Examining the Humble Mindset in Terms of Professional Success

As complex and complicated as ethics are in the modern world – arguably more so than at any other age in human history – there are still defining virtues in life that seem truly timeless. Among these are the inarguable virtues of patience, good will, generosity, and courage; to name but a very few. Today, however, we consider a virtue that stands among them with no less stature but that comes with a degree of complexity under the modern lens: humility. Humility has been a laudable quality since time immemorial, noted as an aspect of both great people and great deeds. However, just as any other matter, there are extremes in play and overindulgences in anything can see it taken too far into a negative arena. And in no other case is this closer to the truth than in weaving the virtue of humility with the world of modern business.

Humble-Mindset-and-Success-Business-man-looking-down-at-desk

Make no mistake, being overly humble has the potential, if not assurance, of severely hindering your career. Culturally, a sense of confidence is the hallmark of our business leaders. While the word carries a certain negative connotation, arrogance is not far from the mark as well; and a certain degree of arrogance can do a great deal for moving professionals up the corporate ladder. That being said, let’s not make the mistake of a measured ‘arrogance’ being synonymous with egotism or excessive vanity. Just as before, the proper temperament is found in moderation and strategy.

As such, we’ll be taking a closer look into both the positive and negative effects of the humble approach in a professional environment.

The Bad

  • Promotion

Being a self-starter, taking the initiative, demonstrative leadership abilities; all of these attributes are congruent with those things executives keep an eye out for promotion and advancement. Preventing yourself from being able to step forward into the limelight when the opportunity arises can be a real issue. This is not about always working to be the center of attention, but rather recognizing when a challenge presents itself that you are confident in your abilities and expertise to handle. With an excessive sense of humbleness or shyness, you ensure that you’ll be overlooked.

  • Labels

Office culture forms in much the same manner as any other, with experience and interaction. Given that the intentional development of humility is not among the most common of pursuits in western culture, certain misunderstandings of your peers and colleagues may arise. For instance, reputations may develop along unfair lines: A humble person runs the risk of being considered unambitious, a follower, or one not to be trusted with managerial responsibilities.

The Good

All of that taken together allows an individual to walk a more careful path, avoiding the pitfalls of too much humility without compromising their integrity. Here are a few ways in which humility may set you apart and enable you to succeed:

  • Self-assurance – A humble person is less likely to accord blame or mistakes to themselves when they know it to not be the case.
  • A humble person generally has a greater sense of others, a compassion toward their peers and superiors that is independent of their status or recognition.
  • Building relationships and strong networks comes most easily to those who don’t have too much overt concern about getting themselves ahead before all else. A strong and viable network of people across the professional spectrum who know you for a genuinely good and caring person is, in a word, invaluable.

A powerful and mature sense of humility is ideal for maintaining an internal balance, not allowing the pressures and expectations of the professional world to wear you down.

Humble-Mindset-and-Success-Professional-Woman-Reading-Paper-in-Conference-Room

It all comes down to this: As with any virtue, humility is a personal matter of pursuit and growth. Take all things into accord and measure them against your personal morals and ethics. How you live your life and engage in your career is a decision you and no other will have to live with.

Further Reading:  What Business Leaders Can Learn From One Another

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

 

What Should Employees Never Discuss at Work?

There is a marked difference between tiptoeing around an office of eggshells and being blatantly, even obnoxiously, offensive. In most cases, that line is pretty wide and not terribly difficult to manage. Granted, there are certain areas where words get muddled or a misunderstanding occurs, however, generalities aside, there are pretty clear markers on what is, and what is not, acceptable workplace conversation.

Even for those with the best of intentions and quality social skills, there looms a danger that occasionally just happens: the dreaded miscommunication. While most often not anyone’s actual fault, the best strategy for managing this is one of containment: Disengage, do damage control, and be liberal with apologies as called for within the particular situation. Certain individuals, especially within a professional setting, can seem prone to not only take offense, but doggedly hold on to it. The best advice is to make your position of an honest mistake clear; things may be slightly awkward for a time, but it beats an open ticket with HR any day.

Two smart businesswomen discussing ideas at the table in the office

Having covered a few generalities, we’ll now go on to compile a more specific list of common, and easily recognizable, subjects to handily avoid in the workplace.

The List

Let’s discuss a few of the following items, taking a moment to go into a little bit of exposition even though many may seem ubiquitously obvious.

  • ANY Political or Religious Topic: This one is right on the edge of such common knowledge that they hardly bear mentioning. We do so, however, to say this: Political issues aren’t limited to actual politics. It can easily encompass any degree of social or economic issues, even the most seemingly innocuous.
  • Money: Discussing your individual financial arrangement with the company, be it right-to-work or contracted, is generally considered extremely taboo, justified by an attempt to circumvent conflict within the ranks.
  • The Compulsive Contrarian: Many offices have that one individual who, despite the topic or subject, simply can’t speak positively about virtually anything. Do yourself (and the company) a favor and don’t be one of these people. Moreover, do your best to avoid engaging in conversations with these types individuals as well.

Now that we’ve covered the primary trifecta, here is a short-fire list for further consideration:

  • Personal life “drama”
  • Relationship details and sexuality
  • Personal orientations
  • Gossiping about the boss and/or other coworkers

Group of business partners communicating at meeting in office

Covering the Bases

The plain fact is that poorly considered conversations have the potential to genuinely harm your career. Regardless of the legitimacy (or even maturity) of the resulting fallout reactions, you really have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Is the risk worth the expression? Most often, the answer will be a resounding “no”.

Conversely, the end result of this culture of personal and professional preservation may potentially result in something of a lifeless-feeling workplace, with you and your coworkers hesitant to genuinely open up and make any real connections. How to balance this equation is a task that’s going to be relative to you, specifically, and your particular environment. In the end, only the individual can really assess the ins and outs of their own professional culture, determining what is and what is not acceptable.

Our advice is to proceed with caution. A single unintended misstep can have repercussions that can last a lifetime.

Further reading:  Tips For Being a Great Coworker

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

Guidelines for Evaluating a Job Offer

Getting a new job offer is both exciting and nerve-wracking at once. The excitement goes hand-in-hand with any step forward in your professional career. The nerves come into play as they do with any major life transition. Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, let’s settle in and keep a cool head while we examine the preceding step to all this: receiving a job offer and how to properly evaluate it while keeping your best interests in mind.

A solid job offer provides a glimpse of what individuals should expect from their future employer, even beyond compensation and job description. New hires just need to keep their ear to the ground to pick up on all the details, such as the seriousness of the proposal and hints toward the culture of the company, itself.

Job offer

Perhaps most importantly, new hires should not feel compelled or pressured to decide immediately. Let the initial rush settle before you reply so that you can take a clear and level head, with your own interests and career goals firmly in mind before you engage with their overture. Even career-veterans sometimes allow themselves to act with a bit too much spontaneity; and understandably so. After all, at its heart, an offer is an open acknowledgement of your value and talent.

Step by Step

There is a superfluity of guideline compilations out there, yet many of them reiterate similar notions.  We’ve drawn together some of the best (and occasionally overlooked) items for you to take along as you consider if a new position is right for you.

  • Salary. Your primary and most obvious consideration: The compensation must be within your acceptable range.
  • Benefits and Perks. There can be a lot to unpack here and not all of it is going to be glaringly obvious. So make sure that you review the list carefully. Consider (and ask, if they don’t mention) whether the position offers savings, health care, relocation compensation, leave, vacation time, profit sharing, reimbursements, etc. The list can go on extensively, so write out those that matter the most to you in descending priority and tackle them in order.
  • Ancillaries. These can range extensively, and may include items such as child care, specialty insurance, hazard pay, travel allocations, and so on. The list may be extensive, so be sure to cross-check the position you’ve been offered with the company background and the types of duties they’ll be expecting you to perform. As with any perks, if you don’t ask directly the matter may never come up.
  • Job Title and Description. Is your role congruous with what was decided upon during your final interview and/or verbal agreement?  Be sure that there are no surprises in your listed title and responsibilities, as far as your written job offer is concerned.

Do your Research

This point cannot be overstated. Before responding in any way to the offer, get online and do some sleuthing. Look up the company, look up consumer reports, employee reviews, media events, and so on. The insight and data you’ll glean will be absolutely invaluable towards making the right decision, and will arm you with the surety to ask for more than you may have previously thought you could.

There’s another aspect to all this that you shouldn’t forget to think about: the nature of the company itself. In your professional career, as in all things, your core values must come into play. Your life is the sum total of what you stand for and who you are as a person; and your career is not magically separate from that equation. People often have to make moral compromises to their values and personal ethics in their line of work, but what to remember is that there is a line, and it’s never comfortable to cross over it.

Young businesswoman sitting at workplace and reading paper in office

Do your best to ensure that your next professional steps will be in line with your core values and the things that matter to you as a human being; or at the very least, don’t compromise you to the point of feeling irredeemable.

Further Reading:  How Job Seekers Can Identify Their Best Company Culture

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

Proactive Ways to Deal With Challenging Colleagues

An important part of life is learning to adapt to some of the more difficult tendencies and idiosyncrasies of others. While in our personal life, we have the freedom to surround ourselves with individuals with whom we find ourselves most compatible; it is the workplace where we find we must continuously exercise our skill to adjust and accommodate.

Businessman listening to a colleague

Sometimes the challenge may be an opposing work-style or simply a communication problem.  Luckily, most of these situations can be rectified, if you learn to recognize it early enough.  It’s also crucial that we remain aware of our own quirks and foibles as well, without automatically assuming the fault lies only with others.

Related:  Tips for Being a Great Coworker

However, there are times where an issue involving a coworker grows troubling and persistent enough that it deserves active attention.  Here, we will explore some of the obstacles that team members may encounter among one other, as well as the most practical ways of handling the resulting circumstances.

Demanding Colleagues – If you are a conscientious employee, you are certainly willing to lend a hand to a colleague in need from time to time.  Yet, if you find yourself assisting this same colleague to the point where you are running short on time for your own projects – or if your coworker is consequently receiving kudos for assignments that you essentially completed for them – this is the time to set clear limits.  The simple resolution is to explain that you are behind in your own responsibilities the next time this coworker requests your assistance, and nicely propose that they touch base with another team member for help. By employing this approach, you are not only reminding your coworker of the importance of your own job (of which they likely lost sight), but also offering them a broad, yet viable alternative.

Confrontational Colleagues – If responsible debates continually escalate to personal attacks, you may be dealing with a confrontational coworker.  Rather than aiming to solve the issue at hand, these employees are more focused on proving you wrong.  Deliberations that turn personal are simply not tolerated in the workplace.  Rather than altogether ceasing from sharing your ideas, attempt to redirect the discussion solely to the topic at hand, and away from the ego.  This can be achieved by avoiding phrases such as “You are wrong,” or “You are misinformed on this topic”.  If this approach is unsuccessful, trying speaking in private with the coworker to evaluate how you may resolve your differences going forward.  However, if this coworker has upper management connections, it may be best to keep your distance, rather than risk a dispute that may affect opportunities for advancement down the road.  In instances where all tactics have failed, incorporate HR or a direct supervisor to help you handle the situation.

Competitive Colleagues – While the majority of our work associates may be supportive of our achievements, we sometimes encounter a coworker whose sense of competition and drive for success overshadows all else.  While a healthy sense of ambition is laudable, competitive colleagues can sometimes border on hostile toward other successful coworkers.  It’s best to reduce your number of interactions with these types of colleagues, if at all possible.  If you must work closely with a competitive coworker, keep conversations light, maintaining focus on the task at hand, rather than issues that may trigger negative emotions.  Also, portraying your own encouragement of your coworker’s achievements may prompt a more amiable response.  If no other methods succeed, and you feel your productivity is being hindered, speak to HR or your direct supervisor.

Dominating Colleagues — Although a company leader or superior does have influence over your job, a dominating colleague or coworker only perceives to have this influence.  Workers who aim to dominate or oppress their coworkers must be dealt with from the beginning.  The key is to remind this type colleague that you are both within the same professional ranking, and deserving of the same level of respect.  If a dominating colleague attempts to use intimidation tactics, don’t lose your cool, but instead protect yourself by peacefully reminding them that you do not agree with their actions.  If it is not possible for you to create enough physical space between yourself and this colleague, try imagining your own personal barricade to mentally guard against intimidation.  Keeping a running log of your communications with this coworker will also prove beneficial should you need to present the issue to a supervisor or HR.

Implementing Strategies

While these are some of the most common concerns that often arise among colleagues in the workplace, there are, unfortunately, a wide and varied range of intolerances that employees must learn to counterbalance.  Often, those who are ill-treating you may not necessarily realize the gravity of their actions; and those who are aware, may not actually expect you to speak up or seek supportive resources. In fact, there may be circumstances where it’s best to not respond and reflect on what is actually happening.  Is the problem endemic to the office or is it focused specifically on you?  Are there others who may be victims as well?  These are some of the factors which will change your response options.

Nevertheless, plotting and arranging an effective defense strategy – whether through pre-composed statements or by incorporating the assistance of your company’s leaders and human resource department – will assist you in your efforts to diffuse any persistently negative situations.

Businesswoman in a meeting with a colleague

The Takeaway

The key to solving problems is being able to see both sides of the issue, approaching it in a professional manner, and being civil.  There will always be injustices and you’ll not always get the credit you are due.  Ultimately, however, if you make it a policy to always over-deliver, to put the team first, and help others be great, you’ll have the respect of your peers and a success you deserve.

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

How Job Seekers Can Identify Their Best Company Culture

The one aspect of company culture that remains consistent is that it is completely subjective.  An environment that provides an ideal working condition for one employee could possibly send another running to the nearest help-wanted ad.  Considering how many hours per day we spend at our jobs, it is only natural for individuals to actively seek a work culture that fits, at least closely, with their working habits, personality, and lifestyle.

Yet, with this in mind, how can job seekers truly know what type of company is a good cultural fit?

Company Culture - Puzzle Piece_Self

Identifying your comfort zone

The best way to figure out where you belong is to figure out who you are.  Think back to previous positions you’ve held. At what time was your morale at its highest, and when did you find you were searching for some shred of inspiration to get through the day? Perhaps you’ve found that working for a spirited company sparked your enthusiasm.  You looked forward to the luncheons and company picnics, and embraced the family atmosphere. Conversely, you may be the type of employee who preferred a more subdued environment; and while you like your coworkers, you view a litany of company events, not as a perk, but more as a pressure.

Although these are basic examples, consider objectively when and how you perform best.  Chances are these are also the instances when you have been the most content in your place of employment.

Discovering what motivates you

Do you find that your output and quality increase when you know you’re “under fire”, so to speak?  Perhaps you aren’t the most self-directed employee, but since we are being objective, it’s really nothing to be ashamed, especially if you’re aware of it.  If knowing the presence of your superiors is imminent while you work on a project is what keeps you on track, then seeking an organization with a practical, hands-on leadership style may be best for you.  On the contrary, if you are an autonomous worker who finds that constant intervention from superiors actually slows you down and hinders your creativity, you may want to steer clear of a “micromanaging” atmosphere.

Recognizing a company’s culture

If you’ve had a job search that has drawn on just a little bit too long, it’s easy to put company culture at the bottom of your prerequisite list.   However, not taking into account your own needs and how they would ultimately integrate with the company with which you are interviewing, is basically increasing the odds that you will be back where you started, seeking employment.

How can job seekers possibly identify a company’s culture without first accepting the job and actually working for the organization? 

Before you even enter the hiring manager’s office, be sure to check out the organization’s LinkedIn page and company website.  A company’s “personality” can really shine through on their website as well as via their social media presence.  You will likely get a strong idea of whether a company promotes a fun, creative disposition or a dignified, corporate sensibility.

What is the best way for job candidates to discover the more minute details regarding a company’s culture?

Once you have landed in the interview chair, take this opportunity to directly ask the hiring manager about their management style and what qualities the company seeks in its best employees.  You may also want to consider asking your interviewer what they like best about their job. Asking the right questions will help you draw a direct connection between your own preferences and tendencies and what would most likely be expected of you by this particular employer.

Company Culture - Employees_graphic_blue

The Takeway

While we may not automatically give first priority to factors such as company culture when considering a new job, ascertaining how we will ultimately fit within an organization will actually help to increase our overall job stability. After all, whether employee or employer, everyone is on their best behavior at first, but as time wears on, it is often difficult — or even impossible — to hide our true inclinations.

Fred Coon, CEO

 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

Communications Review: Are You Sending Effective Business E-mails?

Here to Stay

It’s safe to say that hard-copy interoffice memos are passé; as they’ve long since been supplanted by the ubiquitous e-mail.  The functionality of e-mail allows us to stay in touch with our customers, suppliers, and team members with a significantly lowered cost and increased speed over traditional snail-mail.

business-emails-keyboard_envelope_email-keyE-mail also ameliorates some of the challenges of communicating through international time zones.  For example, your location in New York likely makes it difficult to speak at will to your partners in Japan or Australia, in real time.  Yet, through e-mail, business associates from remote locations can communicate with greater ease, as well as speed.

On a social/personal level, most have forgone the traditional e-mail in favor of texting and other instant messaging platforms, yet in the business world, there remains a certain sense security and formality to an e-mail message.  The ability to encrypt messages, attach confidential documents, schedule messages for later dates, track message arrivals, receive automatic receipt notices when your message has been opened, and correspond with several parties at once, makes e-mail a standard choice for almost all types of business communications.

Best of all, e-mails leave an undeniable electronic “paper-trail”, complete with time and date.  If the need ever arises, you can follow all of your correspondence paths, and even review earlier messages without first needing to file them somewhere physical in order to search and recover them, or any other sort of complex action.

It’s unmistakable that the advantages of e-mail in the business world are immense.  For better or worse, e-mail is a vital part of our culture’s communication method, especial in the business sector. As it won’t be going away anytime soon, be sure you are using it to its full and most effective advantage.

Here, we discuss some basic, yet perhaps forgotten or overlooked, imperatives which we should all be upholding when sending business e-mails.

Good vs. Bad

Succinct Communication

William Shakespeare once wrote “Brevity is the soul of wit”, yet seemingly, many neglect this concept.  Self-importance is hardly a reason to pollute your communications with effects that only you want to hear.

One Question Rule

Ask one question (or two, closely related questions) per e-mail.  Is your e-mail program set up with only an INBOX, SENT and TRASH folder?  Chances are, you have folders for people, various sub-topics, accounts, projects, and so on.

The individual who sends out an e-mail requesting a response regarding the latest financial report, the date of your next golf outing, when you’ll be sending over your new hire assessment, as well as the results of the most recent customer survey, may have a difficult time getting a timely (or complete) response from his or her recipient(s).

Even today, many  individuals feel they are doing their associates a favor by condensing a myriad of issues into one e-mail message, when, in fact, they are actually obscuring the significance of the most important matters (i.e., financial report) while reducing the chances of a timely response on any of the other less pressing questions (i.e., golf outing).  Categorizing questions – even if it means sending an extra e-mail or two – will allow recipients to easily organize topics, better dedicate their responses, and reply in a more timely and thorough manner.

Efficiency

While you should never use the subject-line to type out the bulk of your e-mail’s text, this space should definitely not be ignored or disregarded.  If you must send out a general reminder notice to your group, you can save everyone time by including the brief details in the Subject-line.  E-mail-Verload Solutions offers this helpful list of frequently-used e-mail acronyms to simplify and improve the effectiveness of your subject-line.

The Mechanics of E-mail Construction

Before you begin, you should be able to answer these two questions:

  1. Why am I writing?
  2. What do I expect to gain from this e-mail?

If you cannot definitively answer these questions, don’t send an e-mail.  A nebulous intent before you begin writing makes it almost certain that your message will not be clear.

Remember our friend Shakespeare above, and build your e-mail so that it is brief, functional, and respectful of your recipient’s time.  A template can also be quite helpful.  This particular blog at myenglishteacher.eu offers some extremely useful e-mail templates based on the subject and type of message you need to send.

However, regardless of your e-mail’s topic or intent, there are some basic guidelines which are generally applicable across the board.

  1. Use the name of your recipient(s) in the salutation.
  2. Include a pleasantry to set a congenial mood. (For example:  Extend your congratulations on a recent promotion, or express gratitude for an effort on your behalf.)
  3. State your request or issue as clearly and concisely as possible.
  4. Follow your request with a specific action to take, and then welcome the recipient(s) to contact you for any necessary clarification.
  5. Conclude your message on a hopeful/positive note, and don’t forget to say “thank you”.
  6. Include your closing/signature. (Tip: Be sure your closing/signature is concise and includes your name, title, company name, basic contact information. Use your “settings” function to set up your signature to appear in all newly composed messages.)
  7. Proofread thoroughly before clicking “send”.

When Not to E-mail

business-emails-communication-device-graphicE-mail can have a downside, too.  Sometimes communications require a great deal of detail, which can force you to throw all the conventional rules of a good e-mail out the window, so to speak.

However, when you feel that a particular e-mail’s back-and-forth correspondence is becoming unmanageable, do not be afraid to pick up the telephone, or even better, speak in person, if possible.  Ten or twenty interruptions to your day can be more time consuming than a brief phone call or face-to-face meeting.  You might be able to solve a problem in five or ten minutes on the phone that could have dragged out for a couple of days or more in e-mail.

While e-mail can be an indispensable tool, there will always be times when there is truly no substitute for conversational speaking.  In fact, as this technological age has advanced to a point where many of us are communicating with coworkers and associates almost solely via means of electronic messaging, we have come to realize that a misunderstanding can easily arise for the simple reason that the written word often does not convey the same emotion or intent as does the spoken word; even if the objective is identical.  When texting or e-mailing someone on a personal level, you may include a corresponding emoticon to soften the lines of your message, however, in business, where emoticons are less often used for fear of seeming unprofessional, words can often be misinterpreted.  This article at Fastcodesign.com further describes why certain sentiments can often be misread via e-mails and texts.

The Takeaway

E-mail is a fantastic contrivance, but it is not the ultimate solution to every communication problem.  The average professional can typically encounter up to 100 e-mails per day, and there are times when a brief conversation could eliminate 20 percent of your inbox. Therefore, choose your communication methods wisely, and not solely out of habit.

Conversely, the ability to make your e-mail messages work for you through proper composition, organization, and etiquette, can simplify as well as maximize your interactions with coworkers and associates, while conveniently documenting your exchanges for future reference.  When used effectively, the benefits of e-mail communication truly are invaluable.

Fred Coon, CEO

 

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

Managing Vs. Coaching – Achieving the Right Balance

Successful companies have successful managers, and successful managers know how to balance managerial duties with coaching and praise managing-vs-coaching-balance-businessman-and-teamtechniques for their teams. Managers are necessary for organizing and facilitating employee productivity, making it possible for their work staff to succeed without impediment; yet sometimes, a real business leader must also take on the qualities of coach to ensure their team achieves what it should.

Basic managerial traditional duties

Regardless of industry, all managers have certain basic traditional duties. Some of these include managing employee schedules, assigning tasks, making sure shifts are adequately covered and ensuring customer satisfaction. Managers are also responsible for making sure their teams meet deadlines, company sales goals, while also handling crises within the company and between employees. They are responsible for keeping their eye on the bottom line, overseeing a portion of accounting and banking duties, and foreseeing any problems that may arise so as to get ahead of them.

Basic coaching duties

While managerial duties involve overseeing the employees and production, coaching duties are more along the lines of developing goals and ways to achieve them. In the coaching role, managers will strategize to find the best way to achieve success, then they will work with the employees, offering advice and maybe even incentives to make sure the goals are obtained. Employees are encouraged and motivated to succeed, which also leads to the company’s ultimate success. As a coach will guide his or her players in a sport’s league and offer praise and encouragement, a managerial coach will do the same with their team of employees.

The importance of having both managerial and coaching skills

A manager who focuses solely on the managing aspect of his or her role usually tends to be primarily focused on the bottom line. With this approach, the employees, as individuals, risk being overlooked through a lack of external motivation.  Conversely, a coach who does not incorporate any managerial duties may be well liked by the employees, but the business may eventually fail due to inattention to important details.

Finding a balance and knowing when to coach instead of manage

managing-vs-coaching-leadership-word-collageQuality managers tend to be natural problem-solvers. When approached with an employee crisis, it may be the manager’s immediate instinct to solve it on their own. However, sometimes it is best to take a step back, and help the employee find a solution on their own. Not only does this build a stronger relationship between the manager and employee, it also gives the employee a sense of accomplishment and worth. By using this coaching technique, employees develop further autonomy and managers are able to spend more time on other important aspects of their role.

Achieving an ultimate balance between the supervisory as well as the coaching facets of a managerial job is vital, and may not necessarily be easily achieved.  However, it is worth the effort to learn and employ these tactics. When possible, managers should work with the employees to solve basic problems while offering instruction, guidance and support along the way. Building a strong working relationship will go a long way toward the continued success of any organization.

Fred Coon, CEO

 

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

The Best Ways to Thank Your Employees For a Job Well Done

best-way-to-thank-employees-business-man-and-woman-speakingWhen employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more apt to strive for excellence.  Showing thanks for a job well done is never unfitting, although in some companies, it may not occur often enough.

According to a recent Harris poll, only 35 percent of employees received recognition for a good job performance within a year’s time. Another Glassdoor survey indicated that among 2,044 employees, 53 percent of workers would be more apt to remain at their current organization for a longer time if they received appreciative feedback from their superiors.  Furthermore, 81 percent stated they felt more motivated when working for a leader who expressed thanks for their hard work.

Employers should become familiar with the inclinations of their individual employees, and consider the most suitable way to show their gratitude.  For example, a quieter employee may not appreciate a grand announcement as much as a simple note or token of thanks.

If you are searching for the best way to express appreciation to your best employees, chances are it will generally fall into one of three categories:

Praise

A sincere and defined expression of praise in reference to a specific accomplishment shows that you have truly taken notice of your employee’s actions and are appreciative of the time and effort he or she has expended; whether you opt for a verbal “thank you”, a written message of gratitude, or a shared announcement.  When workers know their achievements are not going unnoticed by their superiors, they will maintain a higher sense of ambition and workplace morale.

Incentives

There are a few options when considering an incentive as a gesture of appreciation for an employee who went the extra mile for you.  If financially feasible, monetary bonuses are always a welcome way to show gratitude, as are gift certificates.  In other cases, and if practical, some employers choose to offer a day of paid time off or a flexible holiday schedule.   An employer who knows the worker well enough may even offer a small, personalized gift.

Celebrations

Opting to take your employees out to lunch at a restaurant of their choice or ordering in from a caterer is an excellent way to show your best-way-to-thank-employees-group-of-professionals-around-tableappreciation.  This is also a great option when rewarding more than one employee for a group effort.  Booking the conference room for a lunchtime celebration (or holiday gift exchange, if celebrating a successful full year of hard work) is a fantastic option.  Not only is it a gracious gesture, but it also helps foster bonding among the work staff, and may even spark some new office traditions.

The Takeaway

It’s safe to say there really isn’t a wrong way to show your best workers how thankful you are for their support and effort, as long as it’s sincere and well thought out.  Additionally, by consistently acknowledging and praising your employees’ hard work, you are promoting a culture of graciousness, politeness, and respect among your staff.

 

 

Fred Coon, CEO

 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

 

Working for a Small Company VS Large Corporation: Pros and Cons

The workforce can offer a vast sea of employment options with a variety of industry choices, both established and emerging. Yet, one decision that job seekers often find themselves having to make is whether to work for a large or small organization.

Understand What You Need

small-vs-large-company-woman-with-glasses-thinkingDepending upon what is available to a candidate with your specific skill set and experience level, you can certainly choose what sized company to work for according to your own partiality. Chances are you’ve heard numerous, albeit valid, arguments through the years, boasting the advantages and drawbacks of each.  As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to companies of all magnitudes, so doing your research as well as being in tune with your own preferences, will determine what decision is best for you.

Recognizing your own work style, personality attributes, and career goals is the first step in making a solid decision.

Small Companies

Remember that a small company can sometimes offer the opportunity for you to wear many hats, so to speak.  When you work in a smaller, family-like atmosphere, individual roles do exist but are sometimes less distinct, and you may have the opportunity to participate in vital areas of the company which you might not have in a large corporation.  This, in turn, can offer you the chance to accumulate broad areas of expertise.

While you may be able to work more closely with upper management, offer ideas, and participate in crucial decisions, your employee benefit package may not be as munificent as with a larger company for the simple fact that there are fewer contributing employees.  On the other hand, small organizations can offer a sense of unity and bonding that may not exist in large companies with multiple, spread out departments. In addition, small company employees may find they are able to communicate more freely and frequently with superiors when important issues arise.

Large Companies

Some individuals appreciate the definitive structures and stringent regulations of a large company which can take away a great deal of guess-small-vs-large-company-blue-double-buildingswork through formally established human resources and legal departments.  Yet, while small organizations can offer you more varied experience in a frequently less formal setting, larger companies provide talented employees with opportunities for gradual, steady advancement in what is often a more stimulating, fast-paced environment.

Organizations of a larger size often don’t feel the effects of a slowing industry, slight economic downturn or even a bad management decision quite as intensely or quickly as a small company might, yet employees can still be individually affected by downsizing if the need arises.  Also, large companies are usually able to offer their staff more bountiful benefit packages, based on the larger number of participants, however, employees may need to really step up their game to be noticed and considered for promotions and raises.

What to Remember

It’s important to bear in mind that neither decision to work for a small vs. larger company is necessarily right or wrong; it is merely a judgment of which one matches your personal and professional needs.  Furthermore, what may fit your career goals right now might not be the case five years from now.  So, whatever your decision, don’t hesitate to accept the challenges each one has to offer, because you are sure to acquire valuable experience either way.

 

Fred Coon, CEO

 

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Key Qualities of Team Players in the Workplace

During a job interview, we all know how important it is to portray ourselves as a true team player.  It’s a question we have come to expect, and rarely would anyone think of answering it negatively.  However, once we’ve landed the position, we must live up to our original promise without forgetting how to actually be a team player.

team-players-in-the-workplace-teamwork-drawing-collageEmployees with a team player attitude consistently place the advantages and objectives of the group ahead of their own individual circumstances. While we may know and understand the meaning of being an effective team player, it’s possible we may sometimes forget the essentials of what goes into being a productive and supportive part of the sum total.

Therefore, as employees, what qualities must we exhibit for our superiors to notice us for the team players we truly are?

1. Flexibility

Being schedule-oriented is part of being an organized, efficient employee.  However, when unforeseen circumstances call for a deviation from the norm in order to reach a new or unanticipated goal, then it’s important to be able to adapt to changeable conditions in order to support the rest of the group.  Team players are also open to new ideas and strategies that are not their own, realizing that rigidity and inflexibility are counterproductive.

2. Dependability

Any team is really only as effective as its weakest member, and this holds emphatically true in the workplace.  An employee who is timely, meets deadlines, picks up slack for less efficient colleagues, and is an overall dependable worker, will be perceived in an extremely positive light by their employer, and ultimately as an effective team player.

3. Neutrality

Most offices experience a certain amount of “politics” between coworkers at one time or another.  Employees who can steer clear of issues that don’t directly affect the fundamental objective of the organization are showing good teamwork.  This means avoiding trivial rivalries with others and not taking sides with those who do partake.  By showing your employer you have the ability to work without conflict, you are presenting yourself as a dedicated team player.

4. Honestyteam-players-in-the-workplace-group-of-diversified-professionals-at-work

While working conflict-free is necessary, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express constructive opinions in a professional manner.  Employers appreciate workers who provide honest feedback and sensible suggestions, especially if a situation is not working the way it should.  By offering your ideas on how a lacking circumstance could be improved, you are not only demonstrating effectual communication and trouble-shooting skills, but you are showing that you truly care about the end result, as any real team player should.

5. Loyalty

A committed team player is supportive of their colleagues and respectful of views differing from their own.  While we all enjoy praise and accolades for a job well-done, a loyal team player is encouraging to the rest of the group, and not afraid to let them shine.  Effective collaboration is non-competitive, and occurs when all gears are in motion; therefore, your partners’ success will reflect positively on you, and vice versa.

By Fred Coon, CEO

 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200