Don't fret if the
temptationto give advice is overwhelming, because the tendency to ignore it is universal.
From time to time, your performance may not meet the expectations of your boss and you could be made aware of your shortcomings. It is better that this is done informally at your workstation or more
BEFORE THE DISCUSSION
Ask for a little time to prepare.
Take time to cool down. Being
Collect any facts that may have relevance — the number of mistakes, customer complaints, etc.
Review any goals your boss has set for you. Have you met those expectations or
Take notepaper to the meeting.
DURING THE DISCUSSION
Be courteous. Greet your boss with a smile. This will help set the climate for problem-solving rather than confrontation.
Listen to the problem as described by your boss. Make notes if necessary.
Show your agreement to any facts presented. Where
Indicate to your boss that you are there to solve the problem, and that you appreciate the feedback you are being given. For you, this is an opportunity to learn and improve.
If your boss is being vague, ask for specifics. In a collaborative tone of voice, say things like: "Hmmm, can you give me an example of that?" or "Gee, I can't think of having done that. Can you
Get involved in developing a plan for improvement. Separate the things you will do from those with which you may need help. For example, you may
be more careful;
be more courteous;
need more training;
need documented standards or procedures.
Ask for your boss's assistance if you feel that he has
not coached you;
failed to give you regular feedback;
not set goals.
Many people don't have goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, Time-based). If this is the case with you, ask your boss if you can negotiate some short- and medium-
Confirm that your boss has agreed to help you by asking an open-ended question, such as "Can you help me by describing what we have agreed to, so that I am really clear about it all?"
Summarize your understanding of everything said to make sure that all expectations are clear.
Thank your boss for the opportunity to be involved in finding ways of improving performance. Ask her to always be frank with you if she is not satisfied.
Leave with a handshake.
AFTER THE DISCUSSION
Follow up meticulously on everything agreed upon with your boss.
After a month, ask for feedback if it has not already been given, so you are assured that your performance is on track.
turtle! He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.
Only by venturing out into the unknown do we enable new ideas and new results to take shape.
The future of your organization will, in large measure, be determined by your ability to innovate and change. The creative process, if properly employed, will allow you to move ahead — perhaps in quantum leaps. Here are some strategies you can use to become more creative yourself and
Look for new ideas constantly. Search the Internet, read books and magazines,
Keep your mind
If you work with critical people, keep your ideas to yourself until you have had a chance to
Don't exclude any ideas by deciding in advance whether others will accept them. Concern yourself with selling the idea only as a last step. If you try to sell it before you're ready, you may inhibit your
Don't always expect to get home runs. Look for small improvements rather than major breakthroughs. Don't put undue pressure on yourself. As you become more innovative and your confidence grows, so will the
Ask your boss for a budget for some level of experimentation, including time and materials. This will send a strong signal to you and your colleagues about the importance the company places on innovation.
Permit yourself to make mistakes. Consider them a stepping stone on the way to success.
Be persistent. Sometimes the skeptics jump in quickly, especially if they know you will be easily discouraged. Stay with your idea if you are convinced of its value.
Be open to the ideas of others, and they will become more supportive of you too. Be open and
If you find it difficult to assess the merits of your idea, find someone who can and who may become a spokesperson. Often it's not what you say but how you say it. Some people have a talent for being persuasive.
Encourage the boss to make tools of creativity
Look outside your department or organization for new ideas that could work for you. While you may get ideas from similar work areas within your organization, you will usually find more innovative solutions in other organizations and industries. These ideas can be found by
reading trade journals;
getting information from your trade organization;
scouring the Internet;
using Internet chat features for sharing and
At your departmental meetings, take a leadership role by challenging your colleagues to think more of reasons why a new idea would work, rather than reasons why it would not.