TONIKA BRUCE

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leadership

How a Florida Nurse Got Her Life Back After Enduring Workplace Injury to Lead Successful Start-Up Ventures

Tonika Bruce lives in Tampa, Florida, and runs an innovative digital marketing agency with a global workforce.

Tonika Bruce is a nurse, business owner, and entrepreneur who overcame a workplace injury to build a thriving digital marketing agency.

She now shares how she went from being injured and unemployed to starting her company and leading start-up ventures in an inspiring story of resilience.

Fresh out of college at age 21, Tonika Bruce was an ambitious, talented and competitive visionary. It was this drive that has always fueled her success from the start. She had a successful basketball career and was ready to take on the business world.

Then one timely day, seeing an Ad for a $20/hour job marked the beginning of a successful journey for her in business. She applied for the position and got an invitation for an interview. That was the first time she came across the network marketing business model.

‘That day, I felt I’d seen what success looks like – wrapped in an expensive suit, with conviction in his voice, Alan could make people feel what he felt.’

The way Alan, the presenter at the interview, commanded the room and easily connected with the 50 people present became the inspiration she needed.
With conviction, she left the interview and purchased the required kit using her rent money to start her first sales job.

Even with zero sales background, she was committed to be the best. She modeled Alan and did a ton of research. Soon enough, she received an invitation to work with the company owner in Ft. Lauderdale.

In a few months of working in Ft. Lauderdale, Bruce had grown and was ready to move out and open her location in Dallas. She did, and expanded to eight more in just six months. At 23, she was generating a six figure income monthly.

The success here went down the drain after the economy took a hit during the 9/11 incident. Broke and broken, she had to start from scratch. She applied for jobs and worked in various industries to make a living, with coaching seemingly being the passion, but not necessarily what paid the bills.

After the passing of her grandmother, her path took a totally different direction into nursing. By this time, she had been in sales, coaching, public speaking and hospitality management.

During her time in nursing she thought she couldn’t rise up again. Shortly into the profession she encountered a severe injury that left her with a neuro deficit in the leg and foot. She couldn’t walk, bend, or sit down-that meant she couldn’t work.

Unable to work meant-reliance on workers’ compensation to make ends meet. For the next two years, Bruce struggled with the physical and emotional aftermath of her injury.

Her income dropped from six figures to less than the average household income. Although she faced loss before, the difference this time, she did not have the capacity to go out and take action.

Sometimes we just need to be shown what success looks like.

‘I had a patient who’d had surgery in both eyes and couldn’t see my face. She asked for my name. When I told her, she smiled, called me Dr. Bruce, then said I wouldn’t be a nurse for long. I was going to lead people and head a successful business that would grow internationally.’ – Tonika Bruce.

Between the injury, enduring workers compensation processes, and more than enough time in her hands, this became a blessing in disguise.

Bruce now leads several ventures and client portfolios worth greater than 3M+.

She was approached with another opportunity involving network marketing and went for it. From this, she began fine tuning and expanding her digital marketing agency, Lead Nicely, Inc, which has grown since to integrate people from across the globe.

The agency offers a full range of digital marketing services, including web design, logo design, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.

Not always encountering seamless transitions, Bruce witnessed firsthand the complexity of running on many automation tools as a digital marketer.
Some proved too complex to work with, and others didn’t integrate well. Most of all, some were too expensive for any small business.

With so many tools, products, and opinions out there, Bruce went through a lot of headache and frustrations, so instead of trying to add another organizational or productivity tool, she added a CRM Software that ties these operational services into a single automation solution.

For startup companies like the ones she serves, that cost snowballs rather quickly, hitting the roof in months.

Therefore, solving this became a requirement. That meant getting in the trenches and testing a combination of software that would work. The following few years this became her goal. She tried many tools that failed to meet the demands of her business cost-effectively. That’s until Phalera.

This is not just another CRM in the market; it is an innovative marketing solution designed with entrepreneurs in mind.

Like Tonika, many entrepreneurs would prefer not to have to log on to several tools to accomplish tasks daily. Phalera offers this reprieve-and she has already started rolling out the system with her clients.

Watch a demo of Phalera CRM in action.

Lead Nicely, Inc., is on a mission to help the often overlooked business markets build an online presence- professionals with start-up projects, non profits, small businesses, and companies that help or educate others.

In addition to running the agency, Bruce is also a best-selling author, nurse leader, business coach, mentor and serial entrepreneur. Her other ventures span coaching, fitness, and healthcare industries.

Bruce believes everyone has a specific purpose or mission to live up to; hers is to help people solve their problems, and this is the goal of Lead Nicely Inc.

Sign-up now: Get strategic about your career and business with Tonika Bruce’s exclusive coaching.

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financial strategies leadership

How Business Leaders Can Leverage Digital Transformation for Better ROI

How Business Leaders Can Leverage Digital Transformation for Better ROI

What comes to mind when you think of digital transformation? Is it automation or some realm of metaverse project management?

 

So what’s all the fuss about digital transformation, and why are all the companies, including SMBs, embracing such a revolution? You will understand the objective of digital transformation for businesses and how you can begin implementing it immediately in this post.

A Few Things to Consider

1. Consumer behavior is changing rapidly. Staying competitive requires knowing the ever-changing consumer dynamics and responding accordingly to satisfy customer needs. Knowing the ever-changing consumer needs accurately requires digital analytics and even predictive analytics. 

 

2. The most productive companies in terms of operations and revenue are the ones with the best communication. Efficient communication depends on having teams that communicate within a collaborative network, getting real-time feedback rather than working in a silo.

 

3. The most successful organizations in terms of ROI are the ones with products that address customer needs and pain points instead of creating products and then looking for the customers that need them. In other words, they look for unique problems in the market and then create products that solve these problems. 

 

4. Organizations that embrace an agile mindset succeed faster, and grow exponentially than organizations that fail to embrace it.

 

5. Regardless of size, and level of experience, the most successful firms are organizations that keep the best data and make the best use of these data in their decision-making.

Simple Ways To Adopt Digital Transformation

Simple Ways To Adopt Digital Transformation

1. Digitalize Customer Experience

It is needless to say that customers are always looking for improvements on products and services. Meeting these demands requires you to closely monitor them, know what they truly want, and understand them even much better. Simple ways you can digitize customer experience involve the use of Live Chats to facilitate real-time communication and also promote customer retention through relationship building. 

 

That’s not all, tracking the way clients interact with your business and how you manage the information associated with them is a great way to digitize customer service.

 

This is achievable with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. There’s no need to reinvent the wheels by hiring software developers. Tools like Hubspot and many more are great for managing customer data and even your sales pipeline.

2. Drive Performance Based On Data

What is not monitored can never be measured. When you don’t measure, you can’t tell how well you’re doing and you really cannot also tell which of your business activities are driving the best ROI. Business data analytics give you insight into which of your business activities to improve on and which ones lack the potential for profitability so you can focus resources on key business concerns.

3. Build Resilience Into Your Business Processes

Everything that happens within the scope of digital transformation is an opportunity for better performance. No surprise, the pandemic was even a big game-changer for some organizations regardless of their size. Building resilience involves leveraging technology that will enable you to continuously improve. This will also help you deploy regardless of your financial position and even when unprecedented circumstances such as during a pandemic hit.

How to Adopt Digital Transformation for Improved Efficiency & Profits in Your Business

To successfully adopt digital transformation, it must first be integrated into your business culture, and the ultimate goal should be towards creating a better customer experience and satisfying customer needs.

 

Doing this successfully starts with the mindset, and then this should be communicated to everyone in your organization. Digital transformation is not reserved for CEOs and top executives alone. It is for everyone contributing to the organization one way or the other regardless of what they’re doing. Importantly, it is common for organizations looking to adopt digital transformation to assume that digital transformation is only for engineering firms. 

 

But that’s not the case. Here are a few myths about digital transformation.

 

Myth 1: You need a large team of software engineers before you can start adopting digital transformation.

 

Myth 2: You need a large cloud infrastructure to start digitizing your business.

 

Myth 3: Digital transformation requires a fat budget.

 

The fact is that digital transformation involves majorly the inclusion of internet-based and digital-based tools to achieve operational efficiency, and ultimately business results. More importantly, most of these tools are cost-effective compared to the task they perform. For instance, if you need a solution to collaborate with your team members, set deadlines, organize projects, and set goals, tools like Teamwork, ClickUp, etc., have features that can achieve all that and you can start using them for free. 

 

Additionally, if you need analytics solutions to start monitoring behaviors on your website to get customer insights, tools like Google Analytics and many other web analytics tools can get that done for you. And you can get started for free. 

 

But there’s something to note, gaining access to these digital transformation tools requires that you position your business digitally. This means that your business must have an online presence, it must be integrated on the web and your customers too must have their online signature. That is, the series of events that take place from clients purchasing your business should easily happen online from the moment they found themselves on your website till the moment they eventually purchased from you. 

 

This positions you to be able to control the type of interaction they get when they engage with your brand online and how you react with them. You can categorize and personalize your prospects as well as their interactions with your website. With these, you can easily solve their problems and stay ahead of the competition. At the heart of the pandemic at the start of 2021, some businesses that embraced digital transformation reported record-high profits. 

 

Both small and large business owners, regardless of their niche, from restaurants, to service-based businesses experienced improved sales and became even more profitable. On the other hand, businesses that refused to adopt that transformation faced losses and some even went out of business. 

 

The essential point is that digital transformation can shield your business from unforeseen circumstances, enhance your speed, and efficiency, and ultimately enable you to engage in borderless business transactions and operational management.

Categories
leadership women leadership skills

The 10 Crucial Leadership Skills Today for Executives to Boost Their Career

The 10 Crucial Leadership Skills Today for Executives to Boost Their Career

With the race to become the best and high-performing businesses in the marketplace intensifies, recruiters are looking for qualified candidates who possess excellent leadership skills. It’s no wonder the need to hire MBA graduates for executive positions is rising among top companies.

Leadership skills is a topic widely covered by experts and amateurs alike- discussing the core competencies that differentiate leadership capacity, yet most continue to rely on familiar skills. 

Although it is critical to have a strong foundation in what you do best, leaders, even the most experienced, intentionally find ways to evolve by learning new skills and strategies to manage their people.

While leadership skills have been pretty standard over the years, the changing and fast-paced business world demands a fresh look at which skills are most valuable today.

  • What areas of development should new executives be working on to meet the demand of the modern marketplace?
  • How can these skills help aspiring leaders succeed in leadership positions?
  • What are the practical ways to develop or implement these skills in the workplace?

We explore these and more helpful insights in this article.

What Leadership Skills Mean for Business

They say that leadership is integral to success in any field or endeavor. It couldn’t be truer than in the realm of business. On point leadership skills are essential for generating successful outcomes in companies of all sizes.

Leaders set the tone for their organizations; they establish the culture and values that guide their employees’ behavior and decision-making.

Therefore, they play a central role in creating an organization that produces desired results.

Leadership plays a huge role in the growth and ensuring business thrive. At the heart of any venture is the human capital- the employees’ productivity directly impacts the profits realized.

Here are some recent statistics from Zippia that back up this: 

  • 79% of employees will quit due to a lack of appreciation from the leaders
  • 83% of organizations believe it is important to develop leadership at all company levels, but only 5% have implemented leadership development at all levels.
  • Only 10% of people are natural leaders
  • 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated.
  • Companies with employee engagement are 22% more profitable.

The statistics indicate the necessity of having solid leadership to drive change, team engagement and results. Leaders are in charge of creating cohesiveness in the different groups working in a company- when this is lacking, it gives rise to disengagement and high turnover of otherwise excellent talent. 

It is true that performance metrics vary among different work groups, such as baby boomers, 

Millennials, and Gen Zers, due to the inconsistency in people management skills. 69% of the largest group in the workforce currently, the millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000), say there is a lack of leadership development. 

This matters because of the critical connection between employee engagement in business and the KPIs- productivity, customer metrics, profitability, quality product, less absenteeism, and misappropriation of company resources. 

Leadership boosts employee performance, which makes everything better across all levels in the business.

On the sunny side, there is opportunity and strengths to build on. With more than 83% of businesses and recruiters realizing the need and benefit of building leaders, there is room for more leadership positions to take up. 

While only 10% are natural leaders, 20% have inherent abilities that need refining, and the rest can build capacity to lead through training and leadership programs to direct to the appropriate channels.

The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 found companies that take an inclusive approach to leadership training have 4.2 times more success than those that left this reserve only for the management groups.

That said, these are the most popular ways leaders want to learn:

  • External coaching 48%
  • Developmental assignments 48%
  • Assignments to diagnose leadership strengths 42%
  • Formal-in person training 39%

Source: DDI Leadership Forecast Survey

People who undertake leadership training that teaches practical leadership in addition to theory show a 25% increase in learning and 25% in performance. 

In-Demand Leadership Skills for Today's Executives

The key to success lies in understanding human nature. The need for divergent needs can be met with various means, from motivating and clarifying individuals down to managing them well to reach their full potential as members of your team or organization.

The performance of any group is strongly influenced by how each member feels and engages in the group. It takes refined skills in people management and adaptability to maximize these human desires for business performance.

1. Networking and Relationship Building

Based on the research by Gallup and others above, employee engagement is a top priority for the current workforce. Whether a leader is people-oriented or not, they will need this skill at least for the sole reason of creating good working relations.

The other reason why this skill ranks high is the modern workplace is increasingly getting complex and interconnected. They are expected to navigate these complex systems and build relationships with the people within them. 

Business management has become more about collaboration and consensus-building than it was in the past; to get things done, they must bring people together and build relationships of trust. 

Not to mention, the global economy has made the competition more intense than ever before. 

Today, leaders need to be able to develop strong relationships with allies and partners to create a competitive advantage. That means proactively networking online and offline.

Practical Ways to Cultivate Relationships

  • Be present and approachable. Employees and partners alike appreciate feeling like they can talk to you, confide in you, and come to you with questions or concerns. When you are regularly present and open to hearing what others have to say, it helps build trust and foster a more supportive working environment.
  • Make time for one-on-one interactions. Even if it is just for a quick catch-up chat or lunch meeting once in a while, taking the time to engage the team members on work progress and challenges.
  • Attend company events. It shows that you are interested in connecting with your employees and helps create a more enjoyable work environment. It also shows that you value their time outside of work hours.
  • Get involved in community outreach and industry initiatives. Industry events are a great way to connect with local leaders and organizations.
  • Team Building activities. Team building has always been a big part of most company cultures, but with mental illnesses on the rise and burnout, this has become just more urgent. As the leader, you get brownie points that strengthen your relationships. 

Related: 5 Questions to Assess Your Leadership Skills

2. Negotiation

The ability to negotiate is a plus that hiring managers and companies look for in executives in this competitive, globalized, and interconnected modern marketplace. 

Why? First, the globalization of markets has created new opportunities for companies to expand their operations overseas. However, these expansionary efforts often entail complex negotiations with local partners, government officials, and other stakeholders. Without solid negotiation skills, business leaders will find it tough to navigate these interactions.

Second, the accelerating pace of change in many industries means that businesses must constantly renegotiate agreements with suppliers, customers, and employees. Those who are adept at negotiating will be better able to protect their company.

Practical Ways to Negotiate Better

  • Model Trust. No matter the outcome in negotiations, trust makes the process smoother if the leader has a reputation for reliability. Trust also creates room for future possibilities of doing business.
  • Take the democracy approach. Offer options. When negotiating with employees or external groups giving choices shows a level of respect.

Related: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Trust

3. Ability to Train Others

83% of organizations believe it is important to develop leadership at all business unit levels. 

Modern organizations are looking for leaders who can also build more leaders to take charge and responsibility even in the small operational units. Training is an essential management skill that requires the leader to teach those under them, give constructive feedback, and motivate.

Practical ways to incorporate training in leadership

Encourage Them to Take on Responsibilities. One of the best ways to train someone in leadership skills is to encourage them to take on more responsibilities within the team. Give them small tasks or assignments at first and then gradually increase the scope and complexity of what they are responsible for. Handling more responsibility, they will naturally start to develop leadership qualities.

Provide Opportunities for Mentorship and Skill-Building. Another practical way to train someone for leadership is to provide opportunities. Offer challenges and contests.

4. Self-Awareness

One element of leadership excellence is having leaders who understand their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders need to know themselves before they can effectively lead others, so part of a core skill for executives should involve introspection and identifying areas where they need to improve.

Anthony Tjan sums self-awareness into three parts which everyone can borrow from-“know thyself, improve thyself and complement thyself.”

Practical Ways to Build Self-Awareness

  • Conduct an evaluation. While leaders carry out 360 performance evaluations on employees, the same can work wonders in helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take notes. Journaling is a loved practice among mindfulness groups, but it can also be an easy way to track your growth and increase self-awareness. The founder of WP Beginner, Balkhi, suggests using an app such as Roam Research to take notes.

5. Agility

In business, agility is incredibly beneficial because it allows organizations to adapt fast to changes in the market. For example, if a competitor introduces a new product, an agile organization will be able to quickly develop a similar product and release it to the market. 

The pandemic proved the necessity of agility as a skill. The modern business executive needs to be this sharp.

Practical Ways to Be Agile

  • Try Out Ideas. One way is to be open to change and experiment with new ideas. 
  • Be organized. Another way is to stay organized and efficient so that the leader can make changes quickly without causing disruptions. 
  • Anticipate. Lastly, be proactive and anticipate changes in the market to adjustments well before they are needed.

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6. Innovation

The need for creativity and innovation is increasing, meaning corporate leaders will have a greater responsibility in these areas. They must use their leadership skills to harness the power of innovation, or they will be left behind when other companies catch up with them.

Apple has been able to stay in business for a long time despite newer and cheaper gadget inventions because of innovation.

By making innovations to their products with users in mind, the company provides more user-friendly gadgets with functionality and security, features customers are willing to pay for despite the price. 

Practical Ways to Develop Creativity and Innovation Skills

  • Read widely. This is a no-brainer. Innovators are diligent researchers. Read leadership books to gather insights and thought processes of skilled leaders and innovators in the business world.
  • Create time to be alone with your thoughts. Innovators are also think tanks. Schedule time daily to reflect and organize your thoughts, ideas, and goals for projects.
  • Listen to your team. Creative ideas do not always come from leaders. Apart from getting feedback on your performance and improvement areas as a leader, employee feedback is a hub of innovative ideas.

Related: 7 Recommended Books on Entrepreneurship.

7. Adaptability

Adapting to new situations allows organizations to succeed in an ever-changing landscape.

Adaptability is the ability to change and adjust to new circumstances. But when it comes to leadership, it goes deeper than that. Adaptable leaders can change their behavior and approach, while inspiring and motivating others to do the same. They can see opportunities in change and are adept at driving organizational transformations.

Practical Ways to Be a Change Agent

  • Stay Up to Date With What is New. New tools and techniques are always coming out, but you cannot keep up if your skills do not evolve. Research anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsure of its impact on the company.

8. Diversity Management

The global economy is a considerable part of today’s business world, and as such, diversity management and cultural intelligence have become even more relevant to employers. 

Remote and hybrid work environments are now the norm leaders have to operate. With the constant need for collaboration with peers from all over the globe – this managerial skill will be crucial in helping business executives succeed at their job!

Practical Ways to Manage Diversity

  • Learn. Make a point to learn about other cultures represented on your team. Understand these cultures instead of making assumptions about what they are like based on your own experiences.
  • Be open-minded and respectful of different cultures. When interacting with people from other cultures, be respectful of their traditions and values, even if they differ from your own. 
  • Acknowledge personal cultural biases and assumptions.

9. Delegation

Efficient leaders know that delegation is an essential part of their job.

It does not mean offloading work so they can have less stress as a leader-it means building skills for those who might one day become future leaders in the company! It’s also assigning tasks to people who are best suited for them. That builds their skills and potential to become future leaders! 

Delegation is a core competency for leaders because it means distributing work to maximize efficiency while focusing on other pressing issues.

Practical Ways to Delegate Well

  • Ask for volunteers. From time to time, add tasks and have members pick what they want to work on- they are more likely to select according to their strengths.
  • Review. After completion, take time to review and give feedback.
  • Assign. Assign tasks based on skills and set concise instructions on requirements, KPIs, and deadlines.

10. Result-Driven

Top executive positions require leaders that can multitask and still produce results. With this in mind, the modern-day executive needs focus and prioritization to know the activities with the most impact on the organization to direct efforts on and make sure they are strategies that will lead towards success.

Practical Activities That Increase Output

  • Time management. Envision goals to prioritize the order of accomplishment.
  • Organization. Cut back on time and increase output with savvy organization skills. Use apps and software to automate most of the administrative tasks.

In Conclusion

The skills that made someone a great leader in the past may not be as relevant now.

To thrive in this new business landscape, executives need to assess their skills and adopt relevant ones to take their executive game up a notch.

Here are our favorite takeaways that you should note if you want to boost your career.

1) Continuous Learning – The modern business world is constantly changing for leaders to stay ahead of the curve by learning new things consistently. It could mean reading industry journals, taking online courses, or attending conferences.

2) Adaptability – As the saying goes, “the only constant is change.” Every business has to transform through innovative ideas. Being adaptable will be the most valuable skill to take the team and business to higher levels.

Are there any other skills or areas of leadership you find most challenging to master? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories
leadership

Business Leadership Watch

Business Leadership Watch

The Business Leadership Watch is a series that features leaders from different industries, their journeys, insights, and advice for our professional community.

In this edition of the Business Leadership Watch, we interviewed Ms. Sara Valderrama, the head of Talent Acquisition Operations at CITY Furniture. Ms. Valderrama’s journey is one of resilience in the face of adversity, and her insights provide valuable lessons to young professionals on finding and scaling their careers.

Sara Valderrama

Sara Valderrama

Talent Acquisition Operations Manager

Sara Valderrama was born and raised in Ecuador. She attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, where she graduated with a Medical Laboratory Technology degree. After which, she moved to Houston, TX, and then in 1999 to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she has been living ever since. Ms. Valderrama started her career at CITY Furniture 15 years ago, where she has seen her professional career grow steadily with hard work and dedication. She has held different positions during her long tenure, from Instructional Designer to Learning & Development Manager, to Recruiting Manager, and now as the Talent Acquisition Operations Manager. 

One of the most prominent company cultures at CITY Furniture is family- a value honed through the keen development of talent. As one employee that has benefited from immense growth at the company, Valderrama shares her lifelong habit of learning and personal development through mentoring the team under her wing.

Sara is passionate about helping others achieve their highest potential, either through pairing them up with the right job or coaching them to thrive in their existing roles. An avid learner, Sara enjoys reading and staying on top of current trends in her line of work and is always willing to jump on new challenges. 

1Evolution is a central part of any successful business or leader- they must adapt and change to survive and thrive in the ever-changing marketplace. How have you seen your business evolve in time? What informed these changes and growth?

One of the most important skills anyone can have is adaptability to different circumstances. You can plan every detail of how you want something to play out, and life throws you a curveball, and your plans will mean nothing. 

So, what do you do then? You breathe, rest, analyze, and change the method, never the goal.

That has been my process- keeping the eye on the prize while finding new strategies.

We just saw it when a pandemic hit us, and we all had to modify our lives, work, activities, lifestyles, etc. 

The hiring market changed drastically in a matter of weeks. We went from millions unemployed to a battle for talent, forcing businesses to step up to provide better salaries, benefits, perks, work/life balance to attract candidates. It became a candidate’s market. I don’t remember seeing that in my almost 30 years of living in the US. 

CITY Furniture started a transformation journey 15 years ago, creating a solid foundation with standardized processes, teamwork, problem solving mentality, and great leadership that was key to grow and expand our business despite the circumstances. 

2. How has your leadership style evolved?

I think the first leadership role I had was the hardest. 

The transition from a peer to a leader can be very challenging. I wanted to solve everyone’s problems to show I was a good leader. In time, I realized that the best I could do for my team was teach them to solve problems. 

Encouraging continuous learning is the only way to create a strong team. 

I want to create a team so strong that no one knows who the leader is- I read this somewhere, and it resonated so much with me that I am applying it with my own team.

3. What are the biggest challenges, as a Latina businesswoman, you’ve faced running or starting your business, and how did you overcome them?

Generally, as an immigrant, the biggest challenge was adapting to a new culture, new job, new way of living away from family and friends. I had to learn a new language, a new system, and a new career. 

I had previously owned and managed my own businesses, but they were in a completely different field and country. However, the core values stayed the same: keep learning, better yourself, find a mentor, be open to feedback, and remember your why!

My children have been my biggest motivation and cheerleaders. I had no other choice but to do well on whatever I was doing because they were watching, they still are.

4. What lessons have you learned that you can share with other entrepreneurs and business leaders?

  • Sometimes not getting what you want is the best thing that can happen to you. 
  • Remind yourself every day why you do what you do.
  • You are responsible for your own development.
  • Find the lesson on everything and use that knowledge to move forward.
  • Whatever you do, do it with passion- you never know who’s watching and can offer you an opportunity
  • Success is different for everyone; define what it means to you and work towards that, not anyone else’s image of it

5. In what ways do you think your company culture contributes to success?

Having a culture where your opinions and suggestions are not only valued but are also encouraged definitely helps teams to be stronger. A thousand minds are smarter than one. 

A safe, collaborative, and respectful environment is what makes a team successful.

6.What automation tool or software do you use that has immensely improved your productivity and operations?

Technology is imperative in this ever-changing market to speed up processes and save time. We have been using AI for a while now to communicate with candidates 24/7, pre-screen them, provide information, and even schedule interviews. Candidates can either access it through our web page or through text messages. Our virtual Recruiting assistant has been trained to answer many questions regarding open positions, hiring processes, benefits, and other general inquiries candidates may have. 

7. Today running a business has shifted almost completely digital, and more digital changes are underway with the metaverse talk. Do you think metaverse marketing will give companies an edge in the current market?

Yes- and in employee management, hiring, training, and running teams remotely will be very beneficial in solving the trend of more employees preferring to work remotely or in hybrid work environments.

8. How do you see your industry unfolding in the future? Trends for businesses in this niche to brace for?

The Talent Acquisition industry has evolved and totally transformed in the past two years. It was eye opening for some, a surprise for many, and still for others, a confirmation of what we knew needed to happen. 

Companies realized HR is crucial for every organization, that candidates now have options, that many will not go back to traditional jobs because they were forced to become entrepreneurs and realized they liked it. That work/life balance is more important than ever, and remote work is here for the foreseeable future. 

Organizations will have to adapt to these new demands and treat candidates as they would their customers, finding ways to make the hiring process easier, faster, and more efficient. Talent Acquisition teams now need to evaluate their sourcing strategies, application processes and approach, etc. We no longer have the luxury of choosing from hundreds of applicants; we have to go after them. We have to “sell” our positions. 

Support from hiring managers, Associates, and the company leaders is necessary. Everyone should become a Recruiter for their companies. 

9. What impact do you hope to make in your industry or community?

I don’t have a strategy to become rich overnight, nor a step by step plan on how to become a CEO or own a multimillion company. However, I have experience overcoming obstacles, resilience, rebuilding myself after every challenge, and finding purpose in everything I do. 

It may not be very business-like, but I want to be an example of continuous improvement for my children and those around me. I want to be better than I was the day before; and inspire other women to follow their dreams, be themselves, be bold, and support each other.

10. How have you managed fundamental growth while maintaining a quality product or service offering? What advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to achieve similar success, especially online?

Set clear expectations and measure the right performance indicators. Setting standards to ensure everyone follows processes the same way to minimize or eliminate mistakes; establishing checks and balances throughout the process to catch defects early and ensure quality of the final product. 

It may seem like it takes too much time, but it really is an investment to maintain and even improve the quality of your processes. 

11. What informs your discipline in business? Take the readers through behind-the-scenes on your typical workday.

  • My day usually starts at 7am. I am not a morning person, so that is already a challenge.
  • By 7:30am, I am drinking coffee and having breakfast- that is the most important meal for me. 
  • By 7:45am, I am already checking my calendar for the day and reading emails.
  • Usually end my work day by 5:30pm. Take a break to eat something, go for a walk, catch up on social media and then get back to work on my future business adventure for a couple more hours. I am educating myself, learning new things, and working on my retirement plan. 

I am extremely punctual and try to be as efficient as possible with my time, but flexible enough to welcome some necessary interruptions to assist anyone in need. 

12. What advice do you wish you had before or during the early stages of your business?

Your college degree is not a life sentence. You do not have to do what you thought you would for the rest of your life. Don’t be afraid to change your path.

13. Do you feel the Latin culture is better prepared for business innovation? Why or why not?

Definitely. The minorities have seen great advancements in the past few years. More and more Latinos are getting access to higher education and opportunities. 

We are introducing our culture in different areas: music, art, business, fashion, etc. We are networking; we are on social media, movies, sports. This is a movement now, but it will be an everyday thing very soon. 

14. What quote or lesson resonates most with your work ethic or personality that you wish others would also live by?

  • Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. 
  • Do the best you can with what you have, and then do better. 

15. If you were to write a book about your life, what would it be titled or subtitled?

  • Chronicles of a single Latin mom’s life. A survival guide.

16. Lastly, let’s have some fun. Everyone would be so much calmer in life if they just ate more Bolones (mashed plantain with chicharron). This will definitely keep me happy, maybe not that healthy, but definitely happy. 😊

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leadership

Business Leadership Watch

Business Leadership Watch

The Business Leadership Watch is a series that features leaders from different industries, their journeys, insights, and advice for our professional community.

In this edition of the Business Leadership Watch, we interviewed Ms. Michelle Tovar, founder of Practical Life Parenting, a parent life coaching brand. Follow Ms. Tovar’s entrepreneurial journey of turning her professional skill into a successful business and the invaluable lessons she gleaned.

Michelle Tovar

Michelle Tovar

Parent Life Coach

Michelle Tovar is a certified parent life coach and founder of Practical Life Parenting, a coaching platform helping parents learn a fresh perspective of empowerment for emotional intelligence and non-violent communication for all family members. Her coaching business helps parents build a deeper and long-lasting connection with their children while unleashing residuals from their childhood.

As a mom of 3 boys, Tovar understands the daily challenges of parenting children of different developmental stages. Tovar has over 22 years of experience teaching at Montessori schools ages 2-12 in NYC and the Tampa Bay Area. Along with Montessori, teaching, and ESE credentials, she is also a certified parent coach through the Jai Institute for Parenting.

With this practical life experience and an impressive educational and teaching background, Ms. Tovar brings an actionable road map. 

In her parent-centric program, she guides clients to discover a new path to parenting by walking with them into the “weight” of their past so that they can intentionally show up for their children each day.

As a Montessorian, she has cleverly translated the four specific components children learn into practical parenting that she coaches. Thus connecting children’s developmental experiences and how parents can use them for better parenting.

Her choice of the business name reflects the practicality of her strategies in transforming parenting.

1. What led you to start your business? What makes it unique?

My family is full of educators and entrepreneurs both in Colombia and the states. My grandfather was the owner of a very well established rice factory in Barranquilla, Colombia. My parents worked so hard to make a new life for us in this country. My dad was always self-employed, and my mom a teacher and caregiver. I guess it was inevitable that I would eventually start my own business because of the work ethic they instilled in me.

Throughout my years of teaching, I discovered that many parents need support and guidance with their children at home. I would spend a lot of my parent-teacher conferences discussing parenting issues. It became clear to me that I wanted to be the person to provide strategies, tips, and support to parents that were frustrated and overwhelmed. What makes my business unique is that I am not only relatable to my clients because of my life experience, but I also have a lot of experience working with children of all ages as a Montessori teacher for over 22 years.

2. Evolution is a key part of any successful business- it must adapt and change to survive and thrive in the ever-changing marketplace. How have you seen your business evolve in time? What informed these changes and growth?

My business was thriving in just the short few months of completing my parent coaching certification. But what propelled growth over the years are the changing mindsets. My clients see transforming their relationships with their children as an investment for now and the future. That has really seen an upward trend in my coaching program.

As parents, we do our best to provide the extra stuff for our children, such as dance classes, basketball, and summer vacations, but honestly, the best gift you could ever give your child(ren) is investing in yourself to work towards being the parent you want to be. 

To be the parent that chooses to raise children free of threats and fear-based consequences.

3. What are the biggest challenges, as a Latina businesswoman, you’ve faced running or starting your business, and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I face as a Latina businesswoman is helping my community push back against cultural norms and encouraging Hispanic and Latino parents to take a more modern approach to raising their children. It is challenging to break the generational patterns of our children growing up thinking respect equals obedience when respect is just something we need to be demonstrating and modeling. The challenge is helping them understand that there is another parenting model. Even though you were raised in a more dominant parenting model and feel you turned out ok, it does not mean it’s the best option for you to parent the next generation.

4. How has your leadership style evolved?

I would say my superpower is that I am a great listener. So, I let my clients take the lead by being their sounding board. I provide a safe platform for my client’s to be seen, heard, and validated. I illuminate the dots for them to see a path towards clearing some limiting beliefs and replacing them with more conscious practices. I help them build the type of relationship they want with their children. It is rewarding to witness the shifts my clients make in their parenting.

5. What lessons have you learned that you can share with other entrepreneurs and business leaders?

As a business leader, mindset is everything! Clear out the clutter that is causing you self-doubt, fear of failure, or being judged by others. Make room for what will fuel your next big thing. I would also say that self-care is crucial and finding the people to support your growth. Lastly, you will make mistakes, and that’s ok, so you might as well get used to trying different things to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Make a plan and work on it with your vision always in mind!

6. In what ways do you think your company culture contributes to success?

Support and collaboration equals results.

Parenting is really hard! Many feelings come up when your child shows “big” behaviors. Many parents fear losing control, failure, shame, or embarrassment. I think my business culture is not only supportive, but provides a road map for my clients on their parenting journey. I help them step out of the old dominant parenting style and into a more conscious parenting model rooted in emotionally healthy habits, cooperation, trust, and connection. By understanding the latest brain, nervous, and attachment science, my clients gain knowledge of child development and how their role as a parent impacts their child.

7. What impact do you hope to make in your industry or community?

To see more thriving and holistic families in our communities through my programs.

I hope that having a parent coach will become the norm. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an accountability partner during your parenting journey. Just as one would get a business coach or health coach to achieve goals in these areas, a parenting coach will get you where you want to be when parenting.

8. What informs your discipline in business? Take the readers through behind-the-scenes on your typical workday.

Scheduling creates a balance between work and my family.

On a typical workday, you will find me on calls with my clients coaching and supporting them on their parenting journey. In between those calls, I will be preparing for upcoming “talks” and “workshops” along with marketing my business. My afternoons are about shuttling my children to and from. I am blessed to have the ability to create the schedule and workload that I feel fits best into my family life.

9. How do you see your industry unfolding in the future? Trends for businesses in this niche to brace for?

The parent coaching industry is still in its early stages, so we can expect to see more changes and innovations in the years ahead.

As humans, social interaction is essential to every aspect of our health. Research shows that having a strong support network or community bonds fosters emotional and physical health and is critical to adult life. Parent coaching is a powerful resource that helps families thrive.

Parents are becoming more interested in seeking out coaching services to help them deal with the demands of parenting and their childhood issues that affect how they parent.

That implies an increasing demand for services that focus on positive reinforcement and services that cater to families with special needs children.

For me, capitalizing on this by meeting with my clients each week allows me to customize the program and approach their specific concerns better. I help my clients learn nonviolent communication tools to deepen their family relationships. The parent coaching industry provides the framework to receive the support needed and build emotional intelligence for all family members.

10. What quote or lesson resonates most with your work ethic or personality that you wish others would also live by?

One of my favorite quotes is:

 “I define connection as the energy existing between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

by Brené Brown

11. If you were to write a book about your life, what would it be titled? Subtitled?

If I were to write a book about my life, I would title it “Empowered Authenticity”

12. Lastly, let’s have some fun. Everyone would be so much calmer in life if they just ate more Sancocho (a hearty soup made with meat, root vegetables, and traditional broth & herbs.) This stew and its aroma is my comfort food- it is a reminder of my childhood, and my safe place. It warms my entire body and brings me peace and safety

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leadership

Top 7 Personal Development Practices That Every Leader Must Adopt

Top 7 Personal Development Practices That Every Leader Must Adopt

The role personal development plays in building leaders cannot be overemphasized. It’s the key to being different from other leaders. And it’s the bridge that connects you and your goals faster. As an individual, personal development can help you reach the next leave in your workplace.

 

Investing in personal growth and development will help you identify your leadership potential. It will also assist you in making difficult choices for success, teach leadership essentials and plan your personal growth.

 

However, before you can be consistent in developing yourself personally, you need to have a clear plan that you can stick to. You must know the exact personal development practices that will build on leadership capacity.

 

Check out the top seven personal development practices you must learn to become a successful leader.

top seven personal development practices

1. Always Improve Self-Awareness

Emotional intelligence is the ability of individuals to acknowledge their own emotions, that of others, distinguish between various emotions, and sort them correctly. The ability to use emotional intelligence to act, think and manage emotions to achieve goals or adjust to the environment is one of the core skills of a leader.

 

Emotional intelligence falls into self-management, relationship management, self-awareness, and social awareness categories of personal development. Panic is transmittable and creates unstable environments. However, so are confidence, calmness, and communication, which create a positive environment.

2. Improve Communication Techniques and Styles

The virtual world we currently live in has made communication difficult. The existing silos have become more pronounced and thus have put a strain on the flow of information, relationships, and the ability to do regular functions like reading body language during communication. 

 

Leaders need to learn how to communicate right and adequately. It doesn’t mean you should start adding more zoom meetings to your already tight schedule. However, it means that even with the existing virtual meetings you have with your team members, always ensure that the goals and objectives are time-bound, crystal clear, quantifiable, and accurate. 

 

Set definitive and achievable standards for adequate virtual meeting formalities. You must also ensure that each team member is adequately clear about their role in every project your organization works on. As a leader, always remember that communication is never enough. So, never imagine you have done enough.

3. Learn to Show Empathy

Empathy will always be a core leadership skill. It is crucial for building meaningful work relationships, connecting with employees, enhancing engagement, improving the capability to inspire employees significantly, and providing feedback effectively. In this world of remote working and virtual teams, empathy is vital for associating with each member’s situation they face working from home.

4. Advance Skills in Motivating Yourself And Others

Your employees’ talents are not enough to drive productivity and high performance- they need motivation. Every team, athletic or business, requires inspiration and cheering from time to time. As the coach, you must first learn to motivate yourself before coaching your employees in self-motivation. 

5. Invest in Coaching And Mentorship

Successful leaders never get tired of learning. They strive to become a better version of themselves. They look for open and honest feedback. As a leader, continuous learning should be at the top of your priorities. To do this effectively, ensure you have accountability techniques and channels to improve yourself. 

 

Identify coaches and mentors that will prepare you for the current and next stage of leadership. Also, read books that teach the qualities of a leader.

If you want to become a better leader, you have to arm yourself with tools that make you one.

6. Enhance Change Leadership Ability

Although change leadership is crucial for leading any team, it is one of the most challenging aspects of being an executive or business leader. Business excellence comes with the transformation and adoption of new strategies. These come as the system, team, or business processes change. Through all these disruptions, you will need to be at the core of helping everyone transition with the business. 

 

That said, you must learn how to handle change. Consider leadership training and books on change management as early as you step into the leadership position. 

7. Control Anxiety Through Improved Wellness Activities

Do leaders need wellness training? Absolutely. Leading a group of people requires inner strength and peace.

 

As a leader, you should take your health and wellness seriously. Keeping your mind and body in perfect shape is crucial if you want to lead in any environment. It is far more tedious to guide your team through uncertainties and problems if you don’t have the needed focus and energy. Ensure you make time for meditation, healthy eating, fitness, reading, more sleep, and reflection. 

Final Thoughts

As a leader, you must take ownership of your personal development and growth. Personal development will ensure you are constantly in a state of improvement. It will also save you a lot of time because the better you become, the easier achieving your goals will become. One of the best forms of personal development is investing in yourself. 

 

As a leader, you can’t afford to stop learning. You need to invest in yourself to create a successful business and workplace. 

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leadership

How To Delegate Tasks Effectively To Your Team: The Do’s and Don’ts of Delegation

How To Delegate Tasks Effectively To Your Team: The Do’s and Don’ts of Delegation

Are You a Leader Who Suffers Burnout?

 

If you feel like you are always taking on too much responsibility or that your team isn’t meeting your expectations, maybe it is time to learn delegation

Delegating tasks

Delegating tasks is crucial in an organization. As a leader, you can’t do everything by yourself. You should delegate tasks to build trust, empower your employees and also help with developing them professionally. And as a leader, delegating tasks allows you to know where the strengths and weaknesses of your employees lie. However, many leaders either don’t want to delegate tasks for several reasons or don’t know how to delegate tasks efficiently. 

 

A 2013 survey by Stanford University revealed that 35% of leaders admit that they need to improve their delegation skills. Another 37% disclosed that they are actively working to improve their delegation skills. This shows that delegating tasks is a vital management skill every leader should have. In this article, you will learn tested and proven tips on delegating tasks to the right team members in your organization.

tips to delegate tasks effectively

1. Choose The Right Person For The Task

One of the core skills of a good and successful leader is knowing your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. You must also understand their preferences. For example, you should avoid giving group tasks to an employee that likes to work alone and vice versa. This is because the person won’t be fully productive if they execute tasks not suited to their preferences and strengths. 

 

To know the preferences of your team members, collate all the tasks you want to delegate and ask them to choose. The ones your team members willingly pick are likely where they will perform excellently well. Use this profile to delegate tasks. Doing this will also encourage engagement and build trust among your employees.

2. Clearly Define The Outcome You Desire

You haven’t delegated tasks if you haven’t defined the desired outcome. What you assign to your team members should have proper context. The assignment should connect to the company’s goals. There are several factors to put into place before your team members start executing tasks. 

 

These factors include your employee’s deliverables, timeframes, milestones, and the things you would consider to measure the success of their output (KPIs). 

Another thing you must avoid is micromanaging and looking for perfection. This is because your employees can complete projects differently than you have desired. So, keep an open mind on the creativity of the final output.

3. Provide The Right Resources And Training

One of your roles as a good leader is to provide the right resources your employees need to complete a task. Giving your team members complex projects without the tools and resources will discourage them and frustrate you, the leader. 

 

So, ensure that your employees have the proper skills and tools to execute any task you give to them. You can also provide training so that they can hone those skills. For instance, if your employees are using a particular tool for the first time, ensure that they are familiar with it before they begin the task.

 

The best way to provide the proper resources is to tell your team members the step-by-step guide to how you would execute the task. This will act as their guideline for implementing projects the way you desire. 

4. Establish an Open And Clear Communication Channel

Establishing an open communication channel is crucial in delegation. Doing this will let them have access to you at any time in case they have any questions. They will also be able to provide progress updates at intervals. 

 

However, ensure you are not micromanaging. 

 

The communication channel should strictly be for the employees. You can monitor the progress without getting in the way of the employee. Let them know you are available for questions if they are confused about anything. And ask for reports at different times before the deadline of the task.

5. Deliver and Ask For Feedback

Don’t be the leader who delegates tasks to their employees and then blames them if anything goes wrong. The general rule for project feedback is to do it after the delegated tasks are complete. Also, always offer constructive criticism if it has not been accomplished as required. This will help your team members to avoid those mistakes in case of future tasks.

 

You must also thank them and give positive feedback if the task is done well. This will encourage trust and reward areas of the brain so they can do better when you delegate the next project. 

 

The other side of this is employee evaluation of your leadership on the project. You should also ask your employees if they have any feedback to give to you. One aspect to consider in this review is to ask them if the instructions were concise enough. Also, get their opinions on how you can delegate better next time you assign tasks for a new project. This will help you learn and improve.

Final Thoughts

Most leaders suffer burnout. But, delegation is the solution. You will become a better leader when you start delegating the right employees to the right tasks and responsibilities. 

 

Yet, delegating tasks and getting them correct is not an easy job. It’s a skill you have to practice and hone with time.  

 

One of the best ways to hone your delegation skills is by taking training courses in business and management. 

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leadership

The Ultimate Salary Negotiation Tips for Employers

The Ultimate Salary Negotiation Tips for Employers

Imagine interviewing a potential employee with everything you need to scale up. You also have the right workplace and environment that encourages growth and talent. However, you lost them because you couldn’t negotiate a fair salary for them. The pain is even greater in real-life scenarios. 

Without a doubt, this is a real-life issue. Negotiating salaries rightly is one of the top problems all employers worldwide face. It is even worse for people that have never done it before. Knowing how to negotiate salaries is a core leadership skill. Every manager can learn and hone this skill with the right strategies. 

Check out these reliable ideas that would make you an expert in negotiating salaries with your prospects.

Be Aware of Your Industry Standards

Before interviewing a prospective candidate for a position, collate information on the pay range for such job roles in your field. Ensure you also know the experience levels attached to those salaries. This is one of the best ways to decide on how to negotiate the salary with your potential employees.

Candidates with more experience in that position may likely want more salary when compared to candidates with little or no experience in their respective careers. Another important aspect is to research your core competitors. More so if they are hiring for the same roles and also perform market research.

Industry Standards

Check job postings of similar roles and see how the salary range you decide on fares. To be sure you are doing the research the right way, search for job postings in your geographic location. 

Also, look for incentives you can add to your salary package that will interest prospects. These include travel stipends, healthcare, bonuses, retirement plans, benefits, etc. Again, the idea is to create a salary package that will make you and the prospect happy. And having all this information and data will ensure you are ready to negotiate an acceptable salary range with your employees. 

Lead others across all levels when it comes to leadership, communication skills, and self-awareness: The Impactful Leader

Understand and Amplify Your Company's Benefits

advantage

One of the most reliable ways to negotiate better is by starting with what you’re worth. 

Negotiation skills are essential to getting the best out of your employees, and salary is one area you should consider starting high. Listing what benefits will be available in return for working with you can go a long way towards winning over potential candidates – who doesn’t want more time off or better health insurance?

Prospective candidates are likely to adjust their salary expectations to meet yours if the perks and benefits are worth it. These benefits can include tuition remuneration, medical insurance, flexible workdays, development opportunities, paid leave, etc. 

Here is a pro tip: publicize the benefits prospective employees will enjoy when they work for your company. This can even be part of a publicity or marketing strategy. It pays to be proud and loud about these perks. 

Related: Challenges of Managing Virtual Teams and Their Solutions

Never Start Salary Negotiations with Your Best Offer

Many employers make the mistake of leading with their best offer. It will be impossible to get the employees to accept your offer if they want more. If you open talks with $70,000 for an open role, most employees will believe that’s your starting offer. So, even if this is fair and within industry standards, they would want to ask for more. 

Also, if you can’t increase the offer if they ask for a raise, they might interpret it as you not having an interest in employing them in the first place. The solution is to start with a particular amount. 

Doing this will make prospects make their salary expectation flexible. They will also understand what a reasonable salary range is. You will also have an edge to control the negotiating process by influencing their expectation by giving the first offer. That is known as anchoring. So, if they ask for a raise, it will most likely fall within your salary range. You might even save some money with this approach. 

Related: How You Can Improve Your Team’s Productivity

Always Anticipate a Counter Offer

You must always anticipate a counter from your prospective candidates as an employer. It is not unusual for them to ask for a better salary and benefits than what you offer. They want to ensure they are appreciated as they deserve to be. 

Please, don’t see a counteroffer as a lack of interest or disrespect. You can even use this counteroffer to understand your prospect’s needs and wants. This information will help you curate a combination of attractive salary and perks packages they will mostly accept. 

A reasonable and reliable approach is to start the negotiations by offering slightly lower than what you are willing to pay. Then adjust until both of you meet at a common ground.

Final Thoughts

If you follow these tips, you will improve your salary negotiation processes with potential employees. If you have reached your offer limit, let your candidate know. That will eliminate the prospect of both of you wasting time. Give them ample time to think about your offer.

Tonika Bruce is a leadership coach and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. Learn the basics of leadership and get started on your career in a new direction. For in-depth training with personalized coaching programs: Book an appointment.

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leadership

The Leader’s Path to Personal Growth

The Leader's Path to Personal Growth

In a leadership context, personal growth is the constant dedication to growing and developing core new skills needed to succeed in your industry or field. 

There are various ways to achieve personal growth and development, including having a mentor, attending training and workshops to develop core leadership skills, listening to seasoned business podcasts, etc. Another reliable way to grow is to read books on leadership.

leader's guideAll these ways will help you improve your personal growth and development significantly. 

 

However, it doesn’t matter how you choose to follow; personal growth demands you set achievable goals by building positive habits daily. In this article, you will learn what to focus on during your journey to personal growth. 

Things to Emphasize During Your Personal Growth Journey

1. Identity

IdentityThe first thing you must lock in on your growth journey is your identity. Your identity is the foundation of both professional and personal development. There are several ways you can strengthen your identity. They include:

 

1. Knowing your skills and natural gifts: To understand these, identify the activities you are most proficient in. Understand how you feel when you are asked to do some tasks. Also, know why you have specific skills. This knowledge will help in identifying your purpose.

 

2. Creating a confident self-image: How you talk to yourself is crucial if you want to grow as a leader. If you are always saying negative affirmations like “I might never be the leader my team needs” or “I don’t think I can turn this situation around,” you will live those affirmations. Instead, use positive affirmations like “I lead my team as I ought to” or “Through my leadership, my team experiences a huge turnover in profit like never before,” etc. This will help in building your confidence and also shapes your actions. 

 

3. Being clear about your vision: You have to find a way to connect your personal growth to your goals in life. Doing this will let you know the needed skills to accomplish them. For example, if you want to retire before the age of 40 and start earning passive income, you need to learn different investment strategies to help you achieve that.

2. Success

The primary reason you are working on yourself as a leader is to be successful. However, you also need to realize that you have to know how to handle failures before you can handle success. There is no success without failure. A survey done on a group by Linkagoal showed that 49% admitted that fear of failure was a vital setback for them. Another 43% said this same fear prevented them from trying again after failing once. Fear of failing can prevent significant personal growth. To conquer this fear, follow the following tips:

 

1. Shun victim mentality: If you want to eliminate fear, you have to stop letting other people influence how you live negatively. It is your sole responsibility to be happy and prosperous. Even when you have a legitimate reason to be a victim, please don’t allow it to be a part of your identity. You will be preventing your personal development if you do. 

 

2. Have a growth mindset: Another reliable way to conquer failure fears is to change how you see it as a negative experience. Leaders with a growth mindset view failure as a learning opportunity. Instead of letting failure stop you from trying again, understand what went wrong in your first trial and learn from your mistakes.  

 

3. Define success and work towards it: If you want to be successful, you must have your definition of success and work towards it. Don’t let anybody define what success is to you. If you do, you will work towards someone’s definition of success. This will make you feel you have to be a people pleaser. You will find out that fear will not let you take calculated risks because you don’t want to disappoint people. Working on your identity will help you to prevent this.

3. Raise Other Leaders

One of the most remarkable qualities of a leader is their ability to raise other leaders. However, you won’t be able to achieve this if you don’t prioritize personal growth. For a leader, personal growth and development is not a choice but a responsibility. When you became a leader, you made a commitment to care for those under you and lead them well.

 

Your team’s success and well-being are dependent on how serious you take your personal growth. You also need to use your knowledge and develop other leaders. 

 

Raising leaders at every level and sector in your organization is how your business will succeed. So, make sure you continue to learn about servant leadership, develop core leadership skills and understand your measure of success. 

Final Thoughts

Many people don’t like the idea of personal growth and development because of the toxic and superficial advice numerous writers and speakers have fed them. However, to become a great and successful leader, you must prioritize personal growth. The tips above will help you to improve your personal growth significantly. 

 

As a seasoned author on leadership and personal growth, I have helped many leaders develop core leadership skills related to their respective fields. 

 

You can check our bookshelf to find useful and popular business and leadership books for entrepreneurship success.

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5 Easy Ways to Convince Without Being Pushy

5 Easy Ways to Convince Without Being Pushy

Everyone tries to persuade someone else of something at some point in their lives. You may be attempting to gain a promotion at work, sell a product or service, or simply win an argument. 

Regardless of your intentions, the more forcefully you push, the more likely it is that people will become defensive and back away. Good persuasion is a technique that utilizes inoffensive and effective strategies to convince individuals.  

Pleasant persuasion involves bringing people to see and accept your point of view.

The art of persuasion is a sophisticated combination of effective communication skills and leadership abilities to bring people around to your proposals or recommendations. Mastering the art to convince people will make you a better entrepreneur, salesperson, and professional. Good leaders are aware of how to persuade people without being aggressive. 

Here are five tried-and-true ways to persuade without being pushy.

persuade without being pushy

Show Them What They Require

Everyone has a strong inner voice that is constantly defending their point of view and drowning out the words of those attempting to persuade them. You can avoid this process by incorporating visuals into your technique. Charts, graphs, and even sketches can help you persuade others to see things in a different light and persuade them to agree to your requests.

It is imperative to show people why your ideas or suggestions are important to them. Brands and advertisers major in creating marketing content that tries to show buyers why they need the products. 

Related: How to Become a Persuasion Master and Attract More Customers

Share Your Thoughts on the Positives and Negatives

Sharing an opposing viewpoint or two can be more persuasive than sticking solely to your argument. Mentioning the positives and negatives of a product shows that you are being honest about the commodity that you are selling. People are likely to be persuaded when you tell them about the merits and disadvantages of an idea.

Brands that mention both perspectives are likely to sell more because people will think that they are genuine.

However, you have to be smart in how you explain the negatives to avoid repelling customers. A case study by Hubspot indicates that businesses that explain both viewpoints build the trust of their customers. Few ideas are perfect, and your potential customers are aware of this. People are more likely to be persuaded to talk about things they are already thinking about and discuss potential drawbacks.

Build your list, convert leads into customers, and measure your results. Get the email and social media marketing ebook course and follow a step-by-step guide-one time purchase and you have a resource to always refer back to: Access Dominate Your Market.

Look for a Good Reason

Look for a Good ReasonThe best way to persuade people is to answer the question, “What’s in it for them?” 

When you ask someone to do something for you, such as buy your product, you must provide a compelling reason for them to do so. 

You can avoid being pushy if you have a good reason. People buy products that are beneficial to them, hence giving a good reason convinces them that the product is valuable and worthy of buying. That’s why identifying your ideal target market and buyer is critical.

A marketing script should have a solid reason why customers need to purchase that product over the competition.

However, when giving the reason, as a marketer you should be careful not to over insist because it might turn away the customer. Additionally, the reason should be truthful otherwise the customers will think that the business is a fraud.

Remove Yourself from the Picture

Persuasion is an important skill for success, and it requires self-assurance. Your request will not be heard if you are desperate. Sounding desperate can easily make a customer turn down an offer. 

People like confident salespeople who have faith in their products. To be successful in persuading others, you must first remove yourself from the picture. Remember, to give more attention to the idea, suggestion, or product that you are selling. 

Next, you must determine why your request is advantageous to the other person. Showing the advantages of your idea can convince a client to acquire your commodity. CBS News found out that brands like Apple and Nike make insane sales because they are good at explaining their advantages to their customers. Finally, your offer must be superior to the alternatives available; otherwise, you will not be considered.

Related: 3 Effective Ways to Increase Customer Trust

Be of Assistance

Be of Assistance

The real key to being persuasive is to simply be helpful-all pitches hinge on this principle

People and businesses receive thousands of pitches from people trying to sell them something. To get someone’s attention, you have to show that you bring value. 

The ultimate goal of persuasion is to have the ability to convince others to buy from you by showing why you have what they need. 

If you are a business owner or even a freelancer, here is what you can do: Giving freely of your knowledge and connections will make you the go-to resource for others. 

When others seek you out to solve their problems, you are in an excellent position to persuade them that you are the best solution for their problems. Only then can you convince the customers you have what they need.

A product must solve a certain problem or satisfy a need to be valuable. When a product is valuable, then it is easier to persuade clients to buy it.

The Bottom Line

Persuading others to do something you need them to do does not have to be a stressful situation. 

Persuasion is about marketing or presenting your idea in a manner that captures the attention of your audience and convinces them to change. 

When persuading people, you must be aware of the questions that your audience might raise. Answering these questions correctly will clear the doubts of your listeners and you are likely to convince them to buy your idea. Failing to acknowledge the needs of your audience can flop the persuasion process. Use these subtle persuasion techniques to increase the number of customers who buy from you.