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10 posts from June 2014

Don't feed the distrust cycle

In all human beings, loss aversion can lead to enormous distrust. In other words, if someone has cheated you, you are likely to become distrustful of everyone. This behavior is not only irrational, it's incredibly damaging. Tq-120720-td

As co-workers, we must keep on trusting in order to work effectively. I recommend that if you are cheated, you share your grief. Don't bottle it up because it will make you too cautious. Blaming is also poor behavior, so focus on how bad it made you feel, and other people will be sympathetic. Use that emotional support to trust again.

NY Times: Why You Hate Work, 2014-May-30 by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath

Partly, the challenge for employers is trust. For example, our study found that employees have a deep desire for flexibility about where and when they work — and far higher engagement when they have more choice. But many employers remain fearful that their employees won’t accomplish their work without constant oversight — a belief that ironically feeds the distrust of their employees, and diminishes their engagement.

Instead of gaming the rewards, make the game rewarding.

When employees are able to make contributions on the job which make sense to each of them, then compensation becomes a straightforward matter of fair play.

Experience Matters: CX Tip 7 - Motivate employees with intrinsic rewards, 2013-Sep-25 by Bruce Temkin

Companies often try and force employees into doing things by slapping on metrics and measurements. While these types of extrinsic rewards can change some behaviors, they can often cause conflicts and lead to unexpected consequences. When Staples put in place a goal for $200 of add-ons per computer sold, some store employees stopped selling computers to customers who didn’t want to purchase add-ons.  Compare this outcome to inspirational coaching at Sprint, which leads to an environment where employees consistently excel and measure their performance against their best effort and compete with themselves to be their best. It turns out that people tend to be more motivated by intrinsic rewards. To build commitment from employees, stop relying so heavily on extrinsic rewards and focus on providing them with the four key intrinsic rewards: sense of meaningfulness, choice, competence, and progress. These types of rewards build an emotional, instead of a transactional, commitment from employees.

Why you're leaving money on the table if you don't stay tight with your customers

Most companies do many things to attract attention, then fill a customer need. Sadly, that puts them on an eternal treadmill. Unless you work first to establish a strong bond with the people you want to serve, everything else is just flailing around. Tq140621td

Your company must be built out of interaction with customers. You know what they can become. They know whether or not what you provide is helping. Neither of you can ever really know what the other sees, so you have to communicate regularly. And as the provider, your company must be open to whatever communication channel works for your market.

In all email communications: give the gift of a great subject line

When I started work for Ogilvy in 1984, we didn't have email—we had memos. And memos lived and died based on their titles, or subject lines. Tq140620id2All news account executives were schooled in producing informative, engaging subject lines for our memos. Or they wouldn't be read.

Now that I spend so much time communicating by email, I have sadly become lazy, frequently using the 'catching up' subject line. Maybe the purpose of my email is to catch up with a friend, but the purpose of my subject line is to make my friend light up.

Web Ink Now: Catching Up and Touching Base, 2014-May-29 by David Meerman Scott

My grandmother told me that if you want to receive a letter, you have to write one first. Wise advice. The more you give, the more you can ask. Give to get applies in social networking as well. Be helpful and share. Good things will come back to you.

Think about what you can do for others. Give gifts. Write thank you notes. Make introductions. Connect people who should know one another. Review someone’s book. Suggest a job opening to a friend. Link to a blog. Re-Tweet. Like.

Say what you mean

There is nothing wrong with asking for a favor. But use a descriptive email subject like: “I would like an introduction to Samantha” instead of saying: “touching base”. Instead of “catching up” as your subject line, it’s fine to say: “I am looking for a new gig and would like your advice”.

Ask people to be consistent... they'll try.

When you're trying to get people to follow you, don't ask them to support your ideas... instead tell them you'll help them be more true to themselves. Tq140619od

New Yorker: I Don't Want to be Right, 2014-May-19 by Maria Konnikova

It’s the realization that persistently false beliefs stem from issues closely tied to our conception of self that prompted Nyhan and his colleagues to look at less traditional methods of rectifying misinformation. Rather than correcting or augmenting facts, they decided to target people’s beliefs about themselves. In a series of studies that they’ve just submitted for publication, the Dartmouth team approached false-belief correction from a self-affirmation angle, an approach that had previously been used for fighting prejudice and low self-esteem. The theory, pioneered by Claude Steele, suggests that, when people feel their sense of self threatened by the outside world, they are strongly motivated to correct the misperception, be it by reasoning away the inconsistency or by modifying their behavior.

Finding a better way out of stressful situations

Whenever I have easy, unexpected success, I always assume I know why, and I'm usually wrong. Success is not as informative as failure.

Always on Purpose: The REAL reason you’re stressed out: It’s not why you think, 2014-May-8 by Amy Eliza Wong Tq140618sd

Fast forward to the vision you’d like to be true whenever that future state for you is. Tomorrow? Two months? Three years? See the perfect scenario that would make you happy. Now tell the story backwards and explain to yourself how the current situation was absolutely necessary, absolutely on purpose, to get you to this vision.

Painting backwards is AWESOME because it doesn’t just remove the stress from the current circumstance (i.e. the imagined future state) but it puts the current situation in a light where you automatically shift into gratitude and purposefulness. And in my book, that’s WAY more enjoyable than stress.

This SteadyCRM thang

Tq140407wdSo some people have observed there's a new experience line on my LinkedIn profile. Yes, I have gone back to the entrepreneur grind. My new venture is a consulting business to help professionals improve their customer relationship management process.

The goal is to help my friends clone their best customers. So many people think "I need new customers," but that's too broad. You need everyone to act like your best customers. I can help you build that system.

The profitability of your business will improve because you will learn what makes your customers more loyal to you specifically. "We get loyalty."

Standby for future announcements.