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Clearview® Performance Systems brings you ... ® ... a Culture of Results & Engagement®

Here's the next in our series of weekly managerial TIPS (Techniques, Insights, and Practical Solutions)
to help you better engage your team in the activities that lead to higher performance.

CORE Bites Issue #52

What Does a Turn Signal Have to Do with Managing Employees?

My good friend Steve is an airline pilot with a phenomenal safety record. He has an interesting behavior that I used to think was somewhat eccentric ... until recently. To set the context, he and I both live on the same street—a quiet cul-de-sac with a grand total of six homes—and hardly any traffic (usually just the other homeowners on the street). Regardless, when Steve is driving on our quiet little street he still uses his turn signal as he's approaching, and turning into, his driveway. Why I thought this was odd is we have no traffic to speak of on our street; but even when there are no other cars around, he uses his turn signal to turn into his driveway. One day we were kidding around and I asked him why—what he told me has changed how I think and more importantly, how I act. His simple response to my question was ...

"... I don't make important matters situational."

In essence, Steve believes that if he performs the right action EVERY time, regardless of the situation, he won't forget to do it when it's important. That's sage advice, no matter the circumstance.

This week's CORE Bites focuses on mentoring employees on the "right actions" (a.k.a. Good Habits) that are essential for those who want to succeed in their job, develop better relationships with bosses and peers, and be considered for the next step on the career ladder.

It's a fundamental truism that life is a succession of habits and we are all known (by others) for the habits we choose. Good habits or bad habits ... it's all about choices.

High Value Activity (HVA) Action Steps

Here are a few 'good-habit' HVAs for you to share as you're mentoring others. (The HVAs listed below might also benefit those of you who have teens who might be entering the workplace soon.)

  • Positive Image: Use discretion with grooming, attire, and manners—aligned with the social and cultural norms that exist in your workplace—to leave a positive impression with others. To be slightly better dressed than the norm is preferred over being too lax.
  • Timeliness Counts: Arrive earlier than expected; stay later than required; meet (or beat) schedules and deadlines.
  • Show Up on Time (or Better, Early) for Meetings: This is not just about etiquette; it's smart to show up early because it guarantees you'll get a seat at the table close to where the action is (and not a seat at the back of the room).
  • Stay Professional: No one appreciates an individual who gossips about other employees and badmouths the company and/or management. To get ahead, don't adopt unprofessional behaviors.
  • Take Initiative: Be a self-starter (a self-manager who is self-disciplined). Be proactive when appropriate (even without explicit directions). Have a sense of urgency in your actions. Go above and beyond.
  • Listen to Feedback: Criticism is not always easy to hear but fast-track employees have learned that without feedback they will be in the dark about changes that will positively influence their future. Listen ... and then put that feedback into action.
  • Be a Problem-Solver (not a complainer): Anyone can complain, but what sets someone apart is when they also bring options to resolve a problem. Not every option will be the perfect solution, but the fact that you took time to think it through is a reflection of who you are and how much you care.
  • Look for Slow Leaks™: There are always processes in a workplace that can be done better or more efficiently. Someone who identifies these inefficiencies and, even better, comes up with potential improvements will be recognized as a critical-thinker (and that's a good thing!).
  • Be Organized (with Good Attention to Detail): Stay organized by using proven systems for keeping track of details—take notes; use project plans and checklists; and utilize appropriate filing systems (both paper and electronic). Follow standard operating procedures and stay focused on the desired outcome.
  • Own Up to Your Mistakes: It's inevitable; mistakes will happen. Deal with these mistakes the right way—by taking responsibility and figuring out how to fix what went wrong (with a solid plan to make sure it doesn't happen again).

I'd love to hear how these HVAs work for you!

Neil Dempster, PhD, MBA
RESULTant™ and Behavioral Engineer

Quote of the Week

"And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them."

— Charles Duhigg —