3 Things All Great Leaders Know How to Be

3 Things All Great Leaders Know How to Be

87% of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job (Gallup). Are you providing that career growth and development opportunities to your employees? If you want to elevate individual growth, focus on the value of personal relationships. Get to know and connect with your team. Really listen to who they are and their personal and professional goals. Building trust allows you to coach and mentor more effectively. Knowing what inspires and engages your team members will give you better insight when assigning projects and job responsibilities. When you have an employee that is feeling bored in his current role and would like to try something new, go with it. When team members are encouraged to use their own creativity and expertise to produce the desired results, they feel inspired to give their best effort. Employees want to be challenged. Smart managers encourage an environment of continuous idea exchange and readily acknowledge that new and better approaches can and should be discovered. Here are some simple principles that you can use to invite sincere, authentic dialogue and idea exchange among your team. Encourage them to: Be Bold. If you want new (and better) solutions, try new things. Mike Markkula, an American entrepreneur and former CEO of Apple Computers said, “The overall quality of work improves when you give people a chance to fail.” Be Open. Encourage your team to share any and all ideas, no matter how crazy they sound. Make it safe for others to experiment and possibly fail; make the people you lead feel confident and secure so they will...
The Best Ever Solution for Managing Remotely

The Best Ever Solution for Managing Remotely

If you have a job in 2017 (and if you’re reading this, that’s a safe bet), you know work has undergone what I call an “extreme makeover: corporate edition” in the last 10-15 years. Gone are the days of coming into an office and working 9 to 5. Now we work whenever and from wherever. In fact, according to Forbes, in a mere three years the mobile workforce is projected to comprise roughly three-quarters of U.S. employees. There are definitely perks that accompany this dramatic shift. On the plus side, businesses save big on office space and other overheard costs. It’s also a good deal for remote employees: they avoid a stressful commute and can create a schedule that matches their needs. It’s a win/win. But, hold up. While the benefits of a mobile workforce are many, there is one significant drawback—communication. Only 7% of human communication is found in content. The rest is conveyed through body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, things that get lost in email and text. So, get a video conferencing platform and you’re golden, right? Being able to see the smiling faces of your team is a great first step, but it doesn’t go far enough. The way we hold conversations also has to change if we want to keep remote workers connected and engaged. The next time you talk to your team, whether it’s over phone or video, consider including this one practice: Ask open-ended questions! Can you spot the difference in these two questions? Is the project going well? What are your next steps with the project? You got it....
3 Mistakes All Managers Make and How to Fix Them

3 Mistakes All Managers Make and How to Fix Them

All managers make mistakes. Some make mistakes because their intentions are wrong—they want more power or ego—but most of us lead with the best of intentions. We care about our team, as individuals and as a whole. Ironically, that care sometimes gets in the way of good decisions. Here are some of the most common pitfalls from well-intentioned managers and what to do about it. We think they can’t handle the truth As managers, we often forget how we felt as we entered the workforce: we wanted to know how things really were. But now that we’re managers, we only want to give good news (or carefully metered bad news). Why not give employees the truth? “Well, they might leave if they knew,” you say. When you were starting out, wouldn’t you have preferred to be given information and make the decision to stay or go for yourself? Your employees can handle it. They may leave; they may be discouraged. But other things will happen, too: 1. They will trust you. If you tell them the bad news, they will believe the good news you share is not just carefully applied sunshine designed to make them feel a certain way. 2. They will commit. They might leave, but they may stay. And if they do, they will stay with full clarity. 3. They will become part of the solution. They will think about how to deal with the problem, because it’s their problem, too. They will try to help, not just for your sake, but for their own, and when that happens, they invest their best. What should we...
The 7 “C’s” of Great Leaders

The 7 “C’s” of Great Leaders

Navigating the rough waters of management for the first time can feel like crossing an ocean. Master these 7 C’s of a Good Manager and see the difference it can make for your crew. Communicate Communication is the key to any relationship. Frequent, targeted conversations are the best way to improve performance. Try practicing SayDoCo: say what you’re going to do; do what you said you’d do; communicate when you can’t. Collaborate In most situations, better performance doesn’t lie in learning more, but in doing more of what you already know. Your conversations should start by bringing out the knowledge your employee already has. Then you can share your ideas. Conversations are a two-way street, but the employee has the right of way. Care Take a genuine interest in your employees. Working relationships are about more than tasks. Check in on your employees’ personal lives as well as their work. Showing you care increases engagement and can reignite that fire your best employees started with. (This infographic explains the business case for engagement.) Create a Culture A great culture is more than a foosball table or soda machine. It’s about creating a place where employees feel trusted, valued, and empowered to do their best stuff. Create a coaching culture through weekly one-on-ones, regular check-ins, and open dialogue. Concentrate (on what employees say) When you’re in a meeting, make a point to be present in the conversation. Conversations shouldn’t be about waiting for your turn to speak and focusing on what you can add, but rather, about seeking to understand and draw out the best in your team. (Give) Credit...
How to have a Crucial Conversations with your Boss

How to have a Crucial Conversations with your Boss

There are plenty of things that affect our working environment and not necessarily all of them are good. Some build us up, and some tear as down. But the call to action needs to be taken when the negative days start to overpower the positive ones. And usually, this is where people go in a limbo. Rather than discussing their problems with their team or their bosses, they choose to harbor their feelings and gulp down their issues which have disastrous consequences. Then what needs to be done? This is something which might vary according to people’s ability to hold a crucial conversation where stakes are high. It is indeed a tough decision to make. Actually, sitting down with your boss and discussing your problems with him/her? There are people who’d break into a sweat at that thought. Are you one of them, too? Then keep on reading on. Holding a tough conversation is an art, a skill that needs to be learned over the years. The art of making the other person see your side of the coin without making them lose the entire point of the meeting and focusing on you rather than the topic, a tough one to master. We all at some point suffer from confirmation bias, and conversations often bear the brunt of the same. Then how do you make yourself heard, when you don’t know how to put yourself out there? A crucial conversation, as mentioned above, includes the high stakes which can make or break your personal/professional life in a jiffy. So the question arises, how to handle such conversations?  Here are...