Personal Branding Strategies | Personal Growth | Personal Wellbeing | and other items of interest

Personal Power stems from healthy self-esteem. When we recognise and embrace our talents and resources... and we feel good about ourselves, we have taken the first steps toward realising our full potential. Remember "Change is inevitable, personal growth is optional".

Archive for Personal Growth


Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty

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I’ve had another extremely busy week and I am thinking what will be the subject of this week’s post. I’ve got to get it written because I am determined to maintain the habit of at least one post a week.

I’m thinking about why am I blogging anyway. Why am I taking the timeout of a hectic schedule to do this. The answer is really simple: I’m doing it to broaden my network.

In his book Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty’, Harvey MacKay says,

Diggin a well before you need it. “People are not strangers if you’ve already met them.” And so, the key
to building a meaningful network is in meeting the right people before
you NEED them.

Oh… and once you’ve met them, don’t forget them and don’t let them
forget you.

When life is hectic its easy to not do the the things required to keep in
touch with your network. I’m struggling with that now, however I know
I need to make sure I do the little things like sending birthday cards
and spending a little time often on my Facebook page… consistently.

What are the little things you do to keep in touch? Am I correct in saying
“women seem to be better at this that men”. I’m looking forward to your comments.

Building the Bridge

“If you build a network, you will have a bridge to wherever you want to go.” That’s how Harvey MacKay explains the value of a strong network.

And it’s so true. When you take the time to make connections and build your network, eventually you will always be able to say that you know someone who can help you out. Whatever happens, with a solid network of supporters, you will be prepared to handle anything.

When you’ve got that network of people who will always be there for you (because you were there for them when they needed you), then you’re never alone.

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Categories : Personal Growth
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Fill Other People’s Buckets

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We should never underestimate the impact that we have on others… good or bad. This metaphor from the book by Donald Clifton and Tom Rath, ‘How Full Is Your Bucket’ illustrates the simplicity human interaction: We’re all buckets of water and in  every single interaction we have with other human beings, we are either filling their buckets or taking water out of their buckets.

The idea is that our words, actions and attitudes either add or remove water from the buckets of others. When our actions are positive, supportive and appreciative, we are adding water to their buckets. When we are acting in a negative, combative and argumentative way, we are taking water from the their buckets.

Appreciate people on a regular basis

We should strive to fill other people’s buckets by upgrading our words and learning to deliver genuine feedback whenever we get the chance. A study by the US Department of Labor showed that 64% of people leave their jobs because of lack of appreciation and a study revealed that 65% of people say they receive no praise or recognition in the workplace. How easy could it be to reverse those trends?

So all we need to do is to decide to take action by showing our appreciation of people on a regular basis… whether they are family, friends, colleagues or employees. Of equal importance is taking the time to write a note to someone who has helped in the past to remind them of how they have impacted your life.

Acknowledge the good stuff… regularly

People need to be acknowledged regularly for positive things. According to the psychology experts, small, positive interactions are very important. Researcher John Gottman suggests that there is a ‘magic ratio’ that we should follow: 5:1 or five positive interactions for each negative interaction.

The lesson is very clear… people have a real need for regular feedback regarding the things they are doing right. If they are only acknowledged when they make mistakes, they will feel that they are not being acknowledged at all. More than likely this explains the workplace statistics shared in the previous insight.

We can ask people how they want to be acknowledged. All too often we assume that we know what people want because we know what we want and we believe they must want the same things. While it may be awkward the first time you do it, the suggestion of asking before acknowledging is a powerful action that should be considered.

Manage your mindset

One of the most important, but often overlooked, dimensions of success for the small business owner or entrepreneur is managing your mindset. We all have an inner critic that gets in our way from time to time. Like the little creatures in the movie Gremlins, this critic come out and wreaks havoc on our thinking from time to time. Usually at precisely the time when we don’t need it.

Focus on the good stuff

If we focus on the good stuff negativity takes a back seat, helping us to keep our mind focused on what is possible and allowing us to take your businesses to the next level.

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Look, See, Imagine and Show

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These are the four steps in the visual thinking process according to Dan Roam, author of ‘The Back of the Napkin’. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are more often than not ideas people. We invest a fair amount of time thinking about ways to grow our businesses and find solutions to our challenges and the challenges facing others.

I don’t know about you, but my ‘light bulb moments’ often happen under the shower. I guess it’s because I am relaxed and my head is clear… and it’s the start of a new day. The conversations that follow often take place on the run, or in a restaurant. Then what often happens is that you grab a pen and proceed to sketch out the idea on a napkin.

Most of us are visual thinkers and when we attempt to explain our ideas we rely on pictures. Though many of us argue that we are not good at drawing, we nonetheless grab a pen and reach for some paper to sketch out our thoughts. Our immediate goal is to show the listener how the idea was ‘hatched’ and why we believe it will work.

In his book, Roam suggests that their is much more to this simple process of sketching our ideas on napkins than we may realise. He reveals its power by showing how we think and revealing the important role pictures play in our thinking. He also outlines a straightforward approach to more effective problem solving and selling ideas with pictures.

Visual Thinking is Something We Do Naturally

Roam also explains in his book what we are actually doing at each of the four steps of the visual thinking process:
• When we are looking, we are collecting and screening information to make an assessment of what we know;
• When we are seeing, we are selecting and clumping information to help us evaluate it and better understand the situation;
• When we are imagining, we are trying to identify what isn’t there and considering the implications that arise; and
• When we are showing, we are making it all clear and creating a picture of the situation as we understand it.

Roam utilises analogies very effectively throughout his book… making even complex concepts easy to understand. In the final chapter he summarises the entire process in just five pages using five simple ‘back of the napkin’ illustrations. I won’t attempt to explain the process, because its best illustrated on the back of a napkin as Roam does in the book.

Business problems can be solved using visual thinking coupled with the ability to transfer those ideas onto the back of a napkin in a way that will be easy to remember. One of the ways we can achieve success is by learning how to solve problems and sell ideas with pictures.

Have you solved a problem or sold an idea using a napkin?

Categories : Personal Growth
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Personal Power… a negative force?

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Perhaps you see the concept of power as a negative force that is to be used against others. Look at it this way… expressing power in a positive way is as simple as acknowledging and valueing our network of loving and responsible relationships.

There may be a multitude of valid reasons causing us not to claim the power that is our birthright. We may have been discouraged from developing self-esteem and initiative in our earliest years… even by those that loved us and had our best interests at heart. As a consequence, we developed the self-denial habit.

The adults that were responsible for our emotional development may have been unable to fully encourage or support ours because they themselves experienced little support during their own childhood. This lack of support can play out generation after generation if left unchecked. A caregiver who who has been denied early emotional support themselves for whatever reason, may interpret any expression of independence as threatening their fragile sense of power and authority. They may even be afraid that the child no longer loves and needs to depend on them. Unable to see the child’s move towards independence as a healthy and positive expression of individualism, they may attempt to hinder or even suppress acts of creativity and confidence. In doing so they put at risk the natural development of personal power… or they may even be successful in squashing it completely.

Others equate personal power negatively, asserting that it is power over others… a trait that few of us would like to be associated with ourselves. We may distrust our power because we are uncomfortable with the notion that others will see us as overbearing. We may even be fearful of public exposure of any kind because of the perceived risk of criticism. It may be that we just lacked encouragement or the means to seize opportunities in our formative years.

True mentors and leaders embody the virtue of non-competitiveness. It’s not that they don’t desire to compete, far from it… they do so in the spirit of fair play. They encourage all those within their sphere of influence to develop their strengths.

You can develop yourself to your full potential when you allow yourself to discover and tap into your personal power. Then all those who interact with you will benefit in some way. So regardless of your past experiences, there is a powerful inner spirit worthy of exploration. You can approach your future with a different sense of yourself. Your personal power will contribute to your growth, your relationships and to the people around you. A high degree of awareness and flexibility is required to balance your needs and the needs and wishes of others.

Everyone will benefit when you live life authentically and in harmony with others. Society is created by the actions of many… choose to become an inspiration to others while you are fulfilling your own dreams.

Categories : Personal Growth
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