Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

marshmallow test

“Just one more bite.”

“I need to get to the next level.”

“Sure, I will have another.”

“I just need to vent.”

These are just a few examples of that voice inside our heads that takes us from moderation and a healthy place to unhealthy behaviors leading to negative consequences.  We all, in some aspect of our life, deal with self-control issues.  It’s part of being human.

Discipline and denial lead to great things in life.”  – The life insurance sales legend, John Savage so eloquently advises on a complicated issue.  How can we obtain such a state of existence?  What is easy to do, is often as easy not to do!

The prefrontal cortex of a human’s brain (where self-control is based) is quite a bit larger in humans than in other mammals.  This means we are born with the ability to plan and even find ways avoid mistakes and solve problems. Of course, just like any other ability – some people have to work harder than others to achieve results or find ease in mastering one area of their life over another.

I remember hearing about “The Marshmallow Test” that came about in the 1970’s.  Psychologist Walter Mischel left children alone in a room with one marshmallow.  He told them that if they did not eat the marshmallow, they could have two later.  The kids who were willing to wait for the second marshmallow (delayed gratification) were followed throughout their lives and showed numerous positive life outcomes compared to the ones who could not wait and ate the first marshmallow.  We are not all born with an overabundance of self-control.

Here are seven strategies that you can use to help with your self-control issues:

  1. Be aware of your triggers and avoid them. Listen for that voice in your head and know your emotional trigger. You can train yourself to “flip the switch” by having a planned ahead of time as to your reaction when these things happen.  If your temptation is to take that extra bite, have an awareness of your trigger, (your automatic thought) and re-frame it. In other words, as you hear the trigger, you now say, “No thank you, I have had enough”.  Tempted to say something you should not, learn the trigger, it might sound something like, “they need to feel this” or “I probably shouldn’t say anything but…” Change that unproductive thought to, “Is this battle really that important?”
  2. Let go of control! It may seem like a contradiction but letting go of control of others can be a very healing exercise for you.  Being too controlling of others or situations is not healthy.  Relinquishing some of those controls can be vital for you and the other people involved.  Start out small – this cannot be solved overnight.  It will take a conscious effort on your part. Once again, the automated thought might sound something like, “I can do it better if I do it myself” or “They will screw it up”. Change that thought to, “It’s important I let them learn (or fail
  3. Understand your EQ (Emotional Intelligence). Truly get to know yourself.  Start to gain awareness of the impact of your words, actions and behaviors and the impact they have on others.  Ask questions of the people around you, even if you don’t want to hear the answers.  Once you are aware of your impact, you can begin to be able to respond appropriately.  Emotional Intelligence is listening to understand versus listening to respond.  Once you take time to understand the situation or the emotions, you can find the right response, leading to problem solving and relationship building.
  4. Create a plan. So, now you have self-awareness, but today you ate that extra bite, spent too much time on video games or crossed that line with a co-worker.  Everyone has a bad day.  Do not let one small setback ruin your whole plan.  Get back on the track, do not beat yourself up. In interpersonal relationships, recognize when you do need to take ownership and apologize.
  5. Learn to say NO. For some people this comes easy, but for others who have been trained from a young age to be compliant, it is very difficult to say no, even to the smallest requests.  Start by saying no to small requests from people.  There is no reason to explain or apologize – just say no.  You will realize that having this ability to say no is very freeing and reduces a lot of stress in your life once you truly learn how to do it. If no is not easy for you, practice saying things like, “Let me get back to you”, “Or, “Hmm, interesting, let me think about it” or “thank you, I have had enough”.
  6. Get an accountability partner. We all know that accountability drives results. Find someone you can trust and be open and vulnerable with and count on to help you versus judge you. This can be a friend, family member, or co-worker.  It might be someone with the same issues or goals. You will be able to help each other by communicating things that you might be struggling with.  It’s always nice to have someone in your corner.  An accountability partner will be sure to tell you what you need to hear, versus what you want to hear.
  7. Build your willpower. Knowing your “Why” versus simply focusing on the how, will be your guide.  Being mindful of why you want to do something is much more helpful when working towards a goal.  This will help to build up your willpower and have the courage to slowdown and stop unhealthy behaviors.  Many people say they want to lose weight, but often fail, but if an important event like a wedding or class reunion comes up, watch those pounds fall.  For me, it was the doctor trying to put me on medication that changed my eating habits.  Willpower means feeding your mind like you would your body!  Keep positive affirmations and people around you.  Knowing your why helps you see in pictures what can be.  This will help you stay emotionally attached to your goals.

In summary, self-control is a complicated issue. Decide ahead of time what your goal and strategy will be.  Write your plan down and refer to it often.  You could even strategically place signs around your house, to remind you of your goals. Never be afraid to get outside help such as counselling.

Life is short.  Start doing the things you want to do and being the person, you want to be now! Don’t wait for New Years Day for your resolutions, make it today.

Read Full Post »

Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” 2017 survey showed only 30% of employees are engaged, 52% are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged.  In most organizations, that means less than a third of their employees are actively engaged in the job they do. Signs of an employee who is disengaged include:  lack motivation, does not take part even in fun company activities or celebrations, often silent, not enthusiastic about learning new things, or growing their career within the company. How can you motivate your employees and increase engagement?

Employee experience drives engagement and productivity.  Yours and their good intentions have to be transferred into behavior which leads to action.  To change behavior and close the engagement gap, it is important to understand the five conditions that lead to stronger employee experiences in these turbulent economic times.  Managers must provide employees with the following:

  1. Meaningful work: First, make sure you have a good talent and skills fit for their current role. Give them the independence and necessary tools to do their work. Share opportunities for individual empowerment and working in teams.  Allow time for creativity and necessary rest.  You may also want to review How PXT Select Can Help Managers Close the Engagement Gap.
  2. Hands-on management: Set clear goals and guidelines for activities. Acknowledge their accomplishments and offer coaching as needed. For ideas, see 5 Tips for Managing a Multi-generational Workforce and 5 Simple Tips to Managing a Successful Team.
  3. Positive work environment: Leverage their strengths and consider flexibility on their work schedule and place. The work culture should be inclusive and diverse.
  4. Growth opportunities: Have various training and support options available (this is especially key during work-from-home situations) that increases: skills, job flexibility, and career mobility.
  5. Trust in their leadership: Create mission and purpose for company and staff. Embrace leadership development; proved inspiration and motivation through positive and transparent communication. You may also review 10 Tips for Preventing Isolation in Your Remote Workforce.

For more about the issue of employee disengagement and the five conditions to engagement, read case studies in Mending the Engagement Gap: Driving Organizational Success through Employee Engagement.

Read Full Post »

3 Tips to Create a Listening CultureEveryone understands that listening better makes you a better communicator, but how do you develop a culture of listening? After all changing cultural norms in the workplace is not an easy task.  Below are 3 tips on candor, styles, and emotions you can try to create to a culture that listens to everyone.

Reward candor as a positive way to build a better listening culture. If you want people to share their ideas openly, it is important to give a simple “thank you” or say things lie “that is a great idea [perspective or thought].”

Adapt to the style of co-workers.  When you adapt, with the other person’s communication style in mind, more effective interactions can take place. DiSC is a tool that can help make you more aware of the styles of others.  When conversing with the other DiSC styles below make an effort to follow these suggestions:

  • D – make efficient use of time, stay focused, expect blunt truthfulness
  • I – support their enthusiasm, be open to collaboration
  • S – show concern for their feelings, use an easy-going approach
  • C – keep the message objective, expect skepticism

Manage emotions because it can be painful for people to experience new ideas or challenges to the old way of doing things. Many may have strong, emotional reactions – so expect them and be willing to open a conversation around their issues.  You need to acknowledge the existing emotions, pause before reacting, and then form a response that that supports your new culture.  It takes emotionally agile people to work across cultures, generations, and to adapt to rapid changes in the workforce.

For more communication suggestions, review Focus on Effective Communication Skills post.


Read Full Post »

Gallup employee engagement

The year is winding down.  You begin to think employee morale does not matter because everyone is in a holiday mood anyway and not really concentrating on work.

It is never too late or too early to promote employee engagement.  Marketing Innovators white papers on employee engagement says Companies that commit to engaging their employees increase customer satisfaction by 54% plus companies that foster high morale outperform their competitors by about 20%.

Efforts to increase motivation now may be short-lived, but remember it is a long-term commitment to achieve long-term benefits for your business.

Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”  – Anne Mulcahy

A Gallup poll of USA workplaces indicated 51% employees are disengaged from their work; only 33% of employees are effectively engaged in their work but only 21% of those are motivated to do outstanding work.

What are some ways you can boost motivation and engagement?  Check out 9 Motivational Ideas to Increase Employee Engagement.  (BTW: We offer training and solutions that can help with #6 and #9.)

If the above statistics were not bad to get you considering motivation and engagement goals for next year, check out the many statistical links in the Access Perks blog.

Read Full Post »

Teamwork DiSCIn the last post, we covered the first two team building tips on culture and communication.  Below are final three team management tips related to trust, accountability, and recognition.

Tip #3 – Build trust among team members. Success will always be limited if trust is lacking. The job of a good team leader is to cultivate a safe environment, where members feel comfortable being open and honest with the group about their weaknesses, fears and limitations.  Teambuilding activities can be incredibly effective.

The idea of activities has gotten somewhat of a bad rap, because most people hear “team-building exercise” and immediately assume they are going to be crammed in a room, thrown in an awkward and unrealistic scenario, and asked to share their deepest fear with a group of people they are forced to spend the afternoon with. However, when these exercises are done correctly and in a healthy environment, the positive results are astonishing. We have successfully been helping teams build vulnerability based trust using our program, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, based on Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Tip #4 – Encourage accountability. In addition to frequently checking in with your team, give them permission to check-in among themselves and hold each other accountable. This can only work when concrete expectations and timelines are set. Not only will this reinforce communication and trust between team members, it will also help to avoid pitfalls, remove obstacles and assure constant progress. This seems to be one of the most difficult tasks and when issues and timelines are not addressed, it later becomes a personal issue.  There are a lot of activities that can help team members practice accountability, including have everyone go around the room and share what they believe is their strength and their weakness as it relates to the team. Then, let the peers share their candid feedback.

Tip #5 – Recognize achievements and give sincere praise. It is a widely known fact that when you positively reinforce a desired behavior, a person is far more likely to continue repeating that behavior. Leading your team from a posture of praise for good outcomes, achievements and behaviors is far more effective than teaching them to fear negative consequences. They will feel valued by you and strive to exceed expectations. A few tips to ensure your comments are perceived as sincere. Never make a statement of praise, thanks or appreciation unless you can tell them why. Try dropping hand-written notes to your co-workers and team members.

When we ask, in many of our training sessions, if anyone has received a hand-written note from a co-worker or a boss to raise their hand, we follow it up with the question, “where is that note now?” Only about 3 in 300 have ever said they do not know or they threw it away. The rest of them say they, treasure the notes and keep them in a safe or visible place. By taking just a few moments of your time to acknowledge a person on your team and show them how much you appreciate the job they do, you will not only make their day but also reinforce the desired behavior.

Read Full Post »

2016 has already started with or without you!  Blink, the holidays over!

I actually experienced a nice vacation in NYC enjoying Rockefeller Center and all the other wonderful things “The City” has to offer and then a few days of pure rest in Oklahoma closing 2015 and entering into 2016.    No computer, no work and it felt good.    A week later back to work and whether I like it or not, this year is moving with or without me.  I realized yesterday, I had not taken the time during that time-off to reflect on what I had accomplished nor write any new goals for the New Year.   This is the time of year I usually take stock of where I am and where I want to be.  As Yogi Berra said “If you don’t know where you are going, you may never get there.” 

goalDEFSitting in a Bible study hosted by a legend, Mr. Garry Kinder of Kinder Brothers International, it reminded me to take time to put my dreams and goals for my life and the New Year in writing and keep them in front of me.   While I take the topic of goal setting for granted due to growing up in the life insurance industry, I realized how many people do not have any formal process nor recognize the importance of taking the time to write the goals and action plans down on paper, for no other reason than they have not been shown how.  So here are a few great tips that Garry Kinder reminded me of along with a few tips that work of me.

  1. Know what your Chief Aim is in Life – Dream and Dream Big. To paraphrase Daniel Burnham, “there is nothing in the small dream that stirs the blood.”
  2. Goals are what help you meet your dream and goals are set to be met. Set goals for various aspects of your life including:  Business and Professional, Educational, Physical, Financial, Personal including family and hobbies, and don’t forget Spiritual.
  3. Tom Landry was the first to promote setting two goals, your superior goal and your minimum. Your minimum is the accomplishment that no matter what gets in the way, except an act of God, you will meet.  Let me repeat, goals are set to be met!
  4. Break your goals down into daily “do-ables” and put an action plan in place to get thing done.
  5. Monitor and measure where you are on a weekly basis and make adjustments along the way.
  6. And as my husband says, “GOYA” – Get Off Your Anatomy. Or as Nike says, “Just Do It”.  You can talk about your dreams all day and wake up mid-life to have others realize, “they are just a dreamer” rather than a success.   Garry Kinder, God bless him in his 80’s stated, “You can’t coach people who live in la-la land.”
  7. And the greatest Garry Kinder statement that I walked away with after the goal setting talk was, “Compete, but don’t compare.” Compete, work to accomplish your goals, financial and otherwise, but do not compare yourself to others.  Competition is good; comparing can hurt us and others.

To learn more about goal setting for sales results, chapter one of my book, The Sales Messenger: 10 Lessons for Sales Success in Your Business and Personal Lives is all about setting sales goals and how to accomplish them.    Invest in yourself; hire a business coach, a sales coach, personal trainer or anyone else who can help you in this process.

Dream big, set goals, and develop a plan.  Make 2016 your best year ever!


Read Full Post »

My last post on great sales success quotes was so popular, I decided to share a few more.

“Successful people form the habits of doing those things that failures won’t do” – Albert Ian Gray

“The secret of success in life is for a person to be ready for their time when it comes”.  ~ John Maxwell

“We don’t argue with those who sell for less for they know what their product and service is worth”. – Robert Cruikshank

“Why is it the ship beats the waves when the waves are so many and the ship is one?  Because the ship has a purpose.”” – Winston Churchill

“There are only two reasons people do not buy your idea, product or service. They are not aware they have a problem or not sufficiently disturbed enough to do anything about it.” –  Lee Dubois

“Confidence and enthusiasm are the greatest sales producers in any kind of economy.” O. B. Smith

“Everyone lives by selling something.”  – Robert Louis Stevenson

“You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That’s the mark of a true professional.” – Joe Paterno

“You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” – Patricia Fripp

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it. But if you love what you are doing, and always put the customer first, success will be yours.” – Ray Kroc

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” – William Clement Stone

“The secret of man’s success resides in his insight into the moods of people, and his tact in dealing with them.” – J. G. Holland

Also, below is something I had on a laminated card taped to my small day timer.  I read it daily throughout my early career selling insurance.

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will, and the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.  When funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh. When things are pressing you down a bit, rest if you must, but don’t quit! Life is strange with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns.  And many a failure turns about, when he might have won if he’d stuck it out.  Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow—you might succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than it seems, to a faint and faltering man.  Often the struggler gives up, when he might have captured the victor’s cup. And he learned too late, when the night slipped down, how close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out- the silver tint of the clouds of doubt. You can tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems afar. So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit” – Author unknown!

Again, I suggest you take a few seconds every morning to read a new quote to begin your day.  Try it and see how it may change things for you.

Read Full Post »

Often training participants, associates, and friends ask me how I stay full of energy and even stay up when things are down.  I try to feed my mind as I would my body.  Sales managers and top sales professionals often find it amazing how a short, simple quotation can quickly provide inspiration, perspective, or motivation. Below are a few of my favorite sales quotes.

“Successful people ask the right questions, and as a result get better answers.” – Anthony Robbins

“If you don’t know where you are going, you may never get there.” – Yogi Berra

“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.” Estée Lauder

“If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.” Bob Hooey

“The key is not to call the decision maker. The key is to have the decision maker call you.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

“To succeed in sales, simply talk to lots of people every day. And here’s what’s exciting – there are lots of people!” – Jim Rohn

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

“Forget about the business outlook; be on the outlook for business.” – Paul J. Meyer

“Internalize the Golden Rule of sales that says: All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” – Bob Burg

“In sales there are going to be times when you can’t make everyone happy. Don’t expect to and you won’t be disappointed. Just do your best for each client in each situation as it arises. Then, learn from each situation how to do it better the next time.” – Tom Hopkins

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” – William H. Johnsen

“Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can’t are both right”. – Henry Ford

I suggest you take a few seconds every morning to read a new quote to begin your day.  Try it and see how it may motivate you too.

If you missed my radio interview in October on managing sales objections, you can listen to the radio recording or you can read the related article:  Close the Deal by Managing Objections, Not Hard Sales.

Read Full Post »

In The Sales Messenger, sales professionals are encouraged to motivate themselves, have a great attitude, and be continuous learners.  These are not a new concepts.  In the 5 minute video below, “You could be a great salesman” thru “integrity” is expressed by the motivational speaking legend and best-selling author Zig Ziglar.

Read Full Post »

Being Tremendou

Being Tremendous: The Life, Lessons, and Legacy of Charlie “Tremendous” Jones book

In Being Tremendous the biography of Charlie Jones (motivational speaker and author) his Seven Tremendous Laws of Leadership are shared.

In summary those laws (with quotes from the book) are:

  1. Learn to put excitement in your work – “No job can make you, but anyone who can put excitement into their work can make a job.”
  2. Use or lose your talents – “Nobody is ever a failure until they blame someone else.”
  3. Give to get – “If you give to get, you’re not truly giving – you’re trading.”
  4. Production to perfection – “Production will teach you a little about perfection, but perfection will never be more than your own fantasy.”
  5. Exposure to experience – “The experienced person gets to know which keys unlock which doors, while the inexperienced person doesn’t know if they even have a key.”
  6. Flexible planning – “Plan on it going wrong.”
  7. Motivated to motivating – “Our problem isn’t motivating them, but keeping them from demotivating us.  The motivation will flow when you are totally committed an involved.”

For another chapter summary, visit Seven Tremendous Things for Improving Your Leadership.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: