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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category.

I Don’t Know Where My Time Goes!

Does these statements sound familiar?

  • “I know exactly where I spend my time daily. The only problem is I never have enough of it.”
  • “I do everything I can to make sure that each day is productive. I even list the things I want to accomplish that day, and five days out of five, I never get through the list.”
  • “It’s not that I think I can’t accomplish things daily, , that’s really not the problem. The problem is all the interruptions. Someone stops by to ask me something, and there go fifteen minutes. Someone calls, and there go another ten minutes and so on and so on”
  • “Then there’s the truly big time wasters such as printer jams, computer upgrades, and office celebrations only getting me side tracked more.”

There are two basic types of problems that waste time. The first are mechanical problems such as the jamming printer. Other mechanical problems could be phone issues, system upgrades, and so on. When the mechanical things don’t function correctly, time is spent putting up with them until, hopefully, a solution is found. Usually the solution can be discovered quickly and management can fix any of these glitches.

Mechanical time wasters are easy to identify. Personal time wasters require you to recognize them for what they are. There are countless ways you can waste time in the workplace and below are the top five time wasters YOU can prevent.

1. Visits from your coworkers:. Office chit-chat around the water cooler or at your cubicle is one of the worst time wasters. Not only does it take up your time, but most coworkers are too polite to ask a colleague to leave them alone for the sake of work. If you have a door that you can close, do so. People should get the message that you’re busy. Otherwise, try to find a quiet place such as a meeting room where you can be alone and left undisturbed.

2. Making and receiving phone calls: Another classic time waster is personal phone calls. If you have caller ID, you can use it to screen calls and let certain calls go straight to voice mail and then handle them when free time is available.. If you find that phone calls are hurting your time management, try to block out time when you make and receive phone calls if this is possible, so that you are not simply answering the phone every time it rings.

3. Clutter: If your workspace is messy, you’ll spend more time looking for things, than doing things.A cluttered workspace makes for a cluttered mind. De-clutter and simplify, this will lead you to work more efficiently. Before you leave the office, rid your office of unnecessarily clutter (food, cups, papers). Utilize a file cabinet for something other than your afternoon snacks. Recycle paperwork you’re never going to use. And don’t add unnecessary items to your files – if you don’t need to print something out, don’t. Your company’s shared drive is perfectly suitable for storing documents.

4. Email: One of the classic time wasters, sending and receiving emails can certainly be a big time waster. Like receiving phone calls, responding to emails the moment they arrive can help to decrease your time management if you allow your email to rule you. As with your phone, you might decide to only send and respond to emails at certain times.

5. Internet: Like email, Internet usage (social media in particular) can be a big time waster. Actually, even work-related Internet usage can be a big time waster too. Use common sense here. Wasting time using the Internet probably just means you have to end up staying late at work or bringing work home that you could otherwise do at home.

To be truly effective in the use of your time you need to introduce new processes of for time management. Take a look at how your time is wasted in a given day, pick out one specific thing and then define the specific action you’re how to turn this wasted time into productive time.

Coaching Plan of Action for Managers

serveAt Helm Coaching Group there is a word we use for coaching employees and that word is Search. Search stands for: skills, experience, attitude, results, cognitive skills and habits. Through these facets you’ll know whether an employee is ready for coaching.

Skills
Refers to specific knowledge and abilities required. These may be technical in nature, such as programming languages, application and design ability; or non-technical skills, such as
the ability to effectively communicate verbally and in written form. You can coach the employee and help them to work on this skill by either directly working with the employee to improve these skills or giving them tasks that will help them improve their skills in the following areas:

• Questioning
• Listening
• Analytical
• Creativity
• Computer
• Closing
• People
• Persuasive
• Rapport building
• Self-motivated
• Problem solving
• Ability to handle adversity
• Follow-up
• Goal setting
• Social
• Prospecting
• Training

Experience
Refers to having done the type of work, assumed the kinds of responsibilities, and applied the specialized knowledge required by the new position. You can enable your employee by training them through these key areas:

• Sales
• Life
• Training
• Reaching decision makers
• Delivering
• Leadership
• Goal setting
• Needs assessment
• Traveling sales

Attitude
Refers to the state of mind the candidate must have in order to perform effectively in the position. For instance, does the bestfit candidate need to be someone who is open to suggestion
and able to handle critical input without taking it personally? Personality is hard to change, but by modeling proper workplace behavior with your employees and letting them know what’s expected of them you should see an increase in these areas around the office:

• Positive
• Passionate
• “Can-do”
• Selfmotivated
• Up-beat
• Respects self and others
• Trust
• Learns from failures
• Persistent
• Ownership
• Enthusiastic
• Adaptable
• Pro-active
• Loyal
• Caring
• Work ethic

Results
Refers to the accomplishments that verify one’s ability to successfully apply specialized knowledge and skills. These can speak for themselves, but performance should be considered using the following as a guideline for the employees readiness for coaching.

• Exceeds expectations
• Promotion candidate
• Develops growth charts
• Sets goals for growth
• Kinetic awareness
• Recognition
• Advancement

Cognitive Skills
Refers to one’s ability to learn information and processes necessary to the job, such as the ability to quickly assimilate and organize a large amount of data. If your employee can do the following then they are showing signs that they are ready to be coached.

• Process in place
• Quick thinker
• Conversant
• Knowledgeable
• Teachable
• Trainable
• Oral and written communication
• Focused
• Creative
• Strategic
• Problem solver
• Learns from failures

Habits
Refers to specific behaviors and actions required of the job. Promptness is one example; keeping accurate notes to document progress is another. This will be harder to train because behavior is deeply ingrained in adults, but you can help develop a better habits by enabling these in your employee:

• Self-starter
• Organized
• Consistent
• Timely
• Follows up
• Professional appearance
• Disciplined
• Goal oriented
• Professional
• Team player
• Administrative
• Manages time
• Detail oriented
• Going above and beyond
• Debriefing after sales call

Letting your employees know that you are considering coaching them in some area may also cause an improvement in their skills. It’s always helpful to let the employee know that you are considering coaching them in an area when you’re conducting peer reviews.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

ID-100152548If you have not heard of Emotional Intelligence yet, you will very soon. Emotional Intelligence (EI), is being studied by prestigious universities all over the globe, and what these institutions are finding is that EI is closely connected to success and failure.

 

Workplace attitudes and behavior can have obvious and subversive effects on coworkers and customers alike. EI is the ability that we have to monitor our behavior and self awareness in relation to other people and situations. People with high emotional intelligence are self aware and monitor their behavior closely in situations at work and in their personal life.

 

That doesn’t mean that a person with a high emotional quotient (EQ) is a door mat, it means that they know how to behave and keep their attitudes in check. On the flip side, some one who has a low EQ is not destined to remain that way. The best thing about EI is that you can learn how to adopt better attitudes and behaviors.

 

Forbes has recently published an article on EI and how to improve yourself using five techniques that will help boost productivity, (http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/09/24/5-ways-to-lead-with-emotional-intelligence-and-boost-productivity/). Now you know how serious this subject matter is when Forbes publishes an article about it.

 

The basic principle of EI is this, the higher your EQ the more influence you have and the smaller your worries and troubles will be. The lower your EQ, the more troubles and worries you have and the smaller your circle of influence is.

 

If you are still unsure what exactly EI and EQ are, there are plenty of articles on the web that explain what they are and how they work. If you feel that your workplace could use more EI, then contact us for more information on training, call Tanya Papuga at 407-508-9650, or email her at, tanyapapuga@yahoo.com.

 

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Managerial Up-Front Contracts

ID-100194379Up-front contracts are commonly used between salespeople and their clients. These contracts are mutually agreed upon expectations between the individuals that establish what will happen next and provide a specific set of events that will occur. Establishing the parameters of this relationship before moving forward in any endeavor ensures that there will be no surprises.

 

In the relationship between employee and manager the up-front contract performs the same task by laying out goals and expectations of the department, the employee and the manager. These contracts allow the employee the opportunity to participate in setting and reaching their own goals whether these goals relate to their well being, pay, advancement, or another reinforcement that is meaningful to them.

 

A manager will sit down with an employee and each individual will agree upon what they will work on and what to expect of the other person. This is the primary means of establishing the supervisory function over the agreed upon period of time. These contracts typically encompass the function of supervision, coaching, mentoring and training.

 

Up-front contracts lay the formation of the working relationship between the manager and the employee. The language of the contract may describe the behavior expected from the employee in order to complete departmental goals which the employee is responsible for, an example of this is a computer analyst who is responsible for  a component of software, or a salesperson who is responsible for filling a sales quota.)

 

Discussing mutual expectations sets expectations of employees and management, which can explicitly describe the training an employee needs, coaching the manager gives to foster behaviors of the employee towards a certain goal, or supervisory checkpoints to maintain flow and pace of work.

 

However, the up-front contract can limit the manager’s ability to provide services in certain cases where the implicit function depends on employee cooperation, such as mentoring. An employee must wish to utilize their manager as their mentor, but should more than one employee look for mentoring the manger will be spread too thin because mentoring is done on a one-on-one basis.

 

Many workplaces opt to overlook setting up contracts because gaining understanding of their function has a steep learning curve. But once a contract has been created there can be a continual process to improve the contract. The investment of time and energy does pay off in the end results.

 

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Presentation Guide

ID-100173113

 

At some time in your career you’ll have to give an important speech or present a proposal. Following are three techniques for giving an efficient presentation.

 

First, create an outline for your presentation. This outline is the bones of your speech. It is the opening message, ideas you wish to express, and the conclusion or wrap up of ideas from your proposal. Also, knowing in advance what you will be speaking on and where you want to go with your presentation makes it easier to choose only pertinent information to your topic.

 

Secondly, when you are writing your speech make sure that the introduction includes the purpose or reason for speaking. This will determine the goals you target, the approach you take and the materials and content you will select to communicate to the audience. Also include in your introduction the main points that you will be discussing in your presentation. This prepares the audience for the information that you will be going over in detail.

 

Thirdly, when choosing topics to cover, make sure to choose only between three and five main topics. The reasons being that most people can only remember no more than five  central ideas at a time, more than five ideas in your presentation may make you seem lost, and failure to identify your main points leaves you open to forgetting important ideas you need to express.

 

By using these techniques you have a greater chance for success of your ideas being accepted by your audience, and for your message to stick with them if it’s easy for them to remember.

 

 

 

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SOMMAI

What Tangled Webs We Weave

Number One: Never implement more than one prospecting activity at a time (unless you’ve decided to assume the responsibility for reaching your sales goals).

Being engaged in more than one prospecting activity at a time (cold calling, networking, and generating referrals, for instance) requires focus, organization, follow up, and follow through—activities that demand considerably more time and energy than sitting at your desk waiting for the next hot prospect to call you.

If you expend all your energy attempting to uncover potential prospects, you’ll be too exhausted to effectively interact with them when you find them.

So, stay at your desk and take it easy. Have another cup of coffee, and by all means, preserve your energy. The phone is bound to ring any time now.

Number Two: Never establish a meeting agenda when you schedule an appointment with a prospect (unless you see some sort of benefit to adding a degree of predictability to the outcome of the meeting).

Establishing an agenda at the time you schedule an appointment takes all the mystery out of the meeting. Since you and your prospect will have agreed to the objectives for the meeting, and also know what to expect from one another, odds-on, the meeting will move along in a predictable and uneventful manner. Sure, the meeting is likely to be more productive—you won’t waste time making small talk and your prospect won’t be giving you an impromptu tour of left field as he or she eventually gets to the point. But, think about how boring that will be. It will be like watching a movie where you already have a strong sense about the ending. No surprises. No drama. Who wants to watch that sort of movie or invest their time in THAT sort of meeting?

When you schedule an appointment, settle on the date, place, and time—and not much else. Don’t even establish how much time—let that be a surprise as well. You may not accomplish much during the meeting, but think about all the great stories you’ll have to tell when you get back to the office.

Number Three: Never qualify opportunities too rigorously (unless investing your time where and with whom you can obtain the greatest return on the investment is something you find appealing).

Using specific criteria that directly relate to the advantages of your product or service and the competencies of your company to qualify a selling opportunity will limit the number of opportunities you pursue.

When you sharpen your focus and invest your time and energy in opportunities that have the greatest probability of “taking you to the bank,” you’ll use your time more wisely, your closing ratio will improve, you’ll close more sales, and you’ll earn more commission. But, think about all you’ll be giving up—all the unqualified prospects with whom you won’t have the opportunity to interact. Think about all the colorful stories (albeit irrelevant to the selling opportunity) you won’t have a chance to hear. Think about all the creative stalls, objections, and excuses you’ll miss out on. Are you really ready to give up all of that?

Number Four: Never ask your prospects to make commitments (unless you wish to have more control over the selling process).

Asking prospects to commit to the next step in the selling process or a future action will enable you to maintain a greater degree of control over the process. While there will be fewer surprises to deal with, you and your prospects will feel more comfortable, and the selling process will progress more quickly, that strategy is likely, over time, to weaken your selling skills.

Here’s why.

When you have no idea about what’s going to occur at an upcoming meeting or at the conclusion of a presentation, for instance, you must be on your toes at all times. You must think on your feet and respond quickly and skillfully with the appropriate strategy and technique to handle stalls and put-offs, overcome objections, and arm wrestle prospects for decisions. When you ask prospects to make commitments in advance, you significantly reduce the number and frequency of these skill-honing opportunities. Is it really worth the trade off?

Number Five: Never give up on prospects as long as they express some interest in your product or service regardless of how long you’ve been pursuing them (unless you value your time and can find more productive areas in which to invest it).

Some prospects just take a long time to make a decision and take action. They wouldn’t have expressed an interest in your product or service unless they had the intention of buying it at some point. Right?

So, hang in there. Keep following up. Keep sending information. Keep dropping in on them when you’re “in the neighborhood.” They’ll buy some day… from someone. It might as well be you. Sure, you’ll miss other sales opportunities while you’re pursuing these prospects. Sure, you’ll earn less money. Sure, you’ll become frustrated. Sure, you’ll eventually come to believe that you’re wasting your time. But, hanging in there demonstrates your persistence. And, isn’t that a characteristic sales managers appreciate?

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