Monthly Archives: January 2014

Tips for Dealing With Change

Change – it’s coming!  Despite the fact that most of us don’t love it, most of us know it is inevitable in all aspects of our lives.  To set yourself up for success when facing changes in the workplace, you can take these steps:

  • Accept that change happens in both your personal and professional life.
  • Pay attention for signs that change is imminent and acknowledge them.
  • Anticipate the change process and do your best to accept the changes as quickly as possible.
  • Communicate with management to gain a comprehensive understanding of the changes.  Share any concerns and fears and establish a clear picture of what is to come.
  • Assess your strengths and areas for improvement.  Identify areas where your strengths can come into play and begin improving in the areas when you fall short.
  • Be flexible enough to look at the different angles of the change and see where you could apply your “existing” skills and knowledge, and what news skills you need to acquire.
  • Stay optimistic: Keep a positive attitude and don’t let yourself drown in uncertainty.

 

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. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.

 

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. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.”

Leadership and the Art of Struggle

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Leadership is often a struggle.  Often leaders feel they are supposed to be perfect or at least perfectly capable of dealing with struggle.  But, of course, no leader is perfect.  All human beings have their own unique flaws and frailties.  And, struggle is a natural part of leadership. 

 

Instead of denying struggle, or feeling some degree of shame, Steven Snyder in Leadership and the Art of Struggle explains how savvy leaders embrace struggle as an opportunity for growth and learning, as an art to be mastered.  They come to see struggle as a universal rite of passage without allowing themselves to become mired in it. 

 

There are three fundamental conditions that determine the nature of the struggle and serve as its defining elements:

 

  1. Change.  Every struggle is triggered by some type of change.  External change always carries with it seeds of opportunity and growth.  The struggle may come from discerning the best way to take advantage of those opportunities or how to do so with limited resources.  In other cases, change comes from deep within a leader’s inner world.  As the heart and the mind expand to take in new ideas, feelings and perspectives, struggle comes from the process of clarifying newly emerging values and identity.
  2. Tensions. The process of change creates a natural set of tensions. Tension points stem from individual and institutional traditions (past) and aspirations (future) as well as (outward) relationships and (inward) identity.
  3. Being out of balance.  All leaders need some way to anchor and balance themselves in times of turbulence when forces beyond their control begin swirling around them with chaotic intensity.  Leaders use a variety of practices to remain centered and grounded, including:
  • Diet and exercise
  • Connecting with something greater than themselves
  • Deeply connecting with nature
  • Journaling
  • Their own unique blend of these practices and others

              

               One particular practice seems to function on a higher plane, transcending these other more traditional approaches.  This is the practice of mindfulness.  The central focus is self-awareness.  Through the practice of mindfulness, we learn to objectively observe ourselves during stressful situations – as if both experiencing the situation and simultaneously watching ourselves.  The simple reflective act of naming our emotions as we experience them grants us a new power to more intentionally choose how we respond.

 DD-Queen-of-Loyalty-2011

As you grow in your leadership role, navigating the struggle will elevate your leadership success.  Dianne Durkin of Loyalty Factor has years of experience mentoring leaders as they navigate various struggles in their career.  For more information or to engage Dianne Durkin, contact Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401.

Work Life Balance

socially-responsibleI recently had a conversation with one of my employees about work-life balance and she questioned me on how I achieve my balance.  My response was, “Do I?”  This prompted me to contemplate my life and the balance of work and play.  I have always enjoyed working and maintain I have no plans to retire.  I think about work first thing in the morning, I live work all day, and I go to bed contemplating new ideas.  Yet, I take time each day to treat my body right. I drink lots of water.   I prepare three amazingly healthy meals.  I am a student of naturopathic health solutions.  I work out.  I meet up with friends.  I watch my favorite television programs.  I read and read and read.

So what exactly is balance?

I read once that it is the pull of opposing forces that keeps you balanced.

My life would be incomplete and disappointing if I did not have my business and the satisfaction I gleam from bringing customer service and employee loyalty to new heights.  And I would be equally disappointed if I failed to enjoy the beautiful city in which I live, cherish and nurture the relationships with my family and friends, and care for and respect my body.

 I am resolved to believe that perfectly balancing these opposing forces to a point of static is unattainable and unrealistic.  For me, a balance is achieved by satisfying the tensions created, harnessing energy from both and living my life each day.

 Balance for everyone is not the same.  Others looking at my life could say I work far too much.  Yet the joy I derive at work brings great value to the balance I seek in life.  In the end, you must find what you love, love what you do, embrace your values and strive to worship their role in your life.

 DD-Queen-of-Loyalty-2011

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. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.

 

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. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.”

 

The Uses (and Abuses) of Influence

 

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The Uses (and Abuses) of Influence – Robert Cialdini, interviewed by Sarah Cliffe, pg 76

 

The ability to persuade others to contribute to your efforts is a key skill for managers, for team members and for anyone who wants to elevate the probability of success.  Research presented in the Harvard Business Review by leading social scientist and the author of Influence, Robert Cialdini, has found that persuasion works by appealing to certain deeply rooted human responses.  Six of the responses include:

 

  • Liking. If people like you – because they sense that you like them, or because of things you have in common – they’re more apt to say yes to you.
  • Reciprocity. People tend to return favors.  If you help people, they’ll help you.  If you behave (cooperatively), they’ll respond in kind.
  • Social Proof. People will do things they see other people doing – especially if those people seem similar to them.
  • Commitment and consistency. People want to be consistent, or at least to appear to be.  If they make a public, voluntary commitment, they’ll try to follow through.
  • Authority.  People defer to experts and to those in positions of authority (and typically underestimate their tendency to do so).
  • Scarcity.  People value things more if they perceive them to be scarce.

 

In summary, we all should get in the habit of helping people.  It provides us serious persuasion power!

 

Loyalty Factor is a consulting firm that specializes in building employee loyalty, customer loyalty and brand loyalty.  For additional engagement and persuasion strategies contact Dianne Durkin or Loyalty Factor at dmdurkin@loyaltyfactor.com and for resources on building employee loyalty visit www.loyaltyfactor.com.

Can’t Buy Me Like

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As John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote a half century ago, “Money can’t buy you love.” “Can’t Buy Me Like” by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy introduces us to the “Relationship Era,” where the only path for business seeking long-term success is to create authentic customer relationships. Where do “authentic customer relationships” come from? The answers are honesty, transparency, shared values and a purpose beyond profit.
Relationship Era marketing is not awareness, nor even quality, it is authenticity. Trust. Loyalty. Pride.
Trust is now the basis for everything.  The three C’s of trust:
• Credibility – A brand must deliver on the terms of their offer.
• Care – Caring about consumers means actually caring about their lives and constructing your business to be as helpful as possible.
• Congruency – Find common cause with individuals on the same wavelength.
The journey from the Consumer Era to the Relationship Era is called “the Shift.” This “Shift” is from traditional marketing to purposeful marketing. The process begins with assembling the team and posing one central question: Why does the brand exist? It’s with a parallel question: If this brand disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, would anybody but financially interested parties care? Brands need to re-evaluate who they are, what they stand for and why they are in business in the first place.
In summary, goodwill can be accumulated over time by fostering a relationship exactly akin to ones with friends and loved ones. That means sharing relevant content that may have nothing to do with your brand per se but everything to do with the overlaps of interest between you and your public.
Loyalty Factor specializes in guiding leaders as they transition to Relationship Era marketing and seek to develop long-term relationships founded in trust. To learn more about our programs and mentoring, visit www.loyaltyfactor.com or call 603.334.3401.