Thursday, June 30, 2011

ABCs of Welcoming

"You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler." - Denis Waitley, American Speaker and Author of Self-help Books. b.1933

Whether it is en route to a gathering or locating a new client, I am typically faced with a location that is either welcoming or not-so-welcoming, and it made me think about the similarities in the places that felt "right", and those that seemed oh-so-wrong...

When you are welcoming people to your home or your business, there are many things to consider including the invitation/meeting request, the directions/familiarity and the time of day/night.

While there may seem like a lot of things either overwhelm or distract you from that welcome, here are the ABCs of making someone feel included and welcomed at your home or your business location (and for some of you, that is one-in-the-same):

A - Approachability. Is your house or building free from debris? Can people see and get to your home or office? Is there a rickety gate or a friendly guard as their first impression? What would you think and feel if you approached your location as someone who had never been there? This A can also be thought of as "Accessibility".

B - Beauty. Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...but a lot of people agree on ugly!!! Is there some color or greenery around your place? Is there a brightness and a flow to it? Are there coordinated colors and signage? What is your beauty, or lack of it "saying" to those who approach it? This B can be remembered as your "Brand", too. What is the brand you are conveying? And, is that the brand you want to convey?

C - Cleanliness. Hopefully nobody is bringing their white gloves to do the cleanliness test at your home or office, and yet a at a quick glance, ask yourself: do things appear tidy and clean? Are there dirty or wrinkled papers or displays that are not so hidden from view? Do people get the sense of sight, smell and touch that they can feel good about being in your space? This C can also remind you of the visitor's "Comfort". How comfortable might a stranger, new friend, client or prospect be in your home or office?

Taking a short leap of faith in presuming you want to be welcoming (and I hope you do!), then stick with the ABCs, and even make a trip to your home or office with/through the eyes of a new-comer, and see what you can do to up your welcome and increase your ABC impact on welcoming!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Name that Name - Introducing Yourself

“Do you suppose I could buy back my introduction to you?”

- Groucho Marx, American Comedian, Actor and Singer, 1890-1977

While many of us meet a lot of people, and have been schooled on the ways to remember names, such as repeating the name three times, asking about the origin of the name, picturing people who have similar names, and/or associating the name with actions/events to connect, I have recently realized many people are not aware of the best way to introduce themselves.

To introduce yourself, first remember the other person’s favorite topic is him or herself, and therefore, s/he is thinking about him/herself and not you. That may seem harsh, and yet it is true.

Since the receiver of your name and handshake is not focused on you, if you focus on that person, you’ll be on “the same page”, so to speak! The best way to introduce is to:

Make eye contact
Smile, or minimally change your expression
Extend your right hand to shake hands
Listen for the other person’s name first
Share your name clearly, slowly and fairly loudly

Then yes, repeat their name, associate, chat and move on. What I am finding does not happen a lot includes: the eye contact, the extension of the hand, the waiting for the other person’s name, and the person sharing his/her name. Wait, that’s everything!!! Primarily people (almost hard to believe) do not state their name – yikes – no name, and yet that is how you will identify the person! If someone does not share his or her name, rather just a(n insincere) “nice to meet you”. Remember, it is not only professional, it is most appropriate to say “And your name is?” with a smile and kindness in your voice, or a pleasant “please forgive me, I missed your name.”

Remember, even if someone else introduces you, please repeat your first name minimally to the recipient of the introduction. After all, you want to be memorable by your name, and not as the person who did not share his/her name!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Demonstrating Character Vs. "Being a Character"

“Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness.” - John Howe

If you want to demonstrate leadership with character, before you leave your office and/or your business each night, consider offering/asking these three things to each person with whom you work:

-Do you have the support you want?
-Is there anything I can do to assist you?
-I’m heading out…anything else before I leave?

These added inquiries may create more conversations and even take a bit more time than you anticipated, and yet you will show your character…instead of being the character who ducks out while others are working!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

5 Web-Catchy Ways

“Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.”

- Ivern Ball, Dadaist Poet

With so many people (students, your team, your clients, your competitors, your customers, your prospects, and your partners) getting information from websites, blogs and other on-line resources, ensure you are writing for web-catchiness by following the three ways to "catch" a reader on the web:

1. Hook Them
Give the "surfer" a reason to become a "reader". Use titles that grab their attention with less than 6 words in the title. Make them catchy (full pun intended here!).

2. Keep Them
Write tight, keep things brief, informative, bulleted and applicable. Cover the topic, reinforce, show application, and be done. Take out words. Use a photo or quotation to drive home a point. Make people want to finish what your "hook" started!

3. Direct Them
You have them there, and they are reading, so ensure you have hyperlinks, an underlined or highlighted word, phrase or web address, so the reader can quickly get more by clicking on the link to your website, another article, etc. Otherwise, if someone doesn't want more, they can skip that link, and it does not seem like so much verbiage to skim.

4. Love Them
Make the time and share the opportunity to recognize students, your team, your clients, your customers, your prospects, and your partners and any other things that are important to your readers. People love to be appreciated, read about themselves and/or things that are important to them.

5. Leave Them
Be done and leave them wanting more! Give a closing comment, challenge, or preview of what is next. Leave them satisfied with what you shared, and interested enough to come back!

Your challenge is to implement this or share it with someone else who manages your web presence and verbiage, and track the results. Be bold, and be available...after all these 5 Web-Catchy Ways may change how someone views you and/or your company, and make these efforts worth the catch!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

3 Motivators to Consider

“Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain, American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910

In the realm of people seeking employment, businesses wanting more clients and customers, it is important to think about and process/respond to each individual's motivation for what they are doing (or not doing).

Be careful...we tend to think people are motivated similarly to how we are and feel we can "speak their language" as a result...and that is just not always the case, sometimes, it's not even often the case!

People are typically motivated by:

Money (Financial)
Recognition/Advancement (Position)
Time (Freedom)

Consider what drives you, and then incorporate learning, and really caring, about what drives those around you, and those you want on your team as a player or a client/customer. Once you know that, you can assist each person in achieving each of his/her accomplishments by partnering with him/her to get to their financial, position, or freedom goals. Plus, while you are chatting about motivation/drive, a whole lot of other topics might just get covered as well!