Managing Criticism

This post is inspired by a friend on Facebook that posted a recipe she is trying out to meet her new nutritional needs due to a recent heart issue. Several people immediately criticized her for using fat free cheese. Since this is a very recent event that she is recovering from she is trying to find her way with the assistance of her physician and family to what is best for her health. A post she made follow the criticism showed that she had been hurt by this. This lady is not immune to criticism as she is a blogger, writer, speaker and teacher. But the way in which the particular comments were delivered were especially hurtful.

Agency Culture – TAAR – March 2009

I’ve written about agency culture before, but it’s an issue that continues to resurface.  Culture affects singular and multi-agency locations alike.  Some offices in a multi-location agency can be perfectly healthy, while others are broken.  The same is true within a singular location.

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Strictly Business: Body Language: Using Nonverbal Communication for Power and Success

Author: Jan Hargreaves

I saw Jan capture her audience for an hour and a half at the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas annual meeting in Austin, TX, in June 2007.  It seemed like we were there just minutes and everyone wanted more.  She is a fabulous communicator.  If you ever have the chance to see her don’t miss it.  In the meantime you should read this book.

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

After reading this book I wrote “The Power of the Positive Audit” for The Anderson Agency ReportThe “The Power of the Positive Audit” takes the premise of this book and applies it to insurance agencies specifically.  This book shows us that Patrick Lencioni, renowned business consultant and bestselling author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, is on a critical mission to create widespread job satisfaction in a world full of workplace misery.

This is another must read for every owner, partner, manager and supervisor of any type of firm.  My two part article on “The Power of the Positive Audit” are available here:

acrobat20x20The Power of the Positive Audit – Part I

acrobat20x20The Power of the Positive Audit – Part II

My Most Important Noticer

I have been reading The Noticer and it has caused me to think a lot about mentoring.  By the time I was 21 years old I had been in the insurance business 3 years, but I had no idea where I was going or what a career was.  I was so very fortunate while looking for a new job to find Mr. Russell Grace, owner of Russell Grace Insurance.

The Power of the Positive Audit Part I – TAAR – September 08

Last year when I attended the “Building Winning Teams Workshop” with Patrick Lencioni, he introduced his newest book, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job.  Now, at this point, you’re probably think, “Oh no! I don’t want my staff to see this!”  Well the book isn’t really for your staff – it’s for management.

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Blogging for Insurance Agencies

Over the past couple of months I have been having my website re-done into a blog forward site.  I want to share my thoughts and experiences on:

  • Best Practices for insurance agencies.
  • How to integrate and maximize your technology.
  • Discuss issues relating to agency culture and attracting and retaining the next generation of staff.
  • And other subjects of interest to you.

I want to hear from you about the subject that interest and concern you.  I am using Intense Debate for comments.  You will find this a more interactive format for comments and discussions.

Website Re-Decorate

I have been working with Media Contour for the past few weeks to update my website to WordPress.  This provides me with a blog forward sight in which to better communicate with clients, colleagues, friends and others interested in what I have to share.  (Hopefully, there are people interested in what I have to share.)

As with any project, it has been fun, frustrating and challenging all at the same time.  The comments section of the blog is using IntenseDebate.  I think you will find this a great format for comments.  I hope that you visit my updated site, subscribe to the RSS feed and provide comments often.

I am interested in what you have to say, what you have to ask and what I can provide you to improve the operation of your agency and the technology used or being considered.  We have been debugging the site the past two days, but should you find something not working, please let me know.

Thanks for visiting.

Legal and Ethical Outline Revisited

When one decides to become a faculty member of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors you get recommendations, you get approved and you write outlines.  Your outlines are submitted to the Society and they are approved.  The Society schedules faculty members a least a year in advance.  So a new member to this group often waits a year or two to begin to get in the mix.  Thus is is not uncommon for an outline to be a couple of years old before you have the opportunity to present it.  Such was the case recently at an Agency Management Institute in Denver.  I was scheduled to do present the Legal & Ethical Responsibilities portion of this institute. 

Agency Staff Perpetuation – TAAR – July 08

A few years ago, an acquaintance (who is of retirement age) decided to work three days a week in lieu of full time.  She intended to maintain this work arrangement for several more years.

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