Posts by Maree Harris, Ph.D.

How Mentoring Can Help A Low Performer Achieve Her Goal.

Mentoring

Mike sent me an email that went like this:
I employed a 22 year old new graduate for a position in my organisation. She presented well at interview and I was very impressed with her attitude. I wanted someone with more experience but here (in the regional centre where he is based) it is very difficult to get people with the experience I want. So as everybody says: “Hire for attitude and train for skills”, I hired her.

Her 3 month probation period is almost due and I can’t see how I can keep her on. I fear I have to dismiss her. I’m quite anxious about it and the impact it will have on her. I feel responsible because I hired her knowing that she didn’t have the skills I wanted. I thought that with her enthusiasm and my support she would develop them. Now I realise that the job is way above her and it’s not just about developing skills, but having experience.
What did Mike do that was a win/win outcome?

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Simon Sinek – Find Your Why To Inspire Your Action

With everything changing so rapidly and with  so much new information, ideas and opinions being available on a daily basis, there’s not a lot I want to read twice. There’s even less that I want to watch more than once. But Simon Sinek’s original TED talk from 2009 on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is a video I have watched at least twice a year ever since. In fact in the first few years after he presented, I would have watched it three to four times each year.

It was his book Start With Why that captured people’s imagination and saw us all begin to see the importance of knowing what our WHY was. He called on leaders who wanted to become great to find your Why because that was what would inspire their action.
I now notice that 34,288,830 people have watched it on video. Yes, more than 34 million! Pretty incredible isn’t it? He had a message that has stood the test of time. You can watch his 18 minute video here.

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Managing Our Time By Eating That Frog!

managing our time by eating that frog

Managing our time is one of our greatest challenges whether at work or outside of work. How do we find the time to do the things that are important to us? Why do we feel so often that we spend our days doing things that really do not make a difference to our lives?

Stop and think for a minute because if you are like many people the main reason you spend your time on trivialities is because you procrastinate about doing the things of value that really make a difference. Why would you do that? Why would you not do what is in your own best interests to do? Because they are usually the hardest things to do. They demand much of you. They require self-discipline. They call on you to dig deep and to get out of your comfort zone. So instead of doing them you procrastinate. You put them off. Have you noticed how very stressful procrastinating is?
Brian Tracy’s classic book “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” has plenty of ways you can beat that thief that steals your time – procrastination.

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How To Beat Overwhelm – Audio.

How to Beat Overwhelm

Overwhelm rolls in over the top of so many people in the workforce – professionals, small business owners, construction workers and other tradies, CEOs and executives and all those workers in all those organisations called on to do more with less.

To those who feel overwhelmed, there seems to be no way out, other than to resign and for most leaving their job without another to go to is not an option. Any way, are there any jobs today where overwhelm is not a pervading presence? Probably not, but it is possible to learn ways to manage, even beat, overwhelm and feel productive and in charge of your life at work.
Here is a short 12 minute audio I did of how to beat overwhelm. Listen to it here or download it to your MP3 player.

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Are The Words on the Wall, Walked in the Halls of Your Organisation?

Is there a very attractively framed Vision, Mission and Values Statement on the wall in the foyer of your organisation? Does it tell everyone who enters through the door what your organisation is about, what its “Why” is. Are they just words on a wall, or are they lived out every day in your organisation? In other words, are the words on the wall walked in the halls of your organisation?

While this article is written for organisations and those who lead them, it is equally relevant to you even if you are not in a leadership role. Every one of us who wants to make a difference in our work and life and be successful in the process needs a personal vision, mission and values statement.
Every decision in your organisation needs to be lined up against your vision, mission and values to see if it fits before it is finally agreed on. An organisation loses credibility in the eyes of employees first, then other stakeholders and then the community, when it consistently compromises on its espoused vision, mission and values, when the words on the wall are not walked in the hall.

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Getting Along With People – A Highly Sought After Skill By Employers

getting along with people

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, once said: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” It would seem a very obvious statement, wouldn’t it? Yet, it is not at all easy to achieve. But, these are the crucial skills that every organisation is looking for in its employees – that ability to get along with people.

Every day in our workplaces our relationships are challenged by people who see things differently to the way we see them. They come from such diverse backgrounds, different from us in gender, age, sexual orientation, race, language, education and physical ability. They have been socialised in very different ways. They have different values. What’s important to them may not be important to us at all. The outcome of all this is that every personal and professional resource we have is stretched as we endeavour to build meaningful and constructive relationships with these people.

And let’s not forget outside of work – our partners, children, family, relatives, next door neighbours and the members of the clubs and associations we belong to. That’s another challenge!

In these times we also have significant breakdowns in global relationships as countries, religious groups and disaffected people everywhere push their own agendas and fight for their voices to be heard. Every day, we see on our televisions, the struggle of people and nations to get along with other people. 

So how do we do it?

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Small Groups of People Can Change The World.

You can Change the world

This quote from anthropologist, Margaret Mead has inspired me in many areas and times of my life. In the things I do, the situations I face, now and in the past, it keeps coming back to me, a kind of inspiration that I find so empowering, that idea that “You can change the world. You can really make a difference”.
It’s come back to inspire me again this past week-end as I have begun to watch the Netflix documentary, The Keepers, on sexual abuse in a Catholic girl’s school in Baltimore, USA, in the late 1960s. It was its excellent reviews that drew me to it. As a Catholic myself and having actually worked with the victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in my counselling and psychotherapy practice, I thought there was nothing I didn’t know about this enormous blight on this religious institution. I’ve only watched two of the seven episodes,  but it has made me aware, yet again, in a way I didn’t understand in my school days, of the enormous, unbridled power of the Church and the Catholic male clergy in those days.

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Your Receptionist is Your Director of First Impressions

Receptionist

How much significance do you give to the recruitment and training of your receptionist? Of course, you pay great attention to the appointment of your professional service staff. Their importance to the organisation is obvious because they are providing the service to your clients and customers that will determine whether you gain their business and more importantly maintain it. However your receptionist is the face of your organisation, your director of first impressions. That person is the first person your clients and customers speak to or meet when they make contact with your organisation. The way she or he speaks and acts,  dresses, is groomed, will either enhance their impressions of your organisation or have them not wanting to come back and looking for an alternative.

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Focus on Strengths, If You Want To Enhance Someone’s Performance.

focus on strengths

Make it a priority to focus on strengths with all the people you interact with.
Acknowledge their strengths. Draw their attention to them.
Challenge them to use their strengths to achieve their goals, to be successful.
Follow them up next week, and next month. Continue to encourage and support them.
It’s their strengths that help them to manage, overcome or counterbalance their weaknesses, what challenges them.
If the focus is always on their inadequacies, what is wrong with them, what they need to change and improve, many give up. They do not know how to do it. They do not recognise they have the resources within – strengths – to do it. So focus on strengths, not weaknesses.
Be the catalyst to help them recognise their untapped talents and potential.
 Be the person to change their life.

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