Tips of the week

Tips of the Week – May 27th

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Confronting In Conflict Situations

Looking after your needs is essential to your good health and success.  Many people are reluctant to say what they need to say because it may result in the other person having a negative reaction.

Six ideas to increase your success in confronting in conflict situations include:

  1. Identify the specific offending behavior.
  2. Describe the others person’s behavior that causes you concern.  Be specific and describe the actions, not the person’s motives or goals.                                                                           .                                            
  3. Ask explicitly for a change in their behavior. Express the need for change in positive manner, as a goal to be achieved in the future.                                 
  4. Request a small change; never a series of changes.     
  5. Specify the concrete action you want the person to stop or those actions you want the person to perform.
  6. Always recognize and be respectful of the other person’s needs.

Tips of the Week – May 20th

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Diplomatic Disagreement

Disagreeing with a person you report to or a client is a challenging process.

Six ideas to increase your success in disagreeing diplomatically include:

  1. Before you disagree, restate or paraphrase what you believe the other person has said to demonstrate your understanding.  Do this with a neutral tone and positive body language.
  2. Check for their agreement… if they don’t verbalize their agreement, are they nodding?
  3. If they don’t agree, keep restating until they do.   
  4. Acknowledge that you understand their position, feelings or thoughts by outlining what you believe is the value in the suggestion.  “I can see the value in…”
  5. Add however… do not use “but”.
  6. Then present your views, opinions or alternate suggestions.

Tips of The Week – May 13th

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Stress Management

Stress occurs when situations control you instead of you controlling them.  Sometimes it is the way we react to events, and not the events themselves, that trigger stress.

Nine ideas to increase success in managing stress include:

  1. Identify the sources of stress in your job and in your personal life and minimize them.
  2. Find ways to best cope with stress that can’t be eliminated… proper rest, exercise, nutrition.
  3. Avoid burning out because of too much challenge
  4. Avoid rusting out because of too little challenge
  5. Calculate the number of hours you are capable of working and limit your hours accordingly 
  6. Balance your life; find time for your physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual well-being
  7. Identify the priorities in your life and include daily activities related to your priorities.
  8. Eliminate time wasters.
  9. Use coping self talk to control anger:
  • Is this worth getting angry about?
  • Is getting angry going to help?
  • Will this be important in two years, two months, two hours?
  • What would a calm person do?


Tips of the Week – May 6th

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Staying Professional:  Un-emotional & Problem –Solving Oriented 

We have a choice in terms of how we can respond to difficult situations.  In challenging situations we can respond with anger or frustration if we are not practicing professionalism.  Our objective should be to consistently deal with challenging situations in a calm, productive manner.

Six ideas to increase success in staying unemotional problem–solving oriented include:

  1. Recognize your body’s physical warning  signals that remaining unemotional will require extra effort, .i.e. a tightness in your neck or shoulders or chest or  hands or stomach;  a flush in your face or  body
  1. Take a step back mentally.  See the bigger picture.  Will this be important a week or a month from now?
  1. Take a step back physically.  Reduce the extra adrenaline through movement.
  1. Buy time.  Say:

                    “I need to consider this.”

“I need to think this through.”

“I want to give this some thought”

  1. Anticipate your frustration with repeat offenders and plan your reaction to them.
  1. Smile and say “I don’t sweat the small stuff”… and smile again.

Tips of The Week – April 29th

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Overcoming Negativity

You are what you think.  While everyone has negative thoughts, it’s part of being human, you can be a captive or a captain of your thoughts

The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you have.  A positive approach results in fewer problems, less stress, improved health and greater success.

We own our thinking and we can make it work for us.  The key is to focus on positive factors that exist.

Four ideas to increase success with overcoming negativity include:

1.   Change: “I want to… but… “     To:  I want to… and…

2.   Change: “I can’t… because…”      To: “I won’t… because…”

3.   Change: “If it weren’t for… I would…”    To: “I won’t… because…”

4.   Change: “I have to… because…”       To: “I choose to… because…”

Tips of the Week – April 22nd

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Providing Feedback Artfully

Feedback can accomplish three important objectives:

  1. Provide recognition
  2. Boost morale and motivation
  3. Correct performance problems

Feedback answers the question, “How am I doing?”

Feedback requires no complicated forms and shows you’re there to help.

Five ideas to increase success with providing effective feedback include:

  1. Make your feedback neutral, free of value judgments.  Stick to facts.
  1. Provide feedback as soon as possible.
  1. Provide feedback frequently.  Like a vitamin pill, use the following guide: one positive feedback per person per day.
  1. Focus on significant issues.
  1. Be certain feedback is accurate, concise and readily usable.

Tips of the Week – April 16th

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Coaching Skills

Coaching a perfect team is a dream, not always a reality.  In many situations there is a need to work with team members who lack either commitment or interest in their job.  These people will demonstrate their feelings through ineffective performance, a lack of performance or totally unacceptable performance.  An effective coach is able to shape the performance of many “diamonds in the rough”.  Turning less than desirable performance to acceptable and acceptable performance to superior performance is a most satisfying experience for any one who acts in a leadership capacity.

Five ideas to increase success with coaching include:

1.  Create a motivational climate by:

    1. Allowing team members to challenge the way things are done.
    2. Share a team vision… make certain that everyone answers the question “Why are we here?” in the same way.
    3. Enable team members to act by building their self esteem; make them feel good about themselves.
    4. Encourage them; recognize accomplishments; forgive mistakes
    5. Model the way
    6. Value a unique relationship with each team member; no favourites.
    7. Develop yourself; be a work in progress, growing changing, improving.

2.  Demonstrate the most respected leadership qualities: honesty; decisiveness; leading by example; delegating; recognizing others; being objective; tolerating disagreement.

3.  When providing feedback, capture “real” behaviour.   Focus on facts; not judgments.

4.  Ask… don’t tell.  Hold them responsible for solutions to performance problems. Ask:

    1. Is there a reason?
    2. Is there an explanation?

5.  Focus on the future, not the past. Ask, “What can be done to fix it for the future?”

Tips of the Week – April 8th

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Listening Skills

Listening is the most underutilized skill we possess.  We have increased our activity levels, frequently multi-tasking and need to re-learn the singular act of effective listening.

Eight ideas to increase success with listening include:

  1. Value the interaction; you can’t learn less. Listen for ideas.
  1. Assume responsibility.  Even if the speaker is boring or redundant, work actively at listening. Confirm and clarify when appropriate
  1. Make it ­­­easy for someone to speak to you.  Maintain eye contact. Maintain a positive facial expression & posture. Provide non-verbal signals like nodding to show acceptance and interest.

4.  Clear your thoughts.  While you can listen six times faster than anyone can speak resist distractions; stop clicking your inner channel changer and stay with the speaker.

  1. Tune in with more that your ears.  Listen with your eyes and your heart as well.
  1. Take notes.  A short pencil is better than a long memory.
  1. Keep an open mind.  Keep listening even if you don’t agree… there may be more commonality than you initially realize.  Be aware of your biases and prejudices.
  1. Be prepared to paraphrase to demonstrate your understanding; this practice will actually increase your listening ability.

Tips of the Week – April 1st

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Increasing Team Cooperation

Effective teams build your organization.  Instilling team spirit, creating a cooperative climate and channeling group effort are keys to productivity and success.

Six ideas to increase success with team cooperation include:

  1. Ensure that team members understand the total problem.
  1. Ensure that team members understand how they can contribute toward solving the problem.
  1. Make team members aware of the potential contributions of the other project team members.
  1. Discuss openly and recognize the problems facing team members in order to aid them in making their maximum contribution.
  1. Pay attention to how team members treat each other.  Accept nothing short of respect.

6.  Use specific problem solving models to aid the team to solve problems.

Tips of the Week – March 25th

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Project Management Skills

Project management is a systematic approach essential to achieving goals with respect to schedules and budgets.

Four ideas to increase success with projects include:

1.   Every project needs a sponsor. Do not begin until there is someone who is responsible for:

  • Approving the team and defining the responsibilities
  • Providing information and resources
  • Clarifying critical issues
  • Acting as key communication link between departments


2.   Every project needs a clear statement of the expected outcomes, the approach, the timelines and the budget.  Do not commence any activities related to completing a project until the initial planning process has provided a statement that has the sponsor’s approval.


3.   Every project needs a plan. The purpose of the plan is to:

  • Outline responsibilities, and duties of the team members
  • State how the project will be managed in terms of the time cost and performance
  • Summarizes the resources required (human, electronic, external, physical)


4..  Projects can benefit from the application of the following tools:

  • Project team cooperation checklist
  • Planning and organizing checklist
  • Responsibility assignment matrix
  • Gnatt charts
  • Critical Path Mapping
  • Contingency planning charts
  • Follow up evaluation questions