An interesting by-product of the social upheaval we are all experiencing is the number of small business turning to online meeting providers, like zoom, to help keep their businesses going.
As one of those 'self isolating' I have witnessed some valiant attempts to deliver a quality 'show' and it struck me that most of the problems came from a simple lack of practice in using the technology. Of the (two) presentations I have seen recently all the participants accepted the problems as a natural consequence of the enforced changes. They were just happy to be able to engage as a group.
Two things occurred to me; firstly don't let the fear of using new tools stop you from taking your business online, everyone will make allowances for any mistakes. Secondly once the practical side of online broadcasting is mastered people will start to worry more about their appearance and how they come across on the screen. For a lighter look at this important issue I found this video really interesting - the main message have fun!!!
Good Luck & Stay Safe
I have just launched a 'Soft Skills Selling' page so I have been reading/watching everything I can on what is a very wide subject. The reason this video sticks out is because it underlines something that has become clear to me over the last ten years; we have all focused almost entirely on qualifications and so-called hard skills. Being a successful teacher, coach and sales trainer I have absolute belief in the fact that pure knowledge and skill is only a small, albeit an important, part of being truly successful. It is how we communicate and interact with others that helps us achieve our full potential or holds us back. In the hundreds of hours of online coaching I have delivered online a central theme has been finding out who you are and using that understanding of 'self' to attract people to you. Enjoy the video and, please take a look at the new page.
As I write it looks like a lot of us are going to be working from home. Hopefully this will keep you safe and help keep your businesses going. For me it's not too big an adjustment as I spend most of my working life in my home office sat at my laptop but for most people working at home is difficult. Here are the eight most important things I have learned about home working.
Working from home
8 important habits for maintaining mind, body and spirit
Routine and Discipline
Good luck and stay safe.
I was prompted to talk (this week) about how being a 'good person' is a total state and not something we can dip in-and-out of.
But it's important to note that being good is not necessarily a selfless act because it can bring huge advantages for our business life.
Taking huge liberties with the thoughts of Zeno (the founder of Stoicism) consider the following -
Think about these points in practical terms -
So being good is, in itself, valuable to society but it can bring huge advantages in business especially in terms of customer engagement, retention and services.
Procrastinate: to put off or defer taking action.
In our fast and furious world the temptation is, for us to assume we have tomorrow to do things. The sad fact is that this is not true. Age has a habit of spoiling plans, opportunities don't tend to hang around and the 'bells-toll' for everyone eventually.
Why do we put things off? WE ARE HUMAN!
Can we do anything about it? YES
As part of my activities this week I referenced a piece of research undertaken by Google. Google wanted to find out the best way to build successful teams. My takeaway from the research is;
'How a team works together is more important than who is on the team'.
I would add that, how an individual team member works with others is a choice that they make and a choice that they are in complete control of. If this is correct it means that the success of any team lays in the hands of each individual team member and the team as a whole. This video gives an overview of the project...
It is important to see every event as having three consecutive parts; (1) Before the event. (2) During the event. (3) After the event. In turn these need planning, focus and administration.
BEFORE: Plan; work out what you want from the event and then prepare and practice an approach most likely to deliver. Preparation will help you relax allowing your personality to prevail and stop you from going into 'sales-monster' mode. All of this does not have to take too much time. I found that the travel time to the event was often all the time I needed to work out my strategy.
DURING: Focus on your approach.
AFTER: Do the admin ASAP!
NOTE: If when you call you have something interesting and relevant to say you will be on the way to becoming a trusted provider of reliable information and people will look forward to your call. Anything else and you run the risk of being seen as a pest.
This is one of the questions I faced this week and I thought it was worth looking at here.
Whilst it is a huge subject a good starting point, to leaders empowering others, begins with leaders as individuals and their understanding of self. I take the view that empowering oneself is an important first step to empowering others.
Leaders should consider the following -
Once a leader is sure about these things in themselves they can begin to help others find their Clarity, Confidence and Candor.
Here are some links that may be of interest -
I have just been reviewing some feedback forms from a recent workshop. The comments were all very positive. What caught my eye was that one participant would have liked more theory whilst another wished that there had been more time for practicing what had been presented. The comments highlighted a major dilemma when creating workshops - focus. Over the years I have come to accept that the perfect workshop probably doesn’t exist, there are so many variables that all one can hope for is clarity of purpose; what are we (collectively) trying to achieve?
So, in the coming weeks I will review what is currently delivered with reference to the stated aims and objectives of the course. But in addition to this I will see how more real-time reflection may help trainers and their delivery. There are Lots of theories about reflective practice, my simplified approach is to differentiate between reflecting as a workshop progresses, in real time, and reflecting after the event. I accept that changing things to suit the needs of individual participants (on-the-day) is often impossible, but maybe it’s worth looking to the group for more guidance about the direction they want to take. I find good Trainers are very aware of the ‘pace’ of a session, it may be time for us all to look at content as a more fluid commodity.
As I write it occurs to me that I must avoid change for the sake of change. The workshop went very and trainer was well received. I need to make sure that any ‘tweaks’ I make actually make the experience better not worse.