How To…


How to Deliver Customer Service like an Athlete

By Drew Stevens, Ph.D.

Project Managers have both internal and external customers we deal with on a daily basis.

Peter Drucker once stated that the purpose of every American business is one thing – creating customers. Research by the American Management Association show that your average HAPPY customer will tell 3 people about her experience with you. Research shows that, out of 25 dissatisfied customers, one customer will complain, 24 are dissatisfied but do not complain, and 6 of 24 non complainers have serious issues with the organization. More importantly for selling professionals, customer service is included in 40 percent of every client interaction.

I remember the greatest words I ever heard when seeking to repair my computer after a 3 hour conversation, the representative getting tired stated, “You are a customer, and I will get this repaired for you no matter what”. When you supply grand slam customer service, your business costs are lower and your success greater. Learn More »

Has Your Creativity Tanked?

By Don Goewey

What makes a person highly creative? It has a lot to do with how much two parts of our brain talk to one another. Researchers have found that when the logical, analytical, linear left hemisphere is in dialogue with the intuitive, imaginative, brainstorming right hemisphere, it predictably produces highly creative, yet practical outcomes. The greater the cross-talk, the greater the likelihood innovation will follow.

How do we get the two parts of our brain to talk to one another?

A study published in the prestigious journal Brain and Cognition (1) reports on an incredibly simple method researchers tested that appears to do the trick. In the study, sixty-two subjects performed a task that required creative thought. They were given one-minute to dream up as many alternate uses for everyday objects like newspapers, brinks, paper clips, pencils, and shoes.

After performing the task, researchers asked half of the subjects to move their eyes horizontally right to left for 30 seconds. The remaining subjects were instructed to stare straight ahead for 30 seconds. The researchers hypothesized that horizontal eye movement would stimulate cross-talk between the hemispheres. Why? Prior research has suggested that people who have one hand that is dominant, so-called “strong-handers”, have less cross-talk between their brain hemispheres compared with people who are ambidextrous or “mixed handed.”

Following the eye exercise, all the subjects performed the creativity exercise again. The results were astonishing. Subjects who’d performed the horizontal eye movements showed significant improvement in their creativity. They were more original and more prolific. In contrast, subjects who’d stared straight ahead showed no improvement in creativity. The beneficial effects of the eye movement exercise lasted nine minutes for originality and six minutes for variety. It’s just enough time to get you unstuck and begin to build a head of steam, if your creativity has been blocked.  Learn More »

Change the Channel!

By Pamela A. Scott

This week’s tale of living with people focuses on Caleb, as told to me by his boss. But I suspect you’ll think of several folks you know—maybe even yourself—when you read about Caleb.

Caleb works at Dean and Powell. He’s married, with a couple of kids. He has a mortgage, his retirement accounts, college savings accounts. (You know where this is going, right?) Learn More »

Using the 3 Ps to Negotiate a Raise

By Mark Jankowski

Too many people rely on “gut” instinct and just leap into the fray, rather than working with a planned process for negotiation when it comes asking for a raise. However, the most important part of negotiating is having a systematic approach.

How can you use the 3 Ps to negotiate a raise?  Many people just walk into the boss’s office and say, “I need a raise.”  The boss says, “yes,” “no,” or “we’ll see” and then you hope for the best.  If you use the 3 Ps, Learn More »

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