Anna Soo Wildermuth

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Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Relationship Building

Strategy for table conversation

voiceGood conversations while dining with a client are important in forging relationships. The main folks to focus on are the individuals to the right and left of you. If the noise level is low, include both parties in the discussion.

Refrain from conversing to someone directly across the table especially if the table sits ten. The rule is to never discuss religion, politics or intimate personal issues. If asked about any of these subjects, it is best to deflect and begin a new topic and always err on the inclusive side.

Appropriate conversations

24Recently, I was with a group of professional men and women. One of the women turned to me and asked how I knew so much about sports, the stock market, etc. Being fortunate enough to have clients in several sectors, including the automobile industry, I found that small talk is critical to forging relationships.

Talking about diets, weight gain, or the latest color unless it is for a uniform project, would not be of interest. Not now or ever, in fact, due to the volatile political climate, is politics considered small talk.

Must read books

giftboxMy five favorite books that provide the professional and personal skills and insights on building relationships are:

• 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
• The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell
• Blink – Malcom Gladwell
• Start with Why – Simon Sinek
• Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Seven key behaviors that make a good manager / team leader

award cup.magesSeven key behaviors that make a good manager / team leader include:

1. Caring for the area
2. Sharing the spotlight
3. Expressing confidence in decision making
4. Allowing the group to function as a team
5. Accepting a wrong decision
6. Staying available
7. Avoiding any hint of bullying behavior

Often, high potential executives possess these qualities. They help employees excel and leaders thrive from the demonstration of these leadership skills.

Holiday career destroyers

voiceA potential landmine during the season of cheer is the company or client holiday party. This is a time meant to build relationships not destroy or put them on life support.

It is a time not to drink or talk too much. Always remember to smile and refrain from discussing politics or religion. Avoid pouring your heart out or telling secrets to your boss or a colleague. Just build relationships.

A good sense of humor

smile_postcard-p2392812495396762627onr_325One personal trait I observed in working with successful executives is a good sense of humor. It’s shown in the person who can laugh at their own mistakes and take embarrassing moments and turn them around with humor.

I also believe if you can laugh at least once a day it makes those around you much more enjoyable. Surround yourself with folks who have a sense of humor to help you smile and laugh more often.

Understanding our communication style

coaching 2We all have very individualized thinking and communicating processes. In everyday situations, we manage to engage in pleasantries. However, it is in those difficult conversations that we go to our natural internal communication style.

It is critical to know what your style is so it can be effective and not work against us. A way to know your communication style is to mentally keep a log of when stress makes an appearance because that indicates the end of effective communications.

How to give constructive feedback

a winnerUsing the three to one rule will help you give constructive, inclusive feedback. Feedback must always be given in private unless agreed upon in a group setting. Feedback is never intrusive and is only given with the intent of future growth and forward movement.

The three to one rule works by starting with three things the person does well and one item they can do better. This approach softens the criticism and empowers the giver and receiver of the feedback.

How to disagree – gracefully

award cup.magesDisagreements are normal when working on a project, vision or strategy. I have always felt a successful end game needs to have different points of view to achieve a positive outcome. Now, that does not mean to always handle disagreements with kid gloves or bare fists. The main goal is to focus on the result. Four key items to remember are:

• Respect the person or persons
• Stay with the facts
• Honor the opposing side
• Leave the door open to revisit

Cadillac service = loyalty

24Shopping on line has become the way for me to shop whether it is for the house, office or personal items over these last few years. Before 2015, retail shopping meant going to various stores. It was not always fun to shop. In fact, it became more of a chore that a joyous experience.

The service, easy returns and problem handling of Amazon, Zappo, and Nordstrom (my favorite ones) has always been stellar. Whether working in an organization or as a consultant, when you offer consistent 24/7 service, you will build up loyal customers and client champions for your organization.