Etiquette tips for Smooth Conference Calls

March 29, 2020 in Business, Professionalism

The Month of March 2020 will forever in history be recorded as when there was a
sudden spike in the use of Online Meeting Apps. The reason is not far fetched as
Covid-19 almost grounds the world to a halt in business activities, alternating means
have to be discovered while observing the mandatory Social distance.
Since more people now have to work remotely we have turned to Apps such as
Zoom, Free Conference Calls, Skype, Google Hangout, WhatsApp, OnSip etc to try
to get the business going. It is therefore important to give some tips on how to use
these correctly so that we don’t leave each other displeased with the non verbal

Here are some tips for making an effective and efficient conference call.
Send Notice Ahead: it is important to treat online meetings with agenda as a regular
meeting because discussions and agreements are official and legally binding. This
enables participants to prepare ahead – such as download the App if need be, check
their ear & mouthpiece, clear calendar, get the documents / references for the
meeting ready etc.
Confirm your Presence: When you join an online meeting it is important to
introduce yourself or you are introduced especially when the participants are not
your team members Even if the App will show the number of participants ensure
you register your presence with a comment or something especially if you joined the
meeting late.
Reduce or Eliminate Disruptions: It is disrespectful to others in the same call when
there are audible interruptions from someone’s end especially the type that can be
managed ahead e.g. loud ring tones friendly neighbour, screaming kids etc its only
fair to keep such interruptions away from your meeting as these will not likely happen
if you were physically in a meeting room. If you however have disruptions, then
apologize and ensure it doesn’t reoccur.
Be Present: Don’t just join the call because you are scheduled to be part of it and
nothing else. While you may want to multitask in order to optimise your time it is

important that you confirm your presence by contributing to the conversation when
the opportunity presents itself. There must have been a value expected from you to
have been invited for the meeting, this can’t happen if you are silent.
Be Audible: While you may be soft spoken remember that all attendees are relying
on technology to transmit the information to them, so if you have to increase the
intensity of your voice do it just for the period of the meeting. What you don’t want is
attendees asking you to repeat yourself over and over or you are being lectured on
how to use your microphone properly during the meeting.
Don’t Dominate the meeting: While you may be the host or you may naturally have
a deep voice you need to consciously not dominate the conversation all through the
meeting. This will be counter productive as you may not achieve any significant thing
since all attendees just have to agree with you so the meeting can come to an end.
Keep Meeting Official: Don’t fall for the temptation of drifting very far from the
objective and the Agenda of the meeting. There may be many other matters to
discuss, be disciplined enough to keep all matters official. Also do not make any
matter personal, disagreements may occur but it is important to take your official
position as opposed to turning it into a personality bout.
Recap agreements before closing: Before the meeting officially ends, ensure there
is a clear establishment of all that was agreed and the next steps to take. No
attendee would be happy to have spent time in a meeting with no cogent outcome.
Proper goodbyes can follow after agreements are established.

Setting Goals for Year 2020!

November 13, 2019 in Business, Professionalism

So Its less than 60 days to the end of this year, clearly Planning for Year 2020 starts now: Every Organization and even individuals that that intends to achieve milestone success in the coming year should have commenced the planning process this is kicked off with Goal Setting.

Setting business goals within an organization is common practice, shared globally by all businesses. Executives set business goals that help increase motivation and determination, as well as those that offer critical learning strategies for training purposes.

it is important to be deliberate about goal setting and here are some quick steps to help with setting achievable goals. Goals are best when they are

  1. Defined 
    The first step in setting business goals is determining exactly what you want to accomplish. Make sure your goal is worth your effort. Think about how you would design goals if you were certain that they would be successful. Conversely, what would your strategy be if this was your last opportunity? It’s important to set clear goals; you should know exactly where you want to go and you should not waiver from your target regardless of failures along the way. Be as specific as possible, so you are able to determine when you’ve reached your goal.
  2. Specific 
    Once again, make sure your business goals aren’t too vague. It’s critical to use a goal setting formula that gives your goal a built-in action plan. Define your end goal and create a road map for exactly how you’re going to reach your goal. Be specific with what you want to accomplish at each check point. You’ll achieve a great deal more than you would without these guidelines.
  3. Focused on
    Make a commitment and stick with it. Once you’ve set your plan in motion, stay motivated to see your goals through to the end. Don’t procrastinate or second-guess your decisions, as this will only delay the process. Don’t forget to enjoy the process and reward yourself for staying focused.
  4. Timebound
    If you don’t set a deadline, your goal will fail. Goals without deadlines indicate that you are not fully committed. Determining a deadline puts your goal into context. Pick a reasonable date that isn’t too aggressive, but also not too far away.
  5. Motivation is attached.
    In the goal-setting process, there’s one very important thing to remember: you. Once you’ve accomplished a goal or reached a milestone within your goal, make sure to mark the occasion. You’ve invested an incredible amount of time, energy and determination to reach your goal, so make sure you take a moment to celebrate your success.

We have capacity development sessions on Target Setting and Performance Management, contact us for more information info@emeraldzone.com.ng




August 15, 2019 in Focus, Professionalism

“If you are not learning while earning, you’re cheating yourself of the most important part of your compensation”. I saw this line about 2 decades ago even before I fully got into work life, “This is everyday learning”.

Most people focus only on monetary compensation as reward for work. It’s more than that friend. Many others also believe that if they are not yet working in a multinational company, there’s nothing to learn, so they end up wasting 5, 10 or more years of their working life, with no capability built.In order to focus ,one needs to read more on this.

It is said whatever you sow ,you shall reap .There is no limit to learning ,it continues as life continues . There is no age limit ,no time limit to learning. However, strengths and weaknesses are identified and to develop skills which are applied in diverse areas through learning . Mistakes occur so as corrections are implemented.

Maximizing your earning potential will allow you not only more financial freedom, but also an opportunity to better budget and save for big life purchases such as a home, saving for your children’s college tuition, or keeping money safe in an emergency fund.

Learning while Earning also helps in developing new skills and expanding your financial knowledge .It can be challenging to make your resume shine brightly in a sea of applicants, especially when the average corporate job opening can receive an average of 250 applications. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to not only make your resume rise above the rest, but to actually help increase your earning potential as well. There are certain hard and soft skills you can learn that are in high-demand, and some general ways you can be proactive that will help you in the long run and you can read more article on this.

Dear, whatever you’re doing today, be it volunteering, internship, working for an individual or small organization, put your mind to it. Learn cumulatively! What you’ve learnt today a few years forward may turn out to be your cash cow. That’s my experience. Happy to share from yours!



August 15, 2019 in Professionalism, Uncategorized

Getting our performance to peak takes just an extra effort more. Water at 99 degrees is just hot, but at 100 degrees, water boils! If you let out the steam at 99 degrees, you will never enjoy the benefits and use of boiling water. Go that 1 more degree but if we give up , we may never get that pleasure that comes with peak performance .

Every successive firm established prioritize workers’ performance as a primary goal. Greater productivity and efficiency results in increased profit and market share; it’s that simple. When workers are not learning or improving, and are not motivated and committed to their assignment, the objectives, targets and business suffers.

However, with challenges faced,organizations firstly needs to acknowledge the contributions of the employees to the growth of the organization i.e. acknowledging the effort and time spent on a particular project or task motivates an employee. It improves morale among the staff. Employees are more likely to do their best if their contributions are recognized. It is also important to acknowledge achievements even if they are small. Managers and supervisors should appraise employees when they participate in a project. The staff will be willing to apply their creativity if they know that their contributions are valuable to the organization. Success is only possible if the employees are giving their best.

Employees should not dread reporting to work.  Work is important but your employees also need time to relax and unwind  once in a while. Organize some fun activities at least once a month.  People tend to be more focused when they are relaxed. Fun activities rejuvenate us and prepare us to deal with serious matters. If you are looking for ideas on how to improve employee performance, schedule a day of fun outside the office. Close the office a couple of hours earlier and offer snacks and games for employees to enjoy.

Organizations that do not know how to improve employee performance should begin by reviewing the kind of training that they offer. Staff performance can be improved through effective training. The training programs you design should equip employees with relevant skills. On-job training should aim to boost employee skills. Staff should be allowed to attend various workshops and conferences that are related to their work roles. An organization also needs to encourage its staff to take classes that will help them to improve. Training should not be limited to a particular period. It should be ongoing. Technology has made it possible for employees to go through training without disrupting their day-to-day activities. Online training programs allow the employees to learn required skills at their convenience. Once employees are equipped with the right kind of skills, they can carry out their roles more efficiently and this improves their performance.

Goals are paramount  if you are trying to learn how to improve employee performance. If an organization does not have goals, employees have nothing to work towards. It is difficult to boost performance if the employees do not know why they have to come to work every day. Successful organizations establish goals and communicate them to their employees. When there are goals in place, employees can direct their effort towards a shared vision. Sharing the company’s vision also makes employees feel that they are important stakeholders. This drives them to work harder to meet the established goals. It is actually easy for an organization learn how to improve employee performance. They also need to offer valuable training and ensure the work environment is positive. Employees need an opportunity to have fun and relax to energize them for work. Communication is also significant to encourage progress.

It’s time to get to the peak. Water at 99 degrees is just hot, but at 100 degrees, water boils! If you let out the steam at 99 degrees, you will never enjoy the benefits and use of boiling water. Go that 1 more degree. Go that extra mile to peak performance.