Tag: communication (page 1 of 3)

Using Storytelling to Build Stronger Remote Teams

After the outbreak of the coronavirus, working remotely has become the new normal and many businesses are opting to let their employees continue this practice. Communication between leaders and their teams has been extraordinarily comprehensive and, at times, creative. One of the most powerful forms of communication is storytelling, which has been a part of human culture since our beginnings. We’re all hardwired to respond positively to stories, so why not use that to build a stronger team even if they are working remotely?

Storytelling Forges Positive Connections

Most good stories involve emotions everyone can relate to. Use stories as an ice breaker or as a kickoff for a meeting. As we tell stories we become more animated and invested. The more stories the team shares, the more trust the team will build collectively. Telling stories that have an impact, even if it’s just a smile, will allow the team to trust one another, be more open, support each other, and strive to collaborate more effectively. 

Use Stories to Combat Isolation

No matter how introverted a person is, isolation gets to all of us at some point. Knowing you have a strong team that is just a click away can do wonders for a person’s mental health. Letting others share their self-isolation experiences in a safe and open environment through storytelling allows them to feel they aren’t alone and others are going through the same frustrations. After assessing everyone’s mental space in a meeting you can reach out to individuals, if needed, to assist them further. 

Always Come from a Place of Truth

Even when your team members aren’t in the same room, they can tell when something isn’t genuine. Always keep your stories as authentic as possible to build up trust and comradery even if it’s a simple “For me, a typical day looks like…”. You don’t have to go to great lengths to make your team think you have everything perfectly together. Show your team it’s okay to need help, so you can forge more positive relationships and make your team stronger than ever. 

Allow All Team Members to Contribute

Some members of your team may be excited to share their stories while others may be more shy. Create an online environment where everyone is encouraged to speak and no one person dominates the conversation. Everyone should know their input is valued within the team. Allow a different person to share a story each meeting to ensure everyone gets equal opportunity to speak. 

 

Ways to Foster Belonging at Work

The human sense of connection is incredibly important: it impacts our health and productivity. While it may seem that belonging only matters in our personal lives, research conducted by the leadership development startup BetterUp indicates that workplace belonging is key to employee well-being and organizational functioning. Exclusion can beget both pain and psychological ailments. 

BetterUp found, among other statistics, that employees see a 56% increase in job performance when they feel like they belong. Furthermore, belonging benefits workers’ careers, since those who felt highly connected received twice as many raises and were 18 times more likely to be promoted in a six month period. Cofounder and CEO of BetterUp Alexi Robichaux states that the most important assets to your company are your people. “Belonging should be at the heart of every human capital strategy.” 

If you’re not sure how to do that, here are some strategies that came out of their research.

Create Allies at Work

A powerful solution to prevent feelings of exclusion is to add an ally to the team. Having an ally can counteract the 25% productivity loss seen in those who didn’t have one. This can be as simple as having someone who acknowledges and includes you. Peers make for very effective allies, and fortunately, there is no hierarchy to allyship: anyone can be an ally. 

Encourage Healthy Interactions

Psychologists Jane Dutton and Emily Heaphy coined the term high-quality connections (HQCs) to describe interactions that have a positive impact on our lives and work. In a high-quality connection, each person reciprocates positive regard and care, and as a result, both feel valued. HQCs play an important role in close relationships but also have the power to unlock meaning in less intimate interactions. These interactions can be brief and emotionally neutral, but the key is that they happen regularly and are not negative. 

Leading Younger, Junior Employees to Excel

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3 Ways to Recognize Millennial Leaders in the Workplace

3 Ways to Recognize Millennial Leaders in the Workplace

3 Ways to Recognize Millennial Leaders in the Workplace

Members of the Millennial Generation are coming of age, joining the workforce and preparing to lead our society as we continue make progress in the 21st century. Millennials have entered corporate America at a great disadvantage in terms of economic adversity, diminished prosperity and political dissonance; thus far, however, they are holding their own.

The time has come to recognize Millennial leadership, and there is a lot to like in this regard. Millennials tend to embrace technology and diversity. They are also connected and in touch with social issues; they seek validation in relation to their opinions and are resourceful for the most part. Millennials enjoy lifelong learning processes and feel very comfortable working in teams.

Here are three observations that business owners and executives can apply for the purpose of recognizing future Millennial leaders:

1 – Spotting Quiet and Natural Born Leaders

Quiet and unassuming leaders have emerged throughout history mostly because their peers have sought their leadership. One of the keys to recognizing these quiet leaders is by taking into account their small accomplishments, which tend to be numerous. Another trait of these leaders is that they listen and read more than others; in the case of Millennials, who are known to be chatterboxes on social media, quiet leaders mostly take time to read updates and act upon them as necessary.

2 – Intelligent Feedback

For the most part, Millennials are not afraid of voicing their opinions on just about everything; this is part of their social process. For this reason, employers should provide their Millennial staff with tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, which combine the best of corporate communications with project management and social media features. Reviewing the feedback and messaging threads on these tools can help employers spot budding leaders by focusing on team members who provide constructive criticism, respond to every interaction, analyze with intent, and give praise when it is wise to do so.

3 – Assimilation of Corporate Culture

The norms and expectations of a business enterprise define its culture. Observing how Millennials navigate corporate culture can provide a glimpse into their leadership potential. Employees who seem to embrace corporate culture should be encouraged to participate in planning and operational meetings where they are invited to provide their personal input. If their ideas are in line with company culture, they may be ready to take on a more prominent business role with greater responsibilities.

5 Key Tips for Introverts In Leadership Positions

5 Key Tips for Introverts In Leadership Positions

5 Key Tips for Introverts In Leadership Positions

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Our society has a habit of coveting and catering to the extrovert, leaving the introvert to feel less capable. But the truth is, some of the best thinkers throughout history were introverts. Introverts can be highly effective leaders. The reason introverts often feel they can’t lead is because some of the tips given for leadership don’t cater to them. Here are a few leadership tips for introverts:

1) Tell Your Team What to Expect

While introversion can be a positive quality in a leader, not all employees are used to it. It’s a good idea to let your team members know directly if you are going to do things differently than what they are used to. For example, if you don’t like having meetings as frequently as your team previously did, let your employees know that that’s how the team will be operating. Explain why you think it would be beneficial for you to spend more time on individual work. Let your employees know they can come to you with questions or concerns at any time.

2) Prepare For Meetings

Even if you intend to have fewer meetings that other leaders held, you’ll still want to have a few. If you aren’t prepared for these meetings, you can get overwhelmed and as a result communicate in a way that is not very effective. In order to make the meetings as productive as possible, get ready for the meetings before hard. Write down some thoughts or prepare an agenda. You can even create a presentation to help you stay on task.

3) Have One-on-One Meetings With Employees

If you don’t like having frequent team meetings, make sure you schedule one-on-one meetings with each member of your team. This is a beneficial way for introverted leaders to have effective communication with employees. This will allow you to get input from everyone on your team instead of just from the people who are likely to talk in meetings.

4) Listen First and Talk Second

One of the best leadership qualities associated with being an introvert is being a good listener. Too many people in the business world speak without listening, so introverts have a leg up on the competition in this regard. If you want to be viewed as a respected leader, put those listening skills to use. Actively listen to your employees, your coworkers and your clients. After processing what they have told you, provide guidance and answers that you feel will keep the company moving in the right direction.

5) Notice Your Employees’ Strengths

Chances are you’re not the only introvert on the team. You don’t want your employees to overlook your strengths, so make sure you don’t overlook the strengths of some of your employees who may be wary to socialize or share their thoughts. When you take the time to recognize the strengths of each team member, you will be more able to give them the right tasks. When you assign people the tasks they’ll do best, the company will be able to make more progress.

Being an introvert in the workplace can be tough, and it can be even more difficult when you’re in a leadership position. Don’t ever feel that your introversion makes you an incapable leader. If you follow the steps on this list, you’ll be able to lead your team to success.

 

The Importance of Improving Leadership

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Top 3 Skills of Exceptional Leaders

Top 3 Skills of Exceptional Leaders

3 Essential Ways to Improve Leadership

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Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase discussed the most effective ways to become and maintain leadership in his most recent conference appearance in New York City. Below are Dimon’s top ways to achieve a higher level of leadership.

1. Transparency

In order to build and foster a culture of trust between leaders and other employees, Dimon makes a point for leaders to not only share much of the information with others, but to also not engage in hiding bits of valuable information from employees. Interestingly enough, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase that the two way conversation of sharing information is the key when it comes to cultivating this trust relationship.

As a means to include employees who both may feel as though they are in the dark about certain business related initiatives, sharing information such as strategy or the company’s changed financial status is an effective, inclusive way to interact with your employees

2. Deal with problems as they arise

Leaders should also consistently encourage open communication among employees regardless of the situation. Basically, no one should feel uncomfortable to express their thoughts, concerns, or problems at any given time.

Speaking up during a team or company wide meeting sparks internal discussions that can improve a certain situation or prevent a problem. Dimon reaffirms that as a result of leaders fostering a comfortable environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to speak up, this will create a more open dialogue company wide.

3. Understand your business

With the constant changes and mishaps in any business, it can be common for leaders to be out of touch or even disconnected from the needs of their employees. While this is a difficult to achieve, it is important for leaders to connect or touch base with employees of all levels or departments to gain a better understanding of how the organization can improve.

“You don’t sit in your office by yourself and somehow you make big decisions because you read something carefully,” Dimon said. “Talk to your people. … Ask them what you can do better.”