Tag Archives: Anubha

BEST COMMUNICATOR : IN NEW JOB

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T’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE

The best communicators are first and foremost keen listeners and keen observers. Speakers engage their audiences by listening to and observing audience members, then tailoring their communications to appeal and engage those members. These principles apply to the work environment as well. New employees’ first order of business will be to observe, learn, and test their communication skills, all while paying attention to the responses they receive. This is how individuals build rapport and respect.

A common mistake new graduates entering the business world make is to “over share” their knowledge. This can be off-putting to colleagues. Ultimately, the workplace is more about people than it is about information. Success comes from improving relationship-building and people skills.

The First Day of a New Job

The first day on a new job can be nerve-wracking. Common expectations are that the initial weeks and months will be a learning experience. Much like in the interview process, new employees should seek to make good impressions, listen more than they talk, be respectful, and focus on learning.

Tips for making good first impressions include:

*Dressing in alignment with others in the office.

*Being punctual, always.

*Being observant, polite, and helpful.

*Showing confidence.

*Being friendly while respecting boundaries.

*Thinking things over before asking questions, then asking good questions.

*Absorbing as much learning as possible.

*Syncing online profiles (like LinkedIn) to reflect the new position.

Establishing a Rapport with Your Colleagues

Though individuals can choose their friends, they cannot choose their colleagues. Successful people find ways to develop rapport with everyone in the office, whether they like them or not. Good communication is critical. A respectful, open-minded, and nonjudgmental approach helps ensure good relationships.

Ways to develop good rapport with colleagues include:

*Initiating get-together events like lunches and celebrations.

*Showing respect for others by being punctual, honoring deadlines, offering help, and embracing diversity.

*Keeping a light attitude.

*Seeking out commonalities with others.

*Being conscious of body language.

*Focusing on others, not on oneself.

*Recognizing others’ achievements.

*Building honest relationships.

*Staying out of office politics.

Remembering and Using People’s Names

Remembering someone’s name makes a great impression, but many people have a hard time doing so. This is a weakness that must be corrected, and it can be overcome with practice. Individuals can try these methods to improve their ability to remember names when introduced:

*Listen very carefully with a focused effort to remember.

*Ask again immediately.

*Probe for more information about the name to facilitate memory.

*Create a mental picture to go with the name.

*Get the person’s business card.

Teamwork and Poor Performance

Teamwork can be difficult when personalities clash or someone is not carrying his or her weight. However, the sign of a good leader is to be able get along with everyone, set aside differences, and help the team meet objectives.

When a team is dysfunctional, a leader can get it back on track by:

*Having an open dialog to probe for the underlying reasons for the dysfunction.

*Being a positive influence.

*Making sure to listen to others respectfully, and then acting from knowledge gained.

*Being inclusive of team members who are being left out.

*Seeking out more information if there are knowledge gaps.

*Creating socializing opportunities for the team to avoid “all work and no play.”

Getting People to Say “Yes”

The ability to influence others is an ongoing leadership challenge. Some people are naturally better at it than others. However, like other leadership skills, it can be developed. The more an individual’s opinions, predictions, and actions garner positive results, the more trusted he or she becomes as an influencer. Timing, positioning, confidence, and authenticity all play a part.

Successfully influencing others requires:

*Being respectful, particularly to authority.

*Knowing one’s audience.

*Demonstrating confidence.

*Tuning in to others and then addressing their concerns.

*Communicating well.

*Doing the research.

*Providing reinforcing examples.

*Patience.

TALENT MEASUREMENT & ASSESSMENT

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Part of the reason that many businesses struggle with talent measurement is because they do not know what measurement methods and tools are at their disposal.  Considering the following eight measurement methods:

1. Tools for sifting candidates. Sifting tools are a common component of many firms’ hiring processes. Typically, sifting tools are used in the early stages of the hiring process as they allow a business to narrow down a large pool of applicants. These tools can be preprogrammed algorithms or scoring systems that select the best résumés from the pile.

2. Interviews. Research shows that well-conducted interviews lead to accurate hiring judgments. While interviews do not measure a person’s competencies, they are shown to successfully gauge their social skills and experience. For interviews to be effective, businesses must ensure that they have structure. The biggest problem with interviews is that they are subject to interviewers’ biases.

3. Psychometric tests. Psychometric tests are questionnaire-based tests that evaluate factors like intelligence, personality, and integrity. When crafted well, these tests have been proven to be quick, cheap, and accurate. The most common problem with psychometric tests is that many do not have enough research to back up their accuracy.

4. Assessment centers. Traditionally, assessment centers are composed of multiple assessors who observe a group of participants over a series of exercises and tests while rating their competences. They offer a rigorous process that involves multiple perspectives. The limitations of assessment centers include the decline in their validity and the travel costs of sending candidates.

5. Situational judgment tests. Also known as “low-fidelity simulations,” situational judgment tests (SJTs) present people with realistic work scenarios before asking questions about them. SJTs can test people’s behavioral tendencies or their knowledge. Although they are easy to run, SJTs need to be well designed to deliver good levels of validity.

6. Individual psychological assessment. There is a lack of evidence to prove the benefits of individual psychological assessments. However, many organizations like to use this talent measurement process to determine if mid-level to senior executives are ready for promotions. It is an excellent way to evaluate an individual’s “fit.”

7. 360-degree feedback. This measurement method evaluates a person by asking a range of their colleagues to answer questions about them. The questions are designed to measure people’s competencies or their performance levels. The feedback received from the people questioned is generally regarded as fair and valid. However, the method usually fails to distinguish high performers from poor performers and is inefficient in that many participants interpret their ratings of a person as how much they like them.

8. Work sample tests, simulations, and games. Along with simulations and games, work sample tests have been found to be fair and capable of predicting performance. It is best to use this method in the recruitment process, particularly for skilled or semiskilled roles. The main limitation to this method is that if the design of the work sample is poor it is rendered ineffective.

HOW CAN YOU DETECT LIES

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Body language is very helpful when it comes to detecting lies, but it is not the only method people can use. There are 30 non-visual cues that can be used to aid in the detection of lies:

  1. Unusual eye contact
  2. Pupil dilation
  3. Change in blink rate
  4. Eye blocks (touching around the eyes)
  5. Blushing or blanching
  6. Fake smile
  7. Retracted lips
  8. Duper’s Delight (a fleeting smile after an untruthful statement)
  9. Under- or overproduction of saliva
  10. Nose touching
  11. Mouth touching
  12. Vocal cues
  13. Clammy palms
  14. Foot movements
  15. Unusual stillness
  16. Pacifying gestures
  17. Decreased illustrators (using fewer hand gestures)
  18. Hidden hands
  19. Nervous laughter
  20. Cathartic exhale
  21. Fidgeting
  22. Gestures after words
  23. Partial shrug
  24. Torso shield
  25. Distancing behaviors
  26. Forward lean
  27. Foot locks
  28. Longer or shorter response times
  29. Frequent and shallow breathing
  30. Throat clearing

Engaged employees

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Highly engaged employees know that their contributions and levels of engagement are significantly influenced by how they approach their work. A person contributes within an organization in five ways:

1. The Private: Like a military soldier of the lowest rank must learn, the basic requirements for making a contribution are first to show up and then to follow through. Sadly, those employees who do indeed show up and follow through could outperform over half the working population.

2. The Learner: When acquiring knowledge and skills needed to perform the basic and building tasks, learners must be willing to observe, ask for and receive feedback, and practice until they can accomplish those tasks on their own. They have to be coachable.

3. The Expert: As they accomplish tasks with expertise, employees build confidence and increase their level of engagement. They deliver high-quality results with a sense of pride and ownership.

4. The Coach: Expert employees naturally have the opportunity to become coaches by training, mentoring, guiding, and developing others. Highly engaged employees make deliberate plans to do so and set these goals as personal priorities. Thus, they multiply the scale of their influence and magnify the impact they make to the organization. They unselfishly seek to help the motivation and development of others.

5. The Visionary: Highly engaged employees choose to become visionaries, seeking opportunities and solutions to build the future. They understand that success is never final and that continuous improvement is a way of life. They want to make a difference and contribute to the progress and direction of an organization. They anticipate trends, network with others inside and outside the organization, and bring people together to solve problems.

As employees progress through the different levels, they spend more time behaving in ways that increases their contribution and value to the organization, as well as their level of engagement.

LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE

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People are often defined by how they communicate. There are three main communication styles:

1. Aggressive. This type of communication discourages collaboration and conversations, and focuses on placing blame if mistakes are made and taking credit for other’s successes.

2. Passive. This type of communication is reluctant to offer feedback, hates confrontation, and is unable to convey the full picture of a project or situation.

3. Assertive. This communication is objective and conversational. Such communicators think before responding to issues and see the big picture.

When problem-solving in the office, people need to use facts to back up their positions, avoid raising their voices, acknowledge other people’s stances, and learn to compromise. Additionally, understanding when to chime in and when to wait will take time to fully embrace, but can be very helpful once learned.

Written communication is important now that most offices use email, PDAs, and smartphones for daily communications. People in the corporate world are pressed for time and have a short attention span. Clear and concise emails, text messages, and memos are imperative for the busy professional. Levit stresses that proofreading is important, and that even the most basic email should be error free.

Listening is more than simply hearing words. It is important to understand the type and how much information is actually being heard. The best listeners do not interrupt, stay focused, and can read between the lines. However, it is important to understand the filters people face when attempting to take in information through listening. The four basic filters are:

1. Predilection filter. Hearing what is wanted instead of what is being said.

2. Who filter. Focusing on the person speaking rather than message.

3. Facts filter. Obliviousness to emotional or non-verbal cues.

4. Distracting thoughts filter. Allowing personal thoughts or emotions to become distracting.

Further, in-person communication involves nonverbal cues like appropriate eye contact, altering tone, appearing intelligent but not pretentious, and coming across as sincere. It is important to take advantage of quick conversations, such as in the elevator or in the kitchen, and volunteer to deliver formal or informal presentations. Practice makes perfect when developing communication skills in the corporate world.

TRUST AND CREDIBILITY

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When communicating with people who are angry or worried, four factors govern the perception of trust and credibility:

  1. Caring and empathy
  2. Openness and honesty
  3. Dedication and commitment
  4. Expertise and competence

Under normal circumstances, people assume anyone they meet has these qualities, or they are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. When they are angry or worried, however, they examine everything the speaker does and assign a negative meaning to it. For example, if the speaker is sweating, under ordinary circumstances the audience would assume he is nervous. If the speaker is addressing a worried audience, they are likely to assume he is sweating because he is lying or does not want to be there.

Greenberger gives each of the four trust factors a numerical value, and together the four add up to a “CODE” score that adds up to 100. When dealing with someone who is angry or suspicious, speakers want to come as close to that perfect score as possible. Anything lower can mean an audience will not trust them and, therefore, will not accept their messages. Speakers can work toward maximizing their CODE scores in a variety of ways.

Caring and empathy is by far the biggest factor in the CODE score, worth up to 50 points. The audience decides within 30 seconds if the speaker is caring, and the best way to prove understanding and empathy is for the speaker to relate a personal story. When firing a worker, for example, bosses might show empathy by relating the story of being let go early in their careers and how they bounced back and found a job that suited them better. Not everyone has such a personal story to tell, so it helps to be prepared by gleaning pertinent anecdotes from friends and relatives.

To show openness and honesty — 15 to 20 points on the CODE score — speakers should tell the truth, admitting what happened and why. If the company is still trying to figure out why something such as a leak occurred, the speaker needs to admit that and promise to let the community know the details as soon as possible. The speaker should outline what steps the company will take to prevent future mishaps as well.

Speakers can prove their dedication and commitment to helping the audience — worth 15 to 20 points — by showing that they want to be at the meeting and are willing to answer questions. Instead of setting a time limit on questions, the speaker should let the audience decide how long questions will go on and stay after the meeting to talk to anyone who wants to ask a question in private.

Expertise and competence — also worth 15 to 20 points — is the easiest area to gain points in. The audience is likely to accept that a company executive knows the subject. However, the executive can quickly lose points by using a lot of jargon or saying “I don’t know” too often.

A FORMULA FOR RESPONDING

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When dealing with a hostile audience, business people are likely to face questions that challenge their credibility as well as those that question facts. The underlying message of a credibility question asks “Why should we trust you?” or otherwise indicates that the speaker’s CODE score is wavering. Greenberger’s formula for answering such questions is the “CAN Response.” The speaker must be caring, answer the question, and discuss the next steps, in that order:

*Caring. The speaker must establish empathy to be seen as trustworthy. A personal story is the best way to break through to people.

*Answer. This is where the speaker gets the message across. The message should be short, simple, and positive. In the case of a factory leak, for example, the message might be as simple as, “Everything is safe.” After giving that message, the speaker should provide two supporting facts. It is best if one of the facts is from an independent, third party. After the facts, the speaker should repeat the message.

*Next steps. The speaker should explain what is going to be done to rectify the situation. It helps to provide the audience with a source for more information, such as by handing out business cards or offering to answer questions to establish that the executive is dedicated to fixing the situation.

An executive can acquire and improve all the skills needed to communicate in tough situations through preparation and practice. In today’s environment, with the 24-hour news cycle and Internet access allowing any story to go global in an instant, executives must always be prepared.

HOW TO BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE

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SELF-CONFIDENCE TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

Success in the workplace is tied to self-confidence, which is a key competency in the self-awareness cluster of Emotional Intelligence. According to the author, “a confident leader exudes a strong self-presentation and expresses him or herself in an assured, impressive, and unhesitant manner.”

Henry Fisker, the CEO of the luxury car company Fisker Coachbuild LLC and one of the leading automotive designers, is a Star Performer full of confidence. He is profiled in detail, and shares his 10 Secrets & Current Practices that make him a successful, top performer:

1. Take Private Time. Fisker takes one hour and a half each day at lunchtime to exercise and contemplate problems. He explores different angles and solutions until he gets a “feeling” and decides the best course of action.

2. Get Third Opinions. He believes it is valuable to solicit and get others’ viewpoints even if he is confident in what he thinks.

3. Evaluate Capacities. Fisker makes it a regular practice to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of his team. He then understands individual capacities and when he needs to make a decision he is able to delegate tasks based on strengths.

4. Shoot From The Hip. Fisker believes that employees do not like to be over-managed, and want to feel motivated. He therefore prefers the perception of quick and firm decisions like ‘shooting from the hip.’ His decision making process is in fact more calculated and he relies on the first three secrets to base his decisions and empower his team.

5. Go With That Gut Feeling. Fisker advocates this visceral approach as it allows for quick decision-making and is more accurate than logical thinking. All experiences have an emotional component.

6. Take Initiative. Taking initiative defines a Star Performance based in confidence. After the ‘gut feeling,’ Fisker evaluates the risks associated with it and if deemed appropriate takes action.

7. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses. Leaders should be cognizant of their weaknesses. He defines weaknesses as “things you could do, but don’t like to do.” Preferring to lead with his strengths and excel, he delegates to others things he likes to do the least. This keeps him “energized, creative, and competent.”

8. Take Responsibility For Your Mistakes. Fisker promotes leaders being honest with themselves and admitting to their mistakes in order to learn and grow. Being responsible for one’s actions leads to clarity and less problems down the road.

9. Reinforce People. Fisker is adept at motivating his team members. He asks questions to stay abreast of what they think and do. By engaging them, he is able to recognize and support their hard work.

10. Be Willing To Make Decisions That Are Exceptions To The Rule. Being successful at times means not following the rules and procedures. Fisker asserts that a leader needs to weigh the consequences of a decision, decide if it is worth the risk, and then act on it.

To emphasize, Nadler offers ten proven strategies to try and further improve self-confidence:

* Being On Your Case Vs. Being On Your Side. Many leaders have defective evaluation systems, are overcritical of their own performance, and rarely satisfied with their own success. “Being On Your Own Case” leads to erosion in self-confidence, unhappiness, and unintentional treatment of others in the same way. A faulty evaluation system can be changed by reframing it to “Being On Your Side” and will result in improved confidence and greater awareness of how an individual evaluate their self and others.

* Reflections on Thinking. It is common to have an internal dialogue. According to the author, the issue is the type of internal questions that are asked. Negative questions such as “Why didn’t I say something smart at the meeting?” produce negative answers, which heavily erode confidence. Paying more attention to the internal questions will help to take control of negative self-talk.

* Busting Perfection: Creating Realistic Expectations. Perfectionism is a form of self-evaluation that stunts performance and sets leaders up for failure and frustration. There is a ‘perfection loop’ where unrealistic expectations are set without critical thinking that creates an unconscious pattern of failure. One must become aware of the unproductive pattern, understand the steps that cause it, and know how to break the cycle. The goal is to set realistic and attainable expectations.

* Success Rules: Who Is Running You? Many leaders are living by rules for being successful that are outdated, rigid, and over-generalized. This unconscious behavior can be re-programmed to enhance self-confidence otherwise there will be feelings of dissatisfaction and failure. Writing down and becoming aware of the rules that drive performance is an important first step.

* Success Log. Nadler advocates writing a success log chronologically with age brackets. The goal is to get a clear picture of many successes in life which are sometimes forgotten or minimized. Reviewing the list builds confidence.

* Current Success Log. The next strategy is to keep a current log of daily or weekly achievements and successes, and after a few months to analyze it to define personal strengths.

* The Five Pivotal People In Your Life. Another useful tool to build confidence comes from Dr. Phil McGraw. He believes that each of us have five pivotal people who represent a positive force, and contribute to a sense of self-confidence and worth. It is useful to write these people down, and reflect on their influence.

* Visualization. Regularly visualizing and mastering the most challenging situations as leaders will improve confidence. This practice creates neural pathways that make the actual performance more natural.

* Decisiveness. Strong leaders act as consensus builders. It is better for leaders to delay sharing their opinions early in the decision-making process and take the role of facilitator with the group. Their views can come out at the end of the process, bringing all the information together, resulting in a better decision. Decisiveness then requires a timetable and action.

* Thin-Slicing. Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, coined the term ‘thin-slicing’. He defines it as “the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behavior based on narrow slices of experience.” Very successful executives are adept at utilizing intuition when reaching decisions, and it is a skill, argues Gladwell that can be cultivated by others.

TEAMWORK AND COLLABORATION TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

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According to Nadler, the main reason that executives fail in their leadership role is due to their inability to properly build and lead a team. To illustrate this point,  sharing 10 Secrets & Current Practices:

1. Start the Day with “An Attitude of Gratitude.” Jones suggests making a mental list of everything that an individual is grateful for and doing this in the morning. Then, arrive at work feeling uplifted.

2. Focused Greeting of People. Jones always greets people by making them feel she is glad to see them and views them as important.

3. Communication. Everyone on her teams is aware of goals and has accurate and up-to-date information at all times. This creates an atmosphere of ownership and common vision.

4. Red Flag Meetings. All team members attend these short meetings daily. Red flags are identified and resources are quickly allocated to address the concerns.

5. Revenue Gap Meetings. These meetings are meant to identify the current revenue for each customer, the individual customer forecast for that month, and any specific actions needed to close the ‘gap’.

6. BAT Team Meetings (Business Acquisition Teams). Each team of four or five members from different departments is assigned a major strategic account and charged with creating a comprehensive profile and specific actions. The intent is give team members who usually do not deal with sales a sense of ownership and a beneficial learning experience.

7. Team Meetings. These meetings are mandatory for all team members and are held twice monthly to foster collaboration and new learning experiences outside the realm of daily work demands.

8. Continual Process Review. Processes across the company and within departments are documented and subject to continual review and refinement. Teams of employees dealing with a particular process are established when a problem is identified and adjustments are needed.

9. Valuing Staff. Jones believes “in the value of each individual on the team.” She makes it a habit to check in with each member of the team on a regular basis to reinforce the fact that she cares and values each member’s efforts.

10. Humor. Humor relieves stress and creates group cohesiveness.

Building teams takes a dedicated leader along with discipline, planning, and practice.

COMMUNICATION AND EMPATHY TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

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Communication and empathy are the basis of all social and relationship skills, and a core competency of emotional intelligence. Nadler states that the communication competency includes listening with an open mind, sending convincing and clear messages, and cultivating an empathetic give-and-take. The empathy competency includes understanding other people and being actively interested in other people’s concerns, thoughts, and feelings.

prism-philosophy-1John Davies 11 Secrets & Current Practices are shared:

1. Touch The Heart. Davies believes the key to effective communication is to arouse emotions in people. Emotions are more important than logic.

2. Understand What People Want. He places client’s needs and their vision of success above his own capabilities and asks pertinent questions to be sure there is a good fit and his services can add bone fide value for a client.

3. Find Your Passion. A person who is passionate communicates in a convincing, persuasive, and genuine manner. Davies defines passion as “being your best without any compromise or change.”

4. Find Your Uniqueness. Giving voice to people’s strengths and unique abilities increases self- expression and enhances communication.

5. Read People. Engaging an audience involves being able to read non-verbal communication and discern what listeners are feeling and thinking. The ability to read people and their cues allows leaders to connect with their employees.

6. Acknowledge/Do Not Offend. Davies is cognizant that people need to know that they are being heard and their ideas are being taken into account. When conducting meetings, he never offends or threatens people and creates a safe environment to discuss ideas. Communication cannot be fostered in a divergent environment.

7. Summarize And Integrate. An effective communication strategy to is summarize what someone is saying and feed it back to him or her. After that is accomplished, it is possible to integrate new strategies and information to move forward.

8. Be Prepared. A “Star Communicator” in Davies’ opinion is always prepared. This includes reviewing client goals, researching pertinent information, prepping staff for what they need to know, and preparing for rebuttals.

9. Training And Personal Growth. Offsite retreats with staff several times a year allows staff “practice time” without the stresses of the work environment. Leadership, teamwork, communication, and project management are some of the skills that are fostered.

10. Quality In All. Davies mentors his staff to ensure that all products are of the highest quality. His expectation for his people is that they are accountable, proactive, and responsible for delivering superb work to clients.

11. Finding The “Needle In The Haystack.” The “Needle In the Haystack” is a means to be successful by uncovering what is often overlooked. Davies uses such practices as change strategies, psychology, crisis communication, and influence and persuasion theories.

Leaders need the ability to be highly effective communicators to get their point across and drive team behavior. Coupled with that, leaders need to know how to be empathetic.