One of the most powerful techniques for problem solving is to focus on the Problem not the solution.
Let me explain.....
The best way to get a good solution is to have lots of solutions to choose from. Unfortunately, many people bring you a single solution disguised as the problem.
They may say “My problem is I need a kettle.” Only one solution provide a kettle.
If they had said “My problem is that I need to boil water” we could have provided many solutions .
A Manager may say “ My problem is I need More People” Only one solution get more people.
If the Manager had said “ My problem is the people I have cannot do the work with the Skills, Resources and Procedures we have in place” We now have more options available to solve this problem.
I remember running a problem solving course for a successful company in Hull. The Distribution Director ‘s opening statement was this “My problem is I need a new warehouse “ You can see this is not his problem, it’s what he believes to be his single solution.
We solved the problem by re-designing his warehouse, installing high lift, narrow-isle trucks and introducing stock rotation systems.
The result was a 42% increase in storage space, a 20% increase in efficiency and a saving of £2 million on the original solution of a new warehouse.
There are many steps to problem solving but the most important is to Clearly Identify the problem.
Next time a person comes to you with a problem, ask yourself has this person given me the problem or have they given me what they believe to be the solution.
Don't just take my word for it, these are quotes from previous delegates who have attended the 2-day Sales Training Course in Bury Manchester.
“Very insightful and great for all levels of Sales Experience. By far the best training session I've attended, Nicola Hatton Midland HR
"Very Interesting and informative as always. Learnt a lot & many things I will put into practice which, I am sure will make a huge difference to my success in the future. Andy Widdowson. Mosca Direct
"Thank you for looking after the new staff last week. They thoroughly enjoyed the training with you. I've already seen a big difference in their attitude towards sales and tough challenges. They've come back with new ideas, energy and new confidence. You're a genius!" Duncan Ross, AVA
" Extremely useful knowledge. I have so many take-aways that will stick with me for years to come. Nicole Brisebois. LDM Global.
How to be a High Achiever in Three Easy Steps
Let's start with a question: how often do you get to the end of the day and wonder where the time went or wish you could find a few extra hours from somewhere?
Sometimes? Often? Everyday?
The desire to recoup the ‘missing' hours that have somehow melted away in the frenetic activity of a busy day is not an uncommon sentiment. The reality is that everyone gets the same allocation of hours each day, however if you feel like you never have enough as you scramble to achieve as much as possible, it's because you're not managing your time effectively.
Effective time management is one of the aspects of professional behaviour that sets apart high achievers and makes them more productive in the workplace. And to manage your time, the first thing you have to do is set goals and stick to them.
High achievers focus their time on high priority areas, which means they step away from the firefighting, distracting activities and the urge to respond immediately to every request they receive in order to remain focused on a task and use their time wisely to complete it.
Step One: As any management coach will tell you, 80 per cent of your results are generated from 20 per cent of your activities, so your first step towards becoming a high achiever is to identify which activities drive your 80 per cent.
Step Two: Once you have identified those priority activities, the next step is to set goals to help you remain focused on high value tasks: goal setting is the master skill of time management and time management is the master skill of all high achievers.
Step Three: With clearly defined goals in place, you then need to develop a critical path to goal delivery which will help you align the available time to the tasks you need to complete, ensuring you remain focused and don't fall into the distraction trap.
The average household spends 1,460 hours a year in front of the TV box – four hours a day. And sometimes we watch it without even realising. A TV Licensing Authority survey found people underestimate their TV viewing by up to 20 hours a week.
Now I am not against TV but I know in my heart there are people saying ‘I'd like to play the piano but I don't have the time'. They have the time they just choose to spend that time watching TV.
Here is a great question for you to ask yourself. "Is what I am doing or about to do taking me towards or away from my goal?"
High achievers have clearly defined goals and they know what they need to do to achieve those goals and they have a plan.
High achievers know you can't make or control time. You can't have a short hour for the bad things and long hours for the good things.
As much as you might like to, you can't control time, but you can control how you spend the time available to you. It's up to you to manage your environment, your systems, your work habits and how you deal with interruptions, maximising the value of your time by ensuring you don't fritter it away.
What to do next
Consider do you need support? Support can come in various ways so get in touch simply message or visit my website
Problem Solving & Business Development
Want to be a great Business Problem Solver?
Discovering how you can become a great problem solver will definitely enhance your business and management skills and increase your career opportunities.
Here are 3 key areas you should be able to recognise, action and implement
2.remove success barriers
3.develop new systems and processes
Become the innovator and turn Problems into Opportunities for your team and business!
Be it customer problems, design, manufacturing, distribution, people, sales, finance or whatever.
Every day in business you need to have a way of clearly identifying the real problems getting to the root cause and providing long term solutions.
6 Steps for you to plan and be a great business problem solver…...
1)Gather the right Information
2)Define the real Cause - Problems are like icebergs - we often only see what’s on the surface.
3)Create options and solutions
4)Develop selection criteria - test your ideas against clear decision criteria.
5)Make the Decision - what to do, how to do it, when to do it, who will do it and when it will be completed
So make sure you defined the barriers, explored solutions and developed an action plan for continuous improvement and remember “What gets monitored gets done."
Join my network here – I share updates and post articles regularly here on topics around sales, customer service, coaching, leadership and other business areas.
Attend a Problem-Solving Course and walk away with clearly defined the barriers to success in your organisation, explored solutions and developed an action plan for continuous improvement.
How can you use Appraisals to grow your business
Helping people develop their day-to-day performance is the role of every great Manager.
Giving positive feedback and guidance is a Key Skill in the development of your people.
The appraisal process is the key to continuous improvement, company growth and staff retention.
The role of management in the annual appraisal is crucial, as what you decide affects the year ahead. Handled well and with joint responsibility, quality appraisals can really develop your staff and aid your people management tasks throughout the year.
Making sure that you have a robust appraisal process will ensure a consistent approach across your company.
So, let’s start here and ask yourself the following 8 questions… write down your answers
1.What is the purpose of appraisals?
2.Know and understand clearly what is your role is in the process and how to give an appraisal interview?
3.Do you prepare for appraisals? – the appraiser and the appraisees
4.Does your company recognise and offer staff development?
5.Are you setting SMART Goals?
6.Do you know how to address performance through appraisals?
7.Do you set Action plans for further development and monitor activity?
What is the purpose of appraisals?
The purpose of appraisal is to introduce a set a time to communicate with your staff so that you can achieve better work performance from your employees.
Appraisals should include the following:
·Job objectives that are SMART and are linked to company’s goals.
·Clearly highlight the expectations of an employee’s performance
·The employee’s performance is reviewed against the objectives which were set and they are given relevant feedback, agreed support if required.
·Discuss options for development activities to make better use of his skills or to enhance them to improve performance.
·Positive reinforcement for successful performance should be given.
·Give employees the opportunity to discuss their job role and career prospects
What is your role in the process?
Understanding your role in the appraisal process is crucial to success.Make sure that you know the company’s system and process so that you are confident in delivering appraisals.
Ask for support and training!
Do you prepare for appraisals? – the appraiser and the appraisees
You may or may not know that to not prepare and plan for an appraisal is the route to disaster.Follow your companies processes and procedures if they do not have them then may be it is time toattend some Appraisals & Performance Training
Does your company recognise and offer staff development?
Understanding and recognising strengths and weaknesses of your staff will enable you to identify areas that need development, coaching, training or buddy support from another team member.
Are you setting SMART Goals?
SMART is a well-established tool that you can use to plan and achieve your goals it means
Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
Measurable – quantify - how you are going to measure.
Assign – specify who is responsible.
Realistic – state results can realistically be achieved when given available resources.
Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Setting SMART goals with your staff will enable you to achieve the overall company goals by dissecting them into smaller elements and assigning them to individuals – this gives countability and responsibility and that if all the individuals complete the tasks set then the main objective will be reached.
Do you set Action plans for further development and monitor activity?
Setting action plans for further development and other areas that have come from the appraisal discussion enables both the appraiser and the appraises a point of reference that can then be used throughout the year to monitor success and or poor performance.
Change is the only constant. Change is happeningfaster now than at any other time in human history.Managing change is what keeps us in Business.Your competitors are finding quicker cheaper better ways to do everything and so must you. Knowing how to innovate and manage change is not optional it is it a Key Ingredient in the success of top performing companies and Senior Managers.
No company stands still. You are either growing or you're dying. If you are standing still and your competitors are growing you are going backwards by comparison.
Directors Managers and employees must learn to embrace change– but very few have been formally trained so that change is effectively implemented.
Change is an inevitable part of a successful business. Yet many are resistant, even fearful of change. As managers / leaders it is part of your role to identify areas to change, to implement changes necessary and to motivate and engage your staff to work with the change and to make it happen in your business.
Let me know if we can help.
Mike Le Put
Set your Goals For 2017
It is said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. High achievers do their preparation then go out and create the opportunity.
It all starts with Goals and the allocation of time in order to achieve those goals.
Now you can discover how to set your goals and be a great Time Manager.
We all get 24 hours in a day.
The question is not do I have the Time but, what return am I getting on my investment of Time?
If you want to know how to set goals, manage your time and get more done in 2017 then why not join us at for the next one day course at:
The Bolholt Country Park Hotel, Bury, BL8 1PU - 10th November
I have been celebrating over 25 years of providing great Negotiating Training this year and thought I would share some of my thoughts here.
So if you are new, experienced and are buying or selling at the negotiating table making sure that you have the skills and the techniques to be successful and positively impact on the bottom line of your organisation.
“So how are you doing? Is there some room for improvement?”
Answer these questions truthfully….
Do you understand the negotiating process? Have you mastered the Negotiating Strategies and Tactics? Do you often drive down your buying prices? Can you handle increasing your selling prices efficiently and effectively? Are you really confident at the Negotiating Table?
Now hand on heart do you need to refresh your skills!
Check our 25 year Celebratory Free Sales Negotiating Course.
Tip: Could even be a good thing to run at your next Sales Meeting!
Customer Service Excellence
Everyone knows that repeat business is great business. Happy customers return again and again bringing increased profits and lower cost per sale.
Investing in Great Customer Service and watch your customers grow your business for you.
MLP Training have spent over 25 years testing, measuring, living customer service and understandinghow to attract more customers, Increase customer retention & Increase profits by providing Customer Service Excellence.
Passionate about caring for your customer is directly related to the success of your business.
Let’s stop for a moment ….
Do you have a deep understanding of how your service meets your customer’s needs?
Then answer these 3 questions – Also ask these your team at your next meeting?
1.Do you have clear customer service guidance, training and processes for all staff?
2.Do you know what your customers’ experience is like are?
3.Do you manage your customers’ expectations?
Taking time to really understand your customers can enable you to continually be aware and develop a truly customers focused team.
So if you want to be a customer driven business ACT now…
· Develop a Customer Focused team,
· Provide Outstanding Customer Service,
· Make every customer feel important,
· Set the standards in your industry,
· Out-service your competition and Grow Your Business on Repeat Business.
1.Review your customer’s service
2.Ascertain if you can embed the skills or find the ideal partner to help you