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Motivating Others: Hot and Pride Buttons

For Today, Ask Yourself: What are some of my Pride and Hot Buttons? Which Pride Button will I focus on this week when a Hot Button gets in my way?

“Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.” Unknown

My grandfather used to say, “There’s two ways to motivate people: know what makes them tick and what ticks ’em off.” It’s a simple equation; we just have to abide by it for ultimate results. The things that make us tick are our Pride Buttons—they make us feel happy, safe, and confident. In contrast, our Hot Buttons make us feel angry, frustrated, or afraid. Do people know where your buttons are? Sure! Especially when they’ve pushed them and gotten your heated response.


Alert Posture

Today’s challenge, ask yourself: When can I try the alert posture shift in a meeting this week? (Remember to shift subtly, or you’ll scare your speaker!)

Quote: “Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.” Joyce Meyer

Believe it or not, those three little words, “Sit up straight!” really can have an effect on your listening. You see, most of us spend a lot of time in what I call the “Got-the-Job” posture. How would you shift to sit in the “I’d-Like-to-Get-the-Job” posture? Hopefully, you’d perk up just a bit and awaken your listening by removing the slouch. When we sit more alertly, our listening goes into a keener sense.


Act “As If” It’s Interesting

Today’s Challenge – Ask Yourself: “How can I put myself into high-interest gear the next time I feel I’m zoning out?”

My Czech grandmother used to say, “Honey, if your job’s sweepin’ floors, sweep ‘em good.” Kelli S.Vrla, CSP

Your mind actually tells your body whether it’s worth it to energize for stimulus coming your way. When, in your mind, you know something is going to be interesting, your body follows suit and begins to exhibit traits of being interested: eye contact, active listening, repeating key words, asking questions—basic curiosity about the subject at hand. The mind is amazingly powerful in the energy-boosting zone. Use it to your advantage.


Enter a Room Listening

When can I next practice entering a room listening?

“You can become an even more excellent person by constantly setting higher and higher standards for yourself and then by doing everything possible to live up to those standards.” Brian Tracy

Have you ever been in the middle of writing down some notes from a recently ended phone call when someone bolts into the room and interrupts that thought bubble of yours? This can be so frustrating! One great way to build rapport and tune up your people skills is to enter and listen. Then you may ask, “Hi, have I caught you in the middle of something?” If the other person says no, then you know he or she is listening with a clean slate.


Silently Repeat the Speaker’s Words

When I catch myself daydreaming or skipping ahead of the speaker, can I stop and repeat his or her words to get back on track?

“If you know what you should do and don’t, you’re no better off than the person who doesn’t know.” Aristotle

We’ve all have trouble listening intently to others. Some of our minds are whirring with dozens of “To-Do” list items while someone is talking to us. Whether you’re on the phone, in a one-on-one, or in a big meeting—this technique is guaranteed to bring you back every time. Silently repeat the speaker’s words. (Remember to do this silently, or you risk getting on someone else’s nerves!) You’ll be tuned in to the conversation, and meetings will go faster and solutions will come more quickly.


Echo Back

What are the styles of the people I work with and live around? How can I consciously echo back with them?

“There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.” Theodore Rubin

To build rapport and enhance relations, take time to notice others’ preferred styles, and echo back in kind. Of course, you need to remain respectful—even if the other person strays from that path. You can easily pick up on the styles of others in their emails and voicemails. Watch and listen for short, bullet-point deliveries or long, detailed explanations. This will clue you into their preferred style. You may be surprised how much more smoothly your exchanges can be when you echo back their type of communication.


Listen With Your Eyes

Where can I listen with my eyes this week to learn more of the whole picture?

“The only time I’ve ever learned something is when my mind is open and my mouth is closed.” By Kelli S. Vrla , CSP

We pick up on so much that’s going on by observing other’s non-verbal cues. Rolling eyes, impatient fidgeting, heavy sighs—these pictures are worth a thousand words. Notice and respond accordingly. If in a group, wait and ask the gesturer privately what the response meant. You may be surprised to find it had nothing to do with your commentary. You may also unearth a concern you had no idea existed. Pay attention to your instincts.


Three Magic Questions

Have I chosen the right battles today/this week/this month/this year/in my life?

Quote: “The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.” (Brian Tracy)

To decide if you should back off or bite in to a situation, ask
1) What’s my real goal here?
2) What can I or can’t I control/influence?
3) Based on my answers to 1 and 2, is the battle worth fighting?

We have a much greater chance of a better outcome if we focus our energies on things in our direct control. The golden nugget here, perhaps, is that sometimes letting go can advance your cause more than if you dove in and fought the hard battle.


Four Choices

Which strategy should I use this week on something or someone who’s on my nerves?

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.” William James

When something or someone is on your nerves, you have four choices:

• Stay and do nothing
• Leave (mentally or physically)
• Change your attitude
• Change your behavior

The first two choices can work in temporary situations: working on a project with a different team, working under a stand-in manager, etc. If, however, your in-laws are moving in with you for eternity, you best choose from the latter two. What you will need is a total mental shift.


Circle of Control

What CAN I do about an issue that’s challenging or frustrating me?

Quote: “While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.” –Benjamin Franklin

Do you realize we worry about 90% of things that never come to pass? Your body does not know when your “worry-danger” is real or imagined; it responds with equal stress. Imagine three concentric circles. The core is labeled “CAN CONTROL,” the middle layer is labeled “INFLUENCE,” and the outer one is labeled “CAN’T CONTROL.” Get a realistic grip of what’s in your direct control and what’s not. If it’s not in your CAN, it’s in someone else’s. Focus your time and energy on things in your CAN circle.


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