Team Building 

We all love a bit of teambuilding! When morale is low, people are a bit fed up, or perhaps the team is just tired, the leadership team might suggest a teambuilding day to inject energy and enthusiasm back into the team.

But just running around and playing games, whilst good exercise, may not change anything.

Teambuilding is a collective term for various types of activities used to improve relationships, break down barriers, give shared experience, encourage mutual understanding of different personalities and define roles within teams. Many teambuilding exercises aim to expose and address interpersonal problems within the group or help find solutions to team problems.

Before investing valuable time and money, it’s important to understand the real benefits, so you know what it is that your team needs.

Team work

Team building events create the time to focus on the importance of team work and what is needed to make you a better team. If you can work together better, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, know what annoys and what motivates your colleagues and appreciate what brings out the best in others, the team is simply going to do a better job!

Communication

We communicate with each other every day, whether replying to an email, a speedy whatsapp message, a formal report presented to management, or even our facial expression as we pass in the corridor. Good communication is vital for a high performing team and team-building can help break down these barriers, helping us share information freely and clearly and avoid misinterpretation or confusion.

Leadership

Some teambuilding activities require us to have a leader. They may be appointed or elected after we identify leadership qualities in individuals. Giving your team the opportunity to be the leader in a fun, safe, yet challenging role, helps them practice the skills they will need and understand how to bring out the best in others.

Confidence

One of the most important roles of team building is building a person’s confidence. By giving responsibility to individuals to lead activities, coach other team members and solve problems successfully, their confidence will grow. They start to see how their contribution and talents matter and, in time, will feel more confident in contributing ideas or suggestions to help grow the organisation.

Responsibility

Responsibility is understanding that each member’s contribution to the team is important, regardless of their role. We define roles and clarify expectations to ensure the whole team shines and team building can help to reinforce how taking responsibility is vital for team’s performance.

Trust

For a team to be effective, trust is essential because it provides a sense of safety.

When we trust each other, we are able to open up to each other and expose our strengths and vulnerabilities. Team building programmes help participants to learn more about each other. If a workplace is able to foster a strong sense of trust within their teams, productivity, morale and team work will improve.

Respect

Differences atwork can lead to conflict, arguments, tension and stress.  It is important for teams to understand that we need to be respectful, professional and pleasant when discussing these differences. Team building can help to nurture greater respect for each other through communication, sharing knowledge, encouraging and helping each other.

Morale and Fun

We all know the famous proverb ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’.

Team building is about shared experience. Doing things together, outside of the office with no roles or responsibilities  can help to break down the barriers, improve morale and create a more positive atmosphere. Teams that enjoy what they do, generally do a better job!

 

At Lantern, we approach team building days with a difference! We call it Team Build Plus.

Whilst group activities and challenges play an important part in helping to bind and bond teams, if there is no obvious take-out from the day, the team is left with happy, fun memories but nothing has changed!

We work closely with you to understand some of the skill gaps in your organisation and then develop and design a highly motivational and exciting day for your teams, built around some core skills and changes in behaviour.

These themes include:

  • Communication
  • Efficiency and Working Smarter
  • Creative Thinking
  • Presentation Skills
  • Understanding ourselves and others
  • Problem Solving

Call us today on 0702 369224 or email us on info@lanterntraining.com and we will help you bind those gaps!

 

 

First impressions create lasting memories, whether positive or negative. It only takes seconds for someone to decide if they like you or not and, on the telephone, these decisions are made simply by what they hear. A pleasant greeting and a positive attitude will set the stage for each call and by speaking positively, professionally and warmly, you create a positive image for the entire organisation. It can be the make or break of a business!

How to get it right:

  1. Answer all calls with a warm, sincere greeting.
  2. Be pleasant and interesting.
  3. Manage expectations and sincerely apologise if expectations are unmet.
  4. Listen without interrupting.
  5. Respond with appropriate emotion (show enthusiasm or empathy).
  6. Be polite and kind.
  7. Appreciate that a person’s time and respect it valuable.
  8. Always make the other person feel important.
  9. Avoid being condescending, even if you are asked silly questions.
  10. Take time with everyone and don’t rush to finish the call. You want to encourage them to call again!

Remember, people do not remember what you do, they remember how you made them feel!

The Lumina Learning suite of psychometrics is the next generation of personal and professional development tools supporting individuals and teams to work more effectively, to drive performance and improve the bottom line. Lumina Spark is the first step on this journey and provides an accurate, personalised Portrait focusing on increased self-awareness and practical development points to assess and improve communication, teamwork and leadership.

By taking a humanistic approach and viewing people as “human beings” rather than “human doings” we set out to help organisations transform their performance by transforming their people. We are passionate about improving personal effectiveness at all levels within organisations.

Team development programmes are visual, dynamic and can be life-changing. By introducing Lumina into your business, we can guarantee that your teams will never look back!

Why you should use Lumina Spark as your psychometrics development tool!

As the first qualified practitioners of Lumina Spark in East Africa, we are taking individual and team development to an entirely new level. Call us today to help transform your teams to work effectivesly thus improving results.

They say that leaders are born, not made. While it is true that some people are born leaders, some leaders are born in the midst of adversity. Often, simple people who have never had a leadership role will stand up and take the lead when a situation they care about requires it. A simple example is parenting. When a child arrives, many parents discover leadership abilities they never knew existed in order to guide and protect their offspring.

Once you learn the techniques of true leadership & influence, you will be able to build the confidence it takes to take the lead. The more experience you have acting as a genuine leader, the easier it will be for you. It is never easy to take the lead, as you will need to make decisions and face challenges, but it can become natural and rewarding.

So how do you create influence?
1. Serve others before yourself.
The best use of your time and leadership is in the service of others. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. The growth and development of people represent the highest calling of leadership.
2. Believe in your people.
There is no greater empowerment and support you can give someone than to look them in the eye and with sincerity and conviction say, “I believe in you.” When you believe in someone, they can achieve the impossible.
3. Give trust so you can earn trust.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them first. Trust is the glue of leadership, the foundational principle that holds all relationships together. Teamwork builds trust and trust builds growth.
4. Truly connect with people.
Leaders should connect with their people and relate to them in a way that increases their own influence. When you can connect with people, you can begin to form relationships—and relationships are the basis of influence.
5. Invest in the success of others.
The more you invest in people and lift them toward their potential, the more likely they are to view you as their leader. Leadership is not about titles, positions or flow charts but one life influencing another. True leaders bring out the personal best in those around them.
6. Lead with character.
Leading with character means doing what’s right, however hard it is. Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. People will follow you when you exhibit strong character and integrity.
7. Lead with authority but allow autonomy.
Leaders must be close enough to relate to others but far enough ahead to motivate them. If you truly want people to respect you as a leader, you must prove to them they can survive and thrive even without you.
8. Be kind.
Always show kindness and attention to others. Your words might be filling the empty places in someone’s heart. It does not matter who is assigned to your team; what matters is who they will become because of you.
9. Provide opportunities for wins.
Create circumstances that give your people a series of small wins that will magnify their potential. When challenges are mastered and opportunities turn into wins, people admire the leader who has helped them stretch.

  1. Update your social media accounts

Decide which social media account(s) you are going to focus on, and delete any old accounts that you are no longer using. Make sure all of your information is complete and accurate. This will help you to build traffic to the networks you want to showcase your work. It can also remove any potential “questionable” content from years past that doesn’t have a positive effect on your professional image. 

Use a professional picture. Don’t take a ‘selfie’ in the bathroom and use it on your professional page.

2. Identify your area of expertise.

Everyone’s an expert at something – whether its writing about sports events, working out or marketing certain products or services. Is it time for you to experiment a bit more? What type of content have you created that your followers have responded to most? Can you replicate this with other similar content? The more unique and engaging content you create on your chosen topic of expertise, the more your followers will start to think of you as a leader in your chosen field. 

I know that it might seem like you’ll get three times the amount of business if you are promoting yourself as a Photographer/Realtor but the truth is the opposite. People want to work with those that specialise in what they are looking for. They want to see that you’re so good at what you do that you don’t have the time or the desire to do anything else.

3. Use Apps. They make posting easier.

Forgotten passwords, busy day jobs and content creation; maintaining an online presence can be time-consuming; but there are many social media apps at hand to make life easier. These apps connect to your social media networks and allow you to cross-post across different social networks and schedule posts, removing the need to login to multiple websites. Most major social media networks including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are compatible with these applications. Examples of these apps are sprout, buffer and Hootsuite.

4. Share Content On a Regular Basis.

In the early days of social media, the more you posted, the more engagement you could drum up. Today, however, over-posting leads to fatigue and annoyance. You want to keep the lines of communication open with your audience, but you also don’t want to over-share so much that you look desperate. The sweet spot is posting around 3-4 times per week for individuals.

There will be days when you don’t post, and that’s perfectly fine. Analyse the data associated with your posts and identify a pattern that works for you. If you’re having trouble finding content to share and want more insight into what’s popular among users, try searching via ‘hashtag’ on Twitter.

5. Create & Curate Engaging Content.

Creating engaging content means taking a fresh approach to the types of updates you share with your network. Don’t be afraid to occasionally talk about your own achievements, or even add engaging bits about your personal life (topics such as travel, hobbies, etc.are suitable). After all, social media is about individuals first. Sharing some of this information provides your audience with a glimpse of who you really are and what you’re about – just ensure you don’t over-share or make it all about you.

6. Import Your Contacts.

You might be amazed to see how many people you already know on the social media networks you’re using. There may be tens, or even hundreds, of people with whom you haven’t yet connected with. Import your email contacts from Gmail or Outlook, or contacts from your phonebook into your social networks to find out how many connections you’re missing. Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all allow for a free import of a certain number of contacts. 

7. Keep it Positive.

Think of your social media interactions and content creation as part of a resume of your work and a reflection of your professional attitude and overall personality. Avoid inflammatory religious or racial comments, and be careful when making political commentary that others may consider offensive.

8. Find & Join Groups.

Use the search bar on each network to find groups that are linked to your specific area of expertise, then you’ll be able to share your insights and build authority around your personal brand. Keep in mind that industry groups may be overcrowded with your competitors, so smaller, topic-based groups may be more fruitful in terms of reaching your audience. 

Once you’re a member of your preferred social media groups, don’t be afraid to jump into discussions and add your unique insights. Showing that you’re responsive will help you build your personal brand in larger communities beyond your own. 

9. Keep Your Brand Voice, Image & Tone Consistent

You’ve probably already figured out that sticking to your defined persona is important. You must also remain consistent with your ideas and the ways you present them so that you’re memorable and trustworthy. If a popular political commentator suddenly and radically switched parties, no doubt he or she would lose a lot of fans overnight.

Following your brand guidelines helps to control people’s perceptions. You can damage an otherwise flawless reputation if one of your profiles shows up with content or images that don’t match up with your brand’s voice.

10. Study influencers

Once you’ve found the top influencers in your area, analyse their networks, posting habits and content to determine what you could be doing better. Notice how their followers respond to what they post, and learn best practices from their personal branding strategies and execution. 

Connecting with and collaborating with influencers is a great way to get your brand known, but it does take some time. You have to spend time developing relationships with influencers before they’ll see you as an expert.

STEP UP WITH YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS!

Most of us have experienced dull, irrelevant, or confusing presentations.  But think back to the last really great presentation you saw – one that was informative, motivating and inspiring. Wouldn’t you love to be able to present like that? We share some insights on how you can improve;

1.All in the Preparation

Steve Jobs was an inspiring speaker. His speeches may have looked effortless, but, in reality, each one took days or weeks of preparation. Careful preparation is important. The amount of time you spend on planning depends on your situation, but it is really good to do it early as you can never be too well prepared. Proper preparation also helps you manage presentation nerves. When you know your content inside out, you are far less likely to feel nervous.

2.Check out the Equipment and Venue First

Imagine that your presentation starts in an hour. You arrive at the venue and, to your horror: the projector won’t work with your laptop! The slides you spent hours preparing are useless. This is a disaster!

You can avoid such a situation by taking time to familiarise yourself with the venue and available equipment at least the day before your presentation. Often, the sort of problems that can jeopardise your presentation will be situations beyond your control, but this does not mean that you are helpless. Conduct a risk analysis to identify potential issues, and come up with a good “plan b” for each one.

3.Your Presentation is for your Audience, not you!

Sometimes, speakers can get so wrapped up in delivering their presentations that they forget about the needs of their audience.

Start your presentation by telling your audience what to expect. Let them know what you will cover first, whether and when you will stop for a break, if you will be taking questions during the presentation and so on. Providing these ‘signposts’ up front will give your audience a clear idea of what to expect, so that they can relax and concentrate on your presentation.

4.Pitch your Content Accurately

The primary purpose of any presentation is to share information with others, so it is important to consider the level you will pitch it at.

Do some research on your audience. Why are they here? How much do they already know about your topic, and what do they most want to learn from you? It is no use giving a presentation that is so full of information that no one understands you. But you would also not want to patronise people either.You can also try to greet individuals as they arrive on the day, and ask questions to get a feel of their level of knowledge. This will also help you to personalise your presentation and make a connection with each person in your audience, so that they will be more attentive to what you say.

5.Keep it Simple

Short, concise presentations are often more powerful than wordy ones. Try to limit yourself to a few main points. If you get too long getting to your point, you risk losing your audience’s attention.

The average adult has a 15 to 20 minute attention span, so, if you want to keep your audience engaged, stick to the point!

For more on presentation skills or any other soft skill training please contact us on 0702 369224.

Servant leadership is one of this decade’s management buzz words, but what does it really mean? Take a look at some of the characteristic traits of a true servant leader:

Lead by example; Leaders who don’t walk the talk lose trust. If you want your team members to display certain behaviours, you need to display them first. You cannot ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. For example, if you expect your team to work late, do so as well. Showing your team that you are one of them and their equal in being responsible for outcomes will go a long way in building trust.

Over-communicate; Transparency builds trust. Secrets destroy it.

True leaders are direct and honest. And they communicate all the time. Lack of information creates assumptions that are usually negative or disruptive to team’s motivation and productivity. Err on the side of over-communicating, always.

People can smell you hiding something a mile away. If there is some information you can’t share with the team just yet, tell them what you can and show them you have got their backs. This is especially critical in the times of reorganisation or layoffs. Always follow the rule: “tell the truth, point to hope.”

Admit your mistakes and acknowledge your limitations; Publicly own up to your mistakes when you make them. Admitting you were wrong isn’t a sign of weakness, but strength. Acknowledge the mistakes and outline the new course.

No one knows everything. We all have our limitations. Build a team around you that complements you – and each other – in knowledge, skills-sets, and capabilities. Don’t try to do everything. Let your team members drive certain projects and outcomes. That will make them feel valued and will make you look good. But always have their back when something doesn’t go according to plan.

Keep your promises and stick to your commitments; No one trusts those who don’t keep their word. So keep your promises and, if you make a commitment, stick to it.

Every now and then, however, there are circumstances outside your control that might come into play. In those cases your team will understand, as long as you display this behaviour consistently in times when this doesn’t apply.

Trust your team;Hire the best and trust them to lead. Trust is a two-way street. If you don’t trust your team, they won’t trust you.

And always remember: take the blame, but give away the credit. Acknowledge people for their contributions. The more credit you give away, the more motivated your team will be able to move mountains for you. And when something goes wrong, acknowledge the fact that the mistake was made under your leadership and don’t throw your team under the bus.

Ask for feedback; No one is perfect. All of us learn as we go, even towards the end of our career. Ask your team for feedback: what you can be doing as a leader to help them be more productive, how you can improve their work environment, what process you can change for the whole team to be more effective, how you can better communicate with them, etc. And when the feedback is provided, accept it with grace and say “thank you.” It’s not easy to hear constructive feedback, but it helps you improve as a manager and as a professional.

Don’t play favourites;A double standard is the fastest way to trust deterioration. Playing favourites destroys strong teams. Don’t do it! Just don’t!

Treat everyone fairly; always treat everyone fairly. Have the same set of expectations for every team member and create team rules that you expect everyone to respect and follow, such as a “don’t gossip” rule, for example. Some leaders create the team rules collectively with their teams, ensuring that everyone agrees to uphold the same set of standards.

Setting clear expectations upfront, including clear roles and responsibilities, ensures that there are no surprises. This takes extra stress out of the daily routine. Each employee knows what they are expected to deliver and are not surprised during their performance review discussion.

Don’t gossip;Gossip kills trust. Effective leaders set – and follow – a rule of not discussing one team member with another behind his/her back.

Listen; Take the time to get to know every single member of your team.

Ask questions, consistently. And then listen. You will be surprised what you can learn if you keep quiet during discussions or meetings and just let others talk.

Act with consistency;Consistency is key to great leadership. Consistency of acts, behaviours, moods, expectations. I’ve worked for managers before who would be happy one day and infuriated the other, who would set out one path one day and totally change it the next day. This creates uncertainty, frustration, and distrust. I am not saying don’t pioneer change and stay agile. I am saying that whenever possible provide your team with unwavering support that they can rely on and a set of rules and expectations that will be their guiding star through good times and bad.

Put the success of the team before your own;When your team knows that you are in it for your own success, they won’t give you their best ever. Instead show them that you put them ahead of your own ambitions (or at a minimum let them in on your ambitions and give them a seat at the table in achieving them). And again, I can’t stress it enough: take the blame, give away the credit.

At the end of the day, success of your team is your success as well. The two go hand in hand. But in your desire to climb the corporate (or start-up) ladder, don’t leave behind or forget those who made it happen.

Trust leads to loyalty. And loyalty leads to people doing their best to deliver results for you and the company. To earn trust and respect you have to give trust and respect, as well as look out for your people. And if you do, there will be no limit to what you can achieve.

Is your team building objectives ticked off just once a year? Perhaps it is a “fun session” during the end of year retreat or perhaps a “fun day out” for the whole company to thank them for all their hard work. Whilst that is all well and good, team building should be a continuous focus, ensuring that your team are working together as productively and efficiently as they can throughout the year. Have you thought of giving your managers the skills to be able to instill team spirit, little and often with very little expense,Team building training is important for any business management to understand and to get the best from their team situation and it can be achieve with as little as 10 minutes a day. Through team building training and activities, team leaders will know and recognise potential, gifts and gaps of each employee hence know what duties to assign to each one of them.

Team building can work on all levels for all business sizes. By bringing people together and putting them into a situation or relaxed fun where they might rely on each other for support gives them a new perspective on colleagues and the company. It helps to foster better and open communication between the employees themselves, as well as between the employees and the higher management. It goes a long way in improving professional relations, understanding and co-operation, and this is very much reflected in the quality of work being done. Team building in the workplace significantly contributes towards employee motivation and building trust among the employees, thereby ensuring better productivity.

Remember, team leadership and team building go hand in hand. Successful team building in the workplace often translates into success for everyone. As the popular saying goes, “Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

Call Lantern Training on 0702 369224 to learn more about up-skilling your management team to build their own teams.

Did you know: Effective communication is really hard to do!

Communication is not just a simple exchange of information. So many things can go wrong and it’s important to really understand the emotions behind what you want to communicate, the reasons why you are communicating and what you want the outcome to be. It is also two way. You have to be a good speaker as well as a good listener and that’s not easy.

Good communication can greatly enhance your working relationships, and your job satisfaction. Over the next two weeks we are going to explore some of the common mistakes people make while communicating.

  1. Not Editing Your Work

Mistakes with spelling, tone, and grammar make you look careless. That’s why it’s essential to check all your emails, texts, reports or any written work before sending them.

  1. Delivering Bad News by Email

Written communication channels don’t allow you to soften difficult messages with nonverbal cues (such as ), and they don’t allow you to deal immediately with intense emotions. If you need to deliver bad news, do this in person, and think carefully about how you can do it sensitively, so that you can convey your message and at the same time minimise chances of upsetting someone

  1. Avoiding Difficult Conversations

At some point, you will need to give negative feedback. Preparation is the key to handling difficult conversations. Learn to give clear, actionable feedback. You may also want to role-play your conversation first, so that you feel confident in both your words and your body language.

  1. Not Being Assertive

Assertiveness  is about stating what you need, while considering the wants and needs of others. You may not always get your way when you’re assertive, but you stand a better chance of getting it, or of reaching a compromise, because you’ve been clear about your needs.

5.   Reacting, Not Responding

Have you ever shouted at a colleague in frustration, or sent a terse reply to an email, without thinking your point through? If so, you’re likely to have reacted emotionally, instead of responding calmly. This kind of emotional reaction can really affect how others think about you and potentially damage relationships. Always take a moment to reflect before you re

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Are you doing the right things at work? Are you prioritising the right things in life? Take a look at this favourite story about rocks, pebbles and sand or call us at Lantern Training (0706 596162) to learn more about time management training.