3 Simple Tips to Establish and Maintain Trust With Your Remote Team 0 34

  • Key Point:  Trust is a critical element in a team's productivity. Without it, you're unlikely to get anything meaningful done. But with it, teams can accomplish everything they set out to do and more.
  • One Other:  Three Simple Hacks to Read 10X Faster and Retain It
3 Simple Tips to Establish and Maintain Trust With Your Remote Team

With the power of the internet, distance is not a big concern for business activities and production with the appearance of remote workstations and the emergence of the ability to work online at the comfort of your home and at your own pace. The internet is quite the handy tool and has led to the popularization of having remote teams in your business, wherein people are assigned tasks to do and are expected to produce the results within the said time frame while performing their duties in a separate location from other team members. You can hire the talent you need on-demand, typically at a fraction of the cost of a full-time, in-house designer or developer.

This is a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee, the employer will have lesser overhead costs since there will be no need to pay for an additional physical workstation, and the employee does not have to deal with the horrid traffic and can do his duties in his home. However, this can be a double-edged sword, since the home has been treated as a sanctuary for relaxation, especially for those who came from corporate lifestyles or fieldwork. There are times that your remote teammates have not finished or fulfilled the task on time, which has led the team to do additional work or wait for the results, and most of the time, both.

It is not uncommon for teams to start having doubts and suspicion regarding the work of a teammate who is not physically near them. These doubts can slowly eat up not only the team morale but also the productivity of the team, which will compromise the results. To prevent this from happening, here are 5 useful tips to establish and maintain that level of trust that can propel your business even further heights.

  1. Get to know your remote team genuinely.

Before you can trust someone, you have to know someone first. Everyone has their own story to tell, however, you have to make sure that the stories of your remote team, their struggles, and their celebrations, will be a good part of the whole story for the team. You cannot truly help someone with their problems if you do not get to know someone in the first place.

one way to do that is to actually make social interactions a bit more fun. That way, the getting to know part will be continuous and will not have any kind of dissenting opinions. One way to make it more fun is to actually do some personality tests. One useful test would be the Myers Briggs test, which can actually two things for the team, the team get to know more about the person, and the strengths and weaknesses will be more apparent. Such information would be useful on how to give out tasks and how to further improve the business processes. By doing it this way and not the honestly corny methods of asking what kind of movies are they watching this weekend, and so on and so forth.

  1. Do not be the big brother that is watching, but instead let the team be the small brothers that make sure work is being done.

Anybody would get annoyed with the constant or asking for updates regarding the workload. This process of asking where they are already in the flowchart is actually detrimental not only because it wastes both of your time, it shows that the operational flow or process of your company or business is not up to the task and may need rewriting. Furthermore, this lack of trust can really erode the spirit of the team, and in particular, can make the person getting the constant questioning get a little bit fed up. This is not something that you want since it can definitely lessen productivity and increase the risk of losing one of the members of the team.

To counteract that, making a transparent and public flow of work will definitely make the team members more productive. This is because the effect of people knowing that you are not really performing up to par plus the implicit knowledge that you are constantly being judged silently by your peers would make a much better “nagging” method as compared to personally ask them for updates. You can use software that anybody can view like Trello or even just an excel flowchart which everybody can see like one in a google drive and put time stamps on it for every activity can be a no-cost alternative.

  1. Focus not only on the process but also on the person.

Sometimes we could not see the forest for the trees; the reason why there is no trust between remote teams may not just be about the physical absence of the team members, but could actually be more about the business structure as a whole and that the team has not adjusted fully yet. This is especially true with the team members who have not been working remotely for at least a year. That is a pretty big transition from working in an office cubicle. What most business managers and team leaders do is to put more processes or add more steps to the flowchart.

What the team needs is actually not a checklist but a human connection or motivation. Trust arises when feelings of camaraderie are evoked.

Trust will be built faster if you or the team is treating everybody like a person and not just the step before or after their task. In a nutshell, trust arises if you are working and performing as a human person and not as a robot. There are no software or tools that will change how you look at your team members. Instead, this is a holistic action plan that should be done by every member of the team. You can make opportunities for camaraderie to spring up by doing online virtual pizza parties after a task or milestone. Team building activities can actually be done by the whole team virtually, the team leaders and members just have to be more creative.

By getting to know your teammates, avoiding asking for updates directly, and by building the sense of teamwork and belongingness, trust between the members will just come naturally, and with trust comes efficiency and profit.

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How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Say 0 77

  • There is nothing more awkward than an awkward silence but it's something we've all encountered at some point or other. Below are few ideas to help you strike a conversation either at work or at a social function.
  • One other:  Ideas for Building a Real Offline Networking Community
How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Say

Starting a conversation to get to know another person or breaking an awkward silence can be stressful.  Generally, introverts have difficulty conversing with other people. They are quiet and often have nothing to say. Even extroverts who enjoy socializing will eventually run out of things to say. And during these times, there is this strange awkward moment of silence.

We are somehow pressured to say something. But the pressure creates mental blocks and prevents us from choosing interesting and appropriate topics to talk about. Why does this happen? Why does it have to be so awkward? Why do I have to suffer through all these?

These things are just part of getting to know a person. We often don’t run out of things to say when we are conversing with close friends and family. But if you’re talking with someone that you’ve just met, then expect some long awkward silences during your interactions.

It’s hard to talk with a stranger since you have to establish a common ground. You might not know what interests them, what they dislike, what offends them. And because of this we often try to play it safe and say nothing at all.

How to Talk to People And Never Run Out of Things to Say

You need a few tricks up your sleeve to hold a conversation with a complete stranger. By knowing how to talk to people you can improve your social status and create the foundations of a wonderful friendship. This knowledge will also help you create a network of professional connections.

The trick to talk with people is to:

Talk to Them Normally Like You Would a Close Friend

It’s very simple but very true. Most people try to be interesting and talk about all kinds of exotic and extravagant things. They believe that they have to win people over by making jokes or by talking about interesting things.  I hate to say it, but you’re not building a connection with them this way, you’re actually building walls and keeping them away.

Talk about the weather, about the place, about current events. It doesn’t matter what you talk about. What matters is the interaction between you and the other person. People often forget the topics in their conversations but they often remember how they felt during the conversation. So just be yourself and treat them like a close friend, they’ll eventually come around.

Get to Know Them by Asking Questions

The most basic trick in holding a conversation with a stranger is by asking them about their favorite topic.  And what is everyone’s favorite topic? Simple, it’s me! Me! Me!

People like talking about themselves, it’s a topic that they’re very familiar with. When you ask people about themselves they tend to get a good impression of you since you’ve taken an interest in their lives.

That’s why if you run out of things to say, then go for the safe and sure option of asking questions about the person you’re conversing with.

Ask open-ended questions

Which one is better?

This one.

You: Hi, do you like it here?

Stranger: Yes….*awkward pause*…. Do you like it here?

You:  Yes…*awkward pause*… See ya then.

Or this one?

You: Hey! I like your shirt. Where in the world did you get such an awesome looking shirt?

Stranger: You like it? Well I was out shopping one day where I saw this …..*blah blah blah*

The second conversation is obviously the better choice. The reason is that you used an open-ended question. Questions that can be answered by a yes or a no often in awkward silence. It’s hard for the person to continue answering when it can be answered by one or two words.

What you need is to ask questions that let their mind think and allows them to continue talking without holding anything back. Ask them about their day or how they managed to do this and that. The possibilities are endless.

Talk About Food

Talking about food is a universal topic, it is extremely helpful if both of you are at a party or if both of you are having dinner somewhere.

Some people are ignorant about the latest iPhones, tablets, and gadgets. While others are experts at medicine, programming and other topics. It’s hard to find a common ground if both of you have such a gap in knowledge. However, everyone eats food and it is a topic that most of us are knowledgeable about.

You can simply comment on how delicious the food at the restaurant is or you can talk about how the food in your country is prepared. It doesn’t matter, just say something to keep the conversation going.

Rephrase what they said if you have nothing to add

Stranger:  I’ve put a lot of work making that necklace and what did she do? She sold it! That girl sold it!

You: So you’ve spent all this time and effort on the necklace and she didn’t even care?

Stranger: Yeah, and….*blah blah blah*

If you have nothing to add or aren’t knowledgeable about the topic, then you can simply rephrase their previous statement to keep the conversation going. This shows the other person that you are listening to what they’re saying as well pointing out that you are interested in the conversation.

By repeating what they’ve said you’re creating rapport and you’re making the person trust you more. This will make them happy enough to continue conversing with you and they will share more about their life.

Share Something About Yourself

It isn’t just a one-way conversation. If you’re going to keep asking about other people’s lives then you’re eventually going to have to reveal something about yourself as well.  You can try to play it mysterious by giving vague answers, but being mysterious won’t help you form meaningful connections.

You don’t need to tell them your deepest darkest secret, you just need them tell them small minute things about yourself. This may come unnatural to introverts, but if you’re going to build rapport, then you need to learn how to open up and share details of your life.

Don’t Be a Know-It-All

You know whose fun at parties? That laid back guy who knows how to have a good time.

You know who isn’t fun at parties? That obnoxious know-it-all who thinks they’re better than everyone because they’ve read an entire encyclopedia in the span of 2 hours.

Don’t be the know it all, they’re hard to converse with and some people can be turned off by that “I’m better than you because I know more” attitude. If someone makes a mistake about a certain topic, don’t brush them off and correct them harshly, be subtle in correcting them. It’s even better if you don’t correct them at all.

8 Tips to Developing Good Habits (And Keeping Them) 0 54

Developing Good Habits

Our habits can either make us or break us. Our habits shape who we are and what we become.

That’s why we must form good habits. People believe that they can transform their lives in a single night through sheer willpower and determination. But that’s impossible! It’s like following your New Year’s Resolution in the first couple of days and then giving up on the 5th day.

Today, we have some for you to try while developing good habits.

Let’s take a look …

Developing Good Habits

Does the reason for this belief stem from our easy and convenient lifestyles?  We can order food to be delivered to our place in less than 30 minutes. We can get a ride via Uber. Everything is fast and we get what we want fast.

However, building habits and making them last requires a lot of time and a whole lot of effort. It’s not going to happen overnight.  You can’t build the life you want if you are a slave to your bad habits. You will get fat and unhealthy if you don’t exercise and follow a proper diet. Your business will not grow if you don’t work on it. Your relationships will not blossom if you don’t step up your game. Habits determine what we are in life.

Here are some tips to create good and long-lasting habits.

  1. Have a Grand Vision That You Must Achieve

Man is always searching for a higher meaning. If you don’t have a higher goal in mind, then you’ll find it hard to stick to your habits. Get in touch with yourself and have a grand vision for your life, use this grand vision to inspire and desire change within yourself.

Whenever you stumble, lose your way, or get tired of your life, remember your vision. Remember that you’re not doing this for yourself but you’re doing this for something far greater than yourself. Push through your obstacles and use this grand vision to build the life that you want to have.

  1. Assess your readiness for change

Find out what stage you are on James O. Prochaska‘s transtheoretical model of behavior change. Once you’ve identified what level you are in, aim for the next level until you reach the final stage.

There are 6 stages:

  • Pre-contemplation: People at this stage are unaware of their desire for change but they have some minor thoughts about changing.
  • Contemplation: People at this stage are aware of their desire and they would like to change their habits.
  • Preparation: People at this stage intend to have a concrete plan for change and they can probably start within the next 30 days.
  • Action: People at this stage have made progress. And are still making progress.
  • Maintenance: People at this stage have already taken action but they may fall back to old habits if it isn’t properly maintained.
  • Termination: The habit has been formed and it is a part of the person.
  • Which stage are you in?
  • Set smart and realistic goals

You need to set proper goals that can be achieved in a certain time frame. Vague and unrealistic goals often end in failure.

Do you know what SMART goals are? SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bounded.

You can practice setting SMART goals by setting daily goals that you have to do. Have something that you have to achieve every day. It can be something as simple as drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day or exercising for at least 10 minutes a day. If you keep following and setting goals every day, you’ll eventually form a habit of setting goals and seeing through those goals.

  1. Start small

When we set our first goals or try to change something in our lives, we often try to change the big things. Sometimes we even try to change everything all at once! We come up with long bucket lists that we must achieve.

Even though it is grand and amazing, this kind of goal setting and habit-forming hardly ever works. And when they fail, we become depressed and give up on making goals entirely.

This doesn’t mean that you should give up though, this simply means that you have to start small and work on achieving small victories. Use the momentum of small victories to eventually set bigger and harder goals.

If this was a game, then you’d have to beat the minions first before fighting the boss. Don’t set the bar too high, or else you’re going to take a big fall if you fail.

  1. Track your progress

“That which is measured improves.”

      – Karl Pearson

According to a weight loss study with 1,700 participants, people who kept daily records of what they ate lost twice as much weight when compared to those who didn’t keep any records at all.

This doesn’t just apply to weight loss, the same can be applied to any goal. Keeping track of your progress makes you more self-aware. And with the knowledge of your current standing, you are able to make slight changes to your plans to better achieve your goals.

  1. Analyze your progress and adjust your habits

Things change, our habits aren’t permanent and they can improve over time. Start small and gather momentum, add one good habit over the other. You’ll eventually have enough confidence, willpower, and momentum to do big things.

The opposite is true as well. Our good habits can deteriorate and eventually turn into bad habits. That is why it is very important to track our progress.

Once you are aware of your current standing, you can make the necessary changes to achieve your goal. If you know that you’re heading down a bad path, you can change it.

If you’re losing progress, make changes to improve it. If you’re improving too much, check on your health and decide if you can do better.

Just keep pushing yourself to be a better person. Keep pushing yourself and take one small step each day. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  1. Have a buddy who follows the same habit

It’s good to have someone who you can work together with. If you plan to quit smoking, then it’s good to have a buddy around. Make a bet with one another, the first one to smoke would have to pay the other 100 bucks or something.

In short, it becomes much harder to quit on your goals if you have a buddy around.

  1. Reward Yourself

Reward yourself for a job well done. Treat yourself to an all you can eat buffet after dieting for a whole month. Or you can spend some money once in a while if you’re trying to be frugal. Just don’t overdo it. Ok?