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Meetings, Bloody Meetings!

(Reprinted from March 1998 issue of Channel Magazine) How do you keep your most talented employees, staff, board members, or association members focused and motivated in meetings, let alone motivating them to attend? The question has frustrated most of us. Meetings consume ever greater amounts of time, money and energy. Think of the last meeting you attended. Was it the best use of everyone’s time? Did you walk out with a sense of exhilaration and a clear set of actions and decisions? Or, did you wonder why you even bothered to attend? People need to feel valued and that they are making a difference not only in their work, but in the way they spend their time. Do you know what each of your people want and find most important? Do your meetings reflect the needs of the people involved? A recent study found that people want to be part of a worthwhile enterprise, be influential in decision-making, and create and contribute to mutually agreed upon objectives. Meetings can be...

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Embrace Diversity to Build Effective Teams

(Reprinted from Semiconductor Magazine, May, 2000) Turning a group into a team is one of the biggest challenges leaders face. We find ourselves leading groups of very diverse individuals in complex projects and tasks. We don’t always get to hand pick our teams, but rather we often inherit teams and all of their past baggage. Whatever the state of the group, we all need team skills. A recent report, “Office of the future: 2005”, states that the following skills are essential for future career success: strong people skills, the ability to communicate effectively and the leadership to build teams. A group becomes a team when you treat them like a high level, high profile project. You need to define your desired outcomes, set measurable goals, design your game plan with benchmarks and deadlines, and keep everyone focused. The basic definition of a team is: “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually...

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Building a Better Team

  by Dr. Marilyn Manning Working with difficult people, says the author, requires compassion and understanding. Citing seven difficult personality types, she suggests ways in which confrontations can be converted to win-win situations. Get with the program Ideally, your company should put in teams only those employees who are receptive to the idea, management experts say. But if your bosses have gone ga-ga for teams and you’re cool to the concept, make the best of it for the sake of your career or find a company with a workplace hierarchy that suits you better. Sharon Morris, a management consultant in Fremont, tells of an employee at one high-tech company who strongly opposed being part of a team. He didn’t want his colleagues to take credit for his individual efforts. His reluctance to work in the team environment ultimately led to his termination. Communicate effectively You must voice your opinions if you disagree with the team’s decisions. Team members who fail to speak up are essentially sanctioning the practice through...

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