How to Be a Leader Without the Title

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Note: For those readers with a title, I encourage you to share this article with future leaders.

No one is born a leader. It comes from practice, practice and more practice … until it becomes a natural part of who you are. Developing the right mindset, habits and skills now makes it easier to lead after you’ve received your promotion and title. However, waiting to develop the skills after you become a leader with the title will have you faltering to catch up, if you ever can.

The fastest and easiest way to step up and develop your leadership skills now is to hire a coach to guide you along the way.

8 Important Skills to Develop Now!

1.Listening. This cannot be said often enough! Listen and learn, then listen and learn some more. Fine-tuning this skill will help you hear what others are missing.

2.Decision-Making. Take time to get both sides of an issue–the facts and others’ opinions—before making decisions. Do not rely on tiny fragments of information or base your decisions on your feelings or other biases about the topic or people. Your goal is to develop win-win-win outcomes with those involved.

3.Resilience. Your ability to rally quickly after mistakes and learn from them helps you develop greater confidence. Remember, the key to developing resiliency is to work through the disappointment, embarrassment and other feelings you and your team may experience. Denying these feelings and their impact will come back to haunt you later.

4.Rallying Others. Even without the title, you can learn how to influence others by your actions and attitudes. It starts with supporting the company’s mission, your boss and your team members.

5.Initiatives and Resourcefulness. The mark of a good future leader is stepping up and making things happen, regardless of the budget, or your job title. Become a catalyst for exploring new ideas, creating solutions and understanding financial impacts by working with and through others.

6.Ethics. Be aware of your company’s policies and follow them. If they are not working, rather than ignoring them, recommend changes by communicating with your boss, co-workers and others. Honor your promises, contracts and other agreements, whether they are done verbally or in writing.

7.Developing the Team. To grow into being a savvy future leader, be supportive of others’ efforts. Get involved in the hiring, coaching, managing and training processes!

8.Building on Strengths. We all have inherent business strengths and weaknesses. It helps to clarify them by using qualified assessments and 360-degree feedback tools. The best way to build effective strategic and tactical skills is allowing your coach to be your guide when working on specific challenges.

By developing these skills, you will learn a lot about yourself and what it takes to become a great leader, with or without the title!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? As a future leader, are you ready to develop the key skills now? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Remember, everyone can be a leader, with or without the title. First, you must step up! Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

Leading with Courage Is Not for the Timid

Cocky LederEmployees today expect more from their business leaders than ever before. They require leaders to have the courage to step up and make good, hard decisions. Courageous leaders create an environment and company culture where every employee can excel. Knowing and actually encouraging, respecting and listening to differing points of view will build better ideas.

Being a leader is not for the timid. You can and must step up to develop the courage to lead.

Are you ready to:

Encourage Differing POVs. Differing points of view (POV) can build ideas into better solutions. However, benefiting from them requires strong listening and communication skills, asking the right questions and developing the ability to effectively manage these conversations for win-win-win outcomes.

Believe Employees Are Great. This mindset is one of the secrets to becoming an effective and courageous leader. Believing in the team process and each person’s contributions requires courage, because you can’t control internal communication or work processes. Your trust will transform your team to take the initiative and become resourceful to achieve intended results.

Do It Differently. Breaking out from the constraints of “how it’s always been done” or your creative limitations is required. Years ago an industry group traditionally hosted an education day to learn more about new changes in legislative policies. The problem was, attendance was dismal. When a new group member included a customer service keynote as part of the day, the planning committee expressed huge disapproval, but they still went along with idea. To their surprise, they saw a 40 percent increase in the number of attendees. At that point, they recognized the new group member for having the courage to think bigger and make it happen.

Manage Your Ethics and Integrity. The impact of what you do or don’t do will create a reputation for you and for the company that can last a long time. Make good, hard decisions by working with your executive coach to talk through the options and actions required. An organization was about to give an award to the wrong person. PR had already been released, and it was the night before the big event. Earlier that day the award recipient let them know, “I don’t meet the criteria.”  They made the tough decision and gave the award to the right person while acknowledging the courage it took for the original recipient to step forward.

Oversee Your Projects’ Human Experience. Many times we are focused solely on the technical and financial outcomes of any project or work assignment. We forget that our people make or break any project or task. Create a rewarding process that honors and respects the employee spirit through listening, brainstorming and respecting all ideas while managing the process to achieve intended results.

Express Gratitude to Everyone. Saying please and thank you daily and acknowledging every person for his or her contributions (regardless of how the day goes) builds a positive work environment.

Be a Respected Leader. People’s feelings can be fickle. One moment they like you, and the next they don’t—many times due to circumstances beyond your control. Respected leaders have the courage to make the right decisions, regardless of their career aspirations or need to be well-liked, is why they last longer.

Hire for Job Fit. Answering the “why” behind employee behaviors that baffle many managers is key. It takes courage to use qualified job fit assessments to hire, coach, manage and train employees. But once you experience the amazing results, your courage will be rewarded!

Step up! Be a courageous leader. Hire a seasoned executive coach and business advisor to guide you through making the right decisions, listening and learning from your employees and creating a respectful workplace.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? As a leader, are you ready to be courageous by fine-tuning your ability to make better decisions, improve your communication skills and create an amazing place to work? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Remember, everyone can become a courageous leader. First, you must step up! Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

How to Design Your Workplace to Excel!

Culture 2Designing your workplace to excel goes beyond the physical layout of the work space and its location. While these are very important components to consider, the design and development of the company’s culture are often overlooked. (Yes, everyone has a say.) As the leader, you are responsible for a workplace that values and respects people, and promotes opportunities for everyone to excel.

7 Key Elements to Excel

1.Each and every employee is important. Set aside your biases, and value each employee’s contribution. Playing favorites, offering the best opportunities to only a few and dismissing employees’ ideas will hurt workplace morale and team spirit. Design reward programs for both teams and individuals that acknowledge everyone’s efforts.

2.Focus on Work Skills. First, judging work quality and quantity is important. When problems occur, focus on the job skills required, not on the person’s personality. Provide specifically focused training and development programs designed for each person’s needs.

3.Provide Soft Skills Training. Communication, problem-solving, negotiation, critical thinking and other soft skills training is often overlooked. In addition to offering it, provide internal mentors who can be a sounding board for employees and help them fine-tune these skills. Hire an executive coach to guide the resolution of project management challenges and resolve management and leadership snafus.

4.Follow Company Policies. They were designed for a reason … to establish a strong foundation for everyone’s success. They reflect the company’s values, mission and work rules, so it’s important for you and your team to follow them! Be open to expanding on them as needed, when it’s in the best interest of the company.

5.Be a Positive Example. Your leadership style, communication skills and ability to pull together your team are important. Participate in leadership workshops and continue to improve your skills, expand your perspective and be responsible for how, when and why you make changes in your company.

6.Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan. Changing for the sake of change rarely works, and even worse, it can hinder your workplace’s ability to excel. Provide clarity on work assignments and management expectations. This allows employees to feel confident and competent in handling their daily work activities, sharing ideas and developing their skills.

7.Select the Right Person for the Right Job. Job fit is the No. 1 reason employees will excel or fail in their work activities. When your people have work responsibilities that fit their thinking style, core behaviors and occupational interests, they will communicate better, be a valued member of the team and help customers resolve their issues the first time. Remember, a well-designed strategic selection process that objectively recognizes job fit is critical in determining if a person can and will do the job successfully. Don’t forget to customize onboarding and learning and development opportunities to personally and professionally grow each employee.

Design a workplace where everyone can excel to make it a culturally rewarding place to work!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? Which of the seven key elements have you been ignoring that need to be resolved for a successful 2018? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Remember, everyone has a say when designing a workplace that promotes positive interactions, teamwork and learning and development opportunities. Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

Your Wall of Resistance Is a Gift!

WallA man hit a wall of resistance in his professional life. He was earning just enough money to pay his bills. He knew he was a results producer not producing results and blamed his work environment. Although he had hired a coach, the coach wasn’t able to guide him to turn around his results. When someone tapped him on the shoulder to interview for a job, he jumped on it. His comment was, “It must be meant to be.” Look out! When you’ve hit a wall, realize that the grass is rarely greener someplace else! Instead, clarify the beliefs, habits and words that got in your way!

When you experience fatigue, loss of energy and/or poor results, you’ve hit the wall of resistance. And, no matter what you say, think or do … nothing changes. When your career is stuck, sales are nonexistent or your ideas fail to produce the intended results, it’s time to get real. Short-term fixes won’t produce long-term results. (Note: According to a Gallup poll, over 70 percent of us are in the wrong job or career.) The good news is you can give yourself the long-term gift of blasting through your wall of resistance.

4 Steps to Blast through Your Wall of Resistance

First, remember: it’s an inside job. Write down:

  • Five beliefs you are holding on to
  • At least three habits that get in your way
  • Ten words you use to describe yourself, others and situations

Second, hire the right coach to review your answers and guide you to the next level. Lone rangers usually experience struggle, strife and frustration because they’re doing it alone. Freedom, clarity and ease are available when you hire the right coach. Remember, every successful person has a coach; ask for referrals based on your challenges.

Third, complete the past year by writing down what worked and what didn’t work. Why? This exercise will bring you awareness of the silent growth you’ve achieved. Then, update and write down your Brag! statements as a reminder of your accomplishments (see It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition for details).

Fourth, complete a qualified job fit assessment to understand why your true thinking style, occupational interests and core behaviors may not fit your job or work responsibilities. Review the results with your coach to uncover your inherent strengths and weaknesses to help you break through your wall. This assessment is an amazing gift you give yourself that will support you for a long time!

Now What? Give yourself a gift and apply these same four steps to the following areas where you might be experiencing your wall of resistance:

Career: Work with the right coach to hold you accountable to achieve your newly created game plan. When new walls appear (and they will), listen to your coach and create customized approaches to blast through them. Also, role-play with your coach before having the difficult conversations you’ve been avoiding; they can hinder your job satisfaction. This will clear up any misunderstandings or issues you are experiencing. The clarity this provides will also help you make better choices for what’s next. If you don’t do this, the same issues will repeat themselves.

Business Owner or Entrepreneur: You’re stymied. Your company is doing OK, but you believe you can do better! You have lots of ideas, but few of them have worked long term. You may have settled for mediocrity or quickly ditched ideas when new ones came along. Impatience is not a virtue. Execution has cost you a lot of time, money and sleepless nights. Stop the insanity! Take the time to objectively work through the pros and cons of each idea with your coach and develop a realistic ROI. One successful entrepreneur I coached created a multimillion-dollar business. “We have hundreds of ideas, however only one or two make it through our vetting process.” Hire a business advisor, select the right team and stay focused on the right action steps to achieve your goals.

Sales Teams: You missed the quarterly sales projection … again. You reassured your boss that the team will do better next quarter. For this to happen, remember: success is an inside job. Who are your salespeople? What are their inherent strengths and weaknesses? What training do they require to succeed? Who might be more successful in a different position? Use qualified sales assessments to get real about your team members. Then, have each person create their own Brag! statements and share them. One woman, who had been struggling to pay her bills, received a $20,000 commission check in 45 days by clarifying her sales strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to brag to sell herself first!

When you are clear about your wall of resistance, this gift will support you in taking the right actions to achieve long-term success.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? What conflicts have you been ignoring that need to be resolved for a successful 2018? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She is the right executive coach and business advisor to provide confidential, laser-focused advice that works! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Are you ready to move forward in 2018? Blast through those walls of resistance? Make the right changes? Make the difficult choices? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

Employee Retention Is the New Focus!

images0VAIFKU3Today’s economy is robust. That’s the good news. The challenge is that most qualified people are employed, so it’s becoming more difficult for companies to attract new, qualified employees.

Although there needs to be a focus on hiring new employees, there is not enough focus on keeping the talent you already have. In this employee-driven market, the focus on employee retention must improve to keep great employees and attract qualified new ones.

How to Develop and Keep Great Employees

Training Is Critical:

  • Include Everyone. Provide learning and growth opportunities for each and every employee, manager and executive.
  • Budget Is Not an Excuse. The reality is, you can’t afford not to promote, coach, manage and train current employees. Budget for, rather than cut, the actual dollar amount available per employee for training, education reimbursement or other internal and external learning opportunities.
  • Focus on Soft Skills. While technical skills are important, many times communication, managing people, critical thinking, project management and other soft skills are overlooked. These skills have become more important as younger people take on management roles. To get the most out of the advanced training you provide, make sure employees are ready to for promotion and leadership roles to use it.
  • Offer Variety. Digital learning, group interactions and one-on-one sessions are equally important. Include opportunities to role-play…this will reinforce and fine-tune new concepts.
  • Library of Resources. When a problem arises (and it will), have a library of online resources and books readily available. Also, provide mentors and coaches to help guide practical applications.
  • Include “Why.” Employees today want to know why something is important for them to learn. Don’t skip this step.
  • Public Workshops. When it’s not reinforced, new training will only impact people for a day or a week. Debrief and focus on three key points they should develop. While new ideas and methods can make a positive difference, if they’re not effectively introduced, they have the potential of turning a team upside down.
  • Cross-training. Employees will develop a broader awareness of how their job impacts their company and customers when they have the experience of working in different departments.

Use Qualified Assessments. This is the best way to broaden employees’ perspectives on how to better communicate, work with team members and manage their work so it doesn’t hinder others’ efforts. It also provides a reality check about why some employees excel at certain work activities but others don’t.

Just-in-Time Coaching. We all have blind spots. A coach can help us uncover them. While internal mentors and coaches can be helpful, an experienced coach from outside the company often provides a broader perspective and customized approach to resolve persistent issues.

Be the Right Boss. A bad boss is cited as the No.1 reason employees leave. Today’s bosses need to be effective people managers.  While they tell everyone they like working with people, it would be detrimental to their future career opportunities to admit they don’t like managing them. Create different career ladders that include management and non-management roles, along with a commensurate pay scale.

Flexibility Is Important. Most employees value a flexible work schedule, opportunities to work from home and other work/life balance options. These are often more important than a pay increase or a new job title. Some would actually take a small reduction in pay if they could work fewer hours and be able to travel, participate in humanitarian work or spend time on their side gig or with family.

Appreciation. Take time daily to acknowledge and thank employees for their work efforts. It shows you value their contribution, and it goes a long way toward employee retention.

Focus on developing and keeping great employees. It will improve the company’s culture, increase employee retention and attract new, qualified talent.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? What conflicts have you been ignoring that need to be resolved for a successful 2018? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Are you ready to focus on employee retention? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

Momentum Is the Key to Achieving BIG Goals

goals.4Many of us create goals to either check off a box for our bosses or to make a positive difference for ourselves and others. Yet regardless of why we have created the goal, it requires:

  • -Commitment
  • -A vision BIG enough to get everyone on board
  • -Focused action to create and sustain momentum

Momentum is not like gravity, always there regardless of what we do, say or think about it. While momentum is readily available, it requires commitment to achieve BIG goals and taking focused actions steps over time. It’s not about waiting for the right moment, right team or right amount of money.

The reason momentum can be hard to create is that many people are risk averse. Yes, they want to achieve their goals financially, personally and professionally. But they are fearful of stepping outside their proverbial comfort zone. After their goals have been created, many times their initial excitement and momentum wanes, and so do they. Get into focused action early. Do not wait.

Create Momentum Now

(Note: This article assumes that you have created true goals that are BIG, with a focused action plan and the right team committed to getting outside their comfort zones. If not, I would recommend hiring an experienced facilitator to get you on the right path now, before the struggle irrevocably hinders fulfillment of the goal.)

Assemble the Right Team. Assembling the right team is critical to achieving a BIG goal. It requires going beyond what people agree to do now. Ask if they have the interest and long-term willingness to support the project to the end. This is often a question people will say yes to but fail to fulfill. Use a qualified assessment to take the mystery out of whether or not they can and will contribute to the BIG goal.

Manage and Coach for Solutions. A common mistake leaders make is micromanaging individual efforts when team members become stuck. Instead, encourage them to talk out issues with other team members to resolve the problem, not create a conspiracy as to why the project won’t work.

Take Focused Actions. The No. 1 saboteur in any project is when busyness is used as an excuse for giving up. Here’s a secret: Taking the right focused action steps will create new skills and confidence … not the feeling of more work! When obstacles occur (and they will), true brainstorming, resourcefulness and initiative are required. Then, immediately take focused action steps. (This is not the time to change the BIG goal!)

Delegate to the Best Person. Stop attempting to do everything yourself. Trust your team members. Delegate a task or portion of the project to the right person (e.g., give the financial analysis portion of the project to the person who has the skills and interests to get it done). Utilize qualified assessments to understand each person’s best role on the team.

Stay in Communication. Stay in weekly communication. Face-to-face conversations and electronic updates keep the momentum moving forward. It’s harder to hide out on a team call when you’re specifically asked for updates. When problems or excuses arise, have a couple of team members or a vetted, qualified outside resource work together to resolve it (it’s best not to use the whole team – it slows the momentum).

Get Objective Outside Feedback. Talk about the components of the action plan with a small, select group of mentors and your business coach. (Don’t forget to use a nondisclosure agreement [NDA] for people outside the company.)  Listen respectfully to alternatives or points missed. Remember, you asked for their input, and often, seasoned experts offer the greatest insights.

Manage Self-Talk. Your internal mental chatter and word choices when talking about others make a significant impact on fulfilling the BIG goal. Remember, each and every person’s contribution is important. To keep everyone aware of what they have provided and what others have accomplished, use “It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition” to create and share Brag! statements.

You will fulfill the BIG goal if you take the right focused action steps to create and sustain momentum.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

What conflicts are you blind to that need to be resolved for a successful 2018? Hire Jeannette Seibly as a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that gets results! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Are you ready to challenge your status quo? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

Speak Up! It’s Good for Your Career Success!

speak upI’ve seen, too often, employees in group meetings speak up and lose their jobs, credibility and opportunities for pay increases. And, there are times I’ve heard people speak up and save the company money, time and top talent.

What gets in the way?

When we hear a perception that’s different from our own, our egos can get in the way of listening and conflicts can escalate. Communicating persuasively, listening and building solutions are thrown out the window when we feel attacked, ignored or overruled. When you don’t own your point of view while respecting others’, you will miss the opportunity to share and build win-win-win solutions.

Today’s bosses are encouraging employees to speak up. They are breaking through long-standing barriers and fears for both women and men. However, the challenge still remains: many of us encourage coworkers, bosses and leaders to speak up—until they challenge the status quo. Then, often, our fears kick in and we silence what is being said. We become resigned about making any changes.  Yet, we applaud those that have the courage to speak up and wish we could be more like them.

How to Own Your Point of View

Owning your point of view makes it easier for others to listen and hear you! Otherwise, telling others that your point of view is “the truth” will shut down your contribution to the conversation, project and team—potentially sidelining your career success.

Take Responsibility. Never forget that the thoughts, opinions and feelings you are sharing are yours. When you are pointing out a violation of company policy, safety or ethics, take responsibility for sharing the policy, sticking to the facts about the violation, and talking directly with the people who can make the difference.

Expand Your Perspective. We are all limited by our perceptions and life experiences. Don’t become emotionally attached to them. Instead, be willing to expand your awareness by listening to and honoring differences. Participate in a training program, read social media stories about others’ challenges and successes, and hire a coach to help expand your thinking. For bosses, I have found that qualified assessments successfully expand points of view about how to hire, coach, manage and train their teams.

Be Kind. Life does not discriminate against anyone. However, our biases or “truths” often do, and we negatively judge and assess others. Instead, speak well of everyone. Share and build on ideas, and don’t engage in gossip.

Share Appropriately. Indiscriminately sharing your feelings about how awful your job, boss or company is will sabotage your career. Instead, speak up privately and directly to the person or people who can make a difference. Then, take focused action. For example, complaining about a system issue that has always been that way will not change anything. Instead, talk with your boss, propose solutions and offer to lead the project to make the changes. Then, do it. This will actually boost your career success.

Do Your Homework. Frequently, people take the tiniest fragments of information (often found on the Internet or as company gossip) and talk about it as if they know it’s the truth. Our conclusions are rarely true. It’s like reading the back cover of a book and falsely believing you understand the plots and twists in the story. Get the facts! Then, share them. Be open to learning from others’ experiences beyond what you read on the Internet or hear during coffee breaks.

Speak up! Learn how to own and share your point of view appropriately … it’s good for your career growth and success.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? What conflicts have you been ignoring that need to be resolved for a successful 2018? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Are you ready to challenge your status quo? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

Do This Daily to Encourage Success

Cocky LederMany leaders and bosses wait until the end of the year to acknowledge their employees, management team, vendors and customers. However, success is built when you recognize everyone on a daily basis. When you make this a positive habit, you will build a productive team and confident employees every day, and you’ll receive exceptional service from your vendors and encourage customers to stay.

Acknowledge Everyone

One-on-one: Don’t be shy. Tell your co-workers, peers, boss, customers and vendors how much you appreciate them both verbally and in writing. Be specific and positive.

Team: Let everyone on the team know that you’ve appreciated their efforts this year. Successful leaders take time to complete the year by reviewing what worked and what didn’t work, and by acknowledging each and every person’s contributions. Applaud the results they’ve achieved, regardless of the project’s status.

Self: Look in the mirror and tell yourself out loud that you are fabulous, terrific and amazing! (I know, most people will not immediately see the value of positive self-talk … do it anyway!) Also, complete (or update) the five amazing steps to sell yourself – your brag factors! Brag statements can and do improve your success … as reflected in your paycheck, bottom line, business and career opportunities, and business relationships.

Please and thank you: Make it a common practice to acknowledge others each and every day of the year.

I appreciate and acknowledge each and every one of you!

Thank you and Happy Holidays to all!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017

Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? What conflicts have you been ignoring that need to be resolved for a successful 2018? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Are you ready to challenge your status quo? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

Improve Your Career During Meetings–It’s the Fastest Way

Millennials Lead.2“But … ,” you lament, “meetings are boring, uninspiring and a waste of time! Why should I bother?”

Here’s the answer: The reputation you create at meetings can easily improve or derail your career opportunities!

Be Part of the Solution

Successful people want to work with key contributors. They gauge your effectiveness by how well you prepare, participate and interact in meetings. They are a golden opportunity to shine in the spotlight, showcase your leadership skills and participate in reaching win-win decisions … all important ways to blaze a pathway to career success. Remember, you never know who is watching and listening, so always be ready!

10 Ways to Be a Positive Contributor

1.Show Up On Time. Be in your seat (or on the call) 5 minutes before the actual start time. Ask everyone to turn off electronic gadgets and put phones away to minimize distractions. If you are the facilitator or presenter, ensure the room is set up and conference calls and presentations are working before the scheduled time. Also, manage your agenda so you end on time.

2.Come Prepared. Read all documents, agendas and other materials before the meeting. Bring the information, along with written notes and questions, with you. Provide graphs and short summaries to participants prior to the meeting, and review them as a group. Note: When meetings drag on, it’s usually because attendees did not prepare. No decisions should be made without proper preparation.

3.Be Mentally Ready. Good leaders and active participants rehearse key points they want to make or questions they want to ask. They have role-played (even if it’s their mind) any concerns and pushback they believe will occur, and they are prepared to address them.

4.Leave Your Laptop Behind. It distracts both you and others around you from learning, according to research conducted by the University of Michigan. Researchers found that using paper and pencil to take notes is a better alternative!

5.Take Turns. Call each person by name and give them the opportunity to talk. Also, if you are not running the meeting, feel free to ask others for their input. Otherwise, people will feel bored and stifled, and that will limit the team’s ability to make the best decisions.

6.Encourage Differing Opinions. Respect all perspectives and value everyone’s input. Otherwise, your fear of possible conflicts and inability to manage them will sideline your career. (For further insight, read Do You Know How to De-escalate Conflict?)

7.Listen! This cannot be emphasized enough! When you play with electronic gadgets or multitask by doing other work, you miss out on important information. Actively listening is the best way to develop the insights to resolve issues and formulate new ideas for products and services. It’s a skill everyone must develop in their careers.

 8.State Your Point Upfront. State your point first, then provide any supporting information to reinforce it by keeping it simple and staying focused. This will help you stay away from monologues, inappropriate gossip or sidebars, technical terms (aka jargon) or lengthy responses.

9.Ask Good Questions. Everyone is a valuable contributor in their own way. Drill down by using a positive tone of voice to clarify concerns and ask further questions. Then, build on their points and resolve their issues before moving forward. You usually won’t get to the real underlying concern without asking three or four clarifying questions.

10.Build Alignment. Align on decisions. Attempting to reach consensus is a waste of time, since it delays making decisions and encourages people to take sides without resolving the true issue. Questions to ask: Can everyone live with this decision? Is it workable and doable? If not, what needs to be added or changed so that everyone is on the same page moving forward?

The fastest way to build your career is to show up and positively contribute in every meeting.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016-2017

Need a speaker or facilitator for your company’s management group? Have issues to address or conflicts to resolve that you have been avoiding? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant. Do you need to learn how to work together as a team to find the best solutions? Conduct effective meetings? Get out of your own way? Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

 

Can Boomerang Employees Be Valuable Assets?

What Are Boomerang Employees? hiring costs

Boomerang employees are people who have left the company, worked for a different employer (or started their own business), and then came back. In the past, employers simply did not rehire former employees. Today, according to Accountemps, 98% of human resource professionals are open to hiring former employees, mostly due to the current shortage of qualified talent. Boomerangs can be valuable assets when rehired the right way.

Understand Why They Left: A 2-Step Process

Step 1: Learn the Reasons

  • They believed the grass was greener somewhere else.
  • The job or career path didn’t fit them.
  • Career advancement was limited.
  • They blamed their former boss for their problems.
  • They wanted a better paycheck and/or benefits.
  • They needed to relocate due to family, partner or other factors.

Step 2: Were there any bridges burned that can’t be repaired? This is critical. If they left on a negative note, blamed others or didn’t do their job well, they may have a very difficult time showing that they have changed. Other issues, including theft and drugs, are usually nonnegotiable.

When considering rehiring boomerangs, listen to both the cheerleaders and naysayers on your staff regarding the person’s return. However, be careful about relying 100% on their input. Too often, the cheerleaders want someone who is known while the naysayers are afraid of changing the current status quo.

The Value of Rehiring Boomerang Employees

New Skills. Former employees can be great assets when they can bring updated industry skills, new networks and the fresh insights needed to take your company to the next level. They also can bring a competitive edge if there is a mutual willingness and attitude to move forward.

Faster Training. Most new hires take 6 to 18 months before they are fully trained for their position. By rehiring boomerang employees, you may save time and money, depending on their willingness to adapt to any changes.

Cultural Awareness. Learning the dos and don’ts is often a new hire’s biggest challenge. When you rehire a boomerang employee, they often already know what to expect from your company. 

Reengage Current Employees. If the boomerang employee was well-liked and respected, bringing them back can be a big morale booster. The fact they are willing to come back also speaks well of the employer. The lessons they learned can remind any current top talent who are thinking about leaving that the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.

Don’t Shortchange the Selection and Onboarding Process

Conduct Complete Due Diligence – As You Would for Any Unknown Candidate. Whether they are coming back as a full-time, part-time or contract employee, use the same strategic application and interview process you would for lesser-known candidates. Talk through today’s goals, vision and workplace expectations. Remember, your company has evolved. Just because the boomerang employee was a top performer in the past does not mean they can perform at the same level now.

Take the Blinders Off – Nobody Stays the Same Forever. Clarity is key. Collect as much objective data as possible. Use qualified assessment tools to help determine job fit todayRemember, the challenge isn’t what you can see and remember — it’s what you don’t see or have forgotten about.

Prepare Them for Success – Change Is Inevitable. While boomerang employees may understand change conceptually, they may not be fully prepared. During the onboarding process, review the organization’s changes – good and bad, written and unwritten. Review the mission, values, systems, procedures, culture, company direction, employees, products, services, vendors and clients. Assign them an internal mentor who can help them navigate changes that may not be readily apparent.

When you rehire boomerang employees the right way, they can often become your greatest asset.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2015-2017

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Jeannette Seibly is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant. Are you ready to challenge the status quo? Do you have a hiring system that actual works? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.