Ask Questions + Listen patiently = Motivation

July 26, 2008

One Thing You Can’t Hide
By: Brian Tracy 

One of the most important traits of all motivators at work is consideration. Employees report that the best managers they ever had were people who cared about them as people and as friends. These managers took the time to ask them questions about their lives, and to listen patiently while they talked about the dilemmas and problems and situations in their families. The more that the employees felt that the boss liked them and respected them, the more empowered and motivated they felt. 

Caring is the Key
The flip side of this motivator is the de-motivating feeling that the boss doesn’t care. This is almost invariably expressed in a lack of recognition, a lack of approval, a lack of appreciation and a general failure to pay attention to the employee over time. 

Spend Time Listening
Remember, the amount of time that you spend talking to and listening to an employee is a signal to that employee that he or she is important to you and to the company. This is why the very best bosses spend a lot of time walking around and chatting with their employees. They sit with them for lunch and coffee. They invite their comments and encourage open discussion and disagreements about work. They create an environment where people feel that the work belongs to them as well as to the company. In that environment, employees feel good about themselves and more fully committed to doing the job and doing it well.


Go Blog Wild

July 21, 2008

by Gail Dutton

Word-of-mouth has taken on a whole new meaning with the growth of the blogosphere, opening doors to both international and local markets. Blogs forge a personal connection with readers, adding local perspectives vital for successful international marketing. 

Blogs talk with customers, not at them,” says Chris Alden, CEO of Six Apart, an international developer of blogging tools. International companies therefore need in-country experts, or at least bloggers with significant experience there, to connect to local markets. For example, a U.S.-based law firm with offices in Germany should have a link to its blog on its main website, with one of its German attorneys blogging about new regulations and court decisions. The blog itself should have links to relevant German articles.

And companies in many countries should have region-specific blogs. An American winery that exports internationally, for instance, can have links to local sites discussing restaurants, food and wine pairings, and other related topics. Links drive traffic to your blog, Alden says, so “post as frequently as you have something new and useful to contribute.”
It’s not just the CEO or head of marketing who knows how to articulate a company’s vision, Alden points out. “Find a voice to match the enterprise,” he says.  Companies in multiple countries may have blog postings from multiple authors in those countries.


Gail Dutton is a freelance writer in Montesano, Washington, specializing in business and technology.

Social Networks: Good for Business?

July 20, 2008

by Carrie-Ann Skinner, PC Advisor

Businesses are not making the most out of social networking technologies brought into the spotlight by sites such as Facebook and MySpace, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Gartner said the business potential of such sites was “largely untapped”, and the firm expects them to “become increasingly important to the competitiveness of large enterprises in the future”.

“Social networking software holds enormous potential for improving the management of large enterprises,” said Nick Ingelbrecht, research director at Gartner.

“However, work in this area is still immature and in the meantime enterprises should be aware of what is happening in the world of consumer social networking and implement appropriate usage policies for employees’ use of services such as Facebook and MySpace on company time.”

Full article at PC World Business Centre

Web 2.0 and HR: a discussion paper

July 9, 2008

CIPD’s magazine “People Management” (10 July) has a short article about the above discussion paper (by Graeme Martin, Martin Reddington and Mary Beth Kneafsey) which I think is well worth reading.

“This discussion paper has been written to encourage personal reflection and debate among the HR community about the way newer web-based technologies are influencing HR and people management. Although at an early stage, a family of powerful web-based technologies are being adopted by organisations to:

  • encourage greater collaboration
  • give customers and employees greater voice
  • help them learn about each other and, in an HR context, potential employees
  • share their knowledge and experiences.

Like every form of technology, however, there are unresolved issues, challenges and degrees of risk associated with each stage of the innovation process, which includes the adoption, diffusion and exploitation of Web 2.0 for both commercial and non-commercial ends. Perhaps more than any other managerial function, HR professionals need to be aware of these opportunities and challenges and be able to contribute effectively as members of a senior management team to policies on Web 2.0.”

Leadership Week 14 – 18 July 2008

July 7, 2008

Management Today July issue says:-

“ Leadership Week is a series of five podcasts, opening the door to the secrets behind the success of some of the UK’s top leaders and leadership thinkers.  Whether you’re operating in the private sector, public sector or third sector, learn from the experts..

Monday 14th – Chris Hyman, CEO, Serco plc

Tuesday 15th – Brigadier Andrew Jackson, Commander, Army recruiting corp

Wednesday 16th – Sir Nicholas Young, CEO, British Red Cross

Thursday 17th – Professor Rob Gofee, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

Friday 18th – Shaa Wasmund, CEO, Bright Station Ventures.

Listen to the podcassts daily at

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