Monday, August 27, 2007

An 'aha' moment

Can you remember a time when you learned a new idea or concept and your thinking completely changed from that point on?

I know that for me these ‘aha’ moments are the key to growth. Sometimes they come as a result of a search. Sometimes they come on you when you least expect them. Sometimes they are unwelcome interruptions that you simply want to ignore, but can’t - no matter how hard you try.

It’s the later type of ‘aha’ moment that interests me. You see, the ideas we want to resist, those that we have the most emotional ‘charge’ about, are the ones that can bring on the best results.

It’s these unwelcome interruptions to our status quo that are so instructive. And yet we are by the very timing of them, less likely to listen. When we are having an ‘aha’ moment that we didn’t expect, it is often HARD to listen. I choose a little mantra to help me at these times to tune into the lessons.

When it’s hard to listen, Listen Harder!

For example;
  • It’s the end of hard day. You’re tired and exhausted and your spouse starts presenting a difference of opinion to you. Listen Harder!

  • It’s the staff member who leaves your team and metaphorically ‘kicks the cat’ on the way out as they leave. Listen Harder!

  • It’s the spontaneous call out of the blue from a friend, when you had only moments before been thinking about them. Right then it’s time to, Listen Harder!

Ideas can change your life, but only if you open your mind and receive them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Address the Real Fears

I recently had to sell in a new program to an old client. Basically, I have added a conference facilitator role to my existing keynote speaker role. I do this for existing clients not new ones.

They have a picture of who I am and what I do, and this new program changes that slightly. Instead of attending their event as a special (honoured) guest, my new program has me attending as part of the team.

A fear sat unspoken in our communications. Hinted at… alluded to… but not specifically mentioned. The fear was that the ‘audience wouldn’t take my keynote seriously’ if I was one of the team.

Darren Shirlaw, a great Thought Leader and business coach, taught me that one of the golden rules when starting any new project or joint venture, is to work through fears and concerns. YOU must mention the fears and not be afraid to address the concerns. It is in the speaking of concerns, that great relationships are formed.

With all your clients, don’t be afraid to speak and deal with fears. Here are three keys to keep in mind when addressing fears and concerns:

1. If left unsaid they grow worse. Name them.

2. Don’t just receive their fears, also speak yours.

3. Restate the fears to make sure you understood them.

A final tip then, is to make sure you finish on a high note. Once you have identified the fears, reassure them that it will all be good - then get on and run a fabulous program.

A fear when hidden grows in power. Name them and get on with it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

If it's not working - Choose Again!

I have been thinking about information overload lately, and I reckon there are a few simple things we can do to get some control back in our life.

When email was first taken up as a major form of professional communication, people applied live conversation guidelines to the handling of email. Some still do.

If you and a recipient are sending emails back and forwards in real time – why not just get on the phone? If you are at your kids Easter Hat parade, then turn your mobile phone off!

OK, so maybe this email sounds like a personal rant. But seriously, if you want your life to be in order - DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

You can bet the person sending ‘itsy-bitsy’ half-baked emails in a real time conversation, is the same person who complains of getting too many emails in a day. Stop! Think about what you want to say and then send the email.

Equally, the person rabbiting on the mobile at their kid’s function, is the same one who wasted 10 minutes ‘shooting the breeze’ at work instead of getting out the door.

Know what you need to achieve in the day and get that done first – then shoot the breeze with your 5 year old. They’ll be around a little longer than the co-worker. Stay focused on what’s important.

OK. Enough rant. Try this;
  • Use the right communication tool. Don’t let it use you.
  • Know what you want and do that first.
  • Don’t get distracted by the easy task or activity, unless you have decided that that’s exactly the kind of day you plan to have.
It’s your life and you get to choose how to live it!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Web 2.0 and You

OK, so here it is.

When the fax machine hit the corporate communication world, there were early adopters, late adopters and ignorers. When mobile phones appeared, the same thing occurred.

There is a whole world who know how to TEXT and still others, who don’t. Even e-mail, as prevalent as it is, still has nay-sayers. As Thought Leaders, we needed to be the first with faxes, mobiles, texting, email and websites.

And now the next thing, WEB 2.0

To me, this is simply the fact that people want to use their communities and power as consumers, customers and clients. They also want to build relationships with you & your business, and feel like they have a say in how they relate to you and others. It’s essentially about power to the USER.

My question to you then, is; How are you embracing this new world where your customers and clients demand to participate in what you do for them?

How are you getting your clients, customers and mates involved in what you do?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Alone in a crowdedroom

For years I have noticed that some of the most gregarious people on stage, are actually quiet and reflective when off. It seems there is a balance between how much people interaction you get in your work and how much you get in your play. If you had spent the last 30 days writing a book on an island then it makes sense you would want to chat to some people at the end of the day. Equally if you had been presenting to 500 people and chatting afterwards you may need to balance the exposure out with some alone downtime.

While there are many studies around the power of personality types I find most of them limiting in the way they categorise you. Those profiling systems that are most useful start with the premise that we can be flexible in our behaviours. Don’t tell me I am a duck because I may just want to be a swan.

One of the most important platforms for energy and living the life you dream is to understand your ‘Recharge platform’. Quite simply at the end of a busy day how do you recharge, what fills your battery? While there are many specific ways to answer this question the answers fall into two broad categories; you either want to be alone or you would be happier around a few good friends. Lets call the alone person an INTROVERT and lets call the surrounded person an EXTROVERT. Are you living with someone who is the opposite? How does that work? Here are some thoughts on being OK regardless of your preferred ‘Recharge Platform’.

Need to create a buffer between your two places, a buffer between work and home. It might be parking the car a block or two from home or it might simply be an agreement that for the first ten minutes mummy is home she is left alone.

Introverts Love people contrary to common opinion but they prefer intensity in their relationships. They enjoy “deep and meaningful” chats or at least conversations on what is important to them.

Ask an introvert:

  • What are you thinking about?
  • What is the best thing that happened to you today?
  • What do you have planned for next weekend?

Ask an extrovert:
  • Tell me something funny that happened today?
  • Did you meet anyone new today?
  • What happened over the weekend?

The key idea here is to know yourself, know others and make adjustments accordingly to either take care of yourself or create a better relationship. Ask for what you need and give them what they want!

Be the best