Showing posts with label Denny Coates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denny Coates. Show all posts

Friday, January 3, 2014

Do You Overlook the Obvious?

Several years ago, my business partner Denny Coates and I used to travel a lot, conducting training programs for clients.

I distinctly remember one of our trips because of the lesson we learned one evening at our hotel.

It was our first day in town, and we had just gone out for a bite to eat. When we returned, we decided to park near a side entrance to the hotel since our rooms were far from the lobby entrance.

When we got to the door, we saw a sign that said, “Use room key to open door.”

Back then, magnetic room keys were fairly new. I knew how to use them to open my room because the lock box is right there on the door. But I didn't see any lock box next to the entrance where I could insert my key.

I turned to Denny and said, “Do you see where I’m supposed to put my key?”


We pride ourselves on being pretty resourceful and quick to come up with workable solutions.

But this had us stumped.

There appeared to be nowhere that I could insert or slide my key to get the door to open.

I even resorted to sliding the card along the area where I could see the lock. But honestly, I felt pretty foolish doing that because I was certain that wouldn't work.

And it didn't.

We were ready to give up and walk around to the lobby when another hotel guest approached the door from inside the building and came out. She held the door open for us.

I thanked her, showed her my key so she’d know we were legitimate guests, and told her why we were standing there.

She said, “Oh, the place to insert your key is right here.”

She stepped about a foot away from the door and pointed to one of the same lock boxes that was on our hotel room doors. It was not right next to the door. But you only had to step back a few steps to see it.

Neither Denny nor I had thought to do this.

Instead, we had looked at each other befuddled and had not been able to see the solution, which was less than a foot away.

We felt silly and then laughed about it for a long time afterwards.

Even though you may not have encountered a situation exactly like this, I bet you've faced something similar.

You get so close to a problem that you aren't able to see the solution. And often it’s right in front of you. Your emotions or other filters get in the way of seeing what’s right there.

Next time you find yourself struggling with an issue, take a step back – literally or figuratively. Ask yourself what you might be overlooking.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from someone who’s less emotionally involved. That person may have the objectivity and insight to help you see what you need to do. Or at least point out other options.

“The obscure we eventually see. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.” - Edward R. Murrow, American journalist (1908-1965)

“Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.” - Alan Watts, American philosopher (1915-1973)

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." - Henri Bergson, French philosopher (1859-1941)

Monday, August 20, 2012

What Parents Don’t Know Can Hurt Their Child

“I don’t know what I’m going to do about my son,” said my long-time friend who lives 1,500 miles away.

I was already familiar with events of the past few years. When “Mark” graduated from high school, he talked his parents into co-signing for a $30,000 loan to a private college. But after six months, he dropped out because he didn’t like the school. The parents are making monthly payments for that debt.

He moved back home and enrolled in a local community college for a few months but quit before the end of the semester. More debt incurred by the parents, who once again co-signed for the loan, with hopes that this time would be different.

Mark spent the next year living at home, mostly playing video games and hanging out with his friends. All this time, his parents were paying for his car insurance and living expenses, in addition to making loan payments.

When urged by his mother to get a job, he half-heartedly filled out applications for minimum-wage positions. At the time of our call, he was still living at home and working part-time. The only expense they were asking him to pay was his car insurance. He feels no guilt about the debt he and his parents have incurred or any sense of responsibility or urgency about paying them back.

His mother struggles to understand why he acts this way.

I know other parents with similar stories. They all revolve around a grown child who lacks the motivation and drive to pursue a meaningful education or career, to become financially independent and live on his own.

The still-at-home adult child is a disturbing phenomenon, especially when you project the long-term impact this lack of contribution or feeling of personal responsibility will have on our society.

Of course, there are no simple answers to explain why this happens. But I do know one of the factors that’s at work here.

Even well-meaning parents often don’t invest enough time to help their child learn to THINK…about evaluating pro’s and con’s, understanding cause and effect, and anticipating the consequences of their actions. Or to accept responsibility for their actions.

These are life skills that every young person needs to develop in order to become a fully functioning adult, yet there’s no manual that explains how parents can facilitate their child acquiring these skills.

Until now.

Over the past few years, my business partner Denny Coates has studied what goes on in the pre-teen and teen brain. He’s also talked with hundreds of adults to find out what their parents did and didn’t do to prepare them for life as an adult.

For parents who wonder what they can do to prepare their kids for the rest of their lives, Denny has some answers.

I recorded a recent phone interview, where I asked him some hard questions and got him to share insights from his ebook, How to Give Your Teen a Superior Mind. If you’re a parent, I encourage you to listen to the 20-minute interview and get a copy of the free ebook.

What you learn could make a huge difference in your child’s future.