It Isn’t Just What You Say, But How It Sounds When You Say It

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By Peter Hartmann

Want to get people to listen to you? Remember that the sound of the words you use is as important as the words you choose.

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I’ll confess. I never considered how important the sound of our voices can be until recently.

I was attending a presentation on personal finances, hosted by a speaker who had an impeccable credentials and a great reputation. But minutes into his lecture, my mind began to wander… and wander… and wander…. Continue reading

Finally, a Company that Takes Customer Satisfaction Seriously

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By Holger Reisinger

Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of a forgettable customer service experience? Everyone has a horror story to share. Based on a recent experience, though, there may be hope for better service.

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I had the most gratifying experience while on hold the other day.

Yes, you read that right. Continue reading

Alexa, Siri and Friends – the Voices of the Future

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By Peter Hartmann

An ages-old tool is making our keyboard, mouse, laptop and smartphone obsolete – enabling us to explore new worlds and accomplish new things: Our voice. 

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While visiting friends recently they promised to introduce me to the newest addition to their family. I was pretty sure they weren’t having any more children, and I didn’t see a new dog, cat or fish anywhere, so I wondered what this new addition was. Continue reading

Why You Should Call Someone – NOW!

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By Holger Reisinger

Has chat and e-mail numbed our person-to-person conversational skills to the extent that we never talk anymore? We stand to gain significantly from the “meaningful conversation.” That is, communicating the old-fashioned way: by phone.  

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I can’t deny it: I write A LOT of e-mails. But I’ve recently noticed an interesting trend, especially among younger employees. In two-out-of-three cases, they would rather start an online chat than picking up the phone and simply calling someone they want to ask a question. Continue reading

Eavesdropping on Conversations that Changed History

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By Peter Hartmann

We often take conversation for granted. But these interactions have the power to persuade, spur innovation and change the world. Just take a look.

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If you could listen in on one conversation from history, what would it be?

I found myself asking that question the other day. I was riding the train and trying to escape the discussion coming from the seat ahead of me. A fellow passenger was on the phone, pleading with someone, somewhere, to do something. “No really. Please? Come on…. Please, please?” Continue reading

Forget MVPs. Our Organizations Need More MVEs (Most Valuable Employees)

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By Holger Reisinger

The question is as old as business itself: How do we differentiate our organization from the rest? The answer may lie in understanding and empowering a new class of workers.

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I had an interesting experience several months ago at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

As I looked out at all the amazing new devices and technologies on display, I couldn’t help but sense a sameness to many of them. In a fast-moving industry like electronics, a company’s product idea or enhancement is quickly copied by others. Continue reading

6 Rules for Mastering the Art of Conversation

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By Peter Hartmann

Conversations are the lifeblood of interpersonal communication. But, for some people, they’re the equivalent of a trip to the dentist. Here are some tips for breaking the ice and engaging in good, meaningful conversations.

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I recently attended a great dinner party. It had everything you’d expect of a terrific get-together – fabulous food, interesting people and fascinating conversations all around the table.

Well, almost…. Continue reading

It’s Time to Recognize the Voice at the Other End of the Line

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By Holger Reisinger

You never see them, but they’re there. Those voices at the other end of a telephone line who skillfully listen, provide vital information and, most importantly, help resolve your issues. It’s time to give them their due.

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“Hello, Mr. Reisinger. My name is Gretchen, and it will be my pleasure to assist you today. I understand you have an emergency….”

The voice on the other end of the line was soothing, professional, reassuring – and exactly what I needed during this time of crisis. Instead of hiking through the Austrian part of the Tyrolean Alps, I was helping paramedics get my friend, who had taken a bad fall in a remote area, off the mountain. Continue reading

Can Dirty Socks Increase Your Performance?

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By Peter Hartmann

From being the last one on the field to growing out scraggly beards, sports stars engage in all kinds of crazy rituals. Do they work? The answer may surprise you.

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Tennis star Serena Williams wears the same pair of socks throughout an entire tournament.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo gets a fresh haircut before every football match.

Baseball’s Wade Boggs ate chicken before every game – and always fielded exactly 150 groundballs during infield practice.

These and many other sports star rituals are enough to make you wonder if athletes are little nuts. Continue reading

Start Being Happy – It Will Double Your Productivity

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By Holger Reisinger

Want to be both happier and more productive at work? You can achieve both by making a few changes and adding a regime of gratefulness. Follow these easy steps to change your perception of reality and achieve the much-craved happiness at work.

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My new hero is the psychologist Shawn Achor. I caught his TED talk about happiness in the workplace, which really struck a nerve. When you have some time, I recommend that you spend it watching his 12-minute presentation on how we change the lens of reality and achieve greater happiness and productivity at work. What I found particularly interesting was whether happiness is an inside-out or an outside-in process and how to get the process started. Continue reading