Challenges or Opportunities?

Published October 20, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

challenges or opportunites

In today’s economy, companies are bombarded with changes that are constantly presenting new challenges. These changes are forcing company leaders to adapt and develop new organizational strategies to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace. The smartest leaders, however, perceive these challenges as opportunities for growth and expansion. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor indicates a trend that the nation’s work force has become smaller and mobile. A perceptive leader understands that this means companies are more vulnerable to the effects of global competition. In her book, Organizational Project Management: Linking Strategy and Projects, Rosemary Hossenlopp (2011) reveals some of the reasons these changes have occurred like: (a) the need to increase revenue and decrease costs, (b) restructuring events from mergers and acquisitions, (c) a continual need to increase efficiency, (d) the downsizing and outsourcing of services, (e) technological advances, and (f) legislative changes in banking and financial reporting policies (Hossenlopp, 2011). These significant components continue to change the world’s work force, leaving the arena with smaller more diverse staff members that operate from work environments that are now more virtual and mobile.

 virtual workforce

In addition, new challenges have occurred from the changes in technology that have contributed to an information revolution. These challenges are forcing leaders to develop more opportunities for efficiency. In the eBook, The Strategy Behind an External Analysis (soon to be released as an audio book) my research work reveals in more detail, how advances in technology are urging managers to make adjustments in how they run their organizations so that they can still achieve their goals (Berry, 2014). In the meantime, because of the shift in how commerce is conducted, it is even more imperative that leaders devise effective systems to evaluate their external environment to help ensure stakeholders that the firm will continue to reach successful outcomes.

 situation analysis

In her book, Strategic Management in Action, Mary Coulter (2010) explained that the external analysis process should include conducting a situation analysis strategy. This helps managers identify strengths, weaknesses, competitor strategies, and other critical issues the firm is facing. Coulter further suggests that leaders identify, consider, and evaluate some of these following components as well: (a) what is happening with the current economy; (b) how demographics for trends and population changes are affecting them; (c) what influence do the cultural values, behaviors, attitudes, and other social patterns have on the company; (d) how do the local laws, policies and regulations that are applicable affect them; and (e) what innovations and changes in technology are affecting their industry (Coulter, 2010). By analyzing these components leaders are better equipped to devise more effective strategies to achieve their goals. In short, because of the ongoing changes in the business arena, organizations that include an external analysis in their planning strategies become more capable of coping with uncertainty, and are therefore more likely to deliver higher performances.

Well, that’s it for today! Thanks for stopping by! Until Wednesday … stay organized!

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Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different. – Michael Porter

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If you are interested in more tips and information on effective strategic planning or want to find out how to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

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References:

Berry, M. A. (2014). Organizational management: The strategy behind an external analysis. Las Vegas: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hossenlopp, R. (2011). Organizational project management: Linking strategy and projects. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts.

Persuasive Messages with Successful Outcomes

Published October 17, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair
IAgreeIDisagree

On Wednesday we talked about transmitting a persuasive message. Today’s post takes a closer look at how to do so with successful outcomes. To begin the process, the individual must understand that to create a transmission with the intent of having a successful outcome, it must contain two elements: content and process. In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) explains that the content of the message should include the following three components: (a) it should state the point of the message clearly; (b) it should stay focused on a maximum of three main points; and (c) each point must be presented separately and clearly for maximum effect.  In addition, when making a persuasive argument, the key points should also include a careful balance of emotion and logic. This helps create a flow that leads to the intended outcome (Baack, 2012). Equally important when delivering a persuasive message is to make sure the transmission includes credible evidence and that it states the case, proves it, and provides methods for solutions.

To create successful outcomes from the flow the messenger desires, for example, one strategy most often utilized, is known as the AIDA model. It was developed by American advertising and sales pioneer Elias St. Elmo Lewis who also coined the phrase (Suggett, 2013). The AIDA method involves four processes:

  • Attention: Capture attention and draw the audience into the idea;
  • Interest: Maintain interest by making sure members of the audience see the benefit to them;
  • Desire: Help audience members understand how change is beneficial and respond to questions and concerns;
  • Action: Lead the audience to the desired response or behavior.
excited
According to Baack, another form of persuasive message transmission that is often used with success, is called the psychological progressive pattern approach. This method involves a series of structured steps developed specifically to help individuals navigate towards changing their views. The steps in this strategy include: (a) arousal to capture attention, (b) tactics to dissatisfy the receiver to demonstrate a concern or bring attention to the issue, (c) gratification in showing how the solution will resolve the dissatisfying factor, (d) visualization to help the recipient of the transmission see the potential outcome; and (e) include actions that can be taken to support the position.
Explaining mortgage conditions

Other tactics of successful persuasive message transmission involve simpler problem-solving methods that merely require the messenger to: (a) define the problem, (b) explain the problem, including causes and effects, (c) outline and evaluate potential solutions, and (d) provide the most ideal solution. Regardless of which method is employed, the key in achieving successful outcomes when transmitting persuasive messages, is balancing emotion and logic so that the message is delivered as it was intended without causing the recipient to receive it in a way that will merit a defensive or negative response.

Well, that’s a wrap for this week everyone! Thanks for tuning in! Until next time … stay organized!
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Ninety percent of selling is conviction and ten percent is persuasion. – Shiv Khera
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References:
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
Suggett, P. (2013). Get to know and use AIDA. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from aboutmoney.com: http://advertising.about.com/od/successstrategies/a/Get-To-Know-And-Use-Aida.htm

Media Magic Digital Publishing

Published October 16, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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If you are interested in getting more tips and information on building leadership skills or want to inquire further about our digital publications or purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Media Magic Publishing.

Tomorrow’s post will take a closer look at transmitting persuasive communication with successful outcomes. Until then … stay organized!

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To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.  – Tony Robbins

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Transmitting Persuasive Messages

Published October 15, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

arguing

The main objective of a persuasive argument is a successful outcome. In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Baack suggests that persuasion is used to urge, influence, or convince an individual(s) thoughts or actions.  In order for a persuasive transmission to be effective and positive however, the transmitter should have knowledge of the receiving audience, identify the messenger’s objectives as well as the objectives of the recipient, present persuasive evidence, keep the argument simple, listen carefully to objectives and responses, and keep personal emotions under control (Baack, 2012). That is a lot of information to absorb, but very effective for individuals that find themselves in a situation that requires the implementation of communicating a persuasive message.

boss employee

Communication, whether persuasive or not, and how one communicates that message to a manager, peer, or subordinate, highly depends on the situation and the relationship between each individual. Obviously communicating with your boss requires different communication skills than transmitting a message to a head strong teenager. Throughout my career, the times I was typically placed in a situation that required the delivery of a persuasive message was when I was seeking out help or additional resources for a project. In this environment I was required to present a credible reason to justify my needs. For the most part, I have been fortunate that I had very approachable managers or was part of a team where we were able to authentically discuss our problems together and worked hand in hand to achieve our goals. Although the deliverance of communication will vary between an individual and their manager or peers, the key component is establishing a level of trust, ease, and comfort.

Hard transmissions

Typically, all aspects of an organization’s structure flows from the top-down. Each level is represented by individuals with varying roles and responsibilities and may require different levels of communication strategies, especially when sending a persuasive message. This requires the individual delivering the transmission to engage critical thinking in the decision making process as well as comprehend the differences in communicating a message to a supervisor or an associate. In the eBook, Breaking Communication Barriers, my research work takes a closer look at how communication in all directions effects decision making in business organizations including ideas, suggestions, and complaints that flow from lower-ranking to higher-level managers (Berry, 2013). In short, knowing how to prepare a persuasive transmission for a top level manager, which includes the deliberation of the length of the message, would take a different form than communicating to that of a lower ranked staff member, especially about events which affect the company. A sort transmission, for instance, may omit key components that can help support the persuasive position. A message that is too long, on the other hand, can put the audience to sleep.

On Friday we will take a closer look at what it takes to deliver a persuasive transmission with successful results. Until then … stay organized!

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For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate. – Margaret Heffernan

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Arriving Soon …

Published October 14, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

Tomorrow’s post will take a closer look at persuasive communication. Until then … stay organized!

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The best CEOs I know are teachers, and at the core of what they teach is strategy. – Michael Porter

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Listening as a Management Strategy

Published October 13, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

active-listening

For the most part, people are good listeners; however, many do not use their listening skills effectively. In his book Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) postulates that the following three different styles of listening affect how a message is received and transmitted: (a) empathetic, (b) active, and (c) content listening. Active listeners listen with a reason, while empathetic listeners, for instance, combine active listening with critical thinking skills to comprehend a message while having compassion towards the messenger’s needs, wants, and feelings. Content listening on the other hand, is when the receiver makes an attempt to comprehend and retain in memory, the data presented by the transmitter (Baack, 2012). When individuals are able to identify the kind of listening they need to engage in for every situation, it will help enhance their communication skills.

A level one listener, for instance, is the most engaged and authentic listener. A level two listener in the meantime, is less engaged and tends to miss important components like nonverbal cues. Finally, level three listeners are those who are too preoccupied with self-concerns. This can prevent them from engaging as an active listener or  receiving the message clearly.

communication_shout_small

In the eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers, (2013) my research work revealed how effective active listening skills can play a significant role in the communication process. For example, when we are in the work place, we learn the importance of engaging in clear communication strategies because a message transmitted improperly can have dire consequences; and in a worst case scenario, that can result in an employee’s termination. To help employees, some leaders offer staff members communication workshops. Others develop programs that include activities to strengthen communication skills. Then there are companies that choose to distribute educational material to help improve and remind employees about the significance of good listening skills for clear communication, as well as how effective communication skills can help them achieve higher performance levels. In short, good listening skills provide clarification in receiving messages which is effective for breaching communication barriers.

culture oil

For an employee of a team of twenty people, for example, in addition to engaging in active listening, that staff member may also have to learn how to communicate effectively with different components like ethnicity, cultures, and other diversities. They may also need to understand how to be sympathetic and understanding under different circumstances like when shaking someone’s hand can transmit a message of disrespect to a dignitary when bowing is the accepted traditional custom. One tactic may be to ask for clarification before delivering a message, or repeating a sentence from the conversation. This can be done to clarify the individual was engaged in active listening and enthusiastic to confirm that the transmission was received as it was meant to be delivered. In conclusion, to achieve the best outcomes in the communication process, individuals must also apply skills like active listening. The key to ongoing success however, is an awareness that the enhancement of communication skills is an ongoing learning experience that continues to evolve because of advancements in technology that provide new methods of transmitting those messages.

On Wednesday we will take a closer look at persuasive communication. Until then … stay organized!

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“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” — Turkish Proverb

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Effective Use of Visual Aids

Published October 10, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

av_screen1

This week our discussion has been focused on the importance of writing and presenting company reports. Typically these are developed to help a firm monitor their systems, programs, and provide insights if a particular area of the organization is not functioning at its maximum potential. In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Baack (2012)  states that a report should be designed with the idea that it will answer any questions or concerns that the recipient of the reports might have, that the use of visual aids must be easy to follow (Baack, 2012). For example, a person that is hired to work as a trainer, would be responsible for providing a weekly report of the progress that the trainees are making in their classroom.

Payroll_Flow_Chart

One staffer that is employed as a payroll specialist trainer for instance, uses a table chart as a visual aid in the reporting process for effectiveness. At the top of the table chart, for example, he provides a list of 12 weekly tasks that must be completed, evaluated, and graded by the trainer on a regular basis. The purpose of the report is to give the trainee an overall visual look at their weekly progress as well as provide an overview of the tasks that still require completion. This helps provide a quick visual enabling each party concerned to detect what remains to be completed for that trainee to become eligible for the  assignment of a new task. Each task that requires completion is a key tool that the trainee will be using the field. So if a particular task has a score of 70% or lower, for instance, it would indicate to the trainer that  more emphasis could be put on that particular subject matter.

track-course

The payroll specialist trainer in this instance, uses visual aids in reports for the purpose of providing the trainee a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses so that managers can help that staff member focus on  areas where they require additional training. This reporting strategy enables the data to be easily transmitted, comprehended, and reviewed by both the trainee and trainer at any given time. The bottom line is that there are effective ways to provide reports with or without visual aids as part of the presetation. It is up to each company leader and staff member to decide the most cost and time effective way to produce them.

Well that wraps up our discussion on reports and presentations this week. Have an awesome weekend everyone … and stay organized!

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You can’t have a healthy society unless you have healthy companies that are making a profit, that are employing people and that are growing. – Michael Porter

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc

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