Courting Your Clients: 9 Essential Skills and Traits You Need to Nourish Superior Client Relationships

Courting Your Clients: 9 Essential Skills and Traits You Need to Nourish Superior Client Relationships

by Cathleen Elise Rossiter

Customer Service Helping Client

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“Consumers are statistics. Customers are people.”

-Stanley Marcus, former Chairman of the Board of Neiman Marcus –

Last night I got together with some friends for dinner after work. All of us had had stressful days at work and were looking to wind down before heading home. Each of us deals with clients directly during the course of the day, which was the cause for the frustration and stress.

Amid the variety of scenarios that my friends vented (everywhere from well-worn returns at my friend’s clothing boutique to contentious parent-teacher conferences), the tie that binds these stories together is the understanding that my friends have of what it means to serve clients.

I posed the question, “What image comes to mind when you hear the term Customer Service?” The responses, like gunfire, punctuated the energy in the air,

“Scullery Maid!” retorted the corporate accounts department manager.

“Babysitter!” the coffee shop owner interjected.

“Door mat!” uttered the boutique owner.

“Pain-in-the-A.R.S.E.!” confirmed the head of the legal department at a local shopping mall. We had some fun recounting stories of our worst encounters with clients, transitioning to our best encounters to be certain that we ended on a positive note.

I must admit that the whole concept of seeing customers as an excruciating evil that must be endured as part of the cost of doing business has always been a foreign concept to me. Even during the most exasperating exchanges in my earliest days as an official member of the Working World, I always felt that a client was upset because I had failed to hear what the client truly was saying/asking/needing or that I failed in my ability to communicate the solution (or reasons for a lack thereof) effectively to a client who couldn’t hear me. I quickly developed a set of skills and nurtured a few personality traits to tap into in order to make sure I could eliminate every barrier to a great working relationship that I could.

These nine essentials have never failed me. I, on the other hand, have failed when I have chosen not to employ these nine essentials. I have listed them below in the order in which they naturally flow. This natural order is also useful in knowing how to prioritize your learning and training needs. The first two are personality traits that you may develop even if you do not possess them naturally. The remaining seven are skills that anyone can master with commitment.

  1. A Contemplative Nature

    – or the habit of analyzing situations with the aim of making improvements for the future. In order to improve the relationships you have with your customers or clients, you have to take some time each day to review each of your interactions with your customers or clients. If you do not look back, replaying the exchange in your mind, you will never see what worked well and what did not work at all. If you do not look for the strengths and weaknesses in your relationships, you cannot make anything better, stronger. Remember, the Bionic Man was the result of a complete disaster, a rebuilding and strengthening of an apparently hopeless case. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the reference, I have included the opening sequence to the 1970’s television show.)

  2. A Passion for Solving Puzzles

    – or the habit of searching for the best solution rather than the easiest or the first solution that presents itself. I find, from my experiences on both sides of the customer service experience, that people respond well when they can see that you are working with them to solve their problem. By laying all the pieces of the solution on the table and working with the customer to put them together properly, the customer or client walks away certain that they have the full picture, that all the pieces are in place, and that this particular puzzle is complete. They also walk away confident that they have a companion, someone they can trust to champion their cause, someone they can rely on to help them through the difficult times rather than someone they have to fight with to get the help promised to them.

  3. Consciousness

    – or the habit of taking the lens off you and focusing on the people around you. There are many common sayings illustrating this concept – “Before you judge someone, walk a mile in his shoes”, “Wake up and smell the roses/coffee/manure”, “Everything is not about you” (Meryl Brooks in Two Weeks Notice). Once we stop thinking only of ourselves in any given situation, we open our eyes to the person in front of us. We begin asking questions that help us understand the sources of what a person feels, why they feel that way, and how it affects his or her behavior. Knowing the root cause of the behavior allows us to know what to do to change things, to be effective.

  4. Compassion

    – or the habit of caring. The more conscious you become about the people around you, the more you begin to care about them. When a customer or client is involved, your compassion goes a long way to developing a healthy working relationship, that in turn develops a long-term, loyal client. Demonstrating compassion towards another person is far easier, takes less energy and effort, than treating him or her with annoyance or disdain. Increasing the level of compassion you have for your customers or clients actually increases your feelings of having contributed something positive to the world, which helps you enjoy more the work you do. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to feel better about the work they do?

  5. Effective Communication Skills

    – or the ability to receive a message correctly and to transmit clearly your message. You can never have too much training in this one area. The more effective you are in sending and receiving messages, the less chance there is that you will misunderstand or be misunderstood, which creates a deep connection with your customers, your clients. The more people on your team who consciously develop effective communication skills, the more superior your service level will be.

  6. Highly-developed Listening Skills

    – or the ability to get at the heart of the matter. Listening involves more than just sound reverberating against your eardrum. Listening effectively, involves interpreting correctly what a person says and does not say, choices of words and phrases, tone, and a host of other components. Again, you can never have too much training in this area.

  7. Fluency in Non-verbal Communication

    – or the ability to interpret and transmit clear, correct messages without uttering a word. Although this is an integral component of effective communication, it is a highly specialized component requiring special attention. I have found repeatedly that the non-verbal clues my clients send have been the key to getting at the core issue, therefore the key to the best solution. Once again, I say, “you can never have too much training in this area.”

  8. Change Management Training

    – or the ability to help a customer or client navigate the multiple changes involved in the current problem he or she is experiencing. Most people do not realize that when a problem arises, it necessitates change – be it the immediate change in how a task is completed via a Work-around or a complete shut-down of operations – because your customer or client is now missing a piece (or several pieces) to the puzzle. Whether a customer comes to us for a new dress for a friend’s wedding, or a client approaches us to overhaul their company culture, our customers and clients come to us to provide a solution to their problem. We need to understand how this change effects the client – what emotions it triggers, what the client is afraid of, what natural stages a person goes through when faced with change – in order to be able to guide the client, as a human being, through the process in as stress-free and effective manner as possible. A great book to start with is Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter.

  9. Leadership Training

    – or the ability to lead the customer or client through the communication process to a mutually beneficial end. Of the multitude of people I encounter, a rare few understand that it is the job of the business owner, Customer Service Representative, Sales Representative, or anyone who deals with internal or external clients in the course of the workday to take the lead in the customer experience. Clients look to us as the expert, the professional, the parental figure who will make everything better. It is our job to make sure we can be that figure for our customers and clients. (This is a great video to spotlight basic difficulties and misconceptions about leadership.)

Each of these skills is powerful by themselves. Think about how super-charged your customer and client relationships will be when you develop all of them and use them together every time you work with each customer, each client. In the words of Robert Half, “When the customer comes first, the customer will last.”

 

2016 Copyright - Cathleen Elise

Sit. Stay. Fetch. Making Clients Beg for Treats

Dog in Meadow

Sit. Stay. Fetch. Making Clients Beg for Treats

By Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

“It is a truism to say that the dog is largely what his master makes of him: he can be savage and dangerous, untrustworthy, cringing and fearful; or he can be faithful and loyal, courageous and the best of companions and allies.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes

The day finally arrived. You know, the one you wait for with the anticipation of Santa for December 26th. What is this most anticipated day?  It is the day I can finally claim my free birthday item. Yours might be from an accessories store, a hardware store, a local restaurant. Mine is from my beloved coffee shop and I had all I could do not to camp out overnight to make certain that I started my birthday off on the right foot.

As the line slalomed its polite yet frenetic way through the designated course to the counter, I double-checked the e-mail on my phone to be certain that I followed the instructions.

“Bring your registered card or mobile app to the store to redeem your reward”.

Registered card in hand? Check!

Balance on card? Low, but check!

Desired Birthday Coffee memorized and ready to order? Check!

Card handed to cashier? Check!

Imagine my surprise when the cashier requested further payment for my free Birthday Beverage. My card balance was now $0.00 and I was being charged for a gift my coffee shop said they gave me. When I asked the cashier about it, showing her the e-mail, she said that I should have told her beforehand, then moved me along and took the next person in line.

The e-mail informing me of the birthday gift made no mention of my need to inform the cashier. In fact, the e-mail implied that the only way to receive my gift was to use my card and that because my card was registered, all I had to do was present my card at the counter and everything would be taken care of. Eventually, I straightened it out and received my birthday gift, though not after having to jump through hoops and beg for my treat.

What started out as a nice surprise, turned into an ordeal that tainted my day and my relationship with a business I have been loyal to thus far. The next time you offer your clients a gift, keep the following things in mind:

  1. Be clear as to the details of your offer.
  2. Test and review your offer until you are certain that your message will be understood as intended.
  3. Train your staff thoroughly on the details of the offer/gift and empower them to correct misunderstandings as they happen.
  4. Make your offer/gift easy to redeem. The less your clients have to do to receive the gift you’re giving them, the happier they will be. To keep things in perspective, imagine how your family or best friend would react and feel if you made them do what you are making your clients do to receive a wedding present, birthday, or anniversary gift.

In the rush and the struggle to find new ways to reach out to your clients, thank them, and reward them for their loyalty, it is easy to lose sight of the basics enumerated above. Of course, there are also the technical aspects of sales tracking and other business considerations that have a say in the final offer and how you administer it. To create the most effective promotions, you need to find the right balance between your business needs or restrictions and treating your clients like the Human Beings they are. Remember, your clients are not dogs. Do not make them beg for treats. If you treat your clients well, they will reflect that treatment back to you and your company.

Copyright © 2014 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

The Rossiter Report – Volume 3: Number 3 – “Crossing the Line in Getting to Yes””

The Rossiter Report – Volume 3; Number 3

By Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

“Crossing the Line in Getting to Yes”

Kitten trying to get at a goldfish

“What part of No don’t you understand? “

As our understanding of the marketing process deepens and we hone our approach to helping our clients unlock what they truly want and need, business owners are bombarded with experts telling them that a customer’s “no” is really an invitation to proceed with the sales pitch; that a potential client doesn’t really know his or her own mind (or the state of his or her budget) so it is up to the business owner to push past the rejection and lead a prospect to acceptance – to “yes”. I hope that some small part of those of you who are reading this is recoiling and feeling uncomfortable. Why would I hope this for you when helping someone to a better way is a good thing? Perhaps the following recounting of an experience I just had while trying to run errands at the mall will help.

It was a typically clichéd gloriously sunny mid-winter day. I was happy, energized, and excited in my productivity as I emerged into the main corridor of the mall through the revolving doors and headed towards my appointment at the tech store. After having traversed barely 100 feet, a well-dressed young man approached me, product in hand, (making direct eye contact and holding it) and asked me for a moment of my time. As I have experienced this approach before and truly did not have the time to spend, or the desire to purchase this particular product, I politely declined stating that I did not have the time. The young man nodded acquiescence, smiling the smile of one who has heard this line before as I breezed past him on my way to my appointment. I was relieved at the apparent success I had won and was feeling rather triumphant in my newly gained skill at deflecting unwanted attention.

My relief and triumphal pride were short-lived. Realizing that I had to pass the same kiosk on the way out of the mall, I armed myself with the same response and firmness of delivery that I had utilized earlier. As I approached the kiosk, the same young man locked his gaze on me and proceeded on the same tack as before, this time with a similarly fortified firmness as I. In response to my honest deflection stating the lack of time in my schedule, the young man took hold of my hand, proceeded to examine my newly acquired manicure, slathering his product all over my hand destroying my manicure in the process (which I had done for an appointment with a client following the completion of my errands). My attempts to take my hand away were rebuffed firmly yet with a smile as he continued his sales pitch in the face of my increasingly firm objections and rejection. When he had finished, allowing me to go on my way without a sale, I could feel nothing but repugnance at having been forced to comply with the salesman’s demands against my express wishes to the contrary. There are several words for this type of behavior, depending on the type of demand made – extortion, coercion, rape, etc. PLEASE NOTE: all of these terms describe criminal behavior. Do not let this scenario become part of your sales or service repertoire.

With the pressure to improve one’s Bottom Line continually, it is easy to see how easy it is to grasp desperately for the sale. Under this pressure, it is easy to cross the fine line between guiding a potential purchaser and mugging that same person for the money in his wallet. To keep things in perspective, keep these things in mind:

  • It is a fatal mistake to think of your potential clients as Prospects. The instant you take the humanity out of the interaction, is the instant you shut down your ability to have a relationship with anyone who purchases from you. Miners go prospecting for cold, hard, inanimate objects. Although these inanimate objects are valuable, once they are obtained, they are forgotten in the quest for another similar or better object. The Prospector misses out on the satisfaction that the Gem Cutter experiences in getting to know the raw stone well enough to be able to gently yet precisely chip away the pieces that detract from the stone’s true beauty. The Prospector, having sold his nugget to the highest bidder, completely misses out on the joy of painstakingly polishing away the cloudiness to reveal only brilliant light reflecting off all the newly revealed facets. The tragedy of the Prospector is that he never becomes part of bringing his acquisition to life. He misses out on experiencing the fullness of a relationship with his discovery; he is on a never-ending search for lifeless nuggets rather than on a continual journey to discover more light and life from each nugget.

My experience has shown me that the businesses with the most vibrant Bottom Lines capable of sustaining themselves are those who choose, through their sales process, to be Gem Cutters searching for the rough jewel to nurture into brilliance. By focusing your sales attention on developing an honest, genuine relationship with each client and potential client through consistently applying the Three C’s of Superlative Service (TM) (Consciousness, Compassion, and Communication), you transition from the role of Prospector into the role of Gem Cutter, searching deep into the heart of each person who has come to you as the solution to his or her problem. The deeper you look into the rough stone that is your client (or potential client), the more thoroughly you will be able to solve the problem presented. Moreover, you will uncover new ways in which you may serve him or her, thereby increasing his or her value to you as well as your value to him or her.

The prospector’s job is an important one because without his efforts, the rough gem would remain buried. The critical steps here are to prospect with the heart of a Gem Cutter then transition into the role of Gem Cutter once the Prospector’s job is completed.

  • When faced with rejection (be it in the form of, “I can’t afford it,”, “I don’t have the time,”, etc.) and the potential client hasn’t hung up or walked away (as I should have done with the manicure-in-a-bottle situation), ask for permission to contact him or her at an agreed upon time that is more convenient. If you are still faced with rejection, gauge the situation to determine if setting the conversation further out (a month or so) would be acceptable. If rejection is still the order of the day, apologize for delaying him or her and send your still potential client off with wishes for a wonderful day. Anything more than this creates a sense of having been attacked and violated (as I felt by the manicure-in-a-bottle man). As soon as you make a potential client or client feel attacked or violated, you have lost them, possibly forever, doing everything in his or her power to escape.
  • When listening to advice on how to attract more clients and initiate more sales, pay attention to the following:

o    What sort of language does the author/speaker use to refer to clients? Is it cold, distant, and dehumanizing or filled with dignity, respect, and humanity?

o    How does the author’s/speaker’s approach make YOU feel? Does it leave you feeling calm and energized or does it leave you clamoring for a good scrub-down and full of stress? This is also how your potential clients and existing clients will feel.

o    Does the author’s/speaker’s approach fill you with pride and excitement about meeting potential clients and converting them into purchasing fans , or are you filled with dread and loathing at the thought of another contact in the manner advised?

If the sales advice you are entertaining does not make you feel like a respected Human Being, then it will not make your potential clients or existing clients feel any other way. If the approach feels wrong, it is wrong for you. The best sales happen when you are authentic (true to who you are), genuine in your desire to help solve the problem, and connected to the person you are trying to help (the Three C’s of Superlative Service (TM) in a nutshell). With these thoughts in the forefront of every client interaction, you will never have to worry about crossing the line again.

 

 

Copyright © 2014 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

The Rossiter Report – Volume 3; Number 2 – “Brown Grass – How I Came to See the Light”

The Rossiter Report – Volume 3; Number 2

By Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

“Brown Grass – How I Came to See the Light”

boy looking through binoculars

“There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.” – Old Proverb –

Gazing out upon the nearly-full tidal pool at the Plum Island Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Massachusetts on this unseasonably warm, early April day, I see brown. The parking lot in which I sit, writing, is at a slightly higher elevation than the tidal pool and the adjoining fields of marsh grasses. This vantage point affords enough of an aerial view to see partially over the hillocks in the near distance, across the harbor to the towns of Essex and Ipswich on the horizon. This bird’s-eye view (albeit that of a bird perched on a very low tree branch or a parking sign) places my vision above the fields of newly mown marsh grasses to see dozens of acres of brown. Even the tidal pool is cast with brown in the harsh light of the noon sun.

Very few people stop here for more than thirty seconds. To them, it is just a brown and lifeless landscape; boring. The only people who stay for any length of time beyond the thirty second mark are those birdwatchers who stay only long enough to spot (then consequently check-off) a new bird on their list, with no intention of actually observing the bird and getting to know it. What astounds me is the wealth of beauty that this spot possesses and is missed by those who come in search of a pre-determined idea of what is worthy of notice.

A few years ago (wink, wink) when I was eight years old, I ventured into the kitchen after viewing my Saturday morning cartoons and stood next to my mother at the kitchen sink. “Mumma, I’m bored,” I announced. In her characteristic, gentle firmness, yet in an uncharacteristically direct tone, my mother looked down at me (without skipping a beat in the washing of the breakfast dishes) and said, “Cathleen. The only people who get bored are boring people,” returning her gaze to the garden while continuing with the dishes. Not only was I NEVER bored again, but also this experience taught me to seek out continually something new. A treasure or lesson could be waiting for me in the haphazard pattern of a first coat of paint on the front of a dresser; or the way a reed bends and sings in the midst of a storm yet never breaks; or the fact that the overriding expanse of brown before me is, in point of fact, made up of greens, reds, purples, yellows, and blues in myriad variations on a theme.

The same thing is true of the people we hire and the customers who purchase from us. Without the individual talents, viewpoints, and insights each one brings to the table (the painter’s palette, as it were), then the work of art we call our company or team would lack the depth, luster, and uniqueness that makes our work a masterpiece.

Consciousness is a choice. Simply wanting to be aware does not make it happen. One must choose to open one’s eyes and mind. One must choose to see everything, not only what is pleasant or comfortable.

The thing that changed for me on that Saturday morning so many years ago is that I decided to stop refusing to see the world in front of me. I became determined to remain blind no longer. This choice of consciousness has brought a depth, richness, and joy to my life and work that I have carried with me to every aspect of my life, particularly in relation to the people I encounter. I choose to uncover the layers of wealth and richness buried in each person in front of me at any given time so as to bring the very best to the relationship, project, team, or circumstance. In doing so I find no need for the all-too-standard jealousy, defensiveness, and subsequent subterfuge that plagues Cubicle Farms around the world. Allowing for the enrichment of the team with the free-flow of each other’s talents, insights, and experience (as opposed to the general practice of trying to control and suppress it all) creates an infectious dynamic among the team members that creates a pride in the work and an enthusiasm to produce the best; to be a part of the best. I, for one, would much rather spend the 10+ hours each day that I am at work in the quest to produce the best, to be part of the best in a lively, dynamic environment. When one ponders the alternative, which is what one has become all-too-used-to in the working environment, one wonders why one hasn’t seen the light sooner.

 

Copyright © 2014 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Think Tank Tuesday – V1;N3 – Listening and Learning

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Today we think about the critical role that listening plays in our ability to serve those around us. Take time today to think about how well you truly listen to what people are saying, remembering that listening involves more than physically hearing the words that are spoken to you.

Listening involves observing and processing the physical and environmental cues that are being sent to you as well as keeping yourself clear of any hidden agendas you may have set in place for the outcome you are hoping to elicit.

Listening involves learning from past encounters with a person as to how he or she processes information, or the manner in which he or she communicates. Perhaps a person needs only the critical pieces of information in order to come to a decision. Some people need every gory detail to arrive at the same conclusion. Others need time and physical space in order to process, while still others need to work out a solution on their own before to be certain that he or she had fully grasped the situation.

The list is as endless as the stars in the sky because there are so many factors that go into the communication between people. This means that each person needs to remember that what works for us most likely will not work for the person with whom we are communicating.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of your personal agenda for a particular communication to completely destroy effective communication. The presence of an agenda inherently denies communication because the agenda is, in fact, the outcome, therefore, there is no communication. Oftentimes we are not aware that an agenda exists, so when communication breaks down, we are dumbfounded and become frustrated, attributing the breakdown to the other person or people involved.

Paying attention, clearing out all ulterior motives, remembering what we have seen and experienced, and learning to work with the needs of the person in front of us will take the act of communication you are currently experiencing, to a higher level. 

Until the next time, I send you all my best wishes.

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Copyright © 2013 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Applying Client Relationship Principles to Performance Reviews

The Rossiter Report -“Applying Client Relationship Principles to Performance Reviews”

By Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

This past week I have been in the process of cleaning out my stored papers and, in the process, have come across old performance reviews. In reading through them and comparing them to the reviews and evaluation process of today’s world I realize that not much has changed in the past thirty years in this regard. Employees are expected to evaluate their own performance and set their career goals at predetermined intervals. Managers are expected to do likewise, not only for their underlings, but for themselves as well – all with the merest cursory training and guidance along the way. My experience has taught me that this process is taken seriously in name only and that it is rarely used with any sense of honesty. Employees are never quite certain as to what to say because they simply want to be left alone to do the job they were hired for and feel that their manager should be paying attention to the quality of the job they are doing because this is the job of a manager (“How can he/she say that he/she is managing me when I have to tell him/her what it is I have been doing all this time?”). Managers all too often use performance reviews for their political motives, as well as to punish or reward particular underlings who they wish to control or to elevate (regardless of the actual merits of the chosen employee).

To evaluate something means, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “1: to determine or fix the value of,” or “2: to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study”. In all honesty, I have rarely come across anyone (underling or manager) who carefully considered the significance, worth, or value of the performance they were to evaluate. The employees dashed off their self-evaluations at the last minute by simply copying and pasting the statements from the previous year. The managers, invariably, did likewise adding the necessary verbiage to substantiate whatever financial goals were imposed upon them by their superiors (or to substantiate whatever political goal they were pursuing with a particular employee). In the words of my favorite history teacher, Shady Ray as we affectionately called him, “The Golden Shovel Rule has run roughshod over your submissions”.

In order for performance evaluations to have any meaning, the mentality and processes surrounding them need to be overhauled. Thinking about the concept of evaluating performance as a whole, it is critical to understand that in order to evaluate someone you need to get to know that person. In order to get to know someone; you must enter in to a relationship with him or her. This is where client relationship principles come into play. Your employees are internal clients (this term is bandied about the corporate world with little real understanding of what this truly means).This means that, as business owner or manager of people, you must do two things:

  1. Get to know your clients (employees) beyond the statistical aspect. Managing involves directing, instructing, and guiding. In order to accomplish this effectively, you have to acquaint yourself with the person you are directing and guiding, otherwise, you do not know what he/she needs direction or guidance on, nor do you know the best way in which to guide him or her. Additionally, getting to know the people who help you run your business (and keep you in business) lets them know that you care about them and recognize the value that they (as individuals) bring to your company. This knowledge brings with it a sense of security which frees your employees up to honestly focus on the success of the company by working as a team, rather than focusing on saving their individual derrieres by making everyone else look bad (which only encourages and accelerates the cycle of sabotage). In this step Honesty and Sincerity are critical. Frankly, without them you are  wasting your time and everyone else’s. Employees can sense in-authenticity and are, in fact, on the lookout for it.
  2. In the process of becoming conscious of the people you have hired to help you run your business (or department), you are simultaneously becoming aware of their needs and desires. [Please Note that if you do not care about someone, it makes no difference how much you know about him/her]. When it comes to your relationship with your clients, once you have opened your eyes to their needs, and have worked hard to resolve their problem and fill their need, you now need to transfer the information in your head to them. Here is where communication comes in. Generally, this is the easy part because, in getting to know your clients (employees), you learn to speak their individual language and become a fluent speaker. As a result, you now begin looking out for opportunities to communicate with your clients by way of anticipating needs and solutions, researching logistics, and telling your clients (employees) about it.

There are times when, particularly when you are new to the concept of effective communication, you are absolutely challenged in getting your message across clearly. Oftentimes you will be completely blocked from communicating because of the emotional state your client is in at that moment (in the workplace this would translate to the prevailing morale). So, what do you do in this situation? If you find that your attempts at communicating are ineffective, downshift gears to First and get to know more about your employees. Ask questions that will help to clarify what the needs are and work together to determine the  best way satisfy your mutual needs and reach your goals together. This clarification process helps you to communicate more effectively with your employees and is, in itself, communicating that you are truly ready, willing, and able to help.

As you work your way through the above two actions you will discover that the performance evaluation process will become easier and more effective. You will begin to discover the process that best fits the refreshed corporate culture that will develop as a result of your efforts. By seeing your employees as clients and putting your honest effort in to treating them as such, with the vision to see that your employees should be pursued as readily as you pursue your clients because they bring tremendous value to your company, you will also begin to see the positive impact this new culture has on your bottom line. Remember, your employees become who you tell them they are to you

Copyright © 2012 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.