Wednesday, November 26

How to Trigger Great Ideas

As you may or may not know, I am a great believer in asking great questions; especially of myself. A good time to sit and ask questions is when you are beginning a new project or wanting some fresh new ideas. Here is an article by motivational author and speaker Brian Tracy on how to generate great ideas. Enjoy!

A major stimulant to creative thinking is focused questions. There is something about a well-worded question that often penetrates to the heart of the matter and triggers new ideas and insights.

Questions Stimulate Creative Thinking
Some of the best questions I've found for business problem solving are the following:

Clarify Your Desired Result
Question #1 "What are we trying to do?" Whenever you become frustrated with slow progress for any reason, step back and ask this again and again, "What are we trying to do?"

Analyze Your Current Methods
Question #2 "How are we trying to do it?" If you are experiencing resistance, perhaps your method is wrong. Be willing to objectively analyze your approach by asking, "How are we trying to do it?" Is this the right way? Could there be a better way? What if our method was completely wrong? How else could we approach it?

Could You Be Wrong?
It requires courage to face the possibility that you may be wrong but it also leads to your seeing new possibilities. The rule is: Always decide what's right before worrying about who's right.

Question Your Assumptions
Another good question is, "What are our assumptions?" About the person, the product, the market, the business? What are our assumptions? Could we be assuming something that is incorrect? Someone once said that "Errant assumptions lie at the root of every failure".

What if your unspoken or implied assumptions were wrong? What would you have to do differently?

Put Past Decisions on Trial
Another form of focused questioning is what I call "Zero based thinking." This method requires that you put every past decision on trial for its life regularly by asking, "If I had not made this decision, knowing what I now know, would I make it?" If I had not hired this person or gotten involved in this project, knowing what I now know, would I do it over again?

If the answer is "NO" to one of these questions, then your aim should be to get out of the decision as fast as possible. Be willing to "cut your losses," and try something else.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to trigger more and better ideas.

First, be very clear about exactly what it is that you are trying to do. Write it down and describe it as if it were already achieved.

Second, question your assumptions continually. What if there were a better way? Be willing to try something completely different.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Tuesday, November 11

Who Are Your Leaders?

As leaders, you and I are responsible for finding good models to emulate. Give great thought to which leaders you follow because they determine your course as a leader. I have developed six questions to ask before choosing a model to follow:

1. Does my model's life deserve a following?
2. Does my model's life have a following?
3. What is the main strength that influences others to follow my model?
4. Does my model reproduce other leaders?
5. Is my model's strength reproducible in my life?
6. If my model's strength is reproducible in my life, what steps must I take to develop and demonstrate that strength?

The models we choose may or may not be accessible to us in a personal way. Studying national or historical figures can certainly benefit you, but not the way a personal mentor can.

From Developing the Leaders Around You by Dr. John Maxwell.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Wednesday, November 5

Do You Have A Passion Partner?

I have heard them called by many names: Action Partner, Mastermind Partner, and Accountability Partner. By whatever name you call one, the point is to use one. I like the term “Passion Partner” because this denotes fun and joy to me. Many other terms sound like work, and I need all the help I can get!

I know for myself and many of my workshop participants that it can be difficult to receive the appropriate positive energy and feedback that is needed when trying to live our dreams. Negative energy and feedback always seem to be in abundance. There are more naysayers on the journey than there are nutritious people. I just encountered someone I would call a friend say to me that my meager coaching fee was illegal! Amazing when I just participated in a teleseminar with masterminds and one saying he charges $5400 for a ninety-minute session! Who am I really listening to?

One Universal Law states that like attracts like. This friend of mine is constantly complaining about being broke and having nothing to fall back on. The economy is bad, her health is deteriorating and life sucks. I have the opportunity to listen to this 24/7. Yet, I choose to listen to the coach who charges $5400 not only because is he successful, but his conversation is more stimulating, spiritually and emotionally. There are plenty of opportunities for negativity in this world. Sometimes it seems that the people who are closest to us are our biggest critics and cynics. When I want to whine and complain about the economy, I have many, many people to commiserate with. Yet, when I speak of life being full of surprises, miracles and wonders, I am left alone in the room. What’s up with that?

Having a Passion Partner keeps you looking up instead of looking down in worry and anxiety. Your Passion Partner continues to encourage and empower you to do the things that excite you and create that spark the world is looking for. With a Passion Partner there is no recession, only opportunity; there are no obstacles, but challenges for growth; there is no struggle and suffering, only new lessons to be learned and new ways to be blessed by those lessons.

So, who are you listening to?

Who are you spending time with?

What are your conversations about: the bad economy or the new opportunities that can come from it?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic that many struggle with.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Saturday, November 1

The Key to Influencing Others

Remember, Dr. John Maxwell says that leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. Everyone has the opportunity to influence someone.

Here is another great article by author and speaker Brian Tracy on influencing others. Enjoy!

Do Nice Things For Others
One of the best ways to influence someone is to do something nice for him. I know many successful salespeople who make a habit of taking their prospects out to breakfast or lunch. During the breakfast or lunch, they do not talk about their products or services unless the client brings it up. They merely make small talk, ask questions and listen. They work on building trust, and they work on establishing a friendly relationship. At the end of the breakfast or lunch, they tell the prospect that they will be getting in touch with him sometime in the future with the possibility of talking to him about helping him in some way.

See Them As Friends and Partners
The best salespeople and businesspeople in America today are those who look upon their customers and prospective customers as friends and partners. They always look for ways to help their partners improve their lives in ways that are not directly related to the products or services they sell. They sow seeds, and they reap a harvest. They trigger a desire in people to reciprocate. When the time comes for those salespeople to approach their prospects with the possibility of buying their products or services, the prospects are wide open to the questions and inputs of the salespeople. The prospects have a deep-down desire to reciprocate.

Send Thank You Notes
One of the best ways to use this principle in your interactions is to continually look for ways to say and do positive things for people. Look for ways to do kind acts and favors for your friends and prospects. Send thank-you notes. Send birthday cards. Send clippings from newspapers about subjects that you feel may be of interest to them. Always keep your promises, and follow up on your commitments. Always do what you say you will do. Do everything possible to put in, knowing confidently that you will ultimately be able to get out far more. You will reap if you sow.

Be A Go-Giver Rather Than A Go-Getter
Someone has observed that no one ever built a statue to a person to acknowledge what he or she got out of life. Statues are built only to people to acknowledge what they gave. The most powerful, influential and successful people you will ever meet always look for ways to do nice things for others. When you meet someone under almost any circumstance, one of the best questions you can ask is this: "Is there anything that I can do for you?" Always look for ways to put in rather than to take out. The successful man or woman of today is a "go-giver" as well as a go-getter.

Be Open and Empathetic
The more that people feel that you are open and empathetic and sensitive to their needs and concerns, the more open they will be to your influencing them positively in some way. And the more you can influence others with the power and impact of your personality, the more you will accomplish, and the faster you will accomplish it. The more rapidly you will move toward the great success that you desire and deserve.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, look for ways to do nice things for other people, especially your family, friends, and customers. The more nice things you do for others, the better you feel about yourself.

Second, take time to really listen to people, especially your staff and coworkers. The more and better you listen to others, the greater is your influence over them.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn