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Learning Leadership Skills in the Workplace

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Are you interested in learning leadership? Considering leadership is a highly desirable skill, it’s a priority for those who want greater job opportunities, better work environments, and more. Granted, there are natural leaders who seem to know what to do and when, but the how is universal and can be learned by anyone.

That being said, there’s no better place to learn leadership skills than in the workplace. With the pressure to lead a team to success, learning leadership on the job can yield tangible results. In this article, we will cover the various aspects of learning leadership in the workplace, including:

  • Trial by Fire
  • Improvise | Adapt | Overcome
  • Practice Makes Perfect
  • Understanding Your Team’s Needs

Trial By Fire

Being able to perform under pressure, or a “trial by fire,” is one of the key ways of learning leadership. And no matter what workplace you manage, a certain amount of pressure is inevitable. The trick to managing it is to endure the discomfort to attain the goal. For instance, consider your team’s ability to reliably hit deadlines. Are you capable of dealing with conflict and complaints from your employees?

If you’re able to handle small problems, you gain the confidence to handle larger ones where the stakes are higher. After all, if you have problems correcting a worker on their performance, how can you resolve a company-wide issue that could dissolve the business overnight? Similarly, it’s evident why the phrase “putting out fires” is so prevalent in the workplace. Therefore, when leadership fails, it’s no wonder problems seem to constantly erupt without warning, causing damage spontaneously.

A Technological Example

Even still, would you be able to anticipate these problems beforehand because you’ve been “burned” before? For example, if you’re able to divert inbound calls made to your business during crunch time, you avoid overstressing your available staff. By using one of United World Telecom’s add-ons, such as “time of day routing,” you help your team focus while calls are routed elsewhere.

Learning Leadership Skills in the Workplace
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Improvise | Adapt | Overcome

One motto that the U.S. Marines live by is “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.” Essentially, this means that leadership skills are never set in stone. The tasks of business leaders include:

  • Creating novel solutions to unforeseen circumstances
  • Modifying those methods as things progress and new issues occur
  • And ultimately bringing resolution to the issue

Therefore, having the ability to expect the unexpected requires the flexibility to devise solutions on the spot.

Using the Right Communication Tools for Precise Leadership

As an example, you may realize that your team is needed for an emergency meeting with a high-priority client. By using “whitelisting,” one of United World Telecom’s features for inbound calls, you can filter only VIPs through as needed. As the situation deescalates, you can modify which team members are needed for direct communication. This enables you to allocate non-critical staff to other needed areas. Once the meeting commences, your team can resume its work for maximum productivity without interruption.

Additionally, you can utilize tools that provide long-term solutions. For instance, you may notice that your team is constantly bombarded with common questions that could be addressed with stock answers. To alleviate the redundancy that can wear out your team, you may want to implement some automation. A directory system (known as a PBX, or Private Branch Exchange) can make this possible for inbound calls. By setting up a PBX, callers can answer their own questions and direct themselves to the appropriate staff as needed. This frees up valuable resources and keeps your employees focused.

Practice Makes Perfect

The only way to learn and retain leadership skills is by exercising them. Consequently, taking on new responsibilities expands your skill set and enables you to familiarize yourself with the unknown. Once you have common problems and scenarios under control, it becomes easier to anticipate the best solutions while learning leadership.

Considering that United World Telecom offers subscribers a wide variety of functions and add-ons, experiment with different usages. For instance, you may want to try out the “simultaneous ringing” feature during non-peak times to see its effect on your staff.

Understanding Your Team’s Needs

In conclusion, learning leadership in the workplace is more about learning the nuances of human nature. Above all, addressing your team’s needs will help make their work easier and more conducive to a productive work environment. Whether by observing or directly asking your team, pay attention to how their performance is affected throughout the workday.

7 Tips for Balancing Entrepreneurship and Parenthood

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Every working parent knows how challenging it can be to balance a career with parenting. Parents who run their own businesses experience an additional layer to these challenges. In many ways, parents who are also entrepreneurs find it easy to stretch themselves very thin between the children they are raising and the businesses they are aiming to grow. Both children and new businesses require a lot of attention and time to be healthy and successful, especially in the beginning stages. Balancing entrepreneurship and parenthood takes great care in planning and prioritizing their time to make sure that both the children and their businesses get the care that they truly need and deserve.

Here are 7 tips for balancing entrepreneurship and parenthood:

1. Learn to Delegate

Learning to delegate is the first tip for balancing entrepreneurship and parenthood. There is no doubt that being a parent and an entrepreneur can be difficult to balance. The sooner you realize that you cannot clone yourself to be in two places at once, the better off you will be. Prioritize special occasions and engagements with your kids that will require 100 percent of your time and attention. Make sure you have someone to step in to help you during these times, so that you are able to be present in all ways for your children. Accepting help is hard for some, but dealing with burnout is even harder. Respect that you need the help and plan for this when needed.

2. Take Time for Self Care

The second tip for balancing entrepreneurship and parenthood is to take time for self care. Adopting mindfulness, meditation practices, and other forms of relaxation are a must. Prioritizing your wellbeing will only make you healthier, stronger, more productive, and better all around for your children and for your business. When life becomes too hectic, the first thing to easily get dismissed is the priority of self-care. The likely response is, “I don’t have time for self care.” Here is the thing though… if you don’t make time for self-care, your body will force you to stop in the form of getting sick in one way or another. Stress will take a toll on your health and your ability to be there for your children and your work. Take preventative measures by taking care of yourself. Taking even ten minutes a day for personal relaxation will benefit your children, your work, and your overall ability to succeed at everything you are trying to get done.

Balancing Entrepreneurship and Parenthood
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3. Create Boundaries and Honor Your Word

Do your best to create clear time boundaries. These are specific times that you define for when you are available and times that you define that you are not available. This is a healthy lesson for your children as well. When you are not available, you are not to be disturbed unless it is urgent. When you are available, however, this means being fully present for your children without a cell phone and any other distractions. This is your time with them and only them, everything else can wait for a bit.

4. Involve Your Children When Possible

A huge motivation for parents who choose to be entrepreneurs is the flexibility in their schedule to be more available to their children. Another motivation along the same lines is that you may be able to thoughtfully include your children in your business as helpers who are important parts of the team. This can be fun and inspiring for both your child and for yourself.

5. Remember that Balance Does Not Happen Every Day and it’s OK

Balance is definitely an overused word and too much pressure is placed on being balanced at all times. It is not possible. It is really easy to fall into a trap where you are working too hard or too much and you feel like you are failing at achieving balance at all times. Balance is not achievable every single day. Things come up and throw you off and that is OK. Remind yourself that your children will benefit from seeing you work extra hard sometimes and that your leadership skills will benefit from stepping away from your work and spending valuable time with your children. A little time management improvements can help make these days happen less.

6. Take Control of Your Calendar

For parents who are also entrepreneurs, it is highly unlikely that the traditional 8 to 5 calendar workday will work. You may find yourself scheduling client meetings while your kids are at school. You may be scheduling conference calls when you’re sitting in the car-parent pickup-line at your child’s school. You will most likely be working on things after their bedtime. Getting to create your own schedule means you can be present at all of your children’s events and you are in control of your calendar, so be mindful, map it out and take control of your calendar versus letting your calendar take control of you.

7. Take a Moment to Refocus Before you Transition From One Role to Another

Another one of the 7 tips for balancing entrepreneurship and parenthood is to take a moment to refocus before transitioning from one role to another. Juggling the responsibilities of entrepreneurship with the responsibilities of parenthood can be tough. In an effort to really be present in each of these roles, when it is possible, try to take a moment to refocus prior to transitioning from one role to another. Turning your cell phone to silent mode and putting away your laptop are obvious things to do when you are going to stop working and focus on your child, but switching your mindset is also really important.