Here is a simple habit that can boost productivity in your organization. One client credits this technique for an 18% increase in annual revenue with a reduced headcount. It takes practice but quickly becomes second nature.
I brought this method into the workplace from my flight training. Pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC) must communicate precisely and briefly while also executing specialized tasks. Misunderstandings in aircraft can have horrible consequences, so specific communication techniques are required. Many of the most serious accidents are caused by failure to follow these practices, including the 1977’s Tenerife Airport Disaster, commercial aviation’s deadliest incident.
Talk may be cheap but miscommunication is costly.
Have you ever listened to the (more…)
Chapter One is below.
Read the Author’s Preface by clicking here.
I reminded myself that we were in a well-lit office, not a dark alley. No need to get aggressive yet. I relaxed my jaw and tried to keep the fear out of my voice as I replied, “If you pull my people off your project, there’s no way you’ll meet the delivery date.”
My client looked at me blandly, as if he had delivered a weather forecast. In fact, he had devastated my sales forecast. Five fewer of my consultants billing their time to this client meant there was no way I would meet quota to earn my bonus. I needed him to engage with me. I forced a response with a direct question that was also a threat. “Did Juan approve this staffing cut?”
“Why would I check with Juan?” asked the Director of Information Systems Development (ISD) for Billing Systems. He ran his finger down a page of the MCI internal directory as he spoke, “Nobody (more…)
On Sale Now!
Crimes of Cunning
A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.
Click here to see it on Amazon.com
Or, here for Barnes & Noble
Fast-paced, funny, and smart. This novel puts you into the world of a young MBA striving to succeed at a famous high-tech company. Brash and confident yet comically inept, Tony clashes with colleagues, clients, and even his biggest supporters.
He fires his most loyal employee, derails the career of his only friend, and nearly destroys his young marriage before transforming from chilly corporate collaborator to empathetic executive coach. Laugh and learn as his clients turn criminal, corporations collapse, and compassion triumphs.
It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social-betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence.
–Theodore Roosevelt, 1901
A veteran executive coach draws on his years inside Arthur Andersen, Wall Street, and MCI to share a moving story that explains why your 401k shrank, your house is underwater, and your job stinks. The comedy and conflict illustrate management methods and personal practices that can improve your career and deepen your personal relationships.
Click here to read a free sample.
Click here to learn the source and meaning of the book’s title.
Podcast #16: Tony reads a short sample from his first book: The Courage to Be in Community. The complete audiobook is for sale on iTunes and Audible.
Just click here and either listen on your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new podcast episodes placed on your device as they become available. You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.
It is rare indeed that people give.
Most people guard and keep; they suppose that it is they themselves and what they identify with themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is the system of reality in what they assume themselves to be. One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself – that is to say, risking oneself.
If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving.
–The Price of the Ticket:
Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985
by James Baldwin
Expanded 2nd Edition Now on Sale!
Tony’s short book on building community is now available
with an extra chapter and a guide to additional resources.
The new chapter is a simple, practical guide to building better relationships at work and at home. The focus of the book is the importance of compassion and authenticity, while this new section is all about implementation, with specific advice on how to be compassionate and authentic in your day-to-day life.
This expanded edition also includes links to recommended books and articles for further study and practice.
➤ Paperback , hardcover, and Kindle available on Amazon!
➤ Paperback and hard cover available on Barnes and Noble!
Audio version read by Tony Mayo also available.
To hear a sample click here for Audible or iTunes.
I am going to share with you a useful story about a huge breakthrough in sales effectiveness. My friend told me this story at a critical time in my career. First, some background on how I heard it and why its lessons are so powerful.
I returned to executive coaching full time in 1995 and put my coaching materials on the World Wide Web using CompuServe’s pioneering OurWorld service. My email newsletter was soon being read around the world. I soon received an email from an important coach in South Africa, Pat Grove, who became a valued friend and mentor.
Pat told me that he was in San Francisco in the early 1970s helping to invent coaching at the same time as Werner Erhard (EST), John Hanley (Lifespring), Fernando Flores (Action Technologies), and others. Pat developed and delivered his own training programs in South Africa and Israel for forty years, until his death in January of 2012. I never participated in his group training but I did get tremendous value from our emails and Skype conversations. I am sad that he is gone.
Pat mentioned once that being an effective coach is only possible if one is effective in sales. Simply put, if no one accepts your coaching you are not a coach. Pat, like me, was not a “natural salesman.” We also began our careers with traditional business training. He started as a bank accountant and my first paying job was with a “Big 8” accounting firm. Frustrated and bored, we each decided to try sales and we each failed. The story of my first breakthrough in sales effectiveness is told elsewhere on this blog. Here is Pat’s story, that he shared with me by email in 1996. Pat wrote quickly and informally so I present an edited version here. [My comments are in square brackets.]
No Big Deal
by Pat Grove
I gave up wanting to prove anything and just got the job done.
I chose to be a service agent…
The most important thing I learned was not to sell benefits but to enroll people into taking action on their dreams.
Selling Encyclopedias was at first for me a way to prove to myself, and others, that I was OK. Firstly, my background and experiences and lying about myself to others and to myself was catching up with me. [Pat used the word “lying” in a particular way here. He refers to the pretensions so common in our culture of pretending to “have it all together,” hoping people will think we are more competent and comfortable than we truly feel. This is all an “act” to prevent people from seeing us as we see ourselves.] So I found a system that had the potential to make a lot of money compared to (more…)
Bad presentation–or resistant audience?
Executives often find themselves assigning blame. Many believe that ranking and sorting their colleagues is a key management skill–and I agree. A much rarer and more powerful skill is the ability to see our own contribution to the unwelcome behavior we see around us. Why is self-awareness more powerful than judging others? Because altering my own behavior is the best access I have to altering the future.
I know this. I teach this. I also forget to practice it.
In November of 2007, for example, I was in San Diego attending a weekend training for coaches. A breakout session was led by the author of one of the best-known books on coaching. It is a good book and I was very eager to attend. His ninety minute workshop was scheduled six times over two days–I was in a morning session on day two.
The author immediately struck me as irritated, aggressive, and arrogant. (Here I am, always ranking and sorting.) His opening seemed vague and rambling and his responses to questions were not pertinent. (Here I go, proceeding to collect evidence for my case.) People were shaking their heads and looking at each other. Coaches are a fairly supportive audience but in the first fifteen minutes five of the thirty people walked out, one while the author was responding (elliptically) to his question! (Perfect. I have other people agreeing with me, a seductive substitute for truth.) I decided to (more…)
The principles of meeting facilitation, as delineated three centuries ago.
…a mutual deference is affected; contempt of others disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained, without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness for victory, and without any airs of superiority. These attentions and regards are immediately agreeable to others, abstracted from any consideration of utility or beneficial tendencies: they conciliate affection, promote esteem, and extremely enhance the merit of the person who regulates his behaviour by them.
–David Hume 1711-1776
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
Section VIII Of Qualities Immediately Agreeable To Others.