dr carl robinson

The Currency of Success - Interpersonal Intelligence™


Maximize Accountability, Strategy and Service

Flex Your Team’s Muscle

When was the last time you took the temperature of your team or department’s effectiveness? They have likely pulled together at times, and apart at others.  Take stock on how things are going, and you’ll be able to keep moving in a positive direction, or use what you learn here to get back on track.
  • Do the members still have clear expectations for the team’s performance and outcomes?  Does everyone still have a grip on why they were put together as a team in the first place?  Ask yourself if the team is still receiving the resources it needs to be successful.
  • How have your expectations changed?  How is the current workload reflected in the implied expectations you have for your team?  Moreover, if the expectations have changed due to changes in the organization, have those been made clear?
  •  Do members still display the level of commitment that you feel is necessary to get the job done?  This is a critical one.  You may find yourself accepting a lower level of commitment because the job responsibilities could have increased in the wake of organizational changes or other factors. Do you really need to lower expectations, or can you just shift them and help the team recommit to current tasks?
  • Now take the collaboration and communication temperature.  It is easy for people who have worked together over a period of time to get rusty on this one.  They could become brazen to the innovative thinking needed to collaborate and communicate positively with the varying personalities of the team members.  If so, it is time to shake things up and remind them how to stretch and grow for the common cause.
  • Now it is time to look at your own impact on the team.  Are you doing what you can to ensure that appropriate accountability measures and expectations have been set, or are they simply implied? No leader ever won an award for their ability to imply goals and hint at expectations!  Give your team members a fighting chance by reminding them of what you expect in all of the areas described here; commitment, expectations, collaboration, and communication.

Give each of these points the time and attention it deserves and you will be flexing your team’s muscle, and preparing them for their current and future challenges.

The Branding & Customer Service Link

We live in a world where customer service tools have developed at the speed of light.  From a technical standpoint, we should be much better equipped to handle all of our customer (and client) needs.
Still, with the exception of a few notable organizations, customer service has remained flat, and generic customer service prevails.
So where does great customer service begin?  It begins with the marketing department.  Really.   Do your customer service and technical support staff members understand your organizational or specific product brand, and its true value?  When you train them to take care of clients and customers, do you concentrate solely on how they can accomplish their job tasks, or do you also convey why their role is critical? From the hiring process to training, to ongoing quality control, integrate the brand, product or image into customer service. Ensure that these critical members of the organization understand the important role they play in carrying out the company’s mission, right on the front line, and watch the level of service go to a new level.
Your customer service staff members represent not just the front line for technical, product or service questions, they are the first actual experience your clients and customers have with the brand that you have worked so hard to develop and convey. Here are ways that management can communicate about a brand internally:
  1. Communicate from your audience’s point of view.  Use your internal brand communication to relate employee issues, concerns and aspirations about the brand.  They will respond best during a potential conflict when they begin with a clear idea of why they are doing their job.
  2. Use stories to give statistics meaning.  Telling people the satisfaction numbers for their customer service department is far more effective when the message is enveloped with emotion that reflects the brand.  Seek to alter off-brand attitudes through appealing to storytelling.
  3. Be proactive and direct.  Communicate personally about the importance of brand and how it relates to customer service.  That is, email messages have far less impact than you (and other leaders) taking the time to let people know what is happening, and to remind them of the key brand messages that make your organization stand out.  Be tireless in finding new ways to communicate these messages.
  4. Remember that communication is multidimensional.  Just telling employees what to care about is not enough.  Ensure that your communication efforts are effective by varying the communication methods and giving staff opportunities to have their say.

These days, branding and customer service are intertwined.  Each member of your organization should be aware of the company (or product) brand and how they can offer internal or external customer service within the context of their own job.


Featured Tool

Resolving Team Conflicts

This (3-hour) workshop focuses on resolving the types of conflicts that commonly occur in teams. Participants determine their natural conflict management styles and learn techniques for assessing conflict situations and applying the most appropriate conflict management style for each situation.
Complete Workshop: $295

Learn More.

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