Showing Up

In a commencement speech given at the University of Texas, Admiral William McRaven said, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the…
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February 6, 2019 0

Words Matter

A customer, trying to return an item, is told by the store employee: “You opened it. It must be unopened, or we can’t accept it for a return. That’s our policy.” The customer fires back: “You people make me crazy! Your “customer service” is a joke! I demand to speak with the manager!” What’s the…
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January 10, 2019 0

Creating a Customer Service Culture

How do you create a customer service culture? It begins with an identifiable vision and clearly defined goals that are shared throughout the organization. It goes beyond the customer-facing staff to encompass every employee in every department, all working to support that vision. I worked with a client who had identified their organization as being…
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December 19, 2018 0

Understanding Your Organizational Culture

Changing or enhancing a culture starts with recognizing what a culture is, and the clear-eyed understanding that one most certainly already exists. It may or may not be what senior management believes, or that HR describes during onboarding. Culture is the personality of a company, the environment in which employees interact and work. It is implied…
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November 14, 2018 0

Why Can’t You Think Like Me?

Trying to quickly fix an urgent customer mistake, a CEO was frustrated by his purchasing agent’s insistence on getting a corrected purchase order first. “Why doesn’t he understand our priorities?!” he fumed. The purchasing agent did understand his priorities. They just weren’t the same as the CEO’s. He was doing his job- from his point…
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September 19, 2018 0

The Real Value of Soft Skills

What is the difference between hard and soft skills? Hard skills are technical skills, the “how-to” of a job or activity. They generally follow consistent rules, are teachable and easy to quantify. Examples of hard skills include computer programming, machine operation and learning a foreign language. What we think of as soft skills are better…
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August 29, 2018 0

Put Me In, Coach!

A CEO once commented that too often employee training amounts to nothing more than an “annual mandatory sheep dipping.” In effect, provide a day or two of training for employees so employee development can be crossed off the checklist. He clearly understood the downside of this approach: Training alone does not result in mastery of…
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August 8, 2018 0

The Challenge of Change Management

People don’t like change. Just try switching your watch from one wrist to the other. How many times will you look at the wrong wrist during your day? How many sighs of exasperation will you suffer before you decide that this change isn’t working, give up, and move your watch back to “where it belongs”?…
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July 11, 2018 0

Pay Attention to Your Most Valuable Resource

Business resources are the human, financial, physical, and knowledge factors that provide the means to perform business processes. People are the critical cog in the wheel. People who can understand, synthesize and effectively apply information. People with all the knowledge and skills they need, both task skills and people skills. How are you managing your most…
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March 16, 2018 0

Ditch the Elevator Speech

“You need an elevator speech!” It’s one of the first lessons in Starting Your Own Business 101. Something that explains your business, doesn’t sound too sales-y and can be accomplished in 30-60 seconds, depending on how many floors you’re riding together. I was never very good at it. I could tell you what my business…
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February 15, 2018 0