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  1. Tips on how to effectively lead teams

    May 5, 2015 by Jenna

    Leading teams requires great commitment and looking outside of yourself to meet their needs. We have provided some tips below to help set you on the right path to a great leadership experience: If you are new to a leadership role they might help guide your way and if you have been at it for a while they may serve as a useful reminder.

    1. Brush up on Your Communication Skills. Having clear and precise communication is important, and being honest and open with your team helps build a level of trust. Making sure all staff understand what the goals and expectations are and giving them the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas for feedback is important.

    2. Be Committed to Your Goal. Not only should you be explaining the importance of the company goals to your team, but you need to show by example that you support the goals as a leader. This involves setting out the tasks, having follow-up meetings and making sure that your team is on track with what needs to be achieved.

    3. Give Verbal Recognition. Verbal recognition for efforts and praise show your support towards the staff member’s accomplishments. It also boosts morale and positivity that encourages a mutual support among team members.

    4. A Team Leader Should Lead by Example. A great leader is someone who shouldn’t be afraid to get their hands dirty or dig in to help when the team requires additional support. Someone who can encourage team members to take risks and support them when they do.

    5. Invest in Staff Careers. To ensure your staff are up to date with the skills they need for their role, you may need to invest in training, invest time mentoring or finding the right mentor, invest time to discover what they really need and want in order to do a great job.

    6. Resolve Conflicts. Any conflict within the workplace needs to be handled promptly and assessed by leaders as soon as it arises. Appropriate measures need to be taken to find resolution or negotiate a mutual agreement. Whether it is conflict in a task or between co-workers, leaders must step up to the plate to take action and problem solve the best way that they can.

    7. Teach Adaptability. The effective team manager should teach adaptability and flexibility to all their team members. This results in better communication, a greater sense of empowerment among staff and a faster exchange of information.

    8. Build Pride in Your Team. Positive reinforcement on success is a proven way to keep staff motivation high and build pride in your team. It will increase productivity amongst the team and encourage drive towards goals. You are also creating a positive working environment that employees are happy to be a part of.

    9. Give Your Staff New Responsibilities. Just as you have developed into your role of leadership, your team are looking for development opportunities. It is important that you help them by giving them the opportunity to take on new responsibilities as the opportunities arise.

    Have you lead teams during your career? What were your first experiences when it came to leading teams? What did you find was most successful? What did you learn from the experience?


  2. What are the best ways to cope with workplace stress?

    May 16, 2012 by Jenna

    Workplace Stress: This isn’t an uncommon term. We have all been stressed within the workplace, but whether you thrive or crumble on the daily adrenalin moments is a different story.

    Linking closely with my previous blog about effectively managing your time on a daily basis, for those that are in those situations of being in an environment that is likely to trigger stress, what are the best ways that you cope with it?

    When I worked in the events industry, it became common practice to expect that the unexpected would happen. Not necessarily to predict that something will go wrong, but it certainly teaches you to respond and adapt to any changes that may occur with an event last minute, and in some cases problem solve on the spot if need be.

    There were the times, however, when handling enquiries, liaising with chefs and the operations team, meetings, client calls and emails would get the better of you and this is where communication was a valuable tool, but often not enforced enough. Each team member that I worked closely with did not want to appear defeated or unable to cope with our assignments and we would often handle our stress in silence. This was often noticed by a tense atmosphere of mood swings, sending emails to one another instead of communicating directly, and late hours catching up on work from earlier that morning.

    At least our manager had a keen sense at detecting this tense atmosphere and had individual meetings with us to establish what was really going on.

    Working as a team environment however, one should never feel that they cannot speak up for themselves in times of stress, because the most harm that an individual can do to themselves is bottle up the feelings of anxiety inside.

    Some of the feedback that I received last week from respondents were:

    • Have a good work life balance so that outside of work, you have something else to focus on which is meaningful to you.
    • Ensure you advise your managers and direct reports of the reasons why you are stressed.
    • Try to avoid it in the first place! Stop for 10 minutes and go for a walk whenever it gets too much.

    A recent article on www.inc.com pointed out that once upon a time, society would work from 9.00am to 5.00pm. But now the demand for that has changed and in some cases individuals are expected to be available 24/7.

    I have a friend that looks after the audiovisual side of events which as you know is quite a significant component of any event. While he works a set number of hours a day with setting up, testing equipment and operating for events, he is also expected to be on call after hours in the event that there are any ‘technical difficulties’. This means he can be called at any time, and often is called at any time. He is also on his phone constantly checking email updates from the events team to make sure he has the most up to date instructions for all upcoming events. But while the job will often encompass moments of stress, he loves his job and he doesn’t let the stress get the better of him.

    Having said this, he will also know when to say ‘no’ or advise if a job cannot be completed at a set time due to another job that he may be working on. He is assertive and realistic when it counts as well as competent to achieve tasks.

    This leads me to the multiple choice options of how you rated the ways to cope with stress in the workplace, to which the responses were as follows:

    • Avoid being a ‘Yes Man’: If you have a lot on your plate, do not add to the pile if you cannot do it in time. – 16% of you agreed to this, and I know I have fallen for this.

    And the following three options were looked upon as the same level of importance at 54%:

    • Communication: If you are overloaded, make sure to speak up and ask for help
    • Effective Time Management: Setting realistic achievement goals for the day
    • Having A Positive Mindset: If overwhelmed, take a break, then come back to the task at hand with more clarity

    I threw in the last option of a positive mindset because I have known so many people who have told me, ‘I don’t feel like getting up and going to work this morning,’ or ‘today is going to be a bad day I can just feel it.’ Now while we may have different situations at work causing us to feel that way, has this viewpoint ever really accomplished anything? How often if you look upon a situation negatively will the outcome be just what you thought it would be?

    What’s to say that we can’t change the outcome of a situation for the better if we look upon it with fresh eyes and less bitterness?

    To get to an even further point, if you are that unhappy with your employment, why are you staying in that current position?

    Another website I reviewed called www.helpguide.org outlines the importance of establishing what is causing the stress in your current situation. You may not even realise you are stressed and showing the common signs by dealing with it in the following ways:

    • Drinking too much
    • Overeating or undereating
    • Procrastinating
    • Using pills or drugs to relax
    • Withdrawing from friends, family and activities
    • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)

    If this sounds like you, don’t be discouraged as there are healthy ways to relax and recharge:

    • Go for a walk
    • Call a good friend
    • Write in a journal
    • Sweat out the tension in a good workout
    • Savor a warm cup of tea or coffee
    • Get a massage
    • Enjoy a good book

    If you find that time restricts you from doing these things, then perhaps you need to review my previous blog What are the ways in which you effectively manage your time?

    A website called angelawilson.suite101.com outlines that one of the ways to cope with stress is to recognise the ‘Good Stress‘ from the ‘Bad Stress‘. Good Stress gives you a optimal amount of arousal to give you the motivation and focus to achieve a task (such as running a race, taking a test, getting to work on time). Whereas bad stress, when out of control, prevents us from feeling content and being successful in our daily lives. It releases nasty hormones into our bodies and has a negative effect on our health.

    Some of the other coping methods include:

    • Decrease your body tension
    • Face your anxiety situations – doing those least favourite things first so that they do not build up into something worse when it could have been handled at the time.
    • Be truthful – when people are unhappy or struggling, you can often read it in their behaviour. If someone asks you how you are, telling the truth will better deal with the tension then saying ‘I’m fine’ when it is clear you are not.
    • Don’t Give Up – Some people get so overwhelmed by stress that they often shut down and stop reacting to situations around them because it has become too much to handle. Do not let the stress get the better of you!

    Well I hope some of these tips have proven to be useful in your day to day situation, and if you have not had a chance to respond to this poll then we would be more than happy to hear your thoughts below.

    Also, don’t miss out on this week’s poll: Are more people today settling for any job as opposed to finding their dream job? Your chance to win a Hoyt’s Cinema Double Pass are up for grabs!




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