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  • feedwordpress 18:06:58 on 2021/09/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , storytelling   

    Five Ways to Deal with Dismissiveness 


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    My meeting with two women I had never met was all set. Yet, when I arrived at the designated spot, introduced myself with a smile and said nice to meet you, one of the women turned her back toward me and ignored my greeting. I asked her if something was wrong, to which she waived the back of her hand at me as if she was waiving me away. So, I asked again.

    “I’ve never met you before, yet it seems you have an issue with me, have I done something to offend you?” This time she looked right past me, walked away and over her shoulder said, “let’s just begin.”

    Not sure what she was irritated about, I looked at the other woman who shrugged and then silently mouthed, “she didn’t like your text, but she’s always like this.”

    Ah, the text! When we were trying to schedule the meeting at a time of her choice, I explained that the owners of the facility where we were meeting didn’t want us to arrive as early as she wanted to be there. She responded that she knows the hours of operation, doesn’t need me to tell her what to do and furthermore, she had gotten permission to arrive whenever she wants. I asked who gave her that permission and she curtly replied, “will you be there at this time or not?” Irritated and a little confused at her condescending dismissive tone, I simply said “okay” and stopped texting.

    While some people are unintentionally dismissive, others very knowingly dismiss what you say. They are patronizing and uninterested in your thoughts or feelings. Perhaps trying to make you appear inferior makes them feel superior especially if they can do it in front of other people like a lion leading the pack.

    I’m sure you’ve met these people at work. They can be hurtful, embarrassing and make you feel irrelevant. If you’re like me, your natural instinct might be to lash out and let them have it, but then you are stooping to their level. Furthermore, if you do that, they will find a way to blame you and tell others what a jerk you are.

    Instead, consider the following five approaches:

    • Don’t take it personally

           While easier said than done, take a breath to stay calm. Remain friendly and nice. Even if they continue to dismiss you, you can take comfort knowing that you remained professional.

    • Call out

                Calling someone out on their behavior is not the same thing as blasting them. If this type of behavior continues, consider telling them what is offensive and calmly ask them to stop. If it remains a problem, you may need to seek help from a manager or human resources.    

    • Culture clash

                  Sometimes, what seems rude to you might be a cultural difference. The person I interacted with was from another country. Perhaps she thinks she is being direct and  doesn’t realize how her words are perceived. The same is true when Americans travel to other countries. For example, we are used to requesting adjustments when we order meals. In some countries, that is considered an insult to the chef.

    • Walk away

           If you’ve tried to de-escalate a situation and find out what is bugging this person without success, then it may be best to just walk away. A dismissive person has no ammunition if there is no one to aim it at.

    • Body language

           Remember that nonverbal communication is as important as what you actually say. If you do call someone out or walk away, be careful not to use negative or disapproving gestures such as rolling your eyes, crossing your arms or leaning too far into someone’s space. It’s also important to look them in the eye.

    While you can’t always change someone’s behavior, you can change  the way you react to it. It’s so easy to let a dismissive person put you on the defensive. However, if you handle their inappropriate actions appropriately, you will come across as professional and self-assured. They may not notice, but others will and respect you for it.

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  • feedwordpress 04:07:31 on 2021/06/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , screen presence, , stage presence, storytelling   

    Quick Tip #106: Up Your Stage Presence in Person and on Screen 


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    In this month’s interview with Dr. Jennifer Caudle, I outline how to up your presence in person and across a screen.

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  • feedwordpress 22:36:15 on 2021/05/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , storytelling   

    Quick Tip #105: Storytelling Secrets 


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    Storytelling is a big business buzzword but what does that really mean and how do you tell a story when time is short? Karen Friedman reveals game-changing secrets in this interview.

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  • feedwordpress 23:41:50 on 2021/01/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , fillers, , , , , , , , , storytelling   

    Quick Tip #101: How to Get Rid of those Fillers 


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    Nothing damages a speaker’s credibility and distracts listeners more than those ums, uh, ah, you know, and other fillers so many speakers lean on. Learn how to get rid of them so audiences pay attention to your message.

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  • feedwordpress 23:53:46 on 2020/07/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , storytelling,   

    The Importance of Every Customer Interaction 


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    We were shopping for a career coach for our son and reached out to someone who came highly recommended as one of the best in the business. “Robert” immediately sent us an email with a multi-page PDF of the services he could offer us. 

    Included was a category called interview preparation. For $250.00, Robert’s one-hour interview preparation service would provide clients with “live simulated interview practice” to help them clearly articulate their brand and answer difficult questions.

    My husband, son and I set up a phone interview using the conference line in my office.

    As the call began, we heard a lot of background noise making it difficult to hear. We were asking Robert questions, but his connection kept cutting out and he said he was having trouble hearing us. At first, I thought it was a problem with my conference connection until I heard what sounded like “Iced grande six-pump vanilla latte.”

    “Excuse me”, I interrupted, “did you say something”?

    “No, thank you, just one shot”, he answered. “Oh sorry, he continued, I’m at Starbucks.”

    Let me get this straight. Robert is being interviewed to work with our son. He offers services to help people improve their interview skills and articulate their brand. Yet his brand states ordering coffee is more important than paying attention. How can someone possibly offer interview preparation services if they don’t know how to conduct an effective interview?

    My father used to say, “actions speak louder than words.” It means people’s actions, not their words show their real attitudes.

    Someone can talk about being the best in the business, but nothing says that better than their behavior. Attitude, attention and approach to people from the moment you meet is what sets you apart. Whether pitching new business, delivering a presentation or attending a networking event, you have one chance to make a first impression.

    One of our clients calls this a “customer centric” approach. In their case, they’ve spent millions of dollars, put policies in place and re-structured their entire business model to truly become more customer centric. There are thousands of companies who claim to put consumers first. They have catchy taglines that say so, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

    How often have you sat on hold for long periods of time listening to a recording telling you “your call is very important to us”? Then there’s the customer service line that says, “this call may be recorded for quality purposes”. What does that even mean? How about “calls may be recorded to help our employees handle your inquiries more effectively”?

    If you have any interest in truly improving customer interactions, begin by becoming your customer. How would you feel if you sat on hold waiting for your call to be recorded for quality purposes? Or what about apologies that ring hollow?

    A recent example of a bad hotel experience comes to mind when I took a team of coaches to a  meeting at a high-end resort in Orlando only to experience a tsunami of problems. My air conditioner wasn’t working and when I requested a room change, the front desk manager suggested I didn’t know how to work the air properly. No apology. My colleague had a water leak and had to switch rooms. No apology. That didn’t even compare to another coworker who, to her horror, woke up to cockroaches crawling on her ceiling, bed and floor.  Again, no apology. When they moved her to another room, the toilet wasn’t working and overflowed.

    Furious, I located the hotel manager who asked me what I wanted him to do. I demanded he take room and food charges off the bill, but he refused. He told me he gave the girl with the cockroach issue a $100.00 room credit. Considering the client was paying for the room, that was hardly satisfactory.

    When I got home, I took the issue to the top and got a call from a representative in the CEO’s office. She said she was sorry and offered me 15,000 hotel points, which can’t even buy a room for the night. I told her I wanted the hotel to apologize to my colleague who was traumatized by the roaches. They never did.

    Here is what I find astounding. In today’s world of social media, my colleague, who had photos and videos of the bugs could have sent those images around the world. She didn’t and wouldn’t, but how can any brand take that chance?

    The Harris Interactive Customer Experience Impact report says a happy customer whose issues are resolved tells 4-6 people about their experience.  Approximately 13% of dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 people and those people will tell more people just as I’m telling you. The report says 86% of customers have quit doing business with a company due to bad customer experience.

    Every customer interaction is an opportunity to create positive experiences. When we treat others the way we want to be treated, we send positive silent signals that often speak louder than words.

    When we send silent negative signals, they can have long lasting damaging effects, sometimes without our knowledge. For example, after our call with Robert the career coach, as a courtesy, I thanked the person who recommended him. I also shared my experience. After referring him to dozens of people over the years, she is not likely to recommend him again.

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