Why do you need Time Management?

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Good Time Management Skills

I had the opportunity to facilitate a time management workshop for group of social workers in Charleston SC while working for a company that I got my feet wet in the motivational business. My first thought was that this group was tasked to come to a required seminar and give up their valuable time. TMI am a huge proponent of effective time management techniques but initially did not see an immediate importance to this group. What I did not realize was that these professionals and I do mean professionals are probably the MOST time challenged individuals that I may know of. They have to get to work very early and leave really late; in between they have to deal with people in need and liaison with other programs/organizations to help people with all sorts of social needs. Probably the most challenging thing they had to conquer was setting and classifying priorities because their priorities were tied to people that all needed their help seemingly at the same time.

Time Management Tips And Strategies

What they were about to learn would change their time management habits for good IF they would stick to a system. The system is the key to consistent and effective time management and if you veer from your system and try to wing it you will lose every time. Just when you think you may have some major leeway and get off track you will certainly lose your plan. Time is so slippery – it’s like taking your eye off a toddler for a moment and the next thing you know there’s trouble. So how do you stay on course and accomplish the things you set out to do? How many times at the beginning of the week to you have a list of goals that you mentally set out to accomplish but at the end of the day or week you may only reach less than 50%? One of the main reasons this happens… It’s because those goals that you had were not defined into S.M.A.R.T goals. By SMART goals I mean realizing if they are Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Specific. Using the S.M.A.R.T Goal criteria will help you determine if your goals are in fact valid and achievable. This is the formula you have to use to accomplish your goals successfully. In the case of the Social Workers (no pun intended) they had to define each goal with this formula in order to prioritize their situations to determine immediate need from the needs that could wait. Prioritizing is the next step to successful time management, yes once you have defined a valid goal then you must prioritize with the highest urgency first then trickle down to the things that can be subsequently. There may be more defining and refining of your goals in terms of the activities you will use to achieve them which will also help you prioritize.

We are often high-jacked by many distractions throughout the day both internal and external but if you stick to a good time management system you can and will accomplish almost anything you set out to do.

Leaders Speakers is a leadership training company that facilitates Time Management and other Leadership workshops around the continental U.S. You can learn more by visiting www.leadersspeakers.com


15 Body Language Secrets of Successful People

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Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start, because you could be sabotaging your career.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.

What follows are the 15 most common body language blunders that people make, and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.

  1. Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. You would never tell your boss, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to—your body says it for you, loud and clear.

The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form—it takes up less space and projects less power.

Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement from both ends of the conversation.

  1. Exaggerated gestures can imply that you’re stretching the truth. Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.
  2. Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego. It sends the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you’re with, and that you’re anxious to leave them.
  3. Turning yourself away from others, or not leaning into your conversation, portrays that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Try leaning in towards the person who is speaking and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This shows the person speaking that they have your complete focus and attention.

  1. Crossed arms—and crossed legs, to some degree—are physical barriers that suggest you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a nagging sense that you’re shutting him or her out.

Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist the urge to do so if you want people to see you as open-minded and interested in what they have to say.

  1. Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.

For example, a nervous smile while rejecting an offer during a negotiation won’t help you get what you want; it will just make the other person feel uneasy about working with you because they’ll assume that you’re up to something.

  1. Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. People may perceive your heavy nods as an attempt to show you agree with or understand something that you actually don’t.


  1. Fidgeting with or fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your physical appearance and not concerned enough with your career.
  2. Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting.

Looking down as you talk makes it seem like you lack confidence or are self-conscious, causing your words to lose their effect. It’s especially important to keep your eyes level if you’re making complicated or important points.

Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence. While it is possible to be engaged without direct, constant eye contact, complete negligence will clearly have negative effects on your professional relationships.

  1. Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
  2. Rolling your eyes is a fail-proof way to communicate lack of respect. Fortunately, while it may be a habit, it’s voluntary. You can control it, and it’s worth the effort.
  3. Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Scowls turn people away, as they feel judged.

Smiling, however, suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly. MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.

  1. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.
  2. Clenched fists, much like crossed arms and legs, can signal that you’re not open to other people’s points. It can also make you look argumentative and defensive, which will make people nervous about interacting with you.
  3. Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.

Bringing It All Together

Avoiding these body language blunders will help you form stronger relationships, both professionally and personally.

By Dr. Travis Bradberry

How To Encourage Team Building Among Nurses

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The quality of your hospital’s patient care, patient outcomes and your hospital’s reputation as a quality care establishment depends on how well your nurses work with each other. When nurses bond and work collaboratively in a cohesive team, communication mishaps and other issues can be averted. Healthcare establishments should encourage team building amongst nurses in order to develop positive attitude and improve patient care. Here are a few tips on how you can encourage positive team building and team spirit among your nurses. blog med pic

Conduct Team Building Exercises And Activities

Team building exercises and activities help foster shared communication and goals. These activities make nurses coordinate with one another, which will help them manage patients’ needs better in the long run. Team building exercises help build a sense of unity among nurses. Core skills such as patient assessment and administering medications are reinforced as well. A nursing team that is cohesive is better equipped to handle emergencies as they arise.

Indoor activities: You can adopt several indoor team building exercises and activities such as role-plays, where nurses play the role of the doctor, nurse and patient. Symptoms are discussed and analyzed and medications are prescribed. This exercise teaches nurses that only when the whole team works in coordination can good results be achieved.

Outdoor activities: Take your nurses out on a day picnic. Conduct a rappelling experiment; assign two nurses to rappel together. They must support each other’s weight and watch out for each other to prevent accidents. Exercises such as this one also foster team spirit. You can come up with several other creative team building exercises and activities to enhance cooperation, cohesion, coordination and collaboration within your nursing team.

Extend Support To New Staff And Build Morale

In most hospitals, senior staff waits till new nurses prove themselves before extending their hand to them. It’s a kind of rite of passage in hospitals. While this may help new nurses to hit the floor running, it won’t help their stress levels. New nurses might feel resentful and unwelcome as a result.

Ensure your nurse managers and senior nursing staff welcome new nurses warmly. Instead of putting them through their initial ‘prove yourself’ paces, senior staff should support, train, mentor and talk to junior staff. This will help build morale among new staff that will in turn grow into reliable and happy performers. The impression you make on your nurses initially matters a lot when it comes to nurse loyalty and retention.

Help The Team Bond With Each Other

Your nursing team might just be doing its job mechanically without really jelling together. This happens when the nurses don’t take the time to get to know each other personally. In this way, each person becomes isolated and an island in themselves.

It’s necessary that nursing teams should bond with each other as individuals in order to work as a cooperative team. Mutual care, concern, liking, respect and support should be encouraged and developed. When nurses have successful attachments with the people they work with, they experience greater job satisfaction and express greater commitment to the hospital.

To this end, organize potluck dinners, picnics, and group dinners hosted by the establishment. Make sure that at least once a month, you get your nursing team together to bond and get to know each other. Ask senior staff members to organize movie nights at their homes where their teams can get together, watch a movie and relax. Nurses work long hours, spending more time with their co-workers than with their families. It’s necessary that they like the people they work with. The best and most powerful bonding occurs after work hours, in a casual environment.

Set Up A Peer Mentoring Program

You can set up a peer-mentoring program to build successful teams. Receiving feedback and guidance from a peer makes a great impact on a nurse’s efficiency and belief in self. It gives the nurse greater confidence to deal with any given situation. Assign peers and mentors within each team and see that the nurses interact and share their knowledge amongst themselves. This works better than any training program, while enhancing team bonding at a personal level.

Conduct Positive Relationship Seminars

Yes, hospitals are rushed, they have to provide patient care and there might not be much time to provide training and conduct seminars. However, it is necessary to conduct regular seminars on building positive relationships. Everyone needs reinforcement in this area. Knowing that one’s employer proactively encourages personal development, team bonding and job satisfaction is a factor that’ll motivate your nurse teams to perform better.

  • Teach nurses to respect differences, as an important part of team building
  • Prime nurses for positive thought. Negative thought wastes a lot of energy and usually doesn’t accomplish anything. Teach nurses that instead of complaining, they should be proactive and take initiative. By doing so, they can actually make improvements happen.
  • Teach nurses to acknowledge and recognize co-workers and be sure to offer them praise and encouragement
  • Stress on the need to always listen to what others have to say
  • Teach nurses that the only way to feel appreciated is to appreciate others
  • Encourage nurses to offer a helping hand to another nurse who’s in dire need. If another nurse is struggling with a very demanding patient or a very irate family member, encourage team members to pitch in and help. Explain to your nurses that even if it’s not their patient, it never hurts to help someone who needs it. The favor is usually reciprocated and this helps build a stronger team.
  • Teach nurses to always admit their mistakes and take responsibility for what they do. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes mistakes are the beginning of great learning. Discourage the blame game.