Tuesday 30 September 2014

culled from:wikihow.com

Although you may not be charged with leading a nation, employing the same leadership qualities possessed by the iconic historical U.S. leader George Washington, can be a useful leadership strategy. Considered to be one of history's great leaders, George Washington epitomizes such leadership qualities as persistence, toughness and courage. Able to meet the challenges head on, he showed how to retain one's dignity and to never lose sight of what matters. His organizational skills, charisma and breadth of knowledge helped to make him a leader people were willing to follow and gain strength from. Whether you want to be a better leader on the business, social or personal front, there are leadership skills you can definitely borrow from George Washington.


Be an inspiration to others and yourself. When delivering your intent, back your vision of the desired outcome or future state of affairs by painting a vivid picture and describing the desired outcome, the better future, or whatever it is that is hoped for. Do this with passion, the passion that you yourself feel for the matter at hand. If you truly believe in what you're doing and why you lead others, then your passion will shine forth.

  • Share your plans freely with those you're leading to help them see why you believe so much in your dreams and why buying into your dreams is a good idea for them too.
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  • Be actively enthusiastic so that others can absorb your enthusiasm.
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    Encourage idea exchange and relationship building. People are more likely to follow a leader who is willing to share his or her vision, ideas and plans and who asks for buy-in. Even if those you're leading ultimately expect you to make the hard decisions, having them feel they've shared their ideas and thoughts will allow them to feel a sense of ownership in what you're striving for.
    • Be collaborative, not authoritarian. One of the best ways to further your inspiration is to include and encourage others around you to join you in the charge. Washington always kept an open mind to a variety of ideas and kept in mind that it often takes a collaborative effort to achieve greatness (for example, he knew that having the French Navy on his side helped defeat the British). By accepting that other people's ideas may have merit, you will always be able to take advantage of the brilliance of others, and not become persuaded that only you have all the answers!
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    Expect a lot from those you lead. Rather than simply issuing orders or expecting others to fall in line, challenge people to rise to their best for any occasion. Seek the best they can do for the task at hand by actively noticing and remarking on their talents and good efforts. What you notice and praise, you tend to get more of.
    • Washington never believed that he was the fount of all knowledge. He relied on and trusted others to fill in his many gaps in knowledge, including Franklin, Mason, Henry, Jefferson, Hamilton and Madison. He wasn't intellectually dependent on others; rather, he was open minded and was willing to listen and learn from others too.
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    Face challenging or turbulent times head on. Making light of hard times or hoping they'll soon pass won't make the situation any easier. Facing the difficulties as they arise and finding strategies for coping and working through them is an important role for you as a leader. Moreover, imparting what you're doing is as important as doing it.

    • Share your vision of how you expect you/your organization/your team/your family, etc., will survive a hard time you're facing. Washington was able to rally the troops despite failing morale precisely because he had a vision that he refused to let go of and that he was willing to share with others. The way in which he imparted this vision helped the troops to see beyond the paycheck––they became part of the revolution. Think of how you can paint the positive vision for the bad times so that you can engage people to think in a more positive, upbeat way and be inspired by your vision of the revolution too.
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    • There is no point sugarcoating the bad that is occurring––everyone can see it happening with their own eyes. Never make decisions that result in rumors and uncertainty, such as whispers of lay-offs or big changes. Engage those you lead directly and tell them the truth about what is happening and why change is needed, and exactly how you're going about making the change. As soon as you know how others are impacted, inform them rather than leaving them guessing.
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    Follow through with your promises. Be a man or woman of your word. Actually follow through with your promises or be courageous enough to explain yourself in those rare instances where you don't feel able to meet a promise you've made. In a society where fast and loose business is commonplace, being a man or woman of your word will provide you with more integrity and credibility. When people know that they can rely on you, they will be happier to follow and trust you.
    • Don’t make a promise you can’t deliver. There’s a reason why George Washington was the only American President to be elected by unanimous vote. His fellow politicians knew that when Washington made a promise or a statement, he would always deliver.
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    Make decisions rooted in principles, not based on whether the decision will be a popular decision or not. Being a leader means that you have to make tough decisions often. What may be healthy, safe or right from an objective standpoint for your company, community or family, may not be the most popular decision with those you're leading. However, sticking to what you objectively discern to be the "greater good" will end up being beneficial in the long run. However, be very careful about how you reach an idea of what is "good" for those you're leading––keep an open mind, constantly update your information (revising where needed) and always listen to others (including those who hold opposing opinions), so as to avoid becoming obsessed with your own version of what is apparently "good".
    • Before making a possibly unpopular decision, make sure it will be able to stand the test of time. Author Mark McNeilly, who penned “George Washington and the Art of Business,” wrote that Washington “always put the country first. People could trust him to stand above the politics, stand above the fray, and keep the interests of the country in mind.” Check and double check your decisions to ensure that you aren’t pandering to specific individual interests or making a decision that will not be better for everyone in the long run.
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    • While listening to dissent is an important part of being a democratic leader, not all dissenters have a good point. This is not something to be afraid of––instead, recognize that some people are simply vexatious, difficult or personally invested in a particular outcome that doesn't benefit others. You still have a duty to carefully assess dissent but you also have the responsibility to dismiss dissent that is frivolous, cantankerous and trouble-making. That can be harder than it sounds!
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    Learn from your mistakes and be humble during triumph. If you are too afraid to make an error or a mistake, you're likely to remain where you are now. Risking embarrassment and failure are a part of being human, and learning and honing your skills is often built on trial and error, through getting on with the task and doing it.
    • Apply lessons from each endeavor toward the next. Scholars believe that Washington’s Battle of Yorktown victory may have been built on the learning he gained from assessing his previous defeats. Stay in the present rather than obsessing about the past––take only a few minutes to lick your wounds and then stand up and learn from your error.
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    Do more listening than talking. In today’s highly vocal 24/7 information-charged age, listening to the chatter and information may be one of the smartest strategic methods in order to effectively lead. However, be discerning about what chatter you choose to listen to––only listen when the chatter is insightful, constructive and learned. The chatter of gossip, rumor and character assassination is never helpful for anyone, let alone someone seeking to lead.
    • Be aware of your environment. Situational awareness and knowing your audience's preferences will help you size up the competition, any possible threats and all of the opportunities.
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    Be curious about new ideas, thoughts and concepts. Perhaps you may not completely agree with an idea being shared by the competition or a colleague, but instead of turning a blind eye, listen and absorb what is being said. In fact, seek to stand in another person's shoes and learn their side of the story so well that you could discuss their beliefs, preference or approach to their satisfaction, even though you don't hold the same view. This is possibly one of the most successful means for reaching compromise and understanding with others because the other side realizes that you do totally understand their point of view, and that it is actually a case that you hold a different view.
    • Be curious about why the idea is being delivered, where it’s coming from and who is delivering it. Washington’s curiosity about the uncharted Virginia territory may have given him somewhat of a tactical advantage––he had explored the area and had prior knowledge before the battles commenced.
    • Educate yourself. Whether you're college trained or life trained, you have a personal duty to never cease learning. Washington was not highly educated in the sense it is understood today––for example, he didn't go to college. But he didn't use this as an excuse to not learn or to be ignorant––he spent his whole life continually learning from his experiences, from his colleagues and through reading.
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    Give others a chance. Washington, while beloved, turned down running for a third term because he felt it was time to pass the baton and disbursement of power. While he could have enjoyed a third term and the people were rallying for it, he knew that the country would be better off with new, fresh leadership. Remember that you are human, and that like all humans, you are fallible and there will come a time when your wisdom is best imparted through other channels and you should pass the baton to a new leader in the wings. Never overstay your welcome as a leader––there may be new and different leadership challenges awaiting you, or it may be time to pass to being a teacher, mentor or guide for future leaders.

Monday 29 September 2014

culled from:wikihow.com

Management change can be stressful for employees, but it does not need to be disruptive. Whether the company's corporate leadership is changing, or new managers and supervisors are being assigned to staff members, it can take a little time to adjust to a new reporting structure or organizational shuffle. Prepare staff for management change by communicating openly, offering to address their concerns and questions, and having a procedure in place for the transition.


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Map out the change process. Put together a timeline of action and communication so you can present an organized plan to staff.
  • Include top leadership and new managers in the planning process.
  • Discuss specific areas that will affect staff during the management change, so you can be prepared for questions and suggestions.
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    Identify the staff members who will be leaders and detractors. Every company has a few people who can be relied upon to help management keep morale high, as well as a few people who can be counted on to complain.
    • Develop a plan for each group. Have a manager talk to the staff leaders for insight on how to keep people positive about the change, and assign someone to watch the detractors for excessive gossip or negativity.
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    Develop a consistent message. Whether you are going to announce the change in person, online, through written communication channels or via separate managers and supervisors, make sure everyone who has a part understands the change message and how to communicate it.
    • Create talking points for anyone who will need help in explaining what the change means to staff and teams. Anticipate questions and concerns, and help communicators address them.
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    Share the news in a timely manner. You do not want your staff to hear about management change through the grapevine or outside your company. Let your employees know about the change before you go public with the news.
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    Explain the rationale for changing management. Tell staff why the management change is taking place.
    • Explain the positive outcomes you expect from the change. Be positive and optimistic, but do not mislead the staff. If the company is struggling, be honest about it.
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    Introduce the new managers. Allow your staff to meet and get to know the new managers as soon as you announce the management change.
    • Share the managers' biographies, resumes and professional interests.
    • Encourage the new managers to get to know their teams and the rest of the staff.
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    Invite opinions and feedback. Answer any questions that staff may have about the management change.
    • Appoint specific people to answer questions and manage feedback. Let staff know who they should talk to if they have questions, comments or ideas.
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    Keep employees engaged during the transition. After the initial announcement about the change, continue to communicate as the process moves forward.
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    Evaluate your success for future organizational change. Once the change is in place, measure your outcomes and determine what worked well and what will have to be adjusted the next time.
    • Share the success stories with staff. Use company publications, email blasts or company meetings to celebrate what you are proud of after a management change has been implemented.

culled from:wikihow.com

Managing a company requires knowledge, dedication, organizational skills and ingenuity. To effectively manage a company, get informed about hiring and managing employees, budgeting, marketing, and tax and employment laws. Here are a few strategies for the successful management of a company.


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Outline your vision for the company. Think about the ultimate goal of your product or service. The overall vision for the company may be to address a need, provide a service or create something new. Generating revenue is a given goal for companies, so the vision statement should be broader than a statement about profits.

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    Analyze the company budget. Assess your financial status. The development of new products and services requires staff and resources. Determine how much money you can devote to these expenses. Factor in overhead costs for rent, utilities, marketing and other business-related expenses. Create a contingency fund to set aside in the event of emergency needs. Hire a finance person, if necessary, to handle these tasks.
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    Make decisions about marketing efforts. Marketing activities in larger companies are generally handled by a department or a team of people. In a small business, you may be responsible for overseeing marketing efforts. Determine how you will market your products or services. Delegate marketing tasks to employees and monitor their progress.
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    Hire and manage employees.
    • Advertise for qualified workers. Choose from a variety of methods for hiring new employees, such as posting Internet ads, hiring a recruitment firm, placing an ad in the newspaper or spreading the word in niche-specific networks. To attract qualified candidates, be specific about your hiring needs and requirements.
    • Interview prospective employees. Put applicants at ease by being personable and communicative. Project a professional image during the interview by being attentive and dressed in business attire. Limit the conversation primarily to business-related matters.
    • Familiarize yourself with employment laws. Study the requirements in your jurisdiction and industry for laws related to employee hours, breaks, tax requirements and benefits.
    • Decide on your management style. Empower employees by explaining tasks and allowing them to manage their duties, checking in with you for clarification as needed. Alternatively, schedule regular check-in sessions with employees to evaluate progress on specific projects or tasks.
    • Address employee needs and conflicts. Create an environment of open communication for employees to approach you regarding professional conflicts. Address conflicts by listening, asking questions, showing objectivity and taking a solution-oriented approach to resolving problems.
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    Assess company progress. Decide on a regular time frame for evaluating your company's progress towards its goals. You might engage in this assessment on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Take this time to evaluate your marketing efforts, product sales, financial health, employee issues and all other business-related matters.
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    Take courses in business management. In the process of managing a company, you may recognize skill areas in need of strengthening. Conflict resolution, marketing knowledge, technical skills and employee management are a few of the areas that may need further development. Contact colleges, universities or business institutes for course offerings. Being mentored by experienced business leaders is also an option.
 culled from:wikihow.com

In every large organization, there's a hierarchy of management that keeps the whole operation running smoothly. A good manager is able to blend into the background, changing small things here and there to great effect. Being a good manager is about leading by example. It's one of the toughest jobs out there — in part because you have to manage other people's expectations — and also one of the least acknowledged. Despite this, there are several tricks of the trade that will help you successfully manage all your responsibility, in style and with verve.

Part 1 of 5: Motivating Your Employees

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Motivate people. Why are the employees there? What keeps them with your organization and stops them from going somewhere else? What makes the good days good? What makes them stick with the organization after a bad day or a bad week? Don't assume it's money - most people are more complex than that.
  • Remember, our values are what make us "tick." If you manage by respecting your team's values, they will give you their best effort.
  • Ask the employees how they're liking their job on a regular basis. Encourage them to be honest with you. Then take action based upon what they tell you.
  • Offer perks that your employees will value. If health is important to them, give them time to go to the gym and work out. If their family is important, respect the time they may need to send their kids off to school in the morning or pick them up in the afternoon.
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    Make people feel good. The successful manager is great at identifying his employees' strengths and applauding them every once in a while. That's because good managers know that happy people make productive people. Try to applaud your employees' strengths both publicly and privately.

    • In a meeting with your boss, for example, mention something one of your workers did well. If your boss happens to mention to that worker that you said something good about them, they're likely to feel that you appreciate them and made the effort to put in a good word. That sort of compliment doesn't go unnoticed.
    • Privately laud what your employees do well. Tell them when you have a moment. Go into detail. A private chat, however short, can have a positive impact on morale, resulting in more self-motivation.
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    Tell your employees how much you appreciate them from time to time. Just go out and say it. Ask them out for a cup of coffee and tell them what you appreciate about them: They're a hard worker; they effectively motivate other people; they're easy to coach; they're disciplined or go the extra mile; they always cheer you up, etc. Don't mince words — just tell them straight out. An employee who knows just how much they are appreciated will work harder, enjoy what they do more, and pass that psychic happiness along to other employees.

Part 2 of 5: Setting Goals

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    Under-promise, over-deliver. This idea can apply to several different areas of life, but it's a great managerial mantra. Do you want to be the kind of person who has wildly optimistic goals that they never meet, or do you want to be the kind of person who sets measured goals and ends up exceeding them by leaps and bounds? Although this is about image, image is extremely important.
    • Don't be the kind of person who never shoots for the moon. Staying measured in your goals doesn't mean that you should always play it conservative, never setting high goals. A manager who never punches above her weight can come across as lacking ambition. Even the conservative poker player knows they need to go 'all-in' from time to time.
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    Make sure each employee knows what's expected. Having concrete goals empowers your employees and keeps them focused on work. Explicitly outline what you expect, when the deadline is, and what you'll do with the results.
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    Offer goal-oriented feedback. Providing your employees with quick feedback that's focused on their work can help foster improvement. Meet in small teams or one-on-one, and go over your comments in detail.
    • Set up a schedule for feedback. Offer it regularly so that your employees know when to expect it and can make space for it in their workflows.
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    Hold yourself to the highest standards. We all know the kind of manager who constantly shouts or bitterly complains when mistakes are made but gives himself a 'pass' when he fails. Don't be this kind of manager. Ideally, be harder to on yourself than you are on your employees. This can have a trickle-down effect: Employees see the types of goals and standards you set for yourself and want to emulate you because they look up to you.

Part 3 of 5: Delegating Responsibility

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    Delegate. You're a manager because you're good at what you do, but that doesn't mean you're supposed to do everything yourself. Your job as a manager is to teach other people how to do a good job.
    • Start small. Give people tasks that, if performed incorrectly, can be fixed. Take the opportunity to teach and empower your employees. Then gradually give them tasks with greater responsibility as you come to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Learn how to anticipate any problems they might have so you can coach them properly before they begin.
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    Assign tasks that will stretch your employees. As your workers begin to take on more responsibility and demonstrate that they're capable, give them tasks that will expand their skills and help them take more ownership of their work. Not only are you finding out how much your employees can handle, you're making them more valuable to the company.
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    Assume responsibility for your employees' mistakes. When one of your underlings makes a mistake, don't lord it over them; assume the mistake as your own, even if it isn't technically yours. What you're doing is creating a culture where your employees feel comfortable making mistakes.[1] This is a very important concept:
    • Doing this allows your employees to innovate and, ultimately, to learn or grow. Workers who learn from their mistakes will grow to become better workers; those who fail to make mistakes in the first place usually play it too safe, never venturing out into deep water.
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    Don't take credit for your employees' achievements. Let them take credit for their own achievements. This motivates them to continue to chase after success. The successful manager is like a conductor. He orchestrates the music so that each element sounds as good as possible and resonates with the group as a whole. A great conductor will lead by example, blending into the background.
    • What happens if you're the type of manager who "steals" someone's idea and plays it off as your own? You send the message that you only care about your image and are ruthless enough to sacrifice someone else in order to get ahead. That's not a great image to have, and it certainly doesn't motivate the people below you to work harder.
    • You may be thinking — take responsibility for other people's mistakes and don't take credit for what your employees do; where does that leave me? If you do good work and you're an effective manager, you shouldn't worry about dressing up your laurels. People will recognize the work that you do. Even more important, they'll be impressed that you motivate your employees, know how to be humble, and stay out of the way. If you work hard, you'll get your dues.
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    Acknowledge your own missteps. When things don't turn out the way you expected, recognize what you could have done differently and verbalize this realization to your employees. This shows them that you make mistakes too, and it also shows them how they should handle their own mistakes.
    • Whenever you're doing something correctly after having done it incorrectly in the past, let whoever is watching know. For example: "The reason I know to press this button is because this happened to me when I first started out, and I made the mistake of pressing the blue button, thinking 'This will shut down the system, which should resolve the issue' and I found out — the hard way — that it makes the issue even worse!"

Part 4 of 5: Communicating Effectively

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    Keep the door open. Always remind people that if they have any questions or concerns, you're ready and willing to listen. Maintaining an open channel of communication will make you aware of problems quickly, so that you can fix them as soon as possible.
    • Don't be one of those managers who inadvertently makes an employee feel like they're bothering you when they bring up a question or concern. Instead of seeing it as another crisis to manage, look at it as an opportunity to show your employee how much you want this organization to be a fulfilling place to work.
    • Never minimize or dismiss the concerns of your employees, and always make sure that you've answered their questions completely.
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    Take an interest in your employees. Don't make every interaction with your workers strictly business. Ask after their well-being, chat with them about yourself, and establish a personal connection.
    • Being in-tune with your employees' lives outside the office can potentially alert you to times when that person needs extra consideration from you, for instance if he or she requires sudden time off for a family funeral. If you can be accommodating about upheavals in the personal lives of your workers, they'll feel good about rewarding you with loyalty.
    • Know your boundaries. Don't overstep and ask your employees about anything too personal, such as religion, politics, or personal relationships. You can keep up a friendly rapport without being invasive.
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    Don't mix positive and negative feedback. Say you're giving your employee feedback in a performance review. You start off by mentioning how great the employee is to work with, and note one or two additional things they've excelled at. Then you launch into an extended itemization of their deficits — "sales were down this quarter," "revenue slipped," etc. What do you think the employee hears most resoundingly, the positive or the negative?
    • When you mix positive and negative feedback, both areas suffer. The positive becomes overshadowed by the negative, and the negative doesn't carry the full force of its potential impact. Of course, there may be situations where you'd want to communicate this, but on the whole it makes communication less effective.
    • When you silo positive and negative feedback, the positive stands out even more and the negative becomes more urgent.
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    Listen. Listen to what your employees and coworkers have to say. You don't always need to be the driver of meetings, keeping others out by dominating the podium. Always make a sincere effort to listen, but be on the lookout most during the following situations[2]:
    • When employees are actively sharing ideas. Don't butt in and talk just to make sure your voice is part of the mix. This can put the idea-sharing into a stranglehold.
    • When emotions are turbulent. Let people voice their emotions in a safe, controlled environment. Stifled emotions can turn into resentment, eroding your working relationship. Similarly, emotions that are not adequately dealt with can interfere with rational discussion, which should be the mainstay of your work environment.
    • When teams are building relationships or having discussions. Offer your employees a receptive ear when they're building relationships and getting creative.
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    Clarify what you're hearing. A good manager not only strives to make herself clearer, but also strives to understand what those around her are saying. You can do this by repeating what the other person has said as a part of your conversation. Use this technique when you're not exactly sure what the other person is saying.
    • Instead of asking your co-worker "I'm sorry, can you repeat what you just said? I'm not sure I understood." say something like "So you're saying that we could drive up productivity by offering more meaningful incentives. What might that look like in the flesh?"
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    Ask questions. Intelligent questions show that you can follow the flow of the conversation and clarify when necessary. Don't be afraid to ask questions because you're worried about appearing "stupid." Effective managers care about understanding what's important; they don't care about how they get there. Know, too, that others will probably have questions and may not ask. If you ask their question for them, you can act as a facilitator and build your team's engagement level. That's the true mark of a manager.

Part 5 of 5: Embracing Egalitarianism

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    Treat everyone equally. Most of us aren't as egalitarian as we'd like to be. Many times, favoritism happens on a subconscious level. The tendency is to give more positive recognition to the people who remind us of ourselves somehow and who actually like us, rather than to the people who make the biggest contributions to the organization.[3] In the long run, it's people in the latter group who will make the most progress in achieving the organization's goals, so monitor your own behavior carefully and make sure you're not accidentally short-changing them, even if they give you the impression that your positive regard doesn't affect them. Some people shy away from positive feedback but appreciate it nonetheless.
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    Treat your employees well. If you're good to your workers and they're happy with their jobs, they'll pass that kindness on to customers and invaluably bolster the image of your company. Or, they'll do the same for their employees and maintain a positive corporate culture.