What makes a high performing team?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

This is the sixth 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
What makes a high performing team?
There is a lot of talk about high performing teams: but talk is cheap. Building [...]

Make a plan - speak up

Monday, September 5th, 2011

This is the third 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
Make a plan - speak up
Re title: Tips for holding difficult conversations
At one time or another we all face [...]

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 [...]

The downside to stretch goals

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

In most organisations it is assumed that if you want to build a high performing team you need to set stretch goals and objectives. Logically, it makes sense that setting challenging goals and objectives is the best way to inspire the most effort and the best performance. The only limitation that is commonly recognised is [...]

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 [...]

Become more resilient: manage upward

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Speaking up to anyone in authority can be difficult and high risk. If you get it wrong, it could be career limiting. But it may be the only way to remove feelings of frustration and dis-empowerment at work and can be a powerful way to increase your resilience.
One of the conversations that most people avoid is asking [...]

Teaching older dogs new tricks

Monday, November 29th, 2010

It is very difficult to change adult behaviour, and the older the adult, the more it is difficult.
Many people, including human resources people who should know better, still behave as if a few days in a classroom can produce managers who will build high performing teams and people who will communicate effectively. Would that it [...]

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 [...]

Confronting tears

Friday, November 12th, 2010

One of the things that managers most dread about performance appraisals is the woman who breaks down in tears at the first hint of critical feedback.
The very best way to handle this problem is to avoid having it happen in the first place. There are two things you can try.
Prepare for the conversation by gathering [...]