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Are you the next J.K Rowling, Ernest Hemingway Or Mark Twain?

Do you feel that you have plenty of spare time to sit down and find you inner zen? Didn’t think so.

What if I told you that you are able to create a bestseller in the afternoon? Get out of here!

I know this probably sounds to good to be true, but trust me it’s not.

 

Mind map

To create a best seller in the afternoon you have to take control and canalise your thoughts. What better way to start than an old fashioned mind map?

I know that your teachers always pushed you to start your projects with a mind map, when you were just eager to get started! But, if you think about it, it’s not easy to just sit down and produce a master piece without a plan.

First of all, choose a subject. What’s your favourite hobby, biggest passion or personal specialty? What’s your unique superpower? Trust me, everybody has this. You will be surprised how much you know about a special subject when you put in on a paper. Don’t hold back, put down everything that pops up into your mind!

 

Create sections

When you are finished with your mind map you are ready to create sections on each subject that is connected to the main theme. Each section renders in to a chapter. Repeat this process over and over and over again, until you have included everything. Congratulations, you have just created the first chapter of your next bestseller!

 

Transcribe

In order to get your book done in an afternoon you have to be effective. If you are like me, talking faster than you write, then a transcribing app might be the thing for you!

 

Inspiration

I hope you feel inspired to create your own bestseller book and don’t hesitate to contact me at anytime for more ideas or questions about this subject!

I want to recommend the eBook Launch Process: A Proven System For Launching Your Bestseller. This book inspired me to write this post and gave me a lot of keys to succeed in the process.

 

About the author

Eric W. Ljungberg is an entrepreneur and consultant who is writing his own book, setting up man e-commerce store, and developing an app. www.journeyto1millionsite.wordpress.com

 

 

The biggest hurdle for any business analyst is getting their work to be used.

 

I recently reflected on the most complicated task for business analysts delivering market intelligence output to management.

After some thinking I decided that it makes sense to distinguish between things within your control and those that are not. Things within your control – e.g. collecting good data – may be challenging, but are not the most complicated. Here, practice makes perfect.

The complications start with the things you cannot control, e.g. the mind of your customer, the decision-maker.

A decision-maker may order market intelligence work to be done. However, they may also collect their own inputs, or be offered inputs by sources you do not know. Their own collection may also build up a picture of what there is to know.

It is only at the time of delivery of your painstaking work that you discover they have already made up their mind about the topic you’re reporting upon. So they may choose a decision based on data other than the facts that you have offered. How do you, as an analyst and business professional, handle that?

 

What is true in business also holds true in the world of government

We are not alone in business in facing this challenge. Keren Yarhi-Milo in her dissertation “Knowing the Adversary – leaders, intelligence and the assessment of international relations” explains how intelligence agencies and Western Governments operate in remarkably similar way to ourselves as professionals in business.

A key insight of Keren’s work relates to what is known as the vividness bias. When a decision-maker has vividly experienced new information, the impact of this experience on their perception of the topic at stake is such that they are often no longer open to changing their view.

No matter how balanced the CIA analysis provided to the US President on the intentions of Soviet Russia was during the Cold War, one short meeting of the President with his Soviet counterpart mattered more to how he viewed their intentions.

In business, for a CEO that visits a new country and sees one or two shops selling your firm’s products, this matters more to their views than a balanced market share analysis provided after weeks of intensive market intelligence work. The shops they saw for sure were not representative. But the CEO’s picture is already biased, the damage has been done. The persuasiveness of the format of the CEO’s acquisition of this intelligence (a foreign trip, a new country, a good experience, a lively host) easily beats your balanced report with many sophisticated tables.

 

How to make the vividness bias work for you as analyst

In analysis for business, I currently see two options: to get cynical or to get inspired. The first option is not great, so I suggest the second one. Why don’t we, as business analysis professionals, offer our customers vivid experiences when we deliver our content?

When did you last provide your output in video-format – in which you interviewed your customers for the top brass to see – to create that memorable experience? When human psychology relates vividness with persuasive impact, we are better off when we do not fight against it, but rather make it work for us. After all, it serves the right cause: maximizing the return on insight of your company by making insights being used to underpin your management’s decision-making.

 

About the author

Erik ElgersmaErik Elgersma is author of The Strategic Analysis Cycle Toolbook and The Strategic Analysis Cycle Handbook. He is the director of Strategic Analysis at FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s largest dairy companies. He speaks and lectures frequently at universities and business seminars on the topics of strategic analysis, competitive strategy and related data analysis and management. Erik holds a PhD from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, and is alumnus of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria.

 

 

Note

  1. The vividness bias is only one of several insights that justify a market intelligence professional to study Keren’s work: Yarhi-Milo, K. [2014], Knowing the adversary, Princeton University Press, Princeton.

 

Imagine if you knew when you were young what you needed to be doing in life in order to feel fulfilled and energised.

 

The lucky few who do know manage to make study and career choices that are ideal for them.

Sadly, the majority of people aren’t really sure. If they’re lucky they stumble across a course or line of work that they like and are good at. If they’re not so lucky they spend their work lives feeling dissatisfied and wishing they could do something else. If only they knew what that ‘something else’ might be.

According to research by Gallup more than half of UK workers say they are in the wrong career! That is not only very sad, but it’s a waste of talent and an inhibiting factor to the effectiveness and productivity of organisations.

There is a simple route to solving this. Pioneering organisations are getting wise to it and thousands of individuals are transforming their experience of work because of it.

 

The secret is strengths

We now know from neurobiology that we are who we are by the time we’re in our mid teens. After that we don’t change all that much.

So, for example, if you’re a person who loves to connect you can’t help being that way. If you’re not a competitive person but are in a sales job then no amount of coaching or training can make you into a competitive person.

Think of your strengths as something that you can’t not do. They are the things that feel like a natural part of who you are. Have a think about what that means for you. What sort of things do you naturally do? For example, are you a natural listener, do you love solving problems, do you have a strong desire to make a difference?

Your strengths as the real you. They are the things you’re naturally good at and love doing as well as those things that motivate us.

 

Using our strengths energises us

Doing what you love, having a purpose and enjoying the small things in life will help you to spend the rest of your days in ways you find meaningful and fulfilling.

If you want to know what your strengths are you can find out by working through the simple exercises in The Strengths Book. It might just change your life!

 

About the author

Sally is a writer and author of seven books and is the founder of Engaging Minds, a specialist strengths firm Her latest book, The Strengths Book: How to be Fulfilled in Your Work and Life was published in October 2017.

 

 

 

Beep…Beep…Beep…

*SNOOZE*

 

I know how easy it is to push that little button, rollover in bed and just let that wonderful dream continue before your closed eyes. You know the scenario, right?

It’s so easy to forget to enjoy and take care of those early magical hours in the morning, and for me this is when I’m the most creative and productive. So here are my top four genius ways to get up in the morning.

 

The Sound of Money

-New car, caviar, four-star daydream,

Think I’ll buy me a football team

The famous Pink Floyd song Money kickstarts my mornings when the alarm goes off. Instead of that annoying and boring old beep, this song is the perfect motivational anthem for me to fly out of bed and begin my daily hunt for new opportunities that will potentially make me money!

 

Freshley brewed Coffee

There is hardly anything that gets me more motivated to drag my sleepy body to the kitchen in the morning than the smell of perfectly roasted coffee.

In order to be able to wake up to this amazing smell you either live with a lovely partner that knows all too well exactly what you need to rise and shine or you need a good old fashioned timer.

In my case, my lovely partner is still asleep while I’m on my way to work, so the timer on my coffee machine is set up to start 5 a.m. every morning. The only preparation needed is to fill it up with water and the actual coffee the night before.

It’s even more efficient if you use one of those George Clooney-esque machines that you always (and I mean always) forget to purchase capsules for! Anyway, implement this and you will be way more at ease in the morning.

 

The ultimate goal

My ultimate goal is to buy a lake house on the coast of Florida. To be able to invite friends and family over would be an amazing experience for me.

My desire to achieve this goal is something I strive for everyday. I’m well aware that this goal is going to take time to achieve, so I’ve divided my goal in a couple of “part goals”. In this way, achieving my final goal feels more within my reach.

If you can find your inner desire and put a spark to that fire, you may find, all of a sudden, that your goals can be achieved sooner than you think.

 

About the author

Eric W. Ljungberg is an entrepreneur and consultant who is writing his own book, setting up man e-commerce store, and developing an app. www.journeyto1millionsite.wordpress.com

Heating on, curtains drawn, a Chinese takeaway and TWO episodes of a Netflix series.

 

These have been revealed as the elements of the perfect Friday night, according to Britons.

Researchers carried out a nationwide poll to reveal the ingredients for the ultimate Friday evening and discovered 83% of us will be shutting the doors and staying in tonight rather than venturing out to be sociable.

Eight in ten adults polled said they are glad the winter is here as it is an excuse to stay in.

Tasks which must be completed before total relaxation can commence were found to be:

  • curtains drawn (62 percent)
  • a tidy house (60 percent)
  • dishes washed up and put away (52 percent)

When it comes to the perfect Friday evening beverage, the nation’s men opted for an ice-cold beer to wash down their take-away, while women reckon a large glass of red is just what the doctor ordered.

Seven in ten loved-up Brits said they would like to spend the perfect night in with their other half, however 29% admitted they actually prefer having the house completely to themselves.

And £32 would be spent on food, drinks and snacks for the ultimate evening in – with PJs or comfy clothes on by 6.30pm at the very latest.

 

Social seclusion

On a perfect Friday evening, the typical adult will spend 30 minutes scrolling through Facebook, a further 13 minutes is spent scrolling through Instagram and there will be 10 minute chat with mum or dad on the phone.

Four in ten said having food delivered to your door is the very best way to enjoy a night in and over half said the heating must be cranked up.

Nearly a quarter of those polled said a night in wouldn’t be right without a real fire and half insist on locking all the windows and doors in order to be able to truly relax.

“As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, you just can’t beat a night in,“ said spokesperson for Anglian Home Improvements, which commissioned the study.

“This research shows that treating yourself to your favourite food and drink, and chilling out in front of the TV is a great way to unwind after a long week at work. It’s important for Brits to seek comfort in cosy nights in, and so many of us enjoy creating the perfect environment for spending quality time at home.”

 

SOURCE: ResponseSource

pressreleases.responsesource.com/news/94371/

Regardless what you think of New Years resolutions, they are pretty common.

 

And for good reason too. To many people, the new year constitutes a natural starting point for something new.

A recently published study by Dai, Milkman and Riis at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that the reason why so many of us keep thinking of New Years resolutions is that the turn of the year is such a clear divider between ‘before’ and ‘now’. We resolve to change and behave more to our liking as soon as the new year begins.

 

We are better now than before

It seems as if we often ascribe our less constructive habits and qualities to a former self, and the more desirable behaviours we want to develop to our present self, which might come of use in our business. We used to be a business that ‘did that’ (did things in that less constructive manner that we now want to change), but now we are a business that ‘does this’ (the more desirable alternative).

 

Have more New Years in a year

It is such a shame that we have to wait 12 months for each New Year, since we so seldom get to relaunch ourselves and start afresh. We are of course free to make a fresh start at any given moment, but if we still perceive New Years as a very distinct divider between now and then – how can we experience the same effect throughout the year? Well, we could start by having New Years more often.

In the study I mentioned the researchers found that even though the New Year is a particularly clear milestone, there are many other occasions that could potentially serve as a new beginning as well, such as:

  • When we turn 30, 40, 50, …
  • The first day at your new job
  • The day the new organizational structure of the company becomes official
  • The first date of the split financial year
  • When you get a new office
  • When you have finished the old project and commence a new one
  • The first day back at work after your ski trip, Easter holiday, staff conference, or something else

 

If we want to make a change and establish some form of better habit for our structure, we can always find a milestone of some kind and set the new habit into action after it passes.

 

Do this

If you want to try and see if a clear milestone would make it easier to relaunch or have a fresh start, then do this:

• Choose a habit you want to begin with. Perhaps it is being on time to more of your meetings, using the activity-based advantages of the office more then you usually do, check your inbox for new emails less frequently, prioritise more consciously, or something completely different.

• Take a look in the calendar and find an occasion or event that can act as your New Year, your milestone in time at which you begin the new regime. The greater the contrast and break this event constitutes to your every day life, the more effective the milestone will be in distinguishing the old from the new. Events that occur for the first time will be perceived as more meaningful than those which happen regularly (such as turning 40 compared to 31).

• Write down your ‘vow’ to yourself, meaning, what you have decided to do in a new way after the ‘New Year’, and that will be significantly different from how you used to do things.

• Take a few minutes to think about what you need to do now to prepare for behaving in that new way after the milestone. Will you need to remind yourself of the new thing or working method once in a while? Create a template? Make a cheat-sheet? Rearrange things you usually have right in front of you when you work? Do something regularly from now on?

• Formulate to-do-tasks that describe what you need to do, or make the changes or preparations immediately.

 

Start again

If you fall back into old habits and ‘fail’ to keep your promise to yourself, identify another natural and distinctive milestone and start over. Remember, you don’t have to wait twelve months for the opportunity to try again.

If you celebrate the New Year, start afresh and have another go at whatever change you want to make more frequently than every 12 months, you will have many more opportunities to refine your work methods. It will not matter as much if you fall back into old habits, since you can just get back up and begin again. By having to start over with the new habit again and again, you practice your resilience and ability to get back on it, which is an invaluable skill to have in an increasingly changeful world. And with every restart, you refine your work method further, which will benefit both you personally and the organization you work in.

 

Source: David Stiernholm, author or Super Structured

David StiernholmDavid Stiernholm is a trainer who teaches thousands of people every year in companies, government authorities, organizations and universities how to become more structured and attain a higher degree of personal efficiency.

 

Super Structured

“Information overload”, “too much going on”, “full email inbox”, “too SUPER STRUCTUREDmuch on your plate”, “heavy workload”, “ASAP”, “piles that keep growing”, it has to get better soon… Yes, there are many ways to describe the chaotic life many of us lead at work. But, if we create a better structure at work, we will have more time for what matters most to us and to our business. Super Structured is based on a highly successful training program and is for anyone who wants to create a workday that runs smoother and with greater ease. In short chapters with useful advice and tips

 

Many words that use the suffix ‘holic’ conjure up fairly harmless connotations.

 

Being a chocoholic or a workaholic are rarely considered life-threatening, or at least to the extent of their alcoholic counterpart. I mean, how can doing a lot of work be negative?

But the correlations between all kinds of compulsive behaviours, whether working or drinking, remain the same. They often involve a strong fixation on the next satisfaction of that urge, whether it is the next drink or the next pay raise. In spite of how productive a compulsion it may seem, workaholism can have a negative knock-on effect on everyone around.

 

Work, work, work

Functioning workaholics, just like alcoholics, rely on excuses to explain their behaviour. They will look for any way they can to justify their actions and dismiss the need for change, using these techniques as defence mechanisms to keep themselves and their loved ones assured that everything is alright. “Just one more” is a common thought process, be it referring to emails or whiskeys.

Work is the centrepiece of the workaholic’s life, meaning everything they do has to be related to and defined by their job. Work is their first thought when they wake, and the last before they fall asleep, and phones and laptops are tools of the trade when it comes to enabling and feeding this compulsion, extending working days from the early hours to late into the night.

A workaholic’s compulsions are the main focus of their lives; with all other events and commitments taking second place and often suffering, with work constantly distracting the workaholic from any other matter. They may miss important events, avoid certain topics by constantly bringing conversation back to work, or keep checking for work-related correspondence. They are often blind to the goings-on around them, with their peripherals continually shrinking and their focus being set on a distant goal that they never really hope to reach.

 

Skewed priorities

Compulsion is a key characteristic in the functioning workaholic. Never ending preoccupation with work-related matters and not being able to fit every commitment in is all part and parcel of the addiction; juggling tasks and calling off non-work-related events in order to make room for more work, or arriving late to one meeting having left the last one late are all classic behaviours of a functioning workaholic.

The need to carry on working regardless of other commitments, lives very separately to any logic that would normally apply to the average day at work.  Because of the workaholic’s fixation on ‘next’, no amount of completed tasks or praised jobs will slow the pace or implore the workaholic to rest and appreciate their achievements. The focus will forever be on what comes next. Because of this, workaholics find it difficult to take praise for their work, as it is a sign of there being an end in sight. Even if only a temporary one in the form of an evening or weekend, and this is what workaholics are constantly running from. Decreased or suspended work pace is a workaholic’s nightmare, and is exactly what keeps them from enjoying their own success.

Similar patterns of deterioration can be observed in both workaholics and alcoholics, and these behaviours can be dangerous, so must be monitored. Good healthy function as a human being involves getting enough sleep and minimising stressful influences.  Stress is the fuel of the functioning workaholic, and this constant panic is what keeps them going, even if they don’t see it as a bad thing. Problem is, this can quickly take its toll on a person’s health – both physical and mental – and lead to a downward spiral of medical problems from stress-related headaches and chest pains to malnutrition and depression, this makes delivery more difficult if at all possible.

 

Recognising the problem

One of the main problems encountered by both workaholics and some of those around them is that work is never seen as a damaging activity. As already mentioned, the term workaholic is likely to be taken as seriously as the term chocoholic by the average person, indicating a behaviour that the person should probably wind in a little, but is highly unlikely to kill them in one go, the way a drug overdose could. Because of this, any attempts at intervention or even conversation are often unsuccessful, as the workaholic sees their compulsions as a good thing, something to be proud of. They put in more hours than anybody else, meaning they work the hardest, which makes them a good employee, maybe even a great one. Workaholics and those around them often fail in equal measures to see the real danger of workaholic behaviour.

The fear that drives a workaholic – of having to slow the pace or even stop because they have reached a goal – eventually leads to a burn-out, at which point both their body and their mind are exhausted and incapable of carrying on at the same rate. Demanding the slowed pace that workaholics fear, burn-out can trigger catastrophic knock-on effects, reaching friends and family, the workplace and financial stability. The company reputation a workaholic strives so hard to uphold can even suffer if they become too unstable. The compulsion to keep working at a constant rate makes workaholic burnout an inevitability, where someone who strikes a healthier balance between work and home is far more capable of carrying on at their job.

From an outside perspective, people often fail to recognise the damaging effects of a workaholic’s behaviour, and at first managers and colleagues may even encourage it. As the reality of this behaviour sets in and those around the workaholic come to be more familiar with the chaos workaholism brings; they soon come to realise that it is not a healthy or sustainable way to work. The foundations begin to crumble. Managers will soon tire of excuses for this chaotic working style and the problems it causes to both the individual and the team. Groups that contain a workaholic often fall apart and colleagues begin to worry and even make excuses for the workaholic and their behaviour.

 

How to change

Although the chaos may be concerning, sometimes managers and HR departments resist addressing these issues in case it shakes up the workflow irreparably, and often concede that dysfunctional work is better than no work at all. Unwilling to risk a drop-in productivity, managers may neglect to give a workaholic the support and management they really need, unwittingly allowing that burn-out point to be reached. Lack of decent management often plays a crucial role in the decline of a workaholic.

When working with a workaholic, it is important to find a healthy balance. If, when working flat-out at 70+ hours a week, they turn out mediocre results that don’t do them justice, imagine what could be achieved in a standard 40-hour week at a more sustainable pace, with a little more structure. There are techniques that can be applied, in small steps, to adapt a workaholic’s behaviours to make them more constructive for the business and less stressful for the individual. Functioning workaholism is not a healthy lifestyle; the earlier it can be identified the better, and the more likely teams are to be able to alleviate the strain of it.

 

About the author

Margo Manning is a leadership coach Margo Manning, author of The Step Up Mindset for New Managers. In the last 15 years, Margo has been delivering talks as one of the UK’s top Leadership and Management Coaches and Facilitators. Margo is the architect of the 3:2 Management Model and subsequent 3:2 Management Development Programme that is delivered and adopted within many businesses, large and small, nationally and internationally. She has worked with new managers through to senior managers in companies such as Golden Sachs, Hobart Lovells, Brunswick Group, Tower Hamlets Homes, Aon, Balfour Beatty, Kantar and many more.

Team performance isn’t just about the quality of the employees on the team.

 

Much of it comes down to how that team is managed. A good manager can take a group of good employees and lead them to tap into their greatest potential. They can also take teams that seem to have problems and get them turned around in the positive direction.

To some people it might seem like this is an innate skill, but there are things that any leader can do to improve team performance. Below you are going to find the seven tips that you can use to boost employee engagement and productivity.

 

Regular Check-ins

You can’t wait for the day before a deadline to check on the status of a project, and you shouldn’t wait for yearly employee reviews to talk about performance. When you meet with your team regularly, you get a better idea of their overall performance. Just checking in to see how people are doing and to get an update on the latest project goes a long way in keeping performance on track.

 

Be a Coach

If you have hired the right people, you don’t need to operate in a commanding management style. You have competent employees that are capable of learning and growing.

Instead of being controlling or micromanaging everything your team does, be more like a coach. Be supportive and provide your employees with guidance and the appropriate feedback. However, be conscious of granting them autonomy where appropriate so that they can grow independently in their roles.

 

Ask Questions

Questions can be a good way to open a dialogue and are an important tool for learning more about your team. You can find out about where they are succeeding and where they are having trouble. You can also gain insight on team morale, and can reveal strategies that will help you to be a more effective leader for the team.

 

Try these questions the next time you meet with your staff:

What do you need to be more successful in the future?

Is there anything that you would change about the way the team works?

 

Establish Accountability

As the leader of the team, you have to make sure everyone is on the same page and that everyone knows his or her responsibilities. If you don’t communicate the goals and expectations to the team, you can’t hold them accountable. Make sure every employee understands their responsibilities and the standards that they are expected to meet.

Equally important is for you to hold yourself accountable. An employee will look to you as a role model, and i f they see that you do not share the responsibility, they are less likely to do the same themselves. Accountability starts with you.

 

Build Trust

A team can’t perform well if people don’t trust each other. Your employees have to be able to trust their fellow team members, and they need to have a strong relationship based in trust with you.

Having open communication is a good way to start building trust. Get your employees to share their feelings about the job. Let them know that you respect their opinions, and are willing to listen to what they have to say.

 

Give Recognition

People want to get noticed for their work. Let your employees know that you recognize their efforts. When a project is done, express your appreciation for the work they did. When you see an employee exceeding expectations, tell them that you recognize the quality of their work and you value them as a team member.

 

Make Meetings More Effective

Managers should plan for every meeting. Whether it is a one-on-one with a single employee or a meeting for the whole team, you should gather information and plan the points that need to be addressed.

Before a meeting even starts, you should know all of the information that you want to convey to the team, and you should have a list of questions concerning any feedback that you want to get from your employees.

 

About the author:

Rae Steinbach is a writer for www.15five.com. After graduating from Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree, she spent time living and working abroad in China, before returning to pursue her career in NYC. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

 
Twitter handle: @araesininthesun

Despite the title, this is not about fighting the flab.

 

Instead, let’s look at another important wobble which occurs at key times of the year. The one where people feel dissatisfied with their lot at work and start to look around for other jobs – or at the very least feel their commitment waver.

After holidays, people’s thoughts can drift, so it’s crucial that leaders think about how to reengage and refocus their employees. For those of us interested in employee engagement, post holidays are ‘red flag’ times of the year, when we need to be especially attuned to what people are thinking.

 

Post-holiday blues

It’s not massively surprising – we have probably all felt this wobble to some degree at different times in our careers. Some will have reflected on their lot over a break, and decided to move on. Others will find the change of pace returning to work a challenge and more still will just need time to get back into the flow. Given this, leaders can play a key role in reducing the wobble and accelerating the rate at which people become match fit again.

The first task is to refocus people, remind them where the organisation is headed, recap on strategic messages and review successes so far. This can take place at several levels – the CEO in some organisations sends out a video message and/or stages a series of town hall meetings to reiterate priorities and give an overview of the challenges and aims for the coming year. This can often be supported by a reminder of the big successes of the previous year – those crucial reasons to believe which help people see that progress is being made. This helps establish a sense of momentum and continuity and provides a useful context for local discussions.

 

Positive conversations

These local conversations are crucial. Most leaders make a team meeting a priority in the first week back so they can rekindle the team’s spirit, highlight what its members need to do to play their part and restate objectives. Such a session helps everyone get up to speed quickly. More informally, an early team session serves as a great opportunity to spot issues and concerns and give people an opportunity to be listened.  Sometimes, just having the conversation can be enough to reassure people – often when people have doubts or questions, being heard can go a long way to help people deal with them.

A quick half hour informal one to one discussion with no rigid agenda can also help highlight issues and remind people that they are valued and an important part of the team.  For some with big teams, it’s a heavy investment of time, but one that many find invaluable. Our experience is that one to ones can be the jewel in a leader’s communication crown, but because they are so resource hungry, they must be used sparingly.

 

Casual reinforcement

Informal communication – casual conversations in corridors, around the coffee or water machines and at meals – is also a vital communication tool in the leader’s kitbag at any time of the year..  Being visible, available and interested helps build trust between leaders and their teams and enables them to keep a finger on the pulse of the organisation. When people are freshly back from what can be a long time away, it can also help highlight issues and give people a chance to ask questions and raise issues.

It can be hard to get informal communication right for some leaders as it can feel slightly forced and unnatural to start a conversation. Those who do it well ask questions about what people are making of what is going on, what issues they are facing and how they feel about the coming year.  The balance is much more on asking questions and listening than attempting to push messages at people. If leaders start to collar people to recite a lot of key messages, it won’t be long before their teams work out ways of avoiding them.

 

About the author

Matt Stephens is the author of Revolution in a Heartbeat and founder of Quest, a consultancy that aims to help businesses achieve their goals through inspiring leadership, developing culture and building engagement.

It seems that more people will be avoiding the pandemonium in retail stores during Black Friday by doing their shopping online.

In fact, 90% of people aged 18-44 who are planning to make Black Friday purchases will do so from the comfort of their home or desk, according to research from YouGov.

The online survey was conducted on behalf of Black Friday Deals Online, a website that works by connecting consumers with stores and brands participating in the annual discount day.

“Black Friday is a time of year that induces excitement and dread in equal measure. While the prospect of receiving great deals just before Christmas is an exciting one and means people can get some great price reductions on things for their loved ones, the thought of heading to overly-crowded stores filled with ruthless shoppers can be a daunting one,” said Preeti Vadgama, Marketing Director of Black Friday Deals Online.

Black Friday originated in the US in 1952 and is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping period. Since its inception, it has moved over to the UK and now many high-street stores get involved in the discount day by offering shoppers great rates and astounding price drops on goods and services.

While Black Friday was originally contained to just one day in late November, it now spreads across multiple weeks, with some retailers reportedly planning to start advertising deals as early as the first week of November.
SOURCE: ResponseSource