Monthly Archives: November 2008

Helping Hands

Friend! Here’s a poem that beautifully describes of how you can be God’s helping hand to people of the world.

Just say ‘Hi’ to those you meet,

Whether in stores or on the street

It will distract them from their worry,

Even though they’re in a hurry

Just a smile upon your face

Will change your next-door neighbour’s pace

It will put a skip in their walk,

Instead of silence they will want to talk.

Just a handshake can do much;

It gives a stranger a friendly touch.

You can give your love in many ways,

Spreading sunshine all your days.

Just a little deed to help someone out,

Can lift a burden there’s no doubt.

Show your kindness everyday,

For our Master will repay

Just a little prayer for those you know,

Could help someone when they are low.

Our Lord hears and understands,

And we are God’s, helping hands.

Just one thing and don’t forget,

Make sure God, and your neighbours have met.

Don’t leave them hanging without a clue.

For them to know Jesus is depending on you.

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An inspiring story

A man once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby.

Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of
the same idol?”

“No,” said the sculptor without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.”

The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. “Where is the damage?” he asked. “There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his work.

“Where are you going to install the idol?” The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high.

“If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” the gentleman asked.

The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know it.”

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. “Excellence” is a drive from inside, not outside.

Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own
satisfaction and excellence.

Salary Negotiations

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT,
“And what starting salary were you looking for?”

The Engineer said, “In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”

The interviewer said, “Well, what would you say to a package of five-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50 percent of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?”

The Engineer sat up straight and said, “Wow! Are you kidding?”

And the interviewer replied, “Yeah, but you started it.”

😉

Group System Accountant

ROLE

The role is for the systems accountant for the company.  The role will be based in Mumbai and will report to the Group Finance Controller based in London.  There will be a need for some overseas travel.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Maintain the company Financial Reporting system (Currently Great Plains 8 with view to upgrade to Great Plains 10) to ensure its reliability, availability and accuracy.
  • Day to day management of the GP Support team (3 direct reports).
  • Manage the monthly close process to ensure correct cut-off of accounts.
  • Manage the year end accounts roll-over process.
  • Manage the FrX reporting including owning the monthly consolidation reports.
  • Manage the Cube reporting tool including owning the training and development of the application.
  • Ensure adequate security and back-up processes are in place to ensure data security and integrity.
  • Manage the process for installing new GP drivers, patches, updates and service packs.
  • Manage the administrator access only tasks such as setting up new accounts, cost categories, profit centres, departments etc.
  • Ensure reconciliation is maintained between Project accounting and GP.
  • Ensure reconciliation is maintained between Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable ledgers and GP.
  • Ensure reconciliation is maintained between the Cube reporting tool and GP.
  • Ensure efficient and robust interfaces exist between GP8 and the other financial support systems (FSS), EPDA (Projects), TSM (Timesheets), APT (Procurement), FrX, the Cube, Forecaster, E-Expenses and High Volume invoicing.
  • Manage the change request process for enhancements to the FSS.
  • Undertake the technical lead role in the installation of a new financial reporting system to be implemented before 30 September 2009.
  • Manage relationship with support vendors (currently Mentec).

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent man-management skills
  • Can do attitude and pro-active mind-set.
  • Degree educated.
  • Accountant, ideally with a recognised professional qualification.
  • At least 5 years experience working with project accounting.
  • At least 5 years experience of working as a systems accountant with Great Plains including AP / AR and General Ledger set-up.
  • Experience of at least two major finance system implementations including ideally one with Great Plains
  • Advanced SQL/TSQL.
  • Excellent MI techniques experience including data-warehousing.
  • Excellent Business intelligence skill set.
  • Familiarity with E-Connect.

Email us your applications at jobs@netsyscon.net or call on +91 22 65931551/52 (Navin)

Jobs for Business Development

Company URL- www.kankei.com (for Patni)

Designation- BDE/ Sr BDE/ BDM (Depending on experience)

Job Description :

  • Minimum Graduate, preferred BE & MBA
  • 1 Year of experience into IT Tele Sales / IT Pre Sales / IT Business Development
  • Little bit technical (Software) background. Only Basic understanding is required.
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Shift Timings –   Night Shift – 5:30 pm  –  2:30 am
  • Will work at client place (i.e. at Patni) – SEEPZ
  • Age Limit is between 22 to 28 years

Job Profile: –

  • The employee will have to make outbound calls to Fortune 2000 companies based in US / UK, introduce Patni and our IT consulting services, and identify project needs and schedule meetings / conference calls for sales to follow-up.
  • Follow up on leads and analyze its progress.
  • Preparing daily, monthly reports
  • Present on campaign progress, its findings in terms of competition, market demand etc..
  • Research on companies, account profiling and contact name research.

Experience of prior lead generation (for IT consulting) is mandatory.

PLS NOTE -The base component will be 80% and variable component will be 20%.The following is the payout for the variable component each month.
Lead zero – 0% of variable component
Lead 1 – 10%
Lead 2 – 30%
Lead 3 – 50%
Lead 4 – 70%
Lead 5 – 100%
Additional lead’s from

6th to 10 the incentive will be paid at Rs. 2000 per lead*.

11 and above Rs. 3000 per lead

NO PICK & DROP FACILITY IS AVAILABLE.

So apart from the above salary, candidates will get additional Rs. 2000/- for travelling.

There is an attractive special incentive scheme which is as under :

1) Target for each month is 10 qualified leads per person.
2) Incentive of Rs. 2000 per lead from lead number 6 to 10.

3) Incentive of Rs. 3000 per lead from lead number 11 and above

4) Incentive is paid once in 3 months.
5) For any lead that converts into revenue, there is a  special incentive.

a) Revenue – $ 10,000 to $ 100,000 – Incentive of Rs. 10000.00
b) Revenue – $ 100,000 to $ 250,000 – Incentive of Rs. 15000.00

c) Revenue – $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 – Incentive of Rs. 20000.00
C) Revenue – $ 500,000 to $1000000 and above Incentive of Rs. 25000.00

d) Revenue – $1000000 and above Incentive of Rs. 40000.00

Send your CV to jobs@netsyscon.net or call us on 022 65931551/52. Outstation candidates may apply as well.

Personality Test

HI Guys,

This ones really cool… Will take merely a few seconds. I feel its pretty accurate… Its a good game to be played during training

Do mention as to how you found it to be…

Just click the link below

“personality-types-test

The 10 Best Ways to Destroy Employee Morale

“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. They make the impossible happen.” Dr Robert Jarvik

Synopsis: Managers often unwittingly de-motivate their employees, even in the midst of attempts to do the exact opposite. In this special report, Sid Smith, Chief Attitude Enhancer for Achieve Coaching, outlines the Ten most common ways employee morale is stifled, and how you, the manager, can reverse the process. Learn the 10 best ways to move everyone towards a more positive, productive attitude.

A Serious Misconception

There exists in today´s business world a serious misconception. It´s an idea that came into being in the 19th century, and for some reason is still prevalent in our Internet, Information-based world. Strange as it may seem, there are still a lot of business managers who believe that employee morale is something that can actually be managed.

Blasphemy! You say. Of course employee morale can be managed.

Ever try to herd a bunch of cats or predict the stock market? Most people don´t realize that attempting to manage employee morale is no easier, or predictable. I know my comments go against years of studies and research on motivation, stress, and morale – studies that have proven, unequivocally that morale and motivation can be managed by following a few simple guidelines. If this is true, then why do these guidelines keep changing?

No, it´s not that the processes or techniques experts on motivation have advocated are flawed. Quite the opposite is true – programs that are intended to recognize employees for their good, hard work are to be applauded for their successes. They work when implemented consistently, and at the right time. Hence, the misconception that employee morale is something that can be managed, like a shopping list or your pet hamster.

Studies have concluded, and books have been written that certain things can be done to insure employees stay committed and motivated; that is, they maintain a high level of morale. I just pulled out my book by the Harvard Business Review on Motivating People to get a sense of what the experts are saying. They say in the introduction that “We live in a knowledge economy. The core assets of the modern business enterprise aren´t its buildings, machinery, and real estate, but the intelligence, understanding, skills, and experience of its employees.” How true.

The authors speak of participatory structures and communal values. They suggest pulling solutions out of employees instead of pushing solutions onto them. Some still recommend the old kick in the pants form of motivation, but in a “positive” way. Are you old enough to remember Managing by Objectives, which eventually became Management by walking around? These, too, were techniques managers used to motivate employees.

I want to repeat what I said earlier. There is nothing wrong with these techniques and ideas about motivation. They are all (even the kick in the pants) valuable and viable ways to motivate employees. The problem is that they are simply techniques, not solutions, and certainly not answers to the age-old question of how do you motivate employees. They are like the affirmation you tape to your bathroom mirror – within a week you´ll no longer see it. Whenever something new (a new incentive program, for example) is introduced, there is excitement and anticipation over how it will work. Then, within a period of time (sometimes a very short period of time), this program falls into the category of “ho-hum”. It becomes the norm – something expected – and eventually is no longer an incentive, but a requirement.

What most people fail to evaluate is the underlying reasons why a particular program or methodology works when it works. They simply read that, for example, if a manager gives employees the freedom to choose their attitude, then all will be well and morale will improve. But WHY does this particular technique work, and when? Those are the real questions, and the answers will vary according to the time and place of the question.

Motivation is a broad subject, with thousands of theories and as many techniques and methodologies to motivate people. What I propose is not a technique, or even a series of methodologies. I propose a way of being that is true to the nature of being human. Every day is different, and as such it is more a matter of who the manager is being (a leader, a manager, a friend, an ally, an authority figure) than what she or he is doing that matters. There are plenty of examples of organizations who offer no special programs or incentives that have very high employee morale. Why? Because the leaders of the organization promote commitment, dedication, and a high degree of ownership through their behaviors and actions. If you get nothing else from this report, I want you to understand that who you are has more to do with generating a high degree of employee morale than what you do.

Employees aren´t dumb, and they´ll see right through any incentive program. If they believe that you´re trying to manipulate them into doing more work for less pay, they´ll figure out a way around the system, and probably gripe about it in the mean time. Be respectful, and you will engender respect. It´s a simple formula that isn´t so easily carried out. The challenge is that there is no magic formula, or silver bullet that will kill the downward spiral of motivation or morale, or stabilize morale once employees are feeling good. It´s a moving target. That´s why last decade´s theories can be this decade´s nightmares.

The purpose of this special report isn´t to scare you into thinking there is NO solution, or that you may as well throw your hands up and give up any hope motivating your employees. It is possible… and there is also a catch. Being a leader who motivates employees and keeps morale high requires diligence, persistence, and ever watchful eye for the inevitable shifts and changes that take place in the workplace. Nothing is static. Nothing! Everything is in a constant state of change and movement, and if you´re really interested in motivating your employees, you´ll keep this in mind.

As you read this report, I invite you to reflect on how and why your employees are motivated – not just in the past, but in the present moment. While one person may have been motivated by money or financial incentives last year, a recent death of someone close could have completely shifted his or her perspective on life and work. That same person may now be more motivated by interpersonal connection, and if you miss this change you might inadvertently cause them to become disillusioned or distant.

I´m going to lay out ten of the most common ways that employee morale is destroyed, but with a caveat. The ten I list today may be significantly different from the ten I list a year from now. Some may remain on the list, and some may be replaced by other well-intentioned, but ill-timed management actions. As I said, the key is in staying diligent and aware, noticing the changes that take place daily in people´s lives. With each one, watch for themes or patterns that are present in your organization, and approach each with an open mind.

The Top 10 Ways to Destroy Employee Morale

1. Blessed Ignorance.

I know this is a harsh statement, but many managers manage through the art of blessed ignorance. That is, what they don´t communicate won´t hurt them. Call it communication by omission, or maintaining control – not talking to your employees is one of the fastest ways to lose control. There are ample reasons for keeping your employees in the dark:

  • You want to promote their independent thinking. Why, after all, should you hold their hands at every turn?
  • They don´t need to know every reason behind every decision. Do you want them questioning your authority? Besides, it would take far too much of your time.
  • You´re busy with your own projects. It´s OK if you don´t acknowledge every little thing your employees do.

Blessed ignorance takes many forms. It may be in something as simple as a missed birthday or anniversary, or as harsh as giving an assignment without sufficient background information. Managers believe that all employees need is a little direction – tell them what to do, and they´ll go off and do it. Unfortunately this doesn´t take into account people´s natural curiosity and desire to make a difference. Give them just a little more information, such as why this assignment is important, and you might have them completing the assignment ahead of schedule. Keeping your employees in the dark about the purpose of the work you´re asking them to do will surely kill any motivation they have to do a good job.

Successful managers are truly interested in their employees. They care about what´s going on in the employees lives because they know it does effect their performance. They care about what the employees are doing, and they ask the employees what they want, as well as telling the employee what they, as the manager want. I have one client who rarely receives any feedback or direction from her manager, and constantly wonders if she´s going to have a job next month. She doesn´t know if her assignment is really very important, and the attitude she sees in her manager is that it probably isn´t. So, other than to keep her job, what´s her motivation for doing an outstanding job?

A great manager will make sure her employees understand the vital importance of their jobs, and she won´t fake this in her behavior. She will act as if each employee were essential to the success of her organization because she believes it is true. Then, she will have open, honest, and frequent communication with her employees to insure nobody walks around in blessed ignorance.

The Antidote

The antidote to blessed ignorance is compassion, first for oneself, and second for one´s employees. Compassion breaks down any barriers of communication because it requires an understanding of people´s desires and needs. It is a genuine concern for and care of self and others. Cultivate compassion by taking actions that move you as a manager and your employees forward. Even a kick in the pants can be one of the most compassionate actions you can take if it serves to move your employee forward.

2. Faking it.

Have you ever encountered someone who´s so wired they can´t sit still for five minutes? How about when that same person tells you to “settle down”. Not very compelling, is it? It´s like going to a dentist who has really bad teeth. You might feel inspired to take care of your teeth, but not for the best of reasons.

If you, as a manager, don´t believe in the projects or assignments you´re handing your employees, don´t expect them to be all that motivated. If you´re stressed out, unfocused, and unable to keep track of what´s going on in your organization, then why would you expect your employees to be any different? How many managers try to fake having it together, when inside they´re ready to burst out the door and scream at the top of their lungs?

Another example of faking it is one that may seem all too familiar. It´s the manager (real life example) who is a strong proponent of pride of ownership and “empowerment”. Unfortunately, if he sees something he doesn´t like, he pounces on the poor unsuspecting employee as if the entire structural fabric of the universe would dissolve if the employee proceeded according to their own ideas. It´s the manager who says, “go ahead and do your best… but not like that, like this.”

You can´t fake authenticity, and you can´t fake sincerity. You also can´t fake motivation. If the manager isn´t feeling very motivated, he´ll have one heck of a time motivating his staff. Employees will see right through the latest motivational trend if the managers aren´t motivated or excited themselves. Burnt-out managers will create burnt-out employees.

The best leaders don´t fake their enthusiasm, drive, ambition, or attitudes. They have a positive attitude because they believe in what they´re doing, and if they don´t they won´t tray to fake it – they´ll adjust their attitudes, or change their direction until they do believe in what they´re doing.

The Antidote

The antidote to faking it isn´t being authentic, which is what one might expect. Being authentic is the result of being honest. One must first be honest with oneself – about the situation, one´s feelings, beliefs, and one´s attitudes. Honesty – knowing what you actually feel and what you think – create the environment for authentic behavior and actions. Once you cultivate the capacity to be honest with yourself, it isn´t that difficult to be authentic. You will generate more respect than you can imagine through your self-honesty and authenticity.

3. Fault-finding

Many managers were at one time the “technicians”. They had the jobs that they are now managing, and by golly they know that job inside and out. If something is broken, they´ll be sure to know the solution. Unfortunately, fixing problems was how they got promoted into management, and it´s all they know. Their ability to fix and solve problems is what motivates them as managers because it is how they got the attention and recognition they sought.

The problem with this is that it soon becomes an unconscious way of finding faults with others. What if your employees did everything perfectly, and didn´t need any of your advice or help to do their jobs well? How would you get your recognition then? Would one of these people replace you because they´ve proven themselves better at problem solving? It´s a common fear, and one that creates far more problems than it resolves. These managers look for problems. They seek out faults, mistakes, and errors of their employees like heat seeking missiles. Under the guise of “effectiveness” or “quality control”, they´re on a witch hunt for problems to fix.

It´s all wrong, and it will destroy employee morale faster than you can say “total quality management”. Managers who understand this don´t look for problems or faults, but will lead the way through their focus on being the best. They look for the best qualities in their staff, the best actions, the best behaviors, processes, procedures, and methodologies. They encourage each of their team members to also look for the best, and to focus their attention on getting better. They know that by focusing their attention in this way, employees will naturally uncover things that can be improved and will endeavor to find even better ways to do things.

Part of this motivation for improvement is that people naturally want to do well in whatever they´re doing. Another part, and this is where the manager can help, is that when people are at their best, they are also able to work much more efficiently. They can´t be at their best if they´re always focused on problems, or are looking over their shoulders to make sure the boss doesn´t find fault in what they´re doing.

The Antidote

The antidote for fault-finding is to not sweat the small stuff. Focus on the goal, the target, the big compelling reason for the existence of your team or company. What´s your mission, vision and purpose for being in business? What are your values, and how can you align your team with these values? These are what compels people to quality – it´s a pride of ownership that comes from a unified desire to reach a stated goal. If everyone in your group wants to show that they are by far the best in the industry, then quality will take care of itself. Sure, you´ll still want to implement quality procedures, but it is the vision that drives people forward, not fixing problems.

4. Micro Managing.

I know you´ve heard this one before, but you´d be amazed at how often I still see micro-management of employees. It´s tough to be under so much pressure to meet deadlines and still turn out quality products. Everyone is being asked to do more work with fewer resources, and it´s the manager´s job to make sure everything gets done on time and is a quality job.

Micro-managing is sweating the small stuff. It´s paying attention to details that are beyond your control as a manager, and it serves to de-motivate employees and actually slow them down. Ever had someone standing over your shoulder as you´re ready to tap in that 15 foot put? Not only that, but they´re giving you tips about your grip and stroke before you even take the put. Chances are, you´ll miss the put, and not take responsibility for having missed it.

If you can tell me all the details of what your employees are doing, you´re probably micro-managing. If, however, you can tell me each employee´s state of mind, and your expectations of them given the tasks they´re doing and what´s going on in their lives, you´re probably not micro-managing. You definitely need to know how they are doing, but not necessarily what they are doing. Leave the details up to them, and provide all the resources they´ll need so that you won´t have to worry whether or not they´ll get the job done. Sometimes an intervention is necessary, but you can know when to intervene by watching their attitude and behavior. You don´t have to follow them around and watch their every move!

The most effective managers will provide coaching, guidance, mentoring, and resources. They´ll have a vision, and will articulate that vision to their employees. He/she will insure employees understand their roles, and the importance of those roles. He/she will create an environment that promotes collaboration and sharing of ideas. Then, they´ll get out of the way and let their employees do what they were hired to do.

The Antidote

The antidote to micro-managing is trust. Cultivate trust in yourself first. Do you trust that you are a good enough manager to let go of micro-managing? If not, work on your trust and confidence in yourself as a manager. If you don´t´ trust yourself, how can you expect them to trust you? Then, cultivate an environment of trust by being trustworthy. Do what you say you´ll do, and do it when you´ll say you´ll do it. Help them to trust themselves as well by allowing failure to occur naturally, and encouraging them to move past the failures on their own (or with guidance, not by doing it for them).

5. Leaving out the details

This is closely aligned with item number 1 – Blessed Ignorance. However, these are the managers who are in constant communication with employees, but happen to leave out certain details. For example, they´ll meet with an employee to discuss all the goals and objectives of a study that the employee is undertaking. Once they become clear on the goals and objectives, the employee is sent off to complete the project.

The employee has worked long and hard on the report, and returns to the boss with a 60-page, spiral-bound gem. The boss looks it over, and says, “this is all wrong. It will never work. You´ll need to revisit this and correct these errors because you´ve made incorrect assumptions.”

What happened? The boss left out some important details, assuming that the employee would figure it out on her own. After all, the goals and objectives were clear, right? Managers will leave out the details because they already have the specifications of the end product in their heads. They know what that report is supposed to contain, and if it doesn´t contain the specific details they´ve identified, then it must be in error. They´re not sharing the details of the product they are expecting.

Managers who understand this don´t necessarily have to share every little piece of information with their employees. But, what they ideally will share will be their expectations and assumptions. They´ll share the details of what they think the end result of the study or project will be.

Better yet, and here´s the real kick in the pants, these managers who understand motivation will let go of their preconceived ideas of what the ultimate solution will be. They´ll provide the resources and information their employee needs to come up with a very good solution, and be open to the possibility that they may have an even better idea than the manager. Fancy that! It´s a tough one for all the managers who know better than their employees, but if they can manage to provide the details the employee needs, then step out of the way, they might see an even better solution than what they´d come up with.

The Antidote

The antidote to leaving out the details is faith. Faith is something that is built over time through experience. You develop faith in your own ability to think through a situation sufficiently, communicate it to your employees, and then to allow them to proceed. You develop the faith that they just might come up with a better solution by allowing them to do just that, and experiencing the results.

6. Not following through

Do you play any sports? If you´ve played tennis, basketball, baseball, or even golf, you´ll understand the importance of follow through. Say you want to toss a ball from the pitcher´s mound to home plate, but you stop the movement of your arm the moment you release the ball. The ball will never reach home plate, and will plop down only a few feet from where you´re standing.

The same applies to follow through in business. If you tell an employee you´re going to do something, you´d better follow through with what you´ve said you´ll do. Don´t and you´ll lose their trust in what you say. Don´t follow through consistently, and you should expect the same kind of behavior from them. Follow through isn´t that difficult, but it sure seems to be because it is becoming more rampant. I see it again and again because people have too much to do and not enough time (a great excuse for not following through). Rather than admit that they´ll have to delay certain items, they´ll wait until the last minute to apologize, thinking the apology will make it all OK. It doesn´t.

The challenge occurs because of committing to dates that are entirely unreasonable. We all do it, and are left apologizing for missing the deadline or doing less of a job than we´d like. As a manager, it is even more important that your commitments to your employees be followed through to completion, and on time. It is far better to admit early on that you didn´t calculate the timeframe correctly and to set a new schedule than it is to put your employee off. In fact, many managers consider their commitments to employees to be a lower priority than commitments to their own managers. This is a mistake, because they are of equal importance and must be handled as such.

The Antidote

The antidote to not following through is integrity. Integrity is also defined as wholeness, and is highly applicable to this situation. By being in integrity – with your words, actions, and behaviors, you send a strong signal to your employees. They, too, will act with higher levels of integrity.

7. Being well-meaning

This is a tough one. We want our managers and supervisors to be well-meaning; that is, to care for and be concerned about their staff. Unfortunately this can at times backfire, especially when a well-meaning manager steps into a difficult situation. For example, an organization has been beset with multiple lay-offs, downsizing, restructuring, and one of a number of resolutions to rectify problems with the bottom line.

The old manager is dismissed and replaced by a very successful, and well-intentioned person who´s got a lot of ideas on how to turn things around. He´s all pumped up and raring to go with new initiatives, incentives, team building exercises, and the like. So, he naturally gets going as soon as possible.

In the mean time, the employees are still scared, worried, and frustrated (or angry) as all get out, and the last thing they´re ready to do is trust some wing nut who comes storming in with ideas on how to “fix” them. They don´t need fixing, and as far as they´re concerned, it´s not them who´s broken – it´s that stupid management team who can´t seem to figure out how to run a business.

Get the point?

It doesn´t matter how well-meaning or well-intentioned you are as a manager. If you don´t build rapport and trust with the employees, all your good efforts will be wasted, and may even cause further damage to the morale of the employees. It might behoove you to take a few steps back and find out what they actually want before you come in with your solutions that worked like a charm in your last business. This isn´t your last business, and it may actually require a little imagination on your part. Which brings me to the antidote.

The Antidote

The antidote for being well-meaning is curiosity. Get curious about what people want and need before you offer your well-intentioned solutions. It may be that you´re headed in exactly the opposite direction of where you want to go. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can save a business. Ask questions. Probe. Explore options and alternatives. Then, go with your gut, with what you know based on information and experience what will work. It still might fail, but you´ll know you´ve done all you could.

8. One-upping

I´m a very competitive person, so I know this particular trait well. Your friend tells a story about hiking to the top of an 8,000 foot mountain. You talk about paragliding off that same mountain. She says she did the last 1,000 feet with swollen ankles, and you describe how you had a broken leg.

It´s called one-upping. It happens all the time in business, and it can be disastrous to employee morale. The employee comes in with the solution to a problem, and the boss is excited. He listens intently, and profusely thanks the employee for his hard work and dedication. He compliments the employee for such a great solution, and encourages the employee to do more of the same on the next project.

Good so far, right?

That´s when the one-upping steps in, and like the well-meaning manager above, it can cause serious, but unconscious repercussions. The manager sees his suggestions as a form of brainstorming, and the employee sees it as one-upping. Not content with the employee´s solution, he´ll say something like, “That´s wonderful. I love it. And you know what might make it even better…” While this sounds like a really good idea, it can do quite a bit to undermine and de-motivate employees. What you´re saying is that they might have some good ideas, but their ideas are never good enough, and yours are better.

As an alternative, how about allowing them to begin implementing their ideas. As they progress, you can coach them to seek out even better methods, approaches, or processes that will improve what they´d come up with originally. Coaching is a far better approach for a manager than outright suggestions or even brainstorming, although both of these are useful within the scope of coaching. Ideally, you want to coach your employees to anticipate obstacles, think about contingencies, and evaluate alternative approaches that would be an improvement. In the end you´ll have better ideas, and a much stronger staff who can make your job as manager much easier.

The Antidote

The antidote to one-upping is cultivating a strong self-image. I know this sounds strange, but managers who have a very strong self image do not have a need to have a better idea than their employees. They´re OK with coaching their employees because they have nothing to prove. They don´t need to show how much they know, or demonstrate their wisdom. The best thing you can do for yourself and your staff is to do what you can to build a very strong self-image for yourself.

9. Justifiable anger

Anger is a normal, healthy, and reasonable response to situations in which you or someone close to you has been harmed. The harm can come in the form of a physical action, comments, or even with body language or looks. Something occurs that causes emotional or physical pain, and one will quite naturally respond with feelings of surprise, possibly denial, and then anger.

It´s natural to feel angry from time to time, even as a manager. However, when anger is allowed to be examined and felt within the context of what one is wanting, its life is relatively short. What unfortunately happens all too often is that the anger becomes justifiable anger. We tell the story over and over, embellishing and summarizing all the many reasons we are justified in feeling angry. It builds and builds, and by the time we´re ready to confront the source of the anger (your employee), there is absolutely no room for resolution or solution.

Part of the solution lies in open and honest communication as soon as possible after the incident. Even then, it is in the best interest of the manager to come to terms with his or her feelings of anger before confronting the employee. This is accomplished by carefully evaluating the situation in terms of what happened, why did it happen, and most importantly, clarifying to yourself the final outcome you´re seeking that will be best for both the company and the individuals involved. Once you start looking in the direction of what you really want to be happening (product gets delivered on schedule, client is 100% satisfied), the anger naturally fades. The more you focus on justifying your anger, coming up with all the reasons you´re anger is within reason, the less likely you´ll be able to resolve the situation to anyone´s satisfaction.

The Antidote

The antidote to justifiable anger is gratitude. No, it´s not forgiveness, and it´s not suppression of or ignoring the anger. Look for everything for which you are grateful in the situation, the people involved, and your business. Within the realm of gratitude lies forgiveness, and within forgiveness lies possibilities for solutions that you can only dream about now. Gratitude is perhaps the most powerful force in the universe to combat negative emotions and to instill a strong motivation in everyone.

10. Assuming

You know the old phrase, “to assume is to make an ass out of ´u´ and me”? Our challenge today is to hold off on assumptions, yet still get as much done with as few resources as we can. As a manager, you need to understand the difference between an assumption and an expectation.

An assumption is to “take for granted”, while an expectation is “something expected, or the eager anticipation” of something. Notice the difference? You can (and should) have expectations that your employees will be trustworthy, honest, diligent, and will do exceedingly good jobs. On the other hand, it is not helpful to assume (take for granted) they will have all these qualities. To expect is to await with eager anticipation. There is an energy of excitement and joy that comes with an expectation, while an assumption only comes with disappointment when the assumed outcome does not arrive.

Assumptions show up as disappointment. The employee didn´t do as good a job as you had hoped, so you´re disappointed and express that disappointment. Nowhere along the path did you express any expectation that they´d do a great job, because you assumed it. If you expect a great job, you´ll be more likely to express your expectation (“I know that you will do an outstanding job on this report”), and will be excited to receive their results. Then, if the outcome isn´t up to your expectations, you can coach the employee to set their own goals that will meet or even exceed your expectations.

Having a high expectation of an employee helps them to grow into that expectation, while making assumptions does nothing but create disappointment and resentment.

The Antidote

The antidote for assuming is to expect the best. Expect the best of yourself, and expect the best of your employees. Whatever you most expect is what you will get, so be careful with what you expect. Expect the worse and that´s what you´ll probably get. Expect the best, and you stand a greater chance of getting exactly the best.

Summary

Cultivating and maintaining a high level of motivation in employees requires more than implementing a few new procedures or incentive plans from the Human Resources department. It requires managers and leaders to be different, and to cultivate in themselves the qualities they want in their employees. In summary, the 10 antidotes, or ways of being that managers can adopt in order to promote high morale in their employees are:

1. Compassion for self and others.
2. Honesty with oneself.
3. Focusing on the goal, not the small stuff.
4. Cultivating trust first in oneself, then in others.
5. Faith in oneself and others through experience.
6. Displaying a high degree of Integrity.
7. Being curious – about the situation, about yourself, and about others.
8. Cultivating a strong self-image.
9. Gratitude for all that is in your life today.
10. Expecting the best of yourself and others.

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