Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

2 Tips to be Lean and Mean in 2016

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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 repeatedly told, ‘It’s a bad time to find a job.’

3d white human running alone in white background

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 a good time to find a job, or get promoted, or start a business, or find new customers, or sell more of your product or service?

If you want to look back, this time, next year on a successful 2016, then you need to be lean and mean

  1. Lean and Mean with your brain

Imagine that in 2016 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, not the reacting part.

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.

  1. Lean and Mean with the body

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.

Oh no, not exercise! 

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.

Maybe go for a swim; you’ll get a bit out of breath, and you won’t  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 2016


7 Simple Steps to Get More Out of Your Day

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1. Plan your day the night before. At the end of each day write out all the things you need to do the following day toClock achieve your goals. Pull together all the information you’ll need, phone numbers and relevant paperwork.

2. Prioritize the list. Number each item and do the nasty jobs first. There’s always the temptation to do the easy jobs first. However, think how the nasty jobs hangs over you as you do the easy stuff. Think how good you’ll feel when the nasties are out of the way, and how motivated you’ll feel.

3. Stick to your list. Tick off each item as you go, and don’t be distracted. The temptation is to handle the telephone and e-mails as they come in. The phone is hard to ignore, but you could always pull out the plug and let it go to voice mail. And switch off the email program. Make an agreement with yourself to check for messages every two hours or so.

4. Remember the Three D’s. Do it, Delegate it or Dump it! Handle each piece of paper only once. Either do something about it now, delegate it to someone else or chuck it in the trash. And remember: Only do it if only you can do it.

5. Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination really is the Thief of Time. It’s so easy to put things off till another time or till you’ve had time to think about it. DO IT NOW!

6. Plan your leisure time. Take up activities that need you to be at a certain place at a certain time. Instead of just going to the gym, book a fitness class or an appointment with a personal trainer.

7. Be honest with yourself. Keep asking: ‘Is what I’m doing now getting me to where I want to get to?’ if the answer is ‘No’, change what you’re doing.

Extract from the book, How to Make Sales When You Don’t Like Selling51dAWpJHORL._SL500_AA300_4

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Forget Goal Setting – Just Do It!

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Did you make any New Year resolutions at the start of this year? If you did, then they were probably about what you wanted to achieve in 2010?
If you read any self-help or how to books, then they probably suggested that you need to set 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 even your spiritual life.There’s loads of information on the internet about how to set goals, books you can buy, planning diaries and even downloadable software.

Now I’m not knocking all that stuff, 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 too much time writing down what they want out of life they just get on and do it.

To be successful at whatever it is you want to do, you need to ask yourself – “What do I really want to achieve?” What are my dreams and desires, what do I want to build, or 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?
If someone held your head under water you’d quickly realise 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.

Now 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’ll release the motivation to make it happen.

There is an often-told story of the swimmer, Florence Chadwick. On her first attempt to swim the English Channel she encountered huge waves and chilling temperature. Her trainers were alongside her in a boat. They had greased her body to provide protection from the cold and gave her hot soup from a vacuum flask. She had everything going for her to ensure she was successful.

However a heavy fog set in and as the fog descended, her vision was limited to only a few feet. The water seemed to get colder, the waves higher and she started suffering from cramp in her arms and legs. She eventually gave up her effort and asked her trainers to take her on board the boat. What she didn’t realise was that she was only a short distance from the shore. When the reporters asked her why she’d given up when she was such a short distance form the shore. Her answer was quite simple – “I lost sight of what I wanted to achieve. I’m not sure that I had it firmly in my mind.”

You need to have a clear mental picture of where you want to go. You need to visualise yourself being successful and work towards it, you then have a far better chance of achieving what you want to achieve.

Think about what you’re doing every day and ask yourself – “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.

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.”

And case your wondering about Florence Chadwick – she did become the first woman to swim the English Channel on the 8th August 1950. It took her 13 hours 25 minutes and I bet her arms were tired!

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Productive Managers Keep the Team Focussed on Outcomes

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It is very important to focus on outcomes as far as your team are concerned. Whatever tasks your manager is putting on you, don’t allow yourself to do the same to your team.

Sometimes your team members will be only too happy to do other little jobs and tasks that you ask them to do. I’ve had salespeople say – “Oh, I’ll deliver that to the customer, it’s on my way.” Customer service people will say – “I’ll go and talk to distribution or finance department about that.”

You have to keep asking yourself the question – “Is what they’re doing helping me to achieve my outcomes”? If the answer is “no” then don’t let them do it.

Make it clear to your team what the outcomes are, and don’t concern yourself too much about how they get there. Now that doesn’t mean that you encourage a salesman to get a sale at any cost, or a chef to use inferior ingredients. And you obviously don’t want a maintenance engineer cutting corners that could jeopardise safety. However it does mean using the thinking part of your brain and listening to your inbuilt programs.

Your people may not do a job the way you would do it but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong.

I’ve often listened to a salesperson speaking to a customer and found myself thinking “That’s not the way I’d do it.” The temptation then, is to jump into the conversation or speak to the salesperson afterwards. However I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut, because many times the salesperson closed the business, the customer was happy and it probably was better than I would do it.

The successful manager defines the outcomes to the team members and then lets each person find their way of getting there. That doesn’t mean you walk away nor have no idea what’s going on. If you are a Motivational Manager, then you’re constantly out there with your team, watching and listening and supporting what they’re doing.

Two characteristics of Motivational Managers are:
1.    They get the job done
2.    They do it in the easiest and least stressful way possible
I’m just reminding you of this because to try and control your team’s activities and get them to do things the way you want them done, is extremely stressful. It can also mean that you de-motivate the team and then it’ll be much harder to achieve your outcomes.

Let me know what you think!

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Who Motivates the Motivation Doc?

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I’m often asked; how do I stay motivated or who motivates me? And the answer is – “No one!”Masserati_1_big

None of us need anyone to motivate us, because the only successful motivation is self-motivation. It has to come from within. You have to want to do, or achieve something; you need to know what you want out of life and you have to think about that all the time.

It’s not possible to motivate other people, but you can create the environment where they motivate themselves. It follows, that you can create that environment for yourself. There are triggers and external stimuli you can use to fuel your self-motivation. You can read books, listen to audio programmes and listen to motivational speakers. There are also many small actions you can take, things that you can do that are motivational for you.

When I started my business seventeen years ago, I could only afford a very basic second-hand car. I cut out a picture of a Mercedes from a magazine a stuck it on the wall above my desk. Whenever I felt a bit low or de-motivated, I’d look at that car and visualise what it would be like to drive. It took me three years, but I eventually bought my new Mercedes. I now have that picture above, of a Maserati, as the desktop display on my computer, and one day I’ll buy that.

You don’t have to trigger your motivation with practical things, as long as you keep at the forefront of your mind what it is you really want from your life, what gets you excited, what makes you want to take action.

Before you can achieve anything in your life, you need to take charge of your thinking. Take charge of your thinking and you take charge of your life.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world – Buddha

If you want me to hear me speak about how to create a self-motivating environment for your team, please get in touch!