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Archive for effective leadership

You don’t lead by hitting people over the head–that’s assault, not leadership. ~Dwight Eisenhower

The first day a new employee arrives at your office is often mixed with excitement and uncertainty. And you both want the same result — success. But this will only happen if you use your effective leadership skills to initiate the groundwork for developing their unique talents. Starting out on the right foot will give your employee the blueprint they need to be a top contributor and you the reassurance they are following the right path.

Here are five of the most effective ways to start achieving success beginning with their first day:

Make Your Expectations Clear and Detailed

Nothing will make your employee happier than knowing where you stand. Remember, they are working at your company to help you! But in order to achieve your goals they need to know what success looks like in your eyes. During that first meeting be clear about their role in the company, what you are trying to achieve and when it all needs to be accomplished. Don’t be vague. Set clear standards from the beginning and give your employee specific examples they can follow. It will take time to put in this extra effort but you’ll be laying a solid foundation to get the results you really want. In my leadership seminars, one of the most common takeaways is managers realizing they need to set more quantifiable standards for their employees.

Provide a Way to Give and Receive Feedback

Feedback is crucial to ensure the quality of the work you receive. As you are working with your new hire tell them what works well and how they can improve. As the boss, you have the advantage of knowing when something hasn’t worked before and how to quickly resolve those issues. Also, when your employee has questions or concerns tell them how to approach you. Do you have an open door policy? Or do you prefer getting all of their questions in a single email. Determine what process works best for you and clearly communicate your preferences so they can be implemented. It’s one of the secrets to practicing effective leadership.

Managing Conflict in the Workplace

Conflicts come with every project and how you handle it will determine how smoothly things are resolved. Encourage your employees to solve smaller conflicts on their own and be supportive when they need additional leadership from you. When managing conflict in the workplace, actively listen to their concerns and urge their input for a resolution to the situation. If other people are providing the conflict, arrange for a group meeting to discuss the various issues and find common ground. Most importantly, show your employee they have your full support for resolving difficult situations and also troubleshooting any future issues. It’s one of the keys to successfully managing conflict in the workplace.

How to Appreciate and Encourage Employees

Effective leadership means not only pointing out the problems but also the successes. A thoughtful thank you goes a long way to show that you appreciate your employee’s efforts. Being specific about what you liked about their work will inspire the same results later. Additionally, acknowledge when they overcome difficult situations so they can see that you empathize with their struggles. Any opportunity you have to publicly acknowledge their success or give them a special award will also encourage others on your team to achieve similar results. Over time give employees the opportunity to lead and encourage others by becoming a group leader on future projects.

Motivating and Inspiring Employees Toward Top Results

Every employee has a special skill or ability they enjoy doing. It is usually some task they would like to do even if they weren’t  getting paid! It takes effective leadership skills to determine what these abilities are and to assign them to the right person. If you have the choice to give an accounting task to someone who likes doing math problems in their spare time, why not encourage them to crunch some numbers for you? Maybe they would like to get their degree and pursue this type of work in the future. Finding the balance between what is beneficial for your company and the future aspirations of your employee will help both of you achieve success.

Engaging these strategies will help assure the first day with your new employee will be one of many that encourage a solid working relationship that can build and develop in the future!

 

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows across the country and has written more than 40+ articles on diverse workplace issues. She 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 can assist your organization with successful leadership development through her keynotes, seminars, and workshops. Be sure to visit www.BounceBackHigher.com for details or call (623)340-7690 in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice.
~ Max Depree

“Leadership presence” – it’s one of those recent buzzphrases you hear tossed around lately. It sounds fairly straightforward, but what does it mean exactly? It’s one of those nebulous concepts people use and sometimes you wonder if they know really what is involved. In addition to learning what leadership presence is, more importantly, we talk about how to get this elusive quality.

Leadership Presence: What is It?

Although on the surface leadership presence is exactly what the name implies – the unique presence effective leaders have – it goes so much further than just that. Although it can be referred to as that certain je ne sais quoi a charismatic leader has, there are specific qualities that all leaders with true leadership presence personify. These qualities include:

  • Self confidence,

  • Genuineness and the ability to be candid,

  • The ability to convey a vision and garner support for this vision,

  • Active listener,

  • Effective speaking skills,

  • Openness to new ideas,

  • Motivational and inspirational,

  • Empowers others to succeed,

  • Risk taker, and

  • Actively works at branding themselves as an organizational leader.

Leadership Presence: How Do You Get It?

When you have all of the qualities listed above and, perhaps most importantly, actively use these to brand yourself as an organizational leader, you are on your way to developing leadership presence. Some of these qualities are items you can train to master. Others will require you to discover and uncover your innate abilities.

Becoming an active listener is a skill you can learn, as an example. There are lots of resources (including articles on this site!) to help you hone your listening skills. If you’re not an effective speaker, there are resources, seminars and organizations who can help you in this area too. Visit the “topics” section of my website, www.bouncebackhigher.com/topics, where I offer presentation skills training, as well as one-on-one speech coaching. In contrast to these learned skills, some will need you to simply consciously make an effort to express these qualities.

Being open to new ideas, for instance, may be difficult for you, if you’re used to being in charge and making most of the decisions for your organization. Risk taking may also be a challenge, if you’re naturally more conservative. However, in these instances, sometimes you may have to “fake it until you make it.” When others start to buy into your leadership presence, you’ll find qualities like “self confidence” that you have been pretending to have eventually come naturally.

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.

 

 

 

4 Ways to Become an Empathetic Leader

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

Empathy is the ability to understand other’s feelings and then apply this awareness to further your understanding of how these feelings affect their wants and needs. Empathetic leaders are more effective leaders. However, even if you normally are an empathetic person in your personal relationships, sometimes this empathy is lost in your professional life, as you focus on the day-to-day demands of your job. Following are four ways you can become an empathetic leader.

  1. Really listen. You may “hear” what others are saying to you, but are you truly “listening?” Oftentimes body language and tone are equally as important when determining the feelings behind a message as the words themselves. Don’t spend the conversation thinking about how you’re going to reply. Instead, really pay attention to the other person, repeat back to them what you think they are saying and ask them to verify that you’ve heard their message clearly.

  2. Withhold judgment. Empathetic leaders don’t judge what others are feeling. They understand that what a person feels is neither right nor wrong, even if it isn’t the way they feel about a situation. Acknowledge the other person’s feelings are valid and then use this information to better understand their point of view.

  3. Ask questions. An empathetic leader doesn’t simply rely on information they initially receive, they delve deeper into the thoughts and feelings of those involved. The more information you have, the better your decisions will be! Plus, when you ask people to expound on a topic or clarify what they mean, you are showing that you care about their opinion, further building trust in the relationship – a win-win situation!

  4. Know yourself. We all have personal biases that affect our thoughts, feelings and decisions. By acknowledging what biases you hold, you can help ensure they don’t negatively affect your ability to be empathetic. Understanding your own feelings and how they affect your thoughts on situations helps you better understand how other’s feelings could impact their thoughts on situations.

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.

What is Values-Based Leadership?

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013


“(Y)our leadership must be rooted in who you are and what matters most to you. When you truly know yourself and what you stand for, it is much easier to know what to do in any situation.”

~ Harry Jansen Kraemer, Jr.

Values-based leadership (VBL) is one of those buzzphrases of the 21st century business world tossed about, but many don’t understand what it really means. The concept behind values-based leadership is important though – too important! When employed correctly, values-based leadership can transform an organization. It can take widely disparate organizational pieces and guide them into one cohesive, vision-following unit!

What exactly is this powerful values-based leadership?

Values-Based Leadership Overview

Values-based leadership centers on influencing the inter-organizational relationships between individuals, teams, and organizational communities, through decisions and actions formed by consistent values, which balance both the common good of the organization and the healthy self-interest of the individual.

As James O’Toole notes:

[Leadership is] about creating a values-based umbrella large enough to accommodate the various interests of followers, but focused enough to direct their energies in pursuit of a common good. In practical business terms, it’s about creating the conditions under which all followers can perform independently and effectively toward a single objective.

Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership

In his book, From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership, Harry Jansen Kraemer, Jr. identifies four key principles to VBL that help flesh out the concept even further. These four principles are:

  1. Self-reflection – Identify what your values personally are – what matters to you most. Values-based leaders are constantly striving for greater self-awareness, with the understanding that only by knowing yourself can you lead yourself, and only by leading yourself can you hope to lead others.

  2. Balance – Values-based leaders are able to see a situation from all sides. They keep an open mind, before making a decision and taking action. This ability to see a situation from multiple perspectives allows them to have a greater understanding of the situation at hand.

  3. True self confidence – When you are truly self confident, you accept yourself for who you are. You understand both your strengths and your weaknesses, while striving to continually improve. Values-based leaders with true self-confidence know there will always be people who are better at things, more accomplished, etc., but they’re alright with that and with who they are!

  4. Genuine humility – Values-based leaders have genuine humility. They know who they are and where they came from. This humility helps them keep perspective, and remain true to their values, even when they achieve success.

When you employ these four principles of VBL, and focus on balancing the good of the organization with the good of the individual, while staying true to your values, you’ll have become a values-based leader!

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.

It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.”
~ David Caruso

There are numerous qualitative traits that make up an effective leader – charisma, vision, determination, etc. These traits are not only well-known, but also well-understood. However, another key, yet sometimes overlooked, factor when looking at effective leadership is – emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence centers on one’s ability to not only manage and understand our own emotions, but also those of the people around us. This quality allows us to influence others and manage personal relationships. Although everyone has some level of emotional intelligence, effective leadership requires the leader to be well-skilled in this arena. A leader who has high levels of emotional intelligence can facilitate teamwork, inspire their employees, cultivate creativity, and motivate increased productivity.

Traits of Emotional Intelligence for Effective Leadership

There are five primary traits of emotional intelligence, you need to develop to truly become an effective leader:

  1. Self awareness – Leaders who have high levels of emotional intelligence know their strengths, known their weaknesses, and can recognize these emotions as they are happening to themselves.
  2. Self regulation – Emotional intelligence also includes the ability to self regulate. Effective leaders control their emotions; they do not allow their emotions to control them. With emotional intelligence comes a leader’s ability to think before he acts on emotion-driven impulse.
  3. Superior communication skills – Effective leadership centers on communication, and superior communication skills is a key trait in those with emotional intelligence. Leaders must be able to concisely and clearly convey their thoughts and directions to others, in order to inspire them to action.
  4. Social awareness – Leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence are able to empathize with those around them. They do not judge others too quickly and put themselves in the other person’s shoes. They strive to truly understand the needs and wants of others to best align their mutual goals.
  5. True team players – Emotional intelligence is seen in effective leaders who are true team players. They understand: “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM.’” They will often put aside their immediate personal wants or needs for the greater good of the organization, knowing in the end the rewards will be much richer than the instant gratification of being selfish. This serves as a role model for others, who then follow suit.

Developing these five traits is critical for effective 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.

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.

7 Tips to Becoming an Effective Mentor

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

~Benjamin Franklin

 There are numerous benefits to mentoring for your organization. Mentoring gives junior employees critical feedback and support, it passes knowledge down the organizational chart and it helps identify superstar employees. However, not all managers are equipped to be great mentors. Follow the seven tips below and you can become an effective mentor!

  1. Get to know your mentoree – An effective mentoring relationship centers on trust. To begin to build trust, get to know your mentoree. Determine what skills your mentoree has, what areas he needs improvement in, as well as what goals he has and what motivates him. This relationship needs to be about him, not about you.
  2. Become an advocate – An effective mentor advocates for their mentoree. Your role in this relationship isn’t to simply “train the new guy” but rather to help him develop the skills and experience that will advance his career.
  3. Offer both guidance and counseling – If you want to be an effective mentor, you have to go beyond being a teacher. In an effective mentoring relationship, the mentor becomes a personal advisor and sounding board, as well as guide warning the mentoree about potential organizational or situational hazards and pitfalls before they occur.
  4. Be a role model – The phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t fly in an effective mentoring relationship. Effective mentors model the behaviors and attitudes their mentorees will need to succeed within the organization.
  5. Start off on a positive note – It’s important to start your mentoring relationship with a positive experience. For this reason, an effective mentor will select a first project that the mentoree is most likely to complete successfully. Select something too difficult, and you’ll discourage your mentoree.
  6. Inspire and motivate your mentoree – Keeping your mentoree inspired and motivated is critical to an effective mentoring relationship. Effective mentors build links between the mentoree’s personal goals and desires and the organization’s goals. This builds ownership in the organization’s mission and keeps the mentoree dedicated, even when times are challenging.
  7. Be willing to learn from your mentoree – Lastly, an effective mentor knows this relationship isn’t a one-way street. You can learn from your mentoree too! Although the mentoree may not have as much experience as you, he may have more current theoretical knowledge. Plus, this “freshness” allows the mentoree to consider a situation without bias and allows him to create solutions you may not have considered.

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.

What if you could know what your boss is thinking? Their top concerns, worries, professional likes and dislikes? Who they want to hire, promote, or fire and why? And what if you’re a student about to enter the workforce, or already in it? As an author, award-winning speaker, and workplace expert, Colleen Kettenhofen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She has interviewed over 200 managers and a handful of top executives and CEOs to find out job-critical secrets about employees that bosses don’t share easily. Many revealed details of what they expect and, more importantly, don’t expect from their employees. Armed with this insight–whether you’re in the workforce, or a student, or both,–you’ll be better prepared to communicate successfully with others. Maybe you’ll receive more recognition–or even a raise!

*Please note: this demo video is simply an illustration or “audition” of Colleen’s keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars on leadership, managing people, dealing with difficult people, and improving communication and morale.

Interview with Bo Hudson from CBS Radio

Monday, August 29th, 2011
Host: Bo Hudson
Interview Date: July 27, 2011
Topics: How to Get a Great Job, What Employers Look for on Interviews, Bosses’ Biggest Frustrations, How to Keep Your Job, Effective Leadership

Listen to Interview ->