Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thought of the Week - 11/24/08

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” -- Thomas Edison

For us, the fourth great essential is finding time to spend with family and friends …

We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving ….

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thought of the Week - 11/17/08

“The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.” -- Dale Carnegie

As the old saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” In other words, you will get far more from your employees by catching them doing what’s right, rather than catching them doing what’s wrong. Praise and encouragement will do far more to reinforce desired behavior than criticism ever will.

Genuine praise is a critical tool in both developing and maintaining positive employee morale and engagement. However, praise alone (i.e., general statements of appreciation, “pats on the back,” etc.) often falls short of the mark. Moreover, if given continuously or without specific examples it can seem shallow and/or contrived. What’s worse, it may even send the message that you really don’t know specifically what the individual does or how they are actually performing.

On the other hand, providing “encouragement” in addition to praise can go a long way to building self-esteem and pride in one’s work. For example, being specific about a positive interaction you see between an employee and customer or between two employees not only tells the employee that they are doing a good job, but it also lets them know that you are noticing what they are doing.

What have you done lately to show your staff that you are aware of the positive things they are doing to help move your organization forward?

How much of your time do you spend trying to catch your staff doing what’s right, rather than doing what’s wrong?

When you do catch them doing what’s right, how specific are you in the praise and encouragement you offer?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thought of the Week - 11/10/08

“If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his point of view – as well as your own.” -- Henry Ford

The point to be made here is that the way in which we listen to others, listen to their thoughts, their feelings and their needs is crucial in creating a workplace community where people feel valued. The more you are seen as someone who is genuinely committed to listening and responding appropriately, the more committed those around you will be to organizational goals and initiatives.

How good are your skills at “active listening”? Are you able to sit silently are truly listen to understand or are you thinking about what you want to say rather than listening to others?

How good are you at demonstrating true empathy, true understanding, even when you do not agree with what the other person is say or feeling?

How effective are you as a communicator?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thought of the Week - 11/3/08

“On a personal level, everyone must answer the following question: What is my highest aspiration? The answer might be wealth, fame, knowledge, popularity, or integrity. But if integrity is secondary to any of the alternatives, it will be sacrificed in situations in which a choice must be made. Such situations will inevitably occur in every person's life.” -- Murphy Smith

What are your values?

How do your values match those of your organization?

What can you do to ensure that your values align with your organization’s values?