I Coach Managers

The Danger Of Not Using This New And Exciting Way To Start Your Presentation

a_In order to reach and convince others, it is very important to consider how the brain works. I recently listened to a presentation by Oren Klaff who researched the topic to write his book “Pitch Anything”.

 

The basic premise is simple: If you can’t, first and foremost, get the attention of those present, you will not succeed in convincing anyone, even if your presentation is very well prepared, detailed and relevant.

 

You must therefore begin by stating clearly why we should pay attention.

 

To achieve this successfully, you should know that the brain decides what is important on the following basis:

  • If it is not dangerous, ignore it! (What happens if we do not listen to your message? What will we be missing?)
  • If this is not new and exciting, ignore it! (We love high contrasts – good / bad,  black / white …)
  • If it’s new, the brain summarizes it quickly and forgets the details (Do not waste your time by presenting details!)

 

Remember in class when the teacher said: “Pay attention to this, there will be a question about it in the exam.” Although it might not have been new and exciting, the danger was clear and the professor got our undivided attention.

 

Oren Klaff  also remind us that we are conditioned to love listening to stories and that to be a great speaker, we should master the art of telling compelling ones. All information and/or statistics should be sent prior to the meeting. Don’t waste people’s time!

 

If you take into consideration the brain mechanic, how should you tweak your next presentation?

 

I Would Still Love to Be a Manager…Don’t Miss Out!

a!!!!!!Being a good manager is really demanding. I know because I was one for twenty years. In the midst of all the problem solving, I truly enjoyed the projects where I got to use my creativity. But back in the days, I didn’t have the social medias to “play” with. They weren’t as powerful as they are today. They can be very dangerous, but they also give you a lot of power and possibilities…

I closely follow the company Zappos (the online retail store) and admire how they use the potential of the social medias. Their mission is “to live and deliver WOW” through service. Since they do this very well, they’re constantly receiving rave reviews from their customers. (Who wouldn’t share that they’ve received a surprise in the box, a little personalized note, flowers or an upgraded delivery time?) They also have an employee online “live” on Twitter that receives and replies to every comment…Take about keeping your finger on the market pulse!

Continually receiving positive feedback, what a great way to stay motivated and engaged! I want that type of feedback too! Don’t you?

Why not challenge your team? How could you make your services stand out? Really stand out? (for you external or internal clients)

  • Faster than expected service delivery
  • Follow up call to check satisfaction
  • Special way to greet or assist the clients
  • Special way to dress
  • Little unexpected surprises
  • Personalized email (to follow up on a previous conversation)
  • Delivering more than promised…

With this exercise:

  • You will discover new ways to serve your customers
  • You will give a boost of energy to your team
  • You will develop pride for a job well done and the satisfaction of being part of an exceptional team (the best team!)
  • You will increase sales
  • and who knows, with the social medias, the story of your “service extraordinaire” may become viral!

Go for it! Have fun with your team! Surprise your clients!

How could you, using the power of social medias, get to know your customers better? Ask your “younger” employees, they might surprise you with their suggestions”.

As usual, let me know how it goes and feel free to share any additional suggestions, in the Comment Section, to WOW the customers.

The Secret To Making The Behavior Change You Always Dreamed Of Doing

aaaIt’s possible to change! Not easy, but possible! Here’s what to do to maximize your chances of success…

I had the pleasure of witnessing profound transformation in some of my clients. It’s amazing to see the positive impact on the lives of people who decide to take action.

As a coach, I can’t be present every day to remind you of your desire to change. But there are people around you in your day-to-day life, who, unintentionally, have a great power of influence on your behavior. By choosing these people carefully, depending on what you want to change, you greatly increase your chances of success.

Imagine having lunch every day with a colleague that is very health conscious. How would that affect the choices that you make? Would you be more inclined to go for the french fries or the salad? Imagine the impact on your health after 6 months? 

Now let’s do the same exercise with someone that:

  • Loves his work and speaks about it with passion and enthusiasm
  • Loves the Company you both work for
  • Loves Personal Development and is always looking to learn and grow
  • Is generous
  • Is knowledgable about finance and has good personal discipline when it comes to spending
  • Is going for a walk every day (or trains every day)
  • Always looks for the best in everyone
  • Treats people with respect and kindness (including the waiter and the busboy)
  • Listens with interest…

Changing your surroundings is an easy way to increase your chances of successfully transforming yourself.

If you’ve been stuck repeating the same behaviors, even though you would sincerely like to tweak your personality, look around you…It’s not only pessimism that’s contagious!

What about you? What kind of impact do you have on the people you hang out with?

Let me know what you think of that Success Strategy in the Comments Section.

 

Take Advantage Of The Holiday Events To Boost Your “Personal Brand”

a--You surely have a few get together during the month of December with your colleagues, your employees or customers. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to your personal side. They already know your professional persona, the one they always have to deal with, now is the time to showcase your personal self, to demonstrate your emotional intelligence and make new contacts.

I was inspired by an article from Dr. Travis Bradberry. Here are a few of his suggestions:

  • Pay attention to your body language (we have 7 seconds to make a good first impression)
    • Check your energy level before entering the room (an enthusiastic person will always be more interesting)
    • Smile
    • Don’t cross your arms
    • Maintain eye contact (don’t look for other people in the room while the other person is talking)
    • Lean towards the person to show that you don’t want to miss a word of what he or she is saying
    • Use their name during the conversation
  • Don’t stay too superficial. Open up, talk about what your passionate about, the other person might follow your lead.
  • Ask good open-ended questions (show your interest)

These “informal” meetings are not to be taken lightly…Someone is looking at you!…Someone is listening!

Oh, and I almost forgot…Don’t forget to have fun! 🙂

Let me know, in the Comments Section, if you have other good suggestions for these professional gatherings!

Is There A Personal And Powerful message In Your Performance Appraisals?

simpleDo you know for sure that, as a manager, you didn’t lose your time going through the Performance Review process last year?

Here is an easy trick (a sort of barometer) to know if you’ve done a good job:

Choose one of your employees and ask:

  • What was your challenge for 2015? What did you have to accomplish? (develop or improve…)
  • What personal ability did you have to work on this year? (teamwork, listening skill…)
  • Did we have something to achieve as a team? Did we succeed?

If the person can’t answer, then your message lacked clarity, was diluted in a mountain of words and/or wasn’t personalized enough.

This exercise will allow you to do a better job this year.

When establishing objectives for 2016 for each employee, be specific about what you want and keep your communication simple.

Choose one target, whatever is urgent for reaching your short term goal as a team,  you can’t accomplish everything in a single year.

Take a second look at what you’ve done so far in regard to the Performance Review process. On a scale of 1 to 10, how simple is it?

Let me know in the comment section.

 

 

“007” Steps To Achieve Employee Engagement A La “James Bond”

james-bond

 

Here is a concrete way to build engagement among employees.

I recently worked with a client to create a “MISSION” for each of his key employees. Here are the elements that made this challenge a success:

001 Give them a “personal” mission

The overall mission of James Bond is always to save England, what am I saying, the whole world, but it always starts with a precise target that allows him to focus on something specific. It’s important to have a goal for the team, but nothing is more energizing than to feel personally responsible for something.

(Give them a specific group of clients to WOW, a process to improve, an internal department to research and better understand, the task of networking to create new opportunities, the team spirit to improve…)

002 Make sure they can visualize the target

James Bond always takes on a mission with the picture of the enemy to conquer… Make sure to properly communicate what needs to be accomplished. (If the mission is a success, what will be different?)

003 Give them free rein – Action!

Our spy doesn’t choose the target, but he’s so free to choose his action plan, that he’s even “licensed to kill”! Once your employee understands what you want to accomplish, and why it’s important, let him use his creativity… He might surprise you!

004 Give them the tools

In the movies, I love the part where they present the new gadgets that are available to Bond in order to achieve his mission. Make sure you do the same with your employee…Give him the necessary time, a small budget, the technical assistance, the needed ressources…

005 Remind them that it’s also important to help others accomplish their mission

Like James, your employee will meet team members during his adventure, make sure that he will do everything in his power to assist them. Even if he’s on a personal mission, he must not forget that he’s still part of a team!

006 Errors are allowed

Even in movies nothing is perfect. There are always unexpected problems, unforeseen events and broken pieces. Your employee may try something that won’t work, if he takes full responsibility and that you both learn from the experience, it’s still a step forward.

007 The story always ends with the “Bond Girl”

We know how James celebrates his successes. What about your employees? How could you, specifically, celebrate your agent who completes his mission? It’s your turn to use your creativity!

Nothing could be more exhilarating than being on a MISSION!

Yes it requires some planning time, you need to figure out the best person for each different type of challenge, but you will be surprised by the results. It’s really something special to see your employees come to life.

If you need help in putting a similar program in place for your own team, don’t hesitate to sign up for a “Mission Development Coaching Session”.

What to you think of this idea? Let me know in the “Comments” section.

 

8 Questions To Help You Bring In Your Best Year

FullSizeRenderAs the year comes to an end, I invite you to take this opportunity to stop the “madness” and to take a “benevolent” look at your last twelve months. If you don’t, you’ll just repeat the same patterns, and you’ll end up at the exact same place next December. Here are my questions for you to ponder:

Priorities

  1. What would be THE ONE goal you could set that would have the biggest impact in your personal and professional life?
  2. Name a change you could make that would give you more energy. What is missing for you to implement this new habit?
  3. Think of an event, that happened this year, that you would have been happy to avoid. What were you lacking, in order for you to be able to tackle this in a better fashion. How could you become better at this next year?
  4. Your attitude is a very important factor in your success. What aspect of your personality would you like to improve? What would the people around you be most surprised about the new you? What trait is currently the most detrimental to your relationships?

Action

  1. To what extent do you believe that it’s possible to achieve each of your goals?
  2. Name the people that could influence you or help you in accomplishing your goals. How could you spend more time with them?

Motivation

  1. What will happen if you change nothing? Describe your future.
  2. What excites you the most about the idea of achieving your goals?

You deserve to take the time to set your goals. It’s YOUR LIFE, it’s YOUR HAPPINESS!

Share your goals with us, in the Comments Section, who knows, I could be one of these people that will help you reach your objective!

Happy Holidays!  

The Happy, Glorious Time Of The Performance Review

 

happy employeesIt’s that time of the year again: The happy, glorious time of the performance review!

This is such a crucial period for you and your team, that I had to write to remind you to take this process very seriously.

I’ve written many posts about it over the years, describing how to prepare for it, how to conduct the meetings, and, my favorite one, because not much was written about it, how to make sure that you did it right:

However, even if you carefully follow the instructions, the only way to make sure that you were successful, is to courageously ask the following 3 questions, at the end of each meeting:

  1. How do you feel?
    • We’re aiming for: pumped-up, supported, enlightened, happy to see that my contribution didn’t go unnoticed, positive, excited about our new goals…
  2. Tell me, in a few words, what stands out for you?
    • With this question, you want to verify that you successfully communicated the essential. That what’s important wasn’t lost in a mountain of empty words.
  3. What will you do differently following our conversation? What’s your action plan?
    • If the employee doesn’t change anything, improves nothing, or doesn’t come out with new objectives, the investment wasn’t really profitable.

I also wrote: If you don’t stop dissatisfaction, incomprehension or negativity, BEFORE they leave your office, they will rapidly spread.

This year, I have often read that, contrary to popular belief, it’s not success that will make you happy, but rather it’s the fact that you’re happy in what you do that will lead you to success.

So, I invite you to add this goal for each person on your team: To Be Happier At Work! Don’t try to guess how each person could accomplish this goal, give them the responsibility of coming up with at least one way to increase their happiness level. Hopefully you’ll be able to help them make their wish come true.

A Happier Team Next Year, is what I wish for every manager!

Do you already have ideas on how you could make this happen? Let me know in the Comment Section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning How To Open My Mind Has Changed My Life. Here’s the trick…

educated mindWhat would you reply to the following statement: “2+2=5”?

This was my favorite coaching lesson. I was told that if I really wanted to listen, learn and get to know a person better, when he or she says something like: 2+2=5, the appropriate answer isn’t: “No it’s 4!“, but rather: “How do you come up with that answer?

Since that day I try (not easy!) to keep this way of being totally open to the other person’s point of view, no matter what I think. In spite of my culture, my beliefs, my experiences, my preferences, my training…I listen carefully, trying to uncover HOW the other person’s idea has merit.

It’s an excellent way to remember… If I shouldn’t try to change the mind of the person telling me that 2+2=5, or try to convince him or her otherwise, I clearly shouldn’t judge any of the statements that I hear. So I just stay open minded and say: “Tell me more…”

It changes everything…

My friend was having a problem with her child. As I was listening to the story I just said: “Who knows why he’s reacting this way? Maybe he’s going through stuff we don’t know anything about!” Since I didn’t label what the child did as being terrible and inexcusable, I gave my friend the possibility to forgive, and maybe the idea that she should investigate further before judging.

So if an employee or a colleague comes up with a solution you don’t agree with at first (especially that you had a better one!), start be saying: “Tell me more…Tell me why your idea  is better than this other possibility?…What are the advantages?…” By being open to the possibility that the other person might have something good, different but valuable, to offer, you’ll listen looking for what makes sense, instead of what’s wrong with the proposition. In any case, by combining your ideas, you will probably end up with a better solution.

Don’t take my word for it…Just try it! In your professional life and in your personal discussions, this new habit is a game changer.

Trick: I often suggest to my clients to put up a sign on the wall, next to their desk, that says “2+2=5”. This way, they have a constant reminder to keep an open mind and to postpone their judgment.

People might think that you don’t know how to count, but your listening skill will be legendary!

How do you think improving this skill will help you in your day to day? Can you think of situations where you could have been more open minded? Let me know in the Comments section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Emails Are Part Of Your Branding – What Are You Really Saying?

brandCan you read between the lines of your emails?

The same way the words you use when you speak are only a small part of how people receive your message, the way you choose to write your messages says a lot about you and how people will respond to you.

When you’re aware of how people FEEL when they read your words, it helps you to adjust and get better results.

Let’s look at it with the best scenario in mind, when they get an email from you (John), would most people think:

  1.  This must be important, John only writes when it’s impactful for my team or me.
    • Research shows that 80% of what companies communicate to their employees require no action (or reaction) and nothing would happen if they were never read. (What a waste of time!)
    • Make sure that you don’t label all of your messages as “URGENT”…When everything is urgent, nothing is!
  2. This could be good news, John loves writing to let me know when one of my employee has done an exceptional job.
    • If you only write to complain, chances are the person receiving your comments won’t be in a hurry to read what you have to say.
    • And if you do have to write to complain, make sure you always do it in a respectful way, keeping the focus on a solution and making sure you acknowledge your responsibility in a bad situation.
  3. This message could be read right now, even if I only have a few minutes, John really knows how to write in a concise manner.
    • If you do this right, the reader should be able to figure out at a glance what needs to be done.
  4. This message won’t be boring, let’s see what John has to say.
    • Make sure your short email is punctuated with a lot of bold characters and enough space between paragraphs.
    • And don’t forget your basic PLEASE and THANK YOU, they’re never out of style!
  5. This message could be exactly what I need to read right now, John has a way to introduce a positive twist to any situation.
    • Instead of complaining, try suggesting a better way, offering assistance and assuring the full collaboration of your team.
    • If you know that your colleague is going through a rough time, try offering your help or just invite him or her to lunch so you can help him or her see the situation from a different perspective. Just listen…what a gift!

As a leader, you set the tone! People will adjust according to your style!

If you want to receive concise, respectful and “to the point” emails, make sure that’s what YOU do. Since this is also part of your Personal Branding, it’s important that you take the time to make sure that WHAT you write, and HOW your write, reflects your values.

So what do you think people say when they receive an email from you? What could you improve? Let me know in the Comments section. We could all benefit from your ideas.