Dr. Laura Schlessinger tells the following story: “Guy comes to the guru in the road and says, “Guru, which way is success?” Guru points off silently, because gurus don’t talk when they’re wearing white robes.
Guy goes off in that direction and then you hear SPLAT. Guy comes back, a little bloody, a little worn, his hair’s messed up. Says, “Guru, which way is success?” Guru points in the same direction. Guy takes off.
Bigger SPLAT! this time. Guy comes back crawling, nails broken and bleeding, dragging himself along the ground. This time he grabs the guru by the collar, yanks him about and says, “Guru, which way is success?”
Guru points off in the same direction. Guy gets hostile and crazed and yells, “I went that way twice and all I got was SPLAT SPLAT!”
“What is the way to success?” Guru finally speaks.” Success is that way, he says, “Just a little bit past SPLAT.
There is a saying that ” The power to shape the future is earned through persistence.” No other quality is as essential to success. No matter what endeavour you choose, persistence is what will overcome all obstacles.
In your communication campaigns it will be persistence in getting the message across that will be the deciding factor in achieving a successful outcome.
As a consultant it will be the value you add on a daily basis. Every step, every effort and every inch helps. In training we know that repetition is the mother of skill.
As Nike says: “Just do it!”
One of my all-time favourite quotes is this :
” The power to shape the future is earned through persistence. No other quality is more important to success. It is the sandpaper that breaks down all resistance and sweeps away all obstacles. It is the ability to move mountains one grain at a time”.
This ties in nicely with the poster on my wall depicting a Chinese proverb:
“The man who moved a mountain is the one who started taking away the small stones”
Persistence is about little steps. Removing or moving little stones.
The ability to think on your feet is an important skill, as this story illustrates:
Two lawyers arrive at the pub and ordered a couple of drinks. They then take sandwiches from their briefcases and began to eat.
Seeing this, the angry owner approaches them and says, ‘Excuse me, but you cannot eat your own sandwiches in here!’
The two look at each other, shrug and exchange sandwiches.
A Primary Skill for a Reputation Manager is the ability to communicate professionally in many circumstances and conditions.
However we all think we are capable communicators whilst the receivers of our communication sometimes differ from opinion.
Let’s really see just how valid this contention is.
Here is an oldie but goodie self – test that you can take to measure your ability to communicate.
Instructions for Self-Test
Print yourself a copy of the test. Then complete it within 4 minutes. This is sufficient time if you concentrate and work rapidly. Let’s go.
1. Read everything before doing anything.
2. Print your name in the upper right-hand corner.
3. Circle the work “name” in sentence two.
4. Draw two small squares in the upper left-hand corner.
5. Put an X in each square.
6. Sign your name under the title.
7. After the title, write “yes”.
8. Put a circle around each work in sentence six.
9. Put an “X’ in the upper left-hand corner of this paper.
10. Draw a triangle around the “X” you just put down.
11. On the reverse side of this paper, multiply 703 by 9,805.
12. Draw a rectangle around the work “paper” in sentence nine.
13. Callout your first name when you get to this point in the test.
14. If you feel that you have followed directions up to this point, callout “I have”.
15. On the reverse side of this paper add 8,850 and 9,805.
16. Put a circle around your answer in No. 15, put a square around the circle.
17. Count out loud in your normal speaking voice, backwards from 10 to 1.
18. Now that you have finished reading carefully, do only sentences one and two.
How did you fare?
For me personally, travelling to other countries and reading outside my discipline helps. That’s why once a week I try and visit a local bookshop, with the aim of just browsing through those areas that I seldom visit.
It is when this happens that new ideas are blooded.
Like the following story, which by the way comes via the book Power Yoga by Beryl Birch.
The poor frog – always in stories, even used in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche.
“Confined in the dark, narrow cage of our own making which we take for the whole universe, very few of us can even begin to imagine another dimension of reality. Patrul Kinpoche tells the story of an old frog who had lived all his life in a dank well.
One day a frog from the sea paid him a visit.
“Where do you come from?” asked the frog from in the well.
“From the great ocean,” he replied.
“How big is your ocean?”
“You mean about a quarter the size of my well here?”
“Bigger? You mean half as big?”
“No, even bigger.”
“Is it . . . as big as this well?”
‘There’s no comparison.”
“That’s impossible! I’ve got to see this for myself”
They set off together. When the frog from the well saw the ocean, it was such a shock that his head just exploded into pieces.
The moment we change someone’s worldview – be it through knowledge sharing or direct confrontation things happen!
In the book A Whack on the side of the Head, Dr Roger von Oech says that sometimes we all need a whack on the side of the head.
What will you do to change your own world view BEFORE someone has to hit you over the head?
There is also another angle that everyone should consider in their learning curve. To use an analogy the river runs deep in place, wide in others and shallow in some areas.
Thus some speakers or trainers will use different approaches, styles and techniques. This is all welcome.
A Few years ago there was a study conducted amongst the top 25 salesmen in the world. To what did they signify their success – CPD. Continuous Professional Development. When they asked one of the old timers why he attends the ABC of Selling courses once a year , his reply was – Athletes go back to basics, I sharpen my saw and who knows, the instructor, may just say something that will provide me with a breakthrough with my next client.
The point I am making is that the cycle of learning moves from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence (normally depicted as 4 stages). However there is a fifth stage and that is the one called Unlearning. If you are prepared to unlearn and understand that the mother of skill is repetition , then you will attend as many workshops, seminars and conferences as possible.
You will read as many books as possible. If you want to learn the art and science of making love, don’t just read sex magazines and books but also read about the Kama Sutra and tantric sex.
That way you will become like a sponge and be someone that can call on many ideas, theories and street smart skills.
This is one of those days. Sitting trying to find the words to write a blog post that would get me more readers.
I know that my tone sometimes are too serious and sound theoretical at times, but then I am always reminded of the words that there is nothing as practical as a good theory.
This is where my new tool Writemonkey is brilliant. By providing me with a black blank screen and just a green cursor, I have no option but to let my creative juices flow. (Thanks to Brian Solis for this link).
Many years ago I read this book called Writing from Both Sides of the Brain. In this book the author describes a technique of writing using a blank pen (one who has no more ink), using carbon paper between two sheets of paper.
By not being able to see what you are writing, you are effectively shutting of the left brain – the editing side.
She then explained why it is useful to use this technique first thing in the morning. She explained that by starting to write everything that comes to mind iro of how silly it may seem, creativity will be stimulated.
I have used that technique with great effect. I do a Mind Map about an upcoming presentation just before I go to bed and then start to write first thing in the morning. In that writing, I normally discover a number of nuggets of wisdom and my speech just about completed.
Brain Scientists and Accelerated Learning experts call this the Reticular Activating System at work. While you are asleep, your brain in effect does some filing and filtering and through that filing create associations in the brain.
Apparently your reticular activating system is like a filter between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. It takes instructions from your conscious mind and passes them on to your subconscious. For example, the instruction might be, "listen out for anyone saying my name".
Simply put, your RAS is a filter within your brain which determines which information that is taken in will actually be noticed by your conscious mind. Your brain can process over four hundred billions bits of information per second, but you are only consciously aware of about two thousand. Your RAS is responsible for determining which bits of information are the lucky two thousand that get noticed out of the four hundred billion.
The RAS sorts through the information based on similar information patterns already established in your brain.
Let’s say there are hundreds of conversations going on in the room, it is hard to hear any of them specifically. All of a sudden you hear someone across the room say your name, how could you have possibly heard it through all the noise?
The answer is your RAS sorted through all of the other conversations which it determined as unfamiliar and unimportant to you, but upon hearing your name, sent the message directly to your conscious mind.
Basically the Reticular Activation System is how the Law of Attraction works. We get what we focus on; we create what we think about and the RAS system of our brains just helps this process along.
By doing a mind map the night before, you activate the RAS to do that filing and link every thing together.
All you need to do the next morning is to get it out (Retrieval) and where I used to use paper, I now use my new tool, WriteMonkey.
And using these techniques I am curing writer’s block.
One of the people that had the biggest impact on my life and career was a small Italian professor called Leo Buscaglia. All though I never had the opportunity to meet him, his videos and books influenced my life. (Especially the book – Living, Loving & Learning)
In one of his videos he recited a poem that struck us all with its message. Apparently it was written by someone whose loved one did not return from Vietnam.
DO IT NOW – LEO BUSCAGLIA
Remember the time I borrowed your brand new car and I dented it,
I thought you’d kill me – but you didn’t
And remember the time I asked you to take me to the beach And you said it would rain,
And it did –
I thought you’d say I told you so – but you didn’t
And the time I forgot to tell you that the dance was formal –
And you showed up in jeans – I thought you’d tell me how angry you were – But you didn’t
And the time I flirted with all the guys to make you jealous
And you were -
I thought you’d leave me – but you didn’t
And the time I spilled Blueberry Pie on your brand new car rug,
I thought you’d smack me – but you didn’t.
Yes there were lots of things you didn’t do
But you loved me, and you cared for me, and you put up with me
And there were so many things I wanted to do for you when you came back from Vietnam – But you didn’t.
If there is something you need to do, do it now, because tomorrow may never be there