Sunday, October 27, 2013

PROBLEM TEAMS

TEAMS as opposed to individuals, have the potential to bring together the skills, experiences and disciplines required in these changing times.  However, certain difficulties is faced by today's teams.

NO ROLE MODELS
Without role models, there is nobody to follow.  Often, those at the top will talk about teams, without really being able to promote the conditions for teamworking within the organizations.

NO PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT
Effective teams need a demanding performance challenge that is meaningful to all those involved.  Teams need to deliver results- otherwise why have them?  Without such challenge, where does a team start to get itself organized and how is success measured?

TOO MANY TEAMS
Teams are not the solution to all situations.  Teams are only needed when you have real problems to tackle - to which no individual can handle alone.

EMPHASIS ON INDIVIDUALS
Most organization requires individuals and not teams.  Teams are set up as a unit of performance and recognized as such however, most appraisal schemes are geared to individual contributions.

CULTURE OF COMPETITION
Teamworking is about encouraging co-operation; this will be impossible to achieve if your: (1) structure encourages internal competition and (2) organization is not built on trust.

TOO MANY PEOPLE
The larger the team, the more difficult they are to communicate with and control; the greater the danger that sub-groups will form, increasing the potential for conflict.  Size does matter.






PROFESSIONALISM AT WORK

PROFESSIONALISM is a set of internalized character strengths and values directed toward high quality service to others through one's work such as: Inner-Strength, Sound Judgment, Know-How, Business Savvy, Mature Responsibility, Problem Solving Skills, Perseverance and Ingenuity. 

Demonstrate PROFESSIONALISM at any level of work by the ATTITUDE you bring.  Ask yourself if you can answer TRUE to the following statements:


  1. I do the job to my best ability.
  2. I take pride in the job I do.
  3. People are better off because of the way I do my job.
  4. I make a difference.
  5. I start my workday neat and clean.
  6. I report for work on time and stay for my entire shift or scheduled workday.
  7. I honestly earn my pay.
  8. I treat my customers, clients and co-workers with respect and dignity.
  9. I employ good manners in my interactions with others.
  10. I respect my work and myself. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tips on How to Run a Productive Meeting

Most often good decisions and successful projects are influenced primarily by good meetings.  Here are some tips on how you could facilitate a good and productive meeting:

  • Do not compete with members of the group.  Give the ideas of others precedence over yours.
  • Listen and don't judge.  Paraphrase every statements and points and listen intently.
  • Do not put anyone on the defensive.  Assume that everyone's ideas have value.
  • Control the dominant people without alienating them.
  • Realize that your interest and alertness are contagious.
  • Keep all participants informed about where they are and what's expected of them.  Keep notes on flip charts or a board that everyone can see.
  • Check with the person who owns the problem to find out if an idea is worth pursuing of if a proposed solution is satisfactory.
  • And the most important of all... Give others a turn at running the meeting.  Those who learn to lead, learn how to participate. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE NEVER SAY THESE THINGS

There's an old saying that says, "Successful people make a habit of doing what unsuccessful people don't want to do."  This is true, now here some things that unsuccessful people usually say that YOU should avoid saying:

THEY DIDN'T get back to me or 'They are getting back to me.'   Both are equally disastrous.  Expecting someone to get back to you stops the action.  Take the initiative.

I THOUGHT someone else is taking care of that.  Excuses indicate a roadblock to action.  Always ask questions to keep things moving.

NO ONE ever told me.  Let a supervisor hear you talk this way very often and you will have made a very clear statement about the way you work.  You operate in a tunnel, oblivious to everything that is going on around you.

I DIDN'T have time.  And don't bother with 'I was too busy,' either.  If you find yourself saying things like this, you are writing your employment obituary.

I DIDN"T think to ask about that.  An inability to see down the road may indicate that you lack the ability to understand and grasp the relationships.

The only measure for success is performance.  Whatever the roadblocks, it's your job to remove them.  If not, you'll be perceived as one of them. 


WORKDAY STRESS

Stress is experienced when people feel events are not under their control, are unpredictable or confront the limits of their capabilities.  The sorts of situation which can cause undue stress are:

DIFFICULTIES AT WORK
A mismatch between the demands of the work and the level of individual capability can lead to a feeling of inadequacy and cause performance to deteriorate.

DOMESTIC AND PERSONAL PROBLEMS
A health problem, stormy relationships or family tragedy, are events which can occupy someone's mind to the exclusion of everything else.  If people are absorbed by such problems, they will not be able to concentrate on other things which demand their attention.

EXCESSIVE RESPONSIBILITIES
A need to meet stringent standards and tight deadlines puts pressure on people to take on too many responsibilities in order to fulfill their obligations.  The fear of not achieving what is required can be stultifying and inhibit performance.

The same stressful circumstances do not trigger the same reactions in people, but everyone tends to be affected in some way or another.

Monday, March 4, 2013

DEAL WITH TEAM CONFLICT

To manage conflict among team members effectively, the Alexander Hamilton Institute has these tips for leaders:

  • Ask those who disagree to paraphrase one another's comments.  This may help them learn if they really understand one another.
  • Work out a compromise.  Agree on the underlying source of conflict, then engage in give-and-take and finally agree on a solution.
  • Ask each member to list what the other side should do.  Exchange lists, select a compromise all are willing to accept, and test the compromise to see if it meshes with team goals.
  • Have the sides each write 10 questions for their opponents.  This will allow them to signal their major concerns about the other side's position.  And the answers may lead to a compromise.
  • Convince team members they sometimes may have to admit they're wrong.  Help them save face by convincing them that changing a position may well show strength.
  • Respect the experts on the team.  Give their opinions more weight when the conflict involves their expertise, but don't rule out conflicting opinions.
source: Making Teams Succeed at Work

   

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How To Be A Great Manager

Peter Stark (not related to Tony 'ironman' Stark) of 'The Manager's Advisor' suggests the following if you want to make it to top management:

DEVELOP POSITIVE VISION
See success before it arrives.  Successful managers, when walking across a 'high wire' visualize themselves walking to the other side.  Struggling managers focuses all their strengths on not falling off the rope.

THINK BIG
Successful managers look for ideas that will be contagious and excite people.

ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THEIR BEST
Successful managers believe that people do want to make a significant contribution.  Coach, counsel and develop people to live up to their full potentials.

SET AND MAINTAIN HIGH EXPECTATIONS
Mediocrity does not generate a highly motivated work force.  Always maintain a high and consistent standard for all who work with you. 

OVERUSE POLITE PHRASES
Unsuccessful managers don't seem to find the time to say 'please' and 'thank you.'  Like Barney the dinosaur always say - these are the magic words.  And it works. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Five Major Time Wasters

Here are five major time-wasting activities and behaviors.

  1. Spreading yourself too thin by trying to do too many things at once.  You must set priorities for each day and, if necessary, each hour.  Get the most important things done first.
  2. Being afraid to delegate. Convince yourself that it's not necessary to do everything yourself.
  3. Not wanting to say "NO" to requests.  Decide what you must do - and want to do - and say "NO" to all other requests.
  4. Being a slave to distractions.  If possible, have someone screen your calls and appointments.  Schedule a time to return all calls.  Plan your day wisely.  Stick to your schedule while making room for important and urgent matters that may arise.  Be firm on your priorities but make your schedules flexible.
  5. Procrastination.  Get those unpleasant chores done first - if they are important.  Divide large tasks into smaller ones.  Reward yourself when you accomplish something.
source: Dr. Jan Yager, Harris Publications


Monday, February 25, 2013

TEMPUS FUGIT (Time Flies)

Einstein said that time is relative.  It is fast or slow depending on one's position and movement in space.  He proved it mathematically.  He didn't have to.  Intuitively, people know that a day or a week is but a moment in the company of friends but that a moment decelerates, freezes and turns into an agonizing eternity in an unpleasant and vacuous company.

Let us look at how relative is time and its very importance.

In a Second

  • 8 million blood cells die within a normal, healthy adult
  • wings of a housefly beat 333.3 times
  • quartz crystal in a digital watch beats 32.763 times
  • light travels 186,282 miles
  • .22 calibre rifle bullet travels 1,200 feet 
In a minute

  • the average human heart pulsates 75 times
  • the average human heart pumps 12 gallons of blood
  • the average human male produces 138,000 sperm cells
In an hour

  • an adult male shed 600,000 particles of skin
  • for a human sperm to reach an egg
  • sound travels 764 miles (mach 1)
In a day

  • an average human adult produces 3 pints of perspiration
  • for 10 pints of blood in the human body to make 1000 complete circuits
  • one bacteria cell produces 4,700,000 quadrillion offspring by fission (in ideal condition)
In a week

  • for a newborn guppies to double its size
  • for infants to become capable of a regular flow of tears or to learn voluntary smiling
  • for a human hair to grow half an inch
In a year

  • 10 to 20 million people die of starvation
  • a pack-a-day smoker to smoke 7,300 cigarettes
  • for light to travel 5 trillion miles

5 years, a rubber tree grows large enough to tap


10 years, for Japanese artist Ryomo Hori to complete one of her minutely carved dolls clothe in handwoven costume

20 years, for a vintage port wine to reach its prime

25 years, for a car to be considered as an antique

50 years, to replace forest destroyed by wildfires

100 years, for furniture to be considered an antique

126 years, to build St. Peter's in Rome

1,800 years, to complete the Great Wall of China

2,000 years, for indian lotus seeds to lose their ability to germinate

100,000 years, for light to travel across our galaxy

2 million years, for the light of Andromeda (the closest galaxy to ours) to reach earth

250 million years, for petroleum to form

1 billion years, for coal to form

2 billion years, for iron to form

4 billion years, for lead to form

4.5 billion years, age of planet earth