Tag: Review

The quick and easy way to effective speaking

I have read The quick and easy way to effective speaking by Dale Carnegie. The book is outdated in examples, copyright is in 1962. Still, there are useful tips about public speaking in the book. Here are some of my notes based on the book.

Every talk has one of four major goals. Pick the one that suits you, the audience and the occasion.
1. To persuade or get action.
2. To inform.
3. To impress and convince.
4. To entertain.

Notes about preparation and delivery.
• Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.
• Be sure you are excited about your subject.
• Be eager to share your talk with your listeners.
• The listeners shall feel that what you say is important to them.
• Talk in terms of your listeners’ interests.

Ask yourself how knowledge of your subject will help your audience solve their problems and achieve their goals. In other words, “What’s in it for them?” Then proceed to show them that, and you will have their full attention.

If the purpose of your talk is to inform then make the talk easy to listen to and easy to remember.

If your aim is to convince, remember that it is more effective to stir emotions than to arouse thoughts. Feelings are more powerful than cold ideas.

The book mentions the classic recipe for a talk: First tell them what you are going to tell them; then tell them; then tell them what you told them.

If you ever get to introduce a speaker, follow the T-I-S formula:
+ T stands for topic (of the speech).
+ I stands for importance, connect topic and audience.
+ S stands for speaker, introduce him/her.

The Tao of Coaching

The Tao of Coaching by Max Landsberg is an excellent book about coaching as a leader. The tagline on the book says Boost your effectiveness at work by inspiring and developing those around you which sums up coaching from the leaders perspective.

The books is described like this:

This book offers information on how to unlock the potential of people by applying the techniques of coaching. Coaching is the key to realising the potential of your employees, your organisation and yourself.

This book provides the techniques and tools of coaching that are vital for those who want to develop a team of people who will perform effectively and who will relish working with them.

The techniques and tools of coaching are integrated in the story about Alex and his career as manager. That makes it easier since you see them used in context.

The book lists these reasons why a manager shall use coaching:
• Create more time for yourself
• Achieve better results
• Build your interpersonal skills

If you want a great introduction to coaching as a leader, and a book you later can use as manual, I suggest that you buy The Tao of Coaching.

Your Best Year Yet

This review is about Your Best Year Yet – The 10 questions that will change your life forever, written by Jinny Ditzler. I came across this book since it should be the topic for a breakfast seminar at CoachCompanion. The book felt right and I ordered the book at once, before being at the seminar.

I like this book a lot, it is well written and has a clear concept. The book is in three parts, first an introduction, then a part with a chapter for each of the ten questions and finally a workshop with forms for each of the ten questions. It says ‘three hours to change your life’, that is what the workshop part will take you.

You can go straight to working with the ten questions but I found it very useful to read part one and two before that. In part two with chapters per question you will get an understanding of why these questions, why in this order and what will you gain in the process. There are also examples for each question that helps you get started.

The strongest motivation for doing Best Year Yet is that you find the way to live your life so it shows what really matters to you – so you are true to yourself.

These are the ten questions, you start with looking back on your past year and then start working on the coming year:
1. What did I accomplish?
2. What were my biggest disappointments?
3. What did I learn?
4. How do I limit myself, and how can I stop?
5. What are my personal values?
6. What roles do I play in my life?
7. Which role is my major focus for the next year?
8. What are my goals for each role?
9. What are my top ten goals for the next year?
10. How can I make sure I achieve them?

Question four is about how we limit ourselves and how to stop that.

Our limiting beliefs about ourselves become like brick walls in front of us, keeping us from even thinking about how to make the big changes or set the big goals.

Question five is about personal values, that chapter has an interesting part about life pursuits. Which one is yours?
I What can I do to prove myself? To be good enough?
II What can I do with the gifts I have?

Question six is about our roles in life. Jinny points out the importance of taking care of ourselves:

You must take care of yourself so you can take care of others and carry out your responsibilities.

In question eight about goals, Jinny connects back to values from question five:

Value-driven goals lead to behaviour and performance which are true expressions of who we are.

Summary
I highly recommend this book if you want a toolbox that helps you improve your life. Learn from the past and more about yourself, all in order to make the next year your best year yet.

Read more:
Best Year Yet, FREE Online Workshop
Your Best Year Yet! – the introduction
Best Year Yet – website
Know Yourself Change Yourself, a great book about beliefs and values.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

Wherever you go there you are

A while back I finished a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever you go there you are – Mindfulness Mediation in Everyday Life. I love Jon’s low key style. The book which consists of very short chapters, most of them only a few pages long, covers different aspects of mindfulness and meditation. There are also practices in many of the chapters. The easiest way to describe the book is to take part of the introduction:

In this book Jon Kabat-Zinn maps out a somple path for cultivating mindfulness in one’s own life. It speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.

Here comes some quotes from the book, texts that hooked me:

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgementally.

Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It is about feeling the way you feel.

Non-doing simply means letting things be and allowing them to unfold in their own way.

Meditation means cultivating a non-judging attitude towards what comes up in the mind, come what may.

Being whole and simultaneously part of a larger whole, we can change the world simply by chaing ourselves.

There is no successful escaping from yourself in the long run, only transformation.

And finally this reassuring quote:

You are already perfect.

See also:
Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness for Beginners
Arriving at your own Door

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Finding Your Howl

As I mention in Lightworker I woke up one morning and had two words ringing in my head. The first one, ochoa, is Basque and means wolf. That did not ring any bell back then but today it makes sense. I came across Finding Your Howl over at ChangeThis.

To find our howl we have to pay a price… This process may feel like a death and may at its most intense terrify us and at its least unsettle us. This is the price of finding our howl, our own one of a kind authentic voice, and there is no way around it…

The only way out of our self-erected prison is to go through it completely. There is no quick escape, every square inch of our imprisonment must be touched and lived through before it can be abandoned.

About a week ago I had the phrase “Find my voice” spinning in my head. Like many I am searching for my authentic voice, my own howl. We hope it will be easy but as the e-book, says, it comes with a price.

This was originally posted at Zen And More, another blog of mine.

Arriving at your own Door

I am reading Arriving at your own Door – 108 lessons in mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The book consists of qoutes (verses) that are compiled from Coming to our senses: Healing ourselves and the world through mindfulness. On the back of the book it says:

A quiet trust in awareness sometimes requires inspiration and gentle reminders. These 108 insightful verses offer just that. Compiled from Coming to Our Senses these pointers and reminders will provide much needed encouragement for cultivating greater mindfulness in every aspect of daily life.

I like this little book and read a lesson or two almost every day. They are great reminders that help me get better at mindfulness.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Mindfulness for Beginners

Mindfulness for Beginners is a set with two CD’s with Jon Kabat-Zinn, each CD lasts around 70 minutes. The first CD is an introduction to mindfulness, awareness and to MBSR, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The second CD has five guided meditations.

The first CD has sessions about:
• The only moment we have
• What is mindfulness
• Awareness, a sixth sense
• Being present in our lives
• Mind and heart
• An ethical foundation
• Non-judgementing, patience, beginner’s mind, trust
• Non-striving, acceptance, letting go
• Thinking and awareness

I think this is a great introduction to mindfulness plus that you get some meditations.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

What is Zen?

I have read the book What is Zen? by Alan Watts. The book contains a selection of Alan’s talks and the four parts are about:
• A simple way, A difficult way
• Zen reconsidered
• Space
• Zen mind

I like the book, it is easy to read yet it makes you think and feel. My purpose with buying the book was to learn more about Zen, to be able to put the pieces together in my own view of Zen and mindfulness.

In the first part Alan writes that “Zen is a method of rediscovering the experience of being alive”. He brings up the concept of “ten thousand formations, one suchness”, there is simply one energy.

From the second part I select some quotes about the present:

If you understand fully that it is from the present that everything happens, then the only place for you to be, the only place for you to live, is here, right now.

If your plans are flexible and adaptable, and if you are here when things happen, you will always stay balanced.

Alan also writes “Anything that you can do without a great deal of thought becomes a perfect form of meditation”. That is the same as is said in The 5-minute Meditator.

The third part about the book is about space, how empty space is considered more important in the East than in the West. Alan mentions that Zen represents a simplified way of life and that the personality of Zen people is the uncluttered mind. He also says that “The beginning of Zen is overcoming the fear of death”. That is what made the samurai interested in Zen, as a way to become fearless.

The fourth and last part is about Zen Mind. Alan says that “The understanding of Zen is intuitive”. A final quote from the book:

The whole point of Zen is to suspend the rules we have superimposed on things and to see the world as it is – as all of a piece.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Do Less, Achieve More

I have finished Do Less, Achieve More by Chin-Ning Chu. The subtitle is Discover the hidden power of giving in. The book is divided into three parts, each one dealing with one of the three secrets which are:

  1. Fine-tune your actions
  2. Put your mind at ease
  3. Discover the divine power

Under finetuning your actions is a list of 18 tips. There is also this gem about time management, it is worth repeating that:

Time management is about managing ourselves, not about managing time.

A part in this section is called ‘Life is full’, looking back we have always filled our 24 hours. But did we do what we really wanted to do?

Success is not about having more. It is about fine-tuning your understanding of what you are willing to give up in order to get what you really want.

The conclusion for fine-tuning: Trade what does not work for what you really want.

The second section, put your mind at ease, is about accepting divine guidance. Life is a school, unless you complete your lessons at each phase you do not get to move forward.

In the third section, discover the divine power, it states that as long as we are reacting we have lost sight of our own agenda. The author wants us to find our point of restfulness which makes it possible to stay in control. She mentions mediatation and intuition as tools for this, the books describes six techniques.

I have mixed feelings about the book since to me it revealed no secrets but I guess that depends on where we are in our own progress.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

The Starfish and the Spider

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations is written by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckström. It is a very interesting book that compare two different kind of organizations but also mentions a hybrid or combo version, best of both.

Spiders are centralized, command and control, organizations. Historical examples are the Spanish army, the Aztecs and the Incas. Today most companies and organizations still work like this.

Starfish are decentralized with no hierarchy and no headquarters, an open system with no designated leader. An historical example listed in the book are the Apache indians. Modern examples are Craigslist, Wikipedia, Burning Man, AA, Skype, Kazaa and open source software like the Apache server.

An interesting part of the book is when they give examples of the spiders problems when they have to compete or combat against starfish. The Apache indians (starfish) managed to stand up against the Spanish army (spider) but the Incas and Azteks were spiders too and could be beaten. Todays music industry (spiders) fight against filesharing (starfish) and will most likely not win.

A hybrid approach means companies gain from both world, spider as well as starfish. There are examples of companies like eBay and Amazon that decentralize customer experience. And there are centralized companies like GE that decentralizes internal parts of the business.

If you want a quick look at some of what’s inside the book, see Lessons from a Starfish World.

There is a booksite at The Starfish and the Spider. Wikipedia also has a page about The Starfish And the Spider.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.