Even if you do not participate in the return to classes and books world, you can’t help but be put in the mindset of studies, books and learning. That is one of my explanations as to why every August I experience a spike in requests for my corporate training programs. I figure that the “back to school” message is a subliminal hint for business leaders to be thinking about skill and knowledge gaps in their organizations and address those gaps with management classroom experiences.
360-degree feedback is a learning and development tool usually used by organizational leaders who wish to know more about their strengths and areas for improvement. People who surround an individual (hence 360-degree) are asked to describe their perceptions of the recipient’s effectiveness and provide insight on ways they can improve their leadership abilities. This data, collected either through interviews or surveys, can be a valuable mine of feedback information.
What better way to introduce my spring newsletter than to show spring flowers? I love my irises; they are so gaudy, glamorous and upbeat. No more of the bleakness of winter when these proud ladies show off their purple glory.
You actually may have called with a such a request. And I have to tell you, it always gives me pause.
I am clear about the fact that managers struggle to excite, energize—and sometimes long to light an actual match under—staff members who appear to be unengaged or unfocused.
In desperation, they think that a management training professional like myself must have a workshop, presentation, or speech—something, anything, that will inspire the unmotivated masses.
Year-end always has me thinking about goals. Every December I take stock of the year. How well did I achieve what I set out to do? What was my big success? What would I like to do differently? I also begin to look at the next year to fashion what I’d like to see happen in the next twelve months.
Yes, I am a serious goal-aholic. For most of my adult life, I’ve used goals to set my course of action professionally and personally. I don’t get rigid about it, some goals get abandoned mid-year when I realize that they are in some way flawed and unachievable. Some goals that sound great in January, I will realize are pulling me off course by June. Unexpected life changes can make goals inappropriate over time. Goals guide, they never dictate.
That’s a topic that I have been giving a lot of thought to lately because, increasingly, I am being hired to provide delegation-skills classes for managers in my clients’ organizations.
One of the reasons, as you well know, is that managers are being asked to do more with less—and it doesn’t look like this trend is going to change any time soon.
The trend made headlines in The Washington Post last year when the Virginia legislature allowed state employees to take Fridays off. The leaders of the Commonwealth of Virginia estimated that they’d save millions of dollars on energy by shutting down government buildings across the state one day a week.
Yet, many managers avoid it like the plague. As one manager told me, “When one of my employees wants to talk about their next career step, I want to run and hide. I usually put off the meeting as long as I can.”
Why? That’s the topic we tackle in this month’s issue of Workforce Learning, below.
I know, I know. Mere mention of the word makes you tense up a bit.
That’s why I tread softly when I teach my management skills workshop. I begin by getting a quick pulse on the health of an organization to determine if there are bad management practices lurking that will diminish the effectiveness of my teaching. I want to know as fast as possible if this organization has a pervasive culture that won’t support a good manager.
With the scent of Valentine’s Day roses still in the air, this month I tackle a topic that not many discuss in the workplace: Love.
I realize, of course, that merely uttering this word in an office setting has the tendency to set off fireworks with HR folks worried about the demon bugaboo — sexual harassment. But that doesn’t mean we should toss out the critical ideas of loving our work, colleagues, and companies. I recently scoured the business books in my library to investigate the concept of “love” at work. Here’s what I found.