SuperHero Skills

Becoming a  ” WordSmith”  (Part 1)

There are a number of phrases and gambits that you can learn to use to propel yourself toward an ease of connecting with other people, or, in simply helping you get your way.

These phrases will change your situation, right on the spot!  Consider, for example:

“Take your time.”  (Ray Arenofsky)  Used on the phone, this will put anyone at ease – especially people who are under time pressure stress in a service business.  And, they will love you for the empathy you are showing them.

“Thank you for calling me (Client’s name).  Remember, I’ll always be here for you, whenever you need me”.  This phrase positions you as that person’s dependable and go-to problem solver. You close every call this way.

Maybe the killer- phrase in this series is going to be this one:  “May I give you a Compliment”? When followed by a sincerely meant example, it will disarm people and open doors for you anywhere.  No one ever says, “No” to this question, but now they are primed to hear what you will say.

I’ve used it to bond with people from homeless to rich.  The question and the delivery of the compliment add validity to whatever you are doing, as they allow people to perceive you as a friend, a kindred soul – someone they can trust and open up to.

Maybe a larger question here is, do you have difficulty giving another person a compliment or praise?  If so, consider how this may be holding you back.  People who can recognize what’s  good in others and pass it back to them, will automatically expand and rise themselves.

You see, it’s all about you, after all.

I’m shooting for 15% – Most of what I write isn’t going to apply to You specifically.  If we could see the spectrum of your skills and needs, it would hardly match someone else’s – that’s normal – we’re all very singular in our mental construction, our readiness and our Egos.

Additionally, your present situation is ever-changing.  By next year these ideas will have shifted in their relative value to you.  The ones you love now can become dull, while the ones you are skimming  past now may become the most valued ones.  It’s all OK – expect it,  but plan to re-read.

And a word about veracity and trust: I have personally tried and used all of these ideas, so I know from experience and risk, that they can work.

Musings: Brand Extensions = Stress multipliers

M 1.  Do you remember that tomato-based juice called V8?   It used to be a single choice – that was it, take it or leave it.   Now, however, at my local SuperMarket, there are 35 flavor and size types of V8 Juice to choose from!

What happened?   My son, Clint, who sells to the grocery business, says this is called Brand Extension, the purpose of it being to command more “facings” or space on each store’s shelves, and thereby sell more kinds of V8  Juice.

The point for us to consider here is this:  isn’t this exactly what’s happened in our own lives?

Let’s count –  How many TV channels do you have? Magazines do you read? Restaurants do you eat at?  Doctors do you have? Houses do you own? Unread books are on your Kindle? Kids events do you attend in a year? Potential colleges will you visit to pick one? Credit Cards are in your wallet? Careers have you had? States have you lived in? Friends do you have on Facebook? Uncleared emails and photos are on your smartphone?

Haven’t all of these types of add-ons ramped up your stress?  Consider how easily you can reduce the pressure by cutting everything back to where you only have one of these:  One house, Car, Partner, TV, Job, Bank, Phone number, email address, Hobby, Sport, and so on.

Carry the reduction a step further by reducing the complexity of the choices you’ve made.

Then you will have created the peace and the time, to think and live at the more satisfying level you seek.

And don’t wait for a New Year’s resolution to do this.  Begin now.

Tactics and Techniques

T 1.  Taking Over –  This piece is written with Leanne Fremar, and other Team Managers To Be, in mind.   Last month, Starbucks was clever enough to hire Leanne away from Under Armour, and she will be starting at Starbucks’ Seattle HQ in October.

If I were one of Leanne’s Coaches, I would initially suggest two critical steps, as she takes over.

Step 1.  Select carefully what area you choose to look at first, as this will signal to your  team what your greatest area of expertise is, or what factors (metrics) you consider most important,  or what concern is on the top of your list/mind.

Step 2.  Ask your right-hand people – the ones you are going to absolutely rely on – to do something for you : Examples might be, “Please research X, for me”.  “Bring me everything you can find on Y”.  “Tell me in writing, some ways we can improve/escalate what this department is doing.”   Then, meet your people singly.  Ask “How much time do you need, to do this right?  OK, but no extensions”.

Judge the results they bring you for speed, clarity, quality of thought.  Assess them for PMA, acceptance of your leadership, and intellectual honesty.

The purpose for this is simple: If there’s a “fire” in your department, a week from now,  you want to know who your real firefighters are – who and where you can call for help in an emergency,  because you’ve tested for it.   Secondarily, you’ll have gained a good, quick gauge of the talent pool you’ve inherited.