Tag Archives: Tips For Success

relaxation

Why we shouldn’t just apply the brakes this bank holiday

A Bank Holiday weekend offers the chance of having a 3 or 4 day period to just stop and breathe. These Bank Holidays should result in a more rested and energised workforce but it seems most of us are using these long weekends to play catch up. 

In the modern world, we are always attracted to hotels or other accommodation options that offer free Wi-Fi for visitors. Keeping in touch with the outside world and being able to access the web, games and other online features is something that is always a priority even when going on holiday. Wi-Fi keeps the kids happily entertained, but also gives adults the opportunity to take a sneak peek at their work emails.

Whilst leaving work behind you for a few days, it is vital that we allow our brains some time to just rest and reboot. Applying the brakes is no substitute for taking a proper break and leaving your business and co-workers to fend for themselves.

When we fully take a real break and step away from things that we are working so hard on, this gives us more clarity and enables us to spend extended time thinking without constant distractions. It could be argued that those in senior leadership roles whose primary responsibility is to set the vision and make decisions are even more in need of time away to allow them to think. Even if you are still thinking about work, doing it away from technology, colleagues and work emails will allow your brain to process information in a different way.

If you can’t get away for a proper break, change can be just as good for our brains as rest. Try to think of something that you could do over the that will be a change to your usual routine, be that playing a sport or trying out a new hobby. If you are a manager, you should be telling your team to take a break and spend time away from their technology as well.

Rest is essential for everyone, regardless of your seniority. It enables us to switch off, recharge and approach life and business in a completely different way. So for the next Bank Holiday don’t just slow down. Leave your gadgets alone and put your mind on charge instead.

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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.

storytelling

Stop working and start seeking out the stories

Everybody loves a good story and storytelling can be found in a range of forms, from books and movies to office jokes and music. It is ingrained into everyday life and each of us has our own preferred style of storytelling, but the importance of stories is how they can shape us and teach us.

This story puts into perspective our working habits and our approach to the things we do…

Lisa, a working mum, took two highlighters and used these to shade in her work diary for the coming week. She shaded some appointments green for boring, others yellow for energising. As expected the tasks such as meetings, listening to presentations, reading reports and attending statutory training were shaded green for dull and de-energising.

When she reviewed her week, Lisa noted that 80% of her time would be spent doing tedious and uninspiring activities. Lisa compared this to the energy and enthusiasm of her 6-year-old daughter whos days were full of laughter, ideas and discovery. Why shouldn’t Lisa’s work week be more like that?

Not content to live a life dominated by ‘green’ engagements, Lisa decided to try to turn her diary yellow by seeking out stories.

As a result, she restructured the agenda of her weekly meeting and approached it as if it was a film. She identified the perils, plot and ensured that the discussion concluded in a happy ending. She continued to change her week by challenging the finance director to replace spreadsheets with stories in his monthly presentation and, rather than read the pile of reports on her desk she visited each of the authors and asked:

· What challenges did they want to overcome?

· What could get in the way?

· Where could they end up?

Not only was she able to switch some of the events in her diary from green to yellow, but Lisa also felt more energised and engaged at work. Tough problems had been solved, exciting new initiatives launched and the team morale was higher than she’d ever known.

To be the best you can be in the workplace, you need to embrace creativity and start seeking the stories.

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’.

 

 

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Being The Boss: What Does It Really Take?

Up until now it has been assumed that an intelligent leader is a good leader. But new research into IQ and leadership suggests that being too intelligent in relation to your employees could have negative effects on how they perceive you.

Continue reading

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Could lack of sleep be affecting your performance at work?

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Just like eating healthily and exercising, we all know that getting enough sleep is good for us. But you might not realise just how much of an impact that a lack of sleep can have on your work. The amount of sleep that you need will vary from person to person, but if you regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, you may start to notice the following effects at work:

Inability to concentrate- If you frequently struggle to focus on your work, and find yourself missing things as they have slipped your mind, it could be down to tiredness.

Decision-making- Bill Clinton once said “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I made because I was too tired”. A serious lack of sleep can cause cognitive impairment, so if you have an important meeting coming up then make sure you are well rested for it.

Inefficiency- By skipping the snooze button and heading into the office early you might think you’ll have time to get more done, but in fact if you have not had sufficient sleep you will be less efficient and less productive, so those extra hours could be wasted.

How to stay awake in the office

If you’ve hit an afternoon slump, try one of these ideas:

Get outside- When you’re busy it seems like you have no choice but to eat lunch at your desk, but even a 10 minute break from the office can help you recharge enough to make your afternoon more productive. Exposure to natural light is a great midday wake up, as is exercise, so a quick walk around the block can make all the difference.

Moderate your caffeine- Although it can be tempting to mainline coffee when you’re tired at work, drinking too much caffeine can keep you from falling asleep at night. Try not to drink caffeine after 2pm- if you can’t live without hot drinks try swapping to herbal teas.

Hydrate yourself- Dehydration affects brain function, so keep a bottle of water at your desk and make sure to drink from it throughout the day, especially if you are craving sugary snacks as it is easy to mistake hunger for thirst.