Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Have you evaluated your team?

You have probably evaluated each team member separately during their performance reviews.  Likely the typical things: quality of work, attendance, etc.  But have you evaluated your team and how they can actually help each other?

I am sure you have heard of a SWOT analysis.  You take a situation or project, review your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so you can work through to achieving your goal.  Have you ever thought of doing a SWOT on your team?

You don't do this with the team, but by yourself evaluating each one.  If you have 3 direct reports and there are some issues here and there for all of them, then do  a SW - Strengths and Weakness on each of those reports.  Maybe a strength of A is that they are punctual, but not very accurate.  Another one (B) is always late, but they are extremely accurate.  Perhaps C is always punctual and a great trainer.  So now look at your Opportunities - Can team member C help team member B with accuracy?  Can team member B help team member A with how to train?  Can team member A help someone be on time somehow?  Then review your threats - perhaps the person who is not punctual is bored and maybe having them do some training with another team member that is struggling will help them feel more empowered.  Maybe you need to have 1:1 meetings to discuss their weaknesses and strengths so they can improve and your team can be great!  Be cautious not to put people down though.  For example, maybe I say to team member A "I see you are having some trouble getting to meetings on time.  What do you think the people who are on time may do differently than you?  Do you think you may be able to do those things to help with being punctual?"

People love praise, so work with things found strengths to help those on your team who may have these as weaknesses.  Help each other be productive.  Basically, you need to know where your teams strengths and weaknesses are so you can make opportunities to improve the team and remove any possible threats.

There is the food for thought for today.  If you need to get in touch with me, please email me at or for our website.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Are you educating yourself?

As a leader or manager, we should always be ensuring continual training and education of our employees, but what about you?

Learning and growing is part of life.  Without it we get stagnant and can't move forward or even get left behind.  Most leaders will take some sort of course, seminar or webinar every now and then (at least quarterly) on the key aspects of their role.  It not only helps you stay updated on our ever changing world, but also allows your employees to see that you too need to always stay educated or trained.  Remember the saying "knowledge is power"?  It is true.  The more knowledge we have, the better we are at making the right decisions.

So, what as a leader do you need training on regularly?  It depends on your role, but if you have direct reports, you should at the very least take an employment law course and then follow that up every year with an update conference or seminar.  Labour laws change frequently and you need to stay abreast of all the changes.

Another one would be human rights.  You need to ensure that not only yourself, but your co-workers and employees are following the human rights laws.  If not, then you need to assess the situation and get legal advice.

A leader should always find a webinar or seminar on leadership.  Even reading a book or this blog is working towards keep yourself educated and updated on the changing leadership world.

Need a leadership coach?  I can help.  Feel free to email me at or check out our website at


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Open Book or Closed Book?

Are you an open book organization who shares your financial status with your employees, or are you a closed book organization?

I have worked in both.  My personal opinion is I prefer open book.  This may scare a lot of leaders, but let me share some reasons why it can be a great thing.

1 - It creates understanding.  You can teach your employees all about expenses and how it affects the companies bottom line.  This in turn makes them think about asking for unnecessary items.  For example, if they know that you are having a sluggish profit year, they may hold off asking for that new desk as they know it will affect not only the company, but their job too.  It may even affect their wage increase.

2 - It helps with sales.  If the sales force is paid on commission, bonus or your other employees get profit sharing, if they see the numbers being sluggish, they will pull together to make it work.  For example, someone in production may pay closer attention to their quality, someone order picking may catch an error and fix it before it leaves the plant, your sales force may call on that small customer to get an order that could lead to more.

3 - It develops trust.  If you can get the trust of your employees, then you keep your employees.  People naturally like to know information.  Sharing what is seemingly "intimate" financial information allows your employees to feel trusted and even empowered to make proper decisions.

4 - It creates ideas.  If your employees want more profit sharing / bonus / higher wages, they will work at creating cost saving ideas - especially if you ask them for them.  As leaders we do not always see the waste in some processes, so asking employees for their feedback can and will likely save your company thousands.

Why would you say open book is good for a company?

Still afraid to share too much?  Then start simple...tell them if you are doing ok, or having a sluggish year.  Ask them for ideas to help the bottom line.  It affects them too.

Until next time, I can be reached at or you can check out our website at

Saturday, July 20, 2019

1:1 employee meetings

I have recently been having some 1:1 employee meetings with my employees.  Why?  Because I find that they are more open and honest in these meetings, and that builds trust. It is also a great way to understand their needs, express any concerns or praise too.

So, what should you discuss in these meetings?

1 - Share and chat about personal stuff to start - small talk to get them comfortable.  This is important because it shows you care, but also gives a more relaxing atmosphere to the meeting.  If you have an employee who does not want to open up, then you can start.  Be sure to not get too personal, but do you at least know their spouse's name?  The children's names?  Do they have similar pets to you, that you can share stories about?

2 - Find out their pain of the week.  By pain I mean, what has bothered them, stopped them from completing their work, or what they find is a road block to their success at work.  Then work together to find solutions that best work for your business.

3 - Review your employee's goals with them.  If you have not set goals, you should.  Then during these meetings be sure to discuss the status of the goal.  Are they meeting it?  Great!  Are they not meeting it?  Then do some work together to figure it out.  Are they always exceeding it?  Then you need to review the goal and create one that is a bit of a challenge for them to keep them interested.

4 - Whatever else comes up.  Maybe there are personnel issues you need to address.

Be sure to take a few notes.  You don't need to write a novel, but a few notes that will help remind you next time what you discussed or any action items you may have for the next meeting.

I have these meetings weekly and for 20-30 mins at a time.  I suggest this as things change daily in the business world.  If you have numerous employees then maybe you can stretch this out to every 2 weeks, but keep the communication lines open.

As always, you can check us out on line at or contact me at

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Are you a leader?

I have published an article on our website that answers this question.

Check it out at  If the link does not work, simply copy and paste it into your web browser.

Always here to help, so feel free to email me at

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Types of communication

There are many different types of communication these days, especially with all the devices out there.  We can write each other, we can call each other, text, face-to-face meetings, emoji's, social media, presentations, webinars and so many others.  So what happens when something is missing?

Let's look at an example of doing a training session.

If we are in a classroom we have the opportunity to use our eyes, gestures and even how we dress to communicate, along with our words and perhaps handouts or a PowerPoint.  All of these help us express ourselves in the way we want to be understood.  We are able to not only communicate the information, but put emphasis on things, show our emotions, or even role play, when we are in person or face-to-face.

If we do the same training on a webinar, we are missing the visual cues for: eye contact, gestures and even our clothes.  What does this mean?  It means we may not be able to fully communicate points to the audience or stress a point like we would in person or show our professionalism.

Now let's say we just email the training in a PowerPoint to our employees and ask them to read it.  So much is missing in the communication.  You are not there to stress key points, your employees cannot see your gestures, emotions or even for you to have role play to practise techniques you may be trying to teach.

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for all of these.  It is about choosing the right one to ensure you communicate exactly what you want to.  If role play for practise is not important, then perhaps a webinar will do.  If feedback or interaction is important, but you have people all across the country, then a webinar may be perfect.  If you have no key points but important information to pass on, then maybe just an email will work.

Ask yourself: what is the best way to communicate this so that my trainees understand what it is and will be able to use the information properly?

As you can see, we communicate in a lot more ways than just words too.  Gestures and eye contact are visual clues for the other parties to receive infomration you are trying to share.  Clothes can show people how serious or professional we expect to be.  Written words or pictures can help with providing examples, definitions or to add to a presentation to help keep attention.  Face - to - Face allows us to role play (as with training), see facial expressions, show emotions or to ask for feedback.  You need to remember all types of communication and pick the best ones for what you are trying to communicate.

If you have any questions or wish a coaching session, please feel free to reach out to me at or check out our website at

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Riddle

So, did you have some fun trying to figure out the riddle from the other day?

Still don't know?  Then try this:  Ask up to 10 open questions (without asking What happened) and see where you get.

The answer, if you are the one asking, is that the men jumped out of a plane and one of their parachutes in their backpacks did not open.

Did you guess this in the 10 closed questions?  Probably not, but I bet you can now ask your co-workers again and they will ask the right open questions to get a quick answer.

This is fun and can be done in any leadership training.  You can even change up the story...just don't let them ask you "What happened?"

Until next time you can find me at or email at