Starting a Career in Consulting?

A university student, named Ryan, and I graduated from the same high school, although 9 years apart.  Recently Ryan noticed my name on the alumni network website and contacted me to learn more about consulting as a possible career option.  Ryan just finished his third year at a small liberal arts school on the east coast of the US, where he is majoring in Economics with secondary concentrations in Psychology, Philosophy, and French.

Ryan sent some questions about careers in consulting, along with his introductory email, and I thought my responses were worth sharing on my blog.  So here, you go…

How did you initially get involved in consulting?

As an undergraduate business student at SFU, I started to get involved in “case competitions”. These were competitive team based challenges against business schools/students of other universities. The skills and process required for a case competition is very similar to the work of a management consultant – and I enjoyed it.

I started to do some of my own small scale consulting creating workshops on team dynamics and interpersonal relations, as well as facilitating strategic planning sessions for the leadership teams of non-profit organizations.

One of my business professors then brought me into the consulting group he worked at, on a part time basis (a day a week). After 8 months, I left to pursue some other work dear to my heart. Shortly thereafter, discussions started about me joining that consulting group on a full time basis, which I eventually did, immediately after graduating. I spent another 3 years there, before joining the global consulting firm I currently work with, almost 2 years ago.

Prior to this career I had over 15 different jobs, while spending 7 years doing my undergrad, so I’ve always liked the variety and learning that comes with a wide ranging set of work experiences. Consulting allows you to work with a variety of companies and in order to be good at your craft, you must always be learning.

What is a typical day like for you at Right Management?

Every day is very different – which I love about my role. I have a great deal of flexibility, which is often common for consultants, however, it really depends on a number of variables. My role being one that is focused on business development (sales / brining in revenue) means that when and where I work is fairly flexible as long as the revenue is coming in and I am meeting my sales targets. I also have an amazing manager who allows me a great deal of autonomy – personally, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good boss!

To avoid avoiding your question, my days are often spent in meetings or calls with clients – or emailing with clients. I attend networking events and read about what is going on in business globally and locally. I create budgets to estimate the cost to a client of buying our services and write proposals. I work internally with team members to ensure service delivery happens – and to a high standard.

My job is to help clients get clear on “where they are now” and “where they want to be in the future” – and to then collaboratively create a plan to get them there (involving our products and services). Sometimes this is a very short transactional process (15 minutes) and sometimes it is very long and complex (sometimes lasting 2+ years or more).

My role is very client relations focused and revenue focused – so all my activities are in service of those two “results areas” that really matter in my role. I want lots of clients, happy clients, and to ensure our firm is getting paid fairly for our expertise and the value we create.

What is your favourite part about the consulting industry in general?

The constant learning, variety, and flexibility. It allows me to work in a way that aligns with my personal values. My personal mission statement is to “grow myself to help grow others” and consulting, teaching, and coaching are perfect ways for me to experience a great deal of satisfaction and fulfilment from my work.

I really enjoy meeting new people, building authentic relationships, helping people, being creative, belonging to a team of smart and passionate people, and constantly learning more and more about effective communication, sales, consulting process, business, social systems, team dynamics, customer experience, marketing, networking, public speaking, etc.

What advice or recommendations would you offer to a university student aspiring to pursue a career in consulting?

Consultants will have expertise in an industry (e.g., manufacturing, healthcare) or a function (e.g., marketing, information technology, human resources). All good consultants should have expertise in the “process” or methodology of consulting. Consulting is essentially about building trusted relationships with clients and creating value through solving problems or helping maximize opportunities for your clients.

It will be helpful for you to get some clarity around your focus – what industry or function. Big firm or small firm. Internal consultant or external consultant.

Ryan and I will be having coffee later this month and I look forward to our continued conversation, as he explores consulting as a career option.

Behaviour and Bella

Bella, our six month old Golden Retriever, is always learning. Anything we do (or don’t do) tells her something and she learns from it – for better or worse.

Raising and training a puppy has, for us, involved lots of reading and watching videos in an effort to “get it right”. I’ve come to believe that a lot of it comes down to the particular disposition and personality of the dog you choose. However, we certainly have learned some key lessons that seem to make the biggest difference. The core of our approach comes from the teachings of Cesar Milan.

Here they are:

  1. Your own tone and energy is important. Be self aware and manage your emotional state. Exit a difficult situation, when you feel frustrated.
  2. A tired dog is a good dog! Find ways for her to get lots of exercise everyday and she will be happy, healthy, and well behaved. She will tend to get into mischief when she is anxious from pent up energy. This can commonly manifest itself as chewing, barking, or digging. Swimming and wrestling will burn more energy than walking, however, dogs are hardwired, based on their genetics, to walk in a pack everyday – so make sure you do this. And make sure you are leading on the walk or your dog will take the lead, resulting in her having anxiety associated with being the leader of the pack.
  3. Redirect from undesirable behaviour, such as chewing a shoe or hand, to a toy or chew rope.
  4. When she bites your hand, even just a bit, say “ow!” and pull your hand away. This is what her litter mates did to tell her she was playing too aggressively. If it happens a second time, turn your back and even consider leaving the room to ignore her, thus letting her know that rough play means play time is over.
  5. Reinforce desired behaviours. Use treats and praise for good deeds. Even when she does them on her own – for example, when she automatically sits at the curb, before crossing the street on a walk.
  6. Be the alpha. Go through doors first.
  7. Be the hand that feeds – and takes away. Practice taking food and toys away, while she is eating or playing. Then return the food or toy, so she associates the removal as something temporary and thus not something she needs to get anxious about.
  8. Use lures, not force of pushing or pulling. Present opportunities for her to make choices, but stack the deck, so the chances of her making the “correct” choice are better.

I’ve found that I have a much more attuned sensitivity to behavioural cues and responses, as a result of paying attention to our interactions with Bella. It’s also made me aware of the challenge of always “being on” and making sure we are following the rules ourselves – never mind Bella following the rules.

Consistency is so important. Consistency is critical. Consistency means making sure these rules become habits – just as much for us, as for Bella.

HR Metrics: From Data to Results

Today I had a really nice lunch with a friend who is a Director of Human Resources.  We ate at Mahoney & Sons, right down by the water at the edge of Coal Harbour.  It’s a sunny day today; perfect for enjoying lunch on a patio with views of Stanley Park and the north shore mountains.

Among the many things we talked about, we discussed some of the merits and pitfalls of “HR metrics”.  For the benefit of those readers outside of HR, HR metrics are often toted as the means by which to show the relevance and legitimacy of the HR function.

As a bit of background, HR continues to languish in this struggle to achieve the status it aspires to, among other areas of the organizations of which the functional group is a part.  Common complaints include:

  • HR’s lack of understanding of “the business”
  • A focus on transactional administration, rather than providing strategic leadership and advice to the business
  • A reactive, rather than proactive stance
  • An inability to communicate how what HR’s costs do to drive top line and/or bottom line financial performance

A popular article on this topic can be found on the Fast Company website: Why We Hate HR.

So, during the conversation with my friend she shared some stories of her experiences implementing HR metrics when she first assumed her role as the leader of the HR function.  As the Director of HR, she reports into the Chief Operating Officer and wanted to demonstrate her team’s ability to be a value adding partner to the organization.  A truly great idea!

However, she quickly realized that while the metrics she was able to capture and report were interesting, there was very little that could be done by HR to impact these measures.  This brought me to share my thoughts on the trajectory from data to results with her – and I thought I would take a moment to share them with you here as well.

Here’s how I see it…

1.  You start with DATA

This is the raw material you are working from.  You need to consider what data to capture, why this data matters and what it might tell you, who and how it will be captured, stored, and kept clean.  This could be qualitative or quantitative, however, the goal is typically to have quantitative HR metrics.

2.  You then analyze the data to arrive at INFORMATION

By looking for trends and patterns, doing statistical analysis, and comparing to other data sets you can start to arrive at new insights.

3.  You can use this information to make different DECISIONS

In most cases managers are looking for information that will allow them to make better decisions.  Or a cynic might suggest, managers are just looking for information that will justify the decisions they’ve already made.  Either way there is an opportunity for the data to tell a story when it becomes information – a story that can (1) increase the effectiveness of a decision or (2) decrease the effectiveness of a decision.

4.  Your decisions are sometimes followed by ACTION

Robert Kegan, Harvard Professor and author of Immunity to Change was in Vancouver recently to speak at a BC Organization Development Network event.  He started his talk, which you can see here (Video: An Evening with Robert Kegan and Immunity to Change), with a question: “If 14 frogs are sitting on a log and 3 decide to jump off, how many are left?”  Dr. Kegan encouraged us to resist the temptation to respond, “11!”  His point being that there is a big difference between deciding to do something and actually doing it.

In an organizational setting this is extremely common.  This issue is often labeled as an “inability to execute strategy” or a “failure to implement change”.

5.  Your actions will lead to RESULTS

Your actions will definitely lead to some kind of results.  Let’s hope they’re the kind of results you were hoping for!  When they’re not, we kindly call them “unintended consequences”, but really the outcomes may be disastrous in some cases – many executives have lost their jobs based on the results achieved being different than the results desired.

Linking this back to the topic of HR metrics specifically… if you are gathering HR data (e.g., turnover ratios, absenteeism rates) you should be aiming to be able to do two main things:

(1) move the needle on the HR results – to influence them in the desired direction

(2) demonstrate the link between moving the needle on these HR results and moving the needle on business results (e.g., revenue, profit) in the desired direction

How do you see it?

 

What Defines Success?

I attended a seminar at UBC’s Robson Square downtown campus on Saturday March 24th.  What seminar, you ask?  A seminar on writing, publishing, and making money from writing a book.  As some of you may know, Sam Thiara and I are co-authoring a book, so we attended this event together.

During the seminar, the presenter led us through a short 5 minute practice writing exercise, where the goal was to keep our pens moving.  No matter what.  Just let the ideas flow.

To provide some direction, he gave us a bit of a framework for our 5 minute writing exercise.

(1) Start by asking a question – in this case, “What defines success?”

(2) Include the words “money” and “opportunities.”

After our 5 minutes were up, a few brave people volunteered to stand and share their writing with the lecture hall full of strangers.  One of those brave people was Paula Galli.  Paula proved to not only be brave, but to also be brilliant.

I approached Paula on a break and asked her if she would be willing to allow me to share, via my blog, what she wrote.  She graciously agreed and we made arrangements.

What follows below, is 5 minutes of unedited free-flowing wisdom of Paula Galli…

What Defines Success?

Defining success varies depending on who you are. Some people link it to how much money they have or what opportunities they have had.  For me, success has occurred and will continue to occur when I am staying true to myself and doing what I love doing.  Through following my passions, listening to my heart, following my gut and ultimately believing that my dreams can be accomplished, this to me is when I am the most successful.

In our society we are not taught to think this way, where which success is often related to money, social status or levels of education.  I believe that as we grow older it is our job to begin to define success for ourselves, rather than simply listening to what society, our family or our friends have told us.

Learning to believe in ourselves comes from knowing our values and our viewpoints.

This awareness can be gained through taking the time to tune within and figure out who we really are.

Thank you, Paula!

Paula is a Certified Life Coach, Nutritional Counsellor & Holistic Nutritionist with an Honours BSc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto.  To connect with Paula, please visit her website at www.depths.ca.

Paula creates and offers services that help individuals live their ideal life through self-realization and personal transformation.  Specifically, she is deeply passionate about helping people transform their relationship with food, through transforming their relationship with themselves.

Gen Y’s Audacity of Hope

In July of 2009, Tammy Tsang, Founder of My Loud Speaker, and I were discussing an interesting topic: the experience of the Gen Y’s who at that point were just starting to leave university and enter the white collar workforce.

We are now 3 years further along and this topic is still getting a lot of attention.  By way of example, Tammy is also the Executive Director of XYBOOM, a conference that “raises awareness about the importance of intergenerational dialogue and collaboration in the context of youth unemployment and the baby boomer exit”.  Here is a XYBOOM Conference 2012 commercial (video) for the inaugeral conference held on January 20th, 2012.

My July 2009 response to a post on Tammy’s blog may have collected 3 years worth of digital dust, however, when I stumbled on it today, I found the ideas were still indicative of my current thinking.  So, for your perusal, here it is…

It’s certainly an interesting topic, Tammy. 

I think that one consequence often missed during discussions in this area is ‘lost opportunity’.  Many ambitious NewGens do have audacious hopes and dreams, as you pointed out.  These hopes and dreams represent an enormous reservoir of untapped potential energy and talent.

It’s unfortunate that the cultures of so many organizations are extremely efficient at crushing the spirit of those with the ‘audacity of hope’.  We often hear, “don’t try to motivate people, focus on what already motivates them.”  Perhaps there is some relation between people’s hopes and dreams and their motivation…  perhaps at least a slight chance there’s a connection between the two? 

If energy is analogous to motivation and talent is about ability, we can setup an equation to look at performance potential.  Degree of motivation + degree of ability = performance potential.  [Motivation + Ability = Performance]

It doesn’t take a degree in mathematics to understand what happens to the performance of young professionals who find themselves on the teams of older experienced managers that are unreceptive to their hopes and dreams.  A decreased degree of motivation among young workers is equivalent to lost individual and organizational performance – and destruction of stakeholder value. 

But can it be recovered? 

The research says that the most resilient people possess (1) good self-esteem, (2) a sense of control over one’s destiny, and (3) a strong dose of optimism.  Many NewGens are entering the workforce with all of these, from the way you have described them. 

Some ‘OldGens’ (?) that are encountering these resilient NewGens believe that these dreamers need a dose of reality.  To know that nothing comes easy.  That there’s no such thing as a free lunch.  That an expectation of immediate gratification is not socially, environmentally, or economically sustainable.

And they would have a point…

 

Eat That Frog! Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress

I’ve learned a great deal from Brian Tracy over the years.  One thing in particular stands out from all the others.

This “thing” – call it a concept, an idea, a technique, a metaphor, a suggestion – has been huge in helping me increase my productivity, while also reducing my stress.  Sound pretty good?  It is!

Tracy has developed and popularized the idea of eating frogs for breakfast.  Not the frog’s legs that they supposedly eat in France, but a metaphorical frog.

What he proposes is that we all have things on our ‘to do’ lists that cause us anxiety until they are completed.  These are often important tasks that will create positive results for us, but we delay taking action, because there is something that holds us back.

In this short video, you can learn not only why we struggle to “get stuff done”, but also what you can do to improve your productivity and reduce your stress:  Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy (video).

With respect to the anxiety we experience when we have a frog that we haven’t eaten, I believe that the source of the anxiety stems from two things: (1) having an unmet commitment to ourselves or others and (2) fear about the anticipated pain associated with the impact of not yet having completed the task.

For example, if you said you would send a client or boss a report by a certain date and time and now that time has passed, you will likely experience anxiety.  (1) You will have an unmet commitment, since you have said you would do something and then didn’t.  (2) You will worry about having a difficult conversation with your client or boss, who may be upset or at least less trusting of your integrity and reliability.

I would suggest that the benefits of alleviating (or at least reducing) this kind of anxiety and tension from your daily life is equal to, if not greater, than the benefits of “getting your stuff done.”

For me, my frogs are often things like writing a client a proposal, dealing with a complicated email question from a student, or writing a reference letter for someone.

Breaking it down into smaller more (psychologically) manageable chunks certainly helps.  What can also help is gathering archived information, so I realize that I’m not starting from a blank canvas (e.g., past proposals, emails, and reference letters).

My wife and I now commonly use the phrase “I’m working on a big frog right now” to let the other know we are proud to be making progress on completing something that we, for whatever reasons, felt a great deal of resistance to doing.  This also lets the other know that we would like some time and space to be able to focus on the task at hand to make sure it gets completed.

At the office, I keep a picture of Kermit the Frog on my bulletin board as a constant reminder to reflect on the question, “what are my frogs that I’m currently avoiding?”

It’s easy to busy yourself with an inbox full of emails, attend unnecessary meetings, and to be drawn towards tacking all the easy things on your ‘to do’ list (assuming you’ve even taken the time to make one).  However, you only arrive at the end of the day never having really done the one or two things that would have made the day feel like a success.  Made it feel productive.  Made you feel more relaxed and less stressed.

Also, once you’ve eaten your frog, you’ll feel way more energy and enthusiasm for all the other things you do throughout the rest of the day.  They’ll feel easy!  You’ll feel light!

So…

What’s your biggest frog right now?

Why is it important for you to eat this frog?

How will you feel once you’ve eaten this frog?

What are you tempted to do instead of eating this frog?

What will you chose to do?

Great!  Now get to it!  Here’s a napkin, for when you’re done…

 

 

Don’t Sell. Help Buy.

What’s the most recent thing you bought? Was it a coffee? A TV? A song from iTunes?

How about the most recent thing you were sold? Or at least that someone tried to sell you…

Due to the fact that the result often looks similar, in that money changes hands in exchange for a product or service, we often fail to distinguish between the two – buying and being sold. However, as you answered each of the original questions, you could probably feel your mind searching for different examples when thinking of your most recent buying experience versus your most experience of being sold. If you are like most people, you enjoy “buying” and hate “being sold”.

Not surprisingly, higher ticket items such as houses and cars are often the purchases we make where we encounter the feeling of “being sold”. Here the stakes are higher. There is more money to be made – and the person you are dealing with likely faces a positive financial incentive if you buy from them right now (a commission or bonus) and punishment if you don’t (being the bottom salesperson for the month – and if sustained, perhaps even losing their job). They are motivated by both the carrot and the stick. In some situations, there is a lot of pressure placed on salespeople to “sell” and they often pass this pressure on to you.

We’re all familiar with the high pressure sales tactics that leave us feeling gross. We rush home and have a shower, hoping that the icky feeling will be washed away. In these situations, we know the intent of the salesperson is focused on their own self interest – not helping us make a wise purchasing decision for ourselves. What’s a sleazy sales experience that still sticks in your memory?

Have you ever visited an Apple store? Did you notice what the employees did? They definitely didn’t use high pressure sales tactics, such as asking, “If we find the right computer for you that meets all the criteria you have just told me are important to you, is there any reason you will not be able to buy this computer from me today?” Depending on what you were looking for you may have found the employees busied themselves by asking you questions, listening to what you said, and sharing relevant information with you.  I’ll admit, I’m often in an Apple store just to caress the latest sleek device they have on display and I’ve never felt as though I was “being sold” – but I sure felt like I wanted to buy!

Which approach works better for you, as a customer? Where would you rather shop? Where would you prefer to come back to again and again? So why would you do anything differently when you’re on the other side of the counter?

A lesson in this for all of us, whether we are preparing for a job interview, pitching an idea at work, or “selling” a used Toyota, is to avoid selling to people, and instead to remember to help people make good buying decisions.

The path to doing this? In my opinion: ask great questions, sincerely listen for what matters most, and provide relevant information.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Yesterday the closure of the downtown HMV ‘flagship’ location was announced.

Oddly enough, over coffee earlier in the very same day a friend and I had been discussing the historic and current challenges of brick and mortar music stores.

Listening to the radio, this morning, News 1130 reported on the HMV closure. The host invited listeners to visit the News 1130 website to answer their daily web poll question: “do you still buy CDs?”

As of roughly 9:00am, 63% of respondents had clicked “no”.

Do you see any possible problems with the validity of this number?

Here is my perspective:

People who are frequently on their computers, tablets, or smart phones are the voters. Simply by knowing they were able to vote online, we know they have the technology and internet access required for listening to music via streaming radio and music downloads.  However, the people without this technology and internet access are also more likely to rely on other methods for accessing music and therefore are more likely to be CD buyers – but, of course they are less likely to vote on an online poll.

It’s like going to a bowling ally and asking the people there, “do you still bowl?”

Another way to skew the figures about consumer behaviour, when it comes to CD purchases, is to ask the same question, “do you still buy CDs?” as people are walking out of an HMV holding an HMV branded shopping bag.

Either way, the sample is not reflective of the range of people who listen to music.  Similar critiques have been made about the results of studies in Psychology that have only had the readily available college student population as a sample. When we then assume we can extrapolate these conclusions about human behaviour to the general population, we are making a big and potentially dangerous leap.

News 1130 cited a Communications Professor at SFU who says 1 in 3 people currently buy their music in CD format. He shared that people now buy through a wider variety of channels and also in multiple formats. Some people like to buy certain albums on CD, while their main listening may occur via a SirusXM satellite radio subscription. Therefore a binary, yes/no question such as, “do you still buy CDs” hides this level of granular detail. I have to admit, I am even left wondering about how the 1 out of 3 figure was determined.

There is a relevant saying often attributed to Mark Twain: “There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  I encourage you to spend 6 minutes to watch Sebastian Wernicke’s amusing TEDTalk on Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We could go into much further analysis, such as discussing the use of the loaded word “still”, which for many people will suggest a negative judgement about your ability to keep up with current trends, if you answer “yes” to the question, “do you still buy CDs?”

Do you have a healthy scepticism about the statistics you see and hear every day?

Good People are Good to People

I woke up this morning with the words, “Good People are Good to People” in my mind.  It rang true to me, so I thought I would see what the rest of the world thought.

As you might guess, my first stop was Google, which ironically has an informal company motto of “don’t be evil” – it seemed like I was already on the right track!

I learned that Jack Johnson had written a song called “Good People“, in which the chorus is:

Where’d all the good people go?

I’ve been changing channels

I don’t see them on the TV shows

Where’d all the good people go?

We got heaps and heaps of what we sow

My initial thesis, that good people are good to people, wasn’t yet substantiated, however, I was now aware that according to Jack Johnson, we had a global shortage of “good people”.  In the midst of this “good-people crisis”, I was glad to be on the case and optimistic that I would get to the bottom of things.

Good People Brewing Company provided me with just what I was looking for – no, not a frosty pint – but rather their mission statement on their Facebook page, which implies good people are those who do good for others in their communities and beyond.  You can read it for yourself and see if you agree with my analysis.

To create quality beer as a celebration of the eclectic fabric that makes up who we are and our great Southern culture while supporting those good people who do great things in their communities and beyond.

In September of 2009, Esquire magazine actually published a list of the 75 Best People in the World, citing the “talent, achievements, [and] virtue” of these “do-gooder” men and women as the criteria for selection.

In a very interesting TED Talk, Dr. Philip Zimbardo (of the Stanford Prison Experiment) Shows How People Become Monsters… or Heros.  Zimbardo asserts that, “Evil is the exercise of power to intentionally harm, hurt, destroy, or commit crimes against humanity.”  In contrast, Dr. Z says, “Heroes are ordinary people whose social actions are extraordinary.  Who act.  The key to heroism is two things.  A: You’ve got to act when other people are passive.  B: You have to act socio-centrically, not egocentrically.”

Aha!  This is exactly what I was looking for:  For someone much smarter than I am, with decades of research behind them, to back me up.  I agree, Dr. Z – good people aren’t those who act egocentrically; good people are those who act in ways that are good to people.  These are the heros.

In terms of the debate regarding whether we are facing a shortage of heros, I’ll leave it with you to decide whether Jack Johnson’s question is relevant… “where’d all the good people go“?

Focus on Impact not Intent

“You make ugly, look beautiful.”  If someone said this about you, how would you feel?

In my experience, about 50% of people perceive this as a positive statement and the other 50% as a negative statement.  Which way did I intend for it to impact you?  Great question!  However, does it really matter what I intended?  Isn’t the impact it had on you more important than what I meant?

Impact is about your reality.  Intent is about mine.

Have you noticed that when the stakes are higher, you tend to focus on the expected impact more than you normally would?  For example, a friend of mine works in a law firm, where the Partners (the owners of the company) range from friendly to fear-provoking.

When writing an email to a Partner who he knows is more likely to misinterpret something – and especially if the Partner is likely respond in a way that is intimidating and humiliating – my friend will spend up to 4 hours writing a 15 minute email.  Have you done this too?

Now, clearly taking 16 times longer to write an email than necessary isn’t very efficient.  And certainly managing through fear isn’t a form of leadership that many of us would condone.  However, what this story shows us is that we are capable of demonstrating more empathy in our communication than we typically do.  By this, I mean we are able to appreciate the other person’s perspective and anticipate their reaction to our message, based on how we predict they will interpret what we say – or write, in this case.

My wife, who is a Clinical Counsellor, would call this “predictive empathy”.  By this she means, anticipating how the other person will feel when they read or hear your message.  Often, we overlook this aspect of communication, which leads to unexpected (or “unanticipated”) reactions from those that we are communicating with.

Whenever we communicate, we are hoping to influence someone’s thoughts, feelings, or actions.  Or at least, we should be in order to be more effective communicators.  If that truly is the case, then the impact we have on someone else’s thinking, feeling, and acting should be our priority.

I believe that any of us are capable of developing the habits and associated skills required to more often and more quickly communicate with impact.  I work at this every single day!  And still have a long way to go…

My challenge to you is to spend the next 24 hours catching yourself whenever you notice you are talking or writing without being clear on who you are trying to influence and how you specifically would like to change their attitudes, emotions, or behaviours.  Once you do this, you will be blown away by just how often you speak without consciously knowing your purpose.

Have I practiced what I’ve preached?  Have I inspired you to take action?