Meant for Each Other

I see advertisements and articles online that try to educate those who have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® as to which type is your best partner.  I know that curiosity plays a part in people wanting to know if their partner or potential partner is the ‘right’ one.

Having taken the Myers-Briggs® from a certified practitioner and had it properly debriefed, you will know that it is about how you communicate knowing that each of the sixteen personality types take in and respond to information in their own unique way.  If knowing these differences in type you choose to not accept them, then your relationship is not going to run smoothly.  The beauty of knowing personality type is that it gives you the tools to communicate effectively with others.

The beauty of life is that we are all unique, with our own gifts.  Even with the same letters describing our personality type, we will not be exactly the same or react the same way in times of stress.  Type is not perfect, but it is a starting point in understanding ourselves and those close to us, whether it be in the home or workplace.

There are no bad types.  Each brings their own strengths and weaknesses to their environment.  Any type can do any job although some may be more comfortable in the job than others.  Time and time again I have seen the value in Boards or management teams with a diversity of type.  You can’t choose team members by type but by understanding type, you can make the most of communication and decision-making.

This works with partners as well.  By understanding type and having a willingness to acknowledge your differences, you can be ‘meant for each other’.

Enjoy the journey!

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Posted in Assessments, Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Communication, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Learning styles, Life coaching, Lifestyle, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Relationships, Team development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

When we hear someone talk about entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit we often think of this brave individual charging off in the world of ideas, ready to venture out on his/her own.  What we don’t think of is the employee with all kinds of ideas on how to do the job better or create new direction.  This employee doesn’t want the risk of venturing out on their own.  They like the comfort of being employed and there are lots of them.

As an employer, you should be embracing the spirit of these individuals for they may be the ones to keep your business in the forefront in this ever-changing world.  They won’t however, if you constrain them in their everyday work and don’t engage them in conversation to get their thoughts on the work they are doing.

An employee needs to feel the environment that they work in allows them to contribute and doesn’t punish for making mistakes.  There is an old saying, “If you aren’t making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough.”  There should be opportunities for employees to present a change in the way things are done and, if it seems reasonable, be allowed to try.  Sometimes it doesn’t work but, by trying, something else does.

A local Nanaimo firm had a large whiteboard on a wall.  If an employee had an idea, the name of the employee and the idea went on the board.  A team put the idea through its paces, recording each on the board, until there was a decision to use it, or not.  They were rewarded for the idea in either case.

If you do not include your employees in how your business functions, you are missing out on keeping processes simple and current.  The person doing the job usually has the information on how to do it more efficiently, if you ask them and include them.

A side benefit is you will have less turnover.

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Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Communication, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Human resources, Leadership, Life coaching, Listening, Team development, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of a Smile

I was at the gas pumps this morning a little frustrated by the inability of the machine to read my card.  A lady at one of the other pumps came by and as she passed, she gave me a smile and said, ‘good morning’.  That smile and cheerfulness changed my outlook and interestingly, that of the pumps as well for my card now worked!

How many times has a smile made your day?  A simple gesture given freely can and does make a difference in people’s lives.  You don’t know the burden anyone you meet or pass by is carrying.

Smiles convey a happy workplace.  Seeing clerks in a store who smile and honestly look like the enjoy working in that environment encourage customers to return.  It is a place you want to give your business.  No-one likes going to a store or business where everyone looks like they lost their best friend.

People are genuinely more attractive when they smile.  The wrinkles you get around the mouth and eyes as we age show that we have had a lot to smile about in our lives.  Studies have shown that people are treated differently when they smile, it encourages positive interactions.

In Buffer, Leo Widrich’s blog ‘The Science of Smiling…’, he says, “Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that chocolate, a well-recorded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.

And, unlike chocolate, a smile does not cost anything!  So smile, and see the power it unleashes!

“The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”  Dale Carnegie

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Career professional, Clients, Coaching, Communication, Community Futures, Customers, Elephants, Employees, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Managing stress, Marketing, Networking, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Anxious, Excited, Introvert

As I write this I’m thinking of tomorrow, when I get up at 5 a.m. and drive to Victoria for the SOHO event at the conference centre.  This is an opportunity to hear talks from 8 dynamic speakers offering advice and insights for small business.  There are also workshops and networking opportunities. While this is an amazing opportunity, my personality type kicks into high gear at the thought of an event such as this.

My ISFJ Myers-Briggs® personality type starts to twitch when reading about it.  My ‘I’ is going, “There will be lots of people there, what if I don’t know anyone, who will I talk to, what will I say?”  “Are there places at the venue where I can go and not be disturbed (besides the washroom)?”  “Thank goodness I will be alone driving back so I can wind down for two hours.”  We are expected to network!  What can I prepare ahead to avoid small talk?

Meanwhile my ‘S’ is searching the caverns of my mind for similar situations in the past and how I made it through them.  After I registered, I read and re-read the agenda to see what I would like to attend in the program.  Over time it becomes clearer, but with more information, it may change.  The sequence is important.

How will I know I am not communicating with a ‘T’?  They will not necessarily value what my ‘F’ sees in the presentation making conversations awkward.  I will lead with the generic, “What did you like about the presentation?” and see the response before putting my foot in my mouth.

Of course, thanks to my ‘J’, my desk is covered in post-it notes for; what to wear, what to take with me, charge the phone, gas up the vehicle, check the agenda (again), set the alarm, reminder to take the phone, take the ticket, take note paper, lay out the clothes the night before, water for the vehicle, restaurants near the conference centre, check the weather forecast, and more.

Then, in spite of my ‘I’ questioning why I want to be with all those people, I went, and the event was fantastic.  I met a half-dozen really interesting people but escaped to have lunch alone and go for a walk.  The afternoon sessions were even better, and I got caught up in the excitement with those around me.

And, the quiet and the reflections on the two-hour drive home, made the day complete!

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Posted in Assessments, Business Coaching, Coaching, Communication, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Managing stress, MBTI, Myers-Briggs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

People Skills

The ‘soft skills’ within an organization can be the difference between success and failure.  Many times, soft skills are only thought of in sales situations in which employees are engaging with current or potential customers.  What is sometimes forgotten is the interaction of employees within the company.

How well your staff communicates is extremely important.  Do they have the ability to listen to the needs of others without judgement, or are they forming a response in their head while ‘listening’ to the other person?  When communicating with others there is also the need to give them the information they are looking for before launching into what they might consider side benefits.

Poor communication can interrupt the flow of information and procedures.  One task cannot be performed until another is completed.  Is the person receiving what they need in order for them to do their part in the process?  If not, it can result in wasted time and productivity, and perhaps disgruntled customers.

Think of a symphony orchestra.  The leader (conductor) communicates how the score is to come together.  Percussion, woodwinds, brass, and strings (employees) all have their parts and need to provide the right notes at the right time or it will interrupt the flow of the music as intended.  The result for the musicians and conductor could be frustration, and the customer (audience) will not be satisfied.

Whether it is a Board, management team or a couple of employees who work closely together, understanding the way we communicate, both as a team and individually, can make a huge difference to our decision-making and reducing conflict by adding clarity to the conversations.

One way of achieving better communication is through a team-building workshop using the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory®.  If there is frustration with communication in your organization or one you are involved in, consider improving it.  For more information visit www.lrassess.com

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Posted in Assessments, Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Communication, Customers, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Empowering people, Life coaching, Listening, MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Relationships, Team development, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress – But in Which Direction?

That was one of my father’s favourite sayings when there was something new that was supposed to be helpful, and wasn’t.  He has been gone for many years now, but it is amazing how many times his words have echoed in the chambers between my ears.

Case in point, I needed piece of power equipment for the yard, to make tasks lighter for my senior arms.  I dutifully did my due diligence on the computer and researched the available products to ensure I was getting what I needed and not overkill.  According to Google, my favourite building supply carried the product, which was great because I had a gift coupon I could use.

To my disappointment the product was sold by them but only online.  Before leaving the store, I went to customer service.  I said I had a coupon but was having to order online so how could I use the coupon?  “You can’t”, was the reply, ”But, when you receive the product bring in the invoice, we will do a return, then re-bill it, and deduct the coupon.”  It sounded convoluted, but he assured me it could be done.

So, back to the computer.  To order online you had to give them an email address.  I entered the email address and pressed return only to get the message, “Please enter a valid email address”.  I read what I had written letter by letter and it was correct.  I tried twice more and got the same response, so I phoned the number at the bottom of the page that said, “If you need help ….”.  Obviously, I did!

The call was answered quickly, and I explained that tried to order online but it kept telling me that my email wasn’t valid.  The immediate response was that I needed a valid email and perhaps I should use another one.  I persuaded him to try my address I had been entering and it worked.  He told me that he could take the order for me, so I proceeded with the product’s information.

When he finished he asked for delivery instructions and I told him that I would like it delivered to our local store and I would pick it up.  Even though it said at the top of the online order that I could do so, he told me that, for that product, I couldn’t so I gave him my home address.  He told me it would arrive in 7 – 10 days.

On the shipping confirmation I received on my email, it said I could track the shipment, but the link did not work.  Today I was upstairs in my office when I heard a loud thud.  Since I was the only one home, I decided I should investigate.  On my way downstairs I noticed a delivery truck outside so figured it might be my package.  By the time I opened the front door, the truck had driven away and there, up against the door was a 60 cm x 60 cm x 45 cm box.  The box looked a little bit like it had a bad day, but the product was unscathed.

Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to get the delivery but there are several things wrong with this picture that didn’t happen when you could buy the product by talking to the salesman in the store.

  • The unnecessary work created by a coupon that could not be used online.
  • The online order program unable to read a proper email.
  • The seemingly incorrect referral to delivery through the store.
  • Tracking link for the delivery not working.
  • The method of delivery.

The last point is the one that really makes me wonder.  When we used to receive an order, it wasn’t left unless someone was home to sign for it.  If you weren’t home, there was a card telling you where to pick it up.  This was a $350 item in a big box left at my front door in plain view of the street.  There was no attempt to ring the doorbell or sign that I received it.

At Christmas there were several news stories about parcels being stolen from front doors.  I don’t doubt it!  It is an open opportunity for those so inclined.  If they delivered it and someone stole it how would I prove that I didn’t receive it?

Progress, but in which direction?

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Clients, Coaching, Customers, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Marketing, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What will it take?

Working with entrepreneurs is fascinating!  Some have had an idea percolating for years before they decide to put it into action.  Others have so many ideas and no focus that allows them to start.  Some don’t know they have an idea unless they are prompted with questions that clarify it for them.  I think that all of us, at one time or another, have dreamed of having our own business and not being reliant on someone else to earn a living.

It sometimes is a pressure or an opportunity that triggers a start for the entrepreneur.  The pressure might be the fact that there are no jobs available in their community for their particular skill set and it is not practical for them to relocate.  There may be medical reasons forcing them to rethink their career.  They may have had difficulty working for others or unable to move ahead to where they felt they could flourish.

The opportunity might be that the product or service is not available in their community because it is new or that the community in the past has not been large enough to support the business but has reached the tipping point.  With web-based technology today and the platforms that are available, it may be that there are opportunities presenting themselves for marketing the product that have not existed in the past.

What holds many back is the lack of knowledge of the steps to get it off the ground.  They have a good grasp of their product or service but what else do they need to know to ensure the greatest likelihood of success?  There are many avenues in British Columbia to access self-employment knowledge. There are Community Futures offices throughout the province as well as Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).  In addition, there are courses at local colleges and universities, websites such as www.smallbusinessbc.ca and events such as SOHOVictoria.

What will it take to bring out your entrepreneurial spirit?  Will you only dream, or will that be your first step to reality?

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Chamber of Commerce, Clients, Coaching, Communication, Community Futures, Customers, Economy, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employment, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Life coaching, Marketing, self-employment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment