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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

9 Essentials to Exponentially Explode Customer Engagement

1. Foster customer activity. Especially during long wait times. Giving the customer something to do that enfolds him in the effort and tempers impatience. For example, at Six Flags, they play non-stop cartoons while you wait in 45-minute roller coaster lines. At the Vegas airport, they loop entertaining PSA’s about airport safety starring famous performers like Rita Rudner, Blue Man Group and CarrotTop. What activity could you involve your customers in?

2. A year from now, what will your buyers say about you? Hopefully, that they had an unforgettable experience with you. Ideally, that they’d love to do repeat business with you. And possibly, that they they’d like to recommend you to their cousin Marty. What will you do between now and then to make that reality YOUR reality?

3. I’m all ears and I’m all YOURS. Try answering phone this way. Try greeting customers at the door this way. Try welcoming guests into your hotel this way. Of course, you don’t have to actually say this exact sentence (although it IS a great line.) Your goal is to lay an immediate foundation of attentive, personal service. What’s your opening line?

4. Make your customers proud to be your customers. So much so that they gloat to their friends that they “get” to work with you. As if it were something to brag about. As if it were truly an honor to be served by you. Sound a bit over the top? Well, think about the last time YOU bragged about how honored you were to know someone. Then think about the pattern of behavior that warranted such a glowing referral. How well does your service process mirror those attributes?

5. Build enthusiasm into small moments. From phone answering to email subject lines to saying goodbye as your customers walk out the door. Try this: Make a list of every minor touchpoint in your service process. Then brainstorm THREE unexpected, unforgettable ways to add a exclamation point to each one. How much money are you losing by not being enthusiastic?

6. Be a better customer yourself. The best way to GET anything in life is to just GIVE that thing first. So, when the tables are turned, morph yourself into the greatest customer in the world. The ONE customer that actually made the barista crack a smile all day. Karma will see to it that your customers reciprocate. How good of a customer are you?

7. Don’t allow “fine.” If your customers answer ANY questions with the word “fine,” it means a few things. First of all, “fine” isn’t a real word. It’s an acronym for Feelings I’m Not Expressing. So, your goal is to dig beneath the surface and discover how they REALLY feel about your service.

Which leads to the second thing: You asked the wrong question. Never ask, “How was your stay?” Always ask, “What was the highlight of your stay?” This prevents the possibility of fine and gives people permission to say, “The bed was sooooo comfy!” or "I can't believe I ate a five pound lobster for breakfast!" What if no customer was allowed to say “fine”?

8. Don’t reach for ready-made replies. Scripts are inauthentic and annoying. Whenever possible, customize and personalize every conversation. Don’t forsake honesty for protocol. Customers can smell it, and it makes loyalty vanish.. Are you a robot?

9. Fans, fans, fans. That’s all that matters in the world of service. Customers, schmustomers. You need more fans. And I define fans as “fully engaged, emotionally involved customers who tell their friends about you.” How many do YOU have?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Monday, June 29, 2009

11 Sure-Fire Strategies for Getting New Business to Come to YOU

1. Build up a critical mass of interest. Now that you’ve attracted people’s attention, you’ve got to KEEP their attention by being interesting. I won’t go into all the details here, but there IS a formula for becoming the most interesting person you know. Read it. Memorize it. Live it. How are you keeping yourself fascinating?

2. Be Shoulder Angel. Remember in the cartoons when the little devil/angel would appear on character’s shoulders? That’s you. (The angel, not the devil.) And your goal is to position your expertise in such a way that your fans wouldn’t DARE go into the marketplace without your opinion. Psst! Talk to me first! You whisper. On whose shoulder do you sit?

3. Give people a reason to talk about you. Think about the last five people you were compelled to tell others about. Why? What were the common attributes of those people that elicited your word of mouth? And then ask yourself, “How well do I LIVE those attributes in my own life?” Are you spreadable?

4. Enlarge your warm market faster. That means more people will have to know who you are, what unique value you provide and why that value will help them obtain more sex, money or happiness. So, that means more writing articles, posting more blogs, attending more networking events and delivering more presentations. That should keep you busy for a while. What’s the temperature of the majority of your sales calls?

5. Is your name on it? If it’s not, you suck at marketing. Period. How DARE you release anything into the world – your product, your art, your philosophy, your website – without christening it with the personal stamp of YOU. Remember: Your identity is your most valuable possession. And if you don't make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. What do people think when they see your name?

6. Your reputation is your client generator. Especially since people buy people first. So, the smartest and most effective marketing strategy in the world is to project uncracked character. To be an amazing person. To be a good guy to know. To make your life a work of art. Remember: Character is the great catchall. Start there. Everything should fall into line. Are you a character or do you HAVE character?

7. Look for reactions, not opinions. Opinions prove nothing. Plus they can be faked. Reactions – physical, bodily reactions – can’t. Because your body will never lie to you. So, when testing out a new logo, slogan, product or idea, watch and listen VERY closely to what people’s bodies are telling you. Their opinion might be saying, “Nah, your website doesn’t do it for me,” but their pulse and breathing patterns might say, “Where do I sign up!” Are you listening to the wrong response?

8. People go to Google to solve their problem. That means you need to be the answer TO, the cure FOR, the originator OF, the authority ON, or the first/best AT … something. What problem do you solve?

9. Polarize people purposely. If everybody loves your idea, you’re doing something wrong. If you’re not pissing off at least some people, you’re doing something wrong. And if some retired schoolteacher from Michigan tells you that your website is offensive – and she’s nowhere NEAR your target market – who the hell cares? Remember: Please only the people who pay. Do enough people hate you?

10. Stop being a secret. “Secrets, secrets, are no fun. Secrets, secrets, hurt someone.” Yeah – they hurt YOU. And your bottom line. Because anonymity is bankruptcy. Why are you still positioning your company as “The Best Kept Secret”?

11. Your customers are making music already. Your job is to listen to it, record it, memorize the words to it, learn the chords to it, and then rock their faces off using your product as the amplifier. Freeeeebiiiiiird! Who’s holding up a lighter for you?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Friday, June 26, 2009

38 Ways to to Make TODAY the Best Day of Your Life

How you spend your day – literally, hour by hour – will determine how much money you make, how happy you are, how healthy you are and how successful you become.

Period. Amen. Q.E.D.

Here are 38 ways to make TODAY the best day of your life:

1. Today, accomplish three highly valuable activities.

2. Today, achieve small victories.

3. Today, add value to yourself.

4. Today, approach everything you do as practice.

5. Today, ask dangerous questions.

6. Today, ask for help.

7. Today, ask for the sale.

8. Today, be thankful for it all.

9. Today, break a few rules.

10. Today, count the lies you told yourself.

11. Today, deliberately add value to your business.

12. Today, demonstrate a value that is near and dear to your heart.

13. Today, enhance your celebrity status.

14. Today, facilitate self-discovery and reflection.

15. Today, fail at something.

16. Today, gather creative fruit.

17. Today, give yourself away.

18. Today, give yourself permission.

19. Today, go quietly inside yourself.

20. Today, ignore the would-be deflectors of your one true dream.

21. Today, increase your freedom tomorrow.

22. Today, make sure some part of you gets stronger.

23. Today, make sure some part of your life gets better.

24. Today, make the effort today to become the person you want to be.

25. Today, make the tasks on your agenda worthy of your life.

26. Today, make your non-billable time worthwhile.

27. Today, move a little closer to your goals.

28. Today, personally amputate the people who don’t believe in you.

29. Today, put your ear to the ground and listen for things that are coming.

30. Today, risk turning some people off.

31. Today, rock your own socks off by constantly impress yourself.

32. Today, solidify your boundaries by saying no to the wrong things.

33. Today, solidify your boundaries by saying yes to the right things.

34. Today, trust that the best thing that could have happened, happened.

35. Today, validate your existence.

36. Today, walk your truth in a world of (mostly) fiction.

37. Today, work on your legacy.

38. Today, write something.

Pick one. Or three. Or make up your own list.

It doesn’t matter how many you do.

All that matters is that you do them TODAY.

Go.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you make today best day of your life?

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For the list called, “40 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Needs to Ask," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

20 Keys to Crafting a Career You Can Be Proud Of

1. Action isn’t just eloquence, it’s credibility. And it’s rare. So if you make it your practice to actually execute your ideas quickly, you’ll be ahead of 90% of the world. What have you taken action on today?

2. Be careful not to set too low a price point for your own value. It’s hard to raise it back up. Are you charging enough?

3. Be fierce and original in your work. Stealing other people’s ideas is easy. Doing your own thing is a challenge. Which road will you take?

4. Be gentle and non-critical of yourself. When you mess up, don’t say, “I suck!” Try saying, “Next time!” or “Until now, I used to suck…” or “Starting today, I’m getting better at…” Do you listen to the way you talk to yourself?

5. Be honest with yourself about what really matters to and motivates you. Otherwise everything you do will have an undercurrent of slight suckiness. What are your non-negotiables?

6. Be in the presence of advanced souls more frequently. And when you are, listen. Take notes. Ask questions. Watch them BE. Best learning in the world. Whom are you allowing to mentor you?

7. Be just as much of a rockstar off stage. That way people won’t have to guess which version of you they’re dealing with. How deep is the gap between your onstage performance and your backstage reality?

8. Be the answer. “Solve problems that are real, expensive, urgent and pervasive,” says my pal David Newman. What were you designed to cure?

9. Become a fixture in your industry. Make sure everyone else who does what you do knows who you are and what you do. Whom are you known by?

10. Charge enough so people will listen TO – and actually DO – what you say. Your time isn’t valuable – it’s billable. And you need to educate people on your value. To help them realize that you get what you pay for. Remember: If people don’t pay you, they don’t hear you. So, if they don’t hire you, don’t solve their problem. How could you turn bloodsuckers into clients?

11. Chose to make personal growth your daily discipline. That way, every day, some part of you gets stronger. And every say, some part of your life gets better. The cool part is, after a few years, that stuff really starts to add up. Especially when you’re writing it all down. How did you grow today?

12. Decide whom you want to become a known entity to. Could be a boss. Or a customer. Or a prospect. Or a competitor. Or a coworker. Or a company you’d LOVE to work at. Doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is that you develop a strategy for regularly appearing on that person’s radar in a value-based, word-of-mouth driven way. Who needs to know who you are?

13. Define and redefine your definition of success. When you write your own definition of your success your life accelerates. Period. So, keep images of that definition in front of your face daily. And affirm that your version of success has already happened daily. Your mind won’t know the difference, and it will just assume you’re already successful. And then you’ll start acting that way. And then it will be happening before you realize it. Sweet. What’s your personal definition of success?

14. Don’t assume that everyone is broke and won’t support you. Bad economy, schmad economy. People have money. And they will happily give it to the person who solves their problems and makes them fall in love with themselves. Who has your money in their pockets?

15. Don’t come across as someone who has a sense of scarcity. Dump every relevant fact without the fear that it would reduce your value. Free works. And remember that the more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be. Don’t worry: The world will pay you back. Are you giving away enough?

16. Don’t march to the beat of a different drummer – BE the drummer. You don’t need lessons. You don’t need to know how to read music. You only need to know how to listen to your heart and play what you feel without skipping a beat. What are you marching to?

17. Drive the competition crazy. Make them hate your guts. Make them slam their fist down on the table when they see your website and yell, “Damn it! We should be doing stuff like that!” Who hates you?

18. Everything that happens in your life affords SOME value. The secret is to design a system for drawing wisdom from every experience. Personally, I make lists of lessons I learned from everything. It’s quick, easy and fun. I’m also super O.C.D. and that’s just the way I think. How do you extract value from your experiences?

19. Figure it out by DOING it. You can only read so many books, watch so many videos, listen to so many audio programs and interview so many people. Eventually, you just have to jump into the water with your clothes on and trust that you’ll figure out how to swim before the water fills your lungs. Are you talking or doing?

20. Forget about the HOW and touch the center of WHY. How is overrated. How is a dream destroyer. Don’t be stopped by not knowing it. Instead, find out why. Why fuels you. Why is what matters. Why is what sustains you after the how becomes irrelevant. What’s your WHY?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you creating a career you can be proud of?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “40 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Needs to Ask," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

5 Practices to Help People Have a More Positive Experience of You

PICTURE THIS: Somebody just finishes interacting with you. Phone, email, in person, Twitter, whatever. And this person could be a customer, coworker, colleague, manager or employee.

Five minutes later, she walks into the bathroom with her best friend. And she starts telling her friend all about how she experienced you, AND how she experienced herself when she was with you. From five minutes ago.

Now, here’s the twist: During this conversation, the only other person in the bathroom is YOU. Silently crouching on the toilet, eavesdropping on these two people talking about … YOU.

And so, the two questions I want you to honestly ask yourself are:

1. What would they say about you?
2. How surprised would you be?

If you want the answer to the first question to be positive; and the answer to the second question to be “not very,” consider these five practices for helping people have a more positive experience of you.

1. Assure you don’t leave people feeling unheard. Towards the end of your interaction, it might be helpful to ask summary or clarification questions like:

o Is there anything else?
o What questions have I not answered yet?
o What questions did I not ask that you were hoping I’d ask?
o What questions did I not ask that I probably should've asked?

REMEMBER: Let people know that if they think of another question in the next day or two, they can reach out to you. Even a follow up email a day or two later wouldn’t be a bad idea. As long as the impression is that you’re curious for clarity and not an overwhelming micromanager.

2. Create the space people need to exert their distinctiveness. “Relate to people as unique individuals,” says Bob Lefton in Leadership Through People Skills. “Get to know each person for who he is, then interact on that basis.” Consider the following Permission Questions as a test of how well you execute this principle:

o Are you granting others space to BE?
o What questions are people afraid to ask you?
o Are you giving people permission to talk to you?
o What feelings are you not allowing people to have?
o What feelings are you not giving people space to feel?
o How are you resisting or suppressing the creativity of others?
o Are you giving people permission to feel playful around you?
o Are you giving people permission to make their own choices?
o What does the group have permission to discuss and make decisions about?
o When was the last time someone told you something they hadn’t told anyone else?

REMEMBER: Find a safe space to understand people’s unique reality; then give them permission to reveal it to you. And that might be as simple as pausing; then listening for greatness to show up in each person.

3. Paint a picture of what happens when people are marinated in your world. This can be accomplished by: Considering the communication climate you create around you. Noticing how you come off. Understanding what people get when they get you. Discovering how most people feel when they’re around you. And, by deciding how you want people to describe the experience of interacting with you.

Here are a few self-assessment questions to assist you in this discovery process:

o What do people hear when they listen to what you do?
o Is communicating with you a relaxing or stressful experience?
o When interacting with you, what is this person’s immediate physical experience?
o When you meet people, is your first thought about what they think of you or how you can make them more comfortable?

REMEMBER: Watch people’s physiology. Step outside yourself and honestly observe the way they’re reacting to you. And listen to the exact words people use when they introduce or describe you to other someone new.

4. Recognize, embrace and respond to the value others place on you. That the constant challenge (and my personal biggest screw-up) of proactive approachability: Understanding what “time with you” is (really) worth to other people. Because if you don’t recognize this currency, you may never think to offer yourself as much, or at all, to those who need you.

Then, others might think, “I hate to take up his time when so many people want time with him.” Don’t assume that if people want to be with you they'll just say so. People will seldom take the first step and ask for your time, especially if you're in a high visibility leadership position. And as a result, you’ll miss out on encounters with some VERY cool people.

REMEMBER: People are waiting for YOU to initiate the next meeting. So, be proactive. Offer yourself more consciously, actively and directly to them. If you can practice this strategy, people will appreciate your recognition of the perceived value they place on you.

5. Remain open to positive AND negative feedback about yourself. Jerry Seinfeld said it best, “There are only two types of feedback: ‘That’s great!” or “That sucks!’ Either way, when someone takes the time to offer you REAL feedback or constructive criticism, try this.

Even if you disagree with it, even if you don't value it, THANK them for it. Without this expression of gratitude, you run the risk of shutting down the flow of valuable information that (could have) helped you become more effective in your role.

And often times, it’s just a matter of asking. Try these Phrases That Payses:

o What can I do to become a better…?
o How do you perceive my expectations of you?
o Can you tell me more about what you’re feeling?
o Will you give me some feedback about what I just said?
o Can you tell me specifically what I did that made you think to that?
o Will you tell me more about what you didn’t like about what I said/did?
o Can you tell me about a time when it happened so I can better understand?
o How might I recognize when you have something difficult to express to me?

Also, here’s an approach I’ve used for years to demonstrate openness to feedback about myself: “Would you be willing to share with me a list of specific points about (x)? And I request this not in a ‘tell me why I'm so great’ way, but rather, ‘tell me what worked so I can replicate it in the future.’” Works every time!

REMEMBER: Find out where the rock created the ripple and either: 1) Throw more rocks, or 2) Stop throwing rocks all together. After all, finding out where you suck is the only way you will improve.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do people experience you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "33 Daily Practices for Boosting Your Managerial Magnetism," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NametagTV: Be Your Own Customer

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9.

Watch the original video on NametagTV!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When was the last time you were your own customer?

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For a list called, "12 Ways to Out Service the Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

The world's FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott's comprehensive marketing guidebook on Amazon.com and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

Monday, June 22, 2009

How to Handle Jerks without Resorting to Passive Aggression, Hostile Confrontation or Murder

Almost everyone deals with one.

A bully. A tyrant. A toxic person. A pain in the ass.

You know, a jerk.

THE BAD NEWS IS: It’s part of life. It’s part of having a job. It’s part of working with people.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: You have a choice in how you respond to these people.

Today we’re going to explore the most effective attitudes and responses for approaching (and being approached by) jerks.

We’ll identify philosophies and practices you need to interact with your coworkers in healthy ways. Namely, those that DON’T make you want to gouge out your eyes with a letter opener.

Now, before we look at the strategies, let’s examine four big-picture issues...

FIRST: The reality of the jerk.
Accept the fact that you’re not going to change this person’s mind. Nor will you fundamentally alter his personality.

Chronic jerky behavior tends to be deep seeded and therefore, immobile. As such, it’s VERY hard to force people to renovate their habits and attitudes.

What’s worse, a jerk’s behavioral patterns have probably garnered him (some form of) success over his career. Otherwise he wouldn’t still be working there. This means the jerk’s incentive to change is about as attractive as relocating his cubicle to the septic tank.

SECOND: The reality of the context.
Also keep in mind the stratospheric ridiculousness of the typical corporate mentality: As long as the jerk meets the bottom line, he’s likely to continue behaving in the same way without anyone reprimanding him.

Sad but true. So again, remember that there’s little incentive to change.

THIRD: The reality of you.
Jerks cause people stress. Period. Now, I don’t have any fancy statistics to back this statement up; but I triple dog dare you to argue against it. And here’s the problem: With prolonged exposure, the chronic hostility induced by jerks CAN negatively affect your health.

As Lillian Glass wrote in Toxic People, “We’re so used to having toxic comments hurled at us by others that we begin to feel comfortable with them.”

The danger is, even if it’s only a few negative comments by your boss here and there, it still adds up. And contaminated environments will eventually hurt you directly.

Especially if you become SO frustrated with a coworker that you decide to spend your lunch hour smashing your head into the copy machine until the toner cartridge starts printing in red. Not exactly good for your health.

FOURTH: The reality of the solution.
Gary Namie said it best in Bullies at Work: “When dealing with difficult people, most normal adult communication techniques don’t work. And that will drive you up the wall.”

This means two things: (1) You’ve got to try new approaches, and (2) None of these approaches will work unless YOU are calm and emotional unreactive.

- - -

OK! Now that you’re aware of these four jerky realities, lets dig into some strategies for maintaining your approachability, even when dealing with people who drive you up the wall.

1. Change your reponse. You don’t need to change your situation, your environment or the people in it. In fact, you can’t. There are only three things in the world you CAN control: (1) Your thoughts, (2) Your choices, and (3) Your responses.

Notice I said “responses,” not reactions. HUGE difference. Reactions are unconscious reflexes; responses are conscious decisions.

So, no matter how hostile, rude or annoying some people are, you need to be strong enough to F-R-E-E-Z-E. To hold that moment in a loving space and engage in self-exploration via healthy internal dialogue.

This will help you dilute the toxicity of the effects of these people early on. And the cool part is, once you identify and understand the root of someone’s unapproachable behavior, you exponentially increase your ability to handle the person effectively.

Take some time out to assess what’s happening (and why) by asking yourself questions like:

o Could I possibly remind this individual of someone in their past who gave them a hard time?
o Did something change in this person’s personal life – perhaps a financial situation – making her more secretive and unapproachable?
o Did something change in this person’s workload or status making her more cold and rigid?
o How is it possible that this person could think or behave in this way, and under what circumstances would it make perfect sense to do so?
o If this person "accidentally" got run over by the UPS truck, would people suspect me?
o In what ways have my needs begun to clash with hers?
o Is this person threatened by me being rewarded at work and is shutting me out of the loop?
o Was there an incident between us that left bad feelings?
o Were there clues early on that this individual was going to put up barriers toward me or others?
o What are the verbal cues this person is offering that indicate what they value?
o What is it in me that might be causing this situation?
o Is it possible this person is a cyborg?

2. Understand the source. Let’s say your coworker, Karen, is a huge pain in the butt to work with. She saps you of your effectiveness and energy. Her behavior impairs your performance and creates an atmosphere of paranoia.

She shows no regard for your opinions. She displaces her fears on you. She’s interpersonally exploitative. And to compound the awfulness of the situation, she’s oblivious to those around her and unaware of the impact she’s having on you.

Yikes. Try this:

o Go to the source. Instead of trying to fight back, seek to establish an environment in which the abuse doesn’t occur. For example, let’s say someone is spreading office rumors about you. The single greatest strategy to deflect such nastiness is to live your life in a way that makes those rumors hard to swallow.

o Reduce exposure. As Mr. Miyagi suggested in The Karate Kid, “The best way to block a punch is to not be there.” So, consider the simple strategy of reducing your exposure to certain people.

And as Scott Adams explained in The Dilbert Principle, "You can’t win irrational people over to your side by your superior reasoning abilities. Trying to win an argument with an irrational person is like trying to teach a cat to snorkel by providing written instructions. You best strategy is to reduce the time you spend in that sort of situation.”

One strategy for doing so is to hold meetings in which the attendees (jerk included) are required to stand, not sit. According to The No Asshole Rule, requiring people to stand reduces the average meeting time by over 30%.

3. Use inner resources. OK. You’ve changed your immediate response. You’ve considered the source. Lastly, keep these actionable strategies at your disposal whenever you’re faced with consistent jerky behavior.

o Hold your gaze. Eye contact is an indicator of confidence. Don’t look away or you’ll appear intimidated. And, this will give the jerk the impression that his tactics are working and continue to fuel his fire. At the same time, don’t challenge the person to a staring duel. That only works in Westerns. Find the right balance.

o Increase your listenability. Because jerks aren’t great listeners, you need to try extra hard to make yourself more listenable. Check out this handy guide I wrote on (not) how to “get people to listen to you,” but rather, how to become a more listenable person.

o Breathe. When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. I learned this from taking yoga for the past two years, and it’s been an invaluable skill. Sure, it sounds cheesy and new age, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. Just remember: The more disturbing people’s actions are, the more you need to coolly respond, instead of reacting. Cultivating a relationship with your breath will help you do that.

REMEMBER: Jerks are part of life. They’re part of having a job. They’re part of working with people.

Fortunately, you have a choice in how you deal with these people: You can either react, which is an unconscious reflex; or respond, which is a conscious decision.

Or, when all else fails, you can always resort to passive aggression, hostile confrontation or ice pick-related murder.

And if that's the case, you don't know me.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your secret for approaching jerks?

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For the list called, "26 Rapid-Fire Strategies for becoming the Most Approachable Person in Your Organization," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The #1 Strategy for Kicking Some Serious Ass on Your Next Job Interview

Congratulations! You got the job interview.

So, now that you bought a new suit, got a fancy haircut, did all your homework, read all the career books, practiced answering interview questions and recited enough positive affirmations to make Anthony Robbins cringe, there’s only ONE thing left to remember:

You’re NOT there to answer their questions.

Let me repeat that. You’re NOT there to answer their questions.

Instead, here’s why you are there:

You’re there to articulate your fabulousness.
You’re there to deliver an impeccable performance.
You’re there to blow everyone else out of the water.
You’re there to guarantee that nobody forgets you were there.
You’re there to make enough of a mark that people can’t leave you out.
You’re there to help morsels of your credibility expand in people’s heads.

You’re NOT there to answer their questions.

You’re there to advance your agenda and get what you came for.
You’re there to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.
You’re there to tell people what they need to hear to fall in love with you.
You’re there to THINK, SAY, DO and BE the polar opposite of what everyone is expecting.

You’re NOT there to answer their questions.

You’re there to make YES the easy option.
You’re there to teach these people how to trust you.
You’re there to create an aura that makes you more desirable.
You’re there to relentlessly pursue the visions that possess you.
You’re there to bring all of who you are to the statement you make about the world.

You’re NOT there to answer their questions.

You’re there to be seen as a problem solver.
You’re there to start positive rumors about yourself.
You’re there to let The Best have a real chance at you.
You’re there to create a compelling, credible composite of your character.
You’re there to make it impossible for people to escape your awesomeness.

You’re NOT there to answer their questions.

You’re there to increase the probability of getting a hire by becoming more listenable, more employable, more hireable, more noticeable, more non-checkoffable, more promotable, more quotable, more spreadable, more uncategorizable and more unforgettable.

Ultiamtely, you’re there to do the ONE THING you know how to do better than anyone else on the planet: Be yourself.

You’re NOT there to answer their questions.

Good luck.

Email me when you land the job.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why are you interviewing?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “40 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Needs to Ask," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6 Ways to become a More Listenable Leader

1. Articulate strategy and ideas in plain language. The less jargon you use, the more engaging you become.

PRACTICE: In the writing world, shorter sentences get read. In the speaking world, shorter sentences get HEARD. So, think like a writer. Watch those long and cumbersome sentences. Don’t construct your ideas in a way that overburdens people’s brains.

For example, some leaders/managers spew one idea after another. Meanwhile, listeners are still stuck on the FIRST one, trying to figure out what heck you meant. Be careful. Non-brilliance might be forgivable, but time wasting isn’t. Keep your message lean, low-carb and plucked of nonessential words.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Could a fifth grader understand you?

2. Share information in a clear and concise manner. People are swamped, people are stressed, and they don’t have time to decode your hieroglyphics.

PRACTICE: As a writer, speaker and teacher myself, I’ve discovered the secret to raising receptivity. What’s more, the secret to making your messages more listenable, readable, digestible and learnable.

Three words: Meaningful Concrete Immediacy.

Here’s a rapid-fire list of strategies to do so: No jargon. Chunk ideas into small clusters. No stupid metaphors, bromides or unclear analogies like Dr. Phil loves to use. No vague language. Speak with value, not vanity. Hook moments to personal meaning. Get passion involved. Give people the meat. Zero into the heart of the matter. Package truth as nuggets. Meaningful Concrete Immediacy. Got it? Cool.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: How are you making it hard for people to listen to you?

3. Create a zone of respect around you without being overbearing. Those who build credibility into everything they do are listened to.

PRACTICE: Beware of unspecified attribution. This is my #1 pet peeve of all time. Delete the following vague, non-believable phrases from your vocabulary:

Studies show. Recent research proves. Scientists say. Psychologists report. Experts believe. They say. There’s an old story that says. I’ve heard. Most people agree. It is said that. Critics say. Statistics show. Somebody once said. The reviews say.

Um, no, they DON’T. None of that is good enough. In a conversation. In a speech. In an article. In a presentation. You need to PROVE your point. With facts. Sources. Numbers. Dates. Otherwise people have no reason to believe you.

Remember: Credibility comes from specificity. If you can’t cite a source, keep your mouth shut. Something isn’t always better than nothing.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: What is preventing people from taking you seriously?

4. When it’s a technical matter, (still) speak English. The problem isn’t that people never listen to you; the problem is that you’re not a listenable person.

PRACTICE: Pamper people’s short-term memory. It can handle about seven bits of information at a time. (Ahem, phone numbers.) Your challenge is to do everything you can to accommodate its capacity.

So, include a structure that will serve as an index for the material, i.e., “This process has four steps.” Then, at the end, sum it up, i.e., “Ok, so, to review, the first step was…”

That’s the secret: Making it easy for people to organize and remember material.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: How could you send this message so it gets through the clearest and quickest?

5. Communicate reasons for changes and decisions. Assuming that people know why you’re doing ANYTHING is dangerous.

PRACTICE: Don’t defend yourself; explain yourself. Make your motivations and intentions crystal clear. When you tell people why, they’re more likely to (1) believe you, (2) understand you, and (3) respond TO you.

Otherwise, people’s guesswork of your expectations leads to sub par performance. And eventually, when you yell at them for screwing up, they’ll explain that it was YOUR cloudy communication that caused it. D’oh!

LET ME ASK YA THIS: What is causing you to be easily misunderstood?

6. Share relevant insights and personal experiences. Pointless stories with zero applicability may or may not cause death by boredom to set in.

PRACTICE: Yes, you honor people greatly with your openness; but you also annoy people enormously with your irrelevancy. So, here’s the secret: Make your ideas applicable and actionable. As in, “How does the story I’m about to tell affect this person’s daily life TODAY?”

Because if it doesn’t, don’t tell it. And look, I’m all for Managing by Storying Around (great book, btw). But for the love of God, if you DO tell stories, make sure they’re packaged with instant keepers and takeaways grounded in universal human experiences.

Fluff accomplishes nothing. As Steve Martin so eloquently put it in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, “Hey, here’s an idea: When you tell a story – have a point! It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!”

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Does your insight leave the impression of value or vanity in people’s minds?

Good luck!

LET ME ASK THIS...
When you talk, why do people listen?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "23 Ways to Bring More of Yourself to Any Situation," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's quoting YOU?

Check out Scott's Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Five Factors that Fuel Your Engine of Credibility

So much so that, without it:

People will not buy from you.
People will not listen to you.
People will not open up with you.
People will not put their trust in you.

People will not take you seriously.
People will not consider your ideas.
People will not seek out your opinion.
People will not tell others to do the same.

Action is the engine of credibility.

THEREFORE: It does not matter what you believe. Or intend. Or even what you say.

Believing is overrated. Intending is useless. Talking is worthless.

Doing, on the other hand, isn’t.

It never has been.

Action is, has always been – and will always be – eloquence.

And your challenge is to continuously TAKE massive action. Every day. Constantly shoveling coal into your engine of credibility.

Here are five practices for doing so...

1. Study the origin. The word “credibility” comes from the Latin creditum, which means, “a loan, thing entrusted to another.” That’s interesting. Credibility is on loan.

Which mean your stoppage in action will make the engine sputter. Which means your credibility might take years to assemble, but only seconds to annihilate. Yikes. How are you marring your own credibility? What is diminishing the perception of your expertise? And how might you be (accidentally) making yourself appear less trustworthy?

2. Close the credibility gap. A few months ago I turned my radio to NPR to listen to the daily news show, “All Things Considered.” I’m not sure whom they were discussing, specifically, but the quotation was, “I couldn’t listen to his testimony because there wasn’t a shred of credibility in his being.”

Wow. Kind of makes you wonder: (1) whom the talking about? And (2) what that guy did to warrant such a gap? Zoinks. How could YOU make credibility disappear completely? What if you wrote a list on how to do so, printed it out and looked at it everyday? Think that would help close the gap?

3. Take daily steps to strengthen your foundation of personal credibility. In the (totally awesome!) book Credibility, authors Kouzes & Posner explain, “Credibility is a foundation built brick by brick. It’s earned through human contact, gained in small quantities though physical presence.”

That’s what being an approachable leader IS. You don’t have to work for some huge company. You don’t need thousands of followers. One person is enough. (Which, I suppose, makes us ALL leaders.)

And so, in that simple encounter, you listen, you transfer passion and you demonstrate emotional reliability. And over time, your foundation grows more robust. That’s how credibility is earned. How are you using your interactions to earn trust? What action have you taken (specifically) in the last 24 hours to boost your credibility? And how many other people witnessed it?

4. Learn to regain credibility after a failure. Fine. You screwed up. Big deal. Happens all the time. The secret is the way you respond to it. To quote the book Managing Up, “The bigger or more far reaching the consequences of your idea, the more you should expect to have your personal credibility examined.”

So, here’s how to regain credibility: Recognize it. Own up to it. Ask your people to help your rebuild it. Make a commitment to doing so. Visually remind people of your progress toward that commitment during the process. Maintain consistency until they trust you again. Thank them for sticking with you. Never stop building credibility in everything you do. And make sure that credibility is relevant. How will you use action to bounce back? What have you done (specifically) in the last 24 hours to boost your credibility? And how many other people witnessed it?

5. Create a credibility-strengthening plan. I suggest physically writing it out, signing it and posting it in a visible location in your office. This not only allows you to clarify your plan on paper, but also serves an effective tool for keeping yourself accountable.

Now, in terms of what your plan consists of, that’s up to you. Just remember: Make it daily, make it specific and make sure it involves one-on-one interactions with people. Those encounters are the soil in which your credibility will grow. What's your plan? How will you stick to it? And what will stand in your way of sticking to it?

In summary, I’d like to quote a great song called “When You’re Traveling at the Speed of Light” by one of my new favorite bands, These United States. In the final refrain, there’s a lyric sung repeatedly for about two minutes before fading out. It goes like this:

“If the thing that drives you onward is your heart, you must not let that engine die.”

Great line. And when I was listening to that album this morning, I started thinking: What would happen if I plugged that lyric into today’s topic?

It might go something like this:

“If the thing that drives your credibility onward is your action, you must not let that engine die.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Is your credibility engine dying?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, "12 Ways to Get Potential Employers to Open Your Email FIRST," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Create a Governing Document for Your Daily Decision-Making


Ever seen people sport those bracelets that read, “W.W.J.D?”

They stand for “What would Jesus do?”

I remember when they got big in the 90’s. In fact, they’re still popular today.

Interestingly, I recently found out that this well-known phrase, deriving from the Latin imitatio dei, or “the imitation of God,” didn’t gain cultural popularity until 1896.

Credit goes to Charles Sheldon's book, In His Steps, in which the subtitle was, "What Would Jesus Do?"

Anyway, that got me thinking. Not about Jesus or Christianity or religion.

But about making decisions. And HOW and WHY we make those decisions.

What about you? Have you ever thought about how and why YOU make decisions?

Here's the secret...

If you TRULY want to convey a thorough understanding of yourself…
If you HONESTY want to create a good working model of your own identity…
If you SINCERELY want to maintain consistency and alignment of your actions

You need to consider how you decide.

From the minute choices you make throughout the day, to your annual goal setting activities, to your major entrepreneurial or career decisions.

All of these choices fall under the umbrella of your Personal Guidance System. Your Opportunity Filter. Your Decision Tree of Life.

Now, you might not CALL it any of those things. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that less than 10% of the population has ever sat down and physically mapped out how they decide.

And for that reason, my challenge for you today is:

Physically create a governing document for your daily decision-making.

I just stumbled upon this process about six months ago myself. And I assure you it’s one of – if not THEE – most powerful exercises I’ve EVER executed for creating a good working model of my own identity.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Retrace your steps. Start by making a list of every single choice you made yesterday. What you ate, how you listened to people, which tasks your invested your time in, EVERYTHING. From the moment you woke up to the moment you went to bed. Now, obviously, you won’t be able to record EVERY choice. Just do the best you can.

2. Evaluate your process. For each item on your list, go back and think about HOW you actually made that choice. Ask yourself questions like:

a. Why did I make that choice?
b. What alternatives did I decide against?
c. Whom or what did I model my choice after?
d. What questions did I ask myself before choosing?
e. What thought processes did I take myself through?

It’s just like being a contestant on Millionaire: Four answers. Three lifelines. And you explain your decision-making process in real time to the host and audience so you can make an informed decision. “Well Regis, I know the answer’s not Lithuania because I’ve visited that country before … and I don’t think the answer is Latvia because I did paper on their government when I was in college, so…”

3. Dig for values. Once you’ve uncovered the HOW for each of yesterday’s decisions, it’s time to find out WHY. Ask yourself questions like:

a. What values were those choices rooted in?
b. What commonalities did all of my choices contain?
c. Where did I learn how to make that kind of choice?
d. And what words governed the questions I asked myself when I made those choices?

4. Categorize and document. OK! At this point, you should have a pretty solid idea HOW and WHY you make decisions. The final step is to map out your Official Governing Document. You can name it whatever you like, i.e., “Sara’s Personal Guidance System,” “Mark’s Opportunity Filter,” “Deb’s Decision Tree,” whatever.

Now, in terms of design, that’s entirely up to you. Depending on your learning/personality style, you might try mind-maps, decision trees, self-talk scripts, affirmations or visual thinking diagrams. Personally, the structure I used was twofold:

FIRST: Extract the ten core philosophies/values/virtues behind all of my choices, i.e., “Writing is the basis of all wealth.”

SECOND: List all the questions I might ask myself that reflect such values, i.e., “Is everything you know written down somewhere?”

5. Reinforcement and accountability. Cool. You’ve assembled your governing document for daily decisions making. Now, keep in mind – this WILL change over time, as your values will change over time. So, be sure to think of it as a draft.

Meanwhile, if you really want to blow people away, I challenge you to keep a copy of this document in your wallet or on your office wall. Look at it daily. Share it with those who inquire. Do this exercise with a partner or team if you want.

Not only will these measures keep you accountable and consistent, but they will also inspire all who see it to make a similar self-assessment of their own decision-making.

REMEMBER: The ONLY thing in this world you have ANY control over … is your choice.

So, doesn’t it make sense to map out HOW and WHY you make those choices?

Doesn’t it make sense to start asking yourself, “W.W.I.D?” or “What would I do?”

Maybe we should be wearing bracelets like that.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you make decisions?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, "29 Pieces of Simple, Easy Advice That Will Change Your Business Forever," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How do people experience you?

Think about the first time you heard your own voice on tape.
Odds are, your initial reaction was, “Is THAT what I sound like?”

Now think about the first time you watched yourself on video.
Odds are, your initial reaction was, “Is THAT what I look like?”

Don’t worry. That’s a pretty normal response.

Most of us – when given an honest, accurate reflection of the way we present ourselves to the others – are startled by our own lack of self-awareness.

We can’t believe that’s actually us. And not just on audio and video. For example, think about some of these other silent dialogues:

o “Did I really say that?”
o “Is that really the way I came off?”
o “I didn’t realize I was making you feel that way.”
o “I had no idea that’s what people thought of me…”

Ever said one of those to yourself before?

I know I have. Probably once this week already. And I’d be willing to bet that most people have too...

These kinds of perceptions exist in your “Blind Spot.” Cognitive psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham defined this term in 1955 as, “Aspects of ourselves that others see, but we are not aware of.”

And so, the challenge becomes making a concerted effort to unalienate yourself from your truth.

Because too many of us – and even I’m guilty of this on occasion – demonstrate a complete and utter unwillingness to understand (1) How other people experience us, and (2) How other people experience themselves in relation to us.

And the danger of this pattern of behavior is that it prevents people from asking questions of, listening to, learning from and getting to know you.

Not good.

So, maybe it’s time to run honest self-appraisal.

Maybe it’s time to get bitten by the bug of self-awareness.

Or, as Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams reminds us, “Awareness means recognizing your illusions for what they are.”`

HERE’S THE REALITY: The only judgment people can make – the only impression their unconscious mind can form – is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.

And ultimately, it doesn’t matter what YOU think, it matters what THEY remember.

So, I’m challenging you to (honestly) ask yourself four questions:

1. How do people experience you?
2. How do (you want) people to experience you?
3. How do people experience themselves when they’re with you?
4. How do (you want) people to experience themselves when they’re with you?

Take some time this week to physically write out your answers to those questions.

Reflect on whether your inner experience matches how others experience you.

This will serve as the perfect starting point in the development of your new-found self-awareness.

Then, once you’ve taken enough self-stock, the next step will be actually OPENING yourself to the reality of how your behavior affects the people around you.

That’s the cool part of starting down the rewarding path of self-awareness. Once you know your patterns – once you know how others experience you – you’ll start to see the following positive changes in your world:

o You gain the power to grow.
o You represent yourself better to others.
o You become safer for others to be around.
o You become someone others could tell anything.
o You become perceived as listenable and askable.
o You make a stronger emotional impact on others.
o You encourage a more positive perception of yourself.
o You deepen your ability to consider and weigh alternatives.
o You give others the knowledge they need to love you more.
o You meet WITH, speak TO and touch people where they are.
o You hold yourself accountable for your contributions to your encounters.
o You find out where you suck, that way you can close the perception gaps between you and those you serve

Sound good?

Cool. Good luck.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do people experience you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, June 12, 2009

How Believing in Evolution Can Bolster Your Business in a Bitter Economy

During the Q & A portion of a recent workshop, one of my participants asked a question that TOTALLY stumped me:

“Scott, in the past few years, I’ve watched the way you’ve evolved your business as a writer, speaker and coach ...

...Can you share some insight into how you’ve done that so well?”


And I believe my exact words were, “Um … uh … well, you see, what happened was ... I mean … I think that I…”

Nice.

After about thirty seconds of stalling, circling and stammering, I finally came up with a coherent answer. The questioner was satisfied. My butt was saved. And yet, I still wasn’t happy with my response.

So, I took three immediate actions...

FIRST, I gave the guy an autographed copy of my new book as a thank-you for stumping me. As a recovering know-it-all, I admit this (does) happen from time to time. And as a Thought Leader, I’m always indebted to those who challenge my brain.

SECOND, went out to lunch at Culpepper’s to ponder that question over an order of wings. I’m not sure why, but there’s something about hot sauce that really gets my hamster wheel spinning. Must be a St. Louis thing.

THIRD, wrote out a master list of lessons learned that other entrepreneurs could apply to their own businesses. I asked myself questions like, “How did I evolve?” “What questions did I ask myself?” “What steps did I take?” “What mistakes did I make?” and “What epiphanies paved the way?”

I’d like to share (part of) that list with you now. Also, along with each example, I’ve offered a “Sticky Note Suggestion.” Use these to remind yourself of your entrepreneurial evolution. Post them on your desk, computer, car or, if you’re so inclined, forehead.

So, as you read these strategies, I’m going to challenge you to plug yourself into the same equation. I’m going to challenge you to ask the crucial entrepreneurial equation: “How are you evolving YOUR business?”

Because in a tough economy, growth isn’t an option – it’s an obligation.

1. Be on a constant search for new ideas. They’re everywhere, as long as you (1) Actively seek them out, (2) Listen closely, (3) Learn to freeze situations, (4) Look for parallels, and (5) Write them down.

And probably the best source of these new ideas is your existing customers. When asked the right question in a respectful, curious way, the innovations your customers initiate will blow your hair back.

For example, ask your customers, “What would you LOVE to have from us next?” But only ask if you’re willing listen. Why are you waiting to be inspired?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Inspiration is available. Inspiration is free. Inspiration is lightning.

2. Decide if you should be charging for this. Although I don’t know what your specific situation is, my guess is going to be, “Yes, you should be charging for this.”

Here’s why: (1) You’re worth it, (2) You need money and (3) When people don’t pay you, people don’t hear you. Now all you have to do is decide how much. What (aren’t) you charging for that you probably should be?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Sell price before value.

3. Duplicate YOU. Forget the sheep; I’m an advocate for HUMAN cloning. Especially for entrepreneurs, who can do so through teaching others. I suggest giving your fans a portable, junior, take-home, or alternate version of you.

Now, sure. That might mean giving up (some) control in exchange for being able to grow and expand more quickly. And as entrepreneurs, this is one of the hardest things in the world. Because we’re all a bunch of control freaks who HAVE to do everything ourselves, right? Is there anybody else who could deliver your information?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Blogging works brilliantly. Video work awesomely. Seminars work fantastically. Whitepapers work perfectly.

4. Engage in assignments, projects or clients that ENABLE you. To command higher fees than before. To learn new skills. To leverage more than in the past. To expose you to an important future opportunity. To increase (not just sustain) an existing relationship.

To do future work with the same organization. To lead you into a new industry. To grow in new directions. To work with new, cool clients that represent long-term business potential. What is your current work enabling you to do and be?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Enable gentle revolutions. Enable shared power. Enable the process. Enable yourself daily.

5. Engage in regular, private time with a coach or consultant. Ideally, someone who has (actually) DONE something and (actually) grown in the way you hope to grow.

Not someone who’s listened to a bunch of Nightingale Connant audiotapes and (actually) thinks that makes them some kind of expert. SO annoying. Look. Expertise comes from DOING. Find someone who’s DONE stuff. Who’s helping you evolve toward your true self?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Action changes everything. Action conquers fear. Action develops courage. Action solidifies credibility. Action builds confidence. Action strengthens reputation.

6. Find out if anybody else is doing this right now. If not, that might be a great reason to plunge forward. That way you can be the first. The Only. The One. The Guy. And the best part is, if you do it first, you get to name it.

Then: When you name something, you gain power over that something. And you can do something about that something. And you can talk interact with that something. And you can begin exploration and working with that something. And eventually, you can get people to start talking about that something. If you do this, will you become the best?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Origin, not echo.

7. Honestly assess in what ways you are currently obsolete. Still using a landline? Still advertising in The Yellow Pages? Still using AOL for your email account? Still using a PC? Still listening to a CD player?

Still using that Glamour Shots picture you got taken 1993 as your professional headshot? Zoinks. What are you thinking? It’s 2009. Get with the program. What year are you still trapped in?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Upgrade your life. Upgrade your technology. Upgrade your approach. Upgrade your style. Upgrade your attitude.

8. Honestly confront the ideas you’re in love with that are preventing you from seeing clearly. I know you love your new company name and tagline. I know it’s cute and funny and makes your husband happy.

But it doesn’t matter what YOU like; it matters what CUSTOMERS remember. Premature cognitive commitment isn’t only dangerous; it’s also expensive. What ideas are you dangerously in love with?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: The Beatles were wrong. Love isn’t enough. Ideas aren’t enough. Preference isn’t enough.

9. Stop typecasting yourself. You’re not a one trick pony. You’re not a one-product company. You’re not a one-idea entrepreneur. You’re not a one-book author. You’re not a one-anything anyone. You’re a lotta. A bunch. A crap ton. A fountain of possibility.

Not a jack-of-all-trades. Just an evolving professional whose unique expertise slowly casts a wider net. Always out-doing and challenging yourself to break the veil of one-hit-wonderness for the sake of never going stale.

So, remember what the master of evolution, George Carlin, used to say, “Continue to call on yourself a little more. And keep kicking people in the crotch.” What are you doing to prepare for the next phase?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Update your brand. Upgrade your expertise. Reinvent yourself regularly.

10. Use writing to exponentially increase growth in this experience. Writing is the basis of all wealth. For several reasons.

First, writing is the great clarifier. Second, writing makes everything you do better and easier. Third, writing triples the learning of any experience, because if you don’t write it down, it never happened. What did you write today?

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Writing changes everything. Writing “rights” things. Writing brings clarity. Writing intensifies impact. Writing metabolizes life. Writing teaches everyone. Writing transforms pain. Writing untangles threads.

Take that, Darwin!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you unwilling to change that’s preventing your business form evolving successfully?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the (full) list called, “45 Recession-Friendly Strategies for Entrepreneurial Evolution,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Ready for YOUR business to evolve?

Cool. Perhaps my 12-month coaching program would help.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to Keep Your Employees from Wanting to Kill You

1. Let people finish what they have to say. Most interruptions are derailments, and as such, most interrupters are avoided.

PRACTICE: On a daily basis, challenge yourself to play the game called, “Let’s See How Long I Can Go Without Interrupting People.” Actually keep score. See if you can beat your personal best each day.

Then, every time you DO interrupt (unnecessarily, that is), drop twenty bucks in a jar. Get the whole office involved in the game. Then, at the end of month, use the money to have a BBQ. Or donate it to charity. That should put an end to the interrupting. Does your conversational narcissism irritate people?

2. Listen with the ear of your heart, not the pointed finger of your ego. Judgmental attitudes stop commutation before it starts.

PRACTICE: Post a sticky note on your desk that reads, “Are you listening with your heart or with your ego?” This serves two purposes: (1) A visual reminder of what to listen WITH during your conversations, (2) An accountability measure to assess your listening practices after your conversations are through.

Then, should you catch yourself listening more with your ego and less with your heart, here’s what you do. Take ten extra minutes before clocking out to replay key conversations in your head. Then honestly ask yourself, “How would my heart have listened in that conversation if my ego wasn’t engaged? Are you monopolizing the talking or the listening?

3. Recognize employee contributions and ideas. According to Dilbert, most bosses will listen thoroughly to your input, thank you for your suggestions, and then do exactly what they planned all along.

PRACTICE: Just sit quiet. Your hand doesn’t have to shoot up first. Next time you attend a meeting or sit on a panel, play another game called “Let See How Long I Can Go Without Contributing.”

This will force you to listen FIRST and hear everyone else out before stating your position. Yes, it takes self-control; but you never know – you may hear something that adds to, modifies or betters your idea. Is your listening all show and no go?

4. Remain calm when confronted with different points of view. The word “emotion” comes from the Latin emotere, which means, “to disturb.”

PRACTICE: Take a few breaths. Recognize that someone has an opinion, even though it may not be your own. You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to disagree. Just honor it. Practice a little Namaste Leadership. Honor = Respect = Trust = Increased Willingness to Ask More Questions.

Otherwise you’ll start to resemble Dogbert, whose management strategy is, “I’m not going to comment – I’ll just look at you until you agree with me.” When you are emotionally involved in conversation, how well do you communicate?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you keep your employees from wanting to kill you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "33 Daily Practices for Boosting Managerial Magnetism," send an email to me, and you get the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NametagTV: Marketing Best Practices, Vol. 1

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!

Watch the original video on NametagTV!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How much money is being boring costing you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "30 Ways to become the Most Interesting Person You Know," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

The world's FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott's comprehensive marketing guidebook on Amazon.com and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

You let your kid wear a nametag everyday?

People think my parents are crazy.

Which, if you think about it, kind of makes sense.

Because when someone hears my story, one of the first questions asked of my parents is:


“Wait, you let your kid wear a nametag everyday? Are you INSANE?”

And usually, my parents just laugh. They get this question all the time. Hell, it’s been nine years.

But the cool part is the way they respond to it.

Actually, I remember I first time I told my parents about my crazy idea.

November 23rd, 2000. Thanksgiving dinner table.

“Mom, Dad … I want to wear a nametag everyday for the rest of my life!”

Once they reattached their jaws, believe it or not, the first word out of their mouths was, “Cool!”

Well, at least that was the first word they said out LOUD. I imagine the silent dialogue sounded a little more like, “What drugs is our son taking?”

So I guess it’s not surprising that people think my parents are crazy.

Of course, that’s not accurate.

Although I might be insane, my parents aren’t. Actually, they’re like, the most levelheaded, down to earth, smartest parents anyone could ever ask for.

Why?

Because they trust me.

They always have.

Since DAY ONE of wearing a nametag – in fact, since day one of turning 18 – they’ve always attended to me with this attitude of, “Scott, you’re an adult now. We’ve done everything we possibly could to instill in you a foundation of love and respect and character. And because we trust ourselves, we now believe that you will trust yourself. And so, if you really want to wear a nametag everyday, well, I guess there’s nothing we can do to stop you.”

Of course, that was usually punctuated with, “But you’re not REALLY gonna do this all the time, are you?”

“Yeah, I really am,” I’d shrug.

And they’d just smile.

So, Mom and Dad, today I wish you a Happy 35th Anniversary.

Thanks for staying married.
Thanks for trusting your own resources.
Thanks for never getting lazy with each other.

And thanks for remaining sane so that I could continue to be insane.

I love you!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you show your kids that you trust them?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "45 Recession-Friendly Strategies for Entrepreneurial Evolution," send an email to me, and YOU get the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

How to Help Your Ideas (Actually) Get Through to People

You might be the best communicator in your office.
You might be the greatest conversationalist at your company.
You might be the warmest, friendliest, most approachable employee around.

But none of that matters if your coworkers aren’t in a state of receptivity.

You could have the fastest service in the industry.
You could have the slickest sales pitch on the streets.
You could have the funniest, most polished and engaging PowerPoint slides around.

But none of that matters if your customers aren’t in a state of receptivity.

HERE’S THE REALITY: You can’t make people listen to you.

You can only make an effort to raise their receptivity so your ideas have the highest probability of getting through AND getting understood...



THIS BEGETS THE QUESTION: What does it look like to be in a state of high receptivity?

Ask Robert Lefton, founder of Psychological Associates. In his famous book, Leadership Through People Skills, he spends at least half the text exploring this topic.

“Low receptivity is the refusal to allow ideas through a mental barrier that is set up to shut them out,” says Lefton. “And you have virtually no chance of communicating with someone whose receptivity is low.”

“As such, you (also) have virtually no chance of doing any of the things that depend on communication: motivating, training counseling, sharing ideas, discussing, debating, considering alternatives, weighing options or soliciting ideas.”

IN SHORT: No receptivity = No nothing.

It’s like talking to a brick wall. Sure, you THINK you’re communicating. But in reality, you’re just wasting your time. And the wall’s time.

There HAS to be a willingness to work with the other person. As Lefton suggests, “Your success depends on your ability to raise the level of receptivity and make willing partners out of unwilling people.”

Today we’re going to explore the attributes of receptive (and unreceptive) people. And as we go through the continuum, I’m going to challenge you to plug yourself into both sides of the equation to maximize your approachability.

FIRST: Spot signs of low or declining receptivity.

Lefton’s laundry list of low-receptivity behaviors includes:

Belligerence. Flat assertions. Impatience. Interruptions. Sarcasm. Silence. Apathy. Inattention. Nervousness. Meandering. Excessive socializing. Superficial questioning. Unquestioning agreement.

Now, since his book was written in 2000, I would also add to the following behaviors to the unreceptive list:

Checking email. Sending text messages. Listening to their iPod while you’re trying to tell them how badly they screwed up.

SO, ASK YOURSELF: What about this person’s behavior tells me that he isn’t open to what I’m trying to communicate?

SECOND: Spot signs of high or rising receptivity.

Next, here’s a list of high-receptivity behaviors:

Qualifying their assertions or arguments. Showing that her mind is not made up by questioning her own viewpoints. Thoughtful agreement. Involvement and non-belligerent debate. Pertinent questions.

Again, since Lefton’s book is a few years old, I would also add to the following behaviors to the receptive list:

Sitting up straight. Making eye contact. Holding a digital recorder, blank notebook and seven brand new pens.

SO, ASK YOURSELF: What about this person’s behavior tells me that she IS open to what I’m trying to communicate?

Ultimately, eloquence, logic – even well thought out arguments – are no substitute for receptivity.

I don’t care if you’re Dale Carnegie.

No Receptivity = No Nothing

REMEMBER: You can’t make people listen to you.

You can only make an effort to raise their receptivity so your ideas have the highest probability of getting through and getting understood.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you increase the probability of your ideas getting through?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Radically Raise the Receptivity of Those You Serve,” send an email to me, and you get the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.