Project managers? Who is trained for that!

It was a mild revelation that occurred to me, one morning, in the dusting of winter snow that was falling that day. But one of the most under utilised professional trainings that there is out there is stage-manager!

Think of what is required to accomplish the task of any project.

-Having the ability to organise complex activities
-Managing diva personalities
-Being able to organise thousands of objects in time and space.
-Coordinating people and actions in real time with picture perfect timing.
-Maintaing the integrity of a vision and a plan over extended periods of time, regardless of partners or participants.

While engineers, architects and contractors are taught how to deal with the mechanics of their professions, they do not spend years of gruelling pain laden hours of organising some of the most over complicated, disorganised human beings that roam this green and blue ball we call Earth!

So the next time you want to get something done consider giving the job to a stage-manager and watch the show go on!

Learn More

Why no one likes an asshat

20140206-115331.jpg

Without having to say it again there aren’t many arrogant self-centred people that you want to ask out for a beer or hang around with. So why would you want to hire someone like that?

Generosity is the key to social media marketing. When you want to attract people help them. Give them everything that they need to advance things themselves. When it becomes really hard they’re going to want help because doing the hard stuff alone sucks…now who are they going to call when it comes down to the hard stuff…the one who helped them with the easy stuff. The chances are better.

Generosity is a trait that we seek. People are communal by nature. We seek out people who support us and people who make us feel capable. Be that kind of company. The kind that helps and gives things away.

Learn More

The dangerous power of expectations

 good-service-bad-service-your-choice

The problem with promises, implicit or tacit, is that they create expectations.  So what?

Here’s the problem with that:

As business owners we make promises, whether you want to or not.  When we make a promise we are creating the future for other people.  People come and expect that something will happen within a reasonable delay and with respect and a fair price.

I have stopped using stores for numerous reasons, all related to failed expectations.

One of the local sporting stores wanted to charge me for warentee support for a product that they sell and carried a lifetime guarentee!

Fail

I had to chase after the regional distributor and then finally the manufacturer in Germany to get warranty service from my local vendors.  It took me almost two years of intermittent effort to get a lifetime guarantee honoured.

This is exactly the opposite of what we expect of a company that offers a strong warranty on their products.  No one said to me when I purchased my product that the service would be fast and easy.  They just said that they would replace them if they broke due to manufacturers defects.  But our expectations turn around something will happen within a reasonable delay and with respect and a fair price.

So the only way for us to satisfy our clients is to allow them live fulfilled expectations.  So it is up to us to manage the things that we can.

We have to justify:

  • the time it takes
  • the price
  • and the relationships

If you can manage those things then you will be able to have happy clients with fulfilled expectations. They will thus have nothing but good things to say about them because you held up your end of the bargain.

Be proactive and control the promises and turn any tacit agreements into voiced agreements so that people won’t be surprised by their own expectations being unfulfilled!

Good luck and take control.

Learn More

The Double Edged Blade of Charm

service

Charm is a wonderful thing.

I love a charmer, someone who comes along with a big smile and is eager to help.  That is the best kind of reception that we can receive; if they have a desire to fulfil your desires and expectations.  All of these things are really pleasant to find in your environment.

But there is another side to the charmer’s personality.  They expect you to say yes to their effort.  They are not used to being denied for no other reason but you don’t feel like it.  You are supposed to be polite and accept their effort as cash and feel bad if you say no.  So, we as customers will avoid that guilty feeling of denying effort by saying yes.

That works with lots of people, but not really.  If you leave with the feeling of being taken advantage of you will be an unhappy customer and avoid that store in the future because you don’t like that icky feeling of being used.

So it is important that your best charmers are well trained in being able to take no as an acceptable answer to their charm.

It was quite funny this morning when I was sitting in the coffee shop where I wrote this article and I wasn’t quite ready for anything and a lovely waitress comes up with the full blown charm machine running and asks if I would like a good capuccino or a café au lait in a bowl…I said not yet; and I was briefly reminded of Bilbo’s Gollum moment in the Lord of the Rings:

screaming-face

I think I was momentarily scared…fortunately there were witnesses so I was okay.

But it is to be remembered as the supervisor of the sales force that our clients are more than just tools to fulfil  our objectives.  They need to be listened to and empathised with.  So make sure your charmers leave the clients charmed and not mildly terrified, queasy or guilty.

Learn More

Respect vs. duty: The Forgotten Power of Complicity

In any hierarchical relationship there is the a social contract in play.  You may ask “Why are you writing about this, Aaron?” and you’ll see that it makes a difference to your clients how your employees feel about their work and workplace.

This image comes to mind…

underpaid worker

This whole thing is related to broken window theory.  The less you maintain your workplace the less people respect it, the more you maintain it the better people feel about being there.  As the owner of your business, you have to provide a number of things to your employees to make sure that they feel that they are respected and honoured individuals in the work place.  If you can manage this you will create something far more important than DWYL(do what you love).  Because people are far more interested in working at a place that respects them and treats them as honoured members of the team than they are in simply getting paid.  That doesn’t mean we can underpay workers it just means that once fair wages are in place we have to begin with aspiration management.  So I will argue that as both employee and employer, the most important feature of our personal self-respect is the ability to accomplish goals and advance our perception of what we think we should be doing.

So should you love your job? No, but you should be able to respect what you do and the people that you do it with and for.  When we get up in the morning and we look forward to working with our co-workers, because we have fun together, the world is a different place.

When we get up in the morning and you’re going to work with a gang of morons, it’s harder to get out of bed.  So choose people and employees based on whether you think that you can respect them.

Now I walk into two different businesses and here is what happens

1) respect absent:

There is tension in the environment and the people destined to serve the clients are under motivated.  They are there to collect their pay-cheque until they find another job.  I am disinterested to buy here because I become uncomfortable in the environment.

2) Respect present:

People are having fun and like to work with the people in their environment and feel more at ease working as a team.  I get better service and am at ease dealing with the people, because I am also being respected in the environment.

So the more effort you put into maintaining the excellent relations inside your company the better your client relations will be and the more your business will flourish.

Learn More