Archive for July, 2010

To save time communicating: Tell a story (or else listen intently to someone else’s story)!

Posted in Customer service, Leadership, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on July 30, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

Professional speakers have known for years that it’s important to tell good stories to engage audiences in their presentations. And meeting planners often hire speakers today because of the quality of the stories they tell.

Some of the world’s most complex religious thought has been transferred for centuries to people who couldn’t read — all through the use of stories! Children of course love for you to tell them stories, and authors and movie producers know how important a good stories are.

Now there’s new brain scan evidence that shows that when one person tells a story  — and the other person actively listens — their brains actually begin to synchronize.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

Before you read on, please note the last sentence where I say “and the other person listens actively” because, according to the research, it’s important for the listener to pay attention and understand the story you tell for this phenomenon to occur. This is critical. In other words, if the listener fails to comprehend what you are trying to communicate, their brain will “decouple” with yours.

Think how important this new research can be to you if you’re a speaker or sales person. Think also how this might help you if you’re trying to explain something important to a friend. Be certain, for example, that you engage them with a story that they want to listen to fully.

I like learning this because I’m a public speaker. I also like learning it because I’m fascinated by saving people’s time.

If you’re interested in learning more about this “mind meld” phenomenon yourself, check out the 6-page article at

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/07/13/1008662107.full.pdf

And, if nothing else, check out the bold face headings on page 6 of the article.

If you have a comment, please put it here.

Steps to help you have good week of July 26

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

August is almost here so:

1) What’s the one thing you need to finish before August? (Write it down.)
2) Schedule one task that will help to get get the above goal done.
3) Determine your personal & professional priorities for this week. (Schedule them).
4) Make sure any papers you need to take care of your priorities are accessible.
5) Call a friend and see how they’re doing. (Friends give you energy & ideas.)

These steps will help you get & maintain focus & momentum before August arrives.

Got a question or comment? Please put it here.

Steps to help you build the week of July 19

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

Realize that year 2010 is more than 1/2 over so:
1) Clarify your vision for the balance of the year (write it down)
2) List 3 tasks necessary to reach your vision.
3) Schedule the 3 tasks in this week’s plan (including time required for each).
4) Make sure any papers you need for the tasks are readily available.
5) Proceed with each task & complete them one by one.

These 5 steps will help.

If you have a comment, please put it here.

A special thanks to Southwest Airlines!

Posted in Customer service, Time management, Time management/Self-management on July 18, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

If you have followed me in this blog, you know that I respect people who help other people make the most of their time. Because of this, I thanked Apple several days ago and I’m thanking Southwest Airlines today. In my opinion, both companies provide remarkable customer service.

Think about the last flight you took. If you were on Southwest, my guess is that you paid one flat rate, whereas if you traveled on another airline, the chances are that you were charged extra for your bags, a blanket, a pillow, and even where you wanted to sit. Tell me: do you think that charging people for the extra items that make a trip successful is caring service?

Now, please picture the experience you had at the gate where you boarded your last flight. If you were on Southwest, my belief is that you were treated to a comfortable chair where you also could charge your phone, your laptop, or any other electrical device you were taking on your trip. If you were traveling on another airline, you more than likely had trouble finding a place to sit at the gate and you more than likely had to pay to have any electrical appliance charged. Tell me: Is charging people for “extras” customer service? Does that create a good memory?

And how about this?

On Memorial Day I flew on Southwest Airlines and, once we boarded our plane, the captain asked all military personnel, current or in the past, to please turn on their stewardess call button. A small group of people (including me) did so. The captain then said it was Memorial Day and that Southwest was buying drinks for all military personnel on flights nationwide, as a way of thanking the military personnel for their service. The people in the plane applauded.

When the plane landed, the captain made another announcement. He asked everyone in the plane to please stay seated so that any military personnel (current or previous) could leave the plane first. Everyone in the plane stayed seated until the military folks got to the front of the plane and then everyone in the plane cheered and applauded the military personnel. Isn’t that remarkable?

The attention doesn’t end there. Southwest also has helpful customer service systems. For example, when you call the airline, you get to talk with a live person. Can you do that with another airline? Amazing, isn’t it?

Being fascinated by time, I believe you make the most of time when you do what you can to create a positive experience for your family, your friend, your customer, a person in need, or even for yourself. Do you agree?

If you agree, please join me in thanking Southwest Airlines for the way they respect your and my time.

Does this make sense to you?

Congratulations to Apple.

Posted in Customer service, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on July 16, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

Apple showed again today why they have so many devoted customers.

In a short news conference this afternoon Steven Jobs explained that Apple is not perfect and that, because of that, their people work like crazy to resolve any problems their customers might ever have. He said, “if you don’t believe this, you don’t know Apple.”

Jobs went on to explain that. even though only 0.55% of the more than 3,000,000 iPhone 4’s purchased since the IPhone 4 was introduced last month have experienced problems from the way the phone is held, Apple is now going to provide a free case to every customer who has an iPhone 4 anywhere in the world. He said the new case (called a “bumper”) will prevent calls from being dropped, no matter how you hold the phone.

I smiled when I heard Steve Jobs deliver this message because it is so typical of the extraordindary way Apple helps their customers. Please permits me to explain.

I was so anxious to get an iPhone 4 that I went to the Apple Store on the day it was introduced (June 24). When I arrived at the Apple Store, I discovered at least 300 other people in line ahead of me. Every one those people wanted a new iPhone 4 too. While waiting in line, we introduced ourselves and we joked a lot and, when the Apple Store employees saw how many customers were in line outside the store, they brought donuts, coffee, and water bottles to all of us and they thanked us for waiting. What other company do you know who does this?

My iPhone 4 works great and it has so many excellent features (camera, note pad, etc.) that it is a superb time saver for me. Also, I have a lot of friends who have iPhone 4’s too. None of them have had a problem with their phone either. And now Apple is giving us a gift to make sure we don’t have a problem. You’ve got to be kidding!

I could go on and on with stories of praise for Apple people and Apple products. Suffice it to say that I am grateful to them for providing such extraordinary service in these very days when so many companies are putting me “on hold,” charging me for baggage, and making extra charges in every way possible.

Apple not only has great products. (I’ve been an Apple computer user since they invented the first Mac.), I appreciate their people who practically bend over backwards to help me and assist me whenever I have a question.

Thanks, Apple. Thanks for helping me save time. Thanks also for showing all of us again what it means to have good products and good time-saving customer service.

Do you have a comment? Please leave it here.

Action steps for the week of July 12

Posted in Leadership, Management, Organize, Time management, Time management/Self-management on July 12, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

1) Determine a major step that leads to your dream.
2) Write down the step you’ve determined.
3) Schedule the step on your calendar (day and time).
4) Stay away from negative people (Negativity robs your time).
5) Call a friend and see how they’re doing (Friends give you energy and ideas.)

Good luck. These steps will help.

Make sense to you?

Action steps for the week of July 5

Posted in Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on July 6, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

There are fewer business days this week because of the 4th of July holiday, so here are some steps to help you get the most done in the week:

1) Specify your 3 most important business priorities.
2) Write down your priorities (or else they’re just ideas).
3) Determine when you’ll do social networking (Limit it!)
4) Decide when you’ll relax and renew.
5) Clear out your e-mail files (You don’t need all those).

Do these make sense to you? Please leave your comments here.