Tag Archives: attention to details

The Digital Camera as an Indispensable Tool

In his book, Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell says, A leader’s main responsibility is developing others to do the work. In order to be an effective people developer, a leader must first know the names of his people, especially if he is new to them and the people he is handling are 400 or more.

When I was new to my present regional office, I required the employees to wear their identification cards around their necks so that I will know their names.  But later on, I feel awkward looking at their IDs everytime we meet.  I feel more comfortable looking at their faces, seeing them eye to eye, smiling and greeting them; Hi, Hello, Good Morning/Afternoon or How are you?

I always carry my digital camera in my bag wherever I go.  This tool has helped me a lot in my desire to be a people person and be a good leader.  Whenever there are meetings, conferences, seminars and special occasions, I request someone to capture the events for me.  I also take pictures during my inspection and other official trips.

A pose with some employees.

Pictures keep the memories alive but they have done more use to me as the head of office.  I store the pictures in the laptop, make folders of each event and indicate names of people on it through the help of my executive assistant and other employees.

Now that I know how to use some applications of the famous social networking site, the Facebook, identifying people became a lot easier because I could now tag people in the pictures.  I find time to look at them whenever I get hold of my laptop so that I can call them by names everytime we meet.  People feel worthwhile and important if you care to know their names.

Being a good leader does not happen overnight and I know that through my digital camera, I have taken a step towards my desire.

I know you also have some good uses of your digital camera and I’m glad if you could share your list with us by leaving your  comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Four Effective Ways to Make Performance Appraisal Easier for Everyone

One day, one of my supervisors came to my office and requested that one of his employees shall be reassigned due to poor performance in his office.  When I called the attention of the employee for his poor performance as verbally reported to me by his supervisor, he reacted: “Is he kidding, Madam?  He always gave me a “Very Satisfactory” performance rating every rating period.”

At the end of the rating period, the employee just simply copies his or her previous performance appraisal forms and submits them to the supervisor for confirmation and signature.

On the other hand, majority of the supervisors are not honest in rating their employees.  The supervisor gives a “Very Satisfactory” rating to the employee even if he or she doesn’t deserve it, as the supervisor is sick of getting arguments from his people when they didn’t get the rating they thought they deserve.

An appraisal is supposed to be informative for you and your employee.  It ought to inform him how he’s doing in relation to performance targets.  It is supposed to identify his strengths and the areas where he needs improvement.  Conducted correctly, it can help you get the performance you need.  But if you rate employees higher than they are worthy of, they begin to think they’re okay and might not be urged to do better.

Here are the four effective ways to make performance appraisal easier for you and your employee:

1.  Make sure to evaluate employees fairly.  Don’t play favoritism in rating employees.  Establish uniform performance standards as your guide.

2.  Stick to facts and shun evaluations of performance based on casual observations. Gather data and keep written records of performance of employees as basis of evaluation.

3.  Keep a better balance between praise  and criticism during your performance evaluation meeting. Commend the employee for the areas where he excels in performance and point out the areas where he needs improvement.

4.  Select one or two goals for the employee to work toward instead of trying to change everything overnight. For the areas where he needs improvement, set two goals for him to achieve for him to improve his performance.

I know you also have your own list in mind and I am glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

How to Make your Workspace as a Source of Inspiration

I have just read one of the popular posts of Bob Bessette titled “Cubicle Bliss: 10 Steps to create an inspiring workspace” at his website at http://totallyuniquelife.com or you may also reach it by visiting www.bobbessette.com.  I like the intelligent way he presented his steps.

He listed down these 10 steps to create an inspiring workspace:

1. Keep it clean!

2. Get a comfortable chair and keyboard.

3. Surround yourself with words to live by.

4. Quotes, quotes, and more quotes.

5. Display your weekly tasks prominently.

6. Display your yearly goals prominently.

7. Buy some cool stuff for the cubicle.

8. A pic says a thousand words.

9. Collect artifacts and display them.

10. Soothing Sounds.

I agree with his steps but step number 2 depends upon the availability of funds in the office where you are connected.  For the pictures,  place them in a folder in your laptop, or in a photo album or in a scrapbook.  For ease of performance,  keep decorative objects and  personal mementos in a spot where they won’t get in your way or distract you.

It is important that you make your workplace an inspiring and livable one because you spend more of your waking hours at the office than at home.  Another step that I could add is color coding in the office, including files.  It is a remarkable innovation because it makes the work area bright and a cheerful place to work in.

I know you also have your own list of steps and I will be very glad if you could share it with everyone by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Five Ways to Manage your Secretary, for you to Operate at Peak Performance

In my previous article, I emphasize that your secretary can make or break you. Your secretary is the extension of your hands and feet in just getting all the things done that you can’t take time “mechanically” to do yourself.

Here are the five ways to manage your secretary, for you to operate at peak performance:

1.  Your secretary must be specially selected by you. He or she must be specially or carefully selected by you to suit your temperament.

However, if you are in government offices, whenever you are assigned to your new office, you usually inherit the secretary of your predecessor.  So, it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to adjust to each other.

2.  Establish warm and friendly relation with your secretary. Although a majority of you are aloof at some people, you must have a harmonious working relationship with your secretary in order to perform effectively.

3.  Keep your secretary informed. As anticipated, he or she will be handling confidential information, it’s important to stress to your secretary the need for a tight lip.  It is quite futile, however, to anticipate him or her to assist in the management of your office without being aware of what they need to know to get the job done.

4.  Know what your secretary is doing. This is one of your basic requirements in using a secretary.

5.  Make your secretary adapt to you. The main requirement of a secretary is that he or she be flexible in adapting his or her work habits to those of the executive.  In other words, a good secretary requires the personality of a chameleon.

I know you have also some ways in your list and I will be glad to read your thoughts by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

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