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Michael McNulty

Owning It – Part 3

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Control of Feelings

The starting point to taking personal responsibility begins with getting some clarity around how you are responding to any given situation or how you instigate any given situation yourself. It’s about making a proactive decision to be responsible for the actions that you take.

In other EPiC Insights (Owning It Part 1 – Physical Control, Owning It Part 2 – Emotional Control) we touched on the importance of the Hierarchy of Control™. This is required to identify and correct the state of our minds, bodies and responses before we communicate with a sense of personal responsibility.

The Hierarchy of Control™ is:

  1. PHYSICAL control
  2. EMOTIONAL control
  3. Control of FEELINGS
  4. Control of THOUGHTS
  5. Control of ACTIONS

Once our physical and emotional states are under control we can then move on to address the control of our feelings.

The Hierarchy of Needs™ is a process that allows us to unravel the jumble of physical, emotional, feelings, thoughts and actions that we have inside us and that, if we are not under an overall state of controlled awareness, we will respond inconsistently and fail to make the desired impact on any given situation.

We talk about the control of feelings or the feeling state in 2 layers:

Feelings when your emotional state is satisfied;

Feelings when your emotional state is not satisfied. 

So, in other words when you are clear about your emotional state (i.e. when you have read, acknowledged, understood and managed the emotion, very often, with practice, instantaneously) then you can pinpoint the feeling you have about it and communicate it clearly either to yourself or others.

Examples of emotionally satisfied feelings:

Affectionate

Confident

Grateful

Peaceful

Inspired

Loving

Examples of emotionally unsatisfied feelings:

Confused

Embarrassed

Angry

Tense

Suspicious

Vulnerable

Sad

Feeling Exercise

This exercise is great to test how the feelings that you are wishing to convey might be interpreted. Very often, we might think that we are conveying a particular feeling but the interpretation may be quite different!

Choose an action and practice changing the feelings you want to convey with that action. Notice how it makes you feel and how other people interpret your actions – choose a friend to demonstrate it to.

For example:

Action: rocking arms to and fro

Feeling: tenderly

Outcome: sense of comforting a new born baby to a gentle sleep

What about if you rocked your arms suspiciously/sadly/angrily – what might this convey?

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants.

Best wishes

The Insights Team

 

Why Bother Presenting

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The opportunity though is lost so often though because the WHY was never thought through…”

Very often, business professionals approach presentations as something to get through without f*****g up. ‘Phew’ they will say internally, ‘I think I got away with that’.

They prepare strong content, ensuring all the relevant points are made. Their focus is on WHAT to cover. They may also have ticked the boxes on HOW to cover it. The opportunity though is lost so often though because the WHY was never thought through.

What is the WHY of your presentation or communication, face to face? It might be a large WHY of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ (BBC). It might be a relatively small WHY of ‘win business’ or ‘clarify project time-lines’ and so on. Even so, you must make sure the WHY is in place. The WHY is the destination – it helps your audience know:

1. Where are they heading

2. What you will want them to do

So that’s the What, How and Why…but still there is something missing. It’s all a bit dry isn’t it?

Let me introduce FROLL

FROLL is a means of making your communication

– Outstanding

– Memorable

– Relevant

Here is the approach that will help you achieve this

F = First.

Firstly, give your presentation a strong beginning. We always remember the first things in life don’t we?

R = Repeat.

Or reinforce. Very often people assume that they should only say something once. No, no, no! Remember, part of your why is to get some form of action from your audience. If you don’t like the word ‘repeat’ then use the word ‘reinforce’. Reinforce is a strong word.

Whether you use the word Repeat or Reinforce it is essential that you do it! Without this R word thoughts cannot form into actions. People need to hear things more than once. Whether it be marketing messages, advice from parents, teachers, learning lines for a play, all involve the need to repeat.

O = Outstanding.

Say something outstanding. The bauble on the Christmas tree. You don’t need many baubles – one or two. In fact the fewer you have the more outstanding it can be. Examples of something outstanding could be a story, an action (dance like no one’s watching!), even a pause…try it. Pause for 5 seconds during your speech and see what effect it has on your audience. I bet they’ll remember it!

L = Linked.

No matter what you talk about, and no matter how creative you are in bringing outstanding images, make sure they are linked to your central theme. A good technique to link absolutely anything to your message is to go as BIG PICTURE as you can when drawing out the link or message. The great thing about this technique is that there are no rules as to how big you can go.

L = Last.

As important as the ‘F’ or First in FROLL, everyone remembers the last thing you do or say. Be careful here. When does your presentation end: when you stop speaking? When you walk off the stage? When you meet the audience at the end of the session? Decide where the end is and drive towards it. The last thing to give is your Call to Action. What is it you want your audience to do as a result of what you have said, done and imagined?

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 (0)1932 888 885.

Gain Attention

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pb02_website_banner_bluemike-gain-attention‘I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite?…’

I start with a story.

When I was young and naive, I remember being coerced into going up to London for the January Sales, when the January Sales started on Boxing Day, and not in September.

That was my first mistake.

I remember queuing outside Selfridges in the freezing cold in London’s Oxford Street and then the doors burst open like an overripe haggis and we all fell into the warm and fuzzy madness that some people get rather excited about. Amongst the carnage, all sense of courtesy and patience was lost in the buying frenzy that ensued.

People were pushing and shoving at each other and at the shop assistants as they clamoured for help to make their purchase and get back to their homes for the Boxing Day snoozathon. The poor shop assistants were bewildered and buffeted by the hordes and I had no hope of gaining the attention of anyone, having miraculously found a pair of jeans that were heavily reduced. I attempted to join the scrum but there were far more determined shoppers than I.

I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite? What effect might this have? So I calmly and deliberately retreated to the edge of the scrum and stood, stock still, holding my jeans in one hand and fixing my gaze on one of the shop assistants.

‘Be patient’ I told myself ‘sustain your gaze’ and within a short period of time the shop assistant returned my gaze. Like a scene out of West Side Story, we walked towards each other while the mayhem continued and eventually we stood face to face. ‘Can I help you sir?’, she purred. ‘yes could I buy these jeans?’. ‘Certainly sir; that will be £5 please’.

Translating this story into the world of communication, it points at 3 elements that can help you draw the attention of your audience:

1. Do the opposite of whatever is happening around you. This immediately creates a counterpoint and will guarantee that you draw the attention of your audience.

2. Sustain the action. Hold it for as long as you dare. This will draw the flow of attention to you, minimising all that is going on around you.

3. Be at ease. Conduct the whole action with a feeling of ease, breathing in synchronisation with your actions. Good luck!

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 1932 888 885.

The Art Of Dilation

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Leaders, public speakers and anyone in a position of influence need to develop a sense of dilation when preparing to speak, meet, influence, pitch or perform through face to face communication.

What am I talking about? Am I talking about the pupils of the eye dilating when you enter a darkened room? Well, sort of.

Dilation is defined as the action or condition of becoming or being made wider, larger or more open.

So what does this mean and why is it relevant to leaders and communicators?

Let’s take a step back. What‘s the point of public speaking? Actors and professional speakers understand that they are there to move people from one position to another. To move you to tears, to change your view, to enlighten you about a particular point of view, to engage you in a new or refreshed way on a subject that might have turned a bit stale…? You get the point.

In order to accelerate this influence and for it to be energised, impactful and memorable, the communicator needs to dilate!

In the terms of a being a more influential leader and communicator, Dilation happens when:

1. The speaker’s energy is controlled

2. The gestures are energised for instance hand gestures – so that the message is fully committed and not diluted by weak energy that allows the gestures to ‘leak’ away. Imagine the energy flowing through the ends of your fingers and out into the atmosphere. Don’t stop the energy flowing too soon, otherwise your fingers might look like damp lettuces at the ends of your arms!

3. The words used are energised. The vocal delivery is fully supported by the diaphragm and is clear and resonant. The delivery ‘hums’ and hits the target. There is a sense of crescendo in the energy of your speech.

4. The thoughts are present and alive! The speaker is fully alert to what is going on around him or her.

5. The atmosphere is electric. The speaker is reaching out to the audience with strong stories that stimulate the audience’s imagination – so that they are fully engaged.

Another way to look at Dilation is to regard the whole process of communication as an energy flow similar to that of a river or a sea tide that carries any debris or blockages along with it and builds towards its call to action. Irrepressible, unstoppable, irresistible.

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In The Moment

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“Most of our time is spent in the past or the future, rather than the present moment. What we end up doing is passing through that moment on the way to somewhere else and, in doing so, we miss the moment…”

One of the great enemies of action is procrastination. Procrastination is that place we go to where we are merely addressing the past or the future and not what we are doing now, in the present.

Like most things, it becomes habitual and takes many forms. It’s the devil on your shoulder that says “have one more coffee”, before your get to work, “go on Facebook”, when you have planned to go for a run, “daydream” instead of paying attention to class, “Listen to another expert” doing what you know you can do without the need for their expertise…and so on, and so on.

Being present is when you are perfectly at peace with the current situation that you are in. You are fully aware on a sensory level where you are and what you are doing. It’s a form of action that is immediate, committed and fully open and responsive to what is happening at that time.

The notions of the Past, Present and the Future are critical frames for how we communicate. For instance, the Past is the rich well of stories from our experience that we can tap into. The Future is the anticipation, excitement and vision of what the actions of today can engender for you and your audience tomorrow.

The Present is very often the element that is given least thought. And yet, this is where, through action, that being present can enable the rich learnings of the Past and the exciting visions of the Future are communicated.

So, how do we stay present? The first thing to recognise is that, try as we might, we really can only do one thing at a time, so we ought to do that thing wholeheartedly. Most of our time is spent in the past or the future, rather than the present moment. What we end up doing is passing through that moment on the way to somewhere else and, in doing so, we miss the moment. That’s how life ends up passing us by – we do it to ourselves.

So here are 4 reminders of how we can be present and achieve a higher quality of communication for ourselves and for others:

1. Take a breath

Breath, along with change, is the only constant, and being present starts with the breath. Simply draw a deep breath and let it out through your nose. When we breathe through our mouth it triggers a subtle anxiety response, which increases heart rate and redirects blood flow. That’s why you rarely see elite runners and cyclists panting, and why one of my own martial arts instructors used to make us train for hours with a mouthful of water. A slow release of breath through the nose has the opposite effect of mouth-breathing, and draws a relaxation response.

2. What are you doing right now?

Consider, the Hierarchy of Control™ for every action you are doing right now:

· Consider your action

· Consider your thoughts about this action

· Consider your feeling towards this action

· Consider your emotions about this action

· Consider your physicality about this action

Not being present is easy. There are bills to pay, and kids to pick up at school. There are doctor’s appointments and reports to write, books to read, parents to resent, loved ones to miss and the list goes on and on. With all that going on – past and future – it’s no wonder that presence is so elusive. It is not, however, as elusive as you might believe.

3. Internal and External Focus

Observe it, name it and stand away from it — all at once. The moment is now…now…now…now… When we cling to a “now”, rather than simply bearing witness to it and letting it pass by, we become trapped in time as it passes. We are operating on two levels when we are present:

– Internal Focus – why are we doing this action?

– External focus – what action are we doing?

The key is to look to synchronise these focuses so that they become as one. This will make it easier for us to stay present for a longer period of time: committed, concentrating and sustaining our attention on the matter n hand whether it be a simple action of drinking a cup of tea or a more complex action of seeking to understand a message from a colleague.

4. Come back to the breath

When the world or your thoughts begin to again intrude, simply come back to the breath. Inhale, and release your exhale to unbind yourself from the shackles of the past and the anxieties of the future. The constancy of breath can create the constancy of presence for us, if we choose to show up.

Prepare these actions with a feeling of ease. The more your practice these layers of being present the more readily they will come to you.

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants.

Juggling Balls

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Remembering What Balls To Juggle Has Saved My Life!

One of the most outstanding quotes I have ever heard was from Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola. At a conference in 1996, after a relatively difficult year for the company, Brian shared these words of wisdom:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air.

You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass.

If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered.

They will never be the same. We must understand that and strive for balance in our lives.

How?

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings!

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.

Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.”

–Brian G. Dyson

President and CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises during his speech at the Georgia Tech 172nd Commencement Address Sept. 6, 1996.

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Owning It – Part 1

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“Owning it begins with a mindset, but very crucially continues with tangible steps that we can take in order that our actions are proactive, specific, and clear. It starts with our physical state before we consider the emotions, feelings and thoughts we have jumbled up inside us…”

Let’s get stuck in right here. Life is far more enjoyable when we really own it. We own the ups and the downs, the good and the bad and this is what today’s EPIC Insight is all about.

Owning it begins with the mindset. It’s about making a proactive decision to be responsible for the actions that you take.

In another EPiC Insight (Being Present When Presenting) I touched on the importance of the Hierarchy of Control™. This is required to identify and correct the state of our bodies before we communicate with a sense of personal responsibility.

The Hierarchy of Control™ is a strategic process that helps you to manage your way through your thoughts feelings and emotions so that you can own your actions:

1. PHYSICAL control

2. EMOTIONAL control

3. Control of FEELINGS

4. Control of THOUGHTS

5. Control of ACTIONS

Owning it begins with a mindset, but very crucially continues with tangible steps that we can take in order that our actions are proactive, specific, and clear. It starts with our physical state before we consider the emotions, feelings and thoughts we have jumbled up inside us.

I talk about the physical state in 3 layers:

· Corporal Leadership

· Vocal Leadership

· Respirational Leadership

Your body, voice and breath are your main leadership tools in presentations, meetings and calls.

CORPORAL LEADERSHIP

Centre and ground yourself to achieve stillness and silence. The more purposeful you are with any movements you make, the more likely you will be to draw the attention of others.

Notice any leakages in your head, face, breathing, torso legs arms and hands. Leakages may include a jiggling leg, unconscious facial expressions you may be in the habit of using, muscle tension etc…

When you use gestures, make sure they have a purpose. Become aware of your body and habitual gestures you make that could dilute the impact of your message.

ACTION Practice standing and sitting quietly in neutral whilst at your desk, waiting for or sitting on planes trains or automobiles, or while in a meeting. Notice what effect it has on your thoughts and feelings:

Neutral

  • feet shoulder-width apart and parallel, with loose knees
  • if sitting, bottom right at the back of the chair
  • top of your head as high as possible
  • shoulders hanging relaxed
  • your skeleton supporting itself without effort
  • breathe in and out with your diaphragm using all your abdominal muscles (stomach, sides, groin, pelvic floor and even thighs)

VOCAL LEADERSHIP

Learn how to modulate your voice. Choose specific moments in a communication to use a particular voice, to highlight a sense of importance, to bring a lightness, or to demonstrate your commitment. Use pauses to give your message space to land and time for your audience to absorb it.

ACTION Practice the elevator (moving the pitch of your voice from low to high and back down to low in a flowing sound on one breath); focussing on your belly to add richness, power and feeling to your voice. Practice in the bath and the shower. When driving, sing along to the radio, exploring the expressive range and depth of your voice. On the phone try out different postures, sitting or standing and register any changes in your voice. Listen to other people’s voices. Can you tell if the voice is coming from their head, chest or belly? What effect does it have on you?

RESPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

When under pressure, the heart starts to race and has erratic surges, you will likely recognise this from past experience. It might be difficult to believe, but the fastest way to get the heart back in rhythm is to focus on your breathing. I like to think of the breath as a mentor or guide providing a rhythm for the heart to follow, until it is back on an even keel again.

ACTION Focus on your breathing, particularly when you are under pressure. Practice diaphragmatic breathing; (this is when you consciously push your diaphragm down when you breathe in and up when you breathe out) it helps to releases emotional tension and gives your brain something constructive to focus on, rebooting us when we slip into fight/flight mode.

Now you are ready to move onto the next level – Your Emotional State. More on that in a future article.

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Being Present When Presenting

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Dear Lucy,
If anyone has ever said to you, “just relax”, at times of stress, for instance just before you are about to give a speech in public, or deliver a presentation at work, then you will know how irritating that is!

Yes, I want to relax, but how?

Whether you are talking about controlling thoughts, feelings or emotions, unless you have taken control of your physical state then you will remain out of control, and unable to relax.

What do I mean by relax? In this particular instance, to be too relaxed might see a fall off in energy that will affect the impact of your performance. When I talk about being relaxed I mean to be yourself. Better still, the image I like to talk about is that of BEING PRESENT.

The process of gaining control of yourself in order to BE PRESENT follows a hierarchy:

  1. First control your PHYSICAL state
  2. Then, control your EMOTIONAL state
  3. Follow this by controlling your FEELING state
  4. Continue to gain control by being aware of your THOUGHT state

It is useful to break the process down into these individual parts or layers and then start to methodically rebuild them into something controllable.

Feelings and emotions are just symptoms of what is going on viscerally in the body.

To understand the science behind this, take a look at Dr Alan Watkins TEDx Portsmouth

So, where do I start?

Start with your breathing. Synchronise your breath with your physical movements. This is one of the best ways to calm things down.

Here is a simple exercise that is a great starting point towards gaining control and being present, although you might want to find a quiet corner to do it without being disturbed!

The aim of this exercise is to help root your energy and channel it in the direction that you want it to go. Great for control of physical and mental impulses.

Using your hands, working in conjunction with your breath, you are about to create a figure of 8. Starting at the bottom and working up to the top.

Here we go…

  • Start with a big breath out, and as you do so, slowly move your hands out in front of you, palms upwards
  • As you breath deeply in, bring your hands around in a circle, so that they meet back at the top, facing downwards
  • Breathe out and slowly turn your hands palm upwards again
  • Now, trace your hands around a second circle (the top of the figure of 8), meeting back in the middle at the top, palms facing downwards, as you do, draw a deep breath in
  • Now reverse the process
  • Repeat 8 times

How does this exercise help you? It enables you:

  1. To create space around any pressured situation allowing you to think clearly
  2. To synchronise breath with action brings variable heart rate back under control and calms you down
  3. By being very specific with the actions you are then encouraged to be specific with your message.
  4. it reminds you to create a beginning middle and end to your message

Practice this daily until your body is used to the exercise. Then, when you are about to present, your body will respond very quickly because it will anticipate the calming effect immediately.

Good luck as you work towards being present next time you present!

To find out how we can help you or your employees to become more impactful presenters, click here to arrange to speak with a consultant.

 

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Best wishes

Mike

Compliments and Why They Pay Dividends

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Humans are creatures of habit, feeling at their most comfortable thinking, believing and doing things in the way they are used to. Have you ever tried to undo a long-term habit? It takes effort.

At The Performance Business we are passionate about face to face communication. I was thinking the other day (as I cleaned my road bike) why are we so passionate about it? What stimulates us to want to teach communication skills to other people? It came down to the desire to make people feel really good about themselves and about others.

When you go out of your way to say something nice and give thoughtful praise to another person, it amplifies your own self-confidence and nourishes your self-esteem. It has a positive impact on the other person too. A win-win, one could say.

Some people love to compliment. Others are not in the habit of complimenting or praising others at all. Or, they will reserve their compliments for those they feel most comfortable with, friends, family etc.

Actually, if they knew just how powerful a compliment can be, they would be doing it much more.

You can make someone’s day by sharing your positivity in the form of a genuine compliment. Not only that, you can increase communication and productivity just by saying something positive.

Giving a compliment is the most obvious way in which you can create this sense of positivity around you. People can be reticent because they think it will come across as:

  • Cheesy
  • Embarrassing
  • Offensive
  • Fake

Some also associate an element of risk with giving a compliment:

“what if the person doesn’t believe me?”

“what if the other person blocks it – what am I going to say then?”

“What if people overhear it and think I’m trying to manipulate or impress?”

“what if I embarrass them?”

And so on. There are loads of excuses NOT to give a compliment. It takes us out of our personal zone for a start. We have to make an effort without seeing a personal gain. We aren’t in the mood, etc, etc. We spiral into our own thoughts and come up with all sorts of excuses why it’s not a good idea.

Stop! Let me share with you why it is a GREAT idea!

  1. When you go out of your way to say something nice and give thoughtful praise to another person, it amplifies your own self-confidence and nourishes your self-esteem.
  2. You can make someone’s day by sharing your positivity in the form of a genuine compliment.
  3. Giving a compliment is the most obvious way in which you can create this sense of positivity around you.

It is time to stop being reticent about doing this.

A compliment is simply one way to demonstrate your appreciation of another person. So what is the best way to give a compliment?

Here’s a process to get you going:

1.Consider the Environment

There are very few circumstances where a compliment will be unwelcome. As you develop the habit of giving compliments, choose the right environment. Consider public or private domain. Consider whether the other person is ready to welcome you into their personal space.

2. Be specific

When giving the compliment make sure it is clear and heard! To help you do this, practice it in your head before you say it. As you approach the person make sure you are present i.e. the most important thing in your mind at that moment is the opportunity to give something of value to the other person.

3. Be congruent

When you give the compliment, make sure that your body language is in alignment with your verbal message – use welcoming gestures, be still and avoid any nervous leakages (fidgeting hands, restless feet, etc etc.) Smile! This is a transaction of joy that you are giving – not an ordeal! In other words, mean what you say.

4. Be Persistent

It could be that your compliment is initially blocked; the other person might be shy and self-deprecating, they might be surprised by the compliment and block it, they might just disagree. The thing is, that you need to believe the compliment yourself before your deliver it! Expect it to be blocked in some way and welcome this as a further opportunity to reinforce your compliment with a more specific example of why you believe it to be true. Here’s an example:

You: “Hi Sam, I am so grateful for your insights in the report”

Sam: “Oh, thanks, but the deadline was looming, I’m not sure I got it across quite as I wanted”

You: “ Please know it reads extremely well and I was left in no doubt about your conclusion it was very well evidenced. Impressive.”

Sam: “Thanks – you’ve made my day!”

5. Sustain the compliment

You can sustain the compliment by being specific, as in the example above, but also with your body language making sure you stay in the moment – for instance not looking to move away before you hear the response. Another way of sustaining the compliment and making sure its sticks is to keep the thought of what you have said in your head, once you have verbalised it.

You will notice that when you keep the thought in your head for longer than you might think is comfortable, the thought becomes more compelling. You are sticking to your guns and not prepared to change your opinion. This form of leadership (giving a compliment) helps to build your reputation as an open, genuine and committed leader or colleague or friend.

6. Don’t wait for a compliment back!

Remember, this compliment is given without an agenda! It does not require reciprocity. Be happy in the thought that you have brightened someone’s day.

Your challenge – give the next person you meet a compliment, however trivial it seems and see how it changes the energy of your conversation. Remember – it must be genuine.

To arrange a no obligation conversation with one of our Consultants, click here.

Regards

Mike

Communicate with Purpose

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Purpose word definition circled on a dictionary page to illustrate a deliberate or intentional act, or your goal, mission or objectve in work, career or life

As we grow up we learn so many different skills, we learn to walk, speak, read, write, cook, play an instrument, or a sport. We learn how to operate yet another remote control! We don’t stop learning all through our lives.Yet, learning a skill is closely connected to our identity. This can be a positive thing. And it can also hold us back.

Physical and mental ability permitting, we all learn any skill to the level that we need to get us by in life. However, in order to excel at a skill, we need to have something more. A greater motivation. This additional motivation lies in our identity. How we perceive ourselves in relation to those around us.

An example might be my own skill at playing football. I have learnt to kick a football about, and I know to aim at a goal if I want to have a chance of winning. However, I have never identified as a footballer. I have never dreamt of becoming one and therefore, I have little motivation to improve my skills beyond the family kickabout in the park.

A similar challenge applies in business. All business, across all sectors and when it comes to communication, this phenomenon couldn’t be more apparent. We need our people to communicate with purpose.

We need our people to communicate with purpose

Many of our clients employ the brightest brains with the most potential. Their technical excellence may be second to none. Yet, how many are also a safe pair of hands when it comes to delivering the strategic message, or leading a team?

Much of it boils down to identity. It really is as simple as that.

How many people at school dreamt of becoming great communicators? How many spent hours and hours practicing speaking, listening and developing their style? Like they would practicing an instrument or learning a sport? How many just learnt as much as they needed to get by within their family unit, with friends and at school?

Very few people identify as communicators, in the same way they would identify as an accountant, doctor, footballer, musician, economist etc… Indeed, many are more than glad to hand the ‘communicator’ baton to someone else.

In truth, as with most skills, the majority develop just enough skill as communicators to enjoy the relationships and events that matter most to them. This brings to surface both the problem and the opportunity.

In my experience, when we tap into the individual’s dreams of who, rather than what, they want to be and how they want to be perceived by others, we open up an abundant resource and desire to develop the skills that support that identity. The ability to communicate well, in my experience, automatically and without exception, becomes a priority. From this point, skills can be developed fast.

To develop excellence in communication in your business, call us now.

Lucy

00 44 (0)1932 888 885