Friday, March 23, 2007

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

f you’re angry, you’re losing;
If you’re bitter, you’ve lost.

Getting angry is often seen as losing control. It isn’t. When you get angry, you have already lost control and it is your effort to get it back after you’ve lost it. Getting angry is the equivalent of a temper tantrum, where something gets taken away or is not given to an infant and that baby feels mortally wounded. The tantrum is an effort to get whatever it needs to stop the emotional hemorrhaging that the baby feels from that wound.

Getting angry may frighten people into giving you what you want in the short run, but it will take away their trust and respect in the long run. Over time, frequent anger has nowhere to go, but to harden into bitterness at which point it not only takes others’ trust, and respect away, it takes and keeps them away as they try to avoid you.

© 2007 Mark Goulston

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Never be:
- too rushed to say, "Thank You"
- too proud to say, "I'm sorry"
- or too angry to say, "Goodnight."

If you are too rushed to say, "Thank you," your relationship is leaning more towards being an arrangement than a relationship. If you're too proud to say, "I'm sorry" and too angry to say, "Goodnight," you'd rather be right than make things better and you're dangerously close to becoming the unforgiving person (you knew in your childhood) that you swore you'd never grow up to be like.

(c) 2007 Mark Goulston

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Never Eat Alone" meets "Get Out of Your Own Way"

Guess what has happened since I first wrote my blog Never Eat Alone made Simple in June, 2006?

Not only am I not eating alone anymore, I’ve joined Keith’s company, Ferrazzi Greenlight, and as they say, “The rest is future.”

And since we are all acts in progress I was delighted when Keith pointed out to me how my work in helping people get out of their own way was a critical element to people succeeding in using his ideas.

Here’s an integration of the two:

1. Focus – identify where you want to get to in your career (and in your life), because other than therapists, most people don’t want to spend too much time helping you figure out what you want to do when you grow up (and “Yes, butting” their suggestions will quickly wear out your welcome).

2. Target – identify key people from your past and present that you already know who can help and the people you don’t yet know, who would be in a position to help you.

3. Align – match the people you have identified with your goals. Which of the people you’ve identified can assist you in attaining which goals through introduction, advice, referrals, etc.

4. Prioritize – given how little time we have in our lives, prioritize which goals and consequently which people and in what order you want to start building mutually helpful relationships.

5. Define – now comes the generous and gracious part and where you get to let go of the Machiavellian and somewhat self-serving steps 1-3. Forget about yourself and think of how you can help those people be more successful in what is important to them. That can be their business or their career, their personal life or family, their community. Most people who are above the survival (= purely transactional) level are reciprocators by nature and will want to naturally want to help you.

6. Outreach – figure the ways to connect with those people either by meeting them one on one, inviting them to events, or staying in touch by “pinging” them via email, voice mail, snail mail (Never Eat Alone is the best resource on this component).

7. Diagnose – figure out where and how you get in your own way and that has prevented you from being successful, stop and overcome it. This step occurs here, because if you’ve done steps 1 – 5, you’ve developed momentum and have already put in a lot of time and effort that you won’t want to squander by doing something self-defeating that is going to turn someone off, just when you have succeeded in meeting them. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply a matter of identifying and stopping bad habits and replacing them with good habits long enough so that you automatically do what’s effective and no longer do what’s ineffective (check out Get Out of Your Own Way at Work and Get Out of Your Own Way for assistance with this).

8. Renew – this is the toughest step. Make and take time to stay in contact with the people you help and let help you.

9. Rejoice – follow steps 1 – 7 and when you become successful and happy and help others do the same, take time to enjoy your success…you’ve earned it.

10. Repeat – keep doing this process until it becomes a habit and an automatic way of living your life.

© 2007 Mark Goulston