What they see is what they hear

Copyright: 123rf

Copyright: 123rf

Stop! Did you hear what you just said? Not with your words, silly. But with your body language.

As a leader, you will be more effective if you convey a non-verbal message that matches what you say.  That means checking your body language when you are about to offer feedback, run a meeting, or ask for their input.

Here's your 6-point checklist:

  • Head - holding your head straight up means confidence, tilted means listening
  • Eyes - look at individuals in the triangle of their face: eyes up to forehead
  • Smile - please do!  (Unless it's bad news, then be authentically concerned)
  • Shoulders - down and relaxed sends a confident, calm message
  • Hands - no crossed arms please!  Open arms is more collaborative
  • Feet - stop walking and turn toward your audience

This week, right before you talk to one person or the whole group, take a moment and do the 6-point body-check.

And then check out our Program of the Month: Presenting with Impact.

Around the office in 80 days...

Copyright: 123rf

Copyright: 123rf

What if I told you there was a way to increase employee engagement, customer satisfaction, innovation, alignment and empowerment - for free?

Wait… what?  Yep, it’s true.  

Idea of the month:  Host a Departmental Open House

Invite colleagues from other departments to come visit your department.
Have team members be ready to describe “a day in the life” of your team.

  • Share challenges, motivations, goals and metrics that your department is working hard to achieve.
  • Encourage questions and suggestions.
  • Listen to them, and act on them.

Anecdote: When I worked at Chateau Whistler, a Fairmont Hotel and Resort, we would set up the ballroom as an internal tradeshow.  Employees would travel the aisles with a "passport” and earn stamps after learning about each of the other departments.  It was fun and effective!

BTW - that's why, if you mention to a server in the Wildflower Restaurant that your ski boots are cold or wet, they’ll tell you about the handy ski-check services!  Win-Win-Win

Psst! Ward to learn more from Ward Certified? Check out our Program of the Month.

First days can be tricky...

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No matter how excited a new employee is for their first day, they're probably going to come home overwhelmed.

How can we maintain and grow their enthusiasm?

Tip #2: Have other team members show them around

While anyone can show them the basics, only a peer will know which option is the best in the cafeteria, which copy machine acts up, and whether or not to bring a sweater to meetings in the new conference room. Break the ice by breaking down the barriers between the "newbie" and those that know their stuff.

Do you remember your first day on the job?

Want more Teambuilding tips? Check out our Program of the Month here.

Last but not Least...

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The final characteristic of a happy workplace:

Tip #4: Purpose With a driving goal employees are more than three times as likely to stay with their companies.

Putting it into practice: Make it simple! Have a meeting to confirm the significance of the work each employee does then post the company's purpose- in clear and straightforward language- in a public space in the office.

How do you make sure everyone knows they're needed?

H-E-B & Harvey

Company culture is the personality of a company. It’s the environment employees work in and it has a huge impact on productivity and profitability.

Employees at H-E-B know that their company made helping those impacted by Harvey a priority. H-E-B sent disaster relief units, including pharmacy and ATM operations, and mobile kitchens to serve hot meals to the community and first responders. One kitchen can whip up 6,000 meals every day!

If you worked at H-E-B, how would you feel?

As a leader, manager, or supervisor you set the tone for your team.  What tone are you setting today?

Since moving our HQ to Texas, we’ve had the pleasure of shopping at H-E-B and we are fans! To learn more about HEB click here

Don't Mess With Texas


Persuasive Speakers

make their presentations audience-centered, they listen while they speak.  

How is that possible you ask?  

They listen to what their audience may be trying to tell them - verbally and non-verbally.  

Q:   Which of these signs indicate the audience may be defensive:

1.   Hand/arm gestures are small and close to their body.

2.   Minimal facial expressions.

3.   Asking a lot of questions.

4.   Physically turning their body away from you.

5.   Arms are crossed in front of body.

6.   Little or no eye contact

A:   All of them - except 3. 

Embrace #3.  If they are asking questions, they are trying to understand and possibly get on board.

If they are defensive, allow that person or the team a chance to vent.  

One man's trash is another man's treasure

This is true on the job as well.  Everyone has different interests and preferences. 

Here's an idea.  Take time to ask team members what they enjoy.  Make a list of these interests and then get creative, play Match.com with your tasks. If you are lucky, what one person finds engaging is something that another person finds tiresome.

  • Do you have someone who likes to teach?  They could be your internal trainer.
  • How about someone who enjoys a sense of completion?   They could take on some reorganization projects. 
  • Maybe you have a social convener in the mix, they could plan the next staff outing or meeting.

The more you tap into people's personal interests, the greater the team's overall success.  

What's your favorite part of your job?