Archive for April 2007

The Top 8 Requirements Of The Enlightened Self-Leader

April 30, 2007

In some of my seminars and coaching, I spoke about Self-Leadership, the ability to automatically lead, manage and take charge of our personal self, well-being and accomplishment.

It is something which modern leaders desire of their followers and many organizations seek to craft such potentials. Apparently, it is an on-coming wave of change in the world of work.

Nonetheless, self-leader is not going to happen overnight. It takes work, strategy and heart. Here are some of the top requirements of becoming an Enlightened Self-Leader:

1. Self-responsibility and personal accountability

2. An impeccable set of integrity and character

3. Realistic creativity with idealism

4. Inner communication competency

5. Balanced and tuned emotions

6. Disciplined personal target setting

7. Constructive self-criticism and complements for changes

8. A managed lifestyle that constantly moves him towards his goals.

Once a person can acquire the capability for self-leadership, he (or she) becomes an enlightened person who can both be a team-player as well as a leader whenever the situation calls for it. Whoever leads this enlightened self-leader will find it a rather hands-free job yet group goals are achieved with little need for supervision.

The Enlightened Self-Leader resolves issues on his own, within the given jurisdiction, expands beyond his own capability and achieves goals in various degrees. He speaks out when needed and listens when appropriate. His own life becomes an inspiration to others who seek to walk their own unique path and destiny. Hence, Life becomes a constant discovery and learning.

And of course, an Enlighten Self-Leader Excels Beyond Excellence!

Are You a Perfectionist? Or Are You Too Perfect?

April 29, 2007

A perfectionist generally exhibit the following traits:

* Does not allow room for mistakes.

* Things must be prefectly in their own place.

* Information must be gathered before any action can begin.

Some of the positive results:

* Can get things done.

* Trustworthy

Some negative sides of the traits:

* Overly demanding, beyond reason from time to time.

* Incur unneccessary stress unto oneself via time and self-blame.

* Can adversely affect relationships with others.

The learnings:

– Resolve issues.

– Learn to let go.

– Accept that things will always have its own path.

How To Handle The Mess and Live Better?

April 28, 2007

During the course of our journey in life, there are many events that happen. At times, situations are very straightforward, clear as crystal. On the other hand, there are those that can get very messy, mixed up with human emotions beyond contemplation, politics that waste time, unexpected crisis just that seem to pop out of nowhere.

People will attempt to sort out the mess, trying to make sense of things and issues that befall them. Its often that many will spend sleepless nights pondering and worrying about them… without an answer or conclusion…

Have you ever thought, maybe its not meant for us to understand everything in this world? After all, there is no way we can. We don’t have multiple personalities nor are we able to fully read the mind of others. We have a tendency to see things from our own perspectives rather than to truly be objective. What’s objective anyway?

In the messy world filled with messy issues, we have too little of finite life to really unravel all the mysterious…

Here are some thoughts and steps for us to better live with all this mess:

1. Know we do understand and what we do not.

2. Decide what can we take actions to change and what is beyond us to change.

3. Understand that we need to focus on some matters first before others.

4. Learn to let go of the negative emotions that bug us.

5. Constantly do the best we can to handle those we can change.

6. Appreciate life and its untold mysterious.

7. Smile. 🙂

Its a big, big world out there. Go handle it!

Will A Table Still Be A Table…?

April 26, 2007

Just a question to ponder:

*  Will a table still be a table if you sit on it instead of putting things on it?

An extended question:

*  Must a table always be used as a table? Is that the only way to use it?

*  If that is not the only way, how else can we use it?

The fact of the matter is, people often allow the conventional thoughts to overwhlem them and ended up simply accepting the standard way of doing things and of living life.

They seldom go beyond the thoughts of how else can things improve… hence, an easing into “The Comfort Zone”.

Question to ponder:

*  Does your life have only one way to live it?

An application question:

*  Will your life still be your life if you do things that are different from the rest?

Be Well. Live to Excel.

Top Reasons Why People Are Unhappy at Work

April 25, 2007

Do you wake up everyday raring to go to the workplace or do you dread the beginning of the day, having to drag your feet to face your job?

When you arrive in office, do you pounce on your work like an eager tiger or do you attempt to procrastinate on the task at hand?

If the unhappiness at work is prolonged, you could be having a case of “work detest” syndrome…

Here are some of the top reasons why people are unhappy at work…

* The lack of fulfillment and low expression of individuality.

* The work does not move them towards what they want in life.

* The constant work politics and conflicts.

* The high level of stress and pace of change.

* Working for a boss they dislike

* Facing colleagues they despise and serving customers they detest.

If you happen to fall into one or more these reasons, please contact someone who can provide you help or just be a listening ear.

Remember, its your life we are talking about.

Life is too short to be unhappy.

How Does Good Working Habits Help Us?

April 24, 2007

Good working habits will increase our productivity, increase our work values and make us happier.

All these can happen while reducing the amount of effort or force used to execute these habits.
When we persist on developing such habits, our customers, colleagues and especially our boss will eventualy take note of the positive aspects of us.

This leads to a high possibilty of increased chances of promotion and pay increase.

On the other hand, negative habits will slow down our work or even destroy careers.

What are some of the good working habits you have?

The Crucial Turning-Point Factors in Sales and Negotiation

April 23, 2007

In the midst of selling or conducting negotiation, have you ever had this feeling that the deal will go on well in your favor. Then out of a sudden, quick as a flash, things took a turn for the worse. Something just seemed to go awry. The sale was lost and the negotiation adjourned, never to reconvene again. (Not to mentioned, relationship strained and commission gone.)

That situation you have encountered, my friend, is what I call The Turning Point of Sales and Negotiation. At that particular point, a factor or two popped up and it was not handled properly or skillfully, hence the potential deal dissipated.

In my Dynamic Selling workshop today, I shared with my participants 3 of the Crucial Turning-point Factors in sales and negotiation. Factors are so extremely crucial that you cannot even take the risk of not knowing them, much less to ultilize them.

Why are they called Factors? Because they are the key causes and reasons of the progress of the sales and negotiation process.

These factors are extremely crucial as they play the most direct part in affecting how the sales and negotiation process will go. Will the situation accelerate to your advantage or will it take a U-turn, leaving you lagging behind, wondering why and what went wrong.

These crucial Turning-Point Factors are:

1. Your Inner Associations: As issues are being discussed, certain specifications, terms and conditions are being brought up. Generally, if you have a negative reaction to some of these terms internally within yourself, they will, in turn, subconsciously affect the mind and heart of your prospect… negatively. Emotional distrust hence occurs.

(Very experienced buyers and negotiator can sense or detect the preference of the association within your mind.)

2. Timing: This is vital as it is also a reflection of your ability to organize information and craft the sales negotiation process. You must know when to pull out the goodies, when to unveil the temptations or bonuses.

Similarly, you must also know when is the right time to inform your customer a certain disadvantage of the product or service you are selling or how to deliver the wrong news in the right way.

Timing alone can sometimes solely determine the success and failure of the process.

3. Your Prospects’ Feedback: You must know after applying the first 2 factors in the process, how do your prospects feel about them. Hence, in this particular factor, it truly takes into account your talent in applying and managing the entire sales and negotiation process. This is almost immediately followed by your ability to read your prospects.

No matter what the feedback is, you must first read, therefore reacting and adjusting your behavior. This takes both patience and humility to fully digest or interpret the prospect’s feedback.

Best wishes to your next sales and negotiation!

Powerpoint, What’s The Point?

April 22, 2007

Powerpoint presentation seems to be commonly used in speeches, teachings, workshops of all forms. It has apparently been so integrated into events that no formal presentations can seem do without it. I have even heard some commented that it is totally unprofessional for a speaker to present without powerpoint slides.

On 20 April 2007, The New Paper published an article that highlights the conclusion of a new study from University of New South Wales, Australia. According to the study, it claims that “many who sit through PowerPoint presentations end up bored when faced with a seemingly endless stream of mission statements, charts, slogans, messages in capital letters for emphasis, and proposals given in bullet points.”

What is pointed out in the study is that in most presentations, it is a “common scenario” that “the speaker, often an executive or trainer, merely repeats the words on the slides so the audience gets the information twice.”

Therefore, what results is “that kind of repetition makes the brain switch off” “because the human brain cannot cope with processing information coming from a screen and a voice at the same time.”

Powerpoint is then called “a disaster” and ought “to be scrapped” because they “have little power and even less point.”

Prof John Sweller, Head of the study team said, ”The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster. It should be ditched. It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form.”

‘”But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented.”

‘PowerPoint can backfire if the information on the screen is the same as that which is verbalised because the audience’s attention will be split between the two.’

He said reading from the powerpoint “does not double the chances of the message getting across.”From my personsal experience in training and coaching trainers, powerpoint slides do have limitation in the form of getting attention and focus of the participants.

For example, if you flash the slides on the giant screen while attempting to explain certain concepts, the audience will have diffused attention because their mind are deciding at the same if they should look at the slides or listen to you.

If your slides are “too pretty” and “visually fasinating”, the audience will be mesmerised by the colorful, stunning slides that you actually have to compete for attention against your own creation. This is especially even more if the powerpoint slides are overly filled with texts where audience will actually be inclinded to read them the moment its flashed.

How to make the presentation even worse? Simply read out the words to the audience verbatim as they appear on the slides.

I was seating through a number of seminars sometime back. The trainers gave out the slides as handouts while at the same time lecturing on the same slides from the big screen AND verbally reading to us… word–for–word. I can even predict what is happening for the next 5 minutes.

My mind started to wonder, “why not just give me the handouts, I can definitely stay at home and read them myself.” Then a few heads beside me yawned…

To be fair to the creators of this presentation sofware, Chris Rothwell of Microsoft Corporation, said: ‘We believe that PowerPoint remains a very powerful tool that can add impact and variety, but it is no substitute for being a good communicator.’

In my opinion, the real onus actually lies with the presenters and HOW they use Powerpoint rather than in powerpoint itself. Just think, all these while you can actually choose not to use the powerpoint slides. So if the session turns out poorly, who is to be responsible for making that choice of using it and what was displayed on it?

Powerpoint can sometimes be important and helpful when presenting to a large audience in a convention where you appear to be no bigger than a 14cm Lego figurine to those sitting at the back. Most part of eye contact and body language will be lost. And if the sound does not travel as far… Good luck to you.

Whenever I speak at a convention or a massive seminar numbering from hundreds to thousands of people, I make sure the last row of my audience can get my message and information as much as possible. It is part of my responsibility as the speaker and trainer of the event.

Powerpoint visuals can be also used to illustrate complex diagrams, statistics, charts, process and systems where words may fly by their ears. But wait! Why do you even display complex things in the first place? Aren’t you supposed to simplify things?

Here are a few tips to remember for those using Powerpoint:

1. Powerpoint is just a tool. It is meant to aid you, not takeover you.

2. Use every slide with a purpose in mind, not just because its there or because it looks nice to have.

3. Avoid reading the points word for word, it insults the audience.

4. Elaborate if you need to, only to make the information clearer.

5. Keep the information displayed short and simple, not complicated, complex and confusing.

6. You are the REAL center of attention, not the powerpoint.

Ultimately, the decision to use Powerpoint or not is yours. Whatever your opinion regarding this is, you are responsible for making your presentation work for your audience.

Get the point?

The Power of Non-Violence

April 21, 2007

People choose to live their lives very differently. Some are by the edge of their swords and their temper while others prefer to have a life of harmony and non-violence.

In this article, we can learn the lesson behind the peaceful ways of dealing with issues. Thanks very much to Au Yeong for sharing this real story.

After reading, I hope you will give some thoughts to our own way of living lives.

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Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K.Gandhi Institute for Non-violence, in his June 9 lecture at the University of Puerto Rico , shared the following story:

I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbours, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies.

One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father asked me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, “I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.”

After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.

He anxiously asked me, “Why were you late?”

I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, “The car wasn’t ready, so I had to wait,” not realizing that he had already called the garage.

When he caught me in the lie, he said: “There’s something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn’t give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I’m going to walk home 18 miles and think about it.”

So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads.

I couldn’t leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.

I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I don’t think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday.

That is the power of non-violence.

24 Benefits of Being Cheerful

April 20, 2007

How can you afford not to be cheerful?

You get all these benefits by being cheerful, joyful and happy:

1. Helps you relax.

2. Helps you generate more ideas.

3. Solves problems easier.

4. Makes you more new friends.

5. Gets you more dates.

6. Increases your attractiveness.

7. Turns enemies into friendships.

8. Helps in resolving misunderstandings.

9. Builds deeper relationships.

10. Increases your immunity.

11. Recovers from illness faster.

12. Makes pain and sadness easier to bear.

13. Makes guys filled with increased vitality. (and ladies too.)

14. Makes ladies more beautiful. (and guys more handsome)

15. Increases your charisma and charm.

16. Makes you more money and increases your wealth.

17. Keeps you strong in all aspects, (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, financially and others)

18. Makes work more enjoyable.

19. Makes tough challenges easier to bear

20. Makes life more meaningful and purposeful.

21. Prolong your life.

22. Makes your family, your community and the world a better place to live.

23. Makes you Excel Beyond Excellence

24. Being cheerful makes your loved ones cheerful too…
… and they will ALSO GET ALL the above benefits of being cheerful!

Cheerfulness is free. It is infectious. Spread the cheer around!

Cheers! 🙂