Could Your LinkedIn Profile Use a Spring Clean?
12 Apr

Could Your LinkedIn Profile Use a Spring Clean?

We work with many people to provide outplacement support and career coaching, which leads to us reviewing a lot of LinkedIn profiles which are becoming just as viewed by employers as the traditional CV.
 

When was the last time you reviewed your LinkedIn profile to make sure it’s really working for you? Gone are the days when the sole need for this was to secure your next position; millions of us across the globe now use LinkedIn on a daily basis for to seek new ideas and opinions, network and help others.

 

That said, if you are looking for your next move, it pays to make sure your profile really sells you in the best way, and that doesn’t mean it simply existing to be a carbon copy of the content on your CV. You can significantly multiply your profile views, connection requests and messages by taking some simple steps, such as having a great profile picture, a good balance of interpersonal skills / technical expertise and optimised keywords.

 

We love this ‘cheat sheet’ from Leisure Jobs. Even though LinkedIn significantly updated their interface in January 2017, much of the cheat sheet still holds true. Click the image below and put some time aside to work your way through your LinkedIn profile to give it the spring clean that it deserves!

 

Ultimate LinkedIn Cheap Sheet

Get in touch to find out how we can support your people and your business!

Performance Management – a Proactive Partnership, or a Positive Pain?
20 Jan

Performance Management – a Proactive Partnership, or a Positive Pain?

It’s often seen as a laborious and unnecessary ‘tick box’ exercise – preceded by lots of last minute scurrying around for evidence – and little else…but if this is the case for you then you’re missing a trick!

It’s that time of the year, often towards the end of one or at the beginning of the next, when the dreaded performance review looms. Even the most developed PM systems won’t work if your managers and employees aren’t held accountable for their part in the process. Investing the right amount of time, energy, and resources in to how your people manage their performance will yield results.

Firstly, it’s vital that you have a sound system that the whole organisation is committed to. If your company culture doesn’t reflect this commitment, then performance management will be doomed to fail.

The whole business needs to understand that the process of PM happens throughout the entire year – rather than done as a one-off or annual event coordinated by either the manager or the HR department.

Of course, it’s about supporting the business’ objectives and aligning them with those of its employees; so it helps if it’s based on both increasing performance and learning and development, in order to make the most of a high performance workforce.

Dynamic organisations of today – and the future – need to be more responsive. There is a recognised shortage of key talent, and success will rely on a business’s ability to offer the best coaching, engagement, and continuous employee development as part of a holistic approach to how performance is managed.

 

Download our PM Checklist for Managers and make sure your PM process matters!

 

At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people. Get in touch to find out how we can help your managers to more effectively support and manage performance.

Teambuilding – Make It Work For You
14 Oct

Teambuilding – Make It Work For You

Great teambuilding happens when we are able to better understand individual strengths to unlock how the team can be stronger together…

but how can you make it happen for you?

 

Getting to know you…

The team spirit can really be enriched by taking part in activities that involve getting ‘under the skin’ of each other, embracing differences and helping each other. Good managers can learn a lot by gathering intelligence about their team’s strengths and capabilities – and many unidentified assets can come to light in the slightly more ‘relaxed’ out-of-office atmosphere. Get ready to be surprised by all the untapped skills that can then be utilised and developed!

Truly getting to know the team allows a manager to better know what buttons to push to get the best results; and when to push them. Talents and expertise identified during teambuilding can be a hidden armoury that comes into its own when the time comes to solve problems and seek new solutions.

Investing time in actively understanding how a team thinks and feels makes for an easier time when motivation is needed.

 

Find out what makes them tick – and what doesn’t!

It’s universally true – we love recognition – but we also love respect. Taking the time to involve a team in some personal development shows them that they have earned it, and deserve it.

Understanding the psychology of people, and their desire to feel that they are making a difference, the ‘time out’ opportunity of teambuilding can afford managers the chance to reassure the team that the organisation is paying attention to their hard work.   Some heartfelt, genuine recognition and respect can go a long way towards building loyalty and trust. It’s amazing what a boost this can give to the team!

At a time when job insecurity is rife, and there can be lots of uncertainty, taking the time to have ‘fun’ beyond the office can be a perfect time for an acknowledgment of what has already been achieved. Use the occasion to take a step-back and reflect on what has been accomplished and what has been learned along the way.

team-building
Celebrate success – together!

Today’s fast changing world of work can leave some people reeling, and very often not enough time is taken to acknowledge success. Teambuilding and personal development time can offer an ideal pit stop to identify why the team is successful and how they can continue that success.

Sadly, celebration is all too often a short-lived activity. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about! It’s what we often crave, so don’t ignore it. Take the time to enjoy the moment and to acknowledge the team who all contributed.

 

In a nutshell…

Managers are only as successful as their team, and the effective ones are those who know their team members, and cultivate the right team dynamics to guide their decisions. Embrace the diverse personalities in the team and everyone wins in the end.

 

At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people…and we can help you to build your team! Find out how we can help by getting in touch and let’s take it from there.

Refresh Your Coaching
14 Apr

Refresh Your Coaching

coaching management training

Life moves at such a pace that it’s easy to get stuck in a rut in all sorts of ways; including in what we may have learned from management training…how we coach and support our people.

When was the last time you considered the quality of your coaching?  If your people were asked to rate the quality of the coaching you deliver out of ten, how would you score?  Chances are, if you average any lower than a seven, you could do with brushing up on your technique.

 

Coaching, in the context of a professional workplace is about supporting, encouraging and unlocking.  What it is not is doing, telling or counselling (and that includes doing all the talking!).  Successful coaching should provide development as a result of guided conversation and questioning that helps the person being coached (i.e. the coachee), to get to their own solutions.

 

So take some time to refresh and see how many of our top 10 tips for better coaching you can check off!

 

10 Tips for Better Coaching

  1. Be human    Always keep it real.  Don’t apply a process or shoehorn the coachee into your preferred coaching structure.  Use structure to keep the conversation guided and on-track whilst having a natural conversation.
  2. You’re a passenger    Just like a driving instructor, they’re in the driving seat and you are next to them, perhaps using the dual controls at certain points to guide and steer, but ultimately it is them that is in control.  If any coaching is to be successful, the coachee must take ownership; only they can make the change and you can only be there to support that change.
  3. Questions are the answer    Coaching should feel like a bit of an exploration for the coach, and like any true explorer, you don’t always know where you will end up when you set off.  As the coach, you don’t have to know the answers to all of your questions – gone are the days when the coach was expected to know it all.  Set off on the exploration together and use good quality questions to get to the destination together.
  4. Listen up    Our top 10 list would be incomplete if the next tip following great questions wasn’t about great listening.  Forget about what’s going to come out of your mouth next, what happened in the last meeting or what you’re going to have for lunch: just listen.  Which questions are easy for the coachee to answer and which ones put them on the spot?  Listen to what they are saying and what they’re not saying and use your intuition to guide you.
  5. Do your homework    Spend some time preparing for the coaching conversation.  What do you know already?  Where were they last time you talked?  What have they been doing recently?  Where do you think they want or need to be?  Don’t over think this stage and make sure that you can still ‘be human’ and flexible in the conversation.
  6. Think ‘mindset’    Naturally, coaching must address knowledge and skill however don’t underestimate the power of attitude and mindset.  When all is said and done, we must want to develop or change our approach.  Remember: no will, no way!
  7. Look who’s talking    Most of us know that the coachee should be doing most of the talking, although that’s easier said than done.  Sometimes, when we get going we do just love the sound of our own voices.  It’s natural enough for us to want to takeover, after all we are trying to help the coachee and give them the benefit of our wealth of knowledge, aren’t we?  Always aim for that golden rule of 70 / 30, with them doing 70% of the talking and use your great questioning and listening skills to get there.
  8. What can they do    The conversation should be all about positive action that they can take, rather than what they can’t do or what is the responsibility of someone else.  Consider the responses to asking this question in different ways: What can they do?  What can they do?  What can they do? What can they do?
  9. Lay your cards out    If you are having a natural and open conversation, it should be easy for you both to lay your cards on the table when you come to a brick wall or a stumbling point.  Sometimes, if you’re not getting anywhere it just takes you to say so and ask what’s going on for the coachee.  Where are they right now?  What aren’t they telling you?
  10. To be continued    And finally of course, you can both have the greatest coaching conversation ever known, but it still needs you as the coach to follow up on what was agreed to keep things moving.  Agree with them what this follow-up looks like (remember: they decide), and always keep your side of the follow-up bargain.

 

How many did you check off and what are your top tips for better coaching?

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your people to be better coaches. Find out more about the management training that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.

Why Can’t Managers Just…Manage?
14 Jan

Why Can’t Managers Just…Manage?

It seems so simple; managers are there to manage.  

Then why is it that so many get it so wrong?

We all know that the impact of bad management is far reaching.  Every manager has the power to make their people angry, stressed and overwhelmingly disengaged.  Dictatorial managers who shirk ownership, unduly pressurise their teams and get frantic about workloads stifle employees and suppress engagement.

So far, so unsurprising.  Yet why do we keep hearing this over and over again?  At least one of the answers is pretty simple.  If you are you a manager, you weren’t given a book called ‘How to be a Brilliant Manager’.  It’s not an easy job; there are a lot of plates to keep spinning and all-too-often little or no formal development is provided, particularly for those rising through the ranks or expected to suddenly be capable of managing a team who, up until the point of promotion had been peers.

All is not lost…there are some simple things to remember, and all of them begin with this:

Managing is about people

Working with people is about relationships

Relationships take time to build and to maintain

Commit to being a better manager.  Here are our top 5 tips to get started with:

1. Know your team

Arguably the single biggest tip; understand what makes your team tick both individually and collectively.  There is a lot to be said for having the emotional intelligence to tune in when they are feeling happy, challenged, motivated or angry, stressed, resentful.  Adapt and tailor your approach to suit people’s personal approach.  Sure, this may not always be possible, but 80-90% of the time is better than zero.

2. Give regular feedback (good AND bad)

We’ve all heard the old saying along the lines of ‘praise is the lowest costing incentive’, but clichés are clichés because they tend to be true.  Take time out of each day to recognise and thank people for their contributions and achievements; you don’t have to wait until your next scheduled time with them!  On the flip side, don’t shy away from giving bad feedback (replace ‘bad’ with your current word de jour…developmental, formative, etc).  Being a good manager is about facing up to the tough stuff and your team will respect you for having a fair and consistent approach.

3. Be imperfect

No-one likes a know-it-all.  Your people might not tell you upfront, but you’ll be the subject of office gossip if you’re the sort of manager who has an air of knowing everything about any given subject, or whose motto is “I told you so”.  We tend to respect managers and leaders who can put their hands up when they don’t know the answer or when they get it wrong rather than go around the houses and bluff their way through.  Be imperfect and it will encourage an open and honest culture.

4. Set the standard

It’s no good playing the ‘unprofessional’ card with someone one day and then be spotted yourself in a similarly unprofessional situation the next.  You need to make your standards clear to each person on the team and then role model these yourself.  Set clear boundaries for what is and isn’t acceptable (this will differ depending on the environment and company culture), then ‘walk the walk’.

5. Learn, learn, then learn some more

The final tip is two-pronged.  As a manager you must support each person with their development (that’s ‘support’, you don’t have to do everything yourself and they should take ownership of their own development).  Equally important, and easier to forget, is your development.  Be a manager who is eager to learn more and improve whilst constantly challenge yourself and you will set an excellent benchmark for your team (see tip 4!).

Take time today to consider how you can be a better manager.  It’s never too late to make a change…what will yours be?

At Right Trax Training we can help you to become a better manager!  Get in touch to find out how.

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