Jan 17, 2010   
Shoe Gram, vol.93
Welcome to Keep Your Running Shoes On Weekly Shoe Gram!

Did you just "SHOULD" on me?

How many times have you heard yourself tell someone, “In my opinion, you should do it this way…” or “You should change the focus…” or my favorite, “You should make one more sales call…” Now think back to when you either said a similar phrase or heard it. What was the reaction? Was it empowering and uplifting? Did it set you free and make you feel charged up and motivated?

Throughout our career, we’ve heard, “You should set goals and follow up on them for the year” without telling us how you set a goal. They would just “SHOULD”on us. Rather than shoulding on people, let’s ask them questions like: “What do you think could be the result of making one more sales call?” or “What would it be like if we moved our focus to ___?” and “Let’s talk about what you would like to accomplish in 2011 and how we can work together to achieve those goals.”

We are advocating a “come along side” approach that offers the opportunity for the other person to be engaged in what we need to accomplish. Regardless if it is an employee or a customer, we are inviting their participation and engaging them rather than shoulding on them.

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Here is your swift kick in the butt challenge: In Shoe Gram #91 on January 3 we encouraged you to keep a tally of how many times you heard or said shouldshould…and would “SHOULD”on someone. Again, our guess is that the number of times is rather startling.  Your challenge is to improve the culture of your communications with a come along side approach that empowers everyone from employees to customers.

In your Running Shoe Monday Meeting, ask for everyone’s tally of “shoulds” and offer the alternative. It is something you can have fun by asking each other, “Did you just ‘SHOULD’ on me?” or “Did you just ‘SHOULD’ on that customer?”

As you do this communications and culture check, watch the attitude of employees and customers change. We think it will be a great boost to your recovery process in the current economic climate.

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Norma Havens or Bob Belknap at The University of Street Smarts are available to speak to your company, trade association or convention on this and other subjects. Call (775) 746-5340 or
Toll Free at (877) 414-9985.
Put the University of Street Smarts to work for you.


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