Great Leaders

Qualities that Make Great Leaders

Opinions vary about the traits of great leaders. However, a common thread seems to be that, those who focus on being an effective leader, are likely to become better leaders; perhaps even great.

The Leader is There for the Business

This quality is all-encompassing! It involves being available for customers, employees, vendors, stakeholders, and the community-at-large.

The leader:

  • Takes extra steps to keep the lines of communication open on the behalf of the business.
  • Consistently develops and updates business strategies.
  • Recognizes their colleagues’ efforts and triumphs.

Great Leaders Live with Leadership

Our history’s greatest leaders have all  had the habit of carrying their leadership with them, day in and out.

  • Leaders use words, tone of voice, a smile, or an encouraging gesture to show appreciation for others’ work and abilities.
  • They balance the serious side of the workplace with positivity and enthusiasm.
  • A leader shows trust by supporting others with the tasks at hand. No micro-managing or off-putting comments. Just guidance, encouragement, and reflection when something is amiss.

 

Great Leaders Continually Assess Themselves

They check in with others and their internal radars to decide next steps for becoming more effective. Some read about other leaders, learning to adopt the practices of people they admire. Others journal to ferret out negativity.

  • Changing one’s behaviors is noticed by others.
    • Leaders proudly take steps to advance their abilities.
  • A leader who seeks feedback garners respect and trust.

Great Leaders Communicate Well

Communication is key to building and strengthening relationships and businesses. Great leaders continually:

  • Listen, observe, reflect, and ask questions.
  • Keep their emotions in check.
  • Acknowledge mistakes and know how to apologize.
  • Avoid making hasty decisions and jumping to conclusions.
  • Gather input from others to make sound decisions.
  • Express gratitude.
  • Encourage others to pursue their own growth.

To learn about our great leaders, click here

Thank you note

Post Interview Thank You Note Tips

Your big interview is over. Now is the time to follow-up with a well-crafted post-interview thank you note.   You will not get the job simply because you sent a thank note, but you will be remembered for not sending one.  If the decision comes down to you and one other candidate, you want to be the one who wrote a thoughtfully composed thank you note with substance.

Creating a template ahead of time helps with the interview preparation, including the points to focus on as follow up.  It’s okay to use a thank you note template when writing your note. However,  be sure to customize it enough so that doesn’t look like one. In your email, reference something unique to your conversation with the interviewer.

First, a Few E-mail Reminders

Follow this set of reminders to assure your message is timely and appropriate.

  • Send within 24 hours following the interview.
  • Send from the same email address included on your resume. Use one with a professional tone.
  • Avoid sending from your phone as formatting may change.

General Guidelines

Your e-mail is most likely to be opened and read if:

  • The subject line includes the words “Thank you” with the job title and interview date.

An email with “no subject” line can appear unprofessional and careless. When you create your subject line, it should be specific and not overly creative.

  • Prepare your e-mail in business formal language.
    • Use professional terms, such as those associated with the position you seek.
  • Be clear and concise.
    • This gives the impression that you have thought about the interview and can express yourself efficiently.
    • Vary sentence length. Best to keep each one under 20 words.
    • Break content into short paragraphs of 2 to 3 sentences each.
  • Be sure to individualize thank you e-mails for each interviewer you met.

Thank You E-mail Format

  • Paragraph 1: Begin your note with a “thank you” for the time that they extended to speak with you, followed by a compliment about the interview process, a key takeaway about the position that excites you, and how this solidifies your confidence in your ability to be successful in the position.

This will let the recruiter know that you paid attention and reassure them of your compatibility.

  • Paragraph 2: Refer back to the interview discussion, focusing on the experiences/skills you bring to the position. Succinctly state your unique qualifications and readiness to contribute to the position and company.
  • Paragraph 3: Briefly state your enthusiasm for joining the company, and your availability for a follow up call or e-mail.
  • The last line states your understanding of when you will receive an interview follow up.
  • “Best regards” or “Sincerely” is suitable for the closing.  Below your signature, make sure to include your full contact information and any professional links, such as your LinkedIn profile or other online portfolio.   Your personal Facebook, Instagram or Twitter should not be included unless you are asked for them.

For more interview tips check out, Words to Use in an Interview

job interview

Be on the Lookout for These During an Interview

Recruiting the right employees is vital for business success. Focusing on what to watch and listen for during an interview is one step toward employing the best people for your business.

The Candidate Spent Time Learning About the Job

Look for signs that a candidate has spent time learning about your business.

  • Do responses and questions demonstrate preparation?
  • Listen for responses that indicate awareness about your clientele and/or products.
  • Note if a prospective employee is able to link values and goals with your business and the job.
  • Do they ask informed questions, such as those related to the position’s procedures?

Pay Attention to Interview Style

You are well aware that interaction style affects work relationships, morale, and productivity. Interviews offer time to observe candidates’ actions, language use, job interest, and confidence.

  • Did the candidate arrive on time and interact well with staff?
  • Observe overall communication, including eye contact, tone of voice, and posture. Do they interrupt or make lengthy yet limited responses?
  • Watch for signs of insecurity or lack of preparation.
  • Is the candidate confident and humble, or smug and overly assured?
  • How do you rate the person’s ability to interact with others?

You Get the Information You Need

The interview is a time for learning about the candidate beyond the resume. You want to gain as much information as possible about the person’s experience, skills, and potential.

  • Discussion about work history aligns with the resume.
  • The candidate describes successes, challenges, and goals.
  • The questions you posed were clearly answered.
  • Are they able to link skills, abilities, and goals with the job at hand?
  • Does the candidate have reasonable expectations related to advancement potential, benefits, and opportunities?

The Candidate was Able to Follow Your Lead

You want the interview to begin and end as expected. Candidates who follow an interviewer’s lead show adaptability.

  • Was the candidate able to adjust, such as being questioned by another interviewer?
  • Make note if they comfortably participated in the interview’s closing.
  • Set aside a few moments to write down the immediate impressions you had of this candidate.

To learn about who we hire, click here

motivate employees

2 Ways to Motivate Employees

There are two methods to motivate employees. One is extrinsic from external sources. The other is intrinsic from internal sources. Capitalizing on the benefits of each type of motivator stimulates drive and overall achievement. Review these motivating actions, noting those you already do!

The Engaged Leader

Employees look to you for direction, guidance and encouragement.

  • Give clear, concise directions.
    • This applies to organizational direction as well as details.
    • Check in with your employees to identify any needed clarity.
  • Individualize employee and work group guidance.
    • This assures that the business mission and procedures are accurately implemented.
    • Conduct course correction when a team or individual needs coaching to meet expectations.
  • Give individual attention to build trust, foster loyalty, and encourage performance.
    • By being “present,” your employees will feel connected with you.
    • Acknowledge individuals personally to help them relate to you and your business.
    • Listen to their concerns and ideas to foster engagement.
    • Express sincere gratitude and compliments to boost morale.
    • Work side-by-side with employees to demonstrate interest in their tasks and responsibilities.

Offering Opportunities Will Motivate Employees

Offer your employees opportunities that are meaningful while adding business value.

  • Hire from within to:
    • Motivate employees by rewarding and encouraging excellence.
    • Build internal capacity as employees grow with the business.
    • Decrease employee concerns of being overlooked in favor of outside talent.
  • Invest in skill development by:
    • Offering incentives for taking courses that align with business goals.
    • Providing on the job training that improves work outcomes.
    • Garnering interest in projects that build on and expand existing skills.

Environment Matters

A positive office atmosphere can encourage engagement and motivation.

  • Consider an office redesign that:
    • Includes good lighting.
    • Improves health, as with standing/sitting stations, ergonomically designed furniture, etc.
    • Incorporates comfortable small group meeting/break areas.
  • Relationships:
    • Encourage an atmosphere of transparency with an open exchange of ideas.
    • Build on common work and life interests to promote group cohesion.

For more employee engagement tips, check out Management Tricks To Make You More Likeable

success

Become More Successful at Work

Don’t Be Shy in Meetings

Always be prepared with something constructive to say in every meeting. This can be done even if you don’t have something about the topic to contribute.  You can advocate a co-worker’s point-of-view or ask a meaningful question as well.  As long as you are contributing in a constructive manner, you will be more successful and remembered for your efforts.

Dress for Success

While we are told we shouldn’t make snap judgments when meeting new people, do not assume that people will follow that rule.

Studies have shown that people make a judgment based on their first impression of you within the first few seconds.  This means you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression and establish yourself as a professional person during a meeting, networking event or a job interview.

Make Allies Both High and Low

Be as attentive to everyone, from the mailroom clerk to the CEO. Because you’re nothing without the entire team of employees on your side.  There is also a chance the mailroom clerk may be your boss’s niece or nephew.

Focus on the Results, Not Just the Tasks

Having a results-oriented mindset means that you focus on the “why” of a project, instead of just the mundane tasks of getting it done.  “Why” does this project exist and what is the desired result?  This shift from focusing on just the “how” of the project can be motivating and help you to finish the project more efficiently and eagerly.

Be Open to Feedback

When you feel like you have done a good job, receiving feedback that suggests that there is room for improvement can be difficult. Learn out how to take it constructively without taking it personally. Commit to taking it as a learning experience.

And when you have done all those things, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  Let your manager know that you would like to  move up the ladder and ask what steps are needed to get you there.

When you are ready to make your next steps towards success click here for a list of our available career opportunities.

Employees

Management Tricks to Make You More Likeable

It’s safe to say we’ve all probably worked with a manager that we didn’t particularly like. The way an employee feels about their supervisor not only impacts whether or not they stay with your company long-term, but it can also influence morale and day-to-day productivity. If you want the most out of your employees, then it’s time you start investing in that relationship.

Adapt Your Style

Not every employee responds well to a particular managerial style. It’s important to get to know the employees and how they work best. Just as you would ask your employees to perform specific tasks, you should also listen to what they ask of you, too.

Be Transparent

The “because I said so” approach to managing is a dead tactic. Instead, try to be as open and honest as you can about why you implement certain policies or why changes are being made. Employees respect a manager when they can understand their thought process more clearly.

Resist Micro Managing

When a boss gets in the habit of constantly interfering with their employee’s process, then you inadvertently create a child/parent relationship. Resist the urge to micromanage and simply delegate tasks and wait for results. Focus on handling issues as they arise instead of looking for ways to avoid them. It’s not effective, and it tells your employees that you don’t trust or respect them.

Have an Open-Door Policy

Employees respond best to managers that want to hear from them. An open-door policy lets employees know that they can come to you if there’s an issue without having to worry about the red tape. Listening to your employees’ concerns can go a long way in helping you develop better procedures moving forward. All in all, it could help you identify weak points and adjust your processes accordingly.

Overview

A manager’s attitude can undoubtedly impact the workplace. If you want your employees to respect and genuinely like you, then you must ensure that you are displaying strong leadership and quality communication skills. Ultimately, this will influence whether or not your company succeeds.

interview keywords

Words to Use in an Interview

During job interviews, recruiters pay special attention to certain keywords and phrases that show you have the knowledge of the position and confidence that would make you a perfect fit.  You need the ability to effectively communicate to the recruiter your superior skill set to ensure that you have the competitive advantage.

You can do this is by slipping in a few specific phrases into your job interview. With that in mind, we have compiled some phrases and keywords for you to keep in mind during your  next interview.   

  • Initiative:

Let the hiring manager know about projects that you took the “initiative” on.  Be ready to discuss the results of that “initiative.” Hiring managers like hiring people that they don’t have to micromanage and tell what to do.

  • We:

When you use the word “we” you are telling the hiring manager that you are already envisioning yourself on their team.  It also uses a bit of the “power of suggestion” by putting yourself as a “we” in your conversation.  You may even notice the hiring manager use the word after you use it.

  • Plan:

Let the hiring manager know that you have a “plan” in mind for being successful in the position. 

  • Willingness to Learn:

Being adaptable and open to learning new methods is considered an asset by employers.  Reference industry articles about current and emerging trends. As well as,  as your “willingness to learn” from mentors and classes.

  • Motivated

Let the interviewer know that you have a desire to excel and that you are a highly “motivated” person.   Discuss how your motivation helped you in past positions and how you are confident that it will help you in your new role.

  • Excited

When you tell the interviewer that you are “excited” about the position, they hear that you are motivated and won’t take the job for granted. “Excited” says, “I really want the job and will do my best when I get it.” Employers desire optimistic employees. Excitement demonstrates your optimism.

  • I Have a Question:

Asking questions is important in any interview because it shows the interviewer that you are taking your career seriously.

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life”.     

-Wayne Dyer

productive employees

Secrets to More Productive Employees

Every manager wants to learn how they can get the most from their employees. Not only is it cost-effective, but it brings about a sense of harmony to the entire operation. However, in order to reap the rewards of productive employees, you must take the time to understand what really makes an employee want to work their hardest on a consistent basis.

Value Your Employees

It’s important to make sure that your employees know that you value them. If they work hard and give quality results, then they should receive the proper recognition. If you’re in the position for monetary rewards, then that is certainly something you should consider offering. However, there are other ways to show your gratitude by simply publicly acknowledging their hard work. This not only encourages them to work hard, but it also lets other employees know the know the kind of ethics you are looking for.

Avoid Micro-Managing

Some supervisors believe that the more they are involved with, the finer details of the workday, the more productive their employees will be. Nobody likes to have their work second-guessed, so it’s important to allow your employees to work through their challenges and come out on the other side without your constant oversight. This will create an atmosphere of confidence and employees that understand that challenges can be overcome.

Treat Productive Employees like People and Not Machines

To a degree, productivity will be inconsistent. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t’ expect quality results. However, you should be aware that people will sometimes just have a bad day. Avoid the urge to come down hard on employees that have an off day and instead try to encourage and understand what is influencing their workday. This small act of compassion could be the difference in employees getting it together and working harder.

People work best in environments where they know they are valued and seen as a person. Keep that in mind as you gauge the productivity in your company.

To find out more about our business model, click here!

Employees Fleeing

Keep Your Employees from Fleeing to Competitors

You may have heard the saying, “Employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” This sentiment can’t be closer to the truth. People who feel valued in the workplace are much less likely to jump ship and work anywhere else. Generally speaking, people appreciate routine and stability so, if all is going well, they are much less likely to leave their jobs on a whim.

As a supervisor, there are things you can actively do to ensure that your employees don’t just stay in their positions, simply for a paycheck, but that they actually enjoy coming to work and being part of the team. 

Nurture Talent

If you identify talented employees that want to grow the business, then give them opportunities to do so.  On-going training and opportunity for growth are precisely what most people want out of their position. Forcing your employees to stagnate will only make them consider going elsewhere to get the opportunities that they desperately want. Reach out to your employees on a regular basis and encourage them to discuss their long-term goals with you.

Don’t Treat Mistakes as Failure

When you work with people, mistakes are a given. We are only human, after all. When your employees make a mistake (even costly ones), try to make it a positive learning experience for them and the rest of the team. Constantly making your employees terrified to make a mistake will only lead to tension within the workplace. Being open and honest with your employees about mistakes can lead to trust-building and even more confidence in the workplace.

Give Your Employees Freedom

It can be tempting for supervisors to micro-manage their employees. However, when you hire professionals to get the job done, then you must treat them as such. Creating more policies and procedures is not only stifling, but it also sends the message that you don’t trust your team. Give your employees the freedom and you’ll increase motivation and results.

Overview

Keeping quality employees should be the goal within any company. While there’s no fool-proof way to ensure that people will stay with your company forever, you can reduce the retention rate by believing in your people and giving them room to grow.

Follow the links to find out about our top-notch consultants and services.

Resume Mistakes

Avoiding Common Resume Mistakes

Resume errors can be easy to make, but beware, they will stand out like a sore thumb to  potential employers.  Even the most benign resume mistakes can make you appear  incompetent in the eyes of employers who are looking to hire top talent.

 After all, your resume is your first chance to show an employer that you are the perfect fit — but if done incorrectly, that employer may decide that you are not a fit at all.  

So, how do you prevent yourself from making resume mistakes that can easily keep you from landing that job interview?  We have rounded up a few tips to help prevent you from getting your resume tossed into the “circular file.”

Customize Your Keywords

Do not use one cookie cutter resume for all employers.  While it can be tempting to mass email out one generic resume, this may cause your resume to fail the employer’s filtering process.   Today’s resumes are often reviewed electronically by filtering software and, if your resume is missing the keywords specified in the job description, it will be filtered out and never seen by the recruiter.

Keep Your Information Relevant to The Hiring Process

Gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, criminal record, marital status, and unrelated hobbies do not need to be included on your resume.

Spell Check, Spell Check and Then Spell Check Again!

Typos are resume killers. Having someone else review your resume with their fresh eyes is extremely helpful. Even published authors have their work proofread by  editors.  But,  if you can’t have another person proofread it for you, try reading it out loud to yourself.   Also, reading it while placing your finger slowly under each word is a great way to catch errors. 

Use the Correct Verb Tense

Describing your current position is the only time that current tense is used.  Be sure to use past tense when describing your past experiences.  Many people use the wrong tense at the start of bullet points.   Be sure to doublecheck your bullets before a recruiter does.

Consider Converting Your Resume to a PDF Format

Your resume’s formatting can be distorted when opened from different computer programs.  A PDF will ensure that recruiters will see your resume formatted the same way, regardless of what program they use.

Quantify Your Accomplishments

Employers want to see how you added value to your past employers.  Not just a list of your tasks.  Quantify your accomplishments by providing concrete evidence, numbers, sales figures, etc.

At DLC, we are always interested in speaking with qualified candidates. Search job openings here!