Friday, November 24, 2023

Roundtable: How can your organization improve productivity and staff inclusion? (Appreciation)

In the first article of our roundtable series, we looked at communication being a two-way conversation.

Let’s turn our attention to appreciation. 

The Merriam-webster dictionary tells us that appreciation is:

a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude.

Showing appreciation to our staff or volunteers, enables them to know they are valued, worthwhile, and respected.  We’re not talking about flattery.  Appreciating someone is recognizing their value and what they bring to the team.  When we appreciate the people in our team, we are acknowledging their worth and what they contribute to the whole.  Positively showing appreciation to our team empowers them to know they are valued, and in turn, they will want to do their best to edify each other and build the organization of which they are part of.

Acknowledge the work they undertake.

Enable opportunities for the team to develop professionally.

Foster a culture of collaboration, trust, and respect among your team and model this in your leadership.

Accommodate needs within your team where possible.

Celebrate achievements and milestones.

Showing appreciation to your team empowers them, it affirms them, and amplifies their confidence.

How can you show appreciation to your team today?





Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The power of friendship - Karl Faase interviews Sheridan Voysey live



Who can you call at 2:00 am when everything has gone wrong?  I was observing Karl Faase from Olive Tree Media interviewing Sheridan Voysey about "The Power of Friendship".

A remarkably interesting conversation and far too short! However, from watching this interview, it is challenging to reflect on:
  • busyness.
  • valuing my friendships.
  • being intentional about growing and deepening my friendships.
  • Who are the people who find it hardest to build friendships?
  • Friendships include boundaries and respect.
  • Social media and how this has changed our relational interactions.
  • Having healthy conversations that build our friendships. Healthy conversations also include the difficult discussions that occur.
  • Have we lost the ability to handle conflict?
I encourage you to watch the interview and make your own observations.

For more information: www.friendshiplab.org   


Friday, November 17, 2023

Roundtable: How to improve organisational productivity and staff inclusion (Communication)

How can your organization improve productivity and staff inclusion?

In the daily hands-on work of ensuring your business or organization is operational and viable, we may overlook staff inclusion. 

So, how can you ensure an efficient, stable workforce within your organization?

1.  Communication 
2.  Appreciation 
3.  Listening
4.  Being open to ideas from staff
5.  Acknowledgement of work undertaken 

Communication 

Coming from a background of not-for-profit and administration, I cannot express enough the value of communication. 

So often, managers/directors issue directives, only considering their own objectives.  Why should your staff, team, or volunteers listen to you?  If they are not listening, then you need to ask yourself, why?

Communication is a two-way conversation.  Directives are a one-way command giving no opportunity to discuss. 

If your team, whether they are employees or volunteers do not trust you to listen to them or value their input, they will not bring their best to the projects or to the people who engage in the daily course of business.  This will end up affecting the business or organization either by a decrease in income, or less engagement with customers or visitors.

When staff believe they will be heard and conversation is welcomed and valued, they can provide insights into the organization, as they are the on-the-ground, often the first point of contact for potential clients/customers. 

In the next few articles, we'll explore more points listed above.


Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Preparation is key!

Have you heard the saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." There's wisdom in this saying.

I've often heard, "Well I'm spontaneous", or "I'll get to that when I'm good and ready."

Honestly, if I didn't plan and ensure a good workflow, then deadlines would be missed, and people would become frustrated because the documents and information they are waiting on to complete tasks would not be in their hands in time.

I am not saying that being spontaneous is not a good thing.  However, in preparing for board meetings, or any meeting, you should be planning well.




How can you plan well so that you don't fail?

  • Planning for a board meeting takes time.  Do not leave planning and preparation until the last minute.
  • Prepare your own report and ensure the other board directors are aware of the date and time their reports and any research briefs or sub-committee recommendations are due.
  • Prepare an agenda for the meeting and distribute it with enough time for directors to read and make their notes in preparation.
  • Ensure you are aware of what recommendations are being brought to the meeting and decisions that require noting.
  • Ensure all relevant documents for the meeting are made available to each director and have access to a digital copy.
  • Having your 'draft' minutes on hand on your device/laptop can assist in ensuring you record all relevant decisions and information.  If you choose to handwrite, then ensure you have your notepad and several pens (colored highlighters help).
  • Have your paperwork and notes ready to go in an easy-to-find location on your laptop or printed in a folder marked for that meeting.
  • Ensure your mobile and other devices are on silent so that you are not distracted throughout the meeting.
  • Ensure you have adequate hydration, rest, and food before the meeting, and 'be present' in the meeting.  As the person recording minutes, you must be aware of the discussion happening and if you are unsure of a final decision, request clarification.
Planning and preparation are essential elements for any board/executive secretary undertaking a role in the meeting.  

How can you plan well, so that failure is not an option?

Friday, October 27, 2023

Are we thankful or thankless?

 Are we thankful people? 

Many of us would automatically say, "Yes!"  But here is the challenge - when life is 'good', it is not difficult to be thankful.  However, when we are in the trials of everyday life, or a traumatic event, suddenly, being thankful is not so easy, and we can become thankless.

People do not like going through trials, however, often our character, disposition, and attitude are tested and refined through such experiences.

The definition of 'thankful' - happy or grateful because of something.

The definition of 'thankless' - unlikely to be appreciated.

How do we remain thankful instead of being thankless, in challenging times?  

Some ideas:

  • Pray - prayer is powerful,
  • step back and adjust expectations,
  • celebrate tiny steps forward,
  • choose to smile when you see a sunrise or sunset,
  • hold onto joy (not happiness),
  • cling to the Lord - call on Him, communicate with Him, sing to Him, worship Him,
  • seek out grateful people and be around them,
  • write down three things you are grateful for each day,
  • read Scripture.

1 Corinthians 1:4-6 provides insight into where Paul expresses his gratitude and thankfulness for the Corinthian believers, who have been enriched by God’s grace and gifts in Christ. 

When we pray for people, regardless of their situation, 1 Corinthians 1:4-6 is a passage that you can include to show thankfulness to God for those in your life, especially our Christian brothers and sisters.

Thankfulness is a choice.  We can choose to be thankful or thankless. Regardless of the circumstances each of us might currently be undergoing, we still have a choice.

If we are to make a change, then being thankful regardless of circumstances, is a conscious decision.  I am not saying that what we go through is not real; it's often very painful and difficult.  However, the challenge for us is to check our attitudes and choose to not become offended or bitter.  If you are around a thankless person, there is bitterness and offense.   When you are around a person, who is undergoing trials, yet chooses to be thankful, you are refreshed and have joy, hope, and peace. 

The challenge today:   are you a thankful OR a thankless person?

How might you show you are thankful today?