Archive for December, 2010

TRAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Train Your Customers with tags , , , on December 30, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders…in particular, one of my favorites, SETH GODIN.

TRAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS by Seth Godin

Yes, you can train them. By rewarding some behaviors over others, by keeping some promises not others, by having some expectations instead of others, you get the audience you deserve. Some things you can train customers to do:

• Be respectful
• Be patient
• Keep their satisfaction to themselves
• Be selfish
• Be focused on a superstar
• Demand personal service
• Be calm
• Never settle for the current iteration
• Be cheap
• Embrace acceptance
• Spread the word
• Expect pampering
• Demand free
• Be eager to switch brands to save a buck
• Value and honor long-term loyalty
• Be skeptical

The customers you fire and those you pay attention to all send signals to the rest of the group.

by Seth Godin

If you’d like a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with me, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

THE MIRACLE OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT by Jim Rohn

Posted in General Management, Life Management, The Miracle of Personal Development with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders, especially the late, great JIM ROHN.

THE MIRACLE OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT by Jim Rohn

One day Mr. Shoaff said, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

Since that time I’ve been working on my own personal development. And I must admit that this has been the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting?” Instead, you should ask, “What am I becoming?” Getting and becoming are like Siamese twins:

What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle.

If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development.

So here’s the great axiom of life:

— TO HAVE MORE THAN YOU’VE GOT, BECOME MORE THAN YOU ARE —

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

— UNLESS YOU CHANGE HOW YOU ARE, YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE WHAT YOU’VE GOT —

– Jim Rohn

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

TWO PRINCIPLES FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS by Brian Tracy

Posted in General Management with tags , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

TWO PRINCIPLES FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS by Brian Tracy

There are two great principles for achieving financial success. The first Principle is what we call the law of attraction. The law of attraction says that you are a living magnet. It says that your thoughts create a force field of energy that radiates out from you and attracts back into your life people and circumstances in harmony with them. Any thought you have, combined with an emotion, positive or negative, radiates out from you and attracts back into your life the people, circumstances, ideas and opportunities consistent with it.

HOW TO ATTRACT THE SUCCESS YOU DESIRE

Many people feel that this is perhaps the most important of all mental laws. It says that if you have a very clear idea in your mind of your desired goal, to become wealthy, and you can hold that idea in your mind on a continuing basis, you will inevitably draw into your life the resources that you need in order to achieve it. Every person who has become wealthy or successful has become wealthy and successful as a result of holding the idea of wealth and success in their mind long enough and hard enough, until they drew into their lives the resources they needed to accomplish it.

YOUR WORLD REFLECTS YOUR THOUGHTS
The second principle is called the law of correspondence. This mental law is very powerful. It says, “as within, so without.” It says that your outer world is like a mirror that reflects back to you what is going on in your inner world. And this law of correspondence says that everything that happens outside of you corresponds to something that’s going on inside of you. When we say that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world, we mean both at a conscious and at a subconscious level.

VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS CLEARLY
If you consciously believe that you have the ability to achieve your goals and you can hold a picture of those goals clearly in your mind long enough and hard enough, eventually your outer world will correspond with it.

THREE REFLECTIONS OF SUCCESS
There are three places where we see this law of correspondence. First of all, your outer world of people will correspond exactly with your own attitude. You will always see your attitude reflected back to you in the faces and the behaviors of the people around you. If you have a positive, optimistic attitude, people will respond to you almost immediately, even before you open your mouth, in a positive and cheerful way.

RELATIONSHIPS SHOW YOU WHO YOU ARE

The second area where we see the law of correspondence is in your relationships. Your relationships will always mirror back to you exactly the kind of a person you are. When you are happy and optimistic and at peace, your relationships will be happy and harmonious and loving. But when your thinking is disrupted or negative for any reason, consciously or unconsciously, this will be immediately reflected in your relationships.

INNER AND OUTER WEALTH
The third place you see the law of correspondence is with regard to your wealth. Your external world of wealth and financial accomplishment will be a mirror image of your inner world of preparation. The only part of the equation that you can control is your conscious thoughts, and if you can keep your conscious thoughts on what you want, on your images of wealth and affluence, eventually your external world of reality and experiences will reflect it back to you.

ACTION EXERCISES
Here are two things you can do to apply these principles in your financial life:

First, guard your thoughts carefully. Whatever you think about, combined with the emotions of desire or fear, you will attract into your life. Be sure that you are attracting what you want by continuing to think only about what you want.

Second, keep feeding your mind with new information, ideas and pictures of the person you want to be and the life you want to live. By creating this inner attitude of mind, you change the outer aspects of your reality.

– Brian Tracy

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

FORTY-SIX ‘SECRETS’ AND ‘CLEVER STRATEGIES’ FOR DEALING WITH THE RECESSION by Tom Peters

Posted in "Forty-six 'Secrets’ and 'Clever Stratgies' for Dealing with the Recession" by Tom Peters, General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , , , on December 22, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

FORTY-SIX ‘SECRETS’ AND ‘CLEVER STRATEGIES’ FOR DEALING WITH THE RECESSION by Tom Peters

I am constantly asked for “strategies”/”secrets” for surviving the recession. I try to appear wise and informed—and parade original, sophisticated thoughts. But if you want to know what’s really going through my head, see the list that follows:

You come to work earlier.

You leave work later.

You work harder.

You may well work for less; and, if so, you adapt to the untoward circumstances with a smile—even if it kills you inside.

You volunteer to do more.

You dig deep, deeper, deepest—and always bring a good attitude to work. You fake it if your good attitude flags.

You literally practice your “game face” in the mirror in the morning, and in the mid-morning.

You give new meaning to the idea and intensive practice of “visible management.” You take better than usual care of yourself and encourage others to do the same—physical well-being significantly impacts mental well-being and response to stress. You shrug off shit that flows downhill in your direction—buy a shovel or a “preworn” raincoat on eBay.

You try to forget about “the good old days”—nostalgia is self-destructive. (And bores others.)

You buck yourself up with the thought that “this too shall pass”—but then remind yourself that it might not pass any time soon, and so you rededicate yourself to making the absolute best of what you have now.

You work the phones and then work the phones some more—and stay in touch with and on the mind of positively everyone.

You frequently invent breaks from routine, including “weird” ones—”changeups” prevent wallowing and bring a fresh perspective.

You eschew all forms of personal excess.

You simplify.

You sweat the details as never before.

You sweat the details as never before.

You raise to the sky and maintain at all costs the Standards of Excellence by which you unfailingly and unflinchingly evaluate your own performance.

You are maniacal when it comes to responding to even the slightest screw-up.

You find ways to be around young people and to keep young people around—they are less likely to be members of the “sky is falling” school.

You learn new tricks of your trade.

You pass old tricks of the trade on to others—mentoring matters now more than ever.

You invest heavily in your computer-Internet-Web2.0-“cloud” skills. You remind yourself that this is not just something to be “gotten through”—it is the Final Exam of Competence, Character, and, even if you’re not a boss, Leadership.

You network like a demon.

You network like a demon inside the company—get to know more of the folks who “do the real work” and are/can be your most important allies when it comes to getting things done seamlessly and fast.

You network like a demon outside the company—get to know more of the folks “down the line” who “do the real work” in vendor/customer outfits and can be your biggest allies and champions.

You thank others by the truckload if good things happen—and take the heat yourself if bad things happen.

You behave kindly, but you don’t sugarcoat or hide the truth—humans are startlingly resilient, and rumors are the real killers.

You treat small successes as if they were World Cup victories—and celebrate and commend accordingly.

You shrug off the losses (ignoring what’s going on in your tummy), and get back on the horse and immediately try again.

You avoid negative people to the extent you can—pollution kills.

You eventually read the gloom-sprayers the riot act. (Gloom is the ultimate WMD at a time like this.)

You give new meaning to the word “thoughtful.”

You don’t put limits on the budget for flowers—”bright and colorful” works marvels.

You redouble, re-triple your efforts to “walk in your customer’s shoes.” (Especially if the shoes smell.)

You mind your manners—and accept others’ lack of manners in the face of their strains.

You are kind to all mankind.

You keep your shoes shined.

You leave the blame game at the office door.

You call out the congenital politicians in no uncertain terms.

You become a paragon of personal accountability.

And then you pray.

*As many were quick to point out, this list works just as well in good times as in bad!

– Tom Peters

UBIQUITOUS DISTRIBUTION IS OVERRATED by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Ubiquitous Distribution is Overrated with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders…in particular, one of my favorites, SETH GODIN.

UBIQUITOUS DISTRIBUTION IS OVERRATED by Seth Godin

Some industries (like book publishers and analgesic makers) believe that they best serve their audience when the product is available everywhere. It’s pretty rare to find a book that’s only available in one chain of bookstores, or a pain reliever that’s only in one sort of drugstore.

The thing is, scarcity creates value. You can’t get a Pepsi at McDonald’s. You can’t buy Hermes at Target. By limiting choice, you can create value. Exclusivity is often underrated.

– Seth Godin

If you’d like a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with me, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

CAN PEOPLE COUNT ON YOU? by Sandy Allgeier

Posted in General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

CAN PEOPLE COUNT ON YOU? by Sandy Allgeier

If people don’t trust you, they won’t hire you, do business with you or spend time with you. Most of us try to be true to our word, but it’s easy to make accidental, seemingly minor missteps that cause others to have doubts about our reliability. Among the most common…

* Breaking appointments or arriving late. Some people see nothing wrong with rescheduling appointments or arriving 20 minutes late. But this form of not keeping promises makes others doubt whether we can be trusted.

Example: You tell a friend that you are looking forward to seeing him — then reschedule the meeting three times. Or whenever you meet your friend, you’re late. Even if your reasons are valid, the friend might wonder whether you truly value the relationship.

Strategy:
If you are chronically late, allow more time in your schedule for the activities that tend to take longer than you expect. If you are chronically rescheduling appointments because of “emergencies,” reevaluate what constitutes an emergency or incorporate open time into your schedule so that you can cope with emergencies without canceling other commitments.

* Being messy or disorganized. Some disorganized people chronically fail to live up to their responsibilities simply because they lack a system for keeping track of them. Others manage to get things done despite their cluttered desks or homes — but people who aren’t messy often assume that messiness is a sign of unreliability.

Example: If your tidy boss knows that your work space is disorganized, he’s more likely to view any small error in your work as a sign that your job performance is messy and unreliable, too.

Strategy: Keep your work space neat, particularly if you have a tidy boss, colleague or client who has access to it.

* Allowing personal matters to intrude on work time. If friends or family members call or e-mail you regularly during your workday, your bosses, colleagues and clients might question your commitment to work.

Example: Your boss notices that you often make long personal phone calls and concludes that you can’t be trusted to work hard without close supervision.

Strategy: Ask friends and family members to contact you only on your personal cell phone. Check your cell-phone messages at lunch and during breaks.

* Failing to follow through on “minor” promises. Most of us have more trouble living up to our minor promises than our major ones. We mean to live up to all of our promises, but small ones are easily forgotten. Though our memories, not our morals, are to blame, those around us still might question whether we can be trusted.

Example: Borrow $10,000 from a friend, and you’ll certainly remember to pay back the loan. Borrow $10, and the debt might slip your mind.

Strategy: If minor matters often slip your mind, jot down your promises, commitments and debts on a calendar or planner as soon as you make them.

* Keeping people in the dark about a decision-making process. People tend to feel deceived or ignored when others make decisions that seem to go against what has been promised.

Example: A construction company allows its employees to purchase leftover building materials at low prices after projects are completed. One time, surplus materials could not be made available because a client requested the surplus. The employees were not told this and assumed that the boss had gone back on his word.

Strategy: Let those affected by your decisions know why you are making those decisions, even when you have every right to make the decisions without letting them know.

* Exhibiting body language that doesn’t match your words. People don’t hear only what we say — they also subconsciously monitor our facial expressions and gestures. When our words don’t match our body language, they sense that we can’t be trusted.

Example: You tell a friend that you are excited about her business idea, but you’re tired and distracted and your body language conveys disinterest.

Strategy: Your body language will match your words if you always pay complete attention during conversations — and if you’re being honest when you speak.

* Thinking out loud when others think you’re making decisions. You might be talking yourself through the options, but those listening could mistake your musings for decisions — then question your honesty when you later choose a different path.

Example: You chat with a friend about taking a vacation together. The friend mistakes this preliminary chat for a firm commitment.

Strategy: Preface your thinking out loud with phrases such as, “I’m just talking through ideas here,” or “I need to confirm that this is feasible.”

– Sandy Allgeier

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

GIVE WHAT YOU GET…GET WHAT YOU GIVE by Jack Canfield

Posted in General Management, Give What You Get…Get What You Give, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

GIVE WHAT YOU GET…GET WHAT YOU GIVE by Jack Canfield

There are laws at work in the universe regarding the flow of energy. As money is energy, it follows the same laws. The Law of Attraction concerns the cycle of giving and getting. You give what you want to get. What you put out in the world comes back to you. The universe gives you things and when you give them back you complete the flow of energy.

Giving back is spiritual in nature. Take an inventory of all that you have now and all that you get everyday. Are you grateful for it? Giving back is a way of saying Thank You to the universe. It creates a sense of alliance with the universal laws of abundance. There is enough for everyone; you need not hoard what is given to you. When you give back you are sending out an energetic message that you acknowledge that you have enough and you have a heart of gratitude for all that has come your way. When you give back you open yourself to receive more.

Giving back, or tithing, can come in different forms. It can come in the form of money, which is typically 10% of your gross income. Tithing your money should be a humble experience. Tithing shouldn’t be done whimsically. Think carefully about where you get your spiritual energy. What group, person, or organization keeps you spiritually inspired? It can be different every month, but there are sources in your life that keep you spiritually enlightened. Giving money to these sources keeps them going for you. You put into motion a powerful cause and effect. You are sending your appreciation in the form of dollars they can use to keep being a source of spiritual growth.

Giving back money truly does create space in your life to receive more money. When you provide a space in your life for what you want, it gets filled with that very thing. But tithing isn’t simply about giving so you will get more. Tithing is all about gratitude and admitting that you are truly blessed for what you’ve already received.

However, there is the Law of Attraction in the universe. All energy circulates like weather. If you take all you get without giving back you create an energy imbalance, blocking its natural process. Wealth will not be able to flow to you or from you. When you give, you open yourself up to get it back. You allow the energy of abundance to flow to you and to flow from you.

Another way to give back is through your time. Serving through volunteer work creates the same flow of energy in your life. Volunteering also has many advantages that can help you achieve your success. Volunteer work provides a way for you to network with others who serve. You open yourself to new opportunities by meeting people you otherwise would not have met. You might even get offered a new opportunity simply by exposing the world to the skills that you possess. Even young people who volunteer are more likely to end up landing higher paying jobs than their peers who don’t serve.

You can develop new skills by volunteering, thereby getting a free education through service. You’ll build your self-esteem by being productive, learning new skills, and creating a large network of relationships. Just as giving money, though, be sure to give your time to organizations that speak to you. You’ll feel so much more committed and have a greater sense of contentment when you are part of a group that you truly believe in.

Giving back is a trait that successful people share. Trust the energy of abundance. Give a portion of what you are given and discover for yourself how such a simple act can powerfully affect your life.

– Jack Canfield

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

LIVING WITH DOUBT by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Living With Doubt with tags , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders…in particular, one of my favorites, SETH GODIN.

LIVING WITH DOUBT by Seth Godin

Living with doubt

… is almost always more profitable than living with certainty.

People don’t like doubt, so they pay money and give up opportunities to avoid it. Entrepreneurship is largely about living with doubt, as is creating just about any sort of art.

If you need reassurance, you’re giving up quite a bit to get it.

On the other hand, if you can get in the habit of seeking out uncertainty, you’ll have developed a great instinct.

– Seth Godin

If you’d like a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with me, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

NINE THINGS MORE IMPORTANT THAN CAPITAL by Jim Rohn

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Nice Things More Important Than Capital with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

NINE THINGS MORE IMPORTANT THAN CAPITAL by Jim Rohn

When starting any enterprise or business, whether it is full-time or part-time, we all know the value of having plenty of capital (money). But I bet we both know or at least have heard of people who started with no capital who went on to make fortunes. How? You may ask.

Well, I believe there are actually some things that are more valuable than capital that can lead to your entrepreneurial success. Let me give you the list.

1. Time.

Time is more valuable than capital. The time you set aside not to be wasted, not to be given away. Time you set aside to be invested in an enterprise that brings value to the marketplace with the hope of making a profit. Now we have capital time.

How valuable is time? Time properly invested is worth a fortune. Time wasted can be devastation. Time invested can perform miracles, so you invest your time.

2. Desperation.

I have a friend Lydia, whose first major investment in her new enterprise was desperation. She said, “My kids are hungry, I gotta make this work. If this doesn’t work, what will I do?” So she invested $1 in her enterprise selling a product she believed in. The $1 was to buy a few fliers so she could make a sale at retail, collect the money and then buy the product wholesale to deliver back to the customer.

My friend Bill Bailey went to Chicago as a teenager after he got out of high school. And the first job he got was as a night janitor. Someone said, “Bill, why would you settle for night janitor?” He said, “Malnutrition.” You work at whatever you can possibly get when you get hungry. You go to work somewhere — night janitor, it doesn’t matter where it is. Years later, now Bill is a recipient of the Horatio Alger award, rich and powerful and one of the great examples of lifestyle that I know. But his first job — night janitor. Desperation can be a powerful incentive. When you say – I must.

3. Determination.

Determination says I will. First Lydia said, “I must find a customer.” Desperation. Second, she said, “I will find someone before this first day is over.” Sure enough, she found someone. She said, “If it works once, it will work again.” But then the next person said, “No.” Now what must you invest?

4. Courage.

Courage is more valuable than capital. If you’ve only got $1 and a lot of courage, I’m telling you, you’ve got a good future ahead of you. Courage in spite of the circumstances. Humans can do the most incredible things no matter what happens. Haven’t we heard the stories? There are some recent ones from Kosovo that are some of the most classic, unbelievable stories of being in the depths of hell and finally making it out. It’s humans. You can’t sell humans short. Courage in spite of, not because of, but in spite of. Now once Lydia has made 3 or 4 sales and gotten going, here’s what now takes over.

5. Ambition.

“Wow! If I can sell 3, I can sell 33. If I can sell 33, I can sell 103.” Wow. Lydia is now dazzled by her own dreams of the future.

6. Faith.

Now she begins to believe she’s got a good product. This is probably a good company. And she then starts to believe in herself. Lydia, single mother, 2 kids, no job. “My gosh, I’m going to pull it off!” Her self-esteem starts to soar. These are investments that are unmatched. Money can’t touch it. What if you had a million dollars and no faith? You’d be poor. You wouldn’t be rich. Now here is the next one, the reason why she’s a millionaire today.

7. Ingenuity.

Putting your brains to work. Probably up until now, you’ve put about 1/10 of your brainpower to work. What if you employed the other 9/10? You can’t believe what can happen. Humans can come up with the most intriguing things to do. Ingenuity. What’s ingenuity worth? A fortune. It is more valuable than money. All you need is a $1 and plenty of ingenuity. Figuring out a way to make it work, make it work, make it work.

8. Heart and Soul.

What is a substitute for heart and soul? It’s not money. Money can’t buy heart and soul. Heart and soul is more valuable than a million dollars. A million dollars without heart and soul, you have no life. You are ineffective. But, heart and soul is like the unseen magic that moves people, moves people to buy, moves people to make decisions, moves people to act, moves people to respond.

9. Personality.

You’ve just got to spruce up and sharpen up your own personality. You’ve got plenty of personality. Just get it developed to where it is effective every day, it’s effective no matter who you talk to – whether it is a child or whether it is a business person – whether it is a rich person or a poor person. A unique personality that is at home anywhere. My mentor Bill Bailey taught me, “You’ve got to learn to be just as comfortable, Mr. Rohn, whether it is in a little shack in Kentucky having a beer and watching the fights with Winfred, my old friend or in a Georgian mansion in Washington, DC as the Senator’s guest.” Move with ease whether it is with the rich or whether it is with the poor. And it makes no difference to you who is rich or who is poor. A chance to have a unique relationship with whomever. The kind of personality that’s comfortable. The kind of personality that’s not bent out of shape.

And lastly, let’s not forget charisma and sophistication. Charisma with a touch of humility. This entire list is more valuable than money. With one dollar and the list I just gave you, the world is yours. It belongs to you, whatever piece of it you desire whatever development you wish for your life. I’ve given you the secret. Capital. The kind of capital that is more valuable than money and that can secure your future and fortune. Remember that you lack not the resources.

– Jim Rohn

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

LIFE WOULD BE EASY… IF IT WEREN’T FOR COMMUNICATION DIFFERENCES by Connie Podesta

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Life Would Be Easy...If It Weren't For Communication Differences with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

LIFE WOULD BE EASY… IF IT WEREN’T FOR COMMUNICATION DIFFERENCES by Connie Podesta

Sometimes it seems that folks just don’t get it. No matter what you say or how you say it, they simply don’t have a clue – and don’t seem too worried about getting one either! It’s not their nature to understand; that’s just how they “are.” Maybe so, but more often than not, the problem is a result of a communication breakdown.

In this digitally inter-connected world, you’d think we could “fix” such basic differences. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as plugging another device into the system. Maybe they’re the problem. Maybe you are. We all know difficult people – and, in fact, we can all be the difficult person.

A little background on communication styles can help us understand the issues and learn how to alter our approach to eventually make life a little easier for both parties.

The Basics

Every time we speak, we choose and use one of four basic communication styles: assertive, aggressive, passive and passive-aggressive.

Assertive Communication

The most effective and healthiest form of communication is the assertive style. It’s how we naturally express ourselves when our self-esteem is intact, giving us the confidence to communicate without games and manipulation.

When we are being assertive, we work hard to create mutually satisfying solutions. We communicate our needs clearly and forthrightly. We care about the relationship and strive for a win/win situation. We know our limits and refuse to be pushed beyond them just because someone else wants or needs something from us. Surprisingly, assertive is the style most people use least.

Aggressive Communication

Aggressive communication always involves manipulation. We may attempt to make people do what we want by inducing guilt (hurt) or by using intimidation and control tactics (anger). Covert or overt, we simply want our needs met – and right now! Although there are a few arenas where aggressive behavior is called for (i.e., sports or war), it will never work in a relationship. Ironically, the more aggressive sports rely heavily on team members and rational coaching strategies.

Passive Communication

Passive communication is based on compliance and hopes to avoid confrontation at all costs. In this mode we don’t talk much, question even less, and actually do very little. We just don’t want to rock the boat. Passives have learned that it is safer not to react and better to disappear than to stand up and be noticed.

Passive-Aggressive Communication

A combination of styles, passive-aggressive avoids direct confrontation (passive), but attempts to get even through manipulation (aggressive). If you’ve ever thought about making that certain someone who needs to be “taught a thing or two” suffer (even just a teeny bit), you’ve stepped pretty close to (if not on into) the devious and sneaky world of the passive-aggressive.

So now what?

Clearly, for many reasons, the only healthy communication style is assertive communication. Surely you can identify many people in your own life that favor each of the four styles. Most of us use a combination of these four styles, depending on the person or situation. The styles we choose generally depend on what our past experiences have taught us will work best to get our needs met in each specific situation. If you take a really good look at yourself, you’ve probably used each throughout your lifetime.

Understanding the four basic types of communication will help you learn how to react most effectively when confronted with a difficult person. It will also help you recognize when you are using manipulative behavior to get your own needs met. Remember, you always have a choice as to which communication style you use. If you’re serious about taking control of your life, practice being more assertive. It will help you diffuse anger, reduce guilt and build relationships – both personally and professionally.

Take Action!

Begin to pay attention to which communication styles you use throughout the day. How often do you use a communication style other than assertive?

Watch and identify the communication styles some of the difficult people in your life use. Can you begin to notice how others use manipulative techniques to get their way.

– Connie Podesta

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