Archive for Allie Casey

Communication and Your Customers – 5 Tip-Top Tips

Short and sweet communication nuggets. Get into the customer communication game with these tips:

  • Business etiquette plus positive personality equals excellent customer service. Think Zappos!
  • Would you do business with you? Spend time being your customer, evaluate everything from reputation to referrals.
  • Make these ABCs essential to your business–Articulate what you do clearly and concisely, Build Rapport first, Confidence is what people notice first–own it!
  • Make listening easy for your customers–eliminate communication barriers. Take a moment to find out what might be in the way–an accent, speech pattern, distracting gestures…etc. and vow to banish it so you can be heard.
  • No matter what you are selling–ask for the sale. It’s a disservice to your customer if you don’t.

That’s today’s quick tips–add one of your own in the comments.

These tips and more like them can be found in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Pick up a copy today–you owe it to yourself. Click the book image on the right or go to Amazon.com. Don’t forget to pick up your 6 Part Audio Series, “The Power of Effective Communication” it’s FREE.

Avoid Misunderstandings at Work–Communicating with Confidence

Misunderstandings in the workplace are often the result of poor self-confidence. Confidence shows up first in your presence. In-other-words, your posture, the way you move, the way you stand and your energy.

What does all of this have to do with avoiding misunderstandings? The non-verbal message sent by slouchy shoulders, an unbalanced stance and a voice that lacks conviction can easily negate even the clearest verbal message…and that causes misunderstandings. Communicate like you mean it.

Consider the young manager who is not quite sure of herself as she attempts to give direction to her assistant. The request might be as simple as completing a report needed for a meeting. Her words might be clear  but her assistant might read her lack of confidence in her demeanor to mean…”if you have time to get it done.”

If you’re thinking this never happens, think again. The dog whisperer, Cesare Milan, tells dog owners that the conversation they are having in their in heads –positive or negative– translates to the energy a dog understands. The same thing occurs with humans, and no one knows this better than children. The mother who attempts to stop her child from an unwanted behavior by sweetly saying “no honey” in a voice that says  “I don’t really mean it” hardly gets the response she would like.

Communicating with confidence won’t eliminate all misunderstandings but it will help. What do you think?

For more communication tips pick up a copy of  Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work. You can get it by clicking the icon of the book on your right or at Amazon.con.

Communicating with Yourself–The Key to Reinvention

Successful reinvention–the art of creating yourself again–is directly related to how honestly you communicate with yourself. Or in-other-words, your degree of self-awareness. How you see yourself and consequently what you tell yourself is the key to reinventing yourself again and again.

Let’s say you want to move from a corporate job to entrepreneurship  but don’t know where to begin. Does your inner conversation sound more negative than positive?  Are you communicating a message to yourself  that you probably can’t make it happen but you’ll take a stab at it anyway? Are you telling yourself you can’t leave the comfort of your job because of your responsibilities? Are you convincing yourself that you’ll do it when “things” get better? Or are you telling yourself that others have done it so you can do it too!?

Or perhaps you want  to create a successful business around your love of decorating and your jewelry business but aren’t sure how to incorporate both of these passions into a single workable concept. Is your self-awareness clouded by what others have said to you in the past? Is your inner voice convincing you that there is no way to combine these two passions? Or do you tell yourself that there is a connection between the two and you’ll get some help figuring out how to make it work?

Or maybe you are a coach but find yourself losing some passion for your coaching practice. Do you tell yourself to shoulder on and your love will come back? Or are you self-aware enough to realize that you are not practicing what you preach? Are you telling others to have fun but you’ve forgotten to have fun yourself?

The new year is the perfect time for introspection and more importantly taking a risk to step out and live the life you dream about living. Take an acting class, join a mastermind or commit to having some fun.

After all, it is your life. And it’s passing every minute. If it is not what you want take action now.

Reinvention Intervention

Don’t Make Resolutions! Reinvent Yourself Instead

Renewal, refresh, review, reflect, rehab, rebound, rejuvenate, regenerate, resolve, reinvent…REJOICE!

‘Tis the season to be thinking about the future and making changes. Resolve to make a decision to RESPECT yourself this new year. (Gotta love those ‘R’ words!) Ask yourself… Is it time to look at success and transformation in a different way? “Is it time for a Reinvention Intervention™?”

There’s nothing better than incorporating your body, mind and soul for true transformation (oh, a ‘T’ word!) When you push against your limitations you begin to remembering your possibilities and passions. Add a cheering squad and your success rate goes up.

Instead of vowing to lose weight vow to change the way you see yourself. Have you spent last year stuck in a job that doesn’t challenge you, use your talents or honor your soul? Have you been living a life that supports everyone but yourself? Are you facing a big change but aren’t sure how to maximize the possibility it holds?

Start your own reinvention by moving your body–nothing fancy required–just shake off your shoes and jump around so you feel the ground under your feet while listening to some fast beat music.

Feels good, right? Silly maybe but who cares–intervention isn’t always pretty. Now while you’re feeling connected to your physical body grab a writing utensil and start scribbling–anything. Really anything. Draw outside the lines, be a kid, be free. Use big arm movements and let loose with a stream-of-consciousness ranting. No one is judging or even looking–so let it rip. If you have crayons and poster size paper all the better. The picture isn’t the purpose…the feeling is. Happy, sad, mad, joyful, remorseful, whatever–take note of your emotions.

Okay, now that you feel perfectly __________ (fill in your own word) let’s add the last step.

What’s missing? What are you missing? What haven’t you done in a while that puts in touch with who you really know yourself to be? What are the emotions the exercise has brought up for you? Is there a passion, a hobby or a side of yourself you have neglected or buried? Do you just miss being a kid? Do you miss dancing or writing or feeling physically challenged? Did the exercise help you remember what FUN feels like? Are you feeling sad or mad about not honoring some part of you? Perhaps you feel joyful and free–do you need to feel that way more often?

If you really want to reinvent yourself enlist a friend to help. Resolve to be imperfect. Resolve to invest in yourself for once. Resolve to communicate with yourself.  Resolve to say “yes” to your gifts, talents and passions this year. Make this year the year to remember who you really are deep in your soul.

Rejoice!Reinvention Intervention

“THE GRATITUDE BOOK PROJECT”

There is nothing more powerful than being in a mindset  of gratitude and that is why I choose to be a co-author for The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude.

As cliche as it sounds gratitude really is a cure-all for what ails you. My story in the book talks about a special person in my life who always brings a smile to my face especially when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed. No pills needed just a thought – a grateful thought of how blessed I am.

Editor Donna Kozik and her team put together this  brilliant project and to pay it forward the national sales proceeds go to charitable organizations: Feeding America, ASPCA, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Women for Women International.  How perfect is that?!

This is an excellent gift for anyone on your list and I highly encourage you to pick up a copy today at Amazon.

The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude gathers together more than 300 coauthors who answered the question “What are you grateful for?” The project is now a book found on Amazon.com . Allie Casey of alliecasey.com and reinventionintervention.com  is a co‐author in the book. Find out more at http://amzn.to/fbXLpN

Better Communication with Reinvention Intervention™

 

“Reinvention Intervention™” and we’ll show you exactly how we changed our lives, found our passions and re-invented ourselves so we could finally live the lives we were meant to live!

If you’ve been living in a fog, lost your zip and zest for life and are finally ready to live YOUR dream–then you have come to the right place. Let us be the…

Champions for Your Dreams

If you know you are in transition but feel stuck about how to move forward…then a reinvention intervention will unlock your creative juices, boost your flagging life flow and harness your energy to help you create the perfect plan for action.

Go to REINVENTION INTERVENTIONfor all the details. Really…go now!

The Working Writer’s Coach – Suzanne Lieurance Interviews Allie Casey

Suzanne Lieurance ,  The Working Writer’s Coach, helps freelance writers become profitable working writers. Today she interviews me about my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work.

Listen to this short and surprising interview and learn about the real costs of misunderstandings in the workplace.

http://tinyurl.com/38sstf4

Be sure to check out Suzanne’s website it’s chock full of tools and resources for writer’s and aspiring writer’s.

Thanks, Suzanne!

Misunderstandings at Work–Will Your Conversation Matter a Month from Now?

Learning to respond to emotionally charged conversations or misunderstandings in the  workplace takes practice, patience and perspective. The key is to balance your assertiveness with constraint so you can walk away feeling good about yourself , while not leaving the other party feeling devastated.

Ask yourself the following questions before blurting out an emotional reaction during  a challenging conversation. You just might gain a new perspective.

  • What’s the long term impact if you say everything you want to say?
  • What consequence or result will occur moments after your conversation if you do respond emotionally?
  • Will the result last more that those few moments?
  • What about the impact in a few hours, days, months or years from now?
  • Will this conversation matter at all or will it change the course of a relationship for better or worse?

If you ask yourself these questions before blundering ahead, you’ll discover that some conversations won’t need to happen at all, but don’t make that an excuse for not having the ones that do need to happen.

Thinking about the long term impact allows you to put things into perspective. Perspective goes a long way towards guiding your tone and words,  and perhaps changing your intention from hurtful to respectful.

A small shift in your behavior now can go a long way into the future…in a good way.

What’s your thoughts? You can find more information on this topic in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com today.

Communicating and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude at Work

If there is one thing we should we should be communicating daily it’s gratitude. Expressing gratitude in the workplace is the key to fostering good relationships and cultivating a pleasant working environment.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a staff member or the manager in charge, you can use small tokens of appreciation to change your working atmosphere from negative or neutral to positive and expansive.

Here are a few ways to express your gratitude and make a difference.
Things to say:

  • “I’m happy you’re here.”
  • “I’m grateful you’re my coworker (or on my team.”)
  • “I appreciate your smile–it cheers up my day.”

Things to do:

  • Put a few words of gratitude on a colorful sticky note and tack it above a coworkers desk.
  • Write a few words of appreciation on small slips of paper and stuff them into fortune cookies. Keep them personalized to each recipient.
  • Create a weekly gratitude day–don’t make it a big deal–just catch a coworker in an act of kindness or generosity and let them know you appreciate their caring gesture. Listen, we all know who makes the coffee, this is a good time to acknowledge it.

Creating a culture of gratitude will yield greater profits than what’s visible on the bottom line–though it will certainly contribute to that result.

Try it. Let me know what works for you by leaving a comment below.

I’m grateful for you– my readers and clients–today and everyday. Thank you for showing up and participating.

You can find more information on this topic in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com today.

Communicating at Work–Check for Understanding

Communication means (according to my desktop dictionary) to transmit a message. Yes, there is a bit more elaboration but nothing that implies the checking for the understanding of said message.

Not good enough, I say. There are plenty of examples where transmitting a message suffices but even when a memo or message is posted in the workplace there is always someone that misinterprets or questions the message.

Posted message: ” The office will be closing Wednesday at 1:00 PM for the holiday.”

Question posted: “Does that mean for everyone?”

See what I mean, even the most direct message leaves a gap. So how can we expect the numerous conversations that take place daily to be interpreted as the sender intended? No easy task.

Let’s take a look at just a couple of things you can incorporate into your conversations to decrease the likelihood of misunderstandings.

1. Allow time for your message to be processed–avoid “bump and blurt” communications. You know the scenario where you run into your boss or coworker in the hallway and blab  your message as quickly as possible while still moving in the opposite direction. Really? You expect to be heard?

2. Ask for interpretation. This is the most difficult aspect of the exchange. The one question to never ask is…“do you understand?” Why? Because 99.9 percent of the time the answer is yes–when the reality is no. You can try the active or passive approach depending upon the situation and with whom you are speaking. Here are some approaches:

  • This casual approach takes on the burden of responsibility: “Wait…what did I just say?” Even though you know perfectly well what you said, this approach generally gets others to repeat at least of portion of what you said. And no, if you are making a request that requires action there is no guarantee it will be carried out as you expect.
  • A somewhat more direct approach allows for both processing and questioning, particularly useful after giving a long directive. “I’ve just given you a lot of detailed information.” Let’s review the first part again (you do) then you ask, “what questions do you have about this section?” This implies that there will be questions. Ask the question and then, you know…shut up. Most people don’t like to admit they are unclear about something so give them time to answer.
  • Another direct approach is simply to say, “I’m curious to know if we are on the same page, tell me how you heard what I requested? Often the intent is to get other people thinking the same way you do, forgetting that rarely do people think the same way you do!
  • Sometimes we fail to give enough information because we fail to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. If you request a project to be handled be sure to ask something like this…“what information have I failed to give you in order for this project to get completed on time?” (Make sure this is an open-ended question.)

Just in asking the question you might realize that you have not, in fact, given a time frame.  I’ve frequently asked audience members what time frame they put around this request…“as soon as you can get to it.” You’ll be shocked to know I heard everything from 15 minutes to a week!

Admins frequently are confused about prioritization–jumping on a task that didn’t need to be done first while ignoring more urgent projects. Both parties need to ask better questions.

These are just a few ways to check for understanding. Tell me what has worked for you by leaving a comment below.

You can find more information on this topic in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com today.