Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I See

Writen by Chance Massaro

What color was your baby-rattle? How big was your first bike? What picture do you see when you imagine your favorite work of art? When you think of your best friend, do you see his/her face? Our culture has a strong orientation to the visual; and, for many of us, images are the best way to learn and remember.

Anyone Can Be Visual

Pamela works in Event Planning for a large bank. She noticed her celebrations and conferences for staff were easy and successful. Events for managers and VPs, on the other hand, were difficult and barely satisfactory. Eventually, Pamela realized she was a visual learner and had planned employee events around the decorations. When planning events for executives, however, she had assumed that they were busy with abstract concepts and so were conceptual, not visual thinkers. Consequently, when Pamela planned a party, the employees got bright banners and colored balloons while the executives were left standing in a plain, brown-paneled room.

Pamela decided to harness the strength of her visual intelligence. First, she visualized managers getting into their cars at the end of the event. They had big smiles on their faces. She realized that most of the managers' cars were "sporty-looking." That helped her remember that most of the managers were sports fans. Adding those facts to her visualization effort, she started to see events for executives in a different way. The next retreat was a planning session for twelve managers. In addition to the charts and maps, Pamela provided posters of sleek cars and football teams.

When topics of teamwork and success came up during the meeting, they were surrounded by examples of success that they could relate to. Pamela's visual intelligence set the stage for a successful planning session!

Looking With Others

Picture yourself learning something new; like a software program. Start by drawing a multicolored flowchart of the steps (this might be the a sales plan you need to present, new client information you need to know for a function). Try assigning different shapes to different concepts (e.g., facts are in squares while dates are in circles). If you can, relate colors in the flowchart to colors of the things you use (e.g., use a red pencil to circle expenditures, a green pencil to circle savings, and - of course - black for the bottom line. Finally, look at the graphics at http://www.easygenius.net to see new ways to understand and energize everyone you see!

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