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What Do Bosses Want? Begin Work on Time

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Yesterday, I conducted a leadership seminar in Salem, Oregon, and the subject of “what do bosses want” came up. Not surprisingly, showing up on time was at the top of the list. Certainly, this depends on what type of job you perform. For example, salespeople and managers are frequently out in the field. Yet, for the person expected to report for work at a specific time, it can affect the morale of everyone if they’re late.

Let’s say that you have an upcoming meeting. Showing up on time needs to be your number one priority if you want to be considered a good employee–even if you’re in sales, work from home, and go out on sales calls. Based on my in-depth conversations with managers, supervisors, human resources personnel, and others in leadership positions over the years, attendance ranks number one when bosses consider whether an employee is a good worker. Many young workers right out of school think they should be judged by the work they do, not by what time they show up for work and leave at the end of the day. However, most managers consider attendance and punctuality to be major success factors.

Attendance also tops the list of criteria when bosses have to fire one employee or another. Included in this first ranking is a factor you might not realize. Do you actually start working on time? Believe me, your boss as well as co-workers notice if you walk in, go to the bathroom or break room, make coffee, chat up a storm, and then finally start working much later. Even if you’re productive, a lot of supervisors worry about starting your work late because of how it affects the morale of others. Some bosses believe if they make allowances for you in this area, they’ll have to make allowances for others. And they don’t want to do that.

What do bosses want? Make sure you show up on time. Like it or not, others are watching you!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and leadership expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs in 48 states and six countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and the book SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

A Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479, or visiting www.BounceBackHigher.com

“No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance our minds, we will find it in our lives.”  ~Louise Hay

One thing people tell me in my keynotes and seminars on leadership is that they are extremely overloaded with work and are desperately searching for effective ways to balance their lives. They realize it takes a great deal of energy and expertise to multitask their employees’ schedules, family plans, and still find time to take a breath for themselves. In order to achieve this ideal harmony, managers need to intentionally change their behavior, starting with incorporating these tips for a well-balanced and happier life.

Walk the Walk of a Balanced Life

In giving work-life balance tips for managers, I often tell leaders they need to be role models. If you say you want a good work-life balance but don’t put those words into action you will always disappoint your employees, your family and yourself. You will also lose all credibility. Employees will listen to what you say but are usually more impacted by what you actually do. If you are constantly at the office, never taking a vacation (or checking email when you do), then your message is clear, work is your only concern and they should follow suit. Instead, do your best to leave your work at the office and your personal life at home. Then you’ll be able to take time for your work, relationships, and own self-preservation and be perceived as a more rounded and well-adjusted leader.

Invest Time in Taking Care of Yourself

The best way to achieve a work-life balance is to invest in consistent self-care. This means making it a priority to eat healthier, exercise regularly and get enough sleep each night. While you may feel that you can get more done if you don’t take the time to invest in self-care, that choice will eventually catch up with you down the road. You can’t expect yourself or anyone else to perform at their peak if they don’t have the chance to energize each day. Start slow by eating a healthier lunch, schedule time to do a physical activity for 30 minutes a day and finish your day with a regular sleep schedule. Make a solid commitment and accept the fact that you won’t be nearly as productive if you always put yourself last.

Encourage a Flexible Workplace

It seems employee morale goes way up when flexible work schedules and telecommuting is a viable option. Whether it’s every Friday or a few days a week this flexibility will make both your lives easier! Of course you will know right away who is able to exercise this option responsibly and who is not. Most of your employees who are given this opportunity will be autonomous, self-motivated and productive.  This will create a happier workforce who will demonstrate their commitment to getting their work completed. Also, if you allow for paid time off in lieu of traditional sick days, vacation time, and personal days that will boost morale as well by giving your employees the chance to decide where and when they want to use it. Paid time off is a huge motivator and aids in the work-life balance for both managers and employees.

Unplug and Have Some Fun

No one gets to the end of their life wishing they had searched the Internet more. In fact, a few decades ago the Internet didn’t exist and people had to interact without the benefit of using a machine. Consider unplugging for a few hours, a day or even a weekend and enjoy the bliss of not being tied to a device such as a cell phone, tablet or email inbox. While this might be hard to do at first, you will find other activities that are just as satisfying. Consider seeing a comedy with an old friend, spending time eating dinner with loved ones and actually talking to each other. If you can arrange a day at the park to play some Frisbee or Softball and top it off with a picnic lunch you’ll create happy and lasting memories.

When you walk the walk of a balanced life, invest time in taking care of yourself, encourage a flexible workplace, and unplug to have fun, you will create a life that has greater harmony and purpose. Encompassing these work-life balance tips for managers and employees will result in a more satisfying career and family life that you both can enjoy and embrace!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is a workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690 in Portland, Oregon. Find more information at http://BounceBackHigher.com

From the overly confident to the overly negative, dealing with difficult personalities is a skill every team member should master.

“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men.” ~ Albert Einstein

So, you’re on a team. Your team has a mission. The only problem is: your team has people in it. Not just ANY people, people with difficult personalities. You can throw your hands up and scream every time these difficult people rub you the wrong way, or you can learn productive ways of working with them without going insane.

Dealing with Difficult Personalities within a Team? Change Your Own Behavior

Let’s face it; people will not change just because you want them to. As any psychologist will tell you, the only way to change how you feel about a situation (or another person, for that matter) is to change your own behavior in coping. Here are a few examples of difficult personalities and simple ways of dealing with them when working within a team.

The Bully

The Bully is argumentative, aggressive and intimidating. To deal with The Bully, you will need to avoid arguing with him/her while maintaining control of each discussion. Sometimes, in order to maintain control without fueling The Bully’s flame, you will have to state your opinion clearly, succinctly, and directly and ignore their attempts at trapping you into an argument. In dealing with difficult personalities within a team, face the fact that you will not win in a debate with this person. No one will. It is easier not to incite workplace bullies. And workplace bullying is at an all-time high. How do I know? It’s the topic I’m most frequently asked to speak on when I’m a guest on a radio show.

Negative Nelly

Negative Nelly sees the unfavorable in every situation. To them, every idea is bad and every attempt at a solution to a problem will result in a negative outcome. Negative Nelly thrives on when he/she can say the following words: I TOLD YOU SO, or, THAT WON’T WORK. No one likes to hear those words. The best way to deal with this difficult person is to avoid discussing solutions with them. When these situations cannot be avoided, try to remain positive and realistic. Assume Negative Nelly will bring the “I told you so’s” along to every discussion and be prepared not to let them get to you. When I conduct leadership seminars and keynotes for corporations and associations, bosses tell me that one of their biggest frustrations is negativity. It’s easy to see why. If it’s not dealt with, it can become like a cancer that spreads!

The Over Achiever or Know-It-All

The Over Achiever seems to know everything. This “Know-It-All” person can spew out “facts” on any given subject. They are similar to the workplace bullies. The Over Achiever likes to stand in the spotlight and wants everyone to “know” how smart he/she is. Many times, it’s just easier not to get wrapped up in conversation with this person to avoid all the know-it-all-ness about them! But, it can be more productive to admit to yourself  (and to them) that they may actually be a great source of knowledge. Ask a few questions and throw in some praise now and then–sincere praise, of course! you may see that their need to “show off” might dissipate a bit once they realize that others appreciate their knowledge base.

The Non-Team Player

The person within the team who is obviously NOT a team player will be the most difficult personality to deal with. The Non-Team Player is the most destructive person on the team. Again, these people are similar to workplace bullies but in a different, “silent” antagonistic fashion. This person does not share knowledge and does not participate well in open discussions. They always seem to be “doing things” behind everyone’s backs”. Everyone questions the motives of this person. The most effective way of dealing with The Non-Team Player is by kindly questioning them in group discussions. Don’t take “I don’t know” for an answer. Force them to participate by including them as much as possible in all team activities.

Dealing with difficult personalities seems to increase exponentially in difficulty when working within a team. It is important to keep in mind that you are all on the same team working towards the same goal. And most importantly, you all NEED each other. Each individual team member’s skill sets and strengths were sought out for a reason: to complete a team. Learn to appreciate what each person has to offer and to work effectively with those who tend to make things a little difficult at times. It may not be easy at first, but in dealing with difficult personalities within a team, it will certainly help in securing your sanity!

It’s like the old cliche’ goes: It takes all kinds of personalities to make the world go ’round!

It is in how YOU deal with them that defines who YOU are (and how you feel)!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, and Motivational Speaker

Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 dynamic and entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

A Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

 

 


Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.

~ Margaret Chase Smith

Part of your job as a manager is to review your employee’s performance. Knowing no one is perfect, this means sometimes you have to give your employees constructive criticism. As well-meaning as your criticism is, chances are the employee may not be completely receptive. In fact, a defensive employee receiving criticism could escalate an already tenuous situation. Following are tips on giving your employees constructive criticism without making the situation worse.

Remember the Constructive Criticism Sandwich

Constructive criticism should be like a delicious sandwich… a slice of soft, fluffy bread, filled with meat, then finished off with another slice of soft, fluffy bread. The soft, fluffy bread is a compliment. Start with telling your employee something that they’re doing right. Everyone likes to hear that they’re doing things right. Starting off with a compliment also let’s your employee know that you do appreciate their efforts and starts the meeting off on a positive note.

The meat of the sandwich is the constructive criticism. This is where you talk about the areas where you’d like to see improvement. Of course, you have to finish with that second piece of fluffy bread – another compliment. This ends the meeting positively, and again reassures the employee that although they have items you’d like them to improve on, you do recognize the areas where they are doing well.

Be Respectful When Giving Constructive Criticism

When delivering the meat of that sandwich, keep your comments respectful. Watch the tone you take. Sometimes criticism, even in its most constructive form, can feel condescending to the employee being critiqued. Keep your comments directed toward actions they can perform to improve the situation. Don’t simply tell them what they’re doing wrong; tell them how to do things right!

Tie Constructive Criticism to the Organizational Mission

To further improve employee buy-in of the changes you’d like made, based on the constructive criticism, tie it into the organizational mission. It’s one of the keys of giving your employees constructive criticism. Don’t simply tell your employee that you want X done differently; explain to them why it’s important to the organization to have it done differently. Then, go one step further and show them how supporting the organizational mission and helping the organization succeed will, in turn, help them succeed.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

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7 Common Leadership Mistakes

Friday, February 15th, 2013

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

~ Albert Einstein

You’ve heard the saying – Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. However, not all mistakes are inevitable. Leaders who learn from the mistakes of others, are one step ahead of the game! Following are seven common leadership mistakes you can avoid.

  1. Being the anti-micromanger – Although micromanaging your employees can be completely counterproductive, going to the other extreme is a mistake many leaders make. Finding the balance between “hands off” leadership and micromanagement is difficult. Make sure your employees not only have direction, but also the support they need from you through the entire project or task.

  2. Lack of goal definition – Failure to clearly define goals is another common leadership mistake. Without clearly defined goals, your employees won’t know exactly what tasks they need to accomplish. With the increasing demands on employees to take on more responsibilities, this means your employees likely have a very full plate. Without specific goals, they may find it hard to prioritize and work efficiently and effectively.

  3. Providing little to no positive feedback – When your employees aren’t doing well, you let them know the areas where they need to improve, right? It’s just as important to let them know when they’re doing things right as well! Failing to compliment employees is a common leadership mistake you can easily avoid. Take time to acknowledge your employee’s hard work, not only when they go above-and-beyond, but when they do their everyday tasks as well. It’ll let them know you appreciate them and help keep them motivated.

  4. Failing to understand what motivates your employees – We may believe money makes the world go ’round, but thinking this is the end all and be all of motivating factors for your employees is a big leadership mistake! Although fairly and adequately compensating your employees is critical, there are other items that are higher up on their scale of needs. Work-life balance, career opportunities, and self-actualization are just some of the factors your employees likely value more than money.

  5. Being a friend, not a boss – This is a tricky balancing act that often leads to a common leadership mistake of being “too friendly” with your employees. Although you want to be approachable for your employees and socializing can help you form tighter bonds with your staff, you have to draw the line with your relationships. In the end, both of you need to understand that you are their boss, first and foremost, and this will mean sometimes you will have to make decisions they may not like.

  6. Succumbing to “warm body syndrome” – You have an open position you really need to fill. Candidates are applying, but they’re not exactly what you’re looking for. As the days pass, you become more desperate, and you get to the point where you feel like almost any warm body in a position is better than nothing. That’s warm body syndrome. However, this common leadership mistake has repercussions beyond simply the position you’re hiring for. A bad hire can negatively affect productivity in that position as well as the other employees who interact and rely on that position. Additionally, a bad hire can damage morale of other employees.

  7. Forgetting your a leader, not just a manager – As Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper once said, “You manage things; you lead people.” Failure to lead and relying on management is a leadership mistake you can’t afford to make. Sharing your organization’s vision, aligning your employees’ personal goals with this vision, and inspiring them to work together as a team toward both the organization’s and their personal goals, are all necessary components of leadership.

 

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

 Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

Great Marketing Screw Ups

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

It’s so important to be careful with our words. Especially when dealing with difficult people, or in managing difficult people. Because once those words are out they’re pretty hard to take back!  And we don’t always know how our message will be translated by others. Even big name advertisers have to be careful in terms of how their advertising slogans are translated into foreign languages. Here’s a sample:

  • Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”
  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”.
  • Pepsi’s “Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave,” in Chinese.
  • Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken,” was translated into Spanish as, “It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate!”

For articles on dealing with difficult people, managing difficult people, communication, and more: http://www.ColleenSpeaks.com/freearticles.htm

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