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Free Articles by Johnny "The Transition Man" Campbell, DTM, The 007 of Change

Please contact Johnny Campbell if you would like permission to reproduce any of these copyrighted articles in your publication. Call (630) 460-3279 or email

Success Is About Choosing What You Want in Life

Top 10 Public Speaking Skills

Putting an End to Procrastination and Self Doubt

How to Deal with Problem Employees

How to Deal With a Difficult Customer

Getting Inside the Customer's Head

Business Networking Puts More Money in Your Pocket

21st Century Leadership - A People Focused Approach

5 Ways Great Managers Improve Employee Performance

4 Tips to Staying Motivated in the Midst of Failure

 
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Success is about choosing what you want in life!

You can choose success. Do you believe this? If you do not then you have chosen (yes chosen) a different route and success will not be a prominent feature! Success is about choosing what you want in life and taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal. Success is not stopping until you get there!

Read the last two sentences again. Easy to say but how do you get there? What are the choices made by the successful? What are they doing differently from everyone else?

Choose to remove whatever is holding you back. Has something happened in the past to affect your self esteem? Do you immediately have negative thoughts as soon as money and success come to mind? If you are not choosing success then it is likely that something is blocking your ability to change and follow a new path. To remove the block you must have focus. To have focus you must first have an all consuming dream of where you want to be. Only when you have defined that dream can you start to focus on it. Focus so intently that everything you do is done with your dream in mind. Only then can you move toward that dream.

Choose to live your success. Live your life as if you were successful, as if you had already achieved the goal that you are focusing on. When you are at work, visualize what your workplace will be like when you have reached your goal, and place yourself there. Sit at your desk as if you were running the multimillion dollar business that you are focusing on. When you get into your car, visualize what your dream car will be like and see yourself sitting in it. Visualize yourself driving away from your dream house. When you are in your home - look around it and see your new surroundings. Get inside the feeling - really be there.

The more you do this, the more your subconscious will think that you are successful and move you towards these things. Live your success expecting to realize it. Living it now is a practice run for when it comes to you. After all, you want to be prepared, don't you?

Choose to believe in your success. What your conscious mind believes, your subconscious strives to achieve. Look around at your friends and acquaintances and ask yourself how many of them have unshakable belief in where they are going. Are they successful? Possibly not - they may be in a good job and have a nice life but they do not have the success factor. Perhaps you do know of someone with unshakable belief. They may not be successful now but they will be moving in the right direction. Watch that space....

Belief is the catalyst which takes the dream and turns the focus into a plan to get there. Never underestimate the power of belief.

Choose to be emotional about your success. Belief plus emotion are unstoppable. If you have utter belief then you will develop emotion. If you want something badly enough it is emotive. Maybe it is to get out of debt. If you have suffered the hardships of this situation you will feel everything to do with debt and money is charged with emotion. This is the reason behind so many 'rags to riches' stories. Sometimes only the most devastating of emotional circumstances are the catalyst for change and a move toward success instead of away from it.

You can choose success. Or you can choose to stay safe and do what you do now. Guess what - you will still be doing the same in ten years time. The question is - do you want to?

 

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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Top 10 Public Speaking Skills

Is there anything more terrifying than facing an audience of strangers and knowing you have to deliver an entertaining and informative speech?

OK, some people thrive on this type of challenge! But the vast majority of us are at least a little nervous every time we have to speak publicly. In fact, fear of public speaking is probably one of the most universal fears throughout all walks of life.

Thankfully, public speaking is a fear that can easily be overcome with a little practice and the right approach. You can use the tips below to improve your public speaking skills.

1. Be prepared and practice.

The more you know what you want to say, the better you'll get at it. First, brainstorm the topic of your speech and research it, if you need to. Write down all the points you want to make and then organize them into an outline. Fill in the details. Once you have the essential content of your speech written (at least in your head), transfer your main ideas to index cards. Write the main idea in dark ink on the front of the card, and if you think you'll need cues, write them on the back of the card in pencil. Then, practice your speech out loud at least 3 to 5 times. If you can, practice it in front of a friend or family member and ask them for feedback and if that's not possible, at least practice in front of a mirror. Do it until you can talk naturally, with only a glance at your cards. Don't ever read your speech word for word!

2. Know your audience.

The better you know your audience, the easier it will be to connect to them as you speak. When you are able to make that connection, you'll hold their attention. And seeing that you're doing so will increase your confidence and comfort level, making it even easier for you to speak well. So, find out everything you can about the people you'll be speaking to. Know what their "hot topics" are, inside jokes and so on. The more you know about what makes them tick and what interests them, the better speech you'll be able to give.

3. Dress the part.

When you're standing up in front of an audience, all eyes are on you. Like it or not, your image is important in this situation. So, dress to impress this particular audience. If you know your audience well (see #2), then you'll have an idea how to dress. For example, you might dress in a conservative navy suit if you're speaking to a group of bankers, but in a more casual, fashionable outfit when the audience consists of artists and designers.

4. Pay attention to the old KISS principle, that is, Keep It Short and Simple.

The key is to get your points across as quickly as possible. Don't beat around the bush or try to impress with complex metaphors. Stories, however, can be a powerful public speaking tool, especially when they contain at least a hint of humor. But again, keep them short and on point. Shorter messages leave the impression of a savvy, smart speaker. They're also easier for your audience to remember.

5. Speak clearly and at just the right tempo.

The mark of an inexperienced, uncomfortable public speaker is someone who speaks all in a rush, slurring words in her desire to get it over with. Don't be this kind of speaker if you want to hold your audience's attention. On the other hand, don't speak so slowly your audience's minds start to wander.

6. Use visual aids to illustrate your points.

Many people will understand your message more clearly when it is more visual. What we see often leaves a more lasting impression than what we hear. You can use slides, photographs, PowerPoint presentations, or even a simple whiteboard to add visual cues to your speech. One caution though—don't turn your back on your audience as you use your visual aid, and don't turn the lights on low for long periods, or you might be surprised to look up and see they are all sleeping!

7. Interact with your audience.

Lectures will rarely have the same impact on an audience that an open discussion will. Look for opportunities to involve your audience in what you are speaking about. Ask for validation of points you are making ("Am I right?" "Has that ever happened to you?") or allow time for questions. Also, make sure to establish eye contact with your audience—and keep it—throughout your speech.

8. Speak with sincerity and passion.

You want to leave a lasting impression with the audience about your speech topic. So be sure you are true to yourself and your topic as you speak and don't be afraid to inject passion and enthusiasm into the speech as well.

9. Come out from behind the podium.

You'll project confidence and a sense of comfort when you have the courage to let go of the podium and stand in front of your audience with nothing to "protect" you. As you speak, you can walk back and forth across the stage, making eye contact with different people. Some speakers even walk out into the audience to get "up close and personal." Be respectful of people's personal space, though, if you decide to do this. You don't want to be perceived as threatening or overbearing.

10. Close your speech in a memorable way.

Give your audience something to think about as you finish up your speech. Certainly, it's a good idea to summarize your main points one more time, but then finish up with an inspiring story or quote, or leave them with a thought-provoking question.

Public speaking is an essential life skill that every person should strive to master. The ability to speak confidently in public will serve you in every part of your life, whether you are sharing opinions in a small group or delivering a planned speech in front of a group of hundreds.

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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Putting an End to Procrastination and Self Doubt

Johnny Campbell - The Transition Man

Self doubt and lack of motivation are the cause of personal failures in the lives of millions of people. Not living up to your true potential can lead to anger and depression. Overcoming procrastination and building a positive self image is not impossible. There are some very practical steps you can take that will lead you to personal success and keep you motivated.

Fear of failure (or success) and a lack of energy leads to procrastination. People who procrastinate become frustrated and generally accomplish nothing. To change this negative behavior, you must first identify the things that cause you to procrastinate in the first place. Feelings of fear, rejection, and unworthiness take a real toll on your self-esteem. Taking steps to improve your self-esteem will make a huge difference in your energy level and will motivate you to make other positive changes in your life.

Human beings are motivated by two things: pleasure and pain. Make a list of the things you would like to accomplish and how you will reward yourself when you do reach your goals. When you are making your list, be sure to include the consequences you will suffer by procrastinating.

Keeping the reward in mind will make it easier to stay motivated. Overcoming irrational fears and phobias are crucial to your self-esteem and energy level. The act of procrastinating itself creates self-esteem issues. Guilt, stress, and anxiety are results of low self esteem and lack of motivation.

Procrastination is a habitual behavior. You can break the cycle of self doubt and procrastination if you make the decision to do so. Keep a list of the things you need to accomplish, both long and short term goals, and reward yourself for each thing you cross off your list. It is not easy to break old habits, but it can be done and soon you will find that the new behavior is second nature.

Keep in mind that your emotional health is closely related to your physical health. A sensible diet and exercise will do wonders for your self-image.

You will find that when you make an effort to change your negative behavior you will have more energy and your self-esteem will soar. Procrastination will no longer control your life and you will be motivated to accomplish your goals. You can change your self-image and become a highly motivated individual if you take the time to find out why you lack motivation and take steps to improve your self-esteem.

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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How to Deal with Problem Employees

Every business has them - problem employees who suck up a great deal of a managers time and energy trying to achieve better performance and results.

In the good old days it was easy to rectify the problem, just terminate the employee and get on with business. In todays business world, labor laws have become much more employee friendly which has increased the challenges to managers as to how to deal with these individuals.

So how does a manager handle such employees effectively to achieve a win / win resolution. Unfortunately most managers focus all their efforts in trying to get rid of the problem rather than taking a step back and planning a strategy to give the employee a chance to become an asset to the business.

In order to deal with a problem employee it is important to be able to pinpoint where the true problem lies. The good news is that you only need to focus on three areas to find the answer.

If you follow these three areas in order you will find where you will need to focus your efforts to turn your problem employee into a productive member of your team.

The first area to look at is training. Has the employee been trained properly? Does he or she know what is expected of them? Was their training period adequate? Do they perform their duties within the guidelines set forth by the company?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions then training is not the issue, then you need to move to the next area. On the other hand if you answer no to any of the above, it is time to set aside some time to re-train the individual.

The second area is the environment. Is there something in the employees work environment that may be affecting their performance? There may be a possibility that the employee may have developed an allergy to the equipment they work with, or there may be something in the air that is causing the employee problems getting the job done.

In casinos, table games dealers have developed allergies to the dust that the table felts produce. Nurses have developed allergies to the powder used inside latex gloves.

If the environment is the cause of the problem it will be in the managers best interest to try to find an alternate job within the company that will provide a better climate for the employee to work in.

If the environment is not the problem then the only other option is the employees behaviour. This is by far the most difficult to deal with as people in general get very defensive and offended when they are being talked to about their conduct.

When speaking with an employee about their behaviour it is important to be up front with the issue. There is no reason to beat around the bush. You have to ask questions and let the employee say everything they have to say. The employee may have personal problems that are affecting their duties, they may hate the job or are having problems with someone they work with.

Once you have found the root of the problem then it is important to offer solutions. It may be counseling, a mediated meeting with another employee, or maybe the offer of a leave of absence from work to get their affairs in order.

Once the discussion has neared the end you must inform the employee of your expectations as their direct report and how they are expected to behave at work.

By following the above steps you as a manager will be able to improve performance and production from the most difficult employee. As you gain experience, the process will become easier each time.

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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They’re Driving Me Crazy- Strategies for dealing with diffcult people and My CD
“Secrets for Dealing with difficult people.” at  www.conflictresolutionskills.net
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How to Deal With a Difficult Customer

Providing good customer service to a difficult customer or client can feel like walking a diplomatic tightrope. But if you handle a customer's complaint the right way, you can turn the situation around and even turn that person into a loyal customer. Here are some tips to help you when faced with a difficult customer.

Don't Take It Personally

How you handle the first contact with a dissatisfied customer is critical to diffusing the situation. If a customer or client approaches you with an adversarial attitude, voice raised, he isn't seeing you as an individual at that moment - only as a representative of your company. Try to remain objective, and don't take it personally. If your first reaction is to become defensive, you're already well on your way to losing control of the situation. Let him do most of the talking initially, and just listen.

Try Honestly To See Things From Your Customer's Point Of View

Show respect for your customer's opinions. Whether he's justified or not in being upset, it's important to put yourself in your customer's shoes for a moment. Use phrases like, "I can certainly understand why you'd feel that way." Draw on your own experiences as a dissatisfied customer. You may have been more diplomatic in the way you asked to have your complaint resolved, but you did expect to be treated with respect and taken seriously. If you can do this for your difficult customer, in most cases he'll begin to calm down at this point.

Call Attention To A Customer's Mistake Indirectly

It's seldom a good idea to directly tell anyone that they're wrong. Such a direct accusation causes embarrassment, builds resentment and hardens someone's attitude, and makes it less likely that the person you're talking to will want to listen to what you have to say.

If you think that your customer or client has made a mistake, begin by using phrases like, "Well, I thought otherwise but I might be wrong. Let's look at this together." Being willing to admit that you could be wrong will make it easier for your customer to admit that he might be wrong, too. Even if you know for a certainty that he's wrong, begin by using diplomacy so that your customer can 'save face' if he's proven wrong. If he feels humiliated, you've probably lost any chance for future business with him.

If You're Wrong, Admit It

If you or someone at your company has made a mistake, admit it and apologize, sincerely and in no uncertain terms. If you've missed a deadline, mixed up an order or delivered a product or service below your usual standards, there really is no acceptable excuse to a customer who was depending on you.

If you agree that your client has a right to be upset, you've effectively removed any grounds for argument and you can begin to negotiate a resolution. When a customer complains, sometimes what they're really saying is, "How are you going to make this right?" In effect, they're giving you another chance. The customer you've truly lost is the one who doesn't complain, but simply never returns.

Decide If You Really Need The Business

The only way to win an argument is to avoid it. But there will times when, despite your best efforts, you will have to decide if the difficult customer's business is worth the time and emotional strain it costs you. Fortunately, these situations are the exception.

Handling difficult customers can be challenging, but it's well worth mastering the negotiation skills required to win their loyalty. When they're satisfied with the way you handle their complaints, they can also be among your biggest sources of referrals. And since customers are the lifeblood of any business, the more you can rely on regular customers and referrals then the less time and money you'll have to spend to get new business.

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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Want more great articles and ideas to subscribe my newsletter at: www.transitionman.com
For more information on how to beat procrastination checkout my Book
They’re Driving Me Crazy- Strategies for dealing with diffcult people and My CD
“Secrets for Dealing with difficult people.” at  www.conflictresolutionskills.net
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Getting Inside the Customers Head

Whatever business you are in, you will find that there is only one cause of your success.

How your customers experience your business.

While many organizations have mechanisms for assessing how they fare when delivering goods and services to their customers, these results are often formulated to achieve scores that will look good, rather than really achieve the true benefit; an ongoing improvement in the relationship between the organization and their customer.

The key to creating an excellent customer relationship is the interface between the customer and their point of contact within the organization. Too often processes which suit the business are not customer-friendly, however much they suit the internal needs.

Far too few businesses ask the question, 'Do the processes which we use, work always to the advantage of our customer first?’ Processes are a means to level out the average performance within a business; have a tendency to lower the very best performances and also, often take priority for employees, instead of the very customers who are their most valuable asset.

One way to avoid this issue is to ask your employees what gets in the way of making the very best of relationships with their customers. What do they need more of (as well as less of) to deliver exemplary customer service?

Another valuable way to approach this is to ask your people what they find works well for them when they themselves are customers, as we all are, elsewhere. What was good about it and what did they think could have been done better.

Finally, experiencing the customer journey through their experience is probably one of the most value-creating actions that can be taken.

For employees to watch, listen and even act out the experience of one of the customers they would normally be serving, is a very enlightening role they can play.

This can be achieved by taking them out of their usual working role, for a while, and getting them to watch or listen to what happens when their customer start the interaction. They then really share the experience and start to notice how things could be different.

If that can then be brought into a discussion forum where several share their experiences and propose changes, there are the ingredients for continuing progress and change.

Most employees want to do a great job. They want the satisfaction of getting it right and experiencing job satisfaction. They want their customers to leave satisfied, thrilled even, wanting to do business again in the future.

Enabling your people to spend time getting all the pieces in place for their customer, really understanding how to meet their needs fully and even exceptionally is a way to get them motivated and excited to be part of your team. It builds team spirit and morale.

Using the capabilities of your own people, to give better service through sharing their thoughts and ideas, is a valuable exercise - and one which creates untold value in your business for the future.

 

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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Business Networking Puts More Money in Your Pocket

Business networking puts more money in your pocket by helping you overcome the number one biggest problem facing new business owners. Prospecting for new customers. Business networking events can go a long way towards making the whole prospecting problem go away. There are two main kinds of networking opportunities available to the average entrepreneur. Passive networking and strong networking. Both have unique benefits and drawbacks.

The most well known example of passive networking is your local chamber of commerce. You can find a chamber of commerce chapter in almost every major city worldwide. Your local chamber of commerce gives you the opportunity to meet with many of the movers and shakers in your local business community. Through the many events they plan on a monthly and yearly basis, they offer you a chance to connect with a number of potential prospects for your products and services.

Weekly networking groups or clubs are an example of strong networking opportunities. These kinds of business networking events can be found in many major cities worldwide. A strong networking group will meet on a weekly basis for the sole purpose of exchanging business leads with one another and learning better ways of networking to grow their business. The most successful networking groups require your weekly attendance and insist that their members provide fellow members with referrals throughout the year. They also allow only one person from each profession or industry to belong to the group. This keeps the quality of the referrals high. One such group is Business Network International (BNI).

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of networking? They both have their place but strong networking groups represent a bigger commitment than passive networking groups. By belonging to a strong networking group, you are committed to be on the lookout for referrals for group members. Strong networking groups also usually meet on a weekly basis whereas passive networking groups usually meet monthly.

Passive networks can have multiple people from one profession or industry as members. They also have no requirements for passing on referrals to other members. Referrals do occur in a passive networking event but it is not facilitated by the meeting and is totally up to the business owner to initiate. You can belong to multiple passive networking groups. Any business you get from passive networking will most likely be a result of the amount of effort you put in.

Strong networks on the other hand restrict membership to only one person per industry or profession. This greatly increases the likelihood that you will receive referrals from participating members. Meetings are structured in a way to encourage referrals and there is a formal referral exchange that happens every week. It is strongly recommended that you only belong to one strong networking group in order to keep the quality of your referrals high.

In either case, it is important for members of these groups to see you as professional and competent. Referrals will go to people the referrer knows, likes and trusts.

Want more business? Start attending business networking events in your area.

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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21st Century Leadership - A People Focused Approach

One of the greatest challenges of leadership is the definition. There are literally thousands of books, documents, and lecturers that have each defined what their idea of leadership is. There are definitions for corporate leadership, civic leadership, home leadership, and more. We attempt to break down leadership and make it more complicated than it is. At its core, leadership is an individual achieving results through people.

In many cases you are considered a leader if you hold a particular title, have a certain set of personality traits, a particular skill, or lucky enough to be a born leader. None of these by itself define leadership, mainly because leadership is an individual decision. Just because someone is in a leadership position doesn't mean they necessarily exercise leadership. In some cases the informal leader exhibits leadership even though they aren't in a leadership role.

The people focused leader is adaptive and receptive to change. They understand the need to change in order to stay a step ahead in order to meet the demands and challenges of a rapidly changing marketplace. They have a vision for their organization that is clearly communicated throughout and the ability to influence at all levels in order to meet organizational goals and objectives.

The people focused leader realizes that it's not just management that drives performance in the organization, but also its people. Happy employees are productive employees. The people focused leader understands the importance of creating an environment that encourages diverse views and stimulates employees to take initiative, work as a team, and continuously learn.

The people focused leader has the interpersonal skills to develop relationships throughout the organization especially in the new millennium where many workers have more knowledge than those that are leading them.

The people focused leader is quickly replacing the autocratic leaders of yesterday. They recognize the importance of the people element to be critical to the success of the organization.

With the marketplace becoming more global, competitive, and turbulent, characterized by a highly mobile, skilled, and educated workforce. The people focused leader will need to demonstrate their "people skills" to drive organizational performance and business success.

As we move forward in the new millennium leadership will be the differentiating factor between successful and unsuccessful organizations. Rapid innovation and quality improvements will require even greater effort from the workforce in the future, and those that are able to change, influence, and transform his/her organization will be ready to lead their organizations well into the 21st century.

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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5 Ways Great Managers Improve Employee Performance

It may appear that all great managers know the secret to improving an employees performance. But what these managers know is no secret at all: everything you ever needed to know about enhancing the productivity of your employees is actually contained in a few simple techniques that are guaranteed to increase the efficiency of your business.

5 Things That Every Great Manager Knows

These five things are not profit margin, gains, losses, tax deductions, or assets - but instead are the human factors of management.

You cannot put a price or value on the factors that drive an employees performance. This is because most people remain with an employer because of the quality and satisfaction derived from a rewarding and balanced workplace.

Great managers recognize and respect this "x factor" of the business world and work to improve it with these simple tips.

1. Motivation - Every employee is unique; therefore the motivation to perform better will be different for each person. Identify the motivator for each employee and provide opportunities that encourage their interest and performance.

2. Setting Goals - Make sure you have a vision for how you want your business to operate now and in the future. Communicate your vision to your employees so that they are directing their energies toward a common goal. They will feel like they are a part of the business and this will enhance performance.

3. Praise - Take advantage of big and small opportunities to praise your employees for work well done. Your recognition of their performance means a lot and it is important that you acknowledge their efforts.

4. Feedback - Be lavish with praise but selfish with criticisms -but do offer kind words of constructive feedback that makes your employees feel respected and valued.

5. Management - Be available as a resource to your employees. They should feel comfortable to approach you with questions and concerns and not feel as if they are imposing on your time. They should be able to depend upon you for guidance and as a model of what excellent performance is all about.

A Last Word...

As you can see, there is no one secret to improving the performance level of employees. You can start today with these simple tips that are easy to implement into the everyday workings of your business. After all, your employees and business deserve anything and everything that will help them flourish and continue to grow.

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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4 Tips to Staying Motivated in the Midst of Failure

Most successful people have failed miserably. That's right. At one time or another they have flopped, fell short, missed the mark, struck out and goofed up royally. However, the difference between these people and the rest of the world is that when they failed, they made a choice to use the experience to better themselves...to become stronger.

Are you determined to reach your goal? Do you really believe you can achieve what you set out to accomplish? With determination and belief, you too can make the same choice to turn a failed situation into a winning one. How? By choosing to adapt a positive perspective and engage in edifying self-talk. Here are four opportunities to stay motivated in the midst of failure:

"The Only Direction is UP” or “It Can't Get Any Worse"

Feel like you've hit rock bottom? Don't beat up on yourself too badly. To experience disappointment, heartbreak, embarrassment and/or self-doubt is to be human. However, to wallow in this state for too long is downright destructive. Tell yourself that it doesn't get much worse than this point of failure and let yourself know that the only place left to go is "upward." Use the failure as motivation to start climbing back up. When you do this, you will see that instead of running from failure you will look it in the eye and overcome it.

"I Have a Chance to Do Better Next Time"

As long as you're breathing, there's always room for improvement. Choose to use your failure as motivation to do better the next time around. When you remember your goal and envision reaching it, you will be super-charged to find ways to develop yourself. For example, if you need to do better in school, make (and follow) a consistent study schedule. If you are intent on a promotion at work, take classes to increase your skill-set. No matter what the failed task consists of, you can use it to motivate yourself to get more done.

"Hmmm, I May Need to Change Direction"

Does it seem like you've come to a roadblock? Then the solution may just be detouring and moving toward your goal in a different way. When something does not work out as planned, you need to re-evaluate the route you are taking. So review the situation, re-group and get on a track "around" that roadblock. The track may be a different one, but it may also be a more successful one.

"This is Not the End of the Line"

Know this: everyone fails from time to time but failure is not the end of the line unless you allow it to be. You blundered, you tried, you failed and it hurts. Allow yourself time to grieve it but then let it go so that you can get back to the business of reaching your intended goal. Your goal IS your motivation. Remind yourself that the only positive option is to seek ways to turn the situation around. Then tell yourself that in the morning, you will begin again!

Johnny Campbell- The Transition Man
Accredited speaker
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