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“I consider Bob Burg to be without a doubt, one of the world's leading experts on networking.”

~ Dr. Ivan Misner, NY Times Bestselling Author and Founder of BNI

Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

Missing The Communication Target?

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Adversaries into Allies - Bob BurgI’ll never forget when an early business mentor told me, “Burg, when the shooter misses the target…it ain’t the target’s fault.”

The older I get, and the more I study influence and communication, the more correct I believe he was.

How often do we try and get our point across but fail? It seemed that “what (s)he thought I said isn’t what I meant.” Or even, “what (s)he thought I meant isn’t what I said.”

Whose “fault” is this misunderstanding? Who is to “blame?”

I believe the answer is . . . “it doesn’t matter.” In my opinion, fault and blame are both irrelevant.

On the other hand, if we were to ask whose “responsibility” it was for the message not being received as intended, I’d say it is the sender’s.

Yes, the onus is on the communicator to ensure their message is understood.

When the late, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, in his classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People suggested (in Habit #5) that we “Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” he was certainly right on the mark. Doing so is vitally important in the communication process.

Both parts are important. Here, however, we are referring to the second part of that Habit.

You were not understood. Your message missed the mark. It did not hit its intended target.

If that’s the case, first, take responsibility for it. Then, look at why it happened and how to more effectively communicate that message next time.

Nine times out of ten, the major reason was that two different belief systems – yours and theirs – were at work in some way, confusing the issue.

And saying nine times out of ten is probably underestimating the cause by about nine tenths!

Key Point: Be sure that what you said and meant…is what they heard and understood. How? Ask enough clarifying questions to be sure.

The anguish it will save is well-worth those few extra moments.

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So happy to announce that the paperback edition of Adversaries into Allies is now available. If you would like to accelerate your people skills and Master The Art of Ultimate Influence…you may purchase the book on amazon.com or at your local bookseller.

The Referral-Based Mechanic

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Referral-based Mechanic - Bob BurgIn his new book, Enhanced People Skills, John Terhune tells a great story about bringing his car to his mechanic for servicing (the warranty with his dealership had expired). The particular issue was a part that would have cost him well over $500 to repair.

After doing some research, the mechanic informed John that the part had been recalled by the manufacture and so John should take the car back to the dealership where they’d most likely replace the part at no charge. They did and John saved what would have been an unnecessary expense.

Did the mechanic lose anything?

Well, one might say he lost over $500. But, did he really? I don’t believe so. Not only would John now never even think of taking his car to anyone else; he eagerly and enthusiastically refers everyone to him. And, John is definitely one of those Centers of Influence who business owners and salespeople want as their Personal Walking Ambassador.

The mechanic benefited greatly from his decision to put John’s interests before his own immediate one.

Please don’t think, however, that the mechanic was being selfless (which I define as “incongruent with self”). He was not. First, he was acting congruently with his values — that being honest and placing the interests of the customer first is the right way to live life.

Secondly, he understands that it’s also the best way to conduct business. He knew his own business would be well-taken care of. Not through some magical thinking but rather for very logical reasons. When you place the other person’s interests first, they like you more and they trust you much more than they would otherwise.

Not only does that feel good…it’s very, very profitable!

Perhaps you’ve been in John’s situation, or the mechanic’s. Feel free to share stories of either.

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We loving seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook Page. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s quote and photo at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/

Solving Their Biggest Problem

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Lean In - Sheryl SandbergIt makes sense, doesn’t it? Those who solve the biggest problems provide the biggest value and — as a result — earn the highest incomes.

In her bestselling book, Lean In, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg shares a wonderful story in this regard. Shortly after beginning at Facebook she was contacted by a woman named Lori Goler who was at that time a highly regarded executive at eBay. She told Sheryl:

“I want to apply to work with you at Facebook, so I thought about calling you and telling you all of the things I’m good at and all of the things I like to do. Then I figured that everyone was doing that. So instead, I want to ask you:

“What is your biggest problem, and how can I solve it?”

Sheryl was floored. As she related, in her career she’d hired thousands of people, “and no one had ever said anything remotely like that.”

In other words, Ms. Goler was asking how she could add value to the company; not how could the company add value to her.

Which question is most likely to get someone hired?

A while back we looked at the storied career of Kat Cole. Beginning as a restaurant hostess at age 17, she actively looked for ways to add value to the organization above and beyond what anyone asked and certainly way above and beyond what was expected. She was constantly solving problems and increasing her market value to the company.

At just 32 Kat was named CEO of Cinnabon and now, at age 35, she is CEO of Focus Brands, the company that owns Cinnabon and five other restaurant chains.

You needn’t be applying for a corporate job or be part of a big company in order to do this. Whether you are in sales, have a small company or…whatever you do, if you can seek ways to add value to people’s lives and businesses through solving their biggest problem(s), you are on your way to major, major business and life success!

What problems are you focused on solving in the marketplace?

Please feel free to share with us.

No ‘I’ In Team. Are You Sure?

Friday, April 10th, 2015

No 'I' in Team Bob BurgI’ve never quite agreed with the saying, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” Well, I agree with it literally since, indeed there is no letter “i” in that word. I also agree and feel very strongly that the individual needs to put the interests of the team before their own.

The way the saying is often intended, however, is where I take issue. Its meaning is that there are no individuals within a team. In my opinion, a team is nothing more than a group of individuals who’ve come together in order to achieve a common goal.

If these individuals are wise, they understand that only by putting the good of the team ahead of their own interests will the team win. This is of the greatest benefit to them as individuals. This holds true for everything from sports to family to business.

Vince Lombardi himself, the famed NFL multi-Super Bowl Champion Coach said:

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

The very first word in the above quote is about the individual.

All too often, when brought in to speak at sales and leadership conferences, the client will tell me that one of their biggest challenges is the silos that have formed, causing separation, both of spirit and communication. Those in one department believe theirs is the lynchpin of the company and that — without them, the company could not possibly succeed.

And, they are correct!

Of course, the same can be said about pretty much every other department.

This attitude results in a lack of trust, a dearth of communication, and a company bottom line that is not nearly as healthy as it could be. When that happens, jobs tend to go and the salaries are not nearly as robust.

In other words, putting one’s own (in this case, department’s) interests ahead of the entire team’s — or company’s — is also detrimental to the interests of the individual.

Sports? Family? Business?

They all involve individuals as well as others. And, to the degree we put the good of the team ahead of ourselves, that’s the degree we all thrive.

So, want to be part of a winning team? Then be a team player. Put the good of the team ahead of yourself

But, there’s no need to lose your individuality in the process.

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We invite you to join our Go-Giver Ambassadors open Facebook group. We post a daily shot of inspiration — a quote from the one of the books. Visit Go-Giver Ambassadors and join us. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’ll start your day off right!

Reverse Scorpions

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

scorpion and the frogMany are familiar with the story about the scorpion who asked the frog if he could hitch a ride on his back in order to cross the lake. Assuring the skeptical frog that he wouldn’t sting him because “if I did, I would also drown” the frog relented and agreed.

As you know, partway across the scorpion did sting him. “As the frog was dying and about to sink them both, he asked, “why would you sting me knowing that you’re now going to die, too?” The scorpion famously replied, “It’s just my nature.”

Aesop’s brief, well-known fable serves as a warning that people generally act according to their nature or…character.

Scorpions sting and kill because, that’s simply what scorpions do.

It’s about character, isn’t it? We do what we do because of who we ARE. If we are a liar, we tell lies. If we are honest, we tell the truth. If we are undisciplined, we break promises we’ve made to ourselves. If we are disciplined, we show self-control.

Back to the scorpion. We all know those human scorpions, don’t we? Perhaps this scorpion deals dishonesty in business. You can bet he or she also deals dishonestly in their private lives. I’ve seen very few exceptions to that principle. As T. Harv Eker says, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

If you know this about him or her personally or by reputation, you probably won’t want to associate with them and you certainly won’t want to do business with them.

But, what about the reverse scorpion? The man or woman who is totally and completely honorable; who does as promised; who stands firm on principle; who makes their win about the wins of those they deal with?

This is the person whose character is so high and so honorable — and his or her reputation the same — that you totally and absolutely trust that person to do right by you and everyone else involved.

And, they do!

Why?

Because, that’s who they are? So it’s what they do.

It’s just their nature.