Many pastors utilize innovative and creative means to communicate with church members, the community, and the world.

Many more pastors lack the knowledge of the unlimited potential for taking their message out beyond the walls of the church.

Social media engagement consumes time and energy. Although most of the services do not charge to participate, engaging with social media effectively uses resources and energy.

However, for all the time you invest, expect a pay-off in ways you will never anticipate—if you invest wisely and follow a thoughtfully formulated strategy.

Pastors need a social media strategy

If you do not currently engage social media as a part of your pastoral ministry allow me to ask you to consider some of the following ideas.

  • Social media will provide a new manner by which you can get a “pulse” on the concerns and aspirations of your people (and community).
  • Social media will provide a new means to show yourself, your church, and what you do.
  • Always approach social media with a strategy and an understanding of the “social” aspect; it must not be confused with “broadcast” media. Interaction lies at the heart of the social communication aspect.

Considering stepping up and adding social media to your pastoral ministry or church communication process?

  • What questions do you have regarding the ways and means of becoming more engaged?
  • More importantly, what holds you back from beginning the process?

OR

  • Have you recently formulated a social media strategy and begun the process of growing your presence and influence via social media?
  • What did you learn once you began?
  • What new questions and challenges have come up?
  • Has the experiment proven successful so far? Why or why not?

Feel free to share here or drop me a message at michael@michaelrcooley.com

Thanks for reading, I look forward to hearing from you!

People Need Feedback

August 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

LeadToday

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.- Bill Gates

According to 1,400 executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. When you don’t provide prompt feedback to your people, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance.

Lots of people have lost their jobs for the simply reason that their boss was too big of a chicken to give them the feedback they needed to improve. Yes, just because you’re a boss doesn’t mean you can’t be a chicken too.

Have you ever been in a position where you had to let someone go? Were they shocked to discover that their performance wasn’t sufficient to keep their job? Then it’s most likely that you failed to provide them the feedback the needed to improve their performance. No one should ever…

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Blanchard LeaderChat

Business People's Hands RaisedKen Blanchard tells a story about his early days as a consultant.  One day he was brought in to help address a turnover problem at a manufacturing plant in the Southeastern United States.  In spite of competitive wages and benefits and an overall positive assessment from employees, the plant was experiencing large spikes in people leaving every summer and management couldn’t figure out why.

When Ken arrived, he was briefed on the situation and the inability to determine a cause.  After reviewing the data, Ken thought about it a minute and then suggested that a good next step would be to talk to front line employees to see if they could shed some light on the situation.

“Why do you want to talk to them?  What would they know that we don’t?” was the general reaction of the senior leadership.

But Ken persisted. He conducted a number of interviews and found out…

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This article nails it. It’s true. Knowing etiquette means knowing what to do, and knowing what to do gives confidence.

http://www.parents.com/kids/responsibility/manners/

Good manners give a child the confidence to face anything and feel comfortable…

It happens all the time.

The people that matter, the people you’re sending a letter, the people who will read it or see it, they will know if you get it wrong.

They will know you don’t know what you’re doing—unless you have a reliable point of reference to check your work and to answer your question.

It happened to me today. I’m addressing a letter to a personal friend of mine, I have known him for years. He happens to be the president of a university.

On the inside I write Dear, (first name) because, like I said, I know him, it would be pretentious for me to put a full title inside a personal hand-written letter to a friend.

But the envelope must be right. How do you address a letter to the president of a university?

Who cares?

  • I do/you do
  • His/her assistant
  • He/she will know (not because of pretentiousness, but because as I said above, the people you address, will know you got it wrong and, even if just for an instant, they will wonder why)

There’s a solution, an answer, a book and web site you absolutely must know about.

Sometimes it seems like a small detail, but forms of address carry the same weight as proper spelling of one’s name. You wouldn’t want to spell someone’s name wrong, you don’t want to get the form of address wrong either.

Robert Hickey’s book must be on your shelf, in your library, in your office, and anyone sending/addressing correspondence on your behalf must have access to it.

It is a small thing.book_cover_SM

But everything speaks.

Don’t say anything you didn’t intend to say because you got something small “wrong.”

Order Honor and Respect HERE

Use the online resource HERE

There’s an old saying about listening to coworkers, colleagues, and those under your authority that says you better listen to the choir.

 

Do you listen to “the choir?”

Do you value their opinions?

Do you reward them with respect?

Do the unexpected.

Do extraordinary things for your “choir.”

Listen to and address their concerns.

Humans value being heard.

If you do, then you can expect the unexpected and extraordinary results.

Start getting results now.

Don’t regret it later!

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We arrived at the Ritz, and our impression was . . .

Wow, they really messed up.

Someone, somewhere, failed to deliver a spotlessly clean hotel room. We were disappointed.

What we saw failed to live up to the standard expected from one of the best hotel organizations in the world. We did not feel the Ritz Carlton experience at that moment. We discovered the condition of the room too late to do anything about it that evening. With both kids soundly sleeping in the adjoining rooms, this had to be put off until tomorrow.

It happens.

Quality customer satisfaction is terribly challenging. Most people outside the service industry cannot grasp the difficulty faced by management and workers each day. Setting a high standard for service comes with a price. When you deliver ‘perfect’ you run the risk of being ignored. That’s right. As Jimmy Collins points out, people seldom notice perfect. “The absence of error or defect” defines perfection; errors and defects jump out at us and grab our attention. The smooth and snag-free nature of perfection sometimes escapes our notice. If nothing jumps up at us as wrong, interrupts our train of thought, annoys us or causes us discomfort, we sometimes do not take notice.

Most businesses do everything possible in order to prevent failures, errors, and lapses in service and quality. Training and retraining with the goal of standardizing service and reproducing quality at high levels requires a great deal of resources and personnel. Whole departments exist for “quality control” and “customer experience.” At times, the emphasis on quality becomes misguided. Too often, customers and clients find themselves bombarded with questionnaires and surveys after the fact. Most of them amount to waisted effort because the truth can be found in the number of complaints rather than the number of artificially harvested “kudos” for greatness.

Fractures in service happen. They just—happen. Despite our best efforts to eliminate them, they happen. When they happen, do not despair—something exceptional comes from deficiencies. Ask yourself: when you, your company, or your organization fail to deliver, despite processes and policies designed to prevent error, how well do you recover? The quality of your people and your training make the difference between convincing customers to return or to stay away. What happens next in situations like ours separates the professionals from the amateurs. How would this Ritz Carlton respond? What happens now?

We contacted the front desk the next day, explaining the situation and how we needed to speak to a supervisor as soon as possible. Within five minutes of our call, Paco Saldaña arrived to discuss the issues. He walked around our suite and listened as we pointed out to him things we believed fell below the standard of Ritz Carlton quality. His attitude and demeanor were nothing short of perfect for the situation.

Paco Saldaña demonstrated the qualities and character of a seasoned professional. He lives up to the Ritz Carlton standard of “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” Here’s what Paco did and what he did not do:

1) He was not defensive

2) He did not make excuses

3) He listened, but more than that, he appeared to actually hear what we were saying from our perspective

4) He eagerly and sincerely responded to our concerns

5) He told us his plan of action to remedy the situation, quickly

6) He promised to be personally responsible for the results

We knew Paco took us seriously, understood the problem, and determined a course of action to remedy the situation immediately. He apologized, but did not waste our time with an explanation of “how this happened.” Customers do not care about inter-organizational challenges, how short-handed you are, or what happened last week that used up your resources. Instead, customers care about getting quality goods and services for their money. A good reason for the poor quality probably existed, but he did not share it with us. The truth is, life throws adversity at us constantly. We all face adversity, and we all have to get our jobs done despite it. Blaming others for failures accomplishes nothing other than tearing down a customer’s already weakened confidence in an organization.

Rarely do you find someone actually being an example of the qualities listed above because those qualities run counter to many natural tendencies. We want to deny, defend, explain, and make excuses. Doing the opposite of our nature takes time, training and modeling by example. Training and selection distinguishes organizations like Ritz Carlton apart from others. Paco quickly built up our confidence in him and his organization at a time we were in doubt.

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He delivered on his promises, but he did not stop there. Over-the-Top service requires skillful follow-up. The follow-up really sets things right. By following-up with us the next day and letting us know that he personally participated in the work done in our room, we knew he not only met our expectations but exceeded them. You should have seen the room and presentation when the work was complete. We now had a 5-star suite.

Quality organizations consists of quality individuals with an understanding that errors bring opportunities to deliver, meet, and exceed previous expectations. Errors grant us a chance to go “over the top” and deliver memorable service. In fact, the lingering memory of a fabulous recovery remains with us longer than the “wow” of perfection. Does this mean we ought to “mess up” so we can demonstrate how well we recover? No, not at all, we need not make errors and oversights on purpose, they occur frequently on their own.

What happened to our room? We came back to the room after turn-down and it gave us that Ritz Carlton experience once again. Paco knew how to react when something went wrong.

Get excited about errors. Look in advance for opportunities to set up an over-the-top impression. Recover well and regain your customer’s confidence.

I have wondered, do corporate executives pay any attention to LinkedIn?

Here’s one informative answer to that question: http://bit.ly/16voPWz

linkedin

Recognizing the Artist (or Craftsman), not the Tools