What Not to Say to a Stressed-Out Colleague

stressed-out-collegueNo clichés, and no platitudes. We want to help when we see someone stressed out. When someone is wound up, they don’t want to hear about how you felt or triumphed in a tough situation because they are in the middle of it now.

Be helpful by saying “You can handle this,” and offer an example of when a time when they did bounce back. Ask them, “What would help?” If they say “nothing” or “I don’t know”, sit quietly for 15 seconds (the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head.) The goal isn’t to cure someone’s stress, but to decrease it in the moment.

Adapted from the Harvard Business Review “Management Tip of the Day“ newsletter
Source: “What Not to Say to a Stressed-Out Colleague”, by Holly Weeks

8 Ways To Put Anyone At Ease | Fast Company

8-ways-to-put-anyone-at-ease

Eight strategies for being more approachable and fine-tuning your communication skills. The 8 ways are:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Adapt Your Style
  3. Be Empathetic
  4. Use Their Names
  5. Be Careful Using A Common Phrase
  6. Dig Deeper, But Not Too Deep
  7. Disclose Something About Yourself
  8. Avoid Going Overboard

Read the article for the details and see if any of these are a blind spot for you.

Source: 8 Ways To Put Anyone At Ease | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

[Photo: Flickr user WOCinTech Chat]

Win the Pitch: Tips from MasterCard’s “Priceless” Pitchman

MasterCard-Logo-Font-400x220Understanding your customers motivation to buy is tricky.  Kevin Allen does a great job making it easier to understand by looking at a commercial we all know – the MasterCard “Priceless” ad.

He says winning pitches need three things:

  1. You need to understand that behind every decision lies a hidden agenda.
  2. Your need to do your emotional homework to find the hidden agenda.
  3. You need to connect yourself to the hidden agenda.
    1. Real Ambition: our intention to create something good where nothing existed before.
    2. Your Core Abilities: the special abilities you possess at the core of your being that separate you from others.
    3. Your Credo: the values and belief system to which you subscribe, and/or a shared behaviour or code of ethics that you’re working within.

Now you know what to say, now Deliver like a litigator: You can create your argument, gathering all your facts and supporting evidence around the hidden agenda, which should be placed squarely at the centre of your “case.”  Then, you can create an exciting tale where your audiences attains their deepest desire, not via business-speak, but with good old-fashioned storytelling to convincingly convey your pitch.

Kevin does a great job explaining the process of understanding why your customers buy from you and it is not because you twisted someone’s arm. People want to be understood,  and with that understanding you can tap in “their heart’s desire.”

Read the entire article, Win the Pitch: Tips from MasterCard’s “Priceless” Pitchman – Kevin Allen – Harvard Business Review.

Change Anything? Yes You Can

There are many roads you can take when making a change but which one?  Here are some actionable ideas to kick of your new year’s change effort – either personally or professionally – and you can start today.  See the video below.

Your ability to change is influenced by your skills more than what you normally think of as willpower.  Willpower is a skill that you can learn and it can be strengthen.  Making change is about developing skills, executing your customized change plan, and engaging all six sources of influence. sixsourcesInfluence_v1

For example, source of influence one – Personal Motivation – deals with the idea of “do you want to do it.”  Make the undesirable desirable is the idea to increase your personal motivation and escape the willpower trap.

I will create posts about each of the six sources of influence in the coming weeks.  For a larger view just click on the image.

According to the research by the authors, if you can use four or more of the six areas of influence on your change challenge, your probability of success increases 10 fold.

One of the best ideas from the book is to invite to “turn a bad day into good data” by you becoming the scientist and subject.

The authors of ‘Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success’ have summed it up in an easy read of 239 pages or a few hours on CD.  I recommend reading it cover to cover.  If you prefer to hear examples showing how to apply the ideas go to part III. The examples are:

  1. Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight and Get Fit – and Stay That Way, page 151
  2. Financial Fitness: How to Get – and Live – Out o Debt, page 173
  3. Addiction: How to Take Back Your Life, page 192
  4. Relationships: How to Change Us by Changing Me, page 213

You will see how identifying your vital behaviours and using all six sources of influence enable you to create your customized change plan.

Start today and tell me how it works for you.