There is one question that has effectively carried through the years in any retail environment. That same question, however, is equally powerful in any business context. The question? “How can I help you?”. Even for a B2B rather than B2C, this still works.
1. Client/customer. You will be told their challenges and what they think is needed. The focus is on their issue not on what you have to offer.
2. Your Boss. There is a lovely saying “What interests my boss, fascinates me”. If you ask the question “How can I help you?”, you will identify their priorities and therefore yours, show your support and, very often, they will reciprocate.
3. Your employees/team. Knowing what is important to your team members, building rapport and alignment are essential components of a high-performing team. If you want to be seen and treated as their Leader, show them you are interested in their career and help them progress. See my longer paper on Leadership Effectiveness in Ezine Articles or from my website.
4. Partners. These may be suppliers, regulatory bodies even competitors. More knowledge and closer relationships equal business opportunities.
My video of the tips.
The Week. I spent the first part of the week at the ICC in Birmingham attending the HR Directors Summit. I am an accredited Associate of The Forton Group, a leadership development, coaching and training consultancy, certified by the International Coaching Federation. The event was extremely well attended with HR Directors from leading-edge global organisations such as Nokia, MacDonalds, Dyson, Twinings etc. Imagine my delight in finding that each attendee had a copy of the December issue of HR Director, featuring my article, “The Gender Agenda” in their giveaway bag! I then rounded the week off by getting appointed as the Non-Executive Director of Central Essex Community Services. These highlights somewhat lifted my despondency at the tax bill I have received! I also had to reschedule the next Leadership Forum which will now be held in Chelmsford on the 1st March rather than the 8th Feb, due to funeral arrangements. http://lfcm.eventbrite.com. Tuesday 1st Feb is Highflyingdivas in Colchester. http://hfdfeb.eventbrite.com
Reading. As it is the end of the month, I am again referring you to the books recommended during this month on the Communications page of my website at http://ccconsulting.org.uk/
Lighter Reflections. My son Guy is not fond of team sports. He likes swimming and more recently scuba-diving but the thought of team games brings a grimace to his face. His school has been persistent in ensuring his involvement and awarded him the role of Goalkeeper in the school hockey team. We were duly roped in to watch and cheer. Initially it was difficult to see which one of the highly padded little darlings was ours. Giant boots, shin pads, foam down their shorts, body coverings, hand-padding and American foot-ball type helmets ensured that they wouldn’t get hurt by the ball but equally they weren’t able to run away or indeed run anywhere. Guy seems to think that kicking the ball should suffice and held his hockey stick in one hand as an accessory rather than a useful tool. We stood on the sides and cheered. Our greatest ambition for our son being that he didn’t let too many goals in. Our neighbours were convinced that his name was “Wake-up Guy” as we muttered this every time the players headed towards his goal. This was necessary as I caught him staring at the clouds in the sky rather than focusing on the sounds of wood against wood as the hockey sticks did battle. One small lightening bolt from the visiting team could be seen shooting past defenders whenever he was on pitch. James said he wanted to stick his foot out as the little demon hurtled past us. Later, as their star slipped in the mud, I heard James shouting out “oh, what a shame!”. We felt we could join the teams for tea as our team only lost 4 goals to three. We had been prepared to sneak past the Headmaster and scuttle to the car if necessary. Another match next week – I don’t know if my nerves can take the strain.