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Christine Cashen, the keynote speaker on May 16, got Bid & Proposal Con 2018 attendees laughing with an energizing, motivating, and interactive address, kicking off the conference on a positive note.
Cashen is on a self-professed campaign to stop global whining with a series of tips to “help you get what you want with what you got – because you have what you need.”
She began by talking about different personality types, how different people interact with the world. Bid and proposal professionals wear multiple hats and need to be all of these people, but there’s one that’s more dominant. But, she pointed out, it’s not about you — talk to people in their language. With people-focused people, start with a few lines of small talk before jumping into business. With detail-focused people, jump right into it.
The problem is that we do a lot of talking online, when it can be difficult to read tone of voice. Cashen suggested picking up the phone more or talking to people face to face. People won’t complain if you send them one less email.
And speaking of pulling away from the electronics, she talked about the importance of taking breaks from electronic screens — 15 minutes at the beginning of the morning, 15 minutes at the end of the day, and maybe during meals. “Stop checking and start doing,” she said, pointing out that a break is good for relieving stress.
“It doesn’t matter what happens to you, it’s what you do about it,” she continued. She illustrated this point with some audience participation, having attendees find a partner. Each person took a turn making a fist while their partner tried to open it. “What are we holding onto?” Cashen asked: pride, baggage, the need to compete, and more. But harkening back to personality types, if you can find the right approach with people, you can get them to let go and open up. Take the time to interact with people positively.
It’s just as important to spread that positivity to yourself. “We’re in charge of our own emotional state,” said Cashen. “You can have a bad moment, but you don’t need to have a bad day.” She gave a few tips, including a two-hour commitment to being in a good mood (keep saying, “normally that would bother me, but today I’m in a good mood” and after two hours, you will be even if you don’t know why) and flip your internal script. Think you’re bad at names? If you keep telling yourself you are, you will be. Instead, say, “I’m sorry, normally I’m so good with names” and after a while, you’ll reprogram your brain to think more positively. She demonstrated the BOOGIE dance and got the audience to stand and practice it with her. BOOGIE, she explained, stands for “Be outstanding or be involved elsewhere.”
“We all have different rules, and most people aren’t out to irritate you. They don’t need your anger, judgment, and criticism,” said Cashen. “We’re all hot messes trying to do the best we can.” While it’s good to have a good day, it’s better when other people have a good day because of you. Speak to them in their language, talk face to face, take a break, be kind and empathetic — these little things, Cashen believes, will make the world a better place.
Christine Cashen delivers a fast-paced program with useful content that makes her a sought-after speaker worldwide. For more than 20 years, she has presented to a variety of audiences throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, and Australia. Cashen is an authority on sparking innovative ideas, handling conflict, reducing stress, and energizing attendees. She is the author of two books, The Good Stuff and It’s Your Business.