Four Ways Work and Focus Has Changed in a 2% GDP World

Four Ways Work and Focus Has Changed in a 2% GDP World

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. (Definition from Investopedia.com.)

The higher the growth rate of our GDP (the more we’re producing), the better the outlook is for our economy.

Where are we today? Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of General Electric said earlier this year that, “In a world of 2 percent G.D.P. growth, you really have to be good at everything you do.”

What does “being good at everything” mean? How has work – and focus – changed in a lower than typical GDP world? Here’s what we’re seeing:

1. Focus on one thing. Organizations are refocusing on the one thing they want to be good at moving resources there. What’s your one thing? Your company’s?

2. Look at where your industry is headed and prepare now for the future. Think Artificial Intelligence (AI). Think digital industry. What’s changing and what do you need to know/do to be on top of those changes?

3. Change is a constant. Learn and practice the skills you need to be agile and flexible amidst constant transformation and ambiguity.

4. Be a business person first and a functional expert second. Understand the needs of your business, your customers and your team, and apply your functional expertise to meet those needs.

What are you seeing?

Thank You: Why These Are Two of the Most Powerful Words

Thank You: Why These Are Two of the Most Powerful Words

thankful-for-teaser-image-2Google “gratitude in business” and you’ll wind up with thousands of results. And not just because it’s November – a month in which the topic is top of mind for Americans preparing to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s because, as it turns out, gratitude is good for business. And that is because, as neuroscientists have discovered, gratitude actually changes our brains.

According to a Huffington Post round-up on gratitude and the brain, here are three of 10 ways gratitude affects our performance at work:

  1. Gratitude improves social behaviors which makes it easier to network. Studies show that those who are 10% more grateful than average had 17.5% more social capital.

  2. Gratitude stimulates goal achievement. In one study, participants instructed to keep a gratitude journal for two months reported more progress toward their goals.

  3. Gratitude enhances decision making.

Expressing gratitude in the workplace helps leaders create connections (between actions and outcomes, effort and performance) and build relationships (among team members and with others more far-flung in the organization).

Like working any muscle, with repeated practice, the behavior becomes more natural. Here are three ways to make the most out of the gratitude you offer every day – in person, by phone or via a hand-written note:

  1. Be specific about what you’re thankful for, e.g. “Thank you for taking the recent uptick in cost of quality so seriously, and for the focused analysis you provided in your process review.”

  2. Explain what you liked or the next steps, e.g. “I learned two things from the perspective you provided and believe we can make significant progress in reducing defects.”

  3. Continue to build the relationship, e.g. “I’ll take this work forward to the Quality Council and let you know what next steps we put in place.”

Research shows that those who practice gratitude every day live longer, sleep better, experience increased productivity and live happier lives.

We could all use more gratitude in our lives, and especially in the workplace. My challenge to you… smile more and thank someone today.

Here’s a look at what some of our team members are thankful for:

kim-hanson thankful-for-tracy thankful-for-kerrigan beth-swanson natalie thankful-for-elizabeth

Connect with me today to learn how to use gratitude in the workplace to level up your team’s performance.

 

How to Brag: 3 Rules for Effective Communication

How to Brag: 3 Rules for Effective Communication

Talking about your accomplishments to others – and not coming off sounding like a jerk – means following the three basic rules of effective communication. Follow these rules, whether you are in a one-on-one conversation at a cocktail party or giving a speech to a room full of constituents, and you will chalk up another important accomplishment: acquiring the skills to meaningfully connect with others.

4 Tips to Engage Hearts and Minds

4 Tips to Engage Hearts and Minds

Superior leaders lead through effective communication. The “secret sauce” is engaging hearts and minds to inspire action.

Did you know that many of the so-called “rational” decisions we make – and the way we behave – are governed by our emotions, and that our emotions have projective power over our thoughts? Emotions act as filters to form our desires, furnish our capacities, and to a large extent, rule our immediate thoughts. As we encounter fresh situations, become faced with novel problems or grapple with new ideas, our emotional response to each of these sets in motion the initial allocation of our mental resources. In essence, our first “read” of a new situation is always centered in our emotions, feelings and attitudes. As such, our emotions are laying the groundwork for the thinking that is to come.

Creating a powerful connection and compelling your stakeholders to take action requires engaging both the head and the heart – the mind and emotions. And for employees, engaging heads and hearts delivers higher levels of business impact faster. Here are four tips for more effective employee engagement:

1. Tell your story. Explain your organization’s vision and strategy to inspire and motivate. How? Simplify the strategy or vision in a way that resonates with employees (is personal and meaningful).

2. Set expectations. Employees want and need to know, clearly and specifically, what is expected of them. This includes both job tasks and organizational culture behaviors.

3. Actively listen. Everyone wants to be heard. Show your leaders, peers and employees that what they have to say is important by really listening. Put down your phone, turn to face whoever is speaking, avoid distractions and summarize what is said to you. Remember to take action after the conversation is over, if necessary. Actively listening shows respect and builds trust.

4. Communicate effectively. Provide the tools and coaching to help leaders and managers effectively communicate, fostering more productive and engaging relationships within their teams.

For more tips on how to set expectations with your team, check out this piece from Forbes.

Want more “secret sauce”? Schedule a Complimentary Clarity Call with me today to identify where to shine the light and spring clean, and what to amplify, so you can level-up your impact — and that of your team.

 

How to Ask Better Questions

How to Ask Better Questions

There are so many contexts in which people ask questions in the workplace – from peers in the office or on the manufacturing line working out a problem to a leader assessing and diagnosing a large-scale operational issue. In all of these scenarios, five rules apply. Done well, the process of asking questions can result in collaborative dialogue that allows all parties to feel they have contributed to an important solution.

The five rules are:

5 Keys to Success for New Leaders

5 Keys to Success for New Leaders

Taking on a new executive ‪leadership role can be challenging. Whether you’re new to the organization or the position, it’s important to build trusting relationships from the start. These five keys will help you engage your team and employees, and set the stage for success. For more information about leadership communication, check out my article in AMA Quarterly.

Tips for New Leaders

Lessons from the Front Lines – Your Team Can Make or Break You

Lessons from the Front Lines – Your Team Can Make or Break You

Team communication can make or break your business.

Communication is an enabler of engagement, and employee engagement is the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to his or her organization. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. So… strengthening your team’s communication skills will lead to engaged employees that support a high-performance culture.

To build a strong team be clear about roles and responsibilities, play to strengths, gather the team together daily and know your priorities. For more information about leader communication and communication training, email me at tracy@on-the-same-page.com.

Team communication can make or break you

Tips to Navigate Change in Your Organization

Tips to Navigate Change in Your Organization

Tips to Navigate Change in Your OrganizationChange is here to stay, and to a certain extent, it is always disruptive. Regardless of whether you are planning a large change or an update of some kind, engaging employees through effective communication is key. It can compress the transition and minimize the disruption. Check out our tips for navigating change here: http://bit.ly/298p7Nf. What would you add?

For more information about leading change and communicating to engage your employees, email me at tracy@on-the-same-page.com.

Get Comfortable with the Unknown

Get Comfortable with the Unknown

As a leader, yComfort with the Unknownou may not have all the answers. That’s okay. Leadership is about building a vision, informing employees and simplifying so people know what to do. Leaders create clarity out of ambiguity, simplify the complex, convert challenges into opportunities, and make strategy come alive… inspiring and motivating employees to action.

Tell the Story

Articulate a story that inspires and aligns employees within the organization around the vision.  The story explains where we’re going, why and how, and importantly – what employees can do to help achieve the vision.

Provide Tools

Next, the leader must provide managers and supervisors with tools so they can engage their employees in conversations about the vision and their role in achieving it.

When faced with the unknown, let your vision be your guide.

 

When It’s Time for a New Direction…

When It’s Time for a New Direction…

It takes courage to move your business in a new direction, and change can be difficult. Change is also an opportunity for great success — individually, as a team and as an organization. Here’s what else you need to change direction. For more information on communicating change, email me at tracy@on-the-same-page.com.

Change Communication - New Direction

Four Tips for More Meaningful Communication

Four Tips for More Meaningful Communication

One of the most practical, highest return on investment activities is communicating to engage. A Dale Carnegie infographic on employee engagement states that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. The infographic goes on to list tips for employee engagement and each tip is directly related to leader and manager communication.

“People leave managers, not companies,” writes authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. The best leaders understand that engaging people’s hearts and minds is the only way to compel them to action. Your employees – and your customers – will thank you for it. Here are four tips to help you engage your employees through more meaningful communication. For more information on Communicating to Engage, email me at tracy@on-the-same-page.com.
How to Make Communication More Meaningful