I’m Sorry!

That phrase, “I’m Sorry!” is not said enough.

Scenario #1

You are waiting for your coffee; there are people ahead of you and only one barista. The barista finally hands you your coffee after 4 minutes (having worked at a coffee shop for many years your drink should be done in 90 seconds) but that’s fine, 4 minutes it is. The barista says your name, and hands you the drink with no eye contact. Well now you are upset that no one said sorry for the wait and now you are contemplating if you’ll ever go back to that place.

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Scenario #2

You are waiting for your coffee; there are people ahead of you and only one barista. While the barista is making a drink he looks up and says, I am going to work as fast as I can, but it will be a little wait, I’m sorry about that. You are instantly ok with waiting. Your drink is ready, the barista knows you are there (cuz he already acknowledged you), he hands your drink and says, ‘thank you for waiting patiently, and again I’m sorry about that. I really hope this didn’t ruin your day.’ (he threw in a little joke to lighten the situation) It made you laugh and you are walking away with a smile on your face and going to talk about this place in a positive way to all of your friends.

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Why don’t people want to say sorry?

– We don’t like to own up to mistakes and we don’t like to be wrong. But it ultimately comes down to pride. It’s a vulnerable thing to admit when you are wrong. When a toddler hits their younger sibling, the parents don’t disown the toddler; you discipline, make sure they know they did something wrong, they apologize, and learn from their mistakes. Toddlers shouldn’t be the only ones saying sorry. We need to make sure we still say sorry, learn from our mistakes and grow.

People working in customer service deal with having to apologize all day long. They (personally) didn’t do anything wrong, but because of their job, they take ownership of where they work and create solutions for their customers.

Create Solutions! Say Sorry! Acknowledge People!

Here are a few phrases we need to add to our vocabulary:

-I’m sorry I messed up.

-Thank you for waiting.

-Thank you for being patient.

-I see you and will work as fast as I can to get you on your way.

-Welcome to…

-Hello

-Goodbye

-Is there anything I can get you?

-Do you need anything?

Be someone who says sorry, who acknowledges other people. Be someone who possesses compassion.

Why Great Customer Service is Crucial!

“How may I serve you?”

Doesn’t that phrase just make you happy? I hope that all of you have had the pleasure of experiencing the incredible customer service at Chick-fil-a. Every employee that works there has to go through intense customer service training, and their main focus in the training is having everyone understand that serving is what makes them different and stand out. It’s no wonder that they out perform KFC and still can close their doors one day a week.

Let me list a few reasons why you should consider training your staff to be amazing at customer service.

  1. Your employees will have purpose
    • Remind your employees of the why! Why are they coming to work each day? What impact are they making? This is a great tool to give to your people daily. You will have less burn out and give your employees purpose and drive to be great at what they do.
  2. Your customers will be happy and return
    • I walked into DSW today and within 30 seconds I was greeted with a hello and welcome. They saw me, and noticed me. I also like getting acknowledgement when I go to the gym. We want to be noticed. Make sure your staff is noticing your customers fast, that they have a big smile on their face, and that they are in the moment and not thinking about how badly they want to be done with their shift.

      People don’t follow companies, they follow brands, they follow experiences, and they always remember the way you made them feel. -Dale Partridge

  3. Your employees and customers will be your best referrals
    • To build followers you need to make sure you are creating a positive experience. The way that my husband makes others feel is truly a reflection of the type of servant leader that he is. He could be talking to a client, employee, friend or family member and he always makes sure to have that personal connection!
    • Connecting, serving and caring will make people come back and want more. When you elevate others and serve them, they feel it, and will be your biggest referrals! 
  4. Your focus will be on people and not profit (thank you Dale Partridge – read ‘People Over Profit’)
    • I’m reading the book ‘People Over Profit’ by Dale Partridge and ‘Dare to Serve’ by Cheryl Bachelder; both books have amazing tools in how to focus on people and not the profit. You know when that shoe salesman comes up to you and all they see are dollar signs. But there is a huge difference when a salesman comes up to me and starts asking questions instead of telling me about their product.
    • Get to know your people. Think about what’s best for them and not what’s best for you. People can easily sniff out the used car salesman. 
  5. You will have better sleep
    • When your team is trained well, when they know their purpose, and when they like coming to work…you can sleep easy. Putting time and effort into training your staff will help with your stress level, you will have less burn out, and your customers will be happier. You will find that focusing on others instead of yourself was the key all along.

The key to a fruitful life is finding ways to serve others daily. -Nikki Udicki

The Top 5 Qualities in a Great Leader

The Top 5 Qualities in a Leader!

Think of an incredible leader that you have had, or have, in your life. What qualities do they possess?

The great leaders in my life were always honest, humble, secure and had the ability to laugh at themselves.

I want to give you the top 5 qualities that all great leaders NEED to possess!

Trust
This may seem like a no brainer to have this quality, but it is absolutely crucial that you are a leader who is trustworthy. Make your yes, yes and your no, no. People become dishonest when it’s inconvenient and when they want to cover themselves or something up. Simon Sinek says “If you’re not consistent in the things you say and do, no one will know what you believe” (and I’ll add, no one will know who you really are.)
Other words related to trust are: respect, integrity, and honesty.

Compassion
Make sure you actually care about the people you lead. Managers have a hard time putting themselves in other peoples shoes, so as a leader you need to make sure you have perspective and view things the way that others are experiencing it. Go and talk to your employees, see what it’s like to do their work every once in a while!
Other words related to compassion are: caring, loving and happy

Stability
People need leaders who provide a solid foundation and know what they value. During times of stress and chaos are you even keeled and stable or do you break down? Be a problem solver and a solutions maker!
Other words related to stability are: security, strength, support and peace.

Confidence
A great leader is confident and provides clear direction. You want to follow someone who is confident in their plan and humble in knowing that their plan may need tweaking. I am confident in my hair stylist because she doesn’t question herself with every hair that she cuts (that would just be exhausting!) She goes in there confident but at the same time asks questions if I’m liking what she is doing!
Other words related to confidence are: direction, guidance and faith.

Service
A great leader is someone who serves others well. To serve is taking the focus off of yourself and onto others. Think of the last time you had incredible service, and how did that make you feel? People remember the way you made them feel. How you serve others is a direct reflection of the type of leader you are!

Becoming a great leader takes time and work. Do inventory on yourself to see where you are lacking, and change.

“How you make your employees feel about themselves says a lot about your business.” -Dale Partridge

Go and be great!!

Show Your Courage!

What’s your courage level at??  (Think of a number between 1-10, 1 = super low and 10 = you are the most courageous person ever)

I was reading about David and Goliath this morning and was so encouraged with David’s courage, confidence and perseverance! He was confident in the Lord and knew that God would fill him up!

There are a lot of Goliath’s that we face every single day. Now it may not be an actual giant, but we do blow things up in our mind and create unnecessary giants all the time.

A Goliath that I face pretty daily is comparison. The way I fight that Goliath is to remind myself that I am different and that I need to be and do what I was created to be. The fear of messing up, or looking ridiculous can be overwhelming in my mind, but then I am reminded that I am the only Nikki Udicki in the world and that God has specifically gifted me to show His glory. I absolutely love that I can relate to so many people, but I need to remember that relating doesn’t mean that we are the same. I want to be courageous in who I am. I want my friends and family to know who they are and strive daily to be that.

I also have the Goliath of not wanting to ship the gifts that God has gifted me with. It’s scary out there, and I like my safe harbor! I like my comfort zone. This is what I have to say to myself when that Goliath comes to mind:

“GET OUT THERE AND SHIP YOUR GOODS!!!”

Seth Godin talks about how we all have gifts and goods to ship daily! I thought of how Amazon ships out so many good things every day, (which I take full advantage of). You are a very unique amazon! You have ideas, you have gifts, you have abilities, and you have plenty of things to ship daily!

I know that a lot of us aren’t dealing with courage that we risk our lives for, but the daily courage of doing what’s right and what’s abnormal, is the courage that will leave a legacy that matters!

Have courage to love others well, and be against the grain!

So I encourage you to:

-start that new thing that you have been putting off

-start sharing your ideas and thoughts more

-start complimenting more people

-start shipping your goods each day

Leaders ask yourselves:

As a leader, are you courageous?

Are you standing up for your people and what they need?

Are you being vulnerable with how you encourage, support and discipline?

Are you being the example for others so they see what it looks like to be who they were created to be?

My sister in law says, “you do you.” I love that!

Start celebrating and stop comparing!

Be courageous!!

Shift

I come before you today as a person who is learning how to shift better! The actual definition for shift is: a slight change in position, direction, or tendency. In my company I am shifting the direction because people need different tools. In my personal life I am shifting my tendency of becoming anxious with time and having everything in order, to focus on what matters and to worry less. Leaders need to know when the right time is to shift (whether that’s a small shift to 1st gear or a large one that will need to works its way up to 6th gear). I do not know how to drive stick shift but have had a few lessons and definitely need to improve! Reading up on tips for stick shift I realized they can easily apply to shifting our position, direction and tendencies in our lives.

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How to drive stick shift = How to shift ourselves!

  1. Get a feel for the pedals, mainly the clutch before you start driving.
    • Communicate! Have conversations with your family, friends, and peers (get a feel for the pedal and clutch) and see what needs to shift.

      Examples: If a manager notices his team is having more sick days or people are arriving late and wanting to leave early, then you need to check the “pedals and clutch” and see whats going on. You will begin to identify the problem and find a way to shift. It could be as easy as touching base with each person daily so they know what they are doing matters.

      If a wife starts to notice her husband coming home anxious and unhappy, she needs to get a feel for the “pedals and clutch” and start asking what it may be. It might just be that things are out of order when he comes home, or that the kids are instantly handed to him the moment he walks in and she started nagging about the time. You may need to shift your attitude and expectations. He may need to shift the way that he helps.

  2. Practice! Find an empty parking lot and get comfortable before hitting the open road.
    • Practice! Going from 1st gear to 6th is not smart (it may not even be possible)!!! So create gradual goals so that you are successful!

      Examples: If you need to shift your job then read the book 28 Days To The Work You Love and test out new job ideas. (don’t just quit and then you have no income!)

      If you need to shift your expectations from your employees, call a meeting and discuss with your employees whats working and whats not and test out what changes you want made and how that will be done.

      Don’t be afraid of change, find out whats working and find out whats not and test it!

  3. When parking your car, engage your emergency brake! Your car will roll if you don’t!
    • Have a plan! Make sure you count the cost of what it will take to make the shift. Big or small, count the cost! Have a backup plan. Don’t make this be the point where you never launch the shift, but ask yourself all the hard questions and realize that you may have to shift again and again until you get it. But remember there is risk, just make sure you have an emergency brake to engage if need be.
  4. Fully engage the clutch by pushing it all the way in. If you don’t you will grind and destroy your cars gears.
    • Don’t just do it half way! Go all the way! It is a great thing to get to the next gear, there may be a little bit of grinding at the beginning, but be confident and go all the way so that the grind becomes less and less.
  5. It can be frustrating but keep driving and you’ll get it!
    • When life isn’t going your way, and when you keep stalling, just remind yourself of the basics and keep going.

Great leaders know when its time to shift, when its time to stick it out, and when its time to move on. (keep, tweak, toss)

Be the type of person that has the ability to keep learning in all that you do. Don’t get stuck into a gear that you are comfortable in, keep shifting and you will eventually have the drive that is smooth and seamless!

Smell the Bread!

A baker said to me recently: “I’ve lost the romance and can’t smell bread anymore.”

That is my worst nightmare! I am so glad I can smell freshly baked bread, even though I shouldn’t eat it as much.

Let’s analyze why this baker made that comment.

  1. He didn’t want to sound crazy by telling me his true feelings about bread, so he underplayed it.
  2. He has simply lost sight of how amazing bread is because of his daily dealings with it.
  3. His only motivation for making bread is to make money and pay his bills.
  4. He was having an off day and still has a fondness for bread.

Whatever his reason behind his bread comment, it got me thinking about why we lose who you are or why we hold back. 

Hesitation and fear. You can also call it procrastination. But when you let hesitation and fear make the decisions in your life, than each day you are becoming less and less of you.

  • We hesitate in telling our spouse that they are cute, funny or smart, out of fear that they may not receive it well or that they don’t think the same about you.
  • We hesitate in speaking up in meetings because we have a fear that our idea is stupid or not in line with what they are really asking.
  • We hesitate in paying our bills on time because what if we are short on money and we haven’t created a plan for where our money goes (I could really go on and on with this point because I am a major Dave Ramsey advocate). Quick quote: Don’t let your money run you, you run it!
  • We hesitate in sharing our goals and dreams, because others may not understand.
  • We hesitate in getting healthy, out of fear that we may fail and that we may have to be kept accountable.
  • We hesitate in putting others first, out of fear that we won’t get it in return.

A lot of fear and hesitation keeps us from being incredible people!

What if the baker said this instead, “To deal with bread everyday is the most wonderful thing in the world! Not only does it smell good and taste great, it brings people together! The act of breaking bread is my favorite thing in the world!!!” 

I would then say, “I”m sold! I will buy all the bread that you have!”

I also believe we hesitate in sharing our true selves because we will get opposition.

THAT’S OK!! Not everyone likes bread. I have family members that have actually said, “I don’t get the big deal with bread.”

I often hesitate in sharing the things that I love out of fear that I will fail, that people will make fun of me, not understand, and that it may sound stupid. But here it is:

I love to serve others! I love to connect with people and help them see their gifts and talents! I want people to wake up every day and chose to serve others, remind themselves daily of the things that they love, and go after it. 

Being vulnerable is hard. But when you align yourself with God’s will for your life and how He created you, then you can be confident in your daily decisions! Each day wake up and align yourself with Him! You will mess up, but don’t stay there, just make it apart of your dance and learn from it.

Fight hesitation and fear by remembering who you are and why you were created!

What Motivates You?

  •  New Year
  • Getting in shape for your wedding
  • A New Job
  • Losing the baby weight
  • That promotion
  • Volunteering at a specific place because your “special someone” volunteers there too
  • Studying for a final
  • Getting projects done around the house before family comes into town (that’s a personal one of mine)

We are motivated by rewards and results.

So why do we procrastinate? Research has found that the act of procrastination happens because the feelings aren’t invested in the end goal. Once your feelings are aligned with the goal and purpose, then your motivation kicks in and procrastination goes out the window.

So how do we get our feelings aligned with the end goal and reward?

  1. Get Positive! (Post inspirational quotes, wake up and list what you are grateful for.)
    • We let the procrastination bug seep into our lives when our mood is low and when we’re “not feeling it.”
    • Research shows that happiness increases productivity and makes people more successful. “Smiling’s my favorite.” -Buddy the Elf        smilings-my-favorite
    • Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56%.
    • What this all means is that we need to think more about managing our moods which will help us manage our work, because you will actually want to do work!
  2. Get things done and Get rewarded!
    • Studies show that rewards are responsible for 3/4 of why we do things.
    • Treat yourself when you have completed something, or have penalties when you don’t.(When my husband and I finished a round of whole 30 we would go out to a nice dinner; that was only once a month, but it sure tasted good and was worth it)
  3. Get Accountability
    • Share your goals, don’t be silent about them. When you have accountability and pressure, you will be more inclined to follow through and get things done!  (Year after year I told my husband I would sign up for a half marathon, but didn’t. Then my sister in law asked me to do one with her, we signed up, had a schedule, kept each other accountable, and then kicked that half marathons booty!) img_9693
  4. Routines Rule!
    • Having a routine builds good habits, creates efficiency, and builds momentum (objects that are in motion stay in motion).
      • Good habits: Your routine might not be a healthy routine, so change it! (ex. I use to go and get a bagel every morning before work (bad habit). Now I go to the gym in the morning and have my coffee and eggs (good habit).
      • Creates efficiency: I make the same breakfast for my husband every day! When I first started I thought, man this is a process, now it is so automatic for me that I bust it out!
      • Builds momentum: Getting things done in the morning creates small wins and motivates us to keep the wins going. It also helps with tackling the problems when they arise.
      • Sidenote: Make sure you aren’t so stuck to your routine that anything new that enters in it will throw you way of kilter. There will be days where your routine will be upside down, handle it, know it’s only one day, and rock that day to the best of your ability.
  5. Make your To Do list the night before
    • Prep for meetings, make a list with your top priorities for the next day
    • It is inevitable that there will be something added to your day, so when you have a plan, you will know exactly how to respond to added “urgencies” screenshot-2017-01-25-11-57-09

 

This whole list can be summed up with one word (intentionality).

Live a life with intention!

Have a purpose behind what you do!

My friend once told me, make sure you know the reason behind why we do things, because you will be asked and instead of giving the answer “because that’s just what we do,” give answers that matter and will get people to see the end goal of the reason behind everything we do.

And if we don’t know the reason, then get rid of it!

Don’t be afraid of change. Changing bad habits into good ones should happen more often in this culture.

Questions for the leader in you:

  • How are you motivating your team?
  • How are you staying motivated with your own life?
  • Are you being an example to others?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses – only results.” -Ken Blanchard