Tuesday, 29 November 2011
You can't win them all
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Discussions and debates happen all the time in business.  Healthy disagreements often lead to new thinking and innovative ideas. As a leader it is our responsibility to facilitate spirited exchanges of information in order to clarify the mission and build a sense of teamwork.  That is a key part of our leadership role.

Sometimes I observe business people who are passionate about winning the debate for the sake of winning.  When you pursue a win at all costs strategy you may very well “win the battle and lose the war.”  If you overpower others you are building resentment toward yourself and often nourishing discord on the team.

Kenny Rogers gave us all great advice when he said “know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”

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Posted on 11/29/2011 9:34 AM by Joe Scarlett
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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Recognition the #1 Motivator
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How many ways have leaders tried to motivate their staff—whether with snappy “inspirational” posters all over the office, or contests with definite winners and losers, or by some gift intended to incent and motivate?  Sound familiar?  People have tried for years to determine the magic bullet for motivation, and many have learned that often the simplest things inspire and motivate.  It has been said that every action we take reinforces something in the other person, so it behooves us to make sure we’re reinforcing the right thing.  Just as children often want attention, whether negative or positive, so do we sometimes reinforce the wrong things in others. 

Often simply taking the time to say thank you or to send a brief note, letting someone know that you noticed and appreciated what they did is the most effective motivator there is.  Each of us loves to hear what we did well, and hearing it reinforces what we need to do next time.  It creates a desire to continue to receive that positive feedback, and so we try harder or work smarter to make that happen.  Before you know it you’re in the middle of that positive spiral that can take you and your organization anywhere.  Think of the impact of simple recognition multiplied by all your employees—sounds like a pretty good working environment, right?

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Posted on 11/23/2011 8:48 AM by Mary Fink
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Monday, 14 November 2011
Open Doors with Respect
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You are considered a good leader when you keep their door open and create an environment that encourages open and honest conversation. Better yet, get out from behind the desk and walk around so you can talk to your people on their turf.

Effective leaders stay plugged in to developments in the workplace – both business and social. I often tell people that I also hold the role of VP of Rumors which usually brings a laugh often followed by a good rumor.  Then I either validate the rumor or explain why it was nonsense.  Open communication does wonders for the workforce.

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Posted on 11/14/2011 2:31 PM by Joe Scarlett
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Monday, 7 November 2011
Praise in Public; Criticize in Private
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This age old advice seems so clear but so often we observe something else.  The number one motivator is recognition so simply give sincere “pats on the back” whenever you observe good performance.  The better the accomplishment the louder the recognition – celebrate the big stuff.  Praise reinforces the results you want so keep doing it.

Leaders will always face situations in which it necessary to criticize performance. Get your facts together, be constructive, focus on future performance and have your conversation in private. It is never acceptable to criticize anyone in public.  If you do, you undermine your relationship with the employee and likely lose the respect of others on the team.

Praise in public; criticize in private. Simple advice.

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Posted on 11/07/2011 10:00 AM by Joe Scarlett
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