Posts tagged communication
Six Tips To Leading A More Productive Meeting

Out of 11 million meetings occurring in the U.S. each day, a third are unproductive...

There is nothing more trying than a futile meeting. Not only is it time-consuming and costly, but a fruitless meeting says a lot about your leadership. Your ability to run a meeting well is a direct reflection of your executive talents. Leaders have it tough already, battling the stigma placed on the dreaded office meeting, so it is important that you maintain meaningful and productive meetings at your company. As lackluster as most tend to be, they are still an integral part of the organization. However, for a meeting to be effective, the preparation must take place way in advance. Improve productivity in your next meeting with these simple tips:

1. Define the Purpose

You should always have a purpose, or a reason for which the meeting is called. Determining the purpose allows you to set the tone and direction for which way the meeting will go. Furthermore, it provides a guideline for the agenda, as well as who should attend and the specific methods to take when making decisions.

2. Pre-meeting Communication

Delegate an ample amount of time beforehand going over the issues up for discussion. Then, decided whether or not these concerns can be easily addressed through a less demanding platform, such as Email. Far too often valuable time is lost on meetings that could have been successfully handled through simpler forms of communication.

3. Stick to an Agenda

Without an agenda, the purpose of the meeting becomes askew. People begin to fill in space with inane chatter about issues, many times having absolutely nothing to do with the meeting itself. Help prepare your staff by circulating the agenda in advance. Also, be mindful of other people’s schedules by beginning and ending the meeting on time.

4. Attendees

Meetings are not for everyone. There are always those exceptions, however in most cases, inviting too many people brings on a surge of chaos which leads to an unproductive meeting. It is important to figure out who needs to be there and for what reasons. With this knowledge, you can then design the agenda the way you see fit.

5. Focus

Limit the usage of mobile phones, computers, PDAs and alike. Stress the importance of focus and demand full attention from your attendees.

6. Encourage Participation

Ask each attendee to prepare a solution to any one issue on the agenda. Begin the meeting by reading each contribution aloud. Not only will this assure you that the agenda has been reviewed and read, but it creates a great deal of innovation and discussion as well.

Maintaining Employee Happiness

You’ve heard the saying before, “happy wife, happy life.” Well this timeworn concept not only applies to the home front, but to the office as well. It’s really quite simple; when your employees are fulfilled the entire company reaps the benefits. It creates a positive work environment which contributes to the overall culture of the company, resulting in the organization’s success.

Employees who find joy in working each day are more engaged and connected to their jobs. A culture comprised of unhappy workers is detrimental to an organization. Therefore, it is your job as a leader to maintain a happy work space. So, on the heels of the second annual International Day of Happiness, here are a few suggestions to consider when it comes to your employees:

1. Treat Employees with Respect—Personnel on every level need to feel like they are bringing something to the table. By treating your staff with respect says that you value them as assets to the company. Subsequently, they become more concerned with helping the organization reach its intended level of success.

2. Trust the People You’ve Hired—Give employees opportunities to shine by allowing them to take on projects and responsibilities without second-guessing or demeaning their abilities. Trust that you’ve hired the right people; then set the strategy, define the goal, and get out of the way!

3. Clearly Communicate Your Vision—When your employees understand the company’s overall vision and goals, they become more aware of their roles and the position they play in the company. Lack of clarity or the feeling of confusion will only frustrate your employees more.

4. Give Feedback—Like I always say, “feedback is a gift.” In fact, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will constructive feedback motivate employees to perform better, but one can also learn from their mistakes resulting in an increased willingness to learn.

5. Gratitude Goes A Long Way—Last, but certainly not least, show your employees how much you appreciate them.  Leaders are human beings too; it’s okay to express your feelings of gratitude.  When you let workers know you care, the appreciation will begin to emanate through work performance.

Just remember, happy employees lead to a happy business,thus resulting in an even happier boss!

Understanding The Perception Gap

Several weeks ago I discussed with you the importance of perception and proposed the question of whether or not perception is truly a reality.

The question, although seemingly easy enough to answer is actually a lot harder to come to grips with than one might think. While you may perceive yourself to be an effective leader, there is a chance that others may see differently, and what those around you think of you, matters!

A perception gap can cause a great divide between an executive and his team. Initially, for most leaders, it’s all about the job and task at hand, often showing less concern for what people think about them. However, more leaders are recognizing the importance of perception from the start. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Fox News Live about the two different types of perception, the way you see yourself and the way others see you, and how understanding the importance of perception can help or hinder your executive career.

When you lack self-awareness of the acuities of others, your perception becomes distorted. Some leaders fall into the trap of not knowing how they’re portrayed by other people. The worst thing you can do is exude an air that you don’t care what others think.

It is important to connect with people, particularly those that work underneath you so they know that you are a “real person” or else they’ll begin to form in their mind who they think you are. Stereotypes can be proven untrue when you show your personality. By simply ommunicating and talking to people on every level of the organization gives you power to control what others think they see.

Additionally, executives should allocate 10 percent of their time making sure that their image, brand and reputation are being maintained. A positive perception helps create followership, which is another reason why listening to your employees is a vital skill for all leaders to have. Without proper insight from those you lead, you run the risk of filling gaps with your own assumptions. This is why feedback is important or a gift as I like to call it. Leaders need to ask more questions to guarantee that the choices they make are based on what’s really going on and not on what their mind perceives there to be.

So again I ask, is perception truly a reality? I’d like to think so. But it’s a reality YOU can help influence!