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“Business volume to our new targeted market increased by 300% in just 3 MONTHS! ”

~ Dave Brandt, Divisional Vice President, GE Financial Advisors, Genworth

Posts Tagged ‘Influence’

“People Wisdom” from Gandhi

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

people-wisdom-gandhiIn his terrific new book, Reinvent Yourself, prolific author, entrepreneur, blogger, podcaster, and serial reinventor-of-self, James Altucher shares a ton of wisdom. Included are lessons from business titans to historical figures; world-class athletes to top entertainers, and many more.

And, in his usual humble, self-effacing way, he shares golden nuggets of wisdom from…himself as he takes their lessons and serves them up to us through the filter of his brilliant mind.

While this is not a review of his book (though I recommend it highly), there’s a quote I’d like to share and then provide my own thoughts afterwards.

On page 168 James points out that Gandhi never actually said the oft-quoted, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” However, he did say something perhaps even more profound:

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

Rather than go through each individual line and thought in the Mahatma’s magnificent statement, let’s look at what I underlined, beginning with, “If we could change ourselves.” This informs us that we have a lot more potential to influence the world around us than we might believe. As we deal with others on an individual level, to the degree which we are in control of our own emotions, that’s the degree to which can positive effect – and yes, change – their attitudes.

In Adversaries into Allies I suggested the following:

“Expecting someone to be helpful doesn’t change them, it changes you.  And that is what changes them.”

In other words, regardless of their natural or current state, if you go into the transaction believing they will be kind, helpful, and gracious…YOU will take on the corresponding attitude of thankfulness and gratitude. And, the chances are excellent they will respond to that.

Always? Of course not. This isn’t magic. There are all sorts of people. But…usually?

Absolutely!!

Yes, it begins with you. You and your emotions are the only element of the equation that you can control. Change yourself, and watch how the world changes for you.

So, you can indeed become the change you wish to see in the world.

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.

Enjoy!

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.

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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.

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 Advancing Woman – Kat Cole

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

In his classic, The Science of Getting Rich, written way back in 1910, Wallace D. Wattles explained a key principle for advancement in business, regardless of where one starts or how little money or connections they begin with. One advances… by advancing (providing value to) others:

“And, in so far as your business consists in dealing with other people…the key thought of all your efforts must be to convey to their minds the impression of increase…convey the impression of advancement with everything you do, so that all people shall receive the impression that you are an advancing man and that you advance all who deal with you…You can convey this impression by holding the unshakable faith that you are in the way of increase and by letting this faith inspire, fill, and permeate every action. Do everything that you do in the firm conviction that you are an advancing personality, and that you are giving advancement to everybody…feel that you are conferring benefits on all.”

Kat ColeI recently read a fantastic article on Time.com written by Charlotte Alter. It describes the journey of Kat Cole who began as a hostess for Hooters at age 17 and became CEO of the billion dollar-plus Cinnabon, Inc. at the age of 32. How she did it was textbook right out of the pages of Wattles’ book. (Though it wasn’t actually her goal – at 18 she was waiting tables there in order to help pay for college where she was studying to be an engineer.)

Earlier in his book Wattles discussed a concept he called being “too big for your present place”:

“You must begin to do what you can do where you are, and you must do all that you can do where you are. You can advance only by being larger than your present place…The world is advanced only by those who more than fill their present places.”

This is a key concept and had much to do with Kat’s rapid rise to success. If you read the above-mentioned Time.com article you saw that everything she did was not just beyond but way above and beyond her job description. Thus, she became too big for her present place. She had to advance. And, she continued to advance. She was… the advancing woman!

Exceptional Value And High Character

Kat certainly embodied “The Law of Value” from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver, which states, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”

But, let’s look at another aspect of Kat’s advancement. “The Law of Influence” from that same book says, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” This does not mean you are self-sacrificial; it does mean that focusing on bringing value to others is congruent with your values.

One of Kat’s personal values is loyalty. Although she was offered a great job by another private equity firm that she wanted and was about to accept, when she found out the current company was about to be sold (which would be a bad time to leave them), she stayed to help them through the sale. Doing so entailed detailing with 14 other firms.

The result was that she became known as a person of huge value by the other firms as well and suddenly her influence grew exponentially. Now she was in greater demand than ever!

As Wattles succinctly stated in his chapter entitled, The Advancing Man:

“No matter what your profession, if you can give increase of life to others and make them sensible of this gift, they will be attracted to you, and you will get rich.”

Great things don’t happen in a vacuum. People create these opportunities for advancement. And, they do so, as Wattles stated, despite their circumstances. (You can read more about Kat’s personal situation in the Time.com article.)

An Advancing Man?

As I pulled up to the drive-through window of the local fast-food restaurant I sometimes frequent, I was greeted by a smile from a young man, probably not much older than the previously discussed hostess. He read back my special order to me, making sure he had it correct. I thanked him for caring enough to make sure he got it right.

“That’s our job, sir. We want to make sure it’s perfect and that you enjoy your meal.” He said it as though he meant it, and I have no doubt he did.

I was impressed. More than just the desire of my happiness with the dining experience, he knew how to communicate his desire for my happy dining experience.

He provided me with great value via his attitude. He gave me the impression of increase…I suspect he’ll be advancing soon.

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Update: Soon after this post was published, Kat was promoted to Group President of Cinnabon’s parent company, Atlanta-based Focus Brands, owned by private equity firm Roark Capital. In her new role she’s responsible for five franchise food brands in addition to Cinnabon: Auntie Anne, Carvel, Moe’s Southwest Grill , McAllister’s Deli and Schlotzsky’s. Focus has more than 4,000 fast casual locations worldwide. Yes, Kat Cole continues to be … The Advancing Woman.

Integrity and Honesty — For YOUR Sake

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Integrity and HonestyIn his new book, The Leadership Crisis And The Free Market Cure, John Allison defines Integrity as, “the harmony of mind and body” and says that, as a principle, it “guides us to act consistently with our beliefs.”

After a brief but brilliant explanation regarding how one cannot act with integrity if one’s values are either contradictory or not aligned with reality, the former BB&T CEO, now CEO of the libertarian think tank, Cato Institute made what I felt was another profound point:

“Many people view integrity as some form of duty. Integrity is not a duty. It is a means to improve the probability of being successful and happy.”

I find that statement to be powerful because if one displays integrity simply out of obligation to others, he or she cannot truly be happy. It’s only when one lives in integrity because it is congruent with their own values and how they wish to relate to the world that it can lead to happiness and personal fulfillment.

The extra benefit to living with integrity is that others respect you; they trust you more…and are more likely to want to be in relationship with you.

Mr. Allison’s teaching reminded me of wisdom from another person I also greatly admire, the late, Harry Browne.

Mr. Browne, whose classic on sales is – like Mr. Allison’s book on leadership as well as a recently-reviewed book by Russ Roberts — a spectacular treatise on understanding human nature wrote:

“Honesty is not a self-denying virtue. It’s one of the greatest assets a salesperson can have.”

There are two parts to this, as well. First, you are honest not for the sake of others (though, that is also very important) but because it is congruent with your personal value system. This allows you to be happy. And, in the end, happiness is what we as human beings ultimately desire.

The additional benefit to being an honest salesperson is the degree of trust you earn from your prospective and current customers and clients. This results in their gladly buying from you and just as enthusiastically referring you to others.

Yes, living with integrity and honesty certainly makes you more valuable to those whose lives you touch and influence. It affects you, however, on a much deeper level.

Because, when it comes right down to it…

It allows you to genuinely feel good about yourself and live with a sense of joy, peace of mind, and happiness.

Your thoughts?