Tag: Leadership (page 1 of 8)

The Importance of Humor in a Leadership Position

When asked to name quintessential leadership qualities, most folks will mention strength, courage, wisdom, and compassion. These are all important attributes, but there’s another key social skill that is often overlooked. Humor, or the ability to make people laugh, is the oft-forgotten quality.

A serious leader who never cracks a smile will have a hard time connecting with employees. They’ll struggle to build the warm, human relationships that strengthen a team. Humor is the balm that loosens up the meeting room and allows true connections to take place. Here are four concrete benefits of using humor to boost leadership.Build Trust

Would you trust a person who never laughs? It’s difficult to acknowledge your shared humanity with someone who’s hopelessly serious all the time. When employees see that you’re a full-fledged person just like them, they’ll find it easier to trust you.

Encourage Open Dialogue

If your meetings are too serious, then it can be hard for people to break the ice. Your employees might have questions, concerns, or ideas that they’re too nervous to express because of an overly tense atmosphere. Just by cracking a joke, you can lighten the mood and invite people to speak their minds.

Improve Employee Morale

A serious workplace is rarely a fun place to be. When employees feel they have to check their sense of humor at the door, they’ll be counting the hours until they can go home and return to their normal selves. By making it clear that laughter is encouraged, you’ll make everyone happier to be in the office.

Boost Performance

When you use humor to your advantage as a leader, you create a better working environment. This, in turn, makes your entire team more productive. Collaboration will increase as people truly enjoy working together in the lighthearted atmosphere you’ve created. People will work harder because they’ll be pleased with their working relationships. All this will improve your team’s overall performance.

Running a business is a serious matter. That’s why you should get serious about injecting some humor into the workplace. Not only will it make you a better leader, but it will also make your job (and everybody else’s job) a lot more fun.

 

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How to Support Generation Z in the Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in the workforce, but Generation Z may be getting hit the hardest right now. They may not be in the most danger of dying from COVID, but their lives are being disrupted at the worst possible time. The younger members of Generation Z have had their educations disrupted, and the older members have had to enter a workforce that is unlike anything we’ve seen before if they can find employment in the first place. Things will be hard for them, and it’s up to you as an employer to support them during this trying time.

Focusing on Skill Development

Since young people’s training and education have been so thoroughly disrupted by the pandemic, employers will need to focus more on on-the-job training for their Gen-Z employees. This may not seem like a big change, but it will involve being patient with your youngest hires and prioritizing intergenerational mentoring in the workplace. It might also mean extending orientation periods across the first year of employment to make up for the training and education a new hire might not receive thanks to COVID.

Stress Management

Generation Z has reported higher levels of anxiety and depression over the last several years, and that only stands to get worse during the pandemic. Unfortunately, not many employers have put measures into place to address the effects of stress on their employees. That will have to change as younger people enter the workforce. This can include support groups for those who are just starting out in their careers and coaching interventions to boost their confidence. Being a new hire is hard enough, but it will be even harder for those who feel the pressure to succeed despite not being able to receive the training and education they need.

Emotional Intelligence and Understanding

Thanks to everything that has been happening this year, Generation Z might be more vigilant to the emotions of others in the workplace. This needs to be taken into consideration by their employers and older coworkers. There is an unfortunate tendency to belittle and underestimate younger generations and how they perceive the world, but they are the future of your workforce, so respect their emotional intelligence and understand they are just as capable as anyone else even if they will need to go about things differently than you did.

Tips for Conducting Effective Interviews

Interviewing is an activity that most businesses devote a lot of time to. It involves exchanging information between two individuals looking to fill a job opening, promotion, special tasks, or other inquiries. It also provides employers with a chance to delve deeper into the skills and qualifications of candidates.

How to Prepare Effectively for Interviews

Every interviewer’s main aim is to find the best-suited person for a particular task or job. It is therefore important to prepare in advance by following the tips below:

Prepare Relevant Questions

The preparation process of an interview takes up the most significant part of the process. Coming up with a list of interview questions takes up time, but it is a necessary step. The questions need to be aligned with the job requirements and the organization involved. Follow-up questions can also provide more details than some of the canned, rehearsed responses.

Prepare for Candidates’ Interview Sections

Interviews should generally be a two-way street. Candidates should be encouraged to ask questions about the company. Excellent candidates will ask intelligent questions about:

  • Ongoing and future projects
  • Expectations of the company
  • Culture of the company

How to Conduct an Interview

Many interviewees go to an interview filled with fear and anxiety. The interviewer is responsible for guiding the conversation and making the candidate feel encouraged. There are various ways to do this:

  • Support interviewees by nodding while they try to bring out a point or answer a question
  • Repeating phrases or rewording questions to sound more rhetorical
  • Using meaningless expressions such as “Umm…” when seeking an emphasis on a point

An interviewer uses his questions as a tool to develop information. The questions should be in a particular order and a broad pattern. It allows candidates to respond with the information they feel essential.

The information gathered from interviews is analyzed from an objective and subjective view. The content presented is confirmed through questions. Interviewers also try to assess the attitude and feelings of candidates.

Conclusion

Many interviews fail due to simple mistakes, such as failing to document what is discussed. Collecting this valuable information can help come up with follow-up questions. It also helps discover mistakes and errors that may have been previously missed.

Leadership Lessons from the CEO of Waze

If you haven’t heard of the hit app Waze, I’ll quickly break it down for you. Waze is a company and app for your smartphone that makes driving easier. It can tell you about potential traffic delays, give you the most optimal route for getting to where you wanna go, and even allow you to set up carpools. Like any successful business, it took time and hard work to get where they are now. They didn’t always make the right decisions or handle situations perfectly while on their way to the top. Noam Bardin, the CEO of Waze, has learned a lot since Waze first began, and understands that the lessons he’s learned can be used to help other entrepreneurs succeed in their endeavors, especially in a world where we’re living with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few leadership lessons from Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze.

Early Adopters Aren’t Always Helpful

When it comes to releasing a product into the world, such as Noam did with Waze, you’re going to have early adopters who are on board for the concept and those who tend to wait it out and see what those early adopters have to say. Noam believes that while early adopters are great, they’re not always as helpful as you might hope when you’re trying to determine the needs of a wider audience. You’ll likely have to work hard in order to bring early adopters on and it’s important to stay vigilant as making that leap from early adopters to a mainstream audience is where things really begin to escalate in difficulty, especially as something that an early adopter loves about your product may not work for a wider audience.

Be Willing To Let People Go If They’re Not Cutting It

When first starting your business venture, you may bring on a small team of passionate individuals to help you reach your goals and make your dreams a reality. While that small group may be integral to your business now, remember that this might not always be the case. For example, you may have a team member who performed exceptionally well when your company was only made up of 15 or so individuals. Once you become larger, it’s possible they just won’t perform to that same capacity. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses in the business world, so you have to be willing to let a teammate go if they’re just not the right fit for your business any longer.

Take Your Time Discovering Your Passions

When you’re in your 20s and fresh out of college, you’ll likely be thinking about your big business plan that’s going to set you up for life. Noam believes that at that age, you should take the time to find yourself and what you’re passionate about instead of focusing on your career. You may find that what your original business plans are something you don’t care about at all, and instead create a vision of something you’re truly passionate about.

Building an Office Culture That Will Last

Having a positive culture in your company office is one of the most important parts of success in today’s business world. Employees all over the world constantly leave their jobs in order to seek a space where they’ll truly be appreciated and feel like more than just a body. When your office has a strong culture, employees are more motivated which can ultimately lead to better performance and productivity, which can only be good for your business. But how does one go about creating a strong, lasting office culture?

Open Communication

One of the most important features of company culture is open communication between leaders and employees. Leaders need to be transparent. Transparency builds trust, even in the worst situations. While the idea of giving your employees bad news can be stressful, it shows them that you trust them with this information. This, in turn, will make them trust you. When there’s a sense of trust between leaders and employees, everyone will be more motivated to work their hardest and be open and honest with one another about what is or isn’t working for the company.

Get Everyone Involved

Organization involvement is great for building a positive culture within your office. When everyone is involved, they feel like they’re truly part of a team and that their voices matter within the company. This, like having open communication, can make employees more motivated to work their hardest in order to help the company succeed. Give your employee’s leadership positions that give them new responsibilities, such as being a project lead. When trying to make decisions that affect the company overall, get your team involved, and ask what they think. Hearing multiple perspectives is a great way to help a company grow and employees will know that their opinions matter.

Invest In Your Employees

A great way to build a lasting, positive culture within your office is by investing in your employees. This means helping them grow their skillset and pushing them out of their comfort zone in order to help them succeed further. This is a great way to not only motivate your employees but help them grow into a role they may have thought they couldn’t take on. This is great for both them as an individual and for your company, meaning they can take on new responsibilities that can bring your company further.

Fostering Self-Discipline as a Leader

When you’re in a leadership position, not only do you set an example for all of your subordinates, but you’re also responsible for a lot more than the regular employee. It stands to reason that you should be good at disciplining yourself so that you can attain more of the goals that you have set out for yourself. In fact, fostering self-discipline will not only make you happier and help you reach your goals more quickly, but it also helps you set out some of the best examples for your employees so that they too achieve more, thereby making everyone around them more successful and helping your company thrive. Here are some ways that you can get yourself in the habit of using self-discipline.

Work on Your Weaknesses

We all have shortcomings, but developing self-discipline is about learning how to overcome them. It’s easy to do the things that are fun or come easily for us, but it’s a lot harder to develop the skills in areas where you struggle. If you want to be more productive, you should work on your weaknesses because they’re often a lot easier to overcome than what you might think. Plus, you’ll reap the rewards many times over when you show yourself and your employees that it’s possible to move past weaknesses.

Make Goals and Execute

If you want to know where you’re going, you need a road map with destinations. Making clear goals is easy for some, but you need to be able to put it into practice. Write down your goals and the steps you’ll take every day or week to accomplish them.

Don’t Cut Yourself Short

Some people think that there’s a limit to how long they can do something or how hard they can work. Those people often put limits on themselves, and then they only live up to the caps that they’ve arbitrarily placed on themselves. Give yourself plenty of room to grow by not putting caps on your willpower and ability to work.

If you’re trying to develop self-discipline as a leader, it’s a worthy goal, and you’ll probably find that you’re living a happier life when you do because you’ll achieve your goals and inspire your employees to achieve theirs.

What Failure Can Teach You About Leadership

As a leader, failure likely seems like the scariest thing to happen to you. Nobody enjoys failing but when you fail as a leader it hits harder than usual. This is probably due to the fact that you’re leading a team of people, and you may feel as if you’re letting them down. The thing is, failure is often necessary in life, whether you’re a leader or not. Failure teaches us valuable lessons about ourselves and our roles, and allows us to move forward with new insight which can ultimately shape our career and our future as a human being. No matter how hard you try, failure is ultimately inevitable and it’s important to understand what you can learn from it. Here are a few things failure can teach you about being a leader.

Don’t Get Complacent

When you’re succeeding as a leader and your business is doing well, it can be easy to put autopilot on and go with the flow. Why would you want to take a risk when things are going so well? The truth of the matter is that your complacency can be your downfall, and stop your business from ever truly growing. In this situation, a failure of some sort will end up being a slap in the face and help you realize that complacency isn’t always good. While risks can result in failure as well, they are all ultimately learning experiences, and you’re better off having that experience than letting things ride out as they are.

Appreciate Your Role

When you fail as a leader, you ultimately begin to open your eyes to what it is you do and how you make a difference not only in your business but for your team as well. This can help you get a better understanding of what your role is in the company and the difference you make everyday, which can ultimately make you want to become a more effective leader. Your team and your business rely on you to make the right decisions and realizing that will allow you to have a deeper appreciation for your role as a leader as well as the other leaders you work with in and out of work.

There’s Almost Always A Second Chance

One of the most important things you’ll learn about failing as a leader is that failure doesn’t mean it’s the end. Second chances are all around you, and you even if you fail doesn’t mean things are over. Understanding that you have a second chance will allow you to look at situations and opportunities in a new light and ultimately lead you to seizing success with those new opportunities.

Great Leadership Podcasts

Being a leader can be difficult. Not only do you have to properly lead a team of any number of individuals, but you must be prepared to lead them through difficult times as well. Problems can arise at any moment and it can be more stressful than you may believe. Luckily, there are ways to learn more about how to lead properly and oftentimes the best way to do this is by listening to other successful leaders. Many of the most successful leaders have a tendency to share their own knowledge and the stories of how they got to where they are, whether it be through books, interviews or podcasts – a very popular method nowadays. Here are a few great podcasts worth checking out hosted by successful leaders looking to help others in their own success.

The Go-Giver

If you’re looking for something bite size, look no further than The Go-Giver, hosted by Bob Burg. Bob Burg is a fairly popular leadership speaker who used to be a television personality and highly successful salesman, and eventually went on to write a book with the same name as this show. The main concept of both the book and the show is looking at how providing value to other people is the best way to live and work. As a leader, this means being there and doing whatever you can to enhance the lives and work of your team. Episodes are usually no more than 30 minutes in length, typically beginning with a brief thought and then a 15 minute interview with another successful leader.

Growth Think Tank

Formerly known as Leaders in the Trenches, this show is all about having conversations with leaders, for leaders. Host Gene Hammett is a leader and entrepreneur with years of experience who has seen both success and failure in life, and chose to share those experiences and his knowledge with high-performing leaders around the world so they can achieve greater success. Each episode of the show features deep-dive discussions with leaders from all over the world and each conversation is focused on helping listeners create new strategies so they can succeed and expand their own knowledge of leadership and various other skills involved in leadership.

Beyond the To-Do-List

No matter how hard a leader works, sometimes that work just doesn’t pay off. In this show, host Erik Fisher discusses all of the aspects of productivity in leadership and how to choose the right tasks and do them properly. You’ll learn all about how other leaders both fail and succeed when it comes to their daily goals in both work and life, and you’ll obtain the skills to move forward and make sure your hard work pays off both at work and in your personal life.

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. 

 

How to Stay Focused While Working From Home

Working from home can seem great at first, but it may get a bit more difficult as time goes on. Staying focused and making sure you have a productive workday from the comfort of your own home is a lot harder than it sounds. Luckily, there are a few things you can do throughout the day to help boost your productivity and keep you focused.

Take a Walk

One of the simplest ways to improve your focus at work is to just take a break and go for a walk. Take a pause from work and leave your desk for a while. After hours of staring at a laptop and sitting in one place, the body can start to wear down and your mind will easily lose focus. To make sure this doesn’t happen, stand up for a bit or take a walk around the block. It’ll improve your work and your day drastically.

Get Moving in Your Seat

When you’re not on a break or walking around, you can easily do some exercises while you are working. Engage in some seated exercises to get your blood flowing and keep your mind focused. Easy ones to try are neck flexion, upper trapezius stretch, strengthening shoulder shrug, chest bicep stretch, and more. If you’re going to spend all day at your desk, doing these exercises can make it easier and more comfortable for you.

Designate a Working Space

Be sure to pick a spot in your home and make it your designated working area. Even if you don’t have a desk, use the kitchen table, a chair in the living room, or even sitting on your bed. Just make sure to set it up in a way to assign it as your work area. And use it for only that If it feels too much like home, it can make staying focused a lot harder. By having a designated area, you are more likely to stay in the workflow and keep up your focus. 

Set Up a Schedule

As you work from home, keep a detailed schedule for your day and make sure to follow it. Don’t just wake up, roll out of bed, and get to work two n=minutes after your alarm goes off. Set up your morning routine just as you would if you were heading out to work instead of working from home. Schedule in your breaks and write down goals for the day so you know what needs to be done and how much time you have to do it. This will allow you to have a more productive day.