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How To Effectively Communicate

Here are the 12 golden rules of effective communication from  Paul Falcone , as highlighted in his book,  2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals . Always remember to: Recognize achievements and accomplishments often. Celebrate success. Deliver bad news quickly, constructively, and in a spirit of professional development. Praise in public, censure in private. Assume responsibility for problems when things go wrong, and provide immediate praise and recognition to others when things go right. Create a work environment based on inclusiveness, welcoming others' suggestions and points of view. Listen actively, making sure that your people feel heard and understood and have a voice in terms of offering positive suggestions in the office or on the shop floor. Share information openly (to the extent possible) so that staff members understand the  Why  behind your reasoning and can ask appropriate questions as they continue along in their own path of career development and lea
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The Six Essential Questions To Ask Your Direct Reports

To help you bring out the best in your team, you need to get close and understand their skills, abilities, and motivations. So, the authors of the book,  Your First Leadership Job , recommend you hold  getting-to-know-you conversations  with each of your direct reports. Ask these  open-ended questions . Let each team member know the purpose of the meeting in advance. And, don't cheat by adding in work-specific questions. What do you enjoy doing most as part of your work? Why? What do you  miss most about the jobs you've had in the past? Why? What things about your current job do you enjoy the least? Why? How do you cope with or relieve stress? To help you do your job, what could I change about: Your work environment? The content of your work? How you get your work done? What form of recognition do you prefer or not prefer?

How To Coach With Compassion

“Helping others is a good thing, but even the most well-intentioned attempts can be undermined by a simple truth: We almost always focus on “fixing” people – correcting problems or filling the gaps between where they are and where we think they should be. Unfortunately, this doesn’t inspire sustained learning or positive change. Even when people do respond, they often do so out of obligation rather than motivation,” explain the authors of the book,  Helping People Change: Coaching With Compassion For Lifelong Learning And Growth . The authors,  Richard Boyatzis ,  Melvin Smith  and  Ellen Van Oosten , teach that the most effective way to help people learn and change is to connect to a positive vision of themselves, or to an inspiring dream they’ve long held. Having a personal vision is one of the most powerful ways to engage neurologically and emotionally. Plus, great coaches know that people draw energy from their visions and dreams, and that same energy sustains their efforts to chan

8 Decision-Making Tactics

These  eight decision-making tactics  from  David Lahey ’s book,  Predicting Success , are helpful to me and hopefully useful to you as well: Deep breathing , to clear your mind. Researching , to feel confident that you have all the information in front of you. Listing your options , in either verbal or written form, to keep the whole picture front of mind. Following through on the possible outcomes , complete with likely predictions and acknowledgement of whether they’re negative or positive (or design yourself a decision tree, that lays out every possible consequence visually). Testing your intuition , by imagining a committed decision and then gauging the corresponding feeling it inspires in your gut. Taking the time you need , so long as it doesn’t become an overly indulgent distraction. Evaluating your decision , an after-the-fact exercise that engages a conscious inventory of the lessons learned. Coming to terms with your pick , always cognizant of the reality that no decision is

My Best Boss Did This

 In their book,  Rapid Realignment , authors George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky , reveal the most common responses from  thousands of managers and workers  when they were asked to think of the best boss they ever had, and then answer the question: " What did that person do to qualify as your best boss ?" And,  those most common responses were : My best boss listened! My best boss backed me up. My best boss trusted me and respected me. My best boss gave me feedback. My best boss left me alone. What else would you add to this list?

10 Ways To Be A Better Leader

Here are 10 behaviors, techniques and tips you can use to be an effective leader : Respond to questions quickly and fully. Take an interest in your employees and their personal milestone events. Give feedback in a timely manner and make it individualized and specific. Be willing to change your decisions. End every meeting with a follow-up To Do list. Support mentoring -- both informal and formal. Don't delay tough decisions. Do annual written performance appraisals. Explain how a change will affect employee's feelings before, during and after the change is implemented. Have face-to-face interaction as often as possible.

How To Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives

Equity ,  the new book by  Minal Bopaiah , is a timely guide to help leaders create more inclusive organizations using human-centered design and behavior change principles. The book is based on research and provides engaging, real-world examples for taking impactful next steps. Most important, Bopaiah explains that equity is different from equality .   She shares, “ equality is when everyone has the same thing. Equity is when everyone has what they need to thrive and participate fully. Equity does not fault people for being different; it makes room for difference and then leverages it.”   In short:   Equality = The state of being equal, especially in status, rights and opportunities. Equity = A state of fairness and equal access to opportunity that recognizes that people have different needs.   Equity allows leaders to create organizations where employees can contribute their unique strengths and collaborate better with peers. Equity in the workplace explains Bopaiah, “is

How To ROAR Into Your Second Half Of Your Life

  The global pandemic has awakened people of all ages to just how fragile and finite life can be. This reality likely disproportionately impacted midlife individuals. Because, midlife is a pivotal time to assess career goals, relationships, and lifestyles, to challenge ideals set earlier in life.  “So many people I’ve talked to have no idea where they are going or want to go once they hit their mid-forties,” shares Michael Clinton , author of the new book, ROAR into the Second Half of Your Life - Before It’s Too Late .  These past 1-1/2 years, often called “The Great Pause,” has made us ask: What is important in my life? Am I on a path that is satisfying? Do I have a lot of unlived moments that cause me regrets? Do I have a clear view of my future and what I truly want?  If you’ve asked yourself these questions, it’s time to ROAR proclaims Michael. ROAR is his new concept that is simple, understandable and can be followed by anyone willing to follow the ROAR principles: 

How To Ask Effective Questions

"Questions help us break down barriers, discover secrets, solve puzzles, and imagine new ways of doing things, But few of us know  how  to question in a methodical way," explains  Frank Sesno , Emmy-award-winning journalist, and author of the book,  Ask More . Sesno's book teaches readers how the power of questions: Opens doors Uncovers Solutions Sparks Change More specifically, he reveals: The power and payoff of targeted  diagnostic  questions. How  strategic  questions can ease the hardest decisions and support triumphant outcomes. How and when to use  empathy  questions. How asking  creativity  questions help to get people to imagine, set their sights high and soar above failure. And, "when a leader fails to know where he/she is going, refuses to listen to what he/she doesn't want to hear, or relies on faulty information, bad things happen," adds Sesno. Frank Sesno Sesno also shares that some questions work best when they don't end in a question mark

How To Delight Your Customers

If you want to delight your customers, then the book by  Steve Curtin ,  Delight Your Customers -- 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary , is a must-read for you and your employees. The book explains the  seven ways  for you and your employees to demonstrate  exceptional customer service : Express genuine interest Offer sincere and specific compliments Share unique knowledge Convey authentic enthusiasm Use appropriate humor Provide pleasant surprises Deliver service heroics "Exceptional customer service typically costs no more to deliver than poor customer service," explains Curtin. For example: How much does it cost to express genuine interest in customers or to anticipate their needs? Does it cost more to display a sense of urgency or to pay attention to detail? Do you pay your employees more to smile, to make eye contact, or to add energy to their voices? Curtin reminds readers that: Customers don't establish relationships with bus

How To Become Your Best

  My favorite takeaways from the book,  Becoming The Best , by Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr., are:  Your best self is not about perfection (an impossible and, therefore, futile goal). It is about becoming consistently disciplined and focused, making sure you challenge yourself to truly be your best self—instead of becoming complacent, convinced that you have arrived. No matter how good you are, you can always be better. Being your best self is a lifelong commitment.  True self-confidence and genuine humility are the distinguishing characteristics that will showcase your values and highlight your authenticity.  A best team is formed when people are self-reflective, understand themselves, and come together with a sense of common purpose. It takes each person operating as her or his best self for the group to function extremely well together. As their best selves, team members are self-reflective, balanced, have self-confidence, and are genuinely humble.  Thank you to the book publisher

When Leaders Should Coach And When To Counsel

A good manager is both a  coach  and a  counselor .  Generally, coaching should precede counseling. As a coach ,   a manager: identifies an employee's need for instruction and direction and this need is usually directly related to his or her performance or career goals. Coaching is collaborative. It relies on mutual, progressive goal-setting, personal feedback, and an ongoing, supportive relationship. You coach to help retain employees and to show you care about your employees as individuals. It's best to coach when a new procedure is introduced, a job is changed, and/or a skill gap is identified. As a counselor , a manager first identifies a problem that interferes with an employee's work performance and then helps the employee to define specifically what behavior he or she needs to change in order to improve his or her performance or resolve a problem. So, the difference between coach and counselor is subtle, but important. And, as Sharon Armstrong further shares in her b

Lasting Leadership Lessons From A Year That Changed Everything

Leave it to leadership and communications expert, David Grossman , to decide to write a book called, Heart First, Lasting Leadership Lessons From A Year That Changed Everything . David is so in tune with providing timely, critical, actionable advice, how-to’s and tips for leaders.   Heart First is engaging, inspirational and packed with powerful stories of lessons learned by a wealth of leaders with diverse backgrounds. It’s a book you’ll want to read and then refer to time after time. And, if you read only one leadership book this year, make it this one.   Reflecting on the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, David says, “I saw many leaders using this challenging time as an opportunity to stand up and lead in moving ways. I was continually inspired by the concrete action leaders took to lead and communicate with heart – and guts. That is what this book is all about – applying those lessons learned to provide clear direction on how to be the very best leader and communicator y

The Secrets Of High-Performing Teams

According to  Ron Ricci  and  Carl Wiese , authors of the book,  The Collaboration Imperative , high-performing teams have the following characteristics: People have solid and deep trust in each other and in the team's purpose--they feel free to express feelings and ideas. Everybody is working toward the same goals. Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks. Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected. Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. The team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute--even the introverts. Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed.  Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward problem solving and removing obstacles. The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement--in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, aft

The Seven Toughest Questions Leaders Ask Their Teams

  High-functioning and effective teams can disagree and still produce excellent products and results. Team members can also disagree and still care about each other. And, they can challenge each other to think differently. Best-selling leadership book authors  Scott J. Allen  and  Mitchell Kusy  recommend that leaders ask seven tough questions of their teams to help  maximize their results . Here are those questions to  ask each team member : What are some obstacles  affecting this team? What are opportunities  we could take advantage of that we have been largely ignoring? Where can you take greater ownership  on this team? Where have you let this team down ? Compared to other teams with which you are familiar,  how are we doing ? When was the last time you complimented the team  or one of its members? How open are you to giving direct feedback  to team members?

Time-Management Methods, Techniques And Strategies For Students

Brand new is the book,  Eat That Frog! For Students , adapted from  Brian Tracy ’s time-management bestseller,  Eat That Frog , which has sold more than 2.4 million copies around the world.   This new edition addresses the specific needs of  high school and college students , teaching them readily actionable time-management methods, techniques and strategies. Tracy, with  Anna Leinberger  also reveal 22 ways to stop procrastinating.   You’ll read the details behind the  three pillars required for a successful mindset : Self-Esteem Personal Responsibility Goals Plus, you’ll discover  how to effectively : structure your own time. apply the 80/20 rule. study something you are not interested in. motivate yourself into action. practice creative procrastination. take back your time from enslaving technological addictions. Today, Tracy shared his answers to the following questions: Question: What inspired you to write this new book for students? Tracy : Like many good ideas, this book was bor

8 Superpowers For Thriving In Constant Change

  Change is universal and inevitable. Change is disorienting. Change clouds your horizons and paralyzes your courage. Today’s ever-increasing pace of change is relentless. “Humans really struggle with change, especially, change we did not choose,” shares April Rinne , author of the new book, FLUX, 8 Superpowers For Thriving In Constant Change .   “To thrive in this world in flux, we need to radically reshape our relationship to uncertainty and flip the script to sustain a healthy and productive outlook,” explains April. Fortunately, her new book shows you how to do exactly that, and how to help others do so too.   Part personal guidebook, part strategic roadmap, Flux provides a refreshingly new take on how to navigate change by using the Theory of Flux and developing eight Flux Superpowers .   The Theory of Flux : Step 1 : Open a Flux Mindset Step 2 : Use your Flux Mindset to unlock the eight Flux Superpowers Step 3 : Apply your Flux Superpowers to write your New Sc