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Showing posts from March, 2012

3 Things To Avoid When You Give Your Next Speech

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If you don't want to get your speech off to a bad start, the communications experts at Speechworks suggest you:
Don't apologize (particularly about your anxiety or lack of preparation. Apologies put your audience on the defensive.Don't start by telling a joke (which may not be all that funny, or is irrelevant, or that may even be offensive to someone in your audience).Don't beat around the bush (including, don't list off a lot of people you want to thank. Don't waste your audience's valuable time)Instead:
If you need to deal with your anxiety, practice like crazy. Rehearse particularly your first line over and over.Start your presentation by laying out for your audience a key issue that they are facing in their business.If you must thank someone, do it at the end, or thank your introducer briefly, pause, and then start right into the meat of your message.

When To Coach And When To Counsel

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A good manager is both a coach and a counselor. Generally, coaching should precede counseling.

As a coach,a manager:
identifies an employee's need for instruction and direction and this need is usually directly related to his or her performance or career goals. Coaching is collaborative. It relies on mutual, progressive goal-setting, personal feedback, and an ongoing, supportive relationship.

You coach to help retain employees and to show you care about your employees as individuals. It's best to coach when a new procedure is introduced, a job is changed, and/or a skill gap is identified.

As a counselor, a manager:
first identifies a problem that interferes with an employee's work performance and then helps the employee to define specifically what behavior he or she needs to change in order to improve his or her performance or resolve a problem. So, the difference between coach and counselor is subtle, but important. And, as Sharon Armstrong further shares in her book, &…

How To Use The Telephone To Be A Relationship Builder

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Every business leader should periodically call his/her company to observe how their customers are being treated by their employees -- because, all too often a phone conversation becomes a customer turnoff rather than a relationship builder.

So, here's a checklist that is primarily from sales expert and author Paul R. Timm that you can use to evaluate your organization's customer service via the phone:
1. Was the phone answered after two rings or less?
2. Did the employee use an appropriate greeting?
3. Did the employee identify himself or herself by name?
4. Was the employee's tone of voice pleasant and businesslike?
5. Was the call handled efficiently without being abrupt?
6. Did the employee provide accurate information or refer the caller to an appropriate person?
7. Did the employee reflect the best image for the company?
8. Did the employee thank the caller?
9. Did the employee make prudent use of putting the caller on hold if it was necessary to do so?
10. Did the e…

3 Things Every Mission Statement Must Have

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A lot of companies struggle when creating their mission statement.

Author Peter F. Drucker provides the following good advice in one of my favorite book's of his, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization:"

Every mission statement has to reflect three things:
OpportunitiesCompetenceCommitment In other words, he explains:
What is our purpose?Why do we do what we do?What, in the end, do we want to be remembered for? How well does your mission statement meet Drucker's recommended three requirements?

5 Open-Ended Questions To Ask Your Customers

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I really like author Paul R. Timm's advice to stop asking your customers the "typical" questions and instead ask them open-ended questions.

Here's what Timm recommends:

Don't Ask:
How was everything?Can I get you something else?Did you find everything you need?Will that be all?Was everything satisfactory?Instead Ask:
What else can I do for you?What else can I get for you?What else can I help you with?What else could we do to better serve you?How else can we be of help? These open-ended questions will let your customers really express their ideas, opinions and needs. Timm is the author of, 50 Powerful Ideas You Can Use To Keep Your Customers.

The Consumerization Of IT And It's Impact In The Workplace

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By:  Guest Author, Kyle Lagunas

Consumer technologies are infiltrating the workplace. Employees have access to powerful tools, applications and networks at home, and expect that same access at work.
From employee and manager self-service portals to the growing number of social media elements in performance and learning management, the technology employees expect to find in the workplace is changing. How will this shift--the consumerization of IT--impact the way an organization recruits, engages and manages its workforce?
I recently coordinated a roundtable with thought leaders across a range of Human Resources functions to participate in a discussion which sought to explore the challenges this trend poses--and to see what opportunity it presents to HR.  Here are some of the highlights from that roundtable:

Lagunas:  There’s a lot of conversation around the need for HR to position itself as a more strategic and consultative, rather than administrative and transactional, function. How mig…

The 12 Ways Marriott Practices Good Leadership And Customer Service

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The next time you stay at a Marriott hotel look in the nightstand drawer for Marriott's booklet that highlights its milestones and tells the Marriott story.

In the booklet, you'll find the following 12 ways that Marriott practices good leadership AND customer service:

Continually challenge your team to do better.Take good care of your employees, and they'll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.Celebrate your people's success, not your own.Know what you're good at and mine those competencies for all you're worth.Do it and do it now. Err on the side of taking action.Communicate. Listen to your customers, associates and competitors.See and be seen. Get out of your office, walk around, make yourself visible and accessible.Success is in the details.It's more important to hire people with the right qualities than with specific experience.Customer needs may vary, but their bias for quality never does.Eliminate the cause of a mistake.…

Make It Easy For Your Employees To Volunteer

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Start planning now for this year's National Volunteer Week, April 15-21. That's the week when nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. will celebrate and honor their volunteers.

If you are not already volunteering, what a great time to start. Make a commitment to yourself to start volunteering before that week starts!

And, if you are a workplace leader who supports a volunteer program at your business, you already know that by encouraging employees to give back to your community you are:
building teamworkmotivating employeesattracting new hires In fact, job seekers much prefer companies that have a strong volunteer program. And, a growing number of businesses are rewarding employees who volunteer by giving them extra vacation time and other incentives.

Fortunately, throughout the U.S. there are hundreds of volunteer opportunities where employees can contribute individually, or where leaders can organize teams of employees to volunteer together on a routine and scheduled ba…

Six-Step Approach For Discussing Poor Performance

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As a leader, the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee about his or her poor performance. Here are six steps that will guide you through that process:

Tell him what performance is in need of change and be specific.Tell him how his actions negatively affect the team.Let the discussion sink in.Set expectations of performance improvement and timeframe, and get his agreement on the desired outcome.Remind him that he is a valuable part of the team and that you have confidence his performance will improve.Don't rehash the discussion later. You made your point. Give him to make his improvement.

25 Ways To Be A Better Leader

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If you don't have time to read a book about how to improve your leadership skills, tackle a handful of these tips, complied from the works of many authors:
Don't micromanageDon't be a bottleneckFocus on outcomes, not minutiaeBuild trust with your colleagues before a crisis comesAssess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all timesConduct annual risk reviewsTalk about values more than rulesReward how a performance is achieved and not only the performanceConstantly challenge your team to do betterCelebrate your employees' successes, not your ownErr on the side of taking actionCommunicate clearly and oftenBe visibleEliminate the cause of a mistakeView every problem as an opportunity to growSummarize group consensus after each decision point during a meetingPraise when compliments are earnedBe decisiveSay "thank you" and sincerely mean itSend written thank you notesListen carefully and don't multi-task while listeningTeach something new to your team…

Promote Good Internal Customer Service

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Too often, we think of only external customer service, and forget about the need for excellent internal customer service.

No matter what type of business, organization or team you lead, remind your team members/employees of the need for and importance of internal customer service.

Similar to external customer service, that means employees/team members should:

1. Return phone calls on a timely basis.
2. Answer e-mails.
3. Be polite.
4. Probe to discover how else he/she can be helpful to a co-worker.
5. Be respectful of co-workers.

Lead your team in providing excellent internal customer service. If need be, make internal customer service a discussion topic at your next group meeting.

Book Review: Les McKeown's The Synergist

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Why do so many teams and groups fail to perform--achieving compromise at best and gridlock at worst?

According to best-selling author Les McKeown, the problem lays in conflicting personality types:
the Visionary with big ideas and little execution.the Processor who insists on putting every detail through a system, slowing things. downthe Operator who just wants to end the meeting and get back to the "real work." It takes a Synergist, says McKeown to end the gridlock. A Synergist, who can take all three--the bold dreamers, the pragmatic realists, and the systems designers--and knit them together into a dynamic, well rounded team.

"Most importantly, the Synergist is a role anyone can learn," explains McKeown.
And, he teaches that skill set in his new book, The Synergist -- How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success.

A Synergist:
sets their personal interests below the best interests of the enterprise as a whole.sees the big picture of what the team or group is there …

Garfinkle's Getting Ahead Teaches How To Take Your Career To The Next Level

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Much sought after executive coach Joel Garfinkle reveals his signature PVI model -- Perception, Visibility, and Influence in his new book, Getting Ahead, Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.

According to Garfinkle, you need to take the fate of your career in your hands and not leave it in someone else's hands. And you do that by:
Creating the right image for yourselfIncreasing your public profile across your organizationExerting influence by driving change and inspiring peopleIn an exclusive interview, Garfinkle answered these questions about his book:

Question: How does a humble, introverted reader gain comfort to embrace your suggested actions?

Garfinkle: First off, research shows that introverts, not prone to self-promotion, typically have more trouble than their extraverted colleagues rising through the corporate ranks. Thus, it’s even more important that they read this book and embrace the concepts. It will give them the competitive advantage they are lacking i…

Today's Leadership Quotes

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The one thing that's common to all successful people:  They make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't like to do -- Michael Phelps

The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask -- Peter Drucker

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit -- Harry S. Truman

No man becomes rich unless he enriches others -- Andrew Carnegie

Perception, visibility, and influence will help you stand out from the gifted group of stars that surrounds you --  Joel A. Garfinkle

Right Ways To Respond When Things Go Wrong -- The Instant Survivor

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"From Tylenol's textbook handling of product tampering to Toyota's troublesome automobile recalls, how a company recovers from crisis can mean continued business success or bankruptcy," explains author Jim Moorhead.

In his new book, The Instant Survivor -- Right Ways to Respond When Things Go Wrong, Moorhead presents a four-step, crisis survival kit to show leaders how to weather professional, and personal, crises.

He explains that a company's ideal crisis management team does the following when a crisis occurs:
Review their crisis management plan and talk through the company's business, communications, and legal goals.Identify the risks and opportunities the crisis presents and analyze the options to consider, the people and resources to deploy, and the allies and experts to call upon.Debate, argue, and finally agree on a strategy to implement.Stay in constant contact to gauge how they're doing and make adjustments as the crisis unfolds.Look for how to be…

Brad Hams Works To Eradicate Entitlement In The Workplace

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Entitlement is "killing your business," says author Brad Hams.

And after more than 15 years working with hundreds of companies, Hams says he knows "that the vast majority of employees addicted to entitlement actually want to engage, want to contribute, and feel much better about themselves when they are in an environment that requires them to do so."

Hams takes a no holds barred approach in his new book, Ownership Thinking -- How to End Entitlement and Create a Culture of Accountability, Purpose and Profit.

He believes that:
Roughly 8 percent of potential profit may be falling through the cracks in your company if you suffer from a culture of entitlementOwnership Thinking is a provocative read for leaders within an organization and for every level generation of employees who are guided by those leaders.

"Entitlement has become an enormous problem in our culture, and I'm afraid it's getting worse with every generation," says Hams.



In an exclusive …

Thanks HCI For Naming This Blog In Your Best Blogs - Talent 2011

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A big thanks to Human Capital Institute (HCI) for including my blog on management and leadership in its list of the Best Blogs - Talent 2011.

HCI is a global association for talent management and new economy leadership, and a clearinghouse for best practices and new ideas.

Its network of expert practitioners, Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 corporations, government agencies, global consultants and business schools contribute a stream of constantly-evolving information, the best of which is organized, analyzed and shared with members through HCI communities, research, education and events.

Searching For The World's 2012 Fittest CEO

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The CEO Endurance World Championship is a made-for-TV event covering six grueling stages of competition from September 13 - 16, 2012, and featuring 25 top CEOs that combine success in business with a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Each of the six stages is designed to test the CEOs - mixing strategy with endurance - and at the same time be very entertaining to watch. The goal of the competition is to identify the World’s Fittest CEO.

The CEOs that have been chosen to take part in the event were hand-picked for their athletic ability and, more importantly, for the charity for which they will be racing.

The overall winner will earn the coveted title of Fittest CEO® plus the opportunity to donate $50,000 to the charity of their choice.

The entire competition will be filmed and packaged into a TV show (“The Fittest CEO®”) that will:
illustrate the breath-taking beauty of the Great Smoky Mountainsprofile a number of charities that the CEOs will be racing forapplaud CEOs who combine fitness wi…

Today's Quote On Excelling In Sales

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As stated in the new book, The Connectors, today's quote by Carl W. Buehner is:

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

Example Of Good Guiding Business Principles

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I really like these 10 guiding business principles that San Antonio, TX headquartered insurance company USAA lives by:
Exceed customer expectationsLive the Golden Rule (treat others with courtesy and respect)Be a leaderParticipate and contributePursue excellenceWork as a teamShare knowledgeKeep it simple (make it easy for customers to do business with us and for us to work together)Listen and communicateHave fun Too many companies don't make it simple for their customers to do business with them. Is it easy for your customers to:
Buy from you?Make returns?Get pricing and terms?Receive timely responses to their e-mails?Quickly get answers when phoning your company? You can find more examples of companies with impressive guiding principles in the book, 1001 Ways To Energize Employees.

Today's Quote From Alexander Pope

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"A man should never be ashamed to say he has been wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday."