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5 Keys to Improved Co-Worker Relationships

5 Keys to Improved Co-Worker Relationships
A large portion of your time is spent in the company of your co-workers, so having positive working relationships is important. No one wants to spend their day with a grumpy, hard-to-please, negative co-worker. More importantly, you don't want to be the grumpy, hard-to-please, negative co-worker. Let's take a look at five ways you can build better relationships at work. Listen. Take the time to listen to the input from your co-workers. People have different experiences, backgrounds, and areas of expertise. By actively listening to their suggestions, you show respect for their input and that you value them as part of the team. As an added bonus, you can learn many new things from your co-workers. Adapt. When faced with a disagreement, take the time to evaluate the impact the decision will have on the community, your co-workers, and yourself. Is it worth the time and energy to debate changing the office’s preferred brand of coffee, or are there other battles that are more important? Stay adaptable and don’t let personal opinions and preferences dominate your perspective. Positive Attitude. Take the time to get to know your co-workers. When the going gets tough, people sometimes become Negative Ned’s and Nancy’s. Instead of pointing out the mistakes and “wrongs” of others, offer words of encouragement and help out with whatever needs to be done. Your co-workers will see you as a positive, reliable ally in the daily grind.  Keep It Professional. Over-sharing personal details and the resulting office gossip can quickly ruin your relati......
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Conflict Resolution: Stop, Drop & Roll

Conflict Resolution: Stop, Drop & Roll
Conflicts come in all shapes and sizes. No matter the size, one thing conflicts have in common is that they are…well, common. No one can avoid conflict forever. Even the most accommodating, conflict-avoiding person will find him or herself face-to-face with conflict eventually.  When this happens, how you respond makes all the difference. Many people react to conflict. Reacting indicates an emotionally-charged, impulsive behavior. When you react to conflict, you’re more likely to say something you’ll later regret or let your emotions get the best of you. Responding to conflict, on the other hand, requires careful, conscious decision-making before speaking or acting. Responding to conflict helps you maintain control of the situation and keep your professional reputation in tact. The trickiest part about responding to conflict is keeping your emotions in check. Anger, annoyance, or frustration can overcome good judgment in an instant. Self-awareness and a healthy dose of humility are essential to avoiding the temptation to let an emotional reaction fan the flames of discord. When faced with an angry customer, a disagreement with a colleague, or any other uncomfortable confrontation, remember to stop, drop, and roll. Stop and think. What am I about to say? Is it on topic or a personal attack? How about my tone? Am I letting my frustration show? Have I raised my voice? What about body language? Are my arms crossed or my hands on my hips? Am I frowning?    Drop the unproductive behavior. Strong emotions may be present in a conflict. That’s natural......
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Don't Step on Your Seedlings: Avoiding Common Employee Engagement Pitfalls

Don't Step on Your Seedlings: Avoiding Common Employee Engagement Pitfalls
Envision, for just a moment, your community associates as a beautiful spring garden. You’ve got the stronger veterans, the ones that planted themselves with your community long ago. They’ve gotten the necessary nourishment and now their career with your community is thriving. You’ve also got your seedlings, the new, eager associates that are just getting started. They’ve got a lot of growing to do, but they’re brimming with potential. Employee engagement is your garden’s fertilizer. It keeps weeds to a minimum, while incentivizing the growth of strong roots. The goal of course, in your workforce garden, is a productive and fruitful team! Unfortunately, like any garden, all the hard work of employee engagement can be squashed by some common managerial mistakes. Read on to make sure that these 5 common and pesky errors don’t kill your employee engagement before you can harvest it!  1) Changing and Erratic Expectations Managers need to provide their employees with consistent expectations. Nothing damages employee engagement quite like having the work environment shift under an associate’s feet! Your associates need to have clear communication regarding job expectations and the scope of their work. If changes need to be made, they should be well planned and communicated. This allows the employee to prioritize their work and to feel successful. If a manager needs to adjust an associate’s responsibilities, be clear about why and how the work should be done. Be sure to adjust other expectations as well. It is never okay to simply add to an individual’s workload. This is a recipe fo......
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Role Players Are Important, Too!

Role Players Are Important, Too!
I am a football junkie and I am very excited that NFL training camps have begun and that the start of the regular season is only a month away. What’s interesting with training camps is that the teams already know which “stars” are going to make the roster. I mean, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos are not worried about whether they’re making the team, are they?   The real battles to watch concern the role players on the team; these are the men who are either not stars yet, or quite frankly will never be stars, but can still perform at the level necessary to be professional football players. While being a player on special teams, or being the backup tight end may not seem sexy or exciting, those players are still an hugely important component of a football team.    A football team needs everyone, both stars and role players, to be able to perform at a high level … and the same is true for your leasing team as well.    Role Players Have a Valuable Role   Throughout my 25 years in sales and management, I’ve only met about five people who I would consider to be “natural sales people.” These were the people who could sell anything to anybody and would always top the sales charts in the organization. Understandably, most companies want sales teams composed entirely of these selling superstars. Wouldn’t you?   Yet, I’m here to tell you that while......
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This is War: Hiring and Investing in the Front Lines

This is War: Hiring and Investing in the Front Lines
A common business expression states, “your bottom line starts with your front line.”  In the terms of war, a front line is used to designate the forward-most friendly forces on the battlefield.  Typically, the very employees we send to battle in the front lines every day, those who are tasked with the heavy burden of representing our brands and defining the experiences our customers have, are often relegated to the bottom of the business food chain.  With tight budgets and limited resources, it can be hard to justify investing in our property staff the way we know we should. Make no mistake, the life blood of the multifamily housing industry is the property staff.  Juggling a dizzying array of responsibilities, a great staff member not only works well under pressure, but does so with a smile.  So, how do we find and hire these rock-star employees?  And can it be done without breaking the bank? Entry-level positions can be challenging to fill because many applicants lack a long history of qualified experience. But the good news is that finding great people isn't as hard or expensive as you may think.  Here’s a few hiring tips: Documented Experience vs. Demonstrated Skills Resumes can be a powerful statement about an applicant's qualifications, but they can also be deceptive.  With entry-level positions, many resumes will be short and contain little experience.  Don’t let that immediately turn you away!  Instead, use a hiring process that allows your applicants to demonstrate that they have the skills needed to succeed.  And remember, just because someone......
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