On this episode of The Wednesday Call podcast, Andy Albright comes to you live from Treasure Island, Fla. with his special guest Jeff Bright, coming in via the web in High Point, N.C.
Albright and Bright wanted to share 34 questions people would like to ask a millionaire on this pod.
On this episode of The Wednesday Call podcast, Andy Albright delivers the show from his home in Treasure Island, Fla. to discuss why speed is important to your "pit crew."
"It's not the big that eats the small; it's the fast that eat the slow." -- Gary Ryan Blair
Perhaps the most important reason of all for creating a sense of urgency and using speed as a competitive advantage is that time is finite. In terms of insurance sales, speed essentially means how quickly your business performs.
What is your turnaround time?
How soon do you respond to prospect leads by dialing?
How long does it take you to book your appointments?
How fast do you handle your clients' requirements when submitting applications?
When responding, booking and handling occurs, your success of getting an application issued-paid without chargebacks is not dependent only on speed, but on habit as well.
The Building Blocks Of Speed
All business activity boils down to two simple things:
1. Making decisions (What do I want?)
2. Executing decisions (How do I get it?)
Your success depends on your ability to develop speed as a habit in both.
"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week." -- General George S. Patton
The process of making and remaking decisions wastes an insane amount of time in most businesses. The key takeaway is: WHEN a decision is made is much more important than WHAT decision is made. If, by way of habit, you can decide on when a decision will be made from the start, you'll have developed the first important muscle for speed.
You need to become deeply driven by the belief that fast decisions are for better than slow ones and radically better than no decisions. Some decisions deserve debate and analysis, but most aren't worth more than 10 minutes.
A lot of people spend a whole lot of time refining their approach to processes and to-do lists. Here are four ways to execute your business mission with momentum:
1. Challenge The When:
Completion dates and times follow a tribal nation of the sun setting and rising, and too often "tomorrow" is the default answer. It's not that everything needs to be done now, but for items on your critical path such as dialing and setting appointments, it's always useful to challenge the due date. All it takes is asking the simplest questions: "Why can't this be done sooner?" Asking it methodically, reliably and habitually can have a profound impact on the speed of your business.
2. Recognize and Remove Dependencies:
Just as important as assigning a deadline, you need to tease out any dependencies around an action item. Things that can wait till later need to wait. You can't be slow-rolling on non-vital tasks when you could be hacking away at the make or break actions which bring you premium.
A big part of this is making sure you aren't waiting on something or someone to take an action. You want to be working in parallel instead. It's your job to recognize dependencies (things that need others and can wait) and non- dependencies (things that need no one and can be started right now).
3. Eliminate Cognitive Overload:
Classic cognitive overload comes in the forms of: Fit (Do my skills meet the expectations?); and Fairness (Are my actions going to be rewarded?).
Basically, Fit is code for, "Have I got game?"
Fairness is code for, "Am I going to get screwed?"
Until the mind can reconcile those two concerns, human-beings will reactively shut down all productive activities or purposely navigate the waters slowly by not deciding.
Unfortunately, speed does not wait on sureness. "Fortune favors the bold, the brave and the strong." A second chance depends on a "Take" strategy, and a missed opportunity relies on a "wait" strategy.
4. Use Competition the Right Way:
Introducing competition is a good way to add urgency. You can
either set the pace or be the one to react. Whoever is fastest out of the gate is the one everyone else is forced to react to. But, the idea of failing or being left behind is so terrifying that some may check out. Those people are only attaching competition to failure and not success.
Competition is a good thing because it gives us a realistic frame of reference to how well we are living up to our best in any facet of our lives. Ultimately we are in competition with ourselves, and our greatest adversary is our own ego because at the fundamental level, our ego desires to exist in a world where everything goes our way and we have little to no struggles. The adult in us knows better.
It knows that despite all our learnings we still know very little about the world around us, and so, therefore, there is always room for improvement. In reality, competition is a win, win situation, provided you do your best.
On this episode of The Wednesday Call podcast, Andy Albright talks about three ways you can connect deeper with people.
1. Validation (Building Self-Worth): "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." -Thomas Paine
2. Empathy (Considering the Feeling): "I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself must become the wounded person." -Walt Whitman
3. Understanding (Recognizing the Thought): "To perceive is to suffer." -Aristotle
1. Validate in order to Break the Ice
This is where you "chart the course" for where you want the relationship to go. It helps disarm any hesitant participant. People crave validation. Validating-type words build self-worth in others. These type words serve as confirmation of another's internal experience, which allows you to "break the ice" effectively. Here are some sample scripts using validation to satisfy the needs of the four animal types:
• Lion affirming their greatness within the task accomplishment, by saying, "You always get the job done."
• Otter admiring their greatness within the value-added recognition, by saying, "You always do the job great."
• Golden Retriever appreciating their contribution within the value-added recognition, by saying "The support you provide is always cherished."
• Beaver acknowledging their contribution within the task accomplishment, by saying, "The data you provide is always crucial."
2. Empathize in order to Prime the Pump
This is where you learn to "stay out of judgment." One of the greatest challenges to developing empathy is overcoming the need to be right and judge others. This need to evaluate others comes from our need to compare our abilities, beliefs and values against others. Empathy, on the other hand, requires you to consider why they feel the way they do without necessarily agreeing with why they do it. Here are some sample scripts using empathy to "prime the pump" or stimulate the growth of the relationship within the four animal types by addressing each one's individual need:
Lion Addressing their need to be first, by saying, "I never thought of doing it that way."
Otter Addressing their need to be noticed, by saying, "You have every right to be proud."
Golden Retriever Addressing their need to be wanted, by saying "You must gain purpose knowing others count on you."
Beaver Addressing their need to be correct, by saying, "I cannot imagine how tough it is to provide that level of accuracy."
3. Understand in order to Establish Common Ground
This is where you practice what is called: "perspective taking."
Making statements like, "tell me more," invites others to express their views and helps solidify those views as being heard. But before someone can be heard, they must be first provided a listening ear.
This is accomplished by recognition of another's thoughts (feeling their pain). Recognizing others' perspective as their truth is the key ingredient to making a connection and gives birth to allowing the establishment of common ground (understanding).
Here are some simple scripts using the "tell me more" invitation as a way to incite expression from each of the four animal types:
o Lion -> "Tell me more about the results."
o Otter -> "Tell me more about your accomplishment."
o Golden Retriever -> "Tell me more about your experience."
o Beaver -> "Tell me more about the details."
Putting the 3-Step Connection Together within the Four Animal Types:
Lion: You always get the job done. I never thought of doing it that way. Tell me more about the results
Otter: You always do the job great. You have every right to be proud. Tell me more about your accomplishment.
Golden Retriever: The support you provide is always cherished. You must gain purpose knowing others count on you. Tell me more about your experience.
Beaver: The data you provide is always crucial. I can't imagine how tough it is to provide that level of accuracy. Tell me more about the details.
The Forgotten 4th Step Of Connection: Active Listening
Active listening involves the listener hearing what the speaker is really trying to say once a connection is made. Having the ability to hear the message from the speaker is reinforced by the following verbal techniques:
Remembering - by recalling key points and especially the speaker's name (makes the speaker-feel respected).
Questioning - by inquiring about terms that need defining (makes the speaker feel like a SME).
Reflection - be repeating to show comprehension (makes the speaker feel clear).
Clarification - by paraphrasing to ensure a correct message (makes the speaker feel understood).
Summarization - by reiterating the main points to define next steps (makes the speaker feel accountability).
Tips for Becoming an Effective Active Listener:
1. Pay Attention (Lean In)
• Look at the speaker directly
• Put aside distracting thoughts
• Don't mentally prepare a rebuttal
• Avoid being distracted by environmental factors
2. Show That You're Listening (Be Present)
• Nod occasionally
• Smile and use other facial expressions
• Make sure that your posture is open and interested
• Encourage the speaker to continue with verbal comments like yes, wow, really and uh huh
3. Defer Judgment (No Agenda)
• Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions
Don't interrupt with counter arguments
Avoid leading the witness
On this episode of The Wednesday Call podcast, Andy Albright comes to you live from his home in Treasure Island, Fla.
This week, Andy is talking about building friendships that turn into partnerships too. So, how do we do this effectively?
How to Build A Friendship:
Listen But Respond Carefully + Connect But Avoid Fixing + Accept But Communicate Honestly + Honor But Establish Boundaries
Listen with Sympathy:
This is the process of Noticing another person's suffering and Showing compassion to that pain.
Listening (noticing) requires openness and Hearing (showing) requires receptiveness. Openness is being able to pay attention without distraction; and Receptiveness is being able to read subtle cues without judgment.
Listening to words come out and actually Hearing those words is only a reality when we put our private agendas aside.
But Respond Carefully Without Giving Advice:
Think before you speak after listening.
Sometimes taking a moment to think about what you say before you start blurting out will spare hurt feelings and keep you from leading the witness.
Also, when friends feel like it is okay to be themselves around you, they trust you faster. So, choose your words with care (evading a bruised pride) and with authenticity (evading an insulted ego).
Connect with Empathy:
This is the process of taking the attitude of the other person and seeing the situation from their perspective.
Therefore, to feel empathic concern requires us to first appreciate (taking) the other person's opinion or pain; then second, we must connect (seeing) to the emotion behind the opinion or pain.
The highest form of discipline is empathy; for it causes us to suspend our absolute nature (having to be right).
But Avoid Fixing and Stunting Another's Growth:
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
The urge to fix a friend vs. grow a friend, may be the biggest dilemma in your relationship with another. Perhaps life is throwing them a curveball and they need your support or insight. Don't wiggle your way into every aspect of their life by telling them how to be the star of their own show. Give them room to process things and make their own decisions.
Practice active listening when they invite you to participate in their journey. Connect by asking them to tell you more and by repeating their responses back for clarification.
Accept with Respect:
Acceptance laced with tolerance is a fair and objective attitude toward those whose opinions and practices differ from one's own, which produces the friendship commitment.
It has been proven that learning to tolerate differing opinions actually strengthens one's relationship: asking yourself the question, "Is being right really worth it?"
By making an emotional connection with another, we can avoid destructive comments or one-upmanships. This emotional connection is the fuel for learning to accept others. And accepting others is the precursor to developing respect for them.
This process leads us to ask: "If I were in that person's situation, how would I want to be treated?" The treatment or tolerance is the connecting bridge between acceptance and respect.
But Communicate Honestly during the Tough Conversations:
Sharing bad news or criticism with a friend is the litmus test of a true friendship. Therefore, honest communication is critical to establishing creditability and trust with our friends. You can tell how open and trustworthy a friendship is by how willing each friend is to share things that are difficult, but important to hear. It is better coming from our friend's mouth than from a stranger. But delivering such news is hard for the closest of friends. So here are two tips to minimize the hurt and to keep people from feeling ambushed.
1. Just spit it out by saying "This isn't easy to talk about"... Then, saying what's on your mind
2. Keep it short by not unloading all your feelings and peppering them with details.
Honor Commitment by Practicing Indebtedness:
Waking up in the morning and repeating, "It's great to be alive," is a good place to start. This emotion that life is abundant, makes a person feel grateful for having friendship. In this example, the norm of reciprocity is not the driving force behind honoring your commitments to your friends.
Rather, each friend should be compelled to pay goodness forward, and not have to be prompted by a favorable benefit such as a gift or service. This type of gratitude is altruistic in nature (concern for the welfare of others without agenda). Therefore, a kind heart is the prerequisite when trying to be a selfless friend.
This level of selflessness is accomplished by searching for an opportunity to honor, instead of wanting to be honored. In order to build and maintain friendships, one must affirm the opportunity within the power of goodness with appreciation. And showing appreciation is the gateway to honoring commitments.
But Establish Boundaries in Order to Own Your Happiness:
No one was put on this earth (including your friends) to make you happy nor for you to make them happy. Anybody outside of yourself is really a part of your life because you've allowed them to be. You have decided what role they are playing and you decide how they stay in your life by establishing boundaries.
If you enjoy being around your friends, that doesn't mean they make you happy. They may add happiness to your life, but they should not be the sole reason for your happiness nor you for them. To say that somebody else makes you happy is to relinquish all responsibility for your emotions and the way you spend your time.
To say somebody else makes you happy is to basically say you're a collapsed puppet waiting for them to pull the strings. Nobody should have that kind of power over your emotions nor you over them. This is why emotionally-based boundaries are necessary for healthy relationships.
On this episode of The Wednesday Call podcast, Andy Albright comes to you live from his home office in Treasure Island, Fla. to talk about how to find the best people when you are driving depth.
The ABCs of Driving Depth:
Attributes (work ethic) Behavioral Mindset (Actions) Character (Maturity)
Appearance --> Becoming --> Confidence
Attendance --> Being --> Contribution
Accountability --> Believing --> Commitment
The top 3 attributes which predict work ethic and are sought after by employers are:
Appearance, attendance and accountability
The top 3 behavioral mindsets which influence actions and are sought after by employers are:
Becoming, being and believing
The top 3 character traits which determine maturity and are sought after by employers are:
Confidence, contribution and commitment
APPEARANCE: or making a good first impression only takes a mere seven seconds. People are thin-sliced based on how they appear and sound, but more so, how you are put together visually and your choices in presentation. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms and how you are dressed.
This perception creates: The act of becoming or growth is based on how an individual interprets other people's perceptions of them. Those who believe they are viewed positively by others tend to have higher self-esteem. If we believe that we're accepted, we will be more likely to act and answer with a confident tone and a timely response.
Appearance (captivation) + Becoming (credibility)
PRODUCES: Confidence, or a realistic sense of one's capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge. A realistic appraisal of one's abilities enables an individual to strike a healthy balance between too much and too little confidence. Too much confidence can cause an overestimating of one's abilities leading to failing to complete a project; and too little confidence can prevent people from taking risks and seizing opportunities.
Attendance, or the process of showing up makes up 90 percent of success. This includes showing up mentally as well as physically. It says you are not scared and you can do this thing. Being present mentally and physically also reinforces that you don't want to miss an opportunity and that you are ready to demonstrate your fill potential. You cannot walk the walk until you decide to show up. Others will see this act as you saying that you are serious.
THIS PERCEPTION CREATES: An act of being or an empowered forward motion, which announces to the world that you are enough. In reality, this type of personal empowerment is not something we feel, rather it's something we do with a fortunate heart. Our sense of being or empowered mindset is a reflection of the increased personal value will achieve by simply showing up and being present in the moment (life in every breath).
Attendance (being present) + Being (showing gratitude)
PRODUCES: Contribution, or the evidence of pure appreciation by being willing to work or give back to the very thing that has provided for you (being duty bound). This is a sign of a mature mind to accept the obligation promise as a bond. This relationship bond stays secure as long as the people involved trust the other to keep doing their share or contributing equally. When the contribution bond is fractured, then the disruptive concept of fairness is introduced.
Accountability, or the display of ownership is a great first indicator of the level of trust you can put into an individual. If they are willing to throw their past decisions under a bus in front of you, then they will have no trouble stabbing you in the back moving forward. Taking responsibility for every choice you have made, ensures the viewer that your work output will come without excuses and a great sign that you might be low maintenance and lacking drama.
THIS PERCEPTION CREATES: Believing, or the act of holding something sacred is fueled by the vulnerability experienced when willing first to say, "the buck stops here." It is very difficult to believe in anything if you can not stand for something. Standing up is less difficult if you are accountable for your actions. Taking ownership strengthens your belief system, thereby, making you more determined.
Accountability (being blameworthy) + believing (having faith)
PRODUCES: Commitment, or the state of being dedicated to a cause. The word commitment also evokes a strong sense of intention and focus. When you combine the concepts on intention and focus, it produces the clarity of purpose. In turn, purpose provides a proclamation of your seriousness to commit. The phenomenon of commitment is the cornerstone of human life. Commitments make individuals' behavior predictable in the face of fluctuations of their desires and agendas. Moreover, commitment also facilitates "cooperation with" or "acceptance of" the setting of expectations. Honoring your commitments by meeting the expectations is the true sign of maturity.