How leaders get the most out of their folks

Our brokenness

Crying eye

“It is in our brokenness, that our greatest opportunities are revealed.”                                 Dan B. Allender Ph.D, Christian therapist, Author, Professor, and Speaker

How Communication is like Football

With the Super Bowl 50 coming up this weekend, I thought I would explore how throwing a football (sorry American football to soccer fans outside of North America), is like the communication process. Enjoy.

You may be the smartest salesperson in your industry. You may have a great product, and your product knowledge may be outstanding, but if you can’t communicate this to your customers in an easily digestible manner, you won’t be very successful.

“The thinking human being, not able to express himself, stands at the same level as those who cannot think.” Pericles

Communication is vital!

Denver Broncos vs Carolina+Panthers

One way to think about the process of effectively communicating with someone, is to think about Football.

So how are Football and Communications alike?

  • The quarterback is the sender of the message
  • The football is the message
  • The pass is the medium (or delivery mechanism) of the message
  • The defence, the crowd noise, the cute cheerleaders,  the sun (or stadium lights) in the receiver’s eyes are the barriers that get in the way of the message being delivered
  • The Wide Receiver receives the message.
  • What the Wide Receiver does after catching the ball provides feedback

In football, you can have a quarterback (Peyton Manning / Cam Newton) who can throw the ball 60 yards down the field, but if the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, the team doesn’t advance.

While communicating, if the message is delivered, but not received as intended, communication breaks down and the relationship doesn’t advance.

“The only way he could have said less would have been to talk longer.” Charles Jarvis

Seven key ways to improve your communication with your customers are:

  1. Reduce technical jargon
  2. Unless you are 100% sure they know what the acronyms mean, use the long forms (i.e. C.P.S.A – Canadian Professional Sales Association , N.S.A -National Speakers Association or N.F.L – National Football League)
  3. Get to the point quicker
  4. Tell a (short) story that makes your point
  5. Try to reduce distractions (i.e. noise in a crowded room)
  6. Check for understanding
  7. Use analogies that they are likely to understand (i.e. Communication is like Football)

So next time you are want to communicate think of football because it can help you score with your customers or anyone you want to connect with.

 

 

Fred’s Adventure

Sometimes things don’t appear as they really are…..

A friend of mine moved, into a new apartment, after living in the same house for 18 years. If you have ever moved can empathize with me when I say that, this can be a pretty traumatic experience for anyone, but it was especially traumatic for, her companion, an 8 year old little house cat, named “Fred”.

You see Fred grew up in that house, in fact it was the only home he ever knew. So you couldn’t really call him a “worldly” cat.

And you couldn’t blame Fred when he became a little concerned when he noticed all of his family’s things were slowly disappearing and being replaced by boxes. Now Fred got even more concerned, when they carried him into the car for a drive, because that usually meant a trip to the vet.

But it wasn’t until his owner carried him into the lobby of their new apartment building that the real trouble started.

You see, the walls on the lobby were covered with mirrors, and Fred being a naïve little cat, who had very little exposure to other cats, and who was also used to being the king of his household, looked into the mirrored walls, saw another cat.

Well immediately his instincts took over, and he went into attack mode.

He dug his claws into his owner, who felt the searing pain and who dropped him and then Fred proceeded to attack the first cat he saw, who to his surprise was attacking him back with equal show of force.

attack cat

Well Fred, who was not experienced in the art of cat fighting, decided that retreat would be his best course of action.

But when he turned to run what do you think he saw? You guessed it another attacking cat. Well this went back and forth, back and forth for several minutes until Fred decided to run down the hall and let his owner catch him up and help him out of the situation…

Now you may think that this is just a story about a crazy cat, but it more than just that.

Poor Fred is not that much different than you or me……….

When we are put into situations that are foreign to us, situations that take us out of our comfort zones, like Fred’s house, it is easy to be overcome by our fear of the unknown, just like Fred did.

And it is at those times when our minds like to play games with us and turn a normally safe situation into one that we believe is dangerous.

It has been said that the word fear is really an acronym, which stands for False Evidence Appearing Real and wasn’t that the case with Fred in that lobby.

In reality, there was no danger at all, but in Fred’s mind, the pain of being attacked by other cats everywhere he turned, certainly looked and felt real. And that shows that awesome power that our mind has, to deceive and embellish situations in order to validate our fears.

but I’m sure to Fred the Fear meant, Forget Evidence And Run.

Now what would have happened if Fred took another approach to that very same situation and viewed the changes in his life as an adventure?

He would have discovered the joy of playing on boxes, the excitement of riding in a car and possibly the friendship of another cat that was always there to greet him, every time he walks through that lobby.

You see when we experience life and its many changes, we step outside of our comfort zones and we expand,  just like a balloon that is filled with air.

And the result is that once we expand ourselves, our comfort zones never quite go back to the same size as it was before the experience. And we have the capacity to do more, be more and enjoy more of the wonderful experiences life has to offer.

So next time you are in a similar situation, feel the fear, and push through the pain, because as Dolly Parton put it, “If you want to see the rainbow, you have to put up with a little rain.”

#fear, #falseevidenceappearingreal, #perspective, #cats, #scary, #scared, #dollyparton, #lifelessons, #overcomingfear #pushthroughthepain #fredsperspective

 

 

 

Motivational Quote: Influencing Others

father-and-son-playing-videogames

“To influence, you need to first meet people where they are, before you can guide them where you want them to go.” – Richard Elmes

Malcolm Gladwell: Disadvantages Can Improve Your Chance of Success

Disadvantages Can Improve Your Chance of Success from the book “David and Goliath” by one of my favorite authors Malcolm Gladwell