Showing posts from April, 2018

How To Clarify Inconsistencies With An Employee

If you’re having a difficult time clarifying inconsistencies you are hearing from an employee about a project’s/task’s progress, try asking these questions (or making these statements) the next time you meet with the employee:
•  Here’s what I see. Here’s what I hear you saying. •  Here’s what we know so far. •  So let’s see if I’m on track with you… •  Let’s see where we are… •  How about we step back from a moment and look at a few different ideas… •  Did I hear you correctly when you said…? •  Am I missing something here?
Always be sure you’re on the same page and have the same understanding of the progress being made with your employee’s projects.
Thanks to Jane Murphy for these tips from her book, What Could Happen If You Do Nothing.

The Seven Ways To Be A Collaborative Leader

Edward M. Marshall's book, Transforming The Way We Work -- The Power Of The Collaborative Workplace, remains relevant today, more than a decade after Marshall wrote it.
Particularly useful is the book's section that teaches readers how to be a collaborative leader.
Marshall says that there are seven different, important roles and responsibilities of collaborative leaders when leading teams, and those leaders should select the appropriate style to meet the team's needs.
The seven roles are: The leader as sponsor -- You provide strategic direction, boundaries and coaching for the team. You also monitor progress and ensure integrity in the team's operating processes.The leader as facilitator -- You ensure that meetings, team dynamics, and interpersonal relationships function effectively. You also ensure internal coordination of activities among team members.The leader as coach -- You provide support and guidance and you serve as a sounding board.The leader as change agent/cat…

How To Be A Customer-Facing Employee

According to author Micah Solomon, to ensure you have customer-facing employees, help them to: Display simple human kindness Sense what another person is feeling Have an inclination toward teamwork Be detail oriented, including having the ability and willingness to follow through to completion Bounce back and do not internalize challenges

The Three Pillars Of Executive Presence

After two years of research, forty focus groups and a national survey, author Sylvia Ann Hewlett contends the three pillars of Executive Presence are: How you act (gravitas)How you speak (communication)How you look (appearance)All three work together to help you telegraph (signal) to others that you have what it takes and that you're star material.  
"One thing to note at the start is that these pillars are not equally important--not by a long shot," explains Hewlett.  "Gravitas is the core characteristic."
And according to the senior leaders that Hewlett researched the top aspects of  gravitas are: Confidence and "grace under fire"Decisiveness and "showing teeth"Integrity and "speaking truth to power"Emotional intelligenceReputation and standing/"pedigree"Vision/charismaIn her book, Executive Presence, she teaches how to act, communicate and look your best while avoiding the most common blunders in each of these three catego…

Six Tips For How To Get Feedback In The Workplace

Getting feedback is an important way to improve performance at work. But sometimes, it can be hard to seek out, and even harder to hear. 
“Feedback is all around you. Your job is to find it, both through asking directly and observing it,” says David L. Van Rooy, author of the book, Trajectory: 7 Career Strategies to Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
As today's guest post, Van Rooy offers these six tips for how to get the feedback you need to improve performance at work.
Guest Post By David L. Van Rooy
1.      Don’t forget to ask:  One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming things are going perfectly (until they make a catastrophic mistake). By not asking, you’re missing out on opportunities for deep feedback: the difficult, critical feedback that gives you constructive ways to improve.
2.      Make sure you listen:  Remember, getting feedback is about improving your performance, not turning it into a “you versus them” mentality. Your reaction is critical. Do…

The Power Of Asking, Why Not?

Early on in Eli Broad's book, The Art of Being Unresaonable, he reminds us of the power of a child's instinctive asking, "Why not?" Unfortunately, most adults lose that habit and Broad goes on to explain that it was his continuing to ask "Why not?" throughout his career that brought him success.

"The questions you're willing to ask when others think they have all the answers are doors todiscovery," says Broad.
Other words of wisdom from the book, and my favorite takeaways, include: Most successful businesses have to begin by bucking conventional wisdom.  Invention and innovation don't happen without it.Do your homework no matter how much time it takes.Big ideas don't happen in a moment.You can't do it all yourself, so ask questions and delegate.The trick to delegating is to make sure your employees share your priorities.Find the best people to whom you can delegate, and know their strengths and weaknesses. Younger employees simply hav…

Books To Read This Month

Pictured above are two books to add to your list for reading this month.

Let The Story Do The Work explains that at the heart of leadership lies persuasion. And at the heart of persuasion likes storytelling. In her book, author Esther K. Choy teaches you how to:
Dispel any fears that you can't tell great stories.Connect with an audience by determining their point of view and speaking to their concerns.Tell stories with numbers.Turn complex material into engaging narratives.Enhance stories with simple visual elements.Tell your personal story in a way that builds credibility and forges relationships.Sense & Respond teaches you how to use that feedback loop to: Create two-way conversations.Focus on the outcomes.Embrace continuous processes.Create collaboration.Create a learning culture. It's a management playbook that enables organizations to engage in two-way communications with the market and to drive value from that conversation -- using technology and software that continuo…

Eight Times For Storytelling

"Stories strengthen communications and presence for leaders," explains Kristi Hedges, author of the book, The Power of Presence.

She recommends you consider adding stories to your communications when you:
Want to motivate others and paint a picture of what's possible.Need to show others -- whether a large audience or one person -- that you have shared commonalities.Are trying to deliver difficult news and want to show empathy.Are facing adversity in the present that relates to a situation you've experienced before.Are interviewing for a job and want to demonstrate your ability to adapt, learn, and overcome challenges.Are in a new position and would like to show others your approach and values.Want to show clients or colleagues that you've been in their shoes.Want to encourage another person to tackle something difficult.

Don't Forget Your Middle-Layer Employees. Here's Why.

As a leader, your focus may gravitate toward your lower level employees and your higher level employees on your team.
But, don't forget your middle-layer employees who appreciate your attention and coaching, and your training and opportunities for new challenges.
Often these employees are more eager to learn and to tackle new projects because they have the drive to move up and to learn new skills. And they recognize they have a shorter path to achieve advancement.
So, develop your middle layer employees. It's a win-win situation.

How To Get More Ideas From Your Employees

Your employees have lots of ideas. So, be sure you provide the forums and mechanisms for your employees to share their ideas with you.
Hold at least a few brainstorming sessions each year, as well. And, when you are brainstorming with your employees, try these five tips: Encourage ALL ideas.Don't evaluate or criticize ideas when they are first suggested.Ask for wild ideas. Often, the craziest ideas end up being the most useful.Shoot for quantity not quality during brainstorming.Encourage everyone to offer new combinations and improvements of old ideas.

How To Give Praise

Entrepreneur magazine's February 2012 issue offered these great tips on how to give praise: Praise followed by criticism is not praise.Praise followed by praise is probably a little too much praise.Ending an expression of praise with "...and stuff" nullifies the praise.And, Make it timely.  The closer the recognition is to the behavior, the more likely the behavior will be repeated.Be sincere.  Be impromptu. Remember, a handwritten note is worth more than a gift card.Having trouble writing your handwritten note of praise?  Try this template to get you started: _______, I couldn't be more impressed with how you______.  Not only did you____, but you_______.  Beautiful.  Thanks, ________

Today's Leadership Quotes

Today's three leadership quotes come from Kristi Hedges, author of the book, The Power Of Presence.
A vision will go nowhere unless the leader feels it in her bones.You don't lose your credibility from failure but from how you handle it.Executive presence means much more than making a fantastic first impression. It's about impressions made over time.

CEO Next Door Book Reveals Four Key Behaviors Of Successful CEOs And Busts CEO Myths

The CEO Next Door is the new book that offers career advice for everyone who aspires to rise in their organization and achieve their full potential. Impressively, that advice is based on an in-depth analysis of over 2,6,00 leaders -- drawn from a database of more than 17,000 CEOs and C-suite executives.
The results of the research burst several myths surrounding CEOs. Those busted myths, described more fully later in this post, include: Over 70% of CEOs set their sights on the top job late in their careers. On average, they’ve had five to seven setbacks on their journey to the top.Only 7% graduated from a top university.Most important, the research reveals the four key behaviors shared by those who reach the top:
They are decisive. They are reliable, delivering what they promise when they promise it, without exception.They adapt boldly.They engage with stakeholders without shying away from conflict.The book is co-authored by Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell. Today, Powell answered the fo…

How To Be A Valuable Trusted Advisor

In your leadership role you are often called upon to be a trusted advisor. Follow these tips from Kristi Hedges, author of, The Power of Presence, for how to be that type of valuable, trusted advisor:
Be consistent (dependable)Help the person see things from a fresh perspectiveDon't substitute your judgment for the other person'sHelp the person think and separate logic from emotionProvide reasoning, rather than your own conclusionsMake the person feel comfortable Be honorableHelp the person put their issues in context, often through the use of metaphors, stories, and anecdotes (few problems are completely unique)Have a sense of humor to defuse tension in tough situations

Core Components Of A Story

Being a good storyteller will serve you well in your leadership role. "A story with a business impact can be as short as one sentence. Or, it can be a three-minute introduction or a thirty-minute product demonstration," says author Esther K. Choy. "Whatever the case, it will have maximum impact if it includes the following core components," according to Choy:

Structural: A story has a beginning, middle, and end.Elemental: A story often has elements including a hero, challenge, journey, resolution, change, and call to action.Authentic: A story reveals a genuine part of the teller, which elicits emotion in the audience.Strategic: A story sparks an audience's imagination, causes them to relate to the situation in the story, and motivates them to act.