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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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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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Ambush

Ambush or Self sabotage is when you are working against yourself and your goals. It does not have any rationale behind it and you are not even sure why you resort to behavior and action that is not good for you.

Some signs of self sabotage

1) Procrastination on a regular basis
2) Not able to succeed in spite of all the hard work and carefully planned strategies.
3) Getting close to the goal and then giving up.
4) Constant failure

This is a topic that doesn’t receive a lot of attention when it comes to creating the life you really want and reaching your goals is the topic of self sabotage. A lot of people view the concept of self sabotage as something almost esoteric and mystic that suddenly shows up when you have started gaining success and sweep you off your feet, they also think that there is nothing you can do about it and that you might as well surrender to it before it comes.

None of the above is true and concept of self sabotage is actually a very simple one. It is closely associated to what you feel you deserve in life and if you ever go beyond your sense of deservedness you will suddenly start doing some things that you can’t really understand, but you know that they are indirectly holding you back from reaching your goal. These things having nothing mystical about them and can be something like suddenly becoming very lazy, not doing all the things you know you are supposed to do, not taking action, not returning crucial phone calls, not showing up to key meetings etc.

Basically you are doing a lot of things that will indirectly lead to you not reaching your goals. This is because you at a sub conscious level don’t feel you deserve the amount of success you are achieving and therefore try to sabotage it, so you can get back to the comfortable situation you used to have before you started getting successful.

The most important thing when it comes to stopping this cycle is to constantly be aware of why you are taking the actions you are taking and cutting away all the things you are doing that are actually holding you back and not getting you closer to your goal. The more you focus on your everyday actions and which are getting you closer to your goals and which are getting you further away, the easier it will become for you to stop the process of self sabotage.

Once you become better at controlling this process you will naturally start gaining more and more success. The more success you gain the more comfortable you will become with it and your sense of deservedness will increase, in other words your beliefs about yourself and your value will change and you will feel that you deserve only the best life has to offer.


Self Sabotage is caused by two main reasons

1) General Polarity Reversal
Our body consists of meridians which carry the energy through out our body. We can think of the meridians like rivers along which the electricity in our body flows. This flow has been called many other names such as, chi, prana, life force, electromagnetic, electrical or just energy.

These subtle energy circuits have a polarity and the polarity sometimes gets reversed due to years of negative thinking, depression, addictions etc. A battery operated instrument will not operate unless the batteries are placed with the correct polarity. Similarly, unless the polarity in our energy system (polarity reversal) is corrected we will continue to block success.

One of the ways of correcting polarity reversal is with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

2) Secondary Benefit Syndrome
The subconscious mind feels that it is better and safer to hold on to a problem rather then to eliminate it and move forward. Your subconscious mind assumes that it has to keep you safe and opposes any change. There is also some hidden benefit of keeping the problem. You may not be aware of it and may deny it but if you take time to explore, you will find the reasons.

Ask yourself these questions
* What would happen if this problem was not there anymore?
* What would you be focusing after you resolve this problem?
* What makes it impossible to heal this problem?

Some people hold on to excess weight because they know they have to focus on marriage or another commitment that they are fearful about. The excess weight and the weight loss programs keep them occupied and safe. This is not a conscious decision.

Similarly some people hold on to depression (at a subconscious level) because they have some fears about moving forward.

Refusing to forgive people who have hurt you and holding on to anger is also a form of self sabotage as you are only harming yourself and not the person who hurt you.

Once the self sabotage and the reasons behind it is healed, the progress towards your goals will be smooth and joyful.

Now that is worth thinking about!

 

Applying You  – You; Simply Better

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