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Keep These 8 Tips In Mind If You Want To Achieve Anything In Life

Keep These 8 Tips In Mind If You Want To Achieve Anything In Life

Ever had this passion, this burning desire to achieve something unique and specific? You think about it when you go to school, when you leave for work, even when you take your dog out for the daily walk, it’s there in your mind, thumping on your thoughts like a bag thumping against your back whenever you move. You most probably had, we all did, and we all still do. A dream is one way to call it.

Yet, how very few of us act on these compulsions? And of those who do, how many truly commit to it, in good and in bad, only to achieve their ever desirable goal? You probably guessed it, few to none. But you will be surprised to hear that this amazing achievement is not too far out of reach, no matter how far and difficult it may seem all the way from the starting line. It’s all in the mind, you could say, and here are a few important tips that should guide you through this difficult seeming path:

1. Commitment is key

You’re at work, cleaning those dishes, submitting your daily paperwork, or have been staring at the computer screen for over two hours, and then, without a moment’s notice, this amazingly original book idea pops to your mind. You write it down on a small note and put it in your pocket. Now you can’t wait for the work day to end, you are motivated beyond all comparison. This will be your big break, the one you have been dreaming on for so long.

You arrive back home, drink your coffee, eat your meal, and take a warm shower. You get to your room and stare blankly at your computer’s desk. Nothing. The moment is gone, along with your idea and all of your vast talent. You beat yourself down and blame the long working hours for this misfortune.

Well, this is a wrong way to look at it. Although important, you cannot count solely on motivation if you want to achieve your desirable goal. What you need is commitment. Commitment to sit down on that desk, despite your lack of mental energy. To wear those jogging shoes, although you feel numb and tired after your daily nap. There can be hundreds of examples, but truly, all you need is to buckle up and get to work.

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2. It’s all about the journey

You can’t expect to have a smooth trail, a compass, and a big old X down on the map, leading you all the way up to the finish line. We all want to climb to the very top of the mountain but instead decide on going around it, despairing when realizing that there’s no lift or an unseen shortcut. And to be honest, wouldn’t it be boring if it was that easy?

Instead of straining your eyes so to look at the far ahead destination, look around you, and you may just find that the adventure is not half bad by itself. Learn, experience, improve, and to put simply: stay in the moment. Before you know it, you will be halfway there.

3. A positive mind, a positive result

This one goes without saying right? “Stay positive,” we hear it from everyone. Whether we are tired, anxious, or plainly just having a bad day. Well, surprise, surprise, there’s a reason for it. Positive thoughts will serve as the fuel to your adventure. They will keep you wanting to experiment, to experience, and will push you out of the box, and help you perform better with your work.

Doubts, on the other hand, won’t help you achieve a thing, and if at all, may hinder your performance or plainly push you from your rightful course.

If you want to achieve your goals, just “stay positive”.

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4. Don’t make it easy on yourself

We all sometimes hate leaving the every familiar comfort zone. It is our domain, our realm, and we know each and every sharp turn, and jump above every obstacle with relative ease. But you can’t expect to achieve what you don’t have by staying where you are.

Don’t let fear keep you down. Get out, challenge yourself even on the risk of failing. We learn best from failing, and so very little from succeeding. That is why achieving your dream is a long journey in the first place. Didn’t manage to jump above that pole? Don’t throw the gloves down and walk away, put it back up and try again!

5. Distractions are the enemy

You sit down next to the computer screen, ready to write your best-selling novel, feeling strong and motivated. You manage to get a sentence in there until, suddenly, you feel your phone vibrating in your pocket. You don’t know who it is, and it might be important right? Could be that girl you’ve been texting with for a while now. You take it out and give it a shallow stare. Just a quick look, just a small break maybe.

Next thing you know, you’ve not only engaged in a long, meaningful conversation, now you’ve started talking with more friends, and even took the liberty to start watching these funny youtube videos that you’ve been getting. An hour and a half passes, you take a deep breath, and finally, decide to put the phone down and get to work. You look at the screen, and nothing, you are all worn out.

Bottom line. Want to achieve your goals? Avoid distractions as best as you possibly can.

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6. Look and plan ahead

Until now, you’ve been working unstably. When out and unavailable, you suddenly feel extremely positive and motivated, and when at home, numb and tired. Little are the times that you feel motivated while actually being physically available. That is why you need to plan your schedule ahead. You know that you feel best at the mornings? Then make a clear window in your schedule, and let it be the first step to achieving your dreams.

Not available in the mornings for some reason? Well, at least clear some time during evening time, and try to dedicate at least two mornings for your own goals.

7. Take advantage of every situation

Let’s face it. We cannot possibly clear our schedules completely and dedicate every minute solely for achieving our goals. We have our school studies, work, volunteer works and a hundred of other things in our life. But we can make the best of every situation.

Filling paperwork at the office? Take this time to reflect on your ideas, observe the other workers, something might pop to your mind any second now. Inspiring to be an athlete? Eat well and avoid the junk food during the long work hours, squat, and do push-ups whenever you get a free window.

No excuses, take action anywhere you can.

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8. Achieve, but beware of wearing yourself down

Bearing all other tips in mind, this one is probably one of the more important of them. If you feel tired and weak, always give yourself a breathing windows and take a break. Don’t burn out your mind, body, and try to claw your way to the summit. Many people do that mistake, straining themselves, confusing it for dedication.

Pushing yourself over the edge won’t bear any fruit, and if anything, will just hinder your progress. You can’t beat a dead horse and expect it to move, so to speak.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Published on February 12, 2019

10 Ways to Improve Team Management Skills and Boost Performance

10 Ways to Improve Team Management Skills and Boost Performance

I have spent the majority of my life as an entrepreneur, as did my father, grandfather and great-grandfather. It just seemed to be something in our genes that made us want to stretch out our wings and do our own thing.

But a few years ago, I sold my businesses and got tired of the golf 5 days a week. Not to mention that health insurance as well as other costs where going up and my income wasn’t. So I decided to take a job as a manager with a fortune 500 company. Here I would get income, benefits and a taste of corporate life that I had never experienced.

I lasted two months! In my opinion, the management style hurt productivity much more than it helped. As a manager, I was expected to rule my team with an iron fist. It was literally in their handbook that no matter how good an employee was, there was no such thing as a perfect employee so I was to address the most minor issues with the best employees. This never helped team cohesiveness and frankly created resentment between management and employee.

So after two months, I walked into the bosses office and said that I was not fit for the corporate culture at this company. Despite never telling me I had done a good job, he started offering me incentives to stay, more pay, a better position etc… But I knew that this was the companies culture from the beginning and it wasn’t going to change, so I politely declined and started my own affiliate marketing business.

Now over the years I have owned and operated many different types of businesses with the number of employees ranging from 1 (me), to over 400 and plenty in-between, I have tried many different management styles and while depending on the business and who your employees are, some management styles worked better than others. But generally, I have found ten relatively simple ways to improve team management skills and boost productivity.

I have found that if you’re an owner, high level executive or just a manager of a single team of people these ten tips can boost productivity in almost every situation:

1. Be Clear About Your Goals and Write Them Down

Now this part in particular needs to be written by the owner or CEO, as the lower level managers will take those goals and apply them to their own teams of people.

Note that this doesn’t mean writing down “We are going to make widgets and become the most profitable widget maker in the world.” Anyone could come up with that. Your goals must be clear and attainable and have ways to measure progress. A much clearer goal would be to increase profits by 10% in a year. You can then have specific goals for the managers of different departments.

For example the goal for the marketing manager may be to find new and more efficient ways of marketing so that your marketing efforts reach 5% more customers with the same budget. The production manager may have some good ideas about streamlining production to increase productivity. A goal for the sales manager maybe to break into a new or untapped market.

The important thing is that your overall goals are clear, all of your managers are on board and know what is expected of them and that you continuously monitor each departments progress. This process should be repeated by your managers to their team members.

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2. Come up with Objectives

Now this may sound the same a coming up with goals, but it’s not.

Goals can be thought of as the end result, where you want to be. Objectives are the steps you must take to reach the goals. Take a look at this article to know their differences:

Goals vs Objectives: How to Use Them to Become Successful in Life?

For example. a goal might be to increase customer satisfaction and the objectives to getting there might include faster shipping times, easier returns and improvements in customer service etc.

4. Hire Competent People, Then Get out of Their Way

As a manager, your boss or senior executive should have gone over the companies goals so that you have a good understanding of where the company wants to be. A good manager should set out clear goals for the department with reasonable, attainable and measurable goals. You can then take the goals that have been set for your department and give them to each employee according to their skill level.

Now you may have noticed the second part of the tip was to “get out of their way.” This is only if you hired the people who have the correct skills. Part of your job as a manager is to check on and measure progress of your employees. If you are finding someone who just can’t seem to keep up, try setting them up with a mentor, or even beak down their job responsibilities so they don’t seem overwhelming.

But the bottom line is that you have a responsibility to the company to get your part of the overall mission finished on time and done well, otherwise it reflex on you as a manager. While no one likes it, termination maybe the only solution.

5. Have Regular Meetings with Your Staff

Problems, issues and bottlenecks will inevitably arise in any organization. Part of your job as a manager is to identify the issues and correct them before they become problems.

Having regular productive meetings with your staff is key to identifying problems before they get out of control.

Let’s just say that your employees are having a hard time shipping items on time because they can’t get them from the warehouse soon enough. This is where you earn your money!

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What you don’t want is people from the shipping department calling up the warehouse and it turning into a screaming match. It’s time for a meeting with the warehouse manager. Perhaps the issue is that they aren’t getting reliable predictions about the number of units being sold each month. Now we have identified the problem, a lack of communication between sales and warehouse.

Almost all issues arise because of a lack (or problem with) communication. A good manager will be the go between for the team and the managers of the other teams. As long as cool heads prevail, you can almost always come up with a solution that satisfies everyone.

6. Use the “Sandwich” Method When Dealing with Problems That Arise from Otherwise Good Employees

Everyone makes mistakes, some are small and can be dealt with a memo to the team or a quick word with the offending employee. However, an otherwise excellent employee can make a major mistake that can cause a serious disruption to your units responsibility. These types of problems need to be addressed by you, the manager.

As long as this is a one time occurrence and the employee has not had issues in the past. The sandwich approach is the the best.

Start by explaining that the employee is valuable to the organization and that their work has generally been a positive influence in the company.

Next address the problem that occurred and what steps could be taken to avoid simular problem in the future.

Close the conversation by reiterating the value the employee has to the company and reinforce the steps that will be taken to avoid the problem again.

7. Always Remember That Examples Work Better Than Positive Reinforcement or Negative Reinforcement

The carrot and the stick has always been a resource for managing employees. You can use the carrot to entice your employees to do what you want, or you can use the stick to punish the employees for not doing what was expected of them. Or you can be an example of whats expected of them.[1]

As I said before, everyone screws up, including you. When you do screw up, take responsibility for it!

Part of your job as a manager is to be an example to those you manage. Be open about your mistakes and the steps you are taking to avoid doing the same thing in the future. After all, you can’t expect your employees to admit mistakes if you’re not the example.

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There should be a process in place for when things like this happens. Acknowledge the problem, analyze the root cause of the problem, implement procedures to avoid reoccurrence of the mistake, evaluate the solution you’ve come up with and, if it works, move on.

8. Be Smart About Building Your Team

As a manager, you have to deal with a lot of different situations, people and personalities. You also are going to be given new and sometimes more responsibilities, including things like budgeting, forecasts, presentations and payroll. So think seriously about your own strengths and weaknesses so you can hire accordingly.

You want people who will complement your strengths and help you with your weaknesses. There’s an old saying that you should “hire slow and fire quickly “.[2] It’s a good thing to keep in mind, take your time to find the right person for the job.

Once you have trained them and given them all the tools for the job, then you can evaluate them. If for whatever reason they aren’t living up to expectations (that you were clear about!) Then, it might be best to terminate them quickly and search for a new person.

I see so many situations where a person is hired for a job that they aren’t qualified for or just can’t do a good job at and they stay there year after year. Keeping the wrong people will hurt your team, inspire resentment with the other team members and you’ll spend a lot more time babysitting instead of focusing on more important things.

This actually goes back to taking responsibility for your mistakes. You’ve identified the mistake of hiring the wrong person, so solve it quickly, rectify it by hiring the right person and move on.

9. Maintain a Positive Attitude and Promote It Within Your Team

We’ve all had that grumpy boss or coworker who never seemed to care much. Did you respect and look up to them? Of course not, people are naturally attracted to others who have an upbeat positive attitude.

Having a positive attitude will make your job as a manager so much easier just because people are much more likely to follow you.

As for your team, encourage team building activities. We know that not everyone will like or even get along with everyone else. So use team building exercises as a way to make sure that your team stays goal orientated.

10. Don’t Forget to Use Positive Reinforcement

Often, we get too caught up in what we are doing. After all, as managers, we are usually juggling several different issues, problems and deadlines all at once, that we forget to just say “thank you”.

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Don’t have the attitude that your employees are just doing their jobs. That project deadline that got pushed up, the unexpected project that got dropped on your teams lap make everyone’s life harder. Especially yours, you now have one more ball to juggle.

So when that project gets done on time or you made the new deadline, don’t forget to show gratitude to your team who were the ones that really made it possible. Yes, you still have 4 balls juggling in the air, but just like having a positive attitude makes you a more effective leader.

Positive reinforcement strengthens that manager employee relationship.[3] It can take many different forms, and will vary by company, some may allow an extra day of PTO, gift cards, public recognition or just a private acknowledgement from you the boss, whatever form it takes it’s important that their achievements are appreciated.

The Bottom Line

Managers have multiple responsibilities and jobs to preform, and I can guarantee that one of the most important tasks of management is to utilize all the company’s assets in the most efficient and productive way possible.

If you manage employees, then they represent a large company asset that you have an obligation to run as productively as possible.

By giving your employees the proper training up-front and practicing good communication techniques, you can minimize the time you spend fixing mistakes and focus on delivering on-time projects and new business. This can mean a huge increase in productivity at minimal costs.

I don’t know any boss that wouldn’t like to see a boost in performance that takes little to no investment. So set yourself up for success with these 10 tips to improve team management skills and boost performance.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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