Join us for our next webinar! Presenting Value to Executives with Michael J. Nick

Presenting Value to Executives

Date: Friday, October 14
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Michael J. Nick

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Presenting your value to the executive committee can occur several times throughout your sales process. There is no doubt you must be prepared for each of these presentations. It can be very stressful and hectic. The goal of this program is to help you organize and prepare for presenting your value in its very best light.

In this Soundview Live webinar, Presenting Value to Executives, Michael breaks the presentation into several components, beginning with a foundation discussion, followed by creating value for your audience, and finally how to put it all together to present your value to an executive committee. Michael shares stories and examples from his work with HP, Rockwell Automation, NEC, Microsoft Great Plains, and Avery Denison.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to identify and communicate with key decision makers (especially millennials)
  • How to understand the buyer’s process from the inside out
  • How to manage your digital presence to maximize interest in your product
  • How to focus your sales effort on the deals you can win

Guest Blog: Displaying Worthy Intent by Ed Wallace

 

Image result for the relationship engine ed wallaceI call this principle The Relationship Engine because when we “put the other person’s best interest ahead of our own” we continuously drive outstanding business relationships. As you can attest from your own experience, we are willing to invest in a relationship when we are confident that the other person not only means us no harm but wishes to actively do good for us and has no hidden agenda. According to Chris Malone, managing partner of Fidelum Partners and coauthor with Susan T. Fiske from Princeton University of the groundbreaking book The Human Brand, “intent” is the underlying psychology and dominant factor that drives our behavior.

Malone explains that we have been hardwired by evolution to try to determine other people’s intentions toward us based on body language, facial expressions, tone of voice and so on. Back when we were primitive, correctly judging someone’s intentions meant life or death and was more predictive of your survival than judging someone’s competence or ability. This core instinct is still baked into us and it has not changed in thousands of years. These conclusions have been validated over the past twenty years across forty countries with Dr. Fiske as the leading authority on this concept.

Malone cites that every year there seems to be some new theory of how the business and leadership world works. He asked me rhetorically, “How can all of these leadership ideas and theories all be true? What is the common thread?” He believes that Worthy Intent is the underlying psychology that allows all of the models to work.

Once this foundation of Displaying Worthy Intent is established, there is almost no limit to what can be accomplished through a business or even a personal relationship. Start driving your great intentions today!

Join Ed Wallace for a Soundview Live webinar next Tuesday, 9/20! He’ll be discussing how to connect with people who power your business.
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Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar! Tuesday, August 23rd

Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions

Date: Tuesday, August 23
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Carmen Simon, PhD

Register here

Audiences forget up to 90% of what you communicate. How can your employees and customers decide to act on your message if they only remember a tenth of it? How do you know which tenth they’ll remember? How will you stay on their minds long enough to spark the action you need?

In this Soundview Live webinar, Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions, Carmen Simon draws on the latest research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology to show us how to develop content that speaks to people’s hearts, stays in their heads and influences their decisions.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to create cues that attract attention and connect with your audience’s needs
  • How to use memory-influencing variables to control what your audience remembers
  • How to turn today’s intentions into tomorrow’s actions

Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time

Image of Doing the Right Things RightInspired by Peter Drucker’s groundbreaking book The Effective Executive, Laura Stack details precisely how 21st-century leaders and managers can obtain profitable, productive results by managing the intersection of two critical values: effectiveness and efficiency.

Effectiveness, Stack says in Doing the Right Things Right, is identifying and achieving the best objectives for your organization — doing the right things. Efficiency is accomplishing them with the least amount of time, effort and cost — doing things right. If you’re not clear on both, you’re wasting your time. As Drucker put it, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Stack’s 3T Leadership offers 12 practices that will enable executives to be effective and efficient, grouped into three areas where leaders spend their time: Strategic Thinking, Teamwork and Tactics. With her expert advice, Doing the Right Things Right will give you scores of new ideas on how you, your team and your organization can boost productivity.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The 12 practices to be both effective and efficient.
• The three activities that help you make sense of the 12 practices.
• Why executives have evolved from being bosses to team members in recent decades.
• Strategies to communicate better and motivate your team.
• How to use technology to make you more efficient, rather than letting it overwhelm you.

Click here for the full summary!

Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar!

Critical Conversations: Ensuring Success without Sacrificing Sanity
Date: Wednesday, April 27th
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Cornelia Gamlem & Barbara Mitchell
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Click here to register!

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In this Soundview Live webinar, Critical Conversations: Ensuring Success without Sacrificing Sanity, Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem will offer guidance to employees, managers at all levels, and business owners communicate effectively to achieve a tension-free workplace.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Set and manage expectations
  • Identify changes in the workplace and the workforce
  • Create more options to solve conflicts
  • Recognize your personal conflict style, and why it is important
  • Effectively handle disruptive behavior

FREE WEBINAR: How to Deal With People Who Drive You Crazy featuring Dr. Mark Goulston

FREE WEBINAR:

How to Deal With People Who Drive You Crazy: An Interactive Converstion with Dr. Mark Goulston

Date: Thursday, March 31st
Time: 12:00 PM EDT

Register today and receive a free summary of Dr. Goulston’s book, Just Listen !

 

Let’s face it, we all know people who are irrational. No matter how hard you try to reason with them, it never works. So what’s the solution? How do you talk to someone who’s out of control? Dr. Mark Goulston has the knowledge and experience to help you find answers to these questions to ensure a more pleasant work environment.

In this Soundview Live webinar, How to Deal with People Who Drive You Crazy, Dr. Mark Goulston brings his communication magic to the most difficult group of all: the downright irrational. The key to handling irrational people is to learn to lean into the crazy – to empathize with it.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why people act the way they do
  • How instinctive responses can exacerbate the situation – and what to do instead
  • How to transform yourself from a threat into an ally
  • When to confront a problem and when to walk away

How to Earn and Keep Customer Loyalty

Today’s buyers –– empowered by the Internet, assured by the enormous choice in every segment of commerce and capitalizing on the acute vulnerability of sellers struggling in this current selling climate –– have taken control of the entire purchase progression

The confluence of technology and choice described in Robert H. Bloom’s The New Experts, started customer loyalty down the slippery slope –– ultimately, customer loyalty died. Buyers no longer care which seller they buy from –– which gives buyers all the power. But buyers do care about fulfilling their needs and making the best purchase decision –– and that is how you can win them over at four critical customer moments.

The Four Moments That Count

1. The Now-or-Never Moment –– your first brief contact. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of your prospects’ initial contact with your company.

2. The Make-or-Break Moment –– the lengthy transaction process. Most leaders know from experience that far too many transactions fall through at the Make-or-Break Moment, the extended period of consideration, negotiation and decision to purchase.

3. The Keep-or-Lose Moment –– the customer’s continued usage. This is the period when your buyer is actually using your business’s products or services. It is important to nourish and maintain your relationship with a customer while that current customer is using, consuming, enjoying and relying on the product or service he or she purchased from you. Maintaining performance is essential at this moment.

4. The Multiplier Moment –– repeat purchase, advocacy and referral. Your Multiplier Moment is your conversion of a one-time customer into a repeat customer and an advocate and referral source for your company. Customers’ repeat purchases from your firm and enthusiastic recommendations of your firm will produce transactions that require far less investment and will create far more profitable revenue. This is why your business must sustain its performance long after the completion of the transaction and throughout your pivotal Multiplier Moment.
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Our Declining Abilities as Humans

In the early years of cellphones, the younger generation’s affinity for texting might have been seen as another generation-gap marker. Almost surreptitiously, however, the cellphone has become much more than just the new way of doing things for a new generation. As eloquently documented in psychoanalyst Sharon Turkle’s new book, Reclaiming Conversation, the cellphone — and, more specifically, the smartphone — has dramatically shifted the core element at the heart of human society: human relationships. The havoc wreaked by the cellphone is not generation-specific because all generations are guilty.

Turkle encapsulates the problem as one of losing both the desire and even the ability of conversation. We avoid face-to-face conversations, or even phone conversations, in favor of texting or email.

Granted, texting or email can, in the right circumstances, be more efficient. And indeed, the efficiency argument is one that underpins much of the enthusiasm for the smartphone. As revealed through the many interviews Turkle conducted in her research for the book, the generation that grew up with cellphones is perplexed as to why anyone would prefer a live conversation that one cannot edit or control (you must respond immediately). This apparent efficiency, however, is insidious, because “Human relationships,” she writes, “are rich, messy and demanding. When we clean them up with technology, we move from conversation to the efficiencies of mere connection (author’s emphasis). I fear we forget the difference. And we forget that children who grow up in a world of digital devices don’t know that there’s a difference.”

Pilots in a Cockpit

In her disturbing book, Turkle details the negative impact of moving from conversation to “mere connection.” It ranges from the end of imaginative and creative daydreaming — with a phone always handy, any spare second is filled with trolling through apps or checking Facebook — to the inability of being empathetic to others — which requires eye contact, listening and attending to someone — to even the inability of being true to one’s self. Today, unfettered journal entries have been replaced by carefully constructed positive posts on Facebook.

The damage of the age of the cellphone impacts everything we do. In the workplace, for example, employees turn on their screens and put on large earphones to block out the rest of the world — resembling pilots in a cockpit, according to one manager. It is not that the employees want privacy or solitude. In fact, the fear of solitude is one of the major changes wrought by the smartphone; people are never alone and never want to be alone. As a result, even the simple assignment of working on a project is unfathomable to younger employees; they need to work in groups.

Turkle is not anti-technology. She does not pine for a past that has disappeared. Instead, she compellingly describes how we are becoming unnecessarily diminished in our abilities as humans. The answer is not to reject technology but to use it properly. “We can become different kinds of consumers of technology, just as we have become different kinds of consumers of food,” she writes. Reclaiming Conversation is an important book, one that hopefully will be read and talked about — or at least posted about extensively on social media so that its vital message can break into the millions of cockpits that now make up our society.

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Preparing For The Unexpected

Preparing For The Unexpected

The information age is also the age of acronyms. Our friends and colleagues make us LOL. Or we might affix a humble IMHO to our suggestions. If there is one acronym that probably best defines the hypercompetitive, dynamic world of business today, however, it is VUCA.VUCA, as Pamela Meyer explains in her book The Agility Shift, stands for “volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.” In other words, companies need to prepare for the unexpected because the unexpected is coming.

However, how does one prepare for the unknown, the uncertain, the ambiguous? According to Meyer, the answer is to shift mindsets and strategies from the status quo and complacency to agility and entrepreneurialism.

This is no easy task for many companies who have been successful doing what they’ve always done and operating in the world of the past. Success will not last, however, if companies do not become more agile. Studies show that agile companies are “more profitable, sustainable and innovative,” she explains. The real reason to pursue agility, however, goes beyond bottom line results. The “core dynamics” (interacting and interconnecting) of a shift to agility, she writes, “are the key to your ability to create and experience meaning, purpose and happiness.” Meyer puts meaning, purpose and happiness at the center of the agility shift because “it is essential to fostering and sustaining the level of engagement, commitment and creativity you need to respond effectively when the unexpected hits.”

The Relational Web

The agility shift, Meyer explains, is a shift in mindset from “the false comfort of a plan to achieving a state of readiness to find opportunity in the unexpected.” Such a state of readiness begins with a resource that already exists in most companies: the “Relational Web.” Agility exists, according to Meyer, when individuals, teams and organizations weave a strong Relational Web.

According to Meyer, a Relational Web is much more than another term for social networks. For example, in addition to active relationships with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, an individual’s Relational Web would include extended and/or inactive relationships; skills, knowledge and talent; other sources of ideas; knowledge and expertise; tangible and intangible resources.

Tangible and intangible resources can include anything from capital and raw materials to the brand reputation of the organization for which the person works.

Agile Shift Dynamics

The interconnections, relationships and resources of a Relational Web are not, in themselves, sufficient to ensure agile leaders, teams and organizations. Individuals and organizations must also adopt a mindset, strategy and practices that lead to what Meyer calls “the five agility shift dynamics”: relevance, responsiveness, resilience, resourcefulness and reflection.

Agile organizations are relevant, which means that they have a clear sense of purpose — a “why” for everything they do. Relevance, Meyer writes, aligns purpose and values with the success of the organization. The result is a workforce and leadership that is engaged and committed: an important requirement for agility.

Agile organization are also responsive: They don’t react to events out of fear or to protect or defend themselves but respond to take advantage of new opportunities, writes Meyer. Agile organizations are also resilient, able to “regroup, reorganize and renew in response to a significant disruption,” she writes, and resourceful — taking full advantage of resources. Finally, agile organizations are able to reflect on new developments, understanding which are relevant to their organizations, and demand a response.

An international consultant and professor, Meyer fills her book with case studies and precise how-to steps gathered under “Making Shift Happen” subheads. Thus, one of the Making Shift Happen practices for resilience is to “designate understudies” (a former theater director and producer, Meyer draws metaphors and stories from her show-business career). To designate understudies means to have redundant vital systems to ensure that the organization is not left short when the unexpected happens. Exploring best practices and the mindset for agility for individuals, teams and organizations, The Agility Shift offers practical and timely advice for managers and employees dealing with the challenges of the age of VUCA.

How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life

Prescriptions for Handling Difficult People

Perhaps the most universal challenge faced by any manager or employee at any level of an organization is dealing with difficult and even irrational people. In his new book, Talking to Crazy, psychiatrist Mark Goulston offers a counter-intuitive prescription to dealing with the irrational and the impossible: “Lean into the crazy.” Don’t argue or try to reason with these people, he writes. Instead, treat them as if they are rational, show them that you are not a threat and then “move them” to sanity.

talkingtocrazyHis prescription is based on what he calls the “Sanity Cycle,” which consists of six steps: “see that the other person is acting crazy”; “identify the other person’s M.O.” (such as extreme emotion, hopelessness, manipulation or martyrdom);“deal with your own crazy”; “go to the other person’s crazy”; “show that you are not a threat”; and “move the person to a sane place.”

The Man in the Pickup

In the opening chapter of his book, Goulston tells a startling personal story of road rage gone right that illustrates the Sanity Cycle in practice. After one of the worst professional days of his life, a preoccupied Goulston cut off the same person, a very large man in a pickup, twice. The second time, the man blocked Goulston’s car, emerged from his pickup truck in a rage, and started screaming and pounding on the window of the car. Goulston lowered the window and said, “Have you ever had such an awful day that you’re just hoping to meet someone who will pull out a gun, shoot you and put you out of your misery? Are you that someone?” Before long, the stunned other driver was trying to comfort Goulston, explaining to him that life really wasn’t that bad.

This story is an example of the “belly role” — one of the many techniques that Goulston offers his readers. The belly role is named after the habits of animals that indicate their submission to other dominant animals by lying on their backs and showing their bellies. In more technical terms, this is called assertive submission, an apt name — it takes a certain amount of assertiveness to say to a crazy person, “You’re right, do what you have to do.”

Apologize, Empathize, Uncover

Another of Goulston’s techniques is the A-E-U technique, whose acronym stands for Apologize, Empathize, Uncover. When the other person is being irrational, Goulston writes, you apologize for your own shortcomings, recognize how difficult it must be for them to deal with you, and then describe to the person what they may be truly feeling. For example, Goulston described a case involving a marital situation in which he told his client that as part of the uncover phase she must tell her spouse, “I’m guessing you’d like to get a divorce, but you can’t bear all the tumult that would cause. It wouldn’t even surprise me if, when I’m on a trip, you secretly wish I’d die in a plane crash, because then you’d be free without being the bad guy.”

Leaning into the crazy in this way may seem counter- intuitive, not to mention counterproductive. However, the A-E-U and other techniques in Goulston’s book reveal the power of his Sanity Cycle. One of the early steps in the cycle is “dealing with your own crazy” — that is, recognizing how you are contributing to the problems. Only then can you respond in ways that “show that you are not a threat” and that in the end “move the person to a sane place.”

At first glance, this may all seem nice in theory and completely unrealistic in the real world. Goulston, however, is not a New-Age spinner of good feelings but, rather, a practicing psychiatrist for decades who, as he puts it in the first sentence of the book, “knows crazy” — from the patient who jumped off a fifth-story balcony because he thought he could fly to “80-pound anorexics, strung-out heroin addicts and hallucinating schizophrenics.”

Goulston will be the first person to tell you that some people are too crazy to talk to. Early in the book, he separates irrational and impossible people from people with personality disorders (e.g., narcissists, paranoids, sociopaths). These are people from whom rational people should walk away, Goulston writes unequivocally. However, most conflicts in the workplace (or home) simply involve very difficult people who can make life miserable. Talking to Crazy offers much-needed guidance for those seeking a solution to these all-too-common conflicts.