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10 Most Mesmerizing Leadership Moves To Make Before 2014

10 Most Mesmerizing Leadership Moves To Make Before 2014

It may be hard to believe, but that doesn’t make the fact that the year is coming to an end any less true. With the rush of the holiday season it’s easy to let active leadership go into hibernation. However, instead of starting off the New Year groggy, take these 10 most important steps toward mesmerizing leadership. With a fresh perspective and some active participation, you can close this year strong and blast off into 2014 with some glimmering insight.

1. Fulfill promises

As a leader you do your best to motivate your employees and push them toward success. Promises like title promotions, salary increases and the potential for bonuses can push employees to keep going and keep trying. However, if as the year is winding down, you realize those commitments were never made good, then it’s time to reassess your promise practice. Sure, some employees may have missed the mark, but what about those who actively tried?

Make sure you keep good on the promises you made earlier this year. More importantly, show your employees the figures and measurements that lead you to your decision to reward or not. By proving that you are on top of the commitments you made and haven’t forgotten about them, employees will still strive to improve and reach those set goals.

2. Deal with dead ends

No doubt this year in business has been a busy one. And while you may have let certain non-pressing issues slide by, it’s important to tend to them before the New Year’s ball drops. Your first step to dealing with dead ends is to understand why you avoided the issue(s) in the first place.

Perhaps you hate confrontation, perhaps you felt like you didn’t have the time to deal with X issue back then: whatever your reason just be honest with yourself and make an effort to catch your avoidance patterns. No one wants last year’s issues lingering onto a fresh calendar. So have that tough conversation with your lackluster employee, cut ties with the vendor that provides more headaches than headway, and start the New Year off right.

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3. Stay accountable

It’s likely that while this year was filled with successes, there were some bumps and missteps along the way. Strong leaders will take a moment to pause and reflect on the mistakes they made in 2013. Accountability is important, especially in a leadership position, and even if you didn’t deal with things correctly in real time, self-reflection can better prepare you for the inevitable issues of 2014.

Pro-actively plan how you’ll commit to staying accountable in the New Year. Be prepared to acknowledge your mistakes as they come, and more importantly, commit to moving forward in a way that puts lessons learned into action and a positive attitude on the horizon.

4. Be present

You may be slightly shocked that you’re reading a “before the year ends” post. In the blink of an eye it probably feels like this year has come and gone. Why? Because you’re so busy multitasking. Leaders often capitalize on their ability to juggle multiple projects, tasks and goals at once. But one thing you should stop juggling is people.

Make a commitment to better your behavior and be present before the year’s end. Stop texting, surfing and emailing when others are trying to interact with you. Whether they are partners, customers or employees, the people who depend on you as their leader are thirsty for your undivided attention.

Of course you’ve got to keep working and still have a lot on your plate, so set mental time limits on conversations and make a promise to follow up in a time-effective way (like emailing). But stay willing to pause in time and space. Not only will it help you focus, but it will make the people around you feel fulfilled because they will feel heard.

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5. Communicate with care

Leaders communicate with others so often that it’s easy to forget the potential power of a carefully crafted message. You can have a basic thought or idea that needs to be received, but how you choose to deliver that message will determine the level at which it is absorbed.

For example, a sluggish comment lacking eye contact, proper tone and slouched posture is not going to resonate when compared to an empowered delivery wrapped around a motivated message. Consider taking a few extra minutes to share a story or anecdote that will relay the powerful emotions and ideas behind your intended message. Take some time to put some care back into your communication so you and your team can embrace 2014 as active and engaged participants.

6. Practice what you preach

You can preach proper practice all day long, but the employees that you lead are going to follow your actions more than anything else. If you want proper behaviors and attitudes at the kick start of the New Year, then start practicing what your preach.

Whether it’s coming into work on time, maintaining health and safety codes in the break room, or standard operating procedures, no employee handbook is going to speak louder than your own actions. Become empowered by employees’ close watch and act in a way that you want emulated.

7. Actively seek out talent

With the daily demanding routines and procedures of your job, you probably only seek out talent when necessary. After all, accepting applications and interviewing others is time consuming and costly. However, what about the talent you’ve already captured…are you capitalizing on it?

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Take some time to reassess the current talents on your team. Make a commitment to pull out strengths and utilize each team member to their utmost ability. Before the year comes to an end, take some time to have a conversation with yourself, make a list or do some observing—anything you can do to open your eyes to the current strengths of your team. Do your best to recognize this talent, nurture it and put it to good use so that 2014 can start off with a talented bang!

8. Be fluid

With advancements in technology it’s now easier than ever to get work done in a variety of ways, at both different times and places. That being said, however you chose to work, assess before the year’s end whether your current method is both effective and efficient, and tweak as necessary.

In whatever changes you make to your working routine, see what work-life balance you can afford yourself. Maybe you can get home sooner by saving non-pressing emails for later that night. Maybe you’ll feel more healthy if you commit to stretching and lifting light dumbbells at the top of every hour. No need to wait for your New Year’s resolution to make these types of changes, commit to being more flexible and fluid now. That way when January is upon you, you’ll already be feeling more balanced and light.

9. Follow up

Remember those changes and tweaks you made at the start of this year? How are they doing? Before this year comes to a close, its important to follow up on any shifts or major moves you’ve made in the last 365 days.

A leader who follows up displays active participation pertaining to the effectiveness of the overall workplace. Employees appreciate someone who not only “makes moves,” but is determined to make sure that those changes are still working for the ever-evolving workplace.

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10. Reflect

In the blink of an eye 2014 will be upon us all. Don’t let the end of the year slip away before carving out some time to reflect. Reflect on the year past: what were the biggest accomplishments, pitfalls and moments of perseverance? What was the biggest lesson learned and what will continue to stay at the forefront of your focus in 2014?

More important, what goals do you have for the upcoming year? What changes are you committed to seeing take place? January 1st is the time to declare your resolutions, not to come up with them. Determine now how you plan to carry out your leadership skills in 2014 as effectively as possible, so that when a fresh calendar is upon us you dive into your active achievements on day one.

What leadership moves will you make before 2014? Let us know in the comments below.

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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