“Conflict is uncomfortable, but it is the source of true innovation, and also a critical process in identifying and mitigating risks.” In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. —Albert Einstein.
Conflict in the workplace is avoidable, preventable, necessary, or all of the above. Conflict is a natural and normal feature of the workplace. It occurs in every company or organization. For any team that strives to attain its goals, conflict is inevitable. Although differences will occur, the outcome doesn’t have to be negative. Conflict is healthy and can make your organisation grow. How?
1. Opportunities to learn and grow: How? By listening and incorporating feedback, you gain experience, try new things, and evolve as a manager.
2. Improved relationships. By working through conflict together, you’ll feel closer to the people around you and gain a better understanding of what matters to them and how they prefer to work. You’ll also set an important precedent: that it’s possible to have “good” fights and then move on.
3. Higher job satisfaction. When you’re not afraid to constructively disagree about issues at work, you’re likely to be happier to go to the office, be satisfied with what you accomplish, and enjoy interactions with your colleagues.
4. A more inclusive work environment. If you want to have diversity and inclusion in your organization, you have to be prepared to disagree.
Hence, Conflict can provide opportunities. Conflict challenges us to think harder, to be more creative, to develop greater understanding, and to search for alternative avenues that are more efficient, more effective, and more productive.
HOW TO OVERCOME PROCASTINATION
– Recognize that you have a problem.
– Figure out why you are procrastinating.
1. Change your thinking. Pull yourself into acting on your goals. Say, “Do it NOW” over and over again.
2. Think positively and tell yourself you can do it. Stop telling yourself that you cannot do it.
3. Eat your ugliest frog first without delay. Take action and get it out of the way.
This is the sequence of events in your life. i.e. what to do first, second, third etc.
What is the best way to use your time?
1. Focus on things that will have the most immediate and beneficial impact.
2. Ask yourself what are the priorities.
3. Plan each day in advance.
Brian Tracy says, “If you do the right thing in the right way you will get whatever results you desire.”
Techniques to improve your time management
1. Positive attitude. Repeatedly say aloud with emotion for example: I am excellent at time management. Ina spirit of faith and commitment you will live it if you accept it in your subconscious mind. You will become what you say about yourself.
2. Reprogram your subconscious mind through visualization. For example picture yourself as being efficient over and over again in your mind.
3. Take quiet time to mentally visualize your perfect scenario. For example keep calm, in perfect control, happy and have a positive attitude.
4. Imagine you are already excellent at time management.
Shot of a young businessman looking bored while working at his desk during late night at work
Thousands of entrepreneurs and business managers have learnt over the years that success requires a certain flow- rhythm language. It could be grit, sheer will and determination to build something out of nothing and the ability to pull through despite the challenges.
So, today’s entrepreneur must be agile that is have ability to adapt quickly to a change in the market and be resilient ready to withstand whatever storms or sunshine they experience.
The CORONA virus despite the profound impact on businesses has built resilience and adaptability too, those still standing during and after this pandemic. However, it is important to note that purchasing patterns have changed and continue to change in the coming months and risks associated with them have become pronounced.
In effect we are seeing different prioritising and new ways of managing risk. As an entrepreneur you need to stay visionary, focused, confident and have an empathetic character for the difficult times ahead. Workers need to be assured of your and company’s support. You need to have an inclusion strategy where regular communication with them is a must. They need to be part of the solution rather than the problem. Many companies make these decisions with grace, working within their economic constraints to continue to support key stakeholders including service providers.
Where one is an adaptable and resilient entrepreneur, their businesses have changed or modified their products. In fact, there are some businesses that are doing better now than before the pandemic. There are also new companies, with unforeseen products and services, being invented and/or reinvented almost daily. New times call for new ways of thinking; and new ways of thinking lead to changes in consumer behaviour. For some this pandemic is a perfect opportunity to convert ideas into financially successful products and/or services.
In our 18 years in business, I have experienced in my work & in my interaction with teens, they are more prepared with career or academic skills but no hire-ability skills. This is a priority problem that I see in many teens. The reality is: teens are raised to create a great transcript for their academics, even service and extracurriculars. Think about it, during this period of lockdown of educational institutions, what are your teenagers up to? You can get them learn basic work etiquette and the other soft skills that help them to:
- Build confidence
- Work in a group
- Lead and follow
- Show appropriate respect in various circumstances
10 necessary skills that every person needs.
- Non-verbal skills. When teens learn some basic skills for managing their body language, they will inspire confidence in themselves and others will have more confidence in them. It’s a pretty amazing thing to switch up the way you stand and your facial expression and see the change in the way others react to you.
- Communication skills. Teach teens: active listening (waiting for others to finish/not interrupting, repeating back what others have said when clarifying), speaking positively (avoiding gossip and complaining), giving and receiving compliments, assertiveness, using please and thank you.
- Self-awareness skills. Teens need to be in touch with their feelings, so feelings don’t manage them. The need to be non-judgmentally in touch with their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Other-awareness skills. Teens need to practice perspective-taking and reading other’s non-verbals. They need to practice the skill of respect (for other’s needs, personal space, feelings, safety).
- Motivational skills. At the root of motivation is values. Teens need to be clear on their values and know how they must accept or reject other’s values (family, friends, work, groups.
- Teamwork skills. Teens need to understand the importance of a group’s cause or project and how to respectfully pull their weight. They need to learn to give credit where credit is due.
- Leadership skills. All teens will be leaders somewhere, sometime.
- Creative thinking skills. Teens need to know that the ability to think creatively is one of the most hire-able qualities. Many teens think that they aren’t creative. However, if they are created in the image of God, who is a creator, they have creativity. What they need is to discover their creativity. They need to do some creative writing assignments, have a brainstorming session, do a progressive story.
- Problem solving/critical thinking skills. Teens need to be willing to work on a problem until it has a solution, to talk things out looking for solutions, not vindication. They need to be able to learn discernment of facts and truths.
- Trustworthiness skills. Teens need to be able to say, “I’m wrong”, to do what is asked and more, to honestly handle time and resources. They need to be able to understand confidentiality and the limits thereof. (This is important when dealing with fragile friends.
Peter Drucker said, “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customer gets out of it.”
This reminds me of a customer who said Thank you, more than a dozen times during the event and even after the workshop that we organized for her late last year in 2019.Abby Waldron was in charge of the Last Mile Health workshop. She flew in from the United States to ensure its smooth implementation. It was a workshop for about 60 medical professionals. It was held at Kabira Country Club. The QMS team was just 3 people, me inclusive. She kept on saying thank you to me and the other 2 colleagues I worked with.
What did we do?
We coordinated the hotel needs like the meals, the halls they held their meetings in, the equipment they used during the workshop like the flipcharts, pens, table arrangements, ensured the meals were on time, the program run smoothly etc. We organized for the pick up and drop off of the participants, 90% of whom were foreigners. In the evening we got them a local music and dance group to entertain them during their dinner and we were at hand to address any logistical issues, challenges the participants had. But most of all the customer care for all the participants, the hello there, you are welcome sir/ madam and can we help you? Do you need anything?, made such a difference to all the participants including the customer who had given us the job.
In the end she said she just had to give us a good word on our website and to anyone who asked about QUALITY MANAGEMENT SERVICES.
In the 18 years of our company existence, we have worked so hard to ensure we give QUALITY SERVICES to our clients.
Now more than ever, you need to give the best to your customer- QUALITY SERVICE OR QUALITY PRODUCTS.
A reputation and a profile are valuable assets that pay dividends. People who have a reputation receive in bound opportunities. Daniel Priestley in his book Entrepreneur Revolution says because of his reputation and profile he has been offered shares in other peoples’ businesses.
In Quality Management Services we have built a reputation over 18 years of integrity, honesty and client loyalty. These are among the values we emphasize in our staff. It is therefore important that we guard them jealously. Recently at an event a staff member of the organisation called me and said one of our team members was selling booklets that were being given out for free to their guests. I answered it was impossible and insisted she show me which team member it was. She led me to a man who said saw our team member in action. I asked him again and again who it was. He then led me to one of the guests and I discovered it was the guest who had offered to give our team member money but our team member had informed her they were not for sell. I then returned to the two staff members of the client organisation and asked that they clear our name on the public address microphone. My co- director also joined in to remind and emphasize that falsehoods were not acceptable because building a name, brand and reputation was a lifetime process we had worked hard at. They apologized.
Priestley adds that to a company and an entrepreneur your most prized asset must be your REPUTATION… Guard it, nurture it, make decisions with your reputation in minutes because great entrepreneurs believe. Money comes and goes but your reputation is permanent.
When it comes to business etiquette, there are rules that aren’t meant to be broken. Some of these may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised by how many times you may have made a mistake without even noticing it.
It is about being courteous and respectful with colleagues and your customers.
Key mannerisms we tell our teams when they are out there in the field, at a meeting or working at an event are:
- Pay attention to names.
- Greet everyone with a smile
- Make eye contact. In a business environment whether you are a woman you earn respect if you look at the other person directly in the eye.
- Give cues that show you’re paying attention.
- Introduce others you are with when you meet for a meeting. Otherwise it can be rude to ignore to introduce your team to the person you are talking to.
This will make a strong impression.
BUSINESS ETIQUETTE AT THE WORK PLACE OR WITH YOUR CUSTOMER
As small and medium business owners who majorly rely on the Internet as our medium for conversation, we have many tools to enhance trust with our prospects, even on a small budget. During catastrophes like the pandemic of COVID_19, which have no timelines of when they will end and its far- ending effects, one may not rush to go for advertisements on television, billboards, or celebrity endorsements. We just need to be ourselves and help people, our teams in the company and our customers.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite methods for building trust online –
- By far the best way for us as a company has been Facebook and Linked in. Ever since we opened these platforms we have built trust which has proved to be helpful. If you provide valuable information, answer questions and consistently demonstrate you know what you know over a long period of time, your reputation alone can be enough to convince people to buy from you.
- Content is important, but how you deliver content is critical as well. While it’s great to provide helpful information, if it’s wrapped in a boring or impersonal style, or people can’t easily find it, or you use mediums that aren’t popular, you’re not helping your cause.
- Make mistakes. Humans make mistakes, and if you show people what you did wrong and then how you fixed it, this helps create more trust. Okay, this might seem silly, and I don’t want you to deliberately go out there and make mistakes, but understand through the course of business you are bound to make some mistakes. Rather than hide them, you should highlight them. It’s much worse if you never admit to mistakes, or try and place the blame elsewhere, or even lie about what you did – this will reduce trust. Sometimes a comment to address this from someone may come and a polite response back is advisable.
- Serve your customers really well, so much so that they feel challenged whenever someone challenges you. Defending yourself when someone attacks you online is okay, but when your army of loyal followers come to your defense, that’s much more credible.
The central themes are transparency and a genuine desire to help people. If you follow these two very basic principles as your ethos, and use tools like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other mediums where your people congregate (use the language and media that your people currently use), it’s difficult to go wrong.
The only way you can fail at this is by not taking action (failing to have any voice at all), or creating a false voice, because people can smell a scam, even when it’s not there, so you need to prove your legitimacy proactively.
In the end not everyone is going to trust you, but if you do this right, for every one person who is suspicious of your actions, another ten are loving what you do and trusting you more each day.
MY COACHING EXPERIENCE AS AN EVENT PLANNER
“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and saw that service is joy.” Kahlil Gibran
My coaching experience has been phenomenal. Life as an entrepreneur for me has been a great experience of highs and lows, ups and downs, successes and losses too but it has made me a better person, a better entrepreneur! It has brought out the best in me, as a business woman, as an employer and as a leader. When I got my coach, John Hoover, a coach with The Coach Initiative (based in the United States of America) I did not know what to expect. Today, I believe I have been empowered to know that whatever I set my goal to do, I can and will achieve.
As a beneficiary of coaching I have enjoyed the benefits of consistent support and regular accountability while working with an inquisitive partner who ensured that I work towards achieving my set customized goals and then generated organic approaches to meeting them. Coaching from my experience, helps you meet and exceed your mission goals. At the beginning of the year I had a business strategy in place, an action plan which I was determined would help me achieve our company mission. “To promote client success and satisfaction by providing the highest level of service, fulfilling client wishes and keeping them ahead of their competition.”
Initially whenever we held our sessions, I would always begin with my problems “…John I was supposed to meet this target, but I have only met 15%. Why have I failed?” I would ask, until I realized that he was not supposed to be my consultant but a coach. When I realized that my coach was supposed to become a partner in assisting to make me (the client) achieve my goals and move towards it. For example, my coach has evoked my brilliance in managing the human resource of both my staff when we are on site during an event and managing participants at a workshop or conference and ensure that as my customers (internal and external) they remain happy and satisfied.
Coaching has helped me evaluate my performance at the job place against my work plan and my coach has acted as my cheer leader, champion, sounding board, truth- telling voice focused on following up what I had shared with him, I would achieve before our next meeting session. When I fail to meet my targets my coach encourages me telling me he knows I can do it and I will do it. I have discovered that setting these targets and working towards achieving them before our next meeting has in the short run enabled me to meet over 80% of my action plan for this year!!
Many a time my coach emphasizes through his questions of my work, the need to do things differently to catch the eye of new customers and also to keep my customers loyal to doing business with them.
It is not all work without play. I share my hobbies with my coach and this has brought out another side of me. I have discovered about myself and feel compelled to do.i.e giving back to those less privileged than I am. My coach, made requests to my inner self which have stretched me to move out of my comfort zone and move forward efficiently. I am into teaching the youth and specifically women in my community who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, sharing my 16 years’ experience as a successful business woman doing event planning both as a business and also as a volunteer.
Have you ever been at a party and someone asks you “what do you do for a living?”. What’s your answer? Do you have that one sentence that clearly states what you do and what is unique about your business?
Ushers dressed in our company colours of green and gold. This is our brand.
Having a clear explanation of your business, is key to helping communicate your great idea to the world. There is a famous concept called ‘The Elevator Pitch’ where you imagine getting into an elevator and your dream client/ investor/ partner is there and you have from the ground floor to the top floor to pitch them an idea. Knowing that you have such a short time to capture their attention means that you have to be very clear with them about your idea/ product/ business. That elevator trip could change your life if you know how to use that time well.
The same is to be said about your business and building your brand. When showcasing our company to new customers, I know I only have a very short time to capture their attention. Questions I ask myself include: What is that unique selling point? What is that BIG idea? What is that one sentence that truly sums up what it is that my business does? A short, easy to understand sentence is an excellent starting point to begin building your brand identity.
These short times are usually at networking events I attend like the Associations’ meetings where I am a member or even conferences or workshops we may have organized or been invited to. Other times could be at a social event like a wedding, party or even at a church ceremony. You need to know people are busy, or in a different frame of mind. Hence the shorter the introduction of your business the better. So then quickly pull out your business card and share it. Then follow it up with a phone call.
To kick things off, can you share you business idea with the community here in one sentence?
I look forward to learning more about what is your experience!