My Purposeful Reflection

While watching a YouTube video last night, I heard an Internet Marketer express his vision in a way that made me think of a recent discussion with guests on my radio show. (In case you didn’t know, I am host of BOLD TALK BUSINESS RADIO, which airs on AM 1300 WMEL in Central Florida and streams worldwide at www.1300wmel.com.)

YouTuber and Internet marketer to the music community, Lee Beattie had said in his online video, “My Why is to educate a macro community that funds a micro community that feeds a community. His words summed up the conversation a small group of us began in the conference room at WMEL Radio after our 03.28.15 show.

My own mission is to educate and inspire people to acknowledge their own potential for growth, success and satisfaction in life and work. Over my life, I have learned that outer success is deeply linked with people’s view of themselves and the world around them.

Almost 15 years ago, I became conscious of my desire to help people feel good about who they are and what they do, regardless of their circumstances. My work since has centered on sharing tools for making that happen. Just as art triggers emotions because the creator’s expression mirrors an emotional landscape and responds to the artist’s sense of the communities around them, the same can be said of technical innovators who beat to the drum of community and consumer needs. Simply put, thoughts and beliefs fuel our feelings and our feelings influence what we do. It helps to be conscious of how that works. My goal is to help people become more mindful of thoughts and feelings so they develop the kind of inner mastery that empowers their outer success.

During my post-radio-show conversation with investments attorney Russell Weigel (author of Capital for Keeps: Limit Litigation Risk While Raising Capital and Preston Tesvich, co-developer of Hiro (a Bluetooth beacon for finding lost keys) and director of business development for JayCon Systems, I suggested the importance of encouraging critical thinking when divergent groups try to collaborate. Over the years, I’ve worked on many committees comprising diverse viewpoints, varying group dynamics, and varying degrees of group success. My observations show that the key predictors of success have largely been shared sense of purpose, agreement on strategy and people committed to the heavy lifting. Powerful change requires real work. That work also requires cultivation of inner and outer resources for success, especially what I call conscious communication—clear, consistent, focused, intentional communication—that leads to desired win-win outcomes.

If you are considering a collaborative venture—a business or personal relationship, an investment, or a community partnership—start by exploring where and how your purpose, resources, connections, and approach to life intersect. Also understand that in a collaboration, each party must bring valuable resources to the table. Consider the value you bring and the value you expect from others. That will help you determine the best way to collaborate for win-win-win outcomes. Also be sure that the projects you decide to work on make sense in the ecology of your own life and business. Time and money invested are limited commodities.

Take Off the Boxing Gloves and Communicate Instead

© Dario Diament | Dreamstime Stock Photos

TAKE OFF THE BOXING GLOVES AND COMMUNICATE FOR A WIN-WIN. Photo Courtesy: © Dario Diament | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Do you wish you could find an easier way to deal with difficult people and conversations?  If so, let’s acknowledge that it can be hard to be diplomatic when emotions run hot and opinions differ. When you feel strongly about something, you may want to demand answers to the questions on your mind. But demands in tense times may not get you the real outcome you want. To keep all parties honest and engaged in discovering mutually rewarding solutions, you need to cool down, get strategic and take off the boxing gloves. Consider this ..

When opinions differ, most people get into “I’m right, you’re wrong” thinking. What starts out as a discussion turns into to an argument. The people involved also may start to feel, “I’m good. You’re bad.” Those feelings don’t bode well. The good news is we can learn how to manage difficult conversations and differing opinions so that both (or all) parties feel heard and satisfied. Want to learn how? Read on.

Arguments often escalate because couples—or business partners, teams and usually cordial colleagues—become confrontational in their words and behavior. They may become accusatory and offensive. People who confront others may use put downs. They may ask leading questions in critical tones that implicate the other person or group. Confronters may get snarky and their comments may flow with sarcasm. Avoiders may withdraw and give up on trying to get their own thoughts across.

So, what do you do?

First, when you hear your brain spilling over with negative thoughts and you find yourself jumping to conclusions, first step up and yell “STOP” in your head. That simple cue will give you the pause you need to think logically about how to get the results you want. It will give you time to shift to solutions thinking and find the positive energy you have somewhere inside. It also will give you time to consider what the other person really wants, needs, and is trying to say. After all, when you understand the other person’s viewpoint, you will have an easier time connecting with them and opening their eyes to your view and ears to your thoughts.

Yelling STOP is also a terrific way to break out of automatic negative reactions to trigger situations, such as not getting what you want, feeling disrespected or misunderstood.  Reminding yourself to stop will empower you to slow down. As you do, you can breathe deeply and give rise to the kind of positive energy and language that will attract others to you, rather than shut them down to different perspectives. You can also concentrate on putting out energy, body language and words that others will want to emulate and match.

Take time to find the right words before speaking them. Instead of direct confrontation, try a more subtle approach. Start by padding your questions with permissive requests, such as:
• Would it be possible to talk about this?
• Could you consider this thought …
• Is this a good time to talk or would you rather plan to talk later?
You might try saying something like, “Would you mind if we talk about it? I know you’re angry (or upset).”

When you make an effort to sidestep comments that would simply trigger more negative reactions, you increase the likelihood of finding a better solution.

Another strategy is to notice and use your tone of voice to everyone’s benefit. To diffuse a confrontation, try  a gentle voice and permissive language: Please tell me what is on your mind … Please let me know what you are thinking about this? … May I ask you about …. ? When you use gentle language, you won’t appear weak; you will appear caring and receptive to the other person’s point of view. Be aware that the other party wants to feel validated, heard and understood. (Same as you!)

Take time to think about what is triggering your body language, and choose a thought that will communicate your desire to work problems out. To avert a confrontation, become aware of your body stance, hand gestures and eye movements. Does your body language reveal that you are open to suggestions or closed to ideas and ready to explode?

Last but not least, consider your overarching purpose. Most arguments are not disagreements over where to go. People may want the same things, but disagree over how to get there. To get back on track, look for common ground. Focus your conversation first on common goals and then work together on a strategy for achieving them.

How do you get there? Learn to express your thoughts and feelings in a caring and respectful way. Decide what you absolutely must have to feel satisfied and what you are willing to compromise about. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is a particular point to you? Also consider what a win-win would look like for all parties, and try to find a way for everyone to get their needs met—simultaneously—whenever possible.

For more help with business or personal discussions, ask Donna or please visit BoldMarketingSolutions.com/BoldTalk.html for more information. Also watch for information on the launch of the Success Crossing e-Learning platform, where you will be able to deepen understanding of the issues discussed above and practice skills needed for BOLDTalk.

Take a Chance and Go for What You Want

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Entrepreneurial icon, Debbie Fields Rose, founder of Mrs. Field’s Cookies, said, “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

According to the Website DamselsinDistress.com, “Debbi’s success is significant, given that she received significant discouragement from family and friends, many of whom told her that she had no business starting her own company. She had no formal education to speak of, no money of her own to start the business with no product except cookies (…). At the age of 20, Debbi ignored the criticism and pushed forward to open a store in Palo Alto that would eventually be a $450 million leader of freshly-baked cookies.”

I agree with Debbi. Take the steps you want to take in life. Listen to your inner cheerleader instead of drudges who pull you down. Commit to learning what you need to know to succeed. Remember, there really is no failure, only failure to learn the right next step. Stay on a continuous learning path to discover answers to your questions and find the resources you need to get where you want to go. Ask for help when you need to and go, go, go!

Insight to Overcoming Fear: A New Resource

Most people periodically experience a prickle of fear in new situations or when dealing with events that have provoked fear and unpleasant outcomes for them in the past. For many, it’s like standing alone on a giant iceberg, frozen in place and shivering instead of finding the heat torch in hand that will melt your fear and spark the power you need to push through.

In the Extraordinary Self© Development Program, and the upcoming e-Learning classes you’ll soon find on our new e-Learning portal (watch for the link), we speak about confidence—the natural cure for fear—and where it comes from. Thanks to a trend started in the 80s to boost children’s self esteem with praise for every effort no matter how effective, we’ve grown a generation of people who believe that whatever they do is good enough. But what happens when they get to a corporate job and their work really isn’t praise worthy? Or they enter into a relationship and it falls apart? Or they start a business without the right skill set? And they fail? Will the old pat-on-the-back that got them through high school be enough to sustain their belief in themselves and the ability to push forward despite the reality of harsh feedback? Probably not. They’ll need to develop the framework for real confidence so they can get back on track when they fall off.

Reality speaks a different language than the soft touch some of us were reared with. Happily, the message for change doesn’t need to be harsh. Life is what it is; we have the power to decide what we do about it. Reality language doesn’t need to be harsh; it just needs to be practical. Feedback is the key to learning! True confidence is built on the blocks of one-step-at-a-time learning that gets desired results. Each little step forward rings its own little bell of success. The more little rings you hear in your head, the greater —and truer—your confidence will be going forward. Continue reading