Archive for April, 2010

Disengaged Workers Costs the U.S. Economy About $300 Billion A Year

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Over 50 years of Gallup research and scientific studies back a recent study conducted by the Gallup Organization that states negativity costs the U.S. economy $300 billion a year ? and that?s a conservative estimate.

Focusing on someone?s strengths and giving recognition for performance is critical to success. The new Gallup study found that when managers focused on employees? strengths, 61% of the employees were engaged in the work and only 1% was actively disengaged ? complaining about their jobs, sniping at their co-workers and bad-mouthing the company.

When managers focused on employees? weaknesses, only 45% of the employees were engaged in work and 22% were actively disengaged. This demonstrates how our relationships with one another affect the bottom line of the organizations we own, work for, and pay taxes to.

Gallup asked employees to name, in their own words, the most important factor in maintaining a sense of comfort and well-being at work. Responses were varied, but the most common had to do with communication and interpersonal dynamics among workers:

  • Open Communication ? 14%
  • Respect ? 11%
  • Positive relationships with co-workers/getting along with everyone ? 9%
  • Teamwork ? 6%
  • Trust ? 6%

Employees are likely to feel the greatest motivation for performance is a workplace environment designed to foster open, respectful and positive relationships among co-workers.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.

Explore the Benefits of Humility in Business

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Leadership humility is rare and doesn?t necessarily enjoy the recognition it serves, says Wikus van Vuuren, a director at GIMT. ?Humility is unfortunately often perceived as a weakness in business when, in fact, it can be a tremendous asset.?

Humble leaders who openly understand and develop their weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths often create environments that encourage people to grow, which in turn grows the organization, he says.

?Some of the most successful organizations worldwide have leaders who inconspicuously ?stand out? due to their humble nature, rather than their arrogance and flamboyance,? Van Vuuren says.

Indeed, the leader who is humble never allows the power of his position to cloud his judgment. He respects the unique contribution individuals have to make, and does not get stuck on their perceived weaknesses, he adds.

?One of the greatest strengths of humble leaders is that they never assume they know all the answers and allow people to explain things to them. They look for the opportunity to learn and use every opportunity to make others feel valued.?

Apart from personal issues, there is no real harm in letting people know what you view as your strengths and weaknesses. ?A good step would be to implement a system where you can get direct feedback from your executive team, your clients, your staff and even people in your personal circle. While this system will create an open and honest company culture, it will also contribute significantly to your own personal growth.?

Van Vuuren says you should connect with your manager, peers and those that report to you. ?You will make them feel more comfortable about exploring their own opportunities for development.?

Honest leaders are also good listeners, he says. ?Do you have a tendency, when someone starts explaining something, to interrupt them to make sure they know that you already know what they are talking about? The next time this happens, try something new. Listen. Let them finish their explanation.

?Ask lots of questions, validate them, then add your comments.?

In the act of being humble, you make others feel important and valued, Van Vuuren said.

?That is the gift of the humble leader. Besides, it is more refreshing and empowering being around humble people than inflated egos.?

(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.)

Communications and Personality Type ? Judging & Perceiving

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The fourth behavior dimension?how we take Action?Judging or Perceiving is vital to understand about one another because it is related to how we like to organize our world. Judging types prefer to decide and Perceiving types prefer to explore options. Judging types feel tension until they make a decision and Perceiving types feel tension when they feel ?pushed? into make a decision too quickly.

Communication difficulties are created between Judging and Perceiving types around the time frame for completing a project. Perceiving types often start tasks at the last minute because they are intent on gathering as much data as possible that may impact their decision and Judging types are likely to complete tasks ahead of time. Because the Judging types are focused on the deadline, they find it difficult to trust that the Perceiving types will meet the deadline.

Judging types like to plan and organize their work in a systematic manner. They rely on this structure to be able to have a feeling of accomplishment and moving forward. Perceiving types approach a project by starting at one point and making decisions along the way as they find out information and move forward. Stress can be created when Judging and Perceiving types work together unless they understand each other?s preferred style. A knowledge of the strengths of Judging types and Perceiving types can eliminate a lot of miscommunication.

Judging Types in communication

Strengths ? ?Just do it!?

  • Are decisive
  • Share info and move forward
  • Well organized & efficient communicators
  • Provide timelines

Communication Approach:

  • Quickly make decisions, provide closure
  • Punctual & expect others to be on time
  • Like structure and schedule
  • Like to have control

When Communicating with Judgers:

  • Decide as quickly as possible
  • Focus on what is most important
  • Narrow & focus your options before sharing
  • Create & share timelines

Perceiving Types in communication

Strengths ? ?Have we researched this enough??

  • Flexible & adaptable
  • Open to new information
  • Create & consider lots of options
  • Easygoing approach to change

Communication Approach:

  • Include lots of data in decision-making
  • Spontaneous communication style
  • Can postpone decisions
  • See opportunity in interruptions

When Communicating with Perceivers:

  • Allow discussion time & plan for changes
  • Establish mutual deadlines
  • Seek more information before deciding
  • Be open to communication opportunities

Communications & Personality Type ? Thinking and Feeling

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The third behavior dimension?how we make Decisions?Thinking or Feeling can often be a source of conflict in communication. Thinking and Feeling both describe rational decision-making processes. It?s not that Thinkers don?t have feelings or that Feelers are incapable of logic, it?s just that they use very different criteria to make their Decisions.

Thinking types make Decisions in a logical and analytical way. Before they commit to and support a Decision, everything about the subject has to be ?perfectly clear.? They prefer to be objective and are somewhat detached, which tends to earn them the label of being impersonal.

Feeling types are primarily concerned about the impact their Decisions will have on others. They are concerned with the human and interpersonal aspects and want to be sure the feelings and personal values of others are not in jeopardy. They use ?friendly persuasion? as a tool to get their points across and they make concerted efforts to identify with other people.

Thinking types are often impatient with Feeling types? need to validate and support each other. Since Thinkers prefer to focus on tasks, the small talk and sharing of personal information in the work setting seems unnecessary or inappropriate to Thinking types. Feeling types enjoy these connections and are more comfortable working with others when trust has been established. They want to know co-workers on a personal level and are more interested in understanding one another. Feeling types offer supportive feedback that can be seen by the Thinking type as insincere and overdone. Feeling types can interpret the frank feedback given by Thinking types as abrupt and critical. Thinking types want to be acknowledged for their accomplishments and need less feedback while Feeling types want to be appreciated for their efforts and like feedback on a regular basis.

Thinking Types in Communication

Strengths ? ?Does this make sense??

  • Calm, reasonable, under control
  • Provide honest & frank feedback
  • Analyze, evaluate & critique
  • Objective & principled

Communication Approach

  • Use logic & analysis to spot flaws?
  • Want to know ?why??
  • List & consider pros & cons
  • Trust competence & expertise

When Communicating with Thinkers

  • Be calm, objective, & competent
  • Offer honest feedback/positive comments
  • Support opinions with logic/clear thinking
  • Accept critical feedback graciously

Feeling Types in Communication

Strengths ? ?Will this upset anyone??

  • Able to empathize & develop rapport
  • Appreciate others? perspectives
  • Supportive, nurturing of others
  • Connect with & create harmony w/others

Communication Approach

  • Focus on subjective beliefs & values
  • Share personal stories & examples
  • Want to get to know someone personally
  • Like collaboration & want to cooperate

When Communicating with Feelers

  • Listen first before evaluating & critiquing
  • Focus on people & find out what is valued
  • Acknowledge?don?t analyze?others? values
  • Focus on creating win-win situations