Improve Management Communication With These 5 Easy Steps

Being a manager is easy; so says many hourly employees. “They get to sit in their offices and boss us around”. “They get the big bucks for doing nothing”. “What does he know about my job?” Seems like you need to improve your management communication skills.

Improve Management Communication

I disagree with these statements except the last one. Many in management believe they know better than the “line” employees that actually do the job each day. Just because one has risen to the ranks of management doesn’t mean they are competent in each discipline that make up their areas of responsibility.

So how does a one effectively manage a team of employees when he/she doesn’t fully understand the nuances of each position? Is it more than just delegation of tasks or a complete strategy to improve overall communication? I say it’s the latter.

Here are 5 strategies managers should use to enhance and improve their communication skills. (more…)

Did He Really Say Have a Sparkling Day?

...I thought I was hearing things.

Deep inside my sleep-induced stupor I heard a faint “ding” every once and awhile, then the murmur of a man. A slight heave left or right and the clang of metal finally woke me. Then the ding came again.

Have a Sparkling Day

This time I opened my eyes. Nothing was unusual, just a few people walking down the aisle of the Amtrak train I was on during a recent trip to Boston. As they headed for the exit doors the conductor came over the loud speaker and thanked the “customers”, NOT riders, for joining him on the trip today.

The usual canned banter from most employees when tasked with making announcements was replaced with a friendly, comforting and surprisingly welcoming change from what I’ve been accustomed to hearing.

He informed us of the name of the stop along with the one coming up next followed by the weather. He ended with a most unusual phrase; (more…)

16 Ways to Stop the Lawrence O’Donnell Effect

By now most of us have seen the viral video of MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell become totally unhinged because of some studio noise and talking in his ear piece while hosting his TV show live on air. As soon as his “spot” was over and the camera shifted to another video clip or commercial O’Donnell became increasingly angry to the point of lunacy and berated his staff for their failure to fix the issue. It’s called the Lawrence O’Donnell Effect.

Stop the Lawrence O’Donnell Effect

You can view his complete meltdown on YouTube but be aware, his language is profane and not suitable for many people.

Now, this post is not to compound Mr. O’Donnell’s troubles but I do have one question for him:

How can he, or anyone else, expect his/her employees to enjoy working for someone who cannot control his emotions and scolds his staff in the manner he did?

What about employee morale? What about creating a positive work environment? What about treating your employees fairly and professionally? I guess O’Donnell never got that memo…

Here Are 16 Sure-Fire Ways to Create a Work Environment Where Employees Are Happy And Willingly Produce The Results Any Company Desires

1.    Provide Your Employees The Tools To Do Their Job

Seems so simple but so many fail on this basic premise.

2.    Give Them The Day Off

Remember that your employees need family time, time off to tend to personal needs and may not wish to work day and night as management may. Priorities vary greatly from person to person.

3.    Have Realistic Employee Expectations

Not all are driven or have a burning desire to climb the corporate ladder or to be a leader. Provide (more…)

This is How a Work Bully Ruins Your Business

He has been “allowed” to set his own rules, come and go as needed, treats fellow employees poorly and is an all-around jerk – but nobody usually sees his worst actions. Oh, sure, he’s the model employee when the boss is around but other times he expects, no, he demands, others follow his rules. He’s a work bully.

work bully

This is how we do it here”, “listen, you’re not gonna change my way of doing things” or “hey, you just got here, you haven’t been here long enough to voice your opinion”. Ever been told something like this?

For a business to prosper there must be a never ending pursuit of excellence (unless the “gods of good fortune” continually shine on you).

  • Are your long term employees stifling new ideas?
  • Do you employ people that are unwilling to change?
  • Have you created an environment where employees fear making a mistake so they continually take the “safe way” of doing business?

Having employees that are unwilling to try something new; whether it’s a different business practice or taking a suggestion from others or dare I say “sharing the spotlight” with the “new guy” is a sure way to limit your success.

And, worst of all, the employees clearly see the stress placed on others and the tension mount in all. Because you have a work bully.

When ownership refuses to see, or intentionally (more…)

Are Your Service Employees No Better Than a Statue in the Park?

…if so, here’s 5 simple ways to fix it

I watched the customer’s eyes scan the area, first to the left then to the right side of the store. He hoped to make eye contact with the sales woman but alas, no luck. Apparently she had more important tasks to do than tending to the customer. What was so important that she had to give statue service?

Statue Service

Sending a text to a friend, updating her Facebook page, combing her hair and then checking her makeup. These are all “important tasks” but not while working. There are customers to serve…

I was watching too. I saw the sales person finish her tasks then just stand there and not offer help to the customer. What was she waiting for?

Should the customer search aisle after aisle for help or should he toss up his hands in frustration and just walk out. The latter happens more than we realize.

Most lost business comes from the customer we haven’t serviced or were even aware of. The customer expected service and received none so they went elsewhere. When employees are more focused on personal or administrative tasks that take them away from the service floor where the sale is made, we shouldn’t wonder why our revenues fall.

Here are some facts that back this up: (more…)

What’s More Difficult; Dealing With a Customer Face-to-Face or Over the Phone?

Well I think it’s very easy to answer; face-to-face communication is definitely more difficult. When you’re dealing with somebody face to face you’re not just listening to the words they are saying, you are also judging them by the actions of their entire body.

Face-to-Face or Over the Phone

You’re looking at their eyes and their hand gestures. You’re looking at how they’re standing, their facial expressions and overall body language.

The situation may change their words but their body says more and it’s usually correct. Click To Tweet

If they show a “closed up” posture, shoulders slouched with a head down; they may just be shy or introverted. It’s more difficult for them to state their case. If their hands are in pockets or covered they may be deceptive and hiding something. If they’re standing tall, hands out in front with palms up and looking you right in the eye while smiling, they’re probably being honest.

When dealing with a customer over the phone body language is not a factor. You, or your customer, can be in the office in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing as long as the words that come over the phone line are pleasant and are appropriate for the situation. (more…)

This is Why Your Success Habits Will Make You Better Than The Rest

...your conscious actions will lead to bigger things

Rod Stewart famously sang “Some guys have all the luck” and that may be true for “some”. But has YOUR success been because of luck or your varied personal habits that have, unknowingly, made you who you are and ultimately led to your success?

Success Habits

Most likely it was your personal habits; I call them “success habits“. Let me explain…

Each day there are a series of steps, actions and patterns that you take as part of your routine. You don’t consciously think about them, they just happen. Example: reading before bed, being a good listener or never being late.

These “habits” do more for you than you realize…

  • You like to read before you go to sleep; this probably helps your communication skills.
  • You always have been a good listener; hasn’t this helped your ability to analyze and evaluate conflicting points of view and come up with the effective call to action?
  • You hate being late to the movies; now think back on how many times you have been early to events and the positive actions that came because of it: Maybe you found the best seats, got the last available tickets or had a chance to speak one-on-one with the presenter and received some “insider tips”.

Directly from the pages of the acclaimed book, Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, is this widely used phrase:

It usually requires a minimum of about 21 days to effect any perceptible change in a mental image.

In other words, it takes 21 days to break a habit and conversely, 21 days to start a new habit.

Looking back on their careers, many believe that “being in the right place at the right time” has been the catalyst for their success.

I believe otherwise and (more…)

Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He is an 8 year Army Airborne veteran with 145 jumps and received 4 promotions. Immediately after being discharged he started his modest culinary career learning multiple cooking styles, trained other cooks and now currently works manning an action station in the middle of the dining room taking orders directly from the customers.

Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He’s a team player, customer focused and willing to help others. Just the kind of person any company should want to hire.

I’ve had a long standing relationship with a culinary school in New York City as an adjunct instructor for their hospitality program. Spending time with these students is extremely rewarding, especially when they share their hopes and dreams of why they wish to enter the challenging hospitality industry.

Recently I taught a 4 day program of professional development for this class with the topics of resume building, cover letters, building a 30 second elevator pitch, job searching and interviewing skills, all in the hopes of helping them to land their first/next job.

Due to various reasons, on one of these days, only 1 student arrived for class. Frankly, my first reaction was frustration;

“How am I expected to teach only 1 student?”

I thought this was going to be a waste of time but boy was I wrong!

As I sat down with this Army veteran to plot out a series of steps in the hopes of turning his resume into an “action-packed” and powerful representation of his skills and experience I realized (more…)

This is Why You Should Never Thank Your Audience

...a public speaking tip

After joining Toastmasters International, and completing one of my first speeches, my ending line was to “thank” the audience. Saying thanks after a speech is a “usual” and traditional ending. My mentor and the founding member of the club quickly gave me some wise advice:

You Should Never Thank Your Audience

“Never thank your audience”.

I asked why… (more…)

The 3 Best Ways to Deliver the Truth

Today’s guest post is from Alyson Sia. She discusses the 3 best ways a business can discuss issues with their employees, and customers too.

It’s nice to think that the businesses we frequent have integrity. The truth is integrity, or effective honesty, takes actual hard work that many are not willing to do. Each customer and situation is different, forcing you to adjust depending on who you’re dealing with.

best ways to deliver the truth

The real risk of losing a deal, a customer or a client “forces” us to be honest. It’s better to be transparent than to hide something that may cause something bad later on.

With that in mind, here are three things to remember about delivering the truth.

1. Listen

Customers rarely come before their need is urgent. They always need it now; they let you know that this is the case – and not always in the nicest way.
Listen to what the customer is “not saying”, and always think about what they need. Click To Tweet

Forbes magazine contributor Carmine Gallo explained, “Your customers will only tell you what they think they need, but how you meet their unexpressed needs makes all the difference.” (more…)