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Via The Guardian : Leadership styles and relational energy in the workplace

One of the drivers of organisational success is energy generated between employees in the workplace. This energy represents how employees are mentally engaged and motivated in committing their efforts to carrying out allocated duties.

A component of organisational energy is relational energy; which denotes the energy generated and transmitted when employees interact with one another while carrying out their duties. Relational energy is an organisational resource that is useful to employees for managing high work-family conflict and enhancing individual performance.

The nature and intensity of this transferred energy can positively or negatively influence individual performance and other organisational resources. Positively energised employees perform allocated duties quickly and enjoy completing tasks, while negatively energised employees grudgingly and inefficiently carry out tasks.

In a new study, Leadership styles and relational energy: Do all leadership styles generate and transmit equal relational energy?

Lagos Business School faculty, Dr Okechukwu Amah investigated the nature of relational energy generated and transmitted when interactions are between leaders and subordinates within an organisation and the influence of the energy on employee’s productivity.

Relational energy is a resource bank that can be increased or decreased depending on the nature and level of interaction.

This interaction process is contagious because the energy generated is shared and transferred from one person to another within the organisation. Employees tend to gravitate towards interactions that provide positive energy and recoil from those that produce negative energy.

It is therefore not unlikely that different leadership styles will generate different relational energy, which can be energising or de-energising to subordinates. Thus, a better understanding of this concept will provide organisations with empirical justification to select leaders with the right leadership mindset and further train future leaders to develop effective styles that will spur their subordinates to perform maximally.

Leadership styles exhibited by the top hierarchy of an organisation can be broadly categorised into two: promotion-focused and prevention-focused leadership styles.

In promotion-focused leadership style, the motives for leadership are people-directed, with leaders exhibiting values characterised as openness to change, a positive mindset to tackling challenging situations, and willingness to utilise problem-solving techniques to achieve desired output.

On the other hand, leaders with prevention-focused motives usually see people as a means to an end, with most of them displaying values characterised as conservative, negative attitude in challenging situations, and reluctance to drive positive change within the organisation.

Four leadership styles – transformational, transactional, autocratic, and servant – were identified based on leaders’ motives to lead and the values placed on employees in relation to the goals of an organisation.

While transformational and servant leadership styles are driven by the motive to lead and have great interest in developing people, thereby likely to energise employees to work efficiently, transactional and autocratic leadership styles emphasise the needs of people only if it will contribute to the task being carried out and will likely de-energise employees.

However, the energy generated and transmitted by a servant leader is greater than that of a transformational leader because the servant leader accepts employees as they are, empowers and develops them, shows them genuine concern and ultimately places their needs above all else.

The author’s findings show that relational energy is radiated when leaders interact with their subordinates and that different leadership styles are not equally effective in generating and transmitting relational energy.

In other words, the nature and levels of relational energy generated and transmitted by each leadership style are not the same.

Servant leadership style generates and transmits the highest value of relational energy, closely followed by transformational, transactional and autocratic leadership styles, in that order.

One of the practical implications of these findings is that organisations must select leaders that exhibit desired leadership behaviours such as servant leadership style, and avoid transactional and autocratic behaviours.

This is because the relational energy generated and transmitted during leader-subordinate interactions plays an important role in enhancing the efficiency and productivity of employees.

Organisations should tailor their training programmes towards developing leaders with servant and transformational leadership behaviours.

Via Forbes : How Organizations Can Open The Door To Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a strategic imperative for organizations that want to be successful in attracting and retaining talent. As I heard Dr. Lisa Nishii, Associate Professor and Chair of Industrial and Labor Relations International Programs at Cornell University, describe it in a class once, employee engagement is how work does or does not get done in an organization. Engaged employees are connected to the organization and its goals, and invested in outcomes. Disengaged employees are trying to do just enough not to get fired (at best) or may be sabotaging the organization (at worst).

From special perks and benefits to measuring engagement levels of employees, this is a booming industry. The good news is that there are many experts who are ready, willing and able to help organizations and leaders with their employee engagement efforts. The better news is that there are three effective strategies you can begin using right now that will not deplete the budget.

Start With A Solid Foundation

One key component of employee engagement is to provide an environment where everyone can be heard, valued and respected. Organizations are well-advised to implement policies of respect and openness in the workplace that reach beyond compulsory compliance with state and federal laws.

Hold Everyone Accountable

Leaders should be vigilant to ensure employee behaviors are congruent with expectations and step in when they are not to hold everyone — including themselves and other leaders — accountable for the work environment. Workplace practices eat policies out of the organization.

Have An Open-Door Policy

Just about every company I know has some sort of open-door policy and, in theory, this is an excellent way to help employees feel heard, valued, and respected — until it’s not. Distractions, competing priorities and lack of openness to new perspectives often close those doors we claim to push apart. Here are some suggestions for swinging those doors wide open:

• Put down the phone and move away from your monitor. Employees need your undivided attention in order to connect and feel heard. Don’t make them compete with your email, texts or phone calls.

• Consider scheduling time to speak with employees. Agreeing to speak with someone who drops by when you have a meeting in five minutes may cause you to be preoccupied or hurried. Rushing through a conversation will have the opposite effect you were striving for.

• Resist the urge to rush to a solution. Do not make these interactions into a to-do list that you move through quickly to get them off your already overflowing plate.

• Listen with intentionality, ask clarifying questions and jot down notes when appropriate.

• Do not pull the “boss” card. Nobody liked the “because I said so” response from Mom and Dad when they were a child and they do not appreciate it as an adult. Everyone knows you are the boss — that’s why you get to have the open door.

• Try to see things from their perspective before you respond. Franklin Covey had it right when he said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

• Follow up to ensure the issues have been resolved or to see how things are going. This is an often missed, but critically important, part of the open-door policy, and it is essential for employee engagement.

Employee engagement is critically important to the success of your organization whether you are a behemoth company, a small business or anywhere in between. Luckily, good people practices that lead to increased engagement do not require astronomical budgets. Begin with solid policies and leadership accountability, and swing those doors wide open.

Via Career Point Kenya : 4 Powerful Reasons Why Setting Goals Is Important

What are your life aspirations? Have you set goals for yourself?

What are your goals for the next month, 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years? Have a look at all the goals on your list. Why do you want to accomplish them?

What is a goal?

According to Wikipedia, a goal is a desired result a person envisions, plans and commits to achieve. People endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.

Setting goals is a great step in trying to achieve your dreams. Actually, it is the first point toward success. They take us forward on every journey we make.

So why do you need to set goals for yourself? Find out in this article.

Here are 4 reasons why it’s important to set goals

1. Goals Give You Focus

Imagine running a race that has neither a finishing point nor timing. Or you are told to shoot an arrow without a target to aim at. What would be the aim of doing it? Surely it’s pointless and a waste of resources. This is what life is like. Without a purpose or goal or target in place, it all becomes pointless.

If you already identified your abilities and talent, start setting goals for yourself to focus your effort on and not shoot aimlessly. By doing this you will be able to hit your target and reach your goal.

2. Goals help you take control of your life

Advancing your career from the job you’re in now to the position you’d like to, requires effort and strategic planning. This is possible only if you start setting realistic goals. Remember goals give you a direction of where you want to go and what you want to achieve.

For example, you can work so hard, get a good salary but still, you may not feel like you are getting what you want. Reason? You have not set goals.

Instead of letting others tell you what to do, take charge and think about what you want for yourself. It is time to start living your life.

3. Goals help you get desired results

All the successful people in the world have set goals. Chris Kirubi (businessman), Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook), Vivian Cheruiyot (Olympic Champion) and many more, all set goals.

When you set goals you ensure that you are working towards getting the best results. You don’t wait for things to happen because you have a vision.

4. Goals Help You Overcome Procrastination

When you have set goals you commit yourself to finishing the project. Goals stick in your mind and always remind you that you are supposed to do something at a particular time. This will help you to overcome procrastination and laziness.

For instance, your goal may be starting your own business which means you want to become your own boss. When starting one, it can be really helpful to outline a business plan, establish short and long-term goals that help achieve your business dream.

End…

With that said, understand the steps and the amount of time you will need to take to achieve each goal and you will be able to achieve your goals in the most efficient way possible. It is possible!

Via APU : How to Find an Internship That Boosts Your Résumé

A 2017 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that along with a high GPA, partaking in multiple internships throughout college enables students to secure employment—or enter graduate school—within six months of graduation. Internships offer a great opportunity to gain experience and get your foot in the door, but sometimes it can be tough to find one that aligns with your future career goals.

Here’s some advice for setting ambitious and attainable goals, as well as tips around how to find an internship that will help your résumé stand out.

Set Internship Goals

There are thousands of internships available—both in-person and virtually. Before you set out on your internship search, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes brainstorming your current strengths and likes, as well as your future career goals. For example, if your desire is to become an accountant, then interning for an online fashion blog might not give you the experience that job recruiters will be looking for.

It is also wise to create a list of companies you wish to work at one day, since many big organizations hire from within. For example, if your ultimate goal is to be a writer for Disney, an internship on Disney’s social media team might provide you that “in” you need to network and get a job in your desired field.

How to Find an Internship

Once you have identified what type of internship you want, it will be easier to pinpoint the listings you should apply to. Start with your school’s career center. At Azusa Pacific University, students have access to the school’s Handshake Career Platform, which allows them to connect with companies looking for interns. Students can also benefit from APU’s subscription to Internships.com, which enables them to search thousands of internship listings.

Networking is another effective way to gain access to internships. Thankfully, almost everyone in your life is a potential connection! Sometimes it is as simple as telling a relative or family friend, “I am going to college for X, do you know anyone in this field that I can talk to or intern with?” Through this simple statement, many doors could open. For example, your uncle might have a best friend who works in real estate that needs help with listings, or your pastor might be able to introduce you to a CEO in the congregation that regularly hires interns.

Refine Your Résumé for Success

Don’t become discouraged if you have little to no work experience. You can still create a head-turning résumé. First, write out a list of all of your strengths, accomplishments, and awards/honors received. Don’t be shy to mention if you were a scholarship winner for academic excellence or athletic skills. Next, make a list of all the jobs you have had, especially important non-paid roles like club secretary, yearbook editor, or Sunday school teacher. List out all of your volunteer experience as well.

A common mistake that some college students make is simply throwing a bulleted list on a piece of paper and calling it their résumé. Instead, with your list in hand, create a résumé that paints a professional picture. Look at what items on your list complement each other. Make sure to describe how your strengths and accomplishments played a critical part in your work and volunteer experience.

For example, instead of saying, “Sunday School Teacher (2015-18) Church on the Rock: Cared for the two and three-year-old classes,” expand your job description to reflect your actual tasks. The description might look closer to this:

Toddler Sunday School Teacher (2015-18) Church on the Rock I lead a group of 20 toddlers through a structured Christian curriculum, implementing hands-on activities that engage the students and deepen their understanding of each week’s lesson. I coordinate lesson plans with the children’s pastor and make copies for all Sunday school classes.

Your job or volunteerism probably requires several skills—so highlight them! You can group similar jobs or volunteer opportunities together. For example, if you have gone on five weekend mission or service trips, you can bundle them under one heading and give a few details about each one.

Rock the Internship Interview

You already know that you are ready for this internship, now you just need to convince the interviewer. The best way to prepare (and calm your nerves) is to write out your strengths, weaknesses, personality points, and future career goals, as well as why you are the right fit for the company.

It is a good idea to write all of this down ahead of time and look at it once a day. Even though you know who you are, it can be easy to draw a blank when someone asks you, “How will your strengths play a role in this internship?” or, “Tell me an example of how you overcame your weakness in another job or class.”

Along with being confident in your abilities, spend some time researching the job you are interviewing for. Look at the company’s list of objectives or tasks for the role and be ready to explain how you can expertly fill that need.

Still feeling a little nervous? You are in good company! The majority of individuals feel anxious or overwhelmed before they go into an interview. You can brush off some of these nerves by practicing your spiel during a mock interview with a career consultant.

Via The Irish News : Fashion: Tips on how to look the part when you’re going for a job interview

Want some advice on what to wear to a job interview? Katie Wright asks fashion historian Amber Butchart for her advice

INTERVIEWS can be extremely nerve-wracking affairs, especially if you’re in the running for your dream job, so doing everything you can to boost your confidence is a good idea – and that includes your outfit.

“A job interview begins with first impressions, and your clothes and grooming are a key part of this,” says Amber Butchart, a fashion historian and expert who has appeared on the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee.

Butchart is working with careers app Debut on its ‘Dress to Impress for £10’ campaign, which is currently running and involves more than 650 charity shops.

Representing 42 different charities, each shop will curate a selection of workwear staples priced at £5 each in order to help jobseekers find affordable interview clothing.

“Overall, it’s really important to wear something you feel comfortable, confident and smart in,” Butchart says.

“Your clothes can affect your body language and the way you project yourself to future employers, so it’s of utmost importance that you feel like the best version of yourself.”

Follow the fashion expert’s advice and you can achieve just that. Here, she shares her top tips for sartorial success…

Research the dress policy of the company

“This will not only allow you to turn up to the interview properly attired, but will show you’ve taken time and consideration before you’ve even arrived.”

Don’t be afraid to wear colour

“…but not too much. A shock of colour can help to make you stand out and make a bold statement, but avoid clashing prints or colours unless your interview is working in the arts or creative industries. (While I am a huge fan of clashing colours and prints, I’m aware not everyone shares my passion!)”

A suit isn’t essential

“Smart separates can be better than an ill-fitting or poorly-made suit, so don’t be beholden to the idea that a suit is an essential.

“However, a well-fitting suit in a contemporary cut is always a winner, so don’t be put off by worries that you might look too formal.

If in doubt, dress up

“Remember that the interview is how you’re selling yourself, so it’s not unusual to dress slightly more formally than you would for the position itself.

“Avoid jeans and T-shirts unless you are really sure that the company has a relaxed attitude to dress, or actively encourages casual dressing (for example, the tech industry). Even in these cases, it might not be appropriate for an interview.”

Choose your shoes carefully

“Shoes are important, but there’s no need to spend a fortune to look appropriate. Avoid open-toed shoes (flip flops are absolutely out), but white, low-rise sneakers (think Adidas Stan Smiths) have become something of a fashion classic in recent years, and can add a fresh, contemporary element to your professional look.

“Don’t feel you have to wear high heels to an interview, but if they make you feel confident, wear them with pride!”

Be presentable

“The details matter: make sure your socks match and your clothes aren’t creased as otherwise this could reflect poorly on your organisational skills.

“Everyone should avoid clothing that is too tight or too baggy or too sheer. You want to feel comfortable, presentable and professional.”

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