How to manage change effectively

Friday, September 30th, 2011

This is the ninth of the blog posts based on the top ten most read Straight Talk Tips that go to my clients each month. The tips are free and you can sign up for them here
How to manage change effectively
Almost all organisations undergo extensive change at some time in their history. It may come from [...]

This is the fourth of the blog posts based on the top ten most read Straight Talk Tips that go to my clients each month. The tips are free and you can sign up for them here
Importance of managing emotions in difficult conversations
Conversations about performance or behaviour have many starting points but all have an underlying [...]

Moving Targets

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

This is the first of the blog posts based on the top ten most read Straight Talk Tips that go to my clients each month. The tips are free and you can sign up for them here
Moving targets re-title: How to set realistic objectives
Conventional wisdom holds that when you want people to perform at their [...]

A performance appraisal interview is, in many ways, far more important for an employee than it is for a manager. It is essential that you prepare for your performance appraisals carefully and handle them skilfully.
A good performance appraisal can enhance your reputation and accelerate or change the direction of your career. An interview that goes [...]

Be careful when you set goals

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Common sense and research show that setting goals, targets, outputs or key performance areas is a necessary and effective way of focussing people’s attention and driving their performance and motivation. We put our trust in stretch objectives, challenging KPAs and BHAGS – Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
But like all prescribed remedies, there are side effects. One [...]

Performance appraisal revisited – again

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The majority of organizations today claim they have a performance appraisal system in place.  The procedures and documentation are carefully designed and circulated every quarter or half year. Managers line up interviews with their staff. Sometimes people are asked to complete self assessments before their appraisal interviews.
Afterwards, the data is collected and analysed to identify [...]

Presentation Skills: using humour

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

If you are a stand-up comic or a natural story teller, you may well decide to use humour as a way of making your presentations or public speaking opportunities memorable. For the rest of us, it is a high risk strategy.
There are three main reasons why attempts at humour in presentations and speeches can fall [...]

In public speaking you only get one chance to make a first impression. In a presentation you may have no more than 10, and at the most 30 seconds to make an impression on your audience. The opening to a presentation is in many ways the most critical part and it always pays to plan [...]

Rewarding behaviour and creating consequences

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Are there people around you behaving like this?
 They perform way under their capabilities even though you hold regular performance reviews
 They use up most of their sick leave each year although you see no evidence of any serious illness
 They use mobile phones during meetings for mail and messages in defiance of agreements to [...]

There’s good news and bad news

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

There’s some really good news this week. I’ve had the proposal for my second Straight Talk book accepted for publication by my publisher, Random House Struik!
And there’s some really bad news! They want the manuscript by the end of January for July 2011 publication. So whatever other plans I had for the December holidays, they [...]