These 3 qualities will make it easier for managers to attain their goals

When it comes to reaching the set goals inside a company, managers have an important role to play. The manager has, not only the responsibility to supervise the results but to ensure that the team is headed in the right direction along the process.

There are 3 essential qualities a manager must have when it comes to managing the stress of reaching the desired goals: Set the proper environment for clear communication, take some distance and manage his/her emotions.

 

PROPER COMMUNICATION

In order to truly be equipped to reach the company goals, it is important to understand the vision and everything that comes with it. It is not enough to set a goal and put it on paper during a meeting. It is mandatory for the team to have proper communication and truly understand the work that will need to be done by each member in order to reach these milestones. Creating an environment where dialogue is welcomed will increase the team’s general productivity. – First, make sure everybody is on the same page regarding why these goals are being set. Set up a timetable and allow each member to give their input. Leave a room for readjustments and negotiations. Remember you are a team and everybody is working together. This is why it is so important to be flexible and allow your team to adjust as they go. Setting goals requires a close study of collected data, your employees’ past experiences and a clear action plan. This strategy will make your team understand that they are an active part of the decision making and important tools for the machine. When employees are integrated in the decision process, it increases their sense of belonging, which will encourage them to put in more work as they feel they are truly a part of the company.

 

TAKING YOUR DISTANCES

Once you have clearly identified what is feasible and what is not, you will easily develop a management style where you can take the necessary distances and let your team get the job done. Micromanagement has a way of demotivating the team and decreasing the chances of reaching proper results. It is important in this season to carefully listen to what your team has to say. To take a step back from telling them what to do and taking the time to see how they are applying the action points. In order to do so, it is crucial that you understand the space between what has been discussed and the reality and challenges that your team will face as they start taking action. Keep in mind that a good communication system will greatly facilitate you when it comes to taking your distances.

 

MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS

As a manger, it is important to learn when to let your emotions flow and when to separate yourself from them. In order to deal with the pressure and preserve the team spirit and motivation, managing your emotions is a quality you won’t be able to neglect as a manager. Managing your emotions will require that you trust in yourself and in your team’s capabilities. It is not always an easy task as you fall under the pressure of falling behind the deadlines and not reaching your goals. However, it is important to know how to manage this stress as it not only affects you but also the team working for/with you. Emotions are not an easy thing to manage. They often arise out of our control but if we learn to train ourselves to detect them, we will be able to control our thoughts and actions instead of letting our emotions control us.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Suffering from writer’s block? How can you overcome it?

Working in writing can be challenging. It requires patience, hard work and most importantly, inspiration. Writer’s block can happen any time and keep you from delivering your best work, or delivering any work at all. Writing, especially when working from home as a freelance can open the door to many distractions. How can you stay focused and inspired while developing your writing career and staying on top of your game?

CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Sometimes, the change needs to be from the inside in, instead of the inside out. We mostly get inspired by the things happening around us. If words are not flowing, it might be a sign that you need to change what you see and ear. Go work at a café, a quiet restaurant or anywhere you will be able to relax and focused. Some people like to work in nature because this is simply what works for them. Identify what works for you and immerse yourself in an environment that will help you squeeze all the good juice out.

 

TAKE THE BREAKS YOU NEED

Sometimes, all you need is a little break and some deep breath. Trying too hard is not always the best solution. The mind often needs to be empty in order to be refilled the right way. Taking breaks is actually a great way to feed your creativity and start on the right foot.

BE INTENTIONAL

You need to be intentional about writing. Do not just expect the words to start flowing without you having to put in the work. Set up a time of the day where you feel most inspired (maybe at sunset or sunrise), sit down on your couch or behind your desk, put on some background music if you need to and start writing. The trick is not to treat your writing career as a part time job. You need to have a time where you intentionally decide to sit down and get the job done. Avoid exposing yourself to distractions such as your TV or kids if you have any. Go to your working room and focus.

READ

Don’t know what to write about? Reading is your life savior! Reading has a way if opening your mind to so many things and inspire you to create something of your own. As a writer, I know that you must be careful when it comes to copyrights but reading from other others can truly help you get inspired and get fresh ideas. We do not create anything in life. We simply use what was already there in order to produce something better or simply different. The same thing goes for writing. When you get inspired from what others have already written, it will be easier for you to add your own twist and own ideas to create something great.

 

PUT THINGS DOWN ON PAPER WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT HOW THEY SOUND

The key is to start somewhere. If you are unsure about what to write, simply put things down on paper, knowing nobody will ever read it. Writers often suffer from blockages because they worry about perfection. Knowing that you are starting just for you will give you the freedom to let the words flow until you find a sense of direction.

 

BE TRUE TO YOUR STYLE

Sometimes, writers get blockages because they are trying to copy a style that is not theirs. Remember that, not because something looks nice, it means that you should go ahead and do it. It is important for your work to be authentic and trust me, readers can feel it when it is. Staying true to who you really are, will not only help you be more inspired but also will greatly impact the quality of what you deliver.

 

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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Are you considering accepting a management role? Ask yourself these 4 questions before the big step

Management positions and promotions are what we seek to reach our career goals. But sometimes we don’t consider how it will change our work environment. Promotions are like career changes. Your duties and position are different. Your new roles may not even resemble the one you started with. Before saying yes, here are 4 things to consider before accepting a management role.

 

1. How will it change your life?

A management position affects not only your work life but also your personal life. Accepting one of these posts is like a career change, so tread lightly before making any final decisions. Consider how it’ll affect your hours, stress, availability, and any other potential ways it can change your life, for better or worse.

 

2. Do you work well with others?

For workers who prefer to work by themselves, management positions aren’t suited for that type of work. A majority of the time, you’ll be surrounded by your team and colleagues. You’ll oversee and work on projects and tasks together, and will find you’re never alone.

 

3. Are you ready for the responsibility?

Look at the duties and responsibilities of the management role. What does your average day look like? As a manager, you have to be prepared to take praise for success, but also assume responsibility for failures. You’ll also have to deal with unhappy clients and supervisors when things go wrong, and problem solve if an employee shows up late, or calls out.

 

4. How do you handle conflict?

Managers serve as mediators in the workplace. You’ll hear complaints and deal with many conflicts. You’ll have to problem solve, and deal with situations you’d rather not. For instance, are you ready to deal with lazy employees, enforce company policies, and write honest performance reviews? If you want to be liked all the time and avoid conflict, management may not be for you.

 

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Overcoming Shyness at Work

Being shy can be a handicap in the working environment. It can keep you from sharing some interesting ideas, keep you from bonding with your colleagues, and leave you feeling like you don’t truly belong in the company. Here are simple ways that can help you overcome shyness at work.

Find People You Can Connect With

Identify the people with whom you share similar interest because it is the best way to start creating bonds and feel more at ease. Observe the people around you and get to know who they are as a person. Something as simple as discovering that you both have the same favorite restaurant can be a good start to a great conversation.

Make the Most out of Your First Days

Your first days/weeks, set the tone for the months/years to come. Do not be so focused on starting the work that you forget to socialize with the staff. Be nice, smile, and start conversations.

Related:

5 ways employers can make their new hire feel integrated

Partake in Out of Office Activities

Do your best to get to know your colleagues outside of the office. It could be a simple Happy Hour or a lunch out. Meeting with your colleagues outside of the office will help you be more comfortable and get to know them on another level.

Don’t Sensor Your Ideas

Do not give your power away by keeping your voice inside. Instead, speak up, find people to share your ideas with and recognize your value. You too have a role to play in the proper functioning of the company. Make sure you do your part. When you feel like you are a valuable player, you will overcome your shyness and be more open to sharing your talents with your team.

Ask Questions

When you take the time to ask questions, you will have the chance to learn more about your environment and your colleagues. This will make it much easier to make connections.

Be Yourself

If you have been selected amongst other candidates, it is because there was something unique about you that caught your recruiter’s attention. Do not be afraid to be yourself and let your personality shine.

Most importantly, keep in mind that overcoming shyness is a gradual process.  Do not put too much pressure on yourself but take it step-by-step. Set some small goals and challenge yourself to do a little better every day.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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How to Stay Motivated While Working From Home

`Working from home presents many advantages: independence, more time for your hobbies, less stress, and more. However, working from the comfort of your home can also be challenging. You can’t hide from the procrastination ghost, this is why it is important to find ways to stay motivated even while you work from your bed.

Don’t be a Couch Potatoe

While sitting on your couch might sound comfortable, it can negatively impact your negativity. Make sure you set up a working space in your home where you will be able to work without falling asleep or getting distracted. It could be a desk in corner of your room, somewhere you feel comfortable and let your creativity take over.

Take a Shower

It may be tempting to stay in your pajamas all day while working from home. After all, who needs to shower when you can have business meetings with no pants on, right? However, the simple act of taking a shower can make you feel more refreshed and ready to tackle your responsibilities.

Have a Stay at Home Working Schedule

When it comes to working from home, avoid going with the flow. Planning your days ahead is a major key to your success. Prepare a calendar, set goals, and have an action plan. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Avoid Distractions

Put your phone on silence and stay away from things that will distract you from your work. Avoid working in front of the TV or having many tabs open while you’re working. The goal is to truly act as if you are completing a normal shift. This way, you won’t struggle to meet your deadlines, your work will be more organized, and you will truly benefits of the advantages that the freelance life offers.

Do What You Love

When you do what you love, it will be easier for you to focus. It is important to find what you are passionate about and not only focus on the advantages of staying home. Truth is, even working from home can get boring if you don’t enjoy what you do.

Related:

How to make sure you pick the career you love?

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints 

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How to transition from Micro to Macro management?

Micromanagement can become a great source of demotivation for your team. When employees are micro managed, they feel like they are not trusted enough to do the work which leads to a serious decrease in their productivity. Even while knowing this fact, it can be very difficult for managers and supervisors to let go of their micro management habits, especially if they have been practicing it for a long time. While it is not easy to let go, backing off from your employee’s back and letting them be more independent can have more benefits than you think. Here is how you can slowly but surely equip your team to be independent, creative, and reach their highest potential.

Train yourself to limit your supervision

Employees don’t need you to ask about their progress every single day. Truth is, verifying their work every second will not make them go any faster. On the contrary, your employees will feel stressed, drained, and demotivated. After giving your employees the necessary guidelines, make sure you only supervise halfway through their progress (to correct and suggest) and towards the end, when everything is almost finished. This will give you enough time to track mistakes while still giving your employees the freedom to execute the work.

Take baby steps

You do not need to trust your employees with very important projects on the first day. Start by giving them small responsibilities that require minimum supervision. This way, you will build a relationship of trust step by step. Remember, it is not about letting everything go and allowing your employees to do what they want. Instead, it is about trusting them enough to believe that they can learn and grown as time goes by.

Make sure you have spies

You are the one who should let go and trust more. This does not mean that you shouldn’t have other people discretely checking on your employee’s work. Make sure you assign one or two people you trust to look over what needs to be done. It could be your employee’s more experienced colleague, that way they can discretely supervise while working on the same project. Keep in mind that employees may become more defensive if they sense that their colleagues are supervising their work. This is why choosing spies can be delicate. Make sure the spy has nothing to prove and is not competitive. This way, you will avoid situations where one simply feels the urge to call out on the other in order to be seen as the hero.

Relax

In order to be able to let go and trust your employees, you first need to relax and understand that nothing is fully under control. Find out what works best for you; maybe you could play some lounge music in your office, take small breaks, drink tea, or more. It is all about finding the right balance that will keep you on your toes while still allowing you to breathe.

Know your employees

Each employee is different and has unique strength and abilities. You will naturally trust some employees more than others and that is normal. Take the time to know each employee’s strengths and make sure their assignments match their strongest capabilities. That way, you will be able to sit down and relax more, knowing that your projects are in the best hands. It will also create a more friendly environment where your employees feel like their qualifications are valued, appreciated, and put to proper use.

Most importantly, do not forget to see your employees as people who are eager to learn how they can contribute to your company. Do not discourage them by over managing.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Things succesful employees do over the weekend

 

 

 

Most employees spend their week waiting for the weekend. It seems like weekends are seen as a time to disconnect and leave everything behind before complaining on Sunday nights about Mondays. From a more positive perspective, weekends are a great opportunity to start your next week fresh. Here are a few things every smart employee should do on their weekends.

Go out with some colleagues

Working with many people from different backgrounds and different mentalities can be challenging; this is why conflict in the work place is sometimes inevitable. Smart employees understand that in order to create a healthy work environment, it is important to create activities that will help you bond with your coworkers and get to know them better. Many times, the best way to reach this goal is to meet with your coworkers outside of the office. Seeing your coworkers in a more casual environment allows you to truly see their personalities and discover their fun side. When you are able to relax around a beer or coffee and find common interests, it will help you break the ice and be more than just office colleagues. Once every trimester or semester, plan a weekend activity with your colleagues. With that being done, you’ll be able to scratch the title “colleagues” and refer to “friends”. Never underestimates how a friendly atmosphere in the office can increase your productivity.

 

Plan a week ahead

List your objectives on a piece of paper or on your computer, preferably with deadlines. Think about the tools you will use in order to check off your to-dos. There is no need to stress over the next week during your weekend, however taking a few minutes to do so will give an action plan. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

 

Give your brain a break

The best employees are the ones who know how to relax and distress from a busy week. Instead of taking your work with you during the weekend, take the time to let your brain breathe a little. People who relax over the weekend tend to be more energize and productive for the week ahead. A few things you could consider doing: reading, dinner with your family, a getaway, or just sleeping. Almost everything will work again if it is unplugged and reconnected; same goes for you.

 

Put last week in perspective

In order to set the right objectives for the new week, it is important to look back at what you’ve already accomplished. What were your goals for last week? Have all of them been met? What method can you use to work more efficiently? These are all questions that you should ask yourself over the weekend. Taking a step back will allow you to bounce back fully prepared into the new week.

 

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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How to introduce new ideas to your boss

As an employee, it is important that you bring new ideas that will help the company go in the direction of their general objectives. However finding the right way to approach your boss with a great idea can be tricky. You might not know how or when to approach.

Develop a relationship with your boss: By getting to know your boss better, you will have a better idea of what they truly want for the company, their goals and aspirations  which will make it easier for you to develop ideas that go in the right direction. Depending on their personality, your boss might like spontaneous ideas that change the routine and bring novelty just like your boss might be the stable type who does not like to step out of his ways of doing things. Take the time to know them so that you do not shock them with your ideas. Put all the chances on your side!

Choose the right time: Yes, there is such a thing as the perfect timing. When you get to know your boss, you will get to know when they are most likely to welcome new ideas. For some it might be in the morning after their coffee, for others itll be at the end of the day. Observe in order to see what works best with your boss.

Take the time to think it through: Be positive but also think about the worst case scenario. What happened if plan A fails? Do you have a backup plan in case the consumer is not as enthusiast as you had taught? It is one thing to have a great idea but the key to success is to analyze this idea from every possible angle in order to think about the best ways to implement it. Also make sure you come up with some alternatives and leave your bosses with enough options to choose. Your idea might be great but remember you are not the one taking the decisions. Give your boss alternatives they can choose from in case they are not sold with the first idea.

Make sure your idea is in line with the general goals and objectives: Have enough arguments to demonstrate how your idea will help the company reach its goals and objectives. Not only in theory but also with the budget. Backup your ideas with facts. This will show that you pay attention to the company’s way of functioning and that you truly took the time to analyze your idea.

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Let go of the ida of the “perfect” job

We all want the “perfect job” where we can do something we are passionate about, wake up every morning and be excited about the day ahead. Truth is, nothing is perfect and there is no such thing as the perfect job either. Here are the reasons why.

You will never get along with everybody

In the workplace, conflict is sometimes inevitable. Face it, you will have to work with different people, all with different personality traits and baggages. Expecting to get along with everybody might be coming from a good heart but it is not a realistic expectation. As a newbie, take the time to observe your colleagues in order to learn more about their habits and personality. Taking the time to do so on your first days as an employee will save you tons of trouble.

Your boss will have unrealistic expectations sometimes

Bosses are humans who tend to forget that their employees are also humans. You might have to deal with difficult bossed sometimes. This will by no means, mean that you are a bad employee or that you do not do the job well. It will just mean that sometimes, getting along will require communication, compromising and setting up clear expectations.

You won’t feel like it sometimes

No matter how much you love your job, there will be days where you simply do not feel motivated. The causes will vary from personal to professional issues but the important thing to know is that, it is unrealistic to think that you will wake up every single morning all smiles and ready to tackle the day. This is simply not how real life goes.

You won’t always feel integrated

Not all bosses know how to make their new hire feel integrated. This can leave you feeling frustrated and like an outsider. When the integration is not done properly, no matter how fun the job is, you will struggle to truly feel like you are a part of the company.

Reality is, there will be good days and bad days. It is up to you to get ready for them in order to make the best out of your experiences. By letting go of the idea of perfection and embracing the journey as it comes, you will grow and learn along the way.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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When it comes to creativity, these 5 tips are better than redbull

They key to being a great employee is not simply to execute the job but also to find new ideas and new ways of doing things. When it comes to performance, creativity might be for problem to some.

There are many ways to enhance creativity and reach your full potential. Apply these 5 tips today and you won’t ever need red bull to boost your inner genius.

Surrounding yourself with the right colours 

Colours have a great impact on the way our brain functions. No doubt that, some colours have more power than other to stimulate new ideas. According to the Association for Consumer Research, the colours BLUE and GREEN have a really calming effect on the brain, resulting in a reduction of stress and anxiety and enhancing creativity. An experiment conducted by the University of British Columbia on 600 different participants showed that the colour blue has the power to double your creativity. The tests were performed on computers that had either a blue, red, or white background screen. The blue screens encouraged participants to produce twice as many solutions during brainstorming tasks as other screen colours. I understand that, as an employee, you probably do not have a say in the colour of the walls surrounding you at the office. However, you can make sure to put up pictures of landscapes with a lot of blue and green. If you, can, make sure you have a window next to you so you can get some fresh air and look at the sky from time to time. You can even put a little plant on your desk in order to bring a little piece of nature inside with you.

The office in this picture is a perfect representation of bringing nature inside in order to give employees more freedom and boost their creativity.

Get away from your cubicle

‘An office is where you can climb the corporate ladder. Coffee shops and other hot spots are where you can change your life and have the ideas to change the world around you’ .
Chris Ward, author of ‘Out of Office: work where you like & achieve’.

Seeing new things has the power to boost creativity. Find ways to step away from your cubicle. Some companies provide a relaxation room in order to allow their employees to feel more relaxed. Getting away to the play room with your colleagues can create a casual environment that will boost creativity and encourage the exchange of the greatest ideas. You could also set up casual meeting outside the office. Do not underestimate the power of a beer, glass of wine or great coffee!

Write by hand

In the age of typing things on our computers, writing by hand can seem outdated. However, Sometimes the whole experience of writing by hand is just what it takes to bring out some good juice of ideas!

 

Let go of the idea of perfection

Wanting to be perfect is sometimes what keeps us from achieving great things. Because this idea produces fear within us, it hinders our creativity. When you let go of the idea of perfection and open yourself up to making mistakes, then you will be able to boost your creativity. Everyone is creative to a certain degree. Just try your best and see what happens.

Working in the dark

A study conducted by the Journal of Environmental Psychology showed that working in the dark has the power to boost your creativity. This might seem contrary to point one but dark environments are actually perfect to birth ideas while the colours blue and green will help you develop your ideas.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

 

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