Sunday, May 24, 2009

Live from the General Mills Parkway

In all my travels, I had somehow never made it to Minneapolis before. This month, I ended up visiting twice in the last two weeks, training at two great companies there.

So one night, I was driving around this beautiful city on my way back from dinner, and found myself on the General Mills Parkway. Since public highways are rarely named after companies, my first fleeting thought was how ironic it was that a war hero had the same name as a big cereal company - and then, a few minutes later, that thought was disabused as I drove past the General Mills headquarters building.

This got me thinking. For years I've stared at the phrase "General Mills, Minneapolis, MN" on the back of my box of Cheerios and if I've thought anything about it, it was just a passing nod to another faceless corporation I purchase products from. But now I'm looking out my windshield at an actual building in suburban Golden Valley where lots of real people come to work every morning - not just Betty Crocker - and it's a change in perspective.

This same change in perspective can help your communications skills, particularly when you are a customer. When we are unhappy about something, we tend to approach it with a mindset of dumping on a faceless corporation. And somehow, if we push hard enough, that faceless corporation will somehow react to us.

In reality, the person on the other end is, well, a person. Someone who drove in to work this morning on the General Mills Parkway after eating his Cheerios and sending his kids off to school. And if we address this person as a person, with respect and dignity, we are much more likely to get what we want. So next time you deal with a company, pretend they are your neighbor down the street and see what happens.

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P.S. I was pleased to see this weekend that What to Say to a Porcupine was still a top 10 business humor book on Amazon, more than a year after its release, and its corresponding Kindle edition was ranked #6 in customer service. And my new book How to Tell Anyone Anything is now showing up in bookstores nationwide and starting to climb the charts as well. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Just released: How to Tell Anyone Anything

When your last book was a national #1 customer service and business humor bestseller, and a finalist for 2008 Business Book of the Year, what do you do for an encore?

How about a groundbreaking new book that teaches you how to confidently say anything at work? How to Tell Anyone Anything: Breakthrough Techniques for Handling Difficult Conversations at Work has just been released by leading business publisher AMACOM and goes on sale on today - and I have a special free offer with lots of goodies for everyone who wants to order it this week!

Using the latest principles from strength-based psychology, this new book teaches you the same techniques top coaches, crisis negotiators, and psychologists use to deal with situations like these:

• How do you get your boss to stop yelling at everyone?
• How do you tell an employee that he needs to shower more often?
• How do you tell your co-worker that you would like more help from him or her?
• How do you let someone know their performance is putting their career at risk?
• How do you motivate people to strive for excellence?

In these situations and more, I take you by the hand and lead you through a step-by-step process that replaces the knot in the pit of your stomach with confidence - by teaching you how to structure a painless conversation that never puts people on the defensive, even with your toughest issues, and gets results!

Originally piloted with one of the nation's leading social service agencies, the techniques in this book have now been taught to over a thousand people from coast to coast, to rave reviews. As one person said in their evaluation, "there is now hope for humanity after all!" And consistently, over and over, people describe the results of this approach as game-changing.

So now for the freebies! Click here to order the book on this week, e-mail your receipt to, and get a free downloadable customer service library including several full-length books as well as a free sample from my #1 customer service book What to Say to a Porcupine. And here's to a new, confident you at work who can truly tell anyone anything!

P.S. Want to nibble a nosh for free? Visit and sign up for a free two-chapter sample!