4 Steps to Discussing Under-Performance

TELL™ Them What’s Gone Wrong

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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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A Model to Make Sense of your Office Challenges (part 2)

The SCARF that Ties (part 2)

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Hello and welcome to the last edition of Career Tips for 2014! In this offering, let’s continue unpacking the simple yet powerful model to make sense of your life at work which we started to SCARFlook at last month.

You may recall the model is called SCARF and it is anchored within the basic principle that our brain’s purpose is to protect us: our brain continually seeks to identify potential threats. This negative bias is at the root of our survival. When the coast is clear, our brain then seeks to optimise our sense of comfort and wellbeing.

You see in the graphic depiction above that SCARF is an acronym for the five words of Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. Last month, we looked at the two dimensions of Certainty and Autonomy.

If you missed last month’s offering, you can catch it up here.
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A Model to Make Sense of your Office Challenges (part 1)

The SCARF that Ties

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Hello and welcome to Career Tips! For the last two editions of this year, I want to share with youSCARF two articles focusing on a simple yet powerful model to make sense of your life at work.

Does this sound too good to be true?

I trust that, once familiar with the model, you will find that it is helpful to read yours and others’ reactions to events in the office as well as give you ways of coping better, notably when it comes to managing your reactions more comfortably and to engaging with others more simply and effectively. The model I will tell you about is called SCARF and it is the brain child of David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of the "The Brain at Work".
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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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Your Quality of Life at Work: What You Can do About it!

Four Tips to be more Comfortable in your Workplace

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woman at workThis article follows on from the previous one which walked you through a self-assessment to determine whether you are at least reasonably happy at work. If you missed last month’s article, you catch it up here. This offering focuses on what you can do to create for yourself a supportive mental environment in the office. Hopefully, the summer has provided you with the opportunity for a break and some time out to leave your professional preoccupations behind. If you took the happy-at-work test, I trust the result was rather positive. As you return to the office, here are four tips to maintain high spirits at work.
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What’s your Quality of Life – at Work?

Being Able to Know Whether You are Happy at Work

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Welcome to the first summer edition of Career Tips! To help us shift gears away from work considerations, happy at worklet’s ask: are you happy at work? In the morning, do you look forward to going into the office? When you leave and come home, do you feel you’ve generally had a good day? Being reasonably happy at work is fundamental given the hours we spend there. When we’re happy, we’re also motivated – that’s the link between this article and this year’s preceding series on getting things done! If you missed it, you can catch it up here.

How can you know that you are indeed happy at work?
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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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