Recently I was driving to work and my mobile phone rang. The call was from a salesperson who works for the Atlanta Braves Baseball Team and he was trying to get me to buy tickets for employees or customers. “Thanks, but I am not interested”, I said, ready to hang up. He replied, “Oh, then is there someone else I should be talking to instead of you? I was transferred here?”. I replied, “No, I am the local Site Leader. We recently surveyed our employees and there was not a lot of interest in Braves Tickets”. “Really? I am surprised to hear that. It reallyRead More →

I believe that top notch communication skills are THE most important set of skills that any leader, at any level needs to possess and consistently hone. This includes verbal, written and virtual communication, across multiple mediums. I recently pulled together 10 of the better leadership communication articles from the first half of 2016. Please add any that I may have missed to the comments section. I hope that you find them helpful and thought provoking. Communication is the glue by Tim McMahon, A Lean Journey blog 5 tips for improving leadership communication by Brent Gleeson, Forbes.com Communication, the most important key to leadership success byRead More →

There is an epidemic in Corporate America that must be stopped! What is it? The consistent use or misuse of the Reply All function in email. As a result, I believe it should be disabled in ALL email programs. Or, perhaps we need to create a new security function called the Reply All police to crack down on the abusers. When I think of my own email volume daily, I would estimate that a minimum of 20 messages per day are from employees using the reply-all function to respond to a conversation, instead of limiting his or her response to the critical parties. It all startsRead More →

I recently attend the Consero Customer Experience Forum in Miami, FL and had a chance to speak with Peter Leppik, the president and CEO of Vocalabs, a company that applies the scientific principles of data collection and analysis to the problem of improving customer service. Vocalabs shared a white paper which recaps its view of the customer service survey maturity model, and I have highlighted some of the key concepts in today’s blog post. I like the maturity concept, because before you can improve the end to end customer experience, you need to understand the current state. In order to understand the current state youRead More →

Before I moved to Georgia, I only flew into the Atlanta airport every once in a while. When I did, I found it a bit scary and overwhelming as this airport is one of the busiest and largest in the entire world. There are people and activities everywhere, and you need to ride the internal train to get from gate to gate. I felt like a tiny spec traveling in the spacious atmosphere of the airport. Now that I live in Georgia, I fly from the Atlanta airport all the time. What used to be an overwhelming experience has now become very comfortable and simplyRead More →

Skills to manage customer escalations need to be part of any successful manager’s toolkit. Google’s Dictionary defines escalation as “an increase in the intensity or seriousness of something; an intensification”.  When customer expectations are not met or they feel that their views have not been heard, it is human nature to want to “intensify” and escalate to the next level. There is a general belief among many customers, that if they escalate to a senior leader, then action will happen faster. However, this is not always the case. Your first priority as a leader is to prevent un-needed escalations from occurring. If the experts closestRead More →

As soon as the session ended, I (one of many proud introverts) politely said good night and made a dash to the elevators to get back to my hotel room. I entered my room, closed and locked my door, sat down and let out a big sigh. Alone at last! What session am I referring to? Just about any work related training session, business conference or planning offsite when I am surrounded by people all day, and my schedule is planned by others. Why do I do this? Because I am an introvert at heart! Introverts have gotten a bad rap over the years. TheyRead More →

As I called out in a blog post I wrote in 2012, “5 Best Practices for Building Trust With Employees”, there is no silver bullet or quick fix that will create a positive, trusting work environment.  Leaders must deliberately set a tone of authenticity and transparency, and one of the best methods to achieve this is via consistent, ongoing and direct communication. Fast forward to 2016, I feel more passionate about this topic than ever before. Even with more than 20 years of leadership experience under my belt, I am still un-pleasantly surprised when managers attempt to leverage “forced fun” or corporate speak to connectRead More →

When colleagues communicate with you, do they know that you are listening? A few years ago, one of my peers asked me to accompany him into a meeting with our collective boss at the time, to help support him in a difficult discussion. In short, our boss was not happy about something that occurred and my peer disagreed with his approach. In the meeting, my peer shared a bunch of professional, yet direct thoughts and opinions and our boss listened. This went on for about 15 minutes and at the end of the discussion our boss said something that was genius. “I need some timeRead More →

“I am a complexity assassin” Love it! I was recently on LinkedIn and came across a complete stranger who had this statement as his headline and my eyes were immediately drawn to his profile. If you read my profile, you’ll see a statement about how “I love the beauty of simplification”. I’ll take a bullet point over a paragraph any day! Simplifying the complex is something I strongly believe we need to embrace. There is a tendency in the workplace to do the opposite…delve into the deep details, the technical specs, the minute by minute timelines. There is definitely a place for details especially forRead More →