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“Bob Burg is the greatest teacher of networking in the world ”

~ John Milton Fogg, author, The Greatest Networker in the World

Archive for the ‘WWI’ Category

A Tale of Two Frames

Friday, August 14th, 2015

It was the best of frames, it was the worst of frames. We’ve often discussed frames and framing in this blog. A frame can be defined as the foundation from which everything else involves.

In Adversaries into Allies: Master The Art of Ultimate Influence I say that when you set the proper frame for any encounter, you are 80 percent of the way toward the outcome you desire. And, the outcome you desire is obtaining the results you want while helping the other person to genuinely feel good about themselves, about the situation, and about you.

In other words, a true win/win. So, while visiting with my dear friend (and mentor) Dondi Scumaci and her husband Mark, I had the opportunity to hear from Dondi an experience she had in which two companies having the exact same desire…had two different ways of communicating it. One was an excellent example of positive framing while the other was an excellent example of…well, not so much excellent framing. 🙂

In this conversation with the always-wise and fantastic Dondi, we learn what happened.


Dondi Scumaci - Cultures reflect themselves


Amazing, isn’t it? More importantly, how will you take this lesson and make your future framing similar to and as effective as the positive example? Any similar stories you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to do so.


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

Doing Persuasion Right

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Doing Persuasion Right - Bob BurgWe often see people say and do things when attempting to persuade that bring them the very opposite results they desire. They’ll argue, plead, beg or scream before finally walking away in anger and frustration.

It’s much more fun to watch someone really doing it right.

Even better, through observation we can use their example to more effectively handle our own similar potentially difficult situations.

It was about 8:00 a.m. as I brought my cup of coffee and a book into the lobby of the hotel. My program wasn’t until late afternoon and it seemed like a great opportunity to relax and do some reading. Sitting across from me, unaware of my presence, with a cell phone to her ear and jotting notes, was a woman with a pleasant smile on her face.

If I hadn’t been eavesdropping…er, uh, I mean sitting in a place where I couldn’t help but overhear her talking 🙂 I’d have thought by the look on her face that she was on a call with her spouse or best friend. She wasn’t. She was trying very diligently to straighten out an issue that left someone without some important documentation.

She pleasantly (that word again) hung up and went to the front desk to ask if they would send a fax for her. Granted, this was a wonderful, service-driven hotel, but even if not they wouldn’t have turned down her request.

She came back to the chair opposite me and, for the first time realizing I was there, very sweetly apologized for bothering me by “talking while I was reading.” I told her it was quite alright, absolutely no bother at all, and that I was enjoying watching her so excellently handle this obviously difficult situation. With a genuine sense of peace she explained that it would all be handled and that everyone involved was being very patient with her.

Influence and Persuasion Lesson: People tend to reflect your attitude right back to you. Or, “As water reflects a face back to a face, so one’s heart is reflected back to him/her by another.” (Mishlei/Proverbs 27:19)

The process included several more trips to the front desk and calls to various people. She apologized when she had to, encouraged when she needed to and smiled genuinely the entire time. Her mission — whatever it actually was — was accomplished.

Of course, before she left, I had to ask her the secret to her great attitude and way with people. She summed it up in two phrases: “I live in gratitude,” and “Most people are nice if you treat them as such.”

Simple, elegant, influential, and persuasive.

Those Self-Justifying Feelings

Friday, March 1st, 2013

those self-justifying feelingsIn Daniel Goleman’s classic, Emotional Intelligence, he writes:

“Feelings are self-justifying, with a set of perceptions and ‘proofs’ all their own.”

How true, isn’t it?

As human beings we tend to believe what we want to believe, based on our feelings. We then back up those emotion-based beliefs according to information congruent with what we want to believe in the first place. As for those pesky and inconvenient facts? Typically, they are pushed to the side so as not to interfere.

How very often do we see this in…others? 😉

This is one reason why trying to “convince” (from the Latin, convincere meaning “to overcome”) someone with logic alone rarely works. When caught up in emotion, the person will unconsciously disregard any information that contradicts what they believe they already know and seek and accept only those info-bits in alignment with his/her emotional decision.

Before allowing themselves to consider another’s viewpoint, they must first “buy into” that person. Only then will their reactionary defense mechanism relax and they can be open to a new idea. Because they feel good (emotions), they will allow new information into their world.

We know we see this in others. But…”how often do we see this in ourselves?”

Do we need to first buy into the other person emotionally in order to accept the facts as they are — not necessarily as we’d like them to be? Or, are we able to stay conscious of our own unconscious desire to be right – and adjust our conclusions accordingly?

Anyone can be the first way. Those who are more personally and professionally effective and successful, constantly and consistently work on being the second way.

How do you do in this regard?

The Hidden Meaning of Brutal Honesty

Friday, January 25th, 2013

brutal-honesty-boxing-glovesThose who take pride in being “brutally honest” are typically more interested in being brutal than they are in being honest.

Indeed, sometimes difficult and uncomfortable things need to be said (and honesty in saying them is very important!). Usually, however, they can be said with tact and kindness.

Being “brutally honest” is often more about the person speaking than about the person they are speaking to.

When I posted this on my Facebook page I received lots of comments; most in agreement. But, several people seemed to equate tactful, diplomatic honesty with a lack of authenticity. I’ve seen that same sentiment expressed in other posts and articles, as well.

Hmmmm. That concerns me.

Why? Because, I cannot understand why that dilemma would even come into play? In other words…

Why would someone believe that honesty must necessarily include brutality?
And, for that matter, that to be less than brutal in your honesty is to somehow be less honest or authentic?

Sure, there’s a time and place for most things. And, a small percentage of the time, there might need to be brutality in that honesty.

But, that’s a small — an extremely small — percentage of the time.

Usually we can be honest in such a way that it effectively communicates the point while still allowing the other person to feel good about themselves. To strengthen rather than diminish.

As my friend, People Skills Authority and Coach, Kate Nasser teaches, “Civility doesn’t weaken your message; it helps others to hear & embrace it.”

And, a very tough but successful General and later U.S. president, Dwight D. Eisenhower even said: “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.”

And, I believe it’s the same when dealing honestly with anyone.

What do you think?

3 Reasons For Answering Your Critics

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr.In his draft of an excellent, soon-to-be-released book on leadership, Pat Sullivan, a long-time and hugely successful university coach and administrator, raised a very interesting point regarding handling critics and their criticism.

He referred to Dr. Martin Luther King’s great insight into this topic at the beginning of his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, written in response to eight white clergymen who criticized his involvement in the Birmingham Campaign:

“Seldom, if ever, do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all of the criticisms that cross my desk…I would have no time for constructive work.”

A marvelous insight. And, as leaders and influencers, we will have critics.

Should we answer them? Like most things, I think it depends. We certainly cannot respond every time or we would indeed fall into the trap pointed out by Dr. King. At the same time, never responding would be counterproductive, as well. Utilizing discernment is important.

The following three reasons would seem to indicate the proper time to respond:

  1. The critic has a point and the criticism is valid (it takes humility to recognize this).
  2. Even if the critic is wrong and the criticism not valid, it might be a question that many others have. So, answering in terms of clarification could be very important.
  3. Answering the critic and criticism — valid or not — is an opportunity to teach others how a leader/influencer handles criticism. This can serve both as a teaching lesson to others as well as strengthen the credibility and influence of the leader.

Have I left anything out? How do you deal with the critics? Do you feel that leaders who don’t care at all about the critics are more effective than those who do? Or, are they less effective?

Of note: At the conclusion of the above quote by Dr. King, he wrote, “But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I would like to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.”

Wow…What a leader!