Communication

Whose business is customer service?

3 Minute Read

We have all had it happen. You have a lot on your plate and so many things to get done. It seems like everything is an emergency. Then you get an email from someone outside of your department asking (what seems to you) a question that only requires common sense. You shoot back a short, witty response and go about your day. Everything is fine…until the person receives your message.

“Customer service is not a department. It’s an attitude” – Unknown

 

What was common sense to you was actually new information to the person who asked you the question. What you didn’t know was that this person was new to his department, and had not been trained on the task. This person is now frustrated. He was reaching out for help and received a sarcastic, snarky response instead. And the jargon you used only confused him more. This person now knows that every interaction with you is going to be a moment of misery and no longer wants to work with you. He not only has this impression of you, but everyone in your department. Not such a good first impression.

Read More

10 Ways to Become a Horrible Communicator

2 Minute Read

Are things just going too smoothly? Does everyone seem to be in harmony and all on the same page? Here are a few ways to really rock the boat and make everyone hate communicating with you.

Read More

Why are you ignoring me?

 3 Minute Read

One of the toughest jobs in an organization is that of a front-line supervisor. In this position, they get hit from both directions – from those who directly report to them and from those that they report to. Often, they have less authority to make decisions and more overall constraints. Instead, they are given directives on what should or should not be done and are expected to carry out the directive without question. Recently, we’ve had several front-line supervisors share with us that they are frustrated and feel like their suggestions, recommendations, and opinions are dismissed, ignored, or not taken into consideration.

Read More

The Business of Listening

2 Minute Read

Of all the skills important to a successful manager, effective listening is arguably the most valuable. It can be the difference between mediocre and exceptional relationships between friends, customers, employees, and co-workers.

Listening is one of the most difficult skills to master. Most people aren’t born effective listeners. One reason is because real listening involves letting go of personal agendas to better understand another’s message. Many would much rather be heard than hear, usually resulting in misunderstanding.

Read More

Conflict is a part of life…

3 Minute Read

Experiencing conflict is a part of everyday life. It happens at work between co-workers; it happens at home between family members, and it happens in social settings between friends. Many people have a negative definition in mind when it comes to the word, and they certainly don’t want to deal with it. But, did you know that some types of conflict can actually be beneficial? Healthy conflict can lead to better relationships, increased confidence, greater respect from others, career development, and harmony within your office or home.

A common response to conflict is avoidance. Most people say they just don’t like confrontation …it makes them uncomfortable and sometimes, unnecessary emotions can come to the surface. How, then, can you become more proficient with the skill of confrontation while keeping your emotions in check?

Read More

What’s your problem?

3 Minute Read

Recently we were working with a group of leaders and discussing an issue about an employee. The issue the leader brought up was how to get an employee to look for multiple options in order to solve a specific problem. As we do in many sessions, the group took turns asking questions about the situation. No one is allowed to offer solutions until the issue is fully vetted. This process forces the other leaders not to jump in to solve the problem right away, but get to the root cause of the situation.

Through this process, the team discovered that the situation that was being discussed was merely a symptom of a much larger issue. The leader that brought the situation to the group had been repeatedly frustrated by some of the actions of this employee but had not looked beyond whatever the current ‘problem’ was.

How often does it happen where we address concerns with an employee multiple times but don’t really get the problem solved? 

Read More

Meetings that Go Nowhere

2 Minute Read

Have you ever attended a meeting where nothing was accomplished? A meeting where only a few of the people who attended actually talked? A meeting without established timelines that seemed to drag on hours longer than needed?

At some point, it’s likely you will be asked to facilitate a meeting either at work or at an association outside of work. Will the meeting you facilitate be appreciated or dreaded? We can help you with that. There are five key points that everyone who runs a meeting should follow. Yes, they might sound basic, but each improves the process, outcome, and experience of the meeting. And those attending will appreciate it too!

Read More

What the Heck?!

2 Minute Read

Let’s face it – on a daily basis, someone will do something you don’t like. Here’s your moment of truth. Whether it’s cutting you off in traffic, not replying to an email within your timeframe, or not following a specific process…it will happen. And when it does, what’s your first thought?

I know…It depends. I hate that response, though it may be true. Let’s talk about when someone cuts you off in traffic. Do you yell at the person? Shake your fist? Or something more drastic? Do you ever think, “What the heck?! Learn how to drive!”

Read More

Crucial Conversations

2 Minute Read

What is it about some people that make them so great at leading people? Is it their conversational style? Is it their personality? Or is it a person’s ability to approach crucial conversations in a way that is respectful and effective?

Read More

How Do Your Communication Skills Measure Up?

2 Minute Read

Communication: It’s an exchange. A process of sharing your thoughts, ideas, or feelings with another person. It’s easy right? Not so much. For communication to be effective, it requires great skill in both listening and speaking. Here are a few tips to improve your skills as a communicator.

Read More