Managing a team to success requires more than just simply appointing tasks to people. A crucial role in cultivating business growth, being in charge of team management requires a fusion of interpersonal, technical, and of course, organizational skills.
1. Assemble the right team.
The most effective way to ensure that the tasks you set out will be delivered at top quality is to have the right people doing them. A crucial step, selecting the most suitable group of people will avoid any skill gaps within your team.
2. Get to know your team.
Leadership is all about how you influence your team to achieve its objectives—something you’ll struggle to do if you don’t get to know your team members and what makes them tick. While it might be tempting to jump in and start making big moves from day one, remember that you’re not there to flex your ego.
Take time to listen to your team members; find out what their issues and aspirations are, gather ideas, and identify potential strengths and weaknesses. Only then can you formulate a leadership approach that stands a chance of success. Getting to know who you’re working with is the first all-important step to bonding with the team and establishing their respect and trust. The old adage of listening twice as much as you speak still holds true.
3. Communicate! communicate!! communicate!!!.
Once your team is up and running, it’s imperative to keep the communication going to build relationships, assess progress, and identify risks and issues. Plus, you’ll get more engagement from team members if they see you investing time in them and showing interest in their activities. Make expectations and responsibilities clear so that everyone knows who’s doing what, why and by when. This seems obvious but don’t assume everyone has your detailed understanding of the project at hand. Encourage and embrace new ideas. The more your team can contribute to the project, the happier they’ll be.
4. Make time to lead.
To be effective, team leaders need to invest time in the role. Too often, this responsibility is simply added onto someone’s already lengthy task list, thus setting the new leader up for failure. As a team leader, you need to be visible to the team and available to support them. If you’re predominantly tied up with your own critical hands-on tasks, you won’t be. So, be sure to review and re-negotiate your workload before taking on a leadership role in the first place.
5. Lead by example.
Think about the behaviors you want and expect from your team members and be sure to exhibit those traits yourself. You’re the role model, so what you say and do will impact the team’s daily work habits and attitudes. That said, it’s important to be yourself and to believe in yourself. If you fake it, you’ll soon be unmasked and you’ll lose credibility and trust.
Be open, honest and passionate. Treat everyone on the team fairly, with respect and without favoritism and you’ll find those behaviors returned. Extend the same courtesy to the rest of the organization as well. Never undermine or criticize other individuals or departments in front of the team. Make it clear you’re all there to work towards success for the big picture.
6. Reward the good and learn from the bad (and the ugly).
Be quick to recognize good performance and reward it where appropriate. You might not be in a position to hand out pay raises and promotions but a little bit of verbal praise goes a long way in showing your team you are both aware of and appreciative of their achievements.
Be equally as timely in tackling poor performance issues. The longer you leave them, the tougher they’ll be to fix. Look for the best in people and understand that mistakes will happen. When they do, learn from them and see how they can be prevented in the future. And whatever you do, don’t play the blame game.
If you need to have a challenging conversation, do it in private; no public floggings. And don’t try to win a popularity contest. Not all your feedback and initiatives will be well-received, but if you concentrate more on being everyone’s friend instead of being a strong leader, the work will suffer, as will your integrity.
Trust your team to do its job. Being a team leader doesn’t mean you’re there to do other people’s work for them. Be clear on what’s expected of everyone and let them get on with it. When issues or opportunities arise, empower the team to find a resolution themselves with your support—don’t add every new issue to your own to-do list.
8. Be decisive.
Don’t procrastinate. Grab the nettle when you need to. It’s all too easy to defer the difficult decisions, but ultimately costly for the job in hand and how you’re viewed as a leader. If things go wrong, take a breath, gather the information you need to make an educated decision and make it. Don’t be afraid of seeking help (it’s a sign of strength, not weakness). Team management is an ongoing learning process and you will never have all the answers.
9. Enjoy it!
Team leadership is often challenging but frequently rewarding. Heading up a team that’s working well and delivering results is a great feeling, so go do it!Read More
Big brother Enugu audition was crazy. Nothing like Lagos and Abuja’s mad energy and spider-man stunt but it was pretty heated. I encountered girls, big girls, and BIG girls!
That sh** was legit the biggest thing I’ve ever been to.
I wish I’d videoed every moment, it’s better watched than read. Anyways, I got to Oakland around 10 am. Note, I’d planned to be there by 7 am.
My sister had made this beautiful black net flare skirt for me. It was simply perfect. My brother looked at me and said I was ready. I was super hyped and ready to go in there and wow them as I’d rehearsed with my friend. On our way to the venue(my brother and I), holdup looked down on us with a very bold Cheshire cat-grin and nastily said; “where do you think you are going to? You didn’t hear Atiku is in town?”
It almost felt like all odds were against me. First was the delay from a girl who came all the way from Owerri for the audition. This girl gave her make-up 1hr +. The second was the rush I put in dressing up which resulted in my missing breakfast and then came to the vibe-killing holdup.
When I finally arrived, I wondered if all these people are here because they honestly think they’ll win N45m or they simply want to have a tale to tell someday.
6 hours later, while some people hustled to be called into the hall, some others (BIG girls) sat in a corner blowing gum and taking selfies. I was hungry, soured and battered with sweat and stress. I had to put on my puppy face, there was no way I’d have auditioned on Friday if I hadn’t. Tears shimmered in my eyes as I murmured, “Please sir, I’ve been here since” and he said, “Oya go inside”.
Hoping that that was it and I’d soon be on my way home to comfort; lo and behold, I was yet again given another tag with the number ‘739’. Color drained from my face. That was it for me. It was already past 7, how will I get home? I worried about my mum; I knew she would have forced my phone into ‘battery save mode’ with her persistent calls. She is always like that and it’s practically one of the reasons I came out for this thing in the first place. I needed to do something for myself without someone giving me lessons about why I shouldn’t.
Still standing in line with an empty stomach, I watched people try to leave because they simply couldn’t stand it anymore. The Owerri girl had already auditioned and was home so I asked my brother how it went for her since she wasn’t forthcoming. After the call, I went online to read about cards, chess and the meaning of each piece and symbol.
Some people were getting disqualified by just saying things as simple as their names. I needed to be over ready.
Fear and anxiety crossed my face. My voice withdrew. Every single vibe I left the house with went into hibernation. I think we were about 20 in a set. We finally went in, 2 men and a lady sat behind a table. Their expressions were rather relaxed, almost too relaxed like they knew this audition was simply to fulfill all righteousness so there was no reason to go all ‘professor’ on us.
They asked; tell us about yourself and why you want to go into the house.
A guy said; My name is……. Student of…….. Lives in……. From……. I want to enter the Big brother house because I’ve multiple personalities.
Like a disorder?
Noooo, I just have different moods and characters. I can be calm, friendly, mean or savvy but I don’t use it to hurt people.
A girl stepped forward and boldly said; I want to enter the house because I have something to offer.
I have talents.
With that, she stepped back with this dry broad smile on her face.
Another hyperactive guy stepped out and said; I want to enter the house because I can act. I can act anything you want me to act; anyhow you want me to act it.
If that was a girl they’d probably say she is indirectly marketing herself.
When it finally got to my turn, my heart skipped a thousand beats. I calmed myself; I’d rehearsed this a thousand times, how hard could it be?
I mentioned every vital detail about myself, better than the others. Then I began with; there are 3 reasons I want to……
With the look on their faces, I could tell I was making better sense than the others. I said I hope to change the notion about Big brother house being immoral and unethical. I said I felt the house is a platform for grooming and showcasing talents. I said that I hope to win and use the money to help my dad’s pharmacy. I said I needed to walk away from my tight circle and experience the world for myself and I felt that the house is a good start.
At the end of my over-confident babble, I stepped back. When everyone was done with their nonsense, they said; “None of you have what we’re looking for”.
Choi, so I starved myself for no good reason. No breakfast, no lunch, and no dinner. It was already a few minutes to 11.
We clumsily toddled out, with me dragging behind. One of the men called me back and gave me a 5mins pep talk on considering going into acting. According to him, I can’t go from level 1 to level 100. I explained the situation in my family. I told him how tight and limiting it is at home.
He asked; are you people deeper life?
Noo, we’re actually Catholics.
Are you the last child?
Nop, last girl and second to the last child.
He sighed and said good night.
Few steps from the door he said calmly but audible enough for me to hear; “Or you rebel”. He laughed at himself because unless he has a house for me to move into, don’t ever suggest I rebel.
That was basically how my Friday went. I may not have been selected but I’m glad to have stood out from the rest.Read More
In today’s economy, saving money is a top priority for many individuals and families. Enacting money-saving measures can help families prepare for a brighter future. Cutting back on a family or personal budget can be difficult but is certainly not impossible. There are many simple cost-cutting measures that anyone can use to save money. The following 5 steps provide easy ways to save money on a day-to-day basis.
1. Stop unnecessary shopping:
I'm not talking about purposeful shopping for necessary items. I mean strolling through the mall, window shopping, or surfing online stores with nothing particular in mind, simply looking for great bargains and things that happen to strike your fancy. This kind of "shopping' is a very dangerous thing to do.
I'm not suggesting that you never buy anything again, but that your spending should become a planned act, purchasing the goods and services you need, not spur-of-the-moment, impulsive spending.
2. Try to pay with cash only:
Retailers are well aware of the statistics that prove that you will spend at least 30 percent more if you are in a store with a credit card, debit card, or checkbook than you would with "cold hard cash." A customer who carries cash is the last thing they want to see coming. Why? Because they know how cautious and non-impulsive the cash buyer is. Going to the mall with a specific amount limits your spending than when you go with your ATM card.
3. Keep a track of your weekly and daily spending:
Seeing where your money goes keeps you from lapsing into a spending coma. A spending record makes you really think about your spending habits. It will provide proof of your challenges and progress. Plus, keeping a daily and weekly spending record is the first step toward establishing a monthly budget.
First, keep a daily spending record for thirty days or one month. This is simply a written account of the money you spend during a specific day. Writing it down is the only way to find out where all of your money is going. Each time you spend cash, write a check, use your credit card, or use your debit card--write it down.
Accumulate seven days of spending records for one week. Accumulate four weeks of spending records for one month. Then you'll be able to create your monthly budget based on what you've spent over the last month.
4. Grocery shop with a list:
A grocery shopping list is your game plan. The food industry spends billions of dollars a year to weaken your resistance to spend more money with fancy packaging and compelling displays. Create your list according to the layout of your grocery store, only buying those items that you need.
Remember Step 1: Staying out of the store unless absolutely necessary will decrease your exposure time and your temptation.
5. Go for a walk and exercise in your neighborhood:
If you've never explored your neighborhood, take the time to find out what you've been missing.
Instead of paying for a gym membership, go for walks around your neighborhood for exerciseRead More
Customers are naturally frustrating but we are also all customers at some point so keep that in mind next time you rudely hang up on a client. Customers may always be right, but that doesn't mean all customers are easy to deal with. Anyone who's ever worked in customer service can tell you, customers can be downright unruly. Still, if you want to stay in business, you've got to deal with them diplomatically. Finding techniques that help you disarm unhappy customers and win them to your site, brand or company is the key to providing great customer service – even when you really want to kick nasty customers to the curb.
Dealing with difficult customers can be… well, difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right attitude and action steps, you can effectively navigate these tricky customer situations and emerge (hopefully) unscathed.
To deal with these customers appropriately, here are 9 tips to follow:
1. Have the right mental attitude. Take a few seconds to breathe and put yourself in the right mindset before dealing with the customer. Remind yourself that the shopper isn’t necessarily mad at you, but rather, they’re miffed about the situation.
Having the right mental attitude will help prevent your buttons from getting pushed and enable you to respond in a calm and professional manner.
Ricky Marton, founder of Be Robin Hood says that the most important thing to do when dealing with troublesome shoppers is to not let them see that they’re getting to you. “Once they realize they aren’t in charge, they’ll either leave or calm down and (hopefully) apologize.
2. Hear the customer out and empathize with them. Put yourself in the customer's shoes. Echo back the source of their frustration and show that you understand their position and situation. If you can identify with a customer's issue, it will help calm them down. If you verbally "nod" during the call, the customer will feel better understood.
3. Be mindful of your verbal and non-verbal cues. The things you say — and don’t say — can significantly affect the outcome of any customer interaction. Signs of boredom, impatience, or aggression will only escalate the situation. So, be very mindful of your words and the body language you project. For instance, say words like; Ma, sir, Thank you, have a nice day, etc even if you don't always mean them. Nod your head, smile, contribute to the discussion, etc.
4. Be discreet. Being tactful and discreet is crucial when dealing with difficult customers. Remember, other people are watching, and some may even whip out their smartphones to record the conflict. The last thing you want is for the incident to hit social media.
5. Know when to give in. If not satisfying the customer is going to take two hours and a bottle of aspirin and risk negative referrals, it is probably better to draw a compromise a bit more in their favor to give you more time to nurture your more productive customer relationships. Keep in mind that the interaction is not typical of most customers and that you're dealing with an exception.
6. Never get angry or upset. If the customer is swearing or being verbally abusive, take a deep breath and continue as if you didn't hear them. Responding in kind will not solve anything, and it will usually escalate the situation in a negative direction. Instead, remind the customer that you are there to help them and their best immediate chance of resolving the situation - often this simple statement will help defuse the situation.
7. Never take it personally. Always speak to the issue at hand and do not get personal, even if the customer does. Remember that the customer doesn't know you and they're just venting frustration at you as a representative of your company. Gently guide the conversation back to the issue and how you intend to resolve it and try to ignore personal comments.
8. Remember that you're interacting with a human. Everyone has bad days. Maybe they had a fight with their spouse, got a traffic ticket that morning or have had a run of bad luck. We've all been there, to some degree. Try to help make their day better by being a pleasant, calming voice – it'll make you feel good too.
9. If you promise a callback - call back! Even if you promised an update that you don't have yet, call the customer at the scheduled time anyway. The customer will be reassured to know that you were not trying to dodge them and will appreciate the follow-up.Read More
If you’ve been in business for a while, by now you would’ve come across clients or prospects giving you the too expensive objection. Mastering the right mindset and believing in the value you’re offering is so important. Understanding how and why people buy is also vital to knowing what to say to the too expensive objection.
So what do you say in response?
Dealing with this type of rejection is always tough. It can make you question what you are offering. It can make you question your value, your entire business and can even make you consider lowering your prices.
Stop! Don’t change a thing until you’ve read on.
The worst mistake you can make is to try and cater for someone who doesn’t value what you’re offering. They are possibly not the right person for your business so here are some ways to respond to the question, “You’re too expensive"
1. Remember: Not everyone is going to value what you have to offer.
Just because a customer says you’re too expensive, doesn’t mean what you have to offer is not valuable. It may just mean it’s not valuable enough to that customer, or not valuable to them right now.
Here’s what you can say:
“What budget did you have in mind to invest in xyz solution?”
“If I could help you with xyz problem, how much were you thinking that would be worth to you?”
2. Remember: You can offer them a reduced solution or added value
Don’t compromise on the value you’re delivering just to please a customer who uses this objection. Stay firm on your price but offer them a reduced solution to match their lower budget or offer an added bonus at the original price if they agree to do business with you.
Here’s what you can say:
“I wouldn’t want to compromise on the quality of what I’m offering so if your budget is $xx then I would love to offer you xyz solution instead. How does that sound?”
“My prices are firm however I would love to work with you. What I’d like to offer you is an additional xyz bonus as a free added extra to thank you for doing business with me.”
3. Remember: Any objection is a positive sign the client has bought into the idea.
People buy emotionally and then justify with logic. This is a very normal part of the buying process. The fact you’re getting a logical objection is actually a really good sign the customer has bought into the idea of your solution. This knowledge gives you the ability to continue to work with the customer on their needs and help them see you can solve their problem. Focus on the importance of them finding a solution right now.
Here’s what you can say:
“I know finding xyz solution is really important to you. Can you tell me more about why it’s so important you find a solution to xyz problem today?
“I understand it’s important for you to find the right solution right now. How would it feel if I could help you find a solution to xyz problem today?”
4. Remember: They may not be your ideal customer and that’s okay.
Not everyone is going to be the right customer for your business. You can’t possibly have a solution for every single person and you shouldn’t try. Stay true to what you are trying to accomplish and focus on the right people who will value what you have to offer.
Here’s what you can say:
“I really believe I can help you with xyz problem and I would love to have your business when you’re ready. If your situation changes, feel free to get back in touch.”
“I wouldn’t want to compromise on the quality of xyz solution, so I’m afraid I can’t lower my prices. If a lower cost alternative is the main priority for you I understand but I’m afraid I can’t help you at a lower price.”
5. Remember: You are solving a very real and current problem for them
The most compelling reason someone will become your customer is because they have a real and current problem they need solving. Focus on uncovering the problem and providing them with the right solution.
Here’s what you can say:
“You mentioned you wanted to solve xyz problem. I am confident I can help you. What would it mean to you if I could help you with xyz solution?”
“How important is it for you to be able to find xyz solution today? If I could help you immediately, would that be worth the investment?”
Dealing with the ‘too expensive’ objection can be frustrating but when you understand how and why people buy, you’ll see it’s not all bad. This objection is the customer telling you they’re not quite there yet but if you respond in the right way, this objection can be overcome.
Organizing an event can seem like an incredibly overwhelming task. Organizing events are actual jobs to some people and this requires their every attention, time and energy. And without proper organization and thinking ahead, it can be.
I am not discouraging you from chasing your dreams of becoming the next top rated event planner; you just have to be mentally ready.
Well, let's work on avoiding a flop -- from the months of preparing beforehand to maintaining your cool the day off.
Organizing an event can be a real job so you just have to be ready to work and plan.
Here are 8 steps to organizing an event that wouldn't flop!
1. Define the event's purpose. Having a sentence or two in your head will help you lead the event in the right direction. Are you planning it to educate your community? Persuade potential donors for funds? To get people to unwind & relax a little? To celebrate a specific individual or group of individuals? Get as narrow as possible. Whatever you're doing (be it educating, persuading, celebrating, etc.), why are you planning it?
Think of it as your mission statement. Your framework for success. When you know exactly what you want to do, it's a lot easier to do it!
2. Set goals. What exactly do you want to accomplish? Not how many people do you want to show up, not the actual fact that the event is even happening -- what do you want to come out of this? 5 people to walk away from a new part of your organization? $1,000 raised? Minds changed? Are people excited?
Think of the top three things you wish would happen as a result of this event and concentrate on them becoming a reality. Maybe one goal is financial, one is social, and one is personal. It's up to you!
3. Gather volunteers. Good team members with different skills are a necessity. They can help with everything from preparing schedules and budgets, to making invites and posters, to welcoming in guests and doing the dirty work of cleaning up afterward. In other words, they can help you get things done. And if you can, get volunteers who you trust!
Make sure to keep team members and supervisors "up to speed" with your plans. Collaboration can make your job easier. When you ask them to help, be as complete as possible from the get-go about the expectations for them and their level of involvement.
If you aren't in a situation where finding volunteers are feasible, hire a crew! It all depends on the type of event you're organizing. The venue may be able to provide you with one or you can go through a third-party staffing agency.
4. Prepare a budget. All possible expenses, incomes, sponsors, and contingent expenses should be included. If you don't budget, you'll end up with a wad of receipts, an empty pocketbook, and no idea what the heck just happened. Be realistic from day one so no surprises are seen the day of!
Find ways to keep costs low. Can you get volunteers to work for free? Consider cheaper venues (like someone's home)? Remember: a small, simple gathering that goes well is always more impressive than a party thrown to the nines that's a flop.
5. Decide on a time and place. This is the most important thing when it comes to your event. What time and what place will make people say, "Yeah, I'll go to that!"? You want a time when everyone will be free and a place that's a convenient location. And something you can afford to book!
Check your community's calendar and consider your audience. If you're working with a bunch of stay-at-home moms, during the day and in the neighborhood is your best bet (maybe with some babysitting offered, too?) If you're channeling students, do a weeknight downtown. If you can, go where they already are.
Of course, certain venues need booking. Contact the place you're thinking about using as soon as possible. They may be busier than you are!