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.

HOW CAN I KEEP MY BEST EMPLOYEES FROM LEAVING?

HOW CAN I KEEP MY BEST EMPLOYEES FROM LEAVING?
A business owner recently said, “I think I have a great opportunity and I pay well but I still have people leaving my company. How can I stop them from leaving? The answer to this question is important. Get it wrong and you will continue to tread water always trying to catch up. Get it right and you have one very important component for taking your business to the next level. If you manage a team of people, or are charged with human resources in your organization you know how important it is to retain your best people. So why do so many employee leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization? Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would...
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WOULD YOU BENEFIT FROM HAVING A COACH?

WOULD YOU BENEFIT FROM HAVING A COACH?
Have you wondered whether you would benefit by having a coach? Here is some information on what coaching is and what it is not. Is it right for you? Coaching relationships vary considerably. There are life coaches, sports coaches, health coaches, business coaches, and so forth. Here is some information on the nature of coaching, its benefits, and how it varies from other type of consulting. Sometimes people confuse coaches with traditional consultants. They might ask a coach for advice. However, a coach’s role is not to provide answers or solutions. Instead a coach helps the client develop their own potential. If you have ever been motivated to act or energized by way of conversations you have experienced the effects of coach. Here is an example. If a child asks you how to spell a word you could provide the child with the correct spelling. That would be the consultant approach....
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HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS

HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Many business owners know that they should be using social media for their business. However, many are bewildered by all the choices. To make matters worse there are many different social media experts telling them what they should do and what they should say without understanding the business. In my opinion this approach is counterintuitive. Social media is simply a new form of advertising and communication that requires a plan and strategy to be effective. To help connect business reality with the new media I recently teamed up with a social media strategist. Here is some of what we discuss. It is important to have a clear message? How do you differentiate yourself from others? What is your unique value proposition? These questions will take some thoughtful analysis. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the best thing you do? Who is you target market? How to people learn about and...
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HOW DO I TAKE MY BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

HOW DO I TAKE MY BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Most businesses say yes but do not know what that means. First of all you need to know where your business is now. You have to have a starting point. Then you can see where you want to go. Businesses like people go through growth stages and many drop off along the way.  Some businesses may survive due to external dynamics and timing but they will become stagnant and the owner will feel like a hamster on a wheel. There is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. Let’s take an example. There are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they understand how to create a great meal that, therefore, they would be a natural to open a restaurant. They open the business and make sales. However, the owner is usually consumed with running the business and catering to...
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RESOLVE TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

RESOLVE TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
Have you made any News Year’s Resolutions yet? Many people will be making these resolutions as they toast the New Year on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions fade very quickly because the will or resolve in the resolution is not there. After the fizz from the New Year’s Eve will the commitment remain? In many cases, the answer is no. My favorite example is at my Gym. Next week I will need to get there early to account for the increased number of people who have just signed up. But like every year, by the end of February there will be plenty of room. Why do people fail to keep New Year’s resolutions?  Perhaps they really did not want to do what they had resolved to do. The first step toward making that resolution is to really know what you want to do in the first place. Do...
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ELIMINATE BAD HABITS THAT ARE OBSTACLES TO YOUR SUCCESS

ELIMINATE BAD HABITS THAT ARE OBSTACLES TO YOUR SUCCESS
Habits and Behaviors are the biggest obstacles to success in business. In my career in the corporate world as well as in my own business I have seen great time and effort on skills and knowledge training. Unfortunately most employee terminations and business failures occur because of habits and behaviors. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for your job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” If you are doing things that are harmful to your business why do you keep doing them? In most cases we are in a comfort zone and we don’t want to change because making any change will be uncomfortable. However, when we...
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WHAT IS THE KEY TO GREAT LEADERSHIP?

WHAT IS THE KEY TO GREAT LEADERSHIP?
Do you know the key to great leadership? When I do an introductory session on leadership I ask the group of participants to list the characteristics that they believe make a great leader. They are next asked to give some examples of great leaders and leaders that they admire.  You probably would not be surprised to learn that there is a considerable difference in the lists. Some are even opposites of each other. One person may say that a great leader is steady and predictable while another person may say that a leader is unpredictable and thinks outside of the box. One may say tough minded while another may say soft spoken. As a further example to this point I received a number of challenges from readers to my recent blog 7 WAYS TO IDENTIFY A BULLY FROM A LEADER. When people gave examples of great leaders and those they admire...
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QUESTION: SHOULD I USE ASSESSMENT TESTS IN SELECTION AND PLACEMENT OF EMPLOYEES?

QUESTION: SHOULD I USE ASSESSMENT TESTS IN SELECTION AND PLACEMENT OF EMPLOYEES?
Using assessment tests can help you identify the job candidates that are a best fit and would have greater probability of performing well in your company.   I am sure that you would agree that the proper screening and selection of candidates is critical to the success of your company. This success is due to the high performance of the right people in the right jobs. You gather all of the critical information in your interview.  The proper use of assessment tests can validate information that you have gathered from interviewing and reference checking. Many businesses make rushed hiring decisions. Unfortunately many poor choices are made based solely on gut feeling. Many candidates can make a very positive presentation and may throw off the judgment of an inexperienced interviewer. Hiring the wrong person can be very expensive. When you consider the cost of recruiting, interviewing, employee salary and benefits, lost productivity, and...
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7 WAYS TO IDENTIFY A BULLY FROM A LEADER

7 WAYS TO IDENTIFY A BULLY FROM A LEADER
A new book suggests that a very successful CEO, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, used bullying tactics. While that may be in dispute how many bosses take management by objectives to this level? If I had a room of people and I asked the question, "what constitutes an effective leader" I might get as many answers as people in the room. There are many traits that make a successful leader. I believe that effective leaders and managers do get results working with other people. But there is a difference between a boss and leader. Someone can appoint himself boss because he signs the paycheck or a manager is the boss because he was given that title from above. But just because someone is given a title does not guarantee that he can manage effectively. To be truly effective a manager or leader must make appropriate use of their granted authority and earned...
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DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO IT?

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO IT?
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 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 had 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 that was a...
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FOUR STEPS TO GETTING MORE SALES

FOUR STEPS TO GETTING MORE SALES
Many salespeople start the sales process by asking a closing question. For example, did you ever look at a car in a showroom and have the salesperson approach you with the question, “What would it take to have you drive home in this new car today?” An experienced salesperson will tell you that you shouldn’t ask a closing question until you are sure that the answer will be “Yes!” Let’s begin with a typical sales call. You start by building some rapport and trust with your prospect. This might include a warm welcome, some opening questions about them or their business, good eye contact, and other such techniques to establish a productive relationship at the beginning of a sales engagement. Once you have established some trust, follow this four step process which will help uncover their wants and needs so that you can offer the solution. 1.    Start by asking...
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WHAT'S KEEPING YOU FROM SUCCEEDING?

WHAT'S KEEPING YOU FROM SUCCEEDING?
Sometimes getting started is the hardest thing. You need to take that first step before you can run. A recent conversation that I have had with a person starting a business revealed how true that is. This new business owner joined the local chamber of commerce. About a month later I asked how it was going. She said that she was still not ready to come to events because she was confused about explaining the complexities of her business. Was she unsure or was something else holding her back? It turns out that she is holding back until she gets it perfect. One of my coaches has coined this habit as “Getting ready to go to work”. For example, “I still don’t have my brochures, business cards, website, or my 2 sharpened number 2 pencils”—you get the idea! They say that 80% of people who want to start a business of...
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SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE LEADERS

SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE LEADERS
What are the habits of an effective leader and why are they important?   Proper business leadership is crucial to the success of any business of any size. No company can be more successful than the effectiveness of its leaders. If the head of a company lacks positive leadership qualities, he or she will be unsuccessful at motivating and leading the staff. This will not allow the entire business to impress and lure new business to their company. That said what are those traits and habits of successful leaders. Well, that depends. Many of the traits that have been attributed to leaders are different. What works well with one leader may not work will with another. Many of the leadership traits can be developed. One successful trait is the ability to lead by focusing on results. We call that Fail Safe Leadership discussed in one my previous blogs. However, just as there...
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HOW TO AVOID A MAJOR HIRING AND TRAINING MISTAKE

HOW TO AVOID A MAJOR HIRING AND TRAINING MISTAKE
Companies make a major mistake in hiring and training because they don’t understand critical factors of employee performance. Many companies spend time and effort on identifying the correct skill sets when hiring. Then, after a candidate is finally hired the company will invest in training the new employee in the skills, processes, and procedures for doing the job. In addition, the new employee will look to increase his or her skills and understanding of the business. The employee attends training on the latest systems or learns the latest sales techniques. The employee gets training on the features and benefits of the products and services. Most of the time is spent on learning the nuts and bolts. Many businesses see this as the most important path to success. Fast forward. The employee leaves the company. The hiring manager searches for candidates that have the same skill sets as the person who left...
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AS A LEADER DO YOU PRACTICE FAIL SAFE LEADERSHIP?

AS A LEADER DO YOU PRACTICE FAIL SAFE LEADERSHIP?
One of the fundamental requirements for organizational success is that all people in the organization are on the same page. The CEO or leader of the organization must demonstrate the ability to get results. But what results? What does success look like to the organization? That needs to be defined in the strategic plan under corporate vision and the corporate values. When the organization knows these things it can find people with shared values and grow the people and processes to ensure those results! Here is a results based model of leadership proven to produce success.   It begins with setting goals through your organization's strategic plan that are focused on your vision. In this process you define the desired results from your team members. It continues by aligning the people and the processes to ensure its realization. The goal is to have all of your operations linked to the plan....
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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE WILL IMPROVE YOUR ROI

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE WILL IMPROVE YOUR ROI
Would you agree that having an engaged and motivated workforce is good for your business? If you answered yes I would ask you what you are doing to engage your staff and get more success for everyone. Let’s face it; people do business with people that they trust. In addition, employees want to work for people that they trust. Engaged employees will create more success and lead to more loyal customers. Diversity and Inclusion is really all about engaging employees and customers for more success. In a previous blog BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP BY MANAGING DIFFERENCES I addressed generational differences which is one subset of diversity and inclusion. Why do you and your company want to embrace diversity? Most would answer that would do it because it is right. But here is an ROI. You will get more business and more customers. Gaining loyal customers and engaged employees is built on...
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UNCOVERING PROBLEMS AND OFFERING SOLUTIONS IS THE KEY TO SALES

UNCOVERING PROBLEMS AND OFFERING SOLUTIONS IS THE KEY TO SALES
There is a paradigm shift in sales. And why is this happening? According to Dan Pink in his book “To Sell is Human” it is because we have gone a world of Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) to one of Caveat Venditor (seller beware). Information is readily available on the Internet and sellers no longer have the upper hand. The old term in sales, ABC (Always Be Closing) has been replaced by consultative selling. Now it is important to help identify needs and then assist the buyer in finding solutions. In the past salespeople were taught to concentrate on making the sale and closing the sale. However, today’s buyers are no longer willing to be sold. Linda Martin, founder of Resource Associates Corporation said, “People do not like to be sold but they sure like to buy”. Doesn’t it make sense then to assist the client in the buying decision rather than...
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UNCOVER TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT

UNCOVER TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT
Would you like to learn the truth about your business? Before you answer that question I have another. Can you handle the truth? Sometimes when an organization asks for help and receives feedback it could be surprised to learn some inconvenient truths. If you want to learn how to improve your organization you will want to have an organizational assessment of your business. There are very effective assessment instruments available to generate a fact based picture of organizational performance – I utilize the D.I.AL.O.G. assessment instrument for my clients. However, it is important to have a mutual understanding of the process first. So before I begin the process I want to make sure that it will have a meaningful impact. I will ask the following questions: Will you be open to sharing the results with your organization? And if so, as part of the process I will offer to facilitate the...
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RESISTING CHANGE CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR BUSINESS

RESISTING CHANGE CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR BUSINESS
If you ask someone how easy it is to change you might get several different answers. For the stalwarts out there you will hear loud and clear, “I don’t like change.” Others will tell you that change is good and that they like change but in many causes they might subtlety resist change in themselves while advocating it in others. I have a question for you. Has anything is your business changed in the last several years? I would be surprised if you answered no. Many industries, professions, and jobs have been literally turned upside down. Those who have survived did so because they had learned to do things differently. As you have heard, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If that is the case, why do people resist change? Why do people continue to do the same things and...
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TEN KEYS TO SELLING YOURSELF AND INFLUENCING OTHERS

TEN KEYS TO SELLING YOURSELF AND INFLUENCING OTHERS
Next time you watch a debate on TV take note of the points and counterpoints made. It is usually a battle of ideas with one party trying to step on and knock out the other. In many companies the same thing happens when one executive is trying to make his case a little stronger than the other. Unfortunately, too many people use the same technique in trying to persuade someone or to make a sale. Here is a recent encounter I had with a sales consultant. I was questioning the comparable features offered by two different iPhone telecommunications carriers.  During the conversation I pointed out that one carrier had an additional benefit.  The additional benefit enabled the user to check an email or check on the Internet while using the phone. The consultant shot back, “you’re not going to surf the internet while you are driving.”  What? How did he make...
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