Monday, June 19, 2017

3 Ways to Get Attention by Giving Attention First

give attention get attentionLearning to get attention or increasing your level of success is a focus for a lot of people. I believe, however, that to get attention, it’s really important to first GIVE attention. When you do, your results can be so much more amazing.

So, let’s look at a couple of strategies that work well for both giving and getting attention:

 

 

See and hear others. One basic human need is to be seen and heard. When we provide that for others, it strengthens our relationships. Are you truly stopping to listen more and talk less when you’re in presence of others? Are you really seeing them for who and what they are? Are you paying attention to the things that are important to them? Practice really being in the present when having conversations with those around you.

Leverage social media. Liking, commenting and sharing the social media posts of the people in your circle is a simple and quick way of letting people know that you see and hear them. A minute of your time could mean a lot to someone!

Notice EVERYTHING. I love to pay attention to what people’ favorite meals are, favorite flowers, special occasions or an accomplishment. And because I know I won’t remember everything, I like to write those things down and keep reminders. It’s those little things that are big in terms of showing others how much they mean and that they are seen.

If you want to get attention for you, your project, your team or the products and services you offer, the first thing to do is to proactively communicate.  For example, if you wanted to share what your team has accomplished this week — can you be your own publicist?  Can you proactively share with your boss five great things your team has done?

The other thing you can do to get attention in a positive way is to promote others. I love promoting my speaker friends to my clients. I love to promote the good work that people do, whether that’s books or blogs or videos that they’ve created.

Can you promote others as well and get attention for their message or good work? If you really want to get attention, give first.

Stand in service of others and be sure that the important people in your life know that you see and hear them. When you do, ah-mazing things happen!

Need more ideas and inspiration for how you can give the right attention to earn the best attention for yourself?

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to give others the attention necessary to make them feel heard
  • How to position yourself in a positive manner that allows you to maximize the attention for you and your brand
  • Provide others with positive attention that is reciprocal and awards you in return.

 

What would you add? I’d love to hear your thoughts.  If you’d like to teach your team the skills and tools to both get and give the kind of attention that can propel production, increase positive team dynamics and grow your business? Give me a call today to learn how I can help.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Presenters Learn from Peloton Instructors: Pay Attention

Peloton instructorsIt’s no secret I am obsessed with my Peloton. If you don’t believe me, read this blog I wrote a little while ago.

 

This workout is beyond the stationary bike. It’s a community of people with 26K+ people in the Facebook group, and loyal fans that trek across the country to ride live with their fave Peloton instructors at the NY studio (affectionately called the mother ship) and people drive hours to meet their fave  instructors at Peloton stores in malls around the USA.

 

As a keynote speaker, focused on the topic of attention, I am constantly looking for examples of how people bring their messages to life. It might be watching a comedian on Netflix, attending a show on Broadway or watching a musician perform their latest hits. We can learn so much about the art of presenting from people around us.

 

A brilliant example of presentation skills comes from the variety of personalities and Peloton instructors . John Foley, the CEO has clearly hand picked his crew and created celebrity profiles for each of them. Some have cult-like followings and I admit to being part of those tribes.

 

Each Peloton instructor has their unique approach to their classes and listed below are some of my major learnings we can all apply to our presentations at work, at home and in our community.

 

Be real – all instructors are authentic. Not all instructors will appeal to all audiences. They don’t apologize for how they show up. They are authentically themselves. Some swear. Others don’t. Some focus on heart rate, others on fun. Some sing out loud on their bike, and others share mantras. I love how they show up confidently as themselves.

 

How can you show the audience more of who you are so they instantly want to listen to you?

 

Create memorable phrases – as a keynote speaker one of our secret weapons are memorable phrases we create that are memorable, repeatable and re-tweetable. We craft words our audience can share with others to help land key messages.

The instructors do the same:

Christine D’Ercole says ‘I am. I can. I will. I do’

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Monday, June 05, 2017

Delete Email for Productive Communication – Use Brilliant Tech Tools Instead

delete emailDid you know U.S. companies lose $588 billion each year due to distracted multitasking? What if your company could delete email and other archaic applications? Imagine the time you could save in productive work hours.

Companies struggle to maximize productivity while meeting the demands of the workforce. They want to utilize talented employees across the globe and provide flexible work environments, yet fear the impact of time wasted in daily communication. Since the success of organizations require us to do more with less while maximizing the use of time, it’s essential to look at the way in which business is conducted daily.

Technology has provided companies with huge advantages, changing the pace at which we work. It allows us to accomplish tasks more quickly, more easily and quite often with less expense. Email has turned into a thing of the past, an archaic tool that demands too much of our time and attention.

New technological advances, such as RingCentral Glip, lump our multiple outdated 90’s era tools into one ultra-slick, super productivity tool. No more do we have to utilize spreadsheets for task tracking, notes to capture conversations, intranet databases for file sharing and endless numbers of emails requiring our time and attention.

Here are some ways your organization can benefit from using Glip:

No More Email – Tools like Glip create huge advantages for companies. This real-time platform allows employees to quickly chat, discuss ideas and maintain records of conversations without dozens of emails to peruse. Employees aren’t forced to draft a message with subject, header and signature. Readers aren’t required to open emails, respond, determine who needs to be copied and wait indefinitely before receiving a response. When you use Glip, the chat is real time and can be text or video. Video calling is a paid feature within the Glip platform that’s available now that Glip is part of RingCentral. So delete email, and get with the modern program of real-time messaging.

Outdated Third Party Video Conferencing Platforms – We’ve all become accustomed to setting up meetings and utilizing third party platforms to enable video conferencing. With the new RingCentral Glip UI, users can quickly access each other in face-to-face conversations, allowing them to see facial expressions and body language. Users do not have to download and execute separate files and extensions to conduct a video conference.

Spreadsheet Project Tracking Pain – Remember the days when companies ran on Microsoft Excel? Now with tools like Glip, employees can share documents, assign tasks, project manage work with deadlines and timeframes. We don’t have to email spreadsheets back and forth or fear multiple versions are being used. The work and tasks are visual and available for everyone to see any time.

Endless Shared Databases – Now where was that file again? Imagine the number of hours wasted by employees searching through shared databases trying to find a file someone uploaded and saved for them to view. With Glip, files are easily accessible in the shelf feature that keeps relevant documents handy. It even allows the ability to prioritize frequently used documents and those of most importance.

Imagine the amount of time your company could save in productive work hours by ridding yourself of email, spreadsheets, third party video conferencing, and shared databases. Imagine if your employees were able to use one tool that did it all. Imagine the ability for employees to be available, no matter where they resided. Just consider the possibilities you’d have to make your workforce more flexible.

Advances in technology have ushered in this new era of business. So what are you waiting for?

To discover more ways your business can save time, create flexibility and maximize productivity, visit www.neenjames.com and learn how to profit by paying attention to what matters most.

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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Close the Deal with Same Side Selling Strategies by Ian Altman

same side selling strategies

Are you tired of playing games with your customers?

Does it sometimes seem like you and your client are working against each other?

Is it time to develop selling strategies that break through sales barriers?

As a coach and keynote speaker, I’m always on the lookout for ways my clients can save time, improve productivity and find efficiencies by paying attention to what matters most. If you’re in a position of sales leadership managing a team or an individual sales professional challenged with how to close the deal, you’ll find Same Side Selling strategies to be direct and time saving!

Same Side Selling, by author, speaker and coach Ian Altman, gives practical steps to break through sales barriers and turn confrontation into cooperation. Sellers that implement the Same Side Selling approach will be seen as a valuable resource, not a predatory peddler.

A Different Type of Book on Selling

What makes Same Side Selling strategies different from any other book on this topic is that it is co-authored by people on both “sides”: a salesman (Ian) and a procurement veteran who understands how companies buy (Jack). The buyer’s perspective is baked into every sentence of the book, along with the seller’s point of view. Our aim is to replace the adversarial trap with a cooperative, collaborative mindset. We also want to replace the old metaphor of selling as a game.

 

Want to know more about how Same Side Selling strategies can help you and your team close the deal? Watch here and learn:

  • How to work with your customer to achieve a win-win that benefits the success of you both;
  • Create a relationship with customers that ensures efficient decision making and discussions;
  • Radical approach to breaking through traditional sales barriers and cycles.

 

Want to learn more about Ian Altman and his incredibly effective selling strategies? Visit his website to check out his other books.

 

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Mental Health: Workplace Strategies for Leaders to Pay Attention

mental healthIt stands to reason that the healthier we are, both physically and mentally, the better prepared we are to face the challenges and opportunities of the day – and the more productive we can be. I recently had an amazing conversation with a client about ways that we could improve the health, and specifically, mental health in the workplace. We came up with five strategies that I’d love to share with you.

  1. Set boundaries. As a leader, can you initiate some boundaries within your team dynamics that makes it OK for people NOT to answer their phone at night or weekends when they may be spending quality time with the people they love? Can you make it a policy to limit the off-hours engagement required via email/text and messenger?  Can you encourage your staff to make business time a priority during business time – and family/personal time a priority when they are away from the office or workspace? While it may seem counterintuitive to go against the all-work-all-the-time trend we’ve seen in recent years, science and experience tells us that more balance leads to higher productivity, less burn out, more team cohesion and a happier, healthier workplace.
  2. Work from home. Can you create some flex-time for your team that allows them to work from home occasionally or on set days so they can use that them to hyper-focus on specific tasks away from office distractions? While maybe not for everyone, for many, this shift in atmosphere can be a big boost to managing often weighty to-do lists.
  3. Get outside. Not long ago I worked with a client who had just moved their workspace to a new facility. With the new location, they had an opportunity to create an amazing outdoor space for their team members complete with Wi-Fi, comfortable sitting areas, couches, and shade spots. AND they made it totally acceptable for team members to take their work outside and get a little nature in their day. The results were about what you’d expect them to be. Happier team members, increased productivity and less absenteeism. Sounds like a win-win-win – don’t you think?
  4. Create wellness groups. With so many of us turning an eye to fitness, it’s fun, and engaging to create wellness groups within your organization. The Fit-Bit folks commune with daily and weekly challenges, some host weight loss contests or bring in nutritionists. Can you do the same for your organization? Perhaps bring in a few professionals that can teach your team physical and mental health and wellness strategies that can kick off new initiatives and company focus?
  5. Community service. You know that feeling you get when you do something good for others? Why not encourage that within your organization. I love my client Trinity Health. When they do leadership events, they always include a service project within their community.  It’s a great way to encourage service within their team, and help the communities that surround them. Can you think of ways you can put policies in place that encourage and reward your team members to volunteer and act in service as well?

Need more ideas for how you can improve the overall wellness, stress level and morale of your team? Watch this to learn:
– How to permit employees to set boundaries for after hour work requirements
– How to create a workplace that promotes health and wellbeing
– How to alleviate the stress from disruptions in the workplace.

Here’s to your mental health and well-being and that of your team! If you’d like to learn more about making the most of your team, increasing productivity, attention and profitability – then call me. I’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for!

 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Creating Contextual Models – Help Your Audience to Pay Attention

Creating Contextual ModelsI recently had the privilege be interviewed by Michael Port on his podcast, Steal the Show, where we discussed creating contextual models and the ah-mazing impact it has to drive home your message to your audience and listeners.  Please, be my guest and read along as I share the power of contextual modeling and how it can benefit you, your message and your listeners.

 

The Strategy of Creating Contextual Models    

So what is contextual modeling, and why is it important not just for speakers, but for executives, or sales people, or anybody else that’s trying to get other people to understand what they have to offer, consume what they have to offer, and then say yes to it?

Contextual models are illustrations that sell your intellectual property, whether you’re internal thought leader or an external. You might be an internal thought leader, the go-to person in your company, as the expert. That’s really important to understand. If you’re known as expert in your field of leadership, as a speaker, author, trainer, consultant, and want the world to see and understand what information you have to share, contextual models will set you apart.

As a professional speaker myself, I believe every speaker needs a unique contextual model. It’s a snapshot of your intellectual property in a way that only you can explain. Now, think about big accounting firms. They all have their own versions of contextual models, and in really good ones, they’re the only people who can actually explain it to you, but what’s powerful about contextual models is it can be the basis of a book. It can be a slide in your keynote. It can be … You can have several contextual models that spin off one, but here’s the deal.

A contextual model is really just a square, a circle, or a triangle. Sometimes you smoosh them together, and stick some arrows on them, but that’s it, honey! It’s really …I think we over-complicate it, but you know yourself, that when you look through history … Think of the late Stephen Covey. First Things First, you know? He had the urgent versus important quadrant model. In the food industry, we have the food pyramid, whether you believe it or not is irrelevant. What people have smartly done is they’ve taken the complex, they’ve made it simple, and then put it in a contextual model. So that’s what contextual models are.

 

Why Creating Contextual Models are Necessary

If you want to make more money, contextual models  will rock your practice. It just will, because it stands you out. There’s a bazillion speakers on leadership, time management, it doesn’t matter, pick a topic. But if you are the speaker that has the contextual model, you show that you have depth of intellectual property. It shows you’ve researched it, so that’s one of the reasons why.

Often times, there isn’t a huge difference between the people that are perceived as novices, and the people that are perceived as experts. The difference is typically only the ability to create contextual models. Those people are perceived as experts in part because they’re so good at organizing their information. Perhaps all of your intellectual property is in your head, and you know what others desire to learn, but haven’t figured out how to put it down either on paper and translate it to an audience in person.

Since people learn in a variety of ways, it’s important to provide context that helps visual learner embrace the information more easily, and your audible learners connect an image to what they’re hearing. Models are also great for summarizing a great deal of information into a few bite-size images allowing the reader and listener to dive deeper into the content they feel is most relevant to them.

 

Begin Visualizing Words in Contextual Models

Let me let you in on a secret. I think in models. I know that’s really like freaky, and I know I sound like I’m five, but I seriously, I think in models. So when you start talking to me, I’m already visualizing what that would look like. When you think about a contextual model, I referenced before that they’re really just squares, circles or triangles. Let me just throw some words out, and you tell me what shape comes to mind.

For instance, if I talk about people, what shape comes to mind for you? Most likely you think of the shape of a circle – like a hug, or a cuddle. So that makes sense, right?

If I’m talking about a process, like there’s a hierarchy to something, what kind of shape comes to mind? Most likely steps!

When you think about models, there are certain things that are going to lend themselves towards certain shapes. So whether it’s process, or people, there are certain things that are going to come to mind.

 

When to Use Contextual Models

I’m all about attention, and if you want to get peoples’ attention quickly, you need a model. People don’t have time anymore. They don’t have time to read through your blog, so give them a model. They’re like, “Oh, I’ve got it.” Now if they love your model, they’ll read further. So when I use models in my keynotes, sometimes it’s a slide, but often I’ll draw the model with my body. You can get really good at this.

You can know your intellectual property so well, that I have a Venn diagram that is the basis of my book called, Folding Time, it’s one of my keynotes. So on the stage, I draw the model with my hands and my body, and the audience is like, “Oh my god!” And I’m saying, “Guess what? It’s on page 27.” So people love that, but people who are visual can see me do it, and people who want to see it in a book can then do it.

 

 

Keep Models Visually Leading

Now, here’s another mojo trick. If you want your model to have mojo, you also want to give it movement. Movement is basically arrows. That’s the fancy way to do it. So if when you think about a process, and the process leads to the top, the arrows would point up. If you have a circular … One of my Folding Time models in my book, it’s a Venn diagram in the middle, but there’s arrows on the outside which indicate bigger things, and they keep moving so anyone who’s looking at it goes, “Oh, this is not complete, they keep moving.”

So you’ve got to think about with your models, if you want to give it some mojo, make it even sexier, another layer to it is give it movement. Does it go up? Does it go sideways? Does it go down?

For instance, when I created the sales process for Virgin, we created a sales cycle but it never actually closed the loop. Because we’re always selling, right?  Just because a customer comes into the store, and maybe they want a cellphone from Virgin, but they also might need a safety plan because they’re going to drop their cellphone. When you think about sales, it doesn’t stop because we’ve reached the transaction at the end, where the customer or the client has bought the product. When I create sales models for clients, if I do that level of consulting, it’s then about keeping it as an open loop, because you don’t actually ever close the sale, you just open the relationship.

So think about the power of arrows, and where the arrowhead even goes, that elevates your IP again. I mean, there’s so many layers to models, I get super excited about models.

change, it’s often a slight two millimeter difference, and he brought that up because I gave him an example of doing a voiceover without a smile, and doing a voiceover with a smile, because we were talking about the different voices you use for a negotiation.

So first, consider a shape that comes to mind first. What’s the shape that comes to mind around your intellectual property? Is it a process model? Is it a value model? Then, consider what kind of keywords or phrases do you use? Is there movement you can have for mojo? And then all of a sudden you start creating your model.

Models give leaders tools to be able to communicate more powerfully, and that’s another thing. If you’re a speaker listening to this, or a consultant, your model makes it easier for your clients to buy you. It makes it easier for them to justify the investment they’re making in you. Just as a heads up, every time that I add a model to a proposal, generally speaking, I close about 98% of those deals, because no one else puts their models in their proposals, but what a client can see is there’s depth.

 

Get Started Creating Contextual Models

Are you ready to create a contextual model to help support your information and create an impactful learning tool for your listeners?

Start, first, by looking for models that inspire you. Start seeing what resonates with you. Start to look for models and see what resonates with you, and then start thinking through first. What shape comes to mind? When you think about your contextual messages, the biggest messages of your presentation, or your book, or your keynote, or your consulting agreement, what’s the biggest message you wish your audience to hear? And what shape comes to mind?

Go to my website, there’s actually a cheat sheet. So there’s models already created from the thought leadership community that you can just download.

 

I believe people’s’ attention is the greatest gift, and when people give you their attention, whether they’re reading your blog, or watching a video, or they’re sitting in audience watching a keynote, that’s the greatest thing they can ever give, is their attention. We all have such a limited amount of time, and a limited amount of attention. As a result, it is our responsibility when we have a message to share with the world, is to present it in a contextual model where you get to the point quickly, you really show people you are saving them time by giving them the best, most meaty part of the information they need to know immediately and up front.  Do your model early, do it quickly, and your listeners and audience will remember your information better, more effectively and with greater ease and understanding.

 

Want to learn more how about how to creating contextual models can assist you in delivering your message? Listen to the Michael Port podcast, Steal the Show, in its entirety. Join us here and listen in! For more Michael Port interviews with Neen James, check out: Steal the Show.

Creating Contextual Models

 

 

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