Leadership

Business Leadership: Do You Have a Culture of Customer Advocacy?


If a customer asked you right now — who is my advocate — what would you say? The consumer protection agency? The better business bureau? Or everyone in this company!


Business Leadership: Image is two hands joined.

Business Leadership: Who Are Your Customers’ Advocates? Image by Craig Sunter via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Craig Sunter via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Or would you hesitate? Would you start thinking of which department handles angry customers?

If a customer asks one of your employees — who is my advocate — will they be stumped by the question?

If you and your teams wouldn’t all respond “we are”, it’s time to ask yourselves …


Do we really have a culture of customer advocacy?



To customers, the answer is either yes or no — not halfway or maybe.



Business Leadership: Without Customer Advocacy

When customers ask, “who is my advocate”, the only answer that earns you their trust is … “all of us.” Else at some point, the customers will experience:

  • The Great Runaround.

    Whether it’s in a small professional practice, a mid-size business, or a large corporation, the customers will feel like hockey pucks at some point as you and your teams pass them around. Meanwhile the pucks (your customers) will look around for a company that advocates for them instead of playing with them.


  • The Tug-of-War.

    When you specify departments or individuals as customer advocates, you set up customer interaction as a tug-of-war. It tells the customer you want to contain what you offer them. The customers must tug and tug to get what they want.


  • The Last Resort.

    If your business leadership isn’t customer advocacy, the culture is “catch the customers just before they leave.” Yet, your retention efforts are late. By then, the customers are fed up and no longer trust you. They feel unappreciated. They have endured too much disdain, frustration, and pain to still care.



Business Leadership Customer Loyalty: Image is a saying.

Business Leadership for Customer Loyalty: Image by Lessons Learned in Life.




Business leadership without customer advocacy comes across as manipulative and greedy. It mistrusts customers in the fear they will drain profits. It isolates their requests to certain departments in response to this fear. This toxic vibe is not a customer retention strategy.





Long term success in business is achieved through and with the customers. Let your message to customers be: We exist because of you!


Have each and every customer saying, “This company makes life easy. They are reasonable and professional. They have great products and services at a fair price and I have no need to leave.”


Build a culture of customer advocacy. Empower every employee to be a customer advocate. Seek and destroy all silos, tugs-of-war, runarounds, and mistrust. That’s smart business leadership that creates customer loyalty.



What businesses have impressed you in this way? Give them a shout-out here!



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

Related Posts:
Business Leadership: The True Cost of Fake Empowerment on Customer Experience
Business Leadership: Win Customer Loyalty on the Move!
Customer Service is Head & Shoulders Above When You’ve Got Their Back

©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, delivering the ultimate customer service experience, employee engagement, and teamwork. 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.

Simple Integrity: People Skills Influence


Simple Integrity: Image is Happy Emotion & Sad Emotion

Simple Integrity: Single Best Step We Can Take. Image by Andras Pfaff via Flickr.

Image by Andras Pfaff via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Simple integrity is the moment of truth in personal and professional relationships. Although integrity can seem complex, there is one basic step we can take to show simple integrity with others.




Simple Integrity: Which would you prefer?

Answer this question: When you feel wronged by someone what would you prefer to hear from them?


“You really feel betrayed by me.”



OR



“Clearly, I’ve let you down. I’m sorry.”




When we take ownership of how we’ve affected others, we affect others in a positive way. Our empathy with how they’re feeling now — minimizes the pain of what we did before. Neutrality would intensify their pain.


The best single step we can take for simple integrity is to show ownership not neutrality.









Question: Taking ownership makes others feel great. How does it make you feel?



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

Related Posts:
Leadership: Fairness is Not Neutrality
Potent Communication: 9 People Skills Tips That Make It Easy

©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.

Respect Copyrights: Leaders, Are You Teaching This?


There is an important leadership challenge that is skimming under the radar of most leaders — teaching everyone in their organization how to respect copyrights.  


As social media has made information widely available, employees in businesses as well as students/staff in learning institutions are republishing information that is not theirs to re-post.  

Respect Copyrights: Image is Gold Copyright Symbol

Respect Copyrights & You Respect People. Image licensed from Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com
 

“Gee, I really love this and now I’m sharing it with the rest of the world.”

Leaders, do they know to ask: “Is it mine to share for free?”




Not everyone who is inappropriately re-posting information has bad intentions.

    It could be lack of awareness. Some grew up in the age of the Internet. They were never taught in grade school nor in high school how to respect copyrights.
    Some in academia believe that crediting the authors is all they must do to respect copyrights. Their goal is the endless search for knowledge. Sharing that knowledge is an acceptable part of academic culture as long as they credit the source.



Now suddenly these folks run smack into the business world where original content is both the intellectual and financial capital of a business. Content of workshop materials, presentation slides, white papers, and blog posts are not free shareware. Even crediting the source, doesn’t make it automatically acceptable to re-post the content or give it to others for free.





Respect Copyrights: Questions to Teach and Guide Those You Lead

  • What must we do to respect copyrights? If you get blank stares or philosophical debates about the existence of copyrights, you will have a clear picture of where you must start.

  • Does crediting the source automatically allow us to republish content in part or in full? You may have some who believe this and are acting on it without your knowledge. I recently found pages from one of my workshop books posted online by someone who had attended the workshop. He did credit me yet he was in violation of my copyright. In essence, he was giving my workshop to others for free. Thankfully, his boss removed the material from their server and the Internet. It takes more than attribution and credit to respect copyrights.

  • If we attend a program, can we bring it back and present that workshop to others in our organization? Conference attendees and workshop participants have asked me, “May I have a copy of your slides so I can teach this in my organization?” It shows they didn’t understand this is how I make my living. Some training companies offer train-the-trainer programs yet those aren’t free either. The price reflects the value the organization gleans from having everyone tooled with that information.

  • What if we really like a speaker and their content and want to promote them? Some people have told me they republished my presentation materials (without asking me) to promote me. If you want to promote knowledge experts/speakers, ask them what can you do to promote them. Offer to be a reference for them. Give them a video testimonial telling others how great they are. Actively work to bring them back into your organization for a fee. If you give away their presentation content for free, you may be undermining their financial well-being not promoting it.

  • Can we fill our blog with content from other blogs? Are your employees, students, and interns filling your blog with articles from other blogs without permission from the authors? Many blogs like mine request that you ask permission. Others have specific guidelines on how you can re-post. Still, bloggers are surprised to find their articles re-posted on other blogs. What are your employees doing? And what would they do if there were no re-posting guidelines noted — take the posts or ask the authors first?

    Some argue, if you’ve published a blog post and everybody can read it anyway, why is it a problem if we post it on our blog? It matters because blogs often sit on websites, like mine, where the author is offering other fee-based services. The blog posts build credibility that inspire readers to buy. Also, the hits on those posts build Google rankings which extend the website’s reach to other potential customers.

    If you re-publish the entire post on your blog — even with attribution to the author — many readers will not click through to the original website. Thus you have actually taken value away from the author and given it to your blog. Moreover, writing blog posts takes time. The bloggers used their time and your blog is getting the value.

    Of course, there are bloggers who like their posts republished in full. Others will let you publish a blurb about the post with a link to “continue reading” it on their site. To respect copyrights, ask the authors their preferences before you lift a post completely. Respect their hard work, time, and knowledge.



When we respect copyrights, we respect the people who created the original work as well as their livelihood. Those who’ve never been self-employed often don’t focus on how their employer or the university they attend earns money to sustain itself. Thus they don’t see that a business owner’s knowledge and output is their financial livelihood. To these entrepreneurs, respecting copyrights is far more than a philosophical debate.






Leaders, help everyone learn how to respect copyrights and original work. It helps your organization avoid needless lawsuits and preserve its reputation of integrity.


What else would you add to this discussion about respecting copyrights?



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.

 

 

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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.

Proactive Leadership: Problem Prevention a Priority?

When we think of leadership, many of us assume it’s proactive by definition. We might even consider the phrase proactive leadership to be redundant.

At the same time, I witness many leaders who commit resources to solving problems not to preventing them. Reactive not proactive leadership. It leaves me with the nagging question: 

 

Is problem prevention a priority for leaders or is it unpopular?



Proactive Leadership: Image is flip chart paper w/ words Problem Prevention

Proactive Leadership: Is Problem Prevention Unpopular? Image by solobasssteve via Flickr.

Image by solobasssteve via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Proactive Leadership: Why Problem Prevention May Be Unpopular

I’ve asked leaders, managers, team members, and colleagues this question. They offered different theories. 


We don’t focus on problem prevention because …

  1. We don’t know the importance and impact until the problem actually appears.
  2. There are always existing problems that must take precedence over prevention.
  3. If the problem doesn’t materialize, we’ve wasted our money and resources.
  4. Problem prevention can’t be measured. There’s no baseline to know if we’ve accomplished anything.
  5. There is an infinite number of possible problems. How would we choose which to prevent?
  6. Problem prevention would increase our operating costs.
  7. My career would stagnate. Nobody gets promoted because s/he prevented problems.
  8. Before a problem appears, there is no pain to motivate action. 



This is quite a list. It communicates lack of vision, poor planning, a misguided view of metrics, job security issues, and little or no initiative without pain.  Pretty bleak picture for proactive leadership.  

Yet there are past and current precedents showing that problem prevention is a valuable and achievable priority. 

  • Years back, manufacturing found the cost savings in preventing defects through total quality management.
  • Today company’s like Zappos and Amazon proactively pay employees to quit if they aren’t happy. They believe that unhappy employees make for unsuccessful companies. Why wait for the success to slide and then address the employee motivation issue?
  • Fair hiring practices are also designed to prevent law suits.

 

So is this proactive leadership only possible in these cases of legal requirements, quality based manufacturing, and very visionary leaders? No. All organizations can focus on problem prevention.

 

 

When we look at the list of reasons why leaders don’t focus on problem prevention, there is one underlying common element — the “we don’t know” element. 

  • We don’t know which potential problems are important enough to prevent.
  • We don’t know how to show achievement.
  • We don’t know the impact or the pain.
  • We don’t know the cost.

 




The first step to problem prevention is to make the intangibles tangible.  There are research organizations that study and publish data on most workplace issues.  

    For example, you can access findings on the cost and impact of workplace violence.  Instead of simply investing in “active shooter training” which is reactive, invest as well in workplace violence prevention programs. These include training about the warning signs and conducting early interventions.  Compare the costs of these programs to the research findings and you make the unknown, known. This is proactive leadership.
    There is much data on the negative effects of employee disengagement and low morale on company productivity and success.  Use this data to decide how much to invest in employee engagement programs and additional proactive leadership training.

There is no need to let the “we don’t know element” create a reactive culture in your organization.






Solving problems takes time and money AND drains those resources away from achieving the business vision. That’s a double hit against success!



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

Related Posts:
Leadership Intuition, Develop Yours!

©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 Evolution: Are You a Boring Tiresome Leader?


Leadership Evolution: Image is an arc of clouds on bright blue sky.

Leadership Evolution: Are You a Boring Leader? Image by StormLoverSwin93.

Image by StormLoverSwin93 via Flickr Creative Commons License.


The debate about whether leaders need to be personable and engaging continues on and on. Introverts claim it’s a one-sided view and unfairly excludes them and their talents.  Hard driving results focused leaders slough it off as fluff. 

The real issue in this leadership evolution is in defining personable and engaging. It doesn’t mean you have to be a comedian, a socialite, a softie, nor an extrovert.  


To lead and engage others means that, in your own way, you must be an updraft not a downdraft.






Leadership Evolution: From Boring and Tiresome to Uplifting

If your demeanor, words, and actions weigh people down, they will see you as tiresome and boring. They will disengage from your heavy load. Give yourself a leadership checkup with this list!

  1. Giving orders is boring. Tap employees’ talents to ignite their commitment.

  2. Focusing on blame suffocates desire. Breed accountability not blame. This is valuable leadership evolution.

  3. Black/white thinking keeps people in the status quo. Quite boring. Develop some patience with ambiguity to foster innovation and change. You go from boring to not boring just like that.

  4. Making it all about your pet peeves is very tiresome to others. Leaders who make life easy for themselves and tough on others lose influence because selfishness is boring. Be a model of give and take.

  5. Sitting on the fence while others struggle is lackluster leadership. Some leaders believe they must be neutral to empower others. Actually, it just irks others. Mentor, coach, ask questions, discuss. This is leadership evolution that says “let’s succeed together.”

  6. Sidelining employees who don’t agree with you is uninspiring to everyone. Even those you favor will believe that you don’t want or need their views. This humdrum leadership casts a shadow over success as groupthink takes over. Instead, engage and consider opinions and options. If you don’t agree, explain why. This mentoring expands everyone’s understanding of the bigger picture.

  7. Showing disdain out of frustration is disheartening to others. Quite tiresome. When you are stressed, communicate with unemotional words. This show of self-control strengthens others. It is impressive and it doesn’t leave scars!

  8. Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. ~Aristotle Develop your mind and your heart. Leaders who increase their emotional intelligence uplift others. That’s exciting!

  9. Ego jousting grows old very quickly. When you think of the diverse personality types you will lead, assuming they all love to compete at the ego level is ridiculous. To many, it is a giant bore. Go beyond ego and discover the infinite possibilities of diversity. You go from boring to exciting in record time.

  10. Micro-managing is a huge snooze. Communicate the big picture, share your knowledge, let them know your door is open, and get out of the way. People go from feeling like robots to feeling alive!

  11. Stereotyping suffocates. Rid your mind of fear-driven biases. Start seeing people as they are and you breathe life into success. This is true leadership evolution that excites everyone.








As a leader, do you choose to be …

  • Selfish or giving?
  • Safe or strong?
  • Weak or courageous?
  • Closed or open?
  • Scarring or illuminating?
  • Stagnant or growing?



And which leader would you like to work for/with? Worth pondering. Worth considering. Worth growing.


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

Related Posts:
Leadership Fairness Is Not Neutrality
Want Engaged Employees? Focus on Contentment
Potent Communication: 9 Easy People Skills Tips to Use Right Away!

©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.

Contentment: It’s Not an Endpoint!


Contentment is defined as satisfaction and ease of mind. Yet there are leaders who have redefined it to mean lack of ambition and laziness. Recently I heard two such leaders proclaim, “When people are content they stop trying. Contentment means you don’t want to achieve anything else.” How wrong they are. How risky their view.



What do you see? Contentment, potential, both?

Contentment is Not Endpoint. Image is churning water that look like clouds.

Leaders, Want Engaged Employees? Focus on Contentment. Image by indi.ca.

Image by Indi.ca via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leaders, if you mislabel contentment as the end of ambition you are likely to:

  • Create constant churn that tires vs. inspires
  • Create change for change sake
  • Keep employees busy being busy
  • Rob the team of the inspiration that comes from celebrating achievement and completion
  • Miss valuable opportunities to engage employees with appreciation



Contentment is gratitude for the present moment that doesn’t stop the future.



Contentment: The Appreciative Road to Employee Engagement

Leaders, have you found yourself wondering if showing appreciation to employees will take away their initiative and work ethic? Perhaps you were mentored by leaders who were trapped in that fear.


How can you escape this trap?

  1. See true contentment as pride in a job well done that inspires employees to ask “What’s next?”
  2. Honor employees with specific feedback that highlights their wisdom, initiative, endurance, persistence, and commitment.
  3. Appreciate and recognize effort.
  4. Highlight how their talents are making a difference. Let them feel the glow of this praise.
  5. Celebrate milestones as well as achievements and results. These interim moments of contentment re-energize everyone.



Contentment is not the opposite nor the enemy of ambition. It’s not surrender to the status quo. It’s gratitude and appreciation that rejuvenates the desire and will to do more. Inner contentment is essential to resilience.


Contentment is not an end point. It is moments of mindfulness that say “Wow, look how far we’ve come.” If you rob employees of these celebratory reflections, where will they find the spirit to overcome the next set of hurdles?


Your turn!

What has contentment done for you and where can it take you and those you lead?


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


Related Engagement Posts:
25 Incredible Talents to Recognize & Appreciate
Leadership, Breed Accountability Not Blame
12 Worthy Kudos to Spark Employee Engagement

©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.

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.

 

 

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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.

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.

 

 

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 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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