Conflict management

YAHOO!

Recently I have been working with a group of people in a health industry that can be quite the pressure cooker. What this dynamic group of people are challenged with the most is not losing their cool when the schedule feels out of control.

One of the team members said,

“It feels like I’m in a cyclone!”  

Her team mates nodded their heads in agreement. 

This was the place where the most energy was present in the one hour meeting I was invited to facilitate.  I suddenly, in my mind’s eye, saw Dorothy’s house from the Wizard of Oz, swirling above her head. She was in some serious pain and felt out of control. 

Ever had that experience? 

We all know it is not easy to deal with in the moment and, believe it or not,  just being able to express how it feels  is a great starting point for getting a handle on it in the future.  Yep. That’s right.

The awareness of the discomfort is your starting point for turning it around or hedging it altogether.  So I recommend you

consider this awareness a gift and say,

YAHOO!

Yep…that’s right.

What? You ask?

Awareness always puts us in the present moment. Empowerment is yours IN the present moment. So when you are having the realization that you might be feeling grouchy, irritated, or annoyed, remember it’s in your power to make another choice. In my experience, taking a deep cleansing breath or two is a wonderful first step and bridge to empowerment. Then remember this acronym for YAHOO as you say that word to yourself:

                                            You

                                            Always

                                            Have

                                            Other

                                            Options

Just for today…

hearts_and_hands

  just for today…

 

judge

no one

::

including

yourself

                               

Giving Job Evaluations

 

Truthfully…

If you are a manager, when you see the words:

JOB EVALUATION

on your calendar,  what thoughts creep  into your mind?

Do you look forward to them or dread them?

If you dread them, you’re not alone.  However, if you are one of the few who DO look forward to them, my next question is:

Does the person on the receiving end also look forward to them?

There is a simple

solution to

effective and easy

job evaluations

::

 

 bigstock_job_interview_5002472

::

You know you’re on track if the

evaluation is simply a formality.

If there are surprises

however,

something is wrong.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The “gift” of gab

When I was a sales coach for This End Up Furniture Company, I was working with a store manager one-on-one during a two day visit to her store. She was a very bubbly, enthusiastic manager who loved the company, the product, the people, the customers….everything. As a matter of fact, she had been a very enthusiastic customer who was recruited.  Her name was Diane.

Much of the first half of our day was spent in observation mode….meaning I observed Diane with with her customers. What I saw/heard was non stop bubbly and up-beat talking….90% from Diane.  Every encounter ended with the customer walking out with a brochure and price list and ALL of the information about the company, the furniture they were standing near, the fabric,  the accessories, etc. that Diane graciously shared like a hostess with a tray of appetizers.

To put it mildly,

she had “the gift of gab”

which needed a bit of tweaking.

As a coach, it is my job to keep the learning atmosphere as open and positive as possible.

Integrity is a value I honor.

What might have happened if I said to Diane: “You talk too much!…That customer couldn’t get a word in edgewise!” Most likely it would shut her down which would  essentially slow or stop the learning process.

To keep the learning atmosphere healthy,

a good coach keeps the conversation in

a place of discovery.

What I didn’t mention at the top of this post is that Diane and I began our day talking about what we both wanted out of our two days together.  From the beginning, expectations were in place….from all parties involved.

This vital step is what set us up for success.

One of the ten Shared Values at This End Up was Individual Growth.  We attracted people who appreciated this unique value in a retail setting.  That doesn’t mean it’s always easy….this stretching and growing business, however, everyone was in it together, by choice.  We all coached each other…up the line and down the line.  What a great culture!

Diane asked me to let her know what I observed and pick

one thing

to help her grow that would impact increasing her personal sales.

My coaching began:

Me: Tell me about that customer.

Diane’s responses were all based on everything she told the customers about the product and services.

Me: What did the customer tell you about their home?      or    What room were they working on?

Diane: They didn’t.  I think they were just looking.

Me: What do you know about them as a person?

Diane: They had on a real cute dress and they were on their way to the movies in the mall.

Me: What do they know about us? (the company, furniture, etc…)

Diane: A lot!  I told them how we started as a company, how the furniture is constructed, what fabrics are available, how long it takes to receive from the date the order is placed, what our hours are….

Diane stopped mid sentence and looked up at me with that unmistakable look in her eyes that indicated the  A-HA!  moment!

Diane:  I talked too much.  I didn’t give anyone a chance to talk.  I don’t really know anything about the people who came in to the store this morning.

Continuing to keep the learning atmosphere open during this very important moment, I asked:

What would  you have liked to have known about them?

Diane was able to list a number of productive responses.  I followed up with:

What questions will lead you to all of those wonderful responses?

Again, Diane came up with some stellar questions.

It was all making sense.

A shift had begun.

Before we continued with the second part of our day, we took a break for lunch and I gently and causally asked:

What percentage of the time do you think the customers talked this morning?

She smiled and said:  Hardly at all.  I must have talked 100% of the time., just like I do at home.  My husband and daughter can’t get a word in edgewise.

Diane looked at me again with that “A-Ha” look in her eyes and said….

“Oh my gosh.  My poor family!”   She laughed.  I laughed.  And then I asked:

Would you be up for a little assignment tonight?  She agreed.  I asked Diane to practice the 80/20 ratio of  listening to talking with her family over dinner that evening and come back to our second day with a full report.

That means allowing her family to talk 80% while she listens.  Her 20% of talking was to include as many open ended questions as was logical while she commented on whatever her family was talking about over dinner.

After lunch, we spent the afternoon practicing open ended questions to allow the customers to do a bit more of the talking.  It worked and she went home energized and exhausted all at once.

The next day, I got the full report on dinner.  As you might imagine, her family thought something must have been wrong with her.  Was she okay?  Did she feel well?  Was she coming down with something? Honestly, she said her husband was delighted and asked her to thank me. While he didn’t want Diane to change from who she was, he was grateful for the shift.

And Diane was grateful for the shift in her sales.

She increased her sales that month by 40%.

blabber  –  blabber –  blabber

chatter – chatter – chatter

yadda-yadda-yadda

me-me-me

~::  ::~

Ponder this:

If you substituted the customer in this scenario for one of the people you manage, would the same philosophy apply? (80/20?)

Inclusivity: management made simple

I was doing a little information requesting one day to get feedback from a group about THIS blog site.  I asked what they (women in business) would want to see on this site  that would enhance the coaching and training they are currently offering their teams.

The first request I received:

I would like core competencies building modules

such as:

  • dealing with conflict
  • delivering a difficult message
  • how to write an effective individual development plan
  • how to leverage your strengths

Great requests!

I have found the most effective way to manage is by way of inclusion. So you will be involved in this process.

The two key words being:

YOU and PROCESS

You might be thinking, “Just give me the information” and if you are, this post may not be for you.   However, if you agree with and have experienced the concept that people don’t take advice you give 98% of the time, this post may be of interest to you.

So, I will start this process by asking you questions.  There is a method to this, so post your responses and we’ll get this show started!

Imagine what a day would look like with the basics of these competencies  in place

and running like a well oiled machine.

Really!

Take a moment and allow the vision to reveal itself.

What do you see?

How does it feel?

Next, I want you to try this on for size.

What would it look like to  include your team or team member in the process of developing a good  way to, for example,  manage conflict?

Screeeeeeeech!!!

Did I just say include your team in the process?

Yes I did.  And this is where things get interesting.

This model is under utilized and yet, the most effective.  What’s up with that?

I have some theories however, I’ll keep them to myself for now.

Is this just so simple you’re having a “Duh” moment?  Or is it just so difficult, it hurts your brain just reading about it?

The fact is:

The more you include your team in the process the more positive results you and your team will enjoy.

The #1 fear my clients have is that of losing control of their business because their perception of involving their team equates to losing their voice.  Let me assure you, this is not what happens.

So….

How does one begin?