My introverted ways are ok…

In Myers-Briggs terminology, I find myself on the border of introversion and extroversion.  It makes for an interesting life with a very extroverted Aneil.  I have read books written about how it is okay to be introverted and even books about how to get along in an extroverted world.  Today in the NY Times, an article discusses introversion as an evolutionary tactic and not something to be changed or dismissed.

The work of fellow graduate of the University of Michigan, Adam Grant (who is now a professor at Wharton), is quoted in this piece.  He found that introverts bring the advantage of being better listeners and an ability to implement other people’s ideas.  His study found that introverted leaders outperformed extroverted leaders when leading teams of proactive workers.

So, this explains why one of my passions in life is teaching listening skills to others.  This also explains why I am a better listener than my extroverted husband (tho’ he is getting better all the time!).

When you are building trust with others, you are more authentic when you lead in the way you feel most comfortable with in the ROCC of Trust.  For me, it is being a good listener, the openness and compassion part of the ROCC.

What works for you?


Does retail service matter?

Ever since we had a bad experience at a local coffee shop in Michigan, our 16-year old daughter and I have been scrutinizing customer service more than ever.  We compare each experience to that bad one and usually find ourselves pleasantly surprised.  In the coffee shop’s defense, their corporate office called to make amends and even sent us coupons for free coffee to make up for our bad experience.

So, after a nice encounter at CVS today, I decided to see if someone had done a survey of top retailers and found this survey and CVS is actually ranked 14th in customer experience.  Amazon is ranked first (no surprise from my own experience), but I actually had not even considered CVS to be a contender until my 16-year old said, “Wow, that guy was so nice–not like the guy from the coffee shop.”

Does service matter to you when you buy things?  Should we expect folks to be nice just because we are spending money?  They have hard jobs, dealing with the public and they are not even high paying jobs.  Should they have to go the extra mile to make us laugh or help us have a good day, when maybe they are not having a good day?


AT&T Answers My Call

As I’ve been getting our new home ready in preparation for the arrival of Karen, Maggie and Jack, I’ve been getting all of the utilities set up, including making sure we can use our primary phones, i.e., our cell phones from AT&T without any problem.  Well, it turns out that reception is horrible in our home, even though it wasn’t as bad in our previous home only a block away (it’s also been two years, and maybe tectonic plate activity or the ongoing shifting of true magnetic north may also be at work).

In any case, I went to AT&T and received a Micro-Cell Tower, which of course had to be configured, and as luck would have it, I was trying to do so on Memorial Day.  After an hour of frustration the day before, I called AT&T’s tech support.  Here is what happened in my email to AT&T customer service (I’ve removed identifying information of course):

Just wanted to day I received great customer service on Memorial Day from Ms. Cierra ____, agent code ____, and whose supervisor’s name is _____. She patiently and carefully got my MicroCell tower registered and operating successfully even when other parts of AT&T’s tech support were unavailable. AT&T definitely needs more employees like Cierra!

Aneil K. Mishra, Ph.D.

Others agree that humility is the key between confidence and arrogance

In this month’s issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, there is a great article about the need for leaders to be self-aware, which prevents them from becoming arrogant.  I knew that Aneil would appreciate this because the title of her article is “Confidence vs. Arrogance“.  We have had this conversation many times in our partnership–which is which–sometimes they are hard to distinguish from each other.

The author highlights three ways that we can stay humble:

1) ditch the swagger and be respectful and humble

2) communicate and listen (we agree!)

3) know the difference between making a move and when others will make a move on us–she contends that arrogance makes people believe that others will never take aim at us.

She really focuses on listening as being a key aspect of humility–the ability to be open to what others are telling you about your brand and yourself.

We would agree that it is a great way to build trust.