Category Archives: Managing People

Good leaders go positive.

by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach

be-1-300x300Good leaders know that inspiring people has a lot to do with focusing on the positive vs. the negative. Unfortunately, many of us are predisposed to focus on the negative and give it more worth or value than the positive. Alison Ledgerwood, a social psychologist does a great job in this TED talk showing us how that works.

Essentially, once we focus on the negative, we are much less likely to believe anything that proves otherwise. When asked how our day was we generally start with the negative. When asked how a project is going, we typically respond with what is not working. When asked how a team is performing, we often reply with explanations of how it’s not. Who knows why we do this? Preservation perhaps?

The end result is that we are discounting that which is good and leaving opportunities for happiness out in the cold.

Read more on Mary Marshall’s website.

The Megaphone of Main Street Small Business Jobs Report, Infographic #2: The Gig Economy

Business owners reported an increase in hiring in all categories of workers over the past six months, with the greatest growth in one-time project or gig workers (37%).

SCORE’s latest infographic explores the rise of the gig economy in small business hiring.

This infographic highlights the findings of part 2 of The Megaphone of Main Street Small Business Jobs Report.

Continue reading

Top 10 HR Issues: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Leadership: Facts and Reality

by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach

Leaders frequently become frustrated because those who are meant to follow; employees, constituents, members, followers, etc., often don’t see things the same as they do.

Consequently, divisions and divisiveness occur which almost always results in lack of progress.

While creating alignment behind a single vision has always been a challenge I believe these days it is getting progressively worse.

Particularly because there is so much being thrown at us nowadays. There is so much media and the content of much of it is dubious at best. People have an overload of communications fighting for their attention.  Continue reading

Everyday Leadership

by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach

I heard a TED Talk last week and I was reminded why leadership is really a series of everyday moments. Drew Dudley told a story about how one thing he did several years ago ended up being a turning point in someone else’s life. The funny thing was, he didn’t even remember doing it. I think this is probably true for most of us.

We are all leaders in our lives, our families, our communities, our work and just about every opportunity we have to touch other human beings. Leadership is not about a title, it’s about what you do as a human to help or inspire others. Dudley talks about it as times when “you fundamentally make someone’s life better.” If we take that as the most basic definition of leadership, we can all do that, every day.  Continue reading

Effective Staff Communication: Tips for Small Businesses

Your small business team is top-notch. Everyone has the skills needed to do their work, knows where they fit in and brings something unique to the table. So, why are you still feeling stressed when deadlines approach? There’s a good chance you can eliminate that stress by brushing up on your internal communication strategy. Whether you’re running a brick and mortar company or working with a virtual team, communication skills will help you meet deadlines faster and with ease.

How are you verbally approaching your employees? Are you saying too much? Not enough? Using ambiguous language?

Here are five basic rules that will help you make the most of communication in the workplace.

Rule No. 1: Keep it Simple

Over-complication can happen all too easily. This is especially common for those who spend a lot of time researching and learning from experts in the industry. While doing your homework is beneficial for most aspects of running a business, this can sometimes leak out into conversations with employees. In some cases, you’re giving them more information than what they need to do their jobs. Sifting through the information can take more time than necessary and lead to lower productivity. So, keep workplace communications simple and to the point.  Continue reading

Will your small business have employees?

Washington State’s Department of Labor & Industries answers the top 20 small business questions. For example:

  1. I’m hiring employees for the first time. What do I need to do?
  2. Can I just hire independent contractors? They’re easier than employees.
  3. Which government permits, licenses and tax registrations do I need?
  4. I own a business. Am I required to have workers’ comp coverage on myself?
  5. What can I deduct from my employee’s paycheck?
  6. What do I do if I can’t pay my workers’ compensation bill?

You will find the answers here.