Orignally published by: Shep Hyken, On: hyken.com

Just imagine if you were the Director of Sales for a private jet company. Would that be a dream job?

Jordan Zabel deals with high-end customers who expect high-end customer service because he is the Director of Sales for Jet Linx, a private jet company that offers their services to corporate and private members. As you might imagine, anyone that can afford to fly in a private jet has very discerning taste . . . and often along with it, sky-high expectations.

Jordan knows exactly what it takes to acquire these demanding customers. He needs to sell an excellent product while at the same time delivering the highest level of customer service. And, once the sale is made, he knows what it will take to keep those customers, which is to maintain that same level of service he demonstrated through the sales process, while maybe even increasing the altitude a bit.

So, all of this seems like common sense, right? A high-priced service usually is accompanied by an excellent customer experience. Just think of the level of customer care that hotels like the Ritz-Carlton demonstrate. So what is the challenge for people who deal with these high-end clients like Jordan Zabel does?

Zabel says, “Too many times a company’s marketing propaganda just doesn’t match the customers’ experiences after the sale. It’s all just hype. Hot air. At Jet Linx, I always want my customers to know their decision to do business with us was a good one, anytime they think of us.”

In other words, Zabel wants to live up to the promises and expectations that his marketing initially created for his prospects-turned-customers. After the sale, he wants his customers to continuously self-confirm that they made the right decision in choosing him and Jet Linx in the first place.

The key word here is self-confirm. What are you doing before, during and after the sale that continuously reinforces the customer’s choice to do business with you? If you have good sales skills, sure, that can get you some business to start. But what about getting those customers to return, time after time? That’s the key to ongoing success and a steady revenue stream. It’s all in what happens after the customer’s buying decision that counts. It’s about delivering amazing customer service after the sale.

I’ve written and talked about Joey Coleman’s concept about The First 100 Days. What happens during the first 100 days after the sale can confirm that the customer made a good decision to work with you at the beginning. We want our customers, at any time, to always be self-confirming their decision. When they do, it will lead to the next sale, and the next. It builds a stronger relationship. It potentially leads to customer loyalty and maybe even evangelism, where your customers share their positive experiences about you with their family, friends and colleagues. That’s the power of delivering a level of customer service that self-confirms a customer’s choice to do business with you!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

Originally published by: Dr.Travis Bradberry, Feb 27, 2017, on: www.linkedin.com

TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that the best bosses have a lot in common. In particular, 90% of them are skilled at managing their emotions in order to stay focused, calm, and productive.

These folks have high emotional intelligence (EQ), a skill set that’s critical to achieving your dreams. It also happens to make them great to work for.

It’s through a leader’s actions—what he or she does and says on a daily basis—that the essence of great leadership becomes apparent. Behavior can change, and leaders who work to improve themselves get results.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that great bosses employ, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so.

1. They’re Composed

Great bosses are composed because they constantly monitor their emotions, they understand them, and they use this knowledge in the moment to react to challenging situations with self-control. When things go downhill, they are persistently calm and frustratingly content (frustrating to those who aren’t, at least). They know that no matter how good or bad things get, everything changes with time. All they can do is adapt and adjust to stay happy and in control.

2. They’re Graceful

Graceful people are the perfect combination of strong and gentle. They don’t resort to intimidation, anger, or manipulation to get a point across because their gentle, self-assured nature gets the job done. The word gentle often carries a negative connotation (especially in the workplace), but in reality, it’s the gentleness of being graceful that gives ultra successful leaders their power. They’re approachable, likeable, and easy to get along with—all qualities that make people highly amenable to their ideas.

3. They’re Knowledgeable

Great bosses know more than others do because they’re constantly working to increase their self-awareness. They vow constant growth. Whenever they have a spare moment, they fill it with self-education. They don’t do this because it’s “the right thing to do”; they do it because it’s their passion. They’re always looking for opportunities to improve and new things to learn about themselves and the world around them. Instead of succumbing to their fear of looking stupid, truly exceptional people just ask the questions on their mind, because they would rather learn something new than appear smart.

4. They’re Honest

Great bosses trust that honesty and integrity, though painful at times, always work out for the best in the long run. They know that honesty allows for genuine connections with people in a way that dishonesty can’t and that lying always comes back to bite you in the end. In fact, a Notre Dame study showed that people who often lied experienced more mental health problems than their more honest counterparts.

5. They’re Deliberate

Great bosses reach decisions by thinking things out, seeking advice from others, and sleeping on it. They know that (as studies show) impulsively relying too much on gut-instinct is ineffective and misleading. Being able to slow down and logically think things through makes all the difference.

6. They Speak with Certainty

It’s rare to hear great bosses utter things like “Um,” “I’m not sure,” and “I think.” Successful leaders speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.

7. They Use Positive Body Language

Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) draws people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that super successful people use to draw others in. Positive body language makes all the difference in a conversation because how you say something can be more important than what you say.

8. They’re Confident

Successful leaders like to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield only small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases their confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you achieve a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.

9. They’re Fearless

Fear is nothing more than a lingering emotion that’s fueled by your imagination. Danger is real. It’s the uncomfortable rush of adrenaline you get when you almost step in front of a bus. Fear is a choice. Exceptional leaders know this better than anyone does, so they flip fear on its head. Instead of letting fear take over, they are addicted to the euphoric feeling they get from conquering their fears.

10. They’re Grateful

Ultra successful leaders know that it took a lot of ambition, passion, and hard work to get where they are in life. They also know that their mentors, colleagues, families, and friends all played a huge role in their success. Instead of basking in the glory of achievement, these leaders recognize others for the wonderful things they’ve done for them.

Bringing It All Together

These habits can make any of us more successful if we use them every day. Give them a try and see where they take you.

Originally published by: Dr. Travis Bradberry, Feb 13, 2016, on: linkedin.com

One of the most popular Dilbert comic strips in the cartoon’s history begins with Dilbert’s boss relaying senior leadership’s explanation for the company’s low profits. In response to his boss, Dilbert asks incredulously, “So they’re saying that profits went up because of great leadership and down because of a weak economy?” To which Dilbert’s boss replies, “These meetings will go faster if you stop putting things in context.”

Great leadership is indeed a difficult thing to pin down and understand. You know a great leader when you’re working for one, but even they can have a hard time explaining the specifics of what they do that makes their leadership so effective.

Great leaders change us for the better. They see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us learn to see it too. They dream big and show us all the great things we can accomplish.

Great leadership is dynamic; it melds a variety of unique skills into an integrated whole. Great leadership is also founded in good habits. What follows are the essential habits that exceptional leaders rely on every day. Give them a try and see where they take your leadership skills.

Effective Communication

“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” —Joseph Priestley

Communication is the real work of leadership. It’s a fundamental element of how leaders accomplish their goals each and every day. You simply can’t become a great leader until you are a great communicator.

Great communicators inspire people. They create a connection with their followers that is real, emotional, and personal, regardless of any physical distance between them. Great communicators forge this connection through an understanding of people and an ability to speak directly to their needs.


“Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible.” —Aristotle

People will wait to see if a leader is courageous before they’re willing to follow his or her lead. People need courage in their leaders. They need someone who can make difficult decisions and watch over the good of the group. They need a leader who will stay the course when things get tough. People are far more likely to show courage themselves when their leaders do the same.

For the courageous leader adversity is a welcome test. Like a blacksmith’s molding of a red-hot iron, adversity is a trial by fire that refines leaders and sharpens their game. Adversity emboldens courageous leaders and leaves them more committed to their strategic direction.

Leaders who lack courage simply toe the company line. They follow the safest paththe path of least resistancebecause they’d rather cover their backside than lead.

Adherence to the Golden Rule +1

“The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.” – Jon Wolfgang von Goethe

The Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated – assumes that all people are the same. It assumes that, if you treat your followers the way you would want a leader to treat you, they’ll be happy. It ignores that people are motivated by vastly different things. One person loves public recognition, while another loathes being the center of attention.

Great leaders don’t treat people how they themselves want to be treated. Instead, they take the Golden Rule a step further and treat each person as he or she would like to be treated. Great leaders learn what makes people tick, recognize their needs in the moment, and adapt their leadership style accordingly.


“It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself.” —Latin Proverb

Contrary to what Dilbert might have us believe, leaders’ gaps in self-awareness are rarely due to deceitful, Machiavellian motives, or severe character deficits. In most cases, leaderslike everyone elseview themselves in a more favorable light than other people do.

Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, a skill that 90% of top performing leaders possess in abundance. Great leaders’ high self-awareness means they have a clear and accurate image not just of their leadership style, but also of their own strengths and weaknesses. They know where they shine and where they’re weak, and they have effective strategies for leaning into their strengths and compensating for their weaknesses.


“If you just work on stuff that you like and are passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Passion and enthusiasm are contagious. So are boredom and apathy. No one wants to work for a boss that’s unexcited about his or her job, or even one who’s just going through the motions. Great leaders are passionate about what they do, and they strive to share that passion with everyone around them.


“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis

Great leaders are humble. They don’t allow their position of authority to make them feel that they are better than anyone else. As such, they don’t hesitate to jump in and do the dirty work when needed, and they won’t ask their followers to do anything they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves.


“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” —John Maxwell

Great leaders are generous. They share credit and offer enthusiastic praise. They’re as committed to their followers’ success as they are to their own. They want to inspire all of their employees to achieve their personal best – not just because it will make the team more successful, but because they care about each person as an individual.


“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” —Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

Great leaders know that having a clear vision isn’t enough. You have to make that vision come alive so that your followers can see it just as clearly as you do. Great leaders do that by telling stories and painting verbal pictures so that everyone can understand not just where they’re going, but what it will look and feel like when they get there. This inspires others to internalize the vision and make it their own.


“Just be who you are and speak from your guts and heart – it’s all a man has.” – Hubert Humphrey

Authenticity refers to being honest in all things – not just what you say and do, but who you are. When you’re authentic, your words and actions align with who you claim to be. Your followers shouldn’t be compelled to spend time trying to figure out if you have ulterior motives. Any time they spend doing so erodes their confidence in you and in their ability to execute.

Leaders who are authentic are transparent and forthcoming. They aren’t perfect, but they earn people’s respect by walking their talk.


“Management is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it, not hard enough and it flies away.” – Tommy Lasorda

Great leaders make it clear that they welcome challenges, criticism, and viewpoints other than their own. They know that an environment where people are afraid to speak up, offer insight, and ask good questions is destined for failure. By ensuring that they are approachable, great leaders facilitate the flow of great ideas throughout the organization.


“The ancient Romans had a tradition: Whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: He stood under the arch.” – Michael Armstrong

Great leaders have their followers’ backs. They don’t try to shift blame, and they don’t avoid shame when they fail. They’re never afraid to say, “The buck stops here,” and they earn people’s trust by backing them up.

A Sense Of Purpose

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” – Ken Kesey

Whereas vision is a clear idea of where you’re going, a sense of purpose refers to an understanding of why you’re going there. People like to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Great leaders give people that feeling.

Bringing It All Together

Becoming a great leader doesn’t mean that you have to incorporate all of these traits at once. Focus on one or two at a time; each incremental improvement will make you more effective. It’s okay if you “act” some of these qualities at first. The more you practice, the more instinctive it will become, and the more you’ll internalize your new leadership style.

Originally published by: Dr. Travis Bradberry, Jun 30, 2016, on: linkedin.com

It’s pretty incredible how often you hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving, and they really do have something to complain about—few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door.

Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.

The sad thing is that this can easily be avoided. All that’s required is a new perspective and some extra effort on the manager’s part.

Organizations know how important it is to have motivated, engaged employees, but most fail to hold managers accountable for making it happen.

When they don’t, the bottom line suffers.

Research from the University of California found that motivated employees were 31% more productive, had 37% higher sales, and were three times more creative than demotivated employees. They were also 87% less likely to quit, according to a Corporate Leadership Council study on over 50,000 people.

Gallup research shows that a mind-boggling 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by his or her manager. So, let’s take a look at some of the worst things that managers do that send good people packing.

They overwork people. Nothing burns good employees out quite like overworking them. It’s so tempting to work your best people hard that managers frequently fall into this trap. Overworking good employees is perplexing; it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance. Overworking employees is also counterproductive. New research from Stanford shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more.

If you must increase how much work your talented employees are doing, you’d better increase their status as well. Talented employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process. Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload. If you simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, they will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.

They don’t recognize contributions and reward good work. It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you’re doing it right.

They fail to develop people’s skills. When managers are asked about their inattention to employees, they try to excuse themselves, using words such as “trust,” “autonomy,” and “empowerment.” This is complete nonsense. Good managers manage, no matter how talented the employee. They pay attention and are constantly listening and giving feedback.

Management may have a beginning, but it certainly has no end. When you have a talented employee, it’s up to you to keep finding areas in which they can improve to expand their skill set. The most talented employees want feedback—more so than the less talented ones—and it’s your job to keep it coming. If you don’t, your best people will grow bored and complacent.

They don’t care about their employees. More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts. Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates. It’s impossible to work for someone eight-plus hours a day when they aren’t personally involved and don’t care about anything other than your production yield.

They don’t honor their commitments. Making promises to people places you on the fine line that lies between making them very happy and watching them walk out the door. When you uphold a commitment, you grow in the eyes of your employees because you prove yourself to be trustworthy and honorable (two very important qualities in a boss). But when you disregard your commitment, you come across as slimy, uncaring, and disrespectful. After all, if the boss doesn’t honor his or her commitments, why should everyone else?

They hire and promote the wrong people. Good, hard-working employees want to work with like-minded professionals. When managers don’t do the hard work of hiring good people, it’s a major demotivator for those stuck working alongside them. Promoting the wrong people is even worse. When you work your tail off only to get passed over for a promotion that’s given to someone who glad-handed their way to the top­­­­­­­, it’s a massive insult. No wonder it makes good people leave.

They don’t let people pursue their passions. Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction. But many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. This fear is unfounded. Studies show that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm.

They fail to engage creativity. The most talented employees seek to improve everything they touch. If you take away their ability to change and improve things because you’re only comfortable with the status quo, this makes them hate their jobs. Caging up this innate desire to create not only limits them, it limits you.

They don’t challenge people intellectually. Great bosses challenge their employees to accomplish things that seem inconceivable at first. Instead of setting mundane, incremental goals, they set lofty goals that push people out of their comfort zones. Then, good managers do everything in their power to help them succeed. When talented and intelligent people find themselves doing things that are too easy or boring, they seek other jobs that will challenge their intellects.

Bringing It All Together

If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them. While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. You need to make them want to work for you.

What other mistakes cause great employees to leave? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Originally published by: Dr. Travis Bradberry, Jan 23, 2017, on: linkedin.com

Difficult people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.

Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your non-profit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you’re bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It’s the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.

Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with difficult people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, difficult people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize difficult people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep difficult people at bay.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that smart people employ when dealing with difficult people, what follows are some of the best. To deal with difficult people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.

They set limits. Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.

You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

They rise above. Difficult people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix? The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.

They stay aware of their emotions. Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

Think of it this way—if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a coworker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.

They establish boundaries. This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to Rise Above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.

You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

They don’t die in the fight. Smart people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

They don’t focus on problems—only solutions. Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you’re going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.

They don’t forget. Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Smart people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

They squash negative self-talk. Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

They get some sleep. I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

They use their support system. It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.

Bringing It All Together

Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you’re going to have to pass some tests. Most of the time, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people. Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.

Originally published by: Stacey, Dec 14, 2016, on: fierceinc.com


Change is the new “normal” for organizations and leaders alike, from structural change to leadership change to industry disruption. And yet, data shows that 70% of organizational change initiatives fail.

Why? Because we order people to change rather than engage them through conversation. We engage their heads and not their hearts. So how can leaders today not simply “manage” change, but rather excel through it – and lead their teams to do the same?


Originally published by: Alison Doyle, Dec 19, 2016, on: thebalance.com

Demonstrating Your Accomplishments During a Management Interview

If you are preparing for an interview for a management position, you have obviously interviewed successfully in the past. Even with your experience though, it can be helpful to review likely interview questions, and check out some interview tips. The more prepared you are for your interview, the more polished you’ll appear, and you’ll be more likely to move forward in the hiring process.

What You Will Be Asked

An interview for a management position will consist of questions about your experience, management style, what you’ve accomplished in the past and what your expectations are for the future.

The hiring manager will ask questions to determine how well you will fit into the organization, and how effective you’ll be in the position.

To craft your answers, share anecdotes and specific examples from your previous work experiences to show the interviewer how you capably handled situations and worked with a team. Tailor specific responses so your job qualifications will come through loud and clear.

Areas of Focus for Manager Interview Questions

When interviewing managers, most interviewers will focus on two distinct aspects of the managerial experience – chiefly getting results and dealing with people. Both are equally important. If you can’t deal with managing different personalities in team environments and under stress, nothing else you do will matter. On the other hand, if you get too far into the weeds dealing with people’s personal problems, you’re unlikely to be able to help the organization achieve its goals.

 It’s also important to prepare for standard interview questions, in addition to management-oriented questions. Hiring managers still want to know how you’ve conquered challenges in the past, what your long-term plans are for your career, and whether you’ll fit into the corporate culture. As a manager, you’ll set the tone for your team.

If you don’t share the organization’s values, goals, and culture, you won’t be able to lead effectively.

Prepare for these common manager interview questions:

Manager Interview Questions and Answers

  • Describe how you managed a problem employee. – Best Answers
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team? – Best Answers
  • How do you evaluate success? – Best Answers
  • How do you handle stress and pressure? – Best Answers
  • How do you plan to achieve those goals? – Best Answers
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say? Best Answers
  • If you knew a manager is 100 percent wrong about something, how would you handle it? – Best Answers
  • Share some examples of the ways in which you’ve impacted worker safety. – Best Answers
  • Tell me about yourself. – Best Answers
  • What applicable attributes and experience do you have? – Best Answers
  • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you? – Best Answers
  • What are your goals for the next five years? Ten years? – Best Answers
  • What are your salary expectations? – Best Answers
  • What can you contribute to this company? – Best Answers
  • What can you do for this company? – Best Answers
  • What do people often criticize about you? – Best Answers
  • What do you expect from a manager? – Best Answers
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make? – Best Answers
  • What is your greatest strength? – Best Answers
  • What is your greatest weakness? – Best Answers
  • What major challenges and problems have you faced? How did you handle them? – Best Answers
  • What motivates you? – Best Answers
  • What strategies would you use to motivate your team? – Best Answers
  • What was it like working for your manager? – Best Answers
  • What was most and least rewarding about your last position? – Best Answers
  • What was your biggest accomplishment and failure in this position? – Best Answers
  • What were your responsibilities at your current (or last) positions? – Best Answers
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation? – Best Answers
  • Who was your best manager and who was the worst? – Best Answers
  • Why are you leaving (did you leave) your job? – Best Answers
  • Why are you the best person for the job? – Best Answers
  • Why should we hire you? – Best Answers


Originally published: Dec 16, 2016, on: customer-alliance.com

Things are becoming more complex within hotel revenue management. Learn about the evolution of RevPAR and increase your revenue with Customer Alliance!

Origin of RevPAR

A hotel is like a living organism. In the rapidly changing market of hospitality industry, supply and demand can totally change, top to bottom, from one day to another. Hotel Revenue Management has therefore grown in complexity during the past decades.

So, let’s take a look at the three major Key Performance Indicators used to measure the economic success of a hotel.

  • Average Daily Rate (ADR): Average daily income per occupied room
  • Occupancy: All occupied rental units of a hotel at a given time (measured in %).

In the past, many hotels either defined high occupancy rates or heavy room rates as their primary business goal to achieve. By doing this, however, they often ignored important aspects of their business performance.
This is why some years ago, Hotel Revenue Management introduced a new concept.

  • RevPAR: Arguably the most important figure to look at when calculating an accommodations’ financial performance. It provides relevant information about the REVenue Per Available Room, putting in relation the hotel’s daily rates with its occupancy.


Examples for RevPAR calculation

Generally, there are two ways of calculating a hotel’s RevPAR. The classic approach is multiplying the Average Daily Rate (ADR) with the occupancy.

ADR x Occupancy

Alternately, the same result can be arrived at by calculating the following:

Total Room Revenue in a Given Period
Number of Available Rooms in Same Period


So let’s do the math:


For our case, we take a hotel with 100 rooms of which 60 rooms are sold for a given day, generating a total revenue of 4200€.

By dividing the Total Revenue by the Number of rooms sold (4200 / 60), we get the value of 70€ as the Average Daily Rate.
Meanwhile, we find a 60 % Occupancy rate (60/100 rooms occupied).

So, taking either the first calculation formula (70€ * 0,6), or the second (4200€ / 100), we arrive at a RevPAR result of 42€.


Limitations of RevPAR

Within current Hotel Revenue Management, RevPAR is believed to be the most accurate figure that can be looked at to calculate a hotel’s’ performance. It is also used to compare hotels’ economic performances.

However, if you take a closer look, there are some limitations to its relevance.

Let’s take a look at two simple cases:

A Hotel with 50 rooms in total

  • sells 50 rooms for 20€ each.
  • sells 5 rooms for 200€ each.

In both cases, the hotel generates a revenue of 1000€ while maintaining a RevPAR of 20€.

So, if RevPAR remains the same right here, does that mean that the hotel will have the same net operating income (NOI) in both cases?

No! Unfortunately, traditional RevPAR calculations do not take into account things like costs per occupied room or additional revenue per room for each individual room that is sold.

As a result, RevPar still isn’t the perfect indicator of a hotel’s financial success.


Evolution of RevPAR

Because of this, successful Revenue Managers such as Ira Vouk – Vice President and Co-founder of iRates – have introduced the concept of Adjusted Revenue Per Available Room (ARPAR), also referred to as Total Revenue per available Room (TRevPAR).

Let’s take close a closer look at both concepts:

TRevPAR looks at the total revenue of the property. Consequently, it will include all consumer consumption (at the bar, from room service, breakfast, etc.). In short, it sums up all revenue factors generated by a hotel taking a meaningful look into it’s profitability.

TRevPAR = Total Revenue / Number of available rooms 

Unfortunately, TRevPAR does not consider cost factors and does not take into account the occupancy rate, where these numbers are required to fully understand the hotel’s efficiency.

On the contrary, The ARPAR formula as used by Ira Vouk “is a clear reflection of the bottom line profit”. There are different ways of doing the relevant calculations, and the formula is expandable. However, in this article we want to emphasise that RevPAR alone is no longer significant enough to get the whole picture.

This is why we stick to Ira’s simplest formula to calculate ARPAR:


ARPAR = (ADR – Variable costs per occupied room + Additional Revenue per occupied room) х Occupancy


Let’s go back and apply this formula to our hotel example:


A Hotel with 50 rooms in total

  • sells 50 rooms for 20€ each.
  • sells 5 rooms for 200€ each.


As we’ll recall, RevPAR came out to 20€ for both cases.
What about ARPAR?

In our scenario, we assume

  • Variable costs per occupied room = 10€


  • Additional Revenue per occupied room = 5€

Case 1:

(20€ – 10€ + 5€) * 1 = 15€

Case 2:

(200€ – 10€ + 5€) * 0,1 = 19,5€

In this case, we therefore find that Case 2 is the more profitable one for the hotel. Off course, this is only an example. The results of a ARPAR calculation will vary depending on the variable costs per occupied room and additional revenue per occupied room, which are themselves likely to be different for each hotel. Besides that, commission rates and the amount of direct bookings respectively will significantly influence a hotel’s NOI.

Calculate your ARPAR now!


Final Words

According to findings from Robert Mandelbaum, Director of the Office of Research Information Services, a low inflationary environment is projected for the near future. This means that any increases, both in occupancy and ADR, will drive up TRevPAR in 2015 and 2016. “The resulting strong increases in revenue, combined with tempered growth in operating expenses, will result in double-digit gains in NOI for the next two years.”

In conclusion, things have become more complex within the field of Hotel Revenue Management. Hoteliers should be aware of many factors when measuring the performance of their property. At the same time, increasing complexity offers the opportunity to obtain a strong lead over competitors.

Originally published: Dec 16, 2016, on: guidingmetrics.com

In this article you’ll learn the most critical metrics that companies in the Hotel Industry should track.The article does not include metrics such as Profits and Sales that are critical to companies in all industries; rather the focus is on metrics more specific to the Hotel Industry.

By tracking your metrics, you will dramatically improve your business results.

Why? Because not only is the old saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” true, but visibility into your metrics allows you to identify WHERE you can make the easiest and most impactful improvements.

For each metric, we will answer the following questions:

– What is the metric?

– How do you calculate this metric?

– Why is this metric important?

Let’s get started…

1. Total Available Rooms

What is this metric?
Total available rooms represents the number of rooms available multiplied by the number of days in the reported period. It is used as a measure of capacity in the system of hotels.


Total number of rooms – Number of rooms out of order/not in service/out of inventory

Why is this metric important?
This metric is essential for proper inventory calculations, which lead to proper number bookings. It also is important for all of the hotel’s financial calculations as it determines how many operable rooms there to base revenue formulas off of. For example, if a hotel has 300 rooms, but only 290 are in service, then for that period, 290 is the base to use for metrics like RevPar.

2. Average Daily Rate (ADR)

What is this metric?
Hotel ADR measures the average price paid per room. This hotel performance metric assesses the total guest room revenue for a specific period versus the total amount of room revenue paid and occupied hotel rooms within the same timeframe.


Rooms Revenue / Paid Rooms Occupied

Why is this metric important?
The ADR is useful to measure a property’s financial performance, as well as to compare the hotel’s performance to its competitors.

3. Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar)

What is this metric?
This accounts for the average daily rooms revenue generated per available room. This metric doesn’t account for other revenue centers such as F&B, spa or retail. Average RevPar varies widely by market. As a hotel performance metric, it differs by market, segment and timing and is a time-based snapshot of a hotel performance.


Total Room Revenue / Total Rooms Available

Why is this metric important?
RevPAR represents the success the hotel is having at filling its rooms. Increasing RevPAR means either that rates or Occupancy Rate are rising, or both.

Do you currently know how you’re performing on each of these key metrics?
Click here to schedule a free demo with one of our dashboard builders. They’ll show you how we can build a dashboard that automatically calculates all your key metrics in real-time.

4. Average Occupancy Rate

What is this metric?
Occupancy is a percentage of the available rooms occupied for a specific period. It is calculated as total paid rooms occupied divided by total available rooms.


Occupancy % = Paid Rooms Occupied / Rooms Available
Occupancy % = Revenue per Available Room / ADR

Why is this metric important?
Usually, the higher the occupancy the better because the company is earning more revenue than companies with low occupancy. However, this may not always hold true if the company cuts prices to boost its occupancy. The rate is also key to the operational side of the business to ensure proper staffing and inventory.


What is this metric?
Gross operating profit per available room.



GOP (gross operating profit) / (per) Available Rooms

Why is this metric important?
The metric measures performance across all revenue streams. Hoteliers are able to see profit across all revenue centers/the sum of all the parts- not just rooms.

6. Market Penetration Index (MPI) or Occupancy Penetration Index

What is this metric?
This hotel performance metric measures how a hotel’s occupancy compares to a competitive set. The index is designed to measure a hotel’s share of either a comp. set, a market set or tract.


Hotel Occupancy % / Market Occupancy %.

Why is this metric important?
The metric serves as a guide to understanding a hotel’s dominance and demand in the marketplace. Increasing demand, naturally leads to more revenues.

7. Average Rate Index (ARI)

What is this metric?
This hotel performance metric measures how a hotel’s average daily rate compares to a competitive set.


Hotel’s ADR / Hotel Market ADR.

An ADR Index of 100 equals fair share of ADR, compared to the aggregated group of hotels. An ADR Index greater than 100 represents more than a fair share of the aggregated group’s ADR performance. Conversely, an ADR Index below 100 reflects less than a fair share of the aggregated group’s ADR performance.

Why is this metric important?
This metric serves as a metric to pricing right in the marketplace as well as an illustration of a hotel’s rate performance against its competition, helping determine whether rates needs to be lowered or elevated.

Want to discuss the specific metrics you’re tracking (or want to track) for your company?
Click here to schedule a free consultation and demo with one of our dashboard consultants.

8. Revenue Generation Index (RGI) or RevPar yield index

What is this metric?
This hotel performance metric measures how a hotel’s RevPar compares to their competitive set. It measures a hotel’s fair market share of their segment’s (competitive set, market, submarket, etc.) revenue per available room. If a hotel is capturing its fair market share, the index will be 100; if capturing less than its fair market share, a hotel’s index will be less than 100; and if capturing more than its fair market share, a hotel’s index will be greater than 100.


Hotel’s RevPar / Hotel Market RevPar

RGI results should exceed 1 (a 100 base index) otherwise hotels in a competitive set are converting more business than you.

Why is this metric important?
Enhancing the RGI maximizes hotel profitability. The index figure illustrates how a hotel’s RevPar figures are performing in comparison to their comp. set. This helps determine where costs need to be decreased and/or rates needs to be increased.

9. MCPB (marketing cost per booking)

What is this metric?
This tracks actual production vs the cost of each S&M channel


Each channel carries a wide range of distribution costs that can run from 10% to 50% of revenue. These costs are subtracted from the total booking amount to get the MCPB.

Why is this metric important?
This metric measures ROI. It illustrates the cost of acquisition, which is a huge factor in computing gross profits. The goal is to explore each and every channel to create demand, awareness, increase booking, and thus increase revenue. However, there needs to be the perfect mix across all channels with the best, most affordable solutions. Hotels cannot overspend on a marketing channel to simply obtain customers, there needs to be a balance between acquisition costs and profit.

10. Sentiment score on TripAdvisor

What is this metric?
Using a reputation/social media monitoring tool allows you to measure guest satisfaction/sentiment.


Why is this metric important?
This reflects product acceptance, issues, complaints and/or alerts you to product deficiencies. It also allows you to respond in real time and publicly to customer issues.

11. DRR (direct revenue ratio)

What is this metric?
This metric measures the percentage of online revenue coming in directly vs expensive third-party channels


Why is this metric important?
In order to maximize profitability, you need to get at least 40% of revenues from an own hotel website/booking engine. Travel agent bookings and other third party bookings come at a high price and decrease overall profit.

12. Website conversion rate

What is this metric?
This calculates the number of unique website visitors that convert into bookings. Revenue originates from potential guests researching a property online. As a hotel’s digital front door, a website influences guests’ impression more than any other marketing asset.
According to Hospitality Times, the average conversion rate for hotel websites is about 2-3%. In other words, approximately 97% of visitors to a hotel’s website leave without making a reservation.


Why is this metric important?
Converting a higher percentage of visitors is critical to reducing the cost of revenue and MCPB. The conversion rate also provides insight into how a visitor interacts with their website and what measures can be taken to capitalize on visitors’ interest.

13. Segmentation

What is this metric?
Segmentation data displays performance relative to three customer segments. These are:

  • Group: Group rooms are sold simultaneously in blocks of a minimum of ten rooms or more.
  • Transient: Transient rooms include rooms occupied by those with reservations at rack, corporate, corporate negotiated, package, permanent guests, government, or foreign traveler rates. Also includes occupied rooms booked via third party web sites.


Why is this metric important?
Segmented data provides insight into what type of visitors make up a hotel’s guests/revenue base and can demonstrate a clear pattern between group and transient guests. If there are dates that are historically slow for group business, that might be an area of focus moving forward. Similarly, the data may validate that an event your destination hosted resulted in a significant amount of group business leading to high occupancies at area properties.

14. TrevPar

What is this metric?
This is the total revenue per available room. This metric is the sum total of net revenues from alloperated departments plus rentals and other income per available room for the period divided by the total available rooms during the period.


Why is this metric important?
This metric helps determine the overall financial performance of the property, whereas Revpar only considers rooms revenues. TRevPAR is especially useful for hotels where rooms are not necessarily the largest component of the business.

Originally published by: Viveka von Rosen, Dec 16, 2016, on: www.linkedin.com

What is LinkedIn Tagging?

LinkedIn Tagging is a way for you to segment and organize your connections on LinkedIn. It is similar to Facebook and Twitter Lists (except your connections can’t see how you tagged them.) And for a short while longer, will be available to all users. (Rumor has it that the new interface gets rid of tagging with the free account L)

Why Tagging is Important

The reason tagging is so important is because it allows you to keep in touch and share relevant information with target groups of individuals. Let’s say you write a new Publisher Post on “Best Networking Events for Lawyers in NYC.” Obviously you would not message your whole network with that post, but you might let your top 22 NYC Lawyer Prospects know about the post on LinkedIn! Without tagging it would be very hard to find and message those folks in a timely manner.

Watch Video Here:

(Or click here to view on YouTube)

How Do You Tag Your Connections?

Right now you can tag your first level connections either from their profile (under the Relationship tab under their picture) or under My Network/Connections. Just click on the Tag link/button and add a new tag or check and existing tag and hit save.Sorting your Connections

To sort by tag, go to Connections (under the My Network link) and then choose Filter by: Tag …. and choose the tag. You will be able to send a quick message to anyone in the tagged grouping.

Common Mistakes

You do not need to tag every single one of your connections! That is time consuming and inefficient. You want to tag only the connections that are actually good leads for you – i.e., can help you build your business in some way or another.

Best Tagging Practices

When it comes to tagging your network, the more refined your search (and consequent tagging,) the better. You want to tag people in a way that makes sense to you. Instead of a tag that says “Prospects”, you might want to have a tag that says “Prospect – NYC – Lawyer – HOT”. That way when you are creating content (or looking for prospects) specific to NYC and the legal field, you will be able to easily find and engage with these people.

An easy way to find a group of similar prospects at a time is to create a search of your ideal prospects. (See Video) Do a search for your key prospects by keyword, title and location. Then sort by first-level connections. Then it’s just a matter of going in and actually tagging those individuals with the tag that you’ve already created. You might open a new tab, or toggle back and forth on your browser to make this easier.


The other thing that you’re probably going to want to d – thanks to all the changes LinkedIn is making, is download the Dux-Soup Chrome extension.  The free version of Dux-Soup might be all you need. It allows you to tag, make notes and sort anyone in your network (not just first level connections.)With LinkedIn’s new UI (User Interface) I will most likely upgrade to the premium account (for $15 a month) that allows you to export your tags and your notes.

Again, the nice thing about Dux-Soup is you can tag and make notes on anyone on LinkedIn, and more importantly, since LinkedIn is getting rid of tagging (and advanced search and saved searches) with the free account, it will be an indispensable tool for those not willing to upgrade to LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator.

If you find this article useful, lease feel free to SHARE this article with your connections


Another tool I use is all the time is LinMailPro, (which runs about $60 a month.) LinMailPro allows you to do all sorts of things on LinkedIn! If you’ve watched the HQL program you know that LinMailPro is one of the tools I recommend to automate messaging. But, one of the things LinMailPro also does is tagging. When you add your connections to the LinMailPro dashboard and send them a message, you have the opportunity to tag everyone that you send a message to, whether it is 10 people or 100!

Once you’ve got those folks in LinMailPro tagged, you can also save that queue (or group of tagged people) to you computer and then upload and message that queue of folks any time you want. This feature is going to become VERY VERY important once LinkedIn gets rid of tagging and saved searches.

If you choose to upgrade to Sales Nav you will be able to import your tagged connections. But folks who stay with the free account will have to find another solution. So I recommend Dux-Soup and LinMailPro.

Wrapping Up

I hope these tips will help you to make the most of your network on LinkedIn! Just remember to follow these steps:

1.     Do your Advanced Search on LinkedIn while you can-  making the most of the Keyword, Title and Location fields.

2.     Sort by 1st Level Connections

3.     (Save your Search)

4.     Manually tag your connections on LinkedIn and/or Dux-Soup

5.     OR – Automate the tagging process using LinMailPro

6.     You don’t have to tag all your connections, only the people who are high-quality leads.

7.     Sort your connections by their tags.

8.     Send relevant information through LinkedIn messages.

Tagging on LinkedIn as advanced searches are only going to work for another month or so until we all get the new user interface. In order to avoid those complications you might want to consider investing in LinMailPro, which will allow you to create and save those searches. Or you’re going to need to upgrade to Sales Navigator ($79 – $99),