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A Paint Roller Helps Manage Change

life on your own termsChuck e-mailed his bigg challenge to us. He’s starting a new job next week. It’s his third job as a manager. In the position he’s leaving, he feels he made too many changes too quickly. It created a problem with his directs. He’s hoping we can offer him some suggestions as he gets ready for his new job.

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As bigg goal-getters, we often want to change things too fast as leaders and even in our personal lives. We think we need to lose weight so we jump into an exercise routine and completely change our diets. It’s too much and we end up right back where we started.

We have to be especially careful with change when it affects others. Like in Chuck’s case, any changes he makes will affect one or more of his employees.

Two of our rules for change here at Bigg Success are:

“That’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t mean it’s the best.

“That’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t make it wrong.

Change is essential to make improvements in our lives and our businesses. We want to focus on the changes that will make the greatest impact given their cost. When we talk about cost, we mean your investment of time and money – two of the five elements of bigg success

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Get out the paint roller

We heard a suggestion some time ago from a person who had learned to manage change effectively. He said that when he takes on a new leadership position, the first and only change he makes is to paint a single wall of his new office.

He feels like he’s changed something. It relieves that pressure. Everyone around him can see that he changed something. In fact, they often ask, “Why did you paint that wall? Why that color? Why just one wall?” It makes them curious.

You may make a different, but similarly insignificant, change. By doing this, you’re really buying time to find out what is and isn’t working while subtly signaling that change will happen.

Once you find out what isn’t working, you can determine which changes to make in what order based on their impact on your organization … or your life!

What are your suggestions for Chuck?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks Chuck for sharing your bigg challenge with us and good luck with your new gig! And we thank you for reading our post today.

Join us next time as we share a remedy for one of the most discouraging thoughts you can have.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00362-033109.mp3

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How to Deal with a Mean Person

balance We hear a lot about violence on television, in the movies, and in video games. When violence is discussed, it’s usually physical violence. USA Today cites a recent study at Brigham Young University that shows that seeing people being mean to others affects us as well.

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Participants responded just as aggressively, no matter what type of aggression they had encountered – be it physical aggression or relational aggression, as the study defined it.

We’ll call the latter mental aggression – seeing people being mean to other people.
We all deal with mean people, or at least people who can be mean from time to time. 

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marylynn Prime example – when I was a Production Director, which means I oversaw commercial production for a group of five radio stations, I implemented a new procedure that some of the sales people didn’t like. I was back in the sales area, with all the sales people in their cubicles, and one decided to call me out. He was rude and confrontational.

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georgeI remember someone we were grooming for management. He seemed to have all the right characteristics. However, when he faced a situation where someone was angry or upset, he only made it worse. As a leader, you have to learn how to diffuse situations, not inflame them.

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How to diffuse a situation

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marylynn Back to my story of being confronted by a sales person in front of the sales staff – it caught me off guard, but I stopped and collected my thoughts. Then I said, “I’d be more than happy to talk with you about this my office. But your sales manager signed off on this procedure. So if you really have a problem with it, I’d suggest you talk to him.

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Get away

When you feel your blood start to boil, get away before you say the wrong thing. If you’re face-to-face, suggest you take up the issue again in a little bit. If you’re on the phone, excuse yourself and let the other person know you’ll need to call them back. Even with e-mail, refrain from being too quick to reply.

Talk it out

Tell a friend, a colleague, or your spouse how upset you are. Get it off your chest, as they say. Let it all out. By talking to someone, you get to say what you’d like to say. Now you can start focusing on how to say it productively.

Write it down

If no one is available to talk to, write it down so you get the cathartic release you need. Don’t do it as a “Reply” just in case you hit the wrong key and the message gets sent!

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georgeWhen I get really upset, I feel sorry for my keyboard. I’m pounding away, but it gets it out of my system rather quickly. Then I get away for awhile. When I come back to it, I’m ready to construct a response that will move things forward.

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Report what happened

Show the other person that you understand their concerns. State it back to them in the way in which they should have stated it. When they know you have heard their concerns, they’re more likely to listen to your response.

Focus on resolutions

A great leader has to meet confrontation head-on, but also must always keep the bigger purpose in mind. Find a way to respond that doesn’t make the other person defensive. Move the conversation’s focus to solutions, not problems. 

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
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A recent study shows that eighty percent of all employed people want to start their own business. Next time, we’ll see if we can talk you out of it.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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One More Thing to Add to Your Schedule

balance We were at an event recently as was one of our friends. As he was leaving, he announced that he “had another thing”. Now he’s a really busy person; there’s no grass growing under his feet as the old saying goes. He’s into his job, which requires a lot of meetings.

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But his “another thing” remark got us thinking. What a great way to politely excuse yourself!

And that “other thing” could even be personal. He may have been going home for dinner for all we know!

It leaves a good impression – you’re a busy person. You like to stick to your schedule. It’s also a great way to excuse yourself, even from people who like to talk your ears off!

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georgeI’ve used this before. As a business owner, I had some flexibility with my schedule. I would go to a “lunch meeting” which sometimes meant I was meeting a friend. Or I’d sneak in a work out in the middle of the afternoon by saying I was off to a meeting.

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marylynn When I was in radio, we used to have a “Morning Show Meeting” once in a while. My co-host and I would get off the air and sneak out for some breakfast. It was a great way to bond, talk about work, and just get away for a bit. We found that sometimes we got more done by leaving the office!

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Now we’re not recommending that you use this technique to excuse yourself for a huge part of the day. But as a busy person, sometimes the best way to balance your personal and professional lives is to integrate the two!

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Get the tips and tools you need by subscribing to
the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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There’s a new study that shows mean breeds mean. Next time, we’ll discuss how to avoid the trap. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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I May Have to Fire an Employee. Any Suggestions?

Bigg Challenge
Rick has been a manager now for about six months. He has an employee who is under-performing. Rick thinks he may need to fire this employee, but he’s never done that before. He says he would welcome any suggestions we can provide.

Bigg Advice
Do you remember the Cheers episode where Norm Peterson became the executive’s executioner – his job was to fire people. So he took them out for drinks and, by the time it was done, the employee who was being fired felt sorry for Norm. Because as Norm once said,

“It’s a dog eat dog world and I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear.”

So there’s one option, but not one that we necessarily recommend for the real world!

Company procedures
Look to your company’s policy manual for guidance on how to proceed.  Also, discuss this with your boss so you fully understand company protocol and precedents.

No surprises

Except for the most egregious situations, you’ve done something wrong if it’s a surprise. To make sure they’re not surprised, you should follow a process. For example, issue a series of warnings with repercussions for not correcting the performance deficiencies

Round and round we go

Sit down with your employee and explain the problem. Discuss what needs to be done to correct it, tell him or her when you’ll review performance again, and outline the consequences if it’s not corrected (e.g. a 3-day suspension without pay).

At the scheduled time, repeat this process. This time the ramifications have to be greater. (e.g. termination of employment). So if you reach this review and the situation hasn’t improved significantly, the result should be obvious to your employee.

You’re giving them a chance to improve their performance and also covering your liability because you’ll document this entire process and have them sign off each step of the way.

An example

George said that in his early days in business, he was managing his field staff. They worked without direct supervision because they performed work at the customer’s home or office. George had hired a young man who just couldn’t work without ongoing oversight.

George went through the rounds outlined above with little improvement. Finally, he let the employee go. He recommended that this young man get a job in a place where someone could watch over him.

He encouraged the young man come back and reapply for employment once he got used to working in a supervised environment. That never happened because the young man found that he liked working with supervision better.

Firing someone doesn’t have to be negative. Offer any help you can provide. Make suggestions. And realize that sometimes it’s just not a good fit – it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, or that they couldn’t be helpful to any employer. It just means it’s not working out for both of you here.

Thanks, Rick, for sharing your bigg challenge. We’re sure you’ll handle it just fine.

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