Improving Interactions Improves Productivity


Do you need to be more productive? Do you need your team to be more productive? If so, you may think the answer is working harder, implementing new systems or trying new time management tricks. While these things can be helpful, you may need to take a closer look at your interactions within your workplace. Better communication and improved interactions can have an immeasurable effect on the productivity of every member of the team.

One aspect of this is creating a healthy work environment. A work environment affects how efficiently things run and how well employees communicate with one another. It can even affect how employees think, how they work together and whether they feel comfortable expressing their concerns. Creating a healthy environment is about more than just the physical space – it involves intangible things as well.

To increase productivity, improve your interactions when providing and receiving feedback. This doesn’t mean that you will never have to give or hear negative feedback or constructive criticism, but it means you will do this in ways that allow for conversation, growth and improvement. It also means you leave room for questions and concerns. These types of conversations are more productive when they’re two-sided.

If you need to push for better productivity for yourself or your team members, make it a point to celebrate and incentivize good work. When you give people something to work for, they will be more intentional about how they use their time. Make it a point to notice when someone does something well, and acknowledge when someone has met a goal or is doing great work. Productivity may increase when people know their efforts are noticed and appreciated.

Increasing productivity may have less to do with time management and more to do with how you interact with your team. Think about your interactions and communication and decide whether improvements in these areas could actually make everyone on your team more productive.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

How Are Your Active Listening Skills?


When someone is talking to you, do you stop what you’re doing and listen? Do you continue to multitask, or do you allow your mind to wander? If you aren’t giving the conversation your full attention, you aren’t truly listening. Active listening is a skill that is important in both your personal life and your professional life. It’s worthwhile for everyone to brush up on their active listening skills.

Active listening is listening to someone without multitasking. It is as simple as giving another person your complete attention and focusing on what he or she has to say. This seems fairly straightforward, but few people actually do it. It requires effort to listen like this, but it’s worth it. Good listening skills are crucial to being a good communicator and leader.

Listening well is especially critical for those in leadership positions. Leading well is much more than just telling people what to do and making important decisions. It also involves creating strong interpersonal relationships with others on the team. It’s impossible to develop rapport and cultivate mutual respect with those who don’t actively listen.

When a leader listens well, he or she will be, by default, more understanding. The best teams are those created with a sense of true concern. When team members can speak openly and feel confident their voices will be truly heard and understood, the team itself is stronger for it. Active listening is a beneficial leadership skill in any type of professional setting and in any type of leadership position.

An old adage points out that since people have two ears and one mouth, they should listen twice as much as they speak. This is good advice, but you may want to take it one step further. Instead of listening more than you speak, strive to make sure you are listening well.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Why Do Your Employees Dislike You?


If you are an employer, you understand the importance of maintaining good relationships with the people who work with and for you. You don’t want people just to do what you say since having mutual respect is crucial for a positive work environment. As the employer, you do have the right to command a certain amount of respect, but it’s also normal to want others to like you.

There are certain habits you may have that could actually be causing your employees to dislike you, and you may not even realize it. It’s healthy to self-evaluate on occasion in order to make sure your habits are helping create a healthy culture in your workplace and a positive place to work. Some of the things that can make employees dislike you include:

• Not providing enough information – Equip your employees to succeed. Make sure that you’ve provided sufficient information, and be available for support and questions.
• Reacting defensively – It’s important not to respond defensively when getting feedback or criticism. These are opportunities for growth and positive change as well as opportunities to set an example for employees.
• Expecting employees to read your mind – Your employees aren’t mind readers, and expecting them to magically know what you want isn’t realistic or fair. Communication is key.

As an employer, there is a certain amount of pressure to walk the line between being friends with your employees and being impersonal and standoffish. It’s okay to want your employees to like you, but that starts with making sure it’s not your own negative habits that are causing friction.

Having a positive relationship with your employees is important, and this starts with you. It can be beneficial to ask yourself what you may be doing to cause others to dislike you. A little self-evaluation and improvement is not only good for you, but it’s also good for those who work with you.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Simple Ways To Boost Your Creativity


There will be times in your life and career when you feel stuck. It’s like writers block in a sense, as you know you have work to do, but you aren’t sure how to move forward. Creative thinking is often a smart way to get “unstuck” and to find new ideas that can propel you toward your next goal or benchmark. Even if you are not naturally a creative individual, there are ways you can boost your creativity and use it as a powerful tool.

One thing that many people overlook is the power of playtime. You may think you don’t have time to really play, enjoy a hobby or simply get outside for a little while, but there are ways to make anything a game. You can boost your creativity in ways that may surprise you. For example, turn it into a competition with yourself to see how many tasks you can complete within a certain amount of time.

Make time to enjoy simple things like a walk or a game of catch in your backyard. Adding an element of fun to even the most mundane, everyday tasks can help you break out of a funk. Another thing that may help you is to give yourself permission to problem solve creatively. You may be stuck because you’re trying to think of solutions that fit into a certain mold. There are times when you need to toss the mold out the window and see what happens.

Give yourself the time and mental space to brainstorm. Sometimes a simple break from your routine can help you come up with effective and beneficial strategies, and sometimes you just need time to think through your options in peace and quiet. It may surprise you how effective a simple brainstorming session can get you out of your funk and help you think creatively.

Creative thinking may not come easily to you, but it’s a powerful tool you want in your arsenal. If you feel stuck, consider what steps you may need to take to break through the fog, boost your creativity and keep moving forward.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC