Sources of Insight Better Insights, Better Results 2015-03-30T16:26:24Z http://sourcesofinsight.com/feed/atom/ WordPress JD <![CDATA[9 Fundamental Laws of Effective Communication Skills]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26146 2015-03-30T16:26:24Z 2015-03-30T16:23:01Z The 9 Laws of Effective Communication Skills help you succeed in persuading, build solid relationships, and increase your credibility.

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“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” — Brian Tracy

How much better would your life be if you had the most effective communication skills in the world?

A lot better, right?

One of the best ways to improve your communication skills is to model from the best.  Or better yet, study what we learn from the best of the best, and put it into practice.

That’s where the 9 Laws of Effective Communication Skills come into play.

In the book, What More Can I Say?, Dianna Booher shares a set of 9 laws for building effective communication skills and helping you succeed in persuading, build solid relationships, and increase your credibility.

Your Influence Matters

You communicate every day.  Each day, your communication skills are put to the test.  Each interaction is a chance to create a better outcome by communicating more effectively, whether it’s to tell somebody “I love you”, or to help inspire a team to ship “the next big thing.”

Via What More Can I Say?:

“Your influence–to change how someone thinks, discard a harmful habit, adopt a healthier lifestyle, choose a better way of interacting, improve job performance, accept and move through a challenging situation, restore a broken relationship–can literally save someone’s career or life.”

Effective Communication Skills Lead to Success

Your communication skills are the key to your success for your career, relationships, and more.  You might have brilliant ideas, and be smarter than the average bear, but if you can’t communicate effectively, you’ll never realize your potential.

You need to be able to tell and sell your ideas, bring people along, connect with others, and communicate in a way that creates trust and rapport.

Via What More Can I Say?:
”Powerful, persuasive communication leads to success–personal success, career success, and organizational success. Communication cultures are created–not wished into existence.  Great communicators model the masters, practice the strategies, and measure the results.”

9 Laws of Effective Communication Skills

You can apply the 9 fundamental laws of communication to exponentially improve your communication skills.  The 9 fundamental laws of effective communication are:

  1. The Law of Trust vs. Distrust
  2. The Law of Collaboration vs. Monologue
  3. The Law of Simplicity vs. Complexity
  4. The Law of Tact vs. Insensitivity
  5. The Law of Potential vs. Achievement
  6. The Law of Distinction vs. Dilution
  7. The Law of Specialty vs. Generalization
  8. The Law of Emotion vs. Logic
  9. The Law of Perspective vs. Distortion

Using the 9 Laws of Effective Communication Skills

Knowledge is power, but only if you apply it.

You can use the 9 Laws of Effective Communication Skills to evaluate your current communication style.  Do you talk to much, and turn your conversations into a monologue?  Do you deliver your messages with tact, or do you slap people upside the head with your insensitivity?

In the table below, for each of the 9 Laws of Effective Communication Skills, you can see what effective communication skills look like and then contrast that with what ineffective communication skills look like.

 

9 Laws of Effective Communication Notes
The Law of Trust vs. Distrust Trust
The culture fosters trust or the speaker takes steps to build trust or transfer trust.Distrust
The speaker or culture creates distrust.
The Law of Collaboration vs. Monologue Collaboration
Communicators find shared values and goals.  They collaborate on challenges and outcomes and build bridges to close the gaps in misunderstandings.Monologue
What the communicator assumes is obvious, is not.
All communication is one-directional.
The Law of Simplicity vs. Complexity Simplicity
Clear language sharpens focus and drives action.Complexity
Complex language obscures ideas and priorities.
The Law of Tact vs. Insensitivity Tact
Persuasive people use precise, powerful, yet tactful phrasing.Insensitivity
Careless, insensitive “hot” words offend and sidetrack people from the primary message.
The Law of Potential vs. Achievement Potential
People are willing to risk/pay more for potential than past performance.Achievement
People undervalue performance and are less persuaded by the past than expectations and hope for future possibilities.
The Law of Distinction vs. Dilution Distinction
A focus on the core distinctive advantage, benefit, qualifications, or credentials (or penalties) produces high impact.  A focus on “the few” actually adds, rather than subtracts attention.Dilution
A long list of advantages, benefits, qualifications, credentials or benefits looks impressive.  So communicators often follow the more-is-better rule, thereby weakening impact.
The Law of Specialty vs. Generalization Specificity
To be meaningful and memorable, information has to be specific, relevant, interpreted, and structured to fit the audience, situation, and purpose.Generalization
Generic information does not make a strong impression and is easily forgotten.
The Law of Emotion vs. Logic Emotion
An emotional appeal persuades.Logic
A logical case informs—but rarely motivates.
The Law of Perspective vs. Distortion Perspective
Empathy, silence, understanding different points of view and cultures, and reading between the lines about what’s not said often reveals the real message and produces the best outcome for negotiators.Distortion
Hearing only what’s said leaves many gaps in one’s understanding.

Your communication skills are your power.

Practice your communication skills to take your work and life to the next level.

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JD <![CDATA[The Power of Handwritten Notes and Reminders]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26130 2015-03-28T17:53:23Z 2015-03-28T17:31:42Z There's nothing quite like writing things down. Writing things on paper engages my brain in a more meaningful way.

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“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” — Isaac Asimov

I like to think on paper for planning my actions.  Sure, I type a lot of notes.  And, I like to store things in a digital way.

But I’ve found time and again that writing things on paper engages my brain in a more meaningful way.

When I type, it’s more like cruise control.  I’m aware of how the words flow, but they flow so easily that I could almost do it with my eyes closed.

Actually, I can.

I just tested.  I closed my eyes and it was easy to type this entire sentence without even paying much attention.

Type is cheap.

Feel the Words

But when I write things down on paper, it’s a little more work.  I’m a little more engaged.  I need to be more deliberate.  I’m more involved in the process.  Even my hand gets more wrapped up in the process.  My hand feels the words, as I write them down.

Hand-crafted words on paper engage us more deeply.

I use this to my advantage.  When I plan my week, I start by thinking of three wins for the week.  I’ll say them in my mind.  Then, I’ll say them out loud.  When they start to sound simple and sticky, I write them down.  I look at them on paper.  They start to sink in.

Etch Things in Your Mind

It’s a process.  The beauty of the process is that it’s writing things down on paper that seems to really etch things in my mind.  Later, in my mind’s eye, I can see the shape of my writing on the paper, and the keywords I wrote that remind me of my goals.

Even if I threw the paper away, the process of writing things down really helps to make things stick.

My hand remembers the motion of writing things down, and my mind recalls the thought process of transforming thought to paper.

Sure, I could cruise through this, but planning is exactly the right place to slow down, to speed up.

After all, if I’m going to spend my time on things this week, I really should take a step back and ask the simple question …

Will it be worth it? Or, better yet, are these the next best things to do?

Yellow Sticky Notes Stick to Your Mind

The power of paper gets better.   I can scratch and scribble as I choose.  I can scrumple it all up and throw it away.  In fact, I like to use yellow sticky notes here because I can arrange them as I see fit.  I can also set simple limits, such as “No more than 1 big idea per sticky note,” or, “No more than three actions per sticky note”, etc.

I especially enjoy the process when I plan my three wins each day.  whether I write three wins down on a single note, or if I write on win per note, it’s like holding a winning hand at my finger tips.

It’s my Ace up my sleeve.

Remind Yourself of What’s Important

No matter what comes at me throughout the day, I have my simple set of three wins that I hope to achieve.  They help me stay focused.  They help me prioritize.  They help remind me of what’s important, or at least what I thought was important before I got mired in the thick of things.

Most importantly, my three wins help me establish my own tests for success.

Think on Paper to Rise Above the Noise of the Day

Each day, I can use my three wins to drive forward and make progress, or to look back and remind myself what I achieved.   For example, yesterday, I created a vision scope deck, blazed a trail of research for a tough technical topic, and won a raving fan by helping them over a significant hump.

Is that all I did yesterday?

Not even close.

Yesterday was a day of madness and mayhem, but my three wins helped me rise above the noise, create order out of chaos, and take the balcony view.

Best of all, I can still remember the feeling of writing my intended wins for the day, down on paper.

While I’m glad I have the option to type so freely, I’m also glad that I can put the power of handwritten notes and reminders on my side.

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JD <![CDATA[7 Habits of Highly Motivated People]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26117 2015-03-28T03:42:57Z 2015-03-27T16:42:01Z Learn the 7 Habits of Highly Motivated People and continuously breathe new life into everything you do.

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“When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.” — Henry David Thoreau

Learn the 7 Habits of Highly Motivated People and you can continuously breathe new life into everything you do.

I’ve seen too many people struggling with their motivation, or lose their mojo and wonder how to find it again.

Whether they’ve been given bad advice throughout their life, or simply created bad habits I want to help fix that, right here, right now.

I’ve written a post on the 7 Habits of Highly Motivated People long ago, but it’s time breathe new life into it.  I want to share the 7 timeless habits that I found to be true for highly motivated people, that you can use, too.

Highly Motivated People are Passionate People that Pursue Their Dreams

To be clear, I’m not talking about creating highly motivated, type-A, stressed out, over-achievers.  I’m talking about passionate people that pursue their dreams.  I want to create more highly motivated people that are inspired by what they do, they live and breath their values, they hold a powerful picture of the art of the possible in their mind, and they enjoy their journey as they go.

If you know the habits of highly motivated people, you can try more things, start more ventures, get back up when you get knocked down, and inspire yourself and others to do great things.

Motivation is more than just finding your drive though.  It’s also understanding any limiting beliefs and internal conflicts that get in the way of bringing out your best.  And to truly motivate yourself for the long haul, you need the ability to inspire yourself.

What is Motivation

My favorite definition of inspire is “to breathe life into.”  So, effective motivation is the ability to continuously breathe life into whatever you do.

But first, let’s do a level-set on what motivation is and why we care.

According to Wikipedia, “these inner conditions such as wishes, desires, goals, activate us to move in a particular direction in behavior.”  You can think of motivation as a driving force, stimulus, or influence, or as an internal or external desire to achieve a goal.

There are two types of motivation:

  1. Intrinsic – Internal motivation
  2. Extrinsic – External motivation

Intrinsic motivation is more about finding your drive from the inside out, while extrinsic motivation is more about “carrots and sticks” (i.e., rewards and punishments).

The real key to motivation is to use a combination of positive reinforcement combined with internal drive.

Motivation is often the difference that makes the difference.  If you have ability, but no motivation, you won’t produce great results.  On the flip side, if you combine ability with motivation, you can produce outstanding results.

Now, let’s cut to the chase.  What are the 7 habits of highly motivated people?

The 7 Habits of Highly Motivated People

Here’s my take on the 7 habits of highly motivated people:

  1. Find Your WHY
  2. Change Your Beliefs About What’s Possible
  3. Change Your Beliefs That Limit You
  4. Spend More Time In Your Values
  5. Surround Yourself With Catalysts
  6. Build Better Feedback Loops
  7. “Pull” Yourself with Compelling Goals

Habit #1: Find Your WHY

Highly motivated people start with their WHY.

WHY do you do what you do?

If you climb a mountain simply because it’s there, that’s probably not enough to keep you going when the going gets tough.  If you know WHY you do what you do, and it matters deeply to you, then you will find your strength in any situation.

For example, my WHY is pretty simple:  I want to improve the quality of life for as many people as I can for as long as I can.  So, I connect the work I do on a daily basis back to my WHY.  At work, I try to lift those around me, and I try to help customers succeed in amazing ways.

Habit #2: Change Your Beliefs About What’s Possible

I find that so many people don’t really lack motivation.  Instead, they lack models of what’s possible; they have limited beliefs of what’s achievable.  That’s why stories and role models can be so powerful—they open our eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities.

If you’ve ever seen a performance of the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats or Cirque du Soleil, you know what I mean.

If you want to be amazed by what people can do, flip through the Guinness Book of World Records.

You can draw from those around you for amazing stories of possibility. But if you come up dry, then don’t stop there.  Fill your head with books, movies, stories and scenes that remind you of the power of possibility.

Habit #3: Change Your Beliefs That Limit You

Limiting beliefs show up in our minds in insidious ways.  For example, we might whisper to ourselves:That’s not me; I can’t do that; or, I’m not good enough.

A popular story is about the flea in a jar.

If you put a lid on the jar, the flea bumps its head.  It will keep bumping its head all through the day, hour after hour.  Eventually, it will jump just shy of hitting its head.  Then, if you remove the lid, the flea will continue to jump below where the lid used to be.

Can the flea jump out of the jar?

It could if it didn’t have this new limiting belief.

Don’t be the flea in the jar.

Habit #4: Spend More Time In Your Values

This habit is like two-for-the-price-of-one.  Not only does it help you find your motivation, it also helps you live the good life.

But, first you need to find your values.

With your values in hand, you can connect your daily work back to your values.  For example, I value adventure, learning, and excellence.

When I lead a project, I don’t just drive the project.  I lead an epic adventure.

When I work on a task that I might not otherwise enjoy, I find a way to learn something new.  Better yet, I try to find somebody who can show me their favorite shortcuts or ways to do it better, faster, or cheaper.  The simplest value that I connect to is excellence.

Each new day gives me plenty of opportunities to master my craft and take things to the next level.

Habit #5: Surround Yourself With Catalysts

Just like there are some tasks that drain you and other tasks that excite you, there are people that drain you and people that catalyze you.

First and foremost though, make sure that you are your own catalyst.  Be a coach, not a critic.  When you fail, don’t beat yourself up.  Instead, look for the wisdom.  Don’t ask yourself, Why am I such an idiot?  Instead ask yourself, How can I do better next time?

Find the catalysts that lift you up and bring out the best in you.

You don’t have to overthink this one.  Simply identify the people that somehow give you energy and help you find your mojo.  It might be the way they focus on your unique gifts.  It might be the way they see what others don’t see.  It might be the way they say just the right words of encouragement that help you get back on your feet again or inspire you to take on the world.

Go get ‘em, Tiger!

Habit #6: Build Better Feedback Loops

Progress is progress no matter how small.  This is another powerful habit: if you can focus on progress, you improve both your happiness and your motivation.

After all, nothing defeats motivation like a lack of progress; no one wants to be a broken record that’s stuck on a track.

And what’s the key to progress?  Build better feedback loops.

There are three aspects of building better feedback loops:

  1. Tighten the feedback loop.   The closer you can have the feedback to the actual activity, the better.
  2. Make it accurate and relevant.  If it’s not relevant, then it’s noise.  If it’s not accurate, it doesn’t help.
  3. Focus on actionable insight. There’s no sense in getting feedback if you don’t have any way to act on it.

Have you ever been stuck on something and then suddenly somebody revealed to you the missing ingredient?

Not only was it an ‘aha’ moment, but you were probably excited about how this new discovery would help you be more effective, and you couldn’t wait to try it.

Create more moments like that and use feedback as your friend.

Habit #7: “Pull” Yourself With Compelling Goals

Tony Robbins jokes that if your goals don’t inspire you, you simply have “impotent goals.”

Imagine the goals that inspire you from the inside out.

Word your goals in such a way that they automatically “pull” you toward them.

If it feels like you are trying to “push” yourself, then there is something getting in the way. You could be experiencing a conflict of values or interests, internally or externally.  It could even be fear.  Or perhaps you just need a smaller hurdle to start with that you can easily jump and build your momentum.

Or maybe you need a big hairy audacious goal to inspire you and light a fire in your belly.

If a goal is imposed on you, don’t take it at face value.  Look at it as a gift and find the challenge that inspires you.

Frame the goal in such a way that you are drawn to both the outcome and the journey as an adventure that you will enjoy—challenges and all—as you reach for the brass ring.

Hopefully, what you notice here is just how much motivation and inspiration are inside jobs.  You don’t want to have to depend on people or external circumstances to light your fire for you.

Instead, learn how to push your own buttons and motivate yourself with skill.

I look forward to your stories of how you found your motivation mojo, got your eye of the tiger back, and found your personal way to thrive in work and life.

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JD <![CDATA[Do Customers Really Know What They Want?]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26102 2015-03-26T06:29:00Z 2015-03-24T15:08:56Z It’s tough to innovate when you don't know what your customers want. The challenge is, customers don't usually know what they want until they see it.

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“If you don’t listen to your customers you will fail.  But if you only listen to your customers you will also fail.” – Amazon slogan

It’s tough to innovate when you don’t know what your customers want.

The challenge is, customers don’t usually know what they want until they see it.

If you just ask customers what they want, this leads to incremental innovation.  Incremental innovation is a series of small improvements to your existing product to make it better, faster, or cheaper.

But radical innovation is when you create something completely new, or solve a problem in a completely different way.  And this takes exploring the art of the possible, and not getting stuck in the trap of limiting experiences.

In the book, The Four Lenses of Innovation: A Power Tool for Creative Thinking, Rowan Gibson reminds us how listening to your customers is necessary but insufficient if you want to create disruptive or radical innovation.

Customers Don’t Know What They Want Until You Show It to Them

People don’t always know what they want.  But they know it when they see it.   That’s what makes innovation so tough.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“However, innovating from the customer backward doesn’t just mean ‘listening to the voice of the customer.’  Of course it can be helpful to conduct market research, get customers to fill in a questionnaire, or run focus-group sessions.  But merely asking customers what they want or need doesn’t always yield the most inspiring or unique customer insights.  Why not? In an interview with Business Week in May 1998, Steve Jobs remarked: ‘It’s really hard to design products by focus groups.  A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’”

We are Prisoners of Our Own Experience

If you want to innovate, you have to break out of the box.  The problem is that our experience puts us back in the box.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“As we learned earlier in this book, all of us have a set of established patterns in our minds that give us a preconceived and very narrow understanding about what a particular product or service is, what it is meant to do, how exactly it does it, what it is supposed to look like, where its limitations are, and so on.  Most people find it extremely difficult to see outside of these patterns and imagine how things could or should be different.  The great American journalist Edward R. Murrow once said, ‘Everyone is a prisoner of his own experience.’  Management consultant Mohanbir Sawhney echoes these words when he writes, ‘to gain customer insights, we must understand that we are prisoners of what we know and what we believe.’”

Do You Want a Faster Horse or Something Completely Different?

We don’t want faster horses.  We want something to solve our problem in a completely different way.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“We have probably all heard the famous quote attributed to Henry Ford: ‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.’  Actually, research reveals no evidence that Ford ever uttered or wrote these words, but although this adage may be apocryphal it nonetheless makes a good point., and if Ford had asked such a question he probably would have received a very similar answer.  That’s because people tend to respond this way when asked about what they want or what they need.  They can quite easily tell you why they like or don’t like some existing thing, but they can rarely imagine or articulate a radically different solution.  So customers usually say things like, ‘Make it faster,’ ‘Make it cheaper,’ or ‘Make it easier to buy or use,’ rather than, ‘What I want is something  that solves my problem in a completely different way.’”

We Know What We Want, When We See It

The problem is we don’t know what that completely different way is, until we see it.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Nobody, for example, told Apple they wanted a translucent desktop computer, a cool MP3 player, an online music store, a revolutionary smart phone, an App Store, or a tablet computer, but once Steve Jobs showed us these amazing things we realized we definitely wanted them–and needed them.  Likewise, nobody was begging Google for a digital mapping service that would enable us to instantly find any spot on the planet, and then fly down to an address virtually and view it from the street. “

We Don’t Know What’s Possible

What do you want that doesn’t exist?  It’s hard to imagine.   But once it exists, it makes perfect sense.  And that’s the challenge of radical or disruptive innovation.

Via The Four Lenses of Innovation:

“Did you know you needed TiVo, Netflix, or YouTube? Do you remember wishing somebody would invent Amazon.com, eBay, or PayPal? Were you dying for a social media platform like Facebook or for Spotify’s streaming music service, , or for Pandora’s personalized Internet radio? When did you tell yourself you needed a mobile phone for connecting with taxis, private cars, and rideshare services like (Uber)? Or a home thermostat that learns your behaviors (Nest)? Or a cool set of DJ headphones for listening to your iPod (Beats by Dre)? All of these innovations were design to address needs that most of us are not even aware of, which is why we were not articulating them.  Or they gave us solutions we could never have imagined because we didn’t even know they were possible.”

If you want to improve something you’ve already got, ask people what they want.

If you want to change the game, don’t just ask people what they want–explore the art of the possible.

Innovate with your customers, but don’t wait for them to tell you what to do.

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Image by ImagineCup.

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JD <![CDATA[Momentum is Key in Physics, Sports, and Sales!]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26074 2015-03-09T06:07:06Z 2015-03-09T05:52:30Z This is a guest post by Robert Luckadoo on how to use momentum to succeed in everything you do. Robert is a motivational speaker, business consultant, and author of the book, Grit in Your Craw.

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Robert Luckadoo on how to use momentum to succeed in everything you do

Robert is a motivational speaker and business consultant.  

He is also the author of  Grit in Your Craw.  It’s a book about achieving your highest goals through resilience, tenacity, and flexibility, along with a sense of purpose, and an optimistic attitude.

Robert’s highest goals include realizing his potential in sports, sales, and startups, as well as helping others be their best.

No matter the challenge, Robert knows how to find a way to win, in business and in life.

On the sports side, Robert enjoys track and field, so to say.  Robert is a former owner and driver in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash and Winston Racing series.   On the field side, Robert has coached fast-pitch softball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.

On the business side, Robert has enjoyed many successful years in the financial industry.  He lives his purpose which is to educate, motivate, and inspire the agents he works with and to help them take their business, their agencies, and their careers to the next level.

Without further ado, here is Robert Luckadoo on how momentum is everything whether it’s physics, sports, or sales …

A Body In Motion, Stays in Motion

At one time or another, you’ve probably heard the phrase “A body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest.” In the physics world, this is Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, regarding something known as momentum.

In laymen’s terms, the gist of the law is that it’s really hard to get a body moving from a still position, but once it’s in motion and has a velocity of its own, it’s much easier to keep it going at that velocity.

Momentum Works in Sports, Too

In the world of athletics, momentum seems to work the same way. There are teams that are continually stuck in the mire, losing game after game.

No matter what they do, they remain at a standstill.

They might win a game or two but usually finish at the bottom of their conference or division. They can add a new quarterback—nothing. They can change coaching staffs—nothing. From a momentum standpoint, they don’t have any.

They’re not a body in motion, and no velocity means no wins. Then there are teams whose chemistry suddenly becomes perfect. They get on a roll and everything goes their way. Once they’re in motion, there’s almost nothing that can stop them.

It’s All About Momentum

This positive athletic momentum is exactly the means by which Jim Valvano’s 1983 North Carolina State men’s basketball team developed its chemistry toward the end of a relatively mediocre season and powered its way through the ACC conference tournament—past the Duke and UNC powerhouses—and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

And when they got there, their momentum prevailed.

They eked out several close wins in the initial rounds, acquiring the nickname “The Cardiac Pack,” and in one of the most incredible tournament finishes in NCAA history, they beat the Houston Cougars’ “Phi Slamma Jamma” team of human highlight reels to win the national basketball championship.

That year, for that team, it was all about momentum.

Late-Season Positive Momentum

Another example of late-season momentum in athletics is the story of the 2008 Super Bowl champions. That season, a mediocre New York Giants team, headed by quarterback Eli Manning, made it into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. They were 9-7 for the 2007 season, but they came on strong in the final weeks and earned a wild-card spot.

When the playoffs began, their chemistry gelled and they built momentum that they hadn’t been able to earlier in the season. Ultimately, those New York football Giants surprised the undefeated, twelve-point-favorite New England Patriots in what was arguably the biggest upset in Super Bowl history.

There’s absolutely no doubt that the Giants’ victory can be attributed to late-season positive momentum.

A Body at Rest, Stays at Rest

In sales as in physics and in sports, momentum is critical to a sales agent’s success. Agents often ask me, “What’s the key to being successful in sales?” And although there are many “keys” to success in any performance-based profession, one of my top answers is always “consistency.”

The reason can be found in Newton’s first law of physics: A body at rest will most likely remain at rest.

When it comes to performance-based professionals, particularly those in sales careers, making that first sale is like trying to push a stalled car that’s run out of gas. It’s very difficult to get that car moving. You push and push and push to no avail. But then, all of a sudden, it starts to roll.

You’ve done it!

Now, if you quit pushing, the car will stop rolling and go back to being a body at rest, of course, but once it’s moving, it’s so much easier to keep it moving.

Keep Your Momentum Rolling by Taking Consistent Action

Momentum is as important in the world of sales as it is in physics and athletics. Repeating the critical actions that allowed you to make the first sale is the consistency that will keep your momentum rolling, sale after sale after sale. Just like in athletics, consistency and positive momentum go hand in hand.

Think about your career as a salesperson.

Don’t you agree that it’s much easier to keep the sales rolling once you get the first few under your belt? Don’t you agree that it’s much easier to be successful if you consistently keep clients or cases in the “sales hopper” and never let that hopper run out of active cases to work on?

And don’t you agree that it’s terribly difficult to get the hopper full of leads again once you allow it to run out?

Momentum, Momentum, Momentum!

Momentum, momentum, momentum! A salesperson at rest stays at rest. A salesperson in motion—with clients to talk to, a “hit list” of hot prospects to call and a hopper full of cases in various stages of completion—will remain in motion.

But a salesperson with no leads, no prospects, no cases in the hopper and no positive momentum will probably fail to reach his or her personal sales goals and probably won’t be successful in a sales career.

Get Some Forward Momentum

So if your hopper is running low and your momentum is “at rest,” let’s get behind that stalled car, start pushing and get it moving forward. And once you get that first new sale under your belt, keep up the momentum by being consistent with your sales actions.

Continue to do the things that made you successful in that first sale—prospect, make appointments, follow up on leads, keep Ex-Dates. Keep your prospects and your contact list active and growing, and keep your hopper full of new client cases in various stages of completion.

If you do, the momentum of your successes will guarantee that your sales career will stay in motion, and you’ll make your manager proud—not to mention Sir Isaac Newton.

You can learn more about Robert on his blog at http://robertluckadoo.com/.

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JD <![CDATA[How To Defeat Peer Pressure]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=26051 2015-03-08T22:40:32Z 2015-03-08T22:07:33Z You can defeat peer pressure with one simple skill: Polite Doubt. When you express Polite Doubt, you give others permission to express their silent concerns, and defeat peer pressure.

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“There’s one advantage to being 102. There’s no peer pressure.” — Dennis Wolfberg

Peer pressure is when members of your peer group influence your emotions, opinions or behaviors.

Peer pressure is a powerful form of social influence–It can make smart people do dumb things.

You are not above peer pressure.

Peer pressure is not just for teenagers.  Research shows that two-thirds of the people will go along with the crowd, regardless of age, gender, or background.

The good news is that you can defeat peer pressure with one simple skill:
Polite Doubt

When you express Polite Doubt, you give others permission to express their silent concerns, and defeat peer pressure.

The Benefits of Following the Crowd

To be fair, there’s a good reason why peer pressure is such a powerful source of influence.   “Wisdom of the Crowd” helps us make better decisions as a group versus rely on a single expert opinion.

We’re also social creatures.

As social creatures, we are also social learners.  And fitting in is baked into our survival instincts.

But the downside is that we can fall prey to peer pressure and “Groupthink”.   When Groupthink happens, individuals in groups tend to be more dogmatic, they justify irrational actions, they are more likely to see their actions as highly moral, and they are more likely to form stereotypical views of outsiders.

So how can you get the benefits of the crowd, but avoid the downside that comes with peer pressure?

Defeat Peer Pressure by Expressing Polite Doubt

You can handle peer pressure with one simple skill: express Polite Doubt.

You don’t have to be an outcast to express your difference of opinion.

You simply have to express doubt in a respectful way.

You don’t have to scream and yell.  You don’t have to call others names.  You simply need to say that you see things differently.   For example, you might say, “Maybe I see it differently,” or “I guess I see it differently”, or “I might see it differently, but I think it’s…”

That’s enough to open the door for others to express their silent concerns.

By expressing doubt in a polite way, you avoid creating a polarizing effect, or escalating opinions into a win-lose war, or an emotional debate.

The Power of One

All it takes is one person to break the power of peer pressure.

When you’re the odd person out, you don’t have to stifle your concerns.

You simply need to express your concerns respectfully.

By expressing your concerns in a respectful way, other people see how they can chime in with their silent concerns.

One Simple Skill to Overcome Peer Pressure

In an experiment inspired by  Solomon Asch, David Maxfield and Joseph Grenny of VitalSmarts show how we can handle peer pressure with skill.

Here is the video of their peer pressure experiment:

Video: One Simple Skill to Overcome Peer Pressure, by The Behavioral Science Guys

In the experiment, you can see how two-thirds go with the wrong answer, but then, one person expresses Polite Doubt, and shifts the group to where  95% go with the right answer.

To get the most from the crowd, remind yourself to be open and respectful and encourage others to do the same.

It can be easy to doubt or second-guess yourself in a group.

But sometimes the way to find the truth is to doubt the crowd in a polite and respectful way.

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Image by Casa Fora do Elxo Minas.

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JD <![CDATA[Are You Willing to Change?]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25998 2015-03-03T17:17:14Z 2015-03-03T17:12:21Z It’s one thing to know how to change. It’s another to be willing to change. When you aren’t really willing to change, you get stuck in limbo. When you own your unwillingness, you can face your resistance.

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“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Leo Tolstoy

It’s one thing to know how to change.

It’s another to be willing to change.

When you aren’t really willing to change, you get stuck in limbo.  You tell others, or even yourself, how you will “try” to change.

But you don’t really mean it with a whole body YES.

When you own your unwillingness, you can face your resistance.   When you face your resistance, you can do something about it.

When you admit you are unwilling to change, you’ll be surprised how the excuses disappear and the truth comes out.

In The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, authors Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp help leaders get out of limbo and create change in themselves and help others so the same.

Willingness to Change

Everybody might say they want to change.   But few are actually willing.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

”It all comes down to willingness.  Willingness to change is every different from knowing how to change, or further still, truly wanting to change.  Many, many people want to change, but most are not willing to change.”

“I Don’t Know How” is an Excuse

Confront your unwillingness.  “I don’t know how” is often an excuse to avoid your resistance.

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership,

“What in your life do you want to change? Make a list.

Now ask yourself, ‘am I willing to change? Am I really willing to change?’

At this point, you might find yourself saying, ‘I’m willing but I don’t know how.’  And we’d say that this is just an excuse to avoid your resistance.  If you’re like many of he people we work with, you’d get frustrated, even angry, when we challenge your willingness. 

But we don’t do others or ourselves any favors by giving them temporary relief from their unwillingness to face their unwillingness.  In fact, we think that one of a coach’s core commitments is to lovingly hold pressure to help others confront their resistance.”

We Think We’re Willing to Change

Our ego tries to protect us.  It helps us think we’re willing to change, when we’re really not.

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership,

“Remember that the ego/identity is powerful (and that’s good).  It doesn’t want to let go of control and step into the unknown.  It equates control with security and safety.  One way it most likes to stay in control is to allow us to think we’re willing to change when we’re really not.”

“Trying” is Wanting Credit for Something You’ll Never Do

Trying is not the same as willing.   You “try” when you want credit for something you don’t really intend to do.   As Yoda said, “Do. Or do not.  There is no try.”

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership,

“You might also here yourself say, I’ll try.  I’ll try to change.’  Our mentor and friend Hale Dwoskin says, ‘Trying is wanting credit for something you never intend to do.’  So true.  When asked by friends if you’ll stop by after work for a drink, you find yourself saying, ‘I’ve got a lot to do before I leave, and my kid is not feeling well, but I’ll try.’  You want credit from your friends for ‘trying’ but you never honestly plan to join them.  You might even want to stop by, but the reality is that you’re unwilling to go.”

Own Your Unwillingness

When you own your unwillingness, things get real, real fast.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“When we coach leaders and teams, we often ask them these specific questions to support them facing their unwillingness to change.  Surprising things happen when a person owns their unwillingness and simply says, ‘I’m unwilling.’”

Test Your Willingness to Change with Willingness Questions

You can test how willing you are to change with a simple set of questions.  The key is to answer the questions, as honestly as you can.  Don’t try and fool yourself.  The truth is for you.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

Are you willing to take 100% responsibility (not more or less than 100% responsibility) for this issue?
Are you willing to stop blaming and criticizing others and yourself?
Are you willing to let go of being right?
Are you willing to get more interesting in learning than defending your ego?
Are you willing to fell all of your authentic feelings?
Are you willing to stop all gossip about this issue?
Are you willing to clear up all past issues with all relevant parties?
Are you willing to clean up all broken agreements related to this issue?
Are you willing to shift from entitlement to appreciation about this issue?
Are you willing to let go of taking this issue seriously?
Are you willing to see that the opposite of your story is as true as or truer than your story?
Are you willing to welcome and release all wanting of approval, control, and security?
Are you willing to let go of win/lose (competing) and lose/lose (compromising) views regarding this issue?
Are you willing to create authentic win-for-all resolutions for this issue?
Are you willing to be the resolution that you are seeking regarding this issue?

Limbo Happens When We Don’t Own Our Unwillingness

We put ourselves into limbo when we think we want to change, but we aren’t really willing to change.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“Any answer other than a whole body YES reveals a lack of willingness.  This is not a bad thing.  The ego will want to make it bad, but it is not.  It is just the suchness (as the Buddhists say) of where you are and it’s prefect.  Even so, if we don’t face and own our resistance, we can stay stuck forever.  We call it being in limbo: thinking we are willing yet not facing that we are really more committed to staying where we are than to shifting.  We tell leaders all the time that the first step to willingness is owning—fully owning—our unwillingness.”

We Need More Motivation

The way to break free from limbo is to add more motivation.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“When we own our resistance, we see that we simply need more motivation, more vision or dissatisfaction.  This is not a problem.  It is just what is so in this moment.”

So now, let me ask it again, or rather, you should ask yourself:

Are you willing to change?

Let me leave you with perhaps one of the most profound insights on personal change by Reinhold Niebuhr

“Change is the essence of life; be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

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JD <![CDATA[Thrive on Optimism]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25932 2015-02-28T19:30:32Z 2015-02-28T19:18:26Z Let eternal optimism be your driving force. Don’t let people who thrive on misery bring you down. And don’t bring yourself down. Thrive on optimism.

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“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell

Let eternal optimism be your driving force.

Don’t let people who thrive on misery bring you down.  And don’t bring yourself down.

Thrive on optimism.

Eternal optimism is the fire that burns inside our hearts and minds.  Eternal optimism is the hope inside that helps us enjoy the setting sun, as we look forward in anticipation to the dawn of a new day.

And eternal optimism is the force that helps us find the silver lining in every dark cloud.

In the book, Grit In Your Craw: The 8 Strengths You Need to Succeed in Business and in Life, Robert Luckadoo gives us some insight and perspective on the power of eternal optimism.

Don’t Ever Give Up

Coach Jim Valvano had eternal optimism, and reminded us to do the same.  Even when he battled a very aggressive form of bone cancer, which took his life.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“During his battle with this terrible disease, he said something that still gives me chills: ‘Don’t give up … Don’t ever give up.’

And his inspirational final speech, delivered during the 1993 ESPY Awards, was even more moving. 

‘I’ve just got one last thing,’ he said in closing.  ‘I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have.  To spend each day with some laughter, and some thought to get your emotions going.  To be enthusiastic every day.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm.’  To keep your dreams alive in spirit of problems, whatever you have.  The ability to be able t work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality.’”

Eternal Optimism is the Fire that Burns Inside

Eternal optimism is the fire that burns inside our hearts, minds, and souls.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“As performance-based professionals, we all need to watch Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech from time to time.  The eternal optimism evident in his words was the fire that had burned inside the hearts, minds, and souls of that 1983 NCAA-champion basketball team.

The team, that against all odds, found ways to overcome deficits, eke out unbelievable wins, and somehow prevail against stronger opponents.  So much of what Jim said in that speech can be applied to the sales profession and to our careers as managers.  You can pull off virtually any feat  with an optimistic, enthusiastic, energetic attitude.”

Carry Your Vision with Great Enthusiasm

Use your eternal optimism to help you make the best of every situation, no matter how bleak.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“People want to buy from someone who’s excited about what they’re selling.  People want to be led by someone who’s excited about their mission and excited about leading.

Carry your vision with great pride and enthusiasm.  Go into every  day with an optimistic outlook, and always check your troubles at the door to your office.  And most important, when you’re out on sales appointments or dealing with your staff, bring lots of energy with you.

Not every appointment is going to work out the way you planned.  Not every encounter with a client or an employee is going to be a positive one.  But as the leader, as the agent, as the sales person, you have some control over the situation.  You have the power to make the best of the situation.  Turn the part you can control into something positive.”

Beware of People Who Thrive on Misery

Some people thrive on eternal optimism.  Other people thrive on eternal misery.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“Within your office, your company and your life, there are always going to be people who thrive on misery.  You know who I’m talking about–those naysayers who see the worst case scenario in every situation and drag you right into the middle of it.  I bet you can name a few without having to think very hard. 

They’re the ones with the perpetual scowls on their faces. 

They’re the ones who have a smirk or a negative comment for everything.  They’re the ‘time sucks’  who plop down in your office every morning and try to convince you how bad the company is, how awful your supervisors are and how life generally stinks.  Have somebody in mind yet?”

Don’t Get Pulled Down by Negative People

Don’t let negative people and the people who thrive on misery pull you down.

It’s a fast spiral down.

Use your eternal optimism to rise above the miserable, and to light the way for others.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“Well, don’t get pulled into that cesspool of misery.  Run as far as you can.  These negative people are like human quicksand.  If you dip your toe into the mire, you might be lost forever.  If you spend time with these pessimistic drama-lovers, their misery will creep into your own life.  It’s your career, your family’s livelihood, your life.  Don’t let these negative people convince you that your life is any less spectacular than it is.”

Let Eternal Optimism Be Your Driving Force

Use your eternal optimism to be a driving force in your life, and an inspiration and strength for others.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“Make a point to be a source of positive energy at your office every day.  Let eternal optimism be your driving force.  Let your light shine as a positive beacon for your product, your office, and your company.  Be a role model, a supporter, an a cheerleader for a colleague, and try to find a role model in your industry who can support you. 

Even the most positive people sometimes need support.

You’ll be amazed to see how success follows from optimism and  a positive attitude.  When you’re positive and optimistic, your colleagues will notice, your super-visors will notice and your clients will notice.”

Let me be the first to say that I have good days, and I have bad days.

And I have ups and downs in my days.

But what helps in all cases is starting off with a bit of optimism, and embracing it wherever I can.

Today.  And, each day.

Here are some wise words from A.A. Milne, to remind us how to do that:

“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”

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Image by Martin Fisch.

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JD <![CDATA[Purpose and the Business Mind]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25911 2015-03-16T03:55:32Z 2015-02-26T20:42:37Z When you combine purpose with a business mind, the world is your oyster. I’m reading The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind, where author Valeh Nazemoff talks about purpose and the business mind.

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

Purpose.  It’s powerful.

When you combine purpose with a business mind, the world is your oyster.

I’m reading The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind, where author Valeh Nazemoff talks about purpose and the business mind.

It resonates with my philosophy on applying purpose and passion to business and work, so I’ll share some of Nazemoff’s insights, along with my perspective.

Turn Your Purpose into Passion Work and a Passion Business

A good business mind can turn purpose into a passion business or “passion work”, as my friend puts it.  Good business minds find ways to do more “passion work,” while creating an exchange of value with others.

Passion work is the work that makes you come alive.

You can find your passion work by blending your purpose and what you would do for free, with what people would pay you for.

Personally, I found a way to breathe new life into my work by striving to continuously answer the following question:

“What do I want to spend more time doing?”

I also found a way to do more passion work by living my values.   This helps me be more of me, and bring more of me, wherever I go.

And a big part of what drives me is that I want to improve the quality of life for as many people as I can, as long as I can.  So I try to connect my work to that purpose to energize whatever I do.

The Power of a Business Mind

I’ve learned to really appreciate and respect the power of a business mind.

Passion and purpose are one thing, but building a strong business mind can help you recognize, identify, and pay attention to opportunities and value.

A well-trained business mind is skilled at creating and capturing value.

A well-trained business mind also knows how to think in terms of systems, sustainability and growth.

Too many good ideas for the world, die because they lack a business mind behind them.

I’ve seen too many good ideas die a slow and painful death, whether it’s the case of the brilliant, mis-understood genius, or simply an idea that the market wasn’t ready for,

And, then, I’ve seen the same ideas get reborn and brought to life by a person with a creative business mind that knows how to create a customer and serve a market, and really tap into pains, needs, and desired outcomes.

And the best business minds do it with purpose and passion and with the greater good in mind.

What You Would Do for Free + What Would People Pay You For?

A business mind knows how to create a customer and how to create an exchange of value.  A business mind knows how to turn purpose and passion into profit, in a meaningful way.
As one of my mentors put it bluntly, “I didn’t really know whether my ideas were any good until people paid me for them.”  He continued, “A good test of your idea is: what will people pay you for?”

It’s good to test the market value of your ideas.

Sure, my Mom like the ashtrays I made her in art class, but I don’t think anybody would have paid me for them.

An effective business mind knows how to combine work you would do for free, with what people would pay you for.

A Business Mind is Captivating

When you have a strong business mind, you do engaging work, and you can inspire others by turning ideas into value generating systems and ecosystems.   You create platforms for value creation.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“You can easily tell when someone has a business mind.  Someone who has their business mind switched to ‘on’ typically works with passion and purpose.  They are fully present and love their work.  The people they engage with experience the full joy that radiates from them.  Their ebullient, positive energy is captivating.  They are finding deep pleasure in their business and life.  They are in harmony with themselves and in their surroundings.”

A Business Minds Has Long-Term and Short-Term Vision

A business mind can see things the way they are, as well as the way things should be, or could be, and can explore the art of the possible.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“People with a business mind also possess long-term as well as short-term vision.  They set their goals higher and desire bigger business outcomes.  Many think that bigger outcomes always equate with money, but upon diving deeper, it usually turns out that is not the reason.”

Do What that Makes You Come Alive

You can combine purpose and business to create value in ways that engage all of you, while changing the world, or at least, your world.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“For example, my personal purpose is to spend quality time with my grandparents and mother; to visit my brother when and for how long I desire to; to work with programs that help support those with mental disabilities and disease; to empower future generations; to travel the world; to passionately dance; to share smiles and laughter with those who cross my path; to uplift, motivate, and inspire many; and to resonate love and compassion.”

Grow a Business While Fulfilling a Purpose

Your business can be a by-product of fulfilling your purpose.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“To fulfill my purpose, I realized I needed money, but I also knew that I needed to make some conscious changes.  They weren’t easy and didn’t happen overnight, but eventually I decluttered and simplified my business.  I moved my company to the cloud, so I could work where and when I chose.

I know feel more focused and much healthier and happier with where I am in my life.  I now have time to do more things I really love to do.  I get to help people change their lives and businesses.  This book, in fact, fulfills part of my purpose to make a difference and create new opportunities for others.”

You Can Have Multiple Purposes

Don’t get locked in on one purpose.  You can have multiple purposes to inspire your way forward.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“Keep in mind that you can have multiple purposes, which can evolve and change over time.  Just make sure that whatever your purpose is, you are conscious of it every day and dedicate at least some of your activities to meeting your goals.”

How can you develop and use the power of your business mind to help you bring your purpose to life?

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Image by Pedro Ribiero Simoes.

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JD <![CDATA[Customer Intelligence]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25854 2015-02-24T18:49:45Z 2015-02-24T18:28:36Z Customer Intelligence is the ability to rethink and redefine how you attract and maintain your ideal customer.

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“There is only one valid definition of a business purpose: to create a customer.” — Peter Drucker

Too many individuals and businesses lose sight of the customers they serve.

They get internally focused.

They don’t’ take an outside-in view.

And, most importantly, they lose empathy for the pains, needs, and desired outcomes of their customers.

If you want to develop an advantage you can use in business and to advance your career, Customer Intelligence is it.

Customer Intelligence is the ability to rethink and redefine how you attract and maintain your ideal customer.

Customer Intelligence is one of the four intelligences that Valeh Nazemoff identifies in her book, The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind.

Develop a Clear Image of Your Ideal Customer

To take the first step toward building your Customer Intelligence, you need develop and communicate a clear understanding of your ideal customer.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“The first step in Customer Intelligence is to develop a clear image–for your self and your organization– as to who your customers are.  The first question to ask yourself is ‘Who is your ideal customer?’

Ask Questions to Reveal Your Ideal Customer

Nazemoff suggests asking questions to improve your Customer Intelligence.  You can ask questions about your ideal customer so that you can put together a composite visual image of who exactly your customer really is.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

How old are they?
What are their hobbies?
What’s their favorite TV show/movie?
What industries are they in?
What departments do they fall under?
What are their job functions and responsibilities?
Are they members of trade associations? Which ones?
What is their education level?
Who are they partnered with professionally?
What trade or industry magazines do they read?
What general interest magazines, blogs, and web sites do they read?
What are their favorite products?
What types of services do they believe in?
Whom do they follow or admire on social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook?
What charities do they support?

Tune In, Focus, and Clarify Your Customer

While it might seem like a lot of work or a waste of time, you’ll actually gain new insights as you improve your quality.  It’s all part of building your Customer Intelligence.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“It is important to go through this exercise.  Before developing these questions, I believed the whole process was rather tedious and a waste of my time.  Contrary to my initial thought, I find that it helps me tune in, focus, and bring clarity about who I am serving, and how to market to them.”

Example of Using Customer Intelligence

Personas are a way to bring your customers to life, by giving them a name and a rich story of “a day in the life.”   By creating personas for your customers, you improve your Customer Intelligence because you get very specific about your customer’s pains, needs, and desired outcomes.

You create empathy.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“Janet Wood, Executive Vice President of Talent and Leadership at SAP, created a version of her ideal customer and found it extremely valuable.  She did this through a workshop offered by Design Thinking from the Design School at Stanford University.  She says, ‘The one that I was in, a two-day workshop, really focused on attracting and developing talent in SAP.  It really changed the game and what we’ve been trying to do…Our customers were really our employees and potential employees.  You create personas… You literally go to the point of saying ‘Okay, this persona, her name is Susan, she lives in San Francisco and she just graduated with a BS degree in computer science.  She’s got a boyfriend.  She’s working as a waitress during the summer, and she is trying to decide on x.’ You go on to create this whole ideal construct.”

Put Yourself n the Mindset of the Ideal Customer

Practice increasing your Customer Intelligence by stepping into your customer’s shoes.

When you can put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer, you can find ways to be more relevant.   By really having empathy, by really knowing your customer’s pains, needs, and desired outcomes, you can directly address them.

You can get creative with ways to serve your customer and help them achieve their wants, needs, and desires.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“Wood’s goal was to figure out how SAP could be the most attractive to their ideal candidate’s–the best new graduates in the job market.  The trick was, just as it is in Customer Intelligence, to put herself in the mindset of her ideal customer.”

Break Free from Being Too Internally Focused

Practice building your Customer Intelligence by taking an outside-in view, and really walking the customer experience journey.

This will help you break away from being too internally focused and it will help you build better empathy for your customer.   This will help you shape your story and approach to be more relevant in surprising ways.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“SAP found this exercise so useful that they began to do it with their customers, to help them figure out how to maximize their opportunities with the people they are either currently selling to or the people they want to sell to.  ‘It really gets them thinking about their products and their services and the customer experience in a way that they may not have before, because all of us, even our customers, can get very internally focused,’ she says.”

Do you know who your customers really are?

Do you really know who you serve and how well can you articulate their pains, needs, and desired outcomes?

Increasing your Customer Intelligence, becoming a customer advocate, and sharing the Voice of the Customer will serve you well throughout your career.

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