A lot of my time currently has been spent studying successful people and global influencers. The one’s who have started global movements all seem to have one critical skill; they are great communicators who use stories to effectively get their point across.
The idea of stories has been around for thousands of years but more and more it’s becoming the most important way to communicate. I was listening to a podcast interview with a Ted Talk expert the other day who suggested that up to eighty percent of communication is best done through story telling.
He explained that the reason why people in business fail at communicating is that they don’t use real world stories. My recommendation to you is to investigate the art of storytelling as much as you can. It’s a skill that will help you in whatever you are doing, and it’s something that can always be improved upon.
The five reasons stories start global movements are:
1. Stories inspire
Out of all the reasons why stories start global movements, the number one reason is that they inspire people. A movement is a group of people that all believe something similar and form a community around this idea or belief.
Movements are made up of people, and people are moved by other people. In order for people to move people (I hope I’m making sense), there has to be some human element that moves them into action.
Action requires people to feel differently than they did before and the best way to do this is through a story. See if you look at every successful business, brand, location or person (all could be considered movements) they were all started by someone who shared a story.
Through my research, there was not a single example I could find where a story wasn’t responsible for a movement. When someone attempts to influence you with facts, chunks of data, and content that is not story based, you start to feel like you are in some boring corporate presentation.
Stories have the power to inspire people because they are relatable and something that people can grab hold of. The way people latch onto a story is through finding a story in their own life that aligns with the story being told by the person starting the movement.
For example, when Wholefoods says that they stand for more than just healthy, and they are about food that nourishes, win-win supplier relationships, satisfying customers, food education, and advance environment stewardship (I’ll be honest I have no idea what this is), some of what they stand for connects with me.
Now not all the things they stand for align with me personally, but their point about food education aligns with me because I never got food education in school and I wish I did. If I was given food education, then I may have a much better level of health than I do now.
So my point is that I have taken one part of the Wholefoods story, and then applied part of my own story to it, and that’s what inspires me to be part of their global movement. If they tried to get me onboard through something other than the story of their vision and why they began, I wouldn’t have the leverage needed to be inspired by them.
“What a company sells doesn’t inspire me, it’s why they sell it that inspires me and their story is what delivers that message”
2. Stories are personal and require vulnerability
Think about when you buy something. Why do you ask people you know about their experience of the product you want to buy? Simple, because the story of how they use it is personal and free from advertising hype and marketing spin.
The reason you ask your friends about a product is because you are more inclined to listen to a story about it from someone you trust because then it’s a personal shopping experience.
Stories ae powerful because nine times out of ten they are personal. To share personal stories, like the ones I share on Addicted2Success, requires some degree of vulnerability. Not everyone wants to share a personal story because they are worried what others might think about them after reading it.
Well, if you haven’t figured out already, I don’t really care, and you shouldn’t either. For me, I want to be part of a global movement, and I know that the only way to do this from experience is by being real. It requires me to put myself on the line and not to be afraid or blocked by fear.
The more vulnerable you are about sharing your deepest darkest stories, the more likely you are to have people join your movement. One of the best examples I have seen of vulnerable storytelling was from a fellow success junkie Lewis Howes.
Now here’s a guy who some might perceive to be a tall, athletic, footy jock kind of guy that has always been “Mr Popular.” Lewis shared a few years ago his story of how he was raped by another boy when he was a kid.
Sharing this type of story would be considered by most to be career suicide, but Lewis has built a global movement of millions of people by being vulnerable and sharing his story. It’s what the 0.1% of people do like Lewis, such as telling vulnerable stories, that creates success and can lead to global movements.
Stop being afraid and don’t just share stories, make them vulnerable and personal wherever possible.
3. Stories create raw emotion
To get any person to take action towards anything, or to get someone to join a global movement, you must use emotion. Emotion get’s people to take action and it taps into our human potential in every sense of the word.
When you tell a great story, if you’re doing it correctly, there should be raw emotion behind it. If you look at well-known singers that make the big time, the one thing they do is deliver songs (a form of a story) with raw emotion.
The difference between singers who make it and singers who don’t are the one’s that make it link their heart and communicate emotion with every single performance. As thick as your skin can be, it’s hard not to be moved by a story when it makes you feel some type of emotion.
Those of us who have done sales training know that people don’t make buying decisions based on logic; they make buying decisions based on emotion. If you make someone feel really good, even if your product is not the best in the market, there is a high chance that the person will buy from you.
“Stories create emotion and emotion is like a magnet that brings people towards your movement faster than you have ever seen before”
4. Stories are unforgettable
As many of you know, I have been doing Toastmasters to improve my public speaking skills because it’s helping me with my vision to inspire the world. One of the first questions I had when I started was “how the heck do I remember all the words in the speeches I write?”
I reached out to my network, and the response was interesting. Apparently, the reason why I would often forget words in some presentations was that I was supposedly speaking about something I wasn’t passionate about.
See, it turns out that when you tell stories, you are speaking from experience, and often on things that you are passionate about. When you try and communicate without stories, it’s easy to forget things because you are asking your brain to remember something that frankly, you don’t give a damn about!
Global influencers use stories because they don’t have to remember them. They can get up and tell a story for hours without forgetting any part of it because the story is something that is easy to remember.
The same is true for the audience. Stories are unforgettable and can attract people to a movement because they are very hard to forget if told well with the right ingredients. So many times in business I share stories with perspective clients when the product I am offering is by no means the best thing they can get.
To my surprise, these perspective clients usually go with me, not for the product I am offering them, but for the unforgettable stories that I shared with them about why I do what I do. By looking at every article I have posted on Addicted2Success, you will see that almost every single one is made up of powerful stories that have happened to me.
The reason for this is because that’s how I get people to join our movement and for them not to forget what we stand for. Stories are the reason why I get so many people reaching out via social media and why our movement is growing stronger than it ever has before.
People want to be inspired, and the best way to do that is to make them never forget you through the power of stories!
5. Stories demonstrate growth
The key reason why global influencers use stories is because a story does one very powerful thing; a story demonstrates growth. If you analyse what a lot of stories are made up of you pretty quickly realise that they have a starting point and an end point that demonstrates some type of change or growth from where the story initially began.
It’s this growth that people are attracted to because the natural reaction when you hear a story that includes growth is to say to yourself “if they could do that then maybe I could do that, or maybe I could overcome the same thing they did.”
What story do you have that inspires people? Share your answer in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook.
3 Areas You Should Focus on to Become a Great Leader
Having listened to all of our stakeholders and being fully aware of the situation, spring is a good time to conduct a quarterly review to see exactly where we are in order. This helps us have a clear starting point to re-adjust our goals for the coming year.
One of the main problems tends to be that we look back at the things we haven’t done and where we didn’t get the results we intended. Because of this, we get ourselves in a state of anxiety which is hardly a resourceful state for setting positive goals.
A better approach is to be nice to ourselves. Have a look back over the last three months and check all the things you have achieved. Give yourself a treat for all of the things you planned to achieve and did. They may be something as simple as maintaining a to-do list or smiling more.
Afterwards, think of all the things you achieved which weren’t planned and congratulate yourself on your flexibility and creativity; for the person with the greatest flexibility of behaviour controls the outcomes.
For those results that weren’t as you intended, remind yourself that we all make the correct choice at the time we make it. We don’t deliberately make the wrong choices and whatever the outcome, there’s always a positive intention. There’s no failure, only feedback, and we learn more from our failures than we do our successes.
“Be good to yourself. Listen to your body, to your heart. We’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re always feeling like we’re not doing enough. It’s a terribly hard job.” – Marcia Wallace
Look to yourself
It is vital, especially for sole proprietors or owner/managers, to manage themselves in order to be fit, healthy, and relatively happy. Evidence points to a clear relationship between our moods and assorted aspects of job performance such as decision-making, creativity, teamwork, negotiation and leadership.
While success may put us in a good mood, an organisation that sees the glass as half full rather than half empty, stands a better chance in these difficult times.
Depressed individuals will always see the glass as half-empty and even rapidly emptying. This attitude saps energy and leaves those affected feeling worthless, helpless, and hopeless. In its worst case, depression can impair the ability to communicate and it’s not hard to see the organisational parallels.
Below are three elements within all of us that need to be taken care of:
1. Your mind
The key to a healthy mind is variety, so take an interest in other people, things, events and current affairs. Adopting an open and curious mindset allows us to see future possibilities and hence be more empowered.
2. Your body
A healthy body requires a solid routine. Ensure you eat and drink healthy products (especially water) and get plenty of rest and exercise. Knowing our own limitations and taking action to stay within them ensures we operate at our best.
3. Your spirit
Much has been written about feeding or maintaining the spirit but I believe there is one simple rule. Believe in something that is true to you and spend time each day with your true beliefs. Solitude is the nurse of enthusiasm and is as needful to the imagination as friends are to our character.
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton
Beyond individual performance, there are broader issues at stake. None of us are islands, happy in our own little depressed world. Moods, good or bad, are infectious and some people or positions can have a greater ripple effect than others. If a shy apprentice has a gloomy outlook, few may notice. But if people like the owner/manager are wandering around looking like the end of the world is coming, that can directly affect team spirit.
Water bearer or well poisoner
So what can the organisation do? Firstly, as individuals, we must show a positive and upbeat demeanor. That’s not easy and faking it will easily be spotted as the deception will be transparent. This isn’t unauthentic, but merely an attempt to empower ourselves.
Congruent leadership offers the means to put into words what it is you are experiencing with the person in order so your behaviour is consistent with your own values and beliefs such that you always appear to be what you desire to be.
Your mood as a leader then is highly contagious. Even though leaders or opinion formers aren’t always in leadership positions, they’re at the centre of informal networks. They have charisma and magnetism, possess strong opinions, and express them forcefully. Therefore, they have considerable social power and can have a direct effect on morale by being a water bearer or well poisoner. Which are you today?
What resonated most with you about this article and leadership? Share your thoughts below!
The 6 Step Process for Delivering Critical Feedback in a Constructive Way
We have all been in the position where we knew we needed to have a difficult conversation at work that involved delivering constructive feedback. Maybe a major deadline was missed, there was a clear decline in performance, or someone blatantly dropped the ball. Most of us avoid delivering the feedback, and the conversation can get pushed back again and again, wasting valuable time and money.
Delivering constructive feedback is challenging, and uncomfortable for most people, even highly trained leaders. Yet, delivering and accepting feedback is one of the most important keys for success. So why do we avoid these conversations? Because we never learned how to have them.
Open, honest, direct communication is not a skill we are taught in school. There is no “How to Have Tough Conversations” 101. As a clinical psychologist that specializes in couples work, I see just how important communication is in maintaining thriving relationships. I understand that good communication is the foundation of every successful relationship; both intimate relationships and your work relationships.
Below is a 6-step guide to providing constructive feedback:
Step 1: Clarity on the Goal of the Conversation
The first step is to get clear on the goal of the feedback conversation. Are you planning to see a change in performance, simply communicate how you felt, or receive an apology? Get clear on what you are hoping to get out of the conversation. Be honest with yourself about what you need, what is most helpful to the relationship, and what is most helpful to the organization. Getting clear on the goal also ensures you are speaking with the right person.
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk
Step 2: Invitation
Set up a time to talk. Feedback conversations are not meant to be had in the hallway. It is important that both parties can set aside adequate time and have the space needed for dialogue. Additionally, there must be respect for both parties’ need for time to process information. For example, if you are delivering feedback, and the receiver needs time to process the feedback before responding, setting up a subsequent meeting will be most helpful.
Step 3: Ownership
Own the role you played in creating the situation. When you model ownership of blind spots, failures, or missteps, you set the stage for the receiver to do the same. For example, you may acknowledge that you were not aware of how to support your employee and not aware of the problem until x situation occurred. Equally important as owning your role, is owning your emotions. Own your emotions using “I” statements. For example, “I felt disappointed when I realized your sales performance had substantially declined”.
Step 4: Open, Honest, Direct Feedback
Feedback that dances around the problem does not do anyone any good. It only increases anxiety on behalf of the receiver, and potentially causes the feedback to get totally lost. The conversation needs to be open, honest, and direct. For example: “I felt concerned when you did not attend the last two strategy calls this month…It brought up questions for me about your commitment to the company.”
Step 5: Listen, Validate and Accept
When providing feedback, it is important both parties maintain an open mind, and respond in a way that communicates validation and acceptance. As soon as an individual gets defensive, feedback cannot be taken in, and the value of the conversation dramatically decreases. When providing feedback it is important to listen, validate, and accept your receiver’s viewpoint. Notice, I did not say agree. This looks something like saying: “I can see why X led you to commit Y , I understand you were under a great deal of stress/dealing with a personal situation/frustrated.”
Step 6: A Clear Plan for Moving Forward
In providing feedback, the magic is that now things can change! If feedback is never given, relationships end, things will stay the same, businesses will die, and money will be lost. If you have gotten to this step, that means you did the hard work, and now you get to put change into action. A clear plan includes an acknowledgement from both parties regarding what they will do differently to prevent the situation from occurring again, and how they will stay accountable in making the change happen.
The good news about delivering feedback is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Remember, giving and receiving feedback is one of the most surefire ways to open yourself up to massive growth.
As a giver of feedback, it is your job to model openness and a desire for growth, so that the receiver may take in the feedback and make the necessary changes. Exceling at feedback delivery will help you set you apart from others and enable you to achieve extraordinary relationships, in both your personal and work lives.
Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show
Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.
What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.
1. Perceived Expertise
When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.
They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.
2. Global Acknowledgement
One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.
The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.
“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar
3. Backed By Numbers
One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.
The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?
4. Effective Communication
While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins
These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.
Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!
5 Essential Skills to Drive Success in Every Niche
There are many people who don’t have the courage to launch a business in a niche as they think they don’t have the right skills and experience to obtain success. While there are specific skills which determine the success in every niche, there are also some general skills which ensure success in any business you would try.
Below are 5 essential skills you need to drive success in every aspect of your life:
When you launch a new business, you need to be prepared for difficult moments such as fighting the competition and winning your target audience. Moreover, if you follow some successful entrepreneurs, you should keep in mind that they also faced difficulties and continue to experience them. So, how does a successful entrepreneur get over all the difficulties?
The essential skill you need to possess is called ambition. Set small and clear milestones in your development plan and use your ambition to go over each difficulty and finalize what you had in your mind. It doesn’t matter how hard the path is going to be. Visualize your target and put in all the efforts to achieve it. Staying organized and scheduling each step to get things done are some of the techniques you can use to achieve success.
2. Listen to those around you
While listening to your instincts is necessary if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, this is not enough. As your business develops, you will have an entire team to manage and lead to success. Therefore, you cannot be a successful leader and have success in every niche unless you learn how to listen to the people around you.
You should listen to your employees and discover what they are expecting from you. This is the way to follow if you want to keep your team motivated and help them give the best of themselves.
On the other hand, you will need to listen to your customers to improve your products and services and provide excellent customer support. By listening carefully to the voice of your customers, you will be able to stand out of the competition and ensure their loyalty towards your brand.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
When you decided to become an entrepreneur and build your own business, it means you are a courageous person. Courage will help you harness the power of creativity. Don’t be afraid to take risks if you feel a specific action will bring more success to your business.
Apart from doing intensive research on your ideas and developing the exact steps you are going to follow, you will need the courage to implement them. Not all the ideas will turn out to be successful.
Regardless, you will have something to learn from each success or mistake and this will help you move your business even further. When you have the courage to follow a path which is not very familiar to you, this is going to be the moment when you will widen your horizons and exceed your limits to achieve success.
4. Creativity and imagination
If you already implemented your idea and you see that it works, you most probably think that you don’t need to change anything to achieve more success. You need to keep in mind that customers’ preferences change and your competition is waiting for your mistakes to “steal” your clients.
Therefore, you need to use your creativity and imagination to improve your products and services to meet your customers’ expectations. What is more, creativity can also mean that you are open to talk to new people and use their experience to improve something in your business.
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs
5. Continuous learning
If you want to drive success in every niche you will need to show a willingness to learn. You need to stay updated with what happens in your niche and what your customers expect from you.
Education is not only something for school. It is a lifelong process, and you should be open to seek knowledge and improve your skills with every opportunity. An efficient trick is to stay close to people who are already successful in your industry, ask their opinions on various subjects and learn from their experience.
The above five essential skills will help you build a successful business in every niche. A true leader is ambitious, knows to listen to the people around him, and is always open to learning from others.
No matter the size of your business, you will need to be creative and use your imagination to improve your products and services. These skills will help any leader develop new skills, stand out of the crowd, and strengthen his position on the market.
What skill do you think is most important to be successful in life? Let us know below!
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