Are You Ready for an Amazing Future?

Future.ReadyWith 2019 beckoning, are you ready to create an amazing future?

Start with focusing on what will support all areas of your life. Review your job, relationships, finances, personal pursuits, and other matters in your life. What needs improvement?

Remember, what you do today will impact the quality of your future opportunities.

Take Responsibility Now to Impact Your Future

Clarity.  Take time to know yourself and what your goals and values are. Write them down. Know they can change over time. Remember, success is an inside job. Broaden your focus beyond more money, bigger homes, or other material items. These won’t make you a happier person. Instead, make a commitment to honor what is most important to you, your family and your business.

Career Fitness. Job fit is still the #1 reason (Harvard Business Review) people succeed in their jobs. Do you fit your job? 70 percent would say “no.” Focus on building your strengths and be aware of the impact your strengths have on attracting new opportunities to grow.

Right Coach. The right coach helps you focus on what is most important. The right coach helps you achieve your goals faster and easier. Plus, along the way, you’ll make more money, have more fun, and enjoy unprecedented results too!

Get Your Brag On. Self-promotion is important today. It helps you differentiate your skills, education, and experience from others. Brag savvy awareness provides pay increases, promotions, and opportunities you deserve.

Appreciation. Speak up and share the value and efforts of others!  Say please and thank you.  Apologize for mistakes. Acknowledge each person’s efforts. These are simple examples of how to bring out the best in you and others. The rewards are amazing!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

For the past 26 years, Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert. She has helped 1,000s of people create more fun, money, and inspiring results. Contact Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

How to Provide Effective Feedback and Coaching

Feedback.CoachingA sales rep believed she was doing a great job because she hit her sales quota every quarter. However, her boss saw it differently. He believed she overreacted in situations. He blamed her for asking too many questions and not getting along with team members. Instead of giving her effective feedback and coaching, he let her go when sales hit an all-time low.

After she was fired from her next job, she hired a coach. They talked through the issues and she took a job fit assessment to learn more about herself and how to better manage her strengths and weaknesses. She learned that her communication style got in the way of her success, and how to resolve disagreements for win-win outcomes. She also learned how to stand up and speak up for herself when blamed. Now, she was ready for her next job.

Her newest boss was unafraid to talk straight and manage the dynamics of the whole team. Each team member was expected to respect one another and resolve conflicts in a win-win manner. This new boss was great at providing her with immediate feedback and laser-like coaching. As a result, she and her team members each excelled. They surpassed their team’s sales quota each quarter.

When bosses fail to provide effective feedback and coaching, employees fail to improve.

Providing effective feedback and coaching to teams can be tough…receiving it can be tougher. No one likes to hear they are doing their job wrong, even when are. Plus, everyone fails when bosses allow drama, gossip, and emotional meltdowns to get in the way of providing feedback and coaching. Even worse, when bosses wait…conflicts increase and customer satisfaction scores plummet.

As a boss, it’s important for you to remember some emotional reactions are normal during any feedback and coaching session. Instead of interrupting the conversation and failing to provide the needed insights, have a box of tissues handy. It’s your responsibility to set the expectations for your teams. And, it’s up to you to provide immediate feedback and laser-like coaching so each person can succeed.

6 Tips for Effective Feedback and Coaching

Talk Straight. It’s up to you to talk straight. Don’t let eye daggers, hand gestures, or inappropriate comments will get in the way of building a good team.

Be a Role-Model.  To encourage openness and honesty, you must be open and honest. Take responsibility for your actions and words. When you make a mistake, own it. Apologies work wonders. Guide your employees to do the same.

Practice Tough Conversations. Role-play with your coach before having tough conversations. Use mirror work to help you become more comfortable with delivering bad news. If you don’t sincerely want the person to succeed, you are not ready to talk with them. Keep practicing.

Get Real. Many employees want constructive feedback. And, would love to have a coach to help guide them! As their boss, get real and take responsibility for providing laser-like coaching and effective feedback.

Ensure Job Fit. Over 70 percent of employees don’t fit their jobs (Gallup). This leads to employee and boss frustration, unproductive work habits, and poor communication styles. In other words, job fit impacts everyone. When you use scientifically validated job fit assessments, you will get answers as to why employees excel and why they do not. These tools will give you what you need to provide effective feedback and laser-like coaching.

Create a Learning Environment. A well-designed learning environment creates more openness for feedback and coaching. Create micro-learning opportunities to develop technical and soft skills. Don’t forget to include sessions on moral responsibility, integrity, and honesty so everyone understands that every choice and decision has a benefit and a consequence.

When you make effective feedback and coaching a priority, your team’s results will skyrocket.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

For the past 26 years, Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Improve your team’s results by learning how to provide effective feedback and laser-like coaching for each person’s success. Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

How to Make Your Team’s Dynamics Successful

Culture 2Creating positive team dynamics is a skill that can be learned.Jeannette Seibly

Team dynamics will make or break any group. As a boss and leader, it’s important to learn how to manage work teams, projects, and boards to be effective. What you don’t know can sabotage you, sabotage your team members and sabotage your project. The key is to act quickly and objectively when team dynamics go off-track.

Over the past several decades, I have coached teams and leaders in managing 100’s of projects. Most were successful. Some were not. This article focuses on six key elements that make or break your team’s dynamics.

A sales team met as a group twice a month. There were members that took the time to develop good working relationships with each other. And, there were those whose excuse was they were too busy. When several team members began criticizing a top producer, many took sides without first getting the facts. Unfortunately, the VP of Sales failed to step in and resolve the issue. When the top producer left, so did several others. It didn’t stop the backstabbing. Sales plummeted. Finally, the CEO hired a business advisor to work with the new VP of Sales and remaining team members. They had a candid come-down-to-reality conversation and set up ongoing coaching sessions to stop the bad behaviors. As a result, their team dynamics improved…and so did their sales!   

The 6 Key Elements to Understand Group and Team Dynamics

The Basics. Establish the basic rules and guidelines so everyone can freely participate. Remember, whatever you set up, everyone will forget and need to be reminded.

Effective Meetings. Training your team on how to conduct an effective meeting is paramount. Bring in an outside consultant to provide annual training to get everyone on the same page. Don’t forget to include soft skills training (e.g., conflict resolution, building agreement, persuasive listening, etc.).  Note: High-performance teams have a coach available for objective review and input. It saves them time, money and eruptions from frustrated team members.

Lead by Example. Issues arise any time there are two or more people involved! When they occur, address them quickly and objectively. First, objectively review options and goals with your coach. That process will remove emotional barriers and create better decisions. Role-play difficult conversations and focus on win-win outcomes for everyone, not blame.

Deep Dive. When issues arise (and they always do), start with the following questions to focus on the issue.

  • -Did I handle the logistics appropriately (e.g., Is everyone receiving group notifications? Was the room or electronic conference setup before the start time? Did the meeting start and end on time. Etc.).
  • -Am I actively listening or multitasking by handling my electronic messages?
  • -Do I encourage new ideas or am I shutting them down prematurely?
  • -Am I addressing issues as they arise or hoping they will go away on their own?
  • -Am I encouraging team members to work through their differences or taking sides?
  • -Do I come prepared for the meeting?
  • -How did I do to prepare others for the meeting?

No Saboteurs Allowed. Be proactive when gossip, backstabbing, and other nefarious activities occur. Otherwise, the damage is already done by waiting too long. First, immediately talk with your coach to avoid creating a bigger issue. Then, use candid come-down-to-reality conversations to clean-up and create powerful team dynamics.

Acknowledge and Celebrate. Practice appreciation and acknowledgment of group members on a daily basis. Good team dynamics occur when you learn about each other’s activities and successes. Complete the exercise of what worked and didn’t work. Do this weekly, monthly and/or quarterly for best results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

For the past 26 years, Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Improve your team’s results by championing positive and effective team dynamics. Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

 

Now is the Time for High-Impact Hiring Practices

strategic hiringMillennials and GenZs will comprise two-thirds of our workforce in 2019! As a result, high-impact hiring practices must be designed to attract and keep top talent.

First, Get Real about the Costs

Many companies fail to make real changes in their hiring practices. Why? They believe since their turnover is less than the industry average, they are doing as well as they can. The sad truth is, it costs $37B (yes, billion) to keep unproductive employees. This alone will deter top talent from working with you. They want to work with successful companies that hire, manage, coach and train the right way. If you don’t know the costs (most people don’t), use our Hiring Calculator to get real data about your hiring costs!

Second, Review Often Overlooked Issues

Candid Interviews. Today’s candidates will decline job offers if interviewers use canned responses. They want real conversations with real answers to their questions. Schedule interviewer training today for everyone.

Shorten Interview Processes. Many companies lose out on top talent because they take too long to make job offers. Improve the decision-making process by using objective data. It will always help you make your decisions faster and easier.

Job-Specific Questions. Failure to ask job-specific questions during an interview creates a false impression about the job. These candidates will accept the job offer and ghost you afterward.

Recruiter and Interviewer Biases. Yes, they do exist…and good job candidates know it. These biases can hurt your company’s reputation now and in the future. Improve your decision-making process by collecting objective data with legally validated tools to help eliminate biases.

Assessment Tools. Most do not meet the Department of Labor’s 13 guidelines for pre-employment and selection purposes. Companies too often rely on tools that provide subjective data of how well the person fits the job vs. scientifically validated job fit tools that provide objective data of how well the person fits the job (and meet the DOL). Choosing the right assessment will dramatically improve hiring results and reduce turnover. (Review Hire Amazing Employees – Chapter 11 – Assess for Job Fit-Use Qualified Assessments)

Third, Develop High-Impact Hiring Practices for Amazing Results

Define an Exceptional Hire. Ask yourself and your team, “What does an amazing hire look like today? In three months? Six months? A year from now?” Now, rewrite the job description with those responses in mind. Ask your marketing department to create exciting and enticing job postings.

Make Promises. Ask and answer, “Why do applicants want to work for us? How will this job help their career now and in the future? What specific training and development can we offer them?” If you answer these questions, you will uncover the promises you must make to get and keep top talent. For example, customize individual career pathways for each new employee immediately upon hire. Be sure to use the data from the qualified assessment and ask the employees about their future goals.

Create a 180-Day Onboarding Plan. Whether or not you hire the person, this process should start immediately after the candidate has completed the online application. Encourage candidates to ask questions at any point during the process. Schedule sessions to cover the company’s history, purpose, and mission; safety and well-being policies and procedures; on-the-job training (technical and soft skills); opportunities for mentoring and coaching; etc.

Job Fit is Still #1. According to the Harvard Business Review, when candidates fit their jobs, they excel. Use objective data to dramatically improve hiring, coaching, managing and training efforts.

When you implement these high-impact hiring practices, you will be ready to hire and keep the best. Also, as an added advantage, they will be happier and more productive.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been a catalyst and leadership expert for over 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Most companies need help objectively reviewing their high-impact plans. Contact JLSeibly@SeibCo.com to help you hire and keep the best. Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

Solutions Occur When You Develop a Curious Team

Curiosity

“When you shut down your curiosity, opportunities stop coming your way.” Jeannette Seibly

Curiosity is a strong desire to know or learn something. (Oxford Dictionaries)

People are born creative geniuses. But life, education, and societal norms squash the value of curiosity to try something different or new.

Also, many bosses and leaders have a vested interest in not rocking the boat or disrupting the workplace. To be competitive today, you must encourage curiosity. Curiosity creates an opportunity for an endless number of solutions. Team engagement.  And, build your company’s reputation and bottom line.

5 Tips to Build a Curious Workplace

  1. We often shut down new ideas out of fear they won’t work or need too much of our time. We limit new ways of thinking about things. During weekly team meetings, pick a topic and ask, “What if …” You’ll be amazed by the ideas your teams have been afraid to share. Capture these ideas by using flipcharts, post-it notes, or electronic brainstorming technology.
  2. Curiosity and idea generation are required to develop solutions. To encourage your team to share their light bulb moments, training is required. Training should include persuasive listening skills and how to conduct effective meetings. Companies that excel include a scientifically validated job fit assessment. These tools allow people to learn how to value each other’s differences and ideas.
  3. Curiosity can’t exist without awareness. It becomes a skill and not a threat to the status quo. Being curious allows for the question of “what if …” Expand this question by asking open-ended questions (e.g., who, what, when, where, why and how).  When you are dealing with nay-sayers, ask them for 5 reasons it could work. For Pollyanna’s, ask for 5 reasons it could fail.
  4. Be OK with Uncertainty. Curiosity has to include uncertainty. There are no guarantees. Unfortunately, fears of uncertainty or not knowing will stop most ideas from moving forward. Instead, use a system for developing ideas and conducting realistic ROIs. Stop allowing fear and indecisiveness to get in the way of moving forward.
  5. As the ideas start to flow, use technology to build a system for projects to work. This can uncover errors when the process gets stuck. Don’t forget to share your findings of why it will or won’t work early. Remember, while ideas may look good on paper, in reality, they may not work for your company.

When your team has a strong desire to become curious, your results will be amazing.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Brainstorming new ideas is easy. Getting out of the way is not so easy. To create curiosity and develop new solutions, train your team on persuasive listening and effective meeting skills. Include a job fit assessment for stellar results. Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

De-Stress and Focus for an Amazing Holiday

destress.holiday.focus.results

It’s the holiday season…often the most stressful time of the year. How do you manage work, family and all the other stuff you have to do? How do you minimize stress with so many holiday distractions? And, in your business, how do you focus to get the most out of Q4?

11 Ways to De-Stress and Focus for Success

Pick one now. Be bold. Do it now!

1.Prioritize and Rank. Not everything is a priority. Make a list of everything that you believe needs to get done. Circle the top ten. Now, cut the list down to the top three. Rank them 1, 2, and 3. Do number 1 now. When it’s done, move on to number 2. Now, it’s time for number 3. Celebrate the completion of each task. If you actually do this one, you’ll be amazed by how much you get done.

2.Let Go. Not everything needs to happen immediately. If you need to file or shred papers, get an oil change for your vehicle, or buy holiday gifts, schedule it. Then, honor that time with focused energy. Make your calendar your friend.

3.Delegate. Stop being a lone ranger. Consider, your employees may do a better job than you would…if you let them. It’s a great gift to them…trusting them to do the work you normally do.

4.Do It for 20 minutes. We all have dreaded reports and other activities that we hate to do. Try this. Do it for 20 minutes. Then, decide if you wish to spend another 20 minutes or schedule it for later. This approach works.

5.Excuses Be Gone. Too often, we create excuses about why we haven’t completed something. Stop doing this! These mental gymnastics energy deplete you and sabotage your energy. Create a mantra: “I can do this and do it now.” The secret is, take the first step.

6.Stop Multitasking. Make a commitment to get one thing done at a time. There is satisfaction in fully completing something. While it may seem like multitasking allows you to get more things done, it rarely works that way. For example, attempting a business conversation while you are grocery shopping only adds stress. And, you will miss important points during that conversation.

7.Walk It Out. Take 10 minutes, three times daily, to simply walk around, go up and down the stairs, and MOVE! Remember to breathe! While out and about, say, “Hi!” to people and smile. This is one of the quickest ways to de-stress.

8.Talk It Out. Turn your internal monologues into dialogues. Get them out of your head. Share your concerns with someone who can actually help you. Now is the time to find a business coach for 2019 who can help you stay focused and improve your effectiveness. The relief you will feel is priceless.

9.Write It Out. Studies have shown it is cathartic when people write down their fears, upsets, and frustrations. Writing helps get negative thoughts out of your head and provides insights. The key is to keep things private and not share your written journal with others. Again, keep this private.

10.Meditate. Take time to quiet your mind from the mental chatter and be silent for several minutes. Sit comfortably. Focus on breathing in and out. When thoughts appear—and they will—say, “Noise.” Don’t make these thoughts good or bad. This highly effective method reduces stress and improves focus. And, you will feel refreshed.

11.Brag. When you learn how to brag, it is a huge self-confidence booster. Keep your Brag statements up-to-date and review them any time stress doesn’t go away. Or, when you need a confidence boost. They are also great when requesting a promotion or pay increase. Complete your Brag! statements today.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been a catalyst and leadership expert for over 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Remember, reducing stress improves your ability to focus and produce intended results. Hire a coach for even faster results. Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

The Best Chance for Success Requires Completing 2018 Goals

Complete 2018 Goals

“We say we hate goals…unless…we’ve successfully completed them.” Jeannette Seibly

Do you know only about 8% of the business people who created goals for 2018 are on track to complete them?

The other 92% are busy creating excuses. Some of the excuses are really good ones.  I often hear them justifying their lack of actions with: “I’ve forgotten what my goals are.” OR “My boss hasn’t asked about them, so they must not be important.”

Some even take the easy way out and change the goal. This is not recommended since doubt will seep into how you see and speak about yourself. Others will stop trusting you to do what you’ve said you would do. Company leaders will overlook you for promotions, new opportunities and pay increases.

So, why don’t more people successfully complete their goals?

First, we must ask why completing goals are important.

Goals provide leaders and employees with opportunities to grow. They engage employees and customers, and impact the bottom line. Also, successful completion builds self-confidence and the ability to trust yourself.

Tips to Move You Forward to Success!

1.Acknowledgment and Acceptance. These may sound like odd tips. Yet, acknowledging and accepting the value of goal design and implementation is rewarding. The experiential skills learned are invaluable to career, managerial and leadership growth.

Let go of the reasons why you hate goals:

  • -I/we failed last time. (Resilience requires acknowledging failures, learning from mistakes and moving forward.)
  • -I/we lack the resources required. (Taking initiative and becoming resourceful provide amazing results, while building confidence.)
  • -Teams are too difficult to manage. (Make a commitment to transform the so-so team into a stellar one.)

2.Hire an Executive/Team Coach. There are less than two months remaining to fulfill your goals. At this point, it’s imperative to bring in a set of “objective eyes.” Having an outside person review the goal and action steps will focus the team on “what’s next.” Also, the right coach will encourage the team to blast through perceived barriers.

3.Train Everyone to Be an Effective Team Member in Meetings. Most meetings are boring! Many team members check out; and, as a result, will not bring forth their best efforts to achieve the goal. What are you doing to train yourself and your team(s) to be effective team members? And, conduct productive meetings? There is still time this year to get the training to successfully complete your 2018 goals.

4.Develop Persuasive Listening Skills … These Are a Must. Listening to differing POVS, building win-win outcomes and brainstorming solutions create better results. Using these skills will bolster the team’s morale and keep everyone on track.

Questions to ask yourself and the team when the project has stalled:

  • -What are you refusing to hear? Why?
  • -What does each team member need to say?
  • -What is the benefit of giving up so soon?
  • -What are the costs of not completing the goal?
  • -How can the team get back into focused action and make a positive difference?

If you are truly committed to the fulfillment of your 2018 goals, take these four tips and get into action. Join the elite 8% to have a successful 2018.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. There is still time to complete your 2018 goals. Waiting is no longer an option. Hire “objective eyes” to help you determine what needs to be done to have a successful 2018. Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation. Do it now.

How to Respond to the “Why Generation”

why generation

“’Why do you do it that way?’  Is a great question to streamline anything.” Jeannette Seibly

 

Two-thirds of today’s working population is made up of Millennials and GenZs, a.k.a. the “Why Generation.” They are asking questions to understand:

  • “Why were these policies and systems designed this way?”
  • “How does this procedure help people access products and services easier and faster?”
  • “What are the reasons for this decision?”

When digital natives ask “why,” it is not to be rebellious, disrespectful or rude. Instead, they want to offer their technology skills to makes a way of making a positive contribution.

Traditionally, the fear of asking bosses “why,” is that it was seen as challenging their authority. The truth was, bosses often didn’t know the answer or have the power to change a system or procedure. As a result, employees were wary of offering new ideas. They feared speaking up would hurt their promotion, pay increase and/or continued employment.

In today’s workplace, leaders must set aside their egos and encourage curiosity. “Why” is a great question to ask when building a win-win outcome with any project, team and/or system. It requires each person to be vulnerable and say, “I don’t know. But, let’s find out the answer together.” It’s how and why innovation and disruption get created, saving time and money while engaging top talent.

7 Ways to Engage the “Why Generation”

  1. Why are policies and systems that way?” It’s one of the first questions many ask. Embrace this question. It’s a great opportunity to review and update policies, systems, and procedures.
  1. Educate employees about the impact they have. Train them on “how” and “why” their tasks (or lack of effort to do them well) impact the work done by others. Cross-training within the department and throughout the company will broaden everyone’s POV.
  1. Be available to answer “why” in a way others will understand. Some employees learn in a methodical manner (show and tell me). Others learn best by sharing the concept. Then, through trial and error, they will learn the details of how-to-do-it (tell me and let me figure it out). Using scientifically validated job fit assessments will reveal how employees best learn and help you be a better boss and coach.
  1. Learn how to listen and talk with one another. Listening is a two-way street. Asking and answering “why” creates new opportunities and expands old ones. To build win-win outcomes, training must include communication, critical thinking, cultural sensitivity, decision making, and other soft skills. These can and do impact the creation of improved products and systems.
  1. Sharing history will prevent a repeat of history’s errors. If you don’t know the “why,” find out the facts. Also, be open to having an inquiry with your employees: “Why do you believe it was done that way?”
  1. Be curious and ask open-ended questions in team meetings (e.g., who, what, when, where, why and how).
  • “Why do you believe this system or procedure needs to be changed?”
  • “How and when would your idea improve it?”
  • “Who have you talked with that is affected by this change?”
  1. Evaluate changes before implementing them. While change may look good on paper, in reality, it may not work for your company. Don’t forget to share your findings of why it will or won’t work.

As a boss and leader, it’s important to remember “why” the “Why Generation” is asking so many questions. The answer: to offer new ideas and make a positive contribution to everyone.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. It takes courage to ask and answer “why.” Help your employees and bosses learn how to do it with ease. Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation. And, do it now.

How to Have Tough Conversations When You Hate Conflict

Two businesspeople standing face to face

“Every time you fail to have a tough conversation you lose confidence in yourself.” Jeannette Seibly

How to Have Tough Conversations When You Hate Conflict

We hear a lot today about the importance of having tough conversations. But, for many bosses and leaders this can be difficult. They hate conflict and they fear they do not have the skills required to win … as if winning was the goal.

The key in any conflict isn’t about winning the conversation. It’s about listening and building win-win agreements. When we have tough conversations that produce win-win outcomes, we gain confidence. It’s a skill that can and should be learned through practice.

Why Is It Important to Push through the Fear of Conflict?

Today, more than ever, we need to listen and hear what our employees, customers and vendors are saying. If we don’t, we will hurt our bottom lines … and our careers.

The bonus is, having those tough conversations with the intention of win-win outcomes builds loyalty.

Why Do People Hate Conflict?

Everyone’s idea of “conflict” is subjective to them. It’s based on their own experiences, education and social influences.  It reflects their confidence (or lack of) when listening to others and handling differing POVs.

Also, many people hate being told “no!” They fear this two-letter word and give it too much meaning.

When someone disagrees, it doesn’t mean they don’t like us or that our ideas aren’t valid. It means they don’t understand or agree with our POVs. Or, they have a different agenda.

8 Tips for You to Create Win-Win Outcomes

  1. Bring Curiosity. Be curious about others’ POVs. Listen to learn. Avoid making offhand comments to deflect that you are uncomfortable.
  2. Come Down to Reality. Telling the truth now avoids needing to remember what you said in the future. Otherwise, you will lose credibility. If you fear others are unwilling to hear the truth, be a parrot and repeat yourself. If the news is difficult, start by saying, “This may be hard to hear …”
  3. Ask Open-Ended Questions. Open-ended questions begin with Who, What, When, Where, Why or How. It’s a great way to get people thinking.  Often, when you hear new ideas, you will automatically say, “No!” Be open to discussing new ideas … otherwise, you will lose the respect of others.
  4. Talk Straight. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say is important. Use words and phrases that others readily understand. When you use jargon or new age terms (e.g., mindfulness, EI, etc.), misunderstandings will occur. These conflicts can be avoided by using simpler words and easy to understand explanations.  Role-play with your coach if you expect to have a tough conversation.
  5. Get Out of Your Head. Quiet the chatterbox. Instead of thinking about what you will say while others are speaking, listen! Be open to hearing what the other person is saying, verbally and non-verbally. (Over 90% of communication is non-verbal (e.g., hand gestures, posture, tone of voice, etc.)). Trust that you will respond appropriately.
  6. Address the Elephant in the Room. If your company’s culture avoids having tough conversations, be responsible upfront. Start the conversation by first stating that the person may not like what you’re about to say. For example, “I know it can be difficult to talk about this issue. Would it be OK to share the facts of this problem first and then get your feedback?”
  7. Expect a Positive Outcome. What you expect usually comes true. If you believe a project will fail, many times it will. Yet, if you expect the same project to achieve positive results, many times it will. The same is true with tough conversations.
  8. Pay Now or Pay Later. When issues occur, you need to have those tough conversations now. Failure to do so will negatively impact you, your employees and management teams. It will also limit your future career options (yes, I’m repeating myself).

Whether you think you need to have tough conversations or not, you will need to have them. To build this skill, hire a coach to guide you through how-to-have tough conversations and create win-win outcomes.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. What’s in the way of you and your team members having tough conversations? Learn how to overcome the fear of conflict to help you and your teams win. Don’t wait, because you will end up paying later. Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

How to Create the Best 1:1 Networking Meetings

network meetingsNote: This is the second part of a 2-part article. Last week we focused on getting the most out of group networking meetings. This week we will focus on how to conduct effective 1:1 networking meetings.

Today, more than ever, it’s important to get the most out of your 1:1 networking meetings.

The purpose of 1:1 networking meetings is to get to know people in your industry and profession. And, meet others in different business communities. Without human interaction, building a data base of contacts will do you no good.

Meeting with people 1:1 can feel awkward when you are not prepared. Like any skill, you can learn how to conduct effective 1:1 networking meetings. All it takes is commitment and practice.

Keep in mind, your ultimate goal in 1:1 networking meetings is to conduct market research, not sell.

What should you leave the meeting with?

  • -Name and contact information of the person you talked to
  • -Information not posted about their company, industry and profession
  • -Three top challenges and their proposed solutions

Remember, these meetings are not designed for you to sell your products and services. The opportunity to present and sell will come later if you’ve done a good job of learning about their business. And, have built a positive relationship with the person introducing you into their company.

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your 1:1 Networking Meetings

  1. Create an intention of what you want out of each meeting. This provides you with an incentive to attend and not cancel. The purpose is to get-to-know-the-person and their company, not sell them something.
  • -Prepare your opening introduction (Review, It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition)
  • -Listen more than talk
  • -Prepare good open-ended business questions (review their LinkedIn, FB and company website)
  • -Ask questions for clarification
  1. Put away your phone and other electronic distractions. Listening requires paying 100% attention to the person speaking. If you don’t, you’re telling others you don’t value them. A University of Michigan study showed that laptops (and phone apps) are also a distraction. Use paper and pen to jot down notes.
  1. Focus. The type of questions you ask will be different if you sell B2C or B2B. Ask open-ended questions. (Open-ended questions begin with who, what, when, where, why or how.) For example: What should I know about you and your business? What are the 3 biggest challenges at your company today? Why do you like working there? (Grab your copy of It’s Time to Brag, Business Edition! and review the Chapter on Networking Works.)
  1. Don’t be a chatterbox. You’re there to learn about them. Don’t share confidential information or names when it’s your turn to talk. While people love to listen to stories, make sure they are real and keep them short. Remember, people have short attention spans.
  1. Follow-Up and Follow-Through. This is where most people fail in their networking efforts. You will lose future sales if you don’t follow-up and follow-through. Do not send them to your website for answers … instead, talk with them. The key is to build a personal positive relationship every step along the way.
  • -Send requested information within 24 to 48 hours (ask them what they prefer: text or email)
  • -Call or email to ensure the person got the information within one or two days
  • -Wait three days to call and ask if they have any questions
  • -Stay in communication if they are not ready

Smart 1:1 networking skills are important and a great way to better understand a person’s or company’s needs. After you’ve establish a relationship, then, and only then, can you sell your products and services with each. Remember, people buy for their own reasons, not yours.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach and speaker, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Networking can be frustrating and isn’t always an easy process. Like any skill, smart networking requires commitment and practice. To improve your results, grab your copy of “It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition.Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.