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Archive for the category “branding”

Getting away from micro managers – learn about the antidote


Getting away from micro managers – learn about the antidote 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

There are five key elements to trust: They are sincerity, authenticity, competence, reliability and timely communication. Micro-management is very much at the opposite spectrum of these attributes. Micro managers have the hardest time with especially authenticity and sincerity. But trust is the omnipotent ingredient to leadership. Without trust there cannot be any leadership. Leading people is much more a process than a final result. Trust can only occur when a relationship has been slowly nurtured into existence by long term planning. “Trust is not deserved, it is earned” is what sales consultant and expert Jeffrey Gitomer wrote about trust in his book “Little Teal Book of Trust”. No manager can expect to be trusted just based on a title alone. On the other hand, the manager must trust learn trusting his employees first – only then his direct reports will show the propensity showing trust in a manager.

This process of learning to let go of control and therefore trusting the employee to do a great job takes time and most of all planning on the side of the manager. It is a recurring theme that runs through leadership like a fine red thread: If you want to see a change in others, you must first be willing to change yourself. This is especially true when a micro manager wants for his employees to achieve and learn new skills. It takes ample time to change people and first the manager must first make the commitment to learning just as much and to be patient with his people who probably need some time to achieve these goals. Impatience kills trust in an instant as does not trusting employees enough for placing them on a pro-active training and goal setting time table.

One certain way out of micro managing is to focus on becoming a master communicator. Mistrust leads to issues in the flow of information, because most managers with trust issues would rather keep the information to themselves and not delegate any work either. This is all poison to any organization. It takes a great sense of organizing skills for a manager to find a way out of the downward micro management spiral. Once the manager trusts himself enough to trust others weekly and perhaps even daily scheduled or impromptu meetings with staff helps breaking the mold. Organizing information should automatically trigger the thought of delegating as many day-to-day tasks to employees who either have the skill set or the responsibility to doing them anyway. This shows trust to the employee and can now reciprocate this with the manager who will be able to tend to more managerial tasks – imagine that, more time for organizing things.

Being able to lead people may be something that comes easy to some people. That does not mean average managers or even micro managers cannot improve because they were not born with these skills. Achieving the first step of trusting yourself is most important as it is the jumping board for being able to genuinely apologize for any bad decisions, which in turns provides the necessary feedback to the employees that it is ok to make mistakes. By not including team members in the cause and effect cycle, the managers will most likely promote long term distrust and thus disengage them from team and company goals. The reversal of this issue is just as easy: When making the mistake of not having involved the team in the process, apologize genuinely and timely. It will re-engage people almost in the short and long term.

Finally there is a solid case for developing a sense and company culture of trust. It comes down to the almighty financial rock bottom Dollar. In a recent Gallup poll the cost for lost productivity and employee disengagement has been around $300 billion in the United States of America alone.   Controlling people is all but impossible, but that is not true for controlling the cost and reviewing and managing the engagement and communication with them.

So the simplest way in which to create a trusting work environment is making a list of the worst traits of micro managers you know or experienced. Then start compiling strategies letting you do the opposite of that.

Ralf

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1 easy step away going from hug to hope


1 easy step away going from hug to hope 

While in Manhattan NYC today we made a quick stop at the Starbucks near Union Square and one of the baristas took my breath away. She saw my daughter and I waiting in line for our food and drinks and I gave us a big smile. Then she gave us a huge hug (here is another worthy read about hugs). It was totally unprovoked, genuine and came from the bottom of her heart. I was so moved by this that my eyes started to leak a little. Here I was totally consumed with the many – too many – tasks and things to do and check off the list. Work, family, and so many other extra curricular activities had put me under a lot of stress. Success draws more and more attention and activities for sure. I just did not feel good about it at all today. And yet, this one hug pumped huge amounts of hope and energy back into me.

Despite all the political hubbub and also the many nasty things that happen every day we are a good People – there is hope and all we all need to do is showing a little of that to our fellow woman and man. Pay it forward and give someone a good old-fashioned hug. It can make a huge difference in someone’s life – it did for me. From bad day to hope that is all that it may take.

Ralf

United Airlines and how to kill your brand with bad customer service in three easy steps


United Airlines and how to kill your brand with bad customer service in three easy steps 

We supposedly live in the land of customer service. Worry-free shopping of products and services is the mantra. What really happens is most often totally horrific customer service when things do not quite go the “standard” and “normal” way. Last night United Airlines forcibly removed a passenger from a plane on flight UA 3411 trying to make room for United personnel on an overbooked plane. It was a horrific scene recorded by many on their cell phones. Just two weeks ago the same airline barred two teenagers from boarding a plane due to them wearing leggings. Then who has for instance not seen the little video clip of “United Breaks Guitars”? More than 14 million views for this little ditty all because United Airlines was particularly ignorant listening to Dave Carrol’s request for getting his guitar repaired or replaced.

United is doing everything to kill their brand’s reputation. Treat your customer as a second or third class one. Perhaps he will get the message that he is just wasting his time and will thus just go away. Killer move! They appear to have totally lost the focus as to who pays their bills. It’s the customer stupid. Is that the best an airline of this kind of magnitude can do? Top management seems to totally forget that customers choose with their clicks – and they do not need to ask for permission. They will just not show up anymore. Let’s hope they will learn their lesson well.

Ralf

How do we sense this? Hidden expression of power


How do we sense this? Hidden expression of power Puzzled

A while back I got a call from a good friend of mine. We talked about the things we would like to achieve next – our life goals. I was not so sure that could pull it off when she shared with me that she thought that I could do anything I would set my mind to: “The very first time I met you, I could sense that you have an unbelievable power and force.” For starters, I was very thankful for her kicking me in the rear for doubting myself. After all, believing in yourself and realizing your full potential is what I believe in and it is something that I am trying to let others ponder too.

More profound though, I was taken aback about the mere fact that someone could sense power and / or force. Huh? How in the world does this work? I thought about the many people I am blessed to meet. Very often I can sense that there is something special about them. I catch myself thinking that I should really make an effort to paying attention to what they have got to say. There may be a certain calmness that “oozes” out of them. They may share a sense of substance and competence without as much as saying a word.

So here is the puzzler part for you: How do you tell that someone has these powerful attributes? Is there something physical that you can pick up on? Is it something they say? Is it how they say it? What makes you want to hang out with them? What are the non-verbal clues that you can sense?

I would love to hear back from you. If for nothing else I would like for you paying attention to what your thoughts are next time you meet such a special person.

Ralf

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