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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 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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