Leadership

Conflict: Moving from Cowardice to Confidence

Experiencing conflict is a part of everyday life. A common response is avoidance. Most people say they just don’t like confrontation. It makes them uncomfortable, and some even become physically ill at the thought of discussing a challenging issue face-to-face. How then can you become more productive with conflict while still keeping your emotions in check?

Healthy and productive conflict can lead to:

  • Better relationships
  • Increased confidence
  • Decreased anger and depression
  • Greater respect for yourself and from others
  • Career development
  • Harmony
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Employee Evaluations: Getting a “Kick Start”

Of all of the tasks required of a supervisor, writing Employee Evaluations is one we hear most often dreaded. Some of the typical complaints we hear are:

  • “I don’t know where to start.”
  • “I have employees that have worked here for years and there is nothing new for them.”
  • “I have several to do at a time and by the end, they all start looking the same.”

Most supervisors have been there…blank employee evaluations staring back at you just waiting to be completed. It’s only marginally better if it’s electronic. You know the benefit of annual evaluations, yet they just keep being placed further back on the burner. Inspiration can be difficult to come by at the end of a long day, and often a kick start can help with the “blank page (or screen) syndrome.”

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The Value of Dutiful Followers

Doris was the type of employee you could set your watch to. She arrived at 7:50am each day and left no later than 5:10pm. Her day was spent doing administrative work—much of it routine, identical to the day before, and the day before that. The phone would ring from time to time and there would be the occasional office party. But for the most part, each day was remarkably indistinguishable from the day before.

Through the years everyone got used to her reaction to change. If her schedule was interrupted, you needed to give at least a 48 hour notice. Larger interruptions, such as painting the office or a software upgrade would require a series of one-to-one meetings, coddling, and accommodation. A request to increase her workload or take on a new challenge would typically be met with a one word response, “No.” That usually meant someone else would have to pick up the slack.

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The Slight Edge: Just One More…

It’s a common perception that there is a big gap between “average people” and “successful people.” Some people are just able to get better results and make more money, yet they put in the same or even fewer hours. So what’s the difference? The answer lies in The Slight Edge, a concept from Jeff Olson’s book.

In major league baseball, a batter who gets two hits out of every ten times at bat is called a .200 hitter. This batter, within a very short period of time would likely be looking for a job outside of baseball or returned to the minor leagues. On the other hand, a hitter who gets just three hits out of every ten times at bat is a .300 hitter and is considered a great success, and if he continues to improve, he is destined for the Hall of Fame.

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Management Teams Aren’t Productive

Recently, while working with an executive team, I posed the question, “How productive are you?” They all looked at me as though I had three heads. Then gave me the list of things they are doing. Appointments and meetings they have scheduled. So I pressed on.

“What are you doing that is moving your team and/or the business forward or toward achieving the strategic goals?” Needless to say, what followed was a lengthy discussion.

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Everyday Ethics and Integrity

The topic of workplace ethics and integrity is one familiar to most business executives. Our culture continually forces companies to redefine how they view workplace behavior, decisions made, and the impact on customers, employees, and daily operations. The basic definition of Ethics revolves around what is considered “right” and “wrong” in the choices we make every day. There isn’t one set of rules or morals designated as the authority on conduct. Each business must adopt…and apply for itself…what guidelines are considered universal and what constitutes a violation of those guidelines.

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Business Could Be Better…

We’ve all been there. Things sometimes just aren’t going as you hoped. You know business could be better. You know your team could be performing better. As you see it, others are doing things in an illogical way or maybe they just don’t get it. This can be frustrating and not very motivating. So what can you do about it?

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Personal Accountability

Today more than ever, employers want employees to own what is expected of them. That means acknowledging responsibility for their outcomes. And in return, employees expect their employers to demonstrate ethics and integrity in their actions. When both parties agree to accept these goals, the result becomes a culture of Personal Accountability.

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How To Create A Succession Plan

Stop and think… do you have someone to replace key employees if they suddenly left? A lot of companies don’t. When we have discussions with our partners, we’re often asked that magical question: How do we create a succession plan?

Finding the right person to fill key roles is one of the greatest challenges of leaders.  Please take note: a replacement plan is not the same as succession planning. It takes time to develop people; giving them experience and strong mentoring.

Succession planning – the act of identifying and developing candidates for key positions within your company – is vitally important responsibility of every manager, leader, and board member. The crazy truth is that leaders know this, and it may even keep them up at night, but very few do much about it. Is it for lack of time? Is it because they have higher priorities? Or is it because they don’t really know how to create a succession plan?

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How rewarding is your environment?

Supervisors play a key role in any organization, creating a link between organizational goals and front-line employees. They have a dramatic impact on employee performance and behavior…especially motivation. Supervisors are agents of their organizations and have corresponding power and accountability.

The job of a supervisor (as we would define it) is to get work done through other people. And in order to be effective, they must understand how to create an environment that motivates people to be successful. They must understand how their environment rewards or punishes employee behavior.

There are two main reasons people behave the way they do.

  1. They do things because there is something in the environment rewarding their actions.
  2. They do things to avoid something that they don’t like.
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