Have you ever wondered...
Why your attempts to change the office bully aren't working?
How to help a manager gain the respect of his or her people?
Why your sales people don't seem to be doing a good job?
If so, you aren't alone.
This week we are sharing answers to some of the most common questions we are asked every week.
WHY WE LOVE RECEIVING YOUR QUESTIONS!
After publishing our blog articles each week, we receive dozens of questions from HR professionals, Management (including HR) Consultants, and EAP employees.
These questions centre on how to use neutralization and Cooperative Action to replace, supplement, or strengthen existing:
- Conflict resolution activities
- Strategies for addressing breakdowns in workplace relationships
- Approaches to dealing with inappropriate employee behaviour and workplace dysfunction.
And every week I am encouraged by this influx of questions from people who are experts in their own right.
I feel this way because it demonstrates a commitment by them to constantly improve their own ability to serve their internal and external customers.
The fact that it shows we are connecting in a HUGE way with our key customer segments is pretty cool too!
While the specifics of each question may vary slightly from person to person, most of the underlying issues, challenges, and dysfunction are the same...
Because, believe it or not, most people deep down are the same.
So, here are 8 of the most common answers we provide to our expert customers, generalized so they are easier for you to see how YOU can apply them.
CHANGE HOW YOUR COMPANY VIEWS AND INTERACTS WITH ITS EMPLOYEES WITH ONE OF OUR EYE OPENING WORKPLACE WISDOM SEMINARS
FOCUS CHANGE EFFORTS WHERE THEY CAN ACTUALLY SUCCEED
Whether for your own employees or for your clients'...
...it is key to help them understand that they cannot change the workplace around them nor the behaviour of their coworkers.
They can only change how they act and react to the people and circumstances they encounter through their day.
This fact, that the answer lies in learning to be in control without being controlling...
...empowers workers to commit to action and make the changes necessary to improve their workplace experience.
GET PAST "WINNING" AND "LOSING"
When it comes to dealing with difficult people in the workplace, it is crucial to get past the notion that one person must "win" while the other person "loses".
It is our mego (the little voice in our heads that makes everything about "me") that convinces us to take everything personally.
It is also our mego that wants us to believe that we must get others to acknowledge that we are right and they are wrong in order to get past a disagreement.
These ideas, created by our mego, are false.
The solution to preventing ourselves from being negatively affected by the behaviour of others is learning how to neutralize the effect their behaviour has on us...
...not "winning" the argument by making the other person wrong (because they won't it anyway)!
LEARN TO SAY "YES"
No matter your industry, it is important that managers and workers, in response to a customer or employee request, come from a place of "If I can, I will".
This means that people must learn to default to a position of "yes" rather the "no" (which is the norm today).
The idea is that if a person has no VALID reason to turn the request down, don't turn it down.
When managers (and customer service workers) go to a "no" response first, they come across as unreasonable and lose the trust and respect of their workers (or customers).
"If I can, I will" empowers employees to do their job more effectively and get better results.
WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?
The key to making the transition from mere "manager" to "leader" is self-examination.
The more a manager examines why they behave as they do, the more aware they become of how their actions and behaviours are affecting others.
When managers become aware of this, they often change their behaviour...
...unless they are a "2%er"...
...because most people (the 98%) don't want to knowingly harm other people.
BETTER SALES PERFORMANCE REQUIRES BETTER "HUMAN" SKILLS
Most businesses that employ sales people sell products and services that are not purchased frequently (such as groceries).
These are usually bigger ticket items where customer loyalty and repeat sales are worth their weight in gold.
This makes it absolutely critical for sales employees to build and maintain rock-solid relationships with their customers.
This becomes dramatically easier when all employees have the right "human" skills so that they are able to build these relationships on mutual trust and respect.
When this occurs, sales employees are equipped to get the most value out of each and every customer interaction, no matter how difficult that customer may be.
UNDERSTAND WHY RELATIONSHIPS BREAK DOWN
Most relationships breakdown in the workplace because someone acts or reacts to the behaviours of another in an inappropriate way.
We take comments personally even when not directed at us.
We over-react to small things that others might simply dismiss.
We fail to communicate how another person's behaviour affects us, internalizing it instead.
When we understand what it means to be in control (of our own actions and behaviour) without controlling others, we can prevent others from harming us or adversely affecting our workday.
Through "neutralization" employees learn how to be in control of their own actions and behaviour regardless of what others do or say.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION...
In any service-based business, the ability to deal with upset, difficult, or demanding clients is critical.
ALL employees, from the CEO down to the person who sweeps the floors, need to be able to proactively address internal and external customer concerns...
...without fear of making a mistake or having to jump through unnecessary hoops.
This requires that management have a great deal of trust in the company's employees.
While the occasional mistake may indeed be made...
...overall, this approach will reduce the number of potential customer complaints down the road.
TEAM-BUILDING TAKES TIME AND TRUST
Most organizations employ a team-based operational model because it has been long recognized that the output of a team is greater than the sum of the output of each individual team member.
This requires all employees recognize that the better they work together, the greater their contribution to the company's overall goals...
...and the better the experience each team member will have in the process.
Gimmicky team-building exercises aren't enough though.
Most team-building exercises only reinforce a sense of "team" among those work teams where there already exists a healthy degree of trust and respect...
...except for the 2%, that is.
But for those teams where trust and respect are not already the norm, action must be taken to help employees better understand each other...
...communicate more effectively with one another....
...and remove those individuals who may be deliberate stirring the pot to advance their own personal agendas.
And this can't be accomplished in the time it takes to walk across hot coals.
Keep Those Questions Coming...
Let us know if you have a question.
We know that Cooperative Action may seem "new" (although we first developed it 20 years ago)...
...and "scary" because it focuses on supporting the 98% rather than fixing the 2% (who don't think they need to be fixed anyway).
The better you understand it, as our expert customers understand it, we know the more you will love it.
So, keep those questions coming...
Are you ready to make Cooperative Action a part of your daily life? Learn about the Law of Cooperative Action™ Personal Mastery Program.