Archive for December 2011
‘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!
A framework to consider as you create your own questioning strategy is the Inverted Pyramid approach.
This strategy will lead you and the person to a definition of the problem.
- Background Questions – encourage people to describe the current situation and give you a clearer picture of their problem or their business.
- Process Questions – create a common understanding of what the person has done to resolve the problem and how the problem impacts the business.
- Detail Questions – gather more specific information on the background and/or process question.
- Action Questions - identify, assign and gain agreement on the next step in solving a problem.
All of these types of questions enable the service provider to try to determine the particular needs of the customer. Using a combination of questions manages the conversation.
By asking the following background question, it is amazing the information you will receive: “Can you tell me a little bit about what is happening within your organization?”
Once the person has responded, then you can zero in with a process type of question: “How long has this been going on?” or perhaps another process question, “What has been done to rectify the situation?”
Once you understand clearly what the problem is and what has been done to date, then you can go into details and ask specific questions like, “Have you tried the following?” or “Has anyone tried the following approach?”
This moves right into an action question. “I think X might work within this organization,” or “What do you think might work in this organization?”
Using a questioning strategy of this nature creates a conversation, versus an interrogation. People love to talk! When you ask opened ended questions, you will be amazed at the information they will share with you. Questions are your “secret weapon,” and a questioning strategy will be the key to your success.
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
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
Our information exchange this week highlights the book “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader,” by John C. Maxwell. This is part three of a three part series.
Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow.
Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Great Leader?
The ability to work with people and develop relationships is absolutely indispensible to effective leadership. People truly do want to go along with people they get along with.
How can you improve your relationships?
- Improve your mind
- Strengthen your heart
- Repair relationships
Good leaders never embrace a victim mentality. They face whatever life throws at them and give it their best. People who welcome responsibility get the job done.
How can you improve your responsibility?
- Hang in there
- Admit what’s not good enough
- Find better tools
Insecure leaders are dangerous – to themselves, their followers and the organization they lead – because a leadership position amplifies personal flaws. Secure leaders are able to believe in others because they believe in themselves.
How can you improve your security?
- Know yourself
- Give away the credit
- Get some help
If you can determine what’s really a priority and release yourself from everything else, it’s a lot easier to follow through on what’s important. Self discipline is not a one time event, it has to become a lifestyle.
How can you improve your self discipline?
- Sort out your priorities
- List the benefits
- Get rid of excuses
Servanthood is not about position or skill, it’s about attitude. Just as you can sense when a worker doesn’t want to help people, you can just as easily detect whether a leader has a servant’s heart. And the truth is that the best leaders desire to serve others, not themselves.
How can you improve your servanthood?
- Perform small acts
- Walk slowly through the crowd
- Start serving
If you want to grow your organization, you have to remain teachable. The day a leader stops growing is the day they forfeit their potential, and the potential of the organization.
How can you improve your teachability?
- Observe how you react to mistakes
- Try something new
- Learn your strengths
Vision is everything for a leader. It is utterly indispensable, because vision leads the leader. Show me a leader without vision and I’ll show you someone who isn’t going anywhere.
How can you improve your vision?
- Measure yourself
- Write it down
- Carefully evaluate it
Keep growing as a leader. Put yourself on a regular program where you consistently read books, attend conferences that stretch you, and find other leaders that will mentor you. The only way to become the kind of leader that people want to follow is to keep growing and learning about leadership.