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Archive for January, 2017

29
Jan

Networking Made Easy

Do you hate to network? If so, you’re not alone. Some people hate the thought of walking into a room where they don’t know anyone, but they do it because networking is an important part of professional success. Being connected to others is one of the most valuable tools you have for getting referrals and being top-of-mind. Here are some tips to make it easier.shutterstock_121029922

  • Be selective about where you network. Choose organizations that you like and want to support. Having a shared interest and commitment to an organization makes it easier to attend meetings and mingle with other likeminded people.
  • Take it slow. Don’t set a goal to meet as many people as you can. Instead, decide that you will meet two or three new people and reconnect with someone you already know in the group.
  • Focus on the other person, not your discomfort. Use a journalist’s who, what, where, when, why, and how form of questioning to get to know people, but don’t come across as if you are interviewing them! Ask questions and share your own answers to them, so they get to know you, too.
  • Follow up. When you meet new people, make sure you take time to send an e-mail within a day or two to reinforce the connection. If you meet someone you want to get to know better, schedule a coffee meeting within a week or two.
  • Connect on social media. Add social media to your networking activities. LinkedIn is a great venue to meet people both within and outside your industry. Join groups, check profiles of people you are interested in meeting, and reach out to them. 

Need more help networking? Check out my blog posts Networking 101 and Networking Tips for Shy People.

22
Jan

Leading Multi-Generation Teams

The generation gap in today’s workplace is the most challenging it has ever been since each generation has a different view of how work should be performed. You’ve probably discovered that older generations tend to view younger generations as “upstarts” who want the rewards without the hard work, and younger generations think their older coworkers are too rule-bound and process-focused. The key to success is helping your team value their differences and use those differences to make the team stronger.people_around_desk

  • Start by focusing on each generation’s strengths. Take advantage of your Millennials and Generation X employees by tasking them to come up with technology solutions that streamline processes. Your Boomer employees are relationship builders, so partner them as mentors and coaches for younger employees.
  • Hold workshops and live trainings to help your employees understand each generation’s background, preferences, and expectations. A little knowledge can bridge the generation gap and help your employees value and respect each other.
  • Think outside the box and be willing to make changes. Encourage your employees to suggest improvements and be willing to consider them. Create an atmosphere that fosters creativity and problem-solving and bring your team together to tackle a common challenge.

 

Help your team understand and value their differences and use them to be more successful in 2017. Want to know more about multi-generations? Check out my e-book Leading 4 Generations.

16
Jan

Avoid These Teambuilding Pitfalls

You need a strong team of employees who work well together and support each other, but a strong team doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work on your part to build it, keep it going, and help it grow even stronger. Here are three pitfalls to avoid since they can sabotage all your hard work.mentor

  1. Failing to recognize individual achievement. Most managers are good at praising the entire team and celebrating team successes, but individual employees also need recognition. Take time to single out team members who go above and beyond.
  2. Failing to provide opportunities for growth and advancement. You need to invest in the long-term growth and success of your team. Provide additional training that enhances their skills, offer cross-training options that expose them to different jobs, and have them assume leadership roles on special projects.
  3. Failing to communicate. When your team is working well and producing results, it can be easy to get complacent and stop communicating. Touch base with every team member at least weekly and with virtual employees at least monthly. People need to know you are interested in them as people and view them as more than cogs in a machine.

A happy team is a positively productive one. Make sure your employees feel valued, build bonds between them, and help your team be more successful in the coming year. See my blog post Strengthen Your Team with These Exercises for more information.

 

8
Jan

Productivity on the Road

Getting things done while traveling may seem impossible, but with some planning, you can be positively productive. Here are five tips:shutterstock_115513723

  1. Prioritize what you need to work on while you’re gone and gather all required documents and materials before you leave.
  2. Use a shared drive or cloud drive to stay connected to your team and what they are working on in your absence.
  3. Use pockets of time to get things done. I carry a To-Read folder of paper documents and similar folders for electronic documents and e-mail. When waiting for a meeting to begin, or if I’m stuck at the airport, I catch up on my reading.
  4. Write e-mails when you are off-line and cue them to go out when you again have Wi-Fi access.
  5. Take advantage of your road trip to handle activities you rarely have time for in the office. Focus on your career or professional development, put together a sales plan to increase revenue, or work on employee performance plans.

It’s easy to stay positively productive even when you are away from the office.

2
Jan

Are You A Multitasker?

In my GO System workshop, most people raise their hands when I ask this question. Once upon a time, being a multitasker was considered something positive, but not now. Now we know that multitasking makes us less productive! That’s right. We lose productivity when multitasking.shutterstock_104666783

Recent studies show that performance suffers when focusing on more than one activity at a time, but job performance isn’t the only thing that suffers. Multitasking can be dangerous! The National Safety Council estimates that 28-percent of highway deaths result from drivers who are distracted by their phones.

When you perform two or more tasks simultaneously, you are flipping the switch on your attention from one task to the other. The switch occurs so fast, you aren’t even aware it’s happening. While you think that you are performing multiple activities at the same time, you aren’t. You’re not multitasking; you’re serial tasking.

Think about a light switch. If you flip it on and off quickly, you have little light to see by. It’s only when you switch it on and leave it on that you get the illumination you need. It’s the same with focus. Switching back and forth when you are serial tasking makes you less productive!

Despite proof that multitasking just doesn’t work, we continue to do it because we believe that we can’t get everything done without it. However, it’s time to challenge that belief. Try this experiment. When you find yourself multitasking, stop and complete one task and then do the other. Time yourself. You’ll be surprised to discover that you are more productive doing things sequentially rather than simultaneously.