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Maset News

Volume 34  January 20, 2004

Introduction
Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Helpful Hints from fellow Practitioners
Top Ten List
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue
QBQ! QuickNote
Coming in the Next Few Issues
Housekeeping

INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers

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MESSAGE FROM CHARLES LOEW:

Welcome to a New Year. Everyone is hoping that this year will be a continuation of the economic trends that began last year. Businesses seem to be doing better and profits are improving. Many organizations are beginning to look at what they can do to improve their operations and also what training to provide to increase employees' effectiveness.

Please take the time to look at our web page and review our Product and Services as well as our Trainings and Workshops to discover what we can do to assist you. Feel free to contact us directly at Charles.Loew@masetllc.com or call us at 1-480-775-1269.


We have added these as well as other Products and Services and associated training and Workshops to our web page. The highlights of these new offerings are described in our "New on the MASET Web Site" section.


In today's fast paced world we all try to get more done in a shorter period of time. One way we attempt to do this is by spending time evaluating what should be accomplished first and if it is worth doing it at all. Our first feature article, "Stop Thinking! It Hurts the Ball Club!" by Jeffrey Mayer, suggests that we stop thinking about the things we need to do and just do them. I found this article very practical and am trying to incorporate its thoughts in my own activities.


With the economies around the world improving and organizations thinking about growth, it is time to realize that face to face communications has tremendous value. We may think that picking up the phone is the best way to reduce expenses instead of visiting some one face to face. Our second article, Focus on Virtual Teams" by Meridian Resources focuses on virtual communications and when and where to apply each of the different types of communication.

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COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:

  • " I appreciate receiving all the wonderful tidbits from you and your organization." - USA

  • "Just got the December News - I imagine you probably have a significant distribution list but knowing the face behind the communication l always think of this as a bit more of a personal communication than others I receive." - Scotland
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    NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:

  • Welcome to Frank D. Mlinarec as a new associate to the Maset Team. Frank brings over 23 years of experience in assisting organizations gain Peak Performance through individual and team Optimization.

  • We have added a new Product and Service developed by Frank called "Peak Performance - Optimizing Individual and Team Talent within Organizations". This product helps organizations ratchet up their performance levels. Tied into the development of creating Peak Performance in an organization are two workshops and one measure-ment tool. The first workshop is titled Peak Performance Actions M-784. The second workshop is titled Peak Team Performance M-786. In order to develop a baseline measure and to track improvement we use 360o Peak Performance Survey M-785.
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    HELPFUL HINTS FROM FELLOW PRACTITIONERS:

  • When holding an all day meeting or training session, before lunch break state the following, " We have had a busy morning, and I know that you all have a life out of class. If we don't want to stay late, please come back on time so that won't be necessary.
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    TOP TEN LIST:

    Managing by Walking Around - First Ten of Twenty

    A Checklist for Managers

    The second 10 of 20 Ways to Communicate With Your Employees

    11. Give information to staff after management meetings.

    12. Ask staff, "What can I do to help you with your job?"

    13. Ask staff, "What am I doing that gets in your way?"

    14. Ask staff "What is making our clients/customers the most and/or the least satisfied?"

    15. Praise in public and criticize in private.

    16. Find something to like about each staff member with whom you work.

    17. Actively make a point of speaking to all employees seen each day.

    18. Build bridges with people with whom you are uncomfortable

    19. Set goals each month on ways to accomplish "Managing by Walking Around."

    20. List other ideas to improve your communications with staff.

    © 1995 Reid Moomaugh & Associates - Permission is granted to reproduce this document for training and education. http://www.wp.com/rma/mbwa.html)   created 9/3/95.

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    FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:

    STOP THINKING! IT HURTS THE BALL CLUB!

    by Jeffrey J. Mayer

    When I was playing ball in college, I had a teammate who always told me "Jeff, stop thinking! It hurts the ball club!"

    It took me 20 years before I finally understood what he meant. Don't think about what you're doing; just allow your mind and body do what it was trained to do. Things happen so fast in life that you've got to trust yourself that you're capable of performing.

    And that's what 16-year old Sarah Hughes did when she leaped, jumped, skated, and soared from 4th place to the Gold Medal platform in Women's Figure Skating.

    She entered the long program, realizing she had nothing to lose. Sarah wasn't the favorite, she wasn't 'expected' to win. So she stopped thinking, relaxed, decided to just go out there, have some fun and enjoy the Olympic moment, trusting that her superbly-trained body would do the rest.

    "Realistically, there was this little window of opportunity, hardly anything," she said. "After the short program, I thought I would try to just go for it. I really had nothing to lose. I thought there was no way in the world I could win."

    "I always go out and I'm always so worried about whether I'm going to do this jump or that or skate fast or spin well," Hughes said. "Last night I just went out and I just skated. I didn't realize it until I finished that was the greatest feeling ever. No matter what, that's my gold-medal performance."

    Two days earlier, her short performance had been tentative. Her Gold Medal performance showed poise, confidence, and polished maturity that skating insiders had never before seen.

    Sarah made technical history by becoming the first woman to land two combinations of triple jumps in an Olympic free skate. She made statistical history by coming from fourth place after the short program to win the title.

    Sarah Hughes won the Gold Medal by performing one of the most brilliant and technically advanced free skates ever by a woman in the Olympics.

    Sarah Hughes stopped thinking. She just skated. She had the time of her life!


    Applying Sarah's Techniques

    Now, let's apply Sarah's techniques to our daily activities. Stop thinking of all the 'things' you've got to do . . . . Just sit down and do them.

    Focus on getting the most important things done each day. It's too easy to put them aside because 'you're not in the mood,' or 'you don't feel like doing it.'

    Here are five actions you should take immediately:

    • Pick up the phone and make the calls you keep putting off.
    • Write those letters, proposals, and presentations you haven't felt like doing.
    • Make decisions about the 'stuff' that's accumulating in the "I'll get to it later" pile.
    • Turn your inactivity into positive action. STOP THINKING!
    • You know what needs to be done every day, NOW DO IT!

    Here are three things you can do to improve your productivity:

    1. Keep track of everything you need to do on a Master List of things to do.

    2. Schedule appointments with yourself to get your most important work done.

    3. Use your Prime Time -- the time of day you're at your best -- to do your most important work.

    Follow Sarah Hughes' example. Dream BBB-IIII-GGGGG. Set your priorities. Get the important things done each day. And you'll become a H-U-G-E success.


    Reprint permission granted in part or whole when the following credit appears: "Reprinted with permission from "Jeffrey Mayer's Succeeding In Business Newsletter. (Copyright, 2001, Jeffrey J. Mayer, Succeeding In Business, Inc.) To subscribe to Jeff's free newsletter, visit his Web site at http://www.SucceedingInBusiness.com."

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    SECOND FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:


    Focus on Virtual Teams

    By Meridian Resources

    Many companies rely increasingly on virtual teamwork to accomplish critical business objectives. New travel restrictions limit the ability of team members to meet face-to-face, and conference calls are increasingly becoming the standard mode of communication. If you have a teleconference or videoconference scheduled with remote team members this month, here are some suggested guidelines you can use to ensure that the call is as productive as possible:

    Communications Strategy

    Establishing an overall communications strategy helps to ensure that conference calls are used most effectively. It is worth considering the amount of context provided by different types of interactions, including what can or cannot be communicated through a conference call. This concept is illustrated in this diagram below.

    Communication Strategies & Context

    Due to space constraints the diagram must appear separately. Please click here for the diagram. (please wait for the diagram to load). Special thanks to George Renwick for his contributions in creating this diagram.

    Keep in mind the level of context that each communication strategy offers. As you move down the list of communication strategies in the left-hand column, the level of context decreases.

    A person-to-person meeting, for example, affords a whole range of possible interactions:

    • informal contacts (in the hallway outside of the meeting);
    • direct physical exchanges (handshakes or bows);
    • environmental cues (table seating order);
    • non-verbal cues (facial expressions, hand gestures);
    • immediate feedback;
    • voice tone;
    • control over the format of a given message (with or without formal titles); and, finally, words themselves.

    Each step on the way from personal meetings to e-mail, as represented by the vertical column in the diagram, involves a significant loss of context.

    If you are the person responsible for planning a team meeting, it is important that you be aware of the implications of low-context meetings, especially if your team includes members from cultures that prefer more personal, high-context forms of communication. Conference calls can be very productive, but you should ensure that you position them within a healthy mix of communications methods that offers both economy and sufficient contextual information for all members of the team.

    Conference Call Guidelines

    If you are hosting or facilitating a teleconference or videoconference, here are some ground rules that can help to ensure maximum participation from each member:

    Due to space constraints the diagram must appear separately. Please click here for the diagram. (please wait for the diagram to load).

    Meridian offers a complete set of consulting and training services for companies doing business in the PRC. Contact us to find out more about how we can assist you with your China operations.

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    THE QUESTION BEHIND THE QUESTION:


    QBQ! (The Question Behind the Question) QuickNote #8

    John G. Miller
    Author of the QBQ! book.

    "Why is this happening to me?"

    Being a new employee can be confusing, especially in a fast-paced and high-stress industry like the mortgage business. Sarah didn't complete and turn in the "right" paperwork to the payroll department. Her first payday rolled around and - no check. Ouch. The director of the field unit caught wind of this problem and called the home office only to be asked, "Who made the mistake?" Upon hearing that, the director responded with this simple yet powerful statement: "Well, if it gets Sarah her check, then I did!"

    "Who dropped the ball?" - does it matter? Not to leaders - at all levels - who recognize this truth:

    All problems are in the past, solutions are now.

    Leaders don't care whodunnit, they care about moving forward by solving the problems, removing the obstacles, clearing the hurdles. Do you have finger-pointing in your organization? You probably do since it was once written, "Where two or more are gathered together, there also shall be blame!"

    It's easy to see that questions like "Who dropped the ball?" and "Who made the mistake?" are all about blame. But what about these?

    "Who's going to clarify my job?"

    "Who's going to fix the problem?"

    "Who's going to give us the vision?"

    These are also a form of blame because they're essentially saying, "I will externalize - or blame outside forces, people, and events - for my results and station in life." And even if questions like these feel justified, the fact is they just don't get us anywhere. Taking ownership, like the director in our story, is a far better approach.

    Ownership is a word we hear a lot, but let's define it:

    A decision to fix the problem and no longer affix the blame.

    Walking through the door each day and saying "I own this place!" sure would be a fun way to start the day, wouldn't it? Can you visualize the caring, commitment, creativity, and camaraderie that would result from this type of leadership thinking? If nothing else, it'd break down barriers, build teams, increase our effectiveness - and get rid of the "We/They" mentality so prevalent in most organizations.

    One field sales force of hundreds has affectionately labeled their headquarters with this name: The Sales Prevention Club! Think about that one for a moment or two.

    When we stop playing the Blame Game the real fun begins. So let's not waste any more time and energy affixing blame and perpetuating a "We/They" mentality. Let's each of us instead practice personal accountability today by asking these QBQ!s:

    "What can I do today to contribute?" and "How can I fix the problem?"

    Remember, I own this place!

    John G. Miller

    author of the QBQ! book

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    COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:



    • Six Sigma for Small and Medium Business
    • Sales and marketing workshops
    • Risk Management
    • Lean Methodology - applied to all industries
    • Optimizing Peak Performance in any organization
    • GoalCentrix - Driving Effective Plan Execution
    • A new links page to connect you to other sites of interest and value to you

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    HOUSEKEEPING:

    Removal from receiving MASET NEWS:

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    Please use the same method if you have a change in your e-mail address. If you would like to add someone to our mailing list, please use e-mail or you may directly add the person to the distribution on our web page.

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    Comments about MASET NEWS:

    We welcome comments from our readers regarding MASET NEWS, our web site, or inquiries for help to: Charles.Loew@masetllc.com.

    Articles, comments and other valuable information from you, our readers will appear in the Readers Comments section.

    We reserve the right to determine what will be published, but will endeavor to publish everything that is sent to us.

     

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    can be reproduced by you providing the Copyright information remains on the copy. It may be used by you for limited distribution within your organization and among your friends and associates. It may not be sold or published without prior written authorization and approval by MASET, LLC.

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