Today’s guest on the “Today’s Business Leaders” podcast is Meredith Bell, an author, podcast host and the president and co-founder of Performance Support Systems, Inc. She’s here today to speak with us about her passion: affecting lasting and meaningful change for her clients through improved communication skills and teamwork.
Finding the Freedom to Call the Shots
Meredith is an accidental entrepreneur. She began working in education as a teacher but grew bored with the routine after several years. From there, she earned a master’s degree and began working on the administrative side of education.
She quickly discovered that bureaucracy and politics were not her cup of tea, leaving her wondering what to do next. She still wanted to work with people and help them learn, but education wasn’t the right field in which to do so. She began working as a trainer and consultant and hasn’t looked back. Instead, she has moved forward.
Meredith and her long-time business partners Dennis E. Coates and Paula Schlauch have been working together for 30 years to help individuals develop the skills they need to achieve higher performance levels.
The Relational Side of Business
Business transactions come and go, but relationships last. Making sure those relationships are positive and productive is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. While it can be challenging to change your communication habits, Meredith has some advice to help you get started.
First and foremost, strive to be an active and empathetic listener. If listening isn’t a skill you are used to practicing, it can be difficult to begin doing so. The results are well worth it as you learn to set your ego aside and really hear what the people you interact with are saying.
The other crucial communication habit to develop is a willingness to apologize. As much as we might like to be, none of us are perfect, and we will make mistakes. That’s okay. Mistakes are part of learning, but they can hurt other people. When that happens, a sincere apology can go a long way toward repairing damaged relationships.
Apologizing is particularly important for leaders. When you apologize, you set an example for your employees and everyone else in your life. You’re creating an environment in which people feel comfortable communicating openly and honestly about their mistakes and feelings, which is invaluable for growing and succeeding, both as a team and a company as a whole.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can connect with Meredith via LinkedIn or check out the Performance Support Systems, Inc. website. The website contains tons of great resources, including links to books by Meredith and Dennis and Meredith’s “Strong for Performance” podcast.