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What's Your Style?

Feb 13, 2019
 

Have there been times when you find yourself in the middle of a conversation completely baffled? You think you are crystal clear, and the other person is looking at you like you have five heads.

Ah! The joy of communication!

Last week I challenged you to start paying attention to your interactions with people.  The goal was to focus on how you and your message was received solely.  No need to adjust.   Just observe. 

How did that go?

Maybe you noticed a couple of times you were busy checking your phone and not listening to the person. Perhaps you stopped and turned your attention to the conversation. I did.  Did you also notice some interactions needed more than a simple adjustment and you were unsure how to proceed?

Why is that?

Why are some people harder than others to communicate with?

Most likely, they are wired a little differently than you and as a result, communicate differently.  

To communicate effectively, you need to understand...

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“Communication is the root of every problem” – They

Feb 06, 2019
 

Read any book or article about leadership, and you are sure to read that effective communication is one of the most important things to focus on in the workplace.  That’s great!  Let me just add that to my to-do list: Communicate Effectively Today

If only it were that easy.

What is effective communication? That answer is pretty cut and dry.  It’s making sure everyone is on the same page. Why is effective communication important? That is pretty easy too - having every one of the same page makes work more enjoyable, effective and efficient.  The hard question is “How do I communicate effectively?  That’s a whole other story. 

Communication involves people.  People are hard.  People have their own communication style. Their past experience.  Their interpretation of events. 

When you are communicating with someone, there is so much more going on than just the words that are said.

  • It’s the tone of the...
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Two Simple Words

Jan 30, 2019
 

Thank you.

So powerful.

Totally unused in the workplace. 

"Why should I thank my team for doing what they are getting paid to do?”

This question drives me crazy.

Why do you cheer for the quarterback of your favorite football team or your favorite band?  They are getting paid A LOT of money to do their job, AND you are paying to watch them do their job.  But we still do it.

Why?

Because we want to show our support, we want them to do a good job.  It works the same way for your team.

Studies have shown time and time again that employees are motivated by more than money.   When someone leaves a job more often than not their reason is that they didn’t feel appreciated.

Your team needs to know that their contribution matters.  Taking the time to acknowledge your team lets them know you see the value they bring to the team.  And selfishly, it makes you feel good.  You know, the whole gratitude thing.

Here are seven simple, low-cost...

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"We need to Talk"

Jan 23, 2019
 

"John did ‘it,’ again. He said he wouldn’t, but sure enough, he did.  Great, now I have to tell him to stop – again. Ugh, if he continues, I am going to have to let him go."

It's time to have “a talk” with him.

I’ll be the first to admit it; I hate these types of conversations!  “But Jen you are good at them.”  Yep, I am.

I hate them.

Why? Because no matter what, there is emotion involved.  It may be my emotion – anger because someone did something I didn’t want them to do. It may be their emotion – fear because their boss is correcting their behavior.  It’s not pretty. Unicorns and rainbows are nowhere to be found.  

So why am I good at these conversations?  Because I remind myself, I am dealing with a person first and an employee second.  I approach these conversations from a place of service. I know that might sound a bit “kumbaya,” but it is...

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The A Word: Accountability

Jan 16, 2019
 

How many of you cringed when you read that title?

Yeah, it’s not necessarily the fun part of the job, but it is so important.  I would argue that it is the most critical part of your job.

The reason we cringe is that we create these horrible stories in our heads.  We envision tears, yelling, name calling, tables being flipped – the worst-case scenario. 

Stop it. 

This is holding you back from being an excellent leader.

Setting expectations for your team and then not holding your team accountable to these expectations kills morale.  If you say you are going to do something and then you don’t, you lose credibility.

Trust is gone.

If you have taken the time to set reasonable expectations, got buy-in, and asked for feedback, the next logical step is to make sure your team is meeting your expectations. They expect it. You told them you would.

If your team is doing what you expected, great!  Tell them! **morale booster alert** 

If...

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Setting the Foundation

Jan 09, 2019
 

As managers, there are times when we are our own worst enemy.  We have employees that are always late, miss deadlines, disrespect their teammates or show up looking like they have just rolled out of bed.  We get frustrated and think “Seriously? What are they doing?  How do they not know that?”

Um…maybe it’s because we never told them.

Your team needs defined parameters of what you expect from the day in and day out.  And just to be clear, handing an employee their job description doesn’t count.  Your team needs more than a document created by HR.

Trust me. This will make your job as a manager So. Much. Easier.

Expectations provide:

Clarity– Gets everyone on the same page. 

Baseline for performance reviews – Lets your employees know what good looks like.

Boundaries– Empowers your employees to do their job without hesitation.

Reference Point for feedback – Gives you a way to hold employees...

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You are a Manager, now what?

Jan 01, 2019
 

Congratulations!  You’ve finally got that promotion.

Welcome to the business of people. Your job now is to figure out how to get results without doing everything yourself.  Not an easy task especially if you have spent your entire career up to this point producing outstanding results from your hard work.

Most managers are promoted because they rock their jobs.  Go you!

Most managers I know – including me - never had any formal training in how to manage people. It’s insane!  Sure, there is training on the policies and procedures your team must follow, and you must know what it is your team does, but your real success in management is building a team that produces outstanding results and hopefully enjoys coming to work every day. 

I was recently talking to a successful manager about his career path.  He shared with me his biggest surprise about management was how little “work” he would be doing and how much time he...

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