Generosity in the Workplace Should NOT Have to Hurt You

‪Here’s a good article to spur a discussion on the difference between giving, taking and matching. It’s focused on parenting, but it can be equally applied in the workplace.

Adam Grant has an excellent book on this topic, Give and Take, I read it many years ago when it first came out. I’ve also have the privilege to speak to Adam several times over the years.

The key with giving is to have boundaries and priorities. Then you can give freely without the burden of a certain set of expectations. ‬

Why does this matter? Building great relationships is like a bank account. You have to make deposits before you can make withdrawals. So when you lead with giving you can speed up the relationship building process.

The challenge can be not everyone will reciprocate. But there is no way to know that before you do an act of giving.

‪Self-sacrifice by harming yourself or allowing yourself to be taken advantage isn’t generosity. It’s actually selfish & self-inflicting pain. ‬

Selflessness isn’t the issue. That obviously can be good. It’s the application of selflessness.

How to Have Stellar 1:1 Check-ins With Employees

There is a TON of research that shows if a manager checks-in once a week with their employees their performance typically will significantly improve over bi-weekly or less. It makes complete sense when you think about it.

Why? Here are seven reasons why weekly check-ins with employees matter.

  1. Show you care
  2. Help them stay on track and prioritize what’s most important
  3. Help them remove obstacles and roadblocks
  4. Provide feedback and support
  5. Challenge their thought processes and help them see better strategies, solutions, and tactics.
  6. Results from performance reviews won’t be a surprise
  7. Increase employee retention because 75% of employee quit because of poor managers and 90% of employees state their relationship is a top factor to stay at their company (and with their performance).

But this it depends on how the manager engages with their employees and the questions they ask. Weekly check-ins alone don’t ensure success.

So the next question that naturally arises is: What should a manager ask?

Here are four questions that you can go through in 10 minutes or less. It will ensure priority alignment and maximizes the chances for success that week.

  1. What are your top three priorities for the week (and why)?
  2. What’s going well with them?
  3. What are your challenges? Where are you stuck?
  4. What specifically can I do to help you?

Here are six additional questions managers can also use incorporate with their employees.

1) “What’s the best use of our time today?”

Or “What’s top of mind for you right now?”

2) “What does your ideal outcome(s) look like for the week?”

3) “What do you think is the best course of action for each priority?”

4) “Are you unclear about anything?”

5) “Do you have enough/right resources?”

6) “What was the most useful part of our conversation today?”

10 Workplace Conflict Resolution Best Practices

Here’s an article I contributed to on workplace conflict resolution. Help companies with workplace conflict resolution is becoming a bigger part of my business.

It only makes sense. Teams in conflict hurt not only their performance but cause a ripple effect in a company and with everyone they touch.

I’ve developed a completely new process that flips the workplace conflict resolution process. It takes me 50% less time than other companies who do this. How do I know? Many times, I’m not the first company they have brought in.

Here’s a snippet:

Be willing to apologize. Each party will have their own share in creating, fostering, or engaging in the conflict. “Most people don’t apologize during workplace conflicts. That hurts the relationship and things never get resolved,” says Jason Treu, author of Social Wealth and host of the Executive Breakthroughs Podcast. Just remember that “I’m sorry you’re upset” is not an apology.”

Rethink Your Performance Reviews

A major shift in companies for performance reviews is that TEAMWORK is often more important than individual contribution. This makes sense because individual performance reviews are very backward. None of us can function alone. Every person is dependent on others. It’s the way we work with others both within and outside the company that defines our career success. It makes zero sense if you help others make their quota or hit their KPIs, and then get a poor performance review if you don’t hit yours? 

Research shows that organizations that include team, project, group, department or organizational objectives in their performance reviews significantly outperform those that only focus on individuals.

In today’s interconnected work world, we have to incent, promote and reward people for their teamwork, collective/enterprise-wide problem-solving, and willingness to take the time to help others. If not, it breeds siloed thinking and behaviors, which doesn’t help anyone.

The whole performance review process needs to be turned on its head. This one reason.

5 Talent Development Challenges for HR in 2019

Here are “5 Talent Development Challenges for HR in 2019.”

I rank creating a high impact culture & upskilling employees in teamwork, communications & listening are areas 90% companies fall short as #1 and #2.

What do you think? What’s at the top of your list?

Article via @SumTotalSystems #TalentDevelopment #FutureOfWork #HR #shrm #career >

Great Behavioral Interview Questions to Ask

I find that most organizations do a very poor job of interviewing because they don’t ask the right questions to get to know candidates on a very deep level.

Many candidates are well versed in the “typical, surface level, and boring interview questions.” They have practiced their “canned” answers. That’s not good for your organization and team because unqualified and/or poor fits can often breeze through interviews.

They are able to hide their personalities, emotions, behaviors, and intentions.

I created this example interview strategy document with suggested (and specific) questions that you can consider using in the first round of interviews (after an initial screen).

These are a combination of behavioral, teamwork and other types of questions that allow you to quickly dig very deep into an interviewee’s character, beliefs, thoughts, and soft skills.

Very few candidates will have ever been asked any of these questions, which will require them to really think and share their real thoughts and feelings.

In addition to the answers they give, you’ll want to watch (and note) their body language, eye contact, tone, facial expressions, word usage, candor, humor, and if they stumbled answers questions.

You can ask the questions in any order (except the one question for the hiring manager, which is meant to be the last one in the interview). But each question grouping is done in a very specific way.

You should definitely ask additional questions about the skill sets, industry/vertical expertise and more. You also may need to “test” the candidate for specific skill competencies.

I’d always start each interview asking them a question to get to know them. It really doesn’t matter what. It helps some candidates relax. Plus, it’s more fun and not so serious.

At the end of each interview, ask them if they have any questions. If they don’t, that’s a red flag.

The interview order below is in reverse order. I’d start with the most junior person and work your way up to the hiring manager. If you have someone more senior in the interview process, I’d slot them in position #3.

Then, I’d do a group discussion and review the answers the candidate gave you. You can create an interview “scorecard” with your criteria, have everyone score it and share the results with the team.

If you ask questions like these, you’ll know the candidate you want to move forward with to the next stage in the process. You’ll also get rid of people who “opt-out” because they don’t want to be an environment/culture like the one you want. That’s a good thing!

Start Here

Questions for the hiring manager before the interview process. You’d want to share these with the team.

  1. What are three things would make this candidate a great hire?
  2. What are three things would make this candidate a very poor hire?
  3. What does success look like for this person in the first 90, 180 and one year?
  4. What are the top three values that this individual needs to exhibit to be able to work well with the team?
  5. Are there specific skills and/or competencies this person needs to have

Example interview questions if you have a team of four people interviewing a candidate.

Interviewer #4 (The Hiring manager):
What are your impressions of the team here so far?

What qualities do you particularly value in people who work with you?

Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?

Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.

Tell me about a problem you solved in a creative way.

Why are you leaving your current employer?

Last question of the interview: After you leave today, what are the top three things you want me to have heard about who you are? What do you want to make sure sticks with me about you?

Interviewer #3:
What’s your process for handling conflicts? Describe a conflict you’ve had in the past and how you resolved it?

What does being good or very successful at your job mean to you? What are the top three key values you associate with this?

Talk about a time when a co-worker was not doing their share on a project. How did you handle it?

What is one thing you regret most about your past job?

Why do you believe you’ll be a good fit at XYZ organization? Why would you want to be here versus another company?

Interviewer #2:
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? (this is a good one to see someone’s personality).

What is your communication and collaboration style (describe it)? How would others you’ve worked within the past describe it? 

We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.

What specifically can someone do to bring out the best in you? 

Interviewer #1:
Ask the candidate something funny or a question to make them feel comfortable.

• Examples: What actor would you choose to play you in a movie? What’s your goto comedy movie that always makes you laugh and why did you choose it?

Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?

Share an example with me on how you have dealt with failure and bounced back from it?

When working on a team, what’s hardest for you?

What one skill would you like to improve and what’s your plan for doing so?

What was your best day in the last five years? What was your worst?

What do you like to do outside of work?

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