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3 tips to make you a better leader in 2017.

December 27, 2016

ANew Year means New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of swearing off ice cream or resolving to finish (or even start) that novel, how about making a few resolutions you can keep – and that will help your business. What insights do you need to make 2017 a successful year? Here are three tips that can help you become a better leader, and through that, help your nursery thrive this year.

Create a culture of trust and encourage employees to speak up

During his research for his bestselling book, Make Change Work for You, author and speaker Scott Steinberg discovered that successful organizations empower workers and reward them for bringing potential opportunities and challenges to their attention. Steinberg says frontline employees are often an enterprise’s most informed audience – to create and sustain a competitive advantage, provide them the tools they need to translate ideas into action.

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Quiet your internal noise

Paul H. Burton is the author of four books and numerous articles on productivity and time management, and the developer of QuietSpacing, a customizable productivity system that helps busy people increase focus and results on the job. He says that focus is where productivity occurs and focus is a very quiet place. Burton says the most effective way to create a focused, quiet internal workspace is to get unnecessary stuff out. And the best way to do that is by making a list. Lists space our thoughts out, quiet down our minds, and allow us to focus on just the one thing that needs doing now.

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Be a better listener

All humans have a desire to be listened to, but a one-sided conversation doesn’t help anyone. Many business owners are guilty of overpowering a meeting or falling in love with their own voice.

Marty Nemko, radio host on NPR’s San Francsico affiliate, uses what he calls the “Traffic Light Rule” to restrain himself in these situations.

Green light: for the first 20 seconds, your listener likes you, as long as you’re on point.

Yellow light: At 30 seconds, the listener begins to lose interest and wonders how long-winded you’re going to be.

Red light: At 40 seconds, the listener has completely lost interest and you’re talking to yourself.

Occasionally, you’ll want to run that red light and keep talking, but most of the time, you’d better stop or you’re in danger of completely losing your listener. This strategy is the first step in keeping you from talking too much. Read the article from Harvard Business Review to learn more about improving your listening.

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