You cannot be successful in business, or in life, unless you are successful in cultivating winning relationships. Order Cultivate: The Power of Winning relationships at join the Cultivate@Work Community www.CultivateatWork.com to learn more.
Author: Paolo Gallo, Chief Human Resources Officer, World Economic Forum. Gallo joined the Forum in April 2014 as Senior Director, Human Resources. His appointment is the latest chapter in a career in leadership, human resources and international finance that spans 70 countries. Prior to joining the Forum, Gallo was Director of Human Resources at EBRD in London; before that, a Senior Adviser on organizational and leadership development at the World Bank in Washington DC, providing advice on corporate restructuring and leadership to the bank’s external clients. For three years before that, was the World Bank’s Director of Performance and Development, where he conceived and delivered a leadership development programme to more than 1,100 managers and senior managers across the organization
Enough with the men on mountaintops at dawn telling us to trudge that next hill; what we really need is the inspiration to create stronger relationships with the people who help us all rise to the top. That’s where these quotes collected by Entrepreneur’s Susan Steinbrecher come in handy, whether it’s to start your next meeting or simply ponder before the start of a long work day. 1. “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw 2. “Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.” — Jorge Luis Borges 3. “You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.” — Cheryl Strayed 4. “There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it or leave it. If you can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t change it, leave it.” — Unknown author 5. “We often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things and sometimes taking things too personally.” — The Dalai Lama Full story at Entrepreneur. Motivated to relate. Graphics credit: Canva Posted by Kate Rinsema
Welcome to the Cultivate@Work Weekly Roundup. We scour the Internet for stories and ideas of how people cultivate winning relationships at work and share them in this weekly summary. It’s perfect for anyone interested in applying the ideas and techniques from Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships by SkyeTeam CEO Morag Barrett. In this week’s roundup we feature three articles about how to overcome your inner voice and any self-doubt. Many leaders who have shared with me the worries and things that “keep them awake at night.” The good news is, you don’t have to believe everything you think! Read Morag’s article on Entrepreneur.com to learn more. Much as we think we are committed to change, our minds are unconsciously bent on staying the same. Read this article to learn how to shut up your inner critic. In this powerful Linked In post, SkyeTeam’s Ruby Vesely shares how to be fearless! Thanks for reading! Join the Cultivate LinkedIn Group to read more articles, share your ideas, opinions, and questions on how to apply Cultivate to your life. We’re changing how work gets done, one conversation, and one relationship at a time.
We can use the same words but mean different things. When it comes to building trust at work that's often the case. However you define trust or use the word, stop thinking about trust per se, even though trust is a necessary ingredient to both engagement and innovation. A better way to look at trust is to look at the behaviors that enable engagement, innovation, great work, sustainable results, and exceptional work relationships. These are the behaviors that also build trust, no matter your role. Source: Bing Image - free to use and share What do the behaviors look like that naturally and organically built trust? Here are 25 that will make a difference in any workplace, organization, or community: Treat people as the talented, creative, resourceful, and innovative adults they are. Listen to learn. Withhold judgment. Engage in real dialogue. Hold yourself to high standards. Own what you do or don't do; silence speaks, too. Be very good at what you do. Competence is a litmus test for believability. Be self-managed, self-motivated, and self-aware. Do what you say you'll do; model what you say matters to you, i.e. behavioral integrity. Keep perspective if things go wrong or setbacks happen (personal ones, too). See people as individuals, not roles; show respect, kindness, and consideration. Check your assumptions, beliefs, and facts. Pay more attention to what people do right, than wrong. See the good, first. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Get beyond the me. Be fair. Engage people in the process. Fairness is about involvement, transparency, and clarity, not support, sameness or agreement. Be risk free. Minimize the fear others' might have sharing their ideas, thoughts, feedback, and dreams with you. Actions. Behaviors. Words. They all count and have ripples. Use caution. Know what matters to the people around you. Show appreciation. Notice what others do to make things easier or better for you; say thank-you. Be someone people want to work with. Make it easy and enjoyable to work with you. Offer feedback with positive intention, no personal agenda, and helpful consideration. Be responsive. Answer messages. Help others get answers; share your knowledge. Consider the stories you tell, the tweets or links you send, the pictures you post as equivalent to the words you speak. They're telling about you. Be known for how you show up; how you walk-your-talk. Stand for something that others can articulate by your actions. Help people see the why behind the what. Operate, at least most days, from a grounded best-of-self place. Give more than you take. There are numerous other behaviors that naturally and easily build trust and help create work groups where engagement and innovation thrive. Trust building is a process. Relationship building is a process. Self-development is a process. Invest the best of who you are in all three and you'll get great results, no matter your role. You'll find more tips and trust building behaviors for yourself and your work group: You'll find five trust essentials in my book: Trust, Inc.: How to Create a Business Culture That Will Ignite Passion, Engagement, and Innovation
Seventy eight percent of consumers have ended a business relationship due to bad customer service. It's also estimated that it costs a company six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. So how can companies build brand loyalty? Here are some tips.
Excellent article in how a romantic relationship is very similar to the business relationship you want to develop with your customers. Every relationship goes through these 4 stages. This is the perfect Valentine’s post because it’s all about relationships so how do we turn the principles of a romantic relationship to business? In honor of …
The relationships in your life can take your business to new levels of success, or they can make you want to quit entrepreneurship entirely. Often, we struggle in our business, and different areas of our lives, and don’t make the connection to what’s going on with the relationships in our lives. We overlook for a problem that’s right in front of us. Each one the many different types of relationships in our lives has an effect on the level of success in our business. To create success, you have to understand these relationships and learn how to handle the situations that have the potential to become roadblocks later. Here are the four major types of relationships that can have a positive or negative affect on your business. 1. Romantic relationships. This may not be the most important type of relationship, as it relates to your business, but it is one that has the greatest impact on your attitude and mindset. Each of us longs to spend our lives with someone we love and love is a feeling that can take you through an emotionally gambit. It’s important to choose a romantic partner that understands you and will understand what it means to be with an entrepreneur. The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone and has broken up a few relationships along the way. If you are with someone who doesn’t understand, their attitude can affect how much time you spend in your business and how you appear to your customers mentally, physically and emotionally. Related: Nancy Reagan Proved the Power of Partners in Leadership 2. Friendships. Good friends support you and help push you towards your goals. Bad friends try to drag you down to their level. They can’t see past their situation, so they make a generalization and assume it’s the same for everyone. You have probably heard many quotes about how the people you hang out with can impact your life. Your goal, as an entrepreneur, should be to surround yourself with people who are making moves in their lives. They are working hard on getting ahead and looking to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs. Those are the types of friends that will help your business grow. Related: It Really Does Pay to Be Nice -- Growing Research Links Friendship and Success 3. Business partnerships. Dave Ramsey is famous for having said, “The only ship that won’t sail is a partnership.” He is a staunch supporter of not entering into a business partnership because they are very difficult to maintain. I don’t know if Dave Ramsey is right, but any type of partnership requires constant work, honesty, communication, and a lot of other factors to make it work. Just like your friends, you have to be very strategic and patient when forming partnerships. There will be many opportunities that seem right for your business, but could hurt you. You have to research the person—even if you know them. You have to get clarity long before you enter a business partnership—especially legally. Choose wisely because your business could be depending on it. Related: Love Is in the (Office) Air: How to Have a Successful Workplace Romance 4. Fans, followers and clients. The last type of relationship is one that will grow over time but is still important. As you create value in your market, word-of-mouth marketing will kick in, and your business will grow. As you create more value and help people solve their biggest problems, your business will scale. Those in your world will look to you and watch what you do. This is good and bad. One major struggle you’ll face is time. Your fans/followers/clients will want more of your time to get their questions answered or simply to pick your brain. Time is the one resource you can’t recreate so you will be forced to say NO more than you have previously in your life. You do this at the risk of upsetting some, but the reality is that you can’t please everyone. The key in this type of relationship is to maintain control. This is your life and business. There are many different types of relationships in your life. The key is to understand them and keep them from affecting your business negatively. For every negative scenario I mentioned, the positive could be true. Your relationships can help you grow and focus on what will help your business' success. You are the one that determines what effect they have. Be smart about your choices.
Regardless of the longevity of your company, onboarding new clients can be a challenge. As you live in a technology driven world, you need to make sure to keep up with the latest available options in your business. The only way to grow your business is to expand your client base, which often takes a little bit of investigating to determine why your current method is not working. New clients are the way that you keep your business open. Seeking out leads for potential revenue is important, but you need to know what to do after you have gotten a lead. While the tactics you used to attract new clients may have captured their attention, you are now left with the responsibility of bringing them in for a meeting with more information. You need to establish a good first impression, and you need to be able to demonstrate to the new client your capacity to following through with your original advertisements. The Importance of Smoothly Onboarding New Clients As you introduce new clients to your firm or company, you need to put your best foot forward at all times, as you establish your agreement with them. This onboarding process is the first major impression you give the new client, and you want that impression to be a positive one. Your impression is not just about how you are personally presenting yourself, but it is also the key element that lets them know what to expect from the company. Starting with a welcoming and organized approach tells the new client that they are able to safely rely on you in each aspect of your new contract. You want to be genuine in your approach, but you also want to establish an expectation for excellence from your company. A new client who expects to be impressed by organization and has that expectation met will bode well for your company, since they may want to recommend your services to other partners they may have. Regardless of your approach, there are a few ways to make the best impression, while maintaining the client’s business on a regular basis. Never assume that you know the needs of your consumer, before you have even pursued a full conversation with them. Follow these “secrets,” and you will set yourself up for success. Secret #1: Make Realistic Promises One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in business is to make false and erroneous claims about the services and products you are able to provide to a new client. If your client already has an idea about what your business does, each commitment you state needs to be something that you can realistically handle for the client. Customers and clients quickly respond with dissatisfaction when the promises you made are not met, whether you are providing them with services or a new product. Every word you say to the client matters, which means you need to make sure you can support your information. Furthermore, if you are unable to keep your promises, you risk having that aspect of your company exposed to other potential clients, leading to a failure in growth and profit. Secret #2: Maintain Responsive Customer Support As you are setting up your contract with a new client, you need to keep your customer service representatives and managerial staff available for any issues that may arise. You must remain present and available in your customer service department, since you are setting the standard for your company’s reputation at this time. During the first few months of your client relationship, you are creating bonds that make the difference between a return customer and a failed contract. Your client needs to know that your service doesn’t end once an agreement is reached. Your customer service representatives are just as large of a contributor to the success of your business as the CEO is. By working cohesively with your team, you can deliver the services effectively to your client, showing them that you value their company as a client and that you are prepared for any issues that may arise in the first few months. By delivering on all of the promises you made through responsive support, the client may even feel confident enough to suggest your business to others. Secret #3: Make Each Experience Personalized to the Client Every client is different and unique in their needs, even though they may be coming to you for the same services. Choosing to treat each client like a number or a profit margin is not the level of service you want to earn a reputation for. Any services you provide to them should be adjusted to the specific needs that they have. To make the experience more personalized, you need to spend time with your client in the business setting, learning more about their background and why they are in need of your services. Learning about your clients’ history helps you to establish the part of your services that are the best fit for them. Use this importation to adjust your proposal, including the ways that your specific services improve their daily operations as a business. While your services may offer a general package or package options, there are still ways you can customize the experience. Speak with the lead counsel from the client and find out what their particular needs are, along with the aspects of your services that are not applicable to the situation. By helping the client to feel understood and heard, you have a greater likelihood of them being pleased with the outcome, which helps to promote your business. Secret #4: Have a Straightforward Proposal or Plan Any new client wants to work with someone who is confident in their business plan, which often translates into the ability to articulate it. When you present a new client with a very complicated business plan, it is difficult to maintain their interest level. It also implies that your inability to present a concise document is a reflection of your ability to keep the rest of your work and performance simple and to the point. When you show your client the original business plan, simplify it. The client is educated and intelligent enough to see if you have decided to conceal your lack of in-depth planning with a complicated plan. By keeping your information clear, concise, and to the point, the client assumes that the rest of your business is straightforward. Providing your information in this way is also another way to assure your client that you aren’t trying to trap them with gimmicks or a lack of service. Secret #5: Establish Clear Line of Communication Establishing a clear line of communication may seem a lot like “Secret #2: Maintain Responsive Customer Support,” but it actually helps your company in a completely different way. Keeping up with smart messaging protocol helps to enhance the client’s experience, which makes for a happier client. You need a way to filter through the correct responses for the type of customer you are serving. Most clients expect a certain flow of communication, allowing them to easily go through issues that arise with a natural flow of information. This availability and simplicity gives them the ability to know who to contact within your company to handle the issue at hand. For instance, while you may approach a brand new client with a free trial that evolves into a long-term business relationship, an established client would see this as a tactic to get them to spend more money. Additionally, it would show a lack of knowledge on the part of your business, for not knowing the appropriate time to offer this service. Secret #6: Set Goals An alarming amount of businesses do not set goals during the onboarding process, which can hurt your client relationships in the long run. You need to establish specific targets, which enables you to show a margin for successfully carrying out those goals. Even though these goals may change over time, it gives you a clear direction for your company, which shows potential clients your level of ambition, combined with the ability to follow through the promises you make. Additionally, having personal and professional goals for your company shows that you desire to grow and expand, which requires a certain level of commitment. You need a full plan to help take you to the next goal, since you want to have a reputation for being a company that is committed to fulfilling the aspirations you set for yourself. By showing you are self-motivated, the new client will have more confidence in joining with you, knowing that they won’t have to hover over you during your contracted period of time. Your success isn’t measured in the way that you gain new clients; your success is a direct result of the satisfaction of the client. Secret #7: Make Your Billing and Fees “Client-Friendly” By making your fees more “client friendly,” it does not mean that you should bring down your pricing until you can’t make any profit. Essentially, just like the client wants a simple and uncomplicated business plan, the client also wants a billing and pricing plan that doesn’t have hidden issues. Your pricing should be easy to understand and explain to the client. Having a hidden price or having a lot of adjustments in pricing sends the message to clients that your company may be equally elusive while working with them. A complicated pricing plan makes the client feel unable to trust you, which means they will be unwilling to trust your services. Make sure your pricing plan is both competitive and straightforward. Secret #8: Have Your Data Available A new client wants to make sure that their business goes to a company that is often well-established and has a solid following in the business world. For this reason, maintaining access to your company’s data is significantly important. You will want to be able to show clients that your services are reliable and effective, and you need current statistics on your company to do so. You can find out the current state of your company through researching the different departments. It may also benefit you to get ahold of the statistics and financial information about your company as well. New clients want to be able to see you are a company that is thriving, working towards bigger and better opportunities. A client would see a growing company and want to establish a business relationship before the rates climb to high for both parties to have a successful partnership. Keeping updated information about your data isn’t just for the client. By seeking out information about possible trends your company is experiencing, you can figure out with your staff how to use those leads to your advantage. If you notice a particular type of approach is working in one field, you may expand that approach to being tried in other fields as well. By having this information handy, you can also determine the best and most successful approach when onboarding additional clients in the first place. Consistency is the Key Whether you use one, two, or all of these methods to help with your client onboarding, you need to remember that you need to stay consistent. Provide consistent results, with consistent pricing, and consistent promises. By establishing your own company as a reliable and competent business, you show potential and existing clients that your word and your contract are both aspects of your business that are unwavering. By becoming a company that focuses on the client, you show new clients that the priority of serving them is the highest on your list. It is up to you to show the client the value of your company, urging them to renew their contract with you every year. Keeping the interests of your client completely depends on choosing a smarter onboarding process, since it is your first opportunity to show potential clients that you are able to deliver when you say and how you say. During this time, you are showing the new client the way you prefer to run your business, which is essential to gaining the trust of the client. Once you have established that trust, you are one step closer to signing a contract and helping the client through the onboarding process. http://www.evergage.com/blog/9-biggest-customer-onboarding-mistakes-avoid/https://blog.kissmetrics.com/sauce-to-reducing-saas-churn/ Lastly, let me know your thoughts and what other tips have for smoothly onboarding clients. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.
Here’s an interesting fact: 65% of executives, in a USA Today survey, said that being introverted is a barrier to leadership … yet about 40% of leaders test as introverts, which is only a little bit lower than the 50/50 introvert/extrovert split in the general population. So clearly, while it might be a challenge, it’s not a prohibitive one. It’s true, though, that introverts generally need to work harder to build the relationships with colleagues that are so important to professional success. We introverts often prefer to keep our heads down and focus on work and can find socializing with colleagues to be weirdly draining. So it can be frustrating to realize just how important work relationships really are to your success (and to the success of your team). But there are some relatively painless things that introverts can do to strengthen relationships with colleagues without triggering too much introvert agony. 1. Say yes to events sometimes, but bow out early if you need to. If your office holds regular social events like happy hours or group lunches, don’t feel like you have to go every time – but it’s a good idea to go occasionally. Even just showing up for an hour, being seen, and talking to a few people can solidify relationships in a helpful way. (Then you can go home and enjoy some solitude!) 2. Take the lead on suggesting activities that you’ll enjoy. If you’re not so excited about socializing at all, it might sound counterintuitive to propose a group activity, but if you take the lead, you can suggest something that you’ll be happier with than, say, an extrovert paradise like happy hours. Plus, being the person to suggest and possibly even plan it will earn you big points. 3. Volunteer to work on a team project. If you’re like most introverts, you’re happiest in groups when you have a specific task to do. In fact, the classic advice for introverts at parties to put yourself to work, like by pouring the drinks or DJ’ing the music. You can do the work version of that by giving yourself a task within a team. You’ll get to focus on something work-related, while getting the benefits of building relationships and increasing your visibility. 4. Ask for people’s input on work topics. Most people love to be asked for their opinion and will take being asked as a sign of respect, so that all on its own can be a relationship builder. Better still, you’ll be talking about substantive work topics, not small talk, which should make this an easier way to build the relationship than having to stare at someone across the table at a work dinner. 5. Make a point of being kind. Obviously, everyone should be kind to their coworkers, but you might put particular thought into doing it if you’re an introvert looking for ways to strengthen your connections with colleagues. For example, write people thank-you notes when they go out of their way to help you (cc their manager for extra points!); send cards if someone gets married, has a baby, or has a loss in their family; and compliment people on their work achievements. Your coworkers are far less likely to care that you’re not the life of the party if they associate you with warm gestures. Similarly, be a good coworker in general. Be responsive, help out when asked, do good work, and give people the benefit of the doubt. It might take people longer to get to know introverts, but it’ll help if they see you doing great work and being easy to get along with meanwhile. Posted in People Management, Team & Project Management, Team Productivity | Tagged coworkers, introverts, visibility, workplace relationships
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