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19 Outstanding People Skills of Best Customer Service Reps

Best Customer Service Reps: Their 19 People Skills Behaviors
Communicates sincerely and does not recite a script.
Listens for the customer’s personality and demeanor and then adapts to it.
Is objective and caring even when the customer is upset and angry.
Senses the customer’s pace and adapts to it. It varies with personality type, culture, and geographic location.
Listens to every piece of information the customer offers without jumping over words.
Shares control of the interaction with the customer instead of driving it through a predetermined path.
Detects the customer’s level of knowledge and speaks to that level (not above or below).
Thanks the customer for input during the call not just at the end.
Apologizes once for the length of time it is taking to resolve it and keeps moving toward resolving it.
Asks permission to access the customer’s records and then uses the information to go the extra mile.
Continues to listen to related questions and answers them clearly.
Uses confusing moments to learn and then teach the customer instead of just saying. “I don’t know.”
Finds workarounds to obstacles.
Sounds happy to be at work even when doing overtime or having a tough day.
Invites future contact by giving an updated phone number to call.
Uses positive forward focused language instead of negative phrases.
Shows responsibility and initiative in resolving the problems. Never blames the customer.
Resolves the current issues and considers future needs to prevent trouble.
Expresses sincere action-oriented tone of voice throughout the interaction.
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What Customer Engagement Will Look Like In The Future 

What Technology is Influencing Customer Engagement?
Today, consumers and businesses alike expect convenient, relevant, and responsive engagement across every interaction. Here we will outline 5 major marketing technology trends, and how they impact the future of consumer engagement:

1. Artificial Intelligence
In a survey conducted by Quantcast and Forbes Insight, 51% of marketers saw an increase in customer retention after using AI in their marketing efforts. To unlock the data needed for personalization at scale, marketers are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI). AI is now the number one use case for personalizing the overall customer journey.
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What Customer Engagement Will Look Like In The Future 

Artificial Intelligence
In a survey conducted by Quantcast and Forbes Insight, 51% of marketers saw an increase in customer retention after using AI in their marketing efforts. To unlock the data needed for personalization at scale, marketers are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI). AI is now the number one use case for personalizing the overall customer journey.

“In today’s digital environment, attribution continues to be a challenge — businesses are still piecing together data points from different platforms and many are still struggling to understand the full path to purchase — which marketing channels are driving revenue? What kinds of content help retain customers and at which stage of the customer journey? Where are customers falling out of the funnel? AI can sequence that customer journey together and identify when a customer comes to a company’s site and leaves without converting,”  — Unbounce CTO and co-founder, Carl Schmidt

This year, many organizations are on the path to adopting AI, leading to content personalization and in turn, higher consumer engagement.

2. Voice Assisted Devices
According to eMarketer, in 2019, 74.2 million people in the US will use a smart speaker, up 15% over 2018. Additionally, by the end of 2019, 26.8% of US adults will use a smart speaker at least once per month. Sales are not slowing down any time soon either. Amazon has reportedly sold over 100 million Alexa devices and as of last month, Google Assistant is available on over one billion devices. Marketing professionals have an opportunity to leverage this technology to reach consumers in new and exciting ways. Voice-led marketing is expected to follow a more radio-type model, but with a direct link to the retailer. And, just like traditional media, voice-activated ads will need to be original and come off as genuine. The first brands to do this, and do this well will win, and 2019 could very well be the year this happens.

3. 5G Networks
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thoughtLEADERS, LLC: Leadership Training for the Real World » Executive Decision Making Skills For Your Business

thoughtLEADERS, LLC: Leadership Training for the Real World » Executive Decision Making Skills For Your Business | digitalNow |
Don Deas insight:

Developing and honing your executive decisive making process is not only a key part of career growth but a necessity for the success of your business.

There are three major considerations that separate executive decision making from day-to-day or managerial decision making. First, you have to think through the strategic impacts of the decision you’re going to make. Look at how the decision affects your organization in the market, and what are your competitors going to do based on the decision that you make? 

Second, consider the financial impacts of the executive decision. It’s not just the short-term financial impact that you have to look at. You also need to look at the long-term impacts on revenues, costs, profitability, and even the company’s value.

The third consideration is the operational impacts of the executive decision. What are the changes to your people, your processes, and even how you run your business based on the decision that you make? 

Some examples of true executive decisions include:Mergers and acquisitions, large-scale IT projects, going global with your organization, expanding the markets you operate in, and even layoffs or restructurings.  To make good executive decisions, make sure you consider those strategic, financial, and operational impacts. Because when you do, you’ll have higher confidence in the short-term and long-term impacts of the decisions that you make.


Assessing the Greater Risk

Executive decisions typically carry a much higher level of risk. Before you make an executive level decision, understand what those major risks are.  Those risks can include competitive responses to the decision you make. Some executive decisions have long incubation times, to see if the decision was correct. And if it’s not correct, the cost of being wrong can be much higher.  To the extent possible, quantify these risks and build contingency plans for each one. Also, identify early warning triggers so you know if the decision is going in a bad direction

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Brave Leadership

1. The Cultural Core. I represent this strong cultural core through several key elements including the development of trust, breaking through organizational hierarchies, being willing to take risks or even fail, finding employees that are the right cultural fit and supporting their individuality, and finally, by developing great communication. Building a strong core lays the foundation for the next two areas.

2. External Factors. It is important to avoid the pull to react to the competition, regulation and risk & control functions, but rather, focus on getting out in front of these three areas. This requires staying close to the customer and anticipating where the market is going. You can limit the influence these factors have by leaning into the cultural core.

3. Improve Decision Making. Good decision making from a place of strength in your organizational identity keeps you from getting distracted by concerns around possible legal land mines or the possibility of negative media exposure. Good decision making allows the brave leader to go from good to great.
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6 Q Leadership

1. IQ – Intelligence Quotient
Top leaders are smarter than the rest. They have to sift through mountains of data, perhaps missing important pieces, and make decisions quickly. They have to track many simultaneous activities and streams of thought. The good news is that most of the people who get to top management positions are smart enough. There is no shortage of bright people.

2. TQ – Technical/Operational Quotient
Top leaders know the business. They have the functional and technical skills and knowledge necessary to make intelligent decisions and take prudent action. They have the operational skills to make things happen. Again, the news is good. Most who get there have this set of skills.

3. MQ – Motivational Quotient
Top leaders are super-motivated. They are ambitious. They make life sacrifices to climb the organizational career ladder. They work long hours. They travel a lot. They relocate frequently. They have to want it. Again, most who get there have the necessary motivation to lead and persevere.
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Leader, Know Thyself: Questions Every Leader Needs to Answer

Leader, Know Thyself: Questions Every Leader Needs to Answer | digitalNow |
Here are the most common questions employees have for their leaders. Formulating answers for these can become the basis of every leadercommunicator’s core messages and actions:

How did you get to where you are?
How do you want people to know you? What makes you tick? 
What are your expectations of employees?
What should they expect of you?
On what do you want to put a stake in the ground?
What is your vision? What should various audiences believe in you and the vision?
Who are we and what do we do?
What are our business goals and strategies?
What initiatives will drive the business today?  In the future?
What are the new behaviors you expect employees to perform successfully to achieve your results? How will we get the results needed?
What does success look like?
How will we measure success?
What needs to change to make this happen?
What are your honest responses?  How are you going to use them to drive your internal communication strategy and plan?
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Leadership Derailers vs. Weaknesses

Leadership Derailers vs. Weaknesses | digitalNow |
Preventing Derailment

In order to prevent derailment, leaders should:
-seek feedback throughout their careers
-seek developmental opportunities that can help overcome flaws
-seek support and coaching during transitions
-be aware that new jobs require new frameworks and behaviors

Organizations should:
-consider zig-zagging career paths over vertical ones
-give lots of “how you did it” feedback instead of “what you did”
-not consider one failure “off the track”
-allow managers to complete job/assignments
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6 Ways to Listen Like a Leader

1. Paying attention. A primary goal of active listening is to set a comfortable tone and allow time and opportunity for the other person to think and speak. Pay attention to your frame of mind, your body language and the other person. Be present, focused on the moment and operate from a place of respect.

2. Holding judgment. Active listening requires an open mind. As a listener and a leader, you need to be open to new ideas, new perspectives and new possibilities. Even when good listeners have strong views, they suspend judgment, hold their criticism and avoid arguing or selling their point right away. Tell yourself, "I'm here to understand how the other person sees the world. It is not time to judge or give my view."

3. Reflecting. Learn to mirror the other person's information and emotions by paraphrasing key points. You don't need to agree or disagree. Reflecting is a way to indicate that you heard and understand. Don't assume that you understand correctly or that the other person knows you've heard him.

4. Clarifying. Use questions to double-check on any issue that is ambiguous or unclear. Open-ended, clarifying and probing questions are important tools. Open-ended questions draw people out and encourage them to expand their ideas (i.e., "What are your thoughts on ..." or "What led you to draw this conclusion?").
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Knowing How to Communicate Doesn't Make a Leader Effective

Knowing How to Communicate Doesn't Make a Leader Effective | digitalNow |
It's one thing to know how to do something; it's another to take that knowledge and apply it, especially in varying situations.

I talked about a friend who's working on losing weight. He's read every book, and can describe a ton of strategies that work. That said, he's struggling to put those strategies into practice.

He's not alone. While knowledge is power, or empowerment, it's putting that knowledge into action that matters most.

What weighty challenge are you facing where putting your knowledge into practice would make the difference between good and great?
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Great Bosses Do

Great Bosses Do | digitalNow |
Talk straight and save the spin

Employees want to know what’s happening and why, in a direct way. Don’t be evasive or try to “spin” messages to employees. Tell them what you know – and what you don’t know – as soon as you know it. Chances are, you may be waiting too long after getting key information to communicate it and that’s when employees fill the void with their own meaning.

2. Spell out your expectations

People rise to the expectations set for them. Many problems in business are caused by employees not understanding what their employers need and what their bosses expect of them. Great bosses have codified and discussed with employees what they can expect from their boss, and in turn, what the boss expects of them. Great bosses have ongoing conversations with their employees about whether expectations are being met, and/or to clarify expectations.

3. Listen and invite feedback
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Great Leadership: Lead, Don’t Manage, Knowledge Workers

To improve innovation and growth, knowledge workers must be led, not managed. Too many policies born of bureaucracy are an enemy to creativity, so the more unnecessary distractions a company can remove from its employees, the freer they will be to contribute more creative ways. Management must reduce the administrative and on the job hassles for its employees by:

• Hiring people who are curious and knowledgeable about the job, the industry, the company;

• Limiting the number and length of meetings;

• Encouraging employees to network internally and collaboratively to continually seek the best and most efficient practices and solutions to problems; and

• Rewarding experimentation and avoiding penalties for mistakes made in
the pursuit of better solutions to customer needs
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Is it Intrapreneurship or Innovation?

Is it Intrapreneurship or Innovation? | digitalNow |
Intrapreneurship and innovation are intrinsically linked ideas when you’re talking about corporate innovation programs. Whether you’re calling it a corporate accelerator, an organizational incubator, an innovation management program, you’re relying on the thinkers, creators and mobilizers to share their inspiration and find ways to integrate that value into your organization.
Perhaps the best articulated difference between the two terms came up in a presentation that I saw recently from Dr. Irena Yashin-Shaw (innovation and creativity specialist who authored Leading in the Innovation Age). She quoted one of her students who said, “Innovation is a word for the organization, whereas intrapreneurialism is a word for the individual – it resonates because it is engaging and empowering.”

It is this very focus that defines a lot of IdeaScale’s product development work. We often say that we require our product be rigorous on process and generous towards people. What that means is that we acknowledge the engine of the entire innovation program is actually people and that we need to find ways to empower them, connect them, and inspire them in scalable ways. That work needs to be easy and delightful.

This is also what is required of innovation managers. They need to remember that an individual is at the center of their success and so it is absolutely imperative that they invest in the professional development of their crowd of employees. And when it comes to innovation, there are eight distinct skill sets that need to be nurtured at an organizational level.  So it pays to test their skill level and develop training programs that help level-up those skills throughout an organization.
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 Working in Your Business Instead of on Your Business

With every company I have engaged with, I see this challenge: the CEO is so involved in the business and working in their comfort zone that they can’t see the wider perspective. They’re so in the business that they’re not working on it. Growth suffers as a result.

Most CEOs are not aware of the problem. They’re just completing activities, like arranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic while the ship is sinking.

It’s also hard to self-diagnose. And, you’re not going to hear about it from people on the inside. So, to be clear and as helpful as possible:

If your business is not at least tracking with the industry growth rate, there’s a problem, and it’s with your company. It may be time to step back and work on your business.

The Tech-Focused CEO
One CEO and founder I worked with in a $10 million technology firm came from a technical background. He addressed the marketplace in a way that was comfortable for him, directing his efforts to other developers.

Everything he did from speaking engagements to podcasts and blogs addressed developers and developer issues. Unfortunately, the developers were not making the buying decision. The CIO's and other executive-level decision makers purchased the solution.

He was sitting at a low level of revenue but didn’t know how to grow. Looking at it from the outside, the remedy was easy to see. With marketing, you don’t devote all your energies to influencers. You devote them primarily to buyers.

When you’re working on your business, you look at it strategically and say, ‘Who do we sell to?” You tailor the message, everything, to the buyers primarily and to influencers secondarily. But he had it switched.
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Should Your CEO Serve as a Board Member?

Should Your CEO Serve as a Board Member? | digitalNow |
ex officio status makes sense for nonprofit chief executives because these professionals are closest to the strategy, execution, and day-to-day decision making around the work fulfilling the nonprofit’s mission. Hard-wiring the office of the chief executive as a board member via the organization’s bylaws is an intentional way to include uniquely meaningful input into board meeting deliberations that wouldn’t otherwise be available.

That said, BoardSource also recommends nonvoting status (BoardSource Leading Practice 7) for chief executives, unless not permitted by law.
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Need More Agility? Focus on Shared Meaning

Need More Agility? Focus on Shared Meaning | digitalNow |
Strategy has become a bit like milk: it has a shorter shelf life because of volatility. Except, unlike milk, strategies don’t come stamped with expiration dates. This often leads to vague strategies that tend to violate the fundamental requirement of strategy: an articulation of clear choices
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 Before you can Lead Others, you need to Manage Yourself.

1. You know who you are and how you are perceived by others. We leadership development geeks call this “awareness of self”. It’s not as easy as it sounds - most people have “blind spots” as to how they are perceived by others. We overestimate our strengths and expect to be judged by our good intentions, not by how we are really behaving and if we have insulting the hell out of somebody.

In order to improve our self-awareness, we need to stand in the mirror and see ourselves as others see us, not as how we see ourselves or want to be seen. That can only happen with feedback. In order to get feedback, we need to seek it out, respond non-defensively and with gratitude, and then actually do something about it.

2. Develop your Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman nailed it in his classic 1998 HRB article “What Makes a Leader”. When he examined the elements of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill) he found a direct correlation with leadership effectiveness and business results.
I’d recommend taking an emotional intelligence (EI) self-assessment, or even better, an EI 360 assessment, where you ask others to rate your behaviors. The good news is, EI, unlike IQ, can be improved with understanding and practice.

3. “Control” your emotions. Another way of saying self-regulation. Controlling your emotions doesn’t mean not being emotional – it means not letting the limbic part of your brain take over the rest of you and cause you to go on psychotic rampages. For more on how to maintain your compose, see last month’s Brief.
4. Develop a set of guiding principles, or core values and walk the talk. Core values could include integrity, honesty, credibility, respect for others, and humility. Great leaders are crystal clear on their values and use their values guide their behaviors and decisions. With a clear and consistent set of values, or guiding principles, leaders demonstrate consistently in their behavior and others understand where they are coming from and why.

5. Balance. By balance, I don’t just mean “work and life balance”. I mean taking care of yourself – your health, practicing mindfulness, managing your stress levels, getting enough sleep and exercise, and building meaningful  relationships. We know this when we see it – we say “you know, that Cheryl really has her %$#& together.” When you are out of balance, it impacts your behavior, which impacts your ability to lead others.
So if you want to inspire, motivate, set direction, and make a difference in the lives of others – to lead – great! But you first need to get your own %&*$ together and learn to manage yourself.
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The 6 Conditions Required to Scale a Creative Leadership Culture

1. Creative leadership. This condition requires that the leadership system of the organization undergo a fundamental shift from Reactive leadership to Creative. Creative leaders inspire commitment and loyalty to the organization and its mission. They also build an open, honest, authentic, optimistic, generative, and innovative culture where the best ideas can emerge, be implemented, and where everyone is encouraged to develop.

2. Deep relationship. Scale requires being in deep relationship based on the firm foundation of trust, transparency, and honesty. Great leaders foster deep relationship. It is foundational to courageous truth-telling, getting the best thinking on the table, and innovating creative solutions to challenging problems.

3. Radically human. Leaders who scale leadership start with themselves. They let go and then learn out loud (publicly) while embracing the vulnerability of not knowing. This requires more than simply learning new skills. It requires maturing in the inner game of leadership, which requires a profound shift of mind and heart.
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Great Leadership: Leadership vs. Management - Does it Really Matter?

Great Leadership: Leadership vs. Management - Does it Really Matter? | digitalNow |
A lot of leadership books, courses, and gurus espouse the wonderful virtues of leadership, while contrasting against the archaic, horrible characteristics of management. I also see various lists of leadership characteristics, often compared side-by-side to a management list, encouraging aspiring leaders to be more like leaders, and less like managers. As if you can turn off one switch and turn on another.

It’s almost as if they are saying: leadership – good; management – bad. I think the comparison, or differentiation, is kind of silly and isn’t really very helpful when it comes to developing leaders or improving our own leadership skills.

I find it more practical to refer to “leader” as a role, someone who is in a position of leadership (we used to call them managers and supervisors). Someone in one of these roles needs to be effective in order to be successful. 

So what does it take to be effective? Well, there are a thousand books on the subject of what it takes to be an effective leader, everything from “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun”, to “Leadership the Sopranos Way”. I’d rather take a look at some proven, research-based lists of competencies (skills, traits, knowledge).

 Lominger, PDI, CCL, DDI all have done extensive research, studying successful leaders and dissecting what makes them tick. When you look at the lists of competencies, you’ll find elements of leadership (setting a vision, inspiring others) and elements of management (planning, performance management). Follow a successful leader around for a week, and you’ll see her doing many of these things, often during the same meeting of conversation. For example, during a staff meeting the leader might describe a vision for a new idea, then move into planning on how to implement the idea, while getting everyone all fired up and discussing on how to lead the change, to figuring how much it’s going to cost.

So how about if we just focus on what it takes for a leader to be successful in a specific context, and then how to develop those competencies Wouldn’t that be a better use of our time and energy? Although it probably wouldn’t sell a lot of books and make for a dull keynote speech.
Belkys Isaza otega's curator insight, December 8, 2020 6:09 PM
Para tener una buena gestión es necesario el liderazgo, nos impulsa a mantener los objetivos que queremos alcanzar en una empresa para poder trabajar en equipo.
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Turning Mistakes into Development Opportunities

Turning Mistakes into Development Opportunities | digitalNow |
Mistakes are OK if:They lead to learning.
They aren’t repeated.
They are done in pursuit of your goals and objectives.
They don’t violate or conflict with your values.
Let’s look at each of these a bit more closely.

Mistakes are OK if we learn from them. Remember that one of the best opportunities to learn is when we do something wrong – when we make a mistake. If you reduce the opportunities for mistakes you seriously limit your learning opportunities.

Mistakes are OK if they aren’t repeated. So you make a mistake once – learn from it. If it is a repeated mistake, it is less valuable as a learning experience (unless you’re trying to learn the mistake). In fact anything you did learn from the first mistake, likely will be lost with the repeat performance.

Mistakes are OK if they are done in pursuit of your goals and objectives. To achieve any worthy goal or objective different things must be tried. In order to improve anything you must try a new way. New approaches will sometimes cause mistakes. When the mistake is made trying to achieve the agreed upon goals, what could be wrong with it?

Mistakes are OK if they don’t conflict with your values. If your company values safety and the mistake puts you or those around you at a physical risk, then that mistake isn’t advisable. But if no laws are broken and no values are violated, a mistake shouldn’t carry major repercussions.

Applying These Criteria
Think about these criteria collectively not individually. In other words, a mistake could pass three of the criteria but not the fourth. In this case it isn’t OK. But if it meets all four criteria, my advice is to celebrate the person for taking a risk (or congratulate yourself) and keep moving forward.
Belkys Isaza otega's curator insight, December 8, 2020 6:12 PM
 este artículo es interesante ya que nos muestra que de los errores se pueden obtener cosas buenas y aprender de ellos mismos, en general aprendemos equivocándonos y si nos equivocamos aprendemos.
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"Because that's the way we've always done it!"

"Because that's the way we've always done it!" | digitalNow |
Does the expression, "We've always done it that way!" ring any bells? The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That is an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that is the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads. Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre railroad tramways, and that is the gauge they used. Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used the same wheel spacing.


Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they all had the same wheel spacing. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot.
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7 Ways to Be More Strategic 

1. Be a systems thinker. Know the big picture.

You must be able to articulate your company’s vision, mission, and/or purpose, and then connect it back to everything you and your team are doing. In other words, you are always thinking about the system (your organization) as a whole. Strategic leaders speak regularly about the company’s vision, and they ensure their people understand very clearly how the work of the team aligns with the vision.

2. Champion and spread evidence-based change.

As a strategic leader, you need to leverage data. All kinds of data! You will use data generated internally and external benchmark data. Data can come from reports, conversations, meetings, spreadsheets, whitepapers, predictive analytics, sales dashboards, and even the internet.  As you build the case for change, you will reinforce your position through evidence-based (aka data) information.

3. Work transparently.

Don’t work behind academic language and uncommon techniques. Show how you go about making decisions. Offer transparent processes and insights that are not hidden in a black box no one can understand.
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Ways to Inspire Trust as a Leader

Don’t over commit and do keep your promises. Don’t promise or commit to something unless you know you can honor the commitment. Then, follow through. Do what you say you’re going to do.

2. Keep confidences. However, don’t promise confidentiality if you aren’t sure if you can or should keep the information from others (i.e., performance, legal, ethical issues).

3. Admit your mistakes. Don’t look for someone else to blame. Give others an early head’s up. Learn from your mistake, don’t dwell on it, and move on.

4. Share credit and acknowledge the contributions of others. Be an advocate for other’s ideas, especially your peers.

5. Don’t do anything that you would not feel comfortable reading about in the newspaper the next day.

6. Don’t talk about others behind their backs, unless it’s something positive. If you do, others will assume you’re doing the same to them. And if you say something positive, you can assume it will get back to them.

7. Share information. Leaders often keep people the dark about where they are going or what they are planning. In the absence of good information, people draw their own conclusions. Guesswork is a shaky foundation of trust. Give people consistent updates, status reports, and explain the reasons for your decisions.

8. Get to know people, develop relationships. If you take the time to get to know others and share information about yourself, people will be less likely to question your motives and will give you the benefits of the doubt.

9. Make sure your message is consistent. Don’t say different things to different audiences, in an attempt to please everyone. And if you change your mind about something, explain why your opinion has changed.

10. When asked a question, give a complete, direct answer – no smoke and mirrors. If you don’t have the answer, don’t fake it.
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Great Leadership: Is “Passion” a Reasonable Performance Expectation?

Great Leadership: Is “Passion” a Reasonable Performance Expectation? | digitalNow |
Here’s the dilemma, though. As a leader, is it a fair and reasonable expectation to expect our employees to be passionate about their work? What if an employee’s doing an adequate job, but just don’t give a @#%*?

I think I know what the HR answer would be: probably not. I’ve never seen “passion” in a job description or a performance appraisal. Somehow I don’t firing someone for a lack of passion holding up in court.

But as a leader, I don’t just want someone that’s just good at what they do; I want them to be good and love it. To me, it’s that enthusiasm for the job that separates most “A” players from the rest of the pack. Those kinds of employees raise the spirit and performance of those around them.

While I realize all organizations have a bell performance distribution curve, I’m greedy – I want ALL “A” players on my team. Shouldn’t every leader? Isn’t that the kind or leader, and organization, you’d rather work for?

But what about “mundane” jobs – how can you possibly get passionate about, say, delivering mail for the US postal service? Fred can. How about a Walmart greeter? Marty did.

Am I out of line here? Passion, commitment and enthusiasm about our work is a personal choice. Can we as leaders, expect it from our employees? Or do we just hope for it and appreciate it when we get it?
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Effective Leadership Skills: Unlearn the Need To Be Liked

Effective Leadership Skills: Unlearn the Need To Be Liked | digitalNow |
It’s O.K. if some people don’t like you. In fact, as a leader, if don’t have some, you have a severe case of NTBL.

There is one person that you really need to have like you in order to reduce your NTBL and that is you! The affirmation you need should come from yourself, not others. 

The process to reduce NTBL requires only two things. (Simple but hard.) First, you need to define what success is—both long term and short term. Then you need to shoot for those objectives and pretty much ignore feedback or condemnation from those who you don’t need to listen to.
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Navigating A Changing World – 10 Principles for Future Leaders

Navigating A Changing World – 10 Principles for Future Leaders | digitalNow |
1) Maintain a Constant Dialogue with Key Stakeholders
The leaders who are least surprised by the future tend be those with the broadest radar. They are always exploring both the issues of today and the factors that could shape and disrupt the future. They do their data gathering in the most natural way possible – by talking constantly to customers, prospects, suppliers, partners, shareholders, competitors, industry associations, business networks, advisors, industry analysts, commentators, journalists and – most importantly – their own staff. They probe for ideas and developments that could accelerate quickly and for weak signals of potentially big changes to come.

2) Continuous Foresight and Experimentation Cycles
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