Archive for the ‘The Tank (Leadership Newsletter)’ Category

 

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How to motivate your employees to accomplish more through direct engagement

Do you want to motivate your employees so they can be happier at work and accomplish more?  The idea is to make your employees want to work, want to be at work, and want to accomplish things for the organization instead of having to do all those things.  A Leader can inspire his/her employees through several tactics, techniques, and procedures.  However, the most important thing you can do as a Leader is to get to know your employees by interacting and engaging with them directly.  When employees are happy, they will give everything to their work and will be able to produce a much better workflow and product than an unhappy employee.  So get out of your office, engage with your employees, and find out how you can get the very best your employees have to offer out of them on a consistent basis.  The following tips, techniques, thoughts, and ideas will help you motivate your employees to give their best and create an environment within the organization that will make everyone happy to be a part of the family/team/organization.

Get to know your employee’s knowledge and experience – Approach each employee as a valuable resource with something to offer.  It’s up to you as the Leader to find out what that knowledge and experience is and use it.  If you use the right employee on the right task it will lead to better accomplishment of the task, and employee satisfaction in the sense that they are doing something they know and enjoy.

Know what is needed to accomplish daily tasks, and provide it – An employee, team, or organization that has all required training, supplies, and resources to accomplish a task, will.  Nothing is worse than needing something to accomplish a task and you don’t have it.

Maintain an open door policy – The most important thing you can do while engaging with an employee is to listen to them.  You must allow for easy and direct access for your employees to talk to you if they have problems or issues.  As a Leader, you want your employees to bring their problems and issues to you.  This is accomplished through trust and confidentiality.  When your employees trust you they will open up to you and this will lead to a better work environment when an employee can feel safe in a trusting environment.

Face to Face time – You must get out of the office and engage directly with each employee in their workspace environment to fully understand what it is that they are going through from their perspective.  This will help you identify first hand if there is anything that you can change, help, or influence.  The more you know about what your employees are going through on their grounds, the better you can understand their needs and requirements when they request it.  You can also have good face to face time by eating breakfast or lunch with your employees.  –   By eating a meal together this relaxes everyone in a remote setting and allows for everyone to open up and discuss things while having a meal together.

Clearly defined objectives – When an employee knows what, when, where, how and more importantly why they are doing something, you will get the very best out of them and they will accomplish the organizations expectations, leading to organization success.  You should also share company goals, philosophy, values, and vision to give the employee the overall big picture when things are done the way they are.

Social Organization Day’s – Nothing relaxes people and creates an atmosphere for bonding and socializing better than a stress free, fun filled, social gathering in which the organization’s employees can bring their family members and get to know everyone.  One great idea is to have a bring your own dish contest in which all recipes go into a cookbook, the winner gets the cookbook for free, and everyone else can pay for the cookbook.  These funds can go back into the company for funding of future organization days.

Start volunteer programs – Get your employees fired up by volunteering to help the local community.  There are many organizations that will allow you to volunteer to help them or allow you to work through them to help your organization.  Suggestions are:  a local car wash, bagging groceries, a bake sale, provide day care for a family night out.  One of the best volunteer opportunities I personally ever participated in was thanksgiving dinner at a retirement home.  All the employees in my organization got dressed up, went to a local retirement home, and had thanksgiving dinner with the residents.  After we ate, we had a live DJ to play music and we had an old fashioned dance with them.  This was extremely entertaining and created some fun memories for everyone involved.

Team Building/Professional Development Activities/Team Retreats – This can be as simple as setting up in the organizations conference room for a casual game night and playing team building games such as how well do you know each other.   This game is played in which you draw names from a hat, you then engage with that person, get to know everything you can about him/her,  and then you have to stand up and tell what you know about that person.   This can also be as elaborate as taking a team retreat trip to a remote location, having a catered dinner delivered there, and having a guest speaker motivate everyone with his/her words of wisdom on a pre-planned subject.

Hail and Farewell’s – This is an event that can be held once a month at a local restaurant or conference center.  The idea behind this that the organization welcomes all new employees, says farewell to those retiring or leaving the organization, and to present awards to recognize the accomplishments of those within the organization.

After Action Reviews (AAR) – Anytime that an event is conducted, the organization must hold an After Action Review (AAR) to cover what was supposed to happen, what happened, and what the team can do to make it better next time.  This time allows everyone involved in the event to discuss his/her thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions.

FINAL THOUGHTS

That wraps it up for this edition of The Tank.  I thank you for allowing me to fuel your tank with tips, tools, techniques, and resources that will make you a better Leader .  I hope that you have enjoyed reading my newsletter, gained some valuable insight on Leadership, and continue to read next month.  Continue to check back often at Leadertank.com for updates and new material as I am working hard to get new products finished and posted all the time.  Also, don’t forget to watch LeadertankTV on YouTube, check out my blog, drop me a line to let me know what you think, join the Leadertank mailing list, add us me as a friend on facebook, and follow me on twitter.  Keep “fueling your tanks” and be the best Leader you can be.

Sincerely,

Terry W. Thompson

Leadertank.com

Effective Communication Skills

How many times have you ever found yourself in a conversation, ceremony, motivational speech, or any situation in which you had no idea what was being said because of the speaker’s inability to communicate effectively?  Words are powerful and can make a person seem intelligent.  But, on the opposite end of that spectrum can also make a person feel dumb.  You have to be careful what words you use, how you use them, and who you use them with.  When you are communicating to an audience, or even an individual, fancy words will lose their impact if misunderstood or misinterpreted.  Even though you did not intentionally try to demean a person, it is possible that an awkward moment or situation could be created because of your ineffective communication skills, over use, or under use of words.

There have been many situations in which I have had to repeat myself, depending on my audience and the interpretation of what was said.  I have no problem with repeating myself and will say things 3-5 different ways to get my point across if need to, depending if what I said was understood fully or not.  However, there are many people who have the “I will not repeat myself” mentality.  I would much rather repeat myself and ensure that everything was understood than to have an employee out there beating his/her head up trying to figure out the intent behind something that was said because of ineffective communications skills, or if I used the wrong words.

 

The following tips will help you communicate more proficiently and be better understood by any audience:

Listen – The most important thing you can do when communicating is to listen. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.   Believe me, listening sends a louder message than any words you could ever say to anyone.

Keep it simple – Say what you have to say and nothing more.  Don’t feel like you have to construct long, elaborate, drawn out, sentences to get your point across.  This will only cause boredom and you will lose the attention of your audience.

 Know your audience – A conversation will not have the same impact if you were talking to children, teens, young adults, professionals, amateurs, and so on….  It is imperative that you know your audience.  You would not try to sell a magazine to a bunch of blind people or certainly try to play a beautiful piece of music to a deaf audience.  So you need to know who it is that you are talking to first so that you don’t lose or confuse them.

Dictionary words – The use of big, fancy dictionary words does not impress anyone, so don’t use them.  If anything, you will confuse your audience with what you really mean, especially if they don’t know what the words you are using mean.  At the opposite end of that spectrum is the use of unnecessary words.  Admit it, there are times you have been in a conversation in which you had no idea what the main point was because of overuse of words which caused the main point not to shine through all the additional verbiage.

 Look at them directly – Talk directly to people, not at or away from them.  It is very uncomfortable and causes tension if both people talking do not look at each other by looking away or “the 1000 yard stare conversation”.  It creates a situation in which trust and genuineness is doubted.

Think before you speak – How often have you seen or heard someone talking and wondered “why is this guy talking”, or “there he/she goes again”?  Let’s face it, there are going to be times in which we wish we could take back something that we said.  But, if you happen to step on your own tongue and say something you either didn’t mean to or you mistakenly said the wrong thing, it is possible to recover from that mistake if you genuinely apologize and re-state what was supposed to be said in a respectful and professional manner.

Offensive versus defensive – Don’t be offensive when speaking.  Crude, rude, and vulgar language makes you sound unintelligent, weak-minded and it is disrespectful.  Being defensive also makes you look weak or you are lying.  If someone does not challenge you about what you are saying then there is no need to defend it.  Say what you have to say and leave it at that.

 Watch your tone – It’s not only important “what” you say, but “how” you say it as well.  Your tone of voice and the way you say words can have a positive or negative impact. You will have your audience in the palm of your hand, running for the hills, ready to defend, or not listening to you at all depending on the tone of voice in which you are talking to them.  If you speak in a clear, concise, professional, caring tone of voice you have your audience right where you want them.  But, if you speak in a condescending tone of voice, as if you were talking down to your audience you will either have them on the defense or not listening to you at all.  So, be careful “how” you talk to people as it could be disastrously misinterpreted.

Everyone loves a story –Tell your audience a story if you have a personal or professional experience that will describe what you are trying to say that gives a great example.  By doing this, it makes what you are trying to say seem more “human” and people can relate to a story better, especially if there is something humorous in there that they have done too.

Avoid using slang – Slang words confuse people especially if they don’t know the meaning behind the word.  This could cause an awkward or negative situation depending on the interpretation of the slang.

Body language says it all – You could be trying to say the most motivating, inspirational, uplifting thing in the world and your body language will cause what you are saying to lose its impact.  If you are excited about something then don’t hesitate to get your entire body into the action and let it do some speaking as well.  How often have you heard someone speak and they just stood there straight, rigid, almost scared and sounded extremely monotone.  This would make for a boring conversation, wouldn’t it?   If you are excited about what you are saying, you should move your entire body with every word you say.  By doing this it will get others excited, keep them awake, and interested in what you are saying.

 FINAL THOUGHTS

That wraps it up for this edition of The Tank.  I thank you for allowing me to “fuel your tank” with tips, tools, techniques, and resources that will make you a better Leader .  I hope that you have enjoyed reading my newsletter, gained some valuable insight on Leadership, and continue to read next month.  Continue to check back often at Leadertank.com for updates and new material as I am working hard to get new products finished and posted all the time.  Also, don’t forget to watch LeadertankTV on YouTube, check out my blog, drop me a line to let me know what you think, join the Leadertank mailing list, add us me as a friend on Facebook, and follow me on twitter.  Keep “fueling your tanks” and be the best Leader you can be.

Sincerely,

Terry W. Thompson

Leadertank.com

You are always on display

You are always on display.  The things you do and say can have a profound effect on other people whether positive or negative.  Whether you know it or not, someone is always watching and listening to every word you say and every move you make.  By doing this, people watching and listening to you are learning by the actions you take, and don’t take.  There are many things that can be learned from watching others, and emulating the actions they take.  Highlighted below are some concepts that further discuss this idea.

 Visual Learners 

Most people are visual learners and learn better by being visually stimulated with pictures, video and real life examples of people they trust and respect.  Giving someone a visual example shows them exactly what and how something should be done.  This clears up most confusion and questions the individual may have.  Even though someone shows you what and how to do something, keep in mind that this may not necessarily be “the way” to do something but instead “a way” of doing something.    Once you have a clear picture of what and how to do something, don’t hesitate to put a little of “you” into it as long as the desired result/outcome is still accomplished.

 Children will emulate what they see and hear

From the very beginning of life, children learn from watching their parents and emulate the things they hear and see their parents do and say.  The old saying of “monkey see, monkey do” goes into effect here as a child will surprise you by doing exactly what they hear and see you do as a parent.  This was apparent as one day as I had company over at the house, and my three year old son immediately repeated the “expletive” one of my guest said out loud upon stubbing his toe on one of my chairs.  As a child gets older and more independent, the child still learns from things they hear and see their parents and others do, but will put their twist on it to make it their own. 

Adopting things as your own

Sometimes when we hear or see something we like, we want to adopt it as our own.  So what we will do is tweak what we see or hear to our likes and dislikes to make it our own.  There are so many great examples of things happening in the world that we often adopt all these great things to match, enhance, or build our own successful way of creating, doing, and saying things.  There is nothing wrong in emulating what you hear and see others do as long as you give credit where credit is due.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 Next time you think about saying or doing something, keep in mind that “you are always on display” and the things you say and do could be emulated by others to include children.  If you want to make a positive impact or influence on someone, then it is up to you to establish habits of doing and saying positive things, as negativity can have a profound effect on someone.  If you believe that the resources found here at Leadertank.com have been valuable, please feel free pass this site on to all your friends and family and let me know by dropping me a line at leadertank@gmail.com.  I would love to connect and hear what you have to say.

Thank you for reading,

Terry W. Thompson

Leadertank.com

Your ATTITUDE is your CHOICE

     Every one of us has had something bad happen to us, and when it did, our thoughts, emotions, and attitude changed because of this significant emotional event.  Now, I understand that some circumstances are extremely negative such as a death in the family, divorce, and getting fired from a job to name a few, but even in these situations, there can be positive from it.  Let’s take a look below at some negative or stressful situations and look at the positive side of them.

Negative/Stressful Situation

Positive Outlook

Death in the family The family member is no longer suffering and is in a better place with God
Divorce There are better people out there that has the same potential to do whatever your previous spouse done
Getting fired from a job Maybe you were in a rut and now you have the freedom to take on something new that will create a better future for you with more benefits, skills, and marketability
Getting into a car accident Nobody really ever wants to get into an accident or gets into one on purpose, but if you do, calmly exchange information and get it fixed without trying to find fault
Someone talking about you If none of it is true then don’t worry about it, don’t try and defend yourself because that empowers the person talking about you.  Just ignore it.   Some people have nothing better to do than to feed off other people’s emotions, so don’t let them affect yours.

 

 

Outside circumstances may try to intervene in you having a great day but you choose how you will react to those circumstances by having a positive or negative attitude.  What I want you to understand is that attitude is a choice and that there can be personal gain, positivity, and happiness, regardless of circumstance.  It’s all in how you choose to look at the situation; because every situation has its pros and cons, negative and positive, gains and losses, and so on.  Remember that your attitude is a perspective that is controlled by you.  If you look at situations from different perspectives then you can see all sides of the situation from many diverse interpretations.

On the other hand, there are positive situations that can have a negative/stressful effect on you as well.  Let’s take a look at some positives and their possibilities.

Positive Situation

Negative/Stressful Possibilities

Positive Outlook

Birth of a baby Unprepared financially, family is split up, birth defects A new edition to the family will bring new and exciting opportunities/responsibilities
Job promotion Will have to move to another city, will work longer hours, will be responsible for more people A promotion will give you the opportunity to affect others positively and pass on your knowledge and experience
Marriage Family members did not approve, preparation of event making sure everything is perfect You will get to spend your life moments with the one you love and create joy by completing one another
Going back to school You may have forgot a lot of things you knew when you were younger, younger students make you feel old You will learn new skills that will help make  you relevant and marketable in today’s business, corporate world

 

 

In and of themselves, the previous listed are positive situations that can have a negative effect.  But once again, you choose how you look at the situation whether it is positive or negative.  Most people like to look at the negative side of any given situation and can cause undue hardship and pain on those that are trying to look at life in a positive manner.  But, it’s up to you to have the right attitudeYour attitude is something you control.  If you let someone control your attitude, you have just given your power away to that person and they have stolen your joy in life. Don’t let anyone steal your joy, choose to be happy.  Choose the right attitude.

Below are some tips that will help you stay positive in a negative situation.  Pick which ever ones you want that will work for you or try them all out.

  • If you are not calm, then don’t respond in such a way that you will regret later
  • Take a deep breath so you can calm down
  • Talk to others kindly.  Remember, friction causes more friction.  Anger breeds anger.
  • Regardless of circumstance, there are opportunities for positive within negative
  • When listening to others talk, don’t search for the negative.  Highlight the positive so your interaction with them remains positive
  • Constant negative feelings have a profound impact on your health, so stay positive and stay healthy
  • Go for a run.  Running is better and cheaper  than therapy
  • Don’t be afraid to admit that you made a mistake.  Others will appreciate you more if you are honest and direct with them
  • Don’t be the one who has to get in the last word.  Sometimes you should “just listen”
  • Realize that you can’t change everyone and sometimes it’s best to just leave it be

Final Thoughts

     That wraps it up for this edition of The Tank; I just want to leave you with the final thought of “actions lead to reactions”.  Having said that, how you choose to react is completely up to you whether your reaction is positive or negative.  Even though there are negative things that can happen every single day, how you choose to react to those negative situations are up to you.  Believe it or not, there can be positivity from negativity.  Have a great day and choose positively.  If you believe this edition of The Tank was a positive influence and can be beneficial to someone, please feel free to pass it along to all your friends or tell them to visit Leadertank.com to download it.  You can also get even more motivating and inspiring messages by reading Daily Fuel at Leadertank.com.  For a more interactive leadership experience with me, feel free to add me as a friend on facebook, dropping me a line at Leadertank@gmail.com and letting me know you want to join my mailing list, or if you just want to talk, or ask me a question.

THANK YOU FOR READING

Sincerely,

Terry W. Thompson

Download and read The Tank below to read about the importance of who, what, when, where, why, and how in communications.

The Tank (Issue 18, JUN 2012)

Thank you for downloading and reading.  Feel free to let me know what you think if you have any comments, feedback, or input.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Terry W. Thompson

Leadertank.com