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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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Think (FIRST about INTENT) Before You Speak

Think before you speak.  Have you ever been told that?  It’s wise advice.  When I coach people about being more effective in their communication, I remind them to FIRST figure out what you are trying to accomplish through a conversation.  By establishing the INTENT of the conversation, the right words will form in your brain.  And if the right words form in your brain, it is more likely that the right words will come out of your mouth and the wrong words will not.  Simply put – Your communication mantra should be:  1st Mind (Intent), 2nd Body (Stance), 3rd Mouth (Words)

Businessman With Duct Tape On His MouthExample – Randy, please shut up and listen:  A manager I was coaching a couple of years back, asked me to follow him around for a day to see if I could figure out why people didn’t want to work with him – (that’s the polite way of saying… they thought he was a jerk).  So Randy and I went off to his first meeting.  I asked Randy:

CNM:  “So who called this meeting?”

RANDY:  “The director we are meeting with”

CNM:  “And what is the topic (INTENT) of this meeting?”

RANDY:  “I have no idea”

CNM – to myself:  “OK then, this is going to be good!”

Do you know what Randy did?  He sat down in the director’s office and started talking!  And TALKED… And TALKED… and TALKED…  For 20 minutes, he hijacked the conversation and did not let the director get a word in.  Finally, in frustration, the director said, “Randy! I asked you here today to discuss…”

CNM – to myself:  “Oh, thank goodness she finally stopped him!”


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Think… 5 to 1

clipart-thumbsup-kids3-150x150Sometimes I think I missed the really good stuff in graduate school. I received my degree in Industrial / Organizational Psychology before the Positive Psychology trend – or shall I say, sharp right turn – really took off. When I went to school, psychologists spent most of their time studying people who weren’t functioning well and then tried to apply the learning to the rest of us. The sharp turn happened when the simple idea was proposed that there is also a lot to be learned from studying successful, well-adjusted people. [Such a simple, yet profound idea]

A quote from on Positive Psychology

Unlike traditional psychology that focuses on deficits, disease, and dysfunction, positive psychology highlights human strengths and potential, and celebrates what is best in life. It emphasizes goals, well-being, satisfaction, happiness, interpersonal skills, perseverance, talent, wisdom, and personal responsibility. Positive psychology is concerned with understanding what makes life worth living, with helping people become more self-organizing and self-directed, and with recognizing that people and experiences are embedded in a social context.

Some GOOD STUFF on Feedback from Positive Psychology Research

When I teach Leader-Managers how to give effective feedback, I often ask them the question, “What ratio between Appreciative / Thank You Feedback TO Constructive / Something Needs to Change Feedback creates the most productive work environment possible?” Most of my Leader-Managers guess 2:1. I then ask, “So what actually happens in your work environment?” They answer, “It’s 1:1 if we’re lucky”. [Of course you know the real answer, because you’re reading this blog.


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