(From the event discussion with Jim Harvey)
What is charisma?
Charisma is the ability to create a feeling in others – to make them feel the way you’d like them to feel.
What is charisma made up of?
Charisma is a function of both confidence and social skill. People who score high on the social skill and confidence scales have higher levels of charisma.
How to be more charismatic
It is easier and quicker to improve our social skills than our confidence. Improving confidence can require a shift in beliefs and is often built over a period of time. Improving social skills is relatively quick and easy and this makes it easier to project confidence, causing a self-fulfilling prophecy as real confidence results from successful interactions.
Social skills and how to improve them
There are six elements to social skills:
Other person focus
If there is one of these that sticks out as something you’d like to improve, here are some suggestions on how to do it:
Other person focus:
Focus your attention entirely on the person you are speaking to, even in a room full of other people. Maintain eye contact, and listen attentively making them believe they are the most important person in the room.
Make positive and relevant comments as they speak and ask questions.
Example: A woman goes into a jewellery store and asks to see engagement rings. The sales assistant could simply ask about style preferences and price range or could ask if the customer is about to become engaged, how long she has known her fiancée, how they met, when they’ll be married etc., expressing real interest and creating feelings of excitement and delight. This technique has been shown to result in much higher purchases than the more practical approach.
Everyone displays different levels of energy and one of the easiest ways to irritate or annoy others is to ignore their energy and be too boisterous when they want to be calm or too laconic when they’re brimming with energy.
When you’re faced with someone who speaks slowly and deliberately there is no point in trying to hurry them along or to slow down the fast talker. Instead, match your pace to theirs, even to the extent of matching their physical movements, hand gestures, head nods etc.
When you’re on the same wavelength you can subtly start to change the pace, creating a sense of calm in an over excited person or changing the gloomy one to a happier state.
Energy is particularly important when talking to groups of people and can create a real mood that is caught by everyone in the audience. We’ve all experienced resistance to a speaker who is determinedly bouncy when that is not how we’re feeling but if you can read the mood of an audience and change it, they’ll follow your lead.
Starting conversations is a skill that can lead to truly rewarding relationships. Remembering that first impressions are powerful, and often formed before we open our mouths, those first few words need to be carefully chosen and we need to be clear about the emotion we want to create. Wanting to be thought interesting and fascinating won’t work. Approaching the other person with a wish to make *them* feel interesting and fascinating will.
Remembering the tips about other person focus and energy, the start of conversation should always be focused on getting the other person involved and is never about us.
Once the conversation is going the skill is more about truly listening than it is about speaking.
Blog recommendation: Here’s a breakdown of how to start a conversation with a stranger.
There is an old saying about treating others as we’d like to be treated but real courtesy is about treating other people as *they* would like to be treated. It’s a bit like giving presents: we’re often tempted to give people things we like ourselves instead of things they’d like that we might hate.
Courtesy is not about following rules of etiquette or manners, it is making someone feel comfortable, whatever the circumstances and is driven by kindness.
When we show courtesy we are creating a feeling of acceptance, that the feelings of the other person are more important than conventional politeness but without going too far and making it conspicuous.
Too many encounters start with suspicion or with cool civility. We have to prove we can be trusted before people display any warmth.
What stops us from approaching every person as though they are already a friend? If we did this we would display warmth from the outset, make strangers feel that they’ve known us for years and cut through a lot of unnecessary dancing around while we weigh each other up.
The only way to do this is to be bold, to greet everyone with warmth as though we’re thoroughly delighted to meet them and ignore any odd looks this may get!
Remember the Class Sketch with John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_sketch It is a classic depiction of how we all look down on some people and look up to others and has an enduring appeal.
Professor John Dickson in his excellent book Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership explores the origins of humility—which he says was first used in Roman culture during the second and fifth centuries AD. He defines it as “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.”
Playing “the big I am” or “do you know who I am?” game just puts people’s backs up but so does too much humility. An obsequious manner or fawning attentiveness can be just as irritating. True humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves. It’s not being outwardly humble while harbouring pride and it’s not about being weak.
C.S. Lewis put it this way “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less” Most people don’t want to feel inferior, they are most comfortable dealing with people who are of a similar status, so to create the warmth we mention above and to treat people with courtesy and make them feel comfortable, we need to forget our own status.
If you would like to help us to develop these skills as teachable elements of charisma, just let us know. We’d love to work with you.
How do you know when you’ve been lied to?
You’ve probably been in a position where you’ve suspected that someone is not quite telling the truth. It may not be an outright lie, it could just be that the words they say don’t convince you, leaving you wondering why.
You could be experiencing what some people interpret as ‘intuition’ or ‘sixth sense’ but there may a very scientific explanation.
Aaron Garner, Director of www.semitaveritasltd.co.uk is a Certified FACS Coder, trained to spot even the smallest and most subtle of movements in the human face. Aaron is an Approved Trainer for Paul Ekman International (PEI)* and works all over the world with police and customs officials and others who need to learn to trust their instincts and also with marketing companies that want to analyse subtle reactions to products.
This post is based on the presentation he did for The Inspired Group.
Seven “Universal” Emotions
These are common throughout the world to all people and cultures and are instantly recognisable from facial expressions:
When expressed openly, these expressions can last 1-3 seconds or even longer and are unmistakeable.
What is interesting in the context of discussing intuition and deception is that when we try to hide these emotions our faces make micro expressions that reveal tiny amounts of information. It’s very difficult to stop them from making a fleeting appearance and that is when these small discrepancies between someone’s words and their expression can cause us to have a “feeling” that something is not quite right.
These expressions last only 1/25th of a second which is faster than an eye-blink. Most of us don’t pick up micro expressions consciously but when we understand that they are there it helps us to identify the feelings we get.
The ability to detect a lie and the ability to lie successfully are completely unrelated and, fortunately for liars, as many as 99% of people fail to spot the fleeting signals without training.
An actor, poker player or magician isn’t a liar. They’re supposed to be deceiving us.
What do we do with this information?
If someone is trying to hide the way they are really feeling there is probably a good reason for this and in ordinary social situations its best not to try and probe. Some people lie for the best of reasons, like trying to protect a loved from from bad news.
In a more official or work related situation it may be appropriate to check out what you ‘think’ you are seeing, as in “I’m getting the sense that maybe you are a bit surprised” and this may lead to a conversation that will clear things up.
It is definitely not a good idea to try to tell people that you know how they feel and attempt to rummage around in their emotions without being invited!
*Paul Ekman is an American psychologist who has been a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions. He has been considered one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century.
Did this post make you feel more likely to trust your ‘intuition’ when dealing with people? If you have a story to tell, we’d love to hear it so leave us a comment below!
I was delighted to interview the BBC Dragons Den TV series newest stars today.
James and Richard Gold and Lewis Blitz have grown their business Skinnydip to £500,000 turnover in just eighteen months with a startup investment of just £45k
James and Richard, 25 and 23 respectively and Lewis, also 25, have been friends since they were children and decided when they were 15 that they’d like to work together.
After university, with no loans to pay back (!) they got jobs and saved as much as possible while developing their business ideas. Two years ago, with some help from friends and family, they invested £45,000 and went to work to build Skinnydip a brand of fresh and fun tech accessories including cases, headphones and speakers.
First order from Debenhams
With no proptypes and just some design ideas they hit the phones and got an interview with Debenhams buyer and left with an order! From there, their products are now stocked in all the major retailers in the UK.
The guys were so impressive that three of the dragons were fighting to invest £120,000 in them. Deborah Meaden wanted just 20% of the company, Theo Paphitis wanted 25% and Peter Jones 30%. Ignoring the retail specialist and the marketing specialist, the guys opted for the amiable Peter Jones. They described the decision as ‘not just about the money’ and they liked that Jones had offered to drop his shareholding down to 25% as soon as they paid back his investment.
The five minute clip we saw on the TV show was part of a two hour gruelling interview when the business and the guys who run it were taken apart and examined in great detail. They described the moment when they were given space to consult with each other before accepting any of the offers as a ‘blessed relief’. There was a five month gap between the show being filmed and going out on air and the hardest part in all of it was that James, Richard and Lewis couldn’t tell anyone except their very closest family members, and they were sworn to secrecy. The strategy obviously worked as I googled their names the day before the show aired and got zero results …. impressive.
What was also impressive is the work and preparation that goes on in the gap between winning the investment and going public. The winners had time to get their website ready to accept a lot of traffic and they themselves had obviously been well groomed in how to handle the PR machine. During the interview they gave me answers they wanted listeners to hear whether or not I’d asked the question but fair play, that’s what the game is about and they did it very well. Their natural charm and good manners were still firmly in place and I’m sure their parents must be glowing with pride.
Why are they different?
I asked James and Richard what made them different from the millions of other people who have good ideas and never get them off the ground and they replied, with what I guess will become a trademark charm, that they were lucky to be surrounded by talented people who believed in them and wanted to be involved in their company.
Not quite what I meant but we only had ten minutes so I hope to find out more next time as I’m sure they’ll be back for more interviews.
Looks like a bright future for the Skinnydip brand and the enterprising young men who started it!
Being well connected has always had its advantages.
The old school tie, family money, the right circles, the right clubs and contacts have always been great for those on the inside, but now, being connected is taking on a new meaning.
Just like the old style connections, these new ones can get you business, influence, jobs, upgrades and loans.
The bracelet on the left is a Nike Fuelband. It links to your iphone and measures your activity throughout the day, recording calories burnt, miles covered, heartrate etc., etc.
You might think this is just a sports accessory but it isn’t.
Your results are also recorded on you social networking sites and you can set up competitions with work colleagues …… are any alarm bells ringing yet?
How long before your ‘activity score’ affects more than your health?
We’ve already heard of airlines and hotels upgrading people based on their Klout score (this is not an endorsement of Klout – it is a deeply flawed algorithm – try Kred or PeerIndex instead). Some employers are already asking for a minimum ‘social influence’ score. How long before they ask for your activity score too?
What if health insurance companies offered lower premiums to those with a good Nike Fuel score? How long is it going to be before this becomes a reality?
Banks are looking at people’s ‘social connectedness’ and social network activity to help them decide who they’d like as customers. This is not much different to the old days when someone ‘vouched’ for you as a good risk.
You are already being judged on your connections or lack them, whether you like it or not.
How do your customers see you?
Don’t tell me your customers aren’t on-line so you don’t need to be. Generation X and Generation Y is over. Being connected on line is not about age any more. If your customer has a grouse about your service on Facebook or Twitter and you’re not there to pick it up and turn it to your advantage by showing the world what great customer relationships you have, you’re not going to survive for long.
Customers and clients are behaving differently. They ask their on-line friends for recommendations and they trust them over any fancy advertising. They expect to be able to connect with you on-line without any barriers and they’ll check you out before they buy anything from you. If you’re not there forget it.
It’s easier than ever before to get connected.You don’t need to have gone to a good school, have family money, be a celebrity or a millionaire, you just need to know how to talk to real people. This is not about social ‘media’ or social ‘marketing’ its about treating people as individuals, being more interested than interesting, asking questions instead of pitching, building relationships and building trust.
“What’s the ROI?” is the wrong question. No one knew that Amazon was going to be the death of giant retail book stores when it launched. Right up until the tables turned the figures showed that Amazon was making less profit than the high street stores. When that changed, it was too late for them to catch up. If they’d gone on line at the same time as Amazon who knows what the results might have been.
If you are watching and waiting to see what happens instead of being one of the people that makes things happen, pretty soon you’ll be asking “What the hell happened?”
If you’d like help getting connected to your customers and clients just email me or call me on 07711 705038
A recent discussion with some good folk centred on why this happening. Reasons varied from the pragmatic: there are a lot of tourists arriving for the Olympics so people hope to make the most of it, to the philosophical: in hard times, it may be that manufacturers hope that people will be more inclined to help keep profits in our own economy.
With so much business being done on the internet, an increasingly sought after skill is writing for the web so I pricked up my ears when I heard Chris Thomas of Milton Contact Ltd and Carsten Garrett of Gower Associates mention that English is still the most used language in business and that style and tone is every bit as important as content.
Writing good English is a saleable skill
Brits are a minority amongst English speakers (the majority being Chinese) but speaking and writing English well is a saleable skill in most places in the world. An English accent is still highly prized too!
According to Chris and Carsten, the British, as opposed to American, style of communication is also prized because it is predictable, gentle and polite and makes people feel valued and safe.
We’re not talking about an archaic style of business writing but simply of good manners and most importantly, understanding how we make people feel with our style of communication.
Made in Britain doesn’t just apply to manufactured goods
I have been delighted and surprised at how many people from all around the world have asked to join The Inspired Group and have subscribed to our series “The A-Z of Business Success” each episode with an English speaking recorded interview.
Maybe the very thing that we think of as slightly anachronistic in a fast moving, Americanised world is the thing that we can take most advantage of and that “Made in Britain” can be applied to more than just commodities.
Does your business attract clients from outside the UK? Could it? Is this something you’d value? Tell us what you think.
Are you speaking the language that your audience understands?
This is a guest post from Tim Britt
Last week my wife mentioned to me, and I’m not sure how this came about, that Laurel and Hardy, or Stanlio e Ollio to give them their true Italian identity, actually spoke with an English accent, which is why when the English attempt to speak Italian, they tend to find us so funny. Now this might just be my wife’s way of protecting my rather brittle confidence when it comes to talking Italian in her native tongue, but it was a perfect (she wouldn’t have known this at the time) example of delivering content that was both relevant and interesting to the audience, in this case me.
Since 19% of all activity online is spent using social media compared to 6% in March 2007 (comScore, Dec 2011), it goes without saying that the opportunity to engage with your target audience is bigger than ever. In fact if you spent 8 hours a day at your PC over the course of a 7 day week your audience would be on Social Media accounts for over 10 hours in total. Think of that in terms of somebody reading a newspaper or a magazine and you get a fairly good idea as to the opportunity it presents to marketers.
So what practical steps can we do to ensure we’re not only targeting our audience, but that we’re actually being relevant with our delivery. Over time I’ve learnt that following a few simple and sometimes obvious rules can help when it comes to talking to potential new customers and by following these same rules could help you generate new opportunities in your field.
ONE. Don’t be afraid to Say nothing
In my opinion, the real skill of anybody working in social media is knowing when to say nothing at all. The temptation with a large and captive audience is to swamp them with information or detail but that as we know can often have an adverse effect. Engaging is great if you’ve got something worth talking about but just making noise for the sake of it is a sure-fire way to turn people off. Make sure you have something worth saying and however much you want to DON’T start selling. If people get a whiff that their being sold to, chances are you’ll lose them for good.
TWO. Don’t be shy to advertise
Despite what some may say, social media is still an appropriate platform to advertise on – it can help engage people in your conversations. Running your adverts alongside your “interesting and relevant” content strategy is a great way to increase your exposure.
The specific nature of targeted advertising these days means that not only do you have the ability to reach a very specific market, you also only pay for the people who click-through to your landing page – which if your advert is done properly should be a large number of people whose adverts you reach. One thing to remember however is not to forget about your emerging new markets as they can have a major influence on how your company develops in the long run.
THREE. Get creative but keep it simple
It seems the easiest thing of all to say and most of us like to think that we’re in some way, shape or form a naturally creative person but in truth not all of us have the time or inclination to sit around coming up with ideas which may or may not bear fruit. Not one for using too many oft-used phrases, thinking outside the box can sometimes leave you with a head full of ideas, leaving you in a bit of a spin so in my opinion try to keep it simple.
This doesn’t mean you have to be boring however and you can still be creative for example if you have a range of new products or are releasing a new service get some initial feedback from consumers prior to launch. Risky its true as people being people can sometimes change their minds, but as a consumer there’s nothing better than being listened to and in some cases can make for a ready-made buyer.
FOUR. Take a step back
It’s easy to be tempted into saying something off the cuff without much thought, the repercussions of which can be everlasting and sometimes quite damaging. You only have to look at some famous names that have tweeted things in the past only to make an emergency stop and do a double back just to save face and possibly their careers.
Sometimes simply listening to what’s being said can give you all the insight you need to make a valued and measured response to even the most delicate of subjects so kick back and think of the old adage – one mouth and two ears, use them proportionately.
FIVE. Be lighthearted
In the words of Elsa Maxwell – “Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can”. Thoughtful is good because it shows you take what you do seriously but try if possible to keep things lighthearted, after all the World does seem to be full of doom and gloom so spreading a little light every now and then will do you no harm but remember, most importantly of all and regardless of everything else, in the language of the great Laurel and Hardy, shhh…
If you have a burning desire to be, do or have something and you’re not working towards it, chances are you’re being held back by a lack of self belief.
Most successful people acknowledge that self belief plays a big part in their achievements. At a very superficial level this makes a lot of sense for why would anyone attempt something if they didn’t think they could succeed?
However, if this thought is carried to its logical conclusion it would mean that successful people never take any risks and this is clearly not the case.
Some of the most successful people I’ve met are those who, at some point in their lives, lost everything. They put their success down to the fact that they already know that if things go wrong, they will cope and come back to fight another day.
And yet, through lack of self belief, most people consistently choose unhappiness over uncertainty. You can prove this for yourself. Just ask everyone you know (including yourself)
“What would you do if you knew without doubt that you could not fail?”
Then ask, “So why aren’t you doing it?” The answer is always, “Because it MIGHT fail”
We do less than we could because what we fear most is our imagined failure.
People who have experienced real failure don’t fear it anymore. They know it won’t kill them.
There’s a lot of talk about what we learn from failure, but the real lesson, the most important lesson, is self belief. When there’s nothing else left – we learn to believe in ourselves.
If we only get confidence and self belief from our successes, we are out of luck when we fail. We need to get resilience and confidence from both success and failure.
The worst thing is letting this fear get the best of us and not even giving something a good shot and then ending up in between – not achieving what we want yet not completely failing, as we didn’t really try.
“We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between.”
Go back to your own definition of success: When you are successful how will you ‘be’? What will you do? What will you have?
What is stopping you from being, doing and having what you want? Whatever it is, imagine for a moment that you’ve been given the wrong information; that the messages that imply that your endeavours will result in failure were really meant for someone else and that you should have got the one that said, “It doesn’t matter whether you succeed or fail, what matters is that you try. No harm will come to you from trying.”
Now go and make a start.
Whether you prefer the ubiquitous slogan “Just do it” or the more esoteric quote sometimes attributed to Goethe “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”, please know that self belief grows from experiencing both success and failure and, safe in this knowledge, you can now go and build your self belief, your self confidence, your self esteem and your chances of success.
This is part two of our Steps to Success Series. A discussion on the subject can be found on LinkedIn here: http://lnkd.in/CpFtke Details of all the 12 Steps to Success can be found here
In the second part of our series “Steps to Success”, Martyn Sibley explains how his vision to create a better world for disabled people meant he had to have a belief in himself that seems to defy all logic.
Martyn will be speaking at The Inspired Group on Thursday 9th February.
I am an everyday guy who runs a business, has a passion for travel, loves quality time with good people, and I happen to require an intricate package of technology, funding and personal support to function because I’m disabled.
This time last year I had overcome the routine winter chest function, returned from an amazing road trip in California I and was in reflective mode. When I travel the sense of adventure, meeting new people and broadening my horizons makes me question my life and the world. I think it’s fair to say that this particular trip surfaced my real dreams, but more so the fact I believed I could achieve them and in a sense I realised it was now or never!
The crux of these dreams and plans were around running my own business. I worked at Scope straight out of university, learnt a great deal and was well respected. However, it was time for a change and rather than go into a similar role elsewhere I decided my ideas of running my own business were now possible. Without a wife, children and major commitments the risk was only on me, something that might not be the case later on.
In May, without any real discussion with my close ones (something I usually would do) I waltzed into work and quite spontaneously handed in my notice. I knew that with time I could harness my work on my blog to launch my own projects for disabled people. I could see there being webinars, online learning courses, e-conferences and the brand new Disability Horizons magazine; all innovative, useful, engaging, helpful and fun resources. They just needed time. I didn’t know how on earth I could monetise these projects, but in hindsight an amazing sense of self belief and trusting in fate enabled me to take such a risky decision.
Since leaving Scope at the end of June I have run 3 webinar series. The first through my blog where I received kind sponsorship from Future Fundraising and the creative agency Flourish. I was also commissioned by Scope’s information service and Hackney Borough Council. I learnt so much from this in terms of the information disabled people (plus their friends and family) require, how it should be provided and about my own strengths and weaknesses. I am now planning in 2012 to run a webinar per month on specific topics, with guest speakers, interactive polls and Q&A sessions.
Beyond planning, executing and evaluating the webinars; I had my debut on BBC breakfast in January, my tv presenting debut on BBC1’s Inside Out, I appeared on radio 4 with Julie Fernandez, Richard Herring and ‘you and yours’. I have enjoyed the media work as a novelty factor, but also to be a spokesperson for disabled people on key issues. I am not the old school campaigning type, but I thoroughly believe the government should invest in disabled people – essential benefits, social care packages, access to infrastructure, educating people’s attitudes and legal protection from discrimination. I think the guys at the Broken of Britain are doing an amazing job fighting the government cuts for disabled people, and it was great to be involved in the Hardest Hit march!
As you’d imagine money has been tight since leaving the salaried job. My savings and webinar contracts have kept me afloat, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to join Srin and Toby in New York in September. Sometimes crazy is the only way to live! Also, my quick trip to Edinburgh resulted in my finding romance with the lovely Claire. Apart from these 2 amazing trips, life has been less frantic socially. I know once my business picks up I can get back to seeing friends more in restaurants and bars. Its all ‘needs must’ at present.
Whilst the next months are crucial in getting new work and making Sunnier Days safe and sustainable, my definition of success has altered slightly. Whilst I want enough money to be comfortable, I have been far happier and healthier due to other reasons. I am making my own work decisions, working the hours my body prefers, staying in from the cold winter and managing my life to my own needs. As long as I am not financially broke, I place such a high value on my health, happiness and relationships.
So to round this up! I am planning to grow my blogs readership, make Disability Horizons ‘the’ disability publication to read, make the monthly webinars ‘the’ event to attend and finally launch my employment ecourse by February. In the past 6 months I have misfit-inc to thank for technical support, I really know what content is required to make a difference to disabled people, I have great networks to communicate my services through and I am confident the sponsorship offers will come in time. Now I am officially part of the Nexters project I have a great outlet of support and the potential to meet companies interested in my plans to change the world with disabled people.
My personal vision is to be running a business that changes the world using new media, whilst I am travelling the world, being in warmer climates throughout UK winters, maintaining my close relationships and just staying happy. The past 6 months have been a slog, at times stressful and scary, but going into 2012 I am confident it has been worthwhile. The hard work has given me a platform to really achieve my dreams, whilst empowering the next generation of disabled people to achieve theirs too.
If you’d like to comment or ask questions you can do that below or on our LinkedIn group where Martyn will be leading a discussion on self belief: http://lnkd.in/CpFtke
Knowing where to put your focus and your efforts is the first major step to success. A great exercise to get some clarity is in the preceding post “How to Create Your Best Year”
It is safe to say that if you haven’t already got what you desire, you are going to have to make some changes to get it and this is where many of run into trouble because we can’t change in isolation. As soon as we start to make changes we affect those around us and our environment and we often hit a brick wall and decide maybe its easier, safer, better to stay as we are. Exit our dreams and desires.
In the 1970’s Dr Clare Graves, expanding on the work of Maslow, developed a table of eight values and thinking systems that affect human existence and development and both cause us to want to change as well as giving us reasons not to.
“At each stage of human existence the adult is off on his quest of his holy grail, the way of life he seeks by which to live. As he sets off on each quest, he believes he will find the answer to his existence. Yet, much to his surprise and much to his dismay, he finds that as he solves one set of human problems he finds a new set in their place. The quest he finds is never ending.”
Dr. Clare W. Graves 1914 – 1986
In the book “101 Days to Make a Change” Roy Leighton and his co-authors suggest that when we want to make changes, we may need to look at each of these levels and rather than ask “Where am I?” ask “Am I open or closed to change at this level?”
1. Survival – Getting the basics right. Are you waving or drowning?
2. Tribal – Who are your people? Do you make a positive impact on those around you?
3. Self – Who are you? What are your non-negotiable values?
4. Order – Are you building a life on solid foundations?
5. Enterprise – Are you moving forward with self knowledge?
6. Community – How can you deepen your relationships and build bonds?
7. Complexity – Do you see the bigger picture or always sweat the small stuff?
8. Holistic – Do you have an existential outlook? Can you see the interconnectedness of everything?
If desire is the starting point of all achievement, self knowledge and the ability to change go hand in hand. Are you part of this never ending quest?
Next month: Steps to Success #2. Self Belief is the Key to Success
The 12 Steps to Success are inspired by Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”
If you have any queries about this or the process of making changes please leave a comment below of join the discussion on Linkedin http://lnkd.in/7AR7ex
New Year’s Resolutions!The start of every year brings a plethora of advice on how to have your best year ever, set goals and achieve them.
Most are doomed to failure because we are creatures of habit and it is our habits that have got us to where we are now, wishing and hoping for things to change - doing the same things and expecting different results.
The system outlined in ‘Your Best Year Yet’ by Jinny Ditzler has been working well for over 30 years and is based on ten questions around which are woven many insights into how we can change our thinking and behaviour in order to consistently improve our lives, year on year.
These ten questions are the starting point of a three hour process of discovery, reflection and planning in which you can start to design your best year yet. If you like this approach there are many more insights in the book but this is a good way to get started – with a few prompts from me.
This is also the start of our 12 Steps to Success Programme – why not join us?
1. What did you accomplish last year?
Brag like no-one is listening! Don’t hide your light, you’re allowed to celebrate. Don’t compare your achievements with anyone else’s! What is small for you might be HUGE for someone else and vice-versa. This is not a contest it’s just about YOU! If you are finding it hard to give yourself a pat on the back take a minute to wonder why.
2. What were your biggest disappointments last year?
When did you disappoint yourself? When did others disappoint you? What happened that was not in your control? You don’t have to show this to anyone so be honest with yourself. It’s not about beating yourself up but about looking at how you handled things. If you find it easier to criticise than to praise yourself, ask why. Are you hanging on to any resentment or anger or have you let it go?
3. What did you learn?
What worked and why? What didn’t work and why? What would you keep doing? What would you stop doing? What would you add that you’re not doing now? Pretend you’re someone else – what advice would you give you – without judgement?
4. How do you limit yourself and how can you stop doing it?
Fear is the biggest limiting factor in most people’s lives. Most fears are about events we imagine that never come true. What is it that you are most afraid of? What stories do you habitually tell yourself? What kind of self-image do you have? What would happen if you told yourself a different story and believed it?
5. What are your personal values?
Imagine you are an observer at your own funeral. What would you like people to say about you? How do you want to be remembered? How can you make your life be about living to these values? Authenticity and integrity are essential elements in creating a happy and successful life according to your values.
6. What roles do you play in your life?
We hear a lot about work/life balance but what does this really mean to you? Everyone has many roles and they change as circumstances change. List all the roles you currently play – in no particular order – and then note the ones you’d like to drop and the ones you’d like to add.
7. Which role is your major focus for next year?
Imagine you are in a helicopter looking down at everything you do in your life spread out beneath you. There will be some things that dominate the picture and some things that are in the background. Using the section on your personal values as your guide, decide where you would like or need to put more attention next year. Acknowledge that you have only so many hours in a day and that your first priority must be to taking care of yourself. This is not a selfish decision but equivalent to the airline notice that says “put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others”. If you are not taking care of yourself you become a liability. Note any conflicts and then decide which role will be your major focus for next year, thinking how this will fit into a long term life plan.
8. What are your goals for each role?
At this stage you may be thinking “I’ve set goals before and not achieved them so what’s the point?” There are many systems and methods of goal setting and many myths and legends too. The only sure thing about goal setting is that goals need to be seen in the context of your whole life. If you start with the end in mind and align your actions with your values you are more likely to succeed. Do you have a life plan and long term goals or are you in ‘let’s see how things turn out” mode? When you set the goals for each role check for conflicts and make adjustments where necessary.
9. What are your top ten goals for 2012?
What you are looking for here are the things that will make 2012 the best year of your life so far – not your best year ever. What you don’t do this year can go on the list for next year so that each year becomes the best year so far. Choose from the goals for each role the ones that will make the most difference to your life. Keep checking back and revising the list until you have a list that thrills and excites you. If your list causes you doubts and worries dig up the reasons. Be honest with yourself and if you really can’t see yourself achieving a particular goal cross it out and replace it. There is no ‘should’ about this list. It’s about what you truly ‘want’ and no-one’s judgement is involved except your own.
10. How can you make sure you achieve your top ten goals?
Just writing down goals will not get results. Just making a plan will not get results. Just thinking positive thoughts will not get results. Consistent action coupled with a firm belief is most likely to get the results you want but even then, circumstances outside of your control may influence what happens. You can’t control what happens but you can control how you react to it. Your plan to achieve your goals needs to be a living breathing part of every second of your life. Every decision you make will take you nearer or further away from achieving your goals. Achieving your goals is not something you do as well as doing everything else in your life. Achieving your goals is about the way you live every moment. If your goals are consistent with your values and the roles you play in your life the changes you make will lead naturally to the end you have in mind.
If you’d like to explore any of this in greater depth just get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to help.