Keys to Maintaining Motivation – for You and your Team

Reflections on Motivation and How we May Lose it

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

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 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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Top 5 Tips to Quickly Make an Impact in a New Job

What to do upon joining a new firm or taking on a different position

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Hello and welcome to the concluding article in my series designed to help you change jobs. We looked at CV and cover letter writing as well as how new jobto interview well. I have gathered all these articles into one category which you can access by clicking here. All in all, seven articles to help you land your dream job!

In this last article, let us look at what to do during your first days on the job. What I will share with you in a moment is an extract from a broader programme. I am telling you this because, in the interest of keeping this tutorial manageable time-wise, I have had to omit certain aspects. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that these crucial elements will be of interest to you.

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4 Steps to Effective Decision-Making

Taking your PICK™

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To all those of you who took a well-deserved break, let me welcome you back! You know, there is an interesting piece of statistics I always think about when it comes to September: September is the month when people make the most decisions. It’s not January despite that month’s association with New Year’s Resolutions. Rather, it seems that a lot of us take the time to reflect during a summer break and in September, we decide to do something about our fitness and join a gym, or to stop smoking or to really start looking for a new house.

So, with September being a bit ‘Decision-Making Month’, I thought I would talk to you about the process of decision-making so that you can self-assess how you go about making decisions today and see whether tweaking your approach could help be even more effective.

So, in the rest of this video, I will share with you the PICK™ model which is a 4-step approach to making effective decisions. PICK™ is also quite unique because you can use it in a number of ways to suit your style: it is a flexible approach which anyone can use and yet a robust method too.
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3 Simple Ways to Motivate your Team

Secrets of Team Effectiveness

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I am publishing this article just as the Olympics conclude here in London. Did you watch the Games? Or better yet, did you have a chance to go to any of the Olympic venues and be part of that unique event that is the Olympic Games?

In last month’s article, I shared with you a simple method to optimise your performance. It’s called GOLD™ and, if you missed it, you can catch it up by clicking here.

During the Olympics, star performers winning gold got a lot of attention but the Games also featured many collective events in which small and big teams competed. And so, in this article, I thought I would take a look at the dynamics of collective rather than individual performance and try to answer the question: "how can you as a manager get the best out of your team members?"

To get you going, may I suggest you take a short self-quiz? You can access it here: Are you good at motivating others?

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The 3 Fundamental Do’s of Successful Delegation

Finally Being Able to Effectively Delegate!

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In this article, I am turning my attention to the art of delegation.

But before we go any further, let me encourage you to see how well you currently delegate by taking this fun but informative self-quiz! Click here to take the test!

Have you been told by your manager that you should delegate more? Has anyone said of you that you micro-manage? Do you know that you don’t easily entrust tasks to others in your team?

If you don’t delegate as well as you could, what impact does that have? Grumbling employees? Long hours at the office, away from your family and friends? A sense of overwhelm?

Well, if you’ve been wondering about how to delegate better, if you’ve been trying to delegate more but find this challenging, this article is for you because, in a minute, I will share with you a simple but fundamental process of delegation. In addition to optimising your chances of receiving good quality work, this thorough process will alleviate the concerns of even the most sceptical would-be delegator.

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The Top 3 Tips to Showcase your Value

The Art of "Ethical Bragging"

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In this third and last article on feedback, let me shift my perspective from the manager’s and how to give helpful feedback to the recipient and how to receive feedback constructively as well as make sure that your accomplishments are properly appreciated and therefore rewarded. In order to ensure your achievements are known and valued, practice the art of "ethical bragging": put yourself forward without arrogance. Here’s how:

Tip #1: be specific too

For those among you who saw my article back in September on performing a self-assessment of your performance, you may recall that I encouraged you to first make a list all the tasks you had completed and then, in a second step, to review each by asking yourself "so what". The purpose of the "so what" question is to bring to light the benefits for your employer of what you accomplished.

(For more on performance self-assessment, click here).

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The Top 3 Mistakes Managers Make When Giving Feedback

The Pitfalls of Giving Feedback

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In this second article on feedback, I will dwell on a few core aspects of a successful performance appraisal discussion by mentioning what are in my view the top 3 mistakes feedback providers make. There are sadly more than 3 but getting those right will go a long way!

Mistake #1: sugar-coating negative feedback (or the ‘Oreo Cookie’ problem)

In the preceding article, I mentioned the importance of setting the scene. One way to get off to a good start is by making a positive comment even if the rest of the feedback is going to be negative. This is because even the poorest performer has some capability, a talent to celebrate. It shows the feedback recipient that the feedback provider is able to see performance from a multiplicity of angles. Otherwise the recipient could think that the provider is just out to get them and simply ignore the feedback.

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8 Steps to Giving Really Constructive Feedback

A Feedback Conversation Unpacked

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We are in the home stretch, ladies and gentlemen, with only 6 weeks left to Christmas. At the firms I worked at, by now, the annual performance appraisal process was in full gear so in my last three articles for 2011, I will focus on giving and receiving feedback.

In this first article, I will run through 8 key components of a successful feedback discussion. It isn’t just for managers. It’s for anyone for who find themselves on the receiving end of a feedback talk: if it’s not going well, these 8 steps will allow you to steer the conversation into a more constructive direction. And if you find you can’t steer, at least you will have the insight to understand what’s going on and react constructively.

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