Leading in Customer Service

Whether you are Director of Finance at a City, a County Manager or a Public Works Manager, providing customer service to other departments or to citizens is everyone’s job and it’s job #1.  As a leader you should be involved in the design, implementation and measurement of a customer service strategy to ensure your department is serving others well. 

Citizens are becoming more and more accustomed to next day delivery and ease of shopping all brought about by customer service innovation at Amazon and other online retailers.   They’ve tried to perfect the experience of shopping and they’ve raised the bar for other providers of services, including cities and counties.

In this blog we want to share six service strategies you can oversee to ensure the delivery of exceptional customer service in your department, city or county.

#1 Define Success

As a leader or manager, you should oversee the successful definition of customer...

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The Power of Productive Meetings

Most of us think of meetings as boring or dislike them for one reason or another.   So, often they lack real progress, decisions are often avoided, they lack purpose, the wrong people are at the meeting or they last too long.

To avoid this history, here are three principles, you as a leader, can employ for more effective meetings:

  • Consistency and clarity of purpose
  • Foster healthy team debate
  • Meeting agendas and best practices

Consistency and Clarity of Purpose: No one wants to hold a meeting “just to hold a meeting” and one shouldn’t.  Here are just a few reasons why holding regular team meetings can add value to your team.  

  1. Regular meetings allow for clarity on projects and assignments
  2. They help you reinforce important and timely goals
  3. They give you space to discuss and clear roadblocks for near-term goals
  4. They’re a great time to do some creative idea sharing around services
  5. They’re great for recognizing great performance and...
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How Appreciation Affects Job Performance

Want something you can do that is free and yields a 40%+ growth in productivity?

In today’s blog we want to remind you of a free, yet powerful tool in your arsenal to help motivate employees and get them more engaged - showing appreciation.

Different from appreciation is recognition, where you point out something wonderful someone did.  Recognition is conditioned on behavior.   But appreciation has to do with the person… and how they add to the team.

Appreciation is based on who you are (your identity), and recognition is based on what you do your performance.  The benefits of expressing appreciation are stunning.  Both recognizing others and appreciating others has tremendous impact on employee performance.

According to a study by the HAAS School of Business at UC Berkeley, when people are recognized for work they did well (their actions) they are 23% more effective and productive over those that were not recognized.

Yet, when people felt...

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Four ways to lead any personality type on your team

 

As a leader, it's important to know the people you work with. Strong relationships lead to stronger teams, and stronger teams lead to a more productive and more successful company. But getting to know people isn't just knowing their favorite TV show or the name of their spouse. That's trivia. To effectively manage your team, you've got to be aware of and understand your team members' personalities.

There are tons of personality tests out there: Myers-Briggs, Big Five,...

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Succession Planning Grid Using the 9-Box Grid

Local government leaders know that it’s important to have a succession plan and a way to identify each person’s development needs related to future roles.  A terrific tool for cities and counties to use to identify gaps in readiness the 9-Box Grid.

Since local government base salary can sometimes sway employees to leave (and make it hard to attract quality talent) city and county leaders need to do all you can to groom and develop the talent you have in-house.

A 9-Box is a fairly simple approach to assessing your employees’ current potential and performance.

As the title describes, there are nine boxes in this assessment grid. Each box represents a type of employee that’s on your team and each type needs something different to grow and prosper.

 The vertical part of the grid has to do with potential.  

  • Do your employees have the potential to grow and develop into a leader and into a future larger role, of say….Water Billing Manager?

...

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Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership and Management

Uncategorized Oct 23, 2020
At LeaderGov we embrace the comprehensive leadership practices of ICMA and put them to work in our online workshops.   We hope you enjoy this overview of 14 areas of quality leadership for local government.   

1. PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY

Being fair, honest, and ethical in all personal and professional relationships and activities

Leadership dimensions that contribute to this core content area are:

  • Fostering ethical behavior throughout the organization through exemplary personal actions
  • Ensuring the decision-making model reflects integrity, honesty, and openness.

Management dimensions that contribute to this core content area are:

  • Conducting professional relationships and activities fairly, honestly, ethically, and in conformance with the ICMA Code of Ethics and the policies of your local government to maintain public confidence in the profession and local government
  • Performing official and personal affairs in a manner that clearly conveys that...
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How your personality can work against you in the area of listening

 

In local government there is a lot of stress on teams to get more done with less.   This is also true in private industry, but since local governments literally serve everyone in a community, the pressure to get things done is unique. 

Without good listening instructions fall apart, people feel dismissed, mistakes occur, projects fail or are delayed, productivity goes down and frustration pervades. 

Your personality plays a role in how well you listen.   

  • If you’re a dominate or driver style personality, you may have a hard time listening to others because you already know the answer….so why even listen!   Strong driver styles are actually often right, so they get impatient with listening, gathering others' input and needless research.
  • If you are an inspiring and influencer style personality, you may struggle to listen as your mind can easily get overloaded as you take in the information around you.  This personality...
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Four Great Ways to Motivate Your Team for Success

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2020

Leaders intrinsically know that motivation comes in many shapes, sizes and colors.  Growing up, I was highly motivated to attend Boy Scouts on Monday nights because I wanted to achieve the next merit badge and I enjoyed having fun  with my friends.

In managing a City or County team, it’s important to continually leverage various motivational approaches so your team is inspired to do great work each day.

Below are four common ways in which most people are motivated:

  • Having clear goals
  • Receiving regular performance feedback
  • Being coached to help make progress toward goals
  • Receiving private or group recognition

You may not think that having clear goals and giving feedback (yuck!) is motivation but it actually is.  Most people WANT to know where they stand and where you expect them to be in 30, 60 or 180 days.   We all desire clarity and focus and having clear goals and regular feedback is a simple way to do that. 

Coaching and recognition are...

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Leverage cohorts to supercharge your training

A city leader recently told me, "I don’t like to delegate because my team isn’t as skilled in the work as I am and they can’t do the task as well as me.  Maybe I’m a perfectionist."
 
He went on to say that he went to training to learn the basics of delegation and the best practices yet he doesn't want to delegate and receive the benefits of doing so.   He's stuck as a leader….he's not learning and growing.   
 
His training was great but he's not adopting the ideas he learned.
 
Learning cohorts are one element you can add to your training to become a city or county that builds a learning culture.   Cohorts are assigned groups of 4-5 people who meet on a regular basis to journey through a training concept together.   Cohorts enable action, questions and adoption of ideas. 
 
Cohorts are about honesty, accountability and vulnerability….they’re about learning and growing...
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How the Four Personality Styles Affect How You Communicate

disc Mar 16, 2020

At LeaderGov we frame much of our local government workshops and online training around the four major personality styles as defined by DiSC.  DiSC is the worlds most popular personality profiling program and is used by over 1,000,000 people per year.

The DiSC model includes styles called Driver, Inspiring, Supporter and Cautious.   Each style has inherent positive qualities and challenges in how they communicate.  In our workshops we help local government leaders learn their styles (or take the assessment) so that they can know their own style (strengths and weaknesses) and also learn how to approach other styles for maximum effectiveness.

Which style are you and how do you sometimes see yourself communicating in ineffective ways?

  • The Driver Style:  This person is results-oriented and highly focused on the end goal.   Their communications can be blunt and to the point and sometimes be misunderstood as aggressive. They may tend to talk over others and not...
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