leaders

Volumes are written on key steps to leading change. When we sort through it all, one blatant truth emerges:

Leading change requires networking our inspiration!

Leading Change: Image is fish jumping from one glass to the next.

Leading Change: Network Our Inspiration

Image licensed via Istock.com.


From this we might focus on communicating the change, the reasons why, what’s in it for everyone, what it will take etc….


Are you inspired by that? Probably not. No one else will be either. Admittedly communication is critical to leading change. Yet communicating about the change is NOT the same as inspiring others to make it happen.


Networking our inspiration with those we lead includes:

  • Starting with mutual respect
  • Developing trust through the heart not just the head
  • Engaging their talents and their spirit
  • Building their change-ability to prepare for major shifts



Networking inspiration must start early — the day we become positional leaders. Not the day we need to lead change.

    Highly directive leaders who rarely engage their teams will seem fake when suddenly networking inspiration to spur a major change. It seems manipulative. People resist being changed.
    Leaders who focus mostly on being liked also struggle with leading change. They have built personal connections based on neediness and their fear is palpable. There is little for others to trust in order to overcome the comfort of the status quo.



We can effectively lead change when we have healthy connections to team members and the mission of the organization. This healthy balance of head and heart is the inspiration!



Earning Trust With Our Heads and Hearts

Long before major changes inch onto the horizon, team members are looking to see how we as leaders handle difficult situations. Some situations may be very mission related while still others will relate to team dynamics and morale.

Examples

  • Showing them our clear heads in a crisis is a start. Developing their clear heads for change through coaching and empowerment is networking our inspiration!
  • Reviewing data with them before a decision develops valuable critical thinking. Using our intuition and tapping theirs builds their change-ability!

    Change involves dealing with the unknown. Using intuition gives everyone practice in grappling with grey areas and moving ahead with less than a full picture. With this practice, we network our inspiration and develop their change-ability long before a major change is needed.

  • When we handle individual performance issues, we act appropriately. When we also address team morale issues resulting from performance issues, we celebrate the value of morale in leading change. “Work it our yourselves” is abdicating our inspirational role. “Let’s work this out and create a model for maintaining great morale”, is networking our inspiration.


We lead change with inspiration; we succeed when we network the inspiration and build change-ability throughout the organization.


Why do many leaders avoid the inspirational approach when it is so critical to leading change?



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

©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.

Related Posts:
Leading Change: Is the Beloved Bully Stopping You?
Leaders, Engage Employees Change-Ability Through Entrepreneurial Spirit
Leaders, Develop Your Intuition


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.

Is Leadership a Contest? Tell us what you think in Sunday’s People Skills Chat.

WHEN/WHERE: Join us Sunday Aug. 3, 2014 on Twitter at 10AM EDT. Hashtag: #peopleskills


Time converter:
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Is Leadership a Contest?

Is everything a competition? Is that what leadership is in its core? Some say yes and others say no.

Greg Richardson weighed in with his post Leadership is Not a Contest. It gave us much to ponder and inspired our upcoming people skills chat.


Is Leadership a Contest? Image is People skills logo

Is Leadership a Contest? Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.


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

Is Leadership a Contest? If Not, What Is It?

Do we lead to conquer and win? Do we lead to collaborate and create win/win? It’s an interesting subject that impacts people and results.

Some questions to get us thinking in advance of Sunday’s #Peopleskills Twitter chat:

  • “Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.” ~David Sarnoff founder of RCA Agree/Disagree?
  • What attitudes in leaders make leadership a contest?
  • If you don’t see life as a contest, can you be successful as a leader? Pls. explain.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of seeing leadership as a competition/contest?
  • How do competition and motivation relate?
  • Do you see yourself as more competitive or collaborative? Why?
  • What do competition and collaboration have in common?
  • How can very collaborative people work for/with competitive types?
  • For competitive leaders to be successful, what attitudes must they hire in others?



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



So bring your personal perspective, your experience, a beverage, and join the community on Sunday Aug. 3, 2014, 10am EDT in People Skills Chat on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills). Share your creative views and experience in our people skills chat on Is Leadership a Contest?


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



Shout Out of Gratitude

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

Special thanks to this week’s inspiration for this post Greg Richardson and the people skills community. Continued thanks to generous chat moderators Chantal Bechervaise, Dave Moore, Hoda Maalouf, Tracy Shroyer and Tom Rhodes for their time and contributions.






Hope you will all join our People Skills Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) this Sunday Aug. 3, 2014, 10am EDT/7am PDT to share your insights and perspective on Is Leadership a Contest?

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






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

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


Connect with you this Sun. Aug. 3rd, 2014, 10am EDT in our People Skills Global Twitter Chat “Is Leadership a Contest?”



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: Persistence vs. Resistance to Change


Persistence is frequently touted as a critical success quality. Babe Ruth’s famous quote, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” is only one of many proclamations that has exalted persistence.


When we lead teams through change, we hope that everyone will persist through tough times. Persistence is a tremendous strength — unless it’s actually distorted change resistance that blocks success.


Seeing the difference minimizes this risk. As leaders we are more likely to engage employees in innovation when we persist to a goal not when we resist new ideas. In business, we need both persistence and agility to reach a vision.


Persistence. Image is Tree trunk up against iron fence.

Persistence or Change Resistance? Image by:stevefaeembra

Grateful for image by Steve Faeembra via Flickr Creative Commons License.


The exalted status of persistence can distort our thinking to believe there are only two options — persistence or surrender. Surrender screams defeat to the psyche. It brings many people to mistakenly persist just to avoid feeling like a quitter or a failure. This is truly an unfortunate choice for there are more than two options.

Instead of thinking, “know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em”, we succeed when we …




Persistence: Perseverance Not Stubbornness

We can persist toward a goal by changing the course of arrival. We don’t have to fly into a storm. We can change course, go around it, and still arrive!

Persistence to success requires change ability. Let’s not persist in methods and moments; let’s persist in reaching success. We don’t have to walk away; we can walk another way.

Innovate the approach when the current path,

  • Is directly into harms way
  • Is truly slowing progress
  • Is eroding morale and confidence
  • Is against core values
  • Is illegal
  • Is crushing with negativity



AND

when other paths,

  • Can achieve the goal more easily or with unique benefits
  • Engage talents more effectively
  • Connect with positive resources and helpful people
  • Inspire creativity, spirit, and productivity



Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald



Question/change the goal when it,

  • Blocks a positive future
  • Tries to hold onto the past or rewrite history
  • Denies or sidesteps the truth
  • Points to a far better goal



It is much easier to change a goal or a path when we see it as growth instead of failure. Successful people embrace this truth. They lead teams to embrace and develop agility.

They have more than just persistence. They …


  1. See futility sooner
  2. Quickly learn and correct course
  3. Balance vision between their intuition and what is actually happening
  4. Change course courageously without fear of the short term detour
  5. Have greater desire for success than the comfort of habit
  6. Believe that the opposite of persistence is not laziness




Sometimes changing course is THE method for reaching success — in business and in life. Meanwhile, inaction can turn change resistors into comfortable sitting ducks for those who are both persistent and agile in finding success.


What ONE thought moves you past change resistance to reach success?



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

Related Posts:
Leadership: Do You See Patience or Inaction?
Change Leaders: Is the Beloved Bully — Habit — Stopping You?

©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.

The word leader used to mean strong, directive, and unemotional. That picture has shifted to less directive and more in touch with employees’ needs.


Yet where is the balance between results-focused and people-focused? In tough moments …

Are you too nice to lead?



Are You Too Nice to Lead, Effectively?

Image by: SeanbJack via Creative Commons License.


There are team members who want, welcome, and will only work for a nice leader — until they see that the nice leader won’t address poor performance and cannot negotiate tough issues with other teams and management.

They feel unprotected and at the mercy of slacking team members and other teams. So much for leaders being nice!

When Might You Be Too Nice to Lead?


  1. With Fear of Conflict. If you tend to avoid conflict and want people to just work things out for themselves, you may be seen as too nice to lead.

    Alternative: Get a coach to help you develop your conflict resolution skills. Great leaders move past their fear. They know when to step in and even teach others how to work together.


  2. In Times of Great Change. In everyday work, your teams think of you as a very effective leader. Then the organization announces a major change and you must lead your teams through it. The tension rises and your teams resist. In this moment of truth, do you lead them forward? If you cave in to their objections and resistance, your boss may see you as too nice to lead.

    Alternative: Have the courage to draw on the good will you have with your team. Show them you believe in them and in the change. If you don’t believe it, why should they?


  3. When You Require Emotional Support. Being humble and less directive can be good for your team as respects and taps their talent and commitment. Showing no confidence and needing constant emotional support can scare the bejeebers out of them and earn you the label of too nice or weak to lead.

    Alternative: Learn and understand the interplay between being confident and being humble. Confidence is strength for your team. Humbleness opens the door to growth. Both are valuable leadership traits. Lack of confidence isn’t.


  4. If You Must Be Liked. Needing to be liked can steer you to many poor leadership behaviors. It can drive you to sacrifice results for the virtual hug. This can earn you the label of too nice to lead.

    Alternative: Be like-able without seeking to be liked.


  5. When You Get Promoted. Picture yourself leading your former peers and even being a peer of your former boss. Guilt or feelings of unworthiness can make you seem timid or too solicitous. This can earn you the label of too nice to lead.

    Alternative: Your boss or another leader put their faith in you. You were promoted for a reason. The team you lead needs your courage and talent. Even if some team members grouse in jealousy, the team’s success depends on your willingness to do the job. Embrace the responsibility you were given; don’t trigger the decision maker’s doubt and regret. Believe in yourself, the purpose, and the team. Lead.


  6. If You Own Their Behavior. When you mistakenly believe that you are responsible for a team member’s behavior, you are at risk of giving an errant employee too many chances. You may take their behavior as your failure. If you are coaching one of your team members and they are not making progress, would you be able to tell them they are no longer on the team? If not, you may earn the label of too nice to lead.

    Alternative: Afford your team members the adult responsibility of owning their own behavior. Coach, teach, guide, and lead them. But let them own their own behavior!


  7. When Your Career is Paramount. When you care about your career growth more than the current position, you may inappropriately say yes to other teams or management requests. You are busy pleasing everyone else and your current team’s success may suffer. If you are lucky, this may earn you the label of too nice to lead. If you are not lucky, it may earn you a different label that isn’t fit for print. Either way, it’s not what a great leader does.

    Alternative: Let current successes, appropriate interactions, and great negotiation pave your career path.




As the definition of leadership has shifted from rough directive behavior to engaging employees, some leaders veer off course and focus only on happiness.


Rediscover the balance and you foster success for all!







You can be liked and fail as a leader; you can be disliked and fail as a leader.

Seek and practice balance and you will succeed!


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

©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.

Related Posts:
Leadership: Can You Be Friends With Those You Lead? Yes If …
6 Steps to Lead With Honesty & Civility
10 Ways to Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars


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.

Team Harmony: Is it at odds with great results?

It doesn’t have to be. When teams are united in their goal and are willing to adapt to reach it, you can have both team harmony and great results.


Team Harmony: Image are zen rocks stacked but tipping.

Team Harmony: Leaders, Are You Sacrificing Greatness? Image by Alexandra Stevenson via Flickr.

Grateful for image by Alexandra Stevenson via Flickr Creative Commons License.




Yet leaders who are very focused on team harmony and morale, sometimes sacrifice great results to keep morale and harmony alive.


  • They accept low performance issues to avoid upset vs. addressing issues through engagement, coaching, re-assignments, or dismissals.
  • They tolerate change resistance of a few instead of leading all team members through it.
  • They stomach the pessimist’s constant negativity instead of asking them for creativity, alternatives, and solutions.



Leadership: Great Results and Team Harmony!

Leaders, you don’t have to choose between team harmony/morale and great results.

  1. Bring out the best performance of each team member by making them aware of where they need to improve. Improvement starts with awareness, grows with coaching and training, and finishes with individual ownership and commitment. Team members can coach each other by sharing insights, expertise, and encouragement. This builds both team harmony and great results.

  2. Know the difference between true change resistors and people grappling with change. True change resistors argue endlessly against the change. People grappling with change ask how-to questions, contribute ideas to discussions, and take action to achieve it.

    Once you spot true change resistors, make it clear what different behaviors are needed. To lead change, you must be willing to teach, guide, and call everyone to high expectations. Be ready to make changes in team make-up if resistors continue to resist. Team harmony and morale sustain themselves when everyone is contributing instead of resisting.


  3. Have the team discuss the difference between skepticism and pessimism. What words and actions distinguish the two? There is a fair amount of confusion about it. Skeptics raise healthy questions about risk, possibilities, and pathways. They keep reality in focus and hope and optimism alive.

    Ardent pessimists are saying no. They close the door instead of opening new ones with appropriate caution. Left unchecked, they can crush both team harmony/morale and great results.





  4. Now for the tough one leaders …

  5. Replace managers who are consistently negative, highly change resistant, or very insecure and arrogant. If you want team harmony/morale and great results, the managers leading the teams must be open to change, able to engage others, and both optimistic and realistic. Teams dealing with highly negative, insecure, arrogant, change resistant managers have lower team harmony/morale and weaker results. These managers determine the speed and distance your organization can travel and the results it can achieve.



What front line management behaviors do you find most important to team harmony and great results?



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

Related Posts:
Leadership: 5 Essentials to Spark Team Agility
Leadership Morale Challenge: How Long Do You Coach a Bad Attitude?
Leaders, Employee Engagement is Uniquely Personal

©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 and Friendship: Is it possible?

WHEN/WHERE: Join us and share your view Sunday June 29, 2014 in Twitter chat at 10AM EDT. Hashtag: #peopleskills


Time converter:
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Leadership and Friendship: Possible? Tricky? Easy?

Leadership and friendship has been labelled a touchy subject for a long time. Some claim it shouldn’t be a goal. Others say it is ill-advised. Still others say it is the key to employee engagement and deep commitment.

We take on this highly charged topic in our upcoming global Twitter #Peopleskills chat June 29th 10am EDT.


Leadership and Friendship: Image is People skills logo

Leadership and Friendship. Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.


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

Leadership and Friendship: Would you like it?

I recently wrote a blog post on the leadership and friendship quandary and the comments were quite diverse. I even received private emails about the risks and public remarks about the benefits. From that I realized it would be a very interesting and valuable topic for our people skills community!

I am so looking forward to hearing your views. Some questions to get us thinking in advance:

  • How do you define friendship?
  • How do you define the essentials of leadership?
  • Where is the overlap between leadership and friendship?
  • Why is there such concern and even distress about combining leadership and friendship?
  • Would you want to be friends with your leader? Why/why not?
  • What could leaders and teams achieve or lose if they were friends? Pls. explain.
  • What are some of the specific difficulties of combining leadership and friendship?
  • When you get promoted to lead your former teammates, can you be friends too? Why/why not?
  • How do culture and generational differences play into this issue if at all?
  • How would people skills help/hinder leadership and friendship?



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



So bring your personal perspective, your experience, a beverage, and join the community on Sunday June 29, 2014, 10am EDT in People Skills Chat on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills). Share your creative views and experience in our people skills chat on leadership and friendship.


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



Shout Out of Gratitude

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

Special thanks to the community chat moderators who generously donate their time week after week: Chantal Bechervaise, Dave Moore, Hoda Maalouf, Tracy Shroyer and Tom Rhodes.






Hope you will all join our People Skills Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) this Sunday June 29, 2014, 10am EDT/7am PDT to share your insights, perspective, and experience on leadership and friendship.

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






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

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


Connect with you this Sun. June 29, 2014, 10am EDT in our People Skills Global Twitter Chat to explore leadership and friendship.

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.

Extreme Leadership? Try Balance Instead!


Extreme Leadership: Image is person on high wire w/ balance pole.

Extreme Leadership: Balance & Moderation Doesn’t Mean Mediocrity Image: OrangeBrompton


Image courtesy of Orange Bromopton via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Times change and so must leadership. With cultural diversity in the virtual workplace and generational differences challenging comfort zones, leaders must focus on balance and blend not just extreme leadership.  

Leaders, be careful of thinking that extreme actions will push the organization over the top! It may push it over the cliff instead.



Leadership is no longer just about blazing trails and pushing people to do the same.  It’s about finding balance and moderation AND not confusing it with status quo and mediocrity.  


In my blog post for Todd Nielsen’s 2014 International Leadership blogathon, I offer 3 specific extremes to avoid and what to do instead. There’s a discussion heating up on it at Todd’s blog. Read and discuss at Extreme Leadership: Do You Seek Excellence Only in Extremes?

 

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.

Authentic Leadership is Our Upcoming People Skills Chat Topic!

WHEN/WHERE: Join us Sunday June 22, 2014 on Twitter at 10AM EDT. Hashtag: #peopleskills


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



Authentic Leadership: The Truth for Leaders

Leadership theories abound. Yet what is true, authentic leadership? This is a question that new leaders must face and veteran leaders must address in a changing world.

Joining me as co-host for this discussion in our global #Peopleskills Twitter chat will be Sabine Clappaert, founder of the Dare to Dream Project. Sabine comes at the topic of authentic leadership from the guts of instilling in youth the courage to dream big. She is a communication expert and journalist specializing in gender, diversity and leadership. She hails from Belgium and reaches to South Africa and Australia with insights on inclusive leadership.


Authentic Leadership: Image is People skills logo

Authentic Leadership. Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.


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

What is True Authentic Leadership?

People skills community moderator, Dave Moore asks: Who are you when nobody is looking? Does that form the basis for your leadership style and behaviors? In the past, leadership was defined by specific behaviors. As the world continues to evolve we see a changing definition of leadership. It may cause leaders to reflect on “What is their authentic leadership?”

Some questions to get us thinking in advance:

  • How do you define authentic leadership?
  • How does authentic leadership differ from other leadership styles?
  • What are the benefits and pitfalls of authentic leadership?
  • What marks the language of authentic leaders?
  • How can leaders balance authenticity and objectivity?
  • How far should authentic leaders go in showing their vulnerabilities?
  • In what ways does authentic leadership add to or detract from authority?
  • How do team members know if leaders are being authentic?
  • Is it possible to be totally yourself and still lead diverse people?
  • When does authentic leadership have the greatest impact?
  • What people skills help leaders to balance the challenges of authentic leadership?



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



So bring your personal perspective, your experience, a beverage, and join the community on Sunday June 22, 2014, 10am EDT in People Skills Chat on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills). Share your creative views and experience in our people skills chat on authentic leadership.


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



Shout Out of Gratitude

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

Special thanks to this week’s co-host Sabine Clappaert from Brussels, Belgium, and the community and chat moderators Chantal Bechervaise, Dave Moore, Hoda Maalouf, Tracy Shroyer and Tom Rhodes.






Hope you will all join our People Skills Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) this Sunday June 22, 2014, 10am EDT/7am PDT to share your insights, perspective, and experience on authentic leadership.

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






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

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


Connect with you this Sun. June 22, 2014, 10am EDT in our People Skills Global Twitter Chat to explore authentic leadership.

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.

 

 

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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.

Customer Experience Superstars: Are You Ready to Be One?


For years I’ve had the honor of inspiring customer service and customer experience professionals to be superstars.

Super stardom starts with desire. The actions that create a marvelous customer experience come from the thirst to celebrate the customers.

Customer Experience Superstars: Image is gold stars.

The Celebratory Give & Take of Customer Experience Superstars!! Istock Image.





Superstars shine through customer success.


They engage in the celebratory give and take of customer care.


Their leaders inspire this desire daily and guide efforts to service excellence.




Image licensed from Istock.com

The desire launches through inspiration, takes shape in beliefs, sustains with commitment, develops through actions, and is honed with daily practice.



Are you and your teams ready to be customer experience superstars?



Customer Experience Superstars: Here’s What to Give & Take


    #1 Give your attention. To what customer trust truly means. To the customers themselves. To the customers’ human needs as well as the tactical requests. To the details of execution without turning the details into the destination. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is the customer care to get there.


    #2 Give your listening. For what the customer perceives and is trying to achieve. Customer experience superstars celebrate the input to create output. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is harmony with the customer to get there.


    #3 Give your empathy. It is the essential connection to customer trust. Empathy is feeling what the customer feels. It is not limited to comforting them in negative situations. It is the underpinning of great design. It crafts customer friendly policies. It puts you and the customer in community. It solves actual customer problems. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is empathy with the customer to get there.


    #4 Give your heart. Customers judge commitment and establish trust through the heart. Heart is visible in the quality of products and services. It is authentic. It shows through the design and delivery. It elevates the spirit as it meets a tangible need. Heart transforms a great idea or invention into sublime success and profit for both. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is giving your heart and authenticity to the customer to get there.


    #5 Give your objectivity. Objectivity unsticks people from tunnel vision. It creates new roads to success. It questions the obvious to uncover the obstacle and discover the answer. It preserves your professionalism in tough times and serves the customer well. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is using your objectivity with heart to get there.


    #6 Give your balance. Balance creates a valuable human connection with the customer. Balance feels good. It draws customers back to you and the comfort. It impresses customers with your ability to see the big picture before they complain. It is not the extreme enforcement of a rigid policy. It is the design and use of procedures as guidelines that enable marvelous service. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is keeping your balance to get there.


    #7 Give your ease. There is one thing that every customer wants and that is ease! Ease of interacting with you. Ease of using your website. Ease of getting information. Ease of making a decision. Ease of use. Ease of purchase. Ease of meeting their specific needs through you. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is making it easy for the customers to get it.


    #8 Give your flexibility. Large organizations often struggle with this. They design a complex structure to preserve quality yet these become rigid processes that instill fear of flexibility. Customer experience superstars like Zappos, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton have conquered that fear. They plan and manage for success yet don’t let the plan kill the customer experience. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is conquering the fear of flexibility to get there.


    #9 Give your knowledge and insight. In the mobile sea of Web based information, customers still value perspective, experience, and insight. Anyone can look up a list of restaurants for their vacation spots. Front desk superstars and concierges can filter that list and tailor it for the customers. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is expert tailoring for a wonderful customer fit!


    #10 Give your solutions. Delivery with care is the mecca of a great customer experience and what customer experience superstars do so well. Solutions that hit the mark leave a lasting memory. It takes both vision and tremendous cross teamwork. It takes true customer focus to overcome the security of internal bureaucracy. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is the teamwork, urgency, and follow-through to get there.


    #11 Give your professionalism. Professionalism is loving the feeling of caring for others. With customer experience superstars, it supersedes frustration, impatience, and envy. It puts a positive tone into every word. It holds the customer’s best interest in equal weight to the company’s goals. It defines the superstar’s work identity and sustains the long term customer relationship. The destination is a great customer experience. The mission is professionalism to get there.




Be Customer Experience Superstars!

Find and Take …

  • Pride in your service; it is not servitude.
  • Note of your growth; it is not an easy road.
  • Comfort in the comfort you provide.
  • Strength in your teams’ collective talents.
  • Every opportunity to wow the customer.



Customer experience superstars celebrate what they contribute to the customer’s success. They take extra care and pride in doing it.


Be customer experience superstars. Shine through the customers’ achievements. Be instruments to their success. Get set and be ready for mission possible!


Leaders, how are you inspiring and developing customer experience superstars?



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

Related Posts:
Business Leadership: Who Are Your Customers’ Advocates?
Rapport is the Artery to the Heart of Trust for Super Customer Experience
Leaders, Are You All Attitude Ready?

©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.

Many leaders assert that passion is essential to leadership success. If they aren’t passionate, how will employees be inspired to the vision?


As I work with leaders, I pose a key question about that passion.



As you inspire teams with the fire of your passion, do you scar them or ignite their greatness?
 


Let Your Passion Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars. Image by: fsamuels via Flickr Creative Commons License.



Passion that burns others undermines the goal.

Passion that ignites others fuels success.

 

Leadership: 10 Ways to Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars


  1. Keep your mind open. Leaders, when your mind is open to different ways of reaching the end goal, your passion ignites team ideas and greatness. If you close your mind, you scar team spirit and douse passion.

  2. Establish the limits of freedom. That might seem like an oxymoron yet it is true. If there are boundaries, state them and then let innovation, creativity, and great talent surface and develop. If you pretend there are no boundaries and inflict them later, you scar team rhythm and trust. When boundaries legitimately change, communicate them clearly.

  3. Become a geyser of goodwill. The more times you genuinely communicate the positives, the more trust and goodwill you build with the team. This goodwill builds team strength to hear the negatives with objectivity. The sum ignites greatness.

  4. Be honest not blunt. Honesty that doesn’t insult catapults all to greatness. Bluntness leaves emotional scars that toughen future interactions. Classic wisdom says: Attack the idea not the I. I add, “Disagree without being disagreeable.”

  5. Question before feedback. Your passion for the vision or goal, will scar others if you give negative feedback before understanding their actions. You also scar your credibility and their trust in you.

  6. Refine your message to critical points. Passion has the power to confuse. It causes you to leave out critical information that can ignite the team’s greatness. Exercise: Write your message as a headline and then the bullet points to support it. Ask yourself, is it clear? Clear communication focuses the fire and ignites the team’s greatness.

  7. Show you are listening. Ever work for leaders who are so passionate that they keep blazing new trails without showing you they heard your ideas and concerns? Don’t be a leader who appears deaf. Listen. Dialogue ignites greatness.

  8. See talent in mistakes. Team greatness is harnessed through individual contributions to the same goal. Differences in talent and perspective often produce unexpected outcomes that you might see as mistakes. Can you also see the talent in unexpected outcomes?

  9. Recognize initiative and celebrate learning. One uncomfortable truth about igniting greatness is that not all team members want to be great. Some leaders and managers address this discrepancy by sacrificing greatness in the quest for team harmony. There’s a better way. If you recognize those who are showing initiative and greatness AND celebrate all who are learning, you preserve team harmony without sacrificing greatness.

  10. What is your #10?



Leaders, what else are you doing to ignite greatness without leaving scars?



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

©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.

 

 

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

Proactive Leadership: Problem Prevention a Priority?

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

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

 

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



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

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

Image by solobasssteve via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Proactive Leadership: Why Problem Prevention May Be Unpopular

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


We don’t focus on problem prevention because …

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



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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 




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

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

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






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


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

Related Posts:
Leadership Intuition, Develop Yours!

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


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

 

 

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

Mother’s Day People Skills Chat: Mothers, Leadership & Inner Strength

WHEN: Join us Sunday May 11, 2014 on Twitter at 10AM EDT. Hashtag: #peopleskills


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



Mother’s Day People Skills Chat: Mothers, Leadership, Inner Strength

We often think of mothers as nurturing and warm. Yet they are also pillars of inner strength who lead little infants to develop into adults.

In honor of mothers, we will explore leadership and inner strength in a special Mother’s Day People Skills Chat Sunday May 11, 2014, 10am EDT.



Mother's Day People Skills Chat.  Image is People skills logo

Mother’s Day People Skills Chat on Mothers, Leadership, & Inner Strength. Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.

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

Mother’s Day People Skills Chat: Leadership & Inner Strength

What leadership do mothers show and what have they taught about leadership with their strengths?

Some questions to get us thinking in advance:

  • What words would you use to describe the unique leadership that mothers use?
  • How do mothers combine leadership and nurturing?
  • Mothers lead to empower. Agree/Disagree?
  • Exactly how does inner strength impact mothers and their leadership?
  • When do mothers use their inner strength to help those outside their families?
  • How do mothers develop inner strength in their children?
  • What have mothers taught us about finding and developing great connections?
  • How would the world be different if more mothers were leading countries?
  • What can business leaders learn from mothers’ leadership?
  • What is your mother’s people skills legacy?



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

There is so much to explore about mothers, leadership, and inner strength! So bring your personal perspective, your experience, a beverage, and join us Sunday May 11, 2014, 10am EDT in Mother’s Day People Skills Chat on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills).


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



Shout Out of Gratitude

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

Special thanks to to the community and chat moderators Chantal Bechervaise, Dave Moore, Hoda Maalouf, Tom Rhodes, and Tracy Shroyer.






Hope you will all join our special Mother’s Day People Skills Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) this Sunday May 11th, 2014, 10am EDT/7am PDT on mothers, leadership, and inner strength.

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







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

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


Connect with you this Sun. May 11, 2014, 10am EDT in our Mother’s Day People Skills Chat on Twitter as we discuss mothers, leadership, and inner strength.


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 Evolution: Are You a Boring Tiresome Leader?


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

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

Image by StormLoverSwin93 via Flickr Creative Commons License.


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

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


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






Leadership Evolution: From Boring and Tiresome to Uplifting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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








As a leader, do you choose to be …

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



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


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

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

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


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

 

 

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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.

Contentment: It’s Not an Endpoint!


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



What do you see? Contentment, potential, both?

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

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

Image by Indi.ca via Flickr Creative Commons License.

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

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



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



Contentment: The Appreciative Road to Employee Engagement

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


How can you escape this trap?

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



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


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


Your turn!

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


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


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

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


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

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

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

True Customer Experience Leadership Breeds Initiative Beyond Procedures

 

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

 

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


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

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

Image by Hello Turkey Toe via Flickr Creative Commons License.


A True Story to Illustrate

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

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



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

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


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

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


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

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


True Customer Experience Leadership: Inspire Initiative If Not Empowerment

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

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

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

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

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



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


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



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

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

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


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

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

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

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