Clear Instructions to Finish What They Started

As we look at this group that represents the final 25% of our equation, it’s unlikely that quality will be the issue. The folks with this Reserved and Task-Oriented behavioral style are very CONSCIENTIOUS about performing everything they do with accuracy and precision. The work that they do nearly always follows a very organized process.

That said, their CAUTIOUS approach can sometimes cause them to put too much time into an amount of detail that may not be necessary. Where the DRIVEN folks we looked at as we started this process are more likely to charge forward toward the finish line without bothering to read the instructions (yep, that’s me…), our CONTEMPLATIVE team members tend to process all the information they can get their hands on before moving forward…

Regardless of the issue we need to address with someone who’s primary style is more CAREFUL, we should be prepared to provide them with very clear instructions on what needs to be done in...

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You’re Amazing! And You Can Be Even Better!

As we move from the DRIVEN folks we looked at last time who only make up about 10% of the population to this next group who are just as Fast-Paced and make up around 30% of everyone we’ll ever interact with, there are some very key differences we need to consider as we prepare to have a candid conversation!

While the individuals with the last primary behavioral style we looked at tend to lock onto the task at hand, our more INTERACTIVE team members will typically be more focused on the people who are involved than just what needs to be done. Their INFLUENTIAL nature is great for rallying the team together, but it can also lead them to get INVOLVED in more things that could ever possibly have time to see through.

This INSPIRING group loves to be in the spotlight any time they have a chance, and the perceptive their team members have of them is extremely important to them! While they truly feed off INITIATING fun activities for the groups they’re a part of, looking bad in...

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You Always Knew Where You Stood...

It was probably 2003 or 2004, when I was walking through a fairly secluded part of the facility I worked in and a friend pulled me aside to ask “Was that guy who just came through that Terry guy? I hear he’s a real &#%[email protected]!” I confirmed that it had indeed been Terry and asked what the issue was. Terry and I, along with a few other safety team members, were doing a walk-through of that entire area to identify at-risk behaviors with hopes of addressing them and preventing potential injuries. He told me that Terry had gotten on him about not wearing safety glasses, something that was in fact required in the area where he was working.

Later that morning, I was able to catch up with Terry to get his version of the story. Terry explained that the fellow who stopped me, a long term employee and all around great guy, was fastening a banding strap around a box and had his safety glasses resting on top of his head. Terry simply tapped the side of his own safety glasses as...

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Rip That Band-Aid Off!

In the last blog post, I shared a story about a fellow who thought the owner of the company rigged the soda machine to squeeze a few more nickels out of him. Then I shared a little bit about how the negative comments he made about the owner openly in front of his supervisor and many of the team members he worked with every day can impact an entire organization’s performance. Even if he had been the hardest working and most productive guy in the bunch, those comments weren’t OK. But he wasn’t…

I emphasize again here, he was remarkably knowledgeable in the work he was doing; I can’t take any of that away from him. Truth be told, I’m not sure anyone in the company knew how to perform the job better than him!

All that said, having knowledge and applying it in a way that exceeds expectations are very different things…

For the sake of the point I’m driving, let’s just pretend his actual performance was hitting the mark; one time,...

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What Are You Willing To Risk?

In the last blog post, I Just Can’t Take The Risk, tiptoed around the edges but stopped just short of defining what that perceived risk was… With limited time right now, I’ll touch on the perceived risk quickly and toss out a few other risks that many managers or business owners may not recognize until it’s too late. 

Don’t worry though, I won’t drop the ball on you! I’ll circle back with the next few posts to cover some things we can each do to effectively handle each of the risks we look at now.

The risk I’ve seen so many supervisors, managers, and business owners work so hard to avoid is the potential for losing a long term, highly skilled team member to the competition after addressing an issue with them. In many of those situations, that person is truly a master of their craft. But from time to time, even the best in the business get lackadaisical… But there are also times where a senior team member can begin to...

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When NOT Exceeding Expectations Is OK...

We closed last time with a commitment to address scenarios where team members refuse to exceed expectations. Before I jump into that, I need to call your attention to something that will absolutely exceed YOUR expectations: the virtual LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience that Cindy and I will be hosting this Friday! There’s so much value (and bonus content) packed into this event that I just can’t fit it all in here… Check it out for yourself!

So when is NOT exceeding expectations acceptable? Believe it or not, there are times where it’s OK. If we don’t mind our customers and team members having an average experience, we don’t need to put in that little bit of extra effort and we don’t need to worry about maintaining a standard for what our team members strive to deliver. That will work just fine in a booming economy where every Joe out there has plenty of money to spend…

But we don’t build the kind of loyalty that brings a...

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Exceeding Customer Expectations

As I referenced in the last blog post, John Maxwell told me several years ago that just five percent of the people we interact with are willing to put in the effort to truly EXCEED what’s expected of them. With the regulations we’ve seen in place over the last several months due to Covid, many businesses in the service industry have taken quite a hit. Times like this make it even more important to have a culture where each team member is willing to be in that five percent!

But before we can EXCEED anyone’s expectations, we need to have a clear understanding of what they really expect from us! And in many cases, we need to take responsibility for setting clear expectations of what they should expect from us... 

Cindy and I were recently on a Zoom call with Jeff Henderson, author of Know What You’re FOR, where he challenged us to consider three seemingly basic but extremely important questions:

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What are you known for?
  3. Do...
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