“Public Speaking is easy – it’s just ABC”. I wanted to believe the instructor on…
“After my stroke, it took me 15 minutes to walk 200 metres, and each time I did this I could see the marginal gain”. This was Michael Johnson being interviewed this week on how his stroke affected him last year. You may remember that he won Olympic double gold in both 200 and 400 metres in 1996.
A wonderful example of how to change and develop, even in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Having that commitment and focus; that determination to get well again.
But how many of us want to make major changes and shifts in one go? And how often do we fail? Or having made a leap, we fail to keep it going. Just think of health and fitness. And then there’s our relationships. And so on.
I remember when I was learning to sell I realised that I had a lot to learn, including changing my actions, thoughts and appearance.
One of the moments that had a major impact on me was when I called on my good friend Ivor, an HR consultant. As I left the meeting he said to me “you could at least put a crease in your trousers”. It wasn’t a malicious comment. It was the truth. He was immaculate in his dress. I wasn’t and at that time didn’t realise the importance of how I appeared to others.
Sometimes it takes a moment like that for us to realise that we need to change.
I set about working on how to change. I had a goal. I wanted to do well at selling. I finally hit upon the Benjamin Franklin method. In 1726 at the age of 20 he set out to develop 13 ‘virtues’; one a week; working on each one 4 times in a year. And it was this approach that years later he said was responsible for much of his ability and success.
I chose 10 qualities I wanted to develop. One a week. I wanted to be better, for example, at being on time, thinking more positively, asking good questions, being genuinely interested and actually listening. It worked. I improved. Gradually. Bit by bit.
So my invitation is, if you have a team member who wants to change and improve, help them with this approach; help them identify the elements to they want to change in order to do well. Then help them to have a true development plan. It doesn’t have to be complex, or cost much, if anything.
And if you’d like some help with this, or you’d like to know the 10 qualities I chose, please get in touch. Happy to help if I can.
Email me here, or call me on +44 (0) 7889 167486.