What’s your motivation?

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3026089-poster-p-1-ask-the-experts-how-do-i-find-the-motivation-to-get-to-the-next-stage-of-myIn reflecting upon the last year, I thought about my achievements, failures and learnings. One thing I reflected on were my motivations throughout the year. My motivations were subject to several fluctuations – there were times when I felt I motivated to run a marathon for no particular reason, and other times when I struggled to find the drive to finish off an email that would have taken me 30 seconds.

It got me thinking – what was the source of my motivation? Was there a common motivation across everything that I do? For me, the answer is Continue reading

How can I make people fill in my survey?

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surveyWell, in short you can’t.  That is the beauty of anonymous surveys – there is no forcing anyone to complete.  And if you do try and force someone to complete a survey, I can pretty much guarantee that their responses won’t be an accurate reflection as they will be completing begrudgingly and more likely to select the same ranking for every question.

There are however a few tips that can help you get a higher response rate and encourage people to participate. Continue reading

How effective people view vulnerability

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Hände fassen sich anA while ago I started to share my findings as I tried to deepen my understanding of vulnerability as a result of a challenge put to me by my mentor. Remember in my first post where I shared the Oxford dictionary’s definition of vulnerability? ‘Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally’.

It would seem that effective people think about the meaning of vulnerability differently.

Perhaps their internal dictionary’s definition goes something like this: Continue reading

Why I believe vulnerability is one of the cornerstones of effectiveness

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targeted-advertising-arrowA while ago I was challenged by my mentor to demonstrate an understanding of vulnerability before our next catch-up. I wrote about his interesting thoughts and my first discoveries here.

As I further explored the subject of vulnerability in preparation for my next chat with the Wise Old Owl a.k.a. my mentor, I thought about this cool little thing called the Circumplex that Dr Clayton Lafferty put together 40 years ago. He did this by using the insights of 20 other wise old owls including Abraham Maslow, Rensis Likert, David McClelland, Carl Rogers and Harry Stack Sullivan. This is not an exhaustive list but you should be impressed by the amount of wisdom Dr Lafferty managed to cram into 1 circle. See the Circumplex here: Continue reading

Having an MBTI “aha” moment

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PersonalityTypesI was recently sitting in a seminar ran by one of our associates on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in which he was explaining the tool and its uses.  I had one of those moments which I can only describe as an “aha” moment towards the end of the session, where we were talking about how dealing with some people can exhaust you more than others.

At BRS, I deal with clients from all our specialised industries of government, infrastructure and resources.  Within those industries I work with quite a few engineers, and have worked with many engineers in different roles in the past as well.  I am by no means an engineer, and those close to me outside of my working life would be surprised to see how much I work with them, and attempt to speak and understand their language and the unique challenges they face.  I should be clear I work in the non-technical areas but have a passion for their industry and seeing individuals improve.  I enjoy working with engineers and all of those in technical roles, but I’ve realised that after planning, engaging, talking or working with them, I feel sapped of energy.  But I never had actually paused to consider why.

The reason?  Well, Continue reading

The power of vulnerability

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how_long_can_we_really_expect_to_live_4376_147917641A child falls over and grazes their knees. The resulting expression of feelings causes their caregivers to come running and tend to the child’s needs. Not long after the fall the child is up and running again like nothing happened. So what just took place? Why are children so resilient and so good at making a comeback? Is it because they are vulnerable?

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of vulnerability is – ‘Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally’.

Wow! That is not a place most would want to be and it is at odds with the basic hard-wired human survival instinct that kicks in when there is a chance of harm making itself known to us.

This dictionary also goes on to say the word comes from the Latin word ‘vulnerare’ that means ‘to wound’. Given what the word means, it’s not surprising that Continue reading

Fail fast to learn quick

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learning-curveOne of the real challenges when you first start work is the ingraining of a culture particularly in corporate environments in the public and private sectors, towards not making mistakes.  You are critiqued on your work and your approach, with a strong focus on your technical expertise being right.  It tends to drive a very risk adverse culture and conditions you to think that you need to slow down and get it perfect before you finalise anything.

This conditioning can often extend further back to your family environment.   Risk adverse, cautious and protective parenting can contribute to this where children grow up thinking that Continue reading

What happens when a salesperson does not speak the customer’s language?

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9-9-Understanding-What-Your-Customer-Wants-and-Needs-300x167I have been making a case for the importance of salespeople playing to their customer’s personality preferences. You can read about this in my previous blogs – Selling using MBTI Personality Type Theory – Can This Really Work?, What is Your Buyer’s Personality Type?, and How to Increase Sales by Knowing Yourself and Your Customer.

The other day I was mucking about on the web, wandering from one site to another. It’s what I do when there is something that I should be doing but I can’t be asked given all the other more enjoyable things to do with my time. I will just make time later for the things I should be doing…This is my personality at play.

I don’t like deadlines, I don’t like to be pushed into a decision if I don’t feel I have enough information or if I want to keep my options open. What if I change my mind or something more fun comes up and I have locked myself into a decision? That’s just killing joy.

Most of all I don’t like the regrets I have when Continue reading

4 life lessons I’ve learned from the squash court

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squashI recently started playing squash on a regular basis at the beginning of this year. As someone who is high in energy and enjoys fast-paced sports I find squash to be the perfect workout for me as it is quick one of the greatest calorie-burning sports out there (hence you only need to play for 30 mins to burn off your lunch), requires constant concentration and focus and is a fantastic outlet as it allows me to get my heart rate up after a day of sitting in the office. Although I have only been playing properly for a short time, I have already learned a number of important lessons from squash that are applicable to life and business outside of the sport: Continue reading

Giving your staff a cause rather than a job

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Higher-Purpose_Nithyanandna_NewgenI have recently been running training courses in New Zealand in a range of areas from leadership, high performance and commercial acumen.  It has been enjoyable and allows me to interact with a range of very positive and constructive people. When running these group courses, we discuss a lot of themes that centre on how leaders and leadership teams effectively engage staff in a range of areas.  We explore what works and what doesn’t, as well as working through how important engaging the hearts and minds of staff is, regardless of the topic, in order  to be an effective leader.

This is quite challenging for most leaders to Continue reading