Communication Best Practices for Leaders You Should Know

First and foremost, a leader’s job is to encourage, motivate and support their team in ways that result in team-work to produce the best possible results in the most efficient manner.

One of a leader’s essential skills is communication. It’s through good communication that encouragement, motivation, and support happen.

We’ll examine what constitutes the best communication practices for leaders.

Camaraderie is an important aspect of leadership communication – credit Pixabay.com

What is Leadership?

Let’s start with the basics. Businesses, including manufacturing, sports, and community service organizations, to name a few, are formed to bring diverse talents and personalities together to accomplish more than any of the individuals could achieve alone. 

How well would a quarterback fare in a football game if he had no receivers to pass to? How well would the best salesman get along in business if he weren’t supplied with a good product to sell?

And, in each of these examples, even if a team is assembled, how would the team fare without leadership to assign roles, define goals and objectives, and provide the training, support and resources to enable effective performance?

A leader’s job is to provide all this and help the team members work together and within an organization to accomplish the desired performance.

What is Leadership Communication?

Leaders at every level of an organization wear many hats. We’ve outlined very generally what the purpose of a leader is. Now we’ll zero in on one of the essential tools a leader employs to accomplish his or her task. That’s communication! Communication isn’t the only skill a leader needs, but it is part of virtually everything a leader does to enable a top-performing team. 

Whether the leader is encouraging an individual team member, discussing the team’s objective with the entire group, working with senior management on a budget for the team, or acquiring physical tools and raw materials to enable the team’s work, the leader has to communicate with someone at every step.

The purpose of our investigation today is to define the best communication practices for leaders to use in all their relationships up, down and sideways in the organization.

Teamwork is the key to business performance – credit Pixabay.com

Why is Communication Important?

Communication is important because it can enable cooperation if it’s done well. It can poison relationships if it’s done poorly.

There’s much more to good communication than asking for or imparting information. Communication can be used positively to indicate support, engender cooperation or sympathize with someone’s pain. It can also be used negatively to cajole, threaten or accuse.

Effective leaders are, without exception, good communicators. 

We’ll look at some traits good communicators display in their communication style.

Leadership Communication Best Practices

Every communication with team members must be designed to build team spirit. 

Specifically:

  • Getting to know each team member is important. You want to know as much as they care to tell you about their family, their dreams and their activities outside the workplace. You want to assure them that you are interested in them as a person.
  • An important part of communication is listening. It’s essential to listen with the intent to absorb the full import of what the other person is saying. After you’ve absorbed that, you can formulate an appropriate response.
  • In your speaking and writing, be as straightforward as you can. Especially with written communication, look over what you’ve written. Could it be misinterpreted? Could it indicate unintended criticism? Written communication often gets meaning attached to it that the writer never intended.
  • At every opportunity, your communication with your team members should strive to promote cooperation and camaraderie. You can help your team members do the same with you and with each other.
Hard to tell if the leader is in this picture, but communication is happening! – credit Pixabay.com

What are Common Mistakes in Leadership Communication?

Here are a few ways some leaders communicate ineffectively and fail to communicate well.

Aloofness

Among humans’ basic desires is to be heard and recognized as important.

Leaders who fail to recognize and respond to this need are missing a huge opportunity to develop rapport with their teams and among the team members. See the “Best Practices” section above for suggestions to improve in this aspect of leadership.

Closely related to personal recognition is seeing and supporting people in their emotional reactions to events in and beyond the workplace.

Failure to celebrate people’s wins and support them in their challenges leaves a void in leaders’ relationships with their team members.

A third aspect of aloofness is being unavailable for team members’ needs. This requires a delicate balance that each leader must establish for their individual situation.

Certainly some “closed-door” time is warranted when you can do the head-down work that requires concentration  It’s also important to spend time checking in with team members and being readily available to answer their questions and discuss their issues.

Failure to Develop Talent

While this concern is outside the narrow definition of communication, it’s a key part of communication in a broader sense.

By definition, your top contributors are people who think ahead and seek personal and professional growth.

Failure to support them in this pursuit will likely cause them to move on to where they can grow with an organization.

Resisting Change and Risk-Averse Thinking 

A “fixed” mindset (see Carol Dweck’s excellent book Mindset) seeks to stay with familiar tasks, goals and ideas. This approach will soon leave you and your organization in the dust, while those with a “growth” mindset are taking risks (defined as trying something that might not work but deserves experimentation) and making progress.

Misunderstanding Motivation

Individuals differ in what motivates and inspires them. 

Suppose you offer paid family time to a single person who may enjoy their relationships at work more than time off. They would likely find more value in a company-supported savings plan.

Conversely, someone approaching retirement and with a healthy financial base might appreciate the opportunity to support their children and grandchildren in life’s wins and challenges.

Micro-Managing

Micro-management is, in my experience, one of leaders’ most common communication failures. It can manifest in several ways:

  • Doing a team member’s job instead of letting them run with it.
  • Telling a team member in detail how to do something about which they may have fresh ideas. Instead, answer any questions they have and give them the freedom to experiment with their ideas and learn from them. You, as the leader, just might learn something as well!
  • “Looking over someone’s shoulder” and commenting on or criticizing their work at every minute step. Support them as they need, and then step back and let them bring you the result when they’ve attained it.

Micro-management can do more to drive away good employees and de-motivate others who stay than any other mistake I know of.

Examples of Effective Leadership Communication

Here are a few examples of leaders who have demonstrated effective communication skills and techniques.

However you may view Elon Musk (I certainly find some issues with some of his ideas and actions), he’s built a powerful organization through good leadership communication. One of his most effective strategies was to offer each Tesla employee the opportunity to participate in the company’s financial success.

Several years ago, I came across a story about his inspirational message to Tesla employees and wrote about it. Read that story here

Jessica Rovello is the co-founder of Arkadium, an online gaming company. She instituted a unique communication initiative to replace traditional performance reviews. Arkadium had been doing semi-annual performance reviews with employees, which are always stressful for everyone. They replaced these with monthly “check-ins,” in which the leader would ask the employee three simple questions. Jessica explains this simple process in this one-minute video.

To recap, we form businesses and other organizations to accomplish more than any of us can on our own.

The improved performance we imagine when we form these organizations happens through teamwork.

Teamwork happens as the result of positive, careful communication. Careful honing of communication skills can improve teamwork and, therefore, business results.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an interpersonal concern. 

Stories are great ways to engage your prospects and clients and keep them engaged. You’ve helped clients surpass the potential they saw for themselves. Those stories need to be told!

Read about the experiences I’ve highlighted from my 50+ year career as a business leader and coach. With that experience, I’m your best choice to tell your story. Book a call so you can tell me the experiences you want your clients and prospects to hear about, and have me tell your story!

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every Monday.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Join the call here

Let’s Talk!

How’s the communication in your organization? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you..all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

John Stevens’ Success Story: As Chief Pilot, Business Coach and Copywriter

At the outset, I’ll explain that while I’m quite proud of this story, I’m telling it as an example of the work I could do for you, as my business coach client. My purpose is not to blow my horn but to show you how I can blow your horn for you.

The story revolves around a group of disgruntled freight pilots considering joining a union. That arrangement wouldn’t have worked for us, and, as Chief Pilot, my job was to eliminate that threat. Here’s how we did it!

Cessna Caravan – our freighter – credit Pixabay.com

Introduction about John Stevens as Chief Pilot

In 2007, after several years as a pilot with a regional air freight company, I was asked to take the position of Chief Pilot, responsible for the performance and training of my pilot cohorts.

My employer was a contractor who provided “small aircraft feeder” support for a major international freight carrier. We performed this service with cargo versions of the Cessna Caravan (pictured above in passenger configuration.)

During the few years prior to this time, the pilots had developed an attitude of animosity toward the company. I’ll explain a little more about my assessment of the reasons for that attitude a bit later.

Along with that attitude, the pilot’s performance deteriorated.  A particular feature of the poor performance was frequent damage to aircraft due to prop strikes or wingtip impacts with objects on the ramp. Freight ramps are often cluttered with conveyors, aircraft tugs, freight containers, etc., so the potential for such strikes is high unless everyone consciously and diligently guards against them.

When an aircraft is damaged, however slightly, in such a strike, the result is departure delays or cancellations. In the airfreight business, schedule disruptions cause troublesome ripples through the system. Of course, management gets very disgruntled when such incidents are frequent.

After some discussion of who I am and what I’m about, I’ll finish this story later.

Teamwork is the key to business performance – credit Pixabay.com

What are my Achievements?

Throughout my business career, starting in 1969, I’ve had two spells in aviation, two in petroleum exploration and production, and a few years in real estate. 

Without going into all the gory details, I’ll summarize my career as follows.

My first work was un-glorious as a young engineer learning about people, business, and oil fields. After seven years culminating in the position of District Engineer, I decided to strike out on my own.

I partnered with a pilot friend (we were both inexperienced pilots) to start an aircraft charter and flight training business. My friend had some sales experience and I imagined myself as a business leader. The business failed after four years. However, the experience taught me a wealth of knowledge about myself and about business. 

As I recovered from the financial losses of the failed aviation business, I took the position of Airport Administrator of the airport where I had operated. My significant achievement in that position was privatizing the fueling and servicing of airline and transient general aviation aircraft. 

The Airport Administrator position was not very lucrative, and I soon moved back into the petroleum world with a worldwide oil and gas exploration and production company. After a series of promotions ending with a Vice President position, my employer was acquired by another company, and I was transferred to Indonesia, where our major worldwide asset was located.

As V.P. of Technical Services, I was responsible for the engineers and geologists who were designing exploration and development programs for our huge gas field. During my tenure, we reorganized these professionals into multi discipline teams, each responsible for a particular area of our concession. This improved the efficiency of the programs over the prior arrangement, where the engineers and geologists were in separate departments.

A drilling rig similar to what we operated in Indonesia – credit Pixabay.com

After a year in that position, I was transferred to our field office with the position of Operations Manager. There, the Drilling and Production Departments were the core of my responsibilities. Those two departments had many overlapping responsibilities, but were not communicating well with each other. Seeing the lack of efficiency in that breakdown, I began working with the two department managers and their subordinates to help them see ways to cooperate and communicate. 

A few months into this chapter, I woke up one morning, noticed that operations were smoothing out, and said to myself, “Wow, this is great! Bringing teams together to cooperate is where I belong in the business world!” Since that experience, my clear focus has been on teamwork and leadership.

When I returned to the U.S. in 1992, opportunities were scarce in the petroleum business, and I worked with my brother for several years in the real estate and natural resource business. I worked to acquire large tracts of land and participated in developing and marketing the land and its resources.

In 2001, I returned to the aviation world as a freight pilot as described in my opening section. The Chief Pilot position was my final act in the corporate world, ending with my retirement from the freight company in 2010. I’ll complete the story of that episode in the final section of this article.

Progression into Business Coaching and Copywriting 

Actually, the seed of this episode was sown very early in my career when it became apparent to me that every organization of two or more people wastes time and resources due to people working at cross-purposes. The larger the organization, the more prevalent this phenomenon becomes.

As I worked through my various responsibilities, I began subconsciously focusing on teamwork to combat these inefficiencies.  My focus sharpened as I had the experience in Indonesia with the Drilling and Production Departments, as described above.

A copywriter hard at work – time and location don’t matter – credit Pixabay.com

After a few months of retirement, I longed to return to the business world. Now, at the age of 67, I didn’t want to work full time, so I set myself up as a business coach, working mostly with small businesses to help them improve their efficiency.

As a business coach, my crowning achievement was working with a plumbing and heating contractor. We identified and rectified a communichttps://unitycopywriting.com/can-a-business-copywriter-help-you-build-rapport-with-clients/ation breakdown in their dispatch function and transformed the company into a masterpiece of efficiency.

In 2016, after visiting Argentina, where a friend was developing a high-quality resort, several times a year for several years, I decided to move to Cafayate, a lovely rural town in the northwest of Argentina (much more on that story here.). 

With my move to Argentina and in search of more schedule flexibility, I decided to focus on my lifelong love of expressing my ideas and observations in writing and become a copywriter supporting business coaches. I’ve been publishing the newsletter you’re reading since then and have helped many business coaches tell their stories and explain their coaching practices.

The Best Lessons I’ve Learned so Far

The lessons I find most important in the success of any business venture are.

  • First and most important, the value of teamwork. Businesses are formed to multiply the results of the individuals making up the business. When they work together, like a good team of horses, they can accomplish many times what they could working independently. If they’re working against each other, results are compromised. 
  • Good leadership is critical to good business performance. Effective leaders result in effective teams. There are too many aspects of leadership to elaborate on here. I’ve discussed the most important ones in this article from a few months ago.
As a business leader, how you communicate makes all the difference! – credit Pixabay.com
  • Customers and employees are key to the success of any business. Take good care of your employees and customers, and they’ll take good care of you. Thoughtful communication is a mainstay of supporting customers and employees.
  • When I started my career in my mid-twenties, I remember thinking, “People are a nuisance. Machines are much simpler – turn ‘em on, turn ‘em off, and most of the time, they do what we expect of them.” Throughout the rest of my career, my focus has gradually turned to people. I no longer see them as a “nuisance” – sometimes unpredictable, yes, but always fascinating!

Do I Have Failures? What are They?

Of course, I have failures – anyone who doesn’t isn’t doing anything or certainly isn’t taking on any significant challenges. Challenges and failures are the path to success.

My most spectacular failure was my first aviation venture, in which I invested $80,000. That doesn’t sound so huge now after the dollar has lost about 90% of its value.

With that money, I bought three airplanes, hired several pilots, and operated for four years before it was all gone. Ultimately, I lost my entire investment and closed the doors with debt that took me ten years to pay off.

I’ve just finished a coaching program that required a significant investment that has not yet paid off, though I believe it will.

And, of course, not every leadership experience has been as successful as the ones I described earlier. As I’ve learned while I’ve become a people person, as described under lessons, people (including me) are not always predictable. Sometimes success is a trial-and-error process.

Union Movement Thwarted

Now, to finish the story I started at the beginning of this article.

With management becoming increasingly frustrated with the delays resulting from ramp strikes, they had begun to impose increasingly severe penalties on each pilot whose airplane was damaged in such an incident.

As a result, the pilots began to operate with the mentality of “trying not to make mistakes.” This is a negative approach to any endeavor.

In addition, I learned that the pilots felt a lack of voice in their destiny as some members of management had been lax about returning phone calls and email messages.

These two factors, in my judgment, were the primary causes of the pilots considering a union. Some union officials had picked up on the symptoms of this frustration and put up a website where the pilots could go and vent their frustration. Of course, the union management was capitalizing on the pilots’ complaints to build a case for union representation of the pilots.

When I became Chief Pilot, I began a campaign to do three things. 

  • I worked with the pilots to help them think about the successful completion of each mission and focus less on avoiding mistakes.
  • When I received a message from a pilot, I did my best to return the message within an hour. I vowed never to leave a message unanswered for more than a day.
  • Every day, I actively sought out a reason to compliment a pilot on something exemplary that he or she had done.

While I was the face on the front line of these initiatives, I want to mention also that the company’s senior management were very supportive of my efforts. No man is an island, and I couldn’t have accomplished what I did without management’s support.

The union story ended when the website I mentioned was taken down six months into my tenure as Chief Pilot. The incidence of ramp strikes decreased from one or more per month to a few a year. On-time performance of the whole operation improved markedly.

This has been a long-winded account of my professional trek through life. I hope you’ve found it interesting and would like to discuss my telling your story or some part of it that you particularly want to highlight. You’re welcome to post a comment or schedule a call to discuss that or whatever’s on your mind.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an interpersonal concern. 

Are You a Coach Who Wants More Market Exposure?

Stories are great ways to engage your prospects and clients and keep them engaged. You’ve helped clients surpass the potential they saw for themselves. Those stories need to be told!

Read about the experiences I’ve highlighted from my 50+ year career as a business leader and coach. With that experience, I’m your best choice to tell your story. Book a call so you can tell me the experiences you want your clients and prospects to hear about, and have me tell your story!

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Join the call here

Let’s Talk!

Do you have a story you’d like to have told, or do you want to comment on mine? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

The Surprising Benefits of Living Abroad

In this issue, I deviate a bit from my usual theme of teamwork and leadership, and focus on lifestyle.

The world has many interesting places to live. Many of them have unique advantages over others and, of course, some disadvantages.

If you consider yourself stuck in the country where you were born, or where your parents took you as a child, you’re limiting your options. 

Here,  I’ll focus on Argentina, my chosen corner of the world. That doesn’t mean you should. Considering the pros and cons of various locations will help you make a great choice.

The world is a big place. Where do you want to live? - credit Pixabay.com
The world is a big place. Where do you want to live? – credit Pixabay.com

While our detail focus here is a little apart from business performance per se, living and working where you’re comfortable is vital to delivering your best results in your every endeavor.

First of all, if you’re happy with where you live, this may be a moot question. You may just want to stay there. As with many things, starting from a “clean slate” can be a valuable way to look at any situation. A clean slate means you start your thinking process from 0 rather than your existing condition. “If I had no established residence, where would I want to establish one?” is quite a different question than “Do I want to pull up stakes where I am and move to a different place in the world?”

As the popular song asks, “Isn’t this world a crazy place?” Most places in the world are undergoing significant changes politically and economically. Five years or ten years from now, the world hegemony, and political and economic climates are likely to be very different from what they are now. To discover where you’re most comfortable in today’s tumultuous world, examining the benefits of living abroad is worthwhile. There are thousands of interesting spots in the world.

What’s most important to you in your living environment? 

Some factors that a move may improve are:

  • People.
  • Personal liberty.
  • Cost of living.
  • Climate, including its extremes.
  • Availability and cost of health care.
  • Infrastructure, including fresh water availability.
  • History of stability – does life there change often?

Later in this article, I’ll discuss these factors more as they apply to Argentina, my chosen spot. 

Cons of Living Abroad

Moving to another country will result in big changes in lifestyle. You’ll need to get accustomed to a new language, currency, climate and customs. This applies even more strongly if you’ve been living in the same place for many years.

Doing the groundwork can reduce the impact of these changes. This means researching all the information you can find. Get connected with people who have lived for some time where you’re considering moving to, including both expats and locals, to get different perspectives. Visit your new candidate in various seasons to experience its climate. This also helps you see the effect of tourist traffic, the business environment, and other non-climate seasonal factors.

Places to Consider

I won’t attempt to provide a list of candidates for you. There are many sources you can use, far more extensive than any list I could compile, where you can learn about places people have found desirable. Here are a few:

These sites focus on different types of environments, some on cities, some on more rural areas, and some on particular continents. A Google search can reveal places having the benefits most important to you of moving to another country.

How I Found Argentina

When I discovered Cafayate, Argentina, in 2010, I wasn’t particularly looking for a new place to live. Since the early 1990s, I had met and gotten to know Doug Casey, the co-founder of La Estancia de Cafayate (LEC), the development where I now live. Doug was an active explorer most of his life, having visited nearly every country in the world. When he decided Argentina was the best place in the world to live, started LEC and began writing about it, I decided to come take a look. I visited LEC for the first time in June 2010 and bought a lot, primarily for investment purposes.

During the next several years, I visited LEC a couple of times a year, met many of my co-investors, and found the development, its inhabitants and the nearby village to be increasingly to my liking.

The Decision to Move

Despite what I said a few lines back about starting from a clean slate, deciding to make an international move, perhaps more than any other lifestyle decision, is a big step. 

To gain the benefit of living in another country, you’ll be leaving behind many familiar people, things and comforts. Considering the positive and negative aspects of a move is a crucial part of the decision-making.

Should I go, or should I stay? It can be a tough decision - credit Pixabay.com
Should I go, or should I stay? It can be a tough decision – credit Pixabay.com

Here’s a link to a spreadsheet I used to consider the pros and cons of my move to Argentina in 2016. You can use something similar to this in making any major decision in life or business. 

Deciding whether to make an international move certainly qualifies as a life-changing decision. The factors to be considered cover a wide spectrum, and a spreadsheet such as this can help clarify the decision. You could further refine it by assigning different weights to various factors. I didn’t do that since it was clear to me it would only have strengthened the case for the move.

FAQs About Moving Abroad

Here’s where I will discuss the factors I listed in the “Top Benefits of Living and Working Abroad” section. I will point out what I consider the most important aspects of these factors as they apply to Argentina. My intent is that this will give you food for thought as to what to consider for any candidate country. If Argentina is on your list, it may be even more helpful. With that said, Argentina is a huge country spanning from the tropics to the polar regions near Antarctica, with attendant variations in climate. What I have to say about climate applies to a very limited region of Salta province in the northwest.

Top Benefits of Living and Working Abroad

People

As a “relationship guy,” this is one of the most important considerations for me. The people in Cafayate are among the most agreeable I’ve met anywhere – very welcoming (since this is a big tourist destination, they’re used to visitors, and their lives depend on tourism) and very warm-hearted. In the 12 years I’ve known the place, I’ve never seen a fight of more than a few heated words or a push.

A camioneta, or pickup truck, often serves as a workers' bus - credit Pixabay.com
A camioneta, or pickup truck, often serves as a workers’ bus – credit Pixabay.com

Besides the local residents, among whom I have many friends, I live among some of the most agreeable foreigners and Argentine vacationers and retirees one could hope for. Most of my closest friends are here, including several well-known personalities from the “hard assets” world – the original source of my interest in this place.

Personal Liberty

Argentina’s government is quite authoritarian, and Buenos Aires, or BA (the capital) residents surely have a very different experience than we do here in the rural northwest, 1000 miles or so from Buenos Aires.

Here, we’re in a town of fewer than 15000 people. The federal government concentrates its mischief in and around BA (where 40% of Argentina’s population live) and hasn’t the resources, competence or interest to affect life here very much. The local government is very unintrusive. I never have the sense that anyone is “looking over my shoulder” or telling me what I must do or may not do.

Cost of Living

Inflation is rampant here, among the highest in the world (about 50% just in the last two months). People with their assets denominated in USDs or Euros find costs 30-50% of what they are in many other parts of the world. Coming from rural NH in the U.S., where costs were lower than in most cities, I still find many things to cost less than 50% of what I was used to.

This is a wine region, and cheap wine is one of the hallmarks of the area. A bottle of nice Malbec, Tannat, or Cabernet Sauvignon costs the equivalent of $3-4 in a liquor store, and most restaurants charge a very reasonable premium (less than 100%) to store prices. Even a “high-priced” premium reserve wine is usually less than $25/bottle.

Vineyards are everywhere you look in this region - credit Pixabay.com
Vineyards are everywhere you look in this region – credit Pixabay.com

Climate, Including its Extremes

Cafayate is located in a high desert valley in the Andes foothills, 5600’ (1700 m.) above sea level. The weather is generally temperate, with high/low temperatures varying between 40/13°C (105/55°F) in the summer and 27/-10°C (80/14°F) in the winter. Humidity is rarely over 70%, even on a cool morning, and can be as low as 5% in the middle of a warm day. We get only around 200mm (about 8”) of rainfall annually, nearly all coming in the late spring, summer and early fall (mid-November through March), and much of it in late-in-the-day thunderstorms. Never any snow, and rarely any precipitation from April through mid-November. We see snowy mountain peaks but never get snow here. High winds in the late afternoon are a constant factor, especially in our development which is situated in the direct outflow of a narrow valley north of us.

Availability and Cost of Health Care

Even in our small town, we have a good hospital, and costs are unbelievably low, largely due to subsidies. Even if it weren’t subsidized, medical professionals and medicine are much less expensive here than in many more developed countries. I had a hernia repair a few years ago, and the total cost, including extras and medications, was about the equivalent of 1500 USD.

My operation was done in our local hospital and probably represented about the limit of what can be done here, except for emergency first-aid. For more involved procedures, one would go to Salta city, the provincial capital (about 3 hours away) or BA.

Infrastructure, Including Fresh Water Availability

We have quite reliable services here, though probably less consistent than most North Americans or Europeans are accustomed to. Utilities are cheap, again largely due to subsidies. Gas comes in bottled form in our area, though piped natural gas is available in some communities.

Internet service is slow – mine is among the best in the area at 15 MBPS download and near 1 MBPS upload with interruptions once or twice a month. We’ve long been promised a fiber-optic feed, and some of the infrastructure is in place but hampered by bottlenecks.

Though we get little rainfall, we have a huge aquifer under the area and high-quality water for any conceivable need is abundant. Many areas, including vast vineyards, are irrigated and green even in a desert environment.

Shopping

Shopping is pretty low on our list of attributes.

Some women have told me they’ve found some nice clothes and accessories. Generally, the choices tend to be slim. A rule everyone follows, whatever you’re looking for: If you see something you like, buy it; it may not be there tomorrow.

That rule especially applies to food. The Argentine palate is generally acclimated to very bland flavors, so if you find something unique that interests you it will likely be in short supply, and it may be a long time til you see it again.

Empanadas are everywhere in Argentina – credit Pixabay.com

Salta City, 3 hours north, has more shopping options. If shopping is important enough to you, you can drive to Salta, fly to BA, and find many choices.

Another resource that’s been improving is Mercado Libre, an online platform similar to Craigslist in the U.S., where you’ll find quite a selection of almost anything if you’re willing to wait a week for it. A limitation is that you must be a resident of Argentina to buy on the site. 

So inveterate shoppers might be disappointed with this area.

History of Stability – Does Life There Change Often?

More to the point, are people resilient to upheavals?

This last item on the list may turn out to be one of the most important in Argentina’s favor. Argentina is currently undergoing major changes as fast as any country in the world. The good news is that these people have seen it all before, roughly once every generation. In the rural pueblo of Cafayate I’ve been familiar with since 2010, and where I’ve lived since 2016, people who’ve known it for generations (including expats as well as locals) report that through economic ups and downs, political upheaval, etc., life goes on pretty much on an even keel here.

Suppose major upheaval comes to the U.S. or another country that’s been relatively stable for a generation or more. In that case, that will probably be a much more significant upset to the comfort of life than it will be here where people just expect it.

Is it worth your while to explore the benefits of living and working abroad? That depends on you at this moment. Ten years ago, the possibility seemed remote to me if I even thought about it as an option.  It’s resulted in a lifestyle that suits me to a tee.

While I’m not an expert on many destinations, I consider myself fortunate to have found a place that suits me very well. Every day, I thank Doug Casey for leading me here. I’m not enough of an explorer to have found it without his guidance.

The topic of living in a new country fascinates me. If this conversation catches your interest, I’d love to help you in any way I can with your exploration of the benefits of living abroad. If you’d like to learn more, go to www.unitycopywriting.com/lets-talk and schedule a time that’s convenient for you to talk about it.

Enjoy life wherever you are!

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule. 

Let’s Talk!

Does the idea of moving to another country excite you? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?

Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

Why You Should Treat Your Customers with Respect

Many people, including many business leaders and even salespeople, seem to find respect unnecessary or unimportant. Some may even consider it unmanly to be overly concerned with respect.

When your prospects and customers know, like and trust you, they’re likely to buy from you. Respect is the quickest route I know to being known, liked and trusted.

Read on for more distinctions on respect and how to show respect for others.

Listening is an important part of respect
Listening is an important part of respect – credit Austin Distel on Unsplash.com

What is Respect?

Respect is considering others’ viewpoints, desires, and feelings. We show respect for others by listening actively to them, learning what’s important to them, and responding to them in a way that acknowledges their presence and importance.

Human beings have a few things they want from relationships and interactions. One of the primary desires of every human being I’ve ever known is to be heard. That’s why people get annoyed when others interrupt. When someone interrupts a speaker, it usually indicates they aren’t listening. Not listening shows disrespect. 

It’s also why people get frustrated with automatic answering system menus. These phenomena tell a person that the other person or company isn’t listening to them, making them feel disrespected.

Treating your customers, and everyone you come in contact with, with respect will make your way through business and life much easier and pleasanter. I highly recommend it.

Reasons Why You Should Treat Your Customers with Respect

Whatever your business is, whatever product or service you sell, your customers and prospective customers are your lifeblood. If people aren’t buying what you sell, you don’t have a business.

A maxim in sales is that people buy from those they know, like and trust. Treating your customers and prospects with respect is the simplest and most effective avenue to have them know, like and trust you.

Treat your customers and everyone you encounter with respect
Treat your customers and everyone you encounter with respect – it’ll serve you well – credit Pixabay /com

Customer Communication Tips

Here are some general and specific tips that can help you determine if you’re doing all you can to respect others, and treat your customers and others with respect. 

These are two different skills. Genuinely respecting others is something you do inside yourself. Treating your customers and others with respect is a matter of social and communication skills. 

It’s possible to have the internal feeling of respect for someone and not express it well. However, genuinely communicating respect requires the inner feeling of respect. The social skills and the right words without the internal sense of respect will come across as insincere.

A good general guide is the “platinum rule” (an enhancement of the golden rule) – “Do unto others as they would like to have done unto them.”

The Challenge of Treating Customers with Respect

Here are the specific tips to treat your customers and everyone with respect:

  • Listen carefully and completely to the other person, not to formulate your response but to understand their message fully.
  • Make it clear that you’re more interested in their well-being than in their money. Of course, you want to be justly compensated…and you will be when you provide the value your customers came to you for.
  • When you say something about someone, say it to them, not to others. If you think you shouldn’t say it to them, then don’t say it at all!
Gossiping never improves anything - avoid it!
Gossiping never improves anything – avoid it! – credit  Vitolda Klein on Unsplash.com
  • If you must criticize, do it constructively. Explain what would have been better. Negative criticism (just tearing down one’s acts or words) can only damage the relationship and won’t improve results.
  • Treat people as if they deserve respect. Find value in their opinions, even if they differ from yours.
  • Be polite and courteous. Remember that what’s polite and courteous in one part of the world may be seen negatively in another. Learn the customs where you live and work.

Occasionally you’ll probably encounter people who prove they genuinely do not deserve respect. You probably don’t want them as customers, and you certainly want as little to do with them as possible. Even then, quietly walking away is usually better for everyone, including yourself, than arguing with them or voicing your disrespect. Here’s a good article on respect and communication from a coaching company who’s been studying and teaching these skills for nearly 40 years.

The Importance of Treating Customers with Respect

Treating your customers with respect is a vital part of getting them to know, like, and trust you. Those who know, like and trust you are many times more likely to buy from you than someone who sees you come at them with your selling guns blazing when you haven’t built that mutual respect.

While it’s important to treat your customers with respect, treating everyone you encounter in life – your employees, your boss, your family, your friends, your service providers – with respect will open doors for you every day and everywhere.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule. 

Let’s Talk!

How do you respond to customer complaints? Do you likie my suggestions? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?

Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

The Most Common Leadership Mistakes to Avoid

Leadership is about bringing people together in teams to effectively multiply individual efforts by more than the number of team members. 1+1+1+1=6. In the most effective teams, it even can equal 16, or 160. In leaders’ efforts to help their teams produce more, they must avoid some common leadership mistakes. Read on to learn more about those common leadership mistakes and how to avoid them.
To perform well, your team should be comfortable – credit Austin Distel on Unsplash.com

Introduction to Leadership

Leadership is what causes teams to accomplish more than the sum of what the team members could accomplish independently. A very effective team with an inspiring leader can sometimes multiply results many times over what the individual members could produce working alone.

Leaders who enable their teams to these levels of performance employ skills and techniques carefully designed to encourage and inspire each of their team members to deliver the best work they’re capable of and support each other and the organization in a productive enterprise.

To accomplish this harmonious atmosphere, effective leaders must avoid a few pitfalls.

Why Do You Need to Know These Mistakes?

Depending on your natural tendencies, you may be prone to make some of these mistakes. We’ll discuss how you can avoid them.

One of the most common mistakes is destructive criticism. Negative criticism is simply telling people what they did wrong. Some leadership experts have suggested that negative criticism, especially when penalties accompany it, has about the same effect on a person as taking a hammer to a malfunctioning machine. Neither one is likely to improve performance.

To avoid falling into that trap myself, I’ll look at each of these mistakes in the light of how to avoid the error by employing a more effective strategy.

Here are Some of the Common Leadership Mistakes

  1. Not Establishing Relationships With People

One of a human being’s strongest desires is to be recognized. The best way to help people feel recognized is to know them. Know their families, Know what’s important to them, in their private lives as well as their professional lives. Conjure up ways to support them in their important endeavors, at work and away from work. 

One of the simplest ways to demonstrate that you honor a person as an individual is to address them often by name and smile when you do it.

Avoid this common leadership mistake by investing time in knowing, really knowing, each team member.

  1. Being Unavailable and Inaccessible

There’s a fine line between under-managing and over-managing. 

You must leave team members to accomplish their assigned tasks their way, focusing on results rather than methods. Nonetheless, hand-off doesn’t mean being absent or difficult to reach. Your team members may well have questions about details of their assignments. They may even ask about sources of resources inside or outside the company.

Be open to conversations – credit LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash.com

Being available for discussions about task-related or even personal issues is part of your job as a leader. It’s all part of listening effectively, and effective listening will improve every endeavor you undertake in life.

Avoid this common leadership mistake by trusting team members to do their work while at the same time being readily available to discuss it,

  1. Not Encouraging Talent Development

Productive people like to improve themselves. Few people are happy in a “rut.” One of the earliest personal development coaches, Earl Nightingale, pointed out that a rut is just a “grave with the ends kicked out.”

So keep in mind that, however well a person is performing where they are, and especially if they show signs of interest in more or different responsibilities, support people in their efforts to grow. They’ll serve you, themselves and their future endeavors better 

Avoid this common leadership mistake by offering opportunities for education and training. Assuming you’ve taken the earlier suggestion about being accessible, your best talents will come to you asking for these opportunities.

  1. Failing to Offer Performance Feedback

People always like to know how they measure up. They can do this themselves to some degree by setting their personal goals, perhaps in conference with you, and tracking their performance toward those goals. Nonetheless, your feedback about their progress and quality of performance in your eyes and those of the organization is a great motivator. 

Even if some of their performance is less than you’d like, explaining that to them and  offering support for their improvement is a great way to let them know they’re important and recognized, as we discussed in point #1. 

Avoid this common mistake leaders make by taking time to let people know where they stand.

  1. Not Recognizing and Responding to Emotions

People have one of two kinds of motivation. One is to avoid something they view as negative, uncomfortable or dangerous. The other is to seek something they view as positive, comforting, and enjoyable.

Part of your responsibility as a leader is to recognize these drivers, help your team members face and overcome their fears, and support them in the positive aspects of their work and lives.

The Good Funeral Guide on Unsplash.com

If they’re facing a loss, such as a death of a loved one, a divorce, or other trauma in their lives, your genuine demonstration of caring means a lot to them. Whatever active help you can offer, such as time off to deal with their issue, will be greatly appreciated. If they’ve suffered a major disappointment in their work, you can support them in handling that.  Negatives and fear of them are more potent drivers of emotions and behavior than enjoyment of positive events and their anticipation.

Nonetheless, if they’re celebrating a positive event, such as a significant work success, or a new child or marriage, your sharing of their joy in that event tells them they’re important to you.

Avoid this common leadership mistake by taking and demonstrating a genuine interest in your team members’ emotional well-being. Again, this relates to point #1. Support in times of disappointment is especially important.

  1. Resisting Change

Business is constantly evolving. In today’s fast-paced world, a thriving enterprise can quickly become a dinosaur if it doesn’t change with the times, markets, technology, regulation and other environmental effects. Think of how many once-vibrant businesses have gone the way of buggy whip manufacturers.

Avoid this common leadership mistake by staying abreast of developments and adapting to the changes in your industry. Taking action to lead change is even better when you can identify and bet on a new direction before your competition sees it coming.

  1. Being Risk-Averse, and Supporting Risk-Averse Thinking

Most people, unless they’ve trained themselves to recognize the value in taking calculated risks and overcome the fear they naturally feel, are risk-averse. See point #5 above.

With that said, those who fail more succeed more. Stories supporting this concept abound. Famously, Thomas Edison found thousands of ways not to make an electric current produce light before he hit on the right answer. Wayne Gretsky, one of professional hockey’s all-time greats, missed more shots than most players, yet he was one of the highest-scoring players in hockey. Gretsky said, “Every shot you don’t take is a guaranteed miss.”

As a leader, you must encourage others to take risks, not foolish ones, but calculated ones. Make it clear to your team that a mistake or misjudgment at a new and innovative method is a learning opportunity. The only inexcusable mistake is a repeated one or one that was demonstrably a dangerous bet of the whole “farm” with odds heavily against it.

Avoid this common mistake leaders make by supporting people to take calculated risks and letting them know they haven’t failed when they make a mistake. Timid and cautious people especially need your support in this.

You’re sure to miss if you don’t shoot – credit Markus Spiske on Unsplash.com
  1. Misunderstanding Motivation

Productive people with active minds are driven more by “intrinsic motivators” like interesting challenges, support from their peers and leaders, and a feeling of belonging than by “extrinsic motivators” like pay increases, nice offices, and health insurance. The extrinsic factors may serve well to attract new talent, but those on the team will respond more positively to the intrinsic motivators and perform more enthusiastically.

Avoid this common leadership mistake by thoughtfully heeding all of the suggestions we’ve discussed. Nothing wrong with paying people well, but understand that compensation alone is not the strongest motivator.

  1. Managing Activities Instead of Leading People

People want to be treated as individual personalities rather than driven like a machine. 

Leadership includes a need for assigning tasks, managing budgets and resources, etc. While you’re managing those things, remember that people need to be led, not managed.

To avoid this common mistake leaders make, I again refer you to all the foregoing suggestions. 

  1. Micro-Managing

This mistake may be the granddaddy of common leadership mistakes.

People must feel that you trust them to do their work. Be sure they understand the desired result and then get out of the way. Be available for questions or discussion of the task, but be sure they feel entrusted with it.

Avoid this common leadership mistake by leaving people alone to do their work, not “standing over their shoulder” and not doing their work for them, but being available to offer support and assistance when they need it.

As I’ve pointed out in several of these points, many are interrelated. If you miss the mark in any of these areas, you’re probably missing others. If you heed those suggestions, you’re leading effectively.

A simple general reminder for leadership is:

“We manage things. We lead people.” When we try to manage people, we’re ”pushing a rope.” – not very effective!

Other resources on similar topics are here and here.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule. 

Let’s Talk!

How do you respond to customer complaints? Do you likie my suggestions? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?

Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

How to Respond Effectively to Customer Complaints

Every business has customers, and customers sometimes complain. Whether their complaints are legitimate or their expectations are unrealistic, responding effectively to them is part of doing good business and building your customer base.

Continue reading for tips on how to respond to customer complaints.

Here’s the first clue for how to respond to customer complaints – SMILE! – credit Charanjeet Dhiman on Unsplash.com

What are Customer Complaints?

Some of the customers who buy whatever you sell will sooner or later find something to complain about.

When you make a mistake, or your customer thinks you did, how you respond to their complaint is a critical factor in their view of you as a supplier of what you offer.

Do it right, and you gain a loyal customer and, in many cases, a friend. Do it wrong, and you not only lose a customer; you also lose potential business from the people to whom your disgruntled customer relates their unpleasant experience.

Doing Business the Customer-Friendly Way

Whatever product or service you sell, someone somewhere buys it from you. From time to time, one of those “someones” will complain about what they bought, how they were treated, or something else.

Customers come in all sizes, shapes, and temperaments.

Sometimes you’ll believe their complaint is legitimate. Sometimes you’ll see that the customer expected something you didn’t offer or promise. Perhaps sometimes you’ll find that the customer is just being unreasonable because that’s their nature.

Here are some suggestions for how to respond to customer complaints, whatever your opinion is of their claim.

  1. LISTEN to their complaint. Every person in the world wants more than most things to be heard. Often that’s all they want. So hear them out, without interrupting. If they have questions, answer honestly and unemotionally, not defensively.
  1. APOLOGIZE for their inconvenience or dissatisfaction, even if their expectation wasn’t realistic. This doesn’t imply that you agree with them; you’re just getting on “their side of the table,” which is where you want to be whenever you can.
  1. During this exchange, SMILE, whether you feel like it or not. Whether you’re face to face with the customer, on the phone, or even answering an email, your response will be disarming if you smile while delivering it. This takes practice, especially when facing an irate customer.
  1. When they’ve said what they have to say, ASK them, “What can we do to make this situation, service or product satisfactory for you?”
  1. When they’ve answered that question, DO what you reasonably can to meet their new expectations. If their request is too expensive or time-consuming, explain what you can do to correct the situation for them. Usually, you and the customer can come to some agreement that will satisfy them.
  1. In the rare case where the customer remains unsatisfied with the result of all that, THANK them for their business and write them off as unsuitable to be a continuing customer. Some people, very few I find, are just not worth the trouble! 

As a side note, I highly recommend that, when you become the customer, you avoid being one of those people mentioned in point #6!.

Here are Some Ways Not to Respond to Customer Complaints

In your conversation with a dissatisfied customer, it’s essential to avoid an adversarial exchange whenever possible. This can be difficult when the customer is not only dissatisfied but angry as well. You must avoid getting angry in response. Your anger will never add anything useful to the exchange, and it’ll keep you from thinking clearly, which is essential.

Some responses you should avoid when answering customer complaints are:  

  • Defending your company’s position or product. If you defend your position, it sets up a back-and-forth argument that’s likely to result only in further dissatisfaction for both you and the customer. Asking what will satisfy them is a much better approach.
  • Agreeing immediately to do exactly what the customer is asking, without considering the cost. If you find later that you really can’t afford to take the action the customer is asking for, you’ll now have a doubly unhappy customer – definitely not the result you’re after.

When you respond to customer complaints in the ways I’ve suggested, you can turn a mistake into a gain. When you respond in a positive manner to a complaint, (most of) your customers will respect you for it and recognize that you’re the kind of person or company they want to buy from again.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule. 

Let’s Talk!

How do you respond to customer complaints? Do you likie my suggestions? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?

Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

Strategies for Building Relationship to Succeed in Business

Anyone who’s followed my musings for very long knows that I consider relationships to be central to a successful, balanced life.

The same is true for business.

Read on to learn why relationships are important in life and business and how to build effective business and personal relationships.

Businessman and businesswoman Building Relationships for Business
Positive relationships are vital in business – credit krakenimages on Unsplash.com

Why Business Relationships Matter

You’ve probably heard the acronym KLT – meaning that people buy from those they:

  • Know,
  • Like,

and

  • Trust.

To cause your prospects to know, like and trust you, you must build relationships with them in your business.

So you say this doesn’t apply to you since you’re not in the sales arm of your business? I beg to differ with that sentiment. You are in the sales business no matter where in your organization you work. You’re always selling yourself. To succeed in the business world, someone needs to know, like and trust you. Things will always work better and flow easier when your employees, colleagues, boss, contractors, and suppliers are on your side. That means the relationships you build in business will forever serve you well and make you more effective at whatever you do.

Strategies to Build Business Relationships

People who live their lives authentically won’t find this difficult.

Are you someone who always honors your word? If so, you do what you say you’ll do unless life gets in the way. When life gets in the way, you explain that you’ve been thrown off track. You don’t explain why- that sounds like an excuse, and nobody likes excuses. Just say you can’t be there as promised, and make a new commitment if appropriate. In any case, offer to do anything you can to compensate for your non-performance.

Never try to portray yourself as someone other than who you genuinely are.

That’s the central trait of authenticity – to communicate honestly in all things. 

If you are the person described in these paragraphs, you’re well on your way to building effective relationships in business.

Some other essential habits that will make you a business relationship builder are:

  • Listen – not to plan a reply, but to absorb fully what you’re hearing 
  • Take, and genuinely demonstrate, an interest in the people you associate with. Learn as much as you can about their lives, interests, families, etc. 
  • Learn to know and remember names – a person’s name is the sweetest sound in the world to them. Their spouse’s and children’s names are the second sweetest sounds.
  • Communicate! Clear and correct speaking and writing are vital skills. A voice that’s pleasant to listen to is also a huge asset. Some people have this by nature; others can benefit from working with a voice coach. Whether you work to improve your voice, the other skills listed above are crucial.

Here’s an Example of the Difference Business Relationships Can Make

In the mid-2000s, a regional air freight company in New England was experiencing a severe morale problem. The 60 or so pilots working for the company were so unhappy that a union organizing effort was gaining ground. 

The union movement was in the form of a website that entertained complaints from the pilots. The organizers were mining these complaints to build a case for unionization. In July 2007 the site was very active. 

At that time, the company replaced the chief pilot. Together with his manager, the new man focused on clear communication with the pilots. He made sure no message from one of the pilots went unanswered for more than a few hours. He made a point of finding some aspect of performance to compliment one or more pilots on several times each week.

By Christmas 2007, activity on the website had died down to where it was closed.

That’s the difference building effective business relationships can make. Click here and here if you’d like to read more about this transformation. I happen to know this story very well since, before July 2007,  I was the assistant chief pilot still flying a regular schedule. I became the new chief pilot in July 2007.

I wish you great success in building effective business relationships and improving your results. Follow similar advice to improve your personal relationships.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule. 

Let’s Talk!

Do you find relationships to be as important as I do? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’shttps://smartmoneynetwork.net/what-are-the-most-important-questions-to-ask-your-business-coach-before-hiring-them/. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?

Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

The Importance of Teamwork in a Business Organization

Teamwork is the whole point of forming business organizations. Businesses bring together people with different skills and traits. 

People working alone are limited in what they can get done. Putting them to work together multiplies their productivity exponentially

Read on to learn how we can promote teamwork and what can hamper it.

Simple teamwork in a business
A rowing team is a simple example of teamwork in action – credit Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash.com

What is Teamwork?

Teamwork happens when several individuals cooperate to do something. Working together, they play off each others’ skills and abilities and share ideas. The team

produces several times the sum of what the members could create individually. Two or more people discussing a challenge will discover solutions neither one would have thought of alone. 

Why Teamwork Matters

 

Teamwork matters because individuals’ abilities limit what they can do or discover alone. For example, consider the typical approaches of:

  • Engineers.
  • Artists.
  • Accountants.
  • Equipment operators.
  • Advertisers.
  • Salespeople.

Professionals in these and many other disciplines have different views of a project or challenge. Each approach has its merits. For most complex projects, many cooperating disciplines have a place in the task’s successful outcome.

To summarize the concept, we could say that 1+1+1+1+1+1=10, or 20.

It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of teamwork in business.

Team Building in the Workplace

 

Building a functional team requires leadership. The leadership skills necessary to cause teamwork to happen are several.

Each team member must feel part of something important, something more significant than the individual. The competent leader helps each member see their part in the team’s greater results.

Each team member must feel supported. When someone has a question, remember that there are no stupid questions. There are stupid answers, such as ridiculing the questioner or providing an answer that the leader is uncertain of. If the leader is not certain of the answer, the correct response is, “I’ll find out and let you know.” 

The leader must take care to provide the team with adequate resources to accomplish their task. If they’re forced to operate with inadequate budgets and tools, they will be disgruntled and inefficient. Productivity can be defined as the quotient of results per dollar spent. Reducing the denominator of that fraction is usually less effective than Increasing the numerator.

We could even say each member must feel loved! The leader should show an interest in each person, their families, and what’s important to them as individuals.

The leader and the team members must form a cohesive partnership. The importance of a team in business is huge. Teamwork makes the venture work. Its absence breaks it down.

The Importance of Teamwork in Business

Let me get a bit personal here. I joined the business world over 50 years ago. I soon observed that, in every organization with two or more people, time, effort and resources are wasted by people working at cross purposes. It became part of my mission to promote teamwork wherever I had influence.

Probably this mission was subconscious at first. It gained new meaning for me when, in 1991, I took a position as Operations Manager for a large gas and oil exploration and production company. The two largest departments under my leadership were Drilling and Production. These two departments had many roles in the operation where their communication and support of each other were important. 

Under the leadership of two culturally diverse managers, the two departments were not cooperating well at all. I pointed out to each of them how important their communication and mutual support were and helped them see ways to work together. We soon began to see increased production, lower costs, improved safety, and happier people.

Six months or so into this, when their cooperation, and our results, began to improve, I suddenly realized my personal dedication to teamwork. I formally declared to myself that this was my central purpose.

There’s more detail on this story here.

The importance of teamwork among people in business can be likened to the importance of teamwork among horses pulling a heavy load. If the horses all pull in unison in the desired direction, they can pull far more than their own weight. However, if one is hanging back, another is nipping at its neighbor’s neck, and other disruptions to teamwork are occurring, they can’t pull much.

Perhaps there will always be some discord among individuals, especially in larger companies. It can be minimized by competent leadership.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule. 

Let’s Talk!

How’s the teamwork in your organization? Do the teams have the tools they need? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or on the phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’shttps://smartmoneynetwork.net/what-are-the-most-important-questions-to-ask-your-business-coach-before-hiring-them/. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?

Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

What is the Importance of Knowing and Understanding Yourself?

What’s the importance of knowing and understanding yourself? This is a profound question! 

The short answer is:

You must understand yourself at a deep level to relate authentically to others.                                                                 

Read on for more distinctions in this concept.

Most Important Reasons for Self-Knowledge

You simply must know yourself to relate and work effectively with others and with yourself. This is true for anyone, even if you work alone in a cave!  It’s doubly or triply important for leaders, parents, spouses, and others responsible for other people. The importance of knowing yourself can hardly be overstated.

The Benefits of Self-Knowledge

The benefits of self-knowledge are:

  • Being confident of what you can expect of yourself.
  • Relating confidently and authentically with all around you. This includes yourself, your peers, those you love, those you lead, those you serve, and those who serve you.
  • Being confident and authentic in assigning work to others.
  • Genuinely supporting all around you.

 

 

What Does Knowing Yourself Mean?

The concepts here are my own. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan, in their new book The Gap and the Gain, have strengthened them for me immeasurably. They’ve defined the following concepts much better than I could have.

This book explains how to live a happy and contented life while making huge strides forward. It also explains in explicit depth why most people are unhappy, even those who are outwardly successful. They may have high incomes, flush bank accounts and all the material things they could want. They’re still unhappy.

Those who are happy are pleased with the progress they’ve made, even if they didn’t achieve all the goals they set for themselves. They confidently and joyously move ahead to continue their progress.

Three “selves” are important to know and understand.

You’re the person you are today. You have certain abilities, assets, and knowledge. Most importantly, you have a mindset. The following will attempt to help you understand what shapes that mindset.

You were someone else in the past. Pick the time – last week, last year, ten years ago. Your past has meaning – the meaning you give it. You can change your past by making it mean something different. You don’t remember events accurately; you only remember your stories about them, how they made you feel. You can change your stories about them, give them a different meaning. In this way, you can eliminate painful scars from those events. 

Your past – the meaning you give it – largely shapes your present. When you change your story, you change your present self.

You will be a different “future self.” You define that as well. Most sane people have “ideals” – concepts they strive for. These ideals are never actually attained. They’re like the horizon. You can move toward the horizon, but it’s always far away. Goals are different – they are the specific milestones we make measurable progress toward. A goal could be a certain amount of income or money in the bank, a family vacation, a new or improved relationship, a particular car, a certain number of books published, etc. 

A purpose for your life helps you set goals and endure hardships along the way. Viktor Frankl survived three years in a Nazi death camp, with a vision of what he felt compelled to do afterward. All around him, his prison mates were giving up hope and dying. Frankl survived the terrible prison conditions through his purpose. He envisioned delivering a life-altering philosophical message to the world. He delivered that message immediately upon his release. Surely, his observation and endurance of the conditions strengthened his message. Ben Hardy discusses Frankl’s application of this principle to his own life in this 13-minute video.

Humans tend to think they are “finished products.” In truth, we are all “works in progress.” You are never who you were, and you’ll never again be who you are today. All of this is in your control, depending on how you shape your past and your future. The facts about any event are not what defines you – it’s your story about them. And of course, future events can be whatever you imagine.

Now, we come back to the “gap and gain” concept. If you measure and celebrate the progress you’ve made from the past, you’re in the gain – you can be happy there. If you try to measure your progress toward an ideal, fretting over what you don’t have, you’re in the gap – you’ll never be happy there. Fortunately, by understanding this concept, you can transform your life. Changing from gap-thinking to gain-thinking will do that.

The Importance and Benefits of Knowing Yourself

The foregoing establishes a framework for understanding yourself in a new way. With that understanding, and the changes you can make, you can be:

  • A better spouse.
  • A better parent.
  • A better friend.
  • A better son or daughter.
  • A better leader.
  • A better worker and server to others.
  • A pleasanter person to be around.

Gain-thinkers live longer (there’s documented evidence of this!) and enjoy life more.

Do these benefits make it worthwhile to know and understand yourself? I think few would argue in the negative.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm is my friend, mentor and sales coach. He hosts a 30-minute motivational call every business day – December’s calls will focus on Napoleon Hill’s success principles.  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your time. 

Let’s Talk!

How’s the teamwork in your organization? Do the teams have the tools they need? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or on the phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’shttps://smartmoneynetwork.net/what-are-the-most-important-questions-to-ask-your-business-coach-before-hiring-them/. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Get too Much Email?

Today’s issue is the first message on my new monthly schedule. If you’re among my monthly subscribers, you’ll see no change in how you receive The Unity Community. 

Every subscriber will be on that schedule from now on. You’ll receive it on the first Monday or Tuesday of each month.

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me ([email protected]) and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you go to a networking event. You’re amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients’ pain.)

  • LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?

Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

What is Delegating a Task and How to do it Effectively?

What is Delegating a Task?

Delegating a task is much than instructing someone to do something. In delegating a task, you aim to inspire the best performance your team members have in them.

To attract that best performance, you must be an encourager, a teacher, and a coach. Your team members must know they have your support and that you trust them to do their best work.

Why is it Important?

Effective delegation is important because, through your leadership, you can produce multiples of what you can with your own direct effort. Delegation is one of the most effective tools you have to do this.

Why Managers Fail to Delegate

First, let’s make a clear distinction. Leaders are much more than managers. Managers concern themselves with things – budgets, tasks, tools, etc. Leaders must manage some of those things, but their primary concern is with people. People respond very poorly when they’re treated like things.

From that distinction, it should be clear that the the two roles need very different skills. Managers manipulate things and command certain actions, as with a computer. Leaders give their teams an example to follow in the way they approach and address a task. They may or may not have the skills they expect of their team.

Managers fail to delegate because:

  • They don’t trust people to do the right thing.
  • They don’t trust their capability to communicate what they want done.
  • They operate with the belief that “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” A very short-sighted attitude!

We must understand that the leader’s task is different from the work they expect from their team members. Often, the best leaders know little or nothing about the “nuts and bolts” of their team’s work. They know very well the result they want but hire experts in the detail work that achieves that result, and they trust them to do it.

Think about the most effective leaders of great conglomerate corporations. Do you think they know how to produce the products and services the company sells? Of course not! Yet, they lead teams of thousands to great success.

They do this in part by delegating areas of responsibility to department heads, who delegate details of the department’s responsibilities to team leaders, who delegate tasks to their team members. Depending on the mission’s complexity, there may be more layers than this, but you can see the pattern.

How to Delegate Tasks Effectively

To delegate tasks effectively, a leader must:

  • Be sure the assignment is clearly understood by the person responsible for it. Get them to feed back what they understand about their responsibility.
  • Encourage and answer any questions about what they’re to do.
  • Provide the resources they need to achieve the desired result.
  • Establish a schedule for monitoring progress – depending on the task’s complexity and length or term, it could be hourly, daily, weekly, or even longer intervals.
  • Make clear your readiness to discuss or answer questions about the task
  • Walk away! This may be the most important step and, for some, the most difficult. “Looking over people’s shoulders” is the surest way to tell them you don’t trust them. People who are not trusted quickly learn not to trust themselves, and they do inferior work. Or, if they recognize what’s happening and have the necessary self-confidence, they leave.

Happy leadership!

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day. (For a short time, he switched to doing the call weekly, and it seems nobody liked it.)  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or on a recording. 

Let’s Talk!

What’s your leadership style? Do you have a clear sense of how your team members view their relationships with you? Would you like to share your experience(s) with leadership? I’d love to hear from you. Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat on the phone.

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What would make it even more valuable for you? 

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Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

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