Tag: workplace (page 1 of 4)

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. 

How to Spot a Bad Leader

Having a strong leader to effectively run a team or business can make or break success. Leaders are what drives a business forward, but they can also be what holds it back. This is why it is so important to know how to spot a bad leader. While there are definitely obvious ways to know when someone is a bad leader, there also characteristics or habits that can fly under the radar. Here are the best ways to spot a bad leader:

 

Without Vision

An effective leader will always have their mission in mind and know exactly how they want to portray that to their team. Bad and ineffective leaders often lack vision. Without vision, there is nothing driving them forward. A leader without a vision is often aimless and will ultimately fail. In order fo the team and the business to be successful, it’s important to have a clear vision or purpose in a place that everyone is aware of.

 

Too Fearful

In business, you have to know when to take a risk. Without taking any risks, there is no way to ultimately find success. A leader who fears too much is not going to be able to lead the business. There are certain decisions that need to be made by a leader and if they are lead by fear, nothing will ever move forward. While a leader shouldn’t be completely fearless, it’s important to sometimes take a risk to reap the rewards.

 

The Know-It-All

One of the worst things a leader can do is thinking they know everything. No matter how high you are up in the business, there is always something that needs to be learned. Whether it is a new leadership strategy and a business theory, it’s important for a leader to recognize they do not know everything. A know-it-all leader will never be willing to learn which can lead to their ultimate failure. 

How to Build a Successful Team

Being put into a leadership role comes with a lot of responsibility, especially if you do not even have a team first. When building a team as a leader, it’s up to you to find the most qualified individuals to be successful. Even though there is a lot of pressure and the task may seem daunting, there are a few tips you can follow to help build your team:

Letting Others Lead

This may sound counterproductive but, this is a great way to build a strong and successful team. If you already have one or more members on your team, let employees make their own decisions and take the lead on projects. By doing this, you are encouraging them to become more self-sufficient and productive. Giving them the independence to develop their own problem-solving and analytical skills helps you as a leader take on the bigger tasks and trust them to carry out their work. 

Determine The Leader in You

Think about what type of leader you are while developing your team. Try to really look into yourself to determine whether you are empathetic, kind, strict, laid back, or anything else that affects the way you lead. Once you know the type of leader you are, you will have a better chance of understanding the type of team members that will thrive under your leadership. 

Establish Team Values

When building a team, it’s important to remember what your core values and goals are. Think about the purpose of why you are building this team and what you want to accomplish. Hire members that share the same values and who will work hard to see the team’s goals fulfilled. As your team builds, make sure they are staying true to these values and how they’re job performance effects this.

Focus on Communication

Once you have your team assembled, it’s important to do all you can to keep it functioning like a well-oiled machine. The best way of doing this is through effective communication. Make sure there questions, comments, and concerns are always heard, welcomed, and honored. When a team feels that they are heard, they work much better, On your end, don’t be afraid to voice what needs improvement or to give credit where credit is due. Effective communication can make or break a team’s strength.

Leadership Strategies to Grow a Small Business

A leader’s work is never done, especially in a small. There are always new and undiscovered ways to improve your team and your business. As a leader, it’s important to always be open to new strategies that can boost productivity. If you stick to the same ways and routine, it can quickly lead to unengaged and unmotivated. Here are the greatest leadership strategies to grow a small business:

Honest Vision and Communications

Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to improving the performance of your team. When you start a business or are helping to lead one, there is always a vision in mind. To be a great leader, you have to express that vision every day through your work and how you communicate with your team. This means always staying on message and communicating with your how their work is a crucial part of this vision. Be honest when they have questions about their work and always stay on message.

Always Be Realistic 

Some leaders will make the detrimental mistake of setting very unrealistic goals for their team. They think shooting for such high standards will motivate them to try harder. It can actually have the opposite effect and lead to employee burnout which can have a negative impact on performance and productivity. Instead, keep the goals achievable, but also a bit challenging. When your team knows the goal will take hard work but isn’t impossible to achieve, they will work harder and improve their performance to help grow your small business.

Give Them Space

The last thing your team needs is a micromanager. Instead of delegating every detail down to the very last memo, give them the chance to prove their work on their own. Your team is not incompetent and they know how to do their work. By giving them space to perform their job, you are empowering them to be great. Of course, always be there for help, questions, comments, and concerns, but at a safe distance to help them flourish on their own. In the end, it can lead to better workflow and a stronger business.

Time Management Tips for Leaders

As a leader, one of the greatest tools you can have for better performance and productivity is time. Time can make or break the success of your team. The more responsibility you take on as a leader can easily lead to the loss of time management skills. Going through daily tasks and some things taking more precedence than others, it’s easy to fall behind and get caught up. These are some easy ways to improve time management as a leader:

Set Your Goals First

The first and most important step to managing your time better as a leader is setting your goals first. Think about how you want to improve your team and what tasks need to be done first. Choose the goals that are top priority and stick to those. Not only will this help put a lot into perspective, but it will also help you keep track of your progress and track what needs to happen next. 

Create a System

With goals in mind, it’s time to think of a proper system. A good system for time management is the quadrant time-management system. This system divides your tasks into four quadrants based on urgency and importance. Things that are not urgent or important must take the back seat, while other tasks that need your attention first. By creating a system for managing your time, you will have a greater chance of succeeding.

Plan for Interruptions

When planning out your next weeks, days, or months, be sure to set aside time for speed bumps and interruptions. One big mistake many leaders tend to make is not preparing for setbacks, especially when it comes to managing their time. It’s important to not jampack your schedule and leave room for any mishaps along the way. If there happen to be no setbacks of interruptions, then you’re ahead of schedule. 

Delegate Your Attention

As a leader, there are many people and tasks that require your attention. When getting back on track and making an effort to manage your time better, delegate your attention. It’s important to get a sense of things that need your immediate attention and what can wait. If your team in bombarding you with questions and interruptions, make it clear that some of the questions will have to wait until you and the rest of the team are back on track. Know what needs your immediate attention first and what can wait. This will make you a master of time management. 

Why Leaders Can Feel Overwhelmed

Many people think of leaders as invincible, that they know all of the answers, and never become overwhelmed. But when it comes down to it, leaders can become stressed just like any other team member. From feeling incompetent to not having accountability, there are many reasons why a leader may be feeling stressed. Today we will be looking into why leaders can feel overwhelmed in the workplace.

Leaders can be reluctant to ask for help. 

As a leader, you are usually the go-to person when it comes to answering questions and most of the time you are expected to know the answer. But sometimes leaders have question and feel hesitant about asking for guidance. Many leaders feel that by asking for help, they will seem incompetent in their role. So instead they internalize their stress as they struggle to come up with the right answer.

Leaders feel like they can’t be authentic. 

Many leaders feel like they can’t be themselves while at work. They feel as though they have to “fit a mold” or portray an ideal image. Thinking about your every step and constantly analyzing how you are saying something can be quite draining.

Leaders try to hide their fears. 

Leaders have many fears and anxieties. People on the outside looking in, don’t think of leaders are afraid of anything, but they couldn’t be more far from the truth. Leaders are often afraid of change, failure, and upsetting others.

Leaders can feel defeated by challenging personalities. 

Not everyone in the workforce is looking out for you. Sometimes leaders have to deal with people who purposely keep them out of the loop. Without the right information, wrong decisions can be made, making you look bad. Someone who is sabotaging your work and blocking you out can easily make you feel overwhelmed.

Leaders can become exhausted.

When you are put in a leadership role, in addition to carrying your own weight, you carry your entire team’s. This can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Exhaustion can claim even the strongest leaders and make them want to quit.

Leaders feel like they can’t count on anyone. 

When there is a lack of accountability with your team, a lot of stress can form. If team members are not finishing their work, a leader may feel like it’s up to them to finish everything that needs to be done.

Remember that as a leader, you are never alone. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Earning Respect From Your Team

Earning the respect of others can be a challenging task to conquer. Although it may be difficult, it is not impossible. Earning with respect starts with you. You need to treat others with the same respect you desire, in order to receive that same respect back. When someone enters a role of authority they will often believe they are entitled to respect based on their past experince or current role. This could not be further from the truth.

Rather than being a leader who demands respect, implement these few tips to earn respect from everyone on your team.

Be consistent.

If you say you are going to do one thing, but then do something entirely different, your credibility will dramatically decrease. As long as you follow through on your actions and don’t become a hypocrite, you will find that your team will support you along the way.

Be on time.

Making your team wait on you will drive your respect levels into the ground. Time is valuable, we only have so many hours in a day to accomplish what we need to do. Missing a meeting or showing up 30 minutes late shows that you do not care about the lives of others.

Be there for your team.

In today’s world, there are so many ways to get in touch with someone, from Twitter to Facebook, to Skype, to texting, to Facetiming. With so many channels of communication open, make it clear which one is the best way to get in contact with you. When you have decided which communication method is the best, don’t leave your team hanging. When someone messages you or asks you a question, try responding within 24 hours.

Don’t forget to forgive others and yourself.

Mistakes are completely natural and will happen from time to time. And that’s okay. Be sure to create an environment that encourages your team to experiment and emphasizes that failure isn’t always the worse thing. Be an example of how to bounce back from failure and keep moving forward.

No matter if they are wrong or right, show respect. 

When someone’s plan goes wrong, don’t point out their failure. This can be embarrassing and make your colleague feel unworthy. Instead, comfort your colleague and work together to see where things didn’t go as planned. Likewise, don’t be jealous or mean when someone succeeds. Success should be celebrated, don’t make a team member’s hard work seem insignificant.

 

 

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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Leadership Tips From CEO’s

No company is as good as its leadership. In order to steer your team in a productive, efficient direction, proper leadership qualities must become habitual. As a leader, this process means finding a comfortable equilibrium between employee happiness and workplace initiative. The key is finding ideas that can stand the test of time while upholding a constructive purpose.

However, since the basics of leadership tend to be obvious and broad, it can be hard to think outside the box for new ideas. Here are a list of leadership tips you may have missed–taken from some of the business world’s top CEO’s.

Transparency is vital

From JPMorgan Chase CEO and chairman, Jamie Dimon

By maintaining a transparent workplace for your employees, you will subsequently instill a culture of strong trust and mutual understanding. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon recommends sharing information such as financial performance and strategy as much as possible–doing so will prevent your employees from thinking you are hiding information from them.

Assign a theme to each work day

From Square CEO and Twitter chairman, Jack Dorsey

While balancing responsibilities from two separate leadership roles, Square CEO Jack Dorsey likes to assign themes to his work days, devoting each day to a different type of work. By adopting this philosophy, you may be able to strengthen your prioritization skills while making a habit out of mental compartmentalization–a skill that is bound to serve you well in other aspects of your role as a leader.

 

Be willing to redefine everything

From Alibaba CEO,  Daniel Zhang

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang likes to compare workplace redefinition to the advent of the iPhone. “That’s one of my favorite examples of how a single innovation can change everything,” he told Fast Company. “The future isn’t invented by analyzing the past. Leaders have to be fearless in questioning what we think we know.”

Zhang’s analogy is spot-on when applied to the daily decisions that come with a leadership role. Quality leaders are more than just bosses and rule-setters; they are the spearheads that are expected to absorb new problems, even those that feel newfangled and uncomfortable, and diffuse them so that they can be managed and applied to the company or initiative’s best interests.

 

Plan far ahead

From Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn

This tip seems like a no-brainer for leaders, but proper leadership comes with an important moral: no amount of planning is too extreme or bloated. Take Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has been known to plan for work as far as 15 months in advance. This practice can be adopted gradually, but its positive impact will surely be felt by both you and your employees when there may not be time to plan in advance.

 

Try avoiding work during flights

From former Evernote CEO, Phil Libin

During his time as Evernote’s CEO, Phil Libin would use flying as a chance to catch up on lingering work. However, in an interview with PC Magazine, he revealed that he eventually stopped this habit altogether, opting instead to watch movies, play video games, and rest. As a result, he found himself exiting planes feeling refreshed and relaxed.This story could serve as an extension to a key rule of thumb for any worker: take breaks.

Take time to do something mindless–you might see progress in your work life as a result. Being a leader does not necessarily mean you have to live a no-fun life. The best leaders are able to keep a healthy balance of fun and work.