New Years Resolutions 101: Don’t put the cart before the horse

It’s a new year. Have you set your resolutions or goals?  Most of us do, but then give up on them by the end of January. One key reason I see people fail at goal setting in the leadership and career coaching we do (and for myself as well) is because we put the cart before the horse.  We set a goal and don’t have any method put in place for measuring progress towards it or achievement of it. Maybe a couple of examples will help: 1.  I’m so guilty of this, so I’ll use myself as an example first.  

4 Tips for reconciling the irony of stress and productivity in the workplace

What’s impacting performance in the workplace more than anything else these days?  Many people would say it is stress, which is pushing some to the point of full-blown mental health issues. Consider how Graeme Cowan, author of Back From the Brink, describes this reality in the Fall 2014 issue of Global Corporate Xpansion Magazine: “In a hypercompetitive global economy, organizations must be ‘on’ 24/7. Yet this scramble for perpetual performance is taking a harsh toll on employees. They relentlessly push to get ahead and stay ahead- working longer days, emailing after hours, taking fewer vacations- often with little acknowledgement for

No Rules, Just Shoes for Sensitivity Training

One of our favorite clients requested that we come in and conduct “sensitivity training” for employees.   According to Wikipedia, sensitivity training “is a form of training with the goal of making people more aware of their own prejudices and more sensitive to others.”  The client wanted to make sure that employees understood how to conduct themselves around each other and customers and to understand the legal standards around discrimination. Of course, we at Horizon Point aren’t very good at conducting your standard, run-of-the-mill employee training that revolves around an instructor standing at the front of the room telling you what you

Get a best friend at work and other tips on work and life wellbeing

At the recommendation of the Alabama Society of Human Resource Management’s Wellness Director, I downloaded a copy of Wellbeing:  The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter. The book describes the five essential elements of wellbeing (in order of importance) to be:  Career Social Financial Physical Community The authors emphasize how each element is intricately interwoven with each other. Here are some tips for maximizing work wellbeing by seeing wellbeing from a holistic perspective: Don’t be a workaholic.  “While you might think that people with high career wellbeing spend too much time working, they actually take more time

2 Ways to Get What You’re Worth

Out looking for a job or considering a discussion with your boss about a raise?  If you are, you need to do your research to consider what the knowledge, skills and abilities you have are worth in the marketplace and to the company in which you work or are negotiating with. (Note:  The best time to negotiate your worth is before you accept a job. Once you get locked in a job and a salary range, usually the only way to get a substantial raise is to switch jobs either through a promotion or a move to another organization.)  

Now don’t go changing your compensation structure without….

You’re worried you’re not attracting the right talent or that you aren’t able to keep good talent around for long and you think it might be because of your salary structure.   Before you launch into a compensation structure overhaul (we’ll tell you how to do this next week on the blog), you need to: Know for sure that the reason you are having the problems you are having is in fact compensation related.  It may be that all your supervisors are jerks and people may leave even if you paid them twice as much.  Surveying employees, especially through exit

Leaders are Noticers

“The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.”  John Green, The Fault in Our Stars According to my editorial calendar, I’m supposed to be writing about job shadowing today, but I’ve noticed something. In the past week I’ve had conversations with three people about their work.  One just quit. One is DONE with her work and is planning her quit, and one just realized she wants to quit, but hasn’t started the plotting of her exodus yet. (By the time I see her again next week though, I imagine

4 Steps for Handling and Diffusing Conflict

Last week, I had to share some information with someone that was unpleasant. I was nervous about how to deliver the message, but I went back to the steps I recommend to leadership coaching clients when they have to deliver and discuss issues that involve conflict. This is a very common issue that leaders have to navigate, and the best method to handle or diffuse conflict is to address it. The worst thing that can be done is to ignore. If you’re struggling with how to handle a situation head on, use these steps to make it easier: 1.  Get

Everyone Gets a Trophy and The Skills Gap

At a lunch meeting yesterday, one topic of discussion was the “everyone gets a trophy” generation. The millennial generation – of which I am barely a part of based on my date of birth, but rarely admit to being – seems to have a problem with feeling entitled. And the negative outcomes this creates in schools and int he workplace is a hot topic. A couple of issues cited in this discussion were: Lack of respect for consequences of one’s actions. For example, a star pitcher not getting to pitch in a game when scouts were there because he missed

Drop Lots of FYIs to Communicate Effectively

I was mad. Really mad. I had an appointment with a client. He asked to reschedule because he said he would be out of the office all day the day we had scheduled to meet. I showed up at the company the day we were scheduled to meet in order to meet with one of his colleagues and out he walks. He’s there. I felt lied to and intentionally blown off. He said nothing. I said nothing. I expected an apology or at least an explanation e-mail or phone call to come from him. I got nothing. In inquiring about