22 ideas on how to ruin your training…

training

I have just run away from the worst classroom training ever.

Dear Trainers, if you really want to kill your audience, here’s a bunch of hints on how to do it effectively (randomly selected):

  1. Do not present yourself / act as if everyone knew who you are.
  2. Keep acting as if you knew it all, in the end you, as a trainer, are the expert in all the possible areas.
  3. Absolutely forget about presenting the agenda of the training, why would you bother spending 1 minute out of available 6 hours on informing your audience about the plan.
  4. Keep joking each time the participants take active part in the discussion, laugh at their comments and ideas.
  5. Make numerous breaks, especially when they are least expected (like this, you will make sure your audience is nicely distracted – well done indeed).
  6. Keep bringing up out-of-topic remarks. Completely unrelated items. Chauvinist jokes are highly appreciated. And yes, your private life will surely interest the audience. Especially your relations with this poor mother-in-law.
  7. Choose your favorite participant. The one and only. Address all your questions and comments towards that person. That’s what we call engaging your audience. Or not.
  8. Keep using your awesome favorite word in each awesome sentence you pronounce. That’s really awesome. And you are awesome, too!
  9. Show us your heavy slide deck dripping with looong definitions.
  10. Do not forget to pick the ugliest font ever and make sure it’s hard to be read.
  11. Keep in mind this rule: the MORE the MERRIER! More info, more fonts, more colors, more pictures, more logos…
  12. Read your slides out loud. Back to your audience 🙂
  13. GREAT! Now you just have to forget what you have put on your slides. A good thing to try is to explain that the deck has been prepared by your colleague. Oh, and you can mention that you received it only last night.
  14. You are welcome to paste links into your presentation that do not work offline (did I mention: do not check whether all your equipment works prior to the training?).
  15. Or… open the link on youtube and let the participants wait till the buffering is over. Up to 10 minutes would be actually cool!
  16. Deliver the training while seated. Stability is the key.
  17. Or… walk around the room and let your audience follow you from one corner to another. The best idea would be to walk in circles and scrape the carpet with your shoes giving that annoying noise. It helps to focus on what you’re saying!
  18. Speak quickly! Ignore the audience who do not get what you’re talking about. Time is ticking away and there are so many things to be covered…
  19. Do not use your emotional intelligence.
  20. Forget about being flexible. Do not adjust to changes while you see the need.
  21. Use monotonous voice. There’s no better way to make these people fall asleep. Especially after lunch time.
  22. Expect everyone to be 100% attentive 5 minutes before the end of the workshop / training.

SUCCESS GUARANTEED!!! 🙂

And you? What is your worst experience ever? Wanna share?

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Are you SMARTy-pants?

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What is your goal?

I mean, seriously.

If you ever wonder whether you’re going in the right direction, how will you know it? Who will be in a position to tell you if you don’t know what your goal is?

Everything is relative.

“To be successful.” “To be rich.”  “To live a happy life.”

All these will mean different things to Mark, to Antonio, to Boris, to Rita, to me, to you.

Be specific. Provide details of your goal. What is it exactly what you want to achieve? Try this experiment: tell a friend / partner / sister about your goal. Then ask them to describe how they see it. You’ll be surprised by their perspective. Both versions do not necessarily match? Be more specific. And write it down.

Now, how will you know that your goal has been met? Must something happen first? Will you feel it somehow? Do you have to obtain a certificate, a grade, a feedback? Is getting 1000 clients by the end of 2013 a measure of success for you? How will you measure that you’re successful in achieving your goal? Define it well before you start working.

Have you wondered whether your goal is achievable by you? Getting those 1000 clients globally within 1 month by Danone or Coca-Cola surely is. Is it by you, a newly created small company? Think twice before you ruin your motivation…

Are you realistic in your endeavors? Loosing 20 kg in 1 month may be an insane idea. How about you rethink and replan your assumptions? You don’t have a slight idea about what is or what is not realistic or reasonable? Ask an expert. They will likely be able to tell you and advise.

Ok, now that you have defined your specific and attainable goal, it would be great to decide by when you expect it to accomplish. Is it a short-term or a long-term goal? Do you want to achieve it by tomorrow / by the end of the week / by July 15th / by the end of 2014? Again, be specific. Provide the time frame. Note it down.

Wonderful. You have just structured your awesome goal against the good old SMART criteria. Congratulations 🙂

It is now time to make a detailed plan of actions. Not much work if you have only 1 goal. A little more work if there are plenty of the goal you wish to achieve.

Why don’t you list out all the steps you need to take for that matter?

Remember, only YOU are responsible for your achieving your goals. Nonetheless, there are people that can help you out. If you’re planning on building up your muscles and loosing 10% of fat by the end of 2013, it may be a good thing to hire a personal trainer or at least ask a friend (gym addict) to coach you a little.

Only bear in mind that YOU are responsible for your goal though.

If achieving a goal requires too many steps to take, maybe you need to sit down and redefine it. Remember that if it is not realistic, you will quickly feel demotivated and will give up on it. Perhaps smaller milestones would be a good thing to try?

Reward yourself when achieving those milestones. Nothing motivates us better than celebrating our small successes while following the road to THE goal.

Tell your friends and family about your successes, They will encourage you to keep moving. Who knows, maybe you will motivate them to improve something in their lives, too? Influencing others is an amazing feeling that gives you power to do more and better.

Once the goal achieved (or not), analyze lessons learned.

Why did you attain it (or failed)? Was it it easy (or too difficult) to achieve? Did you have enough time to meet the deadline you had earlier established? What / who was of great help to you? Did you have it written down or hang on the wall?

A short analysis of what went well / not so well will help you get to know yourself better. It will also help you understand which tools work well for you.

Share your best practices with others.

Recently, I have met a great young guy, very successfull in various business areas. He decided to share his good practices and lessons learned with others by organizing a workshop. Such a great idea! I felt inspired!

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

So… what is your goal?

I mean, seriously…

Feeling down? We’ve all been there, dude…

Recently I’ve been talking to various people about self-motivation when times are tough.

No, I’m not going to write about motivation this time.

I’m going to write about how we, awesome people, sometimes just feel down.

The people I talked to were entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs-to-be, managers, team leaders, unemployed, the ones on sick leave, so on and so forth… Creative, inspiring, open-minded people, in general. They all admitted to have blue devils occasionally. Well, it happens, right? We are not super human species after all. Life is not only about having fun, celebrating successes and constantly eating the cake. Sometimes we have to sweat, cry and bear down a little so that we can appreciate better moments.

Many of us are going through tough times, we have quit our jobs, we have been made redundant, we have divorced, we are planning setting up our own business, we are going to set up a family, we are going to pack our things and move to a different country, etc. There are moments we feel powerless, with no energy nor positive attitude. It may happen. It’s quite normal, I would say. There is nothing wrong with such a feeling from time to time. BUT please bear in mind, these are just thoughts, a projection of your mind. They will come, they will go. They should not define who we really are…

If you found yourself in a difficult situation, it only means there is a next challenge for you. From life. Try to perceive it as an opportunity, as a task to accomplish (maybe a painful one, damn, one of the most painful ones in your life!).

How can you go about it? What can you learn from that? Is there anyone who can help you with it? Do you have anyone to talk to about your fears?

It’s crucial we have someone to support us in our endevors. In business, it’s good to have a partner who will pull us out of our ”big black hole” when we feel that nothing works fine. It’s also important we always have someone who will cheer us up when times are tough, who will remind us how awesome we are and that everything’s ok with us, we are just going through difficult moments.

So… just never give up! Because you’re great and can do big stuff.

If you do not believe in yourself, who will? Start with yourself! Others will follow, trust me.

And… never loose sight of your goal!

Below one of the famous pic shared so many times on Facebook. I am putting it here not without any reason 😉

Cheer up, buddy! 🙂

famous failures

Procrastination – our enemy?

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Procrastination. We are all experts, aren’t we…

Actually, you might be procrastinating to read this post, too. And, frankly speaking, I have been procrastinating a few things today myself. But why is that? I am usually well organized!

It made me think.

What are the main reasons of procrastination?

Well, it could be that the task we want to accomplish is too difficult for us, or too long, or we simply don’t like it. It is also possible that by performing it, we will have to face a new reality which we are not ready to digest.

Examples? There you go…

  • Once you complete your M.A. dissertation, it will really mean there is an end to some period in your life. Now you’re going to step into the real life. Or, you’ll be expected to find a job which you have been studying for for so long (and this is not really an area of your interests!).
  • There is this job offer your friend referred you to. The deadline is coming and time is ticking away. The company even restricted they may take it down before the said deadline. What do you do? You spend your time on social media, you go out for coffee, you watch movies. Literally everything but sending the application. You know you might loose your chance but still you do nothing. You wait. You tell yourself: “well, if I don’t manage on time, it wasn’t meant to be for me.”

Are you kidding me? And first of all, are you kidding yourself?

Sounds familiar?

No?

  • Your house looks like a mess. You aren’t able to find your documents (you simply forgot which file or folder you had put it) nor clothes you need at the very exact moment. You stopped inviting your friends over because you feel ashamed by the mess you see. You know you have to clean and finally put everything in order but you never have time. Funny thing is that the bigger the mess the bigger your frustration is and you do not deal with it. Not to mention the lack of focus, guys. (Yeah, how would you imagine to concentrate and feel happy while everything around you is messy?)

But again, you postpone. You decide to do it later. “When you have more free time“. You forgot, dude, nowadays free time doesn’t exist!

How to help yourself…

What most effective people do (I follow some interesting executives and their articles on LinkedIn), unless they lie…, is to complete the most difficult task (the one that will give you the greatest results) in the very morning. Have you heard of “Eat that frog“ book? So basically the strategy suggests you first accomplish the “worst“ so that you can spend some more quality time on the things you love / prefer / enjoy more than the “frog“.

It’s all about motivation and reasoning anyway. There is no other way than getting things done, right?

  • The first thing you need to do is to assess your procrastination / avoidance. Then, it’s a half of success, as we say it in my country.

Once you realize you actually procrastinate, and the reasoning behind that, it will help you decide on your next steps.

If you postpone to start your new diet and you never start it, ask yourself if your priority is really to loose weight. Or maybe you just hate diets and going to the gym twice a week would solve the problem? Eating what you love and exercising doesn’t seem that scary anymore…

  • Ask someone to do the thing for you. You hate the client you need to call? Maybe your colleague could do it for you as they don’t mind the guy at all.
  • Outsource, pay. You hate cleaning your house and find it as complete waste of time? Fine. Find a cleaning lady. Continue doing the things you care about more.
  • If you cannot alter the task and you are the only one to do it, whether you like it or not, well, just do it. Stop overthinking and start doing. I’m serious. Once you sit down and open your laptop, once you put on your trainers and go out of your flat, once you pick up the phone and dial the number, once you get rid of all the cookies from your kitchen, etc…, it will come. The most difficult part is to get started. You know it.
  • Then, you just need to eliminate distractions:
  1. Close all your social media websites
  2. Do not look into your email box
  3. Put your mobile on silent mode
  4. Etc.

Whatever works best for you.

I am not able to tell you what will work for sure, as you need to observe yourself.

Do you focus better while listening to the music / radio?

Do you enjoy more working in a cafeteria where there are a lot of people and inspiration factors?

Do you prefer sitting at quiet home to being in the noisy office?

  • Set goals and prioritize. I will write more about goals soon. Let me know if you’re interested in something in particular.

I am convinced you will see the powerful feeling of accomplishment which is incredibly motivating. And you might be surprised by your own performance. Because at the end of the day, once we fulfill something big, we start being experts in the matter, don’t we? 🙂

Do you have any „favorite“ tasks you constantly procrastinate? How do you deal with that? Any particular tips you’d like to share?

If not now, when?

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Everyone fears changes…

Our brain naturally rejects everything that is new, uncommon, unusual.

Why is that?

It’s because we are lazy. Once we get used to a situation, it is extremely hard to get out of our comfort zone. Ideally, we should never leave it again.

But hey, is that even possible? Do we live in a stable world? Are we sure we are never going to lose our job / boyfriend / perfect body (you name it)?

Panta Rhei. I believe realizing the fact that we live in a constantly changing environment could help us be more flexible and less sticky to what we currently have.

I recall we once had a stable life with my family. My dad had a well paid job, we could afford a nice family car, I had a pleasure to attend private English lessons while being a kid. Nobody thought our life could have been different.

One of my friends was married once but she divorced. One of my friends had a perfect job in a beautiful corporation. And she was happy there. Not anymore, trying to quit. One of my friends was rich but lost it all. One of my friends always wanted to stay single, she is getting married now. One of my friends never thought of having kids, she is pregnant now. And scared. One of my friends never believed in God, started to believe some time ago. One of my friends worked as an analyst. Just like the other 1000 in the same building. Never believed that she could make a difference and change the world. She is working on an awesome project now. Something that will surely change some people’s minds.

It could also be YOU. Am I right?

Why are we scared of changes? Why is it so hard to stop / start / push doing things? What stops us from being happy, from changing our reality? Is it the lack of confidence? Or lack of motivation? Or is it the fear of failure?

It could be a combo, one might say.

From my own observations it seems people:

  1. underestimate themselves – they don’t believe in their potential
  2. fear failure
  3. prefer to be in a situation they got used to because it is already KNOWN and the known situation is better than the new one (the new might be worse! so it’s better not to try to find it out!)
  4. lack motivation.

The good news is all of the above can be changed. You can easily change your perception by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, benefits and losses of your actions, opportunities and threats… I bet you all have heard about the SWOT analysis so it is no secret how that works. The questions is: have you ever done it? have you ever listed out all your SWOTs? No, but seriously! It may sound trivial but I realized the power of the written word once I did mine a couple of weeks ago. Moreover, I had it recited to some random person. And you know what? It felt weird! I felt I was doing something wrong when I was talking out loud about my strengths. Luckily, I realized there was nothing wrong in telling other people the good things about self. Try it out. It’s not an easy exercise though 😉

Should you hesitate how a change could impact your life, list out all the possible outcomes (whether positive or negative). Think about the best and worst case scenario. Is the worst case scenario really that bad? Maybe it’s not… Do you think it will really occur? Ask family, friends, random people about their feedback. Maybe it is just your mind’s projection. Or else… “if it scares you, it might be a good thing to try”, as Seth Godin says 😉

Ask yourself what you will gain from the change. But think as well about what you will loose. Loosing something you don’t want to loose may be the thing that stops you from pursuing your dream. It may be the key to understanding your lack of motivation.

If this fails, try to find a coach. There are many out there willing to help. They work with people who are scared, demotivated, bored… A good coach will dig your potential out of you.

Because if not now, when? 🙂

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Need help? Drop me a line 🙂

I’m going my way!

It is no secret that I’m planning my own business.

That’s actually one of the main reasons why I left corporation I had worked for during the past six years.

It all started in November 2012 when I accidentally popped into one of those Startup Weekend events. Wow! What an atmosphere! Frankly speaking, I had no further idea about the rules. I just knew the event was dedicated to smart people with brilliant ideas. I didn’t have any idea myself. I just went there to meet interesting people and build up my network. Ok, I mean I previously had had a lot of ideas in my mind but no plans to share them nor talk about them. In addition, usually it turned out my ideas had already been put in place by someone else! It may sound as if I was a genious, right? 😉 Well, I wish! Today more or less everyone has smart ideas. It’s not about having one. It’s actually about making it happen. It’s about creating the reality.

So I was sitting there, listening to all the 15 pitches of young entrepreneurs when I suddenly thought of something. I truly wanted to go out there, on the stage, and share the idea I’d just had. So I did it. I think my pitch wasn’t perfect. I shared what came to my mind and it seemed that the audience liked it 🙂

The weekend was great. I had an awesome team who worked hard on this project with me. I somehow wanted to win. I felt like I was already doing this for real! It was such an incredible feeling. I remember I told the guys I would quit my job if this turned out to work out (a prophecy… yeah, I know ;)). I told them that in secret but it looked like everyone I was meeting on the corridor was well aware of my “plans”. But then again, I didn’t care anymore. It only showed how much I believed in the idea and was committed to it. Right?

Nope, I didn’t officially win, although was very close to it. But you know what? Deep inside, I feel like I won. I won self-confidence. And I finally believed in myself. I received an amazing feedback over just two days which helped me understand what I was really made for. It took me a couple of months to start acting though.

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So here I am now. Four months later. Planning my own business. Believing in it. Looking into the future, full of joy and happiness. Because it’s mine, because I can design it and because I can also learn and grow. More and more. Day by day 🙂 I wish you such a personal development opportunity as well. There is nothing better than a deep dive into something big. If you want to achieve great things, think BIG.

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs

Screw it, let’s do it!

I am re-posting this from my blog on jux.com where I will not be writing anymore.

Recently I have been attending great workshops and networking events; reading blog posts, articles, books; checking out workshops on Youtube and – last but not least – talking to people about my startup idea. Oh, and yes, I would have forgotten: there is also Facebook! The most evil thing ever 😉 It has never occured to me that thinking and learning is such a time consuming process 😉 Oh well, better to realize it late than never!

A couple of weeks ago I attended a very interesting series of workshops dedicated to startups. First of all, I learned about the US market entry strategies (i.e. what works and what doesn’t), then I refreshed my memory about the art of the pitch and also got to know how difficult it is for a woman to become a senior level manager in the US. I had a pleasure to meet Natasha Kurtova French who works for an American non-profit which helps non-US companies expand globally with a focus on Silicon Valley, San Francisco.

Thanks to the International Women Day, I happened to attend a bunch of other amusing workshops… Not sure why but I accidently popped into a lecture about how diets are strongly connected to our psyche. I felt like giving some advice on the healthy style myself since I lost 7.5kg half a year ago and haven’t gained since then 😉 I did enjoy a lecture about the influence the colours have on our well-being or audience though (if you’re a trainer, for instance, you should know those rules!). I think I’m going to apply some of these ingenious techniques in the near future 😉 Believe me or not, these meetings are a great opportunity for networking. Not only have I met new interesting and truly inspiring people but I have also bumped into some former colleagues and people who went to the same camp in the mountains as I did two weeks ago. How awesome is that! 🙂 Yep, I do love catching up!

In the meantime I’m reading and adoring the book I got from one of my best friends. She brought it from London so I can fully enjoy it written in the original language! I’m a huge fan of Richard Branson (but hey, not necessarily agreeing with all his ideas), would love to meet him in person one day (heard he was in Warsaw some time back, where was I during that time??). Anyway, the guy is a genious, IMHO. He built such a powerful organization, without even finishing great school. He believes that work should be fun and your employees will treat the customers the same way you will treat them. Seems logic? Yep, now tell me how many CEOs you know who truly follow that rule… That’s what I thought 😉

Incredible, how people tend to be super serious in their businesses because they think it’s required to be perceived as a professional. I agree with Branson that you should bring some fun to everything you do. People – you should enjoy what you are doing! When there is no energy, humour nor passion, how would one expect the project to be truly successful?

Obviously, sir Richard describes numerous cases when he accomplished something or failed. What I value in his book is this honesty and openness. The pieces of advice he gives could be well taken by both young entrepreneur and experienced CEO. In fact, let me share with you some of his thoughts (without any specific order):

  • I agree that a strong personality is a great asset when starting u por running a business, but ‘strong’ doesn’t have to be equate to ‘aggressive’. The key skills are confidence in your ability to follow your vision, the ability to listen to others and the art of delegation.
  • One of my key lessons over the years has been to surround myself with great management teams who complement me and ensure that we have the all-round skills to make our businesses succeed.
  • Remember that it is impossible to run a business without taking risks. Virgin would not bet he company it is today if we had not taken risks along the way. You really do have to believe in what you are doing. Devote yourself to it 100 per cent and be prepared to take a few hits along the way. If you go into something expecting it to fail, nine times out of ten it will.
  • Looking back on Virgin’s history, our ability to adapt quickly to changes has helped mitigate reverses. You must be quick to accept that something is not going well and either change tack or close the business. We run our companies lean and small with very little red tape and certainly no bureaucracy. Using our mantra ‘Screw it, let’s do it‘ we invariably make and implement decisions quickly – usually before our competitors have held fifth meeting on the same issue.
  • Sir Freddie Laker once told me, ‘Richard, never forget that only a fool never changes his mind.‘ Not wanting to be foolish, I took his good advice. At Virgin, when our customers or crew tol dus they didn’t like something, we’d drop it and quickly move on to the next idea.

2013-03-05 14.56.47 I’ll be sharing with you some more thoughts once I finish reading the whole book. Happy to discuss in the meantime! 🙂

Have a great rest of the day!!!

Moving in…

So here we go. I’m moving in.

I think creating this blog on WordPress.com is the best proof for me being responsive to feedback 😉

Not that long time ago I started writing on jux.com. I wanted to be cool and fancy. Anti-mainstream. Don’t get me wrong. Jux is a beautiful platform. In addition, it’s a startup project of some young New-Yorkers (and I do support all the “startuppers”, I am one in fact). I wanted to help them promoting the cool stuff all around the world. The idea was brilliant. The blog looked awesome.

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Yeah, so what… Non-juxers couldn’t comment on my posts, nobody could subscribe to the blog nor was I able to view the stats… I really had to re-think my brilliant idea 😉

Long story short – welcome! Feel free to participate actively.