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Personal Touch

August 2011 • A Periodic Publication of Personal Touch Cleaning & Maintenance • Vol. XV No. 5

Communicating Effectively

How Well Do You Listen?


ake this quiz to assess how well you listen:

4. When I grow bored with a conversation, I… a. Tune out while pretend- ing to listen. b. Interrupt to steer it toward a more lively path. c. Prompt a wrap-up by sumarizing the other person’s remarks. d. Paraphrase what I hear to be polite.

1. When I ask a question and don’t hear a prompt response, I… a. Ask the question again. b. Ignore the question and move on. c. Ask a different question. d. Wait 10 seconds for an answer. 2. I make eye contact with the person speaking… a. When I want him/her to realize I’m listening. b. All the time. c. To intimidate him/her. d. I don’t really know. 3. When I don’t understand something, I’ll… a. Keep quiet and try to understand it in context. b. Politely ask, “Can you rephrase that?”

c. Nod as if I understand. d. Disregard it.

5. You can tell I’m listening well if:… a. I’m nodding or smiling. b. I prompt the other person with “Go on” or “You don’t say.” c. I keep quiet. d. I align myself physically with the person who’s speaking.

“Good listener” answers: l. d; 2. b; 3. b; 4. c; 5. a, b or d.

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Never Underestimate Cheap Motivation Tricks!


tephanie Wheeler, senior vice president of Sovereign Bank, used to run the Philadelphia-based bank’s 175-employee call center. Here’s what she told us when we asked her: “When have you spent your own money to motivate your employees, and did it pay off?” “One of the best investments I ever made in that job was spending $5 on a book of motivational stickers at Wal-Mart,” says Wheeler. “The book came with 1,252 bright, colorful stickers with messages like ‘Dynamite!,’ ‘Going Above and Beyond’ and ‘Great Work!’ “I’d put a sticker on a slip of paper and write a short note alongside it that praised the employee for a specific job well done. At the end of the day after everyone left, I’d place these notes on employees’ desks. The next morning, they’d find this handwritten message from me with this eye-catching sticker, and it would make their day. Later, I’d see my notes pinned up on their wall or taped to the side of their PC. It showed me they were proud to receive them.”

LOOKING FOR MEANING No matter what situation you are in right now, there is a purpose to that situation. By working with the specific conditions in front of you, you will begin to discover things about yourself that will give you clues to the next step. Your job will be to look, listen, feel, choose, and act. — Carol Adrienne


Having looked the past in the eye, having asked for forgiveness and having made amends, let us shut the door on the past — not in order to forget it but in order not to allow it to imprison us. — Desmond Tutu, Clergyman and civil-rights leader


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Motivating Your Employees

Put People First The Reagan Way


ne of Ronald Reagan’s assistants, James Rosebush, explained the former president’s gift for leadership by observing that Reagan “understood how well an audience could respond when told how inherently good they are.” By assuming your people want to do the right thing—and letting them know they have your respect—you motivate them to rise to your great expectations. From there: Let them control their destiny. Almost all employees crave control of their future. On a macro level, they want to call the shots about their career, choosing day to day how they approach an assignment and budget their time. Motivate people by letting them exercise control. Direct them toward concrete goals; then step back so they can figure out how to get there. Go beyond “What motivates you?” Most people can’t or won’t reveal their hot buttons. Try assorted ways to motivate them beyond what they request. They may not know what truly motivates them until they’ve sampled other carrots, from getting first crack at new wireless gizmos to nabbing a bigger office.

Cleaning Tip of the Month!

Kitchen TILE If you’ve ever dropped an egg on the floor, you know that ordinary soap won’t get rid of the problem. If you don’t know how to get rid of a patch of grease on your kitchen floor, using a small amount of degreaser in some water can help make the floor clean and shiny. For a safe household degreaser, take lemon scented-ammonia, hot water and dishwashing liquid.Fill an empty liquid dish-detergent bottle half full with the ammonia, then top with hot water. Add a few squirts of dishwashing liquid. Put cap back on and shake to mix, squirt where needed.

Personal Touch Cleaning & Maintenance Newsliter • AUGUST 2011

Publisher & Editor ~ Patrick O’Brien • Graphics & Typesetting ~ Fast Graphics/San Juan Capistrano © 2011 Personal Touch Cleaning & Maintenance “No one does as much…As Personal Touch!” 340 Goddard • Irvine CA 92618 • Tel (949) 727-4135 • Fax (949) 727-4088 • We hope you enjoy our Newsliter (it’s news lite!), but if it is inconvenient for you to receive, just call and we’ll remove your name from our list.

Personal Touch Cleaning

Personal Touch Cleaning & Maintenance specializes in Homeowner Associations. We have 26 years in the business and currently service over 900 Associations throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego. Facilities Serviced:

(949) 727-4135 (800) 660-2092 $1,000,000 Liability Insurance Workers’ Compensation Non-owned Auto Insurance Member CAI State Contractor’s Lic. #794564

1. High-Rise Communities 2. Mid-Rise Communities 3. Pool & Spa Areas 4. Clubhouse Facilities 5. Guardhouses 6. All Common Areas 7. Day Porter Services

Complete Janitorial Services: 1. Subterranean Parking 2. Pressure Washing 3. Steam Cleaning 4. Patio Furniture Cleaning 5. Tile Floor Cleaning & Sealing 6. Stone Floor (Diamond Cutting) 7. Carpet Cleaning

Enthusiasm ~ Effort ~ Excellence

“We clean it silly !”

SINCE 1985

August Newsletter