Archive for April, 2016

Podcast: Three top pressure reducers that help you when it matters most

myndset-com“You can’t just show up to a high-pressure situation and expect to perform well. You need to be tenacious—to put the work in. People who find it difficult to perform often discount the need for preparation and hard work. It’s easier to believe in the myth of the clutch player, the leader-hero, or the prodigy,” assert Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry, coauthors of Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most.

“Nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure ruthlessly diminishes our judgment, decision making, attention, dexterity and performance in every professional and personal arena.”

Leaders in the nonprofit sector are no strangers to feeling the pressure of furthering a mission with lean resources and limited staff. After learning more about the authors’ conclusive research, you can’t help but realize that pressure management should be a baseline competency for every leader.

Since it’s impossible to live life free of pressure, the authors present strategies to manage it immediately and in the future in their latest book.

We recently interviewed coauthor Hendrie “Hank” Weisinger about the book and found ourselves fascinated by tools he shared for managing pressure. We hope you enjoy his answers to the following questions:

Would you give a brief premise of your book?

What are three top pressure reducers that nonprofits can use to perform more successfully?

Would you explain the “COTE of Armor” and how it reduces pressure over the long-term?

How can nonprofit leaders reduce the stress for their employees, who are often overworked and underpaid?

Learn more about Hendrie Weisinger’s online courses if you’d like to do a better job of managing pressure in your life: http://pressure.hendrieweisingerphd.com

See a book summary of this title and others:

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most

Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Image credits: myndset.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Performing under pressure: Befriend the moment

PerformingUnderPressureCover“Nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure ruthlessly diminishes our judgment, decision making, attention, dexterity and performance in every professional and personal arena,” assert Performing Under Pressure coauthors Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry.

Leaders in the nonprofit sector are no strangers to feeling the pressure of furthering a mission with lean resources and limited staff. After learning more about the authors’ conclusive research, you can’t help but realize that pressure management should be a baseline competency for every leader.

Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry explain we live in a high-pressure time, where every day we feel we are on the line. More than ever, today’s workers feel the pressure to produce, perform and get results.

Why do we feel the pressure?

Many factors have increased the perceived pressure on our lives: recent economic downturn; higher competition for jobs; advent of the global economy; lack of job stability; and growing competition to get into top colleges, universities and graduate programs.

Pressure is the enemy of success

The authors explain the bottom line is simply that pressure is the enemy of success. Since it is impossible to live a life without pressure, the key is to understand your reactions to it and how those reactions put you at risk. Then you must engage in what the authors call pressure management.

In our Page to Practice™ book summary of Performing Under Pressure, we asked the authors what they most wanted readers to know about pressure:

CausePlanet: What is the most important thing you want people to know about handling pressure in the workplace?theatlantic-com

Weisinger: If you want to perform your best in a pressure moment, it is essential to “befriend the moment.” That means perceiving the pressure moment, whether it is giving a presentation, a crucial conversation, an interview or sports contest, as an “opportunity” or “fun” rather than a threatening situation.

Befriending the moment allows you to approach the situation with confidence and optimism, two natural pressure reducers, while viewing the pressure moment as threatening causes you to approach the situation with trepidation and anxiety.

The most important point for individuals to know for reducing daily feelings of pressure is to rid themselves of a ranking mindset —one that causes one to compare himself with others, which fosters competition. Competition is a natural pressure inducer so when you are always competing with others and trying to be the best, you experience continual pressure because you are chasing an impossible goal.

Plus, you can’t control the actions of others. There is always going to be someone that is better, richer and smarter. In contrast, developing a mindset of “excellence” helps you focus on what you can control –doing your best. When you focus on doing your best rather than trying to “beat” the others, you experience less daily feelings of pressure.lucille ball

Pawliw-Fry: Lose the story you tell yourself that in order to be successful you need to be perfect. You won’t be perfect and that is OK. The people who perform under pressure don’t go in expecting to be better than they have ever been before or perfect. They go in expecting the unexpected, that things might not go well at times and what they need to do is not react to their imperfection.

Michael Jordan performed worse under pressure, not better, but when he missed a big shot or made a mistake, he limited the duration the mistake stayed on his outlook. He wanted the ball back faster than others. That was the secret of his success.

Why you should buy this book

Performing Under Pressure is a guidebook with strategies—22 to be exact—that you can quickly apply in your workplace and in life. This book is grounded in Weisinger’s and Pawliw-Fry’s years of field experience and a multiyear study of more than 12,000 people who experience pressure.

For those of you who need immediate help, you can review part two where the authors share nearly two dozen how-to’s on pressure management. For others who want to better understand why they experience pressure to begin with, part one is extremely enlightening. Part three is a fitting conclusion with a delivery of techniques for managing pressure over the long-term.

See a book summary of this title and others:

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most

Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Image credits: Crown Business (2015), theatlantic.com, The Lucy Show

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Are you measuring up to Brooks’ advice on how to turn words into money?

TurnYourWordsIntoMoneyFBJeff Brooks’ How to Turn Your Words Into Money is a book about what fundraising writing is not and what it should be.

Brooks tells you exactly what to avoid and what to try in your next attempt to sway your audience. A fair amount is appropriately dedicated to the many ways you can create a compelling story even when you’re stumped.

As Brooks explains in his post, you’ll get a lot of specific fundraising advice and writing tips like:

Specifically how to ask.

How to use rhyme to make your message more memorable and persuasive.

How to tell stories that motivate donors to give.

How to tell a great story even when you don’t have a story.

How to meet donors’ emotional needs.

Whether you should use guilt as a motivator.

The most common traps for fundraising writers — and how to avoid them.

 

We asked Jeff Brooks about the fundraising profession and how it compares with his advice:

CausePlanet: Jeff, do you think the nonprofit world is shifting to honor your fundraising advice?

Books: I’d say a qualified yes. The idea that you’ve got to focus on donors and their needs if you really want to raise funds is widespread. There are few experts left who don’t focus on donors these days, and there’s a ton of great help for being donor focused. fineartamerica-com

I think there are two dark clouds in our bright donor-focused sky:

There are still a lot of organizations that are using crappy old techniques. They seem to be caught in a time warp. They’re still eking some kind of success out of it, but in most cases, they’re living on strong legacy brands. They don’t have to reach out to donors, because so many donors already believe they’re worth giving to. This can’t go on forever, so these organizations are either going to change or go into financial death spirals in the coming years.

For too many fundraisers, “donor centered” means “fundraising I like.” Which by definition is not donor centered. Every day I see examples of modern, slick, intellectual, clever fundraising that’s terribly ineffective–but self-labeled as “donor centered.”

Those of us who believe in really meeting donors and making them the heroes in our fundraising need to push against both of these shortcomings!

 

In spite of all the attention new fundraising strategies attract, raising money via the written word is still one of the most effective strategies you wield as a nonprofit. In fact, your messages are now played out in more ways than we ever dreamed.

It’s never been more pressing to get a handle on your writing style and how it triggers a donor to give via mail or online. Brooks has a superior track record in this realm and his book shares a bounty of insider knowledge.

See our book summaries related to this title:

The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World Field-Tested Strategies for Raising More Money

The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand: Motivating Donors to Give, Give Happily, and Keep on Giving

Image credit: EmersonandChurch.com, fineartarmerica.com

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It’s the perfect time for Tom Ahern’s “Making Money with Donor Newsletters”

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 12.43.11 PMThere’s never been a better time to enter our Get Smarter Give Away book drawing.

Donor acquisition costs are at an all-time-high and retention rates are at an all-time-low. Author Tom Ahern has written Making Money with Donor Newsletters: The How-To Guide to Extraordinary Results and now you can apply every chapter that is chock full of illustrations and guidance.

Tom Ahern is a leading authority on donor communications and reveals many secrets behind highly successful newsletters, including the “Domain Formula” that has help countless charities with a guaranteed method for raising funds.

Chapter titles include “How to make news out of thin air,” “How to create a donor-centered newsletter without a budget or designer” and “How to lower the grade level of your writing (and why you need to).”

How to enter? Simply email us info@causeplanet.org and put Tom Ahern in the subject line. That’s it.

Congratulations to Andrea who won our drawing last month for a free copy of Fundraising Habits of Supremely Successful Boards!

See some of our CausePlanet book summaries related to this title:

How to Write Fundraising Materials That Raise More Money

How to Turn Your Words into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing

Seeing Through A Donor’s Eyes

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Distracted at work? Tune in for ways to refocus

drivenA few books periodically capture my attention because I can’t stop thinking about them. We recently featured Dr. Ned Hallowell’s book, Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive. Dr. Hallowell’s book is one of those books that I keep bringing up to friends and using to help me block out distractions.

Now, Dr. Hallowell is doing a series of podcasts for easy access to his ideas. The series, Distraction (www.DistractionPodcast.com), is hosted by Dr. Ned Hallowell. The first episode is called “An Exploration of Distraction,” delving into how people are easily distracted in this crazy-busy world, examples of what happens to them, some of their solutions for solving it, and an interview with renowned neuroscientist Dan Levitan on what triggers distraction in people.

People can listen and subscribe on the following link:

https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1092207516?mt=2&ls=1

Dr. Hallowell doesn’t just give superficial ways to refocus; he delves into the root cause so you can conquer your chaos. This podcast is well worth checking out!

See a book summary of this title:

Driven to Distraction at Work

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