Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Posts Tagged ‘Self-Belief’

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


How To Manage Difficult People Audio Summation

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New Seminar – How to Manage Difficult People

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7 Things You Need to Know About Intelligence

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Now this post might be old news to you, but I am always intrigued by people who are described as “intelligent”.

When I was a kid, my parents used to talk about my brother as – ‘The brains of the family’.

That’s us in the picture on the Titanic just before it went down.

EPSON scanner image

Okay, so he did better than me at school and went on to college and obtained a degree in mixing cement, or something like that.

Yes, he’s a Quantity Surveyor with a string of letters after his name, he worked hard for it, and I’m not emotionally damaged, I don’t think!

So what’s this about “brains” and intelligence? What does it mean and why is it so valued.

I was really interested in the studies of Howard Gardener, a psychologist at Harvard University. Gardner’s Theory of multiple intelligences states that – ‘Not only do human beings have many different ways to learn and process information, but that these are independent of each other; leading to multiple intelligences as opposed to a general intelligence among correlated abilities.’ (I copied this bit from Wikipedia; I’m not intelligent enough to write this stuff!)

In 1999 Gardner listed seven intelligences:

Linguistic intelligence. This concerns language and how we use it. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence. (This might just be me, after all I’ve written four books)

Logical-mathematical intelligence. This is associated with calculation and logical reasoning. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking. Unit Chefs is an efficient tool used for calculations and most common conversions. (Not me; I haven’t a clue, I need my fingers to count on)

Musical intelligence. To do with musical appreciation as well as performing and composing music. (Does being a Michael Jackson fan count?)

Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence. Associated with physical skills like sport, dancing and other aspects of movement. (Yup; that’s me again. You should see me dancing)

Spatial intelligence. To do with art and design, as well as finding your way around (I’d like to claim a little bit of that)

Interpersonal intelligence. To do with interacting with people socially and sensitively. It’s concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence. (That’s me; loved by millions)

Intrapersonal intelligence. To do with understanding yourself, to appreciate your feelings, fears, motivations and abilities. (I don’t want to go there)

So the next time someone tells you about a so called intelligent person. A sk what they know about design, or the ability to deal with other people, or what musical instrument do they play, or can they fix that scary noise in your car engine?

Always remember that you have qualities and skills that other people do not have and you should be proud of these and believe in yourself.

When you look at this list, you may realise that you are much more intelligent than you think.

And to quote my friend Mr Degas:

There is no such thing as Intelligence; one has intelligence of this or that. One must have intelligence only for what one is doingEdgar Degas

Let me know what you think.

How to Live Longer

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I have found the answer to eternal life. Well maybe not eternal, but you could certainly live longer.Dog Tired of Phone Calls

But first let me ask you; don’t you just hate it when people say ‘What’s wrong with you today, you don’t look very happy?’

Maybe you don’t feel like smiling on that particular day, for no particular reason. Or maybe you feel like punching them in the nose.

However, a report in American Psychologist states that:

Smiling and being agreeable influences the length of people’s lives in a positive way – Wow!

On the other hand, being grumpy increases the likelihood of a violent death, heart disease, cancer etc – oh dear!

And punching someone on the nose may result in a violent death!

If DC says it; it must be true

Dale Carnegie in his book – How to Win Friends and Influence People, says: ‘People who smile tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively, they also raise happier children.’

Are your teeth okay?

Another survey found that 75% of respondents thought that an unattractive smile would be bad for their career. While a whopping 92% said an attractive smile was a necessary social asset.

Watch out for the scary people

These sorts of reports have been around for years, but many of the people that I come into contact with don’t seem to have received the message.

I’ve attended business networking meetings where many non smiley people look downright scary. And they wonder why they don’t gain any benefit from their networking!

Many of the people at my local health club look downright unhappy. You’d think they were there as some form of penance rather than as part of their fun and leisure time.

Are you sure your teeth are okay?

Of course many people don’t smile because they’re nervous; they lack confidence or have low self-esteem. Some people on the other hand actually believe they’re smiling when the face they present to the world could actually turn milk sour.

Have a look at your face from your side

I’m not suggesting that we all go around with big smiles on our face grinning inanely at people we hardly know. If you did that, then the men in white coats would soon be dragging you off to a place of detention. However, I am suggesting that we think about the face we present to other people.

By sporting a warm smile at the appropriate time we can only smooth the path for the people we’re dealing with. We also boost our own confidence and it allows us to relax and make the most of a situation.

Here come the technical bit

Smiling stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals, which has an ongoing positive effect. It’s a two way neurological process; when you smile you literally become happier, and when you’re happier, you smile more. If someone gives you an unsolicited smile, you smile back and in this way we directly affect each other’s moods.

Switching on a smile will only bring benefits – you’ll be happier and everyone else will be happier – so keep smiling!

And in the words of W.C. Fields:

‘Start each day with a smile and get it over with’.

(That was just to make you smile!)

And let me make you smile more often – put your email address in that box on the top right. Don’t worry, I won’t give it to anyone else.




How to Manage Difficult People – Summation

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This is a summary from the book – How to Manage Difficult People.7018_155572617408_699287408_2759755_4580853_n

How to manage difficult people is a challenge we all face at some time in our life. It may be someone you work beside, work for, or who works for you.

In your personal life you have friends and family or the people next door, who may, on occasion, be difficult.

I’ve emphasised throughout this book, that prevention is better than cure.

If you keep getting toothache, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep running to the dentist to fix the problem. That causes both physical and financial pain for you. It’s far better to brush your teeth twice a day, use dental floss and have a check up twice a year.

Some people however, perceive that behaviour as just too much trouble and would rather risk the toothache. But by making small changes to your behaviour, they become habits that make your life so much easier, minimise the number of difficult people you have to manage (and stop the toothache).

  • Choose your behaviour – do not allow other people to choose it for you.
  • Do not allow yourself to be hooked into a negative response by what other people say or do.
  • Switch to your Thinking program before opening your mouth or taking action.
  • Choose to be assertive when you need to; allowing yourself to be submissive or aggressive, will make life much harder for you.
  • Become a powerful persuader by developing your ability to sell yourself. Persuading others involves better listening skills and the ability to communicate on an emotional level.
  • When faced with a difficult person, be it a colleague or a customer; always be aware that they may see the world differently from you. Empathise with their viewpoint and offer solutions that ensure a win-win outcome.

I wish you every success!

And if you read the book, I’d be pleased to hear what you think.

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3 Tips on Handling Stress

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Do you think you’re suffering from stress? Well let me tell you now; you really don’t want to be. You might think there is Fotolia_1597792_Snothing you can do about it, but there is and you must!

Let me tell you why, or remind you if you’ve heard it before, because it’s so important.

Stress can cause:

  • Heart disease
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sexual problems
  • Overeating
  • Drinking too much
  • Loss of concentration
  • Stomach upsets.

Research has been telling us for some time that many, if not most of our illnesses can be related to stress.

When you get stressed, one of the chemicals that are released into your bloodstream is called Cortisol; sometimes known as the Stress Hormone. High levels of Cortisol can lead to diabetes and skin problems.  There is also a suggestion that Cortisol attacks your immune system and leaves you vulnerable to many of the bugs and viruses that come along. This also includes cancer.

So if you’ve ever suffered from skin complaints or perhaps too many colds, it could very well be the results of stress.

I don’t want to scare you death or give you any more stress, I just want you to – think.

Here are 3 tips:

1. You can change the way you interpret and react to the situation.

The way you see the situation is based on your values, your beliefs, your culture, and how you were brought up.

You tend to believe that the way you see the situation is the correct and proper way, and that you are right.

The way the other person sees the situation is based on their values, beliefs, culture, and how they were brought up. And of course, they believe that they are right.

If these values and beliefs are similar and in line with your values and beliefs, then you will have a good situation.

However, if their values and beliefs are different from yours, then you may have a difficult situation that gives you stress.

Other people do not necessarily see the world as you see it – they see it differently.

If you react to the situation and are hooked by the other person’s behaviour; then you are in danger of being stressed.

It is important not to react to the situation, and accept their point of view. This is not about agreeing; it’s about thinking and understanding the other person’s viewpoint.

2. You can change the situation or other people. You communicate and be assertive.

Assertive communication can make all the difference to your personal success and your ability to minimise stress. It’s more that just learning to talk in a different way. It’s about:

Thinking positively- Feeling confident – Behaving Assertively

To develop your assertive communication you don’t have to change your personality – only your behaviour and thoughts.

In assertiveness training we talk about submissive, aggressive and assertive behaviour. Submissive and aggressive behaviour relates to your inbuilt fight or flight programmes that rescue you from problem situations.

Assertive behaviour will help you communicate clearly and confidently your needs wants and feelings to other people without abusing in any way their human rights.

This is a positive response in any situation that is potentially stressful for you. It makes it clear to the other person what you are unhappy about, and what you are not prepared to accept. It allows you to state your case calmly and clearly.

3. You can walk away from the situation and/or the relationship

You may not be able to change some stressful situations. It could be your work situation, your relationships or your family life. It is not always easy to walk away however you have to consider yourself, your health and welfare.

Points 1 and 2 are much more preferable actions to take, however ask your self the following:

  • Do you lie awake at night worrying about tomorrow?
  • Do you feel impatient or irritable?
  • Is your life full of crises – are you always having rows with other people?
  • Do you have difficulty concentrating?
  • Do you often suffer from butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, a dry throat or a thumping heart?
  • Are you tense – is your neck knotted-up?

I read a lot about stress some years ago and made a personal decision to decrease my levels of the bad stuff. When situations occur that are potentially stressful, I go into thinking mode to resolve it. I don’t say – ‘Oh no!’ I say – ‘Deal with it!’

I want to live a long and healthy life and I’m not prepared to let stress affect that; I recommend you do the same.

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How to Say ‘No’ and Still Be Friends

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When someone asks you to do something, sometimes the answer is ‘No’. Of course, it’s how you say ‘No’ that matters.Office managers in a discussion over progress.

I’ve been in a couple of situations recently where I’ve been asked to do something I didn’t want to do.

One organisation sent me an email asking if I’d have a meeting with one of their consultants. They wanted to discuss how they could help me regarding my personal finances. As you’ll gather – they wanted to sell me something. And it was definitely not something I wanted to buy at that particular time.

If you’re like me, your first thought is to come up with some kind of excuse; probably a lie.

But I don’t really want to do that; why should I allow someone else to compel me to be a liar.

So I emailed back saying – ‘Thank you for your email, however this is not something I want to do. Best regards …..’

I received a very nice email by return letting me know that if I ever changed my mind, they would be happy to speak with me.

Another person asked me face to face if I would attend a presentation he was giving in a hotel at the weekend. I asked him what reason I would have for doing that. The answer was a bit ambiguous and I realized that he just wanted to sell me something.

Again it’s easy to make excuses; tell lies. But I said – ‘Thank you for your invitation. It is not in my interest to do that. I wish you well with your presentation.’

Of course a salesperson will come back at you with – ‘Why do you say that’ type of questions. But you just need to stick to your original words and not get drawn into a conversation.

I sometimes answer with something like – ‘I’m unable to do that for personal reasons.’ It’s a brave salesperson that would ask what those personal reasons are.

It can be difficult to say ‘no’ sometimes. Most of us have a natural impulse to please other people.

If people make requests of you that you’re not happy with or have doubts about, you could say something like:

  • ‘Let me think about this’
  • ‘I need some time to think about this’
  • ‘Can I contact you later on this?’

Of course you do have to contact them later, and without making excuses, turn down their request.

When you say ‘no’ to someone, avoid giving too many reasons and getting sidetracked. The other person may ask why you’re saying ‘no’ or try to persuade you. However, you do not have to give some long explanation. If you do, you risk being involved in a lengthy conversation while they continue to try and persuade you.

You could say something like:

  • ‘No, I don’t want to do that’
  • ‘No, I’d prefer not to do that’
  • ‘I can understand your situation, however I don’t want to do that’

There is no need to be unpleasant; you’re merely stating what you want in an assertive way.

Remember – it’s not the other person you are rejecting; it’s what they want you to do.

Let me know what you think, and please don’t say – ‘No!’

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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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