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Trust in the Workplace

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Creating the Character You Need From Employees in Your Small Business

Years ago the great sales trainer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was credited with the quote,…

“Circumstances don’t create character. They reveal character.”

Character in the workplace, whether it be the character of the business owner, the boss, or the employee is vital to a company’s success.

But, I don’t believe that it’s that black and white.

I see it similar to the concept of nature vs. nurture.  It takes both to raise an effective adult from a child.

Circumstances, or as I like to call them “conditions” influence greatly an individual’s character.

And, when conditions change, an individual’s character will adjust. Individuals can learn what’s appropriate under varioius conditions and circumstances and what isn’t and they will create their own character norms from what they learn.

I’ve seen it in my clients.

You’ve seen it in your employees.

A simple test for you is to look at your present team of employees.

How many of them did you hire with great promise and expectations that they were going to be strong contributors to your company?

Which, they probably did for some period of time.

Then, at some point, you may have noticed their attitude and performance slip.

Was this just their character waiting dormant for the right time to come forth?

I don’t think so.

It was the conditions in the work environment that influenced the change in character.

To get the old character back requires an assessment of the cause.

That assessment can only come from a direct, candid, humble, and maybe even vulnerable conversation with these employees.

This conversation is a three-step process:

Step 1:
Let the individual know you are open to their opinion and you want to hear it and you are asking because you want to create a more positive and productive work environment.

In that part of the conversation also let them know that no matter what they tell you promise there will be no negative repercussions.

Step 2:
The second part of the conversation is to ask a simple question, “what, specifically, is preventing you from doing an even better job?”

Step 3:
Is to do something with what you hear. Too many business leaders may ask similar type of questions and get answers, but the question and potential solutions go into a black hole.

Those who shared their deepest concerns feel cheated and wonder why there was no follow through on their suggestions.

Allowing these suggestions and ideas to fall into a black hole is worse than not asking at all.

Don’t fall into that pattern.

I’m wondering if you have?

This conversation is one of five steps in creating Your IDEAL Championship Work Environment.

I’m writing a new guide and report on the process that outlines step by step how you can implement it into any company in any industry of any size.

Use this process and you will change the character of the people working at your company.

If you’d like a copy of this new guide, which should be out in a couple of weeks, just write comment below with a simple, “YES,” and i’ll add you to this list to let you know when it’s available.

‘til next time,

Skip 🙂

P.S. – Remember last week I re-launched the Your Championship Company Facebook Group.  25 new members, like-minded business owners like you have already joined so, go here to learn more and request to join.

 

Are you with me?

If you’d like to explore how to make performance management actually work at your company, let’s jump on a call and assess you present approach, then you can begin leading to create Your Championship Company. 

Go here now to find a time that works for you.

More to come, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


Ending Employee Entitlement Mindsets in Small Businesses – You’re In Control

People who run small businesses are amazing.

I’ve worked with enough to know.

One thing stands out, time and again.

It’s the business owner’s commitment to their employees.

Many business owners have said to me, “I don’t really need to do this anymore.”

“I could sell this business and retire, or go do something much less stressful and frustrating.”

I ask, “well, why don’t you?”

They all respond with something to the effect of, “I feel responsible for the lives of my employees, they count on this company for their livelihood and I can’t trust it will be there if someone else owns the company.”

I’m blown away by this attitude.

The empathy that they feel for their employees that fuels this attitude, is the same attitude that is also killing the motivation and morale in their work environment.

It’s quite a paradox.

The reason for this is that the empathy they feel for their employees causes them to dole out:

  • salary increases and holiday or year-end bonuses with no substance,
  • allow employees to work extra hours when the workload doesn’t justify, even paying the extra for overtime hours, just because it’s become an expecatation (or some would call an entitlement).

Asked, “how did you determine those disbursements?”

In return, mostly, I get something to the effect of, “I don’t know, it’s kind of a feel based on what I think they deserve or its based on what we did last year, or in terms of hours because it’s ‘expected’ and people will be upset if they don’t get it.”

When I press them on why it’s not more formalized with accountability to performance, they admit…

“Well, it’s always been this way and I don’t like it because most don’t deserve it.  The ones that do deserve it are upset because they know their teammates are getting the same or similar and don’t deserve it.

“It’s killing morale,” they add.

This is of their own making.

This is how entitlement mentalities in the workplace are created.

You probably notice that it’s not just the “millennial” generation in your workplace. My clients see it across generations.

Regardless of the generation, it is NOT the fault of the employees.

It is the fault of the business owner who continues to tolerate poor attitudes, poor behaviors, and poor performance, and still…

Doles out raises, bonuses, and even promotions!

I want to start a movement away from an entitlement culture and towards an accountability and performance culture.

Are you with me?

If you’d like to explore how to make performance management actually work at your company, let’s jump on a call and assess you present approach, then you can begin leading to create Your Championship Company. 

Go here now to find a time that works for you.

More to come, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


Communicating Change in a Small Business Work Environment

Your employees continue to resist change.
This article explains why.
 
Basically, it’s because they don’t care. Or, at least they
don’t care enough to make their life more difficult and
uncomfortable.
 
Add to that the fact that you, the business owner, know
how important implementing this change initiative is to
the future of your company.
 
So, it’s no surprise that the real issue, is communication.
 
It’s both what you’re communicating and how you are
communicating it.
 
Chances are you are trying to sell the benefits of the change.
 
That makes sense, right? That’s what everyone wants to know,
isn’t it?
 
NO. That’s not.
 
As a matter of fact your employees don’t care about the
benefits.
 
And, I don’t mean just the benefits to the company.
 
They don’t even care about the benefits to them.
 
They’re not listening.
 
They’re tuning out to your proclamations about all the great
benefits they’ll receive from implementing this change.
 
Why are they tuning out?
 
Because you’re not speaking to the frequency your employees
are tuned into in times of change.
 
Even the smallest change like just using a different software
program on their computer.
 
You’ve probably been taught to speak to the WII-FM.
You know, “what’s in it for me?” from the employees’ perspective.
 
Yet, this is ALL wrong!
 
People won’t listen to the WII-FM until you speak at some other
frequency they need to hear first.
 
You see, there is another “radio frequency” people are tuned to
when it comes to change initiatives.
 
If you want your employees to embrace change and actually help
you initiate the change you need to speak to the WIM-FM.
 
WIM-FM is an acronym representing “What’s It Mean – For Me.”
 
You see employees don’t care about any benefits, no matter how
great they may be, until they understand “what it means for them.”
 
If the effort is too hard, or the change is too complicated, or it’s
going to turn their world upside down, the benefits DO NOT matter.
 
Before you ever try to sell the benefits, the WII-FM, you MUST
assess what the change will mean for each employee and customize
your communication so that each and every employee understands
what it means for them.
 
You also need to let them know you’ve thought about what it means
for them and how you are going to mitigate and minimize the difficulty
they will experience during the implementation.
 
Until employees understand what the change means for them, and
that you’ve thought compassionately and empathetically about it from
their perspective, they will continue to resist your change initiative.
 
That’s true no matter how large or how small a change.
 
Remember, speak to the radio station WIM-FM
“What Does it Mean – For Me” from the employees perspective.
 
And you’ll get employees to listen to you, and buy-into what you’re
asking of them in times of change.

If you’d like additional help communicating to motivate employees
in your workplace I have a FREE resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

More to come next week, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


The Road to High-Trust Workplace in Small Business

In the last article, you read that the ultimate goal of any small
business owner should be to create a high-respect culture.

This is where each employee respects his or her co-workers as
professionals.

The path to a high-respect workplace is through trust.

You may have read my statement in the last article that…

Trust is the currency of respect.

And, that there can be no respect without trust. But you can have
trust without respect.

So to get there you have to first commit to trust.

How important is trust?

Well, in Stephen M.R. Covey’s book The Speed of Trust
his research shows very directly how important trust is.

My favorite quote from The Speed of Trust is;

“As trust goes down, speed goes down, and costs go up.”

And,

“As trust goes up, speed goes up, and costs go down.”

The same is true for respect but you can’t get to respect
without establishing trust first.

What is trust?

I define it as, “the absolute belief that you have my best
interests in mind.”

Or it could also be the team, the organization, the company,
the project, etc.’s best interest in mind.

There are 5 different contexts that need to be aligned between
individuals for high levels of trust to be in place that leads to respect.

The 5 include, each person believing the other:

Always has their, or the organization’s, best interest in mind;
Always communicates and acts with the best of intentions;
Can do what they say they’re going to do (capability)
Will do what they say they’re going to do (willingness)
Will be non-judgmental and helpful when they go to them in
a state of vulnerability.

If those five components are aligned you have a high-trust
relationship.

Consistent communication with the seven critical communication
skills that overcome the seven communication sins will allow the
mutual respect to manifest.

That starts you on the trust road to respect.

How far down that road is your company?

Or…

Is it stuck on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance?

If you’d like roadside assistance to build that high-respect
workplace I have a FREE resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

More to come next week, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


The One Thing Employees Most Want in a Small Business Workplace – RESPECT

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Since 2002 I’ve facilitated multi-dozens of strategic planning
sessions for small businesses and not-for-profit agencies.

I can’t think of one of them where RESPECT was not on the
final list of core values.

At the end of the day RESPECT is what all people want in
their interpersonal interactions and communications.

RESPECT should be on the list of inalienable human rights,
if it’s not already.

Thomas Jefferson did not include it directly in America’s
Declaration of Independence.

I would argue that it is sort of implied in the “life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness” clause.

The problem, though, goes back to Article 1 in this series
(go here to read it if you missed it, or want a refresher).

You may remember that’s where you learned about the two
types of core values companies have in their workplace:

  • Professed
  • Perceived

Remember, “professed” core values are the ones that come
out of those strategic planning sessions I’ve facilitated.

They are the ones on the posters plastered on the walls.

“Perceived” values are the core values everyone actually
experiences people in the work environment through actual
behaviors in the halls.

Typically, there is a HUGE discrepancy between the professed
core values and the perceived.

You see, the main problem with respect as a core value is
that it is so very hard to define.

It’s like the definition of obscenity that the US Supreme Court
Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 explained, “I know it when I see it.”

Everyone in the work environment has a different definition for
what respect means.

More importantly, everyone has different rules for how they expect
respect to be delivered to them.

That’s the power of this model, and how the three fundamental
values of Clarity, Responsiveness, and Respect work so well
together to create a championship work environment.

But first, let’s revisit our two fundamental questions here:

  • How is your work environment lacking in respect?
  • What part of your company’s operations would benefit the
    most from greater respect?

What answers come to mind?

Respect, more than the other two values, impacts not just every
aspect of your company operationally.

It impacts every single person on your staff.

Imagine if everyone in your company truly felt respected?

The way you create that type of work environment is by
committing to clarity and responsiveness, first.

You see (and you can see it for real in the infographic here)
once you…

  • commit to clarity, and
  • raise the standard of communication so that it leads to
    greater clarity building credibility and trust.

Once you commit to responsiveness after clarity, credibility, and
trust, will rise at an accelerated rate.

And, it’s that high level of credibility and trust that will build the
respect throughout your work environment.

Trust is the currency of respect.

There can be no respect without trust. But you can have trust
without respect.

And, as you learned in Article #4 (if you missed Article #4 or want
a refresher, go here) “without clarity there can be no trust.”

So, again, imagine if everyone in your work environment
committed to raising the standard to first give the respect
everyone desires?

What could that do to your work environment?

So, today’s tip for leading your championship work
environment is…

Commit to Respect.

You have the roadmap to respect in these articles.

And, as you’ve learned in those other articles,
it is easier said than done.

If you’d like to learn more about how to build that workplace
with a foundation of high-respect through overcoming
The 7 Deadliest Workplace Communication SINs
I have a FREE resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

More to come next week, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


Responsiveness Can Differentiate You in the Marketplace & Help Your Small Business Beat the Competition Pt. 3

So did you commit to greater responsiveness as a core
value for your work environment?

In my last article I began to make the case for it.

(If you missed it you can read it here)

Responsiveness, is going to become the currency of the century.

Technology is making it so.

What is the expectation for responsiveness today?

How has it changed in the last 20-years?

That’s not going to change any time soon and my fear is it
is definitely going to get worse before it gets better (and that
may never happen).

As the youngest generation begins moving into the workplace,
look out!

As organizational leaders we need to adapt and overcome,
as they teach in the military.

And, as organizational leaders we need to train and coach our
teams to raise the standard for responsiveness now.

BUT, you don’t have to stress over it because there is an
easy remedy most people ignore or forget about.

The key to winning the responsiveness game is simple…

Manage expectations on the front end.

Instead of leaving that responsiveness expectation to chance
get ahead of it.

Give people clarity around what they can expect from you and/or
your people for responsiveness in any situation.

If you are proactive and assertive in proclaiming your response
time, most people will accept your terms.

If you are not, one of two things will happen, you will either:

  1. Surely disappoint them, or
  2. Be at the mercy of their response time demands
    and expectations.

Something to think about?

One of my core values for my business is responsiveness.

The way I stay out of disappointing others or playing their
game for responsiveness is to…

Proactive manage their expectations.

You can do the same.

Clarity with a commitment to communicating to manage other’s
expectations will allow you to take control of your responsiveness.

But first, let’s assess your work environment for responsiveness:
(Grade your organization on a scale of 1-10 in each of the five categories below,
10=can’t get any better)

  • Responsiveness to customers?
  • Responsiveness to coworkers?
  • Responsiveness to cross-department inquiries and requests?
  • Responsiveness to direct reports?
  • Responsiveness to superiors?

Imagine if you were to raise the standard for responsiveness how
would it make a difference?

When committed to and engaged in consistently, and you and your
people master the art of expectation management, it will lead in
to what we all really want…

RESPECT

See the diagram that explains this entire model from my new book here.

Stay tuned for more in two days!

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


Responsiveness Can Differentiate You in the Marketplace & Help Your Small Business Beat the Competition Pt. 2

This article is on a topic that most small business
owners take for granted.

Taking this concept for granted will slowly kill your business.

Step up this approach to doing business and you will beat
your competition, becoming the “go to” company in your
community for what you do.

Take it for granted and you risk defeat.

What is it?

Responsiveness!

In this 21st Century smartphone incessant, instant gratification
world, responsiveness is the currency of business.

Thinking about responsiveness from the perspective of instant
gratification is probably stressing you out already, BUT that
is the wrong way to look at it.

You can be the most responsive company/person in your
industry and community…

You see, The 7 Deadliest Workplace Communication SINs are
getting in the way.

(If you’re not familiar with The 7 Deadliest Workplace
Communication SINs go here to download the guide now.)

The communication sins most impacting your company’s
lack of responsiveness, whether for internal customers or
external customers, include:

  • A Lack of Specificity
  • A Lack of Desirable Behaviors
  • A Lack of Directness & Candor
  • A Lack of Focused Attention
  • A Lack of Immediacy, Urgency, & Promptness

The other two communication sins are peripherally involved, and
the five above are your biggest direct culprits.

If you’d like to learn more about how The 7 Deadliest Workplace
Communication SINs are impacting the lack of clarity in your
organization, and how you can reduce the friction in your work
environment, I have a resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment would benefit you and your company.

That’s all for now, next time you’ll learn how continually building
the values of Clarity and Responsiveness into your work
environment will lead to the most important value of all!

 

Stay tuned!

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


The Importance of Responsiveness in Small Business Work Environments – Pt. 1

This article is part one of a two part series on how raising the
standard on the expectation for “responsiveness” can separate
you from your competition, because…

One concept my small business consulting clients and audience
members in my keynotes complain about is…

a lack of responsiveness in today’s business world..

Now, thanks for technology the expectation for responsiveness
is at all time high.

That’s not going to change any time soon and my fear is it
is definitely going to get worse before it gets better (and that
may never happen).

As the youngest generation begins moving into the workplace,
look out!

We need to adapt and overcome, as they teach in the military.

That’s why it’s vital to raise your standard for communication in
your work environment now.

One of the things causing friction that is preventing better
responsiveness is what you learned in my last article…

…a lack of clarity.

So, the power of this model, is explained by this infographic
from my recently published book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greater clarity that comes from conversations with specificity that occur
with focused attention and are direct and candid about desirable behaviors
(those are 4 communication skills that breakthrough the communication sins
directly impacting
clarity), drives responsiveness.

There are other factors impacting responsiveness in your work environment,
but when you commit to clarity it will solve 80% your responsiveness issues.

I’ll ask the same two fundamental questions here:

  • How is your work environment lacking in responsiveness?
  • What part of your company’s operations would benefit the
    most from greater responsiveness?

What comes to mind?

Responsiveness, just like clarity, permeate every aspect of your
company operations.

Imagine if everyone in your company committed to raising the

standard for responsiveness, such as…

  • Responsiveness to customers?
  • Responsiveness to coworkers?
  • Responsiveness to cross-department inquiries and requests?
  • Responsiveness to direct reports?
  • Responsiveness to superiors?

So, today’s tip for leading your championship work environment is…

Commit to Responsiveness.

This is easier said than done.

Again, there are some of The 7 Deadliest Workplace Communication
SINs
getting in the way.

(If you’re not familiar with The 7 Deadliest Workplace
Communication SINs go here to download the guide now.)

The communication sins most impacting your company’s
lack of responsiveness:

  • A Lack of Specificity
  • A Lack of Directness & Candor
  • A Lack of Desirable Behaviors
  • A Lack of Focused Attention

The other three communication sins are also peripherally involved,
but those four are your biggest culprits.

If you’d like to learn more about how The 7 Deadliest Workplace
Communication SINs
are impacting the lack of clarity in your

Organization, and how you can reduce the friction in your work
environment I have a resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment
would benefit you and your company.

That’s all for now, next time you’ll learn more about the power
of Responsiveness that will add a perspective for you.

Stay tuned!

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


The Power of Clarity in Small Business Work Environments

Full disclosure, this is not an original idea of mine.

The credit goes to Ann Latham an internationally recognized
Expert in strategic clarity, Her website and brand is
Uncommon Clarity.

Ann’s book The Clarity Papers is a must-have for developing
clarity across every aspect of your organization.

It’s her work that has inspired me to bring clarity into my
work around communication, because clarity comes from
communication.

In the last email article I asked you to ponder two questions:

  • How is your work environment lacking in clarity?
  • What part of your company’s operations would benefit the
    most from greater clarity?

What answers come to mind?

Stephen M.R. Covey wrote a book, The Speed of Trust, in which
he points to his research on the importance of trust for moving
things forward.

My favorite quote from his book is “as trust goes down, speed
goes and costs go up,” and conversely, “ as trust goes up,
speed goes up and costs go down.”

The same can be said for clarity.

I’d argue that without clarity there can be no trust.

And, yet, as Latham’s work shows, organizational lack of clarity
is at epidemic proportions today.

Which means, the speed of getting things done is much slower
than it should be.

The 21st Century buzzword for this is friction.

Friction is a great term with regard to a lack of clarity in a work
environment.

Think about it.

What happens in your work environment when there is too much
friction?

Friction creates heat, doesn’t it?

Work environments that lack clarity are prone to heated
conversations, aren’t they?

Heated conversations caused by friction slow things down,
meaning its raising the costs of getting things done
(see Communication Cost Calculator in Article #2 in this series).

So, today’s tip for leading your championship work environment is…

Commit to Clarity.

That’s often easier said than done.

You see, The 7 Deadliest Workplace Communication SINs are
getting in the way.

(If you’re not familiar with The 7 Deadliest Workplace
Communication SINs
go here to download the guide now.)

The communication sins most impacting your company’s
lack of clarity:

  • A Lack of Specificity
  • A Lack of Desirable Behaviors
  • A Lack of Directness & Candor
  • A Lack of Focused Attention

The other three communication sins are peripherally involved, but
those four are your biggest culprits.

If you’d like to learn more about how The 7 Deadliest Workplace
Communication SINs
are impacting the lack of clarity in your
organization, and how you can reduce the friction in your work
environment I have a resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment
would benefit you and your company.

That’s all for now, next time you’ll learn about the core company
value of Responsiveness.

Stay tuned!

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


The Only 3 Values a Small Business Needs for Success

There are two types of values in all small businesses.

Professed values and perceived values.

Here’s the difference:

  • The professed values are those written on the walls.
  • Perceived values are what people experience in the halls.

When the two are in sync.  It’s magical!

Those are the type of work environments that I call “championship.”
Others might call them “high-performing.”

I’m confident you’ve worked in companies where the professed
values DID NOT match the perceived values.

I hope you’ve also had the opposite experience, too of working
in a championship work environment.

I’m less confident in the latter than the former.

There are an infinite number of potential corporate values so
I won’t bore you with them all here.

I’ll make it easy.

Your small business needs only three core values.

When your company integrates these three core values
nothing else will matter or need be done.

The three are:

  • Clarity
  • Responsiveness
  • Respect

The reason those three are all you need is that living by
those three will get you all you need for your company…

Greater positivity and productivity in the work environment,
which will lead to greater profitability for your company, see
diagram:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll leave it there for now and let you ponder those three fundamental
values and how they might make a difference in your company.

Here are two questions to ponder until next time:

  • How is your work environment lacking in those three values?
  • What part of your company’s operations would benefit the
    most from greater clarity, responsiveness, and respect?

Stay tuned!

Next time I’ll explain more about Clarity and how by raising
the standard for communication in your company’s work
environment will get you greater clarity.

I’ll also share some ideas on the many facets of your
business that will benefit from greater clarity.

Stay tuned!

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


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