Tag Archives: #communicationworkshop

HIGH IMPACT PRESENTATION By Anubha Walia

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Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.08.33 pm Presentation Skills is the most important competency for any employee. I have been conducting a session for various escorts, corporates at Senior level and Mid-level and I am sharing Roadmap which you can never forget. HR can contact us at 919818446562, training@prismphilosophy.com for development of their staff on this title.

Map It

The best way to start any presentation is with an outline. Outlines help leaders prioritize and organize their thoughts. This is especially important in situations in which there is a large amount of information to distil and disseminate. Although creating an outline takes more time to prepare, it saves the audience time. Mind maps have become a popular way of outlining; particularly helpful is a BRIEF map. Each of the letters, in BRIEF, stands for a function of a bubble in the map. The middle bubble contains the main idea of the presentation and is called the brief box. The rest of the map should be organized with bubbles that contain the following:

*Background or beginning.
*Reason or relevance.
*Information for inclusion.
*Ending or conclusion.
*Follow-up questions expected to be asked.

Tell It

The best way to persuade an audience is to tell a story. Good stories connect and stick with the audience. When considering the elements of a narrative, it is important to think like a journalist and keep in mind the following key elements:

*A strong headline.
*A compelling lead paragraph.
*A clear sense of conflict.
*Personal voice.
*A consistent narrative thread.
*A logical sequence of events.
*Character development.
*A powerful conclusion.

Stories should be short and simple. Leaders who need to synthesize a large amount of information into an outline should create a narrative map that includes the following:

*Focal point: the headline of the story.
*Setup or challenge: the issue the organization is facing.
*Opportunity: how the organization can resolve the issue.
*Approach: the how, where, or when of the story.
*Payoff: the conclusion.

Talk It

Being brief is not about eliminating or cutting off conversation — it is about meaningful, controlled conversations. In a controlled conversation, a leader asks thoughtful and intentional questions to determine what is interesting to the other person. By controlling the questions, leaders can choose to ask more questions or end the conversation based on the response. A great method for keeping any conversation brief and powerful is to use TALC Tracks:

*Talk: When someone starts talking, a leader should be prepared with a response that has a clear point.
*Actively listen: A leader must listen carefully to the other person to pick up keywords, names, dates, and other important details. A leader should be ready to ask open-ended questions with a focus on the elements that are interesting.
*Converse: A leader should jump in with a comment or question when there is a natural pause, be careful not to start an irrelevant conversation, and keep responses short.

Being brief requires an understanding of what is important to the audience. By focusing on the audience’s priorities, leaders show respect for them.

Show It

Multiple studies have shown that visual communications are much more powerful than those with words alone. In fact, screens and interactive media are causing a shift from a world of words to one of the images. People now expect their communications to be interactive. Incorporating visuals is a great way to be brief, and can be accomplished by:

*Googling images that relate to the presentation.
*Integrating drawings.
*Using short, online videos.
*Using a whiteboard to illustrate.
*Bringing in show-and-tell items.
*Creating a presentation through programs like prezi.com.
*Adding photography.
*Color-coding memos.
*Using icons instead of frequently used words.

When using visuals, leaders should assume people may not read the accompanying text. Therefore, the visuals should be able to stand on their own. When incorporating videos, leaders should be mindful of the time and quality — videos that are too long or too amateurish will lose the audience.

These guidelines help to make written communications more visually appealing:

*Communications should have a strong subject line or title.
*Readers should not have to scroll down beyond the opening window.
*Whitespace should balance the text.
*Key ideas should be called out.
*Bullets and numbers should feature a strong starting word.
*Unnecessary words should be trimmed.

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.

TEAMWORK AND COLLABORATION TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

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ABCDD602-6052-400E-B9F6-6725D5E1EAFFAccording 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

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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.

TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

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A variety of time management techniques that can be used by people in different professional roles, as well as at home.

Leadership Session with Service Sector by Anubha

Leadership Session with Service Sector by Anubha

1. Link time management to life goals. Clear goals create a sense of urgency that motivates people to accomplish more in less time.

2. Establish a time management system. This includes prioritizing goals and using techniques like time blocking, organization, and electronic tools to manage one’s time.

3. Handle time management challenges. Strive to avoid interruptions and to overcome procrastination. Consider using Zeller’s six step system for faster decision-making.

4. Work more efficiently with others. When organizing or attending meetings, prepare in advance. Determine how much time to spend meeting with customers and prospects, based on their potential return.

5. Recognize job specific time management challenges. Different types of employees face unique challenges related to time management. This includes administrative staff, sales people, business owners, and executives.

HOW TO MAKE TRAINING MEMORABLE

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MAKING TRAINING EVENTS MEMORABLE

One of the secrets to creating memorable events is to create a training plan in advance of the session. When developing this type of plan, instructors can consider nine techniques:

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  • Eliciting input about what learners hope will be covered and excluded.
  • Establishing training goals at the beginning of the session.
  • Using a building block approach to content, moving from basic concepts to more advanced ones.
  • Building in time for learners to process what they have learned.
  • Selecting three to five key concepts to focus on. You can use PRISM Philosophy
  • Addressing all learning modalities, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
  • Using creative training aids that incorporate sound, color, motion and novelty.
  • Confirming that learning is happening.
  • Incorporating an activity that assesses whether the learners’ needs have been met.

Another way to ensure that training sessions are successful is to schedule them at the optimal time of day and time of year. Instructors must consider learners’ body clocks or “circadian rhythms.” The best time to hold heavy thinking activities is between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The starting and ending times for training should also take into account travel patterns and work hours. Trainers should also pay attention to the best month, the best day of the week, and the best time of the month to schedule sessions. Onsite training is convenient for attendees, but the proximity of the office can also be a distraction for participants.

To make the most of classroom time, suggestions are : (1) ensure that all details are set, (2) rehearse the instructions, (3) plan all the class activities in advance, (4) create flip chart headers in advance, (5) send forms to participants in advance, (6) bring extras of all materials, (7) be prepared to control the heat and other aspects of the environment, (8) use creative ways to select volunteers and form groups, (9) manage learner behavior, (10) draw learners back to the classroom on time, (11) ask learners to assess their assignments, (12) gather learner feedback throughout the session, (13) monitor time, and (14) flick the lights on and off to attract attention.

You can invite Anubha Walia (International Trainer, Coach & Facilitator) for conducting TTT ( Train The Trainer ) in your organisation.Contact details: training@philosophy.com, anubhawalia@gmail.com

Leading Through Effective Communication- Being A Supercommunicator

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Leading Through Effective Communication- Being A Supercommunicator

As super communicators you should observe these six basic guidelines to ensure effective communication:

1. Lead with the Conclusion: The agreed upon standard for communications used to be gradually building to the main point, usually best to state the main idea first and why it is important. After ensuring that all readers have at least understood the critical argument, writers can continue with supporting evidence, information, and a limited number of links for those interested in reading further.

2. Use Big Words Sparingly: Ironically, research shows that while people with stronger vocabularies are more successful in business, those who use too many big words are not effective communicators. When the audience is concentrating on a speaker’s vocabulary, they are missing the overall message. Rather than responding with admiration, people become frustrated or are put off by the speaker’s perceived attempt to brag or impress. Again, the aim is not to insult the audience’s intelligence, but merely ensure that their focus is on the information being conveyed.

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3. Combat Jargon Abuse: While jargon feels good to use for insiders, it inherently excludes everyone else. When trying to simplify complicated subjects for a non-specialist audience, it is imperative to minimize and explain any use of jargon. Acronyms are like another form of jargon that increases efficiency for insiders but, again, is a hassle for outsiders. When content looks like “alphabet soup,” acronyms are being overused.
4. Shorter Sentences, Paragraphs, and Chapters: Just as with the overuse of big words, long sentences, paragraphs, and chapters are “roadblocks” for readers. Internet culture has promoted brevity in the same way it has encouraged easy readability. Overdoing it can make a document boring, however, so this is not a hard and fast rule but something to be mindful of.

5. Sync Content with the Audience’s Culture:

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When making cultural references or analogies, communicators must be sure the entire audience will understand them. It is safest to stick with shared human experiences (e.g., food, family, sports) to avoid confusion. also need to consider the tone their messages are delivered in.
6. Make it Error Free: Errors ruin credibility no matter how intelligent the person presenting is. Communicators should always work with others to ensure work is free of errors, particularly those a computer may not pick up.null

“A golden rule to be a good manager/leader and of-course a human is to communicate effectively. Our in-depth training modules are designed specifically to bring out the super-communicator in you to make sure you progress and pave the way forward for you and your team.

Our “Be a Supercommuniactor” training module is one in-depth, well researched and perfectly planned as per the recent trends to address the communication issues in your organisation.”

Here is a glimpse of our 2-day session at a leading software solution company.

 

Factors of happiness

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According to Pryce-Jones, there are five main factors of happiness in the workplace, dubbed the 5Cs: Contribution, Conviction, Culture, Commitment, and Confidence. These factors form the core of happiness at work, which the author Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 9.15.02 pmcalls “achieving your potential.” These factors are associated with three additional themes: Pride, Trust, and Recognition. When the 5Cs come together in an employee, it is likely that she will be happy at work and that her productivity will be substantially higher. The major task for business leaders is to understand these major themes and how they can work toward achieving them.

CONTRIBUTION

The first and most important of the 5 Cs is Contribution, defined by Pryce-Jones as what a person does in the workplace and what his view of it is. An employee’s sense of Contribution is shaped by both the employee (Inside-Out Contribution) and his colleagues (Outside-In Contribution).

Inside-Out Contribution

Inside-Out Contribution has four main components, the first two of which relate to getting things done. First, a strong sense of Contribution will result when a person reaches the big goals that she sets for herself in her working life, such as getting the promotion she wants, landing her ideal job, and so forth. Pryce-Jones warns that it is important to set goals that are not only realistic but also in harmony with the larger aims and values of the company; happiness at work must occur within the context of a working community. However, it is also important for a businessperson to ensure that the goals she is working toward are goals in which she truly believes. If the goals are not really hers, then she will have a much harder time sticking to them, and consequently she will suffer from a reduced sense of Contribution.

The happiest people stretch themselves with challenging goals that answer to their talents and interests; they are genuinely committed to those goals as ends in themselves; and they find pleasure in the tasks necessary to achieve those ends. This crucial aspect of Contribution requires great self-awareness and the discipline to identify the right goals. These goals must be clear and concrete enough to determine the objectives that need to be reached along the way.

Having clarity about objectives–the steps a businessperson needs to take to reach his goals–is the second main component of Inside-Out Contribution. For example, if a businessperson’s goal is to become an executive, then good objectives would include earning an MBA, taking on higher-profile projects in his current position, and so forth. According to Pryce-Jones, goals and objectives need to work together. Without clear objectives, goals remain abstract and frustratingly distant. The goals must also be appealing enough for a businessperson to pursue objectives that she may not find very attractive.

The third component of Inside-Out Contribution is the ability to address any issues with one’s colleagues and employers. Happy employees are more likely to make suggestions and address problems that matter to them, thus providing more open, honest communication and Contributing to social capital.

Honest communication leads directly to the fourth component: the feeling of job security. Lack of open communication can lead to gossip and uncertainty, resulting in a decline in Contribution. This can be avoided when individuals have enough confidence in their colleagues to raise issues honestly and expect direct answers. Job security also demands that businesspeople make an effort to be mindful of their job situations, objectively considering the requirements of their position and their ability to meet them–and if necessary, discussing the situation with colleagues or bosses. Good communication provides businesspeople with concrete metrics on their performance and prevents them from feeling uncertain about their positions. Like the other components of Inside-Out Contribution, this helps to ensure that they remain on-task and focused on their work.

Outside-in Contribution

While the four elements of Inside-Out Contribution are the wellspring of Contribution, they are complemented by the four elements of Outside-In Contribution. Outside-In Contribution begins where Inside-Out Contribution leaves off–namely, with the feeling of being heard by colleagues and bosses. As a component of Contribution, listening makes the most noticeable difference. According to Pryce-Jones, those who feel most heard have a much higher sense of overall Contribution than those who do not.

Cultivating listening skills in the workplace will build the Contribution of colleagues. A person with good listening skills will:

  1. heed what the other person says.
  2. interpret non-verbal signals to arrive at an understanding of what is implicit in the conversation.
  3. affirm the other person at the same time.

This level of listening ability requires a great deal of mindfulness and discipline, but it brings substantial rewards in terms of psychological and social capital.

The second element of Outside-In Contribution is the reception of positive feedback, or what the author terms “positive feedforward.” In order to be effective, positive, encouraging comments must be specific to an individual’s work; they must focus on what that person does well (what he should keep doing); and they should be frequent but not regular enough to seem automatic and disingenuous. Businesspeople should also make an effort to ask others for positive feedback, not only to receive it but also to confirm the acceptability of doing so, creating a climate friendly to “feedforward.” Like listening, this is a particularly difficult skill to develop.

The final two components of Outside-In Contribution are the feeling of being appreciated at work and the feeling of being respected by one’s boss. Appreciation and praise are clearly linked, but appreciation tends to result from effort–how hard one tries — rather than ability; it recognizes that someone has good intentions and has made sacrifices. A CEO pausing to thank an employee by name for keeping the floor clean would be an example falling under appreciation.

Respect, according to Pryce-Jones, seems to emanate from one’s demeanor and general way of being with others. Body language, eye contact, and attentive engagement all indicate respect. Perhaps the most important part of showing respect is taking care with basic manners, such as saying thank you and hello. These habits can further the sense that a businessperson respects her colleagues, and she is likely to earn respect in return. This fosters an atmosphere of respect throughout the company.

CONVICTION

Conviction has the second-strongest correlation to happiness at work. Conviction means that a businessperson thinks he performs well in his job, and that he is motivated to keep pressing on even when circumstances are difficult, as he ultimately thinks he is making a difference.

At the core of Conviction is motivation, or the ability to persevere with the work. According to Pryce-Jones, motivation is innate in human beings, but certain conditions need to be met in order for a person to maximize it. Self-Determination Theory states that motivation is comprised of three elements:

  1. Competence: engagement in something a person likes and can manipulate effectively.
  2. Connection: participation in healthy working relationships.
  3. Choice: the freedom to choose activities that accord with one’s interests.

Using these three elements, it is possible to gauge a person’s motivation level and identify where it may be lacking. A businessperson’s competencecan be gauged by identifying how often she experiences moments of “flow”: the extremely satisfying times when she is so engaged in her work that she hardly notices time passing. Connection can be assessed by the level of reciprocity that she enjoys with her colleagues, or the likelihood that a favor will be returned. Choice is measured by the attitude that a businessperson has toward her job; is it a burden, or does she go the extra mile instinctively? If a businessperson is not interested in the work to begin with–that is, if the work is not something that she truly values–then she must force herself to make personal sacrifices. A bad attitude is a sign of lack of Choice. Only when all of these elements work together are people able to tap into their full capacity for motivation.

Resilience is another essential component of Conviction, as it keeps a businessperson going during difficult times. A person’s resilience depends heavily upon his nature and experiences. For instance, people who grew up during the Depression were found to be much more resilient than those who grew up in economic booms. However, there are some strategies that can be used to improve one’s resilience, regardless of past experiences. The most effective of these strategies is proactive coping: being mindful of what difficulties might occur in the future so that one can be prepared; interpreting events in a positive light whenever possible; and viewing risks as opportunities rather than as evils.

People with high levels of Conviction feel that they are contributing to the betterment of the world through their work. Therefore, one way to develop a sense of Conviction is to be aware of the impact of one’s work.

CULTURE

The third element of the 5Cs is Culture. It refers to how well a businessperson fits within the ethos and dynamic of the workplace.

The Culture of a business can be represented by a continuum between “fixed” Culture–meaning that there are more rules and the work is structured–and “fluid” Culture–meaning that there is more variety and freedom for the individual, and roles are more dynamic and loosely defined. Depending on his personality and the type of environment he is actually working in, a businessperson will either find the business culture more enabling (in which case he will find the Culture either “systematic” or “organic”) or more restrictive (in which case he will find the Culture “static” or “chaotic”).

Within this continuum, Culture can be broken down into several elements. On the more fluid side–that is, among the elements that are more variable and less determined by top-down structure–is a businessperson’s love for his job and his relationship with colleagues. The degree to which a person loves his job depends on whether he is in the right role and whether the business’s place in the fixed-fluid continuum suits his personality. A person’s relationship with his colleagues depends on both the person and his colleagues, and how effective they are in forging relationships with one another.

The more fixed aspects of culture–the ones that vary less–are related to the values of the organization, the fairness of the company’s work ethos, and the amount of control employees have over what they do. These factors are determined by parameters that the company sets. This is especially true of fairness: if employees are systematically treated unfairly, there is not that much an individual can do. On the other hand, it is possible for one employee to have some effect on other employees. For instance, a businessperson can make an effort to be mindful of what her values are, and to think about how her values might coalesce with those of the company. Likewise, a businessperson can achieve more control in the workplace by learning to say “no” to people, or by seeking more responsibility (and thus more influence) on decision making.

COMMITMENT

The fourth C is Commitment, which refers to an employee’s general level of engagement with work. Commitment can be broken down into two elements: believing in what one does, and having positive feelings related to one’s work.

People who are happy at work find their work more meaningful and more interesting; they are more in tune with the purpose of their company; and they feel more positive emotions. Individuals have some control over each of these aspects, but they require a good deal of reflection and self-knowledge. Specifically, an employee needs to identify what she sees as her overall purpose (or what she is trying to achieve in her work) and then find work that is meaningful in a corresponding way. This will be most effective if the employee can identify a calling for herself, something that she is deeply interested in for its own sake.

Another factor in enabling strong Commitment is the effectiveness of the mission statement of the organization. Companies will have much more success recruiting and retaining committed workers if they have a clearly articulated, concrete, and distinctive vision. In addition, their employees will have a better chance of feeling that they are doing something worthwhile and interesting. They will also be able to link their role in the firm with their sense of calling, and they will be more likely to experience positive feelings, or emotional highs.

CONFIDENCE

The fifth and final C is Confidence. Confident employees believe more in themselves, are more productive, and are significantly more energetic than those who lack confidence. Confidence is comprised of three parts:

  1. high productivity
  2. strong self-belief
  3. good understanding of one’s role

High productivity is the more solid, dependable part of Confidence. If a businessperson has a history of completing tasks, then it will be difficult for any momentary doubts or difficult events to shake his Confidence. To achieve happiness at work, it is therefore extremely important to learn strategies of self-control and to avoid or manage procrastination as much as possible. The more things a person gets done, the higher his core level of Confidence will be.

Self-belief relates to a businessperson’s perception of his ability to perform tasks and achieve goals. A businessperson’s self-belief is formed by:

  • observing evidence that encourages the perception that he can get things done.
  • seeing co-workers who seem to have things in common with him succeed.
  • encouragement from others.
  • refusing to panic and interpret his experiences in a negative light–for instance, by reading signs of nervousness as a measure of personal failure rather than of stressful circumstances.

The final part of Confidence, understanding one’s job, means that the businessperson feels her job has not been a disappointment; that it aligns with the vision she has for her career; that she wants to keep doing it; and that she would refer the company to a close friend.

In order to achieve strong performance, these three elements need to be exhibited in moderation–over-confidence can be as big a problem as lack of Confidence. It is therefore necessary for businesspeople to seek out challenges that will stretch them and build their level of Confidence, while simultaneously preparing for situations that might undermine it. They can do this by making sure they have the right strategies and support to minimize the impact of problematic situations on the more vulnerable elements of Confidence.

Strong self-belief and a good understanding of one’s role are points of vulnerability for Confidence. When troubles surface, a businessperson will feel these two elements drain away first, leaving him doubtful and indecisive.

INNOVATION

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INNOVATION: THE CLASSIC TRAPS

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

While every company champions innovation in theory, very few do a good job of being truly innovative. Not only that, the broad championing of innovation seems to run in cycles, with the majority of companies on the innovation bandwagon at the same time.

Unfortunately, most companies have not done well in learning from their mistakes when trying to innovate, and so are doomed to make them again when the next innovation craze comes along. The good news is that there are common traps companies can learn to avoid to make sure their innovative zeal does not get derailed the next time an innovation wave hits.

*Strategy mistakes: Many companies only consider innovation opportunities that promise very high and very fast returns, overlooking the smaller and less obvious opportunities that could yield even better results. Companies also tend to focus on product innovation and overlook the benefits that come from process innovation. However, by creating an “innovation pyramid” of potential opportunities, companies can cast a wider net and allocate resource investments incrementally. This practice also opens the door to include both product and process innovations, inviting ideas from across an organization.

*Process mistakes: Innovation requires a flexible set of processes; however, all too often companies subject innovation to the same set of planning, budget, and review rules the existing business must conform to. This approach stalls and stifles innovation. One solution is to set aside resources to address innovation whenever an opportunity comes along to allow resources to flourish outside of standard processes.

*Structure mistakes: Creating a separate business unit chartered with innovation can help provide the kind of flexibility innovation requires, but unless the two units are communicative and coordinate well, there can be a serious “clash of cultures” that creates resentment and stalls progress. Leaders can avoid this pitfall by facilitating strong communication and nurturing relationships between the two units.

*Skills mistakes: Strong interpersonal skills are required to both lead and champion an innovation effort. However, leadership is often put in the hands of technical experts instead. Companies should select leaders who are well versed in people skills and good at building strong teams.

QUESTION ANSWER IN PRESENTATION SKILLS

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With the speech completed, it is time to take questions. This should be a five-step process:

  1. Listen to the entire question.
  2. Repeat the entire question.Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 7.35.06 pm
  3. Pause. Many presenters tend to answer easy questions too quickly, revealing their struggle with difficult questions when they are forced to search for an answer.
  4. Answer the question. If the speaker does not know the answer, he or she should say so openly.
  5. Bridge to the next question. The speaker bridges by asking the questioner if he or she is satisfied.

If there are no questions, the speaker can get things rolling by saying, “Many people have asked me… .” If a question is clearly hostile, the presenter can rephrase it in more neutral language. Stalling, useful in any case to give time to craft an answer, is especially useful when trying to disarm a verbal attack.