C-Suite Network

Growth Leadership Personal Development

Creating a Safety Zone

What happens when employees don’t feel safe telling you or other leaders in your organization that there are problems? I mean real problems like the project that is already a million dollars over budget still has no solution in sight or the new manager that seems great on the surface is a bully and people are thinking of leaving because of him.


In my 10 years as a consultant I have seen too many employees complain to each other, talk about the problems amongst themselves, and then recoil at the idea of taking that information to management, the people who could actually do something about the situation.


I would like to think that senior management wants to know what is really happening in their organizations and departments so they can solve problems, but it does not seem that most people feel the same way I do and would rather keep this stuff a secret. I’m pretty sure the crux of the issue is that this type of feedback is scary unless the environment has created a safety zone. Getting and giving honest feedback can be hard if the culture isn’t set up for it to be done right.


If you are running an organization or a department, don’t you want to solve problems that lead to decreased productivity and morale? Doesn’t increased employee engagement and satisfaction result in increased profitability? If this type of problem keeps you up at night let’s get down to brass tacks so you can turn this around.


You need to create a safe environment, a safety zone in your office and it also means creating that same environment during team and project meetings, where anyone can air their concerns, provide suggestions, or ask questions. It is two-fold: an environment that allows people to come one-on-one and share feedback, and an environment where teams can work together in a safe space, where mistakes are discussed, changes are allowed, and no one hides the truth in fear of looking stupid or worse, being yelled at or asked to leave.


The question then becomes, how do you create an environment where it is not only OK to air grievances and highlight problems, but also where it is encouraged? How do you do this so no one feels like they are throwing others under the bus or being hung out to dry? How do you do it so that it is part of a culture of productivity and positivity?


Start with authenticity and transparency

If you want others to be honest and transparent with you and with each other you have to set an example. As a leader you start with authentic communication. You tell everyone that you know how difficult it can be to share the truth when it hurts. You admit that it is hard for you too, but that you know it’s important. You get real, you talk from the heart, and you show them the way. If you are asking for feedback and honest communication you want to make sure your people know they will get the same from you.


Be honest about honesty

If you really want this open honest communication you have to mean it. That may be easier said than done. It can be hard to hear the truth so be sure you are ready for it and be sure you have set up a non-retribution feedback loop. The only way to get honest feedback is to ensure that the people coming to you are not going to be reprimanded for their honesty.


Be clear on what you want to know

If you want people to come to you and let you know what they are observing in terms of productivity, then tell them you want to know that. If you want to hear the truth about failing projects, let them know that it’s OK to tell you. If there are certain things you do not feel are your place to get involved in, let them know if HR or another manager is a better feedback loop. Make sure they know who to go to with what challenges.


Require Respect

There are three ways to provide feedback, one that is blunt and hurtful, one that sugarcoats the real problem to avoid conflict, and one that provides for constructive criticism and feedback in a respectful way. Set the tone to ensure that all feedback provided to you, amongst team members, and from you are from the last category. Let everyone know that you will not tolerate rude or hurtful feedback and that sugarcoating the problem is not the answer either. Let them know that you require respect, but expect honesty.


Creating this culture might feel difficult because change is not often easy. Sometimes you need to bring people in to help make cultural changes, to coach individuals on communication, or just to support you in your efforts. If you have a coach, mentor, or change expert you should consult with them to see how they can help. If you don’t have a right-hand person to call upon you can always reach out to C-Suite Results to discuss your needs and bounce ideas around. Where I can’t help I have a vast resource list of those who can. Visit www.c-suiteresults.com for more information and resources.


Growth Leadership Personal Development

5 Ways CEOs and Business Owners Harm Their Corporate Brand

5 ways CEOs & Business Owners harm their company brand


As a CEO today, whatever the size of your business, your personal brand is a hugely significant part of the company brand. The way you communicate internally and to the outside world, how you lead, how you manage your visibility and profile is a dimension of the brand that speaks volumes about your corporate personality and adds the authentic layer that is critical today to build trust and respect in your company.


Here are some of the ways in which I’ve seen business leaders dilute and damage their corporate brand without knowing it:

Not paying enough attention to the fact that their personal brand IS the company brand and vice versa.

As business owner and/or CEO, your behaviors will be completely indicative of the way the company does business in the eyes of your clients and potential clients, and the way the company does business will create a perception of you as a person. Make sure you are not damaging either brand and work on creating the necessary alignment.

Not paying suppliers on time

Unfortunately, this never gets attributed to just the Accounts Department, this once again reflects your personal brand and labels you and your business as disrespectful, disorganized and uncaring, all of which may well be untrue. Furthermore this gets talked about and with social media and review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor now, it spreads quickly!

Not being visible enough in your target market


You are missing a huge marketing opportunity for extra exposure, to build authenticity and give your company more ‘personality’ by being hidden in your office. Develop a strategy to be more visible on social media, write blogs, speak at local or national events, get yourself on expert panels, attend events that you might normally avoid. Create a visibility plan that aligns with your strategic objectives as a business, and do something on it to raise your visibility every week.

Not paying attention to levels of employee engagement

You need all your employees to be true advocates of your business and your products & services and to reinforce your company brand messaging in their own individual and authentic way. This results in creating improved customer experiences and a better brand for you as an employer. Understand your employees, listen to them and look after them. Happy employee = happy customers.

Not being innovative


Doing what you’ve always done will not get you to where you want to be in the future. With millennials representing an ever-increasing percentage of your employees, clients and customers, you need to be continually looking at remaining relevant and creating a workplace that your people love and can thrive and develop in. You’ll be labelled dated in your approach if not, and damage not only your company brand but your personal brand too.

Growth Leadership Personal Development

Stop Listening to ‘Them’

There’s a lot of personal development that goes into achieving professional excellence, and the road to success is sometimes a bit harder for women. It’s not always harder, but the unfortunate truth is that for some of us, it does prove to be a bit more challenging. In order to achieve excellence, you have to acquire knowledge. Educating yourself and finding out what has worked for other successful women can be a good approach.

However, we often confuse honest advice or guidance, with unhelpful noise. Some people may tell you exactly what you are ‘supposed’ to be doing, or how you are ‘supposed’ to be acting. Others have probably even told you that you’re wasting your time, or have unrealistic goals. Once you stop listening to ‘them’, you will be on the road to excellence. Each person’s road to success is a unique experience. What worked for Bob or Brenda, may not work for you. So don’t put too much thought into other people telling you that, “You’re going about it all wrong”. On the other hand, it is good to take advice from strong successful woman, who understand that everyone’s situation is unique.

I know first-hand how much others can kill your ambition when they start giving their intrusive opinions about what you are striving for, or how you’re going about it. Sometimes, even a comment that is meant to lift you up can drag you down. They can create the illusion that your goals are farther away than they appear. At times all of that noise can seem like poison to your ambition, and sometimes it is. Most of the time people are just trying to look out for you, they have your best interest in mind. “What you’re trying sounds ambitious, but it’s never worked for anyone else. Why do you think you’re different?” They don’t realize that they’re actually bringing you down. You have to be the one to understand what is actually helping you and what is not.

Stop listening to ‘them’ and start listening to people that is not only successful in the business world, but also successful in helping other women achieve their goals. I have been named the Unstoppable DIVA for a reason. I continue to push myself and others to put your best self forward. If you want to be an Unstoppable DIVA, your best bet is to listen to the advice of someone who has already achieved that level of success.

Our program can help you do just that. We offer the tools and strategies so you too can Be Unstoppable Together.     

Do you have questions or comments about the issues in today’s post; want to know how to apply them, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at connie@pheiffgroup.com or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call to discuss with you personally.

By Connie Pheiff, Unstoppable DIVA

Pheiffgroup.com * unstoppablespeaker.la

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Industries Management Marketing Skills Women In Business

Power Speaking Skills:  Strategies to Increase Harmony in Conversation, Part 1: Tone of Voice:

In this video, Maria tells you how to increase harmony in challenging business conversations by monitoring and modifying your tone of voice.

The Successful Speaker, Inc. video series provides speaking strategies that will help you enhance your credibility and leadership presence during meetings, sales presentations, conversations with senior management, networking events, and even by phone.

The video series addresses every aspect of successful speaking, including how to sound authoritative, speak with credibility, master active listening, and engage your listeners. The videos also provide speaking strategies rooted in theatrical performance, providing tips on how to build belief and captivate your business listeners.

Leadership Marketing Personal Development

We could all take marketing lessons from Coca Cola

The name Coca-Cola is universal, one of the most famous brands ever. Even People all over the world over recognize the name and the logo. It’s a name like Kleenex or Xerox, so pervasive that the brand name becomes the generic description of a variety of items. Yet, Coke still spends millions of dollars each year marketing their soft drink. You would think for most of us wouldn’t even need to be marketed TO? When I go out to dinner and order a soft drink, I always say, “I’d like a Diet Coke.” What more can the company do to make us stop and pay attention?

The Share a Coke campaign is catching a lot of people’s eyes this summer. I first noticed the change on the cans about a few weeks ago. I’m not a coke drinker then I grabbed from a friend’s fridge said “Family” and the next one said “BFF.” I was curious what the new cans were all about so I actually went to the Coca-Cola website. Darn you, delicious soft drink company! I fell for your incredibly clever marketing ploy!

I thought the cans were cute, but then learned that the 20 oz. bottles have been replaced by names. With that knowledge, I revert back to the 7-year-old me who used to go through the bike license plate displays at the beach, desperately searching for my name. Unfortunately, I’m not likely to find my name on a Coke bottle this summer because the names on the bottles are the 250 most popular names of teens and millenials in the United States. How do I know this? I learned this fact because I wanted to learn more about the intriguing marketing campaign and researched articles about the campaign on the Internet.

The campaign was a huge success in the U.K. last summer so Coca-Cola decided to expand it this year. When you find your name, you can take a “selfie” with your bottle and share it online (the hashtag is #shareacoke, of course), or see who else out there has found your name for you? Not a teen or millennial? You can order a bottle with your name from the online store or get a customized bottle from the Share a Coke tour when your hometown is one of the 500 stops.
So, even though Coke is one of the most famous brands in the world, they have some how captured my attention enough to

  • Look at each individual can I take from the fridge
  • Go to their website
  • Desperately search for name on a bottle
  • Look up articles about the marketing campaign to learn more

What can we learn from this? The greats never rest on their laurels. Even the most famous brands in the world can get customers to examine their product more closely. We can #beunstoppabletogether.

Do you have questions or comments about the issues in today’s post, want to know how to apply them, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at connie@pheiffgroup.com or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call to discuss with you personally.

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Human Resources Management Marketing Personal Development

Think Your Voice Sounds Weird? Here’s Why.

If you’re like most people, when you hear yourself on a recording, your first thought is, “Oh my gosh, that’s not really what I sound like, is it?” The short answer is: yup, that’s you! Here’s a bit of insight as to why, and a few tips to make sure you sound your best, no matter what kind of voice you have.

When you are listening to someone else, the “input” goes in your ear, hits the ear drum, and sends vibrations through the inner ear canal, which the auditory nerve takes up to the brain for interpretation. This is also how it works when you’re listening to yourself on a recording, which is like listening to another person.

On the flip side, when you speak, of course your own words come out your mouth and the sound goes into your ear for the same process we just discussed, but that’s only half of the input.

The other half is that when you speak, air comes up from your lungs through your throat and vibrates through your vocal cords, the “source” of your voice. But then those vibrations also ricochet off the muscles in your throat and mouth, in your nasal cavity, and create residual vibrations that hit the bones in your neck and head as well, sending their own pulses to the brain.

In essence, when you listen to someone else or a recording of yourself, you’re listening in “mono-sound,” or single track. But when you listen to yourself while you’re speaking, you’re listening in “stereo” or “surround-sound,” with a much fuller, richer sound.

So how can you ensure that everyone hears your best, most melodic voice? Here’s three quick tips that will help them hear your ideal sound.

First, hydrate. Make sure you drink enough water, because a dry throat, dry mouth and tired throat muscles don’t allow sound to flow easily. The “fine print” to this is that it also means you should limit caffeine (*gasp!*) prior to an important speaking opportunity, because caffeine is a diuretic that makes the problem worse.

Second, limit dairy. Dairy produces mucous, and mucous gives you that sensation of perpetually needing to clear your throat as well, which is an annoying habit to hear time and again in any speech, presentation or conversation.

Lastly, breathe! The way you breathe will directly affect the quality of your voice. Start with your posture. If you’re slouched in your chair, you limit the amount of air you can take in, which is the fuel for your voice. And as you run out of air, it “fries out,” with a frog-like, croaky sound. Some people also ramble on and on without taking a breath for fear that if they do, someone will jump in during that split second and cut them off. Once the air is mostly gone, if you keep on talking, that same vocal “fry” will creep in again.

Why does this matter? Because not only is it unpleasant and even annoying to listen to, but it sounds insecure, timid, and hesitant, which is a combo that connotes anything but leadership.

So remember: Drink water, limit caffeine and dairy before speaking, and remember to take enough breaths while you’re speaking. This allows you to maximize the fullness of your tone, so the voice you hear in your head more accurately reflects the voice that everyone else hears when they listen to you… and that’s a voice the projects confidence, control, poise and power.

Who doesn’t like the sound of that?


Do you have questions or comments about the issues in today’s post, want to know how to apply them, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at laura@vocalimpactproductions.com or click here to instantly schedule a 20-minute focus call to discuss it with me personally!

Entrepreneurship Management Personal Development Women In Business

Wonder Woman Seven Super Powers of Leadership

Diana Prince: I used to want to save the world, this beautiful place. But the closer you get, the more you see the great darkness within. I learned this the hard way, a long, long time ago.

Some things never change. At a time where the world is dealing with so much violence and senseless killing, a movie about a super hero reminds us all of what matters. In this case, a female hero who stands in her truth, her courage and conviction – Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot who was a combat instructor in the Israeli Defense Force, (IDF), is a perfect fit to play the role of Diana, the Amazonian Princess.

From her very first words in the opening scene, she drew me in. Perhaps it was my own service the IDF had given me a personal connection to Israeli actress and to the ideas she shared in her character.

At 5’10” she stood out in the crowd, her stature and her presence she embodied physical power and strength of the Iconic DC Comic character, Wonder woman. Yet, that wasn’t the only way she captured the hearts of the people around her. She managed to embody the essence of Diana’s character, captivating and inviting to all those around her.

As a natural born leader she stepped into her role and left all she knew to fight for justice. She is fueled by her courage and driven by a passion that is visible in her Seven Super Powers.

Her Powers serve as fundamental lessons for all leaders

Wonder Woman’s Seven Powers of Leadership

The Power of Self Awareness – Diana knew who she is, knew her purpose and stated it with absolute certainty.
Diana Prince: I am Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. In the name of all that is good, your wrath upon this world is over.

The Power of Purpose – Diana followed her destiny, embracing the role she was meant to fill.
Diana Prince: It is our sacred duty to defend the world and it is what I am going to do.
The Power of Conviction – Diana Stood up for what she believed was right and was willing to risk everything for her cause.
Queen Hippolyta: If you choose to leave, you may never return.
Diana Prince: Who will I be if I stay?

The Power of Justice – Diana could not stand by idly to watch the injustice and pain that was inflicted on innocent people during the war.
Diana Prince: I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost!

The Power of Love – Diana lived from a place of love and compassion for people and looked for the best in all humans
Diana Prince: It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.

The Power of Humor – Diana is pure and innocent with a refreshing honesty which makes her authentic and brings levity into situations making her likable, mostly seen in her interaction with Steve Trevor.
Diana Prince: What is that?
Steve Trevor: That is a watch.
Diana Prince: What does it do?
Steve Trevor: It tells the time. It tells you when to sleep, to eat…
Diana Prince: That tiny thing tells you what to do?”

Are you ready to step up to the plate? Perhaps, ask yourself the following:
Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you believe? Do you know your purpose? What would you be willing to risk to follow your cause?

Whether fictional or real, powerful leaders are self-aware. They follow their purpose with conviction, standing up for others, protecting the weak and fighting for justice. Their ability to come from love and be playful shows their authenticity and allows people to connect to them.
Like Wonder Woman, great leaders share great wisdom. When mixed with wit and humor will send a message of hope that stands the signs of times.

Growth Human Resources Leadership Personal Development

Old Habits Die Hard: Management Ideas and Employee Engagement

They say old habits die hard. It’s true. Some scientists explain this by explaining how 90-95% of our brain activity is unconscious. Therefore, most of our decisions are already made before we even think about them (Shahram Heshmat, 2016). We tend to act on previous information and/or patterns 90-95% of the time.

What does this have to do with employee engagement? Engagement has been, and remains, a major issue for today’s C-Suite occupants. In Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends, culture and engagement emerged as the most prominent issue overall (Singh, 2015). Furthermore, the gap between the importance the C-Suite executives place on improving engagement and their organizations’ readiness to act, remains significant. Other data confirms this. In 2015, the average percentage of employees engaged in the U.S. stood at 32%. This number has barely fluctuated for 20 years (Employee Engagement is U.S. Stagnant in 2015, 2016).

Which old habits are contributing to this stagnation in engagement improvement? There is never one answer. One factor is the language we continually use to describe people and situations. Because, it is a habit. The language remains the same because it is very often unconscious. If we change our language we can begin to change thinking. Our thinking can influence our actions which will change the stagnant engagement results.

We continue to use phrases that solicit thinking and behaviors inconsistent with engagement. Manager, manage people, management of people, Human Resource management, performance management all have their derivation in the word “manage.” According to Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith, management of people, as a profession, began with the rise of slavery (Goldsmith, 2002). Cloke and Goldsmith explain how the expansion of agriculture required some of the select slaves be chosen to oversee the growing number of slaves needed to meet the growth demands.

The definition of “manage” always includes the word control. The idea that people must be controlled must naturally follow from this language. I believe our old habit of using the phrases of management elicits feelings of control and those feelings are inconsistent with optimum employee engagement feelings of self-control, volunteerism, freedom, autonomy, creativity, etc.

According to Vocabulary.com, the likely origin of the word manager is from the word manus meaning hand, and that hand guides others. Slavery was needed to sustain the economic performance of the time. Therefore, managers were needed to sustain it. The combination of absent owners and the continued lack of motivation demonstrated by the slaves made the “manager’s” role essential. Managers were encouraged to discipline and control the workforce. The absent owners depended on the skill of the managers to protect their wealth. Without their oversight, no one would remain a slave and submit to the arduous labor required.

Slaves needed to be controlled and this relationship between manager and slave created much dysfunction, in the form of alienation, periodic revolts, and lack of motivation. In his book The End of Racism, Dinesh D’Souza explains how slavery as a system can be blamed for cultural norms such as self-defeating and irresponsible attitudes (D’Souza, 1995). These behaviors clearly match those of the disengaged and actively disengaged workers.

So, what can we do to shift these habits and begin to pave the way for improved employee engagement? One excellent option is to use different language to describe people and their roles. Can we use facilitator or process facilitator in place of manager or department manager? A facilitator is one who makes things easier for others. He/she facilitates the achievement of outcomes. It’s not about control. It is about making things easier to achieve aligned goals. Can we begin to replace the word manager with phrases such as sales department facilitator, finance department facilitator? Perhaps we need to be creative.

Can we begin to think of employees as volunteers? Can we use the phrase, “paid volunteer?” When one is a volunteer they do something out of volition or heart. They do it because they are willing and committed, not controlled. Can we replace Human Resources Manager with “Paid Volunteer Facilitator”?

The use of facilitator in place of manager and volunteer in place of employee changes the relationships. It requires a higher level of trust and rejects the need for control. This idea of control damages engagement. I suggest we start using these innovative words as titles for replacing the “manager” phrases and employee phrases to begin to shift the unconscious choices we are making with the old outdated language. This will begin to break up the old habits and old ways of thinking which as unconscious and not working.

Dr. Wally Hauck, CSP helps leaders boost profit by unleashing the genius of every employee. By showing leaders how to get the best from their teams, with proven methods and by avoiding morale-busting mistakes, leaders can achieve their strategic goals more quickly and with less waste.

For more than 20 years Wally has worked with nearly 200 organizations, hundreds of leaders, and thousands of employees to optimize engagement and customer experience. Many have achieved significant transformational improvements.

Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP. As a professor of Organizational Change and Development at the University of New Haven in Connecticut Wally received the highest ratings of all professors in 2012.

Wally is a proud member of the C-Suite Advisors Network

D’Souza, D. (1995). The End of Racism Principles for a Multiracial Society. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Employee Engagement is U.S. Stagnant in 2015. (2016, January 13). Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com: http://www.gallup.com/poll/188144/employee-engagement-stagnant-2015.aspx
Goldsmith, K. C. (2002). The End of Management And the Rise of Organizational Democracy. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Shahram Heshmat, P. (2016, February 1). Why Old Habits Die Hard? Retrieved from www.psychologytoday.com: https://www.relationshipscoach.co.uk/blog/research-shows-our-subconscious-mind-makes-our-decisions-for-us/

Singh, S. V. (2015). Global Human Capital Trends. Deloitte.

Biography and History Growth Personal Development

They Think You Are Saying Something Else

Since Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, the definition of words has changed. We expect that to happen as we invent new things, as slang words are created, and to keep up with the times. Consequently, new words are needed to name them.

Adding words for those reasons is understandable. Changing definitions of words is difficult to grasp. In Webster’s first dictionary the word “definition” is described as “a brief description of a thing by its properties; the explication of the essence of a thing by its kind and difference.” The definition represents the core of what a word is. To create his dictionary, Webster looked at 26 dictionaries in different languages to determine the origin of each word. He goal was to capture the essence of the word.

Yet definitions are changing from what we thought a word meant. “Truth” went from an “indisputable fact” to an “accepted fact.” What was once the real state of things is now whatever people will allow. “Reality” used to mean “fact” and now means “a resemblance to being real.” No longer does it mean what actually happened. Reality is what anyone wants it to be. The word “Lie” means “to make an untrue statement.” If what is true is what we allow and what happened is somewhat similar to what actually happened, isn’t that a lie? [I use the word lie, since the words fake and phony aren’t in Webster’s dictionary.]

How can anyone understand what a person is saying if we don’t have a common language. Lack of communication is a major source of conflict. We fill in our own ideas and get different messages.

So often we hear that a politician or celebrity has to apologize for something they said. A listener puts in their own interpretation which may not be what the speaker meant. When someone speaks we need to figure out what their message is not what we think it could be. If not we are missing their message. Moreover, we are listening to ourselves. What is the point of listening to someone if you are not going to figure out what they are saying.

When someone does cry out injustice many people fall in behind them, asking for an apology. Immediately others jump on board with the protester. Why would anyone want to agree with someone who is wrong?

Don’t apologize about something a person thought you meant. They didn’t make an effort to hear you. If you have been misinterpreted you don’t need to respond or retract your words. The person who took offense should look at themselves to determine in them what brought about that feeling. That is their issue they need to reflect on.

That is a reason why there is so much conflict about gender, race, and sexual preference. Someone will take what was spoken and twist around the speaker’s words. This causes problems and consequently, creates tension between groups of people.

The media loves to do this. We hear more stories about what black people do wrong and less on what white people do wrong. Why? It fuels the flames of racism. We only see stories about how defenseless homosexuals are and how horrible the people are who oppose homosexuality. Why? It entices the groups to battle. This makes great storytelling. For the media, it’s about ratings, not the real news.

That is why Noah Webster fought for and helped create a universal language. A language that changes as a result of trivial or brief trends will not work. We must have a vocabulary that stands firm in its word definitions.

Best Practices Growth Human Resources Leadership Personal Development

3 Steps to Build Solid Relationships Over the long Haul

I am often asked how I grew such a powerful and large network of people and how I get the speakers I do for my networking dinners. Why do major public figures and corporate giants say YES to me?

The question: “What’s your formula, Jeanne?”

The answer: “I seek relationships, not outcomes.”

Our outcome seeking culture may tell you this is a bad formula because it doesn’t always yield immediate results. From my own experiences, the promise of immediate results doesn’t last over the long haul.

It is the long haul I am interested in.

I train my clients to utilize the principles of comedy improv as the foundation for relationship building, in every space they enter. For example, the audience watching an improv show feels engaged as soon as they understand the relationship of the characters. “Who are these people?” – is the ultimate question that needs to be answered, just as we need to answer this in interactions with others. We are made to go deeper like characters in an improv show. We strive to feel more satisfaction with the relationships we have. When we have known and interacted with someone over time, we remember.

Relationships are key to your success and they take time to cultivate. I never stop connecting and re-connecting. The most solid forces in my work and personal life are also relentless connectors. We understand and nurture this powerful group.

Everyone reading this can get real results when making someone feel good. People will remember how you made them feel which will pay out over time.

1.) Practice Pro-Active Communication

If you see an article or hear a story that reminds you of someone you know and want to get to know them better, e-mail then, private message them, share it with them via Twitter or LinkedIN and QUOTE them when possible. When I do this, I’m thanked for my thoughtfulness.

2.) Be Patient with people when you don’t hear back

If someone is not responding via e-mail and/or call and your instinct told you you’ve got a solid connection with that person, trust your instinct and NEVER giving up on reaching out to them. Give a few weeks or months and reach out again with positivity. Pick up where you left off when you last connected. I cannot tell you how many people I have done this with who have thanked me for my persistence and patience.

3.) Give without measure or announcement

If you take one tip away from these, let it be this one. Remember giving is giving and when we give well, we do so without seeking something in return. This idea smacks in the face of most outcome seekers because it is thought we must receive something in return. I have learned when I give without measure or announcement what I receive is better and richer than what I would have imagined as an outcome.

If you are reading this you are a C-Suite Executive likely doing what you love and chances are, most of the people you meet are moved by that and want to get to know you better. Focus on relationship building over the long haul and enjoy the unexpected gifts to come.