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The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. With high level tips on engagement and connection, insights into employee motivations and behavior, and firsthand stories from the frontlines of America’s leading companies.

The leadercommunicator blog is instructive, entertaining, and a must-read for leaders, communicators, and leadercommunicators.

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Checking Email and Working on Projects after Hours Can Be Hazardous to Your Health, German Study Finds

  
  
  
  
  
  

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Convinced that those late nights checking email and working from home are making you physically sick? Now you have evidence to prove your case.

A German study of roughly 57,000 European workers found that those who put in extra time beyond their normal work hours were more likely to experience health problems. Reported problems were wide-ranging, including cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal and psychological issues.

The research was published in September in the academic journal Chronobiology International. “The findings thus indicate that even a small amount of supplemental work beyond contractually agreed work hours -- may increase the risk of work-related health impairments,” wrote the authors, Anna Arlinghaus and Friedhelm Nachreiner. “… Thus, in order to minimize negative health effects, availability requirements for employees outside their regular work hours should be minimized.”

In the conclusion to their study, the authors put the onus on employers to address the problem: “From an occupational health and safety standpoint … work needs to be designed in a way so that tasks can be accomplished within regular or contractually agreed work hours,” they wrote. “… Free time should be free time, otherwise it must be expected that it cannot fulfill functions of recovery and recuperation.”

The authors argued that the ability to work from home – using smartphones and laptops – carries many hidden disadvantages, often stretching the work day well beyond reasonable hours, boosting stress levels and putting people at risk for health issues.

The authors found that more than half the European Union workers surveyed had worked in their free time to meet work demands.

The German study adds to a growing body of research -- and concern –with the lack of work-life balance for employees today.

A Gallup study published this year found that nearly half of U.S. workers who “frequently” email for work outside of normal working hours report significant stress.

Noting the concerns, some companies are trying to respond. This year in France, a federation of employers and workers’ unions began giving employees the right to disconnect from email for a specific amount of their off hours. German car and truck maker Daimler recently launched a “Mail on Holiday” program that allows some German employees to have their emails automatically deleted while on vacation. The program gives senders an alternate contact during the employee’s absence.

Our clients have also gotten more serious about email overload and are looking to find more efficient ways to use email so workers don’t feel as glued to their devices at all hours.

What are your ideas for addressing the serious impacts of email overload within your company? 

- David Grossman

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Check out email research & useful resources to tackle email overload!

email research, email etiquette, email misbehaviors, workplace email

Weekly Round-Up: On How to Apologize Effectively, Helping Employees Become More Productive & Tips to Translate Your Messages Successfully

  
  
  
  
  
  

 David Grossman's weekly round-up on leadership

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. Each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays I pull some of the best together here on my blog. So in case you’ve missed them, here is this week’s round-up of top posts.

They’ll provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • Be Open and Honest
    By Naphtali Hoff, SmartBlog on Leadership
    One of the hardest talks that I had to give took place right before the beginning of my third year as head of school. It was at the back-to-school full faculty meeting and I needed to clear the air about an issue that was on many people’s minds…”
  • The Most Logical Yet Underrated Employee Engagement Strategy
    By Michael Papay & Alexandre Santille, Fast Company
    “Engagement has quickly become a leading buzzword in today’s corporate environment. Seventy-eight percent of business leaders say it is both an urgent and important priority, according to Deloitte. There’s no secret why…”
  • How to Help Employees Find Out What Makes Them More Productive
    By Laura Montini, Inc.
    It’s no secret that the key to maximum productivity lies in demonstrating a bit of self-control. But the big question is: what's the secret to unlocking that self-control? Millions want to know…”
  • How to Achieve Peak Performance in Life and Work
    By David K. Williams, Forbes
    Achieving and exceeding your personal performance goals is a challenging endeavor, yet simpler than you might think.  “I thought of that while riding my bike,” said Albert Einstein when he was asked.…”
  • 6 Tips to Translate Messages Successfully
    By Melcrum
    As a communications professional, it's your duty to ensure that as your organization grows and expands into new markets, all employees are catered for and effectively engaged when it comes to messaging.  And to achieve that, there are some key…”

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

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FREE EBOOK: Download The "Secret Weapon" Every CEO Needs, today!

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Guest Blogger @KateNasser - Leaders & Teams: Do You Buoy Each Other?

  
  
  
  
  
  

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Do you feel unappreciated at work? That doesn't mean people don't appreciate you. It means they aren't expressing appreciation to you.

It's an important distinction. If you believe others don't appreciate you, you can lose motivation. You can start to question your worth at work. You might even sink into negativity that hurts others and other parts of your life.

Whenever you start to feel like that, go back to basic truths. The first truth is that everyone -- leaders and team members -- need to feel appreciated.  The second truth is that people often don't express appreciation to each other. 

You can change it by understanding why this happens and by committing to changing it and showing appreciation frequently.

What stops leaders and team members from expressing appreciation at work?

  • Some leaders were mentored by leaders who thought emotion was unproductive. They live what they were taught.
  • The organizational culture is not one of gratitude.
  • They may be high introverts who keep thoughts and feelings inside.
  • Some people are intrinsically motivated and need little appreciation. They assume everyone is like them.
  • Some leaders live by the old rule: No news is good news. They believe you are being paid to do a job and they'll let you know if you aren't doing it well.
  • They believe that you know you are appreciated because you were hired and you still have the job.
  • Some people are very uncomfortable expressing positive emotion until your caring actions move them beyond their discomfort.

 When are people most likely to show appreciation?

  • When you help them move ahead
  • When you ease their pain
  • When you are proactive in spotting these moments

In other words -- when you buoy them! Why? Because in these moments people are aware of their vulnerability and are aware of it enough to show appreciation to those who help.

To get appreciation at work, be a buoy of resilience for others.

Use your natural talents and interests to assist others in times of need. Do for others what they can't do or don't like to do themselves. One woman told me she's always good in a crisis. She's a pressure player. Now her boss turns to her in these tough moments and also thanks her!

Support your teammates with your empathy and insight. Complete your boss with your talents and accountability. Keep each other afloat through mutual respect and adaptability.  Buoying each other makes everyone see they are interdependent. Appreciation flows from there.

In this culture, appreciation will be in the air and on everyone's lips.

Special Focused Message for Leaders - Be a Buoy of Inspiration & Balance

Leaders, you have a special role in creating this culture. Even in empowered organizations, leaders play a great role in modeling how to show appreciation. 

If the culture is one of blame, rebuild it to be one of accountability. If you focus mostly on results, focus on the people who must achieve results.  Otherwise whom are you actually leading?  If you take people's efforts for granted, when will your teams show appreciation?

You can be a buoy and inspire others to be a buoy with the four steps in this short 2 minute how-to video.  These steps will breed productivity and appreciation. 

 Appreciation comes from interdependent connection.

Come on, leaders and teams, buoy and appreciate each other!

 Leaders, what have you been able to achieve by showing appreciation?

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc.  This post was updated from an original post on KateNasser.com blog specifically for YourThoughtPartner blog.  If you wish to repost or republish this, please first email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

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About Kate Nasser 

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, is a smart, energizing, experienced speaker, coach, and workshop leader. Her work in employee engagement, leadership, teamwork, and customer service transforms how people think, act, and interact. With 25 years in business and a Masters in Organizational Psychology, Kate has guided tens of thousands out of the status quo into uplifting productive interactions.

 

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Wait. Millennials and Gen Z Prefer to Meet with Their Boss Face-to-Face?

  
  
  
  
  
  

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If you’re tired of feeling like you have to communicate via email and instant messenger to get the attention of your employees, the problem – and the solution – might just lie with you. 

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Millennials prefer communicating with their manager face-to-face, according to a recent study by Millennial Branding and American Express. And separately, a new study by Millennial Branding and Randstad US found that more than half (53%) of Millennials’ younger siblings – those in Gen Z (ages 16-20) – also prefer in-person interactions over communication via technology. For both generations, less than 20 percent said they prefer email.

So while it might be true that Millennials and Gen Z are two of the most wired generations to date, traditional forms of communication are still the most common way they wish to connect. And since most managers (66%) of older generations prefer in-person meetings, we might have just identified some impactful common ground among some of the most diverse generations in the workplace.

I challenge managers of Millennial and Gen Z employees to fight their assumptions about how their employees want to interact. Instead:

  • Hold a brief daily or weekly huddle to discuss priorities and updates with your team, instead of covering off on email
  • Walk over to their desk from time to time to ask a question, instead of using instant messenger
  • For managers who have employees at other locations, pick up the phone when you can and pass on email  

Without a doubt, showing more face with your employees will help you both get to know one another and build a stronger, more impactful relationship.  

-          David Grossman  

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Weekly Round-Up: On 5 Ways to Save Your Middle Managers From Burnout, 10 Facts Every CEO Should Know About Communication & How to Be Smarter About Employee Engagement

  
  
  
  
  
  

Weekly Round-Up on leadership

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. Each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays I pull some of the best together here on my blog. So in case you’ve missed them, here is this week’s round-up of top posts.

They’ll provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

 

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

___________

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Starting Thought: Dimensions to Assess in Your Communications

  
  
  
  
  
  

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Leaders are hungry for data to make business decisions on everything from new products and services to whether or not to enter a new market. Yet when it comes to organizational health and employee engagement, many fail to measure what’s working and what’s not.

Employees can’t do their best work and achieve performance goals if they don’t understand the strategy… if they’re not getting the information they need… if they don’t feel like their input is valued.

Since communication is a system, to assess its health and effectiveness you need to understand multiple components, and how they work (or don’t work) together.  Evaluating components in isolation can only give you part of the picture; you need to understand how the components work together.  You might have the best v8 engine in your car, but if your front headlights aren’t working at night, you’re not going anywhere!

Here are many of the most common dimensions to measure as part of your overall communication system:

  • Do employees understand the strategy and how their job fits into the overall mission, goals?
  • How are the CEO and senior management communicating?
  • What is the effectiveness of communication from supervisors?
  • How is information flowing (or not)?
  • Which messages resonate?
  • Which vehicles are most useful?
  • Are employees advocating for the organization or not?

Whether measuring your own business unit/function or the overall health of communications inside the organization, leaders (with the help of their communications experts) can make precise decisions about what communications to start, stop or continue to get employees engaged in the strategy, reduce clutter and information overload and drive performance.

At the end of the day, communication is in the eye of the receiver.

Do you know how your employees rate the state of communication in your organization?

-          David Grossman

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New eBook: How To Think Like A CEO

  
  
  
  
  
  

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Understanding how others think is critical to influencing them and getting results.  It’s the key to persuading people and moving them to action.

My new eBook, How To Think Like A CEO, helps you look inside the brain of your CEO.  Doing so will help you take stock of your own professional strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve been privileged in my career to work with dozens of CEOs. I’ve seen inside their boardrooms, and been part of some of their most private conversations, when they often feel the most vulnerable. It’s through these defining moments that I’ve gained insights into how CEOs think and what they care about most.

In How To Think Like A CEO, I list the top 10 things that a CEO cares about and provide a self-reflection point for each.  These care-abouts include:

  1. Defining , then aligning people to a common vision or goal
  2. Growing leaders, especially future leaders
  3. Making everyone in the organization feel valued
  4. Defining the organization’s core competencies
  5. Balancing the focus on today and the future

And five more!

Getting this insight into the practical behaviors and skills that work for the most effective leaders can be a big help as you decide which strategies might work best for your organization.  You’ll see just how employees  build credibility as a strategic advisor if they start thinking more like a CEO.

Download—How To Think Like A CEO—and learn the top 10 things that CEOs care about to help elevate your performance.

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Weekly Round-Up: On How A Culture of Learning Makes Teams More Productive, 7 Ways To Show Employees You Care, & How To Manage Your Email

  
  
  
  
  
  

Weekly Round-Up Leadership Articles

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. Each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays I pull some of the best together here on my blog. So in case you’ve missed them, here is this week’s round-up of top posts.

They’ll provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • How A Culture Of Learning Makes Teams More Productive
    By KC Ifeanyi, Fast Company
    Quora's mission is clear: "To share and grow the world's knowledge." It's a far-reaching goal, but even the loftiest ideas can succeed if there's a solid base to stand on--and…”
  • 7 Ways To Show Your Employees You Care About Them
    By Peter Economy, Inc.
    “It may be difficult to think of any part of well-established colossus Adobe as a startup, but that’s exactly how Ashley Still, senior director of product management at Adobe, sees…”
  • Neuroscience: Helping Employees Through Change
    By Hilary Scarlett, Melcrum
    Changing employee behavior is difficult.  In fact, changing our own behavior is hard enough: it’s not easy to establish new habits such as taking more exercise, getting more sleep and eating less…”
  • How You Can Stop Email From Taking Over Your Life
    By Eric Barker, Time
    Spam alone wastes 20 hours of your life every year.  We send and receive a lot of email.  ‘In 2007, 35 trillion messages shot back and forth between the world’s 1 billion PC’s; in the time it took you to read this point, some 300 million e-mails were sent and received…”
  • Leading With Small, Everyday Gestures
    By Mary Jo Asmus, SmartBlog on Leadership
    You have worked hard to get to where you are and can rattle off significant times in your career that gave you great satisfaction. Perhaps you experienced a big promotion, dinner with the CEO or heading up …”

 

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

___________

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The Power of Storytelling

  
  
  
  
  
  

power of storytelling

Stories are an integral part to communicating effectively with your employees. A great story goes a long way, because it’s memorable and helps create an emotional connection with the listener.  What we feel impacts what we do, so stories can be a great way to move employees to action.

So why not prepare some stories of your own.  When you do here are a few things to think about.

Stories are to:

An effective story should be:

  • Inspire, galvanize, & engage
  • Simple, easy to tell, and easy to remember
  • Illustrate rather than assert- stories get the connections and results that abstract  communication can’t
  • Short and to the point- the average person’s attention span is only about eight seconds
  • Create a sense of membership and unity through shared meaning
  • Purposeful and honest- position the problems on the foreground and then show how they were overcome
  • Reach as many people quickly and can be easily retold to broaden the audience even further
  • Repeated- keep telling your story until everyone is telling it

Remember, like any good communication, stories should have a purpose and tie directly to the end result you’re trying to achieve. 

What do you want employees to take away from your next story?

- David Grossman

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Get more tips for senior-level leaders by downloading our ebook for CEOs: "What You Need to Know To Make Your Strategy A Reality"

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Weekly Round-Up: On 7 Acts of Generosity That Help Leaders Grow Business, 4 Steps for Getting Honest Feedback & Leading With a Light Touch

  
  
  
  
  
  

Giving Feedback, Growing Leaders

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. Each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays I pull some of the best together here on my blog. So in case you’ve missed them, here is this week’s round-up of top posts.

They’ll provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • Developing Leaders: Turning Life Into Learning
    By Julie Winkle Giulioni, SmartBlog On Leadership
    According to Bersin by Deloitte, U.S.-based companies invested more the $15 billion in 2013 to develop their leaders.  The dollars were spent on a variety of activities designed to build leadership competencies and skills. These activities included external…”
  • The Managers Guide To Leading With A Light Touch
    By KC Ifeanyi, Fast Company
    “It may be difficult to think of any part of well-established colossus Adobe as a startup, but that’s exactly how Ashley Still, senior director of product management at Adobe, sees…”
  • 7 Acts of Generosity That Help Leaders Grow Great Business
    By Rene Lacerte, Inc.  
    “Improve your team leadership by putting gratitude in all your actions.  Don’t be afraid to show your heart and help others.  Generosity comes from the heart.  It needs to be in all your actions…”
  • How To Succeed When Your Boss Doesn’t Have Time For You
    By Avery Augustine, Forbes
    For employees who are used to being micromanaged or butting heads with their boss, having a manager who keeps his or her distance may seem like a dream—or at least, a pretty good problem to have…”
  • 4 Steps For Asking (And Getting) Truly Honest Feedback
    By Jennifer Winter, The Muse
    It’s no secret: Feedback will make you better—personally, and definitely professionally.  But, it’s also a tricky thing.  It’s only natural to elicit feedback during a review process or after a…”

 

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

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