Tag Archives: Purpose

I recently came across this article “Learning to say no” and since a lot of my clients seem to struggle with saying no in a polite way I thought I would write a post about it. I think the issue is not that we all want to say yes all the time but to understand better why you say yes in the first place. Maybe networking is a good example.

When you network with purpose you give people a reason to contact you again. You provide advice and you invite people to get in touch with you. You promise them knowledge, education, and access to your professional network. You could help them save time on meaningless research and formatting tasks. You could even offer them your administrative support for free. Believe me, no one will believe that you are doing this without intention and an agenda. This is different. It will stick. You cannot make one key mistake though: You cannot expect reward or even gratitude from your counterpart. You need to believe in the “networking karma” as I like to call it.

You keep the relationship alive, even if the background of the other person doesn’t match yours or even if the person might be a competitor. You might also feel the tendency to continue giving to certain contacts without getting anything back and you might think this is a bad thing.

I don’t think so, but I think we all have to be careful that we are not abused by takers.

You never know when a contact will play a role later in life. I learned yesterday it takes between 5 and 7 years in Switzerland until a newbie is a fully accepted member of a “Zunfthaus”. You can learn more about this Swiss tradition when you speak to an expert. (I’m no Zunftexpert at all). I think this is a good time frame for your networking effort too. If you have not messed up the trust you are building in five to seven years you might be allowed to ask for a small favor.

What could happen if you invest in your professional network without an agenda and without immediate expectations is that you suddenly have too many balls in the air. You juggle your network of contacts and you are a sought-after expert in your field.

I get at least one request for a scientific research project a month. It usually means that I spend about an hour preparing for an interview and another hour with the interviewer. Sometimes I dig out literature or I promise to send a link or literature list afterward. Most students don’t see how much time it took me to prepare all that knowledge but I usually get their thesis as a gift, which is great because I have a very specific library now. So, I continue to say “yes” to students because it helps me to keep up to speed with the academic research in my field. I work with an intention but not based on immediate gratification. In my view that is a different mindset.

You need to know when you say yes and when you say no

My own coach and mentor recently explained that we all need to learn to say no in a polite way. We need to be professional “Nein, danke” sayers. And for a giver that’s not so easy. What I recommend to do is to set yourself some principles and guidelines. This is how I came up with the ten professional networking principles initially. I used them to help me in my efforts to be less strategic but still network according to my purpose and values.

You could collage a thank you-wall or have a box of thank you cards

We forget sometimes how grateful people are when you help them achieve what they would like to achieve. One idea I have is that you could put together a wall with all the emails, notes and postcards you receive from people who just say “thank you”. Or you could keep them in a box or nice folder.

Learn to say “NEIN, DANKE!”

Instead of saying plain “No.”, you could consider a “yes, if…” or “no, thank you.”. You could say yes if certain conditions are met and if you are declining you have a few good arguments to decline. For example, you could say: I’m happy to meet you if we meet during lunchtime in a restaurant close to where I work.” or “I’m happy to give you advice if you prepare five questions and send them to me 24 hours before the meeting.” or “I’m happy to support your refugee program if you show my logo on your website.”

What will you decline politely this week?

Angie

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Give and Take by Adam M. Grant

On Perfectionism
http://www.vanschneider.com/perfectionism-is-killing-your-creativity

 

Did you just have another day where you cleaned up your desk, wondered what you had achieved today and got home to a stack of dishes, a pile of clothes and a crying son? Did you spend last night driving your daughter to SCUBA class, squeezed in a conference call and forgot that it was your mother’s birthday? Did you then at 11 pm sit down thinking “Why am I not moving on with my life?”

Often we think we are too busy to do that right thing, the Ph.D. we wanted to start, the Master we wanted to finish, the weight loss program and healthy nutrition we wanted to implement. We keep ourselves too busy to meet a new partner.

We play safe and the older we get the less risk we are willing to take.

Often we spend our time doing the wrong stuff. Sometimes there are good reasons to hang onto a job, a client or even a marriage. Sometimes hanging in there is part of the deal (“…for better or worse…”) but there is also a fine line between going through rough patches and self-destruction.

I once had a reputation for being able to ignore many issues until the day they are actually relevant. Well, I would consider that the art of living. Maybe my life story has led me to believe that I should focus on doing what needs to be done before it is too late.

However, I also sometimes get stuck in a story that I have been telling myself for the longest time. Or I get a slight panic when I notice that once again the costs of running my business eat up my earnings. On such days, I tend to feel overwhelmed with all the tasks and the stress of managing a business and a life. And what do I do, when I find my life overwhelming? I press the pause button.

Get out of your rat race by pressing the pause button.

You might not know how to do this but I will teach you. For those of you who have started with RockMe! you probably understand that following a weekly routine is helping you in the process of being more satisfied with your achievements and more in tune with your purpose.

Define what your purpose is or reconnect with your purpose.

I know, that this sounds difficult. For some of you, it sounds too difficult to even get started. Maybe you thought you had defined your purpose clearly but now you have doubts. Is that really the reason why you are in the world? Is this the area of work and life where you can influence the world the most for the better or are you just in this for the status, the money and the company car? Is your reason for this international move the next career step in Caracas or is it the housing allowance and the package your company pulled together?

Separate making a living from your self-worth.

When I speak to some of you I understand that work plays a very important role in your life but so does your spouse, your children, parents, siblings, and friends. You are more than a breadwinner and after having been in the corporate world for such a long time and having made it to here, don’t you think you deserve to focus more on your important relationships?

Stop being a corporate zombie.

You do not have to be a corporate zombie either. The company pays you to deliver 42 hours of work (in Switzerland). If there is an expectation that you work extra hours you should be financially compensated. I see a limit though of the value of money. When basic needs are met, the rest is a luxury and no pair of shoes, no holiday, no luxury car will replace your health. Think about it and let me know if you need my help.

Kind regards

Angie Weinberger

PS: For those of you, who wish to join our #RockMeRetreat18 please subscribe here.

purpose, preparation...

“When we are clear about our contribution to the world, we will use all channels available to make that contribution happen.”

 

1I have clients telling me that they do not make enough money. In one conversation I recently suggested to consider to turn around the perspective: Put aside what you would like to save and see how much you have left to spend. Will you still struggle? Or is your need to consume just a valve for stress release? Find out what your poverty story loop is and learn five ways to find back into reality.
1) Observe your poverty story loop and write it down when you recognize it.
A poverty story loop is a recurring theme that you tell yourself about what will happen to you. It is usually negative and involves that you will live under a bridge, lose all your possessions and similar scenarios. Without going into the deep psychology of the why, I would like to encourage you to write down your poverty story loop when you recognize it.
I will just always have enough money to get by. I will not be hungry but never live in luxury. This is a story I was told when I was around 22 years old. Somehow it made sense to me then. I often notice that the story becomes stronger in my head when I spend time with my mother. She has a theme that must be related to being the oldest child of a large family after the 2nd world war in Germany. My mother is very good at saving money. I am not but I used to spend a lot more when I earned more. So here’s the catch: I have never been poor but I worry about money a lot since I started a company. Other people worry about health but I am not too concerned here. What is your poverty story loop? Write it down.
2) Run a reality check by writing down the counter-theory
Have you got a favorite crime story where you notice that the suspect is not the real murderer? Think about this as you write your counter-theory. Note down all the luxury you have in this world such as a big car, beautiful inner city apartment, five weeks of holiday time, trips to St. Anton and NYC. I think you understand my point, now go and jot down your counter theory. After you completed this exercise check if you still believe the story. Check all your bank accounts, count your cash and bring all the pennies and foreign currency to the bank. Cash all your cheques. Are you still poor?
3) Note down a list of wishes and take a break from impulse shopping
It might be possible to have all that we wish for. You just need to become clearer on what you wish for. It helps to write your wishes down. When your story is about money you could consider everything you need to have versus what you just want to have. For example: When you already have five suits: Do you really need one more or you just want one more? When you already have a functioning car: Do you really need a Porsche?
I have a lot of wishes on my wish list that I don’t really need. They are luxury items. Since I started to write them down I have less desire to buy them. Try it out and force yourself to wait for a month before you are allowed to buy anything that you just want. Do you still want it?
If you spend too much money when you go out you can use a simple trick we used as students: Only take as much cash with you as you are allowing yourself to spend that night. You can also check out my tricks for less affluent entrepreneurs.
4) Listen to the story voice again and tell me who this voice belongs to.
Is this really your story? Did you suck this one up with your mother’s milk or did you see your father struggling with this theme too? If you recognize the story as someone else’s write down the name of the person who owns the story. If it is you than you might understand that you can change the story into a wealth story. If you notice that it is someone else’s story keep it there.
5) Focus on other important aspects in life
Money and financial security are nice to have but too much money is also a stress factor. We have had a bit of money and lost a lot Provided you have enough money to survive and feed yourself and your loved ones ask yourself if you really need and want more money. Living in a safe place where you can voice your opinion is priceless. Being healthy is god-given and having family and friends who love you is amazing. Having healthy children is a miracle. Focus on other
Rock Me!
Leaders are not born. We can work with you to become a global leader.

As a global leader (executive or opinion leader) you might ask yourself how you can stop wasting your energy on less important tasks and less helpful thoughts. For me it all boils down to your leadership vision for making the world a better place and your purpose in this life.

Step One: Visualise your leadership vision

Have you thought about your vision already? Great. Then visualise it. Put it in a painting, collage, video or write an essay about it. The most important strategy is that you put it on a paper instead of churning and turning it in your head and heard. For example our leadership vision at GPT is “We aspire a world of peace and prosperity for all people.”

Step Two: Define your purpose in this life

Your purpose in this life might not be as “grand” and honourable as your leadership vision but it is helpful if you put in words, an image or a fotograph. We decided that our purpose is this “Through our global mobility expertise, executive coaching and intercultural training we help our clients to build better relationships across the world.” Your purpose can also relate to your personal life. You could say “I want to be a trusted companion for all my friends. I want to be a nurturing parent. I want to support younger colleagues and friends as a good mentor.”

Step Three: Say it in an easy tagline

Once you understand your leadership vision and purpose in life you need to be able to say it in a way that common people will understand why you get up in the morning. For GPT we used this sentence “We help global people get better – every day!” This is our “tagline” and our motto. It is the reason for our team to contribute to the company.

Step Four: Check your diary

Is your professional time and personal time aligned with your leadership vision, purpose in life and tagline. If you do not work with a diary you might want to write one and at the end of each day give yourself credit for the interactions you had that were actually aligned with your leadership vision, purpose in life and tagline.

Please let us know your tagline in the comment section.

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