What Motivates You?

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I’ve recently joined and accountability fitness group and not only do they want us to post pictures of ourselves after a workout or what we are eating but they also want a picture of what motivates us. That really got me thinking; what really motivates us? In life? Within our family? Or in the workplace?What Motivates You?

What is motivating you to get up every morning, get to work, do what you need to do and had home? Is it simply the fact that at the end of the day you’ll have a paycheck to show for it and be able to put food on the table? Is that all there really is that motivates you?

This really made me think a little bit deeper about what motivates me on a daily basis. Yes, it is partially the fear of failure or not accomplishing something that continues to drive me forward, but at what pace?

If you are a manager, team leader or an employer at your work, what motivates your employees? They need to feel motivated more than simply a paycheck at the end of the day. You don’t want them to put in the minimum amount of work just to get by; you want to encourage them, cheer them on and motivate them to do their very best, regardless of the figure on the paycheck at the end of the week or the month.

Motivation can come in a variety of different ways. The question “what motivates you?” Can be a tricky interview question from employers but it also is a key in knowing what really drives you forward, encouraging you to do your past.

It’s a question you do need to ask yourself when you get up in the morning and in the workplace. Personal motivation is the key to success in whatever we want to achieve in life. However, it can be a hard concept to explain.

Are you motivated by constant progress? New and exciting ideas that can facilitate themselves through actual, tangible results? Do you feel motivated when you find a challenge?

You see, everyone is different so what motivates them is going to be different. Perhaps it’s the dedication to go through school, get a degree and better your career in the hopes of a better life for your family. Perhaps it’s in the small things, each and every day, the drive to push forward with unique challenges that we know that we can accomplish because that challenges geared toward our skill set.

As a leader, it’s best to find out what motivates your team, what drives them forward and then encourage each individual person in that facet so that the team can work together as a whole for the common goal and a successful result.

Read More:

5 Ways to Motivate Your Team

5 Tricks to Better Time Management

5 More Ways to Motivate Your Team

Tips for Time Management in the Workforce

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You may have time management completely figured out in both your personal and your work life but your employees may still be struggling. If you want your entire team to work cohesively to make the best use of their time, they all need to be working on their own time management for each task given to them.

Here are some tips to establish good time management practices within your employees and the team as a whole.

Start with smaller tasks that can be completed quickly.Tips for Time Management in the Workforce

Make a list of some of the smaller tasks that can be completed within a short amount of time, perhaps a day or two. Schedule the people that will be working on those tasks and give them a deadline within that short amount of time. These may be menial tasks that must be completed before the larger project can be tackled but still just as important. Having these smaller tasks out of the way will eventually help the team focus as a whole on the larger result.

Break larger jobs into smaller tasks.

Perhaps there is a very large goal that the team is trying to get to; split that project up into smaller tasks that one or two people can work on at a time. This will ease some stress and if everyone just works on their little piece of the puzzle, the entire project will come together much quicker.

Create a worksheet for the entire week or month.

Not everybody is a checklist type of person but checklists certainly should not cause harm or stress. Write down everything that needs to be accomplished within the team broken down by team member and give each person a day to work on a different part of the project. Once that project piece is completed for the day can be crossed off. Employees can work ahead as long as they don’t rush through the immediate task at hand.

Tips for Time Management in the WorkforceSet distractions aside.

Projects can almost never get done when the phone keeps ringing, email notifications keep coming in and your phone keeps reminding you of texts or alerts. This is the time to turn everything off, close all the windows on your screen and focus on the task at hand. This is not to say that you can take a phone call here and there, but give yourself at least an hour or two to work on a project undistracted and undisturbed. Once that time allotment is completed, do your social checking or email and phone message retrieval, turn everything off again and work on the next project.

Avoid multitasking.

Multitasking is the ultimate distraction. It’s hard to focus on one item when you’re constantly distracted from people walking into the office, asking you to do an additional project or giving your attention to too many things at a time. It can be hard to regroup and refocus back to the initial task at hand. Again, set aside at least one or two hours to focus on one item at a time without distraction. If necessary, put a do not disturb on your desk, cubicle or your office door until the project is completed.

This can be difficult but once you’ve established a routine and people are aware of your work ethic and practices it will be much easier to run with this system in the future.

Need more tips on time management for your team or office building? Give me a call at any time for team-building activities, classes and more.

4 Tricks to Better Listening

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4 Tricks to Better Listening for a Happier Workforce

If you want to be a better speaker, learn to be a better listener. They say that God gave us one mouth and two ears so we listen twice as much as we speak. While I don’t know if that’s true or not, listening and being a good listener can really take you far in life. Those that speak without listening or talk before thinking can really get themselves into hot water and no one will want to be around them. Learning to listen can be a great motivator for your team.Are you listening?

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People the author states to seek first to understand then be understood. If we approach people waiting to talk with an agenda already on our tongue, we may never be heard. For someone else to feel validated, you must listen first, not just wait to talk.

Make sure you are facing the speaker and you maintain eye contact. This alone can validate whatever the person is talking about. If your eyes dart around and seem bored, your speaker may feel invalidated and unimportant.

Keep an open mind. You may enter a conversation thinking you understand everything that is going to be said but if you truly listen to the speaker you might understand a different point of view or perspective. The minute you start judging what that person is saying you’ve compromised your effectiveness as a listener. Try to listen without jumping to conclusions or sticking with the conclusion you’ve already made.

Don’t interrupt. We teach children that it’s rude to interrupt but people do it often even as adults. It’s best to let them get their entire thought out, process what they’ve said and then respond accordingly. Interrupting sends the message that you are more important than the speaker and have more important things to say or that you simply don’t care what the speaker is saying.

Ask questions only to ensure understanding. Asking questions is fine but not when they are disruptive or pointless. You may not want to carry on the conversation but asking an important question can help you understand. Try not to shift the focus onto something that the speaker is not telling you. For instance: someone is telling you about a work-related incident of theirs and if you shift the focus off of that person onto the person causing the issue it is invalidated the speaker as to what they are really trying to say.

Listening is truly a valuable gift and if we learn to listen properly we can validate more people making them more productive in the workforce which in turn makes for a happier environment for everyone.

5 Tricks to Better Time Management

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Time. Something we just can’t seem to get enough of. I remember my father asking for more time for Christmas and my aunt getting him a jar of Thyme. Not quite the same thing. But seriously, we all want more time. But it’s like money, we all want more of it but we would spend it the same and still want more. When this happens we require a budget; when we need more time, we look to time management.  We can always strive for more money, but never are we given more time.

Most of us need more time to get our work done, whether it’s in the home or in the office. Here are some savvy time saving tricks and great ways to manage your time both personally and professionally more effectively.

#1. The Social Media Rabbit Hole5 Tricks to Better Time Management

We can all relate – well maybe some of us are more disciplined but I know for me, if I sit down and start to catch up on social media I could be stuck here for hours. Just don’t do it. Give yourself a time limit on Facebook, Twitter or other accounts and no more. Then when you’ve made sure the world isn’t on fire or someone’s cat hasn’t died, turn it off. Completely. Close down the window and get  to the real reason you sat down in the first place. It can be an easy distraction when you’re downloading a file or uploading a video to switch back to the social side but then you are dragged back down that hole again.

#2. Prioritize Your List

It can be overwhelming to think about all the things you have to do for the week or the month and you can get easily stressed and frustrated. Break it down into smaller bites and prioritize what really needs to get done for that day. Make a list, either online or on a regular old piece of paper. Give the items days of the week they must be done. If you have 20 tasks that must be done by the end of the week, assign 4 tasks each day. Then if there is time after those 4 are done, either check more emails, put out random fires or start on the next day. But don’t stress that all 20 must be done in one day.

#3. Set Two Ending Times

It can be easy to take work home with you at the end of the day so give yourself two finishing times; one for an ideal day and one for the latest time you won’t work past. Try to keep those latter times to a minimum of 2-3 per week.

#4. Take an Audit of What Drains Your Time

Make note of what is actually taking up your time. Do you get calls all through the day and can’t actually focus on the task at hand? Turn off your phone with a message stating you will return calls at a particular time each day. If it’s an emergency, please email me at: … Is Social Media a time waster? Turn off notifications. Visual distractions? Get it all out by enjoying the weather or the view for a moment, then closing the door, the window or turning off the radio so you can now focus on the task at hand.

#5. Take Mini Breaks

It’s ok to take a 5 minute break, even if you don’t go outside to smoke. Lactic acid can build up between your shoulder blades and in your frontal lobe if you sit for too long. Spread it out and refresh your body and mind by getting up, walking around and stretching for a few minutes.

These are just a few things that can really help you reorganize your day. Feel free to call me anytime for more information, tips and tricks to time management and organizing your productivity.

Listening Is So Important For A Successful Work Environment

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Learning to Listen

Listening skills can trump a lot of other personal skills when it comes to finding good managers. An active listener can help a business run more efficiently, resolve issues better and be more responsive to the customer.

 Importance of listening skills ?

effective communications

When a leader pays attention to what his team has to say, it can help him better manage them to produce optimal results. Active listening can help a manager pick up on cues from employees. For instance, being alert to passing remarks or recalling details of conversations can often be more useful for information gathering than a direct question. When an employee knows you are really listening, it helps you build a relationship based on trust. If they feel their voice is heard, they are far more likely to come to you with their problems, ideas or solutions. It makes you far more approachable besides making you seem like someone who they can count on to hear them out.With clients being a good listener can translate to business benefit. If your customer airs certain views or mentions their problems directly or indirectly in conversations, an active listener will be quick to spot these flags. Knowing what specific areas to address in your solution for the customer or prospect immediately ups your chances of creating something that will truly solve their problems. This can translate into more top-line growth.

 

Building active listening skills

active listening skills

Chances are, like many others, you too feel that you are an above average listener. Get a third party to evaluate you through workshops and training sessions and you might be surprised by the results. Quite often, leaders find that there is significant scope for improvement when it comes to listening skills. So how does one go from being an average listener to an active listener when looking to improving listening skills? For starters, you may need to work with professional leadership training experts, to undergo training on communication and listening skills. A third party will be able to assess your listening skills and help you identify potential problem areas. Your multitasking might be getting in the way of having meaningful conversations where your co-workers or team members feel heard. Or you might just be easily distracted. Perhaps you get restless and are impatient for the other person to just ‘cut to the chase’. Maybe you are dismissive of ideas you find unfeasible. But there could be a better way to respond.

Leadership and communication training workshops will teach listening skills and you will learn how to engage with the other person when they are speaking. This may involve responses in the affirmative to show you are following them, or non-verbal cues like a nod of the head, leaning forward as opposed to slouching or leaning away; that assure the other person that you are listening.

 

Listening is as much about responding

leadership group in room

There are arguably more people who act without listening than the other way round. But it is also important to ensure that after listening to someone you demonstrate your understanding of the problem by evaluating the issue and acting accordingly. If you have heard them out, you need to ensure you have also completely understood what they were trying to communicate. For anything you are unsure about, be sure to ask. Questions are a big part of active listening. Paraphrase what they have said and repeat it back to confirm you have the gist of what they said. It will also send the other person the right signals – that you are listening to every word they say.

Once you master the art of listening, team management becomes that much easier. Ease the way for yourself and your team by getting everyone involved in a workshop that provides listening skills exercises and you will see the difference for yourself. To learn more about listening skills for leaders, please contact Leaders Speakers.