This will be the toughest sale you will ever make!!!

 “The toughest sale you will ever make is to sell yourself on how good you really are.– Richard Elmes

Not believing in yourself, your skills and your talents will effect your career more than any other factor. And many people fall victim to the “Justa Syndrome,” where they feel that they are justa technician, justa clerk, justa manager etc. By discounting the value we bring to our organizations we are not only doing ourselves a disservice, but we are cheating our company as well.

So how can you raise our self-esteem and avoid this affliction?

1. Discover where you fit:

Every position makes a difference to the success of the organization. If it didn’t the position wouldn’t exist. Discovering who relies on you, whether it is your clients or other employees, will help you realize that what you do matters.

2. Determine what your Distinctive Values are: What are the distinctive skills, talents and attributes? What do you do better than other people? Find out what that those are so you can focus on your strengths rather than on your growth points. Enhancing your strengths and minimizing you weaknesses, will not only help you stand out, but it will also help you feel better about yourself.

3. Define your personal Values:

Defining what you believe and what you are willing to do or not do in order to get what you want and still be able to look yourself in the mirror and like who you see is a key factor to your self-esteem. Because if you cross that line and go against your values a small piece of yourself deep within your soul dies. And you can’t ever get that back. And unfortunately sometimes you may be asked to do something that violates your personal values and if you know what they are with crystal clarity, you can stand your ground and say, ‘no’. Because you know the repercussions of crossing that line, are far worse than the repercussions of saying no.

4. Practice continuous attitude maintenance

Just like the food we take into our body effects our physical health, what we take into our mind effects our mental health. Be careful to take in more positive messages than negative messages. One of biggest contributors to this negative ingestion is your own self-talk. The person you will listen to the most in your life is you. So be gentle with yourself and realize that we are all flawed in one way or another. You don’t have to be perfect. I know many people who have the perception that everyone else has it all figured out. This simply is not true. Keeping a record of your successes in a journal is another good way to give your esteem a much needed boost when you are down.

5. Build your Network

The key to networking success is not to ask what your network can do for you, instead ask what you can do for your network. Taking the attitude of helping others without the thought of what you will get in return will also separate you from the crowd, impress others and help you feel good in the process. The rewards of taking this approach far outweigh the I’ll scratch your back only if you scratch mine approach.

6. Discover your bosses Love Language:

Connecting is the key to effective communication. By discovering your bosses Love Language or preferred communication style, you will connect more often. The rewards will be fewer misunderstandings and a better relationship.

7. Discover the critical 20% of your job:

20 % of your efforts will drive 80% of your results. Discovering which 4 or 5 critical tasks are that 20%, and then delivering on those tasks will not only help you succeed in your job, but it will also get noticed by your peers and your superiors.

By using these tips you will not only be helping you sell yourself on how good you are, but you will be selling other on that fact as well.

We got lucky!!! Update on Mom’s condition after the stroke

First off thank you to everyone who expressed their love and kept my Mom in their prayers, in person, on the phone or online (on Facebook, through Email or on this blog) during this challenging time.

A week ago, my Mom suffered a stroke. (To read more about it check out my previous post titled: The High Cost of Waiting https://relmes.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/the-high-cost-of-waiting/

But we got lucky!!!

The reason I say “we” is because instead of wondering what might have been, we are wondering what is next, and instead of thinking what we could have done in the past to help her, we are thinking of how we can help her in the future and instead of planning a funeral, we are planning her rehabilitation.

As I mentioned in the last post, when the stroke hit, she recognized she was in trouble and she called for help and getting there saved her life.

But as she realizes now, her life in the future will be different.

She is lucky that the damage of the stroke appears to have effected her vision and her memory.

At this time she has lost her right side vision from one o’clock(if you think of looking straight being twelve o’clock) to the right everywhere except on the bottom. This may or may not improve over time.

Her memory has also been effected.

I describe it this way: If all of her memories were on sheets of paper, all categorized and files for easy and quick retreaval, the stroke messed up that filing system and scattered all of the sheets on the floor.

In the first days following the stroke, she had trouble recalling her last name, her telephone number and even the names of her family members. However, she has improved this by studying her “cheat sheets” in order to re-learn these important facts.

Her short term memory has also been effected, because I can have a conversation with her and a few minutes we can be talking about the same things.

A few of things that I have taken away from this learning process;

If you want to learn and anything is possible. Mom has told me many days she will find herself waking up at night and she will invest the time in studying. She view this as a challenge and I am confident that it will pay off. (I have witnessed her improving every day)

Forced learning doesn’t stick. Mom said that when she is trying really hard to remember something it doesn’t come to her, but when she is relaxed things come much easier. Although I give her credit that her frustration level has been incredibly low. I know if I were in her situation I would be incredibly frustrated.  Just think of how much you retained after cramming for exams in school.

Progress happens when it is enjoyable. Although it has been a tramatic experience for our whole family, I for one have thoroughly enjoyed the time that I have spent with Mom this week. We have laughed (Thank heavens she still has her sense of humour), and we have hugged (she instituted a new family rule that we have to hug each other everytime we see each other) and we have just appreciated the time together.

I know that in my training or coaching sessions I often use laughter as a way to open up the doors of learning, in order to help make the message stick.

As of the time of this post, my Mom is still in the Stroke wing at Grand River Hospital http://www.grandriverhospital.on.ca/ and will probably be there until at least Friday. Then hopefully she will be able to go home, where she will face a whole new set of challenges.

But if I know my Mom, she will continue to face those challenges with the same sense of adventure and humility that she has demonstrated to me this week.

I will keep you posted on her progress. But in the meantime, keep those prayers coming, because I am convinced they are the reason we are all lucky.