Analytic Vision

Posts Tagged ‘business’

Why Public Relations Are Not Marketing

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 07/12/2017

What the PR person does

The public relations activity is made up of the work performed by the PR person/ team in order to:

  • get documented regarding facts and check the source of information by means of one’s own research work;

  • research and segment the audiences, profoundly knowing their way of thinking, speaking, expressing themselves;

  • prepare the communication agenda considering the following: the message that is intended to be sent, the available channels, the environment, the resource funds required for performing the communication and the most efficient impact which can be generated by enforcing the agenda on the image capital of the organization/client;

  • plan the means, ideas and content to be sent to the target-audiences, and achieve a support-platform meant to sustain the set agenda;

  • adapt using the means and content of the environment, so that the ideas communicating the identity of the organization would remain stable in the long run;

  • monitor the impact that the performed actions have on the target-audience in the long run;

  • carefully analyze the steps taken by the competition, by tracking and comparatively reviewing their external public relations speech as compared to their own impact further to the public relations communication;

  • develop actions which would continue/capitalize further to the already obtained results;

  • prevent the crisis situations or promptly respond as soon as they occur, and prepare plans for the situations initially believed to be unpredictable, based on the principle “hope for the best, plan for the worst”, etc.

The speeches characteristic to the public relations structure are considering the following categories of target-audience: internal audience of the organization (employees, volunteers, collaborators), management and external audiences (clients, providers, NGOs, local authorities, opinion leaders, etc.). The public relations speech must be shaped, first of all, according to the interests of the organization, and second of all, according to each public that it addresses to, after being segmented according to the criteria required in order to make the speech relevant. The speech of the PR representative implies influencing, subtle persuasion, inspiration, putting ideas where nobody would have thought that they could occur, with the purpose of being assimilated without noticing the “packaging”.

 

The credibility of the sent message, between reply and feedback

The public relations person has a certain type of speech regarding the managerial activity component, influencing the leader to make the best decisions for the organization by means of the advice that he gives. The same PR specialist has another type of speech towards the internal audience, regarding the quality management. For instance, with Raiffeisen Bank in Romania, the construction of the quality management speech was based, in 2007, on a research of the joint values of the members in Romania, from all values, which was run through the filter of the managerial decisions in order to promote those values which are in agreement with the organizational policy, of those which were most frequently to be found with the employees.

Structuring the speech in terms of the importance for each audience, the public relations person comes, by means of the messages he sends, to play an influence and inspiration role in the public relations structure of the organization. There are certain aspects which are at stake in the speech delivered to the management, knowing that these will “weigh more”, and others when the speech is addressed to another audience. At the same time, the internal communication must be congruous with the external communication, because, as Philip Kotler stated in Marketing Management, there is also that interactive marketing, the one between the company’s employees and the potential clients – in other words, what it is found out about the company from those working within it, a feedback to the employer branding.

Kotler’s Triangle

Graphics by Irina Chiriță, 2017

For instance, by means of branding as an organizational identity attribute, a company wants to communicate the “openness” value. At the same time, the chief financial officer is a fiend who has to receive all the expense accounts to be signed, which are exceeding 10 $. Of course, it will be a challenge to send a certain piece of information via the official channel when something completely different comes out of the “back door”. The reply to be received by the company’s potential clients, who come in direct contact with its representatives, will be standard. However, the feedback will be a different one. The feedback is an implicit, indirect, spontaneous, unconscious and difficult to control reply, which seems obvious nonverbally and paraverbally and can emphasize or disproportion the reply, which is direct, conscious and previously thought about.

Let us think of an example. The reply that I, as a client of X bank, receive to the questions I ask at the counter is satisfactory from the viewpoint of the requested information. However, the feedback I receive non-verbally is one of dispatch, coming from a frustrated young lady who has reached her limit at the end of the day, confronted with who knows how many cases which have put her last ounces of patience to the test, and which she has decided to put up with for the salary she cashes.

The public relations policy at this level concerns the management of the reply delivered to the client, but the importance of feedback is often no longer taken into account. As a counterexample, in the USA, one of the most highly appreciated banks by the clients beats the drum about offering the highest interest rates and the most disadvantageous financial conditions, but the clients continue to resort to it because they are always welcomed by constantly sincere and happy bank clerks.

 

What marketing does differently

Planning the marketing activity refers to markets (not audiences), and it is oriented towards satisfying a certain sales target on a certain market. The marketing activity is an economic activity placing the product at the disposal of the markets at a price/cost ratio as advantageous as possible for the trader.

The public relations speech is addressed to the audiences, which can especially interfere with the markets: several audiences can be found in the same market or several markets in the same audience. For instance, BookFest and BookLand are addressed to different markets, but to the same public: the one interested in training, development, improvement. Thus, in these markets, the following markets are intertwined: specialty books market, fiction market, electronic books market, audiobook market. All the consumers of these markets can be found within the audiences interested in what reading means. The fact that the offer comes from specialized providers is a component which must be taken into account by the PR specialist in segmenting the audiences, and constructing the message so that the event brand identity would be communicated to all the niches as clearly as possible. The brand is addressed both to the audience, and the niches, as it is a blend of marketing and public relations (although it tends towards marketing more, because it can be measured quite precisely, unlike the public relations which in general have results difficult to quantify).

The two activities are interdependent, but marketing focusses on tasks, activities, tangible things, and it is closer to sales in a mathematical spirit, while PR focusses on people, relations, intangible things, and it is closer to HR, in a human spirit. The public relations communication finds its place in the marketing mix by means of the contribution it brings by customizing the relation between product/service and its buyer.

Thank you!

Happy branding!

Ştefan Alexandrescu

Communication strategy and human resources consultant

Translation of the article ”De ce relaţiile publice nu sunt marketing originally published in Romanian by Ștefan Alexandrescu at the 24th of November 2012 on Discerne. Translated by Cristiana Boicu, 2017. Initially written in April 2008. Updated by Ștefan Alexandrescu Romanian in November 2014 and in English at 25.10.2017. Romanian text copyright (C) Ștefan Alexandrescu, 2008. Photo copyright (C) Irina Chiriță. English translation copyright (C) Cristiana Boicu. 

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In Time

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 30/10/2017

I invite you to read an article (the first of a new series) that will show you how time management influences the personality: The Timeline. This is a fundamental meta-feature that dominates one’s personality although in different contexts it can vary. “In Time” is its continuation: the detaliation of the first main perception.

In Time (partial association with the perception function, defined by Jung; not to be confused with the monochronicity or the polychronicity from the chronemics)

The timeline, visualized in space, passes through the client’s body or touches him in any way. The classical position is the future in front, the present within and the past behind. But this is rarely observed, the greatest odds are that it will only be found in books. Very often such a perception of the timeline will have a series of very interesting and diverse shapes, such as: vertically from the top of the head to the feet; in front, but without touching the body; a spiral shape around the body; partially vertical and partially horizontal; etc.

Robert Zemeckis’ masterpiece from 2015, The Walk, offers a great depiction of the In Time perception right on its poster:

Usually, it’s considered that the individual that will have an In Time perception over time will have a high capacity to live emotions in that respective context and he will not be able to detach himself/herself. This is not the case though, for example, for people that are in a trauma, and their unconscious defense strategies determine them to have a disassociated behavior, an unfitting description for an In Time perspective. For an objective opinion, an outside person will be needed. In some rare cases, that person will manage to understand certain emotions only by empathizing with someone that is also living those emotions and by observing from the outside, to then (afterward) realize that they can be found within himself/herself. The motivation of someone like that can be stimulated by reminding them to live in the now and by offering them a rich emotional activity or by adopting a “we care” politics.

The distinction has a strong impact on the work context. An In Time behavior will provide the conditioning to do one thing, start to finish, and it will create difficulties when, in that context, the individual is forced to do more things at the same time. The beliefs associated to an In Time perspective are «Do something start to finish and do it well or don’t do it at all »; «If you do more things at the same time, then you cannot do them well ».

Those that use this perspective might have the tendency to consider those that have a Meta Time perspective as shallow because they start doing more things at the same time and don’t finish them, agitated, people that waste their life away with plans without living the joy of just being. From this point of view, a person with an In Time perspective will feel motivated by activities that have a clear and defined beginning, middle and end. They will not accept explanations such as “Do this first and then we’ll see” because there is the risk that this activity will not be carried out in the end. They will have a feeling of paltering if they will not have all the elements presented in an In Time language.

The In Time perception prevents any kind of planning. Those that use it regularly in the work environment will not have a lot of professional achievements, compared to those that have a Meta Time perception in the professional context, as a result of the fact that they cannot manage their time. « Something always comes up! ». A person with an In Time perception will throw away money on time management books and courses, these will not help though, as it will only present foreign and hard to apply perspectives.

In meetings, people with an In Time perspective will regularly be late 15-45 minutes. Almost everytime, never on time, only accidentally or with a great deal of sacrifice. They will set their watch forward to force themselves to make the meetings, they will write it on a scrap of paper (not on an agenda, no way, this is an accessory that does not exist, or is rather empty, for a person that delights in the Perception function) the meetings 20 minutes before they take place because they know they will be late, etc. If someone tells them: « You’re 10 minutes late! » they will very naturally reply: « 10 minutes isn’t late. 10 minutes is exactly on time ». Or they will invoke the «academic quarter». These latenesses can also be based on an associated conviction attributed to an unfortunate experience like « either way most people that I meet either don’t show up or they are late, so why should I be the one that waits? ».

In certain situations, it can be a living nightmare for a Meta Time practitioner to set up a meeting with a person that has an In Time perception. If it is about two people that use the In Time perception, it is highly likely it will be even more frustrating because each of them has his/her own perception of time and they can differ a lot. This will generate answers such as «I can’t tell you now my schedule two days from now. Call me that morning» or «I don’t know what will come up tomorrow. We’ll talk then».

People with an In Time perspective can be excellent: artists, actors, art critics,  anchorpersons, entertainers, politicians, people that work in creation (artistic, publicity) because they manage, by living in the now, to express their reactions in a spontaneous manner. They are absolutely awful as: financial auditors, accountants, engineers, architects, project editors, strategists. Still, they will need an assistant or a staff that have a Meta Time perspective and that they will listen to in order to be able to perform in one of these fields. This way, they will live moment to moment until they will not have the freedom to live in the now anymore. And then they will get frustrated. This is the reason why there are so many «starving artists»: they were unable to partner up with someone that has a «Meta Time» perspective that can support them to highlight their preference to live in the now.

Sentimentally, an In Time perspective offers those that have it the possibility to be involved in the relationship and to live the present moment now with the partner. The In Time perspective on love is that it is wonderful and that it needs to be lived in every moment as it is. This perspective, manifested in an exaggerated manner leads to the «love is blind» phenomenon. Actually, it’s not the love that is blind, but it’s the ones that have an In Time perspective that cannot disassociate what they feel and observe from the outside. Also taking into consideration different combinations with other personality structures, people with the In Time perspective, although they can live and share with others (including through literature and art in general), are also the ones that suffer the greatest disappointments and ask themselves «why?», especially when they do not have a «Meta Time» person as a counselor that can «open their eyes» objectively from the outside. Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to disappoint themselves (after they have deceived themselves) and to draw pejorative conclusions such as «there is no right partner for me», at young ages, up to 30 years old, and that can usually be the result of an In Time perspective focused on negative emotions, without paying attention to the suggestions of people that have a Meta Time perspective.

In Time may also be the favorite behaviour that “shelters” in  sentimental relationships: the mental dependency from the physical dependency of the partner (the partner using In Time accuses the one that uses Meta Time that he/she does not make time for him/her), the abandonment complex and the games from the drama triangle. For a functional long term relationship, each partner needs to have, in a professional context or separately, a Meta Time preference.

Examples of personalities that (might) have had or that have this behavior structure: Mihai Eminescu, Traian Băsescu, Steve Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Translation of the article ”In Time” originally published in Romanian by Ștefan Alexandrescu on the 10th of August 2012 at Discerne. Translated by Ștefan Constantin Bădrăgan, 2017. Originally written in 2007. Updated by Ștefan Alexandrescu at 21.10.2017

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The Timeline

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 13/10/2017

Motto:

« [The Romanian] is wasteful with time, more so than people from the West. Time is anything for the Romanian but a currency. At the fair, he haggles for hours for whatnots. The same goes for parties, he loses days and nights»; «It is said that [the Romanian] is undisciplined working in the economic field. When at the same time people from the West keep a regular rhythm, like clockwork, the Romanian people knows disorderly work, more like play.The Romanian does not work methodically, but in leaps; he has long periods of rest, and if needed he will work double tides and do slave work »

Constantin Rădulescu Motru (1998)

  

 

The history of the concept

The concept of the timeline was introduced even since Ancient Greece, and William James, one of the parents of modern psychology, has affirmed over a century ago that our perceptions of the events of our lives span over « a string of time ». Therefore, for thousands of years, it has been acknowledged that people had an own representation of time, in themselves. In other words, each person has its own way of representing, storing, and keeping time in their own body.

It was said, at the beginnings of developing the timeline, that, in general, Europeans tend to represent their timeline as passing through them, facing the future, living in the present and with the past behind them. This is classical In Time position.

Americans, on the other hand, represent the timeline in front of them, with the past on the left, the present in front of them and the future on the right. It is the classical Meta Time (Through Time) position.

This generalization was later retracted because people can have very different perceptions in different contexts (e.g. In Time relaxing during the weekend, but “very” Meta Time during business hours). All of the other positions derive from these two basic ones, with little variation. According to the way someone perceives it, the timeline it is split into two big categories: In Time and Meta Time.

Some specialists also consider Between Time and/or Across Time, arguing that they cannot be classified as subtypes of one of the above.

Before anything else, it is important to keep in mind that there are no “In Time people” and “Meta Time people”, even though these attitudes are easier to approach concerning an (apparently) dichotomous meta type. The timeline offers important clues as to how a client will think and react in the context for which the timeline was elicited. Throughout one’s life, this perception may change in relation to a lot of factors. People often present both characteristics in different contexts.

  

 

The perception of time in different cultures

For example, in Spain, Italy, Portugal, there is a predominantly In Time perception. There is, in extremes, that ”dolce far niente”, that can be found in Romanians as well. Romanians have a strong inclination towards In Time, even when it comes to projects. Planning is not one of our strong suits, as a people. All this considered, a very interesting phenomenon is happening in Romania right now, from a generational change standpoint. Muşătoiu (2006) shows, in an article that was awarded in the science and technology section of the Young Journalist of 2007 contest, organized by Freedom House and Edipresse AS, how the psychology of the personality is being influenced by technology in Romania and labels the Y generation as multitasking and technological par excellence.

People with a Meta Time perspective are by excellence business people. There is no way that a business freelancer will ever accomplish anything if he or she does not have a Meta Time perspective.

You will rarely find people in leadership positions with an In Time perspective, and they will not remain there for long. Any job that requires that ability to work with more than one schedule, to plan and do more than one thing at a time demands a Meta Time perspective.

Japan, USA, Germany, China offer examples of Meta Time cultures. It is the subjective opinion of the author of this article that it is highly likely that in certain countries before they went under American economic influence, there was a clear and dominant In Time perception 60-90 years ago. With the loans from the American funds, the population started not only to change their mentality towards a new value system, but also their perception of time, from In Time to Meta Time.

By Philmore1q2w3e4r (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Example of complex representation of a timelime by Philmore1q2w3e4r (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

NLP and the certification system for the timeline

The timeline, though a self-standing domain, as an accredited form of psychotherapy, has been getting an extraordinary contribution from NLP through research, books, training and presentations for decades now. The timeline is a certification field recognized by the American Board of Psychotherapists. For this one needs forming and licensing, just like any other therapy field. Those that have this accreditation have the right to work as timeline psychotherapists if they have a previous qualification as a psychotherapist, or as HR consultants in organizations.

Some specialists prefer to take a certification offer that includes both neuro linguistic programming and timeline. Training lasts in total, an approximated cumulated 2 weeks and it includes 3 separate levels, after which the trainee gets the right to practice on an international level, and it is also recognized by the American Board of Psychotherapists.

This is a method to deepen the applicative field and in which the student needs to master the qualifications (s)he needs to train in light of his/her professional development:

interpreting the personality according to the way the timeline is visualized;

modifying the perception of the timeline;

therapeutic interventions to resolve past trauma;

planning the personal and professional future using the timeline;

professional career counseling;

personal and professional development and management;

improvement of communication and planning skills.

Definitely useful for a career counselor.

  

 

References

Rădulescu Motru, Constantin (1998). Psihologia poporului român şi alte studii de psihologie socială, Bucureşti, Paideia, pages 24-25, acquired from http://www.scribd.com/doc/47379717/Psihologia-Poporului-Roman at 9.09.2017;

James, William (1890). Principles of Psychology: Volume I, Holt, New York, New York, USA, apud Howard, C. (2003) The NLP & Leadership Master Practitioner Audiotraining (Audio set), Manhattan Beach, California, USA;

Mitrică, Mihai; Nicolae, Crenguţa (26 iunie 2007) Încă un premiu, Business Magazin, acquired from http://www.businessmagazin.ro/actualitate/inca-un-premiu-2512903 at 9.09.2017;

Muşătoiu, Mihai (27 iunie 2006) Generaţia Multitasking, Business Magazin, acquired from http://www.businessmagazin.ro/cover-story/generatia-multitasking-1051639 at 9.09.2017;

Translation of the article ”Linia timpului” originally published in Romanian by Ștefan Alexandrescu at the 6th of August 2012 on Discerne. Translated by Ștefan Constantin Bădrăgan, 2017. Originally written in 2007. Updated by Ștefan Alexandrescu at 9.09.2017

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10 Useful Skills That Will Make You A Better Entrepreneur

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 31/07/2017

 

Working as a consultant for entrepreneurs is exciting and stressful in the same time. I know, because I’ve done it for years. So I decided to share some of my observations that might come as very useful for entrepreneurs and not only.

Not having these skills will not ruin you, but it would certainly slow you down. This is not an exhaustive list, just a “top of my mind” approach that I think would be very precious especially for those in the beginning of the road that make the leap from freelancing to entrepreneurship.

  1. Creating rules based on your principles. Any company is similar to the entrepreneur which creates it. In the beginning, especially if you don’t have a lot of employees, it will be easy to express how other people should behave, act or think concerning your business in order to respect what you want to create. Principles are like a lighthouse in the dark and in the night. In the beginning, they might be clear and easy. But the best way to share them is to express them as laying foundations for the rules: not too many, not too few, but clear for everybody. Once set, everyone must respect them. You must respect them the best. In the same time, it is important to train this skill, because your principles evolve and so do you.

  2. Express gratitude. Train yourself to use any anniversary, any opportunity in order to thank people which have made a contribution. Thank your clients after buying from you. Thank your collaborators for doing a good work. Thank your employees for reaching the goals. Thank your partners for supporting you. If you believe in God, keep this in mind: do not wish for God to give you how much you can take! You can take and have as much as you want as a burden in this life. Whatever you want, God can give you. But, in order to keep it, you must remember to be satisfied with less and with more, to take any success as a gift from God and not as a merit. The gratitude is a key skill for an entrepreneur.

  3. Recognize the teachable people. There are no real incompetents, only people who don’t manifest or have lost the capacity to learn. Therefore, choose wisely to work with only those people who can be taught. Do not hope that giving chances to seemingly talented people will make them fly and become stars. Most oftenly, the people you like the most are not those which necesarrily perform the best. Welcome the people who you choose to improve their careeer working with you!

  4. Train yourself to make distinctions between options, possibilities, opportunities and probabilities. All might sound similar, but they are very different. Anything is possible until you have to chose options. Those options must be at least probable. Between the options which are probable, you have to prioritize your opportunities and decide wether you want to choose them or create them. But remember, whatever you do, your options must not only be possible, but probable also! Many young professionals start their entrepreneurship career doing business plans like they did during faculty, but fail miserably. Know your territory and act upon that knowledge!

  5. Constantly develop yourself. What happens when the one thing that you are able to do for your clients is the thing that stops you the most from developing yourself? The competition will likely take over in a matter of time. You need to constantly be a source for re-invention. Working for your own development should not be in a competition with working for your customers or with your employees. Time for yourself to develop is also needed in order to enhance your business.

  6. How much do you allow yourself and others to act authentic in a relationship? Find and recognize the other people’s values, beliefs and convictions. Beliefs are convictions we believe to be true. Attitudes are collections of beliefs and values around a certain topic. There isn’t such a things as a “non-value” or “anti-value”, there are only different beliefs, values and attitudes. Erach person is motivated by different scopes and if you learn to discover those asking specific questions (such as some from LAB profile), it is worth to use them and to link them with each of the important actions that need to be taken for your business plans to work. Values lead to motivation. Motivation leads to vision. Vision leads to strategy. Why? Because where there’s a will, there’s a way. If the strategy does not take into consideration the values of the employees, it will be a difficult to implement strategy.

  7. Use the faults of the employees in the favor of the teams. Knowing that a certain person has a low performance in a certain area means that you know not to delegate to that person something (s)he might do which is wrong. Creating teams taking into consideration both their strong points and their weak points is a service that you can do creating the kind of complementarity that the collaborators could and should appreciate.

  8. Constantly shape in your mind the model of the best entrepreneur that you can be. How does that feel? What does this model do? How do you see him or her? Remember, it’s a model, it’s not Superman, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Practice in your mind what you would do in different types of situations: with your employees, with the clients, with the partners. Put yourself in the shoes of people who need to make difficult decisions. What’s worth doing to become such an entrepreneur? What is it important to giv up in order to become this model?

  9. How do you manage to diplomatically tell the truth and be convincing without lying? Practice rethorics and argumentation. What’s worth doing in oder to prove that you are right? Sometimes, it’s not enough top be right. It also depends how you say it. Having different reframing strategies in order to make each person think in his/her way is required, because not everybody will be convinced by the same arguments. In business, it doesn’t matter so much who is right, it matters what makes things profitable. Also, please keep in mynd, what others perceive as a message matters, not what we intend to transmit.

  10. Serve your clients, for their own good, don’t please them. Politicians, coaches and psychologists may oftenly be “punished” for actually serving those who chose them. Pleasing the clients is something which others can do very easily, but it takes some courage to educate your clients to recognize their own deep needs and to be glad they are actually served by what you are offering.

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Schema Dynamics Programming with Stefan Alexandrescu

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 25/12/2016


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Psychologists have worked for more than 100 years in order to find explanations for how the human mind and personality works, to heal the problems hidden deep inside of us. Personal development fields such as neuro-linguistic programming and transactional analysis have come up with effective and efficient solutions for breakthrough to success. Clinical psychology and development of excellence have been long time separated. Now there is a possibility to unite the best of both world: heal the suffering mind and personality and drive it to success and performance.

Questions for you

  • How would it be for you to find out what holds you back to access your full potential and succeed?

  • How can you confront, heal and solve your traumas?

  • Do you want to find the deep psychological and emotional roots of your problems?

  • Are you ready to confront a profound truth about who you are and and how to get yourself out of your way?

  • Have you implemented powerful changes using fields such as psychotherapy, coaching, personal development consulting but only up to one point?

If your answer to any of these questions is “YES”, then this will interest you.

Please read the following lines, as the world they open up might amazingly transform your life!

A revolutionary approach

My name is Ștefan Alexandrescu and I worked one on one with hundreds of customers since 2004. I have always been interested in finding out why some of the people who came to me for various problems or goals succeeded after just 2-3 sessions and some needed tens of sessions. Now I found out and everything else I knew fitted in like a puzzle.

The key I was missing was offered to my by schema therapy, but I found something even better. Using advanced techniques that I tested and developed in working with clients, I have found out what some might call ”the Holy Grail” of psychology and personal development. I have developed an integrative approach using schema therapy conceptualization and homework, Spiral Dynamics theory, NLP techniques and various correlations with other psychological theories that is unique.

Answers for you

I have so far worked with 6 customers in 2016 and after tens of individual sessions I have come to some amazing results.

  • Do you also want to know and deeply understand how your personality works inside out?

  • Do you also wish to unveil the deepest roots of all your sidetracks that cover your potential?

  • Do you want to set your path straight to a powerful future that will fulfill your goals and talents?

  • Do you also want to embark on a journey confronting all the fears, limiting beliefs, uncovered traumas and inner conflicts in order to break through of them?

  • Do you want to find out what has been keeping you from becoming who you were meant to be?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then please keep reading, because I am going to present you how and what.

The questionnaires

The first thing you need to do is to complete several tests (psychometric questionnaires), totaling a few hundreds of questions. These will require a lot of concentration and a state of introspection. Based on your answers at those questions, you will have to send me the results and I will calculate your scores, make a few correlations and offer you a free evaluation.

When we meet, either face to face or through Skype, the evaluation must be done with the results open (all the Excel and PDF files), so that you have a full understanding of how the model of interpretation works for you.

The tests I will give you will have identified a detailed list of:

  • your strong points, in skills, talents and personality traits

  • your main weak points, that hold you down from reaching higher goals

  • how these are correlated with your experience and manifestations

These tests work within the correlations between various theories from NLP, transactional analysis, Spiral Dynamics, schema therapy and classical psychology.

The tests can be done for free in a variety of forms. The first consulting session of brief, general interpretation of these profiles is provided fully free of charge, with no strings attached. If you decide that you want to start a journey of deep transformation, a program tailored specifically for your needs awaits you. The program is designed to be flexible and very efficient. It will require time, money and effort, but I promise you it will be one of the best investments you have ever done in your life if you choose to go through it.

You have now the chance to be part of the second wave of clients using this integrated approach between personal development for excellence and clinical psychology. This has already provided amazing results for clients in just a matter of months! Please inquire further if you want to know more about the consulting activity of Stefan Alexandrescu in 2016.

This isn’t for you if:

  • you cannot allocate at least 2 hour/week or 1 hour/week for the consulting session and at least 3-4 times more for homework (journals, letters, goal formulations, lists, questionnaires)

  • you think 50 euros/hour for a program that can change your life in a few months is too much

  • you are afraid to confront yourself, discover yourself in depth

  • you don’t care about what happens to you in the future

  • it’s OK to postpone your goals, happiness, fulfillment or healing time and again

  • you don’t have the discipline to invest the efforts into your development

with the likely results that:

  • you will try to fix surface issues (effects) which will appear in your life in various ways, with little chance to approach the deep roots

  • you will try to fix behaviors (effects) in stead of beliefs, emotions and experiences (causes)

  • the problems will cost you more than solving them

  • feel this sounds great, but you don’t have a few hours to complete the questionnaires

This is a difficult and challenging process. Not everyone is up for it. Are you ready? I can promise you this:

  • you will unveil painful memories

  • you will understand the mechanisms of faulty behaviors that endanger your life as you know it

  • you will experience intense negative emotions

  • you will feel disappointed towards people in your life

  • you might try to find excuses to interrupt the process

with the likely effect that in the end:

  • you will have deep insights

  • you will be able to choose in the present what is appropriate for you

  • you will understand and accept yourself and others

  • you will experience the power of forgiveness

  • you will train the skills you need to perform

  • you will become a better parent

  • you will be able to heal deep wounds in the past that restrain you from being yourself.

Start now!

The first steps are to get in touch with me, receive the questionnaires, complete them, let me score them and receive your free evaluation!

Find out more! Get in touch NOW! This is for you!

Ștefan Alexandrescu

0040 729 034 883

stefan [dot] alexandrescu [at] yahoo ]dot] com

Copyright © Ștefan Alexandrescu, 2016

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13 Hints – How to Separate Value from Mind Bugging In Webinars

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 26/11/2016

In the past years, putting together the increase of internet bandwidth supporting high definition instant live video streaming, the increasing capacities of server streaming for thousands of people, together with the price falling for hardware technology, internet access (even on mobile devices) and data centers services, more and more learning companies develop business models centered on webinars in multiple formats which promise to deliver some free information to the watchers/listeners and some sort of attractive special offer.

In my experience, such webinars can be somewhere between money-making & life changing to an utter waste of time listening to some charlatan’s bogus.

There are certain programs which facilitate access to various learning workshops providing practical blueprints with videos, audios, workbooks, transcripts, forms, procedures, tables and so on.

webinar

Of course, many people might be convinced to spend some time with these stuff, but I’m going to give you some suggestions about how to not lose too much time with this stuff while also getting most out of such opportunities. What you might not know about most of these:

  1. Most webinars are promised to last a certain amount of time. They usually last double, but if you stay till the end, you may find the real offer with special discount.
  2. Very many of the programs offered for hundreds of dollars can be found on the same website with a special significant discount, such just a few tens of dollars or even just 1 $. Of course, if you don’t know how to look for it or don’t at least try to close the page and see if you are tempted in that moment with a lower offer, you get taxed more. For example, I participated in a webinar where they were selling a course for 279$ and I found it at 1 $ while browsing on the web for it during the webinar. Another program was being offered at 999 $ and was later offered for 50 $ after a month for those who didn’t buy it initially.
  3. Some of what you learn can really make you a lot of money and change your life, IF you apply those things. But, basically, when you subscribe to a webinar you find out that there’s about 80% promotion and 20 % content because a webinar is essentially a 2-3 hour-commercial
  4. If you subscribed for the webinar and bothered appearing just for 5 minutes, most trainers will send you the replay to watch/listen whenever you want to, like for example on your dumbphone. This is a very good and practical idea especially if you are not convinced you want to buy whatever that person is selling you. In the same time, it must be said that by doing so, you are guaranteed to miss the time-limited offer at the end of the webinar.
  5. Theoretically, you have the opportunity to ask some questions during the live webinar, but there are chances that from thousands of people attending and hundreds asking questions, yours wouldn’t be answered unless they are very good and posted multiple times or by different people.
  6. Many of them have nothing to do with the advertised subject, they are just a bunch of shitty hocus-pocus new age mindbabble since the time of “The Secret”. I though people grew up and overcame that fashion, but apparently there are still thousands of suckers hoarding in thinking that through visualization they are going to mind-bend the universe.
  7. The most practical things I found are the entrepreneurship, marketing and social media oriented contents which practically show you how to organize business around consulting and training. I suggest you take some of those things, apply them and share them with your customers.
  8. When the topic is not oriented on something concrete about business or sales, there are some things to be taken from the amount of psychobabble, but it must be clearly discerned and that takes very much time. So be prepared to take some notes and not get bored with the rest of the content which might be confusing or useless. Watching/listening to a webinar DOES require some present and active knowledge about the topic, otherwise you might just believe everything the presenter is telling, which in most cases can be very dangerous.
  9. All the payments must also be done through PayPal or ClickBank. If the page you are directed to only obligates you to buy with your card, something might be wrong. Before deciding to buy, check the name of the program being advertised together with “scam”, “fraud” or “hoax” together. See what you find. Some of these stuff are just pyramidal schemes, working on the principle: step 1. give something small and valuable step 2. make people think there is more 3. repeat steps 1 &2 indefinitely until the buyers run out of money.
  10. If you are smart and know a little bit more about the subject, you can implement some valuable ideas without buying the whole program. Or you could use the presentation as a model and learn from the selling skills of the presenter and use them in your own experience.
  11. Whatever the topic of interest is, you may find free recorded and valuable webinars on video.google.com . Also, look for similar topics in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). You might get a similar or better content for free. Find some MOOCs appropriate for you searching on customized keywords here: https://www.mooc-list.com/
  12. The most serious and well-planned online trainings do offer the access to a closed community, usually on Facebook, where you can interact with other participants and with trainers, ask questions and create business opportunities. I think this is one of the most important features, if you have time to access it.
  13. Find out if there is a return policy. Usually, there is something like if you don’t like what you find, you get a full or a partial refund in 7 or 10 days, so hurry up and check if you like what you found. If not, get your money back! Usually, the process takes a few days, so don’t last until the last days, because even if you send the request within time, if it’s not process you might lose the money you want to get back. Some companies retain something like 10-15 % for comission processing or stuff like that, some reimburse you the full payment. Also, don’t use this loophole to abuse the system! If the content is truly helpful, respect the work and pay the money.

Stefan Alexandrescu

consultant in personal and professional development

0040 729 034 883

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How to Live a Perfect Life, Last Part. Steps 9-12 Out of 12, In the Right Order

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 21/11/2016

 

Part I

Part II

Part III

 stepping-stones-pixabay

9. Set rewarding excellence goals and become the best in your business

It seems that there have been many steps until here, but all your efforts will be completely rewarded. Definitely, you can only become the best in your job, organization, niche or business if you have managed to confront the typical problems swifter and effective, if you have delivered on the goals you have trained with until now and have acquired top skills that put you in front of the game of others.

I’m referring to vision and strategy: working smart for the right reasons can help you identify the 20% that bring the 80%. Now, your goals have to be daring, bold to make you control the autonomy and true independence that will make a dent and leave your name in the history. Only after you have tested and followed the whole system inside out, you can replicate it for profit at a higher scale. Take into account all the lessons, all the motivations, take a calculated risk and “shoot for the moon”! Do it again and again, be the best and work smart to stay there! You truly deserve to celebrate especially when you bring this achievement to reality after pragmatically testing options for success. Failing to do this earlier might sidetrack your efforts, take longer or bring stepbacks you can’t face on your own. Coaching is a must at this level. Modeling and mentoring also definitely works. Also, niche-specific training and skills-related training can benefit you for what you need/want here.

At this level of excellence, you also have to improve the skill of seeking, connecting and networking within groups of professionals sharing similar preoccupations, abilities and personality preferences, in order to continue to grow, learn and excel through the power of communities (see more further).

 

10. Find people who share your vision and values

Very likely, until this point of excellence, you’ve worked within teams, or in proximity or in collaboration with other people in your life experience. At a certain point, you decide to let go of unfulfilled expectations, go with the flow and get social, not only for business networking, but as well for deeper human connection.

Of course, it’s not about connecting with people who have been put there by someone else or by random design (like in school or in a company where you were hired). It’s about connecting with people you can actually test and recognize as having approximately similar values, visions and experiences.

After each of you have had your successful experiences, you can get together to share your wisdom, learn one from the other and create a win-win-win community. Trying to do so earlier implies the risks of having your good intentions work for somebody else’s individual limited benefit, or mistaking you illusions/expectations for reality, or mistaking a functioning system for a community.

You can prepare for this step by joining and working with/for people who have a track record of creating both individual success based on strategy and team success bases on collaboration. Volunteering for a cause you cherish can also be helpful in opening up new horizons of harmony in the human experience. Just find some people who are already doing or thinking what you like and give them a hand! Other ideas: personal development thematic groups, periodical skills-based training within a community.

In order to fully enjoy this level of development, it is necessary to develop close personal and professional relationships with others. In these instances, it must be OK to share warmth, caring, attention, empathy, protection (strength, guidance, direction), disclosure and listening. Why? For the purpose of creating a harmonic team that works for everyone, which can bring consensual guiding for each interested, for long term. This is what deep social interaction can mean when people live and act for the causes they share.

 

11. Learn more outside of your area of expertise

Hopefully, there come a time when, after years and years, you can not only be the best in your niche, but you can do it quite effortlessly, even in your sleep. This is the moment to continue developing your other talents. Learn something new. Get deeper knowledge of your field. Get a new hobby. Enjoy a healthy life. If you feel bored or that it’s time for a big change, consider developing skills for a different field you might be talented in.

This time, integrate all the resources (time, money, people you know, all that you studied) to make the most out of the new learning. In the beginning, it may be a little hard to get used to make more effort to succeed at something (because everything is so easy when you’re an expert), but the more you learned, the easiest it is to learn more, because of the many synapses that are already there and in function.

This step should allow you to find more peace within yourself, without control in the group or of the resources. You may reinvent yourself and succeed in ways you wouldn’t have dreamed of being possible. This can be a great period if associated with having children and becoming a parent, or a grandparent. You can only truly live at this level if you have made profit out of your strategy, you have developed functioning networks of authentic communication with peers and are able to see the bigger picture.

The few experts who can work at this level have the ability to work intuitively with large chunks of information to find patterns, may they be in vocational, professional, personal or recreational areas.

If you decide to succeed in a second or third field later in life, after having success in just one or two professional fields, it will be faster for you. The learning must be tailored to your needs. Please feel free to use consulting, coaching, mentoring, modeling and especially training. If you have truly reached this level, you already know how important that is and how to use such services.

 

12. Redefine the purpose of your life as having a higher meaning

At some moment, each of us searches and sometimes finds the meaning of life. There are plenty of answers, but usually people find a religious meaning, which is connected with having an impact beyond the material world.

Of course, at several points in your existence, the meaning of life can be defined as chasing or living your dreams, to seek happiness, to discover and better oneself, becoming the best achievable self. Seeking the wisdom, you will probably redefine the levels at which you can make a contribution, both personally and professionally. But, at a very special moment, preferably before you die, you may allow yourself to truly let go of roles, duties and social expectations.

This is how you can tend to touch perfection through living, only to become aware of how little you know. That’s why your contribution has to stay with the others after you die. A life worth living is a life that you would find hard to leave from or give up. The true inner benefit of others, making the difference through what you do, say and inspire, is what starts guiding your intentions.

You know you can do better and you are grateful for the chance to act justly and wise, love and give unconditionally. Reaching this, you have found the beauty and the sorrow in your life: you have now started to get the hugeness of the human spirit, the bearing on your deeds and the shortness of life. It’s worth talking about this with a priest. I have personally found the meaning of life in Orthodox Christianity. I have the rest of my life to live it by rediscovering it in my existence, though applying what I have found.

 

Some final thoughts

I haven’t done all of these steps in this order, but at least now I found the tools that can connect them logically, structurally and scientifically. There is a moment in some lives when everything comes to a circle. You get the final piece of the puzzle, although I’m afraid most people don’t really live this sensation.

Now I am ready for rebooting my journey, faster and together with those who want to experience what I’ve written about here. Often times, when we are confronted with a problem, we don’t quite know what’s the map of that problem, what are its roots and especially, what might be the solutions. Although I don’t have solutions in consulting, theories in learning and questions in coaching for all the possible problems, it’s very likely I know where you are and how to support you to get not only where you want to go, but where you need to go. Blow away your inner obstacles and become who you were meant to be!

I am doing this because I am here to serve you, not to please you. Now you know the truth. Act on it! Change your life now! Follow the steps I have set for you in this article and become part of my life journey! Let’s put some wind in your sails!

 

PS: Thanks to Corina Andreea Popa for the practical suggestions and feed-back on this article before publishing.

Ștefan Alexandrescu

professional development consultant, trainer and coach

0040 729 034 883

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Leisure and Other Expenses for a Young Professional Living in Bucharest

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 07/02/2014

This is the last part of the articles I have started to write past month on how much does it cost for a young professional to live in Bucharest.

Here you can read the introduction and summary. Then, I wrote this article on how much are just the basic surviving expenses. The third article was about what are the expenses for administrative necessities.   Now, it is time to take  a look on the third category of expenses – leisure and other expenses.

So let’s get some more ideas about how much does it cost to live in Bucharest:

Reading

Books are pretty cheap in Romania, compared to other EU countries, but most of them are in Romanian. A regular price for a Romanian book is about 4-8 €. The books in foreign languages are usually 10-15 €. If you want to buy really cheap books, I recommend you to go the sellers from Universitate, they are opened in the working sunny days between 7 AM-5 PM.

Also, depending on your interest as a professional, there are lots of local and international magazines. Regularly, a niche review can cost between 1.1-6 €. Also, you might be interested in the different business annuals, which are usually published between October-February. Such an annual might have lists of business people, companies and industries, including telephones and e-mails which are hard to find in other places. One such annual might cost between 5-10 € and can be found at most newspaper kiosks, but especially in select stores such as the Relay or InMedio networks, which distribute the best periodicals.

Film

In Romania, all movies are presented in their original language and with Romanian (or, occasionally, English) subtitles. The only dubbed features are some of the animated trash for really small children and they usually come also in subtitled version for adults.

Bucharest has about 70 cinema screens. The number of films in a regular week (Friday to Thursday) usually varies between 50 to 120.

Bucharest has become in the past years quite an important place on the map of small film festivals. There are at least a dozen of them each year, with very low prices for general entry. In Bucharest, there are frequently a lot of films (both commercial, and artistic) which appear in the same time or even before they get launched in the United States.

The price of a regular entry for an adult depends on:

– cinema;

– time of the day/week – there are discounts for morning, weekdays and some spacial day-based discounts on most cinemas;

– if you are a student and/or you have an ISIC/ITIC card, then you usually have between 30-50% discount;

The cheapest tickets are at some of the state cinemas (Gloria, Europa, Studio, Noul Cinematograf al Regizorului Român or NCRR – something like 1.1-1.7 €/entry) and even in some multiplexes (Lights Cinema, Cityplex – something like 2-2.5 €/entry) or private cinemas (Union, Elvira Popescu – 2.2 €/entry). These cinemas usually have a good art films offer. And of course, there are the very high-quality and premium theaters, appropriate for seeing blockbusters, the best of them (and most expensive) being the RomTelecom IMAX theatre, which is located in the Cinema City of the AFI Cotroceni Palace shopping centre near the Politehnica metro, and also two other private cinema screens also in Cinema City which can run 3D + 48 frames per second features. The prices for such an experience is usually between 6-15 €/entry.

There are also a lot of cultural centers (especially British Council and Centre Culturel Francais) which let you borrow books, magazines and films and often have accessible encounters or projections on cultural topics.

Theater

Bucharest is the most cultural city in Romania and an important EU cultural city. Usually, all theater plays are in Romanian. The cost of a ticket varies between 2-3 €/entry for a small theater and 5-15 €/entry for a big theater. In some cases, you can also buy a seasonal subscription, if you go often to the same theater. You can also get significant discounts as a student, which may vary depending on the spectacle and the theater.

Business networking events

Usually, there are a lot of business networking events quite accessible for all the English and Romanian speaking young people interested to participate, if you want to meet people, get clients or suppliers. For example, the meetings organized by Junior Chambers International, Business Network International, InterNations. I also recommend Speaker’s Arena for public speakers, Open Connect for entrepreneurs and Noble Manhatttan Coaching Support Group for personal development. Usually, there is a small fee for every single participation to such an event, or a monthly annual fee to be payed. If you go to 2-3 of these each month, the monthly cost would be something like 10-15 €.

Going out

Of course, you will need to allot some money for getting out with people, either on business or on personal reasons. Usually, in the regular bars/coffee houses/tea-houses/small restaurants a coffee/soda/small cake is 2-3 €. Most places have wireless access, but you need to ask for the password from the bar/service desk. There are also some cafeteria or small restaurants (especially near the student centers) where you can eat pretty cheap, healthy and consistent for a decent 3-4 €/meal, but those places aren’t appropriate for business meetings with (potential) customers, .

Some of the most popular meeting places in the center of Bucharest are the historical city center (with hundreds of small terraces and coffee shops), Mac Unirii (or any of the other MacDonald’s in the center), Cafepedia, SpringTime, KFC and the Librarium teahouse from Romană. All these are also appropriate for business meetings, but the quality of food is usually lower and the prices higher. There is also a Starbucks place in the shopping center Plaza Romania. I usually meet with people at Mac Unirii, Spring Time Universitate or KFC Romana.

Depending on how much, how often, who and where you meet in the city, you can expect to pay at least 10 €/m. Usually, I pay about 15-20 €/m.

Gifts

Please read here my article on this topic. Generally, the monthly budget for gifts would be 5-10 €/m.

Other special expenses

If anything breaks in the apartment, if you get a fine, if you get seriously sick and generally anything you aren’t insured for, can cost you a lot and are not considered in the monthly budget. Also, if you buy a new phone, a new bike, a washing machine, fridge, furniture and anything like that, these are also not considered in the monthly budget. But at least one of these things is likely to be happening in Romania and you should consider a budget of minimum 100-150 €/year, which adds to 8-12 €/m.

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The Testimonial, Set in Stone as the Referent Gave It?

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 12/12/2012

You have found out what a testimonial is and what benefits it brings to the personal brand. After that, we have discovered together from whom to request it and how. But, just as you should not count your chickens before they are hatched, you do not always get what you wish the way you requested it! What do you do then?

When to modify a testimonial

The moment a referent offers a testimonial, the ideas and words used belong to him/her. The marketer has the obligation to assume these just as they are offered by the referent, but in certain situations, can change:

  • orthographic, writing or punctuation mistakes

  • words that are repeated can be substituted

  • phrases that are too long can be divided into sentences

  • 2-3 words that could be replaced with better synonyms can be replaced

  • if it is needed, he/she can delete certain portions/ideas, if they do not affect the contextual meaning

Look below for an example of a modified testimonial. This testimonial, was originally received in the Romanian language (here translated to English) after that it was translated so that it would be usable at an international level. As you will observe, some meanings were lost in the translation and some corrections were needed. The first is the original. The second is the modifyed one.

Informaţiile obţinute prin aplicarea chestionarului Identity Compass® sunt deosebit de relevante şi pot fi folosite atât la nivel personal, cât şi în organizaţie la partea de evaluare la angajare/promovare şi la stabilirea unui plan pentru dezvoltarea individuală. Poate furniza managerilor date despre profilul motivaţional al subordonaţilor şi poate ajuta în contruirea echipelor performante.

Este un instrument uşor de folosit şi sunt convinsă că va avea o mare dezvoltare în domeniul organizaţional.

Mara Manea,

Training Specialist

Coca-Cola HBC Romania

 

« The information obtained by the Identity Compass®  questionnaire application are especially relevant and can be used at the personal level but in the organization, too (at the evaluation part of employment/promotion and for establishing an individual development plan). It can provide to managers data about the motivational profile of subordonates and can help to build performant teams.

It is an instrument easy to use and I am sure that it will have a great development in the organizational field. »

Mara Manea
Training specialist
Coca-Cola HBC Romania


«
 The information obtained by the Identity Compass®  IS especially relevant and can be used at the personal level AND in the organization too (TO EVALUATE FOR employment/promotion and for establishing an individual development plan). It can provide to managers data about the motivational profile of EMPLOYEES and can help to build HIGH PERFORMANCE teams. It is an instrument THAT IS easy to use and I am sure that it will have a great IMPACT in the FIELD OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. »

Mara Manea
Training specialist
Coca-Cola HBC Romania

This testimonial, after it was received, was contained just as it was offered, in a list with other, similar references and the referent received access to the document, having the right to oppose if it did not agree with the context it appeared. The testimonial refers to the product of a company which activates in over 40 countries and was translated, so that it would be able to be used for promotion at an international level. 2 persons with ability of decision in the respective company requested the modifications pinpointed above and it was needed to inquire the referent’s permission in order for the testimonial to be able to be published in its new form, even though you can observe it is not a big difference.

I have used this example, because in this case, the referent, inasmuch as the one who operated the testimonial are top experts in the domain they are active and have experience regarding the promotion of services. As a proof, you have observed how, sensitive to the loss of some meanings by translation, the recommended company’s representative insisted to adjust the testimonial, and did so with respect for each word the person had written. I know an example of one person that was to be sued because it sent, neglectfully, to some people, a version of a promotional document in which there was a version with 1-2 words that had not been modified in time at the referent’s request. Testimonials represent a thin line and matter for litigation. Example given, this article contains certain…examples. But these examples are used from testimonials for which the referents have given their acceptance for being used in public and the copyright law stipulates that any examples may be used for educational/demonstration purposes as is the case with this article, without requesting the referent’s permission deliberately, however these situations are pretty restricted. My recommendation is you request permission for everything and always to offer transparency to your referents.

<<Never mind, write there whatever you want and I will sign!>>

This is one of the phrases which many potential referents will tackle you with, alleging lack of time, inability, etc…

First, it is a deontological criteria, that obligates every initiator to use only real references, leading all the way to publishing the referent’s contact information even in the promotional material, in order to be able to verify (most frequently, in the online surroundings, link on the name to the e-mail address is practiced).

Second, another criteria exists, even more practical: if you write about what you would like others to read and you do it in a constant manner (in case you falsify the testimonials), you will notice at one moment that all the testimonies that you have signed by referents have almost the same style. I will give you an example about how much different the attitude, personality and style can be reflected of three persons who offer testimonials for the same service, of graphological analysis.

My personality was “read”, pretty much, by means of the graphological analysis and a part of the aspects found clarified some doubts regarding the choice of my future profession. In other words, the made description confirmed what I knew about be, on one hand, and on the other hand, made me discover other aspects which I did not know about and that are useful for creating a solid road.

In order to realize the best choices in life, first you must know yourself very well. I think the graphological analysis is a useful method regarding this and you do not have anything to lose by trying out this option. You might be surprised in a pleasant sense, just as I was, rediscovering myself in a large part of this graphological analysis and not only that, but even discovering things that I did not know about my personality”.

Madalena Tenchiu

Copy editor, Iasi

There are pseudo-psychological tests online. Anyone can take them and think they are correct. The truth is that nothing compares with the prepared individual who explains face-to-face how the things are. I liked the analysis. Besides the fact it was amusing, it was also useful for me. Useful and pleasant, the most beautiful of all combinations”.

Ioana Stefania Ciureanu,

Graduated Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi

Even though I tried to dissimulate certain things on my page, Ştefan Alexandrescu, in the position of graphological analyst, made an exact analysis of my personality”.

Luana Stanciu,

Commercial law counsellor, Bucharest

It is obvious these three testimonials were written by different persons. And they represent, additionally, a warranty of the fact that persons from different domains (in this case, editorial, academic, economic-law) will have a positive view concerning the offered service, despite the difference of perspectives, style and field of activity. Likewise, we remember easier what we wrote/said than what anyone else wrote/said. The moment it will be contacted, a referent will know what he/she wrote you, as a reference, comparing to the situation where you composed a nice text and he/she only signed it.

Sometimes, it happens that you discover, with this occasion, that a person is not fully satisfied with your service and this will give you some suggestions of improvement. At one moment, together with a group of students from the department of psychology I tried a method of team-building. Even though it was not done until the end, due to limits of time and space, I had the impression it had gone well and thought it would be a good idea to request some references for the respective method, but with this occasion I discovered that things did not necessarily go bad, but they did not go as good as I would have liked to think. Two participants made some observations that helped me understand where I had done wrong. If I would not have requested these references, I would not have gotten a feed-back, even though I had requested feed-back immediately after the session of team-building. Which proves that…

A feed-back is not a reference,

and a reference is not a feed-back

The moment you receive a positive reference, warm, from the heart, from someone who you know was really helped by your product/service, it is the case to congratulate yourself. These are the most precious testimonials, even though it might happen for them not be observed by others, but they are the ones you will remember. Example given, in my work of profiling in the field of human resources, it happens sometimes for certain clients to have insights or revelations about themselves, a thing that can help them develop; even though the purpose of profiling is for example choosing a job or evaluation for a certain post, a side benefit might be that of the person being able to identify more clearly certain problems or directions for action by means of which to make a decision. Just as the case of Andreea was:

I have to admit that I have always needed help in identifying firstly my problems, or better said, their essence. I have always known I am also my biggest enemy. I have never understood why. The profile enlightened me from this perspective. After the profile, I had a sort of a revelation. And this opened my eyes upon the strategies that I should adopt regarding me in the future. I began today…

Stefan found the problem and its explanation in only an hour…for me it took years to understand the decisions I made. If I were to say in per cent the results of the profile in relation to reality, I would say 99%”.

Andreea Serban

Iasi

Now think well…even though I know what I would like the clients to express about the offered services, do you really think such a testimonial could be counterfeited? And to be of a different style compared to the other 7 testimonials of the same service on a certain type of profile? Small probability. Additionally, if you are good enough to make an effort in forging some references (a thing I consider absolutely embarrassing and irresponsible for someone who works in marketing) and to use styles that are sufficiently different so that you do it successfully, believe me that you have the abilities to offer your services at a level of quality that you will obtain testimonials <<for real>> with much less effort.

Those who will know best how to appreciate your work are others.

Leave the words to them, and these will come to you.

If you will run after wonderful descriptions in the (auto)promotion of your services, these will not come.

I thank you!

Happy Self Branding

Stefan

Useful references for the content of this article

Shelle Rose Charvet – Words that change minds/Cuvinte care schimbă minţi, Editura Amaltea, 2006

Dan Kennedy – Magnetic Marketing Collection

Andy Szekely – Ghidul credibilităţii, 2007

Jack Trout, Steve Rivkin – Puterea simplităţii

http://hypnoticmarketing.com/

www.bizcafe.ro

For a full list of articles on personal branding, in Romanian and English, press here.

 Previously published in Romanian [ro, blog] Translated by Răzvan Nidelea

Posted in Analytic & Critic Vision Over... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Ethics of Public Speaking

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 15/04/2012

Motto: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

 

Accountabiliy and responsability

Certainly, if you believe the message of putting on seat belts is a good and safe message to deliver, you will want to be as persuasive as possible. Certainly, comparing each of the three scenarios before, you will have made a difference in degrees of conviction. In the first example, you presented some data and used some influencing language (“naturally”, “more and more interesting”, “before thinking further”, etc.). In the second case, you provided an experience to remember for the participants, in an advertising kind of way. That was persuasion. In the end, you emotionally manipulated the public from the beginning to the end. At the end of the day, you feel good because you think maybe some of what you said and did will have saved some lives.

Of course, one important aspect which didn’t get mentioned in all three presentations is that after more than 80 km / h, the seat belt is no longer a protecting benefit, but a traumatizing instrument. One of the participants to your presentation, let’s call him Michael, drives with 125 km / h, gets in an accident and because he was wearing the seat belt, he ruptures is spine and breaks his ribs. In the first case, Michael might remember he did surrender to the common wisdom of wearing a seat belt. He might remember that someone made a presentation and suggested it might be a good idea. In the second case, Michael will certainly remember the road fantasy ad you made him pass though and he will hate you for giving him incomplete information. In the third case, you can count on the fact that this time, Michael’s wife, Diane, will remember you, because when Michael got home he couldn’t keep from ranting over and over again on the brilliant presentation you made and the important message for all the family. Diane sews you and the company you work for, for more money than you, your sons and your nieces can pay in a lifetime for misleading information resulting in lifelong infirmity for her husband and all the health bills.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The intensity of using persuasion about a certain message you want to carry across doesn’t only make you responsible, but also accountable for some of the results your listeners experience.

Often times, in our lives, we are convinced the beliefs we hold are good and healthy, and we hurry to share them in all good faith. But, in time, especially when we really get informed on a certain topic, we can understand how what we once thought does not hold the same value anymore. So keep in mind you solely are responsible, in front of yourself, in front of your listeners, in front of the organizers, in front of the organization you are representing when doing public speaking, and, above all, in front of God. “Always act like your granny is watching you!” 

 

Message and intention in public speaking

The meaning of communication is to influence. We only communicate to influence others. “The human communication is a process through which an individual (the communicator) transmits stimuli with the purpose of changing other individuals’ behavior (the auditorium). “ (1). Therefore, any public speaking must either influence, or persuade, or manipulate. During the previous century, someone could have conceived as a purpose for a presentation to inform. To offer information. Today, we live in the XXIth century. Nobody cares about information anymore. Information can be found for free on the internet, about almost anything. It’s at everybody’s fingertips. If you want to inform, go back in the stone age and play for a change.

Ethics in this context is simply a matter of how well you know the actual information on the topic you’re presenting and what is your intent. Any person able to manipulate must be aware of the fact that determining change which is improper in the long term in the manipulated person(s) will loose the effect and generate loss of credibility for you. Integrity is a notion that some people started training on: “How to resonate with your message”, “How to be connected with your inner self when delivering the message” and crap like this. It’s simple. If you believe in your message and your intentions, you will be congruent. If you don’t believe, you won’t. Anything less is like painting vulture wings on a chicken and hoping it will fly.

You wanna know why was Edison so determined to invent the light bulb, after he has discovered 1000 ways of not inventing it, after his whole lab burned to the ground? He wrote 9 pages of how would the world be better if he brought his invention to life. I don’t think Edison needed any inner congruence exercises.

There is even a deeper look into this. Let’s say we see someone doing something wrong to themselves, in their life, like victimizing and searching for rescuers. We may explain the whole mechanism and make that person aware of a lesson (s)he needs to learn, but in the same time we deprive them by a lesson they need to learn by themselves. I see this especially in young people, when they start to get an understanding of how psychic processes work, they are tempted to apply it everywhere, sometimes with people who are not prepared to face some of their own truths. It’s one thing to determine someone not to drink alcohol or not to smoke anymore, or to be firm with a friend. And it’s another telling to someone, or an audience, they’re on a wrong path. When we take away someone’s power to learn from their own mistakes, we often position ourselves in the perspective of the know-it-all, although we might have good intentions. It’s simply a similar matter to giving someone fish opposite to teaching them to fish.

I remember a positive experience, when Bogdan Enoiu, the entrepreneur who started McCann Erickson România and one of the wealthiest advertising experts in Romania, at the Business Club Conferences in Spring 2010, Bucharest, asked the students from ASE (Romania’s most prestigious economic university) what professional choices do they have for their future. Some answered “branding”. Others answered “PR”. But they weren’t very convinced. He simply said there aren’t so many open places in branding. And there are no more than 500 jobs in PR, in the whole Romania. He was a diplomat. In an industry where branding agencies strive to live and can barely make, all of them, 1 million euros a year, in an industry where organizations looks for more measurability and less for PR. In the same industry all the advertisers work three times as hard for half the same money as two years ago, these students and who knows how many more, dream of becoming communicators. He could have told them they have no chance, but then everybody would have hated him. In a few years, they will see for themselves. He simply suggested. But for those who understand beyond words and know the market dynamics, he said more than enough. It was a memorable impact presentation through its simplicity.

We usually retain:

  • 10 % of what we read

  • 20 % of what we hear

  • 30 % of what we see

  • 50 % of what we see and hear

  • 70 % of what we talk with others

  • 80 % of what we experience

  • 95 % of what we teach others (2).

We tend to remember more what we said ourselves than what others said. When public speaking, we have the chance to communicate our message to hundreds, thousands, and due to present technology, instantly communicate with millions of persons, that means exercising one of the most difficult tasks possible these days: making our message memorable.

References

1. Dinu, Mihai – Comunicarea, Ed. Ştiinţifică, Bucureşti, 1997, apud Prutianu, Ştefan, – Tratat de comunicare şi negociere în afaceri, 2007, Polirom, first chapter.

2. William Glassere

 

Books to read

  • Carnegie, Dale (1934) – The Art of Public Speaking

  • James, Tad (1997) – Presenting Magically

  • Hoff, Ron (1992) – I Can See You Naked, A New Revised edition of the National Bestseller on Making Fearless Presentations, Andrews & McMeel, USA

  • Prutianu, Ştefan – Tratat de comunicare şi negociere în afaceri, Polirom, 2007

  • Cleveland, Kenrick E. – „How to Use the 36 Chinese Stratagems to Win”, Influence Marketing LLC, 1997

     

Films to see

  • Patch Adams (1998) Directed by Tom Shadyac

  • Julius Caesar (1953) Directed by Joseph L. Mankiezewicz

  • Thank you for Smoking (2004) Directed by Jason Reitman

  • The Network (1976) Directed by Sidney Lumet

  • Kramer vs. Kramer (1977) Directed by Sydney Pollack

  • The Verdict (1982) Directed by Sydney Lumet

  • A Time to Kill (1995) Directed by Joel Schumaher

  • Amy’s Orgasm (1998) Directed by Julie Harris

  • Shakespeare in Love (1998) Directed by John Madden

  • There Will Be Blood (2007) Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

  • City Hall (1995) Directed by Martin Brest

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