Accountability Is Impossible Without the Truth by Sam Silverstein

For a leader, there is no such thing as “kind of” telling the truth. 

If you are a leader, you are either fulfilling your personal commitment to tell someone who is counting on you the truth or you aren’t fulfilling that commitment. If you aren’t, then accountability within the relationship and the organization you lead is impossible, because you’ve already failed to be accountable to your team coming out of the gate. 

Interview with Jenny Galluzzo, Co-Founder of The Second Shift by Jennifer Janechek

Before I had kids, I never could have imagined how difficult it would be to try to build a career while parenting small children. As a very career-driven person, I also never anticipated the profound desire I would have to stay home with my children when they were young. This desire has often created a real tension for me, where I’ve felt a nagging pull between work and home. Luckily, I was able to find a work situation that enables me to join my two passions: parenting and working. Indeed, there are many opportunities in today’s work world for women to find part-time, remote, and/or project-based work—opportunities that help women develop their careers when they previously might have had to leave or hit pause on them.

Declining to Use a Mic at Your Next Conference Is Ableist by Jennifer Janechek

There was an article circulating on my Facebook newsfeed the other day about what you’re really saying when you say, “I don’t need a mic” at a meeting or conference. According to the author, declining to use a microphone is a form of exclusion. It tells the audience that people who are not hard of hearing are valued over and above those who are—that it does not matter if people with hearing differences can comfortably listen to your presentation. In doing so, it not only devalues and ostracizes people who are hard of hearing, but in its baseline assumption about standard hearing and normative communication practices it also reinforces prejudices against those with hearing differences. In other words, it is an ableist behavior—it is discriminatory against people with disabilities.

5 Tips for Employers to Encourage Productive Conversation Surrounding Disabilities and Chronic Illness by Hilary Jastram

Last week, I led a call for the social interest group for The Good Men Project. We are called “Creating Success with a Disability.” The topic of the conversation dovetails perfectly with National Disability Employment Awareness Month (to my mind, anyway).  

Bringing awareness to the general population of people living with disabilities is a monumental task and that is mainly because this is a layered topic.

Creating Overachievers by Jim Stovall

In our society, there is a constant, never-ending struggle for normalcy. We seek to fit in at all costs. The advertisers tell us what we should look like, feel like, and smell like, and there is not enough of a premium placed on becoming outstanding.  

When we study the lives of overachievers, we find that many of them were faced with a disadvantage or a disability of some type that made it harder for them to be considered normal.  

Enhance the Service Experience of Your Untapped Customer Base: People with Disabilities by Jennifer Janechek

The sixth Convenience Principle in Shep Hyken’s new book, The Convenience Revolution, is Access. This principle is about “removing unnecessary friction from the typical customer’s day.” According to Hyken, the three factors that contribute to it are availabilitycommunication, and location

 

A large and growing percentage of the population has a disability, and these customers contribute greatly to the economy. However, many businesses do not make an effort to be accessible to customers with disabilities, which, on top of being unethical, can be really detrimental to their company. It’s important to consider how your business—and the businesses you support—make themselves accessible to their customers who have disabilities, whether visible or invisible, physical or mental. Using the three components of Access that Hyken mentions in his book as a framework for this discussion, let’s reflect on the various ways that companies can enrich (or harm) the customer experience of people with disabilities. 

Six Ways to Out-Convenience Your Competition—and Maybe an Entire Industry by Shep Hyken

I’ve spent my professional career teaching companies and individuals how to provide amazing customer service and a customer experience (CX) that would keep customers coming back and help their businesses to grow and thrive. But today, customers expect more. They know what good service looks like and they expect it. And, they not only compare you just to your direct competitor, but to the best service they have ever received—from anyone. Delivering an expected level of service is now the baseline, and you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition—because they are also trying to out-service you. I have found a way. It’s a concept that is being embraced by smart, successful companies to disrupt their competition, and in some cases, entire industries.

Two Questions That Support an Accountable Workplace Culture by Sam Silverstein

If you want to attract and hold on to the best people, redefine accountability in your organization.

I work with a lot of senior leaders of organizations. One of the major challenges these leaders frequently share with me is their difficulty in hiring and holding on to good people. They want talented people, and they don’t want those talented people going to the competition once they have been hired and trained! So they’ll ask me, “Sam, what’s the best way for me to win and hold on to the talented people that will keep our organization competitive?”

What Losing My First-Class Seat Taught Me about Customer Service by Simon T. Bailey

As a person who prides himself on giving great customer service, I learned three ways to create superb customer service after a recent experience I had with Delta Airlines. I made three observations: 

  • It doesn’t matter what happens. It’s all about the recovery. 

  • If you hear it, you own it. 

  • Customer service is not a department; it’s a mindset. 

Prejudice and Pride by Jim Stovall

All of us want to be accepted and valued by those around us. This acceptance is based upon other people’s judgments. They can judge us on how we look, how we act, or how we perform.  

Possibly the best way to judge and be judged came from Dr. Martin Luther King’s powerful dream that his children be judged based on the “content of their character.” This is a difficult judgment to make as it takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. Unfortunately, too many people in the world don’t make the commitment to honestly judge everyone, and therefore, they engage in the practice of prejudging or prejudice. This is highly inaccurate, fallible, and dangerous. At its best, prejudice is a lazy mental shortcut.  

Sound Wisdom Staff Reads: The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, & Big Success After Baby by Jennifer Janechek

Recently, I purchased Lauren Smith Brody’s The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, & Big Success After Baby(Doubleday, 2017). My husband and I just had our second child, and I was hungry for advice about how to navigate working motherhood with a new baby, even though I had done it once before. I really enjoyed all the practical wisdom, insight, and, most of all, the emotional support it offers. It contains advice on everything from how to pump on an airplane, to how to ask for a raise after being on maternity leave, to how to work at home and actually get stuff done—and it’s not just from Brody; much of the insight comes from the 700+ women who answered a 50-question survey she posted online (some of whom she then followed up with). The Fifth Trimester is for all moms, whether they work in an office, at home, or don’t work at all and just need some help finding confidence and feeling more like themselves again after giving birth and while taking care of a tiny human while running on fumes. I won’t detail all the techniques for being more productive while working at home, but I do want to highlight some of the advice Brody offers about navigating the emotional terrain of working at home after baby.

Here Is the Best Gift You Can Give Anyone by Shawn Doyle, CSP

In my church, there is something I always find very moving: we turn to each person around us and shake their hand, saying, “Peace be with you.” It is actually wishing all the people around you peace. I just think it is a great gesture, and I really focus on being sincere about it. I don’t want to just go through the motions; I want to mean it. I think, I am giving you peace from my heart to yours. 

The Twelve Book Rule by Jim Stovall

Here in the 21st century, we don’t get compensated for how hard we work. We get compensated for how much we know. Becoming an expert on even a very small thing is generally better than having some basic knowledge of a lot of things. A brain surgeon may not know how to change his oil, turn on his vacuum, balance his check book, or run a washing machine. The brain surgeon may know very little about virtually everything, but if he or she knows virtually everything about brain surgery, that person will probably have a profitable, satisfying, and fulfilling life. 

From English PhD to Entrepreneur: An Interview with the Founder of Runners Love Yoga by Jennifer Janechek

When I started my PhD program in 2012, I managed the stress of the coursework by running every morning before my classes. Running gave me a clarity unlike anything I had ever experienced, dramatically reduced my anxiety, made me noticeably more alert and responsive during classes, and kept me focused during grueling research and writing sessions. Around the same time, I started taking hot yoga classes at a local studio. I noticed that doing yoga a few days a week really helped my running: I was able to increase my mileage without getting too tired or experiencing an injury. 

Brand Reputation Is Your Brilliant Edge by Simon T. Bailey

In this era, a brand is more than the product or services that are provided to your customers. A brand is an emotional connection, perception, and memory of your company. Every interaction that a customer, prospective customer, or supplier has with an employee, product, or service reinforces trust in your reputation. As a business leader, everything that you and your staff do is a touchpoint that leaves an imprint on the heads, hearts, and hands of your customers.