7 Tips for Building Mentoring to Develop Employees and Raise Engagement

7 Tips for Building Mentoring to Develop Employees and Raise Engagement

When I decided I wanted to write a book, I was utterly terrified and baffled. Where do I start?

Thankfully, I’d learned years ago that I do not have to go it alone with new challenges: I called on a trusted mentor. Elaine Biech has written or edited more than 50 books. She knows about this thing! I’m grateful for the amazing insights Elaine shared with me to guide my book publishing process. I couldn't have done it as quickly or as well without her mentoring support.

Have you had a mentor or mentored someone? I actually devoted a whole chapter in Employee Development on a Shoestring to the idea that mentoring can be a wonderful tool to develop employees. It is also an amazing employee engagement booster. In this post, I’ll share some of the highlights with you about what mentoring is and why it’s helpful, who is the ideal candidate for this kind of relationship, and seven tips for creating a strong mentoring program and/or building a great mentoring relationships which will increase both learning and engagement in your organization, department, team, or even just yourself.

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How to Power Up Your Workplace Presentations

How to Power Up Your Workplace Presentations

Guest Post by Alexia Vernon: While there is little more painful than seeing and hearing a speaker deliver inaccurate, incomplete, or unhelpful content, one thing that is at least equally painful is when someone has so much expertise she or he doesn't know how to make it meaningful for an audience. Here are my top 3 ways to ensure that your next presentation, whether it’s just at a departmental meeting or in front of a large group of employees, is memorable AND translates into the action you want to see from your people.

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YES! We should ditch performance appraisals!

YES! We should ditch performance appraisals!

There’s a tide of supporting evidence rising for why we should really ditch performance appraisals as we know them. Over the past year, I’ve been lucky to work with two different large clients to help them do just that. Here’s what I’ve learned so far from the research, preparation, and roll-outs of these huge cultural changes:

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Three Great New Leadership Books

Three Great New Leadership Books

I’m happy to share three new leadership books with you that are launching in the coming days. Each brings a unique and helpful perspective to ease the work of leaders and create new opportunities for developing leadership skills: Leaders Open Doors by Bill Treasurer, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative by Scott Eblin, and The Discomfort Zone by Marcia Reynolds. Here's my short review of each - go get all three!

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7 Surefire Tricks for Being a More Engaging Communicator

7 Surefire Tricks for Being a More Engaging Communicator

Whether in casual conversations or business presentations, one-on-one or with a group, getting others to be drawn into and engaged with you is important if you want to get your message across successfully and leave them wanting more. Here are seven surefire tricks that will help you be a people magnet and become more engaging in your communication interactions:

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The 3 Secrets of Motivating and Inspiring Others

The 3 Secrets of Motivating and Inspiring Others

Motivating others - that's a tough one, right? In this post, I share the three secrets to motivating and inspiring others. Hint: none of these secrets involve spending more money! Here are some of the key findings from scientific research about what is highly motivating to most of today's knowledge workers and how to apply these insights to your daily leadership efforts.

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Dumping Perfectionism for Wholehearted Living

Dumping Perfectionism for Wholehearted Living

In this post, which originally appeared in the Association for Talent Development (ATD) "Links" member newsletterI provide a summary of the main points and a synopsis of some of my key takeaways from Brené Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below the post!

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How to Leverage Lunchtime for Learning

How to Leverage Lunchtime for Learning

You might have been exposed to the idea of Lunchtime Learning before. Sometimes called Brown Bag Training or Lunch ‘n Learn (beware – that’s a trademarked phrase!), it’s a short (45-90 minutes) learning session held during lunchtime. What’s so special about these Brown-Bag Sessions, you say? Invite employees to do the teaching, not just the learning! In this post, I lay out the what, who, why, and how of creating a 3-way win for employee development in any organization.

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Handshaking: What is it good for? [Part 3 of 3]

Handshaking: What is it good for? [Part 3 of 3]

Have you ever stopped to think about the practice of shaking hands with people we meet in business functions and meetings? Why do we do it? Does it still make sense in this day and age? And do the rules about the proper protocol for how to shake hands still hold or should they be revised with time and progress in our society? Do other societies and cultural groups also use this practice and do the same norms apply there (as my friend Marina Kraus asked me)? My colleague Larry Straining added: “Is there an appropriate order (or hierarchy) for shaking hands in a group. Right to left? Ladies first? Age? Position?”

In this three-part series on handshaking, I will attempt to answer some of the questions that abound about the practice of handshaking in business. In Part 1, we’ll review why we shake hands in the first place, what your handshake says about you, and consider whether we should keep shaking hands or quit this practice altogether. In Part 2, we’ll explore whether handshaking is culture-specific or universal. And in Part 3, we’ll examine what other options we have and a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help us all practice proper handshaking protocol (say that three times fast ;) ).

Read Part 3 now...

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Handshaking: What is it good for? [Part 2 of 3]

Handshaking: What is it good for? [Part 2 of 3]

Have you ever stopped to think about the practice of shaking hands with people we meet in business functions and meetings? Why do we do it? Does it still make sense in this day and age? And do the rules about the proper protocol for how to shake hands still hold or should they be revised with time and progress in our society? Do other societies and cultural groups also use this practice and do the same norms apply there (as my friend Marina Kraus asked me)? My colleague Larry Straining added: “Is there an appropriate order (or hierarchy) for shaking hands in a group. Right to left? Ladies first? Age? Position?”

In this three-part series on handshaking, I will attempt to answer some of the questions that abound about the practice of handshaking in business. In Part 1, we’ll review why we shake hands in the first place, what your handshake says about you, and consider whether we should keep shaking hands or quit this practice altogether. In Part 2, we’ll explore whether handshaking is culture-specific or universal. And in Part 3, we’ll examine what other options we have and a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help us all practice proper handshaking protocol (say that three times fast ;) ).

Read Part 2 now...

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Handshaking: What is it good for? [Part 1 of 3]

Handshaking: What is it good for? [Part 1 of 3]

Have you ever stopped to think about the practice of shaking hands with people we meet in business functions and meetings? Why do we do it? Does it still make sense in this day and age? And do the rules about the proper protocol for how to shake hands still hold or should they be revised with time and progress in our society? Do other societies and cultural groups also use this practice and do the same norms apply there (as my friend Marina Kraus asked me)? My colleague Larry Straining added: “Is there an appropriate order (or hierarchy) for shaking hands in a group. Right to left? Ladies first? Age? Position?”

In this three-part series on handshaking, I will attempt to answer some of the questions that abound about the practice of handshaking in business. In Part 1, we’ll review why we shake hands in the first place, what your handshake says about you, and consider whether we should keep shaking hands or quit this practice altogether. In Part 2, we’ll explore whether handshaking is culture-specific or universal. And in Part 3, we’ll examine what other options we have and a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help us all practice proper handshaking protocol (say that three times fast ;) ).

Read Part 1 now...

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How to Take a Learning Sabbatical

How to Take a Learning Sabbatical

Do you feel like taking a break from your daily routine and an opportunity to see things in a totally new way? I’ll tell you a secret: I have been longing for this kind of opportunity. I’m just itching for a break so I can strategize and refocus. The pace of change and life is just so fast, and my time to really immerse in deep, long-view thinking is so fragmented, that I’ve been screaming (on the inside) “stop the world, I want to get off!” So that I can think clearly. And breathe. Do you feel this way sometimes, too?

As these thoughts danced in my head, I remembered the research I did for my book, Employee Development on a Shoestring, about the idea of taking a learning sabbatical. I thought I’d share some more about this concept with you, and I’d love to know your thoughts about it in the comments below the post.

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Halelly's ASTD 2014 Conference Presentation Covered by Bloomberg Human Resource Report

Halelly's ASTD 2014 Conference Presentation Covered by Bloomberg Human Resource Report

Halelly's ASTD 2014 International Conference and Expo Presentation was covered by Bloomberg BNA in their publication, Human Resource Report. The article, "Speaker Discusses Sustainable Engagement, Mentoring, Retaining Institutional Knowledge", describes some of the key points Halelly made in her well-attended concurrent session entitled, "Engaging Employees Across the Generations by Using Social and Informal Learning" on May 6, 2014, in Washington, DC. Read the article here.

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What the FFF? Or, how to avoid triggering Fight, Flight, or Freeze responses in others

What the FFF? Or, how to avoid triggering Fight, Flight, or Freeze responses in others

Our brains are wired to avoid threats and to react to perceived threats by Fight, Flight, or Freeze: fighting them, fleeing from them, or sometimes freezing from the shock of them. This threat response is not limited just to physical danger and has been shown to occur in social and work settings. In this post, I explain the science behind these threat responses and show you how to avoid triggering this kind of social threat response and get more rational, better quality, and less disruptive responses to your work interactions.

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Digital Storytelling for All!

Digital Storytelling for All!

Check out my latest post on the ASTD Links newsletter (of which I am a field editor) titled "Digital Storytelling: Why All Employees Could Be Generating Video and Audio Content". In it, I discuss one creative and immediately available way to develop employees outside the training classroom and outside the box: turn them into what I call digital storytellers. What does that mean? You send them on ...

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