Leadership

True Customer Experience Leadership Breeds Initiative Beyond Procedures

 

Leaders, true customer experience leadership succeeds by believing that procedures can only go so far. There is no way to foresee everything the customer will request. Employees close the remaining gaps to ensure a great customer experience.

 

That is, they do if you breed employee initiative. Even when you are not comfortable empowering them fully, foster their sense of initiative. Without it, customer experience and your brand image falters. True customer experience leadership doesn’t let this happen.


True Customer Experience Leadership:; Image is an empty packet of ketchup.

True Customer Experience Leadership: Breed Initiative. Image by Hi Turkey Toe via Flickr.

Image by Hello Turkey Toe via Flickr Creative Commons License.


A True Story to Illustrate

I was in an upscale grocery store that had a  cafe for dining.  The store is known for their customer service. They are also heavy into metrics, procedures, forecasting and planning.  I was in the cafe eating on a Thursday evening and two staff members were nearby discussing that they had run out of ketchup packets. The conversation was very telling.

“Can you believe we’re out of ketchup? How can a grocery store be out of ketchup?”



I heard the employees and said, “Maybe you could get some bottles from the grocery aisle and put them around this restaurant section. You could ask the general manager how to account for it. It would be great customer service and the diners would appreciate it.” Other diners heard me and echoed what I said.

He simply replied, “Oh well, I think the ketchup packets are coming in on Saturday.”  He showed no initiative. Not even to bring it to management’s attention.


Will the diners overlook that there was no ketchup? Possibly. 

Will they forget that employees did nothing to help when bottles of ketchup were a short walk away? Probably not.


This upscale grocery store does a huge in-store dining business. They also cater extensively. So why did employees do nothing to address the customer experience gap?

Is there true customer experience leadership at this grocery store chain? Or have the leaders put so much focus on planning, metrics, and procedures that employees believe they must live within that frame?


True Customer Experience Leadership: Inspire Initiative If Not Empowerment

It is so interesting that the employees were aware of how customers would perceive the shortage. They knew it would seem illogical for a cafe in a grocery store to be out of ketchup. They were in tune with customers’ views yet showed no initiative to close the gap.

Did they know they should? Great customer experience must go beyond what leadership foresees, prescribes, and plans.

  1. Inspiration. Leaders as you speak with employees, your words cannot be purely about metrics and procedures. You must talk and walk a can-do attitude to close customer experience gaps. It is by your daily demeanor and behavior that the employees become inspired to care for customers — beyond procedures.

  2. Initiative. Breed a sense of initiative in all employees. Initiative is the action to see what’s possible. Even if you don’t empower employees to decide on the solution, their initiative can bring the real life customer experience questions to your attention. Show them your initiative in closing customer experience gaps and call them to do the same.

  3. Remove the fear. Organizations with a strong focus on metrics, inadvertently breed employee fear of stepping outside of standard procedures that drive the metrics. Employees prefer to play it safe even if the customer experience and brand reputation suffers. True customer experience leadership removes the fear by removing the blame. Never punish an employee for showing initiative and bringing customer experience gaps to your attention. Better yet, empower them to act!



Are you using true customer experience leadership to breed initiative beyond procedures? It readies everyone in the company to make a difference for the customer!




Pose this question at your next leadership or all hands meeting for no-cost customer experience improvement. The question and the answers can transform your culture!



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Service Recovery: Go Beyond Problem Solving
Customer Experience: The Opposite of Convenience May Surprise You
Customer Experience Leadership: Are Your Metrics to Loud to Hear the Customer?

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Leaders who have moved passed the autocratic style of leadership and embrace employee engagement, collaboration, and empowerment sometimes face a new challenge — what to do when people disagree.

Both new and experienced leaders struggle with this. They feel compelled to be fair to all who disagree and they get trapped in defining what is fair. In their confusion, they mistakenly settle into neutrality with grave consequences.

In leadership, fairness is not neutrality.


Leadership Fairness: Image is shadow of human balancing in neutral.

In Leadership Neutrality is Not Fairness Image by: Gwen

Image by: Gwen via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leadership Fairness vs. Neutrality: A Clearer View

  • Great leaders are impartial not neutral. There is a significance difference between impartiality and neutrality. Impartiality is active. Neutrality is passive. Impartiality keeps bias at bay. Long term neutrality keeps success at bay. It abandons, isolates, demotivates, and disengages. Great leaders are engaged and personally engage others with care and inspiration.

  • Great leaders don’t settle; they choose. There may be moments when leaders temporarily choose neutrality to understand what will come of divergent views and ponder the big picture. They may wait before weighing in yet they don’t hide in neutrality.

  • Great leaders navigate divergent views by keeping their eye on the business goal. Divergent views are the team’s raw materials of success. Great leaders use their experience, intuition, perspective, and private access to information to help craft those raw materials into a positive result. There is no leadership fairness in leaders withholding their value and letting the teams struggle endlessly.

  • Great leaders mentor through the rich mix of views. As they see disagreements surface and then begin to swirl, they seize the opportunity to develop the team’s critical thinking skills. Through leaders’ excellent questions, team members learn how to assess the better pathway and reach the goal. In these moments, great leaders are facilitating current success and developing future leaders. Neutrality does not accomplish this.

  • Great leaders practice humility not neutrality. The know-it-all leader is not a great leader. The neutral leader is not a great leader. The leader who practices humility becomes the model of how to disagree without being disagreeable. Neutrality doesn’t model this.

    Humility respects all. It removes resistance and speeds conflict resolution. Conversely, neutrality often drags conflict out during which time it erupts again and again.

    Humility speaks. It is not silent. It calmly sends a powerful message that neutrality never even whispers.


Leadership Fairness Is Found in Facilitating Greatness

New leaders, leading their former peers, bring greatness to the team by uniting all around the business goal. They are being fair to the whole team when they don’t let pleas for “fairness to your old buddies” paralyze them into neutrality.


Leaders who don’t like conflict bring greatness to the team when they teach their natural sense of collaboration rather than hiding in neutrality. Fairness lies in accountability to the team’s success.


Leaders with less occupational knowledge than those they lead bring greatness to the team when they use their impartial objectivity to help teams work through divergent views. They lose the team’s respect when their neutrality says “I’m not worthy”. Fairness to the team lies in overcoming self-doubt to ignite that team’s success, no matter what.


Leaders who want to build empowerment bring greatness to the team by not confusing empowerment with democracy. Empowerment tracks toward a common goal. Democracy tracks toward individual choice. Great leaders foster empowerment in teams (not democracy) to engage all to reach a shared success. Fairness to the team lives in resisting the temptation to be neutral. It shines in preventing empowerment from morphing into democracy.




In truth, great leaders don’t confuse neutrality and fairness. They know the difference between impartiality and neutrality. They aren’t conflicted over choosing between people or success.


They model and coach team members to respect and use diversity to kindle success. They inspire and engage people so they all can reach for the stars and yes, actually reach the stars!



It’s your turn …

  1. What else drives leaders into being neutral?
  2. Why do some leaders get stuck there and how does it impact those they lead?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™


Additional Actionable Leadership Posts:
Leadership: Engage Employees to Succeed at What? Integrity?
Leaders, Are You Leading With Honesty & Civility?

©2012-2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels.

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Engaging Employees to Succeed at What? Integrity?


As I work with leaders on engaging employees, I’m always interested in how others are defining it and doing it. Today I read David Zinger’s definition: Employee Engagement: Good work, done well, with others, every day.

At the same time I’m reading about Toyota’s and GM’s car safety issues and wonder if the employees thought they were engaged in good work done well. Most likely the answer is yes. Hence the confusion with employee engagement.

When leaders approach me about engaging employees, I ask them, engage employees to do what? Get the job done? Follow the leaders? Engage each other for company-wide success? Each answer leads to different results.


Engaging Employees: Image is the word Ethics held up by hands.

Engaging Employees to Succeed at Integrity? Image licensed from Istock.com.

Image licensed from Istock.com

Engaging Employees: Culture of Accountability & Integrity

As the new CEO of GM fields questions about why the corporation didn’t fix known safety issues, she has focused on the problem of silos that stopped communication. However …

Silos don’t stop communication.


Silos create communication challenges that a culture of accountability and integrity solves.


Supposedly at GM, departments that were aware of the trouble with ignition switches didn’t tell the engineering teams. Why not? Why wouldn’t they feel absolutely compelled to inform others who could solve the problem? Silos don’t explain this. Their cultural definition of employee engagement does.

Clearly, GM’s definition of engaging employees was limited to meeting department goals. The engagement culture was not one of company-wide accountability to protect customers and GM’s good name. What was missing?

The simple question that wasn’t on everyone’s mind …

Engaging Employees: Image is words Wrong & Right

Engaging Employees: Accountability & Integrity Image licensed from Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com

Even established core values like the following don’t compel people to engage each other throughout a company.

Engaging Employees: Image is list of core values

Engaging Employees: Core values alone don’t do it. Image fr Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com


Employees likely think of core values as applying to their own work not necessarily as calling them to engage each other for company success. Most core values lack this call to action.


Leaders, you can fill this gap by asking the following two questions consistently with your teams:

  1. Who does this issue impact?
  2. Who all needs to know?






If you want employees to do good work, done well, with others, every day, as David Zinger proposes, then live, model, and illustrate the phrase “with others”.

You will effectively develop a culture accountability and integrity that engages employees to engage each other. It will remove the communication challenges that silos create.

What successes have you had engaging employees to break through silos?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts
Leaders, Engage Employees Through Connection Not Status
Employee Engagement: Breed Accountability Not Blame

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Leadership Intuition: Develop yours. It’s not voodoo!


Whether you are a new or experienced leader, your plate is full of responsibilities and your to-do list brimming with things to learn. Where do you start? Well there is one skill — leadership intuition — that will steer you through the new challenges and guide you to lead people well. Leadership intuition delivers valuable foresight to the business, the employees, and to customers.


Develop your intuition.



Leadership Intuition: Image is fortune cookie saying trust your intuition

Leadership Intuition: Develop Yours!

Image by: Hexmar via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Intuition is a skill. It is not magic nor voodoo.



Intuition is experience reapplied.



Good detectives apply it to solve mysteries. Great physicians use it to diagnose your illness even when technology can’t. Very successful leaders use it to engage employees, to foresee and prevent trouble, and to create the new business vision.

If intuition is just experience, why call it intuition? Because it isn’t just experience.


Intuition is a synthesis of information and experience — especially about people — reapplied in a different time and space. It is continuous learning. With practice, the synthesis works so quickly that many people experience it as a hunch. I don’t rule out that some people may have a sixth sense that others don’t. Yet everyone can develop the skill of intuition — experience reapplied.


Steps to Develop Your Leadership Intuition

  1. Become a student of human behavior. Observe & listen to them. Communicate with them.

  2. Give yourself permission to see things as they are unencumbered with your fears, values, hopes, and personal agenda. Intuition springs from this reality. Like a detective, spot patterns and see exceptions to patterns. Notice how people look when they are feeling certain things. Be aware of how they behave when they have those feelings. This develops your leadership intuition.

  3. Build your leadership intuition data bank. Embrace non-measurable data. It crosses over time and space. Abandon the mistaken belief that “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” Human behavior is real even when you can’t measure it. Gather this input, synthesize it, and reapply it! Remember, your leadership intuition will grow when you notice people’s behavior.




Leadership Intuition: Implications for Employee Engagement

  • To strengthen your intuition, don’t micro-manage. It is difficult to see the forest if you are focusing on one tree. Broaden your vista to see the whole picture.
  • Get to know those you work with as people. Get to know them sooner than later — your colleagues, your team, your vendors, your suppliers, and other teams that your organization will work with. Knowing people well strengthens your intuition for future interactions.
  • Learn about diverse people behavior and never stop learning. If you stop learning, your leadership intuition data bank becomes incomplete, your intuition flawed, and your employees disengaged from your efforts.
  • Complete your intuition. Acting on intuition alone is a mistake. Use your newly developed intuition as a starting point for further assessment. It maximizes the value of your intuition and minimizes pattern error, stereotyping people, and bad decisions.



Consider Einstein’s view: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. I believe in intuition and inspiration. At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.”


What benefits have you experienced from leadership intuition?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™


Other Leadership Posts for Growth:
Develop Emotional Intelligence: Are You Using These Steps?
13 Emotionally Intelligent People Skills for Career & Leadership Success

©2011-2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

People Skills Leadership Chat – Have We Gone Past the Tough Guy Image?

WHEN: Join us Sunday March 30, 2014 on Twitter at 10AM EDT. Hashtag: #peopleskills


Time converter:
Please click the time converter link above to convert 10am EDT to your local time.



Background on This People Skills Leadership Chat

Business leaders, is our definition of great leadership still tied to the tough guy image? Many say that leadership has evolved over the decades as the economy expanded from assembly lines to the information and technology age. Yet I see vestiges of the gotta be tough with others mentality in many leaders. It makes me ask the question, is it still a (hidden) part of the definition of great leadership? Have leaders absorbed this and made it part of their identity?

Join us Sunday March 30, 2014, 10am EDT in #peopleskills Twitter chat to explore leadership people skills – the tough guy image. My co-host will be Chantal Bechervaise, Human Resources specialist with endless passion for learning. Chantal is also a moderator of the Google+ people skills community.



People Skills Leadership Chat: People skills logo

People Skills Leadership Chat March 30. Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.

Image designed by: Kimb Manson Graphics Design for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.


People Skills Leadership Chat: Losing Tough Guy Image

As businesses embrace a new generation of workers, as they require more employee engagement to truly succeed, exploring people skills leadership issues is critical.

Join us in global people skills Twitter chat (#Peopleskills) this Sunday March 30th at 10am EDT to explore it. Some questions to get us thinking in advance:

  • What is your definition of great leadership?
  • How does toughness play into the definition? Internal strength or external roughness?
  • Where if at all do you see vestiges of the tough guy leadership image?
  • How has the tough guy image impacted women and mentoring women leaders?
  • Do you want leaders to show humility, humanity or ___________?
  • Can a humble leader be a great leader? Why do many people say no?
  • Emotions: What role do they play in great leadership?
  • Would you be comfortable with a leader who shows emotion during a crisis?
  • What’s the difference between a strong leader and a tough leader?



These are just some questions to get us thinking before we begin. Actual questions will post live during the chat.

So bring your personal perspective, your favorite beverage, and join me and the people skills global chat community this Sunday March 30, 2014, 10am EDT on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills) to explore People Skills Leadership – Losing the Tough Guy Image!


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community, The Facebook Group People Skills That Really Matter and the LinkedIn Group People Skills Succeed to be a part of all the people skills discussions everyday 24×7. Get your people skills community member badge here.



Shout Out of Gratitude

My gratitude to all who participate and grow the people skills global chat community on Twitter (#peopleskills), Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook. We welcome your suggestions for topics, offers to co-host, and most especially your diverse insights. Special thanks to the community and chat moderators Chantal Bechervaise, Dave Moore, Hoda Maalouf, Tom Rhodes, and Tracy Shroyer.






Hope you will all join People Skills Global Twitter Chat (#peopleskills) this Sunday March 30, 2014, 10am EDT/7am PDT/2pm GMT to explore the People Skills Leadership – Losing the Tough Guy Image.

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills Global Chat: Respect for all even when we disagree.







TIP: If you have never been in a Twitter chat, you may find it helpful to log on to Tweetchat.com, or Twubs.com and enter hashtag #peopleskills. Sign in to your Twitter account. The venue will insert the hashtag on each of your tweets and you will see all the tweets on one screen. Other tools available are Tchat.io, Hootsuite and TweetDeck.

I am the founder and host of the chat and will be happy to answer any questions you have in advance: Email me.


Chat with you this Sun. March 30, 2014, 10am EDT in people skills global Twitter chat to explore: People Skills Leadership – Losing the Tough Guy Image.


Until then, as always, I wish you bonds of happiness and success!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Leadership Mirage: Do You See Patience, Inaction, or No Accountability?


Being ultimately responsible for a successful outcome, leaders often focus on everyone’s actions to achieve it. Yet team members work at different paces with different behaviors.

This presents the leadership mirage challenge! What are you seeing and is it a threat to success? Are team members being patient and persistent, or inactive and unaccountable?



Leadership Mirage: Image is Runners in setting sun.

Leadership Mirage: Patience Is Not Inaction. Image from Istock.com.

Image licensed from Istock.com

Leadership Mirage: Clarifying to Lead Well

The picture of patience and persistence is quite different from inactive and unaccountable. Your perspective, professional goals, concerns, and courage — as a leader — impact what you see and how you interpret it. Let’s clarify the picture to lead well.

Patience

Being realistic about time needed given current conditions, resources, knowledge, and talents.

  • For example, when new hires start work, it takes time for them to learn the business. Patience is seeing this reality. Prevent the leadership mirage. Either accept this reality or do something to change the current reality. Give them training, mentors, and assistance to speed the process. As leaders, you thus prevent patience from blurring into inaction.

  • When teams are resisting change, does your patience blur into inaction? I witnessed a very analytic team member blind a leader and temporarily stop a change initiative through endless analytic questions. The team member created a leadership mirage. He painted the image that all these issues had to be resolved before taking action on the change. The leader told me he was trying to be patient with the teams because change is difficult. Yet he was very concerned about not moving ahead.

    As the consultant on the project, I said to the team member, “I think you pose all these questions as absolutes to stop the change.” He replied, “Yes.” The mirage disappeared. The leader could see the ulterior motive and the distortion. He could then change the current reality from distorted to active discussion.



Clarify the picture to prevent patience from turning into inaction!


Inaction

Doing nothing to change conditions, move forward, and reach success in the necessary time frame.

  • For example, a leader asked a manager to arrange everything for a distributed online meeting. She asked him to initiate the tele-conference 15 minutes before start time. The slow paced manager did a half-baked job organizing it and launched the tele-conference one minute after the start time. His response to the leader’s displeasure was, “I’m a patient person.” He was creating a leadership mirage.

    It didn’t blind this leader. After speaking with the manager and seeing there had been no obstacles to starting on time, she said to him, “You actions were not about patience. You were simply slow to act and your delay impacted the global team.”


  • Patience is not withholding information when others need it to be successful. Patience is not remaining completely silent when others need your input. Patience is not making others wait because you prefer to work at a slower pace. These are all examples of inaction that can delay success. Leaders, clarify these differences with teams. It helps all to avoid being blinded by these mirages. They can then be accountable for success.



Remove every leadership mirage so that all can be accountable for success!



Patience is being flexible on how you all reach success. It is tolerant of differences that still keep progress moving. It includes and empowers all to be accountable.

Inaction is delay from personal preference. It is denial of issues instead of discussing to clarify. Inaction hides from difficult moments rather than courageously facing them. It runs from accountability.


Leadership mirages blind leaders when …

  1. … they confuse being likeable with constantly wanting to be liked. Team members play on these leaders’ for more patience. It turns into inaction. Solutions: See the truth to rally everyone to accountability.

  2. … they are hard drivers addicted to feverish levels of activity and see anything less than feverish as inaction. Solution: Clarify what progress is being made to moderate your obsession about activity.

  3. … they are not committed to the vision, purpose, or change initiative. Ambivalence gives mirages more power over perspective. Solution: Be aware of when you are not committed. Self-awareness clarifies the view. When you see the reality, the mirage disappears.








To remove the leadership mirage, be self-aware, clarify the view, and communicate.



Then turn inaction into success by changing something that empowers success.



What successes have you had through clear vision and self-awareness?







From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leaders, Breed Accountability Not Blame
Leaders, How Long Do You Coach a Bad Attitude?

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Business People Skills: Can You See Your Ins & Outs? Others Can!


Business People Skills: Image is multi-color sign words are connection openness.

Business People Skills: Welcome In or Stay Out? Image by PSD via Flickr.

Grateful for image by PSD via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Business People Skills: People Can See If You Are Letting Them In

Many actions tell people if you truly want to connect with them or keep them at a distance. It matters in leadership and teamwork. It very much matters with customers. What signals are you sending? “Yes, let’s work together?” or “I’m not so interested.”


Have any of the following behaviors hurt your business people skills? They are easy to check and to keep in check. The effort is well worth it. Success comes with others — not alone.



  1. Mentioned in 2 minute video above.
  2. Mentioned in video above.
  3. Mentioned in video above.

  4. The need to be right. When people must have last word on everything, they come across as insecure, even arrogant. They are also sending the message — stay out! Closed-minded portrays as closed off. How do your business people skills portray you?

  5. Too much talking or too much silence. When people talk and talk and talk, it paints them as self-absorbed. It also communicates “stay out”. Too much silence can paint the same picture and send the same message. Many mistakenly believe that silence shows incredible interest and welcomes others in. Yet, silence isn’t always golden. It can also seem like disinterest. Seek balance. Engage in dialogue.

  6. Lots of absolutes and generalizations. Absolutes are rarely true. They often discourage discussion and connection. Generalizations about people also shut out connection and learning. Treat each person as the unique individual they are. Learn about them. It says “Let’s engage.” That portrays great business people skills.

  7. Being distracted & multitasking. When people don’t give their full attention, the message is partially — stay out. No matter how great the claim about their ability to multitask, the message they are sending is far from welcome. If you give partial attention, you are communicating a “stay out” message. Apologize for being distracted and refocus. That says “I welcome you in.”

  8. Immediately redirecting people to written material. I’ve seen this frequently in online networking. I receive a LinkedIn invitation to join someone’s network. I initially look at the person’s profile to learn more about them. If I accept the invitation, I send a thank you message highlighting something from their profile and asking them some questions to learn more. More than once, I got this reply: “The best way to learn more about me is to go to my website.”

    Really? Instead of interacting and learning about each other? The business people skills message was: “I don’t want to interact.” Then why invite people to join your network? Do you want to welcome people in or keep them out? Engage in discussion to network and uncover new business opportunities!



When a situation calls for extreme caution, it’s wise to be slow to trust. Yet closed off with no trust can’t reveal whom you can trust. Business people skills can light the way and do just that!






Do your business people skills more often welcome people in or keep them out?



What tips will you add to the list from your world of connections?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Avoid These 8 Common Causes of Business People Skills Mistakes
Career Success: Are You Rockin’ w/ These 13 People Skills
12 Signs You Have to Be Right! on Alli Polin’s Break The Frame blog.

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Courtesy Checklist: 10 Superior Ways to Lead, Serve, & Collaborate

Courtesy Checklist: Image is Jar of Honey w/ a honey twister.

Courtesy Checklist: Superior Ways to Lead, Serve, Collaborate. Image licensed from Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com

Courtesy Checklist: Do you do these every day?


  1. Greet politely and/or warmly. Welcome new teammates on their first day and you set teamwork in motion. Greet potential and current customers with courtesy and enthusiasm. You give them a picture of many positive experiences ahead. Engage employees at the beginning of a meeting. You overcome the typical meeting apathy.

  2. Start a request with please. It was everywhere in decades past. Has it slipped away? Grab hold of it and put it back in every request. This one small word communicates respect that prevents requests from being misconstrued as disguised orders. In leadership, teamwork, and customer service, this one is an essential on your courtesy checklist!

  3. Give sincere and abundant thank yous. The gift of gratitude is free yet far from cheap. People hold gratitude in high regard. It is quite dear. Leaders’ appreciation goes far beyond the instance of thanks. It creates a culture of gratitude that sustains customer relationships and employee morale. Leaders, help get this one on everyone’s courtesy checklist!

  4. Interact with an open mind. Many don’t think of open-mindedness as a part of courtesy. It is! Any behavior that considers others and eases interaction is courtesy. When working with customers, teammates, or employees very different from you, your open mind welcomes them in. Solutions and success come from openness!

  5. Eliminate common rudeness. There are habits that most people consider rude: talking too loud, slurping drinks, smacking lips when eating, clinking utensils, eating while you’re on the phone, going through a door and not holding it behind you for the next person, and the list goes on. Beyond these habits, learn cultural norms when working with people around the globe. It is the essence of courtesy in global business.

  6. Adapt to personality types. Most people think of the driver personality type when they read this on the courtesy checklist. Yet it is applies to all types. Amiables, analytics, and expressives, can be just as extreme in their behavior as the driver type. Extreme behavior tips toward discourteous. Seek balance. Consider others’ needs and flex. You can’t change your type yet you can adapt your behavior. This is courtesy!

  7. Show interest but don’t pry. Showing interest in customers is a courtesy that warms the relationship. Prying into their lives with intrusive questions will slam the door shut. Asking teammates about their weekend can start the week off well. Grilling them with personal questions builds walls that stop success. An important distinction on the courtesy checklist.

  8. Share information. Don’t gossip. Every time a customer service rep tells a customer how much trouble another customer was, it mars the professional image. Even if the customer you are telling agrees with you, they wonder what you will say about them to someone else. This is a perilous detour from positive customer relationships. Stay on the road of courtesy and professional behavior.

  9. Smile don’t sneer, snicker, or smirk. Non-verbal communication is on the courtesy checklist. Derisive gestures and looks, demean others. In their mildest form they are rude. In their extreme form, they can constitute bullying. Treating people badly — discourtesy — pushes people away. Simple, respectful behavior keeps everyone engaged. Once again courtesy is always a winner in business.

  10. Guard generalizations. Generalizations about people will almost always disrespect someone. One day, I heard an employee state that people who work in government are lazy. He didn’t consider that his co-workers had friends and family who worked in the public sector. Besides painting himself in a bad light, his discourteous remark marred work relationships and teamwork. Honor individuality and diversity. That’s on the courtesy checklist!

 
Courtesy never goes out of fashion. It feels great to receive it. In business, it’s not just a nicety. It’s a necessity for leadership, teamwork, sales, and customer service.

Far more than a pleasantry, courtesy opens doors, impresses in first meetings, shows respect, expresses care, smooths rough moments, defuses tension, bridges gaps, and feeds business relationships.


Courtesy — considering others’ needs and easing the way — gives you superior ways to succeed.


What other items are on your courtesy checklist?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
GPS Your Brain to Work w/ Any Personality Type
Avoid 8 Common Causes of People Skills Mistakes
The 25 Worst Customer Service Stories to Train the Best CSRs

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

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Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Leadership Sincerity: Sincerely Yours or Powerfully Yours?


Very few people want passive aggressive leaders. It’s frustrating, confusing, perhaps even maddening. We want them to, say what they mean and mean what they say! Right? Engage in leadership sincerity and authenticity.

Yet how can leaders say what they mean and mean what they say without the risk of being derisive, rude, and disrespectful? Anyone can authentically and selfishly blast out their candor. That’s weak-willed bullying. No one wants that.

The answer is simple. Leadership sincerity! It is honesty delivered with civility. It is courage, humility, and respect in magnetic balance. It draws everyone in. It energizes thought, engagement, and contribution. It is sincerely yours.


Leadership Sincerity: Image is stone w/ words sincerity humility courage.

Leadership Sincerity: Are You Leading w/ Honesty & Civility? Image by mstephens7 via Flickr.

Image by mstephens7 via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leadership Sincerity: Sincerely Yours Not Powerfully Yours

Leaders, which message do you want your words and actions to communicate: sincerely yours or powerfully yours? What’s the difference? In either case, you can be honest and authentic. Well the effect is quite different. Sincerely yours sustains everyone’s morale and momentum. Powerfully yours, breeds power struggles and saps commitment.

Try sincerely yours to be authentic without being obnoxious…

  • Communicate with honesty and civility.

    Prepare with honesty. Deliver with civility. Honesty is what you are say and civility is how you say it. Civility doesn’t weaken the authenticity of the message. It helps everyone to hear it with less resistance. Since they don’t feel insulted or attacked, they listen to your message vs. detouring to escape it.


  • Be confident in your message and humble in delivering it.

    Humility and civility make even tough honesty palatable. Recently, I had to remind a people skills community member not to post messages on the community page selling her company’s products and services. I explained the guideline, the reason, and suggested she do as I do — place product information on her own social media page. Even though I started the community, I hold myself to the same standard.


  • Reach ‘em don’t preach ‘em.

    Before you speak, ask yourself if you are preaching to them or reaching them. Preaching has the sub-message, “I know more than you.” Reaching out respects others while communicating honestly. If you’re not sure which way you come across, ask for feedback. You can also watch how often you deliver negative messages vs. positive ones. If you communicate the negative far more often, your mindset may be in preach mode. Leadership sincerity is the big picture of truth not just what troubles you.


  • Separate facts from feelings.

    Sometimes leaders justify their candor as sincerity and authenticity. Yet candor has feelings masquerading as facts. As a result, it can insult and disrespect others. Honesty separates facts from feelings. For example, when an employee complains more than once, the response “stop whining” communicates your candid feelings. Yet it is not leadership sincerity. It is patronizing. Worse, it is derisive. Far better to find out what solutions the employee suggests to fix the situation. If those are not feasible, simply state the facts. It’s authentic not offensive.


  • Rise about your personal preferences.

    It lessens the mini-me syndrome and honors diversity. Become very self-aware. Know your personality type, your change orientation, and your learning style. Then ensure you don’t demand that everyone be like you. It prevents your authenticity from becoming domineering self-absorption.

    Consider the situation where someone you promoted to manager is creating terrible unrest. You initially think, change always creates dissatisfaction. Yet more than one employee comes to you with serious examples of this person’s incompetence. Do you authentically show them your anger? Do you tell them, “Enough. I promoted this person and that’s it!” It is powerfully yours.

    Yet, it isn’t great leadership sincerity. Take in the feedback. Ponder it. Move beyond your annoyance over their questioning your judgment. If you communicate from power be ready for a power failure. Seek the whole truth.


  • Be likeable without constantly seeking to be liked.

    Be likeable by delivering every message with civility. Don’t avoid conflict just to be liked. If you seek to be liked at every moment, you may avoid important conversations. It can anger employees who must endlessly tolerate bad situations you won’t address. For example, if there is an employee with a very bad attitude, speak honestly to this person. Leadership sincerity shows courage and respect.



Leadership sincerity is far more than, say what you mean and mean what you say. It is considering both what you say and how you say it. Use honesty with courage, humility, and respect. It far outshines just plain candor.


How has great leadership sincerity helped you?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
What’s So Hot About Humility, Anyway?
Leaders, Avoid These 8 People Skills Mistakes
Leaders, How Long Do You Coach a Bad Attitude?

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



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Join me through these social channelsEngage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

The value of great people skills in business is well established. People skills are the language of connection for employee engagement, customer experience, leadership, and teamwork.

Whether you call it interpersonal skills, soft skills, emotional intelligence, or people skills — the singular goal is to transcend differences for a positive result.

People skills brilliance blooms from self-awareness and generosity. The blunders tumble out of moments of fear and short-sightedness. The happy news is that the 8 common causes of people skills mistakes are easily avoidable.


People Skills Mistakes: Image is Someone Falling

People Skills: Avoid Tumbling into Common Mistakes Image by:WorldOfOddy

Image by WOrld of Oddy via Flickr Creative Commons License.

The 8 Common Causes of People Skills Mistakes

As The People Skills Coach™, I see brilliance and blunders in the leaders and teams I coach and train. Here are the 8 common blunders you can replace with brilliance.

  • Thinking you must choose between civility and honesty. I continue to read blog posts and see leaders make this needless mistake. Civility is how you deliver your honesty. It’s not a choice between civility and honesty. Good manners do not stop success. Alternative: Deliver honesty with civility not bluntness with emotion.

  • Confusing good judgment and judgmentalism. Good judgment is born of different experiences. It can bring valuable debate, innovation, and success. Judging people (judgmentalism) degrades others and blocks opportunities for success. Alternative: See each person as a possibility for a team win.

  • Forgetting or denying that every conversation communicates and creates emotion. People skills blunders abound in those who focus purely on their own message and never on honoring other people. People skills brilliance lies in the awareness of how actions impact others and in the generosity to adapt. Stay on the right road: Speed success by honoring others. Avoid the detour to the land of disrespect.

  • Fear of losing. When people fear losing and focus only on winning, ironically they often lose. Fear widens the gap between people. People skills tumble as fear driven behavior comes across as selfish and inconsiderate. The chance for engagement, support, and mutual agreement is slim. Alternative: Become self-aware. Spot and stop fears from driving your behavior.

  • Mistaking listening and adapting for surrender. Picture a happy boorish clod who never listens or considers others’ needs. When I asked about the behavior, he replied, “The world belongs to those who don’t surrender.” Attention everyone, the world belongs to those who can interact, influence, and create a win for all.

  • Focusing on the stressful moment rather than a desirable outcome. Differences can cause stress. They don’t have to derail people skills and the favorable outcome. Focus tip: When the stressful feelings surface remember your options and choose wisely.

  • Believing that confidence and humility cannot co-exist. Regardless of personality type, a person can be both confident in their message and humble in delivering it. Key thought: Humility is flexible and open to learning and that delivers success.

  • Clinging to a comfort zone. The greater the craving for self-comfort, the greater the risk of people skills mistakes. The comfort zones of personality type, cultural background, educational level, and occupational focus, are ripe for people skills blunders. Gentle reminder: The comfort zone is full of sitting ducks — not as safe as it feels!



The Heart of the Matter: Adapt and close the gap to reap the benefits of exceptional people skills.



Question: What people skills brilliance or blunders have you experienced?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Pleasures That Calm When Dealing With Toxic People
Humility in Leadership: Myths, Fears, and Truths on Todd Nielsen blog.
7 Steps from Brutally Blunt to Helpfully Honest


©2012-2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels.

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Interview Tips for Leadership Jobs: Reveal and Relieve!

Collaborative types going for leadership job interviews often stumble in their comfort zone. I’ve seen great collaborative leaders who deserve to move up lose out because they never said “I” in the interview. Only “we”.


They believe that using “I” is arrogant and boastful. I’ve had coaching clients tell me “Kate, I’m just not the type to focus on myself. Nothing is ever achieved completely alone. It’s always a team effort.” Sure.


Yet here’s one of many important interview tips. That’s not the only thing the interviewers need to know!

Why do interviewers need to hear the word “I” from leadership job candidates?


Interview Tips: Image is blank humanoid figure shrugging.

Interview Tips for Leadership Jobs: I vs We? Image via Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com

Because they need you to reduce their risk of picking the wrong person as leader.



Interview Tips: Reveal Who You Are & Relieve Their Fears

You are a blank canvas. A paper resume doesn’t reveal who you are. If it did nobody would hold interviews. Even if you are interviewing for a leadership position in your current company, they don’t know how you will be in the new role.

Interviewers want to know …

  • As a leader, will you be accountable?

    Organizations still equate accountability with one person. If you talk only about “we” and never “I”, you leave them wondering about your accountability. Interview Tips: Don’t leave them in the dark. Give them the gift of getting to know you.


  • Are you strong enough to handle tough moments?

    There is much evidence that collaborative leaders ignite the organization’s strength. Yet the definition of leader also includes individual strength. If you only use the word “we”, what are you telling the interviewers? That you are only strong with a team?

    Interview tips: Don’t view the word “I” as self-promotional. See it as collaborating toward the interviewers’ goal — getting to know you!


  • Do you just want to be liked?

    Even in evolved companies, leadership is about far more than just being liked. When you use only the word we and never I, interviewers wonder are you too nice to lead? Will you care about the organization’s success or just your own need to be liked?

    Interview tips: If the interviewers are more confused about you at the end of the interview than before it, you won’t get the job. This is the time to focus on interviewers’ needs not yours. Step out of your comfort zone. Reveal who you are!


  • Do you know the difference between selfless and faceless?

    You believe that using the term we instead of I shows that you are a selfless giver and collaborative leader. It does to people who know you. To those who don’t know you, it can say you believe collaboration must be faceless.

    Will you impose that standard on employees who want appreciation and recognition of their individual efforts? Younger generations are inspired to teamwork through recognition of their individual talents. Will you see them as selfish or talented?

    Interview tips: Come out of the shadows. Selfless is not faceless. Show interviewers your true face and all your facets. They need to hear how you will balance being directive with engaging employees and spurring collaboration. The leadership position requires all of it. Show them you can be out front, in back, or amidst the team depending on the need. Let them see the “I” and the “we”.


Interview Tips Summary

    Picture yourself as the interviewer trying to select the best person for this leadership position. You don’t know you. Now, what do you need to know about you? Would your purely “we” focus convince you if you were the interviewer?

    Confusion is not a success strategy. Don’t create it. Clear it up.

    Self-confidence is not arrogance. It is the gift you give to those who must decide on the right leader. Be generous. Show both your confidence and competence.





Speaking about yourself in an interview is one of your obligations.

Else, why are you there?


Reveal your strengths to relieve their fears!





Question: What is the biggest lesson you ever learned from an interview?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Career Success: Rock It w/These 13 Key People Skills Tips
Employee Engagement: 4 No Cost Steps to Acknowledgement
Capture the Magic of the “I’s” in Team
5 Psychologically Uncomfortable Career Shaping Opportunities

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Leadership Challenge: Coaching a Bad Employee Attitude


Business success in any size enterprise depends on positive can-do attitudes. It is also weakened and destabilized by just one bad attitude. The leadership challenge is how long do you coach a bad attitude?


Leadership Challenge: Words Good Best Best

Leadership Challenge: Coach a Bad Attitude?

Image licensed via Istock.com

Leadership Challenge: Does One Negative Attitude Mean You’re a Bad Leader?

Some leaders and managers make it their ultimate goal to transform the one employee with the bad attitude. They believe that their leadership challenge is to change that one employee’s attitude from negative to positive.

Once such manager recently asked me, “how long do you work on the bad morale of a negative employee?” This manager had been trying for six months with no change. I replied, never! You cannot work on someone else’s morale. People choose and own their individual attitudes.

The true leadership challenge is how to inspire employees with basically positive attitudes to reach the heights of success. It isn’t to coach a bad attitude.



The latter is a waste of time and money. The team members who bring a positive can-do attitude use your inspiration to magnify success. An employee with a bad attitude uses you and team members to live their negative life choice.


Coaching a bad attitude means you are spending time on their mission instead of the mission of the organization. It drains other team members’ morale. Often they leave to escape the stress. They blame the leader for not stopping the endless negativity of the one employee. Then the leadership challenge becomes the desperate attempt to keep the great talent in house!


Are you surprised to hear me, The People Skills Coach™, say don’t coach a bad attitude?



Well, what do I mean by a bad attitude? I am not speaking about an employee who offers a different view, contributes alternate solutions, or is having an occasional bad day. 


A employee with a bad attitude is consistently unmotivated, rarely offers to help, is constantly negative, analyzes but doesn’t deliver, and refuses to work with necessary constraints.


If you find yourself thinking, but this negative employee …

  • Just needs more time to develop a positive attitude
  • Will come around eventually
  • Is still recovering from the previous bad boss
  • Is having a rough year
  • Is young and immature
  • Is good in a crisis

you are not meeting your leadership challenge. You are experiencing denial and delay.

Positive attitudes do not develop over time. As long as you are exhibiting good leadership, the employee must choose to forget the last boss and give you a new chance. Youth and negativity are not inherently connected. Lastly, people who are good in a crisis do not bring everyone else down in normal situations.

Ask yourself, how does upper management define the leadership challenge? Would upper management be swayed by the above list when trying to assess the value of your organization? Or would they ask you to calculate the cost of having employees who don’t use positive attitudes to deliver great results?



Leaders, if you struggle with the idea of expecting a positive attitude, ask yourself why? Do you …

  • Want to be liked by each employee more than you want to inspire the whole team
  • Fear the necessary conversation about a bad attitude
  • Believe you have the power to change people
  • Believe that expecting and requiring a positive attitude means you are a tyrant
  • Feel bad about yourself if an employee has a bad attitude toward the job
  • Believe that positive employees won’t want to work in your organization

I see this trend among certain personality types, managers who are leading their former peers, and leaders who replaced a rough demoralizing micro-manager.

Break your own cycle. Consider what positive can-do team members do …

  • Offer realistic solutions to fix frustrating/difficult situations they don’t like.
  • Own their occasional bad day.  When they ask for help, they try the suggestions you offer vs. negating your ideas and continuing to complain.
  • Learn from many situations – the good and the bad – instead of complaining about them.
  • Take action and collaborate to deliver success.



Now picture what you will expect of everyone. A positive attitude to create business success now. Remember, someone who is capable of choosing a positive attitude can choose it now.  An employee who had a dictatorial boss before could be thrilled by a chance to work with a better leader now.  Young employees can be positive about the possibilities that lie ahead. Team members who are positive in a crisis have the mental strength to choose a positive attitude everyday.


Get back on track. Focus on the true leadership challenge of inspiring great results. Expect a positive attitude and inspire the possibilities that come from it!

  • Foster an active learning culture.
  • Feature team successes and lessons learned.
  • Ask for solutions; don’t just give them.
  • Recognize innovative thought, outstanding effort, commitment, and action.
  • Express your appreciation at the end of the week for tough situations handled well.
  • Let no one disillusion or distract you and the team from the leadership challenge and organization mission.



Positive attitudes don’t deny the difficulties the team faces. They are the very fuel for overcoming obstacles. Create an environment for a positive can-do attitude and then expect it from everyone!


What other actions do you recommend to create an environment for a can-do attitude?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Invitation:
I invite you to connect with me on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I welcome your questions. I will respond with inspiration and practical tips!

Related Post:
Leaders, A Great Employee Attitude is Essential Not Negotiable

©2011-2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Team Cohesion: Here’s Where We Finally Found It!

Team Cohesion: Image is two animated mushrooms bowing to each other.

Team Cohesion: Here’s where we found it. Image licensed from Istock.com.


The leader called me and his frustration about his organization was immediately clear. He wanted and needed team cohesion and all his efforts had fallen short.


Team chartering, one-on-one meetings, personality type assessments, and team building exercises did not bring team cohesion. He exclaimed, “When I was in the military, we all went through hell together and stuck together! What’s wrong with these folks here? We have a common purpose yet we’re not together.”

As he described the challenges, I knew where we would and would not find team cohesion for his organization.

You don’t find true team cohesion in …

  • Common business purpose
  • Orders from the leader
  • Pressured deadlines
  • Extreme team building challenges



These things can create short term teamwork results. They don’t create team cohesion. The leader thought of “surviving hell together in the military” as a common purpose that created team cohesion. It wasn’t a common purpose. It was a deeply shared human need.


Team cohesion is found in a deeply shared human need.


For this team, that need was respect!



Respect for everyone’s views and talents …

  • Retains the diversity that teams need for success
  • Builds, rebuilds, and sustains in difficult times
  • Initiates communication that bursts assumptions
  • Makes learning safe and worth the risk
  • Invites collaboration for the reward of recognition



When you look back at the generations that comprised and led the workforce from 1945-1985, they grew up during the depression, World War II or were raised by those who did. Commitment to survive together became a way of life that became team cohesion at work.

Both my father, raised during the depression, and my mother twenty years his junior and raised during World War II, taught us commitment and cohesion. We believed it, lived it, and took that to work. So did everyone at work. We lived a shared human need for survival.


Today, survival is no longer the shared human need that creates team cohesion. Respect and appreciation often is!

What is the shared human need that will create team cohesion in your organization?


I can help you find it. Let’s do it soon!


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Image licensed from Istock.com

Related Posts:
Cooperation, Why Do We Make It So Tough?
5 Essentials to Building 21st Century Teams
Teamwork People Skills: Are You Making Interaction Hard?

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

Leadership: New Insights on Optimism and Pollyanna

 

Leadership: Image is cracked egg still smiling.

Leadership: Choose the Positive Pollyanna Image by Kat via Flickr.


Over the years several leaders have told me that they wouldn’t promote someone who had a Pollyanna  attitude.  It was one of those leadership labels that spoke volumes. Their disdain was clear. They were describing optimism as unrealistic and naive.


Because leadership today focuses on positive thinking, I decided to watch the movie Pollyanna to see how this supposedly optimistic label earned such disdain.


I expected Pollyanna to be a foolish character that was out of touch with reality. I pictured being bored and reaching for the stop button. 


Instead I saw a passionate change agent who spoke up to people regardless of their age, position. and disposition.  Pollyanna was very much in touch with reality!  


When someone told a lie, she called them on it. She also knew when to be polite yet summoned the courage to assert the positive to ardent pessimists. She alone turned around negative Mrs. Snow who spent hours picking out a coffin despite her good health.  

Pollyanna minced no words after one of Mrs. Snow’s long complaints …

    “You could be glad you’re not dying. You could be helping others. Forget about dying and be glad you’re living.”



Pollyanna’s father had used this glad game approach to sustain his daughter during tough times. They were poor and life was difficult. His leadership molded her view of everyday life. Now as an orphan she displayed his leadership principles.


So why is the Pollyanna character so often maligned?  

Is it because …

  • Leaders are afraid that too much focus on the positive will lead to denial and failure?
  • Traditional leaders define leadership as finding all the threats? Is it that they see little value in highlighting the positive?
  • Pessimists crave the negative so much that they’re driven to twist every positive into a negative?


Leadership: Why We Need the Real Pollyannas

  • They live gratitude in their core. It sustains their will and prevents complacency.
  • They model resilience. It breeds a self-sustaining culture.
  • They are both empathetic AND forthright. It nourishes morale and productivity.
  • They are motivated and inspired. It inspires others.
  • They initiate change and innovation. It overcomes the comfort of complaining.


Shall we look for the positive? After all, “when you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you most surely will.” ~Abraham Lincoln


My advice to leaders is, see the reality and lead with can-do optimism.

Go ahead, promote employees that can be forthright and polite. Applaud the resilient employees who raise both concerns and solutions instead of getting stuck in complaints. Foster courage to question the status quo and the insight to clearly assess the risks.

    Increase productivity through shared optimism.
    Develop a culture of creative innovation through can-do commitment.
    Lead change in the face of many pessimists and change resisters.
    Hire and promote true Pollyannas. They are grateful and hardy not apathetic and disillusioned. They improvise and overcome to reach success. They are the resilient workforce you dream of. They live in service to others and to the positive result.



There is no need to choose between reality and optimism. Optimism sees both the current reality and future possibilities. It’s a marriage of success.


How do you develop your employees’ ability to lead with optimism?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Connect with me on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I welcome interaction and am glad to share insights and tips on your people skills challenges!

Related Posts:
Leadership Optimism: Dreaming, Denial, or Discovery
Leadership People Skills: Achieve Vision Through Values vs Ultimatums
Leaders, 10 Essential Thoughts to Proficient People Skills

Grateful for image by Kat via Flickr Creative Commons License.

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Gratitude in Business – Is It Mainstream?


I recently delivered a keynote to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) on appreciation in the workplace. One admin noted that the company she works for abolished the celebration of Administrative Professionals Day.


I could see the hurt in her eyes. It was more than just a slight. To her, it meant, “you don’t matter”.


Gratitude: Image is the word gratitude.

Gratitude: Business Complacency or High Return. Image by Symphony of Love.

Grateful for image by Symphony of love via Flickr Creative Commons License.


To me, it raised the question — why do leaders still shy aware from showing gratitude?


There are signs that gratitude is infiltrating the mainstream of business. We read more and more about brands using heart marketing to connect with customers. Frequent customer programs are designed to show gratitude for customer loyalty.


I caught up with inspirational speaker and sales coach, Dave Moore, to get his take on gratitude. The crux of his view …

“One of the biggest secrets in selling is to show gratitude for the deal. It builds a connection between you and your customer. Customer loyalty is built on gratitude for them being your customer. Loyalty is more important than customer satisfaction. Loyalty only grows through the connection. When a customer feels connected or included, that comes from you being grateful to them for putting their trust in you and your product.”

He offers one strong piece of advice: “Gratitude is an activity not just a response! Actively show gratitude.”

As Dave and I spoke, I saw many parallels between gratitude for customers and gratitude to all involved in the business. Gratitude does not demotivate or make people complacent. It draws people in with greater interest for greater commitment.

Gratitude: The Investment That Pays

Gratitude and appreciation in business — for employees and customers — is a modest humble investment that yields infinite return. So what stops leaders from showing gratitude?

  • Fear of seeming weak. If they thank others, will that say they need others? Well leaders, it’s time to accept the truth. You cannot and don’ t do it alone. So let others know that they matter! It shows your confidence not your weakness.

  • Fear it will make others weak. Some leaders are stuck in the old Theory X — believing that employees are naturally complacent and lazy. Well leaders, the research on gratitude is against you. Showing appreciation to employees doesn’t reduce commitment; it strengthens it.

  • Fear is time wasted. These leaders assume employees are committed since they are being paid a salary. On that basis they believe time spent to show appreciation and gratitude is wasted effort. Well leaders, assuming employees are committed for salary earned, overlooks one important detail. Those employees can also earn a salary someplace else. The result is a talent drain to the highest bidder. Quite a foolish mistake given that gratitude is a no cost way to build commitment and loyalty.



Leaders, here are 6 more reasons why leaders don’t show gratitude. Have you fallen into any of these needless traps?

Even if your leadership doesn’t show gratitude to you, you can break the power of indifference with the infinite power of appreciation. Make gratitude mainstream in business. Make gratitude a daily attitude.


What business results have you seen from gratitude in action?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
The Simplest Reason to Show Gratitude to Employees
Be Grateful More Often on Harvard Business Review
Leaders, 12 Worthy Kudos to Spark Employee Engagement

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

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