ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Minimum Wage hurts everyone

Migrant workers and Minimum wage

Martha’s Vineyard had to reduce its services because the usual influx of migrant workers from Jamaica had been reduced. The number of “Day workers” from Mexico that come to service the homes in South Texas have also been reduced.
This reduction was intended to make room for hiring low paying American laborers BUT, employers are forced to pay Americans a minimum wage, and migrant labor is a lot cheaper.

Who are we helping when we raise the minimum wage forcing a level of legal employment out of business?  Is it better to employee cheap labor from out of the country than to employ our own people?  By forcing people out of jobs we are forcing them into welfare.  Is this better?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Second Acts ~ Your Road Less Traveled


If you are anything like me, your career has changed more than once now that you fall into the category the younger folk are calling “Adult Supervision.”  As I look back on the many years I’ve been part of the workforce, I’m amazed at all the things I’ve done and learned.  Today, as a writer, educator and consultant I find that the breadth and depth of my experience has somehow magically all come together in the service of my clients.

How about you?  Have you chosen to change careers – or has this horrible economy made the choice for you?  What are you considering? 

Some people I know are turning former hobbies into careers.  Others are learning new skills and surprising themselves about the new competencies they are acquiring.  Some are consciously taking “The Road Less Traveled.”

Let me tell you the story of a woman who took that road.  Dr. Naomi Brill was a Professor of Sociology when she was forced to retire.  Long a nature lover she started traveling back roads and writing about her observations.  She submitted some of her musings to the local newspaper and they loved them and offered her a regular column.  Soon thereafter, a syndicate noticed her writing, contacted her and syndicated her work.  In the last years of her life (I’m sorry to say she is no longer among the living) Naomi purchased a comfortable motor home and traveled around the country observing, enjoying and writing about the flora and fauna she discovered.  Her “road less traveled” gave her many years of pleasure, although the opportunity came about so unexpectedly.

My friend Carolyn Houston, a former IBM Engineer, decided to learn how to do taxes after retirement, and worked as a tax advisor during tax season.  Other times of the year she was free to travel, which she enjoys doing.  This year she retired for good, and is busily spending her time hiking, traveling, and visiting relatives.  Knowing her as I do, I’m sure she will soon find another part-time career.

Several people I know have chosen to purchase franchises and are now owning and working in retail establishments.  Some are enjoying the interaction with people and others wish they hadn’t taken that particular road.  In some cases, finding the right employees has freed the franchise owners to only drop in occasionally.  That, however, seems to be the exception.  Mostly, once you purchase a franchise, you find it necessary to be hands-on-owner-manager.

On the other hand, a friend of mine purchased over a dozen sites of the same franchise and has professional management at each site.  He and his family enjoy the luxury of the high life, and he oversees his various businesses mostly by phone and e-mail, only occasionally dropping in at one of the restaurants to make sure all is going as described to him by that management.

My neighbor recently opened his own professional tax office and another friend who had been down-sized has created a bookkeeping service. When Bernie Silver and his wife retired, they moved to Sedona where she pursued her art career and his now managing an artists’ studio.  Bernie is finally writing the novel he always wanted to write.

I have close friends – from my High School days – who retired and moved to Boca Raton, Florida.  For the first year of his retirement, Sandy chose to do absolutely nothing.  He’d earned the rest.  He’d worked so hard in the cutthroat New York business world for many years.  During the year of nothing he did occasionally play golf – but not seriously.  Now, he and his wife travel all over the world.

Why I am I telling you all this?  To share with you that life isn’t over yet – and even if “they’ve done it to you” as many people think, you have choices.  You might not have found the right one for you yet, but with a little searching and a lot of exploring, you too can find your “road less traveled.”

Marketing Yourself In Your Workplace




In this era of uncertainty, job security is a thing of the past for most of us. Thus, we need to perpetually market ourselves within our companies and through our network. I’m learning to be more active on LinkedIn – something I joined a long time ago but mostly ignored until quite recently.

Another workshop in which I was involved recently was Marketing Yourself. We offered the workshop to a group of people who were job-seekers and taught them about personal branding, positioning, and target marketing. It was astonishing to learn that many people had never realized that job hunting was actually service (not product) marketing. As I’ve said so many times before – marketing services (yourself) is far more difficult than marketing a product.

Services are intangible. They require either good references and testimonials or free samples. The potential buyer (employer) needs some form of proof that you do indeed deliver the quality and quantity of services you purport to deliver.

One of the LinkedIn groups on consulting has a recurring question asking if we think a free sample is a good thing to do or something we ought never do. Most people report that a free sample is a bad thing to do – that you should never give anything away. I disagree strongly.  In my many years of consulting and public speaking, I’ve learned that once people actually experience what I do and how I do it they are much more likely to hire me. They learn quickly that I deliver what I promise and I deliver in my own unique and effective style.

During our workshop, we helped attendees go beyond their canned (and usually ineffective) elevator speech in favor of a sentence or two designed to talk about the benefits to their potential employer. I, role playing with them as the hiring manager, kept asking:  “What’s in it for me?” Ultimately that is what you have to prove to the person contemplating hiring you.


My advice: Learn how to market yourself internally. What are your accomplishments?  How can you make yourself more visible in a positive manner? Can you take risks?  Lead meetings? Stretch yourself and take on more responsibilities? Brand yourself in a manner to make yourself memorable.

I recently met with a group of HR ladies and we were chatting about how they conduct investigations and evaluations when a complaint is made of misbehavior. The starting point, they innocently told me was to gather evidence in support of the claim. They thought they were being neutral.
I pointed out that with that goal in mind, they were ignoring evidence that might support a different conclusion – and that might even refute the claim of misbehavior. I shared with them several examples of investigative reports I had read that were clearly one-sided because any evidence that contradicted the alleged victim’s statement was assumed (and written this way) to be either denial or outright lying.
Looking for evidence is hardly the same as conducting a neutral evaluation seeking the truth.
Through the years, I’ve saved several people from being fired after HR had condemned them.  In each of these cases someone hirer up in the organization knew and cared enough about the alleged “perp” to want an outside more neutral and unbiased evaluation.  I was called in to conduct it and found that there was no real substance to the original claim – but what in each of these cases amounted to a mis-interpretation of words and behavior.

Neutrality is apparently hard to achieve.

I recently met with a group of HR ladies and we were chatting about how they conduct investigations and evaluations when a complaint is made of misbehavior. The starting point, they innocently told me was to gather evidence in support of the claim. They thought they were being neutral.

I pointed out that with that goal in mind, they were ignoring evidence that might support a different conclusion – and that might even refute the claim of misbehavior. I shared with them several examples of investigative reports I had read that were clearly one-sided because any evidence that contradicted the alleged victim’s statement was assumed (and written this way) to be either denial or outright lying.

Looking for evidence is hardly the same as conducting a neutral evaluation seeking the truth.
Through the years, I’ve saved several people from being fired after HR had condemned them.  In each of these cases someone hirer up in the organization knew and cared enough about the alleged “perp” to want an outside more neutral and unbiased evaluation.  I was called in to conduct it and found that there was no real substance to the original claim – but what in each of these cases amounted to a misinterpretation of words and behavior.


Neutrality is apparently hard to achieve.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

8 Tips to Improve Employee Motivation, Morale and Involvement



1:  Make it personal

The most important tip I can offer you is to take the time to get to know each of your employees personally. People want to be recognized as individuals, not merely as part of a group. How you accomplish this will vary depending on the size of the organization you personally manage and whether people are in the same facility – state or country – as you.

Of course it is easiest if you manage less than a dozen people and they all sit within walking distance of your office. In that case, you can stop by in the morning and say “hello” and compliment them on something they are wearing (be careful it doesn’t cross the line) or ask a question about where they might have obtained a particular personal item on their desk or the poster on the wall. Of course you should also ask if there is anything they need from you. Over time, learn something about their personal lives – their families, kids, hobbies, birthday, etc. 

If you manage people that work out of their homes, or in other facilities within your state, bring them together for team meetings at least once a quarter – more if possible. Start those meetings with social time and end them with social time. Have business issues discussed – being sure to solicit their opinions – in the middle.

Unfortunately, if your people are all over the world, it’s going to be much harder. If at all possible, create an annual retreat bringing them all together. Even if you do this, or if this is not possible, spend some time on the telephone getting to know them individually.

2:  Communicate the value to society of the company and the work

Next in line of importance is for you to communicate to all your staff how important their work is to furthering the goals, values and the mission of the organization. Most employees want to feel as though their contribution is worthwhile, not just “busy-work.”

If your firm is in the business of doing something that is obviously valuable to society in some form or other, this will be an easier task for you. The further away the value appears to the average person, the more difficult this task will be for you. 

You might consider including some community service for your employees – such as participating in a walk-a-thon, a community-wide fundraising event, or as a group feeding the needy.

People need to feel good about what they are doing and the company in which they are doing it.

3:  The importance of customer service

It is your responsibility as a manager to assure that everyone understands that they are part of an organization – a large team – all of whom are responsible for achieving the overall goals of the business together. Silos need to be broken down as does the attitude that it is us against them. Encourage and reward positive internal (and external) customer service.

Where possible bring together people from different departments who have to interact with each other. I create mini-retreats of three or four hours during which people working in facilities near each other learn something personal about each other (hobbies, for example), what the other’s job really entails (walking in his shoes) and how what they do or don’t do impacts the other group.

If you are bringing people from far away – create two or three day retreats, but less frequently.

4:  Accountability and recognition

Each of us wants to be recognized for the work we do. Yes, we are usually part of a team – but as I’ve written before (and given speeches about) there is a ME in teams.  We are individuals working together. Atta-boys, awards, notices in the newsletter are all inexpensive ways you can recognize outstanding work. Don’t ruin this by making sure everyone becomes “employee of the month,” especially if it is undeserved.

Management by walking around is one of the ways you can be aware of what is being done and what isn’t being done to your satisfaction.

So, in order to be recognized, we need to have specific assignments and we need to be held accountable for the completion of these assignments in an exemplary manner.

Correct those behaviors, performance and comments that are inconsistent with the goals of the organization and the values you wish to instill.

5:  Create stretch goals and professional development

Although there are some people who prefer doing the same tasks day after day, week after week and year after year – most people get bored over time. They need to have their work varied.

So create stretch goals with them. What would they like to learn next? Can they be given higher levels of autonomy-responsibility? Should they be cross-trained so they can be promoted?

If your company can – work with your employees to create a plan for their career development which would be consistent with the succession plan needed by the firm. 

Offer opportunities for training – both internal and external.

6:  Coaching, mentoring, counseling

Whether a particular staff person needs to be coached to do better in their present job, or you see them as having potential for promotion, you might offer them one-on-one coaching, mentoring or counseling.  There is nothing better – but be careful that you pick someone competent to do the coaching, etc.

7:  Improve the working environment

Ok, I know you aren’t Google or Apple – but – you can make the environment in which you and your staff work more pleasant. Here are some ideas, some of which you may or may not be able to implement depending on your organization, funds, and rules.
  • Keep every area clean and well-lit.
  • Make sure the restrooms are serviced regularly – more often than you think.
  • Allow for personal decoration of cubicles and offices.
  • Have areas where people can join each other to brainstorm, problem-solve or just visit for a few minutes.
  • Provide the best in ergonomic seating as possible.
  • Provide the most effective technology for doing the job.
  • Treat to coffee/tea etc. during the day – have those in a break room.
  • And, of course, if you have the funds provide good meals.
8:  Listen and learn

Create frequent opportunities for employees to give you feedback. 

Good management is akin to good parenting. You are not their friend – but you should not be their enemy. There should be respect, courtesy, and a mutual desire to accomplish commonly accepted goals.

Good Luck!

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Assessing Employee Involvement and Motivation



Sometimes, especially in large bureaucratic organizations, people stagnate. They don’t feel as though the work they are doing is important and they don’t feel appreciated. This leads to just getting through the day, doing their work in a desultory manner.

In other cases, there is anger and resentment, which is kept under wraps, because the employees feeling that way don’t want to risk losing their jobs by telling management what bothers them. Thus, they become passive-aggressive, doing the work in a desultory manner.

Recently, I was consulting to a division of a company that was trying to integrate a new management team. The new managers had very different styles of operating than their predecessors and inadvertently made staff feel as though everything they had done in the past was wrong. Instead of embracing the new processes, the staff became passive-aggressive (some became outright aggressive) ignoring the new systems and continuing to do their work (you guessed it) in a desultory manner or not at all.

Other reasons employees are no longer motivated might be as simple as boredom, not feeling appreciated, not having enough to eat (yes!) or even too much to eat (in firms that have hot and cold gourmet food around all the time).

In some cases it is impossible – almost impossible – for a manager to reward an outstanding job by giving a bonus, a tangible present, or time off. Either government regulations or unions or both demand that everyone be compensated – treated equally (whatever that really means!).

So, let’s assume you can’t throw money at the problem. Let’s assume that you, as manager, have to find ways to make your employees motivated and engaged again.

Why bother, you ask?

Clearly once an employee (assuming you have hired correctly – but that’s another article) is re-energized and motivated, the quality of their work-product will improve as will their attitude of customer service both internally and externally.

I want to start my suggestions with the most obvious: Customer Service

Customer Service as a Diagnostic Tool

There is perhaps no clearer indication of whether an employee is feeling good about themselves and their work than how they treat others. 

Is their stock answer “not my job” or do they go out of their way to be helpful and supportive to those they serve – and those who serve them in the workplace? When you receive information from your internal customers that there is a lack of cooperation but only demands from your staff, you know your employees are unhappy. 

Let’s look at contracts and procurement of professional services in a government agency as an example.

There are internal customers who rarely need to procure something externally. Thus, they don’t remember, or have never used, the complicated processes required for the contracted services they seek. How the contract administration staff handles them is a litmus test of how this department feels about their jobs and about the company in which they work.

If they help the internal customer complete all the required forms in a friendly manner, you get one idea – but if they merely say “not my job – you are supposed to know where to find the information and fill out the forms,” you have a real attitude problem on your hands.

Let’s look, too, to one of the more standard complaints. IT against everyone else. Does your organization have an IT organization with members who think they are better than everyone else (“stupid user”), or do they recognize that they are a service organization to the rest of the departments?

You get the point! A significant way you can measure employee motivation and the way the employees in the organization work to support each other’s success, as well as the goals of the organization itself, is to create surveys and evaluations.

Surveys and Evaluations

Of course another way you can learn about how your employees feel is to ask them – you can ask them in one-on-ones, but most people will be to afraid to be honest. 

You stand a better chance of learning what really is bothering them if you create an employee satisfaction – dissatisfaction survey or have them do an evaluation of their supervisors, managers and peers (sometimes called a 360 degree evaluation).

Let’s suppose you ask them about their relationship to their management. You might suggest they answer all the questions on a scale of 1 – 5 (1 = poor, 5 = excellent), and here are some suggested questions to ask: Do you know what is expected of you at work?
  • Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your job effectively?
  • Do you feel that you are being asked to do work that fits your interests and skills?
  • Are you challenged with stretch goals so that you are able to continuously improve?
  • Is your supervisor/manager available to you when you need him/her?
  • When decisions are being made that involve the work you do, or you, are you a part of the conversation and does your opinion matter?
  • Do you enjoy coming to work each morning?
  • Is your relationship with your co-workers friendly and helpful?
  • Does your supervisor/manager let you know when you’ve done a good job (attaboys)?
  • Is the work you do part of what makes our company so valuable to the community?
  • Is your performance appraised regularly, and do you know what you are doing well, what you need improvement in, and your stretch goals?
  • Would you feel better about the work you are expected to do if______________(fill in the blank)?

Of course you need to read the answers carefully and create a plan of action for improvement where necessary.

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Audience Focused Business Plans



I’ve worked with several people needing to write business plans. Since their needs differ, and on-line business plans tend to be canned, there is sometimes confusion as to what to write, how much detail to go into, etc.

When teaching the Business Planning Seminar to MBA students I learned that when people create a new business they are enamored with their product or service – and thus want to emphasis the features and benefits of the product/service rather than focus on their actual target audience.

So, let me start by saying that there are multiple purposes for writing a business plan and each of these requires a somewhat different approach – although much of the same information.

1.     You need to start with a road map for yourself and your team. This is a basic business plan you develop to help you move forward. It doesn’t have to be pretty and it doesn’t need all the fancy marketing words. It’s an internal document – and of course it changes as your business grows. It can be as short or as detailed as you need it to be – but it is the guide for you and your internal founding team.

2.     You are asking family and friends to support your idea by investing with you. Here you are making a combination business and emotional appeal. It is probably more the emotional appeal – about you and how hard you will work to make this dream come true – that that they care about and respond to – but they also want to see some sensible financial projections.

3.     You need a more formal business plan with financial projects for the bank when applying for a loan. The bank is primarily interested in two things:  Your ability to repay the loan and your equity, which might be your business assets – or even your home.

4.     You are starting a non-profit because your goals are to help your fellow man in some particular way. You are not planning to make a profit, to go public, etc. So, you cannot make any re-payment promises, or profit-sharing. Instead, you are promising to do something that others can donate to (donations, fund-raisers, grants) that will help humanity and appeal to their emotional interests as well. Thus what you focus on is the manner in which your services will “do good.”

5.     You are seeking early stage investors – or angels. These savvy people care less about your product/service than they do about your ability to execute on the promises you make. They want to know Who is your team – what are their prior successes and how well can they work together? They also want to know what’s in it for them if they invest with you. Do not spend most of your time excitedly sharing the wonderfulness of the new product/service you are developing. You need to “sell” that aspect, but quickly. Your primary focus needs to be answering the question: “What’s in it for me (the potential investor?)”

6.     You are attempting to sell your company. Now it is important to share the value the brain power of your group offers. Why not just steal your product? Why buy the company itself? Because, of course, your team and staff are smarter, cleverer and more creative together than if they would be split up. That’s your primary selling point. Yes, it is true that having some proprietary secret sauce helps too.

7.     The ultimate goal of too many people in my opinion: going public. Here scalability becomes the key to exciting venture capitalists. Can you scale up so you are selling millions and billions of people – and make money doing it?


As you can see, the focus changes when your target audience shifts. Your executive summary should be geared primarily to your targeted audience. Yes, you need the competitive analysis, the operations, the team, the marketing, the finances, etc…. but the emphasis is where you shift depending on your audience. 

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Breaking Down the Walls of Fear and Hate



Given what's going on in the world, this seemed a timely message.  

Years ago I produced a series of programs called Breaking Down the Walls of Fear and Hate which accompanied a display of photographs showing the atrocities in the Warsaw Ghetto. The snapshots had been taken by a German soldier on his birthday (how sick!) and eventually were found again and given to the Smithsonian Institute - which lent them out for programs such as the one I developed. 

We had over thirty speakers over seven weeks - and the series won the Human Relations Award that year. Among the seven panels was one featuring religious leaders of different religions, educators, holocaust survivors from different cultures, members of criminal justice and others. My discussion with each of them when inviting them to speak was to talk about how we could break down the walls - not build them up worse.

People have different points of view. Each is sure that their perspective is the only right and good one - but honorable people, highly educated and dedicated, can and do disagree with each other as to the right way to do something.

We need to learn to listen. Not to automatically disagree and attack back.

We need to be more careful before we lump all people of "a certain kind" as one and consider them the enemy. Yet, we also need to protect our country - it's a tightrope.

On a smaller level - when I work with clients who are dealing with horrible levels of conflict, I know that the things that go unsaid need to be said in order for them to be dealt with. I am reminded of the sign that was on the wall of Dr. Mike Schmidt with whom I worked when I started out as a therapist. It said:
The truth shall set you free But first it will make you feel miserable
For those who always plaster a smile on their face and only say the negative things they believe in a whisper behind their hand - I say wrong!  Nothing can change until and unless we talk about it.

In order to break down the walls of fear and hate we need to talk about what we believe, feel, have assumed and have been told. 

Talk, share, listen - and change.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

There is a ME in Teams



Personally, I cringe every time I hear the expression: “There is no I in teams”. 

It suggests that all the strategic planning, idea generation, implementation and troubleshooting are done by some vaguely anonymous group of people.

I think about a firing squad. It takes a dozen people to kill one person because that way no one can be held responsible.

I think about bizarre interview teams who are all in the room at the same time asking pre-designed questions (to be fair!) so that no one can be blamed if the wrong person is hired.

I think about communism under Mao – where everyone had to wear the same colorless jumpsuits so that no one would stand out.

I think about Ayn Rand’s book “Anthem” the futuristic story of people who had no names, but were given numbers instead – no individuality.

Ask yourself:
  • When you were a child and your mother forced you to share a favorite toy or game, what was your feeling?
  • When in High School how did you feel if someone you knew “stole” your boyfriend or girlfriend?
  • How did you feel when as part of a small study-group team you wound up doing much of the work, but had to share the credit with some of your more lazy classmates?
  • Ladies – what’s your reaction when you attend a very dressy function and discover someone else wearing the same dress or gown as you?
  • If you were the creator of a new app that became famous – how would you feel if you didn’t get the patent or royalties? 
Switch gears with me – think about sports and sports teams: 

Each player has an important role and when the team scores, the person or persons who made the play is given credit on the news. Yes, they all work together in harmony as a team, and in fact they each in their own way contribute to the success (or failure) of the game. However, one or two people actually made the touchdown, goal or home run.

How do you think a player would feel if he ran the entire field with the ball and the newscaster talked about someone else having made the goal?

Workplace is different?

Now, you are going to tell me it is different in the workplace. In the workplace the emphasis on teams assumes that everyone is equal – and equally responsible for the work-product.

I’ve seen facilitators interrupt a conversation flow to announce that X spoke for 5 minutes and now it was Y’s turn – when in fact the most important information was coming from X.

In our quest to be fair – we tend to step all over the brightest and most talented people. Instead, we need to respect and nourish each person’s unique talent and unique gift and work together to allow it to shine. That’s what happens in a winning sports team.

Let me tell you the story of the 20th Century Motor Factory
(Adapted from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged)

It had the reputation of being the best in the business. Its trademark stood for quality – excellence. That was one of many reasons it attracted the best and brightest of engineers and other staff. Unfortunately, some years after winning many awards for excellence the original founders died and their adult children (products of one our ultra-liberal universities) took over the business and created what they considered to be the best social experiment.

It was to compensate people based on their need – not on their ability. So, if the janitor had four children he received a higher rate of pay than the engineer who was single. When someone’s wife became pregnant, instead of rejoicing, all groaned since it meant less money in their pockets. The best and the brightest quit. The company failed.

Meritocracy works!

How do you create and maintain successful teams?
  • The most important element is the leader/facilitator and their ability to see level. It takes level to see level (Kung Fu – black belts)
  • The leader of the group controls how people interact and show respect for each other. (There really is no such thing as a leaderless group someone always assumes responsibility.)
  • Each member of the group needs to learn about each other – both some personal stuff and professional stuff – the object is for each of us to learn to respect the expertise of the other. In other words – Walk in his shoes.
  • Team needs to have a shared vision, mission and goals.
  • Each member needs to be held accountable for his/her role in meeting those goals.
  • Being “fair” is not as important as being true.
  • Being nice – “don’t say anything unless you have something nice to say” can destroy the effectiveness of an organization. People need to be able to “constructively criticize.”
  • People in the team – whether a board of directors, an executive team, or a work-team all need to learn how to make decisions that are based on some logical structure – not on favoritism and being loyal to your friend or boss.
  • Rewards and recognitions need to be carefully handled – not just given out to everyone willy-nilly.
So – let’s eliminate the phrase: “There is no I in team”Instead change it to:
“Working together we achieve far more than we could achieve alone”

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Motivation



Motivation is the fuel that drives you – you have to think positively, know what you are going to do and why – and have the energy to do it.

Motivation isn’t permanent, it needs to be nourished daily – and you can never achieve happiness (which adds significantly to motivation) when you are not helping others.

Helping others makes you feel good – makes you feel better about yourself, which is highly motivating.

If that sounds circular – it is.

Others have said:
“It is attitude, not aptitude that determines altitude"
It’s how you see yourself – and how you see yourself in relation to others and to the tasks at hand

Someone said (I can’t recall where I read it):
“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Quick Tips for New Leaders




Project Management

You need well executed projects to accomplish your goals. Clearly define and delegate.
  • Define the elements of the project and assign responsibility to those best able to manage and execute those elements.
  • Once assigning a task to someone – let them handle it. They should be accountable to you, but you should not rush in to micro-manage or to give others pieces of the project.
  • Respect the chain of command you have established.
  • Allow project leaders to pick your own team (committee) and manage them
  • Clarify team (committee) goals and deadlines – hold people accountable.
  • Always give positive recognition.

Meeting Management

Your time and everyone else’s is of incredible value. Invest it wisely.
  • Set and keep a time schedule.
  • As meeting manager (CEO or facilitator) be on time.
  • Have an agenda – and publish it – also have paper copies.
  • No surprises – everyone involved should know the purpose of the meeting.
  • If guests are invited, advise them in advance that they are guests and will be given the opportunity to speak when it is appropriate to the reason they are in attendance.
  • Nurture a climate that encourages people to express their own views – and to offer constructive disagreements and/or criticism.
  • Share the responsibility of the meeting with attendees by having them responsible for different aspects of the agenda.
  • Have a living agenda rather than a static one and allow others to input into the agenda before it is published.
  • Start and end on time – that shows respect for others

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