Simply Solar

Anything anyone anywhere wants to know about the solar energy industry.


5 Keys to Offer Great Advices

Do people usually come to you to ask for advices?  Does it happen that somehow you feel like they don’t buy in your advice and then you wonder why they come to ask for advice if they are not ready or willing to listen? This situation might happen at home with your significant other, at work with your colleague or even with your friend. They come and say please I need your advice in this and then the two of you start arguing and what was meant to be a source of help is now a fight where each party want to have the last word.

I attended a webinar from Brendon Burchard and watch one of his video where he points out the 5 keys to offer great advices. Here is how it goes:

  1. Be present. When someone comes to you and say: I need your advice, the first thing they are asking you is to give them your time, to focus on them, and to connect with them. If you do want to give that person in need an advice, then stop everything that you are doing, stop thinking about your personal stuff from home or work, and listen actively to that person’s problem.
  2. Acknowledge and appreciate. Too often when asked for advice, people want to immediately correct or criticize the person in need. What you want to do is to listen to how the person really feels and acknowledge. Don’t try to change or transform the person feeling right away. Let them know you understand their actual situation and feelings.
  3. Ask questions. Remember in the first point I said you have to be an active listener? You don’t want to reflect the image of someone who just look at the person with no return or feedback. you might want to give some “Uh Mmm!!” to show that you are not bored or asleep and most important you want to ask questions that are solution oriented. Some people even when they come and say the want your advice, most of the time it might be that they just want to talk and express themselves, some other time is that they want someone who will help them find the solution on their own. So ask questions that help the person understands his/her situation.
  4. Make the person feel better. Understand that people don’t come to you because they need someone who will yell at them or who has no sympathy for what they’re going through. The best to show sympathy and make the person feels good is to share with him/her a related story. If you went through the same situation, share it with the person and tell the person how you handled it. If a friend or relative of yours went through the similar situation, share the story. Most of the time, people want to know that they are not alone in that situation and want to know how the others made it through.
  5. Give your advice. Finally, you want to give your advice in a very directive way. When someone comes and ask you for advice, they believe you can help. So when you give your advice you want to give it a way that justify your choice as the advisor. Based on your experience, your knowledge, your understanding of the situation, tell the person in a directive way what to do.

We all have people one day or the other that comes to you for an advice and the time we give for that advice and the way and professionalism that we give it can definitely change the person life.

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How is Your Social Capital?

The way we do business or even think about business has changed. You have a budget and financial plan, a task list, a project plan, a diet plan, no matter what your goal is and the plan associated to do it, the main question you have to ask yourself today is: “WHAT IS YOUR PEOPLE PLAN?” In today’s competitive market, products out there are the same, people come up with new product everyday, what makes the difference is who you or your company is affiliate to, associate to, volunteer with, partner with. Yes, that’s true for business, and it’s true for your personal branding as well. It’s true also for your personal goal whether it’s to find a significant other, someone to go and practice with…The one million dollar question is WHO DO YO”U KNOW?

Yesterday I was on Skype with a great friend of mine who just got an executive position at a bank in London and we were doing some catch up because we didn’t the time to really talk last time at my wedding. As we were talking and I told him about the new products my company Act2be International, LLC was getting ready to launch in Africa he started telling me about some of his close relatives who have executive positions in the government and major banks in countries like Gabon, Cameroon, and Central African Republic. He started giving me some names and we dug in the feasibility of the connection.

Here are some tips to start investing on your social capital:

  • Define your goal and have a clear knowledge of what you need from people.
  • Go over your cell phone and mailing list and start writing the names of people of your network.
  • Rate those from 1 to 5 stars which represents how strong your relationship to the person is.
  • Start sending a nudge to the person and request a catch up meeting either on phone, Skype, chat, at dinner…
  • Ask yourself how you can help the person. What valuable service can you provide to the person? Why would that person connect or reconnect with you?
  • Follow up and keep in touch with the person (birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…)
  • Don’t forget so say PLEASE and THANK YOU for each service to everyone, no matter how important is the service and no matter what the person social rank is.

I strongly believe everyone first job today should be to work oneself by developing a personal brand, by understanding what make you unique, by having something of value to offer to others, and by developing and investing in the people on your network: your social capital.


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How I Strongly Connected With a Star In Just 2 minutes

I attended the Toastmasters International District 31 conference few weeks ago and met the 2002 World champion of public speaking, the “natural born” speaker Dwayne G Smith.

Of course at this kind of event you may not be sitting next to such a star of the public speaking industry if you are not part of the key people who put the event together, but at breakout sessions you can always approach them, and discuss with them. But well, would discussing with them be enough to strongly connect with them? Probably not for the main reason that just like you, everyone else present at the event would love to connect with the star. So you face the challenge that the star won’t probably have too much time for you and second with all the person he’ll be talking with that day, he probably won’t remember your face. So how did I manage a strong connection with someone who was at the centerpiece of an event in just 2 minutes?

  • First, I started with a praise. Sincerely praising others is the 1-2 steps of building strong relationships. Dale Carnegie said if you want to win friends and influence people you have to show genuine
    Max and Dwayne G. Smith

    Max and Dwayne G. Smith

    interest and praise. In my case, I knew I wanted to connect with Dwayne G. Smith so the first thing I did was to attend to his workshop. Dwayne was lighting the room full of people on his topic entitled “The Seven Steps To Speaking Success” After the workshop, I went to him and presented my simple but powerful THANK YOU. Yes, I didn’t have to but to connect I first had to give my feedback for the great presentations he offered the people at the workshop.

  • Second, I asked for a favor. Well of course when you see a star or person you respect and kind of see as your role model, then you definitely reach out for your camera and try to have a picture with him. Now think about it….when you take a picture of you camera did you really connect with the person? Will you be able to make a follow up? Probably not. I went the other way around. I didn’t have my camera so I asked him if he had one. He said yes, so I told him that I’d love to get a picture with him, but then I had a favor to ask him. I said:”I don’t have my picture and would cherish to take a picture of you. Would you mind giving your camera to someone so he can take us a picture and then you email that picture back to me?” He said yes! Took the picture and gave me his business card in return.
  • Finally, I followed up. After the week-end, I sent him an email describing who I was, where we met, and why he gave me his business card. Do you still have the picture? I was asking in the email. Guess what happened? He emailed back, sent me the picture along with his contact information and then I asked for a phone meeting request which he accepted. We spent about 45 minutes on the phone and he was giving me private lessons on how to enter the speaking business and be successful. Of course, at the end of the phone conversation I asked if he’d mind me giving him a call if I need some help or advice and of course he said he doesn’t mind because of the already established strong connection.

Dwayne G Smith is World Champion of Public Speaking (2002) Author of A World Of Difference: From Shy and Quiet, To World Champion Speaker

Try this technique and let me know how it worked for you.

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