Posts Tagged ‘hypnotist’

Show them the numbers!

November 26, 2012

I remember standing on stage, speaking to 300 people on how difficult it is to demonstrate our hidden value.  My point was most people don’t trust what they can’t see and for us to prove our worth we have to make it visible.  I really thought I had this group convinced when one person stood up and said, “Curt, if people don’t trust what they can’t see, why does three quarters of the world believe in God?” Well, I will tell you I had a divine intervention; I looked back and said, “I think God has a better sales team!”

Think about it. There are two times in your life you adopt religion: first, you are cultured through those you trust, or second, you come to a point in your life (i.e. crisis) where you see how life would be different with God in it.  It’s now five years later and I still believe that this is one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned, and I believe this simple lesson is the foundation on which powerful employee relationships are built. Employees need to see how their life will be different with you, the employer, in it and they have to see how the company’s life is different with them in it.  Employees want to appreciate what they do, and they absolutely need to know that what they do is appreciated.  So how can you make their contribution visible?  I say take the time to show them the numbers.  Let them see, first hand, how they make a difference.

When I was President of ExecuTrain Canada, I made a decision that every employee should be invited to review our corporate financial statements and learn the basics of how their involvement impacted our performance.  What happened was that we started to see employees take ownership for managing their business and making great decisions.  Even though our business was struggling, they could see how their commitment and efforts were moving us in the right direction.  For example, when the employees saw the huge amount of money we had tied up in accounts receivable, everyone made a commitment to collect the money that was rightfully ours.  Every week we reviewed the numbers, we strategized new ideas, and the employees got further excited about the difference their contribution was making.

Our business was in very bad shape. We were trying to fend off bankruptcy. But because the employees could see how their work was making a difference, we were able to keep them focused and motivated on the task at hand —  surviving.  By letting your employees see under the hood and truly understand the challenges and opportunities of the business, you can also improve morale.  When employees are not given access to information they tend to fill in the blanks on their own.  Their thinking can often be very different from reality.  This can result in employees distrusting senior management and, more importantly, distrusting what is being communicated to them.  In fact, according to a study by Discovery Surveys, just 53 percent of employees believe the information they receive from senior management.

So let me ask you, are your employees invited to participate in a financial review?  Do they understand where and how their contribution impacts the business?  Are they empowered to suggest ideas that could help to reshape the business?  I am always surprised by how many businesses keep financial performance a secret.

Stephen Semple, president of Thinc Strategies, a Toronto based management consulting firm says that employees today want to be tied to clear actionable results.  He also says employers need to minimize performance review surprises by communicating clear expectations throughout the year.  He says that surprising employees during their performance review is a great way to lose trust and deflate morale.  He wholeheartedly believes tying performance back to financial or objective business indicators is the best way to open communication.
At ExecuTrain I created a very simple one-page report that allowed our management team to see the basic business indicators all in one view.  The report contained more than just numbers. It looked at financial performance, customer metrics, employee satisfaction, business process and investments in R&D.  It contained all of the indicators against which our business performance was measured.

This month, take the time to educate your team on the numbers.  Show them clearly how they can make a difference in the business.  Create a one page scorecard that shows them these numbers.  In the end there are no surprises, and you may just be pleasantly surprised to find your employees showing more ownership and taking more responsibility.

ABOUT CURT SKENE
Curt Skene is a professional business speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out more at
www.curtskene.com

A Place Called Holland…

November 3, 2012

It’s like this… When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michalangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes and says, “Welcome to Holland.” “Holland?” you say. “What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place. So you go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” The pain of that will never go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, very lovely things about Holland.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

ABOUT CURT SKENE
Curt Skene is a professional business speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out more at
www.curtskene.com

What if this was meant to be good news?

October 25, 2012

Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity, which is the inspiration for the following question.

Many years ago my brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, a devastating situation with absolutely no recourse. While many of us would have gotten stuck in the pain of the situation, my brother saw things differently. He looked at the news he had been given and asked himself, “What if this was meant to be good news?” He knew he couldn’t change what had happened to him, all he could do was change how he interpreted the situation. My brother chose to believe that the cancer that had invaded his body was there for a reason. Armed with this passionate belief, my brother shared his story with everyone who would listen. He visited churches across Canada; he spoke to friends and strangers alike. He spoke of hope, awareness and the bountiful life he would lead in Heaven. He opened hearts and healed old wounds; he gave back life to people who had been dying inside! He moved countless people with his story of seeking out a greater purpose.

When my brother passed away he left as an accomplished man, someone who had lead his life with meaning and shared his pain so that others could heal in theirs. I still think today about the awesome lesson he taught us. How he looked at a devastating situation and how he asked himself, “What if this was all meant to be good news?”

Think about your own business, where could you apply this lesson? If a new competitor moves into your market space, a new technology threatens your existence or your VP of Sales resigns, how would you handle the news? Too often in most companies panic sets in, pessimism and skepticism are a natural and common reaction. However, what if instead of panic you were to look for the underlying opportunity in the cards that have been played.

For example, what if a new competitor was in fact moving into your market space? How could you turn this into good news? Here are some ideas:

You could leverage off their branding and awareness activity to build your own name.
The new competitor could cause your other competitors even more pain and distraction therefore allowing you to take an even bigger step forward?
This new competitor could help reinforce the significance of your product or your market sector therefore leading to more people wanting to buy what you sell.
You could learn new ideas, new ways of positioning and new insight from a new competitor.
A new competitor could reinforce to potential customers just how complete your solution is.
You could welcome this as a wake up call and start connecting more with your own customers.
What are some of the other possible benefits that would support the belief that a new competitor in your industry could in fact be good news?

Every company needs a strategy for turning the low points in their business into good news? What could you do to reshape your interpretation of the world as it has unfolded for you? What new beliefs could you have? Shifting your thoughts from negative to positive can give you a whole new view of the situation, a whole new perspective of what lies ahead. Shifting your thoughts can turn a negative stranglehold into an empowering view of the future!

BRAINSTORMING IDEAS

List as many ideas for the following questions …

  1. What are the current aspects of your business that you have been treating as bad news?
  2. How could you shift each of these situations to be considered good news?

Spend a few minutes and think about this, share your thoughts with others and explore the possibilities that will uncover themselves.

ABOUT CURT SKENE
Curt Skene is an inspiring Canadian professional business keynote speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies and associations look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out how easy and affordable it is to hire Curt Skene by going to his website at
www.curtskene.com

What if you stopped trying so hard?

September 3, 2012

The Law of Reversed Effect is very simple, it states the harder you try to force something the more difficult it becomes to do.  Simply put… you can’t force natural progression just because you want to. 

For example, how many times have you tried to force a relationship only to find the other party starts to drift away?  How many athletes have tried to force themselves back to greatness only to find they get worse?  How many times have you tried to find something only to have someone else walk in and find it right away?  My point is trying too hard often has the opposite effect.

I was reminded of this law recently when a good friend (and client) landed their dream job.   They were dedicated, diligent and trying very hard with no success.  Oddly enough this opportunity came out of the blue the moment they stopped trying to look for it.  It may not make any sense but trust me the law of reversed effect is at work everyday.

So are there areas in your life where you are trying too hard?  Are there areas in your business where you are trying to force the natural progression of a situation?  Are you trying to force something and notice that it’s drifting further away? Here’s my advice, first… get very clear of what you want and why you want it and lock that vision deep in your subconscious, second… take a deep breath, third… step back and focus your attention on something else, forth… BOOM my bet.. there it is!

“Curt Skene was the opening keynote speaker at the Canadian Institute of Management, Toronto Branch’s “Developing Professional Excellence” conference. As the event manager I was thrilled with Curt’s performance. He was the perfect kickoff speaker. His energy, knowledge, enthusiasm and sense of humour was infectious and set a positive tone for the entire day.”

Mike Aoki, Event Manager, Canadian Institute of Management (Toronto Branch)

I know I can’t force myself to write, I have to be inspired by something.  When I do try to force it, look out writers block here I come!  So I step back, take a walk, play with the kids or go to sleep then I come back (sometimes at very weird hours) and voila it’s all good now.

I will admit it can be scary to step away because thoughts of “what if I miss it” can fill your mind.  But remember the old adage “If you love something set it free, if it comes back it’s yours and if it doesn’t, it never was!”

So this month I want you to take a giant leap and just stop trying to make something happen.  That doesn’t mean stop doing the “right” things, it means stop doing things just to try to force the natural flow of how the world is about to unfold.  If you are trying to land a new job or big contract continue to plant seeds but at the same time have the confidence to step back and open yourself up to other opportunities that you may not have considered yet.

ABOUT CURT SKENE
Curt Skene is a professional business speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out more at
www.curtskene.com

Are you aligning with customer expectations?

February 5, 2012

Fair or unfair everyone sets expectations of people they meet in business and or life.  Expectations are influenced by corporate title, education, industry association, family ties and many other things.  My point is before you and I ever meet there’s a pretty good chance I already have an expectation of what I expect our relationship might be like.

Working with Microsoft I saw first hand how quickly expectations were set.   I quickly became a Canadian thought leader not because I was brilliant but because people set expectations through my connection to Microsoft.  I became brilliant through association.  The challenge was I needed to live up to a very tall order!

Today because of my active coaching schedule I meet many senior executives who I have set high expectations for long before they ever meet me.  I expect marketing execs to be pretty darn brilliant at communicating their worth.  I expect CEO’s and VPs to have a clear strategy about how they are going to lead their people (and more importantly themselves) in doing great things.  I expect sales reps to be doing deals regardless of the economy because they are deal makers (not order takers) and be very clear deal makers create opportunity when little exists.

So honestly I am a little disappointed in the world today because it seems many have forgotten about the expectations they need to be living up to.  It’s almost like they feel greatness is owing to them so just bring it on.

Customer Testimonial
“Curt, our managers needed to hear your message!  It gave them a great sense that they can be competitive in this marketplace.  Almost everyone said they felt well armed to tackle their duties thanks to the rapid fire ideas you gave them.  I personally thought your mix of humour and straight shooting made this session fly by in a positive and enlightening way.” – V.P. Caressant Care

Now I am writing this because I am passionate about helping you do great things and the best way I can help you is by aligning your world with the expectations people have for you.  This month I need you to ask a really tough question and that is, are you aligned with your customer’s expectations?  Are you exceeding the great things people already expect of you, if not what needs to change immediately?

I want you to have fun with this question because investing in your future will reap you more pleasure than pain.  Ask, do you need to be investing in new intellect because the world is evolving so quickly?  Do you need to be pushing the envelope in your thinking because traditional thoughts will quickly go unnoticed?  Do you need to be upping your game because walking to opportunity is the kiss of death when you are running a race that is only going to get faster?

You may as well face it, we all set expectations for others and they set them for us.  The secret to success is exceeding those expectations well before the benchmark is ever set.  I am not exempt from this rant.  I have things I need to be doing right now to deliver greatness on the stage because clients expect me to be a great speaker.  So I am off to ponder what I need to do and put on socks because apparently, so I have been told, my clients expect that too!

Looking for a Great Keynote for your next event?
Curt Skene delivers over 75 rapid-fire insights on how to find more business and create more opportunity in his fun and informative keynote “Master  The Marketplace!” Visit www.curtskene.com

Why Not Be a Player?

January 30, 2012

This month I gave myself a tough assignment; I made a commitment to go out and have fun. I had a busy month ahead, and I made it my mandate to find time to play. Do you know what?  I had a very productive month, one of my most productive ever. I think as our world grows busier we lose focus on the importance of creating playtime and the positive benefits it creates for our work environment. We tend to think that the busier we are, the more we are getting done, but I have found that the incredibly successful people take plenty of time to play. 
 
One of my favourite mind laws is called “the law of reversed effect.” This law states that the harder we try to do something, the more difficult it becomes. It is the root cause behind writer’s block and an athlete’s slumping performance. It’s harder to do things when you are trying to force yourself. You have likely experienced the frustration of not being able to remember something you absolutely know you should. In fact, have you noticed that when you stop trying to remember, it comes back to you? The same thing holds true for performance: if you want to encourage and promote great performance, don’t push so hard. Stop trying to make things happen and you will often find it becomes easier to do.

Curt you had everyone riveted to their seats, the feedback has been great and I have heard from all 220 delegates that you were the message we needed to hear!  Thanks for the great work.”
Jerry Engels, President, Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada
 
This month, I had six public speaking engagements in ten days, and two of these talks were brand new programs. While most people would lock themselves in their office and prepare, I did the next best thing. I went for a run. I like running. It makes me think better. By the end of my forty minute run, I had a very good conceptual plan of the first speech I needed to write. I find that when I let loose, my brain takes me to places that I can’t seem to get to when I sit at my desk. In this particular case I was able to take a so-so piece of my speech and turn it into a powerful closing segment that has taken my speech to a new level. By taking time to play, I bettered my business. When was the last time you went out and played, all in the name of bettering business?
 
In my pursuit for fun, I sat down with Barb Elaschuck, Director of Corporate Wellness at the Sports Club of Canada (www.sportsclubs.com). Barb told me that more and more companies are coming to SCC to play. She says it strengthens morale, reinforces life balance and reduces stress. She also told me how companies are creating corporate challenges among other business partners and creating fun events that build more synergy across both organizations. While I was there, she shared an interesting study that showed how companies with active health programs have ten times better retention than those without. While the study was dated, I believe the results probably still hold true today. 
 
When it comes to playing, I have always been convinced that companies need a better quality of playtime. So I called on Chris Iliffe and Dave Hyde, co-owners of www.trythat.ca, to learn more about the adventures and experiences they offer corporations that want to play more. While I did not know much about their company, their adventures sounded different and fun. They said that instead of talking about their business, they wanted me to experience it first-hand. For an exciting three hour period, I put on my jumpsuit and became an F18 fighter pilot, challenging others in a dog fight high in the virtual sky. What was interesting was how my team came together even though I was a complete stranger to all of them. The game forced us to work with each other, watch each other’s back and anticipate what our partners would do. I found myself wondering who wouldn’t want to teach these skills to everyone in their organization.
 
Sometimes, even when we play, we can learn so much. Now I should be clear, I am not a fan of teambuilding exercises that get you to build a boat out of two pieces of cardboard, a roll of string and a four leaf clover, but I really got into this real-time game where I was working with a retired Air Force officer and the rest of my team to plan a mission to take out the enemy. It was realistic and fun. I realize that not everyone finds being a fighter pilot interesting. Dave told me that they learned the hard way that you can’t force employees to have fun; if you really want to make a difference, you need to give them the freedom to choose the adventure of their choice. I like planes, you like spas. Everyone should have a choice. That’s why Trythat created their voucher program — so that each employee can customize the best experience for them.
 
Whatever your challenges are this month, make sure you take time to play. You will strengthen your focus, explore new ways of thinking and improve your employee retention. If you haven’t got time for an all out adventure you may want to check out www.inmyhands.ca. Irene and her team will bring in their onsite massage chairs and give everyone a restful and relaxing massage. Not quite a margarita on the beach, but it’s coming close in these busy, stressful times.
 
Special thanks to The Sports Clubs of Canada (www.sportsclubs.com ), TryThat (www.trythat.ca) and In my Hands (www.inmyhands.ca).

Looking for a Great Keynote for your next event?
Curt Skene delivers over 75 rapid-fire insights on how to find more business and create more opportunity in his fun and informative keynote “Master  The Marketplace!” Visit
www.curtskene.com

What do you regret?

July 4, 2010

Let me ask you, do you have any regrets and if you do what are you going to do about them?

While most of you won’t know this, in the last 6-8 months I started to write this blog as a form of a rant towards the different people in my life. The person I am writing about always knows the entry is about them but no one else usually does. It’s my hope that my writing helps them and it’s often a great thinking experience for me. This entry is no different other than the fact, the deserving recipient of my own timely advice is none other than myself!

To start off, I have always believed one should never live with regret. Whatever you do must always begin with the question, “Will it lead you to regret?” We all must be accountable for our actions and decisions and know that a lifetime is a long time to live with the pain of the regret we may cause ourselves. I remember when my brother was going in for cancer surgery and my father wondered if he should fly out to Calgary to be with him. All I said was, “Dad are you going to regret flying out there to find out he is ok?” Then I asked, ”Will you regret it if you stay here and he is not?” He flew out that very same day.

If you think about it, regret is a funny thing because not only can you regret something you did, you can just as easily regret something you didn’t do. So if one is truly to live without regret in their life, there is a fine balance of power between, the action and inaction you may take.

For me, it’s never easy to admit fault or error especially when you know you have others who look up to you, put trust in you and hold you so dear. But its part of the process and it opens the door to forgiving yourself for the regrets you may have.

Whenever you regret something you can always catch yourself asking why. Why did you do it? Why did you let things turn out that way? You can rack your brain for hours and days trying to trace your steps and think about how you could have done things differently. You can pray for a different outcome in hopes you can reverse history and take the pain away but in the end things happen because we are all human and it’s the human in us that makes regret so real. I will be the first to admit I am not perfect. I will go even further and say I can sometimes fall well short. In my life I have made career, money, relationship and business decisions that I will always regret. However, one thing is for certain, I will never regret being who I am as I am clear that more days than not I live with brilliance, integrity and a caring compassion for changing this world.

I wish I could say why people do things that they would later regret. I honestly don’t know the answer, sometimes I am sure its greed, sometimes it may be fear and many times you may be too plain stupid to think about the magnitude of your decision. You can also regret that you don’t regret what you have done. I know for me, many ask if I ever regretted leaving Microsoft or working on my own and the answer is never. It was a choice I clearly made. Whatever your regret might be, it’s most important that you forgive yourself and allow that regret to subside so you can carry on.

I know that as soon as you start to regret anything then that alone indicates it’s already history and you can’t take it back anymore. All you can really do is carry it forward in the context of a lesson learned. How you choose to let regret shape your future is the powerful question you need to really ask. I meet so many people who live in anger and pain because of what they regret but the past is the past and always will be. However, there is nothing saying you have to stay the same course and that you must always do what you have done. As humans we are the adaptable species so we can take our new knowledge and make better decisions.

I am sure I am not the only one who has regrets for what they have done or maybe didn’t do. As smart as I might like to think I am, everyone including me, is more than capable of shooting themselves in the foot once in a while. However, when I find I am living with regret I simply remind myself to hold my head high, look to those I love and those who I may have hurt and let them know I will be smarter and wiser because of the lesson learned in my regret. I do hope they hear me, I do hope they believe me and I do hope they know I will never regret for a moment the decision I made when I invited them in to be an important part of my life.

Final Thought:  Regret for something you did is tempered by time but regret for what you didn’t do is almost always inconsolable.

Caring shouldn’t be contrived!

November 26, 2009

The phone in my office rang. It was Frank Clegg, President of Microsoft Canada. Frank had just heard that my brother was very ill, and he wanted me to know that my place was to be with my family. His message was clear: go home. Microsoft will survive. My obligations would all be covered. In bold words, he told me that Microsoft cared. I was on a flight to see my brother that night. He passed away that same week. Now it’s ten years later and I still remember Frank’s voice — and I know he meant every word. The company cared.
 
Each year, we set aside a day — Valentine’s Day — to say we care. It’s kind of funny isn’t it?  Is a “caring” day really necessary, and is it effective? Do you feel more “cared” for when you receive a dozen roses at three times the price?  Do you feel any more appreciated waiting in line at your favourite restaurant all because other people are out caring too?  Stop the insanity! You can’t schedule caring, it just won’t work. You either care, or you don’t.
 
Now I realize I run the risk of being considered flaky when I bring up the notion of being a caring organization. After all, business is all about the profit and loss, right? It’s about creating shareholder value. Well, I don’t have to tell you that it’s the employees who are our real corporate value. I’ve read it, you’ve read it, and we all know it. So why is it that the number one reason employees leave is because they think we’ve stopped caring? They think they’re no longer valued or that their contributions are just not appreciated. Why is it you think you cared but your employees didn’t get it? What can you do about it? And do you even bother? This is the essence of my message this month.
I will be honest: caring is painful. It means making sacrifices, committing time you don’t have and putting the needs of your employees well in front of your own. Why are some companies so bent on caring? I think there are two main reasons. First, the law of reciprocity teaches us that people give back in kind what is given to them. You go the extra mile and they will be there for you. I may be an optimist, but I believe it’s true that employees want to be cared for and that they’ll give it back to you in spades. They will give many hours to your company, and they’ll go beyond their employee commitment if you go beyond yours. Caring organizations create employees who want to raise the bar.
 
I should warn you, though, that you can’t force reciprocity. It has to be natural, it has to be intentional, and it has to come from the heart. If people feel your caring is focused on personal gain, it won’t work. Sales professionals are notorious for calling up and inviting managers for lunch when there is a new sales opportunity on the rise. They don’t show up at any other time, but when there is an opportunity to be had, they’re right there. The best time to buy someone lunch is when they least expect it. That’s when you really show you care. Many managers are just as guilty; they give employees lots of attention when they think the employee is a flight risk or they need the employee to take on more responsibility. That’s not reciprocity, that’s manipulation and you will get caught. Caring organizations do thoughtful things without condition. They do things because it’s the right thing to do.
 
The second reason organizations choose to become caring organizations is because it is extremely expensive to replace great talent. The Workforce Consulting Group states that the cost of replacing an employee ranges from 42 percent to 244 percent of base salary, and this does not include the lost intellect that just left your building. 
 
So what can you do? First, put yourself in your employee’s shoes. If you were in their position, what might you want? A few years ago I was president of a struggling business. While cash flow was an immense struggle, we needed the undying commitment of our employees to survive. Here are some of the things we did:

  • We created a relationship with a local counsellor for any employee who needed help. 
  • We provided babysitting assistance for the spouse of any employee who was required to be out of town more than a week. 
  • When needed, we reimbursed expenses immediately to ensure that no employee was ever inconvenienced.

Being a caring organization doesn’t mean you forget about the bottom line, it just means you think about the impact your actions will have on others. Since I was president, it was my role to make tough decisions about layoffs. I made those decisions, but I did it with dignity. We extended benefits, we provided career counselling and we looked closely at each person’s situation to ensure we always did the right thing.
 
When Valentines comes around, I will no doubt have flowers and chocolates for my wife because I really do care, but it’s when I show up that one day in June and I hand her a single rose then she (and I) will know how much I really do care. Now, what are you going to do?

ABOUT CURT SKENE
Curt Skene is a professional business speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out more at
www.curtskene.com

Is it time to call your own baby ugly?

November 26, 2009

Relax… it’s just an expression! I wouldn’t really do it to my baby!!

Own baby uglyYou got to admit that calling your baby ugly would be a pretty darn tough thing to do. After all this would be the epitome of personal slander, wouldn’t it? I say this because sometimes the best thing you can do is take a good long hard look at yourself and call your own bluff.

I do a ton of executive coaching (business and career) and my favourite question is.. now that you know what you know would you hire you? You may be surprised how many people say no. If you are one of them it’s time to call that baby ugly and rapidly change.

Many things inspired this blog (including my own self reflection) but today was the last straw. I met an executive who has struggled for over 10 years and they can’t understand why. To me, as an outsider, the answer was pretty obvious – they needed to step back, swallow their pride and re-launch. While I hate suggesting this to a once successful executive I have to ask which is worse.. calling the baby ugly or letting the person drown? I bet if you think about it you can come up with many examples where companies (or people) held onto a failing proposition for too long and the results were devastating. We all have personal attachment to what is ours but lets not let that blind our judgement.

So, is it time to call your baby ugly? Is your business struggling because of your leadership? Is your career search stalled because of your lack of effort? Are your skills/product obsolete for today’s active market? These are tough questions to swallow but they could be real life savers for you! A favourite book when I was growing up was “That was then.. this is now.” It was about the pain of admitting things had changed and making the tough decisions to right it all. Remember: what was king yesterday might not cut it tomorrow. Companies fail because they don’t get it, just make sure that you don’t too.

This month, have the guts to sit down and ask the question that none of us want to hear… Is my baby ugly? I guarantee whether you like the answer or not it will put you on the path to a brighter future. You can blame me if you wish but I bet some day you just might be writing to say a big thanks!

ABOUT CURT SKENE
Curt Skene is an inspiring Canadian professional business keynote speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies and associations look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out how easy and affordable it is to hire Curt Skene by going to his website at
www.curtskene.com

What if certain things just don’t add up?

November 1, 2009

add-upBeing smart is a funny thing because sometimes knowing too much can get in our way.   For instance, do I really need to know how Santa gets from house to house making gifts magically appear or could I just accept the fact wonderful things happen simply because I choose to believe?  Now stay with me because this message isn’t really about the jolly ole guy, it’s about taking a chance to try things that maybe just don’t add up in your mind.

I bring this to your attention because aside from being a brilliant motivational speaker I am a certified hypnotist who focuses my energy on rapidly changing lives.  You can probably imagine how many people tell me that being hypnotized just doesn’t add up because they believe there’s no way a stranger can step into their life and tweak their brain like that.  Well, that may be true but what if it’s not?  What if the changes you needed were simply a hypnotic session away?  Isn’t it worth taking a chance to find out?  I find that for many just because things don’t add up in their mind they often dismiss them.  This means that sometimes they miss wornderful opportunities!

Let me share a recent coaching experience with you.  A senior executive was struggling to find the passion in her life.  To demonstrate something, I asked her what she saw in her husband and whether he was the vision she always set for herself and surprising (or not) she said no!  She married the guy who didn’t add up and now today she couldn’t be happier!  I then asked her to think of a time when she was happiest at work and surprisingly (or not) she was happiest in a career radically different from the path she was on.  In less than 60 minutes we redefined what was important to her and she realized that many things she thought added up really didn’t make sense at all.

My point is sometimes we can “over-think” our situation trying to rationalize things and because of that we miss precious opportunities standing right in front of us.  Do you really need to know why and how certain things happen or maybe you could just accept certain things as different and tell yourself that’s ok!      As a career coach people often say, “I just don’t understand how you can help me.”  I just smile and say, “but what if I could?”   No one really knows what the perfect answer to life is but I can almost assure you it’s never the one you thought it was.  The reality is, people who come for coaching often get jobs faster.  Is it the coach or just luck that made the difference or more importantly does that answer really even matter at all?   

Now I would never suggest you blindly give faith to the absolute unknown but I am suggesting that sometimes it’s cool to do the things that may not completely add up to you.  It’s funny but sometimes smokers will tell me that their hypnotic session didn’t work but strangely enough they try to convince me that at the exact same time they decided to quit.  I don’t really care if they believe in hypnosis but I do care that they get the result they want in their life.

So this month I want you to ask yourself, “What are the things people are telling you to do and you are resisting because it just doesn’t add up.”  Ask yourself what is the harm in giving it a try as maybe just maybe, you will gain from your exploration. 

Now if you will excuse me I am going to sit by the fireplace and imagine that moment when Santa slides down my chimney.  I don’t know how he does it and I really don’t care but I do know that on Christmas morning our house is full of love and laughter and it’s all for my belief in a jolly ole guy who at one time didn’t add up in my mind.

ABOUT CURT SKENE
Curt Skene is an inspiring Canadian professional business keynote speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies and associations look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out how easy and affordable it is to hire Curt Skene by going to his website at
www.curtskene.com


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