Monday, 30 November 2015

[HM:258247] The Right Way to Apologize

By Martha Beck
How to Apologize
Apologizing is rarely comfortable or easy, so if you're going to do it at all, make it count. Aaron Lazare, MD, a psychiatrist and dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has spent years studying acts of contrition in every context, from interpersonal to international. He has found that, to be effective, most apologies need to contain the following elements:

1. Full acknowledgment of the offense. Start by describing exactly what you did wrong, without avoiding the worst truths. Once the facts are out, acknowledge that your behavior violated a moral code. It doesn't matter whether you and the person you've hurt shares the same ethics: If you've broken your own rules, you're in the wrong. Accept responsibility.

2. An explanation. A truthful explanation is your best shot at rebuilding a strong, peaceful relationship. The core-deep explanation for your behavior is your key to changing for the better. Explanations help you and your victim understand why you misbehaved and assure both of you that the offense won't recur. Excuses merely deflect responsibility. Leave them out of your apology.

3. Genuine expression of remorse. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of the comment "I'm sorry you feel that way" knows the difference between sincere regret and an attempt to avoid responsibility for bad behavior. Few things are less likely to evoke forgiveness than apology without remorse.

4. Reparations for damage. An apology includes real repair work: not just saying "I'm sorry." Often there will be nothing tangible to repair; hearts and relationships are broken more often than physical objects. In such cases, your efforts should focus on restoring the other person's dignity. The question "What else do you want me to do?" can start this process. If you ask it sincerely, really listen to the answer and act on the other party's suggestions, you'll be honoring their feelings, perspective and experience. The knowledge that one is heard and valued has incredible healing power; it can mend even seemingly irreparable wounds.

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[HM:258246] Find Your Passion in Life

How to identify your passion in life
Virender Kapoor
"Passion Quotient (PQ) is the ferocity with which
you love to do something and you don't know why"
The rich and famous, the movers and shakers are not necessarily high school toppers. Nor do such successful people hold great college degrees. They are successful because they can generate enthusiasm at will, in themselves, in their colleagues and in the environment. These are the people who love their subordinates, admire their bosses and are prepared to learn from their peers. Such people love their work and can never get tired of what they do. This love sets them apart from unsuccessful people who take their work as drudgery.
Deep love for your work is called passion, which is the most important strength of human beings and sets apart great from the good ones. Therefore it is not the intelligent quotient (IQ), but your passion Quotient (PQ) that will take you to pinnacle of success. As field marshal Foch said "the most powerful weapon on earth is human soul on fire."
Start loving your job
In a booming economy, not only are there more number of job opportunities, but there are also more types of jobs available. About three decades ago, there were very limited job domains and one had very little professional choices available to choose from. However, today with the expansion of service sector and a push to the manufacturing sector it is possible for an individual to make a career in a field that he or she loves. For example media, internet, hospitality, travel leisure, knowledge management, retail, business process out sourcing, analytics, event management, E commerce were never even heard of as professional options a even a few years ago. Today, India is on a high and many young professionals are leaving the comfort zone of their jobs and venturing out into their own business on their way to becoming entrepreneurs choosing fields that they love.
Since so many opportunities are available, you can really pick up something that you like. If you love your job, let me assure you that you are on a permanent holiday. Indira Gandhi was asked "how do you work twenty hours a day without getting tired?" "Because I love my Job!" Was her answer. Similarly great designers, artists, painters, writers, actors and scientists excel in their work because they are madly in love with their work - they are passionate. If you love physics then don't push yourself to excel in poetry and if you love English literature, don't take engineering as your chosen profession. This way you are not only deceiving yourself but are also killing your own potential to do well in life. Either take up a job that you love, or better start loving the job that you take.
"Each Individual creature on this beautiful planet is created by God to fulfill a particular role" - Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
How does passion help you to do better in life?
  • * It is a source of tremendous energy
  • * Becomes your inner calling
  • Mother Teresa worked passionately for the poor because she 'felt' for the poor and the sick. Such people work selflessly and look for no financial rewards. Many young people leave their well-paid jobs to start a meaningful NGO. The bottom line is they want to do it.
  • * Makes you walk that extra mile
  • It lets you perform and deliver beyond your ordinary capacity. Since you love it, it comes naturally to you.
  • "Helps you identify your Goal Passion has been instilled in us by nature to remain 'on track'- like an inner compass. It gradually pushes you to be what you ought to be.
How to identify your passion?
If the following is true for an activity for you, then that activity is your passion.
  • It attracts you- A football player is always attracted to a football match. Artists are attracted to a paint brush and a taut canvas.
  • It is simple for you to learn- if you have potential to be a test cricket player, it will be very easy for you to follow the instructions of your coach. Great dancers like Madhuri Dixit and Hrithik Roshan can perform beyond the expectations of their choreographers.
  • It is effortless - Playing a violin for a passionate musician is effortless. Great speakers do it with grace and effortlessly.
  • It's a state of ecstasy - Amitabh Bachchan was asked by Karan Johar in a chat show about the secret of his intense performances. And he said 'When I am in front of the camera, something happens to me, and I just perform automatically.' This is a state of flow, total joy- ecstasy.
  • Jupiter not wanting mans' life to be wholly gloomy and grim has bestowed far more passion than reason. Moreover, he confined reason to a cramped corner of the head and left all the rest of the body to the Passions. -Desiderius Erasmus
Transforming hobbies and your passion into a rewarding profession
More than 50 percent of close to a million small businesses started in America in 1998 - 2000 were based on hobbies or personal interest of people. These guys actually made a living out of what they really loved. In addition to business, all those who make money through professions like sports, arts and creativity are also driven by passion alone. Don't chase money, money is a byproduct -it will come.

To translate your passion into a viable profession - where you can earn while having fun- you need to expand the scope of your passion. Let me explain this point.

First you should identify what you like or what is your drive. Let us say you feel acting is your driving force. Your first choice will be to become a film actor. But is it the only option? No, there are other options too. For instance, if you cannot get a break in films, you could look for a role on television.

Just imagine a drive or passion for acting can open up so many windows of opportunity. Adolf Hitler was a great orator; he used to rehearse for hours before delivering his political speeches, which became the reason for his political ascent.

"It is never been about money for me. Money is just a convenient way of keeping score" - Donald Trump

(Virender Kapoor is former director of a management institute under the Symbiosis umbrella and the founder of Management Institute for Leadership and Excellence. He is also the author of Leadership: The Gandhi Way, A Wonderful Boss: Great People to Work With and Passion Quotient-How it matters more than IQ and Innovation the Einstein Way.)

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Saturday, 28 November 2015

[HM:258245] Top 35 Life Lessons - From Mother to Daughter

35 Life Lessons, Wisdom and Advice for my Child

Below is a list of 35 of my favorite life lessons, and pieces of wisdom, that I've heard (and not always listened to but usually wish that I had) throughout my life.   This list of advice comes from a wide variety of sources: from my complete strangers who have an unusually great perspective on life.  I'm always thankful to find this advice handy in my memory, and I'd like it to be prevalent in my life.  Most of all, I want this advice to be accessible to my daughter as she gets old - and that is the reason that I created this post.

35 Lessons to Pass On 
To Your Daughter

1.  Don't give someone a "hammer" to hit you over the head with.  

This is a figure of speech.  My grandfather told this to my mom while she was growing up - what it means is to be careful with what you do, say and share with people.  You don't want something that you have done, or said, to one day come back and bite you (or, rather, to come back as the "hammer" (so to speak) that hits you over the head later on down the road).  

2.  Before you speak, picture whatever it is that you are about to say on the chalkboard in front of your classroom with your name underneath it, or on Facebook.  

Do you still want to say it?

3.  Beware of the unintended consequences of gossiping.  

Before you indulge in gossiping about other people behind their back(s), beware of the impression that you may be giving off to the people who are listening to you.  Keep in mind that the person(s) that you are talking to may then start wondering what you say behind her own back and they may re-consider your potential loyalty as a friend.

4.  "You wouldn't care so much about what other people thought of you if you knew how little that they really did." 

Yes. Ok, fine! This piece of advice is quoted from Dr. Phil; and yes, I admit it - I used to enjoy watching "Dr. Phil".  Remember to tell yourself that you would not care what other people thought about you if you truly knew how little that they actually do think about you.  When you're worried about what other people think of you, tell yourself this:  "Other people aren't paying as much attention to me as I am, so I shouldn't worry about every little thing I do."  Most of the time, people are thinking about themselves - not you.

5. Let go of what you can't change, and don't worry about things that you have no control over.

More importantly, learn how to identify what these things look like in your life (e.g., the weather, your test results, etc.), because putting your energy into something that you can't change or control is a waste of time, energy, and sleep; and it will drain you.

6.  You can never be happy with someone else until you are happy with yourself.  

7.  Remember that not everyone is going to like you, and that some people are just mean for no apparent reason.  

Some people get their "psychological jollies" out of making you feel sad and down because then it makes them feel better about themselves. Don't lose sleep over getting "in" with the "cool" crowd.  Exude confidence (not arrogance); remember that you teach people how to treat you; and then, friends will follow from there.

8.  Be kind to other people.

You have no idea what those next to you may be going through in their own lives.  "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his shoes" (this is a quote from a book that I read in 4th grade called "Walk Two Moons"); this means that you cannot judge a man until you've 'walked' at least 2-days (or, rather, "2-moons") in 'his shoes.'  (Walk Two Moons is a great book to read with your child to encourage empathy).

9.  Do not cry at work.  

Crying is perfectly fine, but try not to cry at work (easier said, than done).  If you do cry, DO NOT make a scene.

10.  Remember that there's always someone out there who has it worse than you do.

Any time there is a situation where you don't get your way, remember that there are people in this world that never even had the opportunity.
Remember that there's always someone out there who has it worse than you do.

11.  When you're wrong, apologize.  

Apologizing does not always mean that you were wrong and the other person was right. Sometimes it just means that you value the relationship more than your ego. 

12.  Here are the steps to a real apology:

  • Fully acknowledge the offense - acknowledge what you are sorry about.
  • Offer a truthful explanation as to why your behavior occurred   Do not offer an excuse - excuses merely deflect blame.
  • Offer a genuine expression of remorse. Do NOT say, "I'm sorry that you feel that way...." - that is a bogus apology that should be saved only for people who deserve it.
  • Ask what you can do to make things better, and then listen to what they say, and make sure that they know that you are listening.
(These steps were inspired by Oprah's article on The Right Way to Apologize).
13.  To be 'wise' means that you are able to admit when you don't know the answer.  

My dad taught me this:  don't pretend to know the answer to something if you don't.  Saying, "I don't know," is far better than pretending and potentially having people notice that you are - trust me, this will make you look like a much bigger idiot than simply not knowing the answer.  If you don't know the answer, but still want to contribute to the conversation, then you can say, "Well, if I had to make an educated guess, it would be....".

14.  If you need help, then you need to ask for it.  

I learned this lesson the hard way at my first job out of college.  

15.  Never be friend to a person who is rude to waiters, or mean to animals.

16.  Learn how to laugh at yourself.  

You're going to look like an ass at some (actually, many) point(s) in your life.  You will look like less of an ass if you're able to laugh at yourself about whatever it is that you did.

17.  Remember that there is always something to be thankful for.

18.  Never try to solve problems at night.  

All problems seem worse at night, and everything seems like a bigger deal when you are tired.  Go to sleep.  The problem will probably not be as big of a deal in the morning.   (If you're tired and you've been drinking, you're probably wrong anyway about whatever it is that you're saying/arguing about - so again, just go to sleep, and deal with it in the morning!).  

19.  When you have a crisis and feel like your life is over, remember this advice that my grandfather used to say to my mom:  
  • 1 month from now, you won't be hurting as badly.  
  • 6-months from now, you probably won't even be thinking about it.  
  • 5-years from now, you might not even remember it.

20. What we see depends mainly on what we look for. So focus on where you want to be - not on where you don't want to go.

My first time snowboarding was a nightmare - I skipped the "Bunny Hill" and arrogantly decided to start my first snow-boarding experience at the top of Vail mountain (a terrible idea for a first-time snow-boarder), and despite my extreme fear of running into a tree as I went down the Blue Diamond ski slope, I still found myself, time and time again, tangled up in the trees on the side of the mountain, struggling to get out of the white powder and back on the smoother snow trail.   Then, a wise man in a blue snow-suit gave me wonderful words of advice, "Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go (which was the chair lift) – and not on where you don't want to go (which was the trees at the side of the mountain). Before he pointed this out to me, I had been so focused on not running into the trees on the side of the mountain that my eyes were literally focused on that stupid forest.  So then, I took his advice, and I changed my focus and kept my eyes on the chair-lift at the bottom of the mountain.  And guess what?   It worked.  This new mentality magically re-programmed my body and brought me to the chairlift (with no stops at the stupid trees).  Don't get me wrong: I still fell on my butt a lot on my way to the chairlift, but that was way better than ending up wrapped around the trunk of a pine tree under a pile of snow!  I think this advice is a great analogy that can cross-over to our real, everyday life.  Keep your focus on where you want to be - not your fears.

21.  Never try to figure to out how you should solve a problem; focus on what you want the end result to be and then make decisions that you will help you get there.  (Thank you, Dad.)

22.  If you can't sleep, fake it.  

This advice was given to me by my daughter's pediatrician (a woman that I never thought I would be quoting) the day that my daughter was born.  Her pediatrician was emphasizing to me the importance of sleep for moms with a newborn.   The reason she said this is because I had just expressed to her that I didn't know if I could follow the advice that I had been given to "sleep when the baby sleeps" (which is, by the way, the most annoying advice EVER because 100+ people told me this after my baby was born).  I didn't understand how I would ever be able to change my sleep schedule, let alone be able to sleep sporadically throughout the middle of the day (as newborns nap every 2 hours).  But guess what? This advice is great (at least for me).  Even if you can't fall asleep, "faking it" is the next best thing because resting has adds a considerable amount of value to the recharging of your mind and body too.  The dishes can wait.

23.  If you're having trouble solving a problem after repeated attempts, then try a different approach.  

According to some references, the definition of "insanity" is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Try going about it in a different way.

24.  If you don't have time to do it right the first time, then when are you going to have time to do it over?  

Don't rush through an important task.  Don't "half-ass" it.   If it's difficult to do now, then it's going to be even more annoying to go back and fix later.

25.  Surround yourself with people who build you up.  

Surround yourself with people who see greatness within you, even when you don't see it yourself.

26.  If you're ever having trouble making conversation with other people, ask them about themselves.  

People like talking about themselves (and/or their kids).

27.  Only eat french fries that are hot and crispy and fresh.  

My dad (who is kind of a health nut) instilled this idea in me growing up; I'm not a health nut, but I appreciate the logic behind this - if you're going to eat something that's bad for you, then do it right and make sure it tastes good!  When you place your order, give the server a big smile and ask if you can wait for a fresh batch of french fries.  If I'm going to get fatter from something - it better taste good.

28.  The best time to relax is when you don't have time for it.

29.  Always bring chap-stick and a bottle of water to a job interview.  

Nothing is worse than a dry mouth and/or chapped lips when you're trying to talk someone into hiring you.

30.  The Middle School (aka, Junior High) and High School phases suck for most girls.  Remember that Middle School and High School are just short phases of your life.

The Middle School and High School crowd can be just plain mean.  The social torture that many of us experience during our awkward Middle School and High School phases seems like a very cruel "right of passage" before we enter the best part of the rest of our lives - young adulthood.   The "college phase" is so much better - if not the best.

31.  Writing down your worries on paper before a big exam or a big presentation at work can help you relieve anxiety and help you perform better.

32.  Never reply when you are angry.  Never make a promise when you are happy.  Never make a decision when you are sad.

33.  If you don't want anyone to find out, don't do it.

34.  Happiness is a choice - a choice to live your life with a certain state of mind.  

Happiness usually doesn't just come to you - at least not after childhood ends.  You often have to fight for happiness.  Remember that you are in charge of how you feel.  Think happy.  Be happy. 
  • "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Mahatma Gandhi
  • "It is only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis." Margaret Bonanno
  • "Mistakes will be made. Failure will occur. You pick yourself up and carry on."  - Elizabeth Gilbert.

35.  Follow your passion for your career.  

To my daughter: My wish for you is that you follow what you are passionate about, because that is what you will be good at.


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Friday, 27 November 2015

[HM:258244] 101 Common-Sense Rules for Leaders

Boost your management skills by getting back to the basics — here are some common sense tips for leading an effective team.

By Inside CRM Editors

Management is all about connecting with the people on your team. So how do you effectively manage a team? With common knowledge, of course. These are a few back-to-basics rules that will help you develop management skills that really matter.

Body Language

Like it or not, your body speaks volumes, even when you are silent. Here's how to express an attitude that's appropriate for a leader.

1. Stand tall.
Keeping your shoulders back and holding yourself up to your full height will give you an air of confidence.

2. Take your hands out of your pockets.
Putting your hands in your pockets is often seen as a sign that you have something to hide.

3. Stand with your arms crossed behind your back.
This will help you adjust your posture, and it leaves your hands in a position that is open and not intimidating.

4. Make eye contact.
Always look directly into the eyes of the people you are speaking with. This shows you're interested and also gives you a sense of confidence.

5. Sit up straight.
Even if you're at an 8 a.m.meeting and feeling tired, it's important to sit up straight in your chair. Slouching makes you look disinterested and can give off an unwanted air of laziness.

6. Face the person you're talking to.
This shows you are interested and engaged in the conversation.

7. Shake hands firmly.
For many, a handshake is a reflection of the person you're shaking hands with. You don't want to come across as unsure or overbearing, so make sure yours is professional and confident.

8. Always smile.
Smiles are contagious and will make others feel positive when you're around.

9. Look your best.
You don't have to be model perfect every day, but you should dress appropriately and neatly. Clothes can have a big impact on the way you're perceived.

10. Walk confidently.
Keep your head up and take even strides.

Meeting Deadlines

No one will be happy if your team has to rush around at the last minute to complete a project. Follow these tips to make deadlines less stressful for everyone.

11. Only promise what you can realistically deliver. Don't create deadlines that you know you can't meet. By only promising what you know you can do, you'll be able to finish on time.

12. Set clear goals.
Once you know what you need to accomplish, it helps to know how and when you want to do it. Put your goals down on paper and make sure everyone on your team gets a copy.

13. Organize a team.
Many of your employees will have unique strengths and training that can make them great assets to certain projects. Pick a team that has the right skills to carry out the job.

14. Delegate tasks.
Spread work among your employees in a way that doesn't leave anyone overburdened while also allowing the project work smoothly.

15. Create milestones.
Creating milestones for you and your team will help you keep track of your progress and also give you a sense of accomplishment as you reach each milestone.

16. Keep communication open.
Keeping everyone in touch with the status of the project is key to making sure it's completed on time.

17. Do it right the first time.
Planning ahead will help prevent you from delivering a substandard product. Having to redo something for a client costs money, and, more than likely, future business opportunities.

18. Stay organized.
Staying organized will help keep you from wasting time chasing down important documents and information.

19. Make sure expectations are clear.
Be sure that each member of your team knows what their specific responsibilities are. This will save time and prevent tasks from being overlooked.

20. Create a plan.
Compile your goals and milestones into a comprehensive plan for attacking any project you are given. This way, you can make sure you're staying on schedule and that all of your employees will be clear about how and when things should be done.

Getting Along with Employees

A happy office is a productive one. Everyone will be more cheerful if you follow these simple rules.

21. Don't make your employees come in on days they're normally not scheduled to work or call them while they're on vacation.
A surefire way to make employees resent you is to invade their personal time for nonpressing work. Unless you have something that absolutely has to be done, let time away from work stay that way.

22. Don't play favorites.
Playing favorites can bias your judgment and impair your leadership abilities. Treat your employees equally.

23. Give credit when it's due.
Don't take credit for your employees' ideas or hog their limelight. This action not only fosters resentment but also makes you seem untrustworthy.

24. Don't micromanage.
While it's fine to keep up with what your employees are working on, don't constantly look over their shoulders.

25. Never discuss employee matters with their co-workers.
This kind of gossip always gets back to the person and will make you look unprofessional.

26. Don't interfere with employees' work.
If your employees are getting work done, don't stress about how it gets done. Even if it's not being done they way you'd do it, it's best to let employees use their best judgment.

27. Don't push unreasonable deadlines.
You don't want to spend all of your time at the office, and neither do your employees.

28. Keep your promises.
Barring some catastrophic event, you should always keep promises you make to employees, especially about pay and benefits.

29. Keep work about work.
Don't require employees to run your personal errands. Take care of your own personal business or hire an assistant.

30. Reward hard work.
Make sure your employees feel valued for the work that they do. Employees will be more willing to put in extra effort if they know it's noted and appreciated.

31. Provide motivation.
Sometimes employees need a morale boost. Provide them with encouragement to get a project rolling.

Manage Yourself

Being a good manager isn't just about what you can encourage other people to do, it's also about managing your own performance.

32. Be accessible.
Don't hole up in your office all day — come out and visit with your employees. Let them know that they can always come to you with problems and concerns.

33. Be open to constructive criticism.
It may not always be what you want to hear, but listening to constructive criticism gives you the chance to learn and grow from your mistakes.

34. Accept responsibility.
Part of being the boss is accepting responsibility for the mistakes of all that you manage, not just your own.

35. Know there's always room for improvement.
No matter how good you think you are, your job can always be done better. Always be willing to learn.

36. Improve your skills.
Learning is a lifelong process. You're never too old to take a class or ask a co-worker to help you improve your knowledge.

37. Explain things simply.
Don't use big words or technical jargon just to sound smart and impress others. Your employees will understand and perform better if you explain simply and clearly what you need.

38. Instruct rather than order.
You may be the boss, but you don't have to be bossy. You'll have more success if your requests are more tactfully delivered.

39. Include your staff in your plans.
Don't make your work top secret; let your employees know what's going on and how they are expected to contribute.

40. Know your subordinates' jobs.
You don't want to be caught with inferior job knowledge.

41. Be flexible.
It's fine to be firm in what you expect, but allow for flexibility in how it gets done.

42. Get regular feedback.
Your employees and superiors can give you valuable feedback on how to improve your performance. Use this to your advantage.

43. Know your limitations.
You can't be everywhere doing everything all at once. Know the limits of your time and abilities and say no to things you know you can't do.

Boosting Productivity

Getting the most out of your day can be difficult with a busy schedule, but you can use these tips to help you maximize your time in order to be better available to employees.

44. Get the most out of meetings.
Be organized and prepared for meetings to increase effectiveness and time savings.

45. Focus your energy on things that matter.
Don't let trivial tasks take time away from things that are really important.

46. Identify your time-stealers.
Everyone has little things that detract their attention and make them lose focus. Figure out what these are and work to eliminate them, if only for a few hours a day.

47. Be punctual.
Being on time is a big deal. Never keep people waiting for appointments or meetings if you can help it.

48. Respond to your correspondence within a reasonable amount of time.
You don't have to be chained to your inbox, but make sure you respond to emails within a few hours whenever possible.

49. Do only what is necessary.
There are times when going above and beyond works, but doing so on a daily basis can derail your progress on more important issues. Get the key things done first, then see if you have time for additional things.

50. Stick to schedules and routines.
While they may not be the most exciting things, schedules and routines can help streamline and improve your productivity.

51. Organize and manage your schedule.
Use any tools and utilities you have at your disposal to prioritize your day and keep track of what you need to get done.

52. Plan more than you think you can do.
While this may sound stressful, it can actually be a great motivator. If you manage to get everything done, you'll enjoy a great sense of achievement.

53. Get to work early on occasion.
Sometimes an uninterrupted half hour in an unoccupied office can help you get key things done or allow you to plan your day before there are any distractions to slow you down.

54. Know that sometimes stress is good.
While too much of anything, especially stress, can be bad, sometimes a little stress can be the motivation to get you moving, allowing you to get more done.

55. Do your least favorite tasks first.
Get your most tedious and least desirable tasks out of the way earlier in the day. After that, everything else will be a breeze.

Managing Finances and Resources

Whether you're a business owner or a manager, staying on top of tangible items is vital to success. These tips can help you keep track.

56. Set up a realistic budget.
While it's good to be optimistic, don't plan for more spending than you know you can afford. Make sure you plan for emergencies and contingencies as well.

57. Save costs where they matter the most.
Don't just pinch pennies for the present. Make sure your savings will pay off in the long run. Compromising on quality might cost you later on in repairs and replacements.

58. Spend only when it's necessary.
Don't spend if you don't need to. Every bit you save goes toward your profit.

59. Find alternative sources of finance.
Sometimes even successful businesses need a little help. Business loans and investors can help you through leaner times.

60. Stay true to your contracts.
Not only will you gain the respect of your clients, you'll also avoid legal battles that can be a serious financial drain.

61. Make sure employees are well compensated.
Employees deserve to be rewarded for hard work. Make sure yours are well compensated for their time and they'll be more productive and happier to come to work.

62. Learn to do more with less.
Quality is much more important than quantity, so make what you have count.

63. Assign equipment wisely.
While it might be nice for every employee to have a PDA, budgets often don't allow for such conveniences. Make sure the employees that need tools the most have access to them.

64. Invest in solid technology.
This doesn't always mean the latest technology, but what your office needs to do work effectively.

65. Update when necessary.
Using obsolete equipment and programs can really slow you down. Update when it makes sense so you won't get left behind by competitors.

66. Don't be wasteful.
Every sheet of paper, paper clip and pen is a cost on your budget. Use materials wisely and don't waste them out of haste or carelessness.

Communicating with Clients

Whether you're a business owner or a manager carrying out a project, one thing is always the same: The client is dominant voice in decision-making. Learn to communicate with them effectively and you'll set a good example for the people you supervise.

67. Remember that the customer is the boss.
At the end of the day, your job is to make the customer happy. Act accordingly.

68. Differentiate your products.
Don't get lost in a sea of products and services like yours. Make sure you stand out from your competitors.

69. Retain customers as much as you recruit new ones.
While you always want to bring in new business, it's very important to maintain relationships with loyal customers.

70. Provide effective channels of communication.
Make sure your clients can contact you easily and quickly if they have a problem, concern or question. They can also provide a valuable source of feedback.

71. Maintain customer data.
Use this data to make your customers feel special by remembering occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. It's also helpful for keeping track of purchasing preferences.

72. Segment your customers.
Not all customers are alike. Divide your customers into groups that allow you to provide attention and services that meet each customer's unique needs.

73. Provide effective after-sales services.
Don't let contact fall off after the work is complete. Make sure your client stays happy.

74. Listen attentively.
Pay attention to exactly what clients are asking for to help you better meet their needs.

75. Don't be afraid to say you don't know.
It's OK not to know the answer to every question. It's better to say you don't know and get back to a customer than to try to bluff your way through a conversation and have to backtrack later.

Keep Up with Change

There is no way to stop the world from changing, so follow these tips to keep up and ahead of the game.

76. Don't fight change.
You can't stop markets, trends and technology from changing, so learn to go with the flow.

77. Adopt a predictive managerial style.
Don't wait for things to happen to make a move. Anticipate problems and provide contingency plans.

78. Test your contingency plans.
Waiting for disaster to strike is a dangerous way to find out if your emergency plans will hold. Test them out from time to time to fine-tune them and make sure they're still relevant.

79. Identify the positives.
Even the most negative changes can have positive aspects to them. Being able to identify and maximize them can help make adapting less painful.

80. Be quick to adapt.
Learn to adapt to changing situations quickly and be able to change plans on the spur of the moment if the situation requires it.

81. Stay tuned to external factors.
Your business is affected in many ways by outside factors. Keep abreast of these so you can anticipate any sudden market changes that would affect how you need to manage.

82. Put in place a Research and Development plan.
Encourage innovation and creativity to stay ahead of the demand for newer and better products and services.

83. Keep an eye on the competition.
Don't let the competition get the best of you. Keep up-to-date with what they're doing and use it to your advantage in managing your business.

Resolving Problems

Whether problems are internal or external, they can make your management duties a nightmare if you don't handle them correctly. Here's how to stay on top of them.

84. Stand up for employees.
If other departments or managers are bearing down hard on your employees, stand up for them.

85. Fix what's broken.
Don't waste time placing blame. Take care of fixing the problem before dealing with any possible repercussions.

86. Manage and control your emotions.
Don't let anger or frustration affect your problem resolution. If you are emotionally invested in a situation, cool down before discussing it or bring in an outside mediator.

87. Learn when to step in.
Some problems might resolve themselves if you just let them be, but you need to be aware of times where you'll need to step in and take control of a situation.

88. Take the blame.
If you've made a mistake, fess up. It'll give you more time to work on fixing the problem instead of talking your way out of taking the rap.

89. Get the facts first.
Before you pass judgment on a situation, make sure you have the whole story. Listen to employees and refrain from questioning anyone's integrity without first ensuring that you've gathered all the data.

90. Rise above the crisis.
Learn to separate yourself from the problem and rise above the fray. You'll be able to think more clearly and make a better decision on how to rectify the issue.

91. Don't ignore problems.
A small problem can easily snowball and become something much more difficult to fix.

92. Try to depersonalize problems.
Let employees know that the problem isn't with them but with their actions. Don't make it personal.

Go Above and Beyond

Managing people isn't just about getting the job done. To truly be a great leader, sometimes you need to go above and beyond what the job calls for.

93. Lead by example.
You can talk until you're blue in the face, but the best way to get a point across is to be the model to emulate. Let employees follow your lead.

94. Get your hands dirty.
Sometimes you need to show your employees that no one's above doing unattractive tasks.

95. Make a difference to your employees.
Don't just be a generic manager — stand out as a leader and role model for your employees.

96. Gain your employees' trust and respect.
You'll have a much easier time managing employees when they respect your rules and boundaries and trust your leadership.

97. Be empathetic to personal problems.
Whether it should or not, what happens outside of work can have a big affect on the quality of work produced. Be sensitive if employees have personal issues that keep them from concentrating on work.

98. Be unique as a manager.
Every position demands something different and you should be proud to be adept at your particular role rather than trying to emulate other managers.

99. Remember that ethics matter above all.
Be honest and reliable in all of your business and personal relationships.

100. Be on the lookout for new ideas.
You never know where your next great inspiration will come from.

101. Get to know your employees.
Learn more than just their names. Get to know your employees' family backgrounds, likes and dislikes. Doing so will make you more personable.

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

[HM:258243] 12 Easy Phrases to Massively Improve Your Leadership

At the heart of great leadership is a desire to serve others, to empower them and foster their success. Here are 12 phrases that every leader should be saying--a lot.
Lolly Daskal is the president and CEO of Lead From Within, a global consultancy firm that specializes in leadership and entrepreneurial development. Daskal's programs galvanize clients into achieving their best, helping them accelerate and deliver on their professional goals and business objectives. Lead From Within is a consultancy firm with global scope and Daskal's clients value her exceptional commitment to excellence, integrity, and results.

Being a leader today is not about having followers who are waiting to be told what to do and how to do it. Successful leadership is about engaging and empowering people to do what they are capable of doing, and building confidence and trust in your team.

Communication is key; written or spoken, your words carry tremendous weight. These 12 phrases are small but powerful. Use them daily and you can be sure your leadership is moving in the right direction.

1. "Please"

It may seem basic, but treating others with respect goes a long way. Especially in times of stress, it's easy to overlook a courtesy as simple as saying "please," but to the person on the other end it can make the difference between a barked order and a respectful request. 

2. "Thank you"

Appreciation is both motivating and uplifting, and saying "thank you" is a simple, no-cost way to show appreciation. Taking care to recognize the contributions of others increases their confidence and your team's morale, and it sets a good example.

3. "Tell me more"

Successful leadership means being interested and inquisitive, always wanting to know more and seeking out the ideas and opinions of others.

4. "I'm proud of you"

The leaders we admire tend to be generous with praise. When you notice and acknowledge the hard work and achievements of your team, everyone wins.

5. "What do you think?"

As the old saying goes, listening is among the greatest of favors. When you sincerely ask people for their input, they feel valued and more committed. It also communicates that you're open to the ideas of others.

6. "It's your call"

When you empower others with decision making, you encourage them to build their own leadership and foster trust and independent thinking. Delegating decisions is the cure for micromanagement.

7. "You're doing great"

The best way to help people reach their full potential is by offering them encouragement. Treat people like they make a difference and they will.

8. "We're all in this together"

The best leaders are collaborators. They thrive on building teams and creating synergy; they know that it takes a community of dedicated, loyal people to cultivate winning results. Building collective pride and accountability keeps egos in check and gives better results.

9. "I trust you"

The best way to cultivate trust is by giving trust to others. If those around you feel confident that you trust them, they have the confidence to excel and are motivated to keep your opinion of them high.

10. "I'm sorry"

There is nothing that feels more humbling to a leader than saying "I'm sorry." But it's actually a sign of great strength and accountability, and wise to practice. Acknowledging your mistakes inspires people to do the same.

11. "I don't know"

Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, including leaders. When you admit the limitations of your knowledge, you model humility, candor, and confidence for your team. And when you seek out the answer, you model problem solving and open-minded inquiry.

12. "How can I serve you?"

If you really want your leadership to stand apart, this simple phrase can be a game changer. Servant leadership is the most powerful force you can bring to your team. If you're looking for ways you can help and serve others, the best way is to ask.

What are your go-to leadership phrases? What do they communicate? How well are they working for you?

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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

[HM:258242] Saying Sorry to the Customer - Sample Formats




Dear Customer,

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience that has been caused to you due to unexpected delay from our side.


We always prioritize complete satisfaction of our customers and make sure that our services are executed within the specified time limit. Unfortunately in your case certain situations just came up suddenly due to which some of the inter-linked tasks couldn't be completed as per the planned time.


We are extremely apologetic for what you have experienced, and we are making an effort to ensure that such delay should not happen … Fortunately we have managed to expedite…


We deeply appreciate your patience and the relationship that you have with our company



Dear Valued Customer,

It is with great concern that I have to inform you that due to unavoidable circumstances caused by our vendors there has been some delays in terms delivery of our services. Hence, I would like to make an apology on behalf of our team.

We are taking all the necessary steps to make sure that this type of problem does not happen again.

Dear Valued Customer,
This is to acknowledge that there have been some delays recently due to which certain tasks were not completed on time
We regret this delay on our part, the reasons for which were (explanation)
While we recognize that the time for performing has slipped, all kind of concrete efforts are being made to minimize the delays.
Please accept our apology for this inconvenience.
Looking forward for successful delivery of the project.


Sample Phrases:

  • I'm sorry for taking so long to get back to you
  • Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused
  • We regret the inconvenience caused by our vendor.
  • I would like to convey my sincerest apology to you for not providing you the update on the project in the last two days …

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