Finding Balance

balance
Balance is Key with today’s Leadership Development Tip!

Don’t forget to take time to enjoy your life outside of work and set aside some free time to do what you most enjoy. Your desire to succeed and overcome challenges at work should not compromise other aspects of your life. Balance is key – create a work environment for your staff that combines just the right amount of healthy competition with cooperation and teamwork.

Quote of the Week

“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls– family, health, friends, integrity– are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” ― Gary Keller, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

QUICK READ OF THE WEEK

Manage Your Work, Manage Your Life – Harvard Business Review

BOOK OF THE WEEK

Work Life Balance: How To Achieve Maximum Results And Maintain A Stress Free Life – Arthur Joyce

From the Book: This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to achieve at work and lead a more mindful life. On one hand, you will learn how to become more productive, reach your goals easier and achieve a simpler workday. On the other hand, you will also find out more about how you can cultivate personal relationships, disconnect from your job and enjoy some quality time by yourself to unwind and relax from time to time. If you are interested in personal development and you are looking for resources to help you manage both your professional and personal life, this is surely the right book to get you started.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

How To Make Work-Life Balance Work – Nigel Marsh

Until Next Time…SigmaLeader.com

360 Degree Feedback Best Practices – Part 3

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In Part 2 of this series, we discuss how to make 360 Feedback ‘fit’ into your organization.  In today’s installment, we will discuss how to ensure your process is Psychometrically Sound.

Three important steps include:

1. Make Sure Your 360 Instrument is Reliable & Valid

A good assessment should be reliable and valid. It must measure what it proposes to measure, consistently and accurately. The 360 degree feedback system only works effectively if it measures the relevant job performance, knowledge, skills, abilities and personality characteristics necessary for high levels of job performance. Thus, the first step is to identify, define, and incorporate these job performance behaviors, knowledge, and skills into the appraisal system.

2. Increase Rater Familiarity

Select raters who are well acquainted with the employee. Rater familiarity is linked to accuracy and fairness in performance ratings. To evaluate rater familiarity, some 360 degree feedback systems include a rating for familiarity and provide the option of indicating “inadequate opportunity to observe” for performance characteristics. To increase reliability and decrease the impact of individual biases a large sample of raters should be selected. Reliability continues to increase when up to twenty raters are included, but adequate reliability can be obtained using 6 or more raters.

3. Promote Rater Accuracy

Both ‘self’ and ‘other’ appraisal accuracy should be promoted and rewarded. The nature of the 360 degree feedback system should reduce the problem of rater accuracy, as the use of multiple raters will average out individual biases. Furthermore, there is an apparent tradeoff when using either ‘self’ or ‘other’ ratings. Other-ratings are perceived to be more accurate, however, they may also be perceived by the employee to be less fair. The inverse is true for self-ratings. Clearly, both rating methods have advantages and disadvantages; thus, a performance appraisal system that combines both ‘self’ and ‘other’ ratings will be the most beneficial.

Check back for our final installment where we discuss How to Use 360 with Care.

Until Next Time…

Confidence and #WomenOnTop

broken glass

 

For those of you who follow my Twitter account at @SigmaLeader, you will frequently see posts related to successful women (recently I have started tagging them with #womenontop). Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, activist, Malala Yousafzai, and most recently (10 minutes ago) IMF head Christine Lagarde are just a few of the many women doing some pretty phenomenal things.

The good news is that stories of successful women in leadership positions are not difficult to find. The bad news is that it is a even a story of interest that Facebook’s COO and the head of the IMF is a woman.  And, why is it still a big deal?

According to Catalyst.org:

  • Just 14.6 percent of Fortune 500 Executive Officer positions are held by women.
  • Board seats held by women at the same companies are only slightly better at 16.9 percent.
  • In 2012, Canadian women comprised 35.4% of all management positions and 22.9% of all senior management positions.
  • In 2012, American Women comprised 51.5% of management, professional and related positions.

In short, while the glass ceiling may be on the rise, it does seem to have stopped right before the executive floor.

Authors of The Confidence Code argue that one reason for this is “that women remain less confident than men, and it holds them back.”  Further,

A review of personnel records found that women working at HP applied for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 percent of the qualifications listed for the job. Men were happy to apply when they thought they could meet 60 percent of the job requirements. At HP, and in study after study, the data confirm what we instinctively know. Underqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. Women feel confident only when they are perfect. Or practically perfect.

No doubt that this is just one reason for the numbers above.  But, it is a very powerful reason.

I wish #womenontop stories were so commonplace that they stopped being interesting from a gender perspective.  However, regardless of your gender, you “can’t be what you can’t see” and it is important to continue to highlight successful women so that our daughters grow up confident that they can accomplish anything.

So, share your stories of #womanontop and let’s smash that glass ceiling.

Until next time…

SigmaLeader.com 

 

360 Degree Feedback Best Practices

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Yesterday, we talked about the 3 Key steps for an effective 360 Degree Feedback process:

  1. Make it fit into the organization
  2. Make it psychometrically sound
  3. Use with care

Today, we will focus on making a 360 Degree Feedback Process fit into your organization.

Make it Fit

Try to make the 360 feedback fit into the culture of the organization. In doing so it will appear less threatening and more fair.  We do this by increasing employee participation, training feedback providers, and communicating how the information will be used.

Increase Employee Participation

To increase the perception of justice, employees should be encouraged to be active participants in the evaluation. A multiple source feedback works best in an environment that is team-oriented and cooperative. Giving individuals the opportunity to voice their opinions about the system’s construction, process, and results will increase employee buy-in, acceptance, and will yield useful suggestions.

Train Feedback Providers

It is also important to train the feedback providers to be sensitive, respectful and polite. Treating employees in a friendly and respectful manner, and offering constructive advice will make them more open to accepting the performance appraisal system.

Communication is Key

People tend to be suspicious of things they do not understand. Thus, it is important to communicate to the employees the precise way in which ratings are to be combined, as well as the purpose, benefits and procedures of the 360 degree feedback system. It is particularly important to communicate the intended uses of the information.

Check back as we discuss making sure your 360 Degree Feedback Process is psychometrically sound.

360 Feedback Best Practices

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The design and implementation of the 360 degree feedback system requires thoughtful planning. Are the employees accepting the system? Are the goals, procedures and benefits of the system clearly defined? Is the rating instrument relevant, valid and reliable? The following recommendations were derived from extensive research on how to ensure the success of the 360 degree feedback system.

Critical Factors for Success

In order for the 360 degree feedback system to be successful, there must be employee acceptance of the system. Both perceived accuracy and justice are considered critical factors for system acceptance. If the system is unjust or has errors, it will be dismissed for obvious reasons. Fortunately, reputable providers of 360 degree feedback have often delivered hundreds of thousands of ratings, and are experienced in maximizing the likelihood of system acceptance.

There are three key steps to using the 360 degree feedback system successfully:

  1. Make it fit into the organization
  2. Make it psychometrically sound
  3. Use with care

Check back tomorrow as we detail how to make 360 feedback fit into your organization.

The Velvet Rope Approach to Creating a Learning Culture

rope barrier with a vip sign

I responded to a LinkedIn discussion today that asked:

“Any suggestions on how to shift mindsets from I don’t have time for learning to I don’t have time not to learn?”

My response was as follows:

All good points above. I agree that there is more we can do on the delivering and communicating value side. However, when possible, I also think that we can be more selective about who gets the learning opportunities and invest the time and energy into those individuals.

For those opportunities that are not mandatory – high potential programs, leadership development, etc. – consider a velvet rope approach. Having an entry requirement (we use completion of an individual development plan) is a great way to qualify an individuals engagement and position the opportunity as a premium one.

Having motivated people in the session will ensure they will make the time, undoubtedly enhance the RIO of the learning, and create champions for learning throughout the org.

So, in a nutshell, forget about shifting mindsets and get better at identifying those that share your mindset and focus on working with them. Rewarding those that make learning a priority will send a strong message to those that don’t.

 

100 Best Jobs 2014

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The latest issue of Canadian Business Magazine includes an interesting analysis of Canada’s Best Jobs. The top 100 jobs that are the best paying, fastest growing, and have the best outlook for the future are listed based on the magazine’s methodology.  So, what value can we take from these lists?

1. Show Me The Money

It is always enlightening to see what median salaries are for a wide range of positions as we can be insulated a bit from what others are making outside of our own industries.  What struck me when looking at the list is that the median salaries for Canada’s Best Jobs mirrored the median salaries for most jobs.  Landing one of Canada’s Best Jobs is not going to make you rich.

2. Where Are You

Lists like these are best for showing where the jobs are.  And, while there is no surprise that the energy sector and western Canada are still booming it was interesting to see that it is slowing.  So, rather than focus on the job titles in the list, look for industry and geographic trends that you can leverage in your career search.

3. Competitive Analysis

Even if you already have a job, it is helpful to understand how competitive it is for people like you and how easy it would be to replace you.  Your analysis should incorporate your industry, profession, and geographic location.  This information is invaluable for determining what you are worth to your company and can be leveraged when negotiating your next raise.

Just A List

We love lists as they are a quick read and easy to digest.  Be careful however to not to weigh these lists too heavily when deciding on your next (or first) career.  Compensation, demand, and growth forecasts are all incredibly important considerations when making career decisions.  But, don’t forget that being well-suited for a job and actually enjoying going to work everyday will have the biggest impact on your success.

Until Next Time.

 

 

4 Simple Steps to Find a #Mentor

 

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” Zig Ziglar

Richard Branson followed this famous quote with one of his own in a recent blog post…“Find a mentor”.  Branson clearly understands the impact a mentor can have on our success.  So, why don’t more of us take advantage of the benefits of mentorship?  Simply put, it can seem like an overwhelming task. Who do I choose? How should I ask them? How does this whole mentoring thing work? Won’t this take too much time?  With this in mind, here are 4 simple steps to help you find a mentor and maximize the value of the relationship.

Why You Need a Mentor.

Define what specifically you want your mentor for.

Is it to develop special knowledge, skills or abilities? Are you looking for a champion that will advocate for your next promotion? Or, are you just looking for a general resource as a ‘go to’ or sounding board when you run into a challenge.

Being very clear about the why before thinking about the who will help you find the right person and help you both benefit from the relationship.

READ MORE: 5 Ways To Find Mentors and Make it Matter – Forbes Magazine

Make a Mentor List.

Draft a list of potential mentors based on the requirements you identified earlier.

Not sure where to start?

  • Think about colleagues (past and present).
  • See if your organization has a formal mentorship program in place.
  • Look at your local chamber or professional association.
  • Leverage your LinkedIn network.

Now that you are aware of potential sources:

  • Challenge yourself to include at least one person from each group to make sure your list is comprehensive.
  • Rank the list against the requirements you identified in step one.
  • Create a short-list of potential mentors to connect with.

READ MORE: Ten Ways to Find Your Mentorship Match – Globe and Mail

What Makes a Great Mentor?

List the qualities that you are looking for in a mentor.

While there are many qualities that you could look for, I would simplify it to one simple word; TRUST.

Look at your short-list of mentor candidates, and ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Do you trust that they will be invested in your success and genuinely want to see you succeed?
  2. Do you trust that they have the knowledge and experience that will help you to grow as a leader? Essentially, have they been where you want to go?

Obviously trust is something that will need to be developed, but if you can answer yes to each of these questions, you’ve likely found your mentor.

READ MORE: What Makes a Great Mentor – Profit Guide

Will You Be My…Mentor?

Connect with the mentor that you have identified in the above steps and ask them if they are interested.

Asking someone to be your mentor probably feels a lot like asking out your high school crush.  But, it doesn’t have to be.  Like dating, mentorship works best when you start slow and develop a relationship first.  So, start the ‘relationship’ by identifying something that you can do for them.

Looking for an opportunity to help out on a project they are working on or facilitating a professional connection are just a few quick ideas for starting the relationship in a meaningful way. Delivering value is a great way to demonstrate to a potential mentor that they will benefit from the engagement.

Now you still have the tough part…asking.  Again, like dating, start slow.

Express your interest in following a similar career path and ask your potential mentor if you can schedule some time to discuss how they developed throughout their career.  It is a great ‘first date’ and an opportunity to validate your choosing them in the first place, gives them the opportunity to see if they want to work with you, and sets a foundation for the relationship.

A few weeks after the conversation – or a few conversations – you can reach out to them again for the formal Will You Be My … Mentor.

This is one of the few times that I recommend emails.  Emails are less likely to put the potential mentor on the spot and make them feel pressured to say yes.  You don’t want them if they are not all in.  With this in mind:

  • Make it easy for them to say no

“If this is not a good time for you, would you kindly refer me to a colleague who might be available…”

  • Be clear on the time commitment required

…I am hoping that we could meet once a month for an hour. I will plan a short agenda with specific topics to discuss for each meeting.”

  • Make clear your intentions for the relationship.

“…I am looking to enhance my leadership skills and am confident that your experience and insight would be invaluable in this pursuit.”

READ MORE: How to Successfully Turn (Almost) Anyone into Your Mentor – Entrepreneur Magazine

 

It’s Not That Hard

Can you really exploit the advantages of mentorship in just four easy steps?  Absolutely.

You could write hundreds of books on how to identify a mentor, how to get the most from the relationship, how to be a good mentee (always hated this word).  However, to get value from mentorship, you actually have to start.

Breaking down the process into these four simple steps enables you to put meaningful thought and consideration into each step instead of getting bogged down in a complex process.

Understanding your needs, engaging a wide network of experience, selecting someone you trust, and actually asking someone to be your mentor (this is kind of an important one) will get you started.  The rest is up to you.

About Glen Harrison:

Glen started his journey with Sigma Assessment Systems nearly two decades ago managing a large scale employee development project for Chrysler that involved over 30,000 management and staff.  Over his career, Glen has worked with a third of the Fortune 500 and with every level of government in Canada and the United States.  In the process, Glen has delivered workshops to over 10,000 people across 49 states (sorry Wyoming, he’ll get there eventually), 10 provinces, 1 territory, 107 cities, and 9 countries.

Blog: Glen-Harrison.com

Twitter: @SigmaLeader

Will You Be My…#Mentor – #Leadership Assignment of the Day – #Mentoring

want you

Assignment: Connect with the mentor that you have identified in the PREVIOUS steps and ask them if they are interested.

Asking someone to be your mentor probably feels a lot like asking out your high school crush.  But, it doesn’t have to be.

Like dating, mentorship works best when you start slow and develop a relationship first.

So, start the ‘relationship’ by identifying something that you can do for them.

Looking for an opportunity to help out on a project they are working on or facilitating a professional connection are just a few quick ideas for starting the relationship in a meaningful way. Delivering value is a great way to demonstrate to a potential mentor that they will benefit from the engagement.

Now you still have the tough part…asking.  Again, like dating, start slow.

Express your interest in flowing a similar career path and ask your potential mentor if you can schedule some time to discuss how they developed throughout their career.  It is a great ‘first date’ and an opportunity to validate your choosing them in the first place, gives them the opportunity to see if they want to work with you, and sets a foundation for the relationship.

A few weeks after the conversation – or a few conversations – you can reach out to them again for the formal Will You Be My … Mentor.

This is one of the few times that I recommend emails.  Emails are less likely to put the potential mentor on the spot and make them feel pressured to say yes.  You don’t want them if they are not all in.  With this in mind:

  • Make it easy for them to say no

“If this is not a good time for you, would you kindly refer me to a colleague who might be available…”

  • Be clear on the time commitment required

…I am hoping that we could meet once a month for an hour. I will plan a short agenda with specific topics to discuss for each meeting.”

  • Make clear your intentions for the relationship.

“…I am looking to enhance my leadership skills and am confident that your experience and insight would be invaluable in this pursuit.”

I’d love to hear about your experiences below about asking someone to be your mentor or being ask yourself.

Comment below on your top tips for asking someone to be your mentor.

Check back tomorrow when we’ll wrap everything up.

 

What Makes a Great #Mentor – #Leadership Assignment of the Day – #Mentoring

Trust concept

 

Leadership Development Assignment: List the Qualities You Are Looking For in a Mentor.

When refining your list, it is important to think of the qualities that you are looking for in a mentor.

While there are many qualities that you could look for, I would simplify it to one simple word; TRUST.

Look at your short-list of mentor candidates, and ask yourself these two questions:

 

  1. Do you trust that they will be invested in your success and genuinely want to see you succeed?
  2. Do you trust that they have the knowledge and experience that will help you to grow as a leader? Essentially, have they been where you want to go?

Obviously trust is something that will need to be developed, but if you can answer yes to each of these questions, you’ve likely found your mentor.

Comment below on what you think makes a great mentor and check back tomorrow for Will you be my…Mentor?