Corporate Contractors - Fall 2023 Newsletter

Can You Guess? 1. Before Charles III, the last time Britain had a king was 1952. Who was that man, Princess Elizabeth’s father? a) Charles II b) James V c) Edward VIII d) George VI 2. The town of Kapoho, Hawaii is now uninhabited because it was inundated by what in June 2018? a) Locusts b) Ants c) Lava d) Spiders 3. What second-longest-running show in Broadway history gave us the songs “Cell Block Tango,” “Roxie,” and “Razzle Dazzle”? a) CATS! b) Chicago c) A Chorus Line d) Wicked 4. The spreadsheet in Apple’s iWork office suite shares its name with which book of the Bible? a) Acts b) Lamentations c) Numbers d) Revelation 5. What was legendary NFL defender Reggie White’s off-field profession, a job that lent him his nickname? a) Minister b) Blacksmith c) Reverend d) Boilermaker Answers: 1 (d); 2 (c ); 3 (b); 4 (c); 5 (a) Without A Sound Your nonverbal communication can speak as loudly as your words, if not more. To make a positive impact on the people around you, focus on these behaviors: • Smile . You’ll send the message that you’re friendly and open. • Keep your arms open . Crossing your arms makes you look closed to conversation and new ideas. • Lean forward . Moving forward just a little (not so far that you’re intruding on personal space) signals your interest in what others are saying. • Listen to your voice . Your tone can reinforce your words, or undercut them. Pay attention to whether you sound harsh, inviting or indifferent without meaning to. • Make eye contact . Don’t stare, but meet people’s eyes to show your attention and interest. • Nod . A quick nod tells people you want to hear more. Don’t Let “How” Overcome “Why” The trick to being more creative may require an attitude adjustment. Jennifer Mueller, a psychologist and management professor at Wharton who studies creativity, says in an article on the CNN website that most people view imagination as either practical or creative, leading to one of two mindsets: why and how. People with a “why” attitude tend to look at the world in abstract terms without regard to whether ideas are feasible or not. Those with a “how” mindset can focus so closely on the practical application of an idea that they ignore more innovative—but less obviously feasible—possibilities. Both perspectives have their value, of course. Just avoid overpowering your “why” mindset with concerns about “how” to put ideas into action. The Best Managers Are Effective Coaches A key responsibility of every manager is helping employees develop and learn. It’s a challenge that calls for coaching that’s active and involved. Here are five tips to help you develop solid coaching skills: 1. Delivery is as important as the message. Before you shoot off some constructive feedback, ask yourself whether your attitude is oriented toward problem-solving or punishment. You need to give feedback that’s geared toward getting positive results, not demoralizing your people. 2. Tailor your coaching to the individual employee’s style. People learn in various ways. Some prefer hands-on experience, whereas others focus on visual learning, for example, by reading a book. When you coach, take a minute to adjust your message to fit the person’s learning style and level of experience. 3. Coaching takes time and patience. Sometimes you may feel too busy to provide more than a cursory answer to a question asked by an employee. But the expedient approach may cut you off from valuable information and create problems in the future. Sometimes making a little more effort to help and encourage an employee goes a long way in developing more-productive workers. 4. Explore the options. Providing solutions to problems is easy, but exploring the possibilities is much more effective. The process of analyzing problems and solutions teaches workers critical thinking, consequences, creativity, and cost-benefit analysis. When employees are faced with problems or difficult tasks, coax out the solutions by asking open-ended questions. 5. Coaches copy the best coaches. Find good coaches, inside your industry and in other areas, to learn from and emulate. Apply what you observe to your workplace.