For as long as I can remember, I have used acronyms to memorize key phrases. They are simple sticky slogans or memes. Webster's defines meme as
a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition and replication in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes; a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way.
My motivation is to teach and transfer ideas, processes, habits, and disciplines that change behavior, attitudes, relationships, and knowledge. It's a little K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Simon) from me to you. You have heard them, read them, and even said them:
- W.A.I.T. = Why Am I Talking?
- H.A.L.T. = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
About five years ago, I was asked to give an ad hoc workshop for an hour with NO preparation. I said yes. In the ten minutes I had to prepare, I mind-mapped six acronyms, six sticky slogans. Then I wrote them on a flip chart, offered up a quote that described the principle, told a story to illustrate the point, and asked the audience to engage in an exercise. I asked for volunteers, gave them a question, and had them write something down or brainstorm in small groups. It was a huge hit. When we were done, the audience had more
Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, Habits
). Here are the six I chose that day:
- A.R.U. = Appreciation, Respect, Understanding
- L.P.Q.P. = Listen, Pause, Question, Paraphrase
- P.M.A. = Positive Mental Attitude
- C.B.A. = Conceive, Believe, Achieve
- L.O.L.O. = Lock On, Lock Out
- N.T.I. = Next Time I'll...
A.R.U. = Appreciation, Respect, Understanding
Everyone you meet, from eight to 88 years is looking for three things: appreciation, respect, and understanding. When you gladly give them these three simple things, they give you their friendship, loyalty, and business. We accomplish this by becoming "Good Finders" and saying things like, "The three things I like about you are..." and/or writing them down on 3 x 5 cards. Respect requires empathy. It means going back into your own history and remembering what it was like to be "The New Gal" (or Guy). Understanding is the application of Active Listening Skills on a regular basis. It means making it a habit. That leads to the next sticky slogan...
L.P.Q.P. = Listen, Pause, Question, Paraphrase
Active Listening has four simple components (I said "Simple," not "Easy"!)
- Listen without interruption while making eye contact, nodding, smiling, leaning forward, and hanging on their every word.
- Pause three to five seconds before you respond. This requires real discipline and focus. Before you get to five, they will start talking again.
- Question for clarification by asking, "How do you mean?" or "Can you give me an example?"
- Paraphrase means saying, "In other words..." and repeating back what you thought you heard. Eighty percent of the time, they will respond with a very emphatic "EXACTLY!"
P.M.A. = Positive Mental Attitude
A Positive Mental Attitude begins with a simple decision, followed by conscious and deliberate ways of thinking. It's a new philosophy: Optimism vs. Pessimism; Smiling vs. Frowning; Service vs. Self; Speedboat vs. Anchor; and Positive vs. Negative. It can be formed and forged by reading positive books, associating with positive people, and listening to positive podcasts. It means eliminating the (bad) news in all forms from your daily intake and substituting good news instead. It also means monitoring your Self-Talk and adjusting it to reflect what is RIGHT about your life and world. It's about making Gratitude Lists and telling people what you LIKE about them.
C.B.A. = Conceive, Believe, Achieve
Goal Achievement has been a part of my life since I was 14 years old. I attended a two-day seminar that taught me how to set and achieve my goals. Conceive means deciding what you want and writing out on paper WHAT you want and WHY you want it. It means trusting the process and forgetting the HOW. That will come if you believe. Repeating your goal with positive emotion-out loud, in your heart, and in your head-eventually creates Belief. From there, ideas will spring forth from your subconscious. Acting on those ideas must follow because success breeds success.
L.O.L.O. = Lock On, Lock Out
When you lock on to a goal, you lock out all distractions. You eventually develop a laser-like focus. Have you ever done something that you love, only to look at the clock and realize it was 2 am, and eight hours had gone by like eight minutes? That is L.O.L.O. It is a blissful activity. I am experiencing it right now as I write this. It's called "flow." You are calm, relaxed, and focused. It's play, not work. I call it "C3": calm, cheerful, courageous. It's being in the zone.
N.T.I. = Next Time I'll...
When you slice in the woods, drop the ball, lose a sale, or make a mistake, rather than wallowing in self-loathing, self-hatred, or self-pity, you simply say, "Oh well; next time I'll..." It's a healthy regard for learning and growing. It's asking, "What did I learn from this experience?" It's accepting the fact that Experience + Reflection = Wisdom! What did you notice? What are your options? What did you learn? What will you DO differently next time?
On a recent drive back from our condo at Lake Chelan, Washington (a beautiful four-hour drive through the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains), I brainstormed my Simple Sticky Slogans. I have over 50 of them. They are useful. They have come from books I've read, seminars I have attended, journal entries I've made, and conversations with clients. Many of them are original ideas that come during my morning Hour of Power sessions.
Just a little K.I.S.S. from me to you, and for my three-week-old granddaughter. I can't wait to teach her some of these. Girls are smarter than boys. She will probably be teaching hers to me. I'm never too old to learn; they are never too young to teach. P.M.A.