July 2018
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The Business Voice - Supporting the Moose Jaw & District business community
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July 2018

Please Welcome Our Newest Members 

Bar Over 3H Livestock - (306) 313.6863

Moose Jaw Kiwanis Club - (306) 693.9034

Russian Association - (306) 684.1668

 

Upcoming Events

 September 6th, 2018
31st Annual Chamber Golf Tournament
Presented by Prairie Plains Agro
At Hillcrest Golf Course
12:30pm Shot Gun Start
Team registrations now being accepted - visit www.mjchamber.com/events

 

CEO Message - Rob Clark

Happy July to all,

I would like to begin in saying as Business community we are very fortunate and lucky to have such a great team at the Chamber. I want to thank Darcia Hojenski, Corey Nyhagen, Jon Barth and Doreen Heinbigner for their years of service on the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce board of directors, you will be missed.  I also look forward to working with the new members of the board, Don Howe, Aaron Ruston, Scott Greenough and Tina Ludwar who I know are excited as we are to be part of continued growth and change in our community.  

Summer has arrived and hope you’re enjoying the warm weather and this is great opportunity take in some events this next month 

July Events:

  • Sidewalk Days Thursday July 5 , 9 am – Saturday July 7, - 5 pm
  • “Get caught shopping locally”
  • Warriors Golf Tournament, July 5 & 6th  Hillcrest Golf Course
  • Moose Jaw Homegrown Farmer's Market, Langdon Crescent every Wednesday 5- 8 pm and Saturday 8am – 1pm
  • SSFA 55+ Provincial Games, Tuesday, July 10, 9 am  – Thursday July 12, 5 pm
  • HIGHWAY TO HEROES 5 – Sunday July 15th
    Moose Jaw's own and Canada's greatest ambassadors, The 431 Squadron Snowbirds, and the famous Canadian Armed Forces Skyhawk’s Parachute Team, plus will hundreds of cars on the tarmac and The UNCOOLAS pounding out the beats of the 60's and 70's be a part of the H2H event
  • Sask Festival of Words Teen Writing Experience Feat - Monday July 16, 9am – Friday July 20, 5pm
  • RuBarb Production presents, Moose Jaw Cultural Centre - Friday July 27, 7:30pm – Sunday August 19, 2pm

The Chamber team is dedicated to ensuring we provide a high level of service and help your business reach its potential.  If you have any questions, please drop me a line at rob@mjchamber.com or stop in, I would be pleased to discuss the Chamber with you.  If you like what we are doing, spread the word, or let other businesses know.  We appreciate your membership and we appreciate your referrals.

Chamberplan.ca
6 Steps for Managing Conflict

 

6 Steps for Managing Conflict

Most of us hate conflict and will avoid it at all cost. But, when you have people working together, or serving customers, conflict is bound to happen. It's a reality of life. If you find it traumatic and intimidating you are not alone. Here are six things you can do to alleviate some of the stress when conflict occurs.

Accept that conflict is natural.

Given that everyone is different, conflict is completely natural. Whatever relationship two people are in, they will see any situation differently and it's even worse when their vested interests are different. Try to see conflict as an opportunity to grow and learn more about the people you are working or interacting with. If you can begin to overcome conflict, great teambuilding can occur.

Bring issues into the open.

Conflict rarely shows up immediately. More often, it simmers for a while until it's ready to boil over and can't be contained any longer. Conflict may not be completely avoidable, but if you can catch a situation while it's still small you have a better chance to resolve it before you have a full blown war on your hands. As soon as you spot the burning embers of a conflict, bring those involved together to discuss what's going on by bringing the issues out in the open. This starves the conflict of oxygen.

Separate people from ideas.

Conflicts get really heated when ideas are confused with personalities. Conflict usually revolves around an issue over which people disagree. If you can disagree with someone's opinion or viewpoint, but not get angry with the person who holds the opinion, you're much closer to being able to resolve the conflict. When conflict involves one person attacking another, rather than attacking the issue, the problem only gets larger. Focusing on the problem helps put things into perspective, and allows you to reach an amicable solution more quickly.

Share the problem.

When facing conflict in a group, make sure the conflict is defined as a group problem. When a team faces problems together, shared solutions become possible. When a solution is shared, the team invests in the solution and a stronger commitment to the outcome is generated.

Ask for other perspectives.

In a conflict between two people, try to move away from their disagreement by bringing other perspectives into the equation. Ask if anyone else has any thoughts about the problem. This can open the issue up to further examination and allows the original two people to consider alternative ideas and perspectives rather than focusing on the specific friction between the two of them.

Look for common ground.

In every conflict, seek common ground. Ask one party if there is anything he/she likes about the other person's idea. Start there, and build a solution from that common ground. If nothing common can be found, agree to move on and come back to it at another time. Allowing emotional space allows both parties to think about what has transpired. If coming back to it later still doesn't produce a solution, consider bringing in a mediator or an arbitrator to assist with the process.

Conflict is never easy to deal with, but it can be a way to foster better communication between people and teams. Coming to new understandings can strengthen your employees' relationships allowing conflict resolution to be an excellent way to build stronger teams.

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6 Steps for Managing Conflict

 

Five Customer Laws You Should Obey

Have you ever heard someone say, "business would be great if it wasn't for the customers?" Sadly, that statement is all too often not meant as a joke. It's usually said about customers who are complaining but also when we, or our employees are busy and customers are 'getting in the way.'

What we have to remember is that without customers, we wouldn't have a business and although there may be times you wish you could let them know what you're really thinking, the best policy for dealing with your customers is to satisfy them, no matter what. Whether you or your staff are on the front lines, here are 5 laws you should make that your employees should never break.

Never put phone customers ahead of live customers

Have you ever patiently stood in line at the service counter, got to the checkout and then had the service person answer the phone and spend fifteen minutes answering another customer's questions while you stand there feeling ignored and irritated? Customers at your location should always come before customers calling in by telephone. To the 'live' customer, it feels as if someone from the end of the line has cut in front of them just as they reached the service desk. The best way to deal with people calling in is to politely ask them if you can take their name and call them back shortly. Acknowledging and serving customers who are right in front of you will result in them feeling valuable and important to you. These are customers who will return and continue to do business with you.

Never complain in front of customers

Have you ever been in a department store on a sale day? It's chaotic - people everywhere, clothing in heaps and piles, long line-ups for the changing room or to pay. Business is brisk. But then you get a clerk complaining to another co-worker just loudly enough so everyone around her can hear, about how much she hates sale days, about how inconsiderate some customers are, and that 'they' aren't paying her enough to put up with it all.

Customers don't really care whether you think you're getting paid enough, or that you feel you're overworked or how you feel about the company; all they want is good service. Complaining about your job in front of customers is a number one turn-off. If it happens too often, your customers will go where they are welcomed by people whose primary concern is providing them with the service for which they are paying.

Make your customers feel valued

Doing the little things that make people feel special will win your customers over and make them loyal to you forever. The fact that you or your employee remembers a regular customer's name when they walk in the door makes them feel valued. It also makes them feel comfortable - at home. And if they feel that, they will come back again and again. It's positive reinforcement.

Perhaps have a stack of Starbucks' gift cards to hand out as a way of saying sorry, if something goes awry with a customer. Even if it's just for $5 you can turn a frown into a smile - and someone who is frustrated into a returning customer.

It takes very little to make your customers feel special, so take the time to think of ways you can routinely do that. Businesses who do that rise to the top of the heap very quickly, and customers tell their friends about it so referral business goes up as well.

Be courteous at all times

Customers deserve your employees' courtesy at all times. Period. Whether you've had a bad day, a fight with your partner, forgot to pay your income taxes, you're mad at your best friend or whatever ... when the customer walks through the door they deserve your undivided attention and your best attitude. Courtesy includes things like saying please and thank you, using their name if you know it (or can find it on their credit card). "Thanks for shopping with us today Mrs. Jones." goes a long way towards making your customer feel valued. So does offering to go above and beyond. "How would you like this packaged Mr. Smith?" "Can I have one of my staff take it your car?" Courtesy breeds loyalty. So put your best foot forward for your customers and reap the benefits.

Always demonstrate a can-do attitude

You should always be able to do something for your customer. The words "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do," should never be part of your vocabulary. If your customer needs something you can't provide, make sure you find them someone who can. "Can I phone the downtown store to see if they have one in stock?" "We don't sell those here, but I know that (whomever) on Oak Street does. Perhaps you can find what you're looking for there." If there is genuinely nothing you can do to make the customer happy, find a way to make it up to them. "I'm so sorry we couldn't help you today, but I'll give you a 5% discount on your next order to make up for it." Can-do companies have loyal customers. Empower your employees and make sure you demonstrate a can-do attitude with your customers.

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6 Steps for Managing Conflict

 

The Importance of Why?

WHY is a powerful word which provides a foundation for business or personal decisions. It is the "raison d'ĂȘtre," the reason for being.

Use of WHY questions can create a shift in thinking in different contexts. Both a shift in your mind and a shift in the direction a conversation may go. For instance, asking another person WHY can be very different from asking yourself WHY.

When you hear, "Why did you do that?" which is a classic question asked by parents, teachers, bosses and others, you are likely to react defensively. The perception, whether conscious or not, is that there is a judgment, criticism, or disapproval of the action.

If the question is rephrased as, "What was important to you to do that?" This shifts the thinking from defensive to being more open. The questioner is expressing curiosity; trying to find out more about the behaviour without causing the raising of defensive flags.

Oftentimes, simply reframing a question from Why...? to What...? allows for a dialogue to ensue and it encourages a better understanding between two people, whether it is parent/child, employer/employee or teacher/student. Dialogue opens up the relationship to growth as opposed to shutting it down due to a defensive reaction. It becomes a question of curiosity and learning which can lead to a constructive path of behaviour. It becomes an opportunity to coach or help someone move forward in positive ways.

Conversely, when you ask yourself the question WHY, unless you are being self-critical, you are exploring the reason behind an action or decision more deeply. You are finding the real purpose and motivation. By looking closely at your business, or your career, by using the word WHY, you will engage in a dialogue about what is important and help develop the next steps, i.e. the WHAT and the HOW.

Before using a WHY question with others, I often ask myself how the other person will feel. What is the impact on the person? Will they perhaps see it as a criticism, a judgment or disapproval? It is important if you want to have fruitful conversations which move things forward that your questions open rather than shut down dialogue.

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Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce
88 Saskatchewan St. E, Moose Jaw, SK, S6H 0V4
T: 306.692.6414 F: 306.694.6463
chamber@mjchamber.com
www.mjchamber.com

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