Author Archives for Louellen Essex

Motivating Staff to Top Performance: What They Really Want from Their Work

April 24, 2014 2:18 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Much has been written about rewarding and recognizing staff members for a job well done. While money, trinkets, and prizes – extrinsic motivators – have temporary “feel good” effects, real motivation occurs in a much different way. More powerful is the satisfaction inherent in doing the work itself ¬¬ – intrinsic motivation. Here is how this translates into leadership strategies…


3 Surprising Research Findings Every Leader Should Consider

April 10, 2014 2:19 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Research engines are quickly producing numerous studies that challenge some of the commonly held beliefs about organizations, leaders, and employees. Here are some current findings, along with suggestions for how to put the research into practice. Organizations fail to choose management candidates who have the right talent. Gallup’s study found that 82% of the time, staff members are promoted, not…


3 Things Sure to Derail 360-degree Feedback

March 27, 2014 2:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Research and experience has shown that leaders can benefit from receiving feedback from their staff, other leaders, and their own manager, i.e. 360-degree feedback. However, if the process is not appropriately employed, the results can be unreliable, making the feedback inaccurate and even damaging. Avoid undesirable outcomes by becoming alert for these significant trouble spots. A biased sample Be careful…


How to Effectively Communicate about Change

March 13, 2014 2:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Most organizations are in the throes of multiple changes, requiring leaders at all levels to be masterful in how they communicate. Staff resistance can be exasperated by faulty change messages that do a poor job of explaining why something different is needed. With so much change in the works, everyone is touchy about adding one more thing to their overflowing…


How to Mediate Conflict Between Staff Members

March 6, 2014 2:21 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In a perfect work world, employees would manage their own conflict, maturely talking through issues in a professional, respectful manner. In reality, however, they often lack the necessary communication skills as well as the initiative to discuss their differences. Managers need to intervene, helping them clear the air so they can work together more effectively. Here’s a model you can…


The Top 5 Things to Know About Successful Negotiation

February 27, 2014 2:22 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Negotiation comes in many varieties. A competitive approach is aimed at you getting more than the other side gets – a win-lose outcome. A compromise means lose-lose, with both sides giving up something to get an acceptable solution. An integrative process creates a win-win, whereby both parties get the majority of what they want. Successful negotiators, as a backdrop to…


Development Planning: 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid and What to Do Instead

February 20, 2014 2:23 am Published by Leave your thoughts

One main reason top talent leaves an organization is lack of training, coaching, or mentoring, all critical components of development planning. Ambitious employees want to work in an organization that invests in them, paving the way for advancement in both skills and position. A development plan should provide a road map to strengthen an employee’s ability to perform the current…


How Much Conflict are You Likely to Have?

February 13, 2014 2:25 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Many conditions, which can promote or inhibit effective conflict management, exist in every organization. The best leaders employ a carefully thought-out set of practices to ensure the work units they lead are successful when managing differences. By answering the following questions with yes, somewhat, or no, you can determine how likely your work unit is to effectively manage conflict. 1. In your work…


What to Do When a Top Performer Slips Up

February 6, 2014 6:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Top performers, by definition, tend to consistently do work that exceeds established standards. Holding themselves to high standards, they are driven to get outstanding results in all dimensions of the work they do. When top performers face the rare misstep, they typically self-regulate by moving quickly to own and repair the problem. Common wisdom about performance problems dictates that giving…