Contents

The strongest contributors in your meetings can also prevent others from participating. Here's how to moderate their contributions. (This is the fifth of a seven part article on Managing Monsters in Meetings.)

Monsters in Meetings - Part 5, Dominant Participants

Monsters in Meetings - Part 5, Dominant ParticipantsMost meetings are attended by a giant.These are the people who dominate a meeting with big ideas and big voices and big talk.While dominant participants contribute significantly to the success of a meeting, they can also overwhelm, intimidate, and exclude others. Thus, you want to control their energy without losing their support.Here's what to do.Approach 1: Ask others to contributeAsking quiet participants to contribute indirectly moderates the more dominant participants. Say:"Before we continue, I want to hear from the rest of the group.""This is great. And I wonder what else we could do." (Look at the quiet participants when you say this.)Approach 2: Change the processA balanced dialogue equalizes participation and sequential participation (a round robin) prevents anyone from dominating the discussion.Approach 3: Include them in the processAsk dominant participants for their support during the meeting. Meet with the person privately and say:"I need your help with something. It's clear to me that you know a great deal about this issue and have many good ideas. I also want to hear what other people in the meeting have to say. So, I wonder if you could help me encourage others to contribute."You can also retain control by giving away minor tasks. For example, dominant participants make excellent helpers. They can distribute materials, run errands, serve as scribes, deliver messages, post chart papers, run demonstration units, operate projectors, change overhead transparencies, act as greeters, and (in general) perform any logistical task related to the meeting.Approach 4: Create barriersSimply move away from the more aggressive participants and make less eye contact. If you are unable to see them, you are unable to recognize them as the next speaker.Use this approach with moderation and support it with complimentary requests for assistance. Ignoring someone conveys disapproval, which could change a potential ally into an adversary.Approach 5: One point at a timeSometimes dominant participants will control a discussion by listing many points in a single statement. They cite every challenge, condition, and consideration known, which completely clogs everyone else's thinking. End this by asking participants to state only one point at a time, after which someone else speaks. It is very difficult to monopolize a discussion when this technique is used.Quiet participants often hope to be ignored; dominant participants want to be noticed. A quiet person may feel overbearing after making two statements in an hour. A dominant participant may feel left out after contributing only 95% of the ideas. You will be most successful moderating dominant participants by building bridges between what they want and what you need.Approach 6: Interrupt with "excuse me"Use the words "excuse me" as a wedge to interrupt a long monologue. It's important that you say "Excuse me" with polite sincerity. For example, you could say:"Excuse me, this seems interesting and I wonder if you could tell me how it relates to our meeting.""Excuse me, I'm sure this is very important and since we have only five minutes left for this issue, I wonder if you could summarize your main point."Use these techniques to hold effective meetings by moderating contributions from the more outspoken participants.This is the fifth of a seven part article on Monsters in Meetings.

The CEO is 10,000 feet above the fire

The CEO is 10,000 feet above the fire

How many times have you heard a business owner or manager say that they spend their workday always sweating at putting out fires? I hear it all the time. Think of a raging forest fire. There are sweaty fire fighters working hard, just yards in front of the flames. There is one person in a helicopter 10,000 feet above the flames. Those on the ground and the one in the helicopter are all looking at the same fire but they have totally different views. Those on the ground are putting out fires. The one in the helicopter is directing the fire fighting effort. In business, even the smallest of businesses, the CEO directs the fire fighting effort. That person must have a vision of the future and direct the troops on the ground in the proper direction. If the CEO gets down on the ground and picks up an axe to put out the current fire, while that effort may be beneficial, who is insuring the future? In small businesses, owners and managers must spend time and effort at work on the front lines, but many are so busy putting out fires that they never make the time to go up in the helicopter and see the whole fire. To do it, the CEO must discover the changing winds of the marketplace to best utilize the assets available so they are not overspent on dying embers (completed projects) when they are needed on a flare-up (hot opportunity) somewhere else. The CEO must look beyond today and prepare for tomorrows battles whether fluctuations in the cost of fuel, changing whims of fashion, or increased competition.If only for a little while every week, get into that helicopter. Look towards the future, plan for it, and guide your troops to contain the fires. You might not get so sweaty but youll be doing a great job for your company.

Information overload: don't let them overwhelm you

Information overload: don

It's becoming more and more difficult to sift the nuggets of true knowledge from the mountains of data thrown at us from all directions. Of course, we do this to ourselves to a certain extent, because in this age of unlimited access to information through the Internet as well as all the traditional sources, most of us try to take in just too much. No wonder we feel overwhelmed.But if you are an executive or manager, there's one way you can cut down on this data dump: stop the flow you get from your own people in the form of e-mail messages, memos, reports and presentations.I'm not suggesting you refuse to accept any information from your people, but honestly, haven't you ever received a half-inch-thick written report when you only wanted the salient facts or the main figures? Have you ever sat through a monthly financial presentation in which your people stood in front of a slide covered in figures, turned around and read them out, and then --- just in case you missed anything --- gave you a copy of the slide as a handout? The message of these presentations generally is, "Here's what the budget said we would do, here's what we actually did, so here's the shortfall or surplus." Just think of all the time this took, both for the people who laboured mightily to put it together (sweating bullets as they did because they dread the presentation to much), and also for you to listen to it. And did it really help you? Or did it simply add more data to the dump?Fixing this universal problem not only saves companies money, but it also has the potential to cut down on workplace stress at all levels. But it won't fix itself. If you don't speak up, you'll listen to these presentations and read those long-winded reports every month till the end of your career!

Many Kinds Of Banks - Many Kinds Of Accounts

Many Kinds Of Banks - Many Kinds Of Accounts

Sometimes looking into opening an account or accounts in banks can be confusing. There are so many types of banks and bank accounts! Which banks are right for you to open anaccount in? Which types of accounts do you need to open? Below are some simple explanations of several types of banks and the accounts you can open. One will surely be right for you!There are many kinds of banks:1. Savings Banks these banks can also be called Thrifts, and are businesses that are for-profit. Savings Banks take deposits of money, invest that money, and pay the depositor interest out of the money made from those investments. Some Savings Banks give credit to depositors.2. Credit Unions these banks are non-profit financial institutions. A Credit Union is owned and controlled by those doing business there. Membership is needed to get into a Credit Union, normally determined by where the person works, their location, or possibly where the go to church.3. Commercial Banks these banks used to only deal with businesses, but have extended their services to individuals. Commercial banks offer individuals most of the same services as other types of banks.4. Savings & Loans these banks usually provide savings accounts. Money deposited into these banks is then loaned out to local residents in the community, normally for home loans.5. Investment Banks these banks do just what the name saysthey invest. Investment Banks buy and sell stocks and bonds and give investment advice to its clients. These banks do not accept deposits, make loans, and are not insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Company).There are many kinds of accounts:1. Savings account this type of account is probably the most basic account offered by banks. You deposit money into a savings account and earn interest on that deposit based on the APR, or Annual Percentage Rate.2. Checking account this type of account allows for depositing, withdrawal, and the writing of checks to pay bills and for purchases. Many banks now offer ATM or debit cards along with the standard checkbook when you open a checking account.3. Certificate of Deposit this type of account, also known as a CD, is for deposit only. You dont touch the money deposited in a CD for an agreed upon amount of time, ranging from 6 months to several years, and you will earn a guaranteed amount of interest. If you do withdraw the money before the agreed upon date, many banks will charge you a fee.4. Money Market account this type of account is similar to a savings account. The interest rate of a money market account is higher than the traditional savings account, but the minimum balance is typically $10,000 or more!These are the basic kinds of banks and accounts available. Look around, and shop around, for a bank that is right for you.

Want A Management Career? - Get Qualifications

If you want to enter the world of management you need paper qualifications. No company is going to employ a manager who needs to learn on the job, without at least a first level degree.A management degree equips an individual to play a significant management role in a company successfully. A bachelor degree in management is the minimum entry-level qualification. You would then be expected to take higher degrees in your own time, though your employer may contribute towards the cost.Managers only make rapid progression up the career ladder if they change companies. You must make your mark and move on, gaining in experience with each move.You need to be working towards an MBA.An MBA has come to be accepted as the desired qualification for senior managers. MBA stands for Master in Business Administration. An MBA is a Master's degree and, as such, should be considered only after a bachelor's degree in a business related subject.You can now take MBA qualifications at most of the major universities, but some have more prestige attached to them, because the course is seen as more rigorous. You can also take an MBA through an on-line course at an accredited university. You can also buy them for a few hundred dollars on the Internet.Companies seeking to appoint managers are going to have considerable knowledge in the area of relative MBA worth and anyone applying for a senior position with an MBA from an institution known to sell them online won't even get a reply to their application.Management degrees have many options, allowing the student to specialize in the different areas of management. Common options include; Personnel Management, Accounting and Negotiating, but there are many others.A "management degree" , especially an MBA is always going to be a very valuable qualification in today's workplace, where companies are always on the lookout for good managers.

Coping Under Pressure

The phone is constantly engaged. The taxi ignores you. Your train is late. Why do minor hassles like these have the potential to make us uptight? Maybe it's because we're tightly wound already and can't find the pressure relief valve. Balancing the pressures of home life and work life are vital so that we get optimum amounts of the adrenaline buzz to stay healthy and enjoy the whole life! So here are the top ten tips for when the going gets tough:1. If you only have a hammer you will tend to see everything as a nail. Learn new techniques to deal with your workload, and life's pressures.2. Work out what is actually inside or outside your control. And don't tell yourself "I cannot deal with this" when you mean "I will not deal with this". 3. Stop driving yourself with inner messages that say "I must please" or "I must hurry up" or "I must be perfect" or "I must be strong". Instead, ask yourself "What's the worst that can happen?"4. Learn when to say "no" and when to say "yes". Be consistent so that people know where they stand with you.5. Focus and lock in to one thing at a time. Take jobs in order and plan ahead. You will soon find that instead of doing five things at the same time, or everything at the last minute, you can get them all done at a relaxed pace and still achieve deadlines.6. Find the light at the end of the tunnel. We can more happily accept a 14 hour working day, screaming children, or a nagging boss if we know when the end will be! Talk to people; share your situation; and find out what the possibilities are. Then act on them.7. Being bored or under-used is also very stressful so make sure you're doing things that give you a buzz, to keep you on top of the performance curve.8. Reserve "me" time (e.g. sport, hobbies, long bubble baths, light reading) as well as time for all the other roles in your life (e.g. spouse, parent, mentor, lover). 9. Stomp round the block! Exercise is a great way to use up excess adrenaline; it keeps you in condition; and can be a source of thinking time.10. Have a laugh! Laughter is such a great way to relieve pressure, so find more ways to enjoy yourself with the people who make you feel great!

Summary

The strongest contributors in your meetings can also prevent others from participating. Here's how to moderate their contributions. (This is the fifth of a seven part article on Managing Monsters in Meetings.)