Archive for the 'Mistakes To Avoid' Category

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Procrastination

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Worry And Procrastination

Whenever I see or read quotes (or jokes) like this, they make me laugh while at the same time wonder if people get the REAL MESSAGE. I know too many people who procrastinate and self-sabotage their career and success. They are their biggest obstacles to just about anything they want, if only… they got out of their own way!

Sharks without sharp teeth

If sharks can be made to look less menacing without sharp teeth, what does that mean for us humans?

As I’ve blogged before, you can’t afford to be ugly, especially when there are cosmetic dentists like Dr Cary Fraser who can provide dental solutions like Invisalign!
Sharks Without Sharp Teeth

 

A sales sin you MUST avoid

Liar Liar MovieSales sins are basic, fundamental things that can instantly kill a sale. Everything is going well and when a sin is committed, everything stops dead in its tracks. The worst part is, it’s preventable.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a client who had a qualified, experienced salesperson who committed one of the most common sales sins – believing a prospect’s lie. The salesperson was making appointment setting calls to have a consultant meet with them to present their products and services. The list was my client’s database, the same database he has been using for the past several years to maintain and grow his sales.

The sales approach, which we teach in our Killer Konversations and Killer Kampaigns workshop is to have a multi-touch approach.

In this instance, the first few touches were emails. Their CRM system not only tracks emails opened, but also tracks the specific web pages the prospect visited on their website. Salespeople refer to this as a warm prospect.

The salesperson called and the prospect claimed that her email on file had not been used in more than 7 years.

The salesperson believed the lie, and the sale was lost.*

The primary issue with sales is the need to remain “on message”. Distractions like this white lie or an outright full-blown lie is totally irrelevant to the sale. A competent, experienced salesperson knows this and just ignores it, accepting that it’s part of his/her job to get back “on message” and make the sale.

* Upon further analysis, the CRM system revealed the prospect in question had opened the email several times.

 

 

Productivity Tip

Get what you want accomplished before you’re too busy to remember what you wanted to do.
Get What You Want Accomplished

 

How to Stand Out at Interview Time

The dreaded job interview. I can hear your pulse racing already, and honestly, I don’t blame you. I used to be terrified of interviews, whether they be first, second or third, the open-ended question fiesta climbed under my skin a millisecond after excited adrenaline left my system and opportunity turned to despair. Great, now I have a chance to make an idiot of myself in front of people who don’t even know me, I’d berate myself, following with a reminder of my modest skill set. If you can’t tell already, humanity serves itself with a very critical dose of internal cynicism every time something good happens, acting as a curb to any chance of an ego boost. So how do you survive it? You don’t – You take that interview by the horns and thrive, scoring the role you’ve always wanted and instant kudos to boot. Want to know how? Read on.

The Extra Mile – Walk Right This Way

Are you sick of sayings like, go the extra mile, be bold and different, you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit? Yeah, me too. Every single one of these demands the reader stand out from the crowd without illuminating the how or the why. The latter is actually quite simple. Imagine you’re a HR manager or employer scheduling interview – your morning starts with a cup of coffee and a pile of CV’s, some badly written, others not so much, considering what you’re looking for before the first one walks through the door. You can’t remember their name. The clothes are bland, their answers are boring and perfectly crafted to match their CV. You go through twenty of these per day, for a week, with very few asking anything more about the role, the company or what you’re looking for. When asked if they have any questions, most just blankly smile and shake their heads, exhausted by the whole process of being so perfect a skin-made automaton would have performed just as well. Why stand out? Because you will be remembered, appreciated and quite possibly welcomed back for a second interview with open arms.

Dazzle Them With Bewilderment

How? Ah, that’s a difficult question and the answer changes from person to person. A good stop-gap for absolutely everyone is research, research, research. Yes, I’ve repeated the word three times but preparation is essential if you come to question time; you never want to be THAT person who has nothing to say. Delve into the company history, the department you may be working for and the position criteria, formulating three hard hitting questions that really get to crux of the culture, the role and your adopted company. Know who you’re working for and don’t be afraid to show them you have a voice.

Be…Professional? Logical? Ineffable? Cool? Nope, Just Be Yourself

Nobody wants to hire a robot. Showing your human side and owning your nerves (a quick joke for example about your feelings lets the other side know where your heads at) will help you to banish them as the interview progresses. If you’re interviewing at agencies like Randstad in Melbourne, you’d be expected to be a little bit funky but clothed professionally, letting your personality shine through as your greatest asset. I think this is true everywhere else, though some roles may require you to temper little eccentricities and pull them back a bit. If you don’t feel comfortable in the office or culture after the second interview, cut your losses and seek another opportunity. You spend a lot of time in the office, life shouldn’t be an impromptu stage production where you never know the lines.
How do you feel about the infamous job interview? What mechanisms have you developed to get you through or better yet, score an awesome job.
Blog post by: Jessica Hannah

A positive twist on negative thinking?

Positive thinking seems to be one of the hippest trends of modern management and popular ‘gurus’.  But a review of the empirical evidence, released a few months ago by the University of New South Wales, found those who think negatively actually have stronger memories, make better judgements, are not as gullible, are less selfish, and persevere longer at difficult tasks.*

These are hugely important findings because in many workplaces employees who are branded as ‘negative’ are immediately ostracised, considered too destructive and uncooperative to have on a team.  But what is now evident is that they really do have a valuable role to play in any organisation if given the opportunity to do so.

Different - Zebra

* Unless we’re talking about the toxic people whose clear aim is to cause mayhem by opposing and complaining and conniving and influencing others to join them on the dark side.  In those cases, treat them as a serious performance management issue.  That’s why it’s essential to distinguish between those who simply think negatively with those who work negatively.  The former are easy to coach; the latter not so much.

Obstructionists come in tow different ‘flavours’:

  • The mis-matcher, who will drive you and your colleagues crazy by disagreeing with everything you say hence the moniker mis-matcher. These are annoying people who can’t help themselves and I tell all my clients to fire them LAST WEEK!
  • Non-conformist, who just does not want to be placed in any box, group or team – BECAUSE – they just don’t want to. They are in fact in a box, labeled non-conformist, but even THAT label annoys them.

The challenge for you as a leader is to avoid the temptation to turn a negative thinker into a positive one.  You’re better served identifying the strengths they can bring to the team irrespective of their thinking style, and then incorporate those strengths in some way within their job.  In particular, negative thinkers can make a great contribution in these areas:

  • Matters of cognition:  This includes solving complicated problems, simplifying organisational complexity, and developing subject matter experts.
  • Matters of judgement:  This includes identifying flaws in strategic plans, providing input on the recruitment of new employees, and determining risk.
  • Matters of motivation:  This includes participating in long-term projects, keeping colleagues focused on the core issues, and questioning the status quo.
  • Matters of social behaviour:  This includes communicating critical information, anticipating the impact of change initiatives, and assessing the fairness of decisions.

Of course, positive thinkers can be just as successful at each of those areas.  It’s just that those inclined to think negatively have especially demonstrated those competencies in various academic studies.  Even then, that doesn’t imply that negative thinkers are better than positive ones or vice versa.  They each have advantages (and disadvantages) that brilliant leaders are able to maximise (or minimise).

What you’ll end up discovering is that when you stop seeing negative thinkers as an issue to be rectified and instead see them as a talent to be engaged, they begin to feel valued and acknowledged.  And as soon as that realisation sets in, they’ll eventually exhibit the positive traits that so many of their colleagues have long desired.

NOTE TO SMALL, ENTREPRENEURIAL BUSINESS OWNERS:

Do not hire negative, non-conformist or mis-matchers. Even though academic literature and team oriented literature supports to some degree diversity – as a SMALL business, with LIMITED budgets – you simply cannot afford ANY discordance with your vision and strategy. Of course I am not advocating you hire only yes men and women, what I am suggesting is you AVOID those that will be conflictual.

How do you do that? Contact us and we’ll teach you how to hire the best staff and avoid the most blatant mistakes – BEFORE you make one that can cost you thousands in lost productivity and profitability.

Original source article provided by Mark Mackenzie of The Graffiti Eaters. Thanks Mark!

Vacuums and voids

You may be aware of the scientific theory that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’.  In quantum mechanics, it’s referred to as the vacuum state, which basically means there’s no such thing as a vacuum.

Let’s say, for example, that you created some kind of glass container closed off to all physical particles.  From the outside looking in, it would appear as though it was empty.  But really it’s not.  That space, at the very least, contains electromagnetic waves and particles.  If the slightest piercing were to penetrate the container, it would then be filled with air.  And, depending on where the container was located, a slightly larger opening may see it consumed with water or sand or any other substance.

That’s why philosophers like Aristotle have professed that vacuums don’t exist.  As soon as we think that one is there, something instantly fills it up.

Such is the case at work – an environment notorious for the vacuums that arise.  When there’s a vacuum of information, it’s filled with gossip.  When there’s a vacuum of training, it’s filled with mistakes.  When there’s a vacuum of opportunity, it’s filled with disengagement.

If we were to look specifically at new teams (or established teams that have been leaderless for a while), there are four vacuums that are especially present:  structure, knowledge, relationships, and authority.

Structure:  This represents the systems that are in place, the ways in which the team is organised, and the rules that determine how and when the work gets done.  A vacuum of structure is often filled with misguided people.

Knowledge:  This reflects the collective expertise of the employees, an awareness of their developmental gaps, and the principles that influence their decision-making.  A vacuum of knowledge is often filled with costly errors.

Relationships:  This includes the level of trust among the team members, the degree to which they understand each other, and the extent to which they like and respect one another.  A vacuum of relationships is often filled with conflict.

Authority:  This is in relation to the informal power that some employees hold, the credibility of the leader to lead the team, and the ability of the leader to inspire change.  A vacuum of authority is often filled with power struggles.

If you’re a leader taking over a new or leaderless team, it’s important to fill those four vacuums before other (unfavourable) elements infiltrate them.  As the American writer Tennessee Williams wrote figuratively: “A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.”

The trouble, though, is that a vacuum doesn’t last very long.  Or at all.

I’d like to thank Mark Mackenzie of The Graffiti Eaters for this week’s submission. If you come across something valuable like this, please forward it in to me and I will share it with our readers and subscribers and reward you with a few valuable backlinks!

Inspiration is 99% perspiration…

Now this is funny if it wasn’t so true… Seriously, You have to admit it made you chuckle, giggle or laugh…

Creativity, Lightbulb Moment, Funny Poster

If you find images, cartoons, photos or other visual elements like this that are tastefully funny, please forward them to me so I can share them with my audience.

This blog and my other blogs are primarily driven by user generated content.

Time Versus Life Management

In my line of work, I come across two types of people.

  • Type 1 wants to make money, achieve something, do whatever it takes.
  • Type 2 wants what everyone calls work-life balance because they have achieved ‘enough’ and realise without balance, there is imbalance and that’s not good.

The quote below is a foundational, guiding principle that I refer to over and over again in my programs. It’s not just applicable to those who want to create their best year ever, it’s equally (more) important for business people who want to grow their business.

Time Value, Time Management, Life Management, Goal Setting

The thing is WHAT VALUE do you place on WHAT?

With 4 dimensions of mastery (business, internet, professional and personal), how can you reconcile all these values?

Simple.

You need to establish ONE hourly value that is representative of who you are, what you do 24/7.

Easier said than done, I know, but it’s that simple.

If you value yourself and your time at $10/hour versus $100/hour versus $250/hour, your life will be completely different.

Take a minute to read the metaphoric parable of The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers.

What are the golf balls in your life worth to you?

Have a think about it… It can be a priceless revelation to realise you’re sweating the small stuff and missing out on the important things.

In you career it means:

  • You’re being tactical instead of strategic. Doing what your boss wants you to do instead of what’s in your best interest.
  • You’re thinking more about your company’s bottom line (when you are not the owner) than your career development.
  • You’re sacrificing you’re sacrificing your work-life balance for very little net gain.

Explore this further by journaling. Take a blank sheet and make a list of your Top 10 most important things in life – how often do you enjoy/experience them?

Hmmm…. Something to think about.

Want to be powerful? Don’t smile

Power, No Smile, Don't Smile, PowerfulFlannery Dean recently reported in Chatelaine Magazine that smiling may have adverse effects on your career ascension plans. A handful of new studies suggest that smiles are for low-status individuals. If you want to appear powerful, confident and successful, don’t smile.

Smile and the world smiles with you, goes the familiar phrase. It’s a lovely idea. And perhaps it’s true. But it may be that the world isn’t smiling with you as much as it’s laughing at you for being such a softie.

Researchers reviewed four studies that examined the power of facial expression. All of the studies asked people to look at images of various faces, from models to football players, who were either smiling or not smiling, and then to rate their expressions. One study asked people to look at head shots of football players and, from those limited views, guess the man’s size and personality. The players who didn’t smile were consistently rated as being bigger physically, less social and more hostile. In contrast, the smiling players were viewed as being less dominant and more social.

Study co-author Timothy Ketelaar, associate professor of psychology at New Mexico State University, explains “Smiles can put you in a positive light by signalling that you’re friendly and trustworthy, and that you aren’t a threat to others. But higher-status individuals often want to appear in charge and as a threat, and they lose some of that power by smiling.”
The researchers argue that less dominant human beings have relied on smiles to appease stronger, more hostile individuals for as long as we have been able to lift the corners of our mouths. “Across the few animal species that smile, [the smiles] seem to be advertising that the displayer is not a threat to more dominant individuals. In the case of social prestige, smiles seem to be providing a similar function, provoking strategic deference,” Ketelaar explains.

So when you nervously smile at your boss when you’re late for the third time in a row, you’re duplicating an action that your forebears relied on to get out of a sticky situation. And when she gives you a stony look in return, she’s mentally high-fiving her hostile, high-status ancestors.