Don’t Set ’em and Forget ’em

Don’t Set ’em and Forget ’em

We all know it’s important to keep track of and check in on our goals throughout the year, but we still manage to avoid it. In this week’s tip, I explore concrete ways to guide this process and give you questions to ask in these meetings.

Checking in on goals is critical for many reasons. It will…

    • Ensure that you’re making progress toward the desired outcomes
    • Keep employees motivated in their day-to-day work
    • Give you a better standpoint from which to make decisions
    • Create safe space to communicate honest, open feedback (both directions)
    • Allow you to accurately report progress and pain-points to your boss

With a little planning now, you can set the trajectory for a more productive year.

Did you miss the free guide last week? It’s packed with research-based best practices for leading employees through the goal-setting process. Download your free copy now!

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This Small Shift Makes a Big Difference

This Small Shift Makes a Big Difference

If you’ve been around my work for awhile, then you know I’m a big fan of evidence-based, data-driven methodologies. Why re-invent the wheel when best practices have already been discovered?

When it comes to effective employee goal-setting, the jury’s in. The research is done. All you have to do is apply it. And we’re making that as easy as possible for you with a step-by-step guide and supporting Two-Minute Tip.

Giving employees more ownership in the goal-setting process isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s the business-smart thing to do.

“Two-Minute Tips” are a series of short videos with relevant, expert leadership advice. 

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A Quick Exercise to Align Your Team

A Quick Exercise to Align Your Team

Do your employees know where the team is headed this year? Why? And their role in it?

While it may seem elementary, it’s essential—yet surprisingly uncommon—to ensure the team is aligned around shared priorities. Not only will this maximize performance and productivity, but it will also give meaning to each employee’s day-to-day work.

Watch the video to learn a simple brainstorming session you can facilitate with your team to establish clear priorities. Don’t miss this crucial step in the goal-setting process. Employees need this clarity in order to set meaningful individual goals that directly drive team success.

You want a cohesive, high-performing team this year? It starts here, with shared purpose and priorities.

TELL US WHAT YOU WANT

We want to follow our own advice and check-in with you—our stakeholders—the people we strive to serve through these Two-Minute Tips. Would you please take 60 seconds to tell us what you want more of this year in this short survey? We’re all ears. 

“Two-Minute Tips” are a series of short videos with relevant, expert leadership advice. 

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The One Thing You Need to Do Before Setting Goals This Year

The One Thing You Need to Do Before Setting Goals This Year

Does goal-setting feel like a burden? Perhaps you’re one of many who feel pressure to come up with brilliant goals for yourself and your team each year—and you try to do it alone. 

While, yes, it is a leader’s job to establish clear direction and goals for the team, I don’t believe you should tackle it alone. In fact, your year could be off to a rocky start if you attempt to set your goals in a vacuum.

Instead, check in with key stakeholders to understand their goals and expectations for you. Ask your boss, peers, and internal and external customers what success would look like for you and your team this year. This will help you align your goals with the real direction you need to go, so you’re not putting your efforts in an area that doesn’t serve them and their needs well.

Take a moment and write down 3-5 key stakeholders that you and your team serve. Here are some ideas to get you started…

    • Your boss
    • Customers (internal and external)
    • Directors or VP’s that you work with
    • Other departments
    • CEO
    • Board members
    • Employees

Schedule time to check-in with the people on your list. It may not take as long as you think. Use the following questions to spark your conversation:

    • In your eyes, what would success look like for me and my team this year?
    • What challenges are you facing this year that my team could help solve? 
    • Imagine being at the end of 2022 and reflecting on what was achieved over the year. What did my team accomplish?

Be sure to take notes to capture their perspective. As key themes emerge, you’ll have a clear idea of how to align your team around shared goals. Not only will this process help you craft effective goals, it will also open channels of communication that will foster goodwill and transparency for the year to come.

TELL US WHAT YOU WANT

We want to follow our own advice and check-in with you—our stakeholders—the people we strive to serve through these Two-Minute Tips. Would you please take 60 seconds to tell us what you want more of this year in this short survey? We’re all ears. 

“Two-Minute Tips” are a series of short videos with relevant, expert leadership advice. 

Sign-up here to have them delivered directly to your inbox.

(or)

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for easy access. Click the bell icon after subscribing to ensure you’re notified when new videos are posted.

Always practical, easy to absorb, and actionable.

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3 simple strategies for responding to criticism

3 simple strategies for responding to criticism

How do you respond when someone says “You’re wrong”? Do you whip out your boxing gloves or start wagging your tail? 

I have to admit, I’m more of a tail-wagger, so I am likely to take all opinions into consideration, even the ones that don’t deserve it. If you are on the “boxing glove” side of the spectrum, you may have such strong self-confidence that you ignore all opinions, even those that merit consideration. In a management role, going to extremes with either tendency can be dangerous and jeopardize trust among your employees.

To help move the pendulum closer to center, implement one or more of the following strategies:

    1. Find someone who cares about you but will tell you the truth. John Blakey calls this person your “sheriff.” This person can help you gain some perspective on the situation and keep you from beating yourself up.

    2. Take time to consider the situation. Get some space (physically and emotionally). In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to react with an extreme version of your natural tendency. Abraham Lincoln reportedly wrote out his thoughts in “hot letters” which he kept to himself until he was in a cooler temper.

    3. Spend time in self-reflection and development. Personality assessments such as DISC or Meyers-Briggs are great places to start. Once you know what side of the spectrum you lean toward, you can develop practices and safeguards to bring you back to center.

    In the end, the goal is not to eliminate your natural tendencies – they are part of what makes you a great leader! The goal is growth and greater self-awareness which will make you stronger and more trustworthy. Your team doesn’t want to follow someone who’s always right – they want to follow someone they can trust.

    Meet the author

    With a diverse background in leadership, teaching, communication, and program management, Melinda Siems brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience to our work. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the team and leverage her expertise and talents as we continually seek to better serve you.

     

    Reference:

    STETTNER, M. (2016, July 8). Rather Than Brush Over Mistakes, Leaders Confront Them Head-On. Investors Business Daily, 1.

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    The psychological impact of ending well

    The psychological impact of ending well

    2021 brought unprecedented challenges for most. As the year closes, we feel a natural desire to reflect, reset, and plan for the next. Turns out the impact of ending this year well is more significant than most of us realize due to a psychological effect known as the peak-end theory. I explain in this Two-Minute Tip.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to guide your team through a beneficial year-end or new year kickoff meeting that prepares team members to enter 2022 feeling reconnected, refreshed, and refocused. Want help making this meeting easy to design and worth people’s time? Get started at TheManagementEssentials.com/Annual-Meeting

    “Two-Minute Tips” are a series of short videos with relevant, expert leadership advice. 

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    Subscribe to my YouTube channel for easy access. Click the bell icon after subscribing to ensure you’re notified when new videos are posted.

    Always practical, easy to absorb, and actionable.

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