What your brain is for

Hello and welcome to the second article of my neuro blog. In the first one last month, I described the three parts of the human brain (see just below for a second representation of the triune brain), notably the importance of the unconscious. In future posts, I expect to delve into how the fact that our brain processes are mostly unconscious impacts our decision-making and consequently our behaviour. But today, I’d like to engage you in considering what your brain is for. Obviously, there are many possible answers.
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The three brains in your head

Hello and welcome to the first article of my neuro blog. Since 2013, I have become increasingly interested in what neuroscience, the scientific, multi-disciplinary, study of the nervous system can teach us about the brain. My assumption was that understanding the brain would in turn illuminate my comprehension of the mind. The two are definitely "correlated" (I can’t escape my financial past!) but they are not the same. I expect I’ll return to that difference in future posts.

With this neuro blog, I mean to share some of what I’ve discovered about the brain and the insights about the mind which learning about the brain has made possible for me. Having an appreciation for how the brain works has helped me manage my thoughts – to cope with the less helpful ones, my emotions – to move away from the uncomfortable ones, and my behaviour – to choose more how I act.
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4 Steps to Discussing Under-Performance

TELL™ Them What’s Gone Wrong

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

For many, December is synonymous with Christmas. For others, Hanukkah is the highlight of the last month of the year. But, in the office, for millions around the world, December is the month of performance evaluations. For this reason, I am dedicating this last article of 2015 to discussing the dreaded issue of under-performance.

While many team leaders forget to say ‘thank you’, what many really struggle with is appropriately addressing under-performance. If you’ve just gone "hmmm" then you know what I mean: how uncomfortable the prospect of such a conversation makes you. Well, let me suggest to you that you are not alone: those folks who under-perform typically know that they are not doing well and they too feel dreadful. So how about putting an end to both your and their misery and finding the words to finally tell them what’s gone wrong?

So let me offer the TELL™ model, a 4-step process to assist you with preparing for and then having that delicate conversation around under-performance which does not end – just – in tears.

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Two Persuasion Techniques in Action

Getting under Someone Else’s Skin

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

How did you find using "SWAY"©? For those readers who may have missed the article on this model of persuasion, a very brief recap:

  1. ‘S’ is for ‘Significance‘ where you investigate the interest and need of your audience – whether it’s one individual or several people – around the matter you want to influence them over. The challenge there is to ask the right questions to open them up.
  2. ‘W’ is for ‘Way of being‘ where you decode your audience’s way of functioning, how they behave, what kind of personality they are. Here it’s about really listening to the words people use and not assuming that we are all the same even if we use the same words.
  3. ‘A’ is for ‘Adapt‘ because, once you know what your target audience is interested in and how they function, you need to adapt your communication to match their need and style. The challenge in this stage is to get your mind to shift enough that you can effectively do that.
  4. Finally, ‘Y’ is for ‘get readY‘ (so you see how creative I can be!). This final stage covers a number of activities to finely hone your message once you know how to pitch it. The challenge here is to cover all bases in order to come out with a very sleek communication.

For more on "SWAY"©, go to the dedicated video and article by clicking here.

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Four Steps to Influence People

Persuasion Tools

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

As promised last month, in this article on how to influence others, I’m going to show you the core elements of a persuasion strategy. I will share with you a four-step model called "SWAY"©. I have called it "SWAY"© because when you have good persuasion skills, you will be able to sway people’s opinion in your direction! You will be able to do that because you will first figure your audience out and then be able to give them what they want. [Read more…]

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Are You Good at Influencing People?

Being Able to Persuade Others is Key to Your Success at Work

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Hello and welcome to the first of three posts on the topic of how to influence people. In this article, I will examine what happens when we try to influence people without the right tools. I will also give you my recipe for successful persuasion. In next month’s post, I will show you the core elements of a persuasion strategy. Those of you familiar with my work know that I like to provide models for people to use so this is another one.

Finally, in a third article, I will pick two themes from that model and show you why they’re important and the difference between getting it right and… well, botching it, frankly. So by the time we’re done with this influencing series, you will understand the fundamental principles of good influencing, know the core elements of a persuasion strategy and will have been given two techniques to immediately test out in the real world.

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How to Wield Your Light Sabre!

3 Easy Steps to Self-Confidence!

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Hello dear reader and welcome to the second installment of this two-parter on self-confidence!

Last month, I kicked-off with an offering about learning to be self-confident. If you missed it, don’t hesitate to catch it up by going here.

I promised you tips so let’s get on with it. Here’s is how to be appropriately assertive and behave with self-confidence.

My first tip is this simple 3-step model: Now, let me be upfront: this model is deceptively simple and it will take practice in order to get it working. Let me tell you more about it.

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May the Force Be with You!

Be Self-Confident Even When You Don’t Feel Like It!

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Do you remember Luke Skywalker training with Master Yoda in the fifth episode of Star Wars, the swampone called ‘The Empire Strikes Back’? They are on the planet Dagobah which is covered with swamps. Luke is standing upside down – on one hand only and Yoda is actually perched on top of one of his feet. R2D2 watches nearby and shows he’s impressed by emitting his whistle sounds of appreciation. Luke is using the Force to pile stones on top of each other and he even starts to lift his X-wing aircraft out of the swamp in which he landed it. And then… Luke falls, the stones roll off and the X-wing sinks back into the water. "We’ll never get it out now!" says Luke, clearly deflated. Yoda sighs and replies: "Always with you it cannot be done".

How about another memorable scene – actually two. First, the one when Darth Vader chokes Admiral Motti who dared pooh pooh the Force, calling it "your sad devotion to that ancient religion". "I find your lack of faith disturbing" counters Vader in his cavernous voice…. And the other scene I have in mind is when Vader says "You have failed me for the last time Admiral" as he remotely, yes remotely!, strangles Admiral Ozzel  (I am still amazed that the Force lets you asphyxiate someone in another location…)

Whereas Luke dropping the stones and the X-wing was a case of too little Force, Darth is a case of too much Force. What we want in life is the right amount of Force, not too light but not too dark either…

But why am I reminiscing about Star Wars? What does Star Wars have to do with success at work? Well, It is because Star Wars tells us about learning to be self-confident even on those occasions when we least feel like it. In this post, I am beginning a two-parter on self-confidence.

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4 Steps to Optimal Performance

Going for GOLD™

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!) 

Hello and welcome to this new edition of Career Tips! We are now close to the midway point in 2015. Are you happy with your achievements at work? For those of you who have a midyear performance review coming up, are you comfortable with your achievements to-date?

Depending on how you answered this question, how about upping your game?

For that reason, I thought I would share with you a simple method to optimise your performance. Inspired by the 2012 Olympics, it is my hope that the GOLD™ method will both inspire you and provide you with pragmatic tips so you add value to your employer and you too get a gold medal for your performance in 2015!

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Work Smarter by Better Prioritizing Your Activities

How do you really want to spend your day when you’re at work?

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Hello and welcome to the last installment in this three-part series on personal effectiveness! We kicked off in March by looking at the benefits of time management and how you can improve your effectiveness at work as well as increase your own quality of life. If you missed it, catch it up here. Last month, we explored a powerful technique to get you started: I told you about the time log and how to use it to understand where you spend your time. To read about the time log, go there.

Thanks to your time log, you now know how you spend your day while you’re in the office. It is now time to make changes to how you allocate your time.

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