Archive for December, 2010

BluePrint tip: Make feedback regular

December 16, 2010

Feedback is an important part of every workplace and if not done effectively is one of the main causes of employee dissatisfaction.

Feedback needs to be given on a daily basis, if this becomes more of a yearly occurrence people tend to be surprised rather than aligned with the feedback they are given.

If you have suggestions that will help an employer do their job better, it is more productive to communicate that sooner rather than later.

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Five easy tips to influence and persuade others in the workplace

December 14, 2010

Persuasion and influence are important factors that have a direct impact on your personal success, whether at the workplace in your personal lives. No matter who you are or what you do, you will never learn a more valuable or important set of skills than that of how to influence others.

Once you tap into the power of influence, you can reach out and help others work smarter, grow faster, live, look and feel better. Here are some tips to help you improve your influencing skills:

1. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve and the outcomes that you want.

2. Get in the shoes of those you want to persuade and think about it from their perspective.

3. Plan as much as you can before the situation to minimise the amount of thinking on your feet you will have to do.

4. Be flexible and be willing to change your style to accommodate different situations and personalities.

5. Make time to reflect and learn from both successful and unsuccessful influencing situations.

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BluePrint tip: Negotiating is all about credibility

December 9, 2010

The most important ingredient for negotiating within an organisation is credibility. Leaders who are believable to their people and to upper management have more success at negotiating needs in both directions effectively.

To do this you need to be consistent in your values and show respect for opinions contrary to your own. Other opinions are as valid as yours and by taking these into consideration you will be able to find a common middle ground resulting in a win-win situation.

Are crucial conversations keeping you stuck?

December 8, 2010

Whenever you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, it’s likely that a crucial conversation is keeping you stuck.

Whether it’s a problem with poor quality, slow time-to-market, declining customer satisfaction, or a strained relationship, if you can’t talk honestly with nearly anybody about almost anything, you can expect poor results. Make crucial conversations skills your best practices and everything gets better.

Here are some tips to help you get started with your crucial conversation:

1. Choose the most appropriate objectives that you want from the conversation and set your expectations towards them.

2. Pay attention to your style of communication and avoid any negative words or body language. True communication doesn’t involve demeaning or laying blame.

3. Don’t intimidate, use harsh words or raise your voice. Use constructive, positive words.

4. Do not over dominate the conversation and claim superiority. If someone is made to feel inferior at the beginning of a conversation they are more likely to take offense.

5.  Ask the other person’s opinion, actively listen and take the time to understand.

6. Take action. Decide what the outcome of the conversation will be, who will be responsible for each component of the solution and start working towards the result.

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BluePrint tip: Designing presentations backwards

December 2, 2010

In our careers we are often asked to make presentations, however many of us struggle knowing how to start preparing. Rather than designing your presentation from the beginning to the end – reverse it.

Start with the destination and work back to the opening. Write your closing line that summarises your message clearly and then write the points that support your ending.

Your speech will be clearer and take you less time if your start with the end in mind.

The five myths of public speaking

December 1, 2010

One of the most famous speeches of all times is the “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King that went straight to the core and resonated with all that heard it.

However, most of us are not as talented when it comes to presentations and public speaking as Martin Luther King but that doesn’t mean that we can’t approach the task of planning, preparing and really nailing a speech the way that the professionals do.

Smart Company has exploded some common beliefs about the art of public speaking that can help you improve your technique.

1. Myth: Public speaking is a natural gift
Reality: Practice makes perfect

2. Myth: It’s all about the document you are presenting
Reality: It’s not about the content, but the method and technique used to deliver

3. Myth: Bullet-points are essential
Reality: Don’t overload a slide with too many different ideas as it dilutes the message

4. Myth: A keynote doesn’t need any props
Reality: Engage all the senses by using interesting visuals such as videos

5. Myth: It is only necessary to prepare the main points of the presentation and then expand as you go
Reality: Know your material backwards.

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