Every day, we are fed with the challenge of addressing and solving problems. In many of those cases, you generally need to get information to guide you in developing the right solution. I have found – and coached many clients – that having a series of questions generally works best in not only helping get to the solution but in also helping to separate the emotion and frustration from the facts. Below are some of my “best” questions. The list is not all-inclusive. Rather, it’s provided to help you get started and to develop a list of your own “best” questions. Lieutenant Columbo would be proud of your work! Continue reading
I can remember telling my sons, and later on, individuals who reported directly to me that I found perfection to be boring and frustrating. I urged them to pursue excellence, or, in other words, to do the very best they could with whatever they had at the time. You know, “play the hand you’re dealt” in the best way possible.
Individuals who pursue perfection – and many of us have met them (and some of you may be one of them) – are never satisfied. They are always looking for one more piece of information or data to help them make a decision or take action. Oddly, they never make that decision and end up frustrated and, in many cases, demoralized. They are, in fact, very unhappy people. I sometimes describe those seeking perfection as individuals who are “studying all of the sides of a circle.”
Unlike individuals who set stretch goals and who are resilient in order to effectively deal with setbacks, perfectionists aim high goals (and in some cases unrealistically) in order to demonstrate their value to others. Then, when they fall short they become brutally critical of themselves. This, in turn, leads them feeling that whatever they do is never enough. Perfectionism, left unchecked, can lead to serious mental health issues. I read recently that research suggests that being too hard on yourself can actually limit one’s ability to achieve success. Being perfect makes it harder to think clearly because of the stress that it causes.
Here are 5 simple actions you can take to offset any desires you might have to be perfect:
- Focus on the best outcome you can deliver versus harshly judging yourself.
- Focus on taking action to keep moving forward and learning as you go.
- See mistakes as normal and as learning opportunities, and not as a “failing grade” on the imaginary report card in your mind.
- Set realistic and achievable goals and celebrate small victories. Learn to give yourself a “high-5” at every opportunity that you can.
- When being threatened by overwhelm and frustration, stop where you are and identify one positive action you can take – big or small (small is preferred) – that will change the momentum in your favor.
Give it your best effort. It’s really OK not to be perfect.
Productive people get more done, achieve better results and earn far more than everyone else by devoting maximum time on being “focused” on their top priority.
Focus is a matter of deciding on what things you’re not going to do. Great results are achieved by how narrow you can make your focus. You need to be doing fewer things for a greater effect or impact, instead of doing more things that only results in side effects.
We all have a hard time finding that one thing because we’re committed to too many other things. We tell ourselves several lies: Continue reading
The Labor Day holiday was created to honor those who have made economic and social strides – achieved success – through hard work in the United States.
Everyone wants to be successful in whatever they do. I don’t know of anyone who starts their day by saying, “How can I fail today?” Unfortunately, far too many start the day without asking, “How can I be successful today?” Rather they get up, go through the motions and in many cases, let the day’s events take control of them. And they do it all over again the very next day – they avoid success! Talk about being in a rut! Does the term victim mean anything to you?
Success only comes when you have a vision, take a risk and reflect it all in an action plan. Success at anything doesn’t happen because you think you can “will it” to happen. The path to success starts with a first step, then another and another, until you achieve your desired goals.
I have always been amazed at the reluctance of people to commit to doing the work that will lead them to be the best they can be in their chosen profession. Why would you hold back on giving it your all?
Nothing can stop you if you have a strong belief in yourself, your abilities and the will to get things done – you know, like the hard work celebrated on this holiday. Never stop making those qualities stronger because nothing can help if you let your self-belief slip.
Several years ago I hosted an internet radio show on Voice America called “Step Up and Play Big with Chris Ruisi”. The show allowed me to meet some talented people, experts in their own right, and learn valuable information from them.
One show was about customer service as the title above states and my guest was Peter Shankman. Peter is best known for founding Help A Reporter Out (HARO), the social media website that redefined how journalism and PR work by connecting millions of sources with hundreds of thousands of journalists around the world each day, for free.
The basic premise for this show was that companies have forgotten how to service the customer to create amazing moments, and it’s costing them, big-time.
90% of companies say they provide excellent customer service, yet only 8% of all customers say the same. And 91% of customers say they won’t go back to a company after just one bad customer service experience. (Source: Bain & Company). Amazing customer service has become the exception, not the norm. And it’s costing companies millions of dollars in lost revenue, and multitudes of prospects who won’t go to you in the first place based on the experience that someone they trust had with your company.
The top 5 takeaways from this show were: Continue reading
We judge our leaders by the quality of the results they achieve. These results are achieved by the quality of the decisions they make. The quality of their decisions is directly related to the quality of the information they have available to them. Sometimes, they must make their decisions based on either incomplete or imperfect information. In these situations, they rely on their “gut” which is related to what they learned from their past experiences. Regardless, they need to have an effective way to get the information they need.
Here’s my point: the best leaders know how to ask the best questions to help them gather the right information they need to make the best decisions.
The important question for you is this: What questions are you asking – on a regular and consistent basis – to get the right information you need, when you need it to achieve the level of success you want?
To achieve success, you must be able to learn the right things from the past, build a plan and implement it in the present. To learn these “right things,” you must have the right questions to ask. It’s just that simple. Continue reading
Becoming a better leader isn’t easy. The fact is, not everyone can or will become a great leader. However, everyone can become a better leader than they are today – if they make the choice to do so. Becoming a better leader requires hard work and focus, but it is far from impossible.
The one common trait shared by those who desire to become a better leader is a commitment to continuous and ongoing learning. They want to be better and they work at it every day! They just don’t talk about it; they act on it every day. They put personal growth and development at the top of their daily and strategic agenda. Becoming a “better leader” is an ongoing effort.
The next area “better leaders” focus on is how to add to their knowledge base by learning new skills that will help them deliver even better results. How do they accomplish this? Consider some of these points: Continue reading
As more and more people find employment during this growing economy it is creating a burden for employers trying to fill open positions. Highly and even moderately skilled workers are being hired at a rapid pace creating a challenge for all employers trying to fill their open positions.
Part of the solution for this challenge is for employers to willingly relax their skills requirements and begin to place greater emphasis on a candidate’s attitude. A rule of thumb which I have always followed simply states that you can always teach someone the required skills for a job, but you can’t teach them the right attitude. Hence, if forced to choose, I would always take attitude over skills.
In order to properly evaluate a candidate’s attitude, the interviewer needs to use more of a behavioral style of interviewing versus asking the typical questions that most of us use. In a behavioral interview, you are attempting to evaluate how the candidate will respond in different types of scenarios like working with other team members, handling problems, handling less than happy customers, avoiding conflict in the workplace and many other situations. All of this puts a big spotlight on the questions asked and how you prepare for the interview.
However, as I will explain, using a behavior-driven interviewing style is probably a good thing and something you should be doing more of regardless of the “hot” employment environment we are currently experiencing. Continue reading
My daily routine involves reading the Wall Street Journal while having my first cup of coffee. During my “read”, I always find my way to the daily “Pepper…And Salt” illustration (yup, it’s a cartoon). This past week addressed the concept of focus in a very powerful yet simple way.
While wearing “The Cone” may not be a fashionable approach, the message – being focused – is important for each of us. What do you do each day to establish and maintain your focus on getting the right things done?
For starters, stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus – discipline yourself – to start each day working on those tasks that have the highest reward/payoff. The fact is, you can only properly focus on only a few “key” tasks at one time.
Here are the 4 simple steps you can take to stay focused and get the “right” things done: Continue reading
I have several clients who are each trying to hire the “right” person for key positions within their companies. Today’s tight labor market makes this important task that much more challenging.
I’m always amazed how everyone agrees that the quality of your team will determine the quality of your business. Yet many still approach the hiring and selection of employees as a burden or something you “have to do.” Or, even worse they just want to get it behind them and hire the first person they “think” is the right one.
Well, here’s a fact: Selecting – not just hiring – the right person is something you must do! And you had better be doing it right if you want to avoid mistakes, lost money and productivity and causing your customers to go elsewhere.
Let me share with you the advice that I give each of my clients which works.
To start with, here are 3 sure-fire ways to make certain that you can hire the wrong employees. Here’s the point (just in case you need to hear it): Do the opposite! Continue reading