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Are You A Willing or An Unwilling Team Member?

At work, have you ever wondered why you are more willing or less willing to be part of a team than others around you?

You may be surprised that one of the reasons that you are either more or less willing to be part of a team has to do with your personality, specifically with how “conditional” you make being part of a team.

One symptom of this natural bias has to do with how you share information.

If you find yourself sharing or communicating information with your team members spontaneously, whether they ask you or not, and you share all the relevant information on the subject about which you are communicating with them, this is an indicator that you are willing to be part of a team unconditionally.

If, on the other hand, you find yourself sharing or communicating information with your team members only when they ask for it, and then you only share the information you believe is relevant (which might not be all the information about the subject about which you are communicating), this is an indicator that you are only willing to be part of a team conditionally.

This conditional or unconditional team participation is one of the behaviors triggered by your personality – unconsciously and habitually. In other words, you are doing it and you don’t know you are doing it.

This is the kind of valuable information that “psychometrics” surfaces.

Psychometrics is a tool that helps you understand what your natural personality biases are. It also surfaces which behaviors these biases naturally trigger – such as how conditional or unconditional you make team participation.

At Breakthrough Management, we use psychometrics to help our clients communicate with each other more effectively and better participate with each other in teams.

Our next blog will further explore how psychometrics helps you understand the behaviors triggered by your personality.

Five Tips on How To Reply To An Email Effectively In Business

There are lots of blogs (including ours) that focus on how to Write an effective email.

However, it’s just as important to effectively Reply to an email.

Here are some tips about how to reply, based on our experience and on Best Practices:

  1. Use “Reply All” appropriately
  2. Determine urgency
  3. Update the subject line
  4. Remember intent
  5. Be specific

Here’s how to make these 5 tips work for you…  Continue Reading

Nine Tips on How To Write An Effective Email In Business

Have you ever had an email “blow up” on you? Or, have you seen one “blow up” on someone else?

Was it misunderstood, generating negative feedback, necessitating follow-up emails, and even lengthy phone calls trying to “fix” things?

If the answer is “yes”, the tips below might prevent this from happening again or at least, mitigate the damage.

Based on our experience and an evaluation of best practices, here’s what’s important in an email:

  1. Focus on your intent
  2. Write a clear subject line
  3. Decide on who will be cc’ed on the email
  4. Number and prioritize the key points in your email
  5. Summarize attachments
  6. Think about what you are going to say
  7. Proofread
  8. Assume the world is going to see it
  9. Pick up the phone

Here’s how to make these 9 tips work for you…  Continue Reading

How to Get Two More Productive Hours at Work Everyday With One Simple (Surprising) Strategy

In our previous blogs we focused on how unmanaged email can affect your work life negatively.

And, we focused on how the telephone is more effective than email in communicating your message effectively.

However, email is a fact of life in business, so if you must use it, it’s important to use and manage it effectively.

Here’s how to start…  Continue Reading

The #1 Reason Why the Telephone is More Effective than Email

Email hasn’t helped improve communication in the workplace.

In many cases, it’s made things worse.

And, many managers are wondering how to fix this.

Here’s a suggestion…  Continue Reading

How Email Might Be Hurting Your Business

Email is not communication.

Instead, it is rapidly facilitating the erosion and breakdown of effective communication. Especially within larger companies.

Here’s why.

The technology is seductive. Because it is so easy to use and so immediate, it has seduced us into thinking that when we email someone, we’re actually communicating with them. Which is not true.

Instead, we are simply sharing information, in a one-dimensional way.

This means that only a small and fractured part of the message is sent and only a small and fractured part is received.

The most damaging result is usually the misinterpretation of intent which is why so many emails are misinterpreted when first received, resulting in a flurry of additional emails which try to clarify the intent of the original email.

Often, this creates even more confusion and misunderstanding which results in even more miscommunication. At this point, communication has fundamentally broken down, often resulting in bad feelings and lost productivity.

To avoid this, it is essential to understand and use the elements of effective communication.

The most effective form of communication is always face-to-face where both parties can use the elements of words, tone, and body language to convey whatever they want to share.

That’s because all 3 three elements support each other in conveying the person’s intended message.

Here’s how this works.  Continue Reading

Why Most People are Uncomfortable with Conflict

“Why are they always fighting?”, Brandon asks Danielle.

“I used to think they were fighting”, Danielle replies, “but they’re not. They’re just disagreeing.”

“Well, it looks like fighting to me.”, says Brandon. “What makes you so sure they’re not fighting?”

It’s a good question and you may have experienced a similar situation.

Why does one person see a fight while the other sees honest disagreement?

And, why does it matter?

The answer has everything to do with how a person interprets “conflict”.

And, it explains a lot, including why you might not give someone “bad news” about something at work, even if they need to hear it or why you might not complain if you get bad service at a restaurant.

Here’s the reasoning…  Continue Reading

Passion Isn’t an Emotion. It’s a Priority Statement

What does it mean when someone says they are “passionate” about their job?

Or, if a company says it’s looking for people who are passionate and who bring their passion to work?

Are they talking about love? Energy? Enthusiasm? Or something else?

Sometimes, it’s hard to know. Because the word “passion” seems to have so many meanings, depending on who’s speaking.

And, for most people, “passion” is interpreted as an emotion.

Which is why so many companies believe that a “passionate” employee has to be emotionally vested in their job to be continually successful.

This simply isn’t true.

In our experience, when someone says they are “passionate” about something, it’s not really tied to an emotion at all.

Here’s why.  Continue Reading

For Your Convenience. Easy-to-Scroll List of Every Breakthrough Management Blog

We’ve added a new feature for you at the Breakthrough Management blog.

An easy to scan, complete list of every blog we’ve written – by title.

It’s alphabetical and easily scrollable.

If you’d like, simply click here to see the complete list…

http://www.btmgmt.net/blog-archive/

It will be automatically updated with each new post.

There is also an expanded “Categories” section where a simple click will show you everything we’ve written, organized in Categories ranging from Management and Leadership to Self-Awareness.

From this library, here’s a reader favorite – about the slippery slope that can lead to a real Dilbert work culture…

http://www.btmgmt.net/how-to-avoid-a-dilbert-culture/

“Why Am I Here?” (and 4 More Questions You Might Ask About Your Job)

If you’re struggling a bit with your job these days and perhaps asking yourself questions, they are most likely to include at least one of the 5 powerful questions that help frame you and your job.

Whether you are an employee or a manager, they are critical.

Research shows that in high performing business cultures, every person in the company – from the top to the bottom – could answer 5 simple questions.

  1. Why am I here?
  2. Where am I going?
  3. How am I doing?
  4. Where do I go for help?
  5. What’s in it for Me? (W.I.I.F.M)

For a Manager, these questions are important when supporting your staff, because they translate into 5 critical management factors you can focus on when managing others (in CAPITAL letters below, preceded by their relevant questions). Specifically…  Continue Reading