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Great Leaders Will Say These 10 Things Every Friday

Great Leaders Will Say These 10 Things Every Friday

A good leadership tactic when working on any project is to have a weekly “wrap-up” meeting at the end of the week to assess how teams are coming together. Effective leaders use the following 10 things to encourage cooperation and success among team members.

1. “Thanks for all you’re doing.”

Great leaders express their gratitude for what a team is doing right. Instead of concentrating on the negatives, a great leader lets his or her team know what is being done correctly. In being gracious, teams are spurred forward rather than being brow beaten for that which has not been accomplished. Starting the weekly wrap-up on a positive note helps pave the way for discussing the negative.

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2. “Here’s what’s happening…”

Give an overall picture of what is happening with each team. Teams work better when each knows what the other is doing. It also prevents undue overlap of teamwork and gives focus to each team. Show the work each team is doing and the opportunities and challenges encountered. Note that units comprise the whole of the work that needs to be done.

3. “These are the challenges we are facing…”

Listing out problems as challenges keeps the meeting on a positive note. Each team needs to be well-informed of the big picture, as well as have a firm grasp on what the team’s objectives are. Note obstacles and how best to move forward. Hopefully, there is enough trust built in the teams to be able to talk about their team’s unique challenges.

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4. “These are our objectives…”

Although there is a place for the big picture, teams should remain focused on their objectives. These smaller goals should have reasonable end dates and should be checked on every week.

5. “These are our weaknesses…”

This is the time to discuss any problems that are being encountered by the team. Talk about obstacles and what needs to be done to overcome them. This is also a great time to brainstorm on ways to overcome identified weaknesses.

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6. “What do you think…?”

Keep the team on its toes by asking for their opinions on an area of their expertise. This kind of question also makes for good brain storming and may lead to answering tough challenges that are being encountered. Culling ideas from team members also lets them know that you trust them.

7. “Here’s what I think…”

The teams will be all ears to hear what you think of their work. Here is a good time to insert constructive criticism. Let the teams know, again, exactly what is expected of them and why. Team members will want to know where you stand on issues that affect team work.

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8. “This is what our competition is doing…”

As the leader you can provide insights into what the competition is doing. In those cases where your teams are outdoing the competition, make your teams aware of both the good and the bad. When comparing the competition to your teams, point out what is being done right and wrong to your team members.

9. “May I introduce…”

There may be frequent turnover as the team progresses. In such cases, always be sure to introduce the new team members or take the time to say goodbye to those who are leaving. It may be difficult to say good-bye to a teammate, especially if the person is being laid off. However, acknowledging the comings and goings of team members creates a more solid team.

10. “Congratulations!”

Just as the session began on a positive note, be sure to end on one.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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