Monthly Archives: December 2021

Mindset ~ How to end on a high


How to shift your mindset and end 2021 on a high

Our mindset can have a huge impact on what we do and what we achieve. And of course, impact those around us.

There’s no doubt this year has been another difficult one for many, and I’m incredibly grateful for your continued support. Maybe you’ve attended workshops with me during the year, perhaps we’ve shared views and ideas on LinkedIn or maybe you’ve simply been reading my blogs or watching my videos on YouTube. Whichever category you are in, thank you.

Whilst it’s easy to simply say good riddance to 2021 and put this year behind us, we still have 10 days left, and time is something so precious. So, do you want to fritter away those 10 precious days?

Or would you like to end this year, and start next year, on a high?

If you’ve said the latter, I’d like to set you a little challenge.

A 3×3 challenge.

If you’ve attending any of my workshops you may already be familiar with my 3 X 3 daily reviews to help shift your mindset. If so this is a variation on that theme.

3 things to achieve

Do you find you are more productive when you have a deadline? Such as the last day before a holiday (remember those?), when you plough through all the priory tasks you need to get finished before leaving work for a week or two.

Applying that principle, what 3 things would you like to achieve before the year closes? What would give you a sense of accomplishment if you got it done? Maybe it’s something  that’s been on your list for a while, or something you know will help get off to a good start next year. Or if you’ve ever completed my  Spinning Plates exercise there’s something outstanding from that.

What do you want to achieve and how will it make you feel once completed? The more vivid the image you have of what the end goal looks like and feels like, the easier it will be to achieve it.

The final push of the year can generate some extra energy, so you can celebrate the new year knowing you’ve done what you wanted to get done. The emotional high and satisfaction this gives you can be the launch pad for the next task, or to take you into 2022.

3 things worth celebrating

Reflecting on the year, what have you accomplished, learnt or is worthy of acknowledgement?

If you’ve spent more time with the family, if you’ve learnt a new skill, found a new interest, a new market opportunity, or maybe even a new career.

It’s easy to focus on all the downsides, but even shortcomings or failures can teach us something.

3 things to focus on in January

To start the new year with the right mindset, identify 3 things you’d like to achieve in January. These don’t have to be big audacious goals, but still need to get you closer to something that’s important to you and will get you excited.

If they are working towards a longer term, define the milestones you will reach by the end of January, so you can see a sense of progress.

The clearer the goal the more likely it will be achieved so make these goals as vivid as possible: what will you see, hear and feel when they are achieved. Keep these goals front of mind throughout January.

Share these goals with someone to give you some accountability.  However, be careful who you choose.  Avoid those who will discourage you in any way. Instead pick someone who will encourage you, support you, and show their belief in you to succeed, and will hold you to account.

Take Action to improve your mindset

If you only do one thing to finish the year with a positive mindset: Give yourself credit for at least one thing you’ve accomplished this year, and what that’s taught you.

Short goal setting video

Employee Recognition ~ It’s not the cost that counts

employee recognitionEmployee recognition gets noticed.

(…It’s fair to say a lack of employee recognition gets noticed even more! )

Don’t you just love it when you open up a gift, and it’s perfect for you?

It feels really good that somebody’s gone to the trouble of finding something that they knew you’d love.

You’re perhaps surprised, but delighted that they paid attention to something you happen to have mentioned in passing.

You’re touched that they’ve gone to so much trouble to find the precise thing you’ve always wanted.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could leave our team members or customers feeling that way about what we give them? For employees to feel recognised.

It’s not what gift you give or how much you spent on that gift, but what that gift can mean to the person you give it to.

So, how can we apply this principle in the context of employee recognition, so it leaves team members feeling valued?

As human beings we all like to be appreciated!

But there are many ways we can show that appreciation. It’s not about how lavish the gift, in fact it might not even be a tangible gift at all.

Ongoing, simple but sincere gestures – however small – that demonstrates your gratitude will certainly contribute to your team’s and your customers’ loyalty.

Here are a few ideas to show employee recognition,  which can also work well with  customers too, to show you value their loyalty:

  1. Help people celebrate: Something that seems insignificant to us might be a big deal for a team member or customer. Share in their excitement. What can you do to help them celebrate their special day or achievement?
  2. Make them smile: In the same way you might share a joke, compliment a friend on their new shirt, or point out something fun, it might just be something we say or small gesture that really makes someone’s day. Spot opportunities to bring a smile to someone’s face.
  3. I saw this and thought of you: Remembering an interest, a hobby or a project they are working on. And when you see something or meet someone related to it you make a note and send them over an article, buy a magazine or introduce them to someone who shares their passion. So long as it’s relevant, well timed and personal.
  4. Remember people’s like and dislikes: People feel touched when you remember their likes and dislikes: their favourite foods, favourite colour, or simply the way they take their coffee. Never under estimate the impact when you remember someone’s preferences especially when they aren’t expecting it.
  5. Spot opportunities to Give Little Unexpected Extras: Doing something spontaneous when you know the other person will appreciate it.
    For example, for a customer finding something they’ve mentioned even though it’s not something you normally stock; gift wrapping or packing something with a personal touch or greeting because you know it’s their birthday.
    For team members, letting them leave early because you know it’s their partner’s  birthday, their children’s sports day, or tomorrow they leave on a holiday of a lifetime.
  6. Creating Magic Moments: Identify the little finishing touches that you can give to leave people with that wow factor. Picking up on an earlier conversation you’ve had that enables you to give a customer a personalised memento of their visit.
    What is there that makes your business or offer unique, that others might enjoy taking home or share with others to create magic moments, not just for your customers or team members but their families and friends too?
  7. Generate ideas. Challenge your team to come forward with their own ideas – If they were a customer coming to your business what little touches would they love that would make it memorable or extra special for them?
    Ask them to imagine they had a magic wand and had all the time in the world, and a limitless budget… this can give you insights into what they might like too!

What can you give that can turn an average day into an amazing day for your team or customers?

Value, not price

A present should not be about the best or the most expensive thing. It’s not about the money, but about the thought that has gone into it. So that it means something to the person you give it to. This might be to delight, inspire, excite or simply make them feel special or valued.

This privilege shouldn’t be reserved for customers. If you make your team members feel special or valued they’ll do the same for your customers.

Here’s a short video on employee appreciation. It was recorded last year, pre covid, when things were a little different, but the sentiments are still relevant.

See also the Emotional Bank Account

Managing Performance

managing performance

It’s that time of year again when the acorns are falling, and the squirrels are stocking up for winter.

But, what’s the connection between acorns and managing performance?

Having several large oak trees in my garden I know only too well what can happen to acorns if you leave them on the ground. Either the squirrels bury them, or they get covered over by leaves, and before you know it you have a small forest of oak saplings.

And not too easy to pull up once they’ve got their roots down.

So, the connection with managing performance?

Dealing with performance is a bit like picking up acorns.

If you pick up on problems early enough they can’t “germinate”. But left to fester they become established and just like an oak tree sapling, they become so much harder to deal with.

I often find junior or inexperienced managers in particular tend to avoid dealing with poor performance. They’re fearful of the difficult conversation. But the longer they leave it the worse it gets.

Here are 10 principles you can share with them to give them support.

  1. Set expectations, so everyone in the team knows what’s expected of them and why
  2. Be consistent so there are no mixed messages
  3. Address any issues straight away
  4. Conduct regular 1:1’s with team members where you can review performance and any support that’s needed
  5. When feeding back on performance stick to facts, not your interpretation of the facts
  6. Recognise not all performance shortfalls are down to the individual – there may be other factors at play beyond their control
  7. Use the 3E’ structure
  8. Focus on the end result. Your goal is to resolve the issue and improve performance in future 
  9. Be mindful of your tone and language
  10. Recognise that failing to take any action about poor performance sends the message to everyone else that it’s OK

Of course, every business should have its own disciplinary process, and I am not suggesting by-passing that. But if you nip issues in the bud hopefully you won’t need to get as far as the disciplinary process.

Take Action on performance

If you only do one thing. Share this list with your junior managers and supervisors and give them the support they need to nip poor performance problems in the bud.

p.s.  If you need some more help with developing your junior managers let’s have a chat to see how I can help. 

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