Are You a Boss Who Plays Favorites? Break Those Bad Habits

We all have some working relationships that just work better than others. It can be tempting to latch on to what has been successful for us in the past, whether that’s a certain style, a certain personality type or even a specific person or group. While it’s good to play to your strengths, there’s a difference between sticking with what works and being stuck in a rut. Playing favorites leads to missed opportunities for you and your team. You lose out on new perspectives, new ideas and unique problem-solving techniques.

How To Shift Complaints To Constructive Conversation

Complaining is normal. We all complain about something on occasion. But when your team seems to be spending more energy complaining rather than on making progress, it’s time to intervene. It’s important to note that, while complaining can be obvious and overt, many times complaining is happening in informal, more covert, conversations. Still, you can recognize the inertia of complaints in the form of blaming and excuses about why things aren’t going as well as expected or planned. Complaints can also manifest as a general mood of discontent. 

Learn-gevity: Enhancing Your Ability to Learn, Perform and Succeed Over Time

Lifelong learning has long been understood to be a critical success factor. But today, it’s taken on even greater importance. The pace of change continues to accelerate and the level of complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty means that what you knew yesterday may be irrelevant today. The half-life of technical skills continues to shrink. According to Josh Bersin, the half-life of a technical skill is just 2 years. And lifespans continue to grow. In fact, it’s expected that 50% of millennials will live to 100 or older. Science confirms that learning throughout life has a profound effect on brain health.

Top 5 Tips for Making Managers into Better Leaders

Managers are usually the men and women responsible for coordinating, planning, and organizing activities and tasks within a company. These skills are certainly important, but how managers embrace and apply these skills might be even more important. If you want to be the best manager you can possibly be, here are five things you’ll need to do. Some say that managers aren’t leaders, and leaders aren’t managers — that these two jobs are completely different.But the truth is that a manager has to be a leader, and a leader has to know how to manage.

How to Make Your Employees Care About Cybersecurity: 10 Tips

People are the largest security vulnerability in any organization. Here's some expert advice on how to make cybersecurity training more effective and protect your business. Employees are a company's greatest asset, but also its greatest security risk. "If we look at security breaches over the last five to seven years, it's pretty clear that people, whether it's through accidental or intentional introduction of malware, represent the single most important point of failure in terms of security vulnerabilities," said Eddie Schwartz, chair of ISACA's Cyber Security Advisory Council.

Here's How Good Managers Give Bad Employees Feedback

What manager likes to give low-performing employees feedback? Not many, but it's part of the job. Here's how the best do it with great success. Raise your hand--who likes to discipline an employee? I hear crickets chirping in the background. Yet discipline is a cornerstone of highly productive companies. Without it, employee performance is at risk. But don't see it as a negative. If conducted with a constructive, future focus, it provides consistency, guidance, and valuable feedback both to and from the problem employee.

6 Reasons Salespeople Win or Lose a Sale

Why does a salesperson lose a sale? It’s a question I’ve studied for years, as part of the win-loss analysis research I conduct. There’s a tendency to assume that the salesperson lost because their product was inferior in some way. However, in the majority of interviews buyers rank all the feature sets of the competing products as being roughly equal. This suggests that other factors separate the winner from the losers.

Critical Thinking Skills: 5 Strategies to Make You a More Successful Decision Maker

When faced with a decision, we often talk of our instinct, intuition or even “gut feeling” on a subject, and while our initial instincts on a topic are often valuable, they are not the only thing we should consider. By taking the time to arm ourselves with solid analytical data and a well-rounded view of the subject at hand, we can gain an advantage in the business world. With thoroughly researched information, we are both better informed and better prepared to discuss and debate. Even if emotion still plays a part -- and studies over the past three decades say it will -- we can reap the benefits of having the critical thinking skills to properly direct our energies.

5 Easy Strategies to Manage the Company Rumor Mill

Don’t ignore the grapevine. Some call it the grapevine; others call it hearsay. No matter what you call it, it can be problematic and distracting yet often a source of valuable information. If you aren’t talking proactively about issues that are important to your employees, chances are that someone else is. Talk to your managers when employees are buzzing about a crisis. All organizations have a rumor mill. It’s a natural part of the employee network. 

How Little Things Can Lead to Big Results

3 Ways to Help You See and Play a Different Game, and Win. When it comes to winning at work, you have to focus on the big things. Don’t sweat the small stuff, right? Not so fast. The small stuff does matter. In fact, according to Andy Andrews, bestselling author of The Little Things, it might matter more than you could possibly imagine. “Everybody talks about the big picture,” Andy recently told me. But, he said, “every big picture that is ever created is created one brush stroke at a time.”

The Best Cybersecurity Investment You Can Make is Better Training

As the scale and complexity of the cyber threat landscape is revealed, so too is the general lack of cybersecurity readiness in organizations, even those that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on state-of-the-art technology. Investors who have flooded the cybersecurity market in search for the next software “unicorn” have yet to realize that when it comes to a risk as complex as this one, there is no panacea — certainly not one that depends on technology alone.

How to Manage High-Maintenance Employees

Every workplace has at least one or two employees who can be described as "high maintenance." These individuals take up their managers' time with problems large and small, often to the exclusion and detriment of their peers. Although high-maintenance workers may come off as insecure, arrogant or self-important, personality traits alone aren't indicators of a "needy" employee. However, there are a few concrete behaviors that may spell trouble for managers if they go unchecked:

In Praise of America’s Third-Party Debt Collectors

Despite the fear and loathing, they do ease the flow of credit. FEW cheer the rising levels of America’s household debt, which reached a record $12.7trn at the end of the first quarter. Nearly 5% of the total, or $615bn, was in some stage of delinquency. One group, however, can barely hide its glee: third-party debt-collection firms, which try to recover mostly consumer loans on behalf of creditors without the resources to chase down bad borrowers themselves.

This Sales Plan Moves the Needle on Every Success Metric

“Building a sales team is like running a kitchen that has to produce 100 chocolate cakes a week,” says Derek Draper, Co-founder and CEO of Pattern (as you'll find, he's a fan of analogies). “You hire a head or VP of sales to be your top chef, and they hire a bunch of reps to be your bakers. Only in sales, I feel like we're constantly sending people off to their work stations without a recipe or even a picture of what we want the cake to look like. If you ran a kitchen this way, it'd be a disaster.

How To Deal With Complaints From Clients, Consumers

Collection agencies spend years building a rapport with clients, developing a relationship, establishing trust, and creating a bond that tries to stand the test of time.  But that rapport can be crushed in an instant, taking nothing more than how a collection agency responds to a complaint or an inquiry from a client. A panel of operations experts spoke on the topic of how to turn complaints from clients and consumers into training opportunities. The webinar was sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning. Download a copy of the webinar recording here or listen below.

Why the CFPB’s Decision to Change Course on Debt Collection Rulemaking is a Very Big Deal

The CFPB’s decision to change course on one key aspect of its debt collection rulemaking was not only unexpected by industry and consumer advocates alike, but an important sign that the debt collection industry should not otherwise ignore. First the background. In July 2016, the CFPB issued its Outline of Proposals under Consideration for the regulation of debt collection (the “Outline”). 

How to Train Your Client Services Team to Build a Loyal Client Base

Building trusting client relationships takes time and constant interaction, and there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution.In B2B, your client is your most important asset. Not only do you rely on them to keep current operations successful, you lean on them as references to potential clients so your business can continue to thrive in the future.

What's the Fastest Way to Attract Others to You? Do Any of These 8 Things

These are sure-fire ways to build your professional relationships and increase your tribe fast. If you're in a people business of any sort (then again, who isn't?), it should be your highest priority to connect with the human side of your customers, vendors, peers, co-workers, and other stakeholders. This means having a good understanding of what makes humans tick. As you scroll further down, these techniques, for some, will stretch your social intelligence to new frontiers. For others, you will welcome it as more ammunition for your relational arsenal.

How Can You Spot Really Good Leaders? They Do Any of These 7 Things Daily

With some things in life, like exceptional leadership traits, you can't just "fake it till you make it". Can you imagine working for someone in a high-level leadership role, perhaps a CEO, and suddenly it dawns on you: This person isn't leadership caliber. Your next thought may be, How in the world did he (or she) make it this far up the ladder? It's a fair question. People are promoted into leadership roles every day who have no business belonging there.

5 Tips on How to Fire an Employee Gracefully

If you’ve ever had to fire someone, you know how difficult it is. I’m certain that most business owners would agree that dismissing an employee is a horrible experience for everyone involved. We don’t like to do it. But without weeding out unproductive employees or making necessary cuts, we can’t grow our business. Knowing how to fire an employee gracefully is the key to keeping the ship sailing smoothly.