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Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,




Selling your ideas with "persuasion"

In the jungle, many species have mastered "the art of persuasion". The Bluebird of Paradise, for example, goes through elaborate displays of beauty and charm to persuade a female to choose him as her best candidate for fatherhood: His objective clearly in mind, he'll fly to the top of a tree, hang upside down and, spreading his spectacular blue iridescent tail-feathers so they form a large two-toned halo above his pitch black head, he goes through a spectacular "sales pitch". Swinging back and forth slowly and making a hypnotic, raspy chan, he spots a female, he lures her towards him by causing his wondrous plumage to shimmer and shine, then persuades her by varying his song until, swooning, she agrees that he's the one.

A close relative, the Bowerbird of Borneo, convinces females of his suitability to fatherhood by constructing an elaborate "bower" which is a lot more complex than a mere nest. When early explorers first encountered these elaborate structures, they thought them to be playhouses built by local children. Not content to design and build a home of great architectural wonder, Bowerbirds will then persuade females to visit their real estate offering to admire its advantages. They do this by adding an outstanding decor to the prospective home and will use every kind of very colorful object to enhance their bower's appeal. Anything goes - butterfly wings, bottle caps, tinfoil, shells, flowers, feathers, plastic - to show off their good taste. Mansions result.

Australia's Golden Bowerbird goes to even greater lengths to sell his charms to the opposite sex - he builds and decorates two bowers in neighboring trees, then finds a perch between them and offers prospective females a choice. More than just selling his skills, he's ready to persuade any hot prospect that her worries are over, that he's the greatest provider.

Persuasion is the art of convincing others to do things your way and it is a skill often required in business. Author Roger Dawson, in his book Secrets of Power Persuasion, says there are 8 ways people can be influenced: If they think you can reward them, if they believe you can punish them, if you know how to apply those dual pressures and if you do indeed apply them. People will be more easily persuaded if you have bonded with them or if a given situation limits their options; and people will also do things your way if they think you have more expertise than they do or if they find that you always behave in a fair and consistent manner.

Dawson warns against the first idea - rewarding people - by explaining that it is subject to the laws of diminishing returns, as it's the most expensive way of getting things done. Neither is exercising the power to punish people a very good tool, as fear is not a positive motivator (but it is undeniably a persuasive force). Real power comes from knowing when and how to apply those two forces - often called "the carrot and the stick". Experts agree they must be used very subtly.

Taking the time to get to know a prospect's expectations and needs to then demonstrate your own competence and capacity - i.e. the time to bond is a more powerful technique. Being perceived as a friend - even while negotiating commercial exchange - makes the task of changing another person's mind a lot easier. As people become convinced that you have more expertise than they do, they are more likely to want to do things your way so keep a step ahead of the competition - understand the conditions that will affect your clients, the market and the competition. Networking with experts will allow you to persuade your customers that you can bring them valuable information which will then give them an advantage. And showing that you have consistent standards and values lets people know they can rely on you and this trust can be translated into a very powerful persuader.

Consider - when your entire industry has signed on to the same "Total Quality Program", when you all have the same ISO standards, when prices stabilize to relative sameness, when the end-users want "generic", then the power to persuade may be the only factor left to clinch those sales. Then perhaps you'll take a tip from the Manikins in the jungles of Costa Rica; those long-tailed black and blue birds work in pairs to lure "prospects" but then each in turn will make his most persuasive pitch. Males will have spent hours learning to sing in unison so they sound like one powerful bird in order to attract a female; but when a lady rushes over to find the "Mr. Macho", the duo stops singing and each Manikin will do a solitary dance to prove suitability. The most persuasive dancer will close the sale.

Recognizing that the "next big thing" will have to be sold, successful people have no resistance to learning an appropriate "song and dance"; then will they persuade "buyers" to agree their ideas are the most viable options.



This tool -called "Empowered Thinking" - is a series of body/mind exercises that will help you develop "inner power". They facilitate the emergence of creative potential while greatly reducing stress. Even if there are myriad variations for each of these exercises, the description provided at http://www.consult-IIDC.com/english/training/empowered.html spell out the essentials. Explore them to find your particular style, making sure you adhere to these basics, and you'll find the source of strength.



This month you can discover an outstanding 8 day-7 night "Lessons from the Jungle" adventure. Our "management training tour" will teach you to excite, empower and keep yourself at your best. The adventure is for professionals, managers and entrepreneurs: Global market rules are changing the name of the game and it's a jungle out there. Our most important survival skill requires that we develop the ability to think creatively and powerfully. Your "creative capital" is your most precious asset. Enjoy a magical a week to learn how motivation, innovation, creativity and empowerment are "value adding" in any business equation; these are what transform ordinariness into greatness.

Agenda: Discover the "deep wisdom" that animates creation's amazing biodiversity - by exploring Pacific beaches and reefs, a jungle rio and its mangroves and the primary rainforest - from the jungle floor to the treetops. The daily itinerary of this outstanding adventure is available by clicking here. You can find out what the experts think of incentive travel by clicking here.



Stuck in a cubicle farm or office? Need a creative escape on a rainy April afternoon? Click onto http://www.ringsurf.com/netring?ring=museum;action=list.htm and you can visit 45 unusual museums (like one devoted to the noble "toilet") or maybe you'll be tickled by window-shopping for all kinds of free stuff. Why not idle a few minutes at http://www.thefreesite.com/ and get a free bagful of goodies. April showers will bring May flowers.



Learn to see, and then you'll know there is no end to the new worlds of our vision. Carlos Castaneda

The world of reality has limits; the world of imagination is boundless. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Imagination is intelligence having fun. Anonymous

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. Confucius

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. Raymond Inmon



A conference animator who speaks on the subject of Astrophysics was on an extended lecture tour and had become weary of delivering the same speech night after night. He confided his state of mind to his Limo driver as he was being driven to his next destination, a town some 50 miles from the airport. The driver confessed that he was similarly bored with his line of work and also complained that it forced him to speak to people through a rearview mirror so he envied his passenger.

"I've got an idea!", the speaker suddenly blurted out: "You're bored with driving and I'm tired of lecturing. Why don't you try speaking to people face to face by changing places with me tonight. It'll be refreshing for both of us and might even open our creative horizons. My conference is written out word for word and nobody in this town knows me, has ever seen or heard me... so you can easily pull it off. I'll drive the rest of the way while you go over my notes. Worse comes to worse, people might think I'm having an off night."

The driver agreed that it was a great idea and so a change of roles and clothes was effected. That night the lecture hall filled to capacity as the speaker's reputation had preceded him. At the appointed time the Emcee gave him a flowery introduction and those in attendance heard a flawlessly delivered speech; they were amazed by the facts presented. As the evening concluded, the limo-driver turned speaker basked in enthusiastic applause and began considering a mid-life career-switch. But then the Emcee asked for an unexpected question and answer period - as was the custom in that place.

"Who discovered Pluto?", immediately asked a man in the front row. "Uh... Clyde Tombaugh.", said the driver who suddenly remembered it from somewhere or other.

"And who discovered Uranus?", continued a boy. "Errr, I believe that would be William Herschel.", he said. (He'd read a little and did know a few things, but was starting to sweat...)

Then, from the back of the room, some "smart mouth" shouted: "Would you care to comment on the relative merits of the pulsation instability model versus the accretion disk instability model as an explanation for the outbursts of cataclysmic variable stars?"

The newly discovered speaker paused for a moment and then answered, "I am surprised that you would ask me such an obvious question. The idea is really so basic and so simple that I'll have my taxi-driver answer you."

The moral of my story is -of course- that you don't have to know everything... just remember where the information is.

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