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How to Motivate and Engage your Employees

Are your employees less motivated than you would like? Does some of your staff just get by rather than doing their best? Well, you are not alone. The majority of managers and supervisors we have interviewed agreed with a recent Gallup Research finding that employee motivation is at its lowest ebb, with more than 50% of American workers feeling “disengaged” from their work....

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Write Effective Emails — Get the Response You Want

How many emails do you send in a day? 20? 50? More? Writing emails has become such a common form of communications—both personal and business—that we may automatically assume that receivers perfectly understand and accept what we write.  ...

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How to Keep Your Teams Engaged

  It used to be common that people who worked in a team sat in a common location. A team member could walk across the room to ask a question about a procedure or deadline or problem and get help. But today, team members are used to communicating through mobile devices.    ...

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Providing Exceptional Customer Service

  One of The Consulting Team’s most popular courses is “Exceptional Customer Service.” It stands to reason that if your organization provides a product or service, you will have customers and you will need to satisfy them....

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Coaching Pays Off – Learn Some Easy Tips

  Robert had met his goals as a new supervisor. He thought his team was getting the job done when his manager called, asking to meet with him as soon as possible. He told him that Human Resources had two complaints about his aggressive style. One came from a direct report and the other from a fellow manager. Robert was shocked. Coaching Pays Off – Learn Some Easy Tips...

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How to Deal with Difficult Personalities, November/December 2015

How to Deal with Difficult Personalities In many work situations, some co-workers are easy to work with, while others may be tough. It is, however, everyone’s responsibility to ensure that customers’ needs and business goals are met. Mastering skills to get along with different personalities may be both a challenging task and a most rewarding accomplishment. Leadership Tips last issue stated that some problematic workplace behaviors may be habitual, caused by unrealistic expectations and low tolerance for employees’ learning curves or mistakes. Perhaps communication styles may clash. Sometimes, though, co-workers may have acted in an overly aggressive manner. 10-11 2015 LT Agreesive Behavior...

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Are Your Employees Being Bullied? July/August 2015

Bullies are no longer confined to the school playground. In fact, the Workplace Bullying Institute has determined that 37% of adult Americans have faced bullies on the job. Difficult people and personalities have always challenged teams and their leaders. Bullying behavior, however, can create stress and anxiety, which can lead to costly personnel issues. The Level Playing Field Institute’s research found $16.2 M for employee turnover; over a million dollars in litigation settlements; and $8 M in lost productivity could be traced back to bullying behaviors. Read More Are Your Employees Being Bullied? July/August 2015 Tips July/August...

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Communication: A Key to Customer Satisfaction, May/June 2015

Henry Ford, founder of the American automobile industry, said, “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” Imagine your boss telling you, “You were late turning in your assignment, and when I read it, I realized you didn’t give me what I wanted.” What would your response be? You might take a deep breath and say, “I’m sorry for any inconvenience I caused you. I misunderstood your directions and the due date. I promise to deliver the corrected assignment to you right away.” Consider the four basic needs of most customers: To feel welcome and comfortable To be heard and understood To feel important and respected To have their needs met   Read More Communication: A Key to Customer Satisfaction, May/June 2015 May/June 2015...

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How to Communicate During Change, March 2015

Thoughtful communication is essential at each stage of change. After employees move beyond denial and they have time to vent, their leaders can help them explore, accept, and commit to the change. Leaders who persuade employees to explore the opportunities and benefits of the change help them to accept it. ! Have you ever watched a movie where the newly-single lead character decides to try speed dating? This is where couples have five to ten minutes to meet, try to create chemistry, and persuade the other to accept a date. Similarly, in today’s busy workplace, leaders may only have five to ten minutes to persuade employees to accept a new direction. Read More How to Communicate during Change, March 2015   Mar 2015 Newsletter...

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Communicating about Change: Overcoming Denial and Resistance, January 2015

Whether you communicate to customers, citizens, or other employees, your ability to provide useful information, listen, and respond to other’s ideas is critical to you and your organization’s success. This is even more important when things change. Consider this: when IT departments change computer systems or revise software programs, they don’t consider the hardware’s reaction to those changes. Any glitches in the roll-out will not be system rejection, slowdowns, or grievances. Read more: Communicating about Change: Overcoming Denial and...

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Emotional Intelligence: Path to Leadership, March 2014

Practice to Enhance Your Ability  to Positively Affect Others   Sometimes people become focused on the task at hand and don’t consider how what they say and do affects those around them. They need to practice awareness of others and their environment. You can improve your sensitivity by a little “Monday morning quarterbacking,” that is, analyzing past situations for clues of how people have reacted to your words, communication style, or actions. Read more: Leadership tips March 2014...

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Emotional Intelligence: Path to Leadership, February 2014

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” ~ Nelson Mandela 1918-2013 Emotional Intelligence? At 0irst glance, the words look like a contradiction in terms. We have been taught that emotions cloud judgment and block rational thinking. Anyone who has worked for a hotheaded boss or with a weepy coworker, or attempted to reform a sullen employee might think emotions are a problem in the workplace. This conclusion is limited. Feb 2014 Leadership Tips...

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Listening: The Secret to More Productive Meetings, Oct. 2013

“We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” ~ Epictetus, Greek philosopher (55-135 AD) The meeting that could have been a short review leading to a critical decision turns into a long painful discussion, with people talking past each other and pushing off the resolution to another day. Team members, wasting time and energy in discussion, are so busy making their own points, they miss that they already concur. Sound familiar? Needless conflict is one of many reasons that meetings fail.   NL-201310-Meeting_Listening Oct 2013...

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Listening Tips for Meetings, August 2013

A Note from Marilyn — Over the years, The Consulting Team has received many positive comments about our newsletter, Leadership Tips. We have 4,000 subscribers who continue to find our information helpful and easy to apply. Our last issue of Leadership Tips focused on listening skills, an important, though sometimes neglected, communications’ component. The article in July’s newsletter, “Listening: The Secret to Better Relationships,” presented many tips to improve personal listening skills. They are applicable in most situations. This month our tips apply to a specific, yet common, work situation: meetings. It is difficult enough to listen one-on-one. It can be even more challenging when several people speak on an agenda item, especially one with high stakes. Everyone wants to have their opinion heard, and they don’t always want to hear the opinions of others. Use The Consulting Team’s time-tested skill-building practices to help you address these questions: How can I set up meetings to promote better listening? What can I do to become a better listener in meetings?...

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Selecting Future Leaders, March 2013

  A Note from The Consulting Team — Many organizations now face a leadership double whammy. The first hit we all expected: Baby Boomer boss retirement. The second, an unforeseen consequence of the economic downturn, was retirement plan reductions. This circumstance has forced many leaders and managers into use-it-now or lose-a-lot positions. Organizations are replacing leadership personnel at a quick pace. The silver lining is that there are many opportunities for advancement for those who aspire to be promoted. The challenge in hiring managers is to replaceexperienced retirees with the talent needed to surmount future demands, and possibly to become tomorrow’s favorite boss. This issue of Leadership Tips provides guidance for the vital task of selecting your organization’s future leaders. Our warm regards, Marilyn Manning, Ph.D. (650) 965-3663 Selecting Future Leaders Look Here for full PDF Version This month Glassdoor.com released this year’s ratings of CEOs. According to Forbes Magazine, “The list is based on reviews voluntarily posted by employees from all over the world who answer the following question, ‘Do you approve of...

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Engaging Your Team: From Complacent to Committed – January 2013

Do you ever notice how excited new employees are their first day of work? They are eager to learn and take on their duties. Have you noticed the same employees six months later – one, two, or several years later? Many times their enthusiasm has vanished. They become complacent and even complain about what were once vital interests and challenges. Their jobs have become stale. How can you reignite that former spark of engagement in your employees to better meet your organization’s goals?...

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Speaking Out Loud – November 2012

Every era has its challenges that call forth great speakers. Today is no different. Whether you are on the political stump, in a boardroom, or speaking to your staff, delivering your message is one of the most important activities you, as a leader, can do....

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Business Writing Basics – September 2012

Effective business writers are knowledgeable, persuasive, and easy to read. Whether you need to inform or convince your readers, writing skills are essential to you as a leader. The key to business writing success is to catch the reader’s interest by being clear, concise, and meeting the reader’s needs. Today’s Information Age renders this no easy task....

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Stress Relief – July 2012

With the summer sun comes the lure of leisure, fun, and relaxation. But in today’s business world of temperature controlled offices, constant pressure to do more with less, and covering for others’ summer vacations, You may be more stressed than relaxed. How do we beat the heat of stress against the call of summer?...

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Leadership Potential – March 2012

Change is inevitable. Sometimes it is prompted by the economy, sometimes technology or regulatory changes, maybe a new administration, competition, product or a strategic plan. Therefore, we need to change our habits and routine, learn new skills, and adjust. Once top management sets the course and develops a plan to meet and master the change, they call upon the leaders of the organization to implement their plan. That’s when your real work begins....

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What’s Working Now – January 2012

Despite its unusual name, Appreciative Inquiry is simply a technique to find ideas and ways to do work and to help organizations become better. Its main method to identify possible innovations is to encourage people to tell stories about what has worked best for them in the past....

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Peace in the Workplace – December 2011

Experience tells us conflict may often be a product of human interaction. However, there are many ways leaders can minimize conflict. The Consulting Team members work with many organizations to create amicable and productive work conditions. Consider some of these techniques we use to develop positive business environments....

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Better Bench Strength? – October 2011

People around the world are mourning the recent loss of Steve Jobs. He exemplified the innovative, effective leader who will continue to inspire others for many years. He thoughtfully planned for the development of his own successor, Tim Cook, then installed him less than two months ago. These acts stand as an example of his forward thinking leadership style....

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Losing Leaders? – August 2011

The Consulting Team has facilitated recent strategic planning sessions where succession planning and personnel development make the list of the top five priorities. With a generation of leaders retiring, organizations face great challenges to meet their objectives for trained leaders while working with tighter resources and fewer people....

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Stress Pointers – June 2011

Change is inevitable, constant, and sometimes threatening. Good leaders follow proven methods to help relieve their followers’ anxiety related to change. No matter what your position in the organization, you can count on change causing stress for you and your team....

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Change? What Change? – April 2011

Many organizations invest time and money in strategic and project plans. Experience has showed that they reap dividends in preparing to implement changes in direction, technology, and culture. The most successful know that time and effort spent on operational objectives need to be balanced with support plans for the “personal” effects of these objectives on employees....

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Toward a Bully-Proof Workplace – February 2011

The distinguishing characteristic of the bully at work is that, though one individual is often the bully’s target, both the cause and effects of this behavior encompasses the organization. The buck, and bulwark against bullying, stops with the group’s leader: the culture he or she establishes, the behavior he or she tolerates, and the actions that he or she takes when bullying behavior appears....

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Tips & Tools for Meeting Management – October 2009

Tips and Tools for Meeting Management: Reducing Stress While Increasing Productivity Many workers grumble about the number and length of meetings, especially when work loads increase. Maybe they have something there. This is a good time for meeting leaders to ask themselves the following questions to determine whether they need to call a meeting: ✓ If you can’t communicate a clear, specific meeting purpose and outcomes, don’t convene the group. ✓ Reconsider regular, periodic meetings, i.e., staff meetings. They may be more habitual than necessary. ✓ For status meetings consider follow-up with individuals or ask only those with critical or foremost action items to...

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Traveling the Change Continuum June 2009

  What is a leader to do? Last fall the world economies suffered an abrupt downturn, posing challenges to government, for-profit, and non-profit organizations. Neither planned nor welcomed, this major change in public and private lives has introduced difficulties for workers to accept and for managers to maintain their teams’ focus and morale....

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