by Michael. Read the sentence, write your opinions. Done.
  • Exercise Two: Set aside 10 minutes. Pick any book from among publications about your specific profession. Read the sentence, write your opinion. Done.
  • Exercise Three: Set aside 30 minutes (over lunch with a peer or colleague). Repeat the steps from Day One only this time state your opinion out loud (sort of the ultimate in "I wish I had said that" training).
As you get better at thinking/opinionating on the go the more comfortable you will be professionally and socially. Just remember to also work on understanding when it's best keep your opinions to yourself.

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