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Giving trust in the workplace


This week, we’re talking about workplace trust.


Do you feel like trust between you and your associates should be earned, or do you give it freely?


Gary Vaynerchuk, a top author and motivational speaker on building businesses, says that unlike most CEO’s, he gives his trust freely to his associates, rather than making them earn it.


Sure, every now and then, an associate will show him that they need more oversight, or they make a bad decision, but he says, unless you give your associates your complete trust, you’ll never see what they’re truly capable of.


If your associates know that they have to earn your trust, they’re more likely to align themselves with your point of view and your ideas, and you’ll accidentally create a workforce of people who all think alike.


To truly be successful, you need diversity of thought - people who have different ideas, and approach problems in different ways - not an army of lemmings.


Sure, it’s easier for you and your associates if they get in lock step with your ideas, but are you truly challenging them? Are your ideas really the best ones, or is there room for improvement?


Is it possible that people from outside may bring perspective you’ve never thought of?


Give your associates the freedom to win or lose on their own, give them guidance when they need it, and reign them in if they’re on the wrong path.


Giving away your trust from the get go will often times lead to better ideas, and more success in the long run.

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Spring cleaning time!


It’s starting to warm up in parts of the US, and with spring weather comes spring cleaning, so this week, we’re taking a look at ways to make your clean-out more effective.


First thing’s first - put the winter weather gear away. Puffy jackets, boots, snow suits and skis take up a ton of space, so the sooner you can put it in the attic or the basement, the sooner you’ll start to declutter your house.


Next, make a plan for each room, and finish a room at a time before moving onto the next one. Starting a project in one room, and then moving onto something else is a great way to make sure that project wont get done this spring, or maybe even next spring.


Focus on taking out trash that’s accumulated, donating clothes you either don’t wear or don’t fit into, and put away any seasonal items.


Also, pay attention to the small things that make a big difference. Door mats have collected dirt, salt and all kinds of other crud over the winter, so rinse them out, or use a leaf blower to get rid of the dirt.


Don’t forget about ceiling fans that have collected dust over the winter. There’s nothing worse than turning the fan on the first warm day of the year, and getting a face full of dust.


Go through your junk drawer in the kitchen. C’mon, we all have one… But now is a good time to get rid of those keys to your old office, cancelled checks and expired packs of gum.


And finally, toys. Your kids have grown, and so have their tastes, so it’s time to purge the toys they no longer play with, and even the clothes and shoes they don’t fit into anymore.


Don’t be too brutal - you still need things in your house, but try and let go of the ones that don’t serve a purpose, or bring you joy.

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Overcoming the negativity in your mind


This week, we’re talking about overcoming negativity.


So often, whether it’s at work or at home, we are fearful that we can’t compete, we can’t achieve success, or what we’re doing isn’t good enough, but most of the time, these thoughts come from our own minds…


Nobody wants to have negative thoughts, and just like an unwanted dinner guest, you can choose whether or not you want to entertain those thoughts.


These thoughts are born out of fear, and as one of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon always says - Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.


Have you ever heard somebody say you are your own worst enemy?


So how do you overcome these negative thoughts — these fears?


When negative thoughts come into your head, you have three options -


Option one - indulge them, get bogged down in the negativity, and believe what the fears are telling you.


Option two - you can ignore these thoughts, and move on with your day, but this is probably the hardest of the three choices.


So that’s why, your best bet is option three - speak truth to the lies.


Your brain is telling you you’re not good enough? Well, give it evidence to the contrary. Write down all of the things your fears are saying to you — you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not rich enough, you’re not happy enough…


And then, right next to those lies, write down the evidence against them.


You’re killing it at work, you have 2 happy and healthy kids, you have a roof over your head, and you’re doing well in life.


Sure, could you be better? Of course, and you should strive to be that way, but use the evidence you have to prove that you’re in a good place today, and it’ll be much easier to combat those fears we all have.

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Good Customer Service


This week, we’re talking about customer service, and how important it is to treat your clients well.


Did you know that American companies lose 1.6 trillion dollars in business because of bad customer service?


Or that 55% of consumers say they’re willing to spend more money with a company that gives them good customer service?


It’s incredibly important to my business, and to yours, so here are a few tips for making sure you’re giving top notch customer service.


It may sound cheesy, but always deliver service with a smile. Sure, the customer may drive you crazy, but make sure you don’t show it.


Be friendly, show respect to your customer and their time, and always thank them for their business.


Did you ever notice how everybody working at Chick-Fil-A ends every interaction with “my pleasure?”  That’s intentional, and it works.


Next, know your product. There’s no faster way to lose a customer than not knowing what you’re talking about. If it’s a complex issue, and you genuinely don’t know the answer, don’t be afraid to admit it, and tell the customer you’ll find the right answer. But don’t ever make something up.


Finally, ask for feedback at the end of the transaction. Ask what you could have done better in your customer service… and then actually listen to the feedback and implement it.


This is not rocket science - it’s all about being nice to people, and truly showing them how much you appreciate their business.

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Mastering a New Skill


This week, we’re talking about mastering new skills.


Have you ever heard that it takes 10-thousand hours of doing something to truly master it?


Well, it’s a good theory, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.


Recently, I read an article by Brendon Burchard, one of the world’s leading high performance coaches.


He suggests that by following what’s called “the principles of progressive mastery,” you can get there in way less than 10-thousand hours.


First - set a very specific goal. You want to learn how to plan an instrument? Which one? Then, set specific stretch goals. Ones that aren’t too easy to check off, but aren’t completely out of the question.


Attach high levels of emotion and meaning to those goals — why is it so important to master this new skill?


Identify the specific things that will be critical to your success… Learning to read music, carving out an hour a day to practice. Whatever it is.


Then, visualize your success. What will it look like when you’re successful? Maybe you’ll be on stage playing for people you care about, or maybe, you’ll be able to play your favorite song.


If you’re competitive, and that drives you, figure out a way to compete with other people on developing this skill, and then continue to set higher and higher goals.


Finally - measure your success. Sure, you won’t be able to play Hendrix on that guitar in the first week, but take stock of where you are… It’s the only way to know how far you’ve come.


And this is a great one — start to teach others. The better you can explain it to somebody else, the better you’ll be at it yourself.

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Be Intentional


This week, we’re talking about setting intentions.


Many of us wake up each morning, get ready for work, do what we’re paid to do, come home, and start all over again the next day. We don’t have any real plan — we just bounce from one commitment to another.


But have you ever thought to take a minute each day and set your intentions? Today, I want to accomplish this. Or I want to live by these certain principles.


The most successful people in life always have a plan… And it may not be a perfect plan, but they’ve got some kind of guiding principle every day.


So as you look at ways to be more successful in your life - whether it be at work, at home, spiritually, or in whatever way is important to you - be intentional.


Before you go into a meeting, set an intention for how you want it to go.


Before every email, think to yourself about what you want to convey to the recipient, and do your best to get there clearly, and concisely.


It takes a lot of self pep talks in the beginning, but set reminders on your phone at two or three different times during the day that say things like - be intentional, or be patient, or be kind.


Every time you sit down at your desk, use that as a reminder to ask yourself - what’s the most important thing I need to do right now, and be intentional with your actions.


You’ll be more successful for the effort.

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