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—Don’t become overly confident. (This is my personal favorite.) “When people are sure of something, they usually don’t look elsewhere for something new that may provide insightful guidance.” If you don’t seek “the council of many,” you might miss something important.

Kelly Goldsmith, an assistant professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, believes it’s critical for workers to think more expansively. But, she says, it’s often going to fall on the individual to embrace that style of thought, as it’s not something companies are actively encouraging.

“It’s very easy to just live in the moment and put one foot in front of us and not really think about what we’re learning and how it could be applied across different industries,” Goldsmith says. “People don’t realize how it can benefit them. Even if your firm doesn’t incentivize you to think that way, do it for yourself.”

Vaughan’s view on thinking actually ties in nicely with my personal workplace mantra: Be a decent human being.

By pausing to consider the work we’re doing more deeply, by weighing how our actions might affect others, we’re inherently behaving in a way that’s more collaborative and helpful.

“It’s recognizing that you’re just a tiny part of something better,” Vaughan says. “This is all about figuring out how we can better treat each other and co-create things and make things better for everyone.”

That’s a thought I can easily embrace. Even if it distracts me from watching television.

©2014 Chicago Tribune
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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