Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development
Step One: Give them responsibility without authority – Many of us have had this experience: You find an item in a store that’s marked down to a sale price. The clerk scans the bar code and the regular price pops up on the screen. You point out that the item is marked with a lower price and get “the look”. It’s the look that means, “There is nothing I can do about this. I have to go by what the register says, or I get in trouble. And, before you ask, my manager is at lunch.” While you are rightfully annoyed by the snafu in your purchase, stop for a minute to put yourself in the shoes of an employee who is perfectly able to see the problem – i.e. the clearly marked sale price – and has no authority to do the right thing because the machine hasn’t been updated. There they stand, helpless, frustrated and directly in the crosshairs of your glare.
Employees who are well trained and given the authority to take...
Unlike pieces of hardware that weren’t made to bend or flex, humans were designed with this capacity… and for good reason. We are bombarded daily with challenges and demands that can place pressure on us, especially in our relationships. If we want to be strong and resilient when the stresses of life come our way, we need to know whether we are likely to bend or break.
Some of the common pressures in the workplace involve changing deadlines, increased responsibilities, cancelled meetings, uncontrollable market or economic trends, long hours, demanding supervisors, negative co-workers and the list goes on.
Successful people don’t snap under these pressures because they have learned to be more flexible. This doesn’t mean they don’t care and it doesn’t minimize the significance of the stress. It means they are able to put their circumstances in perspective, which allows them to think, feel and behave in ways that will keep...
One of the major roadblocks to strong relationships, both at home and at work, is the inability to effectively manage one’s emotions. Of all the emotional, psychological and physical responses we experience in life, anger is perhaps the most challenging to process and control on a consistent basis.
How you choose to respond to your anger will make a difference in the quality of your relationships, your physical and emotional well-being, and your effectiveness in bringing about positive and constructive change in your life.
Today we will look at the first four of seven practical tips you can use to help manage your anger more effectively.
1. Understand What Anger Is
Anger is a natural, God-designed emotional and physiological response to negative or threatening circumstances in life. When you believe that you have been treated unfairly or harshly, or when you experience frustration associated with an unmet need or goal, your mind and body prepare for action. It is this...
By far, the number one problem identified by married couples is that they can't communicate effectively. It's actually somewhat hard to believe that this problem is so pervasive in homes today when you consider that these same couples often claim to not have difficulty communicating with friends and co-workers. What's up with this?
One of the main reasons couples have such a difficult time communicating at home is because their conversations involve "high stake" relationships along with "high stake" issues that are often highly emotionally charged.
I have found that one of the best ways to guarantee better communication when engaged in these difficult conversations is to learn how to be a skilled listener. I'm confident that if you consistently practice the tips below for the next thirty days you will see the quality of your communication improve significantly. Start putting these tips to work for your relationships today!
1. Listen twice as much as you talk
"It is far better...
Giving feedback is a critically important part of the communication process within the workplace. Most people find it easy to offer positive comments but avoid giving negative feedback because they fear confrontation and conflict.
While criticism isn’t easy for anyone, it is necessary to receive honest appraisals from those you work with in order to better understand where you stand with your co-workers and supervisors. Unfortunately, the need for improvement is not always conveyed or responded to in a constructive fashion.
Giving feedback requires specific skills you can learn if you practice. Below is a list of suggestions that can greatly improve your communication and result in better interpersonal relationships and performance at work.
1. Provide information that is descriptive and objective. When describing your thoughts stick to the facts rather than bringing in your personal interpretation as much as possible.
2. Avoid using labels to describe behavior such as...
If it’s your job to lead a team of employees or volunteers, it can be a bit unnerving to know that the buck stops on your desk, but the group members are the ones who make you successful – or not. One of the leader’s most important functions is to inspire their team so everyone succeeds. Here are five principles to keep people motivated to do their best.
Create consensus & unity in purpose – People enjoy being part of something good, strong, and purposeful. Be sure your team meets together early on as you begin any project, so everyone hears the vision at the same time and has the opportunity to discuss ideas and ask questions. This ensures no team member is going into their assignment without adequate knowledge of what goal needs to be met or with a “lone ranger” attitude.
Celebrate diversity & unique contribution – The strength of a team lies in the combination of multiple sets of skills, talent, and experience working...
In the business world we often hear terms and strategies for doing business that are predatory, aggressive, and even deceptive in order to make the sale or increase profits. Words like shark, war, and guerrilla come up in the vernacular. But I’ve been watching people over the years, and find that, in the long run, people who are willing to cheat or compromise often lose out on true success. People who do the right things for the right reasons have more satisfying careers and happier lives.
So, let’s explore this a little further: Have you ever met someone that you consider to be, or to have been, a really good person? I would imagine that you could probably name at least a few. What character traits do you think describe a “good” man or a good woman in our society today? Perhaps words such as kind, thoughtful, generous, giving, and unselfish top your list. If so, I would agree – these are traits we would all expect a good person to...
Q: What do you think is one of the most common complaints expressed in the workplace today?
A: The habit of NOT LISTENING. (Perhaps the title was a good clue!) Poor listening is considered one of the rudest of all office behaviors. After all, the messages you send, whether intended or not, come across loud and clear when you don’t listen or pay attention:
• I don’t care about you.
• I don’t understand you.
• You’re wrong.
• What you have to say isn’t important.
• You’re wasting my time.
Most people don’t realize just how powerful listening can be, and they often miss out on its valuable benefits.
What about you? When someone talks to you at work, are you really attentive? I’m not talking about merely hearing the sound of their words, but truly paying close attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Real listening, the type that produces accurate understanding and empathy, often...
Do you want your personal and professional relationships to be stronger and more satisfying? If, like most people, your answer is “of course”, then I want to share a very powerful communication tool that has the potential to transform your relationships.
I refer to this communication tool as the Sherlock Strategy. Named after the famed detective, this practice of effective inquiry simply involves the ability to ask timely and relevant open-ended questions for the purpose of increasing accurate understanding of another person’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. The great Sherlock Holmes could always dig past the obvious to see what was really going on.
Every human being shares a common desire and need to be understood. Unfortunately, when it comes to our high-stake (most important) relationships we often feel misunderstood, especially when it comes to important and sensitive issues.
When communicating we too often assume we understand what...
Most people have at some point in their lives had to deal with someone who refuses to lose. No matter how unreasonable their position and how obviously wrong they may be, they clamp down their jaw as instinctively as a bull terrier in a dogfight – and it seems nothing short of death will loosen it.
It’s often not that complicated to deal with this sort of person at a dinner party, where the simplest strategy may be to avoid them or to feign agreement for a couple of hours until you can escape after dessert. But in the workplace, this is seldom possible, and if the bulldog is your superior, you can come away from discussions frustrated, angry and hurt.
William Ury, author of Getting Past No, provides five steps to surviving an encounter with a bull terrier boss, based on understanding the underlying motivations for their unreasonable decisions and resistance to cooperation. Here are five tips to help you achieve a win-win situation.
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