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Category: Best Advice

Become an Effective Problem Solver: Learn to Listen Better

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Insights, Quick Tips

The art of being a good listener can make you more likable and effective in the workplace. Too often people think that leadership and confidence are tied to directing conversations and taking command. Research on effective leaders shows the opposite is true. Great leaders are empathetic towards others and display finesse in harnessing others’ strengths. Knowing when to voice your views and when to hold back is an art and it requires the listener to have empathy.

Good Listening is tied to good problem solving

When you allow others to talk, you could begin to appreciate new ways of thinking. Considering different points of view could help you and your team think more broadly and critically about things to come up with better, more innovative solutions. If you want to become more effective in tackling problems at work, it pays to listen with more empathy.

Let go of the need to constantly express yourself

Research shows that active listening combined with empathy or trying to understand the others’ perspective is the most effective form of listening. If you’re always worrying about what you’ll say next in defense or rebuttal or you’re talking to much and forget what the other person said, it may hurt your  ability to interpret issues and create consensus with others. Active listeners don’t just hear words, they seek to understand what the other is saying so they can be helpful.

Click here to read the rest on Personal Branding Blog >>

 

Don’t Bring Your Boss Only One Solution To A Problem

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Good Habits, Quick Tips

Imagine you discover a significant problem at work; the kind you need approval from your boss to solve. So you work up a proposal, bring it to your boss, and wait for approval. You’re a problem solver, and that’s what problem solvers do, right? You find a problem and generate a solution.

But imagine that instead of giving your proposal the green light, the boss says “that’s a good try, but I’d like to go in a different direction.”

Now what? Many employees will be pretty irritated. (I’ve seen more than a few employees pout, backstab, become passive-aggressive, and even sabotage the boss’ solution). After all, you just created a smart proposal, with a good solution, and the only thing the boss had to do was say “yes” and let you do your job. On paper, this should have been a slam-dunk.

So what went wrong? First, we’ve got to recognize the natural desire to feel useful (something which bosses do share). Many bosses, like people in general, don’t want to be a rubber stamp; they want to put their own unique stamp onto a solution so that later they can reflect on this masterpiece and exclaim “yeah, I did that!”

Click here to read the rest on Forbes >>

20 Things Your Boss Will Love To Hear and Why

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Good Habits, Quick Tips, Rational Thought

Looking to make a good impression with a new boss or improve your relationship with your current manager? Try adding a few of these powerful phrases into your conversations. You can easily improve your standing with your boss without being insincere or being thought a brown-noser.

  1. How can I help?
    This is probably the number one thing managers like to hear. (The opposite would be, “That’s not my job.”) It shows you’re a team player and willing to pitch in, even outside your specific job duties.
  2. Not a problem.
    When your manager asks you to do something, be positive about it. Make her feel confident that you’ll address the task without her having to micromanage
  3. I’d like to learn more.
    Indicating to your boss that you’re interested in things outside your area of expertise is a great way to show that you’re serious about moving up in the company or your career. It shows ambition and even an understanding of your own shortcomings, which is appealing when you’re willing to address them.

 

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

How Your Facial Expressions at Work Can Hurt Your Career

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Personality, Quick Tips

What’s the first thing you notice about a person? It’s generally their facial expression. And when you meet someone for the first time, you’re likely to remember if they greeted you with a big grin or a disappointing sulk. First impressions do matter, and your facial expressions can affect how people perceive you. Dr. Alan Fridlund, professor at University of California Santa Barbara, says that expressions are inherently social; they give others clues to how you’re feeling.

Facial expressions can forecast how a person’s feeling: “The face is like a switch on a railroad track,” Fridlund says. “It affects the trajectory of the social interaction the way the switch would affect the path of the train.” Studies by Dr. Fridlund and others show that expressions “occur most often during pivotal points in social interactions; during greetings, social crises, or times of appeasement.” This is where your career may be affected. Because a facial expression can give insight into how a person feels, it may be influencing how you’re perceived at work. Here are three situations where showing your gut reaction through your facial expression may affect you in the workplace.

1. Greeting Someone in the Office Who You Don’t Like

Our general reaction to someone we don’t like is shown directly through the expression our face makes. Dr. Fridlund says that “a scowl may impel them to stay clear.”

Click here to read the rest on Business Insider >>

Procrastinating? 3 Ways to Find Motivation for Your Work

Filed under: ambition, Best Advice, motivation, procrastination

Is the fire in the belly you once felt for your work a flickering flame? Are you avoiding the next task on your list? It can happen to all of us. It could be you need a change in career. More likely it could mean you’ve simply lost touch with what energizes you about your role now. I know the feeling. We all do on certain days. So what do you do?

Here are three ways I restore my passion for hard work. What are yours?

1. Think less about what you have to do and more about what you can make happen. On weekends, I take bizarre comfort in cleaning a room or sweeping the yard because I can tell my efforts yielded a clear and visible outcome. I stare for long minutes at the evidence I accomplished something visible. On the other hand, a day’s work at the office can sometimes have an excruciatingly incremental quality. Maybe you tried and tried and nothing seems better or different. The hard work of progress at many jobs is scarcely evident and can wear you down unless you remember why you are grinding away at it in the first place. Worry less about what’s in front of you and more about what the end result could be. Write down where you hope your efforts will lead you and post this thought in your field of vision. Sometimes, to get through the day, you need to take time to imagine where you you are headed. For me, possibility is a great motivator.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

5 Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Efficiency, Strategy

Regardless of our background, location, or profession, there is one language that is the same, and that language is the language of progress.

Progress certainly comes from putting in the hard work, but working hard is not enough. To achieve our desired outcome, each one of us needs to find our own ways to work smarter.

Working smarter requires a combination of critical thinking, discipline, and techniques that we can employ for making continual progress.

Here are a few techniques that I find helpful:

  1. ASSESS EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

There is a saying that 80% of our accomplishments come from 20% of our efforts. So what 20% of our work is the most valuable? Once we’ve identified it, focusing the lion’s share of our time and energy in that direction creates progress.

Selecting the right success indicators to drive our activities creates the tasks we can knock out first for greatest impact. Here are three fundamentals for assessing potential for success:

Click here to read the rest on FastCompany >>

7 Things You Must Do Before You Say ‘I Quit!’

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Decision Making, Your Career

Feeling trapped in your career is a lot like being trapped in a bad relationship. You’ve invested in countless years of training and climbing the corporate ladder only to leave you wondering, “How can I possibly get out now?”

And then what if you are really good at your job, where your boss loves you, you earn a six figure salary, and you’ve been promoted, but then you’re still miserable? Leaving a successful career for something more meaningful is incredibly difficult, but it can be done. It should be done, actually, because living a life without a meaningful career can put extreme stress on you, your family, and your health.

I know this all too well because I have been there. I have been an entrepreneur and my first company put me in $350,000 in debt. Despite its failure, I was able to rise above and start a new company that awarded me with enormous financial success. But even with all that money and buying my dream luxury car, something was still missing. I was 37 years old with a wife and two kids, and our new life of luxury had painted me in a corner. I needed to start over, and find a meaningful career, but I didn’t know how.

Click here to read the rest on The Huffington Post >>

V12 Group Identifies Top 5 Trends Driving Marketing Efforts in 2015

Filed under: Best Advice, Insights, Marketing, trends

Predictions for the New Year always carry lofty expectations, but despite what we were led to believe by Back to the Future Part II, 2015 does not hold the promise of a hover board for every child, flying cars, nor self-drying clothing. It does, however, promise the next era in marketing, one where the on and off switches of business and commerce have merely been replaced by highs and lows.

The rise of the ever-connected consumer will make “always-on marketing” the predominant trend of 2015. It’s more critical than ever that companies of all sizes have the ability to acquire and retain today’s digitally savvy customers at all times and on all channels. As more platforms become available, automation will become a fundamental marketing pillar for SMBs looking to compete. Using automation, triggers, and scheduling tools, companies can drive meaningful experiences and ultimately achieve always-on marketing delivered across all channels in real time. Consumers are never shutting down, and businesses are up for the challenge.

While this is just the beginning of what businesses need to know about marketing technology in 2015, here are five trends that we expect to dominate the marketing space in the next 12 months.

Click here to read the rest on V12 >>

10 Belief Triggers that Sabotage Your Success

Filed under: Attitude, Best Advice, Career & Money, Success

Some of our inner beliefs can trigger failure before it happens. They sabotage change by cancelling its possibility! Discover how to recognize these sabotaging beliefs and learn what you can do about them.

I’m sure you’ve met him, or her. That person who says he’ll finish the project tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. Or the person who promises to call as soon as she gets home, but you never hear from her.

We know lots of people like this. If we’re a hard case, we cut them out of our lives. If we’re a “softie”, we make excuses, and try to let it go. Either way, these people, who make promises to change one day and excuses not to the next, exist.

And, we may have even done this ourselves! I know I have. For those of us who admit to it, we know our genius becomes more acute when it’s our turn to change how we behave. That’s when we fall back on a set of beliefs that trigger denial, resistance, and ultimately self-delusion. These beliefs are more wicked than excuses. An excuse is the handy explanation we offer when we disappoint other people. It is acute and convenient, often made up on the spot. Basically an excuse is a variation on “The dog ate my homework,” and these are so abused it’s a wonder anyone believes them.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Boosting Your Credibility in the Workplace

Filed under: Best Advice, Branding, Career Advice, Goals

If you want to be successful in your workplace, you need to have a balance between credibility and competence. Getting ahead essentially means being able to show that not only are you capable of doing your job, you also have the skills to level up.

Check out these tips that are sure to give your credibility a boost:

1. Tell the Truth. Always.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

Credibility and trust always go together. That’s because you get to establish trust by being honest and reliable. If you lie, it’s a sure thing that sooner or later, someone will find out about your deceit. Regardless if whether the lie you made was minor or major, people will already doubt you and will wonder what other things you’ve lied about.

Keep in mind that it’s impossible to lie and be counted as credible. Hence, make it a point to always tell the truth. This isn’t easy and it may not make you popular among those who do this but remember, you can never go wrong with telling the truth.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>