Tips and Techniques to Apply for Motivated Staff and More Sales

I’d Be Nervous if I Wasn’t Nervous

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When was the last time you did some public speaking?

Perhaps it was a presentation to a client, or maybe your boss, or at an interview, or even at an event in your personal life. Did you feel nervous?

It happens to meAlan Speaking

It sometimes surprises people when I tell them I get slightly nervous before a speaking or training event. They seem to think that because I’ve been doing it for years, nervousness would no longer be an issue.

It doesn’t matter if it’s twelve people or twelve-hundred people. In fact, I’d probably prefer to speak to the twelve-hundred than the twelve.

It’s scary

Public speaking is still one of our greatest fears; it turns grown men and women into nervous wrecks. The mere thought of it turns our tongue to cotton wool, causes our internal plumbing to act up, and turns our knees to jelly.

However, “nerves” is a normal human emotion and as I often say, ‘I’d be nervous if I wasn’t nervous!’

It’s how you handle the nerves that will determine your success as a speaker.

Who’d be an actor?

The great actress Sarah Bernhardt once asked a young actress whether or not she suffered from nerves before she appeared on stage. ‘Oh no, Madame,’ the young actress replied. ‘Well,’ Sarah Bernhardt said, ‘Don’t worry; it will come along – with talent.’

The technical part

Nervousness is vital, you need nerves. Nerves release a cocktail of chemicals into your bloodstream, one of which is adrenaline. This in turn releases glucose into the blood stream. This gives you more energy and your mind becomes sharper.

The thing is, not to overdose on these stress chemicals or you’ll start to shake like a jelly and overheat. You need to work off some of these chemicals.

Listen to the professionals

Murray Walker the ex-motor racing commentator used to run on the spot as fast as he could just before he went on air. You could try that or run up and down the stairs. Wave your arms about like a lunatic and get lots of oxygen into your system. Obviously it’s better to do this when no one is looking!!

Make friends

Speak to as many members of the audience as you can, before you stand up to speak. This tricks your brain into thinking you’re talking to lots of your friends.

Speak louder than you’d normally do, that helps the nerves as well. It also keeps the people in the front row awake and makes sure the people at the back get the message.

Have a glass of water handy for that dry mouth. Don’t be afraid to stop and have a drink, it makes you look really cool and professional.

However, one word of warning; do not drink alcohol. It might give you Dutch courage, but your audience will end up thinking you’re speaking Dutch!

If you’re into creative visualisation, then that’s also a great way to handle the nerves. Spend some time before the event visualising yourself being really successful. Whatever you do, have lots of positive self-talk with yourself.

Believe me; once you start to apply this, the butterflies in your stomach will all be flying in formation.

And, if you want to listen to this post:

If you want me to help you with your public speaking, give me a call or send me an email – go on, don’t be nervous!

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How to Make Your Life Easier as a Manager

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Are any of your staff lazy?

I’m sure they’re not. But what do you think about the people who work for you, and how does that influence how you manage and motivate them?

Something to think about

In 1960, Douglas McGregor, an American social scientist, published his book, The Human Side of Enterprise. In it he examined theories on the behaviour of individuals at work and he formulated two models; theory x and theory y. He advanced the idea that managers had a major part in motivating staff and he divided them into the two categories.

Theory x managers (authoritarian management style) believe that:

  • Their staff are lazy, dislike work and will avoid it if they can
  • Their staff prefer to be directed and dislike responsibility
  • They need explicit instructions and need to be threatened if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do
  • They are relatively unambitious and want security above all else

Theory y managers (participative management style) believe that:

  • Their staff really want to do their best at work
  • Their work is as natural as play or rest
  • Staff will direct themselves if committed to the objective of the organisation
  • Staff usually accept and often seek out responsibility under the proper conditions
  • In modern industry, the intellectual potential of the average person is only partly utilised

It’s all about results

McGregor maintained that many managers tend towards theory x and get poor results. Enlightened managers use theory y which allows people to grow, which in turn produces better performance and results.

It may not work everywhere

He suggested that theory y may be difficult to put into practise in large production, shop floor operations. It would be more appropriate in the managing of managers and professionals.

However, the bottom line to his theories is that; staff will contribute more to the organisation if they’re treated as responsible and valued employees.

It’s the way to go

 Theory y, as you might gather, has replaced theory x as the dominant management philosophy in many organisations.

In my career, I’ve worked for both types of managers and I know which type got the best out of me.

It still goes on

 In the organisations I work with now, I see both theory x and theory y managers. I can think of one very large organisation in the UK who primarily have a culture of x management and wild horses wouldn’t drag their name from my lips.

They mainly employ service engineers and attempt to control them by a whole range of policies, procedures and productivity management tools. When they attend my seminars, the engineers complain about their managers and the managers complain about the engineers. I still have a lot of work to do there!

How not to motivate your sales team

One company I’ve worked with issued an instruction to their sales force about a particular task they had to complete as part of their daily work. The instruction was delivered by a letter from the Sales Director. It stated that this task had to be carried out, he didn’t believe it was happening and anyone caught not doing it would receive a first written warning. Each sales person had to sign and return a copy of this letter.

This is theory x management and it comes from a Sales Director who doesn’t believe his sales people are carrying out the task so he threatens them with dismissal.

This organisation has regional managers who could have easily monitored the sales force performance on this task. The letter from the Sales Director is a further contribution to an already de-motivated sales force.

And if you want results

I’ve witnessed theory x and theory y management styles and I’ll tell you; theory x is a much harder route to go. As a manager, you make life so much harder for yourself, you end up micromanaging and you still don’t get the results.

So if you think you might be theory x, don’t be a masochist; don’t make life hard for yourself.

Be a theory y, and you’ll have happy, motivated and engaged staff.

And make your life easier!

If you want to know more, then check out this book:


How To Manage Difficult People Audio Summation

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New Seminar – Motivational Management Masterclass

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New Seminar – How to Manage Difficult People

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One Reason You Get Nervous

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What makes you nervous?

There are many situations on our lives where nerves can be a problem and sometimes they get the better of us.

Where did he go?

I was at a wedding a few years back in the UK. And like most weddings, the best man was there in the church, doing his duty, beside the groom.

However, when we arrived at the reception – no best man! He’d gone AWOL, done a runner, back to Canada where he came from.

Luckily someone stood in for him, and I’m glad they didn’t ask me – I’d want to be paid!Fotolia_21705786_S-203x3001

Me also

It sometimes surprises people when I tell them I get slightly nervous before a speaking or training event. They seem to think that because I’ve been doing it for over twenty years, nervousness would no longer be an issue. You wanna bet?

“Nerves” is a normal human emotion and as I often say – ‘I’d be nervous if I wasn’t nervous!’

However, it’s how you handle the nerves that will determine your success in what ever it is you do.

One of the reasons you get nervous

One of the biggest fears for humans is the fear of rejection and we’ll do almost anything to avoid it. It stops people making speeches, contacting customers, asking for the order, or even asking someone out on a date.

Successful people feel the fear of rejection but they don’t allow it to paralyse them. They take action even although they feel uncomfortable. And of course, the more you do it the less uncomfortable you feel.

In the many challenges you face in life you won’t “win them all” but you must have the courage to try. I read somewhere that – ‘winners make mistakes but losers never do.’

That’s because winners have the courage to try and they know they’ll make mistakes; however that’s how they learn and move forward.

I make mistakes allllllll the time!

What do you think?

Get in touch –

7 Things You Need to Know About Intelligence

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Now this post might be old news to you, but I am always intrigued by people who are described as “intelligent”.

When I was a kid, my parents used to talk about my brother as – ‘The brains of the family’.

That’s us in the picture on the Titanic just before it went down.

EPSON scanner image

Okay, so he did better than me at school and went on to college and obtained a degree in mixing cement, or something like that.

Yes, he’s a Quantity Surveyor with a string of letters after his name, he worked hard for it, and I’m not emotionally damaged, I don’t think!

So what’s this about “brains” and intelligence? What does it mean and why is it so valued.

I was really interested in the studies of Howard Gardener, a psychologist at Harvard University. Gardner’s Theory of multiple intelligences states that – ‘Not only do human beings have many different ways to learn and process information, but that these are independent of each other; leading to multiple intelligences as opposed to a general intelligence among correlated abilities.’ (I copied this bit from Wikipedia; I’m not intelligent enough to write this stuff!)

In 1999 Gardner listed seven intelligences:

Linguistic intelligence. This concerns language and how we use it. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence. (This might just be me, after all I’ve written four books)

Logical-mathematical intelligence. This is associated with calculation and logical reasoning. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking. (Not me; I haven’t a clue, I need my fingers to count on)

Musical intelligence. To do with musical appreciation as well as performing and composing music. (Does being a Michael Jackson fan count?)

Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence. Associated with physical skills like sport, dancing and other aspects of movement. (Yup; that’s me again. You should see me dancing)

Spatial intelligence. To do with art and design, as well as finding your way around (I’d like to claim a little bit of that)

Interpersonal intelligence. To do with interacting with people socially and sensitively. It’s concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence. (That’s me; loved by millions)

Intrapersonal intelligence. To do with understanding yourself, to appreciate your feelings, fears, motivations and abilities. (I don’t want to go there)

So the next time someone tells you about a so called intelligent person. A sk what they know about design, or the ability to deal with other people, or what musical instrument do they play, or can they fix that scary noise in your car engine?

Always remember that you have qualities and skills that other people do not have and you should be proud of these and believe in yourself.

When you look at this list, you may realise that you are much more intelligent than you think.

And to quote my friend Mr Degas:

There is no such thing as Intelligence; one has intelligence of this or that. One must have intelligence only for what one is doingEdgar Degas

Let me know what you think.

How Do You React to Annoying Behavior?

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Recently, when I was at my home in the Philippines, I awoke one morning to find one of the dogs sleeping on the sofa. All curled up, nice and comfy having nice doggy dreams. (She’s the one on the left in the photo of Motivation 247792_3957018401534_256628686_n (640x480) (440x330)Doc jogging club.)

So whispered in her ear – ‘Please wake up and get off the sofa CAS.’

And if you believe that, you’re as daft as me!

However, when placed in a situation of annoyance, shall we say; do you:

  1. Think or do you react?
  2. Allow other people (or dogs) to decide your behavior?

You probably answered ‘Think’ and ‘No’ to these questions, but do you ever catch yourself saying:

‘She makes me really mad!’

‘His behavior really annoys me!’

‘How dare she speak to me like that!’

‘If he thinks I’m just going to do what he wants!’

Is it possible, that in making any of these statements, that:

1, you’re reacting and 2, allowing other people to decide your behavior?

Does the other person make you mad, or do you decide to get mad?

Do you react to what a customer, or a colleague or your boss, does or says to you, or do you think before you take action?

You’re the boss

Before you achieve anything in your life, you need to take charge of your thinking. When you take charge of your thinking, you take charge of your life.

Thinking is all about communicating with yourself; it’s all the little things you say to yourself while you’re awake.

(Just don’t say them out loud or the men with the white coats will take you away!)

That’s a lot of thinking

I read somewhere that the average human has 12,367 thoughts every day. Now, don’t ask me how they worked that one out, but let’s just accept that we do a lot of thinking and communicating with ourselves. The thing is that, 70 percent of these thoughts or internal communications are negative and encourage negative behaviour.

How you think, your relationship with yourself is what decides how well you communicate with your customers, your colleagues, your team members, your boss, and the dog.

The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself, so you’ve got to get that right.

Henry Ford said, (he was the guy who started all the traffic chaos) – ‘Thinking is the hardest work there is, that’s why so few people do it.’

Always on time

I’ve always had a thing about good timekeeping; it’s something that’s been programmed into my brain. If you agree to meet me at 8.30 in the morning, I‘ll be there at 8.20; I will always do my utmost be on time.

So I used to get annoyed when a member of my team would show up late for a meeting or an appointment with me.

When I got annoyed I’d get stressed, I would react, and end up saying something that I regretted later. So I learned to start thinking about the situation and try to see it from their point of view. I decided not to react or let my programming run my brain.

That doesn’t mean to say I ignored the lateness or did nothing about it; I thought very carefully about what I wanted to say, and spoke to the team member about how we would resolve this situation.

Don’t get stressed

The point is this – I’m not prepared to allow that team member’s behavior to run my mind.

Getting annoyed and stressed is not good for your health and it isn’t a productive way to motivate your staff, deal with your customers or handle your mother-in-law.

You have to decide who runs your mind; is it you or is it someone else?

So – think about that!



How to Avoid Alienating Customers

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I know this may come out as a bit of a whinge. However, it really saddens me to see organisations who talk a good game about customer service, and then make a real hash of it.

The story

Two weeks ago I ordered a sewing machine from a company called Lazada.sewing machine

According to their website – Lazada is Southeast Asia’s number one online shopping and selling destination.

Of course they are number one, because Amazon have no presence there. I suspect that is because there is no delivery or postal system that would meet the Amazon standard.

I ordered the machine for my partner in the Philippines, paid for it by credit card, and was given a delivery date.

However, a few days later, Lazada sent me an email cancelling my order because they had made a mistake with the price. I reckon the price difference was about £5 to £6.

I paid £140 for the machine, plus a transaction charge of £4.

Lazada refunded my credit card £134.

So I’m out of pocket £10 and no machine.

Okay, so this is starting to sound like a whinge, but bear with me.

My questions to people in business are

  1. Do you want customers to come back to your company and buy more products and services?
  1. Do you want customers to talk positively about your company to other people and encourage them to buy from you?
  1. Do you want customers to accept your prices and be happy to pay them?

Or –

  1. Do you want customers to never deal with your company again?
  1. Do you want customers to tell other people never to buy from your company?
  1. Do you want customers to give you hassle about your prices and be slow to pay?

We all make mistakes

In any business, mistakes will be made from time to time, but there is always the opportunity to Recover with the customer.

In this situation, Lazada should have said – ‘We messed up; we got it wrong, but we want the customer to be happy. So we will have to take a loss (if it is a loss bearing in mind the difference is £5) on this transaction. Just as long as the customer is happy and continues to deal with us.’

Business have to run at a profit, but you need customers and more of them.

Lazada send me emails every day trying to sell me more products; I dump them all.

A positive customer service story

I ordered 50 copies of my book, How to be a Motivational Manager, from Amazon in the UK. This was to be delivered to one of my clients in the Philippines.

25 of the books were delivered, but the other 25 disappeared. (What did I say earlier about distribution and postal service in that part of the world?)

I contacted Amazon, and they immediately sent another 25 books to the Philippines at no extra cost. (The missing 25 books eventually turned up back in the UK)

Now that’s what I call Recovery!

Amazon took action immediately, they took the risk that they might lose out on this, but they just wanted to keep the customer happy. As it turned out, they didn’t lose out, other than extra delivery charges, and they made me happy!

Lazada still don’t understand that, hopefully on day they will.

Alienating customers is too costly – you can avoid that by recovering well and building a positive relationship with your customer.



3 Reasons Complaints Are Good for Business

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Don’t you just hate it if you hear complaints about your business? Well, you shouldn’t.angry businessman

Here are 3 reasons why complaints can be a positive thing for your business.

  1. They point out areas that need improvement
  2. It gives you another chance to provide good service and satisfy the customer
  3. It is a wonderful opportunity to build your relationship with your customer. If you recover well, the customer is likely to forgive you and come back again. They are also more likely to say positive things about your business to other people.

75% of customers will buy from you again if you resolve their complaints to their satisfaction.

Sadly, a typical business will hear from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers.

Make your business easy to complain to – it’s good for you!

For regular Booster Shots From The Doc51je1l11k3l-_uy250_

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