There’s nothing that discourages an employee more than a boss who requires him to do something that he won’t do himself. You may think you’re exempt because you’ve already “done that.” After all, you had to pay your dues and do the dirty work for many years to be promoted to your “posh” position. But getting involved with the day-to-day on-the-job tasks will provide you with multiple benefits:
Excel 2007 gives you a lot of new visual options when it comes to building a spreadsheet. You can apply themes to your data and use new shape effects and conditional formatting looks. But what about your Excel application itself? Believe it or not, you don’t need to stick with Microsoft’s traditional blue color scheme.
To change your Excel application’s color scheme:
Thinking about where your customer is coming from will help you to get to the root of his problem, and thus to the solution, sooner.
Believe it or not, most customers don’t set out with the goal of ruining your day. They have specific needs that they simply rely on you to meet.
We’ve all attended those meeting that seem to go off on tangents and cover everything under the sun — other than the meeting agenda. So why do some meetings go off without a hitch and others don’t? It all comes down to proper planning before the meeting, and having the right tactics during the meeting.
So prepare your next meeting properly, and follow these guidelines:
Before you plan the meeting, figure out the answers to the following questions:
- What is the goal of this meeting?
- Who is invited?
- Should we serve refreshments, and if so, what kind?
Once you have the basics, you can start planning.
Send out your invitations far enough in advance to give everyone a chance to plan and to make changes to their schedules if necessary.
- The day before the meeting, prepare a brief agenda and send it to the meeting participants with the goal of the meeting. The meeting participants will then know what to expect and the agenda will help them to stay focused.
- If you are serving refreshments, plan for time that you will need to pick them up or have them delivered and set aside time to set them up.
To stay on track during your meeting, consider the following:
- Start and end the meeting promptly at the times you specified in your meeting invitation.
- If you’re serving refreshments, make the food portion of the meeting streamlined and simplistic so the attendees can spend their time on the agenda and not on waiting for food.
- Designate one person to be in charge of keeping everyone on track. He can ring a bell or simply raise his hand each time the conversation goes off topic.
- Let everyone know you have set aside 10 or 15 minutes at the end of the meeting to answer any questions. Instruct meeting attendees to write down their questions as you speak, and save them for that discussion time at the end of the meeting.
Bulleted text can deter learning. If you’d like to make over your presentations so that they don’t have bulleted text, the first step is to remove bullets. You’ll end up with block text, which you can then pair up with a photo, a chart, or a diagram.