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Assigning a Task Clearly

Assigning a Task Clearly

One prominent mistake managers make daily in the workplace is the ability to assign a task to subordinates effectively. Often, managers are vague in their directive, not specific about what a good job looks like, or think that they don’t have time to explain a task in detail. What they are not realizing is that being clear from the onset ensures less back and forth later and results that are more aligned with expectations. Also, effectively assigning tasks will maximize your productivity and that of your team. You will tackle more projects, more assignments and create more opportunities for development, which will ultimately lead to more success for your employees.

Assigning a task does not need to be an arduous task, but it does take practice to master. Consider the job and the competence level of the person completing the task, what type of skills are necessary to complete the task successfully, and what kind of employee do they need to emulate for this situation? When assigning tasks, it is essential to make sure the person who is receiving the message understands what you expect from them.

To succeed, practice and follow our guide for assigning a task clearly:

DELIVERABLES 

What does a well-done job look like regarding this task? 

If you are unable to verbalize what a good job looks like, how are you going to expect your employees to meet those expectations? You need to be able to concisely describe the deliverables you expect from completion of this task, and this may require some preparation before tasking the deliverable. Also, this means appropriately prioritizing tasks for your team. If the final deliverables have specific requirements to meet expectations, is it possible for the employee to complete the job with their current workload? Are there projects that need reprioritizing to make this task happen? As a leader, you need to set a priority system to ensure you are assigning tasks with a clear priority.

 

COMPETENCIES

What competencies are required to complete the task?

As a manager, you need to recognize if the delegate has the appropriate skills to complete the task. If not, there are additional steps you need to take to support the completion of this task. Perhaps you need to allocate other resources to this person to help them complete the task, or need to consider whether he or she might not be the right person to complete the job. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your team and recognize when is the appropriate time to provide a growth opportunity for one, or assign it to someone who has the skills to do the task, and will be able to get the job done quickly and effectively.

 

TIME

How much time is needed to get the job done?

Time can be a significant constraint when it comes to task management. Unfortunately, managers can often mistakenly underestimate how long specific jobs take, resulting in undue stress added to the employee in addition to the manager who is not meeting their targets. It is crucial to consider the following when assigning a task:

  • Have you indicated a clear timeline for the job?
  • Are there repercussions for not completing the task on time?
  • How much time do you expect this task will take for the completed job to meet your expectations?
  • Have you been reasonable with your timeline?

Once you are clear on time required, you must confirm the acceptance of this timeline from your employee. You need to ensure that they accept, understand and are committed to meeting the deadlines you have set, and if not, it may require more support from you to make that happen.

 

RESOURCES

What resources and tools are needed to complete the tasks?

Resources are people, equipment, place, money, or anything else that you need to do all of the activities that you planned for.  It is essential to state the resources and tools that are available to the employee when assigning a task.  Perhaps they need to use particular software, like Excel, to show pivot tables and graphs. They might not realize when you assigned a marketing budget, that tables and graphics are what you are expecting.  Therefore, you must state resources and tools clearly. Perhaps, they might need to ask someone in another department for some information to complete their task. Unless you say – “Fred will be a good resource to leverage and find out about our legal requirements,” – your employee might miss that step and fail to reach out to others.  You must share the potential resources needed to complete the task to your expectations.

 

GOALS

How does this task contribute to the greater goals of the organization?

The purpose is a tremendous underlying motivation for employees to complete tasks and projects. If there is no clear purpose to what they are doing, why do it? As a manager, you need to share recent organizational successes and verbalize how this task supports the greater good of the company. If organizational goals have changed recently, be sure to find the time to explain them to your team. Always take time to share the vision and strategy of the organization to support the motivation and direction of your team.

 

APPLYING TASK DELEGATION IN THE WORKPLACE

It is important to remember that clearly assigning tasks takes practice. Not only do you need to work through the process multiple times to assign tasks, but you might also be required to build other skills to do this successfully.

Effective delegation involves being engaged in more conversations with your team, and having this 1:1 time means you need to focus on communication styles and recognize you may need to adapt your message to be understood by your employee. Or maybe these conversations about task management can lead to more coaching conversations or an opportunity to give feedback.

Either way, assigning a task is an important skill to learn.  If you follow our five-step guideline, you will be on your way to better communication, and your employees will have a deeper understanding of your expectations.

Do you need help in effectively delegating roles and responsibilities and assigning tasks in your company?  Book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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How to Mentor in the Workplace

How to Mentor in the Workplace

Learning how to mentor in the workplace is an important skill to learn. A mentorship relationship is indeed a two-way street. The mentor has to be willing to help, advise, and coach the mentee, and the mentee has to be willing to put in the effort in order to get the most out of the relationship. Of course, it is the, for the most part, the mentee’s responsibility to get the ball rolling in the right direction. After all, mentees are the ones who require the mentor’s help to propel and accelerate their professional development.

So what do mentees need to know about being a mentee? The following points will highlight what it means to be in the mentee’s shoes and what etiquette they need to mentor in the workplace.

How to Mentor in the Workplace

LET GO OF YOUR EGO

As a mentee, you are the one asking for guidance and assistance. Proper mentor-mentee relationship etiquette is to let your mentor take the lead. Consider this relationship as being dance partners – one person leads, and the other follows. Remember, your mentor’s experiences count for a lot; they are credible and they hold an incredible amount of information power. Trust in your mentor’s abilities to guide you in the right direction. They have walked miles in your shoes, so let them show you the way.

ACTIVE LISTENING GOES A LONG WAY

How do you let your mentor take the lead? Through active listening. But what is the difference between listening and active listening, and why is active listening important? It’s crucial to go further than just hearing what your mentor is saying. Practicing active listening in your mentor-mentee relationship shows that you are absorbing what your mentor is saying, paying attention to their advice, and comprehending their messages clearly.

If your mentor is a successful professional, chances are they are extremely busy outside their mentorship relationship with you. Active listening not only shows your enthusiasm for the opportunity to work alongside your mentor, but it also shows that you are able to take direction well, even amidst all the busyness.

BE PREPARED

Your time with your mentor is precious and valuable. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find someone with who they are so eager to work alongside and actually be given the opportunity to do so. Showing preparedness by clarifying from the very beginning of the relationship what you are expecting from there, what your goals are, and what you are willing to do in order to achieve those goals shows not only your respect for your mentor, it also shows the respect you have for yourself. Coming prepared with goals and expectations for your mentorship relationship will help in building an effective and efficient connection.

DON’T GET DEFENSIVE

Your mentor has years of first-hand experience, that’s why you want to learn from them, right? As a mentee, it is crucial that you ask for feedback constantly. Although criticism is difficult to take in sometimes, it is an integral part of our personal and professional development. What is important to note about feedback, is how to interpret them as constructive criticism. As a mentee, you should be able to separate your personal insecurities from what your mentor is trying to communicate with you. Often, we are unable to take criticism constructively because we project our personal insecurities to the situation instead of directing the comments strictly to the event.

Mentors will oftentimes have a different point of view from you. Try not to get defensive because they are there to show you alternative ways to criticize situations and tackle situations. Appreciate their honesty with you. If you have concerns with their suggestions, discuss them openly to arrive at a consensus.

RESPECT YOUR MENTOR’S TIME

Working with mentors can test your ability to multitask. Recurrently, your mentor may give you a variety of work to be completed; this is because they want to give you as much work experience in the field as possible, and they also have less time to dedicate to their own work after taking you under their wing. Respect your mentor’s time and complete work promptly. This also extends to your communication efforts. Returning their phone calls and emails promptly allows them to schedule extra help or reorganize their personal schedules in the event that you are unable to complete assigned tasks or if you are otherwise unavailable to do so.

TAKE IT SERIOUSLY

This section goes hand-in-hand with respecting your mentor’s time. If you are in business, your mentor is likely a successful business person. If you are a teacher, your mentor is likely a successful professor. If you are in culinary arts, your mentor is likely an extremely busy executive chef. Whatever your field is, it is important to take your mentorship relationship seriously. Again, it is not often that mentees are able to choose their own mentors and be given the opportunity to work alongside them. So, take it seriously!

Consider looking at your opportunity from the perspective of a person who did not get the same chance as you. Perhaps it is because they could not commit the time. Or, maybe it is because your mentor, out of all the individuals who had approached them, chose you to be their mentee. Be gracious that you are able to learn from your mentor because there are others who may be willing to work harder than you but were not given the break to.

SHOW GRATITUDE

Mentors have a great impact on their mentees’ lives. They are the ones who develop their critical thinking skills so that their mentees are able to take on challenges in their professional careers in ways that direct them to success. When you write our graduation notes to be printed in your high school yearbook, many of us thank our teachers, family, and friends for helping us get through the five years of secondary school. Why not do the same for your mentors? Mentors do a lot for you – they may invite you to sit in meetings or go to conferences and networking events that will connect you even more so with individuals in your field. Those are opportunities that not very many people get. It is important that you show your gratitude to your mentor because without them, you would probably have to take the long route to your destination.

Respect Your Mentor’s Confidence

Your mentor’s experiences are priceless. They have likely worked with numerous organizations, with each one giving them more knowledge. With every endeavor your mentor has gone through, they gain more confidence. Respect their sureness and be open to their suggestions. If you do find yourself questioning the legitimacy of their actions, talk to them directly. Everyone comes with their personal beliefs and values, and mentors are there to open your eyes to different solutions, not to challenge your principles.

Let Your Mentor Invite You In

First and foremost, your mentor is there to be your professional role model. They are there to show you the ins and outs of your career so that you may accelerate yourself to your professional growth and development. However, because some mentorship relationships require both parties to work closely together for long periods of time, it is inevitable that professional relationships become more personal. If this is the case, let your mentor invite you into their lives. Remember, as a mentee you are there to learn from their professional experiences first.

Keep The Doors Open

When you stay in relationships that no longer have a purpose, it is doing the other party and yourself a disservice. Eventually, your mentorship relationship will run its course, and you, as a mentee, will need to leave the relationship.

It is important not to burn bridges when you leave any mentorship relationship. Keeping the doors open between yourself and your mentor allows an opportunity to work collaboratively again in the future.

Learn more about creating positive two-way communication within a mentor and mentee relationship with our online courses! 

To learn more about the power of emotional intelligence and the benefits of coaching and mentoring in the workplace, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help leading your organization to success, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Five Tips on How to Coach Employees

Five Tips on How to Coach Employees

So, you have been coaching employees within your business for quite some time now. Your employees’ lives have drastically improved and they have achieved more than what they thought possible before. Nonetheless, you feel like you have reached your peak as a coach; you have given them your best work and all the techniques you know, and have taken them as far as you can take them. However, now you’ve run out of tricks up your sleeve, or tools in your toolbox, and you need a kick in the pants to take your coaching career and your coachees’ lives to a whole new level. Luckily, we’re revealing five tips on how to get a grip on coaching for greater effectiveness so that your employees or coachees will be challenged to be their absolute best.

We have all been there…we have all reached a point where we are stagnant in our careers, and we want to push further. When we get complacent in our coaching, we become too comfortable with the coaching techniques and tools we use and share with our clients. Yet, we know deep down inside we need to introduce some new ones for your own skill development. Fundamentally you know you need to be continuously monitoring your work to stay current and ahead of the marketplace in order to enhance your personal coaching brand and increase the value of your coaching sessions.

Let’s be honest. The Internet has assured us that there are no secrets. Anyone can get anything, anytime, anywhere, and for free. Essentially, everyone knows what you know. Therefore, great coaches understand this ideology and constantly strive to accelerate their learning. As a coach, you must be committed to life-long learning, honest personal and professional evaluation, and continuous self-improvement.

With that in mind, here are five tips on how to coach employees and the techniques to use during your coaching sessions to step up your game.

1) Focus on the word “Instead”

Have you ever had a coachee that is faced with a problem, but seems lost as to where they actually want to go? If this is the case, there is a simple technique you can use with them when they lose sight of their goal. It can help them get to where they want to go if they aren’t quite sure where that is.

The coaching technique I have found that works well is to use the word “instead”. For instance when your coachee is faced with a big problem…ask them to focus on the following:

  • What do you want to be doing, INSTEAD of what you are doing now?
  • What do you want to be thinking, INSTEAD of what you are thinking now?
  • What do you want to be feeling, INSTEAD of what you are feeling now?
  • What do you want to be saying, INSTEAD of what you are saying now?

Once they determine what they want to do, think, feel and say, you will be surprised at how quickly your coachee can come up with alternative solutions to do INSTEAD of what they are currently doing.

2) 10,000 Hours to Master Your Craft

In the book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell, says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.  To motivate your coachee to step up their game, ask them to think about their goal, and work out how many hours they have put into achieving it. Then have them think about how they can increase these hours, and what they can do to reach their goal.

Asking your coachee to break their goal up into the number of hours they have dedicated to will help them figure out a tactical plan on what they need to do to achieve it, and when. Ask them how will they achieve their goal? Do they need support from anyone else? What resources do they need? If any problems come up then what can they do to overcome this?

Focusing on the fact that everyone needs to put in 10,000 hours to master their craft will help your coachee to push themself beyond what they think they can do. This will help them when they need the extra mental energy to push.

Challenge your coachee to push themselves to take one step further to reach their goals, even when they feel they can’t do anymore.

3) Help Them Learn From Their Mistakes

A technique on coaching and developing employees I find to be helpful for my clients is to encourage them to learn from their mistakes. Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Unfortunately in our society, making mistakes is often frowned upon. However, the purpose of coaching employees is to develop their careers and build meaningful relationships. Mistakes are bound to happen, therefore, the key is for your coachee to learn from their mistakes.

As their coach it is your job to encourage them to try new things…and help them realize that making mistakes should not be so feared or considered taboo. Whatever the past mistakes your coachee feels they have made, as their coach, you need to help them reframe it and look at them as learning opportunities. They need to look back and realize that they made a choice based on the knowledge and experience they had at that particular time, and that’s okay.

If they were faced with making that choice again today, they would make a more informed decision. As a journaling exercise, have your coachee share their learning lessons, and knowing now what they do, have them share how they would make different decisions currently. With their knowledge, ask them what they would do differently today based on what they learned from their mistakes.

4) Set Manageable Goals

To be a better coach, set manageable goals for your employees. Ask your coachee to set a goal that is short and to the point. In the book, Your Brain at Work, author David Rock states, “A goal that is three to seven words is fantastic. If you can’t remember something, it doesn’t live in your world. It’s got to be embedded in your brain.”

Ask your coachee to come up with goals that are expressed positively rather than pessimistically. For instance, “Relax More” versus “Be Less Anxious.” Then ask your coachee to draw out a chart and write down all of the items they want to achieve in one column. In the next seven columns beside each goal ask them to document what they did each day that week to focus on their goal.

By the end of the week, your coachee will have a record of how their week went. Did their actions line up with what they valued or wanted? If not, then why not? Where did their week break down? What areas need their attention?

This is a clear tool and technique for your coachee to see how their actions are lining up with their goals.

5) What Would My Hero Do?

We have all had someone we look up to. It could be a great artist, philanthropist, a fictional hero from the movies or a comic book, or even a mentor or family member.

They embody who you want to be and have something you want. Now ask your coachee what your hero would do to get what they want.

Ultimately your hero is an ideal version of you…a better version of yourself. They will tap into what this third person would do and realize their true potential.  Your coachee will then use the strength, imagination, and qualities that they admire from their hero to get them closer to their own goals.

So there you have it – five coaching points on how to coach employees to help you stay on top of your game. Whether you are a manager or a coach, you need to be constantly finding new techniques that will help you get the best out of your coachee.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If these five coaching tips above are not enough to help you and your coachee maximize your full potential, connect with us for more tips and programs on how to reach your coaching goals.

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How to Build Quality Relationships

How to Build Quality Relationships

In the corporate world, it’s easy to see the importance of relationships, and the benefits they can bring to your business. Mike Fishbein, in his book, Stop Networking!: Building Relationships, Meeting New People and Connecting with Authenticity, highlights the importance of truly connecting with others on a deeper level versus the superficial niceties we are expected to do at networking events. “Both consciously and subconsciously, people are motivated to do business with people they know, like, and trust.” This means you can’t just try to develop a relationship with someone because you want/need something from them. There needs to be a benefit to both parties. Not to mention, people know when you are trying to befriend them for ulterior motives. This is where emotional intelligence comes in…we need to strengthen our interpersonal skills and develop mutually satisfying relationships in business.

Dale Carnegie, in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, states, “If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.” This means we need to learn to be more supportive. Being socially responsible means caring about others and contributing to the community. That community may be the community in which they live, the organization in which they work, or the people in which they lead. In essence, it means giving back.

On a personal level, we all know how much high-quality relationships matter. Brandon Burchard, in his e-book, Transformation Truths, states, “Much of the quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships. Healthy relationships are those that support your well-being and growth.” Having strong connections with others satisfy a basic human need for us to be close to and supported by others. Many studies show, we are happier, healthier, and can even live longer when we have solid relationships in our lives. Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, who also happened to be the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree said it best, “walking alone in the dark with a friend is better than walking alone in the light.”

So, knowing all of this, why is taking time to strengthen our relationships put on hold so often? Many people have difficulties networking & building professional and/or personal relationships.  For some people, the ability to build strong connections comes naturally, for others it is a challenge.

Here are four simple tips to deepen your relationships:

1. Schedule It

Often we get so caught up in the daily activities that we don’t stop to take time to strengthen our relationships. It’s important to schedule time for friends, whether it is a week in advance, or a month.  Make sure you have a specific date picked out to spend time together. By actually scheduling a specific date instead of saying something like, “let’s hang out next week sometime” will dramatically increase the chances that it will happen.  Tony Robbins states,  “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”  When you actually schedule something in your life, you are making it a priority in your life.

2. Disconnect to Connect

With technology limiting our face-to-face interaction, building strong relationships is more valuable and more challenging than ever before.  When you are out with others, be it business or pleasure, unplug and listen!  Today, the majority of our communications are filtered through virtual media devices.  Multitasking is commonplace. When you put your phone down and listen, you will improve your listening skills and become a better friend or business partner. The quality of time you are spending will improve, and it will give your brain the much-needed break from the next item on your to-do list.

3. Don’t Be Judgemental

As we get older, we tend to settle into our daily routine and can start to judge others who may do things differently than us. It’s important to be open-minded and realize that different people do different things. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors stated it best, “A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.” Instead of judging your relationships, try instead to understand the person. Use your emotional intelligence and empathy skills, and try to put yourself in their shoes. This open-mindedness could create an opportunity to face a problem in your life with a different perspective, open up the potential of a business idea, or make you more effective at communicating with that challenging team member.

4. Stay Connected

Making time is important, but staying connected when you are not physically together is just as important.  Like most of us, our schedule fills up quickly, the to-do list is never-ending, and you forget to schedule time for yourself, let alone your friends. Your friends, peers, or subordinates will appreciate you checking in, even if you don’t have time to get that face-to-face time scheduled.

Follow these four simple tips and you will be one step closer to building stronger friendships!

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help building quality relationships in your organization, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

Working with different groups of people is unenviable. Whether it is in the workplace or the classroom, at some point you will have to work with a team to pursue a common outcome.

When you are in a group you are faced with differences in opinions, beliefs, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Introducing emotional intelligence (EI) into a group setting will allow the whole team to work together with minimal clashing.

When working in teams, the first thing you should do is observe the team and see if there are any visible signs of EI already taking place.

What to look for:

  • When a person is talking, are others paying attention?
  • Is each person’s opinions and ideas being heard?
  • If someone has a different opinion, does everyone acknowledge it and try to understand it?
  • Is there a sense of optimism?
  • Is the group focused on seeking solutions?
  • Does everyone respectfully speak their mind and feel comfortable doing so?

Benefits of an emotionally intelligent team:

  • It allows for the group to have open and honest conversations
  • You gain respect for others that may have different opinions
  • Individuals gain more confidence
  • Grows trust in one another
  • Productivity improves
  • Increases efficiency

Implementing emotional intelligence into a team:

When introducing a more EI forward group dynamic, it is important to start an open conversation. If there isn’t a clear leader in the group, that is ok, you can be the one to take on this role. A leader’s guide to solving challenges with emotional intelligence starts with building unity. In the first meeting start a conversation that allows everyone to speak on what their ideal result of the project is. Some questions to get the conversation flowing are as followed:

  • Why is the group working together?
  • What is the common outcome needed by us working together?
  • What are everyone’s ideas?
  • What role is everyone comfortable with having?
  • Are there certain things you don’t want to do?

Remember, when someone is speaking, active listening is key. If you are initiating the conversation, facilitate the discussion to ensure everyone is listening and accepting differing opinions.

The next thing you should be doing is having regular check-ins with the team.  A check-in is a great tool to use to make sure everyone is on the same page. If someone is unhappy with the direction the team is going, everyone needs to listen and understand why he or she feels that way, so the team can find a resolution together.

Now that the team is communicating and using active listening, you need to create opportunities for continued bonding. A great team is only as strong as the connection between all team members and comradery can happen both inside and outside of the workplace. When team members gather outside of work, it makes the team more cohesive. Keep in mind if you are not working, don’t talk about it!

Emotional intelligence and team effectiveness go hand-in-hand. Working in a team setting can be challenging at times, but with the help of emotional intelligence, individuals are able to feel a sense of group identity and achieve results more efficiently.

If you are interested in a free emotional intelligence team activity to help build trust and develop intimate and authentic connections quickly click here.

To learn more about leading with emotional intelligence and how it impacts your team, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help building an emotionally intelligent team, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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