“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


“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

“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

I am So Sick of Hearing About Zappos

I am so sick of hearing about Zappos in the blog-o-sphere. You know Zappos, the online shoe company that’s famous for delivering great customer service–or so we hear.

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some kind of story about the great and may I say, unbelievable, level of service they provide. Zappos employees are rewarded for going above and beyond everyday customer service. One story is, after a late night of barhopping and getting back to the hotel after the room service was shutdown, a guy called Zappos, the customer service representative then was able to locate the nearest late-night pizza delivery imagesand placed an order for him. In another story, a woman called Zappos to return a pair of boots for her husband because he died. The next day, she received a flower delivery, which the call center rep had billed to the company without checking with her supervisor. Zappos often gives “surprise” free upgrades to overnight shipping for customers. And, when you call into their call centers there are no limit on the amount of time the rep can spend with you. The longest call reported is 10 hours 29 minutes. Continue reading


Companies that deliver great customer service have faith. What do I mean by faith?  Having faith means, believing in something you have no proof of. We think that smiling, making eye contact, and using the customer’s name will bring them back but, we really don’t know it does. But, we do these things because we have faith that it will bring them back.

So many times participants leave my workshops with some great ideas that will allow their company to deliver outstanding customer service and separate them from their competition. Of those who do put their ideas into action, many, after a few weeks or months of not seeing the results they had hoped for, drop the idea. 

Having faith is about measurements; you need to put things into place that demonstrate you are on the right track. If you develop a new customer service performance standard and you don’t have any signposts to help make sure you’re getting the results you want, you are very likely to stop doing it. 

If you ever want to read a really good book someday, read “The Game of Work” by Chuck Coonradt. In his book the author gives you methods of how to measure, or keep score, of how you are doing. The key is to put something, anything, into place to help you keep score.

Let’s say your Big Picture is to live a healthy lifestyle. And to do that you’ve decided to put yourself on a diet and exercise plan to lose ten pounds. What measuring tool would you use to let you know you’re on track? A bathroom scale, right? No scale and you will have to use other, less accurate methods like notches on your belt. Or worse, you won’t have anything to go by. If this happens, you are very likely to stop pursuing your goal. 

The scorekeeping method you use is best if it is (1) Objective; there is nothing subjective about the bathroom scale. Make sure your signposts are specific. (2) Self-administered; ask your staff what measuring method they would like to use on themselves. You will be helping the staff take ownership of the idea by valuing their input. (3) Dynamic; use two or three methods of measuring. Allow the employee to compare current performance with past performance. 

Keeping the faith is all about measurements. Don’t let good ideas die on the vine. Have the courage to take action on your idea. Use signposts to make sure you’re on the right path. Give feedback to nurture the actions and help the staff take ownership of the idea. 

Don’t become frustrated if you don’t get immediate results. Remember, unsuccessful people take forever to make a decision, and then change their minds quickly. Successful people make decisions quickly and are slow to change their mind.