Monthly Archives: June 2011

Give advice without offense: Double Permission Approach

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Have you ever been the situation where you want to help someone solve a problem or challenge that they are going through, but after attempting been harshly rejected?  “Mind your own business!” “Thank you, but I am just fine.” “Don’t try to fix me!” and so on… This can be very frustrating for those of us who love to help. Consider what I called getting Double Permission as a possible solution for you and your circle of influence.

Consider getting DOUBLE Permission.

Permission #1:

Get permission to speak about their problem by asking questions so that they tell you the problem or challenge they are having. Ask questions and have them tell you the answers, even if you already know the answer. Only then can you attempt to share your own experience.

“You know, I felt the same way”

“I had the same challenge”.

People don’t really care what you know. They do care that you are interested in them and care about their situation. This first step in being curious and letting them tell you sets the stage for your listener to be able to hear what you have to say. Unless permission #1 is granted, they will at best not listen to your wisdom, and at worst take it as an attack on their competency.

Permission #2:

This is another question. Do not be fooled in thinking that the one you are trying to help has given you a continuing permission to speak contract. They have not. You need to ask again. This is the double permission part. Even though they told you the issue, it doesn’t mean they want you to help with a solution. Often times people confuse your desire to help with a solution as saying that something is wrong with them as a person. Of course this is not true. Getting the 2nd round of permission will help you focus on the challenge, and create value instead of offense.

“Would you like to know what I learned?”

“Would you like to know how I solved or overcame my challenge? I think it might be valuable.”

The key is to actually let them answer! I know this will be challenging, but give it a go. Shut up and let there be silence until you get an answer. This alone could be a breakthrough type experience for the one you are with. Most people do not really want to know the answers to their questions, they just want to talk more. Listening will set you apart as someone who cares.

They might say “No” or “That’s ok, I got it under control”. And let that be ok. You are there to serve. Be available and they may come back. If you really want to help them, your goal is not about getting the reaction from them that you want, your goal is better their situation. Telling them what you think anyway can feel demeaning and once again be taken as an offense from the person you were trying to help.

People are curious sometimes. Even though you may have the answer, they often don’t want to hear you because, they feel attacked or that you think you are better then them, or other silly things that are not true. The way around it is to get DOUBLE permission.  You will find this works well in business and personal relationships. Let them tell you what they want to know.

Consistently practicing this approach will not only set you up as a trusted advisor, but someone who truly cares. People will remember and appreciate you for a lifetime.

Why & How Affirmations Work

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I am so thankful to easily and effortlessly make $100,000 a month speaking and training others to reach their own sales and profit goals.

Beliefs get made in 3 primarily ways

  1. Adolescent Messages: What you were told when you were a kid
  2. Emotionally Charged Ideas: Thoughts that you accepted during highly emotionally charged events. (An example many of us wrestle with is: you get betrayed by a loved one and the betrayal becomes known all at once, like during a fight. Maybe the loved one yells, “you are not worth my love!” Because of the emotionally charged situation that thought makes it into the subconscious that you are not worth being loved. Now you reject signs of love from others because its obviously not real because you believe you are not worth love. So obviously this thing being offered isn’t love.
  3. Repetition. Any idea you tell yourself or allow yourself to hear will eventually be accepted as true. Your brain will let it pass to the subconscious and will then repeat it over and over for you without any further conscious effort.

We usually define beliefs as “How it is” or “how things are” or “this is just how I am”. Some examples of this are, “I am just not good with people” or “I am just not good at speaking to groups of people” or “the world is a dangerous place.” These are all belief driven, not reality driven statements. As in, our beliefs give meaning to a citation. You can’t be good or bad at anything unless you define the whole scenario through your beliefs. This is good news! This means you can change your beliefs if they aren’t working for you.

These affirmations work when you make the idea that you would like to be true and then intentionally repeating that idea.  Next you get yourself to feel the positive emotions that will come from attaining the idea by imagining it to be happening. This combination of repetition and feeling the desired emotion literally guides you to unconsciously alter the small habits that you are unaware of.

The real key here is just that you use your designed belief. As you use it every day you will be able to tweek it so it sounds better to you and evokes the positive emotions.

Say it to yourself when you get up and when you got to bed. That way your mind starts the day focusing on what you want and ends the day focusing on it too so you can dream and work on it while you sleep.

3 Steps To Keep Momentum and Win In Life

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In the thousands of hours of coaching over the years, I have found these 3 steps will help you keep the momentum and finish strong on your journey in your best life ever. They are simple, yet profound.
1. Recognize where and how you are doing good right now. Celebrate that.
2. Focus on your goals
3. Remind yourself of who you choose to be and then change your behavior in this moment so that you are acting like it.
Step One:
Recognize that you are winning and Celebrate!
It is in the state of exhilaration that challenges are overcome and new creation happens. To get exhilarated you just need to stop and recognize everything in your life that is great. I promise its there if you look hard enough.
So, take a deep breath in…. then out… and allow yourself to recognize that you are doing great.
You went to Trotter’s workshop. You hired a coach. You are doing the work. you have that list of be, do, have’s and your top five accomplishments. Tell yourself “great job, you are awesome and on your way!” and mean it.

Step Two:
Focus on your goals! You need to have your exact goal in mind when you wake up. You need to have your goal in mind when you go to sleep too. You need to have beliefs about yourself that help you do what it takes. Too many beliefs that we tell ourselves influence us to quit. If you think different thoughts about yourself you will act and feel differently.
In case you haven’t done much work on exactly what you want to do, or who you want to be, here is a helpful exercise to get clear.
Write out 30 characteristics that you want to BE, 30 things you want to DO, and 30 things you want to HAVE.
  1. BE’s. Think of all the people you admire. Real or fiction. Dead or alive. What are the characteristics that they possess that attract you? Brave, confident, loving, creative, perceptive, smart, persistent, hard working, revolutionary, etc… Write the characteristics ‘you would like to be’ down till you have 30 of them. You start to design your own beliefs by changing the “I would like to be” with “I am”. Instead of “I would like to be intentional”, now it is “I am intentional”. Instead of “I would like to be adventurous” say “I am adventurous”. Choose to be that in this moment! Declare it and then ask, “What would I do if I was adventurous and intentional in this moment?” And then do that. This is how you create yourself to be how you wish you were. 🙂 The more you remind yourself who you would like to be and act accordingly (even if you don’t feel like it!) the more natural it will become. Then one day, you get told, “I wish I was as adventurous as you, but that is just your personality, I can’t be like you.” Then you will laugh and know how far you’ve come.
  2. For your DO’s and HAVE’s. Go down each of them and write a 1, 5, or a 10 to the right of them. These are one, five and ten year goals. If you think it will take a year or less, put a one. Five or less, put a five. More then Five, put a ten. Then while BEING the woman in you have chosen, go after year one goals!
Step Three:
Remind yourself often that you are able and will accomplish your goal! Allow yourself to imagine the accomplishment of your dreams. Feel how good that will be. If you repeat this process when you get up and when you go to bed, this alone will change your life. I promise. The thing about it is that it’s too easy to do. Becuase it is easy to do, its also easy NOT to do. So, don’t get caught up on how simple this sounds. JUST DO IT! Again, I promise this will revolutionize your life.
This process is called belief design. The purpose of designing a belief is to support you and equip you to engage in your life so that you get what you want. You are creating new thought patterns that promote new actions that give you a better life then you have had in the past. It all starts with your thinking.
I wrote an article with this in mind. Use the link below to get to the post to read it and create your affirmation that will support you in your chosen path.

These things are easy to do and easy not to do. Remember all the ways you are doing great. Nothing and no one can stop you from having the life you want, save you. I am excited to be a part of you getting there. Feel free to contact me for the free consultation to see how Perra Consulting Group can support you to get you where you want to go.

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You Are The Cookie Thief!

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Valerie Cox poem wonderfully illustrates how we so often are doing the very thing we judge and point out in others.  What are you most annoyed in others? Be assured that your very judgment lies inside you as well. Good or bad, if it wasn’t inside you would not have the emotional response. It would just be an observation like, “Look how angry that man looks, how fascinating.” But when the anger meets your anger, we fool ourselves by thinking, “He MADE ME angry!” Notice when you feel like anyone or anything is “making you” do or feel anything. Consider you are trading your choice to love and be at peace for the temporary relief that blame brings.

The Cookie Thief
by Valerie Cox


A woman was waiting at an airport one night

With several long hours before her flight

She hunted for a book in the airport shop

Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see

That the man beside her as bold as could be

Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between

Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene

She munched cookies and watched the clock

As this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock

She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by

Thinking “If I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye”

With each cookie she took he took one too

And when only one was left she wondered what he’d do

With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh

He took the last cookie and broke it in half

He offered her half as he ate the other

She snatched it from him and thought “Oh brother

This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude

Why he didn’t even show any gratitude”

She had never known when she had been so galled

And sighed with relief when her flight was called

She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate

Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate

She boarded the plane and sank in her seat

Then sought her book which was almost complete

As she reached in her baggage she gasped with surprise

There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes

“If mine are here” she moaned with despair

“Then the others were his and he tried to share”

“Too late to apologize she realized with grief”

That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief


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Advice doesn’t work as well

Advice giving doesn’t work as well as a question led process. At first it would seem the best way to get someone up to speed. You already learned the lesson the hard way. Just tell them! Well, there are some problems with this reasoning. For starters, your clients, or people don’t have our personality, resources or conditions that you had. Even if similar, they are not you. This question led process that leads to self generated insight is called coaching. Coaching is a tool you can pull out of your leadership quiver any time people development is a goal.

The coach manages the conversation by curiosity and questions. Even when the coach is in a place to give advice, ask the client to repeat what they heard. This way you can be sure they got what you intended. Even though they have a coach that is 100% with them, the client needs to be 100% responsible for their own success too. Without taking responsibility for themselves, they may just do what they think you want them to do. This is a misuse of the trust that they have in their coach. If the client feels they are just doing what their “smarter and more able” coach is telling them to do, it will either leave the client weaker or a victim. The client will be weaker if the advice works, because they didn’t go through the process of self-discovery themselves. This leaves them needing to back to the advice giver for even more advice. They are now dependent to the one with the answers, weakened in their belief in their own ability. The other outcome is not helpful either. If the well-intended advice given to the client does not work, can you guess who is blamed? Yes, the advice giver. “You said to do this and now everything is even worse!”

Better scenario is to hold the one you are helping as able. Able, as in you believe that they are capable of becoming who they need to become and doing what they need to do to have the results they are committed to have. The belief that you have that they are able allows you to ask more of them then you would have if believed they were incompetent. People often step up when you treat them like they can handle a challenge. It’s like when a little kid falls and scrapes their knee. If you rush up frantically screaming, “Are you ok! Oh no!” they will mostly likely start to cry, even if they hadn’t planned on it. They will respond to the seriousness you are making it. Or you can be calm and congratulate them on such a great fall and smile. This encourages a completely different reaction from them.
Hold the people you work with as able by a question-based approach that has a bias to action. If you get them to do any action that moves them toward their committed goals, you are equipping them to take responsibility for their own success. In the context of developing leaders, any time you do for someone else what they could have done for themselves you weaken them. You strengthen by helping them get specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART) goals and then taking responsibility to act into that goal every day. Telling them what to do is only a quick fix.