Archive for September, 2009

From Dealing with Difficult People…A Lesson From Serena Williams

September 18, 2009

A lesson from Serena Williams – keep your cool!

Serena Williams lost it at the US Open last weekend. Her temper got the best of her and she reacted emotionally, inappropriately and unprofessionally.

What gets lost in the story is the calmness with which the line judge held herself.

Had the line judge yelled and threatened back to Williams, then we would have all jumped to Williams’ defense.

How people feel about footfaults being called during high-level matches would be irrelevant if the line judge had fought back. She didn’t, which was the perfect response. And that response put all the fault on Williams who, alone, will pay for her outburst. (Williams was fined $10,000, the maximum penalty allowed for unsportsmanlike conduct in tennis, not to mention the loss of an important match and the untold damage to her reputation.)

After being called on a footfault during her serve, Williams walked over to the line judge, making a threatening gesture with her racquet and reportedly told her, “If I could, I would take this **** ball and shove it down your **** throat.” It is also alleged she threatened to kill the line judge, although Williams vehemently denies it.

Read more and watch a six-minute video of the confrontation at http://bit.ly/w4mrJ
If you were the line judge, could you have kept your cool in that situation? Could you have received those comments without fighting back?

It is important to remember that when one person loses it, the other should do the complete opposite, and remain very calm.

Do not interrupt the other person. Imagine if the line judge had angrily responded, ‘Are you threatening me?’ Even though I know that type of retort would have been wrong, I can imagine myself responding that way.

An angry response would have escalated the argument to much higher levels and Williams could have charged that she had been provoked.

Let the other person have her tirade; let her finish. If appropriate, call a time-out by saying something along the lines of, ‘This is not a good time to finish this conversation. Let’s meet again this afternoon’ – then walk away. Do not continue the conversation when tempers are flaring.

The line judge didn’t respond to Williams, but instead quickly got the referee involved. The line judge kept her cool, even though she felt physically threatened, believing that Williams was threatening her life. That is the calm, cool exterior we want to achieve when we are in a confrontation.

A lot can be learned from this episode. Williams should have done things differently, and I’m certainly hoping she regrets her inability to control her temper.

Learn from the line judge, the referee and even Williams, so you can avoid being the front page news story at your office.

(Copied from : http://www.dealingwithdifficultpeople.org/dealing-with-difficult-people-tips/?p=137)

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Kraft Lunch Note Promise – Feed a hungry child!

September 17, 2009

Kraft is launching a new campaign…Lunchables is asking parents nationwide to promise to drop a lunch note in their kid’s lunch box.

Each promise button clicked means one free lunch to a child in need through Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity. The goal is to turn 100,000 promises into 100,000 meals! You can help.

Check it out…it’s really cute and can help to feed hungry kids: http://www.lunchnotepromise.com

Thanx Gwen!

September 12, 2009

Thanx Gwen!

I’ll bet you are wondering who Gwen is and why I am thanking her on my blog.  Let me tell you the story of Gwen.

I was raising a young daughter on my own and needed to supplement my income so I could buy food and clothing after all my other bills were paid.  You know the story….dead beat Dad.  Anyhow, I had a dear friend whose father owned a very busy and elite diner back in New Jersey and he arranged a part-time job for me despite the fact that I didn’t have experience.  Other, more experienced waitresses were lined up waiting for a job at Jim’s Diner.  Always busy, great tips, good place to work.  I was VERY lucky to have gotten in, especially with no experience.

Gwen was the hostess; and I don’t mean the hostess with the most-est either.  She basically was a very strict woman.  But, as I learned over time, she had to be mean to run the diner with the precision and customer focus she utilized to keep the customers coming back time after time.

The more experienced waitresses provided basic training like where things were, what side dishes came with what entrees, how to set the tables, side work at the end of your shift, menu items, etc.  I got all these items down pat pretty quickly because I was anxious to start taking tables on my own and make some money.

Gwen was the final check point as you left the kitchen with your tray of food.  She would eyeball the tray and if you were serving steak, notice if you were missing something and ask where are your steak knives and steak sauce?  Or if you were serving seafood, where were your lemons and tartar sauce?  It was infuriating for me.  It was a VERY busy diner and you often would get 3 or 4 tables at once which would make it very hard to manage with excellence.  As a result, I would ALWAYS forget something and Gwen would once again get the better of me as I was leaving the kitchen.  Ooooh, I got so mad at myself. 

Then a light went on in my head.  If I were sitting at that table in that diner and ordered seafood what would I want with it when it was served?  Lemon, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, cocktail fork, crackers, and a package of hand wipes.  So, when I into the kitchen to get the salad I would load all those things I would like with seafood on a small plate and deliver that when I delivered the salad.  When I carried the tray out of the kitchen Gwen would ask me where my lemons were and I would reply, “already on the table.”  She would then ask me where the tartar sauce was and I would reply, “already on the table,” and so on…. 

Gwen only asked me a few more times before she was confident that I knew what I should be bringing to the customer and would actually bring it. 

The gratification I felt for thwarting her was wonderful.  Then it suddenly occurred to me that the only emotion I should be feeling is gratitude!

Gwen, strict as she was, showed me the true meaning of customer service – to anticipate what a customer wants and give it to them before they ask! 

 So Gwen where ever you are, Thank you.  You taught me a lesson I use every day in every aspect of my life.

3 Reasons Why a Woman Must Put on Her “Game Hat” to Land a New Job! by Vicki Brackett

September 9, 2009

3 Reasons Why a Woman Must Put on Her “Game Hat” to Land a New Job!

There is a difference on how men and women approach their job search. If women truly understand the differences, it can help them get what they want.

1. Women tend to “downplay” their accomplishments. Women are not boastful by nature. Most women will spend time telling others how great they are, instead of focusing on themselves. This works with our families, our volunteer groups and in our leadership style, but in a job search, it could hinder us from reaching our goals.

2. Women can miss opportunities because they are worried about everyone else. Women will stay longer in their current job, even when they see the warning signs. Because women are nurturers by nature, we put everyone else first and believe that we are letting everyone down by leaving. We just keep on believing things will work out and that we can make the difference. When this happens we may be missing valuable opportunities because we are not looking at OUR future, but the company’s future.

3. Women most often look at themselves first, before placing the responsibility or “blame” on another, even when the issue is clearly not theirs to own. Women look at their own weaknesses first and what they can do to change. It’s not our nature to start pointing the finger at someone else. Because of this, we tend to look inside first and not take the time to look realistically at what could be changing in our career environment that is out of our control.

These are the very traits that can make women great volunteers, employees and leaders. By focusing on other people first, women can pull teams together, make customers feel wonderful and can make real differences in the things that affect the family, workplace and the world.

The key is for each woman is to understand why she is who she is; to give a straightforward look at what her strengths and weaknesses are. Doing that gives her focus, so that she can put on her “game hat” when looking for a new position.

So, put on your “game hat”. Put yourself first. Look realistically at your professional situation at work and decide to make a calculated move; one that puts you in control of your job search. If you are unemployed at the current time, put on your “game hat” and figure out what you can do to help a company grow and articulate that in your resume and interviews. Remember, no one is going to toot your horn in your job search…it’s your responsibility.

So Ladies, let’s celebrate how we are different, put on our “game hat” and go out and get what we want!

Would love to hear your thoughts on this…..
Best Regards,
Vicki
vbrackett@makeithappenforwomen.com

www.makeithappenforwomen.com
720-851-7800

More Administrative Tips – To Be The Best You Can Be!

September 7, 2009

More Administrative/Customer Service Tips:

  1. Get to know your team!  Learn more about each individual find out their current needs and those of the entire team and meet them.
  2. Find out your company’s mission statement?  Talk the talk – walk the walk!
  3. Set up and maximize your tools, equipment, and space.  Your desk is your hub and will keep you organized – make it your own!
  4. Always remember and use your manners.  Please and thank you go a long way.  Stand and shake hands with everyone you meet.
  5. Look people in the eye when they are speaking you.  It shows respect and interest in what they are saying.
  6. Learn about your company.  Turn into the go to person for information.  This will be one of your most valuable assets.
  7. Slowly improve your wardrobe over the course of your career.  Know the dress code and follow it.  Dress to impress!
  8. Take “It’s not in my job description” out of your vocabulary.  You need to show you can be counted on to do anything at any time – a real team player who will do anything to help the company succeed.
  9. Always, always pay attention to detail, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If you are in doubt, it is always better to ask than assume. 
  10. When answering the phone, never be rude, even if it is a solicitor you’ve asked 100 times to take the company number off the list – it all goes back to you never know who is listening, and they very well may not realize whom you are talking about. 
  11. Keep your personal information/activities personal.  Disclosing your personal facts gives others cause to speculate further – don’t give them ammunition. 
  12. Be flexible – you need to adjust preset plans as necessary with minimal resistance