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Dan Pink and Improv Skills

Dan Pink is coming out with a new book on December 31, 2012.  It’s called, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.  To "sell”, for him, includes much of what we do all day which is convince, persuade and motivate people to do what we want or need them to do.

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Worried About Being Labeled a Negative Nelly?

“How does one correct imperfections without noting them, when noting them means being tagged as negative? “ was the question I recently discussed with one of my librarian contacts.  It’s a question that comes up a lot in my work these days with managers and their teams.  I realize that I have answers to that question that may help so  I thought I’d share.  I hope that one or more of them may help you if you find yourself worried about being labeled a Negative Nelly:

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Mental Models of Community Engagement Hold Us Back

My colleague Gail Griffith and I did a preconference at ALA called Mental Model Busting.  One of the mental models we explored was community engagement.  As you might guess, people’s mental models of community engagement were all over the map.  Not that there was disagreement, just wildly different assumptions about what is meant by “community engagement”.  The flipcharted responses revealed that to some it was partnering, for others it was identifying community.  For some it was having the whole community read the same book, for others it was letting the community see our value and for oth

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Are You Listening?

Everyone seems to be saying….

  • We need to be responsive to our communities!
  • We need to innovate!
  • We need to do things differently!

They may be right, and the question is HOW do we do these things?  I believe there is a set of skills we need in order to get where we want to go.  And, one of them is learning how to really listen.

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Don’t Let Them Take Away Your Self-Esteem

On an evaluation from a Fully Engaged Customer Service workshop I taught,  someone made this comment:  “I would like to see some techniques for dealing with unreasonable people that don’t require us to sacrifice our self-esteem”     I wish I could talk to the person who wrote it.  As much as it might feel like it, nobody can “require you to sacrifice your self-esteem.”

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Which Kind of Customer Service Do You Mean

Today I attended Laurie Brown’s ALA webinar on customer service.  I do a lot of customer service training, and I wanted to hear how others approach the topic.  And here’s what occurred to me:

Almost 300 people paid to attend the webinar, which tells me there’s a lot of interest in “customer service.”  But what is it people really want to know?  What happened in the webinar parallels my experience with clients who want in-person customer service training: there seem to be two distinct areas where people want help.

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Why Nations Fail

My mother, who knows about the work I do in libraries around culture change to produce vibrant organizations, sent me an article from the New York Times Magazine online called “Why Some Countries Go Bust” (http://tinyurl.com/79vylps). The article reviews a new book by Turkish M.I.T. professor Daron Acemoglu and his collaborator James Robinson called “Why Nations Fail,” What seems obvious to me is that the principles they present apply not only to nations but to organizations, as well. As the author of the NY Times article says,

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Customer Service is a Team Sport

When somebody says “customer service” what comes to mind?

Is it a smiling person using open gestures and asking how they can help?  That’s where most people’s minds go.  What’s missing is all the things that happen behind the scenes.  Customer service starts long before and far away from the public service desk and involves almost everyone on staff.

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