Check mark

Copyright: 123rf

Copyright: 123rf

In today's fast-paced work world, it's easy for tasks, steps, and ideas to slip through the cracks.

Idea of the month: Checklists.

It sounds rudimentary. But when you create a new process, aim to create a checklist to go with the process. 
Having the visual aid will help you, and anyone else responsible for the task, complete it accurately every time.

Sharing and then running through a checklist ensures mutual understanding, saves you both time, and reduces the chance of mistakes.

Checklists work well for:

  • new greetings or closings
  • new processes for up-selling or tracking
  • transitioning tasks from one person to another
  • packing for a trip to Hawaii!

What your go-to checklist format?

It's March Madness

Setup for the Final Four is already happening in our backyard in San Antonio

Setup for the Final Four is already happening in our backyard in San Antonio

It's officially started! Ever wonder how NBA players prepare for such an important moment in their life?

They practice a lot (that's a huge understatement!) and they practice in environments that simulate the real event. When a team arrives at a venue, they often practice on the court ahead of time to get a feel for the space.

If you are trying to improve performance on your team, don’t just talk about how to handle a tough interaction or presentation. Practice in an environment as close to reality as possible.

  • For customer service interactions, role-play in an escalated tone.
  • For presentations, practice in the boardroom, not your office.
  • For conference calls, practice over the phone.

We look forward to seeing your favorite team (live or fantasy) in San Antonio, home of Ward Certified HQ!

Would you rather read this now or later?

Ah, motivation.  Always a hot topic.

Motivation comes from within, and it’s based on these three needs:

-       Autonomy

-       Relatedness

-       Competence

How can you apply these to your team?

Autonomy – When people feel like they are in charge, they’re more motivated.  So next time you assign a project, frame the information or situation in a way that gives them control.

Relatedness – When talking to team members about goals, projects and tasks, share how it helps them, the team, the company, the client and/or the world.

Competence – People feel best when they are learning and growing.   Even learning unrelated to work can improve on-the-job performance.  Encourage team members to follow a passion they have: salsa dancing, guitar lessons, cooking classes or even CrossFit.

More time spent on communicating the work can save time on the work.

The 5 Whys

I ran a great session on Change and Problem Solving with a fun bunch of professionals last week. Shout out to #WoltersKluwer #Nashville !!

One of the most popular take-aways was using the problem-solving model, “The 5 Whys”, as a way to have more effective feedback conversations with team members.

Here’s how it works.  When there is an issue, uncover the true problem by asking "why" no fewer than five times.  

Issue:  Bart is often late for work.

1.     Why are you late, Bart?  Traffic is bad.

2.     Why?  'Cause I have to get on the Always-Backed-up-Highway.

3.     Why?  'Cause I drop my daughter off at daycare across town.

4.     Why do you go to that daycare?  'Cause it’s closer to my wife’s office and she picks our daughter up at the end of the day.

5.     Why?  ‘Cause I don’t get out of work in time to do pick-up.

Spot any solutions yet?  

Now you can put your problem-solving hat on and work collaboratively with Bart to create focused solutions, rather than assuming a bad attitude, or tips on navigating traffic or buying alarm clocks!