Category Archives: Positive Psychology

Top 5 – Keys to Effective Business Writing

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This weeks Top 5 – Keys to Effective Business Writing

  1. Know the basics
  2. Be clear and concise
  3. Know your writing structure
  4. Choose the Best Medium for the Message
  5. Be creative

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Filed under Business Writing, Corporate Training, Human Resources, Leadership, People Management, Positive Psychology, Professional Development, Uncategorized

Top 5 – Motivating Others

followIn today’s highly competitive world, a highly motivated team is vital for any business seeking to be number one.  Therefore it is a critical skill for managers and business leaders to be able to motivate others.

There is a long standing debate that begs the question ‘Do managers actually motivate their staff or are the staff motivated by the environment they are in?

It is more likely the latter, an effective manager and leader has the tools to create and impact the environment of the workplace to ensure it is a positive and sustainable one.

This week’s Top 5 looks at some of the best ways managers can motivate their staff.

1.  Give people responsibility
More than they think they deserve and as much as they are capable of handling. This will empower them assuming they are already motivated. Demonstrating your belief in them will boost their confidence and their beliefs about themselves.

2. Make them feel they matter.
Here are some ways you can instantly make the members of your team feel they matter. Take time for one on ones, use active listening, help them champion causes they believe in and provide feedback, support their career ambitions and ask them ‘what is it that I do that stops you from doing your job?’

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Knowledge is power and power is motivating. You can never communicate too much but be careful on what and how you deliver the message to avoid  information fatigue. The optimum approach to delivering information is to remember that everyone  should know everything about the business that concerns them.  Ask your staff what they would like to know about and provide them with this information promptly.

4. Treat people with kindness and respect
There is an old adage that says ‘do unto others as you would be done by’. In other words treat people the way you would like to be treated. Demonstrate trust in your team and they will show you trust in return.  There are simple things you can do like ensure ensuring you handle personal problems in a sympathetic yet positive manner. Ensuring your teams salaries and benefits are looked after and paid promptly.

5. Find out what motivates them individually.
No two people are the same; some might like to head home to see family early on a Friday.
Others might like team drinks night once a month. The ability of a manager to recognise what motivates each individual is a contributing factor to the overall teams’ success.  As a manager you need to be aware of what these ‘motivational forces’ are.  Theorist Abraham Maslow grouped them into five areas. 1. Physiological needs (food clothing shelter etc), 2. Safety Needs (a sense of security), 3. Social Needs (interaction with other people; having friends), Esteem Needs (being well regarded and having the appreciation of others) and Self Actualisation (realising individual potential).

Motivating others through affecting the environment takes time and skill.  As a manager these skills can be gained or developed by attending our highly successful and sort after Happening People Leadership Academy.  Start the year with a real boost and develop a highly motivated work force.  We are looking forward to your call! 1800 68 67 69 or find out more by visiting http://www.HappeningPeople.com

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Top 5 – How to be an Awesome Leader

Do you manage your people or do you lead them?  Maybe it is a bit of both? So when do you manage and when do you lead?

There is a real difference between Managers and Leaders, put simply Managers have subordinates and possess a transactional style, their tasks include planning, organising, controlling and reviewing. A Leader has followers and possesses a transformational style (see tip 3) their day is filled with aligning their people and activities to the vision; they are pioneering the way whilst carving out a legacy to be remembered.  Leaders will also have subordinates as they are often managers appointed to roles in an organisational structure however they see their main goal as leading their followers so their style of leadership will be less of a manager and more of a leader.

Other attributes of a leader as opposed to a manager including being a change agents, looking  long term , setting the direction, appealing to hearts and our passions, looking for and encourage others to achieve, sometimes breaking free from rules to achieve and pioneering the way as they seek to do right rather than be right.  Finally they seek the truth and they give credit to their followers.

We offer you our Top 5 on How to Be an Awesome Leader.  If you haven’t done so already, ‘like’ our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/HappeningPeople and be sure to look out for our extra Top Tip- Number 6, which looks at Power and Leadership.

1. Lead from the Front

Leading from the front is described by General Douglas MacArthur who said

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”

The term leading from the front has been bandied about boardrooms for decades, at its most effective it means “I am willing to do, whatever I have asked you to do.’ Leading from the front doesn’t mean huge acts of heroism it means showing your followers you care about the company and their success when they see that you will never ask them to do something, that you are not willing to do yourself.  Leaders who lead from the front are great role models.

2. Show Vision
Great leaders, show leadership by showing the vision.  They do this at every appropriate occasion whether it is in a group or one on one.  By doing this they focus attention on what matters which focuses the team.   When you are able to articulate the vision, meaningful goals can be created. When goals are firmly aligned with the vision the purpose of your team is clear and achievement of the goals is more likely.

3. Possess a Transformational  Style
A good leader is focused on moving its followers towards the vision, they do this by inspiring them to follow not telling them what to do.  Your role is to appeal to their hearts rather than their heads, raise their passions and follow you.  At times you will lead them in directions they haven’t gone before which can be overwhelming for followers.   They will follow you if you show the way and are able to show them the benefits so that your followers will receive more than extrinsic rewards but will become better people along the way.

4. Be People Focused
A good leader does not have to be a loud and overly gregarious one to be effective, in fact many leaders aren’t, rather, they are good with people and are focused on the people rather than the task.  Through their actions and interactions they boost the confidence of those around them to achieve the goals before them and they want to see their followers succeed and take the credit.   Though these methods they inspire loyalty and motivation.

5. Your Legacy
Most people think about their legacy at the end of their careers, awesome leaders think about it throughout their careers.  Pericles famously said ‘What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.’  Leaders look to leave a legacy through changing the lives of their followers.  Robert Galford and Regina Maruca, authors of “Your Leadership Legacy,” suggest that “thinking about your legacy now makes you a better leader today no matter how far you are from retirement.” This view is based on interviews with people at all organisational levels.  Galford and Maruca advocate we all should be engaged in legacy thinking.

Leaders aren’t just born, good managers become great leaders through being shown the way.  Happening People are award winning  corporate  training specialists and are the Leaders in Leadership Training.  Give us a call on 1800 68 67 69 or visit our website www.happeningpeople.com for more information on how we can help you and your organisation develop awesome leaders.

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Top 5 – How to Be a Great Mentor

Not to be confused with a coach a mentor is a peer to peer guide or is often described as someone who has walked the path before others.  If you wanted to be the worlds best swimmer then you would work with the worlds best swimming coach but if you wanted to know what it was like to be the worlds best swimmer then you would talk with someone who has done it and this person is a mentor.

Mentors are people who help the mentee to develop and grow until the mentee feels empowered to function alone.  Mentors do this by providing support, sharing their experiences, knowledge and skills whilst keeping in mind the level of skill and experience the mentee possesses. The relationship between the mentor and the mentee usually unfolds over time and can be formal and informal.

The role of a mentor is one that is best taken seriously for the mentee’s often see their mentor as ‘larger than life’ or the expert and it’s probably healthy for them to see  you in such a way initially to help establish the relationship for they are looking for someone to point the way.  They are often unsure of their abilities through a lack of experience and the mentee seeks to acquire your abilities.  At times you may even feel that the mentee is becoming you.

There are a variety of skills good mentors possess which enables them to have long and successful relationships with their mentees who often go on to be their friends and provide mutual counsel.  If it’s time for you to jump on the mentoring bus or indeed you are already on-board Happening People give you our Top 5 on How to Be a Great Mentor and in this top 5 check out our extra top tip (it’s one you won’t want to miss!) by liking our Facebook page www.facebook.com/happeningpeople

 1. Success is in the structure
Mentoring can be stifled by too much structure.  Many people who engaged in mentoring would not apply the label to their activities.  Some would be embarrassed and inhibited by so naming the relationship.  Very informal one-off instances of advice or short-term mentoring can afford to be totally unstructured.  However it can be lack of structure with no agreed objectives, ground rules or parameters that leads to problems in mentoring. Where a mentoring relationship is recognised and acknowledged as such, a verbal agreement as to the purpose of the relationship is the minimum structure required.  Written agreements can also be valuable.

2. Responsibility of the mentee

Your role as mentor requires you to guide, offer suggestions for improvement, uncover strategies that maybe of use to the mentee and provide them with a sounding board to help them navigate to a successful outcome.  Your role here is not to take over and own the process or become possessive of the outcome.  Ultimately the mentee is responsible for the outcome which you help them facilitate on the side lines.

 3. The 4 phases to mentoring
1. Start up- People seek mentors when they are typically unable to make sense of an experience on their own, they seek mentors to guide them in these situations, to interpret their experiences for them.
2. Development- This is where you will see and hear your mentee being more independent.  This is usually the longest phase in mentoring and offers you the greatest chance to assist in enhancing their skills and knowledge.
3. Separation – This phase begins when the mentee starts to separate from you.  You can expect that they will want to do things by themselves to prove themselves and establish their own identity.  They will be looking to stand-alone. It is usually the most rewarding stage for both the mentor and mentee.
4. Common Ground – Here you will be looking to see that the mentee feels completely at ease without your guidance.  Better yet the mentoring relationship turns into a workplace friendship based on mutual respect and admiration.

 4. The mentees manager
Some specialists in mentoring recommend that the boss should not be the mentor to a subordinate.  However, some boss /subordinate mentoring works extremely well, either in the in the formal or informal sense. This works best when the culture of organisation endorses such behaviour or where the boss regards the staff development as a high performance goal in alignment with their own goals and those of the organisation. If you are not your mentees boss remember your job is to help the mentee develop and grow not to pick holes in how they are being managed.

5. Practice confidentiality
Where the mentor/ mentee relationship commonly falls apart or is severely tested is when there is a breach of confidentiality. Trust is paramount to the success of the relationship and only you can decide how much confidential matter you offer.  At times ethical issues arise in which you may consider breaking confidentiality e.g. organisational security.  At this point it is often best to refer to your organisation policies if a breach occurs.  Legally, the law of land prevails and cases of stealing or harassment, among others, must be reported.

Let Happening People help you and your people develop your mentoring skills by attending our Mentoring  Training Program.  To find out more call us on 1800 68 67 69 or visit our website www.happeningpeople.com

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Filed under Corporate Training, Human Resources, Mentoring, People Management, Positive Psychology, Professional Development