Thursday, November 26, 2009

Making the Most of Meeting In-Laws!

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Making the Most of Meeting In-Laws!

While I love my in-laws, and am very fortunate to have the mother-in-law and fathers-in-law, as well as the brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law I do have, some people are just about to meet their future in-laws or new in-laws for the first time. Whether you have met them before, or are starting "anew", consider these 10 steps to in-law enjoyment at the holidays:

1. Before you go, decide it is going to be a good time. Envision it, and expect good things!
2. Prior to heading out, ask your partner for any “hot topics” or “out of bounds issues” to avoid, and ask for family members’ interests and check them out before arriving.
3. Take a family gift like a board game.
4. Be more about being interested than being interesting, and ask questions for interest and not interrogation.
5. Find something, one thing minimally, that you like about each person as soon as you meet each of them.
6. Share a heart-felt compliment with any or each member of the family.
7. Instead of offering to “help”, offer to do something specific, so rather than stating “how may I help”, say “How about I set the table?”, so they see action, versus courtesy.
8. Thank them for hosting and send a thank you note in the mail within the week.
9. At all times, remember, these people produced your partner, so like/love them for that regardless…you would not have your partner without his or her family, so keep the perspective!
10. Smile, be true to you, sincere in your thoughts and actions, and make it a great time!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Offerings Through the Triad of Identity/Positioning

Offerings Through the Triad of Identity/Positioning

Do you know who you are, what you do and how you do it? Does your customer/client know those things? Does it matter? Absolutely, it matters...after all, those constitute your identity…your positioning…and having those allows potential clients/customers to know where to find your offerings!
Identity/positioning is realized through the creation and communication of three components: your brand, your promise, and your competencies, and these support the offerings you provide.

A brand is a 10 word-or-less (give or take an “a”, “an”, “the”, “and”) statement that quickly shares who you are. A brand is similar to a tag line, in that it is brief, memorable, demonstrative and true. It is not what you hope to be, think you should be, or what others want you to be, rather it just is.

A promise is a brief statement of work that relays what you do. This is no more than a paragraph, and it is an elaboration on the brand. Often this is perceived as something that likens a mission statement.

Selected competencies are a list of characteristics that are core to you, your effectiveness and what you deliver. These are reliable traits that, in concert, combine to highlight how you get things accomplished. These are words defined by you for you and your clients/customers as a reality/reference check on what is desired in an approach.

The summation of who, what and how, allow your customers/clients to identify you clearly and consistently. These three, the identity/positioning triad, are what support and promote the where, the fields/areas of expertise in which you provide your offerings; your two to four methods or areas or expertise for providing goods or services.

With customers/clients, all elements of your identity/positioning determine if your company is a fit for theirs. When there is a match, the offerings that you make available are selected and purchased, and then the presentation of the brand, promise and competencies are experienced fully by them*.

*While there is an emphasis on customer/client, there is no real, identity and positioning if the brand, promise and competencies are not in practice, believed, and embraced within you and your team first, so that the offerings can be done well.