integrity

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.

 

 

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Superior Customer Experience: Innovate for Integrity


Superior Customer Experience: Image is sign "The Way Forward"

Superior Customer Experience: Revenue AND Integrity Image via Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com


CBS This Morning Show featured the documentation that wireless providers have refused to carry cell phones that have a “kill switch which would allow consumers to deactivate their stolen smartphones. Why? Because it would reduce the need for cell phone insurance policies that they sell. In other words, they would lose revenue!

Tough choice for business leaders:

Revenue or the integrity to help customers have a superior customer experience?



For a consumer, losing a smartphone is a horror story. More than just the cost, the threat of identity fraud and loss of privacy from information stored is huge. It is a nightmare. It is the opposite of a superior customer experience.


When major wireless providers stop the broad use of a preventive powerful technology — e.g. the kill switch — just to preserve their revenue they are aiding and abetting a customer experience horror story. Is it any wonder that that wireless and internet service providers hold 9 of the bottom 10 spots in 2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings?

Superior Customer Experience: Innovate With Integrity to Win

Telecommunications leaders in wireless and internet service may be trapping themselves by thinking of this dilemma as win or lose. There are not just two choices revenue (win) and integrity (lose).


There is a third choice — innovate for revenue and integrity. Instead of blocking a technology that relieves customers’ pain just to preserve revenue, start innovating the telecommunications industry to build new revenue streams.


Find the start-ups with proven concepts and inventions that can be your next big product or service.


Wireless and internet service leaders, do you have the strength and courage to switch to a new model of integrity that produces revenue? Or will you continue to block the switch that would help consumers and reduce smartphone theft?


Do what others leaders haven’t — reinvent your own industry to win big with new revenue and consumer gratitude. Superior customer experience and integrity sustain revenue they don’t kill it.


Integrity and revenue are not mutually exclusive. Do the right thing! Lead us to a new era of superior customer experience in the wireless world!

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!

Superior Customer Service: Think Care Not Guilt


I hear some customer service reps, agents, and analysts — even leaders — say that you shouldn’t “We’re sorry” to customers because it means “we’re guilty.” There is even one consultant who has written a book with this same idea. This is a dangerous mistake. It’s a myth.


Sorry doesn’t mean guilty. It means we care. In fact if we are thinking about who’s guilty, we aren’t even in the zone of delivering superior customer service and customer experience.


Don’t picture this …


Superior Customer Service: Image is words Mea Culpa

Superior Customer Service: Sorry Doesn’t Mean Guilty Image via Istock.com





Picture this …


Superior Customer Service: Image is Balloons w/ Sorry Words Celebrating!

Superior Customer Service: Sorry Means We Care!

Grateful for both images from Istockphoto.com.


Superior Customer Service: Think Care, Not Guilt!

Superior customer service is never about guilt. It’s about responsibility, desire, and passion to serve and to care.

  • Sorry doesn’t mean guilty. When we offer condolences at a funeral, it doesn’t mean we are guilty. Sorry is one of the many ways to express empathy. We’re sorry for your _________ doesn’t mean we’re guilty of it.

  • When customers are upset we are responsible (not guilty) for the less than satisfying experience they had. Let’s make it incredibly great. Studies show that outstanding service recovery skills often create some of the most loyal customers! Many customers believe that some mistake is bound to happen and they are wowed by great empathy and service recovery skills.

  • Thinking that sorry means guilty says we are thinking of ourselves instead of the customer. We have misinterpreted the customer’s outburst as an accusation against us. It isn’t! Customers want care and resolution. Let’s give them unadulterated full out “we’re sorry” care and full commitment to resolve.

  • Customers can get upset for many reasons. Don’t analyze whether they are valuable reasons or who’s at fault. This is wasted time and effort. Don’t play neutral either. Go all the way and show them true empathy! Empathize emotions don’t analyze them.

  • Humility is not humiliation. Humility allows us to put the customers emotional needs ahead of ours. We are the professionals. This is not humiliation which is the driving emotion behind the guilty/sorry debate. The debate is useless. It sidetracks us from the main goal — delivering superior customer service and retaining that customer.

  • Live with accountability not blame. We are responsible for delivering superior customer experience. This is a far cry from being guilty when we miss the mark.



Remember, if customers are talking to us, they’re interested in our business! We have a chance to show we care. A chance to wow. Don’t blow this chance by withholding empathy. Give a caring “we’re sorry”. It’s not a shameful “we’re guilty.”


Be glad to apologize if customers have less than a stellar experience. It is a chance for us to reaffirm commitment with true empathy. It’s a chance to show just how much we care about them.


Short 2 minute video with inspirational message for leaders and teams to deliver superior customer experience!


Turn away from the guilt mindset. It doesn’t belong in superior customer service. Thinking of guilt stops us from doing just that.

Re-frame the discussion. Create a customer centric culture of superior customer service and the ultimate success through care. It’s easily doable and very valuable!


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

Related Post:
Leadership: Breed Accountability Not Blame
Superior Customer Service: 5 Ways to Stay Calm AND Caring w/ Upset Customers

©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!

Superior Customer Service: Serve Then Sell.


Picture it. A current customer calls to clarify their bill. They wade through your telephone menu system and finally get to you. They are very clear at the beginning that they have a simple billing question. After validating who they are to protect their financial privacy, what would you do next to deliver superior customer service?


Superior Customer Service & Sales: Image is humanoid lassoing a star.

Superior Customer Service & Sales: But 1st – Integrity. Image licensed from Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com.



What does your customer focused gut tell you to do next?

  1. Ask unrelated questions about the customer to populate your database — while delaying the answer to their question or
  2. Explain your new products and services or
  3. Focus on their current need and answer their billing question.

If you answered #3, you understand customer service! You really get it. Your focus is on them. It shows integrity.


If you think I am asking a moronic question, you may be one of the lucky ones who has never encountered this maddening moment. It is real. It happens something like this:



    But first … may I have another phone number in case we get disconnected. OK 555-555-1212.
    Now may I have your email address? No. I’m in a hurry and just need to know about my bill.
    I need to connect you to the other billing department for that answer. But first have you heard about our new product …? Customer slams the phone down, finds the phone number for the other billing department, calls them and gets the needed answer.






Just how valuable was this desperate sales approach?

The customer is left with a memory that the business has no integrity or customer focus.

This customer now thinks the company doesn’t care about them and can’t deliver superior customer service. It isn’t likely they will buy more from this business. It would mean experiencing many more maddening moments.

Customers remember moments. They remember the experiences they have with a business.


Superior Customer Service & Sales: But First – Integrity!

A manipulative approach to sales sends many customers running away and telling everyone they know to avoid what they went through.

  • Honor the customer by recognizing and answering their question.
  • Connect with the customers about their stated needs. From that common ground and superior customer service, you build trust through integrity. With trust, you can sell customers many other products and services that will help them in other ways.


If a customer service department uses the but first approach to sell before helping me, I think will reply … “But first, some integrity. How about you answer my question and then I will answer yours?” What will you say?



What other maddening moments have you encountered as a customer? I’m interested to know!


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

Related Posts:
Super Customer Experience: 5 Immediate No Cost Improvements
Customer Service: 21 Tips to Make it Easy for Customers

©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.

People skills Twitter Chat TOPIC: Servant Leadership & People Skills Hashtag: #peopleskills

WHEN: Sunday Sept. 8, 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

As leadership theories and practice evolved, servant leadership emerged. What a change from decades ago when serving those you lead was not considered strong leadership! Leaders are interested in servant leadership and want to know how to do it well. What does it look like in action?


People Skills Twitter Chat Logo

People Skills Twitter Chat Sept. 8, 2013: Servant Leadership & #Peopleskills

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


Join People Skills Twitter Chat Sun. Sept. 8, 2013 10am EDT.

More specifically, what people skills we use to serve and lead well. Joining me as co-host for this week’s Twitter chat will be Hoda Maalouf, PhD, associate professor, lecturer, department chair, and student adviser.

As we think ahead to Sunday’s chat, my thoughts go to several ideas:

  • What are the myths and misunderstandings associated with servant leadership and people skills?
  • Is servant leadership inborn, learned, a choice, or something else?
  • How do servant leaders affect those they lead and the business results?
  • Has servant leadership changed the definition of charismatic leaders?
  • How are humility, servant leadership, and success related — if at all?



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. 8, 2013 at 10am ET — to explore Servant Leadership & 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

Many thanks to Hoda Maalouf for suggesting this topic and co-hosting. Also, 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.






Hope you will all join in the #PeopleSkills Twitter chat to explore Servant Leadership, this Sunday Sept. 8, 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. 8, 2013 10am EDT in #PeopleSkills Twitter Chat: Servant Leadership 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!

Leadership is about change. We lead to create the future not to maintain the status quo. One trap that can detour success is confusion about change vs inconsistency.

 
Those who resist change will often mislabel change as fickleness and inconsistency. Knowing the true difference between change and inconsistency can avert this detour and sustain the momentum of change.


ChangevsInconsistency


Leadership: Change vs Inconsistency Image is a Changing World

Leadership: Change vs Inconsistency Image by: MMcDonough

Leadership: Change vs Inconsistency Image is an Incomplete Circle

Leadership: Change vs Inconsistency Image by: Marco Buonvino




















Change image by MMcDonough and Inconsistency image by Marco Buonvino via Flickr Creative Commons licenses.


Let’s Compare Change vs Inconsistency.

Leading change includes …

  • Clear vision.

    It’s not mucking about in the dark. It is preceded by exploration and some determination of the new picture.

  • Purpose.

    It’s not random. It has a goal.

  • Direction.

    It doesn’t swirl around endlessly. It moves forward.

  • Momentum.

    It’s not just words. It pulses with action.

  • Integrity.

    It doesn’t contradict itself. It corrects missteps and gets back on course.

  • Engagement with expectations.

    True change leaders engage everyone with expectations of involvement. They don’t allow resistors to create stagnation w/ claims of inconsistency.


Inconsistency is characterized by …

  • Different messages about the same situation.

    This inconsistency creates the swirl of inaction instead of the pulse of action.

  • Daily redefinitions.

    With inconsistency, the goals constantly change within a very short timeframe. With change, there is evolution over time toward a goal.

  • Confusion.

    Inconsistency leaves people in a fog. Change sheds light as it evolves.




What truly distinguishes change vs inconsistency? Clear vision and communication!


Clear consistent messages about the change reassure those who must make the change happen. Clear vision & communication help everyone to overcome the comfort of habit and the status quo. It gives them perspective on the skills they must develop to help create and live in the new world.

As leaders, we must distinguish change vs inconsistency so that demands for consistency don’t mistakenly keep us in the status quo. Consistency of vision, clarity of communication, and integrity of character can lead all through the tough times of change.


Be ready when the change resistors raise the flag of inconsistency. Ensure that their resistance doesn’t hijack the momentum of change or detour success.


Reinforce that consistency (of quality) is not the same as constancy — things remaining the same. Underscore the vision, clarify the message, and continue moving forward!


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

Related Post: Leaders, Is the Beloved Bully of Habit Stopping Change?

©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.

People skills can be used for good or for evil. When we use people skills with integrity, we lift everyone to new heights of success and happiness. 


Those who use people skills for purely selfish gain, manipulate instead of influence.  They are egocentric chameleons.


I posed a question on social media: What do you think when you hear the phrase people skills? Answers varied. Yet enough people replied “manipulation, chameleon, fake” that I am inspired to write this post.


People skills are not a synonym for manipulation. The difference lies in:


Integrity & Authenticity


People Skills Integrity Shown as Mountain Spring

People Skills Integrity & Authenticity Image by: MattNJohnson

People Skills Integrity & Authenticity

It is important not to mislabel all people skills as fake. People skills filled with integrity can create possibilities that no other skill can achieve.

Being suspect of all people skills builds a culture of mistrust that demoralizes. The pessimism drains the spirit from life and the possibility out of business success.


People skills with integrity …

  • Are the bridge to understanding
  • Honor others’ ideas without surrendering ours
  • Turn divisive camps into high performing teams
  • Develop customer loyalty
  • Enable collaboration for innovation
  • Ease the pain of change & boost commitment
  • Enhance leadership results
  • Engage employees to maximum contribution


People Skills Authenticity

Authenticity in people skills seems to raise an even greater debate than integrity.

How can we be authentic and still adapt to others? Isn’t that the definition of a chameleon? Don’t you lose yourself in adapting to others?

Nope. Adapting doesn’t mean surrender nor a masquerade.

Adapting is …

  • A pause to understand, not a change in identity
  • A discovery of what is better together, than alone
  • A juncture of common ground not complete capitulation
  • An exploration of self growth not submission to a conqueror
  • A temporary accommodation to each others’ need for mutual gain

Image by: MattNJohnson via Creative Commons License.

When we adapt to customers’ needs, there is mutual gain.
When we accommodate differences in personality types, we live and work better together.
When we seek to understand team members, we lead and collaborate with greater success.
When we explore how others view the world, we grow beyond our existing limitations.



Certainly when we spot scam artists, selfish boors, and egotists that pound our spirit, we can choose not to adapt nor accommodate them. Once burned, twice learned. These folks operate without integrity. Healthy skepticism is warranted.


Yet we needn’t shut down our people skills to guard against these moments. We can combine our people skills with intellect, practical experience, and intuition for magnificent success in work and true happiness in life.

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


Related Posts:
People Skills – Showing True Empathy
12 Most Beneficial People Skills for Success When You Have Little Power
What’s So Hot About Humility Anyway?

©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.

There is a phrase becoming popular in the customer service world that threatens both the customers and all of us in the profession. It’s a phrase we need to decry and banish from our vocabulary especially in the powerful world of social media.

The phrase we need to remove is: “Fire the customer!”



Superior Customer Service: Remove Threat of One Phrase Image by:Quinn Dombrowski

This threatening phrase:

  • Diminishes our integrity instead of building trust
  • Undermines our caring purpose rather than succeeding through care
  • Broadcasts selfishness and greed vs. radiating greatness
  • Declares customer service to be a power struggle instead of a partnership
  • Makes all customers who read it more defensive instead of cooperative
  • Teaches a new generation of customer service professionals a skewed view
  • Projects a tug-of-war mindset rather than a winning collaboration




Are there times when we can’t meet a customer’s need or expectation? Sure.
Yet how we part company — and speak about — echoes our brand throughout the global reach of social media.

For those business owners proudly using the phrase “fire the customer” all over Twitter, Facebook, and beyond, it’s worth a moment to consider an alternative.

The times I have not been able to continue with a customer, I have said:

“Although I cannot meet your needs and must pass on this opportunity, I wish you success …”



I am not “firing the customer”, as the current threatening phrase likes to power tout. I am firing myself! How we say things in difficult moments affects the future of our brand.


Current customers and social media tell future customers what we believe; they wonder how we will treat them. Every tweet, every post, every statement tells the world what we think of customers as a whole.

Customers talk about us too; what they say is actually up to us!



I vote to give superior customer service — not to be superior over customers. What do you want customers to say about you and your brand?


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

Related Posts:
Free Your Mind to Give Superior Customer Service in Difficult Situations
What Do We Want Customers to Feel, Experience, and Remember?

©2012 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.

High level leaders, do you lead your direct reports with integrity of purpose or ambush them in the face of strong resistance from the employees they lead?

Scapegoating your direct reports is a trust crushing ambush that backfires on you, them, and on bottom line results. If you have second thoughts on any issue, take ownership at your level to reposition all toward a new view and path to success.


Leading Leaders: Remove the Backfire of Ambush Image by:Kenny Moller

Image by: Kevin Moller via Creative Commons License.

A True Story of a Leader Ambushing a Direct Report Leader

Picture an organization where productivity and financial results mean everything. Pat is the high level leader, Lee is a manager who reports to Pat, and Chris reports to Lee. Pat is aware from Lee that Chris is engaging in truly unprofessional behavior, is not focused on work, and is unproductive. Chris spends excessive amounts of time texting friends, fielding personal phone calls, and watching YouTube.

Lee discusses the issues with Chris, clarifies what behaviors are needed, and encourages Chris to ask for any help needed in becoming more focused. Chris continues with the same unacceptable behaviors and even shows great public disrespect for Lee in meetings. Chris also dismisses verbal warnings and written indicators.

At performance review time, Lee shows Pat Chris’ review before sharing it with Chris. Pat comments that the review is accurate and well written and even praises Lee for noting the issues in a professional objective manner.

After Lee gives Chris the performance review, Chris, very upset, goes to Pat and makes accusations against Lee.

Pat meets with Lee and criticizes Lee’s management style and suggests that they all meet with HR to arbitrate between Lee and Chris! Pat openly criticizes Lee in front of Chris and the problems drag on.

Eventually Chris takes a position in another part of the organization. Pat then gives Lee a very low scoring performance review because of what happened and because Chris left.

Pat used Lee as a scapegoat when Chris kicked and screamed about the review. Pat gave Lee every indication of full backing when in truth it was conditional upon Chris’ reaction. In effect, Pat ambushed Lee with a pretense of full support.

Lee learned from that event and in hindsight of another moment that Pat is very averse to conflict. To that end, Pat weakens even in moments where performance, productivity, and financial results are at stake.


Leadership: The Backfire of the Ambush

  1. The ambush is a neon sign advertising the leader’s weakness of character.

    Everyone, even leaders, make mistakes. Yet leaders can recover from mistakes by taking ownership, explaining what they’ve learned, and what they will do to change going forward. Often this builds trust in the leader for its honesty, accountability, and human connection.

    Conversely, the sly nature of an ambush taints any apology the leader makes afterward. Disrespect hovers and affects all those it touches.


  2. The ambush crushes trust.

    High performance organizations need leaders who build and maintain trust. Trust is not necessarily built through happiness. It is built through integrity and honesty about expectations and performance while showing respect for the person.

    Managers who trust that their leader is authentic focus their time and talents on results — not on looking over their shoulders to see if the leader is retreating. Broken trust lingers and effects the bottom line results for a very long time.


  3. The ambush reduces good managers to confused managers.

    No manager is perfect. Yet ambushing very capable, committed, hard working managers confuses their vision and may even kindle self-doubt in their own abilities. There is no value in this. It suffocates talent instead of nurturing it. It impacts current and future organizational success.


  4. The ambush teaches a dangerous principle.

    It says to managers: employees’ happiness is your ultimate responsibility. Certainly managers can play a big role in creating a positive work environment. Yet happiness is something an individual chooses. Sometimes individual employees, like Chris in the example above, create their own happiness at work by simultaneously not producing.

    Does the organization exist to make people happy or to fulfill the financial mission in hopefully a positive work environment? The consequences of the happiness mission on the financial success of an organization can be quite grave.


  5. The ambush punishes instead of teaches.

    There are still leaders who live by the maxim, if my direct reports’ staff come to me instead of going to them, those managers have failed. I hear this mostly from leaders who view their direct reports as buffers. Great leaders in high performing organizations don’t set up roadblocks for personal comfort. They mentor their direct reports in leadership and people-skills to improve the dynamics of the entire organization.

    Certainly if a leader sees a pattern where most staff are coming to complain about one manager, it may indicate a leadership and management style problem. Yet there is no way to stop any one employee from jumping past their manager to speak to a higher level. Labeling that as a manager’s failure is short-sided, premature, and quite risky.


  6. The ambush gives high performance managers reason to leave.

    True high achievers have a low tolerance for misinformation, confusing messages, and negative surprises in their performance reviews. What makes them so valuable is their inner drive to contribute greatness to the organization and to succeed in their careers. They can handle and welcome honest feedback because it is the very fuel that keeps their chances for success alive.

    An ambush represents a betrayal that thwarts their identity and success. Leaders who betray them with an ambush can trust that these high performers will eventually leave. Lose enough of them and the bottom line results suffer.




Leaders, remove the chance of backfire of an ambush. Spend time becoming very self-aware. What motivates you? What frightens you? How good are you as a mentor for your direct reports? How good are you at communicating clearly and giving honest feedback with respect? What is your philosophy about hierarchy, management, and staff interaction? How do you want people to communicate their disagreement with you?


There is much focus today on leaders listening and yes, that is critical. Yet leaders must also speak about their vision and their expectations of all managers and team members. Will you be coaching for high performance and expect your managers to do the same? Will you inspire the entire organization to that vision? Will you be willing to hold a firm but fair line with employees who choose not to perform? Or will you crumble and tolerate apathy — ambushing the managers into mistrust?


Replace the ambush with honesty, integrity, and accountability. Trust soars. Your vision comes to life. Results are amazing! I am your resource and your coach.


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

Related Post:
Leadership: Fairness is Not Neutrality
Leading Change Within Yourself Changes Everything
Workplace Disharmony vs. Diversity

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish 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.

As I consult to strong leaders on employee engagement, some understand humility, its value, and use it well. Their emotional intelligence, not their directive strength, secures their leadership identity. They are comfortable with employee engagement for they see leaders and teams as interdependent.

Other leaders confuse humility and humiliation. Their view of leadership is all about their strength. As a result, they struggle with employee engagement and how to inspire teams to maximum achievement.

Leadership: Never Confuse Humility and Humiliation Image Licensed from Istock.

Humility in Leadership:

  1. Equalizes all on human qualities leading to tighter bonds.
  2. Propels everyone to learn from any mistakes leading to incredible growth.
  3. Elevates purpose above personal rallying all to organizational success.
  4. Celebrates all talents through inclusion inviting all to grow.
  5. Achieves more not less seeing more opportunities without the green eye of jealousy.
  6. Is the essence of truth and transparency leading to greater trust.



Humiliation, a loss of dignity and respect, is more likely to occur when leaders lack humility. Acting important and treating others with disregard creates disrespect in return. Constantly issuing orders can create a virtual mutiny which blocks success – a pretty humiliating event for business leaders.

Understanding the difference between humility and humiliation can move you forward to experience humility’s benefits. True humility sustains you and others. Humiliation destroys most in its path.

Humility is not:

  • Silence. Humility engages everyone’s voice and magnifies success.
  • Sheepishness. It strengthens the whole team and cultivates future leaders.
  • A change in personality type. It is a core belief that drives your voice to just the right words at just the right time.
  • Lack of confidence. In fact, the truly self-confident are more comfortable with being humble.
  • Fake. Humility strips away the posturing of greatness and shines the light on your true leadership.
  • Surrender. It is stronger than any yell for it replaces the ego — the target of conflict — with the “we go”.
  • Abandonment. It is an engages all to learn and grow together.


Consider replacing the weak image of humility with a picture of its authentic strengths. Tapping others’ talents shows your confidence. Hearing others’ opinions expands your view. Celebrating the whole instead of yourself extends your reach.

You will not be abdicating your position to others. You will be growing your influence by engaging all to walk with you — instead of behind you.

When you combine humility with emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and proficient people-skills, the respect for your leadership soars.

You inspire all generations in the workplace to maximum contribution by fulfilling the most human need — to be included, recognized, acknowledged, and appreciated.



Have you ever worked for a humble leader? How did you feel? What was the outcome on the organization? From your perspective, are there any risks of a leader being humble?


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

Related Posts:
Are You Too Nice to Lead?
Leaders, Engage Employees Through Their Entrepreneurial Spirit
To Bring Out the Best in Millenials, Put On Your Coaching Hat! by Dr. Tony Wagner in Fast Company Magazine.


©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.

Most everyone, new graduates and experienced workers,  want a  career RISE.  To succeed, connect into the true meaning of these four people-skills traits.

The deeper you understand, embrace, and develop these 4 people-skills traits, the more valuable you become to the business and the boss — decision makers, executives, and managers.

Connect People-Skills - Career RISE Image: Eva The Weaver

RReliability. We think of this mostly as deliver what you promise and/or what you are assigned. That’s expected not exceptional.

    For a career rise, connect into personality styles of the leaders’ you work for and with.
    Understand their hot buttons and stay a step ahead of their needs.
    Know when/how to point out the risk of their view or impending decision.
    Facilitate their actions to make the business successful and help them prevent the failures.

IIntegrity. Hold professional confidences, behave ethically, be accountable for your actions and energy, correct your mistakes without excuses, give more than is asked or expected. Integrity builds trust and trust delivers long term career success.

SSelf-confidence. Less neediness and more initiative from you make life easier for your boss.

    What it is: Strength in tough times, comfort adapting to change, insight on how your talent and experience apply to new and different situations, collaboration without fear of losing your own individual success, managing your own ego.

    What it isn’t: False bravado, know-it-all thinking, who’s better than whom attitude, disdain for diversity.

EExcellence. Pursue excellence through constant learning, innovation, and honest self-evaluation. When you are always learning and accurately assessing needed improvements you give the company (and the boss) more ROI for its decision to hire you.

What is your ROI for developing these 4 people-skills traits? Career success.

The executive’s trust in you and reliance on your contributions is the catapult for your career rise and long term success. Imagine a boss saying “I’ve never met anyone I can rely on more” — and then get that designation!


What other traits and actions have given RISE to your career? Please share your voice in the comments section below. It can help many.

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

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. 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 people-skills workshops, keynotes, and consultations that take you and your teams from inspiration to action. Combining humor, practicality, and a passion for excellence, Kate re-inspires success in all those she touches. See this site for customers’ comments and book Kate now.