Monday, September 19, 2011

How to build the world's best teams

There are no great companies, only great teams.
Your products can be copied, your strategy too. What customers value in the long-run is the level of service and innovation your teams provide. And the more great teams you have, the stronger your organization will be. It's that simple.
What isn't simple is how to cultivate breakthrough teamwork. How do you get people to work together effectively?
For the past few decades researchers have buried themselves in research that reveals the drivers of human performance. They even commissioned a 350,000-person study to measure the characteristics of the most productive teams. Here are just a few findings that might change the way you think about your work teams:
Great teams have a clear cause. The great teams studied all had a noble cause, and more than that, they had extreme clarity about that cause. When they asked 10 people on a great team to list their raison d'ĂȘtre, all 10 used identical distinctive language, such as, "We will be the hospital of choice in Dallas by making raving fans of our patients and their families." How would your team fare with this exercise?
Effective teams foster caring. Engaged employees, who care about the organization, are happy to pick up extra shifts, own problems, be creative, and so on. In fact, the research shows that the number of engaged employees in your organization increases by a whopping 17 percent when people feel they are part of a motivating team, receive regular peer-to-peer recognition, and understand how their team impacts the larger organization.
Great teams have rules. The most productive teams live by a set of rules, and they hold each member accountable for honoring those rules. They have culled the various down into the three most common: Wow, No Surprises and Cheer. In short, great teams commit to being world-class with every interaction with clients and each other; they believe in open communication with a commitment to not surprising each other or customers; and they agree to cheer for each other with a healthy dose of recognition for great work.
Here's one teamwork exercise: Ask yourself the following questions about your team. And then ask these questions of your team members. They can reveal your team's potential for breakthrough results and where you are finding resistance.
Who on our team can't you cheer for (and why)?
Who do you feel isn't cheering for you on our team?
Yes, these questions may lead to some tough conversations among your team members. But no team can perform together if they aren't cheering for each other.

By Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Knowledge Taught Only at the School of Hardknocks!

If this redhead could download hard learned lessons to someone so they would not have to learn the hard way - Here are just a few!

1.       CYA – If you don’t, no one else will.
2.       Be Honest, when you start lying where does it end?  Then you start to forget what your lie was, just be honest!
3.       Don’t say anything about anyone that you would not say to their face.  Don’t be naive enough to think it will not get back to them anyway, so be prepared to face the subject of your comment at anytime.  An easy way to make this a comfortable discussion, remember if you wouldn’t say it to their face don’t say it behind their back.  It most surely will come back around, it always does.
4.       Choose your battles, being a redhead I have the fiery temper and passion that comes with the red hair.  So I am very careful to choose my battles, some battles are lost before they begin, some battles don’t really matter if you win or lose, some battles only make you look like an idiot, so choose the battle that can be won gracefully, that matters when it is won, and that can improve you or those around you.
From Your New Favorite Redhead!!!!

Great Tips for Speaking In Public - Everyone Gets Nervous Sometimes

Speaking In Public:
·         Be persuasive.  – Make people feel safe, and know the information you are about to present is in the audience’s best interest to know.
·         Ask yourself – So what?  What is the worst thing that can happen?
·         Get listener buy in
·         Put yourself into an optimistic state.  “When people recall a time when they were happier and more articulate, they become happier and more articulate.”  Barbara Walters
·         Forget about yourself, this is not about you.
·         Focus on them – “When People let go of themselves, stop thinking about the way they look or sound, and become more invested in what the audience takes away, they become powerful presenters.”  Malcolm Knowles:  The Adult Learner:  A Neglected Species
·         Be real:  Perfection isn’t possible.  “We don’t trust people behind know-it-all masks……the people with whom we have the deepest connection are those who acknowledge their struggles to us.”  Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach
·         Never, never, never de-value yourself!  No disclaimers!  (This really is no big deal, I know this probably isn’t right but, I’m embarrassed to even mention this, this may be a stupid idea, I may be the only one who interpreted it this way, but….To my knowledge/As far as I know.

Convey Confidence:
Use Notes.
Have back up.
Choose your power position (stand up)
Move away from the lectern or podium.

If, is a very powerful word.  Rebuttal with yes, and……….
Don’t worry about looking stupid, make your audience comfortable

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some Really Great Quotes!

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."  Mae West

"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results."  Albert Einstein
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." Oscar Wilde
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." Dr. Seuss
"This life is what you make it. Not matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth."   Marilyn Monroe
“Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything.”  Marilyn Monroe
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."  Albert Einstein
"Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect." Margaret Mitchell

Perception - Pertaining to Parenthood

Early Sunday morning babble from your new fav Redhead:

This morning while eating breakfast, I sat in my kitchen reading my son's college essays.  He is quite talented at writing and expressing his opionions and ideas, though I am not sure if he fully sees his potential.  My daughter begins her journey towards her masters at the end of this month, and she too is very talented at writing. 

I have been told I can write one hell of an email, one that can sting, make a point or even just give direction when needed.  In years past, there were few that could or would even respond to some of my emails.....maybe because they felt there was nothing to gain or add.  But hopefully I have been able to teach by example the art of writing and expressing your thoughts well to my childeren.

After reading my son's essays this morning, he did have a few quotes I recognized as mom originals.  Which made me somewhat proud, but it also gave me a glimpse of the perception my 21 year old son has of his monther.  I am very proud of both of my children and I am happy to say I have a great relationship with both of them, while I wish I could say the same of their father.  He has no clue what he is missing out on, and probably never will catch on.  I am happy to report from the essay's and past coversations with both of my kids, the perception is that I did a pretty good job as a mother, confidant, role model for bravery and strength, and at trying to be a good person overall.  Perception is crucial I have learned over the past year, and I think the pereption of your offspring should be as crucial as the perception of your team.

Perception is beginning to regain strength and ease among my vocabulary once again.

Just my two cents - Your New Favorite Redhead

Perception - Truth Will Always Win Out!

Your New Favorite Redhead Has More to Share:

1.       Be there for others, not pushy but just be there.  Spoken or unspoken, they will feel your presence.
2.       Never say “I know how you feel”, if you have never been through the exact same situation.  Do say “I can only imagine how you are feeling right now”.  When someone is going through a difficult situation, they do not want to hear you say you know this or know that.  They want to feel your sympathy and concern, but sometimes there is just no way anyone can know how you are feeling and hearing someone say they do know can be the final straw.
3.       Remember that karma is real, no matter what religion you choose to belong to.  Karma can be called the ying and the yang, the what goes around comes around, the you get what you sew, the every action has an equal reaction and so many other things but it all boils down to the same thing.  What you do today will come back to you, and this has been proven so many times over.  It is hard to believe that people still do the things they do knowing this.  Do they think they can outsmart this?  Do they think this doesn’t apply to them?  Do they think they are not accountable in some fashion for their actions?
4.       Bad things do happen to good people too.  The next time something bad happens to you, and you are asking the age old question of “why me?” remember that bad things do happen to good people too.
5.       Find something good in every person you know or meet, it may be harder with some than others but you can do it. 

Your New Favorite Redhead Needs You To Be Sincere When Using These Tips!!!!

Managing People vs. Managing Processes

Managing people is very different from managing processes.  Managing people is a challenge, there will people you don’t particularly like, there will be people you find annoying, there will be people that might smell (which doesn’t affect me, since I have no sense of smell), there will be people that do not know how to filter their innermost thoughts before speaking, and there will be those people you absolutely think the world of.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but ensuring that all of these people get the same amount of attention, same type of assurance and encouragement when needed is not always easy. 

Keeping your personal lives separate from your work can also be very tricky and can become a stumbling block in a career path.  I would suggest that when feeling the need to share something personal, share it with someone outside your team or department.  It seems to keep things much cleaner and tends to put a stop to misconceptions that may arise. 

My personal opinion is that managing people can be more exciting, everyone is so different and there is always something you can learn from each and every person.  Take the time and make the effort to learn something from each one, they will enjoy getting to know you a little bit as well as getting a little of your time.  Also let that person know when you learn something from what they have said, a Manager does not need to pretend or claim to know everything.
Just the 2 cents of Your Favorite New Redhead!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Perception can be dangerous!

With me being a redhead and having all the traits associated with red hair, I used to say “I don’t care what people think about me, I get my job done and I can’t help it if they don’t like me.”  I think most people in the workforce including management has said this at some point in their life, but we sometimes learn the most and best by our own fumbles. 
Perception not only means what other People think of you, it means so many other things and those things are what takes us time to learn.   As a member of any management team perception not only pertains to how well your team likes you, it is tied to much deeper feelings than just liking someone.
·         Respect – this cannot be demanded, it has to be earned.  Earned by showing you know what you are talking about, and showing you can do the job as well as tell a subordinate how to do the job. 
·         Honesty – You show yourself to be honest in all ways, lies just muddy up the water.  But sometimes the “unknowns” can be interpreted by your team as dishonesty.  They can feel you are lying by hiding details or issues, this may not be the actual truth or fact but this is where perception can be as important as any truth and more important than any actual fact.
·         Open – You should be an open book, at all times.  This can be very difficult, but can be so important.  If there is something that cannot be shared or discussed, then it is appropriate to identify that as confidential information.  Management can not always share everything, but what can be shared should be shared.