I am a fitness buff, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 years you know that there are countless diets and other dietary or nutritional products promising all kinds of miraculous results. In my quest for better and better fitness, I have learned (and tried) many of these diet and fitness solutions. It's now a hobby to analyze each new diet, gadget, and technique to understand their underpinnings and how much truth, practicality, and hype exist in each.
Unfortunately, a huge percentage of these products are garbage. Many of them have an idea or principle that is valid, but the results are blown way out of proportion in relation to what can truly be achieved using these solutions. On the other hand, some actually work…
If It's Too Complicated No One Will Use ItTake diets for example, there are quite a number of them with merit. The problem is that some diets are ridiculously complicated and too difficult to maintain, let alone adopt as an ongoing lifestyle. All the current leaders in fitness and nutrition now agree that the ease of going on and maintaining a diet is a major factor (if not the major factor) in the creation of a successful diet. If people can’t effectively start or maintain the diet, it doesn’t matter how effective it could be because they won’t be able to sustain it. And that, my friends, is why I am going on and on about diets in an article about advancing the sale—because closing techniques suffer similar complications.
Name any book on closing, and odds are, I’ve read it. There are books with hundreds of sales closes in them, each with their own clever name, like the board of nails close, or the one-dollar-for-one-hundred-dollars close, or my all-time favorite the Atomic-what-would-Jesus-do-BOMB close (no, I’m not kidding).
Someday, to give you a good laugh and protect the innocent souls out there who might actually consider using one of these gems, I’ll put up a website with a Sales Closing Wall of Shame listing all of the ridiculous closes I’ve collected over the years.
Closing ConfusionJust like the diets, most of these closes are garbage—and by garbage, I mean counter-productive. They will actually hurt your chances of closing the sale. But also like the diets, some of these techniques actually work from time to time. And thus, the confusion sets in.
Some of these old-school closes are very elaborate, are specialized for particular situations, and require intricate setups. Some take hours to execute. This is again where they are like diets. If there is too much to remember, or they are too complicated to execute, then no one will use them. Who wants to take the time to memorize one-hundred-and-one closes—one for every possible situation? What if in the heat of the moment I use the wrong one? Oh, the pressure!
It’s a waste of time and effort to use what amounts to a counter-productive close 90% of the time. It is also totally unnecessary.
The Criteria For a Good CloseA good closing approach should meet the following criteria:
That last point is what we are focusing on here. The approach must be easy enough to follow so that when it comes time to actually use the approach, it's natural and simply second nature. That eliminates all the stress and frustration associated with closing that we sometimes feel.
CLOSING TIP: Helping a customer move towards their goal is an act of service. It shouldn't be difficult or stressful at all. It should be easy.
About the Author: James Muir is professional sales trainer, author, speaker and coach. He is the Best-Selling author of The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales that shows sales and service professionals a clear and simple approach to increase closed opportunities and accelerate sales to the highest levels while remaining genuinely authentic. Those interested in learning a method of closing that is zero pressure, involves just two questions and is successful 95% of the time can reach him atPureMuir.com.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: James Muir
On my lunch break, I took the only open seat at a small three-person table. After quick greetings the two ladies already seated continued their conversation. Since we sat so closely I couldn't help but overhear.
At first I felt awkward; it's no fun trying to pretend you're not listening when you can't help but overhear. But they immediately noticed my discomfort and smiled and nodded at me to make me feel included.
So I listened and was fascinated.
They talked about how they felt a huge responsibility to their employees, not just financially but also in terms of training, development, and personal fulfillment. They talked about how a contract may start a business relationship but ensuring both parties succeed is the only way to keep a business relationship from ending all too soon.
Most of all, though, they talked about themselves -- but in a way I never hear.
"I feel like I'm failing one of my managers," one said. "He does a good job, but the way he does it is so different from the way I I would. So I wind up critiquing his 'style' instead of just focusing on the results he achieves."
"I know exactly what you mean," the other said. "But I have the opposite problem. I have an employee I know has potential, but I can't seem to reach him. No matter how hard I try I can't find a way to see things from his perspective. It's like we're constantly butting heads."
"Will you have to let him go?" she was asked.
"I should, but I just can't do it," she answered. "At least not yet. How do I fire someone when I think it's my fault they aren't performing well?"
And they kept talking. They talked about how they felt guilty they weren't developing their employees more, but resources were just too tight. They talked about how they felt guilty for not spending more time with certain members of their staffs, yet the need to fight fires always got in the way. They talked about constantly trying to balance business with family, and how, no matter what they did, they could never escape feeling they were letting both sides down.
To say I was stunned was an understatement. It was clear these two women had just met, yet there they were admitting to weaknesses -- not in a faux self-deprecating way, but openly and honestly.
How many people do you know that readily admit to falling short where leadership and professional relationships are concerned? (And when someone does admit that, how many people respond thoughtfully, compassionately, and without judgment?)
Instead practicality tends to dominate our business discussions. We talk, especially with people we don't know particularly well, almost exclusively about strategies and technologies, metrics and analytics, big data and big ideas.
Practicality is everything -- in not only our public conversations but often also in our private thoughts.
My lunch companions appreciated a different kind of discussion. They clearly felt the fundamentals of business are found not in data, or strategy, or finance but in the emotions, the experiences, the skills and faults and strengths and weaknesses of people.
Business, to them, was all about leading, following, and working with people... something that is all too easy to forget.
Hats off to them.
And hats off to all of you who work so hard to make the lives of other people better -- since, after all, that's what great leaders do best.
Originally Posted on Linked In By:Jeff Haden
I grew up in the 80s. Rock and roll, in all flavors, was part of my DNA. Especially the heavy stuff. From Joan Jett to Anthrax to The Misfits to Yngwie Malmsteen, crunchy chords and killer solos were my thing. I played guitar (my favorite being a purple Charvel I upgraded more than my BMX bike). I had a Carvin half-stack amp in my garage that shook the small Cleveland suburb I grew up in. I even did a short stint in a band called Terror (seriously).
Point being, I loved rock music and the stars that performed it. It was a big part of my life and it let me express myself in a myriad of ways – most of them a bit reckless. Like most people, though, I lived and learned through it.
James Bond has a license to kill. Rockstars have a license to be outrageous.”
– Gene SimmonsBack to the future, I come across a job postings for a “rockstar” designer, developer, producer, or the like every week. Each time I roll my eyes. No, that's not quite right. I actually close my eyes and let out a long painful sigh at the thought of actually having to work with a rockstar, regardless of their area of expertise.
It sounds cool, I guess, to suggest that someone is a rockstar-caliber candidate. But let’s explore the association between what the label rockstar really implies and what employers and coworkers really want. Because, frankly, I just don’t see the match.
For the record, I’m not suggesting every rockstar is a mess. But the general connotation – or the ‘persona’ as my UX friends call it, or the ‘archetype’ as Carl Jung called it – simply isn't loaded with positive traits for being a desirable teammate.
Play along with me on this one.
It's just me myself and I:Rockstars generally come across as egocentric, impulsive, and out of control. They often thrive at being the center of attention and can do some extremely selfish things in the name of fame and personal success. They have also been known to do very irrational and dangerous things when reality throws them a curve ball.
Think of all the rockstars who took their own lives. Or the ones arrested for assault, drug use, and even violent crimes. Or the ones that couldn’t get along with the rest of the band – which resulted in a nasty breakup. I don’t want to call out anyone by name for fear of some slander-based lawsuit, but if your memory isn’t rich with the topic just Google rockstar and: suicide; drugs; money; assault; or any other negatively-associated keyword. The results are seemingly endless.
When we weren't being transcendent we specialized in self-inflicted disaster.”
― Saul Hudson aka Slash
In all of this there’s a sense of irresponsibility that pervades the term rockstar.
Great teammates aren’t irresponsible or saturated with selfishness. Their personal needs aren’t placed above those of the team around them, which is core to why they’re a valued team player and trusted partner. They look out for one another. They're dependable, supportive, and continually looking for ways of making things better for themselves and those around them. One could even say they’re somewhat predictable in their reactions when things get tough: They step up. These are the types of traits I want to elicit when I look for a new employee.
I want you to want me:Rockstars often live for validation from other people. Great teammates don't.
I suspect that fear is a driver for a lot of rockstars. Fear of being what they were as a child; fear of being ‘normal’ like their friends and family back in Iowa; fear of failure; fear of not having enough of, well, everything. Way up high they can't bear the thought of coming back down to the rest us.
Fear and insecurities often manifest as putting other people down in order to rise above them. We'll see rockstars wearing lavish clothing and expensive jewelry, owning a stable of exotic and expensive cars, and getting into trouble with their behavior. (Ironically, they buy all of this stuff with what once was our money and flaunt it right back in our faces. Remember this the next time you ‘can't afford’ something.)
Great teammates don't elevate themselves above the team around them. Their genuine connections are built on personal relationships, with a focus on raising the team collectively. Sure, everyone has different motivators, personalities, and flair for fashion – and healthy competition within the office environment can be very constructive. But the underlying reason great teammates may separate themselves from the pack is different from rockstars. Self expression is important whereas self worship is toxic.
Simply put, being one among many, as an equal, is a critical condition for being a great teammate, and a leader. I think a healthy indifference of what others think about them is the root reason for this – from interns to CEOs alike.
What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”
– Dr. Wayne DyerBeing true to one's self while doing amazing work with other people is an intrinsic motivator for great teammates. I highly advise you include this type of language, implicitly or explicitly, in all your job postings.
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto:Look, I don’t follow modern pop culture. I’m stuck in the 80s when it comes to music, games, and, well, general awesomeness. I still own and play an Atari 2600, and I consider WarGames and Ghostbusters to be some of the best movies ever made. So I'm clearly a bit disconnected.
But I did catch wind of the recent Grammy Awards, and was thrilled to hear about Beck being recognized for album of the year. Watching several weeks later on a video site, I saw a man genuinely surprised and out of place on stage; a wonderfully talented musician amongst a sea of new-era rockstar entertainers. When he gave credit and thanks to others involved in achieving this award I actually believed him! Quite unique in an environment set up for the famous to feel even more famous amongst themselves, and where swift, half-hearted thanks are often given to the dozens if not hundreds of people who actually made these entertainers the center of attention they have become.
My point here is that rockstars generally take credit for the hard work of others. In reality they're the front-person for a much lesser-known and lesser-paid supporting cast who really should be getting a lot more recognition (and money).
Credit is something that should be given to others. If you are in a position to give credit to yourself, then you do not need it.”
– F. Scott FitzgeraldRockstars also attract weaker-minded people to them like groupies and paparazzi who only fuel the flames of their illusion of importance. Sure, they're tools of the much larger industry of entertainment – but I would bet that a large number of celebrities actually believe that they're more important than others around them. There are millions of photos and news articles to support this.
But thinking you're better than other people is very different than being great at what you do.
Great teammates learn to take praise and compliments with a grain of salt. I think they have an inner knowing that their successes relied on the efforts of many others around them. They’ve demonstrated to me that, while they take pride and credit (and accountability) for their work, they're the first to point out the contributions of others on their team.
That said, thank you Virginia Raike for the proofread and edits to this article!
Going full circle, I hope you see why I say don't hire rockstars, hire great teammates. Rockstars are great at breaking up our routines. They're great at getting on the news, getting noticed, and giving us something to talk about – and sometimes they're even great at making music. But being a professional career partner just isn't their specialty; and the label isn't a positive one in team environments.
That's my advice, take it or leave it. But consider this: The next time you post a job for that rockstar candidate, you just might get what you're asking for.
Gunter gleiben glauchen globen.
Originally Posted on Linked In By:
About Artificial Intelligence:
Artificial Intelligence is the science and engineering of creating intelligent machines or computer programs, this is how the father of artificial intelligence John Mc Carthy defines or describes it. It is one of the most effectual ways of making an adept and beyond belief computer, a robot controlled by computer, or software which seizes an aptitude and potential to think smartly.
AI woks on the principal of how a human brain thinks, learn, decide, and work in different situations or problems; it is a research wherein once the desired outcome is attained, is then used in creating extremely intelligent softwares and systems which can be of a great use. If we look at the two basic goals of AI, they are to create expert systems and implementing human intelligence in machines.
It is so effective that it can be used in any sphere, and can do wonders if used in the education sector.
Using Artificial Intelligence in Education:
Following are the things which Artificial Intelligence can do for Teachers and Students:
1. Enhancing Adaptive Learning: For good number of years adaptive learning has left an amazing mark in the education sector across the nation. Using Artificial Intelligence in order to augment the excellence of adaptive learning which fundamentally is using various software, programs, games that can assist students learn with no trouble and efficiently, can do wonders in the teaching as well as learning process. It will help the students master many topics or skills which they’ll be able to learn repetitively with the help of AI.
2. Recuperating Course Structure: It is not always possible for the teachers to be aware about the gap in their lectures which leads to students being perplexed about different topics, that’s where AI steps in and can actually lend a hand to the teachers to get over such hitches. One example of such an effective system is Coursera, which is already helping many teachers bridge the gap and administer their lessons effectively.
3. Attaining Suitable feedback: Where it can help the teachers and students in creating and indulging the course effortlessly, and customizing it according to their requirements, it can also endow them with a feedback about the efficacy of the course. The schools which are tech savvy these days are already using effective AI systems to scrutinize the student performance and alerting the teacher about the same.
Such AI systems can help the students to get lucidity of concepts, and can help teachers advance the mode of their instruction which can help the students who struggle with diverse subjects or topics.
4. Amending the role of teachers: Teachers are an imperative part of education system and will always be, AI can help them transform themselves into amazing facilitators. AI could be adapted in many aspects of teaching, if the teachers will get used to this remarkable system they can help their students conquer myriad problems related to a topic or subject as there are plentiful AI lessons which can aid them in doing so. Artificial Intelligence is being used in most of the schools that are following the flipped classroom model, and can be used by anybody who have an impulse for making teaching and learning effectual. It can also help the teachers in the grading system, and make it easy for them to work on that exacting area.
Apart from them AI can be used in other areas as well, as it is a valuable and smart mechanism to attain the finest yet desired results if used aptly.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Tina Sobti
I have five sons ranging in age from 11 to 19. A few weeks ago, one of the older boys was angry at dinner because a teacher had scolded him when his younger brother arrived late for school. How unfair!
In the family, we have a well-established tradition of discussing serious topics at dinner, so my son’s anger gave me a good reason to tell the boys about the importance of learning to control their emotions—a useful skill whatever your age.
I began by explaining that one simple way to think of intelligence is by dividing it into two broad categories: IQ (intellectual ability) and EQ (emotional intelligence), as popularized by Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence (1995).
But over a decade earlier, in 1983, Howard Gardner, a professor of developmental psychology at Harvard, proposed a theory of multiple intelligences in his book Frames of Mind.
Gardner suggested that we have seven different kinds of intelligence.
What’s the result? That schools tend to underteach intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence (Nos. 6 and 7) even though they are so important in adult life. As is so often the case, the skills we learn at school and the skills we need in life don’t quite match.
My son certainly needed greater intra- and interpersonal intelligence if he wanted to successfully jettison his anger and control his emotions to become more positive.
I suggested a simple, two-step method.
STEP ONE: Jettisoning anger
That’s the anger out of the way. “But what about the business of controlling my emotions?” my son asked.
That brought us to…
STEP TWO: Controlling the emotions
To control your emotions, I recommend the following.
If you can get yourself into a positive frame of mind and project that positivity, then you can easily attract and inspire other people—an essential quality for a business leader.
Carlos Ghosn, the charismatic French-Lebanese head of Nissan, is respected in Japan and worldwide for his rescue of the struggling national carmaker in the late 1990s.
Ghosn bases his approach to public speaking around a simple cast-iron rule: Your audience will forget 90% of what you say within 24 hours. What stays with them is your attitude, your emotion, the feelings you convey.
“So if you want to make something of yourself in life,” I told my son, “you’ve got to be able to keep your negative emotions under control and project positive emotions.”
By this stage, my son was getting so interested in the idea of emotional control and projection that all his anger toward his younger brother had evaporated. The change in his mood proved my point for me.
What about you? Do you have any favorite techniques for reducing your negative emotions and projecting positive vibes to inspire the people you work with? Why not share them with us in the comments below?
Originally posted on LinkedIN by: Yoshito Hori
At HotelTonight’s weekly all-hands meeting, HT Nation, we always end with an AMA (ask me anything). This reflects my goal of running a transparent organization and one where people freely give feedback to one another. I get direct questions about our finances, our strategies and our future plans. I love it. A few weeks ago, I got a great question asking what I was most proud of achieving at HotelTonight. Among the significant business milestones, I shared how excited I am about the culture HotelTonight has built and sustained.
It was always a goal of mine to build a company with an amazing team culture. A place where people will not only do the best work of their lives, but also somewhere they genuinely love coming every day, surrounded by people they enjoy being with. I wanted to create the environment that I wanted to work for when I started my career. Also, building a company is about the journey, not the destination, and when you’re on a journey you want to be with fun people. And it’s also good business – the team that likes and respects one another is more innovative and productive.
While we certainly have more work to do, and continually are gathering feedback from the team and acting upon it, I’m really proud of the culture that has emerged at HotelTonight. From what I’ve observed from my time building and working at startups, a key way you’ll know your culture is working is when people spend time together outside of the office or any company-sponsored event.
Here are a few anecdotes I’ve collected over the past few months to demonstrate what this looks like at HotelTonight:
The Company That Runs Together...
A bunch of us recently ran the SF Half together (my first and definitely last half marathon). Not only did a group train together, but one of our Regional Managers, Adam (who crushed the race, btw), invited everyone over to his house for a BBQ afterward – whether they’d run the race or not.
We also offer a subsidized gym membership as a perk, and it’s fun to see people heading over there together to try out new classes, or encouraging each other to squeeze in a workout. I’m a big believer in both the mental and physical benefits of exercise, and it’s very cool to see the team motivating each other.
Over the years, Team HT has taken many trips together, from big-group trips to Tahoe and Vegas to taking a work-friend on a hometown tour (as far away as Dublin!) to attending each other’s out-of-town weddings. We’re a travel company (with unlimited vacation), so I especially love seeing people bonding in this way.
The week before last, our North America Local Ops team took a travel week to visit their hotel partners all over the continent. Gaby, who manages Mexico City, invited everyone to come check out the city (New York Times’ #1 “Place To Go” in 2016) the following weekend. A group from teams across the company went, and it was awesome to see their Instas and Snaps (and made me want to go there, too).
One of the other sweet perks we offer is HT Roulette, where once a month someone wins a totally-free spontaneous trip for two. Your plus-one can be anyone, but it’s been so cool to see how many winners picked an HT coworker as their travel buddy.
Mates Across the Globe
We’ve got several offices internationally, and the team is so incredibly welcoming when they’ve got visitors from other offices. One way we’ve helped foster this is by having virtual “coffee dates,” pairing up people across teams to get to know each other (we’ve also done this in person within our SF office).
Recently Kelsey from the SF office was visiting the UK... and several people from the London office ended up joining her on a trip to Paris. And Donnie, our Strategic Partnerships Manager, just relocated to our London office. Serendipitously, a past employee he’d stayed in touch with had a room available exactly the week he was set to move!
It’s inevitable that people move on. But a mark of a great, lasting company culture is when people stay friends even when they don’t see each other in the office every day. Maybe they’ll work together in the future, maybe they’ll start a company with a great culture of its own, maybe they’ll be at each other’s weddings or will be travel buddies for life.
I’ve even heard from people who left HT for new opportunities that while they like the people at their new jobs, there was something special about HT that they haven’t been able to find elsewhere. If there’s any one indicator of a great company culture, I’d say that’s it!
I’d love to hear: is there one thing you notice that indicates a great team culture?
Originally posted on LinkedIN by: Sam Shank
Admit it. You've either told your employer a white lie on the way out the door or you know someone who has. Who can blame you? However, as an employer these little white lies do more harm than good. How can you fix what may be broken in your organization if you don't know where to begin?
Here are five lines employees give when joyfully leaving their companies. Be prepared to dig deeper if an employee gives you one of these stock lines.
1. It’s not you; it’s me. If your employee ends the relationship with this age-old cliché line than you can bet it’s about you. You’ll be able to learn more about what you might have done differently to have prevented this employee from breaking up with you, if you don’t get defensive. Instead, ask what you might have otherwise done that would have ended with a different result. Be prepared to give examples to get this person talking. Asking questions like, “I often wonder if I had spent more time mentoring you, if that would have made a difference. What’s your thoughts on that?” can certainly help you learn more and can help you prevent making the same mistake twice.
2. I’m leaving for a better opportunity. This may be partially true, but there is usually more to this one than meets the eye. Otherwise the employee wouldn’t have given the other opportunity further consideration. Ask targeted questions to help better understand those areas where you may not be as competitive as you think. Be sure to ask if there was a certain point in time where this employee would not have considered other opportunities. Follow up by asking what changed for them and why.
3. I don’t have another job. It’s quite rare in this economy for people to leave a job when they don’t have another one lined up. This means that things were either so bad that the employee couldn’t take it anymore or they don’t want you to know that they just took a job with your competitor. You can test out your theory by asking them if they’d be willing to stay until a replacement is found. If they say no before you finish your question, then you know there is more to this story than they are revealing. You aren’t going to be able to beat the real reason out of them, but you do want to be sure to keep your eyes and ears open, especially if the employee who is departing has a non-compete agreement with your company.
4. I’m leaving for more money. Studies consistently show that the majority of employees don’t leave companies for more money, although you wouldn’t know this if you added up all the people who actually say this is why they are quitting! It’s usually something else. We do know that people leave their bosses more than they leave their companies, so that would be a good place to start. Look for patterns. Are the people who are leaving for more money all working for the same boss? If you gave them a counter offer and they immediately dismissed your offer, than most likely it’s not about the money. It’s about something else.
5. I wasn’t looking. They called me. I’ve done enough direct sourcing to know that if an employee is happy, there is nothing I can do or say to interest him or her in an interview. Somewhere along the line, discontent has set in. Nothing much you can do to save this relationship. Instead, focus your efforts on finding out if the remaining members of your staff are content or if they are ripe to take a call from a third-party or another company who knows exactly what to say to pique their interest.
© Matuson Consulting, 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Want to dramatically reduce employee turnover? Download my latest book, The Magnetic Leader. Sign up to receive my monthly newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®.
Want to be sure your new leaders are the type of leaders that employees stick to? Check out my latest Lynda.com/LinkedIn learning course on Transitioning from Individual Contributor to Manager.
Care to share some lines you may have used that were less than truthful? Feel free to do so in the comments section,
Originally Posted om LinkedIN by:Roberta Chinsky Matuson
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