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Thinking about the ways you think (maybe for the first time)


Think is a word that most people read, and don’t do. Or don’t do enough. Ever hear the phrase, “What were you thinking?” Do I have to define it? No, because it usually means you weren’t.

John Patterson, founder of The National Cash Register Company in 1880, created the word THINK! as the motto, and a directive, for his business.

Many people believe it was Thomas Watson, founder of International Business Machines, who coined the word. What you may not know is that Watson was an employee of Patterson before he got fired and founded IBM.

So much for history. Let’s go from NCR and IBM to YOU!

How do you think?

Have you ever consciously thought about the way you unconsciously or subconsciously think?

Have you ever thought about how thinking affects outcomes and results?

Consider these elements of how thinking affects every area of your life:

Thinking is the process used to make a decision.

Thinking is vital to attitude.

Thinking is vital to response.

Thinking is vital to action.

Thinking is vital to outcome.

Thinking is a process that you develop through conscious practice — IF YOU’RE PAYING ATTENTION.

Some people refer to thinking as “focus.” Not me. Focus is an attribute applied to goal achievement or outcome. I call it “pause.” Mental pause. The mental pause between listening and responding. The mental pause between having a task to do, and executing it.

It’s your stream of consciousness that takes into account your intellect and your ability to reason, and combines it with your experience and your ability to decide. It’s your ability to reflect, and consider options and their consequences or risks — weighed against the possible rewards.
“I want to think it over” is one of the classic sales objections (or stalls) of all time. People, you included, need time to think — or at least to solidify initial thoughts.

Yes, THINK is complex — that’s why most people don’t do it properly — or at all.

There are several ways to think:

1. In writing. Writing your thoughts allows your thought process to deepen.

2. To yourself. Contemplating action or decision as you gaze out a window.

3. In a group. Bring up your idea or thought and get feedback, or more thoughts.

And my personal favorite:

3.5 Talking to someone. Sharing your thoughts aloud to act as clarification to yourself. Not necessarily to get the other person’s input or feedback, but to hear your thoughts or ideas out loud. When you hear your thoughts as you express them, they become clearer and more justified in your mind.

There’s more, but you’ll have to think about that until next week, when I’ll present more answers and examples of how to think things through in terms of the customer.

GitBit: If you’d like a few thoughts to ponder, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word THINK in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible,” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail


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About Jeffrey Gitomer

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