“Are You Efficient or Effective? Is There a Difference?”

Leaders today must be both efficient and effective to reach company and department goals, to engage employees, to retain more customers and to reduce employee turnover.

Finding someone, anyone who can be both is a rare find, it’s like finding Bigfoot.effective-communication

Most managers, usually excel at one. It may be they are efficient and great at meeting deadlines. But the problem maybe the leader uses a risk or reward style of motivation. If all is going poorly, the threat of working late. If all is going well, pizza Friday. Continue reading


“Asking Affirming Questions to Keep Your Customers”

Companies that deliver great service and keep their customers ‘Ask Affirming Questions.’7Slight_Logo

If you ever want to read a really good book some day read, “Awaken the Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins. Robbins teaches us that the quality of our life is based on the questions we ask ourselves–the problem is we ask bad question.

In another great book, “Psycho—Cybernetics”, Maxwell Maltz teaches us there is something in us to help us find the Continue reading

“Is Your Positive Attitude Environmentally Sensitive?”

I have often said that the negative attitude of a person started out to be positive but, because of the environment, it broke down, decomposed. Because they are immature and not in control of their emotions, their positive attitude is environmentally sensitive.

I think they start the day on a positive note but then, they have a spat with their spouse, “Oh, he flossed his teeth in front of the mirror again, he knows I hate that.” Then, the kids are out of control when they try to get them off to school or daycare. Then, it’s raining, bad enough it’s a Monday. Then, some jerk cuts them off on the highway. Then, they get to work and they find out their favorite co-worker called in sick and they think, “Oh! Why didn’t he tell me he was going to call in sick? I would have called in sick too.”10653310_10204653874931494_6084561547774298529_n

Dealing with a co-workers’ negative attitude can kill your productivity and take away all the enjoyment at work.  You come in at 9: AM with a ‘can do’ attitude and by noon your negative cube-mate has pull you down to his level.

While you can’t really be a pseudo-therapist, you’re not Dr. Phil, you can be an influence on their attitude by practicing these ideas. Things are not hopeless for you, you have a fightin’ chance. Here are a few quick tips.

Set the Example:  You want your co-work to come to work well-dressed and professionally groomed, you come to work well-dressed and professionally groomed. You want your teammates to come to work with a positive attitude, you come to work with a positive attitude.  You want your kids to get good grades in school, read a book in front of them.  Remember to be the change you seek. Continue reading

“7 Slight Edges to Creating a Customer Service Culture”

According to a JD Power study, companies that have a culture committed to great customer service will grow at twice the rate of their competition.

April was a milestone for me, I reached my 27th year of being in the training business. I designed and presented my first workshop in April of 1988. Where were you in April of 1988? images

In that time I have worked with companies throughout the US, up and down the Americas, back and forth to Moscow, and to West Africa. What I’ve learned in dealing with these companies is that they are committed to keeping their customers and growing from the inside out. As I worked with these companies I noticed they all did certain things to help them keep their customers, they are little things that make a big difference in the level of service they provide. I called these things “slight edges” and I saw there are seven of them.  Continue reading

“Sometimes We Have to Terminate for the Greater Good”

Twenty five years ago I was having lunch with my manager and he told me he was going to fire a coworker that day. I was new to the training business, I was a salesperson but I knew I wanted to be a facilitator. I was trying to soak up everything about management, leadership, owning a company, everything. So, I asked if I could sit in the meeting as a learning experience. My boss said, “Well, HR says I have to have a witness so, sure, you can sit in the meeting.”download (1)

That afternoon the meeting started, it was my boss, my coworker and me sitting off to the side, strictly as an observer. My manager said to my coworker, “All companies go through changes and today you’re one of those changes.” Angered by the cruel remark my coworker jumped out of his chair and attacked my boss. I stepped in between them to separate them. They were shouting and throwing punches grabbing each other clothes. Someone called the police, a fellow employee came in the office to help separate the two. It was quite a scene.

After the police escorted the terminated employee out my boss said to me, “That did not go the way I had it planned.” Really!? Continue reading

“Segmenting; Build Mental Toughness and Improve Your Time Management”

There was another terrific interview on the ‘School of Greatness’ podcast with Lewis Howes. ‘School of Greatness’ is a where Howes brings on authors, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to help listeners in their pursuit of greatness.5gm7d7yd1zh5thjzbqm5_400x400

In episode 157, Howes interviews Eric Greitens, author of “Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life” and I have to say it was one of the best Howes has put out—and that’s saying a lot. Greitens is, among numerous other accolades, a bestselling author and a former Navy SEAL. He spends time talking about what he learned while in the Navy and a relationship with another SEAL member.

But most of the time was discussing his book, “Resilience” which I just picked up my copy and will be reading it very soon. In the interview Greitens discusses mental toughness and the tips and tactics we can use to build our own mental toughness.

One of the suggestions from Greitens is segmenting. He uses the example of how sometimes people who suffer from depression cannot find the strength to get out of bed. Greitens says to overcome this or any difficult challenge, you segment the task. Start by moving your toe. Then wiggle your foot. Then sit-up in bed. Then stand near your bed. As you overcome each segment, you build up the toughness to get out of bed every morning.pic_giant_031015_SM_Eric-Greitens

Why did this episode resonate so well with me? Well, in some application or another, I have used segmenting my entire life. It’s long been written, successful people do the things unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do. When I learned this I immediately decided to focus on the things successful people do. Segmenting has helped me have the mental toughness needed to do these things. Being an author, business owner and marathoner, I have called on my mental toughness many times. It’s been segmenting that has got me over many hurdles. Continue reading

“Is Your Level of Customer Service a Hoax?”

Here in the Twin Cities there is a well-established company, that shall remain nameless, that attempts to build buyers’ confidence by offering a money back guarantee. The guarantee Economicsclearly states that, if for any reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase; the company will return your investment. They even have a line that reads, “No ifs, ands, or buts’.” Forget that the statement makes no sense. The company also brags about how they have never had to return any customers’ investment.

Well you knew this had to happen.  An international client felt they didn’t receive the kind of service they had hoped for and asked for a return of their money, and the local company said no.   Continue reading

“MBA–Your Key to Effective Communication”

What’s the difference between being efficient and effective?

Leaders today must be both efficient and effective to reach department and company goals–to engage employees, to retain more customers and to reduce employee turnover.21b46a5

Finding someone, anyone who can be both are a rare find, it’s like finding Bigfoot.

Most managers, usually excel at one. It may be they are efficient and great at meeting deadlines. But the problem here is the leader may use risk or reward style of motivation. If all is going poorly, the threat of working late. If all is going well, pizza Friday.

Effective mangers tend towards building a level of rapport with their team and try to engage them to reach deadlines. The problem here can be that deadlines may be continually moved or missed because managers don’t want to push their team towards efficacy, it may jeopardize the ‘bond’ they have with their team. Continue reading

“3 Reasons Why I call Exceptional Service the Necessary Evil”

I call exceptional service the necessary evil for a few different reasons.  First, it’s necessary, ServiceSign.29203237we have to do it, if we don’t, our competition will.  But there are three problems with exceptional service that makes it evil.

It can be duplicated.

Let me paint a picture for you.  If I own an auto repair station, and you own an auto repair shop, and you’re my competition, and you hear part of what I give my customers after doing business with me is a free car wash. Can you start washing the cars of your customers?  Sure you can.  If I hear you’re filling the gas tanks of your customers before you give the car back, can I start filling gas tanks?  Of course I can.  That’s a big problem with exceptional service; it can be duplicated.   Continue reading