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The Confidence to Communicate Well

The Confidence to Communicate Well

The Confidence to Communicate Well

If the road to success in every human interaction is good communication, the potential for breakdown is poor communication. A 2019 survey by Project.co has reported that 8 of 10 people will rate their communication skills as average or poor. What if crossing the bridge from poor communication to good communication could be made easier?

Communication skills can be taught. More importantly, developing these skills can profoundly impact both work and personal life. The key is asking high-gain questions. A high-gain question is one that makes the other person think, and share. Quite simply, it is not answerable with yes or no. It is the difference between ‘did you have a nice weekend?’ and ‘how did you spend your weekend?’?

In the workplace, managers have a responsibility to build employees’ skills and confidence around communication. One interactive development activity, after introducing the concept of high-gain questions, is to ask employees to listen and make note of yes-no questions in all relationship interactions for a week. Discuss observations from this activity at the next team meeting, especially focusing on service-related interactions.?

Another Team Development Activity: Present these yes-no questions for repositioning as high-gain questions.
1. Is there anything else I can do for you?
2. Do you know about our current offer?
3. Were you satisfied with my service today??

Communication skill development helps ensure that employees will engage in positive and productive conversations that build relationships. Relationships help drive more product sales, plus referrals.?

To receive a free training worksheet for High-Gain Questions from our Relationship Management Workshop, email krisr@cf-pm.com or visit the contact us page on www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com.

Engaging Partners to Achieve New Heights

Engaging Partners to Achieve New Heights

Engaging Partners to Achieve New Heights

Within any organization, one product tends to be the entry point for the customer relationship. What sets a great manager apart from an average manager is coaching front-line teams how to ensure that this first interaction is not the sole experience the customer has with the organization.

Partnerships within the organization can lead to creating deeper relationships that add financial value and create cultural synergy throughout the organization.
You can improve customer experience impacts with these best practices for “engaging partners.”

  • Set realistic goals for the type and quality of interactions originated by staff and their business partners. The initial focus of these goals should be on activities instead of outcomes to establish the right behaviors.
  • Hold staff accountable by including partnership conversations in regular performance reviews and coaching interactions.
  • Regularly invite business-line partners to join team meetings so that they become part of the sales culture.
  • As staff becomes more comfortable with partnerships, managers can look for opportunities to coach them on increasing the quality and effectiveness of customer interactions that have the potential for partnerships.

Finally, every organization needs to provide training for staff to understand 3 essential things about the business:

  1. What products and services are available to customers?
  2. What does the ideal customer for each business line look like?
  3. How can customers benefit from working with the business line?

To actively promote a culture of partnership, managers must know the answers to the three questions above and encourage staff to individually reach out to each business line—as partners. This proactive outreach can help staff members increase their own knowledge and begin to build relationships that provide tremendous value to customers.

Business lines outside of the entry point for customer relationships are more likely to gain customer referrals when they can build solid partnerships with staff. Referrals work both ways. Strong partnerships within the organization can bring a broader offering of capabilities to each customer and increased revenue possibilities for the company.

For a sample training worksheet on Engaging Partners, excerpted from our Service Excellence Workshop, email krisr@cf-pm.com or visit the contact us page on www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Talent Management Toolkit Released

Talent Management Toolkit Released

Talent Management Toolkit Released

 

The new year holds high hopes for your organization’s financial performance, and the role of managers and supervisors has never been more important to achieving this goal. One of the best ways that managers can do this is to keep team meetings on your calendar, regardless of everything else happening in your organization’s orbit.

Returning to your routine Team Touchbases (aka Team Meeting) is impactful to the productivity and efficiency of your team(s). Not only does it provide a designated time and space for thoughtful conversation and organization updates, it also can be a useful learning tool to develop employee’s skills.

Try these coaching and development tips to fully engage your employees and inspire consistent collaboration on your team:

Calendar Blocking. Consistency and punctuality will increase morale and respect on your team.

Preparation. Create an agenda for distribution, if possible. This keeps the meeting on task and employees can prepare in advance for discussion points they would like to comment on.

Committed Focus. Devote your full attention to your staff during these meetings. Put your devices away. Staff view distracted multi-tasking as disrespectful.

Positivity. Try starting a meeting with everyone sharing a positive moment of the week. Or, highlight successes of individuals or the organization to start the meeting on a high note. Always express appreciation at the close to thank everyone for time and participation.

Problem Solve. Team meetings are a great way to problem solve and brainstorm solutions. Actively facilitate discussions that engage all employees equally by asking questions and listening to contributed insights.

Practice Activity. The best way to reinforce a behavior, process, activity, or new product is with interaction. You can assign activity leaders to help engage all team members. Be sure to summarize key takeaways.

Managers and supervisors need specific skills and consistent reinforcement to excel in their role as team leader. 

The Impact of a Defining Moment

The Impact of a Defining Moment

The Impact of a Defining Moment

Sarah Oeltjenbruns, Performance Partner

Customer interactions are layered with defining moments—the opportunities for your employees to go the extra mile with excellent service that sets you and your organization apart, in a positive way. The impact is significant because these are the moments when customers are open to your suggestions for additional products and services.

Your teams have opportunities all day, every day, to look and listen for emerging and unrecognized customer needs. Here are some defining moments and specific tips to help front-line staff and their managers maximize them:

What you say & how you say it
Use positive words and phrasing to focus on what can be done versus what can’t. For example, using words that convey courtesy, caring and confidence with appropriate tone, volume and pace.

Effective questioning skills
Use open/close-ended questions to gather information and confirm. For example, asking questions to really understand what the need is. Remember a best practice is to ask permission before asking questions of the customer.

Making a personal connection
Use conversation starters that help you relate to your customers and makes them feel at ease. This is an important moment for building deeper relationship with customers.

Sending an email
Use the follow-up email to acknowledge the customer’s request on the same business day. Don’t forget the importance of good grammar and proper punctuation. For skill practice, managers should have employees practice correcting poorly written emails, and then review as a team.

Defining moments have an impact on the customer experience. When building customer relationships, you only have a handful of opportunities to impress them. Lead your team with skill practice activities that make every opportunity as a time to shine.

For a free worksheet on editing poorly written emails, and/or to learn more about our Service Excellence program, visit the contact us page on www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com.

Formula for Success: Consistent Collaboration

Formula for Success: Consistent Collaboration

Formula for Success: Consistent Collaboration

 

The new year holds high hopes for your organization’s financial performance, and the role of managers and supervisors has never been more important to achieving this goal. One of the best ways that managers can do this is to keep team meetings on your calendar, regardless of everything else happening in your organization’s orbit.

Returning to your routine Team Touchbases (aka Team Meeting) is impactful to the productivity and efficiency of your team(s). Not only does it provide a designated time and space for thoughtful conversation and organization updates, it also can be a useful learning tool to develop employee’s skills.

Try these coaching and development tips to fully engage your employees and inspire consistent collaboration on your team:

Calendar Blocking. Consistency and punctuality will increase morale and respect on your team.

Preparation. Create an agenda for distribution, if possible. This keeps the meeting on task and employees can prepare in advance for discussion points they would like to comment on.

Committed Focus. Devote your full attention to your staff during these meetings. Put your devices away. Staff view distracted multi-tasking as disrespectful.

Positivity. Try starting a meeting with everyone sharing a positive moment of the week. Or, highlight successes of individuals or the organization to start the meeting on a high note. Always express appreciation at the close to thank everyone for time and participation.

Problem Solve. Team meetings are a great way to problem solve and brainstorm solutions. Actively facilitate discussions that engage all employees equally by asking questions and listening to contributed insights.

Practice Activity. The best way to reinforce a behavior, process, activity, or new product is with interaction. You can assign activity leaders to help engage all team members. Be sure to summarize key takeaways.

Managers and supervisors need specific skills and consistent reinforcement to excel in their role as team leader. 

Drawing the Line on Device Use in the Workplace

Drawing the Line on Device Use in the Workplace

Drawing the Line on Device Use in the Workplace

We love our devices. At this moment, the Internet is connected to over 20 billion devices. It’s a staggering number when compared to a global population around 7 billion. That’s nearly 3 devices for every person on earth. It goes without saying that all of these devices have an impact within the workplace. Where’s the line on device use, misuse? 

The world has been on a fast track to mobility for years. In 2020, mobility of consumerism exploded when the global health crisis forced reactive change. Our mobile devices became lifelines to everything from access to products, connectivity to services, and of course remote employment.

If you are an operations leader in your organization, you are likely feeling overwhelmed by new demands of technology and mobility of work. We offer these tips for prioritizing operational strategies that support employees needs around use and misuse of devices in the workplace:

  • Cell Phone Policy. Every employee handbook should provide basic policy on the presence and use of mobile devices in the workplace. Do you clearly direct that devices are out of sight and silent when and where customers are served? Do you clearly identify the distinctions and expectations for corporate-owned versus personal device use?
  • Work Device Policy. Beyond phone devices, your employee handbook should also provide policy for use of computer equipment in the workplace—which now may include business location and remote employee locations. Do you have procedures in place regarding installation, maintenance, use and even liability for corporate equipment in remote locations?  

You can support your employees’ adherence to device policy and procedures by creating consistent communication. Many organizations have dramatically reduced infractions of device use by committing to reminders released through broad company communications and/or channeled through managers for discussion during team meetings.

Set a course for success in 2021 by making technology as big of a priority for People Development as you do for Sales Development.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com. Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company