The only way that you are going to get better at something is through practice. I read a quote in a hockey book once that really caught my attention:
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” – Vince Lombardi
Even those with raw talent have to practice regularly. Engaging others in sales and other professional roles should not be limited to work relationships. You should practice engaging others when possible.
My dad was a teacher, and is still very engaging to this day – partially because of his personality, but it was also a necessity for his career. Could you imagine being in front of a class of kids and not holding their attention? Teachers who could captivate the crowd were always the ones that remained memorable to me. This also meant that my dad and I could never quickly go to a mall because he was always running into people. Conversations would start, and time would pass by. My mom would always comment upon our return, “Where were you? I just sent you for a couple of things!”
There are so many opportunities to engage people outside of work:
- In line at a store
- At a social events with friends
- Business or community events
- Sporting events
- On a walk or a run
- Groups, associations or teams that you and/or your children are part of
I was thinking about this one day after a run, and I reflected on how many people I acknowledge in that 45 minute period. It was about twelve!
- Some greetings were a simple hello or good morning as I passed by
- With others I would make a quick comment on the weather, or about the degree of difficulty of a hill that I (or they) had just ran up
- Some were a quick stop so our dogs could greet each other
- It was common that I ask for information about their dog, and how the person’s day was going
- I even complimented one guy who was actually attempting to train his new puppy
When I engage people in this setting, most people are pleasant back. It is common for people to jog with an iPod or Mp3 player, but I will still turn mine down to say something, or at least wave. I have done this for so long it is second nature now.
If I never practiced this skill, and instead just went through the day keeping to myself, it would be unreasonable to expect that I’d be very good at it in a short time period. Skills would develop eventually, but carrying that philosophy over to your personal life just means that you have more opportunity to practice. Then before you know it, the skill improves.
This was not always easy for me; because I was quite shy growing up due to my stutter. Speaking up and meeting people was very difficult well in to my teenage years. But with practice and patience, I consider myself very engaging now, and will always take time to speak with others.
- Do you only engage new people in work situations?
- Where can you begin to converse with people starting right away in your personal life?
The most practical business skill that has come out of this for me is keeping conversations going when there is a lot of dead air. I think most of us have experienced conversations that were very one-sided, and it was a struggle to keep it going, and interesting for the other person.
Good luck, and remember to always be in “engagement mode”!
My mom Carolynn, who I affectionately call “Carrie” turns 70 years young today!
My family and I had the pleasure of celebrating this milestone event with my dad, sister and family a couple of weeks ago in her hometown of Gimli, Manitoba. She was thrilled to catch up with family and close friends.
She taught elementary school for many years before starting her “real job” of taking care of my sister and yours truly. She was a fixture over the years playing the piano at our schools and volunteering. I was always so proud to see her playing the piano at our assemblies. She returned to the workforce after we were “all growed up”.
Now her job as “Amma” (Icelandic for Grandma) to her four grandchildren keeps her smiling and having fun. My parents love coming to visit us in Edmonton, and enjoy the time they spend with their other two grand children, daughter and son-in-law in Winnipeg too.
When my dad turned 70 last year, I mentioned that our family loves to have fun and laugh! My 3 favourite moments laughing with my mom are:
#1 I was explaining to my mom that I was really tired one day, and was going to watch a quick movie that night. It was called, “Back Of My Eyelids”. Her reply, “I don’t think I have seen that one dear.”
#2 She was shopping at the local mall, and either forgot where she parked the car, or it was actually moved. We may never know what actually happened. Word spread to a few of our neighbors, and the next time she went to visit our “adopted grandpa” next door, he just opened the front door a bit and very eloquently said, “I am sorry dear, but you don’t live here.”
#3 She is the best “backseat driver” I have ever seen! Her passenger seat shoulder checks are impeccable, and the “passenger side fake brake” always gets a workout when she is in a car.
We have laughed about these stories for years.
Her memory and commitment to family and friends is truly amazing. She seems to remember every person that she has ever met, and I have always been impressed by that. I recently quizzed her on our Icelandic family history, and her attention to detail as far back as 60+ years ago was incredible. I guess that is where I get it from! I have often looked at the calendar in her kitchen and asked, “Do you actually acknowledge all of those birthdays, anniversaries etc?” And the answer, of course, is “yes”.
You know our conversations would always be interesting when it started with “You remember that person from…..”
She is still sharp as a tack when it comes to the little details.
Always so selfless, I have only known her to think of others first. “No” has not been a very popular word in her vocabulary over the years. But “what can I do to help?” has been ringing in my ears since I was a kid. She has been there for so many family members and friends when they needed her; I lost count years ago.
My mom is very musical, and comes from a very musical family. I wish I was a bit older so I could have witnessed all the fun evenings at my grandparents place with the sounds of piano, violin and laughter resonating throughout the house. One of our family’s favourite traditions is to have the neighbors over after dinner on Christmas Eve. It is always fun when mom plays piano and we have a big old sing-song with everyone :-)
Oh I almost forgot! My mom “taught me” to stay up late as a teenager. We watched “The Arsenio Hall Show” late together long before the days of time-sharing channels on TV. Those were also the early days of CNN. To this day her and dad stay up waaaaaayyyy too late and often I will text and say “go to bed” well after 12:30 am :-)
I said a few words during mom’s birthday celebration a few weeks ago, and did not have notes. It was a whirlwind event and what I said is all kind of a blur to me now.
What I hope I said was my dad, sister and myself, and all our family and friends love her very much.
I will never forget the time she asked me, “Why did dad and I get invited to one of your friends’ weddings and none of the other parents did?” My reply,” You guys are different mom, you are the best!”
She has been the backbone of our family for 45 years, and we love her to pieces. Her infectious smile, fantastic laugh and helpful nature have made her a fixture growing up in Icelandic communities of rural Manitoba (Gimli & Hnausa), and now in her local community (Transcona, a suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba).
Here’s to many more years of health, happiness and laughter my dear!
Love Tim and family
Happy Friday Everyone!
Last night I completed the Ice Bucket Challenge! It was launched to raise money for ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease. One of my family member’s challenged my son and I, and we happily obliged.
This is a very serious disease and I challenge you all to take part, and invite others to participate as well to bring more exposure to the cause.
Why is this under my Have A Laugh Fridays? Check out my video, and please share with others.
Have a great weekend.
I fell in love with Matchbox Twenty the first time I heard the hit single “Push” all those years ago. A couple of years later in 1998, I went to Australia and they were just MASSIVE there!
I have followed their career very closely ever since.
Here is a FANTASTIC version of “Overjoyed” from their latest release, North
Have a great weekend and enjoy this summer day!
I looked at many notebooks of my writing one day and …
Thought nobody would care what I had to say
Did not feel confident in my abilities
Was apprehensive and nervous
Realized nobody else I knew was doing this
Did not feel I was creative enough
Something inside of me finally clicked and I took action!
I started a blog
I was still scared
What if nobody viewed it?
What if I did not make any new connections?
What if I faded away in to “Google anonymity”?
To my surprise, posts …
Lead to followers
Were shared via social media
But you have to …
Commit to do the work
Put yourself out there
Engage your community
Show up regularly
The game changer for me occurred early on after I received a personal email from a reader.
It was simple and to the point, but it meant so much.
“Thanks for the post Tim. It really resonated with me. Keep up the great work!”
If you are on the fence, I understand (more than you know). Been there done that! Why not jump over? You might like what you find on the other side :-)
- How has your writing experience been?
- Better than expected?
- More struggles than you bargained for?
Would love if you shared your thoughts in the comments section!
I have not been running as much as I should this spring, but I finally got out this week for the first time in a while.
I make sure to have FANTASTIC rock music on my iPod to keep me motivated.
This wicked track by Foo Fighters came on, and I hit repeat three times!
Have a great day and embrace the first day of summer!
That is the question :-)
Ever see people handing out business cards like they are dealing a deck of cards?
“Come one, come all, everyone gets a card!”
The important question is…
did you get a card from the prospect, or the networking event connection?
When you get a card, you are in control. You control your own destiny.
When all you do is hand out cards, and often forget to get their card, you wait – hoping one day that they reach out to you.
Uh-oh! Your card may end up in the garbage but you still can connect if you have theirs!
I LOVE golf, and I love following Mike Weir, one of Canada’s national sports treasures.
He accomplished the unthinkable in 2003 and won the Master’s Golf tournament, the most coveted championship in all of golf. He put in a few more good years, and then the wheels fell off. An elbow injury, swing changes, loss of confidence.
It went from bad to worse and then finally, he almost fell off the map. He had more money than he could ever dream of, and could have packed it in and lived happily ever after. But this was golf, this was all he knew, this was what he LOVED to do. Well it all paid off last weekend. He was one shot back in the final round of the Byron Nelson tournament with a chance to win. He played a fantastic round, and came up two shots short. A bounce here and there and he would have won.
Check out these two articles about his exciting weekend and 2nd place cheque for $750,000.
The best part of the story was seeing the smile on his face as he walked off the course and was interviewed after the round. The feeling of self-satisfaction must have been overwhelming.
Don’t quit… EVER
Things will get difficult along the way
But think about the FANTASTIC feeling you will have when you get where you want to go!
I don’t care if you are starting a business, growing an existing one, or making time in your life to do things that you really want to do.
This is your one shot, so you might as well make the most of it.
Mike Weir did and he is finally LOVING what he has always wanted to do in this lifetime again – play golf :-)