The Latest from Brad Montgomery
Newsletters and Change.
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Humor & Change?
I get at least three calls a week from clients whose organizations are struggling with change. The hardest part isn’t understanding their difficulties with managing change, empathizing with their team, and knowing what we might do to help. The problem is not laughing. Let me explain:
Everybody is experiencing change. Either your job is changing, your bosses are changing, you’re out of a job, or you’re afraid of being out of a job. Your sales are down or they are up. The quotas are bigger. The new software is different. The guidelines, oversight, review or forms have changed.
So when people call and say, “Our organization is unique because we are going through some big changes,” it’s sometimes hard not to laugh.
Change isn’t surprising. What should shock us — and scare us — is when our lives fail to change.
What does this mean to you? It’s time to get over the fact that things have changed, and start dealing with it. Are you going to whine? Or are you going to shine? (Look Mom! I made a rhyme!)
Refuse to freak out (and find the funny) when:
- You call tech support and get helped by somebody in a different country. Move on people!
- You’re forced to learn new software every year or two. Bring it on!
- The weather is rarely what you want it to be. Get over it.
- You age. Now matter how long you say you’re “29” you’re growing older. Accept it.
- Teleconferences (in some form) are here to stay. Deal with it.
- What worked in your business last year won’t work the same this year. Who’s with me!?
- Jay Leno moved to prime time forever! (Ok, I’m wrong about that one.)
Get over it! Better yet, start to handle change with a sense of humor.
Like it or not, change is going to happen anyway. You might as well learn to laugh at it.
No, humor won’t help you learn that new software, but it’ll put you in a better frame of mind to learn quickly. And if you’re no longer hacked off at the world, you might be able to learn and adapt. Maybe you can even figure a way to find the funny in it all?
Are you a believer in the power of levity and lightheartedness and its ability to help your organization get to where it deserves to be? Are you having trouble convincing the masses? Give us a call. We can help.
Top Seven Ways to Make Conference Stink Less
My clients tell me that they are on teleconferences more frequently than ever. And they hate it. Who can blame them? Here are some quick tips:
1. Invest some time at the beginning of the call to humanize it. Don’t just launch into the meat of the conference. . Make sure everybody is introduced. Share a “best part of the day.” Play an improv game. Share a recipe. But do something – ANYTHING – to let your team know that it isn’t all about being productive. (Which ironically will make your call more productive.)
2. Use fun sound effects. I created an iPhone app called iLaughOutLoud that is great for conference calls http://bit.ly/B3xhS. I love to create the effect of people on the call laughing. It’s even more fun if they are people not even on the call. (For example, if it’s all women, I love to be “interrupted” by the sounds of one or more men laughing. Or a bunch of teen age girls. You get the idea.) Using some noises on a conference call could get you fired — or at least a trip to HR. But nobody is going to complain about contagious laughter.
3. Stand up. Move. It’ll raise your energy and creativity.It’s easier to be creative when you’re physically active.
4. Call people by name. (Conference calls are not personal. Do your best undo that fact.)
5. Take responsibility for leading a positive tone for the call. If you decide to become the leader of levity, you’ll be surprised how thankful the other call attendees will be. Somebody has to lead. Why not you?
6. Be appreciative. Nobody likes being taken for granted. Be generous with thanks for their time, appreciation for good ideas, and gratitude for attendance.
7. Set the ground rules about whining, complaining and negativity and that on this call, it won’t be tolerated. I love the metaphor I learned from a speaker pal, Sarah Michel. When we’re on the highway we have our foot on the accelerator, not the brakes. If somebody has a braking comment (e.g. “We’ll never get budget for that,” or “We tried that and it failed”) just remind them that “We’re driving.” Reminding them of the metaphor is more positive – and way more effective – than yelling, “Shut the heck up you negative ball of misery.” And better yet, it won’t get you fired. : )