Performance feedback: Crave feedback

When customers give us feedback that something should be better, we can take it as an attack ... or as an opportunity to grow and develop better service. We live in a world where more attention is paid to the issues, problems and failures - the squeaky wheels. Unfortunately it is hard to hear the "helpful" advice when it comes in torrents. It is far …

Smile power in business

Don't wait for others to smile at you ... take this life altering step first ...Smile! :-D Nothing changes things like the power of a genuine smile. A smile can change your day. Turn a bad experience positive. If you enter a store and a greeted with a smile, made to feel welcome your shopping experience is made better.

Communicate One Clear Brand

Think of your Brand as the promise you make to the consumer. If a promise is made it needs to be kept. If this promise is made on behalf of the organisation, every member of the organisation has to keep that promise, not just the salesman or marketing department. A clear congruent message needs to be sent and delivered to the customer. Service and quality …

Self Appreciation a key to growth

We teach others how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves. Self esteem is how we honestly feel about ourselves, appreciate and value who we are. When we look after ourselves, value and appreciate our strengths and beauty we demonstrate to others how we expect to be treated. We filter comments and interpret the actions of others based on how we see …

Clear writing tips for increased understanding

Multi-page wads of reports just don't get read, especially when they are dry and dull. Top management don’t have time to read your multi-volume ramblings, start with a synopsis of the facts then expand. The use of the news pyramid is useful to put across the important information. Think of a news article. Start with the headline. Then the most important facts in the first …

Clear writing engages in business

Do you know how to engage your readers? Clear writing helps engage our readers and communicates our message more effectively. Clear writing is logically arranged making it almost effortless to read and understand, leaving you wanting to read more. It has a clear meaning and uses short sentences and simple words. Clear writing keeps to a theme, rather than dotting around, making the facts easy …

The Miracle Question for coaching and mentoring

The Miracle question forces you to think about exactly what it is you want from life, how it will look and feel. Without a clear idea of what you want, change is hard and there can be a tendency to drift through life. Knowing what you want allows you to develop a clear action plan. Unless you can answer the miracle question with a clear …

Tapper and listener study a communication essential

How often have you wondered why someone listening to you talk is "slow" or "stupid"? The message seems blatantly obvious to you. Maybe you are falling into the tapper, listener trap. The ideas and feelings you hold are like music to the tapper. We cannot engage our customers or staff with poor assumptive communication.

Mirror neurons in the brain

Storytelling is a great way to activate these 'mirror neurons', allowing us to experience new behaviour or a new culture. We can watch someone do something then trying it ourselves, or live the experience through stories that engage our imaginations. In the fight against HIV and the abuse of women, radio programmes have been used to create a vicarious experience in their audience, allowing …

Choice paralysis in decision making

Does too much choice cause paralysis? Whether it is medical aids, retirement funds or jam, if it's a lot of work to choose among the options many people will put off the choice, and may never sign up. Limiting choices, or having a default option, can eliminate choice paralysis.

Connection based service delivery

The customer is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. It is our job, as customer service, sales people or management, to listen and ask questions to discover what they need, then deliver that in a win-win manner.

Business coaching, cultivating the bottom line

The person who is engaged, feels like the company cares, what they do matters is more energised, has less sick days and presents a better face to your customers. Engagement is directly linked to profitability, retention of key staff and absenteeism. Engaged employees build your brand.

Adding meaning through the business why

We all look to add meaning to our lives, if we are able to discover and craft that meaning; we can deal with far more in our lives. When we find meaning in the work we do, we discover more meaning in our lives. After all work takes up more than half of most people’s waking hours.

10 top speaking tips

The audience and message matter. Focus on your audience, answer their questions “Why should I listen, why should I care?” Forget your own anxieties and focus on your message, and your audience. .Engage the audience. It calms your nerves and makes you seem more confident. Pause, smile and really look at the audience before saying anything.

Clear Writing tips for clear business communication

Be careful of assuming we all understand what you mean. Write so you aren't misunderstood. Write so the meaning is clear. Using longer more complex words don’t make you sound smarter. In fact according to studies, the use of long words where a shorter, simpler word would do, makes the writer look less intelligent. Control sentence length by reading what you have written out loud. …

Clear writing – The Clarity Index

Long words and sentences make the writing more difficult to read. If we shorten the length of sentences and words, we can make the writing easier to understand and read. There is a difference between written and spoken English. If your writing is easy to read out loud it will normally have a great clarity index score. We tend to speak in shorter sentences, as …

Team skills building through power point karaoke

PowerPoint Karaoke is also a form of Improv comedy (think, “Who’s line is it anyway?” on TV) and can be used effectively for team building and PowerPoint skill education and training. The experience enables presenters to experience the benefits of using images rather than too much text. Different presenters will interpret the same images in different ways. Allowing for each presenter to present in his …

Team building through improv

Team building games can effectively improve the experience of empathy, enabling members to see a different side of each other. As human beings we naturally want to care. We care for people, not drones. We need to see the human side. Humour and fun games can allow us a deeper look at that humanity. A great way to build team rapport and spirit is through …

Hire your customers for increased Employee Engagement

Who has the greatest feel or empathy for what your customers need? If you need to maintain your connection to your clients then follow the example set by Harley Davidson, Nike (many runners and sport junkies), Microsoft (Hardcore gamers who helped create the Xbox) and many other successful companies and hire your customers.

The link between business relationships and dating

Is there a correlation between business relationships and dating? Definitely. If on a date, on their best behaviour with you, and they treat people like that, be aware, they will probably treat you badly soon. Long-term business relationships require manners, empathy and the ability to relate to each other as human beings. Communicating with them to improve the relationship is also is valuable … …

Basic communication model a business tool

In any communication between two people, there is a sender and a receiver; for example me writing this blog, and you reading this. The problem is that the ideas, feelings and message we are trying to send are often distorted by the means of communication. We use the word, assuming others understand what we mean. Add to that the means of transmission – the words, …

What is corporate culture?

Corporate culture is the personality, values, conduct and attitude of the business or individuals comprising the business. The culture lies between plans made, the written rules and the reality of years of habits, unwritten ground rules and political vested interests. Culture is like an iceberg, what you see above the water is only a small percentage of what lies below. The culture of an organisation …

Performance feedback: Empathy in business

In a businesses where employees feel that someone cares for them, and is looking out for their progress they are substantially more engaged and it positively affects the bottom line. According to the studies by the Gallup Organisation engaged employees positively represent the brand of the company and interact more positively with each other and customers. Happier staff leads to happier customers. Empathy can help …

Self esteem build or bust

The short-term ego hit we get from this criticism last less and less, and we end up feeling worse about ourselves, requiring yet another hit of superiority. This critical attitude and behaviour erodes our own self-esteem and leaves us feeling lower on the self-esteem scale than before. Causing the cycle to repeat. Break the cycle ... choose to search for the good, in ourselves …

10 powerful speech tips

Crave feedback and improve your speech on every level. This is the difference between good and great! Also remember feedback is an opinion, one perspective. You need to own your speech. Tweak your delivery and message based on perspective and feedback, but … remember it is your message. You can’t please everyone!

Embedded learning – Watch one, Do one, Teach one

The embedded learning concept helps improve communication. We learn best through watching, doing and then embedding the learning by teaching what we have learned. There is nothing that deepens our understanding quite like having to share and teach someone else what we have just learned. In this process there is an observer, a participant and a mentor.

HI – Humorous Intelligence a business skill

I'd like to add HQ or HI - Humorous Intelligence to the list of Quotients. The ability to laugh and see the funny side of life is a much underestimated intelligence in life. People who are able to laugh (at themselves or their troubles) are able to cope far easier.

The Importance of listening

We all love the sound of our own voices. In order to connect with clients and build relationships we need to take the time to listen, pay attention and allow them to talk so we can discover their needs and a manner in which we can fill those needs.

Performance feedback: Not all praise is equal

Beware not all praise is created equal... In work or parenting situation be aware - sometimes praise of an individual can set them back. When praising children or adults - praising their looks or intelligence can lead to insecurity and failure, as these are areas they have little control over. Praising effort and attention to detail can have great rewards as this is an area …

Kaizen – small steps

Why Kaizen? It helps bypasses fear, fight-or-flight, amygdala flooding response, and helps creates new connections in the brain. Small steps are far easier to make that large steps. Many people procrastinate as a project or task as it seems too daunting. Breaking it down into smaller steps, bite size chunks, makes it easier to begin. Once a task is begun it is often easier to …

Business relationship poisons cripple teams

The 4 Poisons that kill business and professional relationships. The combination of these are the death-knell of your business or professional relationships. Your clients or so-workers will vote with their feet and leave or refuse to work with you. By actively counteracting these, being kind and supportive you can grow your relationships, create customer loyalty and team cohesiveness.

Changing business culture through stories

What stories do you tell in your organisation? Stories are more effective at changing culture in an organisation than lists and bullet points. A study with MBA students discovered when they were given the same information in 3 different formats ... lists of bullet points, charts and graphs and in a story format they remembered the stories easiest and found them more credible.

The kiss test communicate analogy

The Kiss Test is how we kiss, or how we communicate, a business communication tip. Kiss Communication as it relates to business, an analogy of using feedback to improve communication. Poor communication, like terrible kisses can wreck relationships and your "client" may never do business with you again.

Humour tips for speeches

Ensure the humour is relevant. Humour that is simply there to make the audience laugh can be distracting, and may make your audience miss the important point of your talk. For example telling the story of your drunken uncle at a family picnic is distracting, no matter how funny, if you are trying to make the point about quality service and cannot easily tie …

Negativity can kill relationships

What are the bad things you have done .. and the good you have not? It encouraged them to look at themselves, and others, with disdain. They broke loyalty between the men and their leaders until they would no longer take orders from their superiors.

Lucky in sales or business

Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this through networking, choosing a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.They get out of the house, off the couch and tend to be more sociable. Meet new clients, be a good person.

Law of giving- a business essential

In a business relationships the one who gives more, becomes invested more. The one who receives more, and gives less, is less invested. In order to create deeper connection and investment in the relationship it is essential to also allow the other to give to you.

Outside validation and confidence

Unfortunately the second route is not only destructive but also extremely temporary. The short-term ego hit we get from this criticism last less and less and we end up feeling worse about ourselves. The critical attitude and behaviour erodes our own self-esteem and leaves us feeling lower on the self-esteem scale than before.

Crab in the bucket syndrome in change

If you were to go with a bucket to the beach to catch crabs, you will need a lid for the first two you catch, as they will try climb out. Once you catch your third crab, however, you will not need the lid. Strange as it may seem, once there are three or more crabs, the others will pull it back if one tries …

mental gymnastics – association and perspective

Have fun. If someone insults you instead of taking it as an insult try twisting it as a weird compliment. It has two affects, it helps you learn to use your imagination in a positive direction rather than belittling yourself and it also annoys the person trying to insult you, leaving them frustrated.

mind shadows and mental tape loops

The ideas and perspectives in our heads that, while unexamined, overshadow our confidence and leave us feeling nervous and anxious. An idea or repeated thought about yourself that is so much larger while in your head – like a scary shadow from your hand on the wall.

Emotional Pictures – goal setting

Many people have wishy washy goals or negative goals. When asked what you want do you start off with "I don't want something like my old..." Or maybe worse a wishy washy goal "I want something 'nice' ..." A miss world answer does not help...

Clear Communication in goal setting

Be specific and clear when you set your goals. Ensure you can clearly explain what you mean by the terms you use and the pictures you create. Also be aware of the emotion attached to them. Fear, excitement or enjoyment. Then, ensure you write them down Clearly!

Toxic relationships negatively impact profits

It is essential for healthy business relationships to leave your stress and issues behind before engaging with a new client or in another meeting. A bad attitude can spread very easily if you are not careful. Take a moment to gather yourself and face each meeting or interaction as a new opportunity to build and grow your business relationships.

Chose to connect first

Try turning it around... How do you feel when constantly criticised? vs. when you are acknowledged for what you do and who you are and people who smile and reach out to you first?