Published by lynda.com | Monday, January 13th, 2014
Time is money. As companies make more demands for efficiency and productivity, employees need to respond by working smarter. Here are some time-saving tips from expert lynda.com instructors for maximizing the hours in your day.
1. Say no.
Minimize interruptions from your colleagues by saying “no” to right-this-minute requests—and deferring the “yes” to a later time.
Many practicing managers are misinformed about what it means to motivate a team. They think that yelling or screaming or threatening will motivate people. They think that simply offering money will motivate people. Not true. Fear–based tactics can get you short-term compliance—but they’ll undermine your team’s long-term commitment and motivation. And money can be a useful motivator, but it’s often just a distraction that interferes with focusing on the inherent purpose of our work.
We don’t always consider the amount of time a given decision deserves, don’t always follow a coherent decision-making process, don’t always consider the standards that should be met. We rarely think about common cognitive biases that get in the way of strong decision-making. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this week’s first management tip, we’ll talk about several quick ways to step up your decision-making game.
Published by Todd Dewett | Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
The business world has a long-standing love/hate relationship with the creative process. Managers regularly profess to embrace creativity, but they’ve usually been trained to avoid failure—and accepting and learning from failure is key to a successful creative process.
The good news is that a small but growing number of adventurous business professionals do recognize that failure must be embraced. They still value the need to work faster, smarter, and cheaper, but don’t run from failure or the lessons that can be learned from it. They accept that no great invention ever materialized out of thin air, but required attempts, trials, and experiments. Each failure provides valuable opportunities to teach us what we need to know in order to succeed. My first tip this week will help you understand how failure can become your best friend.
Published by Todd Dewett | Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Trust is the heart and soul of leadership. I’ve been told more than once that to understand leadership, you need to understand decision making and strategy, and that’s true—but these skills are wasted if you don’t first understand trust.
In my first tip this week, I’ll show you how trust moves a team from mere compliance to real commitment. When people trust you, they
• feel comfortable taking risks on your behalf, and being vulnerable to you;
• believe in the quality of your ideas; and
• will spend time helping others get on board with your decisions.
Published by Todd Dewett | Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Change is often overrated. We’re programmed to believe that change at work is good, and necessary. But it’s not always true. Change is often difficult, and completely optional. In fact, most people and companies simply aren’t wired to deal with change effectively.
Every person and company has a finite capacity for change—a capacity that change often bumps up against and spills over. In a rush to meet changing market demands and stay on the cutting edge, companies often attempt to take on too much change, which is why many projects fail to finish on time and budget, or to deliver the intended results.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. In this week’s first management tip, we’ll discuss change capacity, and understanding which types of change to initiate or adopt. It’s important to know how to implement change, but that won’t matter unless you have a clear understanding of your capacity for change.
Published by Todd Dewett | Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Listening and candor. They’re two of the most valuable tools of effective communication, but they’re often overlooked. Listening is the focus of my first Management Tip this week. We often spend too much time asserting our views and responding to others, and too little time listening to—and genuinely hearing—what they have to say. This is ineffective communication, and people can easily sense when managers are more concerned with their own points of view than understanding the team’s position, which undermines their trust in your leadership.
Here’s a rule of thumb: In a conversation with your team, you should listen as much as you talk. If you don’t, they will eventually stop sharing their thoughts with you.
Published by Todd Dewett | Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
As managers, we can spend more time at work than anywhere else in our lives—so it might as well be a fun place to be. In this week’s first Management Tip, I show you how to help others view their work in a more positive light—by creating opportunities to have fun there.
Too often we equate professionalism with a lack of emotion—and that’s wrong. While we do need to keep a lid on negative emotions, we should unleash any and all positive emotions at work. Positive emotions lead to stronger relationships and more creative decision-making. Having fun in the workplace actually helps us do our jobs better.