Category Archives: Management and Leadership

Staff meeting etiquette, rules and no no’s

Staff meeting rules

We live and work in a time where we are all busy and focused on our own lives, however, we still need to find the time for staff and business meetings. Most people dread work meeting but you are required to attend from time to time. No matter what you opinion about staff meetings, it is important to conduct yourself in a respectful and professional manner.

Given the negative attitude towards meetings, sometimes people forget the basic etiquette and rules that are required when attending even when they are surrounded by coworkers, managers, bosses, and even clients. Yes, it is sometimes difficult to remember all the meeting you need to attend and being able to find the time to prep for the meetings.

What makes things worse is when a colleague forgets their manners and make common staff meeting mistakes. Here are few  a common no-no’s and staff meeting mistakes.

Avoid multi-tasking – Don’t bring other work that is not related to the meeting topics being discussed. Leave all other works for another time.

Avoid side conversations – It is simply impolite and downright rude to hold a side conversation while a fellow employee is trying to conduct a meeting.

Stay until the end – If you have another important engagement and planning on leaving a meeting early, it is best to let everyone know at the start of your prior commitments and need to leave early.

Show up or call – If you are unable to attend a meeting for any reason, it is common courtesy to call or let someone know that you will not be able to attend the meeting and offer your apologies.

Never interrupt others – When someone is talking, pay attention and listen.

Avoid all forms of bickering – It does not matter how irritating your co-workers can be, never get into a verbal shouting match in a staff meeting. It is extremely unprofessional and awkward for all those attending the meeting.

Never hijack or change the agenda – If you disagree with the meeting agenda or feel that there is something else that should be discussed, then it is best to voice your feelings at the start of the meeting. Respect those who called for the meeting and are in charge of the meeting.

Do your pre-meeting prep work – Always come prepared to a meeting. Make sure you know what is being discussed at the meeting and prepare yourself so that you can add value to the meeting and topics on hand.

Never compare resumes – One of the most unprofessional and tackiest things a person can do in a meeting is to pull rank on a co-worker.

Leave you lunch at your desk – Unless you are going to a breakfast, lunch or dinner meeting, avoid all forms of food and eating doing a meeting.

Don’t ask people to repeat themselves – Always stay focused and pay attention to hat others are saying and avoid having to ask people to repeat themselves because you spaced out during the meeting.

Make sure to introduce everyone – If you are leading a meeting and aware that not every participant knows each other, then it is important at the start of the meeting to briefly introduce everyone.

Keep your phone on silent – It is best to keep your mobile off the table and place your ringtone on vibrate. There is nothing worse having someone’s phone ring in the middle of a meeting, especially if it is your boss leading the meeting.

Time management – Always arrive at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start of every meeting. Be concise when you are talking and understand that everyone in the meeting has other commitments to attend to so never ramble on.

Stand up and greet others – When you are meeting someone new, have the respect to stand up and shake their hands and greet them.

Be aware of what you order – If you are attending a meeting over a meal, it is important to aware of what you order to eat and always watch you table manners.

Don’t sneeze and shake – Never sneeze in your hand and then offer to shake someone else’s hand. This is simply disgusting.

Watch the clock – Always be on time and end meeting on time and give respect to others and their other work commitments.

Don’t fall asleep – This is self-explanatory. IF you feel that you will not mange to stay awake then have cup of strong coffee , a chocolate, or energy drink before the meeting.


Take your business to the next level

Grow your business

For those you who have succeeded in starting your business and are now ready to take your business to the next level but need a few ideas and tips on how to grow your business. Starting or running your own business can be one of the best decisions you make in life, but it can also lead to some tough and stressful situations, and make you take some decisions.

“It is no easy task but with the right support and a smart approach, the dream of scaling up your venture from start-up to successful business is in reach. If you want to be in business 10 years down the line, you must have a deep understanding of your business, the market it operates in and a great team to support.”- Virgin Founder Richard Branson; plan for the long-term, stick to your founding principles, gather a great team, and get the right support.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to take your business to new heights without sacrificing your business’s profitability or losing your peace of mind. If you hold an executive position, going down the entrepreneurship path, or you have already started a business, here are few ideas to help you take your business to the next level.

There are many potential paths a business can take to achieve growth, and each business needs to analyse and  assess at its own business model and determine its own path. Choosing to adopt one or more of the ideas below will depend on the type of business you own, available resources, cashflow, and time you are willing to invest in your business.

  • Open a branch and location.
  • Franchise your business.
  • Collaborate with other local business and promote your products and services.
  • License your service or branded product.
  • Form alliances with similar types of business’s.
  • Look for ways to increase sales to existing customers.
  • One person operators should consider looking for temporary assistance.
  • Learn to delegate.
  • Optimize collaboration and teamwork.
  • Expand your product line to offer complementary products or services.
  • Place more emphasis and training on customer service.
  • Expand your target market.
  • Strive for excellence throughout your business.
  • Make sure you have fun and never lose sight of reality.
  • Evaluate your vision, mission and goals; and adjust your business plan if required.
  • Repackage and find new ways to sell your product.
  • Accept failures and part of the growth path and learning process.
  • Study market leaders and lose your ego and analyze your competition.
  • Hire carefully and slowly; but be ready to fire quickly.
  • Bid for government jobs and tenders.
  • Invest more time and energy in developing your referral sources.
  • Merge or acquire businesses offering complementary services.
  • Commit to continuous learning and advance your knowledge.
  • Identify and correct “system” bottlenecks.
  • Go global.
  • Create a website and maximize exposure with social media.As a business owner you need to inspire, developed lead by example.

Signs and traits of an effective leader

Leadership skills and traits
Do think you are a good and successful leader? If you are hoping to advance your career and set your sights on becoming a supervisor, general manager or executive, then you need to start developing and building your leadership skills. It is not enough just having the desire to be promoted into a leadership position. You need to prepare yourself and gain the respect and recognition from your peers which is not always an easy task.

If you are planning to advance up the corporate ladder into a leadership position, it is necessary to develop the skills and traits required in a leadership role and gain the recognition for being a competent and capable person.

Her are a few skills and signs of a good leader:

  • You have a healthy relationship with yourself.
  • Focus on having a gratifying family life.
  • Find a balance where your wage is in line with your performance.
  • Ability to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take care of your health and exercise regularly.
  • Accountable for your all the actions and performance of your team.
  • Have the ability to delegate.
  • Be honest and ethical in your behavior to make sure that your team follows suit.
  • Have the qualities to make decisions in difficult situations in a timely way.
  • Earn the respect from your staff and colleagues.
  • Have track record of formative experience.
  • The drive and passion to be a leader.
  • Have the personality to inspire others to achieve success.
  • Ability to take what you have learnt from previous experience and apply this in your day to day activities.
  • The ability to communicate your thoughts and vision in a clear way so that your team understands what you are thinking.
  • Ability to stay calm and confident in any situation.
  • Have the aptitude for logic and reasoning and be able to analyze information and create innovative solutions.

The good news is that anyone can develop the necessary skills to be a good leader. You don’t need anyone’s permission to begin upgrading your skills and qualifications.


Leadership skills to learn after graduation

Leaderships Skills
Most graduates entering the job market are viewed as inexperienced with no leadership skills. They start their first job at the bottom of the corporate ladder because of their lack of skills, but are also afraid to assume a leadership role given that they are the ‘new person in town’. This should not stop any graduate trying to progress with their professional careers and desire to take on a leadership role. With the right attitude, desire to learn, any person can prevail early on in their careers.

Here are few ideas for all young professionals starting their careers:

Start preparing before graduation – Develop your leadership and volunteer for social or nonprofit organizations. Do this while you’re still in college or before you enter the workforce.

Learn to be a leader – While most leadership qualities and skills is learnt through practical experience, there is nothing wrong continuing your education and taking professional development courses on organizational leadership, or reading leadership books.

Displays high integrity and honesty – All great leaders are honest and transparent, with a high integrity and get things done.

Show your eagerness to learn – Don’t be afraid to new information and ways of doing things. At first the information might be overwhelming but don’t give up and ask for help.

Be a problem solver – Leaders are trained to solve company problems and requires people with both analytical skills and good people skills.

Follow the rules – Don’t get too absorbed and try to do too much and fail to execute their basic required tasks. Your first responsibility is doing your job first. Perhaps your first few projects right seem mundane, but its important to do a good job. Do the basics well, and more complex task will come your way.

Find your niche in company – Keep your eye out for areas in the company where you believe you can provide new insight and solutions. Look for things to fix with your unique perspective and skills.

Develop your skills and expertise – Good leaders build their skills, both technical and professional skills, over time.

Learn about the corporate culture – When you start any new job, it is important to take the time to learn and understand the corporate culture and management styles. Learn about your teammates; learn their responsibilities, roles, professional goals, and business philosophies.

Offer to help your co-workers – A helping attitude is always a good path to leadership. Looking for ways to assist your co-workers will not only give the opportunity to get to know everyone in the office, but can also help you move into a leadership role more quickly.

Get to know your boss – Try create relationships with managers and mentors. Try emulate their behavior and approaches. Ask your mentor to work on project he/she is responsible for and study the leadership skills of your mentor.

Get to know teammates and coworkers – Take the time to get your know your co-workers as individuals. Have drink or lunch together.

Share the credit of success – Complete all your task and work as independently as possible, however if you receive help on a successful project, you must give credit to all those that helped.


Qualities of an influential and good leader

Influential Leaders
You have a great idea and put together a team to bring your idea to reality. This is the first step of any successful business venture and leader. It is hard enough coming up with a new and unique idea. What is even harder is the ability to successfully execute this idea. This is what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneur.

The first step of any great leader is coming up with an idea and hiring your first employee. Like most new ventures, money is always tight, stress levels are high, and the hope and vision of instant success don’t pan out like you thought they would. It is always easy to let your emotions take over and, in turn, effect your team.

Stop, take a deep breath, and calm yourself down, and reassure yourself of the leader you are and type of leader you would like to become. To be a successful leader you need to possess certain skills and qualities.

Here are a few examples of a key qualities of any good leader:

Always be honest – No matter how ethical a person you think you, once you are managing a team it is critical to raise the bar even higher. Your team will respect you and follow your behavior.

Don’t be afraid to delegate – Building your brand and vision is critical when trying to create an organized and efficient business, but if you cannot trust your team with your vision, then you will never succeed. Trusting your employees and team with your vision is a sign of a good leader and strength. Delegating tasks is one of the most important skills to learn and develop.

You need to be able to communicate your vision in a clear way – Your idea might be clear in your head, but you have to be able to communicate this idea to the people around you in order for your idea to succeed. You need to able to clearly and succinctly describe what you want done and how.

A good leader can tell the difference between an amateur and a pro – Any good leader will earn respect through consistent displays of professionalism. Only amateurs try to take shortcuts.

Leave your ego at the door – Any good leader will do whatever it take to ensure success and get the job done. From manning the copier to doing the midnight coffee run. No job is beneath a good leader. This will not only get the job done but will also earn the respect of your team and employees.

Never forget your sense of humor – It is the job of any leader to instill a positive energy because the morale of any team is linked directly to productivity. Try find humor in any struggle or stress full situation.  Creating an environment that is happy and healthy will only encourage employees to look forward to coming to the work and office.

A good leader knows how to listen –  A good leader possesses the skill to always listen to  ideas and comments of those around, even if those people around you don’t have as much experience. Treat brainstorming session as a democracy of ideas.

Always stay calm and confident – Like any business venture, there will be days where your future of your  idea and brand will be stressful and things don’t always go according to plan. Never panic. Stay confident and assure your team any setbacks are part of doing business and focus on the bigger picture.

Make sure you have emotionally fit – Having the ability to connect with others is a great skill to have, however, this might not always sustain you in time of uncertainty an instability. Emotional fitness is your ability to flexibly endure the ups and downs of business and life.

Lead by example – If you expect your employees to work hard and produce a quality product, you have to lead by example. There is no better motivating force that seeing your boss rolling up his sleeves and getting his or hands dirty. Showing commitment to the brand and role will only earn the respect of your employees and will instill a hardworking culture  and energy among the staff.

Stay motivated with a positive attitude – Always keep your employees motivated and focused on the success of the company. Make sure to keep a good balance between work and play.

Be creative in your decision-making – Not all ideas are obvious and clear. There will always be times when you need to deviate from your set path and make decisions on the go. This is when your creativity need to kick in and offer guidance. As a leader you need to be able to think outside the box.

Running and leading any business, no matter what industry you are in, is no easy task. Not every entrepreneur is a natural-born leader. Never fear because you can always learn leadership qualities.