Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Talk's Cheap

In fact, talk's invisible! I so often do training with sales people that truly believe what they are saying is the most important. Let me be as clear as I possibly can: What you say is not the most important. It's not.

Words are not what people "hear". What you say matters less. It's what you behave that matters most. If your behavior is congruent with what you say, then, and only then do words begin to have power.

As humans we are channels of energy. We both send out and pick up signals all the time. We are, as it were, living antennas. Our five senses might serve as an example of antennas. In this respect, the sixth sense is not merely fictitious. It's for real!

When we first meet someone, our immediate impression of this person is the sum of three sample questions we are asking about other people (i.e. each other) all the time:

WHAT are you about?
WHO are you?
HOW do you do what you do?

These include everything about us, from how we smell to the energy we emulate. Even body language is but a very small fraction of the complete picture...

Our subconscious mind runs much faster than we can imagine. Before we even make conscious decisions about someone, our subconscious mind has picked up literally hundreds of signals that in sum automatically passes judgement on others, and thus influences how we consciously will act seconds later (cf groundbreaking research by Benjamin Libet). That's one of many reasons why Benjamin Libet has made it to my list of great people (see below).

In a very real sense, words are like "The Emperors New Clothes". What we do leaves us completely naked and exposed to the world around us. What we truly believe comes out much more forcefully than anything we might say. Words are invisible. In the famous words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "I can't hear what you are saying, because your actions speak too loud".

See Vidar Top's list of GREAT PEOPLE!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Have a Great Weekend!

To most people in the western culture "the weekend" starts on a Friday. Question is, when? After work? Think about it..! From early Friday morning it's customary or common practice to end conversations with the usual expression: "Have a great weekend!" Why do we do that? What are we in reality saying or doing?

For those of us who work regular hours (and a lot of us don't, of course) "have a great weekend!" is in reality a kind of celebration. The message isn't so much "I sure hope the weekend turns out well" as it is "I just wanted to remind you, we're almost there again - isn't it great?!"

Just like "merry Christmas!", "have a great weekend!" is a quick way to look forward to "the stuff people really want". From getting some extra sleep and a mental break to spending time with family and friends, whatever it is, "have a great weekend!" is a way to trigger happy thoughts. And like Peter Pan, happy thoughts make us fly. Depending on what you're looking forward to, "have a great weekend" releases endorphins.

For me, Fridays are inspiring because of it. Sure. But then again, I love Mondays just as much. Why? I love what I do. I love life. Think happy thoughts!

p.s. Did you know that Facebook and Twitter updates tend to be fewer and negative as the week begins, and are increasingly positive and large in number as the end of the week draws near? Are you like that?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Can I Have a Hug, Please?

Communication between the lines is where it's at. Always look for what people really are saying, not just what words they are using.

Among hundreds of people at my book launch last week, our three youngest children made their way through the crowd to the table where I was signing books and asked: "Can I please have a hug, daddy."

To me the world was standing still for a moment. You should know, we hug each other several times every day. However, this was different. This was them asking: "Are we still the most important people in your life, dad?" Taking a time-out right there and then became a wonderful opportunity for me to communicate just that; my family means most, has my greatest love and devotion - they are my first and highest priority.

Ironically, at that moment, they may have felt they needed me, but in reality it was probably I who needed them more. It was a touching moment that will stay with me as a prized memory.