Stone Resources Blog

Our Blog is our business journal that provides commentary, images, and videos on multiple subjects.  Our source of information may come from thoughts, ideas, and events from within our organization or from our Strategic Alliances and others who are experts in their field.

It is our goal to keep you informed in a timely manner. It is our mission to provide ideas and insight to help your organization maintain your competitive edge.

Customer Facing Behavioral Traits

Admin Stone Resources - Monday, June 10, 2013

Customer Facing Behavioral Traits

How important is great customer service to your company?

Within every organization, there exists a multitude of customer touch points.  It may begin when the client or prospective customer walks in the front door of your business – good first impressions are critical to the ongoing success of any business.  Your warm welcome and customer facing can either become the beginning or the end of a satisfied customer.

In other cases, touch points may include marketing, inside or outside sales, billing, accounts receivable, customer support, client development, and especially client retention.  Just because you have earned the right to provide your products and services to a new client, the most difficult and daunting task may be retaining that client.  In this era of social networking, it only takes one Tweet or one comment that goes viral to seriously damage a company’s reputation; therefore, it is a must that you keep cultivating a positive relationship in order to continue building customer loyalty.

Profiles International found that assessing core personality traits and a standardized set of skill measures provides a clear indicator of probable success in a customer facing role.  Their research has been continually refined throughout the years with thousands of clients across hundreds of industries.  They have identified six crucial behavioral traits that will have the most impact for your business:

  1. Trust – Trusting individuals tend to believe that the motives of others are honorable.
  2. Tact – Tactful people tend to state their positions without offending others and are often seen as discreet and diplomatic.
  3. Empathy – People with high levels of empathy tend to understand the feelings of others and convey understanding and compassion.
  4. Conformity – People with high levels of conformity have a strong tendency to comply with the rules and those in authority.
  5. Focus – Highly focused people tend to stay on task regardless of distractions and they are often attentive and purposeful with customers.
  6. Flexibility – People who are highly flexible tend to explore new approaches to doing things and are seen as adaptable, accepting, and open-minded.

Last, but not least, let’s put everything into perspective.  We have identified six crucial customer facing behavioral traits, but there is one key ingredient missing.  Do you have any idea what that might be?  Please take a few moments because without it, none of the above matters.  It’s critical to make sure that your employee’s current customer service skillset is aligned with the company’s vision, expectations, and implementation of great customer service.

Critical Management Derailers

Admin Stone Resources - Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Critical Management Derailers

Are your managers on track to deliver especially when everyone is expected to do more with less?

Times of change present many challenges for organizations, particularly for frontline managers whose people will be responsible for implementing the change.  Pressure to perform is high, as are emotions, and everyone is expected to do more with less.  Continuing to manage people the same way and expecting different results has often been considered the definition of insanity.

In regards to employee turnover, one of the primary reasons people leave an organization is that they have major issues working for their manager.  It is very important that managers understand that they cannot change a person’s behavior but something has to change to allow a change in behavior to occur.  It has been determined that managers need to modify their approach to allow their direct reports to adapt their behavior and change.  The utilization of employee assessment tools provide a great resource to improve employee retention and manage their people to perform at a higher level.

Starting out of the blocks, do not assume that a top individual contributor will succeed as a manager.  In many cases, managing people can be one of the most difficult leadership roles ever encountered.  My initial exposure to hiring and managing people was very frustrating and time intensive which dramatically decreased my individual contribution.  Leadership is a learned behavior and takes time to develop.

Profiles International recently polled their experts to identify their top five most common ‘Management Derailers and Remedies for Prevention’.  The Derailers include poor interpersonal and communication skills, inadequate leadership skills, resistance to change, inability to deliver expected results, and inability to see beyond their functional silos.  The Remedies for Prevention include, but are not limited to, understanding the true root cause of conflict and natural communication styles, team purpose clarity and feedback, a willingness to change, clarity of expected results, and decisions being made that are out of touch with the organization’s mission.

Last but not least, accountability needs to be implemented not only to monitor the results, but also to improve leadership development.  As a business owner or boss,  input from multiple sources such as peer managers, frontline managers, direct reports, and possibly even customers can prove to be an invaluable assessment accountability tool.

Leadership Charisma

Admin Stone Resources - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Leadership Charisma – The Impact of the Charismatic Leader

Throughout history there have always been leaders who had an intriguing gift with people – one that gave them an ability to motivate people and engage them in a common cause.

For a moment, let’s consider those leaders who inspired others to follow their beliefs to achieve greater results.  If you were asked from a non-business perspective, who would come to your mind?  A few that comes to mine are John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Now let’s consider leaders from a business perspective – who would come to your mind?  Think about those leaders who have a certain characteristic to rally people to become engaged to achieve at a higher level.  Still thinking?  Well, a few that comes to my mind are Steven Jobs of Apple, Jack Welch of General Electric, and Pierre Omidyar of eBay.

Based on a study completed by Profiles International, Leadership Charisma is what you have when you interact with your people in a way that creates extraordinary high levels of engagement that creates strongly motivated followers.  That impact as a Charisma Leader raises the bar in regards to productivity and profitability.