Saturday Shoutout!!! – Dealing With The Tough Stuff

Issue 4 | Number 10 | 20 July 2013

Dealing With The Tough Stuff (Conversations)

In their book, Dealing With The Tough StuffAlison HillDarren Hill and Dr Sean Richardson know that as a leader, supervisor or manager, there’s one inevitable task that we will encounter – the tough conversation.  In an AHRI Brisbane presentation, Alison Hill suggested that whether it’s addressing underperformance, critiquing work or dealing with heightened emotions, some situations with some people will be tough – there’s no escaping it.

What’s tough for you?

Haven’t you had a tough-stuff conversation where you have sat back and thought to yourself, “I could have done that differently”, and it weighed heavily on you for a while.  A feeling of, “If I could change this then the outcome would have been different?”

Every situation when having crucial conversations is completely different! What is tough for you, may not be tough for others.  Having personal insight into what situations are particularly tough for you will guide you where you make changes in your behaviour.  There are no 7 easy steps to crucial conversations in tough situations. There are no difficult people.  The moment you label someone as difficult  is the moment you get that behaviour.

Tackling the tough stuff in the workplace takes courage.  But it takes everyday, ordinary courage of deliberate action.  It takes courage to stop avoiding situations, to say ‘enough is enough’ and to step up and be accountable.

Strengths Based Language

Looking towards a person’s strengths is a key strategy for personal growth, and so too, is using positive based strengths language.

If you use negative language, and to make it worse, use a trait, we make it incredibly difficulty, if not impossible for people to make meaningful change in their behaviour.  The likely response is going to be either defensive or aggressive.  At all times, look for ways to turn helpful traits into positive strength-based traits – from here you will be able to move from traits into behaviours.

You need to develop behaviour roadmaps so you know what to do next time.  And then it will become more clearer.

Visit www.toughstuffbook.com where you will find an array of templates, articles and blog spots that you will find useful and which are regularly updated.

Who is Alison Hill?  As a professional ‘head-mechanic’ Ali has worked with ’em all. From high-falutin’ Executives through to people suffering with chronic pain (hey, they might actually be the same!) Alison specialises in assisting individuals and teams transition through the tough stuff. We really love working with Alison at Pragmatic Thinking…she actually listens to us; like, err without even checking Facebook or Instagram or stuff; it’s a unique skill.

Graphics: Pragmatic Thinking

Source: Material for this blog was taken from a presentation by Alison Hill at the AHRI Queensland Performance and Reward Forum Network on 16 July 2012 in Brisbane.

About the Author. To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect ConnectTony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

Contact Tony at thehrarchitect@optusnet.com.au or @tonywiggin on Twitter.

Brisbane Institute – Outstanding Productivity Needs Better Leadership

Brisbane Institute

The Event

Boosting productivity takes more than introducing better systems or “working smarter”.  It takes leadership.

I was privileged to attend  the Brisbane Institute Forum on 17 July, where Rhonda White founder of the Terry White Chemist Group spoke about the concepts surrounding the current notion that “Outstanding Productivity Needs Better Leadership”.

Who is Rhonda White?

Rhonda is a co-founder of the Terry White Chemists Group and has been integral to the success of the brand. Her visionary skills in developing the systems and disciplines for the Brand, commitment to the development of Professional Services combined with exceptional business skills have proven a critical ingredient in growing the franchise network to its current position of 168 pharmacies in all states, employing over 4500 staff with a turnover of $1 billion.

She currently serves as a board member of TWC Group Investment Limited. A Trustee of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust (QPAT), Rhonda has been a director of a number of government and private companies.

In September 2011, Rhonda was inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame in recognition of exceptional entrepreneurship and innovation in national retailing, and significant contributions to the community.

Memorable Comments

I was so absorbed in Rhonda’s presentation I wanted to share a few of the priceless statements and advice that I found memorable –

  • “Productivity is the final ultimate measure of a business and the ultimate measure of a leader in business.”
  • “Productivity is the realm of management. Every other level is about efficiency before you think about productivity”.
  • “Look for opportunities to build culture as well as teach systems and management.”
  • “Build culture and hype, not just the hype.”
  • “Be a counterintuitive, creative leader and be prepared for competition.”
  • “People are your most important asset, empower them to deliver your business results.”
  • “Empowerment + collaboration = business stability.”
  • “There are different challenges at different stages of a business, nothing stays the same.”
  • “Systems need to be continuing reviewed/changed to ensure they support the business and the environment they operate in.”
  • “High performance teams need trust and confidence to do their job.”
  • “Managers should never underestimate the impact of their decisions and the interrelationships with the business.”
  • “Bonuses do not work to engage individuals and teams. It is about being involved in projects and sharing the rewards as a team.”
  • “Employees have responsibility to add value to the life of the company and vice versa.”
  • “Reinvent business and teams to find productivity.”
  • “Spend time and effort in identifying leadership DNA in your business.  Not all managers will become leaders.”

Summary

Great comments, insights and reflections from the breakfast. 3 main themes became evident – what does leadership and productivity look like;  how do leaders contribute to improvements in business productivity; and the role of incentives in develop a leadership culture to drive changing business work practices.

Graphics: Brisbane Institute

About the Author. To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect ConnectTony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

Contact Tony at thehrarchitect@optusnet.com.au or @tonywiggin on Twitter.

Saturday Shoutout!!! The New Business of Onboarding

Welcome

Saturday Shoutout!!!  The New Business of Onboarding

Issue 4 | Number 9 | 30 June 2013

It was winter and the rain was blowing in from the southwest as the Hospital CEO pulled into the parking lot. He was still reflecting on the conversation he had with the Director People and Culture, the afternoon before. They had a number of HR challenges since the creation of the Hospital Board with no real immediate solutions.

Over coffee that morning, the new Hospital CEO read a newspaper article that talked about “Onboarding” in a similar health organisation and how they had great success. He immediately arranged a meeting with his Director People and Culture for the following day.  At that meeting the Hospital CEO shared his thoughts to review the current hospital orientation program and make it more aligned to the “Onboarding” project which he read about in the newspaper.

The Hospital CEO felt confident that the “Onboarding” project would be a winner and it now rested solely on the shoulders of the Director People and Culture to make it happen.  The Director People and Culture was not a champion of the new initiative as he thought it was just another one of those quick fix solutions. The Director People and Culture had just recruited an Organisational Development Manager and decided to hand over this challenge to this position as he was more involved with union negotiations.

During his conversations with Hospital Executive Managers, the Organisational Development Manager too often heard stories about past human resource initiatives, just like this one, that just failed.  The seasoned Organisational Development Manager developed a strategy + project plan that included the foundations for future success – Hospital CEO/Hospital Board/Executive Manager support, defined outcomes + ROI, embedded human resource indicators, training, culture and union involvement.

One month later, the Organisational Development Manager was called to a meeting with the Hospital CEO to discuss progress on the “Onboarding” project.  At this meeting, the Organisational Development Manager presented a short simple presentation that illustrated the realignment benefits and to be seen as an employer of choice.  His presentation included two main points – (1) getting new hires up to speed in half the time and (2) sharing responsibility between human resources, line mangers, coaches and mentors.

It is now six months later in Melbourne at the gala AHRI HR Awards. The Hospital CEO was reflecting upon his meeting with the Director People and Culture about his desires for the “Onboarding” project.  The Hospital had been nominated and was shortlisted for one of the prestigious award categories. He realised that it was a journey for all parties concerned.  It had challenged both the culture and set the foundation for future successful projects.  It was a journey that required careful planning, implementation and evaluation and ultimately human resources across the hospital in engaging stakeholders.

Begin your “Onboarding” journey now – “can you afford not to?”

Photo Credit: Unknown

If you find these updates useful, feel free to forward on to a work colleague or friend.

About the Author

To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect Spends 5 Minutes with ….Tony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

AHRI Brisbane Network Forum – Extraordinary Leadership

Richard Branson_guardian.co.uk

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend an AHRI Network Forum in Brisbane about Extraordinary Leadership with nearly 30 other great HR professionals.

The key speaker, Sonia McDonald from LeadershipHQ spoke about the concepts surrounding the ‘Extraordinary Leader’.

For me personally leadership can mean different things to different people depending what environment you are working in.  My take-aways from last night included:

  • Are leaders born or made?
  • Leadership development starts with the ‘Why’
  • What difference do leaders make?
  • A lot of decisions by leaders are based on emotions, in the first instance.
  • Leadership development needs to be aligned to the values, culture and strategy of the organisation.
  • The power of reflection reinforces leadership learning.
  • Focus on strengths to build weaknesses.
  • The metaphor of a ‘tent’ symbolises the different capabilities required by leaders (Zenger Folkman).

Finally, serious networking with a group of great Brisbane HR professionals and the news of an exciting leadership toolkit to be launched in Brisbane soon.

Graphics: MBA Knowledge Base

About the Author. To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect ConnectTony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

Contact Tony at thehrarchitect@optusnet.com.au or @tonywiggin on Twitter.

 

Best Employers 2013 Announced

It is that time of year again: Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers List has been released. Who made the cut and what did they do right?

Despite the uncertain economic climate, organisations that retain focus on employee engagement are the ones fairing the best.

“All employers are confronted by the same set of economic circumstances,” Stephen Hickey, employment engagement lead at Aon Hewitt said when discussing the results of 2013’s Best Employers List. As always, this year’s results are based on those with the highest levels of employee engagement and outstanding people practices.

“In essence, while we continue to see Best Employers engaging, building leadership and taking a differentiated position in the employment market, the strategy for delivery has evolved over the last few years. Difficult times are not the factor. It’s how we respond to them that counts”.

What can organisations do to top the list next year?

Graphics: Dynamic Business

About the Author. To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect ConnectTony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

Contact Tony at thehrarchitect@optusnet.com.au or @tonywiggin on Twitter.

Resources

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

People, Projects and a Model for Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement Failing Aussie Workers

TALENT MANAGEMENT

Non Profits Need to Compete For Top Talent

Talent Management: Boards Give Their Companies an “F”

The Neuroscience of Talent Management

EXECUTIVE COACHING

Top Athletes Use Coaches. Why Not CEOs?

CEOs Just Want To Get Coached

Saturday Shoutout!!! The Moment of Truth

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH: Logo.©2007 FOX BROADCASTING

Saturday Shoutout!!!  The Moment of Truth

Issue 4 | Number 8 | 1 June 2013

It is now June 2013 and back in July 2012 I was making serious career decisions.

With the imminent rationalisation of another 20,000+ public servants, I had 2 options.  Option 1 was to stay for another 8 years until retirement and see my career further decay and be not valued for the expertise I had.  Option 2, if offered, accept the retrenchment package as an amazing opportunity, find another job in HR and pursue my future ambition to establish my brand as The HR Architect.  I decided on Option 2!!

Referring back to Fabienne Fredrickson article on Four Ways to Break Through Your Fear and Self Doubt which I wrote about in July 2012, Fabienne suggested four steps to break though that fear, self-doubt and move on.

1. Take a No-Excuses Approach

To achieve my future success, I have transitioned out of a 4 month job search which did my ‘head in’, self esteem and self confidence.  I have started my own HR consultancy business with the support a great business coach Joe Tigani from Absolute Leadership.  I wish to be one of those successful people within the Queensland HR arena and I am taking a ‘No Excuses Approach’.

2. Feel the Fear – But Do It Anyway

All entrepreneurs from my reading, experience fear at some time. What separates those who are successful and those who allow fear to hold them back is the willingness to act in spite of the fear. The best way I have found to get over the fear is to walk directly into it. It takes courage but you know what? Walking into fear is never as bad as you think it’s going to be. I have found it liberating. It is taking a while longer than expected but I am still progressing.

3. Be Willing to Stretch Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Most people avoid discomfort like the plague. If you want to get to the next level of your career/business, you’ve got to be comfortable being uncomfortable – just for a short time. Yes, it was a little scary at first but let’s face it, it’s not going to kill you.  I am willing to trade short term discomfort for long-term success and to have a go.  You just have to convince others around you that you can do it. I am willing to stretch beyond my comfort zone.  I’ve got great news – I am in a better mindset and opportunities are showing up.

4. Take Decisive Action

I have taken this action. Action is an issue of personal responsibility. I acknowledge that I am solely responsible for the choices in my life and I accept that I cannot blame others in 5-10 years time. Time and time again our inner self-doubt makes us question everything and keeps us from taking action when the solution shows up. I am not into self-sabotage.  I have had great support from peers like Sonia McDonald,  Louise Perram-Fisk and Mark Harris

Once I made the decision to succeed, it was time to commit to doing whatever it takes to make it happen.  For me, it came down to taking bold and decisive action toward what I want in my business or your life.  It’s about saying YES to what’s possible is for me.  Saying YES to these future opportunities are divinely presented to me following those actions. I promise you that.

In 12 Months Time

When I look back in June 2104 at what I have achieved, I have glad I took this course of action.  My business, my life, my income (still growing) will have never been the same. I promise you that. Take the challenge!!

Photo Credit: Innovation_blog_actv

If you find these updates useful, feel free to forward on to a work colleague or friend.

About the Author

To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect Spends 5 Minutes with ….Tony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

Contact Tony at basketa@optusnet.com.au or @tonywiggin on Twitter.

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