Who do you talk to?

Written by Graham Yemm

Many of you reading this will be running businesses, or parts of, whether they are your own or not. This means that you have many things to deal with on a day to day basis plus trying to dorepparttar long-term thinking needed to lead and runrepparttar 142490 business. You probably find yourself being very busy, possibly working long hours and, if you are honest, being reactive most ofrepparttar 142491 time. When do you get (or make!) time to really think about your business orrepparttar 142492 way you are operating personally? (Working onrepparttar 142493 business rather than in it!) Amongrepparttar 142494 dilemmas you face are; making time to tune out and relax, time think aboutrepparttar 142495 business, and finding time talk to aboutrepparttar 142496 issues and frustrations.

When you are a leader in a business you face a number of challenges at different levels. Ask yourself how much focus you put on to these:

Strategic issues:

  • Assessingrepparttar 142497 market and what is happening?
  • Who are your main competition – and what are they doing?
  • Medium and long-range goals and aims – and planning?
  • What direction do you want to go in, why and how?
  • Implications?
  • Tactical issues

    • Day to day challenges
    • Financial aspects, especially cash flow
    • Monitoring and control of your business andrepparttar 142498 activity
    • Sales and service
    • Personal management style and effectiveness

    People issues

    • Staff – numbers, performance, motivation, development
    • Customers and suppliers
    • Colleagues and working relations
      • As we said earlier, many in your position are so busy dealing withrepparttar 142499 running ofrepparttar 142500 operation they rarely take time to think about these things in a more detached way. Does this apply to you? This is often compounded by a sense of isolation, brought about by their position too. (Is this familiar?) Who do you talk to about your own style of runningrepparttar 142501 business or handling your people? Who can you share concerns with, without feeling you are weakening your position?

        This inability to spend time, orrepparttar 142502 right amount of time, on these vital areas of your business carries risks! Also, what do you do about your own, personal challenges and concerns? Any sense of isolation and not being able to talk torepparttar 142503 appropriate people also has risks. Not many set out to fail in their business lives. Why do they? Often, becauserepparttar 142504 avoid dealing with these risks (possibly even denying them until it is too late.). Sometimes, there may be a combination of circumstances which mean that it cannot be stopped. However, often, disasters can be prevented withrepparttar 142505 right degree of warning orrepparttar 142506 right type of support. Many people running businesses, or organisations, are too close to them. They do not have time to work out what they are doing well and to arrange to do more of these things. When things may not be goingrepparttar 142507 right way, they do not consider things objectively. The pressures might build to stress and it seems even harder to share concerns with a third party. This can lead to a downward spiral towards who knows where!

        The risks torepparttar 142508 business can affect any aspect of it – andrepparttar 142509 people involved. Beyond that, there are also risks to other areas of your life. If things are going awry,repparttar 142510 other part to suffer may be your family or friends. If you are using them as your sounding board, or just carrying bad news or discussing concerns with them it may not help those relationships! (Nor does hiding these things from them either!)

        So what can you do if you feel you do want someone to talk to? You can use friends or family, but they do not necessarily providerepparttar 142511 encouragement for you to step away and look at things in an objective way. There are various options which you can consider. There is no one “right” approach. You need to consider which seems to berepparttar 142512 most suitable for you atrepparttar 142513 time, givenrepparttar 142514 circumstances.

        Advisors: This might be your accountant, someone from your bank or a person you know with a specific “technical” competence who you can turn to. Think about them as someone you can present your situation to and ask for their ideas, or suggestions, about what you could, or should, do. They can be very useful when you needrepparttar 142515 particular expertise.

        Network: Depending on how you operate, you will probably have some sort of network of contacts, whether part of a formal set-up or not. Think about who you know, who has what qualities or skills you can respect or admire and then approach them. (If you are in an organisation, consider colleagues or bosses.) If you have a few friends or acquaintances who are also running businesses, or are people you respect in their field, you may want to consider initiating a support network for you all. (Or create a “mastermind” group.) Arrange to meet at a regular time withrepparttar 142516 aim of having a short, focused meeting to address specific issues and goals – using your colleagues as a sounding board, and for challenge and support. Do not slide out to a purely social gathering, that can come later!! Be disciplined inrepparttar 142517 way you work and you will all benefit.

Getting the most from appraisals - from both sides

Written by Graham Yemm

Does your organisation have one of those annual ‘occasions’ that few look forward to:repparttar annual appraisal or performance review? How do you look forward to it? I wonder how people talk about it before and after?

Are appraisals worth doing? If done properly – yes. If done poorly – no!!!

Why have appraisals? When carried out properly they can achieve a number of benefits for all parties. The organisation,repparttar 142489 manager andrepparttar 142490 appraisee can:

  • establish current levels of performance, andrepparttar 142491 organisation benchmark across departments or functions,
  • identify ways of improving performance, individually and collectively,
  • set clear goals forrepparttar 142492 future,
  • assess potential and desire for development,
  • establishrepparttar 142493 appropriate means of motivation,
  • improve communication throughout.
Some ofrepparttar 142494 typical problems that happen to lead to poor appraisals are: - It is an annual process - Nothing has happened withrepparttar 142495 outcome ofrepparttar 142496 last one - There is no on-going feedback or review of progress - Things can change in between, whether it isrepparttar 142497 manager orrepparttar 142498 job! - The process is not taken seriously fromrepparttar 142499 top - The organisational culture viewsrepparttar 142500 whole process as a chore to be endured - Insufficient preparation time or effort - The ‘recency’ effect where onlyrepparttar 142501 previous 6-8 weeks are reviewed - Too much focus onrepparttar 142502 negatives or problems ofrepparttar 142503 year - It is too subjective and too much is based on opinion - It is too time consuming and interferes with day-to-day work - Appraisals are just part ofrepparttar 142504 salary negotiation

When you look at what can be achieved and comparerepparttar 142505 benefits withrepparttar 142506 reasons why they often fail to deliver, you can see that a lot of this is due torepparttar 142507 attitude ofrepparttar 142508 organisation andrepparttar 142509 line managers, starting fromrepparttar 142510 top!

Think about what can happen when appraisals are handled in a constructive manner. They allowrepparttar 142511 organisation and individuals to:

  • learn fromrepparttar 142512 past to improverepparttar 142513 future
  • build on successes and strengths forrepparttar 142514 future
  • recognise individuals’ strengths and abilities
  • identify areas to develop skills and knowledge
  • value individual contribution
  • improve working relationships through clear communication
This does not mean that managers should “duck” difficult issues or things they are not happy with. However, there should be no surprises at an appraisal. Feedback on performance should be given atrepparttar 142515 time – not stored up forrepparttar 142516 appraisal!!! As a manager, if you have concerns, deal with them. Most people want to be given feedback on their performance regularly (and that does not mean annually!!) – even if it is to be told they have to improve.

One challenge in many organisations is to userepparttar 142517 current system effectively. Too many people get caught up in worrying aboutrepparttar 142518 paperwork – whether designing a new set or usingrepparttar 142519 existing. I recall working with one client in developing a good, thorough, process only to be questioned by some directors from their Scandinavian partner about why we were going to so much trouble. They held up a blank sheet of paper and explained that was their idea of all they needed for a productive appraisal!!! They are right. The reality is that a productive appraisal owes more torepparttar 142520 quality ofrepparttar 142521 communication betweenrepparttar 142522 people involved than torepparttar 142523 paperwork! Should appraisals involve salary reviews? This is a quandary with no straightforward answer. When they do, there is a risk thatrepparttar 142524 amount ofrepparttar 142525 rise becomesrepparttar 142526 absolute focus ofrepparttar 142527 discussion and can even be a negotiation. If they don’t, how objective isrepparttar 142528 salary award when it is given? My own view is thatrepparttar 142529 salary review and appraisal can be linked, yet held very separately. There is no reason for not holdingrepparttar 142530 appraisal, setting some goals and even specifying some behavioural change and then using this as a part ofrepparttar 142531 salary discussion. Although there is a risk in havingrepparttar 142532 appraisal and salary combined – it can work, regardless ofrepparttar 142533 gap. After all, shouldn’t salary and raises reflect performance rather than just opinion? If appraisals are carried out well and constructively there should be a fit betweenrepparttar 142534 two.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use