Posts Tagged leadership

The Journey to Self-worth, Self-love and ultimately, Love – Starts with…

(This blog is an extract from a forthcoming book I’m writing with the working title, How to be a Friend of the Devil Within)

Three raysThree Constituents and their Dualities…

  1. Accept vulnerabilities: as necessary to the human condition. Avoid allowing them to dictate your actions. Avoid denying them. Learning from vulnerability is fundamental to knowing what being invulnerable means. That’s the paradox of duality – you know something is wet because you know it’s not not-wet, i.e. dry.

To understand invulnerability, allow yourself to ‘be ok being vulnerable’. As you learn more about vulnerability (defencelessness), you learn more about ‘not-vulnerabilty’, invulnerability.

Image courtesy of Cernonnos

Defencelessness becomes your strength – when you learn to apply its wisdom.

  1. Learn to be okay with uncertainty. For example, when you commit to a journey, you may not arrive at your intended destination. Likewise, when you allow yourself to fall in love, that love may be rejected or lost. Learn to avoid trying to control people to adhere to your will. Love is only achieved through choice and freedom and living with the uncertainty that choice and freedom imply. Put another way…

If you want to change something stop trying to control it.

  1. Self-love does not mean that you or life has to be perfect. You were designed to be incomplete. By all means strive to improve yourself or the life you lead AND ‘don’t beat yourself up for being imperfect’. You, your friends and acquaintances, your children and your enemies, none are perfect.

This is what researcher and storyteller, Brené Brown, says about raising children in a generation that has the highest rate of drug dependency, obesity and debt in history…

Our job is to say (to our children), “You know what? You are imperfect, you are wired to struggle – BUT you are worthy of love and belonging”. That’s our job. Show me a generation of children raised like that and we’ll end, I think, the problems we see today.
Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Be clear about your intended outcomes and commit to the journey to achieve them. The outcomes will not necessarily be spiritual. Yet the journey to complete – that which is incomplete (incomplete self-worth, incomplete self-love and incomplete love) – is always spiritual.

Your True Nature Creates Love

Being okay with the three states: vulnerability, uncertainty and imperfection, means that you no longer hold yourself back with emotions (anger, shame, hurt and fear) that stop you from expressing your true nature. Not feeling angry, hurt, ashamed or fearful allows you to embrace these four disabling-emotions’ dualities (enabling-emotions):

1. Not-anger =  compassion and patience

2. Not-shame = self-worth and faith-in-self

3. Not-hurt = joy and serenity

4. Not-fear = love.

Your true nature is to…

Create love, moment by moment, through a cocktail of compassion, patience, self worth, faith-in-self, completeness, serenity, and joy  – with a twist of enthusiasm and will-power.

Shine on… & a Happy Winter Solstice!

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Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author Facebook: Beowulf (>16,000 followers)

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In Your Business (or Personal) Life, What is Mindfulness?

Extracts from Quick Guide V: How to Apply Mindfulness to Business.

Front Cover 8.5x5.25

 Mindfulness

Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can. In the process, we become more in touch with our life as it is unfolding.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Allow me to add my own business related definition.

Mindfulness is responding in the present moment without reacting through anger, shame, hurt or (the most likely feeling) fear. Instead it’s about having faith-in-self to use your intuition to respond with passion, curiosity to learn, composure, patience, compassion, harmony, and timing to complete whatever is incomplete in your approach to business relationships.


Mindfulness
Approach

If you are mindful of, moment by moment, you…

  • Demonstrate faith-in self, passion, curiosity to learn, composure, patience, and compassion.
  • Avoid both panicking and reacting out of anger, shame, hurt, and fear – instead, under-react.
  • Create harmony and resonance to nurture The Master Mind.

A Master Mind may be created through the bringing together or blending, in a spirit of perfect harmony, of two or more minds. Out of this harmonious blending the chemistry of the mind creates a third mind which be appropriated and used by one or all of the individual minds.
from The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill

  • Complete incompletions (when the future presents them to you and in the past you may have reacted negatively) to time.

Then, with these intentions, actions and qualities you apply…

The Mystique

You will induce everything that’s incomplete in your approach to your business relationship. This is the future’s gift to the present moment. You are given the opportunity to rise above anger, shame, hurt, and fear (borne of the past tense).

When you complete anything in your business approach that is incomplete, it travels into the past and need never return. If you react negatively, i.e. it remains incomplete, it travels into the past before returning to the future – so that you attract the same source of anger, shame, hurt, and fear once again.

The goals of nurturing healthy business relationships may be financial success and kudos but these things are not the purpose.

The real purpose of any relationship, business or otherwise, is the development of self (consciousness) to be the very best at what you do.

When you achieve the above, the goals and purpose become one. You cannot fail because there is no one better and you have no fear of not-success – because…

The Mystique
Genuinely having no fear tells you that not-success no longer exists.

There’s a corollary to this. To release your fear you need to approach not-success. Which is why I encourage you to…

Include not-success as well as success in what you want.

Get it?

Shine on…!
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Paul C Burr
Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author
Facebook:
Beowulf (>16,000 followers)

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Effectiveness = Motivation x Confidence x Competence x Curiosity (Mindfulness in Business Meetings)

QG2 Book Cover 01Extract from Quick Guide II: How to Spot, Mimic and Become a Top Salesperson

Most sales training I’ve come across focuses primarily on developing a salesperson’s skills or competencies, for example: opening, qualifying, questioning, advocating, presenting, negotiating and closing. The intention is that, over time with experience, the salesperson will get better and better at demonstrating these skills. It follows logically that they’ll become more confident in their sales approach and thus hopefully more motivated.

I haven’t seen much in the way of material that focuses on engendering an ongoing sense of curiosity, for example, how can I be the best, if not better, at what I sell?

The E=MC3 equation implies that an individual’s effectiveness is three parts mental and emotional (motivation, competence and curiosity) to one part intellectual (competence).

Let’s take a first pass at each of the qualities: motivation, confidence, competence and curiosity.

Motivation

Most salespeople are motivated to win, especially when the selling is relatively easy. Likewise, most are motivated by earnings and win bonuses. Some are motivated by advancing their career.

What motivates top salespeople? The answers from my research fall into three categories:

1. “To be the best I can be” or “…recognised as the best salesperson there is” – not only the best in terms of results but the best at selling too (outcomes + journey).

2. “To deliver customer value above and beyond that expected.”

3. “To create a legacy so that I am renowned for the value I bring to customers and my organisation’s business.”

In all three categories, the top performers are motivated by being (and being seen as) excellent. ‘Moderates’ talk of winning and earnings but talk less of personal excellence.

Confidence

I worked with a 26 year old CEO of a recruitment firm who had a good reputation for hiring confident as opposed to arrogant people. I was asked to model how he went about the task. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “How do you differentiate between a confident person and an arrogant one?”

CEO: “Well, I’m not sure; I just get a ‘feeling’.”

Me: “Describe that ‘feeling’.”

CEO: “Well you just sort of know, don’t you? It’s something you sense….. a gut feeling.”

Me: “Okay, imagine you have an arrogant person to your left and a confident to your right. What’s the difference between them?”

CEO: “The confident person asks questions; the arrogant person doesn’t. The confident person probes for where they feel they’ll bring value to the organisation. They look to find out if they will enjoy the role. They seek opportunities for themselves to grow in the role. The arrogant person takes a position that they have the knowledge and wisdom suitable for the job and makes no effort to see how well they’ll fit in.”

Top salespeople exude confidence by the quality of questions they ask as well as the articulacy by which they convey reassurance. (For a framework with which to construct quality sales questions, refer to the INCREASETM model in Number 1 of this series of business guides, Quick Guide – How Top Salespeople Sell.)

Competence

If you stacked all the sales training and development materials in the world on top of one another, you’d probably build a mountain higher than Mount Everest. So I’ll attempt to put a different slant on competence by giving you a customer’s perspective. (For completeness, Appendix 1 lists the skills and knowledge demonstrated by top salespeople at, and away from, the customer interface.)

A corporate salesperson spends, on average, 15% of their time speaking directly to a customer. Ergo, 85% of the time, they apply their skills and knowledge to researching, developing and planning; how to be more effective during the ‘15%’ customer interface window when the occasion arises.

Top performers prepare themselves, intellectually and psychologically, to be at their peak when speaking to the customer. They develop appropriate skills and knowledge (the intellectual exchange) and they also prepare themselves to be in the right frame of mind and body (the mental and emotional exchange) with the customer.

Being perceived as ‘competent’ by the customer requires you to be:

1. Prepared: with insightful questions to ask and have answers to potential customer questions, including facts, data and logic so that your proposals are visionary, ‘grounded in reality’ and hopefully compelling

2. Clear about the outcomes: What do you want to achieve in the meeting both in terms of the task-in-hand and your relationship with the customer (e.g. engender trust). It’s also being very clear about the outcomes the customer might want to achieve, in terms of their task-in-hand and from their relationship with a supplier like you.

Illustration: 4 Outcomes to a Meeting

Outcomes hires croppedMost of us prepare ‘box 1’ before a meeting. Many ‘moderates’ omit boxes 2 and 3 above from their preparatory work. Most salespeople miss out box 4 altogether – often because of a lack of self-belief and sometimes unconsciously. They don’t visualise themselves in a picture working closely with the customer.

3. In the right frame of mind: If you were to prioritise the three factors: Prepared, Clear Outcomes and Frame of Mind – which order would you place them?

Exercise: Allocate three weighting percentages (that add up to 100%) against Prepared, Clear Outcomes and Frame of Mind respectively – in terms of how important they are to being successful during (not before) a meeting.

Research shows…

The most important thing you take into a meeting is your frame of mind.

Be Mindful!

This statement often raises a few queries. It doesn’t say that you shouldn’t prepare diligently for a meeting. What it says instead is – the moment the meeting starts, the single most important factor that will determine your success is your frame of mind. You may well feel you have to do a significant amount of preparation to get yourself ‘centred’, for example. BUT it’s not the process the meeting follows that determines success the most; it’s you, your frame of mind and the thoughts that engender that frame of mind.

Specifically, whatever thought you process in your conscious mind passes straight into your unconscious mind and merges with any ‘subconscious programmes’ running there. The aggregate information is then passed directly to your DNA which vibrates at different rates in accord with your temperament. That is:

The vibe you put out determines your success.

I coached a very successful salesperson who never felt at her best in front of a CEO customer. It took a wee while for us to discover a subconscious programme she’d developed from her authoritarian parents, created by a ‘single significant emotional event’ when she was three years old. Once she ‘released’ this programme, her faith-in-self in front of CEO’s increased significantly. Her sales soared.

Research by scientists (e.g. The Biology of Belief, by Dr Bruce Lipton and The Genie in your Genes, by Dr Matthew Dawson) demonstrates the subliminal communicative functioning power of DNA between human beings which can be harmonious (I prefer the term, ‘resonant’) or out of tune (dissonant) – and at its extreme, disruptive.

Allow me to define ‘being competent’ as not only having the capability to demonstrate requisite skills and knowledge at the  customer interface, it’s also about being competent at preparing yourself to be at your peak, to achieve the gravitas (sometimes called ‘traction’) you seek.

Author’s note: gravitas is something we can all achieve; it’s a result not a gift privy to a chosen few. Only 15% or so of salespeople achieve the ‘customer gravitas’ they seek, hence this book!

Let me add, the competence that customers attribute to you will also include an element of the perceived competence of the solutions you bring to the table, i.e. an acknowledgement of the potential of your solution’s value proposition. Put another way, if the customer has little faith in what you’re selling, even though they value your personal contribution, to what degree will you be invited to participate in the decision making process?

We’ve covered two of the three ‘Cs’ in the E=MC3 equation. A salesperson not only has to be competent in following ‘top sales processes’ (and have potentially ‘competent’ solutions); they need to be confident in their ability and motivated to follow those sales processes too. And still there’s one further factor that determines how effective you are (by seeing what’s really going on), a heightened sense of…

Curiosity

Top salespeople are unstintingly curious. For example, they love to be coached. They are very willing to learn how to become more effective at selling.

Top performers focus on working smarter, not harder, than ‘moderates’

You might ask, “Curious about what?” Answer: “Everything!”

Top salespeople probe below the surface of what’s going on – especially when forging business relationships. Like a metaphorical iceberg, they acknowledge that you only see about 15% above the surface; the obvious facts and logic by which a customer makes a decision. But they don’t stop there, they’re proactive to find the real passions and fears which will motivate or deter key stakeholders in the decision making process.

Curiosity is the sonar signal you emit to track changes on your ‘sales radar screen’. You track political, economic, sociological, technological and organisational developments as well as your competitors’ manoeuvres. At the deepest level, you’re tuning into changes in customers’ feelings, e.g. inspiration, motivation, confidence, sense of security, anger and most of all – trust and fear.

There’s more. You also need to be proactively curious about what might happen. I return to this later.

To summarise: selling is three parts mental/emotional to one part intellectual.

E=MC3, it’s not rocket science!

Shine on…!
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Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

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The Currency of All Relationships: Truth, Trust and Passion

QG3 BookCoverPreview.do

Shine on…!
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Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

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Steve Jobs

Image sourced from realmagic.com

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”

Steve Jobs

Image sourced from

Shine on…!
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Paul C Burr

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  • How to Be a Friend of the Devil Within

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  • The Mystique to the Game of Life (and Unrequited Love)

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  • Quick Guide IV – A Scorecard that Accounts for Mindfulness in Business

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