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  • feedwordpress 08:00:58 on 2018/07/05 Permalink
    Tags: , business, , , , , , , ,   

    How to Make Your Management Meetings More Productive  

    For anyone who works within an organization, meetings are a fact of life. And there are few things in corporate life worse than badly run meetings—the ones that don’t start on time and don’t stay on track but circle around and around in endless discussion with no direction, leaving everyone to wonder who’s in charge.

    It doesn’t have to be that way. A meeting that’s structured and run well can be an effective and even productive use of everyone’s time. As a leadership and executive coach, I’ve helped hundreds of chief executives learn how to run effective meetings.

    Based on that experience, here are the strategies that work best:

    Provide an agenda in advance. An effective meeting needs prep work, and that  means putting together an agenda. An agenda is a great tool for making sure your meetings stay on track and on time. It can help you set expectations up front, organize the subjects you want to cover into a workable structure, and avoid wasted time.

    Send the agenda and any important background material 24 hours in advance. Once you’ve prepared your agenda, send it to participants for input. There may be something important that another participant wants to talk about, or something you’ve forgotten to add—or there may be some points you’ve listed that are already resolved. By sending the agenda and other meeting materials in advance, you give people a chance to prepare and make the most of their time.

    Highlight important agenda items. Make a list of the highest-priority items, the ones that are the most important or urgent. Get through those before you tackle the lower-priority items so if something takes longer than planned you don’t have to let the meeting run late.

    Determine whether each agenda item requires a decision or is open only for discussion. Then include both lists as part of the agenda. If possible, assign and enforce time limits for all speakers on each agenda item.

    Prepare yourself. For every meeting on your calendar, schedule a 15-minute block of prep time. Use that time to think of ways you can add value to the meeting. Good preparation will allow you to lend your expertise to the meeting.

    Start on time. If you don’t start your meetings on time, chances are you won’t end on time. Then the next meeting starts late. Before you know it, the entire day is off schedule. This strict time rule needs to happen at every level of the organization, starting from the very top.

    Gather the right people. Give some thought to the list of people who should be there because of their expertise, their great ideas, or their need to know. At the same time, don’t waste the time of people who don’t have a reason to be there.

    Stay away from rabbit holes. Every meeting has a tendency to stray off topic. If the subject begins to wander, quickly move back to the agenda. Don’t be afraid to intervene and bring the conversation back to the topic.

    Have a parking lot. When a meeting goes off topic but the discussion is a good one to talk about, park the idea with a commitment to revisit it at a later meeting. Then make sure you really do revisit it.

    End on time.  If you’re good about setting an agenda with clear outcomes, you will know when a meeting needs to end. People have short attention spans. By keeping meetings short and timely, you have a better chance of holding their attention. Time is a precious resource, and no one wants their time wasted. Streamline meetings as much as possible.

    Summarize each agenda item when you’ve finished discussing it. At the close of the meeting, summarize the next steps that the group has decided to take. This will ensure that everyone is clear on the tasks that have been assigned to them and the actions they need to take next.

    Capture decisions and discuss next steps. You may have had a wildly productive meeting, but if the decisions weren’t captured, it could be as if it never happened. End every meeting with clear agreements and make notes on final decisions. Make sure you capture any immediate actions and assign them to the appropriate people. Send out your meeting notes promptly to everyone who attended to provide people with something to refer back to.

    When you know how to lead great meetings, your team will have less wasted time, less frustration, and more time and energy for everyone to do the work that matters most.

    Lead From Within: Meetings are good if they are productive, if they waste your time, get rid of them, because actions speak louder than words.


     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post How to Make Your Management Meetings More Productive  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:07 on 2018/07/03 Permalink
    Tags: , business, , Energy, , , , , , , , ,   

    How Successful Leader Manage Their Energy Not Their Time 

    Many of the leaders I work with are anxious to hear tips on time management. But after working with business leaders and executives for over three decades, I’ve come to realize that the most effective and successful leaders treat time management as a secondary concern. For them, it’s energy management that produces real results.

    Most of my clients—and most leaders in general—have a lot to accomplish. When it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what you need to do, it’s all too easy to push yourself beyond your limits. As a result, you can become burned out long before you accomplish your goals.

    When I coach my clients on using their time effectively, the first step is to work on managing their energy. It can be challenging in our overscheduled and hurried world, but here are some of the fundamental principles:

    It’s about getting the rest you need. People try to get everything done in an all-nighter, but in fact the longer you stay up the less productive you become. It’s best to get a good night’s sleep and start fresh.

    It’s about quality, not quantity. I don’t know any business leaders who don’t have too much to do. It’s not about how much you can get done but how you get it done. Quality always wins out over quantity. It may even give you the zest to do more—it is a powerful feeling when you get things done with excellence.

    It’s about being present without being distracted. The best way to manage your energy and time is to be fully present with whatever, or whoever, needs your attention. When you have true focus, you can accomplish tasks twice as fast with more energy left over.

    It’s about taking small breaks. Multiple studies have found that you have more energy for the day’s tasks, especially work-related tasks, if you take short breaks throughout the day. Those can be as simple as five to 10 minutes of stepping away from your work space and getting into a different mental zone — for instance, taking a short walk, completing an unrelated task, listening to a favorite song or reading something else. Research suggests that distracting yourself briefly once an hour gives you more energy to work during the day productively.

    It’s about working out. You’ve likely heard it a thousand times already: exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and being happy gives you energy. When you feel like you don’t have the energy to exercise and you drag yourself to the gym, you’ll leave feeling more energized. Numerous studies point to regular exercise as having a significant role in increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue.

    Lead from within: If you are truly mindful of your energy and you manage it well, you’re likely to become far more productive—and, as a result, a more effective leader.

     


     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post How Successful Leader Manage Their Energy Not Their Time appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:54 on 2018/06/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , business, , , , , ,   

    7 Important Questions to Ask People You Admire   

    What if you suddenly found yourself sharing an elevator or seated at an event with somebody you admire, someone like, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk or Bill Gates? Would you stammer an introduction and look awkwardly at your feet, or would you be able to make the most of the encounter with a set of smart, concise questions?

    It’s unlikely you’ll ever meet any of those people, but you probably encounter other admirable people on a regular basis. Whether it’s a national leader in your field or the senior manager who works down the hall, here are some questions you can ask from the leaders you admire to learn from their success:

    1. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
    Success is different for everyone, but it’s always interesting to learn how people arrived where they are. Their stories may point you in a new direction, give you an answer you’ve been looking for, or motivate you to push through the tough times. Responses also give you insight into their values and priorities.

    2. What are your success habits?
    Asking successful people about their daily habits can give you ideas for your own routines. The answers are rarely esoteric; generally, they’re actions anyone can take. As the old saying goes, we are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not a quality but a habit, and successful people are simply those with successful habits.

    3. What mistakes have you made along the way?
    This question is one of the most important things you can ask anyone, because it allows you to learn from their experience. If you ask it often and listen carefully to the answers you hear, you will make fewer mistakes yourself. You’ll have insight into how to do things in a way that doesn’t lead to miscalculations or blunders.

    4. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make?
    Most successful people have had to make at least a few genuinely difficult between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place decisions. Learning what they chose, and why, gives you a close look at their thought processes and priorities, helping you prepare for the tough decisions that lie down the road for you. At the end of the day, it’s in your moments of decisions that your success is shaped.

    5. What is the best advice you can give?
    Some people respond better than others to such an open-ended question, but when it connects, it can cut right to the important stuff. Compile the responses you get to this question and keep them where you can read through them all from time to time.

    6. If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
    Successful people tend to be self-aware, and it’s likely that they’ve already given this question some thought. You might expect to hear about preventing some mistake or failure, but successful people know that mistakes and failure are among our greatest teachers. Many focus instead on wishing they had taken more chances and been bolder.

    7. What’s one change I should make right now to help me get closer to my success?
    This question is appropriate to ask of someone who’s already familiar with you and your work. Improvement requires change, and sometimes the hardest part is knowing what needs to change.

    Most successful people are grateful for what they’ve achieved, and many are happy to share their knowledge and experience. It’s too good a resource to waste, so be prepared to make the most out of every encounter, especially with those you admire.

    Lead From Within: Just remember, we tend to become those we admire.

     


     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 7 Important Questions to Ask People You Admire   appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:03 on 2018/06/26 Permalink
    Tags: , business, Journaling, , , , Meditation, Reflection,   

    The 15-Minute-A-Day Habit That Can Boost Your Leadership 

    A study conducted at Harvard Business School found that a daily 15-minute habit can increase your productivity and effectiveness. The daily habit is as simple as they come—making time every day for reflection will help boost your leadership.

    There are at least three different ways you can practice daily self-reflection:

    1. Shut everything out and sit down for a time of quiet contemplation. In my work as an executive leadership coach, I try to introduce some kind of meditation into each of my clients’ routines. I’ve seen the benefits of meditation firsthand: it can help you settle down after a long day, it can make you sharper and smarter, and it can counteract the information overload that’s become part of everyday life. When truly successful individuals begin to meditate, they become even more productive and creative leaders.

    Research on mindfulness suggests that meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory and emotional intelligence. That’s a great return on an investment of just 15 minutes a day. And if you’re thinking you already have too much on your plate and don’t need yet another thing to do, rethink that proposition. After all, meditation is literally the act of doing nothing.

    2. You can write down your day. Journaling for 15 minutes at the end of the day has always been a useful tool for keeping track of your activities and thoughts. The act of writing things down helps you understand them more clearly and keep a clear perspective. The simple process of committing your thoughts and ideas to paper pays great dividends and gives you a clear articulation of your thinking. And science is finding that the act of writing accesses your analytic and rational left brain, freeing your right brain to create and intuit. Writing unlocks all kinds of capabilities and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

    Successful leaders throughout history have kept journals. Presidents have maintained them for posterity; other famous figures keep them for their own purposes. The 19th-century playwright Oscar Wilde said, “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”

    3. You can summarize your thoughts and rehearse your actions. Taking the time to think things through engages you in a self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-correcting process. It allows you to think clearly and rationally and solve problems systematically, boosting the critical thinking skills that have become so important in the new knowledge economy. Mentally summarize the events of the day, think about the actions you want to take tomorrow and rehearse them in your head in a way that gives you the best outcome.

    Whichever method you choose, this 15 minutes is likely to become the most important part of your day. With just 15 minutes of reflection a day, you can boost your career, your productivity and your effectiveness. Try it and see how it changes your life.

    Lead From Within: From quiet self-reflection will come even more effective action.

     


     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The 15-Minute-A-Day Habit That Can Boost Your Leadership appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:32 on 2018/06/21 Permalink
    Tags: , Body Lanaguage, business, , , , , ,   

    7 Body Language Mistakes You Need to Avoid 

    If you’re in a position of leadership—whether you’re a CEO, manager, or community volunteer—it’s likely that you put a great deal of care into the words you use. But if your
    body language doesn’t sync with those words, you may be giving a terrible impression without even knowing it.

    It is said that people form impressions of others in seven to 30 seconds. That’s pretty quick.
    If you don’t have the right body language, you may be leaving a negative impression
    before you even have a chance to speak.

    Body language goes far beyond a handshake and smile. But in my decades of executive leadership coaching, I’ve found that executives don’t pay nearly enough attention to its importance.

    Here are some of the most common body language mistakes to avoid if you want
    to make the great impression as a leader.

    1. Clashing body cues and spoken words. If you’re saying “Let’s all work together
    and make this work” while your hands are crossed against your chest, you’re likely
    coming across as confusing. People tend to trust nonverbal messages over verbal
    ones when the two are at odds. If you want people to believe your conciliatory words,
    uncross your arms and appear friendly and approachable and open.

    2. Raising your chin when you speak. While you definitely want to be proud of
    what you’re saying, a raised chin is a sign that you feel superior to the person
    you’re speaking with. Show respect by lowering your chin and staying evenly
    face-to-face.

    3. Putting one foot out the door. If you want to see where a person’s interest truly lies,
    look at their shoulders and feet. One of the first indicators that someone is trying to
    leave a conversation is when they turn a shoulder or a toe away. To show engagement
    and interest, keep your body directed at the person in front of you.

    4. Lack of eye contact. When you fail to maintain eye contact with someone
    who’s speaking, you’re signaling a complete lack of interest. Lack of eye contact
    will shut down even the most enthusiastic speaker. Establish the habit of thoughtful
    eye contact to show your interest.

    5. Constant fidgeting. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who couldn’t
    stop moving? Feet bobbing up and down, swaying back and forth, making little motions
    with their arms—fidgeting sends a message of stress bordering on anxiety, and it’s both unnerving and extremely distracting. When you have something to say, relax your body
    and try to be still as possible so your words come out strong and your body doesn’t give away cues of your stress.

    6. Not giving enough space. This one is especially important: give people enough space. People who lean right into you and speak inches away from your face seem to be taking advantage of their power. Nobody likes to feel their space has been invaded. Unless
    you’re signaled an invitation to come closer, the best body language is to stay at least
    an arm’s length away. Don’t back up too far, though, or you’ll come across as
    unapproachable or uninterested. Stand just close enough to show you’re engaged,
    and don’t lean in or out too much.

    7. Looking at your watch. Have you ever been distracted in a meeting or conversation
    when the person you’re trying to connect with keeps looking at their watch? We all know
    that means they’re checked out, uninterested or indifferent to what is being said. Stop
    looking at your watch—that goes for your phone, too—and don’t let your body language signal boredom.

    Everyone wants to make a good impression, no matter what their position or title. But
    when your body is saying one thing and your words another, there’s a better-than-average chance you’re making a poor impression. Review these common mistakes from time to
    time and make sure you’re not guilty of any of them and if you are avoid them or correct them.

    Lead From Within: As a leader, your body language will speak volumes, make sure
    you are mindful and paying attention to the message you are sending.

     


     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 7 Body Language Mistakes You Need to Avoid appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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