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Archive for the ‘leadership tips’ Category

Bosses Beware: Are You Exhibiting Symptoms of Bad Leadership?

leaders-groupBosses, are you exhibiting symptoms of bad leadership? Do you sometimes think your team hates you? Do you sometimes feel that they question your decisions behind your back? Does your team lack faith in your ability to lead them? Do you resent them for feeling this way? Or are you curious to know why they’re like that in the first place?

As the boss, it’s important to recognize that your title doesn’t automatically earn you the leadership skills needed to successfully hold on to that position. Quite frankly, tons of leaders are put into position they’re not equipped to occupy. Either they grow into it, or spend a good chunk of their career struggling. In this piece, I want to help you swallow the bitter pill that is bad leadership. If you identify with one or more of these traits, it’s not too late to change.

Which Symptoms of Bad Leadership are You Guilty of?

Automatons Lacking Empathy

Some leaders care about results, nothing else. They don’t care how things are done, or what kind of sacrifices you’ve had to make just to submit your work. What’s important is you finish the task no matter what. This is an example of an extremely results-oriented leader.
Their approach might look good on the surface, but beneath all the on-time submissions and exemplary work is a team of unsatisfied, almost-zombie like employees who wouldn’t dare defy their boss’s expectations. The result is an unhealthy work atmosphere where screw-ups are swept under the rug.

Criticisms, Criticisms, but No Feedback for Improvement

Creatives know this pain all too well, but it’s experienced by employees in other industries, too. The boss rejects the work citing it’s not what they like, it’s not up to standards, or the generic, ‘you’re doing it wrong’ complaint without clarifying exactly what needs to be changed.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to critique an employee’s work. But critiquing goes hand in hand with providing direction and clear feedback. The inability to articulate yourself is a serious skill deficit, for without it, your team won’t be able to grow with your guidance.


Ugh, the know-it-all. Annoying people, aren’t they? They think they know too much. But they don’t know what they don’t know.

Know-it-all leaders have a strong desire to feel like the smartest person in the team. They’re not interested in hearing your opinion, and certainly not on learning from you. Even if they have no bloody clue what’s going on!

A huge ego and lack of curiosity often causes leaders like this to overlook critical items and commit mistakes that could’ve been easily avoided.

Understandably, some leaders feel that they have to know the answers to all possible questions their subordinates might ask. But that’s just not true. A better leader admits his lack of knowledge and strives to know the right person to ask for answers.
Buddy or Boss

Listen up, especially the newly-minted leaders out there. You don’t have to be friends with your team just to gain their trust and respect. You are the boss and that puts you in an awkward situation if you become buddies with the people you’re managing.

Sure, friendship can quickly gain you their trust and respect, even. But at what cost? Once you’re friends, they will undermine your leadership thinking they can get away with anything because you’re ‘buddies.’ Friendship also clouds your judgment towards poor productivity, career advancement, and accountability.

Be Honest, Do You Show any of these Signs?

Imagine for a second that it’s just you and me. No one else is around. Can you honestly say that you’re not guilty of the above behaviors? If you are, what are you willing to do about it? You don’t have to force yourself to change at once. You can do it little by little. As long as you’re aware of the problem — aware of the symptoms of bad leadership, that’s a good start.

Michelle Riklan is president of Riklan Resources and an instructor for The Leader’s Institute® in the Northeast region. She is based in Trenton, NJ but she also teaches in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other Northeast cities.
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A Leader’s Guide to Profiling the 5 Common Trouble Makers in the Office

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle— Sun Tzu, Art of War

trouble makers in the officeThere will always be difficult employees in any organization; even Fortune 500 companies have rotten tomatoes in them. As a leader, your job is to lead a team. Encourage them do their work, do their performance reviews, and talk to them when things go wrong, but how can you do that when you don’t even know who you’re dealing with? This applies to everyone in your team, but more so to the trouble makers. This Leader’s Guide to common trouble makers in the office was designed to help you understand your team members — especially the trouble makers.

1. The Competitor

This type of employee just won’t let go until he has won and another employee has lost. Rather than being a team player, The Competitor works for his personal gains.

The easiest way to work with a competitor is to convince him to focus on the big picture, a long term goal where he’s not in direct competition with anyone in the team. This way, it’ll be easier for him to forget short-term goals or deadlines that were given to his teammates.

2. The Rebel

Rebel employee thrives on negative attention that comes from putting down people in authority. These are the “bad ass” employees who like talking back, defying orders and coming in late.

Difficult employees under this category miss deadlines on purpose just to make a point that they don’t need to follow the rules. They also love to make fun of things. Sometimes they do it deliberately; sometimes they’re unaware of hurting other people’s feelings.

The solution here is straightforward: tell Rebels bad behavior won’t be tolerated. Let them know that the trouble they’re causing isn’t unnoticed. Make it clear that failure to improve has consequences, which may lead to dismissal.

3. The Procrastinator

This type of employee always says “Yes” and accepts projects, but is not able to follow through.

When the deadlines start approaching, he can’t be found or reached by any means. Then, when the work is finally completed by someone else, he will resume his normal work routine as if nothing happened.

Dealing with these people can get frustrating, especially if you have tons of work due. The best way to work with this type of difficult employee is to micro-manage them, at least for a few weeks. Set due dates for things to be done, and create specific and hard to ignore consequences for missed deadlines.

4. The Drama Queens and Drama Kings

These employees turn everything into drama. They cry, wail, whine, and complain about everything, even the smallest of things. Got no milk in the pantry? Well, they might whine about that, too.

They draw energy from the drama, all the while draining the energy of others.

Prevent drama by setting up boundaries, so that everyone is aware of what is acceptable as professional office behaviour. Let them know how their actions and attitude are affecting others. Employees that act this way must be taken out of meetings, especially when their actions are becoming obstructive.

5. The Volcano

These people explode whenever things don’t turn out the way they think it should. They end up screaming in meetings, yelling on the phone, and getting in your face.
In any organization, it is important that everyone treats each other with respect. If you end up dealing with an employee like this, then you need to speak with a certain intensity as well to ensure that you are heard.

Let that employee understand that unprofessional behavior is not okay and will not be tolerated in the workplace.

Know Anyone Who Fits these Profiles?

Know any Volcanoes? What about a Drama King/Queen? Try these strategies in dealing with them.

If you know of another trouble maker profile, let us know in the comments.

Michelle Riklan is president of Riklan Resources and an instructor for The Leader’s Institute® in the Northeast region. She is based in Trenton, NJ but she also teaches in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other Northeast cities.
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Social Security Administration Leadership Class in Wilkes Barre, PA

Social Security Admin High Impact Leaders ScrantonWhen most people think of professional soft-skills development we typically think of private sector white collar professionals. But the government does indeed take leadership development seriously as well, and that was shown last week by the US Social Security Administration in booking our High Impact Leaders leadership development program. Social Security is one of the most important institutions to American society, and Doug Staneart and Eric Molin had the privilege of helping a group of 22 of their managers, coming from all departments inside the organization i.e. Human Resources, IT, Project Management, Customer Service, and more.

The leadership class focused on developing the soft-skills, leadership abilities, and personal attributes necessary to thrive in an often inefficient environment. Through our High Impact Leaders program, in 2 days, managers from across the agency found ways to inspire and motivate their teams, better deal with frustration and problems, and to better serve the American public in a more efficient and impactful way. While most participants came into the training having had poor training programs before, and therefore not sure that this training would be different, they left with a new sense of enthusiasm to try out their new leadership skills and attitudes which they learned in the course. In just 2 days this large group improved noticeably and got to know one another much better than ever, solidifying the experience and the lessons learned.

This leadership class was held on-site at the Social Security Administration office in Wilkes Barre, PA. For details about a class for your group, call us at (800) 872-7830.

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Leadership Skills and People Skills to Build a Team Environment

Below is a list of leadership skills and people skills that can be used to help you build stronger relationships and more of a team environment in the workplace. Below are three Human Incites (People Skills) that, when you understand them, will help you build trust and rapport more easily and resolve conflicts. In addition, below are seven people principles that will help build a team atmosphere, help you communicate more effectively, and build trust in the work place.

Human Insight #1: How to Build Trust and Rapport Quickly


  • Human beings enjoy being around and are influenced by people they like and trust.
  • In general, people are far more interested in themselves than in others.
  • When you become genuinely interested in others, they will like you and trust you more.



Human Insight #2: How to be a Great Conversationalist


  • The most interesting topic for most people to talk about is themselves.
  • The person who asks the most questions tends to control the conversation.
  • Use the 80/20 rule. Let the other person do 80% of the talking.
  • People will know like you and trust you more if you ask questions about what interests them.


Week #1: Build Trust and Rapport with People Quickly  

Leadership Principle #1

Avoid Criticizing and Complaining


People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be—not what you nag them to be.

–S. N. Parker


My college football team had an offensive coordinator who was arguably one of the most brilliant minds in the game. However, he used fear and criticism to motivate his players. If someone missed a block, he’d yell and curse. If a player dropped a pass, he’d shout profanities and ridicule the player. Consequently, the players were focusing on their mistakes rather than their successes. The coach eventually moved on, and after he left, morale improved dramatically. The very next year, the team won their first bowl game in years and went on to eight straight bowl games in the following years. The practices were the same. The fan support was the same. The only thing that changes was the atmosphere on the field during the practices and the games.


Think about some of the greatest leaders you’ve known. Are they people who quibble and complain about irrelevant issues? Do they point out every mistake? Probably not. In fact, they probably do just the opposite. They’re probably masters at keeping others focused on the relevant and pointing out every improvement. Any jerk can complain or criticize – and most do. But real leaders are the people who build others up, not tear them down.


Typically, when we point out mistakes that others are making, we are doing so in order to create a behavior change in the person. However, when we point out mistakes that others make, the automatic human reaction is to get defensive or shift blame elsewhere. People rarely make a change in their behavior as a result of criticism.


In section three, we’ll cover seven ways to create behavior change in others without raising resentment. Each of these tips will work much better than constructive criticism.


The next time you feel like you need to complain or to criticize someone, think about the outcome you want. Do you want that person to change his behavior? If so, by criticizing, you will cause the person to want to defend himself. This booklet is full of principles that you can use to build trust with and ultimately influence others. The next time you want to criticize or complain, try silence as an option.



Leadership Principle #2

Look at things from the other person’s point of view.



It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others.

–Alfred Adler


One of the most primary desires of human beings is to be understood and esteemed by others. We want people to see things from our point of view. Sometimes we want this so badly, that we disagree with and argue with points of view that are also valid.


A business owner I know hired a young man who, in his first year, broke all of the sales records for the company. This young man had fantastic ideas that would revolutionize the way the company sold its services. The owner was very cautious about implementing these ideas though. He had spent years building his company and was very careful about making changes. The salesman debated and eventually argued with his boss, and the boss, after being backed into a corner, argued back. Neither had the courage or the foresight to take a step back and try to see things from the other person’s point of view.


The frustrated salesman finally gave up a promising career and quit. The boss lost a great salesperson, because neither took the time to understand the other.


This very thing happens day after day in businesses and families all across the country. Human nature is that we always believe that we are right. Guess what? The other guy thinks the same thing, and if we dig in our heels, he will dig in his heels as well. All that we have to do is take a step back and say, “Why is this person thinking the way that he is thinking? Why is he acting the way that he is acting?”


That little moment of clarity can add a tremendous amount of understanding on our part and will help us build rapport with the other person very quickly. We don’t necessarily have to agree with the person, but just looking at things from the other person’s point of view is a big step forward.


If we want people to like and respect us, do the opposite of what comes natural and see things from other’s point of view. When we understand others, we are much more likely to be understood by them.



Leadership Principle #3

Smile more.



The man who gives little with a smile gives more than the man who gives much with a frown.

–Jewish Proverb


One thing I learned in high school and college was that if I wanted people to take me seriously, I had to have a serious, stern look. I learned that if I was to be “in charge,” I had to look unyielding. Then I got into the real world and realized that the stern, unyielding look came across to others as a scowl. One morning, I came into the office and my boss pulled me aside and asked, “What’s wrong? Are you OK?” I told him I was fine. He looked at me and said, “Then somebody should tell your face.” He told me that my grimace made others think that I was unapproachable. I made a change that day. I began smiling more (granted, I didn’t feel much like smiling, but I faked it.) Low and behold, people began smiling back. Eventually, they even began to make small talk. It was amazing.


I told this story to my class once, and one of my class members took it to heart. He went home that night, and when his wife met him, he smiled a very big grin at her. She was so shocked, that she asked what had happened. He told her that nothing out of the ordinary had happened. He did tell her he was just glad to see her, and he was glad that she was his wife. When he woke up the next morning she had made him breakfast for the first time in two years. You can bet he is smiling more often today.


Many managers and supervisors have an “open door policy,” but because of the atmosphere that they create, no one ever walks through the open door. When someone has a problem or needs help, they walk up to the door, just about to walk in, and they see the negative countenance. Most people just turn around and decide to come back later.


A neutral expression can be just as unconstructive. People don’t like to guess about whether someone that they work for or work with is in a good mood or bad mood. A genuine small can do a lot for you and for the people around you because it will make you more approachable.


Smiles are also contagious. One well placed smile can go along way to improving morale and building rapport.



Leadership Principle #4

Make an effort to remember names




A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest most important sound in any language.

–Dale Carnegie


Have you ever been in one of those situations where you run into someone that you have met before and can’t remember that person’s name? It can be an awkward situation for both you and the other person.


When we remember someone’s name, we’re telling him, “You’re important.” Therefore, when we forget a person’s name, we may leave the opposite impression.


Do you want great service at a restaurant? Call the waitress by name when you place your order. Want to be the center of influence at a party? Introduce people you just met to others at the party. People love to hear their own name. In fact, Dale Carnegie said that, “a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest most important sound in any language.”


One of the first things we teach in our High Impact Leaders course is a simple way to remember names. It is a technique that is so simple that many people in a class of 25 will be able to recall the first and last names of every single person in the classroom within the first hour of class (You can find a short summary of this technique and others on our website at http://www.leadersinstitute.com/resource.)


In 1988, Harvey Mackay wrote a book called Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive, and he wanted to get it published. When he found a publisher that would talk to him, he had the audacity to request that the first edition print 100,000 copies. The publisher thought that Mackay was nuts. No publisher would print that many copies of a book written by a first time author. Then Mackay pulled out his Rolodex and showed the publisher how he new over 6,500 people on a first name basis, and he consciously kept in contact with each one. The publisher took a chance, and ended up selling over 300,000 copies of the first book.


Harvey Mackay used his ability to remember people – remember their names to build his world-famous envelop company, and then used the same relationships to build his writing and speaking career.


You can do the same thing. If you want to be a good people person, focus on remembering names.



Leadership Principle #5

Avoid placing the burden of your problems on other people.



A prudent man will think more important what fate has conceded to him, than what it has denied him.

–Baltasar Gracian


Have you ever known someone who, after any setback, had an excuse and typically laid the blame elsewhere? I’m ashamed to say that at one point in my life, I was one of those people. The economy is down. My sales manger is not distributing the “good” leads. Joe was responsible for that. I had one for any occasion. Luckily, at one point in my career, I had a good friend that sat me down and said, “You can continue to come up with more excuses, or you can solve the problem.”


It hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn’t the economy, it wasn’t my sales manager, and it wasn’t Joe who was causing me to fail. I realized that every mistake or problem that had ever occurred in my life had one common variable. ME!


At that point, I took a really good look at myself. I looked at some of the mistakes I had made and asked myself, how can I avoid making the same mistake again? I used every obstacle as a learning experience. Don’t get me wrong, I still make excuses on occasion, but they are few and far between, and they no longer define me. Since I made that conscious decision, my career has really taken off.


There are actually some people out there who make themselves feel better by bringing other people down. They revel in their ability to know who had a heart attack, who is getting divorced, who is stealing office supplies, and more. The more they can bring other people down, the better that they feel.


Unfortunately, when the gossip starts, it’s easy to get caught up in it. My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Lofton used to say, “Misery loves company.” So just one person in your office with this type of mentality can cause the morale and team atmosphere in your office to drop like a stone.


Good leaders are the ones who stop this type of behavior in its tracks by just refusing to participate and standing up for coworkers who aren’t their to defend themselves. If you want to be a great leader, avoid placing the burden of your problems onto other people.


Leadership Principle #6

Assume Responsibility for Clear Communications.



The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.

–Daniel W. Davenport


Communication is a two-way street. In order for communication to be successful, we must have a successful speaker and an effective listener. If either party is not present, miscommunication may occur. However, there are things we can do to reduce miscommunication.


For example, I used to work for a man who had been extremely successful in our business. I was fairly young, but I had a number of great ideas that I frequently told him about. I noticed, however, that when I shared many of my ideas, he discounted them immediately. Sometimes, I would leave his office upset and tell some of my coworkers how he wouldn’t even listen to me. Often, when these coworkers agreed with my ideas, they would bring them back up to the boss at a later date. He always seemed to be much more open to the ideas when he heard them a second time. I realized that we had a communication problem, but I took responsibility. I learned that if I wanted my ideas to be heard, I needed support from my coworkers. Many times I would plant the seed with the boss and then tell someone else the idea. Often, the idea would be implemented with a few weeks.


We all listed to each other at different levels depending on circumstances that are present. The leader is the person who takes into account these circumstances and the character of the listener in order to make sure that the communication occurred.


For instance, if you know you are communicating with a person who is not really detail oriented, and you give instructions verbally just once, you have a very small chance that the person with follow through on your instructions. So for that particular person, it might be a good idea to follow up with an additional phone call or email. Or, you might have to send some written instructions to the person. Regardless of how you follow up, if you want to ensure that the communication occurs, you have to go above and beyond the call of duty.


To be a great leader, take responsibility for clear communication.



Leadership Principle #7

Practice good listening skills.




A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.

–Wilson Mizner


My first year in sales, I read a book about how to be a good Listener. The book said that if I wanted to be a good listener, I should make eye contact, say “Uh huh” a lot, and then paraphrase what the person just said. I couldn’t wait to go on my next sales call. I asked my prospect a question, made solid eye contact, said “Uh huh” a lot, and then said the words I read in the book over and over… “So, what I hear you saying is…” Take it from first hand experience; this type of listening does NOT work. My prospect looked at me like I was from Pluto and said, “If your having trouble keeping up, maybe I should go a little slower.”


Don’t look for techniques on how to listen better. The people who are great listeners do so because they want to, not because they learned a new “technique.”


I’ve noticed that there are three types of listeners. Selective listeners listen mainly out of self-interest, and will practically ignore you unless you are talking about something that directly concerns them. Responsive listeners listen just enough to form an opinion or a rebuttal. They tend to interrupt a lot. The highest level of listener is the focused listener. This person ignores all distractions and focuses totally on the speaker.


In any given conversation, we will typically slip from one of these types of listening levels to another. The key is to get our minds off of ourselves and onto the other person. If we are genuinely interested in the other person – if we really care about the other person – we will automatically spend more time in the focused listening level.


Want to be a good listener? FOCUS on the other person.



Week #1 Recap: Building Trust and Rapport


  • Day 1:     Avoid criticizing and complaining.
  • Day 2:     Look at things from the other person’s point of view.
  • Day 3:     Smile more.
  • Day 4:     Make an effort to remember names.
  • Day 5:     Avoid placing the burden of your problems on other people.
  • Day 6:     Assume Responsibility for Clear Communications.
  • Day 7:     Practice good listening skills.



Human Insight #3: How to Resolve Conflicts


  • People love to be agreed with.
  • People hate to be disagreed with.
  • People like other people who agree with them.
  • People dislike other people who disagree with them.
  • People who are good at resolving conflicts look for some point of agreement and use good people skills to get others to see a different point of view.


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Below are a few leadership and entrepreneur self-help articles from instructors and experts at The Leader’s Institute ®. The articles are listed randomly, so just refresh the page to see a new list or use the search bar in the top corner of the page to find articles about specific topics that you are interested in.

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  • Leadership Skills and People Skills to Build a Team Environment

    Below is a list of leadership skills and people skills that can be used to help you build stronger relationships and more of a team environment in the workplace. Below are three Human Incites (People Skills) that, when you understand them, will help you build trust and rapport more easily and resolve conflicts. In addition, ...

  • Closing the Sale: Big Mistakes that Cause Your Customers to Buy from Someone Else

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Developing Efficient Meetings

Boring MeetingHow would you describe meetings you have attended in the past? Last Tuesday, I was facilitating a workshop on how to facilitate more successful meetings, and to start things off, I asked the group that very question. The answers that they provided were very similar to answers that I have received from hundreds of workshop participants over the last ten years.

The first two responses were…

“Meetings are looooooooooong,” and
“Meetings are BOW-ring (this workshop was actually held in my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas – thus the Texas twang.)”

Those two responses almost always come up when I ask the question. Others that also come up a lot are: Wastes of time, non-productive, confrontational, inefficient, repetitive, and a number of other negative descriptions. Every once in a while, I get a response like positive, informative, or necessary, but usually the other participants gang-up against the person very quickly.

Most people believe that business meetings are necessary evils, and in many cases, they are. But one of the most important things we can remember about business meetings is to NOT have one unless it is absolutely necessary. When your employees and coworkers are in staff meetings, they are not producing. Nothing is ever produced until after the meeting is over. Some one of my first pieces of advice to people who want to make meetings more effective is to have fewer of them.

About five years ago, I made this statement in a class, and a young lady in the front row raised her hand and said, “That sounds really good, but my whole job description involves going to meetings.” I was intrigued, so I asked her to tell me more. She was a personal assistant to a manager of a Fortune 500 company, and she was hired by her boss to attend the meetings that he could not attend himself because there were not enough hours in the day. After class, she and I sat down and identified 32-hours of wasted meeting time that she was participating in every week. These were meetings that neither she nor her boss was actually needed for, but that one of them attended every week. Over the next year, this one person increased productivity of her team by over 200%. Granted, this is an extreme case, but there are probably hours in each of our weeks that are wasted by ineffective meetings.

The tips below are strategies that I have collected over the years from class members who swear by their effectiveness. I hope they work for you as well.

  1. Have an Agenda: Outline ahead of time what points will be covered in the meeting. Write it out, and distribute it to participants ahead of time. This will help avoid the “chasing of rabbits,” and help participants be more prepared for the meeting.
  2. Follow the Agenda: This sounds very elementary, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who take the time to create an agenda, and then totally disregard the agenda during the meeting.
  3. Limit the Agenda to Three Points or Less: Ask yourself, “What are the three most important things we need to cover in the meeting?” Limit the agenda to these three points. The rest of the things you wanted to cover, by definition, weren’t really that important anyway, so why waste everyone’s time?
  4. Set a Time Limit: I would suggest setting the time limit for the meeting to be no longer than 30-minutes. In future meetings, shorten the time by five minutes until the time limit is 15-minutes or less. The leader of the meeting will become much more efficient, and the participants will become much more focused as well. When the time limit is up, end the meeting. You may not get to cover every single thing that you wanted to the first couple of time you try this, but within a short time, you will find that the major information points are being discussed and decisions are being made very efficiently.
  5. Encourage Participation from Everyone, but don’t Force Them: Instead of going around the table and asking for opinions or input, just ask a question and let people volunteer their answers. There will be times during any meeting that each person will “phase out” (especially if it is a looooong and BOW-ring meeting.) If we call on every person, it wastes time, and puts people on the spot. Other ways of encouraging participation is to just ask a question, and after someone answers, say something like, “Good, let’s hear from someone else.” If there are people in your meeting who rarely speak, instead of calling on them directly, you might say something like, “I value the opinion of each of you, does anyone else have something to add.” Then, just look at the person you want to hear from. If he or she has something to say, he or she will say it if encouraged in this way. If he or she doesn’t, then you haven’t embarrassed the person.

Meetings can be a very powerful way to communicate and solve problems. In past workshops that I have facilitated, we have shown leaders how to identify the root-cause of a problem, come up with dozens of possible solutions, come to a consensus as group on the best possible solution, and create a written plan of action that is measurable in 15-minutes or less. Your meetings can be that efficient and that powerful too if you use these simple tips.

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Meeting Tips

The Ten Commandments for Conducting Meetings

  1. Thou shalt not meet if the matter can be resolved by other means
  2. Thou shalt make purpose known to those thou summonest
  3. Thou shalt summon only those whose presence is needful
  4. Thou shalt start at the time announced
  5. Thou shalt not run beyond
  6. Thou shalt not wander to other topics
  7. Prepare thy thoughts that the minutes not be wasted
  8. Schedule not in haste for the day is brief
  9. Thou shouldst combine into one those which need not be separated
  10. Fear not to cancel if the need disappears

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How to Remember Names

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you run into someone that you have met before and can’t remember that person’s name? It can be an awkward situation for both you and the other person.

When we remember someone, we’re telling him, “You’re important.” Therefore, when we forget a person, we may leave the opposite impression.

You want great service at a restaurant? Call the waitress by name when you place your order. Want to be the center of influence at a party? Introduce people you just met to others at the party. People love to hear their own name. In fact, Dale Carnegie said that, “a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest most important sound in any language.”

There Is Hope!

One of the first things we teach in High Impact Leaders is a simple technique about how to remember names. A technique so simple that many people in a class of 20 will be able to recall the first and last names of every single person in the classroom within the first hour of class.

One of the ways that we show people how to remember names and get people to strengthen their memory is by getting participants to “stick” the name into their long-term memory using LMER glue. This acronym gives us a simple four-step process.

  • (L) ook and Listen: Look at the person. Get a strong mental image of the person. What characteristics make the person unique? Is the person large, small, tall, thin, lots of hair, no hair? Listen clearly to the name. Ask the person to repeat his/her name if you do not hear the name clearly.
  • (M) ind Picture: Associate the person’s name with a picture that is easy to recall. The full name should create ONE picture. The person whose name you have made a picture of should be in the picture. Difficult names may need to be broken down into syllables to create memorable pictures. Example: Staneart (Stan-irt)-Picture me STANding up to my waist in dIRT.
  • (E) xaggerate: The more exaggerated and colorful the picture, the easier it will be to remember. Make the picture larger than life. Make it funny. Add a little danger.
  • (R) epeat: Repeat the name silently to yourself a few times. Try to use the name in conversation. Introducing the person to others can be an easy way to repeat the name without drawing attention.
How to Remember Names

For More Tips

Our High Impact Leaders class offers Nine different ways to help people learn how to remember names as well as two other memory skills that are pretty amazing.

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Leadership Skill Development Leads to Success

This is a new video by Doug Staneart on how Leadership Skill Development Leads to Success.

I’ve been teaching leadership training for almost 20 years, and since I started my first coaching session, I’ve been asking groups a single question — “What are the characteristics that successful people possess that ‘less than successful people’ lack?” The interesting thing is that most people spend a majority of their formal education focusing on developing knowledge, but the characteristics that my class members have reported to me are more in line with skills and attitude, not “book knowledge”.

The things that come up most are words like positive attitude, integrity, diligence, passion, enthusiasm, charisma, work ethic, and the like. These characteristics are all “attitude”, meaning that they are in line with the way that we “think” about situations and events. Other items that come up when I ask the question are skills like communication, leadership, motivational, confident and others. These skills are the things that we “do” about situations or events. Rarely, folks will give responses with words like intelligence or knowledge which is the information that we “know” about the situations or events. When I ask that question, about 50%-60% of the responses will be attitudes, about 35%-50% of the responses will be skills, and 5% or less will be knowledge.

Most college graduates will spend up to 17 or 18 years developing knowledge, but very little time developing their skills and attitude. Many of these young people are shocked after the spend all of the time and money to achieve this degree, and then their first job offer is much lower than their counterparts who didn’t even go to college. Don’t get me wrong, though, knowledge is vital to success. In reality, it is the “ticket to get in the game,” but if your formal education stops with just developing the knowledge, your value in the marketplace is much lower than a highly-skilled person.

So if you want to improve your success, focus on developing you leadership skills, your communication habits, and work on being more persuasive and dealing with people more effectively. If you do, you can’t help but being more successful.


See full video at http://youtu.be/1tDtZ9icxiQ

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Video-Just Do It Later and Missed Opportunities


Video of Doug Staneart, CEO of The Leader’s Institute, in Jamaica talking about the difference between missed opportunities and capitalizing on opportunities when they first appear to increase your success. Below is a transcript of the video.

Hey everybody, this is Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute, and I’m in Falmouth, Jamaica today. One of the neat things about Jamaica is that it is a bit more laid back than back home. As a matter of fact, one of the t-shirts that I saw today was the Nike swoosh sign on the front of the t-shirt, like we have at home, but instead of saying “Just Do It,” it said “Just Do It… Later,” which is kind of a funny t-shirt. But it identifies a big challenge that we have a lot of times — especially in corporate America. A lot of times, folks are waiting for that “perfect” time to take that opportunity or to jump into that opportunity. One of the most common things that we hear people say, for instance, when they come to one of our public speaking classes is, “Oh my gosh, I wish that I’d done this sooner!” The same thing happens with folks who purchase a franchise saying, “Gosh, I wish I’d bought a franchise sooner — that kind of thing.”

There are opportunities out there in the business world. Maybe it’s getting more education. Maybe it’s investing in yourself — taking a class, that kind of thing. Those things are opportunities that can help you increase your success, and you want to tap into those things when they appear. When you see one of these opportunities, you want to grasp it — make sure and jump into those opportunities, because if you don’t, you’re going to be one of those folks who are working, (while other folks are on the beach) and you’ll be saying, “I wish I hadda… I wish I shoulda… I wish I’d done-a.”

Tap into those opportunities when you see them — when they make themselves apparent. Make sure and tap into those opportunities, and you will be successful as well! This is Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute and another leadership tip.

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