Honor the person as if a God

Truly relating is rare.  By definition relating is: befriend; empathize, identify, sympathize;  to have or establish a relationship - interact.  How many of us really know how to do this?  We are so intent on getting our message across or making sure the other person hears us, that we forget about being in relationship.

A common example is when you are met with a person who has lost a loved one.  That person needs to talk, be heard and grieve.  What most of us do is try to “fix” them, give an account of a personal loss, or change the subject.  The person grieving ends up taking care of YOU.

Honor the other person as if they were a GOD.  Hang on their every word as if it was gospel.  Try to imagine yourself in their shoes, empathize with their concerns. Believe that everything they say is important.  This will take the focus off of you and put it on them where it belongs in relating.

Try putting the other person in a Godlike status while they are talking and experience a level of communication you never have known.  Bonding like you couldn’t imagine.  Come back and tell me of your experience and how it affected you.

Photo Credit: Mark Parsec


Take care of the other person during a hard conversation

Are you carrying a lump in your throat or a knot in your tummy?  You have something to say and it won’t be easy because the other person probably doesn’t want to hear it. Sound familiar?  So often we are so focused on what we want to say, we forget to take care of the other person during the hard conversation.  Hard conversations are HARD, that’s why they are called hard!

There are 4 parts to a successful hard conversation

1. Get permission.  “I have a conversation I want to have with you and it might be hard for you to hear.  Would now be a good time or can we make an appointment?”

2. Prepare their listening: This is a hard conversation for me, so I might stutter a little.  How I would like you to listen to this conversation is from a place of knowing I care about you and want to change some of the ways we communicate.”

3. Listen to their listening.  Watch how they are responding and check to see if they are on the same page with you.  If at any time you sense they are not hearing what you are saying or their reaction is off, stop yourself and ask how they are hearing what you are saying.

4. Take care of the other person while in the conversation: “Well, your reaction doesn’t go with what I intended to say, so I just want to clear up any misunderstanding as we go along.  I really care about you and it is important to me that we work this through.”

Tempers flare or feelings get hurt in a conversation.   Incorporating the 4 elements of a communication will minimize the “hard” in these conversations.

Let me know if these tips are helpful.

Photo Credit: TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc


6 meanings of any communication

Do you ever find yourself in a conversation and they respond with something WAY different than you expected?  The more you try to clean it up, the more confusing it gets to both of you.  Here’s why:  Anytime you are in a conversation with another person there are 6 possible meanings:

  • What you mean to say

  • What you actually say

  • What the other person hears

  • What the other person thinks s/he hears

  • What you think the other person says about what you said

  • What you think the other person said about what you said


Now, is it any wonder that we communicate at all?  All 6 are going on at the same time.  It’s so important to get clear about what is being said and heard.


The best rule of thumb is to watch to how the other person is reacting to you because the meaning of any communication is the RESPONSE you get.  It doesn’t matter what you said or meant to say.  Their RESPONSE is the communication they heard.  If they react differently than you expected, get very curious about what they heard


I’d love to hear any stories from you about your experience.


Requests and promises

I want to strangle he/r!  S/he said I would get the report by yesterday. Does this happen to you?  Usually this occurs when the expectations are unclear.  there are 6 components to every action requested: 1. The REQUEST-now this is not a demand unless you specify that it is expected that this get done.  2. The PROMISE-this is an upfront contract promising to fulfill on the request.  3. CLARITY-exactly what is the finished product.  4. BY WHEN-this is an expected date of completion.  5. COMMUNICATION-status updates or stating the finished product is behind schedule BEFORE it is due.  and last, but not least 6. FOLLOW UP-the follow up can kill you, if there is no structure in place.

I recommend a Request/Promise log.  This is a grid with the Request or promise, by who, to whom, due date,  revised date and completion date.  Meet with your staff on a one to one every 1-2 weeks.  Each of you have a copy of this log and keep notes of who requested or promised what to whom.  Bring the sheet with you to each meeting and use it as the agenda for the meeting adding to it each time.  Start a new one every month.  This can be used to evaluate how an employee is doing over time and the “job” gets done more often than not.

How do you keep track of requests?  Share new ideas or methods below for others to see.

Photo Credit: Pharmaconsulta



I hate writing reports.  I avoid verbal reports. Those meetings are so boring. What’s the use of having targets, if you don’t monitor their progress?  What’s the use of having a team, if they aren’t on board with what you are doing?

Reporting is a necessary task, BUT it can be fun.  Remember, you picked a monthly target and broke it down by week and day. All that is needed is a structure to communicate what your target is and where are you toward it’s achievement?  The purpose of reporting is to a) see where you are with respect to your target, b) get support in reaching the target.  This can take less than 5 minutes.  Coaching around reaching the target may take a little longer, but all salespeople can use a little inspiration.... and c) be accountable.

How many of you small business owners track and monitor your sales on a daily/weekly basis?  I’d love to hear from you.  Just leave me a note below....thanks



Do you love money?  I do! the first thing to know about sales is, “What do you think about money and do you want it.” Many of us say, “I am good at what I do, but I’m not a salesperson.”  This is a lie! Take a look at your opinion of a “salesperson.”  You do sales every day of your life: enrol the kids in doing their chores, enrol the husband to take out the garbage, sell the dentist on Friday vs Monday, etc etc etc. You do these things as part of daily living because you want these things to happen.  “Sales” is no different. What stops us is our opinion about Salespeople. Where we REALLY need to look is what is our opinion or relationship with money.

Success comes from measurement and intentionality.  To set this up pick a monthly  target.  The target doesn’t matter at first, just pick one.  Reverse engineer the month to calculate how many sales per week and how many sales per day.  Write down those targets and keep them in front of you. Read them daily.  Now, you have a general idea of how many people you need to talk to to get an appointment and how many appointments you need before you make a sale.  Break that down to Monthly, weekly and daily.  This will tell you how many calls you need to make a day to get those appointments and sales.  Keep track of the calls on a daily basis (date and hash marks).  Review the results daily.

Try it for a month or even a week.  Leave me a comment on your results.

Photo Credit: Sales Management Mastery


Measurement for Success Customers

As business owners and service providers we do not often know if the customer is satisfied.  More importantly, if the customer is dissatisfied.  How can you measure that? Well, you can ask, but you won’t often get a true answer face to face.

One way to ensure customer satisfaction is to clearly understand your customer is and what makes he/r happy.  Make a list of “satisfied criteria.” As an example, the customers for a dental lab are mostly dentists.  Make a list of what a dentist would expect: perfect color match, easy fitting, etc.  Then have a set of expectations for the technicians to meet so that the dentist will be satisfied. The best way to ensure customer satisfaction is to know what it is before they come in and provide it at the time of service. Tie this into the meetings with employees and their goals for improvement.

Another method is to create a survey and ask the customer what he expects from your service and then give it to the customers.

I’d love to hear about any other methods you use with your customers.  Please leave a comment with your methods.

Measurement for success Employees

Do you want to win in your business?  Do you nurture your employees?  The whole is only as good as the parts that make it up. One of the difficulties we have as a business owner is we think other people think like we do.  THEY DON’T!!! Our employees generally don’t come with our philosophy on customer service, accountability, appropriate use of funds, etc.  We MUST teach them!  It is much easier to teach a task than it is to teach a value.  Right out of the blocks, let them know they are on a 90 day probationary period.  Be very clear about your expectations of them....not only of how to do the specific tasks, but how you expect them to act and speak to customers and fellow employees; company values, mission and purpose.  They will need to know how the business started and what things are most important to you.

Meet with them on a weekly basis: Define goals, areas of growth, training, etc. Each week both of you will carry a Request and Promise log to the meeting.  You will each make requests and promises to each other for the next week. These will be your agenda items.

Create an evaluation form that lists the most important 5 things to evaluate for the quarter.  Put a scale of 1-5 beside each item.  (1 being unsatisfactory and 5 being very satisfactory) Complete the evaluation BEFORE they start working for you using your best guess of where they are when they begin.  Share it with them.  Evaluate every two weeks in  your weekly meetings so progress can be seen and redirected.

The same evaluation should occur with ongoing employees.  Set up quarterly goals and monitor their progress toward success every week.

Let me know how you currently ensure the success of your employees

Photo Credit: Delivering Happiness at Work

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