Life is a series of problems: you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.
In this week’s edition:
1) Love your problems
2) Interview on 3Talk about my book: The Astonishing Power of story
3) Feedback from Adcock Ingram and Brita
4) Extract from Life Coach Audio Book 7: How to get people to want to do what you want done in love and in business.
LOVE YOUR PROBLEMS
“Life is difficult.” That’s the opening line of M. Scott Peck’s all time bestseller: The Road Less Travelled. It’s a salutary reminder in a field increasingly dominated by the wishful thinking of books like The Secret. Of course there is value in positive thinking, precisely because life is so full of problems. Facing those problems with negativity is the route to depression and defeat. Being positive doesn’t mean pretending that it will be easy or that solutions will come instantly. It means confronting the problem truthfully, taking responsibility for it and having a positive expectation that you can solve it, however long it takes. Right now you may not have the resources to solve the problem but you have the resourcefulness to learn how or engage others to help you.
The paradox is that life becomes less difficult when we face up to its difficulties, when we stop saying: “It shouldn’t be so difficult. Why is this happening to me? This is so unfair.” Problems are life’s gymnasium. They push, stretch and build us. Nothing great ever happened with someone rolling up their sleeves to solve a problem.
So, what are your problems? Write down three possible solutions. Ask your friends to add solutions to the list. Choose the best one and put it into action. Once the problem is solved, savour the satisfaction and get ready for the next one, knowing that you’re developing the ultimate strength – Life Strength – the strength of the problem solver.
There was so much of value in your presentation to take away and apply, thank you.
Joachim Schwab, Sales Manager, Brita, Germany
What a great start to the morning. We should bring you into other areas of our business.
Kevin Grant, Key Account Manager, Adcock Ingram
EXTRACT FROM LIFE COACH AUDIO BOOK 7: RELATIONSHIPS
How to get people to want to do what you want done (In love and in business)
This edition of Life Coach deals with what may just be the most important skill a human being can develop – the ability to get along with people. Many studies report that as much as 90% of career or business success depends on our social skills. When it comes to success in romance, marriage or parenting that of course climbs to close on a 100%. You will soon discover ten people powers that you will enhance both your business and personal relationships.
Research shows that good relationships significantly outweigh money, good looks, positive life events and even health as a predictor of happiness. Yet going by the state of many people’s relationships, happiness is warm, loving, close-knit family… in another city. For many people, relationships are a source of pain and frustration. When our relationships sour in love or in business we generally blame others rather than look in the mirror. We fail to see the connection between our style of interaction and the quality of our relationships. And even if we do see the connection, we are unlikely to do anything about it.
There are two main reasons for this. Number 1: It’s not particularly pleasant to think of ourselves as anything less than socially scintillating. Deep down inside most of us have an abundant reserve of love and admiration for – ourselves! To acknowledge that we are deficient would be like giving our own face a good hard slap. Yet one of the marks of greatness is the ability to recognise when we’re not so great. A fault only becomes a flaw, when we don’t admit it. Many social superstars have admitted that they once had the interpersonal skills of a pig at a Bamitzvah. Dale Carnegie of the much lampooned (but absolutely brilliant) ‘How to win friends and influence people’ once did little more than lose friends and annoy people. His studies of social interaction turned him into one of the greatest communicators and relationship experts of all time.
Part of my motivation to create this audiobook is I’ve seen how my own relationships have been destroyed or enhanced through my interpersonal style. To think back some times twenty years later about certain incidences still sends shivers of shame down my spine. Like when I was eleven years old, madly in love with Julia Cumes and all too desperate to impress her. With great enthusiasm another boy was telling us everything he knew about ants. Thinking I could score some points with Julia, I remarked (with an unforgivable lack of wit) that if we wanted to know about ants we’d go do an ant degree. The stony silence that ensued was deafening. I had made the oldest social slip in the book: pull yourself up by pushing someone else down. We see it every day when business ‘dis’ their competitors or when two people try to bond by gossiping about a third. We don’t realise that insults reflect worst on the people who make them. On some level everyone realises that if you’ve got to offend someone else you probably don’t feel that secure yourself, more troubling is that if you’re capable of such insults, what are you saying behind the back of the person you’re gossiping with?
But let’s face it you don’t need to be eleven to poison your relationships. We’ve all damaged our relationships at some time or another, marriage experts get divorced, the most loved businesses lose disgruntled customers, great statesmen create enemies. Getting our relationships right is a skill that we all need to work on.
The 2nd reason we don’t like to fiddle with our social skills is because many people believe that how they interact with others is a permanent part of their personality. You may have heard these people say: ‘That’s just the way I am’. The problem is often that’s just the way they’re disliked. Many of these people have developed a special ability to bring love and happiness into a room just by leaving it! People skills are like any skill, to get good at it you need knowledge and practice. Listening to this audio book is a great start, but only you can put it into action. At first it might feel uncomfortable or even manipulative to change the way you interact with others but just remember whatever the state of your current people skills you didn’t come out the womb with them, they had to develop. Some of what you learnt has stood you in good stead but you may find that by changing some of it you will greatly increase your influence in the world.
The royal road to our greatest dreams is lined by people, how we deal with those people will determine whether we get to our destination or not. The ‘self-made-man’ is a myth, we are all people-made-people. Every great endeavor involves the co-operation of others, be they friends, colleagues, investors, partners, mentors, employees, suppliers, customers or spouses. We alienate ourselves from these people at our peril. You’ve heard the old saying: ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ The way it should really read is: ‘It’s not who you know, it’s how you treat who you know.’
Conference speaker, trainer and author