Coaches Corner v.12.01.2022

Coaches Corner v.12.01.2022

The Learning Without Scars coach, Floyd Jerkins, is back with Coaches Corner v.12.01.2022: How to Handle An Argumentative Person on Your Team.

Building a team with diverse personalities requires a leader who can handle them. There will be days when you’d like to fire all of them and then others when you couldn’t be prouder. Let me share some tips and strategies to handle an argumentative person on your team so you create more days when you are excited to witness the team in action serving your customers.

Argumentative Dave or Sally

In building a team, there usually is at least one of them that can argue with you about most anything. And they can argue with other team members about most anything. This can be exhausting to work with but does not mean they don’t perform well in their role.

The first goal is to discuss the specific behaviors this person displays and the effect on other people. Be realistic about your expectations going into this conversation. You are not trying to change the person. You are trying to change the way they handle certain situations. As a leader, you have to set that expectation, or the employee will continue to do what they do. And over time, this type of behavior will grate on everyone they come in contact with. It can tear the team apart.

Explain the issue clearly and concisely. Let me know that the constant push back on every issue takes up a lot of time and energy. It is disruptive to the team. Encourage them that when they have questions, please let you know. You are always open to hearing the questions and coming up with progressive solutions, but you need them to stop being so aggressive and pushing or debating every item that comes around. Let them know you appreciate their passions and you want them to stay focused on the work at hand.

New Behaviors Need Reinforcement

Now, just because you say this in a coaching manner, the new behavior you’re expecting will need reinforcement a few times for it to stick. The first time this person gets out of line, you have to correct the behavior. You can’t let it slide, or you are reinforcing the old behaviors and will need to start all over again.

If their outburst happens in a meeting, immediately shut it down. Let them know that you’d like to talk about that in a one-to-one session so the group can stay on track. I think there is a difference between someone like this complaining or having a concern. Someone that is always complaining is the issue. If they express genuine concern and constructively, then it might be time to say, ok, you disagree with the solution; what other solutions do you think would be better for the company and the customer to consider? Essentially, start focusing on the solutions vs. rehashing the problems.

Repetitive Bad Behavior

A key in all this is that you want to make sure you are clearly and concisely stating the type of behavior you expect from this person and under what conditions. If these issues keep happening, then you have to become more formal in the exchange. The previous discussions can take place in the corner of a room, or by the break room, or most anywhere. The new discussion needs to take place in your office. You are at your desk, and the employee is sitting in front of you. The tone of the conversation needs to become firm, no joking around or anything like that. This is becoming serious, and you want to convey that.

Ask the employee if you have clearly communicated the new behavior you are expecting. Listen close to them, but don’t let them ramble to other subjects or other team members or get you off track. Repeat what you have stated previously and be clear about specific instances where you want to see them handle situations differently. 

This whole meeting shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or even less. Gain an agreement from them that they understand and will work on it. The first time you catch them doing it right, praise them because that’s the behavior you want them to adopt.

If the bad behavior persists, then give me a call. There are other steps to take, but it sounds like they are obstinate, and that’s another issue to contend with differently.

Be Careful About Consuming All Your Time with a Problem

The team members who are easy to get along with often go unnoticed. Make sure to recognize them because they normally shine with praise. Praising should be a natural thing to do from a leader’s perspective, but it isn’t.

Offer sincere appreciation for something they’ve done that aligns with your customer service expectations. Maybe they handled a difficult situation with grace and poise; point that out as why you share the compliment. Take care of the people who take care of the customer.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

Coaches Corner 11.24.2022

Coaches Corner 11.24.2022

In this week’s installment, our designated coach, Floyd Jerkins, walks us through Psychological Income. Please read on in Coaches Corner 11.24.2022 to learn more.

Can You Improve Your Employees’ Psychological Income?

One of the most profound human characteristics centers around our need to be appreciated. When we are in a relationship where we feel appreciated and valued, our self-esteem rises, and we are much more open to making changes and being part of a team. Leaders know this and work to create an environment for people to be recognized.

Employees need economic income and psychological income. To reach peak performance, both are needed to have balance in life while the business pursues high profits. When employees enjoy the economic portion, a question is how much more commitment could they make if they had the psychological income to match?

Managers Becoming Experts in Finding the Things That Go Wrong

More often than not, managers are on the job to find the things going wrong and fix them. Many become experts at this. One of the most serious challenges in motivating people is that over time if all they hear are the negatives, it breeds a less than average mindset or one that goes all out to protect themselves from ridicule. It’s hard to build a team of high-performing champions if all they hear is what they are doing wrong all the time.

The “emotional bank account” is a theory and a practical application. The theory suggests that the more deposits you make into someone’s emotional bank account, their self-esteem increases, trust builds and makes them more open to changes. You are overdrawn in the account if you don’t make purposeful deposits. The person then closes down and isn’t up for much of anything because they are always suspicious of your motives. The practical application is to be well invested in the emotional bank account with your teams through your leadership and communications style and the consideration you show.

Catching Team Members Doing Something Right

Many times, all a leader hears in a day are the negatives. Some staff will bombard you with every negative there is. As a leader, you are often the center of communications, and this can become draining if you don’t frame these issues correctly.

This is one of the biggest keys to making happy employees. As a leader, we often forget to praise someone when they do a great job. Our heads are into other business-related issues. I don’t bet but only on sure things. And I’ll bet your business has all kinds of positive service points of contacts every day. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t last long in the business. Do you see them? Can you make it a daily practice to praise your staff when they perform the correct customer service behaviors you want to see?

A client of mine owns a few McDonalds. They installed the “thank you” process. Each employee was to say thank you when another employee did something for them, or they witnessed a fellow employee performing an uncommon act of service. All the managers started the process weeks before they rolled it out with all the staff. My friend said it was amazing how quickly this caught on and the improvement it made to the attitudes of the staff. It became contagious.

An example from another client. If an employee goes over and beyond to help a customer or assist a teammate, they will get a “good job card” with their name on it at their monthly manager’s meeting. These cards can come from managers, other employees or from customers telling management. They then would get to put their cards into a box. The manager would draw a card out of the box with a name on it. That person would then win a gift of $100 in value. A few of their people didn’t care about getting a card until they saw the same people winning. Then they joined in by trying to go over and beyond at customer service or helping another teammate to win. It became contagious.

Strategy to Make Emotional Deposits: The Magic of Dimes

Business owners go to great lengths and expense to recruit and hire the right people. I’ve always wanted people who worked for me to come to work and enjoy what they are doing.

As I mentioned in this article’s opening lines, we all have basic human tendencies. As a leader, we can nurture people through our leadership style and grow the talent we need to continue to achieve the goals and mission of the company.

Try putting ten dimes in one pocket and moving them to the other pocket one at a time with each positive message you give to someone throughout the day. The idea is to try and break old habits, and I am sure that is what many of us have. How many dimes do you have at the end of the day? Track this for a couple of weeks; you’ll be surprised. If you do well, you will also notice a change in the people around you. It is magical.

You can’t be fake about this, nor be insincere. Remember, in the absence of leadership; people will follow the strangest things. With leadership, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

Coaches Corner v.11.17.2022

Coaches Corner v.11.17.2022

Guest writer Floyd Jerkins shares how leadership is like playing the guitar in Coaches Corner v.11.17.2022.

I started playing the guitar when I was about 12. It was easy to fall in love with it and played nearly every day. In those days, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and the Beatles were among the day’s rock musicians. One of my favorites was the Beatles. Even then, I loved playing the songs and found it pretty easy, so I thought I was pretty good. I knew I was going to be a rock star.

An older friend of mine, who I always admired, created a “paradigm” shift about my perceptions of music one day. At that time, I had no idea what a paradigm was. One day, we got into a lengthy discussion/debate about music. I thought I made a convincing argument.

He started me listening to Buddy Guy, Larry Coryell, George Benson, Jim Hall, Chet Atkins, Glen Campbell, and a host of other guitarists that I had never heard of before. I heard chord progressions, riffs, and sounds coming from a guitar I hadn’t even imagined. I couldn’t even figure out how to move my fingers to play such sounds. The new information rattled my cage for sure.

All I know is after those few days, my whole world opened up to listening to and finding value in all kinds of music. I also found my friend to be even more interesting than I ever thought. Every time we got together, I started to listen first to see what I could learn.

Leadership and Playing a Guitar

In all the hype today about leadership, I found myself thinking – “OK, Floyd, you’ve been a student, and a teacher, and practitioner on this subject for decades. What’s new around the topic of leadership? What are the paradigm shifts? Are there any?” I guess it all depends on what you listen to.

Oprah Style of Leadership- You get a class, and you get a class!

Part of what’s new is that thousands of people are offering information on the subject of leadership. There are books, podcasts, online and live classes you can attend to teach you how to lead. Numerous materials on the subject can be found by your old or new favorite host. There are thousands of old and new ideas and practical solutions offered. What an exciting time to have instant access to more information at your fingertips than you can digest in a lifetime!

Separating Fact from Fiction

Because of so much available information, I work to narrow down the volume of who influences me. Some seem to have hollow words or not near enough depth on the subject. A good sound bite without the substance to back it up is relatively common today. Sometimes I have to read deeper or check out the credentials to know more about where this information is coming from.

What is not new, is that there is still no shortcut to becoming an effective leader or developing an enduring organization. Sorry, there isn’t any silver-bullet to learn how to become an influential person. Never let anyone tell you there is. It takes a lot of hard work, self-analysis, and honesty. Yes, you have to be a useful person to become an effective leader. And that doesn’t mean you’ll ever be perfect. You will make a ton of mistakes and have scars and flaws, just like everyone else.

The Principles of Life and Business are Like Chords on a Guitar

When you learn to play chords, then playing a song becomes easier. You can actually hear the music as it’s played and visualize what chords are used and how it’s strummed. You can then play any kind of music as long as you can hear it. With practice, you can start to create your own music.

When you learn the principles of living a dynamic life or building a company, it’s like learning the guitar’s chords. The principles are tried and true and will never let you down once you master them. You have to practice because you just can’t become a master of them until you do. You will fail occasionally. There will be people who say it can’t be done.

You can learn the principles of leadership and model them to find what works for you. As I tell my grandkids, just be you and don’t try to be someone else. Embrace and love yourself.

Principles are like gravity. You can try to defy, change, or ignore them, but they are always there doing what they do. Learn them, and allow them to be a guiding resource in your life and business journey to reach your fullest potential.

Today, I listen to all kinds of music. My taste is wide and deep. Oh, I can play some on my “64 Fender Jazzmaster,” but my listening skills are much better. I still debate with people I don’t agree with, to learn. Mostly, I enjoy listening to a lot of people because I know I can learn something from them that I didn’t know before. You know, I never want to be that person who thinks the Beatles are the only music there is.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

Coaches Corner v.11.10.2022

Coaches Corner v.11.10.2022

In Coaches Corner v.11.10.2022, guest writer Floyd Jerkins is writing about leading from the front line.

I often get calls from clients about various leadership-related scenarios they face. Sometimes they already know the answers but want to hear alternative ideas. One thing is for sure; there isn’t just one way to handle leadership questions on the front line. 

Questions from the Front Line

Here is a sample of a client’s recent call and the highlights of the suggestions I provided: “Some of our senior managers struggle with the younger staff on our team. A few believe they want too much too quickly. Our managers don’t delegate to them very well, and as a result, we often stumble in delivering our services. I wish there were a way to help both of these groups. We need to be building this next layer of management in our organization. I also don’t want to lose any more young people to our competitors.”

Job Descriptions are Crucial

Make sure the individual job descriptions are in sync with the role and responsibilities. I’ve seen several issues arise when job descriptions aren’t current and relevant. This is needed to have accountability focused on certain job functions. 

The description should contain examples of specific behaviors that highlight success in the role. You want to talk about these to highlight the expectations and address any questions. You want confirmation and understanding. The description should also evolve because someone in a starting role should perform differently than someone in the position for five years. Also, show a career path in this description. 

A personal development program is needed to outline the learning path clearly, so the individual keeps pace with social and organizational needs. By illustrating the core skill sets needed to be successful, you are laying the foundation for performance. 

Real Life Performance Evaluations

I could write for hours about the do’s and don’ts of conducting performance reviews. Teaching senior staff to become coaches isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Evaluating senior managers and your young talent using formal and informal methods is an essential part of growing people in the organization. Consistent coaching and counseling are necessary to speed up the learning curves. 

Senior managers can be teachers and mentors but frequently are still doing the work themselves. You have to remove the “threat” that they will be put out to pasture when teaching others their job functions. 

Don’t be fooled by the term. A senior person could be 24, 41 or 77 years old. It is more about the individual’s knowledge level vs. how long you’ve been with the company. 

Young people with talent also need to be taught that certain behaviors are necessary to succeed. Explain what it means to succeed and to underperform. Formal and informal reviews need to be frequent if the behaviors do not align with the goals and objectives. 

Rationale & Solutions That Work

Senior managers can create unnecessary risks when challenged by young people with different energy and talent. If they are close-minded to new ideas or feel threatened, this isn’t healthy for growing talent in a company. Changes need to be made to how they view their roles and how performance is measured. 

Make sure senior staff know it’s their responsibility to grow the younger talent while also showing them their path to more success in the company. When they share and grow this talent, they need rewarded and recognized. You don’t want to hold a young talented person back from being more successful. You can help them achieve their goals by teaching them certain methods and subjects.

Implementing solutions requires an understanding of your company culture and how your staff perceives they are treated. Yes, their perception is their reality. Check out these other articles on these and other subjects that should help you along. There are also several others on my website that are great resources. 

There are ways to help these managers become teachers and mentors to another generation of leaders. There are also ways for the younger generation to learn from senior people. Give me a call, and let’s explore your options.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

Coaches Corner v.11.03.2022

Coaches Corner v.11.03.2022

Guest writer Floyd Jerkins brings us our latest installment of our Coaches Corner, v.11.03.2022.

Can You Improve Your Employees Psychological Income?

One of the most profound human characteristics centers around our need to be appreciated. When we are in a relationship where we feel appreciated and valued, our self-esteem rises, and we are much more open to making changes and being part of a team. Leaders know this and work to create an environment for people to be recognized.

Employees need economic income and psychological income. To reach peak performance, both are needed to have balance in life while the business pursues high profits. When employees enjoy the economic portion, a question is how much more commitment could they make if they had the psychological income to match?

Managers Becoming Experts in Finding the Things That Go Wrong

More often than not, managers are on the job to find the things going wrong and fix them. Many become experts at this. One of the most serious challenges in motivating people is that over time if all they hear are the negatives, it breeds a less than average mindset or one that goes all out to protect themselves from ridicule. It’s hard to build a team of high-performing champions if all they hear is what they are doing wrong all the time.

The “emotional bank account” is a theory and a practical application. The theory suggests that the more deposits you make into someone’s emotional bank account, their self-esteem increases, trust builds and makes them more open to changes. You are overdrawn in the account if you don’t make purposeful deposits. The person then closes down and isn’t up for much of anything because they are always suspicious of your motives. The practical application is to be well invested in the emotional bank account with your teams through your leadership and communications style and the consideration you show.

Catching Team Members Doing Something Right

Many times, all a leader hears in a day are the negatives. Some staff will bombard you with every negative there is. As a leader, you are often the center of communications, and this can become draining if you don’t frame these issues correctly.

This is one of the biggest keys to making happy employees. As a leader, we often forget to praise someone when they do a great job. Our heads are into other business-related issues. I don’t bet but only on sure things. And I’ll bet your business has all kinds of positive service points of contacts every day. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t last long in the business. Do you see them? Can you make it a daily practice to praise your staff when they perform the correct customer service behaviors you want to see?

A client of mine owns a few McDonalds. They installed the “thank you” process. Each employee was to say thank you when another employee did something for them, or they witnessed a fellow employee performing an uncommon act of service. All the managers started the process weeks before they rolled it out with all the staff. My friend said it was amazing how quickly this caught on and the improvement it made to the attitudes of the staff. It became contagious.

An example from another client. If an employee goes over and beyond to help a customer or assist a teammate, they will get a “good job card” with their name on it at their monthly manager’s meeting. These cards can come from managers, other employees or from customers telling management. They then would get to put their cards into a box. The manager would draw a card out of the box with a name on it. That person would then win a gift of $100 in value. A few of their people didn’t care about getting a card until they saw the same people winning. Then they joined in by trying to go over and beyond at customer service or helping another teammate to win. It became contagious.

Strategy to Make Emotional Deposits: The Magic of Dimes

Business owners go to great lengths and expense to recruit and hire the right people. I’ve always wanted people who worked for me to come to work and enjoy what they are doing.

As I mentioned in this article’s opening lines, we all have basic human tendencies. As a leader, we can nurture people through our leadership style and grow the talent we need to continue to achieve the goals and mission of the company.

Try putting ten dimes in one pocket and moving them to the other pocket one at a time with each positive message you give to someone throughout the day. The idea is to try and break old habits, and I am sure that is what many of us have. How many dimes do you have at the end of the day? Track this for a couple of weeks; you’ll be surprised. If you do well, you will also notice a change in the people around you. It is magical.

You can’t be fake about this, nor be insincere. Remember, in the absence of leadership; people will follow the strangest things. With leadership, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

Coaches Corner v.10.27.2022

Coaches Corner v.10.27.2022

Guest writer Floyd Jerkins brings us our third installment in our Coaches Corner, v.10.27.2022.

A Leadership Rule: What You Do is So Loud I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying

How Effective Are Your Leaders?

You want employees to feel good to be working as part of a team that is working together – and everyone is improving. Many managers would be surprised to learn how little their employees believe management is walking the talk.

You can quickly scan the internet and find thousands of articles on leadership. Hundreds of thousands of terabytes of data on the subject are available. Why then are we still seeing fundamental leadership issues?

Leaders have to be the change they want to see.

Whether Bruce Lee or Gandi said it first, it’s a powerful metaphor for leaders. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a cliche statement, but a modeled behavior makes this a reality. You can’t fake it with lots of words or bravado. You have to walk the talk.

I helped a group establish a renewed mission and vision for their company. First, we had to talk through how they created their first set of statements, how they outlined the behaviors they expected staff to have, and then how they communicated this to their entire organization.

Previously, they discussed their competition many times but tended to over-analyze how they compare to the other companies. They were trying to be just like the other companies their customers touch instead of understanding how they made the customers feel and replicating the same feelings from their organization. Once everyone recognized this, it started a whole new discussion. You just can’t put words on paper and expect everyone to automatically adopt them into day-to-day behaviors.

Every time a customer comes in contact with your company, you have the opportunity to create value by managing these touch points. These “touch points” of interactions form the impressions of your business. Every front-line employee has to walk the talk because hundreds and even thousands of these touch points happen daily. Nearly all of them are manageable by leaders and create coachable moments.

Specific customer service behaviors should be in your mission statement and your employee’s job descriptions. When you include these into training sessions, you begin integrating them into the hearts and minds of your employees. When it is trained in employees and in their job descriptions, they remember it and work towards it. These ideals aren’t just going to happen by chance; they must be planned for.

There is a lesson on the importance of having things detailed, organized, fast service, doing what we tell the customer, etc. If we take care of our customers, they will take care of us. That is such a simple statement, but it has far-reaching consequences in the business.

Remove Pass the Buck Bill

Nothing upsets a customer more than having an employee tell them to see someone else in the business that created the problem. Putting a customer on hold only to wait and wait for the next person in line to start the conversation all over again doesn’t make those enduring experiences customers expect today. I call those employees, Pass the Buck Bill. 

Passing on the responsibility to another employee or department is a common occurrence, yet; it drives customers away and makes your company just like all the other average ones out there.

Can These Touch Points Be Managed? 

Yes, They Can!

Each employee is a manager of customer relations. Even the janitor, because they come in contact with a customer, so they create an impression of good or bad service. Everyone needs to focus on the customer’s needs even if they don’t deal with or come in contact with the customer. Even a ticked-off customer is everyone’s responsibility. The more you can include your employees in this leadership role, they are more likely will become committed to doing an excellent job.

Every Customer is Heard Through Many Ears.

As a leader, you’ll sometimes get “employee ears” telling you all kinds of negative rhetoric about one department or the other. Someone in one department hears a customer say something about another department, etc. It is difficult to listen to these negative comments and not do something, but at the same time, you have to become aware that there are three sides to every story.

Implementing cross-departmental meetings to discuss customer service starts to create a deeper understanding of individual responsibility.

The idea of having different groups together within the business and discussing “how do we rate today on a scale of one to ten” starts the internal conversations about improving customer service. If one group says they are a seven at greeting customers with a smile, then ask why. This opens the discussion about how to get better tomorrow. Even if you start this out as once a week or once a month, it gives the employees their chance to have their say and make it more personal. This whole process intentionally gives them the power to try to improve.

It would be nice to have this just naturally happen between staff, but that’s not the reality. A leader has to set the tone for customer service. The leader has to walk the talk of leadership and be the change they want to see.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

 

Coaches Corner v.10.20.2022

Coaches Corner v.10.20.2022

Learning Without Scars is pleased to present the next installment in our series, Coaches Corner. Please feel free to click the link to read the welcome post authored by Floyd Jerkins.

Coaches Corner v.10.20.2022

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

Introducing Coaches Corner

Introducing Coaches Corner

Learning Without Scars is pleased to present the very first in our new series, Coaches Corner. Please feel free to click the link to read the welcome post authored by Floyd Jerkins.

Introducing Coaches Corner.

 

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

Can You Improve Your Employees’ Psychological Income?

Can You Improve Your Employees’ Psychological Income?

Guest writer Floyd Jerkins continues his series on customer service with part 3: Can You Improve Your Employees’ Psychological Income?

One of the most profound human characteristics centers around our need to be appreciated. When we are in a relationship where we feel appreciated and valued, our self-esteem rises, and we are much more open to making changes and being part of a team. Leaders know this and work to create an environment for people to be recognized.

Employees need economic income and psychological income. To reach peak performance, both are needed to have balance in life while the business pursues high profits. When employees enjoy the economic portion, a question is how much more commitment could they make if they had the psychological income to match?

Managers Becoming Experts in Finding the Things That Go Wrong

More often than not, managers are on the job to find the things going wrong and fix them. Many become experts at this. One of the most serious challenges in motivating people is that over time if all they hear are the negatives, it breeds a less than average mindset or one that goes all out to protect themselves from ridicule. It’s hard to build a team of high-performing champions if all they hear is what they are doing wrong all the time.

The “emotional bank account” is a theory and a practical application. The theory suggests that the more deposits you make into someone’s emotional bank account, their self-esteem increases, trust builds and makes them more open to changes. You are overdrawn in the account if you don’t make purposeful deposits. The person then closes down and isn’t up for much of anything because they are always suspicious of your motives. The practical application is to be well invested in the emotional bank account with your teams through your leadership and communications style and the consideration you show.

Catching Team Members Doing Something Right

Many times, all a leader hears in a day are the negatives. Some staff will bombard you with every negative there is. As a leader, you are often the center of communications, and this can become draining if you don’t frame these issues correctly.

This is one of the biggest keys to making happy employees. As a leader, we often forget to praise someone when they do a great job. Our heads are into other business-related issues. I don’t bet but only on sure things. And I’ll bet your business has all kinds of positive service points of contacts every day. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t last long in the business. Do you see them? Can you make it a daily practice to praise your staff when they perform the correct customer service behaviors you want to see?

A client of mine owns a few McDonalds. They installed the “thank you” process. Each employee was to say thank you when another employee did something for them, or they witnessed a fellow employee performing an uncommon act of service. All the managers started the process weeks before they rolled it out with all the staff. My friend said it was amazing how quickly this caught on and the improvement it made to the attitudes of the staff. It became contagious.

An example from another client. If an employee goes over and beyond to help a customer or assist a teammate, they will get a “good job card” with their name on it at their monthly manager’s meeting. These cards can come from managers, other employees or from customers telling management. They then would get to put their cards into a box. The manager would draw a card out of the box with a name on it. That person would then win a gift of $100 in value. A few of their people didn’t care about getting a card until they saw the same people winning. Then they joined in by trying to go over and beyond at customer service or helping another teammate to win. It became contagious.

Strategy to Make Emotional Deposits: The Magic of Dimes

Business owners go to great lengths and expense to recruit and hire the right people. I’ve always wanted people who worked for me to come to work and enjoy what they are doing.

As I mentioned in this article’s opening lines, we all have basic human tendencies. As a leader, we can nurture people through our leadership style and grow the talent we need to continue to achieve the goals and mission of the company.

Try putting ten dimes in one pocket and moving them to the other pocket one at a time with each positive message you give to someone throughout the day. The idea is to try and break old habits, and I am sure that is what many of us have. How many dimes do you have at the end of the day? Track this for a couple of weeks; you’ll be surprised. If you do well, you will also notice a change in the people around you. It is magical.

You can’t be fake about this, nor be insincere. Remember, in the absence of leadership; people will follow the strangest things. With leadership, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.

A Leadership Rule: What You Do is So Loud I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying

A Leadership Rule: What You Do is So Loud I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying

Guest writer Floyd Jerkins takes a top-down approach to customer service in his blog post this week, “A Leadership Rule: What You Do Is So Loud I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying.”

How Effective Are Your Leaders?

You want employees to feel good to be working as part of a team that is working together – and everyone is improving. Many managers would be surprised to learn how little their employees believe management is walking the talk.

You can quickly scan the internet and find thousands of articles on leadership. Hundreds of thousands of terabytes of data on the subject are available. Why then are we still seeing fundamental leadership issues?

Leaders have to be the change they want to see.

Whether Bruce Lee or Gandi said it first, it’s a powerful metaphor for leaders. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a cliche statement, but a modeled behavior makes this a reality. You can’t fake it with lots of words or bravado. You have to walk the talk.

I helped a group establish a renewed mission and vision for their company. First, we had to talk through how they created their first set of statements, how they outlined the behaviors they expected staff to have, and then how they communicated this to their entire organization.

Previously, they discussed their competition many times but tended to over-analyze how they compare to the other companies. They were trying to be just like the other companies their customers touch instead of understanding how they made the customers feel and replicating the same feelings from their organization. Once everyone recognized this, it started a whole new discussion. You just can’t put words on paper and expect everyone to automatically adopt them into day-to-day behaviors.

Every time a customer comes in contact with your company, you have the opportunity to create value by managing these touch points. These “touch points” of interactions form the impressions of your business. Every front-line employee has to walk the talk because hundreds and even thousands of these touch points happen daily. Nearly all of them are manageable by leaders and create coachable moments.

Specific customer service behaviors should be in your mission statement and your employee’s job descriptions. When you include these into training sessions, you begin integrating them into the hearts and minds of your employees. When it is trained in employees and in their job descriptions, they remember it and work towards it. These ideals aren’t just going to happen by chance; they must be planned for.

There is a lesson on the importance of having things detailed, organized, fast service, doing what we tell the customer, etc. If we take care of our customers, they will take care of us. That is such a simple statement, but it has far-reaching consequences in the business.

Remove Pass the Buck Bill

Nothing upsets a customer more than having an employee tell them to see someone else in the business that created the problem. Putting a customer on hold only to wait and wait for the next person in line to start the conversation all over again doesn’t make those enduring experiences customers expect today. I call those employees, Pass the Buck Bill. 

Passing on the responsibility to another employee or department is a common occurrence, yet; it drives customers away and makes your company just like all the other average ones out there.

Can These Touch Points Be Managed? 

Yes, They Can!

Each employee is a manager of customer relations. Even the janitor, because they come in contact with a customer, so they create an impression of good or bad service. Everyone needs to focus on the customer’s needs even if they don’t deal with or come in contact with the customer. Even a ticked-off customer is everyone’s responsibility. The more you can include your employees in this leadership role, they are more likely will become committed to doing an excellent job.

Every Customer is Heard Through Many Ears

As a leader, you’ll sometimes get “employee ears” telling you all kinds of negative rhetoric about one department or the other. Someone in one department hears a customer say something about another department, etc. It is difficult to listen to these negative comments and not do something, but at the same time, you have to become aware that there are three sides to every story.

Implementing cross-departmental meetings to discuss customer service starts to create a deeper understanding of individual responsibility.

The idea of having different groups together within the business and discussing “how do we rate today on a scale of one to ten” starts the internal conversations about improving customer service. If one group says they are a seven at greeting customers with a smile, then ask why. This opens the discussion about how to get better tomorrow. Even if you start this out as once a week or once a month, it gives the employees their chance to have their say and make it more personal. This whole process intentionally gives them the power to try to improve.

It would be nice to have this just naturally happen between staff, but that’s not the reality. A leader has to set the tone for customer service. The leader has to walk the talk of leadership and be the change they want to see.

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