How to handle an underperforming employee

As leaders, we´ve all been faced with employees that do not perform as expected. However, before confronting the issue, it´s very important for you to determine the real reason your team member is not performing well.

Generally, an employee does not perform as you would expect due to lack of ability, training and/or coaching, leadership or willingness. Three of these causes are actually within your control, as a leader. Ask yourself the following questions to identify the cause of the issue, and then determine the right solution for it.

Ability   
1. Is this the right fit for this associate? (Solution: Consider other position)
Train or coach                    
2. Have you observed the associate perform the job well in the past? (Solution: Train or coach)
3. Has the associate received training and on-the-job coaching to do the job successfully? (Solution: Train or coach)
4. Are my expectations crystal clear? (How do I know?) (Solution: Train or coach)
5. Does the associate understand why it´s important to do the job right? (Solution: Train or coach)
6. Does the associate have the tools to do the job successfully? (Solution: Provide tools/train)
Leadership
7. Does the associate know how they´re doing; have I followed up on progress (Solution: Communicate)
8. Do I regularly recognize positive performance for this associate when appropriate (Solution: Communicate)
9. Do I show this associate that I care, and that their opinions count? (Solution: Communicate)
10. Do I hold all associates accountable equally so that everyone is committed to qualify work? (Solution: Communicate)

If you answered NO to any of the questions, you have not set the employee up for succeed. Implement the suggested solution to develop the skill in the employee, then re-evaluate for willingness.

If you answered YES to all these questions, you have done everything you can to engage the associate and know you are likely dealing with a willingness issue. Shift the responsibility for the solution to the employee through counseling.

Friday’s Wisdom: Awareness

imagesCA6F42KB

Saturday’s Wisdom: There’s no room for a queen on the team

image

I’ve come to realize that…

…there’s an tremendeous truth in the words of Viktor Frankl as he stated that “when we are faced with something we can not change, we are challenged to change ourselves.” There is absolutely no valid reason to struggle or fight against or for something as everything already exists within you and everything already is exactly as it is supposed to be – just being right, right now. It is a changequotechallenge to not struggle, to not try and control – force – things and to just let go without losing faith. It’s difficult to love and let this love go to where (s)he needs to in order to grow – yet it is the most profound gesture of love that one can show.

It’s heartbreaking to loose a loved one in any kind of way but somehow it’s also very comforting and beautiful to know that we are simply just spiritual beings currently living in a human (or other) skin and that we, by this, will soon cross paths again and again and again. There is no true separation – there is merely different roads that leads to the same end destination and although we choose to travel on these different roads, in the end, we will always end up being together. We are soulmates and that is why I so very well recognized my loved ones at once, why I did not need to spend time getting to know them – we’ve already met and been together many times before, in other shapes, forms and lifetimes – but simply just embraced the blessing of once again being given the wonderful opportunity to together grow spiritually. I don’t need time to get to know you my love – I already do because we’ve been together for so long and so many times! I just simply needed to find you again and …look, there you are baby!! As beautiful as always.

“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.” – Richard Bach

I had a quantum moment some days ago. You know, one of those moments that comes through a sense of energy, an inner knowingness, an answer or in some other kind of ways when you simply feel, can identify oChange-Quoter “just know” that you’ve reached divine contact – this insight that suddenly has been imparted to you at the most perfect (often unexpected) time as an answer to a question you might not even be aware that you’ve asked. I simply love when this happens to me! Not only because these moments often completely change my view on something or about someone but also because they are very likely to be life-changing! I read once that “spiritual progress is not usually experienced as some event-changing shift but it is a gradual awakening composed of many shifts and realizations” and that’s exactly what these sudden moments of huge insight are – steps on the spiritual path. Quantum moments always reminds me of how amazing God’s grace works – things never are what they seem and the most unexpected always happens, as surprise (spiritual) gifts from God!

My mentioned quantum moment led me to a deep realisation that I had done a loved one wrong. This sudden insight of my own behaviour and actions made me feel ashamed and…not-so-good, mostly because I strongly believe that we should always and in all ways show the greatest compassion, deepest love and never-ending faith and loyalty towards our most loved ones and I felt that I had failed that – deeply. However, with nothing but loving thoughts in my mind and a great deal of faith in that “all is and always will be as it’s supposed to’”, I summoned up some courage and apologized to my loved one whom – as the most fascinating spiritual being he is – responded most gently with two simple words. Which, probably needless to say, makes me adore him even more! Anyway, in having my “moment” I reflected once again on how truly fantastic the divine, God or whoever/whatever definition you want to use, see to it that our past issues exist in order to support us on our spiritual path to a higher consciousness.

Everything we are or do in the Now is a result of the one we were or what we’ve done in the Past and it all gives us the opportunity to be or do better in our Tomorrow. There is a divine perfection in all and everything that ensures that we are given the chance to grow and fulfill the purpose for which we are intended. Nothing happens by accident and I find comfountitled changert in the knowledge that when we are faced with situations which we might have little or no control over, it is something which we ourselves should learn from it all. In other words, we are not powerless victims faced with an uncontrolled situation but powerful beings faced with yet another opportunity to take an honest look “inside”, learn and grow from our participation in and (re)action to/from the situation. Viktor Frankl called this “the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances“.

We are all divine beings and we all have all the qualities, the capabilities, the perfection as well as the imperfection to do and become everything that we are meant to – to share of our unique creation to the world – and at any given moment, in any given situation, we are blessed with the opportunity to do so. When you think of someone you love in this perspective – or all other spiritual beings for that matter, including yourself – how can you not feel love and only love for his/hers/its/yours entire being, with (im)perfections and all? …divine creations…just as God intended.

A wise person knows that perception…

imagesCA0416D2…shapes everything that happens in life. And perception is a matter of choice. Indeed, it’s a blessing to be able to choose how personal experiences and the world at large are viewed. As a result, we can choose to see peace, rather than conflict; love, rather than fear; abundance, rather than lack; and we can to see a divine plan, instead of random chaos. Abraham Lincoln is credited with wisely saying: “Most of us are just as happy as we make up our minds to be.” So very true.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Choose happiness and you will be happy. Choose to see the best in your team and they will be inspired by it. Choose to see other beings as fellow spiritual travellers and they will feel encouraged. Choose to see your employees as team members and they will fight for victory. It is truly amazing how fantastic and simple life really is. Don’t make it complicated – it’s so very easy.

Lead with awareness

Great leaders lead with awareness. That means that they aren’t only using their knowledge, experience and intelligence as foundation for theirpersonal_growth leadership. Leading with awareness is something more. Leading with awareness is about how to use all the three mentioned qualities in an ethical and moral way – it’s about leading with your heart. Leading with a servant mindset. Awareness is what we gain as we throughout our entire life put our thoughts, ideas and values to the test, and by that get a deep insight of what we find to be right and wrong as well as good and bad. Not only for ourselves but for others – many individuals actually come to the conclusion that what provides meaning to life is really not when it’s all about “me” but about “them”.

Yet awareness isn’t what our “modern” world seem to seek, or even truly appreciate. Not in our society and not as desired qualities in our leaders. What we do seem to appreciate however is money, fame and power – all three which are considered as “signs of success”. The more money, fame or power that we can get or achieve, the more successful we “are” or consider ourselves and others. Money, fame and power are something that’s truly sought after in our society. And it seems to be a fact that once we gain either money, fame or power – or some or all of them – we can not get enough of it. We just crave more and more of it – to fill a void of something that we can not put our finger on. Like an addiction.

“Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A quest for money, fame and power isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. King Salomon said that “money are great servants but bad masters” and there’s certainly a great deal of truth in that. Money, fame or power are not goals in themselves but resources to use wisely in order to serve others! Money can absolutely create great possibilities, fame can most definitely open doors and power can be well used to create long-term values in a selfless, servant and compassionate society. But only if we as leaders are courageous enough to move beyond our ego and lead from our heart, with awareness of what’s going on around and within us. By taking advantage of our experience and combine these with our own core values, our inner wisdom can work as a compass which at all times will guide us right – not only in our leadership but also in our own life.

But how do we do this? How do we, as leaders who want to grow not only in our leadership but also as human beings, lead with awareness? How do we in the best way lead and serve others with our heart as the guiding light? These questions will be discussed further in Gusto Life Group’s Servant Leadership-article series during this year. You are very welcome to share your thoughts, ideas and insights on this subject with us – either via the comments section or by e-mail.

Quantum life and leadership

Like many others I enrich my life with great, challenging, fun and sometimes mind-blowing activities and experiences that in some way(s) or another(s) moves me further on my personal and professional journey. However, as we know it is not enough to simply gain theoretical knowledge about something or experience it at infrequent times but our newly received wisdom also need to be practised to be put into full effect. Last night I read this short article “Live a quantum life” by Dr. Darren R. Weissman on the subject and I’d like to share it with you as inspiration on your very own path!

“How do you live a quantum life? I believe there are five steps. In the science and art of numerology, the number 5 signifies being open to love; living with compassion; embracing freedom; needing constant change; and striving to find answers to the many questions that life poses, not just for ourselves but also for all of humanity. To live a quantum life, it’s imperative to do the following:

1. Live with vision. All great leaders throughout history have had a clear vision of a truth that resonated deep wvisionithin their hearts. This vision became the catalyst that set into motion a new way of thinking, feeling, and being. All great leaders, as a result, maintain their clarity of vision regardless of opposition or perceived capabilities. To live with vision means to take the time to silence the mind so that you can see and embrace your truth. Activate the power of the sixth sense—intuition—and trust it to guide you.

2. Live with hope. Hope is a natural consequence of having clear vision. Its birth rises from darkness, fueled with the vision of promise. At its core, hope allows you to believe in what’s possible…if one person can, we all can. Feel this emotion in your heart. It’s the feeling that imagines, sees, and knows at every juncture of the journey. Hope is the reflection of truth, wholeness, divinity, and oneness. “Roll up your sleeves” and let’s work together. In a world where many see hopelessness as being as normal as the rising sun, begin today to challenge yourself to harvest and sow seeds of hope.

Passion3. Live with passion. Passion is the energy of your will. It’s what empowers you to take action, transforming hope into possibilities. The question is, what’s your passion? What moves you to get out of bed every day? What makes your heart flutter when you think about it? Do you go to work just to get paid? Do you want to know how to live with passion? Answer this question: What would you be doing at this very moment in your life if you knew with absolute certainty that you couldn’t fail? Allow yourself to honestly and authentically answer this question—from the deepest part of your heart—acknowledging the every-unfolding inner voice of Infinite Love & Gratitude. Decide to act and live with passion. A moment of passion will transform a breaking point into one that is inspirational.

4. Live with discipline. Discipline distinguishes mastery from mediocrity—mastery that comes from spending time engaged in the journey, rather than sprinting the 50-yard dash. Living with discipline means being willing to change—to alter oltacksamhetd patterns of how you consciously choose to respond to your life. With discipline, you can gain insight and wisdom into your true nature. When you accept the inevitability of change, you choose healthier options for yourself.1 Rather than being a rigid set of rules, living with discipline is based on conscious acts of self-love. It’s loving yourself enough to choose between the pleasures of the moment and the possibilities of an infinite spirit.

5. Live with gratitude. These days, almost everyone is talking about gratitude. But what does it really mean? I was inspired by a quote I recently read in a tiny but powerful book on gratitude written on behalf of the LifeLesson Foundation by Lenore Skomal:

‘Our role is to accept what happens to us and to do what we can with the possibilities that life offers us. Acceptance is the key to this. If we can stop trying to figure out what we did wrong to warrant the problems that we face, and just accept it as part of what happens while living on this planet, we can find immense freedom. Life is what it is. And if we can reach unconditional acceptance of that, then the door to true gratitude will open. To live with gratitude is to accept, embrace, forgive, learn, and live with the knowing that life itself is the greatest of all gifts’.”

How do you add value to your team?

Successful leaders know that “you’re only as strong as your weakest links”. They know that everyone imagesCAZ3E01Hin a team has his own role to play and that each team member is an important part in the wheel that keeps the organization moving forward.

They also know that no job is a meaningless job – personally I even find it offensive when someone has such attitude regarding certain jobs or workers – and that every individual whom are to become part of the organization needs to be carefully selected.

The question is, how does one select the “right” team member? Well, when great leaders develop teams they aren’t just assembling the right skills or experiences – they are determining the right people, the right individual. These leaders know, often from their own hard-earned experience, that it’s easy to be blinded by a fancy resumé, great numbers or outstanding referrals and, by that, forget what’s really important in the long run – the individual person and the values of that person. These leaders put collaboration high on their own value list and they are well aware of the fact that shared values are essential for a team’s success. The shared values acts like a solid foundation to build the team’s success on.

WimagesCA37NQ0Ahen looking to add a new member to your team and organization, first take a closer look at the values of your organization – what your organization as a whole stands for. And then combine those values with the skills and experience that is needed to get the job done effectively. By doing so you’ll get the “right” team member, one which not only can do the job but also complement your team as well as your organization – the one with the ability to utilize the great resources the other team members possess. And remember, “a skill is generally replaceable, but each individual is unique”.

Useful questions:
– Does this person have something to offer the team and the organization?
– How will (s)he fit in the team’s/organization’s dynamic?
– Will adding this person add to the values of the team and the organization?

How do you select new employees and team members? What’s your top priority? What is it that you are looking for in a potential candidate?

Betrayal – a matter of growth

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt totally betrayed by someone else? Where you’ve put your time, trust and faith into a relationship – any kind of relationship – with someone just to have them act in a way which you feel is disrespectful to you and abuse of your trust and faith?

trust1To forgive someone who, maybe even intentionally, have done you wrong might be one of the hardest things to do – especially when you’ve put a great deal of love, trust and faith in that individual. I believe most of us have had to face something like that at least once but more likely a few times in our lives. The pain that such perceived betrayal comes with is unspeakable and for many, only second to that of the death of a loved one. Which in a way makes sense  since when faced with such a painful situation you have in fact lost someone – and a relation – that you have held dearly, treasured deeply and have had great faith in. It’s gone – no longer existing. Most times we also instantly feel the need to understand “why?!”

First of all, on the “why?!”-question? Does it matter? No – not unless someone was having a gun held to their or one of their loved ones head. We are all blessed with the freedom of choice and if someone chooses to act in a way that crosses the line – and most of us know where the lintumblr_m5izmtEveK1rtrb2qo1_500e goes, “common sense” – for the benefit of someone or something else obviously more important, then in my point of view I was not valued very highly as an individual. “Why” does not matter at all. What matter is what you choose to do to move forward.

Although I do not find it important to examine the reason the event happened I do believe that it’s necessary to examine your own TRUE feelings about it – to reach out to your higher consciousness. With this I mean that you need to go BEYOND the thoughts that your Ego is creating – like wounded pride or worries about others point of view – and think about your own true feelings about the situation. When you’ve done that it’ll be easy to take the next step – towards forgiveness. At that point you’ll know that you need to do nothing – it’s forgiveness. It is so well put in the ACIM:

“[…] What then takes its place is now the will of God. Forgiveness is still and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspects of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is. Do nothing then, and let forgiveness show you what to do, through Him who is your guide, your Savior and Protector, strong in hope, and certain of your ultimate success.”

With this I am not saying that you should move on with this individual. Only you know if that’s the right thing for you to do. You are the only one who know what the “right” course of action trustis for you, at this time in your life. You should do that which make sure you’ll stay in tune with the Divine as this reasures your path will be one of spiritual growth and connection. And you are not sure what to do – ask for God’s guidance. “If you ask you will receive” – always.

Remember that everything happens for a reason and sometimes God do send you that special someone in order for you to learn the spiritual lessons you need to learn. The most important thing is to stay true to your own spiritual growth and let other deal with theirs. Be thankful however for your good heart and for your faithful trust – it is a blessing from God!♥

“Life’s up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want.” – Marsha Sinetar

trust2

“10 Biblical Rules For A Happy Marriage”…or just “common sense when You truly love and care for your spouse and not just your Ego”.

I am amazingly blessed! Yes, I am and I’m not covering it up or being modest about it. On the contrary, I rejoice in God’s Gift to me and in the fact that I am one of those incredibly (few) tumblr_m72dg6dnE41qg89yfo1_500blessed women who are married to a man who’s not only capable of but also willing to be a Man without interference by his Ego. I am talking about a man who’s such Soulful Spiritual Being that he – for most parts (he IS human after all…although sometimes I wonder…) – puts aside all things Egotistical for the Greater Good of Our Relationship, and for Me. Together we are on a Spiritual Journey, always learning and always growing – individually and together.

A fantastic loving and trustful relationship isn’t something that just happen though – it takes passion, compassion, a desire to (re)learn, genuine love and respect for one another, the ability to forgive and forget and probably most of all, honest and respectful COMMUNICATION.

1. Never bring up mistakes of the past. Stop criticizing others or it will come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37

2. Neglect the whole world rather than each other. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? – Mark 8:36

a08e6fb903730a630fc009511935c5973. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. – Ephesians 4:26

4. At least once a day, try to say something complimentary to your spouse. Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. – Proverbs 15:4

5. Never meet without an affectionate welcome. Kiss me again and  again, your love is sweeter than wine. – Song of Solomon 1:2

6. “For richer or poorer” – rejoice in every moment that God has given you together. A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. – Proverbs 15:17

7. If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. – Proverbs 3:27

8. If they’re breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive. I am warning you, if another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him. – Luke 17:3,4

9. Don’t use faith, the Bible, or God as a hammer. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. – John 3:17

10. Let love be your guidepost. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5