Go beyond what is expected; don't be average.

Don’t Do Average. Make It an Experience.

You have to eat dinner. You could eat something pre-made; just heat it in the microwave and eat it in front of the television. But by adding a table cloth, candles, your favorite food and a little music, what was once a requirement for survival becomes an experience. Experiences remain. Consider the quote, “People may not always remember what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Don't do what is expected or average. Take it to the next level. Stand out from the crowd.

Our lives are marked by experiences – both favorable and unfavorable. That tells us two important things:

  1. Make experiences a priority.
  2. Make good experiences.

In a program I teach on customer service, I introduce something I call Impressure Points. Impressure Points is a term that brings together the concept of a Pressure Point (a place where the customer and the business intersect) and Impression (the impression made on the customer). So, business Impressure Points are the places where a business connects with a customer and has the ability to make an impression. Basically, it is an opportunity for a business to create an experience.

There are three types of Impressure points, all of which create a specific experience:

  • Breaking points – the customer did not get or experience what was expected. This could be product that is not delivered on time or is damaged, a call that is not returned, a cranky or unprofessional employee or a bad link on your website. There are so many places you interact with a customer; notice any potential breaking point areas.
  • Success points – the customer got exactly what they wanted, nothing more. Think of the restaurant that gets your order exactly right, but doesn’t make any additional effort in your dining experience. So even though a success point is not a breaking point, it is still not enough of an experience to earn customer loyalty. More is needed. It is a great experience that keeps a customer.
  • Extra Points – the customer got what they wanted AND something more was done. Author and leadership expert Ken Blanchard calls it the +1 in his book Raving Fans. Customers who have an exceptional experience will remember it. Consider the meal that was prepared exactly right and was delivered by a personable, friendly, upbeat and good-with-details waitstaff. This creates the response that gets shared and referred. Customers come back and bring their friends.

Though I shared Impressure Points and the power of experience from a customer’s perspective, realize these can be used anywhere in life, as well. Where are your breaking, success and extra points with your employees? Where are your breaking, success and extra points in your relationship with your spouse or partner, kids, family or friends? Know them to sustain or improve them.

Take Action
Life is about experiences. Notice what experiences you are creating at home and at work. Where are the areas that need more intention to amplify the experience and the outcome from it? What is one thing you can do today to raise a breaking point to a success point, and raise a success point to an extra point? Think of the type of experience you must create to activate engagement, drive results and inspire loyalty. 

By Jay Forte

Consider reading 3 Reasons Why Your Best Employees Will Leave You in 2019 (and what to do about it)

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The Way to a Great Life? Tune in, Reflect, Then Respond

By Jay Forte

Most of us move through life in a hurried and habit way. We rush through our days, rarely taking the time to actually stop and notice ourselves, how we feel and what is going on around us. We eat lunch and dinner without really even noticing or tasting our food. We have conversations during our days that we can’t even remember we had later the same day. We don’t really know what we like or are good at. The reason? We haven’t learned how to tune in, reflect and respond.

Your world is filled with information that is shared with you in each moment. This information has the ability, when used and reflected on, to improve your next moment, decision or response. This is the process of awareness and mindfulness – of tuning in, reflecting and responding in an intentional way to improve your outcomes.

Let’s use this thinking and look at your relationships, work and life.

Tune in, reflect and respond in your relationships. What if you actually looked at someone when you spoke to them, instead of also trying to multitask? (Newsflash: Multitasking is not a success attribute. Your brain can only process one thing at a time, so the more you try to do multiple things once, it actually shortchanges the impact of each thing you are trying to accomplish.) When connecting with someone, pay attention to them – what they are saying, feeling, thinking and saying. Then reflect on what they said, felt, thought or felt. Only by doing this can you have a more meaningful and intentional response.

Tune in, reflect and respond in your work. How much of your work day are you in habit mode, doing the same things? What if you tuned in and reflected on what you do, and asked yourself “what could be better here?” Make time to reflect on what, why and how you do what you do to determine if you can improve your performance and connection with customers or clients. The impact could be profound for you and for your workplace.

Tune in, reflect and respond in your life. How much time, effort and energy do you give to living a meaningful life that fits you, your abilities and your interests? What effort do you put in to learn what makes you different, unique and amazing? How often do you make time to reflect on where in today’s world are the opportunities that need what you do and like best? The more intentionally you approach the world – to go out and live it on your terms, not on the terms of the loud voices around you that are generally more interested in your compliance to their beliefs than to help you discover, develop and live yours – the more remarkable it can be. As poet Mary Oliver asks in her poem, The Summer Day, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

It’s a profound question.

What’s your answer?

Tune in to notice who you are and what is going on in your world. Reflect on the opportunities to connect the real you to the places in work and life that need what you do and like best. Respond using your greater clarity to live and work as it fits you, making a most amazing life and a better world in the process.

Take Action

Practice tuning out to tune in. Give yourself 5 or 10 minutes of quiet two times a day. Practice becoming aware. With awareness comes mindfulness, the ability to make informed decisions based on information about you and your world to make your next moment better.

 

Consider reading Tune Out to Tune In

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3 Tips to Improve Any Relationship

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

Whether in the workplace or at home, our lives are significantly affected by the quality of our relationships. We are in constant contact with people all the time, so why do we struggle most in our relationships?

Here are three things you can do to significantly improve your relationships, both personal and professional.

1. Let people be who they are. We already know that every one of us is unique. The more we insist people look, live and act like we do – or like we think they should – the more hostility and frustration we create in the relationship. Whether it’s in a marriage or in a manager/employee relationship, consider the impact of trying to change someone to become who you want them to be. Put yourself in their shoes. How do you feel when people in your life try to change who you are?

Ask yourself: how can you better understand who the other person is and allow them to be who they are?

2. Ask more than tell. The initial reaction is to get defensive when you tell others what to do. They raise their shield and tune you out. Asking, however, engages, involves and includes people, all critical components of any healthy relationship.

Note the difference in telling vs. asking in each of the following:

Statement: Call the customer back and tell them ….
Question: How do you think you should handle your next call with the customer?

Statement: Get your homework done.
Question: What is the consequence of not turning your homework in complete and on time?

Statement: You should stop talking about politics with your family.
Question: How do you feel after your conversations with your family about politics?

3. Commit to “care-isms.” A “care-ism” is something small that shows you appreciate and value each other. Relationships thrive on feeling valued and important, so consider incorporating care-isms like a quick email, phone call, card, favorite snack or even just making eye contact when they speak to you (i.e. put your phone down). Notice how it feels when others do this for you and build a habit to do more care-isms each day.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. What do others do that make you feel valuable?
  2. How much intention do you give to your relationships?
  3. What is one thing you can do today to improve your relationship with one key person at work or in your life?

The best way to improve your relationships is to allow people to be who they are. Ask more than tell. Do things that show them you care. These three simple things can have a profound impact on your personal and professional relationships.

Need help building stronger relationships at work or at home? Consider talking with a coach to help you develop better self-awareness and relationships skills.

 

Consider reading Try This Instead

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