Tag Archives: leadership

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How to continue team building from a distance

With working from home being the new normal for many office workers, it is now more important than ever to ensure employees are remaining engaged and are communicating with each other.

Managers must work to input appropriate measures to keep team morale up and to keep everyone happy and productive all at the same time. This is no easy task, but we’ve got some ideas for how you can virtually team build with your team.

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How to be a good remote leader during a pandemic

During an uncertain and difficult time for many businesses and individuals, there has never been a more crucial time or need for strong leaders.

With the rise of remote working and a change in routine, many leaders are now stepping into unchartered territory which they must navigate in order to drive their team forward. When it comes to virtual management, one size does not fit all and so we must adapt to support workers in the right way.

Here are some quick wins to get you started and to help you be a strong leader.

Identify employees that may need additional support

Every business is full of different personality and working types, so through lockdown and self-isolation, it is time for you as a leader to identify those employees and personality groups that may need some support.

Whilst you should check in on all staff members regularly, some employees are more prone to burnout, distraction or high-stress than others. Work-life conflict will be at an all-time high during lockdown situations, so helping your employees to separate the two is important.

In some cases, to allow employees to switch off from their regular workload you might consider offering access to online courses as well as therapy sessions or peer mentoring.

Be aware of the fear of change

Some people prefer stability, and this is a fact. Some people even thrive on it and the consistency it brings with it. As a result, the fear of change is is a very real thing and something that you should be conscious of.

At times like these, the uncertainty of the unknown being combined with a change in routine can really set people off.  To counter this, try to keep your team constantly in the loop and express how working from home is benefiting employees and the business as a whole.

Communication is key at all levels

As we move further into lockdown, people are going to start getting a bit fidgety and missing the human connection that you get when you are in the office. This is particularly the case for those that are extroverts and crave human attention and communication.

During this time, it’s important for you as a leader to stress the importance of communication between employees regardless of what position they hold. Encourage team lunches, chatting over coffee and regular meetings over video conference.

Whilst this doesn’t quite make up for the real thing, having informal chats as well as formal meetings where you can see people’s faces will make all the difference to everyone’s morale. Seeing another friendly face can help people get through the day and feel a little less alone or isolated.

In the meantime, why not have a think about some fun team activities that you can get up to once the pandemic has passed us by. You can find out more on our Team Building Events page.

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Breaking the ice: successfully integrating a new employee

If your company has recruited a new employee, it can be difficult to welcome them into the team without introducing them to each member of staff one by one. A great way to make them feel welcomed is to arrange a team building event. By doing this, everyone can have fun and get to know the new member of the team without being obliged to sit in a circle and awkwardly slur a sentence about themselves.

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Why You Should Try Something New

In business, it’s common for people to stick with tried and tested methods, or follow certain processes. Often, they don’t do this because it is the most efficient way; but because historically that is just how things have been done.

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How to motivate your team in 5 simple steps

Being able to motivate your team in the right way can have a big impact on the performance of the team and the general atmosphere in the workplace. To help you motivate your team, we have outlined 5 simple steps to follow to help give your team a bit of a boost. 

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What to remember when investing in team building

Team building hasn’t always had a good reputation and often the phrase “team building” leaves employees cringing and wanting to run for the nearest exit. Despite its reputation, team building is a really important investment for businesses. It gets teams away from their desks, builds trust, encourages communication and highlights attributes of team members.

There are some key things to remember when doing some team building though.

Don’t make it feel like another day in the office 

The most successful, memorable team-building events are ones that don’t feel like a day at the office. Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal  allows any employee bonding to happen more naturally than if there is a huge corporate focus on the team building process.

 

Ditch the routine

It can be tempting to do the same thing each time to keep the routine and to save time trying to organise another event, but trying new things with your staff can generate some more excitement and good energy amongst employees, which in turn benefits the business itself.

Choosing something unique and slightly outside of people’s comfort zones can encourage the team to encourage and support each other in new ways. Forget the annual picnic and broaden your horizons.

 

Team building is an investment, not a splurge

Whilst you aren’t expected to spend thousands on team days out, you shouldn’t skimp either. You should spend some time thinking of ideas that the whole team will enjoy and invest a good amount of money making sure it will be a day that will create a buzz and get everyone talking.

It’s important to make your team feel valued and appreciated and to show them that they are allowed to have some fun.

 

Keep the positive energy going

Instead of letting motivation and excitement fall flat straight after your team building session is over, think of ways that you can keep the energy flowing. This could be anything from starting your week off with better and more energised weekly meetings to purchasing new artwork to brighten up the office. You want to create opportunities for people to interact with each other outside of a meeting room.

By getting employees to communicate, this could open up discussions that lead to ideas for your future team building days.

 

Team building has so many benefits for businesses. If there has been laughter and lots of discussion between your team, then it’s likely you’re on the right track to successful team building.

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Use Ikigai to improve your outlook on life and job satisfaction.

 

Many people work at jobs just so they can afford to live, eat and survive. The majority of us also experience some sort of feeling of dread in the hours of Sunday evening all the way through to the start of your work day on the Monday. The Japanese theory of Ikigai suggests that you are only dreading going to work because you haven’t got enough balance in your life. If you were to align all of the elements of Ikigai, then it wouldn’t be such a problem to go into work on Monday morning.

Craftsmen, teachers and farmers seem to have found their Ikigai. They are pursuing a career in the thing they enjoy and are passionate about creatively. Also, a lot of people have become successful in other jobs without ever finding their ikigai.

 

Let’s get started on finding your ikigai. You must first ask yourself these four questions:

  1. What do I love? (Passion)
  2. What am I good at? (Profession)
  3. What can I be paid for? (Vocation)
  4. What does the world need? (Mission)

Here is a visual representation of the concept of Ikigai and how you can fit your own answers into a balanced and happy life for yourself:Venn diagram showing the elements of ikigai as they merge into a wheel

In the book “Ikigai the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Hector Garcia and Fransesc Miralles, they state the 10 rules to follow when in search for your own Ikigai.

  1. Stay active and don’t retire
  2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
  3. Only eat until you are 80% fill
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
  6. Smile and acknowledge people around you
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your ikigai

 

Many people feel that Ikigai is the secret to living for longer. This is because whilst japan has their fair share of natural disasters, their life expectancy is among some of the best in the world. Due to this it has become clear that whilst eating healthily and exercising regularly are important factors of living a long life, so it having a clear sense of purpose.

Take Jiro Ono as an example of this. At the age of 92, he is currently the oldest Michelin chef in the world. He has had the passion to create the best sushi for most of his life and each day he seeks to improve on the day before. He believes that he still hasn’t mastered it.

 

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How Valuable Is Your Job?

 

David Graeber, the anthropologist, recently published a book which stated and unraveled why up to 40% of us secretly think our jobs aren’t necessary or could easily be done by a software or mechanism.

To back this theory, a survey carried out by YouGov in 2015 found that 37% of people believe that their job makes no “meaningful contribution”.

Alongside many wonderful facts and theory’s, we are reminded of John Maynard Keynes’ 1930 prediction that by the year 2000 due to technical advances the working week would have reduced from 40 hours to 15.  The unfortunate truth is that this hasn’t happened.

If we were to reduce the working week many people wouldn’t be able to afford to feed their families. Besides, people are seriously connected to their jobs and most will spend more than the required 40 hours a week working or thinking and mulling over their work at home.

 

The technological advances that we have created have prolonged the hours we work rather than shortening them because we can now access emails out of hours and are connected to work with our mobile and desktop devices.

Some companies have invested in policies such as Zmail, where email servers are closed off out of hours and at weekends so that the staff can have separate lives from work and then be able to come back in refreshed and re-motivated.

 

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But even if we do have time to shut off, many come to work and feel sluggish and slightly angered due to the fact that they don’t think their job is worth anything or having any contribution at all to the world around them. In fact, they just stay because they’ve become committed and the money is good.

People tend to go along with the majority and conform along with everyone else who feels the same way. They then pretend and mask the fact that their jobs don’t really do anything or are needed for anything.

 

Employment is at an all-time high at the moment and more and more people are seeing the likeliness that they’ll find a new job If they quit and get a new one. Smaller start-ups and roles in public service are now seen as more professional and respectable, meaning there’s a larger threat to larger multi-national companies with all of these ‘pointless jobs’.

These larger companies are working hard to make themselves seem like worthy companies with the use of an annual volunteering day or some wonderful imagery in the company report.  Unfortunately, people aren’t that gullible and it’s time to revisit and reinvent purpose at all levels within organisations for all teams and individuals.

 

For a purposeful conversation, contact us here.

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3 Ways to Calm Yourself

 

When faced with a situation that causes us to become distressed, our first response is often to act irrationally. Tension hinders our mood and our ability to make good choices and take responsible actions, so for the best outcomes we should try and calm ourselves as fast as possible so that we can resurface a steady mind.

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To follow are 3 ways to which you can relax and calm yourself when something or someone has caused you  an affective level of frustration.

 

  1. Cool Down

A great way to relieve tension is to use the power of cold water.  You can splash cool water on your pressure points including your wrists and behind your ears. By adding the cold water to your pressure points, you ultimately are cooling down your arteries beneath the skin and calming your whole body by reducing the heat going around it.

Another sure way is to plunge your face in a basin of cold water for 30 seconds. By doing this you hold your breath for 30 seconds and trigger a lifesaving reaction in your brain. Your blood vessels narrow, heart rate decreases and oxygen is directed to all your vital organs, the perfect distraction from external stressors.

 

  1. Breathe

Some of the most proven relaxation methods come from the use of breathing exercises. There are many methods you can try to see what works for you, here are some to try next time you become agitated.

The first exercise is to close your eyes and focus on each breath. Exhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 and then exhale for 8. Repeating this exercise 6 times a day is supposedly able to improve your health whilst calming you and helping your stay positive.

You may also choose to lower your heart rate during stressful situations by slowing down your breaths. Focus on your breathing so that you exhale and inhale for 6 seconds each way for up to two minutes.

  1. Take Some Time

It is completely natural for you to become agitated and disclaimed. If you fear bad outcomes of feeling distressed there is a possibility you may suppress these emotions, which would have significantly worse outcomes than if you let the anger roll.

Our emotions are like waves, or mountains and they rise and fall with a peak in the centre. If we allow ourselves to reach the peak of the emotion we can then allow the emotion to dissipate and reduce to a steady state.

By keeping in and suppressing the emotion and not allowing ourselves to feel it, we are prolonging the peak and therefore increasing the size of it.

 

We can use these ways of thinking to increase the performance of our organisations by allowing ourselves to stay calm and steady-headed, especially when complications arrive that need immediate attention.

 

 

Leadership

Be A Multiplier, Don’t Diminish Your Team.

Leadership

In most businesses, smart leaders are put in jobs to support other smart individuals. Sometimes it is clear that your own intelligence is being put down and potentially drained by a leader, Liz Wiseman in her book ‘Multipliers’ calls these people ‘Diminishers’. In other instances leaders bring out the intelligence and capabilities of their team, Wiseman calls these ‘Multipliers’.

Diminishers will often generate less effective teams, whereas the effect of a Multiplier can be significantly great.

Liz Wiseman explains that the differentiating traits between diminishers and multipliers aren’t all that many, but they are incredibly important. She explains that there are specific actions you may not even realise you do that are effecting the effectiveness of your team.

1. Environment

Multipliers create an environment that allows for flexibility. Your employees have different flexibility and creative needs and they need to be offered the opportunity to express this in order to fulfil their full intelligence.
Diminishers will create a work environment which is highly controlled and limits resources and creativity, therefore suppressing the intelligence of their employees. They limit the flexibility and encourage order because they believe success will come from them, not from creating an environment in which each individual employee can flourish.

2. Challenges

Diminishers will believe they are the driving success for their team and will push their teams in the direction they want to go in.
Multipliers will get to know their employees and their specific skills and tailor challenges to their teams that will challenge them to improve as an individual and as a team. They also provide as many opportunities for their staff as possible, believing in constant improvement and development.

3. Decisions

The way you make decisions around the office can determine whether you are a multiplier or a dimimisher.
A multiplier would include the whole group in discussions around decisions that need to be made, whereas a diminisher will make decisions solely, with little debate or input from others, dimishing team insight.

 

There are many other insights that Liz Wiseman explains in her books, and you can get much more details from reading those, but take a moment to reflect on your practices and asses where you think you fall. Most people lie somewhere in between the two, the hard part is assessing where you stand objectively and then making the changes to become more of a ‘multiplier’.