Managing Time

Remember: Time wasted can never be regained. In business, time is money. On several occasions, we spend our time performing least important tasks as opposed to relevant tasks at hand, and then we realize we have wasted so much time on what should have been done later. It is therefore advisable to make better use of your time. To become a better time manager, you need to be aware of the choices you have to make. You have to be able to determine what task is important and why.

Here are three critical ways to best manage time:

  1. Conduct a Time audit: A time audit will help you know the balance between the demands placed on you at work and those that define your private life. Prioritize activities by choosing how you apportion your time to satisfy competing demands.
  2. Decide What Action Needs to Be Taken: Look for patterns in the way you use your time. If your behaviour is contributing to time shortage, change your patterns of behaviour by saying no to distractions.
  3. Learn to use the right tools: Common ones include; handheld organizers, paper appointment books or schedulers, “To do” lists.

Being in a digital world has its own advantage when it comes to time management, not only do you need to depend on a “to do” list but also a computerized scheduler on your smart device. Planning is important, and being very conscious of time is a basic first step. Manage your time with these tools… … …Today!

Communicating Customer Service

Remember: Customer service is not a department, its an ATTITUDE! Without customers, your business will not survive. You need to pay rapt attention to the way your customers are treated. Even if you have a team working with you, you need them to actively participate in making customers satisfied because, your team also act as a key part in contributing to your business success. Stephen Covey in his book titled Everyday Greatness, teaches that the best way to communicate customer service is to pretend like everybody you see has a sign on his/her neck that says “Make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales but also in life.

There are common mistakes we make while communicating customer service which ranges from; leaving the service to those who are directly involved with customers, managing customer service solely at departmental level, failing to develop our customer service skills, and not recognizing or rewarding staff that communicate customer service. This is too limited a view, because everyone in a business contributes to overall customer satisfaction, even if their jobs does not involve direct customer contact.

How do we communicate customer service? There are three important ways to sustain effective customer service:

  1. Communicate clearly: Everyone in a company should actively be involved in customer service.
  2. Encourage commitment and improvement: Follow up on employees after implementing customer service policy because, this reveals to you the level of commitment and involvement from all employees.
  3. Maintain motivation: Motivations and award programs help maintain high level of interest in the customer service program.

Set an unattainable standard not only for your business but also for yourself. Ensure that you use these tools to provide satisfactory customer service… … …Today!

Critical factors for building teams

Remember: Division of labour is in existence essentially for achieving quicker and efficient work done. The concept of Teamwork is now a cliché due to the stress attached with working in a team. Some people believe they perform better while working in a team other than working individually, while other people would rather work alone and achieve a better result at that! What, therefore, is the need for Teamwork?

The ideal behaviour of a person in a team is to comply with major decisions and be willing to do anything that is required. Yet if everyone behaved like that, you would have a good reason to doubt whether that team would function effectively. With this analysis, what we should focus on is Productive Teamwork. It is often better to start with the work rather than starting with the team. The critical question is; Does all work call for a team? To avoid repetitive operations, you must understand that rounding up loners and making them a part of a team is a disadvantage. Introverts need work suitable for introverts while extroverts need work appropriate for extroverts.

The following are three critical factors that promotes productive teamwork:

  1. Designing work to fit the person: The best starting point for establishing good teamwork is asking or answering the following questions in relationship with the task due; Do some responsibilities need to be shared? If so, which ones, and with whom? Which responsibilities should be assigned to individuals and made subject to personal accountability? Which tasks are critical in their timing and mode of treatment and require a prescriptive approach based on best practice?
  2. Teams need to be given scope: Diversity in the range of available team roles does not solely produce harmony, it also produces conflict as different individuals strive to do their own thing. The manager has to understand how to manage the interface between team roles and work roles. Note that without empowerment, balanced groups cannot be developed into mature teams.
  3. Rewarding teams appropriately: All teams need to be assessed positively and constructively. Set objectives for teams and judge how well these have been met.

These critical factors design the framework for deciding who does what. People must learn to decide for themselves or at least share in that decision making to be fully committed to the work itself. Follow these three factors and watch your team move from balanced to mature… … …Today!

Getting the best from yourself.

Remember:  Presence is an elusive human quality that projects our ability to command respect or attention. Some people are born with it, while others develop it as a result of success. Presence comes from the combination of both and virtually everyone can nurture and develop it. It is important to understand that presence is most likely to leave us when we are feeling uncomfortable and not sure about ourselves.

Developing presence is a versatile challenge that can be categorized into the following four critical areas:

  1. Physical: Presence does not depend on height. It refers to how you manage your body. Cultivate the habit of standing and moving well, projecting calm and confidence. Have a good posture and do not forget that appropriate gestures are powerful means of nonverbal communication that reinforce the impression you are trying to create. Incorporate the old adage, “think tall and you will be tall.”
  2. Mental/emotional: The mind is the most important tool in creating presence. Practice how to make positive affirmations like, “I am confident”, “I feel good.” This helps to train your brain to believe what you see in your mind’s eye. Be careful not to say these words in future tense- “I will be confident” because this automatically gives your brain a future scenario which may never happen!
  3. Mastery: Have an in depth knowledge of what you do, because this will enable you to be confident in what you say and do. Being open and honest is a sure way of making people know your worth. Share your experiences, tell stories, and engage people at the human level. This will make people share the good word about your skills and qualities.
  4. Occasion-based: An occasion is needed to project presence. Occasion varies from gathering a group of few people to an audience of many. Presence is not solely about a person, but involves transmitting a quality that others trust and respond to.

However, be careful not to interchange presence with being overconfident! Overconfidence is about oneself; presence is about others. Pay attention to these elements and use them to develop presence… … …Today!

Creating your Identity

Remember: Your identity is what distinguishes you from your fellow contemporaries. Identifying the idea that drives you as an individual is the basic feature that is associated with creating your identity. Great people are born and also, great people can be made.

Who says you can’t build yourself into the person that you envision yourself to be?

Identity can project four ideas:

  1. Who you are: this is the uniqueness that clearly sets you apart from someone else. Create an identity that is bold, bearing in mind that you are the only limitation to yourself! Develop the charisma, attitude and competency that gives you an outstanding personality.
  2. What you do: creating an identity starts with YOU! Identify what you are most good at and get out of your comfort zone concerning that particular strength. Quit being lazy and work on your skills. Learning never gets old.
  3. How you do it: surround yourself with people that will elevate you. Do not waste your time on things that are not beneficial to you because time wasted cannot be regained.
  4. Where you want to go: create a big picture and take a step because, planning is key. Set out targets and work your way to meeting them.

Brand yourself and build a strong personality by constantly reviewing these four ideas. Use this and become the positive person that you have always imagined… … …Today!

 

Making Yourself Promotable

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Remember: Being good at your job is not enough to guarantee a promotion these days. Being promotable, on the other hand increases your chances of success and assists you in taking the career steps that you desire.

Here are seven ways to making yourself promotable:

1. Develop Good Interpersonal Skills: The ability to engage and communicate effectively with your stakeholders positions you for promotion. Do these to the best of your ability.

2. Meet business objectives:A promise made should be a promise kept. Seek to meet targets and promises.

3. Take Interest Beyond Core:  Develop interest in areas outside your role and even more, make meaningful impact outside your role too.

4. Build and Head Teams: Seek authority and leadership. People who show leadership traits are those that get promoted.

5. Learn to Manage Transition and Change: Business and organizational models are dynamic. Be that person who is able to field changes and use insight to direct people’s creative energy toward enhancing the organization.

6. Build an effective network of champions or sponsors: Rather than investing in nepotistic relationships, build a robust network of relationships that will support you purely because of your potential and integrity.

7. Stand Out: Brand yourself and carry out your roles excellently and exceptionally. This will stand you out for promotion.

Making yourself promotable is more than a desire. it is a conscious effort. Use these tips to make yourself promotable… Today!

 

 

Improving One’s Self-Confidence

Remember: If you want to achieve something in life, the most important thing needed is confidence, without this quality you can’t get your desired result. Confidence makes you feel powerful and overcome all fears. But many of us lack confidence. Here are some tips for those who want to boost their confidence.
1. Get out of your comfort zone: Try everyday small things to do out of your comfort zone and this will make you really confident.
2. Think positive: Get rid of all your negative thoughts, build up positive strength inside you, stay with positive people who can give you inspiration and courage to do something gainful.
3. Know your fear clearly: Acknowledge your fear clearly, know which fear and why you are fearing it, dominate your fears, write them down and face them gradually.
4. Don’t be a perfectionist: Humans make mistakes and so that includes you too. Make mistakes but rectify them and take lessons from them, don’t overthink anything and try your best.
5. Accept challenges: Life is full of challenges, face whatever comes your way, and solve all your problems with a positive mindset.
6. Change your body language: Body language has a great effect on confidence, carefully observe your body language when you are with others.

Believe you can and you’re halfway there, put these
tips in practice and watch how your self confidence will rise…. today!

Using Emotional Intelligence

Remember: When it comes to happiness, and success in life, emotional intelligence matters just as much as intellectual ability. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and use your emotions in positive ways, to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.

Emotional intelligence does not end with you, it goes as far as understanding the emotions of others, and this will help you build stronger relationships, manage the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career and personal goals.

The Six Seconds Model will help you apply Emotional Intelligence in all situations.
Step 1: Know Yourself (Be aware of your emotions, recognize patterns and feelings)
Step 2: Choose Yourself (Building self-management allows you to consciously choose your thoughts, feelings, and actions)
Step 3: Give Yourself (Aligning your daily choices with your larger sense of purpose unlocks your power, and potential)

Use the six seconds model to boost your Emotional Intelligence…….Today!

Communicating Effectively

Remember: Effective communication compels Action! The need to communicate effectively cannot be ignored in our workplace. How then do you communicate to compel action? Use the critical communication tools: Words, Active Listening, Questioning Effectively, Body Language, and Emotional Intelligence.

The combination of these tools will enable:

  1. Better acceptance of idea
  2. Builds and strengthens relationships
  3. Saves time
  4. Reduces conflicts
  5. Bridges the information gap
  6. Improves Job satisfaction

Use these communication tools to compel action with your team……….Today!

Giving Good Feedback

Remember, if feedback is one side of a coin, the other side will be criticism. Feedback is given to improve performance, learnings and motivate. When feedback is not given using the right words, it becomes criticism. To avoid such situation, the choice of words, and manner of feedback given must be put into consideration. One way to give good feedback is to use more of ‘I’ and less of ‘you’ in your statements. Examples of such statements includes:

  • What I appreciated/liked about what you did was……….
  • What I was concerned about was………..
  • What you might do instead is………

By using the right words, watch your feedback improve your staff performance…… today!