Blog

Category: Quick Tips

To Be a Better Leader, Become a Better Listener

Filed under: Leadership, Quick Tips, Self Reflection, Success

Here’s how to improve your listening skills for more effective conversations with employees and customers.

Why hire talented people and not fully utilize them?

When you start a business, you don’t need to know how to do absolutely everything. For example, if you are opening an event planning company, you don’t freak out because you don’t know graphic design. You just need to know what looks good and then hire a talented specialist to design all of your invitations. Your role as the boss is to oversee a bunch of specialists who are the best in their niche.

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Not All Advice is Good Advice

Filed under: Professional Development, Quick Tips, Rational Thought, Strategy

What to do when you don’t like the advice you have been given.

Making decisions is part of the life of a small business owner. You make so many decisions every day, it becomes second nature. As your business grows, you face challenges and decisions outside your comfort zone. When that happens, it’s wise to look to others for advice and information. Over the years I have turned to my husband, brother, employees, friends, other business owners and paid professionals for advice.

Sometimes the advice is great, and other times, it just doesn’t feel right. When that happens to you take a minute before you decide to ignore the advice and ask yourself a few tough questions.

Why don’t you like the advice?

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How to Own Your Talent, Ambition, and Success

Filed under: Attitude, Branding, Career Advice, Quick Tips

You need to own your – fill in the blanks: success, authority, confidence, power, compassion, status, role, product, influence, etcetera. Yet every time you hear someone use the idea of owning something – your talent, skill, ambition, commitment – they always say it as though what you need to “own” is self-evident but with little or no indication as to how.

I am willing to bet that most people who tell you to “own it,” if you ask them “How?” they would fill the air with nothing that can actually tell you what to do as they navigate their way past that treacherous “How?” as fast as they can.

“You need to own your…” carries with it a serious burden because it sounds really good if not essential to do, but when you try and can’t because you have no process for accomplishing such ownership you end up feeling like there’s something wrong with you.

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10 Things Not To Do In An Interview

Filed under: Best Advice, Interviews, Job Search, Quick Tips

It’s a potential life-changing event—yet so many people get it wrong. I’m talking about going for an interview for a position you really want; one that could have a dramatic impact on the rest of your life.

So, why is it that so many prospective employees don’t seem to grasp the essentials of getting the interviewer to fall in love with them and make a commitment to hire them?

While building three successful businesses I’ve had the opportunity to conduct over a thousand interviews. Let me share with you 10 common faults I’ve identified from that experience. Avoid them if you really want to get the exciting job of your dreams.

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Three Tips for Engaging Elevator Conversations

Filed under: Communication, Confidence, Good Habits, Quick Tips

Conversations in elevators can be some of the most uncomfortable and awkward examples of human communication.

Four months ago I joined the legions of human beings who ride the elevator from the lobby of an office building to the floor where their office or desk is located – in my case, it’s the ninth floor of Vancity’s head office in Vancouver. Thanks to the rise of cities and the creation of denser, vertical urban neighbourhoods, millions of people also travel up and down in elevators en route to and from home, too. Needless to say, I’m quite confident that everyone reading this article has engaged in successful, failed and downright weird conversations in elevators.

When it comes to talking to people in elevators you need split-second decision-making abilities and some skill in having micro-conversations. If you’re like my awesome friend Darren Barefoot, who is a man of many talents, one of which isn’t elevator small talk, you might want to review this article by Gretchen Rubin. Here are my three tips for engaging in great elevator conversations:

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Have a Hard Time Saying No? These Methods Will Change That

Filed under: Best Advice, Professional Development, Quick Tips, Respect

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launchedStartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

If you find it difficult to say no, you’re not alone. Many of us find it hard to put our foot down. So much of what we’re told about success revolves around the idea of saying yes: to new ideas, new innovations, and new opportunities. But becoming a yes man (or woman) can put a real strain on your productivity, creativity, and happiness.

In fact, research by the University of California in San Francisco shows the more difficulty people have saying no, the more likely they are to experience stress, burnout, and even ultimately depression. Plenty of studies have linked stress and fatigue to reduced productivity and engagement on the job.

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10 Things Extraordinary People Say Every Day

Filed under: Communication, Efficiency, Good Habits, Quick Tips

Want to make a huge difference in someone’s life? Here are things you should say every day to your employees, colleagues, family members, friends, and everyone you care about:

“Here’s what I’m thinking.”

You’re in charge, but that doesn’t mean you’re smarter, savvier, or more insightful than everyone else. Back up your statements and decisions. Give reasons. Justify with logic, not with position or authority.

Though taking the time to explain your decisions opens those decisions up to discussion or criticism, it also opens up your decisions to improvement.

Authority can make you “right,” but collaboration makes everyone right–and makes everyone pull together.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

When To Go With Your Gut

Filed under: Best Advice, Decision Making, Productivity, Quick Tips

As a general rule, gut instinct is nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite. It’s really just pattern recognition, isn’t it? You’ve seen something so many times over your life or career that you just get what’s going on without a lot of deep thinking. Gut instinct is a deep, even subconscious, familiarity — the voice inside you that tells you “Go for it now” or “No way — not ever.” We would wager, however, that the most common gut call falls in between the two. We’re talking about the “uh-oh” response in which your stomach informs you that something is not right.

The trick, of course, is to know when to go with your gut. That’s easy when you discover, over time, that your gut is usually right. But such confidence can take years.

Until that point, we suggest a rule of thumb: Gut calls are usually pretty helpful when it comes to looking at deals and less so when it comes to picking people.

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Can You Hear Me?

Filed under: Communication, Good Habits, Quick Tips, Skills

I was speechless. Untypically so.

Laryngitis left me with no voice. And the timing was horrible as I was in the middle of an important week of meetings with key customers and influencers. Try as I did, my feeble voice couldn’t break through.

With no choice but to shut up, it was time to be schooled in active listening. With no time spent worrying about what to say next, what clever quip to interject, I was able to soak up the conversation of others—to luxuriate in listening.

Too often in business, conversation becomes a race to get all of our points in before someone else can. Trampling over others to make sure our voice is loudest, our words last to be lasting.

Unfortunately, and too often, the art of listening gets lost when you need it most – when faced with bad news or too many distractions. My pet peeve is the lost opportunity of a sales call, mine included!) Maybe you’ve been here too: “We want to understand all about you, but first, a brief introduction about ourselves.” Fifty minutes later they’re still waxing on about their offerings. And then with ten minutes left, they turn to you saying, “But we need to hear from you.” You try to beat the clock, speaking faster than any human can comprehend. Connection lost, opportunities missed.

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A Remarkably Simple Way To Save Time

Filed under: Efficiency, Productivity, Quick Tips, Time Management

If you never have enough time, invest just 90 seconds in this article and you can learn how to free up space in your daily schedule.

My solution is called minus one, and it is based on the observation that each of us does a lot of things that ultimately prove to be unimportant or unnecessary. The problem is that we find it hard to recognize in advance which tasks will fail to be worthwhile,

The goal of minus one is to do less but accomplish the same, or more.

To benefit from minus one, you simply eliminate one task at a time from your schedule, then evaluate whether doing so had any negative consequences.

If eliminating the task did not cause a problem, you succeeded in saving time. If it did, just add the task back to your schedule. The risk is low, but the benefit of applying minus one can be great, if you stick to it over time.

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