Showing posts from March, 2018

What's culture got to do with it?

I've written and spoken (a lot) about brand. What it is and what it isn't. It's a favourite soapbox of mine. Over the years, I've been asked many times to "create a brand." As soon as I begin to ask questions about their customer service, internal culture, market position, etc., I am often met with that deer-in-the-headlights look. They aren't really asking for help with their brand. What they are saying is: "Create a logo for us." Your logo, motto or slogan, the colours, fonts and images that you use represent your brand -- or what you think your brand is or want it to be. Brand itself is quite different. To define your brand, ask yourself some questions. How would you describe your business's culture?  What behaviour do you recognize and reward among your employees?  How do you think your customers would describe their experiences with you?  How responsive are you to requests for service after the sale?  Do you give

Hello? Is anybody listening?

Over the past few weeks, I've been teaching a course in health care communication to a group of international students at the local community college. One module was on effective listening. What has struck me since that module, is the number of times during the course good listening skills have arisen. In almost every other conversation we've had, the art of listening has been key. When the group presentation assignment came around, one group chose this as the topic. The ability to listen -- to really listen -- affects our relationships, the decisions we make, how well we engage others, how we show empathy and respect. Great listening means doing more than waiting to speak. It means putting your biases aside and opening your mind to hear not only what's being said but what's behind what's being said. It's about being curious and wanting to understand another person's point of view. "Seek first to understand," as Stephen Covey