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Customer Service GURU As an author, speaker and expert trainer on customer service I often get the following question asked in my classes or presentations: How do I to deal with difficult customers? One type you try to keep and the other type you fire. The type you try to keep might be having a difficult day and is taking out their frustrations on you. Your calm voice and patient willingness to guide the customer through difficulty results in long term loyalty.   The other type you should fire. Chronic complainers are almost impossible to satisfy. They over consume valuable

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  BLACK BELT LEADERSHIP Black Belt Leader as Beginner: Part Eight “To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self….And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.” – Soren Kierkegaard In the 1600s cartographers wrote on their maps, “Let Dragons Be Here,” in the uncharted regions of the world’s oceans. To emphasize their point, these mapmakers would literally draw a frightening image of a dragon or sea monster, with its long winding tail and huge jaws, to forewarn all interested parties that to enter into these regions of the earth they would

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THE TUXEDO OF REASONS How many times have you had staff members who didn’t get the job done on time? Have many excuses have you heard for why they failed? Are you tired of hearing excuses and want your team members to perform at a higher level? If your answer is yes, then how do you achieve that? This may sound a little bit harsh, but the best way to create an environment where your team members reach their potential is to deny them the ability to use excuses. You have to inform them early in their training that you

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There is an old story of Spanish origin upon which Hans Christian Anderson based his tale of  “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”   The story is about a considerably vain emperor who cared only about wearing the finest and most beautiful clothing.  It happened that two weavers came along who knew of the emperor’s obsessive preoccupation with clothing and promised to create for him a suit of clothing unlike any other that would be made from a fabric that was invisible. The weavers told the emperor that only those who were unfit for their station would be unable to the see

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Excellence in sports depends on 1) a strong team, 2) a single mindset focused on the goal at hand and 3) removing the barriers that prevent a team’s success. Excellence in business depends on the same three things. Cooperation between departments, attitudes about customer service, project ROI and contingencies, and choices made that accelerate change or shut it down all depend on a strong team, a single mindset and removing the barriers that prevent success. The same attitudes that make great sports teams make great business teams. Mindsets are where it all starts, which means that change should start with

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  BLACK BELT LEADERSHIP Black Belt Leader as Beginner: Part Nine “It is genius to store energy. Though one has no idea what that energy will be used for, to have a store of energy accumulated is to have power in back of one. We live with our psychic energy in modern times much as we do with our money – mortgaged into the next decade. Most modern people are exhausted nearly all the time and never catch up to an equilibrium of energy, let alone have a store of energy behind them. With no energy in store, one cannot

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I can remember hating performance reviews from my athletic director when I was a young coach. I didn’t want to hear his improvement suggestions. When the athletic director said, “Sherry, you’ve done a great job building intensity with the team. Now what you need to work on is learning the difference between when that intensity is necessary and when it becomes too much,” what I heard was that I sucked. Because I couldn’t stand hearing constructive feedback, I either avoided it or ignored it. This was the long road toward becoming a better coach. I could have shortened my road

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Stress.  Everyone has it.  You can can reduce your stress level by shifting your perspective.  Sound simple? It can be… for instance:   A full week getaway on a tropical beach is not looking possible, so rethink it to a weekend away.   Working out five days a week isn’t happening.  Three days a week with a good buddy is entirely possible.   Repainting the living room:  Possible; hire someone!   Posting three times a day on all social media while moving forward on projects.  Not possible.  Get real help or a helpful app.   Lose ten pounds this month. 

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Focus, necessary for optimal time management, is a key to success that you can develop.   Research shows that negative patterns can be rewired and it takes (at least) 21 days to form a new habit.   Challenge yourself.  Give these suggestions for optimizing time management and improving focus a try!                 Stop multitasking.  Research shows that dividing attention across multiple activities is taxing on the brain, and can often come at the expense of real productivity.  There is a small percentage of “supertaskers” out there, probably not you, who do well with this·        Train

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  BLACK BELT LEADERSHIP Black Belt Leader as Mentor “When the night has come And the land is dark And the moon is the only light we’ll see No I won’t be afraid Oh, I won’t be afraid Just as long as you stand, stand by me.” – Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller, Ben E. King, Stand By Me “Thanks for standing by me, Robert,” James told me at the end of a Black Belt Leadership program. “No one has ever done that for me before.” James was a supervisor at a manufacturing plant who, when I first met him, had

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