ADAPTABILITY-Can You Connect With Others?

Connecting with People

 

How well you speak the other person’s language?  How well you get on that person’s wavelength?  There are some people, as professional as they are, as knowledgeable as they are, as helpful as they are, that simply just rub you the wrong way.  They’re just not your kind of people.

All of us are different, yet all of us are the same.

 

I remember when I moved from New York City to San Diego, I found a whole different world. I treated people in San Diego according to The Golden Rule – I treated them as I wanted to be treated – as a New Yorker wanted to be treated. I found out that the way people did business in San Diego wasn’t the way people did business in New York City. And even though I was doing things competently with knowledge and with ethics, it was my approach that turned people off. It wasn’t what I was asking them to do that prompted them to “dig in their heels.” It was how I was asking them.  I just came on too strong.  It wasn’t too strong in New York; it was too strong in San Diego.  Too fast-paced.  Just a whole different approach.  I had to get on their wavelength.

 

We all listen-make what you have to say worthy of that effort.

So, it’s important that you learn to vary your presentation, to vary your pace, to vary your language based on the type of people you’re speaking to.  I mean, if you’re calling on somebody who is a bottom-line, time-disciplined, fact-oriented, busy, results-oriented individual, are you going to go in, spend ten or fifteen minutes “chit-chatting” or socializing trying to get to know that person?  Obviously not!  If you’re calling on somebody who’s a very friendly, outgoing person who likes to talk about sports and likes to talk about family and likes to talk about just various things about business and wants to get to know somebody first and you walk in and bottom-line everything with little or no social talk, do you think that might irritate that person?  Definitely!  So, you have to size people up and get on their wavelength to create chemistry so that person will say, “Hey, you’re the type of person I want to do deal with on a long-term basis.”

 

This whole approach is called ‘adaptability” – your ability to change your approach, to change your strategy, depending on the situation or the person you’re dealing with. That’s how you really connect with people quicker, deeper and longer.

 

What Are YOU Aiming For? Critical Reading.

Most People Aim At Nothing In Life… And Hit It With Amazing Accuracy
By Dr. Tony Alessandra
There’s an old saying: “Most people aim at nothing in life . . . and hit it with amazing accuracy.” It’s a sad commentary about people, but it’s true. It is the striving for and the attainment of goals that makes life meaningful. Lewis Carroll stated this point beautifully in Alice in Wonderland:

What Can You Do?

 

ALICE: Mr. Cat, which of these paths shall I take?
CHESHlRE CAT: Well, my dear, where do you want to go?
ALICE: I don’t suppose it really matters.
CHESHlRE CAT: Then, my dear, any path will do!

No matter what kind of traveling you’re doing, whether it’s through life or across the country by car, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know if you’ve arrived. Taking just any road will leave your fulfillment to chance. That’s not good enough.

People who have no goals feel emotionally, socially, spiritually, physically, and professionally unbalanced. This can only cause anxiety. People who have goals are respected by their peers; they are taken seriously. Making decisions that affect the direction of your life positively is a sign of strength. Goals create drive and positively affect your personality.

The 3-Percent Solution

Time magazine reported on a national survey several years ago that only 3 percent of those surveyed had written personal goals; 97 percent of the people had no goals at all or had only thought about them. They had not committed their goals to writing. Interestingly the 3 percent who had written goals were found to have accomplished much more than any of the 97 percent.

Stepping-stones to Greatness

Achievements come from awareness, which starts with evaluating your strengths and weaknesses in the light of your current situation. You then expand your beliefs (assumptions) to accept more goals for yourself. This leads you to set plans and expand your actions to eventually achieve your goals. The model for this process is:

AWARENESS > BELIEFS > GOALS > PLANS > ACTIONS > ACHIEVEMENTS

One step leads to another. After an achievement, you reevaluate yourself and find that each new feather in your cap makes you feel capable of accomplishing more and more. Your beliefs (assumptions) then expand, making more goals possible. The effect gains momentum and grows like a snowball rolling downhill. In this way, greatness is achieved through small steppingstones.

Rules Of Goal Setting

Most people, when asked, “What are your goals in life?” say something like, “To be happy, healthy, and have plenty of money.” On the surface this may seem fine. As goals leading to actions, however, they just don’t make it. They don’t have the key ingredients necessary to make them effective, workable goals.

Your goal must be personal. This means your goals must be uttered with sincerity. It must be something you want to do rather than something you think you should do. Know your reasons for having the goal. Whether you want to achieve something for status, money, or good health is secondary as long as you want it badly enough to work hard for it.

Your goal must be positive. Try not to think of green elephants! You can’t do it. It’s an automatic response to think of the thing you’re told not to think about. This is because the mind cannot not think of something when told to. We tend to focus on ideas and actions from a positive framework. When you think a negative thought such as, ” I will not smoke today,” your mind perceives it as “I will smoke today.” You end up thinking more about smoking than if you phrased it differently. “I will breathe only clean air today” is a statement that serves the same purpose and is more effective.

Your goal must be written. Writing a goal down causes effects that are a bit difficult to explain. It does, nonetheless, prove effective. Written goals take a jump in status from being nebulous thoughts (which you didn’t care enough about to bona fide entities on paper. Perhaps their being written serves as a visual reminder and thus continually reconfirms their importance. Another possibility is that they can be seen in the statement from the movie, “The Ten Commandments”: “So let it be written, so let it be done.” When things are “put in writing” they become official in our minds. A written goal strengthens our commitment to accomplish it.

Your goal must be specific. If you set your goal by saying “I will increase my sales next year,” chances are you won’t do it. You need to be specific to avoid the lack of commitment that comes with being vague. A more workable and motivating goal would be, “I will increase my sales next year by 10 to 15 percent. This revised statement has several advantages. It defines the increase that you are striving for as well as the range of the desired increase. Giving yourself some leeway is more realistic than expecting to hit your goal at exactly 15 percent.

Your goal must be a challenge. A goal must motivate you to work harder than you have in the past. It must move you forward. Set your goals just beyond your reach so that you’ll have to stretch a bit. The more you stretch, the more limber your goal achieving abilities will become.

Your goal must be realistic. Everything is relative to time and space. What is unrealistic today may be totally within reason five years from now. For years it was believed that the fastest a man could run a mile was in four minutes. It was unrealistic to aspire to running any faster until Dr. Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1954. Since then hundreds of runners have done the same. In any field, we never really know what the upper limits are. How, then, do we define realistic?

For our purposes, the best definition must come from you and your values. You must ask yourself, “What price am I willing to pay to accomplish this goal?” You should always weigh the payoffs and the sacrifices involved before coming to a conclusion. Realistic is ultimately your decision.

Working Toward Your Goals

Now that you know the rules for setting goals, you can apply them to the goals you set for yourself. Here’s an explanation of each of the areas you need to complete while Working Toward Your Goals…

Define your goal. Your first task is to determine whether your goal meets all the requirements of the rules listed above. If it does, then write it as clearly as possible at the top of the worksheet.

Examine obstacles that stand in your way. This is a time to guard against negative assumptions and other self-defeating thoughts. Remember the definition of realistic. An obstacle blocks you only if you let it. You should also write down your innovative ways of overcoming obstacles.

W.I.I.F.M.-What’s in it for me? Why do you want to achieve the goal? What kind of payoff is motivating you?

Plan your action. You need to carefully list the steps you will take which will bring you closer to your goal. The smaller the increments the easier they will be to accomplish. There is a German proverb that says, ” He who begins too much accomplishes little.” As the American Dental Association is fond of saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”

Project a target date for your goal. State your deadline range, such as, “between March 15 and April 1st.” Think carefully about the amount of time you need. Too little time will increase the pressure and frustrate you. Too much time may reduce your drive.

Know how you’ll measure your success. Goals should be described in terms of the final outcome of an activity rather than as the activity. This is part of being specific. Instead of saying “I will be running more in four to six months,” you could say “I’ll be running three miles instead of two miles in four to six months.” How will you measure this? Probably by having one-third more blisters on your feet.

VISUALIZING: WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

Visualization is an indispensable tool in helping people attain their goals. Olympic athletes have proven that visualization is an effective substitute for real practice. In visualizing your goals, you will live your accomplishments in your mind’s eye. The more of the five senses you can involve in this exercise the greater your chances are of accomplishment.

Let’s say, for example, that you want to be the Salesperson of the Year in your company. You know that each year an awards banquet is given during which a plaque is presented to the year’s sales leader. You may choose to focus on this banquet for your visualization exercise. Here’s what you do:

Make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and relax. Slowly and systematically go through all of the five senses. Imagine what you would be experiencing at the banquet.

Sight. Imagine what you would see there. You’d see other salespeople and their spouses. Imagine what they are wearing. You’d see tables decorated and waiters scurrying about. You’d see the bar and people standing around talking. Keep going for several minutes.
Sound. What would you hear? You’d hear the chatter of people. You would hear laughter, the tinkling of glasses, and music from a band, people talking. You would also continually hear people coming up to congratulate you. Imagine that.
Smell. Imagine all the smells you’d experience. Women’s perfume, food, alcohol, men’s cologne, the smell of polyester suits (not yours, of course).
Feel. What would your tactile sensations be? You’d feel people rubbing up against you in the crowded room. You’d feel others shaking your hand.
Taste. Taste in your mind the champagne you’ll be drinking. Taste the food you’ll be eating. Experience the sweet taste of success! In advance!

Most importantly, imagine the exhilaration you’ll feel when your name is called to receive the award! Take your time during this exercise and enjoy it. The more you can “visually” attend this banquet the more motivated you will become. (You might even learn something about the catering business!)

The Visualization File

To aid in your visualization exercise, you might want to start a visualization file. This is an envelope or file into which you put pictures, clippings, letters, and other reminders of what it will be like to succeed. Your file should also contain letters or awards that you have received in the past. Anything that makes you feel good about yourself can be included in the file. It can then be used as a source of motivation and inspiration, especially if you begin to feel a little down or demotivated. We all need to be reminded of our past accomplishments once in a while. Be your own best friend- remind yourself!

ROLE MODELS

Many people concentrate only on the goal they wish to attain. There’s more to the picture. Successful people in every field have certain character traits in common. These common traits do not occur by chance, they are an integral part of goal attainment. It is worth your time to analyze the constructive characteristics of people who are now where you’d like to be.

One effective method is to choose role models. These are people to look up to and emulate. Your choices can include people who are dead or living as long as you are familiar with their personalities and accomplishments.

Harry Truman knew the value of role models. When he was in the White House he reportedly went into the Lincoln bedroom, looked at the late president’s picture and asked, “What would Lincoln have done if he were in my situation?” The answers to this question gave Truman the insight and direction he was seeking. It worked because Truman felt Lincoln was a man worth emulating.

In choosing a role model, several things must be kept in mind:

1. Keep them off the pedestal. There is no doubt that you will choose people whom you see as being “above” you because of what they have accomplished. That’s good. What isn’t good is to put them on a pedestal, thereby making them larger than life. We are all human. We all have strengths and weaknesses. You must not lose this perspective on people. Putting them on pedestals only further separates you from them.
2. Isolate their strong points. You need to look at the person you wish to emulate and analyze the precise qualities he or she possesses which you need to acquire. Sit down and write out the characteristics that seem to encourage their success. Use concrete examples of their behaviors that you can adapt to our own situation. For example, if you admire a corporate executive, one of the many traits you might isolate is her policy of “early to bed, early to rise.” Write out approximately when she does each and why. You can then do the same and know the reason why you’re doing it.
3. Remain yourself. Quite often the tendency when admiring someone is to try to become his clone. People who seem to “have it all together” have done all the “work” for you. All you have to do is imitate them. This is a dangerous way to think because you are not working on your own personality.

In the final analysis, you are you. It is impossible to become exactly like someone else. And why should you want to? So remain yourself while you acquire new traits to help you achieve your goals.

Sometimes it is helpful to have a symbol or another person’s virtues. This symbol will actually remind you of that person and his or her qualities. It can take the form of a picture, a possession (e.g., your father’s pocket watch), or some abstract thing such as a rock. It will be useful as long as it makes the association in your mind.

MENTORS

A mentor is someone you admire under whom you can study. Throughout history the mentor-pro  relationship has proven quite fruitful. Socrates was one of the early mentors. Plato and Aristotle studied under him and later emerged as great philosophers in their own right. Mentors are worth cultivating if you can find one.

The same cautions hold true here as for any role model. It is better to adapt their philosophies to your life than to adopt them. Be suspicious of any mentor who seeks to make you dependent on him. It’s better to have him teach you how to fish than to have him catch the fish for you. That way you’ll never starve.

Under the right circumstances mentors make excellent role models. The one-to-one setting is highly conducive to learning as well as to friendship.

The THOUGHT DIET

The thought diet, developed by my friend and colleague Jim Cathcart, is a tool that you can use on a daily basis to help you become the person who will achieve your goals. It breaks down goals into daily actions that are bite-size and easy to do. By showing you the steps along the way, the thought diet will keep you from being overwhelmed by your lofty goals.

Thought Diet Action Plan

On your though diet card, write out the “minimum daily standards” which you will perform every day to move you closer to your goal. Be specific.

The following are some examples of minimum daily standards:

o Mental: I will spend 15 minutes every evening doing visualization exercises.
o Physical: I will do at least five push-ups and ten sit-ups every morning.
o Professional: I will read something related to my career for at least 15 minutes before going to bed.
o Financial: I will keep a complete record of every expense and financial transaction.
o Spiritual: Each day I will do a good deed to help someone less fortunate than I.
o Family: I will relax over dinner and enjoy a meaningful uninterrupted conversation with my family.
o Social: I will take time during my coffee breaks in the office to chat with co-workers.

Inspiration and Motivation

Read the thought diet card twice a day until everything becomes a habit. Once you’ve developed constructive habits, you can move on to new goals and behaviors. Fill out a new card and practice the new challenges every day until they become habits. In this way, you will painlessly move closer and closer to your goals.

The dividends reaped by investing in yourself are unlike any other found in the financial world. When you clarify your values and set goals in all the major areas of your life–mental, physical, family, social, spiritual, professional, and financial– the right roads appear in front of you like mirages in the desert, yet they are real. Choices become infinitely easier to make because you are aiming at something specific, and you’ve taken a giant step toward hitting your goals…with amazing accuracy.

 

Do You Have Street Smarts?

 

THE ELEMENTS OF STREET SMARTS

 

I. Heightened Awareness

  1. Trust your intuition
  2. Develop perceptiveness and ability to anticipate
  3. Size up people quickly and accurately
  4. See the big picture

II. CONFIDENCE

  1. Fake it till you make it
  2. Use chutzpa when necessary
  3. Believe in yourself-Be confident

III. HEALTHY SKEPTICISM

  1. Don’t believe everything you see and hear
  2. Be hard to take advantage of
  3. Use your “mental categories” and generalizations to keep you on guard
  4. Give people the time and rope to either hang themselves or prove their integrity/sincerity

IV. RESOURCEFULNESS

  1. Think quickly on your feet
  2. Be persistent
  3. Be prepared
  4. Be flexible
  5. Change your surroundings or adapt
  6. Surround yourself with experts & contacts

V. RISK-TAKING

  1. Be willing to take risks
  2. Minimize the possible down side
  3. Cut your losses and get out if you’re wrong
  4. Learn by your mistakes Use your STREET SMARTS and you will be a winner in whatever path you take! Please comment in this blog on how you feel STREET SMARTS have helped you in your life!

ADAPTABILITY-AN IMPORTANT ASSET TO FURTHER YOUR CAREER GOALS

ADAPTABILITY

 

Adaptability is your willingness and ability to behave in ways that are not necessarily characteristic of your style in order to deal effectively with the requirements of a situation or relationship.   Adaptable people make the choice to go beyond their own comfort zones so others feel more comfortable. 

 

With adaptability, you can treat people the way they want to be treated. You practice adaptability every time you slow down with another person who does not feel as comfortable moving as fast as you do. You also practice adaptability when you take time to listen to a personal story from another person, rather than getting right down to the task at hand.

Adaptability is important because people are different and need to be treated differently. You develop open and honest relationships with others by being tactful, reasonable, and understanding.

Do you have a story to share about what you have had to do to show adaptability in your work area? Let me know in a comment what has happened to you! Let’s share and help each other.

 

Where does YOUR time go?

                                                                              Stop, Look and Write It Down                                     

       If you think you’re too busy to figure out exactly where your time goes, then you’re precisely the person who should compile a detailed time log.

Hands tied because of loss of focus?

 

So for at least three days, or better yet for a week, keep close track of how you spend your days—how many total minutes on important and unimportant phone calls, how many minutes studying papers or restudying papers you’ve already read, how much time socializing, planning, daydreaming, being interrupted, and making significant headway. When you look at your list, let me hear your questions under the comment section. Maybe we can help you FIND the time to do what you need to do and want to do!

 

 

 

Then figure out where you’re wasting your time in relation to your priorities. Being too busy to come to grips with time management is like putting off getting your roof repaired because it’s the rainy season.

Relax and Reduce Your Stress

PRIORITIES IN LIFE: RELAXATION AND STRESS REDUCTION

“The person who doesn’t take time for relaxation will be obliged sooner or later to make time for illness.” John Wanamaker

In our goal oriented, hyper motivated, money making workday we often deny ourselves the much needed periods of relaxation. Like a high powered sports car, we can be very impressive at high speeds but sacrifice distance, efficiency, and physical integrity in the process. Our bodies and minds are designed to work well if they are not overtaxed. Frequent periods of relaxation and stress reduction are important to the longevity of our bodies and minds.

All too often the sacred coffee break is abused rather than maximized. People become focused on the process rather than the desired result of the break. A coffee or lunch break should be used as a time to relax so that you are more effective when you return to work. The relaxation you seek during a break should achieve three things:

l. It should provide distraction and get your mind off the job.

2. It should alleviate tension.

3. It should be short enough not to severely interfere with your workday but long enough to provide you with some benefits.

There is no denying the importance of relaxation, despite its appearing “unproductive.”

HOW DO YOU PREVENT OR RECOVER FROM BURNOUT?

                You CAN do it! The BEST ways to BEAT BURNOUT!

It s not easy. It requires an intense commitment on your part to change your behavior for the better, and the healthier. It will require the same devotion and willpower as quitting smoking or going on a diet. However, don t try too hard. You may burn out by trying too hard to get better.
The following activities can help prevent you from becoming a burnout victim. They can also aid you in recovering from a burnout you already are experiencing. In following these guidelines, do not try to change too many of your behaviors at once. That will result in a quick case of frustration and a reversion back to your comfortable old behaviors. Attempt one new behavioral change at a time. Do not try an additional new behavior until you have comfortably mastered the previous one. In this way, your new healthy behaviors will last.
1. Limit the number of hours you work. The classic burnout victims work excessively long hours—6 or 7 days per week. Even when they’re home or out socializing, they can’t stop thinking and talking business. They wear themselves down physically and mentally.
Make a firm commitment to cut your daily workload down by one hour per week, each and every week until you re down to 8‑9 hours per day, five days per week. Don t say that’s impossible. It certainly is if you learn how to manage your time better.
2. Set goals—write them down. Most burnout victims work so hard and so long because they get bogged down in too many trivial tasks. Very often the really important jobs, the ones with a high payoff never get done. This lack of task perspective is very often the direct result of not having clearly defined goals in writing.
By knowing what is truly important to you in your life, and by having clearly written goals and action plans, you are better able to differentiate the high payoff tasks from the low payoff tasks. Then, if you spend most or all of your time doing your high priority tasks, you’ll probably accomplish twice as much in half the time.
3. Learn to say “No!” Burnout victims have a difficult time telling people they are not able to do another task. They feel it shatters their omnipotent image. Ironically, taking on too much puts so much pressure on the burnout victims that the overall quality of their work decreases and their superman image suffers anyway. When you feel you have more than enough to keep you busy, politely refuse to take on more.
4. Learn to Delegate. One of the major problems afflicting burnout victims is their inability and unwillingness to delegate tasks to others. They must resist the tendency to do things themselves. Train others, especially your secretary or assistant, to do your routine and low priority tasks. Also delegate the right to make mistakes. That’s how others learn. Give them their space to do things on their own. You should be spending your time on planning and completing your high‑priority tasks.
5. Exercise. One of the most effective ways to relieve tension and stress is through exercise. It not only helps you avoid a burnout episode, it also helps you circumvent many other physical ailments. Workaholics and super achievers complain that they do not have the time to exercise. On the contrary, taking time out of a busy schedule to exercise usually makes you feel less fatigued while you’re working and actually increases your level of awareness and productivity on the job. Force yourself to get at least 200 minutes of physical activity per week spread out over at least five separate days.
6. Break your routines. Don’t follow too rigid a schedule. Too much structure gets you into a rut. In the field of nutrition, the experts recommend rotational dieting. That simply means not eating the same foods all the time and adding variety and flexibility to your eating habits. The same advice holds true for your daily and weekly work schedule. Purposely go out of your way to do some things differently, to do some new things, and to do them at different times.
7. Try to relax. Kick back every so often during each day. Let your mind wander, not thinking about anything in particular, and especially not about business. These are necessary recharge breaks. Take long hot baths at home to relieve tension. You will find that this is an ideal way to relax both your mind and body.
8. Eat lunch AWAY from the office. This is an excellent way to accomplish many of the above suggestions. Walking to and from the restaurant or the park is an excellent source of exercise. Eating lunch outside or in the park is an Ideal way to relax and cleanse your mind. Leaving the office for meals breaks the routine of being in the office all day.
9. Take vacations. Most burnout victims rarely take vacations. They have too much work to do. Even when their spouse forces them to go on a vacation, they load one suitcase with books, reading materials, and work. If the vacation consists of more than three days in the same location, burnout victims start climbing the walls. They’re on a withdrawal from work.
If you react in the above manner, take a series of three‑day vacations throughout the year and discipline yourself not to bring any work with you. Vacation to relax, not simply to work in another environment.
10. Spend more time with your family. I realize not everyone is married nor has a family. Those that do should schedule their family members into their appointment book and respect the entry as they would any other business appointment. Eat at least one meal per day with your family. Try to keep business calls to a minimum at your home. Spend one evening and one‑half day per week doing something with your family as a group (TV watching doesn’t count!). Get to really know the people who are very important to you in your life.
11. Take time for yourself. Get away by yourself intermittently. Spend some time alone getting to know yourself. Meditate. Relax. Read light, enjoyable material. Pursue a hobby that has absolutely nothing to do with your line of work, but is relaxing and enjoyable. Treat yourself—you deserve it.
12. Don’t take life too seriously. Believe it or not, you’re not indispensable. Not to the world. Not to your country. Not even to your company. Everything will go on with or without you. Let up on yourself and others. Yes, you do make a contribution—maybe even a major one. But don’t overestimate your own value and worth. Do what you do and do it well. But, don’t kill yourself in the process, because then you’re of no value to the people and causes for which you were working. Take care of yourself and enjoy all aspects of your life—not just work. Everyone will be the better for it, especially you.