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and performance

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Irresistible Leadership

We talk about hiring the right people, with the right work ethic, and following us even when the “going gets rough”… and fail. Why?

Exactly, what is your why? What do your leaders believe and why do you do what you do? Does your “Why” precede the “What”? In simpler terms, does your organization talk up your purpose (the Why) on a continual basis so strongly it because a “cause”?

To learn the formula of how to become an inspiring leader, watch this popular TED video featuring Simon Sinek. You may change your whole approach with how you address your people, your clients and your market. Enjoy!

5 Elements of Successful Coaching


Good performance rarely happens by accident! Coaching is a consistent and reliable management style that creates an open line of communication and an opportunity for growth. Coach early and often. Early, to catch potential problems before they happen, and often, because continuous interest and feedback virtually guarantee better performance. Effective managers need to understand the importance of coaching people.

Effective managers coach their employees early and often. They do not wait for and rely on yearly reviews to direct their leadership efforts. Leaders need to demonstrate greater managerial courage and provide timely feedback to their employees. When you implement coaching, you will begin to see results! Successful coaching leads to higher employee motivation and productivity, enhanced relationships and communication between managers and employees, and better leadership abilities. But what qualities should a good coach have? Here are 5 elements of successful coaching:

1. Job Fit
The first and most important question is, “Are they right for the job?” Job fit has everything to do with whether a person is going to succeed or fail. How do you know if they will do well? Look at the past performance of employees who have done well in that position, and see if the person matches (this is called benchmarking). The leader will then know to start coaching and training in the areas where the employee doesn’t match up.

2. Leadership
Top leaders coach managers to be the kind of leader the organization wants. Two of the most important management coaching competencies are the ability to identify people who fit a leadership role, and the ability to create strategies for employee development that inspire people to perform and achieve. Every great leader should know each of their employees’ characteristics, attributes of their job, and how well they fit the company. Leaders need to foster open communication. They should also lead by example. Be a mentor for your group!

3. Motivation
The key to motivation is communication! Frequent communication with employees, that concerns their work, is essential to boost employee morale and performance. Positive communication can motivate and reinforce outstanding performance. Cisco Systems Inc.’s CEO, John Chambers, hosts a monthly hour-long birthday breakfast for any employee with a birthday that month. Employees are invited to ask him anything. They feel recognized, and he gains loyal employees who share their ideas. Managers can also publicly recognize employees for their good performance and achievement. Even having career advancement opportunities will increase motivation. Get creative and start motivating!

4. Chemistry with Employees
According to Gallup, over 70% of people in the workforce report not being engaged, and 60% plan to leave their job when the economy turns around. The number one reason? Their immediate manager. The relationship between a manager and employee can have an impact on productivity. Managers need to understand their employees. Otherwise, it can cause a major breakdown in communication and relationships.

5. Team Chemistry
This is extremely important! When a team understands what each person’s skills are, then they are more supportive and tolerant towards other individuals. This, in turn, opens up communication among the team members. In order to coach a team, the manager must know what characteristics the team is lacking, and how they can avoid potential conflicts. Having this information will help ensure the team’s success.

Managers must remember that one size does not fit all. Each employee has different needs, interests, and motivations which drive how they work. The sooner the manager understands the employee, the more effective the coaching and results will be. Make sure to look at the overall picture. Once leaders discover the value of coaching early and often, they will be able to increase the efficiency and productivity of their employees.

Article contributed by Profiles International

Managing the Unmanageable

Every workplace has them. They never come to work on time; they invade your personal space; they constantly talk about themselves; they are on their cell phone all day; they complain about having too much work; they make inappropriate jokes…the list goes on! One of the toughest challenges in dealing with difficult employees is remaining professional. It has been estimated that difficult employees make up only 10% of a department or team, but they occupy 90% of a manager’s time.

Here are some common difficult personalities that you might face at work…recognize any?

So how can you handle a difficult employee?

  • Don’t Ignore!

In a presentation at the American Management Association in Crystal City, Va., Stewart Liff, a human resources management expert, cited findings from a survey that polled 14,000 federal employees. One question revealed that 87% of those surveyed felt it was “not likely” that management would deal with a problem employee. What is more shocking is that the responses provided by the supervisors were even worse: 91% replied they were “not likely” to deal with an employee who was performing poorly. Ignoring the issue will not solve the problem and if the problem persists, office morale will start to deteriorate. It is best to handle the issue as soon as it happens.

  • Communicate!

Companies with the most effective employee communication have 48% higher shareholder returns over the last five years (Towers Watson, Communication ROI Study, 2011). If you have a difficult employee in your office, speak up. Talk with your manager or supervisor. Explain to them the situation you are having with the employee. If nothing is being done to stop the issue, speak with HR. Once communication breaks down, employee engagement decreases and production drops, which can reduce your bottom line.

  • Coach!

A study conducted by McGovern, Lindemann, Vergara, Murphy, Barker and Warrenfeltz with Manchester, Inc., showed that coaching had the following benefits: 67% increase in teamwork, 63% increase in relationships with peers, and 61% increase in job satisfaction. Coaching employees can drastically reduce difficult behavior. As a manager, being able to recognize individual behaviors and traits of each team member beforehand will help you be better prepared to coach. Part of coaching is to know how each person communicates, learns, solves problems, and works with others. Coaching can help improve these difficult personalities, the office relationships, and employee engagement.

What types of personalities do you have in your workplace? How do you handle difficult employees?

Article contributed by Profiles International, artwork & design by Deann Graham and Jason Ingram of Profiles International.

ACA Play or Pay
BLR’s Decision Guide

“Turning 50?”, here’s what you are in for…..

BLR's ACA Play or Pay Decision Guide

BLR’s ACA Play or Pay Decision Guide: By HR.BLR.com

Do Your Salespeople Have the Right Selling Traits?


Do you think your salespeople were born to sell? Most sales managers are aware that 50% of the people in sales are not cut out for sales. Furthermore, half of the people who are actually cut out for sales are selling the wrong product or service. This leaves us with about 20-25% of the people in sales accounting for 80% of sales.

Selling requires a unique and very specific set of skills. Unfortunately, many hiring managers do not know what those specific skills are, so they blindly hire salespeople based on less important criteria and hope for the best.

But there is a better way. Optimizing the performance of your sales team starts with knowing what makes great salespeople. Research conducted over the past two decades identifies seven universal and critical sales behaviors which are tied to sales success.

1. Entrepreneurial approach: Salespeople essentially run their own businesses. Yes, they do sell for their organizations, but they often go at it alone and most of the time their success or failure is directly related to their actions. Those who are behaviorally wired to influence others, comfortably present ideas, and guide a prospective customer to a mutually agreed upon solution will tend to have a more successful sales career.

2. Understands the prospect: Only 2 percent of sales occur at a first meeting. The other 98 percent of people will buy only once they trust their sales representatives. One of the first things a sales person needs to learn is, you cannot “make” anyone buy from you, you must understand their needs and look to match a viable solution to influence their decision to buy from you. This is accomplished by asking great questions and listening.

3. Develops appropriate solutions: We have all heard the axiom “selling is not telling.” Only when a salesperson has truly heard what is important to the buyer, can they begin to process a solution which would most effectively meet the buyer’s needs.

4. Prospects proactively: Entrepreneurs are always looking for their next customer. Salespeople should be doing the same. Word of mouth continues to be the best form of marketing for driving new business. Hollywood knows this, hence the “hype” they build around their new releases. For salespeople, building a solid reputation with integrity, character and fairness is a cornerstone for success. Helping potential buyers become aware of who you are stems from taking a proactive approach.

5. Manages the selling process: Selling is a process and good salespeople know it inside and out. Salespeople must know how and when to move from part to part of the selling process. This is a crucial behavior. It’s not about reading people, it’s about understanding the process for each customer.

6. Closes the sale: This is where the money is made and a new relationship may be solidified. Salespeople can be excellent prospectors and relationship builders, but if they never close the sale, they have failed to do their job. A salesperson cannot be a salesperson unless they are able to close. Up to this point, they’ve been a company or customer advocate.

7. Manages sales relationships: Salespeople must have the innate ability to maintain a relationship with their customers. This includes checking in on customers after the sale to make sure the product is working well and coordinating any service they may need. These actions make it more likely that the customer will purchase from your company again.

The bottom line for sales managers is that if your salespeople are not succeeding in each of these seven functions, the responsibility falls on you. But it is impossible for you to give each prospect a personalized sales approach and your sales effectiveness will suffer. This is why it is critical to hire salespeople who are competent in each of these functions! Want to discover how suitable your people are to their jobs and lay out a rock solid sales strategy?

Contributed by Profiles International

One Easy Way to Better Manage a Sales Force

Sales strategy professor Steve W. Martin estimates that 70 percent of salespeople are born with natural skills and instincts that make them great at their jobs. While most sales managers would agree with this, it is easy to fall into the trap of using statistics such as these as an excuse to treat your entire sales force the same.

Yes, your salespeople more than likely have innate traits that make them great prospectors, cold callers and relationship builders, but the difference between managing a good sales force and managing a great sales force is in the subtleties. Among your sales force, one person may be especially great at selling in southern regions because that is where he or she worked for years. Another salesperson may be particularly great at building relationships with working mothers. If you forget to treat your salespeople as individuals, you will miss opportunities to align your salespeople with the opportunities where they are most likely to succeed.

The one skill that will take your sales force to another level of success is appreciating your salespeople’s differences, and learning how to leverage them for sales effectiveness. Here are four steps you can take to get started:

1) To manage differences among your salespeople, you must first know what those differences are. Assessments like the Profiles Sales Assessment™ can help you measure how well a person fits a specific sales job in your company. You can model jobs based on geography, department, and a host of other factors. The key is to figure out what skills your employees have that go beyond basic sales skills. While your entire sales force is probably proficient at prospecting, maybe one of your salespeople is exceptional at it. Shifting more prospecting duties to him or her would make your entire team more effective. Perhaps you have a salesperson who makes the majority of his or her sales via phone, without needing face-to-face visits. He or she should take on more cold calling duties.

2) After identifying these differences, it is time to place your salespeople where you know they will succeed. It is important to keep your sales force in the loop on this step. Do not change your salespeople’s assignments or regions without telling them why. One of the best ways to motivate your salespeople is to let them know why you believe they will succeed in a particular function. They will go out with the confidence necessary to close deals.

3) Train your salespeople on how to use the right combination of their basic sales skills and individual strengths to successfully sell. Now that you have identified the strengths of your salespeople and motivated them to use those strengths, it is time to teach them how to use them. This will require knowledge of the sales opportunities you have coming up. Go over each of your salespeople’s assignment list, pointing out the ways you discovered that their strengths could help them in closing a particular deal.

4) Even though you are now aware of the individual skills your salespeople may have, do not neglect to develop their basic sales skills. Every job has a set of core skills that you must have to succeed. Sales jobs are no different. Continue to invest in workshops, webinars, and conferences for your sales force. This will allow them to maintain a solid base off of which to build their individual selling styles.

Your sales team is not simply a unit; it is a collection of people with different personalities and skills. Recognizing each of their strengths will help you utilize them to achieve success for your organization.

How do you utilize the individual strengths of your salespeople?

Guaranteed ways to get and keep your employees communicating…at work!

Employee communication is critical to getting maximum contribution from your employees. Poor interpersonal and communication skills are consistently ranked in the top five reasons managers fail. Poor communication skills can manifest themselves in many ways, including:

  • Feuds
  • Avoiding communication with co-workers
  • Hostile attitudes

These are all dangerous, but avoiding communication with co-workers has some of the biggest implications. The best way to make sure you do not fall into this black hole is by creating a culture of open dialogue at your workplace. Employee communication automatically improves when employees sense that communicating new ideas is encouraged by management. Here are easy ways to make sure you are creating a culture of open dialogue in your organization:

1) Create ground rules: Before ideas and opinions start flying, create and enforce ground rules to make sure everyone keeps it friendly. This includes rules about curse words and discriminatory comments.  Make sure you emphasize that all comments need to be professional and relevant  to the issue at hand. Guidelines prevent employees from getting off task, when
they are more likely to make inappropriate comments.

Why this matters: Nothing derails employee communication faster than discriminatory and rude remarks. If an employee is on the receiving end of these remarks, he or she may shut down and refuse to provide valuable opinions, insight and direction. The goal is to make sure everyone feels respected and feels like their opinions matter.

2) Don’t just say there is an open-door policy, create it: It is vital that you walk the walk when it comes to promoting employee communication in the workplace.  Begin by setting the example. Make sure you are continually asking for your
employees’ opinions on major decisions. It is also important to leave time to regularly meet with your employees.

Why this matters: You can tell your employees that there is an open-door policy, but unless they see it, they will not feel comfortable speaking up. If employees consistently try to meet with you to no avail, they will eventually assume that employee communication is not important to you and stop trying. But if you lead the way, by creating multiple opportunities for employees to speak up, they will.

3) Regularly update employees: Keep your employees in the loop on upcoming decisions, events, mergers or any other changes you anticipate will be important. If your employees have complete information, they will be able to
make more informed recommendations.

Why this matters: Open dialogue in the workplace will only be helpful in an environment where employees are informed. If they are not, they will fire off suggestions that are not in line with where the organization is headed strategically.

4) Help your employees develop effective presentation skills: There will come a time for most of your employees when they will have to present ideas in formal meetings. Do not let poor presentation skills be the hurdle to having your employee’s idea considered by executives. Utilize training programs if necessary.

Why this matters: Open communication in the workplace is not just about throwing all of your thoughts out there. It is about being able to present your ideas in a way that others will understand. Effective presentation skills will help you do this. People are more likely to respond favorably to an idea communicated in an effective, professional way.

Contributed by Profiles International

Who are you really hiring? 10 shocking HR statistics!

Posted by HR.com

Sometimes words can’t do justice to the importance of pre-employment screening. The statistics below describe, in further detail, the kinds of workplace risks that pre-employment screening will help you avoid.

HR Statistics: False Information

1. 53% of all job applications contain inaccurate information.

2. 49% of the 3,100 hiring managers surveyed had caught a job applicant fabricating some part of his/her resume.

3. 34% of all application forms contain outright lies about experience, education, and ability to perform essential functions on the job.

4. 9% of job applicants falsely claimed they had a college degree, listed false employers, or identified jobs that didn’t exist.

5. 11% of job applicants misrepresented why they left a former employer.

HR Statistics: Bad Hires

6. Negligent hiring cases have had verdicts costing up to $40 million.

7. The average settlement of a negligent hiring lawsuit is nearly $1 million.

8. Employers have lost more than 79% of negligent hiring cases.

9. It costs $7,000 to replace a salaried employee, $10,000 to replace a mid-level employee, and $40,000 to replace a senior executive.

10. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the first year’s potential earnings.

Discover proven methods to protect yourself and your company by investigating the results of pre-screening tools in your hiring system.

Discover the Easy Way to Manage a Sales Force

Sales strategy professor Steve W. Martin estimates that 70 percent of salespeople are born with natural skills and instincts that make them great at their jobs. While most sales managers would agree with this, it is easy to fall into the trap of using statistics such as these as an excuse to treat your entire sales force the same.

Yes, your salespeople more than likely have innate traits that make them great prospectors, cold callers and relationship builders, but the difference between managing a good sales force and managing a great sales force is in the subtleties. Among your sales force, one person may be especially great at selling in southern regions because that is where he or she worked for years.  Another salesperson may be particularly great at building relationships with working mothers. If you forget to treat your salespeople as individuals, you will miss opportunities to align your salespeople with the opportunities where they are most likely to succeed.

The one skill that will take your sales force to another level of success is appreciating your salespeople’s differences, and learning how to leverage them for sales effectiveness. Here are four steps you can take to get started:

1) To manage differences among your salespeople, you must first know what those differences are.

Assessments like the Profiles Sales Assessment™ can help you measure how well a person fits a specific sales job in your company. You can model jobs based on geography, department, and a host of other factors. The key is to figure out what skills your employees have that go beyond basic sales skills. While your entire sales force is probably proficient at prospecting, maybe one of your salespeople is exceptional at it. Shifting more prospecting duties to him or her would make your entire team more effective. Perhaps you have a salesperson who makes the majority of his or her sales via phone, without needing face-to-face
visits. He or she should take on more cold calling duties.

2) After identifying these differences, it is time to place your salespeople where you know they will succeed.

It is important to keep your sales force in the loop on this step. Do not change your salespeople’s assignments or regions without telling them why. One of the best ways to motivate your salespeople is to let them know why you believe they will succeed in a particular function. They will go out with the confidence necessary to close deals.

3) Train your salespeople on how to use the right combination of their basic sales skills and individual strengths to successfully sell.

Now that you have identified the strengths of your salespeople and motivated them to use those strengths, it is time to teach them how to use them. This will require knowledge of the sales opportunities you have coming up. Go over each of your
salespeople’s assignment list, pointing out the ways you discovered that their strengths could help them in closing a particular deal.

4) Even though you are now aware of the individual skills your salespeople may have, do not neglect to develop their basic sales skills.

Your sales team is not simply a unit; it is a collection of people with different personalities and skills. Recognizing each of their strengths will help you utilize them to achieve success for your organization.

Posted by Diamond Richardson, Profiles International

 

The Gift of Gab: 12 Powerful Words That Get Results!

Contributing author: Deiric McCann

I guarantee that this is the most important article you’ll ever read. Here you’ll discover new ideas that have been proven to save
time and energy – oh, and make money. What you’ll love about these proven new ideas is that they are so easy to understand and safe to apply that you’ll get results that will improve the health of your business immediately!

 

According to the scientists at Yale University I should have had you eating out of the palm of my hand by the end of the introductory paragraph. You see, it contains all twelve of what their research says are the most persuasive words in
the English language. They found that you don’t really need the fabled “gift of gab” if you infuse your pitch with these powerful persuading words.

In order of impact, the twelve great influencing words are:

  1. Discover / Discovery
    Discover(y) is special – Yale’s research showed that it had a universal appeal that outstripped every other
    English word in persuasion power. Discovery implies uncharted territory alive with excitement and adventure. What valuable treasures can your products and services help me to discover?
  2. Easy
    Life is complicated enough – if those providing me with products and services can make it easy then count me in.  Easy is a particularly powerful word when used to describe something that is traditionally considered to be anything but. Remember that we are all basically lazy – we want to get the maximum output for the minimum input. In what ways can what you offer make my life easier?
  3. Guarantee
    We are all, to some extent, averse to risk, and the fear it generates is one of the most substantial obstacles that
    marketers or salespeople have to overcome. The word guarantee jumps off the page because it promises to do just that. An assurance of excellent on-going support or of money back in the event of a failure to meet my requirements makes it much easier for me to take the leap. How can you put my mind at rest?
  4. Health
    We all now know about the many threats to our own longevity and health, to that of our family and loved ones, and to our businesses. Self-preservation moves us all to action. How can you help me, my family, or my business to live longer more healthy lives?
  5. Love
    Your clients and prospects don’t necessarily want to feel loved, but they do all want their suppliers to care about their needs and desires. Tell me, how can you prove to me the importance that you place on my needs?
  6. Money
    Nobody is completely unmoved by opportunities to make or save money. Money attracts, motivates, and persuades. Be sure that your promotions, presentations, and sales presentations take into account the concern we all have for this essential commodity. Can you quantify how much money your service will help me make or save?
  7. New
    Why do many products still use that old “New and Improved” slogan as an integral part of their advertising and promotion? Because it works! Most of us want to feel that we’re working with the most up to date knowledge, equipment, and supplies. What exactly is exciting and new about what you have to offer?
  8. Proven
    Now, while I want the very latest bleeding edge technology; the most up to date of everything, with the best service and
    support, and at the best possible cost, I really only want it if you can show me lots of situations where it is already proven. Contradiction?  Absolutely, but one you have to deal with. Who do you know who’s just like me and received
    all of the benefits you promise from using your products and services in exactly the way I intend to?
  9. Results
    Precisely what tangible and valuable results will I get in return for giving you my money? Tell me all about them in terms
    that will appeal to me, in language I’ll understand, and with whatever backup materials you have to prove what you say – and I’ll seriously consider giving you my money. What’s in it for me?
  10. Safety
    I want it all; action, adventure and excitement – with absolutely no risk to my family, my money, my business, or me. How can you help me feel more secure about doing business with you? Tell me: why should I feel safe with you?
  11. Save
    I don’t have enough time, money, or energy to do everything I want to do.  So, if you can really help me save any of these
    precious commodities then why are you keeping it to yourself?  Tell me what you can save me – detail how, how much, and how much it’ll cost me and you’ll get my attention every time. Just how much will I save by putting your system
    in?
  12. You
    There are three topics of conversation which I will never tire – me, myself, and I. You can keep me engaged for hours just by ensuring that every comment you make is directed at me alone. You cannot overuse the word you. The word ‘you’ motivates, persuades, and sells. Don’t you find me fascinating?

Armed with your new knowledge of this proven vocabulary you’ll discover just how easy it is to promote your products in ways that you can safely bet will result in the generation and saving of money that will improve the health of your business – I guarantee you’ll love the results.

"Pat brings her charm, wit and insight into her advisory relationships and shares the same with her audiences. She's got the systems to back up her concepts."

- Frank Maguire FEDEX Senior Founding Executive

John Maxwell

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