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Archive for the ‘Toastmasters’ Category

Inner self talk is critical to success in life.

December 2, 2015

Finding your voice.

Past voices….

As usual, Toastmasters never ceases to inspire….

Using a style of writing that I’ve used before, and tying in to my ending, I will tell you where I am headed with this piece of writing….to My goals (please use this as a work-through (or ‘workshop’) to achieve whatever happen to be YOUR goals! This is meant to INSPIRE YOU! LOL). I want to share how important self-talk can be to success in life….

I promise to get you there reasonably quickly via past voices (negative ones of course) that my Toastmaster mentor Dawna (short form To-rmentor? No, I digress)…I will keep her last name private, but she does exist and has inspired many) was able to work through…given her near-death experience. Yes, near-death. Don’t wait for life to take you there before you take life where you want to go!

Come, now let us work through this together. Dawna’s Toastmaster workshop (Jan 2015) took us through a time long ago in her life, which still resonated slightly in her mind. We could see that she still had a little bit more work to do (as far as positive self-talk was concerned).

Years back, it was the teacher’s voice (Miller) that spoke to her and compared her negatively to her sister, older to her, and better at many things. This left her in a wake of comparisons made by other teachers who invariably knew her sister and made negative inferences too….

Lesson: ignore the negative voices in life (the ones that don’t fit in with a healthy self-image of yourself). For your benefit, and to personalize this story a bit more, here is an excerpt from the handout that Dawna provided us, so you get the point…idea is to work through your negative voices, so put this piece into practice, will ya! Do this by answering italicized questions….or absorbing the presented information to improve your thinking. Here are the excerpts (italicized):

My Mr. Miller is….

‘Certainly not as good as your sister are you?’  (This had a huge impact on Dawna’s life…  She gave up – she quit! Lesson: don’t listen to negative voices, DON’T QUIT! EV-ER! This is when you go Lalalalala in your head! As a child, or as an adult. Don’t listen! LOL.

In retrospect, what should Dawna (read ‘this could be any one of us, but we will use Dawna as our guinea-pig test person as per her workshop) have done differently? (Folks, this is where you are supposed to THINK and come up with some positive solutions – for the rusty, just substitute any positive affirmation)

‘It’s a product of what I did!  It’s my best work ever!’  Remember, whatever you have created (at school, work, or play), is PERSONAL expression and it is NOT – NOT to be compared with others….even (or especially) when you are a teacher (read mentor, parent, older respected sibling et al).

My nurse Amanda is…I should explain; nurse Amanda was the one who Dawna first heard say ‘we didn’t think you would survive!’ when Dawna ended up in the hospital due to serious stress related conditions. The italicized portion below will explain how she internalized this statement. (Backdrop: Shakespeare – remember, ‘nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so!’)

Dawna: through self-induced stress…. She was barely conscious.  Stressed.  Exhausted. She spent three weeks in a hospital!  Nurse Amanda: ‘Dawna, we didn’t think you would survive!’

So…Dawna felt she was not supposed to be here! (Yes – she meant on earth)… She stopped having fun.  It was a ‘Wow’ experience – in a very negative way!

My Jennifer is…again, this bears explanation…in Dawna’s workshop, Jennifer was a good buddy and best friend who helped her realize the positives in life; she offered Dawna heart-felt and sincere encouragement and helped her heal from her negative thinking and cloudy past.

My cheer-leading team: Who is yours? For example, one of mine is: Shelley U., David L., and Isabelle H.  They are my encouragers and I probably owe them a debt of gratitude. Not probably, I do. Thank the people that believe and encourage you….

Lesson:

Shakespeare:

‘ Nothing is good or bad… thinking makes it so….’

Now, as per Dawna’s workshop….we are going back and reliving those moments in life, (we all have them) using a NEW perspective and the introspective that Dawna provided us:

My future voices…

If I could go back to Mr. Miller I would….  Have the wisdom I now have, with conviction….

I now choose to tell myself….  ‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my nurse Amanda I would….

Use more positive affirmations, and change the (negative) messages in my head. I’d meditate, be more healthy, associate with positive people, stay healthy, and have more purpose in life.  Live a renewed life as a second chance….for living in greater abundance!

I now choose to tell myself….my affirmations….

‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my Jennifer I would

Thank her!

Realize ‘they’ (the negative ones) don’t know me….  hence they Gotta be wrong.

Watch serials Buddha and Suits. (I love them!)

My leadership voice…

I need to tell Trish P that she is quick and decisive.

I need to tell Kalida….thank you!

I need to tell Agee….hey! Thanks for being you!

Lesson:

Inner self talk is crucial to success in life.

BIG take-away from this workshop: How to turn negative talk into something positive.

PEOPLE, your self-talk is really important! It can ultimately be damaging or life-enhancing. At least be a good ‘Buddhist’ and ‘take the middle road’ and don’t be too hard on yourselves. (Talk out your negatives out loud to see if they sound ‘right’ or completely off the wall!)

In sum, Donna was shy and timid….  Her sister was an athletic and an academic star.  Jen was a best friend and star athlete.  Donna was part of a big family of children who were special from top to bottom yet Donna felt stuck in the middle, forgotten and unimportant.  Birth order can be determinative of how you feel – if you let it! Donna felt like someone stuck in the middle.

To overcome her difficulties though, she changed her mind set and the way she talked to herself….

Here’s one final positive thought for us to all take away…. to be more mindful of, and kinder and gentler with ourselves… what Donna learned from a positive role model, mentor and good friend….

Her friends said that though she was not the end pieces in her large family of siblings…she was the peanut butter…. the jam that made the whole sandwich sweet! (Aww!’ So sweet! No pun intended.)

So be good to yourself, and everyone else will too! We can be our own worst enemies, or our own best friends. It just takes a mental adjustment! You know….

Inner Self-talk can be critical to success in life!

Nilesh Shreedhar.

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It’s Not About You! Vegas gems from TM International Conference.

September 2, 2015

Here is another of the wealth of ideas gleaned from the recent Vegas convention I attended (I still have many more pieces of writing I want to post!)

Well you know the format…if you’ve been following….Here it is once again, in case this is a ‘one-off’ for you and you happen to have just ‘dropped in,’ so to speak. (No hyphens). J

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Patrick Hammond, Toastmasters, Las Vegas Championship Entry Speech.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

 

It’s not about you

Patrick Hammond.

A thief stole sentimental things from his home….Patrick, a youth leader learned from his youth group that such thieves, due to the way they operate, are called ‘flockers,’ –  a new word for Patrick, juvenile care worker. ‘Think about the effect on those you are connected to,’ he said….
He spoke of broken promises; of his own mother who had colon cancer. His brother had broken the law. Their mother was now on her death bed, but was hanging on. The possibility of mother and incarcerated brother being able to speak was remote, but she wanted to hang on only to speak to this son….

Patrick, asked his juvenile kids the important question, ‘why did she hang on before she passed?’

Practically shouting at us in a dramatic finish to his speech, (as he must have with those under his care). No! not just to have closure with the son – but the more important lesson here was that your actions have serious consequences -on those you love….and… whether they can live or even die… in peace! It’s not about you!

In the end – literally at the very end in the case of his mother’s life – it’s not about you!  It’s more about the effect you have on the people in your life.

The story was an excellent instructional tool for kids… no… for us all, actually….worth thinking about!

That’s today’s post folks!

Best regards,

Nilesh Shreedhar

Profound lesson learned from Darren Lacroix. (And Jim Rohn)

August 24, 2015

Speech giver: Darren Lacroix. (Toastmasters speaker, comedian, motivational speaker and general all-round super-hero good guy).

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

This short speech (I think I actually may have shortened it to its essence), was given by Darren Lacroix, Key note speaker at Caesar’s Palace during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A. I’m not even sure that it had a title, or if, in giving you the title, due to its depth, conciseness and clarity, would just give away the purpose of this post! He in turn, learned the lesson from Jim Rohn….

Darren is a popular motivational speaker in his own right (StageTimeUniversity.com) and his information is at the same time profound as it is inspirational in that it allows people to move ahead due to its clarity, purpose and wisdom.

Anyhow, this is what I learned at the above venue from Darren Lacroix (think about it for a minute or two):

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.

Now that should cause you to think about who you think about, why you think the way you do, and even more importantly, why you are not achieving what you want to in life! Now that’s worth thinking about! Maybe even about those ’crabs’ in the bucket, that won’t let you out for whatever reasons, including insecurities of their own.

Maybe you should reconsider who you would like to spend most of your time with. In my view, this includes the books (‘friends’) you read, and the social media interactions (mine include Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress) that you ‘associate’ with. These can be wholly positive or detrimental to your future put in the above light.

Why not make wiser choices about how and with whom you spend your valuable time? Choose carefully!

Best wishes,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

NeilShreedhar’s Blog: https://neilshreedhar.wordpress.com

Arfath Saleem’s “To be a Legend.”

August 23, 2015

Speech giver: Arfath Saleem.

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
2. To Offer inspiration to people.
3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
4. To Effect positive changes in the world.
This speech was done by Arfath Saleem and it is called “To be a legend.” during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Here it is as best as I can recall….

Arfath Saleem’s “To be a legend.”

Just three words…That’s all it takes….
Arfath fell in love 15 years ago with his math teacher. He had a gambling problem…at a tender age and became the school’s so-called ‘favourite’ student. Well, not exactly….

They kept him back since he was too busy gambling, not studying. His mother became very concerned and she introduced him to a student tutor named Samantha. Samantha said: “I’ll help you…” From that day those three words changed his life. Samantha devoted 15 hours per week to help him study. She made him feel smart! Result: he aced all is subjects!
In the process she had changed who he was…he said, she was his jackpot and quickly realized she was the type of person having the stuff legends were made of…Samantha became his hero.
Some time later Aunt Jenny came to him with the same problem – her son was having difficulties in school. ….Arfath, all grown up, now himself tutored school subjects. He ran to her and spoke the same three words that Samantha had spoken to him many years back…the same three words that changed his life…I’ll help you, he said. He met her son for only 15 minutes every week and with that he was able to score 93 on his math paper.
Ms. Samantha had become legendary enabling Arfath to be a conduit to help others. Like Dr. Ralph Smedley who first offered help to those who had difficulties standing up and giving speeches creating Toastmasters in the process.
Isn’t that in fact, what legends do? You just need three words to be a legend, not a special degree….I’ll help you!

Nilesh Shreedhar.

https://www.facebook.com/arfath.saleem?fref=ts

How to Improve Relationships – at work and at home.

January 29, 2015

Here are some useful Relationship Tips that I have gleaned from attending numerous seminars and workshops over the years….I hope you find them as useful as I do:

  1. Be sincere. There’s nothing that mends relationships better than being sincere…..
  2. Have faith. This goes hand in hand with the above. It takes time to change. The only real change is gradual. It is often so subtle that one doesn’t even realize it; until one actually sits down and reflects on journals of past days. You have grown by leaps and bounds since you were a toddler. In that time frame now do you see that?
  3. Mind the language. Often if we pay attention to language we can win our point with tact and diplomacy. Words like ‘manipulative’ are hurtful and loaded. No one wants to think of themselves that way and it creates walls around discussion. The person is still thinking about what you meant and isn’t really listening to what you say any more…what? J
  4. Listen to one another. A sure way to get on each other’s good side and improve relations is to show good reflective listening skills. So you mean…(’this’ – whatever it is). Then you follow through on whatever action is entailed on improving the relationship from your end!
  5. Assume positive intent. Nothing rankles with people worse than when you assume the worst of them. They then try even harder to meet your already low expectations! Don’t give them the chance! (This is Pepsi Co’s CEO’s advice – straight from her dad).
  6. Talk nice. Leave a person’s dignity intact. After a huge fall from grace, iIt may be the only shred he or she has left. So be gentle with one another…we’re all God’s children (and some of us have long memories!).
  7. Take ownership of your share of the problem. With a proper analysis you should be able to determine how things ended up this way….. Now you have the tools and can take ownership of your share of the problem (without beating it to death) and ensure that similar mistakes aren’t made in future. Then the road is made better for all in the process if someone is down, but not out!
  8. Remember that ‘this too shall pass.’ All of life’s mishaps are just passing phases. If this is kept in mind, true wisdom  is gained…( the “law of impermanence” – ‘anicca’ – the ‘Buddha’)

Please share this with one another – so that we are all on the same page…we live in a small global village. Nothing would make me happier than if we all got along nicely!

Thank you and best regards,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

https://neilshreedhar.wordpress.com

http://neilshreedhar.wix.com/goodenergy

Love Works – Joel Manby – Toastmasters International speech.

May 27, 2014

Love Works…Joel Manby Keynote

Joel Manby is a professional businessman, not a professional speaker and I got the pleasure to see him speak well and sincerely at the International Toastmasters Conference held in Orlando, Florida on 15 August, 2012. (Yes I’ve been meaning to get this out to you for a while, the old saying about writers and procrastination may have some truth to it after all). However, the lessons Mr. Manby teaches, imbibes and lives are still true. Here is part of his story, which I may continue in future for brevity’s sake.

Manby was the CEO for the U.S. operations head for SAAB. He described how on Easter Sunday he received a life-changing call from his boss in Sweden. In fact, it was the situation that helped him to alter his life for the better and many can probably relate to it….The first quarter sales were down for the North American Saab operations, but Joel had attained three years of solid growth over the previous NA boss…

Despite this, Joel was ‘called into the boss’ office. Except…. this office was in Sweden! The call he got was at 7:30 am in the morning, which meant that it was 3 am in Sweden at the time of the call!

Joel had made 15 moves in 20 years and, as was expected, always showed concern for the bottom line, but when his boss tore into him in Sweden, in front of his peers, he felt humiliated, and a loss of dignity. In short it was his worst nightmare realized and he felt that it was unjustified.

Here was a Harvard business school graduate who had moved all over, working for top companies like General Motors and who always paid attention everywhere to the bottom line and yet he was getting what he felt was the worst treatment of his life!

This is when Joel’s emotional withdrawal began from within from Saab. He thought to himself that there had got to be a better way in business to care about people and profits! There had to be! He wanted to be authentic (same at home, work and spiritually).

That’s the exact moment when Jack Herschend entered his life. Manby says that he’s the best at what he does, and Jack asked Joel to be on his Board….Jack was getting older and he wanted someone to replace him in his growing business. Joel felt thankful and lucky that he was asked by Jack.

As they say, the rest is history….Since 2000, Herschend Family Entertainment has had 12 years of solid growth. Joel can also proudly say that he definitely balanced home and work life.
Joel now has a mission and he wants us to be inspired…so he asked us these questions during the international Conference held at Orlando, Florida.

What is love? Did you know that there are actually four kinds: Eros; philos; storge and agape love(s)…this according to the Greeks.
Agape is unconditional love. How you treat each other. All relationships are about agape. Joel asked: why do we exclude agape?

He never saw this in any previous of the companies he worked for. It’s not being ‘soft.’ (An inaccurate thought).

Go to the Bible. 1st Corinthians: “love is patient, kind, trusting, and unselfish, truthful, dedicated, forgiving….weddings (?)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2013:4-7).

Be unselfish – think of self less.
He developed this formula, (Employee unselfishness + Company unselfishness= and Sharing (our love, ideas, skills = it)) forward:
Think of yourself less…EU$ + CU$ = SIF$$$ (share it forward)…

I will follow this article up with more information as I may have piqued your interest now…gotta go! You’ve got enough information now to look into these great ideas for yourselves. Gotta keep you on your toes…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Manby

“Joel Manby is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of Herschend Family Entertainment, the largest family-owned theme park corporation in the United States. HFE creates, develops and operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties spanning 26 locations in ten states.”

http://www.joelmanby.com

Part #2: “If you are Speaking, you are selling.”

April 18, 2014

Jeremy Tracey.  “If you are Speaking, you are Selling.”

Hazel McCallion C, Delta Hotel, Meadowvale, Ontario.Toastmasters Spring Conference.

April 5-7, 2014.

“If you are Speaking, you are Selling”

As promised, here is the second selling  formula that Jeremy recommends so that you and the people you care for can get the things you want in life – either at work, or at home.

Jeremy often draws upon the experience and wisdom of Craig Valentine, a world-class professional speaker. Craig says that in order for an idea to appeal to someone, it must help them:

  1. Esteem more.
  2. Do more.
  3. Gain more.
  4. Enjoy more

Jeremy uses this EDGE formula and says it will work every time because it appeals to all types of people in one way or another.

Here is an example of it being used, in Jeremy’s write-up to invite people to this workshop:

“Regardless of your subject, you want your audience to walk away feeling excitement and enthusiasm because of what you said and how you said it. This workshop will be highly interactive and hands on. Arrive with questions and walk away with the skills that will help you stand out as a speaker that inspires your audience every time you speak. …It will take you less time to prepare an effective message when you understand the process that leads to your audience feeling connected to you and your words. It feels fantastic when people tell you how your speech has changed their way of thinking. Get ready for a lot more positive feedback.”

Notice how his advertisement appeals to all people, as all value their esteem or wish to do, gain or enjoy more…

You can use this simple EDGE (esteem, do, gain or enjoy more) formula everywhere – such as when getting the kids to help you clean up, or to convince your wife that you could both use a vacation!

Now let’s see what you can do to come up with creative uses in your own life!

If you want more information about Jeremy and what he does, check out the following links: http://jeremytracey.com;

http://jeremytracey.com/if-you-are-speaking-you-are-selling/

“If you are Speaking, you are Selling”

April 9, 2014

Jeremy Tracey.  “If you are Speaking, you are Selling.”

Hazel McCallion C, Delta Hotel, Meadowvale, Ontario.Toastmasters Spring Conference.

April 5-7, 2014.

 “If you are Speaking, you are Selling” 

“Every time you speak, whether it is at your Toastmasters club or not, you are selling something,” so began the riveting learning workshop by Jeremy Tracy, one of Canada’s foremost professional speakers. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his speeches, by all means do attend, you won’t be disappointed.

I learned three useful formulas, including two useful acronyms, useful for daily life, in getting people’s cooperation. This includes that of spouses, children, family members, and almost anyone that you come across from home- to work- life.

Without further ado, here is one of those tips (more tips in later write-ups – I’m excited to share this with you):

In this example, let’s say you are trying to get your spouse to cooperate…for a specific example… maybe you desperately could use a vacation?

  1. Take them through your pain. (Make it bad).
  2. What is the benefit? (Make them want whatever it is you are recommending – tangible or intangible idea).
  3. Stop and Ask – what made the difference? (Engage the person(s))
  4. Share your long road. The person (or audience) will want to take the shortcut.
  5. Offer it up. What is the value of the tool or idea?

In brief and for general use, this can be summarized as PAIN, PAY, ASK, ROAD, OFFER.

What does it all of this mean? It means that before people change their way of doing things, they want to know how it will benefit them.

In order to see the benefit, they will want to ‘live’ through your eyes and experiences, so they can take a short-cut. Otherwise their traditional way will do just fine. After all, we are creatures of comfort!

Try the above method when you are ‘selling’ one of your ideas to someone – anyone! Remember, as one of the audience participants himself noted, after years of disliking those who sell, ‘sell’ is not a four-letter word.

Let me know how your results go. I will be sure to share other gems on this website on how to get more out of life and how to improve your overall results in its various areas. Wait for two more tips from Jeremy Tracey and good luck!

If you want more information about Jeremy and what he does, check out the following links: http://jeremytracey.com;

http://jeremytracey.com/if-you-are-speaking-you-are-selling/

 

 

 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and How to Change It

June 25, 2013

Source: Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) website -http://www.hrpa.ca/Conf2013/Pages/default.aspx

Location and details: Friday, January 25, 2013 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Charles Duhigg Metro Convention Centre – Halls F&G, Ontario, CANADA.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Charles Duhigg’s journalistic accomplishments have won him many awards including the Pulitzer Prize (finalist, Public Service Medal), 2009, the George Polk Award, 2007, the Gerald Loeb Award, 2008 and the National Journalism Award, 2009.

Summary:

Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles shows, by harnessing this new science we can transform our businesses, our communities and our lives.

That is the description found on the above HRPA conference website, and I was fortunate enough to hear Mr. Duhigg speak back in January of this year (2013). I’ve meant to write about the topic for a while now – been really busy and spreading out my energies.  This posting is probably going to whet your appetite, and has merit for that reason (I avoid using the word ‘but’  – (although it would fit here) due to its negative connotation. Haha!).

Did you know – the minute you introduce a concept to the human mind, it begins to imagine the impossible? This is true based on what I have learned having attended many seminars in the past, both in Toastmasters and from those from the Human Resources field and from listening to Bob Proctor’s teachings. It is sufficient to introduce the mere possibility of change, as it then becomes possible according to today’s thinking on such topics. No matter the age – you could be 80 years old and the principle still applies!

As such, Mr. Duhigg has hit upon a goldmine (brief description to whet your appetite below, on ‘habits’), and I invite you to further research the field and the information that I have provided you above, (e.g., change can occur at any age)on your own. I would welcome the discussion and love to hear other points of view. (A challenge to the readers of this blog – rise up readers!!! 🙂 ).
The essence of what Mr. Duhigg spoke about in his seminar was the following:
Three components of habit are: cue, routine and reward. Duhigg provided examples of corporations that successfully discovered how to change individual habits and thereby Corporate culture. He advised us to find our “keystone” habits so that we could enable change successfully.

Over to you, readers! What does this mean? It’s been a while since I attended his seminar, but you just might be able to jog my memory and your journey to expand your and my mind would have continued forth!

Best regards,

Neil.

B-A-N-D…Useful advice for life…

August 6, 2012

Breathe – Analyze – Navigate – Deter

On July 28, 2012 at Club #14448695, Area 24, Division A, District 86 (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada) , I gave a speech entitled: Rubber-BAND which demonstrated the practicality of dealing with difficult or challenging situations we may encounter in life if we just remembered to take a little bit of time to do one little but very important and medically approved thing: BREATHE!

There is now scientific proof that our emotional intelligence increases exponentially when we do this little act.

Let me first explain the meaning of the acronym BAND and why the rubber band is such a perfect symbol and tool which provides a great analogy….

B-A-N-D (for Breathe, Analyze, Navigate and Deter) is an acronym which I picked up reading a Human Resources Professional magazine. This magazine always seems to provide great content and once again it did not let me down!

So let’s say you come upon a problem that you just can’t seem to solve, or your boss is getting mad at you because you’re making too many errors; perhaps a customer is grating on your nerves and you feel like telling him off, or you’ve been on the floor for just too long selling clothes to a never-ending stream of customers…you get the gist!

Instead of exploding, or fuming, or going outside for a smoke, taking a little nip between client phone calls…do what experts say helps you to bring you to a state of calm, while opening up the gateway to providing more options….just breathe! It’s as simple as that…they say the best things in life are free and they are! Take the sun, rain, even the clouds when you feel like just staying under the covers all day long – they’re all free!

Now you’ve given your mind the opportunity to think of more options! Hence you should Analyze your options….let’s see…would it be better to tell the customer off, or could you demonstrate deft skills in client service by providing a complaining client with other options? Perhaps this dress would be better ma’am, or perhaps I can escalate this complaint and ask the manager for a full refund as we do value your business. Now you’re thinking! There’s no need for an outburst…Navigate among the options that you’ve thought of and pick the one that seems the best option at the time. That’s all you can ask for of yourself, and you’ve avoided certain disaster.

We can all think of similar situations as the ones above which may require use of B-A-N-D. It can become part of a morning or family ritual wherein you remind other family members to not lose their cool. This is something that I practice. In fact, in so doing, it is a perfect example of another common human resources principle known as ‘changing the culture’ in a place, in this case your own home(s) (possibly in your workplaces too of course) as we often belong to more than one family due to our place in the family as brother, husband, son and so on.

The utility of B-A-N-D cannot be overemphasized…. which brings me to how the speech went and why I used a rubber band to illustrate the point.

Before I explain that I should explain that the ‘D’ in B-A-N-D stands for Deter, which is to say, were I to come upon this same situation again, how would I deal with it differently? This is a really important consideration and helps ‘sharpen the wheel,’ as the late Stephan Covey would have said. It ensures that the next time you come upon this or a similar situation, you are able to handle it better!

By now you may have guessed that the rubber band, readily available in everyone’s home or workplace is a perfect analogy to this useful acronym because, it reminds us of BAND, in that a rubber band has certain qualities which enable it to come back to its original form: it is unflustered and not easily flappable (are you?), it maintains it’s original shape, often even under duress, and it is flexible. (How about you?)

When I pointed these qualities out to fellow Toastmasters at the Advanced Speakers on the Hill Club #14448695 (Toastmasters.org) during my speech, they began to have a greater, if not a new appreciation of the rubber band.

It now serves as a reminder to them of how great our potential as human beings is, and of how this potential can be easily attained if we have a well-equipped tool kit. Put B-A-N-D in your tool box and see how great positive changes can be in your life…good luck and happy transforming!

– Neil (Nilesh) Shreedhar.


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