11 11, 2013

How Do You Know When To Say No?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:59-05:00November 11th, 2013|Categories: Blog, Change|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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Over extended?


Are you uncomfortable saying no when requests come your way? Are you afraid if you disagree that you will be starting a conflict, or that you will antagonize some folks?

All of us at one time or another is uncomfortable disagreeing with the masses.We’re afraid our opinion might be very unpopular and lead us into uncharted waters. Piling your already filled plate can have devastating effects on your health. Although saying “no” might not be the easiest, in the long run it’s the best for you. Just because others can juggle 10 or 12 things on their plate doesn’t make you less effective because you can’t.

Sometimes it’s tough to determine what you should do and what you should give up. If you find you are continually saying yes to too many things, it’s time for you to use the “no” word.

Each of us has commitments. obligations, and priorities that determine our daily life. Often time these priorities are important to you and no one else. I rarely tell people how much time I spend at the gym; to most people they think it’s a waste of time or wonder why I do it. Some people watch football, play golf or shop. If I have my way, I’ll take the gym over television. As they say, “that’s the way I roll.” I was in Dick’s the other day and I heard a voice behind me say, “I’ll get that for your shorty.” It turned out to be one of the body builders from my gym. We both admitted we wished we had an unlimited budget so we could wear just cool workout clothes and hang around the gym!

When do you need to say no? How about when you are trading your priorities for someone else’s—period? If  their priority is more important than yours;  by all means do it.

How should you say no?  How about just “no.” The word “no” has real power. Don’t be afraid to use it, in fact practice using it! Stop with the wimpy, “I’m not sure” or “I don’t think I can.” This leaves it open or a possible yes later.

If you’re used to saying “yes” all the time then saying “no” may be very difficult.  But adding a few “no’s” will keep your  stress level down and simplify your life.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been coaching business owners for over 20 years. If you need help simplifying your life, Lisbeth can be reached at

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28 10, 2012


By |2017-03-03T12:07:03-05:00October 28th, 2012|Categories: Blog, Change|Tags: , , |6 Comments

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Lisbeth Calandrino

I come from Copake Lake, New York; a small, country  town in the Berkshire hills. The people were simple.

There were twenty people  in the winter and two hundred in the summer. It used to get lonely in the winter.

Compared to the way people think today, people seemed ignorant. The people weren’t ignorant, the  times were. It was over sixty years ago.

Many of my friends had horses, and we all learned how to ride, bareback. There was a saying, there’s no lesson learned in the second kick of the mule.   In those days it wasn’t a mule, it was a  horse.

No  matter how many times I heard the expression, watch out for the horses’s hind legs, I never took it too seriously.

To this day, I can remember  turning my back on the horse and getting kicked!

Despite the warning  it seemed to be  an unavoidable happening.

Despite the pain, it was never enough to get me to focus on the horse’s back legs.I was too caught up in riding the horse.

When the  equivalent problems come along, businesses handle it the identical way. Despite the problem, they don’t seem to learn from it. Sure enough, a second kick is around the corner.

There is another expression that goes with it; it’s called ‘ learning from experience’. Rarely do we learn from experience. It just doesn’t work.

People learn  from an ‘evaluation of their experiences,’ not the experience itself. Most people are so happy to be out of the situation that they forget the experience. This brings me back to the second kick from the mule.

Our experiences use up our time and ultimately, our life. What could be more valuable?

I wrote a speech about life being like tiny pearls strung together and my writer friend Shelia Carmody added her twist. Her thoughts, “The more you invest in what life has to offer, the shinier your pearls!”

Why have plain  pearls when you can have shiny ones?

How can you learn from your experiences: (Karen Keller has some interesting thoughts on learning from experience.)

Be clear about the experience. Not the one you made up but the one you had. Rather than seeing things the way they are, we make the experience into what we want it to be. No wonder it comes out wrong. How can you learn from an experience that never really existed. The experience was the one we wanted not the one we had.

Be open to learning. You’ve all looked at the photo which contains one old woman and one young woman. At first, you may see nothing, but if you turn  the photo upside down, you see two photographs. Be willing to look at the situation from another angle. (If you haven’t seen this, it’s worth a look.)

People get so invested in making up their experience rather than dealing with what it is.

Write down what you’re doing and thinking. Ask yourself, does it make sense? Am I looking at it clearly? When you write your experiences down, you’re likely to see a pattern. Stay focused and don’t lose these important lessons.

Lastly,  consider  change your friend not your enemy. Many people are afraid to change. If you let your imagination loose, it will run wild with you. I have a friend who can go from  a rainstorm  to a tornado in about five seconds flat. I’ve been talking with my friends’ about the upcoming storm, and their reactions are interesting. A friend  asked  if I would take her to the grocery store to get water before the stores ran out.   In  her mind, the storm was already here, and she was out of water.

Talk about getting ahead of  yourself.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers. She does this through customer service training and retention marketing.

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21 10, 2012

Does Change Have To Be An Uphill Battle?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:03-05:00October 21st, 2012|Categories: Blog, Change|Tags: , , , , , , , |2 Comments

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Change doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.

I was speaking at an event for Crossville Inc. last week; it was entitled, Successful Showroom Selling.    It’s a four-day event, includes a manufacturing tour, new-product introductions and various seminars.

I was speaking on ‘How to Use Social Media to Create Traffic in Your Show Room’.

It occurred to me the ideas weren’t complicated in fact the ideas were fun. What would make it complicated was people’s resistance to change and trying something new.

Are  changes that difficult? If you said to a business owner,  do you want to be successful they would  say yes. If in the next breath you mention social media, there would be plenty of frowns.

What do people have to do to get past the ‘change’ part?

There are so many people who are resistant to social media; they say it’s stupid, intrusive and only for young people.  These are the same people who don’t  mind going out,  getting completely intoxicated and bragging about it.

Success is all about the ability to change. It appears that some people think if they learn something new, it means what they knew before was inadequate or wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. Prior successes won’t guarantee success in the future, but it does show that you have some good skills.

Somewhere I heard the term ‘conscious intention’; it’s the thought that our success and failure depend on our responsive ability to determine what we want and then work towards it. If you ask business owners if they want more store traffic they would also say yes. If you suggest they use social media,  they look at you suspiciously.

I didn’t ask them to rob a bank. I just asked them to try something different.

Why wait until your business is falling apart, your relationship is in the dumper, or  you’re on the verge of financial ruin to make changes in your life?

Do we all need setbacks to move forward?

I went to a wonderful cocktail party last night hosted by my friends Joanne and Bruce.

Joanne invited the owner of her gym, Brian Hull and trainer, Marcus McGregor.  (By the way, the gym is called Recenter Square and is on 319 Hamilton Street.)

I must admit even for a gym junkie like myself these two looked amazing and intimidating.

At one point Joanne announced her abs were brought to us by her trainer. It was a very nice tribute but the tribute  really goes to Joanne and her persistence.  All of us who go to the gym know ‘it isn’t easy’.

But  Joanne is an amazing business woman and of course is applying good business skills to skills to improve her abs.

Even if you’re in a rut and not living the life you want you are capable of making changes. Sometimes all that’s needed is baby steps forward, and suddenly you’re on the path to change. Maybe it’s eating half of what’s on your plate to begin to lose weight.

All of us have the conscious capacity to work towards what we want. We can  tell ourselves we want to be better but ‘telling’ is not ‘doing’.

Successes from the past don’t guarantee success  in the future, but they show us that we have the capability to succeed.

Why wouldn’t these skills carry over to our brand-new tasks? Everything we’ve learned supports our ability to learn something fresh and take us to the next level. When you were young learning to drive a car was really scary until you realized that you had all the skills to do it. You just need to practice.

What can you do to help move forward?

Say good things about yourself—instead of ‘boy am I stupid.’ Your mind remembers what you say about it so be kind.

Get the baby steps down and then add a few bigger ones. Remember nobody is really looking at you expect you.

Once you get it down, amp it up! A friend of mine he didn’t think he could lose more weight because he would be the same weight he was when he was in high school. I don’t know what that means. I had another friend who was upset because she could fit into her prom dress! I don’t get this.

Seek out people who are succeeding in your task. Tell them how great they look, ask them how they’ve done it and join them in their success.

Do one thing at a time. Don’t do too many things at once.

Reward yourself for your successes. You deserve it.

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither will your abs.

I love this quote from George Bernard Shaw; the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to him. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Lisbeth helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers. She does this through customer service and communication training. She can be reached at

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23 07, 2012

Before You Can Create, You Must Forget. Change Is Not In The R.V.M.

By |2017-03-03T12:07:05-05:00July 23rd, 2012|Categories: Change|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Before You Can Create, You Must Forget. Change Is Not In The R.V.M.

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R.V.M.=Rear View Mirror

Although businesses are experiencing a failing economy, they are still reluctant to change. Many are caught or paralyzed in the past and reluctantly give credence to factors that are presently influencing their business.

The use of social media is a prime example of one of these factors. Ask any business about customer service and they will tell you this is their prime mission. If you ask them about staying in touch with their customers they will also say this is another of their important focus. But if you ask them if they are using social media they’ll ask you, what for? More about customer service from Dan Alcorn; here’s the link, Dan Alcorn  on Appreciation Marketing.

When contemplating change it’s wise to look at the present market and what’s happening in the market place. The reality of most markets is some loss of revenues, decrease in business or competitors gaining a competitive advantage. For most businesses, now is the time to rethink, retool and remake. But making it happen is another story. By the way, this a great article on change in the Harvard Business Review.

Consider what the airlines have had to go through to stay in business. Charging for baggage, not serving snacks, adding wireless, eliminating blankets and pillows all in the name of survival and change. Many of their changes appear to not be well thought out and come a little too late.

As an example, customers have been asking about Internet connections for years; this is a service that is long overdue. It makes you wonder, what are the airlines thinking about? We know what it is; charging for bags. Many of their changes appear not to be well thought out; if they were they wouldn’t have to continue changing.

One of the stumbling blocks to change, whether it is on a personal or business level is the lack of urgency. The HBR talks about how businesses rarely understand how difficult it is to get their employees to change—even if the leader decides it’s a good idea. This became quite evident to me several years ago when a major client of mine went out of business. At the time they were losing market share , business was down and our focus groups were supporting the need for change. Middle management was determined to stay where they were and continued to ignore the economic signs. Urgency was never established and people wouldn’t budge. To me it seemed similar to rearranging the chairs on the Titanic as the water continued to rise. This was another  pointless effort.

If change is to occur, those on the top must be clear about the urgency and start the process quickly, if the business is to survive. People must understand they are an integral part of the process and that the past is the past. Try not to get caught up in the past.

For an overview of my presentation on Change Is Not In The Rear View Mirror, I’ve included a blog post written by Kate Sparks.

We are all fragile when it comes to change; sometimes eagles need a push.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service and sales training.

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2 03, 2012

Selling is About Passion, Not About Sales

By |2017-03-03T12:07:06-05:00March 2nd, 2012|Categories: Blog, Change|Tags: , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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Passion gets the job doneThe other day I met a personal trainer who was telling me about her profession. She was in great shape and obviously lived her profession.

“I love it she said, but they want me to sell it to people in the health club. In fact they want me to interrupt people who are working out and tell them about the personal training program.”

So what’s wrong with that I asked?” To which she replied, “I don’t want to bother them!”

I started thinking, how can someone love what they do and not want to share it with others? Have you ever seen a movie or read a book that made you so excited  you had to  share it with others? Did you worry they “wouldn’t buy it?” After you explained the movie all your friends  wanted to see it.  Why, because you weren’t selling the movie, you were selling passion and excitement.

 I asked if she thought what she did  was important, to which she again replied, “Of course I do .” She gave lip service to her passion, but somehow the possibility of connecting her passion with others didn’t exist.

Many salespeople are under the misconception that sales is about getting someone to do something or buy something because the salesperson wants them to. In this day and age, do people buy because the salesperson “makes wants them to?” I don’t think so.

No wonder salespeople don’t like selling; of course they feel “pushy.” Frankly, I think they have it all wrong.

When you believe passionately about your service or your product, why not share it with the world? If your service can change a life, unleash a passion, or build self-esteem why not share it? Maybe it’s not about selling, maybe it’s about “connecting” with others. It’s not about the product it’s about self-understanding and an ability to connect with another human.

Maybe people just don’t understand why people buy. People don’t buy because the product is irresistible, they buy because it feels a need in their soul or in their life. My friend was telling me about Oprah Winfrey attending one of Tony Robbin’s events ;while she’s there she does the unthinkable, she walks the hot coals. Despite all her experience and  self-understanding, she feels that walking the coals will do something for her her life.

How does this happen? Something that Tony Robbins said sparked a nerve in Oprah, one that said, “there’s more to life than what you have.” (Now I’m projecting what I think was going on in her head.)

Would you have tried to sell Oprah a walk on hot coals? Would you have thought this was something Oprah would have considered or would move her soul? Not me; that’s why I’m not as successful as Tony Robbins, I wouldn’t have thought of calling Oprah! (Maybe I should  go “walk the coals!”)

I’m sure Oprah didn’t do it because it was something to do; somewhere she made a connection with Tony which motivated her to take a risk. Tony’s passion and enthusiasm is catching, and Oprah  caught it. Whatever he had she wanted.

Why don’t salespeople get it? Some of the people with the best products hold themselves back with silly statements like “I can’t sell.” I think the problem is how we train salespeople; we talk about “closing, getting people to buy, making money” instead of understanding their gifts,  passions and value. According to the article on “value,” Steve Pavlina says that a speaker’s value lies in their ability to change the way people think in a very short period of time, sometimes permanently. That is a powerful statement. Isn’t this just another way to deliver the best customer service? Give the customer a way to get what they want.

Want to be a great salesperson? Instead of selling focus on believing in  your value.

Lisbeth Calandrino is know for her passion and ability to transfer her passions to others. To get a taste of her passion, download her book “Brain Snacks” which is available as a free download  for signing up for her blog.

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