I read a fascinating article by Dan Solomon, a regular contributor to FastCoCreate.com. He comments on an interview with Sleepy Hollow creator and executive producer Roberto Orci and how Orci managed to turn it into one of this season’s best new shows.
This is an interesting topic that companies and customers have to deal with all the time. Your brand, its story and what you want to accomplish, and how to personalise this to suit your customer’s experience.
Figure Out What You Really Want To Accomplish In Your Customer Experience
What’s your company’s strategy for delivering great experiences to your customers?
If you really want to achieve a great Customer Experience, then you’re going to figure out a way to make the customer the most important element of your organization,
How important is it to make the Customer Experience part of the company’s culture?
It’s both very challenging and very important to have a powerful message to get across and a story to tell with your customers
Having a relationship between your customers at all steps along the way and keeping a record of the customer’s interactions and journey within your organization will allow you to treat your customer with ultimate personalization—which is really where you are going at all touch points of that journey.
Don’t Be Afraid To Think Big
Although it can be the small things that make a lasting impression in any walk of life, especially in the customer arena, we still need to think big and have audacious goals.
A question I frequently ask my clients is, “What would make this a WOW?” So, thinking big, “What big things could you do to WOW your customers?”
Just as the film Sleepy Hollow is decidedly epic in scope and bold in its storytelling, there are no half-measures on show in any part of the film experience and its production.
Just as in the customer journey the approach is a fundamentally important way to understand how an organisation needs to work. How departments need to work together, what content you need to develop, what technology you should invest in, what people you need, what metrics you need to track, and, ultimately, how much you want to expand and think big.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” ― Steve Jobs
Make Sure Your Big Idea Is Grounded In Something Real
How many times have you been in a meeting and someone has said to you; “That’s a great idea, you should take the initiative and make it a reality.” What typically happens?
Most of the time – nothing!
Most great ideas remain dormant because people don’t have the courage, resources, time and or money to take appropriate action. And for those who do take action, most are unprepared and thus find themselves spending valuable time and money on a dream that simply goes astray.
Converting any idea into reality is never an easy task, here are a few tips;
- Believe in yourself
- Embrace risk as your best friend
- Be patient and appreciate the journey can be hard and slow.
- Learn to sell your vision to others
- Be passionate with your ideas
- Make sure your ideas are purposeful and have meaning behind them
- Stay focused and stick to your plan
Extend Your Bold Vision By Embracing Diversity
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing each other’s individual differences.
Organisational diversity occurs when there are a variety of people with different backgrounds, nationalities, and ages in the workplace.
Being able to embrace principles of diversity does require your whole team to put this strength into practice. That ultimately means reworking plans and ideas and encouraging any new activities,
We cannot ‘embrace’ diversity by remaining set in our ways, beliefs and thoughts. Often, this will mean removing old practices, altering traditions and modifying points of view. Creating a climate of diversity often can mean radically altering the way your organisation does things and how your Customer Experience will be perceived.
Learning to understand others and move beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within both you and your team can lead to making it a success.
In the article Orci explains that committing to diversity opened up the whole storytelling potential for the show’s creators, as well as just providing a more realistic look at an America that’s full of more than just white people. For them, it wasn’t just about having diversity, it was about using it, and about making a point of the fact that, when you are someone of colour or a minority, it actually had effects, and there’s was commentary about it. If you put it into the DNA of the story, it can actually become fascinating, and a great, honest lead for storytelling.
Commit Fully To What You Are trying to Achieve
Every time we do something, whether it succeeds or fails, we try to learn what it was about it in each case,
Orci says. “If you are really interested in what you’re doing, and you really do love it, you will go the extra mile and it’ll just make it better”
There are several ways you can tell just how fully committed your team are to any project you are working on.
Firstly you need to ask yourself: are your people willing to go that extra mile if and when the situation demands it? At such times, when the pressure is on, will your Customer Experience Team be willing to pull out all the stops and get a result?
As a Leader, if you have both solid and motivated staff who are completely committed to the cause and fully understand the aims of the business, then the solution has already been solved.. I have always said that one of the most important jobs of a leader is to get everybody else to buy into your vision for the company by developing and sharing an inspirational vision that is stretching and adds value to an employee’s life.
All leaders have to be capable of winning and maintaining team loyalty and must ensure everyone is working together for the greater good of the organisation.
As Dan Solomon says in terms of being idiosyncratic, “I think we’re just following where the characters take it. We start with this incredible premise–let’s not water it down.”
Do you make your Customer Experience Team feel fully involved or do you ‘water it down’?
Perhaps you should take the director’s cut and remember your purpose is to create a team that is pulling together in the same direction with the same passion and drive as improbable as in ‘Sleepy Hollow!’
The other night I watched a documentary called ‘No Place On Earth’ that Explored the Remarkable Story of 38 Jews Who Hid In a Cave For 511 Days
This story was so overwhelmingly powerful that I immediately saw synergy between this incredible human endeavour and the way we act with our Leadership culture within our organisations.
When we truly believe in something, we are motivated to secure it, against all odds, no matter how difficult the journey. If we do not believe in what we believe 100% we will not lift a finger to help see it through. It is our deep- seated, innate devotion that makes success so crucial from any leader’s perspective.
In the spring of 1944, a group of 38 Ukrainian Jews emerged weak and jaundiced from a cave they’d used for nearly two years to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.
In 1942, as Hitler intensified his hold on Eastern Europe, a group of Jewish families disappeared into some of the vast underground caves and labyrinths of western Ukraine. This group ranged from toddlers to grandmothers, and for the next few years they lived, worked, ate and slept directly under the feet of those that would have sent them to their ultimate deaths. And yet the story had been forgotten until an American caver stumbled across the remnants of their underground home and set out to find out the survivors.
The extended family and several others lived in two separate caves for a total of nearly two years, including 344 consecutive days inside the colossal underground sanctuary known as ‘Priest’s Grotto’.
These families had no previous experience or equipment to deal with this situation. What they did have however, was a close knit family, a few helpful friends above ground, and the determination, leadership and teamwork to survive.
Spending such a length of time in a cave seems almost impossible, especially when you consider they had to contend with malnutrition; smoke from their cooking fire contaminating water sources; and getting lost in the pitch black labyrinth, and bats ( which carried disease); Smoke was particularly dangerous. One of the small children almost died from smoke inhalation in the first cave due to conditions of poor ventilation.
This family had no choice but to learn to adapt quickly and along the way developed some absolutely ingenious ways to overcome these hardships against all the odds. With few candles, light was limited to three short periods each day. Working as a close knit team they spent many hours wandering in the dark, memorizing the feel of the cave floor with their bare feet. It was like being blind and only feeling the directions in Braille.
What It Teaches Us
Their story teaches us some amazing lessons: Trust, family, loyalty, survival, and perseverance.
Are you really leading your team against all the Odds?
What is the culture of your leadership journey? Do you recognise Persistence and resilience will ultimately build the bridges between adversity and excellence in your organisation whether large or small?
The deepest questions, insights, awareness and answers rarely come to us as leaders or managers when we are sitting at the top of the mountain of success feeling like the keys to the universe are all ours.
No matter who we are, no matter what we have captured or accomplished; our success, achievement, sense of personal power, value or fulfilment can always change in a blink of an eye. We must constantly strive to keep on top of our goals.
The greatest power we hold is not in what we have, but in who we truly are when we choose to ignite, engage and unleash the leader we want our team to follow.
The worst life scenarios; the most adverse of treatment, abuse, humiliation, the greatest of failures, the pain of dealing with a threatening illness, or a personal stumbling block cannot steal the faith, hope, courage, potential and determination that burns inside us, unless we let it.
Resistance To Change
Here are 12 typical reasons why you may be resistance as a leader to the change you need that will set you apart from your competitors and make a real difference in your organisations culture;
- Lack of competence — Your team or employees will seldom admit to this, however a change in organisational traits necessitates changes in skills, and often you will not be able to make these transitions easily without confidence building.
- Misinterpretation about the need for change- If your staff do not understand the importance of the need for change and moving forward, this will result in resistance. Especially from those who strongly believe the current way of doing things works well…and has not been challenged by the threat of failure
- Zero trust — If your team are not properly briefed and given the confidence to be trusted to create new ways of working there is likely to be resistance
- Temporary Whim— So many employees belief that the change initiative is a temporary fad and after a few weeks/months will just slip back to the old ways. The momentum must be kept up. The family in the cave will have needed constant reassurance that they would get out alive and not just believed for a short time that they would escape and after this time no hope would set in
- Not being consulted — If your team are allowed to be part of the change there is less resistance. People like to know what’s going on, especially if their jobs may be affected. To work towards the end goal your team will need to be consulted and trusted with their own ideas
- Exhaustion/intensity — People who are overwhelmed by continuous change often end up resigning themselves to it and go along with the flow anyway. So you have them in body, but you do not have their hearts. Motivation hits rock bottom if this had happened in the cave everyone would have perished for sure!
- Poor communication — this is self evident. Poor communication is the downfall of all teams. If the family had not communicated at every level they would certainly have not survived!
- Changes to routines —Everyone has to step outside their own comfort zone even to the extent that they may feel uncomfortable in the short term to get long term benefits
- Fear of the unknown — One of the most common reasons for resistance is fear of the unknown. You team will only take active steps toward the unknown if they genuinely believe and trust 100% in what you are asking them to do
- Benefits and rewards — Benefits and rewards for making the change are not seen as adequate for the trouble involved so make sure you motivate with regular rewards. In the cave this trait would have keep families going from the day to day routine.
AND FINALLY, Change is a journey…
Why Manage Change?
Change is the articulation of any strategic journey. As Change Leaders, it is our task to connect every impacted individual to that journey in such a way that they are able to change their own world of work in a lasting, meaningful and responsible way.
“A leader gains strength, power and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
And if you’d like to buy the complete video get it from Amazon
A department store in New York City at the East Houston Street location of American Apparel, notorious for turning heads has done it again!
This controversial retailer is well known for getting its customers talking. This time, adorning the store window mannequins with; guess what? Answer ‘pubic hair!’
A spokesperson for American Apparel is known to have said ‘We created it to invite the passersby to explore the idea of what is ‘sexy’ and consider their comfort with the natural female form.”
Really? What’s the point of this raunchy exercise in publicity apart from titillation do you suggest? (And yes the manikins’ do have nipples!)
Well, the company points out that this outrageous window display is aimed at boosting sales around Valentine’s Day, and it appears it’s already really working! Curious customers and media huddle round the shop window in their droves snapping pictures and creating a stir.
The manikins dressed in revealing shirt dresses, perms and skimpy panties and masses of pubic hair leave nothing to the imagination and impact of the Customer Experience at this touch point.
It’s Not Their First Time
This is not the first time by any stretch that American Apparel has used scandalous imagery and publicity to attract its customers. The retailer has had its fair share of lawsuits along the journey of its rise to success. The company has also a troubled past dealing with Securities Fraud and the supposed sexuality of young models. And even more than this in 2011, An employee died after an industrial accident as a result of being crushed by a circular knitting machine. What a terrible way to go!
American Apparel spokesperson Peter Schey is known to have said that all these past incidents have only strengthened this company and lead to the improvement of the lives of its roughly 10,000 employees. The company now has employee policies that go above and beyond what the law in the US requires.
“It’s not like mistakes have been made and we’ve ignored them and made things even worse, it is a situation where we’ve tried to learn from those mistakes,” said Schey, “Every mistake is an opportunity to learn how to do things better from the standpoint of the workers.”
Here are JUST SOME OF THE previous adds that totally rocked American Apparel:
Even, if it’s only diversity in the pubic region with the express purpose of causing a little ‘buzz’ are these mannequins a step too far? Or are they demonstrating a realistic view of the female body as a customer would like to see – real people, warts and all?
Just as customers may like to see mannequins depicting people of different race, people with disabilities, people of different sizes, heights…
Is simply putting sex into advertising provocative and erotic and just specifically designed to arouse an interest in a brand, product or service?
Sex Can Also Turn Off Customers
Do these mannequins make you want to buy American Apparel clothes?
Surely there is a fine line drawn here and just as in the media all too often brands can be seen as stepping way over the line.
There is always a difference between what you want your customers to see and what they actually prefer.
People may find American Apparel’s clothing erotic as any other, but if the product isn’t great, they won’t hold onto the customers for long whatever image they portray.
Company leaders really need to take a solid look at the way they promote their products or services and this often requires getting naked in front of the mirror, but surely only figuratively?
The use of sex in advertising has important social, managerial, and public policy implications. These implications hinge, of course, on the desired portrayal of women in contemporary society, the conditions under which advertising and marketing managers must consider.
Despite the importance of sexually-oriented advertising and its increased use, little research has been directed towards measuring the impact of such advertisements on consumer awareness, attitudes, or behaviours
As a result of these shortcomings, very little is known about sex in advertising and how it may be expected to interact with other variables to arouse, motivate, offend, or otherwise affect target and non-target consumer populations.
American Apparel has a history of using such hair in its imagery, potentially for shock value. Just last Autumn, the store sold a graphic T-Shirt containing an image of a menstruating vagina with pubic hair, which caused an online stir. Before that, they released an Ad featuring a model in sheer underwear with once again visible pubic hair!
‘The Bottom Line’
Is American Apparel delivering the wrong kind of customer attention, and does this line of thought ultimately lead to a bigger and better brand?
People hate being misled, when advertisements are full of untruth and as we know this is part and parcel of the overall Customer Experience. If you use taboo subjects in advertising, but the rest of your product and service is not risqué, you’re running into trouble.
Surely sex, used sparingly and judicially, is a strong selling tool. But abuse it, and you will ultimately lose out?
But now consumers are left to decide for themselves whether or not the advertising message and product match – or if that even matters. Your views?
I have just read an interesting article from a contributor on LinkedIn that I love. Her name is Liz Ryan. She writes with such inspiration from the heart and her illustrations are great too! I hope you will read her latest blog in which she discusses; ‘How to get naked, win friends and influence people’. Read it here. It certainly gives us food for thought!
We all have personal branding – with our current job title or our industry designation and put on huge over coats and batten down the hatches of our inner self, losing all our fun, creativity, and often all our innovation. We all have the ability to come up with creative ideas which can help us each and every day in the workplace, if only we scratched beneath the surface to discover what is actually underneath.
Being creative can involve cooking a meal from scratch, creating a novel, doing some DIY, making up a bedtime story for your child, finding ways to cut costs, or even developing a creative solution to a negotiation impasse. Whatever you do, creativity helps you do it better.
Many business people will admit to saying, “I have no creativity at all!” You may well believe that your job has no requirement for creativity, or perhaps you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that you are just not the outgoing fun type. But having a creative mindset and being intrinsically you is not the sole domain of being arty – whether it’s painting, theatre, music, architecture, dancing, literature, and so on-but is important in any field, from medicine to business, and from engineering to economics.
Embracing ALL OF YOUR creativity is essential for fulfilling your potential, at work and in life. So why with all the liberalisation around our everyday lives do we still prefer to hide layers to the nakedness of ourselves behind our laptops and working uniforms? You are the same person that goes to work and when you arrive it is as if your ‘Heart and Sole’ dies….you become subdued, risk- aversed and oh so serious…
So, keep looking around in your organization.
- Do you see fun and creativity at work?
- Do you see joy?
- Do you see love?
- Or do you see fear, and in authenticity, and mediocrity?
If the latter, you may be witnessing the wall of the mind at work. At a basic and human level, this may be the single most dangerous stumbling block between your organization and long-term success!
On a personal level I am from a design background and so use my creative skills to design and develop various business initiatives. However, I find that there are very few people in the business world that can tap into their creative talent and very few people actually ‘doodle’ or ‘sketch’.
As a professional, I sketch almost daily, within team meetings, client interactions; brain storming sessions, the list goes on… The entire wall of our studio is covered with sketches, mapping out everything from phone conversations to rough training activities, to the more serious presentations for large corporates.
As business continues to drive positive change in the world, creativity is an increasingly essential part of organizational success. Encouraging creativity is a vital function of good leadership.
Why Sketch or Doodle?
In the first instance scribbling and sketching can release you from getting bogged down in technology and focus you on finding the perfect business solution, so freeing you to take risks that you might not otherwise have taken.
I love mood boards because they help us understand our clients, their objectives and how they’d like their brand to feel. It’s so important to us that we work with the client to identify what feels right as well as looks great, and mood boards really unlock the gap between what a client says they want (or even thinks they want) and what they actually want.
Our vision boards on our studio walls are our most powerful way that we visualise our goals and keep 100% focused on everything we do.
Books To Read And Videos To Watch.
In her book ‘Game Storming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rule breakers, and Change Makers’ Sunni Brown writes how creating an environment for creative thinking and innovation can be a daunting challenge to any organisation. Her book includes more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. There is a unique collection of games that encourage engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace. I highly recommend it as a toolkit.
In her TED talk Sunny goes on to explain the benefits of doodling and even offers an alternative to the definition found in the Oxford Dictionary:
“Doodling is really to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think. That is why millions of people doodle. Here’s another interesting truth about the doodle: People who doodle when they’re exposed to verbal information retain more of that information than their non-doodling counterparts. We think doodling is something you do when you lose focus, but in reality, it is a pre-emptive measure to stop you from losing focus. Additionally, it has a profound effect on creative problem-solving and deep information processing.”
Background History of The ‘Doodle’
“In the 17th century, a doodle was a simpleton or a fool, as in “Yankee Doodle.” In the 18th century, it became a verb, and it meant to swindle or ridicule or to make fun of someone. In the 19th century, it was a corrupt politician. And today, we have what is perhaps our most offensive definition, at least to me, which is the following: “To doodle officially means to dawdle, to dilly dally, to monkey around, and to make meaningless marks, to do something of little value, substance or import and,”my personal favorite, “to do nothing.” No wonder people are averse to doodling at work!
According to Linda Silverman, author of ‘Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner Upside-Down Brilliance’.
The Visual-Spatial Learner, 37% of the population are visual learners. If so many people learn better visually, we can expect, then, that some of them learn better by putting a speech, lecture or meeting into visual and tangible form through pictures or doodles, rather than by being provided with pictures or doodles (which would be the product of another person’s mind).
Humans have always had a desire to visually represent what’s in their minds and memory and to communicate those ideas with others. Even early cave paintings were a means of interacting with others, allowing ideas and images to move from one person’s mind to another’s. The purpose of visual language has always been to communicate ideas to others. A sketch or a doodle is to, visually commit to memory a concept that we want to both empathize and interact with.
Recently I came across a book called ‘Back Of The Napkin: Solving Problems And Selling Ideas With Pictures’ by Dan Roam. Roam’s original book provides a whole new way of looking at business problems and ideas. He demonstrates how thinking with pictures can help you discover and develop new ideas, solve problems in unexpected ways, and dramatically improve your ability to share your insights with others.
He quotes;“What if there was a way to more quickly look at problems, more intuitively understand them, more confidently address them, and more rapidly convey to others what we’ve discovered? What if there was a way to make business problem solving more efficient, more effective, and — as much as I hate to say it — perhaps even more fun? There is. It’s called visual thinking, and it’s what this book is all about: solving problems with pictures.”
But just how do working walls in a business environment become an invaluable commodity in design thinking? Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO says
“Design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
Fundamentally if we all think like designers we will actually be able to transform the way our organizations develop their services, processes, and strategy. We can show the way to people who aren’t trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of everyday business challenges.
Creativity can be a great strength in the culture of an organisation, its approach and alignment can be at the very heart and soul of success in any discipline or industry.
Creative thinking in business starts with having empathy for your customers (whether they’re internal or external), and you certainly can’t get that just sitting behind a desk! .
.So why not use those yellow Post-its and marker pens to creatively solve each problem your organisation has. Go on a journey map it on the walls. So, what are you waiting for? Doodle!
I read this interesting article by Ilya Pozin CEO of Open Me. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn today. In it he debates whether organisations should aim to improve productivity at work through paid naps.
Although I don’t necessarily agree that paid napping should be part of the workplace; I can vouch for the working/lifestyle balance of the French who certainly, in the South West of France seem to have this balance of work/rest in daily life perfectly aligned.
I do a lot of work near Toulouse in the Midi Pyrenees area of South West France, and here the two-hour lunch is still quite sacred. At midday on the dot all businesses whether large or small, bar the big supermarket chains, close down for lunch. When I say ‘close’ down I mean lock the doors, put the shutters down, and spend two solid hours eating and relaxing. This French midday meal is a filling meal, combining a protein such as meat or fish, along with a vegetable, a portion of fruit or yogurt and a glass of red wine – or two!
The Long Lunch
In large companies in France there is usually a large cafeteria with great wholesome food, encouraging employees to spending time at work and not drift home, so having time to put their feet up take a nap, or just relax. In contrast frantic Britons now spend less than 30 minutes taking a break for lunch because they are too busy to take the traditional full hour.
The average worker in the UK spends just 29 minutes munching down their food often as they work at their desk, so in essence having no ‘break’ or ‘rest at all! I am not against a ‘paid’ nap time and agree to the Huffington Post’s two office nap rooms, which are a positive cultural shift in the workplace.
My thoughts are if organisations could organise proper lunchtime breaks it would not only improve overall employee well being, but productivity big-time as well. In other words they should aim improve productivity at work through paid naps or at least proper breaks.
There is still a huge culture of lunch-break denial in the UK and America, as many employers think that taking time out from the office is unproductive, and employees think their colleagues will see them as slacking when there’s a lot of work to be done.
But surely with a little shift in mindset, employers and workers alike would appreciate that by taking a proper lunch hour (or two) away from their desks, productivity, stamina and enjoyment would actually rocket?
To get away from the workplace for a short time, means you can positively detach yourself psychologically as well as physically.
10 Tips To Help Improve Your Lunch Time
What you do during your mid day break might vary depending on your job, company culture or personal priorities—but the experts agree all workers should try to do some of these 10 things during lunch hour:
- Don’t squander your lunch break because it’s ‘free time, Make a plan and don’t waste this precious gift.
- Staying at your desk is a big no-no! Get up from your desk or work space.
- Take a deep breath and relax. When you’re relaxed, you can better organise your goals and have a wiser perspective on production
- Lunch should be about having a meal. Enjoy eating!
- Avoid obsessively checking your e-mail during lunch. Too much staring at the computer screen or phone is not only bad for your health but non- productive without a break.
- Treat lunch as a football team treat halftime, take a few minutes to reassess where you’re at and re-prioritize the rest of your day.
- Remember it’s your time to refresh, go for a brisk walk, listen to music, and chat with a work colleague.
- Network. Lunch is a great opportunity to continue to make relationships and network with other work colleagues, whether that is by having lunch with them or calling them to catch up
- Talk with people about something besides work during lunchtime it will also boost your energy level and improve your mood for the rest of the day
- Get some fresh air. 20 minutes of sunlight and fresh air is the perfect elixir for the midday blues.
So yes, acceptance of “nap culture” would do us all good, but as far as making it a paid nap, with finances in short supply, do we need to go that far? What are your views? How far would you go to shift this culture change?
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic. “Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success” We all know people, in our workplace or in our personal lives, who are great at listening and helping us feel more hopeful and optimistic. Do you wish you had the ability to control your emotions too? Your emotions and the ability to handle your own feelings can determine your success and overall happiness in all aspects of your life. Improving your EL can have a direct and positive effect on both your energy levels and consciousness too. Here are 7 simple steps you can use to improve your EI and develop your self-awareness and empathy.
Whilst rushing from one commitment to another to meet deadlines, and external demands, it is easy to lose touch with our emotions. When we begin to pay attention to how we’re feeling, we can then begin to recognise those that are working for our benefit and those that are potentially harmful.
Do you notice how you act when you’re experiencing certain emotions during your day-to-day life and the impact these have on you and your working colleagues? Are you communicating to your best ability with them? Is your behaviour affecting both yours and their productivity, and ultimately your overall sense of well-being? The ability to manage emotions effectively is a ‘key’ part of emotional intelligence.
Emotionally, self-regulation is the ability to calm yourself down when you’re upset and cheer yourself up when you’re down. Do you take Responsibility for Your Feelings and Behaviour? If you become aware where your emotions and behaviour come from you—you will begin to realise that you’re the only one who’s responsible for them. By learning to control and manage your emotions, especially your impulses, you are able to prepare yourself for emotional self-management.
Empathy is extremely powerful and essential to raising your emotional intelligence. Practice Empathising, with Yourself, and Others. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Practicing this ability will improve you’re EI, and can dramatically improve your relationships with others.
5. Create A Positive Environment.
Positivity will not only improve your quality of life, but it can be contagious to people around you too. Evidence shows that positivity increases when workers are given increased flexibility in their roles and more work-life balance. Being positive also helps deliver improved productivity.
People with high levels of EI often make great decision-makers, decision makers as they know when to choose to follow their intuition rather than just the facts
6. Able To Take Self Criticism.
Learning how to take criticism and knowing how and when to use it to improve your performance is crucial. EI people are usually motivated to see and find resolutions to these problems in calm and rational ways. People with high levels of EI tend to be more productive, and passionate about wanting success.
6. Social Skills.
People that have learnt to develop their EI competencies are more easily able to talk and connect with others. They tend to really care about others in a socially responsible way and not just out to achieve their own personal gain. These individuals’ are great team members and are able to take responsibility for their actions and the impact it has on others. Having a high EI gives you the social skills to influence the emotions of others well too.
To demonstrate a high emotional intelligence means you will have the ability to know when to show happiness sadness, excitement, anxiety, or even vigilance. These traits can be extremely important as very few people ever know how to manage their own happiness. Nowadays, happiness is so often associated with material goods or gifts they receive from others. Happy individuals with positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings, while negative emotions have the opposite effect.
To be effective in the workplace it is essential to have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around you. The better a person is able to relate to and works with others, the more he or she will succeed. Our brains are built for connecting. By developing your EI skills as a leader, you can have a profound effect on those around you, both at work, at home, and in the wider community. So, take the time to work on your self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. The results with be substantial and will help you exceed all expectations in the future! And of course if you’d like to develop your own Emotional Intelligence we can help you do it. Take a look here.
I often read articles for Fast Company and find them very thought provoking and interesting. I came across this one today;‘Building A Brand Is No Longer Enough–You Must Create A Movement’ by Austin Allison.
In my opinion brands that provide enjoyment are already showing the way of success now and in our future. Brands are already taking the dullness out of the workplace. Fun is a great way of enhancing the Customer Experience, associating fun with the brand also attempts to create the emotional connection between the consumer and the brand itself.
This ‘trend ‘towards better service levels and creating a passionate movement is in response to human behaviour. With the increasing amount of technology in the lives of our consumers we need more than ever to create that personality in our brand that makes us stand out from our competitors .
An excellent level of service was previously for the elite, the celebrity, the people with money, now this has very much shifted to the mainstream of our society.
As spending power increase and choices become greater, consumers have a ever higher expectation that every purchasing opportunity should deliver a degree of ‘delight’.
Just as Richard Branson has taken an existing product offer and repackaged it with that extra mile, easy- to- use services and friendly staff with great success, we too must have that unique narrative.
The brand experience and ‘creating a passionate movement’ is created only by having a ‘brand vision’. Every resulting perception and insight will denigrate your brand.
To engage the consumer the start up brand must understand how its audience will be interacting with the whole brand environment and experience. Then the customer journey must be scripted to follow this path, the whole story; from the retail experience to the product itself, the services the price and the follow up customer care and interaction.
So, until your brand start up makes that connection between what is said and what is done, form the board level to the on the ground operations ,creating that passionate movement where all are involved and all opinions matter the consumer will continue to have a love/hate relationship with your brand that will not move forward and beyond in the future.
Attraction marketing is the clever trait you can use in any business to bring your customers to you, rather than them having to find you, either by chance or by searching for you.
To give an example; If you are a retail clothing company and your shop window was full of frumpy boringly plain attire, as a customer you would doubtless spend little or no time peering in, and probability is that you would not even step inside. However, if the window display was bright, upbeat and bold and the shop oozing an atmosphere of welcoming stimuli to enhance all your senses you would quite probably step inside!
What happens when a well dressed person male or female enters a room? People look usual lift their heads and look the person up and down and then keep trying to catch a further glimpse.
It’s a simple fact we are drawn to attractive things. Our businesses are attractive because they captivate attention in the first place.
All the most successful organisations use this power of attraction to attract their clients, social media followers, and ultimately all their customers!
The Vital Pointers
Here are 3 vital pointers I use in my company to make my team fully aware and use Attraction marketing at its best;
1. Use Mystery; Tell great stories by using imagery and inspirational advertising.
2. Use Sensuality; All the senses must attract your customers, sound, sight, smell, touch and taste
3. Use Intimacy; Use your 100% commitment, empathy and passion
I love to visit the dizzy markets of Istanbul. Here people have a passion. The bazaars offer a fabulous rich tapestry of a shopping experience. Although at times, a little ‘scary’, I am drawn again and again the pungent smells, open sacks filling the air with the deep fragrance of spices and fruits.
A conglomeration of noises, calls to attract attention, exchanges of bartering, visual richness and the touching of flesh, as you wander through. If we were to take some notes in the western world about how to attraction can work, then these markets with their diversity of senses can teach us a great deal.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming
attractions.” Albert Einstein
A good book to read on the powers of attraction: ‘Top Professional Networking and Attraction Marketing Secrets from the Real World’
Looking into the future, we must encourage our leaders not only to strengthen their psychological resources, but outwardly express positivity and in turn act as role models to their employees and display their own brand of ‘ Great Leadership Management’.
It is sadly all too often the case that leaders are not psychologically equipped to handle decisions in the workplace.
In order to have the potential to serve as an energizing force within organizations today, leadership Management must be managed successfully to enable impact is to have positivity.
Often when leaders are thrust into an environment of stress and tension they are put under enormous psychological pressures and these very circumstances can result in ‘dire’ results. In any organisation it is prudent to remember some of the following factors when recognising a great leader;
- Leadership means having to make decisions at breakneck speed, giving little time for thoughtful consideration or consultation – so ‘speed’ is often of the essence.
- Leaders need to be trained psychologically to respond to crisis, not only to prevent stumbling in normal circumstances, but in a crisis when problems can be way beyond their control.
- Leaders must be flexible to adapt to their organisation to any situation and cope with any hierarchy that could be a hindrance to their decision they make.
- Leaders must be able to make any decision simply, the more complex the solution the less likely they are to resolve it with their employees.
- In my experience, the quickest way to lose your leadership credential is to not be able to demonstrate balance in a crisis. You must be able to remain calm and not lose control of any emotions.
- It is crucial that all leaders share the same common goal. As organisational processes are stretched in a crisis, leaders must not become dysfunctional. A leader in a crisis must have the flexibility to adapt to any situation regardless of the inherent processes of their organisation.
- Leaders must also be able to approach any crisis with a positive attitude and encourage this throughout any and every situation, to perform and communicate well, and show a solid dedication to the problem in hand with dedication and unfailing loyalty.
Finally, Leaders need to realize and address the fact their need to continually grow with their organisational skills, be able to bend with adversity and be prepared to offer honest feedback and advice even at the stake of being unpopular. In any organisation it is the true leader who drives it forward and champions it to be the very top of its league
Further reading; see Post by Dr. Marla Gottschalk
Industrial & Organizational Psychologist / Workplace Strategist; Note to Managers: Positivity Matters