It’s All About Creating Value

What’s the connection between good business practices and getting a manicure?  Recently I stopped at a new shop in my neighborhood which was the former site of TCBY.  I liked TCBY and it was gone!  In it’s place is a state-of-the art salon specializing in manicures and pedicures.  I went in, inquired about services and set up an appointment for a few days hence.  My experience was “awesome” as one of the clients said as she left.  I always thought a manicure was a manicure and it’s good if it lasts through my work week.  I was in for a pleasant surprise.  I didn’t just get a manicure, I received an upper back massage which relieved persistent pain in the left arm, a heat treatment on my neck, and a special hand treatment.  This was all done in a quiet environment, no televisions or radios competing with my thinking.  It wasn’t just a massage; it was a wonderful experience and I received much more than I had expected,

As I left I thought that good business people create value; but excellent business people do more than is required.  In fact, they do the mundane things that others don’t bother with.  Creating added value is good business.

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For Show or Maintenance

It’s January 18, 2011, in cold, blustery Chicago.  I’m on my way to visit my accountant to deliver my fourth-quarter tax information when I pass the local car wash.  “Hum, maybe I should have my car washed to get rid of all the salt that it has collected over the past few months,” I think to myself.  Strangely, the equipment isn’t running and no one is in line.  This struck me as unusual because typically I wait in a fairly long line.  I have a white car and don’t wash it very often.  Usually it happens before a long trip when I also get the tires checked.  My main reason to have my car washed is to protect it from salt and chemicals that could cause paint damage.  It occurred to me that perhaps that isn’t the main reason many people have their cars washed.  

Do we live our lives for others, for show, or to maintain and preserve our bodies, minds, and spirits?  I wondered …

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Smile, Be Grateful, Say “Thanks”

A credit card company employee made me smile today. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe that calling my credit card company concerning an interest charge and fee on my account summary statement could bring a smile to my face. A CitiBusiness Card representative did today!  He’s my latest, best example of excellent customer service. Briefly, I pay my business credit card bill in full each month. Last month I was traveling and sent the payment a few days late. Since I rarely, if ever, have been late, I was curious as to why I was being charged interest and a fee. I was only a couple of days late! So, I called for an explanation only to have the young man tell me that he would remove the late fee and then he said, “Let me see if I can remove the interest charge as well.” If customer service is about bringing a smile to my face, his service was excellent. I believe in “ask and you shall receive” but I wasn’t prepared for “I’ll give it to you without asking”. So thanks CityBusiness Card personnel for enabling me to smile, be grateful, and say “Thanks”!

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Wherever You Are, Be There!

Have you ever met a person in a crowd and failed to recognize that person a few minutes later in a different environment? Have you ever forgotten someone’s name seconds after meeting?

Ah…to be present in the moment requires that we give up thinking and focus on each nano-second in time.

I have always wondered what was meant by the term “multi-tasking”. We can seemingly do several things at the same time, like stirring the spaghetti sauce and talking on the phone. Can we, however, do both of them with equal intention? The brain cannot multi-think because it only accepts one thought in any nano-second in time. To be where we are, we need to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and perhaps, spiritually present.

Communication Tool to be present in the moment – BECOME THE AUDIENCE
Consider this tool to “be wherever you are”.  To “become the audience”, play the role of the observer rather than the observed. Pay attention to the physical characteristics of the observed such as hair color, clothing, glasses, and facial expressions. The purpose is to train yourself to notice others and, thus, truly focus on them. It’s not about judging the physical qualities; it’s about truly noticing and being present to them.

Choose to use BTA to be wherever you are!

Nadine Grant

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Deliver Your Message with Style & Substance

Have you ever delivered an important message and felt your heart pounding, knees knocking, and stomach churning? Have your ever engaged in a critical conversation and forgotten the content and confused your listeners with irrelevant information? Or, perhaps, you lost the attention of your listeners by providing unnecessary details.

Grant Cross Communications Group, Inc. works with business people and their organizations to build communication bridges by engaging in “audience-focused” skills that enable the communicator to be present in the moment.

The goal of this blog is to provide interpersonal communication tools to promote yourself, your ideas, your products and services with confidence, competence, and credibility.  We believe that connecting with our listeners (style) is as important as having mastery of the content (substance) . 

We will post a specific communication tool (an idea based on theory that can be implemented) on a weekly basis. Feel free to add your comments and questions. Keep in touch for Communication Tool #1 next week. 

Nadine Grant

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