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4 Ways to Improve Personal Effectiveness & Professional Presence

  
  
  
  
  
  

Accountability and professional presence4 Ways to Dig Yourself Out of a Rut & Get Your Career Back on Track

Are you in a funk? Maybe it's because of outside forces that are beyond your control, but once you recognize that your work-life has become humdrum, you have the power to change your mindset and so your situation. The first step upward is to realize that the solution isn't likely to be provided by anyone or any event outside yourself. The ability to climb out of your rut lies within you.

So how do you move yourself? Ruts come about because of a pervasive resistance to change. The stairway out of a rut is created by increasing your personal effectiveness, shaking things up a bit—seeking change. Once you've made the decision to help yourself put the following 4 suggestions to use to lift your mood and maybe even to lift the mood of those around you.

CLICK TO READ THE 4 WAYS NOW...

 

GRIT: Your Professional Development Secret Weapon!

Whether you are a recent graduate or are already mid-career, the two main predictors of success are the same. Hard skills give us the baseline for any project or job. But what two traits give the most successful business leaders the edge that gets them ahead? Professional presence and grit are the traits that set you apart.

GRIT: DO YOU HAVE IT? READ ALL ABOUT IT...

 Personal Effectiveness

4 Ways to Open Career Doors & Improve Personal Effectiveness

Learning and understanding professional culture is critical to personal effectiveness in the workplace and professional presence. It’s also the smoothest way to forge your professional credibility. 

“Most organizations define their cultural values by a strategic imperative. If the initiative is to focus on clients, the behaviors and actions must reflect that. If building market share is valued, the alignment must be on challenging the status quo.” 

~Suzanne Updegraff, CEO, Employee Development Systems, Inc. 

Organizational culture is the DNA of a company. Just like individuals, every firm is unique. On the top layer, it includes things like dress code, and flex time policies.  Under those initial policies? That is where you find the even more important cultural morays of an organization. Think about your current workplace. What behaviors are recognized and rewarded? How are people managed, motivated and developed? Think about how employees succeed or fail, regardless of their ability. If not ability, then what is determining those outcomes? Asking those questions will reveal the heart of your corporate culture.

START USING THESE 4 WAYS TO IMPROVE EFFECTIVENESS TODAY...

Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!

The Only REAL Accountability Starts Here

Regardless of how important we say accountability is, organizations tend to only bring up the term when there is a complete break down, and an obvious lack of accountability in a team, department or organization. That’s when we tend to unpack the overused business speak, and the Human Resources Department starts a new round of metrics, analytics and evaluations to increase accountability.

As questioned in a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Who should get what data about physician success rates, hospital effectiveness, student achievement, or school performance? What should be measured or tested, and what should be done with the data? Should physician reimbursement be outcome-based, and what factors should be part of outcome measurement? Should teachers be held accountable for the academic success or failure of their students?” 

Those efforts are ultimately in vain if they are not working hand-in-hand with self-accountability.  Once change is initiated in your employees, you will see it spread throughout the workplace.

READ ABOUT THE ONLY REAL ACCOUNTABILITY...


At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization.

800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com 

Great Resume? Here's What You May Be Missing-Professional Presence!

  
  
  
  
  
  

Professional Presence, Employee Developemnt Systems, Inc.“The next time you are heading out the door, pause at the mirror and make sure that what you see reflects your purpose and value.” Amy Spiegel, author and business leader

Fact: You will be judged by your physical appearance. How you choose to dress is one of the first things people will notice about you and shapes their perception of you. 

“The most basic mistake new employees make is underdressing,” says Randall Hansen, a professor of business at Stetson University in Deland, Fla. “If unsure, dress conservatively. The best way to avoid a problem is to understand the corporate culture.”

Making the right impression at work isn’t hard if you keep in mind three basic points when buying clothes for the office: 




1. Presentation counts. 



2. Casual shouldn’t mean slovenly. 



3. Dress as you want to be seen: Serious, professional, upward-bound and ready to meet clients.



Dress for your next position, not your current one! Take notice of the professional presence of people who are currently in your “goal job.” Take a look at the rising stars in your department or organization. How do you compare?

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Even though most companies have a dress code, there is plenty of room for interpretation. Make your presentation reflect your professionalism and your personal style. In the words of one style expert, “Understated elegance beats flash and trash five days a week. That means men shouldn’t dress like aspiring rock stars, and women should shun the Paris Hilton look.”


As a leader or emerging professional, your future depends on taking the 3 core concepts of professionalism seriously:

  • behaviors
  • personal presentation
  • business presence

What Distinguishes Individuals with High Professional Presence?

  1. Confidence in their abilities to perform the functions they were hired to do.
  2. An ability to solve problems and focus on solutions.
  3. They make decisions that are sound and responsible and impact the good of the organization as opposed to self-serving.
  4. Confronting or eliminating fears from their thinking. Focusing on positive outcomes instead of negative results is their operational method.
  5. Taking risks. Professionals take calculated, measurable risks  in order to challenge themselves, create movement and change the organizational culture.
  6. They take care of themselves through effective self-management. They exercise, they eat the right foods, they nurture themselves and create an environment that is positive and motivating instead of one that is filled with stress.

Pay Attention to First Impression Impact!
Numerous studies support the premise that within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone they have formed an impression of you based upon the behaviors that you’ve chosen to give them. Impressions are powerful beliefs that are difficult to change.

Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!
Not Just Another Nice Suit!
Appearance can create credibility. You know this from your own experience watching TV food-fight shows focusing on politics and other chin-pulling topics. Think of the number of times experts from opposing sides of an issue have made good points during an exchange, but you remember what one said simply because that person was better dressed and came across better on screen.

You’ve probably read plenty of articles about a basic professional wardrobe, and how you can never go wrong with these basics:


Men

  • A button-down shirt.
  • 
Polished black shoes. 

  • A blue, black or gray jacket. 

  • Slacks that complement the jacket. 

  • Don’t forget the socks! 



Women

  • A skirt that hits just above the knee
  • Slacks and perhaps pantsuits.
  • 

Simple jewelry. 


  • Just a hint of makeup. 


  • Polished flats or moderate heels. 


  • Sweaters. 




Here’s the Secret
Most people master clothing, the obvious professional presence hallmark. Many downplay or even forget that grooming, personal habits, accessories, and your office, desk, or cubicle are also part of your professional presence. Pay attention to your hair, fingernails, nose and ear hair, breath, nail biting, facial hair, and anything else associated with your body.

Do you bite your nails or have any other personal habits? Overcome them to improve your polish. You want to take your career (and life) to the next level, and mastering habits is the bedrock of your current and future success. You are dressing to reinforce your professionalism and competence. Some young professionals don’t understand the difference and damage their careers. 



In the words of Mark Twain, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”
Do not go naked (or inappropriately dressed) into that good night.

Executive & Professional Presence: Do You Have What it Takes?

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee Development Systems, Inc. Professional PresenceThe aura of leadership that some people exude seems to surpass all of the typical outward indications, of the best suits and shoes worthy of an executive. According to a study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, executives that successfully convey their current (and likely future) position act self confident, strategic, decisive, and assertive.

These days we have less time to convey an impression to others. Several big businesses have recently launched programs in professional presence that open the eyes of their attendees, giving them an increased sense of their professional selves, how they address others, their communication style, their behavioral patterns, and more. The typical outcome of these programs is a set of employees who embrace self-accountability and have a clear sense of themselves, their impact on those around them, and how to be their most effective self, both personally and professionally.


A solid understanding of professionalism in a contemporary setting differentiates you from everyone else around you who are following a career path and following a life at home, versus creating one. Increase your professional presence to stop following and start creating!



Impact Performance Now

What distinguishes individuals with high professional presence?

  • Confidence in their abilities to perform the functions they were hired to do.
  • An ability to solve problems and focus on solutions.
  • They make decisions that are sound and responsible and impact the good of the organization as opposed to self-serving.
  • Confronting or eliminating fears from their thinking. Focusing on positive outcomes instead of negative results is their operational method.
  • Taking risks. Professionals take calculated, measurable risks in order to challenge themselves, create movement and change the organizational culture.
  • They take care of themselves through effective self-management. They exercise, they eat the right foods, they nurture themselves and create an environment that is positive and motivating instead of one that is filled with stress.


Perfect Your Presence!

  • Be honest with yourself about your own challenges; how you communicate and convey yourself to others.
  • Practice active listening skills
  • Never interrupt!
  • Avoid interruptions by counting to four before you reply
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Stand or sit large to demonstrate you take up space
  • Use few qualifiers as they imply lack of confidence
  • Don't clasp your hands behind your back (you'll look deceptive)
  • Practice a firm handshake
  • Clarify your purpose and how it serves others. This will improve your performance.
  • Pay attention to the existing culture in your workplace. Does your behavior and outlook match that? If not, modify your behaviors to succeed in that environment.
  • Learn the competencies that you will need for the future and get started with self-training. Remember Covey’s words of wisdom to always “Sharpen the saw!”

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When was the last time you sharpened your skills in these Professional Competency areas?

  • Organization awareness for strategic imperatives
  • Leadership skills
  • Technological innovation & literacy
  • Personal accountability for performance
  • Change management & resiliency
  • Verbal & written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Global application & understanding
  • Presentation skills
  • Collaborating

Consider choosing at least 4 of these areas where you could build your competence, and make it a professional priority to begin sharpening your skills in those areas. Can you work with your manager to develop a career plan that is inclusive of the areas you identified above?

Most people get stuck in one set of skills. They don’t push, they don’t try harder, and therefore, they don’t excel. Here is the good news: You can be different!

At Employee Development Systems, Inc., our programs been helping companies increase productivity and effectiveness for over 20 years. We invite you to take a look at our programs and what our clients have gained from working with us.

Generation Mix: The Future has Arrived!

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee Development Systems, Inc. Generational MixYou are likely in an intergenerational workplace, and may often ask yourself, "Who are these people, and how did they get here?!" For all practical purposes there are now 4 generations populating the US workforce.

  • The Veterans or Traditionalists were born before 1946, making them at least 68 years old.
  • Baby Boomers, born between 1947 and 1965, are between 49 and 67.
  • GenXers, born between 1966 and 1980, are between 34 and 48.
  • And then there are the Millennials, who were born after 1980, the oldest of whom are now 33.

This mix of cultures is creating communication challenges throughout the workforce.

A communication divide between generations is probably as old as mankind. Younger generations have always chomped at the bit to take over, to implement their ideas, to be in charge. The older generations, though, have always had superior knowledge, years of experience, and long-developed networks influence, all of which allowed them to take their time giving opportunities and relinquishing power to the next generation. So, though there was a communication divide, it was the younger generation’s problem. They were simply expected to adjust.

There has been a shift in that paradigm, however. As hierarchical management styles have given way to today’s flat, egalitarian styles, workers at all levels frequently affect all aspects of organizational culture, including communication styles. Add to that the fact that in today’s workplace, the youngest workers are being courted, catered to, and given management responsibilities very early in their careers. Promotions are most often based on merit, with digital skills, social media prowess, and creative ideas frequently carrying much more weight than real world knowledge, experience, and institutional memory.

As a result, resentments can be simmering under the surface adding another subtle impediment to smooth and open communication. Baby Boomers find themselves answering to Millennials, and GenXers often feel that they’re being passed over just as they are reaching their most productive years. In this new paradigm newcomers aren’t automatically expected to adjust to the prevailing culture of communication. All parties are called upon the adapt to new standards and techniques.

Rather than simply inculcating new hires into the existing culture, supervisors and managers are negotiating between the generations to modify communication styles. To be effective the changes made must take the preferences of all parties into account, be sensitive to existing resentments, and keep the primary goal of opening lines of communication in order to focus on work.

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When approaching company-wide or department-wide changes involving multiple generations, the two foremost considerations to keep in mind are:

1) What are the values and expectations of each generation? Each of the four generations in the current workforce has different values and expectations. When making changes, and also when introducing the changes, it’s important to take those differences into account. For each group to buy in to change they must be assured that their priorities have been considered and met.

Traditionalists value respect for authority and discipline. Good grammar and spelling, respectful forms of address, and professional language in organization communications are important to them.

Baby Boomers are optimistic and value involvement. Including them in memos, emails, and any communication relating to their department or project is crucial to their whole-hearted cooperation.

GenXers are skeptical. They value fun and informality. To keep the trust of this generation it’s important to keep them in the loop whether through written communication or informal chats.

The GenY generation values collaboration, social life, and feedback. They are friendly, like to work on teams, and value feedback and acknowledgement of their contributions.

2) What mode of communication does each generation prefer? Technology has altered modes of communication drastically in the last 20 years. One size no longer fits all. The generations have different preferences, which must be acknowledged and as must as possible accommodated.

Traditionalists prefer to communicate face-to-face, by writing memos, or by phone.

Baby Boomers, who are frequently considered workaholics, communicate most often by phone, often making themselves available anytime of day or night.

GenXers prefer email or to use their cell phones, but only during work hours.

 GenYers strongly prefer texting and email.

Ideally closing the communication divide will include new hires adapting to the organizations formal language for correspondence as well as upper management regularly checking email and using texting and email in less formal situations. Every person and group should be encouraged to modify their style, to acknowledge and experiment with the preferences of others.

The flow of communication is imperative to an organization’s success and the modern management styles and new technology demand adaptation across all levels and generations within the organization.

We're coming to a city near you with a COMPLIMENTARY 1/2 day program based on Patrick Lencioni's 5 Habits of a Cohesive Team! The morning includes a complimentary continental breakfast and you will receive the latest workplace data. We look forward to seeing you there!

Reserve Your Spot


EDSI programs that address generational issues in the workplace are some of the most  impactful programs we offer. They give attendees a fresh perspective and the tools to make the most of each other's strengths. We invite you to learn more. www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com



Stop Resisting and Watch Professional Presence Soar!

  
  
  
  
  
  

EDSI KnockDoorA solid understanding of professionalism in a contemporary setting differentiates you from everyone else around you who are following a career path and following a life at home, versus creating one. Increase your professional presence to stop following and start creating!

What distinguishes individuals with high professional presence?

  • Confidence in their abilities to perform the functions they were hired to do.
  • An ability to solve problems and focus on solutions.
  • They make decisions that are sound and responsible and impact the good of the organization as opposed to self-serving.
  • Confronting or eliminating fears from their thinking. Focusing on positive outcomes instead of negative results is their operational method.
  • Taking risks. Professionals take calculated, measurable risks in order to challenge themselves, create movement and change the organizational culture.
  • They take care of themselves through effective self-management. They exercise, they eat the right foods, they nurture themselves and create an environment that is positive and motivating instead of one that is filled with stress.

Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!

We know increasing professional presence and personal effectiveness will lead to more success in business and life. So why do we resist change?

  • Ironically, successful people tend to build their own wall to further success and growth. Don’t let your initial success stop you from continuing to grow and build your career (and life).  Many of us in the workplace delude ourselves about our achievements, status, and contributions.
  • We overestimate our contribution to a project
  • Take credit, partial or complete, for successes that truly belong to others.
  • Have an elevated opinion of our professional skills and our standing among our peers.
  • Conveniently ignore the costly failures and time-consuming dead-ends we have created.
  • Exaggerate our projects’ impact on net profits because we discount the real and hidden costs built into them (the costs are someone else’s problems; the success is ours).

Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!

According to Marshall Goldsmith, award winning author and business leader, these delusions are a result of success, not failure. That’s because we get positive reinforcement from our past successes, and, in a mental leap that’s easy to justify, we think that our past success is predictive of great things in our future. Unfortunately, past success is the very thing that keeps people from moving ahead excelling at a higher level. Do you want to be moderately good at your job or a brilliant performer who is widely respected? It’s time to stop resting on your past successes and take an honest look at what will get you to the next level.

Revisit the core concepts of your work habits.
Improve your successes by taking an honest look at how your professional behavior impacts the way others respond to you and your ideas. Now is the time to ferret out the behaviors that are hindering your career!
Winning too much Many already successful people are over-competitive. The winning too much problem is related to many other professional challenges, such as arguing too much, putting down other people, ignoring others, and withholding information to give ourselves an edge. Are you guilty of these behaviors? As an already successful person, you will be able to move to the next level by addressing those behaviors and fixing them.


Your Success To-Do List:

  • Learn to actively listen to others.
  • Clarify your purpose and how it serves others. This will improve your performance.
  • Pay attention to the existing culture in your workplace. Does your behavior and outlook match that? If not, modify your behaviors to succeed in that environment.
  • Learn the competencies that you will need for the future and get started with self-training. Remember Covey’s words of wisdom to always “Sharpen the saw!”

At EDSI, our programs been helping companies increase productivity and effectiveness for over 20 years. We invite you to take a look at our programs and what our clients have gained from working with us.

5 Essential Building Blocks of a Thriving Work Culture

  
  
  
  
  
  

Workplace Culture, Employee Development Systems, Inc. In the words of author and business leader, Adam Whitty, “You don’t have to be a business guru to recognize when a business is firing on all cylinders, that everyone is putting their skills to maximum use, working together, and actually having a good time. How to create that chemistry – that’s the question.”

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Here are 5 ways to get that hum in your workplace every day.


1) Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait. An A-player is someone who brings all of the necessary qualifications to the table – perhaps more than you were expecting – and that something extra as a human being. Of course, that isn’t always readily apparent during a 45-minute interview; it can take time to see the true colors of a talented individual to come through.
This speaks to the importance of having an intuitive hiring manager, “which may be a small business’s CEO,” Witty adds. Also, it’s important to have A-players who put the team first. Egomaniacs who cannot collaborate can grind productivity to a screeching halt.
Prioritize recruiting the most fitting people for the position and organization. The wrong person costs your company.  It’s much better to have an empty spot than the wrong person lurking around your office.


2) Recognize the importance of having fun. “Having fun not only helps your team do well, it’s a sign that you’re doing things right,” Witty says. “Where fun and work meet is the understanding from employees that they’re making a difference. You want a team of individuals who are motivated by the ‘why’ of what they do.” Fun at work means having energy and enthusiasm while tending to the tasks at hand.


3) Make employees and clients your extended family. A family environment significantly facilitates a team mentality, especially for those quiet geniuses who like to keep to themselves because they’re shy. But why stop there? Extend the love to clients, suppliers and other crucial components of the business. Without these folks, your business couldn’t survive.


4) Commit to lifelong learning. Seek to uncover and promote the leader in every one on your team by encouraging all members to follow a path of personal and professional development. With increased knowledge, experiences and skills, people lead to a more fulfilled life, which can profit everyone within a working environment.


5) Utilize the trouble makers. Which members of your team are scrappy upstarts? Start using their talents to consider new solutions to the same old problems, instead of trying to make them fit into the typical team dynamic. According to author Witty, “Our team members are driven by the ‘why’ of what we do. The right content in the right person’s hands at the right time can change the world forever. We believe in sharing stories, passion and knowledge to guide and help others learn and grow.”

We are coming to a city near you! Join us for a COMPLIMENTARY 1/2 day workshop and get the latest workplace data on building cohesive teams. See you there!

Reserve Your Spot

Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. With over 20 years of experience in employee develoment, we know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us.

The One Skill that Improves Your Personal Effectiveness

  
  
  
  
  
  
Employee Development Systems, Inc. “The ability to make a person feel that, when you’re with that person, he or she is the most important (and the only) person in the room is the skill that separates the great from the near-great.” ~Marshall Goldsmith

Can you make people feel that they are the only one who matters? This is the skill that defines some of the most successful interviewers, such as Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer. Bill Clinton also has this ability. He makes a point of knowing or learning something positive about the people he communicates with, and letting them know that he recognizes it.

Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!

What is at the core of this kind of intentional listening? FOCUS. People tend to lose focus when listening to others. Eyes dart around the room, thoughts of your next meeting or the next thing you want to say are edging in. Here is an exercise to help you increase focus. Close your eyes. Start counting to 50, and only concentrate on counting. If your mind wanders, bring it back to counting. You may be surprised that many people are unable to do this. Use this exercise as a way to improve your ability to concentrate in your everyday communications. Once you can  count to 50 without interrupting yourself, then you’re ready for a test drive. Here is a core listening list, compliments of Marshall Goldsmith:
  • Listen, don’t interrupt.
  • Don’t finish the other person’s sentences.
  • Don’t say “I knew that.”  
  • Don’t even agree with the other person (even if he praises you, just say, “Thank you”).
  • Don’t use the wordsthe words “no,” “but,” and “however.”
  • Don’t be distracted. Don’t let your eyes or attention wanter elsewhere while the other person is talking.
  • Maintain your end of the dialogue by asking intelligent questions that (a) show you’re paying attention, (b) move the conversation forward, and (c) require the other person to talk (while you listen).
Eliminate any striving to impress the other person with how smart or funny you are Your only aim is to let the other person feel that he or she is accomplishing that. In the words of Marshall Goldsmith, “The more you subsume your desire to shine, the more you will shine in the other person’s eyes.

Effective listening skills are one of the cornerstones in personal effectiveness. After many years and countless clients and colleagues who have improved their careers (and lives) from our Increasing Personal Effectiveness program, we have found that true, sincere, active listening skills are key to success.

Listen for collaboration.
Solve problems by asking questions.
Create self-growth through listening to constructive feedback.

The 5 Flaws of Listening
  1. Giving advice
  2. Defensiveness
  3. Interrupting
  4. One-upmanship
  5. Telling others how to feel
WARNING
Active listening is not about developing newfound charm!  Make it purposeful, sincere, and focused on making the other person feel recognized and understood. You already know how to do this, because you do it on those special occasions, like a first date, an interview, or meeting someone you admire for the first time. Now remember to do it all the time.

Impact Performance Now


“Successful people become great leaders when they learn to shift the focus from themselves to others.”  ~Marshall Goldsmith

Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. We know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us.

6 Benefits of Conflict & Leveraging it for Personal Effectiveness

  
  
  
  
  
  
Employee Development Systems, Inc. Conflict can be uncomfortable and is generally viewed as a negative in business and in life. Most people fear it and try to avoid it by being agreeable, by going along to get along. There is, however, a cost to that kind of harmony. An environment totally free of conflict is static. In the same way that friction creates heat and, properly managed, can ignite a fire, conflicting ideas and goals, properly channeled, can spark innovation.

Impact Performance Now

In a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) Blog Post Liane Davey says, "Teams need conflict to function effectively. Conflict allows the team to come to terms with difficult situations, to synthesize diverse perspectives, and to make sure solutions are well thought-out."

Ron Ashkenas and Lisa Bodell add their voices in favor of what they term constructive conflict in their recent HBR article Nice Managers Embrace Conflict, Too with this bit of wisdom: "When people hesitate to speak up about poor practices or processes that don’t make sense, it creates a significant amount of unnecessary complexity and fosters a passive acceptance of the status quo."

What is it about conflict that people fear? They fear its power, its ability to stir intense emotions such as anger, hostility, and defensiveness. But that same power, used positively, can excite creativity. It can energize and motivate.

Because of its negative aspect, societies have devised constructs to more safely use conflict or controversy in positive ways. Governments employ formal debate by opposing parties. Jesters, using comedy, physical antics, and music, had the ability to speak the truth to kings and noblemen in relative safety. In our own society, comedians, artists, and writers often fill that role, encouraging divergent perspectives by illuminating, exaggerating, and reflecting society back to itself.

In working with teams on projects, constructive conflict can be a useful and powerful tool, especially once a few strong directions for a project or solutions for a problem have been identified. It is just as important to know, and be able to address, the downsides of a solution, as its upsides. Knowing what ways your new product fails to satisfy some consumer needs will open up discussion for improvements. Brainstorming sessions where dissent and debate are encouraged can inspire a multitude of creative ideas.

If respectful dissent doesn't come naturally to your team, you can encourage it by dividing the team into small groups and assigning each group to either defend an idea, or advocate against it. Ask each group to gather as much evidence as possible supporting the position that they represent, and be prepared to  present and defend their position at the next team meeting.

Since there is no question that conflict can be destructive, it is imperative to cultivate constructive conflict within your team with written guidelines to remind them to:

Participate;
Listen to everyone's ideas whether or not they agree;
Be critical of ideas, not people;
Focus on coming to the best decision, not necessarily the decision they initially endorse;
Be willing to change their mind;
And remember: The perfect can be the enemy of the good.
Recent research* has shown that healthy conflict has the potential to deliver significant benefits, such as:

Focus the attention of all participants on the project or problem being considered;
  • Energize the team members to seek new information;
  • Motivate participants to continue to think about the project outside the working sessions;
  • Produce higher levels of creativity and divergent thinking;
  • Improve participants' open-mindedness, their ability to view problems from different perspectives; and
  • Strengthen working relationships.
  • Encourage respectful dissent on your next project to energize your team, challenge assumptions, and spark creativity.
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Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”
― Isaac Asimov

Is Teamwork is Over-Rated? 6 Actions to Increase Team Effectiveness

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee Development Systems, Inc.Leaders often can’t help but step up and become the point person on the latest initiative. They bravely plow through the big challenge and thrive on personal career success. But hold the phone! Significant research has shown that groups make better decisions than individuals, that there is wisdom in crowds. So instead of taking the reigns, use your energy to form useful and well-run teams, and you’ll find that strides are made more quickly and efficiently than you could do it on your own. Your role as a leader includes 3 main tasks.


1. Challenge the status quo. Make it your priority to consistently expose your team to disruptive ideas. Give them new people and perspectives as often as possible. This will keep them thinking of the bigger picture and not accepting the status quo solutions that other teams have been coming up with for years.

2. Questions are king. Don’t over simply. Keep asking questions! This will ensure that your team is able to address complex, challenging tasks.


3. Build relationships and trust. As Patrick Lencioni, New York Times best-selling author has shown us, one of the core habits of a successful teams is a relationship based on trust. This means you have fostered a relationship that allows people to speak up, instigate conflict, and openly solve problems together, without fear of reprisal.


Short List for Developing Trust
While not many of us will come across the same conflicts that member so the US Armed Forces handle, the army has a powerful process for developing trust.  Ask these questions, compliments of Harvard Business Review, to facilitate trust building in your organization:

  • Do I place trust in my employees as a prerequisite to earning theirs?
  • What are my organization/profession’s shared values and culture?
  • Have these values been articulated within the organization to the point they are internalized and go without saying?
  • How much do I know about my employees and their families and how well do they know me?
  • What experiences can I offer to increase cooperation and familiarity in ways that are appropriate and rewarding?
  • And last but certainly not least, does my personal competence inspire trust in my subordinates?

Now it's time to put thes concepts to work.Employee Development Systems, Inc.

JOIN US IN YOUR CITY THIS SUMMMER FOR A COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR!

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You may have already learned that Patrick Lencioni's words of wisdom from his New York Times Best-Selling book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team have recently been made into a watershed program for building cohesive teams. If you aren't familiar with Patrick Lencioni, here is a quick video:

The main concepts of The 5 Habits of a Cohesive Team have already gone to work for many organizations. As a mission-driven company, the EDSI team is very excited about the ideas and skills that this program provides.

As a matter of fact, we're so excited about it that we're traveling to 11 cities this summer, and providing a complimentary 1/2 day seminar to our colleagues and clients. EDSI is covering the cost, so attendees are able to concentrate on the takeaways. (We're also serving a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch.)

Finding ways to build confidence in people who only have to look as far as the daily news to find numerous reasons why not to trust may be challenging, but ultimately well worth the effort.

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Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. We know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us.

The 5 C's of Completing Anything & Increasing Personal Effectiveness

  
  
  
  
  
  

Employee Development Systems, Inc.In one way or another all of EDSI’s programs deal with the ability to complete what you have started. This could be related to professional presence, personal effectiveness, or performance management, but they all touch on making sure you are able to consistently follow through on your commitments. We don’t usually think about this, but there are concrete steps to completing the projects you have started, which will lead to completing your career and personal goals, and helping you create your ideal career!

Read and internalize these steps. Believe us, they have worked for thousands of our program participants over the years, and we’re confident that they’ll work for you, too.


The 5 C’s of Completing Anything
Clarity
Concreteness
Commitment
Concentration
Celebration


Clarity
If you don’t have a very clear idea of what you are doing and why, then your project is unlikely to be completed, at least not to your satisfaction. The famous Covey example comes to mind here. If you are leaning your ladder against the wrong building, it doesn’t matter if you climb fast, you’re still going to the wrong place.  This is the same as when you are lost and start to drive faster. Of course, you’ll only get more lost, more quickly! Without clarity, starting, following through (and most of all) completing anything at all will be drudgery.
Clarity is knowing generally what needs to be done, whereas concreteness is knowing specifically what needs to be done. What are the exact steps needed to get this done? Many people shy away from this step, because they’re concerned that once they acknowledge all the steps, the project will just become overwhelming, and seem less likely to succeed. Not so! If you have all the steps in mind, you are free to start on some part of your challenge, every day. A to-do list also will keep you going on those days when your energy is waning. You can just go to the list and at least do SOMETHING to help you accomplish your goal, even if you are having a tough week.  


Concreteness
Concreteness is the tie that binds your clarity and concreteness together. It is what gives you the ability to move ahead. Let’s face it, without resolve, you’re not likely to get to the end of your project with a satisfying result.

Commitment
Do you fill your to-do list with lack of commitment? Seriously, we all do, at one time or another. You may be filling your daily list with things you should do. The successful list includes only those things that you are truly committed to accomplishing. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure, and starting tomorrow with a sense of feeling behind.

Concentration
Do you flit around from email to website to project? Does your morning fly by and you wonder what you’ve been doing for the last four hours? Most people around you are doing the same thing. Here is your chance to rise above the fray. Learn to “batch” your day. Commit to concentrating on one project for 45 -90 minutes at a time, and don’t let yourself check email or answer a phone call. It will drastically impact your personal effectiveness, both at work and home.


Celebration
Remember, when you have clarity surrounding your goals, every single thing you do is getting you closer to your destination. So celebrate! This will give you the energy and boost you need to address tomorrow’s work with the same clarity, concreteness, commitment, and concentration that you did today!


Finally, what do you need to quit?
This is not part of the 5 Cs of completion, but choosing NOT to do something means that you are putting more energy behind the work and the service to others that is really yours to do. It’s okay to quit something that you shouldn’t have been spending time on in the first place. It may be an indicator of your increased clarity. Some things just fall off the list naturally when you are focused on the work you really want and need to do.

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