Reconnecting Anew

It’s time to climb out from under the rock! If you haven’t already started, begin reconnecting with people. In the past 15 months, there has been a decided change in how we stayed in touch with people who matter to us. During this month of June, we’re going to explore how you can relaunch these connections.

Today’s focus is on how to get started. Of course, you can randomly reach out to people, but after a few weeks the randomness will keep you from making progress. Make a list of 20 people and commit to reaching out to an average of five people a week for this month.

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Is the Client Really Always Right?

The adage “the client is always right” does not carry the heft that it used to…but it still bears the same kind of angst when deciding how to handle delicate or difficult situations involving our employees.

I’ve had clients who are militantly defensive of their clients, even if it’s to the detriment of a solid performing employee. And there are others who passionately support their people to the irritation of a disgruntled client.

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Client Service 2.0

I don’t know what it is about the last few weeks, but I’ve experienced an onslaught of bad customer service. Here is a sampling of these unexpectedly unfortunate instances.

+ A flowering plant arrived dead from a reputable florist: “We’re sorry you were disappointed”.

+ Bathtub drain backed up in a hotel: “Oh, that happens sometimes”.

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Are You a Good Boss?

A recent episode of The McKinsey Podcast focused on how a boss has a direct impact on health, happiness, and productivity. Now that’s quite a bit of influence when you think about it!

Tera Allas, McKinsey’s director of research and economics for its UK and Ireland office summarized the research. Happiness on the job is the second most important factor (after health and mental health) for overall life satisfaction. And an employee’s relationship with the boss is pivotal to job happiness.

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Overcoming Blind Spots

Have you ever noticed when someone seems clueless about how he is perceived by others? This inevitably results in breakdowns in communication, especially from a person who isn’t aware of the problem.

Keep in mind that people want to communicate effectively. After all, they’re not sitting at their desks thinking about how they can be a bad listener in the morning meeting!

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State of Workplace Morale

People seem to be chomping at the bit to “return to normal”, even though things are still far from normal. Economic good news, wider spread access to vaccines, and more variety in activities than we’ve had in a year have all contributed to this yearning.

Zeroing in on some of the economic news: last week the Labor Department reported that job openings surged to a two-year high and the March jobs report indicated that 916,000 new jobs were added in March.

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Spring Inventory

One of the consequences of working remotely during the pandemic is that some of your management skills may have eroded. Although you may have picked up some new ones, some of your old standbys may have atrophied.

Spring is the time for renewal, so why not use this time to take inventory of your skills? Everyone is different, so here are some questions to start your thought process. Chances are that these ideas will generate others that are unique to you.

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Wellbeing and Engagement

Gallup recently published an article, “The Wellbeing Engagement Paradox of 2020.” They report that in contrast to more normal times, the somewhat inverse relationship between wellbeing and engagement diverged in 2020, creating new challenges for leaders.

Not surprisingly, many Americans view their wellbeing as more distressful. The myriad pandemic related personal issues from isolation to stress to worry, as well as external factors, such as social justice issues all contributed.

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Do I Have Your Attention?

Good leaders know the importance of being present and listening well. Over the past year, these attributes have been further challenged since we haven’t been face-to-face. And the big change came when most conversations and meetings morphed into video.

We talk of “Zoom fatigue” as a general term applying to all video encounters. This is a real syndrome and it has multiple facets. For one thing, we’re staring at others on screen, which is looking at pixels which becoming tiring. It’s also not “normal” to be looking at everyone – and yourself – all the time, which would not be happening if we were in person or on a teleconference.

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