Showing posts with label Marshall Goldsmith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marshall Goldsmith. Show all posts

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Astonish People with Radical Generosity

On rare occasions I read a book that blows the lid off my thinking about a specific topic. Giftology is that kind of book. It’s forever changed the way I approach gift-giving.

I’ve known for a long time how important it is to express appreciation to those who’ve impacted my life in a positive way – especially through hand-written notes and thoughtful gifts.

But in his outstanding book, Giftology, author John Ruhlin introduced me to several ideas that I’d never considered before.

These are life-changing concepts, not just in the TYPES of gifts I choose to give in the future but in the way I THINK about gift-giving.

Just one example: Think in terms of “RADICAL generosity.” 

Ask yourself, “What’s the MOST I can do?” instead of “What’s the LEAST I can get away with?” John doesn’t advocate breaking the bank, especially if you’re on a shoestring budget. But he does encourage you to always ask:

“What can I buy that’s best in class and within my budget?”

I started reflecting on gifts that I had received over the years that impressed and touched me…

One of our resellers who sent each person in my company a huge box of gift wrap, bows and ribbons for holidays, birthdays and other special occasions. It was truly a memorable gift that lasted for YEARS, so we thought of this person often.

Two of my favorite coaches, Steve Chandler and Jason Goldberg sent books and CDs to everyone who subscribed to their free Web TV show, The Not-So-Serious-Life.

Steve Chandler is also one of my favorite authors. I’ve reviewed many of his books on Amazon and promoted them in my social media accounts. In appreciation, his publisher Maurice Bassett has sent me complimentary copies of newly-published books, sometimes multiple copies!

For example, I received 20 copies of a special edition of The Velveteen Rabbit – I’ve shared these with parents with young children and donated others to our local library.

By far, the most astonishing gift I’ve ever received was from leadership expert Marshall Goldsmith.

In 2009 I created a video using PowerPoint and voiceover that illustrated how our product, 20/20 Insight, accomplished several of the recommendations in Marshall’s book, What Got You’re here Won’t Get You There. I emailed Marshall to let him know what I’d done and 10 minutes later he called me.

But that was not the big surprise.

He was so appreciative that I had done that, he offered to send me 100 copies of his book AND to personally address and autograph them if I sent the first names of the recipients. It was an astounding offer and one that many of our clients and resellers appreciate to this day.

In case you’d like to watch the video that sparked his phone call to me, I’ve included it here.
John Ruhlin’s ideas go beyond amazing your clients and customers.

If you’re a business owner or executive, what could you do to astonish your EMPLOYEES?

John provides each member of his team with a remarkable gift – paying to having their homes cleaned every two weeks. They LOVE this benefit. It’s something they wouldn’t do for themselves, and the payoff for them and their families is less stress, with more quality time together doing activities they enjoy.

If you’re committed to building strong relationships that lead to referrals and raving fans, grab a copy of Giftology, devour John’s powerful message, then implement his ideas with the most important people in your life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Feedback Wisdom from Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an expert at helping senior leaders overcome habits that adversely affect their performance so they can achieve higher levels of success. He’s worked with more than 150 major CEOs and is considered by many to be America’s top executive coach.

He’s also the author of one of my all-time favorite business books, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

His advice applies to anyone who wants to build stronger relationships with the people who matter to them.

Implement these six steps if you want to make changes in your behavior that result in deeper, more satisfying relationship.

1. Ask for feedback. 

People won’t always offer to tell you what bothers them about your behavior, so you have to be proactive about asking them. It’s the only way to get an accurate picture of the way others see you.

2. Express appreciation. 

When others give you honest answers, thank them for their input. Think of every comment as a gift to help you see what others want from you.

3. Apologize for mistakes. 

Tell them you’re sorry for any behaviors that have had a negative impact on them, and express your commitment to improve. Don’t let pride or concern that they won’t respect you get in your way. They’ll actually respect you more when you have the courage to offer an apology.

4. Tell them what you plan to do to improve. 

When you make a verbal commitment to someone else about a change you want to make, you’re more likely to follow through. Vague statements about “working harder” or “trying to do better” won’t mean much, so you need to be specific about the actions you’ll take.

5. Follow up to find out if you ARE improving. 

It’s hard to change people’s perceptions of who you are. Their prior experience with you has formed long-held opinions that aren’t easy to alter. Even after you start working to improve your behavior, they continue to access their ingrained image of you.

And they’re not nearly as focused on your self-improvement goal as you are. So they probably won’t notice all the changes that seem so obvious to you. To counter these perceptions, you need to ingrain a NEW pattern in their brain about your behavior in this area. This means repeatedly telling people what you’re working on, asking them how you’re doing and getting their ideas about how you can improve what you’re doing.

Which leads us to the last point…

6 - Use feedforward to get additional ideas.

Feedforward (a term Goldsmith created) is quite different from feedback. You get feedback from people about something you’ve already done. It’s often viewed as criticism because it identifies a problem. By contrast, feedforward focuses on the future. You ask others for their ideas that will help you improve even more.

With feedforward, you simply ask the person to give you two suggestions for the future that might help you achieve the positive change you want to make. The only ground rule is there can be no mention of the past.

Your job is to listen carefully to the ideas and take notes. Don’t critique or evaluate the suggestions. Simply say “Thank you.”

Here’s an example of what you could say: “I want to be a better listener. Would you suggest two ideas that I can implement in the future that will help me become a better listener?”

These six steps require courage because you may hear things that surprise you. But if you’re committed to your personal development, you won’t let discomfort prevent you from implementing them.

And if you’re looking for a tool that can help you make changes in your behavior, we’ve built a system with tons of multi-media resources, a coaching network of people who support you, and a process that makes it easy to ask them for feedforward. Check out the new custom versions of ProStar Coach and select that one that’s right for YOU.

“If we can stop, listen, and think about what others are seeing in us, we have a great opportunity. We can compare the self that we want to be with the self that we are presenting to the rest of the world. We can then begin to make the real changes that are needed to close the gap between our stated values and our actual behavior.” – Marshall Goldsmith (American author, 1949- )

Monday, February 6, 2012

An Accountability Coach Can Help You Get Results

Do you have an area in your life that you need to improve, but for some reason you’ve lacked the motivation or commitment to make the change? Maybe it’s being more productive at work or scheduling more time with your family. For your long-term health, you may want to establish a regular exercise program or eat more nutritious foods.

It’s the rare person who can change a habit or master a new skill without the aid of a coach or support system. All athletes have a coach who shows them how to do the skill the right way, gives feedback, and offers encouragement along the way.

One of the most effective strategies you can implement is to get yourself an accountability coach. This is someone who will hold your feet to the fire to make sure you do what you say you’ll do.

You want to choose this person carefully. You have to be able to count on your coach to keep appointments and be committed to your success. Because you may expose your imperfections and vulnerabilities along the way, there also needs to be strong trust. And your coach needs to know how to give encouragement since you’re likely to hit some rough spots along the way.

Schedule daily or weekly contacts, whatever works best for both of you. Just make sure it’s often enough that you’re motivated to take action and make real progress between phone or in-person conversations.

Be clear about what you want your coach to hold you accountable for. You can even create the questions you want the person to ask you.

In his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith describes how he works with his own accountability coach. His coach calls him every night, no matter where he is in the world, and asks him a series of 12 questions that Marshall gave him. Here are just a few:

-  How happy are you?
-  How much walking did you do?
-  How much time did you spend writing
-  How many times did you try to prove you were right when it wasn’t worth it?

These questions keep Goldsmith focused on aspects of his life that he’s identified as important. They serve to keep him on track as he goes through his day, because he’s keenly aware of the answers he'll have to give later.

You may have just one area you want to improve. In that case, you can structure just a few questions for your own coach to ask you. Here are a couple of examples to stimulate your thinking:

To get more done in your work:
-  How many hours of uninterrupted time did you devote to your #1 priority project?
-  How often did you check email and phone messages? 
-  Did you let anyone call you or come into your office and just chat without an appointment?

To become more physically fit:
-  How much time did you spend on cardio workouts?
-  What strength training did you do?
-  Did you eat at least 6 fruits and vegetables?
-  How many high-fat foods did you eat?

In the opening words of one of my favorite books, The Road Less Traveled, author Scott Peck states that “Life is difficult.” As you grapple with the challenges you’ll inevitably face on your journey, you’ll find the path easier to navigate with an accountability coach – someone who will support you and make sure you follow through on your commitments.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Marshall Goldsmith and Feedforward

Marshall Goldsmith is one of the best-known executive coaches in America. I agree with his idea that you should focus on just ONE area at a time when you're working on self-development. And I love his approach for getting ideas from others - what he calls "Feedforward."

After watching this video, how about trying this exercise with people who are important to you? I bet you'll be surprised at all the great ideas you get. Let me know what you learn from the process!

And check out Feedback Wisdom From Marshall Goldsmith, a 12-minute video that overviews Goldsmith's best-selling book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, and explains how our survey software, 20/20 Insight, can be used for both feedback and feedforward.