#750 Help or Hurt?

Posted by frank February - 27 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Takers may eat better but givers always sleep better. 
I was working with a seasoned sales professional last week and we drifted in to a conversation about abusing trust and taking advantage of customers.  We all know that in many businesses (including mine) all people do not pay the same price for the goods they buy.  I learned this early on when I watched my Dad negotiate the price of a leather jacket in the almost third world market on Orchard St in the lower east side of Manhattan.  The price marked on the jacket was just a place to start.  The price Dad paid was not the same as the price some other person would pay that day.  The outcome was dependent on negotiating skills and who had a stronger desire.  Did the seller need the sale more than the buyer wanted the coat?
Chris (the seasoned professional I mentioned) and I are both in a position to set prices where we can and make as much profit as we deem fair and that the client and competition will allow us to make.  But is that really the case?  Are we supposed to make as much profit as the client and competition will allow?
The answer is NO.  Making a fair profit for the goods and services you provide is the blueprint of a free market economy but price gauging, lying, cutting corners, taking advantage of naivety, or welching on promises are not ways to make a larger profit.  They are ways to make an UNFAIR profit.
What I liked about working with Chris is that he gets that.  He approaches the selling process as I do and as all good sales professionals do; to help.  When your motivation is to help, and you lead with sincerity, it is much more likely that the client will accept your help and expertise and be willing to pay a fair price for the goods and services you offer.
2017 Motto…”Daily disciplines create desired outcomes.”

#749 Peace is Harder than War

Posted by frank February - 21 - 2017 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

• Acceptance is harder than judgment.
• Patience is harder than frustration.
• Responding is harder than reacting.

The first word in these statements, the one that’s harder, takes thought and practice.

It’s easy to judge based on what the surface shows you. It’s easy to quit anything in frustration, like a two year old, throwing a toy he can’t operate. It’s easy to let anger flare up and shout whatever insults come to mind when someone insults or hurts you first.

It’s hard to say, “I don’t know what I don’t know” and give someone the benefit of the doubt.
It’s hard to take a deep breath, quiet the voice in your head, and refocus when a project has gone off the rails.
It’s hard to stop and think about the effect your words might have before you say them; especially in a heated situation.

Like most things, not smoking, eating right, exercising, doing your taxes, cleaning out the garage, or mending the fence, acceptance, patience and responsiveness are harder in the moment but will make you happier and healthier in the long term.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#748 Toward of Away?

Posted by frank February - 13 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

How are your resolutions holding up? How well are you walking down your 2017 goals?

A lot of factors go in to sticking to things like resolutions and goals.

Change is tough.

Here is something I learned in NLP that helps me with this. People tend to lean either toward or away. Meaning some people are primarily motivated by the promise of gain while others are primarily motivated by the fear of loss. Notice that I said primarily because we all have both of these motivations inside of us. Fear of loss is usually more powerful and more prevalent. Most people would be more motivated to run into a burning house to grab the money stuffed in the mattress (fear of loss) than they would be to save the money in the first place (promise of gain)

Goals and resolutions are usually written with “toward” language. We set goals with the promise of gain firmly in mind.

In order to convert your resolutions from Teflon to Velcro, I’d like you to add a pain statement. The pain statement should be emotionally evocative and have lots of imagery attached to it. For example if you have a goal to save $5000 this year in your retirement fund, the pain statement could relate to NOT becoming like someone you know who is impoverished and uncomfortable in retirement. You would imagine yourself to be like them in your old age, (sitting in a small, dilapidated room, in a stained, threadbare, chair, wearing torn pajamas and a old robe, eating cold spaghetti out of a can) This kind of overblown visualization of the pain associated with not hitting your goal can help you to find the discipline to stick to your plan and save that dough.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#747 Programming

Posted by frank February - 6 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

When you think of something and subsequently believe it, your subconscious mind is constantly searching for evidence to prove you right.

This works in a number of ways but most importantly regarding self-esteem and goal setting.

If you believe you are inferior in some aspect of your life, your subconscious will remind you of all of the reasons you believe that. It will tell you about what you haven’t gotten done. It will comment about perceived problem areas, reminding you of the times you’ve tried and failed to improve them, and it will compare you to others. The comparisons are most unfair because you are comparing “insides to outsides”; what you think about yourself (insides) to what you ASSUME is the life someone else is living (outsides).

The same subconscious can work in your favor because it only sees what we predict it will see. It looks to prove us right (even about being wrong!) and is constantly scanning for evidence and useful bits of information to come to a conclusion about the thoughts we give it. Set a goal that is measureable and time-bound and place it prominently in your mind by reading it often, visualizing the outcome and creating a burning desire to achieve it, and your subconscious mind will scour the planet looking for support to make that goal happen.

Thoughts are things. Be careful what you wish for…

2017 Motto…”Daily disciplines create desired outcomes.”

#746 Think before you ask

Posted by frank January - 30 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

A quick bit on the subconscious mind

In sales I teach people to ask questions and listen. Prompted with good questions, people would rather convince themselves than to have you convince them. In selling, asking good questions helps to lead people to a result that’s good for them and for you.

Your subconscious mind works the same way.

If you ask yourself why you suck at something your brain will come up with a host of reasons why you suck.
Ask yourself why you’re being left out or important conversations at work and your brain will throw a litany of self-defeating reasons your way.

What makes this so debilitating is that you will believe all of these unflattering answers about you because YOU came up with them!

When you ask better questions you get better results.

This goes for anytime you need to be a convincer but most importantly it goes for you and your subconscious.

This is the primary reason goal setting works. Done properly, setting a goal is done in a way that keeps that goal in the front of your mind. Your mind is constantly asking questions about this thing that is so prominent. With that much attention, answers to help you toward that goal begin to appear.

So rather than ask yourself why you wont succeed or why you’re so bad at something or why people don’t respond to you the way you’d like, reframe the questions. Ask yourself, how can I get this done? What would (name a mentor) do in this situation? What can I do to engage my team in more lively discussions? When you ask the right questions, the right answers will appear.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#745 Rude is Rude

Posted by frank January - 23 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Rude is Rude

• Announcing that “What I am about to say may sound rude but…”doesn’t make you less rude.
• Asking if you can be “totally honest here” is not a license to be insulting.
• Warning me that what your about to say “might sound harsh” does not give you the right to speak harshly.
• Saying, “I don’t mean to be difficult” means your about to be difficult.
• Saying “I don’t want to be critical here” means you are about to criticize me or my project.
• Prefacing your insult with “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way” doesn’t make you any less insulting.
• Telling me you are “just being real” doesn’t give you a pass on the content of your language.
• Brutal and honest have no relationship to one and other.

There are no free passes. Throwing out these qualifiers so that you can be indelicate doesn’t soften the blow to the person you are smacking with your words.
Real forethought about how to deliver your message will help you get your message through. In NLP we live by this phrase: “The result of your communication IS its meaning”

When I stand at your front door I can look around for the bell or knocker (even though sometimes they’re not obvious) and ring or knock, wait for the door to open, and for you to invite me in. Conceivably, I can also use a battering ram, knock down the door and let myself in.

Either way I am inside but I believe I am in a better position to communicate and be heard when I take the time to locate the bell, ring it once or twice, and wait for you to invite me in.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#744 Pattern Interrupt

Posted by admin January - 17 - 2017 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

A miasma of of manner-less misogyny hung in the air as I watched an old, gin blossomed, Brit dismiss the inquiry’s of his timid wife with no more thought that you would give to shooing an annoying kitten mewing at you for more milk. Still, she persisted, pleasantly trying to engage him in conversation but his answers were curt and left no doubt that he found her annoying.

They were seated next to me at an outdoor dining area in my hotel and I was having mental images of leaning in close to him and telling him, through gritted teeth, to be a little nicer. You see, Frankie from Staten Island is always just beneath the surface and while I can mostly control these age old imprinted urges they still exist.

When the waitress asked his name and room number he said Martin, 827. That gave Frankie a new idea He thought we might wander over to the bar and order a Macallan 25, year old…DOUBLE and tell the bartender, “Martin, 827” I figured that would set the old bastard back $150 bucks or so and he bloodily well deserved it!

Instead, I put Frankie from SI away and went with a pattern interrupt, turning to them with a smile and asking how they were enjoying their holiday. She lit up like Christmas tree and told me all about their time in St Martin and her couple of days in Miami, where we were now sitting The old Brit joined in and before long we were all having a jolly good talk about vacations, restaurants, and Travel. When I left they were smiling and enjoying their lunch.

Maybe he was just hungry or maybe he’d gotten up on the wrong side of the bed but whatever it was, his ship seemed righted for the moment.

There was a time, not too long ago, when The fake bar charge would have been a foregone conclusion and a nasty comment to the old coot was the the minimum I would have done. Minding my own business in the face of perceived injustice has never been my strong suit but thankfully I’ve learned to use some new tools to help me fix what looks to me to need fixing.

As I was heading out I glanced back and they seemed to be chatting nicely which felt pretty good. Still, as I rounded the bar, a voice in my head with a thick NYC accent, told me that The Macallan would have gone down pretty smoothly too…

2017 Motto: “Daily disciplines create desired outcomes”

#743 React or Respond

Posted by frank January - 9 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Welcome to all of the new subscribers from the Middletown Library Goal-Setting event.  I am so glad to have you on board!
It’s never about what is going on around you or to you; only what is going on inside of you. 
Do you react or respond?  When adverse things happen to you, you can react in frustration and find people to blame.  You can dial up the ferocity and spread it like Typhoid Mary, infecting everyone with whom you have contact, or… you can respond. 
Reacting takes zero thought.  In fact, it’s thoughtless. 
Responding seems tougher in the moment but is, ultimately, easier because you don’t have to repair the damage caused by your virulence.
Some of you are thinking, “I can’t help it.  That’s just how I’m wired.” 
I disagree.  I believe behaviors are learned.  I believe we employ them as strategies, because they’ve worked for us in some way throughout our lives.  I also believe we need to outgrow some of them but don’t always realize it.  Life and the world around us change over time.  What once may have been an effective, or at least accepted, response no longer is.  If you’re still throwing temper tantrums, and spewing vitriol every time the world frustrates you, it time to employ a new behavior.   What may seem to offer a short term fix is really bringing you, and those around you, long term pain.
React or Respond.  It is a choice; your choice.
2017 Motto: “Daily disciplines create desired outcomes”

#742 Choose Your Response

Posted by frank January - 3 - 2017 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

My motto for 2017 is Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

Let me ask you a question; Are you willing to give up what you want now for what you want most? As a former smoker I can tell you that I often gave in to what I wanted now (a smoke) and forsook what I wanted most (good health)

Dieters want to be thinner but sometimes have difficulty passing up the snack they want now for the healthier body they want most.

At this time of year, many of us are making resolutions and setting goals. At vision of the future can be realized or remain just a vision.

The difference between dreaming and setting and achieving goals is that goal achievement requires a plan and a plan requires daily action.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

I wish you a wildly successful 2017 filled with health, happiness and all good things.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#741 Did you just hijack my conversation?

Posted by frank December - 19 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Another reminder: Crafting a motto for next year needs to happen now. My cousin Steve turned me on to creating a motto that articulates some of my intention for the year. Some of you have adopted this practice as well. If you haven’t I encourage you to do so. I am happy to help with this so reach out if you want to kick some ideas around.

I called someone last week to tell him some news about me and get his opinion about something I am working on. I had hardly uttered a sentence when a word I used triggered a thought in his mind and he began a discourse about his life and all of the bothersome bits that were rankling him at the moment. It may have been five minutes but it felt like twenty. I honestly can’t tell you much about what was said because I wasn’t listening. I just kept thinking, “Did you just hijack my conversation? Didn’t I call YOU to speak about something that was on MY mind? I never did get to tell him what that was.

Listening is an awesome and underutilized skill.

Relating is a good thing. It’s nice to show understanding by matching something you’re told with something you’ve done or feel but good listeners follow that up with a question that prompts the speaker to continue with his subject.

There are two quotes, relating to this, that I love.
“No one cares what you know until they know that you care.”
And my favorite is “No one ever said, I hate that guy! All he ever does is listen to me!”

2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!