--- be inspired --- be informed --- be entertained
Plan today for your most prosperous tomorrow! Networking: Wing it and You'll flap in the breeze
The Apple of the Present â€“ A Resolution Top Ten Email Management Tips
Why your Employees are Losing Motivation
Public Speaking Tips: More Hiding Places for Your Notes
How to bring yourself out of a slump.
--- videos --- listening --- for kids --- bookshelf --- just for fun
--- be inspired
--- be informed
--- be entertained
IN THIS ISSUE … --- be inspired Plan today for a ore prosperous tomorrow!.………………….……….………………..…
The Apple of the present – a resolution………………………………….…………..…….. 11 Why your employees are losing motivation…………………………....………….……… 19 How to bring yourself out of a slump ….…….……………………………………….………. 32
… be informed Networking. Wing it and you’ll flap in the breeze….…….…………………..………..
Top Ten email Management Techniques…………………………………..……….…….….. 14 Public speaking tips – more hiding places for your notes…………………………... 28 Meetings 101……………………………………………………….……………………..……..……… 29 … be entertained Videos ………………………………..……………………………………………………………………. 6 For Kids ………………………………..……………………………………….…………..….…………. 10 Books ………………………………..………………………………………………………….………….. 16 Listening ……………………………………………..………………………………………..……….... 26 Just for fun ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 30
Plan today for your most prosperous tomorrow! A 4-step blue print for success.
Over the years, I've had the honour of working with 1000's of business owners - new and established - on many issues. The outcome has been the creation of a process that helps them ALL get their businesses rejuvenated. Yes, it doesn't matter if they are currently an $18 million dollar business or a start up! When you don't have a business plan you've looked at recently or a marketing plan you use daily, the rest of the problems are very similar - only the dollar amount changes!
You know the funny thing here? When I first completed the steps below I remembered my time in Corporate America and realized that if business owners (including myself) acted just a little more like corporations - you know the busyness part of business - from the start, they'd be more profitable out of the gate. I know that because when I work with newer business owners that is exactly what happens.
I've created the list below to walk you through the process I've been using with my clients for about a year now. It works. In fact it works so well, to help them increase income and help them focus, that I decided to create the YouCan't-Lose Guarantee!
And I know it's true for more established business owners because most often they're missing some of the major components and there success has been blocked.
There is no cookie-cutter process here. It's important to determine what pieces are missing or in need of updating and then bring those parts into the business. So, if it's time for you to take your business to heights that even you didn't imagine possible, start at the top of this list and locate what's missing from your business.
Leverage your time for maximum success •Create a vision and mission for your business. •Identify your client from hell. •Develop a niche and ideal client profile. •Prioritize the most important business objectives and strategies. •Learn how to create a propelling action plan that helps you complete your to do list.
Develop a positive money mentality •Learn to fully trust yourself with your finances. •Be able to talk about money more easily. •Create a pricing strategy and package of services. •Set your hourly, monthly and value rates. •Confidently tell others what your fees are. •Discover how to easily raise your rates. •Raise your standards with your self. •Set boundaries with others - including clients.
Design systems to monitor your success •Create compelling ways to articulate what you do. •Build a follow-up system for efficient networking. •Design referral and affiliate systems. •Help develop your Ideal Client Profile. •Become comfortable networking •Learn how to "market with integrity" using a marketing funnel. •Create multiple streams of small business income. •Develop a hiring/firing process. •Design important business processes. •Build support systems that will help take you through any situation.
Leverage Your Success With Follow-up Balance to assure all of the critical areas in the company have been covered. Track your company's performance. Execute the activities you've stated in your plans. Align to insure that everything is working together. Resolve issues right away that are impeding your success. © Maria Marsala. Helping women business owners accelerate profits and improve productivity -- quicker, by providing one-on-one kick-butt, No BS, practical business and marketing coaching, consulting and training. Download your free reports and audio when you subscribe to "No BS Business Advice Ezine" Elevating Your Business.
Videos Blend Phonics Presentation A brief introductory demonstration lesson for Hazel Loring's Reading Made Easy with Blend Phonics in First Grade by Don Potter. Visit www.donpotter.net or www.blendphonics.org to download this free, yet powerful, phonics-first program.
William Kamkwamba on building a windmill If you havenâ€™t already heard the incredible story of William Kamkwamba - the young man from Malawi who built a windmill from scratch at age fourteen - you should. After suffering through the awful conditions of poverty and a near life-ending famine, Kamkwamba, armed with discarded motor parts, pvc pipe, and an old bicycle wheel, created an energy source much to the surprise of a village of doubters
The Dream Movie
The Last Brick maker in America Henry (Sidney Poitier) has worked in his brickyard for 57 years. When he meets a young boy in need of a role model, both of them find their perspectives altered.
Networking: Wing it and You'll flap in the breeze Make no mistake, when you network, you are delivering a series of mini presentations. If you don't know how to put your best foot forward in these business-critical situations, you can forget about building your business or advancing your career. It is the inevitable topic of conversation at a networking event: Tell me about your job. When I explain my life's work -teaching leaders to achieve their dreams through powerful public speaking -- my conversation partner often shrugs and says, "Oh, I could never deliver a speech. I get too nervous." My response: "What do you think you are doing right now?" Make no mistake, when you network, you are delivering a series of minipresentations. If you don't know how to put your best foot forward in these business-critical situations, you can forget about building your business or advancing your career. Master networkers realize that attitude and preparation are vital ingredients for success. How do these pros set themselves up as winners in the networking arena? Let's examine a dynamic dozen techniques: 1. Target carefully the events to attend. Networking is a strategic endeavour.
Attend gatherings that make sense for your business or career aims. 2. Craft a 15-second elevator speech. Tell people how you have helped others and, by extension, how you can help them. 3. Arrive on time and stay late. Take advantage of any pre-event time dedicated strictly to networking; this is where business gets done. 4. Don't stand in a clump of people you work with. You want new customers or a new job, right? Spend time with new acquaintances who may hold the key to your dreams. 5. Use a firm handshake and solid eye contact. First impressions are critical. Get maximum benefit from your nonverbal tools. 6. Be prepared for basic questions. Think of the times you have encountered people who stammer when confronted with softballs like, "What's new?" or "What do you do?" Have a meaningful answer on the tip of your tongue. 7. Carry a thick stack of business cards. How frustrating is it to make a solid
connection, then not be able to follow up because the person's business cards were left back at the office? 8. Get others talking about themselves. I like to remind myself that I have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion. 9. Limit your conversations to five minutes. If you make a positive connection, agree to meet over lunch or coffee at a later date. 10. Steer clear of the buffet table. Food between your teeth, garlic breath and no free hand to shake. Need I say more? 11. Position yourself at a traffic choke point. This raises the odds that people will have to make eye contact and -- gasp -- actually start a conversation with a stranger. 12. Follow up quickly. A brief e-mail, call, or my favourite, the handwritten note, works wonders to solidify your new contacts.
A note of caution that will contribute to your healthy attitude: Networking does not mean selling; it means relationship building. You are in for a letdown if you assume immediate results. Deals are rarely sealed at networking events, though many are born there. One more piece of advice: Don't be a spin-your-wheels networker, frantically racing to gather as many business cards as possible. The master networker realizes quality trumps quantity. One or two solid connections are far more valuable than a dozen meaningless quickies. Successful business leaders understand that networking revolves around a healthy attitude and plenty of preparation. That sounds like a perfect prescription to develop your next client or career move. Ed Barks is President of Barks Communications and author of "The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations." Phone: 540/955-0600 Web site: www.barkscomm.com
The Personal Strategic Plan is a life changing program. It shows you exactly how to adapt powerful strategic planning methods from Corporate America to your own life. Life is way too short to continue repeating history, and if you've had challenges accomplishing
all your goals in the past, this program that will help. Once you put this plan into action you'll find distractions falling away, you will say adios to procrastination, and hello to a bright new future filled with endless opportunity. Gary Ryan Blair's Personal Strategic Plan
For Kids Create a Postcard
You can choose fun backgrounds and objects to create a picture, then write a message for your card.
This silly-looking snack may appear to be moving at a snail's pace, but it goes together -- and disappears -- quick as a wink.
It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done." - Samuel Smiles
Fabulous Fiction "Teachers and parents who are struggling to persuade teenage boys to pick up books could do worse than look to the example of two 13-yearold boys who have created an awardwinning website aimed at inspiring young people to read."
Lightning Kills, Play It Safe Visit this site for handouts, indoor and outdoor safety tips, medical facts, history, survivor stories, photos, teacher tools and more.
Learn from the past, energize your creative imagination from the future, but always live in the present.
Usually the first thing everyone talks about when the New Year rolls around is their New Year’s resolutions. What didn’t happen during the previous year and resolving to make it happen during the coming year; promising to become happier, healthier, wealthier, or more productive; promising to take more time for your family or yourself — all noble resolutions to be sure, but somewhat less than certain that they will ever come to pass. Often thought of as part of our journey from the imperfect now where we are today to the perfect future where we want to be, New Year’s resolutions serve as guideposts to dreams. We do not often allow ourselves to dream about our future, but we have given ourselves permission to place particular importance upon the ones we value the most when the calendar year draws to a close and the promise of fresh new beginnings is raising optimistic glints in everyone‘s eyes.
It’s a matter of perception. Our reaction to and perception of the past is often subdued at best, and in the quietness of our hearts we know we could have done better, accomplished more, acted more purposefully, or loved more passionately. We take the past as the bellwether of things to come and it is with no little apprehension that we face the coming year with a tinge of self-judgment. Our perception of the future is nearly always rosy. After all, why would anyone want a future filled with turmoil, strife, and hardship? Tomorrow always brings with it the release of old limitations and the promise of new fulfilments. The past is something we have already tried and moved beyond. The past, the one each individual experiences, may have been an amazing symphony of momentous challenges overcome and fabulous rewards claimed.
It is the past that we turn our backs on and the future that we pin our sights on. I once heard of a man, an important teacher to thousands and the head of his community, who resolved to give up apples. Not because he didn’t like apples — he loved them and ate a few every day. No, this man gave up apples because something deep down within himself recognized that for a resolution to mean anything, it had to hit him where he lived. It occurred to him that any resolution is not about accomplishing something as it is about determining to strengthen your character in some fashion. Do you love apples? Their juicy deliciousness? Their wholesome crunch? This man did. He knew that, for a resolution to stand any chance of strengthening his character, he needed to give up something he cherished rather than dream up something he desired. This brought him to an important understanding of the nature of desire. Giving up apples was a way for him to bring his awareness back to the present moment.
Do you love apples? Their juicy deliciousness? Their wholesome crunch? Any desire for an apple, which had earlier been an ingrained habit for him, reminded him that the present doesn’t actually need apples to be savoured. It is delicious just as it is. When we look at the past, we are seeing it from the present perspective of who we are now. In this fashion, the past seems to us like a condition of lack because from the standpoint of the present moment, the past can never be as richly sensual nor as fully experienced as the present. The past is a tape we run in the present, a story about other presents we have experienced — where we were in time and who we perceived ourselves to be. We can never run this tape from the past. It always plays out in our memories in the present moment. From the standpoint of the present, our past desires will always be poor 2D renditions of our multidimensional now, much like looking at low-resolution b&w prints. The emotional color, the experiential saturation, the sense of movement is nothing how we experience the present. On the other hand, our imaginations usually turn our futures into stupendous technicolour productions of beautiful complexity and appeal.
We are entertained by our futures because we love to consider how it would feel to have that thing, experience that condition, love that person, build that ediface, or discover that treasure.
mysterious force that we all sense but rarely explore in depth. Science has pointed out to us that the atoms in our bodies, and indeed the entire cosmos, came from the stellar birthplace of billions of stars.
The future engages our emotional selves in a way that few things do for many of us in the present. Our present selves may be routine bound, discouraged, and worn out. Our present selves may have lost sight of what inspires us and become gray shadows in the glorious world when once we were lit up by the flames of our creativity and optimism. The future is a movie ticket to that inspired source within that trusts in the goodness of things. The future is about having faith in the face of the unknown to come. From the standpoint of the present, our future dreams will always be larger than life, but that largeness occurs only in our imaginations, not in life itself.
Religion adds the qualities of awareness and moral action to this act of creation and humanizes it by assigning it to a creator. Is it any wonder that we experience our future as a sort of brightly shining reexperience of our stellar birth? And what has all that to do with resolving to give up apples? Simply this: the present, not the past or the future, is where our life takes place. To the extent that we are conscious of our resolutions in the present moment, we are able to affect real changes in our lives. Dwelling in the past is settling for a limited version of the now, and anticipating the future is imagining our own perfectability. Learn from the past, energize your creative imagination from the future, but always live in the present. Your New Yearâ€™s resolutions will be firmly anchored in your life if you do so, but do it NOW!
Life itself is always present, eternally and infinitely so. Life is the essential stuff of existence in our universe, and whoâ€™s to say whether the very stars themselves are not alive with some
Tim Thompson is a professional freelance writer/editor whose work with Dream Manifesto helps illuminate life for online and offline audiences around the world. He is currently busy working on several writing and editing projects. Please visit Thompson InkWorks for more info.
Top-Ten Email Management Tips With all the buzz surrounding social media, RSS, video and every other online content outlet, one standby that gets taken for granted is good old email. We all use it (and some of us love it), but it also can be a source of enormous frustration that can eat up a lot of the workday. However, much inbox-related angst is easily avoided with a few simple changes in what you use for email and how you process it. In no particular order, here's my top ten email management tips:
1. Use a professional email service. Making a change here can make all the difference in how useful email is to you. The good news is that the best email services are either free or very low-cost. Are you using free services such as MSN or maybe AOL? They are not terribly professional and actually place text ads in outbound messages. Who needs that, when you can use GMail or Google Apps for free (and get a much larger mailbox)? Other excellent email choices: FastMail.fm, Rackspace Mail or Runbox.com 2. Discover IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). Most standard email boxes you get from your web host or Internet service provider are POP3 (Post Office Protocol) mailboxes.
POP3 allows you to download your messages to one place at a time but doesn't synchronize both incoming and sent messages among all your devices (computers and/or smartphones). So what's the advantage of IMAP? All your email and sorting folders are synchronized on the server so what you have on your primary computer matches your other computers and your smartphone. Email service providers that offer IMAP support include (you guessed it) GMail, Google Apps, Rackspace mail and Fastmail.fm, among others. 3. Take your time! Everyone is usually rushed when they write emails, but it still counts as writing, and it's worth a few extra minutes to be sure you are being understood clearly.
Better to spend a few extra minutes now than endure a three-day volley of misunderstandings and clarifications.
I do read them daily, but they don't distract me from important client and project-related email.
4. If you get an important message, acknowledge it. If you don't have the time to write a full response, just take a second and let the sender know you will get back to them later . Saves them from wondering if you ever received the message.
8. Check out alternatives to Microsoft Outlook. Many web-based email systems are great, and you can get to them no matter where you are. Another option is Mozilla Thunderbird. It's free and has everything you need to manage your mail without clogging your system memory. There are also hundreds of plugins available for added features, too.
5. Use an email signature. This seems obvious, but many people still (even in a business setting) don't include their contact information in each email. Include a marketing message if you want, but definitely include contact info. This makes responding or adding your details to an address book more convenient for your recipient, all while providing an opportunity to promote your business. 6. Use your mail service's spam-fighting system. No need to depend on anti-spam applications when your mail system does it all for you on the server. I have several domains that funnel mail to my main mailbox, which means I get a great deal of spam. However, almost every one is caught by my Google Apps hosted email. 7. Consider using a secondary mailbox for non-critical messages. I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters and blog updates, and all of them go to an address I set up expressly for that purpose.
9. Check email only two to three times per day, and never first thing in the morning. Many swear by this method, as it improves efficiency and minimizes distractions. If you find that managing your email is disrupting your workflow and productivity, this is an option to consider. 10. Use emoticons. Yes, they can be annoying and maybe a bit juvenile. However, they can be very helpful in conveying the correct emotional tone in an email. A simple smiley-face can mean the difference between your message being perceived as sarcastic or sincere. Author: Mary Motz - ProVirtual Solutions Web-Focused Consulting and Assistance http://www.provirtualsolutions.com Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/provirtual
From the Bookshelf
Paving the New Road Sulari Gentill A Rowland Sinclair Novel Itâ€™s 1933, and the political landscape of Europe is darkening. Now Rowland Sinclair must travel to Germany to defend Australian democracy from the relentless march of Fascism. Amidst the goosestepping euphoria of a rising Nazi movement, Rowland encounters those who will change the course of history. In a world of spies, murderers and despotic madmen, he can trust no-one but an artist, a poet and a brazen sculptress. Plots thicken, loyalties are tested and bedfellows become strange indeed.
The Craft of Scientific Presentations Michael Alley This superb and practical work dedicates itself to spreading good practice: it uses a score of examples from contemporary and historical scientific presentations to show clearly what makes an oral presentation effective.
The Real Jane Austen Paula Byrne
Who was the real Jane Austen? Overturning the traditional portrait of the author as conventional and genteel, bestseller Paula Byrne's landmark biography reveals the real woman behind the books.
The woman who emerges in this biography is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of 'dear Aunt Jane' would allow.
Childrenâ€™s Books Reading App
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins King Derwin of Didd demands "hats off to the King" when he passes by his citizens. But poor young Bartholomew Cubbins has a problem. Every time he removes his hat, another hat appears atop his head!
Catch the Zolt: The Debt. Instalment One Gwynne Phillip Book One of a high-octane thriller series. Fifteenyear-old Dom is cast out of his comfortable life in the Gold Coast's Halcyon Grove when he inherits an ancient debt. Now, he has six Herculean tasks to perform....
Come along for the ride, as Bartholomew is whisked off to the royal throne room, summoned to the wise men, brought before the King's magicians and even shot at by bow and arrow. As the number of hats reaches 200...300...400, what will happen to Bartholomew at hat number 500?
or lose a pound of flesh. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Dom has to honour his family. But the more he discovers about his father, the less he seems to know. Meanwhile The Debt wants its payment ...now! Ages 10+.
Watch the trailer ...
Why your Employees are Losing Motivation Business literature is packed with advice about worker motivation—but sometimes managers are the problem, not the inspiration. Here are seven practices to fire up the troops. From Harvard Management Update. Most companies have it all wrong. They don't have to motivate their employees. They have to stop demotivating them. The great majority of employees are quite enthusiastic when they start a new job. But in about 85 percent of companies, our research finds, employees' morale sharply declines after their first six months—and continues to deteriorate for years afterward. That finding is based on surveys of about 1.2 million employees at 52 primarily Fortune 1000 companies from 2001 through 2004, conducted by Sirota Survey Intelligence (Purchase, New York). The fault lies squarely at the feet of management—both the policies and procedures companies employ in managing their workforces and in the relationships that individual managers establish with their direct reports.
Our research shows how individual managers' behaviors and styles are contributing to the problem (see sidebar "How Management Demotivates")—and what they can do to turn this around. Three key goals of people at work To maintain the enthusiasm employees bring to their jobs initially, management must understand the three sets of goals that the great majority of workers seek from their work—and then satisfy those goals: Equity: To be respected and to be treated fairly in areas such as pay, benefits, and job security. Achievement: To be proud of one's job, accomplishments, and employer. Camaraderie: To have good, productive relationships with fellow employees. To maintain an enthusiastic workforce, management must meet all three goals.
Indeed, employees who work for companies where just one of these factors is missing are three times less enthusiastic than workers at companies where all elements are present. One goal cannot be substituted for another. Improved recognition cannot replace better pay, money cannot substitute for taking pride in a job well done, and pride alone will not pay the mortgage. What individual managers can do Satisfying the three goals depends both on organizational policies and on the everyday practices of individual managers. If the company has a solid approach to talent management, a bad manager can undermine it in his unit. On the flip side, smart and empathetic managers can overcome a great deal of corporate mismanagement while creating enthusiasm and commitment within their units. While individual managers can't control all leadership decisions, they can still have a profound influence on employee motivation. The most important thing is to provide employees with a sense of security, one in which they do not fear that their jobs will be in jeopardy if their performance is not perfect and one in which layoffs are considered an extreme last resort, not just another option for dealing with hard times.
But security is just the beginning. When handled properly, each of the following eight practices will play a key role in supporting your employees' goals for achievement, equity, and camaraderie, and will enable them to retain the enthusiasm they brought to their roles in the first place. Achievement related 1. Instill an inspiring purpose. A critical condition for employee enthusiasm is a clear, credible, and inspiring organizational purpose: in effect, a "reason for being" that translates for workers into a "reason for being there" that goes above and beyond money. Every manager should be able to expressly state a strong purpose for his unit. What follows is one purpose statement we especially admire. It was developed by a three-person benefits group in a midsize firm. Benefits are about people. It's not whether you have the forms filled in or whether the checks are written. It's whether the people are cared for when they're sick, helped when they're in trouble. This statement is particularly impressive because it was composed in a small company devoid of high-powered executive attention and professional wordsmiths
It was created in the type of department normally known for its fixation on bureaucratic rules and procedures. It is a statement truly from the heart, with the focus in the right place: on the ends— people—rather than the means— completing forms. To maintain an enthusiastic workforce, management must meet all three goals. Stating a mission is a powerful tool. But equally important is the manager's ability to explain and communicate to subordinates the reason behind the mission. Can the manager of stockroom workers do better than telling her staff that their mission is to keep the room stocked? Can she communicate the importance of the job, the people who are relying on the stockroom being properly maintained, both inside and outside the company? The importance for even goods that might be considered prosaic to be where they need to be when they need to be there? That manager will go a long way toward providing a sense of purpose. 2. Provide recognition. Managers should be certain that all employee contributions, both large and small, are recognized. The motto of many managers seems to be, "Why would I need to thank someone for doing something he's paid to do?" Workers repeatedly tell us, and with great feeling, how much they appreciate a compliment. They also report how distressed they are when managers don't take the time to thank them for a job well done yet are quick to criticize them for making mistakes.
Receiving recognition for achievements is one of the most fundamental human needs. Rather than making employees complacent, recognition reinforces their accomplishments, helping ensure there will be more of them.
A pat on the back, simply saying "good going," a dinner for two, a note about their good work to senior executives, some schedule flexibility, a paid day off, or even a flower on a desk with a thank-you note are a few of the hundreds of ways managers can show their appreciation for good work. It works wonders if this is sincere, sensitively done, and undergirded by fair and competitive pay—and not considered a substitute for it. 3. Be an expediter for your employees. Incorporating a command-and-control style is a sure-fire path to demotivation. Instead, redefine your primary role as serving as your employees' expediter: It is your job to facilitate getting their jobs done 21
.Your reports are, in this sense, your "customers." Your role as an expediter involves a range of activities, including serving as a linchpin to other business units and managerial levels to represent their best interests and ensure your people get what they need to succeed. How do you know, beyond what's obvious, what is most important to your employees for getting their jobs done? Ask them! "Lunch and schmooze" sessions with employees are particularly helpful for doing this. And if, for whatever reason, you can't immediately address a particular need or request, be open about it and then let your workers know how you're progressing at resolving their problems. This is a great way to build trust. 4. Coach your employees for improvement. A major reason so many managers do not assist subordinates in improving their performance is, simply, that they don't know how to do this without irritating or discouraging them. A few basic principles will improve this substantially. First and foremost, employees whose overall performance is satisfactory should be made aware of that. It is easier for employees to accept, and welcome, feedback for improvement if they know management is basically pleased with what they do and is helping them do it even better.
Space limitations prevent a full treatment of the subject of giving meaningful feedback, of which recognition is a central part, but these key points should be the basis of any feedback plan:
Performance feedback is not the same as an annual appraisal. Give actual performance feedback as close in time to the occurrence as possible. Use the formal annual appraisal to summarize the year, not surprise the worker with past wrongs. Recognize that workers want to know when they have done poorly. Don't succumb to the fear of giving appropriate criticism; your workers need to know when they are not performing well. At the same time, don't forget to give positive feedback. It is, after all, your goal to create a team that warrants praise. Comments concerning desired improvements should be specific, factual, unemotional, and directed at performance rather than at employees personally. Avoid making overall evaluative remarks (such as, "That work was shoddy") or comments about employees' personalities or motives (such as, "You've been careless"). Instead, provide specific, concrete details about what you feel needs to be improved and how.
Keep the feedback relevant to the employee's role. Don't let your comments wander to anything not directly tied to the tasks at hand. Listen to employees for their views of problems. Employees' experience and observations often are helpful in determining how performance issues can be best dealt with, including how you can be most helpful Remember the reason you're giving feedback—you want to improve performance, not prove your superiority. So keep it real, and focus on what is actually doable without demanding the impossible. Follow up and reinforce. Praise improvement or engage in course correction—while praising the effort—as quickly as possible. Don't offer feedback about something you know nothing about. Get someone who knows the situation to look at it. Equity related 5. Communicate fully. One of the most counterproductive rules in business is to distribute information on the basis of "need to know." It is usually a way of severely, unnecessarily, and destructively restricting the flow of information in an organization. A command-and-control style is a sure-fire path to demotivation. Workers' frustration with an absence of adequate communication is one of the most negative findings we see expressed on employee attitude surveys.
What employees need to do their jobs and what makes them feel respected and included dictate that very few restrictions be placed by managers on the flow of information. Hold nothing back of interest to employees except those very few items that are absolutely confidential. Good communication requires managers to be attuned to what employees want and need to know; the best way to do this is to ask them! Most managers must discipline themselves to communicate regularly. Often it's not a natural instinct. Schedule regular employee meetings that have no purpose other than twoway communication. Meetings among management should conclude with a specific plan for communicating the results of the meetings to employees. And tell it like it is. Many employees are quite skeptical about management's motives and can quickly see through "spin." Get continual feedback on how well you and the company are communicating. One of the biggest communication problems is the assumption that a message has been understood. Follow-up often finds that messages are unclear or misunderstood.
Companies and managers that communicate in the ways we describe reap large gains in employee morale. Full and open communication not only helps employees do their jobs but also is a powerful sign of respect. 6. Face up to poor performance. Identify and deal decisively with the 5 percent of your employees who don't want to work. Most people want to work and be proud of what they do (the achievement need). But there are employees who are, in effect, "allergic" to work—they'll do just about anything to avoid it. They are unmotivated, and a disciplinary approach—including dismissal—is about the only way they can be managed. It will raise the morale and performance of other team members to see an obstacle to their performance removed. Camaraderie related 7. Promote teamwork. Most work requires a team effort in order to be done effectively. Research shows repeatedly that the quality of a group's efforts in areas such as problem solving is usually superior to that of individuals working on their own. In addition, most workers get a motivation boost from working in teams.
Whenever possible, managers should organize employees into self-managed teams, with the teams having authority over matters such as quality control, scheduling, and many work methods. Such teams require less management and normally result in a healthy reduction in management layers and costs. Creating teams has as much to do with camaraderie as core competences. A manager needs to carefully assess who works best with whom. At the same time, it is important to create the opportunity for cross-learning and diversity of ideas, methods, and approaches. Be clear with the new team about its role, how it will operate, and your expectations for its output. Related to all three factors 8. Listen and involve. Employees are a rich source of information about how to do a job and how to do it better. This principle has been demonstrated time and again with all kinds of employees—from hourly workers doing the most routine tasks to high-ranking professionals. Managers who operate with a participative style reap enormous rewards in efficiency and work quality.
Participative managers continually announce their interest in employees' ideas. They do not wait for these suggestions to materialize through formal upward communication or suggestion programs
. They find opportunities to have direct conversations with individuals and groups about what can be done to improve effectiveness. They create an atmosphere where "the past is not good enough" and recognize employees for their innovativeness. Participative managers, once they have defined task boundaries, give employees freedom to operate and make changes on their own commensurate with their knowledge and experience. Indeed, there may be no single motivational tactic more powerful than freeing competent people to do their jobs as they see fit.
Our Lives Are Shaped By The Decisions That We Make And The Decision To Act Is Fuelled By Confidence The bottom line is that confidence is a resource which is both invaluable and essential toward the achievement of just about any goal. Knowing that your confidence level is going to not only govern every decision that you make but is also going to have a direct impact on the quality of life that you experience, donâ€™t you think you owe it to yourself to own
Reprinted with permission from "Stop Demotivating Your Employees!" Harvard Management Update, Vol. 11, No. 1
Confidence Beyond Beliefâ€Ś.?
"Remember, happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think." Dale Carnegie 25
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Public Speaking Tips:
More Hiding Places for Your Notes â€Ś.. 1.
I sometimes place a chair, back to audience, next to my prop or projection table. I may take off my coat and place it over the chair, but I also use the chair back to tape up notes, or even put them in the seat.
I have also placed a flip chartsized piece of paper in the back of the room so that when I look out over the audience I can look at my outline. If I am on a stage with a curtain, I may have the same sized cheat sheet on both sides of the stage, between stage frame and the curtain, or just behind the curtain. That way, which ever way I am facing or pacing, I have it in front of me.
30 weeks from now, you could be well on your way to being ....
Confident Admired Successful Rehired
Finally, with adequate preparation, I simply reduce the entire presentation down to 2-3 points and put it on a 3x5 card, which is easily placed almost anywhere within view.
The biggest problem I have faced in making notes to myself is writing too small to read it, or putting an excessive number of notes on one page. Mindjet.com has a 30 day trial of its Mindmanager [mindmapping] program which provides excellent graphic organization of notes for a speech.
Author: Paul O. Radde Ph.D. can be reached at http://www.thrival.com
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If you want to have more effective meetings, first you have to learn the basics. Here are some simple, easy-to-follow and proven guidelines that should be followed each and every time your group meets. Print this page. Hang it on your meeting room wall. Write the guidelines on a poster. Memorize them by heart. Do whatever it's going to take to improve your meetings!
Meetings 101 1.
Only hold a meeting if necessary.
2. All meetings must have clear objectives. 3. Invite a neutral facilitator to sensitive meetings.
This also sets the stage for how serious you are about making the meeting effective.
7. Meeting participants must: --- arrive on time 4. All meetings must have an agenda --- be well-prepared which includes: --- be concise and to the point ---topics for discussion ---presenter or discussion leader for each --- participate in a constructive manner topic 8. Meeting notes must be recorded and ---time allotment for each topic made part of the company's meeting information archives. 5. Meeting information needs to be circulated to everyone prior to the meeting. Make sure to include: ---meeting objectives ---meeting agenda ---location/date/time ---background information ---assigned items for preparation 6. Meetings must start precisely on time so as not to punish those who are punctual.
9. The decisions made by the group must be documented. 10. Assigned action items must be documented, and the host, or an appropriate participant, must be appointed to follow-up on the completion of all action items. 11. Meeting effectiveness must be reviewed at the end of each meeting and suggested improvements applied to the next meeting. From Effective Meetings.com
Just for Fun "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
One Question IQ Test There is a mute person who wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing one's teeth, he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is done.
Now if there is a blind man who wishes to buy a pair of sunglasses, how should he express himself? Think about it first before scrolling to the bottom of the page...
HAM AND EGGS - A day's work for a chicken; A lifetime commitment for a pig. Anonymous Waiter, there's a flea in my soup! I'll tell him to hop it. Waiter, what's this fly doing in my soup? Looks like the breast-stroke to me, sir. Waiter, my plate's wet! That's not wet, sir - that's the soup! Image: http://fav.me/d52ecmx
IQ Test answer: He just opens his mouth and says, â€œI would like to buy a pair of sunglasses, please.â€?
Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organised Knowledge device, trade named: B.O.O.K. B.O.O.K. is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, not batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It is so easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere – even sitting in an armchair by the fire – yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc. Here’s how it works: B.O.O.K. is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable) each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, B.O.O.K.s with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. B.O.O.K. may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.
Unlike other display devices, B.O.O.K. never crashes or requires rebooting, and it can even be dropped on the floor or stepped on without damage. However, it can become unusable if immersed in water for a significant period of time. The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an “index” feature, which pinpoints the exact location of selected information for instant retrieval. An optional “B.O.O.K. mark” accessory allows you to open B.O.O.K. to the exact place you left it in a previous session – even if the B.O.O.K. has been closed. B.O.O.K. mark fits universal design standards; thus, a single B.O.O.K mark can be used in B.O.O.K.s by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous B.O.O.K markers can be used in a single a B.O.O.K. if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the B.O.O.K You can also make personal notes next to B.O.O.K. text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (P.E.N.C.I.L.S.) Portable, durable, and affordable, B.O.O.K. is hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. Also, B.O.O.K.s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.
How to bring yourself out of a slump. â€Ś Four steps to getting the results you want in business â€“ and in life Changing our behaviour to achieve better results is the most important challenge we face in trying to compete in this chaotic world. Maybe you're in a slump or know deep down that you've accepted an average performance when a great one is possible. When you're ready to change--to increase your sales, to take some calculated risks, to improve any and all aspects of your life--you may not know how to begin. What can you do differently to create more positive results in your work and personal life?
First, accept the fact that if you're not getting the results you want in any aspect of your life, it just might be you! It's not somebody else's fault. To achieve real change in your results, decide that this is your year. You must believe in yourself and your ability to make change happen. When you do, you'll find that your belief naturally leads you to take action, and action is the only thing that brings results. How to Begin True change requires you to develop clear reasons why you won't fail yourself and your family. So when you know what drives you, write it down. This process requires introspection, which you may not be used to, but in order for it to work, you need to take the time to quietly consider every aspect of your life (past, present and future) and commit it to paper.
To embark on this process, consider the following:
Step 1: Where have you been? If you feel as if disappointing results are your destiny, they will be until you're able to see the behaviours that lead to those results. So take 10 minutes to reflect on your accomplishments and your disappointments, big and small, and then write everything down. Consider and answer these questions for your career, family, health, faith, selfeducation, finances and recreation/fun. What accomplishments am I most proud of? What specific results have I achieved? Have I been willing to do what I know it takes to do better?
What have been my biggest disappointments? What did I learn from my disappointments?
Step 2: Where are you now? To change, you need to know where you are in the present moment, as well as where you've been. Make an honest written assessment of where you are in your life right now in the areas listed above. Where have you lowered the bar and accepted it? Think in terms of keeping score and getting clear on the actual numbers you have right now. Look at the truth! Getting disgusted with your current situation is a heck of a motivator. Another area to be honest about is your personal health. Health and energy level is the Achilles heel for most people. The number-one killer in the nation is heart disease, and almost half those who have a heart attack die from their first one. So you can see the necessity of getting honest with yourself right now about your heath, as well as other aspects of your life. To draw a detailed health picture, go to a professional and find out: What's my current weight compared to where I want to be? What are my blood pressure, cholesterol level, triglyceride level, and EKG readings?
What's my standing heart rate? Can I run a mile? How quickly do I recover after exercise? How often do I work out a month? Am I too tired at the end of the day to enjoy myself?
Step 3: Where do you want to go? Allow yourself to fantasize about what specifically you want most in your life. First consider what you'd like to do immediately, then in the near future. What are the top specific, measurable outcomes you'd like to achieve within those time frames? Look to clarify and raise your personal standards of conduct. Make sure you have each of the key areas represented. It's not the quantity, but the quality of the goals you set! To give you an idea of the types of quality questions you should be asking yourself, take a look at the following examples of questions a person in sales should be asking themself to establish short- and long-term goals: What am I committed to earning this year? What percentage of my sales are from referrals? How many new prospects will I contact a day? How many current clients will I contact? How can I better document my successes with testimonial letters, quotes, and pictures?
What company award and/or incentive trip am I committed to winning? What will I do each day to enhance my expert status and give more value to my clients? Have I been doing what it takes to be great or have I been making excuses and fighting to be average?
Step 4: What's my action plan and tracking method? Break your bigger goals into monthly and even weekly achievable steps. But keep in mind that the time-worn old advice to take gradual "baby steps" is seldom effective; you'll get frustrated and discouraged if your new results don't come quickly enough. Be bold! Making more radical changes will simply yield quicker results and establish forward momentum. Next, create a goal sheet and action plan in any format that suits you: a time line; a monthly calendar with target dates and notes; pictures of the outcome you want with a simple list of the steps it'll take to get there; or any other creative format that works for you. Make it easy to review your goals and higher personal standards daily by laminating your action plan and putting it in your shower, on your bathroom mirror or in your briefcase for easy daily review.
Radical changes you can make for better results include: Get up 30 minutes earlier at least four days a week for aerobic exercise. Make 10 prospecting calls for new business every day by noon. Contact three past customers every day and ask questions to uncover new opportunities. Send one hand-written card a day to keep in touch with clients or praise an employee. Limit fast-food intake to once a week. Bring a small cooler of healthy food to work/in your car. Eliminate soda from your diet. Eat seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Focus only on the positive things your family's doing or has done the first 30 minutes at home. Write a written outcome before you make every sales presentation. Tape it and review. Take the time to write down why you're committed to sticking with these radical changes. Focus on the joy of when you make the change, not the fear of failing. Write at least a paragraph to yourself. What kind of person do you want to be? How will you behave to become that person.
Have I been doing what it takes to be great or have I been making excuses and fighting to be average?
The Rewards of Change Whether you make change happen or not, it's going to happen; that's the way life is. And the results of passively waiting to see what happens next--of letting life decide for you--can be completely opposite from what you'd choose for yourself. Don't wait for a crisis! While making a radical change can be an intimidating prospect at first, the rewards are many and will come quicker than you might imagine. When you're in control of your destiny, you'll look back on your decision to change and realize it was the moment everything began to change. Mastering the ability to confront reality and make a change isn't just a key strategy for business; it's a necessity for life and perhaps the one skill most worth learning.
Chip Eichelberger is a motivational speaker and author whose clients include Ernst & Young, Tommy Hilfiger, Century 21 and Bank of America. His latest book, Think: Applying the Success Principles of 1918 Today, is available at www.getswitchedon.com
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