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The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 25, 2014 • Issue 14:08:02


Silence, the low-tech solution

It's a noisy world. You go on a quiet picnic at the beach, but then a band of teenagers sets up shop not ten feet away. You pick a secluded spot on the lake to fish, and a party in a powerboat decides yours is the perfect spot to take turns innertubing. You head to the hammock in the backyard to read your book when the neighbor powers up the leaf blower.

The payments industry is no different. If you work at a cubicle, your work station doesn't serve as an adequate refuge from a colleague who cold calls at top volume on the other side of the partition. Few break rooms provide relief from the chatter and busyness of the office. Even the bathrooms have become de facto phone booths, with people conducting cell phone conversations in the stalls.

But it's critical in these noisy times to find your own fortress of solitude. Maybe it's time you pause for a while every night to turn off the TV, power down the laptop or tablet, and put the smartphone on mute. You need quiet time to yourself, if for no other reason than it's good for business. There's no app for that Ram Dass said, "The quieter you become, the more you can hear." Even salesman extraordinaire Zig Ziglar recommended the practice. And the reason is that quietness helps to open the mind to new ideas and to solving problems.

You might be thinking hard on how to appease a merchant who is upset by an error you made, but nothing workable comes to mind. Then the perfect solution pops into your head when you're not actively thinking at all. Other times, a situation that seems complex and hard to grasp in the heat of the moment somehow gets stripped down when you contemplate it in quiet, and the kernel of the situation – the truth of it – suddenly becomes crystal clear.

So do yourself a favor and make a little space in your noisy life for silence. It's one activity that doesn't need an app. end of article

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