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Communicating Respectfully: Understanding The Part You Play To Avoid Misunderstandings

August 6th, 2016

One of the key ways to demonstrate respect in the workplace is through your communication with others. Being a respectful communicator means more than just not offending anyone; you also show respect by communicating clearly and working to prevent misunderstandings by doing things like tailoring your communication style and confirming your understanding.delegates

Techniques for Becoming a Respectful Communicator

Tailor Your Communication

When you’re speaking or writing to someone, do you take the time to really think about who that other person is, and consider how they would like to be approached? Do you alter your message, your words, your tone of voice, your volume, or your body language to accommodate their preferences? Tailoring your communication to suit your audience is one way to show respect in the workplace, and ensure that there’s not a perceived lack of respect (which can cause miscommunications to occur). In diverse workplaces, we all occasionally need advice or guidance when it comes to understanding other cultures and generations.Take the time to learn about your audience, consider how they would like to be addressed, and show respect by tailoring your message for them.

Confirm You Understand the Other Person

Respectful communicators make an effort to confirm their understanding of what’s been said. Most people are familiar with the term “active listening” – the act of rephrasing what the person we are talking to has said, to verify what we think we have heard. In a work environment with a healthy mix of generations, genders, languages, and cultures, active listening becomes even more important. Listening and confirming your understanding really comes into play when accepting a new assignment, when serving customers, or when dealing with a co-worker for whom English is a second language.

Know the Difference Between Appropriate and Inappropriate

We all have boundaries when it comes to the things we do and don’t like to talk about with our co-workers. But sometimes we forget that our boundaries are not always the same as others’. Pay attention to how others are responding to what you say or do, and alter your course if it’s making others uncomfortable. The simplest approach is to just avoid making comments that could demean, hurt or belittle others. You should also avoid inappropriate language, and never share information that wasn’t meant to be made public. To be a respectful communicator, think about what you say and how appropriate it is for the workplace and the people you work with. Sometimes, our thoughts, jokes and opinions are better left unsaid.

Communication is how we get things done at work. If you can improve your respectful communication techniques to accommodate the diversity of people’s backgrounds, experiences and opinions, you will reap significant benefits.

CRM Learning’s The Respectful Communicator: The Part You Play teaches employees to demonstrate respect in the workplace by confirming their understanding, caring about the way they come across, communicating with decency, and valuing the input of others. CRM Learning also offers many other training videos on respect in the workplace.

5 Customer Service Skills To Improve Your Team’s Performance

July 26th, 2016

Stellar customer service skills are invaluable for any customer-facing team to possess. Your team’s strength depends on their ability to connect with, serve and accommodate your Customer Service imagecustomer’s needs. Providing informative, entertaining and motivating customer service training will prepare your employees to handle any customer service situation successfully.   10 Things Accountable infographic

Here are 5 customer service skills that will improve your team’s performance and set you apart from your competitors:

Always approach a customer’s questions and concerns with a relatable demeanor. As a customer service representative, it is your job to understand and empathize with their concerns. But as a fellow consumer, remind them that you know what it’s like to be “the customer,” and you CARE about their questions, concerns and comments. Let them know that you will do everything in your power to assist them.

Active Listening
When dealing with any customer – whether in person, over the phone, or even by email or live chat – communication is occurring and the customer expects to be listened to and HEARD. Active listening skills are vital to these exchanges. First, make sure you are paying attention to the customer and are avoiding distractions (like other customers, your co-workers, or checking your phone). Then, to listen actively, feed back what you think you’ve heard the customer say to ensure your understanding is correct: rephrase their question or statement and listen to whether they confirm what you’ve said, or need to further explain themselves. This step will go a long way towards avoiding misunderstandings and making sure you’re serving the customer’s need on the first try. 

Anticipate the Customer’s Needs
It is always a customer service “win” when you can proactively anticipate your customer’s needs and wants and provide for them before they even have to ask. If possible, be a few steps ahead of your customer by doing small, thoughtful things like: having a pen out and ready, refilling their glass before they have to ask, or knowing what question a customer usually asks in a situation, and providing that information ahead of time. Discuss ways you can anticipate your company’s customers’ needs at your next customer service training event.  This proactive attitude will impress your customer and make them feel cared for.

Game Face
At times when serving customers, you will be faced with unpleasant situations that may not be easy to deal with. When handling an unruly customer who is using personal attacks, it is important to remember you are here to serve them, and to keep a professional “game face” on. As a representative of the company, it is your responsibility to uphold the integrity of your organization, regardless of the situation. Becoming emotional or giving “attitude” back to the customer are not acceptable responses to upset customers.

When a customer has a concern or issue, it is crucial you handle the concern in a timely manner. No customer enjoys waiting when they are upset or frustrated with your company. Be vigilant about the customer’s time and how much of it they have spent handling this issue. Do your best to act quickly: get them the answer they need, find the item they’re searching for, bring them their bill, or research the problem. If you must make them wait, communicate regularly to let them know you’re still working on the problem and will get back to them as soon as possible. Timely, efficient customer service could turn a negative experience into a positive one.

CRM Learning has several customer service training videos that depict many of these situations and customer service skill points. If your company has a customer service team, it is essential to administer high-quality training. Browse all of the customer service training videos on our website to improve your team’s performance and confidence when dealing with customers.

Infographic: 10 Things You’ll NEVER Hear from a Truly Accountable Person

July 24th, 2016

Infographic: 10 Things You'll Never Hear From a Truly Accountable PersonAt CRM Learning we have found that some of the most impactful training an organization can do is in the area of accountability. Accountability training conveys the importance of building a culture focused on taking responsibility and keeping commitments, seeking clarity, answering for results, and learning from mistakes.

Here’s an INFOGRAPHIC that drives home the point that with proper accountability training comes accountable mindsets, and never having to hear statements like these at work ever again!

Visit our Accountability training topic page for the best accountability training videos available online.


Understanding Different Types of Harassment in the Workplace

July 19th, 2016

harassment/bullying imagePreventing and addressing harassment in the workplace is extremely important for any organization. Providing every employee with harassment training is a critical step to provide an effective, safe work environment. Training will help employees recognize and understand the different types of harassment in the workplace, and will also help them feel safe talking about any harassment they experience. Proper harassment training will better prepare your staff should a situation arise.

What are the different types of harassment in the workplace?

Harassment comes in many shapes and forms. Good harassment training will teach employees to recognize harassment based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, or religion, and also sexual harassment and bullying.

Here are just a few examples of how “harassment” can take different forms in the workplace.

Race: Employee makes racial slurs about Asian people within earshot of many people on her team.

Age:   Manager resists hiring young people because she feels they have too much of an entitlement attitude.

Gender:  Boss always assigns event planning to women because he feels women are generally better at “that kind of thing.”

Religion:  Employee hassles a co-worker whose faith prevents her from celebrating birthdays or holidays.

For more information on the differences between harassment and bullying, see this Handout on our blog.

Understanding what these different kinds of harassment look and sound like helps employees to be aware of how to recognize the signs, and what to do should they witness or become a victim of harassment.

How can you administer harassment training to your employees?

Not only do your employees need to be trained in harassment in the workplace, but your managers and supervisory staff do, as well. At CRM Learning, we offer a variety of harassment training videos.

Our programs offer numerous topics designed to fit your training needs, including videos on general harassment, sexual harassment, harassment training for managers, and building respect in the workplace. It is important to know the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and the legality of actions or words said in the workplace. Our training videos go over these subjects in great detail. The ultimate goal is to promote a harassment-free, respectful environment for your staff.

Harassment training is an important key to your employees’ knowledge and success at work. Visit our website to preview all of our harassment training videos that will better educate your employees.

How To Streamline Your Meetings and Make Them More Productive

July 12th, 2016

image of a business meetingMeetings are designed to occur in an allotted amount of time to address topics and business in an orderly fashion. In the workplace, you want to ensure your meetings are productive and effective. All too often, however, meetings are sidetracked with time-wasting discussions, unproductive behaviors, and weak meeting leadership. Motivating meeting openers and focused agendas can set the tone for a meeting and guide the session where it needs to go.

Have an Agenda

Proper organization of the meeting is just as important as the content and topics covered. You want to ensure an adequate amount of time is allotted for each topic in order to keep the meeting moving. Create an agenda for your team to refer to throughout the duration of your meeting. This prevents meetings being taken off course by distractions, talkative employees, and side discussions.  

Stay Focused

Focus is key. You don’t want to waste anybody’s time attending your meeting (this begins by only inviting people to the meeting who are absolutely necessary). It’s important to stay within the context of the agenda you’ve set. When you set your goals for the meeting, keep in mind that every meeting should have a purpose. Decide ahead of time what answers or decisions you need to walk away from the meeting with. Then, all discussion should be somehow related to that initial purpose and your set of goals.

Define Takeaways

Takeaways symbolize a successful meeting. If your goals are clearly defined in the agenda and discussed effectively during your meeting, the steps following the meeting should be very clear. The attendees of your meeting should have clear takeaways (who owns what task, and when it’s due). At the conclusion of your meeting, there should be an answer to every question/concern that was discussed. If there wasn’t, there should be follow-up steps to find answers to those questions. Accountability is incredibly important; therefore the meeting leader should take the initiative to clearly define the next steps that should be completed prior to the follow-up meeting. This ensures that by the next meeting, the to-dos of every member were clearly defined and completed.

At CRM Learning, we offer the best team building training videos. Explore our meeting management training videos, like Meeting Robbers, Meetings, Bloody Meetings, and The Invisible Meeting to ensure your meetings will be productive and effective in the future.

9 Essential Supervisory Skills

June 24th, 2016

Every workplace needs strong supervisory skills, and CRM Learning offers the best supervisor training videos at low cost. Train your supervisors using the nine essential supervisory skills featured in our supervisor training video, “After All, You’re the Supervisor.”

After All, You're the Supervisor imageUsing the scenario of Alec, a recently-promoted Customer Service Representative now asked to lead his previous co-workers, the video teaches nine skills your supervisors need to manage subordinates effectively and efficiently.

1. Acknowledge Your New Role

Having been a superior customer service representative, when Alec is promoted to supervisor, he struggles a bit moving from friend and colleague to “boss.” Alec learns that new responsibilities are required in this role along with a new level of authority. The hard part for many new supervisors like Alec is acknowledging that in order to be effective, you must change the way you interact with your team members.

  1. Plan and Prioritize

In order to be successful, Alec will need to plan and prioritize his – and his team’s – responsibilities and tasks. This includes listing tasks and generating a plan for how to get things accomplished on time. Inevitably, this process will also include delegating tasks to others, which Alec also learns in a later skill point.

  1. Be Accessible

Every great supervisor makes themselves accessible to their employees. Alec learns that this can take the form of an open door, walking around the department, having regular meetings with team members, or learning to take advantage of spontaneous “coachable moments” when you see them.

  1. Encourage Teamwork

Alec quickly realizes that he is no longer an “individual contributor.” Creating a well-functioning team is part of his new job. Encouraging teamwork enables supervisors to go further in accomplishing departmental and company objectives.  It also helps create great team cohesion and high morale. High performance teamwork is achieved by ensuring that your team is comprised of diverse individuals with a range of complementary skills and then fully utilizing those skills. By fostering cooperation rather than competition within your team, and by modeling good teamwork behaviors yourself, you will see team results soar.

  1. Communicate Upward AND Downward

An efficient supervisor communicates effectively both “upwards” to his or her manager and “downwards” to his subordinates.  Downward communication is the process of communicating the direction, philosophy, goals, and values of the company to the team. It also applies to changes communicated to the team, and if done correctly, helps them buy-in to decisions that affect them. Alec employs upward communication when he shares his team’s concerns over a software update with his boss and keeps her informed of how the “front line workers” are using the software.

  1. Delegate

Supervisors need to delegate tasks to their team in order to effectively supervise. No supervisor can do all the work on their own, so Alec learns to consider his team member’s strengths as he evaluates who should be assigned which tasks. He also learns that following up on the tasks you delegate allows you to ensure their completion, support your team members, and uncover and resolve problems. 

  1. Discipline Effectively

For a brand-new supervisor like Alec, effective discipline is perhaps the most difficult thing to learn, especially when you are disciplining the person you were sitting next to last week. Alec must discipline a coworker, Libby, who repeatedly returns late from lunch. In doing so, he learns that effective discipline places the responsibility for the problem and the solution on the employee, rather than him, and that effective discipline provides for a positive outcome rather than a punitive one.

  1. Provide Feedback

As important as it is to discipline your people effectively and give constructive feedback, it is equally important to recognize when they are doing a good job, and praise or reward them for that performance. Alec gets practice giving constructive feedback to a coworker who slightly missed the mark on an assignment, and later gives genuine and specific praise to that team member when he does a better job.

  1. Model the Way

Perhaps the most effective way to modify team culture is by modeling the behaviors and attitudes you want to see in the team. No matter how much you tell your people how you want them to behave, unless you show it yourself, it won’t have much effect. Model behaviors such as respect, punctuality, attitude, conflict resolution, and in Alec’s case, good customer service and pitching in to help out a different team.

These nine essential supervisory skills are a well-rounded introduction into the basics of supervising. Let Alec and his team teach your new supervisors how to manage others effectively with After All, You’re the Supervisor.

CRM Learning offers the best supervisor training videos on the market. Visit our website and browse all of our supervisor training topics.

Build Stronger Workplace Teams with Generational Diversity Training

June 17th, 2016

Bridging the generation gap in the workplace can seem like a daunting task. For instance, team building training can be difficult when you have multiple generations on a work team. Luckily, CRM Learning offers generational diversity training that also strengthens teams, including the video Please Respect My Generation!”.

Why is generational diversity training important?

Generational respect imageToday, you could have as many as five different generations in the workplace, each with their own opinions about other generations. Since generational stereotypes can be just as disrespectful as cultural and ethnic ones, it’s important to train employees about generational diversity so they learn to communicate better, deal with change, and develop a more respectful workplace.

Please Respect My Generation!” teaches how to bridge the generation gap amongst coworkers and translate age differences into an advantage. Viewers will learn the dos and don’ts of working with multiple generations. In this training video, you will hear from 5 different generations as they discuss their own generational traits and those of the co-workers they encounter daily. After completing this training, your employees will know how to communicate with various generations effectively and respectfully. Viewers will see that different generations offer a wealth of knowledge in different areas, and they will learn to understand and empathize with colleagues from a different generation.

Not only does “Please Respect My Generation!” bridge the generation gap, but it also encourages team building. No matter the level, role or generation of your employees, team building is essential for a productive, communicative workplace. “Please Respect My Generation” has the ability to tackle both topics in 23 minutes. Your employees will walk away with a greater capacity for collaboration and cross-generational understanding in the workplace.

Get your copy of “Please Respect My Generation!” and create a respectful, productive environment at work. CRM Learning provides the best training videos at the lowest prices. Visit our website and learn about our team building training videos.

Why Your Best Employees WISH You Would Provide Accountability Training

June 3rd, 2016

Accountability imageAt your organization, there is one thing your best employees are hoping for: accountability training for the whole staff. Employees who are naturally responsible hold themselves accountable for their actions, but tire of fellow workers who miss deadlines and place blame elsewhere for their failures. Your best employees know that overall performance of the team will improve when EVERY member of the team has an accountability “mindset” and does what they say they’re going to do.

CRM Learning’s best-selling “Accountability That Works” training video provides a new take on accountability training for employees at all levels of the organization. This accountability training video uses a 3-stage model to ensure that every task has a clear owner and agreement, and that employees are willing and able to hold themselves and their teammates accountable. This helps avoid finger-pointing when things go wrong, and provides you with tools to address communication issues within your team.

The Cycle of Accountability and How It Can Help Your Team

  1. The “before” phase: Responsibility – establishing a mindset of ownership before the task begins and taking complete responsibility for getting it done.
  2. The “during” phase: Empowerment– doing whatever is necessary to complete the task, including identifying action steps and timeline.
  3. The “after” phase: Accountability – owning the outcome of the task, good or bad, and learning from it.
  4. Behind it all are Clear Agreements – they are what hold the three stages together and make the cycle work effectively.

Accountability That Works will not only teach current employees how to remodel their outlook on accountability, but it will also teach new employees how to build a solid foundation of personal accountability. After employees complete this training, they are more apt to take responsibility at the outset of a task, empower themselves to complete the task, no matter the obstacles, and be accountable for their results at the end of the task. Accountability That Works will enable employees to walk away with a new set of skills for task management.

Keeping tasks moving forward requires focus, practice, and constant effort. Accountability That Works provides valuable perspective and tools to help keep tasks (and people) on track. By implementing procedures and habits that improve task focus and accountability, more conflict will be avoided, an accountability culture will be created in your organization, and results and morale will both improve. Make your best employees’ wishes come true today with accountability training from CRM Learning.


What is “Empathic Listening” and Why is it Crucial to Success?

May 30th, 2016

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, so how is this trait crucial to success in the workplace? For one, mutual understanding is the key to effective communication. Managers who are empathetic listeners gain the trust of their employees and can manage their team more effectively. When employees use empathy to listen and communicate with peers, it helps them to better understand one another, building morale and improving efficiency in the process. 

CRM Learning offers the best communication skills videos on the market with subcategories like verbal skills, listening skills, and organizational messaging. The listening skills video below will teach your management staff about the importance of empathy and how to look at situations from another’s perspective.

Empathic Listening imageEmpathic Listening: The Key to Communication is one of our best-selling videos that teaches the key to good listening: empathy. It features 3 complementary video components that feature realistic and humorous vignettes demonstrating empathic listening (or a lack thereof), as well as practical tips and phrases to incorporate into your interactions immediately to improve your listening. 

What does empathic listening entail?  

The video addresses misunderstandings, how to achieve higher levels of trust and understanding and how to develop an elite set of listening skills. Viewers of the video will learn to diagnose before the prescribe, listen empathically and seek to understand from another perspective. The ability to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” can help you make better decisions in the workplace and increase the productivity of your team.

  • Nobody’s Listening
    In this 11-minute video, a manager fails to listen to the concerns of a subordinate. After his failure, he has a second (and third and fourth) opportunity to change his behavior to actively listen and participate in the conversation. The manager (and viewers) learn that to be an effective listener, you must pay attention, including eliminating distractions, feeding back to the speaker what you’ve heard and asking clarifying questions.
  • Diagnose Before You Prescribe
    In this 8-minute segment, Stephen R. Covey teaches the process of listening with the intent to understand. Listening intently to a person in the workplace before responding can avoid misunderstandings, talking over one another, and disagreements.
  • I Know Just What You Mean
    In this 21-minute video, the skill of active listening is covered in depth. Techniques are demonstrated that will minimize misunderstanding and miscommunication. By showing how quickly people can jump to conclusions, the video underscores the vital importance of diagnosing needs before prescribing solutions.

CRM Learning has numerous award-winning communication skills videos to choose from to enhance your employees’ and managers’ communication skills, including Empathic Listening: The Key to Communication.


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