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Communication is a Learned Trait

May 27th, 2014|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

Common communication characteristics can be learned and applied with an awareness and opportunity to practice. Newly promoted supervisors and seasoned organizational leaders can easily learn to communicate effectively and gain confidence in their roles. Like any skill, practicing effective relation building and communication skills will lead to great levels of success and increase confidence. This confidence can result in less conflict by the simple virtue of clarity of thought in both verbal and written dialogue. Learn more by downloading my best-selling book, "Laws of Communication: The Intersection Where Leadership Meets Employee Performance."   [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"] Click on Image for More Info                    [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Do You See Feedback as a Complaint or a Gift?

May 13th, 2014|Categories: Blog|

Many people indicate they would appreciate feedback, yet many who say they want it really don’t. Nor do they accept it well. What is your track record in receiving feedback, especially if it is unsolicited? Do you really want it and are you willing to do something about the information given? Or is it something you get defensive about in regard to how you run your business or do your job? Feedback is information you would not know otherwise and it should be considered a gift. Whether it is from customers or employees, colleagues or friends, someone is trying to help you learn from their experience when they offer you feedback. You may not agree with them, and you don’t have to, but do accept the feedback as you would any other gift - with a word of thanks. If you appreciate their comments and actually want more information from them, ask for a deeper explanation and then apply these simple steps: Reflect on the feedback and try to understand the information from the perspective of the person providing you the gift. Try to be objective and gain a sense of their position, thoughts, and behavior. Accept the gift with humility and a sense of openness to their input. Remember...they did not have to take the time to try and help you. Assess the information given. Have you heard similar feedback from others or is this new information? You may need to ask others for their input to see if they agree or not. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if things are not going as well in your business as you hoped they would be by now. Improve. Based on the reflection and

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What’s Your Problem?!

May 7th, 2014|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

Subtle conflict can be nebulous and hard to define, but it erodes stability just as regular, in-your-face conflict does. This type of conflict can be expressed through negativity (either your own or an employee’s), or in negative situations that bring you down. If you observe colleagues in what appears to be a 'pity party' trying to bring everyone around them down - don't participate. Rather, try to help them to see their concerns as opportunities, not problems. While it’s easy to say that you need to maintain a positive outlook, in reality it is much more difficult to accomplish. First, you must be wholly committed to being positive. Once you embrace this concept, it gets a lot easier to release negativity. Let your employees know that your workplace is a “negativity-free zone” -with zero tolerance! Remember, negativity breeds negativity; but the same holds true for positivity. Try to break the cycle of negativity in your workplace and you’ll see your employees performing better and maintaining a better outlook. This, in turn, will help increase productivity and workforce retention rates. The outcome will also be reflected in more satisfied customers who will do repeat business with you and refer you to their network!

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Who Are You Listening To?

April 21st, 2014|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

There is no shortage of people telling others what to do – the bad thing is that too many of those who give advice with good intentions have no clue what they are talking about. How many of those people do you know? Or, are you one of them? Here are two real examples (I don’t have to make these up!): 1). Professional A has 50+ years life-experience. He’s held  a number of good jobs but never really achieved senior leadership/management positions. He gets let go due to corporate downsizing and can’t find other full-time employment. He attends several motivational seminars and decides to start a small marketing business. He has as a low fee structure and few clients.  He cannot live off revenue generated so he begins to offer to teach others how to become better public speakers. He is not a good public speaker himself, nor even considered Toastmasters,and he’s not able to pass his first-level qualification. He has noble intentions yet he cannot teach and coach others in what he does not know. 2). Student B has 40+ years life experience and holds bachelor and master degrees. She has never done a real research study in her prior school work or in her career field. She has never read the governing books and manuals, despite the fact that they are required reading. She decides to start giving advice to other students on how they should do their research projects, not realizing her advice and guidance is wrong. Again, we see good intentions but no self- awareness. No doubt, many of us need help from others to guide, teach, coach, mentor us in what we don’t know.  But please be careful who you listen to, as those speaking may mean well but

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100% Customer Satisfaction!

April 15th, 2014|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

The 'basics' are what many lose focus of.  A long-time friend and I had a discussion last night and he asked me for recommendations on how to increase new sales, earn repeat business, and how to increase new sales via referrals. I shared with him, as I do with clients or when I speak in public, that "unless you take on the mentality, believe in, and get totally focused on earning ‘100% customer satisfaction’ you'll always lose potential revenue, repeat and referral business, and reputation." To be honest, I don't know many small to mid-sized business owners today (and many of you are my friends) who have that philosophy or have built it into their employees. Not many have that mentality and focus - let alone really live it. They may have at one time, or believe they have it, but their behavior and actions today suggest otherwise. It’s not enough to talk about customer service or even try to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. It has to be a ‘no matter what!’ mentality that 100% customer satisfaction is the only acceptable level. This is not to say all customers will always be happy, but if they are not, they can still be satisfied. Perhaps a refund would have to be made, or a bonus of additional products, programs, or services given. But unfortunately, doing whatever it takes is not a common practice these days, with small businesses in particular. The small business failure rates are pretty consistent in that the first 2 years of a start-up, 50% will fail, and that failure rate moves up to near 70% by year 5! If the owner does not have a mentality of 100% customer satisfaction, no one else in the organization will

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