attitude

People Skills Missteps: Not so friendly, friendly advice.


If someone said to you, “I want to offer you some friendly advice”, would your gut reaction to that statement be positive or negative? Friendly advice? What would you expect to hear? Compliments?



The phrase friendly advice is fraught with people skills missteps and peril.




It’s actually a rather aggressive statement disguised as help. It sets the other person up to hear your unsolicited view or appear resistant and closed off. You can end up looking presumptuous, patronizing, or even domineering.


People Skills Missteps: Image is small pumpkin leaning on large pumpkin

People Skills Missteps of Friendly Advice Image by Sea Turtle via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Sea Turtle via Flickr Creative Commons License.

People Skills Missteps: Who is it you are protecting?

Before you make this unnecessary gaffe, think about why you are labelling it friendly advice. Why not just “advice?”

Is it because …

  • you are unsure if they want your advice?
  • you may be overstepping someone’s personal boundary?
  • you are about to say something negative?
  • you want to prevent a negative reaction to what you say?



You can avoid people skills missteps like this by first assessing your intent and view. Considering the advice you are about to give:

  1. How fully do you understand the other person, their goals, philosophy, and mindset?
  2. How often do you use the phrase friendly advice? Frequently? What do you think it says about you?
  3. Are you projecting your values on others and robbing them of their self-expression?
  4. Are you trying to create a clone of yourself?


Avoiding People Skills Missteps: Stay Objective!
Know yourself! Self-awareness and respect for others are powerfully positive tools in preventing people skills missteps.

If you are …

    Highly structured, your friendly advice may skew people that way.
    Free spirited, you may tell people to loosen up.
    Very driven, you may find yourself nudging people to drive harder.



Staying Objective: Before you give advice, practice what you are going to say. Remove the phrase “friendly advice” and say to yourself what you would to say to others. Without the psychological cushion of the phrase “friendly advice”, how does the advice sound to you? Will you appear helpful or presumptuous? Open-minded or domineering?

After that if you are sure you still want to offer your view, omit the phrase friendly advice. Try “here’s my view …” or “here’s how I see it.” It shows ownership of your perspective and respects others’ views.



It’s human to want others to be just like us. Yet this fundamental urge does far more harm than good. Even if someone has asked for advice before, assuming they always want advice is definitely one of the big people skills missteps.


Think of if this way, if we know someone very well and have been their friend for a long time, we don’t need to use the phrase friendly advice. And if we aren’t that close, giving unsolicited advice can tarnish our unique views and talents with presumption.


Question:

How can we warn someone of potential trouble without presuming or patronizing?



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

More People Skills Posts:
Avoid 8 Common Causes of People Skills Mistakes
Pleasures That Calm When Dealing With Toxic People

©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.

People Skills Lessons Learned: Experience From People Skills Community Members!


People Skills Lessons Learned: Image is fireworks.

People Skills Lessons Learned: Community Festival. Image by Marcio Cabral de Moura

Image by Marcio Cabral de Moura via Flickr Creative Commons License.


There are three ways to learn great people skills.

  • Interact with people and get their reactions and feedback. These become your people skills lessons learned.
  • Learn from experts who combine their own people skills lessons learned with lots of research and assessment of human interaction.
  • Ask others about their people skills lessons learned and hear their insights.

As The People Skills Coach™, I do all three! And I am honored to have in the people skills online community many who also believe in continuous learning. We share our experiences every Sunday in #Peopleskills Twitter chat. We also discuss people skills in our Google+ community, our LinkedIn Group, and our newest venue on Facebook. Join us!

There’s more. Some community members have now blogged their people skills lessons learned in this first ever people skills community festival. So you can also engage here in the comments section and on their individual blogs.

People Skills Lessons Learned: Read, Ponder, Share, Discuss

From personal perspectives to business insights, these blog posts show the generosity and insight of these people skills community members. I am grateful for their people skills lessons learned and their contributions. A special thank you to Karin Hurt. Her Lets Grow Leaders festivals were the inspiration for this festival.



What happens when you work in a place that is toxic or dysfunctional? How can you sustain yourself day by day? This is how I learned to sustain myself. ~Chantal Bechervaise

    How I Found the Strength to Sustain Myself From: @CBechervaise



Squeaky wheels do not always get greased … well, maybe they do, but not like you think. A little questioning of a real well-known phrase. ~John E. Smith

    Squeak At Your Own Risk From: @Stratlearner



This post emphasizes the importance of patience in a relationship and life in general. I won’t say more, be patient, read my post & enjoy it! ~Hoda Maalouf

    You Can’t Hurry Love—No, You’ll Just Have to Wait From: @MaaHoda



Attitude is the difference that makes the difference. ~Dave Moore

    Attitude is the Difference From: @Mooreconsortium



When faced with a tough decision, it’s hard to know if you’re running away from something or toward something else. A powerful story of choices and reasons. ~Karin Hurt

    When Running Away is Running Towards From: @LetsGrowLeaders



As a child I heard a lot of old sayings but really didn’t understand most of them. As I grew old I began to understand and find wisdom in them. ~Gloria Wilson

    Keys to Change > Sportsmanship – From the Ball Field to the Board Room. From: @GrandmaOnDeck



As leaders, we need to support the “kore” virtues for humanity by expressing and embracing them openly, living and teaching them. ~Cheri Essner

    Weaving Your Values Into Your Leadership From: @CheriEssner



Be positive . . . A positive attitude can improve your health, enhance your relationships, increase your chances of success, and add years to your life. ~Frank Sonnenberg

    The Power of a Positive Attitude From: @FSonnenberg



Do you want to be successful in doing business globally with others? Do you want to build lasting relationships? Then understand why learning Chinese business etiquette will be important, but not enough. ~Aad Boot

    Cross-Cultural Leadership: Why Learning Chinese Business Etiquette is Not Enough From: @LeadershipWatch



Marketing professionals learn about the needs of their target audiences by asking questions about them. Managers can do the same to understand what matters to their critically important audience: their employees! ~Al Gonzalez

    Hearts and Minds: The Key to Employee Engagement From: @AlGonzalezInfo



Leaders understand that people matter and earn great results by caring and bringing out the best in their people. ~Tom Rhodes

    Lead Through Caring From: @TomJ_Rhodes



Our attitudes and beliefs impact our people skills. What beliefs feed yours? Here’s an eight point checklist that helps me personally and professionally.

    8 Common Causes of People Skills Mistakes ~@KateNasser






What people skills lessons learned will you offer in the comments section below? Engage with us!


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.

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.

Sincere Connections Require People Skills!

WHEN: Join us in Twitter Chat Sunday Feb. 16 2014, 10AM ET. Hashtag: #peopleskills


Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 10am ET to your local time.


Background: People Skills for Sincere Connections

We have contact with many people in our lives — in and out of work. Yet that is not the same as connecting with them. What makes for sincere connections? Attitude and desire? Most people agree.

Actual skill? Perhaps people skills? I say yes. What do you say? Join us this Sunday Feb. 16, 10am ET in #peopleskills Twitter chat to explore what it takes to make sincere connections.

Joining me as co-host is Samantha Hall, the author of the blog Tweetconnection which serves to connect ideas as well as people on Twitter. The focus of her writing covers self-parenting, the language of feelings, relational dynamics, abuse issues, leadership, and spirituality. She has a varied background spanning multiple industries including the military, healthcare, and the software industry.



Sincere connections: People skills logo

People skills for sincere connection. Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.

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


Sincere Connections – This Week’s #PeopleSkills Chat!

Some people find making sincere connections very easy. They describe it as a natural fit. They claim all you have to do is be open and honest and you’ll connect. Others disagree. They tell stories of awkwardness and difficulty. They recount examples of meeting fakes and manipulators. Wow … quite a different picture.

Sincere connections are essential in life. Thus we take up this people skills topic in Twitter chat this Sunday Feb. 16th at 10am ET. Some questions to get us thinking in advance:

  • What is the difference between contact and sincere connections?
  • What if anything do you find challenging about making sincere connections?
  • How do you know if someone is being authentic?
  • Where do self-awareness and emotional intelligence help or hinder making sincere connections?
  • What drew you to people with whom you have sincere connections?
  • When have sincere connections had the greatest impact on you?



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, Samantha Hall, and the people skills global chat community this Sunday Feb. 16, 2014, 10am ET on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills) to explore People Skills for Sincere Connections.


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community 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

Thank you @Samantha_S_Hall on Twitter for suggesting and co-hosting this topic of sincere connections.

My gratitude to all who participate and grow the people skills global chat community on Twitter (#peopleskills), Google+, and LinkedIn. We welcome your suggestions for topics, offers to co-host, and most especially your individual insights.






Hope you will all join People Skills Global Twitter Chat (#peopleskills) this Sunday Feb. 16, 2014 10am ET/7am PT to explore skills for sincere connections.

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 Twubs.com or Tweetchat.com, enter hashtag #peopleskills, and 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. Feb. 16, 2014, 10am ET in People Skills Global Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) TOPIC: Skills for Sincere Connections.


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 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.

People Skills Global Chat on Twitter TOPIC: Are You Constructive or Constrictive?

WHEN: Sunday Feb. 2 2014 at 10AM ET. Hashtag: #peopleskills


Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 10am ET to your local time.

Background on This Chat Topic: Constructive or Constrictive?

One day, Dave Moore of The Moore Consortium and creator of human potential technology mentioned the difference between being constructive vs. constrictive. I knew it was a worthwhile to explore it in our people skills global chat on Twitter. So Dave has agreed to co-host this topic with me Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.


People Skills Global Chat Logo

People Skills Global Chat on Twitter Feb 2, 2014 TOPIC: Are You Constructive or Constrictive?

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


Join People Skills Global Chat: Constructive vs. Constrictive?

Even when we think we are being positive, are there times when we constrict ourselves or others? As we interact with more and more people we don’t know, it is possible they may see our actions as constrictive rather than constructive!

Some questions that come to mind …

  • Have you ever felt constricted by your own thoughts or outside factors? Why?
  • How will we know if we are being constructive or constrictive?
  • When are we most likely to be constrictive with ourselves or others?
  • What gets in the way of being constructive?
  • How do you feel when people expect you to be constructive?
  • How can leaders lead within constraints without being constrictive?
  • Is there truly a way to live totally constructive?



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

So bring your personal perspective, your favorite beverage, and join me, Dave Moore, and the people skills global chat community this Sunday Feb. 2, 2014 on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills) to explore Are You Constructive or Constrictive?


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community 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

Thank you Dave Moore @mooreconsortium on Twitter for suggesting and co-hosting this interesting topic.

My gratitude to all who participate and grow the people skills global chat community on Twitter (#peopleskills), Google+, and LinkedIn. We welcome your suggestions for topics, offers to co-host, and most especially your individual insights.






Hope you will all join People Skills Global Chat on Twitter #peopleskills this Sunday Feb. 2, 2014 10am ET/7am PT to explore Being Constructive vs. Constrictive.

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 Twubs.com or Tweetchat.com, enter hashtag #peopleskills, and 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. Feb. 2, 2014 in People Skills Global Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) TOPIC: Are You Constructive or Constrictive?


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. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

Conflict Resolution: You Can Stay Calm in Conflict.


As The People Skills Coach™, I am often asked for conflict resolution tips. Most especially — how to stay calm in the midst of verbal conflict.


Although taking a break can be very helpful, sometimes after the break the calm evaporates and the conflict remains. Then what?


There are also times at work when you can’t take a break. Customer service agents, sales account reps, team members working to solve a crisis are often under fixed time demands. How can they stay calm and work toward conflict resolution?

 

Conflict Resolution: Image is the word Rejuvenate.

Conflict Resolution: How to Stay Calm? Image by SweetDreamzDesign via Flickr.

Image by SweetDreamzDesign via Flickr Creative Commons License.

 

Staying Calm for Conflict Resolution

If you find yourself getting anxious in the midst of verbal conflict, these 3 steps will help you.

  1. Hear the fear and need vs. the anger and biting accusation. Behind other people’s anger and accusations, there is always a fear and/or need. Let your mind focus on finding the real issue. Hear other people’s fear to get out of fight/flight mode and into conflict resolution.
  2. When I first hear other people’s anger, I quietly ask myself …

    • Where is their fear or pain? How can I resolve this?
    • Is it that they’ve lost trust?
    • Do they believe worse things are going to follow?
    • Are they under pressure to please someone else?


  3. Know and believe your excellence is in the resolution. Other people’s anger tells your ego you are inferior. You tense up to defend it. The fact is you are not inferior. In truth, your excellence is in your ability to work it out!

  4. Learn more about your natural conflict resolution style. Self-awareness develops the mind’s ability to filter emotion. Knowing your conflict resolution style highlights the triggers you need to manage in order to stay calm. Take the Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument to learn your style.



Success soars when you can hear the fear and need behind people’s anger, outbursts, and accusations. You will solve the problems and defuse the emotion.

Your potential to turn obstacles into fixes will show everyone that your infinite career potential. You can care for customers. You can collaborate with colleagues. You can break logjams on difficult projects. You can lead others through difficult moments.


No matter how much you fear verbal conflict, you can develop the ability to stay calm. My skills have grown with practice, time, and commitment.


(Of course if you feel the person is going to physically attack, get out. It’s the wise thing to do. I speak in this post about non-physical conflict.)


What growth and success have you had in staying calm? Will you share your story here?



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


What’s next? I invite you to connect with me on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I am happy to answer your people skills questions for great customer service, employee engagement, teamwork and leading change!

 

Other Posts to Help You:
13 People Skills Tips to Rock w/ Career Success
5 Thoughts to Keep You Calm w/ Angry Customers

©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.

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.

People Skills Twitter Chat TOPIC: Confidence for New Situations.

WHEN: Sunday Jan. 5, 2014 at 10AM ET. Hashtag: #peopleskills

Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 10am ET to your local time.

Background on This Chat Topic: Confidence for New Beginnings

Change is all around us. Does it challenge or feed our confidence?


People Skills Twitter Chat Logo

People Skills Twitter Chat: Jan. 5, 2014 at 10am ET. TOPIC: Confidence for New Beginnings

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


Join People Skills Twitter Chat: Confidence for New Situations

As we kick off another year of people skills Twitter chat, we will explore confidence for new beginnings.

Some possible questions …

  • What are the sights and sounds of confidence?
  • Is it easier to build confidence by yourself or with others?
  • Have people skills helped you build confidence in new situations or have new situations built your confidence?
  • Do we actually build confidence or does just come over time?
  • How can you help others “feel” more confident?
  • What effect does change have on your confidence?



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

So bring your personal perspective, your favorite beverage, and join us from around the globe this Sunday in people skills Twitter chat — Jan. 5, 2014 10am ET (Hashtag: #peopleskills) — to explore Confidence for New Beginnings.


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community 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

Thanks to all who have participated during 2013 — our first year of people skills Twitter chat (#peopleskills). Special thanks to all the moderators and co-hosts whose generosity and individual perspectives created a collective success.






Hope you will all join People Skills Twitter chat #peopleskills this Sunday Jan. 5, 2014 10am ET/7am PT to explore Confidence for New Beginnings.

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills 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 Twubs.com or Tweetchat.com, enter hashtag #peopleskills, and 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. Jan. 5, 2014 in People Skills Twitter Chat (#peopleskills) — Confidence for New Beginnings.


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™

©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!

Leader Engagement: How to Engage Your Leader!


Consultants like myself write a great deal about how leaders can better engage employees. Most leaders know it’s critical to tapping the talent that they have hired.

As I read William Powell’s wonderful post on Leadership Adviser blog Employee Engagement is a Result of Leader Engagement, I also thought about the other side of this equation.


How can you better engage your leader?


Complement and complete your boss.


After all, success is a cooperative effort!


No one can do it all alone.









3 Essentials for Leader Engagement

To engage your leader, you need three very important things:

  1. Desire. It is the single greatest determinant of success. Do you want to engage and help your boss? Or do you believe that it’s your boss’s job to engage and help you?
  2. Emotional Intelligence. Understanding what someone else needs is the mechanism to successful engagement.
  3. Initiative and Self-Regulation. Knowing when to initiate, when to mediate, and when to wait prevents your enthusiasm from running over your boss.


The Confusion That Blocks Leader Engagement

  • Confusing leader engagement with schmoozing (or worse). Leader engagement is not about complimenting your boss. It’s about complementing — completing — your boss.

    What are you good at that your boss isn’t? What do you like doing that your boss doesn’t like to do? This is where leader engagement comes to life and contributes the most to the organization. You engage your boss with uplifting substantive contributions not shallow praise and empty compliments.


  • Believing that leader engagement is quid pro quo. You don’t engage leaders only if they promote you. Can you picture yourself saying to your boss, “I can take on many of the things you don’t like to do if you promote me?” That attitude is anything but promotable. Contribute your passion, talents, and strengths. The proof is in the doing. The leader’s trust and gratitude grows and so does your portfolio and opportunities.

  • Confusing contribution with imposition. Contributing your special talents to engage your leader doesn’t mean you do all your boss’s work. People who engage others well are not people pleasing doormats. They simply spot others’ needs quickly and fill the void with will and skill.


Leader Engagement: Image is puzzle piece filling in void.

Leader Engagement: Complete Your Boss. Image: Licensed from Istock.


Getting Started

  1. Inventory your attitudes. What do you think of others who don’t have your specific talents? If your attitude is negative — impatience or derision — you won’t engage well. If you believe that combining different talents is exciting and positive, you’re on your way.

  2. Inventory your leader’s attitudes. Work with those attitudes. Don’t try to change them. For example, if your boss is a driver personality type and you’re an analytic, don’t deliver slow paced presentations because it feels good to you. Offer to pour over the details in advance — something drivers don’t like to do — and then summarize and present the key points. BAM – you engage by removing the pain and delivering possible gain.

  3. Scope out all your talents. Many people have a vague sense of what they do well. To engage your leader, dig deeper inside yourself and inventory all the things you do well. Here’s a list to get you started, 25 Incredibly Valuable Talents to Share At Work. Create the list that uniquely describes you.

    Think this is a silly exercise? It isn’t! When you bring this into focus, it actually triggers your ability to spot others needs for those talents. Else it’s human nature to assume that everyone has those same abilities.



People engagement skills turn occupational skills into winning connections. Spot what others need and generously contribute. Just remember to respect them; don’t try to change them.

Build your career using your talents for your leader, your teammates, and your customers too. It’s a great feeling for you. It’s the thrill of just-in-time help for them. It’s the magic of diversity in action.


Here’s your chance to make a difference. What will you do next?



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

Related Post: 5 Psychologically Uncomfortable Career Sharping Opportunities!

©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. 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!

People Skills Chat on Twitter TOPIC: Do People Prefer to Work w/ Those Similar or Opposite to Them?

WHEN: Sunday Dec. 8, 2013 10AM ET. Hashtag: #peopleskills

Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 10am ET to your local time.

Background on This People Skills Chat Topic

When it comes to romantic relationships, we often hear that opposites attract. Yet in non-romantic relationships — especially in work relationships — people seem to prefer those who are like them! Why?


People Skills Chat Logo

People Skills Chat on Twitter Dec. 8, 2013 TOPIC: Do Opposites Attract or Repel at Work?

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


Join People Skills Chat on Twitter Sun. Dec. 8, 2013 10am ET.

If people like to work with those who are like them, it has great implications on fair hiring practices, inclusion at work, opportunities for advancement. Thus in this Sunday’s people skills chat, we will explore diverse views on whether opposites attract or repel at work.

  • Do we seek opposites in our personal life but our clones at work?
  • What if anything about human nature seeks similarity?
  • Do we handle opposite points of view differently at home and at work?
  • When do we psychologically seek differences?
  • Do people who crave change accept differences more easily?
  • What suggestions would you offer to people who are uncomfortable with differences?
  • Where does fear play a role in all this?
  • Do homogeneous teams produce better results than teams of diverse people?



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

So bring your personal perspective, your favorite beverage, and join us from around the globe this Sunday in people skills chat on Twitter — Dec. 8, 2013 10am ET — to explore People Skills: Do Opposites Attract or Repel Especially at Work?


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community and the LinkedIn Group People Skills Succeed to be a part of all the people skills discussions everyday 24×7.



Shout Out of Gratitude

Many thanks to all who suggest people skills chat topics, participate with their wisdom and perspective, and invite others to join this community.






Hope you will all join #PeopleSkills Twitter chat this Sunday Dec. 8, 2013 10am ET/7am PT to explore People Skills: Do Opposites Attract or Repel?

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills 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 Twubs.com or Tweetchat.com, enter hashtag #peopleskills, and 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 Sunday Dec. 8, 2013 10am ET in #PeopleSkills Twitter Chat — People Skills: Do Opposites Attract or Repel?.


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™

©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!

People skills Twitter Chat TOPIC: Gratitude and Appreciation Hashtag: #peopleskills

WHEN: Sunday Nov. 24, 2013 10AM ET.

Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 10am ET to your local time.

Background on This Chat Topic

Do you live with an attitude of gratitude? Some say that it brings success, happiness, inner peace. They even keep a gratitude journal. Others wonder what does that really do? Does gratitude have tangible results?


People Skills Twitter Chat Logo

People Skills Twitter Chat Nov. 24, 2013 TOPIC: Gratitude and Appreciation

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


Join People Skills Twitter Chat Sun. Nov 24, 2013 10am ET.

As we head into the week of Thanksgiving here in the USA, it is a great time to explore gratitude in a broader scope.

  • Agree or Disagree: The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated. ~William James
  • How would you describe grateful people?
  • Can you be too grateful?
  • How does a “thank you” impact you?
  • Where does gratitude open or close doors?
  • What is the greatest advantage of gratitude?
  • Does gratitude mean you must always agree or can it exist in disagreement?
  • Is gratitude contagious or must you discover it individually?
  • Gratitude: Sign of weakness or maturity?
  • How does culture impact gratitude, if at all?
  • What have you taken for granted the most and would greatly appreciate it if you no longer had?
  • What about yourself do you appreciate and what do you most appreciate in others?



These are just some questions to get us thinking before we begin the people skills chat this Sunday. Actual questions will post during the people skills chat.

So bring your personal perspective, your favorite beverage, and join us from around the globe this Sunday in people skills Twitter chat — Nov. 24, 2013 10am ET — to explore People Skills: Gratitude and Appreciation..


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community and the LinkedIn Group People Skills Succeed to be a part of all the people skills discussions everyday 24×7.



Shout Out of Gratitude

Many thanks to all who suggest people skills chat topics, participate with their wisdom and perspective, and invite others to this community.






Hope you will all join in the special Thanksgiving #PeopleSkills Twitter chat to explore Gratitude and Appreciation, this Sunday Nov. 24, 2013 10am ET/7am PT.

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills Twitter 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 Twubs.com or Tweetchat.com, enter hashtag #peopleskills, and 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 Sunday Nov. 24, 2013 10am ET in #PeopleSkills Twitter Chat — People Skills: Gratitude and Appreciation.


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™

©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!

People skills Twitter Chat TOPIC: Optimism & Attitude Hashtag: #peopleskills

WHEN: Sunday Sept. 22, 2013 10AM EDT.

Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 10am EDT to your local time.

Background on This Chat Topic

Do you see optimism as something positive? Do your work colleagues, friends, and family agree with you? You might think this is a ridiculous question yet there are varying views on optimism. It affects interactions and thus worthwhile to explore.


People Skills Twitter Chat Logo

People Skills Twitter Chat Sept. 22, 2013: Optimism, Attitude, & #Peopleskills

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


Join People Skills Twitter Chat Sun. Sept. 22, 2013 10am EDT.

Some people dislike being around optimists. They see them as dreamers who quietly demand that others smile and be happy.

Others love them. They see optimists as inspirational thinkers who sustain others with hope as they work to make things better. Phew .. what a large gap in definition and perception! So let’s explore optimism and see if we can close the gap.

As we think ahead to Sunday’s people skills chat, questions come to mind:

  • Why does this gap exist? Pessimists, optimists, realists?
  • What is your definition of optimism?
  • How does optimism and inspiration relate or differ?
  • If you had to choose between being around optimists or non-optimists, which would you choose and why?
  • How does optimism make you feel?
  • How does optimism influence outcomes?
  • What effect does optimism have on people skills?



These are just some questions to get us thinking before we begin the people skills chat this Sunday.

So bring your personal perspective, your favorite beverage, and join us from around the globe this Sunday in the USA — Sept. 22, 2013 at 10am EDT — to explore Optimism, Attitude, and People skills.


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community to be a part of all the people skills discussions not just on Sundays but everyday 24×7.



Shout Out of Gratitude

A huge thanks to all the newcomers to this chat and to those who participate each week and expand our understanding and view of people skills. Moreover, a warm thank you to all who have suggested topics and co-hosted. I welcome new topic ideas and co-hosts as well!






Hope you will all join in the #PeopleSkills Twitter chat to explore Optimism and Attitude, this Sunday Sept. 22, 2013 10am EDT/7am PDT.

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills Twitter 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 Twubs.com, enter hashtag #peopleskills, and sign in to your Twitter account. Twubs will insert the hashtag automatically for you and you will see all the tweets on one screen. Other tools available are Tchat.io, OneQube, 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 Sunday Sept. 22, 2013 10am EDT in #PeopleSkills Twitter Chat: Optimism, Attitude, and People Skills.


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™

©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. 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 invites you to also connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

Customer Service Managers: Inspiring Improves Results

Customer Service Managers: Image is Words: Leadership Teamwork Success

Customer Service Managers: Are You Leading? Image via Istock.com




After consulting and training customer service managers and teams for 25 years, I can most surely say that inspiration and leadership improve results. 


Conversely, customer service managers and team leaders who focus mostly on management witness demoralized teams with higher levels of attrition.

In other words, humdrum teams with less than spirited performance hurt the business. This bleeds onto customers who then feel disregarded and disrespected.









Customer service managers and team leaders, you have much on your plate. This intensity sometimes brings you to apply your operational focus to leading teams.  How will you know? You will find you speak to the teams mostly about processes, metrics, and adherence to procedures. This approach may breed obedience; it does not inspire teams to create great results with customers.



So, customer service managers, ask yourselves are you leading and inspiring?



Customer Service Managers: You Can Inspire & Lead!

Mindset

  • We succeed with engaged, committed employees.
  • We succeed with employees who understand how they are essential to success.
  • We succeed through employee talents not robotics.
  • Success requires leadership, inspiration, employee engagement, recognition, and appreciation.


Actions to Inspire & Engage

  • Start every day/shift with a caring call to action for great service. Ask team members to share what inspires them. Involve them in the daily kickoff. As the famed Zig Ziglar always said, inspiration is like bathing — you have to do it every day.
  • Engage employees ideas, talents, insights, and thoughts. If you want caring commitment for the customer, find it IN your employees. Don’t lay it ON them.
  • Highlight and appreciate employee talents with specific note. Here are 12 Worthy Kudos to Spark Employee Engagement.
  • Encourage team member collaboration. Call centers are notorious for monitoring every agent’s move and blocking them from interacting with other agents. Customer service managers claim it’s to keep the call queue moving. Yet this chain gang approach breeds high levels of turnover as the agents try to break free from the chain gang! Engage them to own the queue and keep it moving. That’s inspired!
  • Discuss metrics FIRST as a whole measure of the organization’s success. After that, and only after that, inspire team members to contribute to that whole. Invite their ideas on how they will balance each other to prevent huge sways in the total metrics. Ask them to set an improvement goal for themselves and how they will measure it! This is an engaged inspired implementation of metrics. (When customer service managers use metrics mostly as a stick for individual performance, the team members often feel like lab rats or rats in a maze.)


Actions that Lead

  • Lead with inspiration even if your leader is not giving that to you. Many managers with a directive boss model the boss’ behavior. Big mistake with customer service teams. The closer you get to the front line of service, the more you must use an inspirational leadership style!
  • Be the model of inspired collaboration yet still make decisions when necessary. Employee engagement doesn’t mean that all decisions are made through consensus. Discuss the difference between collaboration and consensus with the teams. Team members can engage even if they don’t get to make all the decisions.
  • Address bad attitudes. As the team engages, a team member with a lackluster uncaring attitude is a drain on them all. Some teams will address this team member, others won’t. Nevertheless, it is important that you let the employee know that the attitude is not acceptable. A Great Employee Attitude is Essential, Not Negotiable. In customer service work, great attitudes are a requirement. With guidance from your HR department, write job descriptions that detail actions and attitudes that breed customer service team success. Many job descriptions do not and the result is disastrous.
  • Develop your leadership skills. Customer service managers and front line team leaders — your direct impact on team members and customer service is tremendous. Don’t let your title define you. Think of yourself as inspired leader. Read leadership articles and blogs. Explore inspirational books that develop your self-awareness. Ask for leadership training. If your title is “supervisor”, lobby to have it changed to something that expresses the quality of inspiring and leading the team(s).
  • Be ready for surprises. I remember clearly one customer service workshop where I asked all participants to go to the boards and write down everything they liked about working with people. One rep went up and wrote, “I hate people.” As we discussed everything on the boards, I asked about that item. He jumped up and said, “I wrote that. I hate working with people.” The customer service manager turned red. At break he said to me, “Oh no. Now what?” I said, speak with him tomorrow about the type of work he wants to do. He is clearly not interested in caring for customers and chose this venue to declare it!


A culture of customer service excellence and great customer reviews emerge from inspired leadership that engages teams to high levels of caring and commitment. It takes daily doses of inspiration and modeling at the front line leadership level.


The manager’s and team leaders’ ability to lead not just manage, quality customer service training for all, and team desire and skill combine to deliver the trifecta of customer service success for the business.


If you would like information on my new inspirational customer service leadership workshop for front line customer service managers and team leaders, please email me. I can even give you quick tips to get you started on better engagement.


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

Related Posts:
Leaders, Engage Employee Urgency w/ Deep Connection
16 Employee Idea Killers You As Managers May Be Committing on Brainzooming Blog.

Image licensed via Istock.com

©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. 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.

Teamwork People Skills: Are You Making It Hard to Be Comfortable w/ Each Other?




When business teams form, they have much to achieve.  Stakes generally range from high to astronomic.   Even infrastructure teams — often mislabeled as less critical — greatly impact business success.  So my question to teams is:

 

Why Work So Hard at Being Uncomfortable w/ Each Other?

Make teamwork interaction easy! The effort is the same.



Teamwork People Skills: Image is Sign Post w/ Blame Words

Teamwork People Skills: Are You Making It Hard?
Image via Istock.

Image licensed from Istock.com.

Teamwork People Skills: Make It Easier to Be Comfortable w/ Each Other

  • Be welcoming not wary.

    Getting to know each other can be fun, exciting, and uplifting. So can working with each other. Start with curiosity and wonder not with statements and pigeon holing.

    “Who is this interesting person?” is a far better mindset than “This person is a ________________________.” The former makes the interaction easy. The latter makes it hard. Why make it hard to be comfortable with each other?


  • Skip the labels.

    Labels shut down communication. “You are overreacting. You are being difficult. You are _______________.” These statements intensify negative emotion. This makes it hard to be comfortable.

    Make teamwork easy. Use your energy to understand instead of label. It closes the gaps. It build bonds of success. Why make it tough?


  • Discuss the exit at the beginning.

    When team members interact, they identify the business goal. Yet disagreements still swirl and people get frustrated because they have different exit outcomes for that interaction. This makes interacting hard!

    Make it easy. Pinpoint the desired exit outcome at the beginning of every interaction. People have many interactions to achieve a business goal. Are you interacting to — identify obstacles, explore options, follow procedure, come to agreement? What exit outcome do you both want for that interaction?

    When you skip this step, you make it hard. After 25 years of developing teams, I can guarantee you that this step will make every teamwork interaction easier!


  • Give up the gossip.

    Gossip is what team members do when they don’t want to or don’t know how to say things directly to each other. Gossip is the outward sign that you have made teamwork and interacting difficult.

    Make it easy. Ask yourselves, is it really necessary to say it? If yes, say it honestly with care not blunt with emotion.

    If it’s not important to say because it may not be true, then don’t say it. Gossip reduces trust. It makes teamwork difficult. Why make it hard to be comfortable with each other?


  • Bury blame forever.

    If there is one thing that can make teamwork interaction hard, it is a culture of blame. Pointing fingers, accusations, and ego assaults are a whole lot of energy spent on being uncomfortable with each other.

    Make it easy. Breed accountability not blame. Replace the daily assaults of “you should have” and “why didn’t you” with open-ended questions to unearth the issues and find solutions. Blame makes interacting difficult. Ownership and accountability make it easy.


  • Speak positively not negatively; forward not back.

    Words matter. They make it easy to interact or difficult to connect.

    Make it easy. State what you need or want instead of what you don’t like. Forward energy is uplifting and exciting. Negativity and a focus on the past make others feel stuck.


  • Appreciate and compliment talents.

    If you really want to make interaction easy, compliment and show appreciation for each others’ strengths. Everyone needs a boost to feel comfortable and a sincere compliment goes a long way.

    I see so many teams living in a neutral culture. They never say “You are so good at __________!” Without this spirit of appreciation, discomfort can flourish.

    Nourish appreciation and you nourish comfort. Here are 25 Talents to Appreciate in Others to get you started.


  • Respect individuality.

    Comparing people to their predecessors or even to each other is energy spent directly on being uncomfortable.

    No two people are alike so why invest time in this folly? It’s a lot like going out on a first date with someone who compares you to their ex. It’s all the discomfort of a first date — times ten.

    Make teamwork interaction easy. Learn about each other without comparison. Even before you do formal team building, get to know each other casually. It builds trust and respect the easy way.








Welcome, explore, respect, learn, and grow. Make interaction easy instead of difficult. The effort is the same and the results far better.

If a team member proves to be unworthy of the team’s trust, you will handle it as needed. Being uncomfortable along the way won’t change this outcome. Making it easy to get to know each other might make a difference and you will also have the comfort of knowing you all gave it your best shot.

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castanada



What else can team members do to be comfortable with each other? I hope you will add your view in the comments section below.

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

Related Post:
People Skills: Essentials to Seeing Others’ Views
Teamwork: Essential Beliefs to Achieving Interdependence

©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. 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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