Sunday, January 24, 2016

Confidence Gets Attention: Know Yourself, Your Team and Your Ideas

know yourself, know your competition,Confidence gets attention. Confidence gets results.


Do you know someone that walks into a room and you can tell they feel confident, in themselves, their outfit, their knowledge? They have a presence about them and they present their ideas with authority.


If you want to get the right attention for you, your team and your ideas here are three strategies to help you today:


Know Yourself: invest time to know your strengths (and your stressors). Explore assessment tools, read books like Fascinate by Sally Hogshead, Strength Finder 2.0 or do an assessment with Core Clarity online… so many great tools available.


Early in my career, sitting in Barb’s office (she was a beautiful, elegant and fantastic boss), and she gave great advice saying “Neen you need to know 3 things you are good at, don’t blink and don’t look away”. What are your three things you are good at?

Confidence Thumbnail



Knowing this has helped with job searches, projects and promotions over my career. Watch this video for more ideas:



Know Your Team: know their strengths, invest in training and development and know the status of their projects. Always be looking for ways to promote your team to others in your organization. What are your team’s top three priorities this week?


Know Your Ideas: I love creating ideas and especially contextual models to support real thought leaders… however I am not fabulous at the implementing routine activities. I love helping brainstorm ideas, capture ideas… I just don’t enjoy implementing them (I definitely leave that to talented consultant colleagues). Do you believe in your ideas? Can you present your ideas with conviction and make them easily understood to those in your meetings and presentations?


Positioning your unique thoughts confidently makes you stand out in a room and within your organization.


When you know yourself, your team and believe in your ideas you are able to walk into any room, meeting or presentation with your head held high, a smile on your face and true confidence to get attention for your team, projects and ideas. Try this out today.


Many of you have shared you want to be more productive this year. Our new online Folding Time Mentoring Program has just been released, check it out and each month I will pop into your inbox (well not literally) with videos, blogs, white papers, interviews, templates and all kinds of goodies – sign up today!

The post Confidence Gets Attention: Know Yourself, Your Team and Your Ideas appeared first on Neen James.

Confidence Gets Attention

Watch video on YouTube here:

Confidence Gets Attention

Watch video on YouTube here:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top 10 Leadership Strategies for the New Year

New Year Resolution Goals Success Strategy LeaderThe beginning of a new year always provides a fresh perspective and a time for us to reflect on what worked, and what didn’t previously. This tip list provided by Mark Sanborn is perfect to print and hang in an area you frequently see. Let it be the reminder you need to focus on what matters most.

Attention Pays,



  1. Revisit why you lead. Get clear on your purpose, not just your strategies and tactics.
  2. Refocus on the most important things you should be doing. It won’t be a long list.
  3. Tend to important relationships. Repair for some and renewal for others might be in order.
  4. Set a few big goals. Aim for the big things that matter. Don’t get distracted by the insignificant.
  5. Pay attention to the difference between activity and accomplishment. It isn’t about how busy you are; it is about how much you get done.
  6. Dig deeper. Don’t stop at first or second thoughts. Think harder than others are willing to do.
  7. Learn something new every day. Go to bed smarter than you woke up.
  8. Develop your team. If your people aren’t getting better, you’re not leading effectively.
  9. Work hard and have fun. Don’t make the two exclusive.
  10. Be grateful and express it frequently to others.


About Mark Sanborn

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and change.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Neen James shares Attention Pays strategies at MIC Colorado

Watch video on YouTube here:

Neen James shares Attention Pays strategies at MIC Colorado

Watch video on YouTube here:

Contextual Word for 2016 - ATTENTION

Watch video on YouTube here:

Contextual Word for 2016 - ATTENTION

Watch video on YouTube here:

What’s Your Contextual Word?

2016 New Year Word Describe Goals ResolutionOne word. What is one word to describe your 2016?


Mine is attention. What’s yours?


A gazillion years ago, I heard Matt Church recommend a focus word for the year. I have been doing it ever since. He’s so smart.


A contextual word allows you to focus your time, attention and energy into the people and projects that matter most to you. Could you create one this year?


Is your new year’s resolution already broken? I don’t set them because it seems that if I couldn’t’ master the behavior last year, it’s not going to happen with some silly, over-tired, champagne-induced resolve!


This year my contextual word is attention (it is also the name of my new book and the keynote I share with clients as the opening keynote speaker at their events). My desire is to pay more attention at home, work, in my community.


Here are a few ideas to help you implement your word:


Choose Five:  We set goals in five areas: spiritual, relational, physical, financial and educational. Maybe you could use a similar framework? This year I intend to be more focused through regular mediation (spiritual), connected (relational), stronger and fitter (and definitely need to weigh less, boy oh boy when I stopped paying attention to my food and champagne choices I gained 15 lbs, yuck), diligent with money (financial), and study deeper (educational). What are your 5? Megan Kristel wrote a great blog on her 2016 goals for real people and I loved the terminology she used.


Choose ‘No’ – choosing to focus on your word might seem selfish to others (it’s not!) and it means you might have to say no to things more often and in awkward situations. It’s no secret I love champagne, this month I am avoiding it (stop judging), I am also avoiding chocolate, fries and anything else that seems to stay around my middle. I have also said no to people who want time that drain my energy (do you have anyone like that in your life), projects that sounded fun but weren’t profitable, and invitations that don’t make me happy. Selfish? Maybe? I prefer to say self-full. No is a complete sentence!


Choose now – make a decision. Determine your focus. Write it down. Share it with a friend, your partner, and/or your team. Share it online to accelerate accountability. Now go and implement it. Easy peasy (well not really, but it will become your new decision filtering system).


You don’t have time to everything, only time to do what matters.


Today choose people, projects and passions that are going to help you stay focused on your contextual word… and share with me your word, I’d love to hear it. Let’s do this together.


Many of you have shared you want to be more productive this year. Our new online Folding Time Mentoring Program has just been released, check it out and each month I will pop into your inbox (well not literally) with videos, blogs, white papers, interviews, templates and all kinds of goodies – sign up today!

The post What’s Your Contextual Word? appeared first on Neen James.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

6 Must-Haves to Be Influential Monday to Monday

Influence Leadership CommunicationAre you consistent from Monday to Monday?  Do you put on your “A” game with the same level of effort, focus and preparation for ALL conversations as you do for high-stakes presentations?


Influence from Monday to Monday requires you to be consistent with how you deliver a message and the words you speak during all interactions and through all communication mediums. This high level of communication takes discipline, hard work and a lot of focus.


Begin TODAY applying the six must-haves.


  1. Where are you going?  Have a clear and specific vision of what you want to improve. Be willing to commit to and make that vision your reality.  Begin by writing five specific action steps to improve your communication, which you promise yourself you’ll accomplish.  Is it time to avoid the “uh’s” and “um’s” that are cluttering your message and allowing your listeners to question your knowledge?


  1. Avoid doing it alone!  Every day, ask a family member or peer to immediately give you constructive feedback on the communication behaviors you’re focusing on.  This feedback can occur during a phone call, face-to-face or Skype conversation, Google Hangout, meeting or presentation. Ask them to let you know when your non-verbal behaviors are distracting or purposeful.


Be consistent. The perception

  1. Is what you’re saying consistent with how you’re saying it? Tailor your message to your listener by asking yourself, “Why would my listener be interested in my topic?” your clients create of you during your presentation needs to be the same perception they created of you during that first interaction.  Influence from Monday to Monday means you never speak with non-words or filler   You consistently connect and engage with your listeners during all conversations.  You walk into every room like you belong there.  You have a polished presence that communicates your attention to detail and that you’re someone whom your client can rely on.


When you’re consistent through your words and actions, a trusting reputation builds.  Others will want to listen and follow your lead.  If they’re following you, there’s a strong probability that they’re influenced by you Monday to Monday.


  1. Seeing is believing. At least once a month, video or audio record yourself during your day-to-day conversations.


Immediately review your playback as you give yourself balanced feedback.  Is your message consistent with your non-verbal behaviors?  Do you sound confident or uncertain?  Do you perceive yourself as having knowledge or uncertainty?

After reviewing your playbacks, answer these questions:

  • What did I do and say that had impact and influence on my listeners?
  • What do I want to change?
  • How will I make these changes permanent?


  1. Take five minutes. At the beginning of every day, identify what communication skills and techniques you’re committed to work on throughout the day. Write these down!


  1. Communicating with influence is like living a healthy lifestyle: both are lifelong commitments based on daily choices. A healthy lifestyle involves making good choices about diet and exercise. Fundamentally, enhancing your influence also comes down to intentional choices. Should you:
  • Answer emails during that conference call or use it as an opportunity to practice your influence skills?
  • Assume no news is good news or ask for real feedback?
  • Give a canned presentation or listen to your prospects and adapt your message accordingly?


Although there are no “quick fixes” when it comes to enhancing your influence, when you hold yourself accountable by seeking feedback and practicing the skills, you will see positive changes fairly quickly.


Being influential Monday to Monday is a choice.  One year from today you’ll either be the same communicator you are now or you’ll be an individual who has influence, has stronger relationships and is consistently perceived as trustworthy, confident and knowledgeable.  Not to forget more money in your pocket.


Stacey Hanke is founder of Stacey Hanke Inc. and co-author of the book; Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A To Z To Influence Others To Take Action.  She is in the process of writing book #2 on the topic of Redefining Influence.

She has trained over 15,000 people to rid themselves of bad body language habits and choose words wisely.  Her client list is vast from Coca-Cola, Kohl’s, United States Army, Navy and Air Force, Leo Burnett, Nationwide, University of Chicago, Novartis, GE, General Mills, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cardinal Health. In addition to her client list, she has been the Emcee for Tedx.  She has inspired thousands as a featured guest on media outlets including; The NY Times, SmartMoney magazine, Business Week, Lifetime Network, Chicago WGN and WLS-AM.


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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Win More By Not Being Rude – Guest Blog by Thom Singer

Pay Attention cell phone distractedWhen I read Thom Singer’s recent blog about accepting rude behavior as a cultural norm, I knew this would resonate with many people. We must begin paying attention to each other and getting back to kindness and general polite behavior. It begins with each of us making a conscious effort to put down our devices and becoming present within the moment.


Are you ready to pay attention?

Rise to the challenge,


Has it become “okay” to be rude?  Is the trend of self-focus gotten us to the point that we rarely even acknowledge the people around us?  Smart phones and other gadgets have our attention, and since the power to connect with the whole world is in our hands we are missing the human engagement that is all around us.

I am not talking about blatant in your face nasty (that should never be acceptable), yet there seems to be less common courtesy and fewer smiles between people in our daily interactions.  While “rude” is a word that makes many nervous, I think it is the right word.  Most people do not see their own actions as “rude”…. but in a world where being over-extended and busy is a badge of honor, few people take the time to notice others (much less give them a few seconds of polite attention).

If you watch closely throughout your day you will see what I mean.  People seem more detached in recent years.  It is in the little things where etiquette seems to be abandoned.  I am not blaming the internet, social media and the mobile technology, but there is clearly a lack of intention lately to the social manners.

At Starbucks this morning I watched the line of people in front of me.  Only one woman said “Thank You” to the person who was serving the drinks to the waiting customers.  Now, one could argue that in the transaction of six dollar cups of coffee one does not need to be gracious to the baristas, but one out of eight people seemed out of wack.

Last week at a hotel when the elevator doors opened two young women who were staring at their phones walked into the lift without waiting for others to exit.  Those of us getting off had to push past, and once the doors closed we all looked at each other in amazement.  No recognition that other people had been present.

And don’t get me started about “Thank You Notes”, or at least saying “Thank You” to people who have done you a favor or sent you a gift.  Too many people just go on with their lives without showing any gratitude, and if questioned about it they look at you like you are from Mars.  Gratitude is not something you should ever ignore.

In a world where common courtesy seems to be in short supply, if you want to stand out and find more success in your human-to-human relationships it is easier than ever to get noticed by simply not being “rude”.  Being polite and making others feel special will allow you to win more often in the game of life.

Go back to the basics of social etiquette and people will be impressed by your actions.  It takes no extra time to be polite, and if you do this regularly you will develop an epic reputation for how you treat others.  It is sad that being kind to others has become a way to stand out in the crowd, but those who practice being nice, and avoid being rude, will find more success.

I often speak to groups about “Cooperative Significance”.  We all want to make a contribution and be significant at work, home, and in our communities.  But you cannot decide for others that you are significant, they make that determination.  To be significant you begin by making others feel they matter (as this will cause them to notice you).  One way to do this is to be nice to them and help them feel good about the things they are accomplishing in their world.

Five Tips To Being Kind

1.  Be observant.  Many people go about their day feeling invisible, as too few are noticing others actions.  Take the time to watch the people around you and acknowledge their contributions. You should do this at home, around the office, or anywhere you go. Make it a habit to be aware of others.

2.  Say something nice.  Everyone is so busy that we rarely say anything to the people around us, and this is amplified when dealing with strangers in transnational situations (the coffee shop, elevator, car wash, etc…).  When you are interacting with someone look them in the eye and say “please”, “thank you”, etc…  Maybe add in a compliment about their work product, their appearance, or something else they are doing well that makes them stand out.

3.  Look up from your phone.  Get beyond thinking that important things are happening constantly in your email or you Instagram feed.  Put the phone down and be present with the other people.  When you are talking to someone one-to-one do not put your eyes on your phone during that conversation.  Nobody appreciates being ingnored.  We call it rude when other do this, but when we do it ourselves we call it “multi-tasking”.  Sorry, it is rude.

4. RSVP and show up on time.  Somewhere along the line we forgot that we are supposed to respond to invitations and then do what we said we were going to do.  Respect other people’s time.  Be militant about your schedule and show up when you say you will attend.

5.  Make gratitude your secret weapon.  When someone gives you a gift or does you a favor, make sure you thank them in a proper manner.  A text that reads “THX” may or may not be the right answer.  Know this: No matter what you do, if you take a shortcut to show gratitude the other person will know it.

Being rude or aloof should not be acceptable in the course of your day.  It takes no more time to be polite, attentive and aware.  Those who embrace these small actions will have more wins in the long run.


To learn more about Thom Singer, a speaking entrepreneur that will “wow” your audience with his practical and motivational presentations, visit his website. 

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