Archives for the month of: October, 2015

Hallowed Halloween Reflection

Two-Minute Tune-Up

The roots of all man-made (or woman-made) terror:

  1. Hatred
  2. Duplicity
  3. Greed
  4. Jealousy
  5. Bitterness
  6. Arrogance
  7. Deception
  8. Ignorance
  9. Selfishness
  10. Bigotry

And nothing is more terrifying than when I find these things in myself.



Have a happy (and honest) Halloween!

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In reference to a prior blog on “The Review”, this process is often challenging and ineffective in terms of generating the desired performance improvement that Managers are seeking.

The traditional performance appraisal reviews past performance, and is often an inaccurate reflection of true performance due to:

  • inadequate preparation or effort,
  • poor documentation or record keeping,
  • any number of biases.

I believe that what really matters to is to provide your employees with input that leads to the development of their skills, which ultimately benefits them personally as well as serving the organization’s future.

There is much discussion in HR circles about eliminating the annual or semi-annual review process altogether. Such a change should foster more frequent conversations and updates about an employee’s performance, which is what most workers want.

ConstantONGOING coaching and feedback is one of the keys toward achieving continuous employee growth and development.

I’m not saying micro-management, but rather taking the time to ensure that every employee:

  • understands the clear expectations surrounding their role and responsibilities,
  • knows where they stand in terms of their performance,
  • and has a vision of how to grow and improve.


In his seminal work,  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen Covey introduced his philosophy on empathic communication…Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Dr. Covey notes that there are five types of listening: Ignoring, Pretending, Selective, Attentive and Empathic.

Exceptional communicators strive to achieve that pinnacle stage of becoming an empathic listener, i.e. “putting yourself in the other person’s proverbial shoes”. This means paying attention to the level that we truly understand their feelings and emotions.

The physical act of hearing is different that the mental act of listening. Listening with empathy requires a concerted effort to commit your undivided attention to the speaker. Sounds easy, does hard!

Fortunately, we can develop the skills to become better listeners, and communicators.

One technique that has helped me improve in this area is to conscientiously “listen with my eyes.” By maintaining comfortable and consistent eye contact with the speaker, it helps me to focus on them and to better concentrate on the message they are trying to deliver.

listen eyes


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Years of experience in “enduring” the employee performance review process, coupled with facilitating many training sessions to client businesses on the topic, has validated one common denominator: the Managers and Employees alike involved in this ritual have a general, mutual dislike for this obligatory activity!

Performance management entails a desire to develop individuals who have the necessary competence to achieve organizational and individual objectives.

Performance reviews are one element of this development process, with the ultimate goal being for the employee to improve the quality and efficiency of their contributions to the organization.

If conducted properly, this will serve as a springboard for elevating that employee’s productivity and morale.

The frustration surrounding the review process typically arises from a combination of factors including:

  • seeing the procedure as a task versus a development opportunity
  • unclear expectations surrounding job responsibilities
  • insincere feedback or evaluations
  • poor preparation
  • lack of diligence in documenting ongoing performance
  • inconsistent communication
  • not caring!

Give this some thought during your next round of appraisals to consider if you can possibly yield more meaningful results that will benefit both you and your team.

Inspiration from Pam Boyd’s Two-Minute Tune-Up blog.

Two-Minute Tune-Up

On this day (which happens to be the day I arrived to an already crazy, mixed-up, caring, and passionate family in Long Beach, California) I want to do what I was born to do; give love and be love to this world in my (very specialized) way.

Freud says that every human must have two things: love and meaningful work. I struggled to find both until finding this: when I quit struggling and just gave willingly (no strings attached), love and meaningful work came to me.

Birthdays used to be difficult because they never met my (wanting to feel special) expectations. Now, they are marvelous because I changed the question to…

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Today I am inspired to do what fellow blogger, StephJ suggests. Check it out in her Acts-of-Kindness blog…

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