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.

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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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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TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO GOALS

Create-Your-Dream
Do you have some dreams that you would like to become realities? Are you willing to create a plan to get there? Your plan will consist of several goals. Although some people have dreams many never get past the dream stage because they have no goals. A goal is really a dream with a timetable. First, let’s build the dream and then create the goals to get there. Do an inventory of your dreams and write them down. Can you visualize them and verbalize them? Visualizing and verbalizing your dream will create the motivation to achieve. In fact, a burning desire to make your dream a reality will create the urgency to make your dreams come true. If you have made goals in the past and have not achieved them, you probably did not have the burning desire to achieve them. New Year’s resolutions fall into this category many times. When...
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TAKE DELEGATION TO THE NEXT LEVEL

StrugglingManager
If you feel that nothing important should be delegated, you will never be able to take your organization to the next level. Being a control freak or a micro manager is not necessary even in projects where accuracy or compliance is required. There is a much better way to get desired results and hold people accountable. You can maintain accuracy and compliance without stifling your team. If you do micromanage you could stifle your company growth, have high turnover, and end up working way too many hours. Let’s consider an actual example. I have worked with a person owns a business that includes insurance and real estate. He has a dozen employees involved in the process of sales and contracts. Each person has a job title but not a job description. Things change quickly as does the mood of the owner. To make matters worse people are asked to do something...
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WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM IN YOUR BUSINESS?

WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM IN YOUR BUSINESS?
You are noticing that something is not right, but you can’t figure out what it is. I receive calls like this from business owner and it’s my job as the business doctor to learn the symptoms and then diagnose the problem. During my consultation I ask questions, listen for answers, and then ask some more questions. As an example of symptoms, here are some statements that I hear from the owners. Our sales have begun to level off. We can’t get our employees motivated. We are getting more customer complaints. We have new competition. While these sound like normal business problems there is no simple answer for them. It is important to look at the whole picture rather than make a reactive fix. It is better to take a proactive look. It would be a mistake to treat the symptoms rather than cure the disease. Many reactive business leaders treat the...
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WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?

WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?
Where do you see your business going in the next year? If you are a business owner in Westchester County NY you should be giving this serious consideration. Creating an appropriate strategy will be most successful if you look at your business today, look into the future, then make a plan to create your future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my clients with a strategic plan: 1.         Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, Kodak should have realized that it was not in the film business but in the image and impression sharing business. In real estate are you selling houses or assisting buyers in improving their lives? 2.         Get in front of change.   The best way to...
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START ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS NOW

START ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS NOW
There is no time like now to start achieving your goals. It is as simple as ready, set, go. Yes, it is that simple although it is not easy. Let’s take it from the beginning and create our action plan. A goal must be worthwhile to you and must motivate you. What are your biggest dreams? Do an inventory of your dreams and put them on paper. Visualize them and verbalize them. This will build the motivation to achieve your goal. If you have made goals in the past and have not achieved them one reason may be that you did not have a burning desire and, therefore, you were not driven to achieve them. New Year’s resolutions fall into this category many times. When you think about your life, your daily journey, how well do you plan and organize it? Your life’s journey is the MOST important trip you will...
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REPLACE YOUR BAD HABITS WITH PRODUCTIVE ONES

REPLACE YOUR BAD HABITS WITH PRODUCTIVE ONES
Are you having trouble with getting rid of some of those bad habits? You have tried but you have not succeeded.   You would like to create some positive habits.      A person who has positive work habits, for example, will be much more likely to succeed than a person with negative work habits. In fact, habits have everything to do with our success or failure. That bad habit can cause us to continue to do things that are non-productive or destructive.   For example, you might have a habit of laying back and taking it easy.   This could place you in panic mode when you are up against a deadline.   This could cause you to fail to meet the deadline or fail to achieve good results.   All of this is the result of living in a comfort zone.   That comfort zone exists for us because...
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NO HIGH PERFORMANCE WITHOUT ACCOUTABILITY

NO HIGH PERFORMANCE WITHOUT ACCOUTABILITY
How do you create a culture of accountability and create a high performing team? The best way to accomplish this is by motivating staff and team members to be proud to be accountable. Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”   Many times, we fear discussing results and performance because we feel we will not change behavior and we might create alienation. However, by avoiding we only have continued failure. Doing nothing and avoiding accountability is not an option if we want to create growth through improved results. How does a manager hold members of the staff responsible for performance? What about an employee who needs help but fears asking for help? The results can be devastating when we fail to have accountability discussions. The book, “Crucial Confrontations”, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer...
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ARE YOU STRESSED OUT?

ARE YOU STRESSED OUT?
Many Westchester County business owners have told me that they feel like a hamster on a wheel. They are overworked and overwhelmed. Many blame the rapid pace of business or the economic fact that business must do more with less. Technology has made our lives easier, right? Yes, but it has also created more pressure. Instant communication on handheld devices gives us the sense of urgency and feeling that we must always be working. Everything seems to go faster, leaving everyone feeling overworked, overloaded, and overwhelmed.   Some people may suggest that this is an issue of time management. The real issue is not time management but understanding your goals and your purpose. Here are some tips on surviving being overwhelmed. 1. Know Your Purpose. Do you have a roadmap and purpose? That would be your vision, your goals, and your plans. Each day identify the tasks you must accomplish and prioritize...
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MAKE YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN AND THEN FOCUS

MAKE YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN AND THEN FOCUS
Are you laser focused or are you a multi-tasker? Being a multi-tasker in running your business may create problems. Instead, staying focused and staying sharp on the things necessary to grow and change will yield the best results. Sometimes owners get lazy and in a rut. The owner stops seeing the big picture. Maybe the business has had years of successful sales and profits. Since the business is still making money and continuing to operate the reasoning is, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Eventually, the business could reach a stage on leveling off or declining sales or profits. Maybe there are changes in the industry or in the economy. To remain successful, the business owner must refocus. Here are five essentials for refocusing. 1. Make sure you know what business you are in. If you make cell phones do you provide smart phones, or do you create facilitated mobile...
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DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION UNLESS YOU MEAN IT

DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION UNLESS YOU MEAN IT
I always make fun of the idea of New Year’s resolutions.   But this year I am going with the flow and giving you a challenge.   Many people do the usual thing without any thought as they toast the New Year on New Year’s Eve.   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 many 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?     In most cases it was something to do....
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DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION UNLESS YOU MEAN IT

DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION UNLESS YOU MEAN IT
I always make fun of the idea of New Year’s resolutions.   But this year I am going with the flow and giving you a challenge.   Many people do the usual thing without any thought as they toast the New Year on New Year’s Eve.   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 many 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?     In most cases it was something to do....
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MOTIVATION IS THE WHY BEHIND THE HOW

MOTIVATION IS THE WHY BEHIND THE HOW
People achieve their goals because they want to achieve them.   The greater the reward the higher probability that the goal will be achieved.    We call this desire or passion motivation and it comes from within.   Motivation comes from within and that means that you cannot motivate another person.   You can, however, help create a spark to ignite their inner fire.   That inner fire will drive motivation. That inner fire or passion is your WHY.   If you do not have the WHY then the HOW will not matter.   Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership.   Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it.   Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is...
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HOW TO FIND YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE

HOW TO FIND YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE
How do you live a stress-free life and have balance? Two things stand out for me. Be guided by your values and have a purpose then stay on course. You can stay on course with your personal GPS. The comparison to using a GPS is an easy one. We have them in our car and on our phone. We use them to order a car on Uber or we use them to find a restaurant nearby. We have become more productive and less stressed because we have used this very simple tool to help us navigate. What is so remarkable about this instrument? First, it lets you know where you are now. Then you can decide where you want to go. The GPS then gives you step by step directions How similar is this to you and your personal GPS; for your career, your business, and your personal life? Are you...
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DECIDE TO DO IT NOW

DECIDE TO DO IT NOW
Are fear and procrastination holding you back from doing what you want to do now? These two obstacles need to be overcome if you choose to succeed. Fear takes many forms and they are all success killers. Fear causes you to play it safe when you should be taking calculated risks. When you take the path that is uncertain you have the opportunity for greater rewards. And as you take those less travelled paths you will become stronger. Procrastination is really another problem and it could also be related to fear. Fear of failure or fear of success. This manifests itself in excuses such as these: “Getting ready to go to work”. For example, “I still don’t have my resume, my presentation, or my 2 sharpened number 2 pencils”—you get the idea! Many times people want to do great things but they never follow through. Why? One possible answer is that...
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YOU CAN’T MOTIVATE ME

YOU CAN’T MOTIVATE ME
Someone else cannot motivate you. Motivation comes from within. However, that does not mean that help someone find his or her inner motivation. Only when you focus on the other person rather than what you won’t will you start to see results with other people. Start with yourself. And to be specific start with the WHY. Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. Find your passion. If you are not what you are passionate about start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you have....
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WHY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS OFTEN DO NOT WORK

WHY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS OFTEN DO NOT WORK
Some people make New Year’s Resolutions and some simply don’t believe in them. I believe in goal achievement which is why I think that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. Many are made in a ritual manner somewhat like turning the calendar or they are made hastily at a party. Small wonder that the gyms are filled in January but empty by April. A goal is tied to a driving dream that you have that is specific and measurable and has a timetable. It does not just pop into your head at 11:59 on December 31 st . What are your burning desires for next year? Are you writing them down? What worked well and what didn’t work well in the past year? What do you want to achieve in 2017? Examples: Two additional new customers per month? Ten percent higher average per customer sale? Customer service ratings of 8, 9, or...
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HOW TO AVOID RUNNING OUT OF TIME

HOW TO AVOID RUNNING OUT OF TIME
When an opportunity is presented do you think or say I don’t have time or I am too busy? If that is the case time may be managing you rather than the other way around. My Westchester County NY business owners tell me that one of their biggest challenges is having enough time. We all have 24 hours a day. No one has more time. It may appear that way because of the way they make time work for them. Unfortunately, many of us feel overwhelmed and that causes them to see their life spinning out of control.   Having a system in place will not alone solve the problem because time management is really not a time management issue. No, you first need to know your purpose. So here are some tips on surviving being overwhelmed. 1. Know Your Purpose and Focus like a Laser. Know your vision, your goals, and...
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NO ONE CAN MOTIVATE YOU

NO ONE CAN MOTIVATE YOU
You cannot motivate someone to achieve. The only thing you can do is create a spark that will build the fire of motivation from within. That inner fire will drive motivation. What about you? Do you have something burning inside you? Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. We can also refer to that WHY as your PASSION. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion? If you are not sure why not start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you have. I would suggest stretching the list...
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