Stress and How to Cope With It

Stress is a normal response to difficult situations. We often confuse it as some form of mental pressure caused due to our own inability to deal with things. But that’s not what it is. Stress is not an action, it’s a reaction. Stress is our reaction to various external factors.

Before we get to the whole coping part, first we need to understand a few things about stress that are essential.

1. Stress is not always bad

Stress is the body’s way of reacting to a challenge. When faced with a tough situation, there are a whole lot of reactions that the body goes through. Increased pulse rate, adrenaline boost, faster response to stimuli and among those, stress is one.

But the same stress that ‘stresses us out’, also makes us quicker and more prone to handle situations better. Stress makes us do our best. So it isn’t always a bad thing.

2. Stress varies from person to person

Some people are inherently calmer and more composed, compared to others. So, their reactions also are different. Stress levels change vastly across different people and are not to be compared at any stage.

If I can deal with a tough situation well that does not make another person’s stress or panic a bad thing. It is after all only a reaction.

3. Stress is not always an illness

There are a variety of stress related disorders. But just because a person is prone to stress, does not make them a patient. Stress disorders, like all other disorders are something that cannot be confirmed unless clinically diagnosed.

Thus, stress in daily life is as normal as it can be.

4. Stress always has a trigger

May not be something happening at the moment. Sometimes the trigger of stress goes back in time, that we don’t even recall the incident. That is because our mind is an expert at suppressing information that can be distressing. But no stress, ever comes without a trigger.

Stress that is positive or good for us in some way, is called Eustress and the one which makes us all panicky and unable to see straight is Distress.

Modern day MNCs encourage some amount of work stress to ensure that employees push ahead and don’t get too comfortable. Although as the position becomes more and more powerful, eustress becomes distress. Let us now look at some stress related disorders.

1. General Stress

This is your old school, before an exam, important day type of stress. It is so normal and so vastly experienced that if you don’t experience it, people think you’re a bit weird (in a good way of course!).

General stress requires nothing more than a few deep breaths and a cool glass of water. It goes away as fast as it came.

2. Acute Stress

This is in a way, the big brother of general stress. It is not in any way damaging, but it makes you completely frazzled and leaves you exhausted.

This would be the stress people experience when work load is doubled, during year end or when you study for a history test and get the math paper in hand. The situation is overloaded and so the brain becomes irritated and you start sweating and panicking.

Acute stress can also be dealt with the old ways, but the best thing to do is to simply let it pass.

3. Episodic Acute Stress

This is one of the serious types. It’s one thing to be stressed out, but something is off when a person gets worked out about almost everything. Even things that is not stressful. So be it their wedding day or their nothing day, there is something they will stress about.

For people with episodic stress, things get out of hand very quickly. Calm becomes chaos in the blink of an eye. They take on more than they can chew and at the moment of truth, they are about to explode.

Episodic stress patients are often studied for crisis management purposes just to get a grasp of how masses will respond to a situation.

4. Chronic Stress

While acute stress can be thrilling and exciting, chronic stress is not. This is the grinding stress that wears people away day after day, year after year. Chronic stress destroys bodies, minds and lives. It wreaks havoc through lives.

If you can imagine what the stress must be in a situation of war, then I assure, you can imagine what chronic stress is like. It requires medical help and proper treatment.

While Chronic Stress needs proper medical attention, the other forms of stress can be dealt with. One can even cultivate a habit to deal with it.

For people whose daily lives involve stress (stock brokers I see you!), these few tricks always come in handy.

Coping with stress

• Always, DEEP BREATHES. Don’t argue, simply follow. Breathe deeply and breathe often.

• Water. Drink it slowly and prolong the drink. Don’t gulp it all down and expect to be calm. The more time you take, the more time you get to process things.

• Use a stress ball. Those smiley faces aren’t a joke. They release tension from your muscles and that helps you relax physically.

• Be patient. Nothing is going to happen sooner than it is meant to, simply because you’re about to burst a nerve! Close your eyes and be patient.

• Be prepared, if you can. This is what you need to do before events that are inevitably going to happen (EXAMS). Be prepared well in advance. No stress.

• Count down from 100. With every number down, think like it’s one point of stress leaving your body. By the time you hit 0, you’ll be back to #1.

• Know you are human. Like seriously! There are limits to what you can and cannot achieve. So stop biting off more than you can chew. Accept only enough work and do it perfectly.

• Have some quiet time alone. Have some beverage (whatever you please) and let the negativity get out on its own.

To end, get this one right up there on your list of best quotes –

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

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Why Do You Need a Sales Process?

Why Do You Need a Sales Process?

The benefits of having a defined sales process!

Whether you have a formal sales process or not, most successful sales people actually use one even if they are not aware of it. The word “process” comes from the Latin procedure, to proceed and is a series of operations or stages which lead to an end product or outcome. Regardless of the product or service your organization sells, or the size of your operation, it can benefit from identifying and defining the sales process. Without having a sales process, how can you really manage your sales operation? You know what is, or is not, achieved. You do not necessarily know how it was achieved, or why it was not. Management is about achieving results and doing so consistently. To do this you need to understand the how and why. These are the elements you can monitor, act upon where necessary, refine and correct. Achieving your results is an outcome of doing the right things right – and this is where your sales process helps. If you miss out on possible sales and have no clear sales process, you do not really know where it went wrong and, consequently, what to correct or improve.

Organisations which have a clear sales process and integrate it into the way they sell, their sales management and customer planning will be more successful in:

targeting prospects

qualifying leads

effectively presenting features and benefits

effectively cross and up-selling

sell value and discount less

introduce new products or services.

Those with no process, or who do not make their process integral to their sales operation measurably under perform in these areas.

The key principles for any sales process are that it needs to be a logical flow, easy to breakdown into its component parts, able to be monitored, adaptable to suit different selling situations and it can be changed to allow for market conditions. The concept is not new – the Xerox Corporation first identified their sales process about 50 years ago! When working with our clients we have found some sales processes can seem to be very simple because that is appropriate for their market, whereas other might appear complex as their sales cycle and steps are quite involved. Too often organizations develop a sales process which fits the way they think they like to sell without paying enough attention to how their customers buy. Having said this, not every customer buys in exactly the same way so creating a sales process to accommodate this variety is a challenge!

In identifying the best sales process for your organization it makes sense to start by defining the buying process(es) of your main customer groups. You may find that there is more than one buying process, depending on whether it is a potential new customer or repeat business. However, there may be a number of similarities between them and you can allow for these in your process. Some organizations actually have a structured buying process, especially for significant purchases. Even without a formal process your prospects and customers will go through a series of steps, almost a personal buying process, even if they are not aware of it. Their process might work at two levels, the more formal steps which may be required by their organization and the informal and personal thoughts they use. Many years ago when I was going through my training as a new salesman, I recall that we were told that the prospects will ask the following questions:

Will I see this person?

Do I want to give them my time?

Do they seem to know what they are talking about?

Would I do business with their company?

Do they provide something which we want or need?

Do I want to deal with the salesperson and their company?

(I’m sure there is another question which I have missed, but it was a long time ago!) Basically, to be successful a seller has to be able to get a “yes” to each question. The sales process needs to help to achieve this and, at the same time, reflect the more formal buying process.

We have been involved with helping organizations to develop sales processes from scratch for new sales operations as well as identifying the best process for established teams. Experience shows that where you have an existing sales operation it is very effective to use the sales team, or a cross-section of them, to work together to identify the steps they go through and arrive at a consensus as a basis for your sales process. (It can help to have a facilitator for this.) We identified a process with the following steps:



Establish relationship

Create opportunities

Identify solutions


Look after account

This example gives an indication of a simple process where the labels have been able to spell out a word which helps people remember the process. To move this process beyond what is a fairly obvious set of steps, and appears to be totally focused on the selling organization we have another level of detail. It is this which makes it unique for the organization where it is used. Against each of these steps are two additional, and much more detailed, stages. On the one side we look at what the customer’s expectations would be at that step and on the other we list the specific best practice activities and behaviours required from the seller. It is driving down to this level of detail which makes it a really effective tool, even if it goes into what might seem to be a statement of the obvious!

For many organizations trying to sell in the present market there seems to be a disconnect between their sales approach and the way in which customers are buying. Too often they come into the buying process once it is well underway, which makes it difficult to influence things. Developing the right sales process for your organization can help you to reduce the frequency of this happening within your team, and increase the possibility, or even probability, of gaining more sales. Figures from CSO Insights show that organizations in one industry sector alone felt that having, and using, a sales process improved sales performance by over 80% (of which, over 30% was a “significant improvement”.)

As a sales management and a sales development tool a good sales process can help everyone concerned and improve the effectiveness of the sales operation. For sales managers it can be built into both planning and reporting systems. Knowing where people are in the sales process can improve the accuracy of forecasting, and also help to identify any patterns where problems occur. By having a better grasp of the steps in the process the sales managers, and the sales people, can spot difficulties a lot earlier and take action rather than getting more irate after sales targets are missed. When carrying out field visits and sales coaching, the sales process provides a “template” or baseline to assess and coach against. If you have broken down the process to identify the specific behaviours and skills for each stage it is clear what is required for any training or development. When bringing in new sales people, a good sales process can help you to recruit, it enables you to be clear about what is expected so that the applicants can decide if it is right for them. The sales people can use the process to help them identify their own strengths and areas for development. As a tool it provides a huge support for all involved. The well defined process does not have to restrict good and successful sellers as they will already be following most of it. However, even they might find that there are some elements where they can improve further!

There is so much evidence for the power and effectiveness of a well defined (and utilized) sales process, it makes me wonder why so many organizations do not have one, or use the ones they may have. Less than 40% of organizations have a formal sales process, and within that figure, many do not insist on it being an integral part of their overall sales operation. CSO Insights also found that “revising the sales process” was the joint 1st priority for sales managers to improve sales effectiveness. It is not that difficult to develop your own process and to make it detailed whilst fitting with any formal buying process and the individual’s questions listed earlier. If you already have a sales process, when was it last reviewed or revised? Whatever your situation, ask what is stopping you from doing something about the sales process? Get on and do it. All of the evidence is that it helps sales performance. Think of it as a “must have” and not a “nice to have”. Your good sellers will be following a process of their own, often without realizing it, and it provides a great basis for managing and directing the sales operation. It does not restrict the top performers. What it can do is lift the middle of the road performers and the under-performers and improve sales results.

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Seven Steps to Planning a Useful Team Building Event

Seven Steps to Planning a Useful Team Building Event

Planning a useful team building event can be a challenge, but these seven steps will help you to ensure that your people enjoy not only a great time, but also benefit from insights and lessons that they can apply to workplace interactions.

So, here are your seven steps to planning a useful team building event:

1. Decide what you want to accomplish.

This is the most important part of the event – the preparation and deciding what your day of team building activities should provide as take-aways for your people. Sometimes, you can make a little progress with building rapport with a weekly bonding session or fun de-stressing opportunity to laugh or learn together. But if you do not have experience facilitating team-building activities, or if you want a more thorough and productive set of outcomes, consider hiring a team-building trainer.

A good team-building coach can create cohesiveness and improve communications within your staff using a set of customized games and challenges. The person should be high-energy and focus mainly on experiential exercises (not lecturing) that will provide the take-aways your group needs!

2.Choose a budget and a location. Once you know what you want your team building day to accomplish, you need to decide on a location and a budget to ensure those goals are achieved. If you are looking to reward your employees for successfully completing a big project, you may want an off-site location. Do you want them to get to know each other and work through personality differences or communication issues? Once you have the goal for the day and a general budget in mind, you can schedule an activity for the location that best fits those needs.

3. Schedule it for an appropriate time. Employees will always be more receptive to a team building day of activities if it is held during work hours and does not interfere with their valuable personal time. When you schedule the event, keep your employees’ schedules and other obligations in mind. You may also want to consider the current calendar or any ongoing projects. The best time to “build” your team or identify and work through issues is before that project gets underway – or before a big change is undertaken. Many schools look for dates at the beginning of their semesters to allow their staff to work better together.

4. Make it special. Fun and unique experiences are the best ways to bring your team closer together. Many people are only interested in giving their people a chance to interact outside the normal confines of their office relationships. There is certainly a value in providing “bonding” experiences.

True “Team Building,” though, involves experiential learning activities that are both enjoyable and unique AND can be used as a catalyst for discussions and insights that can be applied to everyday interactions to improve organizational culture. Think about the interests and fitness levels of your employees when deciding on a “fun” activity… and if you want a more impactful event, consider a business team building day of more focused and meaningful challenges.

5. Leave job titles at the door. One of the most important keys to creating a successful team building day is for all employees to feel like they are on equal footing, regardless of their positions back at the office. Emphasize to your people that office titles do not exist during the team building activities. Everyone should be encouraged to leave their ego in their back pocket! Coming in on equal footing and with no perceived subordinates or supervisors allows others who normally may not take the initiative to illustrate their leadership style and fosters better communication and more creativity.

6. Identify who needs to “grow together.” Every team and organization has at least one or two people that struggle to communicate well or rub others the wrong way. If you have a “sandpaper person” in your group, it may pay dividends to plan ahead and arrange your people into the specific groups that most need to interact together and build better relationships.

If there are any team personality types in the group that is clashing with another person or department, give them the opportunity to grow together by placing them in the same group. Being forced to overcome an obstacle or come up with creative solutions or learn more about each other’s background often work wonders and strengthen rapport between team members who have struggled to interact productively in the past!

7. Get feedback. Two or three weeks after the event, ask your people to provide anonymous feedback about the team building day. This can provide valuable information for you to plan similar or more successful events in the future. Team building is like bridge maintenance – it is ongoing and never fully complete, as there are always relationships that can be strengthened and leadership skills that can be learned or improved.

By finding out what your group liked and disliked about the event, or what they have been able to apply to improve your organizational culture, you can address their concerns and re-evaluate your goals to meet other needs with future events.

The true value of a team building day is not the enjoyment and engagement your people experience in the midst of the activities. It is not even the laughter or light hearted lowering of stress levels that you should most want to hear about.

A quality team building event should also provide your people with the tools and insights to make modifications to their daily interactions, priorities, and attitudes.

The return on your investment will be determined by your thorough attention to each of these seven steps – and if you are intent on creating a useful team building event, you will enjoy the success that good preparation promises…

Team building offers a fun, safe, non-threatening way to improve communication, teamwork, and leadership skills with the laughter and lessons that interactive group activities provide.

As an experienced coach, author, speaker, and team-building facilitator, Sean Glaze entertains, informs, and influences audiences with a unique blend of dynamic content, interactive activities, and practical action steps.


Holiday Party Event Disasters – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff! Face It!

Holiday Party Event Disasters – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff! Face It!

No event is perfect!

Planning an event can be difficult. There are a mountain of things to be done and not enough time to do them. You will be rushed and anxious much of the time. Remember, though, that nothing will ever be perfect. When planning a big event, assume there will be problems, and plan to accept and solve them with grace.

Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Event planning is no exception to this rule. Successful event planners accept the fact that there will be last-minute problems. Their plans include enough time and resources to deal with the problems that arise.

As when you go to the grocery store, you’ll always forget something. Even when you check and double-check your schedule and plans, something you didn’t think of will rear its ugly head at the most inconvenient time. The best way to meet this challenge is to allow extra time for quick fixes and identify people who can help you at a moment’s notice.

The first question you will have to ask yourself is: “Is it really that important?” Problems arising from an unfortunate choice of colors or a centerpiece that is just a bit too big may not be serious enough to bother with. When an issue comes up, ask yourself if it’s critical to the success of the event. If it’s not critical, perhaps you can afford to let it go.

One way to avoid these annoying issues is to make a comprehensive checklist. The list will include every action, every product, and every person you need to assure a successful event, in the order you need them done. As they are finished, you can get the self-satisfaction of checking them off your list. And the checklist will help others who are involved in the event preparations as well. If you’re not available for questions, they can consult the checklist.

Especially in those last days and moments before the event, you’ll have to be flexible and creative to solve problems. Again, ask yourself how important it really is. If you can let it go, let it go. Better to skip a small detail than to sacrifice something critical because you were involved with the little hitch. Keep your mind open to innovative and unusual solutions, too. And take advantage of the people around you. You don’t have to come up with all the answers to find the appropriate solutions.

If the event’s already underway, try to find a solution that doesn’t disrupt the flow of the event. Certainly, you won’t want to draw a lot of attention to a problem that might not have been noticed. Make a judgment call – will anyone be injured in any way if the problem isn’t solved? Does the problem have the potential to ruin the occasion? Is there someone available who could fix things quickly and quietly? Rely on your co-workers and friends to help you catch potential problems before they develop. And trust them to solve them. Don’t feel that you are the only person in the room who can do it. That’s simply not true, and maybe a very costly assumption.

The most important thing you can do when a problem pops up during your event is to keep cool. If you panic, you will be much less likely to find a solution. And if you panic, your guests will know something’s up. They may even become anxious or overly concerned. If you stay cool, calm, and collected, you’ll be in a better position to judge the severity of the problem. Is it something that will likely go away by itself? Is there, in fact, an urgent need for you to take action?

The biggest thing that you need to do when you see that something is going off course at your event is to not get upset. You want to be able to stay calm and use your resources that you have to fix the problem. Keep your perspective. One mis-step will not ruin an event. Don’t over-react. Relax and let your intuitive side take over. The answer will come, if you let it come. It’s really very simple. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Fix the big stuff. And have fun! The number one ingredient to a successful event is that the person hosting it has a good time!


Let’s Find Out How to Survive Stress

Let’s Talk about stress and how to manage it!

Let’s face it; whether you’re a busy homemaker or a high flying executive, today’s popular mind-set is to be as busy as possible with nearly every hour and minute crammed with some kind of work. Yet the day-to-day pressure can build into chronic stress, which if ignored, can be detrimental to our mind, body, and spirit.

The Body

While most of us have stress in some form, an unhealthy response to stress happens when the demands of the stressor exceed an individual’s coping ability. While stress is actually a psychological state of mind, as it considerably affects our physiological state. “In a classical stressful situation, certain stress hormones such as cortisol are released which increases the heartbeat, sweating, uneasiness, and the urge to urinate,” with the initial indicator usually manifesting as an inability to sleep. In the long run this leads to problems such as indigestion, acidity, ulcers, low-back pains, high-blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, depression, headaches, and fatigue, to name a few. Long-term stress also affects our immunity and reduces our disease-fighting capacity.

In Teens

While the teenage years can be highly stressful, some typical stressors include: stress from school, social anxiety, and depressive feelings – for example, not belonging, self-harm and other dysfunctional coping strategies. Another big one, particularly pertinent to today, is social media inappropriateness. While teens and adults overlap in how they cope with stress, the only difference is that adults express stress verbally while teens tend to isolate themselves during times of high stress. “This is because teenagers are unable to properly manage their stress due to a lack of healthy coping skills,”.

Negative Implications

If the stress is not caught and addressed in time, teenagers may utilize reckless and destructive behaviors, substance abuse, and physical violence as unhealthy coping skills. Teenagers’ academic and extra-curricular progress may also deteriorate if stress is not handled appropriately.

Getting a Grip on Teen Stress

Maintaining effective communication with your teen and adopting healthy coping skills are the two most effective ways to manage with stress.

Be available – make some time no matter how busy the schedule is – structure opportunities into daily life. Spending time with your teen shows them that you care even though they are pushing you away.

Be realistic and flexible in your expectations but praise effort more than just results.

Be patient and consistent during their developmental phase – they are changeable and trying to make sense of their place in the world – they can defy reason and sense sometimes.

Do not minimize their feelings in hopes of them “getting over it”. Their feelings are real and affecting them in ways that need to be addressed.

Be practical and constructive in your approach – they may need your wisdom and organization – even if they say they don’t.

You cannot and should not shield them from all stresses and risks. You must set limits as well as consequences to what is acceptable and unacceptable at home, school, and elsewhere.


Stress Reactions

When stress is excessive, it results in one of four reactions- -anxiety, apathy and depression, anger and aggression and cognitive impairment. “Stress can be caused by traumatic events, events which challenge our limits, as well as internal conflicts,”. “For example, if your boss criticizes you unfairly, you feel the stress.” You want to be able to explain why he/she is wrong but also have a fear of upsetting your boss and this stress or internal conflict causes you to ruminate and these thoughts can very quickly spiral out of control: My boss thinks I’m incompetent; I won’t get the promotion I deserve. This series of ruminations results in catastrophic thinking, which can lead to worry, anxiety, feeling depressed and insomnia.

Top Ways to Alleviate Stress

Talk about what is stressing you to someone who listens to you, understands the stress environment and cares about you.

Ruminations create a “pressure-cooker effect”. They bounce around creating pressure. Releasing this through talking really helps.

Most relationships in life are reciprocal. It’s really important to establish good social networks so that people may be there for us in our hour of need.

It is very important to remove the source of the stress, if possible, by taking control and being active. For example, rather than being a victim of bullying in the workplace, you may choose to either put in a complaint or move post.

Distraction is a useful technique to avoid stress. Taking up a new challenge or a new activity is often very helpful.


Electronic Stress

Smart phones, gadgets, and computers all help us stay super connected but at a high price. “Smartphones add hugely to modern day stresses in that the workplace and social media permeate our lives so that we are never really free,”. “We are working or socializing 24-hours a day, checking our phones last thing at night and first thing in the morning when research shows that each time we receive an email, we can take up to 20 minutes on average to re-focus on children, partners or other focuses.


The best way to deal with smartphones is to switch them off when at home; however, this is impractical for some. “The alternative is to have windows of when you check your messages, for example 9 to 9:30pm, and to put it away for the rest of the time,” and be sure to avoid using your smartphone one hour before you sleep.

Finding Solutions

Today the aim is on maximizing the usefulness of our time and squeezing as much as we can from every minute of the day. So how can a person find time in the day to destress? We need to learn to tackle the external pressures and even our own inner voices that tell us that to be successful, he says as these are old mind-sets that we have learnt over the years that are no longer relevant. “We must replace these thoughts with new one’s that support us in the true value of taking time to de-stress the right way,”.

Shelve Your Stress with These Tips

1. Practice Regular Exercise – Exercise impacts a neurotransmitter that works like an antidepressant on your brain while lessening muscle tension.

2. Go Outside – Even five minutes in nature can help reduce stress and boost your mood.

3. Focus on Your Breathing – Ideally you should be breathing primarily through your nose through a simple technique called Buteyko breathing to help you restore beneficial breathing patterns.

4. Participate in Activities – You Enjoy Engaging in a hobby helps you enjoy yourself and take your mind off of stress.

5. Eat Healthy – Schedule time to eat without rushing and be sure to consume fresh, healthy, whole foods.

6. Stay Positive – Keep a list of all that you’re grateful for and make a commitment to stop any negative self-talk.

7. Stay Connected – Loneliness can be a major source of stress, so do some volunteering, meet up with friends or take a class to meet others.

8. Take a Break or Meditate – Taking even 10 minutes to sit quietly and shut out the chaos around you can trigger your relaxation response.

The Positive Side of Stress

Is stress is something that needs to be reduced, suppressed or avoided? Or can we accept it, use it, and embrace it? It turns out that which one of these mind-sets you hold plays a key role in how the stress in your life affects you.


It’s not our stress levels that need to change, but our attitude to stress itself, reveals Menon, because how you think about stress and the stress in your life plays a profound role on how it affects your well-being. She explains, “It determines whether the presence of stress in your life is harmful, which can ultimately lead to burnout, depression, and heart disease or whether that stress actually leads to greater well-being and resilience.”

The Science

Research shows that when you tell people about the importance of stress mindsets, you encourage them to choose a more accepting and embracing attitude toward the stress in their own lives, suggests Menon and in turn, they actually become healthier, happier, and more productive at work, even in very difficult and stressful circumstances. According to research at Yale University, people who hold more a negative perception of stress and believe it should be reduced or avoided, are more likely to experience what we typically think of as the negative outcomes of stress. They’re more likely to have health problems or illnesses, suggests Menon and they’re more likely to become depressed and, are less productive at work. “But on the other side, people who hold a more positive and accepting view of stress are protected from the negative effects of

stress, even when their lives are stressful,” she tells, and they’re healthier and happier. They’re doing better at work and they’re better able to find meaning in their struggles.

The Question

Therefore, can changing how you think about stress make you healthier? Menon points out that the science says ‘yes’ – when you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress. “Research shows that stress is actually enhancing; in one study at University of Wisconsin researchers tracked 30,000 American adults for eight years,” she explains, and they found that subjects with a lot of stress had a 43 percent increased risk of dying – but only if they believed stress was harmful. What is surprising is those who experienced a lot of stress but did not view stress as harmful were no more likely to die than the normal population. In fact, Menon reiterates that they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study, including people who had relatively little stress.

The Big Picture

Although stressful experiences are an important part of life, how you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress, Menon says. “When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you can create the biology of courage and resilience,” she explains. “Stressful experiences help us learn and grow and they can actually be an opportunity to develop our strengths and choose our priorities.”


Leadrship comes in many forms!

First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Official transcript at

If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons:

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow. Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural. Notice he’s calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.

The 2nd follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd and a crowd is news.

A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers, because new followers emulate followers – not the leader.

Now here come 2 more, then 3 more. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point! Now we’ve got a movement!

As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join now. They won’t be ridiculed, they won’t stand out, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry. Over the next minute you’ll see the rest who prefer to be part of the crowd, because eventually they’d be ridiculed for not joining.

And ladies and gentlemen that is how a movement is made! Let’s recap what we learned:

If you are a version of the shirtless dancing guy, all alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals, making everything clearly about the movement, not you.

Be public. Be easy to follow!

But the biggest lesson here – did you catch it?

Leadership is over-glorified.

Yes it started with the shirtless guy, and he’ll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:

It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader.

There is no movement without the first follower.

We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.

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Sales training is Important!

Sales development training to increase your sales skills is a great investment. But if you just learn sales skills, and don’t know how to put them into action, you won’t get the lifestyle changes you want. To make it work, and get results, sales training needs a plan that’s achievable, practical, and that has worked for others like you.

Do you see other sales people achieving more than you? While you’re struggling to make your monthly payments they’re buying new homes, expensive holidays, and great looking cars. Do these successful colleagues get attention and recognition from other people, people you would like to notice you? You have thought about learning sales skills to try and increase your sales results and your income. You may have downloaded some sales skill training, or been on sales training courses, but you’re still stuck in a rut and struggling to earn the rich rewards that a sales career should offer.

Everyone in sales now has access to sales training and can learn sales skills that could change their lifestyle. The Internet is full of a wide range of professional sales training and free sales training courses. The effective sales skill training that does cost money gives you free examples and information on the training, so you can make an educated decision before buying, and the investment cost is very reasonable. For a few dollars you can download a sales training course and start taking actions today that could completely change your life.

Anyone with average intelligence, and the right attitude, can learn sales skills that can change their lifestyle. So how come there are so many sales people just plodding along, stuck in a rut, and running out of time to achieve their goals and live the lifestyle they want. What makes a difference to so many career sales people’s lives is knowing how to put the sales training into actions. So when you decide that today’s the day that your life changes, and you are going to get serious about sales development training and putting it into action, here’s a sales development training plan to get you started on achieving your desires and dreams.

Find the sales training that’s right for you

Click around the Internet and find the right sales skill training for you and your sales career. Consider if your customers buy because of their feelings and emotions, or do they make a buying decision based on logic. What’s the value of your average sale? The sales process for a low value high volume product will be different to the sales techniques used for a low volume high value sale. Making money from repeat business sales will require different sales skills to a one off market. You want selling skills that are customer focused and avoid feelings of buyer’s remorse to succeed in the repeat sales marketplace.

When you have a clear picture of your sale, the sale process, and how you close the sale, start clicking around the Internet. Look for sales development training that offers ways to increase sales by learning sales skills that match your style of selling. It’s no good buying sales training on killer sales closes if your sales are based on repeat business from customers that feel valued. Retail sales skills are different to B2B sales techniques. Successful direct sales people use selling techniques that suit their market and their product. Look at free sales training courses and get all the information you can to decide which is right for you. Then invest in sales skill training.

Now start to use the sales skills to change your life

Once you’ve found the right sales development training, you have to use it to gain from it. It’s no good just looking at it. You have to turn the sales training on the screen into actions. Take the sales skill training and transfer it into actions you are going to take. Write them in your diary and make them time bound. Have one sales action for each day, because you know you can complete that. Each action will build upon the one from the previous day.

For example, you start sales skill training to build a new sales introduction. The sales training says your first line should be an introduction of you, and your business. It must be short and to the point with no long winded speech about you or the product. This is your first action for day one. Write the new first line of for your sales introduction. Then day two could be to add a reason for seeing the buyer to your sales introduction. At the end of the first week you have a brand new sales introduction and you’re ready to start work on the other sales stages. And you are not becoming bored with the sales training, or finding you haven’t got the time to compete it.

The difference between successful sales people and the rest is not the sales skill training they receive, and it’s not even their level of sales ability. It’s whether they take actions or just sit back and let sales commission slip away. In most markets if you don’t sell to a prospective customer some other sales person will. If you don’t take actions today to increase your sales with sales development training, you are giving money to some other sales person. Perhaps it’s one of those you have seen succeeding, and buying new cars and a bigger house. Join them now by taking action today. Look for sales development training now by clicking around the Internet, and go get that diary. Or, stay as you are and tomorrow will be the same as today.


Hiring Through Referrals – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Hiring Through Referrals – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Like most other things, the practice of hiring through referrals has its critics and its fans. For some, it is the accusations of favoritism or nepotism that discourage them from taking on family members, friends, acquaintances, networking contacts or ex-colleagues of current members of staff, while for others it is the prospect that unhealthy cliques might develop in the workplace. Others still fear that this type of hiring practice will leave them open to allegations of discrimination from within the workforce, particularly if existing employees are overlooked for promotion in favor of someone who has been referred by a colleague.

On the plus side, despite the potential problems (which can be overcome if handled carefully), hiring through referrals represents a huge savings to employers, who can dispense with the often extortionate costs of advertising as well as the considerable time that is typically required to sift candidates and go through the interviewing process. These savings, however, are minimal compared to the other benefits of hiring referred candidates, because the latter have been found to work harder and stay longer than candidates who are hired through other more traditional methods. Not only does the employer win in terms of increased productivity, therefore, but in retaining the individual’s services for longer, he also avoids staff replacement costs, which can, in some cases, amount to up to ten times the employee’s annual salary.


Five Interview Questions You Should Always Ask

Five Interview Questions You Should Always Ask

These five questions go beyond the obvious ones, such as the title of the job, the job description, to whom it would be reporting, and other such basic questions. In fact, it’s unlikely you’ll even need to ask those questions, as they’re usually outlined for you.

With some preparation and thought, you should be able to easily come up with 15 – 20 first-interview questions to ask. But these five – in some form – should always be asked.

Not only will they help you to ascertain if the job for which you are interviewing meets the criterion of your perfect job, but the answers, when put together, will give you a fairly accurate picture of what’s really going on behind the interview.

1. WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES THAT WILL NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IMMEDIATELY IN THIS POSITION?: A title alone tells you nothing. The job description won’t reveal much either, except whether or not you’re capable of doing what’s required functionally on a daily basis.

For the same reason that you put your accomplishments on your resume – and not just the job description – here, too, you want to get a sense of the individuality of this job in this company.

Was everything left running smoothly? Is it pretty much picking up and continuing daily functions as normal? Or is there damage control that needs to be done? If so, is there a time line for the repair, and is it an achievable one considering your capabilities? Is it realistic regardless of who holds the position?

If you don’t have any information already, this will begin to clue you in about both the supervisor and the previous employee. If you have been provided with some detail already, then the answer should track with what you’ve already learned.

2. HOW LONG WAS THE PREVIOUS PERSON HERE? WHY DID THEY LEAVE? Generally, in answering the first part, the interviewer will answer the second part as well. But if they don’t, then ask it. And if that person was there an oddly short time, you also want to know how long the previous person before that was there.

See where I’m going with this? If the job is in disarray, and the last two people were there a short period of time and were fired, you don’t need to ask any of the other questions here.

Exit gracefully and then run! Because before long, you, too, will be terminated for not achieving whatever it is they want done – regardless of if the stated time frame sounded realistic or not.

3. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MANAGEMENT STYLE. HOW DO YOU BRING OUT THE BEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES?: Is he a micro manager? Is he an information hound that needs to be kept informed of everything? Does he leave people alone to do what he hired them for and simply keep on top of what’s going on? Does he help you if you have trouble? Do any mentoring? Or is he a berating, derogatory, jerk?

Obviously he’s not going to come right out and tell you he’s a micro manager! Instead he might say, “I like to keep a very close watch on what’s going on in my department,” or “I visit with each member of my department on a daily basis to make sure they’re staying on track,” or something similar.

You’ll find that the person will be fairly straight forward in sharing their management style with you. What you want to pay attention to is how they word it.

4. WHAT TYPES OF PEOPLE TEND TO EXCEL HERE?: Workaholics? Ones who are self-motivated and manage themselves well? People who work well in teams or committees? Employees who keep their supervisor informed of “where they are with things” on a daily basis?

This tells you something about the pervasive culture in the company or department. Generally speaking, companies – or departments – tend to be made up of similar types of people that are in harmony with the company culture and philosophy.

An entrepreneurial person won’t function well in a committee environment. While sales personalities can vary greatly, the top achievers are goal driven and motivated to achieve, rather than complacent.

People who are accustomed to thinking for themselves will find themselves chafing in a company that has a more dictatorial style, while those who perform better when they’re told what to do will find themselves adrift in a company that requires its employees to think for themselves.

5. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE? WHY DO YOU STAY?: The answer to this question will give you an indication as to the feeling or health of the department or company. The way in which he answers the question will also give you additional insight into your potential boss, his management style, and what type of people excel in the department or company.

These are informational questions, not challenges. Be genuinely interested in the answer, because you’re gaining valuable information that has to do with your future. When you leave the interview and process it within yourself, you’ll be matching what you learned with what you are looking for.

Pay attention to the interviewer’s body language and facial expressions. Is he relaxed? Does he fill in some of the spaces? Does he speak to you – or AT you? Does he answer the question briefly and then quickly fire off another one?

These, too, are valuable cues, and after the interview, you’ll need to piece them together with the verbal information you received.

Your perfect job might land in your lap by grace and good fortune. But more likely, you’ll need to look for it. It’s there – but to recognize it, you’ll need to know what it doesn’t look like, as well as what it does.


Disloyal employees may have good reason for grudges:

Disloyal employees may have good reason for grudges:

You can’t take your employees for granted, even in today’s labor market. Common mistakes can send workers packing. Take a look to see if you’re guilty of fostering employee discontent:

• No regular training. Good employees know they need to keep learning and improving their skills. Those who stick around appreciate companies that do more than encourage training, but regularly provide it. But we’re not talking just about job-related training; non-business learning opportunities such as foreign language or computer classes are key to good productivity and loyalty.

• No career plan for employees. Good managers retain good workers by helping them set long-term goals. If the manager can help an employee meet those goals, they foster employee loyalty.