PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

HELP YOUR CLIENT BUY

Assistant-Buyer
No one likes to be sold. The recipient or the buyer who has been sold has the feeling that someone just did something to him or her. Many times, people who feel as if they have been sold have buyer’s remorse. On the other hand, people sure do love to buy. Moreover, surveys have should that people’s perception of salespeople range from necessary to swarmy. Just about all of us are in sales in some form and we certainly don’t want to be seen that way. So, let’s move from the sales side and help our client buy. In effect, be the assistant buyer. What is your perception of your doctor when you have a problem or a pain? If you are going because of stress, anxiety, or pain you are looking for the doctor to diagnose and solve your pain. What is different here? If you visit your doctor because...
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WHY WOULD A QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE WANT A JOB AT YOUR COMPANY

WHY WOULD A QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE WANT A JOB AT YOUR COMPANY
Today’s workforce is looking for much more than just a paycheck. They want to know that they are making valuable contributions. They also care very much about the values that an organization lives as opposed to what the organization says. Living the values starts at the top but it is modeled by all members of the leadership team including the first line supervisors. After you have hired the best people your challenge as a leader is to keep them engaged and producing results. And keep in mind that people want to feel that their work is producing meaningful results. Employees who are engaged will help create loyal customers who will rave about them and your company. That will happen because your engaged employees have exceeded customer expectations. But remember too that you will need cohesive and effective teams, not people in individual silos. While it is true that everyone has different...
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BEHAVIORAL SKILLS BEFORE FUNCTIONAL SKILLS

Assistant-Buyer
Many businesses have created their business plans and are now in the process of hiring of staff. Some will be making the mistake of simply reading a resume and conducting an interview, having a gut feeling and then hiring. Not so fast! Contrary to what you may think education and skills do not create success. The proper application of the education and skills is what counts. In Good to Great Jim Collins explains that building a great organization is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” It may be simple but it’s not easy. You will need to change the way you hire people. Unfortunately, all too often managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history. Significant time is spent looking at a...
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DO YOU MAKE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS?

New-Years-Resolution
Frankly, I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Because these are usually halfhearted resolutions at the spur of the evening, and they have no thought behind them. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions fade very quickly because the will or resolve in the resolution is not there. After the fizz from the New Year’s Eve will the commitment remain? In most cases, the answer is no. My favorite example is at my Gym. Next week I will need to get there early to account for the increased number of people who have just signed up. But like every year, by the end of February there will be plenty of room. Why do people fail to keep New Year’s resolutions?   Perhaps they really did not want to do what they had resolved to do. The first step toward making that resolution is to really know what you want to do in...
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WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE FOR NEXT YEAR?

Mountaintop
A new year and a new decade is just around the corner. How is 2019? Are you finishing strong? Are there things that should change next year? Who should be working on their goals and plan for 2020? Maybe you have everything working perfectly and will continue doing what you are doing. If you see some opportunities why not review what is working and what isn’t working. I am currently working with businesses and executives in Westchester County New York on their annual goals review . Setting a goal is not like a New Year's resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn't going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there. When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals,...
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IS YOUR MESSAGE LOST IN THE TRANSLATION?

Body-Language-in-Message
No matter how well we choose our words they will have no meaning until they are translated by our listener. Communication is a two-way process and it is more than just words. Effective communication involves feelings, connections, and other nonverbal signals. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best. “What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying.” Therefore, it is important to understand the meaning others might put on your words. Your gestures, expressions, intonations, and beliefs will communicate much more meaning than the words alone. Communication is a two-way process to exchange ideas. We communicate in order to elicit some type of response. Some examples of a response could be more knowledge, a specific action, or some type of emotion. A good communicator, to be sure of the desired response, is also a good listener. He or she listens for feedback to see that the message is...
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YOU NEED TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE

Accountability
Achievers are always accountable for results. And leadership fails when the leader does not hold all team members accountable. I am sure you have heard that many times before. You might have even heard it from a boss you had imploring you to “hold them accountable.” Some people see this as a problem. They fear that holding people accountable will hurt relationships. In reality, it requires more skilled relation building over mutually agreed to goals. Creating a culture of accountability requires collaboration, communication of goals, and understanding the nature of motivation. Having conversations about accountability should be combined with empowering your team to take ownership of their work. You need to communicate the goals and the desired outcomes, but they need to be a part of it. Be totally transparent regarding challenges and obstacles. Your team should not fear making mistakes but should learn from them. Honest and direct conversations need...
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HOW TO CREATE A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM

Aligned-Team
An organization is only as good as its people. Great people and great teams do not happen by accident. Creating a successful team requires right actions by the leadership.   There are two very important actions that must be taken by team leaders. First, you must start with the right people and these people must share your values. But then leadership has the challenge of retaining those high performers by keeping them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, we must exceed our customers’ expectations. That is not going to happen if you have a lot of highly qualified but individual performers who don’t share vision, values, and goals. You need cohesive and effective teams to make it happen, not people in individual silos. Everyone has different talents...
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LISTEN TWICE AS MUCH

Coaching
It is true that we have two ears and one mouth. We should listen at least twice as much than we talk. Unfortunately, many times during a conversation we concentration on our talking points rather than being guided by what we are hearing. This is not the best way be persuasive and certainly not a good way to communicate. I was on the receiving end of a conversation. It went like this… I was questioning a salesperson about comparable features offered by two different iPhone telecommunications carriers. During the conversation I pointed out that one carrier had an additional benefit. The benefit was the ability to use the Internet while on a call. The salesperson quickly shot back something to the effect, “you’re not going to surf the internet while you are driving.” Did he hear that from me? No. I had a legitimate reason for wanting this service. When I...
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THE ROLE OF A LEADER

Message-from-Leader
You need management and leadership. While management organizes and controls, leadership charts the way, innovates, and inspires the organization to new heights. As a leader your role is to navigate your organization or your team through the uncertainties. Sometimes the good and necessary management skills such as planning, directing and controlling create roadblocks because they are missing the inspirational leadership. The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all the students fail the exam, then the fault lies with the teaching. Like students you and your staff may not be on the same page. You may be a great manager, but you may fail as a leader. We can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose. They understand the vision...
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WHY FIGURES OUT HOW

Create-Your-Dream
Stop worrying about how to do something and stop telling your staff how to do something. Instead, find your why and make sure their why is aligned with yours. Then the way (how) will present itself. Goal planning is not about writing down a list of tasks. Instead, it starts with a why which some people call a dream. Someone said, ”you gotta have a dream if you want a dream to come true. That’s the why. Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. You can’t motivate yourself or motivate others. You need instead to reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. If you know a staff member’s why or hot button just give them the job that fits their passion. You will be amazed at how they will surprise you with results. Make...
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ARE YOU AFRAID TO LET GO?

StressedOwner
Are you afraid to let go and is this hurting your business growth? Why do you want to be a control freak when there is a much easier and more productive way? This problem could have had its roots in the founding of the business when owners and principals must be very involved in the product or service. The owner must spend most of the time working in the business to make sure that the product or service gets out, the money gets collected, and the bills get paid. That is very important for business survival. There comes a time when the business grows, and one person can’t get it all done. Now you, the owner, hire someone. You are at the pinnacle of a growing business. At this point you are now not only the owner but also a manager. But beware! You hire an employee but continue to stay...
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USE THIS LEADING MEASUREMENT TO IMPROVE YOUR SALES AND PROFITS

Center-of-Influence
If you have had profits in the past there is no guarantee you will have them in the future. To quote investment company advertisements, “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” You need to have a leading indicator. A leading indicator would show current business conditions which would lead to continued success. Two very important measurements are employee engagement and customer loyalty . While sales and profits are very important measurements, they tell you what has happened. Employee engagement and customer loyalty tells you what will happen. When you have engaged employees they will do their best work which will result in loyal customers. You should measure employee engagement at least once per year. The ultimate employee question is, “How likely are you to recommend our company as a great place to work?” When you have highly engaged employees you have promoters of your workplace. A measurement called The Net...
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IT IS NOT THAT EASY TO ELIMINATE THOSE BAD HABITS

Erase-Bad-Habits
If bad habits were easy to change, we would have so much more success. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, bad habits and bad behaviors are the biggest obstacles to success in business. We need to be spending more time on attitudes and behaviors and at least as much time as we spend on developing skills and knowledge. That is because most employee terminations and business failures occur because of habits and behaviors. If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for your job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” If you are doing things that are harmful to your business, why do you keep doing them? In most cases we are in a comfort zone and we don’t want to change because making any change will be uncomfortable....
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THE DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS OF LEADERSHIP

Level-5-Leadership
Have you ever thought about what it takes to be a good leader? If you asked that question to a room full of people you would probably get different answers. That is because leadership is complex and situational. Leadership and management is much more complex than mastering an individual job. For that reason and others as well the failure rate of managers is higher than for individual performers. I had the opportunity a while ago to be part of a group invited to listen to Ken Blanchard discussing building trust, creating positive work cultures, customer loyalty, leadership and organizational change. Ken reinforces some of the values and beliefs that been proven to create positive corporate cultures. You have it wrong if you consider yourself a leader because you have been placed in charge. On the other hand, a person with no direct reports can be a very effective leader. The reason...
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COACHING THAT TRANSFORMS

Coaching
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” That line from the movie Cool Hand Luke highlights a fundamental problem. There are many times in our business and personal lives where we don’t achieve a desired result from directing, explaining, or urging action. I would like to concentrate here on the “urging action.” Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership is getting people to do what YOU want them to do because THEY want to do it.” Let’s now use that quote and relate it to coaching. Coaching is not telling people what they need to do. On the contrary. It is helping them find the direction within themselves to solve a problem. Coaching is a process between a coach and a person being coached that helps the person being coached produce big results in their lives, careers, or business by deepening learning and improve performance and quality of life. The transformational part...
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WHAT IT TAKES TO RETAIN AND ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES

Aligned-Team
What does it take to hire good employees? How do I get these people to stay? I hear these questions many times. There is an answer. It is not necessarily simple, and it depends on many factors. There are no stereotypes regarding employees or candidates for a job. But it is important to understand motivations and engagement drivers of people. Why is employee engagement so important to success? If you have disengaged employees, they are just waiting around to see what happens. On the other hand, engaged workers have bought into what the organization is about and are trying to make a difference. Therefore, they're usually the most productive workers. Strong employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes,...
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WHO REALLY LIKES TO CHANGE?

Change-Management
Although leaders will agree that change is necessary, they may need to become more aware of how they themselves need to change. If they want people to take ownership and initiative, then they must relinquish some degree of control. What we did to get to where we are today will not get us where you want to go tomorrow.   Who are our customers and what business are we in? If we want to continue hold onto our customers and market share, we must adapt to changing times. And if we want to move forward, we need to anticipate and get ahead of change. Why do people resist change? Why do people continue to do the same things although they are no longer getting the results they once achieved? Understanding the reasons people resist change can help overcome the obstacles to change and create real progress. So here are four reasons why...
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COMMUNICATING STANDARDS AND DEVELOPING ACCOUNTABILITY

Job-Interview
The best way to create top performance in your staff is knowing what great performance for your organization looks like. Before you begin talking about standards you need to know and clearly communicate your organizational values and goals. It all starts there! I have made this statement many times… only work with people who share your values. Specific values may be called out in performance goals such as a restaurant server acting in a way that creates a great guest experience. Values are very important and so are behaviors. Behaviors involve how an employee should act and react and values play a big part in this. Of equal importance are the required deliverables. These are the results. Now how do we communicate this? Let’s start with clear standards and goals and then do regular measurements. Many managers dread the words “Performance Appraisal.” Unfortunately, that attitude creates failed opportunities. A performance appraisal...
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BEWARE OF THE MANY NUANCES OF COMMUNICATION

Message-from-Leader
Think during your time in your corporate careers. Did you ever come to a time as you moved up the corporate ladder when the words you used or comments you had made before now have a totally different (sometimes devastating) effect on a receiver of your message? This is just one example of something that I am sure you already know. Communication is more than words and the great majority of the message is nonverbal! If you wish to improve your leadership skills, you will need to take responsibility for the communication within your organization. Start by considering what affect your words have as leader. By setting the example you can dramatically affect the communication process. There are three things that you must evaluate in order to improve your communications skills. They are: 1. What you say 2. How you say it both verbally and non-verbally 3. Your position and who...
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