Thursday, 31 July 2014

What to Do When Setting Goals Gets You Nowhere


 What to Do When Setting Goals Gets You Nowhere                                                                                                                                                  LAURA MONTINI

Here's a key concept to remember when your long-term goals just aren't sticking. 

Having a good sense of yourself is critical to successful goal-setting. Not only does it allow you to create reasonable expectations, but you're more likely to have long-term success with new habits that are rooted in your identity.
That's the theory from entrepreneur and behavioral science writer James Clear.
What does that mean exactly? In a recent post, Clear explained by describing the three layers of behavior change: your identity, your performance, and your appearance. 

"A lot of people, when they set a goal for themselves they take some type of performance –
or appearance-based goal to go after, like lose 20 pounds in six weeks.
Or in the case of running, 'I'm going to run this half marathon at the end of May,'" Clear told Inc
"The problem with this is--it's fine if you want to just go ahead and finish the race--but often it won't build a long-term habit because there's no shift in the underlying identity of the person." 
Providing a more personal example, Clear explained that for years he had struggled to write consistently even though he wanted to.
Typically, he'd only publish when he was feeling particularly inspired or was on a deadline. 
So he decided to take a more structured approach, and he experimented with different habits.
He tried writing once a month. Then he tried writing five days a week. Eventually he settled on writing two days a week -- on Monday and Thursday -- and the habit stuck.  
"Maybe a year or so in, it shifted. I'm not just writing every Monday and Thursday because
I need to put another article out," Clear said. "I'm doing it because I'm a writer now." 
It's Counterintuitive, But It Works 
The overall theory might seem counterintuitive.
How can you form successful identity-based habits if your striving toward a new identity?
The answer, Clear said, lies in the fact that the two are closely tied. You can use those habits to gradually shift your underlying identity, just as he did when he transitioned to becoming a writer. 
"The only way I know to make that shift, to create that type of identity change, is to focus
on a bunch of tiny behaviors and just repeat them over and over again.
And eventually, that repetition leads to a change in identity," he explained.  
This process applies to professional as well as lifestyle goals.
First, think about the outcome you want to achieve. Then, rather than focusing on what that result looks like, focus on the actions that already successful people have taken to get that result.
"So a classic business example could be, I want to land a $10,000 client.
Or I want to make $1 million in sales," Clear said. "Instead of focusing on that result,
how about waking up and becoming the type of person who makes one sales call every morning?
Or the type of person who reaches out to 25 new people each week?" 
"You focus on becoming that type of person and trust that the results follow naturally," he said.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Were they dead when you hired them? Or did you kill them?

Photo taken by M'reen

Were they dead when you hired them? Or did you kill them?* - W. Edwards Deming

Who is responsible for the poor performers in an organization?
These are the people about whom leaders regularly complain
and blame for many of the company’s problems.
According to Jack Welch, they are the 10% of the workforce who need to improve or be fired.
In most organizations, there are processes for documenting poor performance and terminating employment of the non-producers but very little for developing and helping people improve.
There are very few organizations that hold the leader accountable for hiring poorly
or failing to help a poor performer on his or her team. Fewer yet view the termination
of an employee for poor performance as a failure of the overall organization.

Leader as Teacher
In his book, Getting the Right Things Done: A Leader’s Guide to Planning and Execution
(Lean Enterprise Institute), Pascal Dennis presents his list of Lean Mental Models to describe
the methods and behaviors of lean leaders. One of the mental models is Leader as Teacher,
which describes a lean leader as one who continually develops the ability of team members
to identify and solve problems to improve the organization’s performance.
Although developing talent is one of those things that most people would agree is a part of effective leadership, there sadly are not many organizations truly hold managers responsible for doing it. 
When managers complain about a team member, it should be immediately seen as a reflection
of leadership capabilities and used as an opportunity to coach the leader about hiring
or developing team members.
I have found that, in many organizations, the responsibility to coach and develop talent
is much lower on the list of priorities than documenting and purging the company of poor performers. This is surprising when one considers the costs to hire, train, and fire employees.
In my experience, this type of situation generally results from a lack of knowledge of
how to develop people and/or impatience (or short-term thinking).
Since the recession of 2007, many companies have tightened up on the ability to hire new employees - in some cases even requiring executive-level approval before doing so.
It's a shame that many don't require the same level of approval to terminate an employee,
since the more difficult it is to fire someone, the more pressure there would be
to continually improve the hiring and employee development processes.

Instituting Leadership
In Out of the Crisis, W. Edwards Deming wrote, “The aim of supervision should be to help people
and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul,
as well as supervision of production workers.” One of the areas Deming felt was in need of transformation was the poor track record and lack of personal accountability of leaders to coach
and develop team members. It is a shame that, in the three decades since Out of the Crisis 
was published, business still ignores Deming's advice.
So what do we need to institute leadership within organizations?
One action is to address the culture and systems related to team member development.
Like much of organizational transformation, it is not easy, but there are five steps
that can help jumpstart the process.
Make it difficult to fire someone for performance issues.
When it is easier to coach and develop “poor performers” than to fire them, leaders will begin
to find the time to coach rather than just give up and remove the person from the organization.
One of the roles of Human Resources should be to help the leader work with the person to develop 
his or her abilities or find another role in the organization that would be a better fit for the person’s talent and abilities.
Recognize terminations as a failure of the system.
A decision is made to hire someone because one or more people feel the candidate was a good fit 
for the organization and the specific job. When it doesn’t work out, we need to look at the hiring process to understand why it failed and what needs to be done to prevent it from happening
next time. Defects within the hiring process are costly to the company in a number of ways and,
as with any process, continual improvement is required. 
Establish systems and support for team member development.
Transformation will not happen by merely telling leaders to start coaching and developing
those on their team. Leaders must be taught how to coach, and the proper systems 
and structure must be available to support the process.
Make it clear that developing team members is a responsibility of leadership.
Leaders must be held accountable for developing the people on their team and understand that coaching and mentoring it is a condition of remaining in a leadership position within the organization.
Promote based on leadership abilities.
Promotion into a leadership position must be based on the person’s existing or potential leadership capabilities, including the ability to coach and develop the talents of others.
Too often, promotions into positions of leadership are based on personal preference
or a person’s performance in a current position rather than the ability to lead others.
Besides showing respect for people, placing a high priority on coaching and development will help the organization improve performance by reducing turnover, improving morale, and engaging more people in improvement efforts. Like any element of transformation, though, success requires clarity, consistency, and the patience to stay with the effort.
*I remember hearing Dr. Deming say something like this during one of his 4-day seminars
but couldn’t remember the exact quote Thanks to Garold L. Markle (
for the wording.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Do you hear what I'm saying, do you understand?

My photo of some members having lunch at St Helen's car park, Santon Downham, Thetford Forest. UK.
We had been dowsing Ancient Saxon burial sites and two sets of ley lines.
The body language and interaction between the two groups of three are very apparent to me.
I'm wearing the hat - as is usual :)

Interacting With Others - Basic Communication
Tracey Fieber

With much of our daily life involving interactions with other people, it's surprising how few individuals actually comprehend the core concepts of good communication.
Interactions between people can be superficial occurrences with neither party gaining anything,
or they can create a sturdy connection where bonds are established and a mutual understanding
of the participants' thoughts is promoted.
In order to get the most out of the interactions you face on a daily basis,
it is crucial that you can grasp the core communication skills needed to truly connect with others.
If you want to improve the way you relate with others, here are three basic communication skills
you should work on:

1. Be A Good Listener
Being a good listener is the building block to establishing healthy communication.
Often times, people get so wrapped up with their opinions and concerns that they completely neglect those of the person they're speaking with.
Active listening involves truly understanding what you're being told and repeating back the core ideas 
to ensure that you're on the same page with the person speaking.
Not only will this improve the comprehension you have of your conversational partner's mindset, 
but will also help forge a deeper bond between the two of you.
M’reen> I’ve recently been to a business network meeting where a new person came in and covered 
the area with his leaflets and proceeded to have in depth conversations – or were they sale pitches 
to individuals and groups in the room. He probably had a very successful meeting 
not realising that he was simply ‘fresh meat’ that may prove to be useful 
no matter how overbearing and uninterested he was in the other participants.

2. Understand Body Language
While experts argue on the amount of conversation which is done through non-verbal cues,
there is no doubt that body language plays an important role in getting to the bottom of someone's intentions. From obvious signals such as crossed arms (which hint that the person you're speaking with is closed-off or not open to new suggestions) to the way that their feet are pointed (someone sitting 
or standing with their feet pointed towards the door might be looking to make a quick exit 
from your conversation), knowing the underlying meaning of body language will help you greatly 
as you network and deal with others.
M’reen> at the same meeting I joined three people, the middle one of the triangle I didn’t know
so I stood closer to the person on my right who accused me of invading his personal space!

3. Watch Your Tone
Tone of voice is one of the most basic communication skills to understand, and can be an invaluable asset when speaking. Conversing in a loud, low tone shows confidence on the part of the speaker, 
while talking softly or in a high-pitched manner exerts shyness or a lack of confidence in what is being said. The speed at which you speak can also make a difference in how you're interpreted. 
Speaking slowly gives your words the opportunity to sink in, whereas rushing through
your sentences can make you appear less comfortable in the situation and may make it difficult
for the person you're speaking to comprehend what you're telling them - with the end result likely being their loss of interest.
M’reen> I simply can’t hear people with low voices. On my Bereavement Counselling training we were supposed to give all the body language signs of being inattentive but the person explaining his needs 
to me felt that I was paying intent attention as I couldn’t help giving him little sharp glances. 
While sharp glances are not recommended he just needed confirmation that I was listening.

Interacting with others is an occurrence that most people face on a daily basis, both for work
and for pleasure. Whether it is a client at the office or a family member at home, understanding
the basics of communication will allow you to convey your thoughts better while gaining a more intimate comprehension of what others are trying to tell you (or sometimes even what they're attempting to hide). By listening, looking out for body language signals and effectively conveying your thoughts through 
your words and tone, you can easily and vastly improve the quality of your daily interactions with others.
Article Source:

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Monetize – Pinterest effectively!

The number one problem of small business owners who are marketing using Pinterest today
is that unfortunately, very few of them actually understand how to use – and monetize – 
Pinterest effectively!  

You probably know that when Pinterest started, it was primarily used by individuals,
and its terms even stated that its purpose wasn't to sell directly – it was to connect individual people. That said, even from those early days, many businesses took to Pinterest to connect
with their customers. From my perspective, it brought about some truly innovative marketing.

By having to market to their customers without actually trying explicitly to sell to them,
companies had to find alternate messages to communicate other than "Buy Me." 
And the most popular messages that emerged from Pinterest boards 
created by companies were boards that said, "This is who we are." 

A new kind of marketing emerged from this – marketing based on the value of authenticity.
Companies who did well on Pinterest (Whole Foods, ModCloth, Etsy and others) were the ones
who created boards that allowed their audience to know that their values and actions
were lined up together. They were being authentic.  
The great success stories of Pinterest marketing showed that authenticity paid off big time.

The customers who perceived their favorite brands were being authentic (as a result of the pins
on the companies' boards) tended to click over to those companies' websites,
more so than from many other forms of social media. 

With the shift to business accounts, Pinterest is clearly going to remain a power player
for businesses to use in social media marketing.

So how do you learn (finally) how to monetize your Pinterest presence? 
1.       Know who your customer is and know what their biggest challenges in their lives
or businesses are.
This is huge. As specifically as possible, you need to know who your customer is, what he or she
is interested in, and what problems he or she has. Knowing who your ideal customer is
with as much detail as possible allows you to target your marketing precisely to those
who are going to be most interested in your products or service
2.       Create boards that revolve around the problems you solve – not necessarily
about your product and its features.
People like to think they're rational. And many people are. But many, many people, even those
who think they're operating only on logic, make decisions that have deep roots in their emotions. 
And it's the "negative emotions" that often have the strongest impact. Fear. Anger. Shame.
If your customers have problems that trigger one of these buttons, and you have a fix 
for that problem, that's what they want to know. 
Does your coaching service release people from the fear of not being as successful as they'd like? Create boards centered on motivation, travel, and beautiful homes – 
all symbols of living a financially successful life.
Do you offer holistic health information products that free people from the shame
of having been known as "the fat kid" all their life? Your pin boards might include pictures of families engaged in fun activities together, demonstrating the emotions of joy and freedom found
from living a healthy active lifestyle.  
         3. Make sure to connect your Pinterest business profile to your business website.
It still surprises me to see people doing this, but it still happens. If you're using Pinterest,
you need to complete your profile thoroughly and don't leave things like your picture
or your business website blank. It's not just missed opportunity – it also communicates
that you're not serious about the details of your business. 

You might notice that I didn't include information about how to turn your Pinterest boards
into virtual catalogs by including a $ or a price on your pinned images (it's super easy to do – 
just include a $ and the price in the description of the pin, and the price will display on the image). 
There's a reason I didn't include it as a strategy – because while it's easy enough to do,
it's not one of the strongest ways to market your business from your Pinterest business account.
One of the things I mention all of the time is how important it is to use Pinterest to build relationships 
with your ideal customer.  And I don't know about you, but when I go shopping,
I don't exactly feel connected to sales people who want to club me over the head with products 
and prices right off the bat! <grin>  I want to be greeted by a sales person who takes the time
to get to know me, to know what I'm looking for, and who seeks to bring value to my shopping experience. And I'm here to tell you, your customers want the same thing!  
The best ways to monetize your Pinterest account are to use Pinterest to find and continue
to connect with your ideal customers, offering solutions that benefit them, ease their burdens,
and provide value to them in their business or everyday life.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:           gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Locked out of your car? Your car enables theft?

Interesting concepts of robbing you!
1. Some people left their car in the long-term parking at San Jose while away, and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car's registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people's home in Pebble Beach and robbed it. So I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener.
>>>>> This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.

2. GPS.

Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard. When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.

Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it... Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

I never thought of this.......

This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen. 20 minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says 'I received your text asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago.' When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text 'hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral of the lesson:

a. Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc....

b. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.

c. Also, when you're being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you.

4. Purse in the grocery cart scam...
A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children's seat of the cart while she reached something off a shelf...wait till you read the WHOLE story! Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel. After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers. She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her. By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burglarized. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:            gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life       describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers          just for fun

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”