Category Archives: attention to details

Four Useful Tips in Searching for the Vital Things during Personal Inspections

As an executive, you must know what to look for during your inspections to offices, plants or operations area.  Since you are possibly going to be there only for a few days or hours, you can’t hope to learn everything and see everything that could be seen.

As a smart inspector, you will meddle into the operations more promptly to find the things swept under the rug.   Here are the four useful tips in searching for the vital things   during personal inspections, using them as signs of things unseen:

1. Determine if the people who are supposed to know have the answers.

Most of the time, the Operations Chief or the one in-charge of the area escorts you during your inspection tour.  The tour can also be the chance for a quiet but systematic quiz of the local boss, using items and events as they occur to provoke answers.  Ask the local boss questions to check if he is on top of the job.

An executive is asking questions to in-charge of office inspected.
An executive is asking questions to in-charge of office inspected.

2.  Determine if the easily controllable things are under control.

Each operation or job has certain parts which are easily controlled by the manager who is abreast of things.  Except for some circumstances, housekeeping and carelessness are evidences of lack of discipline and control over the actions of employees.  At this point, you can begin to turn attention to the management of the place.

3.  Determine if the surface is the representative of what lies beneath.

Explore beneath the surface, in one or two instances, to discover any evidence of “glossing over” of poor conditions.

4.  Determine if the inspection check out with other facts.

Before the inspection tour, it’s a wise plan to get some basic facts about the place.  Some of the figures might include employee relations, morale, expenditures, revenue, complaints and so on.  If an item is showing up very good or very bad in these figures, this is a hint as to where to look during your inspection trip.

These are my tips and I know there are still many others in your list.  I invite you to share your list with everyone by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Ten Behavior Patterns Resorted to by People to Hide Their Lack of Self-Esteem

In the book, Creating Confidence, Rex Johnson and David Swindley define self-esteem as the feeling of worth you have about yourself; the value you place on you.  Like oxygen or electricity, you can’t see, hear, taste or smell it, but you know when it’s not there.

Lack of self-esteem means you feel yourself worthless and valueless.  It is important that we know who among our associates or co-workers lack self-esteem so that we know how to deal with them and help them.  This deficiency can cause low motivation, low energy levels, low physical activity and poor relationship with people.

Mistakably, we think that loud, arrogant people have high self-esteem and quiet people have not.  Generally, the most confident people are quiet about their achievements, get on with their lives, doing as they please and enjoying themselves.  Still waters run deep!

According to psychotherapists Rex Johnson and David Swindley, many desperately try to cover up their lack of self-esteem, but a well-tuned observer can spot the truth quite easily.

Here are the ten behavior patterns resorted to by people to hide a lack of self-esteem:

1.  The Critic

He is fond of criticizing and belittling people, especially those who are more successful than him; an unhappy way to justify himself.  He is unable to come up with constructive suggestion or positive action of his own.

2,  The Shrinking Violet

He avoids the limelight and shrinks into the background, convinced that he’s not worth anyone’s attention.  He could not accept a compliment because he’s spent many years believing he is inadequate.

3.  The Complainer

He can’t stop himself complaining, get great pleasure from it, and take every opportunity to practice his art.  Whatever happens, he’s not happy.

4.  The Addict

Eating disorders, phobias and addictive habits such as anorexia, bulimia, smoking and alcoholism are usually behaviors of a person who lack self-esteem.

5.  The Mouse

He is afraid to expose his true feelings because he cannot face possible rejection.  He creeps around like a mouse, too timid to express an opinion.  He avoids complaining even when he has every reason to do so.

6.  The Sheep

He follows the herd in order to be accepted into certain circles or groups.  He doesn’t trust his own individuality enough to go his own way.

7.  The Big Mouth

On the face of it, he is the opposite of the mouse.  He cannot stop talking, and this behavior comes in two categories.  The first is worried that he won’t get another chance to say his piece; once he engages you in conversation it is hard to get away.  The second is a habitual braggart, with little regard for truth.  He boasts and promises on anything he could not afford to fulfill.

8.  The Put-Down Expert

He has a quick insult, a barbed comment for everybody who crossed his path.  He thinks the only way he could impress is by using his sharp cleverness to put others down.

9.  The Begrudger

He is the jealous individual who feels that anyone who has something he wants doesn’t really deserve it.  Through jealousy, he dislikes people who are successful.  He doesn’t have the sufficient self-confidence to be able to say ‘Well done, I’m pleased for you,’ and mean it.

10.  The Blamer

He is always looking for scapegoats.  If something goes wrong, it’s somebody else’s fault.  He always finds someone to be blamed for any wrongdoings or failures even if he knows that he is responsible for his own actions.

I know there are literally hundreds of behavior patterns and I invite you to share your own list by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Four Attributes of an Effective Performance Management System in the Workplace

The year is about to end and it’s time for the preparation of documents for the performance appraisal of each employee for the current year and for each employee’s performance targets  for the ensuing year.

The Human Resources Glossary defines performance management as the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities.

Likewise, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management defines performance management as the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organizational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals.

These two definitions are geared towards the attainment of company goals and targets through partnership with the employees.   As managers and leaders, you are encouraged to have an effective performance management system to meet this challenge.

Here are the four attributes of an effective performance management system in the workplace:

1.  Use of Simple Formats.

Not all managers like performance appraisals.  This activity requires a little extra work and competes for their attention to the many other business demands and concerns.  They do not want to waste time interpreting difficult formats.  Simple formats give them more time to discuss work activities of each employee.

2.  Meeting with the Employee at least Once every Two Months or even more Frequently.

Frequent meetings with the employees will enable us to assist them in addressing their performance concerns and needs in order to improve their performance.

In the book, First, Break All the Rules, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman says: “If you meet only once or twice a year, you are forced to drop your criticisms on the employee all at once, like a bomb.  When the employee inevitably recoils, you then have to dredge your memory for examples to support your argument.  But by meeting frequently, you can avoid this battle of wills.  You can introduce areas of poor performance little by little over time, and each time you raise the subject, you can refer to recent, vivid examples.  Your criticisms will be easier to swallow and the conversation more productive.”

A manager is conducting a performance meeting with her employees.
A manager is conducting a performance meeting with her employees.

3.  It is Centered on what the Employee can Achieve in the next six months  or one year.

Although, you assess the past performance in the first few minutes of the meeting, the rest is dedicated to what the employee could be or could do in the next months.

4.  The Employee is asked to Record his or her Accomplishments and the Lessons Learned

This will make the employee feel that his or her work is important to the company.  The employee shall record his or her goals, accomplishments, lessons and skills learned and breakthroughs.  This makes the employee responsible and accountable to his or her own performance.

This record will enable you to identify which area in the employee’s performance needs improvement.

If applied, these attributes will make performance management system in the company effective.

If you have more attributes to add, please do so by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Leaders Pay Attention to the Details

“So pay attention to the details. Sweat the small stuff (like crazy). Commit to OAD: Obsessive Attention to Detail (the best people and organizations do; think Apple, Ritz Carlton, Amazon and The Mercer Hotel in NYC). Because the little things are the big things.”          Robin Sharma

There are projects which fail due to the leader’s failure to be attentive to details.  Details are like dominoes because when you neglect one, it will cause the falling down of the whole task which may even lead to  catastrophe.

If the Doctor does not pay attention to the details of the patient’s sickness, this may cause a wrong prescription and  perhaps the patient’s death.  If the Engineer does not pay attention to the details of the construction materials, chances are, the building constructed shall be of substandard quality and may even collapse in a few years.

A leader must pay attention to the little things including his or her own appearance.  He or she must be neat and must be dressed appropriately.  His or her office must be clean and organized.  Restrooms must be clean and odorless as this signifies that the leader cares for people.  Immaculately clean restroom is a mark of a world class organization.

A neat personality as well as a clean and an organized office will give an impression to the customer that the quality of the company’s products and services are above standard.

A leader shall keep a checklist to avoid missing the details.

Ray Croc, McDonald’s founder, focuses on the little things.  He says, “I emphasize the importance of details.  You must perfect every fundamental of your business if you expect it to perform well.”

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes