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In This Issue
Freedom of Choice
Freedom of Communication
Freedom to Say "No"
Freedom to Make Rules

SCS e-xpress

May/June 2011

4th of JulyA Message from Sarah & Chris:

The theme of this issue is "freedom."

We enjoy many freedoms in the USA. Our most basic and treasured freedoms, as outlined in the Bill of Rights, include freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom to petition and freedom to assemble peacefully. As we approach Independence Day, better known as the Fourth of July, we should remember to give thanks to those who help to serve and protect our country in order to protect our freedoms. 
We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  Have a safe and relaxing holiday weekend - and let freedom ring!
Where We'll Be in 2011
Keystone, CO
08/21/11 - 08/24/11
National Harbor, MD
10/23/11 - 10/26/11
2012 Power of 3 Workshop
2012 Power of 3 Workshop
Savannah, GA
April 18 - 20, 2012
Watch for more information in future SCS e-xpress issues!
Did You Know?

Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the only signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as Presidents.  They also both died on the same day - July 4, 1826 - which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence! 

Today's Quotes

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.  
    - Mahatma Ghandi, philosopher

To be true to one's own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others.

    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today's Laughs


Sleeping is the only time to feel real freedom because there are no rules when you're dreaming.

I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly. 
        - Steven Wright
Q.  What do you get when you cross a dinosaur with fireworks?


    Freedom of Choice...

The Rules of 2


The immediacy of modern electronic communication frees us from our desks but often ties us to work wherever we are. We have the freedom to choose among a variety of ways to communicate in today's wired world.  You can make communication work effectively for you by remembering our simple "Rules of 2":  

  • If you exchange more than 2 emails or texts on a single subject and the conversation becomes negative or non-productive, it's time to pick up the phone or talk face-2-face.   
  • More than 2 paragraphs in an email or 2 sentences in a text may warrant a call as well.   
  • More than 2 missed calls or voicemails (phone tag) means you should email to determine a mutually convenient time to have the call.   
  • Match the medium to the message.  When an issue is important, nothing replaces "face-2-face" in a services profession where business is often won and lost based on relationships and communication.

Check out this video for a quick laugh to see what can happen when you don't follow The Rules of 2.

 uncle sam 

 Freedom of Communication...

The "Grandparents" Rule   


The freedom to communicate anything and everything on the Web with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn not only produces information overload but also information disgust.  However, getting the word out about your services and what is happening in the industry has never been easier - if it is done right.  Chris likes to repeat what she heard at a recent Women In Pensions meeting.  Speaker Sheri Fitts (VP Retirement Marketing, LPL Financial) advised attendees during a social networking session that their online messages should be meaningful.  Sheri warns, "Don't just show up and throw up!"  Similarly, Sarah's rule is "Don't put anything online that you wouldn't be happy to show to your grandparents" (a great one for kids!).  Chris teaches this rule in her training sessions: "Don't put anything online or in an email that you wouldn't want to see on the front page of a newspaper."      


The key to effective Web-based communications is to have a plan in place.  For example, send out a newsletter with a mix of technical and business topics every two months, with tweets set up to go out two or three times each week on "timeless" topics, such as bios of your staff, firm or employee accomplishments or articles on 401(k) plans.  Breaking news can be tweeted as it happens.  It works best to get a Gen Y staff member to be responsible for these types of long as they follow the grandparents rule.



    Freedom to Say "No"...

and Better Ways to Say It  


In retirement services, we sometimes need to say "no" to clients.  Train client-facing employees to think of "no" as "needs options."  As humans, we are conditioned to feel a loss of control when someone tells "no," which is why clients often get frustrated when we tell them we can't do something. Learn to instinctively deliver a "no" sandwich:  Although the inside of the sandwich still contains the "no" message, what is really important is the "bread" that you put on either side of that message.  Instead of simply saying "no," start by saying, "What I will do is..." and then end with "What you can do to help is..."  Letting the client know what he or she can do to help the situation gives the client a feeling of control.  Telling the client what you will do (instead of just what you can't or won't do) shows the client that you are really interested in helping them. Firms can strengthen their reputation and build strong client relationships by saying "no" the right way.


Freedom to Make Rules...
and the Freedom to Change Them  


Sarah has a love/hate relationship with rules.  She likes rules when they make sense (or when they are her own rules); however, she dislikes rules that do not serve a meaningful purpose or are overly bureaucratic - like many of the TSA rules!  Do you agree with Sarah?  If so, click here to amuse yourself with Jeffrey Goldberg, writer for the Atlantic Monthly, as he goes undercover with the TSA and exposes their rules as not really protecting our freedoms. 


To combat the "too many rules that don't make sense" syndrome, Sarah set out only two primary rules for her teenagers:  (1) Don't go to jail, and (2) Don't reproduce.  As they got closer to college, she added one more:  (3) Don't drink out of a trash can, a funnel, a bathtub or anything that is on fire.   Teens and young adults have to learn to make their own decisions and succeed or fail on their own.  If we equip them with a few simple rules they can remember as they navigate their newfound freedom, they can add their own self-imposed rules to the list as they go.

support troops


Please keep our troops and veterans in your thoughts and prayers this Fourth of July holiday.  If you are interested in donating time or money to a related worthy cause, click here to find an index of US military support Web sites.


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