Posts by nancyhardaway

Coaching Individuals & Teams

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Home Page Posts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Coaching Individuals & Teams

Helping top leaders achieve their highest and best potential when stepping into new roles, facing new challenges, or breaking through barriers.  

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9 Tips to Make Conference Calls Less Deadly

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Communication | 0 comments

How often do you sit on conference calls hearing someone’s keyboard clicking?  Or answering emails yourself? Or napping?  Here are some great tips from my colleague, Rick Maurer, to improve conference calls.  Share them with those you invite to calls, and with those people who invite you to be on their calls! Each person should know why they are on the call and what’s expected of them. Inform participants how to prepare and hold them accountable to actually come prepared. Actively solicit involvement from everyone.  If they needed to be on the call, they need to participate.  Call on people if necessary. Listen more than you talk.  No one should give long monologues.  Keep comments pithy. Contrary to popular practice, try NOT to have people mute their phones.  You waste too much time with dead air as people speak with their mute buttons on, then realize what they are doing, then unmute themselves to repeat what they said.  Better to listen to a few dog barks here and there. Keep the participant list as short as possible.  If people have to wait too long to speak, they disengage. Give people a visual.  It could be content.  I like a single slide with the photos and names of everyone on the call so I can “see” their face when they speak. Make the meeting as brief as possible. Follow up appropriately. Click here read the whole blog post.  ...

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Supersuasion: The Curry and Thyme of Persuasion Techniques

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Change, Presentations, Sales | 0 comments

Persuasion is a topic that most of my clients are interested in.  “How can I get my people to just get on board?” I get asked a lot.  They would love if I could teach them something called “supersuasion” and today I found a way to do just that in an article I read by Kevin Dutton in the Scientific American Mind March/April 2010, The Power to Persuade. He simplified it with an acronym “SPICE”:  Simplicity, Perceived self-interest, Incongruity, Confidence and Empathy.  So clearly he used the SPICE acronym to make it simple for us – helping us to buy in.  I’m just surprised he didn’t use a three letter acronym because he emphasized the tricolon – the magic of three, a well known speakers device:  think “I came, I saw, I conquered”.    What was fascinating was his reference to the research on predicting the complexity of a recipe and willingness to cook it by just the typeface it was printed in – easier to read signaled the minds of readers that the recipe was easier to cook, and therefore increased their likelihood of trying it, even when it had the exact same ingredients and directions as one is a fancier typeface! Self interest helps persuade us, not surprisingly.  I like things that benefit me.  But his reference to a marketing technique of an illusion of you helping me out was fascinating.  If I had a coffee shop, I’d start giving out loyalty coupons for a free cup of coffee after 6 cups with the first one already filled in before you even buy one.  You think I did something for you.  Then after your first purchase you are already one-third of the way, needing 4 more cups to get your free cup.  But if I give you a loyalty coupon where you need just 5 cups to get a free one but I don’t give you that first one until after you buy, you are only one-fifth of the way there, even though you still need 4 cups to get your free cup, and you didn’t get anything upfront except a lousy cup of coffee (well, hopefully it was good coffee).  You perceive that the first deal is more in your self-interest to follow up on! Incongruity is mostly about humor  – and the unexpected, since humor is best when you don’t see the punch line coming.  This actually fits also with the Heath brothers surprise element of making a sticky message – one people will remember – that they wrote about in their first book Made to Stick.  I loved the gimmick of making the cover look as if a piece of duck tape was across it.  It seemed incongruous on a shiny new book, and encouraged me to buy it at the bookstore! The unexpected isn’t just about humor, though.  It’s also about getting a nice surprise.  People tipped more to waiters who gave them one piece of candy with their bill, walked away, then turned...

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In-Groups and Out-Groups At Work

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Conflict, Teams | 0 comments

In groups and out groups aren’t just a bad memory from high school.  They are ever present in the work place, often subtle, and incredibly easy to create.  Unfortunately, they often diminish effective performance and limit collaboration. In most organizations I work with, there are still functional silos.  Manufacturing doesn’t talk to sales.  Clinical doesn’t like administration.  The commercial loan folks don’t like the mortgage folks.  It’s not that they don’t like each other as people – they just see each other as “different.” Unfortunately that perceived difference has grave consequences. Our history as humans trying to survive has made us very attuned to “in groups” and “out groups.”  We relied on those closest to us to help us and couldn’t trust those we didn’t easily recognize. The brain evolved to process information about those close to us in the same way we process information about ourselves – in the same part of the brain.  So we have more empathy, more acceptance, more intention to understand. On the other hand, when we see those in an “out group” do something, we process that behavior in a different part of the brain.  Therefore, we tend to assume they are motivated differently than us, so we have less understanding, less ability to process their pain.  And we are much more likely to misread our impact on them or miss it entirely. Let’s say marketing is a close group and the sales team is a close group and someone in the marketing department makes a mistake.  The sales team are less likely to be empathetic, to think “oh, I could have made that mistake,” and more likely to think, “they are so incompetent.”  The next time marketing needs to collaborate with sales, they will have less success and perhaps be met with hostility, even though in any organization marketing and sale need to work together. Here are three ways leaders can help break down barriers and build a collaborative environment. Having some relaxed social time together builds connection – a pizza lunch, for example.  Casual time that includes some humor (fun) promotes a sense of relatedness. Expressions of gratitude build a communal sense on both sides that can last long afterward. Creating shared goals is particularly important and can re-integrate the groups so the barriers break...

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Great Words For All Bosses to Use! And a Few to Avoid…

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Communication, Effective conversations | 0 comments

  Here are some great words that all bosses should make sure they use frequently:       Good morning How are you? Great job! Thank you. Please… I have complete confidence in you. What do you need from me?  How can I be of greater support? What’s getting in your way? Here’s an example: What’s on your plate right now? Here’s my feedback: Don’t hesitate to ask. What questions do you have? What do you think? Here’s what I am trying to achieve: How’s your family/dog/new car?  (acknowledging life out of work) Are you enjoying your work?  Enough challenge? Keep me in the loop. Tell me about your week. Ha Ha (laughter What are your dreams?  Goals?   AVOID THESE: Failure is not an option. I’ll do it myself. Don’t bring me any bad news. You’re lucky to work...

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