Lost purse leads to amazing customer service!

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Being the slightly ditzy person that I am (I know it’s hard to believe!), I once again found myself in a situation where I’d lost my purse and was having to go through the process of cancelling my cards. The fact that the most likely reason for me losing it is because I left it on top of my car and then drove off is another story!!!!

Anyhow, the reason I write this short and sweet blog is because on a trip to my high street bank, I experienced some of the best customer service I’ve received for a long time. Two ladies behind the counter bent over backwards to help with what I needed and were absolutely lovely in the process. So I decided to find their manager and let them know what a great job they’d done. I asked one of their colleagues if I could speak to their manager and you could see immediately that they thought that someone was in trouble! The manager came out and couldn’t have been nicer but was also hesitant to begin with and surprised when all I had to give was positive feedback. The best thing for me though was seeing her immediately take some action to feed this back on to the two ladies who had made my day.

It made me a bit sad to think that for the most part we are so used to hearing how we could “improve this”, “make this better”, “try harder” that recognition for a job well done comes as a surprise.

When you’re out and about – whether at work or at play – if you see somebody deliver great service, go out of their way to help you or just make you smile – let them know that it makes a difference to you!

Appreciation changes everything!

 

2-4-6-8 Who do you appreciate?

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Yippppeee! It’s Friday! One of my favourite things to do before I leave for the weekend is to stop what I’m doing for half an hour and reflect on the week. I look in my calendar and remind myself what happened, I write a list for Monday so I don’t have to think about work over the weekend and most importantly, I sit and think about the people who have made a difference for me this week. It might be big things, it might be small things but I log into our system and I send a funny e-card, I build an e-button or I nominate them.

I really think about what it was that made a difference and then I write a note to let them know how it demonstrated one of our values and most importantly what it meant to me! I LOVE doing this…it makes me feel great and I know it puts a smile on that persons face for the weekend! It doesn’t matter how you do it, but why not do the same? Stop right now and let people know that they helped made your week great!

Have a lovely weekend!

Look Up…remember a smile is the best curve on your body but how will you know if people can’t see it!

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I watched a really powerful YouTube clip earlier today called ‘Look Up’. If you follow me on social media then I posted this on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter too. Here it is again if you missed it…

I am as guilty as the next person of looking down A LOT and feeling a physical twitch when I don’t have my phone to see what’s going on in the world…and yes I do this when I should be spending time with my family too and am consciously trying to stop myself doing this! The clip really made me stop and think about the moments I have missed or not appreciated fully as I was half looking at my phone or screen at the time.

I’m not saying that I’m going to stop using social media or get rid of my devices! I love it from a work perspective and have really enjoyed getting to know new people through twitter (and meeting them in person I hasten to add!), share content, build connections and keep up to speed through LinkedIn and keep friends and families up to date with our lives when we can’t see them as often as we would like through Facebook. I think these are all great things and I think connections can be made through finding like-minded people when blogging, etc…the danger comes when it becomes addictive and you define yourself by your online presence and digital communications rather than much stronger bonds that are formed when you are physically in the same room looking at another person and seeing the twinkle in their eye when they smile, seeing the enthusiasm in their face when you hit the nail on the head and find a common interest). When you realize that you’ve said completely the wrong thing and you can see it in their face.

I came across a great article in the Huffington Post that really made sense too and include it below by Karen Van Bergen (thanks Karen). Karen wrote the article below and this paragraph really resonated with me:

Deep, satisfying relationships require attention, focus, interest — and most of all — our actual physical presence. Whether it is with your clients, your coworkers, your partner, your children or your friends, you must be physically and mentally present. If you want to build true connections, you must take the time and make the effort to actually be with the people to whom you wish to connect. It sounds so obvious, but it is so frequently missed.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-van-bergen/where-should-we-meet-sustaining-real-connection-in-a-hyper-connected-world_b_4221484.html

At OC Tanner, we talk a lot about creating human-to-human connections within companies through recognition moments. For larger companies, technology needs to be the enabler to facilitate these moments but that’s not enough. The technology has to prompt and give people the opportunity to bond with their teams. It has to get people thinking about how powerful it can be to physically get a small group of people together and talk about the great work that is going on. How far-reaching it can be to actually listen to someone receiving recognition in a genuine and sincere way so much so that they go away and think about how they can ‘get me some of that’! Our nature as human beings is to feel connected, truly connected to others and be in the same room.

Do something different today…

So do one thing today (and yes you can use technology as the enabler to do this!!) – arrange to meet a friend, set-up a meeting with someone you haven’t seen for ages, turn your devices off for the evening and knock on a neighbours door…my first blog talked about ‘A smile being the best curve on your body’ – go out today and share that smile with someone else!

Over and out!

Thanks to thingsweforget.blogspot.com for the image!

‘Here I am’ said Smedley the shy chameleon…

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I’m half way through Brene Brown’s ‘The Gift of Imperfection’ which is an amazing if not emotional read which looks at how we can work towards allowing ourselves to have more courage, more compassion and more connection in our lives. It’s about having the courage to accept ourselves for who we are (warts and all!), being strong enough to admit when we’re struggling and we need help, to be brave enough to stop worrying about what other people think. This is not easy stuff to change when pretty much we are bombarded to be the perfect this and that by the media and in the most part by the high expectations we put on ourselves.

Brene then goes on to talk about our need for belonging being different from fitting in. We often change who we are to ‘fit in’ and we only get a true sense of belonging if we allow our authentic, imperfect selves to show. If I think about this from my own perspective, I do try and be myself most of the time but when my own self-doubt seeps and sometimes floods through the cracks, I know for a fact that I start going into myself and have to put on a face to carry on (sticking tongue out!).

I then got to thinking about a book that I read to my 5 year old recently which was frankly brilliant and it had ‘Smedley’ in the title too…random to say the least! In a way, it’s like a self-help book for 5 year olds and approaching 40 year old mothers who worry too much!!!

Smedley the shy chameleon blends in so well that nobody notices him. But bold Sally Skinky sees Smedley’s true talent for standing out.

Here I am

Sally Skinky sees something in the little chameleon and encourages him to make small changes to step out of his comfort zone (she’s supporting him all the way) so that eventually he says ‘der der’, big drum roll, this is wholehearted, courageous and wonderful me!! The book is full of ‘woohoo’s’ and every small step is noticed, celebrated and appreciated along the way (see the tenuous link to recognition here!!!).

If grown-up books sometimes overwhelm us, sometimes its good to keep things simple, go back to basics and look at how simple messages can make a difference. Recognising the little things can make a huge difference to how courageous you choose to be, how creative you let yourself be and how much happier you can feel when you set yourself free to be the imperfect and wonderful you!

PS Both books are equally good no matter what age you are…although a 5 year old may struggle with Brene Brown!!!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Said-Smedley-Blue-Bananas/dp/140520135

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gifts-Imperfection-Think-Supposed-Embrace-ebook/dp/B00BS03LL6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391097680&sr=1-1&keywords=brene+brown+%27the+gifts+of+imperfection5

Building a culture of recognition is for life…not just for Christmas! A festive tale with a case study!

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How could I not exploit the festive season to talk about appreciation! I don’t know about you but I get this warm, tingly feeling in my tummy at this time of the year and embrace December and all the best things it brings out in our lives….family, friends, community, thinking about the absolute right present to put a smile on the faces of loved ones, celebrations and parties. It got me thinking (always dangerous…)

When reading one of our case studies recently about a global recognition programme for Informatica, these are some of the words I pulled out:

CELEBRATION, EXCITEMENT, CARE, APPLAUDING, ACHIEVEMENT, POSITIVITY, VALUES, APPRECIATION, TEAM WORK, COLLABORATION, RESPECT

A recognition programme done right enables you to create these festive feelings on a daily basis not just at Christmas. It takes time, it takes effort and an on-going strategy to ensure it has longevity and impact.  How great would it be to create that tingly feeling in your tummy because you’ve reached a career milestone and your company has cared enough to recognize the individual contribution you have made, to shout out about a time when you’ve gone above and beyond individually or as a team or simply because one of your peers noticed the on-going effort you’ve been contributing to live the companies values!

So I leave you with two parting messages:

Tis the season to reward and recognize!

AND

Building a culture of recognition is for life not just for Christmas!

www.octanner.co.uk

Bloom where you are planted…be a difference maker!

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This phrase really resonated with me this week!

We are always thinking about the next big thing, wondering what we can strive for next to make our lives ‘perfect’ at work and at home (I speak from experience here!) and never really living in the moment to realize the potential we all have…right here, right now!

This week O.C. Tanner launched our latest book ‘Great Work: How to make a difference people love’ and this is a book for everyone, everywhere to realize that we can all make a difference whoever and wherever we are. What an amazingly uplifting and positive view of the world…because it’s true! If every day we embrace the day knowing that we can make it brighter in some way through the conversations we have, the interactions that we share and the good intentions that we uphold then surely our days will be brighter, good things will automatically come our way and we really will have made a positive difference.

Something that really puts a smile on my face is the ‘The art of being greeted by an elephant in your cruise cabin’ video clip (I love that I’ve just included that sentence in my blog!). Take a peek (you’ll need to scroll down on the page) and I promise you will be grabbing a couple of towels and having a go yourself. The point of the clip though is to demonstrate that the origins of this concept came from someone somewhere wanting to put a smile on the face of the person walking into that room…simple but the perfect demonstration of making a difference people love.

My challenge to you today is to put a smile on your face and go and see what great work you can do to make a difference people love…you can bloom where you are planted, right here, right now!