Building Trust – Top 10 Dos and Don’ts

Trust has become a big issue in the world of work. Whenever I am called in to do consulting in the workplace, often I discover some version of lack of trust in the center of the issue. Business people are asking the question, “How can I build trust with my workers, shareholders and community“? Sometimes the question is, “How can I rebuild the trust I lost”?

  1. Be transparent. Make sure that you let people around you know your thinking on things. Don’t leave them wondering what your motivation is-tell them.
  2. When you say you are going to do something, do it. If you put your word on something, follow through. Even if you promised something by a certain time and due to circumstances beyond your control, you can’t deliver, contact the person and explain the situation. Don’t just wait until you can deliver. Keep people informed at every step.
  3. Never say something behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say directly to that person. Stephen Covey talks about defending those not present by not engaging in gossip and actually defending a person’s character and motives when he or she is unavailable to do it himself.
  4. Let people know what you stand for, what you will do and won’t do in certain situations and then proceed to do exactly as you said you would.
  5. Demonstrate consistency. Your people need to know you have a level of predictability. In order to gain trust, it is good if others can predict with relatively accuracy and certainty what your response will be in a given situation.
  6. Make decisions consistent with your value system. If your value is honesty, you must be honest. Don’t decide being honest can be situational depending upon circumstances. If your value is kindness, don’t be mean to certain folks while being kind to those you deem deserve it.
  7. Allow people to question you and your motives without becoming defensive. Answer questions honestly until people are satisfied or you decide to agree to disagree. Tell others your hierarchy of priorities so they can understand and trust your decision-making processes.
  8. Do not ask people to do things you, yourself, would not do. Explain the usefulness of what you ask others to do.
  9. Demonstrate competence in your areas of expertise and continuously improve your knowledge, skills and abilities so people can know you are good and constantly improving at what you do.
  10. Demonstrate through actions that you care about your relationships with your people. Listen to and respect them. Acknowledge their strengths and seek their advice on things about which they are knowledgeable. Extend trust to your people. Don’t micro manage. Let them know you have faith in their abilities and trust them to do what’s best.

Demonstrating these behaviors will go a long way in building trust with others. Trust is an inside out job. You must search inside yourself and decide what type of person you want to be and then engage in the behaviors that will prove this is indeed who you are.

Kim Olver is a life, relationship and executive coach. Her mission is to help people get along better with the important people in their lives. She teaches people how to live from the inside out by empowering them to focus on the things they can change. She in an internationally recognized speaker, having worked in Australia and the continent of Africa, as well as all over the United States. She has consulted with the NBA and other major league player development specialists. She is the author of Leveraging Diversity at Work and the forthcoming book, Relationship Empowerment. She co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Byron Katie, entitled 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. She works with individuals, couples, parents, social service agencies, schools, corporations and the military–anyone who will benefit from gaining more effective control over their lives. She has consulted on relationships, parenting, self-development, training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles. For more information about Kim go to Coaching for Excellence Learn more about Empowered Leadership.

Author: Kimberly Olver
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Low-volume PCB Assembly

Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully

When you negotiate, do you use a system? Do you haphazardly jump into a negotiation without any planning or thought for what you might do if you hit roadblocks? In order to negotiate successfully, good negotiators prepare before a negotiation.

The information that follows outlines seven steps you can use to negotiate successfully.

1. Gather Background Information: When gathering background information, include the style, values, ethnicity, culture, demographics (younger negotiators on/using twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and their way of communicating, versus those that are slower to use these mediums) and other information that’s pertinent to that particular session.

2. Assess your arsenal of tactics and strategies: The more you’re aware of how to use the appropriate tactic with the appropriate strategy, applied at the appropriate time, the more options you’ll have and be able to execute during the negotiation.

3. Create Your Negotiation Plan: Consider the overall strategy you’ll use for the negotiation. Break strategies into tactics. Assess possible strategies the other negotiator might employ. Take into consideration the use of red herrings (Note: Red herrings are items that have little to no value to you that you position as having value, but items that possess real value to the other negotiator). Also consider how you might apply pressure to points (leverage) throughout the negotiation.

4. Engage in the Negotiation Process: Observe body language and mannerisms. This can be done in person, via the phone, and in writing (e-mail, etc.). Note the style in which the other person negotiates (i.e. friendly (let’s get along), reserved (I’m not quite sure how this is going to go and I’m apprehensive), hostile (I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours – the only way for me to win is for you to lose – I’m in the driver’s seat; it’s my way or the highway).

5. Closing the Negotiation: Be on high alert for the conclusion of what you think is an agreement, that serves as the opening of the next phase of the negotiation; in some cultures, this is a common practice. If you’re unsure of the other person’s sincerity, put deliverables into phases of the negotiation.

6. Conduct a Postmortem: Dissect the negotiation. Assess what went right – What could have been improved upon – What you learned from that person about negotiation styles – What lessons should be taken forth into other negotiations – What went wrong – Why did it go wrong – What could you have done differently – What prevented you from using a better tactic/strategy to allow you to gain control of the negotiation).

7. Create Negotiation Archive: Create an archive of your negotiations and store them in a repository. Set up keywords to cross-reference sections, tactics, and strategies in your negotiation write-ups, to be used for the extraction of quick ideas and serve as a resource, for future negotiations.

Whether you’re a negotiation neophyte or a seasoned professional, by using the platform of the “Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully” as your negotiation foundation, you’ll be considerably ahead of the other negotiator… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

When negotiating, seek advantages that allow you to exploit your strength, but don’t disparage the other negotiator in your enthusiasm to obtain victory.

When a negotiation outcome is less than expected, learn from the experience. Commit to getting better. Increase your knowledge of how to use the right tactic, with the right strategy(s), aligned with the right situation.

Make sure you observe and control your biases when assessing the person with whom you’ll be negotiating.

To discover more negotiation tips, strategies, and tactics that you can use to increase your negotiation skills and boost your financial resources, along with every aspect of your life, please visit… and sign up for the Free Negotiation Tips.

If you’d like to enhance your business operations by inquiring as to how you can have Greg Williams speak at your organization… send an e-mail to…

To discover more information about Greg Williams, go to…

Author: Greg Williams

Check out our Negotiating – The Quest for Success workshops.

The Ten Commandments of People Management

So much joy, as well as, so much misery can be experienced when you don the hat of “Manager.” Here are ten suggestions that will dramatically reduce your stress, establish productive teams, prepare you for hiring new employees and/or help you to release the chains that your current employees may have you entagled in…

Always implement a 90 day probationary period to: measure performance and production, determine “right fit” for your team/organization and to establish clear expectations and correct work-flow habits.

Keep an employee journal to mark performance needs and issues, as well as, customer kudos & other wins. If you’re fairly new to the management gig, know that your Human Resources Director/Manager will require documentation before you can A.) let someone go, even if they aren’t hitting production or performance expectations or B.) increase commissions, salary or bonuses. Documentation is KING!

Conduct performance reviews with your entire team. Have them set goals and revisit these goals with them on a monthly or quarterly basis. Avoid taking on the burden of their ability or inability to meet expectations. Share ideas, best practices, bring in top industry speakers, mentors, coaches, etc., but in the end, the old saying remains true..”You can lead a horse to water…”

b>Communicate expectations and set clear boundaries. It’s not good enough to simply have a talk with your employee. You must ensure that they understand what is being asked of them. You must be explicit with what needs to change, improve, etc. State deadlines for those improvements and follow-up to check on progress. Immediately after the meeting with your employee, always follow up with an email restating your expectations and agreements.

Stop giving away all of your attention and energy to the “resistors.” Remember the 20/50/30 rule. 20% of the people are “change-friendly.” 50% are your fence-sitters. 30% are the resistors. The “resistors” are antagonistic toward change and often do everything to derail your efforts. Who do you think is your loudest, squeaky wheel? DON’T give ’em the grease. This will only exacerbate their behavior and the problems. Look to win over the 50%, but give your greatest attention, kudos and support to the 20%.

Over communicate, especially in the wake of organizational or system changes.

Know when to let go. If you have a team member who is not meeting your company’s expectations and standards or who may be resisting change, behaving in an insubordinate manner and/or generally has a poor attitude, these things don’t mean that the person is “bad.” It simply means they are unhappy and are likely in desperate need of change for their own sake. You’re not helping them or you by letting them slide by. Know that by releasing them, you will be giving them the opportunity to find a place where they CAN be the star that they really wish and hope to be, and at the same time, you are creating space to allow the “star” that’s right for your team, to find you.

Make sure that your praise is fitting to the personality of your employee. Don’t drag an introvert into a conference room full of people and extol their virtues. They are more likely to appreciate a lunch one- on-one with you or a sincere ten minute conversation in your office.

Remember that all eyes are on YOU. Do not share your personal issues. Do not drag your bad temper from this morning’s spat with your spouse into work with you. Do not blame Corporate for all of your team’s problems. Do not compare one employee to another, EVER.

Be a constant source of hope for your team. As a Leader it is your duty to always keep the light on the path to hope, shining. The real truth is that even in the face of dilemmas, roadblocks, chaos, controversies, and challenges, your employees will look for “hope.” If they can’t find it in you, they will inevitably search for a new Leader someplace else.

Victoria Del Frate is a Business Coach working one-on-one, specifically with Mortgage Professionals. She is the Owner of I CAN Coaching Company and creator of I CAN Plan, a mortgage-specific business planning web-tool. Victoria has successfully coached dozens of mortgage professionals whose needs have ranged from systems implementation, business plan development, marketing, lead generation, team building and customer service platform improvements to accountability, time management and life balance concerns.

“My passion is working one-on-one with highly motivated professionals to maximize their personal effectiveness as they develop their vision, define their goals, take action and build strong foundations to ensure their continue success”-Victoria Del Frate

“Coaching is a calling, a passion, a way of life. Each victory, each level you help another human being achieve, to me, is the most worthy contribution one can make in a lifetime. Through coaching, I help others and myself to live “on purpose” every day.”-Victoria Del Frate

Victoria’s mortgage business planning website, I CAN Plan has been showcased on Mortgage Girlfriends and has been touted as, “The best, on-line, mortgage planning tool” by industry leaders. She was also recently interviewed by Karen Deis as one of the industry’s, top business planning experts.

Author: Victoria Del Frate
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How to choose a blood pressure monitor

The Top 10 Qualities of Your Next Winning Goal

No matter what you’re going for in your life, having a goal is an essential part of the process. When you have a goal, you’re more focused, you’re more motivated and you’re clearer about where you’re going.

Making decisions is easier when you have a goal, because if you’re really honest with yourself you know if one particular choice is leading you towards your l or away from it.

When you don’t have a goal, life can be aimless, stagnant, depressing or self-destructive. Chasing the wrong goal, though, might be even worse than not having one at all.

Here are the Top 10 Qualities of Your Next Winning Goal

  1. Fun. When the game is fun, the goals get done. Whatever your goal, make sure it’s something you can enjoy working towards. Find a path to the finish line that makes use of your strengths and gives you opportunities for connection, fulfillment and joy.
  2. Realistic. Your goal needs to be realistic and not too lofty — a marathon runner aims to run one mile, 26 times. Use your track record of meeting or not meeting previous goals as your guide. Not meeting your goals has as much to teach you as meeting them — instead of giving up, break the goal down further.
  3. Personal. Goals need to be something you want to achieve, based on your own passion and vision. If a goal is something you or someone thinks you “should” do, it’s not your goal.
  4. Concrete. Your goal needs to be tangible and definable. “I’m going to spend more time with my children,” is an admirable thought. “I’m going to spend 30-minutes reading a bedtime story to my children every night,” is a goal.
  5. Revered. Achieving a goal is cause for celebration. Too often people swing from berating themselves for not working hard enough or letting themselves off the hook, to shrugging off their
    accomplishments because they’re too busy chasing the next goal.
  6. Extraordinary. Eleanor Roosevelt implored, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Your goal should be outside of your comfort zone, outside of your job description, outside of your daily routines and rituals that you’re going to do anyway. We set a goal when we want to do MORE or do better.
  7. Flexible. You may need to shift and adapt your goals if you find you’re consistently off track. How can you think outside of the box and still get where you want to go?
  8. Applied. You can only turn your passions and dreams into reality by setting and reaching your goals. Decide what you want, what you’re going to do to get it, write it down and start doing it. Don’t take it lightly, live your life “on purpose.”
  9. Top-of-mind. Goals need your attention, or they can be easily obliterated by daily life; other things will inevitably become more important and take over. Make your goals fit in with what you also want to do for your family, career and community, so that you’re not choosing between them.
  10. Shared. Goals need to be spoken out loud, committed and shared. When someone else knows what you’re trying to accomplish, you give them the opportunity to support you. And for them, you’re a living role model of inspiration, passion and purpose.

If your previous attempts to improve yourself have failed, go back to the drawing board and make sure that you’re working towards the right goal. Once you set a winning goal for yourself, the road to change becomes clear.

(c) Copyright 2008, Mark Ford

For more than fifteen years, Mark Ford has been inspiring countless people to do things a little bit differently, to put fun back into the equation and to think outside the box. He has assisted top level executives and business leaders to increase individual and organizational performance, as well as to improve communication, leadership and motivation. To receive Mark’s monthly newsletter, Go for it!, sign up at

Author: Mark W. Ford
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Pressure cooker

Solo Professional Burnout – Tips to Stay Physically and Mentally Fueled

When you left that corporate job and jumped into the world of self-employment you were probably following a passion or calling.

However, what you may not have realized at the time was just how integrated your professional and personal life would become. Or the level of self-discipline, motivation, and management it would take to stay on course with your goals.

In looking over my last couple of years in this entrepreneurial world, I’ve compiled some tips that have helped me keep my focus and my sanity!

  1. Create goal index cards. I learned this from Christine Comaford, author of Rules for Renegades. Using a stack of colored index cards, create these categories: career, wealth building, learning/development, health, relationships, community/charity, and fun. For each category create 1-2 goals. Write your goals in active present-tense language, and include an end date. Keep those cards in front of you, and read through them once or twice daily.
  2. Establish a workout routine. Your body, mind, and spirit need some kind of scheduled physical activity. Many times when we’re under deadlines or just feel too busy, a workout routine is the first thing to go. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to create this habit – work toward scheduling into your life 30 minutes of exercise four times a week. Your creativity and productivity will soar!
  3. Shut down the computer. I admit this can be a tough one, but make an effort to actually shut down your computer at the end of the workday. It signals to your mind that it’s time to relax. If it’s difficult to do this during the week, at least shut it down on the weekends. This also includes your mobile phone applications!
  4. Volunteer. It took me awhile to find, but my volunteer passion is walking dogs at the local humane society. Having a place to give back clears my mind and helps me to remember what’s really important in life. If you’re not sure of your volunteer passion, try
  5. Remove temptations from the kitchen. My office is right next to the kitchen, so guess what? Whenever I’m stressed, bored, or procrastination sets in, I head to the kitchen and end up eating junk food. Stock the kitchen with as many fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks as possible while reducing the chips, cookies, and other junk. You may not eliminate every temptation, but you can at least improve your odds. Pair this with a regular workout routine. One feeds the other – so when you’re practicing healthy exercise habits, you may find the motivation to reduce unhealthy snacking.
  6. Find valuable learning opportunities. Are you continuing to learn new skills, whether for professional or personal development? Learning forges new pathways both in the mind and in your life. Educational opportunities don’t have to be expensive. Examples include taking a class at a local community center, reading a new book, or finding a mentor. For the best balance, mix professional and personal opportunities.
  7. Find collaboration partners. Collaboration partners have helped me stay focused and motivated by creating a much-needed sense of community. Consider both professional and personal collaboration partners, such as an exercise partner, a product creation partner, or an accountability partner. Find people that inspire you to remain committed to your goals.

You’ll notice these tips are a mix of both the professional and personal, reflecting the life of a solo professional. Implementing just one or two of these ideas will help you remain physically and mentally fueled!

If you’d like to include this article on your website or in your e-zine, please make sure it remains intact and include the following blurb:

Amy is the owner, small business coach, and principal learning designer of Amy Franko Consulting.

She is a certified Book Yourself Solid business coach. The group she’s most passionate about serving is women who are solo service professionals. She uses a simple system of protocols specifically designed to bring more ideal clients into their business, even if marketing and selling isn’t something they like to do.

You can learn more about her by visiting her website,

Author: Amy Franko
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Low-volume PCB maker

Negotiations- Preliminary Tips & Techniques

Being a good negotiator is a skill you will find useful in many situations. The skills you will develop will facilitate your being more effectively assertive, being a better problem solver, and being a better conflict manager. Developing the skills is sometimes tedious and requires a lot of practice. The payoff is both substantial and positive, though.

At first, it will be useful to move through the negotiation process in a step-by-step manner. With practice and experience, you will gradually get to a point where effective negotiating is second nature to you and is not something that requires a lot of detailed activity. At first, though, it is important to develop a negotiating plan and then seek out opportunities to practice. It is a little like learning to play the piano. Learning how is tedious and time consuming. Being able to play well, however, is a very satisfying thing indeed.


What do you want that I have, control, or can do? As odd as it may seem, this is frequently the step that inexperienced negotiators leave out. Very specifically, what do you want that I have? Here, we are talking about things, about concrete and tangible objects. What do you want that I control? Here we are talking about opportunities, resources, time, or other less tangible ‘things.’ What do you want me to do that I can do? Here, it is important to think in terms of things that anyone with my skills, in my position, and with my resources ‘can do.’ In very specific terms, what do you want from me?

With ‘it’ referring to what you want, can I actually give it to you? This is another point that amateur negotiators frequently overlook. What they want is something that the other person cannot, as a matter of individual choice, give to them. Perhaps other people are involved, maybe it is not something that the individual has the right or authority to simply give away, perhaps it is not something that the person can actually do, or maybe there are other factors that have to be taken into consideration other than simply deciding to give it to you. Under these conditions, simply negotiating with you is not enough, since I cannot simply give you what you want. Be sure that your negotiations are directed to the individual or people who can give it to you. Who all do you need to include in the negotiations? You should not leave anyone out.

Assuming I can give you what you want, under what conditions do you think I can give it to you? If you believe that I will simply give it to you without conditions, there is nothing about which to negotiate. Simply ask me and I will give it to you. Here, though, let’s assume that you think I will give it to you under some conditions. In specific terms, what are those conditions?

Under what conditions will you accept it – accept what you want – assuming I am willing to give it to you? Yes, you undoubtedly have conditions. Suppose you want to use my car for a week while yours is in the shop. It is my car, and I can let you use it. You think I will let you use it if you agree to take good care of it, bring it back with a full tank of gas, and you pay my bus fare for the week. Suppose my conditions are a little different, however.

I agree to let you use my car for one week if you agree to make my car payments for one year. You will undoubtedly say, ‘No way.’ The point is that you do have conditions. Under what conditions will you accept what you want if I give it to you?


A successful negotiation is a conditional transaction. We do business under certain conditions. If you are still in the game to this point, you have a clear statement of what you want, a set of conditions that you think I will have in doing business, and your conditions for doing business. Make a chart with two columns with the left column including a list of your conditions and the right column including a list of my conditions. Now, what are the points of convergence: conditions on your list and on mine? The more points of convergence there are, the further along the negotiations are going in. Your goal, of course, will be to reach a point where there is complete convergence, a point where the conditions on your list are the same as the conditions on my list.

What are the points of divergence: conditions that are on your list but are not on mine and conditions that are on my list but not on yours? Being careful to be very specific, now, make a master list that includes only our points of divergence, noting beside each point whether it is my condition or your condition. We will then negotiate our points of divergence.

As a central negotiating principle, keep in mind that you are never negotiating about what you want. That is a given and is actually nonnegotiable. If you did not want it, there is no point in pursuing it. We are simply negotiating the terms and conditions under which I will give it to you: our points of divergence. Amateur negotiators frequently fall into the trap of focusing on what they want. Skilled negotiators focus on the points of divergence: what we will call the transfer conditions.


What do you have, what do you control, or what can you do that would be of value to me? Look at my transfer conditions. You may use them as a guide for determining what may be of value to me in this particular negotiating situation. Make a list that includes what you can give to me in this particular negotiating situation. Make notation of why you think it would be of value to me. What benefits will I derive? What you give to me combined with the benefits I will derive from it represent the consideration you are offering in the negotiation.

As a summary point, you have determined what you want, have determined the transfer conditions, and now have determined what your consideration can be to induce me to follow through with the transfer. The stage for negotiating is set.

What are your negotiating limits? Review your list of consideration elements. Can you actually transfer control of them to me? What are the long and short term implications for you of making this transfer? Once you have considered the implications, revise your consideration list to include only those things you can give to me without jeopardizing yourself over time. This final list is what constitutes your negotiating limits: the maximum consideration you are prepared to introduce into the negotiations. At no point, and especially not during a specific negotiating session, should you go beyond your negotiating limits, no matter how tempting it may be. Yes, you may miss an opportunity once in a great while. The advantage to you is this: making an unexpected offer you cannot refuse is a game run by truly skilled negotiators. Assume that he/she is at least as skilled as you are and is not about to ‘give away the store.’ What seems like an unexpected prize will usually turn out to be something for which you will pay dearly and without the benefit of prior thought or analysis. As good negotiators say, ‘Never come to the bait!’

Importantly, following all of the above steps gets you to what you think will be the final outcome of the negotiations. You think you will get what you want, the full consideration I have to offer. You have also determined your negotiating limits: the maximum consideration you will offer. If you want, simply make your best offer on a take it or leave it basis. This is, of course, not negotiating. It is rather simply making a nonnegotiable offer. What should you do if you want to negotiate, though? Simply list the preliminary transfer conditions: the least you are willing to accept and what you believe – hope – might be the least I would accept in return. These then represent the minimum transfer conditions. If you have carefully completed your preliminary work as outlined above, negotiations may now begin.

This article is excerpted from The Frustration Factor from Glenbridge Publishing. For more articles and information from Gary Crow, visit or

Author: Gary Crow
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Canadian crossborder shopping

Top 10 Executive Leadership Skills

Executive leadership programs or leadership trainings are useful in many aspects. The skills you learned from a leadership training course can apply to your career, for your own personal development, as well as for your own personal family life. Do not look down on these leadership skills and capabilities, many people find it helpful and very influential on their personality after they had the training.

Leadership Skills for Everybody

Below are the 10 leadership skills that top leadership coaching companies used in their executive leadership development courses. The below skills are applicable to everyone, whether you are the CEO or not, as you can apply the same leadership skill even if you are just leading your own children through their growth.

1. Trust Building Building trust, the most important leadership competence, yet at the same time, the most difficult to achieve. Many of the following leadership skills are also built based on trust and mutual understanding. To continuously building trust within your team and other departments, you can apply the below tips: a. Open Door policy – you have to trust your employees in the first place before getting their trust. Be open and honest in discussing company policies, conflicting situations and value their ideas by dong active follow-ups. b. Actively listen and paraphrase points to demonstrate your understand. Only listen but not taken the points out from the conversation can be seen as not trusting the ideas of your employees. c. Make sure you handle issues fairly. Integrity is crucial to have people trusting in you. d. Constantly ask for feedbacks from your employees on your approach in daily communication and conflict handling. At the same time give constructive feedback to your employee and help them to grow personally.

2. Communicating Communication is vital for everyone and is of top importance for any leaders. Communicating with appropriate manner as noted below can make a huge difference: a. Use appropriate language, tone and channels (written/ spoken) in different situations. Do not stick to one general route to communicate with everyone as that might cause conflicts due to difference in mentality. b. Communicate regularly with your subordinates in an open and honest manner. Encourage two-way communication in contrast with one-way delegation. c. Make sure that information is delivered correctly, without unnecessary alternations, to all levels within your organization.

3. Cooperating As a leader, cooperating with your own team, other departments and boost the collaboration between your team members and other staff within the company, and at the same time cooperate with people outside of your company, to achieve win-win situation and build interdependency between different skill sets, by applying the below tips: a. Hold team-building events within and outside of your own team. Cross-department team events break the ice between teams and build personal relationship among teams b. Take helicopter view of issues and involve your team and other team leaders in decision-making. c. Initiate and/ or participant in cross-functional projects to tackle shared concerns, while at the same time learn from the best practices from other departments d. Actively discuss both formally and informally with colleagues from other departments to understand their mentality and their expertise

4. Risk Managing Risk management is something easier said than done. Make use of the below tips: a. For all projects/ works you are taking up yourself or with the team, brainstorm on risk factors and record them down for reference and further actions. b. Base on the trust you’ve built with your team members, encourage them to report any possible risk that they identify daily. Be honest and do not finger point to any late notice of a risk. c. Seek information from a wide range of sources and evaluate risk from all perspectives.

5. Understand Issues

When you have received information, the next step is to understanding it thoroughly and then seek for a proper solution. You can apply below tips to understand issues better:

a. Gather ideas from team members in meetings and make use of tools like flip chart to map out the details of issue.

b. Take a step back and look at issues from different angles. If you are unfamiliar with other perspectives, discuss with other departments to find out their opinion on their perspective.

c. Be sensitive to the content of informal conversations and follow-up with staff on certain implications that you can derive from the conversation.

d. Be alert on the business trend of your industry by reading relevant magazines and websites.

6. Solution Seeking

A leader is at a perfect position in showing your subordinates that solving an issue with feasible solution is the ultimate aim.

a. Use the information you have gathered and understood, develop several solution scenarios together with your team members.

b. Always prepare contingency plans to back up the solution. This is also part of your risk management.

c. Use high level and long-term views and visions to understand all the possible implications of your solution.

7. Influencing People

As a leader, you are the one who can direct your fellow employees and influence them in making decisions. Rule of thumb – always try achieving ‘win-win’ agreement whenever possible, by assertively persuading people around you.

Below are some tips in how to influence people:

a. Present and support your viewpoint in various formats to appeal to different audience, like graphs, tables and clear and precise wording.

b. Build relationship constantly with your own direct reports as well as other departments for political supports in times when you need to introduce ideas and changes. You can build this up by supporting, protecting and appreciating other’s idea in meetings and add values by paraphrasing their original idea.

c. When addressing issues, be open and show your willingness in dealing with difficult situations. This can show your understanding and at the same time ask for understand and interest from your counterpart, and in turn influence their decision-making.

8. Inspiring People

One of the major roles of a leader is to inspire and guide your subordinates. Be open and share your value with others, let people understand that you welcome changes and improvements by applying the below tips:

a. Build a vision with your team and share common values – show your trust in your team that they are capable in achieving the vision. Be open to discuss different visions and listen for new ideas as that might add value to your original idea.

b. Share successful stories with your team and outside of the team. Do not hesitate to praise good work. This can inspire others to achieve the same.

c. Conduct regular individual meetings with each staff – reconfirm their individual ability and confidence. Provide each staff a personal coaching plan, helping them to achieve their best.

d. Give your staff opportunities in challenging your decision and let them express ideas freely. If needed, keep it confidential and allow completely free channel of speech.

9. Developing People

As the head leading a team, your team members have expectation on you to help them grow in their career and personally. Popular and respected leaders are those who do not mind to give personal tips in coaching others. Below tips can help you in developing your people:

a. Develop personal development plan with individual employees and coach them in career development as well as soft skills like communication skill. Set measurable goals in the plan and review the plan regularly together with the staff.

b. Proactive offer help and guidance when you notice your staff needs coaching. Do not wait until your employee explode with a resignation letter.

c. Work with HR or training departments to give specific trainings that serve the needs of your staff.

d. Encourage mentoring and liaise with HR and other team leaders to act as mentors for fellow staff.

10. Continuous Improving

One important quality of a leader is to be able to improve the current situation continuously. You can follow the below tips in achieving continuous improvement:

a. Constantly review existing standards, rules and policies, established within and outside of your responsible area, as that might also affect the company’s efficiency as a whole.

b. Share and discuss your strategy plan and vision with team members and set goals to achieve. Review the plans periodically to identify what can be improved.

c. Share example of high quality work and brainstorm to get ideas in raising general quality of work. Establish mass communications like newsletters within and outside of the team where your team members can share their experience and compliments received from customers and/or colleagues.

d. Critically looking at the organizational structure and give recommendations to re-design job and skill match, in order to maximize skill-set within the company and boost motivation.

Apply the Skills outside of Work as well

The above are the outline of 10 basic leadership skills that coaching organizations used in their leadership development programs. These are also skills that you can use in your daily life! Check out various books and websites if you are interested in understanding more.

by Moxyl Oilli

Author: Moxyl Oilli
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Omron HEM-790IT

Ten Steps For Implementing Empowered Leadership

Empowered Leadership is based on the work of W. Edwards Deming and William Glasser. It is a way of managing people to ensure the best quality product or service while taking good care of the human capital providing that product or service. These are the ten steps to doing so:

1. Create a work environment that is physically, emotionally and spiritually safe for employees. Eliminate discrimination and oppression. Discourage gossip and foster an environment of safe risk-taking.

2. Help employees to feel connected to the mission and vision of the agency, to their teammates, to you as their supervisor and to administration. Communicate the vision and mission often and each employee’s role in it. Care about each individual employee and make sure they know you do. Foster cooperative teamwork. Help administration see the positives of your employees.

3. Ensure your employees feel cared about-that their lives matter, not just their work output. Notice when something is off and ask about it, leaving room for the employee to keep it to him or herself if he or she chooses to do so. Provide flexibility with work/life balance. Lack of appreciation is the main reason employees give for leaving their jobs. It’s not money.

4. Listen to employees’ ideas and implement those that are possible and make sense. Let your people know you value and respect their opinions and input. Decrease complaints by requiring each complaint be accompanied by at least three possible, reasonable solutions. Respect your employees as integral, contributing workers in your company. Communicate your employee’s importance, value and worth on a regular basis.

5. Allow your employees as much freedom as they can responsibly manage. You will give less to new employees and more to seasoned workers with a proven track record. Fight the urge to micromanage. Let your workers know what you want and allow to determine how they will provide it to you.

6. Provide your employees with choices. Allowing workers at least three options will increase cooperation. People do not like feeling there is no choice in a situation. It generally breeds anger and frustration.

7. Create opportunities for employees to have fun at work. Do not discourage play-making at work unless it becomes excessive. A little fun can make the day go faster, relieve stress and consequently, improve the output of each individual employee.

8. Ensure your employees have valuable and useful training so they can not only perform their jobs but also be promotion-ready. Not having useful training is one of the main reasons employees give for leaving their jobs.

9. Communicate the usefulness and purpose of what you are asking your employees to do. They must understand how their tasks will benefit themselves and the company. People who are asked to do things they don’t perceive as useful or things they don’t understand won’t do their best work.

10. Ask your employees to evaluate and constantly improve the quality of their work. Work together with your employees to develop production standards for quality. Ask your workers to evaluate their work against the standard and constantly look for ways to improve what they and the company does.

Kim Olver is a life, relationship and executive coach. Her mission is to help people get along better with the important people in their lives. She teaches people how to live from the inside out by empowering them to focus on the things they can change. She in an internationally recognized speaker, having worked in Australia and the continent of Africa, as well as all over the United States. She has consulted with the NBA and other major league player development specialists. She is the author of Leveraging Diversity at Work and the forthcoming book, Relationship Empowerment.

She co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Byron Katie, entitled 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. She works with individuals, couples, parents, social service agencies, schools, corporations and the military–anyone who will benefit from gaining more effective control over their lives. She has consulted on relationships, parenting, self-development, training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles. For more information about Kim go to Coaching for Excellence.

Author: Kimberly Olver
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7 Leadership Steps to Create High Performance in Your Organization

1. Stakeholder Surveys – You must determine a base line for your employees. You should conduct a series of surveys designed to find out what your employees know, what they don’t know and what they think they know. First, do they understand the true mission of your organization? If you think so then think again, because making money is not the mission. The mission is providing a product or service that customers will buy. Do they know the vision or the mantra of the owner(s)? These questions will take careful crafting before you distribute a survey of any kind. I do recommend that this first survey be done anonymously online, through a service like (Survey Monkey, Constant Contact, etc.) You must learn your employees, no matter how many you have. (1-1000).

2. Communication Development – We think communication is easy. We speak and they listen. No, they may hear, but are they really listening? Furthermore what are they hearing? What do you think they hear and what is really received is most often not even close to the same thing. Studies indicate that communication is the number one problem in any organization. It is also the number one solvable problem in organizations. Communication is simple, but it is not easy to improve communication. Communication is hard work. Communication is the hardest work. We have the spoken word. We have the intent or the philosophy behind our words and we have the unspoken or nonverbal communication that occurs. There is also an organizational culture that defines what it all means. Sometimes because of lack of follow-up or follow-through our words become meaningless. Have you ever heard another co-worker say “just wait on doing that-the boss will forget all about it in a day or two”. You probably said this about your parents. You have e-mail communication, memos, policy manuals, and customs. Do you really expect your staff to analyze this data? There is not a chance this will occur. Simpler is better. Drill down to the core values you wish to transfer and make all your communications validate this.

3. Positive Attitude Development – You may be asking yourself how you can develop someone’s attitude to make it more positive. Well, you can do this by training, coaching and rewarding the types of behavior that reveal the attitude you want from your employees. Stop rewarding bad attitudes. How can I do this you might ask? Well attitude is revealed by behavior and job performance. It’s true you can’t write someone up for their attitude, but you can deal effectively with the undesired behavior that reflects their attitude. Bad behavior must be unacceptable in your organization. First, if an employee has had such a bad day, week, month or even life, they must be prepared to turn on a “Happy Face” and act out the part they have been hired and are being paid to play. Consider for a moment a visit to Disney World. They do not hire employees, they hire actors. They have casting calls. Cast members must be willing to take on a roll and play their part at all times. “Mickey Mouse” never has a bad day. If he does he is likely to get fired. You see we have been wrongly taught that when “OLD JOE’ has a bad day, we must accept it. This is wrong, and a you don’t have to accept this bad behavior anymore. I am not saying you can’t empathize with an employee who may be going through a rough time; we all have or will at some point in our lives and careers. But we are not getting paid to have these bad days at work and if they are so bad we cannot play our part, we must ask to take the day off and come back ready to play the part we are being paid for.

4. Career Development – 50 percent of preparation for career opportunity and advancement is the responsibility of the employee. 50 percent of preparation is the employers responsibilities. If one of these parties does not live up to their part, who will suffer? If you said both will suffer, you’re right. But ultimately your life and career is your responsibility. Have you ever heard someone make the statement “If they wanting you to get that training they would send you and pay for it?” Of course you have, in fact you may have said it yourself. It’s a lie. Don’t let someone else or even your organization decide your future. They may pick a more popular person to send to training and where will you be. You must be prepared to get the desired or needed training on your own and often on your own dime if necessary. I have done this all my life and career and until a few years ago I never really gave it much thought. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. Often you are preparing for a career change or role change that doesn’t exist today. This happened to an ex-employee and close friend of mine. He had volunteered for grant writing, inventory control duties (boring) and other projects that most would not volunteer for. A brief number of years later I found a position that would fit him perfectly; that he not only did not know was available, but he would not have been looking for. He agreed to apply for the position. He was selected out of all the candidates and now has nearly doubled his salary. He is the director for a growing nonprofit organization. He is heralded by the board of directors as an excellent Executive Director. By the way, this organization had 7 seven directors in 7 seven years. He is the first male director and the first director to last more than 12 months. Let me give you this disclaimer; I am not saying anything negative about female directors, I am just pointing out he was the first male director-that is all. So always be mindful that volunteering to take on NEW roles may pay dividends in the future. A future not yet visible to you now. I know this very well myself because after 20 twenty years as cop I became a Chief Of Police, a Chief of Field Operations, and later a Vice President of Sales and Marketing and finally I now own my own Employee Training and Business Consulting Company. Several of these roles did not even appear on my radar in advance.

5. Leadership Development – It is positive connotation to be called a leader isn’t it? But always keep in mind that there are two types of leaders. The GOOD LEADERS and the BAD LEADERS. David Koresh, Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein were all leaders, but they were not the kind of leaders you should model yourself after if you wish to be successful in the long term. First, leadership requires reciprocal trust from you to others and from others to you. Think of leadership like building a “Trust Bank”, one deposit at a time. If you were to open a bank account today with $100.00 and then tomorrow write a check for $500.00, you would overdraft your account and be seen as a fraud. But let’s say that you had this bank account for several years and then one day you wrote a check that went over the cash you had on deposit. The bank would accept that you are a legitimate customer and that you simply made a mistake. You had built trust with them overtime. Trust is not something that you purchase, acquire or even belongs to you permanently. You must foster trust day in and day out with family, friends, co-workers and sometimes yes, even strangers. So begin today and show proof that you can be trusted.

6. Process Improvement – As soon as you believe the processes in your organization cannot be improved, you are obsolete. Processes can always be tweaked. Even if you don’t see a way to improve them at the time, failing to always be looking for improvement is a major mistake. Processes can always be improved upon. Sometimes a set of new eyes looking at an issue can help. You may even need to let someone outside the department, or even outside the organization ask questions to those close to the issues. These questions might even spark more ideas. Some processes can even be determined to be obsolete themselves. We found once for example in an organization that we were doing 3 forms when only one form was necessary. Wow, a big reduction in work load just by someone asking the right questions. Oftentimes we do what we do because that is what we have always done. Does this sound familiar? Consider this scenario and I will move on; a daughter asked her mother why they always cut off the ends of the ham before she cooked it. Her mother replied; that’s what my mother did. She then asked her grandmother why she cut off the ends of the ham. Her grandmother said; I don’t know why your mother does it, but I did it because my oven was too small to fit the entire ham, so I had to cut off the ends to make it fit. Seems to me a whole lot of ham has gone to waste because no one asked the right questions or was afraid to ask any questions at all. What do you think?

7. Coaching and Support – Coaching and support requires follow-through and follow-up. There are some questions you must ask about each and every one of your employees. First, is the employee a good person? Second, does the employee usually do a good job? If the answer to both questions is yes and the employee is currently having a performance problem then you have a coaching concern-not a discipline problem. If the answer to one of the questions is no, then you have a discipline concern. If the answer to both questions is no-then you have a discipline concern up to and including resignation or termination. Let me also say that to determine these answers you must have spent some time around your employees. You could not successfully answer these questions if you have no personal knowledge of your employees.

Here are few final thoughts; If you are the CEO, you are the “Head Coach” in your organization, like it or not. If you don’t like it, then find someone else who will coach for you. Coaching will have to occur if you want to take your organization from the “Status-Quo”, (surviving) to “High Performance” (thriving). Over 90 percent of organizations are in the status-quo or survival mode. They may be surviving but they will never thrive through High Performance without following these 7 tips. Now go coach your employees or find someone who will.

Sam Slay is a Motivational Speaker, Author, and Trainer with over 20 years experience. For more information on “Bridging the gap that exists between employees and their employers through non-traditional training and coaching.” Visit Sam can bring his programs to you. You can even get FREE seats or cash by hosting one of his programs. You can purchase his NEW book “The Masters of Success” co-authored with Ken Blanchard (Author of the “One Minute Manager”). Sam is also the owner of an Employee Training and Business Consulting company, 357 Solutions, LLC. Consider inviting Sam to speak or provide training at your next event. He is only an e-mail or phone call away. He travels from Panama City, Bay County, Florida. Would you like to have your own micro-site and business referral membership? Visit:

Author: Sam Slay
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Learning Plasticity

The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves.”–Marvin L. Minsky (from Society of the Mind, 1986)

Can we learn plasticity? First maybe we need to know what brain plasticity is.

Plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences.

As we learn, we acquire new knowledge and skills through instruction or experience.

In order to learn or memorize a fact or skill, there must be persistent functional changes in the brain that represent the new knowledge.

The ability of the brain to change with learning is what is known as neuroplasticity.

Learning Plasticity is Good News for Brains, Especially Older Brains

My brain is now 61 years old, and it is in charge of a life that includes a wife, an 11 year old boy, and a 5 year old girl, and those two younger brains are counting on Dad’s brain to be a vital part of their growing up prepared to make decent decisions as they step out the door when they are ready to do that. (College, I am hoping).

Dad’s brain has been through some emotional and behavioral excesses over the years, because his parents were heavy drinkers not given to anything remotely resembling emotional intelligence, and Dad grew up during the Summer of Love, trying to make love rather than war, including the use of an occasional recreational chemical.

Later on Dad’s brain was subjected to too much processed food, and not enough sleep.

Now Dad’s brain is involved in running a business by itself, and in a down economy, there is plenty of stress hormones available to wreak havoc on an older brain.

What is a brain to do to stay healthy, I mean we have all heard about eat your fruit and vegetables, and when I do that I feel no different than when I did before. If it is good for you shouldn’t you feel some ecstasy, at least?

Vegetables and fruits should alter your mood,right?

Actually, fruit and vegetables do alter your mood. Go without them and see how you feel, then include them in your diet again and you will feel better and function more effectively rather quickly.

Learning Plasticity

Research has recently given us some gifts or revealed some information about the human brain that we did not have even a decade or two ago, and has even indicated to us that we can workout our brain like I work out my body at the YMCA.

I workout because I like the feeling of efficacy and strength that I have after working out, and now I know that physical exercise is one of the pillars of brain fitness that I can now enhance.

Back to workouts in a moment. The two gifts are called neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and we can do stuff to enhance them, hence the title of this page, learning plasticity.

By the way, neurogenesis is your brain growing new neurons daily, and you can cement those neurons into the circuits that need them, like the memory circuits of the hippocampus if you challenge them with a novel learning experience.

Not sure about you, but it is great news to this 61 year old brain that replacement parts are available. That sure contradicts what we were taught as kids.

So there are some things I can do to manage my plasticity learning and my neurogenesis growth, and you are asking just what could that be?

According to Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D., who have written the bible on learning plasticity, called Brainfit for Life there are several pillars of brain fitness to attend to, physical activity/exercise, nutrition, including the aforementioned fruits and vegetables and omega 3 fatty acid, sleep, stress management and novel learning experiences, which includes computerized brain fitness programs.

The most important of those pillars is physical activity/exercise, and the good news for us older folks is that we do not have to start flinging around huge barbells and getting sweaty for an hour or two everyday in order to enhance learning plasticity.

If you walk in your neighborhood, an excellent physical activity, continue to do that until you are ready for something that makes you breathe a little deeper a little longer, which is the kind of breathing we need to have result from our physical activity.

You can even engage in something at home called HIIT which stands for high intensity interval training which will get the breathing deeper and increase blood flow to the brain.

The HIIT workout needs to last about 10 minutes, and includes 30 second intervals of the kinds of calisthenics you did as a kid in P.E. class.

Scott and Angie Tousignant have put together a model that couples can do together in the privacy of their own basement. As usual though, you do have to do it.

Nutrition, which we touched on above, is the next learning plasticity pillar that Evans and Burghardt speak to, and they make a compelling case for the inclusion of omega 3 fatty acid in your diet on a regular basis, along with the antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber we find in fruits and vegetables.

Turns out neurons are housed in a membrane that is mostly omega 3 fatty acid, which needs to be replenished frequently, because if that does not happen, the membrane gets brittle, and neurons cannot then communicate with each other clearly. Remember that old computer programming phrase, GIGO, which stood for “Garbage In, Garbage Out?” Same principle here. The best source of Omega 3 fatty acid is fish, and you want to make sure your fish do not include mercury pollution.

If fish for omega 3 fatty acid are not an option, then perhaps supplementation is an option for your omega 3 fatty acid. Make sure your supplements are processed to exclude mercury also.

Stress hormones kill new brain cells. So does booze and environmental toxins.

So what can we do to ensure that we minimize the impact of stress hormones?

I have used HeartMath personally and taught it to my clients since before I knew about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and it is a wonderful tool to open the higher perceptual centers in the brain.

Another revelation of the research folks is that our hearts have their own little brain, a very sophisticated nervous system of their own which sends a lot of data up, more so than the brain sends to the heart.

This particular heart nervous system can learn and make decisions all by itself, and will actually learn to respond to cues, which opens up the higher perceptual centers in the brain.

Novel Learning Experience

The last pillar of brain fitness is novel learning experiences, which are what really fire up the learning plasticity.

The kind of learning that is best for learning plasticity is the learning involved in learning a new language or a new instrument, and research like the IMPACT study published in April of 2009 is indicating the value of one of the commercially available brain fitness programs.

Those kinds of learning make it possible for neurons to create new synapses and circuits and connections, and the more those synapses and circuits fire together, they more they wire together and the longer Dad’s brain will fight off the Old Timers Disease.

So in the name of learning plasticity, let us stretch our dendrites and flex our axons.

Michael S. Logan is a brain fitness expert, a counselor, a student of Chi Gong, and licensed one on one HeartMath provider. I enjoy the spiritual, the mythological, and psychological, and I am a late life father to Shane, 10, and Hannah Marie, 4, whose brains are so amazing.

Author: Mike Logan
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