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Do Personal Issues Sabotage Your Customer Service? - Business Times Column #121

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Chances are, you’ve endured an unsavory experience as a consumer. You’ve been treated poorly during the course of a business transaction and likely more than once.

Now consider: Did these experiences interrupt the pleasant flow of your day? Did you receive the value you were looking for? How did they make you feel? Were you inclined to never do business with that company or those people again? Did you tell others about your experiences?

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Are You Hiring Top Performers In Your Business? - Business Times Column #120

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Every business I work with has at some point experienced challenging and unpleasant issues with its team members. A reality for every business is the potential for individuals to interrupt the smooth and effective operation of the company and harm the work environment.

Team members of this caliber typically don’t handle themselves or their positions well. They have negative attitudes, are difficult to communicate with and consistently have complaints and personal issues. They also could lack the necessary skills and attributes; resist learning and change; and, due to one or more of these factors, create a drag on the culture and success of the entire organization.

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What Internal Barriers Limit Your Business Success? - Business Times Column #119

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

If you’re like most business owners and managers, you strive to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently with as few interruptions to the flow of business as possible. But as you work to prevent or remove any blockages that limit your success and happiness, there are a number of key variables to keep in mind.

Barriers or blockages to business success come in many forms: ineffective systems and procedures, poor customer service, inconsistent quality and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively. There are also

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Do Personality Conflicts Limit Your Business? - Business Times Column #118

A smooth, effective and efficient flow of information is critical when working to meet the needs of clients, foreseeing challenges and overcoming obstacles. It’s also essential to the production and delivery of high-quality goods and services in a timely manner. When communication is limited or even impossible due to personality conflicts, the business weakens from within, and the effects are far-reaching.

Personality conflicts hurt business operations by contributing to a decline in communication, collaboration and teamwork. Efficiency, productivity, team member satisfaction, retention, business growth and profits are all affected. The degree to which team members don’t collaborate presents one of the greatest obstacles to business success.

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Assessments Key Part of Developing Your Team - Business Times Column # 117

Do you want to increase collaboration and the overall performance of your team? Have you ever wished you had access to clear-cut information that would enable you to place your team members in positions where they’d be the most effective and happy? Would identifying specific areas of training and professional development for your staff that would provide the greatest return on your investment appeal to you?

One of the biggest challenges you face in creating a company that stands head and shoulders above the rest is a lack of credible, unbiased information. It’s what you don’t know or are even aware of that really limits your potential. In considering the future growth of your business, having clear, powerful and accurate information that positions you to develop and maintain the best team possible will be key to your success.

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Do You Want to Work for A Boss or A Leader? - Business Times Column #116

If you’re like most people, you’ve worked for a variety of business owners and managers throughout your lifetime. Undoubtedly, a few clearly stand out in your mind as people for which you enjoyed working, while others created an unpleasant environment. It’s also likely there’s no doubt about the type of person for which you’d rather work.

There’s a vast difference between being a boss and being a leader. By definition, a boss is someone who’s a master over others, who’s often domineering and uses intimidation to get ever more out of the individuals he or she oversees. Conversely, a leader influences, collaborates, guides, mentors and supports to foster movement in a desired direction. The biggest difference between these two management styles is a leader empowers team members and inspires them to personal greatness, while a boss disempowers employees.

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Do You Believe You’re Being “Held Hostage?” - Business Times Column #115

Business owners and managers sometimes feel as though they’re being “held hostage” by one or more team members who play key roles in operations. Owners and managers believe these individuals possess sensitive information; perform vital functions; and letting them go or, in fact, taking any action that might upset them would leave the company in a vulnerable or even desperate position.

The feeling of being held hostage by anyone or anything is an uncomfortable one to say the least. In this situation, business owners and managers commonly believe they’re powerless to change their circumstances and therefore remain at the mercy of the team member and the situation. This is only a belief, however, and beliefs of this type must be changed to attain more happiness and success in the business.

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Are Your Communications Empowering? - Business Times Column #114

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

In my previous column, I illuminated 12 primary ways people sabotage their listening, the downside of doing so and some of the major benefits of learning to listen with integrity. I suggested that listening effectively to others offers the most fundamental and powerful communication tool of all. Building the powerful habit of truly listening is the first step in becoming an empowered communicator and building more successful relationships of all kinds.

In this column, I take the next step and consider the other vital aspect of communication: dialogue.

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Listen with Integrity to Build Respect, Rapport and Trust - Business Times Column #113

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Not truly listening to others and ineffective communication often lead to dysfunctional businesses, disgruntled team members, unsatisfied clients, failed marriages, disassociation with loved ones, frustration and anger, to name only a few. In fact, ineffective communication constitutes the largest obstacle to any successful relationship, and it all begins with listening.

Here are some important questions to consider. Do you like it when others truly listen to you? Do you feel respected, acknowledged and valued when others really listen to what you’re saying? Do you have greater rapport and trust with those who actually listen to you? In other words, do you like it when others care enough to be absolutely present with you in their listening?

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Job Benchmarking: Cut Costs and Increase ROI - Business Times Column #112

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

All businesses experience turnover for a variety of reasons and endure very real costs associated with finding, training and developing new team members. Wise business owners endeavor to reduce the high costs of turnover and maximize their return on investment with new hires.

Extensive studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150 percent to 200 percent of a team member’s annual salary.

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How Will You Expand Your Team's Potential in 2016? - Business Times Column #111

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Human potential expands or becomes static depending upon whether or not it receives the stimulation it needs to grow and develop. The phrases “I’m in a rut” and “I’m stuck” are born of an individual’s languishing potential. Business owners, team members and business themselves get in ruts, too, and this must be overcome if they’re to expand their potential.

The path out of this stagnant state is through continual and ongoing learning opportunities designed to expand the potential of the team — professional development that challenges, stretches and increases the capabilities of your team members over time. Trainings are a vital component in consistently providing opportunities for team members to learn, grow and develop.

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