Visit Our Store July 5, 2011

In This Issue:
Are People Listening to Your Ideas?
Who Needs Discipline?
Situation Room: Emotional Intelligence at Work
Book Report: Leadershift

Are People Listening to Your Ideas?

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. — Lee Iacocca

So you would like to present a new idea or solution to your key stakeholders, or you have been presented with a new set of new parameters and need to persuade others of a different approach. What do you do? How do you begin?

Take Joe, a successful bank vice president. His branch has been so successful that the bank president wants to take 30% of his team and disseminate it across the company, in an effort to bolster performance across branches. Joe thinks this would be the death knell of his success. He has worked tirelessly to develop and bring up his team, and this move would take him back to zero.

You may have found yourself in a similar situation at some point.

Clearly, success in this kind of situation will depend on how well you sell your ideas. Confront these barriers and you will be on your way to successful sale of your ideas:

Relationships 101
How does the stakeholder view your relationship? Relationship status is critical.

You are certainly credible. You have the background and experience to handle the decisions that are being presented to you. Does the decision maker (or decision-making group) in your situation feel the same way?

Communication Mismatch
As the “seller” here, it is up to you to patch over any communication mismatches that take place. In Joe’s case, he is advocating to a different decision-maker than usual, and should take that into account.

Make it easier for the decision makers to change their current path. Maybe Joe could offer to develop a training program for other banks.

Address all of these barriers and you will find that your relationship, credibility, communication style and ability to offer alternatives will soften an otherwise polarized situation.

At EDSI, we know how to help you and your team make ideas HAPPEN. Click here to learn more.

Who Needs Discipline?

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”— H. Jackson Brown, Jr

When you look at your career direction, what do you see? Are you headed in the right direction? Whatever your long term goals are, self-discipline is the single most important tool to help you accomplish them. Sharpening the saw on your self-discipline will also help you be a more effective manager in the meantime.

There may be a time when you decide to purposefully change your course, and that is okay. But until then, what can you do to practice self-discipline, and how can you use it to be a more effective manager for your employees?

How to sharpen your own self-discipline:

Revisit your goals each day. Visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. The power of a clear vision will help jettison you toward your career goal. Take that vision seriously by doing something to help that dream become a reality.

Enlist a network. Start to use networks of friends and colleagues in your goals. Their support, encouragement and insight will aid your persistence. It might even help you find a connection that you need!

Recover quickly. Force yourself to recover from failure. It is unlikely that you will reach your goal without any failed attempts or risks, so jump in and be ready to bounce back.

Now, how do you transfer your acumen for self-discipline into a work environment that promotes self-discipline on its own? You are probably like most managers, in that taking disciplinary action is one of the least favorite parts of your job. That is why promoting an environment of self discipline is so valuable.

How to foster an environment of self-discipline:

1. Provide a thorough training program. By providing and fostering a comprehensive training program you are setting the tone for continuous improvement. Of course, careful analysis of what training program will result in ROI is critical. If chosen strategically, you will get the return on your training investment and much more—a demonstration of your priorities as a manager and organization.

2. Clarify expectations. This seems obvious, but clarifying expectations in this case expands on the expectations you have for job performance and task completion. It also means that you should clarify your expectations of continuous improvement, employee initiatives and problem solving.

3. Fan the flame of positive behavior. Catch people handling situations positively and taking action on their own. Reward them in whatever way you can, even if all you can do is give praise. If you are able to offer monetary rewards, time off or increased professional development opportunities, all the better.

4. React positively to new ideas. Is your workplace open to new ideas? Give any new idea some air time, whether it is implemented or not. This encourages people to take ownership over their work domain, and pursue their own goals, without you driving their motivation.

5. Keep a beat on your staff members. Do this by meeting with them regularly. These weekly meetings are typical, but often get pushed aside during busy periods. This sends the message that the meeting is unimportant. Emphasize how much you care about meeting with your staff members by setting their weekly update meeting in stone. Use this time to make sure projects are flowing and to take the pulse on how they are doing.

Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.

We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374

Situation Room: Emotional Intelligence at Work

It seems that no workplace is completely immune to the ill effects of gossip. Our situation this time is no different. Christine has not ever gotten along with her boss, and feels confident that she is smarter and more competent than him. When given the chance to work off-site at an industry conference, she was excited to get the ear of her boss’s immediate superior.

Taking charge of this opportunity, she gave him a complete description of all that had gone wrong due to her boss’s actions, starting with the facts, and injecting her outrage as she continued. You are the superior in whom she confided.

What would you do?

Book Report: Leadershift

Increased collaboration is one of the major shifts that have taken place in this new age of communicating through social media, using gaming programs for learning and employees with niche knowledge areas. How can you take advantage of mass collaboration?

Leadershift is here to help lead the way. Leadershift: Reinventing Leadership for the Age of Mass Collaboration (Emmanuel Gobillat, Hagan Press, 2011), gives readers a language to talk about and method for leading in the new age of collaboration.

The author makes the case for how the mass collaboration is rendering our traditional notions of experience, knowledge, effort, and power completely irrelevant. Pick up this new title and find out how to embrace the new leadership movement.