5 Ways to Tank an M&A

Aside from unfavorable market dynamics or insufficient due diligence, investors will back out of a deal if they:

1) sense a lack of trust or discontent between team members. Savvy investors will pick up on the vibes between team members by the way they communicate in person and online.

2)  sense dishonesty or intentionally unrealistic and misleading information

3)  note unusual money transfers

4)  cannot get reasonable explanations for valuations, projections and predictions

5) discover outstanding liabilities or activities that could become liabilities.

You may not yet be in a position to sell or merge your company, but setting the stage now for the opportunity can never start soon enough. Note that most of the points above have to do directly or indirectly with communication between team members and customers. Establish trust early on in your startup with honest and transparent communication, rather than trying to fake it at the final hour. Mindful communication between your team members is an on-going process and one that will pay off when the time to sell or merge your company comes along.

Does your company need a better foundation for communication? Contact me at [email protected]   

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Online Conversation Tips

The COREageous need to be good conversational partners in person and online. Since we are having more online conversations, make note of these suggestions to present your best self:
1) Look straight at the camera, not yourself, when speaking to your conversational partner. Once that camera is on, it’s too late to primp. Check your hair, teeth and makeup before getting online.
2) Be sure your background communicates “professional and successful.” Mark Cuban has his back to walls of solid mahogany. Other experts have their online conversations in their libraries in front of orderly shelves of books. Think of the perception you want to share with the world. Your background speaks volumes about you.
3) Eliminate any sources of noise or other visuals that could interrupt the conversation or serve as a source of distraction.
4) Occasionally, lean in to the camera a few inches to show interest, but not too close. The rule of thumb is to be an arm’s length from your screen most of the time.
5) Keep your hands away from the camera and use gestures sparingly. Your hands will look proportionately huge if they are in front of you and visible to the camera.

Spruce up your online appearances with customers or investors. A little practice with an experienced coach can enhance the way people perceive you. Contact me at [email protected] 

A COVID Question For You

Although COVID-19 has been tragic in many ways, it has created numerous opportunities as well. I was curious to see, aside from the vaccines and possible cures in the works, what positive effects were occurring on a personal level. Last night, I wrote to a dozen of my COREageous Coaching alums and asked them to complete this sentence:

If COVID-19 had never happened, I would not have_______________________.

I received over 25 thoughtful responses – thank you to those who contributed! But to keep this post short, I chose five to share:
Vickie: … had the time to realize that I was spinning the business out of focus, trying to be too much to everyone. I met with my team (remotely) and got consensus to return to the roots of our purpose. They were pleased, I was relieved.
Peter: …had the time to seriously connect with my best clients, only to find that one of them was ready to move on to a competitor! I listened to him and to his concerns; I let him yell at me, then it was over. I gave him my word that I’d fix the problems by the end of the week. He was back on my roster, we’re good. He appreciated the call. Awesome.
Maya: … had the opportunity to create a contingency plan in case something like COVID or worse struck again.
Hunter: … ended a particularly unhealthy and troublesome relationship that was hurting my business and me personally.
Phillip: …reunited with my 94 year old father after 5 years of silence. He was very angry when I announced that I was leaving a very cushy job to follow my passion; he didn’t get it. Still mad, but we talked. It’s better now.

In these next 2 or more weeks, the time is ripe to re-focus, repair and re-invent yourself and your small business. What can you do to make the best of this bizarre period of time?
CoreCoaching may be the answer. Contact me at [email protected]

How the COREageous Cap COVID19

During these challenging times, COREageous entrepreneurs and their teams:

• Put their thinking brain in charge of their emotional brain and make smart decisions.
• Put politics, past transgressions and personal vendettas aside.
• Spend time perfecting their product or service in preparation to come back.
• Communicate frequently with vendors, customers and investors.
• Build alliances with the community and companion businesses.
• Cultivate skills through training and coaching that enhance teamwork, sales, communication and emotional intelligence and management skills.
• Stay upbeat and positive. Find humor and share it with others.

Use this time to make your startup stronger and more competitive! Contact me for online help at [email protected]

Connect, Re-Connect with Mindful Listening

Hello COREageous Founders:

Consider this time at home a rare opportunity to bolster the connections with your primary support team – your family and friends. As we endure the inevitable roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship, where quality time with loved ones is often limited, we depend on the stability and reinforcement of those cheering for us on the sidelines. Please take a minute to tune up your communication skills and read this: 

“If you think tempers are churning a bit now, give it a couple more weeks.”
Listening mindfully to one another in times of trouble and apprehension can help calm nerves, adjust to inconveniences and resolve long-standing relationship problems.

I’m not talking about the “act-like-you-are-listening” tactics taught in business training classes. I’m talking about authentic, put-your-ego-aside kind of listening — mindful listening.

Could one of the reasons for this pandemic be to restore or rehabilitate our connections with those who are precious and important to us? World renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Hallowell, calls “connection” with people, pets, nature and favorite activities as the Vitamin C of well-being. Why not use this time at home to connect or re-connect with loved ones?

Here are a few mindful ways to start creating healthier connections with key people in your life:

1) Ask an open-ended question like, “How are you doing?” and wait. Watch and wait some more. Your conversation partner will see this silence as a green light to share what’s on their mind. If they don’t respond or brush you off, try again later. Eventually, they may get the sense that you really care to listen.

2) Get into their movie! When they start to speak, forget yourself and your troubles, just like you do at the movies. Watch them carefully while you listen to their words. See how well the words and non-verbals match up. Just like at the movies, maintain your silence and keep your eyes on them. It’s all about them right now, not you. There may be long pauses, but hang in there, that’s where the gold is – their true feelings and concerns will bubble to the surface.

3) When you think they are done talking, pleasantly surprise them and tell back in your own words, what you heard them say – just a couple sentences. No rebuttal, no advice, no judgment, it’s what you heard them say. This lets them know they have been heard ( high Vitamin C content! ). Don’t be too shocked if they want to hear from you at this point. If you get that far, you have established a connection.

For more about Mindful Listening, get the audio book version of The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction at Amazon.com

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