Profiles International - Victoria    eNewsletter    December 2009 

On behalf of the team @ Profiles, we would like to thank our clients for their support in 2009 and we wish all of our clients & newsletter readers a happy and safe Xmas/New Year.

How to Increase the Numbers of Soaring Eagles
Who “Lone eagles, soaring in the clouds, fly with silent, peaceful poise, while turkeys, in their earth-bound crowds, fill the atmosphere with noise.”

Those words of scholar William Arthur Ward succinctly capture the different characteristics of two kinds of birds. But Ward is talking about more than just birds. He is telling us that we should admire and emulate the eagle, and that too many of us fit in too well among the "earth-bound crowds."Nothing against turkeys, but Ward has a point. Yes, turkeys are the icons of a well-set Thanksgiving table, but consider what that means: They get eaten, especially this time of year. So why not soar with the eagles? That's a good goal for both individuals and organisations, and it fits well with recognising incompetence on the managerial team and doing something about it.

Here are some ideas for proceeding:

Before you make your next managerial hire or promotion, make sure the person you are considering for a position of responsibility is management material. Some people can grow into the role, and some cannot. Scientific assessments such as ProfileXT and Profiles Performance Indicator provide insight that helps improve selection and team performance. Our clients have used one or both tools successfully, depending on their needs. Either way, these assessments work. They offer more validity than just guessing or following your instincts.
If you already know you have managers who are not performing to your standards, take action sooner rather than later. Planning a course of action is good, but only if you execute the plan in a timely manner. If the person in charge of execution puts off corrective action week after week because he or the plan "is not ready," you have just discovered another ineffective leader in your organisation. Leading often means going outside one's comfort zone to do what needs doing, and some managers need training to do this. Demonstrate to subordinates what action looks like. Show them that taking action is essential. Letting a poorly performing manager squeak by for an extended period can damage your organisation.
If you determine a manager cannot fit the role of leading others, you owe it to him or her, and to yourself, to find out how he can best serve. Look at what he was doing before management. What aspects of his previous performance prompted his promotion? Was he a strong salesman? An expert technician? Superb at customer service? If he showed strength in a prior position, your next step is to move him to the place he performs best with the message that you want both him and the company to succeed. If this employee adds value to the organisation, you do not want to imply that he failed. Some people are just not management material, and chances are that your worker knows that as well as you do.
Use your high performers as models for both current and future employees. Smart recruiters use PXT on the front end to make sure they are hiring people that look like the organisation's top performers. Creative workplaces find methods of spreading high performance around. Leaders put their high performers in teams to train others. They give them the responsibility of an important project and let them detail to the rest of the organisation how they executed it. Show off anyone who does the job the right way. Remember: Praise in public, correct in private. Get to the point where you praise more than correct, and your job will be more enjoyable and certainly easier.

These ideas will put your organisation on the flight path of soaring eagles. May their numbers increase.                                                                FROM JIM SIRBASKU’S DESK

Quiz: 

1. An effective manager agonizes over each detail of a big plan.
____True ____False

2. Employee attitudes toward change are impossible to discover. If an employee knows his organisation wants him to embrace change, he can mask his attitude successfully. ____True ____False

3. A competent leader delegates responsibility only after analyzing whether the employee is capable of successfully completing the task.
____True ____False

4. Some subordinates don't want to do what needs to be done; they prefer to exercise their creativity in their own way. A leader faced with this kind of worker should leave her alone to work the way she thinks best.
____True ____False

5. A verbose manager can hinder effective communication.
____True ____False

6. Only weak leaders ask for help once they have set their course of action.
____True ____False

7. Telling team members to observe an expert at work is the best way to develop talents in others.
____True ____False

8. Effective managers stay with a problem indefinitely, even when it appears impossible to solve.
____True ____False


Answers:


1. False. A manager who cannot move beyond the small details of an important plan has lost sight of the big picture.
2. False. Although some employees are adept at hiding things, top leaders can discover such things as attitudes toward change through a sharply focused assessment. Moving a worker who dislikes change to another position will result in a better job fit and more productivity.
3. True. Competent leaders delegate responsibility after assessing their workers' capabilities, interests and development needs.
4. False. Effective leaders clearly spell out their expectations for subordinates. Although constructive corrections might bruise an ego, a leader cannot lead someone pointed in the wrong direction.
5. True. By its definition, communication requires that more than one person speaks—a give and take—never a give and give and give. Even if team members disagree, considering all viewpoints can lead to creative solutions. Voila! Communication!
6. False. Seeking help to complete a project on deadline is always a more effective course of action than stubbornly pushing forward toward failure. There is no "I" in team.
7. False. Observing a master at work is only one way of developing others' skills. Other necessary methods include observation of the employee's habits, constructive criticism, and focused training.
8. True. Effective managers know that every problem has a solution. And they find it.

Strategies For Winning 
What Goes Around -  See your Managers' Strengths from Every Angle
A senior manager announces his decision to move to a competitor and the senior management team convenes a crisis-management meeting to figure how the organisation will survive. Meanwhile, for the rest of the team, it's party time! The champagne is flowing; everyone's wearing funny hats, blowing noisemakers, and toasting their good fortune. The topic du jour is "With that clown gone, maybe now we can get on with business."

What happened? How can someone so valued by senior management work so badly with the troops on the ground? The reality is most senior managers have no awareness of how they or their fellow managers perceive them throughout their organisations, even at a time when so much is spoken about achievement of corporate goals through team-based efforts. No wonder that more than 30 percent of all people changing jobs are doing so to get away from their bosses. They're not leaving their jobs-they're leaving their managers!

This sort of disaster can happen only in an environment where the performance of management is appraised using traditional boss-down appraisals, with performance of managers assessed only by their direct bosses. This traditional approach means that the views of those who most directly experience the effectiveness (or otherwise) of a manager's performance-peers and direct reports-are never tapped. If your success depends to any extent upon your team, that's just not acceptable any more. 

Multi-Rater Feedback
Modern business has rendered the traditional boss-down appraisal extinct, and a more appropriate approach to assessing management competencies and performance has emerged. That new approach is multi-rater feedback, and Profiles Checkpoint is an excellent example of this model. 

Every year, more than 250,000 managers worldwide use the Profiles Checkpoint Multi-Rater Feedback System, a system that provides managers and leaders with an opportunity to receive an evaluation of their job performance from the people around them—their boss, their peers (fellow managers), and their direct reports (the people whose work they supervise). From this feedback, managers can compare the opinions of others with their own perceptions, positively identify their strengths, and pinpoint the areas of their job performance that need improvement. 

The Profiles Checkpoint process is concerned with a manager's job performance in eight universal leadership and management competencies and 18 skill sets:

Communication:
Listens to others
Processes information
Communicates effectively
Adaptability
Adjusts to circumstances
Thinks creatively
Task Management
Works efficiently
Works competently
Development of Others
Cultivates individual talents
Motivates successfully
Leadership
Instills trust
Provides direction
Delegates responsibility
Relationships
Builds personal relationships
Facilitates team success
Production
Takes action
Achieves results
Personal Development
Displays commitment                        

How Does it Work? 
Each participant completes an evaluation - a process that takes about 15 minutes. Participants are guaranteed anonymity (except for the boss) and urged to be honest and objective in their responses. Participants complete their feedback via the Internet, or on paper if desired, and results from all participants are compiled in a report that is returned to the manager. 

Checkpoint reports have colorful graphs and useful charts, as well as narrative descriptions of the results, to help the manager read, understand and effectively use the data for self-development. The report has a special personal-growth section that coaches the manager and helps improve performance in development areas. 

 The Checkpoint report also encourages managers to link directly into an online system called Checkpoint SkillBuilder, which takes them through the step-by-step process of developing a comprehensive and personalized development plan. You can read more about the Checkpoint system on the Web at www.profilesvictoria.com.au

Round and Round;
The upshot is a more detailed and objective assessment of a manager's strengths, and of any areas where additional development might be required. This assessment then forms the basis of a development plan between managers and their bosses-whereas the managers are fully aware of the dynamics of their relationships with the people around them, they are also effectively locked into the organisation by the commitment of the organisation to their ongoing skill development.  After a period of six or 12 months, the process is run again; the effectiveness of the development plan is assessed; and new development goals are set for the following period. 

Multi-Rater Feedback vs. Boss-Down Appraisals
There are several reasons managers at all levels are eagerly embracing this approach to performance appraisal. 

Equitable  For the manager being appraised, multi-rater appraisals differ from boss-down appraisals in the same way that judge and jury courts differ from "hanging-judge" courts. Managers benefit from a wide variety of feedback upon their actual job performance, and, to be deemed top-performing managers, are no longer solely dependent upon the extent to which they have developed a good rapport with their direct boss. 
 Proven Effectiveness  For the appraising boss, a positive change is more likely when an appraisal draws upon multiple sources trusted by the manager. Multi-rater appraisals are more effective than boss-down appraisals in driving a manager to make necessary behavioural changes or to improve management skills. If your boss says you need some improvement in some particular area, you may think, "What would she know" or explain it away as a personality thing. If, however, 11 different people of your choosing, people with whom you work closely and whose views you trust and value, send you the same message, you really have to listen.
 
Team Motivation Multi-rater feedback systems also have a positive team-building effect. Research has proven the motivating value of the exercise for those involved as reviewers. Your people are sent a clear message that their opinions are valued, and they can help effect positive change in the management where required. Traditional reviews have given way to this much more effective tool for management development, as Fortune 500 organisations are mandating their use. 

Used regularly as an integral part of a strategic development plan, 360-degree appraisals can lead to more consistent management development, better alignment of corporate goals with personal-development objectives, more open communication, and better team balance.
                   

IN THIS ISSUE

America's Most Productive Thrive Through Turmoil


Quiz: Productivity


How to Become an Employer of Choice


A Snapshot of Success in the Insurance Industry











WHAT'S ON AT PROFILES

Partner Training:
Tues  27th October
2pm - 4pm

Seminar:
There is no seminar scheduled for October.

 
 

 



















 

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

Team building may be one of the most valuable activities you can do for your business.  Profiles Team Analysis™ helps managers and organisations to:

1. Learn to build effective teams.  Find the right balance that will help the team leader assemble and shape a team into something more than just a group of individuals.

2. Reduce workplace conflict and get team members to work together. Help team leaders find ways to coach team members through conflicts and use them to the team's advantage

3. Build a team with great chemistry. Identify the core characteristics of individual team members and use them to build a well-balanced team .

4. Learn how to handle team conflict. Inspire individuals to look beyond their differences and come together to work together effectively.

5. Build effective relationships with remote teams.  Manage teams in any location – especially those who participate in multiple projects with multiple teams.

6. Get the best performance from multi-generational teams.  Empower team members to learn from each other and use their differences to propel the team to success.


Call us now for a 30% discount on RRP for all PTAs ordered during September and October 2009.








”The real source of wealth and capital in this new era is not material things. It is the human mind, the human spirit, the human imagination, and our faith in the future.”
– Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes




“It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality.” – Hal Geneen, American businessman
 



“When you're trying to create things that are new, you have to be prepared to be on the edge of risk.” – Michael Eisner, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company
















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