Learn To Count To Ten

According to Wikipedia patience is the ability to endure difficult circumstances such as perserverence in the face of delay; tolerance of provocation without responding in anger; or forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer term difficulties. Patience is a much needed 21st Century skill. Some have it in spades, others have to work at it. Picking up a 2X4 and smacking someone on the side of the head may not be the way to go when you are frustrated. You need to learn to count to ten.

Worth Remembering … “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

Do you need to develop more patience? Here are some things to keep in mind.

1 – Expect challenges. Expect delays. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Something will go wrong and when it does, work around it or climb over it.

2 – Go slow to go fast. You don’t want to end up doing things twice. Get all the facts before making a decision, but make a decision in a timely manner. Procrastination is a killer.

3 – Be empathetic. People will make mistakes, everyone does. When things go wrong, fix it, don’t dwell on it.

4 – See the big picture. Don’t get bogged down in the weeds. Keep your eye on the prize. A minor set back is just that. Keep moving forward.

Worth Remembering … “He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Those that know me best know that patience was never my strong suit. It’s something I have had to work at. I’ve had to bite my tongue on more than one occasion. If you want to be a more effective 21st Century manager or business leader then you need to learn to count to ten.

Copyright (c) 2020. 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

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How to Create a Competitive Advantage

The only competitive advantage you have is the level of customer service you provide, and if you aren’t delivering exceptional customer service then you put yourself and your organization at a distinct disadvantage. Chances are you won’t be in business very long. Think of your own experiences. When was the last time you had exceptional customer service? I mean eye-popping, wow service. How did that make you feel? When was the last time you had terrible, so-so service? The kind of service that made you decide never to do business with that company again. 

Worth Remembering … “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Zig Ziglar 

What is it going to take for you and your organization to be exceptional? The 4-P’s – Price, Product, Promotion and Place are no longer relevant. The internet and social media have created a level playing field. Now no business is too big to fail. We can name a number of companies like Sears who thought they were. Going far beyond the call of duty, exceeding your client’s expectation; that is what exceptional service is all about.

Worth Remembering … “If you want to succeed at any job, make yourself invaluable. Go the extra mile; make them never to be able to imagine doing business with anyone else but you.” – Ross Mathews

Every time you do business with your clients is a test. Make sure everyone on your team is up for the challenge. Every time your clients do business with you, they are comparing you against your competitors. If you are going to be exceptional then you have to be better than your competition. You have to remain one step ahead. Never compete on price, someone is always willing to sell for less. Find out what your clients value the most and deliver on that every time you do business with them. That’s how you create a competitive advantage.

Copyright (c) 2020. 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 or contact him directly at – brian@briansmithpld.com

Are You Asking The Right Type of Question?

Are you looking for answers? Not getting the answers you are looking for? Maybe it’s because you aren’t asking the right type of question. If you learn to ask the right type of questions and listen, really listen to the answers, chances are others will tell you everything you need to hear.

Worth Remembering ... “I listen to understand – not necessarily to agree” – Dale Carnegie

Depending on what you want to know, you have four basic types of questions that you can ask.

Open Ended Questions – If you are wanting to promote dialoge then you need to ask an open ended question. Ask a question that requires more than a one word answer from the other person. – Example: “What kind of options are you looking for?”

Closed Questions – When a one word answer will do. A closed question gives the person limited options as to how to respond to your question. – Example: “What colour?”

Clarifying Questions – A non-judgemental question when you want to verify what was said. – Example: “So if I heard you correctly you said …..”

Problem Solving Questions – Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese Industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique. If you are looking to solve a problem try asking “Why”until you discover what problem, or problems need to be solved before you get the desired results. Some solutions may be simple, while others may be more complex. You might uncover more problems then you think you had. – Example: “The shipment didn’t get delivered on time – Why?”

Worth Remembering … “I know 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.” – Robert McCloskey

Are you asking the right type of question?

Copyright (c) 2020. 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

Establishing the T Word

Trust – a five letter word that makes all the difference when managing and leading others. Without trust you won’t be able to do either one very well. Trust doesn’t come automatically just because of the title you’ve been given. You must earn it one person at a time. Establishing trust between you and the people you work with and interact with is a 3-step process that I refer to as the 3 R’s – Rapport, Relationship and Respect. It’s a process that everyone must go through before you can establish trust.

Worth Remembering .. “In organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t get into regulating and coercing behaviours. They don’t need a policy for every mistake … people in these trusting environments respond with enormous commitment and creativity.” – Walter Wriston

Step One: Building Rapport. Find out something about the person you are working with other than the work that they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like doing in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them about a subject that they like. Idle chit-chat is important if you want to tear down any walls that may exist between you and them. Building rapport will help you do that.

Step Two: Developing Relationships. The second step in establishing trust is to develop a relationship. You can’t have a relationship with anyone unless you have built rapport first. Successful salespeople understand the value of building relationships with their clients. They understand that clients choose to do business with people they like. The same holds true for the people you work with. People like to work with people they like. If they like you – chances are they will follow you because no one wants to let a friend down.

Step Three: Establishing Respect. The third step to building trust is respect. You won’t respect anyone that you haven’t developed a relationship with first. However, keep in mind that respect is reciprocal – you can’t demand it. Respect is a two-way street. You have to give it to get it – and you have to give it first if you expect to get it back. You may not like or agree with everything that others have to say – but you need to respect the fact they they have a right to express their opinion. You can agree to respectfully disagree.

Worth Remembering … “I’m not upset that you lied to me. I’m upset because from now on I can’t believe you.” – Nietzsche

After respect comes the “T” word – trust. You’ll never trust anyone you don’t respect first. Sometimes managers and leaders need others to take a leap of faith. Sometimes managers and leaders don’t have all the answers and need others to trust them that they have their best interests in mind. If you have navigated the 3-step process successfully you will have established trust. Without it – you have nothing.

Copyright (c) 2020. 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 or contact Brian via email: brian@briansmithpld.com