Tips of the week

Tips of the Week – Nov. 26th

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Increasing Your Productivity

To improve your value, increase your productivity. The following questions will often help you identify where you should be focusing your effort.

Seven ideas to increase your success with increasing your productivity include:

1. Ask yourself what really needs to be done and then do it.

2. Ask yourself what does your organization really need and then recommend it and/or implement it.

3. Work with action plans. Know what you want to accomplish each day/week/month.

4. Consider what decisions you need to make and them make them.

5. Consider who you need to contact and then do it.

6. Identify which meetings you need to attend and which you can skip.

7. Identify those who need to be on your team and enlist them.


Tips of the Week – Nov. 17th

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Building Your Patience

The ability to give a process time is not always naturally inherited. Waiting for outcomes can be unduly stressful for us as we journey with the ever-increasing speed of modern life.

Eleven ideas to increase your success with building your patience include:

1. Recognize that an attempt may not be entirely successful but it will always provide a learning opportunity.

2. Use waiting situations as conscious opportunities to cultivate your patience… i.e. waiting in line or in traffic.

3. Guard against acting on impulse. Practice taking more time even when you know you don’t need it.

4. Take at least one minute to gain perspective and consider the big picture.

5. Deal with what is real as opposed to what “could happen”.

6. Avoid picking up the bad habits of impatient people who surround you.

7. Ask yourself… is impatience in your best interest right now?

8. Remind yourself of the importance of respect and tolerance.

9. Use positive visualization. Picture yourself acting and re-acting with patience.

10. Use positive self-talk. “I’m working on increasing my patience.”

11. Place notes reminding you to be patient all around you.


Tips of the Week – Nov. 11th

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Networking (Part II)

Learning to mingle and to follow-up with business contacts could be the best thing you can do to promote yourself, your service or your product.

Nine additional ideas to increase your success with networking include:

1. When meeting someone, repeat their name to help you remember it.

2. Ask questions about what they do; the challenges they face; the changes they are experiencing.

3. Be a great listener. Listen more than you speak.

4. Spend no more than 5-6 minutes talking with any one person at a networking event.

5. Exchange cards. Ask for their card if they don’t offer it.

6. Set up a system to manage the details of the people you meet.

7. Follow up within 24 hours of the event. Call or write. Try to refer to your conversation and mention something they said. Arrange a meeting or lunch if they have serious potential.

8. Send them an article about an interest they expressed.

9. Try to build a relationship; recognize that the process takes time and will require multiple contacts as you attempt to build trust.


Tips of the Week – November 5th

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Networking (Part I)

Learning to mingle and to follow-up with business contacts could be the best thing you can do to promote yourself, your service or your product.

Eight ideas to increase your success with networking include:

1. Identify the type of person you want to meet; i.e. the purchasing officer.

2. Identify where you would likely encounter them; i.e. what associations would they belong to? What conferences meetings or trade shows would they attend?

3. Create an objective around how many of these types of encounters you will need to attend in a week, month or year.

4. Review the list of attendees before an encounter so you can search for the people you want to talk to.

5. Be prepared with business cards, a pen, a notebook and a smile.

6. Arrive early so you can start networking when the group is small and less intimidating.

7. Approach people who are standing by themselves.

8. Shake hands. Introduce yourself in 30 seconds or less. Describe the service you provide to your clients in one or two sentences.


Tips of the Week – Oct. 30th

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Continuous Improvement

We need to value and find ways to implement the art of continuous improvement.

Eight questions to ask yourself after completing an assignment or project include:

  1. What can I learn from this experience?
  1. What technology would assist me in the future
  1. How do I need to alter future time lines?
  1. What budget considerations should I make in the future?
  1. What lessons can I learn from internal or external suppliers or customers?
  1. What could I do differently next time?
  1. What recommendations would my superior make?
  1. What strategy could assist me in the future?

Tips of the Week

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Communication Strengths (Part II)

Ten additional ideas to add to your communication strengths include:

1. Listen carefully; without interrupting
2. Put others at ease
3. Give others time to speak
4. Use correct grammar
5. Follow through promptly
6. Check your understanding
7. Deal with facts
8. Provide well intended feedback
9. Receive well intended feedback graciously
10. Speak without sarcasm or defensiveness


Tips of the Week

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Communication Strengths (Part I)

Our ability to communicate needs to be a work in progress. Beyond words there are behaviours that contribute to our being perceived as effective communicators.

Ten ideas to add to your communication strengths include:
1. Be friendly
2. Be articulate
3. Be sincere
4. Be sympathetic
5. Be receptive to others’ ideas
6. Be specific
7. Be positive
8. Be assertive
9. Speak clearly
10. Be comfortable when meeting strangers


Tips of the Week

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Managing Incoming Information

Between email, mail, faxes internal memos and telephone calls the amount of information presented to you each day can be a burden.

Seven ideas to increase your success with managing your incoming information include:1. Categorize each piece of information as follows:
A – Needs to be done today
B – Has a specific deadline other than today
C – Has no deadline
D – Items you can delegate
E – Items you can eliminate.

2. If an A will take you less than 5 minutes to complete, do it at the time of sorting.

3. Arrange your B’s on your desk based on the date you need to start the task.

4. Move your C’s to a file drawer or hidden shelf… far from your immediate work area. Pile them high and toss the bottom section when the stack gets too high.

5. Decide whether to delegate a D immediately or schedule a time to delegate a task.

6. Remove unwanted E information from reaching you by making a quick call or sending a quick email.

7. Apply the above practices to email, mail, faxes internal memos and telephone calls.


Tips of the Week

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Projecting an Appropriate Tone in Your Business Writing

Your reader will read your communication with their own (sometimes negative) overtone. It is particularly important to take as many steps as possible to project the best possible tone.

Eight ideas to increase your success with an appropriate writing tone include:

1. Focus on the reader by using the “You” instead of “I”. i.e.
Instead of: We have a new program that we think is very interesting.
Write: You’ll find our new program very interesting.

2. Use the dynamic active approach VS passive approach.
Instead of: Careful consideration will be given to your request.
Write: We will give careful consideration to your request.

3. Engage your reader by writing with more verbs and less nouns.
Instead of: I have knowledge
Write: I know
Instead of: I have reservations
Write: I doubt
Instead of: May I make a suggestion
Write: I suggest

4. Take a positive approach.
Instead of: We have written twice and to date you have not replied.
Write: When can we expect your reply?

5. Use specific concrete language.
Instead of: Please send me a copy of the report as soon as possible.
Write: Please send me copy of the report within 10 days.

6. Use words that build goodwill like please; thank you; appreciate; hope.

7. Make the action required by the reader the closing sentence.

8. Deal with one subject in a communication.


Tips of the week

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Effective Project Teams

While working with others to complete projects is riddled with many challenges, the benefits of the synergistic team approach are boundless.

Ten ideas to increase your success with team projects include:

  1. Ensure that the team’s goals are specific, measurable, relevant, timed and known to all members.
  2. Make frequent reference to the goals.
  3. Share the leadership.
  4. Ensure that the roles and responsibilities are clear.
  5. Expect, regulate and resolve conflict.
  6. Treat mistakes as learning opportunities.
  7. Monitor and provide performance feedback.
  8. Communicate frequently, openly and honestly.
  9. Utilize all team members.
  10. Share the power.

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