Does Experience Teach? Maybe…

We’ve been told: Experience is the best teacher. I disagree. Experience provides the opportunity to learn. We may learn by reflecting on our experience—learning from it, not by it, an important distinction. We’ve been told: Doing the same thing over

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Willing To Walk?

Three clients requested help with negotiation skills. It’s one of my favorite topics and here’s why. No matter who you are and what you do, you’re constantly negotiating. You’re trying to move others to your viewpoint, your activity, your belief.

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Pick A Date!

I was speaking with a client the other day about a project I wanted to get going. When he asked me what my target date was for completion, I started to hem and haw and justify why I couldn’t give

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Zero-Based Thinking

What is Zero-based thinking? It’s a creative thinking exercise used to solve problems. It was developed by financial experts to analyze how business could improve its performance. It’s not so much what it’s called as what it can do for

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Done Is Better Than Perfect!

Striving for perfection is self-defeating. Anytime you set an unachievable goal, you guarantee failure. Because it’s not achievable (therefore, not believable), we procrastinate, we start and never finish, and we beat ourselves up for not completing our task. We feel

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What Will You Do?

I’ve been learning from Brian Tracy for decades. In his book, Maximum Achievement, he writes about the realities of the human condition. I first read this more than 20 years ago; I’ve read it often since. It got my attention.

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Will you find a way…or an excuse?

Often I meet with people who are dissatisfied with their lives, their accomplishments, themselves. When I ask what they should do about it, every one of them knows the answer. Asked if they will, many waver, then backtrack. They explain in

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I’ll Give My Best Again Tomorrow

I’m reflecting on the courage it must take to go into battle. I’ve never been in one. I don’t know how I would perform. Would I be courageous? I don’t remember where I first heard what follows. I don’t know

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What Do You Expect?

What do your co-workers expect of you? What do you expect of them? Of yourself? Understanding what’s expected is a key for professional development, for decision-making, for team-building, and for any significant achievement. “I know what she expects, I’ll do

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You’ll Live Up To What You Write Down!

Harvard Business Review asked Dr. Robert Cialdini expert on persuasion: Why does getting it in writing matter? His response? People live up to what they write down.* People live up to what they write down. It’s the reason for written,

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It’s Just Three Things!

How to excel at anything? For real? It takes three things. Balls, that’s two (and non-gender, thanks). And trainability makes three. Guts. Courage. Cojones. The willingness to struggle, to fight, to carry on. To get there, to not give up,

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Oh, really? They’re little things?

It’s easy to overlook the little things. But are they so little? It seems often they’re what can make or break a relationship. They’re dangerous, those little things—like not acknowledging others, their ideas, their contributions, them. A smile and “thank

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The Four Agreements

The simple, elegant message of this little book is right on the inside cover: Be impeccable with your word.Don’t take anything personally.Don’t make assumptions.Always do your best. It’s direct and self-explanatory. Miguel Ruiz tells us to say what we mean. Words

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Please Don’t Shoot the Messenger!

I coach successful people. I deliver some hard truths. They don’t always like what they hear. I don’t always package it as well as I should. Many have the power to fire me instantly, and, at least, make my working

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Don’t Lose Your Message!

Don’t lecture us, remind us. The lectures just annoy. We’ve heard them so many times. Another one doesn’t help. But please remind me. Gently, if possible (I’m sensitive about my shortcomings). But I need that; I even want it.  Reminders

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Give Discomfort A Try!

Talking to my client this week:He: I’m just not comfortable doing that.Me: I get it. Do it anyway. It’s the right thing. You’ll get more comfortable with it. We desire personal growth. Professional growth. Business growth. To grow means to

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Don’t Worry, They’re Not!

Why worry so much about what others think about you? Most often, you’re not in their thoughts. They’re thinking about themselves and the additional 50,000 thoughts they’ll have that day, just like you are. Sure, they think of you occasionally, but

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But You Knew That!

Dan Pink, in his relevant book, To Sell Is Human, writes: One of nine workers in the USA is in direct sales. The other 8 are “non-sales” sellers who use persuasion to move others to give up something they’ve got for

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What You Tolerate, You Encourage

Be careful what you allow, what you tolerate, what you accept. Often, it seems such a little thing, like telling a white lie. A white lie, seeming insignificant, is still a lie. When does a “little” lie become a “big”

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That’s Confidence!

What is confidence? It’s your belief you are competent, your belief you can perform under pressure. When we are not sure…we do not believe. When we do not believe, we cannot achieve. Vince Lombardi said it well: When my team

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Relationships Are the Key to Life!

Cliches become cliches because they’re repeated over and over…and because so many of them express universal truths. Cliches like: All things must end; nothing lasts forever.  And: The only thing that doesn’t change is change. And: Relationships are the key to

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Huh? They could be right? No way!

We pay close attention to conflict resolution strategies because they’re desperately needed in our world of confusion, misunderstanding, and overload. Arguing, fighting, resisting—it’s conflict. Conflict produces stress and if it persists, stress harms and kills. It wastes time. It costs

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Boogie Man! Shrink, then disappear!

What to do when times feel bleak? When you think that things can’t get any worse? When you fear what’s next and you become overwhelmed? Hey, have a laugh; don’t take yourself and your problem so seriously; It happens to

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We Are What We Repeatedly Do!

Most knowledgable basketball fans would agree, John Wooden of UCLA is the greatest college coach ever (Coach K of Duke certainly concurs). He was a stickler for mastering details: ”We are what we repeatedly do.” He studied Aristotle: “Excellence, then, is not

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Good on the phone?

We know that every employee needs to communicate effectively with co-workers, with vendors, with customers. Make sure you test them for these skills. Before you hire— 1) Know your profile; have it written out; list skills and behaviors demanded for

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Leaders Lead.

Leaders lead.  They lead from the front. They lead by example. They lead regardless of title or role. They need not be asked. They demonstrate courage. They empower their people. They take a stand. They can stand alone. They can

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My Six Be’s!

Be basic. Select your foundational principles, practice your fundamentals, pursue the common good. Be brave. Courage is the uncomfortable strength that ensures your character.  Be brilliant. Shine like the star that you are: bedazzle the world. Be brief. Strunk and White say it best:

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