Create a Results-Producing Customer-Focused Culture

“If you want to create a customer-focused culture, you must start by being accountable for the results!” Jeannette Seibly

As a leader, creating results-producing, can-do customer-focused teams requires being accountable! You must develop laser-like attention to hiring, coaching, training, and managing your team and team members. If you don’t, you will create a chaotic workplace culture, and customers will fire you and seek out your competition!

Many leaders operate as elite helicopters flying at 30-feet above the action. While they are hovering, they fail to plan for and handle important details. They tend to cause team conflicts and they are often considered a difficult team leader!

Remember, it’s not business as usual! It’s time to get real before you lose customers and top talent!

5 Required Tips for Creating a Results-Producing, Can-Do Customer-Focused Team

  1. Promote the Right Bosses! Yes, it starts here! Stop promoting people that are not already exhibiting good people management skills. Instead, create a separate career ladder for them that recognizes their strengths. Otherwise, they will become toxic bosses and top talent will leave! Your customers will leave with your top talent!
  2. Hire Right the First Time. Use data-driven, objective, and consistent information to select the right people for the right jobs Regardless of what job candidates tell you about their experiences, use the right tools to ensure they fit your job requirements. Hiring great team members will attract top talent and great customers too! Your customers will thank you since they don’t have to keep training new employees that soon leave!
  3. Create Company Values that Inspire. It’s not business as usual. You must set aside your ego and remember your team members are watching and emulating what you do! Dust off the company mission and value statements. Get your executives and bosses onboard and trained! Your customers seek vendors and service providers to give them what they requested the first time!
  4. Value Learning and Development. Creating a customer-focused workplace culture starts with you. Are you holding your teams accountable for meeting customer needs and achieving intended results? Are you ensuring all workshops, online and on-site, include all employees, bosses, and executives as participants? Are you including the right training? Must have training includes: Inclusion, Conducting effective meetings, Critical thinking, True brainstorming, Alignment, and Achieving intended results.
Are you holding your teams accountable for meeting customer needs and achieving intended results?

Your customers value teams that are working on the same page at the same time!

  1. Expand Your Team’s Mindset. Life and work experiences, education, and other beliefs create a person’s mindset. It influences how you and your team members interact with customers and each other. Your job as the leader is to hold your team members accountable for fulfilling the customers’ needs. Your customers experience value by what you do and how you do it!

©Jeannette Seibly 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Do you want your team to be part of the elite 10% that achieves intended results? MUST READ! “7 Reasons Why Teams Don’t Resolve Conflict”  Reason #2 is especially important!

A Note about Creating a Results-Producing Customer-Focused Culture from Jeannette. Do you consider yourself the type of leader that operates like an elite helicopter flying at 30-feet above the action? Do you know that by hovering, you fail to plan for and handle important details? Do you know you also become a difficult team leader? If you want to inspire your teams to produce intended results,  contact me to start a confidential conversation.

Are Your Mental Abilities Feeling Foggy?

“A new challenge emerging from the pandemic is not recognizing people, things, and situations as we remember them.” Jeannette Seibly

A couple of weeks ago I called a consultant who does HR work. We’d talked off and on for the past 18 months about using assessments. He had several clients that needed to resolve management issues. In the meantime, he had introduced me to a new client needing to hire someone. The last time we talked was in December 2020. I called him a couple of weeks ago to follow-up. He told me, “I don’t know who you are, and I remember faces.”  

Whoa! What a surprise. He was sure we’d never spoken with each other before. I painted a picture of our call in December. His response was, “I receive 116 emails daily.” So, I sent an email for a Zoom meeting, but doubt I will hear back from him.

You are not alone if you have had a similar experience. If you’re in sales, business development,  management consulting, or leading virtual teams, you are more likely to face this new challenge for remembering people, completing normal tasks, and recalling specific points during a conversation. Many find they are “not functioning with normal mental quickness or struggling to find the right word.” (Why Your Brain Feels Broken, NYTimes Parenting)

Also, there are the memory challenges experienced by people who are COVID long-haulers, working baby boomers, and people multi-tasking instead of listening. Additionally, mental health challenges (e.g., depression, anxiety, and stress), can lead to false memories too. (PsychologyToday.com)

As you physically go into offices and business meetings, you must interact with people as they are today, not as you remember them from over a year ago! People change. These changes will impact conversations and situations since perspectives have changed too.

Some of you will even question your own memory if you failed to listen and allowed distractions!

7 Tips to Create Mental Clarity

  1. Paint a Picture. If someone says, “I don’t remember …” or they appear not to remember, paint a picture of the last conversation. Describe where you were. Include any unusual situation (the coffee shop didn’t sell tea). Stay factual.
  2. Offer Your Name. Don’t play the guessing game. This will leave someone frustrated or upset they can’t remember. Instead, give them your name, business focus (10 words or less), and a quick overview of your last interaction. If you don’t remember your last interaction, start fresh and have a conversation about today.
  3. Stay Focused by Putting Away Distractions. “A lot of people think they are good at multi-tasking. The sad truth is they are not.” (Dr. Sanjay Gupta, author of Keep Sharp: How To Build a Better Brain at Any Age) If you multi-task during discussions, you will miss hearing important information and feel lost in future conversations. Some of you will even question your own memory if you failed to listen and allowed distractions!
  4. Send an Email. Recap and outline three key points. Do this before a scheduled meeting to get both of you on the same page faster. Be aware, if the person remembers it differently, ask for his/her version. Again, stick with the facts.
  5. Listen Anew. Put aside what you believe you already know or remember about the person, thing, or situation. Remember, you can be right or you can be effective. Instead, build a new bridge from yesterday to today by listening and being curious. It’s a great opportunity to create a “new normal.”
  6. Exercise, Eat, and Stay Active. This keeps your brain sharp. Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, and word games are several ideas to help keep your brain active. Eat a healthful diet and get up from your desk every hour and move for a few minutes. (Gupta)
  7. Remember to breathe when you feel agitated, frustrated, or you’re struggling to remember a word, phrase, or person! This is a simple and effective technique. It calms your brain from its automatic reaction of fight, flight, or freeze. Also, it reduces your stress of having to get it right and calms you so you can be present during the current conversation.

 ©Jeannette Seibly 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Want to know what egos and team results have in common? Get your answers by click here.

A Note about Feeling Mental Fogginess from Jeannette. “At the University of California Irvine, research is beginning on how the lockdown has affected people’s memories. It’s been reported that even some of those amazing people who usually remember events like buying a cinema ticket 20 years earlier because they have highly superior autobiographical memory are finding they are forgetting things.” (BBC) The bottom line is, be kind to yourself and to others when memories are not clear as usual. If you want clarity on how to build a bridge from yesterday to today when talking with people, contact me to start a confidential conversation.

How to Optimize Trust When Saying “No”

“Saying no is less hurtful than saying yes and not delivering on your promise.” Jeannette Seibly

Many of you have learned the hard way that saying “yes” doesn’t always work. When you overcommit, it can come back to hurt your career, business growth, and customer relationships. There can be consequences and the most important is you break “trust.”

There are times it’s better to say, “no.” Yet, saying “no” can feel uncomfortable, especially for people-pleasers and those wanting to be well-liked.

If you say “yes” and are unable or unwilling to honor your commitment, trust is broken. It can become a career derailer when your team, boss, board, and/or customers stop trusting you.

As always, be selective and wisely choose when to say “yes” and when to say “no.”

How to Say “No” and Build Trust

When You Are Asked for Help. As a leader or entrepreneur, it’s your job to guide your team members. If you say “yes” and don’t follow-through, you lose trust. If you say “no,” you can instead recommend who or how they can get their questions answered by someone who is better qualified.

Don’t Offer Excuses. When you say “no,” it does not require an explanation. Offering excuses for the “no” is where many leaders (and others) get themselves in trouble. Instead, plan to negotiate requests that are important to create a win-win-win outcome.

For example, Sabrina was asked to work on a company-wide project for her boss. Because she didn’t have time she said “no.” Instead, she negotiated with her boss to do her part of the project remotely and attend monthly updates instead of weekly update meetings.

There are times it’s better to say, “no.”

When Invited to an Event or Provide a Financial Contribution. Be clear about your values (e.g., family, career, education, religion, etc.). It makes it easier to say “yes” or “no” to these types of requests. When you need to say “no,” here are some effective ways:

  • “No, thank you. I’d love to, but I’m unable to do so right now.”
  • “Thank you for asking and “no” I’m not able to do so.”
  • “Thank you for asking, but that doesn’t work for me right now.”

When You Don’t Have the Time or Interest. When you say “no,” include “That’s a great idea! But I don’t have the time or energy to add one more thing to my schedule. Good luck!”

When You Do Say “Yes.” Honor your “yes” by completing your commitment as promised and make sure to over-deliver. When you can say “yes” and you can say “no’s” to future requests, you will build trust with others.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About “Saying No” from Jeannette. Saying “yes” can be too easy for many people. Yet, there are consequences when you don’t fulfill the promise you made with your “yes.” Learn how to say “no” diplomatically. That actually will help your career or business. Hire a coach to talk you through the pros and cons of “yes” and “no.”

3 Bad Habits You Need to Break to Be a Confident Leader

 

Leaders today are facing new challenges. Remember, it’s important to build true confidence in yourself and others during this time.

Building your confidence today and inspiring confidence in your team is critical! And, given what’s going on in the world, it’s even more important now.

What inevitably gets in the way of being a confident leader? Your bad habits.

Due to all of the uncertainty, as a leader, you are under more pressure than ever before. Now, is when your leadership habits…the good, not-so-good, and bad…can either support you and your team achieving great results or not.

It’s Critical You Breakthrough These 3 Bad Habits

  1. Poor Listening Skills. This #1 bad habit will sabotage your results!   

A leader had a bad habit of checking his emails and texts during meetings. He insisted he was only multitasking and could hear everything being said. He failed to understand the human brain is wired for one activity at a time. (Multi-tasking is a myth!) It wasn’t until he missed hearing critical information that he learned this lesson the hard way. Even after the team member repeated himself, he failed to understand or question the significance of it. As a result, the budget was exceeded and timeline was missed.

Always listen as though your results (and career) depend on it…because they do!

  • Lack of Awareness. One leader constantly found fault with how others did their work. He thought he could do it better and faster. The truth was, he didn’t have the skills to do their jobs. He lacked the awareness of the impact of his comments and did not understand these comments disengaged his team and hurt productivity.  

When someone fails to achieve the required results, it’s time to inspire confidence in your team members, not criticize their work habits. Remember, during this crisis, it’s NOT business as usual.

During ALL conversations stay present and aware:

  • State the intended goal or results in 10 words or less.
  • Listen to each team member’s input and concerns.
  • Work through any push-backs in a win-win manner (think, ethical considerations, workability, impact on others, etc.).
  • Align on the work and completion dates with your team to meet your client’s needs.
  • Provide necessary resources. Remember, working from home is not the same as working from the office.  

Your awareness determines the quality and timeliness of your team’s results.

  • Know-It-All Attitude. A new leader was a micromanager, a common trait of inexperienced leaders. She wanted everything done exactly as she thought it should be done. Whenever a mistake was made, instead of taking responsibility, she blamed her team (and others) for making her feel humiliated and for letting her down.

To break this bad habit, listen to your team members’ ideas. They are working on the front lines and can be resourceful when encouraged to do so. Also, listen from compassion since they are experiencing a lot of frustration, stress, and anxiety during these uncertain times. It’s up to you to inspire confidence in them!

Building true confidence in yourself and others starts inside you.

Remember, bad habits are amplified during a crisis. They will come out and be displayed in unexpected and unwanted ways. Work with an executive coach NOW to effectively navigate through these uncertain times. It’s the mark of a confident leader who inspires confident team members!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2012-2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

I’ve got an invitation for you.

All leaders are bosses! If you want to be a better boss or hope to be a boss someday, I invite you to download “15 Ways to Be a Better Boss”  It’s free.

Mindful Resilience is Required to be a Successful Leader

Life.Should.2Note: This is a reprint, originally posted on June 23, 2020. Last week I conducted a Mindful Resilience webinar for the Denver Financial Professionals. Participants shared: “This is very helpful…I love it…Thank you.” Due to so many changes occurring right now in the workplace and in life, I would recommend reviewing the 6 Tips.

What can you do to handle your emotional triggers while eliciting the best from others?

We are all triggered by certain words, facial expressions, and gestures. As successful, resilient leaders, we don’t have the luxury of hanging onto our upsets.

Mindful resilience is when we develop a conscious awareness of our triggers and address our reactions in a positive manner. It’s starts with you, as the leader, taking responsibility for your triggers when they occur so they don’t get in the way. Remember, clarity of what triggered your reactions is required before you can create win-win-win outcomes.

6 Tips to Create Mindful Resilience

Breathe. Remember, everyone gets triggered. The moment you notice you are triggered, breathe in for 5 counts. Pause. Exhale for 10 counts. Repeat this practice 3 times. Why should you practice breathing? Breathing reduces the fight, flight, or freeze stress response triggered in your brain. Breathing allows you to take responsibility for your reactions (aka triggers) and is critical before attempting to resolve any issue.

Have Come-Down-to-Reality Conversations. Team members can hold onto upsets and use them to justify their poor job performance. That’s why you, as the leader, need to be aware of when these upsets are brewing and take responsibility for resolving them before they turn into a major issue. Remember to use straight talk with compassion during these tough conversations.

Get to the Heart or Core of the Problem. When you as a leader inadvertently dis someone or ignore a festering issue, upsets will be covertly expressed. It’s like a mole hill expanding into a mountain. Remember, you are human and you will make mistakes! So, will everyone else. Instead of allowing your ego to justify your actions, ask and clarify what happened with your team member or team, then, talk it out. If you don’t, the upset will become an irreversible issue that overshadows the core problem.

Be Responsible for Your Communication Style (most people aren’t)! When you use words or terminology that others don’t understand, apologize. Start over by asking questions and be curious about their responses. It’s very easy to lose people when you present the same information over and over (think, you’re probably bored). Also, when you’re presenting a new idea you’ve been thinking about for a while, remember, it’s the first time they’ve heard it. Keep in mind, people learn at different rates of speed. Be prepared to draw a graph or show them a specific example. Remember, as a leader, it’s your responsibility to slow down and get everyone on the same page.

Learn How to Forgive, Even When You Don’t Believe You Should. As a leader, you will have arrows aimed at you when team members feel frustrated or upset. But you don’t have the luxury of hanging onto these insults without them impacting your mindset and success as a leader. Forgive those that gossip, criticize, or blame you. While this is easier said than done, remember, forgiveness is for you. Remember, you don’t to say, “I forgive you” to the offender to forgive them. If you do, it may make it worse.

Hire the Right Coach. Mindful resilience requires you to expand your POV. When a sticky situation or political relationship is not going well, talk immediately with your executive coach. Listen and learn. You can make things worse and sideline your career if you attempt to do it on your own.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel at working through difficult situations and political relationships. Contact Jeannette to improve your strategic hiring, coaching, training, and managing processes.  Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

How do I interview to win the job offer? Selling yourself is key to winning the job, promotion, and/or pay raise you want! Learn how in 5 easy stepshttp://CareerBragging.com

One fun marketing idea: learn how to Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)  http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

How to Develop a Great Relationship with Your Boss

building-better-relationship-with-your-boss.4Every successful leader has times when his/her boss doesn’t like them! This happens for a variety of reasons. For example, you’ve made a series of bad decisions, your direct reports are complaining about you, or your ego hurts results.

Why doesn’t your boss like you? Because you’ve made more work for him or her!

The key to developing a great relationship with your boss is resolving issues as they arise. This requires 1:1 communication. Unfortunately,  you tell yourself to wait it out. You hope that you won’t need to talk it out. Yet, this strategy rarely works and hurts your relationship with your boss. You also miss out on new career opportunities.

6 Tips to Develop A Positive Working Relationship with Your Boss

Develop Trust. If you are someone that doesn’t listen to yourself when you make promises, it’s the reason your boss (and others) don’t trust you. Learn to be present and listen when you make promises. Also, listen to your boss, especially when you think you already know what the boss is going to say! Ask follow-up questions to clarify expectations for assignments.

Develop Confidence. While you may not have confidence in your boss’s ability to make the right decisions, set this aside. (If appropriate, recommend an executive coach!) It’s important you develop your boss’s confidence in your ability to manage your team or project. To develop this confidence, work with your own executive coach and focus on the inevitable ups and downs of managing others and projects. This makes less work for your boss! The added benefit is confidence breeds likability.

Develop Integrity. Bosses value honesty and candor. But, when telling the truth, be responsible to state it in a tactful and diplomatic way. There are 2 ways (hint: use the best one based on the boss’s type of personality):

  • -Warn the boss s/he won’t like your answer and then use straight talk; OR
  • -Use a sandwich approach: share 2 positive things before sharing 2 specific issues. Then, wrap up with 2 good things.

Develop Good Working Relationships with Others. If team members complain about your management or project style, this breeds discontent. Many bosses don’t like resolving people issues or getting in the middle of conflicts! To alleviate this from happening, learn to slow down when interacting with others. Build alignment by being present in all conversations and work through conflicts. Be a champion for team success not just your own success. Work with your executive coach and learn how to elicit better responses from others.

Develop Project Success. If you fail to meet your customers’ expectations, you will create distrust. And, eventually your boss will be forced to fire you! Instead, learn how to manage projects for success. Start with developing strong project management habits, brainstorming skills, people development skills, and meeting facilitation skills.

Learn How to Brag! Most bosses have no idea what you’ve been doing, and, when they do, they only hear about problems! Learn how to brag and bring your successes and your teams’ successes to your boss’s attention. Also, learn to appreciate your boss…it makes you more likable!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. If you have a boss that doesn’t like you, get it resolved now before it’s too late! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Having trouble landing your next job? It’s time to learn why! Selling yourself is key to winning the job, promotion, and/or pay raise you want! Learn how in 5 easy stepshttp://CareerBragging.com

Want to attract more customers? Learn how to Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)  http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

How to Put Others at Ease During Conversations

microaggression.bizsavvycoach.3As leaders, it’s important to learn how to put others at ease during conversations. Mastering this skill opens up a world of possibilities! With conversations, you will learn about potential project flaws, how to motivate team members, and how to improve your influence with bosses and clients. And, these are only a few of the benefits!

Are you someone who:

  • -Can comfortably talk with all types of people: team members, boards, executives, and influencers?
  • -Marvels at others’ ease when conversing with anyone, anywhere, and at any time?
  • -Enjoys talking with others and have a desire to listen and learn?

Developing excellent conversation skills will make you a better communicator. If you’re willing to do the work, you can learn how to interact, motivate, and influence others with ease as a leader.

9 Tips to Fine-Tune Your Conversation Skills

  1. Be Present. Set aside all distractions before starting any conversation. When talking or listening, keep your focus on the other person. Think of them as a VIP, regardless of their title or position in the company. Whenever possible, move from behind your desk and sit in a chair close-by. When working remotely, keep your eyes on the screen. Start to notice how present you are or are not during conversations.
  2. Unleash Your Natural Curiosity. This is important when interacting with others. Instead of taking a righteous position, keep your mind open to hearing what others have to say, and create new solutions together.
  3. Allow Others to Communicate in Their Own Way. Expecting others to communicate with you in a particular way can be off-putting. You will miss out on hearing important information. Instead, allow them to communicate in a way that works for them. (To quickly understand their communication style, use the PXT Select.) Develop a thicker skin if you are easily offended. Learn how to ask questions to elicit the best from others instead of debating their POV.
  4. Have Compassion for Others’ Challenges. Be open to listening, and, when asked, provide appropriate advice. Do this without blaming them (or others) for the situation. Stay objective while being understanding of the situation. This is not a time for jokes or other humor. Be responsible for ensuring any excuses shared don’t derail a project, client relationship, or team effectiveness.
  5. Keep Your Calendar and Office Decluttered. You might ask why this matters during a conversation? It matters because a clean office is more inviting. Others feel more comfortable and are more open in what they have to say. If working remotely, remove wall art that could be offensive. Always minimize distractions. Otherwise, these can be become deterrents to having conversations and learning what you need to know in any situation.
  6. Pronounce Their Names Correctly and Use Their Preferred Names. Avoid using shortened versions (e.g., Jenny for Jennifer, etc.) or labeling others (e.g., superwoman, strong man, etc.). If you don’t remember the person’s name or don’t know how to pronounce it, ASK! “I’m not clear how to pronounce your name.” OR “I’ve met so many people recently. Can you remind me of your name?” Then, repeat the person’s name to their satisfaction.
  7. Ask Questions Without Sounding Like a Reporter. A good conversation puts others at ease. Learn how to have a conversation without first deep-diving into the who, what, when, where, and why. That’s what a reporter does. If you uncover a problem, be responsible for setting up the conversation before deep diving into it. “I’m hearing a potential issue in this conversation and need to clarify what I’m hearing. Is that OK?”
  8. Share Your Own Experiences. Team members want to know they are not alone in their challenges. When you share your experiences, start with the point of your story and end with the point to re-emphasize it. Remember, keep it short (about 1 minute) and stay focused on the topic. Most importantly, honor confidentiality.
  9. Keep an Open Mind. Stay focused on the topic at hand by taking a positive and healthy interest in their POV. Listen and respond to questions using straight talk. This encourages team members to stay at ease during any conversation. It’s how you discover what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. Find out how effective you are as a communicator with all types of people. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

If you are underemployed or unemployed, it’s time to learn how to sell yourself and get that job, promotion, and/or pay raise! http://CareerBragging.com

Do you want to increase your business? Learn how with Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

 

There IS a Better Way to Improve Meetings

Delivering Bad NewsLeaders and team members want to be productive. Engaging team members during meetings create shorter discussions and better decisions. Productivity will naturally increase!

Ironically, the #1 challenge leaders face is engaging team members and keeping meetings productive. And as we all know, today there is the additional challenge of conducting remote meetings.

Consider, There Is a Better Way

Stop Focusing on PowerPoint presentations. Recently, Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint at Amazon. They found meetings are now shorter and smarter…while costing nothing to implement! (Inc. 2020)

The presenter provides a written, readable, and stand-alone hard-copy document (1 to 3 pages). This requires the presenter to think through and communicate with greater precision.

Team members read, together and in silence, at the beginning of each meeting. This encourages leaders and team members to get on the same page faster and engage in more meaningful conversations.

By replacing PowerPoint with briefing documents, Bezos effectively increased company-wide management productivity by at least 25 percent.

But Wait! Before You Implement!

Understand Reading Levels

Before you jump in and hope to achieve the same dramatic results, remember people read and comprehend at different rates of speed.

According to a study of literacy rates by Wylie Communications, 34% of Americans read between a 4th– and 5th-grade level. 37% read between a 6th– and 8th-grade level. Savvy presenters focus on communicating at the lower grade levels. Yet, writing at a 4th-grade level can be difficult. That requires eliminating “big words” and “jargon” while simplifying numeric data and charts.

Also, leaders must manage the discussion process since team members can become difficult when others read too slow, ask too many questions, or misinterpret the data.

Develop Clear Communication Strategies

Communicating information on point and in simple terms requires practice. When writing, focus on your audience, include simple graphs and other documented data.

Use a readability indicator (Google for sites) to keep your ideas simple and on point. Some sites provide the grade level for the document. (The readability indicator for this article is 8th grade.) Keep in mind, your audience’s reading level will be lower than you think. (Center for Plain Language)

You may believe distributing information before the meeting can be helpful. It’s not. Team members can’t or won’t take the time to read it…and will fail to remember content and/or pretend to understand the data. This can further disengage the team.

Manage the #1 Saboteur

The problem of multi-tasking is still a major deterrent for productive meetings. It’s why some companies ban electronics during meetings!

Yet, the distractions of working remotely and poorly managed meetings continue to make it difficult to keep leaders and team members focused.

To keep people’s attention during my workshops, I use worksheets with key points listed and provide blank spaces to fill in data. This approach provides a structure for note-taking. It allows team members to absorb more information while keeping them engaged and focused on the topic. While some may resent this approach, it’s usually because they don’t want to stay present during the conversation.

Provide Training to Improve Communication Skills

Due to greater reliance on video conferencing, online chats, and phone calls, leaders and team members must step up and improve their communication skills.

Tips:

  • Listen with the intention of learning and ask questions to clarify. Non-verbal communication includes physical and auditory cues. Since 80% of communication is non-verbal, if you don’t develop the skills you will find it difficult to truly discern what they mean.
  • When speaking, start with the point you want to make.
  • Keep your ideas on-point and brief since attention spans are short. Avoid talking just to talk.
  • Use simple and easy to understand explanations and graphs.
  • Ensure everyone is being responsible for staying present during all conversations.
  • It’s important you and your team participate in various training opportunities to improve speaking, listening, and debate skills!

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. This includes conducting engaging and productive meetings! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Is your career at a stand-still? It’s time to learn how to sell yourself and get that job, promotion and/or pay raise! http://CareerBragging.com

Do you want to Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)? Learn how: http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

5 Ways to Boost Your Career as a Remote Leader

Sales.business.time.focus.get real

Typically, leaders have boosted their careers by having frequent 1:1 time with their bosses.

In this new world of work, 1:1 time is disappearing since you are now a remote leader. The new challenge is taking responsibly and committed actions to create 1:1 time with your boss or miss out on career opportunities and promotions. Remember, your actions will always speak louder than your words!

5 Tips for Boosting Your Career and Paycheck

Take Initiative. Pick up the phone, send an email or text. Say and ask, “Just checking in. What do you need from me today?” Communicate in a method your boss prefers and is most likely to check. Also, provide updates on special projects or notify him/her of any unusual challenges. If there is a project or situation that needs his/her attention, request a voice-to-voice or video conferencing meeting asap. Come to the meeting with the facts and more importantly, potential solutions.

Brag. Bosses and clients seldom know all that you’ve done to meet quality requirements and deadlines. So, use metrics to let them know in a biz-savvy manner of your accomplishments.

Follow-Up and Follow-Through. Working from home does not mean you are on vacation! Set up work hours that reflect the company’s and client’s needs. Be sure to set up your home workspace and environment to reduce distractions and interruptions.

Develop Good Relationships. Working with and through team members as a remote leader requires new skills. Develop your people and project management skills by working with an executive coach. This will avoid costly trial-and-errors.

Remember, it’s a new normal.

  • Plan on extra time to resolve the usual challenges.
  • Take responsibility for clearly communicating and guiding others through confusion.
  • Make a commitment and follow-through to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Be a Solution Provider. Today there are many new challenges. Don’t be afraid to recommend new ideas. First, listen to team members’ feedback. Then, share with your boss before implementing the new ideas. During video conferencing, listen and don’t multi-task. If you do, you’ll risk missing out on valuable information. When there are issues, research to uncover the true problem. Focus on the work, procedures, and systems, not on team members’ personalities.

© Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in their careers. The new world of work is here. What are you doing to excel?  Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Developing Your Salespeople is the Mark of a Good Leader

Smarter.Not HarderSuccessful leaders know one of the toughest jobs today is developing their salespeople.

It starts with your expectations and your ability to hold them accountable. Sometimes it will feel like herding cats! Yet, strong profitable sales are a result of your salespeople following the systems, knowing the product details, and mastering successful sales habits.

8 Tips to Develop and Improve Salespeople’s Results

It starts with the right hire! Hiring and promoting the right salespeople sends a strong message to employees, clients (current and future), vendors, and investors. Remember, use scientifically validated job fit assessments to determine a salesperson’s true ability to prospect, build relationships, and close sales.

Did you know…?

  • -Promoting the wrong person is very costly. Many times, when you promote the top salesperson into a management role, s/he will fail. The skills and personality traits that make them #1 in sales are not the same skills and personality traits required to be a great manager.
  • -Many job seekers can sell themselves by looking the part and saying the right things. But are unable to sell your products and services. Make sure to go deeper to discover how willing and able they are to work straight commission or base plus commission.

Create a Workplace Culture that Values Sales Success. Invest in training for each and every salesperson! This starts on Day 1 in a well-designed onboarding program! Remember to remind everyone of best sales practices during daily stand-up meetings via video conferencing. Hold everyone accountable to dress up and show up on time and be ready to go sell. Host weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual sales summits to improve knowledge of systems, products, and industry changes. And, make sure you include fun!

Provide Relentless Coaching. Remember, the goal is to close sales. But there are other activities that must happen first. Hire the right sales coach to provide you and your team coaching and training for developing good sales practices. Eliminate the heavy emphasis on finding and closing the BIG ONE. This mindset hinders developing solid sales activities, habits, and skills. In the long run, the right skills and practices will build a profitable and financially solid bottom line.

Create the Right Winning Mindset. Everyone has slumps and bad days. A successful leader will make sure to acknowledge personal and team achievements and share challenges the team has overcome. These are great learning opportunities and help everyone to keep moving forward. Creating winning mindsets includes encouraging everyone to work with and through team members to create new ideas.

Don’t Ignore Poor Sales Performance. Good leaders don’t wait for poor sales performance to turn around. Instead, review the coaching report from the job fit assessment for salespeople. This will bring clarity to the issue. Focus on only one issue at a time or you will overwhelm the salesperson. Together create a performance improvement plan. For best results, focus on the salesperson’s strengths. You cannot manage their weaknesses and expect successful sales results!

Motivate with Recognition and Rewards. While great pay and perks are important, they are not everything. Create a strong recognition and rewards program with immediate acknowledgment. Be sure you are rewarding the right behaviors and profitable results. Keep in mind, top performers enjoy financial rewards, regular performance feedback, and autonomy. So, look for non-monetary ways to reward great results.

Create Meaningful Metrics. First, prospecting is a process (e.g., cold calls, emails, networking, etc.). This requires follow-up and follow-through every day. These all-important skills separate successful salespeople from wanna-be successful salespeople. Second, track who, what, when, where, and why along with how to best stay in contact with prospective and current buyers. Remember, companies buy from salespeople that have their best interests at heart.

Brags. Learn how to brag in a biz-savvy manner. Using brags in introductions and to stay self-motivated is important. Too often salespeople do a poor job of enticing people to talk with them. Remember, networking meetings are a great way to generate interest, not sell products. Selling products and services usually requires at least one meaningful conversation. And, that doesn’t usually happen at a networking event.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel.  Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation to strategically develop a coaching and hiring program for exceptional and profitable sales results. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.