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Touching Others by Adding Your Personal Touch

Sometimes we forget what an impact we can make in the lives of others with our jobs. No matter what that job may be.

Barbara Glanz wrote a wonderful book called CARE Packages for the Workplace – Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work. In this book, she tells the story of a person who attended one of her workshops about putting your own personal mark on your work.

The story is about Johnny, who is a bagger at a grocery store. Johnny took Barbara’s point to heart.

Here’s what Johnny did …

Johnny had an idea for putting his stamp on customer service. He would come up with a thought every day and put it in every customer’s grocery bag. 

He went home that night and asked his dad to teach him how to use the computer. You see, Johnny has Down’s syndrome. His dad helped him develop a three column by three row page.

When he gets home from work each night, Johnny finds a thought for the next day. Sometimes he can’t find a good one, so he makes one up! With his dad’s help, he types it into the computer. They copy it into the other eight sections of the page. Then they print it out.

Johnny cuts up the nine thoughts and then personally signs the back of each one … which means that Johnny signs at least 1,800 thoughts each day.

Here’s what happened as a result …

The store manager noticed that Johnny’s thoughts were in huge demand. He first noticed it when he was walking through the store one day and there was a long line. He immediately called for more lanes to be open.

But the customers didn’t move – they wanted to be in Johnny’s lane so they got his thought for the day! One customer told the store manager that she used to only shop at his store once a week. Now she only comes to his store – because she wants Johnny’s thought for the day! Johnny’s thought has turned shopping into an experience for his customers.

Other employees also noticed what Johnny was doing. The people in the floral department started thinking about how they could put their mark on customer service. Now, when a flower breaks off or isn’t going to be used, they don’t just throw it away like they used to. They find an elderly woman or a young girl and personally pin it on her!

One of the meat packers loves Snoopy. He bought 50,000 Snoopy stickers, which he puts on every piece of meat he packs. Johnny’s thought has made work fun for his co-workers.

So Johnny shows us that every single one of us has the ability to make a significant difference in the world. No matter what our job is.

We applaud Johnny’s bigg success!

Our bigg quote today is by William James, who said,

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”

Sometimes a simple thought, put into action, creates a chain reaction.

Next time, we’ll discuss how to establish credit for the first time. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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fighter jets for the blog post about the OODA Loop concept

Get in the Loop to Gain a Competitive Advantage

fighter jets for the blog post about the OODA Loop concept

A military strategy that can help you get in the loop and give your business a competitive advantage.

We discuss how the OODA Loop on The BIGG Success Show. Here’s a summary…

Planning is certainly important to set your direction. Analysis is necessary, but a lot of people take it too far. At some point, you just have to do it.

United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd developed a concept for the military called OODA Loops. OODA is an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

It’s a useful concept in business as well. Boyd postulated that you gain an advantage if you work through this loop faster than others. This is particularly true in today’s highly competitive, rapidly changing business world.

Start by getting in the loop

Read more

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How to Offer Criticism Without Being Critical

image of quote bubbles with the title how to offer criticism without being critical
Today’s blog is about an important relationship-building tool. Learning how to offer criticism without being critical is important at work and home. It’s crucial for leaders and first-time managers.

It’s about understanding when to use your “active” voice and when to use your “passive” voice. It may sound simple, but it’s amazing how many times we get it wrong.

Today, we’ll quickly review active and passive voice, and offer some tips on how to use each one effectively.

Active voice
The subject of the sentence appears before the action. Stated more simply, the noun occurs before the verb. The active voice is often more direct and easier to follow.

For example, “You performed exceptionally well on this project.

Passive voice
The action appears in the sentence before the subject, if the subject appears at all. The verb comes first, the noun comes later.

So the example above, spoken in the passive voice would be, “This project was done exceptionally well by you.”

Note that this sentence actually sounds a little strange stated in the passive voice. That’s often the case.

Use the passive voice to offer criticism.
The passive voice has its uses. For example, which of the following two statements would you rather hear?

“You performed below expectations on this project”

“Expectations weren’t met on this project.”

The first example is in the active voice. So the focus is on “you”, not the “project”. The second example does the opposite – using the passive voice, it puts the focus on the project.

The second example sounds better on this go-around, doesn’t it? Can you picture yourself getting defensive with the first sentence? Probably so, because it screams, “You screwed up!”

So when you want to discuss anything negative, use your passive voice. You’ll find that your conversation is much more productive! They won’t feel backed into a corner. They feel more like you’re on their side. You’re not fixing the blame; you’re trying to fix the problem with their help.

Use the active voice to praise people.
Going back to our original example, we’ll bet you would feel great if your boss said, “You performed exceptionally well …”

Can you imagine how your performance would improve if your boss said something like that to you in front of all your co-workers? This is an incredible tool for managers to improve the morale of their troops.

So when you want to tell someone that they did something great, use your active voice. Put them first in your sentences. You’ll feel great because you’ll make them feel great!

Our BIGG quote today comes from Abraham Lincoln:
“He has a right to criticize, who has the heart to help.”

Actively accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives with your passive voice.

Next time, we’ll discuss how to deal with a difficult co-worker. Until then, here’s to your BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/biggsuccess/00128-050708.mp3

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Active and Passive Voice: Actively Accentuate the Positive, Passively Eliminate the Negative

By Bigg Success Staff
04-24-08

Career Builders

talking 

You will advance faster in your career if you communicate effectively. One part of that is to know when to use your “active” voice and when to use a “passive” one.

It sounds boring, but you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes!

When you use your active voice, the subject of the sentence appears before the action. Stated simpler, the noun occurs before the verb. For example:

You performed exceptionally well on this project.

With passive voice, the action appears in the sentence before the subject, if the subject appears at all. The verb comes first, the noun comes later. An example:

This project was done exceptionally well by you.

Note that the first example is more direct and easier to follow than the second. It sounds better, doesn’t it?

Accentuate the positives with your active voice
More importantly, wouldn’t you feel better if you were told that “you performed exceptionally well”?

The focus is on “you”, not the “project”.

So when you want to tell someone that they did something great, use your active voice. Put them first in your sentences. You’ll feel great because you’ll make them feel great!

Eliminate the negatives with a passive voice

You will find, though, that the passive voice is also useful. For example, which of the following two sentences would you rather hear?

You performed below expectations on this project.

Expectations weren’t met on this project.

The second example sounds better on this go-around, doesn’t it? Can you picture yourself getting defensive with the first sentence? Probably so.

So when you want to discuss anything negative, use your passive voice. You’ll find that your conversation is much more productive!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Plant the Seed This Spring for Your Bigg Success

spring_crops

It’s the first day of spring! Before long, farmers will be planting. That got us thinking – just like a farmer, we have to plant in order to harvest.

If we want an output, we need an input. To produce a result, we have to take action. We can’t control the result, but we can control our activity.

So focus on planting, not the plant!

3 steps to planting the seed
We’re going to work backwards from the final input to the initial activity.

#3 – Plant
Unless you actually plant the seed, you won’t have anything to harvest. You have to follow through on everything that led to this step. Focus on activities that will yield the best result.

#2 – Prepare to plant
To be ready to plant, gather the needed resources together. For the farmer, that means buying the seed, getting the fertilizer, and preparing the ground for planting.

For the rest of us, it depends on your situation. You may need to do some research, prepare collateral materials (e.g. resume, business plan), make a prospect list, find potential strategic partners, or design promotional material.

These are just a few of examples. Preparing takes time and effort, but you have to do it or you won’t be ready for Step 3.

#1 – Plan to plant
If a farmer waits until the first day of spring to start planning for the upcoming season, he’ll have an uphill battle. That’s the reason we counted backwards (in addition to showing you that we could)! 

Think who, what, when, and where. And make sure you know the “why” for each of those! And also think about “what if”.

So thinking like a farmer: Who’s going to plant what crop? Where and when will it be planted?

For those of us who don’t farm, think back to Step 2 for an example. We said you may have to do some research. Are you going to do it yourself? Could you pay to have it done? In either case, what research do you need? Where will you find it (or the person who will do it)? When will the research need to be done?

A Bigg Success story
We crank out five shows / blogs and a newsletter every week. That’s our end result. As long as we focused only on the result, we struggled. Then we put into practice what we’re preaching here!

First
, we plan our work. We now use a production schedule that maps out what needs to be accomplished every DAY, not every WEEK. That’s made a huge difference.

Second, we prepare every day. What will we talk / write about? Do we have the information or do we need to get it? Where will we get it? Then we gather the required materials. Now we’re ready for the final step.

Third, we do it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog!

The Bigg Goal-Getters Workbook is a great tool for implementing this process. It’s FREE when you subscribe to our FREE newsletter The Bigg Success Weekly!

Our bigg quote today is by William Arthur Ward:

“Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn.”

So remember, actions produce results. Belief produces actions.

Next time, we’ll discuss seven ways to tap into your creative side. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by mrhappy, CC 2.0)