I’m still working this out – – –
. . . I think it’s the same as being a good guest: care about the host, about other guests, about being clear, about a nice good-bye, and about having “a-ha” moments.

  1. Lisa WexlerCare about the host of the show! Find out what the host is interested in. What aspect of your topic he/she most wants to talk about. I think a good radio host is like a good lawyer – this person will lead you through the right questions to make a compelling case for the listeners! Plus, you’ll have more fun is this interview is not like all the other interviews you’ve done (it never is!). You’ll have more fun if you speak to the host ahead of time: send a few bullet points or talk on the phone. Just get a sense of what’s fun for the host. If the host is having fun, the listeners are having fun!
  2. Care about your listener – help them. Prepare info for them. Before I went on this radio show with Live! with Lisa host Lisa Wexler, I put together some reference materials for listeners and posted it on my blog. (Because with radio, you may not have time to write everything down).
  3. Care about being clear – simplifying, repeating, and summarizing. Being clear in audio format means speaking not too fast and definitely not too slow. It means simplifying a message into the core ideas and not into all the information you know about that topic. This is really, really hard for me. The authors of “Made to Stick” call this “The Curse of Knowledge.” Trying to explain ideas to friends helps you simplify them for future re-telling. : )
  4. salsaCare about a good ending. There’s a concept in positive psychology called the “peak-end rule,” which states that people remember the high point and the end of most events. So your last vacation – what do you remember most? Likely the peak experience and the end. This means that as guests, we’ll want to leave on a great note. Just like if you’re dancing with someone at a salsa club, you will remember how that dance ended. End the show on a fun note.
    This also means “care about the time.” The first radio show I did about positive psychology was 15 minutes (that means 11 minutes if you count the commercials). I had prepared a fun walk-through of the ABCDE Resilience method for getting out of a slump, and I got the C part of ABCDE by minute 10. I summarized D and E, and did not have a great ending that time. C’est la vie.
  5. a-haCare about “a-ha” moments. Think about when you’ve gone to a party that you’ve really enjoyed – just a few people at dinner for example. Typically, there was something that resonated with you – some “a-ha” thoughts. “A-ha” thoughts don’t happen with a gaggle of words. Care about pauses, questions, and time to think. Care about what Kathy Sierra calls the “oh cool! / oh sh#t!“/ two words of passion response: if your listener thinks it’s really cool or a really big mistake, he or she will remember it much clearer – that’s how the brain works.

If you’re a rock star, also keep these optional mastery-level techniques in mind:

  • Come to the interview with THREE STORIES. People like stories.
  • Know in advance what your two-three summarizing points will be – people will only remember a few take-aways, especially on radio. One of these can be mentioning a resource or website for people about the topic you just discussed.
  • Make fun of yourself in some way. Yes, you’re on the show as an expert, but show vulnerability. Show that you’re a real person because you are. And that makes you much more approachable through the radio.

Have fun! Let me know how it goes.
All of the above applies to being a guest in general.

In order for people to really get you (MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE KATHY SIERRA POSTS):

Group dynamics:

Brain functioning news that can help you be a more effective/efficient/productive/happier person:

Her posts that you can use for writing your book:

Find me here: www.twitter.com/senia

I started “tweet”ing at the end of 2008. There is an entire vocabulary and etiquette associated with twitter. For example: DM – send a “direct message” to someone. RT – ReTweet what someone else just posted.

What is twitter? It’s a website where people update new information relevant to their fields ALL DAY LONG. People can post as may as tens of thoughts a day, every hour sometimes. Each thought is about the length of one sentence. For example: “Best time to be in finance, technology, and journalism: http://adjix.com/j8yw ”

Other examples can be:
“Went to the movie Yes Man – great fun although expected it to be”
“Highly recommend this Top 20 list [and a link here]”

Here are the FIVE STAGES OF TWITTER ACCEPTANCE (written by the Influential Marketing Blog, and I read it at Tiny Gigantic):

1. Denial
“I think Twitter sounds stupid.
Why would anyone care what people are doing right now?”

2. Presence
“I don’t get it, but I guess I should at least create an account.”

3. Dumping
“I use Twitter to send people links to my blog posts
and to send people my press releases.”

4. Conversing
“I don’t always post useful stuff, but I am using Twitter
to have authentic 1×1 conversations.”

5. Microblogging
“I use Twitter to post useful stuff that people read,
and I’m having authentic 1×1 conversations.”

Come join if you want! twitter.com/senia, and let me know in the comments below what your twitter account is, please! Like Facebook, this takes a bit of time when you start. Somehow it becomes rewarding very, very quickly!

You can make a major difference in your industry now. Right now.
How do I know?

At the start of a DVD, the warning says the movie’s been formatted to fit your TV. Well – at my home – one person dislikes that announcement, and each time jokes, “How do they know the size of MY television?”

I do know about you and your industry. Why? Because:

It’s when things are bad and you keep going, then you can actually beat everyone, most importantly yourself. You could be in any company-cycle, and especially, you could have been at point A but point B is just an opportunity to get to a higher point D, and beyond. Yes, if you’re like most people, you are likely in your work and in your finances at a trough, at a point B if not C. BUT. That’s the time when you can be the differentiator. That’s right – it’s just like the Terminator, but it’s the Differentiator.

Is that why 20% of twitter’s current membership joined in the past 60 days? Are people trying to connect and move forward in new ways?

Frog that turned milk into butter and livedThere’s a time for rigor and a time for mortis. You have a choice to put more effort in when it gets harder, or to say, “Man, it’s getting harder.” Be the little frog who turned the glass of milk into a glass of butter rather than the little frog who didn’t and drowned.

What I’m aiming to do: write the shortest post possible, get back to fun writing, and write what’s really me.

The Maximizer Quiz

What is your decision-making style? Are you what’s called a maximizer or a satisficer? Answer these few questions YES or NO:

Items from the Maximization Scale
(These are 7 of 13 total questions on the Maximization Scale by Schwartz et al., 2002 – reference is in the comment section)

1) When I watch TV, I channel surf, often scanning through the
available options even while attempting to watch one

2) When I am in the car listening to the radio, I often check other
stations to see if something better is playing, even if I’m
relatively satisfied with what I’m listening to.

3) No matter how satisfied I am with my job, it’s only right for
me to be on the lookout for better opportunities.

4) I often find it difficult to shop for a gift for a friend.

5) When shopping, I have a hard time finding clothing that I
really love.

6) No matter what I do, I have the highest standards for myself.

7) I never settle for second best.

Are YOU a Maximizer?

Now count up how many Yes’s you have. If you have 6 or 7 Yes’s, you are likely to be a maximizer. If you have 1 or 2 Yes’s, you are likely to be a satisficer. In between, you have some maximizer tendencies.

Maximizers look for the one best version of something – the best meal at a restaurant, the perfect movie night, the best school, the best gift, etc. Satisficers look for something that is good enough to meet their general criteria: a good meal, a good gift, etc. Here’s the problem with being a maximizer during the holidays. It can lead to the following says Barry Schwartz, author of the super-successful Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More. Maximizing behavior can lead to:

  • Stress
  • Decision Paralysis (“analysis paralysis”)
  • Regret

If You Want to Stop Being a Mazimizer

If you want to stop being a maximizer, you can take specific steps to create what I call “GOOD Constraints” and to limit your actions in certain areas. For example, shopping a large part of the day? Going store to store? Putting pressure on yourself to find a really good gift? Try these three actions:
presents and happiness

  • Give yourself ___ time to make the decision – 20 seconds, 5 minutes, 2 days – limit yourself. Specifically, giving yourself three hours to get all your presents may be plenty.
  • Know that “almost good enough” is good enough. (This is a major Barry Schwartz thought). Specifically, going to one store may be plenty.
  • Once you make the decision, look only at the benefits of that decision to avoid buyer’s remorse. Specifically, if you see a different sweater for your sister and you’ve already bought one, you don’t need to examine the new sweater.

If you want to read more about maximizing, please enjoy these articles on PPND:

Finally, here is a wonderful video on Choice on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (click the “Windows Media” or “Real Player” links at the top) . Barry Schwartz is featured in this video and so is the above “former maximizer”! Great video that explains this so well.

+ + + + + + +
p.s. The Story: I wrote all this up because I had a great time being on Live with Lisa Radio today, and telling Lisa about these techniques and also about the story of Barry Schwartz and his students. Barry started studyng maximizing and satisficing because he was finding that college students graduating from Swarthmore were taking jobs at Starbucks.
Schwartz –> students –> Starbucks.
After speaking informally with some students, Barry learned that they felt they had so many options (banking, consulting, start-ups) that they weren’t sure what the BEST option was, and they were delaying deciding by taking a job at Starbucks.

My brother is so cool! He has done some research on music and the stock market: specifically does the volatility in the stock market react to beat-variance? Beat-variance is how much the beat in a specific song varies – are there slow parts and then fast part and differently paced parts?

He has made the most amazing music video ever:

I watched this ten times in a row. My two favorite videos on YouTube now are this Music and the Market and the Evolution of Dance. Enjoy!

Phil Maymin is a finance professor at NYU, and here is what SmartMoney had to say about this research:

Phil Maymin, an assistant professor of finance and risk engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, has crunched 50 years worth of stock-market data — along with more than 5,000 hit songs. And he says he’s found an inverse correlation between stock-market volatility and whether the hot music of the moment is frenetic or steady.

… What’s more, Maymin says that it appears as if musical tastes can predict future market volatility. A strategy based on predicting market volatility from past beat variance appears profitable, on average. “The model predicts that realized volatility next year will be lower than it was this year,” he says. Read more here.

I’ve studied the research behind intuition a bit, and there’s one main idea abut having intuition HELP you and be on your side – get to it early!

Step 0) Be open to intuition.
Step 1) Prepare for events early.

You’re open to intuition when you listen to the thoughts in your head – very simple. This has to do with D-level thinking, but we’ll get to specifics another day. Assume now – as a metaphor – that there is a constant musical drone inside your head. That musical base continues no matter whether you listen to classical music, sing along with Ella Fitzgerald, or bounce around to 80’s Madonna tunes. That musical base continues no matter whether you’re eating dinner with a friend, writing a blog post, or reading a non-fiction book.

What is this musical base? That’s a thought at the level of subconsciousness. That’s a thought that you may have accessed before and may access again. This isn’t a scientific description – it’s just an image.

Like the underlying current below the waves.

That’s your intuition.

One way that many researchers say that intuition works is by continuing to work even while you’re not consciously accessing it.

For example, I need to prepare for a coaching session tomorrow. What’s the best way to do that to put my intuition into the game?

Simple. I prepare early and often. I can do step #0 – being open to intuition – just by paying attention to new ideas that may seem to come out of the blue.

Much more importantly, I can do step #1 – prepare for events early – in order to give that subcurrent, that musical base TIME after I do my conscious preparations, and it’s in that time that new subconscious ideas can most grow.

So how do I prepare for tomorrow’s coaching session?
* Write up notes today
* Print out relevant assessments and techniques today
* Prepare all the materials that I may need today

And then tonight I can look everything over again. And tomorrow morning, I can look everything over again.

Happy preparing. And happy enjoying of the underlying currents working FOR you.

Dalai LamaTibetan chuba dressI went to see the Dalai Lama on July 17, 2008 at Radio City Music Hall in NY. It was completely packed, and the room has 5,933 seats. It seemed that about one third to half of the women, men, and children in the audience were dressed in Tibetan formal wear – beautiful attire in exquisite print.

I was sitting in a good seat, part-way to the front, and as soon as the Dalai Lama let us know that that he would be answering some audience questions, I thought that since I had read most of his book on happiness, I would love to hear his impromptu thoughts on what makes him happiest. So I wrote on a piece of paper a question in large capital letters and gave it to a man collecting questions near our aisle.

Dalai Lama happiness questionThen many, many pieces of paper were brought to the translator’s desk on the stage. I don’t know how many from about 6,000 people. It looked like a lot of pieces of paper, and I absolutely didn’t think my question would be answered, but eventually after the first two questions – one of which included a detailed answer to ‘who are the protesters outside the event?’ – my question did come up. It was the third question out of four, and it was really delightful to hear the Dalai Lama’s answer.

Here is the question: “What makes you happiest? What makes you the most happy?”

The Dalai Lama’s answer was first a joke along the lines of “I don’t know.” And then he answered: “People make me happiest.” He pointed to the audience and to himself, and said that he thinks this kind of interaction – people speaking to each other – makes him happiest. He said it is “only ‘I,’ not ‘we-them,’” implying that everyone – himself and the audience – are part of the same “I.”

Then he ran through several additional things that make him happiest:

• Sleep – He actually stayed on this topic for a few minutes, describing how he goes to bed around 7pm every evening, and wakes up at 3:30am to be able to meditate before a 5:30am breakfast. He even joked about how his brother makes fun of him for such an early wake-up.

• No dinner after lunch – The Dalai Lama was quite firm about how he enjoys not eating in the evening after the mid-day meal. He said, “It’s good. I don’t get fat like man who looks like woman with baby [pregnant woman].” He mentioned that he always feels very hungry when it is time to eat.

• Vegetarian preference – Finally, the Dalai Lama mentioned that he prefers a vegetarian diet, and that he was vegetarian in 1965 for 20 months, and that he is now mainly vegetarian.