How to Avoid Common Workplace Time Management Mistakes

Effective time management is crucial to the success of any company. Without proper time management, it’s easy to become backlogged with tasks and disrupt your relationship with loyal clients and customers. Good time management, on the other hand, not only improves relationship with customers and clients, it also allows you to be more productive without experiencing the stress of overdue deadlines. Here are some of the most common time management mistakes and how you can prevent them.

Not Prioritizing Tasks

Having a to-do list is a good way to keep track of all the things you need to get done, but without prioritization, your most urgent tasks may end up falling by the wayside. Simply jumping from task to task without a premeditated plan can lead to disorganization and wasted time. Rather than completing the easiest, or least time-intensive tasks first to get them out of the way, complete tasks in the order of their value combined with urgency. This will ensure that you get what you need to get done in a timely manner without having to rush on larger, more time-intensive projects.

Underestimating the Time You Need

One of the biggest time management mistakes is underestimating the amount of time you’ll need to complete a task. It’s always better to schedule more time than you think you’ll need to complete a task so that you don’t have to rush or risk falling behind. Best practice for high priority tasks is to estimate the time required, and then add 25%. Once you complete a certain task, take note of how long it took you from start to finish so you can have a more accurate idea of how much time you’ll need to complete similar assignments in the future.

Efficient time management can ease the stress of the workplace and increase your productivity and profit. If you need assistance refining your time management skills, the “Time Mastery” workshop from ACT One International can give you the tools you need to more efficiently organize and use your time. With interactive exercises and engaging activities, this workshop will help you to develop personalized strategies for time management success. For more information on the “Time Mastery” workshop and the other workplace training programs available from ACT One International, contact us today.

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Posted in Leadership, Management, Uncategorized |

How to Succeed as a New Manager

Making the transition from team member to team manager can be a challenging point in one’s career. Even with the best training, skills, and experience, taking on a new role with new responsibilities can be a daunting task. How can you make your transition into a new managerial role as smooth as possible for you and your entire team? Here are a few tips and tricks for success as a new manager.

Balancing Multiple Needs and Demands

One of the biggest hurdles that new managers will have to face is figuring out how to balance multiple needs and demands. As an individual employee, you may be used to only dealing with your own direct responsibilities. As a manager, you will have to be aware of your own direct responsibilities, as well as the tasks of your team, your supervisors, and any other colleagues within your purview. It’s important to learn skills and strategies to balance your personal work responsibilities with the responsibilities of those around you, while keeping the big picture in mind.

Delegating Responsibilities

Delegation is one of the most critical roles of a manager. Delegation requires careful planning, action, and an understanding of the different strengths and weaknesses of your team. Before delegating a task, it’s important to consider:

-Who on your team is best suited to the task at hand?
-Will the decision-making process be made with your team, through consensus or advice?
-What are the parameters and expectations associated with the delegated task?

Many new managers make the mistake of delegating too much, or delegating too little and shouldering an uneven amount of their team’s responsibilities. Another common mistake new managers make is not following up with team members after delegation. Following up after the completion of a delegated task is a good way to receive feedback and make your managerial approach more effective for your team.

Being in a management role is not always easy, but with the right strategies and techniques, it’s possible to thrive in a managerial position. If you’re moving into a new managerial role in your company, “Situational Leadership – Building Leaders” is a great workshop to help you ease the transition. For more information about this program, and the other workplace training programs available through ACT One International, contact us today!

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Posted in Management, Uncategorized |

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

Teamwork is foundational to success. This, of course, begs the question; how can a great team be brought together, kept together, and ultimately be successful together?  A new program offered by ACT One International; The Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team brings together elements of analysis, discovery, and progress to develop groups of individuals into strong, successful teams.

Unlike other consultative programs that seek to move ahead without consideration of important situational factors, the caution is raised immediately that, as with most things in life, timing can be everything. Teams that are new, pending changes in the team, pending or recent organizational changes and/or heavy workload with short timelines are all considerations indicating the timing may not be right.

Once past the reasons NOT to implement the program, there are plenty of reasons to harness its power and potential.  The Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team is based on five key behaviours that influence the success of teams:

  • Trust One Another
  • Engage in Healthy Conflict Around Ideas
  • Commit to Decisions
  • Hold One Another Accountable
  • Focus on Achieving Collective Results

As each of these behaviours is developed within teams, the prospect of success is positively influenced.  An initial evaluation based upon a series of questions helps the team and its individual members kick start a learning process based upon communication, dedication, and plain hard work.  Future evaluations help assess and measure progress in the development of the team concept.  Assessments can be done in intervals of anywhere from six months to twelve months apart, longer in the case of newer teams to allow for required time to develop.

Team Development

The evolution of trust is at the very root of the development of a strong, successful team. Teams that develop into cohesive units value each of their members, accept divergent opinions embracing the expression of different opinions and points of view.  Commitment to group decisions is made easier because of the trust existing between team members and the “airing out” of concepts and ideas different among group members.  Effectively, the healthy debate and trust factors facilitate a buy-in on behalf of the team membership that is more binding based upon the group dynamic and sense of belonging.  Subsequently, this provides a well-developed sense of accountability as team members seek to support not only the objectives and goals of the project, but each other.  These variables support a focus on collective results. While each of the components is of genuine importance to teams and merits serious consideration, it is clear that the interdependence of the elements and their influence one over the other creates the power of this amazing program.

Effectiveness

Cohesive teams are more productive teams.  Their decision-making capabilities are stronger and better.  They make full use of talents and skills available within the team.  They value their membership embracing different ideas and using conflict to their advantage.  These are but a few of the reasons to embrace this program.

Long ago Henry Ford was quoted as saying “None of us is as smart as all of us.”  He saw the wisdom and intelligence of harnessing the power of teamwork.  Discover in The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team the principles and practices that can lead your organization to consistent and greater success.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized |

After The Meeting is Adjourned: Tips and Tricks for Reaching Workplace Goals

Company meetings are an important way to touch base with employees and keep everyone informed about new initiatives, procedures and collective goals. Whether it’s a small departmental meeting or a larger meeting involving the entire company, these are important moments to pass on information and create dialogue between managers, supervisors and employees. But what about after the meeting ends? How do we ensure that whatever was discussed during a team meeting is addressed in the workplace? Here are a few tips and tricks for what to do after a company meeting to make them as effective as possible.

Take The Time To Debrief

After a group meeting, team leaders should take some time to deliberate about what went well during the meeting and what could have gone better. This will help leaders to consider what leadership and management skills are most effective for their employees. Every team is different and finding the right managerial approach is a trial-and-error process that requires time as well as careful debriefing. Meetings are a great way to determine whether or not your leadership techniques are working and strategize ways to make them more effective.

Sending Out Minutes ASAP

Sending out the minutes from the meeting as soon as you can is the best way to ensure that all team members are fully aware of the discussion that took place. Employees can refer back to minutes in order to remember new action steps, procedures or goals. This kind of visual reminder can help new ideas become implemented faster and more effectively within the workplace.

Develop Your Meeting Follow-Up Skills with ACT One International

At ACT One International, we offer a number of training and skill development programs that can help you build the leadership skills necessary to successfully follow up with the collective goals and strategies discussed during company meetings. Some of our workplace training programs include the popular Everything DiSC series, as well as The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. For more information about our variety of engaging workplace training programs and workshops, contact us today at ACT One International.

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Posted in Communication |

Improving Listening Skills at Your Workplace

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When it comes to effective communication, one large and defining factor of how well a team is communicating is by how well they are able to listen. Building awareness on listening allows for employees to understand how they listen and to what level they are able to listen. How a person receives, interprets, attends and responds to verbal and nonverbal messages affects a number of important factors such as behaviour, leadership abilities, performance and motivation. These all contribute to the dynamic of a workplace. Listening can also be the missing link in communication efficiency or even be the root of existing and ongoing communication problems.

Better Listening, Better Leadership

It’s been proven that listening skills are linked to leadership. Leaders who are able to cultivate listening skills are able to go on to develop trustworthy and transparent relationships. This establishes loyalty in the long-run and proves that you, the leader, have everyone’s best interests at heart. Listening is this proof which is why ACT One’s combined Personal Listening Skills workshop is based on this very idea.

Personal Listening Skills

The goal of this workshop is to help employees adapt their communication based on their personality styles and preferred approaches to listening. This helps them to determine what needs to be communicated to an individual, or to a team, and helps them determines how to effectively communicate these messages.

The program presents a focused methodology that involves an online assessment to gain insight on their natural and preferred ways of listening. It includes:

  • Building a Personal Listening Profile — which becomes the workbook for the program
  • Concentration on the five main approaches to listening
  • A framework of skills and techniques that can be applied to various situations

The Five Approaches to Listening

The five approaches to listening that make up the basis of the workshop include appreciative, empathic, discerning, comprehensive and evaluative listening. Each type of listening approach will be explained in detail and applied to various scenarios in order to help each participant personally identify their strengths and weaknesses. Some styles will be natural to some participants while other styles may involve more of conscious effort. The overall goal is to determine which styles work best for each individual and how to adapt to different styles, in order to cultivate the techniques and skills that are necessary for strong leadership and effective workplace communication.

Are you interested in hosting a personal listening workshop at your workplace? ACT One hosts half day and full day workshops that will strengthen your employee’s communication, understanding and effectiveness when it comes to listening. Get in touch with us today to get the process started!

Written by Rochelle Rae

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Posted in listening skills |

Common Business Communication Problems

Good communication is essential to the success of any company. Communication between colleagues is integral to the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of your business, and open communication throughout the entire company is necessary to keep your business thriving and growing. However, getting to a place where communication is flourishing in your company is easier said than done. It can be difficult to foster a sense of trust and open communication in the workplace. Here are some common business communication problems and what you can do to avoid them.

Unclear Responsibilities and Roles

One of the biggest communication problems that can arise in the workplace is a lack of clear responsibilities and roles. If employees are unsure about the scope of their role in the workplace, they may lack the direction and focus to work effectively. A lack of clear roles and responsibilities can also lead to conflict between employees. The best way to avoid this kind of problem is to make sure every employee has a clearly defined role within the company, as well as a number of set responsibilities or tasks for each new project. If everyone has a clear sense of their role at the beginning of a project, it will be easier to maintain accountability and ensure cooperation and productivity.

Vague Decision Making Process and Authority

Sometimes, a manager, supervisor or other team leader has to make an important decision about the operation of the company. These decisions can range in size from more substantial choices about investments and business strategies to small decisions about the day-to-day management of the company. One of the biggest communication problems in the business world is the failure of leaders to properly communicate their decisions to their team members. By leaving colleagues out of the decision making process, business leaders make their employees feel disconnected from the company. Being open and transparent about the decision making process helps business leaders foster trust and unification across the company, thereby boosting morale and productivity.

Open communication is the key element of a successful business. Learn more about the importance of strong communication and build your communication skills with the Everything DiSC workplace training programs available from ACT One International. For more information about these innovative workshops and skill training programs, contact us today.

Written by Rochelle Rae.

 

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Posted in Communication, Management |

Strategies to Keep Your Employees Motivated and Engaged After the Holidays

 

With the holidays coming up, now is the time for business leaders to start thinking about improving employee motivation and company morale. You may find morale to be a little bit low around the office in the New Year. Returning to work after a relaxing holiday can be difficult for employees, and it’s important for leaders to be aware of that. Here are just a few strategies to keep your employees motivated and engaged after the holiday season.

Provide Feedback and Personalized Encouragement

One of the best ways to keep your employees motivated and engaged after the holidays is to provide feedback and personalized encouragement. Instead of waiting for periodic reviews, schedule short and informal one-on-one meetings with your employees to check in with them, listen to any concerns they may have and provide any feedback you have for them. This can help foster open communication in the workplace which is great for improving morale and productivity.

Offer Training to Improve Skills

Employees are often motivated by the fact that you care about their personal development.  By investing in them, you are also investing in the company, so it is a win:win.  It can be a focused approach that looks at the needs of each individual and team to figure out what will have the biggest impact for the company, as well as for the individual.

Sharpen Your Leadership Skills

Keeping a group of employees motivated and engaged after the holidays requires a flexible and personalized approached to leadership. Once you’re comfortable and confident with your leadership style, it will be easy for you to develop strategies for employee success that best suit your workplace.

At ACT One International, we have a number of workplace skill development programs available that can help you fulfill commitments to your employees, as well as sharpen your leadership skills.  Our Everything DiSC workshops can help you to determine your unique leadership style and how to best apply that style in the workplace. For more information on the innovative and engaging workshops available from ACT One International, contact us today.

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Posted in Communication, DiSC, Leadership, Strategic Planning |

Increase Your Employees’ Personal Effectiveness

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When it comes to increasing work productivity, a crucial aspect that must be looked at is each employee’s personal effectiveness. Regardless of an employee’s title or role, there is always room to improve the quality of communication in a workplace as a whole, and it first starts on an individual level.

Each person is a piece that makes up the greater whole of the team or department. If one or two people in your team aren’t effectively using their time or are poor communicators, this will affect the social fabric within your workplace and ultimately hamper productivity.

Encouraging personal effectiveness in your workplace will let your team naturally function at an optimal level. ACT One offers dynamic training programs such as Everything DiSC Workplace that will help to set objectives, track progress and allow you to see changes unravel right before you!

Workplace Communication

Workplace Communication is one of the most important aspects of personal effectiveness. Self-awareness to one’s communication style allows each employee to see how they contribute to their team dynamic and the workplace environment. It also lets employees understand how their communication style functions with another person’s style.

With targeted exercises and training, each employee will gain the specific tools they need to overcome these challenges, to remedy existing communication problems and strengthen communication as a whole.

Personal Listening Skills

Listening is a fundamental aspect of workplace communication that starts at the individual level. Employees gain far more insight on their work when they listen effectively.

Five approaches to listening include:

  • Appreciative approach
  • Empathic approach
  • Discerning approach
  • Comprehensive approach
  • Evaluative approach

Employees learn which style they gravitate to naturally, and then which style is most effective for the task at hand. This then allows them to adapt to the most effective style by working on the appropriate strategies.

Are you looking to boost the personal effectiveness of your employees? Get in touch with us to learn more about what we do and to set up Everything DiSC workplace training sessions, today!

Written by Rochelle Rae

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Posted in Communication |

Get Long-term Solutions with The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ Progress Report

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At ACT One International, we’re dedicated to providing you with long-term solutions for improved workplace performance. That’s why we offer the latest and most innovative workplace training workshops and team building programs, as well as comprehensive follow-up tools to ensure that these programs are effective for your company in the long run.

If your team completed the original Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ workshop, you can refine the skills developed in that program and see the difference it’s made to the operation of your company using the follow-up progress report. If you’re interested in this progress report or any of our other follow-up tools, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Change in Team Members

If you’ve lost team members or acquired new ones, the results of your original Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ assessment may no longer be applicable. New team members bring new skills, strengths and weaknesses to a workplace, which can change the dynamic of your team. While a few new additions won’t significantly change your original assessment, a major alteration in the makeup of your team can make it difficult to track your team’s development between now and when you first took the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ workshop. It is recommended to re-take the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ assessment if there has been a change in leadership or significant change in team members.

Give It Time

Before using one of our available follow-up tools, it’s important to give your team members enough time to implement the skills they learned during the workshop. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ workshop is designed to give your team members skills they can use in day-to-day interactions with one another to improve the success of your team over time.

It is recommended that you wait at least six months before using the follow-up progress report. The progress report involves an assessment similar to the one from the original workshop. If your team scores lower the second time around, don’t despair—this may mean your team members are being more honest about how they work with their colleagues. The progress report is a good way to gauge what skills from the original workshop have been successful and which skills need further development.

Improving teamwork and communication is an ongoing process. There’s no quick fix and team work strategies constantly need to be reexamined and revised to suit the changing strengths and needs of your team. For more information about the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ progress report and the other follow-up tools available from ACT One International, contact us today.

Written by Rochelle Rae

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Posted in Uncategorized |

How to Keep Innovation Alive in Large Scale Companies

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If you are the CEO or executive supervisor of a large-scale company, your leadership is crucial to the success of your employees in the future. Being the head of a successful large-scale company, you may think that you can start resting on your laurels. However, the business world is constantly changing and there’s always room for growth and innovation. Here are just a few of the ways that you can keep improving your large-scale company even during periods of success.

Invigorate Employees

One of the most difficult things about operating a larger company is managing your many employees. With so many different team members, it’s easy for people to fall through the cracks. Employees may be performing below company standards without anyone noticing. If employees aren’t given new challenges and the personalized recognition they deserve, they’re likely to become under stimulated and less productive in the workplace. As a company leader, it’s your responsibility to put the infrastructure in place to make every employee feels like a contributing and valued member of a team focused towards the same vision.

Balance Bureaucratic Needs

As a company grows in size, it needs a larger bureaucratic system to manage all of its evolving administrative needs. The downside of an expansive bureaucracy is that it slows down the decision making process. Smaller companies have an easier time implementing innovative workplace strategies because there are less obstacles between the CEO and the employees on the ground. Your challenge as a leader of a larger company is to develop ways to stay competitive, innovative and nimble without disrupting the necessary administrative structures. Some methods for doing this include allowing open dialogue between employees and higher level executives and encouraging new workplace training programs and workshops.

Continuing innovation after a period of massive growth can be difficult for a large-scale company. However, continual innovation is the only way to thrive in today’s fast-paced market. ACT One International offers a series of engaging and informative workplace training programs and workshops to help improve productivity, morale and innovation throughout your company. Contact us today for more information and keep your company reaching for continued success.

Written by Rochelle Rae.

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Posted in Leadership |

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