Duhhhhh, I should have realized that sooner…..phones and the generation gap.

Even the phone number is pretty close to what ours was.....

Even the phone number is pretty close to what ours was…..

At our student staff meeting last night at the Miami University Recreational Sports Center, we were having a discussion on how to take proper messages either from customers in person or on the phone.  Right in the middle of the discussion, I postulated why this is an issue (I always want to know why).

These students have always known a world where each member of their family had their own mobile phone.  They probably were never tasked with answering the landline phone in their house on behalf of a family member who wasn’t there.  They probably never had to tell their dad that his boss called and he needs to know a certain piece of information by 6pm tonight.  They probably never had to record what time the person called, who it was, what they wanted, and the desired next step.  Most people are individually connected, so communication is direct, without the middle man or middle woman.

As I told the staff, back in the day when I was answering our rotary landline phone at our house without air conditioning, running water, or a sewer (only some of this an exaggeration), if I did not take down important information, this could be a major issue for my parents if they missed something.  We were taught and drummed into our heads to answer the phone professionally and take down all details.  I remember being in a panic if pencil or paper was not within reach of how far the phone line could stretch from the wall (yes kids, phone has cords).  Because of sloppy handwriting, I often had to rewrite the note so my dad could read it (he of the immaculate handwriting and impatience with sloppy writing).

The winds of change continue to amaze me, and it obvious to me on a daily basis how dangerous assumptions are dealing with youngsters.  It helps keep me on my toes and develop a diversity of communication styles to get messages across.  Sometimes I nail it, and sometimes I bomb terribly, but I always learn from it.

I would love to hear any similar stories you have about the generation gaps.

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Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

-If interested in having me work with your organization on coaching, leadership, or customer service, please call me at 513.330.0319 or email at ronsiliko@gmail.com.

 

My small tribute to Basketball Coach Don Meyer

Recently, legendary college basketball coach Don Meyer passed away.  Don Meyer was not a household name in terms of celebrity, but he was well-known for in basketball circles by coaches for his instructional videos and camps, solid teams, and teacher.

Four years ago, I took an online basketball coaching from Don Meyer through Northern State University.  For the curriculum, I had access to notes and his videos teaching the game, and then had to submit a final paper.  I watched the videos countless times to get new ideas and define my approach to coaching.  It was a wonderful learning opportunity.

ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote a wonderful book a couple of years ago called How Lucky You Can Be:  The Don Meyer story.  While the book has many, many stories about the Coach, his family, players, and associates, I have included book notes in the two links below on what I considered basketball or leadership insights.  I hope you enjoy.

Book Notes Part One

Book Notes Part Two

Thank you for your service to the game and to the world, you will be missed.

-Ron

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

-If interested in having me work with your organization on coaching, leadership, or customer service, please call me at 513.330.0319 or email at ronsiliko@gmail.com.

 

The Power of Sharing…the Good Feelings Come Back to You….

Last week, I received an important reminder on the value of sharing your knowledge with others.  In the days following, I have thought about this conversation often during a lag in my day.

Basketball Coach Artemus Duncan in Louisiana called me for the first time in several months.  He had been intrigued by my Basketball Ball Match Up Zone Defense videos I posted on YouTube, and we had multiple phone conversations about installing the defense and how to cover certain offensive tactics (see my previous blog post about this defense).

I wondered how his team had done with the defense, but I made the mistake of not calling and following up.  This was poor service on my part, as well as a missed opportunity to learn from Coach Duncan’s experiences.

Fortunately, Coach Duncan took the time to call me, and share his experiences.  Their team made a nice run in the state tournament and had considerable success throughout the year.  Coach Duncan felt this defense played a major role in their success, as well as this additional video about pressing defense strategies.  It was a wonderful conversation and one that I will continue to seek out.

The cycle of sharing…it is a wonderful thing.  I have learned from so many people about the game, it was to give back and share with others.  I had a particular challenging day when Coach Duncan called, and this perked me right back up.  Thank you Coach Duncan!

I would love to hear your stories about Sharing.  Have a great day!

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

-If interested in having me work with your organization on coaching, leadership, or customer service, please call me at 513.330.0319 or email at ronsiliko@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Butterfly Effect of Customer Service

In his book The Butterfly Effect, Andy Andrews reviews the lives of well-known and unknown (to the general public) and discusses the power of seemingly insignificant actions leading to something greater of significance.  An action begets an action, and the process keeps going.  Every action impacts something down the line.

In the Recreation/Wellness customer service environment, the butterfly effect is a very fragile and valuable.  When customers are buying a subscription or membership service, they are giving the business the gift of their attention for what can be presumed as multiple visits.  There are opportunities to make the experience great, just ok, or below customer expectations.

If service can meet or exceed expectations, chances are the customers will be raving fans of your business and be advocates “on the outside”.  If the experiences are not great, they can be “energetic enemies” within their circle of influence.

The butterfly effect of services is akin to dealing with an emotional bank account.  Staff can make deposits each day building up interest (i.e. goodwill); fail on a delivery occasionally withdrawing from their account; or overdrawing the account because of poor service, and the customer walks out never to return, but with plenty to say (not good things either).

Within these multiple visits that you hope to get from the customer, strive to do the following:

  • ask what they are looking to get from your business
  • say hello and goodbye using their name….personalize their experiences
  • make sure public areas and service counters are clean and organized (no outdated information, no misspellings on information)
  • make good on what you promise the customer…if you are open at 6am, be open at 6a!
  • if you screwed up, admit it, apologize, and strive for immediate customer recovery
  • ask if they enjoyed their visit and who they connected with today (trainer, coach, friend, instructor, etc.)
  • if they bring a complaint or issue to your attention, look to address it (see my previous blog on Owning the Customer) and let them know how it turned out
  • build relationships with the customers during slow transaction processing periods
  • send handwritten thank you notes, celebration cards, etc….
  • be a resource for the customer, you are the perceived expert about the organization….your customers do not care about your organizational chart

Be effective at these, be great at these, and you have a chance to create raving fans.  Retaining customers + free word-of-mouth marketing=WIN, WIN!

I would love to hear your ideas on how to improve service.  Have a great day!

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Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

-If interested in having me work with your organization on coaching, leadership, or customer service, please call me at 513.330.0319 or email at ronsiliko@gmail.com.

A lesson from the birds, and for the birds……

This story involves my favorite season, two families, the cycle of life, and a tragedy.

Spring is my favorite time of year.  Growth happens, the sun gets warmer, the days get longer, and baseball starts.  It’s time to get outside and enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature.

Because of a high number of trees and shrubs at our house, we are lucky to have many birds sign their songs all day long.  Cardinals, robins, blue jays and swallows decorate our yard.  In our little pond, one of the first signs of spring we get are the frogs sounding their mating call as evening breaks, and bats gliding around.  Garter snakes frequently surprise us as we make our rounds.

With all these birds, we have a number of nests and eggs that hatch each spring.  This is a great treat for the boys to see, and so much fun watching the parent birds catching worms and taking them to their nests.

This spring, we had a momma robin build a nest just above eye level for our youngsters.  We got to see the birds right after they hatched, and then watch them grow for about two weeks…until the “accident”.

Jen predicted our dogs would eat the birds.  It wouldn’t be the first time the food chain played itself out with our dogs being involved.  Many a rabbit has met their demise at the paws of our “vicious” hunters.  Two weeks had gone by, and I was hoping the baby birds would learn to fly and avoid capture to prove Jen wrong.

On a bright sunny spring day, the dogs and the Siliko boys were in the backyard with our friend Bob Beckett and his dog.  Ryan wanted to see the nest and the birds, which has quadrupled in size from their hatch.  We went back to take a look.

As we were looking at the nest, Lucy came close to the nest (Woody was digging through a woodpile searching for something else).  She was not eyeing the birds, but rather chasing a snake.  Then the accident played itself out.

Lucy’s presence spooked the three baby birds in the nest.  They tried to fly out for their maiden flight.  I am not sure if one of the birds smacked into a sibling or hit a branch, but it fluttered to the ground just four feet from the nest.  Lucy heard the commotion and quickly pounced on the baby bird.  The momma and papa bird were squawking and flying around our heads, so I moved Ryan and Sawyer to safety so the parents were not tempted to peck their eyes out.  I then tried to get Lucy away from the baby bird, which I did.

Unfortunately, the damage was done.  The baby bird was severely injured and died moments later.  Ryan saw this and said, “it’s not moving daddy, what’s wrong?”

I told him the truth.  I told him it was an accident and sometimes this happens.  Ryan’s next two comments got my heart pounding and my eyes brimming with tears.

With a quivering lip and watery eyes, Ryan looked at me and said, “The mama is going to be really sad daddy.”

I told him he was right, any parent would be sad about this happening to their child.  What he said next was incredibly sweet.

“The other baby birds need a friend, I am going to be their friend.”

This little guy amazes me every day.  Bob made the comment “In a way, this was a good thing for Ryan to learn, and you learned that he is a very caring child.”

Couldn’t agree more Bob, my good friend.  So this was the lesson we got from the birds.  The lesson for the birds was…don’t try your first flight unless you need to.

I would love to hear your child and nature stories.  Take care.

R

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

-If interested in having me work with your organization on coaching, leadership, or customer service, please call me at 513.330.0319 or email at ronsiliko@gmail.com.

Happy Mother’s Day

photo 1 (1)

 

We have arrived to Mother’s Day,

There is so much always to say,

How the most important person in my life,

Is my wonderful, wonderful wife.

 

She is such a terrific mother to our boys,

And it’s far beyond all their toys,

It’s the time each day she gives and gives,

That is teaching them how to live.

 

Whether showing them how to work or play,

She models it in the right way,

She is taking them down the proper path,

Even when it is hard to get them in the bath.

 

Parenting makes us mad, sad…..mostly glad,

The boys are great, but sometimes act bad,

Mom handles it all with love that is iron clad.

 

Children cannot pick their parents, this much is true,

But Ryan and Sawyer are lucky, I did the right thing for you.

You have the best mommy you possibly can,

The perfect gift in God’s plan.

 

Jennifer, I hope you have a great Mother’s Day,

We are the luckiest men in the world, I must say.

 

Love you perfect wife,

Ron

 

 

 

 

Cheating, or Preparation to Win (even against young children)?

“The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win.” –Bob Knight

I write this quote because I am building my defense…..I hate to lose…..even to my children.

Ryan gets a Highlights magazine once a month.  We enjoy reading each issue and playing the activities inside together.  It is a really great magazine and one that I enjoyed as a kid.  A feature that we particularly enjoy is finding hidden items within a bigger picture.  The items are on the left page, and the bigger picture to search for the items is on the right.

Ryan and I make it a contest to try and find each item first.  Ryan is pretty smart….so he will take the time to try and “quick-find” the item, name it aloud, and then say “I found it” before I even get my eyeballs to move from left to right.  So….he’s pretty clever.

Today, Ryan left the magazine on the floor.  I went to the picture page and memorized where each item is located.  I can’t wait to play this game next so I can beat him.

We compete like this in many of the games that we play.  Some people may not like this, but I want Ryan to learn how to compete.  The fact he is already learning the angles of games to give himself an edge indicates it is important to him.  I don’t want him to cheat and break rules necessarily, but I want him to learn about working hard and doing his best.  We talk about hustling all the time, hustle can make up for a lot of shortcomings.

I would love to hear your thoughts about your competitions with your children.  Have a great day!

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

-If interested in having me work with your organization on coaching, leadership, or customer service, please call me at 513.330.0319 or email at ronsiliko@gmail.com.