Tag Archives: sales

How ‘joined up’ is your communication today?

We have many forms of social media that keep us busy (sometimes we are just busy being Stuart Miles togethernessbusy, don’t you think?).

Are we trapped inside our specialisms? Be that social groups, teams, pockets of knowledge, companies, organisations, universities, colleges, parliaments, media itself, banks, hospitals, schools, bowling clubs and more ? Are we in our own little tribe?

Daniel Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow) says we are ‘blind to our blindness’, we fail to see risks and opportunities that when we think about them later (oh hindsight) we know that we could have done things differently.

Why do we do this?  What do you think?  Communication between teams, societies (be those clubs or cultures) is patchy.  Are we all too busy nowadays using social media to say what we want to say and not listening to what others are saying or even, not saying? Or are we reading between the lines to understand from our own reality? Is it just at work or is it also out there in society that we live and work in silos? Be those organisational silos (ivory towers/own realities) which Gillian Tett speaks of in her book ‘The Silo Effect’ or our own individual silos?

As a group or as an individual we like to fit others into labels, slots, or pigeon holes. We tend to understand from our own reality, from what we know and believe to be true from our own experience, or what we have learned from others in order to fit in (or not).

As human beings we do have an innate need to ‘get the world to fit’ to our own reality and many of us naturally seek out those people and those things that match our own reality. But do we listen and look at how people and systems interconnect with an open mind?  Do we ask ourselves how people connect with us and to us?  Do we examine parts of life we don’t want to talk about because they don’t fit with our reality, because we find them dull, boring or even off-limits?

Do we listen carefully to what other people say and check if what they say also fits with what they do?  Do we check that what we say fits with what we personally do? Or do we dismiss people out of hand because they don’t fit with our reality?

I’m curious what you think about the above comments and how you communicate with other people.  Please share or comment here and if you would like assistance or tips or suggestion on how to improve communication and understanding.  Please contact me.

Contact me Rosie O’Hara via the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0)7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.

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Do you keep the customer satisfied?

Some of you may know the Paul Simon song from 1970 (okay so I’m older) from the album Bridge yelling at phoneOver Trouble Water. Over the last few weeks keeping the customer satisfied has been the focus of several client conversations and the presentation I delivered recently ‘Pitch Perfect, Perfect Pitch. Most people it seems appear to believe understanding the customer and exactly how customers are motivated is important for good customer relationships.

Then this last week I’ve had three examples of really poor customer service (and I’ve checked with others each time to find out what they think, just in case). One example was over my phone number at the opticians, ‘This is my husband’s number’ –  ‘But you gave it to us,’ ‘No I didn’t you give you this number. I gave you my work number.’ ‘We don’t phone work numbers. and You didn’t tell us you’ve moved.’ I haven’t moved’ ‘Well we took this number from your husband’s file’ After a long conversation I said ‘other opticians are also available’.

Another customer service issue is ongoing with a membership organisation, when I made a comment that was taken as a criticism, has yet to be resolved. This is the second time I’ve had this reaction from them.  is this a pattern?

They are currently busy with something else. They will contact me next week, when I’m away every day hmm.

A note on comments on feedback –

Feedback is about raising awareness. It is about the impact of a behaviour, that may or may not be your behaviour not about you personally.

A third interesting encounter was when I put my shopping in the wrong place at one of those detestable (for me) self service checkouts and it was snatched from me, as well as the things I had in my hands.  The woman in the train station newsagents then raised her voice at me because I must have looked at her incredulously.  I resisted the urge to say anything. But resolved to really not go in there again.

Here’s a slide from an upcoming SlideShare upload from me on how we deal with customer/client/patient/member problems.

Words that Change Minds for Customer Service the problem inroducContact details are http://www.developing works.com  by phone 01309 676004, 01224 900748, 07796134081 (text or phone)

How our language affects the way we are

Ever stopped and thought about the things you say to yourself pain in neckeither every day or on a frequent basis?
Phrases such as –
He’s a pain in the neck
I must have a hole in my head
I keep getting it in the neck.
They’re stabbing me in the back
I need a break

And have you noticed how sometimes these things manifest themselves in reality

How you have a sore neck, sore shoulders, a headache, back ache and you do get a break, but not the kind you were thinking of getting?

One of the NLP Operating Beliefs is –
The mind and body are one system
Mind and body interact and influence one another. It is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected.

Therefore if we consistently talk about a problem, even if we say we don’t believe it’s a real problem, over time it will manifest itself as a problem in our bodies. And the reverse is true, sometimes the physical pain is our body telling us, ‘hello, you have a problem, listen to me your body, pay attention and do something about it.

The busy person who falls badly for example because they were rushing around doing too much and ‘bang’ they have an accident. The body’s way of saying ‘pay attention, give me some time.’

I once worked with a client who came to me about controlling his anger. His language was full of phrases such as ‘I see red all the time,’ ‘I get hot under the collar,’ ‘my blood boils,’ ‘my boss gives me smouldering looks.’ I suggested for his next session he write down all the phrases he used or thought about in respect of anger and come back with a list of the phrases. He phoned me and said there far too many and he just got even angrier and very hot thinking about them.

We did eventually work together on changing how he thought and what he said.

What might you change? Contact me for help, tips, suggestions, coaching 01309 676004 or 01224 900748.

Are You Just Plodding Along?

How what you say can become what you believe and then what carthorse 1happens?

Recently I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for a while and I asked; ‘How are you? How’s things?’ Immediately their shoulders slumped, their head moved slightly down and forwards and they give a little apologetic laugh. It was all actually very slight and the reply I got was ‘oh, I’m just plodding along.’ They hadn’t really needed to say much their body posture said it all (to me).
‘Just plodding along?’ I queried in a ‘pass the salt tone of voice’ with great respect, no shift in tonality.
‘Yes,’ they replied and shrugged. It was like what I would call an ‘Eyeore experience’ believing other forces in the world were in control of this person. What the LAB Profile® calls a Reactive pattern waiting for something to happen to make them move on. ‘Oh well, that’s the way it is, you have to go with the flow,’ shoulders down, air of resignation. The Eyeore character (Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne originally) does this, he reacts. That’s the way things are, things happen for a reason, what can you do?
I found the ‘just plodding along’ response a little disturbing, particularly because this was at a business networking event. This person owns a business, being in a ‘reactive’ mode can mean that people believe in chance and luck, and that the current state of affairs is caused by outside forces, greater than the person is. When having or being stuck in this pattern people may spend a great deal of time in apparent inertia. At times they don’t seem to ‘get started’. They can operate with extra caution and study situations endlessly before they do anything. There are of course situations where this extra caution and studying is useful, i.e. if we need someone to analyse something but the worst case scenario is that nothing happens.
As the LAB Profile® patterns rarely appear in isolation when this Reactive pattern is coupled with Away From, recognising what should be avoided and got rid of, what they don’t want, then people will only respond to negative situations. Goal focus can become a problem they will see things getting worse, when in fact a little work and perhaps research and another option or way of doing things might be available. Add to this inertia, focus on what is wrong the pattern of consistently being convinced, that is the need to re-evaluate every day makes the person sound or become sceptical. Along with at times the habit of being lost in the detail nothing happens, shoulders slump and the ‘just plodding along becomes not just a phrase but a habit.
Do you want that habit or something different?  Contact me for help, tips, suggestions, coaching 01309 676004 or 01224 900748.

On Networking – 10 Tips or Suggestions

We all network, in some way, whether it’s a chat down the 000803_1078_1032_v__v.thmsupermarket or at the football match, at the hairdressers, having a coffee etc.  And we network for different reasons. 10 tips or suggestions here.

1. Be passionate – about yourself, your work and the company you represent
2. Set a goal – i.e. plan and prepare before attending events. Ask yourself what do you want to achieve from this event?
3. Don’t butt in on other people’s conversations. If someone is deep in conversation hover respectfully then say ‘Hi, I am or I’d like to meet you.’
4. Don’t think ‘What’s in it for me’ but ‘what’s in it for the other person, who might you connect them with?’
5. Follow up to build trust, do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’ll do it
6. Don’t hear ‘no’ only ‘not yet’ – spot opportunities for the future. 7. Be patient – it takes time to build relationships and let people to do business with you.
8. Ask open questions – by doing this you get better answers and create more business opportunities. Listen actively – we learn nothing by talking, only by listening. Know when to talk, when to listen.
9. Don’t use 50 shades of ‘really’. Indicate sincere interest or make a plausible excuse to move on. Sadly some people are boring, only interested in themselves, or just rude and bear in mind some people are new to this networking and are nervous which makes them all of the aforementioned.
10. Enjoy yourself. If you don’t, think about what was going on. Take a fly on the wall position. Was it the venue? Was it the format? What was it? Next time, do something different or try out a different format. Or network online and then meet individuals in a safe and public place for one to one networking.

I was at an event not long ago, where a guy told me what he did and said ‘I don’t suppose you’d be interested in what I do.’ Aha I thought’ really? How do you know?’ I then asked him if he could recommend someone to me who would provide a certain service based on what he had said, he replied ‘oh all the guys I know would be too busy, look in yellow pages’. There ended the conversation.
I would also like to add something one of my associates said too me once ‘if you network and hand your card to people, then expect them to contact you and when they do be respectful, throwing your toys out the pram because you’re on someone’s mailing list could potentially lose you a referral or future business’. Otherwise in the words of Daniel Priestley all you have done is collected a heap of business cards; you need to make networking work.

 

If you want help or ideas on language to get other people to understand you better or for you to understand them better, or help on confidence or presenting yourself to others – please contact us 01309 676004, 01224 900748, 07796 134081. http://www.developingworks.com

Seven More Tips for Negotiations

Following on from my last postb_opl061.thm

 

8  Make small concessions, one at a time, and always get something in return – give nothing away for free.

9 Trade concessions using “If…then…”

10 Build clear and unambiguous agreements by asking “What if…”

11 Make the process enjoyable – if the task is stuck change the subject. (The person with the most flexibility in any interaction will get the best result.)

12 Resolve deadlock by finding out what the other party’s concerns are and understanding the concerns.

13 You cannot negotiate a complaint; ask for what you want.

14 Written numbers appear more real than spoken numbers. This is an illusion.

Seven Top Tips for Negotiation

1   Be prepared to walk away, or at least pretend you will.boardroom table broken

2   Always take time to gather information along the way, to consider and reflect, and allow the other person time to finish what they are saying and to consider and reflect.  Hurrying will achieve nothing.

3   Invite the other party to put down the first marker, and then wait.

4    Never accept a first offer, especially if it’s claimed to be the final offer.

4    Aim high and ask for what you want simply and in assured manner.

6     Maintain your position by using a restriction; this can be practical, financial or something you believe to be true.

7    Avoid goodwill concessions, these actually make things harder.

Another 7 next week!

How to talk so people will listen – 7 Top Tips

1) Address the person by name.
Even in an email and start with a greeting, so Hi, Hello, Good Morning, or even that to some people outdated Dear. Why you might ask? Well the person then feels like a person and not a thing. Plus at times being addressed by your First name in a short, sharp email can come across as a rebuke (55% of the people you are communicating with are predominately Visual) – they see and what they can at times see is Fred blah, blah. And even not in emails when your colleague or significant other is deep in thought addressing them by name, means it opens the file in their head that switched the part of their brain on that says ‘oh a communication with me’. How many times have you been interrupted when deep in thought?

2) Make sure they are on your page
Make sure you are both on the same page, both thinking about the same thing. This burning question or thought in your mind my well not be the most important thought in their mind. (We can only concentrate on seven plus or minus two things at a time and there are thousands it not millions of things going on in and around us (consider how many bits of information your body itself needs to keep you standing or sitting). So you’ve started with ‘Hi Fred,’ and instead of saying something like ‘I noticed at the other day your priorities have changed’ (because Fred’s priorities from the other day will be different today unless he’s a slug intent on eating your lettuce and Fred will have no idea what you are talking about). Say Fred on Wednesday I noticed you were doing such and such, last year when we spoke you told me you weren’t going to do that anymore, has something happened to change your priorities.’ In all kinds of conversations this really works and saves endless hassle on both sides. (It also saves Fred from telling you his wife is having an affair, when actually what you mean was he had said he was going to try out contact lenses.) Also more here on Words (and Wheelbarrows)

3) Have Rapportz6623.thm
The best way to communicate with another person is to first synchronise yourself with some aspect of their behaviour (match/mirror/pace it) and then change yourself (to leading the conversation). However, it is important to check that the other person wants to go where you are leading, so you need a “shared outcome” or you aren’t going to get to where you want or need to be. You can also ‘meet them at their bus stop’, in them in their reality (that’s a little like when we all complain about the weather). Talk at their pace, keep at an appropriate distance from them, not in their space, smile and at least point your body in their direction.

4) Believe in yourself
If you don’t believe in you, no one else will do and being congruent so your head and how you feel being in line with what you are going to say works best. If you need some help with confidence, find a good NLP Trainer or the like who will help you with this, by means of a simple technique.

5) Have an outcome in mind
What do you want from this interaction? Just to get to know them? Just to introduce yourself? To get their details? Will you follow up? Whatever you do you are selling yourself, people come back to people they like and trust.

6) Listen to what they say
Listen and repeat back some of their words, not what you think they said. Be interested, if you’re not interested in what they are talking about, you will know someone who will be and you want them to be interested in you. Surely you do, or do you want them to tell someone else, ‘yes I met so and so and they don’t listen.’

7) Smile and remember to say good bye
As you move on and tell them how much you enjoyed speaking to them.

Curious about more please contact me +44 (0)7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004 or take a look Developing Works to find out how this would work for you individually or for your team, or to employ the right people for your company.

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