Thursday, July 30, 2009

Responsiveness is part of your Brand

Are there any companies you deal with that are very unresponsive? They don't call you back, even when THEY said they would. They don't respond to inquiries fast or maybe not at all.

Maybe it is a cable company, a telephone company, or a shoe repair company.

So how do those actions (non-actions) affect your perception of that company? Probably ... pretty negatively. You are forming (or have already formed) a perception of their company and non-responsive is a word that is helping you to describe that company. Pretty soon you get to a horrible conclusion: "They don't care about me."

Now turn it around and think about your responsiveness ... YOUR Brand. What perception do people have about you? Is it what you want? Not sure what it is -- ASK THEM! Do they think "you care about them" based on your responsiveness?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Read their reports!

At my daycare each day the teacher(s) create a report which tells us certain little information about our baby's day, things like how many meals he had, what books were read to him, and of course the all important count on how many times he used the bathroom (with some added detail!) I LOVE this reporting, maybe because I am an accountant but I hope also because I am an "into it" parent.

The other day, I happened to notice that one or two of the parents consistently do not take the reports home at night. At first, in my judgmental way, I thought how wrong that was. But who am I to judge? There may be a reason for it and it does not mean they are unconcerned parents.
But then I was thinking ... what do the teachers think?! These teachers hand-write these reports every single day for each parent ... even for those they know will not (maybe never) take them.

Now sure they may have to do it for internal reasons, but ....

Could that affect the way they perceive those parents? Maybe. Oh my gosh, could that affect the way they perceive those babies? Hopefully not, but maybe?!?!

Now let's look at the "reports" you review....reports where your staff will expect you to review them. Of course there are the quality control standards at your organization that come into play, but beyond that ...... Why isn't everything your staff does reviewed by you or someone else? Not just reviewed but "acknowledged"?

If you work in a public or internal accounting shop, do your clients/colleagues know how much you care about your staff? Do they SEE you valuing their work? If you are suppose to look at something a staff created ... do you always "read their reports"?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Put your Money where your Mouth is !

Does your organization go on and on about how important your people are? So then your income statement should match, right? Where are you spending your dollars? If "your people" are so important, why did you just fire half your training staff? Now maybe there were other reasons for doing this, but you can see the perceived missing link between what a company "says" when it is easy to say something, and "does" when it is not easy to back it up....when it's "because of the economy".

Think about your own personal life also. What does the way you spend money say about what is most important to you? What is YOUR link between the two?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Procrastination Reason #3 (of 10) - Lack of REAL Commitment

One reason we may procrastinate .... we never really COMMITTED to doing something. When you do not have a clear set goal or commitment, it is easy not to do it. You might "want" a lot of things: You might want to finish that never ending project. But, what .... are you committed to doing about that? If you do not commit to SPECIFIC ACTION, then it does not matter what you "want."

Procrastination no more ....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Do something weird ....

Want to increase communication levels and lower barriers to trust with a specific colleague? ... Maybe someone who you have not been "best friends" with during your working relationship?

Go get an ice cream cone, go and hit some golf balls (if you know they like golf), or go grab a drink (even a diet soda is fine!) after work. This works REALLY well with someone you work with whom you have never done anything like that. It gets you OUT of the common physical work area (and ATTITUDE!)

Ask them how they are doing .... how they are REALLY doing. Listen. Understand. Don't judge. Just be a part of their world for a little while. In one hour I bet you can build more trust with that person than you have in your entire time working together.

You will surprise them and MAYBE they will surprise you.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Sugar Coating" Needed Feedback

Have you ever noticed many people like to "start with the positive" when they really are just trying to sugar coat the real reason they want to provide you feedback?

There is a real difference between being part of a positive outlook and throwing out a positive thing so you can feel like you won't hurt the feelings of another person.

If you feel like you are going to hurt the feelings of another person ... you probably will!

What is the desired outcome of your feedback and of your message? What is the POSITIVE desired outcome? What will they be able to DO with your feedback? If you cannot see a positive outcome, if you cannot go into a feedback session (formal or informal) with a constructive viewpoint FOR THEM, then you will certainly pass on that negative outlook to them.

People don't hate constructive feedback when they TRUST the other person has their good intentions in mind. In some ways, when you need to provide someone some constructive feedback, it works as a good barometer on the trust level in your relationship overall.

Build trust and the doors will be open. Don't have it and the doors will be closed.