4 Steps to Discussing Under-Performance

TELL™ Them What’s Gone Wrong

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

For many, December is synonymous with Christmas. For others, Hanukkah is the highlight of the last month of the year. But, in the office, for millions around the world, December is the month of performance evaluations. For this reason, I am dedicating this last article of 2015 to discussing the dreaded issue of under-performance.

While many team leaders forget to say ‘thank you’, what many really struggle with is appropriately addressing under-performance. If you’ve just gone "hmmm" then you know what I mean: how uncomfortable the prospect of such a conversation makes you. Well, let me suggest to you that you are not alone: those folks who under-perform typically know that they are not doing well and they too feel dreadful. So how about putting an end to both your and their misery and finding the words to finally tell them what’s gone wrong?

So let me offer the TELL™ model, a 4-step process to assist you with preparing for and then having that delicate conversation around under-performance which does not end – just – in tears.

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4 Steps to Optimal Performance

Going for GOLD™

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Hello and welcome to this new edition of Career Tips! We are now close to the midway point in 2015. Are you happy with your achievements at work? For those of you who have a midyear performance review coming up, are you comfortable with your achievements to-date?

Depending on how you answered this question, how about upping your game?

For that reason, I thought I would share with you a simple method to optimise your performance. Inspired by the 2012 Olympics, it is my hope that the GOLD™ method will both inspire you and provide you with pragmatic tips so you add value to your employer and you too get a gold medal for your performance in 2015!

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Coping with Difficulties to Achieve your Objectives

How to Get Back on the Horse

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Hello and welcome to Career Tips! Following on from last month’s article on goal-setting, I thought I would put forward an offering about goal achievement. We all know it: life is messy. In fact, life gets in the way. This article discusses how to manage the setbacks and slippages which are likely to happen as you progress towards achieving your objectives.

When I chat to people about their goals and ask them why they didn’t succeed, I hear again and again: "Things got in the way" or some variation on that theme.

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Top 5 Tips to Thrive in the New Year

Your 2015 Success Formula

Let me start this first article by wishing each and everyone among you as well as your loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2015! happy new year 2015For those of you who will prefer to watch the video, note that it was originally recorded in 2012 but, three years on, I trust you will find its content relevant to your challenges of today.

The start of a New Year is a time for resolution-making, goal-selection, objective-setting whether it is about personal issues or work matters. I personally use a method called ‘SMARTEY’ to ensure that I carefully articulate my objectives.

If you are curious about the ‘SMARTEY’ approach, click here.

 (click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

What I thought I would discuss with you today is a mindset for success. Was 2014 a bit of a roller coaster? If your work environment remains challenging and possibly volatile, how you manage your thoughts could make the difference between peace of mind and stress, achievement and drudgery, as well as, dare I say it, pleasure and pain.

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The Challenges of High Achievement

Five Things to Bear in Mind when It Comes to High Achievers

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happy at workHello and welcome to this ‘back to school’ edition of Career Tips 2014! I hope you have had the chance to relax over the summer months and have returned to your desk "full of beans" as my personal trainer says! During the summer, we took a break from tips to work hard and perform to consider, first, whether you are even reasonably happy at work and, second, how to create for yourself a supportive mental environment in the office so that you maintain a cool composure despite the many and frequent irritations inherent to any workplace.

If you missed the last two months’ articles, you catch them up here.

In this month’s offering, we are going in yet an entirely different direction: I would like to chat with you about high achievers. It is my personal view that high achievers are bit of a unique breed in the office. I workedhigh achiever alongside many of them during my corporate career and many are clients nowadays. I consider that I was myself a high achiever. High achievers are unique in that they demand a lot of themselves but also of others. So this article is designed for those among you who consider yourselves high achievers – so that you may consider easing off a bit and enjoying your work life a tad more possibly – and for managers who have high achievers in their team – to offer some food for thought around how to adjust your style with this type of team member.
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Keys to Maintaining Motivation – for You and your Team

Reflections on Motivation and How we May Lose it

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Welcome to the sixth edition of Career Tips in 2014. Earlier in the year, we talked about your work goals for 2014, we discussed your blind spots getting things doneand how they can prevent you from making the progress you seek against your professional objectives, we reviewed techniques for working efficiently and finally we explored identifying and therefore being in a position to better play to your strengths. We then took a break and I shared with you a webinar on career transition which I trust was informative. If you missed it, you can catch it up here.

Indeed, achieving goals – in a professional context: performance at work – is about the capacity to keep doing what is required in order to progress and eventually achieve your goals. We have discussed how your blind spots will obstaclesinterfere, just as lacking in personal effectiveness is also likely to slow you down, while being unaware of your strengths will mean more hard work than is strictly necessary. But what we haven’t yet discussed and that which underpins any achievement is motivation. It is therefore time for an article which unpacks the components of motivation and helps us understand how we get demotivated.

The articles on goals, strengths, blind spots, etc. are available here.
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Top Tips so You Play Better to your Strengths

The Art of Doing the Right Things

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Hello and welcome to Career Tips! If you are a regular subscriber, strengththen you may recall that last month’s article was entitled "The Art of Getting the Right Things Done" and focused on personal effectiveness tips. I offered it in the context of helping you make progress with respect to your 2014 work objectives (though a bit of personal effectiveness at home wouldn’t hurt either!). This month’s article is in the same vein insofar as it focuses on your strengths. Indeed, we all know that we ought to play to our strengths but how do we pragmatically do that? And what are our strengths anyway? Here are five tips so you really play to your strengths.
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5 Tips to Make Sure you Achieve what you Want

Optimise your Chances of Success by Identifying your Blind Spots

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In the preceding article (click here), we talked about setting ourselves and our team goals which truly motivate. Goals which play to our skills, but which also make us feel blind spotempowered and autonomous, give us a lot of satisfaction and, for that reason, we are much more likely to keep at them, despite setbacks, until we reach them.

In this follow-up offering, I am turning my attention to blind spots. When it comes to goal achievement, life is likely to throw obstacles in our way. But it isn’t just the outside world which may interfere: we may also be holding ourselves back – without being aware that we are. This is what I mean by blind spots: things about ourselves that we don’t know or have forgotten about that are getting in the way of us realising our objectives. Let’s look at 5 ways to find those blind spots.
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Top 3 Tips to Set Goals which Motivate

A Fresh Look at Setting your Team’s Work Objectives

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In this first offering of 2014, I am returning to the topic of work objectives as many of you are likely to be or soon will be engaged objectivein considering your objectives at work for 2014 and then discussing them with your line manager. For those among you familiar with these Career Tips, you may recall that I have previously written about the subject of setting work goals. You may find some of these articles of interest and they are available by clicking here.

Beyond the well-known techniques to set objectives – such as the SMART acronym – and then to stay on track, achieving goals – whether at work or at home – is all about motivation. The motivation to get started but, even more importantly, to keep moving until the objective is achieved, despite setbacks and obstacles along the way. As such, as self-empowered individuals but alsomotivation as line managers responsible for delivery, we need to identify goals which motivate because those will stand the most chance of being achieved.
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Top 5 Tips to Motivate and Retain Talent

A Template for a Constructive Performance Assessment

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In this last offering of 2013, I am returning to the topic of performance assessment as many of you will be presently engaged in performance appraisals, whether as recipients or as managers. Frequently in the two capacities. Let me say this upfront: when it comes to the management of their performance, there is now ample evidence that staff members have shifted from being passive recipients to active agents. Indeed, it’s not just Gen Y – employees everywhere and of every generation expect more: more involvement, more accountability and more recognition. staff expectations

Indeed, a recent Gallup poll of over 1 million employees showed that the number one reason people quit their jobs is dissatisfaction with their immediate manager. Have you heard the saying "People leave managers not companies"? Well, we now have ample statistics to back up this statement. And so, for managers, enforcing performance standards in a command and control sort of way no longer works. Managers are now expected to provide ongoing feedback, including positive comments, and for their negative messages to be put forth in a constructive and balanced fashion with a view to guide and inspire, rather than to scold and then provide ready-made solutions.
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