Updates / Postings

New Postings and updates happen as the Muse inspires me. Check in every few weeks to catch the buzz.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How We Make Them Feel

We often say that a long time from now people will not remember what you said, they will not remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel. To that end here are three people from my past and what I remember about how they made me feel. What is funny is that the individual’s that hurt me, stand out the most, but that is not the direction I want to go with this entry. David Propert my magic mentor from my childhood comes to mind first. As a child with a keen interest in the art of magic, David paid attention to me. Coaching me on technique and presentation this man made me feel capable. David set an expectation of performance and made me certain that I would succeed. This laid the foundation for a lifetime Marilyn Westrom was one of my first Dale Carnegie Training advisors When I was new to the business I was anxious to find a niche. Marilyn quickly put me in front of a classroom as a coach, demonstrating the talks for assignments. She did this before I even finished taking the course myself. Marilyn made me feel like a contributor, a valued part of the team. Jeff Glazer used to run a business called GPA (Graphics Printing and Advertising) in my entrepreneurial days we worked exclusively with him for our printing services. At the time he was clearly not the most cost effective choice. The reason we worked together was that we became friends. There were times I would stop in his shop just to chat. Jeff gave me a feeling of belonging and importance and that was what kept me loyal. All of these relationships are 20 years or so in the past, but I surely do remember how they made me feel. We all need to keep in mind that we are having an effect on people around us, making them feel something. Let’s borrow from the Pike Place Fish Philosophy and do our best to “make their day” with everyone we come in contact with this week, and every week.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Charisma, What it is, How to Get It

Here are some ideas directly from my friend Rory Vaden. Rory and I exchange emails regularly, this is reprinted from a recent one on the subject of Charisma. These ideas are valid for creating a strong professional image, and communicating clearly in a presentation. I hope you find something valuable in it: Contrary to popular belief, charisma is something that we can all improve upon. Some people are born with a higher predisposition to be charismatic, sure, but it is a skill that can also be learned. Developing Charisma is one step in a 5 step system that I used - and now teach- to people who are wanting to become better presenters. Here is the basic formula for this part: C- Capture attention right away. You have 30 seconds to capture an audience so don't waste it on insignificant platitudes. In my home study course called "The Audience is Not in their Underwear" (http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=NPCn.&m=46wIiwlUZGuFDMM&b=PVwiJ.xC7jqYklwgztO6lA) I teach 7 different effective ways to open any presentation. Regardless of who you are presenting to, "be a microwave and not an oven" by opening your presentation immediately and strong rather than pre-heating. H - Half step up attire. Create a bit of a charmed appearance by being a half step nicer dressed than your audience. A - Always keep your composure. People want to follow people who have it together. So even if you are freaking out in your mind, stay cool on the outer appearance. Lose composure and you lose charisma. R - Remember the power pause. Pauses are the most underutilized tool that presenters have. Just PAUSE! It adds drama and charisma. Remember...pauses...are...powerful. I - Insist on taking control. We follow people who are in charge. Don't bark out orders necessarily but use force and diction in your voice. Rearrange a room to be the way you need it. And take responsibility for getting things done. S - Say it very concisely. Mark Twain said "brevity is the essence of wisdom." Keep it short and sweet and it comes off more powerfully. M - Make deliberate eye contact. Don't look people in the eye; look them in the pupil. A - Add the appropriate humor. Make sure your humor matches the audience. If you are interested you can learn specifics on how to do all of this and much more by checking out my home study course on mastering presentation skills here: http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=NPCn.&m=46wIiwlUZGuFDMM&b=PVwiJ.xC7jqYklwgztO6lA

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Seal" the Deal

“Mission Beach” I said to the cab driver. He replied back in a contemplative sort of way “Mission Beach eh? OK”.
My wife Heather and I were at the International Convention for Dale Carnegie Training in San Diego California, and we wanted to do some sight seeing. We were not interested in the itinerary that the tour bus took, so we spoke to the Concierge at the Hotel and her suggestion was to go to Mission Beach.
We went out and hailed a cab.
John the taxi driver got under way and then asked us if we would like to see more than just one beach. We responded “yes”.
Then John explained that he gives guided tours, and in two hours he could show us many more things of interest than any bus tour.
I inquired as to the cost and John responded “seventy five dollars for a two hour tour”.
Heather and I expected to pay thirty to forty dollars to taxi out and back to Mission Beach anyway, so we accepted the offer and had a wonderful, personal, private, guided tour of the coast, and many beaches.
We went to a scenic overlook, and saw the bay, our hotel, and the navy base, from a spectacular birds eye view.
John took us to La Jolla and we saw the seals on the beach at the break water (see the attached website), it was amazing.
In the end what John the taxi driver did was “become genuinely interested in the other person” and “talk in terms of our interest”. The result was delighted customers.
Oh, and by the way (from a sales point of view) John more than doubled his potential fare, and had a leisurely two hour visit with his tourist friends.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Movie Vision

During a break on an HIP class for Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst one of the participants handed me his iphone and said “check out Kanti’s movie.” I was floored when I saw a trailer open up for a major motion picture called “When Harry Tries to Marry”. Then, there he is in his yellow shirt and goatee, as the matchmaker, our friend Kanti Pandya.

Patrick Howell from our office introduced me to Kanti four years earlier. We all had lunch together and he shared his vision for a film to be shot partly in New York, and partly in India. I don’t think the film even had a title then. From Kanti’s enthusiasm for the vision statement I thought he was producing the film. As it turned out he was involved in securing the financing, but he was IN the film.

Since that time I have worked with Konti on one or two other occasions and his enthusiasm is contagious. I figured it was going to be a low budget independent film. I was wrong.

Kanti’s character is very funny. Watch the trailer at the link (click on the title "Movie Vision". Then rent the movie on line or at redbox and you will see what the power of a vision can accomplish.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Political Business Expectations

First let me be clear that my purpose here is business oriented, not political.

In teaching my Dale Carnegie corporate classes over the past few years, we have used a term that we call the "new business reality". Simply stated it is: "Do more, better, faster, and with less". When we ask for a show of hands as to agreement that it fits, we see about 90% of the hands go up. This is reality for most of us.

So here is my thought - if our companies expect this of us, why don't we as tax payers expect the same of our elected officials?

How about your mayor? Township officials? Board of Education? State Government? Let's draw a line in the sand and say to them "We the taxpayers expect you to do more, do it better, faster and with less, just like we have to in our businesses."

It would be refreshing to see some one run for the school board on the platform "I am for the taxpayer". Conventional wisdom would say that means that this candidate is against the children and their education. The new business reality would say that in fact this candidate is for more and better education with less spending.

Is it unreasonable to expect elected officials to live in the same reality as the rest of us? - I don't think so.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Instructor in the Tee Shirt

In suit pants and a tee shirt Bob Z. was loading class materials in to the hotel in Cape May when I arrived. I am not a suit and tie type myself, so I was delighted to see Bob carry in his shirt jacket and tie on a hanger.

We had met each other several times previous to this, but it was clear to me that we were going to click on this project.

Bob and I were tandem teaching this class and it was to become as much a foundation of a friendship, as well as a training experience for the small but mighty group.

As the sessions went on we learned to trust each others styles, and by session 8 or so it was more of a tag team delivery than a “which part are you doing?” approach.

The conversations prior to class, and the debrief following, were certainly my favorite part of the sessions in Cape May. One of the strengths I learned to respect in Bob is his ability to focus on each individual class member, and to not just remember, but “know” things about them. The level of care and concern for each individual’s growth inspired me to put more energy into listening to my participants at a deeper level.

There was an awesome sense of responsibility in Bob’s purposeful preparation and delivery of each session. This reminded me of the importance of the work we deliver in the class room.

This sense of purpose is part of Bob’s soul, it carries over into his personal life, and most importantly his family.

Bob grows in wisdom, as the years move forward. This wisdom is shared with all of us who come in contact with him.

It is a delight to work with Bob, and a joy to hang out with him.

I have heard it said that, “Our life is like a tree, and our reputation is the shadow the tree throws off”, Bob’s shadow is one of trust, respect, genuine concern, integrity, and a joy of life. It’s comforting to be in that shadow on a pretty regular basis.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cold Weather Blues

The extreme cold has me dreaming of warm water and snorkeling. When ever I put on my dive mask this indelible memory flashes through my mind:

Tom and Jerry’s was the corner store in Seaside Park where my family vacationed when I was a kid. When we lived in the big gray house called “Camelot” on G Street, the store was a short walk from our house.

Seaside Park (or just Seaside as we called it), is on one of New Jersey’s barrier islands, which are long thin strips of land, running north and south, with the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Barnegat Bay on the west. The island is only four or five blocks wide, and Camelot was on the bay side, only two or three houses from the waters edge.

Every summer of my childhood was spent down the shore, at Seaside. We stayed in three different houses over 16 years, my favorite being “Camelot”. G Street is far enough from the boardwalk to be quiet at night, and close enough to be a pleasant walk to the “honkie tonk” (as my father calls the games and arcades of the Jersey Shore).

The house was up on pilings and had two levels. Most years, my Aunt Jo and her family would rent the downstairs, and we would rent the upstairs. Aunt Jo’s son, my cousin David, was one of my best friends. The place was big: three bedrooms, a large kitchen, and a living room, which led out to a huge screened in porch with a beautiful view of the bay. You could almost see the ocean when you looked to the east, but it was just a little lower than the horizon line.

With three bedrooms we had plenty of space. Mom and Dad had one bedroom, Grandmom Benson (my Mom’s mother), had another, and I had the one in the back of the house.

For a few years Grandmom lived with us in our home in Robbinsville, but she almost always vacationed with us down the shore. This was a summer that her presence with us made an indelible mark on my life. I don’t think she knew how powerfully a small gift could impact my future. It did, and I remember, and that is what I am going to tell you about.

When I was eight years old, one of my favorite television shows was “Sea Hunt” starring Lloyd Bridges. This was the first television show to feature scuba as a regular part of the action of the show. Lots of under water shots portrayed the under sea world as a mysterious and adventurous frontier. Watching Lloyd Bridges diving underwater, I just knew I had to see that for myself.

I wanted my own scuba gear in the most profound way.

“Two Guys”, a department store near our house had a mannequin with full scuba gear on it, in the sporting goods department. Every time my parents took me into that store, I had to go look at it. I stood there and dreamed of being Lloyd Bridges, and scuba diving off of our boat.

Dad refused completely, my frequent requests to “buy me the scuba gear please…” (it didn’t occur to my eight-year-old mind that the adult size would be miles too big for me). That didn’t stop the passion from burning. I just had to see what was down there!

Summer finally arrived. We went to Seaside, as usual. Aunt Jo wasn’t coming down until the next week. I was alone down the shore until David got there.

Several times over the first couple of days of vacation, I was sent to Tom and Jerry’s to get bread, milk, candy, ice cream or what ever the errand demanded.

Pay dirt.

Like a magnet I was drawn to the beach toy section of the store. There among the rafts, beach chairs, buckets, and shovels, on the bottom shelf, was a scuba mask. Miracle, of miracles, it was just my size. I had to have it.

Two problems: one, I had no money of my own; two, I knew my Dad was not about to finance this adventure. I was faced with despair.

Every time I went in the store, I would examine the dive mask, try it on, and imagine the undersea world that would open up to me if it was mine. Then I would purchase what I was sent for, and walk home in disappointment.

On one of these return trips home, Grandmom caught me at the door. Grandmothers have a sixth sense on these sorts of things, you know.

She asked me what was wrong. I explained the situation, and my reason for being so dispirited. I cried, big tears rolling down my cheeks. I really wanted to have that scuba mask.

Grandmom always had a way of turning my focus toward other things, which would get me out of my self-pity spiral. She did it again, and I forgot about my Lloyd Bridges crusade for the evening.

The next day, when Dad was out fishing, Grandmom called me into the kitchen. She said we needed some butter, and asked me to go down to Tom and Jerry’s for her. I said OK. She went into her room to get some money; she came out with two five dollar bills. She said to me “This one is for the butter, this one is for you to get that scuba mask.”

I ran all the way to Tom and Jerry’s. There it was on the shelf. White plastic skirt, rounded triangular lens, metal adjustment clip to make it fit right, and it was MINE! I paid the man at the counter, and took the butter, and my new scuba mask home. I left the butter in the bag, but I carried the mask like a religious relic.

That afternoon at the beach I was underwater more than I was on the surface. The lifeguard didn’t really like the idea; it was difficult trying to keep his eye on me when I kept diving down out of site. It didn’t look like the crystal clear water of the Caribbean, like on Sea Hunt, but I was down there, and I was entranced.

Since that day, I have always owned a scuba mask. In college I got my open water scuba certification. I have gone skin diving in dozens of locations in the Caribbean, and in Bermuda. I still love the silent world under the waves.

My Grandmom is gone, but the mark she made on my life that hot July day in Seaside will never be erased. Every time I don my mask to go diving, that memory bubbles up in my heart.

Never underestimate the long lasting power of the simple things you do for the people you love. With our actions, we leave indelible marks on each others lives.