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The 4 Rules For Being Noticed And Getting Ahead

Our own light shines brightest when we reflect the accomplishments of those we have helped to succeed. – Roz Usheroff

When you look at people who are in the spotlight of accomplishment, do you automatically assume that they were born with inherent gifts?  Do you believe they possess unique abilities that mere mortals do not possess? Do you think that explains why they command and attract attention?

Are you currently surrendering to a belief that you could never aspire to similar heights of achievement in your own right?

If you do, then you are not alone.

But here is the thing . . . many of the people whom you see as strong and confident were not always like that. In fact, many were initially inclined to shun the spotlight and retreat to the supposed comfort of anonymity in the shadows of self-doubt.

Surprised?

Don’t be.

The Shadows Of My 4-Person Rule

Many years ago when I worked at Club Monaco, a Canadian retail fashion chain, I had a self-imposed rule that if there were more than four people in a meeting, I would remain silent.

My reasoning was that I had a greater chance of appearing stupid if I spoke in front of a larger audience. I was fearful of being exposed as someone who did not know what they were talking about. You can think of it as being the 4 Smart – 5 Stupid Rule.

get-noticed-4b

As I look back, my thinking seems foolish, especially since I now address audiences of all sizes the world over. Naturally, over time, those fears eventually disappeared due in part to the fact that I allowed myself to accept the positive feedback from my diverse audiences.  The real turning point however, was my realization that I had known more about what I was saying, than for what I was giving myself credit.

Overcoming The “Spotlight Effect”

Ultimately, I shied away from the spotlight in terms of speaking up and standing out because I believed that everyone was watching me and would therefore notice my every flaw or imperfection. This highly sensitized level of self-consciousness actually has a name…“The Spotlight Effect”.

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If you are not familiar with the term, it is the belief that you are noticed by others more than you really are. What is even more interesting is that rarely, if ever, will you have an accurate perspective on how people view you.

In this month’s eNewsletter, I will provide you with a new set of rules for stepping from the shadows of self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs to shine in your own right.

Rule #1 – Focus on your Strengths

If you want to change the fruit, you have to change the roots. If you want to change the visible, you have to change the invisible first. – T. Harv Eker

How many times have you been in a meeting where someone presents an idea in which you have said to yourself, “Hey! I thought of that!”

This has happened to everyone at one time or another, and not just once. So here is my question to you . . . why didn’t you speak up? Why did you hesitate to share your ideas or flashes of brilliance?

Until you get to the point of realizing and accepting the fact that you have a value all of your own, you will likely be in the shadows of your own 4-person rule.

woman with sketched strong and muscled arms

Tips for discovering and boosting your confidence:

  • Think back to your past successes – even the small ones. It could be acing a tough job interview, dealing with a difficult customer or completing a project under budget. How did you feel? The key point is that each success you have had should serve as a stepping-stone to building your confidence in the value of ‘you’.
  • Seek input from trusted individuals with whom you work and live about your strengths. Remember, with the spotlight effect we rarely, if ever, have an accurate view of how others perceive us. You will most assuredly be surprised by the answers you receive.
  • If you are not happy with something about yourself, don’t lament it – change it! If you feel that you need to be more visible, begin with tiny steps. Challenge yourself to speak up early in a meeting or ask to be first on the agenda of a virtual presentation.

Rule #2 – Knowledge IS Power

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing fosters greater confidence than knowing your stuff!

get-noticed-einstein

Doing your homework and becoming a subject matter expert removes any element of surprise. It also means that your preparation time before attending a meeting or addressing an audience is as important as the event itself.

In other words, you can’t just show up and wing it. That would be like showing up at the starting line of a marathon race without actually training for it. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, or how athletic you look –  you are not going to win the race.

Tips for setting the stage for speaking out:

  • Know your audience! Find out who is going to be attending the meeting, and what they want to achieve. Why are they there? Why are you there?
  • Get a copy of the agenda and highlight the areas with which you can offer meaningful insight – then carpe diem . . . seize the opportunity to speak.
  • Prepare thought-provoking questions in advance. Address those in attendance who are the subject matter experts.  Your enthusiastic participation will be duly noted.
  • When presenting, don’t just talk at people. Engage them. Create a two-way dialogue which shifts the focus from you to others, and gives everyone the opportunity to shine in a collective spotlight. To make your audience part of the process, try the following:
  • “What are your questions?” vs. “Do you have any questions?”
  • “How does this resonate with you?”
  • “I’m curious to have your perspectives.”
  • “What are your thoughts before I move on?”
  • Stock the boardroom or audience with allies who will validate your perspectives. Book time to share your vision with them before the meeting to build your sponsorship.

Rule #3 – Sincere Passion Is Contagious   

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot. – DH Lawrence

A powerful message is dampened by a cautious or uncertain delivery.

get-noticed-passion

Tips to help you to shine when it is time to speak:

  • Don’t say what you have to say to gain approval. Say what you have to say because you truly believe it.
  • When you speak, make eye contact with as many people as you can. Let them not only hear the conviction in your voice, but see the confidence in your eyes.
  • Have documentation at hand that supports your position rather than just an opinion.
  • When you are finished speaking, don’t end with a shrug of the shoulders, “Well, what do you think?” submission.
  • Never end your point of view with your voice rising as it will appear that you are asking for permission.

Rule #4 – Perfection Is An Illusion

Everyone makes mistakes. The wise are not people who never make mistakes, but those who forgive themselves and learn from their mistakes. – A Buddhist Monk

For me, a major breakthrough in terms of stepping out from the shadows and into the spotlight of my full potential came when I finally gave myself permission to be imperfect. What I have learned over the years is that audiences are more apt to champion me when I focus on them, as opposed to myself.

get-noticed-perfection1

Tips to help you to own your power and become comfortable being visible:

  • If you make a mistake in front of your entire world, admit it, fix it, and learn from it. How you deal with adversity speaks volumes about your character.
  • Like a figure skater who falls during their routine, don’t sit at center ice and give up. Instead, get up and continue forward.
  • Focus on getting it right, as opposed to being right. When you are more interested in delivering value to others you are less likely to dwell on your missteps.

Everyone Has A Spotlight . . . 

I’ve come to believe that each person has a spotlight waiting for them. – Katherine Stone

In the end, stepping into your spotlight and getting noticed means that you are more likely to be considered for opportunities for career advancement.

So go out there and shine!

Roz

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The Hazards of Cruise Control – Four Steps to Embracing Change

“Cruise Control is the enemy of success.  We resist change because we overestimate the value of what we have and underestimate the value of what can be gained through change.”

When faced with change, there is often a feeling of disorientation. One minute you are cruising along in a certain direction on a path that you believed was leading you towards a desired goal or certain future, and then . . . BAM.

But is what you originally envisioned your only future?

A New Palette

After graduating with a degree in business, Erik Wahl became a high-powered executive at a corporate firm. He had charted his course and knew where he was headed. Then, after eight years, he lost his job when the dot-com bubble burst.

It was then that he shifted his focus to art, and in particular, speed painting.

To most, this was a complete turnaround in that he went from suits and cell phones, to paint brushes and canvasses.

However, and because he was able to adapt and imagine a new future, Erik Wahl is now one of the country’s most sought after business speakers. His speed art presentation called “The Art of Vision,” has enthralled audiences and motivated business professionals from organizations such as AT&T, London School of Business and Ernst & Young to see beyond the familiar to achieve greater outcomes.

At the heart of his message is the belief that it is more important to be creative than to be stable, especially in times of change.

cruise-wahl

The question is how do you go from resisting change when the rate of change is not going to slow down.  What’s the secret for embracing unpredictability? The following four steps will help you to get there . . . wherever your “new” there is.

1. Your First Reaction Is Not Your Best Reaction

Beliefs are at the core of our foundation, and influence our desire to change or move or try something else.  This is a principle that I covered at length in my first book, entitled Customize Your Career (2004).  Beliefs or “perceptions of self” determine your values and ultimately the goals you both set and work toward achieving in terms of your future success.

As a result, and whether expected or not, change actually threatens your belief system. This is why you may – like so many people, summarily resist it, because it shakes up not only your view of the world, but your view of yourself.

cruise-home-alone

This is why you have to look beyond your initial reaction and open yourself up to the possibilities associated with change.

You may very well discover that what you initially considered to be an upset is, in reality, the doorway to a bigger and brighter future.

2. Be Willing To Let Go

I once saw a picture on a friend’s office wall of a baseball player sliding into base. Above, the caption read, “You can’t steal second with your foot on first.”

cruise-stealing-second

Are you someone who likes to (or needs to) hang on to the past? Do you spend your thought power on looking at what has already happened, instead of influencing what will happen? For most, there is comfort and certainty in the familiar. However, sometimes these are not accurate indicators that you are on the right path. Sometime they can actually mask the fact that you are in a rut.

An essential step to embracing change requires you to let go. A priest recently shared his wisdom with his congregation, where he said that if you live in the past, you will live with regrets! But if you live in the present, you’ll live with passion and opportunities.  Are you ready to take on the world of possibility?

3. Believe anything is possible

When my Mother turned 88, I remember asking her how she felt about getting old.  Her response was most inspiring.  She said: ”Roz, when I get there, I’ll let you know.”  My Mother lived her life to the fullest and taught me that attitude is the force that makes the impossible possible.

For me, I never believed that I would be travelling around the world, privileged to be speaking to Fortune 500 companies.  What’s the change you see possible for yourself, and are your looking through a clear and fresh lens of objective enthusiasm?

cruise-uncertainty

Take a step back, and pretend that you are at the beginning of your career when everything is new and all things are possible.  At this stage you’re likely not invested so much in your present vision of what the future should look like. As a result, you have an elasticity in terms of options, and are open to trying new things. This is the spirit you want to bring to the table when a change is happening in your career and life.

In other words, look to the future for possibilities, but use the present to lay the foundation.

4. Find Your Undiscovered YOU

Change does not mean that you compromise your values, or attempt to do something that is clearly outside of the scope of your unique abilities.

However, change may actually enable you to discover an untapped well of capability and skills that you have never used. I call this finding the “undiscovered you.”

The questions you need to ask yourself is simply this: Do you have a hidden talent and capability? Is there a gift that you possess that is muted and hidden under the obfuscating belief of what you think you are, as opposed to what you could be? What do you enjoy doing that inspires others to recognize your talents? What type of work energizes you and gives you enormous pleasure?

cruise-embrace-you

Going back to my story about Erik Wahl, a sudden and unexpected change was the best thing that could have ever happened to him. Why should change treat you any differently?

3 Steps To Becoming A Disruptive Leader In Your Organization

“Disruption” describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses. – Harvard Business Review article

Right off the bat, you may read the above excerpt from a December 2015 HBR article and say to yourself “I am not a business, I am an employee – why should this matter to me?”

So before we get into the steps to becoming a disruptive leader in your organization, I think that it is important to recognize one important fact . . . there is no such thing as an employee.

Yes, you are employed by your company, and yes, you receive a regular paycheck. But organizations are no longer looking for employees. They are looking for individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for thinking beyond the familiar. In essence, they want people who possess an intrapreneurial spirit, and a burning desire to drive greater success.

In this regard, you are like a small company, and your employer is in reality your customer or client.

Once you come to terms with this realization, a whole new world of thought and energy will open up to you.

1. Believe That Disruption Can Start At Any Level

The very nature of being a disruptive force means that you do not have to have an executive position within your company to be an agent of innovative change.

In fact, in many instances, it is those on the front lines of every day business who usually gain a first hand understanding of what customers are looking for in the way of products or services. In other words, you are plugged in, so use it to your advantage.

What are your customers saying? Are there areas for potential improvement, or service requirements that have yet to be filled?

Are there changes within your organization that can be made to improve customer satisfaction?

Disruptive Find A Need

2. Make The Time To Take Action

Do you remember the old saying about regret?

In the end, the only regrets we have are about the chances we didn’t take!

Think about that for a moment.

The question you have to ask yourself is what is holding you back?

What keeps you from responding to a need?

Is it a lack of confidence? A fear of failure?

disruptive Procrastination-Quotes-19

These are certainly potential obstacles. However, what I have found over the years is that procrastination and distraction are often times your greatest enemy.

You are busy, and pressed for time. There is a greater demand today to do more with less resources. How can you possibly add another task or pursue a new idea? Sure you believe you have a better way to serve a client’s need, or improve an internal process that will create new efficiencies. One day you will get to that. But right now, you can only see what is immediately in front of you.

This is why it is important for you to make the time to take action.

Recognizing an opportunity to make a difference is not enough. You have to reach out and grab it. You have to make it yours, and in so doing you will mobilize your dreams and realize your full potential.

3. Don’t Quit

Disruptive Miracle

So you have recognized a need, and have stepped up to make it happen, but not everyone shares your vision or enthusiasm.

The resistance you are encountering takes many forms. Sometimes it is apathy. Other times it is a full frontal critiquing as to why your idea won’t work or, isn’t working.

What do you do?

First of all, realize that in pursuing a better way you are always going to encounter resistance. Getting over the “we have always done it this way” mindset is likely going to be the first line of defence you will encounter.

As a result, and regardless of what others may say, you have to remember that you are not after consensus. While you will always want to gain champions for your ideas, as well as leverage the insights from a cherished mentor, at the end of the day, it is up to you.

How far are you willing to go to make a positive difference?

What’s more, if you were to quit, could you live with yourself if someone else, somewhere down the road, made your idea work?

Winston Churchill once said “Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

Do you believe in what you are doing?

Does what you are doing make sense?

If you can honestly answer yes to these two questions, then don’t quit!

Make Your Magic happen . . . today!

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Avoiding The Road Of Good Intentions in 2016

“Ideas have a shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date.” – John C. Maxwell

It was not that long ago that I came across an article in Psychology Today talking about how people can close what was referred to as being the intention – action gap.

It was a very interesting article, especially in the context of our long-ingrained practice of making resolutions every time a new year rolls around.

I am sure, like me, that you had a few moments of quiet reflection on the year that had just past. I am also certain that you spent some time considering your hopes for the coming year. It would be unusual if you didn’t.

However, the soulful contemplation of your dreams – whether they center around spending more time with your family, or finally getting that promotion, must be based on something more than a wishful desire or good intentions. You must base them on taking tangible action.

What Are YOU Prepared To Do?

John Maxwell’s words about ideas having a shelf life, and the need for you to act on them before they expire, is a personal call to action.

The question is, what is holding you back from realizing the full potential of your opportunities – and yes, there is an abundance of opportunities waiting for you in 2016.

In this month’s eNewsletter, I will be providing you excerpts from my How To Make 2016 Your Breakout Year Guide, that will enable you to identify some of the obstacles you are likely to face, and how you can overcome them to embrace your version or vision of success.

All you have to do is to be prepared to take action!

“You deserve the results you’ve got. Remember, it was your actions that created them. – Larry Winget  

1. The Fear Of Failure

According to a June 14th, 2014 PsychCentral article by Tellman Knudson, CHT, we all have a fear of failure.

The fact is that fear, and more specifically the fear of failure, does affect all of us at one point in time or another.  Whether we are trying something for the first time or the thousandth time, it doesn’t matter.  It is therefore not the fear itself that is the problem, but how we deal with it.

In short, it is our attitude towards fear that determines our ability to overcome it.

So how do you overcome the fear of failure?

TIP:

  • Approach any situation with the mindset of Winston Churchill who said that “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts!”
  • The best way to overcome fear is to continue to move forward as opposed to analyzing, denying or for that matter fighting it.
  • Learn from your failures, and build on your successes, turning every situation into a win-win scenario.

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2. A Lack Of Perseverance

Chinese Proverb – When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.

I love this proverb, because it provides a simple yet powerful definition of adaptability.

It also accurately describes the true characteristics of perseverance, and the importance of being able to intelligently persevere and persist.

What does it mean to “intelligently persevere and persist?”   

TIP:   

  • Don’t confuse a sincere belief with what you are doing, and the reality of your situation. You need to appraise your situation from a standpoint of objectivity as opposed to emotion.
  • Know when to quit . . . or as Seth Godin put it “winners quit fast, quit often and quit without guilt.”
  • In the end, perseverance, and the decision to continue or not, should be based as much on your motives as it is on your determination. When the right motives are combined with the willingness to endure, there is no obstacle too great for you to overcome. You will find a way.

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3. The Uplifting Power Of Mindful Living

As alluded to by the title of my Guide, my goal is to empower you to make 2016 your breakout year.

The areas upon which I have focused in the previous points, represent just two of the most common obstacles you will face in terms of realizing your full potential and ultimately your greatest achievements.

These are by no means the only challenges you will encounter.  However, and by applying the same mindful principles to whatever roadblocks you may face, you will persevere, overcome and succeed.

Of course when I talk about mindful principles, I am also referring to the uplifting power of mindful living.

So what is mindful living?

It is an attitude that is not dependent upon how you feel at any given moment, nor is it based upon success or failure.

Mindful living is a state of perpetual certainty that whatever you are facing in the way of challenges or obstacles, you will ultimately overcome.

The following will provide you with the key attributes of someone who is living mindfully and successfully, regardless of their situation or circumstances.

TIP:

  • Live in the present
  • Live with humor
  • Live with passion
  • Live simply
  • Live with patience
  • Live to celebrate all experiences
  • Live with gratitude
  • Live with purpose

living-on-purpose

Are You Ready To Take Action?

So there you have it.

Referencing the question I posed at the beginning of this eNewsletter, what are you now prepared to do to make 2016 your breakout year?

Or perhaps a better question is what’s holding you back, because you were made for success.

Cheers

Roz

2016 Guide Cover.jpg

I would be delighted to provide you with a free copy of my 2016 Guide for a more detailed overview of each of the above mindful living principles.  Please contact Cathy at cathy@usheroff.com for your copy.

The Top 5 Things You Can Do To Guarantee Your Success

Like every action having an equal or greater reaction, there are certain things that you can do to consistently come out on top in terms of achieving your goals.

Some refer to it as Karma, while others see it as a sow what you reap reality.

Whatever your beliefs or views, one thing is clear . . . if you do enough of the right things consistently success, while maybe delayed, will ultimately not elude you.

So what are these top 5 things you can do to guarantee success?

1. Deliver More Than You Promise

What if you finished your box of Cracker Jack, only to discover that there was no prize?

Far too often in today’s world we accept good enough as being well . . . good enough.

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Like the old tagline from the large retail chain that heralds “get the max for the minimum,” it seems that standards of delivery have increasingly been compromised to a point of diluted excellence. What would have been seen as a mediocre effort a few years ago, is now seen as being the norm.

Granted that there is pressure on people in the workforce to do more with less resources. But to really stand out, you have to exceed expectations as opposed to simply yielding to them.

When you do more than what is expected, your are establishing a new level of excellence and therefore creating a personal brand that stands out from the crowd.

2. Be Generous Often, And Without Hesitation

We have all heard the saying about how charity or generosity begins at home.

But here is the thing, the more generous you are with your time such as mentoring a new fellow employee, or helping someone with a tough assignment at work, the more meaningful connections you will make with people.

radical-generosity

After all, no one truly gets to where they are in life without the help and goodwill of others.

Even though it is easy to get caught up in the demands of everyday living, when you generously give of your time to others, the payback at some point down the road, will be far greater than your original investment.

3. Be The Best You Can Be . . . Always

Excellence is not an occasional event brought about by intense moments of effort, sandwiched between long periods of just showing-up.

Being the best you can be is a self-determined way of thinking. It is the commitment to give it your all, even when doing so goes against everything you might be thinking and feeling at a particular time.

best you snoopy The power of this belief was captured perfectly in a scene from the movie A League Of Their Own.

After making the decision to quit baseball, Gena Davis’ character tells her coach – played by Tom Hanks, that playing the game is just “too hard.”

Hanks character’s response . . . “it’s supposed to be hard, if it wasn’t, then everyone would do it” spoke volumes.

He then said “The hard is what makes it great!”

Being the best you can be isn’t always easy, but it is always great in terms of realizing your dreams.

4. Never Quit . . . 

Calvin Coolidge once said the following:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

In this one statement, Coolidge said everything you will ever need to know about the importance of persistence and determination.

never-quit

5. Be Honest With Integrity

I was once asked what the difference was between honesty and integrity.

This is one of those questions in which you instantly think you have the answer, but in a moments pause realize that there is more to the question than you probably realized.

Honesty quite simply means telling the truth, while integrity means having high moral character and living by a strict set of ethics and principals. Specifically, doing the right thing, regardless of its impact on you.

Interestingly enough, you can have honesty without integrity, but you cannot have integrity without honesty.

integrity

So while it is important to always be honest and to tell the truth, having integrity requires more. It is an unwavering call to action, to be true to your values – even when doing so creates hardship.

Only Five?

While there are without a doubt other factors in terms of achieving success – feel free to add your own in the comment section below, I have found that the above five when consistently applied, produce amazing results.

Four Simple Things You Can Do To Get People To Like You

You like me, you really like me.” – Sally Field, 1984 Oscar Speech

Quickly, and before you even think about it, what was your first reaction after you read the above quote?

If you are like most people who at the time witnessed Sally Field’s acceptance speech live on television, your reaction may have ranged from dismissive contempt to derision. If you are unfamiliar with the above quote, type Sally Field you like me into Google, and you will see that it is considered to be one of the most 10 bizarre Oscar moments ever.

Sadly, the gushing words of how everybody liked her, overshadowed Sally Field’s accomplishment as an award-winning actress.  As a result, a moment that should have been one of triumph became one that reflected a neediness that undermined both her image and personal brand.

The fact is that when you think about being liked, you may feel a little uncomfortable. This is normal, because the desire to be liked is often seen as being a weakness, or a reflection of one’s lack of self-confidence.

Terms like “you are trying too hard to be liked” or, “why do you need everyone’s approval to feel like you are worth something” may cause you to withdraw and adopt a defensive attitude.

However, getting people to like you is not an option. Regardless of how you feel, we live and do business in a world in which people are drawn to those whom they Know, Like and Trust – emphasis on LIKE. There is no way around this universal truth.

This is one of the reasons why, before getting into the simple things you can do to get people to like you, it is important that you accept this . . . somehow and at some point, if you want to progress in your career or life in general, you have to get people to want to know you.

After all, to know you is to LIKE YOU!

A 2000 study by Yale University and the Center for Socialization and Development – Berlin concluded that “people, unlike animals, gain success not being aggressive buy by being nice.  Research found that the most successful leaders, from CEO’s to PTA presidents, all treated their subordinates with respect and made genuine attempts to be liked.  Their approach garnered support and led to greater success.”

1. Choose your attitude

The choice of your attitude will determine the quality and success of your relationships.

Your attitude is a powerful force that controls the appearance of everything you do.  It sets the mood and quality of your thoughts, your voice intonation and your spoken words.

Your attitude will influence your facial expressions and body language. If your attitude is negative, it will be difficult to control micro-expressions that are those escaped signals that show the world what you are really thinking.

Manage your demeanor by choosing an outlook that will showcase the best of who you are, without judgement of others, finding blame or being impatient.

last_crusade_choose_wisely

Look for the good in people and in situations.  Manage the way you share your thoughts.  Complainers push people away and sabotage opportunities. No one likes to be around a naysayer. Dr. Steve Maraboli once said, “There are often great lessons to be learned at the roots of stress, drama, and heartache. Don’t let the magnitude of the circumstance blind you to the value of the lesson.”

  • Commit to being pleasant and gracious with everyone you meet
  • Practice diplomacy and understanding, no matter what is going on
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt as you may not be privy to their circumstances

2. Smile

In John Brandon’s May 29th, 2014 Inc article 10 Simple Ways to Make People Like You, he talked about the importance of keeping it light and “going for the laugh every time.”

Happy Face

His reasoning is that “It’s hard to hate a jokester or someone who has a carefree approach to life,” and that usually, the most liked people are those that “can fill a room with laughter.”

While being a dark and disturbed character is great in the movies, in real life no one will want to be around you if you are negative or constantly complaining about everything from the boss to having to work overtime on an important project.

I am not suggesting that you adopt a Pollyanna persona, or offer a vacuous smile to the world when there are serious issues being faced. Nor am I saying that you suddenly have to become a stand-up comic who is “always on.” Regardless of who you are, becoming a positive presence starts with a smile – a real and welcoming smile. Turning your frown and the frown of others into a smile can be easily accomplished.

  • Be the first to engage, smile and quick to praise
  • Build trust by consistently showing up at your best
  • Adopt a sense of humor that encourages others to lighten up

3. Establish instant rapport

Research shows that we have approximately 60 to 90 minutes to build rapport.

How others first experience you will set the tone for any interaction.

Your ability to create instant chemistry with the other person will impact on your SUCCESS when asking for a favor, making a sale or encouraging a dialogue with a stranger.  Some people call this quality “magnetism”.  It’s within all of us but you have to be willing to step out of your comfort, demonstrate warmth and allow your personality to shine. When you treat others as if they are guests at your home, whether colleagues or strangers, you will be operating from your “best self”.

rapport4

If you want people to like you, you will have to take an interest in their feelings.

Know the difference between having empathy and commiserating. With the former you put yourself in the shoes of someone else while maintaining a helpful objectivity that shows them a way to comfort and eventual resolution. In my experience, commiserating with someone usually turns into a mutual ‘you both hate the world’ gripe session that encourages wallowing as opposed to seeking useful solutions.

Here are a few other suggestions to help you build a rapport and make a connection:

  • Mirror back the body language you are noticing in the other person. When you synchronize the same gestures, you are making the other person feel an unconscious connection with you. Take it a step farther by matching their tone of voice and speed of delivery.
  • Know the difference between open-ended questions and closed-ended questions. Closed questions are answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.  It will be difficult to engage in a meaningful dialogue if you have nothing to add to this blunt reply. Open-ended questions require the other person to provide you with more details.  This allows you to piggyback off of what they said, giving you a chance to enrich and expand the conversation.
  • Remember that the more you can learn about other people during a conversation, the greater your potential to influence them.

4. Listen More Than Talk

Have you ever noticed how people respond to you when, instead of talking about yourself, you ask them about their lives. “What type of work do you do?”, “ Why did you choose to pursue your present career?” and “ What are your favourite hobbies/vacation spot/restaurants?”

Listen-up

While there are shifting boundaries relative to what you should and should not ask based upon the nature of your relationship with someone, the key point to take away from the ‘listen more than talk’ edict is that people like to talk about themselves.

Everyone has a story to tell, and almost everyone wants to tell it.

By becoming a sounding board or outlet for another person, you will be seen as someone who is approachable, social and engaging. People will want to gravitate towards you because you are putting the spotlight on them in a way that makes them feel both comfortable and important.

The one caveat is that you must be sincere. In fact, sincerity is the linchpin running through all three of the things you must do to be liked.

One final point that is worth noting . . . the moment you shift the focus from yourself to the other person, you will find that you will be able to engage in conversations with greater ease and comfort. This is because you are listening to someone else as opposed to thinking about how you look or what you’ll say next.

Also remember . . .

  • Keep the conversation light but relevant, especially when you are meeting someone for the first time. No one wants to feel like they are being interviewed by a Chris Wallace from FOX-TV. Alternatively, generalized questions about the weather are going to be viewed as perfunctory. So seek points of common ground or interest.
  • While your words may say that you are interested, looking at your watch or i-phone demonstrates a lack of sincerity. Use the power of head nodding, which shows you are totally present, along with projecting a posture that is open and engaging.
  • Interrupt without offending. Interrupting can be perceived as a putdown of what a person is saying and thinking. Say “Forgive me for interrupting, but I didn’t want to forget this point.”

A Few Final Thoughts . . .

What ties everything together is sincerity.

Sincerity-quotes-1024x575

Whatever you do to engage people, and to get them to like you, do so with a sincere heart.  When you do this, you will stand out from the crowd as someone everyone wants to know, and everyone wants to like.  When you invest time to make sincere and meaningful connections with others, you’ll open the door to making a bigger difference in your world.

Cheers

Roz

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Moving From Fear to Fearlessness

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear” – Ambrose Redmoon

I have always believed very strongly in the above words of Ambrose Redmoon as his wisdom has provided me with an important touchstone whenever I have been personally challenged.

Like true friendship, true courage is only demonstrated during those times of difficulty and duress.

It is the decision to not go quietly into the night, but to look your greatest challenges in the eye and say while shaken, I will not be deterred!

I received the following e-mail the other day that provided a wonderful example of Redmoon’s words being put into action in the life of one of my conference attendees.

As you read excerpts from her story, think about those fears that have held you back, and kept you from realizing your full potential by sabotaging your future success.

Dear Roz,

Perhaps you remember meeting me at the conference in Chicago last November.  As an attendee to your first workshop, I heard you loud and clear about challenging ourselves in our career.  I’ve quoted you many times when you said if you are not experiencing fear in your job, then you’re in a rut and not growing professionally.

I’ve been an avid swimmer my whole life and enjoy many forms of water sports/activities.  When I was in high school years ago, I briefly was introduced to Scuba diving. During the pool exercises, I had a couple of stressful experiences where my head hit the air tank when I entered the water and I had difficulty clearing my mask . . . 

Fast forward to April 13, 2015.  That’s when I completed my SCUBA diving certification in Fiji.  This is a HUGE deal for me!

I finally agreed to take on this phobia and enroll in Scuba class before our trip to Fiji in April.  I will spare you the details of the months of anxiety leading up to this event. The final chapter is that I completed the classroom course in California and the open water dives in Fiji.  As I said to the dive master in Fiji, “This is a bigger accomplishment that childbirth!”

One of the big take aways from this experience is that the fear became so much more psychological rather than physical.  I broke it down into pieces and took on each piece step by step.  This is one more way you have had a lasting impact on my life.

Recognize, Leverage and Transform 

In reading the above, I could not help but admire both the courage and determination of the individual in terms of her willingness to recognize, face and overcome her fear.

In this month’s eNewsletter, I’ll provide you with essential tips for moving from fear to fearlessness in three easy steps. Through this process, you’ll be able to reclaim that part of your life that is being governed by uncertainty or fear.

First, do you deal with tough or uncertain situations head-on?  Do you procrastinate or pass the buck? Interestingly enough, when you do nothing, you’re actually making a negative decision.  In essence, you are letting the situation determine the outcome rather than taking charge of your own destiny.

Second, do you embrace courageous discussions?  For example, what do you do if you hear that there will be a major layoff at your company?  Do you hide and hope that you’re not one of the people who will be sent packing?  Or do you walk into the boss’s office and let him/her know that you’re interested in having a clear understanding of the situation and what, if anything, can you do to solidify your position with the company?

1. Recognize Your Fears

Like our scuba diver, who recognized the reasons for her fear, you have to identify what it is you are most concerned about and why.

Don’t beat around the bush or make excuses, because you cannot deal with what you are unwilling to acknowledge.

facing-our-fears

Conversely, don’t fall in love with your fears or make it your calling card.

Some people showcase their vulnerabilities as a badge of honor looking for both empathy and sympathy.  I call this wallowing in your fears, as opposed to truly recognizing them with the intent to do something productive to ultimately overcome them.

Which one do you own?

  • Fear of success?
  • Fear of failure?
  • Fear of speaking up?
  • Fear of making a mistake?
  • Fear of being out of control?
  • Fear of rejection?
  • Fear of getting fired?

2. Leverage Your Fears 

You cannot face your fears without a clear plan of action.

Like our scuba diver, who enrolled in a class in preparation for a trip to Fiji, how do you plan to address your fears?

For example, if you feel insecure about your job or lack qualifications to get that promotion, what are you prepared to do?  Are you willing to take on extra work in an effort to demonstrate that you’re capable of handling increased responsibility?

Facing your fears is not just saying I am afraid, it is saying that I am afraid but I am willing to do something about it.

  • How are your fears serving you right now?
  • What are you willing to do to overcome them?
  • Who can you lean on for support?
  • What results could now be possible?

Ziglar Work Versus Worry

3. Transform Your Fears Into Your Strengths

Can you imagine what would have happened if instead of taking a course, our scuba diver simply showed up in Fiji and jumped right into the water?

Would this sink or swim strategy have worked?

The fact that she trained for her Fiji dive in advance, gave her the confidence to take the plunge.

Transforming your fear isn’t an act of spontaneity, to be approached in a haphazard manner.  It is the end result of a deliberate and determined process.

  • Start with a well-executed plan
  • Begin with little steps
  • Adopt a mindset that “anything” is possible
  • Reframe negative self-talk
  • Celebrate small wins
  • See failure as a free education

fearlessness

As critical as the above tips are in terms of your ability to move from fear to fearlessness, they will be of little use unless you are willing to let go, think differently and embrace change.

In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Father Richard Rohr indicated that while people may want to change, they don’t always succeed, because in doing so, we have to “let go, and we’re not good at letting go.”  “We’re good at holding on.”

SO . . . What are you not doing that’s keeping your dreams from being more fully realized?

AND . . . If you had no fear, what would YOU be doing?

Cheers

Roz

Do you know someone who might benefit from reading this month’s eNewsletter?  Please use the social media Share buttons below to send them a copy.

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