The Key to Creating Valuable Relationships

Recently I was reminded of the importance in giving to receive. Naturally we tend to have an expectation of others to give to us without first considering how we can be of service to them. When we go about our daily routines, we expect to receive things like great customer service in a restaurant even though we’re on our cell phones, never making eye contact. Or perhaps landing a new account, while never uttering the words “what do you need?”; being too focused on what we want to get from a prospect.

Think about the people in your life within your closest circle; some very dear to your heart. They have, in one form or another proven deserving of your time and support.  Whether it’s through a display of affection, love, advice, finances or encouragement, they have impacted or influenced your life somehow, creating a lasting impression causing you to remain committed to maintaining your relationship with them.

While it’s easy to describe the things we value; the challenge is to find out how to create value for others. The solution may be easier than you think.

Creating value is personal.

There’s a saying: “It’s not personal, its business.” Every time I hear it, I think of my all time favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail where the remarkable Meg Ryan says to Tom Hanks, “……what’s so wrong with being personal anyway? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin with being personal.” I couldn’t agree more.

Our jobs, our friends, our families, hobbies and interests are all personal. Before we interact with others, we must try to consider these things. Creating a personal connection plays a vital role in laying the foundation for valuable relationships to form.Person examines value

Here are some key ways to creating valuable relationships with others.

Make it Personal. Try to find a common area you are passionate about when meeting new people. Being able to relate to someone on a personal level can remove any added pressure or nervousness in making new contacts. Doing this will leave a lasting impression. People will always remember how you made them feel.

Be honest. A relationship built on dishonesty will not last. People do business with those they can trust. Likability isn’t everything. See The Honest Model.

Be reliable. Strive to be the person others can count on to come through in a time of need. Possessing this trait will prove to be an invaluable asset. You will create a closer bond leading to exposure and opportunity for you personally and professionally.

Be consistent. Consistency is key in developing trust. Unpredictable behavior does not provide the safety and security people need when committing to a relationship.

Value can only be determined by the receiver. What is valuable to you, may not be valuable to someone else. The key is to find out what others value and become a resource or provider for that.

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

The War on Talent…Management

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Ken Blanchard

tug of warThe greatest cost in business is talent and should therefore be the greatest focus of a business in terms of investing time and money to secure it’s stability. Without properly managing talent, the risk is greater in damaging your business sustainability.

So what seems to be the core of the issue with talent? Is it a lack of qualified staff, unengaged workers or employee mismatch causing the worry for business leaders and CEO’s? Could it be that employees simply don’t trust their employers anymore? See my blog on Trust in the Workplace

My experience leads me to believe the center of the issue is managerial decision-making and their interaction with talent.

A recent Gallup study found that companies fail to choose the candidate [manager] with the right talent for the job 82% of the time. According to the article written in the Gallup Business Journal by Randall Beck and Jim Harter, “Most companies promote workers into managerial positions because they seemingly deserve it, rather than have the talent for it.”

Properly training your management to understand talent demands and meet them is key when making hiring or promotion decisions. Those in management have the greatest impact on employee engagement and retention. When requirements and job duties/tasks change, it’s management who monitors and relays criteria to employees, seeing to it the work gets done. Without management developing effective communication and healthy relationships with workers, ultimately they become disengaged and fail to produce quality work; a direct connection to the employee and manager interaction.

Talent plays a significant part in reaching organizational goals.

Failing to consider your talent when making adjustments, implementing changes and growing your business is a costly mistake.

Key ways to get management to understand the importance of talent:

  • Include talent management in the conversation when making business decisions
  • Encourage them to be creative in engaging employees
  • Make managing talent a natural topic on the meeting agenda.

Considering talent is a huge chunk of expense, I think it deserves a little more attention, don’t you?

There are a plethora of opinions on the dilemma of talent management, but whatever you believe the problem is, the solution is clear – finding and keeping good workers requires authentic interaction, positive emotion and a genuine desire to invest in your people. The greatest direct relationship to display these characteristics is that between a manager and the employee.

Don’t just hire or promote a knowledgeable worker because of their experience. Find out how well they can manage others, resolve conflict, engage workers and make good talent decisions. This may take time and it requires investment, but it is a necessary sacrifice to secure future growth for your organization.

Invest in training your management before giving them the responsibility to manage others.

Don’t assume having decades of experience working in an industry will automatically generate good management skills. If you don’t have the time or qualified training staff, hire a leadership coach. Because having a coach is mutually beneficial decision, many organizations tend to split the cost with the employee. This way, prospective managers will receive the right tools and techniques necessary to effectively manage others without interfering with daily work activity.

Lead by example.

If your organizational culture welcomes, prioritizes and invests in talent demands, you can expect your management will too.

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Why Honesty in Business Equals Success Part 2

What does honesty really mean?  Here’s the real truth.kid sneaky

Being honest is a learned behavior.

How it begins:

It’s a natural instinct to be untruthful. It starts when we are young, we make a mistake, break something, go against our parents’ rules and then we lie about it. We don’t want to be punished or end up losing our privileges so we learn how to get away with our wrongs by covering them up with lies. Eventually our subconscious mind ties honesty to penalty. In our adult years, we continue to carry on this behavior when we deal with our friends, family, colleagues, employers and customers. We tell people what they want to hear even though we know we should tell the truth. We disguise lies as “keeping the peace” or trying not to hurt someone’s feelings. We tend to conveniently blur the lines between being positive and being dishonest.

The older we get we have more at risk; such as security stability, social status and livelihood. These are the things we fight to protect. The greater the loss, the greater the lie; we begin to convince ourselves one cover up after the next is a justifiable sacrifice to remain comfortable. Eventually lying becomes an excusable behavior; after all we are only protecting that which we consider valuable right? To guard our future, we make this “sacrifice” as a resolve to error, failing to realize dishonesty is actually a hindrance from progression. It is a temporary fix and when carried on it multiplies, eventually interfering with our would-be promising futures.

A lie will eventually catch up with the initiator.

You see, once a liar feels like they are getting away with such behavior, it becomes a game or often second-nature, so much so that they forget about the repercussions and begin to feel comfortable with the risk of being caught. In business, no such risk is a smart decision. Even if a business is flourishing now, built on a foundation of lies it will eventually come crumbling down. Look at companies like Enron, or deceivers like Madoff. The bigger you are, the harder you fall. The more money you make, the greater risk there is. Keep it honest and you’ll never have to look over your shoulder worrying about when you’ll get caught.

Just as we develop a behavior to be dishonest, we can also develop a behavior to be honest.

We can learn to be honest just as we learn anything else, through practice. The key is to challenge ourselves to become more and more honest in our reactions to others and really think about our responses before we open our mouths. Granted, this is much easier said than done, but it is something we can work towards each day. Eventually, it will become a way of life and you’ll find being honest is much more rewarding long term vs. the temporary satisfaction dishonesty provides.

Have you read part 1? 

Why Honesty in Business Equals Success Part 1

MDD-160Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@honestleadership.org

Why Honesty in Business Equals Success Part 1

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Most people work under the assumption that doing business requires one to be “cut throat”, harsh or selfish. When we think of business, we don’t think of nice people doing great things. We think of competition, getting more customers, more profits and more growth; being honest just doesn’t fit into the category. Often honesty is considered a weakness or vulnerability in business. I once heard someone say the key to being a good business man: “never admit to anything”. Now what kind of way is that to do business?

I’ve learned the best way to diffuse a conflict is to apologize for the error; even if it wasn’t your fault directly. It’s simply not possible to remedy a problem if you fail to acknowledge it exists! Apologizing is not admitting you did anything wrong. Apologizing is saying you value your relationship with the customer more than your ego. Believe it or not, most people are actually open to forgiving if you simply acknowledge making a mistake, ask for their forgiveness and try to mend the fault.

Imagine how much time and money we would save if we just apologized for an error? Instead, most business people take it personal; as though a mistake is a personal defeat rather viewing a mistake as an opportunity to turn weaknesses into strengths. Honesty builds trust which creates a loyal relationship between you and your customer. Returning customers and client referrals are what keep a business afloat. In the midst of managing conflict, remember this: You are not just securing a relationship with one person, you are securing a relationship with them and the five other people they will potentially send your way depending on how you handle their problem.

Bottom line – people do business with those they can trust. If you can’t acknowledge your error, then consider the relationship broken. We can’t change the past, but what we can do is commit to being honest about it and move on.

“I don’t want you to be perfect, I want you to be honest.”Mary V. Davids

Mary V. DaviMDD-160ds is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids

June Book Pick!

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for your chance to WIN a copy of this book! 

the-people-factor-VAN-MOODY-2This month we picked Van Moody’s The People Factor. Here’s what Van Moody helps the reader to discover:

  • How to have healthy relationships
    with unhealthy people
  • How to positively engage at work and
    advance your career
  • How to identify and thrive in a “toxic”
    relationship
  • How to know when helping someone
    is actually hurting you
  • How to set compassionate
    relationship boundaries
  • How to end relationships in a healthy
    and respectful way

“To build and maintain deep, substantive relationships, people must know themselves, be honest about themselves, and share their true selves with others.” – Van Moody

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for your chance to win an electronic copy of this book for your Kindle device!

**If you have a book you would like to recommend for next month, send an email to info@dm-professional.com for consideration. 

Mary V. DaviMDD-160ds is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Keep Moving Forward

Keep Moving Forward

Mary V. DaviMDD-160ds is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

5 Reasons Why Social Media is Good for Business

social media graphic

Social media has changed the way we do business. It has expanded the local entrepreneurial reach and is the cause for many successes in business. According to LinkedIn recent study, 9 in 10 small businesses say they are currently using or plan to use social media to expand their business.

Most people, after meeting you and/or learning the name of your company, within seconds hop on Google to see what appears. What do they see about your personal brand or business? More importantly, what do you want them to see?

According to the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic.

86% of marketers say that social media is important for their business.

89% of marketers say that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.

A recent LinkedIn study showed that 94% of small businesses using social media use it for marketing and 3 in 5 says social media helps to attract new customers.

With social media, you can brand your business on a wider scale, thereby connecting with consumers whom already use social media platforms personally and professionally. If they like what they see, they will connect with you and from there you can develop a stronger connection and business relationship. Here are some ways social media can help grow your business.

1. Exposure. Your reach is significantly further with social media. Social media is a global platform that allows you to connect with people all across the world. Hashtag’s are big in social media platforms such as Twitter and Google+. Create your own hashtag to put a stamp on your brand. Most companies use a hashtag vs. a slogan because it quickly identifies the company and it is easier to remember.

2. Developing Relationships. Connecting with people is essential in gaining new business. Utilizing social media will allow you to relate to your current customers and form new customer relationships. Release content that is relevant, funny, informative or controversial to start up conversation. Interact with your customer base by responding to comments and insight. Many company’s hire a social media person or team to keep the conversation going and remain engaged with their audience.

3. Access to Networks. Through social media, you and your company can develop connections with other networks and organizations. Building relationships on a higher scale by affiliating with well-known experts in your industry is a plus. More often a simple follow from a well known and recognized individual or organization can drive attention to your business and brand.

4. Remaining Relevant and Current. We know that most people check a company’s online presence before doing business with them. Not having current and relevant content and news on social media pages will create a wedge and disconnect between the company and its customers. People want to know what is currently happening and what is to come. Often they look to companies they trust and do business with to deliver this information.

5. Knowing Thy Competition! If you want to remain competitive, you have to be willing to step inside the sand box to find out what’s going on in your industry. How can you compete without knowing what you are up against? Many businesses use social media as a platform to announce new products and services, even before they publish such information with a newspaper or television network. Want to grow? Stay in the know!

To remain successful, it is important to recognize and adjust to industry changes and standards. Growing requires change and change is a necessary element of sustainability. So get out there and tweet, google, facebook and link up on LinkedIn! See you soon!

Profile-Pic.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.

Great Infographic – Interviewing 101

Interviewing can make or break your opportunity to get ahead in your career. It creates a first impression and a lasting impression at the same time. Be aware of your facial expressions, your posture, and articulation. Read my blog post on Interviewing 101.

I wish I could give the author credit but I have no idea who did this!

I wish I could give the author credit but I have no idea who did this!

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Leadership: An Inside Job

When you exercise, your trainer always tells you “work from the core”. The reason we work from the core is because it transforms the entire body. In business I use this concept. Total success happens only when you work from the core.

Great work is done from the inside out.

Having a senior management or executive position does not automatically qualify you as a good leader. What determines your leadership capabilities is how you are able to find, groom and develop a good team. Rolling up your sleeves, getting into the grit of the mess and motivating people to change the way they see things, convincing them of the personal benefit that lies ahead – that is true leadership.

People will work if they believe in the goal and are committed to the process.

The result of any accomplishment or failure stems directly from what happens at the core of an organization. C-Suite executives are not the only one’s tasked with the responsibility of ensuring organizational sustainability. More often, these executives are the face of an organization; in their respective positions they rely on their leadership team to execute and deliver on expectations. Senior management may come and go, however good leadership endures the test of time. With solid leadership in place, an organization can withstand would-be disasters stemming from CEO’s moving from one organization to another.

Great leaders focus on three core internal objectives: Execution, Team Building and Effective Communication. 

Execution. Leaders don’t need the spotlight. Being on the cover of a magazine or doing interviews with the media isn’t what leadership is about. If you are busy doing all those things, who is running the company? In Larry Bossidy’s Book – Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, he says: “To build an execution organization, the leader has to be present to create and reinforce the social software with the desired behaviors and the robust dialogue.” Execution generally comes from middle managers, supervisors, and line managers. These are the people who get things done; delivering on expectations handed out from the top-down.

Team Building. Leadership is about creating an open platform and welcoming environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and knowledge with one another. Learning how to trust co-workers and support one another is essential. Leaders provide opportunity for employees to engage with each other and they have a special way of utilizing the competencies of others to foster a cohesive environment.

Communicate the Vision. Managers and leaders communicate differently. While a manager may command a task, a leader will make a request. Leaders explain the purpose of the task and the value it can create for the producer. A manager issues the order and deadline requirements. It is the leadership team that delivers on those orders by utilizing effective communication paired with motivation and employee engagement practices. Effectively communicating the vision of the organization to an employee brings them into the conversation. It allows them to see the personal gain achievable with their help. Bottom line – if employees are not sold-out to the vision, they will not consistently produce quality work.

In sum, great leaders work internally; individually and collectively. They see a need and meet it with empathy, understanding, patience, motivation and strategy. The success of an organization is the direct result of good leadership developed from the core.

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.