Tag Archives: #Intervention

BE THE BEST PERSON YOU CAN BE

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Achieving personal goals comes from fully applying oneself in every situation. This is what earns the trust and respect of others that will catapult an individual to a position of greater responsibility. A positive work ethic gets results and is contagious. If expectations are not being met, an individual should ask the right questions, find the answers, and make the necessary changes. If expectations are being met, an individual should push to exceed them. Individuals should never become complacent.

Getting Organized and Getting Things Done

As an individual’s success at achieving goals grows, so do his or her responsibilities. Good organization and time-management skills become increasingly important. While each person might have a different process for staying on track, every individual must develop one. Planning ahead, setting priorities, and communicating well should be part of this process.

Being organized includes:

*Creating a regular, daily routine.

*Establishing a reminder system (for meetings, deadlines, etc.).

*Making allowances for the unexpected (flexibility is key).

*Breaking projects into manageable “chunks.”

*Eliminating distractions.

Spotting an Opportunity and Standing Out

Opportunities to excel are not always obvious. Networking and taking on “out of scope” tasks (with a manager’s permission) can yield hidden gems of opportunities that otherwise might not have surfaced. When presented with an opportunity, individuals should not let fear of failure stand in their way. They should fearlessly grab hold of opportunities as they come along–it will be noticed.

Some ways to bring about more opportunities include:

*Networking across the business.

*Earning a reputation as a “go to” person.

*Being analytical and always asking “why.”

*Speaking up and sharing thoughts, ideas, and initiatives.

*Leveraging chance encounters and talking to strangers.

*Taking novel approaches.

Sucking It Up

No matter how good a job might look from the outside, sometimes it turns out to be not as good from the inside, but that is no reason to quit. A willing and learning attitude that transcends difficult relationships and unrewarding tasks can result in great returns in the future. If nothing else, “sucking it up” builds character.

Below are some ways to view a bad situation differently:

*Be introspective and recognize the opportunity to learn.

*Be decisive and take action–get things done.

*Set out to win over challenging people.

*Keep emotions in check and always present a professional and positive countenance.

Pushing Back and Saying “No”

Often, new employees who are eager to please are taken advantage of and end up taking on too much. Learning to say “no” is an important part of being a productive employee. However, saying “no” is contextual. The method will vary depending on whom the request is coming from.

*Requests from peers. Clearly but politely communicate current priorities, deadlines, and commitments. This conveys that a “no” is not personal, but is tied to organizational goals.

*Requests from senior employees. These requests can trump one’s current projects. The individual should make sure he or she has a clear understanding of the request’s requirements and impacts on current projects, and then vet the request through his or her first line manager. If the request is from an individual’s manager and competes with other responsibilities, it is time to sit down and review priorities with that manager.

*The request seems inappropriate. Early on, it can be difficult to have the expertise or authority to know what is an appropriate or inappropriate request. This knowledge comes with experience. It is fine to ask questions and respectfully offer alternatives. However, a managerial edict (in the absence of an ethical or legal transgression) should be followed.

Ways to make saying “no” more productive include:

*Recognizing that the act of saying “no” is hard.

*Earning the right to say it by having built a good reputation as a hard worker.

*Understanding exactly what the request requires.

*Looking for alternative solutions to help solve the problem.

*Enlisting others to help in meeting the request.

*Communicating the reasons for saying “no” clearly and respectfully.

*Not becoming confrontational.

*Turning down the request in person.

Working Out When to Leave

The time to leave a job is when the opportunities to learn, develop, and make unique contributions end. It is very important not to leave prematurely or for reasons one has control over, such as difficult relationships or mastery of the position.

Individuals sometimes stay in jobs when they should move on because they feel comfortable in their roles, they are earning a lot of money, or they simply like their coworkers. While these are attractive features, in the absence of ongoing challenge, growth, and development, they can actually hold individuals back from progressing in their careers.

Before deciding to leave a job, employees should make sure to:

*Clearly identify what the undesirable aspects of the job are to determine if there is opportunity for change.

*Evaluate whether or not there are continued opportunities to learn and grow.

*Determine if there is only one overwhelming negative issue and, if so, take steps to resolve it before leaving.

*Seek counsel from a trusted friend or family member to get perspective.

*View the situation within the larger picture of life.

*Consider how the circumstances would be interpreted in a résumé or interview.

If at all possible, employees should resolve the situation and leave on a “high note.”

Time Savers for Life Outside Work

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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.

COMMUNICATION WITH GENY

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The most jarring of Gen Y’s workplace behaviors is their connectedness. They are — they expect to be — in constant communication with their friends by phone, by e-mail, by instant messaging, and by text messages. They are the first digital generation, and

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 6.00.34 pmthose who preceded them must accept that the way we communicate has changed. While the rest of us learn a second, technological language, Gen Yers are native speakers of a language with a different grammar, vocabulary, and etiquette; cross-generational misunderstandings, confusion and resentment often result. In addition, electronic communication has led Gen Y to become impatient with what strikes others as only minor delays. They expect instant messaging. Since so many of their friendships are electronic rather than face-to-face, they have not acquired the ability to read inflections and body language, an ability that is a key part of emotional intelligence. The relative anonymity of electronic communication has fostered an egalitarian style of communication whose informality often offends people.

Employers who focus on impatience, lack of people skills, multitasking, and casual language will miss the unique contribution Gen Y brings to the workplace: their technological fluency can create new possibilities for the company and add global perspectives. The authors advise the following:

  • Recognize that the Gen Y preference for electronic rather than paper communications is both ecologically sound and cost-effective.
  • Build intergenerational relationships and improve performance and productivity by letting Gen Y employees teach communication technology to older coworkers.
  • Take advantage of Gen Y’s ability to gather information from the whole world.
  • Allow them to multitask because they will do it anyway.
  • Model good communication form in the workplace by using “I” statements rather than “you” statements.
  • Set the limits to teach what is and is not appropriate professional behavior.
  • Let Gen Y employees hone leadership and mentoring skills by allowing them to use their technological expertise.
  • Build social relationships through emotionally intelligent communication.

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.

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.

Making Faster Decisions

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Making Faster Decisions 

Our training with FSS team was quite in-siteful and sharing some tips for you reader. Many people labor over decisions because they are afraid of making the wrong choice. Others have overcome this challenge by using a six step system for decision-making.

Anubha's Session on Problem Solving Decision Making

Anubha’s Session on Problem Solving Decision Making

1. Evaluate the decision’s gravity. Objectively assess the magnitude of the situation. Important decisions related to business, family, health, or finances, require more time and effort.

2. Determine the timeframe for the decision. Set a reasonable deadline for the decision which provides adequate time to research different options.

3. Settle on two options. Too many options can be confusing. Finding two options that are best aligned with one’s personal or business goals will result in fast and effective decision making.

4. Does the decision feel intuitively correct? Before taking a lot of time to research options, check to see if the options feel intuitively correct. Zeller says that the best decisions make sense logically and feel good intuitively.

5. Research the top options. More data leads to greater confidence about decisions. While research is important, Zeller 20151028_125739-2warns to not become overwhelmed by a sea of data.

6. Determine the most efficient way to reach the desired result. Quantify what the decision will cost in terms of time, effort, and resources. Also look at the desired end result and determine which path is best for getting there.