September 18, 2019
I have been having some really interesting conversations with my counterpart leading the LMI organisation in Ireland…so good in fact that we decided to record them and join the podcast revolution!
It’s called So What About Leadership? and we’ve done two episode so far:
- Personal Productivity
- Personal Leadership
You can listen to both here:
Leave a Comment » | Character, communication, confidence, General, Leadership, Learning & Development, LMI, management, Motivation, Personal Leadership, Personal Productivity, Podcast | Permalink
Posted by nick howes
March 8, 2018
Fit rarely comes easy.
My right foot is slightly bigger than my left, hence finding shoes that are super comfortable for both feet can be a bit tricky. I’ve had to try on lots of pairs and discover particular brands that work for me.
Similarly, I didn’t instinctively know what kinds of work would be a good fit for me. I’ve had to try things out, take assessments and profiles (I’ve just about done them all!), consciously reflect on my experiences to identify when and where I’ve felt best about my work.
Here’s a few questions that you can ask yourself, or as a manager you can ask of your team members, to help discover their best fit:
- What parts of your work do you enjoy most?
- What areas of your work do you feel most enthusiastic about?
- What do you care most about achieving?
- What do you think you do best?
- What do you find most stressful?
- In what tasks do you procrastinate most?
There are plenty of others, but these are a good start.
Good fit is worth fighting for. It increases productivity, retention, motivation and morale. It reduces turnover and stress. It has a positive impact on mental and physical health.
Good fit is in everyone’s interests.
Leave a Comment » | engagement, General, job-fit, Learning & Development, management, Managing People, Motivation, Personal Leadership, Personal Productivity, psychometrics, recruitment | Tagged: assessments, job-fit, productivity, psychometrics, recruitment | Permalink
Posted by nick howes
October 13, 2017
“Nick is opinionated.”
This kind of feedback is never easy to take. The offending statement came in written form about 15 years ago as part of one of those management team exercises. Again, most of what was shared with all of us was extremely positive but can I remember any of it? Hardly. The difficult stuff? Never forgotten.
Most of us have the tendency to focus on the negative aspects of ourselves and that’s not good. Building confidence based on the positive feedback we receive is really important. Discovering our strengths and developing them is a central aspect to successfully making our unique contribution to the world.
So what about the tough stuff?
That “Nick is opinionated” comment has been more useful to me than I can ever have believed possible. As I reflected on it at the time, and many times since, I began to realise that I did tend to state my opinions pretty strongly. I came to realise that this worked OK in some situations where the other would counter just as strongly and we’d enjoy a lively discussion.
But for others, that was overwhelming; it seemed dominating, arrogant even. So I learned to temper. To speak but make sure I also listened and be persuaded by others where appropriate. I became familiar with a weakness (or a strength gone too far), and over time learned to improve how I communicate and how I work with others. Still learning… but the feedback has been so valuable.
At the time I was not grateful for it. Now I can’t even remember who it came from but I am so pleased it did come.
This is why feedback is a gift. Be open. Dwell on the positives. Ponder and learn and change when you receive feedback that’s not so comfortable but when you reflect on it, there’s a ring of truth to it.
More to come on this subject…
Leave a Comment » | Attitude, Change, confidence, General, Learning & Development, Motivation, performance, Personal Leadership | Tagged: Feedback | Permalink
Posted by nick howes
September 5, 2017
A very brief article today based on this question: “Is it possible to over-encourage people?”
Yes, you need to have the confidence to confront poor behaviour and manager under-performance through clear communication and constructive conversations. Let’s take that as ‘sorted’.
Without that accountability it’s certainly possible to create a culture that is falsely positive, where poor attitudes and slack work habits go unchallenged.
But, assuming that’s in place because you have well-trained managers (if you don’t, give me a call and let’s get them well-trained!), is it possible to over-encourage or is it the case that the more praise, encouragement and generally positive inputs to the work environment, the better?
What do you reckon? And what will you stop doing, start doing and continue doing as a result?
I’m genuinely really interested to hear your thoughts.
Leave a Comment » | Character, communication, confidence, empowerment, General, Leadership, Learning & Development, management, Managing People, performance, Team Dynamics, Training | Tagged: culture, encouragement, Leadership, management, performance management | Permalink
Posted by nick howes
June 16, 2017
This week’s Friday Five looks at your personal learning & development.
I work a lot with L&D departments – committed teams focused on providing the very best growth opportunities for staff across their business. In many ways though, it’s a thankless, hopeless task.
Individual attitudes to learning.
No matter how good the L&D programme and support structures, the single biggest factor in the success of any investment of this type will always be the attitude of those engaged in the process.
Positive, self-motivated people with great attitudes will learn and develop themselves regardless of what the organisation does or does not provide. Here are five things to consider in the context of your own personal growth:
1. Master growth list – write down everything you can think of where learning new skills or developing a character quality would be beneficial to you in your work (& life more generally). Keep this as a master list. Add to it whenever you can.
2. Create & maintain your own PDP – lots of organisations encourage a personal development plan. In my experience, it’s the exception rather than the rule if these are current, active and influencing someone’s behaviour. Regardless of the degree to which your company helps with this, take responsibility for your own development. Own your PDP! Take the most important two or three things from your master list and make those your current growth priorities. If this is done in collaboration with your manager or coach, so much the better.
3. Set a goal – turn those priority areas into goals. Very specifically, what are you going to do and how much of it and by when exactly? Make it visual. Put it somewhere you are continually reminded of it. Best way I know to do this is the LMI Goal Planning System (if you don’t have a great system for planning & tracking your goals, drop me a line and I’ll be glad to share it with you).
4. Take systemised action – I would say ‘take action’, but it’s such a common story that we learn something (we go on a course…read a book…do some online learning etc), go away and do something as a result, which is great, but then fail to build the infrastructure around that action so that it keeps on being done. For example, a manager learns about how to have an effective one-to-one with their team members, goes away and does nine brilliant one-to-ones in month 1….and it never happens again! Systemised action means booking those meetings into the calendar as recurring appointments for the next 12 months! Learnt something new on Excel? Set a reminder every day at 9.27am to review and practice that action for as long as it takes to never forget it!
5. Review & share – the very best way that any learning and development is cemented is when you review and share it with others. Simple stuff. Rarely done.
“How was that course / book / webinar?
“That’s good. See ya.”
“Could we grab a coffee and take 15 minutes to review what I learned on that course, what I’m planning to do differently as a result and how best I might be able to share that with the rest of the team?”
I hope that’s prompted some useful reflection about your own learning & development. Have a great end to the week and if you have any suggestions for topics in this #fridayfive series, I’d love to hear them.
Leave a Comment » | #fridayfive, Attitude, Change, Character, General, Goal Setting, goals, Learning & Development, Motivation, Personal Leadership | Tagged: L&D, Leadership, management, PDP, personal growth | Permalink
Posted by nick howes