Ask a question

Questions are a critical component in the persuasion process. And there are a multitude of reasons why.

Firstly, questions enable you to gain someone’s attention. Have you ever noticed that when someone may be talking to you and going on and on and you find yourself in a position where you’re extremely bored that you can suddenly stop and begin paying attention the minute someone asks you a question?

The reason why is because questions put the other person on the defensive because they have to think of how they will answer your question and that serves two great purposes.

The first – which is the one that I just mentioned – is that they gain attention but secondly, is every time the other person has to stop and think of how to answer your question, it gives you the opportunity to stop and think about what you’re going to do next.

Questions also give the other person the ability to speak, which is one of the key aspects of the way people are wired. People simply love to hear themselves talk. In fact, most of the time they are waiting for you to finish speaking so that they can begin.

Every time you ask a question you open the door for them to speak about themselves and this will create a mood that makes them feel good about themselves. This gives you the opportunity to create rapport.

Questions are also of great way to keep a person engaged. I have found that one of the best ways to overcome situations where there’s an awkward silence is to begin asking the other person questions. Those questions could be about anything but I continue to ask questions every time I feel as though an awkward silent moment may occur and it will instantly break up the monotony.

Questions also help alleviate distractions. One of the critical rules in the influence process is keeping the other person engaged and distractions will work very much against that process taking place.

Therefore, it’s your responsibility to divert the other person attention from whateveris distracting them back to you so that they’re engaged. And you can easily do that with a question that is phrased tactfully enough.

One of the first things that you learn in sales is to ask questions at the beginning of your presentation because they enable you to get all of the objections out in the open so that you can overcome them initially, or prepare yourself to have to overcome them at a later time during the presentation.

Asking questions also will keep you in the driver seat because every time you ask a question and gain a response, you are in control.

You are evoking action in your target when you get them to answer your questions.

Always make sure you know exactly which questions you plan on asking and why. Asking a better question will get you a better response.

Positive V Negative, your choice….

I’ve heard it said countless times that simply thinking positive thoughts isn’t enough. Rather then argue that point I prefer to refer to the wise words of Zig Ziglar who said, “positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” In other words, even if it only helps a little — those who strive to put positive thinking to work in their lives are better off then those who don’t.

There is magic in positive thinking!

In aviation, the word attitude means the angle at which the plane meets the wind, whether the wings are level with the horizon, and whether it is climbing or descending. The pilot who fails to take responsibility for the attitude of his aircraft is in serious trouble. And likewise, any person who has not taken charge of his or her own beliefs and attitudes runs a similar risk.

The key to cultivating and maintaining a positive mental attitude is to take control of your thinking and avoid negative minded people. It’s a challenging task to develop a calm, focused mind, but well worth the effort.

Every setback and failure you experience also comes with a great opportunity. When one door closes, a window of possibility opens. The key is to look for the opportunity and avoid dwelling on failure. Think thoughts of defeat and you are bound to feel defeated.

Your attitude is not determined by circumstances, but by how you respond to those circumstances. You determine your attitude; you always have the choice to respond either positively or negatively. What happens to a person is less important than what happens within them. The great inventor, Thomas A. Edison, was known for his positive mental attitude.

In December 1914, the Edison Laboratory was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Edison lost $2,000,000 worth of equipment and the records of much of his life’s work. The morning after the fire, as the 67-year-old inventor walked among the ashes, he was anything but defeated. Looking around, he remarked, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” Yes, there is magic in a positive attitude!

It’s your life and it’s your choice. Which attitude will you choose?

There are two kinds of people:

  1. Those who play the game of life TO WIN. (Take Action on what they KNOW.)
  2. Those who play the game of life to NOT TO LOSE. (Keep collecting more information and avoid taking Action.)

The reason why most people do not have what they want is because their sub-concious goal is not to get what they want, but to avoid failure and disappointment. (Fear of failure) So they CHOOSE to do nothing. They just read and study and accumulate more information.

You always have a choice. You can CHOOSE to play the game of life to AVOID LOSING and live an unstable, stressful life of limitation in which, no matter how much you read and study stuff, you will never CONSISTENTLY get what you want, or..…

You can CHOOSE to play the game of life to WIN and DO WHAT YOU KNOW. When you do, your life will no longer be about survival, but about experiencing joy and abundance and creating anything you desire regardless of your current circumstances, the economy or any other perceived obstacle.

It’s all about choice…. What are you choosing right now?

Use the 80/20 Rule for ATTITUDE

The 80/20 rule is as applicable to individual people.
Fully eighty percent of your success will be determined by your attitude and only twenty percent by your aptitude. Some people feel that attitude is ninety percent of success in all human endeavours involving other people, but we can quite comfortably use eighty percent as a figure for the purposes of this article.

Develop a Positive AttitudeA positive mental attitude, or a constructive and optimistic way of looking at yourself and your work, goes hand in hand with success in every field and in every market. The development of this unshakable attitude of cheerfulness and enthusiasm is your springboard to greatness as a person, no matter what is going on around you.

Upgrade the Quality of Your Thinking – The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life. If you improve
the quality of your thinking, in any area, you improve the quality of your life in that area. By using your mind, your ability to think, you become a creator of circumstances rather than a creature of circumstances. You move from being powerless to being powerful. You determine everything that happens to you by the way you think about it, in advance.
You may not be what you think you are, but what you think, you are!

Change Your Inner Attitudes of Mind – The most rapid and positive changes in your personality and your results come about when you change your thinking about yourself and your possibilities. When you reprogram your subconscious mind so you feel a sense of unshakable optimism and self-confidence, every part of your life begins improving immediately. As William James of Harvard wrote in 1905, “The greatest revolution of my generation is the discovery that individuals, by changing their inner attitudes of mind, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Expect the Best – The very best people have an attitude of calm, confident, positive self-expectation. They feel good about themselves and they have absolute faith that everything they are doing is contributing toward their inevitable success. They are cool, relaxed, happy and cheerful about their lives and their careers.

They know, deep in their hearts, that they are good at what they do, and their customers know it as well. They are the champions, or superstars, of life, and you can be one of them by developing the same attitudes and attributes that they have.

Action Exercises:

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, decide today to develop and cultivate an attitude of calm, confident, positive expectations towards yourself, your customers and your career. Expect the best!

Second, take complete control of your thinking and concentrate on the solution rather than the problem. Look for the good in every situation. Be positive and cheerful, no matter what happens.

You can CHOOSE to take action or you can CHOOSE not to, one thing is for sure…… You will get a result one way or another, good or bad!!

Do It Now!

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What might have been….

While it’s often fashionable to dwell upon what might have been, what’s usually overlooked is that really and truly, it couldn’t have.

Invariably, any romanticised versions of how things “might have been,” are based upon fictionalised versions of the past.

Quality of your life…..

The quality of your life is directly proportional to the quality of your relationships.

The quality of your relationships is directly proportional to the quality of your communication.

If you want a better a life, start communicating in a better way, especially the quality of your self talk.

Start with asking yourself a better quality question, Instead of asking “Why does this always happen to me?” ask “What could I do differently to avoid this happening again?”

10 Thoughts about Questions

I’ve been talking a lot about questioning skills with my clients lately and thought you might enjoy some assorted thoughts.

1) A good question can draw someone inward and . . . cause them to reflect, consider and even do so subconsciously through the awareness your question has created.

2) Good questioning allows you to take control of a situation . . . without being controlling!

3) Good questions create higher quality communication. Higher quality communication fosters superior relationships. Want superior relationships? Start by asking a better question!

4) Good questions lead the recipient on a path of self discovery. You could tell someone something and perhaps they will consider it. If they discover it . . . They own it!

5) Good questions create high levels of rapport. Perhaps Voltaire was spot on when he said “Judge of a man not by his answers, but by his questions‚Äù What do your questions say about you?

6) A good question changes the lens in which a person sees their world.

7) A good question, asked of the wrong person, is just as ineffective as a poor question asked of the right person. We were taught, early on in sales, to go to the highest level of decision maker. What if we ask a brilliant question of this high level individual, but they are several layers removed from feeling the impact?

8) A good question, at the front end of a response can offer the clarity needed for you to offer a meaningful response. It will also buy you time to craft your response.

9) Good questions focus not only on discovering “the pain‚Äù, they focus on discovering the opportunities your client/prospect desires!

10) A good question can move someone off the fence of indifference by igniting emotional buy in!

So there you have it…… “If you want a better answer, ask a better question.‚Äù

Witch Doctor Ash

Ash won’t shrink from any player’s challenge

ASHLEY LAWRENCE would have been burned at the stake or at the very least sat on a ducking chair and plunged into icy water a few hundred years ago.

Anyone who reckoned he (or indeed she) could heal with the power of positive thinking would have been declared a witch and suffered the consequences.

We’re a bit more broad minded now, of course. No way is he considered some sort of charlatan; a quack who plays on the minds of those who are easily susceptible.

He is a bona fide, fully paid up member of the sports psychologist clan and it was as such that we had a chat last week.

The whole thing was set up by Javed Mughal, Medway’s best-known physio who has his own practice in Rainham and who now oversees all the remedial work done at Priestfield.

Jav suggested I might like to meet Ashley; see what he’s all about and see what he’s done.

Ideal candidate for the interview, me. Sceptic to the last. One who scoffs at all that mumbo jumbo nonsense and probably thinks Ashley should be burned as a witch.

Then they told me he started work with the Gills players after the FA Cup demise at the hands of non-league Dover.

And then I started wondering if there might just be something in it after all.

Since that defeat Gills have lost only twice. They have ended an utterly dismal sequence of away matches without a win – stretching back to before the Wembley victory in 2009. They have climbed from the relegation zone to a position just outside the play-off positions. Many people reckon they could yet make it to automatic promotion.

Coincidence? Maybe.

You have to remember that manager Andy Hessenthaler brought in two very good players from Peterborough for a month. Their arrival did the team a world of good, but they’ve been gone since December and yet the team are still playing well and had it not been for a couple of outstanding goalkeepers would probably now be around fourth in League 2.

“Football is using a lot more sports psychologists for the treatment and well-being of players,” said Jav. “Particularly when they have long-term injuries. If they have negativity in them it detracts from their recovery and treatment. We have engaged Ashley to work the team as a whole and with those players who wish to work on an individual basis.

“Looking at what’s been happening on the pitch, it seems to be working.”

Ashley took over the conversation at that point.

Read the complete article here.

Ashley works with Gillingham FC

Gills meet away day problems head on…

How does a team which cannot win away for 18 months triumph twice on the road in four days?

Plenty of Gillingham fans may have pondered that question on the way home from watching the 2-1 victory at Barnet on Tuesday night, which came hot on the heels of a 1-0 win at Oxford last weekend.

Injuries, bad luck, poor refereeing decisions and better opposition have all been used to explain the 34-game winless run, but the latest addition to the club’s backroom staff believes differently.

Sports psychologist Ashley Lawrence was brought in following the side’s humiliating FA Cup defeat to Dover earlier this month. Since then the former Gills youth team player has come in twice a week to speak to the squad and believes success is all in the mind.

“If you look through all the players in the division, 10 per cent will be physically better and 10 per cent not as good, so there are 80 per cent in the middle that are roughly the same,” he said. “So what’s the bit that lifts them above that? It’s psychological, not about ability. It’s that edge and if you can get five per cent more then you’re going to do well.

Read the full article here.

It’s good to talk

Adebayo Akinfenwa hailed the impact of sports psychologist Ashley Lawrence for helping to transform his Gillingham career.

Ashley Lawrence was brought in after Gillingham hit their lowest point of the season in early November with the FA Cup first round defeat to Dover.

Akinfenwa, who walked off to a standing ovation on Tuesday during the 3-0 win over Port Vale, has been helped by the openness that has been encouraged at the club.

The striker said: “He (Ashley Lawrence) has made a massive difference by just sitting down and talking.

Read full article here.