The Lead Yourself First Blog

How to tell people at work what you really think of them

ID-10054899Act One Scene One:  Learning a brand new way of implementing: “Don’t get mad, get even.”

During a recent training session regarding workplace relationships, I asked attendees to think of a time when a co-worker, client or manager’s words left them absolutely speechless.  Shock waves filled the room as participants willingly shared their stories. One example in particular threw everyone for a loop. As one of the attendees revealed the details of an encounter with a VP, the workshop discussion quickly heated up as people chimed in with their best comebacks. The collective “you have got to be kidding” sentiment made me think about the importance of knowing how to respond professionally to a disparaging remark in order to keep one’s credibility and composure, as well managing as the ramifications of unpleasant business interactions spiralling out of control.

What were the words that left everyone aghast? Continue reading “How to tell people at work what you really think of them”

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The “Wow” Factor…Brought to you by the U.S. Post Office

Cynics may say that you would never expect a public servant to give outrageously good customer service. So let me prove you wrong. Ross, who works at the USPS located in Point Roberts, WA provided incredible service…so good that he puts many corporate retailers to shame.

Despite the fact that Canada Post has an outlet across the street from my house, I deliberately drove 45 minutes to the nearest U.S. border to mail my packages bound for multiple destinations across the United States. You may be asking “why”? Well, from past experiences I can tell you that not only are the savings enormous, the service that I have received at my Post Office across the border is second to none.

Last Friday, Ross delivered a customer service experience that I will never forget. As I placed my packages on the counter and waited for Ross to carefully weigh each envelope, he asked the game-changing question: “Can I offer you the “WOW” factor?” Continue reading “The “Wow” Factor…Brought to you by the U.S. Post Office”

Entrepreneur or Intrapreneur…Is it an either/or question?

During an afternoon break at a conference, a participant who had just attended my breakout session on building collaborative workplace relationships approached me to discuss his dilemma regarding whether he should stay with his company or start his own business. He spoke candidly about his managers, colleagues as well as his future employment path, and whether he was ready to take the plunge and venture out on his own. I admired his honesty and appreciated the challenge he faced in terms of making a decision. Based on our conversation, I got the impression that he really enjoyed his work and had great camaraderie with his managers and peers, but wasn’t as enthused about the prospect of being his own boss and running his own company. It is a fascinating quandary that many of us face. I began to ponder whether this needed to be an either/or question?

Being an intrepreneur is defined as follows:

in-tra-pre-neur (In¹tre-pre-nur) n. A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation [intra(corporate) + (ENTRE)PRENEUR.] -inftrapre-nouri-al adj. -intra-pre-neuri-al-ism n. -in’trapre-neuri-al-ly adv.

Consider the success story of  Dutch-owned Optiver Asia-Pacific, an algorithmic trading company that was just named Australia’s best place to work. CEO Paul Hilgers says the company has a genuine open door policy and a philosophy that working with “brilliant minds attracts brilliant minds”. Hilgers says: “A brilliant mind isn’t only skill-based. We really want to know who we are hiring and we want to make sure that people know us before they decide to work for us.”  The 2013 study to determine best workplaces was made up 179 competing organizations and their 25,905 employees nationally.

Entrepreneurial skills are highly sought-after by companies that support an innovative culture. If you are an individual who can identify a huge need for ground-breaking approaches regarding any aspect of your  organization’s operations, you could be handsomely rewarded for speaking up and sharing your ideas. Being the catalyst of creativity and change is a very rewarding experience, in terms of career satisfaction and financial compensation. Here are three core concepts to keep in mind:

 1. You CAN make a difference in your workplace

Passion for your work , together with a proactive mindset will always be desirable attributes. When you believe that your initiatives can positively impact your workplace, be assured that people will listen. Especially when your ideas can benefit your customers and the bottom line. Learn to present your recommendations from the vantage point of your leaders. When you demonstrate an understanding of the business from their perspective, you will be in a great position to have their undivided attention.

 2. Build alliances with like-minded people

Surrounding yourself with naysayers is a sure fire way to zap your enthusiasm. On the other hand, seeking out individuals who support your solutions-based way of thinking will energize you as you pursue your plans. Entrepreneurs make a point of aligning themselves with others who can challenge their ideas in a positive manner. Start your own internal mastermind group. When your personal values regarding success, creativity and originality are in sync with those who think and act similarly, you will find opportunities to grow your career path.

 3. Recognize and create opportunities within your organization

There is a difference between critiquing and criticizing…whether it is a system, internal process or someone else’s idea that can be improved upon. You create opportunities to rise through the ranks by demonstrating a willingness to take the initiative and express your ideas for change in proactive manner. When you demonstrate your expertise and innovative ideas in a particular area or job-function, you are carving out your own, entrepreneur/intrapreneaur opportunity.