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You may mean well but are distracted by other things. Or you may not even realize that you are not giving someone else your undivided attention. But your body language speaks volumes. And if it doesn't communicate that you're interested, you'll undermine the collaboration you probably want and certainly need to lead high performing teams. Here's how you can get your body to communicate that you really care about the communication you are having.

Hiring: Get a better fit by asking better questions

More and more we have come to realize how important it is to have good fits in the workplace. No, we're not looking for passive yes-men or yes-women. In fact, creative tension is essential to productive workplaces. Allowing for — in fact, striving for — a diverse range of skills and personalities on your team will pay huge dividends. But there will still be good fits and bad fits when it comes to fitting into your particular working culture. How do you assure more good fits and fewer bad ones? It can come down to the quality of the questions you ask applicants before you make a hiring decision. Compare poor questions with valuable ones to help you start asking the right ones when you interview applicants.

Seniority is not the only — or even the best — test of value

Experience matters, and that's why most organizations reward it. But when organizations rely only or primarily on seniority to promote people to leadership positions. two bad things can occur. First, the organization can be victimized by incompetence at all levels of leadership. And second, really competent people are motivated to seek advancement based on merit someplace else, reducing the organization's leadership assets. A well-designed evaluation process that measures how well people help develop the talents of other people can help assure that the best qualified leaders make it to the top. Check out what that process should involve.

Too many rules, metrics can undermine initiative and problem-solving aptitude

"Having too many rules and rigid standards is a sure fire way to discourage people from engaging in their work," warns Adrian C. Ott, author of The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy, Organizations "should put more emphasis on training employees to use their own judgment better." Read more about how to assure people are focused on responsible service rather than conformance.

Copyright © 2011 Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute, 208 E. North St., Durand, IL 61024. Any part of this newsletter may be reproduced so long as there is full attribution, our web site is listed, and any electronic reproduction includes a link to our site: http://www.yeshualeader.com.

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