Get Unstuck

When you are stuck or simply procrastinating, being overly focused on your inner psyche to justify the reasons why will keep you from doing what you need to do. It takes as much time, or more, to create excuses than to simply do the work! Become responsible for your own motivation instead of blaming your boss or employees for being uninspired.  To rejuvenate a project, uncover the source of an issue, or resolve an employee concern, use the steps in the eGuide “5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Results!”  http://seibco.com/coaching-report/ The mark of a true leader is doing what needs to be done in an effective manner, regardless of how you feel about wanting to do it. 

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013 

Are your customers never happy?

Recently a customer service manager had received several complaints about a new system that they had implemented. The feedback from clients was not positive. There appeared to be errors in the system design, and it was difficult to use. The product developers had not asked for input from end-users before creating and launching it. The product manager deflected these valid complaints by saying, “They’ll never be happy, regardless of what we do.” The problem has now escalated to the point where major clients are ready to leave.

Customers are the lifelines for most businesses.  Vendors and suppliers do not have the luxury of sticking their collective heads in the sand (think “ostrich”). There is always a solution, but it may require setting aside egos.

Listen and Learn!

Then, listen some more. Frequent complaints indicate there is a problem, whether or not you agree about the significance of the issue. Unfortunately, product or service designers may not have directly worked with the end-users (aka their specific target market). Customer service people may not have an adequate understanding of how to resolve glitches due to limited work experience. Regardless, everyone’s lack of understanding can be costly. Learn first hand from actual end-users about the use-ability of your products or services.

Solution-Focused Task Force.  

A simple concern can quickly escalate into a major problem when your customers do not feel heard. What’s the key? Put together a structured task force with both customers and people responsible for the design of a product or service (or, use your account executives or sales reps to elicit invaluable consumer information). Be sure everyone has the opportunity to voice concerns. When this process is handled properly, it reduces emotionally charged dissatisfaction, weeds out inflated egos, and unites the task force toward a common goal. Come prepared to impartially state the facts for both sides. Brainstorm possible solutions. Learn how to ask questions that elicit clarity instead of defensiveness.

Resolve it now!

Your failure to act quickly or to effectively resolve issues objectively can make a significant difference in the longevity of your company. Or even your own career. The solution can be very simple (e.g., clearer instructions). Other times it may actually require costly re-engineering with more adequate beta testing this time. Your clients’ eyes are watching you. In the meantime, they are assessing the perceived value of any of your services or products. The goal is to create a win-win outcome for everyone.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Do your clients think you are inaccessible?

Ridiculous you say?  Hhhmmm…

  • Does it take several phone calls to get in touch with you? 
  • Does it take longer than 24 to 48 hours to respond to your voice mail messages or emails?
  • Do you normally use the excuses “I’m too busy.” OR “I don’t have the time?”
  • If so, you probably do not know this Law of poor customer service:
    The longer it takes for you to return a call or respond to an email, the more the issue will grow exponentially larger.

 Try this instead:

Treat your phone and email with reverence. Phone messages and email messages from clients and prospective clients are the life blood of your business. Prompt responses are a good opportunity to enhance the value you provide to your clients. It’s also a great way to up-sell and cross-sell any additional products and services that they may need, but do not realize you offer.

All clients are important. Rank ordering clients as to whom you will contact based upon revenues will work only until you lose the BIG client. Then, you’ll need to re-group and try to re-capture smaller clients who found excellent customer service with your competition while you focused on the BIG client.

Keep meetings. Continually canceling, not being prepared, and not taking responsibility for ensuring the client feels valued are good excuses for your clients to seek out other vendors. It’s easier and less expensive to keep good clients, then to go and find new ones.

Blitz them with customer service. We falsely assume, with devastating results, that everyone knows how to be a good representative of the company. Train all employees to be on the same page, and work together for the benefit of the client. Contact me for details … it will save you many clients! JLSeibly@gmail.com

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Bosses! Come down to reality!

Are you a business owner, executive or the boss?  We all need a reality check from time-to-time. Do you believe projects could be completed quicker if only they would do it your way? Do you expect more from others than you do from yourself?  Are you intolerant of others’ mistakes? Yet, harder on yourself?

Here are three easy ways to get real and get results:

Come into alignment.  Get on the same page with your employees regarding the expected results. This is critical for ensuring agreement. Then, have them put together an action plan and review it with you before they start!

Be the coach.  Don’t micro-manage the process. If the process is not moving forward as discussed, or it has hit more than one bump, you may need to step in. Review the thought and action processes. Correct inaccurate assumptions and negative attitudes. Be aware that many people have a hard time addressing the details of a project, particularly if the process is not working the way they envisioned it would.

Manage results.  Have short weekly reviews. What worked? What didn’t?  Be specific and stay away from the why’s. Create a plan to address issues and acknowledge successes. The key is to fine-tune and move forward. Above all, do not let set-backs stop you.

As the boss, your job is two-fold:

  • To manage major blunders and the hiccups that occur along the way.
  • To recognize and reward great progress.

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Break ‘Through’ Performance

  • Do you make changes due to boredom?
  • Out-talk others to get your own way?
  • Focus solely on the facts or your feelings to make decisions? 

Many will say, “Of course, everybody does.” These are the normal methods to handle people, systems and issues.  But the same old habits limit your job satisfaction and your ability to achieve outstanding business results.

The world of work is changing.  It requires a new level of performance to recognize new opportunities that meet the needs and business goals of your customers. 

Recognize old habits. They have become your blind spots and are getting in your way.  When you move out of your comfort zone and take the appropriate action(s), new habits will be formed.  Work with a coach to customize solutions that work for you!

Take focused action now.  Busy work is simply your excuse to avoid doing what you know you need to do to achieve the results you say you want.  Work your plan.  Include others and their ideas. Handle the details and make those hard decisions.  Want results? Take focused action.  Now.

Hire a coach.  Many business professionals want to be top performers and enjoy peak performance.  Yet, they hit a wall and slug it out alone. A coach helps you recognize blind spots and stop recycling the same old information in a mental monologue. These insights, when put into action, make you easier to work with, keep you in focused action and have you elicit the best in others.

Break through performance requires out-of-the-box thinking via the synergy of you and your coach.  Recommit to your own success.  Hire a coach and enjoy your new results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Does perfectionism get in the way of results?

Perfectionism is a relative term depending upon your viewpoint. Innovative types don’t like to follow the rules. They view others as perfectionists when they ask too many questions or are unable to see the potential success of the venture in the same way they see it. Conversely, the “dot every I and cross every T” type of person looks at others as being irresponsible and unable to plan appropriately — not perfect enough in their thought processes. They simply squash any ideas that don’t match their stringent point of view.

We are all perfectionists at some level! We love to make things harder than they are. We wait for the perfect time in our lives when the economy is good, life circumstances are stable. We wait to be working for the right company, with the right boss and co-workers. In the meantime, we postpone fulfilling our goals and dreams. People stop listening to our ideas. We are upset when others “take our ideas” and are successful!

Attitude The “perfect time” is an attitude. Fulfillment of any business venture or project requires that we focus and follow through. Declare goals. Write-down specific action steps. There is no perfect plan that will prevent inevitable challenges.  Many of us love to make systems harder than they are.  We, make working with others more difficult than it needs to be.  Hiring a coach will provide invaluable simple and strategic insights.

Integrity and ethical behaviors required.  Breakdowns are to be expected, regardless of the “perfect” plan design.  Short-cuts will normally get you in trouble in the long run. Ignoring key issues now may hurt your future reputation, financial solvency, and the ability to attract and retain top performers.  Instead of relying upon your own internal monologue of what is right or wrong, talk through challenges with your business mentor.  Use the opportunity to clarify your perspective and the required action needed to avoid further pitfalls.

Learn when to quickly move forward, and when to strategically wait.  Many people self-sabotage when the results don’t fit their “perfect” view of how they should look. Instead of dealing with the facts, they play spider-solitaire or spend a lot of time surfing the Internet. They blame their lack of focused action upon not having enough: information, time, money, or opportunities. Honor your plan, even if it seems like you’re taking baby-steps. You’ll get there!

Enjoy your achievements and the accomplishments of others, now.  Too often we excuse the importance of acknowledgement due to our ambivalent feelings about being in the spot-light, even for a moment. Appreciate others’ successes and accept their congratulatory wishes. Building upon success keeps you moving forward, and encourages the right people to work with you.

 ©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Work smarter, not harder

Do you limit your own success by resisting new ideas about ways to reduce your work challenges?  Are you convinced that, by working hard or being incredibly busy, you will make more money, get that new client (or promotion)?  We often tend to ignore anyone that doesn’t buy into our excuses for not achieving our desired results.  We may fail to realize that working smarter—not harder–is the keystone to achieving great results. 

1. Brainstorm ALL ideas.  What may initially seem like a repetitive conversation can trigger new solutions.  While you are generating new ideas, do not fall into the insidious trap of prematurely deciding good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, or yes vs. no.

2. Listen to the advice of others, selectively.  While everyone and anyone can help us if we truly listen, many times we’ll use the excuse of needing more information instead of taking the necessary actions we know we need to take to resolve the issue or launch the new project.

3. Multi-tasking is a myth.  Being a problem solver requires us to listen and set aside our other activities and thoughts during the conversation.  Thinking about our next meeting, playing spider solitaire or reading emails while in a conversation will have us miss nuances that could mean great solutions.  Worse, the other person in these conversations stops talking about anything significant; they know you’re not really listening! 

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Stop being part of the corporate wallpaper

Successful people run into this phenomenon frequently, particularly outside consultants and vendors.  They have helped build a million dollar company, designed new processes to solve a problem, and/or implemented a financially rewarding idea.   The results were so successful that a year or two later, they are no longer acknowledged for being part of that success.  To stay in the game, it’s important to be seen and heard.

1)     Be visible.  Show up to meetings.  Be on conference calls.  Listen for the next opportunity to support the company’s current needs.  Ask current and past employees how you can contribute.

2)     Keep a benefits log that quantitatively shows what your efforts have achieved, and share it appropriately.  Remember people are more interested in recent successes, than in something that happened years ago.

3)     Stay in touch by taking the team out for lunch, sending them coffee and bagels, or including them your e-news distribution. The key is to be seen and heard on a consistent basis.  Companies are more willing to hire a past consultant or employee with a good track record of producing results, than gamble on an unknown person.

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Rewire your reactions to your boss

Bosses are human too, or so they (like us) often forget. Many employees have good, or at least tolerable bosses that listen to employee ideas.  It’s particularly difficult to get your ideas and points across when you have a bad boss.  If you have this challenge, consider whether it could be your attitude or behavior that’s the cause:

1)     Before a conversation with your boss, practice in front of a mirror; pay particular attention to your facial expressions.  Tape record what you wish to say, and listen to the words you choose. Some words can cause an emotional reaction before your idea is fully presented.

2)     Listen to learn.  Most people are reactionary.  Someone says “x” and we’re off talking about “y” before the person has had a chance to complete their first sentence.  Listen carefully to what they have to say.  Pause and count to three before responding, after they’ve completed talking.

3)     Stick to the facts. We can become emotionally charged on certain issues.  Before your meeting or presentation to your boss, research the facts, so that you have objective points.  Be able to provide possible solutions and be open to considering new options you hadn’t considered.

(c)Jeannette Seibly 2010

Fear of Failure Vs. Fear of Success — What’s the “dif” for my career?

The difference simply depends upon your mindset.  Are you more likely to think in negative terms (e.g., failure) or positive terms (e.g., success)?  Failure is on the same continuum as success.  Fear is used to mask the reality of what you’d truly love to do, be or have, and prevents us from taking responsibility for our career choices.

When people are in low paying jobs where they are miserable, and use their kids’ expenses (kids is the “politically correct” excuse right now) or other excuses for not hiring a career coach to get a much better paying job that they will love, it is a reflection of them not taking responsibility for their career.

We all have a committee of one in our head (aka ego) that loves to chatter.  This chatter reflects conscious and unconscious thought patterns, and reinforces the limiting fears and concerns.  Or, it supports the illusion that you will have a great career someday when other things change.  This keeps us from becoming responsible for our chatter and pursuing a great career: work smarter, have financial freedom, and realize our dreams now. 

If we were to delve slightly deeper into our chatter, we would find that the fear is:

  • normally a fear of the unknown,
  • not being in control of a situation,
  • being right that others are wrong, or
  • avoiding someone else’s poor opinion of us.

 If we were to delve slightly further, you would find that the true fear is:

  • not saying the right thing in an interview,
  • not having your ideas heard,
  • others not making the right decisions on your behalf,
  • not being clear about your career direction,
  • effectively dealing with difficult bosses, employees or co-workers, and/or
  • making difficult ethical decisions.

The point is that you need to get real about your true fear(s).  When you can specifically state what you fear in your job or having a career that you enjoy, then you can make a positive and profound difference.

Why?  What you focus on will expand.  If you focus on fear, it will consume you, hinder any forward movement and impede your decision-making.  If you focus on your goals and move forward with a specific plan in place, confidence will replace fear.

Steps for Positive Results:

1)     Declare a positive mantra.  This will start you thinking in a different manner.  Without doing so, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to move on to Step Two since your excuses are designed to prevent you from changing anything.

2)     Hire a coach.  WHY?  Usually you will make it harder than it needs to be to achieve results on your own.  We inevitably get in our own way.  Having a coach will support your forward progress to keep you on a positive track.

3)    Design a results oriented goal and focused action plan to move forward, and fine-tune it with your coach.  This will support your results by acknowledging your achievements and reinforcing the positive expansion of them.

 (c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2009

 Jeannette Seibly is a nationally recognized coach, who has helped thousands of people work smarter, have financial freedom, and realize their dreams now.  Along the way, she created three millionaires.  You can contact her:  JLSeibly@gmail.com OR http://SeibCo.com