What’s Behind the Answer?

You’re gathering information for a project and ask several employees for input. They give you the information that you requested, and you integrate their responses into your project presentation.

But what happens if you make a decision based on that information and your conclusion is wrong? You may go back to the employees in search of clarification (“I thought you said x”) and it turns out that yes, they said “x”, but “y” is also integral to the equation.

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Are You Rewarding the Right Behavior?

Are your employees doing the job that they’re paid to do? Some employees take leeway by spending time doing things that may be valuable but interfere with the job they’re supposed to be doing. They get praised for the additional work, but get away with not being accountable for what they neglect.

Consider these examples:

+ The designer who loves the creative process so much, but typically spends two or more times the hours than what was budgeted.

+ The client manager who spends inordinate time with clients that are being undercharged.

+ The project coordinator who prefers schmoozing with clients and neglects his paperwork and ultimately delays billing.

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Manage Your Time By Managing Your Mind

So many people are stressed by massive to do lists and not enough time to complete the important tasks. Everyone knows how to manage time….but….often it just doesn’t happen. It’s not because you don’t know how; it’s because you don’t make it happen.

When you manage a staff that has multiple moving targets (including those massive to do lists), support them by helping them focus and stay focused. Implementation happens much more effectively when people concentrate.

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The Curse of Silos

Do your departments communicate well with each other? Do they know each other’s work product? Challenges? Successes?

I had an aggravating experience trying to do a simple upgrade of a software service. I was on several phone calls for 2-1/2 hours to implement something that I thought was straightforward.

I concluded, however, that the reason it turned into such a production was because the upgrade resided in a different department and the two departments don’t talk to each other.

Same product, different level of service. Horrible communication.

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Two-Fisted Feedback

A colleague shared an anecdote about a leader in his firm who gives appreciative feedback to his staff, then turns around and tells peers that these employees aren’t doing their jobs. One of these employees found out about this two-fisted approach and was furious.

We spend considerable time espousing the importance of expressing appreciation (among other things), but it’s intolerable if someone says something nice – only because it’s the right thing to do – then says the opposite to another leader.

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