Remain Calm to Maintain Your Presence and Personal Power

I just finished Amy Cuddy’s new book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. I’ve been a fan of Cuddy’s since I first saw her Ted Talk which focused on how we can use our bodies to feel more confident and powerful. I highly recommend watching it and picking up a copy of her new book.

As I read the book I came across a section where she shared how her reactivity to criticism actually hurt her presence and thus her personal power. Her story reminded me of several huge lessons I learned early in my career at State Auto Insurance.

In the mid 1990s I moved into a new job which was a newly created position in the company. One of my responsibilities was to create new sales reports using Microsoft products so senior management wouldn’t have to wait for the old mainframe reports. They recognized creating and revising reports would be much faster and easier using the new technology.

I had produced a series of sales reports that were distributed to mid-level and senior managers throughout the company. A couple of managers from one office disagreed with some of my numbers and labels but rather than get with me to discuss the matter they sent a scathing memo to my boss and several others, including the CEO.

I remember where I was when I read their memo and I was pissed! Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to tell myself, “Your self-worth is not wrapped up in those reports.” With that I decided not to respond for a few days.

Once my head cleared and my emotions subsided I went through the memo and addressed every criticism in a response to my boss, the Vice President of Sales. Where I made mistakes, I owned up to them and told him what corrections I would make. Most of the report was correct and I made sure to point that out and why I believed that to be the case. My only goal was to make sure my boss knew I was on top of it.

Unbeknownst to me, he shared my response with the CEO. In turn the CEO promptly sent a note to all managers which said, “When I put Brian in this position is wasn’t to make him the resident S.O.B. of the company. If you have issues with what he produces please see me.” When the CEO has your back that’s a good feeling!

But here’s the icing on the cake. During a big market strategy session, with more than 50 of our top brass in attendance, one of the people who authored the memo was presenting information about his territory. As he discussed his market strategy report, which he had prepared himself, he told the assembled group of managers to, “Cross out that number because it’s wrong.” Moments later the company president slipped me a note that read, “Paybacks are a bitch,” and he smiled as I read it.

Between the backing of my boss, the president and our CEO, I knew I had made the right choice to respond rather than react to the situation.

Here are three big lessons I learned that might come in handy for you someday.

  1. Don’t be reactive. As Cuddy points out, you diminish your personal power when you react because you don’t allow yourself to consider the best options. This is especially true the more emotional you are.
  2. Admit mistakes. Dale Carnegie famously said, “When you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” Doing this builds what Robert Cialdini calls your “authority” because you’re viewed as being more honest and trustworthy.
  3. Hold your ground when you’re right. It would have been a big failure on my part to not point out all the areas where I had produced correct information. The last thing you want it to continually be on the defensive if you want to be successful when it comes to persuasion.

Most situations you face are not life and death where thinking too long could be fatal. In the vast majority of the situations you encounter you have time to respond but you need to quickly remind yourself of that fact. Remember, you’ll have more personal power in the moment if you respond rather than react. I hope remembering this post proves as beneficial for you just as pausing did for me.

The Influence of Tracy Austin Lives On

Just over a month ago I wrote a post that was A Tribute to Tracy Austin, a good friend I met 13 years ago as a result of Robert Cialdini being in town to speak at State Auto Insurance.

I was blown away by the response I received on Facebook and LinkedIn to that article. It was the most read blog post in since I started blogging in 2008. I don’t attribute that to anything but Tracy’s positive impact on so many people.

It saddens me to tell you Tracy passed away early in the morning on June 27. His body lost its fight against pancreatic cancer but his influence lives on in the hearts and minds of the thousands and thousands of lives he touched over the years.

In my blog post last month, I let you know something Tracy was well known for – name tags. For nearly a decade Tracy would wear a name tag with a positive word on it. He did this for three reasons.

The first reason Tracy wore a name tag was to influence himself by publicly declaring his attitude for the day. When something hangs in front of us we tend to focus on it which makes it easier to conform to it. A positive word like love makes it a little easier to be loving than it would if you had not focused on it. To be more loving is good for you and those you come in contact with.

The second reason for the name tag was to positively influence others. If someone saw Tracy with gratitude or thankful on his chest it gave them pause to consider being a little more grateful or thankful. That was a good thing them as well as others they might interact with.

The third big reason Tracy wore a name tag was to start positive conversations. As I wore name tags for the past nine months in support of Tracy many people asked me about the word of the day and I saw firsthand how it was a great platform to share.

I’ve thought about how I can honor Tracy’s memory and allow him to continue to influence others. I’ve decided to continue the word of the day using the name tags. So, when you see me wearing a name tag, in addition to the three reasons noted above you’ll also know it’s to keep alive the influence of Tracy Austin, someone who influenced so many in the best way possible.

A Picture of Corporate Giving

Last week I wrote a post To Give or To Give Back? That’s the Question and There’s a Big Difference! I explained there is a difference between giving and giving back.

Giving back implies someone first gave to you. In that case, the principle of reciprocity is at work on you because you feel obligated to give back or do something in return as a result of having been given to first.

When you give the principle of reciprocity is at work on someone else. That’s what causes another person to feel some obligation to give back to you.

Does that make sense? I hope it does because there are big implications for you if you hope to become a master persuader.

I recently watched a Budweiser commercial featuring Adam Driver that’s a perfect example of giving, not giving back. The commercial is called, “A Dream Delivered | Folds of Honor.”

I’m sure you know Budweiser, the best-selling beer in the United States and one of the most well-known brands in the world. However, you may not be familiar with Folds of Honor, an organization that “provides educational scholarships to the children and spouses of our fallen and disabled service members while serving our nation.”

During the nearly four-minute commercial you’re introduced to Haley Grace Williams, the 21-year-old daughter of an army veteran who was injured just before deployment during the first Iraq war. We learn that Haley is struggling to pay for her last year of nursing school.

Adam, a Marine veteran who was also injured just before his deployment, visits the Williams home to deliver the good news that Folds of Honor will cover the last year of nursing school for Haley. Budweiser stepped in to cover all of the other associated school expenses for Haley to allow her to focus 100% on her studies. I encourage you to watch this heartwarming commercial.

Budweiser and Folds of Honor were not giving back; they were giving. Some people might see their actions as a publicity stunt but others will view it simply as an act of kindness.

I don’t see anything wrong an organization letting people know about their kind deeds. Doing so let’s people know more about the company and might make some folks feel better about the company. I think this is especially important at a time when most of what we hear and read has to do with corporate greed.

I also believe advertising good corporate deeds allows people to make better informed decisions about where they will spend their hard-earned dollars. In today’s society, most people want to deal with good corporate citizens but they need to be able to identify them.

If you own a business or simply work for a company, don’t be shy about letting the public know about your giving. If doing so makes people want to do business with your company then it’s a win-win.

To Give or To Give Back? That’s the Question and There’s a Big Difference!

We hear the phrase “giving back” quite often in conjunction with companies when they get involved in community initiatives or support various causes. I think the phrase is technically incorrect and misses a persuasive opportunity for many organizations.

When you hear the phrase “giving back” it implies something was given first and therefore reciprocity was engaged. It’s as if the company felt responsible to do something in return for the community. However, in terms of “giving back” to the community the question is this: what has the community given first? The more I thought about this the more I realized “giving back” is incorrect and organizations should simply talk about their “giving.”

It’s very rare that a community “gives” to a business organization. An organization files all kinds of paperwork and pays various fees in order to conduct business in a community. The organization then goes through different approval processes for building permits, signage, etc. By law the business pays taxes and in return they set up shop and may employ people from the community. It’s strictly a contractual business arrangement but it’s not reciprocity.

I realize to advise businesses to stop saying they are “giving back” and start touting their “giving” will bother some people. It goes against tradition and it’s very much in vogue to say you’re “giving back.” Again, technical or not, the business isn’t giving because community give first.

I believe good corporate citizenship is good business because people like to see business involvement in their communities. Good corporate citizenship makes individuals want to do business with the organization and that benefits the bottom line.

It’s really the business that’s giving – engaging reciprocity – because there’s no guarantee anyone will respond in some positive way towards the business because of their good community deeds. I don’t think a business should give to the community just to try to drum up customers but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a business entity alerting people as to their giving.

If a company supports a local school, donates to local causes, allows employees to volunteer time for community projects or does something else to help, even though they don’t have to, that’s great because it benefits people and the community as a whole. That’s giving, not giving back, and there’s nothing wrong with a business letting local residents know what they’re doing. Do they hope it engages reciprocity? Absolutley.

So, here’s my advice to businesses and business owners – stop talking about “giving back” and start telling people about your giving. Doing so will be correct and might engage a little reciprocity along the way.

If You Haven’t Seen It, It’s New to You

Some of you reading this might remember the NBC commercial with the tagline, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you.” Almost 20 years ago that commercial had one goal – entice viewers to watch summer reruns. Catching a tv show you missed by watching summer reruns might be a foreign concept for many people today because virtually all television shows and movies can be viewed on demand. But 20 years ago it was your only hope of catching the shows you missed.

The NBC commercial came to mind as I listened to Roger Dooley’s Brainfluence Podcast. During episode #138, The Customer Loyalty Loop, Roger was interviewing Noah Fleming and Noah referred to Schlitz beer back in 1919.

Noah shared the story of a marketing consultant, Claude Hopkins, who was walking the floor of a Schlitz plant and saw some really interesting things happening. When he asked why Schlitz wasn’t talking about those things in their advertising their response was basically because all beer makers did those things and they were nothing special. Claude’s response was, “Yeah, but nobody’s talking about them,” so Schlitz built a marketing campaign around those cool things.

Sometimes marketing is no more than sharing what you do in a compelling way. A more recent example would be Liberty Mutual’s commercials that highlight how some auto insurance doesn’t give you enough reimbursement to replace your car when it’s totaled. They’re correct and the commercials touch a nerve with the buying public.

Liberty tells you their insurance will replace your car. But here’s the catch – you have to pay extra for that coverage and almost every insurance company offers the same coverage for a price. Kudos to Liberty though because they’ve talked about something all of their competitors do but in a compelling way that makes Liberty stand out. No doubt many more people have contacted agents who represent Liberty Mutual for a quote because of those commercials.

So what’s the point? Whether it’s NBC summer reruns, Schlitz beer or Liberty Mutual’s new car replacement, what each company was touting may not be new but those offerings are new to you if you’ve not encountered them before.

When something is viewed as new, novel or unavailable elsewhere that’s an application of the principle of scarcity. This psychological concept tells us people value things more when they’re rare and it compels us to act in ways we wouldn’t normally. Once people realize they can get something like new car replacement from any insurance company the Liberty advantage will disappear because it will no longer be viewed the same way.

When you’re marketing your products or services look for ways to share the novelty of what you’re offering. That novelty might not be one thing, it might be a combination of things, but either way you stand a much better chance of gaining people’s attention and making the sale.

Pre-suasion: Unity Means Together is Better

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to Robert Cialdini’s 7th principle of influence, unity. When I introduced unity, I said it goes beyond liking because it taps into a shared identity with another person. Unity goes deeper than simply having something in common with someone. In his latest book, Pre-suasion, Cialdini writes, “The relationships that lead people to favor another most effectively are not those that allow them to say, ‘Oh, that person is like us.’ They are ones that allow people to say, ‘Oh, that person is of us.’”

Simply put; me and you aren’t as strong as us. How do we obtain or build a shared identity so we can tap into unity? Acting together and being together are two ways to accomplish this.

When we do things with each other – act together – those shared experiences help make us who are we are. In turn we share that identity with others who’ve been shaped in a similar way. Here are some examples:

Marines go through the crucible of training together. Those who see actual combat experience something very few people can relate to. Those experiences make the men and women who serve unique in many ways and it forms a deep bond.

Sports teams practice and play together. When I played football in high school we had “two-a-day” practices in the hot August sun. Something else we did was play under the lights on Friday nights. Both experiences forged deep bonds among the players. I’ve been out of school for 35 years and still have regular contact with the guys who were captains with me on our senior year. There is an “us” mentality with that group which includes our head coach.

“Hell week” for fraternities and sororities are difficult and not everyone makes it through. Failure to make it through means you don’t get it in the frat or sorority you pledged. But when you do get through hell week you can look at your brother or sister and know they understand you in a deeper way because of the experience.

Being together could entail something like vacationing together, meeting someone at a resort, attending a sporting event or some other event. For example, if you were one of the 400,000 who attended Woodstock in August, 1969, you’ll have a shared identity with anyone you meet who was also there.

Quite often businesses will arrange trips for top performers or give tickets to sporting events. The hope is that being together, especially if something amazing happens, will imprint memories that will tap into unity.

Here’s a personal example. Last year I was at the Ohio State – Tulsa football game when a huge storm rolled in. As it began to pour, and halftime approached, people quickly left the stadium for shelter. Because we were already soaked to the bone Jane and I along with our friend Dan stayed to watch the final plays of the half. It looked like it was going to be uneventful until an Ohio State player intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the pouring rain. We were going nuts and I turned to Dan and said, “We’ll never forget this moment!” as we gave each other high fives and hugged.

For you to effectively utilize the principle unity in your persuasion attempts focus on two things:

  1. Creating opportunities to do or experience things together, and
  2. Do some research on the person you’ll attempt to persuade because you might discover something that alerts you to a shared identity.

Remember, unity is about togetherness – not you and me – us.

A Tribute to Tracy Austin

This post is different. It’s not so much about influence as it is a tribute to a good friend – Tracy Austin – who is battling pancreatic cancer. The cancer is winning the battle against Tracy’s flesh but not his spirit. It seems as though cancer may take his life soon but cancer is not the victor because Tracy’s spirit cannot be destroyed. His life will go on because of the thousands of people he’s impacted. In turn, those people will impact tens of thousands more, and so on. It occurs to me that in the same way that cancer spreads and takes lives, Tracy’s impact will spread and inspire richer, fuller lives!

I met Tracy Austin in 2004 through Robert Cialdini. Dr. Cialdini was a keynote speaker at several State Auto Insurance events that summer and Tracy came to hear him. He was the guest of the late Dr. Paul Otte, State Auto board member and past president of Franklin University.

Tracy’s association with Franklin University began in the early 1990s as a student. His experience was so good he wanted to give back and ended up working there. In his 20+ years with the university he impacted thousands upon thousands of students and faculty members.

If you know Tracy then you’re his friend, because he’s one of those rare people for whom it cannot be any other way. You can’t know Tracy and not like him. And I’m sure he never met anyone whom he didn’t consider a friend. That’s just who he is.

Our friendship began with that initial meeting in the summer of 2004 and manifested itself over lunches every two or three months from that point forward. We were both creatures of habit so nearly every lunch was on a barstool at Club 185 in the German Village section of Columbus, Ohio. During those meals we talked about leadership, training, public speaking, coaching and family.

Tracy was well known around town because he would wear a nametag with a random word each day. Actually, the words were never random. Rather, they were carefully chosen because each word was a public statement of Tracy’s attitude for the day. As you might imagine, they were often conversation starters, too. Nametags were his thing and everyone knew that.

Tracy retired from Franklin a year ago and because he was no longer working downtown, we missed a few lunches. Near the end of October Tracy posted on Facebook that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

I’ve had other friends go through cancer, but for whatever reason felt compelled to do something more for Tracy. I immediately went to the store, and bought 100 nametags. I sat down with my daughter, Abigail, and together we came up with 50 positive words. I filled out one set for me and one set for Tracy which I mailed to him. Each day I texted him in the early morning to let him know the word for that day and we’d both wear that nametag. We also posted to Facebook and people started to follow his journey in the fight against cancer.

Wearing the nametags has been interesting. I was often surprised at how few people would comment when I was wearing a word like Prayerful, Embrace, Joyful, etc. When the conversations did happen they were always encouraging and I would simply ask, “If you think of Tracy please say a prayer for him.”

Beyond our direct friendship a series of wonderful things happened for me because of Tracy. After meeting him, I met Marcy Depew at a coaching event Tracy led. Marcy and I struck up a friendship that’s included many coffee and lunch conversations.

Marcy introduced me to Merri Bame. Merri and I hit it off because we both train in the field of communication. As you might imagine a friendship ensued and we’ve enjoyed many coffee and lunches together, too.

Merri introduced me to Amanda Thomas McMeans. Amanda asked me to speak at a quarterly networking event she hosted. After speaking I attended one of her events as a guest and met a young man named Dan Stover.

Dan and I struck up a deep friendship that has included Dan spending some holidays with my family. Eventually Dan introduced me to Steve Anderson, the founder of Integrated Leadership Systems (ILS), the company Dan works for. Meeting Steve led to a sales consulting opportunity for me but more importantly, ILS ended up hiring my wife, Jane, to help secure speaking engagements. Working there has truly been life-changing for Jane.

It’s very likely that none of those good things and friendships would have happened had I not met Tracy. I have no doubt that hundreds, if not thousands, of people could share similar stories about Tracy’s impact on their life.

We would all be fortunate not only to have the kind of impact Tracy has had but to be as loved as he is. Whenever the day comes and he passes, it will indeed be sad for all of us who will not see his smile, hear his laugh or be lifted up by his word of the day. But, if we take what Tracy has given us and pass it along we will multiply his goodness and cancer will be the only loser.

I opened by saying this wasn’t so much about influence as it was a tribute. As I conclude I know it’s actually both, because as I’ve written and you’ve read there’s no doubt about Tracy’s influence on so many of us. The best tribute we can give Tracy and his wife, Karen, is to take the lessons of his life and pay them forward.

Pre-suasion: Unity is about We and Me

My father is a Marine. He served from 1962-1967, having done a couple of tours in Vietnam. You might be thinking, “No, he was a Marine,” but you’d be wrong. If you’ve ever met anyone who served in that branch they always say, “I am,” not, “I was,” because they’re Marines for life.

Something I’ve always noticed about my father is this; when he meets another Marine, particularly one who has seen combat, you’d think he was closer to them than me, his own flesh and blood. My father wrote about his Marine experience and opened with this:

“Once while with friends, I was asked the most significant thing I had ever done in my life. My answer was quick and to the point, ‘Being a Marine and leading men in combat!’ My wife Jo, whom I dearly love, looked sad. I then said, ‘Marrying you was the second best.’”

His experience is a perfect example of Robert Cialdini’s seventh principle of influence – unity. Unity, a recent addition to Cialdini’s long-standing six principles of influence, goes well beyond the principle of liking.

Liking tells us it’s easier for us to say yes to people we know and like. One way to engage liking is by referring to what you have in common with another person. Commonalities could include having the same hobbies, growing up in the same town, attending the same college, or cheering for the same sports team to name just a few.

Unity goes beyond liking because it taps into having a shared identity with another person, which is much deeper than simply having something in common. Cialdini puts it this way, “The relationships that lead people to favor another most effectively are not those that allow them to say, ‘Oh, that person is like us.’ They are ones that allow people to say, ‘Oh, that person is of us.’”

I would imagine people who attended the same college and played the same sport, even if they played at different times, feel a very strong sense of unity too. For example, in Columbus, Ohio, there’s nothing bigger than Ohio State football. If someone played ball for the Buckeyes they’re part of a lifelong brotherhood. I’m sure former players at Notre Dame, USC, Alabama and other programs feel the same way.

Other examples might include:

  • Being part of a fraternity or sorority.
  • Connecting with distant relatives.
  • Growing up in the same neighborhood.
  • Winning the same award (Grammy, Oscar, Nobel Prize).

In a sense, each of these makes you part of a certain club or class that sets you apart. When you engage another person on the level of unity it’s as if you’ve connected on liking but on steroids. It’s much more powerful because, as Cialdini writes, “We is the shared me.”

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a jock, Marine, frat boy or award winning actor/actress to connect on unity. In Pre-suasion Cialdini sites some activities that can lead to a sense of unity and that’s what we will explore next week.

Persuasive Coaching: Conclusion

This is the final installment of the persuasive coaching series. After an introduction we looked at the need for the right relationship with the right coach, building rapport, gaining trust, good questioning, and how to be a listening STAR.

Coaching can be an incredibly effective way for people to grow professionally and personally. Do people need a coach? Most don’t think they do. It reminds me of people who go to the gym but never work with a personal trainer. Too many have just enough knowledge and self-confidence to think they don’t need a fitness trainer. However, those who hire a trainer usually make more progress and do so much faster because they get expert advice, increase their motivation, and establish an accountability relationship. Why do you think the greatest athletes in the world continue to work with coaches? Because no matter how great they are a good coach can help them get even better.

As a coach, you need to help those you coach by giving them expertise they might not have access to otherwise. With trained eyes and ears you may notice things the coachee is blind to. Your expert advice might be what’s needed to break a bad pattern or limiting belief. After all, if someone keeps doing what they’ve always done they can’t expect to change for the better.

Motivation is also key because we can all get stuck in a rut every now and then. It’s easy to lose the passion we had when we first met our spouse, started a new career, or embarked on a new hobby. Having someone to help us rekindle that spark and maintain it is huge because it can become an important source of energy that’s used to reach your goals. It’s also especially important to help coachees persevere through tough times.

Accountability is the kick in the ass many of us need to follow through. Knowing someone will ask us if we did what we said taps into the principle of consistency. As I noted in previous posts, most people want to feel good and look good so they work hard to keep their word. When a coach asks, “So by next week you’ll do X?” and we answer, “Yes,” most of us will go out of our way to do X. If the coaching has been good and is moving us towards our goals then we’ll be thankful for the accountability.

I’ll close with this in regards to coaching and accountability; the late Tom Landry, Hall of Fame football coach for the Dallas Cowboys, put it this way, “My job is to get men to do the things they don’t want to do so they can accomplish what they’ve always wanted to accomplish.” If you can motivate people to do what they need to so they can reach their dreams then the sky is the limit for you as coach.

Persuasive Coaching: Listening STARS

Last week we explored the necessity of asking good questions if you want to be a persuasive coach. You’ll recall the right questions can be effective because they tap into the principle of consistency. It won’t do much good to ask lots of questions if you don’t spend focused effort listening. This week we’ll explore five tips to help you grow in this area.

There are several levels of listening and the two you should shoot for as a coach are attentive and empathic.

Empathetic listening is where you seek to put yourself in the place of the other person. You not only understand where they’re coming from, you have a strong sense of how they feel. Empathy is different than sympathy.

Imagine someone tells you they lost their job. You might feel sympathy for them because you know intellectually it must be difficult and scary. The person who empathizes wouldn’t just acknowledge those feelings, to the best of their ability they’d allow themselves to feel the anger, hurt, and scariness that come with losing a job.

Empathetic listening is something most of us shy away from because it often entails feeling emotions we’d prefer to avoid. After all, who want to feel bad if they can avoid it?

Attentive listening allows you to understand where the other person is coming from but not necessarily feeling all the feelings. If you can’t empathize then attentive listening is the next best thing because at least the other person has been heard and you’re still in a better position to coach them.

How can we listen attentively and perhaps empathetically? Most people never consider how they could be a better listener and very few have view listening as a skill that can be improved. When I teach classes on communication I often share a method to help people become Listening STARS.

STARS is an acronym that stands for: Stop, Tone, Ask, Restate, Scribble. We’ll take a brief look at these five simple steps which, if put into practice, will make you much a more effective listener and better coach.

Stop. First, you need to stop whatever you’re doing when someone is talking to you. Doing so conveys respect and makes the other person feel important. Additionally, you will catch more of what he or she is saying because multi-tasking is a myth. You cannot listen when you’re texting, typing an email, or doing any other activity that taxes your cognitive abilities. Many studies show the best you can do is switching quickly from one task to another which means there are times you’re not listening.

Tone. Paying attention to tone is important because it often conveys feelings. When I ask my wife Jane how she’s doing and I hear, “Fine,” in a short, terse tone I know she’s not fine and wants me to ask how she’s really doing. Much like body language, tone can indicate how someone is really feeling.

Ask. This reminds us to ask clarifying questions. Normally I don’t advise people to interrupt someone when they’re talking but the exception is to get clarification on something that was shared to prevent miscommunication. Another advantage of asking clarifying questions is doing so shows you’re actively listening.

Restate. It’s one thing to think you understand another person but it’s altogether different to actually understand them. Never assume. Instead, take a moment to restate in your own words what you think he or she is trying to convey. If you realize you don’t either ask more questions or have them to tell you their story again.

Scribble. If you can take notes do so. When you do this don’t try to write the next great American novel because you’ll miss too much if you’re too focused on writing. Try to bullet point key concepts that will trigger more detailed thoughts when you reread your notes.

Each of these five steps is simply a choice but don’t fool yourself – listening is hard work. To improve it will take time, energy, and patience. Like most skills you need to succeed in business and life, listening needs to be worked on continually. It’s not easy but the personal and professional benefits are huge.