How to Empower Your Employees

Empowerment as a term is widely used and often misinterpreted; as a genuine action, it is difficult to put into practice. Empowerment is really about offering and receiving commitment so it is important to recognize that there are two kinds of commitment: external and internal.

External commitment

External commitment occurs when employees have little control over their destinies and are accustomed to working under the command-and-control model.

Examples of external commitment:

  • Tasks and the behavior to perform tasks are defined by others.
  • Performance goals are defined by management.
  • Goal importance is defined by others.
Internal commitment

Internal commitment occurs when employees are committed to a particular project, person, or program for their own reasons or motivations. Internal commitment is very closely allied with empowerment.

Examples of internal commitment:

  • Individuals define tasks and the behavior required to perform tasks.
  • Management and individuals jointly define challenging performance goals.
  • Individuals define the importance of the goal.

Consider ways that you can support your employees in developing an internal commitment to the work that you do. And, the ways you can also enhance your own commitment.

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How to Prepare the Room for Your Speech or Presentation

Think about the time invested in preparing a great speech: research, organization, practice, preparing a slide presentation, etc. Now, imagine neglecting the last preparation step by not allowing time to prepare the facility when you’ll give your speech.

Your presentation is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. You blast into the room —with the audience already there— at 9:58 a.m. and proceed to set up your notes and equipment.

Ten minutes later, you’re fiddling with cables trying to connect the projector to you laptop. You haven’t booted up yet. It’s powered by Windows, so we know we have another ten-minute wait while it starts.

By this point, you’ve pretty much lost your audience.

Make sure that you spend enough time in the presentation room before your speech begins. Don’t let unforeseen circumstances put a damper on your speech. Get the details of the location where you will deliver your speech ahead of time.

Before leaving
  1. Make sure you have all the material you need: notes, files, handouts, USB stick, projector, etc.
  2. Double check your equipment. Make sure it’s working.
  3. Bring extra hardware as practical. Have two memory sticks, with the presentation file. Throw in an extension cord and extra connector cables for your tech. hardware.
  4. Make sure you have directions to your location, so you can get there early.
At the location
  1. Arrive early. At minimum, you need time to get your material ready. Better yet, be there early enough to set up and then greet audience members as they arrive. You can help build rapport with the audience by spending a few minutes chatting with them.
  2. Check the set-up. Can everybody see the speaker and presentation clearly? If possible, arrange the chairs and tables in a configuration that works for you.
  3. Make sure that the room is comfortable. Is it too hot or cold? Can you adjust the temperature?
  4. Set-up any electronic equipment you are using and test it to make sure it’s working properly and can be seen easily.
  5. Make sure the cables and cords are run in a safe manner. A roll of masking tape is helpful for keeping the cable out of the path of audience members.
  6. If the venue is providing the equipment, take a few minutes to make sure you know how to operate it.
  7. Test the microphone and sound system, standing where you’ll be using them.

Preparation at every stage of the process leads to a successful speech or presentation.

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8 Characteristics of a Good Team Leader

Effective teamwork is a critical aspect in all types of organizations. Team members should be completely comfortable working with each other in order to give the best to whatever they do.

Generally, we would see a team to be comprised of team members and a team leader. The onus of success lies on the team, but there is an expectation the team leader carries responsibility for the success of the team..

Anyone on the team can be a leader. It doesn’t always fall to the person appointed to that role. However, being successful as a team lead requires the following characteristics.

  1. Supportive:
    • ready to go to bat for the team
    • presents team needs to organization and organizational needs to team
  2. Focused on Organizational Effectiveness:
    • balances people and work
    • keeps “productivity” and “quality” to the forefront
  3. Grooms “replacements”:
    • shares leadership role
    • creates leaders
  4. Good communicator
    • willing to listen
    • able to express
  5. Innovator
    • pursuer of progress
    • and developer of people
  6. Creates positive expectancy.
    • sets high expectation levels
    • sets and expects high standards
  7. Models expected behaviours:
    • consensus decision-making
    • risk-taking
    • empowering
  8. Able to deal with problem team members:
    • creative problem-solving
    • coaching
    • power to remove
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How to Be a Leader

Do you get frustrated by things that don’t seem to happen the way they’re supposed to? People are milling about, but nothing gets accomplished. In the hustle, do you feel that your goals remain just that – goals?

Maybe its time for you to stand up and do something about it.

Most people are content to sit around waiting for orders. It’s not difficult adopt a follow-the-leader mentality. Maybe that doesn’t work for you. You have a desire to make things happen – to be the head, not the tail. Maybe leadership suits you.

Some people believe that great leaders are born, not made. While it may be true some people are born with natural ability, without practice, drive and experience, it’s difficult to develop leadership.Good leaders continually work and study to improve their skills.

What is a leader?

To be a leader, you must be able to influence others to accomplish a an objective. The leader contributes to the organization and cohesion of a group.

Contrary to what many believe, leadership is not about power. It is not about harassing or bullying people using fear. It is about encouraging others towards the goal. A leader brings unity of purpose, keeping everyone informed. You must be a leader not a boss.

How do you get people to follow?

People follow a clear sense of purpose. People will only follow you if they see you know where you are going. You know the bumper sticker, “Don’t follow me, I’m lost too.” The same holds for leadership. If you don’t know where you’re going, people will not want to follow you.

You have to have a clear vision of the “big picture”. Have a clear sense of hierarchy, know who’s who, understand the goals and objectives, and how the thing works. Then, others feel confident you know what you’re doing.

Leadership is not about what you make others do. It’s about who you are, what you know, and what you do. You are a reflection of what you want those following to be.

Another basis of good leadership is trust and confidence. If people trust you they will follow through difficulties to achieve the objectives.Trust and confidence is built on good relationships,transparency, and ethics.

The manner in which you deal with people and the relationships you build will lay a strong foundation for your group. The stronger your relationship, the stronger the trust and confidence in your capabilities.

Communication is third key to good leadership. Without this you can not be a good leader. There are 10 key communications principles every leader should know and use

  1. Everything communicates.
  2. The golden rule works.
  3. Stand for something.
  4. Everyone wants to be heard.
  5. One size does not fit all.
  6. They both end in “tion” but there’s a big difference between “information” and “communication.”
  7. Communicate courageously.
  8. Remember the competition.
  9. If it looks important, it must be important.
  10. Good communication is a good investment.

Leaders are not do-it-all heroes. You should not claim to know everything and should not rely upon your skills alone.

You should recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents of others. Only when you come to this realization will you be able to work as one cohesive unit.

Being a leader takes work and time. It is not learned overnight. It is not about just you. It is about you and the people around you.

Do you have the drive and desire to serve to be a leader? Do you have the desire to work cooperatively with other people? Start now. Take your stand and become a leader today.

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Improve Hiring Success with Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural-descriptive interviewing is an approach that looks at past behaviour as a predictor of future performance. The goal of the interview process is to predict future job performance based on a candidates responses from previous specific behaviours, which illustrate desired competencies through careful probing.

Interviewers look for behaviours in situations similar to those to be encountered in the new job. By relating a candidate’s answers from past experience, you develop indicators of how the individual will likely act in the future.

Behavioral questions ensure more spontaneity than traditional questions since candidates can’t practice as easily for them in advance.

Here are a number of examples of behaviour-based interview questions

Organizational, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills:
  • Describe a situation that you have encountered (or how you would handle such a situation if you have not been faced with one) when you had responsibility for the operations of a unit. You determined that staff was not being used in a way that helped meet goals, but many of them were very resistant to change. What options did you explore to handle the situation? What did you do to overcome the resistance? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about an accomplishment in a work setting that makes you feel good to remember and why you are proud of it.
  • Describe a problem you confronted without success. If you could go back in time, how would you handle it differently?
  • Give an example of the most significant problem you have faced and solved at work. Describe the process you used to find a solution.
  • Tell me about the most difficult co-worker with whom you have ever had to work. What actions did you take that proved helpful? What did you find made things worse? What would you do differently if you were faced with a similar situation in the future?
Initiative and flexibility:
  • Describe your vision of an ideal supervisor. Now tell me about the worst supervisor you have ever had.
  • Tell me about a project that you undertook that was your idea and that you had to persuade others to let you do.
  • What new skills have you learned in the past 12 months? What would you like to learn in the next year?
  • Describe a significant change in your job responsibilities and the steps you took to manage the transition smoothly.
  • Tell me about a situation when you abruptly had to change what you were doing.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked on a project that did not turn out well. How did you handle that?
  • When you take on a new project do you like to have lots of guidance and feedback up front, or do you prefer to try your own approach?
  • How do you measure your own success?
Teamwork, sensitivity to the needs of others, ability to work well with others:
  • Describe a sensitive situation in which you were able to guide your actions by your understanding of others individual needs or values.
  • Describe a time when you felt it necessary to modify or change your actions in order to respond to the needs of another person.
  • What kinds of people do you not enjoy working with?
  • Tell me about a work situation that bugged you.
  • Describe the most creative, work-related project you have done.
  • Give me an example of a time when you had an unusual idea that worked well.
  • When was the last time you “broke” the rules and what did you do?
  • What is the most interesting thing you have done in the past year?
Managing priorities:
  • Describe a situation when you were asked to meet two different deadlines given to you by two different managers and you could not do both. How did you handle this?
  • Describe how you handled a request to take on an exciting new project that you really wanted to do at a time when you already had more to do than you could do well.
Honesty, integrity and judgement:
  • Have you ever experienced a personal loss from doing what is right?
  • In what business situations do you feel honesty would be inappropriate?
  • Describe a situation when you were faced with making a decision that involved important conflicting needs between an individual and your employer and explain how you handled it.
Ability to influence others:
  • Describe a project or idea that initially met resistance but that you were able to “sell” to others and implement.
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with the others in a group about something important but were able to work with them to reach a consensus that you felt was a good one.
  • How have you handled a situation when you needed to “correct” your boss?
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Download a free ebook from Gaping Void

The team over at Gaping Void has put together an ebook, available for free download – Leadership In The Time Of Coronavirus Part 1 of 3

There are probably few people on the face of the earth today who are not aware of the crisis we are currently facing. Your social media feeds are likely full of responses, from silly memes, to cliched advice, to weird treatments that will eliminate infection.

One of the popular memes going around says something to the effect that, “when this is over, let us remember it wasn’t the CEOs and billionaires who saved us, it was the janitors, nurses, grocery workers, …” That’s not really true. There has been great leadership exhibited at all levels, from heads of state to retail staff.

Strong leadership is critical for an effective response to the crisis; from everybody.

Head over to Gapingvoid and download the ebook. It is 12 pages of great advice for being a leader in in this time of coronavirus.

Part 2 of 3 is now available for download – Love in The Time of Coronavirus.

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