Category

Communication

Nix Meeting Fatigue in Six Simple Steps

By | Communication, Focus, Leadership | No Comments

Today, American professionals will collectively attend about 11 million meetings, as estimated by the Harvard Business School’s Nancy Koehn. According to a study by software developer Atlassian, the average employee spends 31 hours a month in meetings. If you’re in the C-suite, you spend roughly 40% of each work day on conference calls and around the table with cohorts discussing the issues at hand. Not only is there a monetary cost to these frequent sit-downs (just imagine the dollar value of each attendee’s time!), there is the inevitable drain on productivity as we talk about getting something done, rather than…

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Receive the Gift of Constructive Criticism with Grace

By | Change, Communication | No Comments

Receiving feedback on your work is always an incredible gift. It can offer affirmation that you’re on the right track. I t can also offer input to help you communicate more effectively or to take your next steps on a more clearly illuminated path. While accepting positive feedback is a skill most of us can easily cultivate, learning to respond to constructive criticism with an open mind and a dose of grace can take a little more work. Start by mastering these 8 steps. Stop Before you respond, take a moment to measure whether your emotions are in the driver’s…

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Now Hear this: Your Body has Something to Say

By | Communication, Leadership | No Comments

Dr. Albert Mehrabian knows a thing or two about communication. Based on his research, Mehrabian asserts that 7% of what we communicate is based on the words we say. The balance of the message is split between our tone of voice and nonverbal elements like body language. While those percentages can shift depending on specific circumstances, the core of this research remains true: It’s not what we say; it’s how we say it. This may not be news to you. In fact, it’s part of why you focus on your tone of voice when correcting your children. The role of…

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7 Secrets to Being a Masterful Mentor

By | Communication, Leadership | No Comments

Your support network has been an invaluable asset. Granted, it’s changed as you’ve progressed through your career. You’ve leaned from different mentors and champions at various points in your professional growth process based on what direction you were heading in at that time. Throughout it all, you’ve understood that success takes a village.  Now a colleague or friend has approached you for support. Before you take on the role of mentor, consider these points: You’ve got to have faith It’s flattering to be told someone else wants to learn from you. A good mentor/mentee relationship, however, is a two-way street….

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8 Tricks to Squash Your Public Speaking Jitters

By | Communication, Leadership | No Comments

For many, public speaking is the stuff of frightful nightmares. Even seasoned speakers can develop jitters before taking the stage. Anxiety can rise whether the audience is a handful of colleagues in the conference room or a full auditorium. Yet, at some point in our careers, we’re all called upon to make a presentation: to our department, to our executives, to a group of investors, or to conference attendees. These 8 tips can help you tame your nerves and knock it out of the park. Prepare and practice: It’s easier to pontificate on topics we’re well informed about. Give yourself…

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Cultivating a Positive Workplace: A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way

By | Communication, Leadership | No Comments

What would happen if you lived in abundant gratitude?  As discussed previously, being grateful can help you push through what stands between you and your goals.  As a leader, expressing appreciation for your team’s efforts and recognizing their wins can help nurture a productive, successful corporate culture. Not sure you see the connection? Listen to this: According to data provided by Work.com, 78% of employees say being recognized motivates them. In fact, 69% said they’d work harder if they were better recognized! Conversely, over half of employees would leave their current positions for a company they felt would better recognize…

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Can We Talk? 6 Steps to Providing Feedback

By | Communication, Leadership | No Comments

Whether you’re a department head, a project lead, or a member of the C-Suite, being able to provide constructive feedback is an integral part of the job description. It can also be one of the hardest. When offering praise or correction, the manner in which you give your two cents matters. Set the tone Something as simple as starting your conversation with “Do you have a minute for some feedback?” can be the difference between a defensive receiver and an open ear. Asking this simple question establishes a tone of respect, which in turn starts the dialogue off on the…

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Are You Listening? 4 Steps to Becoming a Better Listener

By | Communication, Leadership | No Comments

When someone is speaking to you, are you actively listening? If you have ever heard an employee pitch an idea with one eye on your laptop screen, you need to read this. If your modus operandi is to nod in time to the cadence of the speaker’s speech pattern while planning out your response, you need to read this, too. The good news is that anyone can master the art of active listening with a little effort and practice. Start by following these four steps to hone your skills: Ditch the distractions Active listening requires you to be focused on…

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Embrace a Servant Leadership Approach

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What kind of leader are you? Are you a coach? Laissez-faire? Authoritative? Do you lead by example? Are you democratic or do you lay down the law? If you dig around the internet, you’ll find plenty of lists covering various styles; and each of those styles has its own set of pros and cons. We don’t need to spend time parsing those lists down because there’s one particular style that I’d like to encourage you to consider adopting as your own: Servant Leadership. What does it mean to be a Servant Leader? In 1970, Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term…

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Get Inspired to Inspire!

By | Communication, Leadership, Strategy | No Comments

Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar. ~ Orrin Woodward There are days when motivating yourself is a challenge. So how then, do we inspire others to raise their own bar? Being a leader, after all, is about more than setting the agenda and delegating tasks. Ignite the spark of inspiration in others (and yourself!) by making these 6 steps part of your leadership approach. Challenge them. Don’t set the bar within the comfort zone, notched in place by previous accomplishments and status quo….

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