Category Archives: ways

How to Deal with Grapevine Rumors

A grapevine always exists in the office, organization, community or anywhere.  Trying to crush it out entirely is both hopeless and counterproductive.  But rumors that threaten job security can destroy an organization if left unchecked. One of the major concerns in dealing with the grapevine is that it is usually impossible to pinpoint the source of rumor.

Grapevine rumors may develop during gatherings.

The following are the strategies that we must utilize to soothe the potential damage of grapevine rumors:

1.  Always be available for frank discussion of employee concerns.  A minor rumor may loom important to employees if it is allowed to worsen, taking a toll on morale and performance.  Make an unfounded rumor the subject of the next employee meeting.

2.  Give your undivided attention to the employee who comes to you with the latest rumor. If it is totally unfounded, tell him so, honestly.   If there’s some truth to the story, but management doesn’t want to address it at this time, simply tell the employee that you’re not at liberty to discuss it.  Then report the conversation to top management right away.  The timetable for announcing the subject of the rumor should be moved up if employees are already aware of it.

3.  Don’t waste a great deal of time trying to trace the source of the rumor – unless an employee is releasing confidential information. Never try to publicly embarrass employees who are responsible for spreading rumors.  You can accomplish the same goal by releasing the facts and having other employees realize how deceptive their information really is.

4.  Devote time at every meeting for employees to ask questions about subjects that may be bothering them.  There is no better way to detect the subject of the latest rumor.

5.  Keep the work environment predictable and give employees as much control over their work as possible. They should have sufficient power and authority to accomplish the jobs they are expected to perform.  Insufficient authority breeds discontent, a major fuel for the rumor factory.

If you have other strategies in your mind or have remarks to this post, I’m inviting you to leave your comments below . I love to hear from you.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Three Ways to Develop Relationships with the People You Lead

In the article, Leaders Must Touch the Heart , I quoted these words by John Maxwell, One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to lead others before developing relationships with them.  It happens all the time.  A new manager starts with a company and expects the people working there to respond to his authority without question…the leader expects to make an impact on his people before building the relationship.  It’s possible that the followers will comply with what the leader’s position requires, but they’ll never go beyond that.

To succeed in business, never take people for granted.  Zig Ziglar says, The reality is, regardless of what business we’re in, since it is fueled by people, we are all in the people business.


Having a Sportsfest is one way of developing relationships with people.

Develop relationships with the people you lead through:

1.  Genuine Courtesy. People are delicate and sensitive.   They want to feel important.  Greet your people with a smile and don’t forget the words please and thank you.

Even the little courtesies that we give to them are important.

2.  Respect. Be punctual because punctuality is respect for other people’s time.  Listening is one of the greatest expressions of respect.  Listen to what others are saying and respond only after he finishes his statements.

3.  Appreciation for them and for their point of view

People want to feel valued and cared about.  Appreciate them for their hard work and contribution to the success of any project.  Be specific in your appreciation.  Give praises for their point of view and suggestions for the success of the organization.  Give them small gifts occasionally, as a token of appreciation.

In the book, The Leadership Challenge, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner say, Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow.  It’s the quality of this relationship that matters most when we’re engaged in getting extraordinary things done.  A leader-constituent relationship that’s characterized by fear and distrust will never, ever produce anything of lasting value.  A relationship characterized by mutual respect and confidence will overcome the greatest adversities and leave a legacy of significance.

Public Allies, an AmeriCorps organization dedicated to creating young leaders who can strengthen their communities, sought the opinions of eighteen- to thirty-year-olds on the subject of leadership.  One of the questions was about the important qualities of a good leader.  Topping the respondents’ list is “Being able to see a situation from someone else’s point of view.”  In second place is “Getting along well with other people.”

I shall be very glad if you could leave your comments after reading this article.  I love to hear from you.

Your friend,

Nimia S. Acebes 

Focusing on Costs as an Area which Needs Improvement

In my  article on How to Know What Areas Need Improvement , the first guide that I give is to focus on costs.

The article stresses that whatever your organization is, whether you are operating for profit or with a budget, like a government agency, the good result of initiating with a cost reduction is great.

This doesn’t mean that we eliminate necessary services, such as income-generating activity, in order to reduce costs.  It means producing more products and services for every amount that the organization spends.

You must analyze and act assertively on how the present operating expenses can produce more products and services or  how the same volume or products and services can be produced at lesser costs.

A manager’s basic function is to get the work done, but certainly not at any cost.  Finding ways to improve your operations with better, less wasteful methods is as important a contribution to your company as meeting production quotas and schedules.  Here’s how to balance the two areas of responsibility:

*  Use Time Well. Wasted time is one of the costliest elements in any operation.  A manager can cut this waste by engaging the right equipment, the right materials and the right people at the right time.  Time is the essential element.  The lack of any factor at the right time holds up the job and increases costs.  Learn these facts about each operation:  how long it takes, how many people are needed, how the work flows from station to station, and the capacity of each station.

*  Coordinate Correctly. After determining just what has to be done, where, and by whom, each step must be coordinated.  Proper coordination can eliminate waiting for assignments or supplies, cut down chasing time for information or materials, and assure optimum use of workers and equipment.

*  Insure Proper Work Flow. Sometimes poor work flow just sort of grows from a lack of any real planning.  Improper work flow results in uneven workloads and unproductive waiting time.  Don’t let time-wasting bad habits develop into accepted procedures.

*  Schedule Carefully. Any kind of bottleneck adds to costs, but you can avoid some of them with proper scheduling.  Even the occasional rush job should not throw off your schedule if you have padded in a little extra time for the inevitable emergencies.  If you don’t need the time, you don’t have to use it.  But if you do need it, using it won’t create excessive costs.

*  Use Manpower Efficiently. Failing to use available manpower to the fullest potential is always the costliest item of doing business.  Target these areas of waste:

–        Using more workers on a job than are actually needed.

–        Not having enough workers on a job, resulting in unnecessary overtime.

–        Using highly paid, skilled workers on jobs that lower paid workers can do.

–        Failure to use skilled workers in their specialties for reasons of day-to-day expediency.

–        Failure to give adequate on-the-job training.

–        Not policing the overtime.  Is it really necessary or would realistic scheduling help reduce it?

As good executive, you shall act as role model in terms of cost reduction. According to John Maxwell, When they need to cut cost, many executives will sacrifice employees ahead of their own corporate perks. They see their OWN picture instead of the big picture. I believe that a leader should not ask others to make sacrifices until he’s made some himself. A good employee is simply too valuable to let go without exhausting other options.

If you have any other cost reduction ideas to include in this list, I shall be very glad to hear from you.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

How to Maintain Harmonious Relationship with Other Managers in your Company

Efficient operation in any business depends upon cooperation among managers.  If you ponder on it, you’ll see why it’s essential to get along with your peers.  You don’t have to be close friends with all of them, but you should at least make it easy for them to lend a hand to you whenever it is necessary.

Managers are socializing with each other.

Here are the four don’ts that you must observe to deserve cooperation from other managers in your company:

1.  Don’t provoke.  Be careful in offering advice and criticism.  Remember that other managers also have power and they are proud of their competence and privileges.

2.  Don’t interfere. Don’t give advice until you are asked.

Giving unsolicited advice might offend them.

3.  Don’t criticize in public. Even if you think he is wrong, don’t sound off in front of other managers and workers.  Tell him in private, give him a chance to save face, and you’ll get much more cooperation.

4.  Don’t certainly assume that he’s wrong. If you see that he has done something which is different from yours, don’t jump to conclusion that he is wrong.  Any probable reason is that you may be the one who is wrong.  As a manager, he may also be able to evaluate and improve his actions for the good of the company.

You might have your own list and I’m glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

How I Survived from Life’s Trial

Life is like a roller-coaster.  Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. It matters not whether you’re very down, as long as, you strive to get up every time you fall.

I experienced an unforgettable trial in my life and career in the mid of 2002.  I was relieved as Department Manager of the government corporation where I work, when the former incumbent reassumed office upon returning home after finishing her scholarship grant at a foreign country.

At first, I felt depressed, especially, when I was just reassigned as a staff of a top executive.  However, I didn’t lose hope and I looked for ways to go on with my life.

Here are the ways I adopted to survive from this trial:

1.  Never Blame and Hate Anybody. Everything happens for a reason and we are responsible for our own lives.  Stop blaming others, if you want to make the most of your talent and be successful.

If you keep on hating somebody, you couldn’t keep your focus on your self-improvement. Life is too short, so don’t spend it wastefully by hating others.

When I was relieved, I could have sought the assistance of  the Civil Service Commission or the CES board for my case, as I have a CESO rank.  But, I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to spoil my relationship with my big bosses.  In this case, stirring up the waters might not enable me to catch fish.

2.  Think Positive. Look at the positive in every trial.  There are no negative incidents only incidents which help in your improvement and strengthen your character so that you may rise to new altitude. There are no failures, only lessons.

Troubles and trials make life more interesting.  Keep in mind that nothing lasts forever.  These, too, will pass.

3.  Think of the Opportunity it Can Give. When I was relieved, I used it as an opportunity to complete my Executive Leadership Program with the CESboard.

Likewise, I used it as an opportunity to research on latest updates pertaining to my field of work so that I will have the right knowledge when the time for me to head an office comes.

4.  Devote Time to Personal and Career Development Activities. Invest in yourself.  Sharpen your saw. Organize your time.  Devote at least one hour in the morning for your personal and career development activities so that when you are given again another opportunity to hold a higher position, you are prepared for it.

Your daily personal and career development activities include meditation, visualization of your day and what you want to become, reading of inspirational books and articles and listening to motivational CDs and tapes.

At the start of 2003, I wrote my career development plan.  My goal was to be a Regional Director and the target date was not later than December 31, 2003.  I listed down my activities and worked on it, to attain my goal.

5.  Persevere. At that time, bringing my goal to reality seemed impossible as I was still frozen as staff of a top executive, with no assurance of being placed to a managerial position in the near future.

But I carried on as these words of Napoleon Hill inspired me:

“whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.”

I believed that if I have a written plan and persist in developing myself and my career, I can achieve my goal.

6.  Have a Strong Faith in the Divine Providence. I believe that God has a purpose for everything that happens in our life.  If we place everything in the Lord’s hands, whatever happens, it is the Lord’s will and it is for our own good.

Always bear in mind that the darkest part of the night is just before dawn.

In April 2003, I received an order designating me again as Department Manager.  In May 2003, I was promoted to a position which is one salary grade higher than my present position.  On November 25, 2003, I was assigned as Regional Director of a Regional Office whose head retired from the service.  I attained my goal before the target date.

Life’s journey is not always easy.  Now and then, we pass through bumpy roads and stormy seas and we have to survive all these to attain our goal.

I know you also have your own survival ways to tell and I’m glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes