Bouncing Back from Rejection

Who knew two little letters could cause so much grief? Hearing the word “no” probably evokes the worst feeling, especially when it comes to a matter that was of extreme value to you. Perhaps you were pitching a new idea to your colleagues, asking for a raise or trying to close a sales deal. Rejection and the accompanying sentiment is enough to make you evaluate your skills, growth and sometimes, even your worth.
It’s important to remember that rejection is an important part of the growth and accomplishment processes. The word “no” provides you with the opportunity to re-evaluate and revise your approach to a situation. It also requires you to hone in on strengths and techniques that you may have overlooked or even dismissed initially. “No is a transitional word that demands that you persevere. Here are some tips to help you bounce back from the word  “no”:

1) “No” is not never— Rejection is temporary. In fact, as much as you were hoping for a “yes”, you only have a 50% shot of getting that answer. Think of it this way, no is not definite. It can also mean, not yet or maybe after a few improvements have been made. Don’t allow those two little letters to deter you from continuously pursuing your target. Who knows?  Your “yes” could simply require one more try.

2) Don’t shoot the messenger— Although the person bearing the bad news is just as discouraging as their negative response, remember, they are still a powerful tool in your success. So reconsider your thoughts about lashing out at them. Instead, ask them to give you feedback on improving your chances for next time. Figure out if they can help you achieve your goals through a stringent evaluation, constructive criticism, successful examples or even a point in the right direction. The messenger may have the information you need in order to get past “no”.

3) Narrow your focus— Sometimes “no” is the result of the wrong approach or the wrong focus. If you’re not completely qualified or capable of handling a task, you may be setting yourself up for failure in the first place. Make sure your target is aligned with your capabilities. As bold as you may be to pursue something out of your reach, you may actually be pushing it further away. Try narrowing your focus with your pitch– no matter what you’re pitching about– this should help you pursue the best opportunities that bring you more positive results.

4) Dust yourself off— Don’t wallow in self-pity. No can be a harsh word, but self-pity can make the sting last longer than it should. After receiving rejection, allow some time for it to settle in, vent appropriately, then dust yourself off and try again. You’re going to face a decent amount of rejection in your lifetime– even with tasks that you thought you were surefire to win.  It’s okay.  Don’t beat yourself up about it. Be willing to give anything you really want another shot.

These are just a few tips on dealing with rejection. For more tips, please contact me. Do you have ideas of your own? Please share them! I’d like to hear your feedback.
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Is your staff loyal to you?

 

Your company has a mission. You need to provide a stellar product or service to your customers in a timely manner and with little to no error. Additionally, you need to meet certain revenue goals in order to successfully remain in business. Business owners and executives understand and appreciate this type of focus when it comes to the daily operation of an organization. But what about employees? How often is a regular employee excited to help its employer excel?
When it gets down to it, most employees remain loyal to a company because their livelihood is attached to it. Quite frankly, steady paychecks may make up for the fulfillment they lack in their regular job duties. And yes, there are plenty of examples of employees who are committed to their job because they genuinely like what they do. However, neither of these instances relate to their commitment to your organization. If they could earn money or have their dream career elsewhere, there’s a good chance they could jump ship on your company at any time.
Building employee loyalty takes the right consistency  of effort from an organization’s leaders. Here are a few tips you can use on a regular basis to incite loyalty from your employees:

1) Incorporate their passion into their job duties: Your employees are multi-talented. Their professional capabilities extend beyond what they were hired to do. Take time to learn about what your staff’s’ hobbies are and come up with creative (and meaningful) ways to bring their true passion to their job or workplace in general. For instance, if your Administrative Assistant is  very passionate about baking, perhaps you can ask her to bake something for the next departmental meeting. The compliments and conversations she’ll get from her peers will add more pep to her step and get her more excited about preparing for and attending the next meeting.
2) Regularly provide development opportunities: An employee who feels he/she can’t grow is most likely wasting their time and yours. Most people thrive from knowing there are possibilities to advance.  You can provide these possibilities by adding courses, events and activities to an employee’s core requirements in their job description. Employees can participate in mentoring or shadowing programs, learn a new software or sit in on meetings to provide input or valuable information. Challenge your employees to better themselves. Your company will reap the benefits.
3) Recharge them during the day: 8 hours sitting in front of a computer or performing the same task repeatedly is enough to make anyone sluggish or lackadaisical. Offer recharging “stations” throughout the office filled with healthy snacks, fun but challenging toys (rubik’s cube anyone?), magazines or even a laptop full of music that they can download to their iPods. These quick breaks can revitalize your staff and also provide them with an opportunity to mingle with their peers, productively let off some steam and get geared to face the rest of their day.
4) Ask for their input and actually do something with it: When you ask an employee’s opinion, you shouldn’t do it out of obligation. You should genuinely care about what they’re saying about your business, products and workplace. Engage in an informal conversation about their opinions on the happenings and practices within the organization and follow-up with them to let them know you’re considering what they’ve said. You never know, their opinion could be your next million-dollar strategy. You don’t have to be have an MBA to have a great sense of business.
5) Interview them…again: Things and people change frequently. Some of your employees may be rapidly outgrowing their positions, while others are struggling to keep up. Make it a point to re-interview your employees to evaluate their satisfaction and adjustments within their current role. Don’t be too formal because it can come across as an employee having to compete to keep their job. Simply talk with them using some of the questions you may have asked during their initial interview. Note their comfort with their role, concerns they may have and accomplishment’s they’ve made. This will help you determine any necessary changes you may need to make to improve the chances of retaining a good employee.

These are just a few tips on how to create a loyal relationship with your employees. For more tips on this topic, please contact me. Do you have tips of your own? Share them! I’d like to have your feedback.

Hey, are you ignoring me?!

How many times have you proposed an idea, requested information, tentatively scheduled a date or been promised a return phone call? And of those instances, how many times have you been left hanging? There’s a good chance that at least 50% of the time you’re waiting for an update on a matter of importance, you’re left in the dark. Besides negligence on the other person’s behalf, the reason you may not be getting any results from your “call to action” is because you’re not practicing effective follow-up.
There’s an art to effective follow-up that dances on the line between assertive and overbearing. So be cautious that you’re not hounding someone. Instead, let them know that you’re serious about receiving valuable feedback. There are methods you can use to practice strong follow-up. Here are a few tips:

 1) Confirm a date to check in within your initial proposal: If you tell someone ahead of time that you’ll be checking up with them on a specific date and time, they can better prepare their feedback. For example, you can say “Hey Bill, let’s talk about your input Friday at 1pm. This gives you a few days to become familiar with everything and think of some questions you may have.” You can email a meeting reminder so the other person can schedule accordingly. Stick to this time! If you wind up rescheduling or not acting on your proposed time, you risk loosing traction and getting any results.

2) Value the other person’s time: Your priorities may not be priority for someone else. It’s important that you keep this in mind when requesting and waiting for follow-up. Although you’re thinking 10 minutes should be reasonable time for someone to respond to an urgent matter, the other person may be thinking 24 hours is reasonable. So wait 24 hours for some type of response before doing any follow-up. You want to be effective, not annoying.
3) Limit the back and forth: Sometimes solid connections and feedback get lost in several chains of emails, phone tag and rescheduled meetings. Eliminate the back and forth by gradually progressing your follow-up. Email your request, then call to check in. Schedule an in-person meeting (with all of the resources and materials you need in order to prevent ineffective meetings) then make a final phone call to seal the deal (if you haven’t done so at the in-person meeting). Effective follow-up is all about progressing your status.
4) Sometimes your answer is “NO: We can’t control the final outcome of someone’s input. Perhaps you’ve done everything correctly and you’re good at what you do. That doesn’t mean that your follow up will always result in a “yes” answer. However, be sure to ask what you could do differently to improve your chances for next time.
5) Suggest someone else to handle the task: If the person you’re trying to connect with says (or shows signs of) being too busy, ask if you can include someone else in the conversation. Don’t step on their toes by excluding them or going around them. Simply ask if they can include a team member who would help to get the ball rolling. For instance, if you’re planning a meeting and the director is to busy to provide input, suggest getting the assistant and project manager involved. Everyone is welcomed to chime in and now you have a team of people working on your request.

These are just a few tips for improving your results from follow-up. For more tips, please contact me. Do you have follow-up tips that work for you? Share them! I’d like to have your feedback.