The Podium is Yours…our Fear of Public Speaking by Jim Johnson

public speaking

When thinking about speaking in public (team meetings, presentations in front of customers/executives, a speech, etc.), what comes to mind?

What Americans fear

 

 

For many of us, public speaking is our #1 fear.  Why is that?  Is public speaking that much worse than snakes, drowning, or clowns?

 

 

 

 

I would love to read your comments on this topic.  Please share if you do have this fear (no matter which country you live in) and what you believe you need to work on to overcome it?

 

Advertisements

Same Ol’, Same Ol’ by Jim Johnson

same old thinking and results.JPG

You’ve heard the definition of insanity, right?  “Doing the same things over and over again but expecting different results.”  Yet (if we are honest), we all are guilty of this from time to time.

Here we are in the middle of 2018.  Are you achieving the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?  Is your team meeting and exceeding their KPI’s?  If not, perhaps it is because while your goals may have changed, your behaviors did not.

Why do we set new goals yet hold on to behaviors that we adopted years ago?  Probably because we are comfortable with what we know.  Also, many of us do not like to be pushed and a great many of us do not like change.

So if you want better results, what’s a leader to do?  Try this:

Shock test.  Sit down with your team leaders and ask them “if we had to produce drastically better results (i.e. 100% improvement) in the next 90 days:

  • How would we approach our work differently?
  • How would we feel about our work?
  • What would we hear ourselves saying to each other, our customers, ourselves?
  • How would our team’s focus need to change?

I actually ran this experiment last fall.  Some of my managers still use the lessons they learned today and are getting more done with more intentional focus.

Read.  Most of the ideas I get come from reading that I’ve done or am currently doing.  Not that a specific idea comes from an author, but reading opens my mind to new concepts – a new way of thinking.  When that happens, I’m in a mental environment where I can see new possibilities and try new things.  And by reading, I don’t just mean books.  Blogs, magazines, LinkedIn content.  Expose yourself to new ideas and you’ll find new ideas to adopt and apply to get better results.

Network.  Find local leaders (or online leaders) and connect with them.  Pick their brains on ways they are working to become better.  I know you will find great insight and inspiration from doing this.

Brainstorm.  Get your team leaders together and, as a group, brainstorm on how you can improve.  Push each other to think differently.  Years ago, I read about the marketing team that was responsible for increasing sales of Raid – the bug spray.  The team came together to figure out a way to jump start lagging sales results.

Raid

At one point, someone in the meeting asked, “what would we not do with Raid?”  The group sat silently for a bit until someone said, “We could make it smell better.”  Again, more silence.  Then they began to discuss why the insect-killing spray smelled badly.  Why couldn’t Raid smell better?  So they experimented and created a more fragrant bug spray.  And sales increased.  All because in a brainstorming session someone asked a different question.

Accountability.  Many times our teams are not meeting expectations because we have failed to hold them accountable for their performance.  Coaching sessions have lost their edge.  Metrics are not talked about.  The team begins to live to the lowest common denominator (i.e. no one should rock the boat).  Poor performance is glossed over.

It has been said that leaders should inspect what they expect.  And that should be done regularly.  It should be documented.  Wins should be celebrated.  Falling short must be addressed.  Accountability gets your team living in “real-ville” quickly and consistently.

Accountability says that competence matters.  Competence leads to confident team members.  All this leads to better customer engagement and improved results.

Same ol’ same ol’ does not work.  Be different.  Do differently.  Become better.

Connecting with Others by Jim Johnson

If you are in business, you want to better connect with your customers and/or potential customers.  When we truly connect with others, we have the door open to more opportunities, deeper relationships, and bottom-line sales.

So, how do we better connect with others?

I have developed and taught the following to my staff as well as to others in people-connecting industries (which is pretty much all of our industries).  My staff calls this the “Laffy-Taffy” approach to connection after a candy’s name.  You’ll see why:

Customer Brings

 

Our customers bring us many things.  Some are evident and we see/hear them.  Other things are “buried” and we have to explore and discover them.

How do get beneath the surface?  The next steps are critical…

 

 

Listen Ask Feel

 

 

We have to actively and intentionally Listen, Ask, and Feel.  Far too often we assume what our customers want.  We push our agenda and don’t listen well.  Our customers will share with us, but we need to truly listen to them, ask more questions, and empathize with them.  Do not skip over this step!  This is where the real connection begins!

 

 

Think Act Follow Up

Once you have spent the appropriate time in Listening, Asking, and Feeling, then (and only then) should you move to these next three steps.  Think – based upon what the customer just shared with you, think through the options.  Act – based on what you’ve just heard, take action.  Don’t push your agenda.  Act on THEIR agenda!  And always Follow-Up/Follow-Through.

 

Does this process take a long time to do?  Perhaps at the beginning, it might.  If you are not comfortable with it, it may take a bit of time.  But after practice, you will become far more confidently competent in your interactions.  Your customers will open up more.  They will share their appreciation of your efforts.  They’ll tell others about you. You’ll get results.

Make great connections with your customers.  Practice LAF TAF every chance you get.  It makes a difference!

The Process

 

Connect by Jim Johnson

It’s Monday.  Our favorite day of the week…?  As you start your day, I want to encourage you not to focus on Friday.  Or on issues you may be personally facing.  Or on plans you may have in the near future.

Make today about CONNECTIONS.

Many of you will interact with customers today.  CONNECT with them.  How?  As soon as your interaction begins (i.e. in-person, phone call, chat, email), THINK.  What is it that the customer needs from you right now?  You are smart enough to figure out what the customer is needing at the moment – attention, a sense of security, resolution of an issue, courtesy, understanding, reliability…

Then CONNECT with that member.  Satisfy that need they have.  In fact, ask them at the end of the interaction, “did I answer your issue to your satisfaction?”

Really LISTEN to the customer today.  RESPOND based on their needs.  Find ways to go beyond as you SERVE the customer today.

When we CONNECT with our customers in meaningful ways, we will:

  • Deepen relationships
  • Build satisfaction
  • Create great customer experiences

connection John Maxwell

Better Connection Leads to Better Results by Jim Johnson

building engagement quote

So you lead others within a great organization that you know does great things.  You believe in your organization’s vision and mission.

But your team’s results are lack-luster.

How does this happen?

Perhaps it is because you have work to do in helping your team connect to its purpose, performance, and priorities.

“But I’ve promoted the vision!  I’ve shared the mission!”

To build and keep momentum in peak performance, a leader must continually work to connect with his team.  Communication can never be a one-and-done venture.

I’ve been blessed to have traveled all over the world.  I’ve been on remote islands in the Philippines.  I’ve been metro areas in the Netherlands.  I’ve been on the road throughout Indonesia.  Almost everywhere I’ve been, I’ve seen ads for Coca-Cola.  You and I have seen countless TV ads for Coke. Does Coke really need to advertise their product? Do people really need to be told what Coke is?  No.

But Coke continually markets Coke to keep its product top-of-mind for consumers everywhere.

Let me ask you:  how are you keeping your team’s mission, performance targets, standards top-of-mind with each of your team members?

Organizations and leaders win when they continually connect with their team members.  So when results are falling short, ask:

  • How are we connecting with the staff?
  • What could we/should we change in our communication to better connect with our team?
  • Is this a communication issue or a training issue or both?
  • What motivates our staff to “do more” in 2018?

Your team is capable of executing plans and doing outstanding work.  They want to be a part of a team that wins.

It is your job as the leader to help connect the purpose, the performance, and the priorities of your work with each member on your team.