Meetings: What Is Really Going On?

Listen to this postWe spend few hours everyday in meetings. Some meetings are short and simple, like a one-on-one meeting to discuss specific issues and take decisions. Other meetings are usually last between half to full hour with attendance between 3 to 7 participants half of them do not know why they are sent to the meeting. Some meetings are large, noisy, crowded and long. They are more like a workshop than a meeting but they exist in the business world and many of us had survived few of them. These large meetings are the least productive meetings because they are difficult to control. It would be almost impossible In such meetings to listen to every participants’ input and give them enough time to discuss their thoughts.
Mismanaged meeting consume the management time and effort and hold the participants in a place were they are only listening instead of working on important issues outside the meeting. You will know that you are in a mismanaged meeting when the participates have side talks and others are frequently checking their iPhones and Blackberries instead of participating in the meeting. You will know that you have been in a good meeting when everybody leave the room knowing enough about the subject to describe it to anybody who ask them about it later. The participants in a good meeting will leave the meeting with a set of actions to take with a specific outcome on a target date. They know whom they should contact for clarifications and to whom they should report their progress. This post is an introduction to a series of posts on the same subject I will be updating in the coming days.

Your Discussion

Listen to this postWe have discussed many issues, challenges and opportunities with different people but we rarely notice how we discuss or negotiate. We start the discussion with a strong believe that we are right and are able to convince the other side to agree with us. We should open the door for the other side to express and discuss their points also. Their ideas might be better than ours but we will find difficulty in accepting their points. The best way to go about such conflict of interest is to share our views and be ready to integrate or mix both ideas and come up with a solution that please both sides. Lions mark their territories with their urine, and I do not suggest that you do the same for your ideas during the discussion, but give the others a chance to change, ultra, expand or add part of their thoughts into the final solution and they will definitely agree with you. Sometimes, when you offer a complete solution to a different department or organization you notice that somebody for that department will disagree and become a roadblock. All you need to do is to give them a chance to review your offer and suggest how you can customize it to their needs. If the changes they suggested are not fundamental then incorporate their input into the offer and announce that they have helped you to reach the final solution. You will see them championing your work and help you in many ways.

Sugar Coating


Listen to this postYesterday was my anniversary at work. I have been with the same employer for the past 30 years and I enjoyed most of the days I worked there. Now I am managing more that 700 employees and I have tried to be fair with them while meeting most of their needs, requests and demands. One of the best tactics the employees use for their complains is “Sugar Coating”. I am not saying that the complain is true or not, but the way it is presented to me is sometimes strange.

For example, an employee would take an appointment to see my Boss and then start his discussion by saying “This is not a complain, I just wanted to say…” and then he or she would exaggerate every negativity they experienced in the last 3 years! Another example is when the employee send an official complain to HR or my Boss, but then catch me walking by and start by saying “I wanted to talk with you about an issue I have … do you have a minute do discuss it?

We all make mistakes and we should take our responsibilities to admit the mistakes and correct them. But using different ways to discuss the complain is not the best start to resolve any issue. Through my years at work I followed a good philosophy that goes something like this “Do not explain…and Do not complain” and it made my life very simple and peaceful. I am sure that my boss does not want me to explain to him why I made the mistake (or delay in an assignment). And I am very sure that nobody would like to set and listen to my complains. When I make a mistake I would admit it and do my best to correct it. If I have a complain or an issue with somebody, I would meet him or her and discus the issue face-to-face with them. Other than this … life is very simple.

Waiting For That Promotion

Listen to this postA time will come during our long careers when we would wait for that important promotion. Naturally, most of the promotions involve a decision to select you between different candidates. Office politics and favoritism may have some affect on the selection but finally the selection is made and you will know about it in one of the following ways:

  1. You are called into one of your Bosses offices and told that they have thought about the selection and how difficult was the decision to select between you and the others, but at the end you were the best choice. You tell your self “finally they noticed me, I don’t now why it took them so long?” If you are promoted then you need to gain new knowledge and learn new skills to fulfill the job requirement. What you have learn so far was enough to get you the promotion, but your current capabilities are not enough to survive and thrive. First you to learn what it takes to do your new job, and then you have to improve your skills and knowledge to be ready for the next promotion.
  2. You are called into one of your Bosses office and told that they have thought about the selection and how difficult was the decision to select between you and the others, but at the end you were not the chosen one. You blame everybody and everything (except yourself) for not getting the promotion. You have to understand why you did not get that promotion. What were the reasons for not selecting you. What was the selection criteria and in which part you were not competitive. Start immediately working on your weaknesses and get ready for the next opportunity.
  3. You are not called, or you don’t know about the selection process and you would be the last one to know that somebody else was promoted and you have missed the chance. You feel that you were cheated or stupid. If you were not aware of the opportunity then you need to improve your networking skills. However, if the opportunity was keep secret on purpose then you should consider changing your employer. Go ahead and find another employer who appreciate your work and give you equal opportunities with other candidates.
By the way, if you are not ready for a promotion or there are no promotions for you in the near future then you have to think seriously about your career.

Giving Feedback: Positive or Negative

Listen to this postGiving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives. Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feedback by saying “you have done a good job”. A good feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.” We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference.

Giving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives.Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feed back by saying “you have done a good job”. Agood feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.”We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference. Read more …

Click here to download the full material as PDF file.

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Starting New Business Ethically

Listen to this postSome of us would like to start a new business or expand their business to new geographical location. The new business owner would think of most of the business related issues but forget the soft and intangible issues like ethics and culture. Three thousand managers and employees were surveyed in the U. S., stated that ethics compliance did not change as expected after implementing ethics compliance programs (Gebler, 2006). Organizational culture had more influence on ethics programs success than any other factors (Gebler, 2006). Managers who aim for ethical culture change and target long-lasting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are facing difficulty in showing the benefits of such programs to the shareholders (Grossman, 2005). The shareholders would like to see immediate results to prove the managers spending (Grossman, 2005).

The basic components for ethical decision-making are moral issues, recognition, making moral judgment and engaging in moral behavior (Ingram, Skinner, & Taylor, 2005). These components would help in setting up an ethical international operation that  account for cultural, religious, national, gender, and racial differences. We need to study the local culture and religion and how it will be affected by the new business. If the business is established in the international market then we need to assess the effect of the existing business form the environmental, religious  and cultural aspects and make sure their compliance to the findings. Deviating from the ethical standard would lead to social and economical conflict with the locals. The result would be assessed for risk before taking the action to avoid legal actions. Deviations are allowed when the deviations benefits can outweigh the losses from the ethical operation.


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References:

Gebler, D. (2006). Creating an ethical culture. Strategic Finance, 87(11), 28-34.

Grossman, H. A. (2005). Refining the role of the corporation: the impact of corporate social responsibility on shareholder primacy theory. [Article]. Deakin Law Review, 10(2), 572-596.

Ingram, R., Skinner, S., & Taylor, V. (2005). ‘Consumers’ evaluation of unethical marketing behaviors: The role of customer commitment’. [Article]. Journal of Business Ethics, 62(3), 237-252. doi: 10.1007/s10551-005-1899-0

Does Your Goals Match Your Organization’s Goals?

Listen to this postMany employees work very hard to achieve their personal goals thinking that these goals would help them to excel in the their careers. Sometimes, personal and career goals are a perfect match because the individual had planned it that way. We all have needs and wants that appeal to us. We would like to achieve them but they do not help us to climb that steep professional ladder to reach the desired promotion or salary increase. Reading the following pages would help identifying your personal strength and weakness and guiding in converting the weakness to a strength to reach your challenging goals. The last page would help the reader to compare his or her personal goals with their organizational goals. The reader is asked to match his or her goals with the career goals and try to aim for a common goal that develop him or her and to achieve the organization’s objectives.

Many employees work very hard to meet their personal goals thinking that these goals would help them to excel in the their careers. Sometimes,personal and career goals are a perfect match because the person had planned it that way. We all have needs and wants that appeal to us. We would like to achieve them but they do not help us to climb that steep professional ladder to reach the desired promotion or salary increase. Reading the attached pages (by clicking here) would help identifying your personal strength and weakness and guiding converting the weakness to a strength to reach your challenging goals.


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How Does It Help Us!

Sharing information in an organizationListen to this postTeams or departments acquire skills, experience and knowledge while doing their daily work and overcoming the new challenges they meet occasionally. The knowledge and experience are learned by the team members or the department employees only. Other employees in the same organization will not learn that important experience or knowledge if it was not documented and shared. However, “knowledge is power” as they say, and many department managers or leaders would like to keep the knowledge or experience confined within their teams or departments. The new knowledge might speed up the work process, prevent mistakes, save money or do these advantages and that’s why some people avoid sharing them. The team is afraid that they might lose there competitive advantage if they share what they have learned. If you approach the team leader or the department manager and ask him or her to share with you that knowledge, they would say something like “how does it help us!” and they mean that they will consume their valuable time and give their competitive advantage when they share their advantages without feeling any direct benefit to them. Not knowing that sharing the information will benefit them indirectly especially if they are working in the same organization. They will benefit a lot when they share. They will have better support from the supporting staff, they will have less mistakes and fewer wrong deliveries and they will have smoother supply chain. The organization will do better and will be more profitable which will generate more capital to invest and grow. When somebody tell you “how does it help us!” you tell them that everybody will serve and cooperate better with them when they share their competitive advantage.

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SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis Matrix Listen to this postMany people associate SWOT analysis with the SWAT police force. SWAT team is a Special Weapon And Tactics team while SWOT analysis, the subject of this post, is the identifications and sorting of the Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal issues, however, opportunities and threats are external matters which can be difficult to find and Control. Brainstorming may be required during the SWOT analysis because some of the items are not obvious and need abroad vision and “out of the box” thinking. Some of the items in the SWOT analysis can fit in two sides of the matrix. They can be a strength and threat at the same time or can be weakness but a good opportunity to explore. I used SWOT analysis before analyze Acer company in this blog. And I wrote in the blog before about my personal reasons to start a blog and that are the advantages and disadvantages to so so. I am today using the same subject for the SWOT analysis. The lost below is the result of my personal SWAT to blog. I have use the “Priority Matrix” to help me in the SWAT arrangement and I find it very useful application to use on your iPad if you are welling to spend few dollars.

SWOT analysis for personal blogging:
Strength :

  • Crystallize and integrate ideas while writing
  • My writing will be global
  • Writing release stress
  • Have many thoughts to share
  • Can use school work for the blog
  • Long work experience
  • My Academic knowledge

Weakness:

  • Some people may misunderstand the thoughts
  • Might get negative comments
  • Writing in English is a challenge
  • I have limited time for bogging

Opportunities :

  • Can blog on anywhere and anytime
  • Blog site is free
  • International reputation
  • People will ask for my expertise
  • Rewrite the post into s book
  • Display my ability to integrate the thoughts

Threats:

  • Hackers may change what I wrote
  • May offend some people with my thoughts
  • Host site may accidentally delete the blog
  • Readers may copy my writing for their personal use.

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How to set your personal goals?

Listen to this postPersonal GoalsMany of us had assembled a toy or a piece of furniture before. You probably did the assembly with the help of the instruction sheet or a drawing which was folded inside the box. Researchers found that many people spend long time to plan their vacation and take care of the little details to enjoy every hour of their vacation time. The same people
would not spend half of that time to plan their lives. Planning our life and careers would start by identifying our short-term and long-term goals. We should articulate the goal and then set a plan to achieve them. We need to select the achievable and realistic goals to improve our life. You will be able to set your personal goals and write a plan to achieve by simply reading the following text and follow the simple guidelines.

Many of us had assembled a toy or a piece of furniture before. You probably did the assembly with the help of the instruction sheet or a drawing which was folded inside the box. Researchers found that many people spend long time to plan their vacation and take care of the little details to enjoy every hour of their vacation time. The same people would not spend half of that time to plan their lives. Planning our life and careers would start by identifying our short-term and long-term goals. We should articulate the goal and then set a plan to achieve them. We need to select the achievable and realistic goals to improve our life. You will be able to set your personal goals and write a plan to achieve by simply clicking on and reading the following PDF file the simple guidelines. Please click on “How to set your personal goals” to download the file.


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