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Assessments Key Part of Developing Your Team - Business Times Column # 117

Do you want to increase collaboration and the overall performance of your team? Have you ever wished you had access to clear-cut information that would enable you to place your team members in positions where they’d be the most effective and happy? Would identifying specific areas of training and professional development for your staff that would provide the greatest return on your investment appeal to you?

One of the biggest challenges you face in creating a company that stands head and shoulders above the rest is a lack of credible, unbiased information. It’s what you don’t know or are even aware of that really limits your potential. In considering the future growth of your business, having clear, powerful and accurate information that positions you to develop and maintain the best team possible will be key to your success.

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Do You Want to Work for A Boss or A Leader? - Business Times Column #116

If you’re like most people, you’ve worked for a variety of business owners and managers throughout your lifetime. Undoubtedly, a few clearly stand out in your mind as people for which you enjoyed working, while others created an unpleasant environment. It’s also likely there’s no doubt about the type of person for which you’d rather work.

There’s a vast difference between being a boss and being a leader. By definition, a boss is someone who’s a master over others, who’s often domineering and uses intimidation to get ever more out of the individuals he or she oversees. Conversely, a leader influences, collaborates, guides, mentors and supports to foster movement in a desired direction. The biggest difference between these two management styles is a leader empowers team members and inspires them to personal greatness, while a boss disempowers employees.

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Do You Believe You’re Being “Held Hostage?” - Business Times Column #115

Business owners and managers sometimes feel as though they’re being “held hostage” by one or more team members who play key roles in operations. Owners and managers believe these individuals possess sensitive information; perform vital functions; and letting them go or, in fact, taking any action that might upset them would leave the company in a vulnerable or even desperate position.

The feeling of being held hostage by anyone or anything is an uncomfortable one to say the least. In this situation, business owners and managers commonly believe they’re powerless to change their circumstances and therefore remain at the mercy of the team member and the situation. This is only a belief, however, and beliefs of this type must be changed to attain more happiness and success in the business.

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Are Your Communications Empowering? - Business Times Column #114

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

In my previous column, I illuminated 12 primary ways people sabotage their listening, the downside of doing so and some of the major benefits of learning to listen with integrity. I suggested that listening effectively to others offers the most fundamental and powerful communication tool of all. Building the powerful habit of truly listening is the first step in becoming an empowered communicator and building more successful relationships of all kinds.

In this column, I take the next step and consider the other vital aspect of communication: dialogue.

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Listen with Integrity to Build Respect, Rapport and Trust - Business Times Column #113

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Not truly listening to others and ineffective communication often lead to dysfunctional businesses, disgruntled team members, unsatisfied clients, failed marriages, disassociation with loved ones, frustration and anger, to name only a few. In fact, ineffective communication constitutes the largest obstacle to any successful relationship, and it all begins with listening.

Here are some important questions to consider. Do you like it when others truly listen to you? Do you feel respected, acknowledged and valued when others really listen to what you’re saying? Do you have greater rapport and trust with those who actually listen to you? In other words, do you like it when others care enough to be absolutely present with you in their listening?

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Job Benchmarking: Cut Costs and Increase ROI - Business Times Column #112

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

All businesses experience turnover for a variety of reasons and endure very real costs associated with finding, training and developing new team members. Wise business owners endeavor to reduce the high costs of turnover and maximize their return on investment with new hires.

Extensive studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150 percent to 200 percent of a team member’s annual salary.

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How Will You Expand Your Team's Potential in 2016? - Business Times Column #111

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Human potential expands or becomes static depending upon whether or not it receives the stimulation it needs to grow and develop. The phrases “I’m in a rut” and “I’m stuck” are born of an individual’s languishing potential. Business owners, team members and business themselves get in ruts, too, and this must be overcome if they’re to expand their potential.

The path out of this stagnant state is through continual and ongoing learning opportunities designed to expand the potential of the team — professional development that challenges, stretches and increases the capabilities of your team members over time. Trainings are a vital component in consistently providing opportunities for team members to learn, grow and develop.

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Does Your Business Produce Happiness and Success? - Business Times Column #110

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

A widely held belief in business is that success is the result of selling as many products or services as possible to as many consumers as possible at the highest price possible to make as much money as possible.

When followed, though, this limited view of success leaves everyone involved feeling used, taken advantage of, vastly undervalued and, most importantly, unhappy.

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To Change or Not to Change? That is the Question - Business Times Column #109

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Change is a constant in life and business. It occurs on a regular basis whether we want it to or not. Business environments change, economies change, team dynamics change, relationships change, the weather changes and so on. Life in general is about change. But if we habitually resist change, we limit the potential of all that’s available to us personally and professionally.

One reason we avoid change is because we must change with it. We become comfortable in our current position, even if it’s not making us happy or successful. Another reason we resist change is that we have the tendency to focus on how hard change will be and possible negative outcomes that are typically assumptions based on our fear of the unknown.

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Want Happiness? Strike a Balance Between Life and Work - Business Times Column #108

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

As an owner, you’re the foundation of your business. The more inspired and invigorated you are, the stronger your company will be. Conversely, when you become worn down, your business suffers because you don’t have the mental energy and clarity needed to be the caliber of leader necessary to create the level of success you desire. Plus, you’re unhappy.

A great deal of time, attention, effort and energy goes into running a business. With all there is to do, it’s easy for those who own a company to sacrifice many aspects, if not all, of their lives in the pursuit of success. There’s no true benefit to working yourself into the ground. But there’s a tremendous benefit to everyone involved — the business owner, company, team members, customers and families — when business owners strike and maintain a balance between life and work.

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Do You Build Trust and Loyalty in Your Team Members? - Business Times Column #107

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

If you’ve been a business owner for any length of time, you probably understand the harm a lack of trust and loyalty can have on the success of your operation and overall happiness. Conversely, you no doubt recognize the tremendous benefits trusting and loyal team members bring to you and your customers.

Trust and loyalty go hand in hand. Anytime trust between you and a team member is broken, any loyalty that existed is damaged. Once damaged, it can be a lengthy process to rebuild it, if not impossible. As the leader of your company, team member trust and loyalty begins with you. The wisest choice is to build trust and loyalty from the outset and continually work to strengthen that over time.

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