Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics.
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:
- Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
- Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
- Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
- Simplifying mergers and acquisitions
Our information exchange this week highlights the book, “Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All ” by Bernard Ferrari.
Listening requires more than opening your ears. In his new book for business managers, Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All, Bernard Ferrari proffers advice on smart conversation habits.
Here are five to try:
- Show Respect: “The easiest way to do this is to clue into the person you’re talking to about the purpose of the conversation,” says Ferrari. “Say something like ‘I really need your opinion on this’ or ‘You know, talking to you always helps my thinking.’ Doing so not only informs the person of your agenda, it shows that you respect her, trust her opinion, and are eager to hear what she has to say.”
- Listen To Everyone: “Talk to not only the people who are closest to you, but also to customers, suppliers, and competitors. A conversation doesn’t have to be immediately productive to be useful or important. Good managers gather information from every interaction and are able to store what may be pertinent later.”
- Be Quiet: “Businesspeople are trained in one-way communication. They become pros at speaking, presenting, and pitching. But it’s hard to listen when you’re talking. Aim to let your conversation partner speak 80 percent of the time. Really focus on what he’s saying and process the information. Maximize your 20 percent with thoughtful interaction.”
- Understand Emotions: “It’s difficult to have a conversation when you’re angry, upset, or frightened. Avoid having important discussions when you’re experiencing these emotions. Understanding yourself and knowing when you should be out of the game is essential.”
- Ask Questions: “As a good listener, you can actually help people bring forward new facts, think in new ways, reach conclusions, and come up with better ideas. This happens by asking questions. Always phrase an interruption as a query rather than a comment, even if you disagree with the speaker. Question marks show openness, flexibility, and interest.”
Call Loyalty Factor today to improve your communication and gain credibility with your employees that will translate into increased revenue.
According to Zig Ziglar, workers have three primary needs:
- Interesting work
- Recognition for doing a good job
- Being let in on things that are going on in the company
In response to the brutal economic and workplace changes that have occurred in recent years, research by Gallup shows that more than 2/3 of American workers are either not engaged in their workplaces – just putting in their time – or actively disengaged – unhappy and spreading discontent.
The cost of disengagement is high turnover rates, weak leadership and lack of innovation and creative ideas. When people are disengaged, creativity and innovation become nonexistent. Productivity suffers because people are not in problem solving mode. They are watching the clock instead of coming up with new ways of doing things.
Other studies have shown there are significant gaps in earnings due to lack of engagement, and the lack of engagement can cost as much as 35% of payroll.
Companies with high employee engagement realize positive effects. They see growth operating income at 19.2%, percentage growth net income of 13.2% with a percentage improvement earnings per share of 27.8%.
WOW! What a huge difference. With these kinds of results, the importance of engagement is very apparent.
What type of workers do you think you have in your organization, and what can you do?
Engagement and getting people involved in teams in solving business issues are critical to improving bottom-line results.
Provide the teams with specific goals, objectives, deliverables and timetables for execution and you will see creativity and innovation at its best.
In this team environment you combine left brain, right brain characteristics for whole brain creativity. Each thinking preference is represented, and with proper goals, objectives and deliverables they can leverage their collective creativity.
Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. www.loyaltyfactor.com
‘Tis the Season!
As we close 2011, we hope this has been a successful year for you.
We also hope 2012 will be a year when you build stronger businesses,
healthier bottom lines and increased productivity,
remembering we are here to help you achieve your goals.
We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you the joy of family,
the wealth of good friends, the security of strong business relationships
and wisdom in all that you approach.
Enjoy this time with friends and family,
and may your coming year be all that you wish!