The New Rules For Your Next Team Meeting

Do you regularly chair team meetings? Do you find yourself frustrated with controlling those meetings? Perhaps you have issues with certain individuals? This may be a possible solution for you and your team.

Pick your fights thoughtfully!

I was reminded this weekend, after having a conversation with a group of friends, of a piece of great advice that my old boss gave me. She would say to me that “…you have to pick your fights”. I’m sure she will remember this conversation and, from interpreting her at the time, I feel that she learned this through being the one who had to/needed to st and up and challenge the changes that were taking place in the organisation at the time…partly because no one else would.

Without getting too deep into it, this is something that I feel a lot of people still have to learn.

Writing an Employment Reference

Recently I have been asked to write a few references, mostly in the capacity as an employer.

Writing a reference is not all that difficult and to make it a little easier I have put together some of my thoughts and tips for writing an employment reference.

Language used:

  • ‘The applicant’ is the person that you are providing a reference for
  • ‘The employer’ is the person that has asked you for a reference for a new post

Taking the 5 forces further | Video

At the start of the year I put out a post about business environmental analysis, which provided an insight into some basic, although timeless strategies and tools, including ‘Porter’s 5-Forces’.

Michael Porter created the 5-Forces strategy about 30 years agao and it is still used widely today.

In this HBR article Michael Porter provides an insight into the application and implications of the strategy.


Preparing Your Job Application

Preparing your application for a job can be a difficult and daunting process, especially if you have not done it for a while.

The tips and information I have detailed below will hopefully make you feel a little better and more motivated to complete your application.

By doing all the right things you should be able to secure yourself an interview, which should be your main goal; you must make it very clear that you are capable of doing the job.

The Mother Principle

There will always be a time where you will have to complete a task, delegated to you by your boss, that you are not fully motivated to complete. Your lack of motivation could be for many reasons; lack of involvement, lack of underst anding, lack of interest, etc. However, this does not mean that you will not do it, or that it will be done to any less of a quality…but you do need to find a way to motivate yourself, and your manager needs to find a way to positively motivate you too.

If your manager knows you well enough, he or she will know what tasks you like and dislike. The manager can then take advantage of the mother principle/rule.


Preparing for an Interview

It is important to prepare prior to an interview. You do not know exactly what questions will be asked, so it is important to do some general preparation about you and your abilities. The preparation will give you the ability to quickly recall information when answering questions.

Depending on what you are used to you could prepare in different ways. You could write lists, or brainstorm. You could also sit down with someone you know really well and do some role play interviews to practice your interview technique.


Annual Performance Review

In every organisation there are performance reviews and there will be informal
and formal checking and monitoring of performance.

The information below is a guide or set of tips for managers who chair performance
reviews in their organisation and this is how I get the most out of the review
meetings (basically by asking A LOT if questions).

Writing a Management Report

As a manager there is a good chance that you will be asked to write a performance review report for your relevant department(s). I have listed a few tips that should help you to structure and present a report in a professional way so that your report will be taken seriously and, if you are lucky, it will actually be read by your manager!

There are several benefits to writing management reports: –

  • Over time a collection of reports will prove as a great portfolio and growth measurement tool;
  • It’s a great opportunity to show your manager what you have achieved.

Employee Personal Development

I’m sure that in your organisation you will have some sort of internal review process/performance review, although sometimes it is not enough to just have a meeting once per year or to just focus on the goals related to the role the employee plays within the organisation. This development tool focuses upon the individual with reference to their PERSONAL objectives, on an ongoing basis.

I have designed a development plan that can be used for all team members and I have made them available for download as .pdf documents