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“Just in my second year in business, I'm on track to do over a MILLION DOLLARS in commissions!”

~ Cal Faber, Agent, RE/MAX - Victoria, BC

Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

There Will Be Some Tethering. Huh?

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Alan Alda bookImagine sitting in your dentist’s chair, the sharp end of a blade hovering just above your face, mere inches away from making contact. At that moment you hear the dentist utter the following five words: “There will be some tethering.”

The patient — wondering as to any potential relationship between said sharp instrument and his mouth — nervously asks what he means by “tethering.” The dentist is curt, impatient, and both his words and mannerisms hardly reassuring. (“Tethering, tethering!”) Well, that explains it. Thank you.

This turns out to cause an effect that will make it very difficult from this time on for the patient to smile — whether spontaneously or on cue — without it looking like a sneer.

For most of us, this would simply be annoying. For a professional actor it could be disastrous.

This is what happened many years ago to seven-time Emmy-winning actor, writer, and director Alan Alda, and it became the catalyst for his deep scientific search to better understand the process of effective communication.

In his new book, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? — My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating, Mr. Alda demonstrates not only that this study and research worked for him, but also how much it has benefitted countless others, including many whom we simply do not think of as great communicators … such as scientists.

Yes, scientists, those men and women who must be able to communicate to the rest of us non-scientists the significance of some of the most important aspects of our universe.*

Mr. Alda, who helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York, writes, “The key, the fundamental ingredient without which real communication can’t happen [is] developing empathy and learning to recognize what the other person is thinking…In acting we call it relating.”… [and] “relating is everything.”

Wait a minute. Did that passage really equate empathy with “recognizing what the other person is thinking”? Isn’t that like reading someone’s mind? But I often say that because we all operate from different belief systems, we can’t really know what the other person is thinking, thus, we can’t read minds. Right?

Or am I wrong? Read the book and find out. You might just have your belief system expanded!

Oh, and just in case you can’t read my mind…I highly recommend reading this book. It’s a Masters Degree in Communication.


*Would probably also help tethering-oriented dentists to more effectively communicate with their patients.

Dealstorming – The Team Approach to Selling

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

I love reading stories about how the lone individual, toiling away seemingly forever and after thousands of failures, finally — through a flash of inspiration — discovers the magic formula and creates a world-changing product, cure or market-altering invention.

FANTASTIC stories! The only problem is that…they practically never happen. The more research you do the more you find that the sudden famous flash was either the final link in a long-evolving chain of other people’s ideas and experiments, or part of a team effort; a great collaboration. One person may get the credit but it’s hardly the truth.

book dealstormingI was reminded of that while reading a fantastic new book by Tim Sanders. The former Yahoo! Chief Solutions Officer is now a highly sought-after speaker and author of a number of bestselling books including the New York Times bestseller, Love is The Killer App.

His new book takes his writing and wisdom to a whole new level, and applies it to the context of what is known as the complex sale.

DEALSTORMING: The SECRET WEAPON that Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges brings to mind two well-known sayings: “None of us is smart as all of us” and “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

We’re not talking about “brainstorming” but Dealstorming. The difference is significant!

In today’s world of large business-to-business (B2B) sales it can take an entire team effort to deal with all the different and often changing moving parts of a prospective client company. There are all sorts of contacts, stakeholders, influencers, committees, and natural obstacles that must be dealt with effectively in order to move the sale forward to completion.

Not to fear, however, as Sanders has put together an absolutely genius how-to system for doing this quite effectively. Actually, he did this years ago while still at Yahoo! and has been teaching it to sales organizations for years.

Dealstorming is a repeatable process; a system, that harnesses group intelligence to create very effective plans and solve major sales challenges. As he discovered, “Sales genius didn’t come solely from individual sales reps…it’s a team sport. It’s about all of us in the room finding and solving problems as one.”

Even if you are not involved in enterprise sales, don’t let that keep you from learning the fantastic communication methods detailed in this book. It’s really all about communication.

As such, if you’ll ever be leading any team, for any reason, the principles and strategies shared in this book will help you immensely.

In this wisdom-packed discussion with Tim, you’ll learn…

  • The importance of understanding “the changing landscape” of selling
  • The four levels of the complex sale
  • How the team can help identify the root of the issue…the most important thing
  • Why the “brief” is truly the secret weapon for Dealstorming success
  • How Alyssa DeMattos rescued a lost deal…brilliantly!

Enjoy our discussion!

tim sanders






Late in the book, Tim writes, “Leaders don’t have relationships with their teams. They have relationships with individuals.” Right on! And, in Dealstorming, we learn how to do this very effectively and for great success.

Be sure and order Tim’s book and learn from the master how to do it right. There are some very valuable bonuses on his site, as well.

And, Tim has made Chapter 3 available for you to read first. You’ll be glad you did!
Click here to download.


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the audio 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.

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.


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.

One Mom’s Very Persuasive Questions

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

What More Can I SayOne of the golden rules of human nature — as so perfectly illustrated by Dale Carnegie in his classic, How to Win Friends And Influence People — is that, “Ultimately, People do things for their reasons, not our reasons.”

As such, in order to elicit a person to make a decision and take the action you feel they should…they must feel they should. And, this will most likely only happen as a result of you asking the right questions.

Communication Authority, Dianna Booher suggests that “Questions allow the other person to collaborate on the data you’re collecting. That done, people {rarely} invalidate their own data when you use it to ask them to consider a change.”

In her new book (her 46th book, actually!), What More Can I Say: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It, Ms. Booher provides a wonderful example of a mom who did just that with her teenaged son and his choice of cars:

“I recently overheard a mother using a series of questions to lead her sixteen-year-old-son to trade in an older-model sport car for a newer sedan, not quite the model the teen had in mind:

“‘What kind of gas mileage do you get in the sports car? What kind of mileage does the Kelley Blue Book estimate for the sedan? So, at the current price of gas, how much would you save on gas per year with the newer car? If you sold your used sports car and invested that money until graduation, plus the gas money you’d save between now and graduation, how much money would you have to buy a brand-new car for college?'”

“The teen opted to save for the newer car at graduation.”

Whether you’re leading a huge team, a small committee, or…a child, if your goal is to elicit the other person to willingly commit and buy-in to your request, rather than to make them grudgingly comply (and, we all know how that usually works out), then you need to help them see why it is in their best interest to do so.

And, as is usually the case, questions are the answer.