Wednesday, May 6, 2009



GIVING FEED BACK by Dr. Peter Honey

Giving Feedback is absolutely essential for learning and development and yet in the majority of workplaces people do not get enough. People at work have three basic rights which can only be met by receiving ongoing feedback.

  • To know what is expected of them
  • To know how they are doing
  • To know what they need to do to improve/become even better
Interestingly, most people for most of the time are lucky if one or two of these rights are met, let alone all three.
You may be amongst the many managers who are reluctant to give feedback, but if you withhold it you are failing in one of the most fundamental duties of any manager, It is impossible to provide for the three basic rights without giving feedback. People who are deprived of feedback from their manager compensate in two potentially dangerous ways.
Firstly, they start to rely exclusively on scraps of feedback from the other people, colleagues, friends, customers, anyone who will offer it. This in itself is no bad thing except that feedback from these sources may be at variance with your own perceptions. In the absence of your feedback, subordinates will understandably become dependent on what you might regard as spurious data.
Secondly, and even worse, people deprived of feedback fill the void by giving themselves feedback and assuming, in the absence of any contrary indicators, that all is well. The longer this goes on, the more difficult it becomes to grasp the nettle and, when you do, the more traumatic the discovery that your perceptions differ from theirs.
So, the provision of feedback is a non-negotiable, bottom-line requirement if you are to help your people to learn and develop. Always remember, however, that the receiver of the feedback has the right to decide whether or not to act on it.
Having listened and understood, the receiver is always the final arbiter in deciding what to accept and what to reject. The choice is theirs. If you withhold feedback you have deprived them of the right to decide and therefore of one of the most powerful learning opportunities of all.

David Anderson
Okanagan Training Solutions / Priority Management Interior BC
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So What Time Will You Finish Work Tomorrow? Work Life Balance From Priority Management Kelowna

Just as few people are trained in information management, even fewer are trained in workload management. Yet every job in the world entails balancing a series of to-dos with the clock. Our research with over 1,000,000 of our customers worldwide in best-practice productivity processes, shows that very few people have a realistic plan for each day. Most plans that we see are long lists of non prioritized tasks-more of a wish list than a plan.
Here is a quick check as to how your workload management processes compare to best practice. Firstly, think about where you presently keep all the things you have to do . How many of the following tools do you use each day? Notepad, paper to-do list, scraps of paper, post-it notes, whiteboard, piles on the desk, Inbox, electronic to-do list, diary, electronic calendar and your memory. No wonder we so quickly lose the plot and find ourselves working late.
Best practice demands just one place to plan (yes, that’s ONE). When our work is in one place then we have something we can manage and control.
Now we have consolidated our tasks into one location we have a process that will get you home on time!

1. Write down all the things you need to do tomorrow in one place.
2. Estimate how long it is going to take to get each item done. Total the time - does it fit into
an 8 hour work day?
3. Are you likely to be interrupted tomorrow? If so, how will that impact your work? It will most likely double the time it takes to accomplish your work. Ask yourself if you can still get the work done after the interruption time is added?
4. Have you included time for lunch? What about travel time to and from your appointments? What about time to check your email? Remember that non-productive time for lunch, coffee breaks and checking email can easily add up to one-and-a-half hours.
5. Now total the realistic time and block out your calendar. What time are you going Home?
Is it time you want to go home?

Start today to develop the skills that will help you stay balanced and in control of your personal agenda. By developing essential skills such as personal organization, life/work balance and workload management you will improve every aspect of your life.

David Anderson
Okanagan Training Solutions / Priority Management Interior BC
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096

Monday, May 4, 2009




By Dr. Peter Honey
Every difference of opinion, every disagreement, is a conflict, either with a big or small 'c' depending on the magnitude of the difference.
Conflicts between people are inevitable as they try to agree priorities, make decisions, solve problems and work together. If there weren’t differences of opinion it would probably be a sign that people were apathetic or acquiescing by ostensibly saying yes, but in reality hiding major reservations.

Whilst conflicts are rarely welcomed, the offer splendid opportunities to:
-Reach a better solution than would have been possible if the conflict hadn’t arisen.
-Learn from the experience of facing the conflict squarely and addressing it constructively

It sounds pious to say it, but as a manager the way you handle conflicts is a decisive factor in whether they will result in win-win or win-lose outcomes and whether they will result in beneficial learning.

Broadly there are three different ways to react to conflict:

Avoid it. - Typically this involves:- denying the conflict exists- circumventing the person/people with whom you are in conflict- deciding not to make the conflict explicit or to raise it.

Diffuse it. - This involves:- smoothing things over, ‘pouring oil on troubled waters’- saying you’ll come back to it (as opposed to dealing with the conflict there and then)- only dealing with minor points, not the major issues.

Face it. - This involves:- openly admitting conflict exists- explicitly raising the conflict as an issue

All three approaches are genuine options when conflicts arise. There may be occasions when it is best to let it go (why win the battle but lose the war?) and there will be other occasions when some pussy-footing is appropriate.

Usually, however, facing conflict rather than avoiding it or diffusing it offers the most potential. But how you face it makes all the difference. You can face it aggressively or assertively.

People who face conflict aggressively
1. Are secretive about their real objectives
2. Exaggerate their case
3. Refuse to concede that the other person has a valid point
4. Belittle the other person’s points
5. Repeat their case dogmatically
6. Disagree
7. Interrupt the other person

People who face conflict assertively1. Are open about their objectives
2. Establish what the other person’s objectives are
3. Search for common ground
4. State their case clearly
5. Understand the other person’s case
6. Produce ideas to solve the differences
7. Build on and add to the other person’s ideas
8. Summarize to check understanding/agreement

You can convert conflicts into useful learning opportunities by refusing to adjudicate and doing everything you can to foster assertive behavior amongst protagonists. If you put your energies into helping them to find some common ground, however tenuous, and to build on it, then you not only make a constructive resolution more likely, you also make people work for it and learn as they do so.

David Anderson
Okanagan Training Solutions / Priority Management Interior BC
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096