#changeyourwords

Leadership Lesson from Peter Rabbit

I think my former neighbor, Judge Peter Leveque had the right attitude about humor at work. Though he passed a few years ago, he once told me that as family court judge, at Easter time every year he would don a bunny outfit and hop into the staff’s offices delivering chocolate eggs. You can imagine the staff’s belly-laughs echoing in chambers at seeing Judge Peter transformed into Peter Rabbit. And they were devoted to him. As a leader trying to strengthen staff loyalty and enhance team spirit, do you use self-effacing humor? It is a risk requiring humility, security, and courage. Those are strong character traits. Maybe that’s why, ironically, at an almost subconscious level we have more respect for those people who take themselves less seriously.

My Dad’s Annoying Advice

My Dad taught me a business lesson that continues to annoy me; especially when I get complacent about running my company. Incidentally, Dad founded and led an oil & gas service company and was nominated by the Royal Bank in Calgary as being one of the most successful entrepreneurs they did business with. When I started JC Mowatt Seminars Inc. over 20 years ago, Dad gave me a single word job description that would determine whether my company would prosper over the long term. The single word, “Creator”. In today’s intensely competitive economy, I see this role of creator becoming more relevant for businesses than ever. I have to admit, when I’m not creating in my job, I’m coasting. Sometimes I’m too busy or lazy to create. That’s the annoying part. How about you… are you creating in your job?

Do you Confront or Attack?

Perhaps one of the toughest challenges in relationships is giving corrective feedback to people you care about. As a supervisor, husband, and father, I’ve made my share of mistakes when confronting others – less so since discovering this tip. Focus your feedback on behavior – not attitude. Instead of saying, “You need to be friendlier to customers.” (Friendliness is an attitude), focus on behavior with, “Within 5 seconds of the customer’s arrival, you are expected to smile, show teeth, and greet them.” Avoiding confrontation doesn’t help anyone. Focus on observable behavior. As for ‘correcting’ the other person’s attitude – what they think, believe, and feel – forever hold your peace.

How to Compete with Discounters

Compete with DiscountersWhen questioned by customers about prices, we are often too quick to assume we need to discount our rates to be competitive. As I point out in this video, this is generally an ineffective strategy…

Dismiss a Customer – Gain a Lawsuit

lawyer"Our site managers are hurting us more than helping us when they put-off resolving customer complaints.” This was a client, a senior operations manager, I interviewed for a seminar I was doing for his managers. As an example he explained, “If a customer bangs their knee on our job site, we need the local site superintendent to immediately offer to reimburse for rehab expenses. If we force customers to contact head office, they are just as apt to contact a lawyer. And with our insurance deductible being 25k, we ALWAYS pay more by delaying than we would have by just resolving the complaint immediately.” I’ve found with other clients this same strategy applies to the likelihood of customers posting negative comments online. When we train frontline employees how to resolve customer concerns instantly, they not only strengthen customer loyalty; they also improve their company’s rankings on customer review websites.

How to Motivate Younger Employees

How to MotivateYou’re a manager who has paid your dues. Over a lifetime you’ve learned how to honour your commitments, interact with others, and make a positive contribution on the job. To you it seems like common sense. That’s the problem. Those high performing habits that are second nature to you can be completely foreign to today’s younger employees. Here are three reasons managers are becoming increasingly frustrated with younger workers, and how you can motivate them to provide exceptional service for internal and external customers…

Click to read the rest of How to Motivate Younger Employees

Be Friendly; not a Friend

Be Friendly2You know how organizations often claim that their staff is friendly? It's fine for employees to be friendly. However, as I point out in this video, the goal is not to become your customer's friend...

How to be remembered more positively

Chances are your customers and co-workers don't really want to interact with you. Yes, they want the benefits of your service, but the actual process of interacting with you is often just a means to that end. That's why, if all you do is focus on the customer or coworker request itself, your service will be quickly forgotten by customers and marginalized by co-workers. They may remember the transaction but they'll forget you. Fortunately, you can rise above the noise of transactions by using empathy and explaining that you understand their CONTEXT; what they're really looking to achieve. Maybe it means stating to a coworker that you'll send the information right away; so they can take care of those external customers who pay everyone's wages. Perhaps it's explaining to a project manager your goal is to help keep the project on time, within budget and without foul-ups. People remember professionals who get them

Two Words to Keep you Out of the Doghouse

DoghouseYou’ve not doubt noticed that when customers, co-workers, or even family members are frustrated, a single misspoken word can put them over the edge. Check-out this short video clip where we had fun with a group of managers where I share key words for them to pass on to their teams – and also use at home – when things go wrong.

How to Stand-out without Shouting

Courtesy updateIn my seminars I often talk about today’s customers being so busy and distracted (frequently by their mobile phones) that they don’t notice when service is merely good. So, you can provide consistent service all day long and customers and co-workers will not only not reward you; they don’t even notice you. Worse, the only time some customers do notice is when there’s a problem. Which is why is seems like some days all you hear from are unhappy people. That’s why it’s important to help others take notice when you provide great service. Here’s one of several unobtrusive ways… When you are contacting a customer or coworker to report on their project or shipment, start the conversation by letting them know you’re giving them a courtesy update. Those two words make you stand-out because you’re positioning your update as a courtesy.

REDUCE CUSTOMER CONFLICTS

Register today for our 30 – second Trusted Advisor tips and receive as a bonus 15 Phrases that Pay for dealing with stressed and rushed customers.