Women leading perfomance management – rule number 1

Everywhere I go I am hearing that performance management is key in the current climate. Many of our clients are under-going radical change and dealing with cut-backs/downsizing/merging or, at the very least, planning a new future with a more values based culture.

To address this need I am using the next few weeks to bring you 7 tools for increasing effectiveness. If you have access to an intranet site then please add the blog to the site or pass to your women’s networks in other ways.

This is not, of course, only necessary for women. These are essential leadership skills and so please do share them with your teams as well.

I was taught these tips by Keith Cunningham who made $100 million in the 1980’s, lost it all by 1991 and then made his entire net worth back again in 3 or 4 years. For more on Keith click here

Rules of the game: Number 1, communicate your expectations clearly and explicitly

If you are a leader who relishes processes and systems, then you may be thriving in this environment. However, I know there are a whole swathe of leaders who tend to be right-brained (intuitive and instinctive) by nature and don’t relish the idea of being buttoned down to KPI’s (key performance indicators)

I am also right brained. I love to rely on my imagination and instinct. As Einstein said – ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’ However, I know my weaknesses as well as my strengths and part of my job as a leader is to manage my weaknesses. Don’t try to make your weaknesses into strengths but don’t ignore them either. In other words play to your strengths and remember to manage the downside. As Benjamin Frankiln said ‘a small leak sinks a great ship.’

So, what do we do when we know that everything depends on how quickly and efficiently we deliver on our projects?

Rule number 1 is communicate.

If you have been on any of my programmes you will know what your bevioural drivers are. If you haven’t been on a programme it is easy to assess your drivers on the internet – just type into Google ‘Transactional analysis, Drivers’ and you will find on-line forms for eliciting this key information. Make sure you get coaching if you do this because it is important to understand the difference between learned behaviours and psycholgy. In other words know and understand what can you change and what you can’t.

If you have a ‘hurry up’ driver then you must pay particular attention to this because your natural tendency may be to steam ahead and leave your team behind. However, we all do this to a certain extent. If you notice yourself getting irritated some of the time, it simply means that your expectations haven’t been met. Take this another step back and it could be that you haven’t communicated your expectations clearly enough.

Communicating expectations clearly and explicitly takes time and patience. What does the output look like? What are the key performance indicators? Be very explicit, not just about the activities that produce the cash but the activities that lead to better team work and better relationships in general. Be clear about the result you expect and the timeframe that you expect that result to be delivered in.

For practical tips on how to communicate your expectations clearly and explicitly watch out for next weeks blog.

With passion!

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