Category Archives: Self-improvement

Human Performance Deserves More Than a Review

Is there an opportunity in your organization to improve the performance review process? Even if you don’t overhaul the entire process, you may still find qualitative improvements within your reach.  For example, instead of focusing on “what happened”, you can look for “why” it happened and “what can be done differently in the future”.

Human Performance Deserves More Than a Review

How to Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement

Three good suggestions on how to get to know yourself better. I want to add a fourth one: Seek feedback. In my coaching engagements, one of the most appreciated elements of the process is to receive what is called “360 feedback”. Asking the manager, peers and direct reports of the executive for their strengths and development opportunities usually brings two major benefits: realizing how others value the executive’s many strengths, and uncovering blind spots. What has been your experience with 360 feedback?

Most Effective Time Management Techniques to Succeed in 2019

Please find attached 10 good productivity reminders. I want to highlight the fourth one: Learn to say “no”. Beware that every time you say yes to requests from others (which may not necessarily be important to you) you are saying no to activities which are important to you.

Do You Want to Become an Ultimate Influencer?

If you want to attract people to you and your ideas, there are two broad ways to accomplish this: by force and by persuasion.

In this newsletter I will focus on improving your skills in the latter area, as I assume you’ve seen enough evidence of the long-term challenges using the former.

There are five principles of Ultimate Influence™ outlined in the book Adversaries into Allies by Bob Burg, the author of the sales classic, Endless Referrals and coauthor of the Go-Giver series. These five principles resonated with the challenges I’ve observed in my personal experience and with corporate clients as well:

  1. Control your emotions. Aim to make “calm” your default setting, even when others aren’t. I know this is easier said than done but make a commitment to yourself that your new default setting will be calm. Visualize yourself staying calm and try it in your next meeting. Even if you fail, keep trying. Celebrate your victories.
  2. Understand the clash of belief systems. Don’t assume that the person you are trying to influence thinks in a way that is similar to yours. When in doubt, ask for clarification. And as outlined by Stephen Covey three decades ago, seek first to understand, then to be understood.
  3. Acknowledge their ego. Avoid unnecessary criticism and embarrassment. Highlight the positives in others. Look first for areas where you agree with the other person so they don’t get defensive. Then, and only then, try to persuade.
  4. Set the proper frame. This is where I found the biggest growth opportunity and perhaps you will too. Take the initiative and ensure the most productive frame for your interactions is set (or reset). For example, if the other person is framing the discussion as a choice between two alternatives, neither of which you find attractive, you can reframe it by adding a third option to choose from.
  5. Communicate with tact and empathy. Listen more, talk less. To inspire trust and likeability, find similarities with the person(s) you are trying to influence.

Follow these five principles to become an Ultimate Influencer and avoid resorting to force to attract people to you and your ideas. Persuade by focusing on what’s in it for the person you are trying to influence, instead of “what’s in it for me.”

Percy M. Cannon
Corporate Coach

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Want to Be More Open-Minded?

Three good tips in the attached article to be more open-minded, to which I would add a fourth one: become a good listener. Listen before speaking. Aim for at least a 2x ratio of listening to speaking. Ask clarification questions. Truly seek to understand what the other person is trying to communicate.

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

From the 13 tips offered in the attached article, I want to highlight the fifth: Focus on your priorities. They suggest to use a 2-by-2 matrix of Urgent & Not-Urgent versus Important & Not-Important, which you may have seen before from Covey’s “7 Habits” model. What I particularly like of this matrix is the specific suggestions of what to do depending on which quadrant the task on hand falls into. Check it out.

When You Want to Gossip About Someone at Work, Stop and Ask Yourself Why

When you want to gossip about someone at work, just don’t. Instead, I suggest to take a proactive approach. Determine what you can do to help this person.

If you don’t want to get involved, then don’t. Just don’t get frustrated if you continue to see the same negative behavior by this person.

How Can You Make a True Difference in 2019?

The new year has arrived. By now you have probably received dozens of “Happy New Year” wishes. How ready are you to start truly making a difference in 2019 today, one that’s strong enough to last throughout the 365 days of the year?

Choosing one or more goals for the year is fine, as long as you have a robust system that will support your efforts throughout the year.

I suggest you create a new habit in 2019, which we will call the “Weekly Review.” Schedule (in your preferred electronic device or physical agenda) 15 minutes for a weekly planning and review session. Choose Sunday evening or Monday morning for this. Repeat this entry for the 52 weeks of 2019.

This action alone could become the biggest game-changer in your life this year. In these 15 minutes you can do two things:

  1. Review your previous week’s performance. Did you do what you had planned to do? Did you over or under commit? What worked well and what didn’t? Were you able to work on both your professional and personal priorities? Log these findings in a notebook or in your preferred device or app. They will help you track your progress.
  2. Plan your next week’s performance. Based on your 2019 goals, what actions do you plan to undertake the following week? Try to move forward on both your professional and personal goals. Block time periods in your weekly agenda to work on these activities.

As with any new habit, repetition is key. If needed, shorten their length, but do your best not to skip them. And when you miss a week (let’s face it, this is bound to happen), pick it up the following week.

Tracking your progress is also very important. This will allow you to generate positive momentum. When you can see that what you scheduled got done, it generates a sense of growth and accomplishment.

Count on me to help you in this process. You can also leverage the functionality of the LifePlan app for iPhones and iPads, available in the Apple Store.

I wish you a successful 2019 across all aspects of your life.

Percy M. Cannon
Corporate Coach

PS: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues.