1. We’ve always done it this way
As Anthony Robbins said, “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”.
Improvement is always possible. Variations include “that’s how it’s done”, “the client likes it that way”. This is a demotivator and shuts down any chance of innovation or creativity.
“Past success is no guarantee of future success. Of the Fortune 500 companies at the turn of the century, only three exist in their present format today. And, since 1986, only 46% of the Fortune 500 companies are still in business.” – Catherine De Vrye
2. That working on a team makes you a team player.
Nope. False. Just because you’ve worked on a project with a group doesn’t mean you work well as part of a team. Teamwork or “teamwork” can generally be c
lassified into 3 distinct groups –
- The group that has 1 or 2 people doing all the heavy-lifting while the rest coast along
- The group that argues, undercuts each other and plays politics
- The group that communicates effectively, works together, evenly distributes the workload and utilises the skills available within the team
3. That it’s about the product, not the customer service.
This is something that studies have time and time again proven to be WRONG. The customer IS king. The customer IS always right. To help you digest that, take a side of these statistics:
Price is not the main reason for customer churn, it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service – Accenture global customer satisfaction report 2008
A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related – Bain & Company
For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent – Lee Resource
It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience – “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner.
4. That you need to multi-task to get everything done.
Wrong. According to Gary Keller, “You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.” According to Health.com it actually makes you LESS efficient. Read their post on surprising reasons to stop multitasking now here.
Harold Pashler demonstrated that when you do two cognitive tasks at once, that their cognitive capacity could drop drastically. (Pashler, H. “Attentional limitations in doing two tasks at the same time.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 1 (1992):44-50)
The New York Times has an online experiment on this. Take it and let us know your results! Click here.
5. K-I-S-S (Keep it Simple, Stupid).
This refers to communication. While we do agree that there are times that less is more, sometimes you have to be a little more wordy in emails to make sure the message is not lost or misunderstood. (A little more, you’re not writing a novel.)
Not replying to emails from colleagues, being curt (unintentionally or not) or not giving enough information can have repercussions for your reputation and affect how you’re perceived. Not being self-aware is a huge problem in some workplaces. Read more on how a message can get lost in business here.
Explain, keep it to the point, be polite. Don’t over-complicate something and don’t withhold information. Always ask yourself “have I stated my message clearly?”.
John Thill and Courtland Bovee have created a checklist for planning business messages:
- Determine your general purpose: are you trying to inform, persuade, entertain, facilitate interaction, or motivate a reader?
- Determine your specific purpose (the desired outcome).
- Make sure your purpose is realistic.
- Make sure your timing is appropriate.
- Make sure your sources are credible.
- Make sure the message reflects positively on your business.
- Determine audience size.
- Determine audience composition.
- Determine audience knowledge and awareness of topic.
- Anticipate probable responses.
- Select the correct channel.
- Make sure the information provided is accurate, ethical, and pertinent.
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