Tag Archives: emotions

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emotions guide

Emotions Guide Your Work, Good or Bad

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Do you recognize how your emotions guide everything that happens next? Emotions are tightly connected to your culture whether it is realized or not.

Leaders sometimes suggest you should remove the emotion in order to make a good decision.

Certainly, there are times when that may apply. Yet, there are other circumstances or situations where emotion is what creates forward energy.

Buy-in, persistence, and motivation may all be linked to emotions. Passion for the work and caring about the customer are also connected to emotions or feelings.

Emotions Guide

Many businesses face change. The thought always is, get buy-in for the change effort.

It is easy to quickly reject the suggestion for a new path in the meeting. It may be easy to bring up all the obstacles and roadblocks in the path of making a new direction work.

Sometimes, great ideas are quickly put to rest by eager naysayers.

At the same time, ideas that gain traction are also connected to emotions.

When it seems like a good idea excitement builds, commitment develops, and those involved are emotionally connected. When people are connected at that level, they don’t want to see the project fail and they’ll work hard to overcome any obstacle that may sabotage success.

After days, weeks, or years of commitment to a path or system, people are emotional. They have witnessed the success, poured their heart into keeping it alive, and have satisfied hundreds or multiple thousands of customers.

It would have been easy to reject the system when it was only a thought. Once it comes to life is it also connected to emotion.

Sticking to a path, an idea, or even an employee is emotional.

Good or bad.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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personally

Remove the Emotion, Stop Taking it Personally

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Are people in your work group, department, or organization taking it personally? Does the theme, “Remove the emotion,” echo in meeting chambers?

Here is the rub.

The last time I checked, emotion was connected to things like passion, enthusiasm, and even motivation. Workplace energy is connected to emotion. Like it, or not, it is.

Emotions Removed?

Every time an employee is shunned by the statement, “Remove the emotion!” they are one step closer to a disconnect and disengagement.

The next time they feel excited, happy, or energized, a voice inside suggests, “Remove the emotion.”

Certainly, there are sometimes leadership decisions and choices that require a temporary disconnect from the emotion. Making it the lyrics of your corporate theme song is probably not a good idea.

Personally

Taking it personally is another trouble spot. People want to be taken seriously and seriousness is often felt to be personal.

People sometimes joke, perhaps with distaste, “It is personal, like a heart attack.” Yet, when expressions of self-reflection are offered, it seems to become too personal.

Seriousness is a fact of business. It may be part of your emotional intelligence quotient. Most would suggest, seriousness is required.

Can you be professional and take things personally? Are these mutually exclusive?

One thing is certain, emotion is often what drives us. Emotion sharpens the presentation of the professional. All of our happiness, fear, and disappointment has a way of moving us.

Personally, I would be cautious about losing the emotional drive of your workforce.

Seriously.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace emotions

Are Workplace Emotions Productive or Destructive?

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Workplace emotions are often regarded as inappropriate. Are emotions important for success or are they a distraction?

Perhaps most important is to remember that we are talking about people here. Living, food consuming, and carbon dioxide producing, people.

Engagement and culture are driven by emotion. Emotions are part of people, they come with the package.

Productive or Destructive?

If you’ve been told to remove the emotion be aware of how you’ll manage your future interactions. If you’re telling people to remove the emotion consider revising your approach.

Certainly, there are times to consider setting aside some of the emotion. Business decisions do sometimes need to be made with setting aside some of the emotional connection. Economic hardship, downsizing, or even organizational survival may come to mind. This is reality and a truth.

Sometimes counterintuitive is that one of the most destructive actions related to culture is removing the emotion.

Let me be clear what I’m talking about. This is not about the person weeping about the death of the window plant. He or she may need some additional help.

This is also not about acting out the latest SNL skit in the breakroom. Humor can be helpful in some cases, however, it is also very volatile. Humor, or the use of humor is a different discussion.

Workplace Emotions

What is important about workplace emotions?

Customer’s make decisions based on emotion. Employee’s make decisions based on emotion. Your culture is driven by emotion.

Psychologically when someone shuns another person in the workplace about emotion, the next time they are feeling something, they may disconnect. This includes passion, inspiration, or even kindness.

They’ll disconnect with the thought, disconnect with the moment, and disconnect with the flow.

Is engagement problematic? What about loyalty? Are you measuring employee or customer retention?

Suggesting on the removal of emotion may be one of the most destructive actions you can take. Do you want a team, a brand, and loyal customers? You’re going to need emotion.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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dramatic change

Dramatic Change and the Squeaky Wheel

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Most stories are dramatized for the intended benefit of audience engagement. When change is happening in your workplace is it dramatic change?

It starts at a very young age. Children cry or dramatize the situation to garnish more attention, bring attraction to the problem, and spark someone else into action.

Often it is valid, sometimes it gets labeled as crying wolf, eventually the scale of drama is balanced out or the child gives up.

Workplace Drama

Drama in the workplace is common. Problems are often exaggerated, circumstances expanded, and somewhat minor situations capitalized on for a desired result.

Sometimes it happens with customers. The business representative moans through it, describes the pain involved, highlights the specialty of the experience but still gives the customer what they want.

In contrast there may be a different strategy. A strategy where the mistake is covered up, disguised, or camouflaged. The intent may be to make the business look strong, accountable, and error free.

Future Interactions

The interesting part is that internal or external service and the associated experience sets the stage for future interactions.

I can accommodate your need, but just this one time.

We aren’t supposed to do this because it is so costly but I will make an exception. 

This requires manager approval, I will ask. It is unlikely they’ll agree but I’ll do my best. 

Drama may be more common than you realize. It is fueled by emotion and often ignites reciprocity. Perhaps desirable in sales and service.

Dramatic Change

Changes in policy, scaling up, scaling down, economic turmoil, and even government regulations may spark dramatic change in your organization. How will the change be navigated?

Will the change process smooth and effortlessly? Will it be camouflaged, transparent, or dramatized?

You likely won’t remove the drama because drama is a choice. Your choice will condition the impact and engagement of others.

Drama is the squeaky wheel. A squeaky wheel may get oiled or get replaced.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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forgiving customers

Forgiving Customers and The Big Disconnect

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Your best customers are loyal and forgiving. At least that is what most organizations want to believe. Do you have forgiving customers? Could that be where things start to go wrong?

Many of the best customers expect that mistakes can happen. What they really want is an effective plan for how the mistake is handled. Certainly, a coupon or excusing a few dollars from the bill helps, but is that what they really want?

Emotional Connection

It is common for business leaders to suggest that you must remove the emotion from critical decisions. Yet at the same time it is really emotion that drives many of our choices.

Ask a busy CEO how they decided or how they knew a plan would work and they may suggest that they had a gut feeling. Is there emotion involved in a gut feeling?

When we want the team to be enthusiastic, engaging, and to care about making a difference is that based on emotion? Logic is important for guiding direction and so is consistency in how we decide.

For the customer they often want to know that you care. They decide, based on emotion, whether they feel that you care or that you don’t. Some customers may suggest a coupon for the next visit sounds closer to marketing than it does to caring.

A customer who is seeking a dollar off, a coupon, or extra rewards points really isn’t emotionally connected to the business, they are emotionally connected to their money. Not a bad thing, but there is a noteworthy difference about where the emotion lies.

Forgiving Customers

Forgiving customers understand mistakes will happen, what they really want is to know that you care. Those emotionally connected to money may want you to give up some of yours, those emotionally connected to do what is right need to know you understand.

Each transaction may be different and so is each customer. Catch all forms of forgiveness will not always build customer loyalty. In some cases, it may create the biggest disconnect of all.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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training customers

Are You Training Customers or Is It My Imagination?

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Marketers, account managers, and brands all have something in common. They want to achieve more sales, build the brand, and make the most of their high value customers. Are you training customers? Do you realize what you are teaching them?

Our professional business interactions are driven largely by emotion. As people we act and react to joy, pain, and adversity. Many business people will suggest that everyone should remove the emotion, but the act of trying removing emotion is driven by emotion.

Businesses and organizations everywhere are conditioning their clients and customers for future interactions. As people of emotion and habit, we learn to adapt to situations. What we learn leads us to make decisions and choices that our connected with our past experiences.

Training Customers

Our restaurant is closed on Monday.  Later the restaurant wonders why business is off. Monday is a business day and people want lunch. The people don’t remember what day, they just know that they are not always open.

Every weekend we have a sale. Why go there on Tuesday, just wait to see what happens on the weekend. Otherwise, you’ll pay too much.

We will email you sixteen times before the sale ends.  No need to act now. I will be notified repeatedly. Maybe something else comes along and I don’t act at all. I also don’t trust or understand the deadline.

When I call, I can get a better rate. (Hotels) Don’t use the online registration system, they charge more there. Continue calling a staff that is untrained and unavailable since the hotel strategy is to move reservations to the online system.

You: I want to cancel my subscription. Vendor: Wait, I can give you a better deal. Punish the auto-renew or higher lifetime value customers. Who cares, they are not planning to cancel.

Punishment

Do you believe your business or organization has a customer centric focus? Do you have a culture of service? How are you training customers?

Are you training them the right way or punishing them to fit your agenda?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer service empathy

How To Practice Customer Service Empathy

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Customer service really isn’t just a department, it is for everyone who cares. Purchasing anything is typically connected to an emotional decision. Sure, we often buy based on our need, but often choices we make leading up to that purchase are based on a feeling. Do you practice customer service empathy?

In my soon to be released book, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, I wrote about the difference in mind-set between short- and long-term strategies. A customer service memory may be built in a moment, but there are many things leading up to that moment and often some lengthy things following behind.

Customer Experience

The customer experience sometimes begins after the test drive, after the emotion of the moment, and long after the purchase is made. It isn’t the short game, it is often more about the long game, even the experience of a cup of coffee, a convenience store purchase, or the click of a computer mouse.

Since we have memory, and in many cases make a similar purchase again, it is clearly a long-term connection. Building that connection, creating the customer experience, it may all be based on our ability to demonstrate empathy.

Customer Service Empathy

Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is about understanding. If business relationships are about people, then customer service is about empathy.

Empathy doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It doesn’t happen when you don’t care. It happens because you care.

Our feelings and building the connection often happens through memories. Things like scents, sounds, and images. What our senses connect with as people.

Even social media channels seem to serve more posts to people that contain pictures or video. Coincidence, I think not. Strategy, I think so.

We have to take action, speak up, interact and engage to show empathy. No words, no signs, no pictures, and empathy will be harder to demonstrate.

How To Practice

How can you practice customer service empathy?  It is easy to do, demonstrate it. It may start with some simple phrases, here are a few to consider:

  • I’m sorry…
  • How can I help?
  • We’re here for you.

We all know that practice makes perfect.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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service promises matter customer appreciative

Why Customer Service Promises Matter

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Yes, it is true, the customer typically wants to be right. Your image and brand are critically important for continued success. What is sometimes surprising is how little businesses understand why customer service promises matter.

Certainly, it isn’t everyone, but when something goes wrong many people are looking for someone else to blame. When you’ve promised something to your customer and you don’t deliver you probably will make them look bad. Who will they blame?

Your brand, your image, what people believe or understand about the transaction will have a lot to do with the outcomes. It doesn’t always mean it is the correct impression or understanding, but it might be what they understand.

Ordering a Whopper at McDonald’s might be a misunderstanding or a simple mistake, but expecting your sandwich to be warm is a promise.

Service Promises Matter

Have you thought about your customer service promises? Those that are spoken, written, or otherwise assumed by your customer to be delivered by you? Have you considered how policies, procedures, and pricing affect loyalty?

Here are a few things to consider when you ask yourself about customer loyalty and living up to brand promise:

  • Giving new customers a price break to sign on while loyal customers pay more.
  • Insisting that the warranty is the warranty even when the difference is very narrow.
  • Encouraging a buy new, never fix, approach with products or services.
  • Assume the customer is not smart enough and speak with them that way.
  • Refuse to negotiate when in the past you always have.
  • Forcing features or specifications that your customer must now pay more for.
  • Fixing software bugs and selling them as an upgrade.

This list can quickly become very long. The difference for many promises is based on emotion. It is what the customer feels—or doesn’t.

What Customers Feel

How you make your customer feel will have a lot to do with the future of your relationship. Certainly nearly every situation is unique but word travels fast and a negative word even faster.

Do you believe customer service promises matter? You should, because your customers do.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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judging customer service

Judging Customer Service: How Was It?

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There are plenty of judgments going around. People often decide what they will like or what the reaction will be before it even happens. Are people judging customer service?

It might start with the advertisement, the packaging, and the photograph. What is the presentation, does it make sense and will it work? Is it the right fit and does it capture all of the customer needs?

Good Intentions

A funny thing happens with product and services marketing, sometimes customers have a different impression from the intent. In other cases, they become attracted and mistakenly buy a competitors product. It might be ordering a Whopper at McDonald’s, right time, wrong place.

Fresh water anglers might know the elusive muskellunge as the fish of a thousand casts. One angler casts for hours with no fish. The next boat that passes might make it happen in just one throw. Right time, luck, chance, or experience, perhaps more than one applies.

Sometimes all of our intentions are right, but the outcome still might go wrong. People like to be right.

Emotionally Connected

Your packaging, your website, and your social proof might all be part of what generates sales today. The product or service you provide might be judged by thousands of people before a purchase is made. Yelp reviews and Angie’s List, they all matter.

The truth is that in many cases the customer decides right before they click the button, pull out their wallet, or slide their credit card. Most buying decisions involve emotions. Who really needs an expensive car, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, or shoes with red soles? Emotionally connected people, they believe that they do.

Judging Customer Service

Many people live by a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once the judgment has happened and the purchase has been made, the customer doesn’t want to be wrong. The truth is they always want to be right.

Their interests are to experience the expensive car, ride the Harley Davidson, or wear the red-soled shoes. They are connected.

Quality, expectations, and delivery, they all matter. Life doesn’t always feel fair, like it or not your customer service has already been judged.

Accurately or not, on purpose or by mistake, it often takes place right before the decision to buy is made.

Are people judging customer service?

Will you live up to their expectations—should you?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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