Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

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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.

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As a business owner or manager, you probably have many goals. You want to attract and retain customers, increase output, and grow sales and revenue. But here’s another objective it pays to focus on: establishing a positive company culture that keeps employees happy.

Company culture is so important these days that it’s actually the No. 1 reason why millennials quit their jobs. And given the cost of onboarding and training, it often makes financial sense to encourage workers to stay where they are rather than continuously have to invest in new employees.

So what can you do, as a business owner or manager, to create a company culture that’s appealing to candidates and keeps established workers on board? Here are a few key steps to take.

1. Be open to flexible work arrangements

These days, workers of all ages crave flexibility, whether it’s the option to set their own hours, compress their workweeks, or telecommute. Not only can flexible work arrangements contribute to a positive company culture but they can also lead to an uptick in productivity. And when that happens, everyone wins.

Keep in mind that if you’re used to your employees working a set schedule, you can ease into those flexible arrangements slowly. Start by giving your most established players a little leeway, and work your way up as you evaluate its impact. The key is to be open to the idea so that your employees feel valued and respected.

2. Foster teamwork and collaboration

Encouraging employees to work together is a great way to establish a positive company culture. Therefore, make a point of rewarding team efforts as opposed to focusing only on individual contributions. In other words, don’t just give raises to your top performers, as this creates an atmosphere of competitiveness. Rather, incentivize employees to work together so they can benefit jointly.

3. Encourage workers to take vacation

It’s an unfortunate statistic that 19% of workers today don’t take vacation because their companies pressure them not to. Part of building a positive company culture is recognizing your employees’ need to take time away from the office and making it possible for them to do just that. In fact, some companies go so far as to mandate that workers take all of their vacation time, which isn’t a bad idea. If you’re going to go that route, be sure to implement a backup system so that workers who take time off don’t feel unduly stressed about it.

4. Be generous with public praise

Though any sort of acknowledgment for a job well done is something your workers will appreciate, a good way to establish a positive company culture is to dish out that praise publicly. This will encourage others to give out praise rather than withhold it, thus adding to the collaborative environment we talked about earlier.

5. Hold companywide town halls

If your business has a lot of distinct moving parts, it helps to get everyone synced up every so often. And that’s where companywide meetings come in. These town halls give different players a chance to meet, interact, and see how their various efforts contribute to the success of the business. It’s a great way to motivate employees to work together while helping them learn more about ways to develop their careers.

It’s in your best interest to establish a company culture that draws employees in and encourages them to stay put. Not only will you increase your chances of retaining top talent, but you’ll develop a solid reputation that works wonders for your business on multiple levels.

 

This article was written by Maurie Backman from The Motley Fool 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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When I was in high school, my mom started banning phones from the dinner table. To this day, whenever I pull out my cell to check my inbox when we’re eating, my mom shakes her head and tells me to put it away.

And as much as I resent it in the moment (“But this, I swear, is really important!”), I’m usually grateful that she called me out.

As a working adult who’s being pulled in multiple directions at any given time, I rarely get to enjoy my time with friends and family. I’m sure you can relate. My mom, in fact, lives thousands of miles away, so when she forces me to pay attention to her it’s because we only have so much time together. And I listen to her, because I know I’ll regret not making the most of this time.

(If this isn’t the case for you and your parents, feel free to substitute “mom” with someone you enjoy being around.)

It’s so silly, but being present during our time with loved ones is one of the best gifts of self-care we can grant ourselves—and one that we tend to neglect the most often.

But don’t take it from me, I’m just your average working gal. Take it from someone who’s higher up—who has 10 times more responsibilities than I, and yet follows the same philosophy.

I spoke with Raji Arasu. In addition to being Intuit’s SVP of CTO Dev, she’s also an advisory board member for Code.org and the CTO Forum and serves on the board of directors at NIC Inc.:

One of the most important lessons I learned in my career was to drop the guilt and be present in the moment, whether it’s at work or at home. For that reason, I prioritize quality time with my family and colleagues. Being present in those delightful moments is what keeps me from reaching for my phone, and helps me to remain truly present. As a leader at Intuit, I try to set the example of making eye contact, actively listening, and participating in every interaction. I try to carry that appreciation for moments of true connection, whether at work or at home.

What I love most about Arasu’s advice is that she doesn’t just apply it to your time away from work. Practicing being present outside the office ultimately makes you better at it when you’re in the office. And this makes you a better employee (actively listening helps you better understand direction and take note of important social cues), and a more enjoyable co-worker to be around (actively paying attention makes people respect you and trust you to care for and support them).

And, like I said above, it’s good for you. It encourages you to truly unwind, take in and appreciate your breaks, and connect with people you love, all of which are crucial for anyone’s happiness. It’s almost as if it’s a form of mindfulness—crazy how that works!

So, what does being present look like? It starts with putting your phone away when you’re out with people (Fun fact: Doing so can start a chain reaction). And not looking at your computer when a colleague’s talking to you (a.k.a., not bringing one to meetings).

And it’s about setting an intention to give someone your full attention. Our minds are full of distractions—to-dos, worries, conversations we’re overthinking. Make the effort, for just a few minutes, to push those thoughts away (or, write them down for later) and really focus on what’s happening in front of you.

You won’t regret it. And if a SVP of a major company can do it, it doesn’t hurt for you to try, too.

 

 

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

How to Be a Better Leader at Work

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Whether you’re the boss or part of a team, it’s always possible to be a leader. In fact, leadership is very different from being in charge.

You can show leadership through your actions no matter what position you hold. Ultimately, being a leader may help you make your way to a position of authority, but that’s not the only career benefit. You’ll find that people want to work with leaders, so if you can show leadership, many career opportunities could open up for you.

Becoming a leader starts with acting like one. Image source: Getty Images.

Lead by example

Be the best employee possible. Come in early and leave late. Be eager, open, and excited about every opportunity presented to you.

Every piece of advice above may sound hokey, but the best leaders are willing to fully commit themselves. That doesn’t mean you should work yourself to death or even try to be the hardest worker in every situation.

Instead, you need to establish a pattern of hard work. You want to get to the point where your bosses and co-workers simply understand that you can be counted on and that you’ll always be there when needed.

Do the worst jobs

In my first season working a paying job at the summer camp I had long attended, my boss showed us how to solve some basic plumbing problems. As you might imagine, that was not always pleasant work.

Some of my coworkers always seemed to be busy when a clogged toilet needed to be fixed. Others, however, were always willing to jump in when needed. That’s something the boss noted and appreciated. It’s also something every employee noticed, and while some were happy to get out of a miserable job, most appreciated the effort.

Look the part

The old hackneyed line is to dress for the job you want, not the one you have. That’s often not possible depending on the work you do, but Mark Sanborn, president of Sanborn & Associates Inc., explained how to dress to be seen as a leader in a guest post on Entrepreneur.com.

“Don’t dress to impress, dress to influence,” he wrote. “That means making sure your appearance is consistent with your personal and professional brand. Begin by asking yourself how a leader with your aspirations should appear to others.”

Be a good teammate

Leaders support the people they work with and liberally share credit. They also acknowledge that good ideas don’t have to come from them. A willingness not to be right is a major part of showing leadership.

Leaders lead

It’s hard to respect a leader who leads from behind the scenes. To establish yourself as a leader, you need to be on front lines along with everyone else. That’s not always possible when you become the boss and need to be more hands-off. However, if you’ve gained your reports’ respect by showing that you’re willing to do any job, regardless of your status, then it will be easier to ask them to handle tough jobs without you. People are more likely to follow leaders who have proven they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty.

Leadership isn’t about your title. It comes from actions and attitude. Act like a leader, and soon enough, you will be one.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

 

This article was written by Daniel B. Kline from The Motley Fool and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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A solid team can make or break your business. Even if you are a control person, you can’t handle everything in your business. Having team members you can trust and rely on makes a huge difference.

While finding a promising team can seem like a challenge, keeping those people onboard and happy should be your true focus. That way, you can focus on long-term goals and start to build a routine.

Here are some tips for keeping team members happy.

Set Clear Expectations

As the business owner, you have to clearly define your expectations for team members. Make sure you communicate effectively about job roles and what you expect. If you notice any issues or slip-ups early on, be sure to address them so everyone is on the same page.

When your team knows what you want and expectations are set, it makes it easier for all parties to be happy with the process.

Show Appreciation

Showing appreciation is important and easy to do. Members of your team may be the first people to interact with clients or customers on your behalf. If they’re doing good work, be sure to say thank you. A nice gesture around the holidays is also a nice way to show appreciation.

Make the hierarchy in the business as flat as possible and you will have an appreciated and engaged staff. Encourage your frontline staff to be creative in coming up with new ideas and ask for feedback on what the clients really want.

Make the Environment Pleasant and Comfortable

Every business has a company culture even if you just work virtually. You want each team member to fit in and feel comfortable with the way things are run.

Be sure to make the workplace as comfortable as can be with suitable conveniences and regular team meetings so everyone can interact. If you’re working in an office give your employees the freedom to personalize their workspaces.

When I worked for a small business, I loved the environment. We got to decorate the office and our workspaces and there were often weekly informal meetings to discuss the team’s progress and share suggestions.

Reward Small Achievements

Nothing makes employees like being recognized for the small and big things. It doesn’t have to be anything major. A simple ‘thank you’ email or an inquiry on how your employees spent their weekend. Your employees are more likely to feel great about their work when they know you care about them.

You may also want to take things a step further and incentivize certain activities that your team helps with. At a previous job, my boss offered Amazon gift cards to anyone who could get a client to leave a review on our company on Google or Yelp. Your reward doesn’t have to be monetary either. You could consider doing an ’employee of the month’ type of recognition easily.

Consider Offering Benefits

Depending on the size of your business, it may or may not make sense to offer employee benefits. Doing so, however, can make a big difference and lead to employee retention.

If you have part-time team members or can’t afford to provide benefits like health insurance or a retirement plan, consider other benefits your team members may enjoy. Providing a monthly gym membership may not cost much but can help your team members focus on their health. Maybe you have a product or service that your team can get for free or at a discount when working for your business.

If you run an online business, structure work schedules to allow unlimited vacation days and time off so long as team members meet their deadlines.

At the end of the day, be mindful that with no staff there may not be a business. Focus on keeping your team members happy and treating them with respect to grow your business.

How do you keep your team members happy and productive?

This article originally appeared in Calendar.

 

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

00The piece highlights Goddard’s volunteer hours policy, in which employees have paid time off/flexible work hours to engage in volunteer projects.

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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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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

 

communication habits

 

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.