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Transform Your Organization With Facilitative Leadership

(category: Leadership, Word count: 1199)
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So, facilitative leadership: is leading by committee ... not!

It is not about getting everyone together and asking, "what do you and you think?" Everything cannot be decided via committee! Especially if your work involves things like law enforcement or the military. The front lines are not the place to take a 'straw poll'. Even as I say this, and even in those aforementioned operations, there are times when a leader can, and should get people together to talk about how to improve the operation; by genuinely asking for input from all levels. That is what facilitative leadership is about.

For this process to work, the leader must be successful at creating an atmosphere where people not only feel comfortable contributing ideas and suggestions, but where the leader actually acts on that input.

Acting on input does not mean doing everything the group tells you to do. It does mean making it clear to the group that their input is valued by defining how that input will be used. Many times a leader will give the impression that if the team members give honest input, they will be given their 'marching orders'. This is why the leader must clarify prior to asking for input how that input will be used. For instance, let the group know if you are:

1- Just asking for ideas and you (the leader) will make the final decision

2- Asking for ideas and you (the leader) will discuss options with the group again prior to making the final decision.

3- Requesting input so final decision will be made together as a team

4- Requiring input and the team will make the final decision after reviewing it with you.

5- Giving input to the team and the team will tell you what the final decision is.

These are just examples of how to explain your intentions when involving direct reports in the decision-making process. The added advantage of this clarity is that it is another critical step in building respect, trust and rapport.

This model is the strategic outgrowth of the changing role of leadership.

Back in the day, and hopefully this does not mean last week for you ... the leader stood in the middle of everything and directed the team with one-way communication. Essentially that leader would say, "jump" and the followers would need to know how high.

As this leader progresses she/he allows for two-way communication, but the leader is still in the middle directing the activities of the group.

Continuing this progression, the leader steps out of the middle - and becomes a part of the team. This also allows for better communication - actually between team members. The leader is still responsible but does not 'push' her/his people, they tend to 'pull', to get people to follow them - not to push and micro-manage them.

As the leader progresses even further, they can actually step away from the day-to-day aspects of the area. This affords even more communication between the members of the team. Again, you cannot do this until you have helped the team members interact with each other on a 'level playing field'. This is why you should be familiar with the elements in this book that can help you build those essential skills for your subordinates - so you can be free to work on the more strategic elements of your job, instead of the tactical.

The skill required for this process is critical because the typical leader's area of span and control is not retracting, it's expanding! So you will be required to 'run' multiple departments, and that cannot be done effectively if you are 'stuck' in the middle of one trying to direct everything.

Now, keep in mind, when you step away do not disengage! Because you 'cannot expect what you don't inspect'. So, as you have allowed for the skills of your teams to be sufficient enough for you to 'step away' - you must be accessible and continue to coach and hold everyone accountable.

Facilitative leaders also have courage. This starts when we are very young ...

A six-year old and a four-year old are upstairs in their bedroom. "I think it's about time we started cussing" the four-year old nods his head in approval. The six-year old continues. "when we go downstairs for breakfast I'm gonna say "hell", and you say "ass", "ok!" The four-year old agrees with enthusiasm. Their mother walks into the kitchen and asks the six-year old what he wants for breakfast. "Aw hell, mom, I guess I'll have some cheerios." Whack! He flies out of his chair, tumbles across the kitchen floor, gets up, and runs upstairs crying his eyes out, with his mother in hot pursuit, slapping his rear every step. The mom locks him in his room and shouts, "you can just stay there till I let you out!" She then comes back downstairs, looks at the four-year old, and asks with a stern voice, "and what do you want for breakfast young man?" I don't know," he blubbers, "but you can bet your ass it won't be cheerios." -origin unknown

Courage is exemplified by that leader that has the ability to not fold under pressure. Take this situation; you have been coaching a direct report on leading an important project. 'fast forward': the project does not reach its target. Your boss calls you in an asks, "what the h_ _ _ happened?!" Most people in that situation would start to explain about how they have been coaching a member of their team, blah. Blah, blah ... wrong answer! A facilitative leader would have the courage to say something like, "I am responsible, and I will make sure, that doesn't happen again..." now that takes courage. You don't 'turn the person in' to the boss. You are ultimately responsible for your group's output, so act like it!

Now, you do have some conversations with that direct report about what happened. Clearly there were some miscues during the 'coaching' process that need to be revisited. Keep in mind, during these 'discussions' that it is and was a two-way street. It is the employee's responsibility to accomplish the goals and it is your responsibility to be sure your people are on-track.

Another essential ability a facilitative leader possesses is their capacity to 'take counsel'. They have the ability to listen to multiple points of view, including those who typically do not agree with them. This is a powerful trait because you tend to have more complete input, thus making better decisions. To do this, a leader must be able to capture the key kernels of information. They have to be able to maintain bridges between people and create an atmosphere where people share information with each other - largely because they have earned respect, even from people who usually do not see things the same way.

When one has mastered these skills they are recognized as a facilitative leader.

(c) 2006, Glenn Brome. Reprint rights granted to all publishers so long as the article and by-line are kept intact and all links are made live.

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Speak Your Mind

(category: Leadership, Word count: 440)
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For most people, the mere thought of speaking before an audience causes men's hands to go clammy and their hearts to pound like a kettledrum. Statistics show that people fear public speaking more than they do their own deaths. It shows that for the majority, people would rather die in silence than take a chance to speak their minds in society. Maybe it's conformity and a fear of saying something irrelevant.

The importance in public speaking lies in the fact that as social organisms, the ability to get your message across in the right way will do more good for you than the attempt to do a better job. Hunkering down faithfully to work is virtually useless if the boss does not even notice it.

The importance of public speaking is that it is inevitable. Sooner or later, you will be forced to enter the arena and speak to a sea of eyes and ears. Before that happens, it would always be better to meet that challenge on your terms.

Here are some points to ponder:

1. Career. People at work who can communicate better go up the ladder faster. Employers prefer hiring people with public speaking and communication skills. This is because speaking with your colleagues puts them at ease about you, helps you get your job done faster, and gets what you want done across much more easier.

2. Mental. You feel better about yourself. Successfully speaking before a live, listening audience improves your self-confidence, poise, character and sense of fun. You become less self-conscious, nervous, and can control higher levels of stress. This does not mean you won't make mistakes. Expect to make mistakes the first few times; learn from them, and keep on going. If you're consistent, that paralyzing fear of speaking to a large audience will be a thing of the past.

3. Opportunities. Public speaking positively impacts all aspects of your life. Being able to speak publicly opens up new opportunities unimagined in your former life. You will find yourself more eager to participate in causes you sincerely believe in, interact more with people of the opposite sex. You will find yourself assertively asking questions to clear up a problem, take the lead in a cause, or calmly explain a thorny situation without losing it. The effect of public speaking on your life is exponential.

Public speaking is an essential addition to the human repertoire. Technical knowledge is just as vital, but the ability to speak well takes your abilities and talents beyond the borders of your own skin and into the hearts and minds of others.

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Mentoring Future Leaders Setting The Framework For Success Within An Organization

(category: Leadership, Word count: 638)
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"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men (women)

to do what he (she) wants done, and the self restraint to keep from meddling

with them while they do it."

- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States

Where have all the leaders gone? Where can you find a real leader today? The state of leadership today within organizations is at a critical point and how senior most leaders decide to act now will dictate what we experience in our tomorrow's!

To listen and observe senior leadership today, whether within the military (alarmingly, far too many senior officers are no longer cognizant of basic functional operations they are tasked with nor capable of running around the block without a needed trip to a hospital), within government (managers appear incapable of getting employees to work together and accepting an environment of disfunctionality as you can't get rid of a bad employee without a seemingly act of Congress) or within the business place (whereby a protectionist mindset to keep one's own job by mid level managers causes a guarded interaction with others), would lead an outside observer to conclude that leadership development is evaporating before one's vary eyes.

It seems, far too often great followers and future leaders are stymied by poor and ineffective organizational leadership development programs and opportunities. Recent studies by the American Business Institute and reinforced by a client survey by JMI revealed some powerful reasons that this mindset may be breeding.

Shockingly, survey data consistently revealed that the first mindset of a man when promoted in the workplace is around the theme of, 'what must I do to get the next promotion and how fast.' Whereby the first mindset of a women, promoted in the workplace centers around, 'what is expected of me in this new position to succeed?'

A simple solution is to establish an environmental mindset of growing successful future leaders and placing present leaders on notice by active participation in some sort of a "Leadership Mentor Development Program". Some effective guide posts for designing an effective Mentoring approach to cultivate and grow true leaders is to:

1.Select solid performers (not political lackies) that are at least two direct report positions removed from the individual to be mentored. This positional space between mentor and the mentee allows for greater interaction and giving on the part of the mentor.

2.Allow the relationship to be both 'Formal' (measurement protocols and assignments) and 'Informal" (conversational and relationship driven) in contact.

3.Have predetermined objectives for both mentor and mentee and an objective means by which to measure and hold all parties accountable.

Most organizations in their efforts to remain competitive in the past have actually created their vary problems of the present by expecting great leaders from within to step forward and lead teams to greatness. By creating environments of competition within, individuals have actually seen what gets rewarded is what they will do, and for most this seems to be how do I attract the spotlight directly to me and at me in a favorable manner and do so at any cost.

The costs of the past will pay heavy penalties in our future unless senior leaders remove reality blinders and institute rigorous developmental programs to ensure a prosperous future.

Jeff Magee, Ph.D., PDM, CSP, CMC can be reached at jeff@JeffreyMagee.com, toll free 1-877-90-MAGEE or www.JeffreyMagee.com for more information on keynotes, training seminars and skill development resources. For more information and ideas get your copy of, YIELD MANAGEMENT: the Leadership Alternative, by CRC/St. Lucie Press (ISBN# 1-57444-206-6 / $29.00) and of ADVANCING IN YOUR CAREER (ISBN# 0-9641240-7-6 / US $15.95) ... to see other exciting resource book, audio and video titles, go to www.JeffreyMagee.com/library.asp !

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Blueprint For Leadership How To Be A Better Leader

(category: Leadership, Word count: 389)
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If you were to build a house, you would begin with a blueprint. This blueprint proves useful because it contains more than directions on how to build a house. It also describes the finished house.

So, what does this have to do with leadership?

Last month I asked an audience of leaders to tell me the characteristics of an ideal leader. Their answers were (in the order collected):

A good listener, enthusiasm, passion, shows appreciation, a visionary, role model, trusting, integrity, organized, knowledgeable, credibility, persuasive, charisma, team building, clarity of purpose, problem solver, attitude of service, leads by example, patience, willing to act without complete knowledge, understands followers, consistent, empowers other people, and adapts to change.

I'll add that this is essentially the same list that I receive from other audiences when I ask this question. From this comes some useful insights.

1) Notice what the list contains. All of these characteristics relate to the human side of leadership. That's interesting because I often hear people minimize this side of leadership with terms like "soft" or "touchy feely." Actually, applying these characteristics requires more strength than not.

2) Notice what the list excludes. Absent from this list (and all lists from other programs) are characteristics such as stern, mean, serious, short tempered, vindictive, tough, angry, harsh, punitive, controlling, violent, or ruthless. And that's interesting because many popular representations of leadership emphasize at least one of these "hard" characteristics. In fact, these characteristics are the refuge of those who lack the strength (or the skills) to apply the human side of leadership.

3) How about you? How would you rate yourself as a leader compared to the list of positive characteristics? If you were to survey the people who report to you, how would they describe your leadership? Would they list characteristics from the "soft" list or from the "hard" list? Could you become more effective by improving upon any of the "soft" characteristics? And how about the other leaders in your organization? Do they truly maximize human potential?

People want leaders who treat them with genuine compassion, courtesy, and respect. They want leaders who help them become more successful. They want leaders who inspire them with a vision for a better world and show them how to go there.

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Why Most Leadership Development Efforts Fail

(category: Leadership, Word count: 798)
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George was seen as an up-and-coming leader in the organization. People the worked for him liked and respected him. And those in Senior Leadership saw his potential, so he was slated to attend the company's leadership development workshop.

George was ecstatic! He loved the organization and wanted to move up and contribute as much as he could. He saw this opportunity as a positive step in that progression. Plus, he had some challenges in his job that he hoped he could learn how to deal with more successfully.

After he found out he was slated to attend, George didn't hear much more about the training until about a week before it began. The email gave him all of the details and he was excited all over again. Excited, that is, until he looked at his calendar and saw how much he had to do.

Because the training meant so much to him, he was determined to be focused while he was there, so he worked hard to get his projects all caught up before he left for the workshop.

George loved the workshop! The facilitator was great, the content was helpful, and the food was even good! He was so motivated by the new ideas and the people he met. He gained in confidence as they practiced some of the things they learned. As a part of the program he built an action plan. He left the two days completely stoked about what he had learned and how he would be able to apply it.

After the Workshop

George awoke the next morning and reviewed his action plan. He was excited because he knew what he would do to be a better leader, starting today. Then, George got back to work. As he fired up his computer he checked his voice mail.

23 messages.

His heart sank a little. As he listened to the messages, taking notes when needed on his next steps, he opened up his email and found an even more depressing sight. 91 emails. A quick glance found that there was little fluff there - it wasn't 20 serious emails and a bunch of reading or jokes, it was a solid 91 emails to read, work through, reply to and take action on.

After getting a cup of coffee, George went to say hello to his team. This took awhile because they had questions and things they wanted to talk to him about - which was only natural since he had been out-of-pocket for two days. By 9:15 he was back at his desk, ready to tackle all the messages - including the 7 new emails that had come in while he was out.

By 3:00 he had mostly forgotten about his action plan - he remembered it only when he saw it in his briefcase. He took it out and looked at it wistfully. He was still committed to working on those items, but they would have to wait, the next project meeting was all day tomorrow. . .

Reviewing the Situation

Perhaps the situation above sounds familiar to you. What is written up to the "After the Workshop" heading looks good situation: a willing learner, a well designed workshop, and a person leaving excited about his action plan. This story might be a bit too rosy - admittedly, not every one who attends training will be as excited and motivated as George, but in the end it doesn't really matter - because a highly motivated person like George won't get as much from this effort as he could or even wants to.

Why?

Because while most leadership development programs focus on developing a great training program, that is a small part of the overall likelihood of success. You see, training is an event, but learning (including leadership development) is a process.

We don't learn important, complex life skills in brief instant. In an instant we can get an insight, an aha, and an inspiration. In an event we can get ideas, approaches, checklists and knowledge. But skills come to us over time - not in a one shot, one time training course (regardless of how well it is designed or how awesome the trainer is). Skills come with practice and application.

Leadership development is a process and as long as those efforts look like events, the return on those investments will never be high.

Much can be written about specific things that can be done to make the process more effective, but you can start without that list of ideas. Reread the story above. Connect it to your situation and then think of two things you can do to make your leadership development process (whether for yourself or your organization) be more successful.

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The Abc Of Superlative Leadership

(category: Leadership, Word count: 568)
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If you want to make the move from managing to leading, from being a professional to being an inspirer, from being one of the team to being a leader of the team, you need to know the ABC of Superlative Leadership.

A is for Appreciative Cultures, the end result of a leader's work, when the culture he or she fosters becomes an appreciative value of the company.

B is for rock-solid Belief that your team can move mountains.

C is for Culture, which is the way people behave when you're not looking.

D is for the Drive for Power that makes you want to lead.

E is for Encouragement, like sun after the rain.

F is for Fun, an indication that the right work is happening.

G is for Growing your people. Like Sir Colin Marshall, head of British Airways, who personally attended every one of his customer care programmes, "Putting People First".

H is for Helicopter vision, because you need to see in three time zones: the near, the middle and the far.

I is for leader Identity, the ability to be comfortable in your own shoes.

J is for Joy because leaders rejoice in their own blessings as well as the successes of their team.

K is for Knowing your people, not just by name and number, but by strength and weakness, character and spirit, skills and potential, what makes them sigh and what makes them soar.

L is for Learning, because learning is change and learning is growth.

M is for Mission which leaders live as well as write. Like Bill Gates insisting that his staff at Microsoft, Germany, use the familiar "Du" instead of the formal "Sie".

N is for the Nobel complex, the belief that everything your people do is worthy of a Nobel prize.

O is for Opportunity. Like Edmund McIlhenny who returned from the American Civil War to find his sugar plantation and salt works in ruins except for a few hot Mexican peppers that had sown themselves. He used them to produce a sauce that is now known as Tabasco and sold around the world.

P is for Plain-talking because leaders need to be understood.

Q is for Questions, such as "What do you need me to do?" and "How can I help you work better?" and "What should I be doing?"

R is for Respect, the touchstone of every relationship a leader has.

S is for Symbols, the language of leadership. Like the CEO of a candy factory facing financial ruin, whose first symbolic act was to shorten the tails on the sugar mice.

T is for the Traits of courage and determination, patience and perseverance.

U is for Unleashing what's there. Like 3M, who allow their scientists to spend 15% of their time working on projects that interest them.

V is for Values, the guiding principles of the team, or "the Walkmans of the mind".

W is for the Way, the Chinese "tao", the route that leaders take and others follow.

X is for Xtraordinary because leaders get ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Y is for Yes, because there is always a plus to be found even in the worst situation and the toughest setback.

Z is for Zero tolerance of failure, sub-performance and giving up.

Learn these simple principles, and there are no limits to where you can lead your team.

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Ask Don T Tell Leadership When To Start Your Own Business

(category: Leadership, Word count: 885)
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When to start your own business?

Q: After working at one company for 10 years, I would like to begin my own business. What issues do I need to consider, and how do I know when it is the right time to take the "big step?"

A: Almost 20 years ago, my roommate asked me to spend a day of my vacation in New York spying on his competition at a tradeshow. I made up a story to tell the vendors at the show - I was planning to start a fundraising call center for politicians and wanted to implement the most advanced technology in the industry. Eighteen years later, my business partner and I were running one of the largest outsourced call center operations in the world!

With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, we made it, but there is no way to eliminate the risks of entrepreneurship. There are, however, several key questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you are prepared.

1.) Do I have a business plan?

A clear business plan is essential, and the lack of a plan is a frequent cause of business failure. A business plan helps you assess, in advance, how you are going to address key issues. I have found planning software, such as BizPlan, to be very helpful. It may take weeks or even months to develop a quality plan, because your ideas may need a gestation period before fully coming together. Throughout planning, it is important to find a source of objective feedback - ideally, someone who clearly understands the process.

2.) Do I have the energy and physical stamina for the venture?

Owning your own business typically requires long hours, and stamina is essential. It is common to work 12 to 16 hours a day, particularly during the first several years. Be prepared, and be honest with yourself. If you do not already have an exercise regimen, begin one now.

3.) Can I get the money I need to support the business and myself?

If your business plan is interesting and enticing, money will be available. Although most banks have little interest in financing a start-up these days, they can help you secure an SBA (Small Business Association) loan. An SBA loan can be valuable, even though it may require repayment before you can raise money elsewhere.

Another approach for financing your business is the "family and friends" model. If you go this route, do not overlook the strings attached. Your family dinners and get-togethers can quickly turn into shareholder meetings, particularly when your business is struggling!

There are numerous other options. Couples with two incomes may be able to independently afford the transition of one spouse into business ownership. You may be able to fund the business yourself, especially at the outset. Several years ago, I left my call center business, because it no longer filled my passion. I began my new business, executive coaching for entrepreneurs, by using money earned from my first venture.

4.) Does my family support this?

It is important that your family truly understand the demands of business ownership. There are subtle differences, for example, between working long hours for someone else and working long hours for yourself. "My boss needs this done by tomorrow; I have to miss Johnny's game" becomes "I need to get this done by tomorrow; I have to miss Johnny's game." Before writing your plan, make sure all your stakeholders are aware of the details.

5.) How do I feel about making critical decisions and being responsible for others?

Owning a business requires constant decision making, often with no time for self-reflection or opinion gathering. Depending on the business, you may become responsible for other people's livelihoods. Their families will count on their incomes, and your decisions and behaviors will significantly influence their lives. You will no longer be responsible for your family alone, but for all families supported by your business. From experience, I can tell you that this is more stressful than you might imagine!

6.) Am I willing to do things I have no business doing?

Owning a business may force you to learn subjects and perform tasks that have never been your forte. Aside from French, accounting was my worst subject in school. Today, I am quite good at understanding numbers, purely because accounting skills are critical to successful business ownership. Similarly, I quickly learned to repair computers when we could initially not afford a service contract. If you resist doing things that you do not know how to do, reflect hard on your decision to start a business.

7.) Is your soul calling you?

I have always admired those who just "knew" it was their time, almost as though their souls were calling them. They reached a point when they could no longer work for someone else. Your soul may be calling you. Have you begun arriving to work with your body, but not with your mind? Are you working to earn money, but dreading every moment of it? These are potential signals that it is your time. Just remember, however, your soul does not give a "Get out of writing a business plan" pass. Remember, your business plan is essential.

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Getting Your Message Across With Good Rapport

(category: Leadership, Word count: 831)
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I bet you have had times when you have walked into a shop and felt immediately welcome. I'm also pretty sure that you've had occasions where you've felt just the opposite. What was the difference? What happened in the place that created that welcome feeling within you?

Maybe the assistant noticed you entering and offered you a smile and said hello. They are telling you that you are welcome in their space both physically and mentally. Compare this with a shop where you were completely ignored until you went to pay for something. What message are you getting there?

What is rapport?

Rapport is the art of being 'in tune' with the people around you. Good rapport will enable you to let others know that you are interested in them, that you care about what they have to say and are keen to understand them. It sends them a message that there is common ground and creates a sense of consideration, respect and trust.

Good rapport lies at the heart of your effective communication. It enables you to get people's attention and for them to take onboard what you have to say. Good rapport comes from body language and how you say things through the tonality and rhythm of your voice. Together, body language and how you say your words make up 93% of your communication. What you say is only 7%!

Of course, when interacting with others our communication can be non-verbal using just our body language. How are you communicating right now?

I'm sure that you have experienced a situation where within a group of people one person makes a suggestion and you just know that others don't agree - even if they remain silent. What tells you that they don't agree and feel comfortable with the suggestion? Those of you who are in agreement will probably be sharing the same body language; they may be more animated in the discussion, and as such will be actively buying in to the idea.

Those that disagree can do so without having to say or do a thing. All they need to do is withdraw their rapport in some way; maybe though pulling back in their seat, crossing their arms, closing their book or leaving the room. Maybe, through all those things if they really wanted to make a point!

So, assuming that we have some words to say, how can we maximise our tonality and body language to ensue that we have good rapport when saying them?

How to get into rapport with people.

Matching and mirroring are the two main ways to establish rapport. People that are in rapport have a certain rhythm to their voice and body movements.

Voice Tonality and Rhythm. This is 38% of your communication. The tone of your voice and the pace that you talk affects the message that you are trying to portray. People use different tones and speeds when talking. Do your best to adjust your voice to come closer to their way of talking.

Try it yourself - say something cheerful in a sad voice and see how it comes across, then switch it around and say something sad in an upbeat voice. What message are you receiving in each case?

What about when someone is talking to you and you are distracted by something else, maybe something you see? Does your voice respond in an interested manner, and does your body language bear this out?

Body language. How you hold and use your body makes up 55% of your communication. Use your body to match people's body movements. There will be a certain pattern and rhythm to their movements that you can copy.

It's wise to pay attention to this even if you have good intentions for doing otherwise. You could easily be misinterpreted.

How about if that shop assistant smiles and says hello but without looking at you - does that feel the same? Maybe she was preparing next week's stock.

What if two assistants are chatting while you are in their shop even whilst politely serving you? Does the rapport exist between them or between you and them?

What if in a work environment you ask somebody to do something for you and they agree quite nicely but you can see them tense up or see their body sink slightly lower in their chair? Are they really happy to do this for you or are speech and body telling different stories?

All together now!

The next time you communicate think about rapport a little. Is it good or not? What makes it good? How could you use your body language and voice to improve rapport?

And stick with it. It can seem odd at times whilst you practice but when it becomes second nature you'll become a more natural communicator.

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Leadership And Team Management

(category: Leadership, Word count: 987)
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Establishing An Appropriate Organisational Structure, by: considering the strategic direction and objectives of the organisation; considering the desired organisational culture; identifying the critical activity areas of the organisation; deciding on an appropriate organisational structure. This is an essential first step. Before any changes or new directions can be taken the leaders must decide on an organisational structure that will support the strategic direction being taken, and an organisational culture that they will be aiming to create. The management teams network that is then put in place will be compatible with the structure and contribute to developing the desired culture.

Deciding On A Management Teams Structure, by; planning a network of management teams to match the requirements identified in the previous activity; agreeing individual team structure; agreeing individual team objectives, roles, responsibilities, size, location, resource needs; identifying team member and team leader profiles for each management team. The planning undertaken here will provide the template for the new structure, when implemented. This planning is best carried out as a factual, needs based, exercise. The role of the team, and its objectives, should be allowed to dictate size, location, team leader and team member profiles. Resource implications should be dealt with after the structure has been agreed. Existing and potential personnel should be assessed against these only at the next stage, when the teams are populated. Option 1: Assessing Existing Teams, by: identifying existing management teams; analysing the objectives of existing teams; evaluating the performance of existing teams; evaluating the performance of individual team leaders; comparing each management team profile with the newly defined requirements. In many, if not most, organisations this will be necessary due to legislative constraints and-or ethical considerations. However, the existing teams are unlikely to be appropriate, other than in part, and the outcomes of this action will simply identify what are likely to be major gaps and changes that will need to be made, in order to match the new requirements. Option 2: Removing Existing Teams, by: removing the old structure completely. This option is the most effective, a total reengineering, but the most radical. If possible, this is the better option, as the organisation can make the changes required to most appropriately match the new strategic direction, and move forward unhindered by partially or wholly unsuitable management teams.

Implementing The New Management Teams Network, by: providing information about the changes to all affected - in most organisations this will mean at all levels and both internally and externally; selecting team leaders and team members; establishing the teams in their locations; training each team in its new role, responsibilities, objectives, and operational activities; providing appropriate resources for each team; launching the new network into active service . A critical stage, this needs to be managed as a major change activity, and as a major project. An executive level manager should be appointed to oversee the changes. Communication with all stakeholders, who will be many, at many levels, and both internal and external to the organisation, will need to be managed carefully.

Implementing A Management Team Performance System, by: designing a rigorous teams performance appraisal system; monitoring the performance of individual teams; taking appropriate corrective action where when necessary. Many organisations operate an effective employee appraisal system, but this usually only applies to operational employees and junior managers. Middle and Senior managers must also be appraised on a regular basis, ideally more frequently than operational employees, as the managers' actions usually have greater negative or positive impact. This line of thinking must also be applied to management teams, because of the degree of influence and impact of the team collective decisions and actions. The leaders of the organisation must be continuously aware of the performance levels of their management teams, and take action to maintain or raise that performance level as necessary. Implementing a performance appraisal and continuous improvement approach to the network of management teams is vital. In the early stages of the life of the teams the focus will be on awareness and understanding of the objectives of the team, and identifying training and development needs to support new or adjusted roles. As the team grows and matures, the monitoring will focus firstly on consistency of performance, and then on supporting a continuous improvement in that performance. At all stages in the life cycle of each team, performance appraisal must be a regular and visible process.

Network Review And Refresh, by: arranging regular reviews of the appropriateness of the management teams network; assessing the suitability of each part of the network against newer versions of the strategic objectives; assessing the structure of the network against the current organisational structure and culture; making appropriate changes to individual components and-or the overall structure of the network. A major review should be held every year, as a key part of the review and adjustment of strategies and objectives in the annual strategic planning process. At this review point minor or major changes should be agreed, to adjust the network so that it continues to match the requirements dictated by the refreshed strategic and operational objectives. In addition, the condition of the management teams network should be an agenda item on at least quarterly executive level meetings, where corrective action can be decided on where necessary.

In Summary: establishing a compatible management teams structure is an essential first step in ensuring that the organisation's strategies are implemented successfully. Without a robust network of management teams, appropriate to the size and complexity of the organisation and its strategic objectives, the strategic and operational objectives will not be achieved. Effective management teams are the driving force behind the achievement of objectives. This network cannot be successful if it is weak or flawed. It is the role of the leaders of the organisation to ensure that the management teams network is strong, dynamic, and focused on achieving its objectives, in its individual parts and collectively.

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