Archives for category: Consulting

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Several of the businesses that I am privileged to work with complete feedback forms following our coaching days, very similar to the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.

Recently, a colleague asked for my “magic formula” for getting such consistently high ratings on these feedback forms.

I didn’t have any formula or magic to reveal, yet, upon reflection, the following three “process” components most likely led to the constructive feedback received from my promoters:

  1. Prepare: in advance of every session with a client, a significant amount of review time is devoted in preparation for the discussion.  This includes studying notes from prior meetings and discussions, recent emails, Smartsheet and/or financial updates before our time together. Further, a written agenda prepared in advance of that session, ensures that the critical topics and action items are always addressed.
  2. Care: the level of preparation described above is a natural by-product of caring for the customer enough to achieve the status of “Trusted Advisor.” In order to optimize successful, meaningful, and valuable long-term relationships with others (personal and professional) elements of trust, likability and genuine care must be in place.
  3. Dare: this final component entails challenging clients to “Do what they say they are going to do.”  One of the primary roles of a coach or consultant is that of accountability mentor. Obtaining results requires planning and execution. Diligent, specific, and often, uncomfortable follow-up will help ensure that the critical activities that have to occur don’t get lost in the “busyness of business.

Although I’ve approached this from the perspective of a coach or consultant, I believe that this three-step process is applicable for use in multiple scenarios, both personal and professional. Whatever situation you may be currently “managing,” perhaps “prepare, care and dare” can help get you from here to there.

 

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Platinum rule

During a recent long distance drive, I was getting a dose of automobile university, the learning while listening process touted by the late, great Zig Ziglar.

The audio book was Michael Port’s Beyond Booked Solid which focuses on helping consultants get “more clients than they can handle”.

Throughout my business career, much notoriety has been given to the Golden Rule principle of treating customers how you would like to be treated.

However, I believe there is a stronger customer perspective which was reinforced in the book, that of the Platinum Rule, shown above.

Life and business is about relationships, and I genuinely believe that success comes by understanding what is important to those people who you come in contact with, and in turn, giving them what they want (i.e. treat them the way they would like to be treated).

By the way, this is equally important to all stakeholders that you interact with!

One of my favorite leadership reads is “Winning” by the legendary Jack Welch, former CEO of G.E.

Mr. Welch had a philosophy that included getting “every brain into the game”, i.e. take advantage of the experience and mind power of your entire team and you may be surprised about what you collectively come up with!

In the press of business urgency, I’ve noticed that leaders tend to make “rapid-fire” decisions, often without utilizing all of the information available to achieve the optimal “fact-based” conclusion.

Additionally, without promoting and fostering a participative atmosphere to begin with, many employees become reluctant, or even afraid, to “speak-up” or share their insights.

By setting an expectation that the thoughts and wisdom of others is cherished and appreciated, notice how this facilitates better decision-making, as well as the evolution of a healthier culture.

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Years ago, I implemented a simple, two-page monthly performance review process for the Managers in the organization…called the Performance Development Review, or “PDR”.

To my surprise, the execution of this program met with resistance, primarily due to the belief that “we couldn’t spend the time” completing this task, especially on a monthly basis.

In such a scenario, a question any legitimate leader might ask themselves is: “what do I truly expect my operating results to be if I won’t even commit a couple of hours a month to the performance review and development of my direct reports?”

Unfortunately, many leaders tend to be “so busy” that they often don’t ensure that quality time is spent with their people…coaching and reviewing performance, clear expectations and opportunities for improvement (by both the employee and the supervisor).

Are you willing to dedicate a few hours a month to develop an asset as valuable as your team?

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