The Way We Work is Evolving: Are You Ready?

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“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!” —Earl Nightingale

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

The Way We Work is Evolving

The way we work is changing. Millennials will soon make up 50% of the workforce. This generation is used to being connected, collaborative, and operating on the move. They are used to using social platforms to share and communicate. They want the ability to work from anywhere, to have a voice, and to be allowed to learn about things that interest them. We’re all going to have to jump on the bandwagon. We can no longer work in the fragmented environment of the past. The evolution of work now allows us to be more connected and engaged. This new work environment offers us the opportunity to thrive if we are ready to step up and take control of our own career. Are you prepared for the new work paradigm?

Social media

Amy Jo Martin explained, “Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.” Social media is changing the way we behave. In this new age, small actions can have a big impact. A “like” from the right person or a critical review can have far reaching implications. Social media is creating communities and enhancing transparency.

The evolution of work utilizes these social avenues to promote organizations, monitor public opinion, and stay connected to customers and colleagues. You must learn to be conscious of the impact your posts, status changes, pictures, likes, and shares have both personally and professionally. If you are going to be responsible for steering your own career path, you have to care about your digital footprint and your personal brand.

Flexibility

Will Smith said “And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guys sleeping? I’m working.” New technology gives you freedom and flexibility to work anytime, anywhere, with anyone, and on any device. Shifting to the cloud now allows you to access the software technology you need for almost any task. You no longer need to work 9-5 or spend hours commuting to the office every week.

The evolution of work allows you the flexibility to work where and when you want. You must develop the discipline to ensure that you can complete your work without a set schedule or consistent work environment. You must stay up-to-date on the latest advances in technology. And, with the accessibility of connecting to your work anytime, anywhere, you must make sure maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a priority.

New ways to collaborate 

Bill Gates tells us, “The PC has improved the world in just about every area you can think of. Amazing developments in communications, collaboration, and efficiencies. New kinds of entertainment and social media. Access to information and the ability to give a voice to people who would never have been heard.” New collaborative technologies allow you to easily share information and ideas. The ease of collaboration breaks down barriers. You now have access to people with expertise in any field from around the globe. Any information you desire can be found at your fingertips. You can connect with colleagues and collaborators on an international scale.

In a world with access to so many people and so much information, you must learn to filter the important information and focus on the task at hand. In this new world of increased collaborative ability, you lose much of the traditional face-to-face communication. You miss the little cues such as handshakes and body language. You must learn to compensate by building strong relationship where you can gauge conversational understanding based on tone and content. Always make sure your collaboration is a win-win situation for every participant.

Flatter structures

Steve McQueen said, “I can’t work in an environment where it’s a stiff hierarchy; that’s not my kind of way.” The hierarchical organizational structures of the past are being flattened. The evolution of work presents you with the opportunity to have a voice without needing to climb the corporate ladder. You now have the opportunity to serve as a leader without holding a formal position of authority through your influence and expertise.

Your work is now becoming self-directed. You are able to share your expertise and interests in a public arena. This offers the chance to be recognized for your contributions and to become a subject matter experts and thought leader. You must develop the skills, knowledge, and discipline necessary to work autonomously. You must be ready to speak up and share your voice. You must also be willing to listen to others to understand their point of view and not to judge.

Are You Ready?

The way you work is changing and the future looks much different from the past. Are you ready? Do you have a clear understanding where you want to take your career? Are you ready to embrace new technology and social platforms on a continual basis? The way we work is evolving, are you ready to evolve with it?

 

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at

stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

 

What is Your Personal Mission?

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“Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.” —Zig Ziglar

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

You Are on a Mission

Maya Angelou told us about her mission, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Whether you have given conscious thought to it or not, you are on a mission. Others come to know your mission by watching your behaviors. Your mission serves as your guiding light. It helps people understand who you are, what is important to you, and what you want to accomplish. It guides your values, vision, and goals. Make sure you are following your mission by design and not default. Give some thought to the following factors.

Why

Simon Sinek explained, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Your “why” is as important to you as it is to others. Your “why” is the foundation with which your decisions and actions are based. Make sure you have given it some real thought. What is important to you? Do you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing? Are your words and actions in line with your “why”? Your “why” provides the underpinning for your mission.

Motivation

Lou Holtz said, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” What is your motivation? Our dreams come true when we are motivated enough to take action. What do you want bad enough to put in the hard work necessary to achieve or acquire? Why is it so important to you? Knowing your personal mission will provide you with motivation and strength to keep you going when times get tough.

Focus

Tony Robbins tells us, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” Identify where you are focusing in every area of your life. Where is your family focus? Your educational focus? Your community focus? Your career focus? Identify where you are, where you want to go, and where your focus needs to be to get there. Your mission should guide your focus.

 Legacy

Jan Brewer stated, “My mother always told me that as you go through life, no matter what you do, or how you do it, you leave a little footprint, and that’s your legacy.” Intentional or not, you are leaving a little footprint. What would you like people to associate with your name? When you have a clear picture of the legacy you would like to leave you are more engaged in creating it. When you live your mission, you create your legacy.

What is Your Personal Mission?

Viktor E. Frankl understood that each of us has a personal mission when he said, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” You are important. Your personal mission is important. Your mission should emphasize who you are not just what you want to accomplish.

Jan Bruce explained, “Purpose is the thing that will keep you afloat no matter how the tide turns.” You can’t build something meaningful without a sense purpose and a mission to guide you. Your mission serves as a moral compass to help you make the right decisions about what to do and why to do it. Remember, you are on a mission. Make it a good one.

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Challenging the Status Quo

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“The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” —Bob Iger

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

The Status Quo

As Marshall Goldsmith said, “What got you here won’t get you there.” What is sufficient for success today will not be sufficient tomorrow. You must learn to be agile. Evaluate where you are today and where you want to go. Will continuing on your current route get you there? If you are seeking long-term success you must constantly challenge the status quo.

What is your mission?

Your purpose should provide a clear mission. Who needs you? What do they need and why? What must you do to meet those needs? When you have a reasoned mission, you have a clear picture of where you are going and how you will behave on your journey. This clarity allows you to remain calm during times of adversity. It helps you view the lessons of past experiences with an eye for the future. With a clear mission you will find it easier to stay true to your values. Colin Powell reminds us, “Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.” Continually challenge the status quo in light of your mission.

 Innovation

John Emmerling tells us, “Innovation is creativity with a job to do.” Innovation allows you to create something new that meets an unmet need and provides value. The ability to innovate requires that you overcome our fear of challenging the status quo. When you take all of your small ideas and combine them, you often come up with one, great idea. Focus on looking for ways to innovate everywhere. Listen to the needs of your customers, employees, and stakeholders as you consider challenging the status quo.

Opportunity

When you challenge the status quo you open yourself to seeing opportunity where you least expect it. Ask questions. What is working and what isn’t? How can I make it or do it better? Milton Berle said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Constantly step outside your comfort zone. Take on challenging situations. Be willing to look at situations from a new perspective. Welcome opportunities to collaborate in new and creative ways. Look to the work of others for inspiration and opportunity to reevaluate the status quo.

Change

Change is a necessity; we must change or we become obsolete.  William Pollard said, “Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”Learn to question the status quo and then embrace the change that is required to achieve success today, tomorrow, and into the future.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Howard Schultz believes that, “Any business today that embraces the status quo as an operating principle is going to be on a death march.” It would be foolish to think that you can continue to be successful by doing the same things tomorrow that you did yesterday. You must learn to adapt your thinking to embrace new challenges, strategies, and ways of approaching your work. Clarify your mission, pursue innovation, seek opportunity, and embrace change. Challenge the status quo and move your business forward.

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

You Can Do This

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“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” —Vince Lombardi

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

It’s All About You

Maya Angelo reminded us that, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” It’s all about you; you are in control. Have you thought about all the possibilities? We all have dreams. Do you have the will and dedication to make yours come true?

Dreams

What are your dreams? Dig beneath the material things and accomplishments. What are the feelings associated with achieving your dreams? Your brain does not respond to things or actions, it responds to the way those things make you feel. Develop a clear vision of where you are going. Now see yourself on that journey.

Motivation

Success takes action. What motivates you? What is your “why”? Place reminders where you will see them every day to remind you why your dreams are important. Make a plan and then develop the self-discipline necessary to stick to that plan. Don’t let yourself become complacent and content with the status quo. Make the commitment to yourself that your dreams will be a priority.

Opportunity

Bobby Unser said, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Take the steps necessary to ensure you will be prepared when an opportunity arises. Learn to recognize opportunity in unexpected forms and places. Be prepared to sell yourself and your abilities. When you position yourself to win it is only a matter of time before the right opportunity presents itself.

Fear

We’ve all heard that people fear public speaking more than they fear death. But, for all of you who have been required to give a speech publically, you didn’t die did you? Nothing horrific happened. In fact, I would bet that you actually felt a certain level of pride afterward. Proud of the fact that you succeeded in facing your fear. Bill Cosby said, “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” Learn to embrace the fear. The more you try, the more you fail; the more you fail, the closer you are to success.

You Can Do This

Arnold H. Glasow told us that, “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” Chase your dreams, come to know you motivations, seize opportunity, overcome your fear, and then celebrate the small wins along the way. It’s all about you; you are in control; you can do this.

 

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Do You Need a Leadership Brand?

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“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”—John Quincy Adams

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Do You Need a Leadership Brand?

Whether to are the CEO of a large corporation or an employee working on the floor, in the trenches, you have the ability to inspire and influence others. This ability places you in a position to serve as a leader, with or without formal authority. Have you thought about your leadership brand? Do you know what leadership means to you? Can you define your leadership style?

As Malcolm X said, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. “ Your leadership must stand for something. When you are purposefully developing your leadership brand you are deciding what you stand for. This is represented by your values and principles. And, these values and principles guide your attitude and behaviors as a leader. Take a good look at yourself in the following areas. How are these areas influencing your leadership brand?

Values

Your values embody what you find important in life. They represent what you truly believe in. Your leadership brand starts with your values. You need to really give some thought to what matters most to you. How do you want to be remembered? What do you want your legacy to be?

Principles

Your principles provide the rules for your behavior. These rules are based on your values. As you develop your leadership brand, evaluate yourself honestly. Where are you strong? Where are you weak? What do you need to improve on? Your principles should inspire you to become a better leader. Are you setting the leadership example you want others to follow?

Attitude

What does your attitude say about your leadership brand? How do you treat those your leadership serves? What experience do you want your leadership to provide? Your attitude will exemplify your values. Is your attitude towards leadership authoritative? A servant? Do you believe in allowing employees to participate in leadership? As a leader you must keep an eye on your attitude because you can guarantee that your followers will be.

Behaviors

As you are developing your leadership brand, keep in mind that your leadership behaviors should be consistent; others should know what to expect from you. They should also have a clear understanding of what you expect from them. Be conscious of your behaviors, you are setting the example for others to follow.

Your Leadership Brand

Be purposeful about your leadership brand. Your values, purpose, attitude, and behaviors provide a good starting point for developing a purposeful leadership brand. Be conscientious of your words and actions; make sure they represent what you truly stand for. Ask yourself if you are being the kind of leader you would want to follow.

 

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Growing New Leaders

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“Growing other leaders from the ranks isn’t just the duty of the leader, it’s an obligation.” —Warren Bennis

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

Why Grow New Leaders?

Developing leaders throughout your organization places you in a position to conquer new leadership challenges where innovation and flexibility are the keys to success. When you build on the expertise within the ranks of your organization you improve efficiency and effectiveness. Growing new leaders allows you to tap into the talent and potential of your team members. Let’s look at three of the factors that promote the growing and nurturing of new leaders.

Environment

You must start by creating an environment where others have the opportunity and are encouraged to lead. Develop a culture where employees embrace collaboration and open communication. Value the diversity that offers a continual flow of new perspectives. Provide employees with an environment that challenges them in a way that engages and inspires. Encourage the sharing of ideas by asking great questions and valuing the answers you receive. Provide work that employees can feel passionate about. Network and relationship building are important factors in leadership. Help and encourage employees to build their network and develop strong relationships built on trust and respect. Implement programs where new leaders can be mentored.

Opportunity

If you want to grow new leaders you must provide them with experiences that help them understand who they are, what they stand for, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Give them the opportunity to participate in solving difficult problems. Allow them to make mistakes and help them learn how to grow from the lesson these mistakes teach. Encourage them to share their ideas and allow them to participate in planning and implementation of new ideas. Every employee has valuable ideas, insights, and perspectives; engage them in productive conversations. When employees feel like they are an integral part of the organization they will be more motivated and engaged in growing as a leader.

Aptitude

Give employees the training and experiences they need to develop leadership skills. These skills will enable them to have a positive influence on colleagues, make informed decisions, and contribute new ideas. Help them develop an understanding of their own biases and how these biases can impact decision making. Teach them to appreciate the benefits of obtaining diverse points of view. Help them develop the ability to ask the right questions so they can make sense of overwhelming amounts of information. Teach them the value of networking. Create in them an ownership mentality. And, most importantly, serve as a role-model of good leadership and show them how to bring out the best in others.

Everyone Wins

Everyone wins when you grow new leaders and develop the leadership pipeline throughout your organization. When you have individuals with leadership ability at every level of your organization you increase the speed at which you can respond to change, your ability to be flexible, and your ability to respond to uncertainty. When you become more involved in the leadership development of your employees you will experience improved employee and customer satisfaction. By growing new leaders, your organization becomes more nimble and innovative, able to respond more quickly to customer needs and changes in the business environment.

 

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

How Are You Managing Change?

 

 

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“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” —Arnold Bennett

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Why Change

Fight it all you want, change is inevitable. When we fail to embrace change we cause ourselves undue stress and waste valuable time and resources. Why change? Change becomes necessary when the needs of our organization, customers, or employees change.

How We Change

Once we realize that needs have changed, and therefore we need to evolve; we must set a realistic change goal. Every level of management must roll-up their sleeves and get involved. Employees must understand and believe the reason for the change and the benefit to them personally. The organization must be committed to pursuing the long-term vision and the change requirements associated with it. Here are four factors that will help you manage change.

Purpose

Have a clear purpose. How will this change influence, improve, and impact others? What problem are you solving or what are you improving on? How will it benefit you customers? How will employees benefit? How does this change fit into the overall organizational objectives? People’s main concern is their own well-being; your employees need a clear understanding of your purpose and how they will be impacted by the change.

Plan

Create a proper plan for implementing change. Spend extra time formulating a good plan. Build flexibility in the plan. Set clear goals, identify milestones, and outline the timeframe. Ensure that goals are ambitious, yet attainable. What scope does the plan cover and what are the deliverables? Identify what success looks like. Determine what relationships and resources you will need to accomplish your goals. Do your plans for change fit with the vision of the organization? You must determine a budget for the plan. Specifically identify who will be accountable for each task. Then, bring the right team of people together to implement the plan. Check results early and often to ensure you are not veering off course.

Culture

Develop an organizational culture that embraces change. Your culture should encourage a sense of responsibility, camaraderie, and generosity. Encourage the development of strong relationships throughout your organization. Let employees share in the leadership responsibility. Make sure you have the right people serving in the right roles. Provide engaging work for your employees and allow every employee to use their expertise in achieving shared goals. Build loyalty by promoting a positive culture that encourages employee participation. You should encourage innovation and allow for mistakes. Help employees develop collaborative and decision-making skills. Promote transparency. Create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect where teams are motivated and engaged.

Communication

Successful change management is more dependent on communication than on strategy. Make sure you are clearly communicating with your employees early and often. Set an example of the level of communication that is expected. Talk truthfully about change. Be genuine in both your words and actions. Clearly outline ownership and accountability. Promote a common understanding of the long-term vision of the organization as well as the immediate goal. Listen more than you speak and ensure that you understand what’s being said. Communication is the only way to succeed. If your communication isn’t reaching your team, you won’t be successful at managing change.

Take-Away

Change is inherently uncomfortable, but the fact is we must change or we become obsolete. Failing to recognize the need for change can result in wasted time, energy, and resources. You can minimize the fear and resistance associated with change by defining and sharing a clear purpose for the change; by setting realistic goals; and evaluating who and how others with be affected by the change. Communicate the purpose, goals, and benefits to all parties that will be impacted. Always be transparent and open in your communication. Develop a culture within your organization that is agile and embraces change. Create a plan for the implementation of change and outline how success will be measured. Engage employees in the process of identifying the need for change, formulating a plan, and implementing the change. When employees are invested in the change process managing change can be a positive, transforming experience.

 

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Resolving Conflict-It’s Not about Winning

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“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” —Ronald Reagan

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

What Causes Conflict and How Do We Resolve It?

Conflict is the mental struggle that arises when our ideas, needs, wishes, or demands are in opposition to those of others. Conflict is inevitable when you bring people together from different beliefs and backgrounds. When we spend time in conflict with each other we are wasting energy and destroying any sense of camaraderie. Conflict does not resolve itself and only escalates if not addressed. Unresolved conflict can result in the loss of productivity, cooperation, collaboration, and creativity. Let’s look a little deeper at some of the factors that cause conflict and how we can resolve them.

Cognitive bias

Cognitive biases are thinking errors that impact how we interpret the world around us. These biases often occur when we try to over-simplify how we process information. Biases cause irrational thinking and affect our ability to make sound decisions.

Biases can influence in simple ways such allowing the way you currently feel to color the way you interpret the world around you. They can permit your judgment to become dependent on previously provided evidence with little regard for new evidence. You may have the tendency to listen only to information that confirms your preconceived beliefs or to interpret information in a way that confirms these beliefs. Your expectations could be unconsciously influencing how you perceive the outcome of interactions. It is also easy to let ourselves get caught up in group think and adopt the beliefs of others without proper evaluation.

When we experience a cognitive bias it impairs our ability to rationally interpret information and experiences. It is easy to fail to recognize and compensate for our own biases. We must be aware of these biases and how they impact our thinking in order to prevent and resolve the conflict they may cause.

Ambiguity

Conflict often arises when we assume all parties are talking about the same thing. Often we find that each participant to a conversation has their own definitions and meanings which are not in agreement with each other. In order to eliminate ambiguity we must come to the same understanding, with the same definitions and meanings by asking open-ended questions which you do not have preconceived answers for. Listen with the intent of gaining an understanding of how other parties perceive the situation.

Many times conflict involves the perception we have of the role we play in a group differing from how others see it. Conflict becomes more likely when we are operating under different assumptions about our roles and responsibilities than those we work with. Clear, written communication can be effective at keeping ambiguity to a minimum. Make sure you know what the conflict you are experiencing is really about. Work together to assign clear roles, define reality, and eliminate ambiguity.

Communication

The most successful approach to resolving conflict is open, two-way communication. In order to communicate effectively you must learn to listen without passing judgment. Each party to the communication will apply their own definitions and meanings; therefore, you can’t just listen to the facts. You have to ask probing questions and come to a consensus on the definition and meaning of the facts. Also, don’t just listen to others to figure out how you can get them to agree with your point of view. Listen to really understand and appreciate their reality so you can understand where they are coming from.

Be clear and consistent with communication from the very beginning of the relationship. Ask questions and keep an open mind. Talk through and test the feasibility of proposed solutions together. Prepare in advance for difficult conversations. Define how you see the problem. What points do you think are important? Come prepared to propose possible solutions. Make sure your message is clear and concise. When working to resolve conflict, watch the tone and language that you use and keep your emotions out of the discussion. Be an active listener and show yourself to be transparent and trustworthy. Focus on mending relationships before turning your focus to tasks.

Spanning boundaries

To resolve conflict we must learn to build bridges between management, employees, suppliers, and customers. We must develop strong relationships between people with differing beliefs, experience, and knowledge. By clarifying the role that each individual plays and the purpose of the team you can capitalize on the power that individual differences bring to the table.

Establish commonality by creating a shared vision, building trust, and coming together to achieve a higher purpose. Co-create something greater than could be achieved individually by combining a shared vision and strategy with the expertise, resources, and experiences of each individual. Span boundaries by accepting and appreciating the diversity that builds a great team.

It’s Not about Winning

Conflict is inevitable. It’s usually rooted in poor communication and the inability to control our emotions. When working to resolve conflict, listen with the intent of developing a connection, not to merely respond. Don’t communicate with the goal of getting the other person to agree with your point of view; communicate to bring differing points of view together to co-create something that is new.

When dealing with conflict, keep your emotions in check and maintain moral high ground. You do not have the power to change others so you may have to look at ways you can change your approach to managing relationships to avoid and resolve conflict. Conflict can be about bringing differing opinions together and co-creating something fantastic. Don’t think of resolving conflict in terms of winning. It’s not about seeking to defeat an enemy but about finding common ground for cooperation, compromise, and collaboration.

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

So, You’re a New Leader

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So, You’re a New Leader

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” —Henry A. Kissinger

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

 A New Leader

So, you’ve been promoted into a leadership position. While, as the leader, you are now responsible to plan and direct the actions of those you lead, more importantly, you must learn to inspire and empower them. You are now under the scrutiny of your new team. They want to know if you are worthy to be followed. It’s up to you to earn their trust and respect. They are going to be looking to you to provide a sense of purpose that each of them can buy into.

        What Now?

Are you prepared to lead? One of the very first things you must do as a new leader is to determine where you’re starting from, where you need to be going, and the obstacles you may face. You need to learn how things really work on the front lines so you will be better prepared provide direction and make decisions. You need to get to know your team and earn their respect. Here are some starting points for your leadership journey.

                       Self-confidence

Followers need to know that you believe in yourself. This is not arrogance but confidence. Do your homework; make sure that when you speak you know what you are talking about and then trust yourself and your judgment. Set out on a quest to continually gain new knowledge and experiences. Show followers that you are competent to lead. Live your life as an example that you can be proud of.

               Establish a foundation

Establish a solid foundation of principles, expectations, and values. Develop and clearly demonstrate through your words and actions a shared purpose and vision. Provide meaningful work where followers can take pride in their contributions. Demonstrate the authenticity of your intentions through transparent and open communication.

Develop a culture that values consistent behavior, the sharing of knowledge, and encourages collaboration. Put the right people in the right roles and show a commitment helping them become successful. Commit to quality and set up measures to monitor results. Ask great questions and really listen to the answers. Foster an environment of strong relationships, teamwork, and collaboration.

                       Engage

Be supportive of your employees. Clearly outline your expectations and give them the opportunity to come up with their own ideas rather than you dictating what they should do. Value each member of your team for what they can contribute not for their position. Remember, you don’t have all the answers so trust the knowledge and skills of your team members. Engage and encourage each of your followers to participate in the leadership of the organization. Help followers to continue to develop personally and professionally.

Encourage your team to challenge the status quo with innovative thinking. Urge team members to voice differing perspectives, not for conflict, but to improve performance. Encourage team members to connect authentically and show them how by the example you set. Form a diverse team to ensure a continual supply of new perspectives. Emphasize accountability and ownership. Give credit to team members where and when it is due.

                       Character

Your character will play a pivotal role in your success or failure as a leader. Make sure your service is focused on others and not self-serving. Know what you stand for and why. Be committed to your values and principles. Always be authentic. Lead with purpose and compassion. Demonstrate patience and strength under pressure.

Build deep and meaningful relationships with those you work with. Show everyone they matter by giving them your time and making them feel valued. Show them that you recognize and appreciate their efforts. Demonstrate your competence. Do what others won’t and be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Be courageous and embrace the lessons that failure has to offer. Show humility. Be fair and consistent in your leadership. Be a good listener. Always practice what you preach. And, strive to inspire and motivate those around you.

Intentions

Lead for the right reasons. If your intentions are not authentic your employees will quickly see through the façade and you will lose their trust and respect. Lead not for the benefits to you personally but to leave a legacy through the lives you have impacted. Be a compassionate leader. Share your wisdom. Help others grow and reach their full potential. Share and grow your vision. Always stand by your principles. Inspire all who come in contact with you. Serve to encourage and lift others through inspiration and hope.

        Take-Away

As a new leader you must determine where your team is, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. You need a strong vision for the future that your team can support. If you always put the needs of your team before your own they will become your loyal supporters. Don’t lead for the sake of the position; take this new opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those you work with. Leadership is a journey, not a destination.

 

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

The Key to Continued Success: Innovation

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The Key to Continued Success: Innovation

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” —William Pollard

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

Innovation

It would be foolish to think that we can continue to be successful by doing the same things tomorrow that we did yesterday. Innovation allows us to create something new that meets an unmet need and provides value. The responsibility for innovating cannot be placed on a few, select individuals; innovation has to be everyone’s job.

How Do We Create It?

Innovation takes the effort of the whole organization. When you take all the small ideas that employees have to offer and combine them, you often come up with one, great idea. To capitalize on this one great idea, we must give valid consideration to every idea. Successful innovation requires the igniting of passion throughout the organization. The focus should be the customers, both internal and external, that we serve. Let’s create an environment that encourages innovation.

                  Culture

What type of culture fosters innovation? It is up to organizational leaders to create and maintain a culture where innovation can thrive. One of the most important features of this type of culture is an emphasis on learning. The organization should encourage and facilitate the process of continual self-improvement for employees. The culture should emphasize the importance of purposefully creating a new future. There should be a shared definition of innovation throughout the organization. The focus must be on continuous improvement and the prevention and solving of problems. To come up with useful, innovative ideas, employees need to be given time to become familiar with the needs of the customer. They need the opportunity and resources to experiment with ideas.

                            Principles

What do principles have to do with innovation? Innovation does not happen overnight. It’s about thinking long-term and requires focused commitment. A shared vision will guide innovation towards the achievement of organizational objectives. The vision should clearly outline our principles and our principles should guide our innovative efforts. Strong principles allow us to challenge the status quo while remaining true to the strategic direction of the organization.

                            Relationships

How do relationships impact our ability to innovate? Camaraderie between team members is the result of healthy relationships. These strong relationships allow us to work together to connect and combine ideas. Relationships with both internal and external customers are developed when we create exceptional interactions with them. It is essential that we develop mutual trust and confidence in each other. People who feel inspired are more committed and will go the extra mile to help the organization succeed. Every employee should strive to inspire those around them.

                            Attitude

How does our attitude affect our ability to innovate effectively? Attitude has a huge impact on innovation. We need to be open-minded and receptive to new experiences, ideas, and perspectives. We must be willing to tackle the difficult issues. We should find inspiration in the challenge. We must keep a positive and collaborative attitude even during disagreements.

          Behaviors

What sort of behaviors increase the odds for successful innovation? The only way to get good ideas is to get a lot of ideas without judgment. These ideas can be evaluated for usefulness later. Employees must be encouraged to experiment with new ideas and concepts. They should be allowed to let ideas evolve and grow over time. We need to explore a wide range of solutions. The focus needs to be on outcomes and making sure everyone involved knows the vision, strategic goals, and desired results. There should be a healthy tension between where you are and where you are going. This tension should ignite passion but not competition.

        Take-Away

Will what you did yesterday be sufficient for tomorrow? The answer is no. Long-term success goes to the organization where innovation is built into the culture. The truth is, you must learn to innovate or you will become obsolete. You never know where the next great idea will come from. So, create a culture that fosters innovation and involves every employee in the process.

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at

stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Employee Advocate | Leadership Consultant | Author | Speaker