Tag Archives: productivity tips

5 Communication Habits of Highly Successful Leaders

5 Communication Habits of Highly Successful Leaders

Great leaders are heard, and understood. They get the results they want. Here’s how.

When you clearly communicate your vision and objectives to your team, you have certain expectations about the outcome of that communication. Yet, I commonly hear entrepreneurs express concern and confusion over their employees’ inability to carry out a plan to the point of meeting, or exceeding, expectations. If this frustration is familiar to you, it may not be because you’ve chosen the wrong employees, but the wrong approach in communicating with them.

In his recently released book If I Can, You Can: Transformation Made Easy, business coach David Zelman talks about how to communicate so that you are heard–and understood.

“Everyone possesses a unique set of internal conversations,” says Zelman. “Outcomes aren’t based on what your employees are being told, but what they are telling themselves.” In his 40 years of leadership coaching Zelman has learned that everyone’s actions are a perfect match to their inner dialogue and correlated to what they are telling themselves, not what others are telling them. 

If you tell your team that you are slashing the price of an existing product, each person hears something different. Your sales team hears, “Great. More demand, but I’ll have to sell more units to make my financial commitment.” Customer service hears, “Better staff up for additional client base.” And production hears, “How are we going to meet the demand? We are already running at capacity.”

“When another person is speaking, we often don’t do a good job of distinguishing what the other person is saying versus our interpretation of what they’re saying,” says Zelman. “In fact, it is uncommon for us to simply hear what is being said. The point is, if you say something to five people, you are most likely having five different conversations.”

It is possible to create a shared vision within your organization, and to inspire your team to contribute meaningfully. Here are Zelman’s top five suggestions on how to help others transform their inner dialogue and dramatically alter the chance of success.

1.  Have conversations that are focused on the future, not the past.

Getting people aligned on a vision or common purpose is one of the primary roles of a leader. Too many conversations revolve around explaining or justifying why something did or did not get done. This is a waste of time and energy. The past is behind us. Build a practice of focusing on the future, of what needs to happen to achieve the vision and goals. And always establish timeframes in which goals will be achieved.

2.   Instead of issuing directives, have a dialog.

By having employees participate in a dialog that creates goals, strategy, and timeframes, you are encouraging them to have a higher level of ownership of the corporate objectives. Create a collaborative culture and people will assume responsibility willingly.

3.   Don’t assume you have been heard.

Communication requires both speaking and listening. The excuse, “It’s not my fault; I told them what I wanted,” just doesn’t cut it. Unless you ask for feedback, such as, “What’s your interpretation of what I just said?” there is too much room for misunderstanding.

4.   Create a culture of authentic communication.

While transparency and inclusiveness are important variables in establishing effective communication, maintaining integrity in communications is even more so. Organizations must build a culture where people are authentically committed to what they say. A promise is a promise. A commitment is a commitment.

5.   Acknowledge and appreciate good work.

When people are recognized and acknowledged for their contribution, they are more likely to continue to create value in the organization. If you stop acknowledging people, they lose their sense of belonging and making a difference.

Leaders who succeed in sustaining effective communication throughout their organization build high-performing teams and thriving companies. How do you achieve your best results?

Read full article here –>

Rejuvenate Your Mind While You Work

10 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Mind While You Work

Geil Browning, Ph.D. | Founder and CEO of Emergenetics International

Geil Browning, Ph.D. 

(This article was originally written by Dr. Geil Browning for Inc.com)

In my column for Inc.com, I’ve written about how I lead groups of volunteers to work with the Kenyan Children Foundation in Africa, and how we all return home exhausted but with our brains refreshed and renewed. We take a break from our usual ways of thinking and open our minds to new ideas and experiences. But you don’t have to travel thousands of miles from home to recharge your brain or rejuvenate your mind.

As an entrepreneur, you probably work upward of 60 hours a week. Forbes interviewed 20 entrepreneurs about their work habits and found they worked an average of 60 to more than 100 hours per week. Most noted that weekdays were not much different from weekends, and that personal time off did not exist at all. One responded, “the concept of ‘work’ disappears–it is just what we do.”

As anyone who has crammed for an exam can tell you, usually the number of hours we work without interruption is inversely proportionate to how much we accomplish. So how do these entrepreneurs manage to work so many hours without suffering from brain fatigue?

Well, first of all, it is because they truly love being an entrepreneur and are passionate about their enterprise. But, I believe, part of the answer is that they wear so many hats. They never get stuck doing the same kind of work for too long.

Here are some more brain-based tips that can work wonders for rejuvenating your mind:

1. Buy a good office chair, or get a standing desk. 

Focal Upright Furniture has a brand-new chair-and-desk combination on the market. Invented by Martin Keen, of Keen shoes fame, it uses a position between sitting and standing, and allows lots of movement as you work. It also helps those who use it remain attentive.

2. Do not multitask.

John Medina, author of Brain Rules, tells us the brain cannot multitask, period. What it does do is switch back and forth between tasks very quickly. Someone whose attention is interrupted not only takes 50% longer to accomplish a task but also makes up to 50% more errors. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who talk on the cell phone while driving are four times more likely to have an accident because it isn’t possible to devote your full attention to both driving and talking at the same time. Hands-free calling offered no advantage. What’s the lesson to take away? Focus on one task at a time, and you’ll accomplish each better and faster–without killing anybody.

3. Use all your senses.

Work is more entertaining for your brain–and therefore makes you more alert–when you engage as many of your senses as possible. Use colored paper and pens. Experiment with peppermint, lemon, or cinnamon aromatherapy. Try playing background music.

4. Don’t make too many decisions in one day.

It sounds farfetched, but if you go shopping in the morning, then negotiate yourself out of eating a cookie at lunch, and finally try to decide between two job offers that afternoon, you might choose the wrong job because you didn’t eat the cookie, according to Scientific American. Making choices depletes your reserves of executive function, or “the mental system involved in abstract thinking, planning, and focusing on one thing instead of another.” This can adversely affect decisions you make later.


Read full article here –>

The Power of WHY in Becoming an Entrepreneur

The Power of WHY in Becoming an Entrepreneur

JANUARY 6, 2016 | Jason Saltzman

I am an entrepreneur. What does that mean? To most people, it means the standard definition of the word, the person who “organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”

To me, it means something more. It is not only someone who decided to build something out of nothing. It’s someone who wakes up every day not knowing exactly what to expect. It’s someone who jumped off the ledge without a parachute. I often say I’m at the crossroads of being broke and being a billionaire. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, filled with heartbreak, glory, stress and immense satisfaction.

For those of you who understand what I’m saying, I’m sure you can relate. But, for everyone else, for those of you who are wondering what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, let me give you some personal insight. Let me take you out of the glorified media bubble of billion-dollar exits and pretty-colored unicorns. Let me tell you a secret, just between us: It is a damn war. I wake up every day uncertain. I am a deal away from glory and an event away from failure. One day is the best day of your life, followed by the worst day of your life. One day you are a hero and the next day you are a big fat zero.

So, now that you know the truth and we got that out of the way, let’s talk about why we do this and why we put ourselves through this gauntlet of craziness. Why would we cut ourselves, roll around in sea salt, get up and shower and do it all over again?

How Coworking Helped an Education AcceleratorThe number one misconception is that we do it all for the money. For those of you who are thinking about hopping in this crazy game and you want to do it just for the money then let me pose a few questions to you. If you’re thinking solely of your mansion on Star Island, your G6 and your Bugatti Veyron, how are you going to think of ways you can create value for your clients? If you’re sitting there dreaming of market share and billion-dollar opportunities and only thinking about how much you can capitalize, how can you come up with ideas to enhance your user experience? While you are sitting in your bedroom thinking of trips to Aspen, Mojitos in Miami and dinners on the French Riviera, clients need help, people need better experiences and industries in general need to be disrupted.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m a true capitalist, through and through. I just know that money is a measurement of creating value. If you’re focused on only making money for yourself, then you cannot be focused on creating that value that you need to attract clients and potentially make a profit.

Now that we know it’s not entirely about the bling, then one may ask, “Why do we do what we do?” For me the answer is in the question itself. The answer to “why we do what we do, is the WHY.

The WHY helps me get through my day. The WHY gets me through the sleepless nights and the WHY motivates me to build the best products and services that I can build. If you know WHY, it helps you answer any question you may have or deal with any issue that will 100 percent happen to you.

For me, the WHY is that I want to connect different people together through entrepreneurship. I believe that different cultures throughout time have broken down political and social boundaries through working with each other to achieve common goals. I believe that collaboration is a byproduct of evolution and we will become a better world when we decide to all work together.

Read full article here –>

The Ultimate Office Break Room Cleanliness Guide

Company Kitchen knows breakrooms. Each year, we transform hundreds of break rooms into interactive markets offering fresh, healthy food. We see how people interact with the food and each other. Last year, we offered Nine Tips for Great Break Room Etiquette. Since being published on our blog, that article has been read thousands of times and has amassed hundreds of shares.

So, we decided to publish our Ultimate Office Break Room Cleanliness Guide. Whether your office has five employees or 500, these rules will help keep your office kitchen and breakroom clean, organized, and germ-free.Break room cleanliness guide

  1. Keep an organized fridge. If you know where everything is, food is less likely to get “lost.” Lunches and leftovers should not stay in the fridge more than two days. Prepared, packaged food shouldn’t stay more than a week. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and salad dressings will probably get used before they expire, but should not be left open more than two months.Using clear boxes or baskets with handles, like those shown below, can help you group like-items together. Plus, employees can put their food in a box rather than in a large plastic bag.
  1. Properly label food and containers. Label each container for condiments, dressings, sauces, etc. Have blank stickers so employees can put their names on their items, as well as pre-printed stickers with each day of the week on them. After a day or two, you will know it’s time to throw out the leftovers.
  2. Avoid sponges – Use brushes or disposable towels. Sponges are not allowed in restaurants for a reason – they are prime breeding ground for bacteria. The damp, dark environment begs for unhealthy spores to multiply. If you do have a sponge, make sure to wring it dry after each use and have a holder for it to sit in. Do not let it sit on the bottom of the sink!
  3. Have an ice scoop (and use it)! Do you really want everyone’s hands touching the ice you’ll be putting in your mouth?
  4. Prepare an emergency kit. While you should have a first-aid kit for cuts and scratches on hand, think of the emergency kit as a first-aid kit for cleanliness. Include a mop, absorbent towels, wet-floor signs, anti-bacterial or disinfectant counter top cleaner, plunger, and gloves. (It may be more like an emergency closet)
  5. Always have dish soap, hand soap available and disinfectant counter cleaner on hand. Dishes need to be cleaned, hands need to be washed, and counters need to be sanitized. All these products are readily available and do not cost much, but can save your office from getting sick.
  6. Place a box of baking soda in the fridge. DSC_6631
    You can’t control what your coworkers bring for lunch, but you can prevent smelly foods from lingering in there.
  7. Clean coffee pot, fridge, sink and microwave regularly. Especially the handles! These items are touched many times per day be nearly everyone in the office. Regularly cleaning the coffee pot with bleach or Lime Away will prevent it from staining or accumulating lime deposits. The refrigerator and microwave handles and sink faucet should be wiped down daily. Pay close attention to the back – it’s not always visible, but a lot of crud accumulates back there. Finally, when cleaning the inside of the microwave, put a cup of water in there and microwave it for several minutes. The steam will loosen up any spills and splatters and make it easy to wipe off.
  8. Keep trash can dry. If there is a hole in the trash can liner, unknown liquids will drip out. At first, you will not notice it, but after a few days, bacteria can grow and it will stink up the break room. Trash cans are never fun to clean, so prevent them from getting wet in the first place.
  9. Do not leave communal food out for more than 4 hours. This is more about food safety than cleanliness, but it will help your break room look neater. After those birthday pot lucks or holiday parties, so not leave food sitting on the counter all day. Prepared food needs to be refrigerated under 40 degrees or be kept over 140 degrees. Anything in between is optimal conditions for bacteria to thrive. If food has been out more than four hours, throw it away.

Hopefully these tips help you keep your kitchen clean and your employees safe and healthy. Please feel free to leave comments below and let us know what rules you have to keep an orderly break room.