PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM CONSISTS OF INDIVIDUAL STRENGTHS

A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM CONSISTS OF INDIVIDUAL STRENGTHS
As leader of a team you need to put forth your clear vision and values. That is the first step—knowing where you are going. Next, you need to inspire those on the team to do their very best. You start, of course, by getting the right people in the right jobs. This includes not just testing skills and knowledge but also examining attitudes and behaviors. You have selected the right people. The next step is finding each individual’s strengths and leveraged them. Everyone has talents and non-talents. A person’s non talent is not a problem by itself. However, it can become a problem if he or she is placed in a job requiring the use of that non talent. Help your team use their strengths to push their performance to new levels. Unfortunately, many of us spend time trying to correct weaknesses.   Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our...
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BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP

BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP
Today everyone is talking about adapting to the Millennials. This ignores the fact the we have three different generations in the workplace. Understanding all three generations is the only way leverage the talents of your workforce. The understanding of the differences of the three generations will also help you understand your customer base and what motivates them. As I work with my Westchester County NY organizations I constantly hear voices of frustration. A frustrated manager says “The kids today don’t want to work. I can’t get any good help.” Or it might be a manager of a team of professionals complaining about the unwillingness of the younger members to work endless hours. Or it can be frustration from a baby boomer who feels he or she can’t compete with the new workers and the new technology. And here is yet another quote. “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners,...
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BEHAVIORS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN SKILLS

BEHAVIORS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN SKILLS
Contrary to what you may think education and skills do not create success. There is a saying that knowledge is power. That is also wrong. It is the application of knowledge that is power. In school teachers would say, “Johnny could be a great student if he would only apply himself.” With that being said why are we fixated on grades, degrees, and experience on resume when hiring people? In Good to Great Jim Collins explains that building a great organization is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” It may be simple but it’s not easy. You will need to change the way you hire people. Unfortunately, all too often managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history. Significant time is spent...
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DEVELOP LOYAL CUSTOMERS BY MANAGING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS

DEVELOP LOYAL CUSTOMERS BY MANAGING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
The easiest way to lose trust with your customer is by making promises you cannot keep. No one wants to intentionally lie but frankly many people in sales are not completely truthful with their clients. Why? The biggest excuse I hear is that they are afraid to be negative with their client. They think that if they don’t tell the client what they think the client wants to hear then that client or prospect will go somewhere else. That might be true in some cases but wouldn’t you rather be the salesperson who exceeds your customers’ expectations rather the one that disappoints the customer? A skilled salesperson knows how to manage the customer’s expectations and then over deliver on those expectations. No one likes to say no. You want to say yes to everything so that you customer will decide to go with you and your product or service. You really...
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ARE YOU FOCUSED? HERE IS A FIVE POINT CHECKUP

ARE YOU FOCUSED?  HERE IS A FIVE POINT CHECKUP
Most successful business owners cite laser focus on the right things as paramount to their success. Staying focused and staying sharp on the things necessary to grow and change is important. But sometimes business gets lazy and in a rut. The owner stops seeing the big picture. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Since the business is still making money and continuing to operate the reasoning is, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. But recently the business has experienced a decline in sales and profits. In short, there have been changes in the economy and the market. In order to remain successful the business owner must refocus. How are you doing? Take this 5 area checkup: 1. Make sure you know what business you are in. If you make cell phones do you provide smart phones or do you create facilitated mobile communication? If you run...
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CREATE MORE SUCCESS BY EMPOWERING YOUR STAFF

CREATE MORE SUCCESS BY EMPOWERING YOUR STAFF
It has been proven time and time again that a manager who empowers his or her staff by giving them authority to make decisions and control outcomes is many times more successful than a manager who holds the control. Management teams in Westchester County NY that have been following this advice have been seeing their sales increase and their employee turnover decrease. Clearly empowerment of staff creates better outcomes. Unfortunately, managers and executives find it very hard to let go and allow their staff to drive results. In some cases the need to be right prevents the manager from trusting his or her employees. If this fear of not being right is stopping you from letting go then you might want to ask yourself these two questions. First of all, have you provided your staff with all of the tools they need to succeed?   And secondly, have you clearly communicated the...
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ELIMINATE YOUR HARMFUL HABITS

ELIMINATE YOUR HARMFUL HABITS
Our success or failure is driven by our habits. In fact, habits have everything to do with our success or failure. A person with good work habits, for example, will be much more likely to succeed than a person without good work habits. Most organizations and people work on developing skills and knowledge.  However, problems and failures occur due to habits and behabiors. Habits can be good but they can also be harmful. A bad habit can cause us to continue to do things that are non-productive or destructive. For example, you might have a habit of laying back and taking it easy. The end result could be panic when you are up against a deadline. The end result could be failure to meet the deadline or failure to achieve good results. All of this is the result of living in a comfort zone. That comfort zone exists for us because...
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YOUR CORE VALUES

YOUR CORE VALUES
Your core values guide you in your journey through your business and personal life. It is similar to a compass or a GPS.   In a previous post I have talked about the why being more important than the how. Much of your “why” is derived from your core values. These are your non negotiables—the ideals you live by. Your compass or your GPS tells you the direction to go and how to get to your destination. But the GPS will send you to the destination based on your preferences for type of highway and the like. It won’t take you on a narrow road if you have a preference for main highways. Your core values operate much the same way. It is important to define your core values. That way you and others will know what you stand for. If you run and company and you hire people you should only...
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YOUR CORE VALUES

YOUR CORE VALUES
Your core values guide you in your journey through your business and personal life. It is similar to a compass or a GPS.   In a previous post I have talked about the why being more important than the how. Much of your “why” is derived from your core values. These are your non negotiables—the ideals you live by. Your compass or your GPS tells you the direction to go and how to get to your destination. But the GPS will send you to the destination based on your preferences for type of highway and the like. It won’t take you on a narrow road if you have a preference for main highways. Your core values operate much the same way. It is important to define your core values. That way you and others will know what you stand for. If you run and company and you hire people you should only...
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ARE YOU A CONTROL FREAK?

ARE YOU A CONTROL FREAK?
If you exercise too much control you could hurt your business. If you are a sole entrepreneur you need to control everything. Once you decide to grow being a control freak will hold you back. A business is started by an owner with a vision to create a great product or service. The owner has to spend a lot of time working in the business to make sure that the product or service gets out, the money gets collected, and the bills get paid. That is very important for business survival. The owner works hard IN the business. He has to attend to every detail and if he forgets one thing it could be a disaster. The business owner spends most of his or her time working IN the business and virtually no time working ON the business. Why is this problematic? When the owner starts the business he or she...
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THE WHY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE HOW

THE WHY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE HOW
Executives and CEO's in Westchester NY ask what is so special about having goals. First of all, it is important to write your goals down. You have a much greater chance of achieving them if they are written down in front of you. That makes sense if you compare it to grocery shopping. If you don’t follow your list you will buy what you don’t need and forget what you need. But you have written your goals down and have them in front of you. So why aren’t you achieving your goals? “WHY” is indeed the operating question. Why do want to achieve the goal in the first place? Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. Notice that I did not say goal setting but rather achievement. You can’t motivate yourself or motivate others. You need instead to reach...
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POSITIVE RESULTS ARE THE RESULT OF POSITIVE LEADERSHIP

POSITIVE RESULTS ARE THE RESULT OF POSITIVE LEADERSHIP
Show me an organization that functions very well and I can show you a positive engaged leader. Last month I worked with a Westchester County NY organization that was having difficulty with its people. I asked some employees what they thought was the problem. They replied, “We need positive leadership. We need leadership with people skills.” What does your organization need? Does it need more sales or more profits? Does it need updated marketing that get results? Does your organizational structure need to change to get business to the next level? Regardless of how you answer these questions one fact is abundantly clear. It is your people who achieve the results. That is true for any size organization and it is also true if you are a sole practitioner.   Let’s start with you and your personal leadership. Ask yourself these questions: •          Am I the best I can be? •          Am...
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WHY DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?

WHY DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?
Do you know why you are in the business or career you are in? Does it really matter? Many of us recognize the Nike tag line “Just do it!” While I certainly believe that is great advice it is not true universally. I was recently working with a Westchester County NY coaching client on his business development. He was struggling with his growth and was having trouble getting his team on board. He was having a hard time accomplishing the objectives that we have worked on together in his plan. These were the goals that he had established in previous sessions. After failing to complete some of the tasks we had outlined from our previous meetings over several weeks, I asked him these questions, “Why did you set these goals and if was important why have you not begun to execute on what you set out to do?” He responded that...
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THE HARDEST PART IS GETTING STARTED

THE HARDEST PART IS GETTING STARTED
The reason that many great ideas never become reality is lack of commitment to get started. It is a law of physics. It takes more energy to start a car or turn on a light than to continue operating them. This is also true with starting a project or starting a business. It takes more effort to get started. For that reason people over analyize and tell themselves the don’t want do it until it is perfect. A coach colleague of mine has coined this habit “Getting ready to go to work”. I cannot start until I get my brochures, business cards, website, 2 number 2 pencils—you get the idea! I have heard that 80% of people who say they want to run a business of their own don’t follow through. Why? One possible answer is the rewards aren’t sufficient enough to motivate them into action. Another probable answer is procrastination...
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INCREASE YOUR SALES BY USING THIS 4 STEP PROCESS

INCREASE YOUR SALES BY USING THIS 4 STEP PROCESS
Many salespeople start the sales process by asking a closing question? For example, did you ever look at a car and have the salesperson approach you with this question: “What would it take to have you drive home in this new car today?” The salesperson wants you to say yes. However, an experienced salesperson will tell you that you shouldn’t ask a closing question until you are sure that the answer will be “Yes!” This means that you first need to determine your prospect’s wants and needs. I have found in my coaching process that most people having trouble with sales do not take the time to ask questions of their prospects before asking for the sale. You won’t make the sale if you move too quickly just as you would not drive to a destination ignoring all traffic lights. Think of the sales buying selling process as a series of...
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POSITIVE COMMUNICAN WILL YIELD POSITIVE RESULTS

POSITIVE COMMUNICAN WILL YIELD POSITIVE RESULTS
You can’t put negative in and expect to get positive out. If you want positive results from others you will have to communicate positive things. The following question came up recently with my Westchester County NY business owners’ forum. “How can I get them (my employees) to care and take personal ownership?” There could be any number of causes for this disconnect between management and staff. However, poor communication is the major cause of disconnects between people in most cases. Clear communication and keeping the staff in the loop is really not difficult to achieve. The first step is to create positive results by being positive in their communication. Here are six suggestions on positive effective communication. You can accept others ideas and respect them although you do not have to agree. Acknowledge amazing requests and outrageous statements with responses such as: "That's an interesting idea." "That's a novel request." "What...
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SETTING GOALS TO STOP DOING UNPRODUCTIVE THINGS

SETTING GOALS TO STOP DOING UNPRODUCTIVE THINGS
The goal achievement process can include goals to stop doing unproductive things. Sometimes things you are currently doing are obstacles to achievement of a new goal. Removing the obstacle will clear the way for achievement of the new goal. Review your activities to see if they are really productive. Instead of planning what you will do, let’s concentrate on things you should not be doing. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Maybe now is the time to make some changes. If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for you job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” Attitudes, behaviors, and activities can account for our success or failure. We should be measuring the results of...
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YOUR GOALS ARE YOUR DREAMS WITH AN ACTION PLAN

YOUR GOALS ARE YOUR DREAMS WITH AN ACTION PLAN
I talk about goals in every business seminar I present to Westchester County business owners. Some people wonder why I always include goals. Goals are dreams with actions attached. Many people are good at making goals but that is where it stops. The goals are never accomplished. It’s important to set goals, but the step that many may miss is the ability to develop the detailed plan needed to achieve the goal. Goals start with dreams. What are your dreams? Can you visualize them and verbalize them? This is important. In order to create the motivation to achieve your goal you must have a burning desire to reach it. If you have made goals in the past and have not achieved them one reason may be that you did not have a burning desire, a driving dream to achieve them. New Year’s resolutions fall into this category many times. When you...
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DO YOU SPEND TIME OR INVEST TIME?

DO YOU SPEND TIME OR INVEST TIME?
If you received an inheritance of 100,000 would you go out and throw a big party or would you perhaps invest it or use it to pay down debt. Unfortunately, most people do not approach time in the same manner. It is true that you will get more out of the time you have when you learn to get more out of your life. What do you want? What are your values? What do you believe and what are your priorities? The answer to these questions will determine how you spend your day. In order to get more out of you time, you need to know what you want to get out of it. There is a difference between spending time and investing time. According to Webster to spend is to use up, exhaust, or consume. In other words if you spend you have no return. On the other hand when...
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THREE STEPS NEEDED FOR YOUR WESTCHESTER SMALL BUSINESS TO EXCEL

THREE STEPS NEEDED FOR YOUR WESTCHESTER SMALL BUSINESS TO EXCEL
It is a fact that small business generates most of the jobs in this country. We need local small business to grow our economy. I had the opportunity today to address a group of small businesses in Westchester County New York. I’m certain you’ll agree that at best, today’s business environment can seem somewhat volatile. Many pressures have been added to small business by competition from larger national organizations such as big box stores.   While I don’t want to oversimplify I believe that small business must pay full attention to the three steps below if they wish to remain sustainable. Step 1 – Strategic thinking – Planning and Deciding Strategic thinking means working ON your business rather than IN your business. It includes planning and deciding where you want to take your business now and in the future whether it is in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or more....
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