Sunday, July 06, 2003

3qtr2003 - Ask the Coach: Better Vendor Management

Question: I can't seem to get my vendor contacts to help me when I really need them to. Can you offer any suggestions?

Answer: During my tenure in the wacky world of telecommunications, there were times when I really needed my vendor contacts to drop what they were doing and give me their full, undivided attention and assistance. It wasn't that I was some ego-crazed customer (well maybe it was!) just wanting to make someone jump through hoops for a laugh. No, there was a systems outage, or a service failure, or some major scheduling problem that needed IMMEDIATE attention, no ifs, ands, or buts.

The way I'd train my newer contacts was to ask them one simple question: "Is it that you don't WANT to help me or you don't know HOW to help me?" It was amazing how clarifying the question could be because, "If you don't WANT to help me," I'd continue in the most respectful of tones I could muster, "then get me your boss so I can get someone on this account who WILL. But if you don't know HOW to help me, then let's talk to your boss TOGETHER so we can get you the resources and support you need to clean this mess up ASAP." Interestingly, I only needed to use this approach one time per person, if that much. I think it helps when people know the choices.

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3qtr2003 - Great Things I Didn't Say!

  • "Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • "The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine." - Mike Murdock
  • "We cannot become what we need to be, remaining what we are." - Max Depree
  • "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." - John Wooden
  • "The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas." - Linus Pauling
  • "If fate throws a knife at you, there are two ways of catching it - by the blade, or by the handle." - Oriental Proverb


3qtr2003 - Special Report: Employee Performance Discussions

An Important Message for all Managers and Directors.
When it comes to employee performance reviews, two of the biggest frustrations tend to be:
  1. That it takes so long to find the right words to say

  2. Whatever you do say is usually still misinterpreted
Fortunately, there’s now something you can do about both of these matters.

Employee Performance Discussions: 10 Important Things a Boss MUST Know How to Say is must reading for anyone who needs their direct reports to truly hear what they’re trying to say. Written by yours truly, Barry Zweibel, – and based on my experience as both a line manager and an executive coach – this Special Report could eliminate literally hours of procrastination and prep-time for you. And could help you avoid countless misunderstandings and mixed-messages during the employee appraisal process.

If you’ve ever been unsure how to best say what’s on your mind, do yourself – and your employees – a favor.

Available for purchase and immediate download at: