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Stephen Fairley
Today's Leadership Coaching
Dearborn Station
47 West Polk Street—121
Chicago, IL 60605
P 480-659-9700
F 480-907-2029
E Stephen@TodaysLeadership.com

Top 3 Needs of Today’s Hi-Tech Executive

Wheaton, IL (August 10, 2001). According to a recent survey of HR Directors of Chicago-based, Hi-Tech companies, the top three needs for today’s Hi-Tech executives are: increased communication skills, better people management and more effective conflict resolution skills. Stephen Fairley, an Executive Coach and president of Today's Leadership Coaching, specializes in working with Hi-Tech executives. He finds many CEOs do not place enough emphasis on building good communication skills with their employees. “The higher up people go in an organization the less likely they are to give serious consideration to their employees expressed needs and concerns. They need to move from perceiving employees as a cost to seeing them as their most valuable resource.”
Mr. Fairley suggests five steps to help executives overcome these blocks to success:

1. When dealing with conflict, focus on the person’s interests not their positions. An interest is the “why” you want something. A position is the means you use to get what you want, it is the “what.” For example, an employee may want to change their work schedule from 10 am to 6 pm. If you only hear their position, then it becomes a win or lose situation. By discovering their interest is not sleeping in, but a need to be home with their young child in the morning for lack of childcare, you can successfully negotiate a creative resolution.

2. Model positive communication skills. More than half of communication is listening. Good executives know the importance of listening to their managers and employees and making them feel understood. Take 30 minutes each week to talk with an employee you do not have regular contact with. Ask how they are doing and what you can do to make their work more productive and enjoyable. Set up an action step and follow through on their suggestions.

3. See employees as a key resource. Many times a front-line employee will see a problem long before management does. Train your employees to be problem solvers by rewarding analytical thinking, creative solutions and excellent customer satisfaction. Develop your people and they will reward your company. A study by the American Society for Training and Development has found that companies who regularly train their employees outperform companies who do not by 45% annually.

4. Educate employees on how their job relates directly to the top or bottom line. Most employees are not aware of how the quality of their work reflects on the company’s profits. As part of the annual review process have your managers determine how each job contributes to the company’s profitability and discuss that regularly with the employees.

5. Know when to seek outside help from your board, a mentor or an executive coach. Many companies are build so that everything rises and falls on leadership, but even exceptional leaders have limitations. It is critical to a company’s long-term success to recognize when to seek outside help. An outsider can provide you with an objective viewpoint and help you further develop your growth areas. Remember, everyone has a growth area or a blind spot, just some are larger than others. Don’t let your blind spot keep you in the dark.

Stephen Fairley is an Executive Coach with Today's Leadership Coaching, a Chicago-based leadership development and executive coaching firm. Today's Leadership Coaching works with executives and business owners to developing leaders who deliver results.

For more information visit: www.TodaysLeadership.com. Stephen can be reached at 480-659-9700 or via email: Stephen@TodaysLeadership.com.


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