Archive for May 2016

Goals Should Be Measurable And Time-Bound

May 20, 2016

Successful companies set goals. Without them, they have no defined purpose and nothing to strive for; consequently, they stagnate and struggle for meaningful accomplishments. Goals are steppingstones to an end result. They must be present in every business plan and become a regular part of ongoing business operations.

A leader’s goals and those of their direct reports should be aligned with the organization’s goals.  Whether a corporate, department, or individual goal, the goal should be measurable and time-bound.

A measurable goal specifically defines what is to be accomplished – the more specific, the better.  The due date for the goal should be just as specific.  “Reduce turnover next quarter” is not a good goal; “less than 10 avoidable ‘A’ player resignations between April 1st and June 30th” is a measurable, time-bound goal.  Instead of “increase sales”, how about “distribution sales greater than $5 million by December 31st?”

Teams empowered with specific measurable, time-bound goals experience more success.

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Feedback Should Be About Observed Behavior

May 13, 2016

Contrary to what some may think, no leader can read their direct report’s mind or know their intentions.  Why is it then that leaders focus on what they think their direct report is thinking when delivering course corrections?

Effective feedback from the leader to the direct report is essential.  But, feedback should be about observed behavior NOT perceptions or opinions.  

When delivering feedback leaders should also point out how the direct report’s behavior impacts others.  And the best way to get the direct report to change their behavior is to solicit self-directed course corrections – ask them how they might behave differently.

Instead of “You have a bad attitude,” a more effective course correction would be “I’m concerned that all the efforts you’ve made to earn the respect and trust of your colleagues may be undone when you roll your eyes and sigh when Bill makes a suggestion.  What do you believe others may think when they observe those actions?  How might you regain their respect?”

Leaders’ feedback should be objective and behavior-based to empower their direct reports to succeed.

Create Trust With Weekly One-On-One Meetings

May 6, 2016

One-on-one meetings are all about the relationship between the leader and direct report and designed to empower success both in a direct and indirect manner.  Directly, the leader and direct report both have an opportunity to discuss progress against goals and success factors.  Indirectly, one-on-ones establish trust so when issues arise, obstacles are identified, or additional resources are needed, the venue exists for the direct report to communicate in a safe environment.

If leaders aren’t sure how to begin the meeting before getting into review of projects and on-going success factors, they should ask the direct report how they spent the weekend.  Is the week off to a good start?  Does the family have big plans for the upcoming weekend?

Over time, leaders showing they are human by discussing normal life activities will allow the direct report to open up about real issues that could impact success.

Creating trust through one-on-ones empowers the direct report to succeed by creating open communications.