Friendships

There are four conditions of friendship and relationship: People who are very positive with whom you want to create relationships. People who are positive whom you already know whom you want to retain. People who are negative but whom you fee obligated to tolerate. People who are negative and not required to tolerate whom you should eliminate. How many do you have in each category?


Talk to Me

When you’re delayed in an airport with no communication from the airline, you become increasingly angry. However, when the airline informs you frequently of the cause of the delay and expected departure, you can do other things, make other plans, and take positive steps (Jet Blue is very good at this). Things go wrong. Explain to your clients and friends. Don’t try to hide them and don’t “go dark.”


Shut Up

Over 95% of the time, the more you talk, the more you’re trying to justify and validate your own thoughts and utterances. You’re not talking to further educate the other party or to answer a question, you’re either trying to highlight your erudition (low self-esteem) or you’re trying to justify what you’ve previously said because you don’t think it will be accepted without backup (lower self-esteem). A woman whom I recently rejected for my coaching program wouldn’t shut up. She …


Accelerating Your Coaching Process

In the process visual* below, I’ve depicted my approach toward mentoring and coaching which I’ve recommended to my Master Mentors. First: Define and clarify the issue. (“I’m overwhelmed.” What, exactly, dow that mean?) Second: If it’s not really an issue, just a need to talk or someone being needy, discard it. Third: If it’s legitimate but beyond your ability to help resolve, call me. (In other words, ask for help from a higher power!) Fourth: If it’s something new but …


The Esteem Machine

Some machines have pressure gauges to inform us as to whether the pressure is too low to sustain effective operation, or so high that the machine may malfunction. The color green is usually effective, white too low, red too high. I’ve felt that some of the classic problems consultants and entrepreneurs in general encounter with esteem is that they are seldom in the green. They either have mistaken notions of a white “humility” or approach the red of narcissism. The …


The Benefit of the Doubt

TBOTD is priceless. If people trust you, they forgive errors. I forgave some mediocre service on Emirates because they treat me so well all the rest of the time. But I’d have a hard time forgiving United these days. We can see this is in the huge, unprecedented high negative ratings of both presidential candidates. Whoever is elected will not be receiving the benefit of the doubt from a large portion of the electorate, because they’re not receiving it now (often within …


Sacrifice

I’m watching two once-in-a-lifetime events last night, Simone Biles win by two points, which is more than all the combined margins of victory since 1980 in the gymnastics all-around; and Michael Phelps, at 31, become the greatest swimming champion of all time, sometimes barely able to climb out of the pool. These people, and their talented colleagues, sacrificed sleep, social events, school traditions, foods, and assorted other never-to-be-reclaimed activities to become the best of the best and to gain their …



Prisoner of Platitude

Alan’s Fourth Law of Platitudes: For every supporting quotation there is an equal and opposite dissenting quotation. This applies to philosophy, theology, management, politics, sports—you name it. “Haste makes waste,” except, “a stitch in time saves nine.” “No man is an island,” but, “it’s good to stand out in a crowd.” “Measure twice, cut once,” but, “get there firstest with the mostest.” Use evidence, and stop relying on empty quotes that don’t apply to your situation. Even the law of …


Structuring A Successful Hour Meeting (With An Economic Buyer)

First 10-15 minutes: Pleasantries, build a relationship, determine other person’s style, create credibility and trust. Offer some value. Typical question: “What prompted you to see me?” Second 10-15 minutes: Discuss issues of importance which may lend themselves to a project. Provide more value. Pivot the discussion when necessary to keep the discussion in the “boat channel” you design. Typical question: “I’m confident I can help you in these areas, how can we best work together?” Third 10-15 minutes: Segue the …