10 Ways to Enable Employees to Ask You for Help

“Why aren’t my people asking me for help?”

Well, that depends: Are you an askable person?

Consider these ten practices for pumping up your askability:

1. Don’t force solutions. While the willingness to find answers is essential to your askability, remember that you can’t force it. Especially when the answer isn’t immediately clear. Doing so only works in reverse. And any time you try to instantly compartmentalize everything that enters into your mindspace, key ideas often get overlooked.

So, here’s the secret: Don’t be afraid to bookmark. If someone’s question is (currently) unanswerable, try one of the following responses:

o “Great question! And you know, I have absolutely NO idea. So, let me think about that for a while. Can I email my answer to you by the end of the day?”

o “I would need to know more information about (x) to make an informed decision. If I went and did some research, when would be a good time to get back to you with my answer?”

o “I’m not sure. And because I’d rather not answer at all than try to answer poorly, would it be cool we continued this conversation after I’ve had some time to think about your important question?”

These types of responses reveal your imperfect humanity. They demonstrate honesty and a willingness to learn. Most importantly, they honor, affirm and respect the question AND the questioner. This assures two things: (1) You will have enough time and resources to find the best answer, and (2) People will come back to you with questions in the future.

Are you daring to be dumm?
Are you fitting people’s unique needs or trying to prescribe them a packaged answer?
And do you possess enough self-control to NOT answer a question until you’re ready?

2. Be an imperfectionist. Your employees, students, members (or whomever you want to perceive you as being askable) need to experience your vulnerability. Your imperfect humanness. Your occasional wrongness. See, two of the leading reasons people DON’T ask questions is because (1) they don’t want to look stupid, and (2) they don’t want to appear in need of help.

By being an imperfectionist yourself, you provide people with a safe place to be vulnerable. And that’s what gives them permission to start asking the REAL questions. Otherwise, you come off as too perfect or too smart or “too” whatever. Then people think you’re either annoying or lying. And the problem with that is, if people are too busy silently questioning your character, there won’t be any time left for them to verbally question key issues.

How imperfect are you willing to be?
How are you leveraging your vulnerability to earn people’s trust?
And how many questions were never asked because people perceived you as being “too”?

3. Make questioners feel essential. People also choose not to ask questions because they’re afraid of feeling stupid or rejected. So, immediately compliment someone’s question with affirmations like, “Now THAT’S a great question!” or “Wow, I’ve never heard that question before…” or, “You know, Paula, that’s a really important question. Can you repeat it again – slowly – so I can write it down and give it the though it deserves?”

It’s beyond making people feel valued, important, special and loved. It’s about making them feel essential. Like you couldn’t do without them.

How do people experience you?
Whose essence are you honoring?
And how do people experience themselves when they’re with you?

4. Make passion palpable. Not about the answer, necessarily, but passionate about the idea of answering the person, himself. After all, answers are overrated. What’s more important is the search. What the answer points to. And what the process of discovery helps the other person become.

Askable people are excitable people. They love questions, they revel in curiosity and they value strategic thinking. Do that, BE that, and your positive emotions will instantly transfer to the asker.

Are you passionate about questions?
How are you transferring your love to others?
And discovery process are you leading people through?

5. Practice psychological safety. Another reason people shrink from asking questions is because they fear that their questions (and the answers TO those questions) will later be revealed publicly. That’s why comfort, safety and in many cases, confidentiality, is HUGE for being askable.

My suggestion is to build a Question Box. Not a Suggestion box, a Question Box. This keeps it informal, anonymous and organized.

How psychologically safe do people feel around you?
What fears about questioning are your people plagued by?
And how could you introduce anonymity into the conservation?

6. Be willing to share information. Which means you can’t maintain a monopoly on information. Knowledge hoarders are company hurters. Don’t come across as someone who has a sense of scarcity. Share LOTS of relevant answers without the fear that it would reduce your perceived value.

What did you write today?
Whom did you share it with?
And what secrets are you afraid to tell?

7. Advice is the enemy. People don’t want advice. They want feedback. They want answers. They want you to listen. Besides: Advice creates defensiveness. And it’s rarely followed because it’s usually delivered from an assumed position of superiority.

Make sure NOT to say, “Can I give you some advice?” or the dreaded, “Here’s a friendly piece of advice…” This immediately lowers your askability. Instead, ask your people, “How do you want to be listened to?” or “Do you want me to just listen to what you have to say or do you want my input?”

Are you a disrespectful dispenser of advice?
What type of information do you tend to answer with?
And how could you respond to people’s questions in a way that levels the playing field?

8. Become perceived as a problem solver. That means be a resource for people. For example, the aforementioned Arthur, my mentor, never fails to live this strategy. Whenever I approach him with a question, he always concludes his answer by whipping out his Blackberry and saying, “Here, I want you to write this down.”

And, Arthur will help you populate a list – right then and there – of the people you need to connect with. Or books you need to read. Or websites you need to visit. Problem solved!

What resources do you offer people?
When you don’t know the answer, where do you send your asker?
And wouldn’t be great if everyone who asked you questions could walk away with tangible resources to get more answers?

9. Help people process their answer. Finally, once you’ve given people your answer, try this: Pause. Sit quiet. Build space into the conversation so your words can profoundly penetrate people. Then, help them process by answering any follow-up questions, silly as they may sound.

Also, if you’re taking notes, consider emailing those ideas to your Asker later on that day. This might help them visualize the conversation so they can more effectively find solutions.

Are an idea midwife?
How are you helping the answering process?
And how often is it the OTHER person that discovers the solution?

10. Thank the asker. After a conversation in which people DID ask you questions, follow up via email, text, handwritten letter, etc., with an expression of gratitude. Thank people for courageously asking. Thank people for their specific questions.

And thank people for honoring you with their openness. This lays a foundation of affirmation AND subtlely reminds people that they can comfortable and confidently return to you with questions in the future.

Do you thank people for their questions?
Do you send people emails with the notes you took?
And what would happen to your askability if you combined it with affirmation and gratitude?

REMEMBER: If you want people to ask you for help, you’ve got to make yourself more askable.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you increasing your askability?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Kiss Your Leader of the Year Award Goodbye

We’ve been exploring the impending dangers of unapproachable leaders in part 1 and part 2 of this three-part series.

Today, let’s finish up with a collection of practical strategies to circumvent a few more of those dangers. Specifically, how people feel walking away from you:

1. When you’re unapproachable, people walk away with self-esteem damage. Because when you don’t respond objectively, openly and curiously to their ideas, people feel less intelligent after talking to you.

Eventually, they find themselves not wanting to talk to you. And sadly, people will almost feel at peace or relieved if they haven’t talked to you in a while. All because you never took the time to consider “how you leave people.”

QUESTION: What invisible walls have your close-minded attitudes built?
STRATEGY: Learn how to leave a positive imprint on everyone you meet.

2. When you’re unapproachable, people walk away feeling deflated. And they’ll feel that things are hopeless after being around you. This corrodes motivation and hampers commitment. Which lowers their performance. Which heightens animosity. Which makes loyalty vanish. Yikes.

QUESTION: How often do you inspire people to inspire themselves?
STRATEGY: Help people fall in love with themselves by practicing Namaste.

3. When you’re unapproachable, people walk away emotionally numb. Because they were never given permission to relax, be their true selves and exert their distinctiveness. They were forced into compliance. They were haphazardly labeled ENFJ and then stored in a nice little, predictable box. This is what happens if people feel constantly judged by you.

Or if you take issue or ague with everything they say. They perceive your value system to be SO opposed that your ego won’t allow you to listen to them. Eventually, they won’t bother approaching you at all. And that’s when you, as a leader, miss out on their valuable ideas, opportunities and feedback.

QUESTION: How often do you overlook people who might offer meaningful ideas?
STRATEGY: Learn the difference between exploration and accusation.

4. People will walk away feeling devalued. Especially if you didn’t monopolize the listening and make them feel essential. And eventually, they might start asking themselves, “Why do I even bother talking to him anyway?”

QUESTION: How do people experience themselves in relation to you?
STRATEGY: Learn how to make people feel essential.

5. People walk aware worse. Kind of the opposite of the outdoor rule, “Leave the camp sight better than the way you found it.” In this case, people are in a bad mood after being around you.

Which kind of makes them NOT want to be around you very often. And, when they ARE around you, it results in curt communication underscored by a lack of mindfulness because all they’re thinking about his how badly they want the conversation to be over.

QUESTION: Are people diminished, unaffected, or enlarged after their encounter with you?
STRATEGY: Decide how you would like people to experience you.

6. When you’re unapproachable, people walk away having missed opportunities for growth. Without mental flexibility and openness, here’s what happens: People stop learning, which means people stop growing, which means people start dying. Yikes. Not good for business.

QUESTION: How do you add value to people?
STRATEGY: Become a Value Adding Machine by learning the two most important words for listening louder: Take notes.

REMEMBER: The only judgment your people can (honestly) make about you is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if YOU think you’re approachable – it only matters if you’re perceived and remembered as being approachable by the people you serve.

If not, I guarantee your organization WILL suffer.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How is being unapproachable hurting your organization?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Radically Raise Receptivity of Those You Serve,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

What is affecting your ability to be taken seriously?

I know this guy named Dalton.

I wouldn’t say we’re friends, but we’ve met a few times. We tend to speak at some of the same conferences. And I happen to think he’s pretty good, even though his style is much different than my own.

Still, I’ll never forget the day when I overheard one of his audience members tell her friend, “You know, with that mullet, I’ve always had a hard time taking Dalton seriously.”

Wow.

What about YOU? What is affecting YOUR ability to be taken seriously?

Consider these six questions to make sure people don’t tune you out:

1. What causes YOU to (not) take someone seriously? Here’s a revealing exercise you might noodle with: (1) Make a list of three people you’ve never taken seriously, (2) Write down what, specifically, causes you to feel that way, and (3) Ask yourself if you embody any of those attributes.

Your lack of self-awareness may startle you. As Ken Shelton, founder and editor of Executive Excellence Magazine said, “With a little self-deception, we might believe that we are number one when in fact we’re not even on the charts.”

REMEMBER: Self-awareness creates options.

2. How might you be accidentally diminishing the perception of your expertise? My pal Robert Bradford, founder of The Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, once told me that every time you add a comma to the description of what you do, you suck a little bit more.

What about you? Are you positioning yourself as an expert in seventeen different areas? Are you spreading yourself too thin? Maybe people would take you more seriously if you picked a lane.

REMEMBER: Periods, not commas.

3. What’s your system for keeping yourself constantly relevant? Your customers, audience members, listeners and readers want to know what you’ve done for them lately. They want to know what you learned yesterday.

Your challenge is to create a game plan that keeps new wisdom coming through a revolving door. For example, I read five books a week. That’s one of the (many) ways I stay relevant.

REMEMBER: If you’re not current, you’re not credible.

4. What are you unconsciously doing that’s marring your credibility? The word “credibility” comes from the Latin creditum, which means, “a loan, thing entrusted to another.” That’s interesting. Credibility is on loan. Which means your credibility might take years to assemble, but only seconds to annihilate.

I’d spend some time thinking about situations in which your perception of other people’s credibility diminished. Then ask yourself if you’re mirroring any such behaviors in your own world.

REMEMBER: Credibility diminishes quickly.

5. How unquestionable is your knowledge base? When it comes to your area of expertise, you need to be able to talk forever. Period. In order to make that happen, my first suggestion is to make sure that everything you know is written down somewhere. Everything.

After all, if you don’t write it down – it never happened. Plus, when you write it down, you make it sound. My second suggestion is that you read 500 books about your topic. Simple as that. Thirdly, constantly search for and dissect new dimensions to your area of expertise. This enables you to answer any question, any time, about any area of your subject.

REMEMBER: Experts charge more.

6. What are you doing, saying or being that’s making you unlistenable? I’ve written extensively on the topic of being a listenable leader and becoming the most listenable person you know. And here’s what I’ve learned: Listenable people are taken seriously. Period.

So, here’s a rapid list of practices for doubling your listenability: Listen first. Pamper the short-term memory. Be funny early and often. Articulate strategy and ideas in plain language. Create a zone of respect around you without being overbearing. When it’s a technical matter, (still) speak English. Communicate reasons for changes and decisions. And of course, always speak with MCI, or Meaningful Concrete Immediacy.

REMEMBER: Listenable people are listened to.

In summary, let’s look to Google for a final picture of what it looks like when people don’t take you seriously. I did several searches on the following phrase: “I can’t take her/him/them seriously because…”

The results were astounding. And as you read them, I challenge you to think one last time about what might be causing people to not take YOU seriously:

“I can’t take her/him/them seriously because…”

o “…They can’t walk their talk.” Is your integrity in tact?
o “…He tries too hard to be evil.” Are you overexerting?
o “…There’s nothing real here at stake.” Are you relevant?
o “…I’m so used to them another way.” Are you a chameleon?
o “…I feel she’s too preachy these days.” Are you Billy Graham?
o “…They don’t take their work seriously.” Are you serious enough?
o “…They taken themselves TOO seriously.” Are you self-important?
o “…They change their minds about everything.” Are you wishy-washy?
o “…We are too busy laughing at their stupidity.” Are you an idiot?
o “…They are so obviously just seeking attention.” Are you waiting to be noticed?

“I can’t take her/him/them seriously because…”

o “…She, herself, has done worse things than me.” Are you a poor role model?
o “…She looks like a guest on the Jerry Springer show.” Are you dressed professionally?
o “…80% of the pictures out there of her have her in a bikini.” What happens when someone does a Google image search on your name?
o “…All of the effects and style is so old-fashioned looking to me.” Are you a dinosaur?
o “…When I listen to her try to make her points, I feel like I’m watching a PTA meeting.” Are you boring?
o “…If they were half as smart as they claimed, they’d be able to make their points or get rich without having to hurt people.” Are you compensating?
o “…It’s just shtick, and when she actually says, “No, I’m dead serious,” we still can’t take her seriously because that too is just more shtick.” Do you have substance to support your shtick?
o “…They give me powdered creamers or tiny plastic cream packets soaking in a tub of what used to be ice that’s now melted into grey, dirty water that people have been dipping their dirty hands in.” Are you gross?

REMEMBER: People won’t take you seriously if they’re too busy questioning you.

Especially if you have a mullet.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What is affecting your ability to be taken seriously?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Gauge Your Entrepreneurial Readiness

When you’re willing to put it all on the line for something. That’s when you’re ready.

When you find yourself constantly asking yourself, “What the hell am I still doing here?” That’s when you’re ready.

When a stagnant existence in the throws of mediocrity no longer fulfills you. That’s when you’re ready.

When you’ve worked so long and hard on something that you actually become sick of that thing. That’s when you’re ready.

When you’ve built a strong enough foundation of inner resources to support you when YOUR economy inevitably starts to crumble. That’s when you’re ready.

When people start to recognize you at airports in other cities. That’s when you’re ready.

When you’ve built a platform that’s strong enough and following that’s large enough. That’s when you’re ready.

When the message you’ve been preaching starts to become the dominant reality of your life. That’s when you’re ready.

When you have no idea WHAT the hell you’re doing (or HOW you’re going to do it) – but know WHY you’re going to do it. That’s when you’re ready.

When three (or more) moments of synchronicity occur within a short period of time. That’s when you’re ready.

When you can’t possibly imagine spending another 14-hour day sitting alone in that goddamn cubicle. That’s when you’re ready.

When you no longer have to ask Google if you’re ready. That’s when you’re ready.

When you spend more time thinking about what it would be like if you owned your own company rather than how you benefit your current company. That’s when you’re ready.

When you’re willing to make yourself uncomfortable and dramatically reprioritize your life. That’s when you’re ready.

When you realize that whether or not you’re “ready” is irrelevant. That’s when you’re ready.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you ready?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “54 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.


Get Rid of Your Reputation for Being an Unapproachable Boss Once and for All!

This month we’ve been exploring the “Impending Dangers of Inapproachability.”

In part one, you examined five early warning signs.

Today, let’s talk about how people might feel interacting with you if you are unapproachable:

1. People will be on guard around you. Because they feel tense. Self-conscious. Afraid to offend you. Walking on eggshells. Hesitant to set off your emotions.

And the mental energy they expend on those fear-based thoughts (1) robs them of their ability to be true, (2) prevents them from offering full information, and (3) scares them away from sharing what’s most important. What questions are your employees afraid to ask you?

STRATEGY: At the end of your meetings, try asking, “What questions did I NOT ask that you were hoping I WOULD ask?”

2. People will be at a loss of words around you. Because you make them nervous. Because you don’t give them permission. Because you aren’t making communication a relaxing experience. How easy is it for people to open up around you?

STRATEGY: Learn to influence and inspire through imperfection and inadequacy.

3. People will feel like a non-person around you. Especially if unnecessary titles prevent them from getting to know each other authentically. Also, if unspoken hierarchies exist, take caution. This hampers the freedom of expression and creates psychological distance between people. No matter how “open” (you say) your door really is. Are you treating people like people, or statistics?

STRATEGY: Lead with your person and follow with your profession. Put values before vocation, individuality before industry and personality before profession.

4. People will feel tense or nervous around you. Which causes them stress. Which corrodes their health. Which impairs their positive attitude. Which lowers their overall performance. Which loses the company money. Do you bring peace or drama to other people’s lives?

STRATEGY: Learn how to incorporate deep breathing into everything you do. I suggest reading Eric Maisel’s Ten Zen Seconds. Changed my life forever.

5. People will hold (mostly) shallow interactions. And your communication topics will always remain superficial. Nobody will ever get to the heart of any important issues because they’re holding back, unsure about how you might react. As a result, very little ever gets accomplished. Do you really think asking about traffic or the weather is an effective conversation starter?

STRATEGY: Ask Passion Finding Questions (PFQ) like, “What was the best part
about your weekend?” and “What keeps you busy when you’re not working here?”

6. People will perceive interactions with as being longer. And, therefore, uncomfortable. As such, most interactions will end prematurely because people will want to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. Ultimately, this reputation will contaminate the space that surrounds you. How could you make the time spent with you seem shorter?

STRATEGY: Hold meetings in which everybody is standing up. Instantly cuts the perceived meeting time spent in half.

– – –

REMEMBER: The only judgment your people can (honestly) make about you is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if YOU think you’re approachable – it only matters if you’re perceived and remembered as being approachable by the people you serve.

If not, I guarantee your organization WILL suffer.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How is being unapproachable hurting your organization?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “71 Words Employees Never Want to Hear Their Manager Say,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Make a Name for Yourself – Even if You Make a Fool of Yourself

1. Advance confidently in the direction of your dreams. Progressing towards anything else – graceful as you may look doing so – is a total waste of time, money and energy. Either relentlessly pursue the visions that possess you or go home. What continually deflects you from your certainty of purpose?

2. Ambition always looks good on you. Plus, it vortexes people in. It inspires and challenges people to think about their own ambition. Which fills them with the fuel of passion to guide their actions. What outer skin are you wearing?

3. Arise with firm determination. Build your life in a way that makes you hate sleeping. Not because you’re workaholic. Not because you’re an insomniac. But because the passion flows out of your body so abundantly that you couldn’t use an alarm clock if you wanted to. As U.S Anderson said in his obscure book, The Magic in your Mind, “Worlds are never conquered by men who lie abed, only by those who are out in the world and doing.” Why do you get out of bed every day?

4. Be not self-satisfied with past glory. Don’t allow the arrogance of past success prevent you from learning, growing or soaring. As my friend David Newman says, “Stop measuring all situations by your glorious past rather than looking for new opportunities and the possibilities of the future.” Remember: The past isn’t just over – it’s overrated. What have you done TODAY?

5. Be scary good. There’s a good goal for ya. To be so good at what you do that people watch with breathless interested and jaws agape, thinking to themselves, “Dude, it is SCARY how good this guy is.” So, not scary in a bad way. Scary because they’d hate to be up against you. Scary because they wonder if you’re actually an alien. And scary because they KNOW you’re going to blow everyone else out of the water. What level of good are you?

6. Become the person you most admire. Wouldn’t that rock? If you could look up to yourself? If you could inspire yourself? I think so. And I don’t mean that in a self-absorbed, egomaniacal, Steven Colbert kind of way. Just a deep love for yourself and a deep desire to become yourself. Whom do you admire?

7. Decide what security looks like to you. In the aforementioned The Magic in Your Mind, U.S. Anderson also said, “The only real security a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.” Remember: Fickleness is a fact of life. How are you restocking YOUR reserve?

8. Don’t believe the dreams they pump you full of, and you won’t get hurt. That was the advice from Atlas Shrugged. And I agree. Part of making a name for yourself is deciding whom to listen to. Refusing to become limited by the thoughts others have tried to set in motion for you. Ignoring the would-be deflectors of your one true dream. Personally amputate anyone who doesn’t believe in or support your personal vision. Whose life are you living, really?

9. Failure IS an option – not learning from that failure isn’t. After all, we learn not from our experience, but from intelligent reflection upon those experiences. So, the secret is creating a system for learning and growing from everything. The secret is accepting influence from everybody you encounter. And te secret is enabling value to be added to yourself by anything, anytime, anywhere. Failed at anything today yet?

10. Find a way to insert your entire self into it. Whatever “it” is. Your job. Your role. Your assignment. You phone calls. You conversations. Your presentations. Whatever. The secret is bringing more of yourself to everything. The secret is asking the question, “What would I do in this situation?” Which reminds me of what my mentor once said, “The more that it is YOU, the easier it will be to do.” How much of YOU are you putting into this moment?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you willing to make a name for yourself even if you make a fool of yourself?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “19 Way to be the ONE Person Everybody Remembers at the Conference,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.


What Everybody Ought to Know about Power

“Knowledge is power.”

I agree.

But that’s not all. Many other things are power too:

1. Action is power. Because most people TALK instead of DO. Which one do you do?

2. Awareness is power. Because it’s the first step toward mastery. What are you afraid to acknowledge the existence of?

3. Branding is power. Because if you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. Who’s making a name for you?

4. Brevity is power. Because people are busy. Keeping it short enough?

5. Content is power. Because it delivers unique value and solidifies your expertise. Do your tweets leave the impression of value or vanity?

6. Creativity is power. Because every time you use it, it grows stronger. How many ideas did you have today?

7. Credibility is power. Because while it might take years to assemble; it only takes seconds to annihilate. What is your credibility strengthening process?

8. Decision is power. Because the only thing in the world you (actually) have control over are your choices. Are you living at full choice in your life right now?

9. Discipline is power. Because talent is overrated, whereas hard, long, smart work is all that really counts. What time did you get up today?

10. Expectation is power. Because it not only affects the future, it affects the past. How many affirmations did you recite today?

11. Experience is power. Because that’s where expertise truly comes from: Experience + Intelligent reflection upon those experiences + Actionable lessons extracted from those experiences. What new experience did you have today?

12. Fanship is power. Because customers are overrated, clients are useless and prospects are for amateurs – you need FANS. How many fans do you have?

13. Honesty is power. Because in out fear-based, low trust culture, honesty is so rare that it’s become remarkable. How many lies did you tell this week?

14. Humanity is power. Because in our robotic, impersonal culture, humanity is (also) so rare that it’s become remarkable. How are you fully integrating your humanity into your profession?

15. Immediacy is power. Because in our hyperspeed, A.D.D., instant gratification culture, people want it fast and they want it NOW. Do you return emails faster than your competitors?

16. Listening is power. Because contrary to popular conditioning, the listener controls the conversation. When was the last time somebody complimented your listening skills?

17. Name is power. Because Shakespeare was wrong – “what’s in a name” means EVERYTHING. What do people think when they see your name?

18. Networking is power. Because people buy people first, and it’s not who you know – it’s who knows you. How many friends did you make last week?

19. Permission is power. Because once people can come up to, feel relaxed around, open up with, comfortable walk away from and confidently return to you, everything changed. Who do you need to give permission to?

20. Platform is power. Because brands can’t exist without a diverse foundation of value-driven content, web presence, public visibility and thought leadership. How powerful is your platform?

21. Positioning is power. Because it’s not who you are, it’s what you’re known for knowing, what you’ve been recognized as being the first and best at, and ultimately what you’re perceived to be the heavyweight champion of. What makes you That Guy?

22. Vulnerability is power. Because it gives other people permission to feel the same, which creates a safe containers in which you can share your truth. How vulnerable are you willing to be?

23. Wisdom is power. Because knowledge is overrated – only wisdom (which comes from action) earns you the right to speak with authority. How much action have you taken this week?

24. Writing is power. Because writing is the basis of all wealth, AND, writing makes everything you do better and easier. What did you write today?

Knowledge isn’t enough.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How powerful are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Radically Raise Receptivity of Those You Serve,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Do You Recognize These Five Early Warning Signs of an Unapproachable Leader?

FACT #1: The only judgment your people can (honestly) make about you is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.

FACT #2: If you’re not perceived and remembered as being approachable by the people you serve – I guarantee your organization WILL suffer.

As such, there’s a myriad of impending dangers of inapproachability. We’ll be exploring each of them in this three-part series, along with a collection of practical strategies to circumvent those dangers.

Each post will address one of the following categories:

PART 1: How people feel about approaching you.
PART 2: How people feel while interacting with you.
PART 3: How people feel walking away from you.

Today, let’s talk about how people feel about approaching the unapproachable

1. People will plan ways to avoid you. Which, ironically, takes more time and energy than to actually talk to you. But that’s how we’re wired: Anthropologically, the more conflict that might occur = the more we avoid that encounter.

Even if it requires more work. Anything to avoid conflict. How many people went out of their way to avoid you yesterday?

STRATEGY: For one week, say hello to every single person that crosses your path. It’s harder than you think.

2. People will shrink from opportunities to be open. If you’re the kind of person who takes offense to everything, here’s what happens: People will start tiptoeing around you, trying their hardest not to get caught in your vortex of hypersensitivity.

Then, they purposely leave out key points just to avoid pushing your hot buttons. And all that does is leave you in the dark on where they stand. How many employee problems are you currently unaware of because your emotional reactivity silences people?

STRATEGY: Grow thicker skin. Instead of reacting; trying breathing. That’s
response. A choice. And it’s much more effective. If there’s one thing I learned from practicing yoga, it’s that you can breathe through pretty much anything.

3. People will be surprised by each your arguments and concerns. Because you weren’t proactive enough to share your expectations clearly and early. Or because you didn’t speak with Meaningful Concrete Immediacy.

Or because you shaded the truth. The problem is, when people become accustomed to living in the dark, it surprises the hell out of them when the lights suddenly flicker on. Because then they have no idea what to do about key issues. Are your expectations camouflaged?

STRATEGY: Make your instructions, expectations, emails, phone calls, meetings and conversations more actionable.

4. People will stop volunteering information. Because they won’t feel like it’s is a safe container in which they can share. Which means they’ll either bury their problems deep down inside their bodies (which causes physical stress).

Or take their problems to someone else (who probably has no idea what the hell she’s talking about). How are you creating a Question Friendly Environment?

STRATEGY: Burn your Suggestion Box. Hang up a Question Box. Keep it
anonymous. Then, for every question that’s submitted, donate one dollar to the Office Party Budget. That way, more questions = more snacks.

5. People will become apprehensive due to your unpredictability. If people never know what’s on your mind, the silent dialogue will become, “For all I know, could be a ticking time bomb this morning! Better not say anything deep or lengthy.”

Again, this leads to disengaged, low-involvement conversations with minimal self-disclosure. And because nobody knows what you’re thinking, they (might) end up doing the exact opposite of what you wanted.

And it will be YOUR fault because, contrary to your hopes and dreams, they were unable to read your mind. What are you doing that prevents people from learning from you?

STRATEGY: Learn how to become (somewhat) predictable.

– – –

REMEMBER: The only judgment your people can (honestly) make about you is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if YOU think you’re approachable – it only matters if you’re perceived and remembered as being approachable by the people you serve.

If not, I guarantee your organization WILL suffer.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How is being unapproachable hurting your organization?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Radically Raise Receptivity of Those You Serve,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to become the Most Inspirational Person You Know

The word “inspire” derives from the Latin inspiraire, which means, “to breathe into.”

So, I’m curious:

What are YOU breathing into people?

Hope? Happiness?
Passion? Permission?
Creativity? Confidence?

I know. Kind of tough question. And if you can’t think of your answer right away, don’t sweat it.

WHAT you breathe into people isn’t as important as THAT you breathe into people.

Unless you have a high-garlic diet.

HERE’S THE REALITY: Being an inspirational person is combination of three elements…

1. The person you’ve become.
2. How people experience you.
3. How people experience themselves in relation TO you.

Unfortunately – despite your best efforts – you CAN’T inspire everyone you encounter.

Some people just aren’t inspirable.

No matter how hard you work to raise their receptivity.
No matter how many positive quotations you write on their dry erase board.

Not everyone wants (or is ready to be) be inspired.

And that’s fine. Your life’s work shouldn’t to inspire people.

Rather, your challenge is to embody the attributes of inspirational people.

Because THAT is the only way to increase the probability that other people will become inspired too.

Here’s (part 1) of a list of strategies for becoming the most inspirational person you know…

1. Be playful, but not to the point where people stop taking you seriously. People won’t listen TO, or be inspired BY, someone they have a hard time taking seriously. After all, it’s impossible to listen to someone if you’re too busy questioning that person’s character.

Here’s a revealing exercise you might noodle with: (1) Make a list of three people you’ve never taken seriously, (2) Write down what, specifically, caused you to feel that way, and (3) Ask yourself if YOU embody any of those attributes, and if that’s thwarting your ability to inspire others.

Your lack of self-awareness may startle you. What is preventing people from taking you seriously? How might you accidentally be diminishing the perception of your expertise? And what are you doing that’s preventing people from being inspired by you?

2. Break down your message into digestible, democratized bits. Inspirational people rarely overwhelm others with their knowledge. Digestible means this: If you have a lot of ideas to convey, chunk them down into small clusters. By spacing ideas effectively, they’re easier to digest. Otherwise people feel intimidated by a barrage of knowledge, which reduces receptivity.

Democratized means this: Deliver it in a way that appeals to the broadest audience possible. Enable multiple dimensions of your ideas to be pursued by the listener. Leave your stories open for new interpretations, conclusions and lessons.

This approach will compliment others’ contributions to your ideas AND help them work for their own ideas. How listenable are you? How are you pampering people’s short-term memories? And how do you break your message down?

3. Consistency inspires people. Mainly, because it’s hard execute and even harder to come by. So, remember two things: (1) Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness, and (2) Consistency, despite convenience and comfort, creates uncracked character – and THAT’S what is inspirational.

Check out The Official Guide to Being More Consistent or How to Run a Consistency Audit for a closer look at HOW to put this into practice. How is your consistency inspirational? What are you doing consistently that most people aren’t? And what kind of structure can you place around yourself to make sure you remember to be consistent?

4. Create an avenue for others to benefit from your unique gifts. Maybe it’s via your blog. Maybe it’s out in the community. Maybe it’s on the radio. Maybe it’s in the local newspaper.

The point is: We’ve all been given unique gifts. And our sole assignment during the short time we spend on this Earth is to return the favor by USING ours gifts to make the world more beautiful.

And the best part is, our usefulness isn’t just a form of worship – it’s also a form inspiration. Think about it: Do you know anyone with incredible gifts (who SHARES those gifts regularly) that ISN’T inspiring? Of course not. Because that’s impossible.

So, your challenge is to clarify your contribution. To leave this cosmic campsite called life better than the way you found it. To validate your existence by making passion palpable. And to take whatever unique gift you’ve been given and re-gift it by exploiting it in the service of others.

Interestingly, the word “contribute” comes from the Latin, contributus, which means, “to bring together.” What are you bringing together? What were you made to make? And what avenue will you use to help others benefit FROM and be inspired BY your unique gifts?

5. Don’t start doing something special – STOP doing something normal. Instead of immediately shooting down every suggestion people offer with an objection that proves how smart you are, just stop. Breathe. Then, leverage that opportunity as a teachable moment.

As my friend Chris “Genuine” Johnson says, “Most people have raging impulses to interrupt one another. Instead, show some restraint. Suppress conversational tension by waiting for your turn to share poignant insights.”

Suggestions: Be not seduced by the dark side. Curb the craving spew a steady stream self-glorifying wisdom that’s inherently impressive and interesting, yet obviously irrelevant and inapplicable.

And, learn to share your knowledge without showcasing it. Learn to present your ideas without hurling them. In their irregularity, such actions become inspirational. What normal things could you stop? What would be unlike you to do? And what could you do in this situation that would be the polar opposite of everybody else?

6. Evoke emotional responses. The word “emotion” derives from the Latin emotere, which means, “to disturb.” So, it’s not bad, it’s not good – it’s just a disturbance. A breaking of patterns. A shaking up of things. And if you want to use this practice to become more inspirational, here’s how:

Make your words piercing and disquieting. So much so that people squirm in their seats. Sure, it might be uncomfortable for a minute, but that’s part of the adventure. And the reality is, some people NEED to have a little disturbance “breathed into them.”

Richard Avdoian, my inspiring colleague, friend, mentor and occasional therapist, is a master at this practice. His words never fail to be provocative. Because of his background in psychotherapy, mental health and marriage counseling, Richard uses uncommon, unexpected words like “seductive,” “tranquilizer,” and “personhood” in everyday conversation.

Most people can’t help but lean in closer, listen – become slightly disturbed – and experience inspiration. How provocative are your words? How are you branding your language? And if you were charged with the crime of “Leadership with Intent to Disturb,” would there be evidence to convict you?

7. Exert your humanity. When you courageously endorse your own weaknesses, you demonstrate an acceptance of the imperfect humanness of others. In Alan Webber’s Rules of Thumb, he explains:

“We’re drawn to people who know who they are, who are comfortable in their own skins. Their sense of themselves makes it easier for us to know and trust them. It cuts down on the wasted energy and head games that too often accompany people in power who are at war with themselves.”

So, here’s a rapid-fire list for becoming inspirational through your humanity: Communicate less perfectly. Lead with vulnerability. Publicly celebrate mistakes. Acknowledge and embrace all aspects of who you are. Be willing to talk about that shadow. Practice radical honesty. Practice self-deprecating humor.

When does the feeling of formality keep you from communicating freely and honestly? Are you someone others can be vulnerable in front of? And how does your imperfect humanity inspire others to exert the same?

REMEMBER: You can’t inspire everybody.

You CAN, however, increase the probability of inspiration by molding yourself into the most inspirational person you know.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you breathing into people?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Radically Raise Receptivity of Those You Serve,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Run a Consistency Audit™

Consistency – despite convenience and comfort – creates uncracked character.

Unfortunately, I can’t teach you (or your company) how to be or stay consistent.

What I can do is give you some questions to ask yourself, your coworkers and your organization that will increase the PROBABILITY of consistency.

Consistency between:
Your choices and your core.
Your decisions and your dominant reality.
Your message and your mentality.

That’s what enables people to TRUST IN you.

Consistency between:
Your actions and your attitude.
Your behavior and your beliefs.
Your bold moves and your brand.

That’s what encourages people to DO BUSINESS WITH you.

Consistency between:
Your practices and your principles.
Your projects and your philosophies.
Your vocation and your values.

That’s what inspires people to FOLLOW AFTER you.

Consistency between:
Your ventures and your visions.
Your situations and your strengths.
Your terminology and your truth.

That’s what impels people to TALK ABOUT you.

Think you would benefit from that? Think your organization would benefit from that?

Cool.

It’s time to run your Consistency Audit™….

The questions below are broken down into seven categories: Purpose, Values, Vision, Identity, Brand, Life and Perception.

Feel free to approach them from an organizational OR an individual level. And if you’d like to have your leaders or staff in your company partake, send them to www.consistencyaudit.com!

1. Consistency of PURPOSE.
Because usefulness is worship. And leaders who are called – not driven – are the ones who make the most change in the world. So, don’t start a business – start a movement. Don’t make money – make history. And don’t do your job – validate your existence.

ASK YOURSELF:
o Am I acting from character and purpose, or is this behavior a coping mechanism to a situation?
o Am I willing to have all decisions judged in accordance with this purpose?
o How does this relate to my life purpose?
o What continually deflects me from my certainty of purpose?
o What is essential to my sense of being on purpose?
o What percentage of my time do I feel that I’m in alignment with my calling?
o What three things am I doing regularly that don’t serve or support my vision, calling or purpose?
o What would REAL fulfillment look like in this area if I were truly living my life purpose?

2. Consistency of VALUES.
Because people buy people first. And customers don’t buy from, trust in, or remain loyal to, companies or organizations; but to people. Also, on an internal level, people don’t quit jobs – they quit people.

ASK YOURSELF:
o Am I on a path that aligns my actions to my values?
o Is this consistent with my values?
o What non-negotiables need to be honored here?
o What could I do differently to better align my responses with my values?
o What values really matter to me enough that I’m willing to sacrifice for them?
o What would I protest publicly?
o Will this action move me closer to honoring my values or further away?
o What obstacles or threats might prevent me from staying consistent to the core vision?

3. Consistency of VISION.
Because imagination is everything. Because the HOW isn’t as important as the WHAT or the WHY. Because, at the risk of sounding cheesy, thoughts really DO become things. Especially when you write those thoughts down.

ASK YOURSELF:
o If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?
o Is my current action anchored in my vision?
o Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal?
o Is what I’m telling people to do right now providing them with the tools they need to build that world I envision?
o On a scale of 1-10, how well does what I’m about to do connect to the overarching vision?
o What can I do to make this agree with my vision?
o What is the most important thing I can do to bring my activities in line with my values and vision?
o What would be most consistent with your vision in this situation?

4. Consistency of IDENTITY,
Because the goal is to bring more of yourself to every experience. To goal is to stay aligned with the working model of your identity. And the goal is to ask yourself, “What would I do in this situation? Ultimately, the goal is to think about what it would look like to “pull a YOU.”

ASK YOURSELF:
o Am I behaving in a manner that is consistent with my self-concept?
o Am I being the ME I always wanted to become?
o How would the person I’m trying to become do what I’m about to do?
o How is this helping me become more of my own adjective?
o If I were ME, what would I do in this situation?
o What does this situation need of me that only I can contribute?
o What would be SO typical of me in this situation?
o What would the earlier version of me do in this situation?
o What behaviors are preventing me from making progress towards becoming the best and highest version of myself?

5. Consistency of BRAND.
Brands are shortcuts. Expectations. Predictable moments of YOU-ness. And the secret isn’t to sell or market or advertise, but rather to transfer the emotion and passion and love of that which is non-average and non-boring.

ASK YOURSELF:
o Are the very first words out of my mouth consistent with my brand?
o How might this become an off-brand choice?
o How will I stamp this with my brand?
o If I decided to do this, would it support my empire?
o Is what I’m doing right now consistent with building my brand?
o What is the extension of my being, and am I exerting it here?
o Will this choice successfully express the personality of my brand?
o What could I say, do or BE – in this situation – that would simultaneously keep me in alignment with my truth, yet position me as the complete opposite of everyone else?
o Will this choice add the necessary blocks to build the brand that I want?

6. Consistency of LIVING.
Because people are listening to your life speak. People are watching what you DO. And the goal is to make your life the work of art, using YOU as the medium. Paint is for amateurs anyway.

ASK YOURSELF:
o Am I currently speaking from a place of personal truth?
o Are my actions predictable and congruent with my stated positions?
o How have I already done and become what I’m about to teach?
o How well is this statement reflected in my life right now?
o Is how I’m behaving right now consistent with the attitude I strive to maintain?
o Is the message I’m currently preaching the dominant reality of my life?
o Is the statement I’m making with my life consistent with my heart?
o What (specifically) do I need to have already done or become in order to confidently preach this message without people questioning my credibility?

7. Consistency of PERCEPTION.
Because what people remember about you is what you are. And that depends on how people experience you. It also depends on how people experience themselves when they’re with you. And it depends on what people think when they see your name.

ASK YOURSELF:
o How deep is the gap between my onstage performance and my backstage reality?
o If I did this, would the result in any way enhance my perception as a jack-of-all-trades?
o If I partook in this experience – and people saw me – would they perceive me as being out of alignment with my true self?
o If I proceeded with this endeavor, would people who know me have ANY question in their mind that it came from me?
o If my best clients and closest friends saw me doing this, would it be seen as a compromise of integrity?
o Once we’re finished with the project, would this client be a good commercial for my business?
o Would I want to become known for what I’m about to do?

– – –

FINAL CHALLENGE: If you completed the audit and noticed more areas of inconsistency then you’d like to have, that’s a good thing.

You don’t have to live your life as a walking contradiction if you don’t want to.

Instead, to bring your inner and outer worlds into harmony, consider these final questions:

1. How far can I deviate before crossing the line that puts me into inconsistent territory?

2. What kind of structure can I place around myself to make sure I remember to do this consistently?

3. What support would I need to have in place in order to remember that I have a choice?

REMEMBER: Nobody can “force” consistency upon you or your organization.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: By running this audit; you great increase the PROBABILITY of being and staying consistent.

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from wearing a nametag for the past 3,164 days, it’s that consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How much money is being inconsistent costing you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
If you’d like to have your leaders or staff in your company partake in this process, send them to www.consistencyaudit.com!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.


Sign up for daily updates
Connect

Subscribe

Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!