Communicating Effectively

Remember: Effective communication compels Action! The need to communicate effectively cannot be ignored in our workplace. How then do you communicate to compel action? Use the critical communication tools: Words, Active Listening, Questioning Effectively, Body Language, and Emotional Intelligence.

The combination of these tools will enable:

  1. Better acceptance of idea
  2. Builds and strengthens relationships
  3. Saves time
  4. Reduces conflicts
  5. Bridges the information gap
  6. Improves Job satisfaction

Use these communication tools to compel action with your team……….Today!

Giving Good Feedback

Remember, if feedback is one side of a coin, the other side will be criticism. Feedback is given to improve performance, learnings and motivate. When feedback is not given using the right words, it becomes criticism. To avoid such situation, the choice of words, and manner of feedback given must be put into consideration. One way to give good feedback is to use more of ‘I’ and less of ‘you’ in your statements. Examples of such statements includes:

  • What I appreciated/liked about what you did was……….
  • What I was concerned about was………..
  • What you might do instead is………

By using the right words, watch your feedback improve your staff performance…… today!

Leading Successfully

Remember, success is the accomplishment of a purpose using the right approach. To be a successful leader, you must adopt different leadership style for different situations. You must know when to be firm, when to be directive or supportive, how to supervise, how to give feedback, how to coach, how to listen attentively, and communicate with your team. Here are the top 8 secrets of successful leaders to adopt:

  • Give clear work instruction.
  • Praise others when they deserve it.
  • Be willing to listen.
  • Be calm, cool, avoid rushing.
  • Project confidence.
  • Gain respect and trust from others.
  • Do not act superior to employees.
  • Be easy to talk to.

Making Good Impression Through Body Language

Remember: When you communicate, you use both spoken words and body language. Body language refers to various forms of non-verbal communication. How you communicate with your body is important because body language influences the first impression you create.

Body language can be interpreted as positive: open, interested and approachable or negative: defensive. These are some common interpretations of body language and often more effective ways to communicate with your body:

1. Don’t cross your arms or legs as this might make you defensive. Keep your arms and legs open.

2. Have eye contact but don’t stare. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure.

3. Don’t be afraid to take up some space: Taking up space by sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin.

4. Nod when someone is talking: Nod once in a while to signal that you are listening.

5. Don’t slouch, sit up straight but in a relaxed way, not in a too tense manner.

6. Lean, but not too much. If you want to show that you are interested in what someone is saying, lean toward the person talking. If you want to show that you’re confident in yourself and relaxed, lean back a bit. But don’t lean in too much or you might seem needy and desperate for some approval. Or lean back too much or you might seem arrogant and distant.

7. Smile, laugh and lighten up, don’t take yourself too seriously. Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person.

8. Don’t keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon.

9. Use your hands more confidently instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face. Use them to communicate what you are trying to say.

10. Keep a positive, open and relaxed attitude. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference.

Use positive body language to create a good impression with your customer…….Today!

Handling Irate Customers

Remember: An unsatisfied customer is an irate customer, and an irate customer is a customer at the point of departure from the use of your products and services. When not handled properly, an irate customer could be a source of negative advocacy for your brand. It is therefore important to handle an irate customer maintaining your cool in order to ensure a win back at all times.

Below are seven tips on how to handle an irate customer to ensure a win back:

 1. Don’t take it personally: the customer is not angry with you but the brand

2. Never Argue Back

3. Kill Them with Kindness

4. Be Patient

5. Know How to Apologize

6. Solve the Problem

7. Relieve Your Stress

Follow these seven tips, and stop negative advocacy for your brand…. Today!

Ensuring a Unique Product Identity

Remember: All brands become generic over time. For a product to stand out, it must have a consumer facing difference from the competition. This consumer facing difference can be the product packaging, quality, value, price, availability, and consumer experience.

A well differentiated product will not only stand out in the market place, it will guarantee:

  • A large market share
  • A unique identity
  • A strong market presence
  • Top of the mind presence: customers think of the product first
  • Reason to buy

Ensure a Unique Product Identity by differentiating your product from the competition……..Today!

Making The Customer King

Remember: The Customer is king and must be treated as such.  To treat the Customer as king, we must know who they are, and what they want, which will then help us provide the right solutions for them. How then do we acquire this information about the Customer? We must search around 4 platforms:

Facts: Clear demographic information about your customer will help you visualize who they are and create a realistic picture about their needs, wants and goals.

Life styles/ Processes: Knowing their habits, lifestyle and daily activities will help you create a consistent message about why your product or service is useful and how it positively impacts their daily life.

Challenges and Needs: What are the precise challenges and needs that your customer is facing? The more you know of the customer, the more you can address elements that have not been asked for.

Digital Relevance: Murphy’s law means that the pace of digital solutions will consistently rise. Do we understand how attuned to this opportunity our customer is?

Know your customer, and satisfy them…. Today!

Making Your Writing Clear

Remember: What are those  all-important “Three C’s of writing?” All writing should be clear, concise, and correct. To achieve clear writing , good writers use plain language to express clear meaning.

They write in a simple style that uses every day words. They do not use showy words and ambiguous expressions in an effort to dazzle or confuse readers. So good writers must learn to express ideas, not impress others with their writings. Clear writings contain words that are familiar and meaningful to the reader.

Here is an example of the importance of clear writing. What do you think this manager meant in the following message:

‘’Personnel assigned vehicular space in the adjacent area are hereby advised that utilization will be suspended temporarily Friday morning.”

You would probably have to read that sentence several times before you understand that you are being advised not to park in the lot next door on Friday morning.

From this point forward, whenever possible, use short, common, simple words to say what you mean to your readers and watch your writing skills grow in clarity…..Today!

12 Characteristics of Successful Negotiators

Remember: Negotiation is a process centered on a discussion that is intended to produce an agreement. In its simplest form it could be considered to be about power as the parties work to achieve their own interests.

Negotiating involves issues of ego, leveraging, saving face, being right, and compromise. Negotiation often leads to compromises, where both sides make concessions to get as close as they can to exactly what they want. Other times, no concessions may be available and a power struggle may go on for a long time.

To be a successful negotiator, here are some characteristics you must possess to ensure that the negotiation process goes smoothly:

  1. You must see possibilities rather than problems.
  2. You should be an excellent communicator.
  3. Always keep an open mind.
  4. Always have confidence in your own abilities (or act like you do) and the negotiation process.
  5. Be always willing to listen.
  6. Be optimistic.
  7. Don’t let your ego get in the way of a win/win solution.
  8. Be creative and ready to consider ways of doing things differently.
  9. Be flexible.
  10. Always have excellent self-control.
  11. Be well-prepared for any negotiation.
  12. Be a life-long learner.

Let these characteristics be part of you and watch your negotiations go smoothly… … Today!

Setting SMART Goals

Remember: Goals and objectives are the basis for planning. As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will take you there.” And that is often how we approach life. We just live, and if we end up where we want to be, that’s great. If we end up where we don’t want to be, that’s life.

We can do a bit better than that, if we really want to. The first element in planning is knowing what we want to achieve, and the way we word our goals is the biggest factor in helping us achieve them. Goals should be SMART.

S = SPECIFIC

When we make our goals too general we aren’t able to visualize them, and if we can’t see them, we have a hard time devoting our efforts toward reaching them. We are more apt to do a good job of redecorating the bathroom if we have a picture in our mind of how it will look when it’s done.

M = MEASURABLE

If we can’t measure a goal, we have no idea how close we are getting to reaching it, and that can be de-motivating. For example, let’s say you have decided you will save some money from every paycheck in order to take a vacation this summer. But if you don’t set a specific amount each pay, and you don’t have an amount you want to reach, you are less apt to put the money away.

A = ATTAINABLE

We sometimes think that we should set high targets or goals for ourselves in order to grow and stretch. Well, we do want to grow and stretch, but if we set goals that aren’t doable, we soon get discouraged and we stop trying. The really high achievers in the world know this. They set goals that they know they can reach, with a little stretching, and when they get there, they set another goal they know they can reach. They climb the mountain one foot at a time.

R = RELEVANT

Goals have to make sense and have some importance, or they will soon be discarded. Set goals that make sense to you. (Another word that is often used for the R in this acronym is Realistic.)

T = TIMED

Put a deadline on your goals. Deadlines are great for getting things done.

Apply these tips when setting your personal and work goal and watch things take a positive turn around …. Today!