For the past several months my email in-box has been full of requests from clients to put together a special program on “Accountability.” In just that past few weeks I have zig-zagged across the country delivering custom sessions to State Farm, Verizon, Harman, and Abbott Labs. It is obvious that with the current business climate, companies are trying to do more work, with less people… greatly increasing the pressure on every employee to deliver what is expected of them – on time and done superbly.
A very close friend asked me to facilitate his organization’s upcoming strategic planning retreat, but unfortunately the days he needed were already booked for another client. The next best thing I could offer was some advice. I have probably facilitated 80 or 90 retreats in the last 20 years, from non-profits to the Fortune 50 – here is how I typically approach a planning retreat… Continue reading “How to Run an Effective Strategic Planning Retreat” »
1. Realize that much business is now done through email and over the phone. These are both lousy ways to communicate important information, but we are stuck with them.
Research shows that 93% of communication is non-verbal, including such important cues as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. On the phone, at least you have some additional tools such as pace, volume, and tone of voice, inflection and the ability to adjust responses in real time. Email, however, can be extremely dangerous and leaves you completely vulnerable to hordes of miscommunication marauders. So when you are trying to communicate very important information-especially in situations that are highly complex and confusing, fraught with emotion, and/or involve floating new ideas – try, if at all possible, to communicate in person. Your second choice should be telephone; your very last resort should be email. With that said, we all understand that in today’s fast-paced, global business world of virtual teams across multiple sites and time zones it is often necessary to conduct a large part of your work via the dreaded “conference call.” Since there is no escaping them, here are some suggestions to help you make every call as focused and effective as possible…