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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Confidence is the ultimate sexy

Kia Orana (Hello, welcome in Cook Islands Maori).

I recently visited the tiny island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. There I saw a local show highlighting the culture of Aitutaki in dance, singing, drumming and great humour.

Watching the tiny kids dance was a highlight and it’s fabulous to see that the gorgeous Polynesian culture here is being maintained and appreciated. The most interesting thing for me however was an older female solo dancer later on in the night.
As she walked to the middle of the raked sand performance area I noted that by “traditional” standards she wouldn’t have been someone that I would have rated as show-stoppingly gorgeous. As she started to dance I felt a shudder go through me as I watched her less than flat stomach start to roll and gyrate. Instantly I placed myself in her position and knew that were I clothed as such, and dancing as such, I’d be wrought with fears of what people were thinking of my stomach, my thighs, my arms.

Mere seconds into her performance however I realized that the entire crowd had hushed – the first time for the evening. All eyes were on this solo dancer. Unlike many performances, she maintained next to no eye contact with the audience - she was lost in the dance. A knowing smile beamed from her lips and with every hip sashay, booty shake or divine hand movement she exuded the utmost confidence and conviction. She was incredible. Right then and there she was perhaps the single most gorgeous and sexy creature I’d ever seen.

How did she go from someone I wouldn’t have looked at twice to someone utterly captivating? Confidence. Skills. Conviction.

How does a young real estate agent go from someone you’d be hesitant to lend your car to, to someone you’d feel confident handling the sale of your biggest asset? Confidence. Skills. Conviction.

How can you start to inspire more ease in your clients and more desire to be around you as a business person (or even just a person for that matter!) You know the answer.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I don’t know?

I don’t care how smart, talented, trained or educated you are, in your professional life time and time again, you’re going to be hit with questions to which you don’t know the answers.

A real estate agent showing a house will be asked about the energy efficiency of an appliance, or an accountant will be asked about an obscure tax law, a police officer will be questioned about a portion of legislation they’re not familiar with.

And many of us will feel a sinking feeling when we’re asked that tricky question. No one likes to say “I don’t know”.

So my advice – don’t.

Instead say… “Is that important to you?”

For example, a real estate agent showing a house is asked what type of insulation is in the roof. Reply – is that important to you? Oftentimes the is “not really” – people are just filling space with conversation and asking may save you a random fact finding hunt over something of no importance to the person asking the question. If however the answer was – Yes, my son has allergies to XXX you could reply – ok, I’ll find out and let you know and you’re further educated as to why the person wants that information and can more specifically track down the correct answer.

Or perhaps try… “Great question, let me find out for you”

Rather than, I don’t know, this leaves the person with a little pat on the back (for a great question) and provided you do what you say you’re going to (find out the answer) you’re golden.

You might try… “Judy in our organisation is our specialist on that, let me find out her thoughts”.

An easy way to retain credibility and to make the person feel as though you’re valuing their question by seeking counsel from someone who is a “specialist”.

So let’s ban “I don’t know”, but recognise that the other fabulous thing about feeling the “I don’t know” dread is that next time you’re asked that question – you’ll know!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sweep the floor with service…

As I write this I’m visiting the spectacular Cook Islands. We’ve just had a visit from the complex’s handyman as our air-conditioning was making a bit of a strange noise.

He arrived, fixed the problem and went on his way. I thought it was strange as he disappeared as he didn’t even say he was done and was leaving.
But then he returned, and where his ladder had been, he started to sweep. There had been some minute dust and debris knocked as he was doing his work and he swept the floor beautifully clean. With a smile and a wave he was then done.

Simple, thoughtful service that made a lasting impression. His sweeping, was a clean sweep in the service stakes on this trip so far.

In my industry: real estate, this might be as simple as offering to take your shoes off at any front door you come to. A hairdresser might offer every client a drink while they’re having their hair done. A waitress might take time to get to know a child by name.

What can you do today that charms, surprises and delights?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attention Detention

This morning my husband was getting my little girl out of bed as I walked past the door to her room half asleep and groggy. Moments later – tears.
Confused I walked back into the room only to discover I was in fact the cause of the tears.

As I’d walked past the doorway my little girl had seen me and had sent a huge smile my way. Without any acknowledgement from me as I disappeared – tears ensued.

After revelling in my parenting fail and smothering my tiny one in masses of kisses it hit me that

I’m guilty of doing a similar thing in the workplace at times.

Despite knowing that how many people need praise and recognition in a workplace – I’m sometimes a blur of emails and tasks and instructions.

When was the last time you stopped to acknowledge someone in your workplace? A smile, a moment or a word of praise missed might not result in tears in your workplace (who knows it might if missed too often), but think of the added benefits to the working atmosphere if you remembered to do it more often.

Who needs your attention right now?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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