Tag Archive for: teamwork in the workplace

When you think of the greats, KISS, U2, the Rolling Stones, how do you think they rose to their current levels of stardom?

If your immediate thought is “they got lucky,” “they’re extremely talented,” or “they worked harder than anyone else,” you’d be right… and wrong. While this all factored into their success, there’s one more concept not represented.

I like to call this The Rock Star Mindset. These bands didn’t sit back after a practice session in the early days and dream of playing in a bigger garage. These bands knew that they’

d one day be playing the largest stages in the world surrounded by millions of raving fans. They have rock star mindsets, and if you’d like to reach new heights in your career and your personal life, you need to have one too.

Dr. Benjamin Hardy has a concept called “10x is better than 2x” and whether your dream is to play on the largest stages, build an empire and change the world, or simply enjoy better relationships with your family and friends, you can incorporate this

concept into your own life. Let’s take a look at how.

Identify Your Priorities

 

One of my favorite quotes is from Jim Collins, a business consultant and rock star in his own right, “If you have more than 3 priorities, you have none.”

Have you ever tried to tackle too many projects at once and found yourself unable to complete a single item on your list? When we try to focus on too many tasks or goals at once, our brains go into meltdown mode and it’s near impossible to achieve anything. We must learn to focus on the important not the urgent. When we focus on 1-3 goals at a time, putting our heart, soul, energy, sweat, and tears into achieving them, we reach our goals and position ourselves to take on the world. Why? Because those 1-3 goals are to be directly connecting us to the right action to achieve our goal. If they’re not, then we are focusing on the urgent not the important.  Urgent goals are actually busy items. Not important.

Release What Doesn’t Serve You

 

Consider how much of your day is spent doing “busy work.” Especially when we first start out in business, in music, or in whatever area of life you’re looking to conquer, we believe that we have more time than money and we look to do everything ourselves.  Or our egos tell us that no one can do it better than us. While it’s true that we may not have a lot of money, our time is still our most precious resource… and it’s nonrenewable.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing what you do for decades, consider all the tasks on your plate that you don’t absolutely love doing or excel at doing. Imagine now that you don’t have to do them – what could you accomplish with that free time? You get to focus on your “special purpose” or what you do best.

While it may sound counterintuitive, in order to achieve success, you need to do less…so you get more of what you really want.

Surround Yourself with the Right People

 

One of Dr. Hardy’s ideas regarding 10x growth is to partner with the right people. He doesn’t necessarily suggest that you must have a business partner, but you do need mentors, teachers, collaborators, and the support of successful people who want to see you grow and improve, and have the skills and mindset to help you do it. Or maybe it’s people who have a skill set that you don’t have but need to 10x your business or life. Don’t worry, you don’t have to say goodbye to people you love just because they aren’t the epitome of success. But you may have to fire friends, clients, or inner circle people who you used to say yes to but now you must say no to them.

 

Maximize Your Effort

 

Why is 10x easier than 2x?

2x is doing more of what you’re already doing. It’s working harder, longer hours, and it’s not sustainable. There is no change.

10x, on the other hand, requires transformation, the way you look at your business, your job, or your life. 10 thinking help you focus on your BUD. (Big Unreasonable Dream.)It provides the time for you to step out of your business long enough to get creative, become insightful, and discover a new (better) way to do whatever it is you do. Your special-purpose, remember? 2x helps you reach your breaking point and stay the same or stay exactly where you are. 10x helps you reach your goals by creating more time to do what you want to do. By thinking differently. Saying no so you can say yes. 10x helps you find the people to do what don’t want to do or take the time to do. 10x will give you more time and results.

It’s time to adopt The Rock Star Mindset and 10x your life. Start thinking differently. Develop your future rock star self. This is exactly the information we share on our keynote speaker experiences. Except we do it by sharing the stories of your favorite Rock Stars. Rock on.

 

Whenever you sit down to plan a meeting, there are probably a number of questions floating around in your head.

  • “What’s the biggest problem challenging the attendees or my team right now?”
  • “How do I provide the most value for them so they feel good about stepping away from their work for a period of time?”
  • “Can I find a way to make this experience entertaining and engaging as well as educational?”

If your attendees are anything like most people, there are a few topics out there that could bring a breath of fresh air to these individuals, no matter what industry or role they work in.

Many employees are currently struggling with their emotional, mental, and even physical health. The pandemic has served as a collective trauma, and left many with unexpected challenges. When deciding on the focus of your next meeting, you may want to consider how to incorporate an aspect of wellness into your event.

Potential Problems Ahead

When employers neglect to focus on employees’ wellbeing, the bottom line is sure to suffer. Overworked and underappreciated employees experience higher levels of stress and more instances of illnesses that can lead to sick days and decreased productivity. Without intervention, these employees will become disengaged and will often seek new opportunities outside of the organization. And we all know how much money and time it cost to retrain new team members.

The situation is slightly better within organizations that foster a culture of teamwork. These employees often feel supported by their coworkers and are able to handle challenges better.

While a strong team can help, it’s still essential that you keep your employees’ mental, emotional, and physical health as a top priority. It seems that in today’s offices, conventions, meetings, and special events, health and wellness programs are becoming the “new normal”.

 

Wellness in the Workplace

Employees spend more time at work than anywhere else (at least while they’re awake). There are a number of ways to create a positive work environment that will improve employee health rather than take away from it, and many of these ideas can be incorporated into events as well. Some of the options to consider when it comes to wellness programs include:

  • Encouraging and rewarding exercise
  • Opportunities and space for meditation
  • Access to healthy food
  • Concierge services
  • Flexible work schedules
  • And many more

There’s also one that you may have never even thought of… drumming.

Health Benefits of Drumming

If you’re currently imagining people standing around a campfire, swaying to a rhythm of their own design, you aren’t far off. Scientists have been studying the effects of music on our health for years and have discovered a number of physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Some of these include:

  • Increased happiness: Drumming releases endorphins, “feel-good” chemicals that relieve pain and boost happiness.
  • Boosts immune response: Barry Mittman, MD, a neurologist and President of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, found that group drumming naturally increases T-cells that help protect the body from infection and can even help fight cancer.
  • Creates a sense of connectedness: According to Christine Northrup, M.D., “Drumming circles and group drumming classes provide an opportunity for ‘synchronicity’ in that you connect with your own spirit at a deeper level while also connecting with other like-minded people.”
  • Allows you to be present: Drumming helps take you out of the “past and future” trap and allows you to be present in the moment.

These are just a few of the many health benefits. Now, let’s take a look at how drumming can improve business when it’s incorporated into meetings.

Business Benefits of Drumming

In case the business benefits of drumming didn’t jump out at you in that last section, let’s go one by one and see how those health benefits are great for your organization as well.

  • Increased happiness: Drumming is fun! Who couldn’t use a break from the daily grind to rock out and put a smile on their face?
  • Immune response: Healthier employees who are better able to fight off infection take fewer sick days and are more productive.
  • Sense of connectedness: Looking for a way to improve teamwork and encourage your employees to work together and support one another? Look no further.
  • Be present: Would you prefer employees to be distracted, stressing about the past and worrying about the future, or would you like them to be in the moment, focused on the task at hand?

Rhythms in Business

When Marvelless Mark was crafting his Rhythms in Business keynote, he didn’t set out to incorporate a health and wellness program into his presentation… but that’s just what he did! Now that he’s seen the scientific data on the benefits of drumming, and received feedback from meeting planners and attendees, he knows it’s a win-win. For the convention attendees, the meeting planners, and for him.

When you plan your next meeting, consider including the power of drumming in your program. Your attendees will have fun, lower their stress levels, enhance their team communication, and be able to return to work with a new excitement surrounding their job. If you’re looking for a way to energize your team, create happier and healthier employees, and improve your organization as a whole, it’s time to bring out their inner rockstars. The bonus, they all get to keep the conference branded drumsticks and receive an additional benefit of the power of collaboration and teamwork.

 

 

There’s nothing like a new year to provide the hope and inspiration we need to truly rock out at life. Chances are, you’ve come up with a list of resolutions that will help you become the best version of yourself at home or in business. Perhaps you’re planning to exercise more, eat healthier, send thank you cards to clients before the special occasion, spend more time with your family, or even learn to play an instrument. But what if you had new years revolutions instead of resolutions?

Imagine if you or your team, have new year’s revolutions versus resolutions? What would they be? In the spirit of a fresh start, we’ve put together 7 resolutions that will serve you better with a rock star mindset of revolutions that will lead to higher employee satisfaction and efficiency, and a better experience for everyone involved. Especially your customers or fans.

7 New Year’s Revolutions for a Better Workplace

Maybe, you’ve got a great team. They work hard, get along fairly well, and are all committed to one another’s success. Or maybe, you have a bunch of employees that strive to do the least amount of work possible, put up with one another because they have to, and would literally step on a colleague to get ahead.

No matter which scenario resonates (or anything in between), you have the opportunity to tap into the new year’s mindset and create real change within your organization. Just remember that a culture of teamwork begins at the top. If you want to see rock star results, you will have to take different actions.

  1. Improve communication

Look at any struggling team and you’ll see poor communication at the root of the problem. Encourage your band members to listen better, communicate with empathy, be honest (but not hurtful), and be open to people who may think and communicate differently. A lot of the time the work doesn’t get done or done correctly because of poor communication. As the band leader it starts with you being 100% transparent with your dreams, goals, or vision and making sure everyone understands that.

  1. Create a safe environment

Are your team /band members comfortable thinking outside of the box? Are innovative ideas met with gratitude and honest consideration or with scorn and dismissiveness? You have a treasure trove of wisdom within your department… but only if you create a safe space for employees to share their brilliance. Will every idea be a keeper? Not at all. But you never know what you’ll get when you encourage them to share. Remember Steven Tyler’s dare to suck band meeting principal? All of the band members are challenged to bring their worst ideas to the table and then they build off of them. It created some of the best ideas and music. So maybe you throw the box away, and by doing that there are no boundaries to the limits or ideas and creativity from your team. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Give better feedback

There’s always room for improvement. No matter how well your team is doing, there are always tweaks that can be made to make things even better. However, without specific, actionable feedback, your comments will do nothing more than offending your team members. Let them know exactly what they could do better (and how), and don’t forget to point out what they’re already doing well. With a Rockstar mindset, all feedback is positive. By taking action, even if it’s in the wrong direction, with positive feedback we will know when and where to turn around. Then we will know what direction we need to go. But if no action is taken then no feedback can be given. Do nothing, get nothing. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Accept feedback

You have to crave feedback. Beg for if need be. That you’re a band leader or band member. If you can’t take constructive criticism, and get defensive and angry when it’s provided to you, why would you expect your employees to react any differently? There’s a level of vulnerability that you need to show as a leader when it comes to feedback. When a team member comes to you with a problem or concern, put your ego aside and hear them out. Sure, their opinion may be completely unfounded… or it could be something you truly need to work on. The great thing to remember is that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem. And the bottom line is it doesn’t matter if it’s your way, or a new way as long as the work gets done, gets done on time, and gets done correctly.

  1. Take responsibility

Much like taking feedback, you can’t expect your team to accept responsibility and own up to their mistakes if you don’t. Take ownership of your decisions, even if they have a less than perfect outcome. Seeing the maturity you exhibit will inspire your team members to stop pointing fingers and do the same. It’s wasted energy. Own it. Use it for an opportunity for growth or learning, and then move on. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Foster trust

When you or one of your employees says they will do something, does it get done? Being able to trust your teammates is one of the most important aspects of teamwork. If one person doesn’t do what they agreed to do, the entire operation could fall apart. Hold yourself and your team members accountable and you’ll foster a culture of trust. This all comes full circle. But having great communication, embracing and begging for feedback, giving everyone permission to speak freely when they don’t agree or understand something will also make sure that everyone has each other’s back, and help hold each other accountable to make sure the work gets done. Remember Steve Jobs of Apple used the Beatles as his business model. He said, “they were four young guys who kept each other’s negative tendencies in check, they balance each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”

  1. Reward the behaviors you want to see

What do you want to see from your team? Do you want them to support one another? Contribute their fare share and pick up the slack (on occasion) when a team member is having a difficult time? Do you want them to focus on the goals of the team in addition to their individual goals? Whatever you hope to create more of, you’ll want to positively reinforce. Rather than only rewarding those who excel in carrying out their personal responsibilities (customer service goals, sales goals, production goals, etc.), reward those who support their fellow team members. And remember there is a fine line between reward and celebration. You always want your team to be in the spirit of celebration. It fuels and gives the motivation to go on. Not just the number one songs or the big wins, but the top ten’s and the top fifties, the small wins too. Trust me on this one the more your band celebrates, the more successful, the more fuel, the more momentum, and the more fun you will have.

Fostering a culture of teamwork starts at the top, but should include everyone equally. Exhibit the characteristics and behaviors that you want to see from your employees and band members and they’ll be working together in perfect harmony. To finish the quote from Steve Jobs, he said “and that’s how I see business, great things in business are never accomplished by one person there accomplished by a team of people.” If you need some outside help to create the high-performance team you’ve always wanted, or a band that constantly rocks, Marvelless Mark will get them rocking out together and playing in unison. There is a deeper dive into these revolutions in my latest book, Opportunity Rocks!

So, stop with the resolutions and start creating some revolutions. Here’s to an amazing new year! Cheers!

It’s a sobering fact that many business owners don’t fully realize before opening their doors 20% of businesses will fail within the first year, and by the fifth year, approximately 50% will be in danger (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 7, 2020). After all, you’ve put your heart and soul into your business. It’s your baby. You’d do just about anything to make sure that your business has longevity instead of becoming part of that statistic. This doesn’t include a pandemic in the mix either.

Luckily, to ensure that your business is in it for the long haul, the best thing you can do is look to the world of music. The music industry is notorious for chewing up musicians and spitting them out, yet some bands have managed to stand the test of time. Handled properly, you can become the U2 of your industry, rather than the Chumbawamba. (Did you just say, “Chumba who? Exactly.)

Rockstars who stick around for generations behave differently than one-hit wonders. Take a note from these titans of music.

Four Strategies to Make Your Business Last

Have a Clear Purpose and Vision

KISS went into the music industry with the intention to be the greatest rock band of all time. Everything they did, from the long days of practicing to the long nights of trying to get their makeup off, was in service of that vision. It served as their guiding star, helping them make decisions, and making sure that every bandmate was on the same page. The same was for the Beatles. They wanted to be bigger than Elvis.

Why did you go into business and what do you hope to get out of it? Understanding your purpose and your vision, and then clearly communicating it to your employees will help you stay on the path to a long, healthy business. Be very clear and be very specific. Clarity is power.

Maintain a Narrow Focus

Bands don’t set out to make music in every genre there is. U2 never sat backstage after a concert and thought, “We should incorporate opera into our songs… and add in some Country. Hey – does anyone know how to play the banjo?” Or if they did, at least the conversation never moved forward. Do what you do best first. Once you are on top of one mountain others can easily see you from the other ones.

This isn’t to say that rockstars (and you) can’t shift your focus throughout the life of your business. This will actually help you stay fresh and relevant. Just don’t try to do everything at once… in one song… unless you’re Queen and then you go ahead and do whatever you want, because it will be amazing.

Always Be Practicing and Always Be Practicing

Rockstars with staying power know that the hours spent practicing in the studio (or the garage) are what enable them to get on stage and do what they love to do. The same goes for your business. The most important moment in your day isn’t the time spent sitting across from a potential customer delivering your sales pitch. The most important time is learning your craft, perfecting your product, and preparing for that pitch. The more effort you put into that time, the more often you’ll get to do what you love and went into business to do. Don Henley of the Eagles said they never started a tour until they rehearsed their playlist one hundred times in a row, perfectly. Do you and your band have that level of commitment? Were you honing your skills during the pandemic?

Your Band is Your Best Asset

Frontmen (and women) who don’t appreciate their bandmates are destined to be solo artists. Or unemployed. When you start out in business, you may do so as a solopreneur. You may wear every hat in your organization from the CEO to the janitor. However, as your organization grows, you’re going to need a strong team or band that you trust and appreciate, to help you succeed.

Understand that your team is your best asset. They will help you make the Billboard charts or sink into obscurity. Choose wisely and then shower them with gratitude. Never (ever) make them feel unappreciated or easily replaceable. When you do, they’ll either hightail it for the door or make a slow exit, eroding your business as they go. Three key points about your band from my book Opportunity Rocks are, do what’s best for the band, honor everyone’s unique abilities, including your bass players, and check your ego at the door. Everyday. 

Could your team be working together better? I can help. Whether virtual, in-person or a hybrid meeting our team-building trainings will have your employees making beautiful music together and being heard above the noise.

It turns out there’s a lot we can learn from the rockstars of the music industry… and not just which makeup remover works best. Certain musicians have stayed relevant for all these years because they know their vision and their purpose, maintain a narrow focus, stay on top of their game, and appreciate their bandmates. Now, it’s your turn to be a rockstar in your business! Let’s unleash your inner rock star on the world.

No doubt you are an excellent manager. You want what’s best for your employees and for the company as a whole. You are doing your best to improve teamwork in the workplace, but your employees just aren’t responding.

Maybe they are fighting amongst themselves, gossip is running rampant, or there is just an air of unhealthy competition and you don’t know how to fix it. You’ve tried everything from outlining a larger vision for employees to work towards, to creating opportunities for team members to socialize outside of work, but still nothing.

Just like a rock band, a department or team can’t function when they can’t get along. And sometimes, it takes an outside perspective and another pair of eyes to identify the issues running underneath the surface and bring your employees to the rock star levels you know they’re capable of.

In this case, a motivational speaker and consultant can be the difference between a happy, healthy working environment, and an office ripe with strife. Here’s how a motivational speaker can inspire your team to create rock star results.

The Benefits of a Motivational Speaker

Inspired employees are successful employees and no one can deliver a dose of inspiration like a motivational speaker. They can:

Provide an outside point of view

Have you ever been looking for something that’s right in front of you, but not seeing it at all? Sometimes, when we are too close to a problem, we’re unable to see obvious solutions that may be presenting themselves. Having a speaker and consultant work with your group can identify options you wouldn’t see by yourself.

Lead teamwork exercises

Sometimes employees need to learn to work as a team on projects unrelated to work. A motivational speaker will create activities to get your employees jamming as one. For example, Marvelless Mark® often incorporates a Battle of the Bands into his presentations. Employees work as a “band” to write, compose, market and perform their rock masterpiece. When a group builds rapport outside of work duties, they can translate those skills and relationships into their jobs.

Manage resistance among employees

Human beings, whether they be front-line employees or the CEO of the company, have difficulty accepting change. When you are introducing a new culture or protocol into your department, you’re likely to be met with whispers of disapproval and outright arguments from the team. A motivational speaker can help team members understand the changes and how they will ultimately benefit not just the company, but them as well.

Inspire through the power of story

Motivational speakers have worked with numerous companies facing the same challenges as yours. They can take the success (and failure) stories from those situations and use them to teach and inspire your team. Employees will be emotionally moved by the stories and will continue to be affected by them well after the speaker leaves.

Encourage honesty

Sometimes, no matter how much you encourage open communication and assure your employees that their feedback won’t have ramifications, they still aren’t willing to open up. A motivational speaker will reach out to a few key employees to fully understand the team dynamic and can bring issues to light that you never knew existed.

A motivational speaker can be a breath of fresh air for your department and your company. They can help you establish a culture of teamwork and build rapport among your employees. Hire a motivational speaker and create rock star results!

“Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?” – Jon Bon Jovi

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

Your team at the office is just like a rock band. There are different personalities, backgrounds, and individual goals to contend with, and if you’d like to improve teamwork in the workplace, you need to foster an environment of mutual respect. Not just between you are your employees, but between employees and their coworkers.

Without respect for your bandmates, a rock star will never make it big. In order to really rock, you need to treat others with dignity and be tolerant of their differences.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that one of the biggest threats to a team working cohesively is a lack of mutual respect. In order to create this type of culture, you need to first understand what it looks like, and then learn how to implement it within your department.

What Does “Respect” Look Like in the Workplace?

If you don’t understand what respect is, it’s difficult to know whether you’ve got it at work. Here are a few signs that your employees respect you (and vice versa) and each other:

  • Allowing people their turn to speak – There is nothing more infuriating than being asked a question and then not being given the opportunity to answer. When you interrupt your employees or allow staff to interrupt one another, you send the message that their thoughts, their opinions, and their voices don’t matter.
  • Pay attention to your non-verbal communication – Not everyone has a “poker face” but when you make unpleasant facial expressions, roll your eyes, or cross your arms over your chest defiantly, people notice. Being subjected to these nonverbal cues can be demeaning to any employee.
  • Treat Everyone the Same – It’s fairly obvious (though still bears mentioning) that you should treat everyone equally no matter what their race, age, gender, or sexual orientation. But what about their job title? Do you treat some members of your team better than others based on their duties in the office? Does the person who cleans the toilets deserve any less respect than management? People are people and if you’d like your staff to work together, they have to understand that they are all important to the team.
  • Praise Others for their Accomplishments – Celebrating a job well-done shows employees that they are appreciated and respected. When you create a culture of celebration, your employees will take the cue and praise one another when a goal has been reached.

How Do you Encourage Respect?

Now that you have a clear understanding of how “respectful behaviors” look, how do you encourage your employees to engage in them?

1) Lead by example. You can talk about respect all you want, but if you aren’t modeling it for your employees, no one else will either.

2) Highlight everyone’s value. Make sure your employees understand that each and every one of them has different experience, different skills, and different goals. However, that doesn’t make one person any more valuable than another’s. A band wouldn’t sound very good if everyone played the bass. You need different types of talent to make beautiful music.

3) Discourage gossip. The quickest way to lose respect is to talk badly about someone. People will lose respect for the gossiper, the “victim” of the gossip, you as a manager for not shutting it down, and themselves for listening and not defending their coworker.

4) Discuss expectations. Be clear when you onboard a new employee, and host a meeting for existing employees to help them understand why respect for their coworkers is important, what it looks like in action, and how they can be a part of creating a culture of respect.

When you want your team members to work together, ensuring that they respect one another and the job they are there to do will help improve relationships, teamwork, and your bottom line. Create rock star results with respect.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Find out what it means to me  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” Aretha Franklin (written by Otis Redding)

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

Do you remember those dreaded cliques in High School? Whispers and glances as you walked through the halls? It would be nice if schoolyard gossip ended when we stopped going to school. But unfortunately, it often follows us into the office. If you’d like to improve teamwork in the workplace, you’ll need to nip gossip in the bud and improve the culture of communication in your department.

When band members talk behind one another’s back, trust is broken, feelings get hurt, and eventually, the tight-knit unit will erode. The same thing will happen within your company if you don’t get a handle on gossip. Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that if you want your employees to achieve rock star results, gossip has no place in the workplace.

The Dangers of “Water Cooler Gossip”

It’s so easy to share what you know about other people. And 90% of the time, you’re not trying to hurt them. Unfortunately, when you talk about a coworker without them present, problems arise including:

  • Lost productivity. This seems like it goes without saying, but if your employees spend all their time talking about each other, they won’t spend any time working toward their goals.
  • Destruction of trust. Your employees are less likely to lean on one another for support, come to each other with issues, and trust each other if gossip is being spread.
  • Destruction of friendships and respect. When you hear something negative about someone, you tend to view them through that filter.
  • Destruction of reputations. Nothing can ruin a career faster than a rumor running rampant through the office.
  • Anxiety among employees. When gossip is spreading throughout the office, you can feel it hanging in the air. This increases anxiety, not just for the topic of conversation, but for everyone involved.

When gossip becomes a common theme in your office, your employees will be less satisfied at work, take more sick days, and eventually quit to escape the environment. Creating a “no-gossip zone” is not just good for improving teamwork, it’s necessary for the health of your business.

How to Prevent Gossip in the Workplace

As a manager, it’s your job to set a good example for your employees, to educate them about the dangers of gossip, and to construct guidelines to prevent it from happening within your team. You can do this by:

  • Communicate expectations. Host a department-wide meeting to let your employees know what constitutes “gossip” and that there will be repercussions for engaging in this behavior. Be very clear that you have a zero-tolerance policy and that it is there to protect every employee.
  • Encourage employees to come to you if they hear gossip among the team. Promise that any reports will be strictly confidential (and uphold that promise) so they are comfortable approaching you.
  • Address the gossiper face to face. Let them know that their behavior is not acceptable, that they are damaging the team, and then dole out whatever consequence you outlined during the meeting.
  • Encourage positive talk throughout the office. If employees are busy building each other up, they won’t have time to tear each other down.
  • Advise employees to be cautious about who they share aspects of their personal life with. While it’s good team building to encourage socialization among employees, they should also be aware that personal information should only be shared with those they really trust.

When you make a conscious effort to improve the working environment of your team by removing gossip from the office, your employees will rise to the rank of rock stars.

“I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn’t weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird.”-  Paul McCartney

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

From the outside, your team may look happy. They’re all smiling, chatting, and laughing. But underneath, resentment is brewing. The fact of the matter is, you can’t improve teamwork in the workplace until you address the underlying conflicts between your employees.

“But my team actually likes each other!”

That may be the case, but human beings have conflict, whether you admit or accept it. Sometimes the issues start out small, like someone taking the last cup of coffee and not brewing another pot. But eventually, the issues can multiply until you have an all-out war on your hands. You spend 40+ hours a week with your work “family.” How could conflict not arise?

Do you think that bands don’t get at each other’s throats when they’re on the road? Of course, they do! Personality types vary and when you spend that much time with others, problems are bound to happen. Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that the question isn’t whether or not there will be conflict, it’s how will you handle conflict when it comes.

How to Handle Workplace Conflict

When you know how to cut conflict off at the pass and communicate with your employees, you can improve the way that they relate to each other and prevent any situations from which there’s no coming back. Here are a few tips:

  1. Clearly state objectives, responsibilities, and acceptable behavior.

Just because conflict is inevitable, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do everything in your power to ward it off. The best way to do this is to make every single employee aware of what is expected of them within their job description and within their interpersonal relationships.

  1. Handle conflict the moment it appears.

While it may be easier (in the short term) to ignore workplace conflict, it will ultimately lead to the breakdown of your employee’s relationships. When a disagreement comes to your attention that may have the potential to become a larger issue, call the parties into your office and discuss the situation openly and honestly.

  1. Discuss behaviors, not personalities.

Whenever you give feedback, whether it’s to an individual during a performance review, or to employees during a conflict resolution session, you want to focus on behaviors that can be changed rather than personalities that are static.

Imagine being told that your coworkers don’t like your attitude. What are you supposed to do with that? Now imagine being told that your coworkers don’t appreciate when you complain (loudly) to your friends on the phone about your current assignment and the people you have to work with.

Behaviors can be changed. Attacking a person’s personality is unproductive and will create more resentment.

  1. Identify where they agree and where they disagree.

Oftentimes, employee’s opinions aren’t that far off from one another. The bigger issue is that they aren’t listening to each other and taking the time to hear what the other has to say. This is where you come in. You can identify the points on which they agree and don’t agree, hear both arguments for the disagreements, and then move them towards a place of agreement.

  1. See conflict as an opportunity to improve.

When conflict arises, you may handle it quickly and expertly, but are you taking full advantage of the opportunity? You have a few options for making this a learning experience. These include:

  • Finding the source of the conflict and making changes to prevent it in the future.
  • Explaining the conflict resolution process to your employees as you walk them through it.
  • Using the disagreement to showcase opposing viewpoints and explain how different ideas and beliefs actually make the team stronger.

While conflict may seem like a negative at the time, opportunity rocks!

One of the most important aspects of conflict resolution in the workplace is to create an environment of open communication. If your employees are afraid to bring issues to you for fear of punishment or repercussions, you won’t know about conflict until it’s too late.

Let your employees know that you are there for them, that you are all a part of the team, and that conflict will be dealt with in a safe, non-judgmental space. When you truly learn how to handle conflict, your team will work together and achieve rockstar results.

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Jimi Hendrix

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

Claiming you have an “open door” policy is all well and good. However, if your behaviors don’t support a culture of open communication, your policy won’t inspire rock star results or improve teamwork in the workplace.

Open communication refers to an environment where employees are kept in the loop regarding the company and the department’s progress, where they encouraged to approach management with any concerns or ideas that may arise, and where their input is valued and rewarded.

Rockstars take input from their bandmates because the collaboration makes them stronger and helps them produce better music. Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that when you foster an environment of open communication in the office, you motivate your team to work together and produce the best results possible.

The Benefits of Open Communication

Fostering this type of environment has many benefits for the employees as well as for the company as a whole.

  1. Show your employees that you value and trust them – creating a true “open door” policy where employees are free to discuss their ideas and their challenges, allows them to feel as if they are truly part of something bigger than themselves. The company’s mission will become their mission and they will work harder towards that goal.
  2. Recognize problems before they become unbearable – your employees are on the frontline of the business and they will recognize issues that arise well before you do. Giving them the freedom to bring these issues to your attention assures that you can address them before they become a larger problem.
  3. Inspire creative solutions to problems – your brain is wonderful, however, having all of your team members brains available to create solutions is even better. Your employees have likely already thought of some solutions before they brought the issue to your attention. Give them the space to share those.
  4. Resolve conflict between employees quickly – no matter how wonderful your team is, human beings will always experience conflict with one another. You can ignore this and pretend that everything is alright while your team disintegrates, or you can invite them to bring their challenges to you, address them immediately, and then resolve them immediately to keep your team strong and solidified.

How to Foster Open Communication

Now that you’re convinced that you need to create an environment of open communication for the good of your team and your business, how do you do it? Here are 4 steps to ensure that you make the most out of this environment:

  1. Be Transparent – Employees that feel you are hiding the state of the company from them, have no reason to be open and honest with you. If you want your employees to communicate with you, you need to do the same for them.
  2. Be Clear About Roles and Responsibilities – When each employee knows what the others do, they will be more likely to work together and support one another, and less likely to step on each other’s toes.
  3. Hold Regular Meetings – Encourage employees to share their concerns and their ideas in a public forum and then praise them for doing so.
  4. Send out Surveys – If a topic is controversial and employees may feel uncomfortable sharing their ideas or beliefs, create anonymous surveys so they can be open and honest without fear of fall out.
  5. Thank Employees for their Feedback – Even when you don’t like it. It takes a lot of strength to approach management with a complaint or idea. If an employee is met with negativity, mocking, or punishment, they will never make another suggestion.

When you create a culture of open communication in the workplace, your employees will relate better to you, to each other, and they will achieve rock star results.

“We’re five people, five individuals who came together to create something, to make music and to complete each other musically, to form a perfect circle.” Maynard James Keenan

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

Have you ever uttered the words “I like to keep tabs on my employees”? When it comes to motivating your employees to achieve rock star results and to improve teamwork in the workplace, identifying and stopping your micromanaging behavior is the first step.

Imagine if a band’s manager was so busy standing over the musicians telling them how to play their instruments, that they had no time to book gigs, write up contracts, or market the band. The group wouldn’t be playing music for very long.

The same is true of your team at work. Marvelless Mark® reminds his clients that if you don’t give employees the space to do what they do best, you won’t have time to do what you do best. Not to mention, you’ll have some very irritated employees on your hands. Even worse, micromanaging behavior can be detrimental to how your team interacts with one another.

Why is Micromanaging so Harmful to Your Team

Whether you intend to or not, this type of behavior sends a very clear message to your employees:

“I don’t trust you.”

When your employees believe that you don’t trust them, problems begin to brew.

Issues for Employees

They will become less satisfied with their position, less interested in going above and beyond, less creative with solutions, and they will back away from increased responsibility and opportunities for growth.

Issues for You

Just like that band manager who loses sight of the big picture because he’s too busy trying to play all the instruments, you won’t have time to keep your eye on the larger vision that you’ve identified for your team. You’ll be so busy doing everyone else’s work that you won’t have time to do your own. You’ll be stressed, resentful, and your employees won’t like you very much.

Issues for the Team

While it may seem like this kind of behavior won’t affect the interpersonal relationships of your employees and affect their ability to work as a team, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you don’t trust your employees to do their jobs, why would their coworkers? Micromanaging behavior breeds mistrust throughout the department and creates hostility.

Are You a Micromanager?

Like any behavior, admitting it is half the battle. If you insist on being cc’d on every email that’s sent, if you check in on your employees multiple times throughout the day or find yourself watching their work over their shoulder, you may be a micromanager. The best way to find out… ask.

Yes, this is going to require showing some vulnerability to your staff, but while it may appear weak, it’s actually a show of strength and your team will respect you more for it.

“Humility is really important because it keeps you fresh and new.” – Steven Tyler

Bring a few of your most trusted employees in for an informal chat either individually or as a small group.  Ask them the following questions:

  • Do they feel empowered to make decisions on their own?
  • Do they feel as if your requirement for “check-ins” is hampering their ability to get their job done?
  • How would they describe your management style? Would they prefer something else?
  • Would they consider you a micromanager or “helicopter manager”?

Once you’ve determined that you are indeed micromanaging, you’ll need to figure out why. There are a number of reasons that can factor into this such as:

  • Insecurity: You’re afraid you’ll look bad if they don’t do something well.
  • Ego: You think you can do it better and in less time.
  • Lack of trust: You don’t think your employees can handle the tasks they’ve been given.

There is one situation where your micromanaging behavior may be a symptom of a larger problem. If you haven’t always micromanaged, you may have lost faith in your employees… and sometimes for good reason. If you’ve tasked an employee with a project in the past, trained them properly to complete it, and they did not produce, it may be time to evaluate their skills and then move them to another position or release them from the company.

Micromanaging is a dangerous behavior whether you’re managing a band or a department of salespeople. When you recognize and understand your behavior, you’ll be able to lead your team in a way that produces rockstar results for each employee and for the company as a whole.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.