The Art of Telling Things as You Want Them To Be

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

We can spend our time telling (ourselves and others) stories how and why things are the way they are. Or we can spend our time telling ourselves (others will find out soon enough) stories about things working out as desired even though we’re not sure how they will.

Which will get us closer to our goal?

Right. Toss the habit of describing things as they are and pick up the habit of telling things as you want them to be.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: The trick is to tell a story that uses general-enough statements that you can believe. For example, don’t say, “That won’t work because of this obstacle, that person, or this flaw” or, “I am going to do this detail, that strategy, and this other thing to make it happen.” Instead say general things you already believe. This might include, “I’m not sure how it will work out. I don’t need to know right now. It works out for others, so it must be possible. I’ve been in situations like this before and it worked out. You know, people really do enjoy being part of something successful like this. I bet there are lots of people who will jump in to help me. It’s okay. I can handle anything that might happen. I’ve got this. I feel better already. It will be fun to see how it works out.”

 

Today’s photo credit: Andi Licious Cold and Empty via photopin (license)

Between the Ears

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

What is the gist of the stories we tell ourselves, 24/7? Are they like these…?

“That’s just the way it is.” “I/you/they/we/those things suck.” “It’s their/my fault.” “Life is hard.” “It’s just business.”

Or like these…?

“This is good.” “I appreciate me/you/them/us/those things.” “I know things will work out well; they always do.” “Life is good.” “This is exciting.” “More of this, please.”

Why does it matter? Because the story running between our ears dictates the results we will see with our eyes.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, we can tell the gist of the stories by the results. And by how, generally, we feel.

Engaging Heroes

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

People move when we engage their emotions. Yet we too often default to logic, authority, or habit. Not so moving.

To engage their emotions, try telling a story with them as the hero. Include a bit about where they are now, where they could possibly go next, and why. Say something about the challenges they will encounter, the help they will receive, and the positive outcomes they will enjoy. And most importantly, allow yourself to feel even little bit of the excitement, inspiration, anger, concern, courage, etc. that naturally comes up when you tell such a compelling story. If you feel it, they will, too.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 
Today’s photo credit: Ani-Bee cc

well loved

A Story

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

There was once a band of smart, dedicated, caring, and simply successful people. Some of them lived in Toronto. The rest were scattered around the globe. Though they didn’t really know each other, each one had guessed that they shared something in common with the others.

Take for instance Kimberly. Every morning, she would sit with her warm beverage of choice, read a little something useful that appeared in her inbox, and think how she might apply that something to her work that day. She would sip from the same chipped but well-loved mug and wonder if the others in the band weren’t doing the exact same thing.

One morning, having just finished her beverage, Kimberly was not surprised to see her colleague Prithviraj coming to her desk. They spent the better part of the last year trying to sign an important new client, AmantiCor. The AmantiCor project would be a huge win for their little company. Prithviraj and Kimberly had been more than intimidated by their bigger, more established competition, BBG Partners. “They are going to eat our lunch,” Prithviraj kept saying. “And our dinner,” Kimberley would respond.

“Read this morning’s note?”

“Just did. You thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Yup. Let’s toss the whole AmantiCor presentation and start again. We don’t need all the consultant-speak and tables. Let BBG confuse them and bore them silly. We’ll keep it real.”

“I’ve already started.”

Of course, they were right. The new presentation worked. AmantiCor agreed and signed on that afternoon.

Later, as she was packing up to go home, Kimberly wondered if others in the band had changed their approach to an important leading, influencing, or selling opportunity that day. She would have been shocked to hear how many had and how effective they all were.

Need to lead, sell, or influence something important? You can lay out your logic, flood them with everything you know, and make your case. None of which they will remember or care to act upon.

Or you can tell a story.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: cobalt123 cc

stories

Tell (Yourself) a Really Good Story

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

We humans love a good story. Want to bore someone to tears? Give them the facts. Want to engage and move someone? Tell them a story.

This truth also applies personally. We engage and move ourselves with the stories we tell ourselves. We’ve been telling some stories for so long we miss the fact that they are just stories. In these cases, the only way to tell what type of story we are telling is by how we feel. Crappy, low-buzz feeling comes from crappy stories. Good, high-buzz feeling comes from good stories.

Since we end up living the stories we tell ourselves, let’s pick the stories that feel good to tell.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: And here’s a real power-up: whenever stuck in something at work or home, tell the exact opposite story.

PPS: Example: Maybe we want to be a more patient leader but we’ve always been quick to judge or issue orders. We’ve probably been telling ourselves stories like, “They don’t get it. It’s faster if I just give them the solution. They are preventing success.” If we instead tell ourselves stories like, “I bet they can figure this out. They’ll probably surprise me. I bet I can help. I trust their motives and mine. We make a pretty good team,” we will soon become that kinda leader.

PPPS: Or maybe we’ve been telling ourselves the story that success seems to evade us. Or that others get in our way. Or that we aren’t good enough. Or that we are impostors. Or that the world doesn’t support us. Or…or…or… What’s a really good story we can tell ourselves instead?

PPPPS: Yeah, that’s a good one! Go with it. You are good at this.

 

Today’s photo credit: Moyan Brenn cc

What’s Your Story?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Our successes today and tomorrow tend to follow the story we’ve been telling ourselves. Sometimes our stories are not front-of-mind. But we know by how we feel the quality of our stories.

They need not be elaborate; we can frankly ignore all elements of plot. They just have to feel good.

So, what’s your story?

In your corner,

Mike

cogs

This Is The Leaders’ Job

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

As leaders, our job is not really about finance, operations, sales, strategy, law, board- and investor relations, HR, labor relations, regulations, or marketing–though these things are important and we may be good at them. Our job is not really about making decisions or giving orders. And it’s definitely not about being strong, smart, or right.

Our job, ultimately, is about designing, building, and maintaining the best environment for all that work to get done. This includes

  • committing to win-win relationships with all who matter (including building a win-win-loving team),
  • stewarding that compelling story about who we are, how we help, and our desired goals,
  • building the systems and norms to allow for a natural, low-resistance flow of work, and
  • encouraging our inner-games (i.e. our thinking and beliefs) to support our win-win, our flow, and our story.

 

In your corner,

Mike
Today’s photo credit: tallkev via photopin cc

story

To Galvanize and Sustain Real Change, Tell a Story

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

Facts, pleas, excitement, data, anger, politics, fear, outrage, logic. These are just some of the tools we use to influence others, to create change. They can work…for a while…sometimes…for some people.

As leaders (with or without title), influencers, and sellers, we can really galvanize and sustain change by telling compelling stories. Pick a hero (normally, a representation of the person or people you wish to have change). Describe the current state, the desired future state, and the obstacles. Then tell how the hero reaches the desired state, past the obstacles. Make sure we get the emotion as well as the logic.

We all react to stories. They cut through the noise and numbness in ways that logic or emotion never can.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Smaller problems need simpler stories. Have a big challenge or change to make? Tell an epic-in-scope (not necessarily in length) story.

 

Today’s photo credit: aphotoshooter via photopin cc

story

Tell a Story

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

We like to think we are logical, thoughtful, and reasonable. And we may be. We are, though, mostly emotional.  We are heavily influenced by how things feel.

To collaborate with and influence each other, then, we must go to the emotions. That can feel uncomfortable, icky, or even dangerous. The trick to avoiding the ick et cetera is to start by committing ourselves to win-win-or-don’t-play solutions.

Then we simply tell a story. Paint a picture of what life will look and feel like for all of us. It needn’t be flowery or perfect.  Remember that if you can feel it, then all of us will feel it, too.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Marwa Morgan via photopin cc

your definition

What Does Success Look Like?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Success, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1 min.

Success demands that you state what success for you (or your business) looks like. It must be clear, compelling, complete, and (for your business) commonly understood. (Notice that Success never asks, “Which version of success that other people have defined for you would you like to choose?”)

Defining success tells you what you are looking for. When you don’t know what you are looking for, everything and anything becomes a possible solution. Without that knowing, it’s way too easy to be distracted by urgencies, overwhelmed by choices, or just stuck.

What does your success look like?

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Try writing it down as a short story. Make it a story that feels good to consider. Capture and set aside, for now, any worries about how. Focus on the what and the why.

 

Today’s photo credit: f/orme via photopin cc