Archives For Career Development

I LOVE springtime and summer because I can spend hours in my garden making things grow. This year I took it up a notch by adding two new garden areas in my back yard. In addition to my English-style garden with  five sections of flowers, I dug out a large area in a corner next to the house and deck. 

GROW model of giving feedback

After clearing the grass I planted three raised beds along with three large whiskey barrel planters filled with a variety of vegetables and herbs. I also added blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries on the other side of the deck. It’s so fun to watch everything grow!

Maybe that’s why I like the GROW Model for giving feedback so much! (If you missed it, you can find the first post on Feedback as FeedFORWARD here. And be sure to sign up for future updates on the sidebar!)

Feedback as Feed-FORWARD is all about growth. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with an employee’s performance the goal is to help them grow as persons and improve their performance for the better. It’s[……]

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So why give constructive feedback?  Constructive feedback is given when a behavior or action is ‘off track’ and you want to get it back ‘on track’.  Or you might need a higher level of performance than was achieved.  In one of my workshops I had a manager say that he wanted to learn how to ‘punish people properly’.  

Constructive Feedback

Ok… not what I was going for in a “Feed-FORWARD to Next Time” approach!

In constructive feedback we want them to hear you, buy in, and start a plan for how to change.  But how to do that? (To review the concept of Feedback As Feed-Forward and the purpose of giving feedback go here. And be sure not to miss any posts in the series by subscribing to my blog updates!)

The GROW Model

The best tool I’ve found is the GROW framework.  It creates a great flow of the conversation.  My thanks to John Whitmore and his book, Coaching for Performance.  (This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who wants to acquire a coaching style in managing the performance of others – Really!  B[……]

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Imagine a day where you received absolutely NO FEEDBACK.  Not really possible.  Your brain is constantly receiving feedback – feedback from your stomach (time for breakfast), feedback from your feet (this bathroom floor is cold!), feedback from your spouse (don’t forget to pick up Kristen after school today).

rsz_dt-improved-performance-1

Your brain is a lover of feedback.  Without a feedback system you and your body couldn’t even complete the simplest task.  But even though we are wired to receive feedback, most leaders I meet struggle with the best way to give feedback.

My second blog series summarizes best practices in giving feedback.  As with the last series I’ll summarize the best tips and tools I’ve found on giving feedback.  Your job:  to practice and make these tools your own.

The Purpose of Giving Feedback

Answer the following question:  Why should you as a manager give feedback?

While you’re thinking about that… let me tell you a story of the worst feedback I ever got:

One company I wor[……]

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Oscar Time!

February 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

It’s Oscar time! Get out the tuxedos and gowns! Roll out the red carpet! The envelope, please. And the winner is . . . 

Oscar Time! Performance Reviews

So far in our series we’ve been discussing the basics of how to be successful in your first year as a manager. We’ve talked about setting clear objectives, what comprises SMA2RT goals, how to conduct one-on-ones, and now we come to the very useful management tool of the performance review.

As the year wraps to a close – your manager or HR will probably ask you to write a written summary for each employee’s annual performance.

Do I hear groaning?

Maybe you’re thinking of how stressful some your own performance reviews have been. But let me offer a suggestion to lesson the pain. If you look at performance reviews in a certain way you can make them very useful and effective in your leadership toolbox. 

Think of performance reviews as your own Annual Oscar Awards Ceremony! It’s your chance to highlight the achievements of your team members and focus on[……]

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It’s the end-of-year list time! We’re going to see lists on any subject you want for the worst and best of 2012.  There’s a great one on leadership books just out by Tim Fox, the “Federal Coach”, who blogs for the Washington Post. 

Leader Know How Notes

Leaders Read

If you’re going to be a great Leader-Manager you need to keep up on the best in Leadership thought and example. Leaders need to read! You should always have a good book going on your job as a leader.  Fox’s list is short and sweet. His recommendations span history, biography, and practical application. To be great you need to follow the greats. Fox has a great list to up your Leadership game.

I also have my own list of  favorites – those books and articles that have been helpful to me and those I teach on our journey to becoming better leaders.

But Reading Isn’t Leading!

Along with my reading list I provide my Know How Notes.  Know How Notes are ideas about how you can apply what you are reading to your practice of Leadership.

Beca[……]

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The first topic in this series on “Your First Year as a Leader-Manager” is: The Need for Setting Clear Objectives. It is absolutely essential that the objectives you set for your employees are CLEAR!

Need for Clear Objectives

Otherwise, the consequences might be pretty serious. In fact, your role as a manager depends on it.

Almost by definition, the core activity of being a manager is getting work done through other people.  Once you are promoted into management you are not only responsible for the work you deliver but you are also responsible for the work of everyone who reports to you.  They succeed – you succeed.  They fail – you…well… will probably no longer be a manager. This is why setting clear objectives is so important.

One of my favorite examples of setting clear objectives comes from a colleague of mine at Xerox.  While travelling on business, she called home to check-in with her family.  As she hung up the phone with her husband, she relayed the following story.  The objective given to[……]

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The goal of this series is to help you become a great Leader-Manager in your first year – so you get off to your best start possible!

Getting off to a good start in your first year as a managerAs a new manager you might feel a bit overwhelmed. What will your first year look like?What are the essentials you must know apply in the next 12 months if you are going to be successful in leading your team? Even as a veteran manager there may be a lot you wish you’d known or could do over.

I invite you to let me lead you through the next year as we tackle 12 key skills – skills that are essential for you to lead your people.  Each month I’ll introduce a new skill area – and support each skill area with 4-5 posts.

My company name is Leader Know How, so in these blogs you’ll get more than just an interesting idea, I’ll show you HOW to apply the idea to how you lead your people.  I’ll kick off each month with some theory and background, but then dig deeper into tools, case examples and practical exercises to help you immediately apply what we dis[……]

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