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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Deepest Craving

Remember this one fact and you will go far in winning with people.

“The deepest craving in human nature 
is the craving to be appreciated.”
~Dale Carnegie

People seek appreciation.  It is a form of validation, and people want validation.  We want to know we matter, that what we do is recognized and appreciated, and we want a little bit of acknowledgement that we tried and it is recognized.

I often wonder how many meals my Mom cooked when she was alive.  Did she know how much that daily task meant when I was growing up?  When we have family reunions we almost always talk about Mom’s cooking and her amazing biscuits and pies. 

Somebody near you needs an acknowledgement today, this very moment in time for some repetitive act that they perform to make your world a bit better.

May I suggest that you find some way of expressing your appreciation? 

They will appreciate your appreciation.


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

Friday, March 14, 2014

How Not to Fire Someone

So you’re a boss, and perhaps, maybe, you have a less than stellar employee and you are getting pressure to make a change. 

Here’s a change you should try first.

Instead of firing Mr. Employee, try this – tell them what a valuable asset they have been in the past (if true).  Add that you’ve noticed that they have been slipping a bit lately and you would like to help remedy this.  And then let them talk. 

Perhaps there have been outside influences affecting their performance.  Perhaps there is something in their gripe bag that needs to be let out.  Or, perhaps, it is a simple matter for the need of a gentle prod to get them back in gear and back to their usual level of productivity.

Just because one’s performance temporarily dips does not require a mass exodus of poorly performing employees.  Find the reason, fix it, and get back to business, probably better than ever.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

An After-Thought

A story – a lesson

On a rainy and dreary Sunday night a man I know was walking to his automobile after having eaten his fill at a nearby restaurant.  A shabbily dressed man approached him across the parking lot.

“Hey mister.  I ain't gonna cause you no harm.  I just got out of prison and I wondered if you could give me some money so’s I could go to McDonalds and buy somethin’ to eat?

My friend responded.  “I’m sorry.  I don’t have any cash on me at all.”

The man responded.  “That’s okay.  I figured you for a good guy anyway.  No harm in askin’.”  And he walked away.

My friend got into his car, started the engine and had an after-thought.

He drove to where the man was walking down the sidewalk, rolled down his window and said, “Hey friend.  I’ll meet you over at the McDonald's and buy you something to eat. Okay?”

“Yes sir.  That’s mighty kind of you.  Yes sir.”

And that is what happened.  My friend met this street person at McDonald's and told him to order anything he wanted.  Seven dollars and sixty-two cents later the homeless man had his evening meal and my friend went on his way.

It was a random act of grace.  It cost $7.62 – not a lot, but enough. 

It met a need.  It fed a hungry man for one night.

It was an afterthought.

Sometimes, an after-thought can be a good thing.
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, March 7, 2014

How Things Grow

Do you want to know how things grow? 

Say “yes”!

Seeds say “yes” to the soil and water.
Animals say yes to their surroundings and inbred instincts.

You and I say “yes” to new information, new technology and ideas. 

And we grow.

I cannot imagine using an old manual typewriter to do all the writing I do in the course of my week.  A long time ago I said “yes” to computers and now can’t live without one.

What have you said “yes” to and now you find it is an indispensible part of your life and a cause for your growth?

Quality books and literature
Other minds more brilliant than self
Growth experiences/seminars

We say “yes” and we absorb. 

Absorb!  (a few synonyms)
  Soak up
    Take in
        Sop up
          Suck up

We receive input in order to grow, and growth happens in all of life.

Have you grown lately?

Then you, perhaps, are saying “Yes” to the life around you, and the availability and abundance of knowledge and experiences that surround you.

Good for you.

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

Monday, March 3, 2014

Don't Believe Everything

I’m going to make two bold statements now.  Are you ready?

Don’t believe everything they say to you or about you.
Don’t believe everything that happens to you and accept it as your destiny.

Oprah Winfrey was raped at age nine.  She is a fundamentally good person and has chosen to use her wealth for good in our world.

Bill Gates didn’t complete his university education.  Today he is changing lives for the better of children in impoverished parts of our world.

Steve Jobs used to sleep on the floor in a friend’s room, and he returned soft drink bottles for food money.  He started Apple Computers.

Tony Blair once had it said to him that he was a failure.  He became a world leader as Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Now deceased Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison.  And now we consider the legacy he left behind.

It’s not what happens to us that matters.  It’s how we use what’s happened that matters most.

Are you an over-comer or a succumber?

Do you give up and give in to the inevitable, or do you rise above the circumstances you’ve been handed and survive, even thrive?

This is what is on my mind today.

There are no three-step formulas for this scenario.  There is not any one book that will help you overcome adversity.  You do have a mind, and a will, and a sense of “can do”, even in the face of adversity. 

Will you dare to “stick your courage to the sticking place” and rise up, overcome and conquer whatever has happened to you or has been said about you?

I believe you can.

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