Thursday, June 3, 2010

Helping People Win At Work

Book Review: Helping People Win At Work - A Business Philosophy Called "Don't Mark My Paper, Help Me Get An A" By Ken Blanchard & Garry Ridge - 2009

Ken Blanchard's Leading at a Higher Level techniques are inspiring thousands of leaders to build high-performing organizations that make life better for everyone.

Now, Blanchard and WD-40 Company leader Garry Ridge reveal how WD-40 has used Blanchard's techniques of Partnering for Performance with every employee–achieving levels of engagement and commitment that have fortified the bottom line.

Ridge introduces WD-40 Company's year-round performance review system, explaining its goals, features, and the cultural changes it requires.

Next, he shares his leadership point of view: what he expects of people, what they can expect of him, and where his beliefs about leadership and motivation come from.

Finally, Ken Blanchard explains why WD-40 Company's Partnering for Performance system works so well–and how to leverage its high-value techniques in your organization.

Partnering to Help Virtually Everyone Succeed: Stop building failure into your mentoring of employees

Agreeing On What to Evaluate & How to Evaluate It: SMART goal setting: specific, motivational, attainable, relevant, and trackable

Coaching Via Situational Leadership® II: Help people move through all four stages of mastery

Building A Tribe, Not Just A Team: Create a culture that shares knowledge and encourages nonstop learning

Thanks to BookFiesta4U

Coaching, Counseling & Mentoring

Book ReviewCoaching, Counseling & Mentoring: How to Choose & Use the Right Technique to Boost Employee Performance by Florence M. Stone

Long gone are the days when managing meant simply telling people what to do.

Managers today must master a host of other roles if they want to be effective leaders-including coaching, counseling, and mentoring.

This is the first book to cover all three of these crucial skills, providing models for each role and showing readers how to adapt them to specific situations-and improve employee performance across all levels.

This book is packed with self-tests, real-life scenarios, and hands-on, practical guidance, Coaching, Counseling & Mentoring.

Long gone are the days when managing meant simply telling people what to do. Managers today must master a host of other roles if they want to be effective leaders–including coaching, counseling, and mentoring.

This is the first book to cover all three of these crucial skills, providing models for each role and showing readers how to adapt them to specific situations–and improve employee performance across all levels.

Packed with self-tests, real-life scenarios, and hands-on, practical guidance, Coaching, Counseling & Mentoring will help managers, supervisors and team leaders to:

* assess their own strengths and weaknesses in each area

* apply their coaching, counseling, and mentoring skills to teams as well as individuals

* use these techniques to improve their employees' performance on the job

Thanks to BookFiesta4u

Coaching for Emotional Intelligence

Book Review: Coaching for Emotional Intelligence: The Secret to Developing the Star Potential In Your Employees By Bob Wall

At some point in their careers, all managers face a frustrating and seemingly insurmountable challenge — the highly intelligent, highly skilled direct report who is failing when he should be excelling.

Often, this employee is destroying not only his own career, but also the morale of the rest of the team. While this behavior may initially seem willful, it is more than likely due to a lack of emotional intelligence — the ability to comprehend one's emotions, empathize with the feelings of others, and interact with people in ways that promote congenial working relationships.

More than any other trait, emotional intelligence is the one variable that can transform a mediocre employee into an exceptional one.

Managers now have a new and demanding role. They must become coaches who help their employees to develop emotional intelligence and the positive interpersonal relationships that result.

And while this kind of corrective coaching may seem daunting and unpleasant to many managers, it is also achievable with the right tools.

In Coaching for Emotional Intelligence, Bob Wall offers coaching strategies that will enable every manager to elicit excellence by improving the negative behaviors and communications flaws that are undermining an employee's performance.

The book provides a structured format for formulating and delivering both praise and corrective feedback, as well as a step-by-step method and sample scripts for conducting a coaching session. Readers will:

  • Overcome the fear of coaching on sensitive, personal issues.
  • Learn the critical importance of praise–and how to give it.
  • Understand the influences that shaped the behaviors of the individual being coached.
  • Determine whether an employee is responding to corrective coaching, when to keep him — and when to fire him.
  • Create an action plan for teaching employees to identify and alter unwanted behavior.
  • Master spontaneous coaching: delivering praise in 15-20 seconds — and corrective feedback within 45 seconds.
  • Formulate structured conversations when corrective coaching isn't working.
  • Create successful, detailed, and clear personal, team, and work evaluations and mission statements.

The first book of its kind, Coaching for Emotional Intelligence is a thoughtful, realistic, and accessible guide that will change the way managers lead in the workplace — and will ensure that their employees are reaching their full potential.

Thanks to BookFiesta4U

How to Make an Incentive Meaningful

What makes an incentive meaningful? How can we add meaning and thus value to an incentive, regardless of the cost that is spent? For my part, I've found three dimensions that can help make any incentive more meaningful to a recipient:

Origin. Did you start with what is important to the person you are trying to motivate? There's no use offering a travel incentive to someone who doesn't want to travel or a nice watch to someone who already has four or five. By asking employees what things they value, you increase the odds of being on target. Lesson: Don't have the recognition committee select items from a catalog that employees will receive. Ask your employees directly what things they'd most value!

Choice. Is there variety and choice so that the person has a say in what they get? Whenever you provide choice to the recipient, you increase its value. Having a say in what the person receives is empowering and allows them to select something that best aligns with their interests, family situation, or personality. This applies to activities as well as merchandise. For example, giving someone additional time off increasingly is a more cherished incentive than a simple cash substitute such as a gift certificate. Lesson: Add choice points for employees whenever possible to make recognition and rewards more meaningful to those you are trying to motivate.

Context. Is the incentive presented in a way that adds to its value, making it truly an honor? It's the sizzle more than the steak that sets the tone and memory of any award. Lesson: Consider the context of awards presentation to increase its personal touch and relevance. Consider:
• Who presents the incentive? Is it someone the recipient holds in high esteem, (which often can be a colleague as much as the person's manager or someone higher in the organization)?

• Who is the incentive presented in front of? As a rule of thumb, public recognition in front of one's colleagues tends to be powerful—but not always the case, especially if someone is more shy or introverted. Check with the person!

• What words are said in the presentation? Is the achievement tied to a company value or larger goal everyone is working towards? Is a story told to show the obstacles that were overcome or creativity the honoree displayed? If done well, recognition sends a message to everyone who is present and not just the person being honored. It says through your actions that "these are the things that get noticed around here" and causes others to want to emulate those same behaviors or achievements.

Thus, a manager can obtain a benefit on several levels by verbally recognizing an employee, as follows: "John, thanks for working late last night to help us wrap up that proposal. I appreciate that you did it without being asked. It's that type of initiative that tells me you're really committed to our group, and it's exactly what we need to reach the goals we've all been aiming for this year."

By providing a context for an award or recognition item, you tie the item and event to a larger sense of meaning for the employee, thus potentially connecting one's job responsibilities to a larger framework, a deeper sense of commitment and group purpose, and ultimately to the overall mission of the organization.

Meaningful incentives are much more than the money that is spent. Think through the elements that can most add value to the overall experience and strive to make those part of your recognition activity.

Thanks to Bob Nelson is president of Nelson Motivation Inc., / June 01, 2010 /

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How Superstitions Improve Performance

Experiments reveal that simple superstitions like lucky charms can improve motor and cognitive performance.

Professional athletes are particularly prone to superstitions, perhaps because so much rides on split-second timing, or what seems like luck.

Two dominant US sportsmen with superstitious behavior are golfer Tiger Woods who always wears a red shirt on Tournament Sundays and basketball player Michael Jordan who wore the same blue underwear throughout his career.

We tend to think of this behavior as irrational, despite feeling the pull of superstition ourselves (see: why rational people hate to tempt fate). New research published in Psychological Science, however, asks whether these superstitions are irrational if they work.

Damisch et al. (2010) wanted to see if simple superstitions like crossing your fingers or using a lucky charm improved performance on both motor and mental tasks. The answer was a rather surprising yes.

In the first experiment, 28 participants made, on average, 33% more 1m putts when handed a ball branded 'lucky' by experimenters (6.4 compared with 4.6 without).

In two further experiments the effect of participant's lucky charms on both memory and puzzle-solving was tested. Once again participants performed better in the presence of their lucky charms.

Confidence Boost

To see why these superstitions improved performance, the researchers measured their self-efficacy (roughly equivalent to self-confidence) and goal-setting. This suggested that,

"The increased levels of self-efficacy that result from activating a superstition lead to higher self-set goals and greater persistence in the performance task."

In other words, the lucky charms appeared to be giving people the confidence to aim higher and keep trying. The belief, however tenuous, that there may be something to a particular superstition could help release nervous tension.

This may be because superstitions allow us the illusion of control in what is a scary, random world. Perhaps that's why superstitious behaviors to bring good luck are so common: they can sometimes work.

Thanks to PsyBlog