The 7+ Habits of Highly Effective Husbands – Habit #10: Think T.I.M.S. before buying her a gift

Although giving your wife a gift is a great way to show your love, especially if it’s in her favourite currency, if you’re not careful it can still blow up in your face.

Like the time when we were dating I gave my wife April a beautiful red lace rose, not knowing that when you took the plastic off, the head of the rose was really a little pair (and I mean little) of skimpy underwear.

That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I gave it to her at her birthday party… at my parents’ house.

And that summer when she started talking to me again… (her birthday is in December), she suggested that I needed help.

 And that is when I decided to study and learn the science behind effective gift giving.

A science that has been a mystery to husbands (and sales reps) for years… until now!

 What I discovered were thes 4 elements of effective gift giving that I call the T.I.M.S. factor.

The 1st element it Timing:

A gift that is a surprise is more powerful that one she expects.

You still need to give her a gift on special occassions, like Christmas, her Birthday or your Anniversary, but you may find that she will be just as delighted if you bring her flowers after work on Friday.

But, don’t do it every Friday… because then she’ll expect it which will not only make it less powerful, but if you forget one week she will be disappointed. This is certainly not the emotion you want to generate.

 The 2nd element is your Investment:

And by investment, I don’t just mean the money you spend but also the time and effort you take in thinking about, finding and picking out just the right gift for her.

The more time and effort you invest, the more powerful the gift will be.

Trust me, women know which gifts are bought on December 24th.

 The 3rd element is your Motive:

My research shows that there are 4 different types of gifts.

The “Just because I love you (or was thinking about you)” gift, which is the most powerful.

The “Thank you” gift, which is the next most powerful.

The “Negotiation” gift, which is less powerful, because if you receive something in return it is not really a gift.

And the “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” or the “suck-up” gift, which is abviously the least powerful.

 The 4th element of the T.I.M.S. model of effective gift giving is the Sensation that she feels when she gets your gift.

If your gift leaves her happy… you’re golden.

If you have to go out and buy her a “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” gift to make up for your original one… not so much.

So remember Habit #10 and think T.I.M.S. before buying her a gift.

Next time, in Habit #11 we will explore how to learn from hundreds of years of wisdom in order improve your marriage.

The High Cost of Waiting

I just sat there stunned. The phone call had ended a minute ago, but I was still holding the phone.

I was stunned, because my brother-in-law just told me that my Mom was being rushed to the hospital and they believe she may be having a stroke. http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.2796497/k.F922/Heart_Disease_Stroke_and_Healthy_Living.htm

Apparently, she was watching TV last night and she suddenly felt pain in the right side of her head and she couldn’t see anything on the right side of her head. Also, the right side of her arms and legs felt tingly and started to go numb.  http://www.flash-med.com/Stroke_Symptoms.asp

She called up to my sister-in-law, who lives with her and my sister-in-law (who doesn’t drive) stayed with her and quickly called my Sister (who lives 4 blocks away and who drives).

My sister arrived quickly, but it took the two of them almost 30 minutes to convince my Mom to go to the hospital. (She was also disoriented and very scared) I live 30 minutes away and I almost arrived there before them.

They arrived at the Emergency Room at the St. Mary’s General Hospital http://www.smgh.ca/ where they were quickly ushered in and looked at right away.

The doctors and nurse quickly went to work diagnosing her situation and one of the key questions that they needed to find out was what time this occured. Aparently, the treatment is different, depending on how long it has been since the stroke began. They have a small window of opportunity to administer a certain drug, so receiving this information was critical.

It turns out that that treatment was not available, not because of the time window, but because of another complication that we originally forgot to tell the doctors about. And if that information was not provided, the complications from the treatment could have made the situation worse. Much worse.

The doctors and nurses provided another treatment and the symptoms started to subside. Her headache was gone, the right side of her body was going back to normal and she started to regain some of her right side vision.

As the situation was stablizing, she was even able to get some rest.

At the time of writing this she has improved even more and has been transferred to Grand River Hospital http://www.grandriverhospital.on.ca/, which apparently has a specialized Stroke Team that will assess her and take over her care.

From this experience, I take away several different life and business lessons.

  1. When there is trouble, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we need to seek out professional help and advice. If we have a business challenge and we don’t seek answers outside of ourself, we can end up doing more damage.
  2. When assessing needs, full disclosure can be critical, because it may alter the decision that is made. Although you may risk losing that sale, your customer will appreciate your candor and you will greatly increase your odds of gaining a customer for life.
  3. Timing can be critical. If you find out that you can’t deliver on what you have promised and don’t tell your customer right away, you risk losing the sales (and your reputation). However, if you let them know right away, they may still be able to make alternate plans and still get their needs met. They still will not be happy that you couldn’t deliver this time, but they will know that you are working in their best interest and they may give you a second chance in the future.

Because the high cost of waiting can cost you a sale, just like the high cost of waiting could have cost my Mom her life.

But thankfully, it didn’t. Now she is not out of the woods yet, but she is doing much better than she was 12 short hours ago.

One other thing… the reason that I dropped everything and rushed to the hospital was to:

Support her at her time of need, make sure she was O.K. and to tell her that I love her. The last one was critical, because I needed her to know that in case this situation turned fatal.

Why did I tell you this?

I told you this because I have a 2 favours to ask.

  1. Please include my Mom in your prayers today.
  2. Take the opportunity to tell the people in your life that are important to you that you love them. Pick up the phone, write them a note, or whatever, but do it today. Don’t wait, because if you don’t, you may find that the cost of waiting is just too high.

Ending your speech with a Bang: How to effectively close your presentation

In my previous post I talked about how important the close of your presentation is.

In this post we will talk about how to create a memorable close that will end your presentation on a high note.

In order to end you presentation / training / speech on a high note you need to consider these key elements:

Summarize: The classic speech structure that I learned at Toastmasters http://www.toastmasters.org/ says that you tell your audience what you are going to talk about in your introduction, then you tell them in the body of your presentation, and finally you tell them what you just told them in your conclusion.

The reasoning behind this formula is that the repetition will enhance retention, in other words what your audience will remember from your presentation.

Stories: I love stories!!! I believe that stories are like peanut butter for the brain, because stories are memorable (they help the message stick in your audience’s brain), when you attach the main point to the story you will not only remember the story, but the main point as well.

One of my favorite ways to use a story in a speech is to tell a two-part story. Open your presentation with part one of the story, then at a key point, switch into the lesson which is the body of the story, then finish the speech with, as famous radio annoucer Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story”. This is a great way to tie your presentation together.

One other thing about stories is that you want your final story should be uplifting or inspiration (not depressing or with dark tones in it) in order to leave your audience with a good feeling.

Quotes: Quotes are those golden nuggets that can say so much with very few words. Using the right quote at the end of you presentation can leave your audience with a very powerful “ah-ha” moment.

Tip off your ending: The reason you want to tip off your ending is that it will perk up your audience and help them listen closely for your final words of wisdom. Now there are many ways to tip off your ending, the most overused way is to say, “In conclusion”. However if you want to make more of an impact use, “I want to leave you with this final thought.”

Timing: Probably the most important thing that I have learned from not only my years on the platform, but from some of the other experts that I have worked with, (specifically Jim Clemmer http://www.jimclemmer.com/ and Warren Evans http://www.wevans.com/ ) is that your audience will forget everything you have told them if you run late. I believe that when they realize that you have run over the time that you have been alloted and they realize it, magically their brain opens up and all the knowledge you have given them escapes and your audience leaves frustrated. Ending on time is that important.

Here are a couple of tricks that I picked up on how to end on time.

The first trick that I have picked up from another excellent speaker, Donald Cooper http://www.donaldcooper.com/, at a CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers http://www.canadianspeakers.org/) conference a few years ago,  is to carry a small digital clock that will be facing you (and away from the audience) and right below the time put a piece of masking tape with the time you need to finish on it. And as Donald says, “When the time on the clock matches the time on the tape… shut up. ”

The second trick I learned at Toastmasters (http://www.toastmasters.org/) is to have an alternate close. Arm yourself with at least two different closings. One with a story and one with a quote. This way if you see that you are getting pressed for time, just switch to the quote that makes the same point as the story and finish your presentation on time. And the cool thing is that you audience will never know that you made the switch.

Use these suggestions and not only will your audiences love you for it, but it will make you more memorable and it will even increase your odds of selling them and getting repeat business (whether it is another speech, your products or services). Now that is what I call finishing with a bang!!!

The Science of Giving Gifts

 The following tip is from my Guide titled: The 7+ Habits of Highly Effective Husbands.  When you read it think how this psychology may come into play when you are giving gifts to your customers.

The Science of Giving Gifts 

Giving your wife a gift is a great way to show your love, but if you are not careful it can blow up in your face.

Like the time when we were dating I gave my wife April a beautiful red lace rose, not knowing that when you took the plastic off, the head of the rose was really a little pair (and I mean little) of skimpy underwear.

That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I gave it to her at her birthday party… at my parents’ house.

And that summer when she started talking to me again… (her birthday is in December), she suggested that I needed help.

 

And that is when I decided to study and learn the science behind effective gift giving.

A science that has been a mystery to husbands (and sales reps) for years… until now!

 

What I discovered were thes 4 elements of effective gift giving that I call the T.I.M.S. factor.

 

The 1st element it Timing:

A gift that is a surprise is more powerful that one she expects.

You still need to give her a gift on special occassions, like Christmas, her Birthday or your Anniversary, but you may find that she will be just as delighted if you bring her flowers after work on Friday.

But, don’t do it every Friday… because then she’ll expect it which will not only make it less powerful, but if you forget one week she will be disappointed. This is certainly not the emotion you want to generate.

 

The 2nd element is your Investment:

And by investment, I don’t just mean the money you spend but also the time and effort you take in thinking about, finding and picking out just the right gift for her.

The more time and effort you invest, the more powerful the gift will be.

Trust me, women know which gifts are bought on December 24th.

 

The 3rd element is your Motive:

My research shows that there are 4 different types of gifts.

The “Just because I love you (or was thinking about you)” gift, which is the most powerful.

The “Thank you” gift, which is the next most powerful.

The “Negotiation” gift, which is less powerful, because if you receive something in return it is not really a gift.

And the “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” or the “suck-up” gift, which is abviously the least powerful.

 

The 4th element of the T.I.M.S. model of effective gift giving is the Sensation that she feels when she gets your gift.

If your gift leaves her happy… you’re golden.

If you have to go out and buy her a “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” gift to make up for your original one… not so much.

So remember the Science of Gift Giving and think T.I.M.S. before buying her a gift.