Break down the barriers that frustrate your teams

Break down the barriers that frustrate your teams | practice (split each time) | 10 cultural shifts that will attract top talent
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February 29, 2024
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Leading the Way
Break down the barriers that frustrate your teams
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Instead of adding new policies, rules or projects when things go sideways, try subtraction and remove barriers that are hindering your team's success, writes Jim Clemmer. Create a Listen-Feedback-Action process to identify issues, convene focus groups to test new management ideas and streamline and simplify processes to improve efficiency for customers and employees, Clemmer suggests.
Full Story: The CLEMMER Group (2/28) 
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Put it into practice: Your teams are naturally skeptical of "new and improved" processes, but asking for feedback, taking action on it and keeping everyone in the loop can improve trust, Clemmer writes. "Too often systems, processes, and managers hinder more than help people get their work done."
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Smarter Communication
10 cultural shifts that will attract top talent
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You can make your company one that great employees want to work for by creating a culture that encourages them to speak up, allows for mistakes and has leaders who value collaboration and ideas and embody stated values, writes Peggy Shell, the founder and CEO of Creative Alignments. "When you show up this way, you attract employees who naturally and authentically live similar values," Shell notes.
Full Story: Real Leaders (2/26) 
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Put it into practice: Be empathetic and vulnerable as a leader to build trust with your team and check in individually with team members and show your support and appreciation, Shell advises. "Everything you choose to do will add up to something much larger."
All relationships begin with small talk, says social relationships expert Shasta Nelson, so mastering warm and open body language, asking open-ended questions, giving compliments and learning how to make a graceful exit can go a long way. "We all want to walk away feeling pleasant, which means we enjoyed that interaction," Nelson notes.
Full Story: Success magazine (2/2024) 
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Put it into practice: If you feel too shy to begin a conversation, think about the outcome you want -- perhaps knowing your coworkers better -- and "allow yourself to be imperfect at it," Nelson says. "Most of us have anxiety around interacting. And almost no one loves meeting people and being in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations."
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In Their Own Words
New Balance CEO on finding time to connect the dots
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New Balance CEO Joe Preston started with the company in 1995 and talks about the changes that have happened -- including making the "dad shoe" popular with stars like Taylor Swift -- and how he spends his time as CEO, minimizing meetings and finding time to think and connect the dots. "I think there's a point of diminishing returns if you continue to just grind it, grind it, grind it. And at some point, you got to make sure that you are being purposeful about your recovery," Preston says.
Full Story: Substack/The Profile (2/28) 
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Daily Diversion
If you live in Fremont, Calif., Overland Park, Kan. or San Jose, Calif., you're probably pretty happy since those are the top three happiest cities in the US, according to data from WalletHub, which ranked 182 cities based on factors such as emotional well-being, income and community. Montgomery, Ala., Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Mich. were the least happy cities. As a bonus, the depression rates were generally lowest in Pearl City, Hawaii (I mean, it is a beautiful place) and highest in Lewiston, Maine (still beautiful, but cold).
Full Story: WalletHub (free registration) (2/27) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Happy birthday, George Bridgetower! The Afro-European violinist is associated with which composer who once called George "an absolute master of his instrument" and even specifically composed a piece for him?
VoteBeethoven
VoteBoccherini
VoteMozart
VoteSalieri
About The Editor
How do you handle building new business relationships?
I reach out once or twice, but stop if there's no response
 28.49%
Like Harley recommends, I give them three chances then move on
 18.19%
I'll reach out a few times, then stop for awhile before trying again
 41.82%
I'm like the "Golden Retriever" Harley mentions. I'll keep at it until I get a response
 7.88%
I wait for them to come to me
 1.81%
Something else
 1.81%
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
Of the 165 of you who answered yesterday's poll about building business relationships, the majority -- nearly 47% -- will reach out at least three times before moving on. Almost 42%, though, will try to connect a few times, let it rest for a while and then try again.

There could be some wisdom in letting some time pass before reaching out again. When we contact them, we never know exactly what's happening with another person. They may want to work with us but are overwhelmed now and can't find the time to respond. They may be interested in connecting, but put your email or voicemail aside for later review and forget to come back to it. There could be a million reasons why they're not responding right away.

Giving them a little time before you contact them again may be the reminder that they need to get back to you more promptly. Not immediately responding may not be a sign of disinterest, so don't take it personally. Try again later, and you may get the response you're seeking.

Being that annoying Golden Retriever (which, thankfully, few of you are) only works when you have puppy dog eyes and a wet nose.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond.
Fred Rogers,
television host, author, producer, minister
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