Archive for the ‘Professionalism’ Category

If you’re reading this article, congratulations! You must have an awesome team. Managing them must be easy, right?

In fact, contrary to popular belief, managing high-performers doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything. While you could just let them fly solo for a long time, even the best employees will need support from their managers to continue thriving at work. While high performers do show a stronger tendency than other employees to direct their own learning, a Harvard Business Review article says they expect their managers to help them grow, too.

And the help you provide must be differentiated from how you might support a lower performer because their challenges, needs, and aspirations are also different.

Here are a few quick tips that should stop them from quitting:

 

1. Show Them They’re Valued (in the Way They Prefer)

Some people like getting feedback privately, others publicly. Some prefer it via email, others in-person. And some care little about words and more about actions of thanks: bonuses, bigger projects, or leadership opportunities.

In a study on what high-performing employees value at work, compensation, bonuses, and recognition from higher-ups all fall in the top 10.

If your employee’s doing great work, make sure they know their work is valued and appreciated. And if you don’t know how they like to receive positive feedback, ask.

 

2. Let Them Lean Into What They’re Good At

Too often, we insist employees check every single rung on the skills ladder. We wrongly believe that the only way for them to advance in their career is to be good at everything all the time.

But the truth is, just as you rarely find a candidate that matches 100% of your hiring criteria, it’s rare to find an employee that truly excels in every facet of the job. And yet we focus on their deficiencies—the checkboxes left unchecked—rather than sharpening their strongest assets.

So, give your highest performers a chance to continue to excel at their strengths, and the tools they need to become an expert in their field. If they find themselves getting bored, then you can work with them to find other skills they’d like to improve upon.

 

3. Encourage Them to Be Teachers

When you have amazing employees, one of the best things you can do to keep them engaged is encourage them to teach others. Teaching helps them hone their skills even further, and validates their expertise.

There are many ways to “teach,” whether it’s in the form of an employee mentorship program, a presentation to the team, or even authoring a publication. Encourage them to share their knowledge and flex their expertise, and leave the format to them to decide.

 

4. Actively Solicit Feedback

No manager is perfect. Regularly ask for feedback on what you can do better to support their career, and be prepared to take action as a result. As their manager, you may be able to unblock them, elevate them, and support them in ways no other person in the company can.

As the saying goes, employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. So do everything in your power to make sure they are supported, and ask for feedback to ensure you are on the right track in your efforts.

Some questions include:

  • What can I do to make working with me easier?
  • What can I do to better support you?
  • What’s one thing I should start, stop, or continue doing for you?

If you have a high performer on your team, get ready to do the hard work of keeping them engaged. Don’t let them be the one in five who report being likely to leave their company in the next six months. Sure, it’ll take more effort on your end—but think how much effort it’ll take to replace them.

 

This article was written by Ximena Vengoechea from The Daily Muse and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Leadership can be defined in many ways. Regardless how you define it, a true leader will be the difference maker between success and failure of a business. In this post, we’ll take a look at seven qualities all great business leaders have in common. That way, you’ll know what separates the good leaders from the bad ones.

They take initiative

Great business leaders are self starters. They don’t wait around for others to get the job done. Especially if the task means creating value for themselves or the organization they belong to.

Just because you hold a high ranking position doesn’t mean you’re above trivial tasks. For example, the co-founders of Lyft uphold a tradition where they drive passengers as if they were one of the thousands of Lyft drivers supporting the business they built. They do this because they want to constantly improve the experience for both riders and drivers.

Could they have asked members of their internal team to drive and gather feedback? Of course they could have, but instead they took the initiative to take care of it themselves. This shows great leadership at the highest level of business.

They have vision

In business there will be tough days. There will be months where the company is barely getting by. During these tough times your team needs to dig deep and truly understand the bigger picture. As a leader it’s up to you to help them see that vision.

The vision needs to be big enough so you can inspire others, but also broad so your team can feel personally included. This way everyone in your organization knows the importance of their own role and the effect it has on bringing that grand vision to a reality.

They are resilient

Building a company is probably the least straightforward path you can pursue in life. Ask any successful entrepreneur about their journey. The majority of them will tell you about the countless times they’ve failed before they found that one success. The reason they finally made it? Resilience.

The workplace is full of challenges and unexpected changes. The individuals who have resilience have the ability to take good risks and are welcome to change.

They have a high emotional intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. If you’re able to understand, manage, and navigate not only your own emotions but those of others, you have the makings of a great leader.

Let’s take sports for example. Think about the coaches and managers of world-class professional sports teams. With a team full of star-studded athletes how much coaching of the game do you think they need? Aside from basic strategy and tactics it really comes down to managing and navigating your teams’ emotions. More specifically their egos. If you took a group of the best coaches and managers of all time, I can almost guarantee they all have a high emotional intelligence.

As a leader in business it’s extremely important to develop and improve your emotional intelligence. You need to make an effort to understand reasons behind an employee’s behavior. Let’s say their productivity has been slowing down. Are they losing interest in the job? Do they feel like they aren’t being challenged? Are they angry at the company or another member of the team? The more you can understand them on an emotional level the easier it’ll be to engage with them and resolve the issue.

They are confident in their decision-making

If you don’t like being the decision maker then you don’t belong in a leadership role. That may sound harsh but it’s the truth. Leaders make countless decisions throughout the day. Some hold little weight, and others may decide the fate of their entire company.

The ability to make a decision and stand behind it, is a quality that is shared amongst all great business leaders. And by stand behind it, I mean take responsibility for the decision they made regardless of the outcome.

They are truly enthusiastic about their business

True and authentic enthusiasm for a business, it’s products, and overall mission is not something that can be easily faked. Especially for the amount of time it typically takes for a business to be built. Your employees will be able to instantly recognize whether or not you’re truly passionate and enthusiastic about what you’re trying to build.

Let’s take our real-life Tony Stark for example. Who might that be? You guessed it – Elon Musk. Think about his track record. Disrupting the payments landscape with PayPal. Reducing our dependencies on fossil fuels through clean energy and transportation with Solar City and Tesla . Then he decided to go shoot rockets into space with SpaceX.

The greatest trait about Musk is that he’s truly enthusiastic about what he’s building. He’s so sincere, that he’s even willing to put the vast majority of his own money behind his companies. With all that said, you can only imagine the effect that has on those who work with him.

They have great communication skills

As a leader you need to be able to motivate, discipline, and instruct the people you are in charge of. If you lack communication skills you won’t be able to accomplish any of those things.

Communication has many pieces to it. For example, did you know that listening is an integral part of communication? How can you effectively respond to others if you don’t take the time to listen? As a leader you need to listen to the members of your organization at every level. You need to be able to communicate whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or a company-wide keynote to your 10,000 employees. If you can’t develop these skills, you’ll have difficulties inspiring others to follow.

Great leadership qualities aren’t developed overnight. In fact, many of the great business leaders still make mistakes all the time. That said they’re still humble, still learning, and continuing to build their empire.

This article originally appeared in Calendar.

 

This article was written by Angela Ruth from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Bad Business Habits You Need To Stop

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

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Getting into bad business habits will hold you back and stop you from growing your business. We all have bad habits and it’s not just limited to things like biting your nails or smoking. We also have bad business habits. Here are 5 that you need to stop now so that you can grow your business:

Lack Of Planning

As I talked about in last weeks post about Social Media Marketing Mistakes, you need a plan. Whether it’s for your marketing or your overall business, you need some sort of plan otherwise you’re driving blind and don’t know where you are going. Some people seem to get by in business just completely winging it. This is the exception to the rule. In general, you need a plan and you need to stick to it.

Thinking It’s All About You

Even though you are your business and there may be nobody else involved in it, it’s not all about you. Actually, it’s nothing to do with you. If you are constantly thinking about your own wants and needs and doing everything to suit yourself in your business, then you are very quickly going to form some very bad business habits. Your business isn’t about you. It’s about the people you serve. Your audience, your customers. It is about their wants and needs so make sure you are putting them first.

No ROI

There are lots of marketing and social media activities you could be doing in your business but you need to do them with a clear ROI (return on investment). If you are doing lots of things but don’t really have a clear goal for what you want to achieve from them, you may be wasting your time and forming more bad business habits.

If it’s a case of you need to set the goal so that you can have a clear ROI then you may find my goal setting worksheets useful to plan out your goals.

Not Listening

So often people ask for help with specific tasks in their business but then don’t listen. They ask the expert but then think they know better. Nobody knows your business better than you but likewise, nobody knows marketing/accounting/legal stuff better than the person who does that stuff day in day out. So many times I have had businesses come to me because they are struggling with their social media. I come up with a plan for them but they still go off and do it their way. The way that wasn’t working in the first place. Listen to others when you seek help. But listen to the right people. You wouldn’t take financial advice from your butcher.

Similarly, listen to your customers. Listen to their feedback, their wants and needs. You can’t serve them if you don’t first listen to them. Listen more than you speak.

You Can’t Do It All By Yourself

It would be great to think we can build these amazing businesses all by ourselves without any outside help. But the truth is you can’t do it all. You can’t be chief floor sweeper and chief marketing officer. Sometimes you need to outsource or ask for help. Try to offload and outsource as much as you possibly can. Even if it’s small tasks in your personal life, like getting your shopping delivered, do things to free up your time and save your stress.

Even if you can’t afford to outsource tasks to, find others you can talk to about your issues or things you need help with. Sharing is caring and someone else may know the perfect solution to your dilemma.

This article originally appeared in Socially Sam.

 

This article was written by Samantha Martin from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Whether you’re just starting out or thinking of ways to further your ability to succeed with your business, you will certainly benefit from getting into an informed position and learning as much as you can about boosting your business. It means that, with any luck, you can increase your sales and revenue. Boosting your business performance will take time, resources and effort but it’s well worth the investment. It is far easier than you might at first expect, all you need is the know-how to do so and the desire to achieve. If your business performance often slips and slides, then you need to be focused on trying to find a strategy that reliably works for you and keep your business consistently achieving and growing towards further expansion.

  1. Review Business Processes

Business processes are structured activities that help the everyday running of your business, and they’re hugely important. These can include maintaining customer relationships, weekly emails of company updates, checking stock reserves and using a warehouse inventory system to help you know exactly what stock you have and where they’re going. If your business includes a warehouse, then it needs to run like clockwork, and you cannot afford for mismanagement where product and delivery is concerned. Business processes are subject to aging, and it’s important to remember that they will not stay new forever. They need regular review to see if, and where, they could benefit from a change.

  1. Use Best Companies

In order to earn your place among the best, you must work and interact with the best. If you want to boost your business, then you need to make sure you’re working with other companies that are reliable and have a good reputation. You should be able to benefit each other mutually by doing business together, so wherever you can, try and purchase and connect with the local businesses. When it comes to deliveries, make sure that you do business with those that can promise a high standard and that your goods can be with you in time. Do some research and find out which companies have a great reputation for service and excellence. You cannot afford to waste your time on companies that cannot promise brilliance.

  1. Have a Great Work Environment

Your environment needs to be conducive to work for both yourself and your team. A happy and contented team is a productive team, so to boost your business, you’ll need to pay attention to the conditions of where your employees work and spend their time. You need to be providing a bright, clean and clear space where they can work calmly. Surfaces need to be clear from clutter, and efficient and timesaving technology should be installed. If your business processes cannot be carried out at speed, then you’re losing time and therefore money and resources. The office space is far more important than you might have realized, so pay attention to it. If you’re unsure about how to go about brightening up the work premises, conduct some further research or (better yet) interview your staff and ask for their opinions and suggestions.

  1. Maintain Customer Relationships

Booting your business involves increasing how many clients and customers you work with, that’s clear. However what is not so clear, is that you need to maintain the customer relationships you have already been able to form. Customers like to know they’re appreciated and valued, so don’t shirk on your responsibility of letting them know how important and fundamental their custom is to the success of your business. Consider getting customers on an emailing list and updating them of company news such as new and improved products, an increase in company revenue, and other anecdotal pieces of information that let your customers know you’re thinking of them. Strike up a meaningful relationship with customers and ask for their advice on matters too. Find out exactly what the customer wants and work out how you intend on bringing it to them.

  1. Utilize the Power of Social Media

Social media can be the difference between failure and success, so make sure you are harnessing the full force of its power to boost your business. Social media is used by millions of people worldwide, so it’s important that you’re active on it. If you’re going to ramp up your business and sales prospects, then you must rival the competition. Let’s face it, there’s going to be many other companies just like yours that sell similar products and services so you must make yours stand out from the crowd, and the internet is a great place to get started. Make sure your product stands out by using marketing skills such as SEO copywriting, using attractive graphics and video, and adding share buttons to allow your content to be more widely distributed.

  1. Boost Management Skills

As the manager, you’re largely responsible for how the company performs, so working on your ability to lead a team to success is going to boost business performance. Learning how to manage a team expertly comes with time and experience, however, if you don’t have this time to spare, then you should consider attending lessons, workshop, and programs to help you go from strength to strength. Managerial skills have a significant impact on how well a business runs, and you must be up to date with technological advancements and knowledge of how to improve staff morale for example, as well as how to deal with conflict, lateness and maintaining customer relationships. Always be interacting with impartial business professionals and ask for tips and tricks and pose questions.

  1. Be on Hand to Answer Queries

Make sure you’re not a distant manager who fails to interact with staff. Your team will look to you for guidance, advice, and inspiration so make sure you’re in the best position to inspire and impact the wisdom you have down to others. Think about holding an office hour once or twice to a week to discuss matters and points of interest with colleagues and your team. Always be seen to be helpful and to genuinely care about the welfare of both the company and also your workforce.

 


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This article was written by SmallBizViewpoints from Small Biz Viewpoints and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Raise your hand if you feel like work-life balance is a myth. When you’re freelancing or running your own business, your job demands a lot. You are all the things: the public relations department, the marketing department, and the one who does the work.

Study after study shows that one of the best things you can do for your productivity and to increase your happiness levels is actually take a break from work. That might feel impossible if you’re a one person show, but it’s all the more crucial. Burn out is very real, and it can derail your career if you let things get too bad.

Setting boundaries on your work is a proven method to create more work life balance. With boundaries on your work, you’ll feel less anxiety and more productive. Increase your happiness with our tips.

Create Work and Play Hours

When you’re a freelancer or working from your own home, it’s very easy to let the lines between work and play blur. You might find yourself running errands at noon on a Tuesday, and then working on the weekend to make up for those hours.

While a flexible schedule is one of the biggest perks of working for yourself, having a regular schedule is also one of the best ways to get things done and still reserve time outside of work.

Your schedule can be whatever you want; maybe you start work at 11am and go until 8pm every day. Just makes sure that once 8pm comes, you put down the work and engage in the rest of your life. Boundaries are important.

Take A Real Vacation

Unplugging is crucial to that work life balance. Trying to sneak in a few hours of work while you’re on vacation can be a slippery slope, and it can create the anxiety and stress you’re supposed to be walking away from.

Americans are some of the most over worked people on the planet. Taking a vacation can restore your creative energy and give both your body and mind the break it needs. Take a few days away from hunching over the computer.

Pursue Hobbies

When you’re not working, what do you do? If the first words that come to your mind are along the lines of ‘cit and watch tv’, maybe you need to pick up a hobby.

Hobbies are ways to truly disengage with your work. When you’re focusing on painting a new piece of art, or knitting a sweater for your puppy, your brain is engaged at the task at hand. There’s no space to worry about work or to reach for your phone to check your social media feeds.

Drawing a line between work and the rest of your life is a favor that you do for yourself. It’s important not to lose yourself in your work. You’re a complete person; increase your happiness by celebrating your life outside of work.

This article originally appeared in Due.

 

This article was written by Kara Perez from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Regardless of your role, having great communication skills only improves your ability to lead. It helps you better motivate your team, create a culture of open and honest feedback, and keep people organized and on the right track.

As someone who works in public relations (and loves language), I spend a significant amount of time figuring out the most effective ways to convey messages. I’ve noticed some of the bad habits people adopt in the workplace, and the impact that changing these habits has on both the outcomes of conversations and leaders’ credibility and confidence.

Here are three you can fix today to be a stronger leader at work:

 

1. Use “Don’t” Instead of “Can’t” When Turning Down Projects

 

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For many people, saying “no” can be one of the most difficult skills to master—and yet the most important. How you say it is almost as crucial as saying it at all.

Most people often use can’t or don’t when turning opportunities down, but one of the two is exponentially better than the other.

When people say they can’t do something, it shows limitations to their abilities. By using don’t, it expresses power in the choice.

For example, if you’re presented with a new business opportunity that serves an audience not in line with your target demographic, instead of saying, “I appreciate the opportunity, but we can’t take on this project now,” say, “We appreciate the opportunity, but don’t serve clients outside the entertainment industry.”

By phrasing your response in an empowering way, you reinforce the value of both yourself and your business.

 

2. Stop Writing “Sorry for the Delay” in Emails



In 2016, journalist Marissa Miller tweeted, “Adulthood is emailing ‘sorry for the delayed response!’ back and forth until one of you dies.”

Since then, tens of thousands have liked, retweeted, and shared her post across other social media platforms. To say it resonated would be an understatement.

I’ve had people apologize to me for a delayed response within the same day of receiving my initial message. Crazy, right?

Why are we so eager to apologize for being a reasonable communicator? It ultimately makes people sound weak and undermines their authority.

Let’s ban the phrase. Instead of writing, “Sorry for the delay,” say, “Thank you for your patience.” You can even elaborate, if appropriate, to include why you were delayed in responding: “Thank you for your patience while I gathered the information required to provide you with clear next steps.”

This one small change will enhance your perception as a competent, confident leader.

 

3. Tell People You’re “Focused” Instead of “Busy”

 

communication habits

 

How often do you hear colleagues talk about their busy schedules?

While I don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon, we can improve the way we characterize our activities so our language honors our priorities.

When people say they’re busy, it sounds like their lives are out of control and they don’t know how to manage their time.

Instead of saying you’re busy, clearly state your priorities. That means “I’m so busy” or “Work is crazy right now” becomes “I’m traveling for an event” or “I’m focused on developing two new client proposals.”

Putting yourself back in the driver’s seat immediately makes you feel calmer and more in control.

People often don’t realize how the seemingly trivial things we say can significantly impact the way others perceive us. Making these small changes will increase your capacity to effectively lead others as well as work alongside them. Let’s start empowering ourselves and, in turn, those around us by honoring our intentions, priorities, and full lives.

 

This article was written by Julia Bonner from The Daily Muse and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Joe Schumacher, CEO of The Goddard School Franchise, provides his advice for recent grads who are thinking about starting a business after college.

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This Harvard Business Review blog article offered pearls of wisdom from Goddard Systems’ CEO, Joe Schumacher, on why midsize companies should set priorities and avoid procrastination. Read the full article here.

 

In today’s technological age, people communicate primarily through e-mail.  While we communicate with both our friends and business associates via e-mail, rules of professionalism and politeness still apply.  Your e-mail communications are a part of your professional image, and as such, you must pay attention when sending off even the quickest of electronic communications.

If you want to impress the recipients, you have to make sure they choose to read your e-mail.  As such, take the time to make a meaningful subject line.  Your header should be pertinent to your message, and should stand out from the volume of other e-mails in the recipient’s in-box.  Additionally, don’t forget to update your header each time you reply.

Once your recipient opens your email, make sure you have properly personalized it.  Even though e-mail is informal, it should still always have a greeting.  Your email will seem rude and unpleasant without a greeting, and you want the tone of your message to seem professional and friendly.  On that note, always choose your words carefully to make sure your email has an appropriate tone.  Sarcasm, for instance, while appropriate in oral communications often comes across differently via e-mail.

Finally, your e-mail is a representation of you.  Always check spelling and grammar.  If you don’t, people will question the quality of your work.  Additionally, say only what needs to be said.  People skim or ignore e-mails that are too long.  If your e-mail is overly long, the topic probably shouldn’t be communicated via e-mail.  Pick up the phone or schedule a meeting.  Additionally, don’t expect people to respond right away.  If the communication is urgent and requires an imminent response, use the phone.  People check their messages at their convenience, not yours.

E-mail makes everything easier and faster.  It can also quickly establish positive professional relationships and make a powerful business impression.  Poorly written e-mails can just as quickly do the opposite.  Use technology effectively and appropriately, and you will see the results of your effort.