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Month: July 2020 Page 1 of 22

Saving Your Next Meeting From Its 2 Most Common Killers

Before Covid-19 happened, you probably already had enough meetings. Now, you probably have even more. Today, it’s never been easier for people to find themselves in a meeting, wondering, “why?”

Priya Parker is the author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet And Why It Matters and is a professional meeting maker. She helps organizations, communities and simply people, learn the art of meeting— gathering for a purpose. In her book, Parker suggests 2 fundamental reasons why any and every meeting makes you ask “why?”: multitasking and modesty.

The Killers: Multitasking and Modesty
1. Multitasking

Have you ever left a meeting and thought, “why was I invited to this meeting?” or even better, “why did this meeting happen at all?” Maybe whoever invited you wanted for you to feel “part of the team,” unknowingly, making you feel even less— just another rectangle in the gallery of faces.

If you’ve ever wondered what the purpose of your meeting was at the end, you are not alone. Parker in her book argues that multi-tasking and consequently a lack of purpose and focus, is one of the number one killers of effective meetings. In people’s attempts to get as much done, check off as many boxes as possible, be as efficient as possible, the opposite happens.

As the old sayings goes, “with no vision, the people will perish.” and “if everything is important, than nothing is important.” What then is required of every meeting is a clear purpose. Just as many projects have SMART goals, so should a meeting.

2. Modesty

The other conspirator of the murder of meetings alongside multitasking says Parker, is modesty.

Modesty, is the holding back of one’s personal responsibility and power to lead the meeting. Parker uses the example of a dinner party where a bunch of people are invited by a person to their home to connect. If the host simply allows the conversation to flow where ever it may go, it may and most likely will go nowhere. What is needed in these situations and many others Parker suggests, is a host or leader who can warmly navigate the flow towards the desired outcome.

Meetings exist however because there is an inherent recognition that things don’t just happen on their own. Businesses and organizations do not grow simply because people have a job or get paid.

What then is required for every effective meeting is a leader who takes responsibility that the reason for their meeting is achieved.

The Solution: Reason and Responsibility
Although there are good intentions behind hosting a meeting for multiple purposes and giving lots of space for group move on its own, it ultimately does a disservice. The most valuable limited resource everyone has is time. And when people are invited or forced into a meeting which feels afterwards pointless and progressless, you lose trust. You make your people question your intelligence and care, and very subtly diminish their drive and the quality of their work.

By now, everyone knows fear doesn’t work in motivating or moving people towards a common goal for very long. So here are 2 things every host needs to do:
1. Give a clear reason
Hosts needs to make sure their invitees know why they’re going. What the purpose of the meeting is and their purpose within it. What determines whether the meeting was success and more importantly, what will determine whether they were successful in it?

Do not try to accomplish a million things in your meeting and learn to focus it. If you have to, try having multiple meetings in a day spread out, each with a specific desired outcome.
2. Take a large responsibility

Next, the host must take responsibility for their meeting. They need to recognize that as the host, they are in a position of power whether they want to be or not. They, more than anyone, need to know the reason for the meeting, the reason why each individual is present, and take full responsibility in helping the team and each individual in getting there.

If you are the host, enter the meeting as if it really mattered. If you can’t, then maybe this meeting is better left to an email thread.

If you don’t think the goal of the meeting can be accomplished in the given amount of time, then maybe you actually might need more meetings.

Leading upward
Unfortunately, there is the chance that you have no formal power and lead no meetings on your own. Instead then, ask your supervisor what would make them really happy at your next meeting and how you could help them accomplish it. Your supervisor will appreciate your intention and your initiative more. You might also dread your next meeting a bit less.
The Saviors: Purpose and Progress

Although there are multiple ways to define what it means to be human, there are two which are particularly relevant for this topic: the desire for purpose and progress.

People are the only creatures that ask “why.” They are the only creatures that need an answer for the meaning and purpose of life.

We are also the only creatures that believe things should better. That life is about going somewhere.

It isn’t surprising then that people need their meetings to have the same essential ingredients as their lives: purpose and progress. How can we provide this? By giving a clear reason for our meetings and taking a large responsibility for them.

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CyclingTips is hiring: Write about bikes and tech for us

CyclingTips is growing, and we need some help. So we’re adding to our editorial team.

We’re looking for a passionate, talented tech writer to produce industry-leading content focused on bike equipment and technology. This includes updating our audience on the latest tech news, writing in-depth reviews of products in the road, gravel, cyclocross, and cross-country mountain bike spaces, and working across text, photo, video, and audio.

This individual will work in a full-time capacity in conjunction with our two existing Tech Editors to execute CyclingTips’ editorial vision and grow our audience.

The ideal candidate will be able to take the spark of an idea and turn it into a polished story, podcast, and/or video ready for

Key responsibilities include:

Producing engaging tech content on a variety of topics
Writing daily tech news stories
Helping produce videos and podcasts


Exceptional writing skills. In particular, the ability to explain complicated subject matter simply and clearly
Excellent communication – our team is spread across the world
Deep contextual knowledge of bikes and cycling gear and ability to evaluate equipment on its merits
Proficiency in still photography
Willingness to travel, both domestically and internationally
Ability to produce clean, accurate, grammatically correct copy on a tight deadline
A world-class bullshit detector
Passion for the technical side of cycling
An unflappable sense of personal integrity and professional ethics
A reasonably flexible schedule that will occasionally require working evenings and weekends


Comfortable on-camera and behind a microphone
Background working somewhere in the industry, particularly in bike shops
Comfortable building and maintaining bikes
Experience in writing for the web, including the use of a CMS
Experience using various Adobe products, including Photoshop, Audition, and Lightroom
Can change a flat in under a minute and knows a PF30 from a BB30
Willingness to relocate to Boulder, Colorado or the surrounding area

To apply:

Send a CV and cover letter to

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status.

The post CyclingTips is hiring: Write about bikes and tech for us appeared first on CyclingTips.

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Are We Witnessing the Evolution or the Demise of the Customer Contact Center?

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Pre-pandemic, hearing the term “ client contact center ” would most likely generate a vision of a big space filled with headset-wearing representatives. The larger the business, the bigger the space … or possibly it covered lots of floorings in a structure, was its own structure, or possibly among numerous such centers all over the world.


Over the years, there have actually been advances at the heart of what runs a consumer contact center: amongst them, telephone systems; cloud-based customer care software application; and the universality of high-speed web. Regardless of these advances which have actually made work-from-anywhere possible, many business have actually continued to find client service personnel together in those big spaces and centers for factors like much better cooperation and simpler onboarding.


Then COVID-19 altered all that.

Prior to lockdown orders around the world, some business may have currently had a little portion of their customer support agents working from house. For the bulk, nevertheless, the pandemic forced companies to desperately move in-office representatives to a work-from-home design. Therefore started what some called “ The World ’ s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment , ” with customer care perhaps the most affected. When it comes to Discover Financial Services, Inc., it impacted almost one-third of its labor force .


With numerous months of experience now, numerous business ’ client service departments have actually settled the wrinkles of work-from-home customer support.’ This is in the nick of time to now think about how to browse a safe return-to-work. The South Korean call center break out early in the pandemic is a grim suggestion of what might arise from a hurried return.


Opinions vary on when and even if COVID-19 can be eliminated, making complex the timing and actions required to securely go back to work. And if client service operations are presently running efficiently, the take advantage of remaining in one area might no longer exist. As business dispute if the conventional client contact center design continues to make good sense, 3 innovations will be essential to purchase for whichever path they pick.

. Workflow.

Customers desire responses as rapidly as possible. Those options may originate from customer support, or they may need support from someoutdoors department. In either of these situations, workflow is the trick to a fast reaction.


Consider a circumstance where an issue has actually been afflicting clients and is a substantial factor to get in touch with volume. The bright side is consumers can resolve it by following acouple of actions themselves. Those actions should be rapidly released as an understanding base short article. Workflow can assist, by routing the option information from a closed case through a modifying and recognition procedure, and rapidly making it readily available online to consumers along with representatives.

. When the root cause of an extensive client problem lies in another department and should be attended to by them, #ppppp> Another example are times. Envision an incorrect cost appearing on several consumers’ declarations. The information of the issue and the impacted clients should be given the financing department ’ s attention, and workflow can do that. Workflow then permits the development to the option to be tracked to conclusion while reducing hold-ups.


Really, however, the most crucial function workflow plays remains in its capability to structure and provide jobs no matter where a customer care representative( or any other worker, for that matter) lies. Customer-oriented work is not stalled as an outcome of what may have formerly been manual procedures carried out in a workplace.

. Self-service.

Even prior to the pandemic, smart business had actually currently accepted client self-service in its lots of types– understanding bases, chatbots, online neighborhoods, and automated services. It ’ s an exceptional very first line for client service,offering scalable and resistant support by:

. Providing searchable posts to typical problems in the understanding base. Reacting to consumer inquiries in a conversational way with a chatbot. Providing responses from fellow consumers or client service in an online neighborhood. Carrying out typicaljobs such as signing up an item, opening a brand-new account, or resetting a site password with automation.

As the infection ’ s effect began to take hold, Gartner strengthened self-service ’ s value , prompting business to continue to promote it to consumers and even start brand-new tasks.

. Artificial intelligence. Since it ’ s like including a member to the group, #ppppp> Machine knowing is practical. This employee, however, can process unlimited quantities of work rapidly, precisely, and without breaks. Its accuracy likewise enhances gradually. It provides an assisting hand in 2 methods.


When self-service channels put on ’ t surface area a response, it ends up being required for consumers to develop a case online. That case needs to be directed to the proper representative. Artificial intelligence take advantage of previous case routing history and “ finds out ” from the numerous characteristics.Utilizing this info, artificial intelligence automates the procedure, making sure the case is routed to an offered representative best-skilled to help.


Machine knowing can likewise act as a partner to representatives. As they deal with clients “, it can” recommend options from understanding base posts, online neighborhood reactions, closed cases, and other sources.

. The brand-new contact “ center ”.

Customer service has actually experienced numerous modifications for many years. Prior to the innovation and broad schedule of the telephone, consumers would compose letters to business if they required assistance. The telephone brought the very first live interaction channel, and likewise functioned as the car for among the very first understanding base-type systems. The web put things into high equipment: customer care sites, social channels, and mobile apps to call simply a couple of. From those early starts to early 2020, providing client service has by-and-large stayed a location-based activity.


Will the consumer contact center go back to what it when was, or will it now function as a center with lots of spokes( at-home representatives )? If the pandemic has actually altered that thinking, Time will inform. In between “ The World ’ s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment ” and the innovation offered, it ’ s clear the seismic shift required by COVID-19 might quickly stay irreversible.


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