Mentoring

Art of Brevity (#148)

Last week was the deadline to turn in the draft of my next book, Outperform, which will be released next Fall and features the principles of capacity building in Friday Forward.

Before submitting it, I was asked to cut about 1/3 of the content to get it to the targeted length. A key tip from my editor was to eliminate parts that were not as valuable for the reader. I thought this was going to be a much harder process but discovered that it forced me to make points more succinctly, which made it better. I worked harder so the reader won’t have to.

I then thought about how often this dynamic comes up in our communication. We struggle to get to the point, either because we haven’t taken the time to be clear or maybe or we don’t want to be clear.

Years ago, when I was directly managing affiliate programs, I would reach out to someone I suspected of engaging in fraudulent activity for an explanation of their tactics. They would often respond with a long, vague e-mail filled with marketing jargon. I would then ask for a simple screen shot of their methods and get no reply.

To this day, I remain wary of people who can’t get to the point quickly. It’s not that they are up to no good (as in the example above), it’s just a poor first impression and weakens the message.

A great framework for communicating clearly and succinctly is to focus on three core elements: What, Why and How, in that order.

  1. What do you want from someone; what do you want to share?
  2. Why does/should it matter to the recipient?
  3. How can they help or benefit by what you are telling them?

While some believe that starting with the “why” is important, it’s critical to first establish the “what” to capture your audiences’ attention in the first few seconds.

The why comes into play after that. Yet, interestingly, so many fail to address it. For example:

People regularly reach out to me to offer their company’s services to our clients. They establish the “what” (sell their stuff to our clients) and even the “how” (they want me to introduce them to our clients), but they fail to address the “why” of how doing this would benefit me or our company.

They are focused on their own agenda, not on creating value for others. And this is why they often don’t get a reply from me.

Take time to get your message clear before sharing it – and don’t mistake length or volume for quality. Sometimes the most effective messages are the briefest (e.g. “Just do it”).

And there you have it. The shortest Friday Forward of 2018 using the What, Why, How framework.

 

Quote of The Week

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

Mark Twain

 

 

The post Art of Brevity (#148) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Monthly Goal Check-In | Thor Conklin | Episode #583

How are you doing on your annual goals?

 

PEAK PERFORMANCE NATION

A community dedicated to raising your game to the next level by learning how to Execute at the highest level and eliminating the obstacles that keep you from being the leader you were born to be.

Join group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeakPerformanceNation/

 

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Audible - Free Audio Book & 30 Day Trial 

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Acuity Scheduling - Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

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Thank you once again for listening

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ThorConklin.com

Thor Conklin Media

Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies, and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.  

Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.  

Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life by mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.

Getting Warmer (#147)

Two weeks ago, the world’s leading climate scientists, in conjunction with the United Nations (UN), published a pretty devastating report on global climate change. Their consensus is that humans have just 12 short years to make significant changes to our behavior before facing catastrophic consequences.

I recognize that there are many who believe that climate change is not man-made and is both normal and cyclical. There’s no question that the issue has been politicized in some countries like the United States. However, when 91 scientists from 40 countries conclude that a huge climate crisis could arise as early as 2040 if we don’t do something in the next 12 years, what does it matter who or what caused it?

What matters is that we have a dire reality to confront as humans, not as citizens of a particular country, region or political party. And we have about a decade to figure that out.

What I actually find even more alarming is that, just two weeks after this report was published, it seems that few are taking this news seriously. Some extremely intelligent people just told us we’re rapidly heading towards impending doom and the news cycle is already back to their regularly scheduled programming – and we’re all back to practicing distraction on our phones and social media feeds.

Why is that? Why are we so resistant to act?

Yes, the truth is frightening, but we are not powerless. Will sacrifices need to be made? Absolutely. But if those short-term sacrifices mean significant reduction of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people long-term, isn’t it worth it?

Why are we surprised when our short-term thinking, ambivalence and poor decision-making lead to troublesome long-term consequences?

Why can we agree on unlimited funds to clean up disasters, but not funds to prevent them?

Across many aspects of our lives, we need to be thinking about connecting our short-term actions with long-term outcomes. As James Clear notes in his new NY Times bestselling book, Atomic Habits, when we consistently make small, “one percent” changes each day, they start to compound; seemingly small changes can put us on an entirely different course.

While I wish I had the one big answer to how we humans solve the audacious problem of climate change, I don’t. I do, however, have multiple small ones to suggest for how we can all contribute, reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and curtail our consumption of finite resources.

Start with the one percent.

Change your light bulbs to LEDs. Walk the extra few steps to toss that bottle in the recycling bin instead of the trash. Hop on your bike for short distances. Make it easy for your employees to work remotely and reduce their time in CO2-producing vehicles.

Most importantly, let’s rally behind our best and brightest thinkers and problem-solvers. Does the world really need another distracting social media game app? I’d argue not. What it needs right now is big solutions to big problems, such this innovative new solar-powered stadium in Amsterdam. This new home of Dutch football club Ajax leverages used electric car batteries.

We’re all in this together. Let’s do our part to at least make small, incremental changes that can have a huge impact. There really is no downside to action and the commercial opportunities of new solutions far exceed any risk. However, there are real dangers to be faced by continuing on the current path and sticking our heads in the sand.

12 years from now it will be 2030 and it will be here before we know it. I, for one, want to be excited about what the future holds for both myself and my kids over the next decade rather than fearing and planning for the environmental debts that are about to come due.

For a helpful climate change 101 explanation, check out this video by Bill Nye the Science Guy.

 

Quote of the Week

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

Plato

 

 

The post Getting Warmer (#147) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Lessons of an Ironman l Thor Conklin l Episode #581

PEAK PERFORMANCE NATION

A community dedicated to raising your game to the next level by learning how to Execute at the highest level and eliminating the obstacles that keep you from being the leader you were born to be.

Join group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeakPerformanceNation/

 

SPONSORS & FREE OFFERS

Special promotion or gift for the listener: 50% off the first month for any plan with coupon code “peakperformers”

 

Acuity Scheduling – Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

Peak Accountability – http://www.thorconklin.com/accountability/

Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

Facebook: Thor Conklin   

Twitter: @ThorConklin

Website: http://www.thorconklin.com

 

ThorConklin.com

Thor Conklin Media

Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

 

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.  

Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.   

Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary road map, strategies, tools and psychology to win this game.

Practicing Distraction (#146)

I can say with confidence that I am probably the least popular person in my household this week. While there are likely a few reasons that I would be up for this distinction in any given week, I know for sure that it was my decision to turn on Apple’s new Screen Time function for myself and my kids that earned me the honor this time.

Part of iOS 12, this new Screen Time feature is designed to provide users with detailed information on how long they are on their phone in a given day and for what.

When a company creates a feature that is designed to make you use their product less, it should raise an eyebrow. Apple clearly is aware that our distraction with technology is becoming a serious health issue. In fact, several other technology giants are also starting to acknowledge that technology and social media has both harmful and addictive properties.

There are two main aspects of the Screen Time function: awareness and control. In terms of awareness, it allows you to see your detailed usage stats for the day, including the number of “pickups” – the times when you pick up your phone from the resting position.

In terms of control, you can both limit access to apps and enable “downtime,” which disables the phone overnight except for critical/emergency functions. Screen Time also allows parents to set usage limits and see how kids are using their phones.

I implemented several of the Screen Time features on my phone, including time limits on apps where I know the little red buttons distract me from both the task at hand and conversations in which I should be fully present. I also enabled downtime an hour before bedtime.

When I did the same for my kids, it did not go over as well. They let me know in no uncertain terms how it would impact their life and one of them stated, “Dad, literally no one else does this.” To which I responded, “Great, I don’t want to be like everyone else, nor do I want you to be.”

Here’s the reality. We get better at what we practice. If you practice 100 free throws, chances are that you will get better at free throws. The same goes for driving and studying a subject.

Sadly, what many of us are spending our time practicing these days is being distracted. And we are all getting really good at it. In fact, many of us are probably on our way to becoming distraction masters.

Recent studies have shown that you are actually significantly more distracted just from having your cell phone in the room, even if it’s not turned on. And the distraction gets worse when it’s sitting on a table next to you.

We are training our brains to be distracted in the same way that meditation trains our brains to be focused. And that has a toll. It changes the way our brain develops, hurts our concentration, impacts our relationships and strips us of the ability to be with our own thoughts or appreciate silence and quiet.

We begin to crave technology stimulation like a drug; the dopamine in our brain responds in a similar manner.

A week into our new experiment, I have adjusted to the changes. Even though I can override the controls I set (my kids can’t), it serves as an important reminder for when I am engaged with my phone. This awareness has noticeably reduced my phone use.

While I can’t say that my kids are happy, they too have adjusted. There are no more fights about shutting down at night, they understand the limits and are learning to manage them better and request more time if they really need it.

Hopefully, with less practice at distraction, we will all become worse at it.

Should you need more evidence for why you should use your phone less, watch this incredibly powerful video titled “Look Up.”

 

Quote of The Week

 “We have been seduced by distraction. We are being pulled away from paying attention to the things that enrich our lives.”

Daniel Goleman, author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

 

 

The post Practicing Distraction (#146) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Practicing Distraction

I can say with confidence that I am probably the least popular person in my household this week. While there are likely a few reasons that I would be up for this distinction in any given week, I know for sure that it was my decision to turn on Apple’s new Screen Time function for myself and my kids that earned me the honor this time.

Part of iOS 12, this new Screen Time feature is designed to provide users with detailed information on how long they are on their phone in a given day and for what.

When a company creates a feature that is designed to make you use their product less, it should raise an eyebrow. Apple clearly is aware that our distraction with technology is becoming a serious health issue. In fact, several other technology giants are also starting to acknowledge that technology and social media has both harmful and addictive properties.

There are two main aspects of the Screen Time function: awareness and control. In terms of awareness, it allows you to see your detailed usage stats for the day, including the number of “pickups” – the times when you pick up your phone from the resting position.

In terms of control, you can both limit access to apps and enable “downtime,” which disables the phone overnight except for critical/emergency functions. Screen Time also allows parents to set usage limits and see how kids are using their phones.

I implemented several of the Screen Time features on my phone, including time limits on apps where I know the little red buttons distract me from both the task at hand and conversations in which I should be fully present. I also enabled downtime an hour before bedtime.

When I did the same for my kids, it did not go over as well. They let me know in no uncertain terms how it would impact their life and one of them stated, “Dad, literally no one else does this.” To which I responded, “Great, I don’t want to be like everyone else, nor do I want you to be.”

Here’s the reality. We get better at what we practice. If you practice 100 free throws, chances are that you will get better at free throws. The same goes for driving and studying a subject.

Sadly, what many of us are spending our time practicing these days is being distracted. And we are all getting really good at it. In fact, many of us are probably on our way to becoming distraction masters.

Recent studies have shown that you are actually significantly more distracted just from having your cell phone in the room, even if it’s not turned on. And the distraction gets worse when it’s sitting on a table next to you.

We are training our brains to be distracted in the same way that meditation trains our brains to be focused. And that has a toll. It changes the way our brain develops, hurts our concentration, impacts our relationships and strips us of the ability to be with our own thoughts or appreciate silence and quiet.

We begin to crave technology stimulation like a drug; the dopamine in our brain responds in a similar manner.

A week into our new experiment, I have adjusted to the changes. Even though I can override the controls I set (my kids can’t), it serves as an important reminder for when I am engaged with my phone. This awareness has noticeably reduced my phone use.

While I can’t say that my kids are happy, they too have adjusted. There are no more fights about shutting down at night, they understand the limits and are learning to manage them better and request more time if they really need it.

Hopefully, with less practice at distraction, we will all become worse at it.

Should you need more evidence for why you should use your phone less, watch this incredibly powerful video titled “Look Up.”

 

Quote of The Week

 “We have been seduced by distraction. We are being pulled away from paying attention to the things that enrich our lives.”

Daniel Goleman, author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

 

 

The post Practicing Distraction appeared first on Friday Forward.