Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Jack Canfield Shows Up and Gives Us Respect

Good morning, Successful People!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am.

This blog post was originally written on August 8, 2005 for Live Better than a Billionaire on Five Dollars Extra a Day. I wanted to reprint it here for you in case you missed it.

What's it like to be trained by one of the most successful people on the planet? If I had to pick one word it would be: respected.

With almost infinite kindness and patience, the Success Principles seminar began gently on Saturday night, August 6, with a brief concert by Ms. Jana Stanfield who provides a brand of music and humor she calls "Heavy Mental". Perhaps the spirit of what she has to say is best captured by the lyric:

"The world needs more help than I can give

But the world needs all the help I can give."

She has songs about coloring outside the lines, being gentle with one another and seeing the beauty in everyone. She tells loving stories about children with MS, and how they like the concept that "if you can move, you can dance" and she soon has us doing both.

By Sunday morning, we're all excited about experiencing more. Breakfast is a nice surprise . . . with the finest fruits, meats and eggs. So fueled for a fine morning, we arrive in the meeting room.

Large binders full of material await us. The second surprise is when we find that the binder has extra copies of material in it . . . and permission to copy the material to share with those we teach and train at no extra charge. The third surprise is that the seminar is being recorded, and those who couldn't attend will be able to buy a CD of the session in a few months for around $600. That sounds like quite a bargain for those who missed it.

Then, Jack Canfield comes out . . . and turns out to be a low key, smiling, and gentle man. He nicely explains what he's going to do, why he's going to do it . . . and almost apologetically explains that we will learn best if we laugh a lot (based on the latest research) and that we are going to see a lot of cartoons. And they come, filling the room with giggles and guffaws. Then, he tells us about how to learn best (we'll remember 95% of we teach it to someone -- are you ready to learn?), and can remember 90% of we take complete notes on what happens, review the notes within five hours and get eight hours of sleep (the last hour and a half is when short term memory is turned into long-term memory).

He shares a long page of rules for the seminar, asking for our agreement. Some balk at various points (one woman wants to be able to have two glasses of wine on Wednesday night), and Jack patiently negotiates with each person an agreement that will help them meet their needs and still learn the most. At the break, we all comment that this agreement session was an eye-opener. We've never seen a group this size deal with so many issues, but it leaves everyone in the room feeling like Jack Canfield is serious about serving us, is a nice guy, and respects us. The most emotionally charged moment comes when a woman who is hugging her husband is almost in tears at the thought of being physically removed from him for part of the seven days. She eventually agrees to try two sessions without him during the week. We all applaud heartily at the happy resolution!

I'm present with one of my students, and I fear he will feel cheated if I don't always sit with him. I ask Jack if I may sit with my student whenever he requests me to. Jack suggests that that would be all right as long as these are less than half of the sessions. I turn to my student and ask him if that's all right . . . and he happily agrees. I feel a lot better!

We continue to discuss how powerful Jack's approach is during meals and breaks, and vow to be as patient and considerate in negotiating rules for achievement with our colleagues and families when we return home.

For the rest of the day, we are all astonished at how quickly Jack notices when we raise our hands and how eagerly he stops whatever he was doing to answer our questions and to hear our comments. I was once at a Tony Robbins seminar and stood on my chair waving my hands for two hours before Tony finally let me speak. I like the difference. I feel totally respected and that makes me eager to learn.

At lunch, the food is even better than at breakfast. We have both salmon and chicken, great vegetables, and everything is fresh and made with the best ingredients. In the restaurant this lunch would have cost $30. Very nice.

Dinner is even better. It's an authentic northern Italian menu beginning with antipasto. My student is from northern Italy, and he proclaims everything to be quite good and authentic.

In fact, the whole experience is first class. And that makes us all feel more respected. Some of the facilitators enjoy these sessions so much that they come back as volunteers year after year. One man has done so for 17 years.

During the afternoon, we work on having more self-esteem. You can feel the self-esteem expand from minute to minute. I had a chance to work with and meet dozens of interesting people . . . and quite a few tell me that they will be reading my blog entries about the seminar. I also teach a number of them about the key elements of creating 2,000 percent solutions. They like it!

At the end of the day, we have two pieces of homework that I enjoy: To write down 100 successes we've had; and to tell ourselves that we love ourselves in the mirror before going to bed. I nod off thinking that I'm one of the 300 luckiest people on the planet.

I usually wake up briefly during the night. Rather than rolling over and going back to sleep, I headed down to the business center to write this blog entry.

My eyes are getting a little heavy so I'll sign off in a minute.

But before I do, I want to share with you how you might apply some of what I learned yesterday.

First, take the time to get to know people before you start working on something with them. It will help you bond and feel like you can trust one another.

Second, discuss, negotiate and lay out the rules of how you are going to work together in ways that reflect everyone's preferred ways of operating. That makes everyone feel respected and engaged by what you're working on.

Third, be open to questions, comments and concerts . . . whenever they arise.

Fourth, create a first-class environment for people to pursue the common purpose. They will feel inspired by the positive treatment and the assumption that they are worth it.

Fifth, tell people you value them, write notes about why you value them and be physically demonstrative of your delight in them!

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!If you like this blog, please let others know who might also enjoy it.

Thank you to my many friends, students, clients and blog readers who are spreading the good word about this blog. If you are visiting today because one of them invited you, I'm delighted to meet you! Let's stay in touch.

May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell