Monthly Archives: July 2012

Building Relationships | Leading Insight

Research shows that even with the best products and business practices, you still need strong relationships to succeed in this marketplace. The following is a roadmap to turn personality differences into positive business results.

Respect is at the heart of building business relationships. It is the glue that holds together the functioning of teams, partnerships and managing relationships. (Up and down, peer-to-peer, internally and externally). Respecting the right to differ is a concept like apple pie and motherhood. We all agree with it but can we truly foster it?

The first step is to identify the specific areas of difference. Many people see things in terms of rights and wrongs. “My way” is right and therefore “other ways” are wrong. When a situation is viewed through this lens, a power struggle ensues. When, however, a situation can be seen through the lens of difference, and a position is simply a matter of opinion not fact, then cooperation and compromise is possible. Identifying and understanding differences allows people to shift their position to one of compromise and negotiation.

The following steps are the roadmap to success:

  • Respect leads to accepting a person for what he/she is.
  • Accepting a person where they are, creates an environment of trust.
  • Trust, leads to a willingness to be open to: new opportunities, new collaborations, new strategies, new ideas, new products.

Once you understand the above you can use the following list to avoid power struggles, which drain energy from your effectiveness. Here is our top 10 list for type of differences to look for.

Communication Styles. All people do not communicate in the same fashion. There are many inventories available to identify differing styles. Once you understand a person’s style, this knowledge can lead to respect not conflict.

Non-Verbal Communication. All forms of communication must be considered. This form of communication is more covert, but not any less important. Non-verbal communication includes; body language, and tone. Non-verbal communication may differ from the verbal. With this additional understanding of what is really being communicated more effective collaboration is possible.

Learning Styles. People learn in different ways. When this concept is in the forefront of understanding then communications can be geared to various styles and will meet with greater success. Differing Values. This concept can be a little tricky. While values need to be identified and respected, there are times when conflicting values can be so different that they cannot coexist on the same team. When mutually exclusive values are encountered, collaboration is not recommended.

Differing Values. This concept can be a little tricky. While values need to be identified and respected, there are times when conflicting values can be so different that they cannot coexist on the same team. When mutually exclusive values are encountered, collaboration is not recommended.

Boundaries. We all have different space needs and boundary needs. (Boundaries are the limits you place on the behavior of others around you.) The first step is to be aware of peoples’ boundaries and then to use this understanding to approach them respectfully. This new behavior often avoids conflict and strengthens relationships.

The Self. Self-respect is a vital and primary building block that supports the formation of relationships. By being aware of your own needs and styles you create a healthy foundation and the ensuing relationships are more solid. The remaining categories are variations on the theme of Cultural Differences. The need to understand, respect, and integrate diversity is a must in today’s market.

Company Culture. Seasoned employees have come from different companies and each company has a culture. This must be identified and respected in order to insure successful integration into the current company. This coept is especially pertinent to mergers and acquisitions.

Culture of the Country. With the global nature of our business, employees often come from different countries, each with a different culture. In order to successfully integrate multicultural differences, these differences must be understood, articulated, and respected.

Family Cultures. The influence of our backgrounds is great. Often we ignore these differences because they “do not belong in the workplace”. However the reality is that people cannot keep who they are out of the work environment. The key here is to recognize when the source of the conflict is based on someone’s family/personal issues. This allows you to choose not to engage in a battle that is based on their family history.

Individual vs Team. Balancing the individual needs with team needs is always an interesting dilemma. However, if this healthy balance is not reached, problems are certain to follow. Taking the time to identify and then address both individual and team dynamics are at the core of this balancing act. Business success is directly related to getting this right.

Thank you and shout out to Leading Insight! |http://leadinginsight.com/business_relationships.htm

 

10 Ways To Use Twitter For Business | Jeff Bullas

Twitter has been around for a couple of years now and is now receiving over 50 Million unique visitors a month. It’s use as a tool for business has never been seen before in the history of the web. Twitters credibility has increased in recent months as it has struck deals with Bing (Microsoft’s search engine) as well as Google to provide real time search feeds. In this video we look at ten different ways you can use Twitter for business to increase revenue and traffic, improve service and reduce costs.

10 Reasons Why Twitter Is Great For Business

  1. You can monitor real time conversation about your brand  that can assist your marketing and management teams to see what is really being about your company today (not tomorrow or next week as would be normal on Google or with Media and the Press) and modify marketing  campaigns based on the monitoring.
  2. Perform real time searches about your industry including your monitoring your competitors and seeing what is being said on Twitter about them. Some tools  that can be used for this are Tweetdeck (columns can be set up for each      type of keyword or phrase) and Google alert amongst many
  3. Broadcast links and headlines that can drive traffic to your website, blog, landing pages and YouTube channels
  4. Improve customer service (A good case study on this is “ Zappos” an online shoe retailer) by picking up conversations about your company that you might not be aware of and respond quickly to shut down any impending service or potentially damaging PR disasters.
  5. Communicate and engage within your buinesses marketplace, sector or niche through direct messages commenting on their blogs via twitter and retweeting their tweets (You will be surprised how easily it can be to connect with someone that would not take a phone call or respond to an email).
  6. Run special deals and promotions on Twitter that you can use to drive traffic or move slow moving stock (exanple Dell)
  7. Build your your company’s and or personal brand through positioning yourself as a thought leader through posting great tweets and  embedded links leading back to your blog or website
  8. Share your ideas internally in a very efficient manner through the latest feature from Twitter called lists that can be private or open
  9. It can be used to humanise a faceless conglomerate (see David Meerman Scotts Video at General Motors)  and remove the company ivory tower persona by Tweeting about the real issues and responding to other people’s tweets within your industry.
  10. Connect to leaders in your industry through following other thought leaders and commenting on their tweets (Twitter etiquette usually means if you follow someone they follow you back)

So how are you using Twitter for business?

Note: I have also summarised the video’s content above in text format so that those who can’t view it due to slow internet connections or prefer reading to viewing can do so.

Thanks and shout out to Jeff! / http://www.jeffbullas.com/2009/11/18/10-ways-to-use-twitter-for-business/

16 Creative Ways to Use Twitter for Business | By Charlene Kingston Published July 10, 2012

Is your Twitter activity feeling stale?

The good news is that you can easily revitalize your Twitter experience!

Here are 16 ways to bring new life and renewed business purpose to your Twitter efforts.

#1: Organize whom you follow with lists

There are many people you need to follow on Twitter for business reasons such as customers, suppliers, neighboring businesses, peers and competitors. As the number of people you follow grows, so does the noise. It gets harder to hear the important messages among all of the others.

So how can you make sure you don’t miss anything important? Use Twitter lists.

Twitter lists are its most powerful and least-used feature. Lists allow you to group the important people you follow so they don’t get lost in the noise of everyone else.

You can create separate lists for:

  • Customers
  • People in your industry
  • Social media teachers
  • People in professional organizations
good lists exampleYou can create Twitter lists to organize the people you follow so you can focus on the most important people and conversations.

By creating and using Twitter lists, you can focus on tweets from groups of people and decide when you want to see them, so tweets from important people don’t get lost.

You can create up to 20 different Twitter lists with up to 500 accounts in each list. You can monitor each list separately using Twitter.com or Twitter tools like HootSuite.

Tip: You don’t have to put everyone into a list.

#2: Create a conversation list

Whom you follow determines your daily experience of Twitter. If you follow people who inspire you, people who say intelligent things and challenge you to think differently, Twitter becomes a joy.

One smart way to focus on the people who inspire you (without ignoring everyone else) is to create a private conversation list.

Include in this list:

  • People who inspire you in business
  • People who inspire you personally
  • People who are fun to talk with
good convo list exampleA conversation list helps you save time by pulling together the most important people and conversations into a single list.

Jump into the list when you are looking for inspiration or encouragement during your workday.

You can make your conversation list public or private. By creating a private list, you are the only person who knows who is on your list and when you make changes to the list. However, everything you say to people on this list is still public, so watch your words.

#3: Update your profile picture

Your Twitter profile picture appears next to every tweet you send. It’s an opportunity to associate an image with your business in the minds of everyone who follows you.

The challenge is that your Twitter profile picture is very small and square. For most businesses, your logo or personal headshot isn’t the right size or shape to represent you well.

bad logo example blurredAt full size, this company may have a beautiful logo. However, it’s too small to be effective on Twitter.

If your profile picture is your logo:

  • Make sure your logo fits into the square size. Cropped-off logos look unprofessional and give the impression that your business doesn’t care about the details.
  • Make sure your logo is readable. If your logo contains words that cannot be read, you are wasting the space. Create an image without the words that captures the essence of your logo.
  • Consider switching to a headshot. People connect with faces, not logos. If you are the driving force of your business, why not use your face to make your business seem more human and approachable?
bad pic example 3 blurredThis is an example of what not to do with your Twitter profile picture because you cannot easily see the person’s face.

If your profile picture is a photograph:

  • Focus on your face. People don’t want to see you standing on the beach and they don’t care what clothes you are wearing.
  • No animals or kids. Even if your business is directly related to pets or children, you should be the focus of your photograph. You want to make a human connection with potential customers.

While a professional photograph is ideal, you can have a friend use a camera to take a great shot of your face. Make sure you are photographed against a plain background, and don’t forget to smile. Take 20 or more shots so you can choose one that really captures you.

If you don’t have the skills to change your logo or crop your photo to the right shape, ask a friend or hire a graphic designer for an hour. The small investment will pay huge dividends in having a professional presence on Twitter.

#4: Change your visual branding

Twitter allows you to customize the look and colors of your Twitter profile page. This gives you an opportunity to provide additional information about your business to everyone who checks out your profile.

You can create a custom graphic and use it for your Twitter background.

Here are some great examples of Twitter backgrounds and instructions for how to create your own.

twitter background example jaybaerHere is an example of a custom Twitter background that highlights important company information and provides additional details.

After you create the image file, you upload it to your profile. While you are there, you can adjust the background and link colors so they coordinate with your new background image. You will need the hex codes for the colors in your image if you want the background and links to match.

#5: Rewrite your Twitter bio

Your Twitter profile bio tells your business story in the length of a text message. That’s a lot of information crammed into just a few words.

The best Twitter profiles include these components:

  • Tell people what you do
  • Explain how you help people
  • Show a little personality
good bio exampleA good Twitter bio explains what you do and shows your personality at the same time.

Look at your business Twitter profile with fresh eyes. Then rewrite it so it tells potential customers how you can help them and what benefit they can get from connecting with you. And don’t forget to share a little of your passion!

Mark your calendar to review and update your Twitter bio again in 6 months, because even the best bio gets stale over time.

#6: Create a Twitter landing page

Are you frustrated by only having 160 characters for your Twitter bio? Then consider creating a special Twitter landing page.

Most people use their Twitter profile web link to drop people off at their website front door or their blog. But you can create a special Twitter landing page and use that page as your Twitter profile web address.

twitter landing pageA Twitter landing page gives you more space to talk about your business and about your Twitter use.

A Twitter landing page is a special page on your website designed to introduce people from Twitter to your business. It’s like having a greeter there to help people get the scoop on your business and how you use Twitter.

Your Twitter landing page could include:

  • A personal message from you
  • Details about your business products and services
  • How to become a customer
  • What you tweet about
  • The people behind your Twitter account

Even though you have more space, keep your Twitter landing page short and to-the-point to make a great impression on your visitors.

#7: Rethink your follow strategy

Many Twitter accounts are not run by real people. They are automated programs called bots. And some of them are spammers.

There are bots that provide useful information. However, most bots are spewing out tweets from other people and other sources that are not on target for your Twitter business goals. They clog up your Twitter stream and don’t provide any business value.

You may not have known you were following a bot. Bots gain an audience by following many people and taking advantage of people who automatically follow back.

In general, it’s better not to follow automatically everyone who follows you if you want to avoid having your Twitter stream fill up with garbage.

example botBots usually have low numbers they follow with high numbers following them back like this account.

So how can you spot a bot or spammer or someone whom you should not follow back?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t follow people with an egg picture. If they haven’t bothered to upload a real profile picture, chances are they are not going to say anything worth hearing.
  • Check their numbers. An account that follows many people but has only a few followers is probably a spammer.
  • Review their tweets. Are they all retweets or quotes? Did they send the exact tweet to many users over a very short time? It’s probably a bot.
  • They say it’s a bot in their bio. Yes, some bots will tell you they are bots in their bio.
  • No favorite tweets or lists. A bot or spammer doesn’t mark tweets as favorites or create lists.

#8: Listen carefully and follow

Social media is all about conversations, and conversations mean that you talk and listen.

On Twitter, you can listen by:

  • Reading tweets. This is the best way to find out what is on the minds of your Twitter community.
  • Look for replies and mentions. Every time you check Twitter throughout the day, you should first check for direct messages and mentions. Mentions are public messages that include your Twitter handle and direct messages are private messages sent directly to you.
  • Search for your business name. Sometimes, people talk about your business without using your Twitter username. You should regularly check Twitter for people who mention your business name by creating a search and saving it.
save a search arrowWhen you see the search results page, click the gear icon to save the search.

You should follow everyone who talks to you on Twitter. So as you find people talking about your business or talking directly to you, follow them.

#9: Publicize your Twitter account

Make it easy for people to find your business on Twitter by adding your Twitter username to all of your business materials.

social media passportMake it easy for people to follow your business on Twitter by posting a Twitter Follow button on your website or blog.

For example, you should give your Twitter username in these locations:

  • Your website (with a link)
  • Your email signature (with a link)
  • Your email newsletter (with a link)
  • Your business cards
  • Signs posted in your business
  • Paperwork you give customers (receipts, invoices, statements, etc.)
  • Menus and product information sheets

#10: Make sure you are following your customers

Twitter is a great place to talk with your customers. However, this means that you have to connect with them.

It’s impossible for you to know which of your customers are on Twitter. For that reason, it’s important for you to advertise your Twitter account to your customers. This way, your customers can find you.

How can you tell who is your customer on Twitter? Here are a few tips:

  • They talk to you. Some customers may start a conversation with you using your Twitter handle. You should follow everyone who talks to your business.
  • They mention your business. You should set up a saved search on Twitter so you can find people talking about your business. Always reply to people who mention your business and follow them.

You can also search for your customers using their email address from your address book.

#11: Stop following people who don’t tweet

In general, don’t worry about trying to control who follows you. But it’s a good idea to prune out the followers who have stopped using Twitter.

A great free tool for finding people who haven’t tweeted for a while is unTweeps. After you authorize the app, it allows you to create a list of your followers based on how long since their last tweet. You can use the free account three times each month.

untweepsThe unTweeps screen allows you to create a list of people you follow based on the number of days since their last tweet.

Start with people who haven’t tweeted for 6 months (or even 9 months) and review the list. You can mark individual accounts to unfollow.

Tip: If you have a large number of people who are no longer tweeting, don’t unfollow them all at the same time. This action can signal Twitter to suspend your account for aggressive and spammer-like behavior.

#12: Put Twitter to work solving your business challenges

Sometimes, the best way to improve your experience with a tool is to ask more from it. If you’ve been casually using Twitter and allowing the results to unfold, maybe it’s time to give Twitter a real job.

It takes some time using Twitter before you’ll be ready to put it to work on your business goals. But after you understand Twitter and have built a community, it’s time to take your Twitter use to the next level.

Twitter can help you meet your business goals. Think about a challenge you face in your business today. How could Twitter help you solve that problem?

For example:

  • Offer a Twitter-only special. If your restaurant or store is a ghost town on Tuesday nights, why not promote a Tuesday night event on Twitter? Offer a special deal (free dessert or a special discount) for everyone who knows the secret code you tweet out Tuesday at 5 pm.
  • Reward people who retweet you. Is your blog a little lonely? Twitter is a great tool to drive traffic to your blog. Set up a contest or a reward for people who retweet your messages about your blog posts. You might give away an ebook, a seat at an upcoming webinar, a free 30-minute consultation or a product discount. Explain the terms of the offer in a blog post or on a special website page and link to that page in your tweet so people understand your offer.
  • Organize a tweetup at your business. Have you been chatting with local people whom you have not met in real life? Or has it been a long time since they have visited your business? Why not organize an informal tweetup? Set a date and time, offer refreshments and give people something fun to do or learn and they will come.
nasa tweetupNASA has started using tweetups to reward key followers in its social media community.

The best way to make Twitter work for your business is to try something new. Learn from what happens and try it again with improvements.

#13: Add photos to your tweets

People love pictures. And this year, social media has really expanded to give people more of what they want.

Statistics show that people are more likely to read your stuff online if you include pictures. This means that just by adding photos to your tweets, you can greatly increase the amount of attention they get.

tweet photoAdding a photo to your tweet increases the number of people who will interact with your message.

The best part is that your photos don’t have to be professional-quality to be effective on Twitter. You can use your smartphone camera to snap a picture, and then use the Twitter mobile app for your phone to tweet and upload your picture.

olive barEvery mobile Twitter app makes it easy to attach a photograph to a tweet from your smartphone.

#14: Bookmark tweets you want to keep

Did you know that every tweet has its own web address?

You can save important tweets using the Favorites feature. However, many businesses use the Favorites as part of their Twitter strategy, and so they need another way to save tweets.

To get to the web address of any tweet:

  • Display the tweet on your screen.
    click expandThe Expand command displays more tweet options.
  • Click Expand. Twitter provides more tweet options.
    expandThe Details command displays the tweet in its own web page.
  • Click Details. Twitter displays the tweet on its own page using its unique web address.
    tweet urlAn example of a tweet displayed on its own page using its unique web address.
  • Bookmark the tweet using your browser or bookmarking tool.

You can bookmark important tweets using your browser’s bookmarking tool or a web-based bookmarking service like Delicious. Now you have a way to keep track of important tweets so you can use them in the future.

#15: Review (and renew) your tweet topics

When most businesses start using Twitter, they experiment for a while. As a result, they often tweet about random topics, or don’t tweet very often because they don’t know what to say.

After mastering the basics of Twitter’s message types and building out your online community, it’s time to get serious about your conversation topics. Or to use marketing terms, it’s time to develop a content strategy.

Every business has a core group of topics around its products and services. These are things that you know because of your business, and things that your customers and online community want to learn from you. Often, you educate your customers about these topics.

Many businesses struggle to find these topics because they take their knowledge for granted. With a little effort, you can start to see your business knowledge through the eyes of your customers and figure out the topics that really spark interest in your community.

These are the topics you should focus on with Twitter and social media in general. In fact, if you have a blog, these should be your blog categories.

Brainstorm a list of 5 to 7 conversation topics, and then create a list of 10 or more specific things within each category. These will help you organize your Twitter conversation and will spark ideas when you can’t think of anything to say.

Pay special attention to tweets that are retweeted, get replies or are marked as favorites. Those tweets hit a nerve, and you should talk more about those topics.

Note: The best Twitter topics for your business are things that provide practical solutions to problems your potential customers face every day.

#16: Expand the Twitter conversation to your blog

When you have a great conversation going on Twitter, or you find a topic that people respond to on Twitter, why not expand the conversation to the people who read your blog?

Twitter now makes it easy for you to embed a tweet into a blog post so it looks like a tweet and has the same interactive features it has on Twitter. In other words, you can write a blog post around a tweet and your blog visitors can interact with you on Twitter through your blog.

tweet exampleAn example of a tweet conversation-starter posted in a blog.
Thank You Charlene

Barclays Libor Scandal: Who Knew? Seven And A Half Things To Know | The Huffington Post

Thing One: The Fed’s True Libors: It’s a good thing no one on earth cares about this Libor scandal, because otherwise the Fed would be in so much trouble right now.

The United States central bank straight-up confesses to Reuters that, oh yeah, sure, it knew all about Libor shenanigans waaaay back in 2007, even before the Wall Street Journal wrote about it. It seems the New York Fed got a tip from some bank called, let us check here, Bar-Clays? Does that sound right? Bar-Clays? It seems this bank told the Fed about problems with the setting of Libor, an interest rate that is so pervasive in our daily lives that you were probably drinking a little Libor in your coffee just now. Not only that, but the Fed talked to Barclays about Libor approximately eleventy gazillion times after the initial tip. Not only that, but it also drew up a list of suggestions for Barclays and UK banking authorities about how to fix the Libor market. Which list of suggestions were promptly crumpled up into a ball and tossed in the coal oven for warmth because it’s dismal in the UK in the winter, guvnah.

So, fast forward to today, and the Libor market never got fixed, despite everybody knowing about its problems. That bank, Barclays, is paying about $450 million in fines over Libor, its chairman and CEO have resigned (chairman Marcus Agius testified this morning before a parliamentary committee), and a whole mess of other banks are under investigation, too. And attention is finally turning, as it should, to why the regulators had their heads firmly implanted in their own behinds for so long, The New York Times writes (I’m paraphrasing). Bank of England deputy guvnah Paul Tucker yesterday denied giving a nudge-wink to Barclays to cheat on Libor, but that’s certainly some faint self-praise, isn’t it? And it certainly won’t end the scrutiny of the regulators.

Thing Two: Euro Crisis Solved Yet Again: Remember that time, when the umpteenthousandth solution to the euro zone debt crisis seemed insufficient, and markets were punishing European sovereign debt? Yesterday, I mean? Well, pop some champagne, my friends, because that day is over. Because this is today. And today, euro-zone officials are giving Spain a whole extra year to get its budgetary act together and promising to pump more cash into its banks. And then very soon, maybe, they’ll get around to adding some details to that umpteenthousandth solution they hammered out a couple of weeks ago. That’s just barely good enough for European stocks, which are higher this morning.

Thing Three: Another Brokerage Firm Enters Bermuda Triangle: Mere months after the collapse of brokerage firm MF Global magically made more than $1 billion of client money disappear into thin air, another brokerage firm — with the eerily similar name of PFGBest — has also collapsed, making $200 million of client money vanish. Neat trick. Regulators, which had promised after MFGlobal to tighten up their brokerage-firm-watching skills, are once again perplexed, The New York Times writes.

Thing Four: Laying Down The Mortgage Law: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which hates your freedom to lose tons of money in the housing market, has proposed new rules designed to give borrowers more information about the mortgages they’re taking out, because of socialism. The New York Times writes: “The proposed rules have two central elements — the loan estimate and the closing disclosure — that would provide would-be homebuyers with a simple accounting of likely payments and fees to prevent costly surprises.”

Thing Five: No Jobs Anywhere Forever: Quick, take a mental snapshot of how awful the job market is. Now imagine that lasting for at least another two years. Voila, you’ve got the gist of a new OECD report on the global economy: “Unemployment in advanced economies will remain high until at least the end of 2013, with young people and the low-skilled bearing the brunt of what is by far the weakest economic recovery in the past four decades, the OECD said on Tuesday.”

Thing Six: Enjoy Those Corn Flakes: Because it hasn’t rained in America since February, and because it has been 112 degrees since March, growing corn has been just a little on the difficult side. And that has pushed corn prices to the moon, writes the Wall Street Journal: “Corn futures for July delivery jumped 4% to $7.7525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, extending gains to 29% in the past three weeks, as intense heat and a dearth of rainfall punish parts of big corn-growing states like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio.”

Thing Seven: Google’s Private Eyes, They’re Watching You: Google is about to pay $22.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it skirted Apple users’ privacy settings, the Wall Street Journal reports: “The fine is expected to be the largest penalty ever levied on a single company by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. It offers the latest sign of the FTC’s stepped-up approach to policing online privacy violations, coming just six months after the WSJ reported on Google’s practices.” Ah, yes, but how much do you want to bet that Google made much, much more than $22.5 million skirting your privacy settings?

Thing Seven And One Half: Cape Fear: Batman needs to go back to the Bat-Lab and design a better Bat-Cape, apparently. Wired reports that physicists at the University of Leicester, who obviously have nothing better to do now that the Higgs boson has been discovered, have calculated that a leap from a 500-foot-tall building using Batman’s cape would result in a 50-mph collision with the ground, which would likely result in a Bat-Death.

Now Arriving By Email: If you’d like this newsletter delivered daily to your email inbox, then please just feed your email address to the thin box over on the right side of this page, wedged narrowly between the ad and all the social-media buttons. Nothing bad will happen to you if you do, unless you consider getting this newsletter delivered daily to your email inbox a bad thing.

Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

Nada.

Corporate Earnings:

Nothing major.

Heard On The Tweets:

@ezraklein: Today we’re talking about tax cuts for the rich rather than the Friday jobs ‪#s. Mission accomplished for the White House.

@conorsen: How is “Romney fundraisers” not a reality TV show yet?

@mattyglesias: If you make $250,000 a year and think you’re not “really” rich, ask yourself how the 97% of population that makes less than that feel.

Thank you: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/seven-and-a-half-things-you-need-to-know_n_1660227.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

The 7 Steps to a Power Note | by Michael Maher

1. Use UNBRANDED cards

2. Use BLUE ink

3. Use word “YOU” (and avoid I, me, my)

4. Be SPECIFIC with your praise

5. The Power of POSITIVE Projection

6. Write RIGHTLY (slope lines upward)

7. The PLUS of the P.S. (add a call to action in your P.S. ).

Don’t Treat People Like Robots | Written By Cameron

 

“Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.” ~Ross Perot

“Most people do not receive nearly enough appreciation. Appreciation is free, easy, and readily available? Go give some away now.” ~Rhoberta Shaler

While the assembly line created by Henry Ford was a milestone achievement of genius for manufacturing, very little is spoken about the enormous impact physically and mentally of the employees of the time, as well as the high levels of turnover in the plants. While robots have in many places replaced the human element in assembly lines, we still find “standardization” practices in many businesses that reduce the human to robot status. To put it succinctly, this is a mistake.

While Standard Operating Procedures and rigorous guidelines are essential tools for the proper management of the staff, it is too easy and too tempting to let these run amuck. After all, if you simply tell everyone exactly what to do, and expect them to do it, you can take the rest of the week off! But over time, you will begin to see your productivity decrease and turnover increase as your staff becomes increasing bored and frustrated with their work.

Some things to consider:

  • People require different things to make them work – Machines run solely on fuel, and while money is a decent fuel to use for people, you need to tap into the emotional element to really have them perform. Inspiration, passion and purpose are what separate a great manager from a tolerable one.
  • People need variety in their job – This was the failing of the assembly line, you could only screw on bumpers so long before you went mad. Try to mix up their duties on a day to day basis or include them in the occasional project to mix things up. For more frivolous faire, you can throw in special days (pot-lucks, dress-up days, or celebrations) to give them something to look forward to at work and break up the day to day monotony.
  • People are susceptible to outside influence – They are often affected even by decisions that don’t directly affect them. What other employers pay their employees, or what their job duties are. Even what is going on in other industries or departments. You must guard against the “grass is always greener” syndrome to maintain motivation amongst your staff.

There is however one big area where robots and people are similar:

  • People require maintenance too – Your employees need your attention, they need you to tell you when they do well, and above all, they need continual retraining on new techniques and refreshers on the old ones. So while we don’t want to treat our staff like robots, we do not want to neglect preventative and regular maintenance.

Never forget that each and every one of your employees is unique and while it may be easier to fit them all into a nice little mold, you will miss out on the benefit of each of their talents AND you will lead down a path to mediocrity and inferior performance if you do so. So keep working on your policies and procedures, but be careful that you also address the human element in your management.

Thanks to: http://themanagersdiary.com/?p=211