How to Have Other-Focused Conversations

Whether it’s a raise, an opportunity to be mentored, or just figuring out what the heck your employees need from you, if you don’t ASK, you don’t GET!

We spend too much time thinking about how to get others to give us what we want, when the answer couldn’t be more simple.

If you just ASK for what you want in a way that makes it about others, you will win.

Need help figuring out how to make your conversations other focused? Click below to download our free handout that’s guaranteed to change the way you communicate with others both in and out of the workplace.

Want to build better relationships in work and in life? You have to make it about others first - the audience is the hero of your story! Use these tips to change the conversation:



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What’s Holding You Back? The 5 Most Common Fears That Are Keeping You From Success

I recently got back from a week in Singapore – a week that was bookended by two of the world’s longest flights. And I mean that literally. At 18.5+ hours, the flight from LAX to Singapore is one of the longest commercial flights you can make!

When you travel a lot as I do, you have a ton of thinking time, especially if you can’t sleep on planes like me. You also get to meet all sorts of people. People at their best and at their worst. The best rocks and the worst well, not so much. And when you’re meeting people at their worst, it’s usually because you’re bumping up against their fears – fear of flying, fear of enclosed spaces, fear of missing out (FOMO), fear of whatever. Fear can make people unpleasant, if not downright impossible to deal with. And what’s sad is fear holds people back and prevents them from connecting with their fellow travelers – we’ve all heard those stories of a chance meeting on a plane that changed someone’s life or career forever! So the big question is, how do we move beyond that fear and negativity?

Clearly, the workplace is also a place where you’re likely to meet people working from fear. It shows up differently for all people and sometimes doesn’t even look like fear, but unless you bust through it, it will continue to keep you from achieving the success you want for yourself, your team, and your company.

Over the 36+ hours I spent on a plane at the end of January, I had a lot of time to reflect on what holds people back in life and in their careers. After training over 14,000 millennials, I’ve found that most people struggle with the same five things. Occasionally, I’ll get a client with a unique challenge, but by and large most people get hung up by the same damn things! The good news? They’re all things we can coach you through!

 

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure holds you back because when you’re afraid to fail, you’re afraid to risk anything. You reject opportunities for growth or advancement because it means stepping outside your comfort zone and opening yourself up to failing. So you stay in the same role even though you have nothing left to learn. You stay at the same job you hate because you’re afraid to fail in a new role at a new company. You daydream about starting your own business, but never do more than dabble because you’re afraid to fail in such a public way.

But here’s the thing. If you want to get a promotion, start your own company, change careers – you need to accept that risk is part of the package. As the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You HAVE to risk failure and lean into the uncertainty in order to succeed. It is simply not possible to stay “safe” and crush your goals at the same time. You have to be bold and take action, regardless of the outcome.

 

Lack of Confidence

If you suffer from a lack of confidence, you will have trouble connecting with others and asking for what you want whether that’s a promotion, a new role, or the sale. Instead, you wait for these things to be handed to you. You hope that if you work hard enough, your boss will notice and give you the raise you’ve been thinking about. You tell yourself that if you’re nice enough to the prospective client, they’ll just decide to give you their business.

But it doesn’t work like that. You NEED to learn how to connect with others, articulate your value, and ask for what you want in a way that serves others. We call that “WIFThem”. ..What’s in it for them. Which again goes back to working on the relationship you have with yourself so you can know your story and what you have to give to others.

 

Feeling Unworthy

Somehow we’ve got it into our heads that being self-deprecating is the same as being humble. It’s not.

It might seem innocent enough to brush off a compliment or make a joke that puts yourself down, but over time, you begin to reinforce the idea that you are unworthy of the accolades, praise, and compliments of others. And when you feel unworthy of what you’ve already been given, you will shy away from opportunities to do more and be more. Which will never move you closer to your career goals.

Instead, you need to own it!!! We all have something to contribute so figure out what you have to give to others and own every inch of it!!!

 

Fear of Being Found Out

Also known as imposter syndrome, many people I’ve coached are held back by an intense fear that “other people will find them out”. That if people get too close, if they spend too much time with them, they will discover that they’re not as talented, smart, creative, innovative, imaginative, etc. as they’ve made themselves out to be. That once people take a look under the shiny hood, instead of the performance engine they expect to find, they’ll discover the car’s leaking oil and held together with duct tape. So they stay in hiding and keep people at arm’s length.

But if you want the career you’ve always dreamed of, you need to find a way to show your value and be vulnerable, which is one of the key leadership traits for success. Once you can share who you truly are, you’ll be able to make it about others. You can’t make it about others if you can’t be vulnerable and connect with them to find out what they truly care about! So until you let go of this fear that you’ll be found out as a fraud, which you won’t, you’re going to struggle to connect and move forward in your career.

 

Inability to Take Action

Some people are held back simply by their inability to get out of their own way and take action! They get so overwhelmed by the thought of changing jobs, starting a new career, or going the entrepreneur route that they stare at the mountain of decisions that need to be made and choose to do NOTHING. By the way, this fear usually relates to one of the aforementioned fears being buried down deep…but we won’t put you on the couch just yet.

Here’s the thing: you might think you’re abdicating or deferring the responsibility by refusing to make a decision. But you’re still making a choice. You’re choosing to do nothing about your current situation and you’re choosing to do nothing to move you closer to your goals. So if you’re telling yourself that you DO really want the promotion or the job, then you have to DO something about it. You cannot sit back and hope things just work out in your favor.

 

So what’s holding you back? And how are you going to bust through it to get the life and career you want? If you don’t know, then start by scheduling your exploratory coaching call or signing up for our next Strengths & Story workshop.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. Take Risks. Lean into Uncertainty.
  2. Be Bold. Be Vulnerable.
  3. Own Your Value.
  4. Connect With Others and Make it About Them.
  5. Choose Action.

To Crush 2019, Build a Relationship with Yourself

Over the winter holiday, in a snow-covered house in the mountain town of Deer Valley, Utah, my family gathered for a week of skiing, eating delicious food, and spending time with great company. But it wouldn’t be a Negroni holiday if there wasn’t at least one spirited discussion about how to succeed at work and in life.

One evening, I had the pleasure of defending my position that building relationships is the most important life/work skill any employee or person could have. My host had a different viewpoint, firmly believing that technical skills were more important for success.

“Technical/schmecnical” I said, “Anyone who gets hired should have those basic skills, otherwise the company or hiring manager would be a moron.” To further back my stance, I pulled out my phone, and pulled up this Ted Talk on what makes a good life, by Harvard psychiatrist Robert Waldinger.

In my book, Chasing Relevance, I quoted key insights from the longest-running study on adult development. Directed by Waldinger, the study tracked the lives 700+ men over a period of seventy-five years. Every year, researchers checked in to ask about their work, home lives, health, and happiness.

What they discovered supported the idea that relationships are the most important thing in life: when you have better relationships with yourself and also with others, you’re happier, you live longer, and you even become more successful monetarily.

After we viewed the video clip, I continued to argue my point like only an ex-New York lawyer can and eventually my host capitulated.  He did have one additional question for me though: what relationship would I prioritize over all others on in 2019?

My real-deal, no-BS answer on how to achieve business success is simple. If you want to crush it (yes, that is a technical term) in 2019 then you need to learn how to build a relationship with yourself.

Yes, you. Really!

Your relationship with yourself is the primary relationship you need to focus on in 2019 and always.

Want to know why? Check out the rest of this article that was featured on GLG’s website. And if you need help building a better relationship with yourself, shoot us an e-mail at dan@launchbox365.com or call us at 858.314.9867.

What’s Your Story? 3 Books That Will Help You Find Your Brand’s Heartbeat

This is a guest post by Xhannon Fox, from the website MinuteMarketing. You can find the original post here.

Whether you’re developing your personal brand or selling a product or experience, you need to get in touch with your story. With so many options out there, people don’t just buy because of what you’re selling, they buy from you because of YOU.

Think of all the companies that have recently been embroiled in controversy, not because of their products, but because of a stance they took that didn’t resonate with their consumer base. Chik-fil-A and CEO Dan T. Cathy’s opposition to same-sex marriage. The #DeleteUber campaign that happened with Uber appeared to send drivers to JFK airport during a taxi driver strike against President Trump’s Travel Ban. Chik-fil-A’s fried chicken sandwiches may be delicious, but they’re not the only game in town. Uber may be convenient, but they’re far from the only ride-share company available. While neither company suffered insurmountable losses on the business scale, the resulting PR nightmares were the direct result of the new marketplace where consumers care more about your story and image than they do about your product.

But how do you become a company like Apple or Disney, whose story is something consumers believe in so much, they practically buy every product and experience the company puts out without question? How do you achieve a level of consumer loyalty that borders on fanaticism?

You get really clear on your story and your why.

What makes you you? Why should consumers choose your brand over a competitor? Why should they work with you? Why should they buy your products? Why should they choose the experiences you’re offering?

If you’re struggling with any of the above questions or aren’t sure how to deliver a compelling narrative about your company, I’ve compiled a list of three excellent books that will help you on your way to discovering the heartbeat of your story!

Book - The Storyteller's Secret

1) The Storyteller’s Secret: How the World’s Most Inspiring Leaders Turn Their Passion Into Performance by Carmine Gallo

From the publisher: In The Storyteller’s Secret, Gallo explains why the brain is hardwired to love stories – especially rags-to-riches stories – and how the latest science can help you craft a persuasive narrative that wins hearts and minds. “The art of storytelling can be used to drive change,” says billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. And since the next decade will see the most change our civilization has ever known, your story will radically transform your business, your life, and the lives of those you touch. Ideas that catch on are wrapped in story. Your story can change the world. Isn’t it time you shared yours?

Quick Take: I love that this book has tons of concrete examples of people whose stories you can research for yourself. It also has lots of great tidbits to help you in crafting your story and inspiring you to think differently. (Full Book Review Forthcoming)

Start with why

2) Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

From the publisher: Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

Quick Take: Sinek takes a slightly different take than Gallo on the topic of story, focusing instead on how great leaders used their why as a way to inspire others to take action. Sinek’s TED Talk is one of the most popular TED Talks ever – you can watch it here. (Full Book Review Forthcoming)

Chasing Relevance by Dan Negroni

3) Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace by Dan Negroni

From the Publisher: There are more than 83 million millennials in the United States, representing 36% of our workforce. By 2025, that number will grow to 75%. If millennials are not your employees yet, they will be soon-as well as your biggest customers. Our ability to attract, train, manage and retain this next generation of leaders is critical to the future success of our businesses. But a huge and damaging connection, communication, and understanding gap exists between non-millennials and millennials in our workplaces. Why? Because millennials are not a problem that needs to be fixed, they are an opportunity that needs to be embraced. We must all find relevance in bridging the gap to create next-generation leaders in all of us by: – creating powerful, authentic relationships – promoting behavior that creates a culture of openness, delivering value and shared purpose – teaching real-deal skills and increasing individual accountability to drive sustained results

That’s what Chasing Relevance is about: being better leaders by guiding those millennials and letting them guide us, having everyone be their best self by caring enough to connect. The choice is clear: we need to care more about millennials by pushing ourselves to be better leaders, coaches, and mentors. Because we love them, we need them and we want them to succeed. It’s time to stop chasing relevance and make it happen.

Quick Take: On the face of it, this book might not seem like it belongs on this list. But Part 1 is a gold mine for anyone looking to get in touch with and deliver their story in a powerful way. The questions that are clearly laid out for you to ask yourself will really help you discover your story and what sets you apart. Plus, part 2 is all about bridging the gap between generations…something almost all businesses struggle with. (Full Book Review Forthcoming)

So what’s your story? What makes your company or your brand unique?

Employee vs. Entrepreneur: 4 Great Ideas to Foster Millennial Entrepreneurs Within Your Company Today

The American Dream was much different just a few decades ago. People wanted the good life: a big house with a nice yard, a shiny car, a family, luxuries, and rising to the top of the corporate ladder.

In 2017, things have changed.

Millennials (who will make up half the work force in the next three years) value independence over a corner office in an executive suite. Nine out of ten millennials say professional development and career growth is important in a job. However, to Generation Y/the Millennial, the appeal toward entrepreneurship is most attractive.

Almost two-thirds of millennials want to start their own business. Growing up seeing their parents and relatives getting fired, along with viewing cubicle life as boring, millennials see entrepreneurship as the answer to a stimulating career, a solid work life balance, professional growth, and independence. This begs the question:

Is working for the big man and a big company contradictory to millennial’s path to success if their ultimate desire is to be entrepreneurs?

All across the career board, you can see a pattern occurring. Millennials who work as trainers at a gym want to break off and get clients on their own and start their personal brand. IT consultants are wondering if they should continue working within a company, or offer freelancing consulting. Nutritionists and health coaches desire to become their own boss with their own clients and personal practice.

As a manager, this change can either be seen as a problem or as an opportunity. You can either think, Millennials are just going to stay for 3 months and leave my company. They are unloyal and not worth even training. Plus, they are ignorant about how difficult it is to start a company.

Or…

You can see this major industry shift as a HUGE opportunity and ask, How can I encourage entrepreneurial behavior within the company?

While the idea of entrepreneurship is sexy to millennials, the reality is starting a business is no easy task. This is where managers can thrive and become the rock star leaders that millennials need.

As a manager, you can play a key role in coaching Millennials to become inner entrepreneurs within the frame of your company. This is the ultimate win-win: creating intraprenuers. Millennials can have the opportunity to develop, innovate, and experiment, all the while contributing to the wellbeing and growth of your company’s mission.

Create the Space for Millennials to Experiment with Passion Projects

From the get-go, make it transparent to your millennial workers that they have the opportunity to grow and innovate within the framework of your company. Create a culture that promotes a healthy balance of freedom and structure.

A great example of this is what Google did with their “Genius Hour.” Employees were allowed to use 20% of their workweek to explore projects of their choosing, as long as it benefited and contributed to the company. Gmail, AdSense, and Google Glass are just a few examples of successes that resulted from the allocated time for self-directed experimentation.

Welcome New Ideas, Feedback, and Input

Millennials want feedback. They want acknowledgment. They want praise. They want constructive advice. They’re just too scared to ask for it. Less than 20% of millennials say they routinely receive feedback, according to Gallup research.

As a manger, it’s up to you to create a welcoming, friendly work environment. Make feedback a two-way street. Create an open door policy and make it clear to your millennial workers that they can ask you questions—whether popping into the office, texting, tweeting, or calling.

By empowering millennials to feel confident and comfortable with open communication, they will feel permission to innovate and come forward with new ideas. They will see you, their manager, as someone they can trust.

Create Incentives

Whether it is in the form of stock options, chances for commission, or special perks, make it clear that millennials can succeed beyond just means of salary. Millennials value independence, flexibility, purposeful work, and growth opportunities. If you can provide these incentives, millennials will want to work for your company and contribute to its growth.

Emphasize Structure and Safety

Unlike if millennials were on their own starting a personal brand, they have the luxury of support and safety that comes with working for a company. Emphasize that millennials can be intrepreneurs and still grow and take risks. Explain that working within your company is the perfect place for them to learn and grow, without the very real risk of messing up on their own.

By emphasizing entrepreneurial opportunities and the safety that comes along with being part of a company, millennials will feel empowered to take risks and innovate within your company.

Take action TODAY and create the opportunities for millennials to become Intreprenuers within your company. Allow the space for millennials to work on passion projects and innovate within the company. Embrace new ideas, provide feedback, and promote a culture with open communication. Create incentives while also showing the upside that comes with working in a company.

The workplace is changing, and it’s up to YOU as a manger to adapt and view the shift as an opportunity to be embraced.

Need help getting started? Let us help you stop chasing relevance and make it happen. For more on working from the inside out, check out Part One of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace TODAY.