Become the Manager Employees Want to Emulate

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Being a boss is easy- all you need is to hire someone. But becoming a manager that employees willingly follow and respect can be challenging. Fortunately, managing is a skill you can learn. 

Transformational leaders are inspiring, positive, and empowering. Some of the qualities associated with great leaders include intelligence, adaptability, and assertiveness. For some people, these traits are acquired naturally, while others have to learn. 

Use these tips to learn how to be a great leader that employees would emulate. 

Treat Employees Fairly

Treating workers fairly and equally in the workplace is necessary to ensure optimal company growth. Maltreating employees decreases employee morale, resulting in low productivity. Workers may also file a lawsuit against your organization for discrimination and unfair treatment. 

Avoid “lording” and showing prejudice towards certain employees over others. What applies to one worker should apply to others. Avoid discrimination based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion. 

When it comes to promotion, do so based on performance and qualification, not on personal relationships. Ensure job postings are open for all employees instead of verbally telling some workers about an opening. 

Provide all employees with an employee rule book or handbook to help them understand rules. It would be unfair to discipline a worker who’s unaware of the rules. Remember, if it were not for the workers, you would not have that job. 

Your managing title should inspire and not be a symbol of harassment. 

Motivate Employees

The best manager understands that motivating employees is a holy grail of any business. Giving your staff a peaceful working environment inspires them to work harder. The break room, the outdoor space, and even bathrooms can affect your worker’s motivation. 

You should, therefore, design the working space thoughtfully and curate it to inspire. The color scheme has a profound impact on the productivity and mood of the company. You can get an instant feel of a room as you enter. 

According to color psychology, blue is among the productive colors to choose from. It can be soothing or vibrant with a calming effect on a hectic working environment. Green represents nature, plant life, or fresh air. 

Green is also associated with creativity and broader thinking. A softer shade has a calming effect. Red is a vibrant, energizing color that boosts brain wave activity, heart rate, and blood flow. 

Understand the color that will bring out the best in your workers. You may also involve them when choosing the office colors.

Maintain a positive attitude to have a profound effect on employees’ motivation. Positivity can help you view problems as grand opportunities to get creative and innovative. 

Encourage Career Development

An employee with developed and advanced knowledge is a great asset to the company. That’s why you should value their career advancement. Making talented workers feel undervalued kills their morale and can affect productivity negatively. 

Know how to communicate effectively with employees. Interacting with workers on a one-to-one basis helps you stay attuned to their career expectations and aspirations. Help workers outline a potential career path to visualize their future. 

Consistent, direct, and clear communication from a manager makes the employee feel valued. Ensure you establish a formal mentoring program for workers’ professional and personal growth. For instance, you can encourage the engineering team to get more training from reliable engineering recruiters for advanced knowledge. 

More so, assign smaller side tasks that are not aligned with workers’ careers to boost their skills. Give your team members a chance to work in different departments for a day to enhance their skill set. 

Be a Role Model 

Remember, you’re a role model to your workers. In short, you’re the magnifying glass. Have the model behaviors, which can be termed the big three- integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness. 

  • Integrity- As a leader, you need to do the right thing all the time. No taking advantage of others or playing favoritism. 
  • Honesty – Being straightforward is out of the question. You must be honest with all the decisions you make in the company. Let employees know why the decision was made and how it can affect the company’s going concern. 
  • Trustworthiness– As a manager, learn to live up to your commitments, respect confidential information, and keep all promises. 

Correct Problems 

No one is perfect, so learn to correct mistakes. In the business world, you cannot progress without fixing problems. Learn to give feedback- both positive and negative- and resolve issues as soon as they happen. 

Having empathy doesn’t mean you hold back making decisions. Correct a worker who’s doing a task wrongly, but give them a chance to rectify their deeds. Even a minor error can cost your business big time. 

Ensure you gather your professionals and personal courage and speak up. Letting the problem continue is a recipe for disaster. It can ruin your company’s reputation and ruin the morale of other employees. 

Be a Good Communicator

Your subordinates are not your slaves. You only happen to be slightly elevated above them. Although being a manager gives you power, you should never be rude to employees. 

Communicate your vision and let your workers understand what you want. You can enhance your communication skills through practice. And to be a good communicator, you must practice active listening. 

Pay attention to what employees are asking or sayings. Through active listening, you’ll understand what the person wants and respond appropriately. Your eye contact, tone of voice, and hand gestures can also convey your message. 

When communicating to workers, just say enough- not too little or too much. Be short and precise. Whether you’re communicating via email, phone, or in person, be clear and direct. 

As you communicate, be friendly to encourage your employees to open up. It’s important to be polite and courteous. 

The Bottom Line 

Great leaders are inspirations to employees. And you can also become one of the leaders’ workers would love to emulate. These traits and priorities will set you apart from other leaders. 

And you’re not only limited to these qualities. As a leader, set the pace, behave ethically, and practice adaptive leadership. Communicate with positive mental health and compassion.

How Technological Changes Affect Education

Guest post by David Webb

Modern technology has reshaped every industry, as well as how those industries operate. Technology continues to evolve and affect every sector. Education is no exception to being affected by technological advancements. It may seem that Education sector hasn’t changed for some time. However, if you look closely, you can see that technology has made a significant impact on education.

Most of the time, the effects of technology can be disruptive when implemented and integrated into systems that haven’t been changed in a while. As far as education goes, technology’s affect seems to complement the way things were conducted so far. In other words, technology seems to be boosting the efficiency of the education system. Today, students have access to technology that helps them learn, and that helps their tutors educate them more effectively. That being said, here are a few ways which show how technological changes affect education today.

More access to education

The Internet has connected almost everyone in the world. Nowadays, people from around the globe have access to both basic and advanced education thanks to technology. Online courses have become increasingly popular in the last few years. It’s easy to forget that access to online education wasn’t possible two decades ago. Back then, the Internet hasn’t existed yet and people only had access to formal education made available in their country.

Today, many schools and universities offer their education in form of online courses and seminars. What’s more, some universities go as far as making their entire classes available online. That means that anyone, anywhere, can attend a desired course and get any level of formal education they wish. In other words, technology improved access to education to everyone in the world. Also, it doesn’t matter how old someone is, because technology allows them to gain any education they’ve might have missed out on for some reason.

Simplified education

The flow of curriculum is one of the major difficulties education system faces, even today. Some students have no problems following the lecture, while others are unable to catch up. An even bigger issue is that teachers cannot devote enough time and resources to help every student follow the lecture equally. Technology, once again, provides a solution. Students who have difficulties following the lecture and even difficulties in taking essential notes can record the entire lecture instead.

Technology has provided trustworthy academic transcription services that helps transcribe the lecture and make sense of it all. That way, students can easily extract valuable and relevant information from the lecture, while also having spare time to focus on other important tasks. Simply put, technology helps simplify the learning process and takes a lot of pressure of the backs of numerous students.

Personalized education

The biggest challenge for the education system was that not every student can follow lectures at equal capacity. This led to many students falling behind on their studies, which can negatively affect their learning process and their grades. Fortunately, technology has a solution for that problem. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can assist individual students with their learning process by leveraging data and by adapting content to suit individual needs.

As a matter of fact, Content Technologies, Inc (CTI), a research and development company from California, USA focusing on AI, is developing an AI powered service that will generate custom content for students. The way it works is that AI will use its machine and deep learning capabilities to analyze lecture material and generate personalized content, such as textbooks, tests and other resources that are better suited to individual student’s needs. In other words, technology will help students comprehend lectures better by personalizing their study material.

Improved student-teacher interactions

Nowadays, student- teacher interaction has a whole new meaning thanks to technology. Not so long ago, teachers had to rely on personal meetings with students, where they could offer counsel or additional tutoring. Too many students meant that it simply wasn’t possible for teachers to devote enough time to meet with everyone in person. Today, teachers no longer have to schedule personal meetings in order to help out their students.

As a matter of fact, online communication tools, such as messaging apps, email and even social media has improved both the communication and collaboration between students and teachers. It’s not uncommon for students to have their teachers among their social media friends these days. Through online interactions, teachers can offer valuable advice to students anywhere and at any time. In addition, online services such as file sharing, allow teachers to hand out additional learning material to students, should the need arise.

Technology always leaves an impact on the industry it affects. Education sector is experiencing beneficial changes due to technological advancements and innovations. Nowadays, both students and teachers can effectively leverage the use of technology to help themselves and each other out immensely.

The Top Skills You’ll Need To Improve Your Future

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We all want to be able to better ourselves. But it’s not always easy to know exactly what you need to do in order for that to happen. A lot of the time, we work on our careers subconsciously. We go in, do our jobs, and perform to the best of our abilities. Sure, you may have a goal that you want to get to, you may even have a written plan of the promotions that you want. But do you actively think about the skills you need in order for this to all work out? Because right now, there are some key skills that everyone should look to develop. Regardless of what you do for your job, or what industry you’re in, there are five things that will help you to do well and progress.

  1. Communication Skills

First of all, you’re going to want to think about how you interact with others. No matter if you’re starting out at the bottom of the chain or you’re on your way to the top, communication skills can take you a long way. People work for people, so you have to be able to communicate well with them – whether you’re the boss or the employee. You should also look to work on your interpersonal skills, and think about the things you can do to improve your business relationships too.

  1. An Innovative Mindset

Next, you’re going to want to train your brain to be more innovative. It’s okay if this doesn’t come naturally to you. But if you want to add value to the company you work for, even if it’s your own – especially if it’s your own, then you need to focus on the future, creating, and ways to develop what you have or what you’re doing now to move with the times. Particularly in this internet-driven world, this is a skill that will take you far.

  1. Marketing Skills

So next, it’s also handy to know a little bit about marketing. Even if you’re not in marketing, it’s going to help you to do your job better – no matter what it is. Of course, you can hire consultants and companies for everything from killer PR to the best SEO, but it’s handy to be experienced in these areas yourself. That way, you’ll know if you’re choosing the right companies, or if you’re getting the results you need.

  1. A Willingness To Learn

If you want to be able to grow, you then need to realize that it’s okay to fail. Failures happen, but you’ll always be able to learn from them. If you want to go far, then always be able to accept that you’re going to learn along the way.

  1. Empathy

Finally, as much as you may feel as if you have to be tough and authoritative in your career, you may find that being the opposite is better. If you can have empathy and be a good colleague and boss, you’ll find that you’re more influential, you’ll get people that respect you.

Taking The Next Step Into Management: Industries And Tips To Thrive

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Sometimes it can be hard to think about developing your career and you can be guilty of getting stuck in a rut. You can be become comfortable with your chosen job, perhaps happy and content with the wages that you earn or even the lifestyle you can afford, but these shouldn’t be the reasons why you wouldn’t want to progress. There is so much more that you could have and management could help you afford that lifestyle like extra holidays or luxuries in life. So I thought I would share with you some of the industries where you can step into management roles and how best to make that happen.

The engineering industry

Maybe you are currently working in the engineering industry. Perhaps out on construction sites, in factories or on the shop floor. There tends to be a direct route when it comes to the career path and management can often be the ideal next step to take. It does, however, mean that you need to think about things like taking a masters in engineering management online to help you learn the necessary skills to progress in this way. It could certainly give you the edge against other potential candidates and it could help you secure the job easier.

The sales environment

Working in sales can give you a real buzz, and so it’s understandable that if you have begun to thrive in your sales environment that you may be looking for the next step. A chance to further increase your earning potential while progressing with your career and management can be a great way to do that. However, to progress into management you do need to have a consistent track record in sales. You need to be able to perform so that you have the respect to lead others in the same way.

The office environment

Perhaps you are currently working in an office. Maybe you work in administration or accounts, and you are looking for the next step. Ideally there will be some form of office manager in place. This could be your next move. Shadowing this manager and taking on any extra courses to learn new skills could help. This alongside taking on additional responsibility could show that you are ready for the next move.

Working for yourself

Finally, could working for yourself be the answer? So many people have the dream of being their own boss and yet many of them don’t have the tenacity to make it happen. You could make it happen. It might be that you already have a hobby that could be turned into a business. You may have had an idea that just won’t go away. Or you might just have skills that could be easily freelanced to help you kick start your own business. Whatever it it, it could be the key to your own success and becoming the manager of your own destiny when it comes to your career.

I hope that this has motivated you to consider the next step you could take with your career.

Employee Mistakes: Reaction Dos & Don’ts

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No matter how hard you try to prevent it, your employees will make mistakes. Even in the most constructive and supportive environments, employees will get something wrong, make a miscalculation, lose something, or otherwise cause an issue— it’s inevitable.

Given this inevitability, it’s important that you, as a business owner, learn how to react when these mistakes occur. Below, you will find a list of essential “dos” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when responding to a genuinely accidental error committed by a member of your team. Keep these in mind, and you should be able to respond appropriately to every employee-related glitch that your business experiences…

DO: Focus on damage limitation

The first thing you need to do when informed of a mistake is ask for information. There are four primary questions you need to either ask of your staff, or get them to ask of themselves.

  • What happened?
  • Why did it happen?

You then need to find the answers to the following; either through working the solutions yourself, or instructing employees to do it on your behalf.

  • What are the consequences of the mistake?
  • How can these consequences be handled?

Going through these questions should be the first thing you do, even before you speak with the employee who made the mistake. It’s vital you fix the issue, and then you can move on to dealing with the existence of the issue in the first place.

DON’T: Lose your temper

Of course, this is easier said than done. If an employee has accidentally offended a customer, lost a vital document, or misunderstood a task they were asked to complete, you’re going to feel a surge of stress as you try to cope with their error. When stressed, it’s more likely that your temper will flare.

This, however, is incredibly counterproductive. When it comes to speaking to your employee, do all that you can to keep you temper in check. There’s a few strategies to help you achieve this here.

DO: Look into how such an error can be prevented in the future

It’s always worth asking the employee in question how they think the problem could have been avoided. The answers will vary depending on the issue. If a customer has been offended accidentally, then sensitivity training might be beneficial; the loss of a vital file could be prevented with document automation software; and a misunderstood task could be briefed better in future. Walk through what happened with the employee, then strategize as to what kind of fix might be most appropriate.

DON’T: Punish someone for a genuine accident

It’s important to try and keep a sense of perspective. If the mistake has been made through a genuine accident rather than neglect or incompetence, then don’t be too hard on the employee. Mistakes are, as discussed, inevitable, so bear this in mind if you’re tempted to issue harsh disciplinary issues.

DO:  Discipline for serious errors

If the mistake has been made through a lack of judgement, neglect, or other direct fault, then discipline as you see fit. You don’t have to just accept a poor work attitude from an employee, so use this error as a teachable moment that should ultimately encourage them to mend their ways.

In conclusion

If you keep the above in mind, you can be sure that you will be able to effectively cope with all employee mistakes.

How Companies Can Use Generational Differences To Their Advantage

It’s natural for any new worker to look around to see how many people are around their age at first, but there’s a huge opportunity lost when companies only recruit one age group.

Generational conflict will always exist based on style preference alone.

But workplaces can flip the script on older vs. younger in one swoop: cross-generational mentoring.

When you think of mentor it is assumed older-to-younger knowledge transfer, but don’t mistake age for experience.

Millennials were raised with technology so even with lacking workplace experience, their digital knowledge is far superior than generations above them. On the opposite end Boomers and Gen X understand office politics, communication and responsibility better.

This “fair trade” can be a huge asset to your bottom line if utilized properly.

There’s no better teacher than trial and error. Also if you really want to understand a concept, teach it. When workers are paired with co-workers of different ages the focus is on individual strengths instead of nitpicking about disparity.

Professional development is a huge retention benefit and when companies empower that responsibility to co-workers there’s more ownership taken because each person is involved with the process.

The term diversity normally pertains to ethnicity, but age diversity is just as important.

The healthiest organizations find ways to appreciate and value workers of all ages because everyone has something to offer others.

If employees expect management to provide direction solely, workers gain a “consumer’s” mentality believing learning needs to be spoon-fed to me. When cross-generational mentoring exists “learning” becomes a personal responsibility. Companies need to quickly dispel the notion that growth opportunities only happen within a organizational context.

When I advise clients who are job searching I always emphasize that personal growth is your responsibility. Anything a company provides is a bonus.

Make it your mission to find a mentor and mentee and learning becomes a habit, not a destination.

Why You Should Be Encouraging Your Kids To Do Sports

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Sport is a huge part of life. Well, not for everyone, but it should be a huge part of your children’s life. Sport is such an important part of life due to the dedication it helps build, teamwork, social skills, and many more. But above all, it helps to show them that there is more out there to the world, and that the possibilities are endless. A career in sport could be one of the best things they do if you let them get there. But a lot of parents don’t actually encourage their child to get involved in sports. Instead, a lot of them are encouraging them to stay indoors! So, to make sure this isn’t you, here’s why you should be encouraging your child you get involved in sports.

Social Skills

School is the first place that your child will begin to build their social skills. But it isn’t always the easiest place to build them. Schools can be a completely ruthless place for some, and the best place in the world for others. Sports isn’t like that, especially with younger children. It’s a chance to express themselves and do something they love. Plus, everyone is in the same boat there, and they’re all developing their skills as they go along. It helps to build confidence among big groups, and confidence within themselves, especially if they begin to get really good at the sport. The main social skills sport builds is dedication, teamwork, communication, time management, and to be honest, there are many more than that!

Range Of Sports

The amount of sports there are out there that your child can participate in is amazing. There is literally something for everyone. From the more tame and relaxed sports such as artery, to the more full contact sports such as football. Whatever your child is interested in, you should encourage them to do. You can do so by helping them feel part of the team with proper equipment. If your child does want to go down the route of football, you can get custom football uniforms for them and their team. It’s the range of choice that they get to choose from that is one of the main reasons why sport is just so fun. If they get bored of one sport, then can just switch to another that might have caught their interest. Some sports can often lead to even better sports as well. For example, swimming could lead to a love for diving, which is a really good olympic.

Staying Active

Staying active is such an important part of a child’s life, but it is one that a lot of parents aren’t actually encouraging. They’re keeping children indoors with technology, rather than simply outdoors and playing in the street. Staying active from a young age helps to boost their metabolism, keep their joints fit and healthy. Staying active is such an important part of child development, so something that they actually enjoy doing that keeps them nice and active is the perfect solution.

What Drones And Robots Cannot Replace

With self-driving cars and Amazon Go stores ready to scale the fear of job replacement is real.

The irony is the same technology humans created may soon make us irrelevant for most work.

Can your daily job duties be done more efficiently by a robot?

If you answered yes to the above question it’s time to learn a new skill set.

Yet no matter how much technology advances there is one area that cannot be mimicked digitally:

Soft skills.

Made famous by the movie Wall-E, traits that are unique to humans are: empathy, non-verbal communication, storytelling, public speaking, etc.

These skills have been overlooked recently, but have helped us thrive throughout history.

Practically, networking is about connecting and building rapport. A great storyteller becomes an effective salesperson. Empathizing with others may be the most proactive thing you can do.

Instead of worrying about your job being taken by a drone, spend your time brushing up and improving your soft skills.

Join your local Toastmasters. Attend a local networking event. Watch a Shark Tank episode then pitch your idea to a friend.

Technology is great, but we often rely on it too much. Go back to your roots and identify the personal strengths that make you stand out from the crowd.

During interviews candidates are asked, “Why should we hire you?

Your answer should include everything a robot cannot.

How To End Professional Relationships Well & Conclusively

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A professional candor and personality, particularly in the field of your career, can help you achieve untold things and form wonderful relationships. However, much like anything else, those relationships will change over time. Sometimes they can even come to a halt. This might be precipitated by a natural growing apart, or you might be wrestled from that person by a circumstance or difficulty. It could be a conflict that promises to make you both weaker after the exchange.

Knowing how to end relationships professionally and conclusively is one of the hidden skills of the competent business leader. It’s also the one that is thought about the least, as no new business owner or even employee believes things will end in conflict with certain parties. Sometimes however, things don’t work out. It’s unlikely you’ll evade a form of workplace conflict for the entirety of your life, so it’s important to know how to handle it.

Here are some tips to help you do that:

Go Through The Right Channels

It can be dizzying to handle all the requirements of the situation by yourself. This can surely make you feel less than you are, and trouble you as you come to a solution.  It might come with a great deal of stress as an added consequence. Going through the right channels can help you with this. This means either using a lawyer to handle a situation or litigate your woes effectively, or it could be preventing that step with the right advisory, conciliation and arbitration service.

Sometimes having an official platform to backup your side of the argument can help you win the situation. It might be that these services suggest that you’re in the wrong, and how to best manage your affairs to evade the coming issues with the most dignity and least harm. Whatever happens, knowing you have a professional eye looking over your affairs can be calming when every move you make will matter in the long run.

Communicate

Miscommunication between people can be one of the most insidious and difficult things for either party to get over. Either a wrong word here or an insult there can create a toxic atmosphere, in which both sides believe they have to ‘up the stakes’ in order to achieve a win. This becomes a self-reinforcing feedback loop which puts people down, and makes the whole affair feel awful for you both.

Communication can also stop things from escalating in other ways. If you manage to express or listen to a rationale from either side, it might be that the atmosphere of the ending is put to rest much more easily than assuming idiocy on the opposing side. It’s very easy to think that the other person is completely out to get you, but often they’re simply acting in self-interest, as you are. It won’t always happen, but sometimes you can evade one in five destroyed relationships. Not that you’re to experience this many, but you get the point of how this step is always worth trying.

With this effort, we for sure know that you’ll be justified in ending your relationship, because you’ll have handled it expertly.

In Order To Lead, Do This First

A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasgow

Leadership is valued by many, but only fit for a few.

You can learn leadership skills, but it doesn’t automatically make you a leader.

If you’ve ever been a manager the transition from high performer to leader of others is a completely different skill set. Now it doesn’t matter how good you are at doing your job, it becomes about how well you can help others do theirs.

Although most aren’t equipped to lead others, there’s a more important type of leadership that is available to all: self-leadership.

The best leaders in any industry know their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders do more of what they’re great at and ask for help/outsource at what they’re not.

The pre-requisite for leadership is leading yourself. If you can’t do that, forget about involving anyone else.

Have you ever noticed when great leaders fall it usually points to a personal challenge they’re struggling with?

We all make mistakes and we’ll continue to do so, but hopefully along the way you grow personally and don’t repeat the same ones.

You can’t teach what you don’t have which is why we expect our leaders to show, not tell us what to do.

There’s a desire to impact and influence people because it makes us feel better about ourselves, but what we really need to do first is build the foundation at “homebase.”

Leadership is also unfairly glorified. Using the quote at the top of the page, great leaders actually deflect praise and welcome more responsibility.

True leadership isn’t full of glamour. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The best leaders have the ability to manage, even tame their egos in order to build everyone else’s around them.

Leaders have a quiet confidence about them that doesn’t need to get recognition from others.

The funny thing about leadership is if most people understood what it entailed, they would run away.

Instead of focusing on your next opportunity to lead others, look in the mirror and ask yourself how you can lead yourself better.

Do that first and you may just get the opportunity to serve others.