Ten TNTs to Boost Business

Ten TNTs to Boost Business

My recent post about TNTs – Tiny Noticeable Things, and how they can build customer loyalty, prompted a flurry of responses from people wanting to learn more about using small incremental behaviour changes to transform businesses. Either that or they just want to avoid buying a copy of my book!

Subscribers to this blog represent a diverse range of people and companies, so I want to start by reassuring you that the core principles behind TNTs hold true across all businesses, regardless of sector, size, and level of success. When you strip away variation in business types, the common ground is that all business leaders manage relationships – with customers, colleagues, suppliers, and other important stakeholders. And when it comes to relationships, I always work on the basis that a good place to start is by making people feel good about themselves – using TNTs.

TNTs are all the little things that we don’t need to do, but when we do do them, they have a seismic impact on those around us.

Here’s my Top 10:

TNT 1. Make people feel taller. Even if you have demanding technical or financial work responsibilities, don’t forget to focus on relationships, especially your own team. After all, “Great people make people feel great”. The remaining TNTs look at how to do this.

TNT 2. Listen with your eyes. For all their downsides, ‘Zoom’ calls have an advantage over the telephone. Just as in face-to-face meetings, show people they have your full attention with your eyes.

TNT 3. Don’t praise people in passing as it dilutes the impact. Go to their office, phone them, or leave a hand-written ‘thank you’ note.

TNT 4. Be on time – every time. If you turn up late, customers or colleagues may simply assume you are busy. But what if they think you are distracted, overwhelmed or they subconsciously perceive a lack of commitment. Why take the risk? Besides, it’s rude.

TNT 5. Call back when promised. You may lack a full answer but touching base to appraise people of progress demonstrates integrity. Don’t expect everyone to be happy – that’s not why you do it.

TNT 6. Small surprises matter. When we are acknowledged or praised, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter which makes us feel good. TNTs trigger a surge of dopamine when any experience, no matter how small – exceeds someone’s expectation.

TNT 7. Encourage contagion. Here’s another neurochemical fact.  Not only do TNT recipients experience a surge in feel-good dopamine, but the person giving a TNT does too. Our brains are hard wired to respond to both giving and receiving positive messages. Use this fact to help embed TNTs in your team’s culture.

TNT 8. Learn from successes. No, this isn’t a typo. If an initiative fails, managers will devote their best analytical resources to establishing why it didn’t work, to avoid repetition. Few managers analyse the basis of their successes – which has always struck me as odd.

TNT 9. Ask questions. Many senior managers believe their function is to know all the answers. This reduces diversity of input, places unreasonable expectations on you and disempowers others. Instead, develop the more valuable skill of knowing what questions to ask.

TNT 10. Look after you. Know the difference between working slightly outside your comfort zone, which stretches and develops us – and overextending yourself by neglecting your home life. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

I make no apology for the fact that nothing in the above list is complex or difficult to implement. TNTs are incredibly simple things. In fact, I’m sure there are similar things you are already doing in your business. Why not share them with me? I’d love to include them in future blogs.