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Archive for September, 2012


Building Trust Leads to Greater Productivity

Trust is a major leadership skill. When employees trust you, it is easier for you to motivate them. When you can motivate them more effectively, employees will be more productive and inspired. Here are some easy steps to increase trust among your employees.

  • Show employees that you trust them. Clearly explain deliverables and set expectations, then give your employees the freedom to “do it their way.” Avoid micromanaging, use coaching feedback and provide encouragement. Let them know you trust them to do a good job and achieve the results you expect.
  • Share information. Keep your door open, your communication forthright and your motives transparent. If you cannot share information for legitimate reasons, explain why you can’t, so employees understand the context for your silence. Secrets lead to gossip and rumor, and they lead to distrust.
  • Ask for feedback and listen to it. Asking employees to give you feedback on departmental and individual goals opens the door to innovation and creativity. They know their jobs better than anyone does, and they know what would make them more productive. Ask for input and suggestions for improvement. If it makes sense, implement the strategies and changes you hear. This encourages ownership and that contributes to accountability and motivation.

What can you do today to enhance trust in your department?


Enhancing Self-Confidence

High self-confidence is a necessary component for being effective and productive. It contributes to your willingness to take on new assignments, ability to meet goals, and handle challenges with grace and skill. No one can give you self-confidence. You build it step-by-step with all of the positive things in your life and work.

  • Get into the habit of thinking positively and giving yourself credit for what you achieve. Pay attention to self-sabotaging thoughts, and detect and defeat them as soon as you become aware of them.
  • Acknowledge your accomplishments. When you do something well, celebrate it. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you how wonderful you are. Tell yourself!
  • Strive for consistency. You improve self-confidence when you act in ways consistent with your values. If you find yourself in a compromising or difficult situation, use your values as touchstones to help you make decisions that are right for you and consistent with your values. Acting with integrity enhances self-confidence.
  • Remember to take care of your physical self. Be active, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and drink lots of water. When you feel good and look good, your self-confidence gets a boost.

Be Generous with Praise

Be Generous with Praise

The key to recognizing your workers for a job well done is fairness. Despite this, a recent online poll at found that 72 percent of employees were never praised by their managers!

One way to ensure that you are fair is to look at your roster of employees from time to time and see who has not been praised in the past several months. In this way, you can be sure to spread praise around and make everyone on your team feel valued.

As always, remember the three rules of praise:

  • It should be merited. Praise is meaningful when it relates to actual accomplishments; however, the accomplishment need not be major. Praise both large and small achievements.
  • It should be specific. Rather than say, “That report was well done,” say instead, “Your report was thorough and contained all the information management needs to make a decision.”
  • It should be given soon after the praiseworthy act was done. Recognize results as soon as they are achieved for maximum impact.

Be generous with praise; it’s free, so spread it around!


Inject Staff with a Daily Dose of Positivity

Positive people believe they can achieve results and succeed with anything they try. They approach challenges with a positive mindset. Positive managers also encourage their employees to expect positive outcomes. They know that the more positive their staff, the more motivated and productive it can be. This type of positivity makes it easier to face and handle change, challenges and difficulties.

Keep a positivity diary. At the end of each day, jot down all the positive things that happened that day. Find ways to praise employees for accomplishments—especially smaller achievements. Encourage them to see the bright side by always asking, “What can we learn from this?” “How can we use this to improve?”

Positivity is contagious. Once you get in the positivity habit, it will spread through the office and produce positive, productive results.