Lessons from a TV Show

Recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed on a Charter Communications Cable TV show Remade in California, along with my friend and business partner, Mitch Taylor. The whole experience was very educational and I want to share some of our real life lessons with you.

1. Be open.maxresdefault

Be open to new people, new ideas, and new opportunities. I had self-published my first book when a few months later my husband met a local publisher who I “just had to meet.” She ended up publishing a 2nd edition for me, as well as my next two book projects. She also introduced me to a friend of hers in LA who owns a company called TVGuestperts. Although I was a little hesitant at first, I pursued this connection and ended up being listed as Personality and Communication Expert. This opened up other opportunities for connections with magazine publishers, radio programs, and, most recently, a TV show.

I am reminded of Mitch’s R.O.A.R. presentation that he gave in Las Vegas in March. The formula Risk, Opportunity, Action, Reward can be applied in every area of life, and this experience is a perfect example. We took a Risk in working with TVGuestperts. When the Opportunity arose, we took Action…flying to LA and being interviewed by host Pat Pattison. The Reward will come in the form of satisfaction of a job well done once we see the show, and in terms of new opportunities that will begin this cycle over again as new connections are made with the show’s viewers.

How open are you to new people, ideas, and opportunities? Do you follow through completely, applying each step of the R.O.A.R. formula until you can experience the results? What Risk should you be opening yourself up to now?

2. Be Prepared89331-quotes-about-being-prepared-for-success

Preparation usually takes on two different forms. There is the preparation that is specific to a particular event, and there is ongoing preparation that we should always doing to grow and improve.

In this case, the specific preparation including researching the show, its audience, the host, and the show sponsors as well as creating speaking points based on questions supplied in advance. I am used to giving seminars, teaching workshops, and even giving interviews for radio shows and podcasts. I am also used to the free-flowing form of our Creating Connections podcast where it is more “acceptable” to stray off topic a bit. But this was different. I had to know my talking points, know my audience, and convey my message all while supporting the overall goals of the show and linking back to the show’s sponsor. I had to be prepared. Of course my specific preparation for this event also had to include extra logistics like hair, makeup, and wardrobe!

As a professional speaker, I am constantly finding myself in new and different situations. Some of them are exciting. Some of them are nerve-wracking. My favorite way to challenge myself to be prepared for any situation is by intentionally putting myself in challenging situations. I “work out” these skills twice a week through local Toastmasters Clubs. For me, this is the ongoing preparation that helps me to be always growing. Whether I’m leading a meeting, competing in a speech contest, or presenting a project from one of the advanced manuals, I am practicing being confident and prepared while keeping my cool and delivering my message in a variety of settings.
img_0621As I stood in the back of the studio watching Mitch give his interview, knowing I was next, I remember feeling surprisingly relaxed. I think this was primarily because of the level of preparation that I had put in. I looked ready, I felt ready, and I WAS ready.

How do you prepare? What do you do to get ready for a specific event? What do you do on a regular basis to grow and stretch and better prepare you for whatever opportunity might come next?

be-flexible-gumby13. Be flexible.

The week before the interview we had a pre-show phone meeting with the host and the producer to discuss the specifics like the questions that would be asked, the angle the host wanted to take, and how I could best communicate my message. We spent the majority of that conversation talking about two things:  a personal story of mine that the audience could relate to (that also tied in to the show’s sponsor) and how I could convert the free online personality test on my website into questions I could share in the live interview with the host. NEITHER of those things were brought up during the interview. I was prepared, but when the host asked different questions and took things in a different direction, I had to be flexible. It was up to me to still get my message across and communicate the main idea from the talking points, but I had to do it differently.

This is where preparation becomes so important. Simply memorizing img_0658what I was “supposed to say” would not have helped. But because I was thinking about the audience and had really internalized what I wanted to share with them, I was able to roll with it when things took a different turn. Being flexible is part of being professional.

Having a plan is important. Understanding that things won’t always go according to that plan is even more important. What do you do when an event doesn’t go exactly as you had hoped? Are you able to be flexible? How has ample preparation and knowing your audience helped you?

Strengths and Weaknesses – Part 2 Minimizing Your Weaknesses

Every personality type has some natural weaknesses. (Yes, EVERY one.) We need to be mature enough to be honest with ourselves about the areas in our lives that can be or have become weaknesses. strengthsandweaknesses

Hopefully, you have enough self-awareness to zero in on these areas, but if you are having trouble, find someone who you really trust and have them go over the list of common weaknesses for your color(s) with you. If they have lived with you or worked with you, and are honest with you, chances are good they will be able to show you some areas where you could grow.

Often our weaknesses are a result of strengths that are carried to the extreme and then become weaknesses. For example, in Yellows being able to talk easily and tell stories can turn into dominating conversations and not paying attention to other people. The Red’s natural leadership abilities when not kept in check can become bossy, argumentative and confrontational. Blues are known for their attention to detail, but perfectionism taken too far can mean being hard to please and critical of others and their efforts. The cool, calm, collected nature of the Green personality can lead to indecisiveness and/or laziness if it goes too far.

The first step is recognizing the weaknesses and admitting that you need to make some changes. Sometimes being aware is enough to lead people (people who truly want to grow, mature, and improve) to make some changes like listening better and looking at conversations and situations from the other person’s perspective. weakness

But sometimes, minimizing your weaknesses means taking some action to improve skills in areas that don’t come naturally. For example, as an extrovert, there are certain things I’m good at…and other things that are really hard for me. I love to talk. Speaking and teaching come easy for me; working alone – and writing – that is much harder. When I was starting to write my first book, I was struggling to organize my thoughts and get them written down. I knew I need to work on those areas, so I took a writing class at a community college. I learn best with other people around, and that class helped me work on the organizational skills and technical skills that I needed.

Other people may be the opposite. Perhaps you are great with outlines and spreadsheets and enjoy working on your own, but your challenge is sharing your ideas with other people. Recognize and work on the areas where you struggle. Take a public speaking or interpersonal communication class. Maybe you aren’t very technical or current in certain areas – register for a class on Social Media or for a specific program like Power Point or PhotoShop.

Whether you are trying to impress a current boss, show potential employers that you are committed to working hard, or are trying to improve your own business or personal life, start challenging yourself by developing new skills. Maximizing your strengths may be more fun, but working to minimize weaknesses is also important because fixing these flaws will make you better and stronger in all areas.

img_20150827_155731537If you want some practical help in working on weaknesses, make sure you take the Wired That Way assessment and purchase the color specific Personalities for Business Workbook.

Strengths and Weaknesses – Part 1 Maximizing Your Strengths

Perhaps the single biggest advantage in learning about personality types is being able to understand your own natural strengths and weaknesses. strengthsandweaknessesThere is no one “best” personality type. The purpose of what I teach is to help people better UNDERSTAND themselves and others and to become aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. The goal is not to become a different personality type. It is to learn to MAXIMIZE your STRENGTHS, and MINIMIZE your WEAKNESSES.

Every personality type has both strengths and weaknesses. Today let’s focus on strengths because being positive is more fun. The first step is to IDENTIFY your strengths. If you have ever taken the “long version” test – the Wired That Way Personality Assessment – find it and look it. I love that this tests list the 20 most common strengths for each personality.

Of those 20 traits, which ones wiredthatwaymost sound like you? And more importantly, how can best utilize those natural abilities at home, at work, and at play?

For example, my Yellow side resonates with Inspiring, Promoter, and Talker. My Red side relates to traits like Confident, Resourceful and Leader. In my Toastmasters Club, I serve as the Vice President of Membership. That is the perfect job for me because I get to do things that play to my strengths like recruiting new members, planning special events and heading up the mentoring program.

Our VP of Education is a Blue. This is the perfect job for him because he has to keep track of the progress of 25 members and assign different people to all 14 “roles” that need to be performed at the meeting each week. His Blue Traits like Planner, Detailed, and Chartmaker really shine in that position.

My husband, a Green, recently changed careers and became a high school teacher. The Green strengths of being Adaptable, Controlled, and Balanced come in handy when working with nearly 200 teenagers every day.

Think about your personality’s natural strengths. How are you using them in your personal and professional life?

Do you need more help identifying and understanding the strengths? Take the Wired That Way test if you haven’t already. Also, consider purchasing the color-specific Personalities for Businesimg_20150827_155731537s Workbook. The 43 page workbook is only available by contacting me directly. (The flat rate of $25 includes shipping within the United States.)

Do you have an example of how you utilize your personality’s natural strengths at work or at home? Please share by leaving a comment below!