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Successful Collaboration and Our Brain – What Do We Need To Know? Part 2

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In Successful Collaboration and Our Brain – What Do We Need To Know? Part 1, I talked about the importance of creating a collaborative environment, where people feel at ease and comfortable right from the start, to maximize their ability to contribute in a safe way. I gave tips for how to set up the conditions to do that. However, even when you take care to set up the conditions and environment so people can be in their “collaborative brain,” things can happen and people will react.

Below are three situations that can trigger a “fight or flight” reaction, and affect someone’s ability to think collaboratively, along with actions that can be taken to restore an environment of trust and safety to the group.

  1. Perceived or actual aggressive language or movements
  2. Events that remind someone of a previous stressful situation
  3. Perceived differences

1. Perceived or actual aggressive language or movements

It’s very important not to proceed until the situation is acknowledged. This kind of situation rarely goes away by itself.

Things you can do:

  • Remind everyone about the behavior guidelines they agreed to earlier.
  • Help the person feeling threatened to explain what is upsetting them, and to also see the situation from the other person’s perspective.
  • Give the perceived aggressor an opportunity to say more about what their concerns or ideas are.
  • If there is physical danger or someone is disrupting the event beyond what is manageable, have options for him or her to leave.

2. Events that remind someone of a previous stressful situation

Sometimes someone is triggered by an event in the past. Help individuals manage their responses.

Things you can do:

  • Acknowledge the upset.
  • Encourage people to balance their emotions; for example to take a deep breath, get up and walk around, get some water, etc.
  • Invite the person to briefly say something about what they were reminded of in the interests of putting it behind.
  • Take the person aside and talk with them individually.
  • Take a break.

3. Perceived differences

It may seem that there are many differing sides and no one is agreeing. Help identify common ground.

Things you can do:

  • Ask people to listen for what they can agree with.
  • Encourage people to listen in a way that creates a connection, for example.

Make eye contact.

Repeat what they heard and ask, “What did I miss”?

Acknowledge feelings as well as words.

  • Respect their right to have an opinion different from others and agree to disagree.
  • Clarify or comment on the similarities.
  • Have each person say what is good about the others’ idea.

Keep these troubleshooting tips in mind and remember to breathe. Most collaborative meetings or conversations do not encounter situations that require more extreme measures.

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How Do You Produce Original Articles?

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By now, you understand the importance of originality in article writing. As a student, you’ve probably been informed of the consequences of plagiarism and how it is wrong to copy off of others without giving credit to the original author. But original article writing is different where you should refrain from using material already present in another article. This is so that your viewpoints can come across as authentic and so that you can establish credibility as an author. But how can you develop original viewpoints and information?

#1: Look For Inspirations, Both From Your Personal Life And Professional Life

Often the best viewpoints are those that are inspired by your own life experiences, whether they be personal or professional. To give a good example, I wrote an article about how heart and soul are important in a business’s success. My inspiration for that article came from helping my sister put together candy lei’s for my nephew’s birthday party. As I was putting the lei’s together, I felt a fullness inside my soul. That became my inspiration for writing about why success is more than just about sales and production.

Inspirations come from many places. You might look at a current article and want to expand on a certain point that someone touched on earlier. Something may happen to you that gives you something to write about. Sometimes, it may just come to you in the middle of the night. What is important is that you find that inspiration because it will help you produce original articles.

#2: Even If You Use An Already Taken Viewpoint, Your Explanation Of It Can Be Original

Often times, it’s not the viewpoints, but the explanation itself that may be of intrigue to the reader. For example, if you are writing about different aspects of search engine optimization, and you are writing about not buying backlinks, you could do more than offer a simple explanation of why this practice doesn’t work. You could tell a story about someone you know who was caught doing this or take some time and talk about what has happened to those who were caught. Even if it well accepted among the SEO community that purchasing backlinks is bad practice, readers would be intrigued to hear your story since it is your personal story about someone who did this practice and/or was caught for it.

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How Do You Leverage Customer Service?

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Excellent customer service is a fundamental aspect of the daily operations of any company that wants to grow. Today, dissatisfied customers can use social media to vent their frustrations about a poor customer service experience.

A satisfied client will return and they’ll refer your business to family, friends and strangers alike. So it’s the duty of customer support agents to offer a positive customer experience.

An effective customer service system provides multiple channels for consumers to contact your business and get their needs met. Understanding your client base will help you know which of the following customer service channels you can leverage to create customer loyalty and grow your business.

1. Self-Service Knowledge Base

Some clients are comfortable getting their queries answered by searching through a self-service knowledge base. These clients want to have easy access to information and a quick answer to their questions. Having a well-organized knowledge base with rich descriptions, images, videos, and instructions makes sure they get their answers immediately. This channel is good for your company because it doesn’t need a lot of investment.

A knowledge base helps customers to access general information, but it may lack information that addresses unique situations. Keep information up to date as the business policies and procedures evolve. Regardless of these concerns, a well-conceived knowledge base makes sure your customer support staff have time to address customer concerns which the knowledge base can’t handle.

2. Social Media Support

Today, most businesses have a social media presence. And customers nowadays use a business’s social media account to get the product- and service-related information, to ask questions, and to complain. These accounts need a committed social media manager to address your customer’s concerns.

Customers use social media to complain about poor experiences they’ve had with a product or service. But you can turn this into a positive for both your business and your customers by addressing their issues with diplomacy and honesty. This will help them see you care about them and you’re willing to resolve their issues.

3. Live Chat Support

Live chat is the best choice for customers who want to speak to a person to resolve their issues; this is good for those clients who don’t want to use email. Based on your live chat hours of operation, a client can get immediate support even while they’re in the middle of making a purchase.

Research shows that 73% of clients who use live chat are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the experience. So this is an effective way to increase your sales.

For this system to work well, your live chat agents must have excellent communication skills and they should be able to handle multiple inquiries during peak periods. Also, you must provide your customers with an alternative channel when live chat isn’t available.

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How Do You Know If You’re Doing The RIGHT Thing?

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Each of us, at some – point, wonders, if/ what, we are doing, and seek, is, actually, the RIGHT thing! This, usually, requires, a willingness, to give oneself, a check – up, from the neck – up, and examine, our motives/ motivations, and reasoning/ rationale, in an objective, introspective manner, and a truly, open – mind! Most people want to believe, they are doing so, but, it is normal, to, at – times, question our motives, and actions/ behavior! If/ when, we feel, confident, in our perspectives, etc. we become, more comfortable, and ready, willing, and able, to expand those, self – imposed, limitations, of our personal comfort zone! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters!

1. Truthful; timely; time – tested: It never pays, or benefits you, to lie, to yourself! We benefit, when/ if, we proceed, in a truthful, realistic way, and are willing to recognize, both, our personal strengths, and weaknesses! One must learn to use areas of strength, while being ready, and willing, to address, every area of weakness, and/ or, potential weaknesses! Procrastination, is, almost, always, our enemy, so it is important to proceed, using, well – considered, timely actions, etc! The best scenario is, when, this approach, aligns, with taking advantage of time – tested, knowledge, experience, and expertise, to be, both, ready, and able, to gain the necessary degree of wisdom and judgment!

2. Humane; head/ heart; healing; honest: We benefit, when we are honest, with ourselves! We must, consistently, pursue, humane treatment, of ourselves, as we would consider, the way, we should treat others! It takes using the finest aspects of, both, our emotional, and logical components, to proceed, in a head/ heart balance! When, our priority, is, to maximize, our personal healing, and health, we benefit, significantly!

3. Integrity; insights; implications; ideas; imagination; innovate: Try, not to, lie – to – yourself, and maintain absolute integrity, even, when, another path, may be simpler! The insights, you gain, have significant implications, in, how, you proceed! It takes quality, relevant ideas, combined with a meaningful, well – considered, imagination, to make us feel, confident, when we innovate, as needed!

4. Needs; nerve: Know your needs, goals, perceptions, priorities, and personal reasons/ rationale, and, then, have the nerve, to take the actions, which provide you, with the finest options, and opportunities!

5. Good/ great; generate goodwill; growth: The better, you develop, your personal growth, and seek better – than good (but, demand, great/ excellence), the more, you will feel, good, about your decision – making abilities, and talents, and proceed, with finer, personal, goodwill!

If, you know, and feel comfortable, you will do the RIGHT thing, your life, will, generally, be less stressful, etc! Are you up to the tasks?

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