Sales Secrets

Know Your Clients

If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitors will

– Bob Hooey

Every business owner should understand that potential clients will always have two fundamental expectations.

They expect you to:

– Know your own product and your company.

– Know something about them and their individual needs.


It is also helpful to know about your competition. Small efforts like conducting some background research before a sales meeting can help determine customers’ values and needs. Being knowledgeable about customers and the environment they transact in is a trait that every sales person must possess. The more analysis you conduct as a salesperson, the better positioned you are to solve your clients’ problems comprehensively.

Conducting primary research by collecting data from the customer themselves is usually cheap and quick. This process can be as simple as asking them for their ideas, their comments, and opinions. Customer opinion is very important. If you observe how consumers handle your product, you could discover the product’s most valuable features. In turn, this would enable you to better take care of the clients’ specific needs.

Customer Value

What is customer value? Consumers all benefit from the products they choose, but at a cost. That is, the purchase price paid for a given product. Customer value can be defined simply as the traits that a customer requires from their purchases, in exchange for the money they spend.

What are some of the things that customers value? Here are the top 5:

  • Ease of doing business (People pay for convenience)
  • Quality of the product/service
  • Reliability of product and provider
  • Customer service
  • The overall value for the amount of money spent (meets their needs and solves their problems)

Immerse yourself in their world, and understand all aspects of your product in their eyes. You should also fully understand all of the disadvantages to your product’s use, as well as any alternatives that may lie with your competition.

Another way to determine the needs of the customer is to simply ask them. Explore what their ideas or suggestions are for the product. This will better help you present your customer with viable solutions and build rapport with the client.

Set yourself up for success by KNOWING YOUR CLIENT!

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Business Wellness Program

Health and wellness are central aspects of anyone’s life, including at the workplace. As a business owner or manager, having healthy employees is of great benefit to your business. This is because having employees who are happy and healthy is integral to consistent operations that can sustain a profitable bottom line.

Implementing a health and wellness program at your business will decrease the company’s healthcare costs. In turn, having healthier employees will not only reduce overhead, it will improve employee morale, increase production, and create an atmosphere that is conducive to operations. Healthy employees are far better placed to establish good relationships not only with one another, but with clients as well. Healthy employees are freer to develop creative ideas and solutions to the various problems encountered in the regular course of business. Just think about it. When you feel on top of your game, healthy, passionate and energetic, how much more can you produce? How good is you attitude when you feel well and strong? Now imagine that for all your employees!

Definition of a Health and Wellness Program

Understanding the meaning of a health and wellness program is the first step to effective implementation of one. Every year companies spend massive amounts of money on avoidable health-related issues. A good health and wellness program can alleviate some of these expenses.

What is a Health and Wellness Program?

So what exactly is a health and wellness program?

A health and wellness program is a corporate program that is implemented to enhance physical, emotional and mental health. There are many types of health and wellness programs, each of which offer various benefits depending on the specific program. They can help reduce health insurance costs, safety incidents, and even absenteeism. According to the National Safety Council, nearly one million workers a day are absent due to stress, costing American companies nearly $300 billion a year in loss of productivity, and the cost of temporary help.

RISE Programs knows the value and power of introducing a health and wellness program to the workplace. The difference this can make with morale, teamwork and production is immeasurable. This is why we have created a program that helps businesses RISE to new heights of efficiency and production. For more information call 1-888-823-7757.

Here are 3 things you can start doing NOW!


1.-Prepare and distribute a list of healthy dining options within a 2-mile radius of your office

Create a list of all the nearby restaurants which serve healthy food choices. You could also go a step further and list examples of healthy food that is available at these restaurants. Pictures help!  

2. Bring fresh fruits and veggies to the break room

Have fresh fruits and vegetables periodically delivered to the break room for employees to eat for free. If that costs too much money for the company to implement, start a healthy-food fund where each employee chips in a certain amount of money every month for healthy snacks.

3. Negotiate corporate discounts for health club memberships

Many businesses partner with various health clubs in their community so that employees can get discounts on memberships. For instance while regular members might have to pay $20 to $30 per month, most corporate discounts give employees the chance to join for $10 or less per month.

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert


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Solving Problems

You don’t need to be a professional “salesman” in order to sell something. In fact, you’d actually be surprised at how often you participate in sales on a daily basis. Life is all about sales! Whether it’s convincing your boss to give you a raise, persuading a potential client to accept your proposal, pleading with your spouse to change the radio station, or encouraging your child to do their homework, almost any negotiation that happens throughout our daily routines requires some degree of sales-related skills.

Many times the technical connotations of the word “sales” intimidates us from projecting natural confidence that is necessary for sales itself. This is why it’s important to change your perception of sales. Don’t look at it as a specialized process; rather look at it as a way to build relationships and SOLVE PROBLEMS.

Sales = Problem Solving

If you want to be valued by your customers, you have to solve their problems. Customers who need solutions to high-priority issues are willing to pay for those solutions. But first, you must identify the customer’s problems. What are they missing or needing? Then you must analyze said problems. What causes the problems? What could solve the problems? Then you need to formulate several options to remedy the situation for the customer. Which products/services will solve their problems? And lastly, assist the customer to choose the solutions that best suits their needs.

Think of the emotional connection people make with a product or service as the ultimate benefit of sales. People are mostly interested in how your product solves their problems and what emotions it makes them feel.

No matter how well you think you can persuade others to adopt your point of view, there is always room for improvement. Keep practicing, connecting through relationship-building, and SOLVING PROBLEMS.

A great problems solver = a great salesman

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Every one of us has role models in life; icons whose leadership we ardently admire. These role models hail from different backgrounds no less. They could be politicians, athletes, celebrities, distinguished professionals and so on. Regardless of who they are, chances are we look up to them for one fundamental reason, they get things done. They exemplify success. They show us what it looks like when someone actually sets their mind to accomplish something ambitious, and actually realizes their goals to completion.

There’s a simple expression for this quality in a leader. It’s called follow-through. Leadership devoid of follow-through is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking. Any person who aspires to become an effective leader must possess the basic initiative to tangibly execute their plans for success. This may sound easy enough, but the sad truth is that not everyone practices meaningful follow-through in their approach to life. In fact, arguably every last person knows what it feels like to grapple with the problems of procrastination, hesitation, and second-guess after second-guess. If you are looking for ways to strengthen your resolve and become the type of leader who finishes what they start, here are six foolproof strategies to inform your thought-process.

  • Accept Uncertainty as a Part of Life:

Fear of the unknown is one of the most paralyzing emotions in existence. If this fear doesn’t discourage people to the point of inaction, it intimidates them into over-thinking in the name of preparing for the worst. It is an absolute fact, especially when it comes to business, that it’s impossible to make a rewarding decision without assuming some risk. Living to avoid uncertainty only intensifies ambivalence. Learning to accept and adapt to it as a part of life on the other hand, emotionally immunizes oneself against fear of the unknown.

  • Give yourself a Deadline:

When used reasonably, deadlines are actually profound behavioral motivators. Consider filing taxes for example. Every year, the IRS sets a strict deadline for the public to file returns. Even though they may procrastinate, the majority of people scramble to meet this target within time, so much so that accounting professionals count on tax season as a guaranteed period of income. Even if it’s an unofficial one, setting a deadline for desired tasks provokes initiative and commitment. It reminds leaders not only to make the most of their time, but also to be accountable for how they use it.

  • Take the Plunge:

Making plans is easy. Sometimes it’s even fun to brainstorm and come up with idea after idea on how to solve a given problem. However, all the elaborate plans in the world can never accomplish anything without the conclusive will to act on them. Strong leaders recognize that there is a time to plan, and there is a time to act. When the time to act arrives, reluctance and indecision frustrate progress instead of enabling it. The best way to actually gain anything from a decision is to intentionally go through with it in the first place.

  • Set Realistic Targets:

There’s nothing wrong with thinking big. After all big dreams can eventually translate into big success. However, understanding what limitations are insurmountable is in imperative component of level-headed leadership. Strong leaders know how to draw the line between pushing the limits of their potential and biting off more than they can chew. Setting realistic targets is important because it creates the opportunity to accomplish small victories that inspire exponential achievement.

  • Take Things One Step at a Time:

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that offers indispensable advice when it comes to leadership, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” When it comes to completing elaborate tasks, thinking about things in the big picture tends to overwhelm – especially when the stakes are high. It’s good to understand the requirements for success but rather than being the type of leader who tries to get everything done all at once, focus on one task at a time, one day at time. Being moderate is the key to consistency and endurance.

  • Concentrate:

Regardless of how well or how poorly a project evolves, always remember that it’s not over until it’s over. Don’t quit until the job is done, and don’t celebrate until the job is done either. Completion is the single most inherent ingredient of follow-through. A strong leader should always exercise the discipline necessary to disregard all distractions and pursue their plans to a logical conclusion. Interrupting progress without just cause creates a window for doubt or hubris to disrupt any hard work that has already transpired.

Follow-through is all about balance. It’s about figuring out exactly how much to plan, and exactly when to take bold action. It’s about being able to push limits or expectations without settling for less or selling oneself short. Most importantly, it’s about having the commitment and discipline necessary to facilitate closure. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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Sales is the single most inseparable component of business . It doesn’t matter who you are, in order to have a successful business, one of the most important things  to  master is sales because sales equals profit. For a long time I avoided anything that had to do with sales. Because of past experiences with unpleasant salespeople I  developed a twisted belief and negative view of sales. I thought that practicing sales meant being pushy and annoying. I thought it meant pestering people into submission and I certainly didn’t want anything to do with that! This belief blocked me from succeeding in business until I heard someone say, “sales is relationship-building”. Such a simple statement  impacted me and changed my perspective. Relationship-building is something that anyone can do and actually enjoy! Discovering that I had the choice to be myself and not be “salesy” really got me excited.

Sales is much more than providing the customer with goods, in exchange for money. Sales requires a relationship not only between sales representatives and the customers, but also with the company and the customer. Customers don’t just blindly look for what they need out of products, they also have an instinct to buy into the person who is selling them a product. Sales is all about capitalizing on this instinct in a balanced way. In sales, we cannot be too weak, insecure  or passive. Neither can we be  too aggressive, pushy and annoying. Where is the balance? The balance in between PASSIVE and AGGRESSIVE, is called ASSERTIVENESS.


There is a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. Not only can being pushy and overly aggressive  offend customers, it can also   scare away prospective clients. On the other hand, by being assertive and in tune with the customer’s needs, you can actually draw in more revenue.  

Before you begin asale, try to discern any objections or  concerns the customer may have and be prepared to respond. Provide all of  your supporting data when delivering  your sales pitch. Also remember to always be calm, positive, and honest about the product you’re pitching. This will convey the message that you are an authority in the field.

What do I mean when I say ASSERTIVE? Develop these attributes and watch your sales numbers go up!  

Assertive behavior:

  • Calmness
  • Confidence
  • Positivity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Honesty

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Emotional Intelligence is such a powerful ability that  always attracts  success  to your doorstep. Having emotional intelligence can save you from a myriad  of social problems and stress, especially when it comes to sales. A  lack of emotional intelligence is guaranteed to prevent you from establishing a connection with potential clients you may encounter in the field.

Do you have Emotional Intelligence?

What is emotional intelligence? It is the ability to identify and control one’s own emotions, and to recognize rather than react  to others’ emotions as well. In short, being aware of one’s emotions and being able to control them, along with having understanding and empathy for others, are signs of emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence creates  self-control that puts a stop to frustration about  how others behave. It keeps the power to maintain peace of mind in one’s own hands rather than putting it in the hands of others. It allows us to respond in uncomfortable situations rather than react.

People with high emotional intelligence are usually better team players, better problem-solvers, and overall better people-persons.

People who have high emotional intelligence are very aware of their own emotions. They know their triggers and are capable of controlling their emotions, even in stressful situations. This is a powerful thing! High emotional intelligence also demands  a motivation to understand others’ situations and empathize with them. It’s the ability not making about yourself in order to fully understand another.

This is one  topic that RISE Programs particularly teaches often because no matter what type of business you are in, Emotional Intelligence is vital to interaction. I encourage you to learn and grow in this area. Seek to understand yourself. Seek to understand emotions and where they come from. Seek to develop  awareness of your own emotions and of others. This is true power!

Traits of  high emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Empathy

Improving all of these traits is important to developing  high emotional intelligence.


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In a perfect world, merit would completely decide how, and who, climbs the corporate ladder. Every boss would know what they’re doing, and how to get the most out of employees in a practical and likeable way. The sad truth however is that circumstances beyond anyone’s control often position people in management who aren’t well-suited for a leadership role. Most employees are all too familiar with the nightmare of having to work for a bad boss. Going down the list of traits that qualify someone as a bad boss would probably take years, but here are five general flaws that the majority of bad bosses tend to share.

Failure to Inspire

Being a good boss means having the fundamental ability to motivate a team. The role of a boss is supervision. Inherent in that supervision is having the necessary skills to prevent apathy and underperformance among workers. Even the most talented and capable employees need encouragement and guidance that keeps them focused on achieving their shared mission. When a boss constantly demands work from employees without inspiring any kind of passion within them, fatigue and frustration are likely to derail the overall productivity of their team.

Acceptance of Mediocrity

Beyond getting employees to fulfil the basic duties of their respective positions, being a good boss also means facilitating excellence out of people. Bosses exist to set the standards by which professional performance is judged. When bosses set low standards, workers are sure to deliver underwhelming results. On the other hand, when a boss sets high expectations for a team, it challenges people to push the limits of their abilities in order to deliver results that are exceptional. Mediocrity is a stumbling block that impedes the growth and survivability of an organization.

Lack of Clear Vision and Direction

A good boss should be the type of person who can keep their eye on the prize. When bosses set standards of expectation for employees, these standards must be founded on a greater vision of success for their team. Whereas employees are responsible for concentrating on mundane operational routines, leaders should never lose sight of the ultimate vision that guides the very existence of their team. Bosses who work without this sense of vision or direction are bound to burden the people who count on them with aimless and redundant work.

Inability to Cooperate and Be a Team Player

The authority that comes with leadership naturally instills a sense of power in those who wield it. Good bosses know how to stay humble and dignified when exercising power. In contrast, bad bosses easily fall victim to overly inflated egos when power becomes available to them. It takes discernment and strength of character to overcome the sway of a power-trip. Remembering to be a team player helps neutralize this alienation by keeping leaders grounded on how they relate with subordinates.

Failure to Walk the Walk

Integrity means everything to the reputation of a leader. A good boss should be the type of person who says what they mean, and does what they say. People need to be able to trust that a leader will not betray their word, or obligations. The more a boss lets down public trust from employees, and consumers alike, the less entitlement they have to make important decisions on behalf of others. A boss can only be respected when their actions sincerely reflect the principles which their leadership imposes on employees.

Being a good boss boils down to decency. In the face of every difficult decision, if a boss can remember to treat people with fairness, dignity and respect, there’s no justifiable reason why anyone who works for them should harbor resentment. Treating employees fairly creates an atmosphere of loyalty and mutual understanding. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

Author: Daniel Otianga

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Change cannot be avoided

Change is an inextricable reality of the human experience. Whether it is personally or professionally, every dimension of our lives goes through a continual process of development that transforms our existence from one status quo, to another, and another. As creatures of habit, human beings are not always receptive to the fact that things can never remain the same forever. In fact, all people have an instinctive tendency to view change as negative, and consequently, resist change depending on how much uncertainty it introduces to our lives.

Within the professional setting, managers have a particular responsibility to overcome the effects of change because if an organization is allowed to react to change without moderation, conflict ensues. Effective leadership requires emotional intelligence in order to recognize how and when employees need help to cope with change. Emotional intelligence, which is having the capacity to empathize by considering other people’s needs before one’s own, makes it possible to circumvent negative outcomes of change through responsible employee engagement.

Predictable vs. Unpredictable change

Circumstances in life can change in two fundamental ways, that is: predictably, and unpredictably. When change is predictable, individuals usually have an idea of how much adjustment is likely to happen to daily routine. As such, advance preparation for the unknown becomes possible in order to soften devastation over unexpected events. When change is unpredictable on the other hand, people do not have the luxury of adapting in advance to the unknown. Every adjustment that happens therefore has to be in reaction to new conditions that create an ultimatum between success and failure.

Whether or not change is predictable, leaders have a duty to build and maintain support amongst employees that makes their organization impervious to the undesirable outcomes of uncertainty. Strong leadership is the foundation for any group’s network of support. Absent of leadership, change can provoke misinformation and confusion that is debilitating to the normal functions of a company.

Support can only be sustained through communication

During times of change, the way a leader communicates is especially instrumental to stability within an organization. Effective communication helps reinforce support among employees, and reduces uncertainty by keeping people informed. Mastering certain principles of communication is vital for maintaining optimism at a level that keeps employees focused on surviving change rather than opposing it entirely. The nature of communication practiced by leaders should also coordinate with whether people are dealing with predictable or unpredictable change.

  1.     When change is predictable: There can never be enough preparation. Preparation helps circumvent friction and uncertainty about the unknown. If a leader intends to introduce change to a group they should:
  •       Actively persuade people about the benefits of change.
  •       Readily answer people’s questions or doubts.
  •       Encourage optimism at every opportunity in order to reduce anxiety.
  •       Regularly provide feedback, especially after change has been introduced, to enhance people’s acceptance of change.
  1.     When change is unpredictable: There can never be too much information. Providing people with information in the aftermath of unexpected events goes a long way towards keeping them focused on surviving, or even thriving under new conditions. When a leader has to maintain a group’s support systems in the face of sudden change, they should:
  •       Provide as much unsolicited relevant information as possible to prevent confusion.
  •       Generate a sense of community to produce a unified front against sudden challenges.
  •       Dedicate resources to provide social support to people significantly impacted by the change.
  •       Always be prepared to listen to people who have insights or questions.
  •       Project determination and hopefulness to withstand any setbacks brought about by change.

Every team, and by extension every organization, should have leadership that is willing and ready to engage its members in a sincere and interactive manner. Communication is the lifeblood every support system that exists in a group. Regardless of the situation, if a leader sets a precedent of transparent communication, it becomes easier to cope with and survive change. No challenge is unbeatable when a team is willing to relate to one another and cooperate.


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It’s a jungle out there
Modern business has become extremely competitive due to technological and cultural advances. Most industries today have virtually no barriers to entry thanks to readily available resources that make it easy to initiate the start-up process. Where companies could once rely on trade secrets and strategic locations to secure market-share, competitors now have the ability neutralize this advantage by tapping into an unlimited market, and boundless information online. This has created an urgent necessity for businesses to develop the capacity to transform or adapt to unpredictable market activity just to ensure survival.
Take newspapers for example. They once held the prestige of being exclusive sources of public information. Today, newspapers are literally going out of business every day thanks to competing services provided by an infinite number of blogs and websites. Taxis were once recognized as an invulnerable transportation amenity. Even with alternative public transportation available such as buses and trains, nobody could ever have fathomed that taxi services would be under threat. Yet the emergence of digital transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft has taxis on the brink of extinction. Even department stores that once seemed colossal are wilting from the red hot competition posed by internet retailers.

Be open and versatile
This intense competitiveness means that change is an inevitable, and unavoidable, process in business. Any company that aims to survive must be prepared to alter either its mission or its fundamental operations at some point in time just to remain competitive. Given the inescapability of this dilemma, managers must be equipped to arbitrate change efficiently whenever necessary. This skill is formally referred to as change management.
Change management should be as scientific a process as possible. Introduction of change to an organization should be based on factual research because the more control is maintained throughout this procedure, the less waste and disruption occur. This isn’t to say that the human aspect of change management should be neglected. Since people are the ones expected to apply new policies and procedures in a company, their emotions and well-being should also be catered to in relation to any changes being introduced. Nonetheless, the more clinically change is presented to a company, the more completely said change will integrate into the character and functions of a company. Here are three guidelines on how to effectively execute meaningful change management:

1. Audit your business climate and performance
Any changes introduced to an organization should be done from a perspective of self-awareness and knowledge. Deciding to alter the functions of a company without any research can result in catastrophic outcomes. Collecting data makes it possible to measure performance precisely, as well as isolate specific variables that need adjustment. Formally auditing performance also helps establish a record that can be used to improve operations beyond final implementation of intended change.

2. Justify any necessary change formally
Ambushing employees with new expectations almost certainly guarantees rebellion. Because it is human nature to resist anything that threatens the familiar, it’s important to remember that people appreciate uncertainty-reduction when it comes to dealing with the unknown. Openly communicating intent to change, as well as providing rationale behind intent to change, creates an environment for employees to reorient themselves emotionally and logistically in order to accommodate new standards or routines. Such preparation cannot possibly be understated considering employee support is integral to the activities of a company.

3. Institute change from the top down
The only people with the capacity to introduce change in a company are its decision-makers. As such, these very same decision-makers have a higher duty to embody adoption of change than any other agents in an organization. Introducing change in a way that demonstrates managers walking the walk engraves respect for said change within a workforce. It permeates the message that employees aren’t just being fed unrealistic instructions blindly.

Change should preferably be introduced to a group cautiously and methodically. Being hasty to achieve desired goals often distracts managers from being considerate about how they treat employees with regard to change. Adopting a formal procedure to conduct change management helps keep perspective on whether or not lines are being crossed in terms of maintaining functional and ethical integrity.

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The process of building a team can be daunting whether it’s being done on a large scale or for small projects. Managers often find themselves wrestling with the various difficulties that arise when trying to establish good chemistry in a team. The fundamental key to eliminating uncertainty throughout this process is knowledge. The more knowledge you have about yourself, and the more knowledge you have about potential members of a team, the more strategically you can make decisions that ultimately realize the objectives of any project you seek to implement. Here are four rules to always remember when building teams in an organization.

  1.     Be Self-Aware: Before heaping expectations upon others as a leader, it is absolutely necessary to understand one’s own leadership-style and personality. Comprehensive and honest self-awareness makes it possible to communicate effectually with team members and make one’s own standards of performance clear. For example, if someone has a Participative leadership style but they try to be Autocratic, they will probably come across as disingenuous to their team. Similarly if someone is instinctively Autocratic and they compromise this identity by trying to be Participative, they will only end up projecting weakness. Practicing an authentic leadership style allows you to be yourself which is the most central principle of communication with others.
  2.     Be aware of Others: Beyond practicing self-awareness, taking the initiative to understand others is also essential to create the right chemistry in a team. The more one learns about others, especially from the perspective of honest self-awareness, the more seamless it is to assemble team members in a complementary way. The most important point is to exercise emotional intelligence about how team members are united. Being mindful of how different personalities in a team are likely to interact sets the stage to prevent undesirable outcomes such as conflict, idleness, or distraction to name a few.
  3.     Define Roles Clearly: One of the most frustrating scenarios in teamwork occurs when team members either don’t know what is expected of them, or don’t know how to accomplish set goals. It’s understandable when this happens because of a complex task, but it is particularly problematic when it happens because of poor decision-making on a leader’s part. Leaders have a responsibility to ensure that employees have a clear and definitive understanding of what they are expected to contribute to an organization. In the absence of this structure, confusion takes hold and causes disruption to a team’s effectiveness. Maintaining clear team-member roles makes it possible to leverage employee strengths and weaknesses in a manner that keeps everyone consciously engaged in accomplishing their mutual objectives.
  4.     Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: There is no better way to gain or share knowledge within a team than through transparent communication. Superiors should communicate with subordinates frequently, colleagues should communicate amongst each other freely and subordinates should have meaningful access to their superiors – especially as pertaining to a shared task or goal. Open communication: sustains excitement about any work being done; builds trust among employees; creates opportunities to neutralize conflict; and fosters synergy in professional duties. Leaders should always be prepared to inform, guide and provide feedback to employees continually. An open channel of communication ultimately results in an ideal social environment for employees.

Building a team the right way is an investment in the people that make up a company. No company can survive without teamwork, and no manager can exist without an effective team to lead. Whether a project is big or small, assembling the right team for the job is an intricate process that should never be done hastily. This is because choosing the right people can make the difference between success and failure. There is too much at stake not to be deliberate in calibrating how teams are put together.


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