Performance Improvement: What’s Empathy Got To Do With It?

Empathy Beats Confrontation In Performance Management - picture credit Pexels.com

Empathy Beats Confrontation In Performance Management – picture credit Pexels.com

Spring is the season for reporting on performance. It seems to me empathy is the key to influencing others to help us with our performance goals during the coming year.

Drawing on an existing stock of empathy could make the difference to you, if you break out in a sweat at the thought of approaching a good team member who is suddenly producing sub-par work.

Leaders Set The Tone For Their Team

If you have already established an empathic / supportive relationship with your team you have an advantage. The door is already partly open to difficult conversations.

You can now use the stock of trust you have built up to go into potentially uncomfortable territory when speaking with team members (you might want to start being more empathic if you are starting from a low base).

3 Useful Performance Questions

From personal experience performance conversations involve being a bit vulnerable yourself. You aren’t looking to beat anyone up. You are helping yourself by accepting your feelings of discomfort and focusing on helping someone perform better.

Here are 3 discussion openers which might help you get your colleague engaged in finding solutions, as part of a constructive performance improvement conversation

  • It has been a while since our last review, how are things with you workwise?
  • I’ve noticed that X seems to be happening with your work, that’s not like you. Can you say what’s happening there?
  • What more can I do to help you produce different results?

Open questions prompt the listener to think of a full response, since a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer doesn’t fit. Empathy, Thought and Action should feed into your conversation and the ones which follow to help your colleague improve their results.

Feel Free To Continue This Conversation And Share It With Friends

Why not use the Comment section to share the approaches have you used to successfully support performance improvement.

How did you help your member of staff produce good or excellent results, after a temporary downturn?

If you were the one being helped how did your boss’s approach help you move forward? Did they offer to help you, or take a confrontational approach?

For an overview of the effects on performance of feeling overwhelmed at work please follow this link

 

http://www.experienceenterprisesltd.co.uk/

How To Be Creative And Go Boldly Through Life

How Do You Link Boldness And Creativity?

How Do You Link Boldness And Creativity?

Leonard Nimoy was much more than ‘the actor who played Mr Spock in the Star Trek franchise’. He inspired thousands of engineers, scientists and artists over several decades too.

Those people wanted to do more than live the 9 to 5 life. They wanted to chase bigger and bolder ideas. That’s quite a legacy.

Here are a couple of lessons I’ve taken away from his story.

Do You Have Unlikely Goals?

Apparently Mr Nimoy senior didn’t want his son to be an actor. Leonard decided acting was something he was going to do, however unlikely that goal seemed.

He trained, he persevered, set and reached incredible goals as an

– Iconic Actor

– Successful Director

– Celebrated Photographer

Do You Want To Confront Your Fears?

With roles on several 1960s TV show Leonard Nimoy was offered the choice of playing a half-human, half-alien character on an innovative science-fiction piece pitched as Wagon Train in space. He spent time weighing up his choices.

Part of his reasoning process, which led him to finally say ‘Yes’ involved him asking and answering the question

“Will you choose to do something which scares you”?

He made the decision to live boldly of course, which was the right decision as it turns out.

When The President Appreciates You  

Leonard Nimoy’s achievements have had a profound impact on others – when Rolling Stone Obituary quotes the President of The United States, who has  acknowledged you as a

“…lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, [someone] generous with his talent and his time…”

you have probably made a significant cultural impact (here’s the article http://bit.ly/Rolling_Stone_Covers_Tributes_To_Leonard_Nimoy from which you can measure the man’s achievement)

What Will You Take From Leonard Nimoy’s Story?

Here’s a YouTube 25 minute conversation where Leonard Nimoy discusses his life and career with Pharrell Williams – it is full of details you probably didn’t know about the man and his many careers – it indicates how courage played a part in his creative process

http://bit.ly/Leonard_Nimoy_Pharrell_Williams

Living Life Boldly Involves Making A Contribution

There’s a line from the interview which strikes me as important.

In living a full life and achieving success in several fields Leonard Nimoy was concerned with

“Making A Contribution…Having Something To Offer”

His focus was the service he provided to others. He wasn’t hung up with being a TV or Film Star.

His contribution helped inspire science-minded people to pursue their careers. He even got the nerdy, outsider, kids like me feel they had something to contribute. That’s impressive.

What Triggers Your Inspiration?

Thanks to Star Trek re-runs Leonard Nimoy will be challenging people to do more with their lives forever.

What – or who – is it that inspires you when you are ready to get going on a new project? How bold or courageous do you need to feel to get going?

I’d be interested to see what you think in the Comments below, or have your say on Twitter @RogerD_Said

Thanks for reading this far. If you enjoyed this post feel free to share it with others – Trekkers or not – who might appreciate reading it too.

Top 5 Tips If Your #Goal Is Job Hunting In Your 40s And 50s

Setting And Reviewing Goals Does Not Take Long

Taking Action To Set And Review Your Goal Does Not Take Long

How is January working out for you? Is your goal a New Job to go with the New Year? You are in good company as many people make a fresh start in the Winter.

What are the key elements in the strategy you have chosen? Will you be:

  • Letting people in your network know you are in the market for a new role?
  • Making time to research the types of organisations you would like to work for?
  • Reviewing which of your skills need to be refreshed?

All of these elements could form part of a positive strategy. For women and men with 20 to 30 years’ experience in the workplace a few extra elements might be useful too.

Older Wiser More Experienced

If you have spent a generation at work you will be in your 40s or 50s. Was your focus achieving results and raising your family? If so you are older, wiser and more experienced.

You are now competing with people in their 20s and 30s. That means you may need extra support to find a workable strategy. Should that be the case, help is at hand.

Your Top 5 Tips

The Guardian newspaper recently asked experts to answer questions from readers about searching for jobs. Here is the link http://bit.ly/Job_You_Love to that conversation. There is some good thinking on offer and the whole discussion is worth a read. If you just want some pointers please see the bullets below.

I asked their panel of experts for advice specific to people in their 40s and 50s. Here are 5 Tips from their comments (what would you add to the list?):

  • “Someone in their 40’s and 50’s can bring a wealth of experience – the important thing is to make sure that your CV highlights that which is most recent and relevant to the job you are applying for. You can summarise earlier experience in a few lines or a short paragraph and give the space to bullet pointed achievements where you have added value to your organisation”.

 

  • “Make sure you show technology savvy, your success in working as a team member, and that the language used in your CV is current”.

 

  • “Don’t use job descriptions on your work experience, use bulleted lists. This will help your experience stand out”.

 

  • “The last 10 years in detail is probably sufficient, with an “Earlier Career History” section (without dates) for the earlier stuff”.

 

  • “Make sure you are present at the key social networks for job search, i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter with updated professional profile”.

 

How Will You Make Use Of This Information?

I hope this information adds value to your search for work that you love.

Feel free to share this information with others who would find it helpful. You can comment here – on Twitter @rogerd_said – on Facebook or continue the conversation on LinkedIn.

#GEW – What’s Your Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Speakers At The 2014 Work & Family Show

What Is Your Secret To Public Speaking?

Are you getting connected with the no-cost and low-cost events in the UK during Global Entrepreneurship Week ?

Hopefully your goal is to sample some of the Networking Sessions; Webinars and Presentations scheduled from now until 23 November. You will definitely be able to hear some inspiring ideas from some talented speakers in the next few days.

Any one of those learning opportunities might be the right one to give you clarity. They will help you see past the fog of options that you might pursue and focus on your next development goal.

What’s The Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Have you ever wondered how some speakers seem to effortlessly get their points across?

Whether you are in the UK, US, the EU, or further afield I think the speakers you listen to will have 3 points in mind as they clear their throats and start speaking. They will be mindful of the need to:

  • Focus on meeting the information needs of you, the audience member
  • Present their message in a simple and straight forward way
  • Give you a summary and a call to action before they finish speaking

How Do These 3 Strategies Help Speakers Get Their Message Across?

  • Addressing the audience on their terms means the content is relevant and accessible, rather than too academic
  • Simplicity means you are more likely to remember the key message or stat the speaker referenced
  • Summarising the content underlines its importance and signals that there is more information on the key topic than the presentation could contain

These 3 strategies also naturally lead you and the rest of the audience to read an article online, subscribe to a Newsletter, or book onto a follow-up session if that is the final point the speaker mentions.

How Will You Share The Information You Gain During #GEW ?

Feel free to comment below – or on Twitter @RogerD_Said – on the learning you have undertaken and how you will apply inside or outside work. I’ll be sharing my GEW takeaways here and across social media during the week. Why not join the conversation?

 

Goals 2014: 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your #MidYearReview

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

If your staff report year began in April your mid ear review is due about now. You and your Supervisor / Team Leader / Manager will be preparing for a conversation which will cover: your performance against your goals; the competencies you are using and those you can develop; plus support you can tap into from coaches, mentors or formal training providers.

If you are a UK civil servant this process might raise wider issues, some of which are discussed in a feature on morale this week in the Guardian newspaper   The article is worth a read if you have an interest in staff engagement, or the delivery of public services.

5 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Mid-Year Review

Whether you are working in the private, or public sector your review is your chance to share the evidence of your good work so far this year with your Supervisor.

If you are a Supervisor chairing the session it is your chance to have an empathic conversation, which uses evidence to highlight the good work your junior colleague has produced. You can propose any development areas that need attention and leave the session on a positive note overall.

The Review is also the spring board to the second part of the year. You can create momentum from this session. Enough momentum to carry you toward whatever achievements you want under your belt by next Spring.

Here are your 5 pointers to make the most of your mid-year review

  • Bring your evidence (customer feedback; stats showing what you have accomplished; learning log highlights).
  • Listen intently to what is being said, so you can note down positive and interesting feedback.
  • Check you understand any adverse feedback and ask for evidence where necessary.
  • Clarify next steps and timings at, or shortly after, the review (especially if you have to follow a timetable to record your difference of opinion over something which has been said).
  • Create a development goal, in line with your values, which you can work on this month. Make sure it also moves you forward towards a personal goal. This will give you an immediate lift, should you need one and give you confidence you can use at work too.

What are your favourite strategies to make sure you conduct effective reviews with your staff? What factors tell you that your Supervisor has made your review a positive experience? Share your thoughts in the Comment section below, or send me a tweet @RogerD_Said

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Goals 2014: How Will You Keep Developing Your #Leadership Skills Next Week?

What Connections Do Leaders And Managers Inspire?

What Connections Do Leaders And Managers Inspire?

Are you content to leave tackling your leadership goals until the New Year? Or are you ready to spend 5 minutes today planning your next step towards self-development?

What Happens When Leaders Build On Their Strengths?

If you are motivated to take action to achieve improvement here are some interesting trends from a US study of leaders’ self-improvement results:

  • Leaders can measure their performance gains, when they take action on the goal of developing their strengths.

 

  • More than 70% of those leaders who focused on building strengths felt they had improved their overall effectiveness

 

  • Nearly 60% of those strength builders feeling their improvement positively impacted their organisation

The article from which I’ve taken these data was written by Behavioural Statistician Joseph Folkman and is published online by Forbes magazine.

What More Could Leaders Do?

I think it would also be valuable to see how the people who directly report to those leaders view the ‘After’ picture. Also other stakeholders might have valuable views on what the leader’s post-improvement results look like. Do those groups feel more connected to their leadership figure after they have developed, compared to before the change occurred?

The biggest ask would involve leaders applying themselves consistently to the areas in which they are not strong. After all, it is relatively straightforward to take action to build on your strengths. Taking these actions involves going with the flow and doing the things that feel nice and rewarding.

How Challenging Is It To Go Against The Flow?

The real challenge – which involves working against the flow – means acting on goals which involve deep, authentic, growth work. These are the areas where resistance is strongest. These areas touch deep seated fears and are the ones where the knot in the gut usually gets in the way.

That hard work pays off, over time. There are real rewards in overcoming that resistance. Rewards for self, colleagues, and clients. There is a sweetness to those development gains too.

What Does A Mix Of Goals Look Like?

It is a challenge to go full on after hard to reach self-development gains. I remember one of my coaching clients felt much better tackling a mix of goals when she decided where she wanted to be in 12 months, then:

  • Focused on developing her empathic skills (to serve her colleagues and clients better meantimes)

and

  • Prioritised being more assertive (so that she could have a more effective working relationship with her supervisor during her personal development phase).

She was understandably pleased with the results she achieved, over time, by combining straightforward and hard to reach goals.

Which Strength Building and Challenge Goals Will You Act On?

Please use the Comment section here to share your stories of pursuing your goals. Let your colleagues and friends know that goal setting isn’t time consuming and that effective support makes the difference, whether you are in the US, UK, EU or further afield.  Your success will inspire plenty of people who need a nudge to get going.

(Tweet me @RogerD_Said and I will continue the conversation there too).

Goals 2014: 3 Ideas To Help You Stand Out In Your #JobSearch

It is that time of year.  Your goals set last January have been accomplished.  Your summer break is a fading memory and you are back into the familiar rhythm of the working week.  Hopefully you are ready to take decisive action, rather than staring out of the window at the leaves changing colour.

Your Top 3 Job Search Suggestions

If you are looking to change of your job role, or place of work you might find you need to polish up your CV / Resume and covering letter.  The information in the Tweeted link helps you do just that.

Basically the Guardian’s Job Goddess suggests that jobseekers should remember to:

  • Start their letter by talking about the fit between their experience, their skills and the role for which they are applying
  • Specify how much impact they have had in similar roles (How many customers did they have? How much revenue did they generate?)
  • Demonstrate their continuous learning strategy by mentioning what recent qualifications or experience they have gained.

Who Will You Share These Suggestions With?

If this isn’t the right time for you to be moving on who do you know who would benefit from this information?  How will you share it with them?  When are you going to do it?  I’m sure they will be grateful that you passed these ideas on.

Tweet your feedback to me @RogerD_Said or use the Comment section here.   I would love to know how these ideas help in practice.