About five years ago, I realized we don’t manage time, we own it. It’s ours, we’re responsible for it. It’s our job to nurture it, to protect it. When we manage something, anything, we tend to use outside forces as excuses for why we mismanage it. The poor economy prevented us from managing our money. We can’t manage our weight because our busy life prevents us from exercising.
You must adapt the mindset that you own your time. It’s yours to control, to protect, and to nurture. If you don’t take ownership of your time, someone else will—you’ve heard that before and it’s true. If you don’t nurture your time—tend to it—it’ll fade away and be wasted. Owning your time requires you to protect it from the outside intruders that want to take it from you—mostly in the form of interruptions and unproductive meetings. 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. There are very few studies that report a customer saying. “I came back because she smiled.” 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 to deliver outstanding customer service and separate them from their competition. And of those who practice the slight edge of courage and put their ideas into action, many will drop the idea after a few weeks or months of not seeing the results they had hoped. They lack the faith needed to stick with it, to push on. And when you demonstrate a lack of faith, your employees lose trust that you will ever follow through on anything.
Faith is all about measurements. It’s easier to keep the faith if we have something to tell us we’re on the right track.
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? You start your plan and after a few days you step on the scale and you see you lost 2 pounds—great, you’re the right track. After a few more days you step on the scale to find you lost a few more pounds—better yet! The scale builds faith you will reach your ten pound goal. 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.
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.
Many thought leaders recommend this idea of a score board or score card. They work in so many ways. They show your progress, they help you keep the faith, they engage the employee, they provide quick feedback—these are only a few benefits.
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.
Here’s another aspect on faith. People who lack faith, live in their history. They are always looking back on things. They say things like, “This is the way our industry is.” Or, “This is the way we have always done it.” Or, “I could never run a marathon, earn a million dollars, own a business.” These people are living in their history, they see life as it’s always been.
But people who have faith live in their imagination. They look at how good things can be. They don’t look backwards at what are limiting patterns, they look forward to unlimited possibilities. They have faith that this new idea or new initiative or new goal will not only work but be filled with rewards.
This is not dreamland, this is about living in your imagination and seeing how great things will be, taking that first leap that and putting your idea into motion and then having a scorecard to measure your progress and help keep your faith.
Keeping the faith is all about measurements and living in your imagination. Don’t let good ideas die on the vine. Have the courage to take action on your idea. Think about how good things will be. 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.
Do you realize that most of us will live our entire lives never knowing whether or not we are a coward? When was the last time you acted with courage? And I don’t mean a bungee cord or tandem parachute jump–life is not supposed to be a pursuit of catastrophe. I mean the kind of courage that requires a commitment, not a momentary beat down of a fear. I mean real courage like running your first marathon or making a commitment to being debt-free or writing a blog two or three times a week?
The reason we don’t act with courage is because failure feels ten times as bad as success feels good. Cowards are self-centered people, they are concerned with how they will look if they fail. They are concerned about what other people will say about them if they fail. Courageous people have no regards for self. They know and understand, if they fail they will learn from the experience. They will ask themselves, “What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What can I do better or different the next time?” They know and understand that failure doesn’t mean stop, it means get up and try again. Courageous people can accept failure–they can’t accept not trying.
Ask me about my 60-minute webinar recording, “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers”
$77.00—no usage limit.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. You need to build your courage muscle–you need to start out small. Go for a walk every day. Ask your boss for that raise. Ask that man or woman you’re interested in out for a date. Start building little ‘wins’ and then you can turn up the courage level. Quit smoking, turn off the TV and spend time with your spouse, say no to going out with your friends and put the money your save into your savings account. Then you’re ready to take the next step towards a greater level of courage. Quit your job and pursue your dream job or start your own business. Start training to complete your first marathon. Take those blogs you have been writing and turn them into a book.
Courage requires us to feel uncomfortable. Courage requires us to get past ourselves. Courage requires personal change.
It’s time to start acting with courage—you’ve put it off long enough–you deserve to act with courage. It’s time to sacrifice who you are for who you want to be.
Here’s is another YouTube clip on why you should be signing up for my latest open workshop “Leading Service Teams” coming March 19-20 in Minneapolis. http://bit.ly/1l6uzA9
Customer service, managing others and time management were three of the top five areas of interests to learn more about, according to recent surveys. This makes sense; ultimately the level service you provide to your customer will depend on the culture you create for your employees.
“Frankly speaking, I found the Training programme very educative and highly rewarding.”
On March 19th and 20th, in Bloomington, MN, I will be conducting my two-day managers and supervisors workshop called, “Leading Service Teams” (LST).
What’s at the core of LST is to make the participants better, more effective communicators so they can engage employees to take ownership of the customer service message.
“The lessons on MBA remains the most beneficial of all, with MBA you can get virtually anything resolved.”
E-Tech Complete Solutions Limited
Some key topics discussed are the Maturity Ladder, Tyranny of the Urgent, Mutual Benefits Agreement, Public Praise and much more. Also, you will learn the “Seven Slight Edges” to great customer service and how to coach them to your team. There will be discussion, role playing, group work and team building exercises.
The fee for this insightful and rewarding workshop is $149.00. Materials are provided. There is a limit of 30 participants.
“…this is the first training I have done had with the company that made sense and applied to my job. Thank You!” Avaya
Get more done, with and through your team by attending this workshop. March promises to be a great learning experience.
Please, feel free to contact me with any questions.
One of the seven ‘slight edges’ is Ask Affirming Questions. If you ever want to read a good book someday, read “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. In his book he teaches that inside each of us is a ‘servo-mechanism’ that looks for answers. He writes that our bodies are designed to look for the answers to the questions we ask. The problem is we ask bad questions. Have you ever sat down at home to pay your bills and when you were done you realized there’s still some month left at the end of the money? And you ask yourself really bad questions like, “Why am I always in debt?” Or, “Why can’t I get ahead?” Our bodies are designed to look for the answers, so if you ask “Why am I always in debt?” your body will think, “Well you’re maxed out on your credit cards, you only pay the minimum and every day on your way to work you stop and buy a five dollar latte.”
As a company leader, do you look into your sale reports and ask, “Why are sales so low this month?” Or, “Why isn’t marketing generating more leads?” Or, “Why don’t we have more referrals?” Our bodies are designed to look for the answers. So when we ask bad questions we come up with bad answers—answers that look at the problem and not at possible solutions. Instead, when you don’t like what you see for sales, ask affirming questions like, “What can we do to generate more referrals?” Or, “What does marketing need to create more leads?”
The rephrasing leads to reframing—it changes the way you look at the situation. You start to look for the solutions to the issues.
Listen to the questions you ask yourself. Listen to the questions your staff asks themselves. Are they affirming or non-affirming? Do they look at the possible solutions or the problem? Start to change the approach you have when dealing with your issues or trying to achieve your goals.
What do you think is your greatest time management mistake? Allowing interruptions? Procrastination? Undisciplined meetings? Actually it’s none of these.
The greatest time management mistake you make is all in your head, it’s deception. Too many leaders allow themselves to be deceived into losing valuable time.
I mean two things when I say deception. First, we deceive ourselves about our own level of importance. I believe you will have 4 to 7 things that only you can do, your highest priorities. But, because of deception, many leaders get wrapped up in their own importance and feel the number of things they are in charge of is much higher.
Another way leaders deceive themselves. Let’s say, your boss says, “I need you in that meeting today at 3:00.” You think, “Well, if the boss says I have to be there, it must be important.” But when you go to the meeting you find out it has nothing to do with you. It’s because you were deceived into thinking, if the boss says be there, it must be important. Being deceived by your belief system will have you working on tasks that are unimportant.
Deception will steal your time. Make sure you are working on tasks that you and only you can do. Don’t get hung up on minor tasks.
Training Webinar—Unlimited Usage
I’m excited to announce two new webinar recordings are available for roll out. “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” and “Leading Service Teams, Coaching the 7 Slight Edges” have been wildly popular. I have led these workshops on a global level and now I’m putting them into a video format.
For $299.00 you will receive 12 downloadable installments of videos throughout 2014. Each recording has unlimited usage—train one employee or one thousand. I will lead your team through the participant workbook complete with exercises, insights and applications.
“7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” will empower all employees that they are capable of creating a customer for the company.
“Leading Service Teams, Coaching the 7 Slight Edges” will give your leaders the skills to coach the ‘7 Slight Edges’ so employees are engaged in delivering quality customer service to retain more customers.
Call or reply to me today. Sign up to start receiving your videos in January. Make 2014 the year you engage your employees, keep your customers and grow your revenues.
Are effective leaders born? Is there an effective leader personality? Is effectiveness a gift like an ear for music? If the answer to these questions were to be yes, we and the companies we work for would all be in a lot of trouble; being born gifted is something that rarely happens.
I have spent most of my twenty five years as a consultant looking into what makes a leader effective. I have found that, while personalities, intellects, and temperament may vary from one extreme to another, no, it’s not a gift, effectiveness can be learned.
There are 5 habits an effective leader must learn and practice all day, every day.
- The effective leader knows where their time goes.
- They focus on their contributions outside of themselves.
- They build on their strengths and the strengths of the people around them.
- They concentrate on the things only they can do.
- They make good decisions after careful consideration.
Being an effective leader is a skill that can be learned. Get your leadership team into training sessions. Commit to developing their skills, hold them accountable to using those skills. And do it now, the longer you wait the greater likelihood that they will disengage and leave you or worse disengage and stay.
Money is Both a Test & a Trust
The “Slight Edge” of ECONOMICS says to earn more money than we spend. Something else to keep in mind about money, or revenues is that it is both a test and a trust.
Money is sometimes referred to as currency. That is to say it is a current, it flows. And when we disrupt the flow, we limit the flow of revenues to us.
It’s a test because we have so many choices of what to do with our money. Forgetting to save some of it and/or use some of it for debt reduction is a failure of the test. (MORE BELOW)
Leading Service Teams; Coaching the 7 Slight Edges
January 16-17, in Bloomington, MN from 9: am until 4: pm. The fee for this two-day event is $349.00, $299.00 if you pay in before the end of 2012, includes all materials. The session will be filled with discussion, exercises, and strategizing to engage your team and keep your customers.
This new, two-day, open to the public seminar will give you the skills to coach and communicate with your team so they are fully engaged in the service message. Here is more of you can expect to gain.
• How to create a service environment
• How to coach the service message
• Help your team understand, they can ‘create a customer’
• Build candor between you and your team
• Practice quality service over exceptional service
• Manage the ‘necessary evil’ of exceptional service
• Keep more clients
• Reduce employee turnover
• Build an army of engaged employees
• Build more referral sources
• Develop real world applications for each of the “7 Slight Edges”
• How to manage your time as an effective leader
Money is a test because we are being asked to do the right thing with our money. Save it, invest it, use some to reduce debt or pay bills that keep our lives functioning, like rent or mortgage.
When we use our income to buy vacations, buy new cars, buy too many nights out on the town, or live beyond our means, we fail the test.
Money is a trust because what we do with our money impacts so many other people, our lifestyle and our goals. When we fail the put our income into a 401k plan we violate the trust of our future. When we fail to reduce our debt we offend the trust of living within our means.
The best advice I can give to strengthen your ECONOMIC muscle is to keep a money log. For one week out of every quarter, if you feel it’s too difficult to do it every day like me, track every penny. This is not a big deal, it’s easier now than ever. Just pay with a debit card and look at your statement. Or keep all of your receipts. And, of course, there’s an app for that.
I’m continually surprised by the feedback I get from followers who take up this task. I hear things like, “I never knew how much I spent on lunch.” Or, “I was surprised by how much of my money goes to Starbucks.”
Remember money is BOTH a test and a trust.