Category Archives: Inner Circles

Webinar with Jim Cathcart Nov. 18th

Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World – Webinar with Jim Cathcart

Do you or your team need some Intelligent Motivation? Simple motivation is merely generating enthusiasm. It is occasionally useful and effective but hardly lasting or of strategic value. Intelligent Motivation, on the other hand, is determining what is important, identifying what action is needed and doing what is necessary to generate and sustain that action.

Jim Cathcart, Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World

Jim Cathcart, Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World

elifeplans

If you need “Intelligent Motivation” then you need to be on our upcoming webinar, hosted by David Bush, CEO and Founder of eLifePlans.com as he is joined by Motivation Expert, Jim Cathcart. He is the founder and President of Cathcart Institute, Inc. and one of the most widely recognized professional speakers in the world.

During this 1 hour webinar Jim will speak on how:
– Motivation needs to be intelligently done
– Motivation is about acting on motives
– To determine what matters to you
– To identify ways to get yourself to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done

If a person is not “motivated” to do good work then they probably won’t do it. And if a person has no self-driven motive for excellent performance then they will have to be continually motivated by others. If this sounds like you or your team, you need to be on this webinar!

Jim is known worldwide for his ability to engage, inspire and motivate an audience. He has worked as a corporate executive, training director, entrepreneur, psychological researcher, meeting planner and association executive. He has managed people, products and payrolls for over 32 years. He has also researched and field tested his methods through 3 decades of speaking and training before 2,600 audiences in virtualy every discipline.

Title: Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World with Jim Cathcart
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/198519712

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Filed under Behavioral Economics, Books by Jim Cathcart, High-Value Relationships, Inner Circles, Leadership, Relationship Assets, Relationship Intelligence Formula, Relationship Intelligence Training, relationship selling

Beyond “People Skills” to Relationship Intelligence ™

by Jim Cathcart

There must be 100,000 trainers, speakers and authors out there teaching people how to be more successful in dealing with others. And maybe I’m being small minded in choosing such a low number.
All I know is, when I started teaching “interpersonal communication” in the mid 1970s there were very few of us doing so. The Dale Carnegie Course still seemed new to many people despite having existed for a generation. Clients were still surprized when we suggested that they actually teach people how to: listen, communicate two-ways, understand personality differences, and manage tension levels in their communication.
In fact, in 1976 when I joined the National Speakers Association there were only a couple of hundred members. Today they have over 3,600 members. The American Society for Training & Development, ASTD, was also fairly new when I joined them in 1974. They, too, are now an international organization with tens of thousands of members.

So, in light of the fact that there is a multitude of resources to help you learn “People Skills”, let’s take it to the next level. Relationship Intelligence ™.

Premise: Your life is a series of Relationships
Our lives are lived through interactions with others.

Conclusion: If you change the mix, quality or quantity of your relationships then you will, in fact, change your life experience.

So, being more Intelligent about which relationships you develop and which you do not will have a profound effect on the quality of your life.

Complete the following sentence: “It is not what you know that counts, it is…”

Most people would answer: “It is Who you know.”

So, try this one: “It is not who you know that counts, it is…”

My recent audiences have replied, “It is who knows You!”

OK, so far we have been in familiar territory. No news yet.
Complete this sentence please: “It is not who knows you that counts, it is…”

When I ask this in my speeches and seminars nobody responds. They just look puzzled.
“You mean it isn’t who knows you? Then what does really count?”

Here is my reply: “It is who is Glad that they know you that counts the most.”
You see, until others are actually glad that they know you, you don’t have much of a relationship with them. But when you cause others to be proud of the fact that you are their friend, business contact, colleague, neighbor, healthcare provider, sales rep, service technician, or advisor…then you have built a true relationship asset.

I recently did a Tandem Sky Dive from 13,000 feet with a master jumper named Victor. I can guarantee you that, for the duration of our jump, Victor’s welfare mattered as much to me as my own. Some relationships are situation specific while others endure for the long term.

Relationships are Assets…or liabilities.

By knowing some people you open new doors of potential, by knowing others you close those doors. Ask Barack Obama how he feels about having a long-term friendship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What may once have been an asset, has in recent months become a profound liability. It matters who we connect with and who we avoid.
Take a look at all of the relationships in your life today and then reflect on which ones are assets and which are not. If you spend more time with the assets and diminish your contacts with the liabilities, then you will have consciously and intentionally enhanced your life.

Those are two very important words: Consciously and Intentionally.
I believe that we need to be more conscious of what is working and not working. As Peter Drucker often said, “Things that are measured tend to improve.” When we stop and reflect on things we notice more about them, and noticing more is the essence of intelligence.
We also need to become more intentional about what we do.
Professionals in every field are more likely than others in that field to make each action intentional. The most obvious of these would be sports and theater. In competitive sports every movement counts. Tennis professionals will tell you that, while awaiting a serve, not only does the placement of your feet matter, but so does where you look. Michael Phelps, the world champion swimmer, often describes how every movement and every thought needs to be intentional in competition. Actors strive to control their eye movement, vocal tones, body language and breathing when on stage. The same things count in business dealings and interpersonal situations. Politicians learn to be intensely aware of how they say things and what the implications of their actions may be.

No, I’m not saying that we need to be “always On”, but rather, I’m observing that the more often we are conscious of what we are doing and intentional in how we do it, the more often we will succeed at our task. To try to be “on” in everything we do would be very stressful and often unnecessary.

But there are levels of control that always must be in play. There are no circumstances where it is OK to do something that is illegal or immoral. So, the more we pay attention the better off we will be.

Who is glad that they know you?

The more names you can list under that heading the more assets you will have. Relationship Assets that is.
What is a “relationship asset?” It is a direct connection with someone else who also considers it important to sustain that connection with you.
Take some time to reflect on that. Make a list of all the connections you can think of in your life and then notice the ones where they feel they are getting good value from the connection.

Did you ever know someone who was really good at “people skills” and yet their success in life was quite limited? How about this, did you ever know someone who often behaved like a jerk but still managed to gain the respect and support of other people who mattered to their success? Sometimes the jerks become highly successful despite their sometimes abrasive behavior.
Note that I did not say “because of it” but rather I said “despite” it.
Bad dealings with others always has a negative effect and the better we become at interpersonal relations the more enjoyable our lives will be. But success isn’t determined by nice dealings, it is determined by right actions at the right times with the right people.

Here are four questions that are at the core of my Relationship Intelligence message:
1. What do you want?
(love, friendship, fun, money, support, opportunity, a contract, etc.)
All relationships are defined by what the participants want from the relationship.
2. Who do you know?
When you know the right people you are in a position to produce the outcomes you desire.
3. What do they want?
The better you understand their goals, desires and dreams the more you can see ways to help them get it.
4. How can you help them get what they want?
Customer loyalty should be what we seek to give rather than what we seek to get. As my friend and mentor Zig Ziglar is famous for saying, “You can get anything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Take some time to reflect on today’s message. Print it out and carry it with you. Look over it again each morning and think about what it means to you. Do this for at least one month. Then drop me a note and let me know how you have changed things in your life.
Watch for more news on my upcoming book: Who is glad that they know you?
Building High-Value Relationships through increasing your “Relationship Intelligence ™.”

http://www.cathcart.com

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Filed under Behavioral Economics, Books by Jim Cathcart, High-Value Relationships, Inner Circles, Leadership, Relationship Assets, Relationship Intelligence Formula, Relationship Intelligence Training, relationship selling, The Daily Question

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

by Jim Cathcart

Patrick Henry addressing the public about the unfair tax on tea

Patrick Henry addressing the public about the unfair tax on tea


Consider these questions as you think about the formation of a new nation.

What were the issues our Founding Fathers had to deal with?
How long was it after our Declaration of Independence from England that we won the war and achieved a general peace?
What were the internal struggles going on between Americans re: the separation from England where all their ancestors and many of them personally had grown up?
In the early stages of the struggle, what was the source of tension that caused us to finally shout “We’ve had enough!” and declare our independence?
How long did communication take to reach the colonies from England, France and even from the other colonies? What was the effect of that long delay?

Last week Paula and I toured Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, VA. We walked the Yorktown battlefield, circumnavigated the peninsula around Jamestown, and stood spellbound as various Patriots delivered public addresses on the streets of Williamsburg. It was inspiring and enlightening. It took us back to the roots of our culture and showed us (upon reflection) the parallels with countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, and even China where new leadership is faced with the same fundamental decisions of how to structure a government and society wherein personal freedom is encouraged.

The beauty of Williamsburg is that it is frozen in time. The people who live and work there are dressed and rehearsed in the mindset, history and behaviors of the 1770s. They know their history, their character’s philosophy, religion, demeanor, circumstances and vocal patterns. When you ask one of them a question about something that occured later in history, they look at you puzzled as to what you are talking about? When the president of the College of William & Mary entertained questions after a sermon in historic Wren Chapel, he inquired as to where I was from. I answered California. He had no frame of reference to understand what or where California was (for him it was still 1774) so he turned to a man from Virginia and asked where his home was.

A team of oxen roam the street during P. Henry's speech

A team of oxen roam the street during P. Henry's speech

One particularly impressive speech was delivered by Colonel George Washington. Not yet General nor President. He was encouraging a boycott of all English goods; civil disobedience if you will. He said (I paraphrase), “Are we not free to purchase or not purchase that which we wish? I am not suggesting that you break any laws, just that you refuse to continue commerce with those who are seeking so eagerly to tax us at every turn. I do not condone the destruction of another’s property as the vandals in Massachusetts did with the shipment of tea. I simply believe that the best way to stop these intrusions is to cease commerce with England.”

A younger George Washington addressing the citizens

A younger George Washington addressing the citizens


The colonists were being taxed on what England considered luxuries: paper (The Stamp Act), tea, etc. They had no representation in England that wasn’t totally biased toward the Crown so there was no way to effectively debate what the Crown imposed. They were mostly proud to be “Englishmen” but the treatment was unfair and led ultimately to such abuses of power that the colonists cried, “Enough!” and declared independence from England, thus commencing a long and costly war that claimed lives and fortunes for many years.
Here is a quote from the Yorktown Battlefield’s website as to when it finally was won.
Colonial National Historical Park – Yorktown Battlefield

On October 19, 1781, a British army under General Charles Lord Cornwallis was forced to surrender to General Washington’s combined American and French army. Upon hearing of their defeat, British Prime Minister Frederick Lord North is reputed to have said, “Oh God, it’s all over.” And it was. The victory secured independence for the United States and significantly changed the course of world history.
Size of the armies: 8,800 Americans, 7,800 French and 6,000 British
Our reliance on the support of France during this campaign is often forgotten. There were our competitive advantage. They provided the naval blockade and thousands of foot soldiers that made this victory possible.

The Marquis de Lafayette reporting on our victories

The Marquis de Lafayette reporting on our victories


In those days the way news travelled was on horseback and by ship. Sometimes it was weeks or months before people learned the “news.” Simple communication to coordinate affairs was not so simple. People had to make decisions based upon what they knew and what they assumed to be likely. Our colonists were ruled by a Governor appointed by the Crown and who answered only to the King. There were “Burgesses” to represent us but when they displeased the Governor, he’d simply dismiss them and send them home.

We had religious factions: Church of England (the official church), Romans (catholics), Lutherans, Calvinists, Baptists, Quakers, and more. Unofficial churches were simply tolerated, not accepted.
There were large contingents from other European countries and cultures. Domestically we had farmers and merchants, shipbuilders, tradesmen, and our society was largely self sufficient. If you didn’t make it, you usually didn’t have it unless you could occasionally travel into town to trade for it. Slavery was common and, though obviously wrong, so widely practiced that it was considered normal to own slaves.

Luxury travel in Williamsburg

Luxury travel in Williamsburg


When you experience, even as a tourist, the lifestyle, attitudes, daily practices and discussions in Williamsburg, you begin to understand how complex and difficult it is to create a nation.
The right balance between liberty and government. The mix of laws and freedoms. The choice of practices that run the building of public roads, establishment of services, utilities, creation of an army and determination of how it will be governed. These and more vital decisions face the new leaders.

It is important to know that without a faith in a higher power people descend into pragmatism and lose their sense of purpose and conviction. When we abandon our belief in democracy as the best way for people to govern themselves then we begin internal conflicts that lead to manipulation and deceit. When we loosen our grip on civility and standards of behavior then we become barbaric and inconsiderate. The next step is selfishness and rudeness, then agression.
But with the encouragement of faith, democracy and civility we create a culture wherein caring and sharing are encouraged. People look forward to their dealings with others and begin to consider the needs of others in even their most personal plans.

Thomas Jefferson and me working on the wording of a declaration

Thomas Jefferson and me working on the wording of a declaration


Today as we enter the last phase of our national elections it is useful to remember how tremendously complex our leadership responsibilities are. We have vital issues that must be resolved with wisdom, utilizing our accumulated knowledge of 200+ years of discussion and experimentation, and adapting to new realities never envisioned by our founders.
But as we consider this, it is refreshing to know that even in the early colonial days there were the same underlying issues to resolve. Even then, and after the war of independence, we still had those who claimed the war was unnecessary, England should be rejoined and all our efforts had been wasted. There were still rumblings of this divide to be seen generations later.

So, as you listen to the political speeches over the next several weeks, remember that this is a modern example of an ancient process. The unsavory tactics and character assasination that are so frequently used have always been part of the process. That doesn’t make them good but it eases our sense of cultural decay in witnessing them. Our society is not declining into barbarism but rather it is going through the eternal growing pains of becoming what it can be.

Freedom will always include elements that we didn’t personally choose or condone. But it, more importantly, contains the power to choose what we will do, with whom we will do it, where we will go and what we will apply our energies to. That freedom allows us to become the individuals we were genetically and divinely designed to be.
May God bless you and God Bless America.

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Filed under Behavioral Economics, High-Value Relationships, Inner Circles, Leadership, Relationship Assets

High-Value Training for Hospitality Professionals

by Jim Cathcart

Here is a six-module program that I designed for one of my country club clients. It can be equally valuable for restaurants, resorts, hotels, spas or any entity in the hospitality industry. Think about how your own internal training and management development could use some of these ideas.

Each module can be done in a morning seminar format; maximum time 3 hours including group discussion and exercises.

The Primary Purpose of the training is to get all of the managers and supervisors onto the same page about: their jobs, the Club itself, the members/guests, and each other. This can become the “Signature Training” and be offered for each new generation of leaders in a variety of forms. The first round needs to be live seminars, but thereafter, it can be done in coaching sessions for smaller groups (involving some who have been through the live seminars as well) and with various training tools that you can build over time.

Relationship to the other Company Goals: It is essential that the entire team share the same “mindset” so that collaboration and cooperation occur without constant supervision being required. One big effect of this is that everyone can have the same intensity of concern for the profitable operation of the club and the continuing satisfaction of the members and guests. The team needs to see how each of them fits into the overall scheme of things here and how their contribution matters to our continuing success.

Goals of the Training:
These are the measurable outcomes that will be produced:
• Each manager will be able to explain how their role fits into the success of the club and its other departments
• Collaboration and communication between departments will be natural and constant
• Each person will know what they are paid to achieve and how they are to be held accountable
• Everyone will appreciate and understand the value of members and guests to our success
• Each person will see the importance of enhancing every point of contact with members and guests
• Everyone will value their coworkers and understand the interdependency we share
• Managers will continually improve in their understanding of how to read and lead people
• Self improvement will be constant among all who work at this Club
• All who work here will be proud of their affiliation with the club and each other
• Contributions of ideas for the improvement of the club will continually flow from all who are involved here.

Take a moment to review the above list once again, and this time; pause to think about the financial value each outcome holds for you.

Initial Training Modules:
1. “Welcome to The (name) Club”
2. Behavioral Economics: What Are You Accountable For?
3. Managing The Members’ & Guests’ Experience
4. Constant Never-ending Improvement
5. Reading People and Leading People
6. Being the Best You Have Ever Been

Module One:
“Welcome to (name) Club” focuses on how we can each cause everyone to feel welcome here, including staff at all levels.
It addresses The Service Mindset, the reasons people join a club or choose a resort, their ways of measuring satisfaction and what motivates people to become more involved. This module also orients staff to the overall structure and operation of the club so that they see how all the parts fit together.
Participants are made aware of how clubs differ from hotels, resorts and restaurants. They are also shown the significance of this club and what it is that makes this a very special place. The purpose of module one is to make people proud to be working here, aware of what they’ve gotten themselves into by accepting employment here and excited about the potential that exists for them, even if they stay in their current positions.

Module Two:
Behavioral Economics: What are you accountable for? This session shows how actions and lack of action relates to money. Participants learn to value action as never before. They see the “domino effect” of certain behaviors. Questions like, “who gets the fruits of your work and what do they do with it?” are answered and explored. People learn to create “Role Agreements” to help define their jobs here. Unlike a “job description”, a Role Agreement is a document that defines: 1. what you are paid to achieve, 2. the scope of your areas of responsibility, and 3. our expectations of you and your expectations of us. This leads to a very rich discussion of who does what and why. Also addressed is the subject of how conflicts can be addressed. Such techniques as “I have a concern” are explored and practiced. One valuable result of this session is the clarification of duties and responsibilities and another is the increased awareness of the economic value of current behaviors and ongoing standards of performance.

Module Three:
Managing The Members’ & Guests’ Experience is designed to show how each touch point affects our success. This begins with an exploration of the “Moments of Truth” in our contact with others. They learn to distinguish the difference between Touch Points and Trust Points. Both golf and tennis metaphors are used to reinforce understanding related to all our functions from service to security to housekeeping, catering and maintenance. Member relations and dealings with coworkers and vendors are included in the mix. The structure called “Treating People With Ease” is used to show how all parts of the club and all behaviors of our associates contribute to our success. Participants are made acutely aware of the effect we each have on others and how our responsibilities transcend our “roles” and “duties”.

Module Four:
Constant Never-ending Improvement is a module designed to stimulate creativity and communication. Methods of looking at familiar things in new and innovative ways are explored and practiced. Systems for communicating new ideas are discussed and explained. A culture of innovation is stimulated and new ideas are embraced instead of resisted. The idea of “Change” that is so often discussed in seminars and yet not implemented is transcended here. This workshop accepts change as normal and desirable while at the same time making everyone aware of how vitally important it is to have rock-solid standards and proven, unwavering systems in place in critical areas. Sameness and dependability are shown in proper perspective with innovation and change. Trust Points are revisited with an eye toward upgrading each of them. The concept of “Up-Serving” is embraced and put into practice.

Module Five:
Reading People and Leading People is a workshop in personality differences and motivation. It explores personality types and much more. Participants learn to understand how complex and unique each person is while seeing simple and proven ways to adapt to those differences successfully. Concepts taught include: the four basic personality patterns and how to deal with them, differences in personal velocity, primary values, intellectual bandwidth, levels of thinking, respected sources, background imprint and “language” (meaning). There is an online questionnaire that each person can easily and quickly complete in order to prepare for this session. It produces a detailed profile of the person and shows them how to adapt to others more easily. This is based on the work of Cathcart Institute, Inc. in the creation of the following works: Relationship Strategies for Dealing with the Differences in People, The Acorn Principle, The Platinum Rule Assessment (coauthored with Dr. Tony Alessandra), and more.

Module Six:
Being The Best You Have Ever Been is a seminar that sells each person on the importance of taking the initiative to constantly improve themselves. Without “self” improvement there is the need for constant supervision and motivation. However once people become more self motivated then they become worth more to their employer and coworkers every day they are on the job. So that participants can use this session to motivate and lead others Modes of Operation (modus operandi) are presented along with the appropriate response to help people grow beyond their current mode. Goal setting and self assessment exercises lead participants to clarify their own “motives” so they can be more self-motivated. People discuss and identify the things they will soon need to become good at, even before they are required to learn or master them. Resources for learning and growth are identified and people are encouraged to reach out for opportunities to grow. The definition of Self-Motivation used here is this: It is the ability to get yourself to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done whether you feel like it or not and still do it very well. The essence of this is seen in the “Daily Question: How would the person I’d like to be do the things I’m about to do?”

The foregoing will do a very powerful job of getting your team to a level where your job becomes easier every day.
I’m eager to explore this with you so drop me a note if you’d like more input.
In the Spirit of Service,
Jim

Cathcart Institute, Inc.
Executive Office
email: jim@cathcart.com
Website: www.cathcart.com
Personal Blog: www.cathcart.com/blog
Business Blog: http://relationshipintelligenceblog.com

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Filed under Behavioral Economics, High-Value Relationships, Inner Circles, Leadership, Relationship Intelligence Training

Social Networks and High Value Relationships

by Jim Cathcart
copyright 2008

Another day, another new social network.
It’s like the 1990s when the “dot com” businesses were being created by-the-hour, resulting in what we later called “the tech boom.” So, with all these options: LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, SynergyStreet, Plaxo, Naymz, etc., what’s a person to do? How do we know whether to sign up and fill out a profile? Will it just be a diversion and a waste of otherwise valuable time?

Personally, I’m signed up and “profiled” with several of them. I don’t know which one will truly pay off but I do know this; the online traffic is shifting right now from simple emails and traditional websites to Social Networks and Blogs.

Here’s why: Accessibility and Trustworthiness.
We want two main things from our online resources; 1. the ability to use them easily without extra cost or special training and 2. to be able to trust them not to spam us or infect our computers with viruses.
Social Networks offer both of these. So do Blogs. Let’s address them one at a time.

Social Networks
These wonderful communities allow us to choose who we connect with and at the same time they provide most of the capabilities we had through our websites and Outlook email. We can share photos, tell stories in our posts, communicate with our “base” of friends easily, monitor what’s up with those in our network and more. We can tell the whole family and extended family our news with only a few clicks. And we can do this via anyone’s computer or PDA. Many cell phones offer us the same ability.
No longer must we send lengthy letters or newsletters. Now we can simply post the news, add the links we want and attach the items we wish to share. What a miraculous invention!

But which network should you use?
I’d say use the one(s) that get the job done for you. Don’t worry about being exclusive for now. Just dive in, with appropriate caution, and start communicating. See and be seen. Get “out and about” so that others can easily connect with you.
If you are concerned about having to check multiple sources each day, don’t. Just sign up for the automatic notifications via email and watch your Outlook in-box. When someone posts a message to you , you’ll get an email.

The reason I suggest you get involved so fully is this; connections lead to collections. You’ve got to circulate to percolate. If you ain’t in it, you can’t win it. Get my point?
High-Value Relationships usually start out as low value relationships. They only gain value as others begin to see more value to them by staying connected with you. We used to describe a person who knew lots of others as someone who was “well connected.” Today that is even more true.
Part of your Equity in the marketplace is determined by the number of people who trust you.

Knowledge is no longer Power
Knowledge is and will always be valuable, but Power has moved. It has moved from Knowledge to Trust. In any situation, the person who is most trusted by others is the person with the most power. In Social Networks you are able to build your connections, strengthen your reputation, and expand the number of people who feel comfortable communicating with you. You can begin by simply communicating and exploring, then when appropriate, contribute something you feel they will value. Before long you will be known and trusted. Soon after, you will find people seeking your advice, input and recommendations.

Build Trust before you need it
By cultivating these relationships you will be accumulating a relationship “bank account” from which you can make withdrawals (asking for something) later on. At first though, you will need to make plenty of “deposits” by seeking ways to share useful information, offer encouragement, and take an interest in others. Get known and liked in the “neighborhood” by being a good neighbor and friend.

Blogs are the new Websites
What makes a web-log (Blog) so desirable is its ease of use. We’ve always wanted our websites to do more than most of them do and with Blogs we have it. We can make edits on impulse, make changes and additions without relearning code, and get picked up by Search Engines easily. Blogs have become the non-techie’s website of preference. I find I’m even favoring my Blogs over my website when I want to communicate something to the marketplace.

The drawback is that far too many people are creating Blogs. There is much useless information on the web now and it is growing daily. But your friends and followers can avoid the “noise” by simply subscribing to your Blog via a RSS feed. Most Blog services offer this feature for free, and most Blogs are free as well. Blogger and WordPress plus many others offer you the ability to create a Blog at no cost and be up and running within an hour or less. Explore this Blog (the one you are reading right now) and see how much functionality it has. This is a WordPress Blog and its features are impressive. For free! Nice.

If I were starting my online presence today I’d skip the website and go straight to the Blog. Though my website (Cathcart.com) is highly capable and offers video clips, articles, links, and fancy formatting…so does my Blog. And on the Blog I don’t have to call my webmaster to get things edited. It is simple enough to do it myself.
For expertise in whether to Blog, how to Blog and what not to do, seek out Ted Demopoulos and read his books on Blogging for Business. Be sure to get a copy of his booklet titled “Secrets of Successful Blogging.” It’s a quick and easy read with loads of tips and insights.

The folks who subscribe to your Blog’s RSS feed are the base of your own network of High-Value Relationships. When you make it easy for them to communicate with you, learn from you and determine whether they can trust you, you also remove their barriers to buying. People do business with the people they like and the people they trust. Become one through Blogging and Social Networking.
And, please, stay in touch through your comments, recommendations and emails.
See you on the internet!
Jim

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Filed under High-Value Relationships, Inner Circles, Relationship Assets, Relationship Intelligence Training

Inner Circles: The Critical Players in any Organization

by Jim Cathcart

Circles, circles everywhere and all of them lead to outcomes.
Every group of people; a business, family, church, school or team has an “Inner Circle”. These are the people through whom the major results are achieved. In the White House, in Congress, in Harvard University, in the San Diego Padres and at Google…there are small groups of people without whom the whole enterprise would suffer.

Even small businesses have Inner Circles. It’s often Mom & Pop plus the most productive workers. As a sales person or a consultant, once you know who is in the Inner Circle of leadership then you know who to work with to affect major change in the organization.

In war, once you know the Inner Circle of your enemy then taking them out or removing their ability to function well is your key to victory. In sports it is the Inner Circle of certain talented individuals that inspire and lead the rest of the team to the championship. And you have an Inner Circle too. We all do.

Your Inner Circle consists of somewhere between a few and a dozen people. Groups larger than that are no longer “Inner” circles. Consider for a moment how many people you absolutely rely on in order to be productive each day. Regardless of their titles your Circle may contain; assistants, coworkers, your boss, a colleague, a key contact at one of your client companies, a supplier, a mentor or even your spouse. If any of these folks were to go away, your world and your productivity would reflect it right away. That’s what I mean by “the people through whom you produce your results.”

Take a minute and list the people in your Inner Circle. Keep it to twelve or fewer people. Don’t worry if it is only four or five people. Write down their names and their roles or positions in relation to working with or assisting you. Seriously, take some time and write them down right now.

Next, draw a “sociogram”, this is a format much like a graph or bar chart in which you put your name in the center and surround yourself with the names of the Inner Circle players. Think of a Hub (you) with spokes leading out to the others in a large wheel-like display. You are the one around whom the Inner Circle is organized and the spoke connecting you to each person represents your relationship with that person. Don’t bother connecting them to each other just yet. That’s for a later exercise.

Now do an analysis of three things about your Circle.
1. Examine the Mix of talents and viewpoints represented in this group. Is there a variety of complementary talents or does everyone seem to fit the same limited profile?
2. Notice the Individual Contributions each person brings to the team. What special qualities does he or she contribute? And…
3. Assess the state of your Relationship with each person. How well does that specific relationship work for both of you? Are you both committed to the success of the relationship? Do you tell each other the whole truth all of the time? Do you have a clear understanding of what you expect from each other? Do you have clear agreements to help you resolve potential conflicts?

The above analysis may be one of the most important thinking assignments you complete all year. After all these are the major players in your world and when you get everything right in connecting with them…success is imminent.

When every person in the organization is aware of his Inner Circle and then goes to work on improving; the mix, the talents and the relationships with each person…the organization improves almost immediately. After all, what is an organization but a group of people committed to a common cause? When you improve either the people or their relationships or both, you are bound to get overall improvement as well.

Try this exercise with your own Inner Circle and then go back to my earlier article on “Relationship Intelligence”. Increasing the Relationship Intelligence of each Inner Circle is the quickest way to improve Teamwork, Productivity, Collaboration, and Innovation.

Jim Cathcart

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