Show and tell for maximum results

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

If you are interested in achieving greater success and profitability in your business, then match up what you say with what you do. We all know the saying “Actions speak louder than words.” In the business context, that old adage translates to, “Our actions speak so loudly that they can’t hear what we are saying.” Now more than ever, the highly competitive global business environment demands that individuals and organizations engage clients emotionally as well as intellectually. One of the most effective ways to engage and entangle your employees and clients is to create alignment between your words and actions.

Subconsciously, our brains want things to “line up” and when there is the slightest amount of inconsistency, the caution flag is raised causing us to slow down, hesitate and even stop. Obviously apprehension is not what you want in the minds of your ideal clients or your valued employees. Your intentions are to have people put their attention on what you are really saying and then eliminate any distractions to them accepting your offer or request.

The key to experiencing alignment and ultimately success is to embody the mission, vision and values that you and your organization have publically declared. Rigorously examine your personal and professional core values and assess the areas where what you say and what you do are out of alignment.

As a professional, one area to immediately consider is: “Does my physical presentation, style of dress, grooming habits, weight, health and vitality represent excellence in my industry?” If your answer is no, evaluate the cost to yourself and your business. It’s time to take action. Like it or not, first and second impressions do matter. Your appearance communicates your credibility and professionalism and can ultimately hinder or help your business success.

In order to feel and look successful, participants in the WHEE Institute gain new knowledge and expertise while experiencing a makeover and transformation in their hairstyles, makeup, wardrobe and personal presentation. By polishing and updating the outside “package” their confidence, optimism and effectiveness soar. If you say that you stand for excellence, but your physical presence belies this fact, seek an expert’s opinion and take action immediately.

I know about this situation first hand. Four years ago, after my annual medical checkup, my doctor informed me that my weight, cholesterol and blood pleasure were too high. I said that being healthy was important to me, but I wasn’t taking the necessary actions to be at an ideal weight. Essentially, I was talking the talk, but certainly not walking the walk. I knew that in order to get new results, I needed to re-align and get moving on my new show and tell plan. I hired a fitness trainer, dietitian and got in action to develop the new version of health and vitality that I have worked at rigorously every day since. What I have learned from my reinvention process is to just start; small daily changes over time will dramatically improve your life and your business.

As a leader, you must inspire confidence and reflect excellence every day though your communication and speaking skills. A CEO client of mine knew that his hesitancy about speaking to large groups was negatively impacting his ability to lead his organization into larger and more prestigious markets. Throughout the years, he was asked to speak at industry conferences and community events and declined because of “prior commitments.” Fortunately, he was smart enough to know that the skills he needed to be an effective, confident speaker were available through professional coaching and mentoring. This CEO now speaks frequently at international conferences and actually enjoys it!

In your organization, ask yourself “Does everyone demonstrate the company’s core values inside the building and out in the community? Does everyone strive and have the resources to become excellent communicators, provide outstanding customer service and position the company as a world-class leader in the marketplace?” If you answered these questions, “Yes,” then examine ways to maintain and even expand on that excellence. If the answer was, “No,” then design a Show and Tell Reinvention process with benchmarks and accountability for yourself and your company to find your way to excellence.

Demonstrating excellence is easy when everything is going right in a robust economy with delighted customers, committed employees and loyal partners. But what happens when there is a product recall, breakdown in communication, a customer service issue or a soft market? A key point to consider is: “How can your employees show up as an aligned and solutions-focused team when things get tough?” Is there an inclination to “tip toe” around difficult issues, avoid healthy conflict and react to problems only after they arise? Engage all of your employees to answer these questions and revisit and rejuvenate your company’s Show and Tell Reinvention strategy.

You cannot do everything all at once. From a place of fun and curiosity rather than scarcity and lack, ask yourself how you and your team can demonstrate the values that are the most important to your company’s success. Rather than, “we’re not doing enough” how can you focus, prioritize and take action on the most critical activities that will make the biggest difference?

The most important guiding principle to achieving new heights of success is to get off of “autopilot” and challenge old thinking and long-standing ways of doing things. Be intentional; stretch and expand your comfort zones by going beyond the safe and familiar. Before you know it, your new modus operandi will become the “new norm” and you will be better off for having done it.

Is this Show and Tell Reinvention process easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Taking action on what you stand for and enjoying the results you desire are the keys to personal and professional success.

Yes, it is possible to be the change you wish to see in your organization and the world. Now go do it.

• Kathleen Caldwell is president of Caldwell Consulting Group and the founder of the WHEE Institute (Wealthy, Healthy, Energetic Edge) of Woodstock. She works with leaders and teams to energetically and enjoyably produce serious, meaningful results. She can be reached at www.caldwellconsulting.biz, Kathleen@caldwellconsulting.biz or by phone at 815-206-4014.

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