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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Don't spend time with Miserable Mackerels

Miserable Mackerels was a term Mike Ogilvie the Profit Man introduced me to at the Professional Speakers Association (PSA) event here in Scotland on Saturday. I can certainly see that description sticking. After all we all know many Miserable Mackerels and at times I'm sure can be one ourselves. Mike was using it in the context of customer services and it won't take you long to recall when you've been served by a Miserable Mackerel and the impact it had on the likelihood of your future custom and profitability.

The other guest speaker for the day was Derek Arden President of the PSA and Mr Negotiation who said on the topic of our professional speaking that "you are who you spend the most time with."

I blogged last week about ensuring we do the things that optimise our happiness but what Derek & Mike had me considering was the impact of our relationships with others. That is if the people I spend time with are Miserable Mackerels ie:
  • negative
  • pessimistic
  • grumpy
  • tired
  • demotivated
  • disengaged
  • full of frowns
Then I can't but help eventually pick it up from them - or if I'm already like them continued contact means it's going to be hard to stop being like that. After all, as I said in another blog last week on Rapport, we like people who are like ourselves and will do things to reduce the differences even if that means remaining miserable!

I appreciate there may be times when support of a friend means we do put ourselves in a situation where we are presented with the list above. However sustained contact won't help us and, I'd suggest, them either.

There's another subtle aspect to this too - if I have aspirations of being a successful speaker, author and entrepreneur making a difference in the world then I need to be spending time with people who demonstrate the behaviours that will make that outcome more likely ie:
  • confident
  • innovative
  • optimistic
  • entrepreneur
  • making a difference
  • speaking internationally
  • attracting clients
  • financially successful
  • contributing
If I ensure our values align then I'll increase the likelihood of this strategy working. Which means I need to add the following to my list of criteria:
  • authenticity
  • integrity
  • spirituality
  • collaboration 
What changes do you need to put in place to make achieving your goals and dreams more likely? and anyone out there wishing to put themselves forward to add to my existing list of friends, colleagues and role models please do get in touch :-).

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for procurement teams to never be accused of being Miserable Mackerels

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