Here’s My Problem (WT611)

Here’s My Problem (WT611)


WT 611 Here's My Problem

This week was an exciting week.

I spoke at the conference and launched my new book and I got to use some great skills I learned from another book, “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz.

We arrived at our accommodation about 8pm and checked in. We parked the car, took our bags to our room and were immediately disappointed.

“This won’t do”, I said to Ross.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because, I specifically requested a room with a lounge (sofa)”.

Dragging our bags with us, we returned to reception.

“I’m sorry. This room is unsuitable”, I told the receptionist.

“What’s wrong with it?” she asked.

“I specifically requested a lounge and there are two beds and no lounge”, I answered.

She looked at the computer and made a few mouse clicks and said, “I’m sorry, we are fully booked and we don’t have any other rooms available”.

“You’ll have to do something”, I replied. “I’m speaking at the conference tomorrow and I have to prepare tonight.”

She looked again and told us they were booked out.  I repeated that they would have to do something. She said she would get the manager. 

The manager arrived and immediately started to give me all the reasons why I couldn’t change my room. They were fully booked. The weather was bad and some rooms had water damage and and and…….

I thought I’d practise what I’d learned from the book, “Here’s my problem”, I said.

Then I proceeded to tell her that I was speaking at the conference the next day. I had specifically paid extra for a room with a lounge etc. etc.

She seemed to change her stance.

She looked up the computer and found a room. She asked the first receptionist to go to the room and see if it had a lounge.

It did.

The manager decided to move someone else and we took the room with the lounge.

I’ll never know if it was the fact that I was speaking and could have told my story to the audience the next day or the fact that I started with “Here’s my problem” or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, we secured a room with a lounge. It’s not the best room, however it does have a lounge.

Next time you get told “No”, I encourage you to calmly start with “Here’s my problem” and without emotion, explain your predicament. See how you go and please let me know.

P.S. Now that my book has officially launched, you can order your copy here,

P.P.S Dates for our next Leading Yourself and Leading Others experience have been set for May in Newcastle, NSW.   Tuesday 3rd May, Thursdays 12th, 19th and 26th May.  For more information go to

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Change Me (WT610)

Change Me (WT610)


WT 610 Change me

As we wrap up Day 4 of the Leading Yourself and Leading Others experience, one of the main concepts we learn is that of “Change Me – Change You”.

What that means is that rather than asking, demanding or expecting the other person to change, we understand that because we are in a relationship with someone, if we want the other to change, we must change first.

To demonstrate this, I move from one end of the room to the other. Because the participants and I are in a relationship, they shift in their seast to be able to see and hear me. It’s then that I explain that because I have changed, and we’re in a relationship together, so too have they.

If I had remained at the front of the room and instructed them to turn and shift in their seats and look towards the back of the room, they may or may not heed my instructions. And yet, when I change positions, so do they.

If you want to change your relationship or the way another interacts with you, you must first change yourself. Change Me – Change You.

On a similar note, I came across a quote which expands this concept to what’s going on around us.

“You can’t change what’s going on around you, UNTIL you start changing what’s going on within you.” (Source unknown.)

We create our world, whether we are conscious of it or not. When we understand this and take responsibility for what is happening in our world, we can choose to change it.

If you’re experiencing people or situations that are not to your liking or that are challenging, take a deep breath and be open to looking to find your contribution to the situation.

How are you showing up?

What are you thinking?

What is your belief around the situation?

What benefit are you getting from the situation?

All behaviour is motivated by a benefit that we receive, even being a victim has payoffs.

If you want to change what’s going on around you, start changing what’s going on within you.

Change me – change you.

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Why Are You Coming? (WT609)

Why Are You Coming? (WT609)


WT 609 Why are you coming?

In a few weeks I’m speaking at The Complete Leader Conference hosted by Realtair and launching my book.

I called the hotel to make a reservation.

I was intrigued at the response I got.

I shared that I wanted a room for 3 nights.

“Oh, we only have a room block with a special rate for 2 nights”, said Mary.

“That’s okay. Can I stay and pay for 3 nights please? I’m also a member (of the hotel chain).”

“Yes, let me see what I can do for you,” she replied.

I gave her my details and she offered me a room and a price.

It was the basic room with the cheapest price and only included a bed and bathroom.

“I’ll be speaking at the conference, so I need a desk and some more space to prepare for my talk. Do you have anything with a lounge or similar?” I asked.

I knew they did because I had stayed there a year or two ago for the same conference.

She came back with another basic deal and price.

I felt like I had to practically beg her for something better.

In the end she gave me the price for a room that had a bathroom, a kingsize bed, a desk and a 2 seater lounge but not before she emphasised the differences in price, which for me was not a priority.

I was intrigued to see an example of how others’ values influence how they sell.

I shared this story with a client of mine, who happened to have been trained in booking hotel rooms when she worked for a chain in London many years ago.

“Wow!” she said.  “We were always trained to ask, ‘Why are you Coming?’.  The answer to that question told us which package to offer as well any opportunities to upsell.”

Exactly. If I had been asked that question and they had been trained well enough they could have sold me the most expensive package by telling me how they were going to look after me to make sure I was comfortable and able to prepare for my talk etc. as well as have enough room for my husband who will be accompanying me.

Your task this week is to notice.

Notice your values and how they impact how you sell or negotiate.

Notice other peoples’ values when you want to buy something and if you are in sales, reflect on the training your organisation provides. 

Are you asking something similar to “Why are you coming?”

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If You Care About The Relationship (WT608)

If You Care About The Relationship (WT608)


WT 608 If you care about the relationship

Day 2 of our Leading Yourself and Leading Others experience.

One of the biggest concepts to appreciate when you’re learning to improve your communication skills is this:

“If you care about the relationship, use your skills. If you don’t care about the relationship, take the gloves off and have a go.”

What does that mean?

It means that we have a choice.

We are always choosing whether to use our communication skills or not.

Why would we care about the relationship?

  1. The person you’re in relationship with is important to you
  2. The relationship is important to you and worth fighting for
  3. Another relationship is important to the person that’s important to you, eg. An inlaw or friend
  4. Harmony is important to someone you care about, eg. your mum or dad or grandparents
  5. You have to work with the person
  6. It’s important to your boss and you care about your relationship with your boss.

Years ago, Ross came home from work and told me about a conversation he’d had with a colleague.

I was initially horrified to hear what Ross said to the colleague until I thought about it and processed it and then realised it was a valid point.

Having what we refer to these days as a “robust conversation”, in other words a fight, Ross told his colleague, “I have to work with you, I don’t have to like you”.  His colleague didn’t like hearing that because he wanted Ross to like him.

How about you? Is it important to you to be liked?

For me, reminding myself of the choice I have when it comes to relationships, I usually end up choosing to use my skills.

Those skills include:

  1. Active listening to what the other has to say.  It doesn’t mean you agree with what they are saying, it means you demonstrate that you heard and understood their message.
  2. Understanding if the issue is a conflict of needs or a values collision. Depending on the answer, we use different skills.
  3. Engaging my empathy and following Steven Covey, “seek first to understand before seeking to be understood”.

There are many many more skills and concepts we can choose to use and if you’re interested to know more, you’re welcome to join our Practical Leadership online membership or register for one of our Leading Yourself and Leading Others experiences.

For today though, your mission is to look at all the relationships you are in and decide if you care about the relationship and why or why not.

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I’m Scared (WT607)

I’m Scared (WT607)


WT 607 I'm Scared

Yesterday we completed the first of 4 workshops in our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience.

Some of the participants expressed to me that they were feeling nervous prior to starting the experience.

For me, nervous is also another word for scared.

It’s okay to be scared and nervous or anxious when you do new things or open yourself up to new experiences and growth.

What matters is that you keep going. Often what happens is that we get to the point of almost breaking through and we give up just before the moment when …. because we feel uncomfortable.

It’s helpful to understand the concept of “perturbation”. Perturbation occurs when you feel the pressure to breakthrough. As the pressure is applied, often from a coach or facilitator, the participant starts to resist and gets hot. This heat can come in the form of emotion such as crying, laughing, sweating, trembling, even yawning.

Ross and I learned early on that when I’m learning something new and I haven’t quite gotten it nor become competent, I tend to get angry, hot, short tempered and swear a lot. It’s not a pretty sight.

Once I’ve mastered the skill though, all that emotion goes away.

In my role as the facilitator and coach for the leadership participants, it’s my job to apply the pressure and also fan them at the same time because what we know is that once the breakthrough has come, it is often invisible, unpredictable and irreversible.

It’s truly magical to experience.

The formation of diamonds is another example from nature. Diamonds are made of carbon that form crystals that bond together over billions of years when subjected to extreme temperature and pressure. Without all that heat and pressure, we would not have them to enjoy.

Next time you feel nervous or scared, take Susan Jeffers advice in her book, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”. It’s okay to be scared and nervous and it’s okay to let out the emotion. It’s simply part of the process of your growth and development as you learn new things on the way to becoming competent and self-aware.

And I’m curious, how do you react when you’re feeling perturbated?

P.S. I’m scared at the moment. We’re about to launch my new book, “The Loyal Lieutenant: How the Second-in-Command Brings the CEO’s Vision to Life” at The Complete Leader conference in Sydney next month, where I will also be speaking. I’m feeling the pressure, giving off heat and I’m committed to doing it anyway.

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