Tips and Techniques to Apply for Motivated Staff and More Sales

Posts Tagged ‘Customer service’

How Do You React to Annoying Behavior?

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Recently, when I was at my home in the Philippines, I awoke one morning to find one of the dogs sleeping on the sofa. All curled up, nice and comfy having nice doggy dreams. (She’s the one on the left in the photo of Motivation 247792_3957018401534_256628686_n (640x480) (440x330)Doc jogging club.)

So whispered in her ear – ‘Please wake up and get off the sofa CAS.’

And if you believe that, you’re as daft as me!

However, when placed in a situation of annoyance, shall we say; do you:

  1. Think or do you react?
  2. Allow other people (or dogs) to decide your behavior?

You probably answered ‘Think’ and ‘No’ to these questions, but do you ever catch yourself saying:

‘She makes me really mad!’

‘His behavior really annoys me!’

‘How dare she speak to me like that!’

‘If he thinks I’m just going to do what he wants!’

Is it possible, that in making any of these statements, that:

1, you’re reacting and 2, allowing other people to decide your behavior?

Does the other person make you mad, or do you decide to get mad?

Do you react to what a customer, or a colleague or your boss, does or says to you, or do you think before you take action?

You’re the boss

Before you achieve anything in your life, you need to take charge of your thinking. When you take charge of your thinking, you take charge of your life.

Thinking is all about communicating with yourself; it’s all the little things you say to yourself while you’re awake.

(Just don’t say them out loud or the men with the white coats will take you away!)

That’s a lot of thinking

I read somewhere that the average human has 12,367 thoughts every day. Now, don’t ask me how they worked that one out, but let’s just accept that we do a lot of thinking and communicating with ourselves. The thing is that, 70 percent of these thoughts or internal communications are negative and encourage negative behaviour.

How you think, your relationship with yourself is what decides how well you communicate with your customers, your colleagues, your team members, your boss, and the dog.

The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself, so you’ve got to get that right.

Henry Ford said, (he was the guy who started all the traffic chaos) – ‘Thinking is the hardest work there is, that’s why so few people do it.’

Always on time

I’ve always had a thing about good timekeeping; it’s something that’s been programmed into my brain. If you agree to meet me at 8.30 in the morning, I‘ll be there at 8.20; I will always do my utmost be on time.

So I used to get annoyed when a member of my team would show up late for a meeting or an appointment with me.

When I got annoyed I’d get stressed, I would react, and end up saying something that I regretted later. So I learned to start thinking about the situation and try to see it from their point of view. I decided not to react or let my programming run my brain.

That doesn’t mean to say I ignored the lateness or did nothing about it; I thought very carefully about what I wanted to say, and spoke to the team member about how we would resolve this situation.

Don’t get stressed

The point is this – I’m not prepared to allow that team member’s behavior to run my mind.

Getting annoyed and stressed is not good for your health and it isn’t a productive way to motivate your staff, deal with your customers or handle your mother-in-law.

You have to decide who runs your mind; is it you or is it someone else?

So – think about that!



How to Avoid Alienating Customers

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I know this may come out as a bit of a whinge. However, it really saddens me to see organisations who talk a good game about customer service, and then make a real hash of it.

The story

Two weeks ago I ordered a sewing machine from a company called Lazada.sewing machine

According to their website – Lazada is Southeast Asia’s number one online shopping and selling destination.

Of course they are number one, because Amazon have no presence there. I suspect that is because there is no delivery or postal system that would meet the Amazon standard.

I ordered the machine for my partner in the Philippines, paid for it by credit card, and was given a delivery date.

However, a few days later, Lazada sent me an email cancelling my order because they had made a mistake with the price. I reckon the price difference was about £5 to £6.

I paid £140 for the machine, plus a transaction charge of £4.

Lazada refunded my credit card £134.

So I’m out of pocket £10 and no machine.

Okay, so this is starting to sound like a whinge, but bear with me.

My questions to people in business are

  1. Do you want customers to come back to your company and buy more products and services?
  1. Do you want customers to talk positively about your company to other people and encourage them to buy from you?
  1. Do you want customers to accept your prices and be happy to pay them?

Or –

  1. Do you want customers to never deal with your company again?
  1. Do you want customers to tell other people never to buy from your company?
  1. Do you want customers to give you hassle about your prices and be slow to pay?

We all make mistakes

In any business, mistakes will be made from time to time, but there is always the opportunity to Recover with the customer.

In this situation, Lazada should have said – ‘We messed up; we got it wrong, but we want the customer to be happy. So we will have to take a loss (if it is a loss bearing in mind the difference is £5) on this transaction. Just as long as the customer is happy and continues to deal with us.’

Business have to run at a profit, but you need customers and more of them.

Lazada send me emails every day trying to sell me more products; I dump them all.

A positive customer service story

I ordered 50 copies of my book, How to be a Motivational Manager, from Amazon in the UK. This was to be delivered to one of my clients in the Philippines.

25 of the books were delivered, but the other 25 disappeared. (What did I say earlier about distribution and postal service in that part of the world?)

I contacted Amazon, and they immediately sent another 25 books to the Philippines at no extra cost. (The missing 25 books eventually turned up back in the UK)

Now that’s what I call Recovery!

Amazon took action immediately, they took the risk that they might lose out on this, but they just wanted to keep the customer happy. As it turned out, they didn’t lose out, other than extra delivery charges, and they made me happy!

Lazada still don’t understand that, hopefully on day they will.

Alienating customers is too costly – you can avoid that by recovering well and building a positive relationship with your customer.



3 Reasons Complaints Are Good for Business

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Don’t you just hate it if you hear complaints about your business? Well, you shouldn’t.angry businessman

Here are 3 reasons why complaints can be a positive thing for your business.

  1. They point out areas that need improvement
  2. It gives you another chance to provide good service and satisfy the customer
  3. It is a wonderful opportunity to build your relationship with your customer. If you recover well, the customer is likely to forgive you and come back again. They are also more likely to say positive things about your business to other people.

75% of customers will buy from you again if you resolve their complaints to their satisfaction.

Sadly, a typical business will hear from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers.

Make your business easy to complain to – it’s good for you!

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How to find more customer through word of mouth

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Would you like me to recommend a training company?

Okay, I can do that, I’m familiar with about 20 different companies that I’ve had contact with over the years.

So perhaps I could recommend one.

‘Why so few’ you ask?

Because I’ve discovered over the years that most of them do not practise what they preach.

I’m thinking particularly about the training companies who run customer service and sales programmes.

They will tell you all about customer relationship building, generating word of mouth, referrals and all that good stuff.

And it is good stuff, but they don’t practise it themselves.

Word of mouth

Now I know you’re thinking that this is just grumpy Alan having a whinge because I haven’t had a call back or an email reply. And after all I’m not exactly a potential client for any of these companies.

But I do know potential clients for these companies, and I do network, and have friendships with many business people.

“Word of mouth” is an extremely powerful way to find new customers or clients. (And it’s also a powerful way to lose them)

If you want positive word of mouth, then you have to do something about it.

What about you

Think of all the organisations you’ve had contact with. How many would you recommend to other people?

Every person who contacts you or your business, whether buying or selling, could recommend you to someone else.

So it makes perfect sense to treat them all with courtesy and respect. A thank you email or a thanks but no thanks reply, will only take two minutes out of your day, and may prove invaluable.

I can think of one or two organisations who have rejected my services (hard to believe – eh) but I would still recommend them to others.

That is because of their good manners and courtesy.

Gimme a job

I was listening to a young graduate on TV this morning. He has written around 1000 job applications and received replies from about 10%.

None of them have given him any feedback. (Perhaps someone needs to tell him that his CV or application letter needs some work!)

And to finish on a positive

In 2007 when I was trying to get my first book published, I sent my proposal to every publisher I could find around the world.

Rejection, rejection, rejection! But do you know what? Many of these notes of rejection, gave me some feedback or recommended another publisher I could approach.

Eventually How to Books said they would at least talk to me, and three books later…..

If you want to find more clients, and make more sales, then every connection counts.

So, do you want me to recommend a publisher?

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How to Live Longer

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I have found the answer to eternal life. Well maybe not eternal, but you could certainly live longer.Dog Tired of Phone Calls

But first let me ask you; don’t you just hate it when people say ‘What’s wrong with you today, you don’t look very happy?’

Maybe you don’t feel like smiling on that particular day, for no particular reason. Or maybe you feel like punching them in the nose.

However, a report in American Psychologist states that:

Smiling and being agreeable influences the length of people’s lives in a positive way – Wow!

On the other hand, being grumpy increases the likelihood of a violent death, heart disease, cancer etc – oh dear!

And punching someone on the nose may result in a violent death!

If DC says it; it must be true

Dale Carnegie in his book – How to Win Friends and Influence People, says: ‘People who smile tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively, they also raise happier children.’

Are your teeth okay?

Another survey found that 75% of respondents thought that an unattractive smile would be bad for their career. While a whopping 92% said an attractive smile was a necessary social asset.

Watch out for the scary people

These sorts of reports have been around for years, but many of the people that I come into contact with don’t seem to have received the message.

I’ve attended business networking meetings where many non smiley people look downright scary. And they wonder why they don’t gain any benefit from their networking!

Many of the people at my local health club look downright unhappy. You’d think they were there as some form of penance rather than as part of their fun and leisure time.

Are you sure your teeth are okay?

Of course many people don’t smile because they’re nervous; they lack confidence or have low self-esteem. Some people on the other hand actually believe they’re smiling when the face they present to the world could actually turn milk sour.

Have a look at your face from your side

I’m not suggesting that we all go around with big smiles on our face grinning inanely at people we hardly know. If you did that, then the men in white coats would soon be dragging you off to a place of detention. However, I am suggesting that we think about the face we present to other people.

By sporting a warm smile at the appropriate time we can only smooth the path for the people we’re dealing with. We also boost our own confidence and it allows us to relax and make the most of a situation.

Here come the technical bit

Smiling stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals, which has an ongoing positive effect. It’s a two way neurological process; when you smile you literally become happier, and when you’re happier, you smile more. If someone gives you an unsolicited smile, you smile back and in this way we directly affect each other’s moods.

Switching on a smile will only bring benefits – you’ll be happier and everyone else will be happier – so keep smiling!

And in the words of W.C. Fields:

‘Start each day with a smile and get it over with’.

(That was just to make you smile!)

And let me make you smile more often – put your email address in that box on the top right. Don’t worry, I won’t give it to anyone else.




More Sales in Singapore in 2014

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I’m really looking forward to running new sales training workshops for a client in Singapore in Q1 of 2014.DSCF2017

Also, I’ll be running another new workshop:

How Managers Use The JAB Method To Drive Performance

I just love being in Singapore, and when I do some work there,  it’s even better!

If your sales or sales management team would like to learn some new skills or refresh some old ones; please get in touch and we can have a chat.

Send me an email and we can set up Skype or Viber or phone call.

+63 917 517 5191

Or contact my friends in Singapore at d’Oz International.images

7500A Beach Road, The Plaza
#08-317, Singapore 199591


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How Not To Waste Your Management Time

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FocusLet me ask you a simple question; what do you believe a manager’s job is all about? What is it that managers do on a day to day basis?

Now, if you’re a manager, or you probably work for one, then you’d almost certainly be able to list a whole range of actions and activities. They might include: interviewing, solving problems, dealing with customers, planning, report writing, analysing data, dealing with complaints and hopefully, leading and motivating the people who report to them.

Many managers seem to believe that, over and above these activities, the prime function of their job is to identify weaknesses in members of their team, and resolve them. In other words, they relentlessly focus on the negative aspects of an employee’s job. They do this, at worst, by criticising, and reprimanding or, at best, by coaching or training.

Too much focus on the negative

I am aware of managers that spend a great deal of their time exploring an employee’s performance looking for some perceived fault or aspect that could be improved. Parents often focus on the negative aspects of a child’s school report rather than the positive.

Too many managers are spending too much time trying to change people.

They seem to believe that if they train people, tell them what to do or even threaten them with disciplinary action or the sack, then they can get them to change.

The successful manager concentrates on developing the strengths of their team members, not trying to correct their weaknesses.

Sometimes you have to manage around a weakness, but you can’t make people what they’re not.

I’m just not musical

When I was a teenager, my father sent me for piano lessons for about three years. He was determined that I would learn to play the piano. To this day I cannot play a note. I realise now, as an adult, that I am just not musical.

Strange as it may seem, I’m not particularly interested in music. My CD collection consists of about 6 CD’s which I rarely listen to. If I had attended piano lessons for even more years then I’m sure I could have become competent. However, I would never be any good at playing the piano.

Don’t waste your time

It’s a waste of time trying to correct weaknesses that can’t be sorted. Some people just can’t build relationships with customers, others can’t work as fast as you need them to, others can’t write a report to save their life, (and ‘certain other people’ will never be able to play the piano)

Build strengths

Your most productive time as a manager will be spent focussing on strengths and how to develop these further.

If you give people feedback on what they do well; then it is often the case that there is an improvement in what they don’t do so well.

By focussing on the positives, they feel more motivated to improve the negative aspects of their performance.

So there you have it; whether in your business or personal life, focus on the positive aspects of other people, not on the negatives.

Remember: People have one thing in common; they are all different.


7 Ways To Be a Powerful Persuader

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I’ll always remember the first sales course I ever attended and the definition of selling that was drummed into my business couple dealbrain.

‘Selling is the art of creating a desire in the mind of a buyer and satisfying that desire so that buyer and seller benefit.’

Now that may seem a bit old fashioned for many of today’s salespeople, but I believe the principle still holds true particularly if we’re attempting to persuade another person; be it a member of our team, a colleague or a customer.

Change the mindset

If you’re going to persuade someone to change their behavior, their viewpoint, their attitude any other aspect of their business or personal life, then you’re talking about changing a mindset.

If anyone is going to change their mindset then they need to envisage benefits for them that outweigh their present circumstances or situation.

If you’re the person doing the persuading, then you need the following skills, qualities and characteristics which make you believable and credible.

1. Belief

Successful persuaders believe in themselves and what they’re talking about. After all, if you don’t believe in what you’re saying, how do you expect anyone else to?

2. Enthusiasm

I’ve known people who totally believe in what they’re saying but fail to communicate with any enthusiasm or passion. Many people find difficulty with this.

If you want to persuade someone, you’d better find a way to get enthusiastic about it.

3. Knowledge

You must know what you’re talking about, so make sure you have all the information, facts, figures and statistics to make your case.

4. Empathy

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What do you think is important to them? Consider carefully why they should accept what you’re saying.

If someone is frightened of flying, then there’s no point in telling them not to be silly and to stop behaving like a baby. You need to think about how you might feel in these circumstances and what might persuade you to change your mind; you need to outweigh the fear with benefits relevant to the individual.

5. Persistence

If you want to persuade someone, don’t give up on the first ‘no’ or rejection of what you say. Persist and persist – but do it nicely!

People wont necessarily react in a negative way to your persistence when they realise you really believe what you’re saying.

There’s a fine line between being persistent and being a nuisance.

Watch the other person’s reactions and if it looks like you’re persisting too much – stop!

6. Energy

Put energy into all your interactions with other people. Energy fuels enthusiasm; we are persuaded by people with energy.

Many TV presenters use their energy to sell us their ideas. Think of the celebrity chefs on TV persuading us to produce fabulous meals or other presenters who get us all excited about re-modelling our homes or gardens.

7. Consistency

Everything you do or say is important, everything counts. If you want to be a powerful persuader then you must be consistent. If you’re trying to persuade someone to keep their promises, then you must always keep yours.

If you say, ‘I’ll phone you back in ten minutes,’ then phone them back in nine minutes.


To be a powerful persuader you need many skills, qualities and characteristics. Even with them all in place, there is still no guarantee of success.


People are more likely to be persuaded by people they trust, they like and have a good relationship with.

Sell yourself and change a mindset.

Excerpt from How to Manage Difficult People How to Manage Difficult People

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3 Steps to Effective Cross-Cultural Communication

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Let me tell you a quick story. Some years ago when I first visited South East Asia as a Professional Speaker, I was Two businessmen in suits shaking hands and smiling.somewhat apprehensive about how I well I would communicate with people from totally different cultures. After all, I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. It was even a challenge at times, to communicate with people 150 miles away in Aberdeen, whose culture was slightly different from mine. So how would I communicate with people on the other side of the world?

I needn’t have been concerned because the people I met and spoke to in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia were much closer to me, in communication, than I had anticipated.

We need to understand the world

In this global economy, we all have to interact with suppliers, vendors and our counterparts in other cultures. Our effectiveness as cross-cultural communicators will be determined partly, by our knowledge of other cultures. Knowledge of food, art, fashion, behavior, customs, language and religion; all of this will stand us in good stead when we communicate with others. This knowledge can be gathered from books and other media; also from closely listening to and observing the people that we interact with.

We are all human

More importantly, our effectiveness as cross-cultural communicators will be determined by our emotional intelligence and human qualities.

Many business people seem to forget that when dealing with other people, they are dealing with human beings. Whatever culture these people have been raised and reside in, they still display human characteristics such as happiness, sadness, confidence, insecurities, desire for acknowledgement and acceptance of others. They experience anger and frustration, jealousy, fear of rejection, laziness and much more.

As humans, we are predominantly driven by our emotions when making decisions; whether to buy product or service or to accept what other people say.

When dealing with others, people will allow their emotions, rather than logic, to influence them.

Step 1 – Communicate on a Human and Business level.

When you work with suppliers, vendors, staff and customers; communication happens on two levels – the Human level and the Business Level. It is always better to open any interaction, be it written or verbal, on the Human Level before doing any business. This satisfies the individual’s need for acknowledgement, courteous treatment and acceptance of their viewpoints.

This does not mean that every time you interact with a supplier, a colleague or a customer, that you launch into some personal discussion. Opening on a Human Level can only take a couple of words, however, they have to be genuine.

The Business Level is about work related issues. If you interact with other people only on the Business Level, their needs on the Human Level will not be met and may get in the way of their ability to understand and respond positively to what you say.

When other people are angry or upset, they will demonstrate strong feelings. It is important to address these feeling on a Human Level or the business aspect may be disrupted and conflict will be created. You need to deal with the other person’s feelings, and then deal with their problem. When the business part of the interaction is completed, it is important to end on the Human Level

Step 2 – Get people to like you

Much of our success in cross-cultural communication will be determined by our ability to sell ourselves to others. Whether in our personal or working lives; people will judge us by what we say and what we do.

More importantly, this will be influenced by how likable we are. Likability is about being human; it’s about displaying warmth.

Warren Buffet, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, sometimes acclaimed as the world’s greatest investor, once said:

‘I’ve walked away from some great deals because I didn’t like the people I was dealing with.’

Likability in people will also be measured by their ability to really listen and be interested in others. Likable people use your name and look as if they care. We like people who have something positive to say and don’t whinge!

Likable people empathize with our problems and accept that we may have a different view of the world from them. Likability is demonstrated by a genuine smile, good eye contact, a sense of humor and relaxed open body language.

Step 3 – Be a credible communicator

When communicating with other people, and particularly when you’re trying to persuade them, the key ingredients are credibility and believability. Your credibility will be determined by the verbal, vocal and visual elements of your message.

If the words you say aren’t confirmed by your tone of voice and how you look, you won’t be believed. People will evaluate you (an average of 11 decisions within the first six seconds) based primarily on non-verbal information. We all tend to make snap judgements about other people, and often make mistakes – we stereotype.

So don’t fall into this trap when you meet other people, or speak to them on the phone. Also, be very aware, they will make decisions about you based on your tone of voice and body language.

Low self-esteem and self-image affect body language and tone of voice. People tend to make movements and display posture which indicates a lack of confidence. The people you communicate with, will sense from your tone of voice whether you are confident and believe in what you say.

If you don’t feel confident in a particular situation, act or pretend to be confident. Walk into a room as if you own the place. Pick up the phone and speak in a clear, confident and distinct manner.

You confidence and credibility will be determined by the self-talk that goes on inside your head.

Listen to that self-talk and ask yourself – ‘Is what I’m saying allowing me to be confident, positive and credible?’ If so – great! ‘Or is it holding me back and stopping me achieve my goals?’ If this is the case – STOP IT, change the program!

By talking to yourself in a positive manner, you’ll start to feel physically better; you’ll look better, sound more confident and credible. Words have an enormous power to create change in the chemistry of your body. Your heart rate, blood pressure, muscles, nerves and breathing will all react to the words you say to yourself and this will evident to other people.

‘Who you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Make no mistake about it, if you build your knowledge of other cultures and couple that with these 3 Steps, you will become an even more effective cross-cultural communicator.

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10 Tips to Make Feedback Effective

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How often do you give feedback to your staff? And I don’t just mean when you want to correct some aspect of their interview 3behavior.

Feedback is one of the Top 3 factors that motivate people at work. The majority of employees want to know when they’re doing well, and when they could be doing better. There’s no doubt, that giving people feedback, is absolutely vital to ensure a motivated team who deliver results.

Whether you want to reinforce positive behavior or change unacceptable behavior, there are certain steps you need to follow to make it effective.

  1. Do it as soon as possible. When you see or hear something, you do or don’t like, you need to say something right away. If it’s positive feedback it’s not much use saying something months later.

It also makes sense to give constructive feedback as soon as you see, or hear something you don’t like. If you don’t do it right away, then the person will assume that you didn’t notice, or that it doesn’t matter, or that you don’t care.

  1. Do it in private. This seems like the most obvious thing to say but I still see managers giving a member of their team some positive feedback in front of other people be they colleagues or customers. Of course, it’s usually more of a reprimand. Some managers believe that if they’re seen and heard giving some feedback, then it will have an effect on the other team members, you bet it will – it’ll totally de-motivate them!


  1. Check that it’s okay to speak. If one of your team has just finished speaking to a customer on the phone, they might have some admin things to do before they forget. If you interrupt, then you risk being responsible for a customer not getting something they were promised.

It’s only good manners to check before speaking, and your people will respect you for it.

  1. Announce your intentions. If your people are not used to receiving regular feedback, what do you think runs through their mind when you pull up a chair, or ring them on the phone? You’re right, they think its bad news, that they’ve done something wrong, or there’s a problem.

It’s important therefore to tell them up front, what you want to speak about.

  1. Tell them how YOU feel about their behavior  Your people work for the same organisation as you, but it’s you they have to please. So make sure when you give feedback, it comes from you. That means not saying things like, ‘The company doesn’t like their employees to speak to customers like that.’ Or, ‘It’s not up to me, but you’d better improve your performance or you’ll be in trouble.’
  1. Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t confuse your team member with a whole list of behaviors. If it’s positive feedback then, you don’t want to list several things they’ve done well. You’re only diluting the whole feedback and it loses its impact.

If you’re giving constructive feedback, then you don’t want to confuse your team member with a whole catalog of behaviors that you’re unhappy about.

  1. Be specific. When you’re giving one of your team some feedback and coaching them, it’s so important to focus on job related behavior and not on the personality of the individual.

If you feel a bit uncomfortable giving feedback, try to focus on the person’s behavior on the job, in terms of how they conducted a particular task. That’s what you’re giving feedback on, not them as a person.

  1. Include the customer and the organisation. Whenever appropriate, relate what your feedback is about, to how the customer was affected. This of course could be an internal or an external customer. You could also relate it to how the organisation was affected, if relevant.
  1. Get input. When giving constructive feedback, it’s important to get the team members input. Listen to what they have to say and discuss how, you can, together, resolve the situation.

10. Don’t leave them low. This is particularly important after giving constructive feedback. As I said earlier, this isn’t an attack on the person; it’s about job related behavior. A team member should come out of a feedback session with their sense of self-worth intact.



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