Listen to Yourself

Our guest blogger today is William Ury, cofounder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, and one of the world’s best-known and most influential experts on negotiation. Ury is the author of Getting to Yes with Yourself (and other worthy opponents) and coauthor of Getting to Yes, the bestselling negotiation book in the world.

Psychologists have estimated that we have anywhere between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts a day. The majority of those—as high as 80 percent—are thought to be negative: obsessing about mistakes, battling guilt, or thinking about inadequacies. For some, the harsh critical voice of our inner judge is stronger, for others weaker, but perhaps no one escapes it. “You said the wrong thing!” “How could you have been so blind?” “You did a terrible job!”  Each negative thought is a no to yourself.  There is a saying that goes, “if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you wouldn’t have any.”

Self-judgment may be the greatest barrier to self-understanding.

If we want to understand another human being, there is no better way than to listen to them with empathy like a close friend would.  If you wish to understand yourself, the same rule applies: listen with empathy. Instead of talking negatively to yourself, try to listen to yourself with respect and positive attention.  Instead of judging yourself, accept yourself just as you are.

Empathy is often confused with sympathy, but it is different.  Sympathy means ‘to feel with.’ It means to feel sorry for a person’s predicament, but without necessarily understanding it.  Empathy, in contrast, means ‘to feel into.’ It means to understand what it is like to be in that situation.

Listening to yourself with empathy goes one level deeper than observing.

To observe is to see from the outside whereas to listen is to feel from the inside.  Observing offers you a detached view whereas listening gives you an intimate understanding.  Observation gives us the understanding of a scientist studying what a beetle looks like under a microscope whereas listening gives you the understanding of what it feels like to be a beetle. You can benefit from both modalities together. Anthropologists have found that the best way to understand a foreign culture is to participate in it actively and at the same time to maintain an outside observer’s perspective. I find this method, called participant-observation, is equally useful when it comes to understanding ourselves.

As I listen to myself, I notice that the majority of my problematic emotions are the same everyday. For example, one anxiety that pops up regularly concerns the daily to-do list that only seems to expand: will I be able to get through it?  To understand and reduce the intensity of these recurring feelings, I have come up with a daily exercise: in the morning, I imagine sitting at a kitchen table.  As each familiar thought or emotion such as anxiety or fear, shame or pride shows up, I offer it an imaginary seat.  I have learned to welcome all customers, no one excluded. I seek to treat them as the old friends or acquaintances that they are. As the kitchen table fills up, I listen to the free-flowing conversation of feelings and thoughts.

Listening to yourself helps you not only to understand yourself, but to accept yourself just as you are.

If self-judgment is a no to self, self-acceptance is a yes to self, perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Some might worry that accepting themselves as they are will diminish the motivation to make positive changes, but I have found that the exact opposite is usually true.  Acceptance can create the sense of safety within which we can more easily face a problem and work on it.  As Carl Rogers, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, once noted: “The curious paradox is that if I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

Join us September 10th to hear more from William Ury at our Soundview Live webinar: Six Steps to Getting What You Really Want in Life.

Successful Negotiation Starts with You

Thirty-five years ago, William Ury co-authored the book Getting to Yes with Roger Fisher. It became the classic title on negotiation, introducing the Win-Win concept to business people. Since that time Ury has published other titles on various aspects of negotiation, including Getting Past No and The Power of a Positive No.

But he realized that something was missing – namely the first step in negotiation – Getting to Yes with Yourself. This book is about changing the inner game so you can then change the outer game. Ury developed six steps to help people deal with their inner self so that they can be more successful with others.

  1. Put yourself in your shoes.
  2. Develop your inner BATNA.
  3. Reframe your picture.
  4. Stay in the zone.
  5. Respect them even if…
  6. Give and Receive.

Because we want all of our subscribers to have the chance to learn this important negotiation skill, we’ve invited William Ury to join us on September 10th for a live webinar entitled Six Steps to Getting What You Really Want in Life. Please join us for lunch, and invite your colleagues as well.

Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence

theleanceo2As organizations strive to do more with less, many are turning to Lean methodology, which is based on the same techniques that propelled the legendary turnaround of Japan’s industrial sector after World War II.

The Lean CEO reveals the true power of Lean through in-depth interviews with CEOs who have gone beyond tool adoption and established Lean as a corporate-wide management system.

The CEOs tell in their own words how they applied Lean management to deliver sustainable financial results, empower and motivate employees, break down internal silos and build solid partnerships with customers and suppliers. Their testimony provides a goldmine of practical advice for managers in Lean and non-Lean organizations alike, as they share their personal insights on topics such as leading and empowering people, building transparency and trust, tuning into the customer experience and creating a learning organization.

Thoughtful, sometimes brutally frank, these leaders challenge many of the sacred cows of traditional business, such as standard cost accounting, hierarchical management, emphasis on large batches and our obsession with data and computers. Citing  numerous examples from their experiences, they provide a fresh view of today’s business challenges and a positive roadmap for any organization that is striving for excellence.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• How to apply Lean management to empower and motivate people.

• How to build transparency and trust.

• How to align strategic direction with day-to-day operations.

• How to instill a corporate-wide culture that promotes quality.

Not a Soundview Executive Book Summaries subscriber? Then click on the title to purchase and download it right now to begin learning these critical business skills.

 

The Purpose of Mentoring Has Changed

Modern Mentoring

Unfortunately, according to Randy Emelo, most mentoring relationships today are obsolete. Traditional mentoring, he writes in his book Modern Mentoring, does not truly meet the needs of the modern organization.

The reason, as he explains, is that “the purpose of mentoring has moved away from getting a handful of people ready for leadership roles.” Instead, mentoring according to Emelo, is an organizational practice that should increase an organization’s intelligence, including emotional, leadership and technical intelligence; enhance the organization’s competitiveness; and “accelerate” employee development.

In other words, the traditional approach to mentoring, focusing on a few select individuals, should be replaced by an approach that is much broader and inclusive, he writes. Instead of mentors only consisting of top leaders, and mentees consisting of high-potential employees, mentors and mentees can be anyone in the organization, at any level.

The connections of modern mentoring are no longer one-to-one, Emelo writes, but many-to-many.

Building Blocks

In the opening chapter of his book, Emelo lays down the building blocks of modern mentoring:

Open and Egalitarian. The goal of mentoring is to enable “uninhibited and meaningful learning,” Emelo writes. For such learning to take place requires, he writes, “an open environment where people have equal access to one another.”

Diversity. The diversity in question involves different perspectives coming from different functional, geographical, hierarchical or generational backgrounds and experiences. These different perspectives are valuable in helping mentors develop innovative solutions for the people they are mentoring.

Broad and Flexible. One person does not have all the answers. Such a mindset, Emelo writes, “is outdated and inefficient.” The ideal mentoring relationships are those that involve multiple people who are simultaneously advisors and learners. The relationship is flexible, depending on the situation at hand. A person can be an advisor in one situation, and a learner in another. As Emelo writes, “modern mentoring breaks the cycle of the sage on the stage and pushes the idea of the guides on the side.”

Self-directed and Personal. In today’s world, people must take the responsibility to direct their own personal development. They have to choose what they want to learn and from whom they want to learn it. “By allowing participants to control the process,” Emelo explains, “they can tailor their learning so that they reap the benefits.”

Virtual and Asynchronous. In traditional face-to-face, one-on-one mentoring, advisors and learners made arrangements to meet. Such arrangements are no longer necessary, given today’s technology, nor even logistically effective given the broad “many-to-many” reach of modern mentoring. Thus mentoring sessions, writes Emelo, are more likely to be virtual as well as asynchronous — that is, the teaching and learning do not have to occur in the same window of time. Mentors can share their knowledge and experience through virtual communication, which is then captured at the learner’s convenience.

Modern mentoring as described by Emelo is a significant change from traditional mentoring, and therefore often requires a significant and perhaps difficult culture change in an organization. Leaders used to the traditional methods will need to be “reeducated,” Emelo writes.

Another challenge is the vital role of trust. Today’s virtual capabilities allow long-distance mentoring but hinder trust-building. Emelo includes guidelines for trust building and many other facets of modern mentoring in this eloquent and compelling addition to the personal development literature.

Selling A Business For An Outrageous Price: Fact or Fiction?

Today’s guest blogger, Kevin Short, is the author of Sell Your Business For An Outrageous Price (AMACOM Books, 2014), and the Managing Partner and CEO of Clayton Capital Partners, a St. Louis-based investment banking firm specializing in the sale and purchase of mid-size companies.

Have you ever wondered why similar, mid-market[1] companies sell at wildly divergent prices?  I noticed the discrepancy between ordinary and outrageous prices years ago and decided to find the answer.

First, I defined “outrageous price” as one that is at least two times the EBITDA multiple of an average company in its industry. Second, I looked at leverage; the leverage that drives prices up when sellers have it and holds prices in check when buyers have it. Finally, I looked at the transaction process: could we use it to produce an outrageous price?

I started with a four-step Proactive Sale Strategy™ to transform good prices into great ones and to maximize a seller’s probability of closing.

Step One assesses readiness of the company and its owner for sale and addresses any areas that are not sale-ready.

During Step Two we dissect all of the information that we collect in preparation for a buyer’s due diligence to save time later and reduce the risk of a failure to close.

In Step Three we identify a company’s competitive advantage and search for an existing or potential fit between the seller’s competitive advantage and a buyer’s need. We then determine how a seller’s company: (1) can (or could, if given time and preparation) meet a buyer’s immediate need, or (2) could pose an imminent threat to a buyer.

Step Four focuses on potential buyers: which ones can use their significantly greater resources (such as access to capital or more efficient processes) to make more money from a company than can its current owner?

At the end of this process, owners decide if they want to go for an outrageous price. If so, we look for the following four items that I learned (after analyzing numerous outrageous price sales) must be present:

[1] $10M – $250M of value

  1. A competitive advantage that can be leveraged to cause a buyer pain or create gain.
  2. An “outrageous buyer” active in the marketplace who has deep pockets, is motivated to eliminate pain or create gain and has an internal champion pushing to make the deal.

III.        A seller who can trust their advisor enough to follow his or her lead, is self-disciplined enough to resist the temptation to talk to buyers or jump ship when the seas get rough, and has an ability to act.

  1. A transaction advisor who knows how to orchestrate the Outrageous Price Process™. That advisor must understand why a company is successful and be able to communicate to buyers how the acquisition will bring it gain or relieve pain.

The success of this process is dependent on the presence of each of these elements but not necessarily on a strong M&A market. I’ve used it under varying marketing conditions and in all types of industries. Check out my book to learn whether your company could sell for an outrageous price.

To learn more about selling a business, join Kevin Short at our Soundview Live webinar on September 3rd: An Insider’s Guide to Getting More for Your Business.

Rethinking Corporate Education in a World of Unrelenting Change

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Learning to Succeed

Your company may be profitable today, with a solid product, plenty of buyers and healthy pricing. If so, congratulations –– it’s an enviable position. Now throw out everything you’re planning to do to stay competitive. Your future survival means keeping pace with a world in flux, as expanding global markets, shorter and unpredictable business cycles and increased ROI pressures reshape industries and erode market share for even the most venerable companies. “Cheaper, bigger, faster and newer” are the imperatives driving organizations, no matter how thinly spread their people and resources.

So how can your organization stay ahead of competitors ready to spring from any corner of the globe? Learning to Succeed provides a deceptively simple yet effective solution: Become a dynamic learning organization that actively embraces learning across the ranks, from the executive offices to the mailroom.

Expanding on Peter M. Senge’s The Fifth Discipline, corporate learning expert Jason Wingard draws from hundreds of interviews with senior executives, surveys and questionnaires with division heads and business unit managers, and personal observations at companies big and small to show that corporate learning is not just an “intangible” hit-or-miss pursuit. It’s a critical shift achieved through careful implementation –– and the most reliable solution for anticipating change, shifting gears and thriving in our fast-paced world.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• The pressures and opportunities of the global marketplace.

• How to supply a Continuous Integration of Learning and Strategy model.

• How to create a culture of excellence that attracts and retains top talent and nurtures manager effectiveness.

Not a Soundview Executive Book Summaries subscriber? Then click on the title to purchase and download it right now to begin learning these critical business skills.

 

The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends

THE NEED FOR ‘INTUITION RESETS’

Once upon a time, a company such as Toyota used to have strict retirement requirements tied to age. Employees knew that once they reached the cut-off age, they would be asked to retire. No exceptions.

The situation is a little more fluid today. Toyota has a “reemployment” program for retiring workers. As they leave their current positions, retiring employees have the opportunity to apply for other positions at Toyota or its affiliates. The reason for Toyota’s efforts is their desire to keep the experience and knowledge of older employees in the company. “Employers have long focused on youth,” explain McKinsey Global Institute directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika and Jonathan Woetzel, the authors of a new book, No Ordinary Disruption. “But in a graying world, employers have to reset their intuition. Rather than seeing older employees as legacy costs, they must view them as assets and resources.”

The Four Disruptive Forces

A graying world is just one of four disruptive forces that the authors believe will dramatically alter the landscape of the world more than any previous disruption in history. The other three forces are:

  • The shifting locus to emerging markets and specifically the cities within those markets. Half of the global GDP between 2010 and 2025 will come from 440 cities in emerging markets. Some of them will be well known, such as Shanghai, but most will be small- and medium-sized cities most have never heard of.
  • The acceleration of the scope, scale and economic impact of technology. It’s hard to believe that technology could accelerate even more than what we’ve seen in the past 25 years (a paltry 3 percent of people in the world had a mobile phone 20 years ago). However, companies such as Alibaba and Uber show how quickly technology can redefine industries.
  • The global interconnectivity through movements (or “flows”) of capital, people and information. The original lines of connectivity between Europe and America have evolved into a “complex, intricate, sprawling web,” the authors write.

These four global forces are breaking all the trends, according to the authors. As a result, people and companies are going to need what they call “intuition resets.” The old assumptions, habits and priorities have to be replaced with new ones. Thus, Toyota starts a reemployment initiative for older workers, as described above.

Companies are discovering the power and reach of the exploding technology to “create difficult-to-replicate capabilities,” the authors write. One example is Medtronic’s remote heart monitoring network connecting implanted heart monitoring devices to physicians at remote locations.

Given the shift to cities, companies that used to avoid the costs of downtowns are now recognizing that locating in urban areas is vital to attract the best and the brightest. The success of Uber, Zipcar and Lyft reveal the potential for companies that focus on urban consumers. Finally, in a super-interconnected world, establishing a presence in a major hub, depending on industry and domain, is key.

This is just a tiny sample of the intuition resets that the authors offer in a book that is as sprawling, complex and fascinating as the world it describes.

Matching Your Selling Style to the Customer’s Buying Style

Today’s guest blogger is Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments24x7, a company that equips coaches, trainers and consultants with dozens of assessments (DISC, Motivators, HVP, etc.) from one, easy-to-use online account.

Contrary to what passes for age-old wisdom, customers do not buy because they are made to understand; they buy when they feel understood. That is where the salesperson’s knowledge of the behavioral styles comes in. The savvy salesperson knows the High ‘D’ (Dominance) Style wants more control. The High ‘I’ (Influence) Style cries out for more recognition and excitement. The High ‘S’ (Steadiness) Style wants more support, and the High ‘C’ (Conscientious) Style more logic. The most successful salespeople customize their approach and follow-through for each type.

A Matching Process

A sale is a matching process. You match the right product or service to your customer’s needs…and you match your selling style with the customer’s buying style by adapting your style to the style of your customer.

Of the four styles, the ‘D’s and ‘I’s are both fast-paced and assertive. ‘C’s and ‘S’s, by contrast, are slower to decide and less assertive.

But it is not quite that simple. ‘D’s and ‘C’s also both tend to emphasize the need to accomplish tasks. ‘I’s and ‘S’s put a higher priority on personal relationships.

So, as a salesperson first try to determine which style your dealing with, then adjust your pace (faster or slower) and your priority (task versus relationship).

Adjusting Pace and Priority

If you are a ‘D’ or ‘I’ salesperson, and you want to deal better with ‘S’ or ‘C’ customers or clients, try to be more relaxed, listen more than you speak, do not interrupt, challenge, or push the process along faster than they want it to go.

If you are an ‘S’ or ‘C’ selling to a ‘D’ or ‘I’, pick up the pace, initiate conversations, give recommendations, and avoid beating-around-the-bush.

As for priority, if you are an ‘S’ or ‘I’ selling to ‘D’s or ‘C’s, focus more on the task than the relationship, get right to the bottom line, and use facts and logic. If possible, prepare an agenda and stick to it. Keep your meeting focused and short.

Conversely, if you are a ‘D’ or ‘C’ salesperson, put the relationship first when dealing with ‘I’s or ‘S’s. Show an interest in them: their job, family, or hobbies. Speak in a friendly, informal way. Be flexible with your time, tolerating digressions.

The point is: Everybody is easy to please, if you know how.

With ‘D’s, be efficient and competent. With ‘I’s, support their ideas or dreams. With ‘S’s, stress your warmth and sincerity, and with ‘C’s, be thorough and prepared.

Working Toward a Win-Win

Selling customers the way they want to buy is a strategy that can positively change your sales career. Thousands of salespeople have successfully applied these techniques. They have experienced dramatic increases in sales as well as greater awareness of their own personal strengths and struggles. You become a salesperson who “consults” and “solves problems” based on your knowledge of both your customers’ personal needs and behavioral styles.

To hear more from Tony Alessandra, join him for our Soundview Live webinar on August 27th: Turning Every Business Encounter into a Mutual Win.

How Adaptable are YOU?

Today’s guest blogger is Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments24x7, a company that equips coaches, trainers and consultants with dozens of assessments (DISC, Motivators, HVP, etc.) from one, easy-to-use online account.

What IS Adaptability?

The concept of adaptability, as developed by Dr. Michael O’Connor, co-author of The Platinum Rule®, is a two-part process.  It combines flexibility with versatility.

  • Flexibility is your willingness to adapt. It is your attitude.
  • Versatility is your ability to adapt. It is your aptitude.

The first half of the high adaptability formula – Flexibility.

Confidence + Tolerance + Empathy + Positiveness + Respect for others = FLEXIBILITY.

  • Confidence – you believe in yourself, you trust your own judgment and resourcefulness.
  • Tolerance – you are open to accepting opinions and practices that are different from your own.
  • Empathy – a deep understanding of another’s situation.
  • Positiveness – a positive attitude leads to positive events in your life.
  • Respect for others – the sincere desire to understand and consider other people’s choices, commitments and needs in relation to your own.

BEWARE!  These are traits that undermine your ability to successful adapt:

  • Rigidity -“It’s my way or the highway”
  • Competition with others – “I’m smarter, prettier, etc., thank you”
  • Discontent – “No, I don’t like it this way.  Why can’t we…”
  • Unapproachable – “Don’t bother me unless it’s worth my time and you agree with me”
  • Difficulty with Ambiguity – “Let’s nail this down right now”

The second half of the high adaptability formula – Versatility.

Resilience + Vision + Attentiveness + Competence + Self-correction = VERSITILITY.

  • Resilience – knowing how to overcome setbacks, barriers and limited resources.  If you keep on going until you succeed, that is resilience.
  • Vision – having the power to imagine, be creative, and suggest alternatives.
  • Attentiveness – knowing when to act and when not to act. It means paying attention to more than your own needs.
  • Competence – begins with expertise. In addition, it also involves a problem-solving ability that goes beyond your specialty. It means having a can-do attitude and following through on it.
  • Self-correction – once you initiate a project, you ask for feedback and place a high priority on problem solving, not on being right. It is being able to say, “I think this approach isn’t working.  I’d better try something different.”

BEWARE!  There are traits that undermine your ability to successful adapt:

  • Subjectiveness – “This is the way it looks to ME”
  • Bluntness – “That’s a stupid idea!”
  • Resistance – “This is the way we’ve always done it”
  • Single-mindedness – “It’s my goal and nothing else matters”
  • Unreasonable Risk-taking – “I’m going to jump, won’t you come with me?”

Adaptable people meet other peoples’ needs and their own. They know how to negotiate relationships in a way that allows everyone to win.  With adaptability, you are practicing what I call The Platinum Rule® – treating other people the way they want and need to be treated.

To hear more from Tony Alessandra, join him for our Soundview Live webinar on August 27th: Turning Every Business Encounter into a Mutual Win.

What Could You Learn From Our Latest Summaries?

Our September summaries are all about what is best for employees. Whether it’s corporate education, empowering employees through lean practices, or developing employee character, this set of summaries offers a wealth of information to strengthen your company.

 

learningtosucceed2

Learning to Succeed

Rethinking Corporate Education in a World of Unrelenting Change

by Jason Wingard
Corporate learning expert Jason Wingard proposes that to keep ahead of the competition, organizations should shift to embracing learning across the ranks and become dynamic learning organizations. With a dedication to learning initiatives, a company will be better equipped to make the decisions that will ensure its future.
theleanceo2

The Lean CEO

Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence

by Jacob Stoller
Many companies and CEOs are finding that to do more with less, that they can find solutions in Lean management techniques to deliver sustainable financial results, empower and motivate employees, break down internal silos and build solid partnerships with customers and suppliers. Journalist and facilitator Jacob Stoller explains the methodology by including in-depth interviews with CEOs who have established Lean as a corporate-wide management system.
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The Good Ones

Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees

by Bruce Weinstein
Ethics expert Bruce Weinstein presents 10 crucial qualities associated with high-character employees that can enhance employee satisfaction, client relationships and the bottom line. Character refers to the most important qualities that define a person’s identity and it is revealed not by words but by actions. The qualities are honesty, accountability, care, courage, fairness, gratitude, humility, loyalty, patience and presence.

If you’re a Soundview subscriber, check out your new titles in your online library today. And if not, click on a title to purchase it; or perhaps now is the time to Subscribe and get these great titles and much more to strengthen your leader skills.