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  • Great Leadership Takes Courage – Here’s How to Build It

    09/28/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    “I’m going to be an amazing leader, starting today.”

    If only becoming a great boss or manager were as simple as making a declaration like this.

    We all know that building effective leadership skills takes much more than uttering a single sentence. It takes passion. Commitment. Great decision-making and communication. And yes, courage.

    While some may argue that you have to be born brave, we believe that courage, like other leadership essentials, is a skill that can be developed. And, while being a brave business leader may not require you to jump on a live grenade, building the courage to lead starts with overcoming four fears:

    Fear of Failure

    Fear of making a mistake may keep you out of the proverbial hot seat, but it dramatically limits your ability to grow as a leader. The next time you’re tempted to play it safe when you believe a calculated risk may serve you better, ask yourself this question: “What’s the worst that could happen?” You may find that your fear is more imagined than real, and that the likely rewards are far greater than the potential consequences of failure.

    Fear of Success

    People with the greatest capacity for leadership are often plagued with multiple fears that come with success: Now that I’ve reached my goal, what’s next? How will I sustain this level of achievement? What if my friends and colleagues begin to resent me for my success? When nagging doubts threaten your resolve, remember that fear of success is completely normal, but nothing to give into. View this fear for what it is – a guide rail to keep you motivated and headed in the right direction – and move ahead.

    Fear of Not Knowing Everything

    Courageous leaders are human and unafraid to show it. They realize that: nobody can be an expert at everything; success requires collaboration; and employees at all levels have great ideas to share. Showing vulnerability is a humanizing way to break down barriers and build relationships. It isn’t a sign of weakness, but a courageous way for you to show employees that they’re needed – and that their help is valued.

    Fear of Not Being Liked

    Everybody wants to be liked. Successful leaders, however, realize they must occasionally make unpopular decisions, and they put their desire for popularity aside when required. In this post, we share tips for becoming an inspirational leader people want to follow – even when you have to make unpopular choices.

    Are these fears daunting? Yes, but anybody can overcome them! By consistently making small, courageous choices each day, you can push yourself outside your comfort zone – and into the realm of great leadership.

    Find the Great Leaders and Managers Your Team Needs

    Whether you’re up against a pressing deadline, tackling a critical initiative or growing your core team, Exact Staff’s national network of offices can connect you with unforgettable talent to strengthen your organization. Improve performance. And achieve more in the year ahead.

    What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

The Truth Hurts – But It Will Make You a Better Person

09/20/18 1:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Or are you an ostrich with your head stuck in the proverbial sand?

There’s a reason so many idioms about “facing the facts” exist: Sometimes, it’s really, really hard to do!

But as Eric Barker so astutely observed in his recent post, “4 harsh truths that will make you a better person,” denial is a just a form of existential procrastination – and ignoring reality won’t serve you well in your personal or professional life.

Thankfully, “harsh truths” are a little less painful to face when you view them in the proper context. Below, we’ve summarized a few takeaways from Eric’s article, which make taking off your rose-colored glasses a bit easier:

Harsh truth #1: You are going to die.

You know this – but do you keep it in mind as you set your priorities and plan your activities? Instead of being depressed about the fact that you’ll eventually return to dust, use your mortality as a motivator. Remind yourself of the fact that you have about 30,000 mornings in your entire life. Make the most of every single one.

Harsh truth #2: Anything that’s worth doing takes substantial effort.

What do you want to do well? What do you want to truly be an expert in? If you want to be great at something, you can’t expect to just put in the time; you have to put in “deliberate practice,” which involves identifying your weaknesses, and then working incredibly hard to overcome them. An unexpected benefit of deliberate practice? According to one eight-decade study cited in Eric’s article, people who work harder actually live longer (which should make you feel a little better about harsh truth #1).

Harsh truth #3: You’ll never be perfectly happy.

Your brain just isn’t wired for it! In fact, the anticipation of happiness is incredibly strong, but true pleasure is not long-lasting. That doesn’t mean your life will be awful; it just means that you shouldn’t expect nonstop bliss. Instead of pursuing perfect happiness, work on creating happy moments. Accept that there will be imperfection, messiness and sadness in your life, too, and that you’ll work through those in pursuit of more happy times.

Harsh truth #4: People will disappoint you.

Again and again. Does that mean you should never trust someone? Never let down your guard and develop meaningful relationships? Never rely on another person for help? Nope, nope and nope. It means that you shouldn’t let the occasional disappointment shake your faith in humanity. Nobody is perfect, including you. As long as the good in a relationship outweighs the bad, focus on the happiness a person brings you and forgive them when they let you down.

Have some feedback you want to share with us?

As a national staffing service, Exact Staff knows that constructive feedback is an essential part of maintaining a productive business relationship. So, tell us what you think! Please contact our national staffing service with your comments, questions or suggestions.

Small Things People Use to Judge Your Personality

09/19/18 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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“Oh, I try to reserve judgment until I really get to know a person.”

“Me? I’m not judgmental by nature; I keep an open mind when I meet someone.”

Heard statements like these before – or maybe uttered them yourself? We all have! We’re humans, after all, and humans simply cannot keep from making snap decisions, often based on subtle cues.

And you can thank evolution for that. Our brains are hardwired to quickly interpret behavior and make sense out of situations, to determine if they’re safe or dangerous – and then respond appropriately.

So, if you think that new co-worker, potential client or business contact isn’t judging you – hard – think again. What cues are they using to size you up? You may be surprised at the big impact these small things have:

The quality of your handshake.

Jerry Seinfeld performed an entire monologue on handshake fails: from the “just the fingers” to the “late release.” Yep, there’s an art to executing a solid handshake; one that’s firm (not crushing) and brief (two to three pumps) conveys confidence and demonstrates trustworthiness.

Eye contact.

Making a great impression requires balanced eye contact. Stare too long, and you’ll come across as intimidating; stare at the floor, and you’ll appear insecure or aloof. Studies show that maintaining appropriate (not glaring) eye contact roughly 60% of the time is the “sweet spot” for conveying self-assurance, friendliness and enthusiasm.

Nervous habits.

Do you tap your fingers on the table? Absentmindedly play with your hair? Bite your nails? Research suggests that repetitive, nervous habits indicate perfectionist tendencies, and that perfectionists display them when they’re bored or frustrated. Pay attention to small, repetitive behaviors you engage in, to make sure you aren’t unintentionally offending people you meet.

Phubbing.

“Phone snubbing” is the act of ignoring someone in a social situation by busying yourself with your phone. And it instantly turns people off. If you continually check your phone when you meet someone, they may assume you lack manners, attention, listening skills and/or willpower. Our advice? If you want to make a good impression, put your phone away and focus on the person in front of you.

Monopolizing a conversation.

If, when introduced to someone new, you spend the first five minutes prattling on about yourself, that individual will likely think you’re self-absorbed – maybe even obnoxious. Instead of focusing on yourself, ask questions about the person you’ve just met. Then, strike a healthy balance of give-and-take in the conversation. You’ll come across as an interesting person who’s attentive, smart and a good conversationalist.

Snap judgements and first impressions are inevitable, but they’re not the basis for sound hiring.

What is? A proven, disciplined and comprehensive assessment process – which happens to be our strong suit! Whether your requirements are local or national, temporary or direct-hire, we’re here to deliver the exact talent solution you need. How can we help you? Contact the Exact Family of Companies today.

Phrases a Boss Should Continually Tell Their Employees

09/17/18 3:00 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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When you address your employees:

  • Do your words motivate or intimidate?
  • Is your criticism constructive or merely negative?
  • Are you inclusive or authoritarian?

Obviously, you want to aim for the former in each of these examples. Because, as we mentioned in an earlier post, the language you use at work can inspire, inform, persuade and instill trust with employees – or make you sound rude and utterly clueless.

People are your single greatest asset in the workplace. Make sure you continually utter phrases like these to show employees how important they are to your success, every day:

“You did a good job.”

Verbal positive reinforcement is a potent form of employee motivation. It’s also simple to do and completely free! Make a habit of privately and publicly recognizing employees for their hard work; doing so sends a clear message that they are valuable members of your team.

“I trust you.” Fostering trust with your employees builds great relationships, great service and a great bottom line. In this earlier post, we explain how and why to use this phrase regularly with your team.

“I made that mistake. I’m sorry.”

Nobody is perfect – not even the boss. The most effective leaders are honest, humble and unafraid to admit when something is their fault. So if you mess up, fess up. You’ll build greater mutual respect and organizational trust in the process.

“What do you think?”

Employees want to know that their ideas matter – and that their boss values their opinion. When you have a problem to solve or a new initiative to tackle, ask for your team’s input and feedback. Use the simple tips our team shares in this earlier post to improve your active listening skills and let employees know you believe in them.

General Tips for Using Language to Motivate Others at Work

Use the word “you” more than “I.”

Words that refer directly to your listener are much more influential than self-centric pronouns (e.g., my, mine, I), because it forces you to answer your employees’ unspoken question: What’s in it for me?

Use employees’ names.

Personalizing conversations show that individuals, as well as their beliefs and opinions, are important to you. Using a person’s name also demonstrates that you’re a genuine, caring person who pays attention.

Use cause-and-effect phrases.

Language that clearly connects action (or lack thereof) to consequences is incredibly powerful at creating change, because it makes your claims sound logical and objective. Here are a few to add to your arsenal: accordingly, as a result, due to, consequently, since.

Need motivated temporary, project-based or direct employees?

Contact Exact Staff for reliable individuals who display a great attitude and deliver the measurable results you need. Whether your requirements are local or national, simple or complex, we’ll deliver the exact talent and solutions you need.

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