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Community Futures Beaver River

Box 2678, 106 - 1st Street East, Meadow Lake, SK - Phone: (306) 236-4422

Image Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan/Paul Austringr

April Newsletter 2017

  • April 6, 2017
  • Written by Beaver River Admin

The Leading Edge - Taking Care of Business

6 Ways Charisma Can Sell People On Your Company

For many small-business owners the line between them and their company is almost indistinguishable. To a large extent we are what we portray and that goes for the company we represent too. Even with major corporations, often the company's image is closely tied to that of the owner; think Apple and the late Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg, and few can think of Bill Gates without thinking of Microsoft, even though he now owns less than 5% of the company.

But what about the local plumber or financial adviser you meet at a networking event? If they are friendly, confident, intelligent, knowledgeable are you more likely to use their services? Of course! If their reputation has been tarnished in some way, that too will rub off on their corporate image.

If you look at successful people, what they almost all have in common is charisma; there's something about them that exudes charm. They are really pleasant, open, warm, amusing people and we are drawn to them; they make us feel better about ourselves. But, is charisma something we are born with, or is it something we can learn? Research has shown it's a little of both. Charismatic people display a series of traits that win people over. Adopting the following traits will raise your charisma quotient significantly.

Nothing works better than showing enthusiasm when talking about your company, or what it sells. Enthusiasm is contagious and charming; more so when it is natural rather than wrapped up in a sales pitch. Passion is charismatic!Self-belief goes hand-in-hand with charisma - it's hard to be charismatic if you don't believe in yourself. Are you good at what you do? Are you honest? Do you always do the best for each and every customer? If so then you certainly have every right to believe in yourself.It's okay believing in yourself, but you also need to believe one-hundred-percent in what you sell. If, hand-on-heart, you are not completely committed to your product or service look long and hard at how you can improve what you sell so you can be.If you start truly believing, your personality will begin to bloom and your confidence levels will increase and in turn you will become more relaxed around people.Charismatic people exude positive body language. They have strong handshakes, they make and hold eye contact, they smile, they have spatial awareness. These are people that never stand too close, or too far away. They know just the right moment to gently put a hand on your arm, or shoulder. In short, they understand people. Google "Behavioral Styles" and learn how to recognize patterns of behavior or habits in people that are characteristic of specific individuals. This is something that can easily be learned and will help you become far more charismatic.People warm to people who take a genuine interest in them, who really listen to what they are saying and come back with something relevant to what they are saying rather than something that simply furthers their own agenda. On the other hand, charismatic people are good conversationalists too; they are up to date with world and industry news, they have humorous anecdotes to fit a wide variety of situations and are generally knowledgeable.

A word of warning: don't mistake charisma for fake; most people can spot a phoney a mile off. Successful people that survive long-term are authentic, genuine and display integrity. These traits are the foundation of true charisma.

Firing Right

Taking the Pain and Risk Out of Firing Someone

It's neither pleasant nor easy to fire someone, but if you run a business you will likely at some time or another have to carry out this unpleasant task.There's a whole bunch of stuff you can do to avoid having to fire someone in the first place including providing guidance, moving the person to a different department, re-training etc. but at some point letting the person go may be the only responsible action to take.

Let's assume you've done all you can to support, encourage and enable an employee to reach their full potential and none of it has worked. Perhaps the person is simply inefficient, or displays inappropriate conduct, harasses other employees, or has even done something illegal. No matter, the time has come to terminate their employment with sensitivity and in a dignified manner - not to mention legally.

If you haven't got a Human Resources Policy and Procedures manual which includes a set process for terminating employees, you need to get one. In the meantime, seek professional advice on employment legislation in your province, territory, or state and ensure you follow it to protect yourself from potential legal liability.Don't jump the gun - try other ways to solve the issue before resorting to termination. It could end up costing less!Keep thorough written documentation on every interaction with the employee and all disciplinary or corrective action taken.It's better to terminate them early in the week; this allows the person to immediately look for a new job, rather than a Friday, where they will end up fretting about the situation all weekend. Avoid major holidays such as Christmas. The best time of day is the end of their workday, when there are fewer other employees around.Where? Choose somewhere private where you will not be interrupted. If the plan is for the person to leave immediately, choose a location close to an exit. This will limit their exposure to other employees allowing them to leave quickly and quietly, to the benefit of both them and you.Prepare for the meeting in advance (make notes beforehand). If you followed correct policy and procedures this will have been an extended formal process which is coming to its natural conclusion given the circumstances. However, you will still need to formally state the reason for termination. Explain the support you and the company have provided to avoid it coming to this and assure them the decision has not been reached lightly. Inform them the decision is final and that you are not in a position to negotiate. Explain how you will proceed with either giving them a reference, or not. Wish them well for the future, and if appropriate express your confidence in their future success.The meeting - keep it simple, do not go over old ground. Focus on actions, behaviors, and performance rather than emotions. Keep it professional, be respectful, be clear and concise. Keep calm at all times and have a witness. Request the return of any company property. If the employee has access to company files, or privileged access via to computer to databases, or operating systems, ensure all passwords are reset. If they have keys to filing cabinets, or sensitive material make sure these are retrieved. Consider in advance how the person might react. Are they likely to cry, get angry, abusive, despondent? Aim for the meeting to take no longer than ten-minutes.Provide them with a letter of termination and a summary of compensation owing them. Provide details of any health benefits, life insurance etc. and whether they will continue, and/or for how long.If the person is to leave immediately, ensure you have a cheque ready for them and ensure it is accurate. The last thing you want is to prolong the final meeting with contention over what is due to them.Once you fire someone, keep the details private - any disciplinary action must be kept between the employee and you, or their direct manager.Although details should be kept private, you should meet as soon as possible with other affected employees and tell them the person no longer works for the company; this can prevent damaging rumours from circulating. Also provide them with help on how they might answer questions from other employees, or clients as to why the person is no longer employed.Reassure other employees concerned about their job security. Inform them, if necessary, a formal process was followed and that although firing someone is an option, it is only used as a last resort.

The bottom-line is to be prepared in advance for the day you will have to fire someone. Know the law, do things by the book (hopefully your own policies and procedures manual) and don't make it personal.

Coach's Corner - Focusing on the Important

Too often we get sidetracked from important tasks or things we need to be doing. We lose our focus as we say yes to those requests that will only take a few minutes yet consume an hour or more, or we are distracted by an email that comes in, or text messages, or telephone calls, or surfing social media. It is so easy to veer off the path to handle something that is easy or seemingly less time consuming.

The chart below might help you analyze where best to focus your time.

Being mindful of the Urgent/Important quadrant may be helpful in focusing our time and efforts on those things that need our attention, or that of others in our business. When we are confronted with a task or activity, we shoud try to see into which quadrant it best fits.

Determining where a task fits in the Important and Urgent grid, requires asking questions that help us focus our efforts as we go about our day, whether at work or at home.

How important is this to accomplishing my/our goals? If it is important we then need to determine if it is Urgent or Not Urgent? If it is Urgent it will require immediate attention as it lies in the first quadrant.

When it is Not Urgent, we need to keep it in mind (with some time frame attached) so it doesn't get lost. In either case, it is necessary to determine whose responsibility it is. When it is not necessarily our responsibility, but that of a subordinate or colleague, we need to delegate the task giving clear instructions as to when it needs to be completed.

The third and fourth quadrants indicate where we get sidetracked in our work environment. That is why it is key to make a determination of the urgency and importance of tasks or activities. This is especially the case when there is a request for immediate action and we get caught up in the sense of urgency while forgetting that it's really not important. These are the times when delegation is necessary, or we simply respond stating this will get attended to at some point later.

However, there are times we need to attend to less important yet necessary activities. At these times, we need to be mindful about the amount of time required and when exactly the task needs undertaking.

A good time to attend to some of those less important activities is when we need a break or a change of pace. It's all about focusing on what is important. How do you get into the habit of not being distracted and ensuring what needs to be done gets done?

Paul Abra
Certified Executive Coach, Motivated Coaching