Setting Business Objectives

Setting Business Objectives

Last week we looked at how we hit the end of a quarter!

As you’ve jumped into this next quarter you know you’ve got to set some specific business objectives.

You feel you’ve been crystal clear about what your Team’s goals are and how to reach them. What just became VEEEERY evident in your last Team meeting was that, well, they weren’t.

Now what? We have Coach Michael Lim, a seasoned business Coach who has been on the Coaching Right Now Team for over 3 years, to help us out.

Take it away, Michael!

Mike

 

In setting Business Objectives, we are building a picture of a ‘Target’ for the Team to take aim at. The target provides FOCUS and ATTENTION for the Team to successfully achieve their goal(s). The Target may be easy to see for some. However, how do we ensure that the whole Team knows what success is when the Target is hit?

As I was pondering on the question, I remembered an acronym about S.U.C.C.E.S.S. that I once had on my desk.

S: See your goal

U: Understand the obstacles

C: Create a positive mental picture

C: Clear your mind of self-doubt

E: Embrace the challenge

S: Stay on track

S: Show the world you can do it!

For managers, we can use the same idea to help Team members understand what success looks like.  Here are my thoughts:

S:     Spell out the deliverables clearly using S.M.A.R.T. objectives that can be measured and defined so that they see what a successful goal looks like.

U:    Utilize each individual’s capabilities and understand their limitations so that you can mitigate any obstacles that the team member may present.

C:     Construct a roadmap of milestones and communicate periodic successes so that the team can navigate clearly each step of the way.

C:    Continue to coach, encourage, and motivate team members when self- doubts arise as they face difficulties.

E:     Entrust the tasks to your team members to build ownership and accountability so that they can embrace the challenge.

S:    Schedule milestones and celebrate ‘milestone successes’ to keep the    momentum on track.

S:    Stretch your team’s potential by training, coaching, and building their    confidence so that they can do it too!

 Using this simple SUCCESS model, I believe that you are able to lead your Team to see what success looks like in achieving your business goal(s). At the same time, you are helping your Team members experience success for themselves.

 “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” 

Henry Ford

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The Slump

The Slump

You’re over half way there!

To where, you wonder…

You’ve almost made it through the January 2nd — Memorial Day SLUMP.

Have you even noticed that in March (and sometimes April too) you and your team feel a little on edge, and you are just longing for a day (or week) off?

WE HAVE!

And, we call it “the slump”.

You are on the longest stretch of the year where you and your colleagues don’t have a common day off. So even if you’ve taken a day (or two), everything else in the organization kept rolling.

So, what can you do to keep morale up?

Change it up!

Need some ideas:

  • Bring in bagels and coffee one morning
  • Create a count down for SOMETHING (even if it’s a small, common task that all of your Team has), and then celebrate when you hit it!
  • Let everyone go home early one Friday afternoon

It doesn’t have to be fancy. It is the little things that bring everyone’s experiences back together and say “I see you … thanks for ALL you do!”

Innovating Through Failure

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So, did you have a chance to think about your philosophy or failure?

If not, check out our post from last week to get you started!

Let’s jump back in!

To innovate, you must learn to fail well

How are innovators treated on your team?

How is failure treated on your team?

If your thinking is big enough, no failure should be total. You always learn something from it – whether it’s how to not do something, or maybe it’s extracting one piece of the project that did work, that was ingenious, and that can be salvaged for the next idea.

Don’t stigmatize the team that failed. The next innovators will be watching to see how the first team was treated.

Don’t get us wrong, failure is not the objective. Failure should not be celebrated – innovation and daring should be though; and often, the two come hand-in-hand.

Think about how you encourage or discourage innovation within your team.

Are you celebrating daring-ness on your team? Or are you the runner or the steam engine?

Do you stop and think about how your actions impact those around you and how you can improve?

Or do you blaze ahead – blindly and without thought or care for who and what is tossed in your wake?

This week, make a conscious decision to create something – to risk innovation. Because even if you fail, you will do so while daring greatly.

And — you just might succeed!

To fail is not really to fail – you’re merely collecting data points.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

 

First Block Quote from:  How Google Works. Schmidt, Eric and Jonathan Rosenberg. Grand Central Publishing, New York, New York. 2014.

Staying Mindful

Staying Mindful

So, did you try some of the mindfulness tips from last week?

Normally, we’ve got a number of paragraphs with thoughts and ideas.

This week, we’re doing something a little different – we’re going more interactive!

First, we’d encourage you to look at the clock and make sure you’ve got about 15 minutes free.

Next, set a timer on your phone for 1 minute.

Close your eyes for a minute and think about your breathing.

           Focus on your breath and clear your mind.

Now, take out a piece of paper and set your timer for 5 minutes.

          Write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t try to think or solve any problems. Just. Write.

How are you feeling? Maybe some of those things that were stressing you out are now on paper and not just being stored in your mind?

Last, think though or write about 1 or all of these questions:

  • What will I do today that will matter 1 year from now?
  • What is 1 thing I want to accomplish today?
  • Is what I am doing the best use of my time?
  • Am I having fun? How come?

We’ve found that staying mindful and present takes a combination of little checks through out your day (breathing when you are frustrated or enjoying your food instead of scarfing down a couple of chips) and taking a couple minutes of intentional time to reground yourself amidst the stress.

Try it out and let us know your thoughts!

The Election and Your Team

The Election and Your Team

WHAT AN EMOTIONAL WEEK.

Regardless of which political candidate you supported in the recent United States election – YOU. HAVE. HAD. A. WEEK.

Your team is likely filled with extremely strong thoughts and emotions (both positive or negative or a confusing mix of both). And sometimes, it feels like tension is so high that it could explode if a pin poked it.

What is a Manager to do?

In times like these, one of the most important roles you play, as Manager, is to hold your team together.

How?

Give your individual members of your team the space to talk it out, if and only if they want.

If they want to – choose to ask and actually listen without judgment. Something that often plagues us is judging (or assuming) and not asking, and really being curious about others and their thoughts.

The goal should not be to change opinions, but to allow people to really share their opinions /struggles /thoughts /challenges. These skills can be helpful when talking about the election and in your daily work.

Need a place to start?

First, make sure this is a 1:1 conversation.

Second, ideally this conversation takes place where the person you are talking to is comfortable and relaxed. This is not the time to corner them in the crowded break room or over the water cooler with their peers!

Third, the key is to NOT to argue or ‘fix’ their opinion if you don’t agree with their thoughts. This is the place to give your direct report the space to share their thoughts and ideas. In fact, don’t even say what you think unless they ask you.

Here are some conversation starters:

  • I’ve noticed I haven’t heard your voice as often in meetings during the last week. What’s up?
  • I remember you mentioning your support of [insert political candidate here that you’ve ACTUALLY heard them mention that they support]. What is intriguing to you about them?
  • I’ve noticed recent posts you’ve made on (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) around the election. What’s been coming up?

Choosing to mention what you are seeing (noticing or observing) and then asking a very open-ended question inviting your direct report’s opinion is extremely powerful.

This may be a new approach for you! So, try it out and let us know what you think!

Don’t forget you!

Don’t forget you!

What. a. WEEK.

Work was crazy. Personal life was crazy. And, our county has been a little crazy gearing up for our next presidential election.

When our lives (and the lives around us) are busy, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves.

So, as the weekend approaches, think about what you need to do for you (and this doesn’t need to be extravagant)!

Need a starting point?

  • Actually eat (read: chew!) lunch – don’t scarf it down in 2 minutes flat
  • Take 30 minutes to start a book you’ve been meaning to read (for fun)
  • Take a long shower
  • Get outside and go for a walk (even if just around the parking lot)
  • Get a Pumpkin Spice Latte (celebrate the season, right?!) and spend a few minutes at a coffee shop

Doing something for you doesn’t have to be extravagant and a little self-care can do wonders for your energy level.

ENJOY!

How to be a Great Manager if You Tend to be Diplomatic and You Need to Drive Results

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This week we have Coach Shannon Goodwin with us sharing her thoughts on how to be a great Manager if you tend to be diplomatic and you have got to drive some results!

Take it away, Shannon!

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“If you are a Manager who tends to be diplomatic, that is often an indicator that you have high interpersonal sensitivity and that you easily and effectively build positive relationships across the organization. These are valuable skills!

 

For Managers who have the strength of diplomacy, there are times when driving results and confronting performance issues can be a challenge. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind if you’re one of them:

 

Use your natural ability to build positive relationships! Understand individual motivators and match mission-critical business projects to the people who will be motived by them.

 

Learn as much as you can about your people– their motivators, career goals, skills and talents. That way, when you need to assign a project or task to drive results, you can look for opportunities to match the people on your team with the projects that will be motivating for them!

 

If the task or project isn’t that exciting or inspirational, recognize and emphasize the value that the task or requirement brings to the company, clients, or the bottom line.

 

The key here is to be genuine and not to try to put the proverbial ‘lipstick on a pig’ or over represent the excitement or attraction of the task if it isn’t there.

 

Make performance goals as clear as possible.

 

Most of us have heard about the importance of having SMART goals. Whenever possible, apply the SMART framework with your team to make sure that their performance expectations are clear.

 

When we have SMART goals, it becomes much easier to assess whether or not they were achieved.

 

When someone didn’t meet expectations, have a candid conversation with them to find out what happened.

 

Most people who are high in diplomacy are not as eager to have these conversations. Whether we’re comfortable with them or not, it is often helpful to prepare ahead of time and to use an approach that will facilitate a constructive conversation.  Below are some tips that you can use to prepare:

  • Plan what you want to say ahead of time; practice aloud and/or write down a few bullets to help you remember your key points. Stay factual and avoid being accusatory or judgmental.

 

Be in a state of curiosity and inquiry; ask open-ended questions. Listen and breathe. Reiterate what you heard.

  • “Mary, the XYZ report was due on Monday. I didn’t see the report in my inbox. What happened?”
  • “So, you wanted to get the report done and you were traveling back from China when your laptop battery died before you had a chance to send it?”

Reiterate the business need. Let the person explore and own the solution. Encourage multiple options.

  • “The XYZ reports need to be submitted by Monday so that we can accurately report the metrics to corporate and ensure all of the commissions are counted before they go to payroll.” 
  • “What could you do to avoid this in the future and ensure that the XYZ report is submitted in time?” 
  • “What else could you try?”
    • Set a time to follow up, if needed.
  • “When would you like to follow up on this?”
  • “Would you mind sending me a calendar invite for that?”

Thank you, Shannon!!