An introduction to Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

Share Button

Motivating Millennials through Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

A short article in Smart Company magazine caught my eye recently regarding a report that highlighted how millennials were more likely to show loyalty to an organisation where there was a good frequency and high quality of meaningful conversations with their Line Managers.

Such conversations were having a motivating effect as they demonstrated a genuine interest on the part of the Line Manager in the individual both within the scope of their work and beyond.

We find ourselves increasingly working with organisations where managers are finding themselves with individuals for whom their current style of management is not working as it might have before – the lament is ‘How do I motivate them?’ - part of the answer from this report would seem to be to simply show interest and foster more, meaningful two-way conversations; the other part of the answer would probably follow from the thinking popularised by Dan Pink’s book, ‘Drive’, which suggested offering people a sense of purpose, the opportunity to act autonomously, and develop mastery in their role/career, would fire up individuals to perform to the best of their ability.

All of these intrinsic motivating factors can be tapped into through having regular meaningful conversations with your team.

John

 

 

 

Share Button

Webinar – The Art of Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

 

We are running our next webinar on the above topic on January 26th at 1pm in conjunction with Shorebird RPO.

Meaningful Conversations is a framework which enables Line Managers at any level to conduct effective Performance Management conversations whatever their purpose; be that setting objectives, giving feedback, coaching, appraisals or 360 feedback debriefs.

At the end of this webinar, you will:

  • Understand what Performance Management really is and why it’s so important.
  • Be introduced to the ‘Meaningful Conversations’ framework as a guide to conducting effective Performance Management conversations.
  • Appreciate what is the mindset and the core communication skills required to conduct a Meaningful Conversation.
  • Have reflected on your own style of Performance Management conversations and considered some changes you could make immediately to improve.

This webinar is aimed at anyone who has to conduct Performance Management conversations with team members in their organisation and will appeal to all those in a management or senior positions.

Please go to the registration page here for more details.

If the event is fully booked, a waiting list will be opened up, so you can still register your interest to attend and/or be invited to a re-run of the session at a later date.

We hope you can join us for this or a future event.

John

Share Button

Busting Urban Myths – The Key to Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

Share Button

The neuroscience of Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

We recently held a webinar on ‘The Art of Meaningful Conversations’…well, here is the neuroscience of Meaningful Conversations in a snippet from David Rock’s recent presentation to the CIPD HR Leaders Network.

He talks of mindset as being critical to successful performance reviews, namely a growth mindset over a fixed one; the simple belief that one can improve and is not limited solely by talent but by effort.

We see the beliefs and assumptions that one takes into a performance management conversation are key to the ability to make it more likely one can conduct a meaningful conversation; one where the purpose of the conversation is delivered upon and where the dynamic is adult, 2-way, constructive and respectful.

You must believe the person in front of you is capable of change and improvement; if not, why persist with performance management?

John

 

 

Share Button

Recording & Slides available – The Art of Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

We were delighted to host our latest webinar this week with Shorebird RPO on ‘The Art of Meaningful Conversations’ – all seats were filled, so a second session is planned on January 26th 2016 – if you would like to attend, please feel free to email me at john@bowlandsolutions.com if you would like to add your name to the notification list.

Both the recording and slides from this week’s session are available below – the recording is useful in that you can see some of the great insights that came from the attendees during the interactive exercises; it was a vibrant session with a lot of participation!

Meaningful Conversations is a framework which enables Line Managers at any level to conduct effective Performance Management conversations whatever their purpose; be that setting objectives, giving feedback, coaching, appraisals or 360 feedback debriefs.

At the end of this webinar, you will:

  • Understand what Performance Management really is and why it’s so important.
  • Be introduced to the ‘Meaningful Conversations’ framework as a guide to conducting effective Performance Management conversations.
  • Appreciate what is the mindset and the core communication skills required to conduct a Meaningful Conversation.
  • Have reflected on your own style of Performance Management conversations and considered some changes you could make immediately to improve.

This webinar is aimed at anyone who has to conduct Performance Management conversations with team members in their organisation and will appeal to all those in a management or senior positions.

Listen to the webinar

View the slides

 

Hope you can join us for the next webinar!

John

Share Button

Busting Urban Myths – Creating quality 1-2-1 time

Share Button

Share Button

The Art of Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

We are running our next webinar on the above topic on October 13th at 1pm in conjunction with Shorebird RPO.

Meaningful Conversations is a framework which enables Line Managers at any level to conduct effective Performance Management conversations whatever their purpose; be that setting objectives, giving feedback, coaching, appraisals or 360 feedback debriefs.

At the end of this webinar, you will:

  • Understand what Performance Management really is and why it’s so important.
  • Be introduced to the ‘Meaningful Conversations’ framework as a guide to conducting effective Performance Management conversations.
  • Appreciate what is the mindset and the core communication skills required to conduct a Meaningful Conversation.
  • Have reflected on your own style of Performance Management conversations and considered some changes you could make immediately to improve.

This webinar is aimed at anyone who has to conduct Performance Management conversations with team members in their organisation and will appeal to all those in a management or senior positions.

Please go to the registration page here for more details.

If the event is fully booked, a waiting list will be opened up, so you can still register your interest to attend and/or be invited to a second run of the session at a later date.

We hope you can join us for this or a future event.

John

 

Share Button

Busting Urban Myths – Empathy is a state of mind

Share Button

Share Button

Busting Urban Myths – Meaningful Conversations

Share Button

Share Button

5 top trends in performance appraisal

Share Button

With a diverse range of clients it is always interesting to see the changes in the requests made upon us when we are developing a performance appraisal solution for a client.  The requests come from the HR team, the senior leadership team, or from the facilitated sessions we run with appraisers/appraisees.  So, we get industry trends that HR may have picked up on, the business drivers from leaders, as well as the “grass roots” requirements that evolve from practical requirements for appraisers/appraisees.  Here are the top 5 trends in performance appraisal that we have seen in the last few years.

1. A desire to gain feedback from a range of people.

Distinct from traditional developmental 360 feedback around a competency framework we often see appraisal feedback being sought from a range of people.  We have gone from this requirement being rare to it being common.  The changing nature of the workplace, of teams, and of the manager-employee relationship has driven this requirement.  The common aim is to ensure a rounded and accurate picture of performance is gained.

2. A move away from the annual grade.

In the early days of Bowland this was sacrosanct.  Now, we are either asked to remove it or in our consultation sessions we come under great pressure from the appraisers and appraisees to encourage the HR team to drop the grade.  With inevitable conflicts for those organisations who link pay to appraisal, this is a hot topic.

3. Simplify

Letting the system and process get out of the way and allowing the conversation to take pride of place has been a Bowland mantra.  New clients and our existing clients are increasingly looking to simplify the form, particularly around objective setting, to quieten down the appraisal process and leave appraisers and appraisees with the energy to have a great and meaningful conversation.

4. Continuous feedback and continuous recording

The twitter and facebook factor.  While not yet being seen as a mainstream activity we are now regularly implementing the ability to “keep the process” alive throughout the year by providing performance logs, update sections, and other continuous recording methods.

5. Focusing on the future

Appraisals were very backward focused.  What happened? What went well? What did you do wrong? What is your grade?  Increasingly (and its a good thing!) there is a focus on the objective setting, development plan, and the future.  How will we improve? How do we achieve more in the coming year?  This is a particularly positive change that leads to improved conversations.

Carefully implemented I see all of the above as positive trends.  While at Bowland we will always support the culture, requirements, and particular drivers of a client we look to share best practice and ideas to help each client make the best decisions for them.

 

Brendan

Share Button

Focus on the conversation and get the system to support it

Share Button

I attended a CIPD conference on Performance Management earlier this week.  There was plenty of food for thought – particularly around feedback, when it is useful, when it is not.  We will be continuing our own research and updating our thoughts based on the ideas presented.  Within the conference one speaker used the sentence “Focus on the conversation and get the system to support it”.  As an organisation that provides both consulting/training support and the software to support performance management this is an appealing sentence.  If we use system in its broadest sense to mean not just the IT but the process and forms that make up performance management then this sentence summarises our ethos.

When working well, performance management is a series of natural, comfortable, purposeful, meangingful conversations between two people at work.  With a trusting relationship they are able to discuss goals and determine what is likely to lead to those goals being achieved.  They use the past as guidance, they gather inputs that support that forward looking approach – sometimes from others within or outside of the organisation – and they hold open, meaningful conversations on the future.  The conversations matter.  They may record those conversations at times to make it easier to reflect back and ensure consistency of understanding and they would willingly hand over some of the data for broader analysis such as organisational training needs.  They don’t absolutely need a form or system but they welcome an easy to use, simple method of recording their conversations.

That is our aim.  Our aim is to have capable managers and employees holding great performance conversations.  So, we should think hard about that conversation, think hard about what is likely to facilitate that conversation and be hard on anything that may get in the way.   We should leave them both with the energy to have the conversation.  Our ‘system’ should be supportive, only ask what is necessary, prompt a structure that capable managers would find useful, and gather information that is of wider use to the organisation if in doing so we don’t get in the way of the conversation.

For different organisations that system will be different; history, culture, capability, compliance requirements all will dictate what is achievable today.  But, if the system would stop the conversation or hinders the conversation why would you do it?

Brendan

Share Button

Feedback and the butterfly effect

Share Button

When it comes to considering the importance of feedback in the workplace, be that the informal day-to-day feedback from a Line Manager, or through the more formal structures of performance appraisal and 360 degree feedback, it is important to place it in it’s widest context.

Feedback is just one element of a much larger ‘eco-system’; for example, we know feedback is a key element of an effective performance management regime.

This might prompt the question ‘so what?’; however, CIPD research concluded that in turn performance management is a ‘primary vehicle of communication between a line manager and their employees’

Following this thread upwards through further research by the CIPD and Institute of Employment Studies (IES),  effective communication between a line manager and an employee is a crucial foundation for higher levels of engagement.

Engagement is good for business; the David MacLeod report, found pretty compelling evidence that engagement was instrumental in sustained organisational success with increased ‘bottom line’ results.

When you look at feedback in this context, it suddenly becomes really important that line managers give it and employees get it.

However, context is not enough; even understanding the ‘butterfly effect’ of feedback, and how the seemingly smallest of actions can affect change in something much larger, the workplace is notoriously ‘feedback-poor’.

We still need to know the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, to usefully embed feedback in an organisation which is why we focus on the concept of ‘Meaningful Conversations’ as the way to help Line Managers successfully deliver feedback.

John

 

Share Button

Free Webinar – Meaningful Conversations; setting objectives

Share Button

Tuesday 28th January@2pm (GMT)

Join us for the first of a series of webinars which will cover all of the key performance management conversations which Line Managers have to conduct with their team.

Kicking off, we look at how to help your team set the right objectives; get this step right and performance management becomes a whole lot simpler and more effective!

To register your interest simply click through to our Eventbrite registration page here 

Our series of ‘Meaningful Conversations’ webinars and classroom-based training modules build the capability and confidence of Line Managers, so that they can not only follow a process that works, but critically they can approach these performance management conversations in a way which builds and preserves the trust in the relationships they have with their direct reports.

This one hour webinar explores the key elements which make a setting objective conversation successful:

  • Takeaway our ‘Meaningful Conversations’ model which is fundamental to any successful performance management conversation
  • Discover why SMART is an effective template for creating objectives
  • Learn the key steps of shaping, challenging and committing to ensure effective objectives are set
  • Takeaway a template of diagnostic questions which will help you facilitate SMART objective setting
We hope you can join us next Tuesday 28th.
John

 

 

Share Button

The “old fashioned” ideas which endure and have value

Share Button

A lovely little article in The Guardian earlier this week, part of a series, where questions are posed by a 10 year old; this week the question was ‘How much more modern is the world going to get?’.

The answer considers how technology and human knowledge will continue to advance, with everything becoming more efficient; but the closing remarks point to the fact that ‘old fashioned’ values such as peace, family, caring for others and trust will endure and continue to be important, no matter how ‘modern’ we become.

Trust is a value which underpins successful business; it’s what brings effectiveness to the efficiency – without it, any success is ultimately short-term.

When we talk about ‘meaningful conversations’ in our Performance Management training programmes with Line Managers, it is this dimension of trust which is what makes those conversations effective; how do we efficiently deliver on the purpose of that conversation, be it objective setting, giving feedback, performance appraisal, etc whilst maintaining a high trust relationship with the other person?

Being mindful of  ’old fashioned’ values when we come to workplace relationships is no bad thing; we can be efficient and effective.

John

 


 

Share Button