Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for July, 2009

Do they know how?

Whether it be a brand new business initiative or an effort to transition a long-standing culture, most leaders and managers understand the importance of well-defined business goals and communicating them clearly to employees. In addition, we know how important it is to communicate specifically what’s expected of them in their roles. We understand that if that communication is lacking, strategic growth may be stunted.

What I find interesting, is how many leaders fail to assess whether their management team and their employees know HOW to do what’s asked of them. Employees may be very willing to embrace a change and help make it happen. A manager may be eager to lead his or her team toward the stated goal. But if they don’t have the skills and/or acumen to contribute to the implementation of the new or shifted strategy, they will not be equipped to perform. And if they’re not made accountable through measurable outcomes, and well-coached through the process, the risk for failure increases.

So if you find yourself frustrated because you’ve repeatedly told someone or a team what needs to be done, and you’re thinking they’re just not getting it—perhaps they get it, but they just don’t know how to do it!

Stay tuned for future entries on HOW to uncover, and respond to, the continuous learning, development, and coaching needs of our employees!

Productivity—ups and downs

I posted this entry a couple of years ago and thought I’d share it again as many of us here in Upstate NY are experiencing short summer fever (i.e., I’d rather be………outside!). We then beat ourselves up for being less than productive, when in reality, we’re simply being human. More examples of what I find to be common behaviors affecting productivity follow in this entry. Enjoy.
I thought it might be interesting to publish just a few behaviors—relating to productivity—that over the years, I’ve observed as very common among professionals, regardless of their work style, title, or responsibilities. Perhaps reading these will offer you some comfort.
Many of us. . . .
– fail at being creative or extremely productive when we have plenty of time to do so. In fact, many of us find that we are most effective and productive when we’re close to a deadline.
– make very little productive use of our first day back from vacation. And during our first week back, we’re more likely to find ourselves pondering what we want to do with the rest of our lives.
– plan to accomplish all kinds of things on that one day when we actually don’t have any meetings, or deadlines, then proceed to waste most of the day because we can.
– tend to experience an unproductive day or two immediately following a run of highly-stressful or highly productive days. The length of down time needed to re-energize tends to relate closely to how long we’ve been overworked.
– get much more done after we’ve taken some quiet time to do some planning, organizing, and strategizing.
And finally, many of us like to know we’re not alone!