Wave round

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Keynote Dr. Rick Kirschner: How to Click with People

Forget for a moment that Dr. Kirschner is a nationally-known author, speaker, and coach. Truthfully, no one at the conference knew who he was before the keynote. Afterwards, we could not stop talking about him and his insights. He shared the science behind how we communicate, and how to turn that science into conscious steps for increasing connectivity. I tried to capture highlights from his presentation. Every moment was informational -- I would hazard to say "transformational." Apologies if I missed the order; and thank you, Dr. Kirschner, for sharing your wisdom. I hope I captured the essence of your teachings.
We strive to click with people to make a friend, make a change, make a deal, or make a memory. Did you know…
55% of the meaning we derive from our interactions is based on the visual message – what we see in body posture, animation (or lack thereof), and facial expressions.
38% of the meaning comes through voice – in tempo, volume, and style. By style, he meant what we need through the communication, and how that affects how we sound. There are four needs/styles:
(Speaking) Style
We want direction or movement (towards or away)
How this sounds is direct and to the point. “Do it.”
We want to connect the dots. We won’t make a leap of faith, we want step-by-step instructions.
Indirect and detailed. “Based on the study of all of the parameters and in discussion with several experts on the topic, we recommend that the group do the suggested course of action.”
We want to feel connected and safe.
Indirect and considerate. “I was wondering, if you don’t mind and it wouldn’t be too much trouble, if you could maybe do this thing I am thinking about, and you know what, never mind, forget I ever asked…”
We want to feel important and validated for our contribution(s).
Direct and high energy. “I know, I know! We should DO IT!! And here’s an idea on how…”

7% of the meaning comes through the words that are actually said. WOW.
There are 5 reasons we try to communicate with each other (and why listening can pay off big dividends).
1.     People want to be heard and understood.
2.     People like to hear themselves talk.
3.     People are drawn to people who LISTEN.
4.     Information is power (those who know, grow).
5.     People don’t know what they are talking about!
If you listen on all 3 levels (visual, voice, and the words), you can find out what is really going on, “go deeper,” and develop a connection with just about anyone. Your goal is to get back to the 1st reason for talking/listening – to be heard and understood. If the other person feels that you heard them and understood them, you've made the connection.
We have an amazing ability to find commonalities and resonate with others. And yet, we resist it. Dr. Kirschner spent some time explaining that in human relationships, there is not “lukewarm.” You’re either with me, or against me. A large part of how we read whether you are with or against is through body language. If you are with me, you will match, or “blend,” your physicality with mine. Dr. Kirschner has a quick video snippet of how “blending”completely changed a potentially confrontational situation: No one cooperates with anyone who seems to be against them
So how do you listen to Go Deep? Four steps:
1.     Give non-verbal attention. Nod like you completely understand what is being said.
2.     Give vocal attention, saying “uh-huh” in the appropriate places.
3.     Back-track. Say back what they are saying, even if it is just one word.
4.     Ask open-ended questions.
Always back-track before asking a question, especially if you don’t understand what they said. “Oh, NDPES permit. Tell me more.” And if you are really confused, ask for relevancy. “I thought you were talking about this [statement]. What does this [new statement] have to do with that [original statement]?”
Once you have developed a connection, then you can influence them to help you, your company, your team, etc. In general, influence is about motivation. And while you can apply pressure, you cannot apply motivation. People motivate themselves; you can’t do it for them.
Did you catch that?
People motivate themselves; you can’t do it for them.
So how does developing a connection enable you to influence them to do what you want/need? By uncovering what motivates them, so you can tailor your want/need to also satisfy their want/need. The art of persuasion means beginning with the end in mind. Knowing what YOU want from them changes the way that you interact with them. If all you know is what you DON’T want, that is all you will ever get! So “clicking” with them, finding sincere connection, will help you get to what you (and they) want. Keep in mind:
1.     People have their reasons
2.     People are predictable
3.     If you can predict it, you can plan for it.
4.     All of us are smarter than any of us.
Bad behavior usually means the person is doing the best they can with the resources they have. They have their reasons. Do you want to spend all of your time figuring out why they do what they do, say what they say, and analyze every nuance of their behavior? Of course not! You need to LISTEN for what motivates them, and play to those strengths. If you ever once figure out what motivates them, you can connect with them again and again. Being mindful that all of us together have better answers (to just about everything) than any one of us, makes us open to the benefits that connecting can bring.
Motivation is about moving towards something, or away from something. Mark Zweig commented on this on Twitter -- “Exactly. Motivation is about dissatisfaction.” Ok, so we’re either moving away from something we’re dissatisfied with, or towards something we think will satisfy us. Most of us fall into one of these 6 motivators (toward/away):
Dr. Kirschner’s Motivational Model

This is different than personality types, which Dr. Kirschner doesn't really believe in. He says they are too limiting, and they encourage others to “box” the people they interact with. People are messy, they don’t fit into neat boxes. [He shared this funny 4 Personality Types slide and asked us which box(es) we fit into… 4 Personality Types.]
People are drawn to people to listen, not to people who have the most to say. When you listen on all 3 levels, Go Deep with your active listening skills, make a connection, and identify (through what you see and hear) what motivates a person, you can make your interaction meaningful for them AND you. Hold your focus, keep the content meaningful, and keep it connected.
In the end, all you can do is manage yourself. You listen – you respond. If you are listening well, you can respond in such a way that the other person will respond to you, and together, you can make anything happen. Want more information and tips? Dr. Kirschner has several podcasts on the web: Podcasts
What am I doing differently now to “click” with others? Strike up a conversation with me for a real-life example. My goal is to be a S.A.G.E. - “set a great example.” 

Insights from the Audience: SMPS PRC

As I receive them, I'll add posts/insights from audience members of the various sessions.

from Evan Ross at RFB:

I thought David LeCours’ presentation, “Change the World Slide by Slide” was superb. It was well-designed, humorous, imminently practical and succinctly communicated. There is perhaps no better way to assimilate the elements and merits of a thoughtfully developed and delivered slide show than by being presented with a great one, and David nailed it.

from Mark Tawara, FMSPS, CPSM at Marketability, LLC:

Here are a few short takeaways I gathered from John Doehring’s session on 15 Über-Trends facing our industry.  
  • The age of the consumer is here. Buyers will control the market. Clients are changing the way they select firms. How will your firm differentiate itself?
  • Consolidation will continue at a rapid pace. At the same time, millions of very small firms will compete successfully on the global stage.
  • There will be increased pressure on the mid-sized firms to compete against these small and mega-firms.
  • Professional services will become commoditized to the point where you can get graphic design services online at a fraction of the cost of hiring a graphic design firm. It’s already happening. What does this mean for us marketers? 

RockPaperTwitter: Ideas That Rock

Guest blogpost from Holly Bolton, FSMPS, CPSM, Director of Marketing at CE Solutions, Inc. and moderator for our Social Media Panel on Wednesday, February 20th.





Friday, February 22, 2013

The Fellows Forum

Ted Sive
Bill Strong
Mark Tawara
Brad Thurman
Kasey Delucia

Fellows speak on their insights of the conference thus far and answer audience questions.

Insights from the Keynote, Dr. Rick Kirschner:
Loved his "point-story-point" structure. He made a point (quickly,) then told a story that illustrated the point, then made the point again. It set the information in mental stone.

Loved his emotional connections - was interesting to see him tell stories that he had clearly rehearsed and polished, and yet still be authentic.

Audience question: what's the balance between polished/rehearsed and authentic. Rehearse the information, be authentic about your passion.

Most valuable take-away: How do you listen and "go deep" to what they really want.

Insights from Brent Darnell, Emotional Intelligence:
Take-away -- Listen. Difficult to stop and listen to what they're saying and make points again.

"Did you know" slides from Hearthmath.org -- some of the most amazing information about the science of your heart and brain. Can help you explain, logically, why the emotional connection with others is so important.

Take-away -- it's not about mirroring/mimicking exactly what the other person is doing, but blending with their style.

Decisions are made on emotions.

Social Media panel:
The key is to get buy-in from your leaders. We realize how important it is now and will be in the future. We need to be able to communicate it to our leaders and get them on board.

Use SoMe as research-base to find out about your clients, your subconsultants, etc. It's not all about pushing information out.

Start with strategy. What do you want to attain?

"Return on Investment" -- no, Return on Communication. What are you learning/hearing that you didn't know before.

Be careful about what you post about other companies/brands. They are monitoring, and will respond!

Content is key - find out what your clients want/need and give them that.
70% should be directed to clients and what they need/want
20% should be exchanging information
10% should be self-promotion

800 lb. Gorilla (teaming with MEGA firms)
Mark Tawara led the panel - even 'though you have a set agenda for your presentation, it doesn't always go that way.

Take-away -- the relationships are the number way key to making business happen. Difficult to get work, get on teams, unless you have a relationship with someone at the company. Maintain contact; update your information at least annually.

Susan Murphy - Get on Same Page with Client
Simple technique - sit down with client and say "I am prepared to talk to you about our qualifications, but I want to start with getting your perspective on the project, so we make best use of your time." And then shut up. And don't pressure with questions like "What's the most important thing about this project..." Just let them talk. Repeat some back, ask "what else," listen, repeat stuff back, and ask "and what else." This is REALLY hard.

How you ask questions is also important. Don't restate or summarize, because you've limited the discussion to the three (or 4 or 5) things you mentioned... whether they were right or wrong.

Open-ended questions are excellent - What has changed since RFP came out? How many lanes are you thinking about for the road? Don't limit with "Do you want 2 or 3 lanes..." No multiple choice. Keep it open.

John Doehring - Uber Trends
What is the single biggest challenge you expect for A/E/C in 2013?

Relationships -- how we make relationships; how we keep them.

Business models -- who is partnering with whom? Who is working for whom? what will work look like? Is everything going to be on the internet/computer? What's the intellectual property (because technology makes it easy to access)?

Consolidation of firms -- mergers/acquisitions. Mid-sized firms will probably go away. There are about 90 MEGA firms ($1B in revenue, multiple disciplines and global; many owned outside US). How do we deal with this? How do we market against/with this?

Larger number of small, 1-2 person firms

Services -- commoditization of marketing, design (you can download an entire corporate identity package for $11!)

Commoditization industry -- concerned fees will be unrealistically slashed and force price war, rather than selection based on value. One thought is figuring out where you can commoditize. Can you charge value-based for the conceptual/design work? And then shop-out the production?

Climate change (missing from John's presentation) -- 10 years from now we'll be wrestling with this challenge in ways we haven't thought about.

Expertise -- how many of you feel you have staff who are uniquely qualified, world-class? We ALL think so, but that can't be true. You really need to focus and get more specialized to stand out. Not ALL bridges, for example, but a particular type of bridge.

Owners will be looking for better/smarter metrics -- how will our design make their business more profitable, more efficient, better, retain employees, safer, whatever. How will our products positively affect the owners' critical issues.

What is our role in analyzing and preparing for the future?
Training/mentor the technical staff
Find leadership opportunities within the company. Not about the titles, but about filling the leadership voids from a mindset of service to the organization.
Find the information the staff needs to succeed.
Bring these marketing discussions back to the organization in a way that is meaningful to them.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad, @craftkat

Closing Remarks for SMPS PRC

Confluence is about connecting. Connecting the dots; connecting with friends and colleagues; and connecting with our work we do and the world around us.

This Conference has been an amazing journey. Like the historic explorers Lewis and Clark who brought this part of the country into the consciousness of the Western World, your Planning Committee covered miles of details and took every challenge head on. As I mention their names, please come up and accept the thanks and accolades they so richly deserve...

In the face of a struggling economy, your Sponsorship Committee secured the valuable sponsors who grace our lobby area and support the WAVE. Please help me thank:
Nicole Menchaca - Turner Construction
Mike McGettigan - Terracon
Michelle Hoalton - PACE

The wonderful brochure, signage, PPT templates, name tags, website, Twitter page, Linked In page, Facebook page and all of the WAVE eBlasts for the last 12 months are products of your Marketing Committee. Please help me thank:
Christine Kenney - Dahl Consultants
Chris Imbeau - RAFN Company
Sarah Carlson - ARCADIS

The incredibly difficult job of selecting this year's session speakers fell to an equally incredible team. YThey received 75 session suggestions for 12 slots, and developed an awesome lineup. Please help me thank:
Evan Ross - RBF/Baker
Alethea O'Dell - Degenkolb Engineers
Kenda Salisbury - Historic Research Associates

The test of any Conference is rarely the Programs, Marketing, or even Sponsorship. It's the quintessential customer service - the experience of interacting with the Conference from the moment you say "I will attend" to the second you leave the hotel. Handling every Registration detail with grace and calm, your Registration Committee has gone above and beyond for all of us. Please help me thank:
Beth Ito - Coffman Engineers
Don Love - Architects Alaska

And finally, the heart and soul of the Planning Committee... These women supported me and the Committee not only by heading up a subcommittee themselves, but by handling the financial details, wrangling the random questions posted to the website, and taking my every call, email, and text message with humor and intelligence. They are my anchors on The WAVE. Please help me thank:
Past Co-Chair and Treasurer Carine Theissen - Brown and Caldwell
and Co-Chair and next year's lead, Veronica Willenbring - Morley Builders

Next year's Pacific Regional Conference will be at the Hyatt in Huntington Beach in California. I have no doubt that Veronica Willenbring will lead your Planning Committee with heart and mind to bring you another amazing conference. So while I am sad to see this WAVE crash on the shore for the last day, I am excited about the momentum and energy we've built up. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Thank you for allowing me to be your Co-Chair for SPMS PRC - Portland. Thank you for creating Confluence here at The Nines.
Katherine Robinette, CPSM
David Evans and Associates, Inc.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad, @craftkat

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Brent Darnell -- From the Head to the Heart

A wonderful discussion about Emotional Intelligence in the A/E/C industry. How do people make decisions, how to compete in a commoditizing market, what is the whole picture.

The reason that clients choose on cost alone is because they figure that you are going to be the same pain-in-the-ass consultant that they've always dealt with. What if there was another way? What if they only selected between consultants they loved? Would that reduce your competition somewhat?

Think out of the box? Groupon -- buy one building, get one free. Um... probably not a good differentiator in a business.

Emotional Intelligence isn't counseling, group hugs, etc. This is based on neuroscience and physics. Why do we mimic the emotions around us? Because there are Mirror Neurons. We can change people's brains through emotional responses.

Try not responding to someone smiling at you. Autistic kids' mirror neurons are not firing. They cannot pick up the emotional cues. But in general, emotions are contagious from a physiological perspective.

Positive emotions help the brain in creativity and production. More interesting info www.heartmath.org. Did an exercise on positive/negative - started story on positive note, and then switch to negative note, and switched back and forth. Positive person was creating the story, and negative person was shooting everything down.

Do you have a "Yes, but" environment at work? Are ideas shot down constantly? People are trained to find problems and fix them -- they are not trained to be creative and innovate. Take this system back to work instead: "Yes, and..." Start a conversation with a possible solution to a problem. The next person says "Yes, and..." and contributes something/idea to the solution. And so on. The ideas flow more freely, the energy level increases, and the inhibitions fell away.

We looked at the emotional profile of 500 construction managers. High scores in independence, assertiveness, stress tolerance, problem solving, etc. Low scores in emotional self awareness, interpersonal relationship, empathy... all of the soft, social skills. (check out xtranormal computer animation of engineer at an interview - is this on YouTube?)

Decisions are made in the subconscious (95% - based on emotion or memory), and your logical brain will find a reason to accept it (5%).

If you hold a Power Pose (arms raised, or hands on hips, or feet up on desk/hands on head) -- testosterone went up 20%, and cortisol (stress hormone) went down 20%. The Power Pose makes us feel powerful, and give us a sense of "alpha." It will help us overcome lack of self-confidence, nerves, etc.

If you haven't worked with a client before, you have to build the emotional connection and "memory" in the course of the RFP and interview. Think about peanut butter -- you buy the brand you buy because you like it, you grew up with it. Really, a price difference between brands won't make you change brands. What would it take to make you change? What would it take to make your target client change?

They are going to hire you because they like you and they trust you. Period. By the same token, one guy on the project who is a jerk will ruin your client's experience, and make it near impossible to work there again.

How can we get an emotional effect (that we want) from our clients? First impression -- the outgoing message on your work phone. Try changing your message when you're standing and walking. It will infuse your message with energy and a friendly voice.

What emotion does your office convey? Reception area? Eye contact? Art on the walls? Something on the coffee table? What your people say to newcomers? To guests? The coffee service? What emotional impression are you making for your staff?

What emotional attachment can you make to your service, your people, your brand?

Once you've created a positive emotional experience for a client, what's the next step? Transformational. If you can make a transformational experience for the client, you're golden. Find out their interests and passions and help them with that, gold. If you are having a great training, invite them.

Brent Darnell has a lot of free information at www.brentdarnell.com. And go to www.change-u.com to build in the accountability and mentors to help us implement change.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad, @craftkat

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SMPS PRC - Chapter Leaders Forum on Wednesday, Feb 20

First "session" of the Conference is the Chapter Leaders Forum.
Frank Lippert - Past National President
Holly Bolton - Chapter Delegate
Brad Thurman - National President Elect
Tina Myers - Senior VP of Membership and Chapter Development
Carla Thompson - Fellows Delegate

Lots of "first-timers" to PRC, which is great to see!

Some exciting Strategic Initiatives at National on our behalf. Of course, I am most interested in "SMPS Goes to College," which is not necessarily about educational programs for us, but going in to the colleges/universities and making them aware of the career path for services marketing -- going in to the A/E/C educational institutions and giving them the marketing education those professionals will need. I'm excited to see where that goes.

Also a new program for all chapters that integrates the Fellows. We will all receive an email from Kevin Hebblethwait about this program -- essentially a menu of activities that Fellows can help with, and which Fellows are available.

Technology committee will be looking at key chapter management software and provide an analysis/comparison of them -- for example EventBrite/Cvent -- so chapters have a resource to help them decide which might works best.

We followed the updates from National/Board with an open forum of hot topics of interest to the group:
Membership Recruitment & Retention
Engaging Chapter Leaders
Engaging Firm Leaders

For example -- for Programs/Events --
Bring in a small group of firms' principals and ask what THEY want to see; what they want their marketers to see/learn. Then create those programs.

Successful programs:
panels -- developers, healthcare
BD Live! - four BD folks interview a client (separately) about a real project, live in front of the audience. Then afterwards, the client and panel discuss what worked/didn't work, etc. Many times, this session has "spoof," someone who does everything wrong at the BD session.

Seattle Chapter is doing Social Media session for principals -- why it is important, how it works, etc. Then the following month, they will do the educational piece for marketers on how to create a social media plan, how to implement it. Sign me up!

Oregon Chapter divides events into Programs (focused on attracting principals, senior marketers, BD) and Education (focused on coordinators, marketers)

Another Chapter hosts Certified Adobe Trainer several times a year, and they sell out every time. For $125 for 4-hour program, and the Chapter still makes money.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad, @crafterkat