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U.S. natural-gas production hit its highest level ever over the winter even in the face of low prices.



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Ensuring Remote Productivity: How To Work Effectively With People Who Aren't Sitting Right Next To You?

“By Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro”

“Quality means doing it right even when no one is looking.” — Henry Ford, American automaker.

A lot of what we used to know about working with others changes when our coworkers sit 10,000 miles away, instead of 10 feet away. Today we have to add “working with remote colleagues” to our basic skill set, whether that involves an outsourced contractor, a headquarters or field office in another country, those working in home offices, or a colleague temporarily transferred.

And here’s the kicker: ensuring remote productivity isn’t just the responsibility of the team leader. Everyone owns responsibility for it. So what can you do to ensure you and your remote coworkers stay jointly productive?

Aside from the things you’d do with any other coworker, you can try these measures:

1. Study your coworker’s culture, if it’s different from your own. A familiar greeting can score you brownie points with a new remote partner. Furthermore, knowing what not to do can avoid culture clashes. In some cultures, people prefer to be called by their full first names, rather than a shortened version like Rob or Ray. In others, they readily accept nicknames to make communication easier.

2. Establish a common organization culture. If you both work for the same team, you should establish a procedure that works most productively for all involved, without insisting on doing things your way. Find some common ground where you can meet. Not only does it make communication and paperwork easier, a common culture fosters camaraderie.

3. Communicate often. Since your waking/working hours may be entirely opposite, as they would be if you worked with someone from Indonesia or Australia, make sure to respond to emails right away. If not, instead of a 24 lag, you could have a 48 hour lag, which is bad for business. Try to batch your questions in fewer emails. Also answer your remote partner’s questions and requests as completely as possible; don’t answer one part of the email while ignoring another, because you may be preventing them from moving forward.

4. Arrange workable teleconference times when everyone in the group can attend, no matter where they are in the world. Or tradeoff who will have the early mornings or late nights. It may require a great deal of compromise to find a time when everyone can meet. For example, you may need to stay up until 11 PM if that coincides with your remote partner’s morning shift. Try to switch around the inconveniences, and keep the teleconferences both short and to a minimum, knowing that someone may be calling in from home with children running around.

5. Establish blackout periods. These represent the opposite of set communication times—periods when team members, especially those living in distant time zones, should be left alone. Aside from sleep and rest times, take into account religious holidays and high holy days like Christmas, the Queen’s birthday, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, etc. Be patient with delays from people who are celebrating holidays and taking vacations, just as you would want them to do for you.

6. Set clear milestones and deadlines. Make everyone aware of when a particular task or project is due—and take into account the International Dateline—not just time zones. A colleague once missed a deadline simply because he didn’t realize his client lived in the Far East. The project was due on November 1, and that’s when he turned it in; but by then, it was November 2 where his remote partner worked.

7. Share feedback regularly. Tell each other how well you’re doing, and talk about any challenges, especially if they’re based on cultural differences. One person may take on incredible amounts of work just to impress their supervisors and then can’t turn in their projects on time. On the other hand, they may think you’re lazy if you don’t overwork yourself! Whatever the case, keep talking and work to find solutions that satisfy everyone.

Remote Possibilities

If you work in the white-collar world, you’ll almost certainly end up working with or supervising remote coworkers at some point. How you handle them will vary according to whether they work from home in the suburbs a dozen miles away, a few states away, or in another country. But some considerations apply to anyone in a remote work environment. Given the unique nature of each such situation, you’ll surely work out additional guidelines to help you keep up with your faraway comrades.


Should You Accept A Counteroffer From Your Employer?

“By Dawn Wotapka, of”

You’ve survived the grueling job interview process and received a job offer. Now comes the really hard part: Dealing with your current employer.

What’s the best course of action if you are a little unsure about this new opportunity or if your current boss counters with a competing offer? Here’s advice on how to navigate the delicate process of (potentially) leaving your job.

It might be tempting, but don’t jump at the new offer immediately. Let the person offering know that you’re really excited about the opportunity, but you need a couple of days to think about it, suggests Lisa Phalen, a Phoenix-based leadership coach. Ask the person when you can get back to him or her. You’ll usually be given a few days.

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What Leaders Must Do When Failure Strikes

“By Kevin Eikenberry, of Leadership & Learning”


It happens to all of us. And as leaders, how we deal with it is important – not just for ourselves, but for the lasting message it sends to others.

Recently we experienced one of our most public failures. The picture you see here is of Guy Harris and I in our studio during what was supposed to be an awesome three hour live streaming web event.

We had hundreds registered. We had planned extensively, promoted it heavily and invested significantly in this event.

Then, when we went live, nothing happened for our viewers. Later, we got audio. Eventually, we got some video. Effectively, nothing useful was captured for replay or reuse.

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Finding Meaning At Work

“By Tracy Maylett, of DecisionWise

Does Your Job Have Meaning Beyond the Work Itself?

When was the last time you felt that the work you were doing had meaning or was about more than just making money? Have you ever done something that filled you so completely that you could work nonstop for hours without realizing it?

If you have, then you know what we mean by “MEANING.” Meaning is how we go from job, to career, to calling. It’s when you know that your work makes a difference that you care about personally. Meaning is why we work beyond the obvious reason of getting a paycheck. It’s also critical because it’s the factor that sustains us during times of difficulty, stress, or challenge. It helps us see past issues and focus on reasons we’re working in the first place. It’s where the heart really kicks in.

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How To Stand Out In Meetings

“By Eddie Huffman, The Journal of Accountancy”

Every time you find yourself in a meeting at the office, you have two choices: stand out or fade into the background. While it may seem safer to simply listen and occasionally nod your head, that’s not a promising long-term strategy. If you want to make a positive impression on your colleagues and advance your career, standing out is the only real choice.

“It’s important to control your story and how people view you,” said Robyn McLeod, a leadership consultant.

McLeod is a principal with Chatsworth Consulting Group in New York and a leadership coach for a variety of organizations. She considers herself an introvert and knows standing out doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

“We tend to worry about whether we are going to look stupid, or be embarrassed, or maybe we’re wrong,” she said. “It’s those worries that hold us back.”

So how do you put your best foot forward? These tips will help you make the most of your next gathering with colleagues around the conference room table:

1. Get to know your co-workers before meetings. It’s much easier to speak up around people you already know and feel comfortable with.

“Practice being a more social person at work,” McLeod said. “Meet someone new at the office. Go up to their desk and say hello.”

It’s obviously a good idea to get to know people you will meet with regularly. But McLeod also recommends talking to people all around your workplace as a way to get used to speaking up and making your presence known.

“The more you’re able to deal with people in a casual setting, the easier it will be in a more formal setting,” she said.

2. Be prepared.

Study the agenda ahead of time. Give the issues under discussion some thought before going into the meeting. If you are unfamiliar with any of the issues, do your homework. If you have relevant statistics or documentation, bring copies for everyone. If you know you will have information to contribute, prepare a few talking points. If you have questions, write them down.

“If you’re stuck on something, then state that in the meeting,” said Joy Lizotte, CPA, a growth planner and business coach in Lake City, Fla. “You need to come [to the meeting] with answers. If you have an issue, who can help you with that issue? Think about what will be discussed in advance instead of walking in cold and unprepared.”

3. Don’t speak until you have something to say.

While introverts may hesitate to speak up in a meeting, extroverts often have the opposite problem.

“So many people are just talking to talk,” Lizotte said. “Think about the input you’re giving: Is that going to make a difference in the outcome of the meeting? Will it help in some way?”

McLeod recommends a mnemonic device to keep tongues in check.

“There’s a great acronym that I use for my coaching clients who are talkative, and it’s ‘WAIT,’” she said. “It stands for ‘why am I talking?’ And it really does work well, because it helps them to remember that there are times when it is better to not talk, and sometimes I’m just talking because it’s my habit. Whereas it’s much more powerful to not talk and hear what the other person has to say.”


Why Don’t People Communicate Up in an Organization?

“By Dianna Booher, of Huffington Post”

The CEO and the CFO set in opposite corners of the room. But both stuck their hands into the air just as I called for questions at the end of my keynote. “Why don’t employees communicate upward in an organization?” the CEO asked with a twinge of frustration. The CFO added, “My question exactly!”

It’s a common question in the executive suite — even from the most well-liked and brightest leaders in the boardroom. And the question deserves serious thought because typically when downward communication dominates, problems go unaddressed and innovation stalls.

Eventually poor internal communication shows up to the customer as poor service or defective products. So back to the root reasons:

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How To Connect With Anyone You Just Met With 5 Questions

“By Paul Sohn, of”

All my life, I’ve began asking myself, “Whom can I connect?” I am naturally hard-wired to see the world as a web of relationships and I get excited by the prospect of connecting people within my web. Not because they will like each other, but rather because of what they will create together. The mantra I operate in is “1 + 1 makes 3. Or 30. Or 300. ”

Entering a new career transition as an entrepreneur and leadership coach/consultant, I am constantly finding ways to build connections and find ways on how I can be for them and against them.

I came across five types of questions that have helped me to improve my emotional connectivity with people. I hope you’ll find the following helpful in building your relational intelligence.

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How to Lead a Team Meeting

“By Dan McCarthy,”

One of a manager’s most important responsibilities is being able to plan and run an effective team meeting. Many managers never learn how to run an effective meeting because they’ve sat through too many poorly run meetings (lack of role models) or they’ve never been to a training program on how to run meetings.

Follow these ten tips for planning and running effective team meetings:

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8 Reasons to Be Early to Work

“By Hilary White, POPSUGAR Smart Living”

Arriving early to work might not always sound like the most appealing thing to do, mainly because it means getting up earlier. But there are some great reasons to get ahead of the game — especially if you practice some good morning habits. Check out ways that starting work before the rest of the crowd can make your day more efficient and enjoyable.

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5 Interview Mistakes Entry Level Candidates Make

“By Ben White, of Getting The Job HQ”

What an exciting time! You have just finished school and with all the enthusiasm in the world you create a resume and attempt to land you first real job! While that sounds like quite the adventure, I can remember not too long ago when that was me and what I ended up finding out is that adventure can be longer than anticipated. I have a unique perspective on this seeing as how I went through it not too long ago and I speak with entry level candidates all the time. Now don’t get me wrong, some entry level candidates come off sounding like experienced vets. Their resumes look perfect, their LinkedIn profiles fully optimized and they are networked well better than those five or even ten years their senior. However this wasn’t me and quite frankly it’s not most people. Even if you have had jobs before, it’s a totally different call game when you finally get to the big leagues. The questions are tougher and the reality is the competition is a lot stiffer. At the same time you find yourself graduating, a ton of other people with similar goals and ambitions are also ready to enter the job market. According to the National Center for Education Statistics during the 2015-16 school year colleges and universities will award 1.8 million bachelor’s degree and over 800 thousand masters degrees. Talk about competition. Knowing that, it only makes sense you would want to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Well today is your lucky day because I am going to share with you the 5 interview mistakes entry level candidates make so that you are able to avoid them. These are the mistakes I have noticed frequently occur when I interview entry level and early career candidates.

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