Posted by: jmwilsonmga | October 14, 2013

We’re Moving!

We are excited to share that the J.M. Wilson Blog is on the move!  Beginning this week, you will find all of the helpful, thoughtful, and useful J.M. Wilson posts that you love at http://blog.jmwilson.com.

We will continue to serve up weekly articles that you can share with your clients or colleagues, grow your knowledge of the excess and surplus insurance industry, enhance your personal or professional development, or simply make you smile.

Do you receive our blog posts via email?  You will still see them delivered to your in-box.  Don’t see our posts in your in-box?  Subscribe at http://blog.jmwilson.com.

Come on over and let us know what you think of our new digs!

hubspot_blog_image

 

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | October 8, 2013

7 Startling Statistics Every Employer Should Be Aware Of

In my previous blog post, I provided statistics from the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) regarding the total charges brought against employers in the United States for the year 2012. The reasons for charges were largely discrimination based such as race, national origin, age, sex. However, suits relating to wrongful termination and sexual harassment are also very common.

If your client doesn’t think they are at risk for being named in a lawsuit, share some of these statistics with them to help them understand their need for Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL):

  1. The most common targets for claims today are small businesses –  50%  are employers with between 15 and 100 employees. Employers with more than 500 employees make up 25% and those with 100-500 make up 20% of the claims.
  2. 56% of all cases tried result in verdicts for the employee (plaintiff).
  3. The average case takes two years to go to trial and may end up on appeal even longer.
  4. The largest number of lawsuits are filed in Texas, California, Florida and Illinois.
  5. Employment related lawsuits now comprise 1 out of every 12 federal court cases.
  6. Juries awarded over $1 million in 12% of the cases (some sources state the number being closer to 20%).
  7. Lastly, if those stats don’t help make the case for the need of Employment Practices coverage, this might;  Approximately 75% of employment related claims are found to be groundless, but only after the employer spends significant defense dollars to prove it.

Employment Practices

To reiterate from my earlier contribution to this topic, employee disputes are more commonplace today and EPL policies have come down in pricing. It is a perfect opportunity for independent insurance agents to offer and sell this coverage to their clients.

  • Employers – do you have this coverage? If you don’t know, ask your insurance agent!
  • Independent Insurance Agents – are you offering this coverage to your commercial clients with employees?

Statistics provided by Angelyn Heavener, CIC, CPIA Insurance Training Plus through the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.

Cathy-Baldwin-Sept-2013About the Author : Cathy Baldwin, Marketing Manager

Cathy has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team since 1990 and currently serves as the Marketing Manager.  She oversees the marketing team, which provides marketing support for our underwriting teams in commercial transportation, property/casualty, professional liability, personal lines, and surety.  Cathy loves the variety in her position as marketing manager.  She has the opportunity to work with everyone at J.M. Wilson, our agents, and the companies we represent.  In her free time, Cathy loves to work out at CrossFit – AZO.  She also enjoys reading and listening to music – her favorites range from Neil Diamond to Led Zeppelin.

Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | October 1, 2013

5 Ways To Be a Better You

5 ways to be a better youWe all have traits that we could work on to improve ourselves.  There is always something that we could do to be a better coworker, manager, spouse, parent or friend.  As I thought about how I could improve certain traits in myself, I came up with the following thoughts…

  1. Don’t procrastinate – This is something I find myself doing that really bothers me and I want to make number 1 on my list of things to “fix”. I will use the insights of one of my coworkers and her previous blog, “Beating The Procrastination Temptation”, to help me on my journey.
  2. Be pro-active – This goes with the procrastination.  Instead of procrastinating on something, hit it head on.  Look for those things that I know are coming my way and go get ‘em. By making this a focus I can handle problems or issues before they become a problem for the next person in line.  We want to prevent any issues for customers whenever possible.
  3. Do what I say I will do – I’m only as good as my word.  This is especially important when someone is relying on me before they can do their piece of a project.  Just ask our social media specialist. I procrastinated, had writers block, everything you can think of and I went past my deadline but I didn’t want to give up. She was counting on me and I didn’t want to let her down.  Next time I will do number 1 and 2 on my list!!
  4. Own my mistakes – This is something that I’m pretty good at. If I did it, I will admit it. I just don’t want to make the mistakes in the first place. But we all make them.  The challenge isn’t just to admit it though. I then need to take the next steps to fix them and learn from them so I don’t make the same one again.
  5. Be 1% better today than I was yesterday – This is going to date me back to the old buzz acronym, TQM,  but this was and is one of my favorite things to attempt to live by.  TQM (Total Quality Management) has evolved over the years here at JM Wilson but continuous improvement is still the backbone of the message that it stands for. We don’t have to make leaps and bounds and become a total changed person overnight. But if I can just be that 1% better today at something than I was yesterday just think how much I can grow.

What could you improve?  Do you see yourself in any of the items listed above?  What are steps that you have taken to improve yourself?  We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and ideas.  I know I will take any advice I can to improve.

Beth-Hughes---Aug-2013About the Author : Beth Hughes, Corporate Services Manager

Beth Hughes joined J.M. Wilson in 1989.  She manages the teams responsible for multiple office duties such as receptionist, claims, mailroom, scanning, and billing.  Additionally, she manages the Underwriting Technician teams who issue and process J.M. Wilson’s policies and endorsements.  She loves the multiple tasks that her teams are responsible for and crunching the numbers every month to insure J.M. Wilson makes goal.  Outside of the office, Beth enjoys playing softball, crocheting, and attending pageants with her daughter, Tori.
Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | September 24, 2013

8 Warning Signs of Underground Storage Tank Equipment Failure

As JM Wilson continues to see more and more opportunities to quote environmental risks, specifically, Underground and Above Ground Storage Tank Pollution Liability, we want to assist you in helping your customers, the insured.

Photo Credit : TopTanx

Photo Credit : TopTanx

As mentioned in my previous blog post, the payout of a claim due to a release from an Underground Storage Tank (UST) can be quite substantial and overwhelming for the insured, not to mention the possible damaging effects it has on the environment.  The below article, from Great American Insurance Group, goes into detail on steps to take and warning signs that your client and/or prospective client can look for when they are using Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel.

This information could help your insured reduce or prevent a loss from occurring, saving them from a potentially painful experience.

“After one full year of ALL tank owners/operators using ultra low sulfur diesel we have had an overall claims increase in diesel related incidents.   Owners tell us they have to replace the filters and clean their tanks more often due to the scaling rust from components and tank walls falling to the tank bottom.  Pump motors and functional element check valves are failing more rapidly in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) tanks than other fuel products, which are what we are called upon to repair.  No one knows what causes it, but it appears to accelerate the deterioration of the tanks and components more rapidly.

Proactive tank management combined with inventory control and reconciliation will help owners/operators to find problems before they become severe and cause a significant release of product into the environment.

Warning signs include:

  1. Rust flakes or what appears to be coffee grounds in the fuel filters near the dispenser
  2. Filters clogging and needing more frequent replacement
  3. Accelerated rusting on seals, gaskets and O-ring equipment in the sump areas
  4. Flex connectors rusting/failing
  5. Equipment becoming unseated due to advanced rusting of the threads
  6. Check value not sealing
  7. Unexplained pump slow-downs experienced by individuals refueling their vehicles
  8. Meter failures

IF you answer “NO” to any of these questions or notice your system is not what it used to be, please contact your testing or pump company to come to your site immediately to do a professional inspection and make repairs before they cause a problem.  Tank removal and replacement may be a consideration if the system is older and in jeopardy of a catastrophic failure.

While there are no known solutions to the increased tank and equipment failures noted at this time, the industry is continuing to research the causes of failures.  Until then tank owners/operators will need to remain vigilant with their tank management programs to help protect the future of their business.

For more information and guidance visit the EPA website:

http://epa.gov/compliance/civil/caa/ultralow-sulfurdieselfuel.html

or:

www.clean-diesel.org “

Source : TopTanx / Great American Insurance Group

James-ReinckeAbout the Author : James Reincke, Wisconsin Branch Manager

James became a member of the J.M. Wilson Team in 2006 and currently serves as the Wisconsin Branch Manager. He oversees the staff and day-to-day operations of the Wisconsin Branch Office while building strong relationships with agents.  James loves meeting the many different people who his position allows him to work with.  In his free time, James loves bowhunting, fishing, watching football, and most importantly, being the best father he possibly can be to his two children, Gavynn and Madyx.

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | September 17, 2013

New Rules for Your Insurance Agency’s Facebook Page

Does your agency have a Facebook page?  Do you want to grow your number of Fans, but are worried about Facebook’s rules and regulations around promotions and contests?

I am excited to share with you the big change that Facebook has made in how they allow company pages to run promotions and contests!

In the past, Facebook has imposed tight regulations on promotions and contests, specifically not allowing them to be run on a page unless it was done through an application.  One of the most common violations of their rules was to ask people to like or share a picture or post to enter them into a promotion or contest.  If discovered by Facebook, this agency’s page could be deleted!  HUGE problem for any company.

As of August 27th, Facebook has updated their Page rules to allow for Pages to run contests and promotions directly on their timeline.  (Please note, you are not allowed to run these on your personal pages.)  They have made this change “in order to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook.”

Here is what you need to know about changes in administering promotions and contests on your Agency’s Facebook Page;

  1. Promotions can now be administered both on your Page’s Timeline and through an app.  It is now ‘legal’ to use both your timeline or an application to run your promotion.
  2. You can ask someone to like or comment on a post to enter your contest. It is now ‘legal’ to ask people to like/comment on a post to be entered into your promotion.  You can even use a “like” plug-in on your website to enter people into your Facebook contest.
  3. You can now ask someone to message your Page to enter.
  4. You can now ask someone to like a post in order to “vote”. Someone’s like can now be counted as a vote on a post (or picture).
  5. You can now ask someone to post on your Page’s Timeline to enter.  Someone’s posted comment or picture on your Page’s Timeline is now allowed to be counted as an entry.
  6. You can announce the winner on your page.  You can now announce the winner of your contest directly on your page.
  7. You can require people come back to your Page in order to see who won the contest. You are now able to ask people to come back to your Page to learn who has won the contest, rather than communicating with them directly.  This is another opportunity for them to see your content – and for Facebook to add your registrant’s interest in your page to their algorithm.  The more often they visit your Page, the more likely they are to see your posts in their News Feed.
  8. Wait!  It is ‘illegal’ (yes, Facebook law is law) to tag people in your post, if it is not directly about them.  For example,  fictional Sue’s Ice Cream Shack posts, “We love our new Pumpkin Paradise Ice Cream! – with Kristin O’Leary, Cathy Baldwin, Julie Stevens, and 34 others” (Thanks JM Wilson Friends for allowing me to use your names…)  Cathy, Julie, and I do not have anything to do with this specific post, so it is illegal for Sue’s Ice Cream Shack to tag us.
  9. Also!  It is ‘illegal’ to ask people to tag themselves in a post or picture, in exchange for the chance to win.  You can ask them to like it, or even comment, but you can’t ask them to tag themselves.
  10. And! You cannot count someone liking your page as an entry.  Facebook’s reasoning behind this regulation is that the contest is then not taking place on the timeline.  Note : If you use an application, you can still like-gate!  Like-gating  is requiring someone to like your page before they can enter your contest.  Their ‘like’ enables to them to enter your contest.  It is important to differentiate that their like is not their entry.
  11. Finally! You cannot ask someone to share a post in exchange for entry. We are allowed to ask someone to like or to comment, but not to share.

Want more information?  Here is a video from Facebook outlining their policy changes.  You can also access the complete Facebook Promotion Guidelines here.

What was your latest Facebook promotion?  What do you have planned?  We would love to hear your latest thoughts and ideas!

Kristin OLeary - Jan 2013About The Author : Kristin O’Leary, Project Coordinator

Kristin has been a proud member of the J.M. Wilson Marketing Team since 2005 and currently serves as the Project Coordinator.  She graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.  Outside of the office, she enjoys running, exploring the great outdoors, kayaking, hiking, and spending time with her husband and their Miniature Schnauzers, Vinny and Maggie.

Connect with Kristin on LinkedIn  Circle Kristin on Google+

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | September 10, 2013

Your Clients Need Employment Practices Liability Insurance

I would never discriminate!

These words are a common objection to Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL). Many employers will tell you that their staff would never sue them because they would never have reason to! Famous last words….

Most employers also find it painful to spend money for any insurance product. In the case of an EPL policy, the cost of the product is often less than the cost of defending a simple EPL claim.

Employee disputes are more commonplace today and EPL policies have come down in pricing, so it is a perfect opportunity for independent insurance agents to offer and sell this coverage to their clients.

Here are some statistics taken from the EEOC for 2012

epli picTotal discrimination charges based on:

Race: 33,512

Sex: 30,356

National Origin: 10,883

Religion: 3,811

Age: 22,857

Disability: 26,379

Retaliation – Title VII: 31,208

It may be cliché, but we live in a litigious society folks!  Right or wrong, if someone feels that they have been discriminated against in the workplace, they have an easy option to seek counsel and bring a claim against an employer. Even if the employer is in the right, there will still be defense costs to pay and as I mentioned earlier, the cost of EPL coverage is often less than the cost of defending even a frivolous claim.

Independent Insurance agents, are you offering this coverage to your commercial clients with employees?

This is part one of a series on EPL coverage. Next month, I’ll highlight some of the most common targets of EPL claims and some startling statistics. My hope is to reinforce the need for Employment Practices Liability for all employers….even if they don’t (or believe they don’t) discriminate!

Cathy-Baldwin-Sept-2013About the Author : Cathy Baldwin, Marketing Manager

Cathy has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team since 1990 and currently serves as the Marketing Manager.  She oversees the marketing team, which provides marketing support for our underwriting teams in commercial transportation, property/casualty, professional liability, personal lines, and surety.  Cathy loves the variety in her position as marketing manager.  She has the opportunity to work with everyone at J.M. Wilson, our agents, and the companies we represent.  In her free time, Cathy loves to work out at CrossFit – AZO.  She also enjoys reading and listening to music – her favorites range from Neil Diamond to Led Zeppelin.

Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | September 3, 2013

INBOUND Insights : 11 Quotes To Inspire

Kristin O'Leary, INBOUND 13

Kristin O’Leary, INBOUND 13

I recently had the privilege of attending the INBOUND 2013 conference, presented by HubSpot.  HubSpot provides marketing software for businesses to coordinate their marketing efforts.  More than that, they focus on the idea that traditional marketing as we know it is dead.  They champion the philosophy of Inbound Marketing.  Inbound Marketing is promoting your company through blog posts, video, podcasts, social media, search engine optimization, white papers, and more.  Inbound marketing is creating content that your customers would find useful, educational, or inspiring.  Through the utilization of that content, you will draw customers to your company.  The conference was incredible, highlighted by keynote speakers, actionable training, and networking opportunities.

Here are a few of the many poignant thoughts and useful take-aways from INBOUND 13’s keynote speakers.

Seth Godin, INBOUND 13

Seth Godin, INBOUND 13

“We get so hung up on what we’re good at that we forget to ask what we should do next.” Seth Godin

Seth explains that as both an individual and a company, we should be constantly focused on what we can do next, how we can improve, and what we can do to build on our current successes.

“If you say failure is not an option, you are also saying success is not an option.” Seth Godin

If you aren’t willing to take a chance, then you may not fail, but you’ll never succeed.

“Building connections is the asset of the future.” Seth Godin

The relationships that we build with each other – human to human – are incredibly important.  Whether we are co-workers, family, friends, or even customers.

“We just need to learn to graze. We are running all the time. We are running even when there is no danger. This is the mode we are in.” Arianna Huffington

Arianna spoke about the pace and mindset of corporate America and how it is a hindrance to wellness.  We cannot do our best work, or be healthy, if we are always in flight mode.

“We need to redefine success”  Arianna Huffington

Arianna identified her opinion of the typical metrics of success; money and power.  In addition to these, she proposed that wellness, well-being, and giving back should be the third metric of success.

“A culture of burnout cannot be a culture of sustained creativity. “ Arianna Huffington

Further supporting her thoughts on ‘learning to graze’, we can’t contribute to our full potential if we are constantly running.

“The gap may be widening between what we know and what we think we know” Nate Silver

“If you don’t know where you are in the present, it’s very hard to take quality steps toward future.” Nate Silver

How can we move forward if we don’t know where we are?  How can we improve if we don’t know how we are doing?  Nate Silver addressed the importance of knowing where we are, and then, determining where we will go.

 “Show.  Don’t tell. And do it visually.” Scott Harrison

A huge idea for all marketers – and communicators.

Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, INBOUND 13

Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, INBOUND 13

“The fundamental premise of the inbound experience is that interrupting instead of interacting, coercing instead of connecting, and distracting instead of delighting simply doesn’t work any longer.” Dharmesh Shah

“The goal [of inbound] is not customer satisfaction. It’s customer delightion.” Dharmesh Shah

Satisfaction is not enough.  Satisfaction is bare minimum.  We should be delighting our customers each and every day.

One of my favorite philosophies presented at the conference was the concept of “being human”.  Even though we are a company, we are made up of individuals – we are all people, we are all human.  By being true to ourselves and building connections with others, we direct our focus on delighting our customer.

“Human”

How do you ‘delight’ your customer?  I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please add them to the comments below.

Kristin OLeary - Jan 2013About The Author : Kristin O’Leary, Project Coordinator

Kristin has been a proud member of the J.M. Wilson Marketing Team since 2005 and currently serves as the Project Coordinator.  She graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.  Outside of the office, she enjoys running, exploring the great outdoors, kayaking, hiking, and spending time with her husband and their Miniature Schnauzers, Vinny and Maggie.

Connect with Kristin on LinkedIn  Circle Kristin on Google+

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | August 27, 2013

Do You Love What You Do?

What is it with people who bounce around the office saying things like “I Love my job!” “Let’s make it a great week!” or “Happy (insert day of the week here)!”?

Don’t they realize it’s Monday morning and our beloved weekend just flew by?

Are they not aware that there are four more days until Friday?

Do they not have enough on their desks to keep them stressed out?

The answer to all of these questions is YES!  I do realize! I am aware! I am plenty busy!

ilovemyjobAs one of “those people”, the real question you can ask me is:  How can you be so joyful and enthusiastic about your work?

No, I don’t drink that much coffee…It’s because I LOVE what I do. I am passionate about my work and my role at this company. I am grateful to be gainfully employed with a company that cares about its people!

How do you know if you are passionate about your work?

There is no Sunday night dread. It’s okay to love the weekends, but Monday is a new beginning!

You are interested in the big picture – not just your day to day tasks or job.

While you may have stress, you manage it or channel it productively.

Days fly by.

You recognize opportunities for personal growth.

Your enthusiasm is clear and infectious to your customers, co-workers and supervisors.

Doesn’t sound like you?  Ask yourself why.

Perhaps you need to view what you do through new lenses. Do you understand your role and how it affects the bottom line of your company? Appreciate your contributions!

You may have to create your own passion with a change of attitude or willingness to step outside of your comfort zone.

What excites and motivates you? Incorporate that into your work!

Are you grateful? Sometimes a little gratitude is all it takes to open the door to joy.

If you really don’t enjoy the job you have or the work you do, then it might be time to move on. Just remember that it is always up to YOU to find joy, passion and satisfaction in whatever you do in work and in life.

Life is far too short and time too valuable to not Love what you do.

Cathy-Baldwin---Jan-2013About the Author : Cathy Baldwin, Marketing Manager

Cathy has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team since 1990 and currently serves as the Marketing Manager.  She oversees the marketing team, which provides marketing support for our underwriting teams in commercial transportation, property/casualty, professional liability, personal lines, and surety.  Cathy loves the variety in her position as marketing manager.  She has the opportunity to work with everyone at J.M. Wilson, our agents, and the companies we represent.  In her free time, Cathy loves to work out at CrossFit – AZO.  She also enjoys reading and listening to music – her favorites range from Neil Diamond to Led Zeppelin.

Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | August 20, 2013

Conflict – Necessary Evil or Opportunity?

When you hear the word conflict, what is your immediate response – negative or positive?  Most people have a negative association with that word.  However, conflict is not always negative.  Understanding why conflict happens is part of the process to turn negative conflict into positive results.

There are many reasons why conflict exists in all relationships.  Two people who are communicating are not going to share the same personalities, values, experiences, cultures, and beliefs.  When you think about it that way, it’s a wonder that every conversation that we have does not result in conflict!

Despite everyone’s individuality, we all have a common need to feel understood and supported. When these needs are not met, conflict can be a result.  It’s really easy to judge someone else by your own needs, but it’s a lot harder to understand where that other person is coming from.  It really goes back to the old expression of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to compassionately understand their needs.

What’s worse is that we often respond to conflicts based on our own perceptions of the situation, and these perceptions are not always objective.  Emotions can get involved quickly.

All of this sounds pretty negative, right?  It doesn’t have to be, but the key to turning negative conflict around is communication. In every conflict situation, we have a choice.  We can be constructive and focused on the task, typically a common goal, which is dealing with  cognitive awareness.  We can also be destructive, often shown in a fight or give in (win/lose) situation where the focus becomes personal or emotional.

Here are a few ways to communicate better to make conflict work in a positive way.

LISTEN – It’s hard to listen with your mouth open. You can’t put yourself in another’s shoes without listening to their needs.

WINNING – Winning a conflict is actually a losing proposition.  If one person “wins”, the other automatically “loses.”  It’s not about being right.

GROWTH – Conflict can be a great opportunity for growth.  By understanding others, you can grow as a person and expand your world view and even your view of a seemingly small task.

IDEAS – Conflict can also be a way to come up with new ideas that would not happen without each individual’s contribution.  It can encourage new thinking, building relationships, raise questions, open minds, and beat stagnation.

If everyone was exactly like you, not only would it be a pretty boring life, but one person is not able to grow without the experiences with others.

Conflict is normal.  Learning how to deal with conflict in a positive way is essential for success and growth in all of our relationships.  Avoiding conflict can cause greater conflict that will become harder and harder to resolve.

“The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” – Theodore Rubin

Jeanne-Callan---July-2013About the Author : Jeanne Callan, Illinois Branch Manager

Jeanne has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team since 2008 and currently serves as the Illinois Branch Manager.  She works closely with her team of underwriters to give our retail agents the resources that they need to write business.  From underwriting to training to motivating to marketing to answering the phones, Jeanne does whatever it takes for her team to succeed!  Jeanne loves that there is never a dull moment in her position. She loves the variety.  She also admits to being a bit of a sap – she loves insurance!  In her free time, Jeanne enjoys experiencing live music.  She has seen over 160 artists in the past ten years – some of them more than once!

Connect with Jeanne on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

Posted by: jmwilsonmga | August 13, 2013

Building Your Service Chain

Last night on the long drive home from work, I was reflecting upon a conversation I had last week with a wise man concerning Customer Service.  Pastor Tim had some interesting thoughts about the meaning of the term as it is known, and why he would like to see it called a “Service Chain” instead.

His philosophy is no matter what you do in life, you are in some way in the “customer service” field.  From the farmer whose immediate “customer” may have four legs, to the President, every one you come in contact with is a link in the Service Chain.  Think about this for a minute – How many people did it take to provide the butter for your breakfast toast?  Who down the line is going to be affected by what you say or do today?  We are all in control of our own Butterfly Effect.

As soon as you open an email, or answer a phone, or greet each other in the hallway, you are starting a chain of events that will affect numerous people in one day’s time.  Pass along a happy upbeat link to the next person.  You will be amazed at how large the return is to you!

We are all someone’s customer, whether we are at the front of the line, the middle or the line, or the tail end of the line.  Someone, somewhere had to start a chain of events that leads to you in this moment.  Make it a point to start your chain on a positive happy note!

Cindy-Behrman---July-2013About the Author : Cindy Behrman, Property & Casualty Underwriter

Cindy Behrman joined J.M. Wilson in 2003 and currently serves as a Property & Casualty Underwriter for Michigan and our Southern Regions States. Cindy has thirty years of insurance experience and has been a part of the JM Wilson team for ten years.  Her job responsibilities include servicing and writing different lines of property and casualty business, as well as garage.  In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with family.

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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