If People Are Quitting – It’s Your Fault

Culture is top-down – never bottom-up. Read that sentence again and then look in the mirror. Ask yourself – would you work for yourself? How much fun are you to be around? If people are quitting – it’s your fault. It’s rarely about the money. Money is important, but it’s much more than that. What are you doing to convince them to stay? More importantly – have you created an environment that encourages them to stay? The great resignation is just an excuse for poor management and inept leadership.

“Bury your ego. Don’t be the star. Be the star-maker.” – Bud Hadfield. If you want people to stay, you need to start acting like you want them to stay. Here are five things you should do to convince them not to leave.

Be empathetic. Try to see things from their point of view. Get all the facts and find out what’s really going on before making a decision. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you do need to know where to go to find them.

Let them do it their way. Resist the urge to micro-manage. You’re going to get credit for the end product. There are several ways to accomplish the same task. It doesn’t have to be just your way. The more you allow them to be part of the process – the more likely they will want to be part of the solution instead of the problem.

Build relationships. People like to work with people they like. Not everyone wants to lead – but everyone picks who they want to follow. Get to know everyone on your team – more than just the work that they do. What do they like to do outside of work? Do they have hobbies? Are they into gardening, sports or do they like to read?

Develop your people and promote from within. Do you hire stupid people – or do they just get stupid after working for you? If you aren’t teaching people what they need to know, then you aren’t doing your job. Your number one job is to ensure they have the tools and know-how to complete the task – to reach the goal. Not everyone wants to be promoted. But you need to let your high achievers who aspire to take on more responsibility and move up in the organization know that there is a path for them.

If the team succeeds – everyone succeeds. “It is not the individual but the team that is the instrument of sustained and enduring success in management.” – Anthony Jay. Everyone on the team needs to work independently, but they must coordinate their efforts with other team members to accomplish the overall objective. Everyone on the team needs to understand that others are counting on them to do their part.

Have you done enough so they’ll want to stay? If people are quitting – it’s your fault.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit https://briansmithpld.com – Planning a lunch-n-learn, organizing an event or looking for a keynote speaker? Give Brian a call. He will customize a program that is right for you and your organization.

Taking DISC Behavioural Assessments To Another Level

Understanding behavior and how it impacts performance will make you a better manager, leader, teacher or coach. Leading others is not about you – it’s about the people you are leading. Understanding their behaviour and how they like to be managed will make you a better leader. Understanding their behaviour and how they like to communicate and receive information will make you a better leader. Understanding their behaviour and how they like to socialize and interact with others will make you a better leader. A successful manager, leader, teacher or coach is prepared to adapt their leadership style to to be more in tune with how others prefer to be led.

Worth Remembering – “The task of an executive is not to change human beings. The task is to multiply performance capacity of the whole by putting to use whatever strength, whatever health, whatever aspirations there is in individuals.” – Peter F. Drucker

According to Dr. Daniel Goleman, author of “Working With Emotional Intelligence,” your technical ability alone no longer guarantees success. Dr. Goleman believes that emotional intelligence, our ability to interact more effectively with others, now plays a more pivotal role in determining one’s overall success. The Haygroup – a leading authority on emotional intelligence, (EQ) suggests that sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to manage and lead others effectively are emotionally based. Empathy, open-mindedness and patience, often referred to as soft skills, are considered must-have leadership traits.

Worth Remembering – “We are being judged by a new yardstick; not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other.” – Dr. Daniel Goleman

There are a number of popular assessment tools available – Myers Briggs and Colours to name two. I use a DISC behavioural assessment tool developed by Dr. William Marston because they are easy to administer, and you don’t need a degree in behavioural sciences to understand it. Behavioural assessments are not new. Personality research dates back to Hippocrates in 400 B.C. Hippocrates believed that we each have our own natural, perfect, unchangeable personality style, and while each has the same factors comprising our personalities, four distinct behavioural styles emerge. Each personality style, Dominate, Interpersonal, Steadiness and Conscientious, react to the same situation differently. If you want to be more successful working with others, then work with them in a way they like. Chances are they will be more receptive to what you are saying and what you are trying to teach them. You don’t have to change who you are – just change how you manage and lead others. Taking DISC behavioural assessments to another level will make you a better manager, leader, teacher or coach.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian is available for delivering a key note speech, training session or consulting. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly at: brian@briansmithpld.com

Perception is Their Reality

How often have you been in a conversation with someone, and they are non-verbally telling you that they’re not interested in you or what you have to say simply by the messages their body language was sending you? They were looking down at their watch, scoping the room to see if there was someone more important to talk too or they constantly checked their phone for messages. According to research conducted by Dr. Ralph Nichols, we communicate 55% of the time by our body language alone. We are speaking volumes, and we haven’t said a word. As a matter of fact, Dr. Nichols believes we only communicate 7% of the time by the actual words that we say. If you want to improve your ability to communicate more effectively, make sure your verbal and non-verbal messages are congruent. Your body language and what you are saying must be in sync. People believe the non-verbal as being more accurate.

Worth Remembering – “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Alan Greenspan

While verbal and written communication skills are essential, improving your nonverbal skills will ensure others receive your message the way you intended.

The following tips can help you improve your nonverbal communication skills:

  • Pay attention to the nonverbal signals you are sending. Try to mirror their body language. Keep your head up- chest out and make eye contact. When making eye contact, use the 5-second rule. Too much eye contact can be interpreted as seeming confrontational or intimidating. Smile – you want to appear open and receptive. Keep your arms down at your side – not folded across your chest.
  • You communicate 38% of the time by the tone and inflection in your voice. It’s not what you are saying as much as it is how you are saying it. Your style and volume can convey a trove of information ranging from enthusiasm, disinterest or anger. Your voice is an instrument. Vary the cadence and pitch. Don’t talk too fast or too slow. Emphasizing certain words or pausing for effect can be powerful.
  • Ask questions. Asking questions lets the other person know that you are interested in them and what they are saying. Asking questions is an excellent way of ensuring you understand what was said. I listen to understand, not necessarily to agree. I respect your right to express your point of view, but I don’t have to go along with it.

Worth Remembering – “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying.” Emerson.

We are not born knowing how to be a great communicator – but we can learn to be. Practice your non-verbal skills. Remember – you are not the most important person in the conversation. If they didn’t receive the message the way you intended – then whatever you said means nothing. If they think you are a good listener, then you are. If they think you are a great communicator, then you are. Perception is their reality.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian is available for keynote speeches, corporate events and training sessions. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit his website – https://briansmithpld.com

You Can’t Suck and Blow in The Same Breath

You can’t suck and blow in the same breath. You can do one or the other, but you can’t do both at the same time. I have a soft spot for service providers, and those working with the general public., having spent over 30 years as a general manager for a major retailer. Profit and being profitable is not a dirty word. When small businesses go out of business, the whole community suffers. You have a choice. You can pay lower prices for the goods and services you buy , or you can have exceptional customer service, but you can’t have both.

Self-Serve Checkouts

I know a lot of customers are upset with retailers who are installing banks of self-serve checkouts. Some are going so far as to suggest you boycott those stores. I spent over 30 years in retail as a general manager for a major retailer. I understand the challenges they face. Margins continue to be squeezed. Costs continue to go up. Business owners are paying more for the goods they sell, the utilities they use, and the equipment they lease or buy. You have a choice. If you want exceptional customer service, you’ll have to be willing to pay more for the products you buy, but you can’t have low prices and service too. If you put it to a vote, the majority of customers would pick low prices.

ATM Machines

I remember the time, yes I’m that old, when my local bank installed an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) along the side of the building. You had to stand out side – sometimes in inclement weather to use it. Customers had a choice. You can go inside the bank, stand in the line up and wait your turn to get served by the teller or learn to use the machine. Initially, there was a lot of pushback from customers who refused to use the device. If you wanted the bank to hold the line on what they charged for the services they provided, then something had to give. Either they had to charge you more for the services they offered so they could afford to hire more tellers or install more ATM’s, because they couldn’t afford to do both. At least nowadays, you don’t have to go outside to use one. Even better yet. Some banks now have drive-through lanes so you don’t even have to get out of your vehicle to use the ATM.

Fast-Food Outlets

I love the touch screen machines being installed at fast food outlets. You have a choice. You can either embrace the new way of ordering your food and pay for your purchase online or stand in the line up. However, keep in mind that they can only afford one cashier so it may take longer to place and pay for your order. The new frontier, now being introduced by the Taco Bell’s of the fast-food industry is contactless service. They are experimenting with multiple drive-through lanes, some of them dedicated to mobile orders and curbside pickups. Customers can scan their order via a QR code at the digital check-in screen, pay for their order online and then proceed to the pickup area. Handling cash with become a thing of the past.

You can’t suck and blow in the same breath. You can have low prices or pay for exceptional customer service, but you can’t have both.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian specializes in soft skills training and leadership development. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit his website: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly – brian@briansmithpld.com