Thursday, January 3, 2013

4 Powerful Words Employees Need to Hear

There are lots of ways to make a positive impact on your staff. But the best involves four simple words.


Here's how.Four simple words, used correctly and with the right intent, can make a powerful impact on your business, your life, and other people.

When you need help, start by using these four--and only these four--words:

"Can you help me?"

And then, for a moment, stop there.

Here's why.

You're not a kid anymore. You're an adult. You're smart and experienced and savvy. You've accomplished things. You've earned your place in the world.

So when you ask for help you also tend to unconsciously add image enhancers. For example, if you need help with a presentation you might go to someone and say, "I'm meeting with investors next week and my slides need a few formatting tweaks."

The problem is that wording serves to frame and signal your importance and ensure your ego is protected. Okay, you may need a little assistance with some trivial matter like a PowerPoint layout, but still: You are the one presenting to investors. You do the heavy lifting around here. You are the big dog in this particular hunt.

Plus you haven't really asked--you've stated. (When you're in charge and accustomed to directing others, turning requests into directives is a really easy habit to fall into.)

Here's a better way.

When you need help--no matter the kind of help you need or the person you need it from--take the bass out of your voice and the stiffness out of your spine and the captain out of your industry and just say, with sincerity and humility, "Can you help me?"

I guarantee the other person will say, "Sure," or, "I can try," or, "What do you need?" No one will never say "no," even a stranger. "Can you help me?" speaks powerfully to our instinctive desire to help other people.

Then make sure not to frame your request. Don't imply that you place yourself above the other person. Don't make your request too specific. And don't say what you need.

Instead, say what you can't do. Say, "I'm awful at PowerPoint and my slides look terrible." Say, "We absolutely have to ship this order by Tuesday and I have no idea how to make that happen." Say, "I'm lost and I can't find my hotel."

When you ask that way several powerful things immediately occur--especially for the other person:

One, you instantly convey respect. Without actually saying it, you've said, "You know more than I do." You've said, "You can do what I can't." You've said, "You have experience (or talents or something) that I don't have."

You've said, "I respect you." That level of respect is incredibly powerful--and empowering.

Two, you instantly convey trust. You show vulnerability, you admit to weakness, and you implicitly show that you trust the other person with that knowledge.

You've said, "I trust you." That level of trust is incredibly powerful--and empowering.

Three, you instantly convey you're willing to listen. You haven't tried to say exactly how people should help you. You give them the freedom to decide.

You've said, "You don't have to tell me what you think I want to hear; tell me whatyou think I should do." That level of freedom is incredibly powerful--and empowering.

By showing you respect and trust other people, and by giving them the latitude to freely share their expertise or knowledge, you don't just get the help you think you want.

You might also get the help you really need.

You get more--a lot more.

And so do other people, because they gain a true sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from being shown the respect and trust they--and everyone--deserves. Plus you make it easier for them to ask you for help when they need it. You've shown it's okay to express vulnerability, to admit a weakness, and to know when you need help.

And then, best of all, you get to say two more incredibly powerful words:

"Thank you."

And you get to truly mean them.

The Roles of Fire and EMS Personnel in Armed Attacks

Posted on January 3, 2013 by U.S. Deputy Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines

More than two hundred and sixty five people have been killed in multiple death armed attacks since the Littleton, Colorado Columbine High School shootings in 1999 through the most recent armed attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

As members of the fire service we now know that no-notice events such as Aurora, Colorado; Portland, Oregon and Sandy Hook have and will occur anywhere, at any place, to anyone or demographic. There is not one among us who hasn't been touched by the more recent events in Webster, New York where firefighters became the target of a planned armed attack.

Accordingly, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is undertaking a study of these events in both this country and internationally to identify risk commonalities and best practices to successfully respond to these diverse incidents. The topical report will be released later this month and is currently undergoing extensive peer reviews. Extraordinary efforts on the part of local fire/rescue and EMS agencies have to be taken in order to protect fire and EMS personnel and experience maximum success in saving civilian lives. These events may play out over an extended period of time, requiring large EMS triage, treatment and transportation efforts, under dangerous and unfamiliar conditions to fire and EMS personnel.

In the interim, USFA offers these universal steps to ensure fire and EMS personnel are best prepared to meet this unique and challenging threat.

The most important action we can take is to determine the lead agency for these incidents. In the vast majority of cases, law enforcement will serve in this capacity. Regardless of lead agency declaration, make contact with local or state law enforcement officials and special operations team leadership to become familiar with their strategies and tactical operations.  Some possible subjects for discussion and planning follow:
  • Potential roles and equipment law enforcement expects from fire and EMS assets (e.g., forcible entry, lights, aerial devices, etc.).
  • Review command, control and communications operations.
  • Review of NIMS terminology along with any technical law enforcement terminology fire and EMS personnel may have a need to know.
  • A discussion of how survivor triage will occur and if law enforcement desires training in same.
  • How will injured law enforcement officers be managed? Early on in the incident a protected area should be declared and communicated to EMS leadership.
  • Casualty collection points for citizens, EMS triage and how transportation and communications with area hospitals occur.
  • What steps should be taken at high risk occupancies to mitigate the loss of life and coordinate with first response personnel.
  • Once the plan is developed, it should be exercised and updated annually.
There is much more valuable information to be learned from past events and the best practices created by those who have experienced one of these incidents. We encourage you to go to the following sources for more information.

The Black Emergency Managers Association International support(s) the Sustainable Development Goals

The Black Emergency Managers Association International support(s) the Sustainable Development Goals

American Red Cross: Regional Disaster Cycle Services New and Continued Employment Opportunities: 1/23/2020

RC33741 Disaster Program Specialist (La Crosse, WI) (Open) We are currently seeking a Disaster Program Specialist (La Crosse, WI) to...

..Haiti. We will not forget.


Mission is to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty. We attract African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans to business Ph.D. programs, and provide a network of peer support on their journey to becoming professors.