Tips for Productive Team Meetings

Meetings are an important part of any business or company. But many a times it is seen that most of the meetings get stuck with the same topic with neither progress, nor conclusion. I’m sure you have been a part of such a chaos. Well, do not worry because you are not the only one. Many of the meetings that we come across in life goes unproductive; a sheer waste of time. But this is not it.

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There have been many occasions where things come out well and a conclusion is reached. A proper planning and execution can lead to a well-run meeting.

Discussed below are some tips that may help you develop and run effective meetings:

Objective

It is really important to be specific on why you exactly want to call for a meeting; the purpose behind it and what would you accomplish through it.  Sometimes the situation is such that you do not need many heads to work on the same matter. At such times, it is recommended that you solve the matter on your own. Calling for a meeting means that you are going to waste some invaluable minutes of the office hours.  So call for a meeting only when it is extremely necessary; when it is felt that views and suggestions of the rest of the team members are a real necessity.

Distribution of Agenda

If you are really sure that only a meeting can solve a certain problem, you should follow certain strategies from which, development of an agenda is the most important. When you are with an objective and know where this meeting is intended to reach, you should prepare an agenda and share it among the ones who are expected in the meeting. This should be done at least a week prior to the event as this would keep everyone mentally prepared and there would be no waste of time.

Sticking to the Agenda

It is very important that the person who runs the meeting abide by the rules mentioned in the agenda. This will ensure that things go the way it has been planned. Sometimes it so happens that people raise issues that do not really have anything to do with the cause of the meeting.

Time Slot

It is very important that one keeps in mind the time limit and sees that others in the meeting do not waste time going round and round the same topic. It should also be made clear that discussions on the same topics discussed earlier are not repeated. This will save a lot of time and avoid chaos.

MOM

MOM or Minutes of Meeting is an important document that should be distributed as soon as possible among the ones who had been a part of the event. This will ensure that there is a written proof of what happened in the event and what is to be done according to whatever was decided in the event.

Conclusion

If you follow the above mentioned steps, you will surely be successful in running meetings that are not only effective, but productive at the same time.

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Ways to Make New Employees Feel Welcome

Even though an employer today, you too must have been an employee to some company someday. Did it feel like an alien or were you welcomed warmly? Well, the experiences differ from person to person. But in these years of experience, you might have learnt that it is really important to welcome an employee on the first day. It isn’t tough to overlook employees on their first day. Responsibilities and other important schedules of office sometimes make it difficult for you to take some time out for your new member. But doing this will not only make a new recruit feel less alien, but also let him/her understand the new workplace better.

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Here are some tips that might be of some help to you in welcoming your new employee:

  1. A Warm Welcome

It is very important to note that you do not leave your employee waiting outside for someone to go and receive them. This can build up a very bad impression of the company in the mind of the employee on the first day itself. It is always great if a senior employee goes and greets the new hire as the first impression is said to determine the tone of any relationship.

  1. Introduction

It is very important for one to be introduced to the employees of the new company. Yes, it is true that one cannot remember all the names on the first day itself. But, at the same time, this can be ensured that he/she is introduced at least to their team mates and the important people in the company. It is also necessary that emails are sent to every staff member to make the arrival of the new employee known.

  1. Getting the Work Station Ready

Things might have been different when you were an employee. But with time, things have become very sophisticated. New technologies and the changing means of communication have made it mandatory for an office to have access to every necessary tool to carry out the daily work. So, what you need to do is firstly have the workstation ready for the new employee. This may consist of a telephone functioning properly, a computer in good condition and a proper place to sit and work.

  1. Assigning Work and taking the Employee through your Expectation

Well, corporate sector is all about how great a service you can provide to your clients in order to satisfy them. To start with, you need to first assign the job to your new employee and tell him how work in your company is done. There will be proper rules on how things are to be carried forward. An employee needs to be told about every important thing and also your expectation from him/her.

  1. Paperwork

Lastly, it is very important to let the new employee know about his/her benefits, payroll and other salary related issues. So, you should instruct the HR department to carry out with the paperwork.

 

Best Ways to answer, “Tell me about yourself” in an Interview

An interview can always be a very nerve-racking phase for people who are not really used to these kind of situations. It is even more in the case of new pass outs who decide to go and look for a job. They become nervous not only during the first attempt, but for some, the fear remains for even longer period. But after you sit for a couple of interviews, you will realize that there are some questions that are frequently asked in almost all kinds of interviews regardless of your industry, your experience level, and job type. At the top of this list is the universal one: “Tell me about yourself.”

 

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Though many of the interviewees look blank when such a question is asked, this question is actually an opportunity. It can be regarded as an opening for them to set the tone of the job interview and emphasize on the points that they most want the interviewer to know.

How to answer:

‘Elevator Pitch’ is the term that is used to describe a situation where one needs to sum up all possible highlights in a couple of minutes. Also known as elevator statement, it refers to a short summary which is generally used to define a process, product, service, organization or event and its value proposition. It should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride that should not exceed two minutes.

Speak of your life and achievements as if you have only a few minutes to highlight the best features of a new gadget that you want to sell.

Keep the following in mind:

Who You Are

It is very important that your first sentence should be an introduction to who you are professionally. It may be an overview statement that shows off your strengths and gives a little insight of your personality too. But remember that it is not as easy as it sounds. So a bit of preparation in advance pays well.You should also try to concisely summarize the diverse background you spoke of.

Expertise Highlights

You should never assume that the interviewer has closely read your resume and knows everything about your qualifications. Here, comes the use of your elevator pitch to briefly highlight 2-4 points that you think can make you stand out from the rest. Here, the emphasis has to be laid on experience, enthusiasm, and proof of performance.

Why You Are Here

It is suggestive that you should end your brief by telling them that you want the position and the reason behind it. Just try to make them feel that they are the ones for whom you really want to work. This should be optimistic and concise.

Conclusion:

It is suggested that one should not waste this opportunity by simply diving into a long recitation of their resume when one is asked to express themselves in front of an interviewer. Instead it is best to try a concise, enthusiastic response which summarizes the big-picture that makes the candidate fit for the job.

 

Ways to be a favourite of your New Manager

Many a times, it is seen that the relationship between a manager and his/her subordinates gets affected. Sometimes it is a grumpy boss and at other times, it is an argumentative employee. But, this conflict can prove to be very dangerous for the company as it slows down the process of development. It should be understood that the real task of an employee is to make the life of his/her manager easy. But most of the times the relationship stays bitter and hence the attitude towards each other and the works they share become unproductive.

 

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Below are some of the ways by which you can become your manager’s favourite and work towards the achievement of any objective together. It might not happen very quickly, but with time, you will surely be able to build it up well.

  1. Knowing your Manager

The first and foremost thing you need to do is to know your manager well. Knowing his/her ways of tackling with things, his/her nature and mentality would help you build a strong bond. He/she might be a person who wants updates to be delivered not verbally but, in a written form. He/she might not be someone who likes being spoken to openly in team meetings, but personally. Try to do things the way he/she likes instead of the way you like to do it.

  1. Knowing the Boss’ Goals

A dedicated and focused employee might get buried into his/her own work and goals and in the process forget that the boss also has a set of goals to accomplish. In such times, it is really great to try and know what he/she wants and thereby help in achieving them. After all, you are expected to make the life of your boss easy.

  1. Never expect your boss to spoon-feed you

You can never think of being your manager’s favourite if you keep questioning your Boss about every small and big matter. He/she might get irritated and start building a total disregard for you. It is a better option to know things from your colleagues which will also mean that you are saving time to do other important stuff that requires collaboration with your boss.

  1. Offer Solutions, Not Problems

It is to be noted that you should not constantly keep complaining about the different problems in the company, but start thinking about how to solve the problem. It is always better to approach your boss with a solution, rather than a problem.

  1. Be Punctual

If you promise to do a particular task and get it ready in a stipulated time, try to make that happen. You not being punctual may disrupt the other activities in the company and hence irritate your manager. Can there be anything worse than disappointing your Boss?

Practicing these few things will definitely enable you to get closer to your boss and be his favourite very soon.

 

Tips to Build Workplace Diversity

When we talk of diversity, we refer to the variety of experiences and perspectives that come from the amalgamation of different races, cultures, mental or physical abilities, gender, identity and other characteristics. In the past few years, it has been observed that the way of functioning in businesses have changed drastically. People are no more stuck to one kind of trait or quality. Even during recruitment, many jobs look for candidates with talent in multiple fields. This only means that diversity is what is looked for these days.

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Well, promotion of workplace diversity has many benefits. In the world of globalization, it can be a great aid. So, here are a number of ways that may help you promote workplace diversity in your company:

Identification of Needs

First and foremost, you identify what you need in an employee you are looking forward to hire. Things have changed now. For example, a company in a certain place might need someone who is really good in speaking Hindi. But they might also have Tamil clients who are not used to Hindi. In such situations, diversity becomes real necessity. Therefore, in order to create a diverse work force, one needs to first see if the people they are recruiting match the demographics you want to serve.

It is always suggestive to talk to local organizations about your requirement. Another easy way is to ask the employees for referrals. They are sure to have peers that are working in the industry. So, there is a good chance that some of them might be looking for a job change.

Equal Opportunity                                               

It is very important that the recruitment stays neutral. It is therefore wise to develop and implement an equal opportunity employment policy. Regardless of age, race, gender and religion, the candidates will be chosen based on their talent. It is always great to create a committee to help you implement the policy and come up with innovative ideas on how to attract more diversity in the company. At the same time, you also need to make the job appear more compelling that will attract more candidate pool.

Transparency

The process of recruitment demands that it remains transparent for all. It is expected that all employees understand the decisions on finding the best candidates are based on their individual qualities and not on favoritism. Else, it gets really difficult to ease dubious employees. At the same time, it should also be kept in mind that the managers understand the benefits of a diverse workplace really well as their commitment and support will be very important.

Retaining

The first week for anyone in a new company is a tough period. It is not easy to grasp things so quickly. Along with this remains a doubt if the company has a future and whether it was wise enough to accept the offer. At such times, a clear communication on opportunities and advancements with the new hires is all that is required.

 

Conclusion

It is not really easy to create a diverse workplace. So many factors come into play when such a requirement is felt. But at the same time, with proper planning and approach, this can be achieved.

Reasons why you need to talk to mentors

Life, for all of us starts in the shelter of a mother who gives birth, most of us then are blessed with the care of parents, guidance of teachers and enlightened by the elders. Plenty of encouragement from different people to succeed in life helps us retain the strength and maintain hope. But as we grow up, things become difficult and we tend to become more self-reliant. Growing age takes our closed ones away from us. In such situations, would it not be great to have someone who helps us in deciding upon the most important things? Yes, this is when we need a Mentor.

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Let us first know what this entire process of mentoring is. In simple words, when a more experienced and knowledgeable person helps in guiding you through the various challenges of your life, it can be regarded as mentoring. According to some, a mentor helps an individual in connecting the dots between their abilities, potential and thereby acts as the energy booster who builds the confidence and directs one towards the correct path.

It should be kept in mind that a conversation with your mentor may not really be very pleasing. But it is still imperative to talk and work things out. It is important to open up to your mentor. Let us discuss why this is vital.

Constructive

Sometimes, some conversations might not go well. Perhaps you never forget and if you are an egoist, it might be all the more difficult. But that does not mean that you stop visiting your mentor. Instead of taking it personally as an insult, you should use it as a catalyst for improvement. Sometimes, some comments might sound critical or even negative, but these feedbacks are supposed to help you grow and become the best at what you do.

Guidance

Any plan you make, any major step you take, it is really important that you let your mentor know about it. Many a times, we leave loop holes in what we do. Our mentors are supposed to be more experienced and knowledgeable people. They will help you see the probable mistakes that might occur and hence guide you with a contingency plan.

Recognition

A mentor is someone who knows you the best and therefore can identify your skills. These are otherwise not noticed by others. You can finally discover the exact field of your interest with the help of someone else. A mentor can help us discover our talent and therefore it is very important to open up in front of your mentor so that he or she is able to have a better view of what you actually are.

Stretching

Don’t you think a bit of a push can make you decide upon a matter you are not very sure of? Yes, a mentor exactly plays this role in our lives. They push our limits preventing us from doing anything less than our abilities.

Things that you should avoid after getting a promotion

It is in the nature of almost all human beings to take a step forward, move a little higher and see themselves getting promoted in terms of rank and hence superiority. And each and every being cherishes their achievements. But it is also a very common phenomenon to see that those who rise also change the way they deal with people.

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Imagine yourself to be someone who just got promoted. Wow!! Does it not sound exciting? Of course it does. It is same with all of us. Right from the day we start working in a company, we have this thought of being promoted somewhere in the back of our minds. And then when the day finally approaches, all we want to do is relish the victory. But you should not forget that with great power comes great responsibility.

From an individual contributor to a leader, it is a great leap and mind you, it can be real challenging. Here are some of the very common mistakes that you should avoid:

The Trust Factor

Do you also believe that trust can be earned only over a period of time? Well, then this must also be true that you trust only those who you think are worthy of it. The same is the case with all the others. It will take good amount of time for your subordinates to build that trust on you as a leader.

It is found that with growing trust, the operational speed increases. It is very important to make others in your team feel that you trust them and believe that their way of looking at things and working on the same idea will lead to a great outcome. You need to express these things openly. This will make things easier and work faster. Being stingy with complements is what you really need to avoid.

Do not Avoid Uncomfortable Conversations

Many a times it is seen that some talks are not very comfortable. There are a lot of people who do not prefer talking about certain things, listening to someone else hence try to avoid such encounters. But as a leader it is suggested that you should be a patient listener. A talk might not be very comfortable. But it is your duty to lend your ears and hence find a solution immediately. Avoiding them will only mean that you are letting problems pile up just because certain things do not come under your comfort zone. Remember that uncomfortable talks are ‘just’ uncomfortable; they will not take your life.

Avoid solving problems for Everyone

Your main objective is to work for the growth of the company and see that along with this, the other employees too are growing. But if in order to validate your role and prove your mettle, you keep solving everyone’s problems, it is a great mistake you are making. You are firstly wasting a lot of time and secondly, you are not giving enough opportunities to your employees to grow.