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5 Reasons Why Nice Leaders Run A More Productive Team

5 Reasons Why Nice Leaders Run A More Productive Team

We are all familiar with leaders who rule with an iron fist: those iconic CEOs with temperaments resembling a thunderstorm. Think of the stereotypical magnate, and the Donald Trumps of the world.

The truth, however, for those of us that have worked for this kind of boss before is that working in an environment with this kind of leader can be far more stressful than productive.

We all know that high levels of stress can induce a host of different physiological and psychological problems, many stemming from work related incidents where your boss made you feel inadequate and demoralized. Things like walking away from a conversation because they have lost interest, answering calls in the middle of meetings, or mimicking people, can make going to work an an uncomfortable- and sometimes miserable experience.

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Here are 5 reasons why nice leaders manage more productive teams:

1. They See You As a Person, Not an Employee

In life, and therefore in work, we all want to feel acknowledged, respected, and noticed. When your boss acknowledges the person you are you automatically feel validated. In doing so, they have taken an interest in you and therefore paved the way for developing a relationship of respect and understanding. Through personal behavior your manager has inspired and motivated you to work at your optimum level and in so doing has strengthened your workplace productivity.

Amy Cuddy and her research partners at Harvard Business school have found that managers who display warmth and interest towards their employees are more effective because they are developing a relationship of trust. Employees are more trusting of someone who is kind.

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2. They Foster a Team Environment 

An effective leader treats your opinions and ideas with respect, regardless of your workplace ‘status’ or the time you’ve spent at the company. They foster a positive environment where people have productive attitudes and a willingness to always work harder. Ran Avrahamy, Head of Marketing at Appsflyer provided an example of this when he said, “I’ve insisted in having our entire growing marketing team sit in the same room. No personal offices or anything. It might be noisy at times, especially since we’re all a little A.D.D, but by maintaining some general guidelines, the team’s productivity is exploding, and each team member gets the chance of expressing himself.”

In an interesting study on this subject, an experimenter ridiculed a group of participants who were expected to complete an anagram word puzzle. Following the ridicule they performed 33 percent worse on the puzzles than before and came up with 39 percent fewer creative ideas during a brainstorming task.

In the second part of the study, a ‘busy professor’ was rude to the participants, claiming they were bothering her. Their performance was 61 percent worse on the anagram puzzles, and they produced 58 percent fewer ideas in the creative task than those who had not been treated rudely.

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3. They Know How To Motivate a Team

A balanced and inspiring leader understands that longer hours don’t always result in efficiency and that a simple “thank you” for work that has been done can go a very long way. They give credit where credit is due and acknowledge everyone for their efforts. With this kind of leader, whether you’re the head of the sales team or you make the coffee, your contribution is appreciated.The effectiveness of this approach was demonstrated by New York University’s Jonathan Haidt who found that when leaders are helpful and approachable, their employees are more motivated and inspired.

4. They Embrace New Ideas and Innovation

Original leaders encourage initiative and therefore promote and develop new ideas. By embracing dynamic thoughts in their field, businesses spearheaded by these kinds of leaders, are often at the forefront of their industries.

Original and inventive businesses are extremely attractive to potential employees, and therefore they are constantly growing and developing with new and excited staff coming on board. For example, in a survey of millennials by Deloitte, 78% consider the company’s innovation when deciding if they want to work there.

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An approach that embraces employee innovation can be seen as demonstrated in this quote by Nadav Shoval, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Spot.IM:

“I acknowledge my employees’ strengths by giving them the independence to do what they do best. They are well-aware of the fact that I hired them specifically because I believe in their abilities to do their job even better than I could. As a result, I present the employees with our vision, and give them the freedom to achieve it through whatever means best suits them. This strategy empowers them, strengthens their problem solving skills, and allows them to take ownership of their positions. Best of all, the final product that comes out as a result never ceases to amaze me.”

5. They Lead by Example 

Strong and effective leadership does not have to involve the kind of hard personalities and demanding expectations associated with old-school tycoons and business magnates.

Managers who lead by example generally foster an environment of commitment and loyalty resulting in unity and and collaboration. These kinds of bosses also don’t mind working just as hard as their employees do- and they always practice what they preach.

Is your boss nice or tough? Are you a friendly boss? We would love to hear about it in the comments.

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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