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

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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.

Connecting with Others Goes Beyond Words

I am reading John Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.  I highly recommend this book!  As you may remember, I strive to read 10 pages each day which allows me to read most books in a month or less.  This is book #6 for me since January 1 – yes, I sometimes read more than 10 pages per day!  This is one of those books.

In today’s reading, John writes about connecting with others goes beyond the words we use.  I particularly like the section he entitles “What People Feel – Connecting Emotionally”.  I suppose this struck home with me because I need work in this area.  Here are some points that I want to share that are making me think and act differently:

  • “The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change….People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them.  Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to overpower.”  (Rabbi Edwin H. Friedman)
  • “The exact words that you use are far less important than the energy, intensity, and conviction with which you use them.” (Jules Rose)
  • Effective communicators “pay attention to other people, and they desire to add value to them.”
  • Do you want to improve you communication skills in one-on-one, group, and audience settings?  “You need to be positive, believe in yourself, and focus on others.”

words are the currency

These are just a few of the tidbits found in this great book.  If you are looking for books to read in 2018, add this one to your list!

 

Become a Detective by Jim Johnson

CEO Next Door

I have been reading the new book, The CEO Next Door, by Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell.  In today’s reading, I came across the phrase “become of detective.”  The context of this speaks of when a leader is trying connect with their team, stakeholders, board members, customers, etc.  Becoming a detective means to work to truly understand the other person’s perspective so great decisions can be made and meaningful directions can be set and navigated.

 

 

So what do the authors state as the key elements of becoming a detective?

  1. Ask questions.  Become curious.  Asking versus telling will help you learn so much more about the other person’s values, needs, wants, concerns, etc.
  2. Engage intellectually.  No simple patronizing nods.  Ask more probing questions.  Follow up.  Follow through.
  3. Listen.  Engaging intellectually means you are actively listening and asking great questions based upon what you have heard.  Listening communicates to the other person you are investing in them – right now.
  4. Gather information to understand.  Don’t make decisions in a vacuum.  Your actions of asking/listening are the vital part of your information gathering.  And all of that should lead to better understanding the situation.
  5. Harness what matters to them.  Nothing frustrates customers/team members more as when a leader appears to have listened and then acts in a way that seems to ignore all of the previous interactions.  If you truly want to connect with your customers/team members, harness what matters to them based upon your interactions with them.

This book will be available at the first of March.  I received my copy through LeaderBox.  Or you can follow this link to pre-order your copy today.  It’s worth the read!

 

The Impact of Coaching

“From my point of view coaching is not a tool, it is a way of being. At best it is a way of being with someone so that they begin to believe in, and progress, their own ideas. Coaching your employees can best be achieved by setting up a certified coach training programme for managers so that they can coach their staff successfully by:

• ensuring there are clear agreements and confidentiality
• creating and maintaining the energy and space for them to further their own potential
• encouraging them to take calculated risks
challenging their negative beliefs
• enjoying with them the sense of achievement
• working with them to enhance their potential

Successfully done coaching can greatly enhance the self-belief and motivation of staff, particularly in times of change and uncertainty.”  (excerpt from Coaching in the Workplace by Jackie Arnold).

I agree!  I have found no downside to effect coaching.  Your team wants it.  Your company/organization needs it.  You, the leader, needs it!

So why don’t we do it consistently?

  • Many people don’t know how to coach.
  • Many people don’t value coaching.  “I’ve told them once…why don’t they get it.”
  • Many people don’t value other people.
  • Many people have a skewed idea of what coaching is.

In the article mentioned above, Jackie Arnold goes on to say:

“One significant advantage of coaching is that your employees will begin to take ownership and responsibility for their actions and self-development. The good news is that the manager as coach does not need to come up with solutions. Instead you will be listening more closely to your staff, reflecting back what you hear and questioning them in order to bring out their ideas and solutions.”

My leadership and I have been working on developing our coaching skills.  I am happy to say that they have dramatically improved! They have learned to ask great questions to get to the core of issues.  And they don’t stop with just one question.  They dig.  They probe.  They get their team members to really think.  They get to the bottom of issues.  And their team members are coming up with solutions.

So as you head into a coaching session, prepare yourself by writing down key questions you want to ask.  Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes/no.

Not:  “Did you learn something from that project?”  Rather:  “What did you learn from that project that you can apply going forward?

Not: “Did your interaction with that other department go well?”  Rather:  “How did your interaction go with that department?”

Not: “I see you did not complete the report on time.  Are you going to get it done by next week?”  Rather:  “What got in your way that caused the report to be late?  Who was affected by this delay?  What needs to change in future for you to be more timely?”

It is easy to move into auto-pilot mode as a leader.  You are busy.  You’ve got your own deadlines and initiatives.  But as a leader, you are supposed to get results through others.  And those “others” also can slip into auto-pilot.  Great questions help them break free from that mode.  Great questions help you understand what is happening and why it is happening.  Great questions help you and your team member become better.

Do some preparation in advance, and your next coaching session can improve!

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Podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts?  I do. I have a couple I go to fairly frequently.

podcast

Here are some questions I have for you.  I would love to read your feedback/answers in the comment section below:

  1. How long are you wanting a podcast to last?  (i.e. <5 minutes? 5-10 minutes?)
  2. What would you want/need to hear in a podcast?  In other words, what would bring YOU value in a podcast?
  3. Do you prefer an audio podcast or a video podcast?

Again, I value your opinion.  Please take a moment and comment below on one or all of these questions.  Thank you.

And thank you for visiting Go, Leader, Grow!

Six Toxic Beliefs that Successful People Quarantine by Dr. Travis Bradberry

When it comes to self-talk, we’ve discovered six common, yet toxic, beliefs that hold people back more than any others. Be mindful of your tendencies to succumb to these beliefs, so that they don’t derail your career:

Toxic Belief #1: Perfection = Success

Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure, and end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish, instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.

Toxic Belief #2: My Destiny is Predetermined

Far too many people succumb to the highly irrational idea that they are destined to succeed or fail. Make no mistake about it, your destiny is in your own hands, and blaming multiple successes or failures on forces beyond your control is nothing more than a cop out. Sometimes life will deal you difficult cards to play, and others times you’ll be holding aces. Your willingness to give your all in playing any hand you’re holding determines your ultimate success or failure in life.

Toxic Belief #3: I “Always” or “Never” Do That

Follow this link to read the entire article:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140929131702-50578967-six-toxic-beliefs-successful-people-quarantine