10 Words People Who Lack Confidence Always Use

June 20, 2014

This post was originally from Inc. and then shared with Time. Click here to read the full story.

“Want to avoid giving the impression you lack confidence and authority? Avoid these words”

“These words are not always triggers about confidence level, but they are my first signal that something is amiss. They make me think the sender is not that sure about the product or service. And they are dead giveaways that I need to question what the person says.”

The words to avoid are listed below, and you can read the article to see why these words are on the list.

1. Might

2. Won’t

3. Usually

4. Suspect

5. Impossible

6. Worried

7. Confused

8. Need

9. Quandary

10. Likely

Do You Look Like A Professional?

June 2, 2014

The following is from Tina Del Buono’s PPM Blog:

Far too often people in leadership roles do not take the time to examine how they appear to people who they come in contact with. What do I mean by this? If you are a manager, do you take a look at yourself in in the mirror each day before leaving for work? Do you ask yourself “Do I look like the professional that I am?” Do you look like the professional that my staff expects me to look like?

My Aunt Dollie recently sent me an article from the May 2014 Allure magazine titled “Lessons from a Media Trainer.” This short article talked about people who are in positions that present or report to others and how they need to think about how they look and how they present to those they come in contact with each day.

People in a leadership position need to stage a dress rehearsal, to make sure they present the position they hold. Managers need to make sure when they are holding a staff meeting they prepare and know the material they are presenting, just as if they were doing a presentation for 500 people.

Staff members look up to their superiors and so they need to make sure they are delivering (both in appearance and in their actions) what is necessary to keep the team moving forward and growing with the company.

If your office dress code states that you should be neat, clean, and professional looking, do you actually know what that means to your superiors or whoever wrote the policy? If it is not spelled out clearly, i.e., pressed clothing, hair combed and in place, no tattoos showing, teeth brushed, a white shirt with tie and black slacks. Do you know what is expected of you?

If you oversee other employees, you need know how your appearance and personal actions will affect them and your position being a superior they answer to. Take the time to think about how what your appearance is like and how you behave and the affects it may have on those you work with.

What do you see in the mirror today?

Is it someone who other will look up to and respect?

When You Need To Let An Employee Go

May 14, 2014

This post is reblogged from Tina Del Buono’s PPM Blog. Once again, I’d like to thank Tina for allowing me to use her posts.

Letting an employee go is a very dificult thing for most managers, and for the organization overall- especially when the person is well liked but simply in the wrong position. Larger companies may be able to find a position for the person which is more sutied to their skills, but in smaller organizations this may not be feasible.

Managers have the difficult task of letting team members know when they are not performing up to standards. Even though we know that we must do what it best for the company, it does not make it any easier when it comes time to speaking to the employee.

Usually the team member will have some sort of idea that things are not going as well as they should. Possibly they have been told a few times about mistakes they are making or maybe even a warning. They look down and dejected during the day at their desk.

In a recent discussion with another manager who was getting ready to let a staff member go, she brought up the doubts that she was having about this employees’ impending termination. She wondered if she had done all that she could to make the employee perform better. She also wondered if she was being fair.

As we talked I had her write down all of the issues that her employee was having with their job. We then went through each one so that she could refresh her mind about all of the training and retraining she had given this employee. She even had documentation of discussions with the employee regarding many of the issues they were having, and the employee signed them.

At the end of our conversation she was sure that she was making the right decision for the company by letting this employee go. She was also sure that she had done everything in her power to give this employee the opportunity to learn, perform their job tasks, and be a good team member.

Even though she felt bad for the employee, she knew that keeping her would only make things worse for both the business and the employee.

In situations like this it is good to be able to talk them through with someone you trust so that you know you are making the correct decision. It may not make it easier to let them go, but you will be able to do it because you are sure it is the right thing to do.


Managers Manage Systems, Not People

May 2, 2014

Reposted from Tina Del Buono’s PPM Blog.

Many times business owners will become upset because the “manager” has not been able to manage their people as had been expected.

Far too often the business owner fails to understand the manager does not manage people, they manage processes and systems for doing the tasks that need to be done by the people.

The real problem may be there are no systems in place or very poor systems in place.

Systems are not just a list of steps of things to do. A system is well-thought out repeated course of action – a way of doing something that brings about a result.

When good systems are in place they are a way to increase the potential of creating a successful business.

What the business owner must never forget is that it is their people who are behind the systems. It is the people who make the difference in how the systems are executed.

If the employees see the systems as successful processes to complete their tasks and to satisfy the customers, they begin to think a bit differently about what they are doing.

Upon seeing that their efforts are producing “happy customers” most employees will naturally look for ways to exceed the expectations in their delivery of service.

If your business is struggling, first look at your systems. Are they set up to create success by their delivery? If not, you may need to stop and learn how to create systems in the business that will do this.

The two articles below will give you a start on how to create successful systems.

Building Systems

How to create systems that enable growth

5 Scientific Principles of Success

March 31, 2014

The following is from an article by Geoffrey James which was posted by Inc. Please read the full article for details and more information.

“Want to know what it takes to succeed? Forget conjecture and opinion. Here’s the answer, backed up by scientific research.

There are thousands of books about business success, but most are based upon the author’s personal observations and consulting experience. That raises a question: Is there any science to business success?

Surprisingly, you can find a great deal of science in the five basic principles:” Tthe author discusses the following principles in detail]

1. Successful companies tell stories.

“….According to psychologist Brian Sturm at the University of North Carolina, swapping relatable stories brings people closer together and builds trust, making them part of the same tribe and therefore appropriate as business partners…Though stories connect people emotionally, people quickly forget facts provided outside the context of story. In fact, most people forget 90 percent of the information presented to them within “a relatively short period of time.” [Read more]

More: How to Tell a Business Story

2. Successful employees work smarter rather than longer.

“…According to studies conducted by Ford Motor Company early in the last century, the sweet spot for worker productivity is around 40 hours a week. Adding additional hours creates only a minor increase in productivity that turns negative in three to four weeks…The problem is that overworked people start making avoidable errors, which then take additional time to correct. The solution, of course, is to “work smarter.” But what does that mean? [Read more]

More: The Surprising Secret of Time Management

3. Successful companies recruit team members, not superstars.

“Conventional business wisdom says your organization will succeed more easily and quickly if you hire as many top performers as possible. In other words, the more superstars on your team, the better your team….Though that all sounds reasonable, it doesn’t work in practice. Stack ranking results in all sorts of weird and dysfunctional behavior, because employees are goaled on looking good while making others look bad…Indeed, superstars tend to become successful at the expense of others…Business success, however, is always a team effort, which means that successful companies must hire people who can put their egos aside and help everyone to become more effective and efficient.” [Read more]

4. Successful companies treat honesty as the best policy.

“…many companies have tended to look upon corporate ethics as an expense. The assumption is that it’s more profitable to cheat than to play fair, as long you don’t get caught…However, groundbreaking research by emeritus business professor and author Robert B. Cialdini indicates that cheating generates huge hidden costs, even when leaders think they’re getting away with it…the first category, which creates expensive churn and turnover. Because turnover costs can easily be two to three times the yearly cost of an employee, the result of cheating is a lower profit margin. What’s worse, the employees who are OK with corporate-level cheating are OK with personal cheating, which explains (among other things) why rogue trading has become so common in the financial industry…” [Read more]

More: When Leaders Cheat, Companies Lose

5. Successful companies seek to reduce worker stress.

“There’s no simpler way to put it: Science says that stress is the No. 1 enemy of success. According to the American Psychological Association, stress results in a host of health problems…Health problems of this sort don’t just result in productivity-killing absenteeism but also (when combined with the work-longer-hours ethos) presenteeism, in which staff members go to work even when ill with a communicable disease.”  [Read more]

More: 6 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

“Not every successful business embodies all five principles, but if you read some of those thousands of books about business success, I’d wager you’ll find that all successful businesses implement at least four of them.”

Is There A Vision To Follow?

March 12, 2014

Reblogged from Tina Del Buono’s Business Unplugged:

Is There A Vision To Follow?

by Tina Del Buono, PMAC


It is alway a surprise to me when an employer will complain that their employees to not seem motivated and they fail to do the job that they (the employer) expects of them.

What employers will commonly fail to realize is that employees need to know the workplace vision to understand why they are doing their job and how their job fits into the company’s goals?

If a workplace lacks vision for what it is doing the employees will just be surviving and not moving the company forward (because they don’t know where forward is).  If you are a business owner or in management, you are responsible for relaying what the businesses vision is to the employees.

The leaders of the business need to keep the vision in front of all team members to encourage them and let them know how things are progressing toward the goal of the vision.

The businesses vision needs to be compelling, one that all team members can understand and are willing to work toward.  The business team needs to be able to see the strengths, convictions and purpose of the vision clearly.

Millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie exclaimed, “A great business is seldom, if ever, built up except on the lines of strictest integrity.”

If your business does not have a vision for your employees, or maybe it is just blurred, here is a good checklist of what a compelling vision needs to have.

  • Clarity:  Answers what the team must know and what they need to do.
  • Purpose: Gives direction to the vision
  • Goals: Brings targets to the vision.
  • Honesty: Brings integrity to the vision.
  • Passion: The fuel of the vision.
  • Challenge: Brings stretching to the vision.
  • Modeling:  Brings accountability to the vision.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

                                                   ~ Helen Keller

Why Your Team Doesn’t Care: Are You Crushing Your Culture?

February 10, 2014

Below are excerpts from an excellent article which appeared on Inc.

Why Your Team Doesn’t Care: Are You Crushing Your Culture?


Are your team members highly accountable?  Do they have a “Thank God It’s Monday” attitude?  Do they take tons of initiative?  If not, you’ve probably got Crushed Culture.

It’s a disease. And it’s going to become an epidemic if we don’t do something about it. According to a recent Gallup poll on employee engagement:“Currently, 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work… the vast majority of U.S. workers (70 percent) are not reaching their full potential-a problem that has significant implications for the economy and the individual performance of American companies.”

Does this concern you?

[The article then goes on to decribe “Three steps to cure “Crushed Culture”, and you can learn the details about how to apply them in the article.

1. Emotional Equity > Financial Equity. We all know what financial equity is-money (stock, comp packages, golden handcuffs). All the things we think will make people loyal to a company and keep them engaged. But this no longer works, as Gallup proves. Nope, we all want to feel like we’re part of something bigger, like our work matters, like we’ll leave the world just a little better than we found it, and we want to achieve that (in part) during our work hours.

2. Stop The Whining. The C suite, management, staff-;everyone-;needs to get off what I call the Tension Triangle, bouncing from victim to rescuer to persecutor. Stephen Karpman, MD, first created this as the Dreaded Drama Triangle or DDT. The DDT is comprised of three roles: Victim (where someone is “doing” to them), Rescuer (who tries to remove the Victim’s suffering), and Persecutor (who the Victim blames for their suffering).

3. Career Path-or Exit Strategy.Dave Peacock, President of Anheuser-Busch, recently shared their refreshing approach to team member reviews. Each team member knows exactly where they stand…When a team member knows theirnext two potential roles, and what exactly they need to do to grow, they are loyal and engaged.

You can’t fix your boss

February 7, 2014

From Carol Roth’s Business Unplugged:

Business Unplugged: You Can’t Fix Your Boss

You Can’t Fix Your BossPosted: 30 Jan 2014 03:00 AM PST

As an employee, you’re often expected to fix stuff. Fix a product, or a customer service problem, or a software system, or a marketing challenge, or….well, the list is endless. But there’s one thing you’re not going to fix. Your boss (or the rest of the leadership of the company). That’s. Not. Your. Job. How […]

What Bosses Should Never Ask Employees to Do

January 21, 2014

Below are excerpts from a posting by Jeff Haden via LinkedIn.

“They’re bosses. They’re in charge. They have the power.

But while some tasks are obviously out of bounds, others are less so — which is why bosses also shouldn’t use their powers to: [the article describes each of these- please read it for more information]

  • Make employees feel they should attend “social” events.
  • Make employees feel they should donate to a charity.
  • Ask an employee to do something another employee was asked to do.
  • Cause employees to go without food at mealtime hours.
  • Ask employees to evaluate themselves.
  • Ask employees to evaluate their peers.
  • Reveal personal information in the interest of “team building.”
  • Ask employees to alert them when they “veer off course.”
  • Ask employees to do something they don’t do.

While not specifically on the list, I don’t think a boss should ever ask and employee to do something illegal, immoral, or unethical. What do you think a boss should never ask an employee to do?

Time for Tough Love?

December 17, 2013
You're Fired!

You’re Fired! (Photo credit: Eran Kampf)

I heard this story the other day. I don’t know if it’s true, but it makes a good point.

A man who owns a successful family business is grooming his son to eventually take over so he can retire. One day the father is walking through the production floor and witnesses his son publically yelling at an employee for something he had not done properly. The father walked back to his office and paged his son to come in. When the son came in, the father said “I just witnessed how you treated that employee. This is no way to treat other people and I can’t allow it We’ve talked about this before, but you haven’t changed so as your boss, I have to tell you- you’re fired.”

The father then went on to say “As your father, Son I just heard you lost your job. I’m so sorry, What can I do to help you?”

This may sound callous or harsh, but sometimes tough-love is necessary, whether with your family or your employees. If you have an employee how is a performance problem, you can either try to help them fix the problem, find a new job they can do, or remove them before they cause more harm.

People may not always be happy with a tough supervisor, but it they think you’re fair, they’ll generally accept your high standards. I have been teaching a class at the local community college for a few years. Last semester, I had the worst class ever (from a performance perspective) and gave out the lowest grades I’ve ever given. I was quite surprised, however, to see the student’s feedback on the Student Opinion Reports- they were fairly high ratings. I attribute this to the fact that I was demanding, but fair and they knew I would do whatever I could to help them learn the material.

Do you have a tough boss? Is he/she fair? Let’s hear about your experiences.


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