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All posts by Beverly Flaxington

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Why Empathy Matters: Being More Empathetic at Work Can Help Reduce Work-related Stress

By | Communication | No Comments

In the last two decades, increasing numbers of news articles, reports, surveys and studies confirm what most of us already knew: For the majority of American employees, work = stress. 80% of employees are stressed at work due to at least one factor; Almost half of them confess that they don’t know how to manage occupational stress and need guidance; 25% cite their job as the number-one stressor in their lives; Work-related stress causes employees to entertain violent thoughts – A quarter of stressed-out workers have felt like lashing out because of their stress; and More than half of that number felt like striking a co-worker. We all have felt some pressure at work at one point or another in our professional lives, as any job will contain areas that can cause employees to become stressed out. Even though these factors can vary depending on the individual and his or…

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Matching Styles: How Adopting a New Boss’s Behavioral Style Can Help Employees Succeed

By | Behavioral style, Blog | No Comments

As a rule, it is worrisome when a new boss comes on the scene, especially if you were comfortable working under the former one. You could have been doing a good job, but then you get a boss that is very different from you or from your previous manager. All of a sudden what you did before isn’t working, and now the same behaviors are actually getting you in trouble. Maybe the new boss isn’t seasoned or hasn’t learn how to manage well, but sometimes there is nothing wrong with the new boss – it’s just that you and that person don’t click and don’t seem to be on the same wavelength with one another. You might have even heard great things about the new person from colleagues but for whatever reason, he or she isn’t working well for you. Oftentimes the disconnect lies in differences in behavioral styles and…

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Good Selling = Good Relating

By | Blog, Customer service, Sales | No Comments

In business, just as in real life, good relationships matter. It’s a simple truth that a lot of businesspeople tend to forget. Many place a high premium on networking and fail to give proper care to the relationships that they have already created. While networking can certainly help build awareness and make new sales, the success of your business should not be measured by the number of names in your contact list. No matter whether your business is customer-driven or client-driven, its success or failure is ultimately defined by the quality of the relationships that you have with your “consumers”. When the question comes to customer acquisition vs. retention, the winner is obvious. Customer profitability tends to increase over the life of a retained customer, and acquiring new customers can cost as much as five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers, as pointed out by Emmet C. Murphy,…

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Effective Communication and How to Get What You Want From People

By | Blog, Communication | No Comments

If you want something, sometimes the best approach is to ask for it. We ask customers to buy our products; we ask potential investors to put their trust – and money – into our ideas; we ask for salary increases and promotions; we raise complaints, etc. Some people just ask naturally but in many cases – especially in business – people hold back because they don’t want to appear pushy or aggressive. Asking for something means first identifying what it is you want. For example, if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, saying that you have a great idea for a new company and you want to start your own business is not good enough. Your dream may be clear to you, but your goal may not be objective and understandable enough for others. This is why many times you might get something, but not what you were hoping for. Before…

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Part 2. Major Time Wasters: What Managers Can Do to Enhance Employee Productivity

By | Blog, Personal management, Team building | No Comments

Time at work can be wasted in so many different ways. While some employees end up wasting time due to boredom or job dissatisfaction, others have simply never learned how to cope effectively with their workload and obligations. In Part 1 of Major Time Wasters, we discussed some of the common ways in which employees tend to waste time at work, as well as how their unproductive behaviors eat into the company’s bottom line. We also identified a number of strategies employees can adopt in order to help them increase their productivity; for example, getting better at prioritizing, minimizing distractions and streamlining routine tasks. While employees can take some steps to improve each day, it is also the manager’s responsibility to coach and motivate their staff. Many employees really want to bette themselves and become more efficient. Taking simple steps, such as were outlined in Part I, will eventually improve…

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On the Importance of Prioritizing and Defining a Desired Outcome

By | Blog, Personal management | No Comments

Every day multiple things require our attention: projects that are due, recent developments in the office, last-minute changes, unexpected calls and emails from colleagues, bosses and clients, and the list goes on. A constant flood of information, requests, updates and demands doesn’t stop and wait for us to catch a breath, regroup and brace ourselves for more to come; we get frequently interrupted, frustrated and more and more overwhelmed by new and important additions to our already full plates. This may sound like mayhem to some, but to others it is just another day at work. So what do we do when there is so much that needs to be done? Trying to manage everything at once or as soon as it presents itself clearly doesn’t work. In fact, this strategy only leads to more frustration, stress, mental and physical exhaustion, and eventually to the mere thought of going back…

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Part 1. Major Time Wasters: What Employees Can Do Today In Order to Enhance Their Productivity

By | Blog | No Comments

America is a global economic superpower obsessed with competitiveness — but are we as productive as we could be? While American workers do put in long hours and have notoriously few vacation days, they only rank third on The Global Competitiveness Report of 2014-2015, according to the World Economic Forum. The precept of longer office hours being tantamount to greater productivity is a major misconception that actually undermines productivity by downplaying the health risks associated with longer working hours. It’s not only the stress of long hours that eats into employee productivity — boredom, disconnect and disinterest with their work prompt workers to engage in activities that are not related to their jobs, such as web surfing and socializing with other employees. According to a survey from Salary.com, every day 64% of American employees spend time on the internet browsing, shopping, checking social media updates or otherwise managing their personal…

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How Changing the “Frame” Can Help Reshape Experiences with Colleagues

By | Behavioral style, Blog, Communication, Personal & Team Development, Personal management, Team building | No Comments

Imagine the following scenario: You are assigned to a new team for a project and while most of your new teammates are easy-going and friendly people, one person seems somewhat disagreeable. When you are late to work by a couple of minutes, your colleagues don’t seem to notice or joke lightly about your tardiness, whereas this person tells your straight up that being late is unacceptable. Upon completion of an important assignment, you get congratulated by your teammates – except for this one person who after a quick “Good job” goes on to tell you about every single mistake you made and how it devalued your work. In a situation like this, you are tempted to think “That person always picks on me! He/she must hate me.” What happens next – whether you decide to confront your colleague or seek to avoid any contact with him/her, etc. – is going…

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Identifying and Removing Obstacles

By | Blog, Personal & Team Development, Team building | No Comments

We all face numerous obstacles at work, large and small. When you have a team, additional problems can surface based on employee dynamics and pressures related to task performance, training, understanding and motivation. As a business owner or manager, you want your team to be high performing, have high morale and be eager to participate. It’s important that you pay attention to employee behavior and recognize when lack of sufficient communication and anger issues stemming from unfulfilled expectations or facing pressures, cause problems that can accelerate into large obstacles. An employee at your company can face obstacles in many ways. Understanding what these obstacles are can help you identify and remove them, leading to greater employee satisfaction and higher productivity. Step 1: Brainstorm all of the obstacles. Begin by brainstorming all possible obstacles. This can range from concerns such as not enough time; conflicting job priorities; lack of opportunity to…

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