E- Zine - May 2004


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What is one thing you see people do that creates a poor impression and costs them relationships and business? Please e-mail me your confidential answer and I will focus my articles on your needs.

Tips to Outclass Your Competition – Protocol of Compliments and Criticism in the Business World.

A friend came up to me and said “I like your jeans.” I was startled and didn’t know to respond. His next comment was “Do you know why I asked you that question?” Now I was really perplexed. This man was married and our families were friends. I sheepishly replied “NO,” to which he replied, “I like your jeans because I sell that line of jeans in my clothing business.” We still laugh about that innocent story.

Compliments, however innocent, can be misconstrued. The protocol regarding compliments in the business world is not to compliment someone on his or her appearance. Praise a specific work related accomplishment. “You ran a great meeting today,” or “Your presentation was very professional.” Be sure to give the praise right away. If you delay it loses its significance. When someone gives you a compliment, accept graciously by saying “Thank you.”

Criticism requires tact and diplomacy. You are not trying to destroy self-esteem, but improve behavior. Focus on the behavior, not the person. “I notice the report is late. Is there something I can do to help you get the report to me by tomorrow?” or “I wonder if there is a better way of doing this, or What do you think of…?” Avoid “In my opinion.” It puts the other person on the defensive. Try “Have you thought of…or I wonder if….”

Your choice of words can make a world of difference in the response and results you get. Always remember to “Praise in Public, Criticize in Private,” to preserve professionalism and dignity.

What is your professional image? How do others see you? To Outshine your Competition with Protocol Intelligence so you are the Best of the Best, invest in professional development. To optimize business opportunities, bring Outclass, Outservice and Outsell your Competition” into your workplace, call 405-341-3216 today.

Customer Service Techniques – Avoid getting sued with your telephone message.

You’ve picked up the phone and the caller asks for Suzie. Do you know if you say the wrong thing, your company may be sued for invasion of privacy? You can now add health to the privacy list. When an employee is absent, avoid anything personal. “She’s sick again today, or She’s still at lunch, or She’s going to court for her divorce.” With stepped up health privacy laws, and to protect against possible privacy violations, many companies have gone to a broad “Don’t tell” policy. Managers are forbidden to tell anyone if someone is sick, or off work because of a health issue. Better to say, “Suzie is not available, or Suzie is not in today.” “I’ll be happy to take a message. Is there anything I can help you with?”

To be sure you are using professional and legal telephone protocol, provide your employees with Techno-Etiquette training. Visit http://www.protocolplus.net/seminar/smallbus.html

The Coach’s Corner – What is my relationship with time, money, …?

When you hear the word “relationship” what do you think? Most people think about a relationship with another person – spouse, parent, friend, etc. Have you ever considered that you have relationships with other elements of your world?

Here’s a list of 15 primary relationships:
time, money, success, happiness, stress, change, feelings, responsibility, learning, paperwork, roles/identity, ideas, soul, body, and personality/traits

The ties you have to these 15 Primary Relationships guide your life. It is empowering to be aware of how you feel about these relationships so you can be at choice rather than being a victim. What kind of shift might you get from having a different relationship? Just for fun, pick one of these relationships and ask yourself these questions.

Coaching questions:
  • What is my relationship with…?
  • How long have I been in this relationship with …?
  • How is this relationship guiding my behavior?
  • Are there other options?
  • What is my ideal relationship with…?
  • How can I have my ideal relationship with…?
  • Who can support me to change my relationship with… ?
To discover and redesign your relationships for key shifts in your life, call for your free no-obligation, coaching session. This 25-minute confidential session will give you the experience of coaching. To schedule your complimentary session, call 405-341-3216. Together, we will develop an action plan for your success!

Quotes of the Month –

"If I saw myself as my friends and other people see me, I would need an introduction.”
         --- Author Unknown

"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.”
         --- Richard Bach

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