February 5th, 2014
Most managers agree that the worst part of their jobs is taking disciplinary action when an employee’s performance is not where it needs to be. In fact, many managers hate it so much, they’ll look for excuses not to do it. Some of the common rationalizations people use to avoid confronting a performance problem include: “the employee’s performance isn’t that bad”, “eventually, this problem will go away on its own”, or, “I’m too busy to deal with this.” What’s really going on, in most cases, however, is that the manager simply doesn’t know how to handle the situation.
Helping managers develop the confidence and competence they need in this area requires that they learn how to minimize the negative emotions that typically accompany performance discrepancies. Read the rest of this entry »
February 2nd, 2014
Regular exercise is the best way to staying healthy during times of stress. Plus, executives who exercise are considered to be more effective leaders than those who don’t.
“We’ve known for years that people gain huge health benefits when they exercise. What is even more interesting from a leadership perspective is that organizations stand to gain when their leaders are physically fit,” says the Center for Creative Leadership’s Sharon McDowell-Larsen. Recent research from CCL shows that regular exercise and effective leadership go hand-in-hand. Leaders who exercise regularly were rated significantly higher by their bosses, peers and direct reports on their leadership effectiveness than the non-exercisers. Time invested in regular exercise, even if it means spending less time at work, is correlated with higher – not lower – ratings of leadership effectiveness. It seems that a healthy lifestyle can help executives to better cope with the stresses and demands of their positions, thus ultimately increasing their leadership effectiveness.
Staying healthy during times of stress requires either reducing the strain or boosting one’s ability to weather its effects. If you can find ways to reduce the external pressures that cause stress and overload, that’s ideal. Meanwhile, improve your mental and physical ability to process stress by establishing a regular exercise program and other healthy habits. The University of Iowa reports that regular exercise not only reduces stress but also can help leaders reduce anxiety, improve sleep and boost immunity from colds and flu. Exercise also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Read the rest of this entry »
January 29th, 2014
Are you essential to your organization? Would the place fall apart without you, or would it keep running smoothly if you were to leave? These are important questions for employees to ask themselves from time to time. Why? Because it often means the difference between short-term employment and long-term success in a job.
Everyone’s work, in some way or another, can positively impact the organization. People who see the part they play in helping the organization meet its goals, and who then consistently deliver their part at a high level, can’t help but become significant.
Communication coach and consultant John A. Jenson explains that there are three things a person can do to set themselves apart. These are:
- Design (taking who you are–not who you wish you were–”stepping it up” and then commiting to making that your standard; strong personal designs can be described with words like credible, engaging or professional).
- Package (making sure that the way you look and act is in line with the design you’ve established for yourself).
- Deliver (delivering on your claims and doing what you say you are going to do).
Read the rest of this entry »
January 26th, 2014
Try these stretching exercises at your desk — or anywhere else — to ease back pain and boost energy.
You may feel awkward doing stretching exercises at your desk. But right now, as you sit there at your computer, you are doing one of the worst things you can do to your body — you’re sitting still. And not only that, but the way you sit — and type, and hold the phone — may be wreaking havoc on your bones, joints, and muscles.
“People who sit at their computers for hours every day — they’re in for serious medical problems,” says Sharon Hame, MD, associate clinical professor at UCLA’s department of orthopedic surgery. “We’re seeing more things than carpal tunnel; those pains go up the arm to the elbow and shoulder and then translate to the neck and back. It’s a huge problem.”
In addition to carpal tunnel and other traditional ergonomic issues, new problems are cropping up, Hame says. “I saw a woman yesterday who had tennis elbow. She got it at work from the way she answered the phone and worked at the computer.” The solution, experts say, is to break up your work by doing stretching exercises at your desk.
Relieve Back Pain With Stretching Exercises at Your Desk
Aches and pains, not to mention the weight gain that can result from hunching over your desk all day, are just the beginning. “People shouldn’t be complacent about moving just because they’re not obese,” says Angela Smith, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “There are a lot of skinny people who, because they don’t exercise for strength and balance, are osteoporotic fractures waiting to happen.” Read the rest of this entry »
January 23rd, 2014
Unlike lost keys or extra time, excuses are all too easy to find. As convenient as they may be, however, when we make excuses for a poor result or bad decision, we hurt our chances of doing better next time. Correcting mistakes requires that we be honest with ourselves and others about what went wrong.
The act of not making excuses, taking responsibility for our actions, and learning from mistakes is what accountability is all about. Accountability is a crucial competency for employees and leaders in organizations today.
Improving accountability throughout the organization has proven time and time again to be a key factor in achieving positive results. When organizational standards are high, and employees know they are going to be held accountable, they rise to the occasion. Most people do want to be seen as accountable, they just need instruction on what accountability means and how they can incorporate these behaviors into their day-to-day work life. Read the rest of this entry »
January 18th, 2014
Time Management. An interesting concept, and a topic that I’m asked to present fairly often in a workshop format. It occurs to me that what employers are really interested in is productivity. To actually manage time is an oxymoron, as time really can’t be managed in the way we would like to think it could. We’re just not that omnipotent. Helping people manage themselves so that they become more efficient at completing their work in a timely fashion seems to be a much more doable concept.
Time management has always amused me because I happen to excel at procrastination, and yet have memorized and present time management techniques. However, one needs to implement these wonderful tools and techniques in order to “manage the time”. Time continues to pass all around the world without regard or reference as to what we individually are doing at any given moment. Often people claim to just need “more time to get all this done”. Actually there is more time; it just keeps on ticking away.
I find “time management” to be somewhat like dieting. Not all things work for everyone, and the only way they work is if we are willing to be diligent at managing ourselves and accept the responsibility that it takes real effort to actually implement changes in our lives. If you are not pre-destined to be the multitasker of the century, the tips outlined here should help. Accepting that sometimes you may fail even with the best effort also allows you to not give up, but to try again, and maybe re-examine what other changes need to be made to successfully feel the sense of accomplishment. With that being said…. now here´s where we actually explore the possibility of getting more done in less time. Read the rest of this entry »
January 14th, 2014
1. What does it mean to be a member of a team? What can a team accomplish that one person working alone cannot?
2. What positive and negative experiences have you had as team member or a team leader? Identify instances when your team’s effectiveness has suffered due to style differences among members.
3. Do you regard your team responsibilities as a top priority or as an intrusion on your “real job”?
4. In your organization, to what degree are you evaluated and rewarded for your skills and effectiveness as a team player versus for your individual performance? Read the rest of this entry »
January 12th, 2014
The best diversity training programs are those that focus less on what group a person can be identified with, and more on the unique nature of each person. They also show how the inclusion of all enables an organization to fully utilize its most valuable resource — its human capital.
Different Like You: Appreciating Diversity is one such video training program. Viewers of the program learn the importance of accepting and appreciating the differences between one another, examine their own stereotypes and prejudices (and how these impact their behavior), and understand common barriers to inclusion. A step-by-step model for resolving the type of conflict that arises in a diverse workplace is included. Read the rest of this entry »
January 9th, 2014
The best learning experiences are those that move us and inspire us to change our attitudes and behavior. When we relate on a personal level to what we’re being taught, and fully engage with the content, the learning has a much better chance of “sticking”.
For healthcare organizations looking to teach the fundamentals of patient-centered care, there is no better learning experience than It’s A Dog’s World.
Both funny and highly relatable, this video shows what happens when a man and his dog are injured, and the dog gets better treatment at the vet’s office than the man receives from his healthcare group. Recently-updated, It’s a Dog’s World is a must see. In just 14 minutes, it shows that everyone employed in a medical office, hospital, or clinic can make a difference in improving customer service. It reminds viewers that the “little things” make a big difference in keeping patients satisfied. Healthcare workers learn actionable techniques for managing patient anxiety, addressing patient concerns, communicating in a professional manner, and following up.
The healthcare workplace has more than its share of pressure. Training with programs like It’s a Dog’s World reminds employees that hectic schedules and chaotic conditions are no excuse for neglecting the basics of good customer service.