Communication barriers

August 9th, 2010 No comments

Words of wisdom for this week.

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding.”
~ Proverbs 3:13

Communication in relationships is and always has been one of the biggest challenges to maintain harmonious, validating and nurturing circumstances. Whenever you put two people together in a relationship, they each bring different values, beliefs, expectations, history, education, agendas, goals, personality style, communication style, feelings, life outlook and old baggage to each of life’s circumstances that are natural as the months and years pass. It is difficult at best to communicate effectively with another person even without all of these unique and personal differences and agendas. The key to better communication in a relationship is recognizing and accepting these differences with respect and understanding and the willingness to be flexible and non-judgmental of the other person’s views, opinions or communication style. Granted this is not always an easy or even possible task given our egos and personal needs, expectations and desires.

There are many causes of poor communication in relationships. Let’s look at just three.

1) Almost always the root of communication difficulty can be found in any one of the previous areas listed above. I recommend – before you look at your partner for some of the causes of your communication problems – that you look in the mirror. Scary thought? Possibly. Necessary? YES, if you want to begin to make progress improving communication with someone.

This first step in improving communication with another person is to look inward rather than outward for the cause of your communication difficulties, conflict or misunderstanding. Since we all tend to “fall in love” with our own stuff; emotions, behaviors, attitudes, expectations etc, this is usually not an easy undertaking. Most of us are doing the best we can with what we have at our disposal at the present time. Remember, when you judge another person that is saying more about who you are rather than who they are. You are defining your own prejudices and opinions when you choose to see a problem with another person as only their fault.

2) The second cause of communication problems is projection, seeing the other person’s issues, faults, problems, fears, needs, etc. as theirs, when often they are really yours in disguise. We tend to criticize in others those things we do, but are not willing to see or admit.

3) Personal agendas. Everyone has them. These our unique needs or desire that we expect to be satisfied outside of ourselves rather than within. Hidden agendas often remain beneath the surface during and communication exchange as we want to avoid hurting the other person’s feelings or avoid a conflict. The simple question – do you like this outfit can be the beginning of a difficult conversation. It can lead to a “no-win situation if either or both people bring an agenda, expectations or old baggage to the process. So what are your choices? Just say yes. Say no. Have no opinion. Or some other answer just to get past this potential conflict?

Nothing in communication is ever easy as everyone brings their perceptions and expectations to every exchange. The answer? Stay in the present. Let go of expectations and judgments. Stay respectful and accept differences as ok.

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn

Employee reviews

August 6th, 2010 No comments

Words of wisdom for this week.

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many managers dislike the process of employee reviews. They see them as a necessary part of their role as a manager. These managers misunderstand that the review process can contribute to improved employee performance, as well as gaining a valuable opportunity to improve their management performance.

The purpose of an employee review is not to ‘fix’ behavior once a year. If an employee has poor behavior, less than adequate performance, or attitude problems, don’t wait a year to fix it. Regular on-going coaching cannot be replaced with an annual employee review. This process should be a complement to the coaching of the employee. I know managers who have not been reviewed by their superiors in years. So what’s the big deal, you say?

There are a number of positive benefits to an employee review and there are number of disadvantages to not conducting routine reviews. Let’s take a brief look at both.

Advantages of reviews:

  1. They give the employee the opportunity to better understand expectations, standards and rules.
  2. They give the manager an opportunity to ‘get to know’ the employee better.
  3. They give the employee the opportunity to learn what behaviors and/or attitudes he needs to improve or modify.
  4. They send a message to the employee that you care about his performance and you care about him as a person.
  5. They can help you chart a better course for the future of the employee.
  6. They can help the manager identify weaknesses and strengths that may not have surfaced on a day-by-day basis.

Disadvantages of irregular or no reviews.

  1. It sends a message that you are satisfied with performance, attitudes and behavior.
  2. It says to the employee that he is not important enough for you to take the time for a review.

Both of these lists could have been much longer, but I want to close with a thought.

The employee review is just one more tool (not the only one) for improving performance. It should be treated as a part of a process of employee development – not an event.

Why not order a sample copy of my 3/3/3 Quarterly Review process. It’s a great tool.

Nothing in communication is ever easy as everyone brings their perceptions and expectations to every exchange. The answer? Stay in the present. Let go of expectations and judgments. Stay respectful and accept differences as ok.

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
Categories: Words of Wisdom Tags:

Mid-Week Motivational Booster 8/4/10

August 4th, 2010 1 comment

Quote for the week
“Life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be.”
Grandma Moses

Stuff, toys, and the trappings of success. More is better. Bigger is better. Are you measuring your success with all of the tangible possessions that are a testimony to your worth and value? Don’t get me wrong – I like stuff, too. The question that needs to be asked is: If you lost all of your stuff, would you still feel successful? Would you still be happy? If you had to begin all over again from the beginning, would you still believe in yourself and your mission?

Too many people are living in a fantasy world believing that their address, car, toys, and various possessions are symbols of their achievements and success. Most of us have a lot more stuff than we need, will ever use, or can possibly enjoy. I know people who have five cars in their garages, four homes, enough furniture to outfit a hotel, and very little peace of mind.

Are you trying to find peace and happiness with “stuff”?

Think and Grow Rich, Hill

Copyright: 6/2010 – Tim Connor, CSP

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn

Timing is everything

August 2nd, 2010 1 comment

Words of wisdom for this week.

“Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.”
W. Penn

Selling can at times be a very frustrating career. Messages left with no return calls. Repeatedly re-scheduled appointments. Promises broken or delayed. Getting blindsided at the last minute. Being misled or just set up. And, cancelled orders on sales when you had already spent your commission. I have experienced all of these on numerous occasions and I can tell you sometimes I just want to scream – “What’s wrong with people?”

Selling can also be a very rewarding career helping individuals and organizations achieve their dreams, potential and improve their lifestyle or success because of your effort, time, knowledge, experience and commitment.

But more often than not it all comes back to timing. Good timing, bad timing or just dysfunctional expectations on how things should happen and when. One of my favorite lines that I state frequently to my sales audiences is, “That people buy when they are ready to buy, not when we need to sell.” Timing? Effective prospecting? Attitude management? Effective selling skills? Appropriate people skills? Integrity based communication? Yes to all of these.

You can’t force the sales process. This doesn’t mean you should sit idly by waiting and hoping. What it means is that you do all you can do in a professional and effective way and then just let the process unfold. Sometimes it will work out favorably and others not so favorably. What’s the difference?

The biggest cause of sales frustration is expectations – expecting things to go the way you think they should or want them to without the simple understanding that some things take time, gestation or any number of other political, financial or decision process factors, many of which you can’t control.

So what can you do to ensure that you don’t push too hard, not enough or add tension to the selling and buying process from the prospect’s or customer’s perspective?

  • Relax
  • Stay focused
  • No matter what – remain professional
  • Keep learning and growing
  • Make no assumptions
  • Always come from the prospect’s perspective
  • Know the competition
  • Learn everything you can about the prospect’s circumstances, needs, desires, challenges, buying patterns and decision process
  • Keep the relationship open and professional
  • Have a follow-up communication strategy
  • Don’t let disappointment rule your attitudes
  • Keep asking questions and discovering
  • Manage your stress
  • Accept disappointment with poise and confidence
  • Don’t over sell or push
  • Pay attention to little signals

I know this is a lot to consider but in the end, patience and persistence will pay off either with business now or later. Keep the “lifetime” value of the client in mind and not just the short term benefits.

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn

A single day can be a lifetime!

July 30th, 2010 No comments

Words of wisdom for this week.

“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”

Many people take each day that they are given for granted. They assume that they have time to play, work, love and just enjoy all of the gifts they are given each minute of every day. As I look back over the years I can tell you that a day can be a lifetime filled with wonderful memories or riddled with regret, disappointment and unfulfilled dreams, desires and painful memories. It can also be spent taking the positives from the past into each new moment with faith, confidence and passion.

I don’t know how many years have passed for you as you read this article but I can tell you that no matter your age, experience, gender, race or nationality that you too have squandered many of the days you have been given. Squandered with guilt, worry, aimlessness, grief and the frustration that your life just isn’t or hasn’t been quite the way you would like it or have liked it. Welcome to the largest club in the world – the “I wish things were different” club.

As I was driving to the post office this morning, a thought occurred to me, one that I’ve had numerous times in the past, but for some reason today it resonated with me more than at any other time – each breath and each heartbeat is a miracle. The mere fact that I am still alive, when so many of my peers and friends have passed away far too soon I might add, and I can still see, think, feel, love, plan, hope and just be in the flow of life for another day. Wow, what a gift.

As I was pondering this thought another occurred to me – as I look back over the many relationships I’ve had during my life, I had to wonder, how many of these people saw the time we shared as a gift or did they see it as just the passage of time, one day after another until what was, whether they ended badly or positively isn’t the issue here. How they ended doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but were they filled with joy for what was each moment at a time while they were active?

Life begins, moves on and ends. What really matters is what you do with the gift of time between the beginning and its ending. So, back to the title – A single day can be a lifetime or it can just be another day. We make the assumption that we will all have 25,000 days or 600,000 hours (about 70 years) of life. Subtract 200,000 hours from this total (sleeping time) and you are left with around 400,000 hours or about 16,000 days. When you think about it, that’s not very many days to live, if you squander many of them with worry, stress, frustration, anger, resentment or grief.

Each day is a lifetime. Think of it this way. If today was your last day, it would be your life. Yes, you’d have lots of memories, achievements, work done and undone, but in the end would it all really matter.

What I’m suggesting here is that from now on rather then seeing each day as just a day, but as the summation of your life and all of its elements – relationships, financial, spiritual etc. Living each day as if it is your life may change how you live each of your days. Think about it.

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn

Are you winning or losing the Manufactured Housing Revolution?

July 28th, 2010 No comments

If you have read the book The Manufacturing Housing REVOLUTION published by and edited by L.A. Tony Kovach, you are well aware of why he chose to title the book as he did. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to purchase a copy today and devour every page. There are over 500 years of industry wisdom and experience represented in this unprecedented volume!

The Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION

As one of the contributors, I’d like to whet your appetite with a few ideas as to why I believe the factory-built housing industry is in the middle of a revolution and needs the guidance and vision of The Manufacturing Housing REVOLUTION to be the winners.

The Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION Book Cover

Every entity either grows or withers and dies. There are no exceptions.

Just look at the numerous organizations that have failed in the past ten years, many of them well-respected organizations while they were alive and well. But hidden beneath the surface of every organization that perishes is a dysfunctional attitude, belief or some wrong mindsets that cause it to fail.

During the past 24 months, and for over a decade, the manufactured housing industry has had its share of casualties. Many of these organizations did not have to die. So, why did they? And are there others on the radar that will fail in the coming months or years?

There are three reasons why any business entity fails:

  • Ego dominance (my way is the only way),
  • arrogance (my way is the best way; nobody can tell me…),
  • and/or failure of the owners or management team to continually re-invent the business to conform to current trends, circumstances, consumer buying patterns and the economy.

Any one of them can have a significant negative impact on the health and long-term success of your business.

Get Your Copy of
Get your copy of the Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION  Now!
Click to Order

In any revolution, there will be winners and yes, there will be losers. It’s your decision as to the future you create for yourself and your business. After more than 35 years of consulting with hundreds of organizations around the world, I will tell you that your history will not guarantee your future.

Make no mistake: This industry is in the middle of a revolution, and I would offer has been for a number of years. It just took the team at to put an accurate label on the phenomenon of what is actually happening.

The Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION book back cover

First of all, why is this industry in a revolution?

In my recent book Corporate Disconnect, I discuss the breakdown between the various levels in an organization: senior management, middle management and the rank and file employees who do the work. This disconnect can be found everywhere in today’s world: in government, a church, a family, an association and yes, an industry. What has been developing for years in the manufactured housing industry is an increasing disconnect between the manufacturers, their representatives, the customers, the community owners, the financing organizations and anyone else involved. Sure, many organizations regardless of their position or role, can and will succeed, but only to the degree the industry succeeds. The reverse is also true: an industry succeeds to the degree that the businesses in it are successful.

What you have witnessed is a breakdown between the various groups within this industry. By contrast, I believe that has become so successful so quickly is because its singular purpose is to unite and strengthen the entire industry and improve the public perception of this industry’s importance and value to everyone who is involved, directly or indirectly.

The time for a positive revolution is now. In fact, it is long overdue. And you can get on board now or you can watch as the train leaves the station. The choice is yours.

Get Your Copy of
Get your copy of the Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION  Now!
Click to Order

The Manufacturing Housing REVOLUTION will show you how to win this revolution or at least not become a casualty. For instance:

  1. Reinvent yourself and every aspect of your business. This doesn’t mean you throw away everything you have learned or done, but it does mean you give up your attachments to markets, products, policies, procedures, etc. Things have changed and will continue to change. But the real issue is not change itself, but the increasing pace of change. You have less time to respond to market and consumer changes today than at any time in history.
  2. Let go of your ego and its need to control. It’s time to be more flexible and willing to let go of sacred cows or anything that’s holding your organization back or preventing it from growing profitably.
  3. Start reaching out to other members in the industry for guidance, counsel, help and feedback.
  4. Start seeing your organization as an integral partner to anyone and everyone who is involved in this industry.

The REVOLUTION is happening all around us so join the winning Manufactured Housing Revolution team. You can do this in numerous ways: Buy The Manufacturing Housing REVOLUTION. Apply and implement what it presents. Contribute to by way of feature articles, guest blogs, comments… and more. Advertise. Become a sponsor.

Act now to succeed or become an historic statistic. The choice is yours. # #

Get Your Copy of
Get your copy of the Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION  Now!
Click to Order

Tim Connor, CSP

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn

Mid-Week Motivational Boosters 7/28/10

July 28th, 2010 No comments

Quote for the week
“When you have turned all the corners and at last run into yourself, then you’ll know you have turned all the corners there are.”
~ Langston Hughes

There is a significant difference between being responsible to people and being responsible for them. Being responsible for people is when you feel responsible for another’s outcomes, pain, failure, feelings, problems, struggles, adversity, and need satisfaction – as well as their success, joy, achievements, and growth.

Being responsible to people means that you know that what they are experiencing in life – whether struggle or victory, pain or success, growth or stagnation – is what they have brought into their life in order to move to a higher plain. Responsibe to – is love in action. You are there, you care, and you are interested; but in the end it is their stuff, not yours. If they are continually in victim mode, consider this worthwhile insight: “Seeing yourself as a victim is to wish your circumstances to continue.”

Feeling responsible for people means that you are partly responsible for all of their struggle, pain, adversity, problems or adversity. Being responsible for – is to live from fear.

Who do you feel responsible for?

Seriously, It’s Not You, It’s Me, Fariba & Lyon

Copyright: 6/2010 – Tim Connor, CSP

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn


July 26th, 2010 No comments

Words of wisdom for this week.

“We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.”
~ C Jung

One sure signal that a relationship is going sour is when intimacy is lost for whatever reason. There are four questions I would like to address in this tip. Granted each of these questions could be a lengthy article. So I am just going to give them the once over to get you thinking. I am confident that if there are any health care professionals reading this, they might take issue with some of my thoughts. Please keep in mind that this is only my take on the subject – and you can take them, if they work for you or leave them if they don’t.

1- What is intimacy? Intimacy does not imply a sexual overtone. You can have intimate relationships with your children, parents, friends of the same and opposite sex, even fellow employees. One of my goals as a speaker is to try to create an intimate relationship between the audience and me. Intimacy implies: trust, respect, acceptance, comfort, a spiritual connection, open communication, a lack of personal agendas and a controlled ego. Or, you can have a relationship with anyone lacking any or all of the above characteristics.

2- How do you create it? Well this is the tough one, folks. It takes time to build trust. It takes letting go of your ego to accept others and not project your issues toward the other person. It takes understanding and knowledge to build respect. It takes a willingness to listen and share with self-disclosure and a safe environment to develop open communication. And it takes a heart-centered – not a head-centered – philosophy to build a spiritual connection. It requires that one manage expectations, perceptions and attitudes. A lot, wouldn’t you say? This is why so few people have really intimate relationships. I know people who have been married for years (I was one of them) that fail to develop an intimate relationship with their spouse. We can raise kids for 20 years and still have superficial relationships with them. And you can never really know your parents. Intimacy is not just about time, but letting go and flowing with life as it unfolds.

3- What causes it to leave a relationship? Well, I could answer this one by suggesting you combine the information in questions one and two. But, I would rather you answer this one yourself. Take a few minutes. List those relationships you have, ones that you believe have intimacy and those that don’t. Any common denominators in either list?

4- Can you get it back once it is lost? Yes, no, and it depends.

How do you know whether you have true intimacy with your partner? Let me first add to my definition of intimacy. Most people tend to connect intimacy only with sex.

Intimacy is when two people create an environment where there is a true heart to heart connection. Their Souls seem to almost merge into one being. They feel a sense of peace, harmony, balance and unconditional love for their partner and when they are in their partner’s presence. There is no battle of ego’s, no need to win, manipulate or control. There is an inner awareness that all is well with the world. That ‘I am where I am supposed to be and I am now with the person I am destined to spend my life with.’ Intimacy is not just a feeling, nor is it just knowing. It is a divine connection with another person. It is a spiritual connectedness.

Let’s take a brief look at a few of the issues that prevent true intimacy in a relationship. This will help you determine where you can take corrective actions or develop new behaviors so you can experience a greater sense of intimacy in your relationships.

1. A lack of trust, respect or acceptance of the other person.

2. The fear of rejection.

3. A fear of letting yourself be who you really are.

4. A lack of self-love and or self-acceptance.

5. Letting your ego control your feelings, emotions and or attitudes.

6. An un-safe relationship.

7. Old emotional baggage on either person’s part.

8. A lack of self-trust.

9. Needing to protect yourself from invalidation by the other person.

10. Suppressed emotions like anger, frustration, blame or guilt.

11. When one or both people are under a great deal of stress.

12. When there is an emotional disconnect between one or both partners.

Intimacy is generally one of the first things to leave a relationship that is in trouble. It is close on the heels of trust, respect and acceptance. Can intimacy be re-kindled once it has been lost or is leaving a relationship? I am sure that there are many people who have been able to regain this valuable state in a once troubled relationship. However, generally speaking once a person goes over the edge or the line between intimacy and no intimacy generally I believe that it is next to impossible to re-capture these feelings and emotions.

A recent study on intimacy concluded that to maintain or increase a feeling of intimacy or get it back into a relationship, there are ten things you can do – just a list folks, if you want more information check the library, bookstore or the internet.

5)Kindness and forgiveness

That’s it folks …

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn

Are you changing with the times?

July 23rd, 2010 No comments

Words of wisdom for this week.

“Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.”
~ James Allen

I just finished reading a great book by Donald Walsch, When Everything changes, Change Everything. Don’t be misled by the title. He doesn’t mean change a lot of stuff on the outside but that maybe changes are needed on the inside.

The world is changing at a record pace, surprise, surprise and anyone with any sense realizes that they either change with it or remain stuck in the past. I’m not implying here that change for the sake of change is good but that when change is required the best approach is to embrace it not fight it.

There are fundamental principles when leading people. There are solid basic core attitudes and beliefs that when grounded in respect, validation and integrity that seldom change but there are any number of other changes in behaviors, attitudes, approaches and thinking that might serve you and your organization well to explore and consider.

People have generally not changed in several thousand years. Most employees today want many of the same things that employees 500 years ago wanted. Respect, acceptance, clarity, direction, integrity and fair treatment. But how these can be delivered has changed dramatically. Technology is changing the way we interact with others. For now I won’t say whether this is a bad or a good thing, although, I do have strong feelings about this subject. The internet, social media, Email and 24/7/365 are gradually taking their toll on people’s stress, inner peace and happiness.

The key factors to keep in mind as you adjust to your world and its evolving expectations and processes is that;

  • All change can be good if it is driven by the right intent, agendas and motives
  • Not all change is necessary just because your competitor, customer, supplier or employee thinks it is good.
  • Change doesn’t wait for anyone. We can stay ahead of the curve or behind it but it’s moving too fast to just keep up.
  • Reacting to all change without some inner thought, introspection and contemplation could add chaos to your business.
  • Management is about leading people and managing things. Keep this in mind as you adopt or adapt to change.
  • People generally don’t resist change (contrary to conventional wisdom) they resist change when they feel change causes them to lose control of their life i.e. their; security, safety, happiness or health.
  • Resisting the pull of change is just stupid.
  • Changing just for the sake of change is also stupid.
  • When change becomes etched in your culture it is vital that you have an effective process for introducing it, managing it and controlling its impact on your organization and its employees.
  • If people are resisting change, look past the change and ask yourself – why?
  • If your customers are resisting change, dig deeper into the impact of the change on them and again ask yourself – why?
  • Don’t fear the changes that change can bring to your management style or organization but don’t rush it faster than is necessary to stay just ahead of the curve.
  • Change can be risky and threaten your sense of security, self-esteem, ego and the willingness to let go – of anything.

Obviously there’s more but I ask you to consider your reaction to just the above few items.

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn

Mid – Week Motivational Boosters 7/21/10

July 21st, 2010 No comments

Quote for the week
“Act happy, feel happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.”
~ Dan Millman

In an age of “what’s in it for me?”, one of the ways each of us can change the consciousness of the world in which we travel – whether it is your family, community, or your nation – is to develop a personal philosophy of giving yourself away. Now, I don’t mean to imply that you have to share all of your time, ideas, or wealth with your neighbor or a total stranger. That being understood, I would ask you, how much of “you” are you sharing?

Where are you sharing yourself with others today?

Ten Things I learned From Bill Porter, Brady

Copyright: 6/2010 – Tim Connor, CSP

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) (email) - (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn