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Assumptions, Misunderstanding & Mixed Messages

May 9th, 2012 1 comment

Ever sent a mixed message to someone? Received one? Ever made an assumption? Ever had a misunderstanding? If you answered no to any of these you are living in denial. Everyone from time to time or frequently is guilty of sending confusing and often contradictory messages causing any number of communication breakdowns that can lead to stress, frustration, anxiety, doubt, guilt and even anger.

Let's define each of these briefly before I dig into the details.

Assumption – something that is believed to be true without proof. A theory, guess, conjecture or hypothesis or supposition.

Mixed message – a confusing difference between the way somebody behaves and what somebody says.

Misunderstanding - a failure to understand or interpret something correctly caused by misinterpretation, misreading or delusion.

Mixed message(s). Let's start with mixed messages as in most cases these are the cause of most assumptions and misunderstanding. You would be amazed at how frequently we all send mixed messages to others that are caused by the contradiction between our stated intent and our real intent. What's the difference? Stated intent is what you tell yourself or others that you are going to do, try and do or do your best to accomplish. For example – I will call you tomorrow. Let's do lunch next week. The check is in the mail. I'll get back to you with a decision next week. I plan to start exercising every day. Etc.

Real intent is what actually takes place or the results you achieve. For example you actually start exercising or set up a specific lunch date.

When there is an inconsistency between the outcomes of a person's stated intent and their real intent – their real intent was not to act or accomplish etc.

When you tell another person anything regarding what you will do you have to have integrity between what you say you are going to do and what you actually do. When this is lacking you will certainly set up a situation where assumptions will be made and misunderstanding will occur.

Mixed message is nothing more than a contradiction between what you mean and what you say or do. So why do people intentionally or unintentionally send these confusing messages? Lot's of reasons – manipulation, to avoid truth, they lack the courage to be honest, an unwillingness to be authentic or vulnerable, feelings of insecurity, the desire to avoid conflict or confrontation, uncertainty as to how another person will respond or react, fear of reprisal, criticism or retribution or hidden agendas that they want to keep hidden. I could go on, but I'm sure you see that there are many contributors to these often innocent mixed messages. I say often, but there are also times when these messages can cause a great deal of pain, guilt, blame, anger, jealousy, suffering, stress and even betrayal. None of which will contribute to positive or productive relationships with family, customers, fellow employees or even friends.

Assumption(s). Assumptions are those mental outcomes a person comes to when they lack adequate or accurate information. An assumption can be anything from a simple – someone will be on time to more dramatic – he or she doesn't love me anymore or I am doing a great job in my position since I don't get any negative feedback from my boss. Or even worse that a customer is happy just because they don't bother to complain.

Why do we make assumptions? For starters we don't like uncertainty. We would rather create a story in our own mind, no matter how false, about what is happening or might happen than have this emptiness inside of our mind. Often these inner stories have nothing to do with what is really going on but with time we begin to convince ourselves that even though it's just that – a story we have created or made up – that it's true. Another reason is that we lack the ability or courage to just ask others for their reality. Keep in mind that each of us has our own specific reality based on a number of factors. No two people share exactly the same reality even if they have been married for fifty years. Still another reason is our unwillingness to manage the fear that fills everyone's mind and takes its toll in a variety of ways. These fears are our way of trying to make sense of what we don't know. We allow them to rule our inner thoughts and therefore our actions regardless of whether they are true or not. They are just stories we tell ourselves to try and have some degree of control of our uncertainty.

What are the consequences of making assumptions? Too numerous to discuss but let me share just a few of the common ones. Increased conflict with others, lowered self-esteem, disappointment in an outcome, the inability to let go of the stories we have create and their impact on other situations. And finally – increased stress due to the frustration of a perceived lack of control. Not worth the price folks.

Misunderstanding(s). A misunderstanding is nothing more than our projection of what we want to hear, believe is true or in some way, agrees with our personal beliefs, opinions, values or mindsets. All misunderstanding is caused by our inner perceptual filter that causes us to avoid what we don't accept, believe or agree with. We want to hear X and the other person tells us their X and we interpret it as Y. Misunderstanding is one of the most common communication issues in all relationships. She said, he heard, he responded, she reacted etc. He believes so he says, she wants to hear something else so doesn't hear what he says but what she thinks he said or wanted to believe he said.

For example. The employee says he will get the project done by Friday. The boss wants it done by today. So he interprets Friday to mean the other person as saying as soon as I can or today. When today ends and the project isn't complete – well you get the picture.

Assumptions, mixed messages and misunderstanding can all be avoided if we will just take the time to listen objectively and openly, stay in the present moment and not the past or future and be willing to ask enough of the right questions that help us ensure we are on the same page.

Make it a tremendous year,
In His service,
Tim ##

What Defines You and Your Future

April 25th, 2012 No comments

Weekly TimBit

Over the years I have observed many people and their reactions and responses to many of life's curves, roadblocks and successes. I include myself in these observations with the goal of trying to determine who I am, who I have been and who I am becoming. Sometimes it's a wonderful story that unfolds with each new day and other times it's a sad and frustrating picture. What makes the difference in our lives and how we evaluate those defining moments and their impact on us?

A better question could be why or why do we not do the inner work that is necessary for a happy, productive and worthwhile life?

No one escapes adversity in life in their relationships, health, career or finances. Life is a journey from where we have come from to where we are going and that journey is riddled with disappointment, frustration and discouragement as well as success, achievement and wonderful memories.

So again I ask you, which of the aspects of life as they unfold for you each new day – how will they define your life outlook, attitudes, behavior and outcomes?

Each of us makes numerous decisions each day that have a direct and indirect impact on how the journey for each of us unfolds. When these decisions are made with a mindset ruled by fear and uncertainty, stress and discouragement and unrealized expectations and disappointment – we will surely create a future with more of the same. When we can find the opportunity that always lies hidden within all of life's negative circumstances, we will have the ability to create a better future where we learn to let our lives be filled with peace, joy and happiness.

The key is in knowing how we chose what will define us. This definition is always grounded in one simple philosophy and that is – when our time is up here and it's time to move on to another life plane – what will have been our proudest moments and our best decisions, our regrets of words spoken or left unsaid or our actions taken or avoided for some reason. This requires the ability to leave here with few regrets knowing that we did our best every day to create a life worth living regardless of the chaos, life trauma or dramas that filled our moments, days or even years.

It takes courage to learn to live a fulfilling life in the face of trials and adversity. It takes resolve to live through life's uncertainty believing in a better tomorrow and it takes faith and hope to know that what we are going through is just – a segment of the longer life journey and that in the end, how it all turned out was more a matter of our attitudes, philosophy and beliefs than what was actually happening each day.

What will define you as the years pass and your life comes to its conclusion?

So ask yourself a simple question – regardless of your current circumstances – will you let what you are going through now define you or can you see the bigger picture of your life?

I have developed 6 new custom in-house employee development programs – effective 2012. If you have an interest in conducting one of these for your employees – I am offering special discounts for these programs for new and repeat clients. If you have an interest – contact me and we can discuss the details and my availability. Here are the new topics;

Overcoming Life's Challenges and Difficult Times.

This program focuses on the causes and cures when fear, uncertainty, doubt and insecurity fill the mindsets of individuals that prevent creativity, effectiveness and motivation.

Developing a Custom Sales System that increases sales success.

This program addresses the need for an effective, proven and custom sales system and how to create, develop and implement it to ensure that your lost sales ratio remains low. It also improves margins and market share.

Personal Organization – the vital skill for sustained sales success.

This program focuses on the skills, traits, behaviors and attitudes necessary for peak performance throughpersonal organization and personal power. It covers A-Z everything you need to do to achieve total effectiveness and increased sustained sales results.

Don't Tell me – Show me – creating employee accountability.

This program is about creating integrity and congruence between people's words and actions. The single biggest challenge in ever organization is avoiding mis-communication, assumptions and mis-understanding that contribute to redundancy, poor morale and a lack of individual accountability.

Strategic Thinking – Blending market reality with corporate goals.

This program teaches employees how to take an effective strategic approach to their roles, responsibilities, decisions and problem solving. It guides them as they continue to improve their personal effectiveness.

Beating the Competition without using price as your strategy.

This program focuses on strategies, approaches and techniques to keep current business out of the hands of competitors and how to take business away from them in an ethical and professional way..

In a rapidly changing world it is essential that all employees regardless of their roles, responsibilities, position, challenges, skills or experience utilize the latest techniques for; improving sales results, maintaining management effectiveness, improving customer satisfaction, increasing new customer acquisition, improving customer loyalty and maintaining positive, motivated and creative employee attitudes and behaviors.

These programs blend the latest ideas, approaches and techniques that ensure that all participants understand, embrace and integrate the best approaches into their daily functions. Our custom programs are tailored to the client's culture, business model, objectives, opportunities, challenges and vision and mission.

Make it a tremendous year, In His service, Tim

 

Do you really think you are secure in any area of your life? – Motivation Booster from Tim

April 4th, 2012 No comments

Weekly TimBit -  Security is an illusion.

Do you really think that people who have lost their home and all of their possessions in less than five minutes due to a tornado, hurricane or even a flood believed that this would happen to them? Do you think people who have saved for years and then lost all of their hard earned money due to an economic disaster ever thought that they would find themselves in this financial chaos?   Do you believe that someone who has worked in a career for years and then suddenly finds themselves in their later years looking for a job? Do you really think that someone who was in a long relationship that they believed was stable and loving would find themselves suddenly single and alone?

The answer to all of these is no they would never have thought they would have found themselves facing the circumstances they were.

Security – is an illusion.

You can save, work, love and live life correctly and expect that all will work out for you in the end but I am here to tell you if you believe that life is secure in any way you are living in "La La land".

Why do people strive so hard for future security when in reality no one can ever know what tragedy or adversity might suddenly come into their life that will disrupt or even destroy life as they once knew it? Is it ignorance – naïveté, ego dominance, arrogance, immaturity or even stupidity? The answer is yes – it is one or more of these that cause people to feel like their life is always in their control or their dominate motive is to strive for these.

I don't like tragedy or adversity whether; financial, health, physical or in relationships any more than the next person but life has taught me a simple lesson – live each day to the best of your ability – plan, set goals, hope, desire, work towards a better life, love and learn but in the end no one can predict or know the future. Oh sure, we can all say we are living each day as it comes but if you fret, worry or get stressed out about what may happen tomorrow you are misleading yourself.

Everyone wants life to be fair, prosperous, loving and safe but in the end consider; over 100,000 people lost their home last year due to a tragedy they didn't expect. Over 2000 people die each day due to cardiac issues. Over 50,000 people die in their sleep each night. Millions of people file bankruptcy each year, many due to circumstances beyond their control.

I could go on and on with statistics like these, but I am sure you get where I am going with this – I'll guarantee none of these people thought that what happened to them ever would.

No one can control all or even many of life's situations or its uncertainty. I have asked many people over the years – would you like to know what the future holds for you and almost all of them have responded – yes. Sorry folks this mindset is nor will ever be possible. Yes we can have some control over the future – we can save, eat right, work hard, have faith and hope, exercise and not have any negative emotional or physical behaviors, but in the end these alone will not ever guarantee that things will turn out the way you hope or want. And why?

We can't control other's behavior. We can't control the weather. We can't control our heritage. We can't control the economy. We can't control nature. We can't control all that has come before us – how our relatives behaved and what they experienced that influences our physical being and its natural evolution. We can't control the relentless pull of the future. And we can't control many of the changes that come into our life or their timing.

So what can we control to ensure a better future, a happier way of life and to some degree or security? All we can control is how we choose to interpret the circumstances that come into our life and then how we choose to respond to them.

How are you doing? Fighting for future security and losing the value and joy of each day as you have it or living today and doing your best, but in the end accepting that tomorrow with all of its circumstances is an unknown entity?  

Let me repeat – security is an illusion

THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL ******** I'm proud to announce my latest book is now available on my website as an EBook until it is released later this year as a paperback.  Musings of a Maverick, Or, What's really important in life. Over 100 topics and 400 pages of ideas, concepts, techniques and proven practices on four subjects - sales, management, relationships and general motivation. $14.95 - order it before Friday and I'll include a copy of my popular best-selling book – Life Is Short (a $20.00 Value)  Just go here: http://www.timconnor.com/book_sales/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=198  ******* 

Make it a tremendous year, In His service, Tim

 

Mid-Week Motivation Booster from Tim Connor – 6/29/11

June 29th, 2011 No comments

Weekly Quote
“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

Weekly TimBit
Every relationship has its emotional ups and downs. These are caused by any number of emotional issues. Some of the emotions that are evident in any relationship are: blame, anger, resentment, jealousy, happiness, joy, fear, guilt, emotional games, sadness, grief, pain, disappointment, unrealized expectations, cheerfulness and numerous others.

When I speak of emotional immaturity I am referring to inappropriate emotions given a certain activity, situation, or circumstance. For example, carrying resentment around for several years after the cause of the resentment isn’t healthy either physically or for the relationship. Blaming your partner for an action when they are just doing the best they can at the time with what they have is to invite a breakdown in communication and intimacy. Not being sensitive to your partners negative emotional state due to a situation in their career or life is to send a message that you are emotionally distant from their needs, desires or feelings.

Question for the week
Do you know what Emtional Maturity really is?

Recommended reading
Soul Wisdom, Zhi Gang Sha

Mid-Week Motivation Booster from Tim Connor – 6/22/11

June 22nd, 2011 No comments

Weekly Quote
“Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst.”
~ William Penn

Weekly TimBit
Everywhere you look, life is getting more and more complicated. While on the surface technology may appear to simplify your life there are always tradeoffs. There are many factors that seem to be moving our lives faster and making them more complicated.

I recently read a survey that said (I am always suspect of surveys but here it is anyway) 70% of the population (USA) wanted more than anything else to simplify their lives. Yet these same very people keep buying more toys and faster computers. Interesting paradox. We have been led to believe that more makes it easier. Faster makes it easier. I don’t think so. Only when you determine in what areas you are guilty of complicating your life can you change it if you decide to.

Question for the week
What complicates your life and what can you do about it?

Recommended reading
Around the year with Emmet Fox, Fox

Mid-Week Motivation Booster from Tim Connor – 6/15/11

June 15th, 2011 No comments

Weekly Quote
“I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”
~ Jonathan Winters

Weekly TimBit
You tend to bring into your life that which is consistent with your focus. You can either focus on what is not working or what is; what you don’t have or you do; what you want or what you don’t; what you believe in or don’t. There is a great line (can’t remember where I heard it, just know I am not taking credit for it) that says: be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

One of my favorite quotes is by Arthur Ashe. He said, “True greatness is: starting where you are, using what you have and doing what you can.” Most winners in life are grateful for their blessings, and focus on what they want, have and can do. By the same token, most losers focus on what is missing, where they are not and on what they can’t do.

Question for the week
Do you consistently focus on what you want or what you don’t want with mental self-talk?

Recommended reading
Psych-Cybernetics, Maltz

Mid-Week Motivation Booster from Tim Connor – 6/8/11

June 8th, 2011 No comments

Weekly Quote
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try and cheer somebody else up.”
~ Mark Twain

Weekly TimBit
Most people take life far too seriously. You and I are not going to get out of this life alive so why not enjoy the gift of life today as if it was your last. One day you will be right. In my book, The Road to Happiness is Full of Potholes, I stress that one of the key traits of truly happy people is their ability to have fun. Laughter is medicine for the soul. It helps you reduce the negative impact of the stressors in your life as well as see the problems you may be facing for what they really are, temporary teachers on the path of life.

Question for the week
Do you laugh enough? Do you have enough fun time each week?

Recommended reading
Thunder of Silence, Goldsmith

Mid-Week Motivation Booster from Tim Connor – 6/1/11

June 1st, 2011 No comments

Weekly Quote
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing – Motivation determines what you do – Attitude determines how well you do it.”
~ Raymond Chandler

Weekly TimBit
Setbacks and adversity are often signals that some aspect of life has come to an end or needs to come to an end. They are wake-up calls or what I call choice points in life. Many people, myself included, on a number of occasions, resist endings from time to time. Sometimes however, we embrace or encourage them. We want to continue life, a business or a lifestyle forever. Most people die with unfinished business left in them. It is seldom that there isn’t something more that could have been said, done, seen, learned or shared by someone who has passed on. Learn to see setbacks as opportunities to question your decisions, life direction, goals and commitment.

Question for the week
What is your typical response to life’s setbacks?

Recommended reading
The Four Agreements, Ruiz

Mid-Week Motivation Booster from Tim Connor – 5/25/11

May 25th, 2011 No comments

Weekly Quote
“I hate quotations.”
Emerson

Weekly TimBit
The ability to control your emotions and take full responsibility for your life and its opportunities and dramas is one of the key skills necessary for success, balance and happiness. There may be times during life when it is appropriate to feel guilt, anger, resentment, fear, jealousy, disappointment, grief, insecure, blame and hundreds of other feelings due either to your belief system and values or the circumstances and people that life throws in your path. Some people have the ability to experience these various emotions and then let them go quickly leaving no long-term negative residual effects. Others, on the other hand seem to remain stuck in any one of these negative emotions, to their detriment, I might add. Emotional maturity is the ability to see life clearly. To deal in – what is. Not what can be or was or what you want it to be.

Question for the week
How emotionally secure are you?

Recommended reading
Upgrade, Samborn

Mid-Week Motivation Booster from Tim Connor 5/18/11

May 18th, 2011 No comments

Weekly Quote
“Even in the common affairs of life, in love, in friendship and marriage how little security have we when trust our happiness in the hands of others.”

~ Hazlitt

Weekly TimBit
Was it something your parents did 20 years ago? Something a customer said last week? Or something a spouse or friend said yesterday? Old baggage is emotional stuff we carry around with us for days, months or even years. It is usually negative stuff like old hurts, resentments, anger or some kind of pain inflicted by another person or situation. It can also be just carrying around some old guilt, failure or fear that impacts our current relationships and life in general.

Why do people hold on to all of these old feelings? Everyone moves through life with their own very personal agendas, needs and life issues. Old baggage starts to feel very comfortable after a while, so comfortable as a matter of fact that many people die never able to let go of these hurts, slights and pain. There is one very good reason to let go of all of this stuff. One of the major causes of stress today is suppressed emotions that fester in the body taking their eventual toll on some aspect of our physiology. One of the biggest causes of stress today is all of this old emotional baggage. So why let it go? It may kill you if you don’t.

Question for the week
Got any old emotional baggage that is affecting your happiness, inner peace or a current relationship?

Recommended reading
The Trade-Off, Yours Truly