Tag Archives: naked

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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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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Open heart surgery and sales!

In general we tend to hold certain people or certain professions in high regard. In the majority of cases that is justified, however, in a number of cases throughout our life we are conditioned or become conditioned to take certain people or professions in high regard without really checking their credentials.

For example, when we need our car fixed we take it to a garage and we fall into a ritual routine of behaviours…we behave how we feel we should when we take our car to a garage.

We either

“act like we know something/anything about cars and begin telling the ‘would be’ expert what we believe is wrong with it, despite having no mechanical knowledge to write home about”

Or

“admit we know nothing about cars and lay our soul bare to the ‘Keyser Soze’ of the car mechanics invoice books”

The same is said when we go to the doctors or find ourselves in the hospital. We lose control. Not in a running around with wild hair screaming uncontrollably or sit in a chiar rocking with pencils up our nostrils way…we simply have little to no power in those situations and therefore lose control.

My question to the world is…….should we?  

Let me take you through a scenario and at the end of the scenario I will ask you a question to answer honestly.

The scenario isthis. You wake up one day feeling queezy, and decide to visit the quacks and get an MOT, when you are advised there is an abnormal finding on your heart. They refer you to the hospital with efficiency not seen in the NHS for over 40 years. Impressed by the speed of the service briefly outshines the weighty thought that is growing on your mind on your way to see the specialist. That thought being…why so quick?

You meet with the specialist and he advises the following:

You have a challenge with your heart, that despite being very serious, can almost certainly be rectified with open heart surgery within the next 72 hours. He introduces by name the surgeon who will be carrying out the procedure.

Dr Brown here is THE pioneer of open heart surgery. He pioneered the technique over 40 years ago.

(All very positive so far)

However, this is your heart and you only have one. So like me, you feel the need to ask this guy some questions to ‘test his metal’ as opposed to just accepting he is the best person to carry out the life threatening procedure just because he has cold hands, wears a white coat and his mate recommended him (too cynical!…perhaps)

Through asking questions you you uncover a few facts:

Since pioneering open heart surgery over 40 years ago, Dr Brown continues to use the same techniques he used to pioneer open heart surgery all those years ago.

Since this time, Dr Brown has never attended any medical seminars, advising on developments in open heart surgery. None in 40 years.

Since this time, Dr Brown has not read any medical journals or kept up to date with any enhancements or developments in open heart surgery. None in 40 years.

In fact he is doing as he says, using the same techniques he used to test and perfect open heart surgery over 40 years ago.

My question to you is this…

How comfortable are you now in going under the knife with Dr Brown within 72 hours?

(answer below in your replies please. )

If ‘Yes’ please highlight why

If ‘No’ please highlight why

 

 

 

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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Do You Understand Why Your Customers Buy?


 

The first thing to understand about selling is why people buy a particular product or service and what it is that they really buy. You may be surprised to learn that people buy only two things:

 

  • Good feelings

 

  • Solutions to problems

 

That means: People do not buy your golf lessons. They buy a vision of how good they will feel when they have successfully completed those lessons!

 

In other words, people always buy to satisfy their own needs and desires. This important basic premise is overlooked all too often. An instructor will try to sign up a new student based on his own playing ability, his style of teaching etc.; all things he thinks are important to the customer. Don’t make this mistake. You must see your service as it is perceived through the eyes of your customer.

 

The prospective student will gladly sign on the dotted line when he senses that your teaching will bring him enjoyment and/or provide a solution to any perceived problem he is currently experiencing. When you make helping the customer your first consideration, you will find the stress of having to sell becomes a thing of the past, and in its place you will enjoy the satisfaction of having helped another person. Therefore, if you are to make a successful sales presentation, you must first find out the problems your prospective student needs you to solve, and what feelings he hopes to obtain from your golf lessons.

 

Some of the more common buying motives are:

 

  • The need to feel secure.

 

  • The need to feel appreciated, (a most important need).

 

  • The need to eliminate or lessen fear, (real or perceived).

 

  • The need to have good feelings, (happiness, fun, pleasure).

 

  • The need to enhance self-image.

 

  • The need to improve, grow and enjoy new experiences.

 

How buying motives are expressed

 

Your prospect is not about to come right out and tell you what his motives are. You have to deduce this information through a series of carefully worded questions. In interviewing a prospective student, you will often hear these needs and desires expressed as:

 

  • I want to be more confident in my ability, (eliminate fear of failure).

 

  • I want to have fun, (enjoyment).I want to improve my self-image, (security, improvement).

 

  • I want to solve a particular problem, (growth, improvement).

 

  • I need to feel important, (security).

 

  • I want to be respected, (security).

 

  • I want to be successful, (improvement)

 

  • I want to experience something new, (enjoyment).

 

  • I want to be liked by others, (appreciation).

 

  • I want to make new friends, (appreciation).

 

  • I want encouragement, (appreciation).

 

By listening intently to discover your prospect’s true motives, you can then structure your sales presentation to reinforce these motives and provide answers that meet his objectives. When a prospect can clearly see that he has something to gain by enrolling in your teaching program, he will gladly sign up.

 

Many people think of selling as a distasteful, stressful and manipulative activity. True, most of us resent having a product or service forced upon us and would not want to do the same to others. Nearly everyone, however, enjoys the satisfaction experienced from helping others. Selling doesn’t have to be manipulative.
Instead, focus on what the customer really wants and try to match those needs to what you have to offer. If necessary, see if you can modify your current program to accommodate this customer.

 

Finally, if you genuinely can’t fulfill his needs, refer him to someone who can, and let him know you would like to be of service to him in the future. It may seem as if we’re telling you to deliberately lose a sale by sending a potential customer to your competitors. However, the referrals you will get back and the reputation you will earn as an honest, sincere business person will more than compensate. Often the customer will come back to you anyway, just because he likes your attitude and frankness.

 

Everyone likes to buy, but no one likes to be ‘sold.’

 

Think about it. When you make a sound purchase and get complemented on your decision, you are more than happy to take responsibility for the purchase. But buy something that you later regret, perhaps because you were sold something not in your best interest, and you will feel, “I got a bad deal at that place.”

 

The point? Keep your customer’s best interests in mind when making your sales presentation. Reinforce the benefits you offer that are appropriate to his needs. Make your customer feel good about himself and his decision to enroll in your program.

 

“I think you’ll be really happy with the results we can achieve for you, John. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday morning.”

 

Adopt the above attitude toward selling, and combine this with the sales skills presented I’ll share with you next month and you will find selling to be a very rewarding and stress free activity. You will enjoy what you are doing more and your customers will definitely appreciate you for it.

 

Six qualities of a sales conscious person

 

  1. A sales-oriented person must be a ‘people person’, accepting everyone at face value without prejudices or limitations.

 

  1. Be open and friendly in the words you choose, your tone of voice and your body language.

 

  1. Be patient, and listen attentively to your customer’s wants and needs.

 

  1. Show genuine interest and respect. Make your customer feel important.

 

  1. Show appreciation for your customer, and continue to be appreciative even after he has enrolled.

 

  1. Remember a potential customer’s name and use it to create a bond.

 

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You are already naked

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

~ Steve Jobs

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