Thursday, July 30, 2015

Drop the Jealousy

Have you ever noticed that we love to root for a team UNTIL they win?  Once a team continually wins, or has success over a long period of time, we root for them to lose!  Why?  Is it because we just want to "let another team have a chance?"  No.  We are jealous.

When you see someone in your world that is having success, what is your natural reaction?  Be honest.  At a core, visceral level, do you celebrate their success?  Or are you jealous? 

It seems many people I know immediately go to jealousy.  They are skeptical.  There is a voice in their head that says, "Sure they have success, but what did they DO to get there?"  Or they ask "Why them and not me?"  To some degree this is natural.  Don't beat yourself up over it if this is you.  But here are some reasons why you should drop the jealousy.

It Inhibits Your Success:  When your natural reaction to success is to question it, you slow your own success.  You are telling your subconscious mind that "they must be cheating."  So the only way to succeed is to cheat.  Not true of course.  Use that energy to honestly study what those people are doing differently than you.  Then do that.

It Gives You An Out:  This is related to above.  Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us could work harder to achieve what we want.  But for whatever reason, we don't.  This "jealousy" attitude gives us a subtle out.  No need to work harder, only "they" are successful.  If you want it (whatever it is) work for it.  Want more?  Work harder.

It Makes You Less Grateful:  In addition, if we are honest, most of us have a ton of things in the world to be grateful for.  By focusing on the things that others have we lose sight of all of the blessings in our own life.  That attitude of gratitude can really be an important part of helping you climb the ladder of success.

So the next time you hear of a peer, friend or acquaintance celebrating some successful event...make sure you join them in celebration.  Be honest.  Be sincere.  Celebrate with them.

If you keep after it, someday they will be happy to celebrate with you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Want to Make A Difference? Be Kind

Most of us have a desire to make our community, our family or even our world a better place.  The challenge that many of us face, is that goal seems so huge.  So in the face of an insurmountable challenge, some people just decide to give up.  They ask, "What could I do to actually have in impact?"

Turns out the answer is pretty easy.  Just be kind.

When you do something nice for someone else, they get a boost of a chemical in our body called Oxytocin.  Research shows that this chemical has health benefits that include reducing stress, decreasing anxiety and increasing trust (among many other benefits).  That same chemical is released in YOUR body (at equal levels) when you do that kind act.  Cool huh? 

But wait, there's more.

When someone witnesses your act of kindness, this uninvolved bystander actually gets an equal boost in Oxytocin as well!  So with one small generous act, you have improved the day (and lives) of at least 3 people.  Not bad.

So go out today and make the world a better place.  You have the power to do it.  Just be kind.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Give Employees the Power To Fix Issues

When I leave on vacation, my biggest rule for employees is “When in doubt, take care of the customer.”  This may sound simplistic, but it establishes a basic decision-making model for my team.  They don’t have to check with me.  Just get the project right with the customer, and we will figure the rest out when I get back.

Ironically, on this most recent vacation, my family went to a resort that did not have that philosophy.  We ran into situation after situation where the person who was dealing with the customer (the face of the company) did not have the authority to do anything to appease an unhappy patron. 

Each time a frustrated guest would ask for something the staff would say “I will have to check with my supervisor.”  They would then walk away (leaving a long line of angry and frustrated people) while they would check on whether or not they could help the person in front of them.  It was madness.

If you have taken the time to hire smart and contentious people (and if you haven’t, why haven’t you?), then give them the authority to make decisions to (within reason) take care of the customer.   

The result?  You will not only have happier customers, but happier staff too!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Second Impressions Matter!

We have all had the experience as a customer.  You have your first interaction with a company or organization, and something goes wrong.   The first impression of that company is not perfect.  We talk a lot about the importance of good first impression, and that is true.  But sometimes the first interaction can get off on the wrong foot.  It happens.

But what happens next is super important. 

In my experience, most customers are somewhat understanding about the first issue, as long as the first issue is quickly addressed.  That SECOND experience can make the relationship or break it.

If you get the second experience right (you immediately fix the problem and show regret) you can quickly gain the customer’s trust back.

But if you get the 2nd impression wrong, most of the time, the relationship is doomed.  Now you have a track record of failure.  The customer starts to “look” for things that are wrong.  You have no trust built up with them.  Now you (and your company) has to be perfect from now on.

And no one is perfect.

Remember, everyone looks great when things go right.  But the “2nd impression” can make all the difference.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Expectations are a Huge part of Experience

The same experience can look totally different to two different people.  So often, this has to do with expectations. 

For example, if you have never been to a luxory resort, the beautiful scenery, the rum drinks and the warm breeze can ensure that you have a great experience.  If these were your expectations, they have been met. 

However, if you have been to several luxory resorts and you have had exceptional service, then this new resort has to compete.  They are competing not only with the other resorts, but the expectations they have set. 

When that's the case, the bar has been raised.

When working with your new customers, make sure you understand their expectations.  (Notice I did not say manage their expectations).  If you deliver outside of their expectations, their experience is likely to be less than perfect.

(Yes, you can EXCEED their expectations.  That's great.  But it helps to know what they are in order to do that too!).