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Archive for February, 2017

Successful Supervisor Part 14 – Performance Management

Preparing and giving performance reviews has historically been one of the most difficult functions for a supervisor. In this article we will discuss several ways to prevent this important function from being a huge chore and also note some mistakes that inexperienced supervisors often make.

For this article, I will focus on the typical pattern of feeding back performance in an annual review. I recognize that some organizations are moving away from the rather arcane process of an annual performance appraisal, but my observation is that the majority of organizations still use some form of it.

If your organization has moved on to more progressive ways to deal with performance feedback, consider yourself fortunate. You may still find some of these tips to be helpful regardless of the pattern your organization uses.

Here are seven tips for creating more constructive and easier performance reviews with employees. Feel free to contact…

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The More That You Read

Practical Practice Management A Division of Top Practices


“The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading.” ~ David Bailey

I love to read, and for several years I read every single day.  At the end of a year, I had stacks of books that I finished and the knowledge that each one had given me.

The past few years I haven’t read as much.  Life got busier, and I made excuses for not reading on a regular basis.  If I did read it was just a few pages a day.

At the beginning of this year, I decided that I missed the knowledge that I received from reading and I begin reorganizing my time to make the time to read.  So far this year I have read six books, which is a great start.

I have to share with you that I feel so much more fulfilled each day after I…

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We are more than we think we are


File:Euripean gizona.jpg

Having a spiritual life doesn’t mean striving to stop the rain from falling or keeping our hearts from breaking. It means letting go of our resistance and wilful separation. It means taking our place in the greater whole of life. This surrender tends to happen in moments of loss but also sometimes in moments of great love or moments when we have been spared. In those moments it’s natural to say or inwardly feel “Thy will be done,” I surrender, opening to the rain and the sun and all that will come, knowing that we and life is more than we think we are.

Tracy Cochran, The Golden Ticket

photo : gorkaazk

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Understanding (and Preventing) Ethical Leadership Failures

Leading in Context

Ethical Failures

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Understanding What Causes Ethical Leadership Failures

Ethical leadership failures can be caused by different types of problems that may compound. Some of these problems are individual and others may be embedded in the organizational culture.

In 7 Lenses, I describe the kind of proactive ethical leadership that builds ethical cultures. The book is a road map for how to lead ethically in a complex world. While 7 Lenses is written from a positive perspective to help leaders avoid ethical problems and create ethical cultures, I often get asked “What causes ethical failures? What goes wrong?”

So this week I am exploring that question from two perspectives – that of what individual leaders do (or don’t do) and common organizational problems.

Individual and Organizational Causes

Here is a starter list of some of the factors that can lead to ethical failure. The list includes things that individual…

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Leader Competence: Will it Be A Multiplier or a Divider?

Leading in Context

slide2By Linda Fisher Thornton

Ethical leadership competence is an issue that is gaining attention. Expectations of “good leadership” are increasing and leaders and organizations are scrambling to keep up. While sometimes people disagree about implementation, there is a strong consensus among scholars and research organizations that today’s leadership requires broad, high level thinking. 

With expectations for good leadership continuing to expand, some organizations still do not have leader competence on their strategy agendas. 

5 Compelling Reasons Leader Competence Should be a Top Strategic Priority:

  1. Competence informs thinking. Failing to stay competent, leaders may not be capable of thinking through the complex issues and situations they face in a global society and economy.
  2. Competence informs action. Failing to stay competent, leaders may solve the wrong problems or solve the right problems the wrong way.
  3. Competence fuels learning and growth. Failing to stay competent, leaders may get “stuck in place” and become entrenched…

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disciples of life…

Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean


When we see ourselves as flexible and supple, we are able to bend in harmony with our Divine source. By listening, yielding, and being gentle, we all become disciples of life.

~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

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One time you shouldn’t treat co-workers like family

Blanchard LeaderChat

One of the most overlooked gaps in well-meaning organizations is recognizing the need to treat internal customers even BETTER than external customers—at least initially.  Within an organization, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking of your fellow employee as your family that you can treat however you want because “they have to love me, they’re family,” when in reality, they are your most important customer.  Why?  Because how we treat each other within the organization is a reflection of how we are going to treat our external customers in the long term.

One of the first things to think about then, as we look at creating a culture of service, is how well do we ask for and listen to feedback from teammates on how we are serving them.  Let me give you a great example I heard just this past week to illustrate this point.

I have…

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Don’t Forget Self Care: Four Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself When Coaching

Blanchard LeaderChat

bigstock-154489298As a professional coach, I notice there are certain times when the topics my clients want to discuss seem to be sending me a message. When I find myself coaching three or four people in a row about the same challenge, I often start seeing it as something I, too, might need to look at personally.

The latest theme has been self care. Self care can be a big challenge for those of us who are natural nurturers, because one of the ways we fill our energy tank is by giving to others. The problem is that when our tank runs low, we often tough it out and keep grinding away—even when we become completely ineffective.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve coached a number of people on this very challenge.  One of my clients, for example, has a huge project underway. She and her staff are working long…

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3 Reminders on How “Just Listening” Is Sometimes the Best Approach

Blanchard LeaderChat

why-am-i-talkingHave you ever shared a frustrating situation with your boss, a colleague, a family member, or a friend and they kept jumping in and offering solutions (many of which you had already thought of yourself)? I certainly have, then realized I didn’t need or want them to resolve the situation for me. All I really wanted was for them to just listen.

As a coach, listening is one of the key tools I use with my clients. The longer I coach the more I notice what a gift just listening can be for someone—not only for my clients, but also for my family and friends.

Here are three things I keep in mind when I find myself wanting to talk instead of listen.

The listener does not have to add value. Often when someone is sharing a concern, we want to help so much that we jump in…

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New Research Identifies How Trust Impacts Employee Work Passion

Blanchard LeaderChat

TrustTrust at work is critical, but it can be difficult to pin down and address. Trust expert Daniel McAllister highlighted this challenge when he presented his initial research on the subject in 1995. McAllister opened with a quote from the book Behavior in Organizations.

“Trust … tends to be somewhat like a combination of the weather and motherhood; it is widely talked about, and it is widely assumed to be good for organizations. When it comes to specifying just what it means in an organizational context, however, vagueness creeps in.”

McAllister went on to identify two types of trust—cognitive (logical) and affective (emotional). He looked at the impact each had on different measures of behavior and performance.

The Ken Blanchard Companies just released research findings on how these two elements of trust impact five measures of employee work passion. The Blanchard research offers guidance for leadership development professionals looking to create more engaging…

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