Preparing For Meetings: APP

Remember: Every meeting you attend is your opportunity to shine as meetings are a central part of communication and cooperation within any organization. This week, we bring you the APP steps you can take to ensure that you are on top of your game before and during meetings:


If you receive an agenda ahead of time, take a few minutes to look it over. If you see areas where you may have an opportunity to take the lead or to provide information to others, make a mental note to use that opportunity.


Do your homework. If you plan to speak on an issue, know what you are talking about. Make notes. Plan to keep your comments positive and speak with enthusiasm. The direct, relaxed approach works best. Get quickly to your point and stay with it. Busy people have little patience with more than they want to know. However, clarity and conciseness takes preparation.


Show high level of involvement during meetings by speaking up in these instances:

  1. When you know you can clarify a point.
  2. When you can supplement pertinent information or convincing statistics.
  3. When you can correct an error.
  4. When you wish to ask a question.
  5. When you can give credit that is due.
  6. When you have a good idea or an original suggestion.

Become a respected participant and contributor during meetings, by using the APP Meeting Preparation Steps starting… … …Today!

Writing Powerful E-mails

Remember: E-mail is the backbone of business communication. Although it is an instant way of getting in touch with others, many people do not know how to use properly. People tend to ignore punctuation, grammar and spelling in e-mails but this only diminishes your reputation as an individual or an organization. It is important that you maintain high standards however you communicate with others to ensure your reputation is enhanced always.

Often times, we get extremely busy at work and don’t have time to spend composing great e-mails. How do you then ensure you are sending a balanced e-mail that might be short and still contain all the necessary information that needs to be passed across to your recipient?

Here are six critical ways to help you deliver a straightforward yet polite e-mail to your recipient:

  1. Make sure you identify clearly the subject of the e-mail.
  2. Learn to be as concise as possible.
  3. Use an appropriate style to close off or open up e-mails so that you are less likely to offend anyone inadvertently.
  4. Always request the action or the information that you need.
  5. Be very clear by explaining how urgent your message is.
  6. For detailed information, be sure to use attachments to provide details.

E-mail is an instant medium, so be very mindful because you can easily create a message without considering how the message would impact the recipient. Use these tools to make sure your e-mails are well composed and easy to read… … …Today!

Easy Reading is Quite Hard Writing

Remember: When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. Good writers face the challenge of using plain language to express clear meaning.

They write in simple styles and constantly use words that are familiar to the reader. We cannot conclude that words are simple because they have few letters, they must be familiar as well.

A young enthusiastic, investment analyst wrote a report to his marketing colleagues using the word “dogmatic.” He waited for 5 weeks to get a feedback and there was none. Upon contacting his colleagues, they told him of their decision to severe business ties with him because he had called them ‘dogs in his last report’. A more familiar word could have saved him that trouble.

Simple words do not just blend into all forms of writing but they are easy and meaningful to the reader.

The desire to impress our readers via our choice of words often result in a cosmetic formation of complex words.

The singular objective of business writing is to promote consistent understanding across all readers.

Use familiar words to improve the readability of your writing… … …Today!

The Right Mindset

Remember: Just as it is a reality that the previous year is not going to be the same as the present, it simply means that you cannot continue doing things the same way and expecting a different result. Looking at the current state of Nigeria as a nation, it is equally important to know that capability will be tested across different platforms and it would be suggested wise to be exceptional on all levels, to ensure that you stand firm on your feet this New Year.

How do you get started on doing things differently this year?

Here are six important questions to guide you on how to take a giant U-turn into a better you in this present year:

  1. What skills do you possess given your job role?
  2. What new learning do you plan to deploy this year?
  3. Are you part of the best 10% in your organisation?
  4. Are you able to communicate and motivate in a compelling way?
  5. Have you got a competitive spirit?
  6. Do you take learnings from your mistake?
  7. Have you got a clear focus?

These questions have been designed in such a way that your answers instantly tell you your position in delivering exceptionally. If your answers are negative, it simply means it is time to wake up from being a safe employee to becoming the go-to individual. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the talk!

Do you desire success? Let this be the map that will direct you on you quest to exceptional delivery… … …Today!

Perfecting the Little Things

Remember: We are judged as excellent by our ability to deliver excellent results. The unsung part of that excellent result, however, is the excellent effort that has taken place to achieve the result.

Your excellent effort delivers the greatest part of the requirement for that excellent result. The balance comes from a unique combination of planning, execution and yes, good fortune.

Now, what is excellent effort? Quite simply this means giving your best, while doing everything that is required, the way it is required. This means giving attention to the many small steps that are required in your role, project, task or situation. We remember the words of Mother Theresa who said “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”

For example, arriving early for work, is a small step that makes a big statement about your excellence, at the start of your workday.

So be faithful in the small things and bring out your excellence… … …Today!

How to Manage Upward (3)

Remember: Pride goes before a fall. You must learn to swallow a certain amount of pride for your boss to be an ally to you. How, you may ask? It really is simple. Gone are the days where being talented is all it took. There is the need to be aware that the difference between a skill and a capability is Practice. In this present dynamic corporate world, your need to leverage some skills that quickly pushes you to the top when dealing with your superiors.

Becoming an ally to your boss entails that you can clearly identify the weaknesses and blind spots of your boss and help fill those gaps. You should fill the gaps not as a result of making your superior see that you identify them clearly, but in a way that displays genuine generosity and tactfulness. The fastest way to being untouchable is to voluntarily accept jobs that your superior finds most disagreeable. Do not be the person that shy away from a new task. The task evidently becomes difficult when you view it as being difficult. Change your mind set. Take on the job and figure out how to do it exceptionally.

Being your boss’ ally also entails that you need to be informed so that you can keep him/her informed of the changes taking place all around you. How do you then become the strongest ally ever to your boss?

Here are five critical ways of making it happen:

  1. You must have a positive attitude.
  2. You should be dutiful and be a professional.
  3. You should provide support to the organisation with individual effort.
  4. Develop the willingness to learn about how your boss operates.
  5. Your focus should always be on the bigger picture.

Do not allow your scope of view be limited to the day to day happenings around you. Make your boss your strongest ally using the five critical ways… … …Today!

5 Tips for the New Supervisor.

Remember: Becoming a supervisor is about developing your team. When entering your new role as a supervisor, it is helpful to keep in mind the experiences you have encountered from past supervisors, whether good or bad, and use those experiences to guide your decisions as a supervisor.

Also, when you are trying to learn the ropes quickly, don’t get frustrated if everything doesn’t come together as quickly as you’d like it to. Sometimes it may seem like it will take forever to learn all you need to know. However, there are some things you can do to help you get off to a faster start.

Here are 5 tips to help you become a leader that others are happy to follow:

1. Identify the priorities of your job. Then concentrate on how to handle these tasks. Focus your energies on what matters most.

2. Find yourself a seasoned mentor. A seasoned supervisor who gets along well with his crew can usually give you some good advice if he has the time and is willing to help you out.

3. Be a good listener and ask questions. The more you listen, the more you learn. If you are curious about something, ask about it. The best time to ask lots of questions (of employees, your boss, and your colleagues) is when you are a new supervisor.

4. Read anything pertaining to your job that you can get your hands on (such as procedures and regulations) as long as they are relevant.

5. Observe the workplace. Get out into the working area, and observe as much as you can. Not only will this give you practical knowledge but it will show your crew you are interested in what they are doing.


These quick tips can help you kick start your new role as a supervisor on a positive note… … … Today!

How to Manage Upward (2)

Remember: There are some tiny, unconscious mistakes we make that affects how fast we climb up our career ladder. This is often as a result of us being the actually problem of ourselves. We should always be mindful of intellectual arrogance because unconsciously, most of us allow intellectual arrogance make the most out of us.

Let us discuss the three common mistakes that affects how you forge an effective relationship with those above you;

  1. You May be Getting Ahead of Yourself: Sometimes, when you are an over achiever, you are often seen as a threat to your superior. Willingness to learn and eagerness is a no doubt a virtue, but that should not confuse you of the position for which you were hired for. Advancement will come, but not at the expense of making your superior uncomfortable.
  2. You May be seen as Critical and Combative: Criticizing your superior wouldn’t help in any situation. You need your superior to be an ally. If you seem to disagree with any decision or action taken by your superior, you should have a conversation based on principle and not for personal gain. You must appeal to his or her ego, and your goal should be to make suggestions helpful to solving the problem and helping the organisation.
  3. You May not be Doing Your Homework: You should be the go-to person in your field or unit and give 100% to your job if you want to win with the times. Organisations are needing fewer people to shoulder more responsibilities. On the one hand, you should take advantage of offering more than is required. On the other hand, you do your best to provide credible performance everyday so as to attract increase and promotions.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, make the step to correct the common mistakes that restricts you from becoming the best in your organisation… … … Today!

Making a Positive First Impression

Remember: You can control that first impression by observing the Rule of Twelve, which suggests that we first notice and remember three things about people we meet.

  1. The first twelve inches from shoulders up.
  2. The first twelve steps a person takes.
  3. The first twelve words a person speaks.

The first rule tells you that people notice everything from your shoulders up: your jacket, your tie, tie knot, how well-pressed or creased your collar is, the length and neatness of your hair, your complexion, your eyes, and your smile.

The second rule tells you to enter a room with confidence and to look as if you both have a reason to be there and are happy to be there.

Smile and extend your hand. Keep your shoulders back and stand up straight. If you carry a briefcase or a purse, keep it in your left hand so that the right hand is ready to shake hands.

The third rule concerns your twelve words. If this is a meeting, your first twelve words should always include a thank you of some kind. For instance, you could thank the manager or client for taking the time to see you.

Use the rule of twelve to make a positive first impression… … …Today!

How to Manage Upward

Remember: There is no one that you cannot manage! Emotional intelligence calls out the fact that you first have to manage your personal responses and reactions before extending it to people you come in contact with. In moving up the career ladder, you must accept that your superior is a prominent gateway to your career growth.

Most people feel that they have disorganized, power-hungry, downright mean bosses that limits them from moving forward. Unfortunately, bosses that fit into those descriptions come in all shapes and sizes.  What happens often with such category of bosses is that they are so busy with their own careers that they are blind to your own potential and goals. However, the good news is, you can manage them all!

If you often find yourself feeling frustrated, depressed, or unappreciated at work and you are in dire need of making your boss your strongest ally, here are four critical questions you should have an answer to:

  1. What is my goal in the particular position I am currently occupying?
  2. What is my superior’s style of managing, and what is his or her agenda within the organisation?
  3. Can I work within his or her framework without losing my mind and integrity?
  4. If I stay, what can I do to help my boss and myself to succeed?

Business management expert, Andrew Carnegie says; “Do not think a man has done his full duty when he has performed the work assigned him. A man will NEVER rise if he does only this. Promotion comes from exceptional work.” When you provide the sincere answers to the four questions, you will realize that your journey to be noticed and successful will begin… … …Today!