It’s Not about YOU!

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-business-woman-cubicle-overworked-stressed-image5934154Other People’s Behavior is ALWAYS about Them!

I  recently had lunch with two great women who have achieved substantial success in life and business.  However, like so many people, they were taking way too much responsibility for others.  As I speak around the country about burn-out, I see this trend over and over.

You are NOT responsible for the actions of others.
 If someone comes into work in a bad mood, it’s not your fault.  Nor do you have to fix it.  Women in particular are great “fixers.”  Stop.  Focus your energy and attention on being the best you can be, and let go of worrying about the behavior of others. You can’t control them anyway, and you certainly cannot change them.  Let every individual make their own choices.

How to Stay Clear of Over-Responsibility

• Don’t Take it Personally  If someone is rude, short-tempered or curt with you, recognize it’s about them.  They may have been in a fight or lost a loved one or been cut off in traffic. It’s not about YOU.

 Take a Good Look at Your Schedule  How much of it is taking on others’ tasks and responsibilities?  Have you over-committed?  Are you doing the work others should be doing?  Stop, renegotiate those commitments, and don’t take on anything that isn’t yours.

• Lighten Up  Life is so hard if you continually worry about others’ opinions and problems. Yes, it is appropriate to give back to the community and do service work.  But not at the expense of your health and well-being. Focus first on your life, your needs and your issues, and allow yourself to relax and have joy, freedom and peace of mind.

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©2014 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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5 Ways to Fire Up Your Sales

Ignite Your Sales with These Quick Tips 

Never push a prospect- add value.

Never force or manipulate- demonstrate listening and caring.

Businessmen Handshake1.Truly listen to your customers
Everyone wants to be heard, and appreciated. Ask what their needs and concerns are, find out what successes they have had, focus on them and do whatever you can to help, even if it means you don’t get the sale, this time.  Be a valued resource and trusted advisor.

2. Use stories and customer testimonials -   Give examples of real people who have had a problem you solved. Tell the truth. And use customer testimonials to back up your stories. Always get written permission.  Here’s an example from one of my speaking programs: “Snowden McFall, may I personally say what a fabulous speaker you are. We all enjoyed your keynote speech. Productivity is certainly the topic of the decade. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Mary Fisher - I asked her permission to use and she said absolutely.

3. WIFT Always focus on the benefits to that particular customer.  What is in it for them?  Why choose you over all the other competitors out there?  Demonstrate you understand their needs, fears and pain points and show you have
proven solutions for them.

4. Overcome objections by raising them yourself.
You know what the push-back is.  Overcome it by demonstrating why the objection is not valid, or how you have resolved it.  Show you think like they do.

5. Have genuine enthusiasm for your products or service. Nothing sells like genuine enthusiasm- it is rare and it is contagious.  Get Fired Up! about what you are sharing and keep that top of mind. Your Fire will spread and ignite theirs.

 

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Speak Kind Words- Avoid Gossip

Have you ever noticed that some words impact you very differently than others? As Stephen Covey writes in the introduction to Aspire by Kevin Hall : “words sell and words repel, words lead and words impede, words heal and words kill.”  

Male Gossips 2What words do you use in your conversations with co-workers, employees, loved ones?  How about what you say to yourself?  Out of the 70,000 thoughts we have a day, many of those are negative and judgmental, especially towards ourselves. Become aware of the words you use and the tone with which they are delivered; you could make or break someone’s day.

And before you share some juicy piece of gossip, ask yourself these three questions:

- Is it truthful?

- Is is necessary?

- Is it uplifting?

 

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©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

 

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A Good Customer Service Story

All it Takes is Kindness and Attention

Thank you notes keep employees Fired Up!

A few weeks ago, between appointments, I ran into Dillards to return something and stopped by the Estee Lauder counter.  Surprisingly, I had a delightful time.  Karen greeted me warmly, inquired as to my needs and then went a step further. She got to know me. She observed I had bought some new suits, and I explained I was a professional speaker. We had a great conversation about stress, and she said, “Let me check your previous sales slip.” Seems I was entitled to a 10% discount that had not been taken by the other salesperson. She voided out everything, reentered it and saved me over $20 on a variety of purchases.  She took my name and contact info for future sales, and gave me a card.  It was a wonderful experience.  She demonstrated a personal interest, valued me, made my shopping more positive and memorable. That’s what I call customer service. How are you doing that for your customers?

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Communicate Well by Asking Open-Ended Questions

And Actively Listen to the Answers

At work, one of the best ways to improve your relationships with your colleagues, superiors and direct reports is to ask meaningful open-ended questions and then sit back and listen- actively.  In an earlier blog post, I described active listening as the state where you focus completely on the other person, don’t speak, have open body language and nod encouragingly as you listen.

When you do that after asking questions which require more than a yes or no answer, amazing things happen to your communication.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re workingon a major project with many components and several colleagues. Try asking a question like “Could you please give me your perspective on the status of the project?”  If they answer, “It’s going fine,” say “Tell me more.  Could you give me an overall update on thehighs and lows and any concerns/ suggestions you may have?”  That way, you will receive much more detailed information and gain some new insights. It’s much more effective than saying, “How’s the project going?” because that might yield only a one or two word answer.  Thank the colleague for sharing their perceptions and decide what you want to do with the information.  Either way, you’ll have shown the colleague that you value them and their input, and you may very well have gained new data you didn’t have before.

 

Need a great Christmas present for the woman in your life? Get the Fired Up Woman’s Guide to Success™  Audio Series - see more

 

 

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference
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Express Gratitude for the Small Things

Acknowledge Each Other Regularly

Taking the time to thank your loved ones for their small acts of kindness goes a long way.  It’s a key to a good marriage, friendship or family.

Thank you notes keep employees Fired Up!Certainly, one spouse may do most of the cooking and the other take out the garbage, but sharing your appreciation of each other throughout the week can help keep the love alive.  Making requests, rather than demands, is far more effective at keeping the love flowing.

Be Aware of Your Own Gratitude

Consider keeping a gratitude journal, where you record 5 things you are grateful for each day.  Some days it may be your health, other days it may be your home and loved ones, sometimes it may be that you made it home safely after a grueling trip. What’s important is to acknowledge verbally that you have been blessed.  Some people prefer to do this once a week; either way is fine, so long as you acknowledge the good things in your life.

Gratitude teaches us not to take people or life for granted. It’s one of the lessons the great late Christopher Reeves shared when he spoke- to appreciate every moment while you have it.  He was a very smart man.

 

 

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference
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Don’t Assume- ASK

Get Clear Information from Someone in the Know

One of the hardest parts of any job is feeling like you are missing critical data you need. Sometimes that data is product and service-related and other times, it is personnel-related. Lately, it might be economy-related and you might not be sure you will have a job next week.

Man overwhelmed with photosIf you are in a situation where you don’t know the guidelines, you don’t understand the ramifications of a decision, or you’re not sure of the politics, ask someone wise whom you trust (preferably someone higher up.)  Explain that you sense there might be something more to a given issue, and that you would like the history of it.  Ask if they could please share their perspective.

Then, make your decision from a more informed viewpoint. There are politics in every job, in every workplace.  Some are minor and insignificant, others are insidious and unfortunately, critical to your success. Diplomacy and tact are key in every workplace, and thinking rather than reacting will serve you well. When in doubt, ask. It is far better than assuming, which can frequently get you in trouble.

 

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.
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Fire Up Your Communication with Clarification

Shaking hands  after disagreement to relieve stressMinimize the Stress of Conflict with Better Communication

So often when colleagues are disagreeing with each other, they rarely listen to what the other is saying. In today’s world, we are all so busy, it’s rare that people give each other their undivided attention.  To help diffuse a potentially volatile situation, do the following:

• turn off phones & beepers and give total eye contact to the other person

• be sure you understand exactly what the other person is saying. Rarely do we truly hear the message the first time.  If you are unclear, own it.  Say “I want to make sure I understand your perspective.  Could you please restate it in another way for me?”

That action alone will disarm someone, because they realize you truly want to hear them. We all have that basic need. Most people are delighted to elaborate on their viewpoint.

• While listening, if you find yourself getting more and more agitated, stop the conversation and clarify again, respectfully, carefully.  You could use phrases like:  “Can you elaborate more on that?  Please say more about____.”

Each time you do this, you honor the other person, you cool down and you actually clarify their viewpoint. You might also learn something new.  And best of all, you have diffused a potentially volatile situation that might have led to unpleasant working relationships. Listening well is key to good communication.

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.
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