Tag Archives: Trust

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

Info Exchange – The Advantage

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, “The Advantage – Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” by Patrick Lencioni.

 

The Advantage

The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. That is the premise of, The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni.

 

The Four Disciplines Model:

 

1: Build a cohesive leadership team that trusts one another. They are completely comfortable being transparent where they say and genuinely mean things like, “I screwed up,” “I need help,” “Your idea is better than mine,” and even, “I’m sorry.”

 

2: Create Clarity. The leadership team of a healthy organization must be intellectually aligned and committed to the same answers to six simple but critical questions:

  • Why do we exist? (An organization’s core purpose.)
  • How do we behave? (Core values that are the heart of the organization’s identity.)
  • What do we do? (The organization’s business.)
  • How will we succeed?
  • What is most important right now? (When executives agree on their top priority, they must take collective responsibility for achieving it and dissolve silos.)
  • Who must do what? (Regardless of how clear or confusing a company’s “org” chart may be, it is always worthwhile to take a little time to clarity so that everyone on the leadership team knows all critical areas are covered.)

3: Overcome Clarity. Once a leadership team has established behavioral cohesion and created clarity around the answers to those questions, it must then communicate those answers to

employees clearly, repeatedly and enthusiastically.

 

4: Reinforce Clarity. In order for an organization to remain healthy over time, its leaders must reinforce clarity in every process that involves people.

 

The single biggest factor determining whether an organization is going to get healthier – or not – is the genuine commitment and active involvement of the person in charge.

 

For tips and strategies on how to give your organization a competitive advantage, contact Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401. Loyalty Factor has helped numerous organizations grow beyond expectations by embracing the above disciplines.

Info Exchange – Smart Trust

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, “Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World” by Stephen M. R. Covey.

 

Smart Trust

In Smart Trust, Stephen M. R. Covey and long-time business partner Greg Link share principles and anecdotes of people and organizations that are not only achieving unprecedented prosperity from high-trust relationships and cultures, but also attaining elevated levels of energy and joy. They show why trust is fast becoming the most consequential life and leadership skill of our time – a career-critical competency required to navigate and compete in this perilous 21st-century, interdependent, global economy.

 

Smart Trust shares findings that verify how enduring success, vitality and happiness are directly related to the level of trust in our relationships – whether in our professional or personal lives.

 

Trust Changes Prosperity

 

A company’s reputation, and its ability to:

  • Partner and collaborate with others,
  • its capacity to innovate,
  • engage its people,
  • to retain great people,

are powerfully affected by trust. Trust has become the new currency of the global economy.

 

The reason there is such a direct connection between trust and prosperity is that trust always affects two key inputs to prosperity: speed and cost. When trust goes down in a relationship, on a team, in an organization, or in a country, speed goes down and cost goes up. Why? Everything takes more time, and miscommunication, redundancy and rework create costly delays.

 

People are able to communicate faster, collaborate better, innovate more, and do business faster and more efficiently. High trust is a performance multiplier – a multiplier that translates directly into greater prosperity: increased revenues, profits, economic outcomes, and results.

 

Trust Changes Energy

 

Although there are numerous drivers of engagement, the two biggest drivers are:

 

1. The relationship of trust employees have with their supervisor.

2. The trust employees have for the organization at large.

 

When we extend trust, we generate trust; when we withhold trust, we generate distrust. Our actions lead either toward a virtuous upward cycle of prosperity, energy and joy; or toward a vicious downward cycle that eventually results in the destruction of these outcomes.

 

A few trust-building behaviors:

 

  • Talk Straight – Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are.

 

  • Create Transparency – Tell the truth in a way people can verify. Get real and genuine. Be open and authentic. Err on the side of disclosure.

 

  • Clarify Expectations – Disclose and reveal expectations. Discuss them. Validate them. Don’t assume that expectations are clear or shared.

 

  • Keep Commitments – Make commitments carefully and keep them at almost all costs – or communicate and renegotiate if you absolutely can’t. Don’t break confidences.

 

To learn more about how to build an organization based on trust, contact Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401, who offer specialized workshops in building trusting relationships that will last the test of time.

 

Trust – The Foundation of Effective Leadership

Trust is the foundation and framework of how we build any relationship. Establish trust with:

    • Words and deeds that are congruent
    • Willingness to admit mistakes
    • Following through on commitments
    • Recognizing ones strengths and areas for development.

Trust works like a bank account. You have to keep making deposits if you want it to grow. Each time you do something negative, you spend dollars. Do enough negatives due to lack of character or competence and you are bankrupt – and that’s the end of the relationship.

 

 

The four elements necessary for building trust are: Congruence, Openness, Acceptance and Reliability.

 

Consistent behavior is a powerful motivator.  To build trust it is important to identify the values that drive those behaviors. Here is a list of actions that leaders should take to demonstrate each element of trust in their daily activities

 

•     Congruence

•          Straightforwardness

•          Honesty

•          For example: having clearly defined and agreed behavioral standards

 

•     Openness

•          Receptivity

•          Disclosure

•          For example: openly share information and opinions

 

•     Acceptance

•          Respect

•          Recognition

•          For example: encouraging and supporting each other

 

•     Reliability

•          Seeks Excellence

•          Keeps Commitments

•          For example: taking ownership of their jobs

 

In summary, there is no question that trust is essential to being a great leader and developing a culture where people are engaged and committed to the leader and to the organization.

 

 

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 – The Power of Professionalism

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, “The Power of Professionalism: The Seven Mind-Sets That Drive Performance and Build Trust” by Bill Wierma.

The Power of Professionalism

When only 17 percent of employees believe their leaders have the organization’s best interests at heart… When only 18 percent of Americans trust lawyers completely … When the Google search “Has U.S. business lost its way?” yields 159 million hits … Something is very, very wrong. Is it any wonder that cynicism is at an all-time high and trust at an all-time low?

 

The solution according to the authors is professionalism. They state professional ideals build trust. And trust is the foundation for both personal and organizational success. With trust, people tend to be more confident, proactive and hopeful. Without trust, people tend to be more skeptical, withdrawn and pessimistic.

 

In The Power of Professionalism, Wiersma outlines the seven mind-sets of trusted professionals.

 

1. Deliver results. Equal importance should be given to delivering the right results in the right way AND to sustainable outcomes.

 

2. Realize (and act like) they’re part of something bigger than themselvesmeaning they put the interests of the organization (a client) ahead of their own.

 

3. Know things get better when they get better. The result they are continually learning and growing personally and professionally.

 

4. Hold themselves to exacting standards:

  • Have a personalized core set of values
  • Do what’s right over what’s expedient
  • Stay focused and avoid pointless drama

 5. Practice Personal Integrity:

  • Authenticity and honesty
  • Delivering on one’s commitments (both explicit and implicit)
  • Refusing to violate the trust others have extended to them

 6. Aspire to Emotional Consistency.

  • Respect when it’s difficult to be respectful.
  • Maintain objectivity.
  • Manage their egos.

 7. Reveal value in others meaning being comfortable in one’s own skin and not threatened by others.

 

Understanding the importance of trust is one thing: building it is quite another.

 

Professionals build trust!

Authentic Leadership

 

According to Bill George who wrote the book True North, authentic leaders not only inspire those around them, they empower people to step up and lead. The authentic leader brings people together around a shared purpose and empowers them to step up and lead authentically in order to create value for all stakeholders.

 

The journey to Authentic Leadership is:

 

  • Self Awareness
  • Values and Principles
  • Motivation
  • Integrated Life
  • Knowing your Authentic Self

 

Self Awareness: When you know yourself, you can find the passion that motivates you, and the purpose of your leadership. Leaders who know themselves well become comfortable in their own skin, act consistently in different situations and gain the trust of others.

 

Values and Principles: Being centered on your values is not easy, but it is essential to true leadership. When you have a clear understanding of your values and their relative importance, you can establish the principles by which you intend to lead.

 

Motivation: There are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivations are measured by the outside world, and include winning athletic competitions or making money.

 

Intrinsic on the other hand stem from a personal sense of meaning of ones life. This can include personal growth, helping other people develop, and making a difference in this world. As individuals grow in their leadership capabilities, they tend to pursue roles that are in tune with helping others and making a difference.

 

Integrated Life: Authentic leaders are constantly aware of the importance of staying grounded: spending time with family, close friends, getting physical exercise, practicing spirituality, and doing community service.

 

In our next installment we’ll explore more of the center item – Knowing Your Authentic Self.

  

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: Questioning Strategies

An effective questioning strategy is a powerful way to learn about the other person’s needs while building rapport.

 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.

 

REMEMBER…YOU DO GET WHAT YOU ASK FOR!

 

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 – 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader 3 of 3

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?

 

Relationships

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

 

Responsibility

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

 

Security

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

 

Self Discipline

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

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

 

Teachability

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

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

 

Conclusion:

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.  

 

 

Leadership Secret Weapon Series: Questions are Your Secret Weapon

In sales, consulting, and management, questions are without question, your secret weapon. Sometimes people say they ask a lot of questions. At the same time, when I ask them, “Do you have a questioning strategy?” they look at me very strangely. A questioning strategy is the key to establishing rapport, and identifies the other person’s particular values, beliefs and professional needs.

 

The nature of most service businesses is to identify and solve a customer’s problem. This is where a questioning strategy truly comes into play. Many individuals tend to ask close ended questions with ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or a short answer.

 

None of us are smart enough to ask all of the close ended questions we need in order to have a full picture of a situation or a particular customer’s needs.

 

I therefore encourage individuals to use primarily open ended questions and high impact questions, versus closed ended questions.

 

Open ended questions are used to gather information. They usually start with “what,” “how,” or “tell me about.” For example, “What happened?” or “How are things going for you?

 

High impact questions on the other hand are getting the customer’s commitment. They usually start with “What affect does this have on your business,” “How does that cause your organization to react to customer needs?” or “What does that result in for you in revenues, return to the bottom line, customer satisfaction, etc?

 

The key to high impact questions is what is the impact they have on the operation, and the business?

 

You can use the following 3 Step Process for developing High Impact questions:

 

1)      Identify the problem 

2)      Identify the business implications of the problem

3)      Turn each implication into an implication question

 

By getting people committed with high impact questions, they will take action!

 

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 – 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader 2 of 3

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 two of a three part series.  

  Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow. 

 
Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Great Leader?

 

Focus

What does it take to have the focus required to be a truly effective leader? The keys are priorities and concentration. How should you focus your time energy? Here are some guidelines: Focus 70% on strengths, 25% on new things to grow and keep improving, and 5% on areas of weakness.  

How can you improve your focus?

  • Shift to strengths
  • Staff your weaknesses
  • Create a plan 


Generosity

Nothing speaks to others more loudly or serves them better than generosity from a leader. True generosity isn’t an occasional event, it comes from the heart and permeates every aspect of a leader’s life.

How can you improve your generosity?

  • Give something away
  • Put your money to work for something that will outlive you
  • Find someone to mentor


Initiative

Leaders must show initiative by always looking for opportunities and being ready to take action. Here are four qualities that leaders possess that enable them to make things happen: 1) They know what they want. 2) They push themselves to act. 3) They take more risks. 4) They make more mistakes.  

How can you improve your initiative?  

  • Change your mindset
  • Don’t wait for opportunity to knock
  • Take the next step


Listening

The overwhelming majority of communication problems come from poor listening. While there are a lot of voices out there clamoring for your attention, keep in mind there are two purposes for listening: to connect with people and to learn. Start listening not only for words, but also for feelings, meanings and undercurrents. 

How can you improve your listening?

  • Examine your schedule
  • Meet people on their turf
  • Listen between the lines  


Passion

What makes it possible for people who might seem ordinary to achieve great things? The answer is passion. Passion increases your willpower. If you follow your passions you cant help becoming a more dedicated, productive person. 

How can you improve your passion?  

  • Reevaluate yourself
  • Return to what you love
  • Associate with people of passion


Positive Attitude

If you desire to be an effective leader, having a positive attitude if essential. It not only determines your level of contentment as a person, but it also has an impact on how others interact with you. 

How can you improve your positive attitude?  

  • Feed yourself a regular diet of motivational material
  • Achieve a goal every day
  • Write it on your wall


Problem Solving 

No matter what field a leader is in, he or she will face problems. Leaders with good problem solving ability anticipate problems, accept the truth and handle one thing at a time. 

How can you improve your problem solving?

  • Confront problems
  • Develop a method, like TEACH
    • Time – Spend time to discover the real issue
    • Exposure – Find out what others have done
    • Assistance – Have your team study all angles
    • Creativity – Brainstorm multiple solutions
    • Hit it – Implement the best solution

 

Our next information exchange will cover the final 7 qualities of John Maxwell’s 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.