You Don’t Know How to E-Mail

October 27, 2009 2 comments

I’d say my biggest gripe at the office is our persistent and abundant inability to effectively communicate via e-mail.  I say “our” because I’m guilty of this, too. Two things got me thinking about this today:

  1. I received an email with a blank subject line
  2. Then I received an email sharing Erik Goodlad’s “5 min/20 Slides” presentation at Ignite Boise about managing emails

Hear me for a minute: if you’re swamped with emails, so are your co-workers, manager, and most importantly… your clients and subject matter experts.  By following some of the tips from Mike Song’s book, The Hamster Revolution, you’ll communicate better and do a better job managing your emails.

Check out Erik’s presentation, too:

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What’s The Cost of Misinterpreted Messages?

“What’s the cost of misinterpreted messages?  Like a serve and return, innovation has two core foundational elements:  learning and communication.  New processes and discoveries must be learned and continuously better-communicated. ”  Mike Koper

Read the full article here:  11 Tips on Talk, Improving Communication Improves Human Performance.

What is an example (work or personal) where a mis-communication was costly?  What is your estimate of how much time or money it cost you or your organization?

myLearning Released to Double-Take Supervisors

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

This week we released myLearning, a learning mangaement system, to Double-Take Supervisors.

Supervisors received an online training course to learn about their responsibilities in the system.  Next week the system will be rolled out to the rest of the company.

Check your email for the link to training and login credentials for the system.

ComingSoon_myLearning

Categories: learning

Four Things Every Employee Wants to Know

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

If you’re striving to be the best manager/coach/mentor/leader you can be, you don’t need to overcomplicate your life trying to achieve this.  All Things Workplace gives you four simple things to think about — and if you can do these for your employees, you’ll achieve your goals.

http://www.allthingsworkplace.com/2009/10/the-four-things-every-employee-wants-to-know.html

A Coach is a Facilitator, Not Necessarily an Expert

We’re all experts at something right? But the minute you give your expert advice or opinion, especially in our social media society, someone comes along and gives their “professional” Twitter critique or “one-up” viewpoint in an online forum. We’ve all sat in a classroom or webinar and wondered, “What can this guy possibly teach me on managing people?”

Then there are those at work who are older than you are or who are more experienced and they say things like, “What could I possibly learn from my manager, she hasn’t been in the workforce long enough to teach me anything!”

False!  

Again, let’s look at what professional coaching is and isn’t.  Coaching, especially executive/business coaching is not about being spoon fed procedure or facts, or calisthenics to pump up your business acumen. It is about helping you as a leader come to your own conclusions. It is about getting you to ask yourself the necessary questions that will foster positive growth for you personally and professionally, and for the company.

Here’s a great article from Marshall Goldsmith’s Library titled, “It’s Not About The Coach.”

I recently heard Marshall give the concluding address at the Indiana SHRM conference and he was great!!   He will challenge your thought processes and assumptions, which is good if you are ready for that; like “feedforward” instead of “feedback”.  Be brave and try it.

Mr. Anderson

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What Can a Coach Do For You?

What’s your image of a coach?  Bob Knight?  Maybe it’s your H.S. cross country coach who drove the car and smoked cigars while you and the rest of the team huffed out your 5 or 6 miles through town.  Or maybe it’s reruns of the TV show, Coach.  But a job coach, business coach and/or leadership coach is a whole different animal. 

So forget the yelling and suicide sprints.  If we look at the lexicon on the word coach we would find that it is derived from the word Kocs, which is the name of a small village in northeastern Hungary, where carriages and carts were made.  The slang term Kocs meant “tutor”.  It was said of university instructors during the 1800s, who took such a personal interest in the progress of their students, that the students would say that they seemed to be carried through their exams as if they were driven in the professor’s carriage (or coach). 

Maybe you had a coach different from the ones mentioned above.  If so, please comment and share how they helped you perform better. 

Also, think about your role as a leader.  Are you measuring performance well enough to understand the gaps between your team’s current performance and the performances goals?  Do you know the team’s hopes, feelings and attitudes that may make it difficult for them to accept any needed help or to pass along that help to others when they are exceeding those performance markers? 

Consider this as you are thinking about those annual performance appraisals coming up at the end of the year. 

If you would like to bounce some ideas around, give me a shout or stop by. 

Mr. Anderson

Source:  The Dance of Change, Peter Senge

Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late to Ask for Help

We’re all familiar with the old saying, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears,” right?  But how do you know if and when you are ready.  Most of the time you don’t.  In other words, you don’t know what you don’t know until it’s too late to do anything about it.  As a manager you are often basing your personnel decisions on the way your boss did it before (right or wrong) or on your instincts (right or wrong). 

There have been many times in my career when I have met with a manager who has big personnel problems; problems that have deep roots that once upon a time started as small seeds blowing in the corporate breeze.  Somehow those seeds came to land and find fertile soil in their department.  That fertile soil may have been the forces of the urgent vs. the important, hiring mistakes, and a lack of knowledge or experience in proactively managing performance. Nonetheless, there are many forces at play that can cause a manager to avoid seeking help and continued management education.  Perhaps you fear loosing credibility or as a manager you have told yourself, “I can do it myself,” thinking that if you did ask for help you would appear less competent.

“Managers who must continually project an air of certainty to be credible find it difficult to acknowledge in front of peers or subordinates that they do not have all the answers.  Others fear that their bosses will learn what they are doing if they have outsiders helping them.  All of these forces operate to create isolation among innovators, and isolations breeds blindness.” 

(The Dance of Change, A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Mastering The Challenges of Learning Organizations, by Peter Senge)

Our company survives on innovation.  Let’s not be blind to our own professional development when it comes to leading others. 

Mr. Anderson

Categories: learning