Monday, June 18, 2018
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Monday, June 11, 2018
Boost productivity by embracing distractions.
Have you ever considered having summer hours? In my small business, we have summer hours that start in June and go all the way to the end of August. Well, what does that mean? It simply means we finish early on a Friday afternoon.
Now, what I know to be true about where I live is everybody wants to escape and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Some people have shore houses or lake houses or they want to go to the beach.
Can you create summer hours? What about giving your team flexibility to be able to work from home, outdoors or remotely on a Friday? Could they leave the office a little earlier so they can enjoy the beautiful sunshine and maybe avoid the crazy traffic that starts on a weekend? Does your business allow people to be more flexible in the summer?
You see, what I think is important is if you want to boost productivity, if you want to pay attention to what needs to get done, it means you also have to make time for play. So often, our team works so hard, working and answering emails at night, taking meetings after hours, attending conferences, and yet we don’t always give them the time to play.
Take the Summer Challenge
Can you make your more productive summer more fun? Can you have more play? Now, the easiest way to do is book it in. Create easy things. Like maybe people can go home early every other Friday or maybe you have people who alternate so that something is also covered in your office, but that they get the opportunity to work remotely. What are some ways you can implement summer hours or intentional play? Book it in.
Create systems allowing your team can work remotely. Provide employees with a flexible work schedule so they are off every Friday, or every other Friday. Maybe they could even extend the weekend. It could go to Monday. You just need to find what works for you.
Turn on your “Out of the office.” Make the message fun so others know you won’t be around but would be delighted to help them when you return.
If you decide on summer hours, can you make it fun, make it playful? Maybe with a few systems in place, you can have meetings outside. Allow the team to understand the systems, make sure the team understands the protocols and policies. Let’s redirect phone lines. Let’s put “Out of office” messages together, and let’s make sure we make the most of our summer. Step away from your devices. Hang up the phone. Get out in the sun and enjoy your summer.
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Sunday, June 10, 2018
How can you GET and KEEP People’s Attention in a Matrix Organization to Achieve Results?
Operating cross-functionally, across geographies, across business units in an ever-fast and complex matrix organization is challenging. It requires self-awareness, tenacity, patience and intentional attention.
To shine as a leader in a matrix environment you have a responsibility to demonstrate strong communication, networking, advocate building, influence, and powerful personal branding skills.
To leverage relationships, communicate across time zones, and recognize different company cultures in an environment where reporting lines are tricky, you MUST pay attention.
The benefits of paying attention in this environment include opportunities to meet (and impress) other leaders, attract and retain top talent, accelerated project completion and career advancement.
Implement these strategies and you will succeed in your matrix organization:
Build relationships – your ability to network across multiple business units and with different levels in your company will ensure your success. Do people see your name in their inbox and answer it immediately? Do others instantly respond to your text messages? Do people happily accept your meeting invitations? If not, you may need to invest time creating stronger relationsips and networking in a variety of ways.
Identify informal leaders – every team has an informal leader. Every team has someone that may not have the title of manager/ supervisor/ director but the whole team knows they are the ‘go-to’ person. Find them, network with them, and learn as much as you can about team dynamics and their leadership style. This person will help you navigate that team, company politics, and leadership and will also potentially became an advocate for you.
Create advocates – while improving your relationship-building skills, identify people with teams who can become your advocates. Someone who has an idea of your responsibilities and projects and is willing to help communicate your value, make introductions, and advocate in meetings and with senior leaders if required. This is a longer-term strategy that requires focus, systems and dedication to relationships building. I create an appointment in my calendar every month and reach out to my list of 20 advocates.
Systemize thoughtfulness – I believe that paying attention requires systems. Systems create freedom. Can you schedule a monthly appointment to reach out to people who you want to stay top of mind with? I have a list of20 people and I send them books, articles, TED talks, and if I am out and about and see something that reminds me of them, I pop into the post. How can you dedicate time monthly to identify relationships you want to build, create a list of advocates and then systemize thoughtfulness?
Articulate your role – learn how to quickly articulate your role, the value you add and provide a project update. You need to always be prepared to quickly share how your team is achieving results, how they are adding value, and sometimes defend timelines. Learn the skill of briefly describing how your work affects others in the organization so you are prepared in every meeting, teleconference, and town hall or if you run into a leader in the elevator. Look for opportunities to promote your team and build relationships.
Book 15 minute tele-coffees – a tele-coffee is where you make a coffee and I make a coffee, and we talk on the telephone (I do tele-cocktails on a Friday… love those). Scheduling quick catch ups with other leaders internally will allow you to build relationships, understand their objectives, focus on sharing your team value and quickly assess if you need their support and engage them in future.
Attend team meetings – offer to attend other’s team meetings (virtually or in-person) to learn about other’s challenges, objectives and workflow. Offer to give an update of your team’s projects or responsibilities to help educate others.
Know communication preferences – learning the best way to communicate others in a matrix organization will accelerate decisions and workflow. Do your internal clients prefer email, phone, instant message, and text or in-person meetings? Once you learn people’s preferences make a note and share this with your team.
Get creative – do you have to attend every meeting? Do you have to be on every teleconference? Identify the purpose of meetings and if your presence is required the whole time, or if you can send a team member, or if you can just receive notes? Be creative in the way you contribute to other teams and find ways to leverage technology.
Monitor time zones – be kind when scheduling across global time zones. Use a variety of timeframes so it is kind to everyone and not just the same time every week or month because it is convenient for one team. If the meeting time is going to impact you personally, have the courage to speak up and suggest alternatives.
Respect protocol – we have organization structures for specific reasons; don’t go over someone’s head or around someone when possible. Respect roles, responsibilities and hierarchy. If you aren’t achieving the results you need consider talking to people’s peers before you approach their leadership. Be kind. Show respect.
Demonstrate expertise – in all meetings, presentations, town halls, webinars, training sessions and social activities, look for ways you can add value to conversations. Be the subject matter expert and don’t speak up just so you can hear yourself speak. Ask yourself if that question or comment will add value to everyone in the room. If not, be quiet. If it will, share freely.
Make an impression – know the rules, strengthen your personal brand, develop relationships and navigate politics. When you are constantly thinking of others, prepared to promote your team and your project and willing to listen to others, you will be a successful, attentive team member in a matrix organization.
If you want more strategies on how to personally and professionally be more intentional with your attention, to grow your personal brand, develop your communication skills and accelerate your productivity, check out Attention Pays for many more ideas.
The post Pay Attention in a Matrix Organization to Achieve Results appeared first on Neen James.
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
I loved this Steal the Show podcast episode with Michael Port and Joey Coleman as they discuss the first 100 days as a professional speaker. This delightful, insightful podcast was created to inspire speakers to inspire their audience. They focus on how to pay attention to the audience’s needs and maximize their experience. I hope you enjoy!
Professional Speakers need to have strong beliefs, lightly held.
Yes, there’s contrast in that statement, but contrast is the beauty of performance. The job of a performer is to deliver a strong message while simultaneously being open to audience feedback. This is the tricky, two-sided nature of the job—one must possess the skills to provide both a powerful experience for the audience and a relatable openness during the socialization that occurs after a speech.
On today’s episode of Steal the Show, we are joined Professional Speaker, Joey Coleman. For over a decade, Joey has helped organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans through his entertaining and very actionable keynotes, workshops, and consulting projects.
In this conversation, we unpack Joey’s Wall Street Journal bestseller, Never Lose A Customer Again. Joey provides insight for anyone trying to take their career to the next level. From the novice public speaker seeking his/her first paid gig to the amateur writer attempting to finish his/her first book, Joey’s insights will prove to be valuable.
You can order Joey Coleman’s Never Lose A Customer Again here.
(click to tweet)
Steal the Points
- Contrary to popular belief, not every relationship needs to be a long-term relationship.
- Usually, the audience’s expectations are extremely low.
- The tactics speakers use to make themselves feel comfortable typically make the audience feel uncomfortable.
- Connection happens quicker when the people are at eye-level.
- Research shows that humans are afraid of those who are bigger than them.
- Figure out what the audience needs before stepping on stage, and deliver that to them.
- Listen to all of the speakers to hear what the audience has already heard.
- When giving a speech, recognize that it’s difficult to be in the audience.
- Many audience members need time to process the speech before asking questions.
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