Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Posts Tagged ‘Belief’

I’d Be Nervous if I Wasn’t Nervous

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When was the last time you did some public speaking?

Perhaps it was a presentation to a client, or maybe your boss, or at an interview, or even at an event in your personal life. Did you feel nervous?

It happens to meAlan Speaking

It sometimes surprises people when I tell them I get slightly nervous before a speaking or training event. They seem to think that because I’ve been doing it for years, nervousness would no longer be an issue.

It doesn’t matter if it’s twelve people or twelve-hundred people. In fact, I’d probably prefer to speak to the twelve-hundred than the twelve.

It’s scary

Public speaking is still one of our greatest fears; it turns grown men and women into nervous wrecks. The mere thought of it turns our tongue to cotton wool, causes our internal plumbing to act up, and turns our knees to jelly.

However, “nerves” is a normal human emotion and as I often say, ‘I’d be nervous if I wasn’t nervous!’

It’s how you handle the nerves that will determine your success as a speaker.

Who’d be an actor?

The great actress Sarah Bernhardt once asked a young actress whether or not she suffered from nerves before she appeared on stage. ‘Oh no, Madame,’ the young actress replied. ‘Well,’ Sarah Bernhardt said, ‘Don’t worry; it will come along – with talent.’

The technical part

Nervousness is vital, you need nerves. Nerves release a cocktail of chemicals into your bloodstream, one of which is adrenaline. This in turn releases glucose into the blood stream. This gives you more energy and your mind becomes sharper.

The thing is, not to overdose on these stress chemicals or you’ll start to shake like a jelly and overheat. You need to work off some of these chemicals.

Listen to the professionals

Murray Walker the ex-motor racing commentator used to run on the spot as fast as he could just before he went on air. You could try that or run up and down the stairs. Wave your arms about like a lunatic and get lots of oxygen into your system. Obviously it’s better to do this when no one is looking!!

Make friends

Speak to as many members of the audience as you can, before you stand up to speak. This tricks your brain into thinking you’re talking to lots of your friends.

Speak louder than you’d normally do, that helps the nerves as well. It also keeps the people in the front row awake and makes sure the people at the back get the message.

Have a glass of water handy for that dry mouth. Don’t be afraid to stop and have a drink, it makes you look really cool and professional.

However, one word of warning; do not drink alcohol. It might give you Dutch courage, but your audience will end up thinking you’re speaking Dutch!

If you’re into creative visualisation, then that’s also a great way to handle the nerves. Spend some time before the event visualising yourself being really successful. Whatever you do, have lots of positive self-talk with yourself.

Believe me; once you start to apply this, the butterflies in your stomach will all be flying in formation.

And, if you want to listen to this post:

If you want me to help you with your public speaking, give me a call or send me an email – go on, don’t be nervous!

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7 Steps To a Happy and Motivated Team

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Do you want a highly motivated team who are engaged and happy at work, and who make a positive contribution to business winners 1your business?

The question, I’m most often asked by managers, is – ‘How do I motivate my team?’ They want some instant fix, a magic bullet that improves team motivation overnight. But as we all know, life isn’t like that.

I understand and appreciate why this question is being asked, I was a manager for sixteen years, and I understand the challenges managers face every day with their people. The answer I give is – ‘You don’t motivate your team, you create the environment where they motivate themselves.’

Effective motivation is intrinsic, it has to come from within. There is no instant fix; it’s an ongoing day to day process of small actions that build a highly motivated team. It’s like pushing a heavy boulder, you need some initial effort to get the process going, but once you’ve done that, it takes a lot less effort to keep it moving.

7 Steps to success

1. Spend some quality time with each of your team.

Talk with them and find out how they’re doing on a personal level, and a business level. Give them feedback; tell them when they do something well and tell them when not so well.

2. Listen to what they have to say, and show that you’re listening.

Turn away from the computer, and switch off the phone. Keep good eye contact, use open body language, and make noises that indicate that you’re listening. Emphasise with their personal problems and provide solutions to business problems, wherever possible.

3. Coach them on the job, to do even better.

Remember that coaching is a two-way process with your team member; helping them to find solutions to job related or personal problems

4. Find ways to make their job more interesting.

Vary the jobs they do, give them some of your tasks, and give them more responsibility. Ask them to train or mentor another member of the team.

5. Show that you appreciate them, and have some fun.

Give the occasional reward for no particular reason. Some time off work, a personal thank you letter, cakes or sweets, flowers on a birthday or a bottle of wine. Suggest a team member takes their partner out for a meal and charge it to expenses.

6. Keep them informed.

Let them know what’s happening in the company; how the business is doing, provide relevant information on new products or services.

7. Trust and believe in them.

Show them what you need them to do, and let them get on with it. Take risks; don’t keep ‘supervising’. Set up parameters that allow them to make decisions. If they keep coming to you with questions, don’t provide an answer, ask them what they would do and support their response.

Your team members want to know that you care about them, that you’re interested in them from a personal, and business point of view. They want to believe that you trust them, and want them to succeed. If you can create that environment; then you will have a happy and motivated team!

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The 5 Factors of Success

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Do you ever wonder why some people are more successful in their life than others?

For years I’ve been fascinated by what makes people successful in their life, whatever it is they do for a living. I’ve read biographies, watched people being interviewed on television, studied newspaper and magazine profiles and spoken to many people who are successful in their fields of activity.

I’ve been going on the premise that if I want to be successful then I need to do what successful people do.

When these people are asked about success they usually define it as something that’s personal to them; a feeling of contentment, achievement or happiness.

However, what I’m interested in is, how do they get to that state? The conclusion I’ve come to is that there are five basic characteristics that successful people have. I like to call them –


1. Mind Control

Successful people have the ability to run their own mind. They don’t let other people or circumstances run it for them. They re-programme their negative conditioning. They raise their level of self-esteem and they develop a positive attitude through continual positive self-talk. They don’t react – they think!

2. Belief

Successful people have a passion for what they believe in. They set goals and achieve them by motivating themselves. They have vision.

3. Energy

They have lots of vroom! They manage stress and they know how to relax.

4. Rapport

They have the ability to communicate and get on with people, and to persuade people to accept their point of view.

5. Courage to act

People who make a success of what they do are willing to try. They’re prepared to make mistakes, to assert themselves and not get too concerned about what others might think.

If you would like to read more, then check out this free Ebook – How to Get More Sales Using the Five Factors of Success.

You can read it online or download it from this link:


And if you would to hear me speak about How to Get More Sales at your next meeting or conference, please email me at


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Forget About Setting Goals

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Do you have written down goals for your business and personal life?Fotolia_17748497_S1

Many motivational speakers and self-help books will tell you that you must have goals. I’ve even advocated goal setting myself in the past.

You write down your goals and detail them for family life, friends, finances, career, recreation, health, learning, education and your spiritual life.

However, I’ve now come to the conclusion that successful people with strong self-belief don’t do goal setting in this way – why? –

Because their too busy doing what they need to do to get what they want to get.

Successful people don’t spend time writing down what they want out of life they just get on and do it. To be successful at whatever it is we want to do, we need to ask ourselves – what do I really want to achieve? What are my dreams and desires, what do I want to build, to create and what sort of person do I want to be.

You need to clearly identify what it is you want out of life, what do you hunger and thirst for, what do you really want to achieve?

If someone held your head under water you’d quickly realize what you wanted – oxygen! You need to feel like this to be successful. Most of us experience this feeling when we fall in love. We do almost anything to impress and be with the person of our dreams.

This is how people create success, it’s how new countries were discovered, products were invented, Everest was conquered and man walked on the moon.

You may not want to achieve something so dramatic, you may want to have a successful plumbing business, or be an excellent accountant, or even run a marathon.

Whatever it is, once you identify and focus on it you will release the motivation to make it happen.


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Do Something Different – Get out of your comfort zone

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Think about what you’re doing each day and ask yourself:Comfort zone

‘Is what I’m doing now getting me to where I want to get to?’

If the answer is ‘No’ then do something different. Get out of your comfort zone and change your habits.

An instructor was watching me use a piece of equipment in the gym the other day. ‘Let me show you a different way to do it’ says he. As you’ll guess, the different way was a lot harder, somewhat more painful, however a lot more likely to produce results.

The human body will always find an easy way to do things and so does our brain; however as we all know – no pain – no gain. So if you want something different to happen – do something different.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow said:

‘If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being; then I warn you that you will be unhappy for the rest of your life. You will be evading your own capabilities, your own possibilities.’

It’s up to you – let me know what you think.

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The Motivation Secrets of the Glasgow Boys

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As a fan of Manchester United Football Club, I was very interested in the recent managerial changes. Sir Alex FergusonFerguson and Moyes has retired from his highly successful management job and becomes a director of the club. He is probably the most successful football manager in British if not world football.

And I know David Moyes will have lots of success as the new manager.

I’m always interested in what makes a successful manager and team leader whether in business or in sport.  So I was comparing the commonalities between Sir Alex and David Moyes.

  1. They both have has success in building winning teams
  2. They both started their working life as engineers
  3. They both come from Glasgow, Scotland

Now that may not mean much to you, but it does to me. You see:

  1. I come from Glasgow, Scotland (the same district as David Moyes)
  2. I started my working life as an engineer
  3. I had success in building winning teams (you’ll just have to believe me on that one)

I also have the same initials as Sir Alex and I attended the engineering college where David was a lecturer.

So, what does all this have to do with anything? Well, I know where these two successful leaders have come from, and the culture they grew up in. I know the secrets of their success, the qualities that make them successful team leaders and motivators.

And if you want to know these secrets, then you are going to have to book me to speak at your next meeting or conference.  (Yes this is a bit unashamed self-promotion)

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Dump Your Negative Self-Belief

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If you have negative beliefs about yourself, here’s a way to change them.YES...we can!

Your subconscious will always attempt to move away from pain and towards pleasure.

So start to associate massive pain to your negative belief.

Think about how it will hold you back and stop you achieving what you’re trying to achieve. Think about how miserable you’ll feel if you don’t even try.

Old people rarely regret what they’ve done in their life but they do regret what they haven’t done.

So think forward to when you’re 75 or 80 years of age and imagine how you’ll feel if you’ve never tried.

Then start to think of the pleasure you’ll receive in fulfilling your beliefs. Think about how good you’ll feel when you achieve what you set out to do.

If when you’re older you look back and think about things you didn’t achieve, at least you’ll be able to say – ‘I tried, I gave it my best shot and I didn’t sit on the sidelines.’


Discover a Key Secret of Management Success

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Do you know what one of the key secrets of success is – what makes people successful in business, sport or any other success!!!aspect of their lives? Let me come back to that in a minute.

I was driving home the other evening and listening to a football phone-in programme on the radio. The main subject of discussion this particular evening was about the lack of success of a new manager at a football club. The team aren’t doing well this season, it’s almost certain they will be relegated and many fans are calling for the manager to be sacked.

There are many examples in sport, particularly football, where managers haven’t had a good start but have gone on to greater things.

I remember that when Sir Alex Ferguson started as manager of the mighty Manchester United, things didn’t go well for him.

So the message is; if you’ve just started as a manager or a team leader or taken on a new management job – hang on in there. Don’t give up, have faith in yourself and you’ll be successful.

You may even have been in a management job for some time and have decided to introduce some new ways of doing things and you don’t immediately find success – don’t give up.

I joined four companies as a manager and it took at least six months for my way of working to have an impact. If you introduce new policies or procedures, it’s unlikely you’ll have success right away, so give it time and don’t let other people pressurize you into giving up.

So the key secret of success I mentioned earlier is – never ever give up. This is what separates the winners from the losers in business, in sport and in life.

If you have a mountain to climb either literally or figuratively and you reach an obstacle – don’t quit! Find another way round; even go back a short distance and come back at the situation from another direction.

Whatever it is you’re trying to do, whatever success you want – never quit!

Make mistakes, fall down, get up, fall down, but get up and try again.

Remember what Winston Churchill once said – ‘Never, Never, Never give up!’


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Be Lean and Mean in 2013 – 2 Tips for motivation

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Let me tell you a quick story. When I left school and started looking for a job as an apprentice engineer. I was repeatedlyYES...we can! told, ‘It’s a bad time to find a job.’

It was, and it took time and effort.

When I decided to leave engineering and find a job in sales; I was repeatedly told, ‘It’s a bad time to find a job in sales.’

It was, and it took time and effort.

When I decided to give up my job and start my own business in 1993; I was told by lots of well meaning people, ‘It’s a bad time to start a new business.’

It was, and it took lots of time and effort.

I don’t know about your job or your business, but when has it ever been agood time to find a job, or get promoted, or start a business, or find new customers, or sell more of your product or service?

2013 will be a challenge for many people and for more than a few businesses.

If you want to look back this time next year on a successful 2013, then you need to be lean and mean

Tip number 1

Imagine that in 2013 you are rejected for a bank loan, or you’re turned down for promotion. Perhaps a potential customer rejects a proposal you’ve been working on.

Maybe a publishing company rejects the book that you’ve slaved over for the past couple of years.

If you react with:

  • ‘Oh no, not again!’
  • ‘I’m really fed up with this.’
  • ‘These people are a real pain.’
  • ‘They’re making a big mistake.’
  • ‘What am I going to do now?’

This sort of reaction drains your brain of energy; it adds to your stress levels and destroys your self-motivation.

You need to get lean and mean with your brain.

Engage the thinking part of your brain and tell yourself:

  • ‘I’ll make an appointment today with a better bank!’
  • ‘I’ll show my employer how good I really am or I’ll find a new job!’
  • ‘I’ll phone the next potential customer on my list right now!’
  • ‘The next publishing company will see how good my book really is!’

Pay the fine

There are also many minor situations that happen every day that’ll drain the energy from your brain. Let’s say you receive a parking ticket.

Pay the fine right away; get rid of it, forget it and move on.

Moaning and complaining about it drains your brain and the fine still has to be paid.

Do not, and I repeat, do not say – ‘Oh no, what am I going to do now!?’

Every time you say, ‘Oh no’ your brain has a huge drain of energy.

Talk to yourself

Build up your brain energy by using lots positive self-talk.

Listen to the self-talk that goes on in your head and ask yourself:

‘Is what I’m saying allowing me to be confident, on top and going for it?’

If so – great!

‘Or is it holding me back and stopping me achieve my goals?’

If this is the case – stop it, change the program!

Think about the things you say to yourself and make every statement in the present tense.

Don’t say:

  • ‘I’m going to make a success of this business’
  • ‘I’m going to get organised,’
  • ‘I’m going to lose weight and get fitter’
  • ‘I’m going to be much more confident.’


  • ‘I am totally in control of my life.’
  • ‘I am totally confident and positive.’
  • ‘I’m achieving my goals.’
  • ‘I have determination and drive.’

What you’re actually doing here is re-programming your subconscious. If you talk to yourself in a positive way, that’s what your subconscious will focus on and you’ll be lean and mean.

Tip number 2

The body and the brain are linked together so when the brain drains of energy so does the body. However, the body also does a lot of running about, up and down off the seat and often takes a bit of a beating.

For it to work well, it needs to be in good condition in the first place. We all know by now that if we eat too much or eat the wrong things, smoke too much or drink too much alcohol, then our body is in danger of breaking down.

If you want to be lean and mean, then you’re going to have to do some exercise. (Do I hear you saying – ‘I need the body energy before I can do the exercise!?’)

You know as well as I, that if you take more exercise, you will have more energy.

Now I know you think you don’t have the time. You may also be the type that doesn’t want to go to the gym and lift heavy things, or leap about in an aerobics class.

However, I am totally convinced that you need to take some exercise that makes you sweat a little.

I’m sorry, but walking the dog or a round of golf doesn’t count, it isn’t the kind of exercise I’m talking about. Golf is great and it’s good for the stress, but it doesn’t make you sweat.

If you’re going to walk then walk fast for a distance, enough to push up the heart rate and increase the breathing.

Have fun

Again, get your internal program right and start to think how you can make your exercise enjoyable.

I see some people at the health club making the whole business a real chore. They get on a bike or a rowing machine and try to kill themselves for twenty minutes. If that’s your thing then fine, but please don’t make it a chore, plug into the sound system and catch up with what’s on TV.

If you’re really not into exercise then please make sure you have other activities outside of your workplace and make them fun. Too many people are going home and slumping in front of the TV – successful people don’t do that.

A laugh and a sweat a day – keeps the stress away!

Make no mistake about it; if you look after the Body and the Brain, you’ll have a lean and mean 2013

If you want to listen to this or download it to your MP3 player, please go here


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Feel the Fear

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It sometimes surprises people when I tell them I get slightly nervous before a speaking or training event. They seem to great danethink that because I’ve been doing it for years, nervousness would no longer be an issue.

However “nerves” is a normal human emotion and as I often say, ‘I’d be nervous if I wasn’t nervous.’

However, it’s how you handle the nerves that will determine your success as a speaker.

Similarly, many sales people feel nervous or uncomfortable making cold calls, phoning for an appointment, or following up an inquiry. Again, this is a normal response and most sales people feel this way.

One of the biggest fears for humans is the fear of rejection and we’ll do almost anything to avoid it. It stops people making speeches, contacting customers, asking for the order, or even asking someone out on a date.

Successful people feel the fear of rejection but they don’t allow it to paralyze them. They take action even although they feel uncomfortable. And of course, the more you do it the less uncomfortable you feel.

Fear is good, but only as long as you are aware of it and keep it under control; that’s what courage is all about.

In the many challenges you face in life you won’t win them all but you must have the courage to try.

I read somewhere that, winners make mistakes but losers never do.

That’s because winners have the courage to try and they know they’ll make mistakes; however that’s how they learn and move forward.

So, feel the fear and just do it!

To listen to this article or download it to your MP3 player, please go here

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