Most of us despise meetings, and for good reasons. A typical meeting is unnecessary, annoying, has the wrong invitees and sucks energy for little or no benefit. We’d rather keep working on our priority projects than going to a meeting. However, when done right, meetings can be very productive, engaging, and fun. Throughout my career, I have collected a few tips, and now I genuinely love productive meetings. You can easily meet your objectives when you incorporate several of these tips to your firm.
Our productivity depends on innovation, and innovation is driven by intense curiosity – the quest to find out: “Is there a way to do this better, cheaper or faster?” This type of question prompted Elon Musk to found SpaceX, Larry Page and Sergey Brin to start Google, Jeff Bezos to create Amazon, and Michael Dell to start Dell. Asking “Why” prompted Sean Moore to invent the Crescent Rod, a curved shower curtain rod; and four Harvard students to invent Soccket – a soccer ball that generates electrical power for underprivileged families through kinetic energy. In her book “The Power of Why” business journalist Amanda Lang reveals how asking “Why?” can fuel innovation and promote a spirit of inquiry in your workplace. She offers valuable insights and excellent case histories. Her findings have helped executives and people from all sorts of life to be innovative and productive.
The performance of the team is one of the critical factors for a successful project. Therefore, Google conducted a study to find out what makes a Google team effective. They used extensive data and rigorous analysis. The study took over two years, consisted of more than 200 double-blind interviews, and 250 attributes. Through this process, they busted a few myths and realized their assumptions were wrong. The characteristics of the team members are not as important as how they interact, structure their work and view their contributions.
Your written, verbal and nonverbal communication skills are instrumental, especially in today’s working environment. Nevertheless, many professionals make a number of common communication mistakes that damage their image and credibility, in addition to conveying an unintended and unclear message. The full expression of your message includes not only what you say, but also how you say it, and how you present yourself. You achieve true, accurate communication only when the other person understands what you mean exactly. Follow these 17 practical tips to overcome everyday speaking and presentation blunders. By removing these barriers, you will be able to work productively with people from different backgrounds, roles, and levels in the organization.
To achieve extraordinary results in both work and life, we must do two things: 1) turn our to-do-everything approach into a targeted “One Thing” approach, and 2) manage our time productively. Multitasking is not effective since success requires long periods of laser-focused concentration. If you find your “One Thing,” everything else will fall into place. In this article, I summarize seven recommendations based on his research and experience. These methods are helping managers and executives become more productive and create habits that build success.
We want employees to complete projects and tasks, and perhaps more importantly, we want them to learn the skills that make them more competent and more self-sufficient. Conversely, very few managers coach their employees on a regular basis. Of those who coach, few have the necessary skills to do it right. Most people think of coaching as an advice session. However, as Socrates figured out more than 2,000 years ago, a better strategy is to coach by asking intelligent questions that encourage people to talk about their work, their thoughts, and their concerns comfortably and openly. To accomplish this task with little effort, managers can have a prepared list of essential questions and use a questioning process to help their employees enhance their skills, reach solutions on their own, master their jobs, and understand and own their actions. This technique will improve your relationship with your employees. Also, it will reduce their dependency on you, giving you more time for your projects. In his recent book “The Coaching Habit - Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever,” Michael Bungay Stanier, the first person honored as Coach of the Year in Canada, presents the vital seven coaching questions to teach managers how to coach effectively. This concept will help you become a successful coach with little strain.
No matter which industry you are in, it is critical to employ top performers. I often hear managers complain about a particular employee who is not performing. After talking for a couple of minutes, it usually becomes evident to me that the manager should not have hired this individual in the first place. Most of us agree that the hiring process is more an art than a science. What rules can we follow to increase the odds of hiring the best candidate, rather than the best job seeker?
The levels of disengagement in the workplace are growing fast. Some blame it to technology, newer people generations, an increase on stress levels, growth in job complexity or the perceived need to know everything instantly. This lack of engagement negatively impacts productivity, creativity, and profitability. What can leaders do to correct this startling concern effectively? In this article, I describe how leaders can make personal interactions and decisions to raise...
Managing your direct reports might be challenging at times, but managing people outside of your reporting lines it’s even more taxing. How can we effectively influence and manage people when we lack the authority? This skill is becoming very relevant as we have more and more matrixed organizations. Managers and leaders who are new to this venture may feel that they are doomed to fail. However, when handled properly, it...
In the last few years companies have been increasingly allowing employees to use their own devices to access the company’s email, calendar, employee directory, and other corporate data. This phenomenon is known as “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programs or IT Consumerization. BYOD gives employees more flexibility and mobility, which in turns makes them happier and more productive... Employees are no longer imposed to use specific types and brands of...