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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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How a leader can help to change people's attitudes and behaviour

by Rick Baker
On Aug 4, 2010
…the following set of suggestions caught my attention:
How a leader can help to change people's attitudes and behaviour
  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
Point 6 includes a recommendation Dale Carnegie repeats frequently:
Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
Now, well into the 21st Century, numerous folks teach this sort of advice. So, sets of suggestions such as those above probably do not stand out as particularly innovative or novel. However, when we consider Dale Carnegie was adventuring into this territory during the first quarter of the 20th Century…it is interesting to wonder how this sort of advice was received when he first provided it.
Carnegie’s 1937 classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” was a major success, a bestseller.
So, we don’t have to wonder if people bought the book…but, how readily did those who bought the book practice what Carnegie recommended?


Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Change: Creating Positive Change

Sales Tweet #6

by Rick Baker
On Jul 26, 2010
Sales Tweet #6 Try a low-negative-thought diet. Grab your next 3 worries & refuse to let your mind chew on them anymore.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
Napoleon Hill and many others to follow have taught us the value of keeping our mind free of negative thoughts. FYI: Dr. Daniel Amen provides some very useful techniques that he has provided to help his patients. He talks about getting rid of your ANTs...Automatic Negative Thoughts. All of us have them. Few of us have proven techniques for minimizing them.


Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Sales | Thought Tweets

Too busy to be great at what you do?

by Rick Baker
On Jun 10, 2010
Too busy to be great at what you do?
Are you really busy at work?
Too busy?
Are you too busy to be great at what you do?
If you feel that way once in a while then that’s to be expected…that’s not a problem.
If you feel you are too busy most of the time then that is a problem…not good for you, not good for your employer.
If you feel you are too busy most of the time then you have some choices:
  1. Keep doing what you are doing and hope the feeling goes away
    [the ‘procrastination’ option]
  2. Quit and get a new job
    [the ‘change my job’ option]
  3. Change the way you go about your job so the feeling goes away permanently
    [the ‘change the way I work’ option]
Most people make an effort to change the way they work. They make changes like working extra hours, taking a time-management course, reading a self-help book, asking others for advice, etc. But, more often than not their effort to change the way they work is short-lived and they move into the procrastination mode. They feel overworked yet they continue and carry on.
Sometimes people who feel they overwork but underperform free up enough time to find a new job. Other times their employers pave the path for that by terminating their employment.
Question: how many people do you know who felt overworked [while underperforming], made some changes in the way they went about their business, and lived happily ever after? I mean, how many people made permanent changes for the better?
I have ideas. We should compare notes on this and create a list of How To strategies and tactics.
Things You Can Do To Overcome The Feeling You Are Too Busy To Be Great At Your Job:
Five to ten suggestions ought to give people a good start at it…

Building A Quality Attitude

by Rick Baker
On Apr 13, 2010
Most people know the importance of having a good, positive attitude. Many people talk about it. Some argue with the words like ‘positive mental attitude’…for example Gitomer talks about the ‘YES Attitude’.
Link to Gitomer – YES Attitude
No matter what we call it, we all know we are better off when we have it...so, I like it when people tell us how to go about developing a positive metal attitude.
I recently listened to the CD version of Nido Qubein’s ‘How to Position Yourself for Success’.
Nido Qubein presents a helpful summary for Building a Quality Attitude:
  1. have a positive mental outlook about situations, people and ourselves
  2. associate with people committed to excellence
  3. study the lives and actions of great people, read good books, etc
  4. focus on long-range goals, nothing motivates like achievement
  5. always know what you are going to do next (To Do lists help), set yourself up for easy beginnings...leave a half-completed sentence on your typewriter, lay out your clothes, do a pleasant task first thing in the morning
  6. put real meaning into your life...give everything you've got to everything you do...every minute
  7. adopt a Can Do vocabulary
More about attitude in future blogs…


Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude

7 Ways to Turn Problems into Opportunities

by Rick Baker
On Apr 8, 2010
In his book ‘How to Position Yourself for Success’, Nido Qubein provides a summary of 7 ways to turn problems into opportunities.
7 Ways to Turn Problems into Opportunities
  1. Expect Problems...and be willing to tackle them head on
  2. Plan Solutions for Problems in Advance...so you are confident when they arrive
  3. Focus on Fixing the Problem not on Fixing the Blame
  4. Make sure you understand the Problem before you start to work on fixing it; ensure you are fixing the problem and not just a symptom
  5. Formulate several possible solutions to the problem and examine them
  6. Choose a solution and act
  7. Turn you back on the problem and face your next challenge 
This meshes well with P=2S+O©.
For every Problem we should be able to come up with at least 2 Solutions. And, we should keep our eyes and ears open for great Opportunities, which often are hiding under Problems.
[a link to the first in a series of P=2S+O blogs]
Several of Nido Qubein’s thoughts about problems resonate with me.
A couple of examples:
  • We should not avoid problems. We should face them with courage and confidence [two of our Corporate Values]. And, even better we should expect problems and plan their solutions in advance. We can use the P=2S+O template to help us sort out our thoughts and create our plans. [download P=2S+O template]
  • We should think of many solutions then compare them. In the past, I have been happy to see people present to me two solutions under the P=2S+O process. I have been reluctant to press for more than 2 solutions. I’m going to give that more thought.
More on problems, solutions, & P=2S+O© in future blogs…

Some Ideas About Optimism

by Rick Baker
On Mar 25, 2010
We all know when people say “That glass is half full” they are optimists.
But, how else can we spot them?
Does a person’s communication give us clues?
According to Susan C. Vaughan M.D. the author of ‘Half Full Half Empty, Understanding the Psychological Roots of Optimism’, we can identify optimists through the following 2 characteristics.
Dr. Vaughan says we can identify optimists two ways:
  1. They exhibit a specific attributional style: when they experience successes they tend to take more credit than they deserve and when they experience failures they tend to blame others or unfavourable  circumstances.
  2. They make downward comparisons. For example,  they think or say things like “I am sure glad I am not so and so” [some less fortunate person]. Apparently, the Dalai Lama does this.
According to Susan Vaughan, when we see/listen to optimists we perceive them to be people who inflate their own ‘worth’, fail to give credit to others when such credit is due, and fail to accept responsibility for their failures.  And, optimists sustain their positive self-image by feeling good about being better than others.
Isn’t that just a bit surprising.
Regardless, we can use this to bolster an argument supporting realism…or at least an argument in favour of optimism tempered by realism.
Perhaps the above 2 ‘tests’ could be altered as follows…
Here are two ways to identify realistic-optimists:
  1. They enjoy and celebrate their successes but don’t reduce the role played by others or ignore the fact fortunate circumstances [or luck] also contribute to success [some of the time].
  2. They express appreciation for their good fortune…but keep their downward comparisons to themselves.
PS:  here’s a link to another thought about optimism-pessimism…from a prior blog.
More about P=2S+O and how to  be more optimistic in future blogs…


Optimism & Pessimism | Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude

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