Monthly Archives: June 2018

TRUSTWORTHINESS

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Of all the attributes leaders need, trustworthiness may be the most important. Followers will not commit to leaders they cannot trust. In a work situation, if there is no trust, the boss is just a boss, not a leader. When people do not trust their bosses they often find other jobs, and those who stay often do so grudgingly.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.34.53 pmLeaders demonstrate their trustworthiness through five kinds of behaviors:

  1. They tell the truth as they understand it–they do not simply agree with two people with conflicting opinions just to keep the peace. Most lies eventually come to the surface, so trustworthy leaders stick to the truth and do not shade the facts to make themselves look better or to avoid difficult situations.
  2. They do what they promise. If a situation arises where leaders cannot follow through with their promises, they need to explain to their team members what has happened and what they plan to do about it. They must think carefully about how failing to keep a promise will affect certain people.
  3. They keep confidences to themselves. Trustworthy leaders know sharing confidential information is hurtful and unprofessional.
  4. They speak and act for the greater good. Sometimes this requires leaders to be tough to bring about changes they believe will benefit their organizations in the long run. In such cases, trustworthy leaders explain what they are doing and why.
  5. They are capable and get results. While the other four behaviors reflect aspects of leaders’ characters, the fifth reflects their competence to do their jobs. Leaders who are lacking in the skills and capabilities required for their jobs should put effort into building their capabilities through training or coaching. When it comes to results, leaders should be careful never to promise more than they are certain they can deliver.
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DIRECTIONAL LEADERSHIP

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Leaders should not think they are the only ones worthy of creating and knowing corporate visions. All employees need to know their companies’ visions and how their work contributes to them. When visions are established, leaders need to build consensus. The aim must be for employees to come to work to pursue visions, not just to perform the functions of their jobs. The four challenges applying to Directional Leadership and action items related to the four challenges include:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.28.41 pmChallenge One: Recruit support from the top 29 percent.

*Identify the top 29 percent.

*Bring the top 29 percent together as a group.

*Solicit input from the top 29 percent into the vision.

*Ask the top 29 percent to recruit the other 54 percent.

Challenge Two: Prepare the organization for change.

*Agree on unity within the leadership team. For success, all members of the team must be on the same page.

*Give the reason for the change.

*Tell employees how the change will affect them.

*Use data to tell the story — numbers and facts can be very powerful.

*Introduce the change as an improvement.

*Celebrate the past and the future.

Challenge Three: Let them know how they contribute.

*Assess how well expectations have been communicated.

*Let employees create the expectations through goal setting.

*Assess how well consequences have been communicated.

*Determine positive consequences that would drive behavior.

*Ensure the consequences motivate the behavior.

Challenge Four: Constantly communicate progress.

*Create a method to share information regularly.

*Let employees know where they stand.

*Host a quarterly vision review meeting.

10 common Email mistakes

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Mistake 1: Using the Wrong Tone

img_6954.jpgI was reading mind-tool article and thought to share with my readers.You might be tempted to send emails quickly when you’re in a rush, without thinking carefully about your audience, what you’re saying, or how your message might come across. So, it’s important to consider who you’re “talking” to and what action you want them to take, before you start writing.

For example, an email to a senior manager should be more formal than a quick update to a team member, and a message to a customer will likely be more enthusiastic and polite than an exchange with a close colleague.

Although your email’s subject matter may be clear to you, its recipient might not share your knowledge or understanding. So, avoid using abbreviations, jargon or “text speak,” and consider whether your message is appropriate before you hit the send button. Will your reader understand what you’re saying? And is your information clearly structured and presented?

A good rule to follow is to address people in an email as you would in person. For example, making a quick request or providing instructions without a “hello” or “thank you” will likely come across as rude, regardless of how busy you are. So, make sure that all of your emails are courteous and respectful, and avoid typing in capitals, which implies anger or aggression.

Mistake 2: Hitting “Reply All”

How often have you been copied into an email exchange that’s not relevant to you, and doesn’t require you to take any action? Chances are, it happens regularly, and you know how frustrating it can be.

“Reply all” is a useful tool for keeping multiple team members in the loop, or for documenting group decisions, but many people use it without considering who should actually receive their email.

Receiving numerous irrelevant emails throughout the day can be distracting and time consuming; and becoming known as the person who always hits “reply all” can potentially damage your reputation , as it can appear thoughtless, rushed and unprofessional. It might also suggest that you’re not confident making decisions without input from senior managers.

So, consider whether you should “reply all” or respond only to the email’s sender. And, think about whether using “cc” (carbon copy) or “bcc” (blind carbon copy) to include selected team members is more appropriate.

Mistake 3: Writing Too Much

Brief and succinct emails that contain only the important details are much more effective than long or wordy ones.

If you’re struggling to keep your message short, consider whether the subject matter is too complex. Would another way of communicating it be more effective? Would a face-to-face meeting or telephone call make it clearer? Should you put your information in a procedure document instead?

Mistake 4: Forgetting Something?

How many times have you sent an email without attaching the relevant document? Perhaps you included a link that didn’t work? Or even attached the wrong file?

These mistakes can often be fixed quickly with a follow-up email, but this adds to the large volume of messages that people receive, and it can appear unprofessional or forgetful. Consider attaching files as soon as your start drafting your message, and always check all of your links carefully.

Attaching the wrong document can be much more serious, particularly if it’s sensitive or restricted. Read our article on confidentiality in the workplace to identify what information is confidential in your organization, and to think about how to protect your data.

Mistake 5: Emailing the Wrong Person

Today, email providers increasingly use “auto-fill,” predictive text and “threads” (or “conversation view”), which can all increase the risk of you sending your message to the wrong person.

This can be embarrassing, but it also means that your email might not reach its intended recipient unless someone flags up your mistake. More seriously, you risk distributing sensitive information to the wrong people, and damaging your organization’s reputation. So, always pause to review your email before you send it.

When you reply to or forward an email within a thread, make sure that all the messages contained within it are appropriate for the recipient. Is there any sensitive information? Are there any personal comments or remarks?

Mistake 6: Being Too Emotional

One of the main benefits of email is that you don’t need to respond immediately. It’s particularly important to delay your response when you’re stressed, angry or upset – if you send a message in the heat of the moment, you can’t get it back (although some email clients do have a limited “undo” or “retrieve” option). These emails could damage your working relationships, or even be used as evidence against you.

So, avoid sending any messages when you feel this way. Wait until you’ve calmed down and can think clearly and rationally.

Mistake 7: Not Using “Delay Send”

It can be satisfying to send an email as soon as you finish writing it, so that it’s “off your desk.” However, many email clients now provide a “delay” or “scheduled send” function, which can be particularly useful.

Mistake 8: Using Vague Subject Lines

As we’ve said, email is most effective when your message is concise and to the point (but not abrupt). So, it’s important to start with a clear subject line, so that people know what to expect when they open it.

What is your email about? Is there an important deadline date? Do you want people to take action before a certain time? Is it urgent or non-urgent? Tailor your subject line accordingly, so your recipient can give the email the right level of priority and attention.

Mistake 9: Not Reviewing

Proofing your emails is one of the most important things you can do. It only takes a few minutes, and it helps you to pick up poor grammar, spelling mistakes and punctuation errors, which look unprofessional andsloppy . Our article on Writing Skills has more on how to check your work for mistakes.

It’s also important to ensure that you properly read and understand emails that are sent to you, including all messages in threads or conversations. Here, someone may have already dealt with your question or concern, and raising it again will likely result in duplication, frustration and confusion.

Finally, don’t add the recipient to your email until the last moment. This ensures that you can’t accidentally send your message before you’ve finished writing it, have added your attachment, checked the email, and spotted any errors.

Mistake 10: Sending Unnecessary Emails

Because email is so quick and convenient, it can easily become your default communication method with your team. However, it’s important to remember that email is also impersonal, and you risk losing touch with people if you rely on it too much. It’s certainly not a substitute for face-to-face or even phone communication.