Archive for December, 2009

I can’t believe i agreed to do this speech

“I can’t believe I agreed to do this speech.  Look at all those people out there!  My knees are shaking so much my pants are vibrating.  My stomach feels like I just went over the top on a roller coaster.  My heart is beating so fast and hard my tie is jumping.  I just want to scream and run away!”

Speaking in public is often cited as the number one fear of adults. The Book of Lists places death in fifth place while public speaking ranks first.  Jerry Seinfeld said, “That would mean at a funeral, people are five times more likely to want to be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”

Let’s look at some techniques to deal with the anxiety and give an excellent presentation.  The methods are divided into the acronym P.R.E.P.A.R.E.

Preparation – The foundation of a good speech is built on the 6 “W’s” of effective journalism.  You must determine:

Who is your audience?

What are your key points?

When are you speaking; how long?

Where is the speech; physical surroundings?

Why should the audience listen to you?

hoW are you going to present?

In an effective speech you can only deliver 3 to 4 main ideas. Think about your audience, the amount of time you have, what media you are using to support your presentation and the physical surroundings.  Decide on the essential ideas vital for understanding your topic.  These are your key points.  Make a comprehensive outline with supporting detail, quotes and graphics.

Rehearse – Practice is essential.  Begin by reading through the detailed outline of your speech.  Check your timing during this rehearsal.  When you are comfortable with the material, move on to a Key-word outline.  Don’t attempt to memorize the entire speech word for word.  Keep practicing with your Key-word outline until you are familiar with the material and its sequence.  Mark Twain said, “It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” That is the effect you are working toward – a conversational, impromptu style, but with thorough knowledge of the material.

Continue to practice out loud with a less detailed outline and recheck the timing of your talk.  If possible video tape yourself or have someone you trust listen to you practice.   Ask them to tell you what you’re doing right as well as give suggestions for improvement.  Accept their criticism gracefully, even if you don’t agree with them.

Entry – Launching your presentation is as important as the takeoff of an airplane.  If the liftoff fails, the rest of the trip becomes irrelevant.  Determine how you are going to start your speech and commit the first several lines to memory.  An excellent beginning includes telling the audience why they want to listen.  What is the benefit to them?

If you are particularly nervous, look for a sympathetic face and talk to that person for several moments.  Do not begin with an apology… “I didn’t have much time to prepare this talk.” Or “I’m not really very good at giving speeches.”  Starting with a negative makes the audience uncomfortable.  Remember you feel more anxious than you look.  Convert your nervous energy into enthusiasm and launch your speech positively.

Posturing – Your body is a tool.  Learn to use it effectively.  Find your center of balance.  Your feet should be firmly planted about shoulder width apart.  Hold your shoulders back and chin up.  Stand calmly, being careful not to fidget or sway.  Let your hands rest by your sides.

Make your movements purposeful.  If you make a gesture with your hands, let them return to the resting position by your side.  Don’t wander around the room.  If you want to go to a different location – go there and then stop.  Speak to one person at a time and maintain eye contact.

Your voice has volume, tone and pace.  Realize you will speak faster and at a higher pitch than you did when you were rehearsing.  Be aware of this tendency.  Talk lower and slower.  Speak loudly enough so everyone in the room can hear you, but not so loudly the people in the front rows are covering their ears.

Audience – Know to whom you are talking.  What does your audience know about the topic?  Try and anticipate their questions.  Don’t be like William Safire who said, “Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.” During the presentation, seek reactions, questions and concerns.  This makes you appear accessible and allows you to move through the topic with your audience following along closely.

If possible greet audience members as they arrive.  Ask why they came or about their interests in the topic.  Adjust your presentation plans to better meet their needs.  Finally keep in mind the audience is not your enemy – they want you to succeed.  Nobody came to watch you flail or fail.  Engage people and make them partners in your successful talk.

Relax – Remember the physical reactions you experience in front of a group are normal.  When confronted with a stimulating situation the body resorts to the “fight” or “flight” response.  Your pulse increases.  Adrenaline releases into your bloodstream.  Your body prepares for a physical response but you have to stay put!

Sometimes your mind generates negative thoughts.  Michael Pritchard said,  “Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.” Deal with the fear by building a solid foundation (know your topic!) and feeling confident in your message.  Take a few deep breaths.  Mild exercise or stretching can disperse some of the anxious energy.  Smile.

Ending – Like the touchdown of an airplane, your presentation must be landed correctly.  Begin the end by summarizing your key points.  Next ask for audience questions and clarify any remaining issues.  Then make your closing statement, which should encourage some action.  What do you want the audience to do?  Memorizing the last few lines ensures a strong close.  Finally smile and nod your head.

If the thought of speaking in public makes you anxious, you probably will be.  However if you P.R.E.P.A.R.E., the level of your anxiety will be lower and you will deliver a better, more effective speech.  Who knows, you may find you like giving the eulogy better than being in the casket!

It takes a great deal of self-discipline and integrity to fire a relative or close friend of your own, or your boss

It takes a great deal of self-discipline and integrity to fire a relative or close friend of your own, or your boss. I fired the son of a station manager and the stepdaughter of my own boss. This didn’t make us better friends, but it was necessary. The other workers respected my commitment to hiring and keeping the best workers, and not just those I felt obligated to.

Firing someone is one of the most difficult tasks a manager has to do. The first time I fired someone I felt as if I was taking everything from him, even though it was his attendance and work habits that were the true reasons. Although he was just a temporary worker, there were so few jobs available in the area that I felt wrong. It was my responsibility to fire him because he was not filling the requirements of his position. If you are going to have a productive, healthy work environment, you have to be careful whom you hire, keep, and fire. Keeping this man would have been the wrong message and undermined my efforts to create the most productive employees possible.

Firing should never become personal. If someone fails to fulfill his or her required duties, he or she deserves termination. They did it, not you. Done properly, the firing shouldn’t come as a surprise to any employee. If you’ve done your job well, he or she knows what your expectations are and what they need to do to stay employed. They should get proper training as needed and periodic reviews. If they are receiving reviews that let them know they are failing portions of their job, then continue to do so it shouldn’t be a surprise to them to be let go. The truth is they are not the right fit, and you’re doing both of you a favor by getting rid of them.

Note: don’t say anything positive about the employee when you’re firing him or her, as it will increase your chance of a lawsuit and losing the suit.

Each Christmas we hired temporary employees to help with the additional influx of mail. Based on their performance, we hired some of them for work after Christmas. My boss’s stepdaughter was hired and turned out to be just awful. She was consistently late or absent, and had a bad attitude when she did work. During the post evaluations, I knew I didn’t want her back and couldn’t recommend her for future career opportunities. Wondering how my boss would feel about it, I approached him and told him that I couldn’t report anything positive about his stepdaughter. I told him he could have another supervisor do it if he wanted, but if left to me, I wouldn’t recommend her as a rehire. He paused for a moment then said, “Do what you have to do.” I did.

Many and specific products are dedicated to industrial cleaning from simple tools, such as the brooms of magnitude 30 -50 cm commonly used every day by employed people with cloths, paper towels, bags and dispenser provided up to more innovative systems for industrial cleaning such as cryogenic cleaning, commonly called with dry ice

Many and specific products are dedicated to industrial cleaning from simple tools, such as the brooms of magnitude 30 -50 cm commonly used every day by employed people with cloths, paper towels, bags and dispenser provided up to more innovative systems for Industrial cleaning such as cryogenic cleaning, commonly called with dry ice. This system uses precisely the dry ice as cleaning substance which has among its features the fact of not leaving any trace of moisture to its passage.

Its peculiarity makes this system very suitable for cleaning food sector as well find wide use in cleaning electrical installations. These professional systems that require the use of special machines, are offered by specialized companies and firms that increasingly developing equipment for guarantee preventive maintenance to ensure optimal degrees of hygiene and deep cleaning of machines in a few hours of work.

Is then available for daily cleaning a wide range of products from disinfectants solvents to be used manually, until the machinery for industrial cleaning, which washer-floors, washer-dryer, washer mobile stairs and vacuum cleaners. A variety of products for every need of cleaning from environments to small machinery, specific elements for each sector by typography to alimentary; every kind of dirt finds its most effective way to get maximum cleanliness in the shortest possible time and with the least effort possible.

Detergents, degreasers and stains remover are used for small plans and places while there are more demanding instrumentation as equipment for steam cleaning along the “portable” steam generators to backpack and vacuum cleaners and steam cleaner to obtain a good degree of cleaning and disinfection with a contained fatigue for cleaners.

Companies involved in the production of these products for industrial cleaning ensure the reliability of machinery and usual accessories with a particular regard for the safe with regard to machinery, while the various solvents, detergents and degreasers are specifically designed to avoid damage to health as allergies or other things for people who use them or they are naturally contact.

Modern cleaning systems, like the one above that uses the dry ice, joins a wide variety of equipment and products tested that ensure cleanliness and thus a good use of machinery of factories and companies that are reference point of the work of many sectors.

Does employee engagement really drive productivity

Does Employee Engagement Really Drive Productivity?

The subject of employee engagement as a measure of productivity and management strategies to increase engagement have been  hot topics since the original Gallup organization research was published. 

The Gallup organization defined employee engagement as “an employee’s involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with work.”  Research conducted in the past decade has shown that employee engagement has declined significantly in most industries, with some research citing as few as 29% of employees being actively engaged in their jobs. The Hay Group found in its research that in among office workers who were actively engaged, they were 43% more productive. Various research studies have shown that the following factors influence employee engagement: Employers’ commitment to and concern for employee welfare; employee perceptions of job importance; clarity of job expectations; career advancement opportunities; regular dialogue with superiors; quality of working relationships with co-workers and superiors; perceptions of the ethos and values of the organization; and employee rewards and recognition.

Gerard Seijts and Davn Crim, in an article entitled “What Engages Employees the Most, or The Ten C’s of Employee Engagement, ” in the Ivey Business Journal in 2006 identified 10 strategies to increase employee engagement, arguing that by implication, these strategies will result in improved business results.

Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer of McBassi and Company, a human capital analytics firm, in their article in Talent Management Magazine, argue that “since the drivers of employee engagement are not identical to the drivers of business results, attempting to maximize employee engagement can actually take an organization in the wrong direction.” They identify three myths of employee engagement as: Assuming the drivers of employee engagement are the same in all contexts, indicating that the drivers address the outcome of employees’ willingness to stay with the employer and are satisfied with their workplace; the second myth is the drivers for engagement is the same as those of business results, citing the Gallup research which concluded that employee engagement had no connection to customer engagement; and the third myth, that management should implement strategies to increase employee engagement, arguing that because the outcomes of business results and contexts are different, using engagement strategies to change the former, is misplaced. 

Bassi and McMurrer recommend engagement strategies be replaced with human capital strategies by determining what are the human drivers of business results which are critical to all organizations in all contexts, and which drivers can actually be shown to improve human performances.

In a study for the American Psychological Association, researchers James Harter, Frank Schmidt and Corey Keyes concluded in a report entitled, “Well-Being in the Workplace and its Relationship to Business Outcomes,” productivity was enhanced in workplaces where daily occurrences that bring about joy, interest, and caring that lead to high level of bonding of individuals to each other, their work and their organization. The authors concluded that well-being in the workplace is, in part, a function of helping employees do what is naturally right for them by freeing them to do so–through behaviors that influence employee engagement and therefore that increase the frequency of positive emotions.

So it seems that while much has been researched and written about the importance of employee engagement, there is not an overwhelming amount of evidence to demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship with business results. On the other hand, there is increasing evidence that employee engagement strategies which are incorporated into much broader strategies of promoting employee well-being and manager-employee positive relationships may hold greater promise to drive business results.

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