What is E.A.T [& How to Get Google to Come Over for Dinner]

Maybe you’ve heard of E.A.T. or maybe you clicked on this because of the pun-y title, but either way, this is something that every online optimizer should learn about and be proficient in. Especially after the Google Medic update of 2018 which took site trustworthiness and authority to new heights when it comes to ranking factors.

But what does E.A.T. mean, how can understanding it help your own SEO, how can you get Google to recognize it, and why is it such a big deal, anyway?

Have no fear, the answers to all of the above questions and more will be given. But first, let’s start with the big question everyone wants to know:

What is E.A.T?

Google Definition of E.A.T.

Just kidding, E.A.T. is an acronym that stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Meaning, Google is always watching to see if you (and your site) know what you’re talking about, are in-depth in your writing, trusted in your industry, and providing true services, not just spammy links, content, or the like.

Let’s look a little closer at each.

E – Expertise

Essentially, Google is looking for experts in each field and placing them higher up on the rankings page.

But how does Google know if you’re an expert or not?

In the only way it knows how, by reading and watching.

If someone searches ‘platypus’ and goes onto your page, but then immediately clicks off it (called bounce rate) then Google knows that you don’t have great content on your site about platypuses.

However, if someone searches ‘platypus’ and stays on the page for a long time, scrolling, clicking, and presumably reading, then it shows Google that they like the content found there.

Silly example, I know, but what about if that search was ‘how to grow an avocado tree inside’? If the user spends a great deal of time on your blog or watches your entire 4-minute video, then Google can assume that your content is much more in-depth than if someone clicks onto a site and immediately notices that it’s poorly written or shallow.

Sure, this is an easy way of describing expertise and how Google understands it, but it really is all about content and bounce rates.

A – Authority

The first letter was all about your readers, but the A is all about other professionals in your own field. Authority means that others within your industry look to you for information, or as a thought leader.

But how can Google know this?

By who is linking to you.

Example time again. Let’s say I write a wonderful article about email marketing. If it’s a good, in-depth article, who do you think I’ll link to?

Probably some others within my field who do a lot of work on email marketing as well, like Backlinko who just released a great (super in-depth) guide on just that topic. Or maybe I’ll link to some software or platforms which can help my reader’s email marketing, like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Hubspot.

Every time a page links to another page, Google notices. So, if you have great pages linking to you, your authority will go up. But if you have bad pages (or few pages) linking to you, your authority will be questioned, and your rankings might suffer.

Want to know your authority? Check Moz or Semrush for domain authority score tools.

T – Trustworthiness

If Expertise is based on your content and bounce rates, and authority is based on professionals in your industry and backlinks, then who does trustworthiness have to deal with?

Your customers’ direct experiences with your company and brand, which is shown through reviews.

If you have a lot of negativity around your brand online, or if you have many bad reviews that have not been addressed, then your rankings will suffer, because Google doesn’t believe that you are providing good services, products, or customer care.

So, what can you do?

Just like there is no way around the great, in-depth content you need to write to show expertise, and no way around the connections and professional image you need to project to gain backlinks and show authority, there is also no way around trustworthiness and reviews other than to actually provide good services and products.

Need some Help with Your E.A.T? JSL Marketing & Web Design Can Help!

Not to brag, but we go out to dinner with Google all the time, because we have great expertise (content), Authority (backlinks), and Trustworthiness (reviews).

If you could use a little boost in the above areas, or just want to learn more about SEO and how to climb those SERPs, then contact JSL Marketing and Web Design today!

What’s More Important: Passion or Profit?

Employees working at a wood table on profits

Passion or profit, which should you care about, listen to, and follow? This is a question that comes up in the business world (especially with startups) often, and much like ‘Nature vs Nurture’ everyone wants a clear cut, black and white, simple answer.

But that isn’t how business works, and it certainly isn’t how life works. So, instead of giving you a simple answer, let’s talk about the benefits and pitfalls of both passion and profits, as well as the ways they connect.

I think the true answer to ‘passion vs profit’ isn’t nearly as simple as many entrepreneurs would have you believe.


The Pitfalls of Profit

Yes, gaining and increasing profit is what most businesses are all about when it comes down to it, but this cannot be your one and only goal. If it is, you might have a successful business, but you will end up with more than a few enemies, unhappy employees, a bad reputation, and maybe a bad soul, too.

Those who say profits should be number one are being pragmatic, but they are also oversimplifying the debate by narrowing it down to the argument that a business with profits, but no passion can survive, whereas the opposite (a business with no profits but passion) is not sustainable.

The above may be true, but a business without passion is still doomed as well, it just might make some money along the way.

The Benefits of Profit

This one should be easy to see. As I said above, a business without passion but that has profit flowing in can survive, which does mean that profit is important.

Additionally, when your business starts making money, you feel better about your investment, about your business idea, and even about yourself. Having your hard work pay off is not a bad thing, and it should be celebrated – albeit in moderation.


The Pitfalls of Passion

Passion is often talked about as if it is the ultimate goal and best characteristic of entrepreneurs, but really, passion is just a piece of the puzzle.

Without balance, you really aren’t going to find success, instead, you’ll burn yourself out, burn others out, and potentially run your business into the ground.

Passion is a lot like profits in a way – meaning you need both, but in moderation and within a delicate balance.

Only caring about one thing (either passion or profits) will not ultimately serve your company, your customers, or your employees in the long run.

The Benefits of Passion

Just like we talked about for profits, the benefits of passion are easy to see. Passion makes you believe in something, work hard for it, and keep trying even when there are obstacles.

This is why I disagree with the argument that says a profitable business without passion can survive, because it really can’t. It might make money for a while, but if you aren’t willing to fight to keep it going, and you don’t take any enjoyment out of your business and success, then you are just as doomed to failure as the passion-filled, unprofitable business.

So, What’s the Answer?

The False Solution: Passionate About Profits

No, this is also not the answer to the age-old passion vs profit debate, as this is really just ‘profits in a new costume. If you are only passionate about your profits, then you aren’t actually passionate – you just love money.

Instead of choosing the above (often promoted) solution, go a little deeper and choose a ‘both/and’ answer instead of an ‘either/or’ answer.

Meaning, choose both passion and profit, not just one of the other, but balance them both with each other, common sense, your internal compass, and the advice of those close to you that you trust.

The Real Solution: Make Your Passion Profitable

You need to be passionate, and you need to be profitable, but there is no reason you cannot be both. Use the good parts of both of these goals to temper the bad parts, and make your passion profitable without losing your passion, or missing out on profits.

Easy to say but harder to do? Take a look at my company, which I am passionate about (as is my entire team), and which is highly profitable.

JSL Marketing & Web Design started out because my wife and I wanted to help the Dallas market and local businesses succeed, and because we were passionate (but tempered with common sense and healthy limits) we were able to make it a success, which increased out profits.

We still do the same today, using our passion to help our profits, and our profits to assist our passion.

This is the true answer to the old debate of passion vs profit: it isn’t either/or, it’s both/and.

Stay Tuned for More Thoughts on Business, Sales, & Startups as well as the Launch of JamesLeff.com

A History of Google’s Major Algorithm Updates (2000-Now)

Did you know that every year Google actually has thousands of updates? Thousands! That’s many every single day. And in recent years, those numbers have been steadily rising still. But what are all of these updates for? Surely they aren’t all major fixes and revisions?

No, they aren’t.

Actually, Google has only had a few ‘big’ or major algorithm updates throughout its history, with the vast majority of them being small tweaks, fixes for previous updates that pulled too far in a certain direction, or minor search changes.

But these little algorithm tweaks aren’t what we will be talking about today. Instead, we’re going to focus on the major algorithm updates – the ones the internet has named – and see how they affected search results and rankings.

Who knows, maybe we’ll even get an idea for what the future holds for the next update which is inevitably coming from the search engine giant.

2000-2005 | The Google Dance Begins

Google Toolbar [2000]

This was essentially when SEO began, in its most rudimentary form, as Google launched its Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) with their browser.

Google Search Bar Screenshot

Boston [2003]

This was the first ‘named’ update, and it was meant to start off their monthly updates, of course, with an average of 9 a day now, the ‘monthly algorithm update’ idea didn’t last long.

Fritz [2003]

Just a couple months after the first ‘monthly’ update, the idea died with Fritz as Google decided to move towards small, daily changes instead of letting their browser suffer for 30 days before fixing any issues if a previous update went awry or overcompensated.

Florida [2003]

This update penalized ‘black hat’ SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and had many poor-quality ‘early 2000s’ sites crashing through the rankings.

Brandy [2004]

This change marked the beginning of semantically related keywords and Google’s attempt to learn synonyms. It will still take a number of years to clean up the process to make it resemble the AI they have now, but this update showed that Google was planning on being king and taking its algorithm to the next level.

NoFollow [2005]

This wasn’t necessarily an update as much as a cleaning party, as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all implemented ‘nofollow’ at the same time, helping clean up unwanted links – like placing an unsolicited link in a blog comment.

Bourbon [2005]

This most likely focused on duplicate content and WWW vs non-WWW URLs. Duplicate content is still a factor today, showing the length and depth of the reach of many of these seemingly historical updates.

Personalized Search [2005]

This used your own search history to adjust your future search results. Google was smart here and made the initial impact small and almost unnoticeable, but it is still the ancestor of all their personalization and search history applications now.

Jagger [2005]

Jagger was meant to help with low-quality, bad links (again) but this time focused on link farms and paid links instead of just spammy blog comments linking back to a page. Technically, Jagger was three updates rolled out over three months.

Big Daddy [2005]

This was the final large update of 2005, but it wasn’t so much about searches as it was about infrastructure. It took a few months to fully roll out, ending in 2006, and focused mainly on how different URLs were handled as well as some redirects (301 and 302).

2006-2013 | Building Upwards

Universal Search [2007]

This update added in News, Video, Images, Local, and other sections on the main SERPs page, leaving in the dust the old ’10 sites page’ and adding in a lot more media and options. Some lived this update, some hated it, but it drastically changed how the page looked, and further proved that SEO has to evolve.

Google Suggest [2008]

This update added the drop-down box of suggestions as you type into their own search bar, and helped Google understand what people were looking for, as well as giving searchers insight into what had been searched in the past.

Real-Time Search [2009]

This was the jump-start that social media and streaming needed, as real-time included live and updated Twitter feeds, Google News, and others quickly indexed and pushed content onto some SERPs.

Caffeine [2010]

Caffeine was all about speed, increasing Google’s speed while making sure their indexing stayed strong. Google reported that this update made for ‘a 50% fresher index’. There was a preview of this update in August of 2009, but it was not fully live until the middle of 2010.

Instant Previews [2010]

We all remember this, even if we didn’t know the name. This updated included the little magnifying glass that allowed you to see a landing page on the SERP before clicking on it. Many SEO hopefuls thought it could help with bounce rates.

Negative Reviews [2010]

There is justice online with this 2010 update, as some sites were actually ranking due to their negative reviews. This goes against everything Google wants to be, so they adjusted their algorithm just to stop this shady tactic (and poor e-commerce business model) from taking off.

Panda, Panda 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, Flux (#8), etc [2011]

This update affected over 10% of search results, a huge number when some of the other ‘significant’ updates only affected half as many results. But ultimately, Panda had its heart in the right place as it was trying to penalize thin, poor content, too many ads, and other low-quality indicators.

Panda had many reincarnations, but most were only small tweaks after the original bomb was dropped. Notably, Panda 2.4 was world-wide, whereas the previous ones were focused around English-speaking countries.

Freshness Update [2011]

Google said that this algorithm update would affect almost 35% of search queries, an unprecedented number that had many agencies scrambling. But in reality, it was meant to affect time-sensitive results and put emphasis on recent and fresh content.

Penguin [2012]

Penguin looked to further devalue spammy sites that used black hat tactics like keyword stuffing or ‘over-optimizing’ as they liked to call their practices. Though Google called it the webspam update, Penguin was cuter and stuck.

Payday Loan Update [2013]

This update was meant to do just as it says – slam spammy sites like payday loans down and make them more difficult to stay near the top of SERPs.

Hummingbird [2013]

Yet another cute name, the Hummingbird update was all about semantic search results (giving way to semantically related keywords and the current algorithm and Ai used today) and was a core algorithm update that also affected Knowledge Graphs.

2014-Now | Modern Day Google

Payday Loan Update #2 & #2 [2014]

These updates were similar to the first in 2013, except that #2 seemed to target certain sites, while #3 targeted certain searches.

Pigeon [2014]

This was a local algorithm update that was supposed to better tie together Google’s core algorithm with its local one. One of the ways it altered and learned from certain search results and queries was from the web search signal, or SEL. This update actually caused a lot of waves, as it changed the SERPs considerable for local businesses.

SSL Update [2014]

This update gives preference to secure sites, or HTTPS sites, instead of their less-secure counterparts. Though Google said it would only give a slight ranking boost to secure sites, it was still confirmation of yet another ranking factor.

Mobilegeddon [2015]

2015 was a year for the books as Google rolled out its mobile update. This update changed rankings for mobile-friendly sites when on a mobile device, or, in other words, it preferred mobile-friendly sites when you were searching from your phone. Makes sense, but still, this pre-announced update scared a lot of website owners, lighting a fire under many to make their sites mobile-responsive.

RankBrain [2015]

This is when Google’s machine learning really came into play and they announced that their AI had been a part of their algorithm for months. Learn more about RankBrain here.

Mobile-Friendly 2 [2016]

Like Mobilegeddon, but less panic.

Featured Snippet Drop [2017]

As many of you already know, featured snippets have been popping up all over your search results for just under a couple of years now. These snippets are short ‘answers’ to a query that actually appear on your SERP before you ever have to decide on what to click. About a month after the snippet update dropped, Google re-updated this by lengthening the snippet allowance. Then, six months later, dropped the snippet character length down to 150-160 again.

Site Diversity Update [2019]

This update simply gave a slight boost to websites that have 3-5 pages on the first page of a SERP, meaning, if they have lots of in-depth content that is ranking for a certain query, they might get a boost. However, this boost proved to be very slight.

So far, 2019 has been quiet from Google, compared to previous years, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still having up to 10 updates a day, it just means they are small or gradual, rather than large, rolling drops or spikes.

We hope you enjoyed this little history lesson, and remember, for every update we touched on – there are hundreds more we didn’t! That’s what makes SEO so fun and challenging – there are always more ranking factors to learn and wrangle.

If it’s time for your company to look into SEO, Web Design, Digital Marketing or other online services, contact JSL Marketing & Web Design today to learn more, or check out our other blog articles and information.

Why We Encourage Our Team to Work from Home (And Why You Should, Too)

Man working from home on a desktop computer

My startup has found huge success, but not just because it filled a gap in the Dallas market, or because we provided digital services better than the competition.

My business went from a two-person job to a million-dollar company in part because we decided to work smarter rather than harder – though there was a lot of hard work involved too.

And one of the ways we worked smarter was by encouraging our employees to work from home.

Sounds fake but ok graphic

Sound counterintuitive? Sound fake? It’s actually not – and there are a lot of reasons why it has worked for us.

And though working from home isn’t feasible in every industry, let’s see if I can show you that it does have a place in many modern-day businesses and is a great benefit for both you and your employees.

Satisfaction & Retention

Of course, this is a great starting point, as many younger generations like Millennials (which are currently the largest part of the workforce) prefer to work from home, have flexible schedules, and no commute.

Essentially, the happier your workers, the easier it will be to keep them. And the longer you keep your employees, the more value they give you and the less you have to spend on training and finding replacements.

Access to a Larger Hiring Pool

This is a great second point, as (hopefully) your company will be growing, and you will be hiring to match that growth. So, while you want to keep your current workforce, you also want to be adding new, quality individuals to your team.

If you offer flexible work schedules, work from home opportunities, or remote work positions, then you actually have a much larger potential hiring pool than if you only offer 9 to 5, in-office positions within your city.

Take my company for instance. JSL Marketing & Web Design has three team members in Michigan, even though we are a Texas-based company. And when two of those three team members joined us – they were living in Spain.

Why did we choose them instead of only searching in our local pool? Because they were good, hungry, and ready to grow with the company – even from overseas (or on the other side of America).

Lower Overhead = Better Profits

Time and time again, studies have shown that allowing your team to work from home is cheaper for your business.

But why?

The answer is actually two-fold.

First, you are able to forgo a larger office, or maybe any office at all if your team is fully remote. And second, often you end up paying less for your team, physical resources for the office, and a thousand other little expenses that pile up.

On a familiar scale, think of it like taking your team out for dinner vs them eating in their own home. Which is cheaper for you? Except (luckily) in this scenario – everyone wants to be eating at home instead of going out.

Flexible Schedules > Higher Salaries

This fits in with the above perfectly, as you can actually pay your team less (lowering your overhead) by letting them to work at home – and they’ll still be happy!

This is because your team won’t have to waste time commuting to work and will gain flexibility, which, for many, is worth taking a lower wage.

The draw of working from home is so strong, that almost all Millennials say they would prefer to work from home or gain another perk like flexible scheduling instead of getting a pay raise – over 89% actually!

Need Business Consulting or Fresh Eyes to Improve Your Own Business Model? Contact Me or Check Back for New Articles Weekly!

I love helping companies succeed. From business consulting to sales coaching, digital services to speaking engagements – I want to make your company a success and give you the tools you need to beat your competition.

Stay tuned, as JamesLeff.com is coming soon to tell you more about my brand, experience, and services.

11 (Free) SEO Tools for Your SERP’s Climb [2019 Edition]

It seems there are always more tools and sites popping up for SEO, ranking checks, ideal length, backlinks, keywords, and more – and that’s a good thing! But it can make it exceedingly difficult to decide which tool is the best for you, which are even good, and which ones you should straight up avoid.

Here are the 11 (free) tools that JSL Marketing & Web Design recommend if you are looking for a place to start and how to climb those SERPs (search engine ranking pages).

From SEMRush to Google Search Console, Yoast to Screaming Frog, read on to learn more about our top 11 tools for SEO and better rankings!

Woorank’s SEO & Site Analysis

Woorank not only has an adorable name, but it is also a great analyzer for your website’s current SEO.


This tool not only gives you an SEO score, but then tells you in easy, actionable steps what you can do to better that score.

This means it can tell you how your title tags and meta descriptions are doing, and even show you a preview of what will show up on the SERP (for all you visual builders out there).


CanIRank is one of the first SEO software to use AI instead of only data to give recommendations. Additionally, CanIRank gives simple ‘DIY’ instructions – though, you can also outsource and have an SEO consultant fix your website’s issues with a couple of clicks (and a fee).


CanIRank is unique because it lets you know the likelihood that you’ll rank for a certain keyword, or, it lets you know how competitive a certain keyword is. The AI they use can even give you suggestions about other, better keywords you can try to target instead.


SEMRush lets you know what pages you are already ranking for, as well as content strategy help, link profiles, errors, warnings, and more. They offer a free SEO audit which can give you a good idea of where to start as well.


SEMRush gives a deeper look than some of the other tools mentioned and can be as helpful as you want it to be (or as helpful as you understand).

Its detail is both a plus & a minus as it can be more difficult for ‘new’ SEO hopefuls to understand. And, of course, there is a paid version where you get the full gambit of their tools and features.

(Our team at JSL Marketing & Web Design swears by SEMRush and uses it daily)


Good old Neil Patel – a cornerstone of online work, traffic boosts, and SEO, so of course we would mention Ubersuggest, his tool that gives you a domain overview.


This tool is easier to understand and essentially gives you keyword ideas based on the one you insert, it also gives you domain metrics like total traffic, ad cost, organic searches, backlink data, and even content ideas.

Though this tool isn’t as in-depth as SEMRush, it can be a better starting point for new users.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a great tool because, well, it comes straight from Google, the king of search engines. So, if you are looking to get no-nonsense data straight from the horse’s mouth, then Google Search Console is a great place to start.


This tool can give you keyword or site performance information, index issues, your sitemap status, mobile-friendliness, and more.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog has an interesting name, yes, but it is also one of the leading website crawlers for technical SEO audits.


Of course, as with almost everything on this list, there is a paid version which gets you even more features, but even the free version has a lot to offer, including:

  • Broken link finder
  • Errors & redirect check
  • Analyzer for page titles & metadata
  • Technical SEO Audit
  • Duplicate page finder
  • XML sitemap generator
  • And can crawl up to 500 pages for free

Additionally, Screaming Frog is used by some big names, like Apple, Google, Disney, and Amazon, so it’s natural to trust that this tool is a good one.

Yoast WordPress Plugin

Yoast is a plugin for WordPress (meaning this won’t help you if your website isn’t built in WordPress). But if your site does use this platform, then we recommend adding in this plugin for easy edits and SEO help right on the backend of your own site.

Check out this helpful video about using Yoast from our friends at Ahrefs.

Check My Links

Check My Links is actually a Chrome extension, but it does exactly what it says – it checks your links.


Now, you could go through clicking each link on each page to make sure they aren’t broken, but we assume you have better things to do, so instead, use Check My Links to get all the information in a fraction of the time.

It’s easy to use, simple to understand, and an all-around nice tool for the specific help it gives.

Counting Characters (Google SERP Tool)


Again, the name says it all, as this is a Google tool that helps you, well, count characters.

But it isn’t just about how many characters you have; it’s about how long they are, or the pixel length.

Think of it like this – three l’s (lll) take up a lot less space than three w’s (www) and that’s pixel length. This tool helps you not only stay within the ‘character limit’ but within the pixel limit, which is the more important of the two, in most cases.

Google PageSpeed Insights

This actually falls under the whole Google Analytics umbrella, but PageSpeed Insights is just as important as their other tools, though less popular for lists like this one.

PageSpeed can be a silent killer of your webpage, because people simply won’t wait for it to load. Most people expect a webpage to load in just a couple seconds or less, and if it doesn’t, they’ll assume it is broken, a bad site, or the company isn’t reputable and take their business elsewhere.

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to make sure the above sad story doesn’t happen to you or your business.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

One final Google tool for you with one final question – is your site mobile-friendly? You had better hope it is, as Google’s algorithm expects it to be, or else it’ll drop you hard and quick.


This tool couldn’t be easier, as all you have to do is paste or type in your URL and click ‘test URL’ to see how mobile-friendly that site is. Easy, right?

That’s what Google is known for.

Want Someone Else to Take the Guess Work Out of Your SEO Strategy? Contact JSL Marketing & Web Design & Relax!

We love all of the above SEO tools, but we don’t just use the free versions – so, if you would rather not spend all your money on the premium packages and features for each of the above, then contact JSL Marketing & Web Design and let us do your SEO for you.

We can’t wait to hear from you, learn about your unique company, goals, and ‘why’. Contact us today!

4 Common Management Mistakes You Need to Avoid (And How to Avoid Them)

Business Management team working on a laptop in Dallas

Managing isn’t easy, especially as times change and the workplace is constantly evolving. However, there are a few common management mistakes that have stood the test of time – unfortunately.

Let’s look at a few of the most common management mistakes and how to avoid them so you can keep your business growing and your employees satisfied – all while improving as a manager and a company.

Micromanaging: Bad for Your Team & You

We all know micromanaging isn’t a great management style, but it isn’t just because it burns you out by trying to do the job of everyone (though this is a negative side effect of micromanaging your team and their projects). It also annoys everyone who works under you, as they can often feel that you don’t trust them or that you doubt their abilities.

Consider if the roles were switched and you were working on a project that you have experience in and your boss required their approval for each component of your project, even if they didn’t have as much experience in it as you did.

How would you feel? Would you feel valued and trusted? Probably not.

Instead, I have found that giving your employees the space to learn, grow, and improve on their own is the best way to motivate them to become better and self-sufficient.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can take this to the extreme and be a ‘hands-off’ manager either. As in most things in life, the goal is balance. You need to know what areas need your input and approval, and which do not.

It might be a long journey to finding that perfect middle ground, and that middle ground might shift at times, too – that’s okay.

Just make sure you aren’t swinging too far to either extreme – micromanaging or non-managing – and you should be just fine.

Not Listening: Bad for Your Business & You

This is a huge problem for managers in larger companies (though small companies can suffer from this as well). This ‘not listening’ often stems from thinking you know enough, or know better, or at least that’s how your employees will look at it.

Listening can improve your business as well as yourself and your team, as there is something to learn from everyone, especially if your employees’ day looks different than your own.

Maybe they work with clients or customers more and have ideas about how to make a process more streamlined or convenient. Maybe they work with a program or online tool that you don’t have to work with, and therefore they have insights into how to improve it. Or maybe they simply have an idea or skillset you don’t have – listening will never hurt, only help, your business.

Instead of brushing off the comments, concerns, or ideas of your employees, encourage this type of dialogue and listen carefully. This will make your employees feel valued and teach them to listen better as well – to others, customers, and management.

Not Communicating: Bad for Your Team

Not communicating is different than not listening – because not listening means not being receptive to what others are saying, while not communicating means you aren’t sending out clear lines, instructions, or expectations.

A team that communicates well, from the very top of management all the way down to the new hire, is a team that will succeed.

Communication gives your employees a clear idea of what you need, what you want, and what they should be learning or building upon. This means they don’t have to stress over what you meant or what you want – and can instead do it.

Additionally, being a good communicator will make your team comfortable coming to you to ask questions which is great for both your team and your company.

Ask your team how you are at communicating and how you could be better. Touch base often in team meetings or in performance reviews both for your team and yourself, so everyone is on the same track and page.

Not Growing as a Leader: Bad for Everyone

This is a big one that many managers miss – you have to be growing and improving just as much as your team and employees have to be growing and improving.

Stagnation isn’t good at any level of a business, so work hard to improve as a leader, a business person, and an industry or thought leader.

If you aren’t constantly working at learning more about your field, researching new options, or learning about breakthroughs and trends in your industry, how can you expect your team to do it?

It’s important to remember that your team is busy too, so if you are expecting them to consistently improve and learn more, you need to be willing to do the same. Not only your business should always be working towards growth – but it’s management, too.

From Management & Sales Coaching to Other Consulting Services, Let’s Connect & Improve How Your Business Runs

I would love to connect with you and learn more about your business, management style, as well as the successes and difficulties your business is facing.

I offer management and sales coaching, business consulting services, and digital services. And with my long history of management as well as successful business planning with JSL Marketing & Web Design, I know I can help your company meet their goals, too.

Check back soon for the launch of my own website, JamesLeff.com, or find a new article here, written by me every week.