Can You Resist Change and Not Get Fired?

Can You Resist Change and Not Get Fired?

National, State or Local political outcomes may not be what you had hoped for. Or you’ve received your invitation to the inauguration ceremony, swearing in or oath taking and are tickled pink about it.

What some referred to for the past 4-8 years as the New Normal will be a fond memory. There will be those who reminisce about the “the good old days” while others say, “Thank goodness those crazy times are over. Let’s repair what’s broken or die trying.”

Perhaps you chose to ignore the political battleground. I guarantee that there will be change for everyone in 2017 even if you didn’t vote.

Change is inescapable. John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

I don’t want to miss the future and I choose to embrace the present. The past is over. All that we can change about the past is how we remember it. Stories about past adventures, mistakes and successes grow richer in every retelling. However, I usually cast myself in a bigger starring role with each recitation.

Maybe your 2017 change will come as a corporate restructure, right-sizing, retrenching or layoff. Your political views will not have anything to do with your 2017 changes.

Maybe the change will be in your health, home life, marital status or in the life of someone you cherish, perhaps they are a dear friend, a family member or in one of your work colleagues.

The bottom line for everyone is that “Change is Ahead.” How we adapt, accept and manage change is the key to a prosperous and serene life.

When facing change, whether it’s wanted or mandatory, I remind myself of how I managed recent life adjustments. Change brings fear of the unknown. There are five poor ways to face fear:

  1. Fight: Refusal to accept a new plan. Active resistance.
  2. Flight: Run away. Maybe that comes as a job resignation.
  3. Fold: Give in. Stumble forward. Head down . Keep out of the firing line. Passive-aggressive.
  4. Fake-It: Lie about acceptance. Continue to perform as if nothing had happened.
  5. Freeze:You take no action towards or away from change. You hope for a reprieve.

Ask yourself how are you going to prosper, despite forced changes in 2017.

Use the HOW PROCESS. The process is simple. Embrace the HOW when it comes to change, be: Honest, Open and Willing:

Honest with yourself and others.

Open to new ideas, methods, ways of thinking and new action.

Willing to do the work necessary to implement changes to the best of your ability.

As author and motivational speaker, Brian Tracy says, “Develop an attitude of Gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

Mary Redmond is a negotiation expert that provides workshops, presentations and coaching for companies and organizations.  She is a well-known professional speaker, author and consultant that can help you achieve success.

Joy, Thanks and Life 17 Years later

Seventeen years ago, I took my first step towards a new, unexpected and joy-filled life.

The journey has been full of blessings, new deep, life-long friendships, surprises, struggles and challenges.

The big difference is that before that night, 17-years ago, I had few tools to manage life’s tough times. I dreaded those roller coaster days, terror filled nights that lasted for what felt like 12 or more hours. With morning came regrets and a litany of trite phrases directed towards my husband. They usually began with “I’m sorry for what I said last night.” Followed with, Honey, today will be different, I promise.”

On other mornings, with a rotten and bitter taste in my mouth, I’d ask, “Did I do something dumb last night? I can’t remember much after 10:00pm.”

The words: hope, faith, acceptance, honesty and forgiveness were not in my vocabulary. My soul was filled with feelings of hopelessness, fear, guilt, resentment and anger.

That was then. Today I look forward to each new day. Monday’s included. Usually that is…

I said I’m more honest now. Some Monday’s are not that great.

There are a few Monday’s, after a particularly precious weekend with family and friends, where I wish Sunday would last for 48-hours.

One recent “rough” Monday was the day after returning from a fabulous 6-day girl friend trip to an exclusive Mexican Riviera resort and spa vacation.

On that Monday, I wished for just one more vacation day of sun, beach, guacamole, salsa and chips, plus hours more of laughing until the tears rolled and our bellies hurt.

Today I live blessed life. If you were checking out Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid, the chart is almost complete. I’m covered in the basic needs: physiological, safety, love/belonging and esteem. I spend most of my self-development working on the Self-Actualization phase that includes morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, acceptance of facts and lack of prejudice.

I live in our beautiful dream home with my dear husband of 26+ years. My professional speaking business is running at a wonderful pace. I’m working on a book and from time-to-time, I am asked to mentor other less experienced businesswomen.

My friendships are gems that shine like diamonds, rubies and emeralds. My roots in the community are deep. My God and I are on a first-name basis. I never knew life could be this good. If you’ve been on the journey with me, thank you for your support and love. Life is a team-sport. I could not have done this without you.

Amen! God Bless You.

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speaker, author, consultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success!

9-Step Plan to Use What You Hear at Conferences

The popular belief is that everyone dislikes change. Then why do CEO’s, small and mid-size business owners send managers, supervisors and sales staff  to workshops,  trade shows and conferences?

For many,Fall is the commencement of the trade show season. Companies invest billions of dollars to attend learning related events.

I believe that somewhere in most human beings is a belief that “New” will be better. Product marketers tout that their product is “New and Improved.” They’d never increase sales if they said the new packaging is the only thing that is different and that they cut production costs, thus the product is now lousy.”

Leaders continually want to improve results no matter how success is measured. For some it may be accounted for in increased profits or revenues and others measure success in increased employee retention. Whatever your goals are for sending employees to events, change is part of the decision.

We attend to learn new information about the latest and greatest technology innovations. We meet industry thought leaders. The problem is that few attendees every implement anything new.

It is in the implementation phase that we drop the ball. We return to the daily grind to find our desk piled high with new project assignments, a packed email box, new fires to put out and scads of calls to return.

Who has the time to reflect on the glorious innovations from the conference? Those sales opportunities we uncovered may fall to the bottom of the stack. New acquaintances with whom we shared stimulating conversations might never be added to our contact database.

Stop right there. Don’t attend another event if you don’t take time to debrief your brain and reflect on the primary learning points. Create a plan to use what you heard.

Tips to implement Conference Gems

  1. Clear 2-hours on your calendar within 48-hours of returning from the event.
  2. Gather notes, brochures, business cards and the samples you brought back.
  3. Get comfortable in your favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Select a beverage be it a cup of java, herbal tea or a glass of Chardonnay.
  4. Read all conference notes. Highlight the most striking ideas.
  5. Reread the highlighted ides. Select three that you’ll implement in the coming year. Yes three. You can always go back and pick up the second tier gems after you implement the top three.
  6. Set up implementation timelines for your top three. One at a time. You are more likely to succeed if you gain momentum by accomplishing the first one.
  7. Determine what resources, if any, you will require to implement the new idea. Secure those for task #1.
  8. Select an accountability partner who will make sure you follow through.
  9. Pat yourself on the back. You are ahead of 50-60% of those at the conference who never use what they hear.

Head to your next Conference, knowing you have a plan to implement what you learn. It works as long as you follow the process.

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Negotiate or Be Known as a Wimp

Twenty-eight years ago, I made the decision to negotiate more often. At that point in my career, I rated my negotiation skills as a 3 or4 on a 10-Scale. Bargaining for an occasional thing.Negotiate to Reach Agreement

I did not come from a family of negotiators, although for a very short time, my dad, an attorney, tried his hand at it in private practice.

At 23 and newly divorced, I fell prey to a disreputable car dealer. I have no idea how much I left on the negotiation table, but I’m sure the sales man bought beers for his buddies for weeks with the profits from my purchase. I vowed to never walk onto a car lot alone and unprepared.

My negotiation career began with help from my boy friend, Dwain. He came from a savvy negotiation background as the president of his family’s trucking company. He had negotiated millions of dollars in equipment purchases for the family business in over-the-road trucks, trailers and real estate.

He was perfectly qualified to teach me how to get the best deal on my new car. The project became a mini-Negotiation Workshop. The “FearLess Negotiator” was born.

  1. The first text book reading assignment was Swim With the Sharks: Without Being Eaten Alive, by Harvey Mackay, published in March 1988 by Ivy Books.
  2. Then I studied car resource materials like Consumer Report, Edmunds and the Kelly Blue Book. These guides used to be found in hard copy at the public library. Now all this is online.
  3. Next was the selection of a dealer that was conveniently located for service and had an acceptable car. Note I did not say, “the car of my dreams.”

Five Guides from the Negotiation Trenches

  • Never fall in love with a vehicle. It’s too hard to walk away if you don’t arrive at your goal price.
  • Allow enough time to make the right deal. When we walked into the dealership it was warm and sunny. By the time we left it was dark, over 2 inches of snow had fallen and six hours had elapsed.
  • Assign negotiation responsibilities. Play as a team not as adversaries although, I occasionally use the good cop, bad cop strategy.
  • Always be ready to walk if the salesman makes too many trips to meet with the Sales Manager or price concessions stop.
  • As the negotiation neared an end, we were $50 apart and I was exhausted. Still in good humor, Dwain proposed we flip a coin over the final deal differential. I have no recollection of who won the toss. We were all laughing.

I know we made a great deal. I learned some life-long lessons. What happened to my boyfriend? We just celebrated 25-wonderful years of marriage. And yes, we negotiated all the way to the altar and continue to do so every day. It keeps life exciting.

I’m Uh, Glad to be Your Uh, Your Uh Speaker Today

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As a professional speaker, I attend many conferences throughout the United States. Recently, I attended a luncheon with an audience of 500 business professionals. The speaker was a Vice President of a worldwide corporation with thousands of employees. My expectations for a highly informative  and detail packed speech were high.

The speaker had content of interest to the audience but the delivery was horrible. Why do corporations send out people who represent them poorly? Our speaker could have spread corporate good will, community pride and enthusiasm. Instead, they droned on for an excruciating 40-minutes.

Common Mistakes that Non-Professional Speakers Make

  1. Dependence Upon Filler Words: Examples of fillers are “uh”, “um” “and” “you know” and “so.” The speaker used the word “uh” over 100 times in 40-minutes. That’s 2 ½ “uh’s” every minute.
  2. The 100-Word Sentence. Excessive dependence upon the conjunctions “and” or “but” to string idea after idea into a boring soliloquy.
  3. PowerPoint Boredom. Each Slide was on the screen a minimum of 1 minute 20 seconds. That is too long to stare at the same screen with 20 or fewer words on it. Think of how long a 60-second commercial feels. We have become a nation with short attention spans.
  4. I Can Read. The Speaker recited the words on the slides to the audience. The audience was of an educational background that one could assume had the capacity to read.
  5. Give ‘em the Cold Shoulder. The speaker turned away from the audience and towards the screen, to read from the slide. The speaker flashed the “cold shoulder” every 1 and ½ minutes.
  6. Repetition. An effective technique, used by many professional speakers’ politicians and religious leaders. This speaker clearly was ill-prepared and lacked confidence.
  7. Don’t Read to Me. The only time the speaker did not use filler words was when they were reading directly from their prepared remarks. The “script” is an outline.
  8. Smile. An occasional smile helps to gain the audience’s attention, empathy and respect.
  9. Be Excited About the Topic. If the speaker was as bored with the presentation as the audience grew to be, we could have all gone home after coffee and dessert. No Harm, No Foul
  10. No Humor. A stand-up comedy routine was not expected. However, the question is often asked: “Does a speaker have to be humorous?” The answer is No, not unless they want to: A. Get Paid. B. Connect with the Audience. C. Be Remembered or D. Cause a change attitude, actions or point of view.

My next blog will give you some helpful tips. Be prepared for the next time you find yourself speaking in front of a small group, board meeting, your staff, a jury or even scarier, an audience.

Feet Don’t Fib

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I can usually spot a liar. Am I psychic or did I check my crystal ball before a meeting? Of course not. My secret—I read feet.
I understand what American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson knew, that “Your body speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you are saying.”

Often times we hear words of encouragement from a prospect and think that it’s time to close the sale.

We hear phrases such as
“Great demo, Chris.”
“Wow, that price seems reasonable.”
“You’ve made some very interesting points.”

What you don’t watch is that their body is screaming, “No, No, No. I am not interested in buying now. Maybe never.”

How do you become a master of accurately reading and interpreting body language?

I believe that the feet are the most honest part of our bodies. The face is the last body part that I examine. By the age of 3-4, most of us mastered the art of fibbing to our parents about our involvement in the “Great Missing Cookie Caper.” Children learn early and quickly how to avoid punishment by controlling or masking their facial expressions. Their feet are not as smart.

Baseline Study
Before beginning any body language assessment, observe the prospect during casual conversation. You will see what relaxed, comfortable body language is for the target individual. As you begin your presentation and get down to business, you want to detect changes in the other person’s relaxed gestures.

Happy Feet
When good stuff happens, most people must let the excitement out…someway. Joy may escape through the feet. Heel tapping, toe wiggles and bouncing on the balls of the feet may be the result. If they are walking into a meeting, they may have a carefree spring in their step as if all is good with the world.

Impatient or Protective
If they’re sitting with legs crossed, one foot may wiggle up and down in a rhythmic fashion demonstrating that life is good. However, if the foot action is jerky and thrusting, you can assume that they are not pleased with what is happening.

In addition, if, when sitting or standing, they wrap one leg tightly around the other, they are resistant and defensive. Think of a flamingo stance. If, when sitting, they cross their ankles and pull them under their chair for long periods, they are defensive, insecure and anxious, especially if they are male. Women may sit in the ankles crossed position for a longer period due to their Momma’s admonition to “sit like a lady.”

Runners on your Mark
If you are presenting to a group watch for those whose feet point towards the exit instead of towards you. Their feet want to run and their brain is trying to catch up. Escape is their goal. And of course you could have spotted that if you were reading their silent signals.

Learn to read feet first before you receive the boot out the door.