On KPIs and giving actionable feedback

On KPIs and giving actionable feedback

I was working with an intern recently and was struck by how much her work improved over a week. The reason: I gave her useful feedback that was clear and implementable. Her performance and commitment weren't issues - my poor feedback was the issue. Like everything else, it's simple when you know how!

We can't give employees results to aim for if they're not clear on how to actually achieve those results. Saying 'you need to improve' or 'get more sales' doesn't help anyone because it's not actionable.

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Wait for the pushback

Wait for the pushback

Before I explain an interesting exercise, I have to say that it only makes sense if you actually do it as you're reading this. Otherwise, you know the outcome but not your outcome. Anyway, I'll leave it up to you...

Here's the exercise: Put your hands together in front of your body in a prayer position as seen below. Then start to push with your right hand for 3 seconds. What happens?

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Execution trumps strategy

Execution trumps strategy

Strategic visions, strategic plans and strategic goals all look and sound great, but what actually comes of them? According to research carried out by the authors of the book '4 Disciplines of Execution' only 15% of employees actually understood the strategic goals of the company. In other words, only 15% of employees knew the meaning of their work. Naturally, this begs the question: 'how could they expect to achieve the goal or feel good about it if they don't know what it is?'.

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The new currency: Concentration

The new currency: Concentration

If 'time is money', then it must at least be a certain type of time - e.g. time spent working to create value. But if it takes one person two hours to complete a valuable task, and another person only one hour, then the second person is obviously more valuable (all other things being equal). The reality is that these days all other things are often equal: we have access to the same technologies, resources and all the same information online.

'There might be a difference in skill sets' I hear your say

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Favourite quotes about money

Favourite quotes about money

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers

Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master. – Alexander Dumas

Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty. – Leo Rosten

It's nonsense to say money doesn't buy happiness, but people exaggerate the extent to which more money can buy more happiness. - Daniel Kahneman

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8 Traits of good managers

8 Traits of good managers

Project Oxygen, a research study undertaken by the tech giant Google, collected over 10,000 pieces of data about managers — across more than 100 variables, from performance reviews to feedback surveys. They found that a good manager has 8 specific traits:

  1. A good coach
  2. Empowers and does not micromanage
  3. Expresses interest and concern in subordinates’ success and well-being
  4. Results oriented
  5. Listens and shares information
  6. Helps with career development
  7. Has a clear vision and strategy
  8. Has key technical skills
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Visualise one fine day in 10 years time

Visualise one fine day in 10 years time

Golfers, footballers and tennis players, amongst other professional sports stars have often talked about the benefits of visualisation. We’ve all heard the success stories, but how can visualisation really make a difference? Shouldn’t we just focus on learning, practising and working hard? These were some of the questions I had been pondering for years, until recently...

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My 20 most asked questions and one line answers

My 20 most asked questions and one line answers

I’m at a crossroads in my career, what should I do?

Identify the problem with your current role, and seek to solve that first.

I have a lot of self-doubt in my abilities. How to I improve my confidence?

Make sure to do some Victory Stacking. Also, check out these tips that you can implement for free. 

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The High Achiever's Achilles Heel

The High Achiever's Achilles Heel

You love goal-setting and are exhilarated by goal-achievement. You’ve probably read all the articles, blogs and books on how to work better, live better, feel better and think better. You’re not always sure what you want, except for two things: more growth and more success. Do you also feel little pleasure in winning but great pain in losing? Congratulations, you are a high achiever...

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Fight distraction and embrace deep work

Fight distraction and embrace deep work

Videos, news articles, social media, emails and phones are all common distractions throughout our workday. How many of them are work related compared to just communicating about work? I'm writing about this not because I can do this perfectly myself, but because it’s something I’m focusing on improving. Deep Work, a book by Cal Newport...

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15 Tips to Improve Communication in the Workplace

15 Tips to Improve Communication in the Workplace

Effective communication in the workplace is one of the most searched terms in Google in terms of job-related stress. We all have different ways of interacting with others, different perceptions of what is good communication and varying opinions of what is or is not appropriate in the office. With all those factors and more, there’s bound to be constant challenges. Often there are imperfect solutions or outcomes to interpersonal problems, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t seek to improve as much as possible. Here is a list of tips which will hopefully help with these issues: 

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Tone of voice matters and here's the proof

Tone of voice matters and here's the proof

'It’s the way you said it!' We’ve all heard that, right? We understood it to mean that the content of what we said doesn’t matter, the problem was our tone. I read about this exact issue from two different sources and thought it would be interesting to put them side by side...

In his book ‘Blink’, Malcolm Gladwell tells a story about

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Google's highly unlikely success story

Google's highly unlikely success story

“Do you know what Google did?”.

You’ve heard it said before as if it’s describing some game-changing business strategy that nobody else thought of at the time. The reality was much different with a myriad of complicated factors involved, many of which were totally unpredictable. Apple is the other classic story that is presented as inevitably successful, after the fact of course. In reality, many occurrences were entirely dependent on fate, not faith - as Apple commentators would have you believe. The problem with the real success stories is that they are complicated to understand, not quite as inspiring, and seemingly impossible to reproduce.

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Manageable ways for accountants to change jobs and maintain their salaries

Manageable ways for accountants to change jobs and maintain their salaries

Accountancy is an alluring profession: solid career progression, stable jobs and almost guaranteed employment. But what if you decide you need a change but don’t want to sacrifice your salary level? It’s a fear that many have even though it’s unfounded most of the time. Changing jobs may lead to a reduction in salary but not necessarily. If you have strong qualifications and good experience, why would it? Let me explain...

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Overcoming office politics

Overcoming office politics

People engage in office politics because they think it will lead to better career prospects for them in the future. They align themselves to influencers, which by default means they will also be distancing themselves from others in the organisation. But who is actually influential? Sometimes we know, but sometimes we don’t. Lots of companies will have hidden influencers that employees aren’t aware of. This could be the receptionist or the security staff,  the canteen manager or the IT administrator. 

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