Archive for August, 2010

Here’s a different opinion about performance evaluations.

Posted in Leadership, Management, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 22, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

I offer time saving tips and ideas in this blog, and last week I pointed out that you are smart to have “Performance planning and review” meetings with your key people. I also suggested that it’s important to skip job “evaluation” meetings because even the word “evaluation” distracts, demotivates, and frightens people.  I further recommended that you look at your “performance planning” meetings as a “time investment” for you and the other person.

Here’s a similar view — a good one, in my opinion. This comes from UCLA business professor Samuel Culbert who says “the annual job review is total baloney.”

You can hear professor Culbert explain his opinion in this interview on NPR:

I wholeheartedly agree with what professor Culbert says in the interview.

I don’t know why it came about, but some companies and some managers require annual employee evaluations and/or annual job “reviews.” Those evaluation sessions, in my opinion, are a waste of time because they generally center around money and, thus, involve emotions. I suggest that sensible planning and review meetings between you and each key person — without emotional distractions — can help you both focus on the job better and also save time for each other,

I repeat what I wrote last week:

1) Forget the word “evaluation.” and focus on time saving meetings with your people — meetings that clarify expectations and understandings!

2) When you clarify expectations and understandings about the job, you each save time.

3) When you clarify expectations and understandings, you and the other person won’t need to interrupt each other so much — and that saves time too.

Professor Culbert wrote a book titled “Get Rid of The Performance Review.” I’ll bet it’s well worth your time. You can learn more about his book at the above link.

Let’s summarize here: Forget those annual “job review” meetings that become time wasting rituals. Instead, meet regularly with key people (quarterly when you can) to clarify expectations and understandings about the job so you focus on the future, thereby enhancing motivation and saving time for each other.

Does this ring true to you?

Why conduct performance evaluations?

Posted in Customer service, Leadership, Management, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 19, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

After speaking for an audience last week, a woman asked me if she could talk with me. She told me she was a new manager who was frustrated because the HR people in her company wanted her to conduct performance evaluations with her team. She said she didn’t want to do that because she thought “that is a gigantic time waster” and she asked if I could suggest any ideas that would help her.

I told her I was happy to help and, before I tell you what else I told the woman, I’m going to repeat a thought that I discussed in this blog almost one year ago (in September).

Here goes:

“Many people think time management is a narrow subject for managing their own time. I suggest that good time management is much broader than that. I propose that time management includes any and all management skills that help you, your team, and others ‘save’ time.”

Ok, so what about performance evaluations?

I told the woman that lots of people tell me they put off giving performance evaluations because “they don’t have time.” I say that is a misguided excuse and that they are fooling themselves with that excuse. I proceeded by saying that providing performance planning and review sessions is a crucial management skill.

I asked the woman — and I’m asking you now — to please continue thinking with me. Consider the following.

When you clarify expectations, and when you develop clear understandings with your people, you are saving time for you – and for them. Correct?

I also suggest that, when you schedule quarterly planning & review meetings with your key people, you won’t need to interrupt each other so much and this saves time too!

Idea: Forget the word “evaluation” (that word scares everyone away) and conduct “Performance planning & review” meetings with your people. When you do this, consider each meeting as a time investment in you and your team.

And Just think: Any minutes or hours you save for you – and any minutes you save for your team (even if only a few) – are minutes you — and they – can use to take care of customers and other key priorities. And, boy, is it ever great to have any and all extra minutes to use in these chaotic, fast-changing times! Correct?

This is time management at it’s best!

Does this make sense to you? Please leave a comment here.

Here’s a fresh look at time!

Posted in Balance, Planning, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 6, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

The heavens have fascinated me since I was a kid and I’ve enjoyed astronomy for the past 30 years. I’m mentioning this now because I want to draw your attention to a magnificent sight you can enjoy in the night sky this month. I’m referring to the Perseus Showers.

There’s a chance that you might not have heard of the Perseus Showers so please permit me to explain that we are not talking about rain showers. Instead, we’re talking about a shower of small “meteors” which some people call “shooting stars.”

You already know that the earth moves in a circle around the sun and that it takes a year for the earth to finish a complete circle. The earth has traveled in this circle for so many centuries that today we can predict most of the things we’re able to see in the heavens at any particular time, all depending where the earth happens to be.

It is now August and the earth is now moving to a spot where you’ll soon be able to see the Perseus Showers.

The best night to view the Perseus Showers will be on August 12, and I suggest you make a note on your calendar to remind yourself to look to the Northeast at 11 p.m. on the 12th. (Actually, you can see this show several nights before the 12th so feel free to look at 11 p.m on any night between August 9 and August 12, yet know that the night of the 12th will yield the best view.)

When you look at the sky, be certain you are away from any lights for your best “night” vision. You’ll then start to see from 50 to 150 meteors an hour and they will appear in such a spectacular view that you’ll think you’re watching 4th of July fireworks. (You won’t need binoculars.)

Realize the “meteors” you are watching are actually debris from a comet that passed years ago. The “meteors” are appearing in the constellation, Perseus, and that’s why the “showers” have the Perseus name.

Now, think about this. The largest star in Perseus is 100 light years away. Thus, when you see the light from that star, realize that light was generated 100 years ago. In other words, when you see that light, you will be looking into the past. (Wow! I could say you just saved 100 years.)

How’s that for a fresh perspective about time?

Do you have a comment? Please leave it here.

Steps for a good week of August 2

Posted in Organize, Planning, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 2, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

August is already here & September is in front of you so:
1) Decide 3 things you want done by the end of this week (Write ’em down.)
2) What’s one item you want done before Labor Day weekend? (Write it down.)
3) Schedule 4 tasks that will help you complete the above goals.
4) Specify 2 things you want done by year end. (Write them down.)
5) Schedule time to relax & renew this week (or you won’t get it).

These steps will help you focus & have a successful week.

Got a question or comment? Please put it here.