Archive for November 2007

How To Get Your Customers To Keep Coming Back To You Through Your Service

November 27, 2007

In my work as a consultant, I regularly get engaged to consult for different companies and organizations. One of the key aspects involves working on their service quality for customers. When I ‘test’ out the customer service quality, I will also recommend specific ways to improve so that the customers will keep coming back again and again. This has always been a consistent result.

Here are some ways to get your customers coming back to you:

1. You must not know just your services and products, but know HOW TO INTRODUCE them to your customers.

2. You must be able to recommend some of the better ones or the more popular ones as well as state the reasons for that.

3. You must pay attention to the small details of the customers.

4. You must be able to serve them whenever they need yet without their asking.

5. Check back with your customers at the right time to be sure that they are satisfied with their products and the service they receive.

When Does Your Mind Work Best? More Ways To Powerfully Master Your Mind

November 26, 2007

On last Saturday, things got exciting. The turn-up was overwhelming and the room was packed even till the last minute. The talk was “Mind Mastery: How to Power Up Your Speaking Skills with Your Mind”.

As the session began, I was greatly infused by your enthusiasm, generous participation and hearty laughter. Do remember the strategies and steps you learn and make it a regular point to practice them. As you have seen in the demonstrations, they work and these easy-to-do techniques perform marvelously well over time.

I truly consider this a great honor to be able to share with you what really works to become a better speaker and communicator. Credit goes to the organizers, Division B Governor, William Lim, DTM, and his team of assistants for earnestly helping to make this event a grand success. I deeply thank every one of you, the participants, for being at the event and taking the step to improve your life, your mind and your public speaking skills.

Over in this article, I will add on some more ways to powerfully master your mind.

Your mind works best when:

1. it is well rested.

2. it is relaxed.

3. you have a meaningful purpose for it to function.

4. it serves the right values.

5. you allow it to follow your natural biorhythm. (people are most alert at different times of the day)

6. it receives positive affirmations

7. you trust it and believes in it.

8. it is in full congruence with your heart and spirit.

9. it is accompanied by a healthy body

10. you thank it and reward it.

11. it is not abused or over taxed.

12. when you let it take on positive challenges.

Let us Excel Beyond Excellence!

How Should You Handle Your Difficult Clients And Improve Situations?

November 21, 2007

Last Friday was a very interesting day for me. The training I conducted that day was on “Managing Difficult Clients”. It was customized in great detail for a public service institution where the consultants tend to face angry, worried or frustrated clients, not all the time but often enough. I love it when such challenging situations are presented; it makes me actively seek out solutions to resolve them.

During the discussions and the interactive practices, the participants often share of their encounters on the different scenarios that happened. Hence we had a very purposeful examination of the difficult client types. In addition, I also highlighted on the internal dynamics and external forces that made clients become difficult and what the consultants should do to improve the situation.

Here are some of the possible reasons why clients are difficult, followed how you can handle them better:

1. Your clients feel that they are just a number.

You should treat them as a unique, special and appreciated individual.

2. Your clients are trapped internally.

You should help them shift their paradigms to open up possibilities.

3. Your clients are in negative emotional loops.

You should help them move from negative emotions to a positive one.

4. Your clients are often at their wit’s end.

You should provide them with possible alternatives or solutions.

5. Your clients need to vent their frustrations.

You should provide them room and space to air their frustrations before they are willing to listen.

6. Your clients are simply being difficult for the sake of being difficult.

You should assert yourself with firmness, yet with diplomacy.

7. Your clients feel awkward relating and opening up to you.

You must build and maintain rapport with them at all times.

It is often with such tact and wisdom that we must work with our difficult clients. However, the improved results are always better learning lessons and we, too, become better persons.

Let us Excel Beyond Excellence!

Expansive Thinking Is Not Expensive, It Makes You Exceptional.

November 20, 2007

Yesterday was the final day of the “Work Improvement Team” training or commonly known as WITs. This course was an extension from the last Wednesday and Thursday. During the training, we had in-depth discussions on the art of thinking, especially thinking expansively.

This means to think, consider and ponder beyond your comfort zone. It requires the ability to shift to a new paradigm, a necessity in the fast changing world. However, it might be a tedious effort, demanding the constant need to push ahead despite the trappings. “It’s costly to go against the norms,” some said. “What if I fail?”

Throughout history, those who manage to make a mark in their lives possess such similar quality. They persistently think beyond themselves and what they can do, refusing to allow life or obstacles to limit them. Hence they push the boundary of their boxes further than others, living and carving out a difference in their own destinies. That’s living an exceptional life.

Here are some questions to help you use your mind expansively:

* How do you stretch beyond yourself?

* What other ways can you live your life?

* How else can you overcome the challenges in your life?

* How can you look at things differently?

* What other solutions can you resolve this issue with?

* If there are no limits, what will you do?

Let us Excel Beyond Excellence!

6 Keys To Raising Team Spirit And Performance In Your Group And Organization

November 19, 2007

I was flipping through the “Today” papers on my way to conduct training and came across an informative write-up. It’s about building and raising team spirit. I call this in my seminars and talks an essential Component of Excellence (CoE). No company or organization can run well without effective team togetherness and the sense of belonging. It’s just that crucial.

Excited as I was, I couldn’t wait to post these useful tips for your immediate application. Of course, credits must go to Kim Kanaga and Henry Browning, who are both faculty members of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).

Here are the keys to raising team spirit and performance in your group:

EVERY team, be it a customer service unit, sales division or globe-spanning multinational, cannot simply expect to maintain the status quo.

It should constantly improve and do what is needed to meet stakeholder expectations of greater efficiency, productivity and profitability. Six key factors can have a significant impact on performance:

1. Clear purpose

Teams frequently fail when they lack clarity of purpose.

Without it, the level of effort and motivation suffer and disagreements or conflicts arise more easily. There is also a greater chance of the duplication of tasks.

One test is to ask different team members to summarize the collective goal. If answers differ widely, you need to explain things more clearly.

2. A Well-defined structure

An organizational structure that clearly demarcates different functions, roles and responsibilities allows the best use of resources. It should take full account of competencies required for each job, the overall workload and the need for stability and backup.

As a business expands, new competencies and additional personnel will be required, while other roles become less important. So, the structure should be flexible to ensure that changes do not cause disruption or lead to a section being snowed under and another over-staffed.

An ill-defined structure can create tension and frustration over roles and make it more difficult to spot where key skills are lacking. Teams work best when each member knows their prime function.

3. Strong support

To be consistently effective, a team needs support, resources and rewards. These come from different points in the organization but, ultimately, senior management must provide what is needed to perform.

One of the most important ways is by designing a suitable reward system — but rewards need not be financial. Recognition from colleagues, celebrating milestones or educational opportunities can serve as team-centered rewards.

4. Positive relationships

Personal tensions or strained relationships among team members can make life difficult. The cause is often mistrust or competition and may stem from a misunderstanding of what the team is expected to achieve.

In such cases, it is vital to intervene and listen to both sides of the story. Only then can you decide how to effect reconciliation or re-establish good relations.

An offsite meeting or social gathering can help build camaraderie and reinforce team spirit.

5. Good external contacts

No team exists in a vacuum; so, performing effectively depends on understanding contrasting viewpoints of external stakeholders, such as competitors, suppliers, partners, regulatory agencies and customers.

As the external environment changes constantly, the work of building relationships must be proactive and continuous. For example, invite a vendor or customer to speak to your team. You could also arrange tours of your facilities and theirs to better understand each other’s operations and needs.

6. Efficient information management

For many organizations, managing information needed for optimal performance is a major challenge. Without this, decisions get postponed and everyday business can grind to a halt.

To be sure your team has the information needed to perform, review the speed and effectiveness of all your standard communication channels regularly.

This includes a look at which meetings are useful and which can be modified or dropped. Be flexible and do not insist, for example, on a formal written report if an email or verbal update is quicker.

These six factors can be vital to assess performance and to stay on track. If you analyze problems thoroughly and pinpoint the difficulties, it is possible to take steps toward a workable solution.

By doing so, you can ensure your team operates at peak efficiency and achieves its goals.

Let us Excel Beyond Excellence!

Top 10 Keys To Truly Experience Explosive Enthusiasm In Your Life

November 17, 2007

This whole week was jam packed with trainings and coaching every single day. I have been returning home on the wee hours of the night, tired but very satisfied. When you put your best in your work, the feeling of completion and elation is indescribable.

On the first two days of this week, I was conducting a very intensive course on “Work-Life Skills for Individual and Organizational Benefits”. The participants were from the Public Service institutions and they turned up in full force. I like the way the whole interactive process goes. They participated actively and were very willing to share.

I’ve been conducting this popular course for quite a number of years and every time I can’t help but feel more rejuvenated from the sessions. Personally, everyone needs to have work-life balance in some form. And in the addition runs to come during December and throughout the next year, I will be adding in more powerful strategies to help my participants manage their life better.

When we manage our work and our lives, enthusiasm is the essential ingredient to keep us going. Many fizzle out, get burnt out and merely ‘float’ through life in a ‘zombified’ state. They take it from just day to day… No, hour to hour or even just by the minute. Their lives become out of balance and the sights in direction becomes out of focus.

For those who want to truly make a difference and add meaning to their own life and others around them, read on. These are the keys to experiencing explosive enthusiasm in your life:

1. You must insist on wanting enthusiasm and happiness in your life.

2. You must know what are you excited about. (And if you don’t know the reason, then create a reason for it, any reason that works for you.)

3. You must experience that excitement and enthusiasm.

4. You must use your imagination to its maximum.

5. You must share your enthusiasm with others around you.

6. You must be pro-active in whatever you do.

7. You must remain, think and be positive no matter what happens.

8. You must infuse this enthusiasm in your life plan for long lasting effect.

9. You must display your enthusiasm the very second you wake up everyday.

10. You must keep up the pace until it becomes a part of your life.

Let us Excel Beyond Excellence!

Of Colors And Brushstrokes, The “Artistic” Sayings…

November 15, 2007

Artists tend to see the world differently. Here’s what some artists think of their lives and the world around us.

Pablo Picasso

Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?

Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

Salvador Dali

There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.

There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.

Wars have never hurt anybody except the people who die.

What Was Albert Einstein Thinking?

November 13, 2007

Being a man of immense intellect and imagination, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is revered as one of the best brains the world has ever had. Needless to say, his thoughts and works are often studied, discussed and quoted.

Here are some of quotes by Albert Einstein as he looked at various issues. It is hoped that these will also provide you some reflections which can help you appreciate life from his perspective.

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Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.

An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.

The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.

A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.

What You Need To Be A Super Go-Getter And Start Achieving

November 11, 2007

Ever wonder why some people keep achieving after achieving while the rest merely see events pass by? This is because those who achieve decide to become go-getters by making things happen. And the others, let things happen.

Cliché as it may sound, there are indeed common traits that go-getters possess. We are not talking about those who merely do things for the sake of doing, but rather those who truly achieve greatness in their lives and for others.

In this article, let’s look at what you will need to be a super go-getter so that you can begin to achieve things.

A Super Go-Getter:

1. has a plan to get his goals

2. works smart

3. is committed to whatever it takes

4. takes calculated risks

5. knows which direction he is going

6. is willing to improve himself

7. lives a dream larger than himself

To achieve is to excel, and to consistently achieve is to excel beyond. May you be one of the super Go-Getters and excel your life beyond excellence.

Go Get Them!

The Purity Of The Heart Within You

November 8, 2007

I was on the way to conduct a coaching session yesterday when I saw a simple scene that invoked my thoughts. In the traveling train was an Indian student, about 14 years old or so. His uniform and school badge showed that he studied in a special school. (If you are unfamiliar with the term, it means that it’s a school for the intellectually sub-normal children.)

Ever chirpy and enthusiastically, he moved from cabin to cabin, person to person and greeted the seated passengers with a clear crystal voice, “Happy Deepavali!”

Some passengers were shocked and surprised. And obviously a number of them felt uncomfortable with the friendly act, ignoring him. Yet, his smile was unquestionable, his sincerity, undeniable.

When a few of the people greeted back, he acknowledged with an eager nod. Flashed with a smile on his face, he continued on until it was time for him to alight. He merrily stepped off the train with a quick jump, going on his way home, I supposed.

As I looked at his back when he took the downwards elevator, I couldn’t help but think how he must have felt in his heart. Within him must be this elating sense of happiness that the special holiday of his own ethnicity is so near. So happy was he that he had to share his joy with others. He purely and truly wanted to spread the good-will to others. He did it heartily of course. What a purity of the heart!

During this festive season, Deepavali or widely, known as “The Festival of Lights”, calls on us, Indians or not, to remember the triumph of good over evil. And in a larger sense, the purity of care for others over the mere selfishness of own benefit.

The purity of heart is thus the ultimate sincere and genuine desire to want true goodness for others, dedicating oneself to the betterment of people in our community. It is unselfish, unadulterated and totally pure.

Let’s explore what does the purity of heart can imply for you:

1. When the heart is pure, there is no shyness. You forget about how others will look at you. It gives you the courage to move through life and interact with strangers, no matter how awkward your act seems to be in the eyes of others.

2. The purity of the heart comes from within and is true and sincere. It is internally emitted, motivated and fueled with love for mankind in general.

3. When you truly believe, you will want to share with others. You want people around you to be experiencing happiness and beaming with smiles.

4. When there is purity of the heart, you do not seek reciprocation, returns or rewards. The satisfaction comes from having rendered a part of you, as citizen of the world, towards the well being of others. This alone will suffice.

5. The purity of the heart touches others. As long as you have a heartbeat, you will be touched and even inspired. That wish to share one’s overflowing joy is so overwhelming that you can’t help but be affected.

6. The true purity of the heart can never be quelled. Its passionate fire is inextinguishable, keeps burning and burning. Its truth makes others open their eyes to what is possible, a better life and more humane world.

Do you possess a purity of the heart? Do you truly desire goodness for others? Would you like to excel together with everyone around you?

Then perhaps its time on this special Deepavali holiday, to examine ourselves, our thoughts and bring forth its purity. The purity of your heart.

Happy Deepavali!