Win Enthusiastic Cooperation

There are so many books, apps and lectures designed to teach us to win the enthusiastic cooperation of others.

But here’s one I have used – it’s short, it’s sweet and it never fails to work.

Stand next to the person whose 100% cooperation you are seeking.

  1. With their permission, ask if you can grasp their hand and then ask them to pull as hard as they can away from you while you pull in the opposite direction.  Point out that when this happens in life or at the workplace, the struggle becomes the only result.  No ground is gained.
  2. Then continuing to clasp them by the hand, ask the other person not to pull away from you – just stand still.  Now, point out that even when people don’t consciously resist, they are not readily moving in the same direction.  They become deadweight.
  3. Finally, ask the other person to move with you as you grasp their hand and pull in the same direction.  This illustrates how two people moving in the same direction can get there faster.

I’ve done this at meetings where you ask attendees to pair off and try it.

From now on, you have graphically instructed those around you that enthusiastic cooperation is an active function that requires moving forward not resisting and most importantly that standing still is not enthusiastic cooperation.

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society” – Vince Lombardi

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When You’re in a Rut

Some days it is easy to throw our hands up in the air and stop trying.

When everything becomes difficult and life becomes a struggle.

Get out of the rut.

  1. Figure out the things you like to do – even in bad times – and do them every day.  Find 3 and make them a part of every day going forward.
  2. Set the timer on your phone to go off every few hours and when it does make note of what you are doing at that time.  Do you like it?  Do this for several weeks or a month and you will soon discover the things that make you happy that you are not now doing.  Then start doing them.
  3. When you hit a low, get busy doing things you like. 
  4. Go to bed early after a bad day and hit reset the next morning.  Why drag out a bad day when you can rest up to start another good one tomorrow.
  5. Have the courage to let go.  Again and again we discover the power of giving up control and so we may discover parts of life we could not have planned for.  You may have heard that Google Maps is getting ready to introduce a feature called Field Trip, a way to go beyond getting specific directions we seek and discovering places around us.  We need more of that.  Seek out the unscheduled moment because it may be your happiest one yet.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers” – M. Scott Peck

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The Secret To Surviving a Bad Break

A man in the hospital that I never knew taught me the greatest lesson about overcoming pain and disappointment.

While visiting a friend, my friend shared with me something I have remembered since the first day I heard it.

As I was trying to cheer her up, she wound up cheering me up by telling me of a young man who was in traction and forbidden to move his limbs for the best part of six weeks.

But it was his advice that resonated.

“I added up the number of days I was expected to be laid up and then figured out what percentage of my life this painful inconvenience would cost me.  And you know what, it was something like 0.0001 days of my expected life span”.

That’s how he reminded himself that while six weeks down and out is a sizeable inconvenience today; it is a very, very small part of his entire life.

The same applies to other health problems like the burden of chemotherapy.

Working in a job you don’t like but unable to find a new one – yet.

The perspective of time is a great healer in more ways than one.

Putting in perspective the bad break with all the time we are reasonably expecting on this earth is the secret to surviving short-term inconvenience long enough to get through it.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” — 
E.M. Forster

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How To Manage Better

There are many books on time management, goal setting and getting things done. 

But there are three words – just three words – that, if you make them part of your life, will produce better results that you might have ever imagined.




Make a list of things you need to do and prioritize them.  The secret is to update this list all day in real time to focus on success. 

Make someone else responsible for some of the things you need to do.  Getting things accomplished requires teamwork and by asking people to help you, you empower them to succeed and do it gladly.  The key is to ask them.

Once you have someone helping you, take responsibility to turn to your list and see that each task or project is being performed satisfactorily.

This short course in effective management is attainable by the end of the day if you commit these three things to memory.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out” – Ronald Reagan

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How To Overcome A Case of Nerves

When I taught Dale Carnegie, one of my adult students got so panicked in front of her audience that she ran down the aisle and darted out of the room never to return.

Studies have shown that more people fear speaking than death!

And it’s too bad because a little nervousness guarantees your success.

Let me repeat that:  a little nervousness guarantees that you will be successful whether you are speaking to a group, doing a presentation, meeting a new acquaintance for the first time or just about any situation that can cause anxiety.

I’d like to share with you the secret and if it works for you the way it works for me, I hope you will share it with others who are unnecessarily burdening themselves with negative stress.

Get your butterflies to fly in formation.

I have seen some of the finest professionals in radio, television and public speaking feel a bit of anxiety about doing a good job.  However, they have the attitude to keep the butterflies under control or as I like to say, flying in formation.

So don’t fear a case of nerves.

Welcome it because people who succeed know that a bit of nervousness means a lot of caring about success.

“Courage is not the absence of fear but the awareness that something else is more important” – Stephen Covey

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