Freak Yourself Out (WT639)

Freak Yourself Out (WT639)


WT 639 Freak yourself out

This week I’ve been totally perturbated, causing me to procrastinate.

Another way of describing perturbation is to freak yourself out.

Perturbation occurs when you are challenged and feel uncomfortable just before a breakthrough. refers to perturbation as a “state of agitation”.

So what caused my freak out?

I decided to create a new online training program called The Loyal Lieutenant Masterclass Series, to support Seconds-in-Command to step up and create systems and processes in their businesses and/or departments.

No big deal.

I’m very comfortable “teaching”.

I’m very uncomfortable “selling”.

In the past, my “sales” webinars have ended up being “training” webinars, meaning attendees got enough training to feel confident that they could do it themselves and yet without the support and the in-depth training, I know they won’t be able to do it or will become too overwhelmed.

So this time I challenged myself to change my presentation and this freaked me out.

I’ve had to totally change my mindset. I’ve sought training and assistance from various people. I couldn’t do it alone.

One of my mentors helped me to see that consumers’ buying habits have changed. Before Covid, many were reluctant to buy online. Before Covid, most marketers thought they had to nurture their subscribers before offering them a solution to their problem.

According to my mentor, consumers want instant gratification. If they’ve got a problem, they want a solution and they want it now. They don’t want to be “nurtured”. They want their problem fixed.

That’s the mindset I’ve adopted. The seconds-in-command, the leaders, the managers who’ve registered for the webinar on how to create systems to save time and money have a problem and I have the solution that can help them, and they want it now. I am doing all of us a disservice if I don’t offer them the help, even though I’m as uncomfortable as hell in making the offer.

I’m sharing this with you because I want to encourage you, to freak yourself out. Get uncomfortable. Commit to doing something that will challenge you. Seek help and guidance. It’s the only way to grow.

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It’s All About Networking (WT638)

It’s All About Networking (WT638)


WT 638 It's All About Networking (WT638)

Since we’ve been back in Newcastle (after selling the motorhome), I’ve attended a number of networking events and have even been a guest speaker at some.

When I first started my business, I used to get teased by my colleagues. They would say that I would go to the opening of an envelope. Hahahaha, although I did attend a lot of networking events.

Networking is a great way to meet people and promote your business, however it helps if you know the etiquette for networking.

It’s not polite to thrust your business card in someone’s face. It’s not polite to harass guests to work with you. What does work is to go with an intention to be helpful to the people you meet.

How you show up at an event influences what people think of you and what they say about you. How you behave impacts on the impression people have of how you do business.

If you are consistent in your attendance and you find ways to help people, you’ll be rewarded with a great reputation and many many referrals, many of which you may receive years after you’ve been in touch with the referrer.

Just this week, I started working with another fabulous client. She was referred to me by a colleague that was in the same BNI group as me about 16 years ago. It has been over 3 years since I was in personal contact with the referrer and thankfully she reached out to me via Facebook so I was able to reconnect with her and thank her for the referral.

It’s all about networking. Networking in my opinion is about helping people. You might introduce someone and recommend another colleague. You could provide some resources that are helpful or you might just make someone feel comfortable.

I remember attending a luncheon for a Lifeline fundraising event. Marlena Jeffreys was the guest speaker. Marlena was the wife of the then Governor General. She told us of her experience attending Princess Mary’s wedding to Prince Fredrik in Denmark. She was teaching us how to network.

She said, “Look for the person who is standing by themselves and looks a little lost. Go and talk to them and make them feel comfortable.” As she was waiting in the reception area, she noticed a lady standing by herself, so she thought she would go over and introduce herself. “Hello, I’m Marlena Jeffreys from Australia”, she said. The lady smiled and bowed slightly and said, “And I’m the Queen of Norway.”

You don’t know whom you might meet at a networking function nor where it might lead. Thanks to the Lake Macquarie Women in Business Network, I’ve connected with some long time business pals and rekindled some great relationships.

It’s so good to attend a function and be able to smile, wave and hug with people you know. Your Community. We certainly missed this sense of belonging and familiarity whilst we travelled to places with people unknown.

It’s all about networking.

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If You Want Me To Listen To You (WT636)

If You Want Me To Listen To You (WT636)


WT 636 If you want me to listen to you

If you’re like most people, you don’t enjoy conflict.

In fact, many people will go out of their way to actively avoid conflict.

In our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience, participants learn skills for dealing with conflict.

The first skill they learn is how to actively listen.  When confronted, our first reaction is to defend ourselves.  We need to put ourselves aside and listen to what the other is saying, actively listen and then assert ourselves.

If we’re the ones who are confronting we use a Confronting I Message. This is a statement that follows a formula, “When this happens (unacceptable behaviour), I feel (emotions) because (tangible effects on you).

Another way of confronting is to describe the situation; just the facts of what has happened or what you’ve noticed or observed.

We also have a 6 step method for resolving conflict as well.

When you put all these skills together with a willingness to resolve, there isn’t anything that can’t be cleared up in conversation.

The barriers to resolving conflict include yelling at the other person, not letting them finish what they’re wanting to say or walking away.

If you want people to listen to you and really hear you, the best strategy is to quietly and respectfully explain how you are feeling and describe the unacceptable behaviour (in other words what the other did or didn’t do).

Describing unacceptable behaviour is different to judging others or labelling them. For example, arriving late to a meeting might be considered an unacceptable behaviour. Judging the person as inconsiderate or rude is a label. People can’t make changes to their behaviour if you call them names and label them.

I remember years ago, we were visiting and exploring a little country town in Queensland. We went into a curiosity shop and I found a cushion that was embroidered: “If you want to be loved, be lovable.”

I thought this was great and have since adapted it for other desires such as: “If you want to be interesting, be interested.” “If you want to be respected, be respectful.”

If you want me to listen to you, listen to me.

Learning how to fight and fight clean is a skill as well as  a mindset. Being open and willing to hear what the other has to say is the first step. Remember, it’s very difficult to resolve conflict if you’re acting like an abusive bully.

P.S. Want some hand-holding to get your procedures done? Want to draft better job descriptions and identify and improve your workflow?  Not sure of your role?  Join me from 30th September for 9 weeks. I’ll be leading an online masterclass series to guide you through the steps I use to help businesses systemise and streamline their processes.  Each week for 90 minutes we’ll cover a chapter in my book The Loyal Lieutenant: How the Second-in-Command Brings the CEO’s Vision to Life to help you implement my proprietary system and get your processes and procedures DONE. Go to for more information.

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah (WT635)

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah (WT635)


WT 635 Blah blah blah

About 16 or 17 years ago I read Jack Canfield’s book, “The Success Principles: How To Get From Where You Are Now To Where You Want To Be”.

Every morning I would read a chapter before going to work. In the book, Jack gave many examples of activities the participants experienced in his week long course, “Breakthrough to Success”.

As I read about the activities, I wanted to experience them for myself, which we did in 2007 when we headed to Scottsdale, Arizona to join 400 other attendees.

At first I thought Jack was a bit silly sharing his activities in the book, until one of my mentors enlightened me with the analogy of music. 

“Shirl, when you buy a record (it was a while ago), do you think to yourself that there’s no point going to the concert because you’ve heard all the songs?”

“Of course not! I want to go even more to see the band or singer live.”


So, <name>, I’m happy to share an exercise we did in the Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience today.

 It’s called “Blah blah blah” and Ross and I first came across this at Jack Canfield’s course when he introduced us to Hale Dwoskin who introduced us to The Sedona Method.

The exercise I created also features the work of Loretta Malandro, from her book, “Fearless Leadership”.

Participants have to share a story about a time when they felt they were the victim in a situation. They tell their partner their story, embellishing and fully embracing being the victim. At the end, the partner is asked how they felt listening to the story. Did they recoil or did they find themselves becoming co-conspirators, feeling sorry for the victim?

The next part of the exercise is to retell the story, only this time, to simply recite facts without judgement or blame or emotion. They are also to own their part in the situation.

At the end of the 2nd telling of the story, partners provide feedback on which version they preferred. In all cases, it ends up being the second version.

So we follow up with a third version and this time, participants must again tell their victim story with all the passion they had in the first version, except that they can only use the word “Blah”.

Go ahead, tell someone your victim story with all the passion and energy you have using the word “Blah”.  If you’re like our participants, it won’t be long before you’re rolling about laughing.

It’s really difficult to be emotional and upset while you’re laughing so hard.

The irony is that this version is what most people hear anyway. Most people aren’t that interested in hearing the victim story. “Blah blah blah blah blah.”

Next time you find yourself feeling like a victim, remember this activity and if you do share with someone, be sure to follow version 2. Stick to the facts and own your part in it. You’ll get a much better response from your listener.

P.S. HOT OFF THE PRESS. From 30th September 2022 for 9 weeks, I’ll be leading an online masterclass series to guide participants through the steps I use to help businesses systemise and streamline their processes.  Each week we’ll cover a chapter in my book The Loyal Lieutenant: How the Second-in-Command Brings the CEO’s Vision to Life to help you implement my proprietary system and get your processes and procedures DONE. Go to for more information.

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

Dance With Their Energy (WT634)

Dance With Their Energy (WT634)


WT 634 Dance with their energy

In today’s Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience I ended up doing an impromptu Aikido demonstration with one of the participants.

Aikido is a martial art and one of its principles is to dance with the energy of your opponent.

How is this relevant to leadership?

As I explained in the session, when we are confronted by an angry team member or customer, often our first reaction is to push back and resist. This doesn’t help to resolve the situation. Rather it either keeps us stuck resisting each other or inflames the situation.

With the principle of Aikido, you actually welcome the energy of your opponent and you dance with it. This means you take their force and you control it.

The same thing is possible when confronted by an angry or passionate person. Figuratively speaking, you want to welcome the energy and dance with it.

You do this by using your Active Listening skills.

Rather than defending or justifying yourself, or worse, arguing and resisting, if you listen to what the other is saying, and I mean Active Listen them, as in demonstrate you heard and understood, you actually reduce the energy they are thrusting at you.

When you have embraced their energy and what they are saying, you are in a much better position to be able to assert yourself and be heard.

For example, say a customer is screaming at you because their favourite cereal is not available. Rather than defending yourself or the company, manufacturer or courier company, active listen to what they are saying and if they demand that you take a certain course of action, simply respond with “Yes, we can do that AND ………”. The “AND” enables you to offer an alternative solution without causing them to increase their intensity and conviction.

You don’t need to argue. You can simply active listen, agree that what they are suggesting is something that “could be done” and then when you have helped them to calm down and be more responsive to your suggestions, you can assert yourself and work towards collaborating to find a mutually agreeable solution.

I encourage you to test it out.

Dance with their energy rather than fight with or resist it.

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