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One Minute Ideas

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Reserve 30 to 60 minutes each day to work on an upcoming project. Benefit: You’ll head off last-minute chaos – and relieve stress – by completing important tasks before they become urgent.

Source: Garry Mitchell, Dun & Bradstreet Business Education Services, Dun & Bradstreet Corp. Foundation, 711 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10017

Use "feel," "felt" and "found" language to soothe upset customers. Example: "I’m sorry you feel Product X is not working out. Another customer with a similar problem felt that perhaps Product Z would work better. After trying it, she found she was much happier."

Source: Ali Koomen, 2530 E. Camino Dr., Mesa, AZ 85213.


Fixing customer problems on the spot can pay off, according to a Marriott study. Findings:
• 69% of guests who reported problems that were not fixed before they left said they would use Marriott again.
• 97% of guests who had problems that were fixed before they left said they would return.

Source: Meeting & Conference Executives Alert, P.O. Box 990024, Prudential Station, Boston, MA 02199.


When people come to you and vent feelings and frustrations, they probably want to do just that — vent. Don't try to solve the problem unless they ask.

Source:Anne Scott, CQI/Staff Development, Alexandria Hospital, 4320 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304.

The New Workforce.

Nearly 33 percent of American workers-34 million people-are contingency workers, including temps, part-timers, consultants, free lancers, and self-employed workers.

Source: Time



A standup cocktail party can be a fun way to network effectively. To get started, approach effectively. Approach people you know first. Then have them introduce you to others. When you meet someone new, tell him or her briefly who you are and what you do. Spend most of the time building a personal relationship with him or her. Exchange business cards. Make notes about each person you've talked to on the backs of their cards. To develop the relationships you've begun, send follow-up notes expressing pleasure meeting them, and indicating an interest in talking later.



If you are looking for the best way to promote your own interests, the best strategy could be to help your boss reach his or her goals. It pays to figure out exactly what your boss, and your boss's boss really need and want from you. "You have to know what's making your boss wakeup at 2 a.m.," says Allen R. Cohen, author of Influence Without Authority. It is also important to let coworkers know that you care about them. They could be less cooperative if they think you don't.



Often, when it's time to make a tough decision like changing jobs or buying a house, we are overwhelmed by negative thoughts about the problems that might arise. Therefore, we never take the first step to get information, which could reveal big, overlooked benefits. Putting the decision off is a decision not to decide and can sabotage your big moves.


Important Things Life Teaches You...

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my  paper, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They  deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say  'hello'. "I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was  Dorothy.

The Obstacle in Our Path

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.


The only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.

Charles Kettering



Every person should make up their mind that if they expect to succeed, they must give an honest return for the other person's dollar.



Without the element of uncertainty, the bringing off of even the greatest business triumph would be dull, routine, and eminently an unsatisfying affair.

J. Paul Getty



All the problems of the would could be settled easily if people were willing to think. The trouble is that people very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.

Adapted - Thomas J. Watson


 Great Managers Remove Obstacles

"Managing is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups. It is the art of creating an environment in which people can perform as individuals and yet cooperate towards the attainment of group goals. It is the art of removing blocks to such performance."

Harold Koontz


How's Morale?

Listening to the pronouns employees use when they describe your organization can speak volumes about their commitment and morale. Examples:

"They" and "them." If you hear mostly these two, you probably have some morale boosting to do.

"We" and "us." These are the words you want to hear. They mean employees are proud to be part of the organization.

Source: CARE Packages for the Workplace, by Barbara A. Glanz, McGraw-Hill, 11 W. 19th St., New York, NY 10011.


Frustration & Venting

When people come to you and vent feelings and frustrations, they probably want to do just that — vent.  Listen to them to really hear what they are saying.  Don't try to solve the problem unless they ask.


Positive Thinking Produces Positive Results

Just as someone can affect your attitude, you can influence your attitude as well as the attitudes of those around you.  How?  With affirmations! An affirmation is telling yourself that "you can" instead of "can't".  An affirmations is a positive statement which describes the "you" you want to become.

Affirmations should have the following criteria:

1)                Affirmations should be positive.

2)                Affirmations should be statements in the first person, present tense.

3)                Affirmations should be related to your goals.

4)                Affirmations should be within the realm of possibility. (realistic)



If you need to bring a message from customers home to your workforce, nothing is more powerful than a videotape of customers talking about the problems they have with a product or service. Short of this, transcribe interviews, taped interviews or customer questionnaires making the points you need made to your workforce can also be effective.


Customer service today isn't so great -- otherwise a store like Nordstrom's wouldn't be driving others out of business. Here are six ways to thrill customers:

 Offer to do them an extraordinary favor. Example: A customer of a moving firm wanted to ship a kitchen table and chairs set to his son in a city 300 miles away. But the moving firm had a hefty weight requirement and a high minimum fee. The firm's manager said he made regular trips to that city. So he offered, at no cost, to load the set in his station wagon and deliver it on his next trip.

 Put concern above profit. Only offer customers items they can use. Don't sell them higher-priced products just to make a big sale. You will win the loyalty of customers if you look out for their best interests.

Source: Communications Briefings newsletter

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