About 6 years ago we were members of a very effective mastermind group. Basically, it was about a dozen firms of accountants from all over the UK who got together every quarter to critique each other’s business results. It worked for us because the nearest firm to us was in Glasgow and so we were not comparing notes with our competitors.
We would spend the morning presenting our results for the quarter in detail including pre-determined KPIs to the group of other accountants who would proceed to ask searching and informed questions. After all they understood running an accountancy practice and what the numbers should look like.
In the afternoon the organiser of the event would introduce ideas and techniques, either business related or personal development. On this particular occasion he recommended the 30-day cold shower challenge. Basically, for the next 30 days you walk into a cold shower every morning, with the temperature at its lowest setting.
You don’t need to worry about the bathroom getting steamy!
The challenge was presented to us as a valid and effective business technique. The point is that if you walk into a cold shower every morning without flinching or hesitation, nothing else that day can be any worse and nothing will phase you. You learn not to hesitate or prevaricate. It makes you more responsive. Once you decide to act, you do it. You will never put anything off ever again. I must admit that as a business technique it works. My 30 days went on for 3 years. At the next quarterly meeting the organiser, on being pressed, had to admit that he could not do it even for one day! Wimp!
The other day I was in a meeting with Linda Birnie (Thinking Space) and Emily Stokes (Mikeysline). We were discussing another unlikely business technique …. Laughter Therapy. I have come across it before but never really felt the need to know more. It seemed a bit weird, and a bit woo hoo ish.
Anyway, now I know better and can see practical real life applications for it. Linda is a qualified Laughter practitioner although this is only a small part of what se does. No, it does not mean that she stands in front of a group telling jokes. There is a lot more to it that that. Linda herself has a very infectious laugh and Emily soon got the bug as well and when two of the people in a meeting start, it was hard for the rest of us to keep a straight face.
Linda was explaining that the technique is used as a company team building exercise which can also help to integrate people into the work team who perhaps have remained more aloof. She also runs sessions for after school clubs and for pensioner groups. Maybe you could us it in your own business.
So today I have given you two valid techniques to help your personal and business development. If you want to find out more about the 30-day cold shower challenge, just Google it. If your want to know more about Laughter therapy and what it can do for you, contact Linda Birnie.
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Alan E Long
The Long Partnership