Archive for April, 2011

THE FIRST STEP FOR GETTING BETTER RESULTS by Jim Rohn

Posted in General Management, Life Management, The First Step For Getting Better Results with tags , , , on April 26, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

THE FIRST STEP FOR GETTING BETTER RESULTS by Jim Rohn

How dramatically we can change our results is largely a function of imagination. In 1960, it was a technological impossibility for man to travel into outer space. Within ten years, however, the first man stepped out onto the surface of the moon. The miraculous process of converting the dream into reality began when one voice challenged the scientific community to do whatever was necessary to see to it that America “places a man on the moon by the end of this decade.” That challenge awakened the spirit of a nation by planting the seed of possible future achievement into the fertile soil of imagination. With that one bold challenge the impossible became a reality.

– THE SAME PRINCIPLE APPLIES TO EVERY OTHER AREA OF OUR LIFE! –

Can a poor person become wealthy? Of course! The unique combination of desire, planning, effort and perseverance will always work its magic. The question is not whether the formula for success will work, but rather whether the person will work the formula. That is the unknown variable. That is the challenge that confronts us all. We can all go from wherever we are to wherever we want to be. No dream is impossible provided we first have the courage to believe in it.

– Jim Rohn

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

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WHAT TO SAY TO A JERK by Mark Goulston, MD

Posted in General Management, Life Management, What to Say to a Jerk with tags , , , , on April 22, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

WHAT TO SAY TO A JERK by Mark Goulston, MD

Communication is challenging enough with the “normal” people in your life — the ones who want to cooperate and make life better for everyone. When you are forced to deal with jerks — people who don’t care about social give-and-take — communication can seem next to impossible, leaving you drained and upset.

Jerks tend to trigger powerful negative emotional reactions that take a long time to recover from and that interfere with clear thinking.

As a psychiatrist, I refer to jerks as “toxic people.”

If being around a toxic person is having a destructive effect on your physical or emotional health, you may need to get that person out of your life completely. But in many cases, you can “neutralize” the negative effect that a toxic person has on you. Here, simple ways to do it…

Recognize when a person is toxic. Everyone can be uncooperative and selfish some of the time — and the techniques in this article can work during those times. But a toxic person is different from a person who is just having a bad day.

Toxic people have a distinctive view of life. They perceive the world as having cheated them out of something or as owing them something. Nothing good that happens to them changes that perception for long.

In contrast to healthy people, who feel entitled to what they deserve… and neurotics, who do not feel entitled to what they deserve… toxic people feel entitled to what they don’t deserve. They do not play by the usual rules of getting along with others. They feel justified in taking, with no compulsion to give.

This belief system reveals itself in different ways for different types of toxic people. A toxic bully may aggressively push others around to get his/her way, whereas a toxically needy person may feel entitled to have his hand held constantly or insist that other people fight his battles. Bullies scream and demand. Toxically needy people whine and complain.

Adjust your expectations. We expect people to behave reasonably, and the shock that we feel when toxic people do not do so can be quite painful.

Toxic people sometimes may appear to be caring and cooperative. This behavior will last only until they get what they want. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they have changed.

In addition, the strategies that usually work with nontoxic people — such as empathizing or appealing to fairness — do not work with toxic people.

Once you have identified a person as toxic, your smartest move is to protect yourself from being blindsided. Expect the person to act solely in his own interests even when he appears to be kind and caring.

Hold part of yourself back. Toxic people get what they want by pushing others off balance. They do so by acting in ways that trigger rage, fear, guilt and other strong emotions in others. Remind yourself not to get emotionally engaged. This is their issue, not yours.

Helpful: Pause before responding. No matter what the toxic person says or does, make a practice of waiting several seconds or more before you reply. Stay calm.

The longer you wait before responding, the more the toxic person may escalate his behavior. For example, he may get even angrier or whine even more. But the behavior is less likely to upset you, because you are keeping your emotional distance.

WHAT TO SAY TO A JERK

Three good responses to nearly every type of toxic person…

“Huh?” This one word can stop a jerk in his tracks. Use a mild, neutral tone of voice. Do this when the toxic person says something utterly ridiculous but acts as if he is being perfectly reasonable. This response conveys that what the toxic person is saying doesn’t make sense. It works because it signals that you are not engaging with the content of what he said.

“Do you really believe what you just said?” Use a calm, straightforward tone, not a confrontational one. This question works because toxic people often resort to hyperbole to throw others off balance. They are prone to using the words “always” and “never” to drive home their points. However, don’t expect the toxic person to admit that he is wrong. He is more likely to walk away in a huff — which is fine because then you won’t have to waste more energy dealing with him.

“I can see how this is good for you. Tell me how it’s good for me.” This response is a useful way to deal with a toxic person’s demands. If he stalls or changes the subject, you can say, “Since it’s not clear how this is good for me, I’m going to have to say no.”

Here are other responses to specific types of toxic people…

BYE TO BULLIES

A bully gets what he wants by scaring other people. Even when he is behaving himself, his presence triggers fear because you never know when he will explode.

What to do…

Disengage: Most bullies use words and tone of voice as their weapons. Say silently to yourself, This person is not going to physically harm me. Picture his words as rubber bullets that, instead of hitting you between the eyes, zoom over your shoulder. Caution: If there is any possibility that the person may be physically violent, leave at once.

Respond: Take a deep breath, and say out loud, “Ah, geez, this is going to be a long conversation” or “You gotta be kidding” (said mockingly to show that the bully hasn’t scared or offended you).

Whatever the bully’s reaction — whether he demands an explanation or continues to attack — you can calmly say, “You’re upset, I’m starting to shut down, and before we get to anything constructive, the sun is going to set, and then we’re going to have to start all over again tomorrow because I don’t see us reaching any conclusion.”

If he keeps pushing and says, “I am not upset — you’re just not listening,” you say, “Nah, forget it, it’s gone, gone… the opportunity even to get into a conversation is gone, finito, flew the coop.” The bully eventually will give up.

You can repeat this approach the next time. If the bully says, “Don’t try that with me again,” you just say, “Sorry, I find this exhausting, and I need to preserve my energy. If you can figure out a way to talk with me instead of at me, I’m willing. Until then, count me out.” Then walk away — which will be easy once you let go of the expectation that you will ever reach a win-win solution with this person.

NEUTRALIZE NEEDY PEOPLE

Unlike people who have a healthy need for others, toxically needy people expect constant help and attention and often use guilt to get it. No matter how much you do for them, it is never enough. They act like victims, suck you dry and leave you feeling depressed and incompetent because nothing ever gets better for them.

What to do…

Disengage: Imagine that the needy person has a hook that he is trying to snag you with, but the hook has missed you.

Respond: A needy person might say in a nails-on-a-chalkboard voice, “It’s not fair.” Pause and calmly but firmly say, “It is completely fair to everyone that it affects.”

GIVE IT TO TAKERS

The taker constantly asks you for favors but never seems to have the time or energy to pitch in when you need help. Whereas needy people make you feel as if they are sucking you dry, takers make you feel as if they are grabbing at you.

What to do…

Disengage: Picture the taker as a child grabbing at you to get your attention. Imagine yourself calmly tapping him on the wrist and saying, “Now, now, wait your turn.”

Respond: Make a mental list of ways the taker could help you. The next time he asks for a favor say, “Sure! And you can help me out by… ” If he balks, say, “I assume you don’t mind doing a favor for me in return, right?”

Insist on a quid pro quo each time, and the taker will soon move on to an easier target.

8 SIGNS OF A JERK

A toxic person…
1. Interrupts.
2. Doesn’t take turns.
3. Takes advantage of people who are down.
4. Gloats in victory.
5. Is sullen in defeat.
6. Is not fair.
7. Lacks integrity.
8. Is the kind of person you’ll avoid if you possibly can.

– Mark Goulston, MD
http://markgoulston.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

SEVEN STEPS TO ACHIEVING YOUR DREAM by Chris Widener

Posted in Life Management, Seven Steps to Achieving Your Dream with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

SEVEN STEPS TO ACHIEVING YOUR DREAM by Chris Widener

“Vision is the spectacular that inspires us to carry out the mundane.” — Chris Widener

Can achievement be broken down into steps? Well, it isn’t always that clean and easy, but I do know that those who achieve great things usually go through much of the same process, with many of the items listed below as part of that process. So if you have been struggling with achievement, look through the following and internalize the thoughts presented. Then begin to apply them. You will be on the road to achieving your dream!

1. Dream it – Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. They dared to dream, to believe that it was possible. Take some time to allow yourself to ask “What if?” Think big. Don’t let negative thinking discourage you. You want to be a “dreamer.” Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family, and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow cold, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go. (Also, check out my article “Dare to Dream Again,” Which has been read by close to a million people in the last 4 months alone. You can see it at the website.)

2. Believe it – Yes, your dream needs to be big. It needs to be something that is seemingly beyond your capabilities. But it also must be believable. You must be able to say that if certain things take place, if others help, if you work hard enough, though it is a big dream, it can still be done. Good example: A person with no college education can dream that he will build a 50 million-dollar a year company. That is big, but believable. Bad example: That a 90 year-old woman with arthritis will someday run a marathon in under 3 hours. It is big alright, but also impossible. She should instead focus on building a 50 million-dollar a year business! And she better get a move on!

3. See it – The great achievers have a habit. They “see” things. They picture themselves walking around their CEO office in their new 25 million-dollar corporate headquarters, even while they are sitting on a folding chair in their garage “headquarters.” Great free-throw shooters in the NBA picture the ball going through the basket. PGA golfers picture the ball going straight down the fairway. World-class speakers picture themselves speaking with energy and emotion. All of this grooms the mind to control the body to carry out the dream.

4. Tell it – One reason many dreams never go anywhere is because the dreamer keeps it all to himself. It is a quiet dream that only lives inside of his mind. The one who wants to achieve their dream must tell that dream to many people. One reason: As we continually say it, we begin to believe it more and more. If we are talking about it then it must be possible. Another reason: It holds us accountable. When we have told others, it spurs us on to actually do it so we don’t look foolish.

5. Plan it – Every dream must take the form of a plan. The old saying that you “get what you plan for” is so true. Your dream won’t just happen. You need to sit down, on a regular basis, and plan out your strategy for achieving the dream. Think through all of the details. Break the whole plan down into small, workable parts. Then set a time frame for accomplishing each task on your “dream plan.”

6. Work it – Boy, wouldn’t life be grand if we could quit before this one! Unfortunately the successful are usually the hardest workers. While the rest of the world is sitting on their couch watching re-runs of Gilligan’s Island, achievers are working on their goal – achieving their dream. I have an equation that I work with: Your short-term tasks, multiplied by time, equal your long-term accomplishments. If you work on it each day, eventually you will achieve your dream. War and Peace was written, in longhand, page by page.

7. Enjoy it – When you have reached your goal and you are living your dream, be sure to enjoy it. In fact, enjoy the trip too. Give yourself some rewards along the way. Give yourself a huge reward when you get there. Help others enjoy it. Be gracious and generous. Use your dream to better others. Then go back to number 1. And dream a little bigger this time!

– Chris Widener

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

THE MOST IMPORTANT MEETINGS YOU’LL ATTEND ARE THE MEETINGS YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF by Denis Waitley

Posted in General Management, Life Management, The Most Important Meetings You’ll Ever Attend Are the Meetings You Have With Yourself with tags , , , , on April 20, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

THE MOST IMPORTANT MEETINGS YOU’LL ATTEND ARE THE MEETINGS YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF by Denis Waitley

You are your most important critic. There is no opinion so vitally important to your well being as the opinion you have of yourself. As you read this you’re talking to yourself right now. “Let’s see if I understand what he means by that… How does that compare with my experiences? – I’ll make note of that – try that tomorrow – I already knew that…I already do that.” I believe this self-talk, this psycholinguistics or language of the mind can be controlled to work for us, especially in the building of self-confidence and creativity. We’re all talking to ourselves every moment of our lives, except during certain portions of our sleeping cycle. We’re seldom even aware that we’re doing it. We all have a running commentary in our heads on events and our reactions to them.

• Be aware of the silent conversation you have with yourself. Are you a nurturing coach or a critic? Do you reinforce your own success or negate it? Are you comfortable saying to yourself, “That’s more like it”. “Now we’re in the groove.” “Things are working out well.” “I am reaching my financial goals.” “I’ll do it better next time.”

• When winners fail, they view it as a temporary inconvenience, a learning experience, an isolated event, and a stepping-stone instead of a stumbling block.

• When winners succeed, they reinforce that success, by feeling rewarded rather than guilty about the achievement and the applause.

• When winners are paid a compliment, they simply respond: “Thank you.” They accept value graciously when it is paid. They pay value in their conversations with themselves and with other people.

A mark of an individual with healthy self-esteem is the ability to spend time alone, without constantly needing other people around. Being comfortable and enjoying solitary time reveals inner peace and centering. People who constantly need stimulation or conversation with others are often a bit insecure and thus need to be propped up by the company of others.

Always greet the people you meet with a smile. When introducing yourself in any new association, take the initiative to volunteer your own name first, clearly; and always extend your hand first, looking the person in the eyes when you speak.

In your telephone communications at work or at home, answer the telephone pleasantly, immediately giving your own name to the caller, before you ask who’s calling. Whenever you initiate a call, always give your own name up front, before you ask for the party you want and before you state your business. Leading with your own name underscores that a person of value is making the call.

Don’t brag. People who trumpet their exploits and shout for service are actually calling for help. The showoffs, braggarts and blowhards are desperate for attention.

Don’t tell your problems to people, unless they’re directly involved with the solutions. And don’t make excuses. Successful people seek those who look and sound like success. Always talk affirmatively about the progress you are trying to make.

As we said earlier, find successful role models after whom you can pattern yourself. When you meet a mastermind, become a master mime, and learn all you can about how he or she succeeded. This is especially true with things you fear. Find someone who has conquered what you fear and learn from him or her.

When you make a mistake in life, or get ridiculed or rejected, look at mistakes as detours on the road to success, and view ridicule as ignorance. After a rejection, take a look at your BAG. B is for Blessings. Things you are endowed with that you often take for granted like life itself, health, living in an abundant country, family, friends, career. A is for accomplishments. Think of the many things you are proud of that you have done so far. And G is for Goals. Think of your big dreams and plans for the future that motivate you. If you took your BAG – blessings, accomplishments and goals – to a party, and spread them on the floor, in comparison to all your friends and the people you admire, you’d take your own bag home, realizing that you have as much going for yourself as anyone else. Always view rejection as part of one performance, not as a turndown of the performer.

And, enjoy those special meetings with yourself. Spend this Saturday doing something you really want to do. I don’t mean next month or someday. This Saturday enjoy being alive and being able to do it. You deserve it. There will never be another you. This Saturday will be spent. Why not spend at least one day a week on You!

Action Idea: Go for one entire day and night without saying anything negative to yourself or to others. Make a game of it. If a friend or colleague catches you saying something negative, you must put fifty cents in a drawer or container toward a dinner or evening out with that person. Do this for one month and see who has had to pay the most money toward the evening.

– Denis Waitley

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING (Showing up for Life) from DailyOM

Posted in "Actively Participating (Showing up for Life)" from DailyOM, Life Management with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING (Showing up for Life) from DailyOM

Showing up for your life means actively participating in our own life rather than hiding and going through the motions.

The way we walk into a room says a lot about the way we live our lives. When we walk into a room curious about what’s happening, willing to engage, and perceiving ourselves as an active participant with something to offer, then we have really shown up to the party. When we walk into a room with our eyes down, or nervously smiling, we are holding ourselves back for one reason or another. We may be hurting inside and in need of healing, or we may lack the confidence required to really be present in the room. Still, just noticing that we’re not really showing up, and having a vision of what it will look and feel like when we do, can give us the inspiration we need to recover ourselves.

Even if we are suffering, we can show up to that experience ready to fully engage in it and learn what it has to offer. When we show up for our life, we are actively participating in being a happy person, achieving our goals, and generally living the life our soul really wants. If we need healing, we begin the process of seeking out those who can help us heal. If we need experience, we find the places and opportunities that can give us the experience we need in order to do the work we want to do in the world. Whatever we need, we look for it, and when we find it, we engage in the process of letting ourselves have it. When we do this kind of work, we become lively, confident, and passionate individuals.

There is almost nothing better in the world than the feeling of showing up for our own lives. When we can do this, we become people that are more alive and who have the ability to make things happen in our lives and the lives of the people around us. We walk through the world with the knowledge that we have a lot to offer and the desire to share it.

– DailyOM
http://www.dailyom.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

THE AGENDA by Seth Godin

Posted in The Agenda with tags , , , , , on April 17, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

THE AGENDA by Seth Godin

The job of the CEO isn’t to check things off the agenda. Her job is to set the agenda, to figure out what’s next.

Now that more and more of us are supposed to be CEO of our own lives and careers, it might be time to rethink who’s setting your agenda.

– Seth Godin

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

BE A PERSON WHO PRACTICES NON-SITUATIONAL INTEGRITY by Denis Waitley

Posted in "Be a Person Who Practices Non-Situational Integrity" by Denis Waitley, General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

BE A PERSON WHO PRACTICES NON-SITUATIONAL INTEGRITY by Denis Waitley

Integrity, a standard of personal morality and ethics, is not relative to the situation you happen to find yourself in and doesn’t sell out to expediency. Its short supply is getting even shorter, but without it, leadership is a faade. Learning to see through exteriors is a critical development in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Sadly, most people continue to be taken in by big talk and media popularity, flashy or bizarre looks, and expensive possessions. They move through most of their years convinced that the externals are what count, and are thus doomed to live shallow lives. Men and women who rely on their looks or status to feel good about themselves inevitably do everything they can to enhance the impression they make – and do correspondingly little to develop their inner value and personal growth. The paradox is that the people who try hardest to impress are often the least impressive. Puffing to appear powerful is an attempt to hide insecurity.

In the Roman Empires’ final corrupt years, status was conveyed by the number of carved statues of the gods displayed in people’s courtyards. As in every business, the Roman statue industry had good and bad sculptors and merchants. As the empire became ever more greedy and narcissistic, the bad got away with as much as they could. Sculptors became adept at using wax to hide cracks and chips in marble and most people couldn’t discern the difference in quality.

Statues began to weep or melt under the scrutiny of sunlight or heat in foyers. For statues of authentic fine quality, carved by reputable artists, people had to go to the artisan marketplace in the Roman Quad and look for booths with signs declaring sine cera, which translates in English to mean, without wax. We, too, look for the real thing in friends, products, and services. In people, we value sincerity, from the words, sine cera, more than almost any other virtue. We expect it from our leaders, which we are not getting in our political, media, business and sports’ heroes for the most part. We must demand it of ourselves.

Integrity that strengthens an inner value system is the real human bottom line. Commitment to a life of integrity in every situation demonstrates that your word is more valuable than a surety bond. It means you don’t base your decisions on being politically correct. You do what’s right, not fashionable. You know that truth is absolute, not a device for manipulating others. And you win in the long run, when the stakes are highest. If I were writing a single commandment for leadership it would be, “You shall conduct yourself in such a manner as to set an example worthy of imitation by your children and subordinates.” In simpler terms, if they shouldn’t be doing it, neither should you. I told my kids, “clean up your room,” and they inspected the condition of my garage. I told them that honesty was our family’s greatest virtue, and they commented on the radar detector I had installed in my car. When I told them about the vices of drinking and wild parties, they watched from the upstairs balcony, the way our guests behaved at our adult functions.

It’s too bad some of our political and business leaders don’t understand that “What you are speaks so loudly that no one really pays attention to what you say.” But it is even more true that if what you are matches what you say, your life will speak forcefully indeed.

It’s hardly a secret that learning ethical standards begins at home. A child’s first inklings of a sense of right and wrong come from almost imperceptible signals received long before he or she reaches the age of rational thought about morality. Maybe you’re asking yourself what kind of model you are for future generations, remembering that people are either honest or dishonest, that integrity is all or nothing, and that children can’t be fooled in such basic matters. They learn by example.

To remind myself of my responsibility to live without wax, with sincerity and integrity, I took the liberty of re-writing Edgar A. Guest’s poem, “Sermons We See” to apply to setting an example as a real winner for my children and grandchildren.

I’d rather watch a winner, than hear one any day. I’d rather have one walk with me, than merely show the way. The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear. Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear. And the best of all the coaches are the ones who live their deeds. For to see the truth in action is what everybody needs. I can soon learn how to do it, if you’ll let me see it done. I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true. But, I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do. For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give. But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live. I’d rather watch a winner, than hear one any day.

Hey, politician, business leader, motion picture producer, television actor, rock star, sports star. Hey mom, hey dad. Don’t tell me how to live. Show me by your actions. You’re my role models.

Action Idea: When you talk to others, beginning right now, don’t try to impress them by talking about your accomplishments. Let your actions speak for you. Ask more questions.

– Denis Waitley

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.