Making a Personal Change

Making a Personal Change

Making a Personal Change Successfully

Making a Personal Change  – if you are planning to make some personal changes, here are some things to consider.

Take a close look at what you are expecting and how you plan Making a Personal Change to make the change.  Unrealistic expectations could set you up for failure when you try to change. They are usually in the following areas and they are avoidable:

  • How much to change: People often think they are capable of changing far more than they really can. As a result, they reject more modest and achievable goals. If you do have to make a large change, break it down into a series of smaller changes for more chance of success. And make sure you reward yourself for each step.
  • How quickly and easily you can change: People are often too optimistic about how long it is going to take and how hard it might be!  Try to be very realistic in your planning. Be ready to think about obstacles and risks. How you will overcome them? Stay hopeful – you can get there. But perhaps in smaller steps.
  • The effects of change on other parts of your life: People often overestimate how much they can improve their lives with just one kind of change. Be very realistic about what is going to change and how the other parts of your life might be effected. Think carefully about the effects of your change on the other people in your life. They shouldn’t stop you making a positive change but you may need to prepare them and to offer support.
  • Learning from change:  People often miss out because they don’t realise that you can learn a lot from making each change. You may well even enjoy parts of the change.  You can then apply the learning from this change to other changes you would like to make.

Making a Personal Change – Stay Positive

If you can take these points on board and avoid unrealistic expectations, you give yourself a better chance at success. Remember to stay positive and don’t be afraid to ask for help, if you need it, from friends and family – even perhaps a life coach like me.

So, go forward with hope. Believe in yourself and your plans for change. Reaffirm that you have the motivation and perseverance to achieve your goals. Remind yourself of all the benefits you will be able to enjoy.

Remember to be realistic in your expectations of the change. This will help you to be patient with yourself when things are going slowly. It will encourage you when thing don’t go as smoothly as you first thought.

With positive, but realistic, self-belief and realistic plans,  you really can become the person you want to be.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Energy Drainers

Energy Drainers

Making a change – those who drain your energy

Energy drainers – if you are involved with any kind of change you will find it drains your energy. Energy will drain as you come to terms with new situations. energy drainersand deal with confusion. You will have to deal as well with anxiety – your own, and other people’s.  You will find yourself giving out lots of your energy in support of others.  But some people seem to take just a little too much – more than you can afford to give if you are going to stay fit for the task ahead.

We all feel insecure in the middle of change but energy drainers are usually people who are insecure and negative in their everyday life. Quite often they find it difficult to tolerate their own company. You may find people like this start to depend upon you to help them make all kinds of relatively simple life decisions.  They may phone or text you several times a day on any pretext – they can eat you as well as your time and sap your life force!

Energy drainers don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive

Very often these sad people are stuck in “Survival Mode.”  They don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive. Like children, they haven’t accepted responsibility for their own lives. But they find many ways, including emotional blackmail,  to persuade you to give them the emotional support  and the reassurance they need.  Life is frightening and they are very scared indeed!

We all know people like this. They might be old friends, family or work colleagues. You want to help but their needs are overwhelming.

So, what do you do?

Keep in mind that you may need to conserve your energy to manage a complex change.  If they are part of the change, you are certainly not going to be in a position to cut them out of your life.  Anyway, at the end of the day, most of us would actually like to be in a place to help.

The stance you take depends upon your relationship with the person and the level of your energy reserves. However, your first responsibility is to yourself. You, too, may have to adopt a “Survival Mode” attitude.

It is certainly much easier to deal with someone who is an acquaintance or a work colleague. You have no personal commitment to them and you have every right to say goodbye when you finish work.

Dealing with energy drainers

Always try to stay in a neutral space when talking to them.  Give neutral responses and try not to get drawn into their, or your, emotions.  When you deal with them, imagine you are wearing a breastplate to defend your energy – withhold your energy behind your breastplate. Deliver a neutral, and deliberately, low energy response. Offer no more and no less than is necessary to carry out the transaction.

As a personal survival technique, this approach is also applicable for family and old friends. However, you may choose to take a more compassionate and supportive stance by demonstrating “tough love.” Your goal here is to move them on from negative to positive. You want to move them back into using their own energy resources. In this way, you can help them to become self-sufficient.  Get them to think through their own options – to make choices and plan.  When they do so give them lots of quiet praise – move them on from whining to thinking about concrete ways they can help themselves!

Dealing with emotional blackmail

Be aware, though, that energy drainers will resort to many forms of subtle emotional blackmail to get access to your energy. Don’t let them! Let them know, through your actions, that your energy is no longer accessible to them. Encourage them to make decisions on their own and to enjoy their own company by simply not being available: physically or emotionally.

It will not be easy for you or them. You are breaking established patterns of behaviour and setting a new precedent. But eventually a new dynamic should be established. They should begin to take responsibility for their own life and their own decisions.

You may have to support them through a change as part of your role but do so in a managed way! With friends and family, if they will not take action, success will be impossible. So recognise when you have banged your head once too often against that proverbial brick. It may be the wisest step is simply to “let go.”

If you need help dealing with your energy drainer, please get in touch

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

STAR Stories Make You a Star!

STAR Stories Make You a Star!

Star stories

STAR Stories – Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.
 
And preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.
 
Writing your stories
 
The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!
 
You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.
 
At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about
    !  But a whole programme
    or initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your job search portfolio has its foundations. 

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!
 
And I would love to hear how you get on.  If you have any questions or you need help, please get in touch.


Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search – Have you been searching for a new job for a while now?  Hard isn’t it to keep up that energy?  But there are new and exciting opportunities out there, if you can re-energise your quest. Here are some tips to help you refresh your job search.

Update your image and your attitude.

Give your confidence a boost – revamp your image!  How about a new hairstyle?Consider a new style of dress.  What kind of change could you make as an outward sign that something has changed? Make a change to represent the new you and your new approach.

Work hard on your commitment to positive thinking and your self-belief. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop in your tracks. Have a day when negative thinking and doubt is not allowed in your life. Give yourself a holiday from worry! Catch any negative thinking and flip it over in mind. Think of yourself not so much as looking for a job but, rather, looking for an opportunity to add value. You know that given the right opportunity, that is exactly what you will do. Think every day about the benefits that you will bring to your new employer.

Revamp Your CV/Résumé

An important step in every job search is to equip yourself with a CV that really demonstrates you, your skills and your abilities. How good is your CV?  Take time now to check it and remember this CV is just a baseline that you will tailor for each new role.  Show evidence of your ability to deliver. Get in touch with me if you would like some advice on re-vamping your CV.

Consider new options

Time to think about radical new options. Changing careers isn’t easy. Nor is it as hard as you might imagine. I’ve done it successfully four times in my life. I enjoyed each career at the time. But there came a time to consider new options. Changing this way has helped me to come to terms with a changing economic environment. Each new direction built upon the experience and knowledge gained in the last one. Get in touch if you would like some advice on things to consider when considering a career change.

Find New Ways to Network

Find new people to network with using social media.  Are you making the most of sites like LinkedIn?  Are you approaching social networking seriously? It can provide lots of new opportunities. Brush up both general and social networking skills  – there is lots of advice around.

Find yourself a coach

A Career Coach will work with you on all the practical aspects of applying for work.  The coach will help you to look at your achievements and results so far. You will learn how you can build on them to make your next career move work out well. A good coach will help you build your confidence and maximise your chances of landing the right job.

Looking for a new job is a big challenge. But with a positive attitude and the right tools and support, you can be successful. You will find lots of resources here on this blog. And I offer a free half hour consultation, so get in touch. I will be happy to show you how career coaching can make that essential difference to your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

job search - standout from the crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – This post is about applying for advertised vacancies for which you are in competition. Unfortunately, in the present climate, job seeking is intensely competitive.  There are usually many applicants for every advertised post.  That’s is why networking to find work is so important.

When you submit a written application, with or without a CV/Résumé, what matters most is that you convince the recruiter that you meet the criteria for the vacancy.  Include relevant keywords that will stand out like head lights – you can find out more about job search keywords at this link.

Once you get to the interview stage, you are up against others who havea lso shown on paper that they meet the requirements. The interview and your references will show whether what you have said on paper in valid.  And at interview stage you need to stand out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd is not without risks.

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – Take into account the culture of the organization when deciding how to make your mark.  When deciding what to wear for the interview, for example, knowing the company dress code is important.  If it is casual then make sure you wear very smart casual attire.  No, you don’t want be so bland that you sink into the wall paper. Wearing, for example, a smart but distinctive tie, scarf or piece of jewellery, can help the interviewers remember you.  The “something distinctive “needs to be chosen with great care and very good taste!

The interview is also an opportunity to show clearly that you will bring added value beyond that required by the job specification.  Show that added value with care. And make sure that what you say is relevant to the questions that you are being asked and to the job.

You can stand out by showing your enthusiasm. Being actively engaged in the process and showing real interest in the organization impresses. Be interested in what the interviewers have to say to you.

Prepare well!

The impression you want to make is that you are intelligent, highly competent and likely to be an asset to the organization and to your future work colleagues.

Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep before the interview.  Do your best to arrive in plenty of time.  You want to be bright-eyed and relaxed – not red-faced and slightly out of breath.

You want to be remembered but for all the right reasons!

Make sure you do your home work. Find out all you can you can about the job, the organization and the people you are likely to meet. Treat them with courtesy and work hard to show evidence that you are the person best able to do the job.

If you would like support in your job search please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time

Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time

What’s the secret of becoming a better boss? Wally Bock, Author, Blogger and Writing Coach has been writing great pieces on management for quite a while. He knows the answer to my question. And that’s why he has written a new book, Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

Questions and Answers for author, Wally Bock

Q: Tell me about your new book, Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time? one tip at a time

A: This book has 347 tips for how to do a better job as a boss. They’re simple and they’re field-tested.

Q: Who is this book meant for? 

A: This book is specifically for men and women who are responsible for the care and performance of a group. Sometimes that’s a permanent position with a title like “Team Leader” or “Supervisor” or “Crew Chief” or “Manager.” Sometimes it’s a temporary situation like a project manager. If you’ve got the job, this book is for you.

Q: Why do you use the term “boss?” Many people don’t like that term. 

A: I define a boss as a person who is responsible for the care and performance of a group. There are lots of people who exercise leadership without position, but the boss has the position and therefore no place to hide. He or she is responsible all the time and in every situation.

Q: What about people who aspire to leadership? Should they buy the book?

Probably not. This is for folks who’ve got the job. I think there’s valuable stuff here for anyone, especially on personal development and difficult conversations, but I wrote it for working bosses.

Q: Ok, then, what about top management? Can a C-Suite executive get something from this book? 

I give that a qualified “yes.” Most people who’ve climbed up the org chart have developed their own pet ways of doing things. So, they might use the book as a refresher on the basics. They might also find that some of the tips challenge their usual way of doing business. That can help them rethink some of the things they do.

Q: What’s in the book? 

A: There’s an introduction that summaries what I’ve learned about being an effective boss over the decades I’ve been practising, researching, teaching, and coaching. It should take about five minutes to read.

There are 347 total tips. Twenty-eight of them are about personal development. Eighteen are for specific situations. The rest are about everything else a boss does, things like making meetings more effective, working with your boss, having performance conversations, problem solving, and more.

This is all field-tested stuff. I’ve learned from studying working bosses and picking up ideas. I’ve tried them out. I’ve suggested them to other bosses and gotten feedback and some of those bosses told me about things that worked for them.

Q: Why tips? 

A: I think that development is about getting a little bit better every day. Tips make that easy. You can pick something to work on today and something else tomorrow. Or you can zero in on a subject, like better performance management, and use tips to guide your learning. If you’re in a tight spot, you can get some ideas that may help. And, certainly, if you’re participating in a training program or getting some coaching, you can use some tips to make that experience more potent.

Q: How do you hope people use Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time? 

A: I can think of several ways. They can use the index and search function to find tips for a specific situation they’re facing. They can look at a different tip every day or pick a tip or group of tips to work on for a week or a month. They can browse the tips and pick something to try. I know one thing for sure. Readers will figure out ways to use this book that I can’t imagine.  The bottom line for me is that if you’re serious about doing a better job as a boss, this book should help.

Q: How can readers get a copy of Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time? 

A: Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time costs $9.99 (that’s less than 3 cents per tip). There are two bonuses that you get free. One is a Forms Packet with several forms that will help you sort out problems, keep records, and improve your performance conversations with teammates. And, I love this, there’s a collection of tips from Leadership Experts including you, Wendy Smith. There’s more than twenty of them, and you won’t find the collection anywhere else.

You can find Wally’s book here;

http://www.threestarleadership.com/about-three-star-leadership/become-a-better-boss-one-tip-at-a-time

 

Confidence tips

Confidence tips

Confidence tips

Five Tips to Help You Feel More Confident

Confidence tips – having a healthy amount of self-esteem and self-confidence is good for us. It helps to make life happier and more successful. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities goes a long way. This is whether you’re facing a tough decision, adapting to a new situation or facing major change. Here are some confidence tips to help build your self-esteem.

Acknowledge your humanity

Remember no one is perfect and no one can do everything. And to be less than perfect is to be human. You are you and you are good enough as you are! It may not always seem this way, but it’s true. So if you are not the chief executive or a millionaire – that’ is OK! You have a personality and a perspective on the world that’s all your own and completely valuable. That doesn’t mean though that you stop wanting to grow and develop as a human being!

Stop criticising yourself.

This is one of the things that stop us achieving our goals and feeling good about ourselves. You are a mixture of strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else. Concentrate on the good bits! If you don’t do well at a particular project or task the first time (or even the second time), it doesn’t mean that you never will. Perhaps you weren’t prepared or the time simply wasn’t right. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or that you’ll never succeed. It is natural to feel disappointed but don’t get hooked on it. Let it go and move on. You’ll be that much closer to achieving what you want if you do.

Understand your strengths

Everybody’s good at something, and many people are good at quite a few things. Even if you don’t have a talent or strength that you’re aware of, you probably have some interests you can develop into strengths. Make a list of a few things you’re good at! Add a few things you’re interested in and would like to be better at. Share this list with someone you like and trust. This is a good exercise to do with a partner who also wants to work on their confidence. They can probably help you find other things you’re good at, too. You can help each other plan for developing skills and interests.

Celebrate the good things

Notice all the good things you do in a day even the small things. Everything – the favour you do for a friend – the help you give a relative – it’s all good. Notice it and give yourself a big pat on the back. Get hooked on feeling good about what you achieve. In time it will become a habit. You could always keep a celebration journal to reflect on when you are feeling down. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself when you do something good.

Above all, stay relaxed

Staying relaxed in general can help you see the bigger picture and not sweat the small stuff. It is a good frame of mind to be in when taking a close look at the things you’re not so good at.  There are lots of simple relaxation techniques around that can help – simple breathing exercises are easy to learn and really do help. Try this link. Learn a technique and use it whenever you are faced with any kind of threat to your confidence.

I hope you have enjoyed these confidence tips and that you will find them useful. I  work with many clients to raise their confidence and become happier people at work and at home. I would be very happy to talk to you about how I can help.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Tuesday Quotes – Encourage Your Staff

Tuesday Quotes – Encourage Your Staff

Tuesday Quotes

Tuesday Quotes today are words to help you motivate and encourage your team. Remember, we all need a little encouragement.

I’ve always thrived on the encouragement of others. Patti Smith

Nine tenths of education is encouragement. Anatole France

Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise, and nothing is more lame than a cookie-cutter compliment. Bill Walsh

Many know how to flatter, few know how to praise. Wendell Phillips

Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement – and we will make the goal. Robert Collier

People ask for criticism, but they only want praise. W. Somerset Maugham

There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise. Mary Kay Ash

It is more difficult to praise rightly than to blame. Thomas Fuller

If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. Mary Pickford

Praise is warming and desirable. But it is an earned thing. It has to be deserved, like a hug from a child. Phyllis McGinley

Management is nothing more than motivating other people. Lee Iacocca

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Open to the unexpected

Open to the unexpected

Career Development – Always Be Open To Serendipity

Serendipity – the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.

Open to the unexpected – I come from a generation that was taught to make career plans looking 5, 10 and 20 years ahead. We could always tell you what our next move was going to be and when we were going to make it. Now, of course, things have changed. There isn’t an economic forecaster in the world who can predict what the economy, and the world of work, is going to be like in 10 years’ time. Even looking 5 years ahead, has lots of risks around it. But, we all make some assumptions about the future in choosing a profession or investing in a new business.

Looking back, though, life was never as my friends and I had forecast. Things happened that we didn’t expect. New opportunities arose – one former colleague was offered a year’s secondment from London to Tuvalu. Tuvalu is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. It changed her life forever. Another spent six months in Greece working for the UN in his forties. He changed so much his wife didn’t recognise him when she came to visit – he looked years younger. Others found themselves falling in love or having children they hadn’t expected. For others, a change was far less fortunate. But some were very lucky indeed and reached the top in their chosen field by virtue of a number of quite lucky breaks – I don’t mean they had not prepared well.

Always Be Open To Possibilities

It does help to have a vision of the kind of life you want to lead and to know the kind of work you want to do and what you are good at. Working at what you are good at does help. As does getting better at doing it and showing your enthusiasm. But, what matters most is to be open to possibilities and to be prepared to listen to your own heart and intuition.

I had always written poetry and articles but never anything longer than about 3,000 words, except for formal written reports at work. Then, out of the blue, a while ago, I had a dream. Yes, a real dream while I was asleep. And out of that dream came the idea and inspiration for a novel.  I could have just dismissed the idea, of course, because it didn’t fit in with my plans at that time. I didn’t! I went with the flow.

A while ago saw the publication of my first novel, The Wolf Project. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed writing it and how proud I am to have my name on the cover. It is a gift I never expected– an example of serendipity at play – I discovered I could write a novel.

You never know what surprises, and what opportunities, life has in store for you. So keep an open mind. Be prepared to be flexible and open to the possibilities. Who knows, serendipity may fly in your direction any day now, just as she did in mine.  And you may end up being just as grateful.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

As well as the Wolf Project, Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

High performance culture

High performance culture – how do you generate one?

High performance culture

Improving business performance

High performance culture – performance is key to your organisation’s survival.  You cannot afford to under perform.  But how do you generate a high performance culture? 

Here are some tips!

1. Show leadership from the top

Those at the top of the organisation must be committed to a high performance culture. If necessary, they must be prepared to change to ensure this. The performance management framework  must operate throughout the organization from top to bottom. Those at the top need to model the desired behaviour.

2. Develop business plans

Business planning should be positive. But it must also must be realistic if a high performance culture is going to exist . Be clear about what can be delivered with the resources available.  How will those available resources change over time?  Take into account the people management implications. If you invest in training, how will that effect your business plan? Once plans and priorities have been established, they need pervade the organisation. Your plans need to be translated into department, team and individual performance plans. These need to be throughout the organisation. Can you see the the organisation’s objectives reflected in the most junior employee’s performance plan?

3. Establish what good performance looks like and how it can be measured

All performance indicators and other criteria used to measure performance must be clearly communicated. This should be to all staff and contractors supporting the organisation. Think about what really matters. And focus on measuring the essentials. Keep the number of measures to a minimum.  Want to know more about performance measures? Follow this link

4. Monitor and evaluate

Systems need to be set up to ensure that performance can be monitored and evaluated throughout the year.  You need to understand the effect of changes in levels of performance on the services delivered to your customers or users.

5. Agree specific performance objectives

The organisation’s plans and priorities must be translated into department, team and individual performance objectives. This will usually be by using your existing performance appraisal and staff development processes. Individual plans are most effective when both manager and employee agree them.  Objectives should be SMART. That means;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

Is the existing performance management system for your staff  up to the job? If not, take some advice and change it. See Paragraph 7 below.

6. Develop an internal communications’ approach

Effective messages should target your intended audience in the whole range of ways available to you. So, develop a plan for how you will use different media to target various communities within the organisation using for example:

  • Email
  • Intranet (inside the organisation)
  • Internet
  • Newsletter/house magazine
  • Notice board
  • Team briefs
  • Video and in-house TV (you can even use YouTube.)

In addition, regular surveys and suggestion schemes are important ways of ensuring that employees have the opportunity to tell you what they think. This can be on a wide range of issues that impact on  performance.

7. Ensure that performance framework systems are truly in place

A performance review/appraisal system is traditionally used to

  • Set objectives,
  • Identify support needs and
  • Measure progress against objectives.

For it to work effectively, the system must be clearly understood by both managers and employees. This requires:

  • Managers have access to guidance. And the training needed to ensure they manage performance effectively throughout the year
  • All employees have the necessary support, guidance and training to help them engage fully in the performance appraisal process.

If you don’t have these in place it is unlikely that you can become a high performing organisation

8. Support employees to succeed

Effective induction and probation processes for new employees are extremely important. They set the right expectations of performance for both the employee and the manager. Personal development plans (PDPs) should explain how development needs will be met.

9. Encourage performance improvement

Sometimes performance will not meet the required standard. You will need to identify what is getting in the way. Don’t assume anyone chooses to perform poorly. Put in place a plan to deliver improvement and give support. The principle is the same at both the team and individual level. So you need to have clear procedures for dealing with poor performance.

10. Recognise and reward good performance

Good performance needs to be recognised and rewarded. Recognising performance should include sharing success stories. And share the knowledge gained across the organisation. Highlight how good performance helps the organisation as a whole.

Working with an executive coach really can help you get your organisation to perform well. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organizational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link