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  • feedwordpress 08:00:58 on 2019/06/25 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, , , , , , , ,   

    How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor 


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    We all know how valuable a mentor can be. They can change your career, open up new perspectives, and help you reach the next level. But many people never take advantage of the benefits of a mentor, even though they really want one, for the simple reason that they don’t know how to ask.

    If you’re considering a mentor or working up your nerve to ask, here are some tips that can help:

    Start by thinking it through. Before you start selecting a prospective mentor, give some thought to what you want to accomplish and what kind of help you can use.

    Find a candidate. Identify a mentor who can help you with what you want to achieve. The ideal candidate is someone who has done something similar themselves, who has the expertise and knowledge you need. Think of the people you already know, and talk to colleagues who may be able to connect you with a wider network of candidates. As you think about possible mentors, consider their values and their style of leadership and communication to make sure they’re compatible with yours. And keep your options realistic: the CEO of a large corporation may be the person who feels like the best fit, but it’s not likely that they have time to devote to mentorship.

    Make the ask. Once you’ve identified the best candidate, it’s time to approach them. Don’t just walk up to someone and ask, “Will you be my mentor?” It might work, but it’s awkward and not the best path to a yes. Instead, try this technique, which has always worked for me: Say, “I really admire [something that stands out to you about their work] and was wondering if I could ask for your advice and guidance from time to time as a mentor as I [what you want to accomplish].

    Express gratitude. Once you have a response, whether it’s yes or no, express gratitude for their time and effort. You never know why they might be saying yes, and you can never judge the reasons why they may have said no. Whatever their answer and their reasons, a gracious response from you will build goodwill.

    Set up expectations. If the person does say yes, follow up to work through the details. Be sure that you and your mentor have a clear understanding of exactly what you want from the relationship, how much time it will take, and how often you will meet.

    Lead from within: A mentor can be immensely helpful. It’s important to find the right person and, once you do, to get the relationship off to a good start by asking in the right way.

     


    #1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:42 on 2019/05/23 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, , , , , , , ,   

    How to Make the Most of One-on-One Meetings with Your Boss 


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    Everyone wants to have good meetings, especially the one-on-one meetings with their boss. Many people dread them, but those meetings are the foundation for success. It’s possible to not only excel in them but to come away from them feeling more productive and energized. Whether you meet with your boss weekly, quarterly, or even just once a year, here are some tips for making the most of that time:

    Create an agenda. The most productive meetings have a set agenda. Establishing an agenda ahead of time gives the meeting structure and allows both of you to prepare. Several days ahead of the meeting, jot down any questions you want answered and items you want to discuss, and provide a copy to your boss.

    Show leadership. Who you are is just important as what you say and how you say it. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your abilities and speak with confidence. When you do, you reinforce the idea that you’re the right person for the job.

    Stay on track. To demonstrate your productivity and effectiveness, don’t get sidetracked by small talk except for a short set of pleasantries at the beginning. Instead, update your boss on your current projects and future plans. Don’t bombard them with too many details; let them know everything they need to stay informed without taking up too much of their time.

    Present new ideas. Show your boss that you are not only working on your current projects but developing other ideas as well. Always focus on solutions instead of problems.

    Ask for feedback. It’s great for your boss to see your strengths, but you want to also show that you’re open to development and growth, so ask for feedback. Be specific—don’t just ask “How am I doing?” but “What do you think I can do to improve in workflow?” (or leadership, management, or another area).

    Make agreements. It’s best to have an agreement with your boss about the next steps in each of the things you’re working on. Agree on the immediate way forward, and be clear about expectations.

    Be of service. End your meetings by asking your boss “How can I support you?” Taking even a few minutes to acknowledge their role can make a big difference. It shows empathy, consideration, and an eye for the big picture—and it will likely build valuable trust and goodwill.

    At the end of the day, the most effective one-on-one meetings are a two-way street: where you and your boss serve and support each other. Don’t ask yourself how you can get the most out of the meeting but how both of you can find ways to work together to advance your organization’s mission.

    Lead from within: Even if your one-on-one meetings are already working well, consider these ideas and other ways to make them more effective and successful.


    #1  N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Make the Most of One-on-One Meetings with Your Boss appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:13:26 on 2019/04/23 Permalink
    Tags: communication, , ,   

    Maybe it’s Me- 


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    When customer service is like speaking a foreign language

    Maybe it’s me.

    I called my provider to order a new phone for my son. They asked what color he wanted. I said black. The customer service representative said “we also have orange, blue, green, yellow and red.” I said, I’d like black.

    He said we’re running a special. You can get a free phone if you install another line. I said no thank you, we have enough lines.

    He said, “But this is a really good deal, you’ll get another phone too.” I said, no thank you, I don’t need another phone.

    He said, “Would you like to save some money?” I said, sure, but not at this time. I just want to purchase the phone.

    He said he could save me some bucks if I installed their streaming video service. I said I wasn’t interested. I only wanted a phone, black please.

    He went on to explain the features of the much-improved Direct TV service and even as I repeatedly said no thank you, he kept talking, letting me know he could have installers out at my house as early as tomorrow. I said, I just want the phone.

    He asked, what color? Again, I said black. I only want one phone. Black. No additional lines and no other services.

    Maybe he wasn’t fully listening. Maybe he struggled to comprehend. Maybe he was instructed to upsell. Maybe I wasn’t being as clear as I could be, so I tried not to get irritated at him.

    Then as he was processing my order, he said, can I have a number to call you back? Why, I asked. I’m having a problem and have to reboot the system.

    When he did call me back, we had to start over because his computer lost my information. Fortunately, he remembered the color I wanted was black.

    I read an article that proclaimed good customer service is about being judged by what you do, not what you say. The writer believed if you give something away for free or throw in an extra, you’ll score points with the customer.

    Wouldn’t it be great if it was that simple? It’s not. True, people appreciate extras and freebies. The phone guy waived activation and shipping fees which I greatly appreciated. However, I believe the root of good customer service is good communication skills.

    RULE #1 LISTEN BEFORE SPEAKING

    There are few things more exasperating than telling someone what you want and then have to repeat it because they weren’t listening. Even if you’re trying to ‘sell’, listen first, talk later. Don’t interrupt.

    RULE #2 REPEAT TO REVIEW

    To show you are really listening, paraphrase or repeat what the customer has said. As an example, the representative could have said, Ms. Friedman, I understand you would like a black phone. Can I interest you in additional cost saving services? I still would have declined, but I would know he heard me.

    RULE #3 ASK IT DIFFERENTLY

    If the customer tells you no thank you, respect that. Instead of asking the same question again, ask it differently. My customer service rep might have said, yes, black is a popular color. Are you familiar with our new line of colors?

    This morning, I called my car dealer to speak to the general manager. I told her I knew Jerry wasn’t in which is why I’d like to be connected to his voicemail. She said, “Jerry isn’t in yet.” I said I know, which is why I’d like to leave him a voicemail. She said, “do you want me to connect you to his voicemail?” I said yes. She said, okay, but he’s not in yet.

    Maybe it’s me.

    Or maybe her morning coffee hadn’t kicked in. Whether speaking by phone or face-to-face, failure to effectively communicate can rob you and your company of opportunities.

    Recently I called my bank to dispute a charge. The local branch referred me to the corporate offices. They said no one was available to help me so someone would call me back. Two days later, I received an email from a customer relations manager saying he tried but had not been able to reach me by phone.

    However, there were no voicemails, no texts and no record of him calling on any of our phone lines. I e-mailed him back, no response. I called and reached his supervisor, who apologized and said he’d get back to me. He never did.

    Putting poor customer service aside, this bank is missing huge opportunities to turn negatives to positives. Even if the rep was reprimanded, his supervisor should have followed up with me. While the bank has thousands of employees who may be caring customer centric people, to the customer, both the representative and his supervisor became the face of the company. The failure of these people to show concern can reflect on the entire company.

    It only takes one negative encounter with one person to spread like wildfire. She tells her family, friends and colleagues what happened. They tell people they know. If she posts on social media, no telling how many will see it. Not only do you have a potential PR crisis, but you risk losing prospects, customers and revenue.

    Communication works two ways. It can promote great reputations or spread bad ones.

    So, whether ordering a phone, trying to leave a voicemail or dispute a charge, remember communication is a two-way street. It requires a speaker and a listener. Either one can be misunderstood.

    Sometimes you are at fault. Other times, even if we hate to admit it, maybe it’s me.

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  • feedwordpress 08:00:54 on 2019/04/04 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, , , , , , , , Team,   

    12 Stupid Things to Stop Saying to Your Team Immediately 


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    We all have our leadership blind spots, and sometimes even the most intelligent leaders say things that are—well, just stupid. And then they’re surprised when, predictably, they get the opposite effect of what they want.

    Here are the 12 stupidest things you can say to your team, but they must be stopped immediately.

    “Do it my way.” If you hire a group of talented individuals to use their skills and expertise to do a job, then tell them to do it exactly the way you would do it, you’re bound to alienate and disempower them.

    “That will never happen.” Using the word never closes a door, and it makes you sound unprofessional and limited. Nothing is impossible—there are always opportunities and options.

    “Do you know what I mean?” It’s always important to make sure you’re connecting with people and that everyone’s on the same page, but you need to find a way to do so that isn’t condescending and annoying.

    “It’s none of your business.” Anything that pertains to the project or the team is everyone’s business.

    “That was my idea.” If you’re caught up who gets credit, you’re not concentrating on what’s important. As a team, you do things together to accomplish great things. Focusing on individuals—especially yourself—is inappropriate on a team project where the goal is a collective accomplishment and result.

    “You’re doing it wrong.” There are many ways to tell people they seem to be moving off track. It’s important to remember that people do things in different ways, so they may just be taking a different approach. If you think someone is in error, enter into a dialogue instead of making pronouncements.

    “Before you say that, let me tell you . . . ” Why would you want to shut people down or tell them not to speak? Communication is key to great teamwork, and you want to encourage people to express themselves. Listen before you speak.

    “I already knew that.” Even if it’s true, listen again. Maybe this time you’ll learn something new.

    “Because I said so.” This phrase, the hallmark of halfhearted parenting, will make people roll their eyes and lose all respect for your leadership.

    “You must have misunderstood.” Sometimes people do misunderstand, but it’s unprofessional and disrespectful to assume that a miscommunication was entirely the other person’s fault. You don’t want to make people feel they’re not smart enough to understand what you want from them.

    “What’s in it for me?” This phrase shouldn’t even be in a leader’s vocabulary. What’s in it for us? is more like it. A team is a collective, and what happens to one happens to all.

    “I’m the boss.” They know you’re the boss. And you wouldn’t have to remind them if you acted like their boss—by letting them do their job, empowering them, supporting them, and helping them develop.

    Lead from within: We have all said stupid things without being aware of them. When you’re in a leadership position, it’s especially important to think before you speak.

     

     


    #1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post 12 Stupid Things to Stop Saying to Your Team Immediately appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:13 on 2019/03/25 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, , , , , Succession Planning,   

    CEO Succession Starts With This One Important Thing 


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    One of the most surprising things I’ve found in my extensive experience as a leadership executive coach that most companies are missing the mark when it comes to CEO succession. And in virtually all cases the issue is the same: they’re waiting until there’s a need and looking for new leadership from outside the organization instead of planning ahead and focusing within. Looking for someone new to come in and be successful is a risky strategy. Constantly developing the leaders who are already within the organization is far more likely to lead to success.

    Continued strong leadership at the top is critical to any company’s long-term prospects. This is the succession process I recommend to my clients—one that I’ve seen carried out many times with successful results.

    Create a process. First and foremost, have a solid plan in place. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors last year, two-thirds of American public and private companies said they have no formal CEO succession plan in place. And headhunter Korn Ferry reports that of the executives who talked with him this year about their CEO succession processes, only about one-third were satisfied with the outcome. These figures are unnerving. CEO succession planning is far too critical to neglect or get wrong. The time to begin planning is now.

    Produce a profile. Define the skills and talents you are looking for, the kind of candidate who will be able to deliver on future strategies and present results. This profile will keep your process grounded in the desired results and will help you select the best candidates when the time comes.

    Groom internal candidates. Choosing a new CEO is unambiguously the board’s responsibility, but the current CEO and senior leadership team have an important role in identifying and developing likely candidates within the organization.

    Generate a continuing framework. Succession planning is not a one-shot initiative. A successful succession plan should be a multiyear structured process connected to leadership development. The CEO succession then becomes the result of initiatives that actively develop potential candidates through a process that’s responsive rather than reactive. Without a structured process, potential candidates may not have sufficient time or encouragement to work on areas for development or improvement—and as a side effect, the organization may gain a damaging reputation for not developing their leaders and talent.

    Design a rotation. When I work with companies on their succession plan, we create a process in which developing leaders—especially those who have been identified as prospective succession candidates—rotate over a three-year period through key leadership roles within the organization. This cross-training gives leaders an opportunity to learn and develop within all aspects of the company, learning key skills within each role and getting to know the company from the inside out. As a bonus, a few standout potential leaders generally emerge during this process.

    Maintain a leadership development plan. Keep coaching and mentoring your organization’s developing leaders. A smart approach is to develop a plan for each candidate and feed it into their annual review, providing opportunities for supportive and constructive feedback. These tailored leadership development plans serve both the organization and the individual leaders.

    For now, the most important thing is to get started on developing a plan—or, if you already have a plan, reviewing it against best practices—regardless of the status of your current CEO. Life is uncertain, and leaders owe their organization the ability to maintain stable leadership at the top.

    Lead from within: A succession plan is not a recruiting process. It’s the responsibility of every organization to develop leaders among leaders, finding the best candidates and helping them succeed.

     


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStock Photo

    The post CEO Succession Starts With This One Important Thing appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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