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Don’t Stay “Stuck in the Middle Seat

Annoyed-Middle-Seat-WomanArrgghh!  There is nothing quite as uncomfortable as being Stuck in the Middle Seat™ on a long flight. You have no room to stretch, can’t read your book without being mercilessly bumped and you can just forget about opening up a newspaper.  It’s easy to get frustrated in this type of situation: You have no control over where the airline placed you and you didn’t get to choose your seatmates. Arrgghh!

There are striking similarities between being stuck in an undesirable seat on an airplane and how many people address the challenges of real life – very few options, with nowhere to go and no control − or so it seems.

This victim mentality (“woe is me, look what they did to me”) allows us to conveniently blame others, without taking responsibility or positive action to improve our situation.  It doesn’t have to be this way. Your life will move in amazing directions when you welcome change and take control. Welcoming change and taking control is a mind-set that will positively affect both your personal and professional life.  Unfortunately, the flip side, being afraid to change and losing control is the default state of mind of far too many.  From top-level executives and boards of directors to sports coaches, parents, teachers and students, a fear of change leads to any number of negative results, including: failed businesses, dysfunctional teams and organizations, and disgruntled, splintered families.  Simply put, the combination of resisting change and, therefore, losing control, results in most people simply giving up; they become the “victim.”   It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of becoming paralyzed and doing nothing but complaining, I encourage you to answer the following five questions as a way to move forward:

1) What does being Stuck in the Middle Seat™ mean in your life?  How is it negatively affecting you?  If you weren’t “stuck,” what could you be accomplishing … right now?

2) Where are you “stuck” in your personal growth?

3) Where are you “stuck in your professional growth?

4) Identify two, first-step activities for getting un-stuck personally and professionally.   What two things could you do, as soon as this afternoon, that could make a difference and over which you have complete control?

5) Having a hard time with step #4?  Then you might need to identify the barriers or forces against you becoming un-stuck.  Perhaps you have an unsupportive family member or business colleague saying something like: “come on, things are what they are, you’re one of us, so just accept them and things will work out.” Perhaps you’re afraid of failure?  Many of us are.  So just ask yourself these questions: “what’s the worst thing that could happen if I take action to get un-stuck?  What’s the worst thing that could happen if I do nothing and accept things as they are?  You’re the only one who can answer these questions, but there is one guarantee I can make.  If you do nothing, you’ll still be Stuck in the Middle Seat™ … and how will that feel?

 

Source – [Doug lipp]

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The “Parking Lot Principle”

DSC04348Disney theme parks are known as “The Happiest Places on Earth.”  How is this environment created?  There are certainly many things that help create that unique atmosphere, but there is one in particular that stands out; one thing that reflects Disney’s obsession with creating a great Guest experience by taking care of every detail … right down to the parking lot. In my career at Disney, especially at the Disney University orientation, we reinforced the following concept with our new hires and employees every day.

The parking lot is one of our key competitive advantages.”

What?  How could that be?  Parking lots are known as dirty, crowded places that serve a very limited, and often expensive, function … not usually mentioned in the same breath as “competitive advantage.”    This comment often drew nervous laughter from our new-hires.  But, the parking lot principle is just one of many examples of how Disney does a terrific job of elevating a basic function into a magical experience.  The parking lot is most likely the first and last thing a customer will see during a visit to a Disney property.  The employees in the parking lot are likely to be the first and last staff members a customer will come into contact with … what could be more important than the parking lot?

What is the equivalent of the parking lot principle at your company?  Are you overlooking a vital contact point with your customers in the form of the receptionist, the call center, your security officers, web site or delivery personnel?

Here’s a very simplified example of the kind of message we shared with our new-hires during orientation at the Disney University:

“Our Guests come to Disneyland to escape the worries and harshness of the outside world, and it is up to you, the Cast Members, to help make their dreams come true.  Unfortunately, one harsh word or inappropriate gesture by a Cast Member can undermine the work of the whole team.  Let’s say a family comes to Disneyland and spends the whole day enjoying the attractions, food, and environment.  They leave after the fireworks feeling completely happy … and exhausted.  What if the driver gets confused (which often happens) as the family attempts to leave the parking lot? What happens if the driver then asks a Cast Member about which exit to use to get to the highway? What happens if that Cast Member is a bit rushed and stressed out trying to control the thousands of cars heading toward the exit, and barks back: “Look, just keep moving, you can read the signs when you get out on the street,” and brusquely waves the car on? It’s pretty obvious that the driver is likely to feel angry and dismissed. In a split second, the Cast Member could very well undermine the previous ten hours of great joy the family experienced.  Then, in that instant, the memories of all of the friendly Cast Members, the cleanliness, and the glitter and beauty of Disneyland could be replaced with a final memory of anger and disgust.”

Do you think this family is coming back?  Do you think this family will encourage their friends to visit?

What is happening at your company?  How much money and time you have invested in your product or service, in advertising, and in your company’s facilities … only to waste it due to sloppiness?

What is the equivalent of parking lot principle at your company and how are you handling it?

 

Source – [DougLipp]

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Disney Drives Profits with Simplicity — Can You?

Walt-disney-donald-duck-mickey-mouse-walt-disneyThis last week, The Walt Disney Company reported a 53 percent surge in operating income at Parks and Resorts. What is the “magic” of Disney Parks and Resorts?  How can they thrive while others founder?  Although there are many answers, here is one secret that has proved invaluable for almost 60 years: Disney simplifies the very complex.

A theme park is like a giant factory. With literally millions of moving pieces and heavy equipment, it is a complex and potentially dangerous environment. In addition to the machinery is the cast; thousands of employees, both on-stage and backstage, taking care of the show. Into this environment of machinery and employees—the “factory”—enters the guest.

Providing The Happiest Place on Earth involves boiling down park operations into the following four priorities, representing values driving every business decision. There is no need for a multi-page handbook as a reminder: every cast member knows these marching orders:

1)      Safety – This is the most important priority for guests and cast members. Often, cast members must protect guests from themselves. Guests in vacation-mode can become distracted by the colors, sounds, and activity. They aren’t necessarily taking care of their own safety. Guests, distracted by the beautiful architecture, might walk straight into lampposts and walls. Every operations and design decision must first address Safety.

2)      Courtesy – The second most important priority after safety is Courtesy. Cast members know the value of smiles on their faces and in their voices, and the importance of engaging guests. Directing a guest, with an open hand and a smile, is far more effective than pointing with one finger and scowling. A lack of cast member Courtesy will poison the safest and most interesting environment.

3)      Show – Once Safety and Courtesy are assured, attention turns to Show. Well-maintained attractions and facilities, populated by well-groomed cast members, ensure good show, a condition Walt Disney passionately promoted.  The antithesis is the Disney taboo, bad show.

4)     Capacity/Efficiency – Finally, this last priority refers to the number of guests enjoying the attractions, restaurants and retail shops. This is the “hard numbers” portion of a business. By placing numbers last, the SCSE model makes a clear, somewhat paradoxical statement; accomplishing the first three priorities ensures this fourth is sustainable in the form of happy and loyal cast members and guests.

Each priority in this SCSE model is indispensable and its position non-negotiable. Although Efficiency occupies the lowest rung on the priority ladder, it is by no means ignored. In fact, Disney Parks and Resorts invest heavily to ensure the maximum number of guests can enjoy facilities. The clarity of the SCSE model ensuresSafety, Courtesy and Show aren’t sacrificed to attain more Efficiency (more guests and higher profit).

What is happening at your company?  Does everyone know their “marching orders”… without having to look them up in a multi-page operations manual?

 

Source – [DougLipp]

No Time for Small Talk in Networking

People often mistakenly perceive what goes on at networking meetings and events as making small talk with a bunch of strangers.  Real business networking , however, isn’t about making small talk at all; rather it is about building meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships with other business professionals and small talk isn’t generally something that helps further this aim.  Serious networkers, recognizing that they have limited time to introduce themselves and convey the essence of what they do, generally avoid lengthy small talk.

If you want to build your business through word of mouth, you must give a message that’s heard by others.  You need to create a positive message and deliver it effectively–who are you, what do you offer, and to whom do you offer it?  When you properly position yourself with an effective message instead of trying to connect through making small talk, you save time because others quickly understand  what your company represents and offers.

Take the time to plan your introduction and prepare some concise and descriptive overviews of your products or services.  Then, when you meet someone for the first time, you can give him a good explanation of what you have to offer.  I recommend that you develop several scripts that you can readily use when attending networking meetings.

Show pride in who you are and what you do.  As an example of this, I often mention a fantastic quote from Martha Taft.  When she was a young girl in elementary school, she was asked to introduce herself to a group of people.  “My name is Martha Bowers Taft,” she said.  “My great-grandfather was President of the United States, my grandfather was a United States Senator, my daddy is Ambassador to Ireland, and I am a Brownie.”

If you have honed your message and have crafted an introduction which has been very effective for you at networking functions, I encourage you to share it in the comment forum below and to explain how you went about constructing your message and your introduction.  You never know who you’ll help by sharing your insights. Thanks!

 

Source – [BusinessNetworking]

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Flexibility and Firmness

flexibility and firmnessFlexibility and firmness were having a fight inside me….flexibility says if you cant have me and you are too firm you will be stuck…Firmness says if you thrive for flexibility everywhere what will happen to your identity ? Finally there was truce… flexibility agrees to be part of my behavior while Firmness stays with Values… you can modify your behavior but NOT VALUES…

But have we identified are values and know what is it that is driving us ?

Generally the word ‘VALUE’ is taken in a light stride, used often in conversations and status updates in social media these days. It is such a deep rooted concept that you are driven by it.

I understood the importance of values while i was pursuing Master Practitioner of NLP. We did an exercise where we were given a story and in that STORY

There was a Baron and a Baroness they lived in a big castle across a beautiful river. One day the Baron had to go for a day away from castle for work. He while leaving held the Baroness and said you shall not leave the castle until i come back its my order ot you have to bear the consequences and he left.

The baroness after sitting alone for an hour thought she shall go and meet her x lover for sometime. She decides to go…On the way she had to cross the river there was a boatman he said i can take you across but you have to give me 5 coins. Baroness had none, she requested pleaded but he did not agree. quickly she went to ask her best friend who lived near by, she told the whole story and asked for help. To this her friend said you are cheating on baron i would not support you on this. Baroness sadly went back to the river to persuade the boatman but he did not agree.

She walked to see from where she can cross the river easily and finally when she was trying to cross a beast came and asked her what is she doing. Baroness told the story to which the Beast got aggravated and killed the baroness on her betrayal to the Baron.

Now the question is who according to you was the reason for Baroness’s death?

Vibhuti Mutha
Vibhuti Mutha

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Focus Vs Distraction

My recent visit to Arizona for the Breakthrough to Success 2012 event ( BTS ) with Jack Canfield & 350 delegates was the best enriching learning experience I have had in my life. Thank you Jack & each & every delegate who all added positive energy & value by sharing their life experiences.

For those of you who know me, would realise this is a bold statement considering our company Right Selection have hosted over 125 events in the last 12 years and I have attended numerous workshops & seminars regionally & internationally.

I am delighted to share that whilst I received many learning breakthroughs inside the room, I would like to share 2 breakthrough I had outside the training room. Now the key is to taking action on the learning.

As I arrived in America on the 11th of August 2012, my blackberry crashed to the extent that it would never come on. I removed the battery a few times and even showed it to a few people. All this was in vain & I was frustrated & felt discconected. However little did I know that this was one of the best blessings & today I am abundantly grateful for. Imagine being thankful for my blackberry crashing.

Without a blackberry for my entire 9 day stay in Arizona, I was totally engaged in the learning experience with Jack Canfield & my fellow participants. Above all, I was focused & absorbed more & more ideas & concepts each & every day from Jack, the participants we did as a team, from appreciating the nature around the resort, with rabbits, trees to each & every 1 to 1 conversation I had without the distraction of the blackberry messenger.

The learning is in todays time when people like myself are dependable to technology to enhance our communication with friends, family & business connections there must be a balance in life and we must take time to focus & realise that multi tasking is more a distraction than positive productivity. What is your choice ?

Ironically on arrival in Dubai after 9 days in the US, my blackberry started working with a small issue with the screen which I got repaired. Whilst I still have my blackberry I have already changed the way I use it to ensure it is a productivity tool & leaving it when not necessary so one get focus on enjoying being in the moment whether one is with family, friends or with a customer.

The above experience without my blackberry gave me more inner fulfillment, relaxation, feeling of enrichment & happier being in the moment. After all we are HUMAN BEINGS & not Human DOINGS.

Image courtesy: www.freedigitalphotos.net

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7 Things Highly Productive People Do

You have more important things to focus on than, um, focusing. Get back on track with these tips.

You probably don’t want to admit it but you love distractions. In fact, just like monkeys, you get a shot of dopamine every time something pulls you in another direction. Why do you think you check your email so much?

Want to be more productive and get your focus back? There are no secret tricks here… do one thing at a time. Stop multitasking—it’s just another form of distraction.

Easier said than done, I know.

Here are his tips for staying productive:

  1. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks. Writing “launch company website” at the top of your to-do list is a sure way to make sure you never get it done. Break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less: Sketch a wireframe, outline an introduction for the homepage video, etc. That’s how you set goals and actually succeed in crossing them off your list.
  2. Stop multi-tasking. No, seriously—stop. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned. When you’re stoned, your IQ drops by five points. When you multitask, it drops by an average of 10 points, 15 for men, five for women (yes, men are three times as bad at multitasking than women).
  3. Be militant about eliminating distractions. Lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, texts, email, and instant messaging. In fact, if you know you may sneak a peek at your email, set it to offline mode, or even turn off your Internet connection. Go to a quiet area and focus on completing one task.
  4. Schedule your email. Pick two or three times during the day when you’re going to use your email. Checking your email constantly throughout the day creates a ton of noise and kills your productivity.
  5. Use the phone. Email isn’t meant for conversations. Don’t reply more than twice to an email. Pick up the phone instead.
  6. Work on your own agenda. Don’t let something else set your day. Most people go right to their emails and start freaking out. You will end up at inbox-zero, but accomplish nothing. After you wake up, drink water so you rehydrate, eat a good breakfast to replenish your glucose, then set prioritized goals for the rest of your day.
  7. Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals. Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity. Typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes. (That’s why you feel so burned out after super long meetings.) So take a break: Get up, go for a walk, have a snack, do something completely different to recharge. And yes, that means you need an extra hour for breaks, not including lunch, so if you’re required to get eight hours of work done each day, plan to be there for 9.5-10 hours.

Article Courtesy: Inc.com