Tag Archives: failure

I feel naked…

…and not in a good way!

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So when is it OK and not OK to be naked…for me I love getting my kit off, probably because I am an exhibitionist, or more to the truth, I really do like to kick back and shed the weekday attire and feel the sand between my toes and the elements on my skin, but that naked is OK…I am asking about the feeling you have when someone you have looked up to and aspire to be as good as if not better turns out to be….well to quote a phrase ‘not all that’

I guess the only way I could feel any more naked is if, there were others.

Thousands of people pose in the nude for

Others, who on the outside or from a distance have a good ‘show’ a presence, a swagger, a reputation and integrity.
OH NO…it has happened….Like Icarus, I clearly got to close…and substance – missing, ability – lacking and integrity – do not pass go, do not collect £200.
So there I am about to spiral…now which way do I go…?
Up and risk the ego taking over?
Or down and risk the ever too faithful human sabotage take over…Oh wait there is another way…of course there is…because I AM CONGRUENT.

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Congruent I hear you ask? Yes, Congruent. A mid-15th century Latin word Congruentum meaning ‘to come together, agree, correspond with’ A word that I use regularly with clients and myself. To me it means simply this. For me to be the best coach I can be, I need to be coached.

I need to understand how it feels when someone holds the mirror up and I am there, looking in, squirming…
I need to understand how I feel when I am being questioned about what I have or haven’t done to result in what I currently have or am.
I need to understand how empowered I feel when I am aided in reaching the point I need to reach to make it happen
I need to create my own solutions and have someone who I can bounce off, an outside voice who will not be my ‘yes man’ and help me see how it really is….
..Show me when challenges need facing and when brilliance exactly that, brilliance.

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So I turn to my coach, I am naked (they don’t laugh, which is also a bonus!!) and I share what I am feeling, a little lost. Something has knocked me sideways and I can quite place it…See that is the beauty of having a coach and being coached…a voice at the end of a phone or a welcome face over a coffee to listen, questions, facilitate and empower me.
I had begun to think my ego had gone and got way out of hand…I am no shrinking violet I know that, but what I was witnessing, experiencing, was mentors and business professionals who I looked up to and admired, possibly even to aspired to be, behaving in ways I never imagined I would experience. Then I began to think, maybe it’s not that, maybe it’s that my compass was way off and I had been looking in the wrong places or looking for the wrong things…
What transpires is simple. It is something I am very aware of and many reading this will be too…and there it is folks…the best learning’s are the life lessons that keep showing us that we are alive, they are not complicated or scientific, they are simple, powerful and right there.
We are a constant.
That was it…where I was years ago, to where I am now, where my mentors were to where they are now is just different. Not better, not worse, just different.
What I wanted then and was getting out of bed for then is not what drives me now.

And here is my compass.
I am here to inspire, educate and motivate.
To encourage the world to think and act differently, one step at a time.
I help people believe. And if you wish to dismiss that, then go and try something that you don’t believe and let me know how you get on!
My ethics and my morals bound me to only do what is right for me and my clients. I choose the game now and I can play to the level that I want, that I choose.
My mission is to help you realise the game you wish to play and importantly the level that you want to play it at.
Because life is just a game. A beautiful, emotional, passionate, romantic, harsh, humorous & real game. Step up to the plate, pick up a bat and swing…you can’t win if you don’t swing the bat, that is a fact.

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So I am extremely grateful to the path that I have chosen and the routes that it takes me every week…burning new pathways, establishing new relationships and building new opportunities to make this world better, one step at a time.
I am grateful to my coach and my clients, past present and future.
I am grateful for my health and every day that I am given to get up and make it happen.
Whatever you do, do it to your best and the best will find you back.

When you are ready to take the bat and start winning…call me. The Congruent Coach. +44(0) 1792 911881

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We’re all cracked pots!

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

 

For a full 2 years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

 

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.

 

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

 

After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

 

“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

 

“Why?” asked the bearer.  “What are you ashamed of?”

 

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house.  Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

 

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it some.  But at the end of tile trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

 

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on YOUR side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side?  That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it.  I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

 

For 2 years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table.  Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

 

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws.  We’re all cracked pots.

 

Some of us don’t grow old gracefully, some are not so smart, some are tall, large & big, some bald, some physically challenged, but it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

 

You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.  There is a lot of good out there.  There is a lot of good in you.

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.  Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life!  Or as I like to think of it – If it’s not for the crackpots in my life, it would be pretty boring.

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Go on…..seduce me! I dare you.

Effective communication skills are highly valuable. They enrich our personal and social lives. In business it’s a matter of life and death.

This blog will show you how to gain almost instant rapport with whoever you meet whether in person or through writing using highly effective communication skills.

If you want to invest more time looking at Rapport Building then I highly recommend the book ‘Instant Rapport’ – Michael Brooks (no relation)



In recent years, much has been learned about the way the human brain processes information. The memories we have, the way we perceive experiences, are controlled by our visual, auditory and kinesthetic abilities.

Everything in our minds is there primarily due to what we see, hear and feel. Remember these three modalities, they are VERY important. Again, they are

  • VISUAL
  • AUDITORY
  • KINESTHETIC

These three modes combine in any learning or communication process. We use all of them to a degree.
However, research indicates that with the majority of us, one of those modes is more dominant than others.


Do you like to learn by watching, looking at diagrams or training videos? Probably you are more visually oriented.

Do you prefer to be told through the spoken word? Or are you the kind that likes to get his hands on the subject and starting doing, learning through a process of experimentation? Then you are probably more of an auditory or kinesthetic.

If this is true of us, it is true of the other person. What if you knew which kind of mode is dominant in the person you are talking or writing to? Could that help build rapport or in some way make your communication skills more effective? ABSOLUTELY!

Companies have spent thousands of dollars educating their salesmen to utilise this knowledge. The results? Dramatic!
How can you apply this very valuable insight? By taking special note of the words and phrases your prospect uses.

People often use expressions that indicate which modality they are thinking in at that moment. For example, “I see what you mean”, “I hear you”, “I’ve got a feeling about this”. When you hear these expressions, sit up, take note. They are sign posts pointing to that person’s modality.

So you have the sign posts, what do you do now? You respond in the same manner. Start using expressions in that person’s dominant modality. Why should this work?
Because words convey ideas to the other person’s mind. You start communicating on the other person’s wavelength. Just like two modems making an internet connection, your two brains start ‘hand shaking’. The effect is amazing.

Skeptical? That’s understandable. Just start, try it and you won’t be any longer.

Here is a true life experience.

A successful financial advisor read up on this subject and started employing the methods.

One day he walked into the office of a manager interested in a savings plan. The financial advisor noticed many artistic pictures on the manager’s office walls. He commented on them and gave an honest compliment.

The manager used expressions like “let me show you”, “you must see this”. The financial advisor immediately picked up on this and realised the manager was a visual.

When the time came for him to make his presentation, he started off by saying, “Let me first give you the big picture” and with that he pulled out a diagram. The manager immediately leaned over and started closely scrutinising the savings plan. From there on it went like a dream.

The rapport was established early on. The manager began to think “I like this man, I can do business with him.” A very good plan was devised which suited the manager’s needs well and both parties were happy – the manager with his plan, the financial advisor with his commission. A win win ending.
Don’t underestimate the power of communicating in the other person’s preferred mode.

Now, how can you apply this in your business? Do you write ad copy or sales letters? Do you do face to face selling or telephone selling?

Sprinkle your words with phrases from each mode and see how the prospect responds. If they respond with similar expressions, you have identified their mode.

Here is a list of words and phrases to help you identify a dominant modality:

VISUAL 

crystal clear / focused / flash / hazy / sight for sore eyes / up front / it appears to me / get a bird’s eye view / it looks like / in the mind’s eye / you get the picture / it’s clear cut / take a dim view / tunnel vision / the naked eye

AUDITORY 

rings a bell / all ears / certain overtones / harmonize / make myself heard / tuned in / that’s unheard of / to tell the truth / in a manner of speaking / gave him an earful / listen up / tongue-tied / described in detail / sounds like / just say it

KINESTHETIC

I’m conscious of / you can sense / she perceived / lay your cards on the table / come to grips with it / that’s a pain in the neck / pull some strings / hang in there / touch base with / it boils down to / start from scratch / that was under handed / hold on / you need to experience it / in a moment of panic

These lists are just to get you started. There are an abundance of signals out there in the way people express themselves.
You just need to “read the signs”, “hear the bell ring” and “grasp the meaning” behind the words your prospect is using, either in written or spoken form.
 

Rapport is almost priceless. Agreements, contracts, big business deals are often concluded between people because they sense a bonding between them.

Develop and practice these essential communication skills and your life and business will take on new vitality!

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Forming Storming Norming Performing

Transforming a group of diverse individuals into a high-performance team is a monumental task. Although teams have both strengths and weaknesses the ability to constructively exploit the strengths while improving upon the weaknesses is a challenge that most organizations will ultimately face. Accordingly a group that transcends these difficulties will eventually go on to develop the attributes that will effectively allow it to become a high powered team. While there are numerous models that can help to illustrate the elements necessary for team building Bruce Tuckman’s Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing Model of team development seems to illustrate this process with the most clarity.

The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of team development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for a team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has laid the framework for subsequent models of team dynamics frequently used in management theory to describe the behaviour of existing teams.

Forming

In the first stage of Tuckman’s model a team is selected and the team leader takes an active role in outlining and defining the team’s objectives. At this stage team members receive most of their direction from the authoritative figure usually a manager because the team leader lacks direction and they are just becoming accustomed to their new team environment.

 Storming

In the storming stage there is an active role on the part of management in delegating duties and responsibilities. This is the idea stage. During the storming stage individuals will exchange ideas and determine how they will work collectively. Identifying problem issues and evaluating each other’s perspectives is central to this phase of team development.

Norming

This stage of development is where the ground rules are set for team performance.  In the Norming phase a pattern develops which begins to lay the framework for a cohesive environment. Additionally, ideas are agreed upon and shared and common ground is established. Management continues to play an active role at this stage however, their involvement is generally participative and the team has more decision-making ability.

 

Performing

During the Performing stage team members have reached the pinnacle of performance. The team has a set of standards in place. They have established a charter or way of conducting the business of the team and conflict is handled in a constructive and dynamic fashion. Furthermore, management no longer plays a central role in governing the team and the decision-making process is in the hands of the team itself. Teams that reach this stage often exhibit a synergy that did not exist previously.

 Adjourning

This fifth and final stage of Tuckmans model of team development commonly referred to as Adjourning, suggests that a radical transformation can occur as the result of the synergistic qualities of the team begin to become evident. According to Bruce Tuckman A team that manages to remain together may transcend to a transforming phase of achievement. Transformational management can generate key changes in performance through team synergy and is considered to be more far-reaching than transactional management.

Models such as Tuckman’s can help to lay the framework for team development yet supporting and strengthening the team dynamic is ultimately up to the team itself. Therefore it is essential that team members be encouraged to contribute collectively to their mission. Encouraging collaboration within the team environment is a key component to ensuring that the team is functioning optimally and also allows team members to take ownership and responsibility for their successes and failures.

While a high powered team can come from diverse backgrounds that team must also share common attitudes towards achieving their objectives. A team’s ability to recognize and adapt to opposing attitudes and differences can help improve performance and at the same time create an environment that is conducive to achieving the team’s objectives.

Opposing attitudes and differences often have a shared correlation with demographic characteristics and culture which can in a manner of speaking contribute to or detract from a team’s performance. Simply put decision-making and problem-solving are approached differently depending on one’s cultural background. Hence knowing which personalities work well together helps to identify which individuals will likely be cohesive together. Developing an attitude that stimulates cohesion is essential to helping the team to direct their energy towards their objectives. For that reason it is necessary to encourage the interpersonal growth of the team through team support functions. Contributing to the team’s objectives collectively and seeing positive results enhances the team dynamic by encouraging cooperation and partnership. It should also be noted that encouraging cohesion through team support functions helps to augment the teams overall performance. In the end the synergy that results from this encouragement will help sustain open communication and encourage a lasting and solid commitment toward organizational objectives.

Today, most organisations, large and small operate in a global economy. In this global context, different groups with diverse backgrounds and/or diverse factors (e.g., gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) bring differences in perspectives, values, work ethics and ways of working into an organization as well as differences in language, national origin and culture. Some aspects of diversity may be evident while others are less noticeable. Diversity of thinking usually leads to a better overall result, as the needs of diverse customers will be considered. Further, challenges regarding managing workplace diversity in a global context are often related to underlying differences that affect intercultural relations in the workplace, such as stereotyping, degrees of language and cultural fluency, nonverbal communication, and different cross-cultural communication styles. The level of cultural diversity is also a factor in the complexity of intercultural communication and understanding. For example, culturally, there are different ways to make sense of a situation or convey bad news or different degrees to which one mixes business with personal life.

Now that is worth thinking about!

Applying You  – You; Simply Better

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The world is still flat

A limiting belief was that one time we all believed the world was flat and if we sailed out to the horizon we would drop off into the abyss.

Thankfully one man; good old Magellan was courageous enough to not listen, to dream and allow his dreams to become his reality, he set sail and came back years later with tales of a brave new world, with new bounty and worldly goods…from that day forward we set out to map the globe for it was no longer flat and it no longer ended at the same end where our vision failed us.

So today I ask you, is your world still flat?

No matter how far we have come from the cave, we fall very near at times. We can put man in space, we can cure and prevent epidemics, and we holiday in faraway lands, travelling the globe in a relative blink of an eye compared to Magellan’s days.

So why do we still allow our worlds to be flat? Why do we limit ourselves to our present horizon?

Is it fear of the unknown? Is it fear of failing? Is it safety in the comfort of what we know?

Whatever it is, the one fact will remain, as with everything in life. If you are not growing, then you are dying.

Standing still…settling…getting by…avoiding…doing my bit…procrastination…

If they are words that come into your limiting belief structure…Do you know what? You can keep them! I don’t want them.

So we have a new year, a time to reflect on the past and more importantly plan for the future. Here is my challenge to you for 2012.

Consider it was your last 52 weeks. You can choose to keep your horizons as they are or you can push yourself for more and guess what…this is the easy bit. It starts without you having to leave the house. Without having to get on the treadmill or even get on the scales.

1)      It requires a little quiet time. (Turn the TV off and shut out the white noise)

2)      Close your eyes (no one will look at you and laugh, even if they did you have your eyes close so you wouldn’t know, unless you are peeking!)Keep them closed for next few bits (obviously read the bits first)

3)      Breath (no not the necessary breathing to exist, I mean the true breathing that centres your very core. Deep breathing, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel every one, take your time until you only hear your breathing

4)      Allow your mind to wander to things you want to achieve in your life. Places you would like to go, people you would like to see, achievement you want to accomplish

5)      When one grabs you and you start to smile, begin to focus your thoughts on that one thing. Ask yourself where you are? When you are experiencing it, is it day or night? Is it summer or winter? Who are you with? What can you hear? What can you see? How does it feel?

6)      As you answer these and other questions that pop into your head, notice how you feel at that point. Remember that feeling. Remember what it is you saw/heard/felt

7)      Breathing again and slowly open your eyes.

8)      Allow yourself a few minutes to gain your bearings and take a pen and paper

9)      Put the pen to the paper and hold it there till you start to write or draw what you experienced.

10)   Pin it up somewhere that you see it daily. Read it daily. Better still, breath and repeat the exercise daily.

Believe me…your world will NEVER be flat again.

The world is not out there! That’s just the matter we walk on. The world exists in you. Your world exists in you. You cannot achieve something until you can perceive it and believe it.

Make the next 52 weeks awesome for you. When you are in your optimum state, you are far better off at helping others achieve theirs.

Now that is worth thinking about!

Applying You  – You; Simply Better

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Five Ways to Find Your Future

Five Ways to Find Your Future.

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7 Steps to Conquer fear

In her book, “Conquer Fear!”, Lisa Jimenez, a professional speaker, lists “The Seven Truths” that can help anyone harness and overcome their fears.  I’ve paraphrased them for you here:

 

Truth #1

 

Fear is the dominant challenge in your life today.

 

 

Truth #2

 

Fear is a “gift” that was instilled in you as a means of protection, and a way to bring you closer to your “higher power.”

 

 

Truth #3

 

When you run from, or deny your fear, you leave that “gift” unopened.

 

 

Truth #4

 

When your fear of success, or fear of failure is exposed, you break through the control they have over you.

 

 

Truth #5

 

Your belief system is the driving force behind your behaviours and your results.

 

 

Truth #6

 

Your everyday habits broadcast your belief system, your fears, and your unmet needs, loud and clear, for other to “pick up.”

 

 

Truth #7

 

Change your beliefs (the way you think) and you change your behaviours (which are a reflection of the way you feel).  Change your behaviours (feelings) and you change your results. Change your results and you change your life.  It’s the only way you can…

 

 

…and that’s worth thinking about, isn’t it.

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Do you want a shag?

Do you want a shag?

 

Simple question really…so do you?

Picture the scene or scenes

You are at home, maybe working from home if you have built that lifestyle for yourself. Maybe you are busy looking after the children or maybe just at home, because you can be, at home.

The phone rings, there is a 2-3 second silence after you say “Hello”…then you hear a click and some background noise (recognise this so far) this is the realm of call centre cold calling…the trouble is, they are calling YOU!

Then without any warning the voice on the end of the phone states clearly and with no introduction…”Do you want a shag?”

How would you react? What would you think or do? What in god’s name does this individual believe he is actually going to achieve by doing this?

Or scene two…you are on your sofa, glass of vino nearby, the laptop warming your thighs….you social butterfly you, busy Tweeting, Facebooking, Blogging, Beboing…and suddenly your laptop pings….

It’s a contact you added on Facebook a while ago, you weren’t too sure if you knew this person but you share so many friends that you must, so you accepted and forgot.

Out of the blue they have messaged you and said simply “Hi”

Now you are thinking, “OMG, I don’t remember them! How did I know this person? What was our connection? It’s been so long, shall I apologise for not saying hello sooner?

And then he hits you with it….

“Do you want a shag?”

WTF…did he really just ask me that….or am I going mad….I rub my eyes…and its still there, however its changed slightly…now it reads:

“Hey buddy, when you get 5 minutes please like this new page – http://www.facebook.com/some-nobs-fanpage”

Or

“Hey do you want to know how I went from zero to earning £10,000 a month, click here http://www.ripoffmugs.com

What happened to taking someone for a drink? Finding out what music or films they like and maybe taking them to see one or two and walking them home! Building up to and eventually earning the right to go the 10%/90% while the other goes 90%/10% (male/female reader delete as appropriate) and finally planting that kiss….waiting for the front door to shut and then jumping around like Tom Cruise on Oprahs couch.

And guess what, not always when you pan for gold will you strike….but the more you pan, the more chance you have. (the real clever folk stop panning for gold and just focus their energy on making the pans!) and when you do strike it will happen naturally because it is right, you have earned it, there is mutual synergy between both parties. The other party has interest in your product and wants to buy…..you are your product.

**OMG as I am typing this at 22:38 Friday evening, someone has just pinged me and offered me the chance to win an ipod….check my details you Moron…I am in Telecoms!

So for all you SMM’s out there….you PR’s….FF’s and TT’s I have news for you, as you clearly believe that sales is purely a numbers game and no one has ever taken you deeper to understand how we buy as human beings. Maybe they have and you just didn’t listen.

Either way you have missed some key basics:

  • I am a person
  • People buy from People
  • People do not like being sold to
  • People do love to buy
  • People love to be courted
  • People hate being molested

Strong words perhaps, strong emotions associated with them perhaps….and one other thing, strong evidence to show that unless you lift your game, get off your ass and learn how to become great at professionally helping people buy (true definition of selling)

Or you can remain a bottom feeder, harrassing, chasing and wasting resource to get little in return.

Sales is about people, social media is simply a tool just like the phone was all those years ago when sales people were out in the rain knocking doors (for you younger ones, yes we actually did do that, but boy did we at least earn the sale). See it as just that. A tool to help escalate you to greater things, to do that however you first must master people.

To find out more, to invest in yourself and begin again….then come find me

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Applying-You/368542120423

Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/applyingyou

P.S. If you want to find out what SMM’s PR’s FF’s and TT’s are you will have to get in touch

 

Now that is worth thinking about!

 

Applying You  – You; Simply Better

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