Tag Archives: Communication

Face Time Still Your Most Valuable Asset

The millennials moving into the workforce come with a big imaginary technology bubble wrapped around them.  Corporate leaders see Generations Y and Z coming and mistakenly make room for the bubble to fit through the door – offering social media, instant messaging, texting, skype, e-mail and other remote communication methods.

A recent study by Randstad identifies that 51% of Gen Z and 52% of Gen Y chose the face-to-face meeting as their preferred form of communication.  Less than 20% of each generation said they prefer e-mail.

These amazing statistics bode well for your organization.  The traditional, culture-building team meetings are still top on the list, even for your newest team members!  The need for human interaction remains strong.

For generations, it has been proven that communication is critical to the success of an organization.  As corporate leaders in an evolving workplace, maintaining the grass roots communication should be a priority.  It is face-to-face where we can see expressions, emotion and gestures – all things that are very difficult to gauge when utilizing newer forms of technology.

Plan a meeting, invite everyone.  The technology is simple and the results exponential!a500-virtual-team

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Your Inner Leader

Your “Inner Leader” by Robert Landau

Are you a leader in your life?

A leader envisions a task, and then goes about accomplishing that task in the best way they can.  Motivational leadership happens when others watch a leader facilitating a task and admire the way they go about it and the results they’ve gotten.

Each one of us has an “Inner Leader”.  It comes to the fore when we stand out of its way.  It has everything to do with confidence and positivity.  If you let your “Inner Leader” lead you in life, you will reach the finish line even before you realize that you’ve gotten there.  Leadership is a part of your heartbeat, it’s a part of your breath and it’s who and what you are.

Here are seven easy-to-follow steps to life leadership:

  1. Believe there is a leader within you.
  2. Map out how you will get from A to Z for any task that requires leadership
  3. Believe you can get there
  4. Feel what it’s like already accomplishing the task even though it hasn’t happened yet
  5. Repeat step 4 as often as possible until the results are achieved
  6. Stand out of the way and let it happen
  7. Don’t worry about WHEN your goal will be achieved, just KNOW it will happen when it is supposed to.

Leading is something you came here to do.  It’s your path, it’s your life, it’s your destiny.  All you have to do is stand out of the way!

Dianne Durkin offers personal coaching services and leadership programs to guide individuals to tune into their “Inner Leader”.  Contact Loyalty Factor today to schedule your coaching or training sessions.  603.334.3401

 

Source: RobertLandauMotivation.com, August 31, 2013

Engagement Process: Communicate the Improvements

Continuning with the exploration of the Engagement Process, now let’s talk about more communication:

5. Communicate the Improvements that Will Be Implemented

You have heard me say several times, you cannot over communicate.  With all the information overload in our lives, it takes a lot of communication for us to break through to our employees.  Have you heard the communication adage:  “Tell them, tell them what you told them, then tell them again?” 

 

Remember, you cannot over communicate. Communication needs to be consistently implemented.

 

When it comes to communicating during any kind of change, those words ring true even more so. Keep a consistent flow of communication, and people feel they are “in the know.”  I have seen many times that the ongoing evidence of their company’s commitment to their satisfaction, career growth and personal development energizes employees.

 

It is critical to understand that communication is not something you complete by checking it off the list. 

 

I’ve seen companies implement monthly and quarterly communication meetings that become boring and non informative over time. You need to foster continuous new evaluation and feedback with positive new approaches. Incorporate skits, involve employees in the presentation, etc.

 

Speaking of involving employees, ask them what they want to hear, what’s important to them and structure the discussion to meet their needs.  Answer the question, “What’s in it for my employees and why is this important to them?”

 

The final installment of the Engagement Process is next, covering Step 6: Implement the Improvements, and Step 7: Measure Results.

Engagement Process: Communicate the Plan

Step 3 in our Engagement Process Series is all about Communication, Communication, Communication!

3. Communicate the Plan to Address the Identified Major Business Improvements

Many organizations spend a lot of time creating complex communication strategies.  Instead of going down that path, think of ways to paint the full picture for your employees.

 

Communication only works when your managers and employees are communicating with each other. Communicating is a two way street. Let us look at some communication techniques that will have communication operating at a higher level in your organization.

 

Communicate in context

 

When you communicate to your employees, make sure you are looking at the communication from their perspective.  Be sure to answer the subliminal question in employees’ minds, “What is in it for me?”  For example, if I am a line worker at a manufacturing facility, I want to know how change impacts me.  How many more people are we adding?  Will I have to work more overtime?  Do I need additional training? 

 

Forums of understanding

 

Make sure people receive communication in the way you intend it to be.  Remember, it is not enough to push the message out – people need to understand it.  For example, if people are feeling uneasy about change, there needs to be a forum or a conduit for them to express their concerns and then a time and place to address those concerns.  Real connection comes from both expression and actions that say loudly:  “They heard me!”

 

Sustaining communication

 

How do you know when your communication plan takes flight?  It  is when people begin trading stories and ideas.  That is when you know they are “internalizing the message.”

 

This can happen in focus groups, work teams or individual conversations.  When the communication grows organically, it becomes a participative plan that is sustainable in your organization.

   

When developing your communication,

follow the Native American adage and

“Walk a mile in their moccasins.”

 

Up next in the Engagement Process: Build Team Infrastructure to Develop Business Solutions.

Engage, Empower and Enrich Employees for Increased Earnings

With these types of results talked about in our last entry, with regards to the huge costs of a disengaged workforce, The importance of engagement cannot be understated.

 

How can you engage your people?

 

1. Ask & Listen.

Avoid the dynamic of sending down a solution from up high. When you ask and listen, you understand the current status of the situation, and you can engage employees in a process for improvement.

 

2. Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement

If you try to do everything, nothing will get done properly. It is all about laser focusing on key areas for improvement and developing a strategy to address them. The message is very clear: Clearly articulate your vision  and strategy, and help individuals understand how their work contributes to achieve it.

 

Simplicity for understanding is key.

 

3. Communicate the Plan to Address the Identified Major Business Improvements

In communicating to employees, make sure you are looking at the communication from their perspective. It is not enough to put the message out. People need to understand it.

 

4. Build a Team Infrastructure to Develop Business Solutions

Setting up cross functional teams of 6-8 individuals to solve a major business issue brings different skills to the table. The result? You have a better chance of addressing the issues more successfully.

 

5. Communicate the Improvements that Will be Implemented   

You cannot over communicate. With all the information overload in our lives, it takes a lot of communication for us to breakthrough to our employees. Tell them, tell them what you told them, and tell that to them again.

 

6. Implement for Improvements    

To announce plans and follow it with no action is a clear message that nothing is happening. It is one of those things that makes employees cynical because it happens so often.

 

7. Measure Results     

What gets measured, gets done. Measurement is commitment to look at what is working and what is not, and puts an organization on the track of continuous improvement.

 

Engaged and empowered employees are more productive and efficient in their efforts and provide innovative ideas to solve major business issues.

Contact the Loyalty Factor Team today to learn about how you can benefit from our Strategic Assessment and Alignment  process! We look forward to hearing from you.  

 

 

 

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

Recruiting and Retaining the Right People!

 As I travel the world and speak with leaders, organizations continually struggle to ensure they have the right talent addressing the business issues at hand.  It is all about recruiting the right people in the right place at the right time. 

 

When I ask leaders what makes someone successful in their organizations, I regularly hear the following characteristics:

 

 

Notice there is very little mention of particular skills.  It is more about the attitude and personal attributes of the candidates.  So the big question is – how do you hire for these characteristics?

 

Without the right tools and techniques, we so often default to common recruiting errors.  We have all done it.  Any of these sound familiar?

 

  • Talking too much about the organization.

 

  • Not listening to the applicant because we’re thinking of the next question to ask.

 

  • Hiring someone who is just like you.

 

  • Hiring the person because we have to fill the position now.

 

  • Recruiting only for the position and not for the values that fit in the culture.

 

Think about your current hiring practices and recruiting techniques, and we’ll talk more about how to do this in our next blog entry. 

 

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

Info Exchange – Creating Sustainable Performance

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 Harvard Business Review article, Creating Sustainable Performance by Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath.

Creating Sustainable Performance

 

According to the Harvard Business Review article, creating sustainable organization performance is the result of thriving employees. These employees are not just satisfied and employed, they are engaged in creating the future.

 

The authors found that people who fit this description demonstrated 16% better overall performance, 125% less burnout, 32% more commitment to the organization and 46% more job satisfaction than their peers.

 

Thriving employees have two components: Vitality, or the sense of being alive, excited, and learning; and Growth that comes from gaining knowledge and skills. Some people naturally build vitality and learning into their jobs, but most employees are influenced by their environment.

 

According to the authors, four mechanisms create the conditions for thriving:

  • Having decision-making discretion
  • Sharing information about the organization and its strategy
  • Minimizing impoliteness
  • Offering clear, concise, and consistent performance feedback 

 

To learn how you can develop an environment that engages your employees in creating the future contact Loyalty Factor at 603-334-3401, or read Dianne Durkin’s new book, “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.” where the E stands for Engaging, Empowering, and Enriching Employees for Increased Earnings.

Authentic Leadership: Knowing Your Authentic Self

Continuing with our topic from our last blog about authentic leadership, we will explore more about the center item on the True North compass, how to know your Authentic Self.

 

The journey to Authentic Leadership consists of Self Awareness, Values and Principles, Motivation, Integrated Life – and now, knowing your Authentic Self.

 

Authentic Leadership is:

  • Being aligned with who you are (being the real you)
  • Finding coherence between your life story and your leadership
  • Bringing people together around a shared purpose
  • Empowering people to step up  and create value

 

Knowing Yourself:

  • Finds passion that motivates you
  • Finds the purpose of your leadership
  • Feel comfortable in your own skin
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses and fill the skill gaps with colleagues that complement you
  • See yourself as others see you

 

Protecting & Practicing Your Values & Principles:

  • Understand the values and principles that guide your leadership
  • Decide what is most important to your life
  • Set clear limits as to what you will do under pressure

In summary, Authentic Leaders are grounded in who they are and what they stand for, and operate  with honest, integrity and congruency.

 

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

Traits of Outstanding Leaders

Great Leaders Move People: Powerfully, Passionately, and Purposefully.


According to a global study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, only 15% of companies in North America andAsiabelieve they have enough qualified successors for key positions. The picture is slightly better inEurope, but even so, fewer than 30% of European companies felt confident about the quality and amount of talent in their pipelines.

 

In regions where companies are focused on growth strategies or emerging markets, they found the supply of experience managers is even more limited. This shortage is expected to continue for another two years. It is therefore critical for companies to develop their future leaders. Developing leadership  skills will make the difference in creating very successful and very profitable companies.

 

There are a number of traits of outstanding  leaders and it would be difficult to highlight all of them. I categorize them in five primary areas: 

Sets the Challenge

•  Creates and communicates a vision or goal that compels others

Engages People in the Possibilities

•  Speaks to the possibilities in a clear and concise fashion

Creates Trust

•  Encourages others to take risks through honesty, integrity, openness and reliability

Distributes Power

•  Values innovation

Celebrates Successes

•  Recognizes performance, rewards results

 

Ideally, through these behaviors a leader helps others be the best they can be.

 

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

 

Leadership Secret Weapon Series: Reframing Techniques

Have you ever had a situation where you have had to change another person’s perception? For example you had to give them bad news, or you had to handle an objection, or make a difficult decision. We have all been in these situations where we may have to give bad news.

 

Reframing is a critical skill that provides a flexible approach to changing perceptions with a particular problem or situation. It’s giving the situation a different meaning which leads to a different behavioral response.

 

There are four primary reframing techniques:

 

1)      Redefining: Expanding or narrowing the topic.

2)      Metaphor: Describing the topic’s likeness to something else that is familiar to create a better understanding of the current situation.

3)      Story: Using an example such as a story of a similar situation where the new approach had been tried.

4)      Spin: Creating positive and/or negative interpretation of the issue.  

 

The following story is an example of reframing (Steven Covey).

 

Story: You are on the subway with 3 obnoxious kids who are running all over the place and making lots of noise. You see that they are with their father and wait for him to do something to stop them. When he doesn’t after several minutes you finally speak up and tell him that you find his children incredibly annoying and obnoxious. He responds “Yes, they’ve been that way since their mother died last week. I don’t know what to do.”

 

Critical Point: The fact that the kids are annoying and obnoxious doesn’t change, but your perception of them does based on this new information.

 

Utilizing reframing strategies will help resolve conflict and difficult situations, in order to change perceptions and move forward smoothly.

 

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. 
If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.
– Norman Vincent Peale

 

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