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Executive Coaching ∑ Strategic Planning ∑ Team Building ∑ Continuous Improvement ∑ Professional Development
© 2014, E.A. Lewis Consulting          www.ealewisconsulting.com

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*Brain Teaser Answer:  Mr. Blue did it.

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Hard to believe Summer is pretty much over and Labor Day is almost here!  Time to get the kids off to school and start kicking it back in gear for business building.  Here are a few tips, much of it communication related, to get you moving in the right direction!           
- Ernie                
1) Performance Appraisals Bias Free
2) Brain Teaser - Test Your Creativity - Whodunnit?
3) Tough Love (or Just Say It Straight!)
4) One More Tip! + 1! - Tom Peters on Being Service Oriented...and better Listening!
5) Fun Stuff - Remember to Wait Your Turn!

Text Box: August 2014

Ernest A. LewisFind us on FBFind us on Linked InFind us on TwitterText Box: Helping You Achieve Your Personal Best!

Text Box: Tough Love (or Just Say It Straight!)
Sometimes we find it difficult to say what needs to be said...whether giving feedback to employees, or talking to contractors, or even customers. We tend to beat around the bush, sugarcoat, or even ignore issues all together. The problem with this is obvious. If people donít know they are doing poorly, are misunderstanding, or just donít get it, why would they change their viewpoint or their behavior? Not being specific and upfront about performance, issues, or situations sends mixed messages to all involved. 
Telling it straight can save you time, money and aggravation and not doing so can actually be a huge disservice to employees, the company, and even the customer.

Text Box: Brain Teaser - Test Your Creativity - Whodunnit?
Three of these statements are untrue, so whodunnit?
Mr. Red said: "Mr. Blue did it."
Mr. Blue said: "Mr. Red did it."
Mr. Green said: "Mr. Blue's telling the truth."
Mr. Yellow said: "Mr. Green's not lying."
*Answer At The Bottom Of The Page

Text Box: Business Owners Round Table 
Grow your business right!  Round Table is for business owners who are already successful but still want to take it to the next level.  
We have another group forming for a September 15th start, 3rd Monday every month, 2:00 - 5:00 pm.  Call me to check it out!

Text Box: Performance Appraisals Bias Free

As we near the 4th quarter, many organizations realize they need to get their performance appraisals done. To help with making fair and objective performance evaluations, here are a few problem areas to avoid.
Tip! - Donít wait until the very end of the year to do appraisals!  If you do, youíll likely be rushed and do them poorly or not at all...which is why I am sharing this now.
Standards of Evaluation
When rating employees by category such as poor, good, excellent, etc., be aware that word meanings may differ for each person. What one person considers good may not be so good for another person. If you do use these categories, include a descriptive paragraph that gives examples of what might be considered appropriate for that category.
Halo/Horn Effect
This is the tendency to rate an employee high or low in all categories because he or she is high or low in one or two areas. The result is an appraisal that is too general for an employee to understand where he or she might need improvements. 
Central Tendency
This occurs when we assess all employees as average. No employees are rated very high or very low.
Leniency Bias
When we hate to give people criticism, even constructive criticism, we may tend to rate them higher than they deserve so as to avoid any sense of conflict.
Recency Bias
This is where we tend to rate people based on their most recent behavior, say the last few months, and forget the earlier part of the year.
Opportunity Bias
This is where we rate employees based on factors beyond their control. If we assign credit or blame to an employee when ignoring factors of opportunity or circumstance, we rate unfairly. An example might include an employee with poor sales figures for the month when low customer traffic, hence low sales, could be related to changes in consumer preference. 
False Attribution Errors
Similar to Opportunity Bias, we might relate an employeeís success or failure to their individual effort and or ability. If an employee does well, we give them credit, when they donít do so well, we say itís their fault. This may be true to some degree, but we need to consider the systems we ask employees to work within. Very often, good systems help employees do well, poor systems donít help. For example, a data entry worker might have poor productivity if the computer system we ask them to use freezes up every other day.

Text Box: One More Tip! +1!  - Tom Peters on Being Service Oriented
At a leadership conference many years ago, management guru Tom Peters shared the following on why customers go elsewhere.
Reasons for switching to a competitor:
Price - 15%
Product  - 15%
Poor service - 70%
So, one way to use thisÖ
1. Set prices to make a fair profit.  
2. Provide the best product you can.  
3. Then WOW them with exceptional service!
+1!  On that note, better service often starts with better listening.
Quick Tips for Better Listening:
1. As people are speaking, donít be a mind reader and try to figure out what they are really thinking. Mind reading is just guessing and we usually guess wrong! 
2. Donít rehearse how you are going to respond to what they are saying. Rehearsing causes us to block out what they are saying and we lose valuable information. 
3. Donít practice selective hearing. Be aware of how you might filter what they are saying and make it a point to be open. 
4. Stay focused and in the moment. Giving people your time and energy to listen can make them feel good and appreciated!

Text Box: Fun Stuff - Remember to Wait Your Turn!
Not sure where this funny story originated but it always pops up on the internet and itís always worth sharing. No matter how important we think we are, we still need to be patient and wait our turn. Enjoy!
A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled. A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS."
The agent replied, "I am sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you but, Iíve got to help these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?"
Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone, "May I have your attention please," she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man Glared at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore "F*** you!Ē
Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry sir; you'll have to get in line for that too."

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ďGiving high-quality feedback doesnít have to do with a skill or technique; it has to do 
with caring enough about people to tell it like it is.Ē 
- Robert Hargrove, Masterful Coaching