Friday, February 26, 2010

Helping Your Employees Change + The Winter Olympics and You!

Helping Your Employees Change
by Randy Slechta
CEO of Leadership Management International
In today’s dynamic world of constant change, it’s imperative as a manager and a leader that you have the tools and skills necessary to help your employees change behavior as needed. In fact, change management is a critical skill for all managers and leaders in the 21st Century. The question then becomes, “How does a manager/leader change or influence an employee’s behavior?”

The best tool for accomplishing this is feedback. It has been said that feedback is the “breakfast of champions.” This is absolutely true. With feedback, you can have a significant impact on your employee’s behavior and results.

Feedback is an act of recognition of a person, an event, a result, etc. There are two main sources of feedback: a person can provide feedback to themselves, or they can receive it from others. There are three very different feedback scenarios:
1. Positive Feedback – Positive feedback reinforces positive behavior. 
2. Negative Feedback – Negative feedback stops negative behavior. 
3. No Feedback – People who are unsuccessful in getting any feedback through normal behavior will resort to making mistakes and/or causing trouble to get negative feedback. This is because getting negative feedback is better than having no feedback at all.

Nature abhors a vacuum. The absence of feedback creates a psychological vacuum in a person’s mind. Under this condition, people will act in any way they can to gain feedback, either negative or positive.

Since it is often easier to get attention by doing something bad than it is by doing something good, in the absence of feedback, people will move from doing what they are doing now to doing something differently where feedback is achieved. We can easily see this in children. They will do whatever they need to do to get the attention of a parent, sibling, etc.

Download the rest of the article - Feedback

The Winter Olympics and You!
by Michael Diercks
Leadership Management Institute, Columbus Office

The Winter Olympics are giving us quite a show this year. The thrills, the chills, the agony of defeat, the celebration of victory.
For the next couple of weeks we will be glued to the TV watching skating, bob sledding, skiing and curling -- the pinnacle of winter sports!
As you watch these athletes and teams compete, watch for all the "Slight Edge" performances. What is a "Slight Edge" performance? It is where an athlete finds that one little thing that makes the difference.

Each athlete is looking for that "Slight Edge" in their performance. Speed skaters seek just the right time to pass, bob sledders are trying to navigate the corners to get optimal speed, skiers are riding the edges of their skis to cut their turns just right.

The "Slight Edge" moves them from contender to the podium and from the podium to the gold.

So... what does the Olympics and the "Slight Edge" have to do with business performance? Simple -- learning to apply the "Slight Edge" in your performance can move you into the winner's circle – from very good to outstanding.

What is the "Slight Edge" in performance? It is simple but not easy. Simple in that you need to identify the one or two actions that, when implemented, over time will elevate your performance by a step. That step is one thing that will move you closer to the victor's circle. It doesn't need to be a huge, monumental leap, just a one simple activity.

Let me suggest one thing you can do today to enhance your performance. Write down one thing that prevents you from finishing your to-do list. Here are ones that I hear frequently.
  • Unproductive meetings
  • Constant interruptions
  • Giving directions to someone over and over again
  • Allowing commitments to slip
  • Taking on too many assignments
  • Fighting "fires"

Once written down, make a decision not to allow these performance inhibitors to happen. (This is where the simple isn't easy!) Create a daily habit of replacing these inhibitors with performance enhancers (legal ones) that will move you to the next level. Decide to...
  • Improve meetings
  • Manage interruptions
  • Ensure others understand
  • Keep commitments
  • Learn to say "no"
  • Find the causes of fires and prevent them
Remember performance improvement only happens when personal improvement happens!

If you would like to explore how these performance inhibitors are really impacting your results, please contact us. The LMI transforming process delivers "Slight Edge" advantages to you by creating the personal habits that improve productivity and enhancing performance!