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Archive for November, 2018


Persistence Pays in Positive Productivity

“Persistence: a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.”   Oxford Dictionaries

If you have ever tried to break a habit, you know it takes work. Success depends on persistence—your commitment to making the new habit stick. Being positively productive requires you to focus on your highest priority tasks. It can be tempting to tackle other work first since the most important activities often are demanding and challenging. It’s easier to do the other stuff first. However, that’s the path to frustration and stress. You must accomplish your performance goals to be successful, and the more you focus on less important tasks, the less successful you will be.

This is where persistence comes in. It’s the ability to focus and stay focused on a task until completion, or you take it as far as you possibly can at that time. So, how do you cultivate persistence?

  • Be realistic about how much time your important tasks will take. Generally, a task will take 25% longer than you think it will.
  • Schedule time on your calendar to focus solely on the important work.
  • Keep your goals in mind and tie tasks to their successful completion.
  • Minimize distractions and interruptions. Be firm about how you use your time. See my blog post Take Charge of Interruptions.
  • Reward yourself when you complete a major task.

Persistence can help you be more positively productive, achieve your performance goals, and accelerate your career. See my blog post Your Habits Can Make or Break Your Productivity.

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”  Napoleon Hill


Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick post to tell you how much I appreciate your business and loyal blog following. May you, your family, and your employees have a safe, wonderful holiday. Thank you!


Email Etiquette

Have you ever hit “send’ for an email and immediately regretted it? Most of us have! Email is such a fast medium, we often act without thinking. Here are five email etiquette tips to ensure your emails are correct and do what you need them to do.

  1. After you compose or respond to an email, wait before sending. Just close the email and save it as a draft. When you have 10 draft emails, review them one last time before sending.
  2. Always use a greeting. If you know the person, just say, “Hi” and their first name. “Hi, Madison.” If you don’t know them or if you want a formal tone, use their title and last name: “Dear Miss Keller” or their full name if you don’t know the gender: “Dear Madison Keller.”
  3. Proofread! It’s easy to assume your email is free of errors, but you would be surprised how often they slip through. Take a few seconds to read the email slowly, looking for and correcting errors.
  4. Use a signature that includes your name, title, and contact information. If your manager or department doesn’t want you to use your name, at least include contact information for questions or follow-up.
  5. Never write in ALL CAPS since it is considered rude and is a major faux pasin email etiquette.

Need more help with email? Check out my program Writing and Managing Email for more information.


Coaching for Results

Coaching for performance improvement works. You can see it on the playing field, in the dojo, and in the classroom, so why not use a coaching model in the workplace? Rather than focusing on what the employee is doing incorrectly, coaching focuses on behaviors that the employee can take to improve. Here are some tips to make coaching work for your team.

  • Make it a mutual process. Encourage the employee to share ideas about how they can improve, letting them choose the method that works for their learning style. For example, some employees like to watch someone else do the task and then do it themselves while they are being observed. Others prefer to read materials about the task.
  • Include opportunities for growth. Identify areas where the employee is doing okay, but they could achieve more. Tie improvement to career growth and advancement and build in rewards for achievement above and beyond the job requirements.
  • Allow for creativity and innovation. Let employees come up with new solutions to problems and challenges. Younger employees are eager to find ways of using technology on the job to make processes faster and easier. Be open to their suggestions and show a willingness to act on them where feasible.

Coaching employees for performance improvement empowers your team and gives them a say in how work is done. It shows that you trust them, value what they have to offer, and are willing to develop their skills for career growth. For more information, see my blog post Coaching Employees to Performance Excellence.