Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Signs of Overcommitment

OvercommitmentI can’t believe 2018 is over. It seems as though it passed in a flash – especially as the holiday rush seemed to accelerate the end of the year. October through December were a fun, fast-moving blur!

While I was growing up, time seemed to pass by so slowly. Important events such as Christmas and summer vacation took “forever” to arrive. Now, each new year seems to pass by faster than the one before. Can you relate?

I have come to realize that the speed with which time passes is directly proportional to how busy I am. I have also learned that the degree to which I feel impatient, frustrated, and pressured is related to my level of overcommitment.

When I become overcommitted everything seems to suffer. Instead of doing a great job, I do a mediocre job. Instead of enjoying the task, I resent it. Instead of spending time with my family, I focus on those things that have specific deadlines.

To break free from over committing yourself, practice these three important rules:

Create and maintain a balance of activities in your life.

This means you will engage in reasonable amounts of work, rest, leisure, exercise and learning. There will, of course, be times when the demands of life are greater than at other times, but do your best to maintain a reasonable balance.

Prioritize your activities.

Focus first on the things that are most important, like your faith, family and friends. It’s easy to get caught up in the small stuff that takes your valuable time. Set some time each day to do the important things first.

Practice saying “no”.

I personally find that I respect people more when they kindly, but directly, tell me “no” instead of promising something they can’t deliver. It’s better for everyone if

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How to Respond to Challenging Customers

challenging customers

As the holiday season swings in to high gear, retail businesses and service organizations are likely to see a rise in the number of customers they serve each day – as well as stress levels associated with challenging customers.

The importance of excellent Customer Service cannot be overstated in today’s competitive markets. The reality is that people have many vendors, providers and merchants to choose from when making purchases, and if you want to keep them coming back to yours, you and your staff need to understand why it’s important and how to achieve it.

Let’s begin with the “Why”. Excellent customer service…

• Builds trust – According to business mogul Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

• Is more important than price – 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. (Harris Interactive/RightNow)

• Builds positive brand awareness

• Reduces problems for the company

• Appeals to the customer – 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. (American Express)

As you train your staff to respond to challenging customers, here are 10 principles they need to put into practice:

1. Remain Calm and Listen – You cannot intelligently or effectively respond to someone’s problem without first hearing and accurately understanding it.

2. Empathize and Sympathize – Empathy is the ability to understand and mentally share the feelings of another. Sympathy is the ability to express compassion and sorrow for someone’s misfortune.

3. Agree when possible – Agreement on an issue, no matter how small, puts you in less of an adversarial role and helps to diffuse negative emotions.

4. Remember that others may be watching – Albert Einstein

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

10 Common Leadership Mistakes

Common Leadership MistakesLeading is challenging enough without becoming your own worst enemy and  having to deal with the potential negative fallout associated with the 10 common leadership mistakes listed below. Take a moment and ask yourself if you might fall prey to one or more of these mistakes. If so, identify some action steps that will help you avoid these potential pitfalls in the future.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Keys to Confronting Well – Part II

ConfrontingIn last week’s blog I shared the first five of ten keys to confronting well. Have you had an opportunity to practice those principles in a confrontation? If so, let us know in the comments below!

Confrontation can be a scary proposition, but when you learn to do it well it can be the key to resolving differences and strengthening trust in your relationships.  Here are the last five keys to confronting well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Keys to Confronting Well – Part I

ConfrontingMany people struggle with confronting well. The thought of speaking up, especially during a conflict or uncomfortable situation, can be almost paralyzing. However, the ability to effectively confront tough issues by clearly stating what you think, feel, and want can be one of the most valuable interpersonal skills a person can possess.

This week we will look at the first five of the ten keys to confronting well so you can be prepared for those difficult conversations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How to Exercise More Patience

PatiencePatience is a virtue, they say. If your patience is being tested and tried, it can be hard to see what value you receive from your situation. Being “good for goodness’ sake” may seem like a low return on your investment of frustration, but in reality you gain significant value by exercising patience.

People often confuse patience with apathy or being a wimp, so I looked it up in a thesaurus and found an impressive variety of synonyms – words like composure, endurance, perseverance, poise, tolerance and self-control. None of those words suggest weakness or indifference – and in fact, those two words are actually listed in the thesaurus as antonyms (opposites) of patience!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Time Killers at the Office

Time KillersLabor Day got me thinking about how the concept of work has changed over the years. I respect and applaud men and women who work with their hands in trades and services, especially because so much of the work being done today is in an office environment. That is where our focus is today, but even if you are a craftsman or laborer, you will find some benefit in these recommendations.

Do you want to improve your performance and get more done at work? If you’re an honest, hard-working employee, manager or executive your answer is probably “yes”.  In my consultations with executive coaching clients, working smarter, streamlining efficiency and increasing productivity are nearly always included in their primary goals.  So one tool we use regularly is a list of time killers at the office.  This list is comprised of activities that on the surface seem harmless or even important, but in reality can greatly undermine the quality and quantity of work we produce.

No one is immune from falling into these workplace booby traps, so let’s look at five of the most common time killers and see if you can eliminate any of them from your daily routine.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement

Mission StatementFor years, I have been assisting men and women in their effort to clarify the purpose and direction they want for their lives. One of the tools I have encouraged them to use in this process is the Personal Mission Statement.

You have likely heard the widely-quoted statement that if you write down your goals you significantly improve your chances of accomplishing them.  This principle reinforces the value of creating a written personal mission statement to help you become who you want to be and accomplish what you want to do.

Over the years, I have gathered information from many sources on creating a personal mission statement and want to share some of that information with you.

The challenge is to write your mission statement in such a way that it will be effective, so while there is no required format or formula, the following guidelines may be helpful:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

9 Ways You May Be Holding Your Business Back

Holding Your Business BackI want to thank Brad Mishlove, CEO and founder of Catapult Groups, for providing our guest blog post for today. I’m confident you will find his insights to be very valuable in helping you move your business forward.

Live, Work, and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

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If you own a business, it’s time to take your blinders off so you can identify any problems that may be holding you and your business back.

As a business owner, one of the costliest mistakes you can make is not knowing your blind spots. You worked hard to grow your business, and you have faith in your product.

Surveys have shown that 75% of small business owners have an optimistic outlook toward their company’s future, but the numbers don’t bear out this enthusiasm. The truth is, 70% of small businesses will fail by the tenth year, with a full 20% failing within the first year.

What’s holding your business back?

Despite feeling optimistic in the beginning, these business owners failed to see where they were coming up short. Are you setting up roadblocks along your own path to business success? If you are guilty of any of the following, you may be:

1. Not paying attention to reviews

Ignoring customer feedback is a mistake your business can’t afford to make. The internet has made it easy for people to base their purchasing decisions upon the reviews of others. Your reviews build credibility for your business by showing consumers their money will be well-spent when they put their trust in you. Your reviews are your chance to show off your excellent customer service skills.

2. Not having a great team

Your team can make or break your business, so hiring is one area where you won’t want to cut any corners. The best

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How to Be a Person of Influence – Part I

InfluenceWhen I look around our society, entertainment and political arenas today, I wish there were more people who reflect the kind of positive influence that inspires, motivates and encourages others to live a successful life. In order to cultivate great marriages, families, businesses or communities we need to look for people who are willing to effectively and positively influence those around them.

If you can’t find one, BE one! If you want to be a person of positive influence, consider integrating the tips outlined below into your daily life.