Your Voice Can Be A Valuable Asset – The Benefits of Developing and Deploying Your Voice As A CAREER Building Weapon. Talking the beautiful talk – Warbling your way to wealth – A Presentation Post by Presentation Skills Trainer and Coach, Matthew Hill #presentation #skills #voice

Voice – The Benefits
Put simply – There will be a positive earnings dividend for those who work on their voice and develop its melodic capabilities to the max. And, I am not talking about winning a TV talent show. Customers and clients would rather listen to a pleasant, sonorous voice that a scratchy, squeaky weaker one. They will stay longer, learn more from you, and, even AGREE with what you are saying! Continue reading

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Do You Need To Feel More Power and Confidence Before Going Into Your Next Meeting, Starting In 15 Minutes? – A Top Resilience and Confidence Tip – Recording Your Own Bespoke Affirmation Resource – Enjoy The Process & Love The Result. – A “How To” Post by Assertiveness and Presentation Skills Trainer, Matthew Hill #confidence #affirmation #resilience #power #success #feelgood

Incoming praise – Why do all the heavy lifting yourself? Take a moment to record all the kind, true and positive things others have said about you over the years. Your LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements are an easy place to start – Pick out and note key power phrases that someone else has said about you and that make you feel good. References for jobs, if you have access to them are a gold mine. Positive appraisal comments that stick in your mind are worth their weight. Even, kind words said at a birthday, anniversary or leaving do speech can be canabalised for this exercise. Any memory of someone you respect, saying something both true and positive will be just the right phrase to note down for this affirmation compilation list. Continue reading

MPs Brexit Divorce End of Term Report, Grade; D – Must Try Harder

Into the Valley of Stupidity Rode the 600, MPs

Warning – Contains Humour, flashing lights and insults for BOTH Labour and the Conservative Party – It is Insult Inclusive!

Must Try Harder – Poor Communication

600 MPs campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU. They did so because it made sense for trade, defence, jobs and the NHS.

And they did such a poor job of campaigning that, evil marketing genius, Dominic Cummings and the Leave campaign, easily kicked their collective arses and won. Ouch.

Must Try Harder – Arrogance

Before getting D – for communication skills, they cockily assumed that no one would be exposed to 1000,000,000 Facebook adds containing, persuasive, attractive but wholly untrue slogans – Take back control, Britain for the British, A Leave vote will save the NHS, We will get back our lost UK Sovereignty, Save the bendy banana, etc. MPs assumed an easy referendum victory and then overcommitted – The Government did not set the bar high enough requiring a 66% result before a constitutional change was triggered – Even, not-so democratic Turkey, managed that. They said that this vote would be final, thus changing an advisory referendum into a vehicle allowing the educationally deprived British public to make direct British law for the first time in history – INSANE.

Must Try Harder – Rat-Ification

And then the Labour leadership got behind job reductions, economic recession, loss of foreign investment, NHS staff shortages and the Tory and right wing media ideological coup that is Brexit, saying they would deliver a secret rainbow, paradise and unicorn version of Brexit where Bambi’s mum would be brought back to life and everyone would go to work on hover-scooters. (You can’t say that I am wrong because no one has ever seen their plan!)

Must Try Harder – Forget Britain

And whilst this shaming and shameful charade has been playing out, like the end of the Roman Empire – None of the real British issues have been dealt with. We have lost time, money and the political will to sort out key systemic UK problems because these very British issues have all now been blamed on Brussels – INSANE.

It was not Brussels that made some regions of the UK poorer than others – The EU offered salvation to these troubled poor spots with regional EU investment money. After Brexit, that cash lifeline will now disappear. They did not cut Government support for local councils by 60% – The UK Government did that to top up the coffers after bailing out failed UK banks after the 2007 – 2008 UK / US Sub-Prime bank scam. It was the UK Government that chose to let in all the EU workers in 2004 – They were needed then and are needed now to fill jobs, work hard and make a net positive tax contribution to this country – We could have controlled the flow of incoming hard workers at ANY time. There has never been a Brussels / EU legal directive that Britain has disagreed with. Why should there be? Why would 27 reasonable states cook up a law that was repellent to us? They wouldn’t. And we have always had a veto on adopting new EU laws anyway. Even the UKs stupidest negotiator, Dumb David David David Davies admits that we have never disagreed with any new EU laws, “It is the principle”, he says with the sort of simple arrogance that makes you want to cry, laugh and puke, all at the same time.

Must Try Harder – Selfish Selfish Selfish

MPs and Head MPs continue to put job security and their personal ambitions before country. This is, morally…treasonous. TMPM just and only wants to hold on to her job for another week, and another week, and another week. That is all – She does not want consensus, a great deal for business, solutions for the regions, or a safe and protected NHS. No – Just her job, for one more week. Last week was proof of that with, “I will go off to Brussels to ask them to re-open the closed UK-EU negotiations and remove the backstop, which took 2 long years to agree upon.” Impossible (or as the right wing press would tell you – A great victory of TMPM) All she wants is the PM job… for another week.

Funniculì funniculà dancing in the office

My Local MP

Must Try Harder – Jezza

F knows what he wants. A not so secret Euro super sceptic, he has played an awful tactical long game, hoping not to be PM (he never wanted that) but for labour to walk over the bombed out Tory rubble of a failed Brexit, into power and Government. A fairly avoidant strategy, based, not on his successful leadership (there hasn’t been any) but depending on Tory humiliation and British people leaving their Brexit CULT of their own free will (Maybe he needs further education on Cults to realise that people trapped on the inside of them almost never leave of their own free will.)

Oops – What he didn’t reckon on was the uselessness of MPs, the power of the media to make Brexit still seem like a reasonable option (Brexit was at no time a better economic plan than staying in the EU. There was never a Brexit plan. There couldn’t be one, and, there is not going to be a better choice than trading from WITHIN the EU, any time soon.)

God knows why JC wants an election – TMPM would probably get an outright majority by the time the press has made Jezza into Soviet Satan and the majority of good British people finally admitted that they STOPPED THINKING, READING OR CARING about Brexit, sometime in Autumn 2016 and now, simply, wanted it all to be over.

Must Try Harder – Facts Fact Facts

All the facts are against what 600 MPs are going to do next – MPs will now be fully complicit in grinding out some sort of half-cock divorce with the EU, and, then grinding grinding out 5 to 10 years of post divorce EU trade negotiations with 27 states, where UK PLC will move either from, our current, First Class and Beneficial EU trade agreement to a Second or Third Class Non-Beneficial Agreement. – MPs will now “help” their 70 million constituents by deciding whether we shoot ourselves only in one foot, in booth feet OR, in the head! That is what our 600 MPs will decide for us. Well worth their £77,000 salary, topped up with some dodgy expense claims. And, well worth our votes and continuing support…?

OMG.

 

Collaboration Post 3 – 15 Collaborative Behaviours To Change Your Group’s Outcomes

Collaborate or Die

We are meant to play nicely, work as a team and respect each other. In Part 1, we expanded on 10 reasons why this often fails to happen.

In this Part 3, we now look at the key desirable behaviours that, when practiced mindfully and regularly, WILL produce a team breakthrough, get the group to the goal and leave everyone alive, and, at least on speaking terms at the end.

As you move through the behaviours, ask yourself, “Do I do this? “Can I start doing this?” And, “Will I step up and do this regularly?”

15 Strong Suggestions

  1. Interrupt your dark defensive moments and fill them with light.

Experienced in so many ways as sarcasm, denial, anger, avoidance and justification, defensiveness – This is the burden suffered by most teams attempting to become more collaborative and effective.

Action

Borrowed from anger management training courses, the best method is to spot the symptoms of early on-set defensiveness and divert the behaviour, diminish it or reverse it. If you are beginning to feel your blood boil, take a walk to the balcony, go smell the flowers and take your imagination to a place of cool, calm tranquillity to “reset” your body’s distracting chemicals.

Young attractive business people - the elite business team

  1. Coaching your colleagues through any resistance.

The majority of people will not instantly get behind a fresh idea or new change. They will choose to wait it out, criticise it, or, mount an attack.

Action

Here, a coaching approach can be effective as you focus inside your colleague’s head to access both their imagination and logic circuits to help them do the work of processing change and getting on board for themselves. Questions that help to create different and contrasting futures are good – “What if we carry on as we are? What are the risks of this?” “If we had 10 times the resources available, what should we do next?” “If you were the team leader now, what course of action would you recommend?” Etc.

  1. Actively listening to your concerned colleague.

The problem with teams is that the confident, privileged and beautiful get most of the airtime. And this dynamic is actually reinforced by everybody in the team – even the oppressed, the shy, or, the outsiders. The reflectors, quiet geniuses and shy analysts are not prone to speak up, do not feel they have permission to speak and, thus, do not take up their share of the microphone.

Action

Related to coaching but intruding less, listening is about getting the whole story out of the coachee / colleague. We can employ minimal encouragement – “That is important, please tell us more” “You were saying…” “And, what does this mean for our team?” Quieter members of the team may be more sensitive. If you overdo it they will clam up – Maintain a positive, still attention with minimal non-verbal, para-verbal and verbal prompts. This will be good for evening out the group’s share of voice, listening to all and including their ideas and concerns as well as counting the vote of everybody to form an inclusive group dynamic that will be effective in taking a diverse group all the way to a stretched goal.

  1. Building muscular resilience.

We can see resilience as the ability to bounce back from pressure, stress or becoming knocked off balance, AND, still being about to function effectively. In the politics of the team, possessing greater resilience can take people all the way to the top. And a lack of resilience will see someone being relegated to the oppressed group, or demoted to basic executive duties. They are sent to eat at the children’s table.

Action

Resilience comes in 4 flavours – Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Teams or individuals can be encouraged to participate in simple and repeated exercises to stretch and build their resilience muscles. Physical – Regular exercise, monitoring diet and alcohol consumption. Emotional – Developing the habit of experiencing positive emotions through appreciation, gratitude and laughter. Mental – Simple maths exercises. Spiritual – Practicing your faith or thinking pure thoughts.

  1. Learning to resolve difference intelligently.

It is easy to sulk, withdraw and dismiss a different opinion from your own. This actually represents a form of defensiveness and will not allow a team to become optimally collaborative.

Action

Imagine learning to reconcile difference to a level where, “I am OK & You’re OK”, becomes the default setting for the group. (We discuss a positive exception to this later).

What difference would this make to the atmosphere and energy in your team? The simplest method when two parties are on opposite sides of an argument or behaviour style (e.g. direct communicators v indirect communicators), is to reconcile the difference. We ask first, what is the benefit and contribution of each style, acknowledging that a diversity of approaches is actually NECESSARY for success. We then work on how we can accommodate those two benefits in team communications or by putting them into the project plan. E.g. direct people tell the unvarnished truth, which can be invaluable when a crisis is looming. Diplomatic indirect people keep the channels of communication open, maintain higher levels of trust and ensure the probability of long-term communication. It is easy to see that both styles are required. The task then is to design simple protocols that allow both styles to operate with respect and appreciation within the team.

Colorful 3D rendering. Abstract shape composition, geometric structure block. Wallpaper for graphic design.

  1. Two heads are better than one when solving a problem.

If you are a hammer, your default mode is to bash things on the head. Not great when changing the batteries in your watch. Again a diversity of approaches will be more effective.

Action

Practicing problem solving can be a bonding process that deepens the respect and positive emotions of all team members. Weekly intellectual challenges involving abstract problems can be a fun team building activity that is secretly growing the team’s capacity to handle complex issue, resolve involved messes, and, operate smoothly and efficiently when a live business problem comes along.

  1. Trust underpins it all.

Without trust we have defensiveness, solo silos, and Machiavellian plots.

Action

There are 3 components to trust – Ability, Benevolence and Integrity. Each must be in play to ensure positive vulnerability and promote trust in a high functioning collaborative team. Ability – Giving recognition to the skills, competence and experience of each team member is a way that quickly establishing better communication and inclusion in any team. X becomes the go-to person on subject Y. Benevolence – By this we mean that each member declares and proves that they are not wishing a negative outcome upon their colleagues. They wish to allow a beneficial or, at least, neutral state to exist. Integrity – My word is my bond. It is essential to continually keep your promises in order to maintain confidence in the overall performance of any team. If there is a weak link, the whole side will feel let down.

  1. The Licensed Pessimist.

The risk to any team is Groupthink, where a strong personality is accepted as leader and their ego expands to a level where they propose actions that represent foolhardy risk taking. The compliant and passive nodders around them, allow and encourage adoption of this fast-track route to disaster.

Action

Challenging the precepts of 7. we deliberately create a rotating and official role that allows and encourages a critical view and gives full permission for that person to voice their concerns – The Licenced Pessimist. “What if the market does not recover? What then?” “Those numbers appear way too optimistic. How did you derive them?”

When immunity from revenge and animosity is established in the group’s ground rules, the role becomes effective and essential in stress testing all new input to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.

Team building. Group pf colleagues sitting in a circle and playing games and having fun.

  1. Holding everybody accountable.

Like a sulky child, the wayward executive defends their actions by saying – “Well I didn’t agree with the decision to go this route in the first place.” (Though they remained silent or did not actively disagree, when given the chance before the decision was made.) It is this lack of ownership that will lead to a suboptimal quality of work and poor outcomes.

Action

Asking everybody to say the word, “agree” can be enough to reduce the number of passive passengers on the bus and encourage everybody to process the information to form an active and personally held view. More people are then included in the process of building strategy, planning and problem solving.

  1. Regular Brainstorming.

Habits are quick to form and hard to change. It is easier to repeat what you did yesterday than take a different approach today in order to get a stronger result tomorrow. We are conservative, risk avoidant and take comfort in repetition. The zone we live in is far from comfortable – We stay in horrible jobs, relationships or houses not out of comfort, but out of habit.

Action

This activity will also count towards your resilience exercises. Brainstorming is about expanding the creative connections that you allow your imagination to make by expressing yourself freely. Exempt from criticism and editing, brainstorming moves in waves. There will be a burst of output, a lull, a second burst, and then a second lull. Keep going. It is often in the third burst that the gold is to be found.

  1. Turning passive to active.

What is written on the tombstone of most failed companies, “Well, we tried”. Not hard enough. Underperformance is supported in meetings and work by grey language, low energy sentences and half-hearted commitment. “I’ll try” is at the heart of all of them.

Action

Challenge sluggish, monotone responses to requests. Do not take “Maybe” for an answer. When you are asked, “How you are in the morning?”, upgrade your answer from a monotone, “ffiinne, I suppose” to, “SUPERB AND FANTASTIC. THANKS FOR ASKING.“

  1. Get rid of blame.

The best companies react intelligently to crisis, drama and adverse external circumstance. They do not start to defend, point the finger or avoid responsibility.

Action

The next time you have a company fire to put out and you follow the charter (point 15.) you will experience a difference in atmosphere and will have the chance to see the benefit of full-on collaboration in action. When people are scientific in their description of events this can be captured on a timeline. When they are objective in outlining the symptoms and measured in their analysis of likely causes, then you will experience the pay-off in investing to build collaborative mechanisms in your team.

  1. Moderation and facilitating collaboration.

The accidental hero boss can unintentionally ignore valuable input in order to maintain their hero brand. The neurotic and scared boss may shut down intelligent challenge, not because of the quality of the input, but due to their own insecurities. And, the time-scarce leader can move the meeting along, unconsciously, only asking group thinkers and fans for input, driven by a misguided and dangerous perceived need for peace and pace rather than quality and challenge.

Action

The job of a great moderator is to even out the debate and include a wider base of people, delivering a more diverse and representative contribution – Sampling a diversity of opinion and actively encouraging the quieter sources of wisdom to share their contribution, speak up and be heard.

  1. Good Conflict.

Many companies employ “nice” people who are expected to be “nice”. What actually happens is they become avoidant and this allows stupider ideas to become policy in action, leading to disaster.

Action

Promote the licensed critic, the robust challenger and include different opinions (and integrate these exotic gems via the process of reconciliation.) The smart move is to establish a protocol for allowed any civilised challenge within a robust but protected environment, to produce better suggestions, better processes, more considered solutions and a better customer experience. All this is done to generate improved products, services and engagement, the end result of which, will be experienced in higher income and healthier levels of profit.

  1. Capture collaboration in a charter    How many great training initiatives generated on a Friday are quietly killed off at the 8.30AM reporting meeting on a Monday? A. Most of them. It is easier to let innovation, change and challenge die on the vine and to go back to those old habits that are, actually not serving you well, but feel like an old pair of shoes – At least familiar. The problem is, they represent a slow company suicide.

Action

The formulation of a charter for collaborative team behaviours, formed collaboratively. Is that too obvious? It does not start with a stone tablet issuing from the CEO’s office. It does not come from an expensive off-site weekend jolly for Directors only. It comes from the floor. It evolves. It represents the voice and heart of everybody. And, it is signed up to by everybody – Volunteers stepping up, not coerced group thinkers just nodding along.

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a facilitator, trainer, writer, and public speaker, working with UK and International teams to get them beyond their blockages to create durable results in an exciting peer-to-peer atmosphere of exchange, fairness and excellence.

Contact Matthew on 075 40 65 9995 for a short conversation.

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Conference Speaker Marketing Tips – Getting Ready For Your Star Turn As A Conference Speaker

Conference Speaker Homework and Pre-Work

The biggest single opportunity for any freelancer is to be found on stage. When you are invited to speak, there will be plenty to preparatory work to get on with. It is not just about getting your presentation in tip-top condition for maximum impact and return. There is content creation, marketing and relationship warming, ahead of your gig, to consider too.

Here are 8 things to concentrate upon when you have received that special call.

  1. Your profile for the event (and on LinkedIn too.) Most people will have a medium to long list of institutions, qualifications and achievements for the poor conference delegate to wade through. THIS MISSES THE POINT. Your speaker profile can be a brochure not just your CV. The opportunity here is to market yourself to get known. Why not connect to your audience ahead of time with a pitch that is authentic and penetrating. Something like…

PITCH PROFILE “I help (specific target audience within the general conference audience) to achieve (their specific desired and needed outcome / result) by providing (unique and differentiated services with personality, power and a twist). I have worked with (global customer 1, regional customer 2 and local customer 3) and worked (in a way that is unique, exciting and positive).

  1. Honing Your Content to Post On-Line – You will have, at the heart of your experience, extraordinary solutions, methods and ideas that can really accelerate the progress of your customers. Now is the time to dig out and re-write the best of your past published efforts and re-purpose them for your fresh conference audience. What do these new prospects fear, lack or not know? What do they need to do, know or change? Get that content out there on social media and, particularly, on the channel where the event is being actively promoted.
  2. Database – I have said this many times – “If you don’t have a database then you don’t have a business.” Do you have a database? Are they all opted in, legal and GDPR compliant? AND, have you segmented them into HOTS, warms and colds? Now is the time to do that.

At the conference itself, you can meet people, collect their cards, if they qualify, and ask permission to send them a P4P – Product4Prospect – An informational gift that is brief and of perceived value to your new contact. This ticks the box for opting in, creating a sense of reciprocity and helps establish you as a generous expert. There are two forms of doing this – the product and the newsletter.

Developing new strategy.

  1. P4P Product – This might be in the form of a helpful tips sheet, a white paper, a tick sheet (have you done the following?) or a link to a film or resource bank that you control. It should be brief, relevant and have your mark and contact details on it, along with suggested next steps i.e. A Call To Action – CTA.
  2. Newsletter – The majority of people I work with do not START out with a newsletter and I understand why. It appears to be a lot of work. And, they will only have 10 people to send it to, etc. etc.

Now let’s get down to content creation. Do we really have to make such a big deal out of it? From conversations you have held in the last 90 days, what were the topics that revved up your passion levels? What did you read that set you alight? These are the topics to write 250 or 500 words on. Just two posts will be fine for now. Turning the top tips sheet accompanying your speech into the a meaty first newsletter post makes a lot of obvious sense too.

  1. Fill Your Table – I have written elsewhere about filling your blue velvet event table with content, if you have been allocated one. This will help establish you as credible, an expert and being ready to deliver.
  2. Share specialist content. As with point 2., you need to fill the right channels with quality content. It does not, however, all have to be your own. When you curate the content of other people, you gain a little reflected glory from these other specialists and their magical words. And, you gain brownie points for saving people the bother of looking it up themselves. Simply find the best material out there, add some intelligent analysis on top and post it. You will then be seen as better by association.
  3. Capture your assets. The first time you do this before a conference speech, it will seem like a lot of work. Find the golden hour slot in your day, when your brain works at its best and block out that space, EVERY day for one, two or three weeks until your preparation is complete.

And, do create a space where you can store all of the IP and marketing collateral that you have just created, to be adapted quickly and used next time. The next time you run through this process before a conference speech, it will take only HALF the time and your materials will become richer and more focused, serving the needs and gaps that your audience are crying out for you to help them with.

Action

So what will you do now?

Call Matthew on 0754065 9995 for a 15-minute coaching session (no c ost and no obligation) if you are serious about making the most of your next conference speaking invitation.

 

Collaboration Post 2 – 4 Tools To Create Constructive Collaboration by Matthew Hill

Most people, most of the time, are not in collaboration mode – they are pursuing a totally different agenda

Tool 1 Active Listening

Before you dismiss this with a, “ ‘been there, done that, know it all already!” (that would indicate that you are overdue for a listening refresher course), let us remind ourselves that most people, most of the time are not listening actively. They are more likely to be;

*Waiting their turn to give their version of what has just been said, and, if they are super competitive, to story top and WIN! This is not active listening.

Team

Selfless Working

*Asking WIIFM? “What’s in it for me?” This person mines your data looking to extract personal gain and advantage from your content. It is a search function akin to selective attention. Test this by throwing in some test words, “Sex, beer and Netflix” and watch thier reaction. When they twitch they will know you are on to them. This is not an empathic activity.

*I know best. The Listening Observer Critic sits high up, even whilst standing, and allows their privilege to leak out with advice, constructive (or undermining) criticism to let you know that they are just a little bit better than you. These people lack empathy and their contribution may leave a bitter residue.

And now the real thing – Active Listening

The missing elements include;

*First attempting a broad understanding of what is being said and then taking a further empathic step – to understand the speaker as the SPEAKER intends to be understood. This is the Platinum level of listening.

*Psychological proof. This stage is not attained by the listener repeating what they have heard. A smart phone can do that. They are tasked with processing the information from their own perspective, attempting empathy and seeing the matter from the speaker’s Point of View – POV and, then, expressing what they think they have heard. Here we may add, checking for clarity and the confirming the intention component as well. This will sound like, “So, IF I have understood you correctly, I heard XXX. Is that the message you wished me to receive?”

*Letting them finish. The talking stick remains with the speaker for as long as they wish so they finally can feel they have said their piece.

Shocked girl eavesdropping.

Listening?

Miracle

The first time you try these ideas out with a passionate person, the results may overwhelm both them and you. This may be the first occasion when they have actually felt listened too with respect, depth and acknowledgement.

Good luck

Tool 2. Point of View – POV

This is a POV and reconciliation exercise that can be practiced as a training exercise and then used in real conversations. The training version is simple. Split the group into 3s. The first person takes the role of Finance Director, the second, New Young Executive and the third, the Project Delivery Leader. The context is set – The 3 of you are discussing the progress of a critical 90-day work project for your Golden Goose customer. As it stands, you are not going to hit either the quality mark or the tight deadline. Q. What do you do? The suggestion that you are now going to form an opinion on is; PAID OVERTIME. Are you for it or against it in this instance?

+ The first task is for the 3 to get into character and give a one-line opinion, yes or no, with, maybe, one line of explanation.

The answers are normally the expected ones – The Finance Director says, “The new money is not in the budget – No,” Etc.

+ The second task is to work out a strategy for how to reconcile the 3 points of view to reach the required quality standard, and, put in enough work hours to finish the job and end before the deadline.

There normally follows some creative thinking, challenge to opposing positions and a reconciliation that ends come up with a strategy that is, 1) paid for, 2) creates more hours of labour to complete the project, and, 3) can be agreed upon by the 3 people in the discussion.

This exercises mirrors what is required of a Collaborative Working Group – the robust exchange of truths, creating options, reconciling differences and mobilising around a common outcome to stay focused on the task, and, not get distracted by difference.

Once the training version has been completed it is time to have a go in the BWW – The Big Wide World.

Tool 3. Letting Go of Defensiveness

If there were just one freeing exercise that was mandatory for all boards, groups and committees, this would be it. Humans are emotional, primal and full of fear. It is mostly misdirected fear around the participant’s core needs not being met that causes so much grief and delay.

Group Of Young Business People

Stop crossing your arms!

When a board member’s core needs are threatened, defensiveness can easily follow. The 3 needs are;

*Significance – Privilege, status, power, importance or position – When this is threatened or exposed, defensiveness will never be far behind.

*Competence – Another key component of a board member’s identity tool kit is their ability and skill level. When this is challenged, called into questioned or undermined in real time, defensive will surely follow.

*Likable – To generalise – We all have a deep deep desire to be admired, liked and approved of. It is a critical part of most of us and the one need that is examined the most – “Do they like me?” “Will they like me?” “Am I being likable now?” Etc.

How does defensiveness manifest? We can make progress when we spot the symptoms of defensiveness, spot them early and interrupt the negative behaviour that will inevitably follow.

Examples include; plunging into sulky silence, The “poor me” victim script, All or nothing, polarised thinking, wanting and needing to be right, spreading the blame or shame, experiencing a sudden drop in IQ, experiencing energy ripping through the body, doom mongering / catastrophizing, needing the last word, obsessive thinking, Needing to pour out information or saying, “I don’t really get defensive.”

Action – With self-awareness, each board / committee member can learn to notice their own pattern of moving into defensiveness. The next move it to interrupt that normal course of events, reset, and, move in a different direction.

If you start to witter when you feel attacked – Stop, centre yourself and remain silent. If you suffer a drop in IQ, stop and focus on an intelligence enhancing strategy such as collecting symptoms from the recent conversations and attempting to derive a root cause that can be dealt with. If you feel like pointing the finger, interrupt yourself and focus on environmental causes not ones originating for any individual in the room. And so on.

Tool 4 The Licenced Pessimist

If you are familiar with Edward De Bono’s Six Hat Thinking Model, you will know that the Black Hat is tasked with thinking of the biggest risks and the worst outcomes. This function is essential if a group is to combat GROUPTHINK. Groupthink happens when overly homogenous groups, often lead by a strong or charismatic leader, get behind an idea and really go for it. When it is a particularly extreme point of view, risk management goes out the window and, suddenly, something bizarre ends up being carried out by an enthusiastic lynch mob. Remember the HSBC credit officer who saw the 2007 subprime loan property disaster unfolding in the US and spoke up. He was fired by the group-thinking board and disaster followed shortly after.

Asking people to rotate and take a turn to act as the devil’s advocate is a great way to stress test all ideas, and challenge all assumptions before bad outcomes occur.

Hint – It is best to keep rotating this role through the group or an unconscious bias will grow and that single Black Hat will begin to be seen as not playing a useful role but OWNING their tasked negative perspective permanently.

Conclusion

We hope you have benefited from these 4 tools and ideas and will implement them with your committees, boards and teams.

Please like and share if you are going to take action or think others could benefit from this input. Thank you.

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a trainer, facilitator, coach and public speaker helping executives and leaders uncover their soft skill talents, develop their communication competences and, whilst reaching their own personal potential, help others to enjoy a better work life and great business outcomes. Contact him by telephone;  07540659995

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Book Review DIY Mediation – The Conflict Resolution Toolkit Book by Marc Reid – Review by Matthew Hill

Kill the monster whilst it is small

Marc Reid has produced something of substantial value to the wider business (and intercultural) community.

Context

The old world of HR seemed to recoil from conflict and wished to avoid all drama, only to be called back to the matter when things had escalated to a level requiring on the record, expensive and time consuming action – mainly tribunals and litigation.

Mediation and pre mediation intervention aims to kill the monster whilst it is small, keep the proceedings off the record, and, allow marginal characters to gain a voice and have their say when they are feeling aggressed, disrespected or bullied.

Easy to read and easy to apply

The book has a gentle gradient, starting with what is conflict, the stages of escalation, observed behaviours and their consequences, and, peaking with the AGREE model – a process that can be used to grab hold of the issues in an intelligent way, and, move the parties towards resolution quickly, and with minimal cost, time and residue left at the end.

Models

Marc has made a sometimes complex subject easy to follow and easy to apply. He breaks down larger topics with handy acronyms and provides completely pragmatic advise on those hard to reach areas such as remaining free of judgment and partiality. My two favourites were the 3FsFacts, Feeling and Future (when exploring the circumstances of a conflict) and the HEAR method for assertive communication – Happening – establishing events on a timeline, Effect – describing impact, Acknowledge – outlining the scenario from your point of view, and, Request – stating what you, as a mediator, would like to happen next.

Written in plain English and aimed at the average corporate HR professional, this tome will be of use to anyone in business or in a broader organisation who wishes to grasp the nettle of conflict, grow their own competence and awareness in holding challenging conversations, and, who is passionate about ethical early interventions to prevent exhausting escalations in the workplace.

No book is perfect and Marc has walked into the Mehrabian trap – taking this model as an example of how little language conveys in communication. (Mehrabian himself went to great lengths to correct this misapprehension.)

Conclusion

The book provides an accessible and vital tool for HR professionals and a wider audience who wish to move from avoidance to a more collaborative and inclusive approach to handling conflict, and, who wish to pick up and use a no nonsense approach to get the job of conflict reversal in hand in their organisation.

About the reviewer – Matthew Hill is a facilitator, trainer, speaker, author and coach working to build collaboration in international teams for the SME and Corporate sector.

Purchase

To buy the book go to Amazon UK; https://www.amazon.co.uk/DIY-Mediation-Conflict-Resolution-Toolkit/dp/1785893114/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1540458765&sr=8-1&keywords=diy+mediation+reid

Intercultural Training Channel Webinar, 16th October 2018, Marketing to Get More Training Days with Less Hassle and No Hustle 

Or, “I am now a Good Independent Trainer – So, What Do I Have To Do To Get More Days And Charge A Better Rate?”

You are passionate about helping executives resolve their issues and help themselves by applying new skills you will teach them. You have accumulated hard won international experience and wish to realise your dream – becoming an effective and profitable independent trainer/coach. So –

– How will you now build up and complete your independent trainer or coaching business?

– How will you network to grow your list of useful and high value contacts? And,

– How will you get your name and message out there using Social Media to generate qualified and appropriate interest and response for your independent training and coaching services?

Intercultural youtube logo

Fear – You dread the idea of becoming an isolated star trainer with next to no clients – unwittingly keeping all your much-needed talent away from individuals in need – the very people that could so easily benefit from your experience.

Wish – You know what you dream of;

– Receiving warm enquiries from people who ALREADY know who you are, respect what you stand for, and, are willing to pay a premium to access your independent training and coaching services…because they work.

– You wish to spend less time hustling for business and more time in the flow – Conducting successful group and individual training and coaching sessions.

Action – Join Our Webinar, 6PM UK, (7PM Paris time) on, 16th October 2018, Marketing to Get More Training Days with Less Hassle and No Hussle 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5002826678569069827

In this 1 hour and 20 minute, high energy, content rich and interactive web based seminar, we will cover the 3 areas you need to invest in, if your Independent Training or Coaching service is to grow;

1) Activity  – Remember – No effort – No outcome – No income. We will show you where many new independent trainers and coaches go wrong (and reveal the worst crime of all), and list the strategies, tactics and moves you must make in order to succeed.

2) Organisation  – Building your identity and passion-based professional BRAND by marketing like a pro and learning the structures and processes required.

Most people fail with their own attempts or give up before they have built up their complete Brand. We will show you where NOT to waste your time and where you need laser focus and discipline to generate engagement (its all about getting to the higher levels of engagement.) And, you will learn to build IP assets / informational products using your existing knowledge, qualifications and experience. Informational products that stand out from the crowd; gain you a reputation as an expert, and, command attention on Social Media, even as you sleep.

3) Dynamism  – We will shake you from your current state of cultural modesty (“I couldn’t possibly do that”) to having you OWN your personal experiences and articulating your deal sheet of past victories in a media friendly way that generates results – incoming warm enquiries. We will make comfortable networking a reality for you and provide solid marketing methods, structures and ideas. They will work for you, giving you the chance to access our step-by-step process that’s going to take you from “I don’t know how to do that” to, “I have just completed my amazing product, pitch or plan.”

Take Away – By the end of this informative webinar, you will be given at least 3 effective marketing tactics to work on. When you implement them, you will benefit from their proven power. And, we will give you the chance to acquire our Independent Trainer / Coach Business Growth Accelarator Bundle to guide you along the sure and enjoyable path to informational products, an outstanding professional identity, an effective brand, positive networking and the generation of valid warm incoming training and coaching enquiries.

WEBINARS Colourful Vector Letters Icon

It’s not for everybody…

We want to speak with the people who will get most benefit from the webinar so, please do NOT join if you;

– Don’t have a sense of fun and adventure

– Have zero intention of investing in yourself to grow your independent trainer service business

– Possess a closed mind when it comes copywriting and social media. Or,

– Think that clients will find you by magic and telepathy, so none of this is necessary

– Love your poverty just a little too much 😉

Still reading? Good.

Matthew – Matthew has built up international clients relationships using the marketing activities that he teaches and has won business from Governments and Global companies. He has worked in 30 countries and with the best; Jaguar Land Rover, Unilever, Danone, General Electric, SAP, REPSOL, Telefonica, Electrolux and Heineken. He has more than 9 years webinar, train the trainer and trainer coaching experience and was president of SIETAR UK for more than 5 years.

No Cost – There is no fee for attending the webinar and we only have limited places. If you wish to expand your independent trainer or coaching practice and are ready for the challenge. If you believe in yourself, and want to follow our proven step-by-step guide, then there is only one place to be at 6PM UK time on, 16th October 2018 – (7PM Paris time) – 1PM New York – Register now to attend the Marketing to Get More Training Days with Less Hassle and No Hustle Webinar. Click here and follow the instructions;

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5002826678569069827

We look forward to speaking with you on, Tuesday, 16th October at 6PM UK, (7PM Warsaw / Paris time. 1PM New York.)

Thanks,

Matthew

Matthew Hill

+44 7540 65 9995

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Autumn Webinar – What are the 3 Growth Essentials that will get your Training / Coaching Business Moving in 2019 ??

How would you feel if you could find viable and workable solutions to your 3 biggest problems that are currently stopping you growing your training / coaching business?

Where would you reinvest that extra income that you generate in 2019? And, how would the quality of your life and work improve?

And, What extra value would you deliver to your corporate customers enabling them to experience an increase in their profits, performance and passion?

successful young woman winning with both arms up, copy space

New Webinar – Discover the 3 Growth Essentials that will get your Training / Coaching Business Moving in 2019. Tuesday, 16th October 2018 | 6PM, London time | 7PM, Paris time.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5002826678569069827

  1. ACTIVITY – This interactive webinar will point out which actions used to work and work no longer. Imagine the time you will save as you divert energy, enthusiasm and your time to modern and high-impact marketing actions that convert strangers to contacts, acquaintances to advocates and LinkedIn connections to paying customers. With the right moves you will interrupt busy professionals to take notice of your authentic message. You will engage with them by speaking THEIR language. You will build a channel to educate them from a place of expertise and you will create a desire in them to access more of YOU.

The measure of your success is simple – when you get your process, branding and communication right, they will “Do as you say and pay as you ask.”

2. ORGANISATION Just because it is simple does not mean than people do it, do it correctly or do it consistently.

From a base of cultural modesty or a fear of rejection, the vast majority of solo-preneurs and small business owners fail to network or hustle sufficiently. They fail to capture data in an effective way. They fail to measure engagement, customer feeling and conversion rates and thus they fail to experience the “drip” of new business as customers come to them as and when the CUSTOMER IS READY.

Remember only 1% – 5% of customers are ready to buy at any one time. The secret is to keep in contact and have a sequence of touch points so that you become trusted and front of mind because you need to be there when THEY ARE READY TO BUY. Put simply, if you stay in contact, you will win further down the road (when everyone else has given up.)

3. DYNAMISM Are you marketing like a 5 Year old? You try everything in an over energetic attempt to change the world in 5 minutes and then collapse in a sweaty heap and declare that life is not fair and that marketing is impossible and does not work?

Modern marketing is about getting organised and then scheduling your activity, your energy and your passion to the best effect. When you develop the mindset of a HUSTLER you will discover how to convert a basic opportunity into a prime one and that means you will access the next level of customer, customer budget and customer decision maker. As you become fluent in the language of modern marketing all your hard work and preparation will actively attract opportunities to your brand, your authentic persona and you will have the chance to articulate your vision and deliver the best of you to the best of the corporate world AND you will qualify OUT the people who will not benefit and qualify IN the elite who will do as you say, pay what you ask and benefit the most from your expertise.

If 2019 is going to be your year what do you need to do? What steps must you take?

TAKE ACTION-

Register now for this complimentary high energy and interactive webinar;

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5002826678569069827

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Will you Go for Growth in 2019?

Bring your questions, your passion and a pen. See you for this important growth webinar.

 

Independent Trainers – Raising Your Fees – How Can You Successfully Resist Discounting Your Value?

“When you start to discount your product and service fees, you discount yourself” – Matthew Hill, 2018.

Warning – This is a deliberately challenging piece for independent coaches, trainers and mediators – Here we face your fears and habits! If you are feeling brave today – please read on…

As marketing guru, Seth Godin states, discounting represents, “A race to the bottom, and, nobody wants to win that race.”

“Lower your prices!” – The command of many larger companies

Angebot / Sale / Rabatte

Yes, we are asked to lower our prices. Tesco have bullied many a supplier in search of an illusive extra 1% margin. And where are Tesco now? Recovering from a UK scandal around playing fast and lose with numbers and suppliers. Or, GE.

GE famously hit a new moral low in the late 1990s when they asked their hard working and loyal suppliers to enter a reverse auction to compete with each other to offer the cheapest rates for their established a premium quality services. The losers won that round! Damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.

***Shame on all bullying corporations***

(I believe they have seen the error of their ways and now moved from their macho transactional approach to a more relational and strategic one, that, surprise, surprise, serves both parties better.)

Are THEY Discounting?

Do the biggest software providers, retailers and banks offer a 70% discount to their largest customers? – Do they give away the best of what they have because they feel they have no choice and are experiencing a little light bullying? NO!

Then why do we?

When you discount – You devalue.

Eventually, when you, or your market, are fully commoditized, the corporate customer will select their suppliers based on how near, quick and cheap you are. Your premium quality product is now a tin of supermarket tomatoes. End of Story. Again – Is that what you want?

Defend your value

At the moment, there is a bizarre training phenomenon out there, where the webinar version of the classroom experience is being given away at unsustainably low prices. I have no clue who started this, why it continues or why those involved don’t wake up, smell the coffee and correct this damaging business practice. Is all learning devalued by making it remote? Are the corporates deliberately ordering an inferior service from us? What is happening here?

Man holding speedometer with value word. Business concept

Value your value

Supporting your price.

Continuing with the webinar example. The point that is being missed by the discounters is value. Your course either has intrinsic value or it does not. If it does, then it makes sense to highlight that value, defend that value and, logically, charge out at that value.

Cost – One purchasing department argument runs like this – The provider saves money on travel and hotels when they don’t have to perform at a hotel or corporate office, and, they should pass back that saving. Yes and remote learning sessions save the company more money, so that is not a compelling argument. The saving has already been made at their end. There is no need to erode the trainer’s price.

Quality – The real cost is hidden from view. The widespread practice of discounting training rates takes out senior trainers from the marketplace, as they cannot afford to work with these silly rates. When juniors take their place, outcomes deteriorate and the supplier brand is diminished. This then prompts the corporate…to ask for a further discount. Is it only me that thinks this is short termism taken to an absurd degree?

Confidence – Individual trainers, coaches and mediators suffer from imposter syndrome, inferiority complexes and financial scarcity. We need to get over all three. Everybody has imposter syndrome – the only people not affected are the truly deluded. On a good day, you either think your product is worthy or you don’t. If not, you need to plump up your LinkedIn profile and get a job with a salary. If you value yourself, good for you – Now start charging sensible prices. If you are suffering from an inherited poverty script – Deal with it – See the T Harv Ekker Millionaire Mindset film – Link at the bottom.

Young friends having fun outdoors drinking red wine glasses - Happy people eating seasonal local food at harvest time in farmhouse vineyard winery - Youth friendship concept on warm vintage filter

Utopia

What if we lived in a world driven by fair value, where experts were respected and encouraged to share their wisdom in exchange for reasonable reward? A world where they could give of their very best, knowing they are appreciated and can work without fear, giving openly, partnering with the best, striving for the most productive mutual outcome? How glorious would that be?

Baby steps

The next time a principle or corporate asks you to shave your fee – Stop and think. What does this mean? What is the cost today? And, what will the cost be tomorrow – For you and the business world? Let us value what we do. Let us value ourselves and let us be courageous enough to ask what we are worth.

It begins with self-respect, saying no to discounting and asking for fair value fees.

Negotiation – When you are told you are too expensive – be warned – it is a trap – image what they are really saying is, ”that you need to get on a slippery slope that ends with poverty, frustration and exploitation.”

*Remind them you are not in the tinned tomato business but offer Intellectual Property Assets that are essential to the future of their business.

*Remind them of your qualifications, experience, knowledge and wisdom.

*Expand on the value you provide and move away from price.

*Explain that value is related to the benefit they receive not just the short term damage they can do to you by taking away your money.

*Claim your worth with price and confidence.

*Stick to your guns, employing the broken record approach to communication, and,

*Start to celebrate your new financial independence and recognition. You have earned it.

Good luck claiming your full worth.

About the Author – Matthew Hill helps independent Trainers, Coaches and Mediators build their independent businesses allowing solopreneurs to project the best of themselves to the best audience possible, and, at the BEST RATES. Here is a link to Matthew’s Going for Growth in 2019 coaching bundle.

https://culture99.wordpress.com/going-for-growth-remote-course/

Film Reference – Here is a great film by T Harv Ekker on poverty and wealth mindsets. Do yourself a big favour – Get the family to block out an hour this week and watch it all together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpJbP6OToFE&t=853s

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Claim your WORTH