Tag Archives: #Anubhawalia

Engaged employees

Standard

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.

A FORMULA FOR RESPONDING

Standard

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.

TEAMWORK AND COLLABORATION TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

Standard

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.

LEVELS OF CONFLICT

Standard

Understanding the levels of conflict is also important. If the conflict has grown from a minor disagreement to a fight, the tools that work for minor disagreements will not work anymore.

Training Session with Anubha with Manufacturing teamShearouse outlines five levels of conflict, adapted from Speed Leas’s Moving Your Church Through Conflict:

1. Problems to solve. A problem is discussed, and a solution is decided.

2. Disagreement. People take sides and actions based on assumptions.

3. Contest. People argue about who is right and who is wrong–each party fighting to be right.

4. Fight. Both parties become defensive–it is about winning and losing now.

5. Intractable situation. There is no solution, no winning or losing–only separation.

Strategies for resolving conflict differ depending on the level. For level one, problems to solve, clear communication and a collaborative approach are essential. To resolve conflict at this level, managers should clearly state the issue or problem to solve, listen to all sides carefully, and identify each side’s interests. Agreeing on shared goals can also help, as well as making sure all voices are heard and there is an atmosphere of trust.

Level two, disagreement, calls for more structure. Establishing ground rules for a conversation can be an important starting point, such as “we will listen to each other’s points, no matter what.” After the ground rules have been established, a manager should establish a common goal or objective.

At level three, contest, the fear and distrust levels are higher. Therefore, the process needs to be even more structured–ground rules, roles for who is gathering information and presenting it, who is leading the meeting, etc.

At level four, fight, it is often no longer clear what the disagreement is even about. It is no longer about a specific issue, but is instead about a damaged relationship. External help (a mediator or facilitator) is often necessary at this stage.

If the conflict reaches level five, intractable situation, an outside party needs to not just mediate, but also make the decisions.

HOW WE RESPOND

Conflicts are also affected by the way people approach them. Everyone approaches conflict differently. However, often people only use the same one or two approaches every time they face conflict. The five most common approaches include:

1. Avoiding. When avoiding conflict, people usually back away from conflict, even if nothing has been settled. When dealing with an avoider, a manager should strive to create a safe place for people to talk, and give people time to think and consider before the discussion.

2. Accommodating. This usually means putting a relationship before personal wants and needs in a conflict. A manager needs to assure accommodators that the relationship is not in jeopardy.

3. Directing. “Directors” are more focused primarily on personal goals, and more concerned about “getting it done” than what others want or need. A manager should help directors realize that it is in their best interest to collaborate with others to solve conflict.

4. Compromising. Compromising means that everyone accepts a little less to get the job done. Managers can encourage compromisers to slow down before rushing to reach a solution.

5. Collaborating. In a collaboration, people make sure that both sides are heard and understood. Collaborators need deadlines for decision-making to avoid endless negotiations.

Good managers understand both their own approaches to conflict, and their employees’ approaches. There is no “right” way to approach conflict, as different situations call for different approaches. For instance, sometimes it is appropriate to avoid conflict if the situation just does not warrant discussion or collaboration. But sometimes, managers avoid conflict when the situation really needs to be addressed and sorted out thoroughly. The key is to know when a certain approach is appropriate, and when it does more harm than good.

Shearouse stresses that understanding style differences in approaching conflict can help everyone involved to respond to personality differences more effectively.

SOURCE OF CONFLICT

Standard

WHAT WE ARE ARGUING ABOUT MATTERS: SOURCES OF CONFLICT

It is important to think about the source when thinking about the solution. The main sources of conflict include the following:

IMG_6954* Information conflicts. These involve facts or numbers–the easiest conflicts to address. Managers can start by agreeing on the source of data and how to get it.

* Conflicts of interest and expectations. These involve underlying needs, concerns, and desires. It is important to identify the interests of each party first in a conflict. When the discussion is about interests, rather than positions, solutions will emerge more easily.

* Structural conflicts. These involve limited resources, or structures beyond the control of those involved in the conflict. For instance, if five people are vying for a promotion, and there is only one open position, this can cause a structural conflict. When faced with structural conflicts, it is important to bring the issue to the appropriate decision-maker, make sure decision processes are transparent, and look for ways to turn the decision-making over to those who will be affected by the decision.

* Conflicts in values. These involve people’s principles. It is better to work around these differences than to try to establish who is right and who is wrong. Focusing on goals that supersede the value differences (goal of the company, department, etc.) can lead to solutions.

* Relationship conflicts. These conflicts can affect all the other conflicts. These are about two people’s history, and frequently involve communication, stereotypes, and trust. Trust is extremely important to avoid and fix these conflicts. With it, employees can get through anything. Without it, employees cannot do anything. Trust is built up slowly, and needs to be worked on to be maintained. Managers need to feel like they can count on their employees, and employees need to feel like they can count on their managers.

RESOLVING CONFLICT

Standard

KEYS TO RESOLVING CONFLICT

Once managers understand conflict, and how it arises, they can start to build an environment that encourages conflict resolution. Shearouse suggests managers start by focusing on the following:IMG_6946

* Trust

* Apologies and Forgiveness

* Anger

* Humor

* Time

Building Trust 

If trust is so critical, how do managers establish it, and then how do they keep it? Shearouse suggests they start by understanding three categories of trust: reliability, competence, and caring.

1. Reliability. Reliable managers are clear about what they are committed to, and what they expect of others. These managers keep their commitments. Reliable managers are also stable managers. Employees respond to consistency in the boss’s behavior and mood. If the boss is unpredictable, distrust mounts.

2. Competence. Those new to managing people need to acknowledge that a new skill set is needed, and find a way to hone those new skills. Employees need to trust that the manager has the skills to lead the team.

3. Caring. Employees need to know that their managers care about them as people–about their career development, and even their personal lives–not just the role they play. Managers need to respect people for who they are. Listen closely to staff, and keep them well informed.

Apologies and Forgiveness 

Apologizing and forgiving are critical to working through workplace conflicts. They can be the difference between moving forward, or not. Shearouse believes that an apology that is heartfelt and convincing can begin to rebuild relationships.

Managers should set the tone with apologies and forgiveness. When employees see the manager apologizing for mistakes, and forgiving others, they will do the same. And with apologies and forgiveness, strong bonds between staff will begin to emerge.

Rethinking Anger 

Anger can wreak havoc in conflict resolution. Therefore, understanding anger and how to work around it is an important conflict-resolution skill. Emotions are inescapable, and they will play a role in everyday interactions, so managing their energy becomes crucial. Their energy is not always negative, as emotions provide the jumpstart needed to take action and make decisions. But emotions can also lead to “emotional highjacking”–when the emotions take over the thinking, reasoning part of the brains. To properly resolve conflicts, managers must understand emotional highjacking and know how to get past its effects.

Shearouse points out that it is important to note that anger is not automatic. Rather, it is a secondary response to other emotions. Consequently, understanding the emotions that cause anger will help manage conflict more effectively.

A Sense of Humor 

A sense of humor can go a long way in dealing with difficult workplace issues. First, it keeps things in perspective. Sometimes, everyone just needs to take a step back and laugh to ease the tension and move forward. Second, managers who laugh at their own mistakes will create an environment where everyone feels like they can admit to being human, making mistakes, and moving on. Third, laughter can actually improve the thought process. Shearouse suggests that laughter brings oxygen to the brain and helps clear up clouded thinking. Finally, humor can help deliver tough messages more easily.

Time 

Patience is truly a virtue when dealing with conflict. Conflicts are much less likely to escalate if both parties step back and slow down their reaction times. People need time to absorb information and see things from another perspective.

Managers should let time heal hurt and wounded egos, and avoid trying to solve conflict when the hurt is fresh. This is especially true when criticism and complaints are involved. People should not respond right away to negative feedback, but rather take the time to process and absorb the information without emotions getting in the way. The same goes for bad news–loss of a promotion, a reorganization, etc. When faced with bad news, people need time and space to grieve.

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

Standard

REACHING AGREEMENT: A SOLUTION-SEEKING MODEL

Once managers understand the nature of conflict and how to establish an environment that will nurture positive relationships, Shearouse introduces a model with specific steps for reaching solutions when conflicts arise. Using this model, managers can help slow down the decision-making and avoid jumping to a solution. The model also helps them keep an open mind when struggling to resolve conflict.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-7-14-58-pmThe solution-seeking model includes four steps:

1. Prepare. How will each person effectively contribute to the discussion? Shearouse suggests that managers ask these questions: What is the issue? Where can we talk? When can we talk? How can we make it “safe”? Who needs to be included?

2. Discover. This is the time to listen and talk. Managers need to avoid the natural inclination to state positions or solutions upfront. Rather, collect information and understand the other party’s perspective. People can start by sharing perceptions, exploring issues, and identifying interests.

3. Consider. Consider options for solutions.

4. Commit. To commit, managers need to write down the agreement, identify next steps, and regroup later to re-evaluate the solution.

LISTENING IS THE PLACE TO START

Shearouse also examines a couple of critical conflict-resolution skills needed to best take advantage of the solution-seeking model. Before jumping into a difficult conversation, it is important to vow to listen first. Listening is both essential to solving conflict and especially difficult to do in the middle of a conflict. Shearouse states that listening is the single most important and powerful tool when resolving a contentious issue or repair an awkward working relationship.

Managers should strive to develop the following three skills to become better listeners:

1. Nonverbal listening. Be aware of nonverbal cues, but do not jump to conclusions about what they mean. Managers also need to be aware of their own nonverbal communication.

2. Paraphrasing. Restate what the other person just said.

3. Asking questions. Raising questions enhances the ability to listen.

SAYING WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID

Another critical conflict-resolution skill is communicating well, especially during tense interactions. Before starting a difficult conversation, managers need to objectively think about their own interests in the situation, as well as their own tendencies in conflicts.

When a conversation gets going, they should speak in a way that will encourage others to work together, not in a way that will lead to heightened confrontation or defensiveness.

It is critical to be respectful. If managers want to successfully present the importance of their message, they need to talk to everyone respectfully. Finally, to persuade people, managers should know where employees are coming from–what is important to them, and how they approach problems. Armed with this information, managers can more easily and effectively translate their thoughts into a message that makes sense to employees.

TYPES OF TRAINING

Standard

PRISM SESSIONFour types of training are most often used in formal settings:

1. Receptive training is a variety of “telling” learners the information. It assumes, perhaps dubiously, that students will have the ability to digest the coursework into useable knowledge and workplace skills. While receptive training has limitations, it does make learners aware of the material to be learned. It is most effective when used spariTypes of training session by ANUBHAngly for short instructional blocks.

2. Directive training depends on a leader/follower dynamic. The leader issues directions for the purpose of leading learners to new knowledge, but the students have little control. This method is most successful with a group composed of people with limited prior knowledge of the course materials.

3. Guided discovery training depends on a more equitable partnership between trainer and trainee. Learners plunge into hands-on or problem-solving activities right away. The teacher provides direction, but the learners are responsible for discovering what to do and how to do it.

4. Exploratory learning in this advanced-level training method, the trainer creates the learning environment and the learners take control of the experience, setting their own goals and strategies.

These four types of learning mirror a natural progression of learner sophistication. For best results, the creative trainer will mix and match the methods, remembering to use receptive training sparingly, if at all.

10 HABITS for TIME MANAGEMENT

Standard

Ten Habits That Promote Time Efficiency 

1. Start the day early. Since most people are more productive in the morning, Zeller recommends getting up a half hour to an hour earlier than usual.

2. Plan for the next day. Allocate time each evening to set up for the next day. Planning should incorporate both personal and work obligations.

3. Pay attention to health issues. Eat a healthy diet and have small frequent meals throughout the day to maintain energy. Exercise is also important. Scientific research proves that exercise stimulates chemicals that promote positive thoughts. Also be sure to get enough sleep each night.

4. Set aside downtime. Like children, adults also need unstructured blocks of time.

5. Plan meals for the week. Consider planning meals just once a week. This prevents wasting time each day deciding what to eat.

6. Delegate almost everything. Determine which tasks are most important and then delegate everything else.

7. Say no more often. There are countless demands on people’s time. It is essential to protect work and pastimes from other less important tasks. Say no when asked to take on activities that do not align with your goals.

8. Always use a time management system. The best way to retain time management skills is to adopt a system for managing time.

9. Simplify life. Owning and maintaining possessions is time consuming. Zeller recommends that people consider how their material items align with their goals. Objects that do not support one’s goals should be discarded.

10. Begin every day at zero. Leave mistakes, disappointments, and failures in the past. Things that happened yesterday need not affect the outcome of today.

Time Savers for Life Outside Work

Standard

Ten Time Savers for Life Outside Work 

By managing time effectively outside work, people have more freedom to do the activities they truly enjoy.

1. Hire out yard work. Yard maintenance can add hours to weekly house responsibilities. Consider hiring someone to do that work.

2. Hire a personal chef to cook dinners in advance. Many families who value healthy meals hire a personal chef to cook and freeze dinners for the week. If a personal chef is too costly, other alternatives include meal preparation businesses or cooking in bulk.

3. Hire a house cleaner. One good way to find a house cleaner is to get a referral from a friend.

4. Get childcare for errand running. When it comes time to run errands, it is more time efficient to leave the kids at home with a sitter.

5. Use pickup and delivery services. Instead of spending time running errands, consider using a courier or a pickup and delivery service.

6. Explore shopping alternatives. Online shopping has made shopping very easy. Other alternative forms of retail shopping including grocery stores that provide scheduled ordering and delivery services, and stores with personal shoppers.

7. Consider on-site car service. Many auto detailers offer on-site services which are well suited for busy people.

8. Use a travel agent to book trips. Although many online travel sites exist, travel agents have access to sophisticated tools. These can be a time saving alternative.

9. Let someone else wrap gifts. Many stores offer complimentary wrapping services.

10. Use a greeting card service. Online services exist which will send cards every year to designated people.

Ten Time Saving Technologies 

1. Handheld digital voice recorders. These can be used to record notes and dictate correspondence.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software. CRM software enables businesses to maintain client and prospect information in a database.

3. Finance software or internet banking. Online bill paying makes managing finances easier than ever.

4. Phone and web conferencing solutions. Conference bridge lines are convenient for phone meetings, while online conferencing solutions can enhance presentations and meetings.

5. Wireless headsets. Wireless headsets are useful for people who spend a lot of time on the phone. They free one’s hands to take notes or walk around.

6. Mobile phones and text messaging. Text messages are another alternative for communicating quickly with people.

7. Instant messaging. Instant messaging is very useful in the workplace when people are in different locations.

8. E-book readers. These enable users to carry hundreds of digital books in a small, portable device.

9. GPS systems. These systems are ideal for people who travel for their jobs.

10. Digital video recorders. DVRs allow people to record television shows and then watch them at their convenience. They also allow viewers to fast forward through commercials.