Stop, look, and listen to improve workplace

   Become more trustworthy.

Trust can't be built via memo or e-mail. It can't be legislated and it doesn't come automatically because of position or title. It is earned a day at a time by working face to face with our co-workers. Think about it; why do you trust your best friend or spouse? Probably because he or she listens to you, tells you the truth, cares about you, and has proven their dependability over time.

·        Listen more. Ever notice that the most influential, powerful people are often the best listeners? They don't push their opinions on us, expound endlessly or interrupt. By drawing out our feelings and ideas they affirm our self worth and win our admiration.

·        Involve others. In the search for employee commitment and loyalty we tend to overlook a simple truth: no one feels committed or loyal unless they feel like an important part of something they believe in. By involving those around you in meaningful decision-making they will become as vested as you are.

·        Share more information. Teach your employees the economics of your business. Meet regularly to share the numbers. Once they begin to understand the impact of things such as raw material costs, expenses, payroll, margins, and cash flow they will be better decision-makers. They will also feel like trusted, valued members of the business.

Develop yourself in new ways. Unfortunately, the more we're promoted, the less we think we have to learn. We're lulled by a false sense of importance that a big title bestows. If you adopt the same lust for learning that you had as an entry-level employee you will quickly learn how much more you have left to learn.

·        Have more fun at work. Hold your staff meeting in the park. Order pizzas to celebrate the end of a big project. Loosen up. Laugh. Enjoy one another's company as human beings.

·        Care about the needs of others while meeting your own. Your employee's have lives too. They haven't been put on this earth to serve your needs and pay homage to your personal goals. Plan ahead instead of regularly dumping work on them at the last minute. Treat them like a whole human being with friends and family and you'll be surprised by how much they will go out of their way for your needs.

·        Take into account the personal lives of others.

·        Think win/win.

·        Solicit more feedback and be open to it.

·        Share leadership with others.

·        Show appreciation and acknowledge good effort.

·        Praise any behavior that is heading in the right direction.

·        Lead by example.


Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616,, or 
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