This is a bit different than what I normally post. But we want to hear from you.
Email us here and let us know what challenges you are facing, what issues you need help addressing, and what topics interest you in general. Be as specific and detailed as you like. We read each email we receive.
Feel free to share your story, ask your question, or vent if needed. We are here to help. Just let us know.
Not sure what to share, try some of these for starters.
Feel free to start anywhere and go any direction. There are no rules, no limitations, no constraints. This is all about you.
I look forward to getting to know you more.
Until next time,
Samuel Johnson once said that, “people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” Last week we discussed priorities and goals – what they are, how they are different, how they work with each other, and so on. This week will serve as a little reminder to actually sit down, write out your priorities and goals, review them, and create a continuous reminder – some way that works for you.
It’s not that you don't care, because I know you do, life just gets busy. What’s the quickest way to get these listed out? First, (be honest with yourself here) just think of what is important to you (priorities) and what you want to accomplish in life (goals). If you are struggling to get these down on paper, just start writing anything. You can always clean it up later. Once you have a few items listed, read the instructions below and check out last week’s post for some additional information – this will help.
Okay, I know you already read this, but it’s time to take action. Get your priorities and goals written down, remind yourself of them, and follow them continuously.
Until next time…
It has been quite some time since I have posted an article. Well, life happens, and sometimes it just gets in the way. But that’s okay. What matters most is how we respond to the issues life throws at us. None of us are perfect. It is more important to respond – versus react – to what gets thrown our way.
So, what are the differences between responding and reacting?
Reacting on the other hand, is:
Why is this distinction important?
When something does not go as planned, the easiest thing to do is react, which becomes a quick decision to resolve the issue or address the situation. While reacting quickly may be needed, to stop a toddler from walking into traffic for example, a response will be more appropriate. With experience on your side, responding may become as quick as reacting, but without the adverse side-effects from reacting.
How do I get there?
Life brings us opportunities to learn, make decisions, and become more knowledgeable. Knowledge is gained from experience and education (formal and informal). Wisdom is knowing when and how to apply knowledge in a way that suites the situation. Each situation is different, and must be carefully considered. Next week, I will discuss, a bit more, knowledge versus wisdom.
One of the natural progression paths is to start at the bottom and work your way up. That is, get hired at a job, likely an entry level position if you are new to the field or freshly out of college, work hard, get a promotion, work hard, get a promotion, work hard… You get it. How do you handle the process and challenges of promoting to the point that you become a team or group supervisor or leader? Yesterday you were their peer and now you are in charge.
Here are a few tips.
What tips do you have for a new leader, leading a team where they were once a peer?
Next week I will elaborate on the process of transitioning from small group leader where you have a few team members, to large group leader where you will have subordinate leaders. How to handle the transition to leading leaders?
Last week I discussed effective communication and how to communicate effectively. This week, I will go into a bit more detail on communication, and discuss how to delight your clients, customers, and team through effective communication.
Effective communication is communicating in a way that enables the recipient of the message (listener) to clearly understand what is being stated.
Sounds easy, right? Well, it isn’t, but it can be! Communicating can be done effectively following a few steps.
1. Understand how the listener communicates
Effective communication is based on the recipient understanding the message, so the first step would be to figure out how the recipient (client, customer, team member, etc.) communicates best, or how they prefer to communicate. Some prefer email while others prefer text, phone, or face-to-face communication. Some prefer charts, graphs, or pictures while other prefer videos and others prefer simple text.
This is important to recognize. For example, if you are trying to communicate to someone by email but they are rarely on email, you may never actually get the message through! If you are calling and leaving voicemails with no response, maybe that person does not like to talk on the phone. Provide a text document to someone who prefers pictures, and your document will likely not be read.
2. Establish a common language
Each industry has their own acronyms, jargon, methods, and so on. If you are communicating to others in the same industry, you likely have a common language to some degree. However, even the different departments within a given organization will have different language that may not be easily understood by another department. Better yet, try speaking to another department in a different organization from another industry – good luck!
But we can make this easier. Spend some time to learn some of the common jargon and acronyms used. If something is said or written that you do not understand, then ask for clarification. Conversely, if you are going to use jargon, then explain what it means the first time you use it so the recipient has something to reference. Over time, both sides will gain a better understanding of each other and establish a more common language.
3. Establish frequency and response time
Some people love to text all day long, others email several times a day, while others live on their phone. Establish an expectation of how frequent and fast communication needs to occur.
Why is this important?
Say you and I are working together, and I expect a response in a few hours and daily responses at a minimum, but you are ok with 24-48 responses. If I email you at 9:00 am, I would expect a response by 11:00 or 12:00. If I don’t see anything, then I may begin to feel ignored and then follow up with another email, phone call, text, and so on. If that happens, you are going to begin thinking I am hounding you since you don’t expect to respond for another day or so. Now, we are both frustrated.
4. Determine length
Have you ever received an email response back with a simple response of “TLDNR”?
What does that mean, you ask? Too long did not read! Ha!
Determine the optimal length of the message (verbal or written) and do not go past it unless you must. Emails that could easily be published as books generally do not get read. A 6 minute voicemail will be deleted without being heard. Also, if someone expects a detailed response, and they receive succinct bullet points with little explanation, you are likely going to receive more questions than you would like to answer – especially if it is from your boss!
5. Consistency and flow
Communicating consistently helps the recipient anticipate how or what will be said. Establish a style that fits your personality and meets the need of the recipient. This helps reduce the follow-up questions as the format and style are expected and are easily followed.
Similarly, develop a fluid way of communicating. Don’t bounce around from topic to topic confusing the subject. Make it easy to follow what is being said, written, or displayed.
So, the steps are:
How do you delight your client, customer, or team?
I’m glad you asked!
Once you figure out how they communicate, using a shared language, as frequent as expected, with enough detail, consistently, do just that. Just know that it takes time. Most people do not take the time or pay enough attention to learn these steps. Don’t let that be you!
Too easy you think! I told you effective communication is easy (well, it sounds easy). The challenging part is figuring it all out and actually use it! You married couples out there know what I’m talking about here! But once you figure it out, and use it, you will surely delight all whom you communicate with – your clients, customers, and team.
Until next time.