Monday, April 14, 2014

Self-Image Revisited

What is the big deal with self image? 

It is a major aspect for a continually developing individual.  The self-image speaks during every moment of our waking hours.  To dive deeper in this important topic, let me borrow from Maxwell Maltz’s classic Psycho Cybernetics.

He says “Self-image is a complex picture of whom you are, what you deserve, and what you think you can become.”

The key word above is “picture”.  You can change your self- image by the use of imagery.  Picture the outcome you desire, hold tenaciously to that and expect that outcome.  Another name for this is mental imagery.  Astronauts use this technique; Olympic athletes use it, as well as executives, physicians as they prepare for a difficult surgery and so many other professional aspirers.  I used it two weeks ago in preparing for a speech.

When you use mental imagery you are using a form of re-programming.  Dr. Maltz refers to the self image as “the programmer of your servo mechanism.”

Your self image can be reworked if it is weak.  It can be brought into sharper focus, and it can move you from a wanna-be to the one standing in the winner’s circle. 

How hard are you willing to work?
How strongly do you believe in self?

Think about that!

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, April 11, 2014

Give a Dog a Good Name

When growing up in Tennessee I can recall three dogs we had.

Pete (a mixed breed hound)
Pluto (half Great Dane-half Boxer)
Tiger (German Shepherd)

We loved those dogs and think of them often at family reunions with great fondness.

In the grand scheme of things, however, those are so-so names as dogs go. 

My grand-kids – Adia and Eliot – just got a Labrador puppy.  They named her Quinn.  Now that is a great name.

I heard a parent once talking in front of her seven-year-old daughter and she was saying in effect, “Sarah is the clumsy one.”

Ouch.  I felt for that small girl.  She did not need to hear her mother refer to her in those terms.  She just named her daughter “clumsy”.

When I lived in Albuquerque, it was once said of me, “You’re an accident waiting to happen.”  That hurt.  And I still wince every time I recall that comment.

A month ago I was in a meeting with my publisher and three new members of our team.  Bryan was going around the table introducing each of us and as he came to me he said, “Michael is a writer’s writer.’

Oh my goodness.  He built me up in front of my peers.  He gave me a reputation to which to live up.  I've wanted to be a “writer” for over thirty years, and now that I've published three books I’m coming to accept that handle.  On this day Bryan put wind in my sails.  He saw me as a writer, and helped me embrace the reality of achieving my life’s dream.

Can you see the value of giving someone a destiny of value and worth to embrace?  Any fool can tell you what is wrong with you.  A builder of people will forecast your possibilities and remind you often of your own great potential.

Do you want better kids, a better spouse, and better employees?  Dale Carnegie reminds us of this:

Give the other person 
a fine reputation 
to live up to.
~How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie

Always remember this:

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, April 7, 2014

One Key to Adding Value

The phrase “adding value” gets tossed about in a variety of business circles these days.  We want to “add value” to products such as software, or beds, even autos.

And some leaders/managers/life coaches love to toss this phrase out when speaking of their followers or mentees.  This is a worthy pursuit and I heartily endorse the concept of “adding value” to another person and here is a critical part of that desire.

“You cannot add value to someone 
if you don’t first value them.”
~John C. Maxwell

How do you view your charge?  Do you see them as an already valued individual, or do you see them as someone in desperate need of your management skill and they will probably drown in the misery of life without the amazing life-line you are capable of giving out?

I have encountered a few managers in my day who felt they had an upper hand and were determined to instill their “great wisdom” to me, a lowly grasshopper of a wee little man.  As far as they were concerned I was of no value – yet – and they were going to be the great miracle working in my life.

That attitude makes me want to throw up, and in the direction of their shoes.

People can tell whether you care or not.  Always remember that.

Value the worth of the individual and you always win with people.

Class dismissed.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, April 4, 2014

Make Art

I am attempting to live out loud in these days.  That means, for me, letting my voice be heard, exploring, experiencing, and stepping out of my neat little box that I’ve fashioned for myself for all these years.  I want to make my art. 

And I encourage you to make your art also.  Here are just a few ways of making art.  Try some of these.

Read some great books
Draw or paint
Sing your song
Play your instrument or learn another
Build that dream home
Do poetry
Learn to bake or sew
Go to your dream city or country
Be bold-kiss someone who thinks you're pretty wonderful
Fill your world with the dreams of your youth. 

You know, make art.

Be surprised.

(Thanks to Neil Gaiman for the seeds for this blog.  You inspire me Neil.)

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, March 31, 2014

9 Seconds

Here is something worth noting:

You have nine seconds to convince people that you are the one.  Be careful not to overload them with too much information.  Just concentrate on what really matters to them in that moment.

In nine seconds opinions and impressions are already being formed about you based on dress, posture, body language, vocal inflection, vocal tone, facial expressions and all other non-verbal signals one gives off.

If you survive the first nine seconds, then you can expand your foothold and give more information as you go along. 

Use those 9 seconds – wisely.

(I have lost the name of the person from whom I borrow the opening sentence.  So sorry.)

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tell Them How

In working with people, it is not enough to say something like “you’re doing great” or “Lookin' good”.

Give them specifics. 

Let them know in exact words HOW they are pulling off ‘great’.  Give specific examples and instances of just what they have done recently that qualifies as “great”.

Positive esteem followed up with examples reinforces the behavior and helps us want to do more of that kind of good work.

This is just one more critical people skill worth knowing.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, March 21, 2014

Words of Appreciation

In this series of improving our people skills we've established the importance of saying words of appreciation.  Now here are a few real-life situations in which to use these life-giving words.

-Thank the chef for an especially great meal
-Thank a sales clerk for outstanding service and a “wow” experience.
-Thank a minister for an unusually enlightening sermon.

-Thank a police officer for doing “the daily grind” with consistency and professionalism.
-Thank your dry cleaning provider for consistently making you look good.
-Thank your postal delivery person for their consistent work.

-Thank your grocery checker for his/her friendly greeting.
-Thank your club leadership for providing expert leadership.
-Thank your best friend for always being there in friendship.

-Thank your kids for picking up their room.
-Thank your mechanic for his quality work and great skills.
-Thank a teacher for the invaluable information to which they led you.

I think you see the trend here.  There are volumes of individuals who are in need of our appreciation.  Don’t ever assume the words. Dare to say them. 

Make someone’s day in the process.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time