Why pitching or throwing your services at someone before truly listening shuts down the conversation.
Selling before Listening.
The truth is, most people don’t want you to solve their problems for them; they want someone to listen to them and have a chance to listen to themselves.
Think back to a time when you were trying to open up to someone about a struggle you were having, but they immediately threw solutions at you.
How did you feel?
I’ve been there too.
As a helper, regardless of your title, the first step to developing any relationship, making any pitch, or making any sale is LISTENING.
Not to stock up on opportunities to overcome objections or to solve their problem. Just to listen.
Feeling the need to help can be distracting; we want so badly to ease their pain and solve their problems.
When you think about it, most people have already had their fill of ‘advice’ and need a moment just to feel heard.
Contrary to popular belief, listening is not passive.
It is HIGHLY ACTIVE as you take in the facts, the person’s feelings, and understand their perspective.
Our job as the helper is not to solve their problem or throw our offers on the table any chance we get. It’s to give them a safe container or space to discover their own power, merely offering tools and guidance that empower them.
So, how can you help the other person feel heard?
When someone feels truly heard and understood, something incredible happens.
Trust begins to develop.
Trust is the most essential part of marketing, sales, and business. When you have a person’s trust, you will likely have their business, their friends and family’s business, and you’ll KEEP IT.
Now, tell me in the comments whether you agree!
This past year started with me jumping back into school and falling madly in love with psychology and writing all over again. I went in with a lot of assumptions about what classes and topics I would love most.
They were great, don’t get me wrong. But they did not “light a fire in my belly” so to speak.
The fire that did rise was not at all what I expected.
During this time, I took the blandly titled and not so sexy “Foundations of Helping.” Not a class I was looking forward to; I knew what helping was.
As I read chapter after chapter of my textbook, paired with study after study about helping and the process of creating change, I was simultaneously going through my very own change process.
The ONLY lesson in Helping.
I struggle to watch Humane Society ads, Disney and Pixar movies, and those Superbowl commercials with the dogs and horses.
I also hate going to the movies.
Not because I don’t love movies, good stories, or buy into the messages.
Because I HATE that someone else’s emotions can bring me to tears in less than a second.
I’m a feeler.
I have always struggled to separate my emotions from those of others. I take your sadness and carry it around for days like a backpack filled with bricks I don’t want or need.
How in the hell was I going to listen to the challenges and traumas of those who would eventually sit in my chair and not lose my mind?
I was terrified. I was starting to stop, find stillness and sit with my emotions more regularly. It was uncomfortable. I kind of hated it.
I felt the way I used to when I was ten, back before I learned that feeling too much was weak and dangerous.
The more I felt, the more I felt.
It was exhausting.
After weeks of just letting it all go, I started to notice something.
Not all of those emotions felt like they were mine. I began removing the backpacks I had been wearing for years and started to see names and labels attached to them.
Mom. Dad. Teacher. Brother. Coach. Husband.
I had been carrying the expectations, emotions, and assumptions of SO MANY other people for so damn long I couldn’t tell the difference between what was mine and what was not.
It felt like a revolution in my heart.
With each day that passed and each feeling that arose, I began to make it a practice to stop, find stillness, and look for a label.
Whose is this?
Is it mine?
I was taking on the emotions of others because I assumed others could not handle them. I thought that I needed to be strong and carry that backpack for them because they could not.
Being a helper is NOT about fixing, removing, taking away, taking care of, or making things easier for others. It’s not taking the backpack off of another person and wearing it for them.
It’s about acknowledging that heavy-ass backpack they are wearing, giving them a safe space to open it up, unpack it, and put it back on, realizing their own bravery and strength.
It’s ok to empathize and be affected by others, but I had taken that to the extreme. I was stealing backpacks left and right. I did not know what helping was.
I’m leaving a lot of assumptions, expectations and beliefs behind in 2020. I’m ready to let go of the resistance and feel my way through a new year.
Here’s to reading labels and honouring the strength of others in 2021.
growing businesses with community
What does evidence-based psychology say about community and business?
Motherhood & Business
The three weirdest things motherhood has taught me about business.
Motherhood is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but there is a lot of weird, gross, goopy, and often stinky stuff that comes along with it. Here are a few odd things motherhood taught me about business.
1. Poop and Social Media.
Before I had my daughter, I was pretty worried after hearing the nightmare stories from my mom and many of my friends about the crazy poops babies have. I would try to get my husband or my mom to change the poopy diapers for a while. It was kind of fun to pass my stinky daughter off and have her come back fresh and clean. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid poopy diapers as a mom, and regardless of how much help I had, I had to change a lot of them. As time went by, it got easier. Less gross. Less stinky. Not because my daughter’s poops were different, but because I got used to it. It wasn’t so bad after all, and seeing her so happy after getting cleaned up was a pretty rewarding feeling.
Now you’re probably thinking, what the heck does this have to do with social media? Well, I used to avoid it too. It seemed formidable, complicated and time-consuming. I never knew what to post, what to say, when to post, or why I was even posting in the first place. Over time, with a lot of practice (and a few social media marketing courses later), I got the hang of it and started to enjoy it. The poopy lesson is that sometimes things will start gross, challenging, and not so fun. With time and practice, you CAN begin to enjoy something you never thought you could.
2. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face or have a kid.
I am a massive advocate for planning and preparation. Still, I’m also an even bigger fan of being adaptable, fluid, and committed to finding a way regardless if it’s to plan. Having a kid threw every single plan I ever had right in the trash beside the dirty diapers. I learned that kids and parents are truly adaptable. Our ability to pivot, make do with what we have, and go with the flow will significantly increase our chances of a successful outcome (or nap). Sleep schedules, meal schedules, and screen time limits all seem excellent until they don’t work, and you need to change. Start with a plan, maybe even have a few contingencies, but be adaptable more than anything.
3. It can't all be serious.
Whether you are raising a child or building a business, there has to be some fun and play. Kids need to play, use their imaginations, and occasionally break things. They have wild dreams and can turn pretty much anything into a game. In business, finding the fun and play in the day-to-day can be the difference between running a business and LOVING your business. I’ve learned to take a much more relaxed and playful approach to my business and raising my kid. I play music at my desk, a dance between calls, and have an ongoing game of digital checkers going on with one of my clients.
I can’t say there haven't been hard times with both motherhood and running a business, but the good days outnumber the bad. By being open to learning to like things I once disliked, valuing adaptability over rigidity, and adding a lot of fun and play in my life, I’ve never been happier as a mom or a business owner.
I hope you add some fun into your day today and think of me!
PS: I’ve added my favourite fun playlist to Apple Music; you can click here to listen to the Boss Mama Beats playlist and have some fun in the office. Click here to listen now!
Learn the process a buyer goes through as they move from being an unaware prospect to a loyal, returning customer. This training gives you specific actions you can take to ensure you are meeting your buyer in each stage of this process with exactly what they need.
Time and time again, I hear from clients, business owners, friends and colleagues how fearful they are about posting videos of themselves talking on social media. It’s pretty much the equivalent of public speaking to a live crowd in their eyes.
Video content is the most powerful type of content because humans learn to trust and connect with others through key physical characteristics like eye-contact, body language, voice tone, and language. It is the fastest and most effective way to establish a connection with your audience.
Here are a few simple tips to help you start to practice posting videos of yourself on social media.
Minimize distractions (distracting filters)
It can be tempting to hide behind distracting filters, but these distractions stop the audience from listening to what you have to say and keep them focused on judging your appearance. Filters trick the viewer and make it harder for them to detect friend or foe, ditch the filters and show your real self!
Use a Plan & Script
Planning out what you want to say in advance is one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success. Here are a few things to include in your plan:
Imagine you are speaking to one person.
It’s almost always more comfortable for us to speak to one person than many, so imagine one specific person you are talking to in your video. You can even pull up their picture, so it feels more like you have a conversation than presenting. Speak naturally and conversationally to this person, and you’ll see how much easier it is to laugh and relax, letting the need for perfection slip away.
Practice recording without the intention of posting
Not every recording needs to be made with the intention of posting. If you are dealing with lots of nerves, try recording yourself without posting it 3-4 times a week. After a few weeks, you should start to feel more comfortable with the entire process and plan recordings to post.
Remember, no one jumps onto social media and starts a rockstar at posting videos of themselves. It takes practice and a willingness to be mediocre for a little while. Stop comparing yourself to others who have been posting their videos for months or years; remember they had to start somewhere as well.
PS: Up to 80% of social media users keep their sound turned off. Take the extra time to caption your videos because there is not much more frustrating than seeing something you want to engage in, but you can’t turn on the volume because other people are around and end up missing out.
As the world changes around me, I cling to my thoughts for security.
Hoping they will remain steadfast and hold me still.
Yet again and again.
I change my mind.
I change my attitude.
I change my preference.
I change my opinion.
I change my hair.
On the surface, others’ minds and decisions look so still, so steady, so decided.
I am wrong.
Change is the essence of life.
Change is what bonds us.
Stillness is a dream.
A poem by Mickey Anderson
When most people look at my work title, Leadership Consultant, they picture me working with mid-sized to large companies where I work with their executive team and teach them how to be better bosses. Funny story, that’s not even close to what I do.
It kinda sucks that when most of us think of leadership, we picture an old white dude in a suit or an old white dude in a military uniform. The truth is, leadership is NOT reserved to executives, CEOs and military command. Yes, most of the famous leadership consultants we know and love get their visibility from working with those populations, but we ALL have leadership opportunities in our everyday lives.
YES. You heard me right.
Leadership opportunities are simply events or circumstances that come up in our lives where we have the opportunity to make the people around us better. These opportunities come up in our romantic relationships, our families, our workplace, or our hobbies or activities. Whether we acknowledge these opportunities and act upon them consistently is our choice.
If you are a service provider, a personal trainer, coach, massage therapist, nutritionist, doctor, and so on, your job is leadership. Your sole purpose in your profession is to make the lives of those you serve better. You do this through your actual service, through the support you give, through your communication and online presence, through your marketing, and through your sales. YES, I said sales.
When you are a service provider, part of your job is selling. It doesn’t always look like that traditional picture we have of telling a customer a price and taking their money. Some of you have a receptionist or specific person who does the operational aspect of the sale, but you are still selling. You are selling yourself, you are selling your vision, and your effectiveness and value.
Sales is a leadership opportunity
Sales is not a dirty word, it doesn’t mean you are persuading someone to do something they don’t want to do. When we sell someone, we are educating them, inspiring them, and showing them the possibilities and options available. We are empowering them to take inspired action, regardless of whether they are giving us their money, giving us their time, or buying into your vision.
Then what do I do as a leadership consultant?
You guessed it, a lot of my work is teaching my clients how to sell themselves and their vision in an empowering and inspiring way. I help service providers develop the language of their dream clients to communicate and lead in a way that empowers their clients to take inspired action. Leadership is about making the people around you better, even in your absence. As service providers, one of the most considerable ways we lead is by selling our vision and our services. When clients buy-in, feel empowered and take inspired action they are FOLLOWING you, and you, my friend, are leading.
If you are a service provider who hates the way it feels to sell and is ready to develop your leadership skills so that you can stop selling and start empowering your clients to take inspired action click the link below to book a consultation. I have 2 one-on-one coaching spots left to help you consistently attract and retain your dream clients.
I've found that social media can be a bit torturous lately with the number of updates on the virus coupled with people always pitching productivity tips and how to make the most of your time. Last night, like many work from home parents right now, we had a rough night. My daughter cried and was up most of the night; sleep regressions are the worst (aside from teething). My husband needed to wake up early to go into work for the first time in three months, and I was already exhausted after a week of toddler night tantrums. I decided to put EVERYTHING off today and embrace procrastination to the fullest.
Sometimes procrastination is procrastination. Right now, for me, procrastination meant being attentive to my needs at this moment. Screw productivity, screw making the most of this time, I NEED to stop and reset. I need to relax and refill my energy tanks. If I don't stop now, I'll be running on fumes by midweek and then on the side of the road by Friday.
The demands of the world right now are unreasonable for many of us, and it is entirely ok to recognize and adjust. Some people will thrive through this situation, and that is wonderful, but how we all define what thriving is might be different. On top of that, what we show the world on social media may not be the whole picture. I describe thriving in my life as feeling energized, passionate, and adventurous while embracing the moment and honouring my needs and dreams. In no way does taking a day to lay around in PJ's and watch cartoons with my munchkin not fit into that definition.
Before you go judging yourself on how productive you are, how you are handling this situation, or what you've accomplished, first define what thriving means in your life. If it involves listening to your needs and meeting them with compassion, then my friend, we might all be thriving.
- Michaela Anderson
Goal Hierarchy: A Brief Summary of How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective by Höchli et al., (2018).
By Michaela Anderson
Have you ever wondered whether setting goals in a certain way affects the likelihood of a successful outcome? The article How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long- Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective by Höchli et al. (2018) examined the theoretical and empirical evidence on goal hierarchy. The authors argue that goal-setting, in a hierarchical manner, positively contributes to successful goal pursuit (Höchli et al., 2018). The authors found a limitation in the current research that studies typically examine the effect of setting a specific, concrete, and challenging goal versus an abstract, vague goal on the performance of a single task (Höchli et al., 2018). They argue that goal-setters should subdivide their goals in order to improve performance and motivation (Höchli et al., 2018). The authors argue that having both clear high-level goals and low-level goals can help goal-setters overcome the challenges of maintaining long-term motivation, resisting temptations, and maintaining resilience (Höchli et al., 2018).
There is an interconnectedness between the levels of goals; higher goals determine more concrete goals at the intermediate level, and intermediate goals determine the lower-level goals in a top-down activation (Höchli et al., 2018). Goal-setting theory has studied and shown a strong correlation between the process by which subordinate goals increase performance; this article attempts to address how superordinate goals can increase motivation and foster goal pursuit (Höchli et al., 2018).
Superordinate goals are intertwined with a person's conceptualized identity; they describe how a person wants to be and reflect what is or is not important to a person (Höchli et al., 2018). Identity-based superordinate goals foster long-term goal pursuit because it provides enhanced meaning, strengthens guidance, and heightens the importance of a goal (Höchli et al., 2018). These superordinate goals can also foster a broad, long-term vision of goal pursuit, which allows a person to be resilient in the face of short-term temptation, and allow flexibility over the long- term (Höchli et al., 2018). The authors argue that superordinate goals alone are not advantageous in goal pursuit and that they should be combined with intermediate and subordinate goals in order to capitalize on their benefits (Höchli et al., 2018). Goal-setting theory has linked subordinate goals to boosts motivation at much higher levels than superordinate goals in terms of initiating action (Höchli et al., 2018). It did, however, show a correlation between superordinate goals aiding the goal-setter in long-term behaviour sustainability, allowing for greater success in habit development (Höchli et al., 2018).
This article offers evidence that combining goals at different hierarchical levels can increase motivation and long-term sustainability of goal pursuit (Höchli et al., 2018).
Höchli, B., Brügger, A., & Messner, C. (2018). How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1879. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01879 Retrieved on April 5th, 2020
from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6176065/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6176065