Tips of the week

Tips of Weeks – Feb. 10th

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Assertiveness Skills

Many job-related frustrations and stresses can be traced to discomfort in handling difficult situations:  We may avoid dealing with these types of situations or may offend others by coming on too strong.  We need to learn to act assertively by expressing concerns directly, firmly and with composure.

Six ideas to increase success include:

  1. Strive to be realistic, responsible and respectful.
  1. Build your confidence and your self esteem every day by reflecting on “what’s good about you?”
  1. Structure your sentence to begin with “I” followed by either “expected” or “prefer” or “need”, when you are providing feedback concerning performance problems.
  1. When saying no, remember to be gracious by always offering an alternative.
  1. Use three sentences to disagree diplomatically.
    1. Paraphrase to demonstrate your understanding of their recommendation
    2. Acknowledge the value of their recommendation
    3. Present your own recommendation
  1. Ask questions to ensure that you work together to a resolve conflict when an issue is important to you. i.e.:
    1. What do you need?
    2. How can we resolve this situation?
    3. What would it take to fix this?

Information is power; use the additional information to then go on to establish common ground and mutual goals.


Tips of the Week – February 4th

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Overcoming Procrastination

Today’s greatest time saving device is sometimes tomorrow.

Procrastination can result in poor performance related to quality and missed deadlines; unnecessary stress and stress related illness.

Six ideas to increase success include:
1. Just thinking about something you need to compete is a step in the right direction. Planning how you are going to act is a big step forward.

2. Choose one action that appeals to you. Just get started…inertia will keep you going.

3. Identify the behaviours you exhibit when you procrastinate. Do you engage in lengthy social conversations; spend extra time reading; search for things to eat or drink? Recognizing these behaviours will help you to realize when you are procrastinating and signal you that it’s time to get started on something more important.

4. Overcome perfection paralysis… unless you are a brain surgeon 90% right is better than 100% of nothing. Having all the information before taking action either takes too long or is not possible. Build your self esteem and your intuition.

5. Engage in the “dirty practice” of self-discipline by committing to someone else. We work harder at not disappointing others. Simply “announce your intentions” or if you really want to succeed, sign a contract agreeing to pay a large sum of money if you don’t complete the task or behaviour.

6. Use the 21 day success habit check list. Post a visible calendar and give yourself a check each day you complete a task or behaviour After 21 days it will become habit.


Tips of the Week – January 28th

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Listening Skills

8 ideas to increase your ability to listen:
1. Maintain steady eye contact with the speaker.
2. Sit or stand tall.
3. Give the speaker encouraging cues like: “I see” “Tell me more” “That’s interesting”
4. Remove physical barriers. Stand or sit near the speaker. Turn off your cell phone or pager. Relocate to a quieter setting if necessary.
5. Paraphrase to demonstrate effective listening. “If I understand you correctly…. “ then allow the speaker to confirm your understanding or offer clarification.
6. Demonstrate empathy.
7. Keep an open mind. You can’t learn less; the opportunity for more is always present.
8. Listen for intent as well as content. Explore beyond the words spoken by probing for the real meaning.


Tips of the Week – January 21st

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Strategies For Personal Success

Success means being able to answer “YES” to the following two questions:
• Are you happy with the way you spend your time?
• Are you happy with your relationships?

Six ideas to increase your personal success include:

1. Take responsibility for whatever you are doing; however you are behaving, responding or thinking. Get out of the reactive mode and into the pro-active mode. You can always make choices.

2. Develop your confidence by building your self-esteem; as a result, you will increase your productivity. Tell yourself “five things that are good about you” at least three times every day.

3. Identify attainable and relevant goals. List the activities necessary to accomplish the goals and complete the activities. Every accomplishment counts.

4. Communicate with power; assume the body language and the voice of a winner. Look and sound the part.

5. Build your listening skills. No one has ever said, “I can’t stand how that person always listens to me.”

6. How you think determines how you act; think positively. Don’t be so busy “awfulizing” that you miss the best parts of life. You can be as happy as you make up your mind to be.


Tips of the Week – January 14th

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Time Management

There is no such thing as time management. We need to practice the difficult habit of self-discipline during the time we have.

Six ideas to increase success include:

1. Assign all of your “To Do’s” to a specific day in a planner.

2. Identify short and long term goals.

3. Identify activities to accomplish your goals and schedule them in your planner.

4. Start each day working on activities that have to be completed on that day. Finish all of these tasks before you move on to other tasks.

5. Make sure that every task assigned to you has a specific deadline… either assigned to you or self-imposed. “As soon as possible” has no clear meaning.

6. Organize tasks that do not have to be completed today by the date they need to be started.


Tips of the Week – January 8th

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Communication Effectiveness

Communication is the #1 problem in every organization.

Six ideas to increase success include:

1. Effective communication is a process. This means actively interacting until understanding is transferred.

2. Check your understanding by paraphrasing, i.e. repeating what you believe the person is saying and getting their agreement.

3. Demonstrate your understanding by paraphrasing. This is particularly helpful before you disagree.

4. Ask open questions to gather lots of information, i.e. start with ”how” or “tell me”. Information is power.

5. Be aware of your non-verbal communication. Words account for only 7% of a face to face communication. The way you sound, look and behave account for 93% of any message you are sending.

6. Perception can be a serious barrier to effective communication. Become aware of your own biases and prejudices; work harder to understand the real message whenever these natural barriers compete.


Tips of the week – January 4th

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Managing Change

Resisting change is a natural human response. We need to anticipate this resistance and plan to overcome it.

Six ideas to increase success include:

1. Involve people in the planning process as early as possible. Participation leads to commitment.

2. Explain the change and why it is necessary. Include benefits to the individual(s).

3. Outline how the change will impact on the individual(s). This demonstrates the careful considerations you have made.

4. Ask for their concerns. There are always concerns so give the process time.

5. Ask for their questions. After raising concerns they will be more likely to ask questions.

6. Ask for their support in making the change work, i.e. “Can I count on you to help implement this change?”


Tips of the Week – Dec. 17th

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Motivating By Giving Up Control

“Giving” in order to “receive” is a strategy to apply in creating a motivational climate. Allowing others to exercise some control creates an environment that builds self worth.

Six ideas to increase your success with motivating by giving up control include:
1. Give choices whenever possible. For example:
• on activities to accomplish a goal
• on the order of actions
• on the deadline
• on the time line
• on the team members

2. Ask open questions as opposed to directive questions… allowing others to suggest the solutions.

3. Demonstrate that you are open-minded…. receptive to new ideas and approaches.

4. Create a need by identifying a benefit to the individual. This helps to develop a sense of personal responsibility

5. Show interest in their progress by following up.

6. Give recognition, support & approval.


Tips of the Week – December 10th

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Managing Others

Getting work done through others requires specialized skill and effort.  Eight ideas to increase your success with managing others include:

1. Try to create complete jobs where there is a sense of ownership from start to finish.

2. Give background information and strategic direction whenever you assign tasks.

3. Sell change; demanding it can lead to sabotage. The approach to take is always to outline benefits to the individual.

4. Allow people to find their own solutions by posing effective questions.

5. Provide positive feedback own its own… not as an introduction to what needs to be done in the future.

6. Focus on facts, not on judgments. Be specific; avoid any generalizations.

7. Be willing to change your thinking.

8. Remember people work better in a climate where fun is encouraged.


Tips of the Week – Dec. 3rd

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Developing Your Leadership Skills

Your leadership ability could be your greatest asset.

Seven ideas to increase your success with leading others include:

  1. Be a work in progress.  Those who think they have arrived have the furthest to go… continue to learn.
  1. Listen and look for opportunities to grow as a person and as a leader.
  1. Work hard at understanding others intentions, feelings and ideas.
  1. Be authentic.  Sincerity is intuited.
  1. Follow through with any promises or commitments.
  1. Recognize others’ contributions; celebrate achievements; acknowledge effort.
  1. Provide positive and negative feedback separately otherwise the positive feedback may only be perceived as “the warm up”.